Pastoral care in Stepney was given a great boost when the Bishop of Stepney, the Rt Revd Dr Joanne Woolway Grenfell, commissioned six Pastoral Assistants on Sunday 18th July at St Michael and All Angels Stoke Newington Common.

The Pastoral Assistants will work in six churches across Stepney – St Mary Hornsey Rise, St Paul West Hackney, St Peter de Beauvoir Town, St Michael and All Angels Stoke Newington Common, St John the Evangelist Brownswood Park and St Mark Dalston. Their ministries will include running a Death Café to talk about end-of-life issues; working with mothers in the local community and helping women find their voice; visiting the sick; running a Soup Garden Project producing food for the church soup kitchen and building community; coordinating the provision of food bank donations; developing a Music Medicine Project for the elderly; volunteering with St Joseph Hospice’s compassionate neighbour scheme and volunteering with North London Action for the Homeless.

The Bishop of Stepney says:

Pastoral assistants fulfil a vital gospel ministry. Their work is patient and often unseen, as they build bridges between church and community, and between people in many different life situations. I pray that our new pastoral assistants will be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world to the people of this part of London.

The new Pastoral Assistants will join twenty-three existing Pastoral Assistants in serving their communities and their churches across Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Islington.

The Bishop of Stepney with five of the new  Pastoral Assistants. From left to right:  Cataline Hickson, Boachie Dankwah, Cicely Etienne, The Rt Revd Joanne Woolway Grenfell, Kathryn Rose and Gloria Williams (left to right). Photographer: James Maloney.