The last year in the life of St Nick’s has been a busy one, with many significant events and highlights. We have shared many joys but also some sorrow:
Nine people were baptised at St Nick’s, all during our main Sunday worship.
Three members of the congregation were confirmed by the Bishop of Stepney, at a packed joint service at All Saints Church.
Rachel Treweek, the Archdeacon of Hackney, preached at our St Nicholas Day celebrations. This was a joyful joint service with All Saints, followed by a wonderful party.
Culloden School choir sang for us again at our carol service. This built on the relationship begun last year, and we hope they will sing every year. The carol service attracted a very wide cross section of the community.
Sandra McCalla joined the team as curate in June 2012, and we have been delighted that she has been able to preach at St Nick’s and share in some of our life here.
Following a successful bid to the BLMF, Elizabeth McKenzie was appointed as our Children and Families worker in October 2012. Much of her work is already bearing fruit and is outlined in more detail in the separate section below.
In September we said goodbye and a massive thank you to Michael Keyte who had provided our musical accompaniment for the last couple of years. Laura Penny joined the congregation at the end of last year and is enhancing our worship with her piano playing. Thank you Laura. We are very grateful to Tom Slater who played the piano for us after Michael left and we are delighted to see him, when he returns to play.
We have also borne sadness as two members of our congregation died in the year. Beverly Allen died in May 2012 after a long illness. She had served the church as a PCC member and chalice assistant.
Joyce Thomas died in February this year. She was a long-standing member of the church and very active in the local community. She was part of St Nick’s before it closed in the 1960s and was part of shaping our community of faith here when the church reopened again. She served as churchwarden for many years and her warmth, love and wisdom have been a great influence on many people, both inside and outside the church.
Both Beverly and Joyce are greatly missed. +May they rest in peace, and rise in glory.
Work with children and families.
Elizabeth took up post in October 2012 and has worked swiftly and effectively to build up our work with children and families.
The Junior Church on Sundays is going from strength to strength, and we now have five volunteers (two of whom are at the stage of shadowing others) Thanks go to Elizabeth Prigg and Bob Gilbert who have worked with Elizabeth McKenzie over the last year. We look forward to the Junior Church continuing to grow and welcoming Michelle and Loretta to the team.
Buggy Mass: this was launched in November 2012 and is held every Friday at 10am followed by a ‘stay and play session’. Through the service we have made contact with 27 children and 20 adults, and some of this congregation have now started attending on Sundays.
On Good Friday we led Stations of the Cross for children for the first time and afterwards all the children made Easter gardens. This was a great success and 17 children and13 adults attended.
After school provision: A very successful street dance class has been running in the church hall and further clubs are being explored
Messy Church: Elizabeth McKenzie and Elizabeth Prigg have been researching messy church provision in London, with a view to setting one up in St Nick’s in the second half of the summer term.
Outreach in the community: Elizabeth has been involved in the Well Aberfeldy Programme and is an active member of the local parents’ forum.
Near Neighbours funding: Elizabeth has worked with member of the congregation and Caste Away Arts to put in a successful bid for a women’s drama group to run at the church for 6 weeks in May/June.
Hayley Clark and Lystra la Pompe have continued to work incredibly hard to maximise the income gained through hall hire and to ensure that it is a resource for the local community. A big thank you to them.
We have three regular bookings and we are delighted to welcome the Vietnamese Lunch club, which started meeting in the hall in March. The Neighbours in Poplar lunch club, that had been meeting in the hall for a number of years sadly lost funding, and served its last lunch in September last year.
An enormous thank you goes to Edna Howard for continuing to keep our books in order and for her dedication and care.
Finances are a constant challenge as we strive to keep the building running, contribute to the common fund and give to local and national charities.
Last year we supported the Delhi Brotherhood, CRISIS and ALMA, which works with churches in Angola and Mozambique
Thanks to Elizabeth Prigg for heading up our newly formed finance sub committee and for her enthusiasm and creativity. Our first St Nick’s sale went incredibly well, despite the driving snow, and we plan to hold these at least three times a year.
Over the next year we will focus more on our giving as part of our Christian discipleship.
St Nick’s is a fantastic place to minister and I feel very privileged to be Team Vicar here. The congregation can always be relied upon to welcome any one who walks though the church doors and to be open to new possibilities. Many people are involved in the life of the church and give their time and energy to our family of faith here. Thank you to everyone who serves on the church council, reads, leads intercessions, administers the chalice, provides refreshments, welcomes people and rings the bell…. and all the many other activities that keep the church afloat…
The year ahead should prove to be exciting. We want to continue to grow as a church and continue reaching out to others so that we can be effective in proclaiming Christ’s love in all that we do. As always, we can only do this with God’s grace and with the love and support of the whole church community.