Saturday, 31 May 2014

Welcome! Mr and Mrs Atkin.

It is always a joy when, fulfilling God’s creation plan, a couple set out in marriage. This is particularly true for a church when one (or both) of that couple have been long-time members. So it was a great joy, today, when Rachel Philpot and Andy Atkin were married at Knighton Evangelical Free Church.

Rachel has been a committed member of St Paul's, and before leaving for university she was our pianist and organist, roles she has often fulfilled since she returned. During recent months we have had the pleasure of getting to know Andy as well.

During the wedding service at Knighton Free Church, our vicar, Steve Bailey, led the marriage vows, while the Minister of Knighton Free, Andy Upton led the service and preached the sermon. In this he reminded the couple that as they committed themselves to Christ they deepened their ties with each other.

It was a very happy service in a full church. We wish Rachel and Andy God’s every blessing as they set out in their new life together.

Friday, 30 May 2014

The Big Picnic

On Sunday 1st June Churches Together in Oadby are hosting The Big Picnic. Come and join us in Ellis Park between 1-4pm and get your free picnic lunch. There will be lots of free fun and games as well as local entertainment throughout the afternoon on the stage. We look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Season of Invitation

This afternoon St Paul's hosted a training seminar on behalf of Leicester Diocese. The speaker was Michael Harvey, the founder of Back to Church Sunday.
Michael spoke about his findings over the last 10 years having visited 5 continents, 17 countries and seen 25,000 churches taking part in this initiative.
The idea is now expanding to include Harvest, Remembrance, the start of Christmas celebrations and Christmas Day and we are looking forward to using these new resources at St Paul's.
I was very impressed with Michael's work, his encouragement and his vision.
Things that struck me were 'success is one person inviting another person'. We need to get used to people saying 'No'. The example of Shane Warne was used, who whilst the best bowler for Australia is also the worst in that he has bowled more balls that failed, as well as more that have taken wickets.
We were reminded that we need not fear rejection as Jesus himself was rejected and suffered far more than we are ever likely to, and God promises to be with us and constantly reminds us not to be afraid.
Visit Michael's website or see where St Paul's is registered to take part.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Christian Aid

This week is Christian Aid week. Christian Aid is the official relief and development agency of 41 British and Irish churches. It works with 570 local partner organisations in 45 countries.  Christian Aid has a vision – an end to poverty – and it believes that vision can become a reality.

This costs money. Its budget of £105 million sounds huge, but it represents less than £2 per UK citizen and is trivial compared with even a small multinational company. The “Christian Aid Week,” which we are now in, is its major fundraising activity. There is a collection at the Oadby Sainsbury’s tomorrow (18th), other collections, sponsorship activities including a walk and individuals’ and churches’ donations.

As Christians, we believe that we in the West are in a privileged position and should use what God has given us to help others. There will also be many who contribute who do not share our faith; we thank them for their humanity.

A special Christian Aid service took place at St Paul’s at the beginning of the week, last Sunday evening, organised by Churches Together in Oadby, when 50 people gathered. Ian Wedd, a volunteer from the East Midlands Christian Aid team, spoke of the feasibility of lifting a country out of poverty and gave South Korea as an example.

If you are invited to contribute, do please help. 

Visit the Christian Aid website

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Readers Meet Together

Readers (often called lay readers) are an essential part of the Church of England’s ministry. They are volunteers, who receive no payment, and after about three years of part-time training they help the ordained ministers by taking services, preaching, and assisting in the pastoral work at the parish. As more and more parishes have been amalgamated, their role has become increasingly important.

One ordained minister is nominated to be the “Warden of Readers,” to help supervise and support the Readers’ Ministry. Currently, that is the vicar of St Paul’s, Steve Bailey. Each year, the Association of Readers Of the Leicester Diocese has an Annual Meeting. That was held today at St Paul’s.

After the Service of Worship, there was the Annual Business Meeting. This was followed by a presentation of the work of Teen Challenge. This is a Christian group running residential programmes to help people suffering from addictions. Many of those who join them find a Christian faith which is able to support them through the challenge of turning away from the addiction.

It is good to know that such help exists.