Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

November 2003: Ten

'Ten' was Grace's tenth anniversary celebration. It was our first service in the newly restored church, so we were able to clear the seating from the whole nave. The installations from 'Moments of Grace' [Greenbelt 2003] had been set up around the church for people to play with. photos here. There was also a corner with Grace memorabilia.

The first part of the event ran from 4.30pm to 6pm, for parents and children. There was no formal service as such in this part, just some words of dedication and a cake with candles for the children [the adults would get theirs later]. photos here

At 8pm there was a short informal service. photos here. For the first 20 minutes people were invited to play with the installations. Steve Lawson played his distinctive ambient bass guitar with loops and sound effects as background for this part. Then a number of people associated with the beginning of Grace spoke - Mike Rose and Mike Starkey who started it, Jo Valpy [above] who was in the original team, and Dave Tomlinson who was guest speaker at the first service. The there was Holy Communion, using an adapted version of our Greenbelt 1999 Eucharist liturgy. After this the Bishop of Willesden led prayers and a blessing. We then had birthday cakes and champagne, and went outside for some fireworks.

this is the text from the service booklet:


We're delighted you could join us at our tenth anniversary event. Whether you're a regular, an old friend or here for the first time, we hope you have an enjoyable and relaxed evening in the presence of God.

on arrival

Please spend some time with the ‘Moments of grace' installations. You will have about 20 minutes to do this before the ‘formal' part of the service begins, and you are welcome to return to them afterwards.

Music by Steve Lawson

moments of grace

In thinking about how to mark the occasion of our tenth anniversary, we found ourselves examining the concept which gave us our name. What is grace? How does it operate? How do we receive it?

These installations, first shown at Greenbelt Festival in August, don't present a complete theology of grace, but they try to capture some aspects of it. We hope they help you to be more aware of God's grace in your own life and the world around you.

In no particular order the installations are:

  • Hidden grace: you can't see grace through the wrong glasses
  • Junk mail: is God trying to get a message to you?
  • Brownie points: are we trying to earn God's love?
  • Peep show: which of these things is grace for you?
  • Grace on the edge: where the space and possibilities lie
  • Generous grace: you get back what you didn't put in
  • Mirror mirror: nothing can make you unacceptable to God
  • Grace to be seen: you don't need eyes to see, you need vision
  • Grace in the making: creativity and imagination are divine gifts
  • The mystery of grace: now you see it, now you don't
  • Pursued by grace: God as a persistent cat
  • Visitors' book: tell us what grace is for you

remembering grace

Founder members Mike Rose, Mike Starkey and Jo Valpy look back.

the grace of god

Dave Tomlinson, speaker at the first Grace service, has some words on the subject.


come holy spirit

eucharistic prayer

The Lord is here
God's Spirit is with us
Lift up your hearts
We lift them up to God
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God
It is right to give God thanks and praise

You are the God who does new things,
and we thank you for a decade of discovery.

You brought us together
as friends and fellow travellers in Christ,
each one revealing a different facet of your beauty to the rest,
each bringing news of you from unexpected places.

You helped us to discover and grow our gifts.
You asked to be surprised,
gave us freedom to experiment,
space to create new toys and tools that express our lives to you.
You led us to treasures of the past in the storehouses of the Church.

When few could help or few could come, you sustained us.
When opposition and obstacles arose you strengthened and taught us.
You made it all worth while.

You brought us far-flung friendships,
visitors from around the world.
You sent opportunities to help others in their journeys with you
beyond anything we ever hoped for.
You opened unexpected doors
and showed us undeserved favour.

Therefore with angels and animals,
microbes and mountains,
and all that lives for you
we proclaim how wonderful you are,
we pour out our thanks to you
in song that never sleeps:

Holy holy holy lord
Holy holy holy lord
God of power and might
God of power and might
Heaven and earth are full of your glory
Heaven and earth are full of your glory
Hosanna in the highest
Hosanna in the highest

And now we ask that by the power of your Holy Spirit
this bread and wine may be to us Christ's body and his blood;
who, on the night that he was handed over to suffering and death,
took bread, thanked you and broke it
He gave it to his friends saying
"Eat this, it is my body given for you. Do this in memory of me."

Later after supper he took the cup,
thanked you, and gave it to them saying
"Drink this all of you, this is my blood of the new covenant
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this whenever you drink it in memory of me."

Christ has died, Christ is risen
Christ has died, Christ is risen
Christ will come again
Christ will come again

In this place where heaven and earth meet
under the rainbow of God's promise,
in this sharing of bread and wine
future hope becomes reality now

So bring your scorched earth
bring your harvest
bring your open sky
bring your restless guilty waters
bring your swift unbending road
bring your urgent inner city
to the table where your host says
"I make all things new"

Lamb of God you take away the sin of the world
Lamb of God you take away the sin of the world
Have mercy, mercy on us
Have mercy, mercy on us

sharing of bread and wine

song during communion:

I will receive you now

after-communion prayer

All-saving God,
Thank you for feeding us with the body and blood of your Son Jesus Christ
whose death and resurrection have purchased the future healing of all things
We who have tasted the coming Kingdom
offer ourselves as its bearers and signs in the power of your Spirit
and as lovers and guardians of all that you have made
until you come
Amen. Come Lord Jesus.


Prayer and blessing by Rev. Pete Broadbent, Bishop of Willesden.


dancing to a new expression


Join us in the Polygon for birthday cakes and bubbly! We hope you'll stay for a while to celebrate with us. The installations are still available, and later there will be fireworks in the churchyard.

Music in the Polygon by Yrekcirtcele, visuals by Timmy Holme

[We regret that no food and drink can be taken into the church itself to prevent staining of the stone floor]

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