Thursday, 22 June 2017

Be Suspicious!

As usual, today, we held “Coffee Pot,” our Thursday morning coffee group, mainly frequented by older citizens. At it, we were visited by PCSO (Police Community Support Officer) Nad Ikram, who gave a PowerPoint illustrated talk on “Telephone and Postal Fraud.”

He talked about the importance of always being suspicious, whether of telephone calls (the commonest), email or web announcements, unsolicited letters, or individuals on the doorstep. If an offer was too good to be true – it wasn’t true. He discussed, and showed a video, of some of the commonest scams and warned people to give away the minimum of data and never to reveal PIN numbers, or the three CSV numbers on the backs of credit cards.

He also described scams where people were told they had a fraudulent financial problem and encouraged to ring their bank, only for the fraudsters not to hang up, but to still be on the line when the individual thought they were talking to their bank – and trustingly revealed just the information that the fraudsters wanted. He warned that sometimes the (bogus) bank would send a courier for the person’s cards, which would never be seen again – apart from a large withdrawal on their statement.

Hopefully, we have all learned lessons. Thank you Nad.

Monday, 19 June 2017

I Believe in the Church

This was the title of a book written by the late David Watson, formerly vicar of St Michael le Belfry, York. This has provided the background for a series of sermons on the subject of  The Church, which will be preached in both St Paul’s and St Peter’s churches.

Today, Gillian preached on the first of the series: “The Church of God.” We look forward to the subsequent talks in the series, next week being: “The Kingdom of God.”

People often say that they appreciate much of what Christ said, but they do not like the church. If that is you, do come and hear about the real meaning of the church


Where Was God When That Happened?

This event which had been advertised in an earlier blog, took place on Saturday evening, 17 June. It was led by Neil McBride, a Reader at De Montfort University, together with one of his students, Ben who, had suffered a disabling illness that left him in a wheelchair, and our vicar, Steve Bailey.

In the evening we addressed the problem of reconciling a loving God who was all-powerful with the existence of suffering and evil. Neil spoke from the philosophical point of view – with insights like “how would we know the meaning of evil, without a good God contrast to it with,” while Ben spoke of his practical experience and his ability to reconcile God’s love with his disability.

In groups at tables, we discussed our own attitudes to the issues raised.

In an interval, we all shared in the puddings that people had bought and enjoyed a glass of one of the drinks that had been provided.

There will probably never be an answer – at least not a simple one – to the original question, but we all came out better informed, and even more thoughtful.

Tea Fit for a Queen

Saturday 17 June was a busy day at St Paul’s. It was the Queen’s official birthday and we celebrated it with a magnificent Royal Tea. The ladies of the church had worked hard to lay on a spread for any who wish to come. There was a good turnout.

Our thanks to those who had worked so hard.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Where was God when that happened?

We are looking forward to this event on Saturday evening at 7.30pm.
It is a free event so come along and join with us, bring a friend!

Friday, 9 June 2017


Yesterday we welcome Robert DeBerry with 3 other cyclists and their support car to St Paul's in the afternoon.

 We joined with them in a prayer meeting last night for the persecuted church and were pleased to welcome others to join us.

This morning those who had hosted the team prayed with them before they set off on the next leg of their journey.
 And then waved them goodbye as they headed off.
Every blessing for the remained of the journey. What a privilege to pray together for those who are persecuted for their faith and to support the work of Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

The Prayer Tree

At an earlier event of “Thy Kingdom Come” we set up a Prayer Tree in The Parade in Oadby Village Centre. Passers-by were offered chocolates to represent God’s generosity and invited to write a prayer on one of the the paper “leaves,” which was then stuck to an outline of a tree.

Quite a number of people accepted this opportunity – though the high wind made it a battle to keep the “leaves” on the tree, let alone keeping the “Thy Kingdom Come” banner upright!

Our prayer is that more people may consider the importance of prayer.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Praying together for Oadby

On Sunday evening St Paul's hosted 'Praying together for Oadby', an evening service for Churches Together in Oadby at the end of the Thy Kingdom Come wave of prayer. In between sung worship at the beginning and end of the service everyone was invited to make use of a variety of prayer stations at the back of church. Each church had been invited to provide an interactive prayer station focused on a particular area of our shared community life together. Here are some photos below..
 Everyone up and out of their seats making use of the different prayer stations which had been provided by the different churches in Oadby.
 Praying for the local emergency services and the safety of the community.
 Asking God how we should respond and share the love and light of Christ in the community.
 Praying for the local borough council and for our diverse community, that we can continue to live in harmony.
 An opportunity to write our own prayers and put them on the prayer wall or light a candle for those who have suffered particularly at the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London.
Praying for the local shops, businesses and community groups.

It was a good time for us to come together and pray for the needs of our community. A big thank you to all who came along and to those who worked hard to make the service happen.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Wrath – Hope – Peace

A group of cyclists led by the 75-year-old minister, Revd Robert de Berry are cycling the 750 mile route from Cape Wrath in Scotland, via the Hope Valley to Peacehaven in Sussex. They are doing this to raise awareness of, and support, two organisations, Release International and Christian Solidarity Worldwide. Both are committed to raise awareness of the problem of hundreds of people worldwide (many being Christians) who are imprisoned simply for practising their faith and to intercede for their release.

The group is staying overnight in Leicester on 8 June. There will be a meeting at St Paul’s at 7.30 p.m. when they will be explaining their ride and publicising the problem of people who are not allowed to practice their faith.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide is one of the charities already supported by St Paul’s and it will be good to have this possibility of supporting their actions.

Thy Kingdom Come

Under the title of “Thy Kingdom Come,” the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is inviting Christians around the world to pray as one for people to know Jesus Christ. The prayer events, which will differ widely from church to church will take place between Ascension (25 May) and Pentecost (4 June.)
This event first took place last year, but this year is being extended both internationally and to other denominations. St Pauls intends to take a full part with a programme of prayer related activities.
25 May: Prayer stations at St Peter’s Church 12.00midday - 5.00pm
27 May: Prayer on the Parade at Tippets florist 10.00am - 12.00midday
29 May: Indoor Prayer Labyrinth at St Paul’s 4.00pm – 8.00pm
4 June: Family Messy Prayer Event at St Peter's 4.00pm - 5.30pm
4 June ‘Praying together for Oadby’ at St Paul’s 6.30pm

During this time of prayer St Paul's will be opened every day between 4-5pm for people to come along and pray. Resources are available to help you to pray.
On Monday a prayer labyrinth will be laid out in church.
On Sunday 4th June at 6.30pm we will be hosting 'Praying together for Oadby', a chance for us all to come together to pray for our town.
Do join in with this global wave of prayer, particularly praying that many would come to know Jesus.

Prayer Walking

On Sunday we encouraged people to go prayer walking and what lovely weather we have had for it! We put up a map of the parish and printed off names of all the roads. Gillian preached on the subject giving practical pointer, listen to her sermon here.
People then took a few road names and have walked and prayed for all those who live there. May those prayers bear much fruit in our community.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

There's always hope...

This week Lou and I have been into Manor High School, sharing the message of Pentecost with over 900 young people. A reminder that we celebrate God’s love and invitation for everyone, the invitation is universal, the response is personal but even the most surprising “outsiders” aren’t outside God’s love. We shared this story to show God in action in this truth. We have shared this video during the assembly.
It was well received by the staff and students and we hope and pray that they will have taken something away with them this week.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Our Churchwarden is Legal!

Most churches have two Churchwardens, but due to a legal quirk in the way that this parish was set up, at St Paul's, we have only one, Vivien James, who is assisted by a Deputy, Paul Webster. The election of a Churchwarden is for a one-year term and Vivien was re-elected at the recent Annual Parish Meeting. Before officially being admitted to the office, Vivien had to attend a service, which was held yesterday. Led by the Archdeacon, it was a service of worship, but which also included the following legal elements.

In the Archdeacon's Charge, he explained the role of a churchwarden, as follows:
“The office of Churchwarden is an ancient one, dating from the early middle ages. As officers of the Bishop, and members of the Parochial Church Council, Churchwardens are charged with co-operating with the incumbent, and leading the laity in the promotion of the mission and ministry of the church in the local parish.
In doing so, Churchwardens offer a ministry of welcome and pastoral care to church members and their parish priest and the priest's family.
In Churchwardens is vested the property in the plate, ornaments and other moveable goods of the church, of which they are asked to maintain an inventory and report on them annually to the Bishop and Parochial church Council.
They are also asked to maintain order and decency in the church, especially during public worship.
It is to this important ministry that you have been elected at your annual parish meeting.”

In the presence of the Diocesan Registrar , a legal officer, the churchwardens present, including Vivien,  were asked to stand and make the following declaration:
“I solemnly and sincerely declare
Before God and his people
That I will faithfully and diligently
Discharge the duties of my office
For the parish in which I have been chosen
During the period of my appointment
Calling at all times on the strength that God gives me.”

To which the Registrar responded:
“On behalf of the Bishop, I admit you to the office of Churchwarden to serve in your respective parishes during the coming year.”

We will be praying for Vivien as she seeks to carry out this commitment.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Welcome Stephen Catriona and Hannah

The Parish of Oadby – St Peter’s and St Paul’s churches – have supported the worldwide Anglican Mission organisation CMS (Church Mission Society) for many years. The previous partner, Jane Jerrard, has now retired from CMS, and we now have a new link with Stephen and Catriona Bennett.

 After introducing themselves at St Peter’s morning service they came on to St Paul’s and showed a few slides and spoke about their intended work. Stephen is a consultant surgeon from Fife and Catriona a consultant anaesthetist. In August they will be going out to work at the Mission Hospital of Gahini in Rwanda. Stephen will be the only surgeon there, but expects to be able to share his surgical skill with other doctors. Catriona will be working part-time (Hannah is a baby) and she hopes to increase the expertise of the anaesthetic nurses and undertake complex anaesthetics. Their presence will support the witness of this church hospital in showing God’s love to the community around.

After service they mingled with the congregation, answering people’s questions and then went on to an open lunch in one of the congregation’s homes, where we were able to get to know them better and hear more of their hopes and plans.

We look forward to supporting them both financially and in prayer, and in any other practical ways that we can.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Bicycle Pilgrimage

On 8th June St Paul's is delighted to be hosting Robert's Bike Pilgrimage as it makes its way from Cape Wrath through the Hope Valley to Peace Haven. Find out more here.
We will be praying with Robert and the team for the persecuted church at 7.30pm on 8th June at St Paul's.

Friday, 5 May 2017

An update from our Connected Church

We have recently received an update from PAG, our Tearfund Connected Church in Uganda. To read it click here.

We are asked to pray for them:
  • We need to increase our capacity if we are effectively going to introduce PEP to all churches in our denomination. Please pray for God’s provision of staff, finances and skills, and pray for God’s anointing on every one of us involved.
  • Please pray for our neighboring countries who are in times of great turmoil. Pray for peace: their peace is our peace.
  • Pray, as always, for relief from the drought. Pray for protection, sustenance, and for more and more creative solutions to protect people from the impacts of no rain to be found.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Holiday Club Easter

 Craft activity, Easter baskets with chocolate eggs.
 Scratch art crosses.
 Busy making crafts.
 Parachute games.
Easter goody bags with eggs found during the Easter egg hunt.

We also watched the Easter story from the Miracle Maker, prayed and ate together as well as singing some action songs. All in all a good fun filled afternoon learning all about Easter.

Friday, 21 April 2017

The Leicester Welcome Project

The charity, which we are focusing on this month is the Leicester Welcome Project, based at St Martin's House, by the Cathedral.
The project says ” We aim to provide practical help and support to asylum seekers in Leicester by means of drop in sessions, staffed by supported volunteers and in partnership with other agencies.”
We hope that the workers involved know that they are supported in prayer and that the physical needs of their clients are catered for.

Pray for the people who collect foodstuffs and resources for them and for the leadership; that they will trust the Lord to give them knowledge and understanding to ensure that people are treated fairly and with dignity. Living in the relative comfort of a wealthy  country we can only guess at the hardships asylum seekers suffer. Pray that their anxiety for the future can be relieved.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

He is Risen Indeed, Alleluia!

The Main Morning Service Today – a Family Communion – saw St Pauls packed. Our usual congregation was swelled by a number of children and grandchildren, and it was lovely to see them. We were all encouraged to join in the Easter acclamation – the basis of our faith: “Christ is risen! – He is Risen Indeed, Alleluia! which was used repeatedly during the service.

The children took part in finding “eggs” around the church (paper egg shapes with a letter on them). Together, they spelt “Risen” with each individual letter having a particular association with Christ’s work on the cross and saving us from sin.

May we consider the work of God at Easter not just now, but throughout the year.

Early in the Morning

Early in the morning, on the first day of the week...'
A group of us gathered this morning in Brocks Hill park for a Dawn Service at 6am to declare that Christ is Risen!

The resurrection of Jesus is the high point of the Christian faith and reminds us that Jesus has beaten the power of all evil and overcome death.

Alleluia, Christ is risen. He is risen indeed Alleluia!

Posted by Steve at 8:35 am


Holy Week

Holy Week has been a busy time at St Paul’s, as we’ve followed the story of the final week of Christ's life. We’ve done this either through services at St Paul’s or in conjunction with the other churches in Oadby.

So, Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem was not only commemorated in a morning service, last Sunday, but also in the March of witness through Oadby Parade, from St Peter’s to the Methodist Church – incorporating two donkeys.

Then – on Thursday – an evening service at St Paul’s remembered how Jesus partook of the Last Supper with his friends, and instituted the Holy Communion, in which Jesus’ death is remembered in the bread and the wine. It was also the occasion when he washed the disciples’ feet – saying “I give you a new commandment that you love one another, as I have loved you.” So, within the communion service, Gillian (our curate) washed 10 people’s feet.

Good Friday – the day of Jesus crucifixion – started with a morning service in St Peter’s, with the other churches. Then in the evening, 20+ people joined in a service “At the Foot of the Cross” in St Paul’s, with readings, hymns and prayers. The service finished remembering Jesus’ burial, as we waited for the resurrection.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Principal Services: April — June

Dear Friends,

Happy Easter! As we celebrate the risen Christ we turn our attention to Has Church and our role and purpose in partnering with God in the work of proclaiming the good news to all people, it promises to be an exciting journey!

Every Blessing,

(Steve Bailey, Vicar)

Friday, 7 April 2017

Farewell Michael – God be With You ‘til We Meet Again

St Pauls is part of the team ministry of the Parish of Oadby. Although we have our own vicar, Steve Bailey, the other church, St Peter’s, has been led by a Rector, Canon Michael Rusk. Michael has been in this post for 17 years. However, he has now been appointed as Rector to Emmanuel Church, the American Episcopal Church in Geneva, Switzerland.

Last weekend was his final weekend with us.

We celebrated his work in Oadby in a service of Thanksgiving and Farewell on Saturday evening which was followed by a buffet meal in the parish centre. Many, who had worked with Michael, brought messages of appreciation that one or other of these events. Several previous clergy came back to the parish.

On the Sunday, both churches combined together at St Peter’s for the Family Communion Service, which was a joyous time. At the end of the service Michael was presented with a leather bound large print Bible, a book of messages and photos and a cheque.

Both churches wish Michael well in his new sphere of ministry. It will be interesting to hear how Geneva compares with Oadby!

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Easter Holiday Club

On Friday 21st April St Paul's is putting on a Holiday Club afternoon from 2-4.30pm. We will have games, crafts, songs, the Easter story and finish with tea together. Aimed at primary school aged children. Do come along and join us!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Easter Assemblies

This week Lou and I are in Manor High School leading their Easter Assemblies. Through the week just under 1,000 children will hear us share the good news of Easter.
We are using this video which has kids explaining the Easter story in their own unique way. It follows on from the video we used at Christmas.
Towards the end of the assembly we listen to this cute song which helps to remind us that Jesus died that we might be friends with God.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Thank You

Last Sunday (26 April) was the fourth Sunday of Lent. It was also – and much better known as – “Mothering Sunday.” As we look back on our lives, most of us have cause to be profoundly grateful for the gift of a mother. That remains true even when our mothers have passed away. But for those whose mothers are still alive, this is the great opportunity to say “thank you.”

At St Pauls we met together to worship God – and our readings included the way that, in his great suffering on the cross, Jesus had entrusted the care of his mother, Mary, to his disciple John. We may care for our mothers, but to manage to do so in those circumstances is exceptional.

Before the children left for Super Troopers (our Sunday School) and other youth activities, they collected gifts of flowers – primulas – which they first distributed to their own mothers and then to other ladies in the church.
To all our mothers – alive or dead – we say “thank you.”

Rejected but Beautiful

St Pauls is not blessed with a large luxuriant graveyard. Nevertheless, as we approach the building at this time of year there are a profusion of daffodils and other flowers. Of note are several clumps of primulas, which are probably the plants which were surplus when flowers were distributed to mothers and other ladies at previous Mothering Sundays.

Those plants may only have been a surplus then, but now they are prominent in their beauty. Is that an illustration of how God can use people that the world counts as unimportant to do great things for him?

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

A Messenger of the Gospel

Last Sunday, we reached the last of our sermon series “Fruitfulness on the Frontline.” This was entitled “Being a Messenger of the Gospel” and Steve centred it around the words of St Peter: “Always be ready to make your defence to anyone who demands from you an account of the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence (1 Peter 3.15-16).

Steve acknowledged how difficult people found it to share their faith (like going to the dentist!). But Peter wasn’t telling us to be Billy Grahams. He was just asking us to reply when people asked us why we believed or behaved as we did. Hopefully, the other forms of fruitfulness, mentioned in the previous sermons, would invite just that question.

May we be as loyal to Christ as St Peter.

The Poorest of the Poor

This month, our church is highlighting the work of the African International Christian Mission and the friends based in this country who support it. This small charity works among children of the Batwa (pygmy) people in South West Uganda. They are the poorest and most despised of the people groups there. Their ancestral lands have been taken to encourage tourism and they have been oppressed by central government.

AICM is trying to provide them with education and food so that they will be able to cope with life in a modern society. They are taught and fed at two schools in the south of Uganda, but their flimsy buildings have been damaged by storm, and there are now plans (well in hand) to replace them with brick buildings.

This charity is now being supported by the whole Oadby Parish.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Lent - Repentance and Discipline

Wednesday, 1st March was the beginning of the forty days of Lent. For St Pauls, that was marked by taking part in the “Imposition of Ashes” service held at St Peters.

The service was led by Michael Rusk, the rector, who will soon be leaving us to serve at Emmanuel Church Geneva.

The sermon was given by Steve Bailey. He reminded us that in the sermon on the Mount, Jesus talked about when you pray, when you fast and when you give. These are all actions often associated with Lent, and Jesus assumed that they would be taking place. Steve commented that people often speak of what they will give up for Lent, but he felt that it was equally important what they would be taking up for Lent; prayer, fasting and giving. And he made particular suggestions for using the time that would be freed by fasting, and for giving the money that would be saved by fasting. He suggested at the time saved could not only be used for prayer also for devotional reading and he recommended Archbishop Justin Welby’s Lent book: “Dethroning Mammon: Making Money Serve Grace.”

“Imposition of Ashes” then followed. As people came to the front, Steve marked each person on their forehead with a sign of the cross, using Ashes mixed with Oil; a sign both of the importance of the cross and our own frailty. As he did this, he used the words: “remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.”

Heads above the Parapet

On Sunday, we reached the sixth of our series: Fruitfulness on the Frontline. This one was: Being a Mouthpiece for Truth and Justice. Gillian took the account of the prophet Nathan who told King David the story of a rich man who had seized and eaten a poor man’s pet lamb, rather than use one of his own flock (2 Samuel 12.1-13). The King was appalled, but the prophet then confronted him: “You are the man.” Relating to the way that he had taken Uriah’s wife and organised for Uriah to be killed.

Gillian emphasised the importance of Christians being prepared to stand up for truth and justice and “put our heads above the parapet.”

That is often not an easy task, but as servants of Christ, it’s one we are called to undertake.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Ash Wednesday

Image result for ash wednesday
Today is Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent, Often people think of giving something up for Lent but I want to encourage you to take something positive on instead.
You could sign up to Stewardship's 40 acts, encouraging generosity through Lent here.
You could follow Christian Aid's Count Your Blessings which you can download here.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has written his own Lent book this year called 'Dethroning Mammon'
or you could read the BRF Lent Book The Living Cross by Amy Boucher Pye.
Or you could use the season of lent to review your spiritual disciplines and explore fasting, praying and giving. This year the Bishop's Lent Appeal is towards educational books for our link Diocese of Kiteto in Tanznaia, find out more and give here.

Connected Church

At St Paul's we have been keen supporters of TearFund. In the last few years we have been linked through their Connected Church scheme to the Pentecostal Assemblies of God church in Uganda. Here is a link to their latest blog post so we can keep up to date with the work they are doing and continue to support them in our prayers.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Meet the Bishop

Bp Martyn Snow
Last night St Pauls hosted the local Deanery Synod – the committee that unites the local Anglican churches – in our case going from the southern city boundary to the Northampton border. But this meeting of synod was special, as it was visited by Bishop Martyn Snow, who has spent a week in the deanery, meeting each of the clergy in turn. As it was a special event, all clergy, lay ministers and churchwardens were invited, and we greeted each other over a cup of tea or coffee. 

We started with a time of worship – with two songs, an illustrated Bible reading and prayer. A video showing the questions that a group of primary school children had asked the Bishop – and he replied to each one. 

The Bishop then talked of his commitment to prayer – and invited us to the lectures on prayer that would be held in different parts of the diocese during Lent. He also encouraged us to support the period of prayer between Ascension and Pentecost. 

He then talked about Jesus sending the twelve disciples out on mission (Luke 9), pointing out that they were to travel light, which he thought, in our circumstance being ready to jettison traditions if they got in the way of more worthwhile new ideas. He compared the mission with just 12, to the mission of the seventy – just one chapter later. He suggested that the increased numbers reflected their increased confidence as they had seen Jesus work as he fed the 5000. As he had done that he had broken the bread – and perhaps that was symbolic of the way that we need to be broken, in order to be available for his service. 

There was then a prolonged period when the Bishop answered questions that had been submitted – about a wide range of local and national issues relating to the Church of England and to his role and hopes. 

Bishop Martyn has not yet been Bishop of Leicester for a year. But by the time we left, we felt that we knew him better. We need to commit ourselves to keep him in our prayers.



Saturday, 4 February 2017

Three Key Questions

The Bishop of Leicester, Martyn Snow, is not surprisingly, keen to see growth in the Kingdom of God – growth in the depth of discipleship; growth in the number of disciples of Jesus; and growth in loving service to the world.

He has invited all Church Councils to discuss how, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can better achieve these aims. So the District Church Council of St Paul’s Oadby, met today, 4 Febrary, to discuss each of these headings.

We met for five hours at the parish centre of St Denys’ Church, Evington. After an act of worship, we considered each of these aspects in the growth of the kingdom, in three sessions, and for each of the subjects we asked ourselves:
What are we already doing to facilitate this?
What gaps are we noticing?
Where is God leading us in the future?
And, realising that one cannot do everything, What needs to stop?
What needs to start?.
Each session was introduced by the vicar and followed by a discussion in groups, that was then shared.

Seeking to know how best we can attune ourselves to God’s vision for our church is difficult. As we consider the ways forward – what we should hold onto – and what we should change. We will be praying for the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Please pray for us

Friday, 3 February 2017

A Voice for the Voiceless

This month, at St Paul’s, we are praying for religious freedom in the whole world. In particular, we are supporting the work of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). Only too often, in many countries, people are stopped from worshipping in the way that they choose. CSW works to find ways to give them that choice.

CSW works in over 20 countries across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, defending everyone’s right to freedom of religion or belief.

Three quarters of the world’s population lives in countries with severe restrictions on their religious freedom – in fact, it’s one of the most widely-violated human rights in the world.

Our vision is of a world where everyone is free to choose their beliefs.

CSW gives one example all the way that the right to belief is violated (among many:
Three innocent men are on trial in Sudan as the result of an act of kindness. They are Rev Hassan, a Sudanese church leader, Mr JaĊĦek, a Czech humanitarian worker and Mr Abdumawla, a Sudanese activist. All three helped raise money to treat a badly burned young man who had taken part in a student protest.
For this act
of kindness they have been on trial since 14 August 2016. Rev Kuwa, whose only ‘crime’ was being Rev Hassan’s friend and a Christian leader, was also arrested and put on trial: however, he was released in January 2017 after the judge found no evidence against him on charges brought by the prosecution. The three men face several charges, including two national security crimes that carry the death penalty.

They’ve done nothing wrong and they desperately need our prayer and support. And we commit ourselves to support all those in their situation.

Making Good Work

Last Sunday we continued our series, studying what a right Christian lifestyle should be. The Sunday, Colin Chettle preached on: “Making good work.”

Using Bible passages in Genesis 3 and Colossians 3, Colin showed how it was God’s will that we should work – and that we should work in a way that was pleasing not only to Him, but drew respect for the God we worship from those around.

May that be the impression that we make.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Model Godly Character – Fruits of the Spirit

In the 2nd of the series on “fruitfulness,” Steve Bailey talked of the importance of modelling Godly character. Godly character in Christians will speak to those outside the faith about God. In contrast to the human weaknesses that St Paul mentions first, in Galatians 5, he highlighted the nine “Fruits of the Spirit”  – love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control

Steve had laid out cut-up portions of different fruit in bowls at the front of the church. He asked us which fruit we felt we were particularly in need of (more than one was allowed!). He then asked everyone in church to form a queue, as if taking communion, and select those fruits which corresponded to their needs. 

Which one would you have chosen?

The Big Picture -- God Cares

Taking the first of the series on “fruitfulness” – The Big Picture, Hugh  James led our thoughts, studying Colossians 1:15 – 20, with an emphasis on the fact that God Cares.

“God cares.” God cares for the earth that he has created. God cares for the church – all the people who have turned to him. And God cares for us – as individuals. And He is equally concerned for those who do not yet know him.

So it is the duty of every Christian to bring honour to Jesus, so that all those around us may also be attracted to him.

Bearing Fruit

Poster in the Church Foyer
"My father is glorified by this: that you bear much fruit. "But what does it mean for Christians to “bear fruit?” This is the question that we will be studying in our next series of sermons. Our poster in the church foyer introduces the question.

You are very warmly invited to any of the forthcoming series of sermons. Using the headings from Mark Greene's book "Fruitfulness on the Frontline," these will be:

Introductory – the Big Picture
M1 – Model Godly Character
M2 – Make Good Work
M3 – Minister Grace and Love
M4 – Mould Culture
M5 – Be A Mouthpiece for Truth and Justice.
M6 – Be a Messenger of the Gospel.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Gillian's visit to Trichy

Today a group of Curates from the Diocese are flying out to visit our link Diocese of Trichy in India. Gillian is part of this group for their 2 week visit. You will be able to keep up with what they are up to by following this link which should go live when they get there!

Sunday, 8 January 2017

We’ll Miss You!

At 99, Vicky Turner was the most senior member of Coffee Pot. Until recent ill-health prevented her, she was a very regular attender of this Thursday morning activity. Sadly, she has now died and will be much missed.

We pray for God’s comfort for her husband, Roy.