Weekly Update - stamps

Church Council Meeting
The Church Council met on Monday 30th January and agreed:

  • a Budget for 2023 which thanks to people’s generous giving is more or less balanced.
  • to replace the right hand projector in Church with a reconditioned projector to ensure that the vision system works fully.  To develop plans to replace the entire vision system in the next 3 years.
  • to chase up the Council who have still not granted Planning Permission for the Entrance Improvement Project.

Ealing Churches Winter Night Shelter (WNS)
We begin hosting WNS this week on Fridays in February. With up to 10 homeless guests, please pray that all will feel truly welcome in our Church home. 35 volunteers from our congregation will be joining shifts to make up beds, cook, welcome, serve meals, clear up on Saturday mornings and drive the beds and bedding to the next Church for Saturday night. Please pray that all goes well. Could you help by taking a bag of bedding home to launder, after the service on Sunday? That would be very helpful. Wash at 60 degrees please, dry and fold before bringing back to church by midday the following Friday - ready for us to make up the beds again that evening.
Questors Choir
This Saturday 4th February, the Questors Choir will be meeting at St Stephen's Church to sing Vivaldi's Gloria in a day. This is open to anyone who would like to come. Registration and coffee from 10:30am with singing from 11am-4pm. Non-members £20 including music (if you choose to sign up as a member this counts towards your registration fee). Bring your own lunch. Sign up here.
New Wine Celebration
At St Paul’s Ealing on Sunday 4 February at 6.30pm with guest speaker Esther Swaffield. Esther works for International Justice Mission and has a huge heart and passion to see trafficked people set free. She's inspiring, encouraging and an amazing activist.  All welcome.
Fairtrade Stall on Sunday 5th February
Sadly, Traidcraft PLC is now in Administration and is no more, but the need to promote Fairtrade and support the growers continues. We have a good stock of Traidcraft goods delivered in January. Old favourites and new products. Do come and browse, buy or both! During Café time on Sunday.
First Tuesday Prayers
On Tuesday 7th February we will be having our monthly Prayer Gathering in Church at 8pm. Join us as we pray for the life and mission of our church.
Magic Lantern Show
At TeaTimers on Friday 10th February 2:30-4:00pm. Mary Ann and George Auckland will be doing a show on ‘The Circus’, come and join us at our weekly Friday café for over 60s. Tasty cakes as usual.
Show the Love Sunday 12th February
Wearing a 'Green Heart' Badge indicating your love for God's wonderful creation, is what we celebrate on Sunday 12th. It shows a desire to save, restore and protect Nature. Wear one you've worn before, or help us make more at a Crafting Session at Nicki Cassidy's home on Thursday 9th February from 10am - 1pm. On 12th we'll give out Green Heart badges. At Café, we'll have post cards to sign and send to your MP, urging him/her to support more Governmental ACTION on environmental issues. Call Sue Charlton (020 8997 8236/0790 8840 954) if you'd like to come to the Crafting session on 9th February. 
Ash Wednesday
We have two Communion services on Ash Wednesday, 22nd February at 10am and 8pm. Both will have opportunities to be ‘anointed’ with ash.
Children's Party
On Saturday 25th February we will be holding a party for children aged 5-11 years. Games, fun and a magician! We ask that each family brings a savoury food contribution to the party. This does not need to feed all the children attending but is meant for sharing. If your child has any food allergies please bring suitable food for them. Please do invite family and friends and sign up here.
Lent Course
Are you wondering about joining a Connect group but haven't got round to it?  Caroline Newbold is running a group on Wednesdays during Lent, starting Wednesday March 1st 8pm at the Vicarage.  This is a chance to belong to a small group for a limited period of time and to see if it works for you, and also an opportunity to take on something new for Lent and prepare spiritually for Easter.  To opt in or to find out more please contact Caroline caroline@ststephens-ealing.org.
Books for Lent
The Big Church Read now has 6 books for you to choose from this Lent. Each book has exclusive FREE videos from the authors, with a reading plan and questions for discussion and reflection. Click here to see the collection.
Lent 2023
For Lent 2023, the Bishops of London Diocese are hosting five FREE online sessions exploring ancient ways of Christian prayer that are still relevant today and can help us spend time in the presence of God. Sessions take place on Tuesday evenings during Lent, from 7.30-8.30pm on the following dates:

  • 28th February, The Examen
  • 7th March, Lectio Divina
  • 14th March, Centring Prayer
  • 21st March, Imaginative Contemplation
  • 28th March, Visio Divina (Praying with Pictures)

The evening will be opened and closed with a short liturgy by one of our Bishops. The prayer practice will be introduced and we will have a go at the practice together. A time of optional sharing will be offered at the end for those who wish to reflect on the practice with others. Everyone is welcome. You can attend some or all sessions. Click here to register.
Trustee Opportunity
The Grove Community (on the Gurnell Estate) which we support, are looking for 2 additional Trustees to broaden and strengthen the Board.  There are already 2 St Stephen’s trustees, Steve Newbold and Jane Maffett, but If you know anyone who might be interested have a chat with one of them.
Games afternoon
Sunday 19 February 2–5pm, come for all or some of it, get to know others better, and have fun. Different tables, different games with help and instruction. All sorts of games, board games, quick games, slow games, team games and children 5+ will enjoy some too. No need to book – just turn up. Tea and Cake. Queries to jane@ststephens-ealing.org.
Parish Prayer
These are the streets in our parish we are praying for this fortnight – please do pray for all who live there and for people to come to know Jesus
Castlebar Hill
Victoria Road
Kent Gardens
Prayer for the Week
Eternal God,
whose Son went among the crowds
and brought healing with his touch:
help us to show his love,
in your Church as we gather together,
and by our lives as they are transformed
into the image of Christ our Lord. Amen.