Monday, 30 November 2015

Telling your Story

 About 40 people stayed on after the Bring and Share lunch on Sunday for a workshop led by James Lawrence of the Church Pastoral Aid Society, who had been the speaker in the morning. Then, he had called on us to be Salt and Light – to be God's presence in society. James now spoke about the way that we could be the connection between the lifestyle of our friends and the way of Christ. He spoke about all the barriers that discourage people from wanting to know more about Christ and encouraged us to tell our own story.
He reinforced his message by encouraging us to speak together in small groups, imagining real situations.
With Christmas coming, which reminds us how Christ came to earth to engage with its people and bring salvation, it was good to discover how we could be involved in his work.

Confirmed in Your Faith

Last Sunday, 29 November 2015, Bishop Christopher, the Assistant Bishop of Leicester visited St Cuthbert's Church, Great Glen for a service of confirmation. There were a number of candidates who wanted to be confirmed, including our own Sue Frost. There was a group from St Paul's to support her and also a group of her friends. In the service, the candidates renew their baptismal vows to follow Christ, and the Bishop then laid hands on them, praying that the Holy Spirit might dwell in them richly.
We pray that this step on her Christian journey may be one that stands out for Sue.
After the service, Sue returned to St Paul's, where she was warmly welcomed, and joined in the Bring and Share lunch that had been organised both to mark Sue's confirmation and the visit of James Lawrence from the Church Pastoral Aid society. 

Friday, 27 November 2015

Hope for the World

The Christian conservation charity A Rocha has launched an on line advent calendar called Hope for the World. You can access it by clicking here.

Given the importance of world wide climate change talks that begin in Paris on 30th November there has never been a more crucial time to be praying for the world in which we live and to take seriously our call as stewards of God's good creation.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Advent Wonder

Here is a great video from Stewardship called Advent Wonder. Click here to watch it. It is encouraging us to use Advent well as preparation for Christmas, to wonder again at the greatest gift from the greatest giver. You can sign up to receive emails from them through Advent to help your reflection in the midst of this busy time.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Connected Church

Here is the latest news from the churches we support through Tearfund. To visit the website click here.

Amid all the challenges that life throws at Lucy, there’s one crucial thing that helps her stand tall – her faith.
Today, her outlook on life is transformed. Now she confronts her difficulties with firm resolve and faces the future with hope.

‘I no longer have an attitude of dependence… I have developed self-reliance,’ says this inspiring grandmother.

She knows that her new-found confidence is down to the support of her local church, backed by our partner Pentecostal Assemblies of God (PAG). She also knows that the life-changing work they do is made possible through your generosity.

As you’ll recall, Lucy recently recovered from a bout of malaria and she’s still struggling with a kidney infection.

She needs to keep farming to be able to feed her five orphaned grandchildren and send them to school. ‘Much as I feel pain, I have to work,’ she says. ‘When I do rest, there is nobody who can do the work for me.’

Her crops have been disappointing too. Even her beans, for which she had high hopes, are ‘very tiny’. Climate change is taking a heavy toll.

Despite these setbacks, Lucy recognises that she’s making good progress. She’s proud that she produces her own food now, instead of working other people’s land. She has to work hard for it, but she’s putting food on the table and even has some produce left over to sell.

She’s hugely grateful for your support and her message for you underlines the power of prayer: ‘What gives me joy is your prayers, because whatever I have achieved has been through your prayers.’

Please Pray

  • Pray that God will heal Lucy and restore her strength, so that she has renewed energy to farm her land. 
  • Pray that Lucy and her family will all continue to grow to become like trees ‘planted by streams of water’ so that ‘whatever they do prospers’ (Psalm 1:3).
  • Thank God that Lucy can now taste and see that God is good, as her life is transformed. Pray that many more families will know God’s love and power through the church in Ogongora. 

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

The Lord's Prayer

Prayer is powerful and dangerous, maybe that is why cinemas across the country have banned an advert showing the Lord's Prayer. The 60 second advert was passed by the standards agency but is deemed to be likely to cause offence. You can watch it yourself by clicking here.

One of the best responses I have read is from Bishop Steven Croft, the Bishop of Sheffield. Read what he wrote on his blog Seven reasons to ban the Lord's Prayer.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Looking Forward

The area Dean addresses those present
When the Rev Kim Ford was inducted as Priest-in-Charge of St Cuthbert’s Great Glen, it was as part of a reorganisation of Parish arrangements known as the 20/20 vision. The intention was that the Parish of Great Glen, together with the Parish of St Andrews Burton Overy and Carlton Curlieu should join in Team Ministry with the Parish of Oadby, St Peter's and St Paul's. On Saturday 21 November, members of the church councils from those churches met together in Church Langton Village Hall to discuss what the best arrangements for that team might be.
The meeting was convened and led by Tim Stratford, the Archdeacon of Leicester and Richard Brand, the Area Dean. After a time of worship, the different possible structures for the enlarged team were presented by the Archdeacon. Those present then met together in small groups, before and after lunch, to discuss the implications of those ideas, especially as they related to their particular churches.
There was widespread agreement that all the churches should either feature as Parish Churches, governed by Parochial Church Councils (probably the favourite) or they should all have District Church Councils with a single Parochial Church Council.
The Archdeacon and the Area Dean will now go away and see how the suggestions would look in practice.
It was a useful exercise and it was particularly good to get to know people in the different churches

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Kingdom buisness

Last night I went to an event exploring Chaplaincy as a contemporary tool for mission. It was encouraging to hear what is happening with the Derby City Centre Chaplaincy. I was struck by a quote that was used during the evening from a book by Howard Snyder book Liberating the Church and reminded of the importance of being church for the sake of the Kingdom...

The church gets in trouble whenever it thinks its in the church business rather than the Kingdom business. In the church business people are concerned with church activities, religious behaviour and spiritual things. In the Kingdom business people are concerned with Kingdom activities, all human behaviour and everything God has made, visible and invisible. Kingdom people see human affairs as saturated with spiritual meaning and Kingdom significance.
Kingdom people seek first the Kingdom of God and its justice; church people often put church work above concerns of justice, mercy and truth. Church people often think about how to get people into church; Kingdom people think about how to get the church into the world. Church people worry that the world might change the church; Kingdom people work to see the church chnage the world.
When Christians put the church ahead of the Kingdom they settle for the status quo and their own kind of people. When they catch a vision of the Kingdom of God their sights shift to the poor, the orphan, the widow, the refugee 'the wretched of the earth' and to God's future. They see the life and work of the church from the perspective of the Kingdom.
If the church has one great need it is this: to be set free for the Kingdom of God, to be liberated from itself as it has become in order to be itself as God intends...

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

31 Bus Route

It has come as a great surprise, at 10 days notice as far as the residents are concerned, to discover that the bus company Arriva has axed the end of the 31 bus route which runs along Copse Close. This has left many elderly residents stranded in their houses and school pupils from Brookside School and Manor High School faced with a walk that crosses several busy junctions.

We believe that Christians are called to speak for those who have no voice. A petition against this action was therefore made available at church on Sunday, and a good group of the congregation joined the 200 people who met at the protest meeting in Manor High School on Monday 16
th November. A sad story was revealed of how the Leicestershire County Council Officers having received the statutory 56 day notice had failed to involve our County Councillors, let alone the local residents. New bus stops had already been installed before the meeting took place.

We will seek to continue to find ways in which the situation can be ameliorated.

Our Grief Is with You

Like the rest of the population, St Paul’s congregation had been overwhelmed with sadness at the news of the massacres in Paris – and also those in Beirut in Lebanon.

At our service on Sunday, the survivors and relatives of the dead were remembered by Michael Rusk, both as he led the service, and when he preached. They were also remembered when Hugh led our intercessions.

Not only is our prayer that comfort may be given to the grieving, but also that it may not be a cause of division within our society, and that those in sympathy with the assassins' aims may leave their attitude of hate and turn to the love of God.

Residents of
Paris, we share your grief.

Are You Coming?

The Christmas Fayre was the first of our Christmas activities. Further activities and services over Christmas will be:
10.0 a.m. Sunday 13 December, the Gift Service
7.0 p.m. Sunday 20 December, Carols by Candlelight
4.0 p.m. Thursday 24 December, The All Age Crib and Christingle Service
11.30 p.m. Thursday 24 December, the Christmas Eve Midnight Communion Service
10.0 a.m. Friday 25 December, the Christmas Day Family Communion Service.

You will be very welcome at any or all of these services as we rejoice at the memory of the birth of our Saviour at Bethlehem.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

St Paul's Christmas Fair

Yesterday we held our Christmas Fair. Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make it happen. This year all the money raised (over £1,000) is to be split between two local charities, Helping Hands & Memphys. It was good to have representatives from both charities with us on the day so they could promote their work and we could interview them during the day.

Monday, 9 November 2015


In her excellent sermon on Sunday, Lou our youth worker challenged us to think about how welcoming we are and what obstacles we as church might put in peoples way that hinder them coming to Jesus. She finished by quoting a church notice board which had the following on its sign...

“We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, widowed, gay, confused, filthy rich, comfortable, or dirt poor. We extend a special welcome to those who are crying new-borns, skinny as a rake or could afford to lose a few pounds. You’re welcome if you are Old Leigh, New Leigh, Not Leigh, or just passing by.

We welcome you if you can sing like Pavarotti or can’t carry a note in a bucket. You’re welcome here if you’re ‘just browsing,’ just woke up or just got out of prison. We don’t care if you’re more Christian than the Archbishop of Canterbury, or haven’t been in church since little Jack’s christening.

We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet, and to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome keep-fit mums, football dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians, junk-food eaters.

We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems or you’re down in the dumps or if you don’t like ‘organised religion.’ We’ve been there too!

If you blew all your money on the horses, you’re welcome here. We offer a welcome to those who think the earth is flat, ‘work too hard,’ don’t work, can’t spell, or because grandma is in town and wanted to go to church.

We welcome those who are inked, pierced or both. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down your throat as a kid or got lost on the London Road and wound up here by mistake. We welcome tourists, seekers and doubters, bleeding hearts… and you!”

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Classy Coffee Coming Soon!

Last night was the meeting of the Church Council. There were many issues to discuss; among them was the budget for next year, when we will need to raise £124,000 to cover our expected expenses.  But we thank God that he has always provided for our needs in the past, and we trust him that he will do so in the future.

Among items of, perhaps lesser importance, was a decision to welcome people with real filter coffee, rather than instant, and to get the equipment to do this.

So, once the equipment has come, do let us welcome you with a cup of filter coffee.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Youth Glow Party

Lou writes, "We had an awesome time celebrating light and hope with glow stick hunts, glow stick games, tug of war, craft and food. We also watched a couple of videos, one which reminded us of the work of World Vision with children across the world who live in fear and danger all the time. We therefore followed their lead carving pumpkins with hearts in to think and pray for those living in fear and we made £25 to send to support their important work. And we finished it all off with some Goodie bags. Top night, top people, top God! #CelebrateLight #ShareTheLove"