ST GILES’ HOSTS HILLINGDON CIVIC SERVICE
Every year the Mayor of Hillingdon holds a Civic Service, at a church of his (or her) choosing. There, he joins the assembly to give thanks to God and seek His help in undertaking the duties and responsibilities of the role.
This year’s The Worshipful The Mayor of Hillingdon, Councillor Brian Crowe, chose St Giles’, since Adrian is his selected Chaplain. And an impressive occasion it turned out to be on the first day of February. No fewer than fourteen Mayors, past-Mayors and a Civic Ambassador attended, glittering in their crimson gowns and sparkling chains-of-office. Also present were representatives of the local military and the Council with Councillor Ray Puddifoot as its Leader.
The Service was preceded by a procession of the clergy, choir, the Mayor and his party from the Church Hall to St Giles’, for which, thankfully, the snow held off. The church was packed with guests and members of St Giles’ congregation and Adrian, assisted by Ken, conducted the Service. We sang hymns, and the church choir as well as Breakspear Junior School Choir sang anthems. Bible readings were taken from Psalms, Mark and John. Prayers were said for all those in authority, particularly in local government and all who serve the community in whatever capacity.
In his Address, Adrian emphasised the appreciation we feel for the time, energy and enthusiasm given by the Mayor, Councillors and Officers. He said Councillor Crowe and his Mayoress have visited and encouraged many people in charities, clubs, organisations, churches and faith groups who have said, “I’ll volunteer”, and got on with it. The disciple, Simon Peter, was noted for his eagerness to volunteer. Jesus doesn’t criticise him for his enthusiasm, but He does stress the importance also of attending to his relationship with God. We have to come to God voluntarily, just as we offer our lives in service to one another. This may be why a gathering of worshippers in a church is called a service.
Finally, to the rousing strains of “Guide Me O thou great Redeemer”, the retiring procession departed the much-admired St Giles’ Church. Waiting in the Derek Kneale Hall were refreshments and the rare opportunity to meet and greet a remarkable assembly of community dignitaries.
DROP-IN FOR THE BEREAVED. Third Monday of each month. St Giles’ Church Hall, 2pm to 3.30pm. A friendly, informal opportunity for a chat, over a cup of tea, with other bereaved people and pastoral visitors. The next meeting is on Monday 16th March (then Monday 20th April). Just come along, or ring the Rectory (622970) if you would like to talk to someone first.