Good News for late-night revellers

There is good news for commuters and late night revellers from British Rail. The new Winter timetable between London Bridge and East Dulwich/North Dulwich greatly improves evening train services. There are now four trains an hour in each direction right up to midnight. The last train leaves London Bridge at 00.03 on Mondays to Saturdays and at 11.53 on Sundays. Moreover, there is a 15 minute interval service all day from 08.29 to 19.30 to West Croydon, with one change, 3 minutes at Crystal Palace.

These are enormous improvements, in spite of austerity times, and it is hoped the service will be well used by our members. Use it or lose it!

Dulwich Hamlet School to seek to become an Academy

The governors of Dulwich Village School, which is a local authority primary school are proposing to opt for academy status. The change, if made, will mean that Southwark Council will no longer have a say in the running of the school which will be directly funded by the Department of Education. If this proposal goes ahead, and the date set for it is April 2011, the school will become the first primary in London to be awarded academy status.

As a school judged as ‘outstanding’ by its last Ofstead inspection it was invited to apply for the new status in 2010. The main advantage this would achieve would be to have full control over its budget. At present Southwark Council slices off 9%, over £800 per pupil, from this for its own administrative costs and for redistribution to schools in less advantaged areas elsewhere in the borough. It is considered that this money should be available to the school for its own needs.The staff were consulted initially in December and the parents and the wider community at a public meeting held in January.

Dulwich Picture Gallery Bi-Centenary

The celebrations for the bi-centenary of the founding of the Dulwich Picture Gallery got off to wonderful start with the opening of the hugely popular Norman Rockwell exhibition, the launch of the Masterpiece of the Month exhibition and accompanying lectures and with the Friends hugely successful Big Bang Open Day. The Big Bang brought thousands to the Gallery and its grounds to see the pictures, listen to music and see demonstrations of falconry. Youngsters where invited into the Sackler class room to try their hands at painting. An exciting programme of exhibitions, lectures and events can be see in ‘What’s on in Dulwich’.

Repairs at St Barnabas Church

What’s being done to the Church building?

We are replacing the gutters on the roof. The building has, since 1996, lived up to the hopes of the design brief and is a beloved place for worship and fellowship and the ancillary buildings are used every day by the community. The congregation has continued to grow and the new St Barnabas is, like the first St Barnabas, at the heart of our community, physically, spiritually and socially. The only disappointment has been the poor performance of the gutters which has meant that the roof has leaked since the first day of use and this has worsened over the past 13 _ years. We are only now able financially to undertake the first phase of the repairs.

Why is there so much scaffolding?

The highest gutter is at the base of the spire and other gutters run the east-west length of the building. The scaffolding is very complex due to the shape and the height of the building.

When will the work be completed?

At the time of writing we expect to move back into the building in the Spring and use the building for Holy Week and Easter worship.

Does the work mean that there have been no services at the church?

Since November 2010 our Sunday worship and Sunday School have been taking place at Alleyn’s School. The church is very grateful to Dr Savage, the Governors and staff of Alleyn’s for making this possible. The Barnabas Centre is unaffected by the works to the gutters and the Parish Library in the Barnabas Centre has been converted into the Barnabas Chapel, where all weekday services take place. As always, the Barnabas Chapel is open for prayer or to light a candle whenever the Parish Office is open.

Who is doing the work?

Since 2001 our inspecting Architect has been Roderick Maclennan and he is responsible for this project, working closely with Fullers, the builders engaged to undertake these repairs.

Where can further updates be found?

The parish website has details of all activities and services and these are also to be found in the Sunday Notice Sheets.

Canon Dianna Gwilliams, Vicar