Sunday, 25 December 2016

A Noisy Christmas

The church was again well filled for the Christmas Day Family Communion Service. Steve observed that in contrast to the carol “Silent Night” that first Christmas was full of activity, much of it noisy – with angels singing, sheep bleating, cows lowing and a newborn baby screaming. What was important was that this was a Holy Night when Jesus came as saviour of the world.

We celebrated afterwards with Sherry (or soft drinks)

The People Walking in Darkness Have Seen a Great Light

At 11.30 p.m. people again gathered at St Paul’s for the Midnight Communion Service. The same message of Christ’s coming to earth was celebrated in a quieter and more reflective mood. The sermon reflected on the verse from Isaiah: “the people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.” and St John’s reflection that “people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.” Nevertheless, in Jesus, God still offers his love, his light and life in all its fullness.

The message was reinforced as we left church on a very dark night when many of the streetlights had been turned off.

The Light of the World

At 4.0 p.m. on Christmas Eve  the church was packed with children and families, as they gathered for the Annual Crib and Christingle service. Children playing Mary and Joseph stood in the stable that had been recently built while videos were played that had been recorded by members of our young people’s group, giving the feelings of the individuals in the Christmas story.

The Christingles – oranges representing the world that God created, with cocktail sticks bearing fruits representing the four seasons with a red ribbon representing Christ’s death on the cross, and a central camera representing Christ as the light of the world – were then distributed and lit, while the lights were turned off. Then we send the carol “O Little town of Bethlehem” which includes the line “In the dark street shineth the everlasting light.”

After drinks and biscuits the adults and youngsters went home to await Christmas.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Holiday Club Christmas

This afternoon we welcomed a great group of young people to our Holiday Club Christmas afternoon! We did lots of crafts, games, watched a film, thought about the nativity story and ate tea together.
Many thanks to all who came and to those who worked hard to make it happen. A good time was had by all.
Do come and visit us again for our Crib & Christingle service at 4pm on Christmas Eve.

Carols by Candlelight

Sunday at 7.0 p.m. saw the start of our series of Christmas services, with the Candlelit Carol Service. With handheld candles and additional Candlelight around the church, we celebrated the story of Christmas, in words and music.

The series of lessons read by different members of the congregation reminded us how humanity had rejected God’s standards, but how he had sent Jesus, his son, to redeem the fallen world and restore fellowship with him. The mix of traditional congregational carols and choir items took us through that same sequence.

The brief address from our vicar, Steve, encouraged us to look beyond the baby to the one who died at Calvary and wants to be our Saviour. He then led us in prayer for our fallen troubled world.

Those who stayed around afterwards enjoyed mulled wine and mince pies.

Our next step in remembrance of the Christmas story is the Christingle and Crib service at 4.0 p.m. on Christmas Eve, followed by the Midnight Communion at 11.30 p.m.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

A Stable in Church

St Pauls is incredibly indebted to one of its members, Derek Bowering, who gets involved in many of the practical projects around church. And most weeks he makes partly completed models that the children in Supertroopers (our Sunday School) complete. Each illustrates a message from what they have been learning about.

His present project is rather bigger – a stable at the front of church, to illustrate the Christmas story, and contain the crib with the representation of the baby Jesus. Derek tried to illustrate the poverty of that first Christmas by making the stable with offcuts of wood that the congregation had provided. The result is magnificent – although with Derek’s impeccable  standards – the stable is still probably too neat for the Christmas story!

It stands at the front of St Pauls. Do come and see it at one of the Christmas services: –   7.0 p.m., Sunday 18 December: the Candlelit Carol Service.   4.0 p.m., Saturday 24: December: Christingle and Crib Service.   11.30 p.m., Saturday 24 December: Midnight Communion Service.   10.0 a.m., Sunday 25 December: Christmas Day Family Communion.

May the stable help us to remember the cost to Jesus of becoming human like us.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Gifts for Children

Today was our Annual Gift Service. For several years St Paul’s has had contact with homes containing children who can look forward to a bleak Christmas. These include homes for vulnerable adults and battered wives, who often have children with them. We currently have contact with five such homes, which expect 65 children by Christmas. Because of the nature of their work, we are unable to name them. Our concern is to provide some joy for the children in these homes at Christmas time.

One of the charities responsible for some of these homes is Action Homeless. Although they cannot name their homes, they describe their work as follows: “Action Homeless has been helping people and families affected by homelessness for over 40 years. Based in the heart of Leicester, we are committed to supporting people of all ages who are at risk of or facing homelessness in our local community. Quite simply, we provide people with homes whilst helping them to develop the skills and the means necessary to leave homelessness behind for good.”
At St Paul’s, a few weeks in advance, we give out gift tags to the congregation with the age and sex of each of the 65 children concerned. All the gift tags were taken and appropriate gifts bought and wrapped. The gifts were brought up at the Annual Gift Service today.

There was also an opportunity to give unwrapped gifts, a mixture of essential clothes and luxuries to the Welcome Project, for asylum seekers, run at St Martin’s house in central Leicester.
We received very generous gifts towards both these causes.
May the gifts bring joy at Christmas time when we celebrate the gift of Jesus, the gift above all others.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Christmas Assemblies

This past week Lou and I have been in our local High School, Manor, taking their Christmas assemblies. We have used this clip from Southland Christian Church where the kids narrate and the adults act the story. We hope and pray that this retelling of the Christmas story has helped them to focus on Jesus who is the reason for the season.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

School Visit

Today we welcomed the Early Years Foundation Stage from Brookside Primary School to St Paul's. They brought their home made star decorations and put them on our tree - thank you. They listened to the Christmas story, explored the crib scene, the baby in the manger and the advent calender's. Before they left they sang beautifully Away in a Manger.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Thought for the Day

Here is the text for this mornings Thought for the Day that I gave on BBC Radio Leicester. Or you can listen to it here about 47 minutes into the programme.

During the American civil war, a solider was granted permission to seek a hearing from the president. However, when he arrived at the White House, he was refused entry and sent away. He went and sat in a nearby park. A young boy came across him and remarked how unhappy he looked. The solider told the boy everything. Eventually the boy said, ‘Come with me.’ He led the dejected soldier back to the White House. They went round the back; none of the guards stopped them. Even the generals stood to attention and let them pass. The soldier was amazed. Finally, they came to the presidential office. Without knocking, the boy opened the door and walked straight in. Abraham Lincoln, standing there turned from his conversation and said, ‘What can I do for you, Tad?’ Tad said, ‘Dad, this soldier needs to talk to you.’ The soldier had access to the president through the son. Christians believe that we have access to God the Father through Jesus the Son. When we pray we are not talking to some distant, far off God. We have direct access to our loving heavenly Father who delights to hear from us and longs to know what is on our hearts.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Christmas Fair

Now in its third year, today say the St Paul's Christmas Fair taking place. Many thanks to all who worked so hard to make it such a successful day. Thanks too to all who came along and joined in. The Fair was opened by the Mayor and half of the profits will go to his charity Leicester Children's Holiday Mablethorpe. The other half we go towards the work of Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Early Spring Programme

The Christmas festivities are not yet passed, but is already time to look forward. This link gives access to the new programme of our main services for January and February.
Why not join us and see what goes on as we worship God together.

 Happy Christmas!


Christmas adverts are upon us! For me this is one of the best I have seen so far from Amazon Prime depicting a friendship between a Vicar and an Imam. Watch it here.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Disturb us, Lord

I was reminded of this great prayer recently which is attributed to Sir Francis Drake...

Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves.
When our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little.
When we arrive safely because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we posses
We have lost our thirst for the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity,
And in our efforts to build a new earth, we have allowed our vision of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas,
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.
We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes,
And to push into the future in strength, courage, hope and love.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Light Party

On Sunday 30th October Churches Together in Oadby hosted a Light Party at St Peter's.
Here are a few photo's of some of the activites they got up to as they focused on Jesus as the Light of the World.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016


Lou writes...What an amazing evening celebrating the faith of these 5 young people! It was such a privilege and I’m so proud of them all.
It’s such a blessing to work with our young people and I feel incredibly proud seeing them confirm their faith tonight. They are caring, loving, humble, compassionate, courageous, inspiring and generous followers of Jesus and tonight was a lovely way to celebrate them and thank God for them. Here’s one very proud youth worker😉
Praise God for all he is doing in and through their lives and how they bring love, light hope and Jesus to others. Please remember them and all of our young people in your prayers
To see a video of their story visit here. 

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Friday Night Youth Glow Party

Last night we had a great time at our Glow Party with our pals from the Baptist church joining us🙂
Lots of food, face paint, glow sticks, fun, and creativity later we finished with a Harry Potter clip, a reminder of the power of light in the darkness and Jesus’ help and light and hope in our tough times and of course rounded off with goodie bags!
Thanks to everyone who came and made it a fab evening🙂
“The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness cannot extinguish it.” John 1:5

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Music choices

This morning I shared with the congregation the challenge I find in choosing songs! In the style of Songs of Praise I had invited 4 members to pick their favourite and introduce it, saying why they had chosen it.
Thank you to Pat, Beryl, Kate & Emmanuel who did just that. It was great to hear the reason why they had chosen the songs and gave extra meaning to them as we sung together.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Youth Weekend Away

This is a video sharing some of St Paul's Youth weekend away. Our theme was Life and Faith survival looking at what Jesus, Bear Grylls and penguins can teach us about how we face life and it's ups and downs, how we prepare, how we keep going, how we need each other, how we share our story and how we face the adventure ahead. We made bread, kites, and bags, we did sports, and games and had a cool campfire with marshmallows and some valuable and precious time with God. Feeling so inspired and amazed by our young people and all that God is doing in their lives and excited for possible baptisms in the new year! :) Here are just a few of the photos from the weekend.

Sunday, 9 October 2016


Today we held our Harvest Celebrations and collected food for the Welcome Project and for Oadby Food Bank. We focused on the story of Ruth who went over and beyond what was expected of her in caring for Naomi and of Boaz who over and beyond what was expected of him in his care of Ruth. May we be generous with all we have and be willing to go over and beyond in our love and service of those in need.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

All Good Gifts around Us!

The Coffee Pot group at St Pauls had a Harvest Lunch today. Unlike most Christian festivals, there is no fixed date, but our Harvest Festival service is this Sunday. Before I lunch, Steve Bailey, our vicar, talked about the meaning of harvest and of how, despite our hard work, we are impotent to bring it to completion. We were further reminded of our dependence on God as we sang the well-known harvest hymn “All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above – so thank the Lord for all his love.”
We then tucked into a most delicious home-made mixed vegetable soup, with different crusty rolls and sandwiches. We ended with delicious desserts and tea or coffee (Plus After 8 Mints).
There were then donations and raffle tickets to help Riding for disabled children.
We have a lot to be thankful for – and our thanks go to the team who had made and provided all the food.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Growing young leaders

Video: Growing Leaders in Oadby

Follow this link to watch a short video of our youth worker Lou talking about growing young leaders through her work with our young people.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Harvest Assemblies

This week Lou, our Youth Worker, and I are in Manor High School leading their Harvest Assemblies.
We have been using this clip called Why Poverty? from The Why as a way into thinking about generosity and how we can share with others from the abundance of good things we have been given.

We have also read the story of the Widows Offering from Mark 12.41-44
'Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting thier money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put two very small copper coins, worth only a few pence. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, 'Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything - all she had to live on.'

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Civic Service

The new Mayor of Oadby and Wigston, Councillor Rob Eaton, invited our vicar, Steve Bailey to be his Chaplain, during his year of office. It was therefore a great privilege to host the Civic Service at St Pauls on Sunday 25 September.

Not only did we welcome the Mayor, but also his wife, Councillor Lynda Eaton, and his guests which not only included councillors from Oadby and Wigston, but also the deputy High Sheriff and the mayors from many other boroughs.
At heart, the service followed our normal pattern, and we reached the 2nd commandment in our series on the 10 Commandments. The mayor had chosen some of the hymns and there was also an act of commitment in which the mayor and the councillors committed themselves, before God, to the service of the people of the borough.
At a time of great financial pressure, we will be committing ourselves to pray for wisdom for the mayor and the other councillors as they make difficult decisions and will be praying for strength for them to be able to carry out their vision.