Friday, 27 September 2013

Principal Services October to December

Dear Friends,

New Service Programme

during hese next few months we continue with our sermon series which focuses on our Frontline, the places where we spend most of our time outside of church. We are thinking about how we can bring a positive Christian presence into each of these place. Hopefully our 'This Time Tomorrow' slots are raising our awareness of the many different places that we serve God and encouraging us in all we do. I am looking forward to hearing stories of how God is working in all these places.

As our Frontline journey concludes so Advent journey begins, culminating with our Christmas celebrations. Our Carol Service this year will be on the 15th December
 May I wish you all a blessed and peaceful Christmas.

Yours In Christ,

Revd Steve Bailey

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Archbishop Speaks out on Peshawar.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has spoken out about the killing of 83 worshippers at All Saints Church, Peshawar, Pakistan. Despite earlier silence (see blog. 25 September) his comments were picked up by the news broadcasters.

He called those killed, Martyrs, as they had died worshipping Christ. His comments can be read here.
Listen to the whole Radio 4 “World at One” interview with Justin Welby on violence against Christians here.


Saint Pauls uses 10 % of what we are given to support charitable causes in the UK and abroad. We have decided, each month, to publicise and to concentrate our prayers on, a different cause.

The organisation we are featuring this month is Tear Fund. This is a Christian Relief and Development organisation that works by supporting the actions of churches who are local to where the need is.

Tear fund describes its brief as follows:
“We're Christians passionate about ending poverty. We go to where the 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. What drives us is a belief that the local church is a powerful force for transformation in communities living in every kind of poverty. Inspired by the example and teaching of Jesus, we recognise that people have deeply interconnected material and spiritual needs, and we seek to meet those needs by working through our local church partners.“

At St. Paul’s we support Tear Fund to make a difference in the world, on our behalf, being Jesus’ eyes, hands and feet, just as he asked us to.
Link to Tear Fund

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Massacre at Peshawar

We have all watched shocked at the massacre of the shoppers at the mall in Nairobi, Kenya. On Sunday, 22 September, just one day later, 83 people, a similar number, were killed in All Saints Church, Peshawar, in Pakistan. As someone who tries to keep abreast of the news, I was surprised that this did not reach any of the headlines that I saw.

This is only the last of many sufferings of the church in Pakistan. We need to keep it in our prayers and pray for the injured and those who have lost relatives. Above all, we need to pray that the Pakistani authorities may be prepared to take responsibility for the security and welfare of their Christian co-citizens.

What a privilege it is to be able to go to church, in Oadby, at Saint Pauls, safely on Sunday.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Clergy Conference

I have just returned from a clergy conference held in Swanwick. Every two years the diocese of Leicester hosts a conference for all its clergy. This years theme was 'Good News in a changing world'.
There was an interesting selection of speakers including Anthony Seldon, who is Master of Wellington College. This school has 8 aptitudes by which it encourages its children to learn and grow. They are moral, spiritual, logical, linguistical, physical, cultural, social and personal. You can see them here. He spoke on some of the similarities between clergy and head teachers and encouraged us to look after ourselves as we care for and nurture others.
Another speaker, Dave Bookless from Arocha encouraged us to care for all of God's creation and spoke of the biblical mandate for caring for the world.
A series of bible studies on the book of 1 Peter were led by Loveday Alexander, Canon Theologian of Chester Cathedral.
The conference began with this flash mob clip of the Hallelujah chorus, which is a must see if you have not come across it. We were reminded that we are the bearers of good news that society is open to hear.

Sunday, 15 September 2013


The sheep reunited and the collected prayers

Today was an "All Together" All Age Service. Instead of a lesson, the young people gave a dramatised reading of Luke 15. By the end of the reading, there were 99, furry toy sheep and nine coins on the table at the front and one abandoned coin and one lonely sheep at the distant end of the aisle.

 The reading had reminded us how Jesus had been criticised by the Pharisees for associating with those whose actions have made them social outcasts. But he explained to the Pharisees that the very reason that he had come was to retrieve the lost – exactly those who were shunned by the Pharisees.

In his talk, Steve explored the emotions that came with being lost and how Jesus wanted to bring people back into relationship with him.

When Angie Bailey then led the prayers, (having already istributed paper stubs with the outline of a sheep) she invited us to write on that sheep the names(s) of people who are “lost” for whatever reason – emotionally, physically or spiritually, for whom we wanted to pray. People then brought their “sheep” and left them within the sheepfold at the front of the church. We united all our prayers in the Lord’s Prayer.

 Thank you to all who helped make this such a meaningful service. If the descriptions don’t make much sense, you should’ve been there!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Justin Welby at the HTB Leadership Summit

Here is a link to Shaped by God the Diocese of Leicester vision for mission resource and blog.

Barry Hill, the diocesan Mission Enabler has posted an interview with Justin Welby at the HTB Leadership Summit which was held at the Albert Hall in March this year. The interview is well worth a watch.

I was particularly struck by two things that Justin said.
The first was that we are called to be a risk taking church. It is in Christ that we find our absolute security but not safety as we are called to take risks in His name.

The second thing that struck me was as Justin was talking about his background in reconciliation and relating this to his experience in the church. He said we cannot live for our own cause to win but rather we must live for Christ's cause to win.

A fascinating interview.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

All the fun of the fair!

Today St Paul's held a fair on Hamble Green and in the church as an event for the wider community and to raise money for Rainbows Children's Hospice.

Want a Garden Plant?

Many prayers were answered for the forecast rain to hold off!

Fun for All - Bouncy Castle

A good day was had by the many who came along. The homemade cake stall sold out. Lots of cream teas were eaten, as were all the hot dogs off the BBQ.

Prizes galore - Tombola

There were fun and games a plenty for the young children and a huge bouncy castle. Lots of hand made crafts and henna, face painting, raffle, tombola, a plant stall and plenty of books and bric-a-brac were also available.

Look as mad as you like -  Face Painting

Many thanks to Sue & Wendy who masterminded it all.

These photos are just a taster of a very happy day.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Carrying the Cross

On Wednesday this week as I cycled back home from Morning Prayer and a staff meeting at St Peter's I was struck by the sight of a man carrying a huge wooden cross along the A6.

I stopped and chatted to Alan who explained about his walk from Manchester to London carrying the Cross as an act of witness. I was able to pray with him and encourage him on his way.

If you want to read more about his walk here is a link to his blog. There is this picture and a story of our encounter on the 4th September.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Solidarity with Christians Worldwide

At our Sunday morning service, we were privileged to hear from Revd  Stuart Windsor the National Director of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) and we also saw one of their short videos.

Stuart challenged us to follow the calls of the Christians in the early church be prayerful and concerned for other Christians across the world who are suffering for their faith. He highlighted particular problems in Eritrea, Northern Nigeria and North Korea. In North Korea, people are put in prison without trial, simply for having friends or family who are Christians and they may bear children who reach adult life without leaving prison.

Christians may be in very difficult positions, needing relief and assistance, but that is not the role of CSW. Theirs is one of advocacy – of claiming the Human Rights of religious conviction and conversion. They interact with government leaders, UN organisations and NGOs. Whilst a Christian organisation, CSW upholds the rights of all religions to choose and practice their faith.

CSW is currently running “Operation 18”. This relates to article 18 in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights,” which guarantees the rights to choose and to change one’s religion. CSW is organising a petition upholding the right of everyone to choose and practice their faith. The Operation 18 petition will be delivered to: Baroness Warsi, UK Minister for Faith & Communities, Eileen Donahoe, US Mission to the UN in Geneva, Baroness Ashton, High Representative for the EU, and to the Heads of Mission to the UN for Australia, Brazil & Canada.

All church members were encouraged to sign postcards which were part of this petition. If you wish to know more, there are links as follows:
  Christian Solidarity Worldwide. Homepage
  The “Operation 18” petition.

We pray this petition may influence world leaders such that the plight of many, including Christians, may be alleviated.

Farewell Sue!

Since her arrival in Leicester 12 years ago, Sue Boyden has worshipped with us at St Paul’s. She has helped in very many roles in our church, but in particular, she has taken responsibility for the organisation of the Thursday morning Communion Service. She has also been one of the organising team for the “Coffee Pot” time of refreshments and friendship which follows the service. Last Thursday, we took the opportunity at the “Coffee Pot” service to formally say goodbye. But in the Sunday Morning service today, Steve gave her a book of daily readings on behalf of the congregation and wished her well.

Now she is moving to Bristol in the very near future. Sue will be very much missed, here, but we wish her well in all the details of her move and as she moves into a new circle of friendships and Church Community.

It has been lovely to have you with us. Thank you for your friendship. May God be with you ‘til we meet again.