Bexley Team Ministry News for April 25th 2021




Bexley Team News


St Barnabas, Joydens Wood

St James, North Cray

St John the Evangelist, Bexley

St Mary the Virgin, Bexley


25th April 2021       Issue 58                                                                 The Fourth  Sunday of Easter



The church buildings will have been thoroughly cleaned. As usual, face-masks MUST be worn (unless medically exempt) hand sanitiser will be used and social distancing of 2 Metres MUST be observed at all times. Do not attend if you or a member of your household is  shielding or vulnerable.  The church doors will open for ventilation, so dress accordingly.



St Mary’s         10.00 am    Holy Communion


                            10.00 am    Wednesday Holy Communion          

St James            9.30 am      Holy Communion    

St Barnabas      10.45 am    Holy Communion

                          4.00 pm      Sunday @ 4

St John’s            8.00 am      Holy Communion

                          10.00 am     Holy Communion

                         11.00 am St John’s APCM


                                                      Team Zoom Services and Worship material

Saturday 24thApril  at 5.30 pm                                                                   Saturday Nightwatch Zoom Service


Sunday 25th April at 10.00 am                                                                        Sunday Zoom Service

A Service of bible readings and prayer. See the final sheet of the BTNews for the songs. Invitations to the above Zoom services are being emailed. If you haven’t received the link, or are having problems, please contact any member of the Team Clergy. Dial in option is available.


Sunday 25th April                                                                    Bexley Team Children’s Church

Here is the link for Children's Church this week

The Diocese of Rochester are producing material for children during lockdown.

All of the Ministry@Home sheets can be found on the main Diocese website under

 (under 18s) or click here. Diocese of Rochester | Family Worship in the Home (


Bible Readings  Acts 4 v5-12   1 John 3 v16 -24    Luke 10  v11- 18             


The Collect: Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life: raise us, who trust in him, from the death of sin to the life of righteousness, that we may seek those things which are above, where he reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. 

The Additional Collect: Risen Christ, faithful shepherd of your Father’s sheep; teach us to hear your voice and to follow your command, that all your people may be gathered into one flock, to the glory of God the Father.

Rev’d Ren writes-



hurch leaders and congregations can expend much time and energy on church buildings. Although we have all found it difficult in the last year to be away from our buildings, online worship has proved unexpectedly fruitful. Now, as we return to in-person worship in the Bexley Team, I want to reflect on the heritage of our four different parish churches.

St Mary’s is the ancient parish church of Bexley, recorded in the Domesday survey. The oldest parts of St. Mary’s, the tower and nave date to the 12th Century and it has been the site of Christian worship for over a millennia, standing on the remains of a previous Saxon Church. The church was extensively restored and redesigned in the late 19th Century.

St James North Cray is also one of Bexley Borough’s six ancient parish churches, a place of worship being on the site since the twelfth century. The first reference to a vicar serving the parish was in 1371. The building once served as a private chapel for the manor of North Cray Place, then was rebuilt in 1852, with the stained-glass windows at the east end being replaced after bomb-damage in the second world war.

St John the Evangelist was originally established as a daughter church to St Mary’s when the population in the area was growing. It was consecrated in 1882, its distinctive tall tower and spire added in 1890. It was made a parish in its own right in 1936.

St Barnabas was also a daughter church of St Mary, originally a church centre, and replacing an earlier church on Old Bexley Lane. It remains dual-use – used by community groups during the week, with the Sanctuary completely screened off until it is time for worship, hiding the simple yet beautiful handmade oak altar and prayer desks, and hand stitched kneelers. St Barnabas became a parish in its own right in 1992.

Consider how significant church buildings are to us. My first years of parish ministry had been in a large, beautiful medieval church, St Margaret’s in Rainham, Kent. In 2010, I was invited to visit Joydens Wood to consider whether I should take up a post as the vicar. It was a contrast to what I was used to, but I heard God’s voice clearly that day. “It’s the people, not the building.” Amazingly my husband Steve heard God speak the same words to him. On that visit, we heard the bubbling enthusiasm of the wardens as they spoke of church members deep commitment to be a Christian presence in their much-loved community. We watched families gathering to collect children from the Nursery that met in the church building. We saw the beauty of the church grounds, an area that once formed part of the Bexley Mental Hospital grounds. Looking back over the intervening years, I’m glad Steve and I followed God’s prompting, even as my work has expanded across four parishes, because it is always about God’s people.

In our Acts reading today, Peter describes Jesus as The Cornerstone, (words taken from Psalm 118). In architecture, (I have discovered) a cornerstone is “traditionally the first stone laid for a structure, with all other stones laid in reference”. A cornerstone “orients a building in a specific direction.” There is much to ponder here, as we come back to our church buildings, not least the faithful men and women who have worked to establish Christian congregations in the area over many years. Is Christ the foundation of all we do, and all we are? Are we orientated towards Christ, with him as our Cornerstone, setting the direction for us?

Whether our Sunday worship takes place in a medieval building, a spacious Victorian landmark, a dual-use modern building or indeed on a computer screen, Jesus Christ must be at the centre of it all.


Diocesan Living in Love and Faith taster day is taking place on Saturday 1st  May, 9.30 am to 1.00 pm, all are invited to join this online Diocesan event offering an opportunity to learn about the vision and purpose of the Living in Love and Faith (LLF) project and to explore some of the resources. There will be a mix of plenary presentations, discussions and working together in small groups. For more details please see Bishop Simon’s letter (attached)

Ascension Day: Please keep the evening of May 13th (Ascension Day), clear in your diaries for an open air Ascension Day Eucharist in the grounds of St Barnabas Joydens Wood: Please note that as the service will be outdoors, congregational hymn singing will be permitted! More details to follow in the near future

Zoom Prayer Course Prayer is central to the lives of Christians throughout the world, but it's something that can be difficult to do and even harder to talk about! So, Rev'd Matt will be running a short introductory course (on Zoom) entitled 'Prayer and Praying for Others'.  This two session course will be on Wednesday 5th and Wednesday 12th May, from 8pm-9.15pm. This will be an opportunity for us to consider what happens when we pray, how to pray when we get a bit stuck, and how we can pray for others. Open to everyone, from life-long Christians to those just beginning a journey of faith (and everything in between). Please contact Rev Matt to register your interest or for more information. Thank you!  07889873125


Clive will be leading a holiday to Austria and Oberammergau including the Passion Play 22-29 June 2022. If you would like a hard or e-copy of the holiday/pilgrimage brochure please let Clive know.


Scam emails Fraudsters are sending emails purporting to be from Team Clergy which result in a request for Amazon vouchers to be sent or similar. Please be alert as the clergy will never ask for this.



For St Barnabas Any contributions can be dropped off at the Treasurer’s house or at the Vicarage. Or you can give by BACS transfer. In all cases, if you are a taxpayer please “Gift Aid” your giving.  If you have any questions regarding this please contact, David Peters on 01322 529796 or by email

For St James, North Cray      Contributions can be dropped off at 91 The Grove, or made by BACS transfer, contact Suzy Higgs on 07799072548

For St John's   You can give to the continuing upkeep and ministry of St John's via our Just Giving page:

For St Mary’s  If you ordinarily make your financial contributions in church but, in the present circumstances, wish to contribute by cheque then please make your cheque payable to St Mary’s Bexley PCC and send it c/o C. Lee 11 Holmesdale Road, Bexleyheath, DA7 4TJ. Your continued support is very much appreciated.



Each week the musicians at St James North Cray offer links to a selection of songs and music for us to enjoy. These can be found on our website


St John’s Sermons are posted each Sunday at fatheredwardbarlow.wordpress.comSocial Media - engage with us via Facebook (/stjohnsbexley), Twitter (@stjohnsbexley) and Instagram (@stjohnsbexley)



Team Rector: Rev’d Ren Harding              01322 528923     07836644782

Associate Priest: Rev’d Sue Twynam 01322 559501     07952 468127

Team Vicar: Rev’d Edward Barlow       01322 521786    

Team Vicar: Rev’d Clive Wood                   01322 270942     07982 392809

Team Curate: Rev’d Matt Hodder                                            07889873125


                       Songs for Zoom Worship – Sunday at 10.00 am.



O let the Son of God enfold you
with His Spirit and His love
Let Him fill your heart and satisfy your soul
O let Him have the things that hold you
And His Spirit like a dove
Will descend upon your life and make you whole

Jesus, O Jesus
Come and fill Your lambs
Jesus, O Jesus
Come and fill Your lambs

O come and sing this song with gladness
As your hearts are filled with joy
Lift your hands in sweet surrender to His name
O give Him all your tears and sadness
Give Him all your years of pain
And you'll enter into life in Jesus' name

Jesus, O Jesus…











The Lord's my shepherd, I'll not want;
He makes me down to lie
In pastures green; he leadeth me
The quiet waters by.

My soul he doth restore again,
And me to walk doth make
Within the paths of righteousness,
E'en for his own name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through death's dark vale,
Yet will I fear no ill;
For thou art with me; and thy rod
And staff me comfort still.

My table thou hast furnishèd
In presence of my foes;
My head thou dost with oil anoint,
And my cup overflows.

Goodness and mercy all my life
Shall surely follow me;
And in God's house forever more
My dwelling place shall be. 


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Page last updated: 25th April 2021 9:09 AM