BEXLEY TEAM MINISTRY: St Barnabas, Joydens Wood, St James, North Cray, St John’s, Bexley, St Mary’s, Bexley
Updated 27th March 2021
Services and Events for April 2021
The Team Rector, the Team clergy, and the PCC’s of the Parish churches in the Bexley Team have been monitoring figures for Covid infections in this area. We are mindful of our responsibility for the safety and well-being of those attending worship in our church buildings.
However, in line with government and Church of England guidance, and with reducing infections it has been decided to begin the process of re-opening the St James church building.
11.00 am to 1.00 pm Open for Individual prayer
9.30am Easter Day Communion
During Holy Week we invite you to place a small cross at the foot of the large cross in the church grounds. You can do this in remembrance of something or someone you have lost over the past year, or you can place it in thankfulness of the love that God has for us all. You can bring your own cross (or use one of the ones provided) You might like to place a flower as well.
There will be music on this link www.stjamesnorthcray.org.uk/welcome/music/ to take us from Palm Sunday through to Easter Sunday. We hope you find the music helpful and inspiring.
We will be monitoring the situation closely and – for the moment – hope to have our church building open throughout April for our regular 9.30am Sunday service.
The church will have been thoroughly cleaned. As usual, face-masks MUST be warn (unless medically exempt) hand sanitiser will be used and social distancing of 2 Meters MUST be observed at all times. Do not attend if you or a member of your household is shielding or vulnerable. Be warned, we will have the church doors open for ventilation, so dress accordingly.
We will continue to circulate worship material via email, and also make worship available online, on Zoom, or via a phone-in link on Zoom. Details are emailed out each week.
Please contact the Team Rector or a member of the clergy team to be included on the emailing list or see our website for further information.
Also, do contact any of our clergy team if you are concerned, or if you would simply like a chat, or prayer.
May God bless you all at this difficult and worrying time.
"Welcome to St James Church, - the Church of England parish church serving North Cray.
The church building is situated on the North Cray Road on the edge of the beautiful Footscray Meadows. There has been a place of worship on this site for many centuries, although much of the original building was restored in the nineteenth century. The church is well-loved in the North Cray community. For a map of the immediate area, please click here
There is one service each Sunday morning at 9.30am lasting about an hour. This is usually a service of Holy Communion, with hymns, bible readings and a talk which leads us into the sharing of the bread and wine of communion. On the second Sunday of each month there is an All-Age service at 9.30am, suitable for all ages with lively singing and a rather more informal atmosphere.
In August 2018, St James Church, North Cray became part of the Bexley Team partnering with the parish churches of St John's, Bexley, St Mary's, Bexley and St Barnabas, Joydens Wood.
Please do explore our website and visit our church here in North Cray where I know you will be given a warm welcome"
Revd. Ren Harding
To contact the Reverend Ren Harding Tel: 01322 528923.
Parish Safeguarding - Statement
Like all Church of England churches, safeguarding and safer recruitment are paramount. The PCC are committed to ensuring that our church and hall are safe places for all who use them. For more detailed information and guidance click the Parish Safeguarding Handbook or visit https://www.rochester.anglican.org and click on safeguarding. Produced by the National Safeguarding Team, it is a comprehensive guide, summarising the key areas a parish needs to address with regards to safeguarding.
Parish Safeguarding - Past Review
If you are concerned about something you have experienced in a church, now or in the past, or you are worried about another person - perhaps a vulnerable adult or a child – there are people you can talk to and you will be taken seriously. You can contact the Diocese of Rochester’s Safeguarding team on 01634 560 000 or visit their webpage Click to read more
One of the Sacred Spaces created by the congregation at St James
Rev’d Ren writes-
Team Rector’s Letter April 2021
We have been busy getting the church ready to reopen! The doors will be open for Individual Prayer on Good Friday (11am until 1pm) and Easter Communion on Easter Day at 9.30am.
As you can imagine this has meant a very thorough Spring Clean, including the removal of some quite spectacular cobwebs festooning the archways of the church! (Our apologies to the spiders who may have been disturbed by our ministrations.)
While we have been cleaning and tidying and making our preparations to open the building, I have been thinking about the need we all have for some ‘spiritual spring-cleaning’.
What do I mean by that? I mean that, when we take time to pause and reflect, we can discover that over a period of weeks and months, we have begun to accumulate mental and spiritual ‘clutter’. It might be a sense of resentment concerning the words or actions of someone else. It might be a build-up of tension because of a raft of obligations and duties that we have foolishly taken on. It might be a habit of criticism, or of fixating on worries and problems. All these things sap us of joy and dull our ability to see things in their proper perspective.
Now I fully realise that some of you may be struggling with serious illness, financial worries, or griefs of many kinds, and if that is the case, my heart goes out to you. You should not feel guilty. Know that God is alongside you and be gentle with yourself as you find a way through the unavoidable emotional pain of those things. Remember I’m here to help if I can.
Rather, I am talking here about the needless worries that can weigh us down if we allow them to. What I refer to is encapsulated in what is called The Serenity Prayer…
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
I commend it to you as a prayer as you do your own ‘Spiritual Spring Cleaning’ and I wish you a very Happy Easter.
Reverend Ren Harding (Team Rector)
contact me at Joydens Wood Vicarage,
6 Tile Kiln Lane, Joydens Wood, Bexley, DA5 2BB
I am pleased (and slightly shocked!) to have been invited by Bishop James to accept appointment as an Honorary Canon at Rochester Cathedral, one of four others appointed in the present round.Read the full article here
Bexley Womens Aid - We were happy to help out with donations at Christmas
In December we had our usual Toy service where we collected donations for Bexley Womens Aid. It wasn’t our usual service due to Covid restrictions but as usual the people of North Cray came up trumps!
We contacted Womens Aid before the service, and asked if they had any particular requests for the children this year. They asked for chocolate selection boxes and sweets and small toys. The word soon went around and we had many generous donations.
Comment from one of the Residents: “Such kindness and thoughtfulness of strangers to give so much, it has restored my faith in people and made Christmas magical for my children for the first time in years!”
We invite everyone in our nation to pause, as we reflect on the enormity of this pandemic. Read the Archbishops' letter here
Bexley Team Ministry - Clergy Contact Details.
Bexley Team Children's Church
This year we want to offer our families a weekly Bexley Team Children's Church.
A virtual visit to St James Church .
Revd Ren visited St James, during the first period of lockdown, and recorded this video clip.
“I will be their God, and they will be my people… “.
Rev. Ren's Reflection for Sunday 21st March 2021 Read More
Music choice for Holy Week - Maundy Thursday and Good Friday
Maundy Thursday - To see the King of Heaven Fall. Good Friday - How deep the Father's love for us, The Power of the Cross, and God so loved the world . Read More