Monday, 19 March 2018

Mean Bean Challenge

This week (19th-23rd March) I am taking part in TearFund's Mean Bean challenge. Living on a simple diet of plain porridge for breakfast and plain rice and beans for lunch and dinner with only water to drink and small portions all round it will be a challenge.
Find out more about it here.
If you want to sponsor me  then follow this link to my donations page.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Mothering Sunday

Yesterday was the fourth Sunday in Lent, or as it’s much better known, Mothering Sunday (not to be confused with the American version known as Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May!). Children in the congregation first of all took flowers to their mothers, and then to all the ladies in church.

During the prayers, people were invited to write on a paper petal the name of someone who was precious in their upbringing – including mothers but also others who played a significant part. These petals were brought to the front to form a flower. Karen then prayed for them and for all those who found this day difficult, because of their inability to have children, the loss of a child or a difficult relationship with their mother.

People either took their flowers home to their mothers, or left them behind the Holy Table, in which case, the rector promised that they would be planted in the church grounds.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Buy Fair!

In many parts of the world our basic commodities like tea, coffee and chocolate are picked by indentured workers – at near slave salaries and conditions. The fair trade movement seeks publicise the problem and to rectify this. It has the support of many churches including St Paul’s.

It will soon be the Fair Trade fortnight, and at the service this morning there was a stand offering fair trade chocolate for gifts for Easter. One offering, the real Easter egg, had the additional benefit of having included in it the account of the Easter story. Without that magnificent occasion of Christ’s rising triumphantly from the dead, there would be no Easter eggs or Easter bunnies.
So, as you are doing your regular shopping, do look out for the Fairtrade symbol, and remember those who have harvested the commodity.

Defying the Snow

Ninety people (about our average congregation) defied the snow (some of it freshly fallen) to come and worship God at St Paul’s this morning.

It was well worth coming, as Dr Keith Waddell, an eye surgeon from Uganda, told of his recent recovery to health. The service was led by our rector, Steve Bailey, and Colin Chettle preached on Jesus' great commission – on how we are called to go with Jesus’ authority and filled with his Holy Spirit, to proclaim and demonstrate God’s kingdom ‘for the sake of the world’.

By the time we came out almost all the snow had disappeared apart from a few patches on the grass.


The latest of our Fun@4 activities was held on Sunday afternoon (at 4) 25 February. Twenty children, with adults, came for a programme of games, songs, Bible stories and refreshments. This is the latest of a series of such programmes, some in conjunction with other churches of CTO (Churches Together in Oadby).

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Free to Believe

Of the charities that St Paul's supports, the one that we feature this month is Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). They described their role as follows:

"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. We think this is unacceptable. We’re working to change it. Our vision is of a world where everyone is free to choose their beliefs – to hold and practise any religion they like, or none at all.”

We believe that everyone has the right to choose their belief, but as Christians, we particularly support Christians who are being denied that right – often at great cost, with prohibition of meeting for worship, confiscation of the Bibles, imprisonment and even in some cases death. The least we can do is to support them in prayer, and support CSW financially.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Cross of Ashes – a Sign of Love

Tonight (14 February) the Churches Together in Oadby Ash Wednesday service was held at St Pauls.

In the service, Steve took the opportunity to show a DVD which reminded us of the origins of the service of the Ashes, in which a cross of ash is placed on believers’ foreheads – looking back to Ashes as a sign of sorrow in the Old Testament, Jesus’ forty days of testing in the wilderness which is commemorated by the 40 days of Lent, and Jesus act of love and forgiveness on the cross.

In his sermon, Steve remarked on the appropriateness, this year, of Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day coinciding. Both are acts of love, which need a response.

There was then a time of congregational confession. Everyone (who wanted it) was then marked in ash with the sign of the cross, and the words: “remember that we all come from dust and to dust we shall return.”

It was good to be able to start our season of Lent in this way

New Roots

Trees feature frequently in the Bible – whether as symbols of abundance and the goodness of God or to remind us of the nature of an individual who is rooted in God.

So the broken tree trunk from the tree that snapped in the wind some weeks ago is hardly the ideal sign outside a church! So thank you to Tom, Mick and Dave who have replaced it with an Acer.
Unfortunately, they have identified two other trees which are diseased and at-risk, so they have also planted a second Acer to replace them.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Welcome Tom Cox

After a short lapse, Churches Together in Oadby again organised a “Pulpit Exchange” or more accurately, a “Preacher Exchange.” While Steve went to preach at Oadby Baptist Church, this Sunday, we were privileged to welcome their minister, Revd Tom Cox.

Tom was interviewed during the service as to how God had led him to come to Oadby, from his early Christian life in the Wirral and through training in London and Oxford. Hugh James, who was leading the service then prayed for Tom.

We are currently involved in a sermon series “Everyday Supernatural” and the theme for today was “God’s Power, Our Weakness.” Tom preached a powerful sermon, demonstrating that it was not our abilities that God could use, but our weaknesses and inadequacies and our dependence on Him..

Thank you, Tom, for your visit, and we look forward to working with you and Oadby Baptist Church, seeking  extension of the Kingdom of God in Oadby.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Tree Down!

Worshippers who arrived at the midweek communion service at St Paul’s on Thursday 18 January were amazed to find a large ornamental cherry tree
which had stood on the corner of the church site, snapped off at its base and lying in the road.
Many people have been kept awake by the high , winds the night before, but the snapping across of the 30 cm trunk a little above its base showed just how strong those winds had been. Happily other trees on the site, some of which seemed more frail than this one, were not affected. Apart from the rector’s garden fence, none of the buildings on the site were damaged.