Churches and outreach.

All happening my way. A cavalcade of hooting cars just passed by. Hope they’re protesting about the closing of estate roads hereby. Earlier in the day during the Corrie Omnibus I saw a whole gaggle of people slowly passing up the adjacent road and guessed by their hats that the Jehovah Witnesses were abroad. I decided I’d invite them in because Trump had said something vile about Jehovahs and I wanted to show my mercy.
I forgot about all of that as Tracey and her family came to blows. The doorbell rang and I said to myself that that must be the postie with my buttons from China. Caught I was as three devout Christians stood at my door with Sunday smiles on a Saturday and clipboards. I dreaded the call to prayer but stopped my nastiness and said I’s answer their doorstep questions. These visitors at my threshold were not Jehovah’s people but folk from the nearby singing church who were finding out about the community and would soon discover a high Moslem content. I know that soon I will get another call as they have my name and address. Bovvered? Not. I went into full swing with a captive heads bowed audience and stated that as a non-believer I saw the community value of the Church as a meeting point for everyone to come out of the cold and push away their loneliness and isolation and that a little singing with gusto and clapping brings joy.
Many seniors find company at their church and a couple of senior Moslems who join in Up Your Street activities delight in the joy of communal curry laden lunches at their mosques. Most church people I know enjoy finger-licking chicken peppered by their African congregations on a Sunday regularly. As long as people are brought together then communities have a chance to protect their own when the day arrives.
Churches accommodate craft fairs and art exhibitions and candle-making and sometimes meditative navel watching. They are usually huge halls with smaller rooms and corridors about. I went to dance expression at St John at Hackney and there we were stretching our calves on stone-cold floors in a tiled corridor. Crazy. The nest week I went to creative writing around a table in the same corridor. I was the only participant. Luckily I drowned my shock by visiting Sainsbury’s opposite to buy fig rolls for the bus journey back to sanity.
Last night seniors got together to taste Jerk Chicken, Pork, and the rest at Butler’s Bakery in Cann Hall Road. We turned out to be a group of twelve from all areas: Some came from Ilford and Romford, one from Walthamstow, a few from Leyton and Leytonstone and then those from Hoxton area and beyond. What a smashing time we had. One queen sent back her fish because it wasn’t big enough for her. Imagine. But nothing was really soured for the joy of coming together clouded everything else. Some of us stuffed ourselves to the brim. The food was that good at what is really a small bakery corner-shop. On the pavement outside the owner was dishing up Jerk Chicken and salads to punters coming back from work. Someone’s daughter came by on her bike just to wave hello to a group of women who don’t usually eat out together let alone empty their purses…but they will now. Some of the group are practising artists so were doing sales across the tiny tables measured for nine people only. Port and rum punch heightened the spirits.

St John At Hackney

Seriously that church needs to sort out its heating and I don’t mean a few blessed candles. The One Taste Choir was doin’ a gig there tonight and they were very good. The place was packed as the altar turned into the stage and heavy duty lights and cameras were in place, or rather roving and that not to mention the security guys protecting it all and the stash of cash as people arrived and paid on the door, they having to end up in the gallery opposite the VIPs as we were full to overflowing in the improvised stalls.. Still the combined body heat did nothing to make us remove our scarves and gloves. Disgraceful that a place for a public performance is so cold. What of the performers, shivering there all day long for rehearsals, make-up and photo-shoots? Have  a heart. I know it’s Lent and Jesus is away in the wilderness but someone else on high needed to tropicalise an old stained building. I have no intention of visiting that place again for a sit-down thing.I spy NeechAt rehearsals.

014Gravestones in the churchyard.

There was some remarkable warbling and a surprise appearance from Willy Mason who Dylanesque in sound provided the professional if not horizontal laid-backness.

zeb at wah wahNeech (on the extreme right) singing at Wah-Wah (One Taste Choir at Lovebox)

All this in aid of a growing charity called Child Hope so we had an expose of what and where is another children’s charity. The money after paying out for  camera crews goes towards helping destitute and abandoned children overseas.

The members of the One Taste Choir deserved flowers like Stac their choir  ma’am received,  for every week they had voluntarily and with passion practised and learnt the harmonies to back other singers, including Eska and Hejira. Dutifully they sat in their winter coats on the side pews between being on the side-stage to do joined-up singing. Uniformly they became one unit in black outfits and scraped back hair; matronly and puritan.IMAG000147

Only the freezing church spoilt a good Hackney evening.

Issue 16. Up Your Street


                                                  Issue 16. Up Your Street

Thurs 8th Nov. free 6-7.30pm McMillan talk and presentation  followed by audience participation,  the theme being the West Indian kitchen. Hackney Museum

free 6.45pm for 7.15pm sharp. Brady Arts Centre E1  “A Season of Bangla Drama” presents a performance and a seminar.

Fri     9th Nov, £1.     1-2.15pm. Writing workshop based on movement and dance with Peggy at St John at Hackney  Church, Narrow Way E5. Refreshments too.

Sat Nov 10th £14 for 3 course meal at the Hornbeam Café  E17. 6.30pm onwards.Please book for a Vegan, allotment-grown experience.

Sun Nov 11th                                   Remembrance Sunday

                                In a Shake
Two seconds it took
a shake
a rumble in the earth
a strike in a light
a stench of gas and poison.
I turned, you fell.
Someone’s son
lay slumped on me
spent and lifeless.  

                      6.45 for 7.15pm sharp. “A Season Of Bangla Drama” presents a play about mental health issues at the Brady Arts Centre E1

Tues 13th Nov                                   Happy Divali

Fri 16th Nov   free 6.30pm Waltham Forest Assembly Hall. Divali Celebrations. Get your free ticket from a Waltham Forest  library or Town Hall Offices.

Issue 14 Up Your Street Oct 17th – Nov 6th 2012


Theatre Royal Stratford East /please wait in the foyer area.

Sat Oct 20th free 3-5pm

Community 0pening Event

 at St Ann’s Community Hall, 37 Hemsworth St, London N1 5LF        For all ages…Activities:

  • Informal micro performance of LGO
  • Micro singing workshop
  • Body percussion

The Magic of Making Making Music project
with a music celebration party for the whole family
The London Gypsy Orchestra would like to invite you for music and socialising, there will be tea, coffee and cakes 🙂

Sun Oct 21st free 11-3.30pm  Valentines Mansion Wedding Fair. Ilford

Mon Oct 22nd free 7pm John Arthur sings and plays guitar    Spoonful  Of  Poison session at the Stag`s Head   55 Orsman Road  Hoxton N1 5RA               nearest station  Haggerston

 Wed Oct 24th free (but membership is sought £12 p.a.) 7pm. At Wanstead Library (W14 bus) The East Of London History Society’s. talk on the  Port of London Archive. All welcome. Refreshments.

Thurs Oct 25th  £3.7pm West Green Learning Centre N15.. HIC presents the Spike Lee film DO  THE RIGHT THING.

Sat Oct 27th free 7-11pm Priory Court Community Centre E17 Celebration of Black History Month with the Home of Opulence. Free food, stalls and fun.

Sun Oct 28th free 9.30-1pm St Saviour’s Priory, 18, Queensbridge Rd E2 Hackney. Table top sale and each Sunday in November,. Visit the cloisters and the Chapel too. Wonderful

Fri Nov 2nd £1  1-2.15pm St John’s At Hackney, Mare St by Narrow Way. over 55’s writing group all about memories of dance and singing. Refreshments too.

Tues Nov 6th free 7.30pm The ClaptonHart, Lea Bridge Toundabout, E5 . The ByteThe Book reading group chatting informally about  Muriel Sparks’ “In The Driving Seat”.  The new community pub does good meals.

healing tea

Tea on Clarence Road today at 5pm one week on in Hackney. Meet 4.30pm at
St John At Hackney Church in Lower Clapton Rd Hackney. E5 to help carry tables.
Supported by Marks and Spencers and other excellent businesses in Hackney.