WLAC & HI, Hand-in-hand
In these times, when the hardships faced by society’s most vulnerable have been brought starkly into focus, it seems particularly fitting for us to reflect on the wonderful work of West London Action for Children and Holy Innocent’s enriching relationship with them.
WLAC are an independent charity who have been supporting local families for 100 years, offering a range of counselling and therapy to those facing ordinary and extraordinary challenges in family life.
Their work is both gentle and powerful, reassuring and empowering. It offers hope and practical tools where unforgiving circumstances have created a lack.
The charity has worked closely with local churches and schools since their foundation in 1917, when numerous young children were in need of support as a result of the war and, in particular, the loss of so many fathers. After the 1930s, they also worked with NHS departments and later with the development of Social Services and local authorities, offering a specialist support service to families in the Borough.
What a great joy that the HI community, whose compassionate values align so well, have been nurturing a rewarding and long-term friendship with WLAC. Chief Executive, Heather Boxer, enthusiastically agrees, ‘Our close relationship with Holy Innocents remains very strong and important to us’.
For those lucky enough to be able to attend worship in person at Holy Innocents over Christmas time, an exceptional floral display stopped all in their tracks, thanks in large part to the exceptionally talented Michele Autiero who adorned our church with orchids, lilies and roses to give any royal wedding a run for its money. Not only did he lend his time and skills, but diverted material costs for the arrangements to the charity. It was a perfect partnership of beauty and generosity.
Yet this marriage of a ‘feast for the senses’ with benefit had precedent!
Ticket sale proceeds went to WLAC from an ethereal socially-distanced-AND-live-streamed Advent Concert, given by Chiswick Baroque vocal quintet, that took place against the odds at Holy Innocents between lockdowns in December.
Celia Harper talks of her a cappella singers’ support for WLAC since 2016 in: concerts; ‘Music and Silence’ events; and Christmas carol singing in local streets, pubs and restaurants. St Saviour’s Cobbold Road and Our Lady of Grace in Chiswick High Road have also joined Holy Innocents in opening up their sacred spaces to these beautiful voices.
Of their Christmas programme, Celia said, ‘We found it surprisingly easy to sing at a two-metre distance in the gracious acoustic of HI, and I will long remember the sheer joy and excitement of singing together after such a long break.’
As our name ‘Church of the Holy Innocents’ reflects, children are dear to the heart of our community, and we look forward to ways our Junior Church can gain insight into the feelings and situations of their young counterparts with whom WLAC connect so meaningfully.
A modest-but-mighty cake sale fundraiser and ‘coming together’, hobbled from taking place at Candlemas in January, waits in the wings to be celebrated when this light can be carried forward to brighter days.
We are also cautiously hopeful that psychotherapist, Veronica Pretelt, who has supported children, young people, parents and carers through WLAC for some 15 years, may join our Junior Church children one Sunday morning to explore the work of the charity, why it is so valuable, and the ways in which the tools of resilience they offer their clients are helpful to us all.
LBH&F and LBHF CLIMATE AND ECOLOGICAL EMERGENCY COMMISSION
LBH&F (in common with many local authorities) declared a climate emergency last summer, but still needs to see the extent of local opinion on the subject in order to help define their response and plans.
The call for participation in their survey can be accessed at: https://hfclimate.commonplace.is/
It is a long survey, but it is possible to jump forward to the areas of most interest or concern to you, so it can be a simple 5 minute exercise or as long as you choose.
REGULAR WORSHIP WILL RESUME ON SUNDAY, JULY 5 AT 10:10am
On June 14th, the church building reopened for private prayer and devotion with a vigil to mark the 3rd anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire – our bell tolled 72 times, once for each life lost.
The Prime Minister announced in his speech on Tuesday, June 23 in the House of Commons liturgical services will be allowed to resume from July 4. The Parochial Church Council and former Church Wardens will gather to reopen the church on July 4. Regular worship will resume on Sunday morning from July 5 at 10:10. Instructions from the London College of Bishops and guidance from the Government and Church of England has yet to be published so we are not sure what form our worship will take.
After 15 long weeks we will at last gather again – even if it is not as we have known before now and may not be similar for many weeks to come. Togetherness in prayer is what is essential to our Calling.
Staying COVID-19 SECURE
Private Devotion in Church from June 13, 2020
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
We confirm we have complied with the guidance from the government and College of Bishops on managing the risk of COVID-19
The Church of The Holy Innocents will be opened for private prayer and devotion at the following times until further notice:
Thursdays 10:00 – 11:00
Sundays 10:00 – 11:00
In order for as many people as possible to access the church for prayer, we ask you do not attend the church more than once per week. It would be helpful if you could let a member of the ministry team know your intentions before your visit.
All visits will be limited to 15 minutes. These visits are for the purpose of silent prayer only.
People coming to pray individually in the church represent a wide range of ages and circumstances among the general public. If you are a person who is particularly at risk please speak confidentially with a member of the ministry team.
Over the weeks of closure, the church has been monitored by the management team and contractors. The Upper Hall kitchen is currently in use with a small team preparing meals following strict guidance.
The church space as it is normally used represents a high risk for the contracting and spreading of the corona virus. Your perception of the spread of the virus is an important part of keeping every one safe.
In order to keep our church virus free please be vigilant and follow these rules. If you are feeling even slightly unwell do not come to the church. If you become unwell please contact us with relevant information.
Hygiene and Cleaning
The church is being cleaned regularly following agreed COVID-19 secure protocols.
Please wash your hands thoroughly before leaving home and be mindful of what you touch. Toilet facilities will not be available during your visit to the church.
As you enter the church please use hand sanitiser. It is helpful if you bring your own supply.
Masks and face coverings are allowed within the church but are not required. You are welcome to wear gloves if this gives you an added sense of security.
The doors will be open so you do not touch need to touch any surface.
Doors and common surfaces will be wiped down each time the church is closed and opened.
When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and throw the tissue away immediately in the bin provided. Please use hand sanitiser.
Communal objects are not available for use (prayer books, matches). Please provide your own prayer book or devotional objects.
Strict social distancing is required at all times in the church. Please sit several seats apart. Visits will be limited to 15 minutes. All conversations must be had strictly outside the building (e.g. in the drive beyond the front doors).
People must enter and leave the church one at a time.
Children and Young People
Families are welcome and encouraged to come and pray together. There is no provision for common toys, books or a play corner. Normal safeguarding and supervision rules apply.
Holy Water and Votive Candles
The holy water stoop must remain dry. If you wish to have your own supply of holy water please provide an appropriate receptacle and speak to a member of the ministry team.
Votive candles may be lit as long as you bring your own matches and do not touch the pricket stand while placing your candles. This must be done only with supervision by a member of the ministry team. Observe socially distancing at all times.
Offerings and Stewardship
Donations are best made electronically or by post. If you wish to leave a cash offering please use the safe in the porch after informing a member of the ministry team.
The fewer number of people in the building at any one time the lower the risk of transmission. We suggest no more than 6 people in the church at the same time. You must not gather, cluster or mix households while inside the church building. Keep your social interaction to a minimum until you are outside.
Further steps in our recovery will happen in stages. We will update you in early July.
A round up of news from our Science Editor, Tom Hayhoe.
HELP & ADVICE
COVID MUTUAL AID UK
Covid Mutual Aid UK is a group of volunteers supporting local community groups organising mutual aid throughout the covid-19 outbreak in the UK. They focus on providing resources and connecting people to their nearest local groups, willing volunteers and those in need.
A full list of local groups can be found on their website – https://covidmutualaid.org
Central ward phone number: 02037110127
Council hotline number: 08001456095
Ward email address: Covid19.hammersmith.broadway@
Please call us if you need support, or if you are well and would like to help
Central Ward phone number: 07960199755
Ward email address: Ravenscourtmutualaid@gmail.com
Kensington & Chelsea
Twickenham & Richmond
H&F CAN is the volunteer community aid network launched by Hammersmith & Fulham Council to support vulnerable residents during the coronavirus pandemic.
Working with the voluntary and charity sector, and alongside the ward and street-level mutual aid groups, H&F CAN offers support to residents who don’t have friends or family close by to help them. Our taskforce of volunteers will help those most in need at the time of their greatest need.
United in Hammersmith & Fulham
Community Coronavirus (COVID-19) Appeal
UNITED in Hammersmith & Fulham Charity launched a ‘Community Coronavirus (Covid-19) Response Appeal’. This enables local individuals, businesses and foundations across the borough to support local response.
The appeal stands in partnership with Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s coordinated effort with the voluntary sector to prevent and respond to the pandemic. As such, we are well placed and in touch with local charities including frontline groups to see what’s needed and how funds raised can be best spent.
100% of funds raised will help groups working with people who face risk as a result of Coronavirus in Hammersmith & Fulham. Please give today.
Imperial Health Charity is today launching an urgent fundraising appeal to help our hospitals fight the COVID-19 outbreak.
The COVID-19 Relief Fund will support hospital staff on the front line of our NHS as well as helping the most vulnerable patients cope with sudden and unexpected financial pressures.
You can support our appeal by making a donation today.
We don’t think anyone in our community should have to face going hungry. That’s why we provide three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to us in crisis. We are part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK.
Many of our local businesses are still open and supporting the community in whatever way they can.
The Thatched House is currently operating as a ‘mini mart’, selling essentials daily between 11am-9pm. They also offer a takeaway meal service with a changing daily menu which can be seen on their facebook page.
Stentons Butchers remains open and is offering a delivery service for those unable to collect produce in person. Call Sally on 079 8635 6615, or Julie on 077 6967 8605.
The Fishmongers Kitchen is open as usual and offering a delivery service. Call 020 7603 0673 or email info@
The Duchess has opened as a small grocery shop and is also offering Sunday carveries. Call 020 8748 9128.