Sunday, 31 August 2014

Farewell Bonnie!

The Revd Bonnie Evans-Hills has been with us for four years as Curate of the Parish of Oadby. Although mainly based at St Peter’s, she has been a welcome friend when she has visited us for services at St Paul’s, most frequently for the Thursday Morning Communion. Now she’s moving on to become Interfaith Adviser to the Diocese of St Alban’s.

Today, she has been leading services at St Peter’s and at lunchtime we met together for a “Bring and Share Lunch” in St Peter’s Churchyard to say farewell. There was more food than anyone could eat.

Bonnie, your warm smile and friendship will be much missed. We wish you God’s every blessing in this next step of your calling.

Pauline Invasion of Hallaton!

The beautiful, picturesque, quiet, sleepy, South-east Leicestershire village of Hallaton was invaded by 30 members of St Paul’s yesterday, seeking answers to the dubious clues of their treasure hunt (“how many Almshouses are there in Hallaton?” There was much enjoyment and laughter as people made their way around the village.

Most people found some sort of answer to the majority of questions. (The winners were announced in church this morning.)

However well one did with the questions, there was no doubting the quality of both the food and fellowship in the meal that followed at the Fox Inn.

Many thanks are due to Paul Webster for all the time that he and Teri put into organising the event – even if, at timesp one was tempted to throttle Paul for the opaqueness of some of the questions!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Goodbye (for now) Rebecca!

Having completed her university studies, one of our young people, Rebecca Tincello, is departing for a six-month spell in Africa. Rebecca and three others will form a team that will work with the Mozambique Baptist Convention in their youth work, including Bible studies and running workshops on leadership, discipleship and teamwork etc. They may also be involved in sports activities, youth evangelism and social action.
They’ll be working with the local pre-school programme which provides a low-cost basic Christian-based education for pre-school children from poor communities. The team will also be involved in the daily life of the Kedesh Santuario orphanage, which is where they will be living. This will include supporting the education of the boys living there, farming and gardening and running sports and craft activities.
The climate will not be easy as it will be the warm wet season when temperatures will be 25°C to 40°C and, as the humidity will be high, it will be very sticky.
We wish Rebecca God's every blessing and look forward to getting news of work with a very different Christian community.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Tearfund - our Charity of the Month

Each month, St Pauls highlights one of the charities it supports (See the blog for 22nd July). This coming month it will be Tearfund (website). Tearfund is a Christian relief and development fund. Teafund responds to disasters and is a part of the Disasters Emergency Committee and it currently has appeals for Iraq and Gaza. However, it has a much wider vision. They say of themselves:

“We're Christians passionate about ending poverty”

We're following Jesus where need is greatest, working through local churches to unlock people's potential and helping them to discover that the answer to poverty is within themselves. When disasters strike, we respond quickly. We won't stop until poverty stops.

When a community lifts itself out of poverty, everything changes. Poverty does more than exhaust, starve, trap and kill people. It destroys their sense of worth, limits their horizons, robs people of the chance to reach their full potential. Tearfund’s call is to follow Jesus where the need is greatest. We long for new life and a new sense of worth for people. We do whatever it takes to end poverty and rebuild poor communities. 

We work through local churches, because they're Jesus’ body on earth, ready to care for the whole person - and the whole community - inside and out."

Our gifts will be put to good use. We pray that they will make a difference.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Water – No Water!

As we came to church last Sunday, we ran the gauntlet of the downpours that accompanied the tail end of hurricane Bertha. As a result, many of the congregation arrived at St Paul’s singularly soggy!

At the same time, more than 40,000 Yazidi refugees in northern Iraq were huddled at the top of Mount Sinjar, on a waterless plateau, in burning temperatures of over 40° C with no water to drink. Happily, some have now managed to avoid the militant “Islamic State” extremists and find refuge in Kurdistan. But there are many who are still trapped, dying for lack of water.

Water is the essence of life. Not for nothing did Jesus call himself, and the message he proclaimed, Living Water. We cannot live without physical water. But equally, life without Jesus is meaningless.

The rainstorm on the way to church, that we battled through last Sunday, may have been an inconvenience, but how much better than finding ourselves on an arid mountain top. May the Aid Agencies’ efforts and the water drops on Mount Sinjar by western aircraft, soon bring relief.

Hello and Goodbye!

We love seeing new faces at our service each Sunday. They come for different reasons. Some are enquiring to see if there is something in this Christian faith. Others are visiting families. Others are Christians who have moved to the area. Yet others are Christians whose work activities bring them briefly to Oadby.

One such is Tobi Muyiwa (extreme right in the photo) – tall dark and handsome (he knelt down for this photo), highly intelligent (a PhD in plasma physics) and a highly skilled drummer. Tobi hails from Manchester and is waiting for a visa as he is hoping to work in a university in the United States.

While he has been collaborating with colleagues in Leicester, he has been worshipping with us at St Paul's. We will be sorry to see him go, but wish him well in the next stage of his career. Our music group will miss his drumming and we will all miss his personality.

May God go with you, Tobi.

Sunday, 3 August 2014


Today, we began our new sermon series which will be lasting up to Advent. It is based on the chapter headings of Richard Foster’s classic devotional Christian book “A Celebration of Discipline” which we were encouraged to buy (it is also available on Kindle).

In the sermon today, Steve considered the subject of “meditation.” This is the first of four “inward” disciplines. Using the examples of Moses on Mount Sinai and Peter at Caesarea he showed the value of taking time to meditate on God and his will. He showed the difference between this and the Eastern religious meditations, such as yoga, where the desire is to escape from oneself, rather than to encounter God. We were encouraged to take time out to concentrate on God and sense his will.

The next discipline, to be considered in a fortnight’s time, is prayer. Most Christians would acknowledge its importance and yet find it difficult. If that is you, too, do come and join us on 14 August.