A new service has been launched at St Paul’s Harringay in North London. Nearly 70 adults attended the launch of this informal 11am service, which included children activities, a blessing from the Bishop of Islington, and prayers jointly led by a new member of church grafting team and a longstanding member of St Paul’s congregation.
The 11am service is the initiative of the new Associate Vicar of St Paul’s Harringay, the Revd Pete Snow, who has moved with his wife Sara and their three children to Harringay. A team of 30, many who have come from Christ Church Mayfair, are joining Pete and Sara in this new chapter of life at St Paul’s. The team from Christ Church Mayfair are being grafted into the existing congregation, so that both new and old members of St Paul’s can work together to revitalise the parish church.
In 2017, the congregation of St Paul’s Harringay was without an incumbent and they were approached by their archdeacon to see if a revitalisation, where a team is sent to bring fresh life and vision to an existing congregation, would be a possibility. At the same time, a team at Christ Church Mayfair were praying about the possibility of sending a group of people to North London in order to start a new worshipping community in the area. With the support of the Bishop of Islington, the Bishop of Edmonton, Christ Church Mayfair and Co-Mission, a church graft to St Paul’s Harringay became a possibility. Two years later, Pete and Sara are now leading this new service at St Paul’s in order to reach the Harringay community, and the existing congregation of St Paul’s have a new vicar and team to support their ministry, while also being a key part of this new outreach to the area. There continues to be a more traditional worship service at St Paul’s at 9:30am, but around a dozen of the longstanding congregation attended the launch service later on that morning.
The Bishop of Islington, the Rt Revd Ric Thorpe, gave a blessing during the service. His core message was “Go for it!”, encouraging the congregation that the God of love and peace would be with them on this new venture. Bishop Ric spoke about the importance of coming together regularly to worship God and encourage each other, as well as the exciting possibilities of reaching out to the Harringay community and seeing lives transformed. He also encouraged those who might be unsure about a new team joining their existing congregation and drew on his similar experience of leading a church graft to St Paul’s Shadwell in 2005.
Bishop Ric said, “We saw great blessing in our church community and the wider area. There were two groups coming together, the old and the new, which formed a catalyst for new life. We are praying that God will do something extraordinary in you and through you at St Paul’s Harringay.”
Speaking after the launch, the Revd Pete Snow said, “We’re so happy to be part of what God is doing in Harringay – he has already written such a great story of church unity and gospel partnership. At heart, we’ve done here is a very simple thing: we’ve made it possible for local Christians to go to their local church. We’ve been received incredibly warmly by St Paul’s and we’re looking forward to partnering with them in this fresh chapter together.”