The Charlton Ensemble will perform ‘popular classics for cello, voice and piano’ in support of St. Thomas’ Church’s night shelter for the homeless on Sunday 27 January.
The Charlton Ensemble consist of professional instrumentalists and singers who live, work and/or worship in the Charlton area. They promise a varied programme ranging from Baroque to Bernstein. The concert will take place at St. Thomas’ Church on Woodland Terrace, starting at 7pm; tickets cost £10 – phone 07989 740 252 to book.
Charlton’s two C of E churches, St Luke’s and St Thomas’, are pledging to do more in the community over the next few years. REVD LIZ NEWMAN, the rector of the Benefice of Charlton, outlines its new action plan, which includes setting up a youth cafe and schemes to combat loneliness and social injustice.
What is mission? In the Church, one short answer to that question is that it’s “finding out what God is doing and then joining in!” But before we can join in, we need to listen to what’s happening.
At St Luke’s and St Thomas’ churches, we’ve been doing a lot of listening over the past year. Listening to our community, to ourselves and to God. As a result we’ve come to some conclusions about what we believe God is calling us to be and do. And we’ve decided on our priorities for the next three to five years.
So what is top of our list? Where are we going to put energy, time and love?
Engaging and nurturing children and young people
Sharing our faith confidently
Reaching isolated groups
Better community engagement
The recent United Nations report on poverty in this country highlighted shocking statistics about the impact on our poorest communities of living with little. Knife crime and gang culture is taking and ruining far too many young lives in our city. We live in challenging times of injustice, and that is a concern to people of all faiths and none.
Jesus was on the side of the poor and dispossessed, and following his example means we need to be as well. We are already part of Greenwich Winter Night Shelter, which houses 15 homeless people through the coldest months of the winter. And we have plans to start an open access Youth Café, to strengthen and extend our existing Schools Project, to run fun activities for children during school holidays, to develop a mental wellbeing project and a social justice project and to grow a project that will combat loneliness.
Charlton is a place that is set to grow hugely in the coming years. We need to be able to live together well, so that everyone can belong and flourish. St Thomas’, St Luke’s and St Richards Church Centre want to work with our local communities for the good of all.
We have plans to make connections with people and places in our local area that we haven’t had relationships with before, to develop our churches as community hubs and to continue to work with other local people and the council to ensure that Charlton Riverside becomes a true community where there is plenty of affordable and social housing.
Our faith motivates who we are and what we do. Because we believe in a God of love, in whose sight we are all precious, we want to meet people where they are and help them discover that good news for themselves. So we’re building our own confidence and aiming to grow new congregations at St Luke’s, St Thomas and St Richard’s. They won’t necessarily look like traditional church, because traditional church isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But that’s fine, because if church listens and adapts, there is room for everyone. And of course, we’ll be aiming to grow traditional church as well!
The teachings of Christ underpin all that we do. We’re striving to be people who are joyful, live in loving relationship with God and our neighbours, are good listeners, forgive, work for justice and celebrate diversity. We have a lot of plans and we know we’re being ambitious! But we are trusting and living in hope. And on the way, we’re expecting to discover what we’re here on this earth for.
We believe Charlton is the place that God has given us to love and we look forward to doing just that over the years to come. If you want to know more, please visit our website at www.charlton.church. And, whoever and whatever you are, you will always be welcome at our churches and to join in the adventure that lies ahead.
Every winter, thousands of people in the UK end up with no home. It’s a national problem and sometimes it feels like there is nothing we can do. But there is. Greenwich Winter Night Shelter is a team of people from local churches and communities who provide beds, food and company for people without a home. From 14 November 2018 to 12 March 2019, volunteers will give a few hours each week, helping dozens of people get back on their feet.
Would you like to join a team that makes a big difference to people’s lives?
Volunteers are needed for evening, overnight and breakfast shifts – particularly overnight and breakfast shifts. The Shelter operates at a different venue each night of the week, and full training is provided.
For more information, please contact project manager Helen Othen – email: gwnsprojectmgr[at]gmail.com.
The Greenwich Winter Night Shelter network:
Sunday: St James’ Church Hall, Kidbrooke Park Road, SE3 0DU – Nearby buses: 178, 286, 132, 89 Monday: Christ Church, Trafalgar Road, SE10 9EQ – Nearby buses: 177, 180, 286, 422,
129, 188, 386 Tuesday: St George’s Church, Glenluce Road, SE3 7SQ – Nearby buses: 286, 108, 422 Wednesday: OneSpace Youth & Community Centre, Kidbrooke Park Road, SE3 9YY – Nearby buses: B16, 178 Thursday: St Mark’s Church Centre, 22 Greenwich South Street, SE10 8TY – Nearby buses: 386, 180, 199 Friday: St Thomas’ Church, Woodland Terrace, SE7 8EW – Nearby bus: 380 Saturday: Blackheath & Charlton Baptist Church, Marlborough Lane, SE7 7DF – Nearby buses: 89, 178, 386