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Today the Bishop of London licensed Rev Alanna Harris as a new Associate Priest for Mission at St Katharine Cree. Alanna has been accompanying the team here for a little while, and undertaking a process of listening to the spiritual needs and interests of workers connected with our growing community. This change means she will now be taking more of a role in shaping the ministry and mission of the church as part of our renewal - although the role is 'non-stipendiary' (unpaid!) and in addition to her other responsibilities elsewhere!


Photo: Rev Alanna Harris alongside the Bishop of London and Josh, the Priest-in-Charge of St Katharine Cree.


Outside St Katharine Cree, Alanna works as a hospital chaplain in central London and is advising a number of mission organisations on their outreach and leadership development, and also works as a coach with a particular interest in helping leaders navigate transitions.

This month we celebrated the Epiphany at our monthly Spanish Eucharist with a celebration of Holy Communion and a blessing of church at the door. We explored the significance of blessing as asking for God's help, and in particular thought about how blessing our homes at the start of a new year expresses our confidence that God is with us all the time - and to ask for his help in our everyday lives.


Being able to take blessed water from church means a lot to many in our community, so at Epiphany we put together 'home blessing kits' for everyone to takeaway! These included a bottle of blessed water, a piece of chalk to mark the door, a prayer card, and some instructions in both English and Spanish on what to do! We were delighted to give away all fifty! Many of these were taken by church members to give to friends to share the opportunity to start the year in prayer in our homes.


For those unfamiliar with 'chalking' the doors at Epiphany, the formula is simple: use chalk to write above the entrance of your home: 20 + C + M + B + 24. The letters have two meanings. First, they represent the Magi - Caspar, Malchior and Balthazar - who came to visit Jesus in the place where he was born. They also represent the Latin phrase, Christus Mansionem Benedicat, which means “May Christ bless the house.”  The “+” signs represent the cross, and the “20” at the beginning and the “24” at the end mark the year. This is a request for Christ to stay with those who dwell or work within our home throughout the entire year.


May Christ Jesus dwell with us,

keep us from all harm this year,

and make us one in mind and heart,

now and forever.

Amen.


Que Cristo Jesús habite con nosotros

nos proteja de todo mal este año,

y nos haga uno en mente y corazón,

ahora y por siempre.

Amén.

Today a group from St Katharine Cree attended the Eucharist at our Cathedral, St Paul's, here in central London. During the services at the cathedral each day prayers are said for each church in the diocese. Today prayers were especially offered for our church and it was a joy for members of our community - some of whom have never been to St Paul's - to experience joining in with the worship there today. Special thanks to Ivonne Loján who organised the group!



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