Monday, 28 October 2013

Celebrating the Bible

Sunday 27 October was widely celebrated as "Bible Sunday." At St Paul's, everyone was encouraged to bring a Bible with them, especially ones that had a particular significance. Our Reader (lay Minister) Colin Chettle, who was leading the service, asked people what lay behind their choices and demonstrated how fortunate we were to have such a range of different translations and paraphrases. He also amused the young people (and probably others) with some (rather bad) jokes about the Bible, such as: Question: who was the best comedian in the Bible. Answer: Samson, he brought the house down!

In his sermon, are our other Reader, Hugh James, showed the importance that Jesus gave to the Bible of his time, the old Testament, and based his claims of being the Messiah, on it. He went on to show how Paul the apostle based his teaching using the words of Jesus and those of the old Testament as of equal value. He challenged the church to take time to "read, mark, learn and inwardly digest" the words of the Bible.

To Christians, the Bible is of vital importance as it tells of God's love for the world and the way that he has brought liberation through Jesus. Yet there are still many people in the world who have yet to have the Bible translated into their own "heart language" – their primary language. And there are many others who live in areas of the world where the Bible is a forbidden book and owning one is an imprisonable offence.

We remembered both these groups in our prayers as well as the Bible Society and others, who seek to make the Bible available to all.




Saturday, 26 October 2013

Fully Alive? .....being apprentices of Jesus

Every year, the diocese of Leicester helps to resource local churches, such as St Paul's, by putting on a "Bishops Lay Congress." This took place today. The belief underlying the Congress was that while "Church" was often unpopular, people were still drawn to the character of Jesus.
If that is so, it's important that individual Christians should demonstrate Christ to the world around. It raised questions such as what is it to actually follow Jesus? What are the disciplines, the practices and the habits of heart and mind that Jesus calls us to in following him? How is it we are to be truly his disciples and so become more fully alive?

The first keynote speaker was Mark Russell, the CEO of the Church Army. This Northern Irishman with a winsome personality stimulated us, challenged us, and offered us suggestions of how we could be more like Jesus.

In the second address, the Bishop of Leicester, Tim Stevens, pursued this subject in a thoughtful, but quieter way.

The day was completed with opening and closing worship, workshops and a question and answer session.

We went away challenged to be the body of Christ in our locality, in our case Oadby.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

He did it!

Mark Batchelor (alias Marathon Man) has completed the marathon mentioned in the blog on 4 October. He reports:

“It went well, despite the rain! I ran all 26.2 miles in 3 hours and 39 minutes. The provisional results placed me 138th which, being my first marathon, is a personal best! Thanks, in no small part, to the overwhelming generosity of St. Paul's over £400 has been raised for the Joe Humphrey Memorial Trust. Many thanks to all who have contributed and shown your support, it has been very much appreciated.”

Flying for Life

This month, the Christian organisation that we are supporting and focusing on is the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF).

At the end of World War II, God Amazingly put this same thought simultaneously into the minds of Christian airmen in the UK, USA, Australia, and South Africa: “Aircraft have been so powerful in spreading death and destruction during the war. Why can’t they be used to bring life and hope in peace time?” “‘Let’s seek to use small planes to bring help to needy people in the inaccessible areas of out world.”  They didn’t know each other at first. Connecting later, each group took the common name of Mission Aviation Fellowship.

That has grown from small beginnings to a dynamic Christian organisation operating more than 130 single or twin engine light aircraft in around 25 countries in the developing world. Flying across hostile environments, MAF reaches the world’s most isolated people. It partners with over 1,000 organisations to bring physical and spiritual care to those who need it most.

One of our own members, Keith Waddell, who is an eye surgeon in Uganda has frequently used MAF planes to transport his Eye Teams into remote areas, such as Southern Sudan and areas made inaccessible by road by rebels such as the Lord’s Resistance Army.
Link to the MAF UK website

Sunday, 13 October 2013


Today we held our Harvest Celebrations at St Paul's.
As well as singing the traditional harvest hymns of 'Come ye thankful people come' and 'We plough the fields and scatter' we also sang 'Cauliflowers fluffy'. Many of our young people know this song from Harvest assemblies at school. You can listen to it being sung here.

Although a much loved song, it makes no reference to the provider of the Harvest, no mention is made of God.
Doug and Aileen wrote an extra verse and final chorus which we sung at St Paul's this morning. It goes....

Give thanks to the Father, for every good thing,
Now and forever His praises we'll sing
Lord, we love you every day,
Altogether we want to say:

The apples are ripe, and the plums are red,
Thank you, Lord, for our daily bread. Yeah!

Not only was this a great ending to the song but is also tied in beautifully with our Bible reading from John 6.25-35 in which Jesus calls himself the bread of life.

All the Harvest gifts given this morning went to the work of the Welcome Project, providing for Asylum seekers in Leicester. The fresh produce was sold and funds give to Tearfund.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Coffeepot Harvest Lunch

On Thursday 10th October the members and friends of Coffeepot came together to give thanks for the harvest. We sang and prayed and then sat down to a three- course lunch. After soup sandwiches and sweet we met with Wendy Martin from Send a Cow , an organisation which helps families in Uganda and Burundi to get a start in farming  and develop agriculture.  Coffeepot has been raising money for SAC over the year. Wendy gave us an update of the organisation’s work, and on our behalf Jenny presented her with a cheque for £550. The coffeepot team had organised  one of their fantastic raffles, thanks to them for some lovely prizes. Our thanks to all the people involved in making the harvest Lunch a great success.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Marathon Man

Mark Batchelor, a member of St Paul's writes....
On the 13th October at 9.15am I will be starting out on all 26.2 miles of the Leicester Marathon. This represents for me a great personal challenge and the culmination of months of training. Although I will run as fast as I can I doubt I’ll be back in time for church that week, nevertheless I would like to make a plea for sponsorship! The Joe Humphries Memorial Trust is a charity established after the sudden death of Joe, a 14 year old from Leicestershire. The trust promotes awareness of sudden death in young people (SADS)and teaches people how to react in these situations as well as inspiring young people to fulfil their potential. It is a charity that I work with as part of my role as a schoolteacher at Bushloe High School.

If you feel able to contribute a convenient way to do this is by using the following web link: