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Some members of our Church participated in the Bedford Passion Play 2016 this Easter. Janet Fardell said: The play was super, we were so glad to have been part of it all,meeting new friends from different churches and feeling moved by the Easter story being depicted this way.
Great Hale, Lincolnshire. Dear All, It is only two weeks since our Farewell Service and yet it seems much longer because we have been occupied with a series of contractors, renewing a bathroom, having new doors, a cupboard and bookshelves, having a new fire installed and having the whole place painted. That's not to mention opening removal boxes and unwrapping various items and putting up pictures – there are still plenty more boxes to open. We went to our local church on Mothering Sunday for a very friendly and informal service, a variation on Messy Church, but this morning we went to the Boston Stump for a more dignified Sung Eucharist, with the emphasis on making their church a place of hospitality – this is quite challenging as it is the biggest parish church in England and you can't help feeling a bit lost in it, but there was a friendly welcome. However, the purpose of this letter is to thank you all most sincerely for our tremendous and memorable send-off at the last [Read more...]
Please join us at All Saints Church, Kempston, on Sunday 28th February at 4:00pm for a leaving service for Rev Stephen Huckle.
The ancient poems we call Psalms have stood the test of time, for they address many of the problems we still face: violence, injustice, anger – and bewilderment. Why do the wicked prosper? Where is God when we suffer? Church Barn on Thursdays, 11, 18, February, 3, 10, 17 March at 7:30 p.m. Do please join us and sign up to the list in church so we can provide enough booklets.
Elaine and I came from a very different inner city parish in Stirchley in Birmingham in 2005 and, coming to live in Church End in Kempston, the first major shock was that our main neighbours were not people at all but pheasants and foxes. In fact, as we later discovered, the two parishes embrace a huge variety of people from farmers in rural Kempston to professionals in Biddenham, with substantial other groups in between, as well as pockets of poverty in Kempston, and later on the vast new estates in Great Denham and West Kempston. The priest's task is somehow to bring God to these diverse groups of people and to represent their needs before God. It was a tall order at the time and with the massive growth of the two parishes, the job has just got harder. My predecessor Richard Sutton had used the word backwater in his email address and there is a sense in which every parish is a backwater with its own very parochial concerns and we are certainly not a couple of highly visible town [Read more...]
Just to say thank you to all the children that took part in the Nativity. I know that everyone enjoyed the drama and how well everyone took their parts. Jennifer was excellent as a Narrator and worked really hard to be word perfect and I know everyone heard every word. Grace and Riley took their parts as Mary and Joseph very seriously and were also excellent. The Inn Keeper was also very convincing in her role. A thank you to Holly who also took her part very seriously and made a wonderful Gabriel and looked after all the younger but very beautiful Angels. The shepherds acted well and the Kings bowed very regally as they gave Jesus the gifts of Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh. I would like to thank all the Mums and Dads who brought them to rehearsal and for the support with Costumes and Props. Special thanks to Helen, Emily and Madelin who produced such a beautiful Star for the Nativity and also being helpful with all the Props. This wouldn't have happened unless I had the continued [Read more...]
I'm sure most of us have already started preparing for Christmas in terms of beginning to write the Christmas Cards and buy the presents and make arrangements for what we are actually doing over the festive season. But of course there is also the spiritual preparation called Advent, not just the calendars with all the chocolates in. The clergy in our archdeaconry recently went on a day conference about Advent, at which I was horrified to realize that at St James's, we only devote one Sunday morning to thinking about Advent, because the others are all taken over by Christingles, Nativity plays, Christmas carol services or baptisms. Advent is indeed a sobering subject with its focus on Death and Judgment, Heaven and Hell and the Second Coming of Christ, all things we'd rather not talk about. We are all mortal and life does not just go on for ever. The current emphasis on the celebration of the lives of individuals at most funerals is good as far as it goes, but all of us fall short of [Read more...]
This year, the Bishop's Harvest Appeal, working in conjunction with Mission Direct, is aiming to support children with disabilities in Uganda to access school and so give them greater opportunities and a new hope for their future. Most children with disabilities in Uganda not only face exclusion from school and isolation because of their difficulties with mobility but they also have to endure the stigma that goes with that. The Chilli Children Project seeks out disabled children in South West Uganda and tries to help them by giving them access to education, surgery, rehabilitation and medical clinics. Through chilli growing, families are enabled to provide a sustainable income for all their children. Mission Direct, supported by the Chilli Children Project, have started to build special classrooms with dormitories, attached to a mainstream school. The dormitories provide security for vulnerable children and the classrooms are specially adapted so that children can access them in their [Read more...]
We will be holding a Quiet Day for all the churches of the cluster, including St James and All Saints, on Saturday 26th October from 10.00am until 4.00pm at the Forest Centre in Marston Moreteyne led by the Revd Roger Wood. The theme will be our Spiritual Journey. The cost is £12. Tea and Coffee will be provided but you should bring a packed lunch. All are welcome. Please sign the list in church if you would like to come. Stephen