Sandwiched between two bank holidays, the middle weeks of May seem to be a little congested with overlapping events but I’m hoping that they all add up to an inspiring fortnight.

First, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have called on all churches to make special provision to pray for their local communities during the period between Ascension Day (May 10th) and Pentecost (May 20th). This global wave of prayer is being billed as ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. We will be marking it with a special Ascension Day service for all local churches at St James Hampton Hill on May 10th at 8pm (with Bishop Martin Wharton preaching) and with a special Pentecost service at our own church on May 20th at 10am (with Bishop Rob Wickham preaching). In between, the church will be open every day for personal prayer.

Secondly, it is Christian Aid Week from May 13th-19th. We will be doing our usual street collections to raise money to help change the lives of people living in the poorest parts of the world. The aid industry has rightly come under scrutiny recently, but the work that Christian Aid does is more crucial than ever, so we will be redoubling our efforts and asking for your generous response. On Saturday May 12th there is a Christian Aid Brunch at Teddington Baptist Church, followed by a special service at our church on May 13th at 10am.

Thirdly, there are two big events. On Saturday May 12th, the Right Reverend Sarah Mullaly will be installed as Bishop of London in St Paul’s Cathedral, the first ever woman to be appointed to this role. I will be there to cheer her on. Then on May 19th, there’s the Royal Wedding, and I’m delighted to hear that this is being celebrated with various street parties.

I’m glad I’ve got a half-term holiday booked to recover from this full-on fortnight. I hope, however, that the streams of prayer, charitable giving and community celebration all converge into a river of goodwill that blesses us all.

Best wishes,

Rev. Joe Moffat