St Peter & St Paul's Newsletter - March 2022

Letter from Revd Helen Burnett.

“I invite you to continue to think about compassion through the lens of hospitality”: were the words of Bishop Christopher introducing the 2021 Lent Appeal last year as we faced another Lent under lockdown.

This year his appeal continues the theme of home and hospitality as we are invited to consider those for whom home is not a ‘given’, those for whom home is precarious or non-existent.

On going to print a whole new group of people are being added to the list of those whose homes are so dangerous that they are forced to flee and seek the kindness of strangers.

Meanwhile here in Chaldon with the lifting of restrictions with the lifting of restrictions we have freedom of movement once again. We are able to come and go as we wish, and for most who read this letter we have the comfort each day of returning safely each time to our hearth and home.
Each year, the Bishop’s Lent Call raises funds for local community projects in Southwark and our Link Dioceses in Zimbabwe and Jerusalem. The annual appeal launched by the Bishop always involves charities well known to the Bishop they are small scale local projects making a big difference on the ground.

As well as calling parishes to a time of prayer and contemplation there is a diocesan wide call to raise money to support these projects which this year focus on helping those in need of: shelter, security, and a place to call home.

Sadly, in our world today so many people do not have peaceful dwelling places or secure homes and this is as true for some in our own Diocese as it is for many in our Link Dioceses in Zimbabwe and Jerusalem.

This year’s appeal features five projects working with those who need help around housing across the three Episcopal Areas of Woolwich, Croydon and Kingston. In addition, we are asked to support ongoing work to provide homes and shelter and food for those affected by the economic situation and natural disasters brought about by climate change in our four Link Dioceses.

During the pandemic we were forced to spend more time at home. For some this has been a time of renewed connections with those with whom they live, for others this has been a desperately hard time as they live alone and have been unable to see their friends and family. For some, the pandemic has exacerbated their sense of not being secure in their accommodation.

As we experience a greater freedom than we had a year ago we can revel in the hospitality that we can share once again and we can revel once again in the comings and goings of daily life.

I invite you to pause this Lent to consider the security with which we are blessed and as we watch war break out in Ukraine we have a tragic reminder of how quickly that security can unravel.

In Isaiah the prophet proclaims: “My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest”. Isaiah 32:18.

I sincerely hope that Isaiah’s words ring true for you and I trust that if life is unravelling in any way for you, that you can seek and find comfort and rest in the security of our church building and community.

If we have security then we are called to look to those who do not….in the Bishops lent Appeal we have that opportunity sure in the knowledge that money raised will be shared with those who most need our help.