The Bishop of London joined the Filipino Chaplaincy at St John’s Notting
Hill on Ascension Day, together with the Mayor of Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and the Consul General of the Philippines, to celebrate 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines and 15 years of the Filipino Chaplaincy in the Diocese. Also present were members of a new Cantonese worship group comprised of newly arrived Christians from Hong Kong and members of the Persian Chaplaincy of the Diocese- St John’s hosts three linguistic chaplaincies.
The service was characterised by exuberant Filipino music and dancing and colourful traditional Filipino costumes, combined with classical European Church music led by The Orfeas Quartet and the St John’s Choral Scholars.
Ascension Day, celebrating the cosmic Lordship of Christ, was the focus of the service, expressed through the presence of worshippers from very diverse backgrounds and traditions, all present in London as a global city. It also prefigured something of a return to more joyous, in person, worship. At the end of the service, the Bishop blessed a new beehive to be placed in St John’s gardens as part of the Church’s work in increasing biodiversity.