What do we hope for in life? (3/03/2019)

When we think about our lives, we hope that our future will be one that takes us forward into growth, change and new opportunities. Much of life is directed towards hope.  I think our Gospel reading this morning, is a story about what we hope for.

A sermon on hope, love, the transfiguration of Christ and the meaning of baptism.  Delivered by Asst Curate Revd Dr Nicky von Fraunhofer at the All age Communion service on Sunday 3rd March 2019 (Sunday next before Lent).

What do we hope for in life ? NvF Sermon 03.03.19

Readings: Exodus 34.29-end; 2 Corinthians 3:12- 4.2; Luke 9 28-36 [37-43a]

We hope for love from God and we hope to share God’s love with each other. And Jesus makes that possible. Jesus is like God’s token of love, for us to hold onto. When we see Jesus on the mountain with Moses and Elijah, what God is showing us, is that we matter so much to God, that God will break through the fabric of the universe, to bring us God’s message of love…..A baptism is declaration and a reminder of this love. 

Baptism, like the transfiguration, brings a bit of heaven to Earth, to remind us what we look forward to and hope for, the gift of love from God, in Christ.

Pewsheet 3rd March 2019

Stormy Waters (24/02/2019)

Stormy Waters – a sermon by Norman Allen CBE, Reader, delivered at the Sung Communion service on Sunday 24th February 2019 (The Second Sunday before Lent).  Based on the Gospel reading:  Luke 8, 22-25

Jesus’s stormy passage recalls another maritime adventure, when the sail training ship Malcolm Miller was crossing the North Sea from Norway.  In a rising gale, she was making more than fifteen knots, with green seas washing the lee deck.  It was exhilarating sailing for the 39 boys, as they learned to trust the ship, and to discover themselves.

We balanced on the foot ropes, leaning over the yard, fighting the heavy canvas, to lash down the gaskets.  We were glad to scramble down to the heaving deck, to receive grins from our watches and the Skipper’s nod of approval.   Galilean fishermen would have been proud of us!

When Jesus’s disciples were afraid that they would die in the storm, He challenged them saying, – “Where is your faith?”  Faith is hard won, – the faith that the disciples discovered at the first Easter and began to preach to many peoples at Pentecost, – it is ours, especially when we risk unpopularity, as we face the storms of life, with hope and faith, – never flinching from speaking truth to power.

Readings:  Genesis 2 4b-9, 15-end, Revelation 4,Luke 8 22-25


Pewsheet 24th February 2019

Revd Susan Bolen Licensed as Priest-in-Charge of St Paul’s by Rt Revd Dr Richard Cheetham, Bishop of Kingston


Bishop of Kingston, the Rt Revd Dr Richard Cheetham with Revd Susan Bolen before the high altar at St Paul’s

Reverend Susan Bolen was officially installed as Priest-in-Charge of Wandsworth St Paul (Wimbledon Park) by the Right Reverend Dr Richard Cheetham, Bishop of Kingston, at a licensing service on Tuesday 7th February at 7.30 pm.  The licensing of Revd Susan marks the end of an interregnum of over a year since the departure of Revd Heinz Toller in January 2018.  It is the start of a new chapter in the life of St Paul’s.

Revd Susan made the Declaration of Assent and swore the oaths of Allegiance and of Canonical Obedience before the Bishop, the Archdeacon of Wandsworth (the Venerable John Kiddle), Area Dean (the Revd Ian Tattum), and Church Wardens (Margaret Brown and Bob Essert).  The Bishop was assisted at the service by the Revd Dr Nicky von Fraunhofer, Honorary Curate at St Paul’s.

Revd Susan Bolen and the Rt Revd Dr Richard Cheetham, Bishop of Kingston (centre), with the Mayor of Wandsworth Councillor Piers McCausland (right) and the Ven John Kiddle, Archdeacon of Wandsworth (left)

The occasion was honoured by the presence of the Mayor and Mayoress of Wandsworth, Councillor Piers McCausland and Mrs Elizabeth McCausland, who took special place among a large congregation within the beautifully decorated church.  Representatives of faith groups, local churches, community organisations and schools joined in welcoming Revd Susan to her incumbency.  They were joined by a large contingent of friends and church members from Revd Susan’s former parish of Frimley in Surrey, where she was formerly Curate.  Also present were many of the visiting preachers who have supported our worship at St Paul’s throughout the interregnum.

Floral displays included the ‘yellow rose of Texas’

The choir and music for the service was led by Director of Music, Kevin Jones, with special contributions from Talitha Jones (violin), Amber Bonham Carter (viola) and Samuel Jones (cello).  The hymns, chosen by Susan, included One is the body and one is the Head, Let us build a house where love can dwell (the offertory hymn), and God is love, let heav’n adore him.

Norman Allen CBE, Reader at St Paul’s, took the first reading from Letter to Hebrews, Chapter 12, verses 1-3; and Isabel Heycock, a member of the congregation, delivered the Gospel reading from Mark, Chapter 5, verses 21-43.


Revd Ian Tattum, Area Dean, prepares the altar

During the Order of Service, Revd Susan was presented by the Area Dean, Revd Ian Tattum, to Bishop Richard, who then led her in a reaffirmation of Ordination Vows.  Having formally received the licence, the new Priest-in-Charge led her congregation in the Prayers of Intercession.  She was then formally greeted by Churchwardens Margaret Brown and Bob Essert and other members of the community as the choir sang the Welcoming Anthem with music adapted by Dr Kevin Jones:

Gaudeamus omnes in Domino      (Let us all rejoice in the Lord                                               tempus celebrationem       a time for celebration                                              receperint ut novus sacerdos       welcome to our new priest)

Organ music after the service was The Lord’s Day (The Gift to be Simple) from Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland (1900 – 1990).

Thank you to Margaret Brown and Bob Essert, Churchwardens, for their hard work during the interregnum

Revd Susan was afterwards joined by dignitaries, clergy, the lay team, members of the congregation, community representatives and honoured guests for a sumptuous bring-and-share supper in the hall of St Paul’s Community Centre.  The catering was provided by many dedicated volunteers, ably co-ordinated with great skill by Joan Endean, Parish Auxiliary.

Our warmest welcome to Revd Susan and her family from the entire community at St Paul’s.  We offer our prayers of thanks for our new Priest-in-Charge and for the future of our church as we embark on the next stage of our journey.