10th February 2013 Newsletter

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St Mary Magdalene †      St Bartholomew †    St Alban †


Sunday 10th February 2013



"Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10)


It’s a busy time for us in the parish at the moment – preparing. Preparing for the Licensing Service, which is only three weeks away, preparing (and, now, re-preparing) for the new ministry which will follow and the changes and challenges that will present, preparing for new arrangements for the Café at Barts, arranging the redecorating of the Parish and Rector’s Offices in the Centre and then the Rectory; and all the time trying to do the ordinary things that need doing – preparing for the APCM, revising the electoral role, keeping the Centre open, and so on, as well as trying to keep up with the flood of Rob’s ideas for the Parish, even before his licensing!

It’s all good stuff and we really wouldn’t want it any other way. But we are having to pedal rather hard to avoid getting left behind. Is there anything else – Oh yes, Ash Wednesday, Lent and Easter. It’s easy to forget about them when our thoughts and diaries are focused on everything else. It is as if there are parallel processes going on, and maybe there are, and maybe we have to accept that, at least for the next few weeks. The challenge is to keep them both going and ride the two bicycles at the same time.

They have the same objectives and are working to the same ends – to enrich the life of the church, to promote its ministry and so to help us fulfil our individual callings as servants of Him who sent us. So keep pedalling and praying.



3rd February 2013 Newsletter

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St Mary Magdalene †      St Bartholomew †    St Alban †


Sunday 3rd February 2013








New beginning is always exciting. There will be lots of expectations as to what’s going to happen next. It has been a new beginning of an exciting new chapter in my life from the time of my appointment as Priest-in-charge of St John’s North Woolwich with Silvertown and Team Vicar. I look forward to seeing what God has for all of us in the team and to all the Churches in this team ministry.


The first Sunday of preaching at St Mary Magdalene has been a thrilling one for me so far. Also, I have had a chance to be at St Bartholomew’s Church, last but week. Getting to know new people, listening to their stories and having fellowship with the Church family are all always exciting as we learn from each other, encourage each other and grow together as ‘Family of God’. 1 Corinthians chapter 12 verse 12 beautifully puts it: “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body” (NIV). So it is with God’s family.


While speaking about family, let me share few words about my own family too. I am married to Kate who is so inspiring and of great support in every way. My daughter Rhema will be 19 in February 2013, is reading Psychology 1st year, at the University of Kent, amidst her special-time-spent on hair styling of course. Our son, Moses-Sebastian is 3 years & 4 months, has just successfully finished his ‘settler’s week’ at Chestnut Nursery at North Woolwich. He thinks that he is Moses, ‘the Superman’ and for him ‘M’ is for Moses only and not for McDonalds. We as a family are looking forward to move to St John’s North Woolwich soon.


I think, we need to be excited and encouraged when we reflect on Jesus’ public ministry these days as they are full of miracles and life changing experiences to all those who encountered Him. May we as individuals, as Churches, as Communities and as a Country, expect with excitement that miraculous new things will come on our way? That’s what I am looking forward to. How about you?    


              -Revd Princely Croos-

27th January 2013 Newsletter

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St Mary Magdalene †      St Bartholomew †    St Alban †


Sunday 27th January 2013



Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: January 18 – 25

Etymologically the word UNITY can be traced to the Latin unus, una, unum- meaning ONE. Jesus’ prayer on this theme is very clear: “That they may all be ONE” (Jn 17:21).

Against all odds Christians have retained one thing, consciously or maybe unwittingly, but nonetheless thankfully: its belief in the “unam sanctam catholicam, apostolicam eccessiam” (One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church).

For people of faith especially, of Abrahamic root (monotheism – ie belief in one God) the desire for, and pursuance of unity is not a retrogressive act towards a kind of philosophical monism. It is an heuristic and obedient response to God’s call and command in mission to return all in ultimate consummation to the desired perfection of the Creator God. Through joint service, the diverse ways of demonstrating various beliefs and even more diverse ways of adoring the Triune God people come to the realization that their neighbours' ways are not so strange after all!

The theme for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2013 is: “What does God require of us?” The text from the Prophet Micah is set as the reference for this theme Micah 6: 6-8. This theme is divided into 8 subthemes: to support our daily reflection throughout the week as I am sure many of you have done:

            Day 1: walking in conversation.                                   Day 5: walking as the friends of Jesus.

Day 2: walking with the broken body of Christ.           Day 6: walking beyond barriers.

                                                                                                     Day 3: walking towards freedom.                                 Day 7: walking in solidarity.

Day 4: walking as children of the earth.                        Day 8: walking in celebration.


Newham, with its richly diverse endowments will achieve a lot more positive outcomes if unity is this unity pursued and celebrated even beyond our churches, synagogues and mosques into our streets, schools, places of work and our wider communal lives. In the footsteps of Jesus we are the Evangelist of this message, the apostles of this mission today.

Fr Fred


24th March 2013 Newsletter

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St Mary Magdalene † St Bartholomew †  St Alban †


Sunday 24th March 2013 

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” Matthew 19 v14.

Familiar words. This week, appropriately in the lead-up to Easter, both churches have been hosting visits from local primary school children and what a privilege it has been!

The children, of all shapes and sizes, were all very well-behaved, attentive, surprisingly knowledgeable and they were accompanied by teachers and parents who were very appreciative and supportive of the visit. It was a very positive experience and, through some very gifted and able teaching (not by me!), it was possible to show them a little of what we are about as a Church and to simply explain the Gospel to them.

I see a contrast between the simplicity of what is happening here, at the “coal-face” so to speak, and the national and international events of the last weeks – the inauguration of Pope Francis and the enthronement of Justin Welby as our new Archbishop. Much is being said of the issues and challenges facing them and the wider Church: issues that we, as individuals, can seemingly do little about.

Perhaps this can be a thought for Holy Week and Easter – to find the bits that we can do, both within the existing framework of the parish and the new opportunities for service offered by Rob’s arrival, and to go ahead and do them.


20th January 2013 Newsletter

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St Mary Magdalene †      St Bartholomew †    St Alban †


Sunday 20th January 2013

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

This week we start ‘the week of prayer for Christian Unity’. I am always a bit sceptical of weeks of this and that. They often feel to me like token nods to a particular subject, usually a very worthy subject, where few of us could have any objections. So we pray for prisoners in the Week for Prisoners and sailors when we have their week. You get the picture. Each week of prayer might make us feel a little bit better and yet I often feel far removed from the subject, neither being a sailor and yet to find myself a prisoner!

Yet I feel very differently about this particular week of prayer. We have been working hard with Nicola, our Methodist colleague, to bring our various churches in East Ham Area into a closer relationship. I do feel we are making progress. The Bishop and Methodist Superintendant have now given their permission for Nicola and myself to celebrate the Eucharist at each other’s churches. We will also be joining together for our Lenten Course. I am also hopefully there will be a significant part for the Methodists when the new team is commissioned with Rob on the 6th March. I am excited by the possibilities that could lie ahead of us as we seek to learn from each other in the East Ham Area.

So we can pray this week:

God, we pray we are broken

Broken open to our fractured and fragmented world and Church;

Broken open to the hope of renewal;

That healing to wholeness and unity becomes us. Amen.