There will be a number of particular services over the Lent and Easter period, which we hope you’ll join us for. You should be able to see them on our events calendar, but here’s a list of a few highlights:
Ash Wednesday March 1st 6.30pm – Ash Wednesday Service (Ashing and Eucharist)
Sunday March 5th 4.30pm (and every Sunday through 9th April) – Lent Book Discussion Group
Maundy Thursday 13th April 6.30pm – Footwashing Service and Vigil
Good Friday 14th April 6.30pm – Tenebrae Service
Easter Sunday 16th April 6pm – Easter Eucharist and Social
On Sunday 30th October, All Saint’s Day, we shared a Service of the Word liturgy of “Thanksgiving for Moot” – looking back at where we’ve come from as well as ahead to the future. Tim Dendy (Moot veteran and churchwarden) shared his look back at Moot and how we’ve arrived where we are now. We hope you enjoy listening to an abbreviated version of the Moot story!
From this Sunday 27th November from 6.30pm, we start our Advent time of art and spiritual reflection. There will be a booklet at the suggested donation of £3 available to help get the benefit of engaging with advent as a spiritual season. Some information is available through the website section called Advent 2011. This includes content for personal weekly devotional reflection and for mini moots. Click here and look at the subsections on the left side menu.
Following on the discussion about the riot, I have some other reflections on the theme of scape-goating. At the weekend retreat we looked at the issue of power and scapegoating, and I have been reflecting how this street violence maybe an expression of this.
When I was at a comprehensive school I was in quite a rough class, and there was one guy who I would now recognise for being gay, who was constantly being picked on. Not only was he gay but he came from quite a poor family – which stood out in his clothing and sports kit. He was relentlessly bullied by the richer more able kids from the affluent suburbs. One day, he could not take it anymore, and he flipped out and raged beating up a class room and our possessions one lunch time. He simply could not take the violence expressed at him anymore – and in his rage and powerlessness – he took out his rage on the only thing he had the power to do – on his environment.
For the last year we have as a society been doing economic violence to the poor and young with reductions in social and health care, the ending of projects to reduce poverty and the effects of poverty – and now huge unemployment particularly of the young – where all the resources are still being held by the boomers who had grants for education, a free health service and a lot more possibilities. These opportunities have been squandered by greed and selfishness and are now not available to anyone but the rich. In the cuts sure-start and many many worthwhile projects seeking to challenge and eleviate poverty have ended – creating ghettoisation in our now market society that actively excluded the poor. In a world where everything is about competition rather than co-operation we have recreated a society modelled on the rules of the class room I mentioned earlier.
Just may be the poor including the excluded many young people who have experienced the violence of exclusion and economic injustice have expressed their rage and anger at the only thing they can – their environment in front of them again like that class room. Scape-goating is when the powerful project their violence and raging at others – and just may be this is what we have done as a society justified by the language of prudent economics.
A final thought – are the unspoken rules of a class society. The rich express their crime through sociopathic gain by manipulating others such as the politicians expense scam, many of this is expressed power abuse to those perceived to be over lower class. This is then expressed down the chain to those who are at the bottom who are expected just to absorb the violence – like the victim of a bully. May be some of the anger I hear on the news is because of peoples anger that some of the most marginalised people in our society didn’t just take the abuse of our current unjust social system – may be our anger is because they have expressed their anger back at society – breaking the rules of a bully – and our anger is because the scapegoat has fought back by naming their anger against the shops as the environment.
I find it interesting to see the anger that starts with the actions of those who did the rioting. No one is asking what caused this rioting to act out all round the country – why are we unwilling to ask what is the cause? May be it is because we would then need to face our responsibilities for creating an unjust society whose values of competition will always do violence through the language of competition? In so doing we are collectively the bully and we are collectively scapegoating…
I am still slightly in shock this morning after a major riot all around where I live last night. After getting off the train at Clapham Junction and walking to the exit I was met by a gang of over 100 masked, hooded and armed protesters. They raged through both exits, and to get out of the way decided to get out via St Johns Road only to be met by many more rioters. To my horror they were smashing up Debenhams and the shops all the way up to Northcote Road. The Police had created a barrier to stop them moving towards the police station, but there was no control.
It felt like extreme suppressed anger had just erupted, loads of people with hoodies were pouring into the area from the Winstanley Estate behind where I live and other areas of Battersea using Falcon Road as a route to join in the event. As I watched it seemed that this was organised – many were using twitter and texting on their mobile phones as they walked along.
What ever else you hear – there was a strong sense of anger. I talked to one bystander in shock who like me was trying to get out of the riot – who said they were from the Winstanley Estate who said that services had been cut, most of the youth were unemployed and had no hope, and that this was bound to happen as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and are marginalised.
It is unsurprising then that the target of this anger was consumption and consumerism – the shops were targeted. Why? Because I think they have come to express a false understanding of freedom – the freedom to consume, and when you don’t have work or a future – consumption is one of the immediate impacts.
This is a bit of a wake up call. I had no doubts that the government will point out the thugs and other negative stereotypes in the game of blame – and I am sure there will be a minority number people who have joined in the violence – but this does not undermine the strong sense of anger by the many younger people who are excluded from work, hope and future – and last night in a frightening and deeply upsetting expression of anger erupted into the visible from the suppressed.
This makes the point about a fair approach to debt reduction that does not overly punish the poor and the young. In clapham Junction there is a huge and visible difference between the Council Estates and the opulent of those living ‘twix the commons’. It is well known that violence will aways erupt when the rich get richer and poor get poorer and the fault lines between these communities become the points of tension – and these are the places that were broken into last night..
So I join in the prayers of the Bishop of London and the Archbishop of Canterbury, who has called us pray for peace and reconciliation and a just approach to our economic situation that does not overly discriminate and impact on the poor rather than the rich!
Saw this at Clapham South Tube which made me laugh. Really pleased to say we now have Wifi working in the Lounge Area. If you are at the Mansion House Tube area or around Bow Lane, why not drop in for a time out moment with a section of teas and coffees and comfortable seating. It is rare to find stillness and calm in the City, so why not come and try us out…. If you need to access the internet, then do speak to one of our staff who will give the information to use our wifi system. For more information on the Moot Lounge Project and facilities click here.
Whenever I walk by a homeless person, my heart aches. Their misery makes me angry and sad. They remind me of my own selfishness but also of my own fragility: I know all too well how I could have ended up on the streets several times in the past 27 years – but somehow I didn’t. I am thankful to and for those who were around me during tough times. Others have not been so lucky to have had friends and family to help them.
In a city where egoism, consumption and narcissism are all too often the very fabric of social relations, there is little room left for the weakest and lowest. Income is certainly a prime factor in predicting people’s suffering in this city. Yet economic poverty is not the most terrifying aspect of London’s ruthlessness and injustice. The ongoing weakening and perverting of the city’s social fabric as well recent cuts in state assistance to the poorest have been met with some resistance. But it has also provoked another kind response by the silent majority: a stiffening of an already acute condition where people fight even harder for their survival often harming their neighbour. Why should they now be more generous to others when they are themselves starting to feel the pain?
As Christians though, can we respond in a similar fashion or are we called to show love and generosity in the face of increasing ingratitude? As we consider our contribution and our response to economic and social (in)justice as part of our Rhythm Of Life and as we ponder the meaning of justice and generosity in the context of Greenbelt’s 2011 theme “Dreaming of Home”, can we be inspired by the homeless and what God is telling us through them?
We are going to meet at the Canary Wharf tube station at 12pm, (above ground at the WEST exit/entrance), and from there progress across the Isle of Dogs to Wapping. Aiming to finish at Tower Bridge.
Just to clarify, there is still a morning service happening at 11am at St. Mary Woolnoth. (My mistake, I forgot to check that nothing else was happening on Sunday. Apologies to Carey and those organising the service.)
Barbara Kruger uses the language of publicity to draw attention to the manipulative power of advertising. Her trademark subversive tactics are played out in ‘Untitled (Tube Map)’, where the familiar imagery of the map is used to relate her own feelings about London, a city she loves and knows well.
I think it if fascinating, that for this artist, her feelings about London touch the thoughts that distort, and the thoughts that bring you life. It says that fear, greed, anger, pride are just below the surface, as are generosity, kindness, humility and joy. Why? because when we live in close proximity, our shared common humanity comes to public shared consciousness. In my experience, London seems to swing between fear and greed in cycles of decades. It is one of the beauties of London, that its strengths and weaknesses are played out in human life. See the full image for the cover of the tube map below.