It represents the latest stage in a process which has taken the best part of 10 years. Below are some extracts from a document explaining the vision behind the our proposals to re-order the building. As the APCM report of April 2002 states, written just 3 months after Charlie Moore arrived at St Mary’s as Rector in January 2002:
“The above words counter the perception that the building is closed, which is often expressed by people who pass the church on an increasingly busy Bermondsey Street.
In fact nothing could be further from the truth: A considerable part of the St Mary’s building (including the tower) has stood on Bermondsey Street for almost 800 years and is adjacent to the site of Bermondsey Abbey which dates back over 1200 years and represents the unbroken existence of a worshipping Christian community from the year 708 until now. Today St Mary’s is a multi racial and socially diverse fellowship consisting of people from many backgrounds and of all ages. Located as we are, near the river and with City Hall in the parish, we occupy a strategic location near the centre of London and as such are seeking to respond positively to the challenges of reaching out to a community undergoing radical change. We believe that the public face of our building and its place within the urban fabric are a crucial part of this.
Our desire, through the proposed works, both external and internal, is that the building be a place of transparency, from the outside in, and inside out, through which light should be able to shine. We believe this to be not only physical but also spiritual, as the building comes to embody the values expressed in our Vision statement produced earlier this year (2010):
worshipping together in Bermondsey, we are
seeking to live for the glory of God by
following Jesus in the reality of God’s world
As well as introducing glimpses of the interior from the street, the re-ordering is also intended to at least partly restore internal visibility and original sight lines. Alongside this we hope that there will be increased flexibility for both internal church activities and groups as well as opportunities to build on existing and other external community links. Apart from various church activities, the building is presently being used on a weekly basis by groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Kids Company, the young peoples charity. There are also many other opportunities. Whatever the extent to which we are able to carry out our plans, we believe that there are still “Greater things” (John 14: 12) to come in Bermondsey through the presence of this beautiful church and its amazing people.”
Revd Charlie Moore, Rector
|O God, make the door of this house wide enough to receive all who need human love and fellowship, narrow enough to shut out all envy, pride and strife. Make its threshold smooth enough to be no stumbling block to children nor to straying feet, but rugged and strong enough to turn back the tempter’s power. God, make the door of this house the gateway to thy eternal Kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord.Prayer written by Canon F.H. Gillingham
(a former Rector of St Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey)
“We are still some way short of our target to pay for the works to open up the church. If you would like to help please visit our giving page and mention “Building Fund” in the message box. Thank you!” Morag (St Mary’s)