For the past few years, St Philip’s has had an unusually beautiful and meditative short service on Sunday nights. Night Prayer has lasted no more than ten minutes, but has been a magical service, with silence in the darkness at its heart, yet bathed in candlelight and surrounded by music. On one notable occasion in 2010 it was extended to half an hour, and saw the celebration of our Patronal Festival, the visit of our area bishop, the commissioning of the new area dean and a congregation of over 70 late on a Sunday night on a Bank Holiday weekend.
To begin with there was a team running it, but that team has now dispersed. And David’s Sundays have recently changed, with far more pastoral visiting on a Sunday afternoon, and little chance to see Carys – herself now engaged with parish work in Chelsea on Sundays, but often out of London on weekdays – until Sunday night. So we need to rethink how Night Prayer might continue to be possible. In the meantime, we have called a halt for the time being. There would anyhow have needed to be a break next term, given David’s absence on study leave. After Easter next year we will explore if there are alternative ways of keeping this wonderful service going.