Monday, 22 July 2013

It's a Boy!

The camping out for Royal fanatics is at an end. Cancellation of leave for newshounds and paparazzi is no longer necessary. Kate and William’s baby boy has arrived.

We wish the young Prince and his parents well. In the words of the Bible, may he, like Jesus, grow in stature and in favour with God and man (Luke 2:52) and we support them with our prayers.

It is interesting to hear this little boy referred to as “the future king.” Indeed (all things being equal) that is what he will be. But that is an event far in the future – a time indeed when many of us are likely to have been long dead. It’s a little like the Bible’s promise of a coming of the Kingdom of God – Christ came at Bethlehem, but his long-awaited return is still in the future. But his reign will come.

For now, we pray for the young family – William and Kate and the baby boy and all their relations. May they be conscious of God’s blessing and may the young Prince bring them great joy.

Two Way Link

Dr Keith Waddell, with
colleagues,wearing his kanzu
on a previous occasion.
Yesterday, we welcomed as our preacher, Dr Keith Waddell. Keith, who is one of our members and owns a house close to the church. But he spends most of his year working as an eye surgeon in Uganda, as a member of the Africa Inland Mission. This was his last Sunday with us, this year, as he returns to Uganda in a week.

Keith came wearing the formal East African dress of a “kanzu,” as in the photograph. Starting with the work of Christ and the mission journeys of St Paul, he explained how the message that “Jesus is Lord” had spread around the world. He came to us, now, as a representative of the church in Uganda, sharing with us the encouragement of the enthusiasm and growth of the church there.

But, as he went to Uganda, he went as a representative of the church here. And he was able to share with the Ugandan church some of the economic benefits that we have. In a PowerPoint display, he showed us some of his work as an eye surgeon, operating and teaching at his base Hospital in Mbarara, but also taking part in eye camps, going to remote parts of Uganda, Southern Sudan and beyond.
He thanked St Paul’s for its prayers and support and showed a picture of the diamond tipped operating knife that our gifts had helped purchase.
Keith, in all that you do in the name of Christ, may God be with you till we meet again.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013


As we continued in the series which looked at the Gifts of the Spirit, in our All Age service last Sunday we reached “Spiritual Gifts in Relationship.” These are the “Fruit of the Spirit” which are mentioned in Galatians 5:22: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These are the attitudes that enable good relationships within the Church community – and any other community.

In her talk, our youth worker, Lou, spoke of how, just like ordinary fruit, we may have preferences – she preferred strawberries to grapefruit. But all are needed.
A display of fruit pieces was then laid out, with the names of the different Fruits of the Spirit. Steve invited the congregation to come up and take the fruit (or fruits) which they most needed in their lives.

We left church with a piece of fruit in our hands and food for thought.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Brothers and Sisters in Christ – When One Suffers, All Suffer

The Christian Church in the Middle East dates right back to the time of Christ. With the coming of Islam, it was much reduced in size, but in many countries it still has a substantial presence. However, recent events have had a devastating effect on it. The consequences of the Iraq war have decimated the Christian Church there. Many refugees fled to Syria, where they joined the substantial Christian minority which, for all the problems of the Assad regime, had been tolerated there. Now, they have come under fire from the rebels.
In Egypt, the “Arab Spring” revolution has resulted in increasing persecution of the Christian Church there. Christians have been murdered and churches destroyed.

 It’s right that Christians should support and pray for our brothers and sisters who find themselves in this terrible situation, especially when our governments seem to support those who are oppressing them. One organisation that is concerned to raise support for the persecuted church is Christian Solidarity Worldwide. It’s role is to stand in solidarity with the Christian Church worldwide, wherever it is persecuted, and encourage others to do so.

 On the 1st September, a representative of Christian Solidarity Worldwide will be speaking at our morning service. It will be a good opportunity to learn of the tragic complex situation.

 Do join us then.
 Link to Christian Solidarity Worldwide

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

What's Going On? Principal Services – July - September

See our Programme - here

As the summer term draws to its end and the holidays
begin we bring to an end our sermon series on Spiritual

During the following weeks I am delighted that we have
a variety of speakers at St Paul's. Along with some home
grown talent we are also able to hear from those we
support by praying and giving as we are updated on their

St Paul's hosts the Joint Parish Communion at the end of
August and the following week we are privileged to
welcome Stuart Windsor from Christian Solidarity
Worldwide to speak about the Persecuted Church.

As the Autumn term begins so we start a new sermon
series called 'Life on the Frontline'. Together we will be
exploring the environment where God has placed us
outside of the Church and how we can bring a positive
Christian presence into those places. As a church we
want to support and encourage everyone in their
frontline ministry. There will be opportunity to follow up
on this teaching with Home Group studies – do join a
group if you are not already part of one, speak to myself
or Graham Woodard to join one.

Yours In Christ,

Revd Steve Bailey.