Your Lent donations for 2017

This Lent, our Bishop, Christopher, is asking for our financial support for Southwark’s linked dioceses in Zimbabwe and projects there focusing on food security.

At The Barn, we fall under the Kingston Episcopal Area which is linked to the Diocese of Matabeleland. This is a huge Diocese (about 75,000 sq. kilometres). To the west, it hits the country’s borders with Zambia, Botswana and Namibia and a tiny bit of it even borders South Africa. It covers both rural land and towns where there used to be a lot of industrial and economic activity. But it seems that no matter where you go in the Diocese now, life is hard and there is food poverty and a lack of employment and opportunities.

The Diocese of Matabeleland is currently implementing a Food Security Project in Natabazinduna. This is a town northeast of Bulawayo in Umguza District. Bulawayo is one of the biggest towns in the Diocese and is where the Cathedral can be found.

A group learning about farming at the St Aidans centre MatabelelandThe Diocese has taken two approaches to improving the food security situation for vulnerable households in Ntabazinduna:

  1. Supporting a total of 220 farmers directly with seed and fertiliser and with creating bore holes for water.
  2. Establishing a farmer learning and demonstration centre at St Aidan’s Farm. A total of 32 households are receiving training in all aspects of irrigated agriculture on the scheme. The training covers agronomy of various irrigated crops (field crops and vegetables), water management and scheduling, cropping programme, post-harvest techniques and agribusiness competency. The program’s agribusiness training will equip farmers in record keeping, cash-flow management, crop budgets, product pricing, marketing and negotiating skills. If the Centre can help farmers learn how to market their crops it will help improve cash income flows and ultimately result in the improvement of livelihoods.

Might you consider giving to help the farmers at St Aidan’s and Ntabazinduna the chance to learn how to and begin to grow their own crops so that they can begin to ensure that they and their families can have more of a future than seems possible now?

There are several ways you can give…

  • By putting a donation in a yellow ‘lent appeal’ envelope at The Barn – don’t forget to write your details on it because if you are a UK tax payer we may be able to claim gift aid on the donation and get 25% more money at no cost to you.
  • Online via the Charities Aid Foundation
  • By text. Just text BSLA17 followed by the amount you wish to donate, to 70070. You can donate £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10.
    As an example, to donate £5, you would text the following to 70070: BSLA17£5
    All the money you donate goes to us, and your network provider does not charge you for the SMS you send to make the donation.
  • By post. Donations can be sent directly to:
    The Hon. Treasurer
    The Bishop of Southwark’s Lent Call
    c/o Trinity House
    4 Chapel Court
    Borough High Street
    London. SE1 1HW
    Cheques should be made payable to ‘The Bishop of Southwark’s Lent Fund’. (Charity no. 1075122)

To learn more about Bishop Christopher’s most recent visit to our linked dioceses in Zimbabwe visit his “I was hungry…I was thirsty” blog.

Lent Talks: People in Crisis: A Christian Response

Lent Talks: People in Crisis: A Christian Response

The theme for the Churches Together in Kew Lent talks this year is People in Crisis: A Christian Response.

The talks take place on Monday evenings – starting on 6 March – at the Barn Church in Atwood Avenue and feature speakers from both local and national organisations focusing on practical solutions to contemporary crises. All are welcome, no booking is necessary.

Here is the programme in full:

Monday, 6 March: Homelessness
Speaker: Jack Stephen, Chair of Trustees, SPEAR

Monday, 13 March: Children, International Issues
Speaker: Elizabeth Berryman, Save the Children
Cancelled due to Elizabeth needing to be abroad for work

Monday 13 March: Safe water
Speaker: Duncan Goose, One Foundation

Monday, 20 March: Human Trafficking
Speaker: Fr Mark Odion MSP, Coordinator of the Santa Marta Group African Project on Human Trafficking at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

Monday 27 March: the Background to current crises
Speaker: Bishop Trevor Williams, Christian Aid

Monday 3 April: Refugees
Speaker: Rupert Blomfield, South West Red Cross. Plymouth

The series is launched with a special Prayers and Pancakes Service on Shrove Tuesday, February 28th at 8pm at The Barn Church. Again, all are welcome.

New Junior Church Team Leaders needed

New Junior Church Team Leaders needed

The Barn Junior Church is a vibrant part of The Barn community, with the associated energy and spirit being for many of us in the wider congregation a big reason why we so enjoy life in our Church. The purpose of Junior Church is to provide nurture and support to young people and their families across our community.

Typically we meet each Sunday in term time at the 9:30am service (with the exception of the first Sunday of each month, which is All Age Worship), with two sessions being held, one for younger children up to Reception/ Year 1 and another for older children. We also run the cafés at two major fund raising events, the Summer and Christmas fairs.

As with all aspects of life at The Barn, we rely on volunteers to help lead and coordinate our activities. To date, we have been fortunate to have a core group of individuals who have led Junior Church and provided a lot of organisational and administrative support. Typically this has happened on a 18 month to 24 month cycle, and we are now looking for a new group of people to volunteer and take on this leadership role.

The time commitment is limited (approx. 1 hour per week on average), and comprises:

  • Creating a schedule of Junior Church sessions each term
  • Allocating volunteers to take the lead each week (for the younger age group only)
  • Coordinating tidying and restocking of the Junior Church materials cupboard
  • Organising the cafés at the Summer and Christmas fairs
  • Sending communications from the Junior Church mailbox
  • Attending PCC meetings to represent Junior Church

Those volunteering to take on this role will be well supported by Father Peter, the Churchwardens, and the existing Junior Church leaders.

What is absolutely essential to keep Junior Church going is that everyone continues to make their own contribution, in particular in supporting the leadership team in volunteering to lead on Sunday mornings. If you would like to lead a session or are interested in becoming a team leader please contact

Stewardship Sunday

Stewardship Sunday

On Sunday 6 November 2016 we held a special service to encourage people to reflect on their contributions to our church – both financial and of time and talents – and to see if they could give a little more. The Barn has a wonderful history and is a great centre of community in Kew and we want that to continue – but we need everyone’s help.

Our PCC has looked at our income and outgoings and realise we need about £60 a week every week of the year to break even. To allow us to put The Barn on a secure financial footing and to undertake some major repairs, such as replacing the roof, we need quite a bit more. An average of £6 more per person is our target. That doesn’t mean everyone giving £6 more – some people may be afford to afford a larger amount; some a bit less.

We’ve put together a special Stewardship page where you can see the presentation from the service and also download forms to make your pledge.

We’re asking all church members to fill in and send back the pledge form – especially the gift aid section – even if you are not able to change your giving level at the moment. Having an up-to-date gift aid form may mean we can claim 25% of any donations you make or have made over the last four years. This won’t cost you a penny more.

Thank you.

Harvest Festival – Sunday 2 October

Harvest Festival – Sunday 2 October

We will be celebrating our Harvest Festival on Sunday 2 October with a family service.

Please bring one or two items to donate to our local charity partners – SPEAR – an organisation which helps the homeless and vulnerable in Richmond.

Non perishable food (within use by date) such as pasta, tea, coffee and tinned goods would be most welcome along with toiletries – soap, shower gel, toothpaste, shampoo. We cannot accept fresh fruit and vegetables.

More information about SPEAR and its work is available on their website.