Saturday, 26 February 2011

Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther(1809-1891)

In an earlier blog, (We have seen a great light) I reported how on 23 January, 2011, our preacher of the day, Emmanuel Oladipo, talked of the work of the first Black Anglican Bishop, Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther and how his family had been influenced to put their faith in Jesus Christ through Samuel Crowther's work.

Following that, I got an e-mail from our former vicar, Simon Harvey, telling us of the close connections that his new church, St Mary's Islington had with Bishop Crowther, who had attended St Mary's School in Islington and had studied at the CMS (Church Mission Society) College in the parish. Simon Harvey subsequently sent me a copy of a leaflet "Crowther's Journey," produced by the Southwark Centre :Pensioners Black History Group. This leaflet revealed that Samuel Crowther had actually been ordained at St Mary's and had returned there in 1870, to ordain his son, Dandeson.

Members of the group expressed their comments in the leaflet. They were delighted to find such an eminent role model and some, who hailed from Nigeria, were already aware of Crowther's work in evangelism, Bible translation and African literacy. However, others, from Sierra Leone, where Crowther had first been freed when a slave and received his initial Christian and secular education and undertaken much work, were surprised that they had never been told of him. There was pleasure that although taking a "Christian" name at his baptism, he had retained the Yoruba name "Ajayi."

Emmanuel Oladipo has been invited to preach at St Mary's Islington and talk about Bishop Crowther.

Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther -- Timeline

1809 Born in Osogun, Yorubaland, Nigeria

1821 Kidnapped and sold to slave-traders

Rescued by the Royal Navy Anti-Slavery Patrol
and taken to Freetown, Sierra Leone

1825 Baptised and takes the name Samuel Ajayi Crowther

1826 Travels to London to attend Islington Parish School

1827 Attends Fourah Bay College, Freetown, Sierra Leone
Marries Susan Asano Thompson at age 18 years

1841 Accompanies an anti-slavery mission up the River Niger

1842 Returns to England to be ordained as a minister

1843 Receives Holy Orders from the Bishop of London

Starts to translate the Bible into Yoruba

1848 Is reunited with his mother Afala, who is christened with his sister

1857 Writes an Ibo language primer

1864 Compiles a Nupe language dictionary and grammar
Awarded a doctorate in Divinity from Oxford University and received by Queen Victoria

Consecrated Bishop of the Niger at Canterbury Cathedral

1870 Personally ordains his son Dandeson in 1870 at St. Mary Islington

1877 Wife Susan dies, survived by two son and three daughters

1891 Dies from a stroke on New Year's Eve

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

We have a date for Steve’s Licensing Service

Bishop Christopher will conduct the service of licensing of the Revd Steve Bailey on Wednesday 29 June at St Paul’s Church at 7.30pm.

Please continue to pray for Steve, his wife Angie, and son Samuel as they await the birth of their new baby in April and prepare to move to Oadby.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Make your vote count!

Our church is led by our Rector, Michael Rusk, our Team Vicar (soon to be Steve Bailey) and the team of Clergy and Lay Ministers that works with them. But it is also legally governed by the Churchwardens and a committee called the PCC (Parochial Church Council). These act as trustees for the Charity Commission. The PCC meets every month or two, to plan the church's future activities.

Because we have two churches in the parish, each church also has a Deputy Churchwarden and a DCC (District Church Council) which meets most months.

Each year we meet for the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) at which we are able to hear how things have gone in the last year and elect Churchwardens, PCC, DCC and other officers. This year's APCM is at 7:45 PM at St Peter's Centre on Thursday 14 April 2011. For this to be truly representative, we need a good turnout and I hope you can come.

But in order to vote, you have to be a member of the church. You do this by being on the "Electoral Roll." If you are not already on the Electoral Roll, you need to join it by completing the application form which you can find here.

Can you suggest someone with the qualities to be a Churchwarden? If so, use the nomination form here

Do you know someone who would work well on the PCC or DCC (or are you prepared to serve)? Nominations for the PCC are available here, and for the DCC here.

This is an opportunity to say thank you to all those who have served our churches so well in the last year.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Everybody Counts!

Sunday 30 January was Poverty and Homelessness Sunday. Leading the service, Neil Griffiths reminded us that this was also the year of the census. Everybody would be counted. He talked of how every leaf on a tree contributes to the tree's well-being. Preaching from the Prophet Malachi he reminded us how God valued those who were at the bottom of society's heap and called on those who followed him to do the same. The night before, Neil had returned from Derby where he had met with youngsters who were sleeping in the open on a very bitter night to highlight the plight of the homeless. God cares about them too.

He had drawn a tree without leaves and had placed the outline of a leaf on each chair. On it was written: I count because…., and each person was asked to complete the sentence with something relevant to them. The congregation then came forward and placed their leaves all over the bare twigs.

Each of us is loved by God and that is why Christ died for us.