The Methodist Church Tower Hamlets

Churches & projects serving London's East End



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William Blake's "Ancient of Days"

This picture shows God leaning out from the sphere of light that represents God’s home to begin to measure out creation. Light is symbolic of all that is God: it is life; it is truth; it is warmth; it is active; it pushes darkness away. The Ancient of Days comes from Daniel 7 which echoes the Advent themes of hope and judgement.

In Advent we are preparing our hearts and our lives for the birth of Jesus. Some of this preparation is joyful, but as with any new birth, there will also be apprehension. How will our lives be changed? How will our world change?  (Paraphrased from The Art of Advent: Jane Williams)

So as you prepare your heart this Advent, come along to our Advent Reflections as we read the Bible, reflect and pray; share in our worship and celebrations.

May each one of you know God’s grace and peace through Advent and Christmas.

Rev'd John Hayes


Lists Advent reflection series , at Bow Rd and Old Ford on Sundays; 
at Bethnal Green on Tuesdays,  at Poplar on Fridays,  plus all Christmas services.

There will be a chance to join in Advent reflections during December at all four of our churches. Ministers and Local Preachers will be leading sessions, where we reflect on the themes of Advent. There will be an opportunity to read the Bible, reflect on the Word and pray as well. Download the booklet. 

The first sessions are:

Bow Road 1:00pm Sunday 1st December
Old Ford 6:00pm Sunday 1st December
Bethnal Green 7:00pm Tuesday 3rd December
Poplar 6:00pm Friday 6th December

Tuesday, 10th December, 7.30 pm, in the Emery Hall at QVSR: 

Many people feel that Christmas only really gets underway with the annual carol service at the Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest. We expect all the usual ingredients including the Salvation Army, great carol singing … and, of course, some terrible jokes from Alex Campbell, who heads up the QVSR.
A Christmas buffet follows.

Circuit carol service at Poplar on Sunday 22nd December at 6 pm.


Next Open House at Wesley's Chapel will be 
Georgian Christmas-Time:

Saturday 14th December 11.00 - 15.00 
and evening opening on
Thursday 19th December 18.00 - 20.30

49, City Road, Old Street Station. (Exit 3 during road works)


Messy Christingle: Sat 21st December, 3pm  Old Ford Church
 This is interactive creative worship suitable for all ages - with a meal.  There are a number of creative activities around the church - including make your own Christingle. We will then have a short all-age message followed by a Christmas Party Tea.

It's a great way for all the church family to worship together, and we encourage people of all ages to come  and enjoy. Please promote this with friends and family. Contact Sue Street or John Hayes for any further information or with offers of help.

Sunday at Six at Old Ford Methodist Church 
A chance to sing, pray, reflect and listen for the prompting of God through the Holy Spirit. This is an informal gathering where everyone is welcome to join and share in the discovery. We reflect on understanding God's guidance for our lives together as a Circuit, pray for the community around Old Ford, listen to and rest in the Holy Spirit. Come and be! 


Old Ford Church is open every Tuesday 13.30-15.00 for craft-work, coffee and cake.  Bring any craft you are working on.  Beginners welcome.    

Old Ford  


 The Methodist Church report to conference on marriage and relationships 


will be the basis of much discussion over the next months.  It is long - so probably best not to attempt printing at home!  There are a number of supporting documents as well.  Some of this will be used in our next set of Bible studies and themed preaching, currently in preparation.   

Lengthy summary with links to the actual (even longer) report  

Rev'd John Hayes

 The Tower Hamlets Methodist circuit makes a grant of £6,000 to the Bow Food bank, based in St Mary’s church, Bow. The application from the Food bank met the circuit’s funding criteria of “charities providing critical services to the people of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets” and comes at a time when need in the community is increasing as families go on to Universal Credit and have to cope with the gap between application and payment. The grant is for three years. On average the Bow Food bank, which is open every Monday, supports about 1040 clients each week.  It relies on financial and food donations to keep going. The enterprise is run by a remarkable coalition of local faith-based and community organisations and reaches those in need by direct access – not by referral.

We heard more detail of the local Food Bank from Mrs Marshall of St Mary's Church, at the Inter-Faith Forum meeting held at Old Ford Church, in September.


NOW St Matthew’s Bethnal Green is working with Bow Foodbank to set up a food bank on the west side of Tower Hamlets. Volunteers are to be drawn from local faith groups, universities, and other parts of the community.  We plan to run the Bethnal Green Foodbank on a Friday morning or early afternoon twice monthly.

We are looking for 

- volunteer co-ordinators
- people to welcome clients during the Food Bank
- people to help order and organise food in between Food Bank sessions

f you would like to help as a volunteer or with a donation, please get in touch with St Matthew’s Rector, Erin, at or by ringing 0208 109 0644.

Zacchaeus Events:                                    zacc

November.  Table top sale
Raised £160 for the project.

November 2019  A Death Café at Zacchaeus Project, Bethnal Green Church
Death Café is an informal event where people come together to explore and share thoughts about death, over tea and cake. It is a facilitated, confidential and non-judgemental space to ponder the biggest question of all with the aim of increasing our awareness of death so that we make the most of our lives. 

September 2019
Zacchaeus Membership Launch Event and Afternoon Tea   See website


 BAND FOR LIFE.  The Band meets Fridays at Bow Road Church  See website 



 Our musicians at Canary Wharf taking part in the Late Bloom Arts Festival. 
  Watch a clip of the group sing-a-long.

November: Whitechapel Mission
The Mission welcomed the President of the Methodist Conference to Whitechapel for the annual service for supporters of the work of the Mission with homeless and rootless people.  


 Rev Dr Barbara Glasson reminded the congregation that Homelessness is not the problem; the Mission's Clients are not the problem; the problem is within our society, which lets people "drop through the cracks".
The need is as great as the day the Mission was founded - and the work goes on.


One tin at a time for Whitechapel Mission  mission
Urgent needs: ~
Please consult this list.  Gifts can be brought to the churches and left in the box labelled Whitechapel Mission. 

Thank you so much for your continued support.

Christian Aid Collection: 

CA logo

Christian Aid Week this year

focussed on maternity healthcare in Sierra Leone.


              Our 2019 local collection total topped £1,000, with Gift Aid to be added.  Thank you.

Tower Hamlets Circuit is registered for the Easyfundraising site, which means you can raise money for the church when you buy online via Easyfundraising.

1. Register as a user and choose “Methodist Church in Tower Hamlets” as your cause
2. Go to first when you buy online. Find the retailer’s name, click through to their site and do your shopping
3. The church gets a percentage of what you spend
There are lots of retailers taking part including:  Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Ebay,, Clark’s, British Airways

For full address and details of each church in the circuit, see Congregations


Charity Number 1134888