Bible Study looks at challenging questions
We finished our latest Bible Study on 1 November, looking at the fascinating subject of the relationship between science and religion. We used the 'Test of Faith' course from the Faraday Institute in Cambridge, which included in-depth interviews with scientists and theologians.
We all found it a very challenging subject, looking at issues many of us knew something about perhaps not as much as we should. These included fundamental questions about how life began and the impact of recent scientific understandings about genetics on our understanding of the Bible. It was good to welcome folks from other churches and we all found it a safe space where we could share in honest discussion and questioning together.
Richmond Council says 'no' to solar panels
We are deeply disappointed to announce that planning officials at Richmond Council have recommended that an application for solar panels on our new roof be rejected. The Church has been fundraising to replace its roof for several years now and we are hoping to start work next Easter. A key part of our plans were a bank of solar panels on the sunny Station Road side of the building. The church congregation wanted to make a positive contribution to tackling the climate crisis, and use their necessary building work as a chance to make their building as green as possible. However, Council officials unexpectedly turned down the application last week, stating that the panels would have “a major adverse visual impact on the character of the conservation area”.
The Minister of the Church, Rev’d Geoffrey Farrar, writes: “The congregation is stunned and deeply disappointed by this extremely negative response. The panels would be on the road side of the building, not the Common side, and would be invisible to nearly everyone passing by. We love our historic building but responding to the devastating threat of climate change must take priority. The irony was that we received the e-mail from the Council in the same week as millions of people took to the streets across the world, demanding action. Even Richmond Council has declared a climate crisis and is preparing to hold a climate change summit. This cannot be the right decision.” The Church is now trying to overturn the officials' recommendation and have the matter reviewed. Please consider contacting your local councillor to ask for this decision to be changed.
For more details of the building project, see here.
Filming helps the roof appeal
We are incredibly grateful to Councillor Rita Palmer, and her fellow councillors, for nominating us for a donation. The Partizan media production company were filming in Verdun Road, Barnes, in September and, as usual, agreed to make a donation to a local charity nominated by the ward councillors. We were delighted that they nominated our roof appeal, recognising the importance of our building as a community asset. Many thanks to all involved.
Church Anniversary and Gift Day
On Sunday, 8 September, the Church celebrated its 113th birthday! As usual, we marked the occasion with a special service to mark the Church's Anniversary, followed by a fellowship lunch.
In addition, this year the Anniversary was also our Gift Day. The Church is currently working hard to raise the funds necessary to replace its roof and secure its future mission. For more details of the Roof Appeal, please see here. We were delighted by the generosity of those present, who pledged nearly £9,000 toward the work. This is an enormous boost to our appeal and we are incredibly grateful.
The Church was once again a key venue for the annual Barnes Fair on 13 July this year. This is one of the biggest outdoor fairs of its kind in London and was once again a wonderful day out for all the family.
As usual, the church offered a delicious range of refreshments from morning to late afternoon, and had a steady stream of visitors all day. We served endless cups of tea and coffee, rounds and rounds of sandwiches, and lots of delicious home-made cakes! The home-made jams and marmalades stall was also a great success. Thanks to the generosity of our visitors, the church managed to raise a wonderful £1,436 on the day for our Roof Appeal. With a special donation of £1,000 from the local branch of Barclays, this brought the grand total to a staggering £2,436 (and we hope to get a little more from some Gift Aid). Many thanks to all those involved. See you next year!
HMS Pinafore comes to Barnes!
On 23 June, the church was delighted to host a concert performance of Gilbert & Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore. The show was performed by members of the Grosvenor Light Opera Company (GLOC), under the direction of one of our local preachers, Jessica Dalton. The show was accompanied by a splendid cream tea, provided by the church, and was very well-attended. The singers gave a splendid performance of this wonderful G&S classic, which concluded with a rousing rendition of 'Rule Britannia'. Everyone who came really enjoyed the afternoon, and they gave over £800 (before Gift Aid) to the retiring collection for our Roof Fund. This was an incredible effort, and many thanks to all involved, especially Jessica and the performers.