Sundays at 8.00am Said Eucharist and 9.30am Sung Eucharist Hart Street, Henley-on-Thames RG9 2AU

City Church

THE PARISH CHURCH OF ST MARY THE VIRGIN, HENLEY-ON-THAMES

Our Rector

                          

Fr. Jeremy was born in Lincolnshire and brought up in and around Bristol, but has lived most of his adult life in London. He studied International Relations and History at LSE before building a career in research administration. He has also worked briefly as both a religious studies teacher and nursery nurse in Finland, and spent two years as a full-time parent, picking up an MA in History and Politics from Birkbeck along the way. He then trained for the priesthood at Westcott House, Cambridge, before serving for three years as Assistant Curate at St John’s Wood Church in the Diocese of London. Fr Jeremy is a keen cyclist, and in his spare time he enjoys gardening, walks in the countryside and outdoor swimming. He will be joined by his wife, Maura, who is from Helsinki, Finland, and their daughters Blanche (9) and Ginevra (8). Maura, who loves classical music, works for the Diocese of London as PA to the Archdeacon of Hampstead. The whole family have a great love of cooking, hospitality and entertaining, and are all very much looking forward to life in Henley- on-Thames and Remenham.
In his application, Jeremy states that he is very much at home in the liturgical and sacramental Anglican tradition and is committed to teaching and preaching that is thoughtful, prayerful and intellectually credible. Regular communion is important to him, as is the reading of scripture surrounded in prayer. Mission and evangelism, as well as compassionate social action, are important parts of ministry for him. St. Francis of Assisi, with his radical commitment to preaching the gospel and to loving and serving the poor, is a major inspiration to him. He has gained a wide experience of preaching by accepting the opportunity to preach in different churches and diverse settings both in London and in Helsinki.
Children’s ministry has been a particular focus for him during his curacy. He has achieved this through a wide range of activities in schools, toddler groups and junior choir. He has driven the involvement and integration of children into the worship at St. John’s Wood through reading, singing and serving.
Fr. Jeremy has had a great love of music since childhood. He plays the guitar and is a confident liturgical singer and reader of music, having sung in choirs at school and college. He is confident in singing the Sursum Corda and the Preface, and he also has experience of singing Choral Evensong, Choral Matins and sung Compline.
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MONTHLY MESSAGE FROM THE RECTOR – NOVEMBER 2019

Dear friends,

After last years’ great centenary of the Armistice that ended the First World War, this year I have been thinking about what Remembrance Day might mean in the years to come. The First World War has now ceased to be a matter of living memory, and the memory of the Second World War is fading. As these two great conflicts recede into history, what will Remembrance Day mean? In one sense it is obvious. Remembrance Day will continue to be about Remembrance, only a different sort of Remembrance: not for most of the us the Remembrance of loved ones we have lost, but Remembrance of the debt of gratitude we owe to previous generations for the freedom we enjoy, and Remembrance too of the fragility of civilisation and peace. But there is another dimension too which I hope will come to the fore in coming years, and that is Remembrance of those who have lost their lives or who have been physically or psychological wounded in more recent conflicts.

The two world wars were wars that affected the entire nation, and wars that commanded the support of the overwhelming majority of the public. Every family was touched to some degree by these conflicts, and every life was shaped by them. Although some families and some individuals paid a much heavier price than others, there was nevertheless a strong sense of shared national endeavour. And particularly in the Second World War there was also a strong sense of moral purpose. In the case of the conflicts of more recent years, it is very different. The military has shrunk enormously; most people’s lives have nothing to do with armed conflict. These conflicts have directly affected only the relatively small number of people who serve in the armed forces, and their families, and more indirectly their circles of friends and acquaintances. The sense of national endeavour and moral purpose that surrounded the fight against Nazi Germany simply does not exist in relation to the Suez Crisis of 1956, or the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Most of the conflicts we have been involved in since the Second World War have to some extent been politically controversial, and those who have served for example in Northern Ireland continue to feel the repercussions of this. It seems that those who serve in the armed forces and their families are much more isolated in relation to wider society today than they were in 1945, and that the absence of a sense of national endeavour and moral purpose around recent armed conflicts deprives those who have suffered in those conflicts of a source of strength and consolation which was available to previous generations.

In our gospel reading for All Saints Day (1st November), we heard the words of Jesus “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted”

As we mark Remembrance Day once again this year, we remember with gratitude the sacrifices of those who made possible the freedom and peace and prosperity we enjoy by defending this nation during the two great conflicts of the twentieth century. But let’s also remember those who fought in more recent conflicts, those who bear physical and psychological scars, and those who mourn lost loved ones. Those who serve in the military and their families can sometimes seem marginalised in our national life; Remembrance is a chance to put them at the forefront of our minds, to hold them before God in our prayers, and to be generous towards those organisations which ensure that they receive the care and support that they need.

With my prayers,
Fr Jeremy