Sunday, 31 March 2013

Christ is Risen!

Remembering the women, who went to Jesus’ tomb early on the first day of the week, St Paul’s held a sunrise service at 6.30 a.m. today on Brock’s Hill Park. Arriving in the dark and cold (-4° C) a small group held a short service, with hymns (led by a guitar) Bible reading, a meditation and prayer. We remembered the surprise of the early disciples of finding Jesus’ tomb empty, and his appearance to Mary. The disciples came to realise that Christ is risen. What joy. He is risen indeed! Hallelujah.

Then our group went back to Church for a bacon butty, croissants and coffee, before returning home and coming back for our main morning service at 10.0 a.m., when we could again rejoice that our Saviour is alive.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Christ Has Died – Christ Is Risen

We are now in the middle of the most momentous week of the Church’s year as we remember the most momentous week of Christ’s life. We started, yesterday, as we remembered the way in which Christ, as a good Jew, celebrated the Passover meal – the Seder. And we commemorated the way in which Jesus made it special as he took the bread, broke it and said: “this is my body which is broken for you. Do this as a memory of me” And as we celebrated Communion, we did exactly that. We also remembered the way that Christ served humankind, especially as he washed the disciples' feet, as Steve washed the feet of 12 members of the congregation.

Today, Good Friday, many of us joined together at the Methodist Church for the Churches Together in Oadby joint service as we remembered that Christ was indeed “broken” on the cross for us. Many went on to join the “Christ in the Centre” Passion Play, while in the evening we held a meditative service of Scripture readings, prose, poetry and hymns relating to Christ’s sacrifice of himself on the cross, to forgive us our sins.

And now, we anticipate Sunday, when the astonished disciples found Christ’s grave empty. His offering of himself had been accepted. He had conquered death. We will be celebrating this with a Sunrise (whether or not the sun is visible
!) Service in Brocks Hill Park at 6.30 a.m. BST, followed by bacon sandwiches and we move on to our main 10.0 a.m. family Communion Service. Hopefully, losing an hour’s sleep due to the clocks going forward will not discourage our enthusiasm!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

What are our Services, April - June ?

Happy Easter!

Use this link to see our new programme.

We begin this term by celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, his conquering of sin, his over coming of evil and his victory over death. Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.

We then remember Christ's Ascension into heaven to be
with his Father and then the sending of the Holy Spirit.

On Pentecost Sunday we will be starting a new sermon series focusing on Spiritual Gifts. My hope is that this will build us up and encourage us a the Body of Christ in this place. It is as we all play our part together, working to our strengths and using our God given gifts in the power of the Spirit that we can see our body strengthen and

My prayer is that together we will all discover our gifts
and have opportunities to use them to the glory of God.

Yours In Christ,


Revd. Steve Bailey.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Our Confidence Is the Lord

The Archbishop preaches
from St Augustine's Chair
Yesterday, Justin Welby was consecrated as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury. Amidst the usual magnificence of such an occasion, Archbishop Welby introduced several innovations. On his arrival (and having to knock to be admitted) the Archbishop was quizzed by the daughter of Asian immigrants, who worship at the Cathedral, as to why he was there. His explanation was that he had come to serve them and to lead them in their worship of Christ. There were several reminders of the worldwide nature of the Anglican Communion. African drummers (from London) accompanied him as he went to read the Gospel Reading. There were songs in African languages and he was blessed in French by the Archbishop of Burundi. Symbols of churches around the world were laid on the altar.

In his sermon, Justin Welby reminded us of the words spoken by Jesus to the frightened disciples: “It’s me!” (or as the Archbishop correctly said “it is I!”) “Don’t be afraid.” He spoke of the confidence that we could have in Christ and how that is able to transform the Church, Society and the world. He gave some examples of Christians changing society in the past, but he did not duck the cost of being a Christian (more Christians have been killed for their faith in the 20th century than in the rest of recorded history), nor did he duck the conflicts which exist within our society.

Our rector (Michael Rusk) had the privilege of being in the congregation at the Cathedral. The rest of us, who saw it on television (and could probably see more), were also privileged to be able to join in this joyful event. Archbishop Welby will need all our prayers as he sets out in this challenging job.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Congratulations Pope Francis

Our congratulations and prayers go with the new Pope, Francis I. It is encouraging that the Roman  Catholic Church has appointed an Argentinian, as it recognises the way in which the majority of Christians are no longer to be found in Europe.

The new Pope has already spoken of the need to evangelise – to bring news of the love of Christ to those who are as yet unaware of it. He has also shown his concern for the poor and underprivileged. This is good news for the Gospel, but the new Pope also faces many challenges, including those within the Roman Catholic hierarchy, but also those relating to recent scandals. May he also be a Pope who sees other Christian denominations as equally part of the worldwide Church.
As Pope Francis seeks to make Christ known to the world, he needs our prayers. We gladly offer them.

Copying the Church

Just down the road from the church where our previous vicar, Simon Harvey, now serves in Islington, an atheist group has now set up a “Sunday Assembly.” Superficially, it has much in common with the church, with singing, a talk and even a time of quiet to replace prayers.

Our current vicar, Steve Bailey, had come across an account of this “atheist church” and shared it with the members of the midweek Communion Service. He pointed out how, even in Jesus time, there were those that mimicked his ministry.
Our prayer must be that the members of this group not only enjoy the trappings of the Christian Church, but actually come to discover Jesus as their Lord. For us, we need to be sure that it is Jesus and not the trappings of the church, that we treasure.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

What IF the G8 leaders were kids

I was recently sent this excellent short clip by the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign.
Watch it here
Sometimes it takes a child speaking the truth to point out the ludicrous faults of the adult world. Watch them take on the role of the most powerful leaders and see what happens.

Monday, 11 March 2013

The Lord is My Shepherd

As we continued our series of studies on the names of God, this Sunday we reached “the LORD our Shepherd.” Using the model of Psalm 23, Steve showed how the LORD led us, provided for us, protected us and cared for us. This was Mothering Sunday, and he showed the parallels between the loving care of our mothers and the loving care of God.
This was an All Age Service, with Rainbows, Brownies and Guides present, and these and other children helped to act out the characteristics of the LORD our Shepherd, and those of our mothers. The symbols of the actions of the Good Shepherd were placed in the central aisle, and the children stood on the step of the sanctuary holding symbols of our mothers’ love and care.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Mothering Sunday

All the ladies in church on Sunday were presented with flowers as we celebrated Mothering Sunday. Most of us look with gratitude at what our mothers (whether alive or now dead) have done for us. We commonly think of God as our Father, but there are many verses in the Bible which show his maternal character. In Luke (13:34) Jesus spoke of his longing to protect his people "as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings,” but sadly his people had so often rejected him.

As we think of the love, protection and sacrifice that we received from our mothers, it’s worthwhile remembering these characteristics of God. No love or sacrifice can exceed that of Christ’s death on the cross for us.