Donate Your Unwanted Bicycle(s)

The new shed in the corner of the car park at St John’s is a ‘bike hub’ for The Bike Project.

The Bike Project (TBP) opened in March 2013, and since then has donated over 2,000 bikes. They give second hand bikes to refugees and asylum seekers, run bike maintenance workshops and run a project where refugee women are taught to cycle from scratch. A proportion of the bikes donated are sold and 100% of the profits go back into supporting their charitable work.

TBP is a community of refugees, mechanics and volunteers, which includes bike hub members. They rely on a steady donation of bikes from generous individuals and organisations. Their workshop in Denmark Hill is a great space, but not always convenient when someone wants to drop off a bike. Not least as they don’t have the luxury of a full time van and driver, they work through a system of bike hubs, local drop off points for people to gift their old two wheelers to TBP.

27,000 bikes are abandoned in London each year. Just one of these bikes can help an asylum seeker get to crucial appointments and save them £21.20 a week on a bus pass. When you’re living off £36.95, that makes a big difference. One day, they hope to give a bike to every refugee wanting one. Please only adult or children’s complete bikes in any condition, not accessories or parts. A ‘complete bike’ is one with all of the components, including both wheels.

All donors are asked to fill out a bike tag when they arrive and attach it to the bike. TBP wants to thank everyone that donates a bike to us and keep them updated. They also need to check the bike’s registration details on the national bike register. Dave Young (079 1783 8447) is coordinating things for us.

Saying Goodbye to Tom and Jo

Tom (on holiday this week) has officially handed in his notice, and his last Sunday with us will be the 25th June. We hope the final service might be a special occasion. Tea, coffee and cakes served from the back of the church will follow the service to allow for a short farewell.

The summer fair on the 24th June will also provide a chance for many people from the parish to catch up with Tom and Jo informally. Although Tom and Jo will no doubt reveal all in due course, there seems to be more clarity for them about where they might be going in the next stage of their ministry, which is good news.

Church family picture

Before Tom and Jo leave, the PCC thought it would be a good idea to attempt a church photo to replace the one in the porch of St John’s which is several years old now. After the service on June 4th, therefore, we will congregate outside for the photo. Please come along that Sunday to be included if possible (including our St Mary’s congregation!), and pray for good weather!

July and August 2017

After Tom’s final Sunday, both Tom and Dave will be on leave and the church will be without clergy for the summer while the PCC work through the transition in the parish. This is a good chance for people to step up and help! Please support the Churchwardens Brian and Gayle and the PCC as they manage church life through this time. Visiting clergy will conduct services across July and August.

DAVE MACLURE

To the FATHER, through the SON, in the SPIRIT

Last Sunday at the 10.00, many wrote down prayers which Tom then read them out. Here are most.

Thank you for our relationship with you through Your Son Jesus, that we may speak to you with open hearts. I pray for our church and for Tom and Dave as they move forward in serving you. Thank you for your blessings and goodness each day and for loving us as your children. Forgive the times I am far from you and forget to seek your wisdom.

I want to thank you for all the blessings we cannot see and all that we can see. Please heal the world and make it a better place. Make us more like you, and heal me in body, soul and spirit. Please give me a new beginning with you always by my side.

Thank you for our food and all our friends and family. Please help the poor, help those that suffer. Please bless the Blue School and my church. Please make me like you. Inspire us to know you better.

I pray for more grace and the strength to carry on in life. I pray for peace around the world. Thanks for all the blessings you pour upon us. Forgive those who sin against you. Help us always to give you glory.

For an end to all wars, for all those caught up through no fault of their own. Help them in the suffering. Please bless all people especially all who are suffering at the moment in countries like Syria. Help us to feel your grace, especially those in power. Help us see what is right and what is wrong. We pray for a satisfactory outcome, both for the EU and our country, of the Brexit negotiations and for sensitivity and honesty in the discussions.

For peace in all our hearts. For my daughter, that the hurt will heal, that she can forgive and move on. Remember out godparents on this godparent Sunday. We pray for our local community here in Isleworth, for many people to know your love. We pray for those about to embark on the journey of marriage and those much further down that road. We pray for our children, for those about to do their examinations. Give them strength and aid them in their work.

The Really Difficult Part to Watch

Rob Cobb, with his daughter Olivia have been coming to St John’s for 2 years.

It was my Mum who suggested we all go into town to watch the Good Friday Passion Play in Trafalgar Square. I’ve not been to something like that before. Five of us went along. We sat in a place close to all the action – and even joined in with shouting at the right times, as part of the crowds.

The Passion Play taught me so much about the life of Jesus. The bit that really stayed with me was the crucifixion itself. The actor who played Jesus did a great job of showing the pain and suffering that Jesus went through. He really shouted loudly! That part of the play was difficult to watch, but it was very moving. I don’t know why, I hadn’t really thought about how Jesus was actually nailed to a cross. We see pictures and crucifixes where Jesus is already on the cross, or off it, but the passion play got me really thinking about how it must have been for Jesus himself, to have his hands nailed to a cross. It made it all the more special – that as Christians we say that his suffering, his death, was for us to have life.

I thought the Passion Play was amazing and I would definitely recommend anyone to go along next year and see the one in Trafalgar Square, or another one. The young kids we took to see it enjoyed it and were able to follow the story fine. We all got so involved in the story and lost track of the time!

Things haven’t been very easy for me and my life recently, but I have found praying helpful. I like the Lord’s Prayer – that Jesus himself taught us and we say each week in church – as a really useful place to start praying. It’s good to ask Jesus for forgiveness, and we need his help to forgive others. The Passion play increased my appreciation for Jesus, this man who lived and died (and lived again!) all those years ago.

The Greater Passover Lamb

I’ve been coming to St John’s for nearly four years. I love St John’s and St Mary’s – the people are very genuine and care about your welfare. Life hasn’t always been easy for me but this community have offered a lot of love and encouragement.

As many of you will know, I have been fostering T for 18 months. T will start secondary school in the autumn. We’ve had lots of ups and downs. T naturally misses his family, although he is happy with me and at church. He feels less alone and has made new friends at Flightpath. He knows he is part of God’s family, God is his Father, even if he can’t be with his own family. T likes helping out and he really enjoyed doing the prayers recently. T loves drama, and he’s a very confident speaker with a big voice which is good for being up at the front in church!

This last week we both attended one of the Passover meal, hosted by the Maclures. We had a great time – good food and lovely company of all ages. As part of the drama of the evening, an extra place is set for the prophet Elijah. At a certain point, the kids go and check the door to see if Elijah has come. Well we were shocked when close to that time the doorbell actually rang! It was a rough sleeper that Dave knew, asking for food. So we had our Elijah – the stranger at the door – and even though he didn’t stay to join us, he had some rice and lamb to take away!

The Passover meal has helped me learn something about Jesus. For Christians, the meal points to how Jesus is an even greater Passover Lamb, which we remember when we celebrate communion, His body and blood given for us. The story of the Exodus is one I particularly love. One of my favourite verses in the Bible comes in that story as God’s people face the obstacle of the Red Sea. They are told: “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to remain still.”

Rachel Burnel