Changes to our Worship

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What changes are happening to our worship times on Sundays?

We are making some changes to the times that we worship on a Sunday. Once the new pattern of worship is fully in place, there will be three opportunities for you to worship across both churches each Sunday. These will be:

9am – Sung Parish Mass at St John’s or

Morning Prayer at St John’s

11am – Sung Parish Eucharist at St Thomas’s

4pm – Sung Parish Mass at St John’s or

Another form of worship at St John’s or St Thomas’s

What will the other forms of worship be?

The 4pm slot for worship may be a number of things depending on which Sunday of the month it is. For example, on the 2nd Sunday of each month, the Luganda congregation at St John’s worship in that building. From September, we will be introducing a monthly Messy Church at St Thomas’s at 4pm, which is aimed at young families. As time goes on, we hope to introduce other forms of worship at 4pm on a Sunday, like Evensong and Benediction, a Taize service or anything else that we might like!

Will there be a Sung Eucharist in both churches each week? 

Yes! There will always be a Sung Eucharist at St Thomas’s at 11am each and every Sunday. St John’s will also have a Sung Eucharist each week. Initially, this will mostly be at 9am, but once the full new pattern is established, this will swap between being at 9am or 4pm. 

What changes are happening to our worship times during the week?

At St John’s, our Thursday Mass will remain at 10am. At St Thomas’s, the Mass on Wednesday will move from 7pm to 7.30pm. 

Morning Prayer will also be said publicly at 8.30am on the following days:

Tuesdays at St Thomas’s

Wednesdays at St John’s

Thursdays at St John’s

Fridays at St Thomas’s

Are there any changes happening to way that we worship? 

At St John’s, the liturgy will remain unchanged. 

At St Thomas’s, we are making a number of small changes to our Sunday worship. These include adding a second reading, reducing the number of hymns, and making various other small adjustments. There will be a session after our Parish Eucharist on Sunday 17th July to explain these changes more fully. 

Why are we making these changes?

These changes are being made for a few reasons:

1. Most obviously, but actually least importantly, it is because there is now only one priest licensed to both parishes, and currently the times of services overlap making it impossible for one priest to do both. This means that over the summer, there will be a number of times when St John’s will not be able to have a Eucharist on a Sunday. Cover is very difficult to find in London, so this is not a sustainable solution. 

2. It is very important as a parish priest to see everyone every week! This new pattern will allow Mthr Alice to not only worship with both congregations each week, but also to spend time afterwards having coffee and chatting. 

3. It is an opportunity for us to be brave and try something new! The pandemic has changed the size and make up of our congregations. They are both smaller, and rely on fewer people to maintain services and activities. We have a chance here to try and reach new people and draw them into our communities. 

The change to the Wednesday Holy Communion time at St Thomas’s is simply to allow for childcare so Mthr Alice can take it. 

What if the new times don’t work for me? 

The new pattern isn’t perfect. The PCCs discussed a few options, and all had their pros and cons. There will be winners and losers in whichever pattern we settled on. It is hoped that with three opportunities on a Sunday, everyone should be able to find time that suits them, even if that means worshipping in the church that they’re not normally used to. 

The PCCs are also going to review these changes after six months and after one year. If it’s really not working, we’ll think again!

When will these changes begin?

From Sunday 4th September we will begin with a 9am Parish Mass at St John’s and an 11am Parish Eucharist at St Thomas’s. A monthly Messy Church service will also begin in September. The new pattern will slowly be added to as we have capacity. 

The new weekday service pattern will also commence that same week, as will any changes to the liturgy at St Thomas’s.  

Please speak to Mthr Alice if you have any questions or comments!