Bear Essentials Week Beginning 1 October 2019

Bear Essentials

Week Beginning  6 October 2019

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly[
a] with your God.’


Micah 6:8

Bear Notices 


Sunday Morning – Anyone wondering what happened to September? So here we are at the start of October. There may be a few empty chairs this morning as 40 or so of the women are on the Bear Women’s Weekend Away in Sussex. Pray for them in whatever way God leads you and for everyone who couldn’t come. Meanwhile in the hall it’s an all age service, with Pastor P on a mission to get everyone to build. Please come ready to worship and create stuff. Prayer at 10 am and 10.30 am for the service.

Evening Service – No evening service this week. If you would like to help next week with cooking, serving or washing-up, please email Richard at or sign up at


Branches – a Monday night homegroup for 18+ students and young adults. 7 pm. Please contact Becky at for more details.


Standing in the Gap – monthly Bear church prayer time, 8 pm Monday 7 October at the Bear. In all the busyness, in all the worries and uncertainties at home or abroad, it is always wisest and least time consuming to pray. Please speak to Paul A or email if you would like to come along.


Be Still – Two mornings of Art and Prayer, at the Bear, led by Nadine C. Each morning will have a different theme and art focus. 19 Oct - Journeying with God - Acrylic Painting on canvas. 30 Nov - Sacred places - Copper Foil Stain Glass.  Each session will involve teaching on each art theme, group prayer led in a liturgical way and lots of opportunities to explore and create by yourself. 50% of profits will go to the BBF. Book in on Eventbrite if you search for Be Still at the Bear Church. Be Still at The Bear   


175th Anniversary Celebration  - of the opening of the Deptford Ragged School. 1 December. Please save the date.  The event will be preceded by a 3-day sponsored walk from Herne Bay to Deptford (29 – 31 Nov). On 30 November we will be walking from the Thames Barrier to Deptford; an opportunity for everyone to join in.


Happy 20th Birthday Bear Cubs - On Friday 8 November 4-5.30 pm.  Bear Cubs will be hosting a celebration for Bear Cubs families past and present. If you would like to help set up, clear up, serve in the kitchen and generally be around to welcome and make it all work, please email <>  



Deptford Ragged School Archive - meeting to document & archive our fascinating collection of objects. Saturday 12 October 9:30-11:30 am in the room upstairs at the back of The Bear. All welcome, no experience necessary. Speak to Katharine 07957766831 for more details.

Bear Building Fund – We now have £32,000. Please keep praying for the money, for planning permission, grants and the like to flow in for the project development and for all the team working closely on this.  Feel free to deposit money into the Bear account HSBC Sort: 40-02-25 Account: 21361317. Make sure you reference it for the building and let me know. Thanks, Tracy

Beg, Borrow and Use – but never steal. This is a polite (I hope) request to kindly (I hope again) ask that if you need to use anything e.g. PA equipment, chairs, kitchen/cleaning equipment/anything else or to use the hall/office space, then please make sure to email first. Thanks.


Smile! - The Deptford Ragged Trust is signed up to Amazon Smile - it means that Amazon will donate to our charity every time people buy stuff on Amazon, provided they go through this link:


Outside Space – it’s still there so please be aware that it’s not a safe place for play. There is property belonging to others and some very hazardous obstacles. A parent or carer should supervise children at all times. Any concerns, please speak to Tessa. 

CCTV – be aware that the Shaftesbury Christian Centre is now under surveillance from CCTV cameras. This is for the safety and security of all who use the building. If you have any concerns or would like more information please speak to Paul A or email:

Home Groups – If you are part of The Bear and would like to join a mid-week home group please contact

Giving – if you are part of The Bear, you can set up a standing order for your giving. Details from Please note that we are not using Just Giving at present because of the changes to the trust

Term Time Mid-Week Activities at The Bear:

Bear Cubs – Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays (see below for session times). For pre-school children and their parent/carers. An oasis of play, educational activity and good coffee. See Emily A or Tessa C for more information.

English Fridays – a relaxed language class for the community. Snacks and informal crèche provided. To help please speak to Sally B or Iain J. Fridays 1.30-3pm.

Women’s Bible Study – Study and pray Tuesdays 1.30 pm. See Margaret P.

Non-Bear Notices

Psalms and Stretches – an exercise class that combines movement with meditation, using verses from the book of Psalms. To stretch, strengthen, relax and refocus. Thursdays 6.30pm-7.30pm. Cost £8 per session, or block booking discount available. Follow @psalmsandstretches on social media, or email Ruth Carpenter:


The Bear Diary: Week  Beginning 6 October

10 am              Prayer
10:30 am        Service
No Evening Service


10 am              Bear Cubs
7 pm               Branches

8 pm               Standing in the Gap

1.30 pm          Women’s Bible Study

8 pm               Home Groups


10 am              Bear Cubs
1 pm               Bear Cubs
6.30 pm          Psalms & Stretches
8 pm               Home Groups

9.30 am           Bear Cubs

1.30 pm          English Fridays



Please contact if you wish to advertise here.

London Borough of Culture - Please help make Lewisham the London Borough of Culture 2021. 32 London boroughs are bidding for £1.3M of funding to stage a programme of cultural events & initiatives. This could be a great source of funding for the Deptford Ragged School Archive, bringing amazing opportunities for Lewisham Borough. Back the bid! Details in this link. Thanks, Katharine


Good Food Lewisham - network meeting Wednesday 13 November

2 pm – 4 pm at Lewisham College, Lewisham Way SE4 1UT. Special Focus: How to set up and run a community meal, with updates on what’s happening in the borough, news about waste and recycling and up and coming special events.

Please note that all Non-Bear Notices and Classified advertisements are included as a courtesy and do not reflect the views or beliefs of the Bear leadership or employees.

The Bear Church: past, present and future…? (It’s time for a new building at the Shaftesbury Christian Centre).

The Bear Church: past, present and future…?

(It’s time for a new building at the Shaftesbury Christian Centre).

 The past

The Deptford Ragged Trust dates back to 1844 when eight ‘Christian men and women’ from Deptford opened one of London’s first ‘ragged schools’ in a loft above a cowshed on Deptford High Street.


The present

Today the Deptford Ragged Trust at the Shaftesbury Christian Centre is home to The Bear Church, Bear Cubs, The Evening Service and soup kitchen, English Fridays, Psalms and Stretches, BearLive and all kinds of creative and community events from theatre shows to jumble sales...


The future

We plan to knock down our 1950’s life-expired building and replace it with a new building of up to eight storeys, with the ground and first floors for flexible church, community, exhibition, archive, café and office space, and the upper six storeys for London Affordable residential accommodation.


But before we do that

We need to own the land. The site is worth around £1.2m but given the work of the Trust we have agreed a purchase price with the owners of £756,800. 


The good news is

We have grants pledged for the sum of £604,600. The grants are payable on proof of financial viability and support from Lewisham planning. This means that The Bear Church is responsible for £151,200.


How much for the whole project?

The total project cost is estimated at between £8-9m.  We are hoping to secure half or this from Lewisham Borough Council and the GLA for the provision of London Affordable Rent housing and the rest as a loan/mortgage from an ethical bank and as grants/gifts/fundraising from other sources.


The developer

We have a ‘developer with a difference’ on board.  Jubilee Resource LTD aim to help churches and community projects redevelop without having to meet profit margins associated with commercial development.  They aim to recycle any profit back into the Deptford Ragged Trust. 


When will it happen?

We have already exchanged contracts with the owners, along with a deposit of £75,100, and complete expect to complete on the purchase by 12th December 2019. If all goes to planwe will wrap up activities at the Shaftesbury Christian Centre at the end of this year, to coincide with completion of ownership, and the building will be knocked down in January 2020.  We then hope to move back in January 2022.  


What will we do for two years?

We want to carry on everything we are doing now and are looking for ways to keep them all going.  We would like to keep everything local and in one place.  We are working on it but would welcome any suggestions if you know of somewhere.


How much money do we need to buy the land?  

We now need £75,100 by 12th December 2019

And £10,000 in Jan 2020 for legal fees


In 1934, The Deptford Ragged School started ‘The Hundred Helpers Fund’, asking 100 people to give £1 per year. How about committing to be one of 100 people who aim to raise some money by the end of 2019?  It could be £100 or £1,000 or £10,000. 


Can’t we just leave things as they are?

The owners are going to sell whether we buy or not. We either buy the land or we lose it, and start looking for a new home for The Bear Church.


Where is God in all this?

The vision to redevelop this site has been dreamed about, hoped for and discussed for many years. Just as He did for those before us, we believe God has given us a vision to see this place serve the community of Deptford for future generations in Jesus’ name – providing purpose-built housing where it is needed, a welcoming community space for different groups to come into, and an amazing facility for God’s people to gather to worship Him. 


Now’s the time to make a noise about this project and start raising money.



How to give

If you would like to give directly to the Building Fund, please email The Bear Church office - or use the following details (including the reference ‘The Bear Building Fund’):


HSBC - The Bear Church - Sort Code: 40-02-25 - Account Number: 21361317



The Bear is able to claim back the tax you have paid on your gift.  Please contact info@thebear.tvwith your full name, address and postcode if you are able to do this.


New Cross & Deptford Free Film Festival at The Bear!

It’s that time again! This is our fifth year of taking part in this wonderful local free event, and this April we’ll be screening two brilliant Oscar nominated animated features. Join us on Saturday 27 April at 2pm for ‘Inside Out’, and again on Monday 28 April at 8pm for ‘Ma vie de Courgette’. The screenings are totally free, but there will be snacks and drinks to buy, and a bucket for donations available at the end. Looking forward to it already!