Revd Gill O'Neill
By Revd Rosemary Shaw
The last 15 months have brought disruption to our lives in different ways. It might have meant shielding, home schooling and working at home, furloughing or redundancy. For some it has meant sickness, bereavement, separation from families, exam cancellations and university life that has been very different, weddings postponed or curtailed and funerals with restricted numbers.
Church life has been very different with Zoom services, livestreaming, and when churches reopened things looked and felt strange with masks, restricted numbers, social distancing and for some a real apprehension about returning to the church building. What a time it has been and as hopefully we face the end of lockdown we wonder what it will mean in the long term.
For me one of the main interruptions has been having to stop working in chaplaincy due to underlying health conditions. For over 20 years, hospital chaplaincy has been the best main focus of my ministry largely at South London and Maudsley, Kings and Guys and St Thomas. It has been work I have revelled in although it is emotionally and physically exhausting and very challenging. When I had retired I went back to Kings and did some sessional work until Covid-19 reared its ugly head and almost overnight things changed.
Recently I gave a talk to the coffee morning about the work of a hospital chaplain and it really hit me how much I miss the work. However I have learnt that nothing is wasted in God's economy and also that there is no retirement in the Kingdom of God!
I was already doing some work as a spiritual director and this has blossomed both in seeing directees and in the work of the Southwark Spiritual Direction Network (SPIDIR) and the London Centre of Spiritual Direction.
Hospital chaplaincy involves deep listening both to what is said and what is not said; it's about giving hope but not false hope or easy reassurances. Spiritual Direction uses those gifts as the director seeks to journey with the other person. One of my tasks for SPIDIR has been to set up supervision groups and in September I will be teaching on the two-year course for directors. Particularly when I worked at Guy's and St Thomas',I was the deputy team leader with particular responsibility for training and supervision so again I use those skills in the area of direction and God has continued to use these aspects of my ministry
What is Spiritual Direction? The title is awful as it sounds very hierarchical and as though the director is organising the life of the directee. Well I have enough problem managing my own life! I prefer the idea of spiritual accompaniment and there is a mutuality about it. I know I learn a great deal from the people I see .
Who is Spiritual Direction for? Often it's seen as something for clergy or those exploring ordained or lay authorised ministry but in fact it is for any believer who is serious about their faith and is seeking after truth. The people I see include clergy, those people on the vocation journey and Christians who want to explore what it means to seek to live the life of faith in their homes, work and every aspect of their lives.
My pattern is to see directees about every two months for about an hour and a quarter. The real director is the Holy Spirit and the work is really done in the reflection between sessions. One of the benefits of Spiritual Direction is that it is confidential and one is sharing one's journey with someone outside your own circle of friends or church community. It is for all ages, all denominations, and for all genders, sexualities and ethnicities - a third of the people I see are African or Afro-Caribbean. In SPIDIR all directors have to see their own director and have to be in individual or group supervision.
Losses and gains
So yes my life experienced a big interruption due to the pandemic but I thank God that He has opened up a different ministry that draws on much of what I learnt in chaplaincy and also to have a little more space in my life free of the bleep and of being on call at night !
If anyone wants to know more about spiritual direction I am willing to chat about it or you can find out more from SPIDIR.org.uk or from the website of the London Centre of Spiritual Direction .
For us all Covid-19 has meant interruptions in our lives with losses but also with gains for many of us and as we look toward the future. I like the words of Pope Francis: "The pandemic is not a judgement from God but a time for us to judge and to choose what matters and what passes away.It is a time for us to get our lives back on track."
By Tayo Olatunde
Have you ever wondered, “What’s all the fuss about with Electric Vehicles (EV)?” Or, are you planning to change your car/buy a car and the idea of driving an EV has piqued your interest? Well, either of these scenarios is enough reason for you to explore EVs further. Beyond the benefits to our environment, and the air we breathe, EVs also offer owners benefits that a typical fossil fuel car would not. More on that later.
Prior to becoming an EV owner, I had spent hours on the internet reading up and researching on everything remotely associated to EVs. Often, this was then followed by hours on the telephone speaking with friends and colleagues who owned an EV. Eventually, mainly due to range anxiety (the constant fear that an EV would run out of juice while driving) I decided that I was not ready to go pure electric. Instead, I settled for a hybrid vehicle (petrol engine and electric vehicle). That was back in 2014. In the seven years since, the EV terrain has matured significantly.
Owning and driving a hybrid vehicle allowed me to understand first-hand the differences in energy generated by a combustion engine to propel a vehicle versus that generated by an EV to propel the motor, and how my driving pattern affected the car’s energy usage. It also allowed me to learn how to drive efficiently, thus extending how many miles I could drive with a single charge before the car switched to the engine.
Hybrid versus EV
If you feel that you are not fully ready to drive an EV, then perhaps you may want to consider a hybrid vehicle. There are two main types of hybrid vehicles: Plug-In Hybrid EV (PHEV) and Self-Charging. Both types are equipped with a petrol/diesel engine and a lithium-ion or nickel-metal hydride battery.
Whilst the battery of a PHEV is charged by “plugging” the car to a charge point or a standard three-pin plug socket, that of a self-charging hybrid vehicle is charged by the vehicle’s engine. Some models of hybrid vehicles also include regenerative braking. This allows the kinetic energy generated when the brakes are applied to charge the car’s battery. My personal preference are PHEVs as they represent hybrid in its truest form. Mainly because self-charging vehicles have a bigger engine and use more petrol/diesel to compensate for the engine charging the battery. You can read further on the main differences here.
A major benefit of owning an EV over a Hybrid is the savings one makes from not having to buy petrol. Pence for pence, an EV is far cheaper to run than a comparable combustion engine car.
Things to consider before purchasing an EV
Cost – Improved technology means that the cost of developing and manufacturing EV batteries is constantly dropping. This also means that there is an EV for almost every budget and taste. Between Renault Zoe, Tesla, Rivian and Lucid, you should be able to find an EV that suits your budget and taste. And if you are a car manufacturer traditionalist, you will be pleased to know that the likes of Mercedes Benz, Audi, BMW, Land Rover Jaguar, VW, Volvo, Porsche and many more now offer electric or hybrid versions of their petrol/diesel engine models.
Range – If you do a lot of road trips and enjoy travelling on family trips by road then you will want to consider EVs that offer a good range (the number of miles you can drive after a single charge). EVs now offer anything from 100 to 400 miles on a single charge. A good rule of thumb to remember is that the higher the range an EV offers, the more expensive that EV model is likely to be. Whilst access to charge points on road trips has improved greatly, and is bound to get even better (see govt powers up EV Revolution), the wonderful experience of driving an EV can disappear very quickly if you have to stop every 40 mins to charge on a road trip.
Charging – How to charge your car should be the first question on your mind when considering whether to purchase an EV or not. There are many charging options now available to EV owners., from charging points on one’s driveway, to lamppost charging or charging at Tesco Superstores. Councils are also converting parking bays to EV charging bays, with non-EV vehicles found parking in the bay being issued fines. And if you do not have off-street parking, not to worry, most councils in London now offer the option of requesting that some lampposts on your street be fitted with a charging point. For Southwark Council, you can make a request here.
Additionally, there are many apps and websites available dedicated to providing information on charging stations across the country. Some also include charge points on residential roads owned by private residents.
For charging on road trips, most charging stations can be found at service stations off the motorway. These charge points offer supercharging where the car can be charged back to almost full before you return from a comfort break and grabbing a bite to eat.
Cost of charging – When I had my PHEV hybrid car, a full tank of petrol would last me six to seven weeks. That was because over time I had become efficient in my driving. This allowed me to manage the 34 miles the battery offered to do school runs and the odd inter-city driving. Charging of the car added approximately £20/month* to our electricity bill. Some energy providers now offer EV tariffs for customers, with off-peak rates for charging their EV. The Octopus Energy tariff we are on offers off-peak rates between 00:30-4:30. Combined with a feature that most EVs have that allows owners to set the time for charging to start, this offers additional savings.
*Cost of charging is dependent on how much driving one does and how many miles one needs to cover per day.
Pros of owning an EV
Ultimately, before one decides to purchase a hybrid or an electric vehicle, more research must be undertaken beyond this article. If one’s budget can accommodate the purchase of an EV, then I would say that the pros far outweigh the cons. After all, the EVolution is not coming, it is already here!
By Christine Camplin
The transformation of the Goose Green area from countryside to suburbia took barely three decades. Railways sped the commuting clerical class into the city and the final years of the century brought more churches and shops plus schools, medical and leisure facilities.
The local authority responded accordingly and in 1883 the Parks Committee recommended the planting of 40 lime trees, 35 planes and 12 elms on Goose Green at an estimated cost of £13O.
Many young families moved into the new terraces, and the move of St John’s school to larger premises at the corner of Archdale and Northcross Roads in 1872 proved insufficient for the increasing number of children. Until the 1870s all schools apart from church schools were private. Following the 1870 Elementary Education Act, the London School Board opened a number of imposing three-storey elementary schools locally. They acquired the northern garden of Walnut Tree Villa in Adys Road in 1880 and on 17 November 1884 opened Adys Road Board School with 942 elementary school pupils. Designed by the Board’s architect, Thomas Jerram Bailey, it had a corridor and four classrooms on each of the three floors with boys on the top floor and infants at ground level. Halls and four other classrooms were opened some four years later. Today the building is used by St John's & St Clement's C of E Primary School.
A new school with almost 1000 children came as a bit of a shock for the neighbours. So in 1885 Walnut Tree Villa was rebuilt in its southern garden, separated from the school by four semi-detached houses (63-69 Adys Road) plus the schoolkeeper's house.
A second school followed on 1 June 1896 when the Board replaced a temporary building in Darrell Road with The Friern School on Peckham Rye (today the site of Harris Boys' Academy East Dulwich). The architect was again Bailey whose design accommodated 218 boys, 216 girls and 214 infants. It had “all the latest improvements in school buildings” including a house-wifery centre. The site received approval of the Vicar of St John’s who was consulted “so that the position should not injure his voluntary schools”.
Bailey’s third local school was The Grove Vale School (now Goose Green Primary School). It opened on 23 April 1900 on the former site of Suffolk Nursery. By 1904 it had 1084 pupils.
The area around Peckham Rye had long been associated with education. As early as 1837 Pigot and Co.’s directory claimed: “Peckham is remarkable for the great number of boarding schools for youth of both sexes established in it; this may be attributed to the salubrity and purity of the air and water, both of which are considered as excellent as any in the neighbourhood of the metropolis.”
The following schools featured on the 1881 or 1891 Censuses:
The new community’s growing number of residents needed a hospital. (Until King’s College Hospital opened in 1913 patients were sent to Guy’s or St Thomas’s.) What they got was a workhouse infirmary, not a general hospital, and it was not for locals as it belonged to the parishes of St Saviour and St George-the-Martyr in Southwark, and St Mary in Newington. After discounting a site near Peckham Rye Common in 1871 on cost grounds, St Saviour's Union Infirmary purchased 6.5 acres in East Dulwich Grove for £14,000 and opened what is today Dulwich Hospital in April 1887. It was laid out in a pavilion-plan with a central administrative block and two wings containing 723 beds in 24 Nightingale wards each with isolation, day and staff rooms.
In 1892 Camberwell Board of Guardians began work on their own workhouse for 898 mostly mentally ill, elderly and infirm inmates. Opened in 1895 in Constance Road it was located on the opposite side of the railway line to St Saviour's Union Infirmary (a tunnel beneath the railway connects the two institutions). It eventually became St Francis' Hospital.
That same year on 25 June 1892 Dulwich Baths opened to the public. Adults paid 6d (old pence) for a 1st class swim and ‘tuppence’ for 2nd class in two swimming pools with separate entrances for men and women. Designed by Spalding & Cross they are today London's oldest public baths in continuous operation and originally had public slipper baths and a laundry in the basement.
Dulwich Baths also provided lessons for local Board Schools: in October 1906 a swimming competition between boys of Adys Road, Bellenden Road, and Grove Vale Schools, was won by Grove Vale who received a silver challenge cup from the chairman of Grove Vale school managers.
Many more public houses and ‘beer retailers’ were established in the parish in the last quarter of the 19th century; there have been at least 16 pubs in total. Other early watering holes joining the King’s Arms, East Dulwich Hotel and The Old White Horse (1826) were: The Foresters Arms (The Bishop), Lordship Lane (1865), Lord Palmerston, Lordship Lane (1866), Herne Tavern, Forest Hill Rd (1870), Old Cherry Tree Hotel, Grove Vale (1872), The Upland (The Actress), Crystal Palace Rd (1882), The Oglander Tavern (1883), and the Gowlett Tavern (1885).
Following the creation of the new Dulwich parliamentary constituency in 1885 two constitutional clubs were opened in East Dulwich. Both were members only social clubs - and exclusively for men.
Dulwich Reform Club opened on the south-west side of Goose Green on 31 March 1886 “amidst the congratulations of a large number of Peckham and Dulwich Liberals”. Ironically, Norland House was formerly the home of John Scott, President of the Camberwell, Peckham, and Dulwich Conservative Club. The premises, which were converted in two weeks, contained a room nearly 70 ft long for smoking, concerts and political meetings, and an adjoining billiard room on the ground floor. Upstairs a large smoking and reading room had a corner set aside for card-players.
Local Conservatives were not to be outdone and two years later John Blundell Maple, Conservative Member of Parliament for Dulwich (1887-1903), bought the freehold of Clumber House at 33 East Dulwich Grove. After extensive structural alterations Dulwich Constitutional Working Men's Club opened on Thursday 1 November 1888 with similar facilities to its counterpart. These included a concert hall, a small hall plus billiards, smoking, reading and games rooms. The bowling green was laid out in 1889.
In the last quarter of the nineteenth century a number of other churches were built in St John’s parish:
Between St James Church and Dulwich Baths stood Westwood House, the residence of Mr Henry Littleton. On Saturday, 3 April 1886 between 300 and 400 people attended a reception in the spacious music room given in honour of composer Franz Liszt on one of his last foreign tours. Liszt was staying at the house.
It must therefore have been disquieting for the locals when this “old-fashioned mansion” was demolished and replaced with a ginger beer factory barely twelve years later. Batey and Co. manufactured ginger-beer, “Coda,” “Kola,” ginger-ale, lemonade, and soda water at one penny per bottle.
And what was happening at St John’s during all the changes in the neighbourhood?
Rev Thomas Acton Warburton retired in 1888 due to the ill health of his wife, Emily. He died on 22 August 1894 at Hastings Lodge, Dulwichwood Park. His successor, the sixth incumbent of St John’s, and the third Irish-born, was the Rev William James Strickland (1858-1900). He first came to St John's as Curate in 1880 but within a few weeks had to seek warmer climes for the sake of his health and took up an appointment in Natal, South Africa where he married Editha Margaret Buttemer on 27 August 1884. They had four children, three of whom were born and baptised at St John’s.
Strickland returned to St John’s in 1885 to resume his Curacy, succeeding Thomas Warburton as Vicar in 1888. His ministry saw a time of financial crisis in the church. Though the area of the parish had reduced with the creation of additional churches, the population had grown to 19,946 and the number of houses to 3,266.
Many wealthy families, residents of the big houses, had moved away and income from seat rents reduced accordingly. James Strickland’s health deteriorated and he died on 17 December 1900, aged 42, the first year of the new century and the end of the Victorian era.
First mosque in Peckham
The first mosque in Peckham was in the basement of 51 Fenwick Road, the home of Khalid Sheldrake. Born Bertie William Sheldrake (1888–1947), he was a pickle manufacturer who converted to Islam in 1903. From about 1905 he began conducting prayers at his house in Peckham, and also held several well-attended open-air meetings on Peckham Rye.
Sheldrake was honorary president of the Western Islamic Association and supported the construction of the first purpose-built mosque in London which opened on 23 October 1926 in Southfields, Wandsworth.
The house was demolished after bombing in September 1940.
"WARNING TO CYCLISTS. - On Thursday night a young gentleman riding a tricycle, while attempting to descend the steep hill leading to East Dulwich station, lost control of his machine and was thrown off with tremendous force. He was seriously injured about the head. Cyclists are reminded that he danger of "trying" the hill in question is greatly enhanced, especially in the dark, by the extremely bad condition of the roadway."
(South London Press, 28 July 1888)
Seeing Differently: Franciscans and Creation by Simon Cocksedge, Samuel Doble and Nicholas Alan Worssam (Canterbury Press, 2021)
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field” (Matthew 13:44), and so it proved for members of the Society of St Francis living at Hilfield Friary in Dorset when they learned in 1995 that they had one of the finest wildflower meadows in the county on their land. Little regarded up to then, and normally used as a campsite for visitors, the words “You have here a treasure to be guarded and nurtured” transformed the community’s attitude to the land and led them back to a deeper study of the value St Francis placed on the natural world. Francis’s theology of creation is wonderfully expressed in his Canticle of the Creatures which we know as the hymn ‘All Creatures of our God and King’. The Canticle’s Italian title ‘Laudato Si’ was used by Pope Francis for his encyclical ‘On Care for our Common Home’, published in 2015.
Last year, in the early years of the pandemic, when the skies were empty but for birds, the air was clear of pollution and the roads had little traffic, some of us had a chance to see the world differently. On the daily walk we may have felt more connected to nature than since childhood. The garden, the allotment, the window box and the bird feeder gave us a chance of contemplation, and a hope that real change might be possible if we stopped the frenzied misuse of creation and learned to respect it. It also made us think again at what makes a community.
This book by three Anglican Franciscans examines the stories of St Francis, his teaching on humanity’s fellowship with the created world, his own lived spirituality and what it can teach us today. Simon Cocksedge, a priest and member of the Third Order, reflects on Francis and Creation through the familar stories such as the saint’s preaching to the birds and the reconciliation between the people of Gubbio and the wolf terrorising the town. Br Nicholas Alan SSF looks at Francis’s theology of creation and how it was developed by his early followers like St Clare, Bonaventure of Bagnoregio and Jacopone da Todi. How relevant is the wisdom of a mediaeval friar to our contemporary world? In the last few chapters Br Sam SSF, who is based at the House of the Divine Compassion in Plaistow, East London, discusses Franciscan experience today in the heart of the city. This, perhaps, is the part of the book which may be more immediately accessible to the reader, but the stories and theology in the first two parts underpin it all. If you think of St Francis through the soft focus of Franco Zeffirelli’s 1972 film Brother Sun, Sister Moon this book will make you think again. We need Franciscan wisdom if we are to reset our minds and refocus our eyes in the face of the climate emergency. It is a radical and profoundly hopeful book.
Vicar Revd Gill O’Neill 020 7564 0058, 07958 592 425, email@example.com
Curate Revd Gemma Birt firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Priests Revd Anne Clarke email@example.com and Revd Alistair McCulloch firstname.lastname@example.org
Parish Administrator Bradley Collins 020 8693 3897, email@example.com
Churchwardens Jim Nurton 07765 881 556 and Julie Whitney 07786 686 385
Parish Safeguarding Officer Tina Hampson (contact via Parish Administrator)
PCC Secretary Christine Camplin
PCC Treasurer Sarah Goudge
Stewardship Martin Howell
Director of Music John Webber
Electoral Roll Officer Bradley Collins
Church Flowers Sally Gross
Goose Green Centre Bradley Collins
Editors of The Gander Christine Camplin, Jim Nurton, Tayo Olatunde and Sue O'Neill
(Contact each of the above via Parish Administrator)
St John's & St Clement's C of E Primary School, Adys Road, London SE15 4DY
www.stjohnsandstclements.org, 020 7525 9210
The views expressed in The Gander are not necessarily those of the Editors, Vicar or PCC.
Notices and items or articles for possible inclusion in the next issue of The Gander must be with the Editors by the 15th of the preceding month. Please contact the team in person or by email to the Parish Administrator with any questions.