St Martin’s has a partnership with St Stephen Walbrook in the City of London. St Stephen is a member of HeartEdge.
St Stephen Walbrook is an Anglican Parish Church which is rich in heritage, but which also remains actively involved in the City of London. Described by Sir John Sommerson as ‘the pride of English architecture’, Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece is the church from which Wren developed his plans for St Paul’s Cathedral. Bombed in the Second World War and restored to its present magnificent state in 1981, twentieth-century artists have adorned its interior. Henry Moore’s travertine marble altar now stands under Wren’s dome ringed by Patrick Heron’s dazzling kneelers.
St Stephen stands witness next to the Mansion House, at the heart of the City it was built to serve, where it seeks to provide a safe and welcoming place in which people of all religious faiths or none can find spiritual inspiration, guidance, encouragement and support. In developing its mission and ministry in the City, St Stephen’s is seeking to build on its congregational life by furthering business and community links, developing its musical tradition, and exploring other cultural and spiritual opportunities. St Stephen is also home to the London Internet Church.
The partnership which has been formed between St Stephen and St Martin’s has been taken forward through a Partnership Working Group involving representatives from both PCCs plus key members of the staff team at St Martin’s. This group initially designed the specification and profile for the Priest for Partnership Development post, which is shared by both churches and has then operated as a ‘blue-sky thinking’ group.
This group has been the seed bed for many of the new initiatives undertaken by St Stephen Walbrook, these include:
- Start:Stop – brief early morning reflections for City workers on their way into work;
- Discover & explore – a new lunchtime service (adapted from the model of Great Sacred Music at St Martin’s) with liturgy devised on a thematic basis and with input from the Choral Scholars of St Martin’s;
- HR/Estates Management – advice provided on a consultancy basis related to contracts, policies and internet provision;
- Music – sourcing of singers through the pool of musicians maintained by St Martin’s;
- Volunteers – volunteer input to the development of the London Internet Church; and
- Ideas – ideas for new outreach/promotional events, such as a Wedding Fayre.
These initiatives are being taken forward by St Stephen Walbrook, with St Martin’s providing support where appropriate (on a costed basis). These initiatives are context-based and form part of the Mission Action Plan for St Stephen, which addresses maintenance of existing ministry, new developments and financial sustainability. The Partnership Working Group continues to contribute ideas in the next stage of development at St Stephen’s when plans will be formed for the re-development of its Crypt.
Visit the website of St Stephen Walbrook for more information.