life ON TOWER HILL
Parish News from All Hallows by the Tower June 2017
Continuing our series on the team at All Hallows, this month we feature Sophia Acland, our Associate Priest. Sophia has special responsibility for weekday ministry at All Hallows, and is here Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. ‘Every time I come out of the tube station at Tower Hill, and see All Hallows, the oldest church in the City, next to the ancient buildings of the Tower but with the backdrop of the Shard and the Walkie-Talkie, I feel lucky to be in this very special place,’ she says.
‘The combination of traditional and contemporary is reflected in the weekday life of the church too. Events like last week’s Beating of the Bounds attended by our associated livery companies, or the Knollys Rose ceremony (which takes place on 14th June) have been held here for hundreds of years. But we also try to meet the needs of today’s Tower Hill community in a variety of different ways. Our Wednesday evening Taizé (click here for more info, and to find out if Taizé is for you) provides some calm and reflective space with God for those from the offices round about who may have had a long and stressful day. As it is international and ecumenical in character (we sing in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Latin and Greek and have even attempted Latvian!) it has also become a good way to welcome those who have recently moved here from abroad, or who are visiting as tourists.’
Sophia also provides a chaplaincy service so that people under pressure, or anxious about work or relationships can come and air their worries in confidence, and has recently begun a Tuesday lunchtime healing Eucharist where the many prayer requests left on our prayer board and in our prayer book are offered to God, and where prayers are said for healing, both individual and corporate.
‘I am conscious of the many different constituents that make up our parish and would like to be of service to as many of them as possible. As well as the business community, there are an ever-increasing number of hotels. Then there are the retail outlets, the people involved in river and tube transport, those who work – often on the minimum wage and at night – for service and facilities companies, and the homeless.’ All Hallows tries to offer a welcome to them all, and Sophia has been involved in various outreach projects, including work on financial inclusion, a Death Café (which provided a safe space to discuss death and dying), and a community photography project to commemorate the Great Fire of London.
Sophia is also licensed as Associate Priest in two parishes in Gloucestershire and enjoys the mix of work this dual role provides: ‘The combination of the two jobs is really interesting, if sometimes a little surreal: I could be taking a big City memorial service during the week with a congregation of insurance brokers and lawyers and then at the weekend find myself in the middle of a field in the Cotswolds with assorted horses, dogs and guinea pigs and their owners for our animal service!’
On top of our weekly services and events (which you can see here), we also have some upcoming annual events, including:
Knolly’s Rose Ceremony
Church Quiz Evening
Teddy Bear’s Picnic
Join us for all these and more at