As an optimist I am prone to positive thinking about the year ahead. But this year I have a particular reason to get excited. It’s a reason, I believe, for us all to get excited. And it’s called Teddington800. Let me explain…

In 1217, the Abbot of Westminster was asked to present to the Bishop of London ‘a suitable chaplain, with maintenance, for Tudinton’. This was the point at which Teddington became a parish. So 2017 will see the 800th anniversary of the Parish of Teddington. It is proposed to celebrate this anniversary with a programme of events between June and November, that we are calling Teddington800.

This will include some big services in church to give thanks to God for 800 years of parish ministry and Christian worship. But we also want to make it a much wider celebration of Teddington as a local community. So we will have talks and displays that celebrate our local history; we will bring together local churches, schools, organisations and businesses in various events that focus on the river, on the arts and on science; we will aim to give an ‘800 boost’ to annual events like the Village Fair; and we will encourage a season of street parties, and maybe even a Teddington Ball. In short, we wish to leave a lasting legacy of community engagement and goodwill.

We have already started the planning, forming a Steering Committee with a talented mix of people from both the church and wider community organisations. But we are still very much open to suggestions. We want people to adopt the theme and participate in as many ways as possible. So please drop us a line if you have a bright idea that might fit into Teddington800. Contact Anne McTear (Chair of the Steering Committee) on

Watch this space for more details as they emerge. We plan to produce a full programme brochure by the beginning of May. My hope for Teddington800 is that it will provide a time to look back, look up, look around and look forward; to explore our past, to celebrate our blessings, to enjoy each other and to imagine our future. Let’s pull together to make this happen.

Best wishes,

Joe Moffat