June 2024
The Word of the Month is RENEW

RENEW: verb, transitive and intransitive. 1. Restore to original state, make (as good as) new, resuscitate, revivify, regenerate. 2. Patch, fill up, reinforce, replace. 3. Get, begin, make, say, or give, anew, continue after intermission. (The Concise Oxford Dictionary)

So the question for this month is this: What renewal do we hope for? National and community renewal? Ethical renewal? The renewal of the Church? Spiritual renewal? And perhaps the renewal of the building called St Mary Abchurch in Abchurch Yard.

 

 

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Previous Words of 
the Month and 
Third Thursdays

May 2024
The Word of the Month was FURNITURE
 

The St Mary Abchurch furnishings

St Mary Abchurch is almost unique in having an interior that is almost as Christopher Wren left it; and all of the furnishings carry meanings to explore. During May the church is open Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (except for the bank holidays), and at each of the furnishings you will find a QR code that will take you to a website page about that piece of furniture. There are also booklets available containing the same information.

April 2024
The Word of the Month was RESURRECTION
 

Stations of the resurrection

It is a longstanding tradition for churches to contain a series of pictures representing Jesus’ journey to his crucifixion. More recent is the tradition of depicting Jesus’ resurrection appearances. 

During April you will find temporary stations of the resurrection at St. Mary Abchurch, and also a booklet that contains the accounts in the gospels on which the pictures are based: or you can click on the button below for the same information. 

 

March 2024
The Word of the Month was CRUCIFIXION

The tradition of churches containing stations of the cross - pictures or carvings illustrating Jesus’ journey to his crucifixion - is at least as old as the middle ages, when it was popularised by the Franciscans, although its roots might lie much earlier than that among early Christians who had been on pilgrimage to Jerusalem wishing to create an annual reminder of the way in which they had followed the route that Jesus took on his way to be executed by the Roman empire.

During March you will find temporary stations of the cross at St Mary Abchurch along with a booklet containing the biblical passages on which the pictures are based. 

February 2024
The Word of the Month was UNCONDITIONAL

‘Unconditional’ means ‘without conditions attached’. If something is unconditional then it is pure gift. Nothing is required of us before we receive it. But is a gift ever unconditional? Can anything ever be truly unconditional? Can love or friendship be truly unconditional? Might God’s relationship with us be unconditional? Can a public service, such as healthcare or education, be genuinely unconditional? And can an income ever be unconditional? 

January 2024
The Word of the Month was ROWLAND

The Third Thursday event in January 2024 will be on Thursday the 18th of January at 4 p.m. at St Mary Abchurch. 

Tim Ashton, related to Sir Rowland Hill and resident at Soulton Hall in Shropshire, will deliver a lecture on the topic 

What does St Mary Abchurch have to do with ‘Old Sir Rowland’ in Shakespeare’s As You Like It?

...Sir Rowland Hill’s contribution to the relative harmony of Elizabeth’s reign has been neglected for over a century and a half....

December 2023
The Word of the Month was JESUS

Christmas is many things: A time for family and friends; a midwinter festival; and a celebration of Jesus' birth. 

But it is also a celebration that God, who made the universe, has lived a human life: and if that is who Jesus is then that is infinitely the most important thing that Christmas is about.

So you decide: Who is Jesus? Is he God living a human life among us?

 

There will be no Third Thursday event at St Mary Abchurch during December, but you can leave a question or comment below, or you could come to one of the services at St Mary Abchurch between the 1st and the 20th of December and ask a question at the end. Services are held on Tuesdays at 11.30 a.m. and on Wednesdays at 12.30 p.m.

(The church will be closed from the 22nd of December to the 2nd of January)

November 2023
The Word of the Month was SACRIFICE

A Third Thursday event will be held at St Mary Abchurch, Abchurch Yard, London EC4N 7BA on Thursday the 16th of November at 6.30 p.m.

in honour of those who give their lives for their friends

We are grateful to ArchiCantiores for organising this event

Sacrifice! Is a Recital Performance with words and music to mark the second Remembrance Day since the start of Russia’s offensive action against the people and culture of Ukraine, with a public reading of the commissioned poem by Paul Munden entitled "Duet" about Steve Burnett’s “Wilfrid Owen” & “Siegfried Sassoon” violins.

The programme presents a sequence of words, motets and songs on the themes of crucifixion, sacrifice and the War Poets.  

October 2023
The Word of the Month was DESIGN

A panel discussion on Thursday the 19th of October at 6 p.m. between the architect Biba Dow, architectural historian Luka Pajovic, and designer Moritz Waldemeyer. Chaired by The Very Rev’d Andrew Nunn, former Dean of Southwark Cathedral.

Three hundred years since Christopher Wren’s death we examine his impact on artists and designers working in his churches. How does Wren’s imagination and skill give rise to creative responses in others? And what do their interventions in Wren’s churches look like today?

We are grateful to Arts and Christianity for organising this event.

September 2023
The Word of the Month was
TRUTH

The Public Square group will be returning on Thursday the 21st of September at 4 p.m. to lead a discussion on 'truth'. 

  • Is there a need for Christians to assert moral certainty at a time of political turbulence and ambiguity of purpose? 
  • What role can theological tradition and ecclesiological insight play as sources to draw on, for Christians grappling with the challenges that a post-truth age is throwing up? 
  • We can say that something is true: but can we say what ’the truth’ is?
  • If truth is not concealing the facts, or to put it another way, if ’true’ means ‘factual’, how do we know what the facts are? Does it depend on our agreeing what they are?
  • What causes might shape an individual’s unshakeable adherence to their view of ‘Truth’
  • What makes people change their minds? 

August 2023
The Word of the Month was
DODECAHEDRON

Unfortunately the lecture planned for the 17th of August has had to be cancelled, but DODECAHEDRON is still the Word of the Month for August.

James Wenn writes this:

The Lanthorn of this Kingdom

The title of this article is derived from Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis, describing ‘Solomon’s House’, or ‘The Colledge of the Six days Works’. The College of the Six Days’ Works was the name Bacon gave to a grand university in his utopian work, and is credited with crystallising the ideas underpinning the modern research university, as well as the natural sciences.

St Mary Abchurch is intimately connected to this seventeenth-century vision, through its membership of a small group of churches whose livings or benefices have been traditionally held by the College of Corpus Christi and the Blessed Virgin Mary in Cambridge. .......

July 2023
The Word of the Month was
RIGHTS

The praxis model sits at the heart of Amos Trust's work for human rights. For the July Word of the Month, RIGHTS, the Director of Amos Trust, Chris Rose, writes about the Trust's work in the arts, advocacy, supporting local community projects, and nurturing spirituality, all in the cause of Celebrating Culture, Building Facts on the Ground, and Promoting Rights. 

 

Please note that there will be no Third Thursday event during July

 

June 2023
The Word of the Month was
WREN

Events at St. Mary Abchurch during June

Wednesday the 7th of June, Evensong at 3 p.m.: Preacher: The Bishop of London

Thursday the 15th of June, A beginner's guide to furniture in Wren's churches: Lecturer, Dr Mark Kirby

Saturday the 24th of June, The Wrenathon: The choir SOUND will sing at St Mary Abchurch

Throughout the month, An exploration of the furnishings at St Mary Abchurch

May 2023
The Word of the Month was
CHANGE

  • What makes us resist change?
  • What excites us to welcome change?
  • What art has challenged us to change? 
  • What changes have been important or even life-changing for us?
  • Are there unchanging aspects of faith?
  • Can we say that God changes? 
  • What changes does Christian faith require?

On Thursday the 18th of May at 4 p.m. the Public Square Group will be joining us again to help us to discuss CHANGE.

April 2023
The Word of the Month was
WOOD

The word of the month for April will be illustrated by a reproduction of John Hayward’s ‘Christ the Worker’ at St Mary Abchurch throughout April, during the church’s usual opening hours, Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (but not on the bank holiday, Monday the 10th of April)

The Wren 300 Wood Conservation in Action Week will take place at St Mary Abchurch from Monday the 24th of April to Thursday the 27th of April. Visitors will be welcome between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on those dates. 

On Thursday the 4th of May at 6 p.m. experts will discuss Wren’s furnishings and its conservation, with particular reference to the Wren 300 Wood Conservation in Action Week at St Mary Abchurch. The speakers will be Alan Lamb, Lee Prosser, and Jimmy Aitken

March 2023
The Word of the Month was
QUESTIONS

  • Why do we do what we do?
  • Is there a best way to live?
  • Why is there so much evil in the world?
  • What can we do about it?
  • Why is our society the way it is? 
  • Why is the economy the way it is?
  • Why is politics the way it is?
  • Why is there still so much poverty?
  • What can we do about climate change?
  • What should our society be like? – and our economy? – and politics?
  • What can we do about war, famine, drought, natural disasters, and the state of our society, economy, and politics?
  • Does the Christian Faith have anything to say about all of this?

The Third Thursday is the 16th of March   

and at 12.30 p.m. at St Mary Abchurch there will be a discussion based on the word 'questions'. 

You can leave a comment or question to be discussed at the event by completing the contact form below.

You will be welcome to come and go as you wish during the event, which will finish when there are no further questions or comments to be discussed.

February 2023
The Word of the Month was
ANGRY

  • How often did Jesus show he was angry? What caused it?
  • Can we reconcile ‘Put away all bitterness and wrath and anger’ Ephesians 4:31 with ‘Be angry but do not sin’ Ephesians 4:26?
  • How might we as Christians harness our anger today? Is it right to be angry –is there such a thing as anger being good?
  • When is an expression of anger seen as a righteous action, as a creative force?

The Third Thursday is the 16th of February   

and at 4 p.m. at St Mary Abchurch there will be a discussion based on the word 'angrys'. 

We are grateful to the Public Square Group for facilitating this discussion.

You can leave a comment or question to be discussed at the event by completing the contact form below.

You will be welcome to come and go as you wish during the event, which will finish when there are no further questions or comments to be discussed.

January 2023
The Word of the Month was
LAW

 

  • Why do we need laws?
  • Do we need laws to tell us how to behave well, or do we need them to stop us from behaving badly?
  • Could we live together without laws?
  • What new laws might we need?
  • Are there existing laws that we need to change or repeal?
  • Did Jesus break the Law?
  • Does Christianity include laws that Christians should keep?
  • Should churches be governed by laws?
  • Are there laws that Christians should break?
  • What is the role of the Christian lawyer? Is it any different from that of any other lawyer?

The Third Thursday is the 19th of January   

and at 4 p.m. at St Mary Abchurch there will be a discussion with the Rev'd Mark Hatcher, Reader of the Temple,  formerly Director of the Bar Council and barrister.

You can leave a comment or question to be discussed at the event by completing the contact form below.

You will be welcome to come and go as you wish during the event, which will finish when there are no further questions or comments to be discussed.

 

December 2022
The Word of the Month was
CHRISTMAS

 

A celebration of Jesus' birth? A time for family and friends? A midwinter festival? A celebration that God, who made the universe, has lived a human life? Which is it?

 

The Third Thursday is the 15th of December,, and at 12.30 p.m. at St Mary Abchurch we shall be discussing December's Word of the Month: 'Christmas'. 

You can leave a comment or question to be discussed at the event by completing the contact form below.

You will be welcome to come and go as you wish during the event, which will finish when there are no further questions or comments to be discussed.

 

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