St.Mary the Virgin, Lewisham Lewisham High Street SE13 6LE
It is a refuge for people from the kinds of communities where people become victims and casualties of circumstances that ensnare them in destructive ways.
It is a refuge where people who feel condemned by their past can find liberation and release.
It is a place where no one is defined by their past. We do not remain condemned by our past. We recognize that each and every person is a child of God, cherished and valued, not just by God, but by the value and affirmation directly expressed through all of us. If you feel bent out of shape by events in your life, you need to know that in fact you have a dignity that is God given, which the past cannot rob you of. Jesus says "Come to me, all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest."
The church does not offer an anaesthetic that will take away the pain that life can bring, whether due to unexpected shocks, broken relationships, or loss and bereavement, but what it does do is walk besides those working through the difficult stuff, the consequences of past events and choices, or whatever. It says repeatedly, we will not abandon you to hopelessness. You are not on your own.
And so, those of us in the church must be prepared to be bearers of that love; it may be costly and demanding; it may lead into difficult areas, but we have a faith that gives us a sense of who we are in God. We are the wounded healers, many of us bare scars of the past, but we know who we are in God. We are held firmly in the grip of his loving embrace, even when all around seems dark and costly.
Our ministry team here at St Mary's, is made up of the clergy, our SPAs (Southwark Pastoral Auxillary) and our two Readers. We also have a Pastoral Care Group. All these people are here to listen, to sit with and to pray with people who have been bent out of shape by the world, people who need to hear the invitation to new life, to new beginnings. The Pastoral Care Group administer home communion regularly to the sick and house bound. Please use our ‘contact’ page if you or someone you know would appreciate being taken communion at home
Fr David Evans writes:
People's lives are complex. We are all immersed in social and emotional networks that make clean breaks difficult to manage and from time to time we all need support and encouragement to get through difficult times in our lives.
The church offers and holds open the space where redemption happens, because we hold open the door to love, to the generous, wide and inclusive love of God. We hold open the gateway to such a new community.