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Odell Church News - February 2015

Vacancy Update 

Whilst the church is in vacancy, following Christine’s retirement last November, it is very much ‘Business as usual’.  Our rota of services continues as before; the communion services are being led at present by retired clergy and some of the morning prayers are being led by ourselves.  However, the Revd John Weaver, who is a retired Baptist Minister, and who recently moved into the village with his wife Sheila, has been given permission by the Bishop to officiate at our communion services.  We are most grateful to John for giving us so much help and support at a very difficult time.  Also, after March Christine will be available again, so we shall be well served from then onwards. 

However, Deanery matters have become even more complicated.  With the retirement of The Revd Robert Evens from Sharnbrook, Felmersham and Souldrop, and also the Revd Peter Mackenzie from Turvey and Stagsden, Jane Fox remains the only priest in the Western group of some 12 parishes!  This gives a rare opportunity for the Diocese to consider the deployment of ministry in this part of the Sharnbrook Deanery (including Harrold and Carlton) and the Diocesan Pastoral Committee and the Deanery Pastoral Committee have been considering the way forward.  Clearly, this is a difficult situation to resolve and much thought has been put into determining a long-term plan that will provide stability for the future rather than a short-term fix; it is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to start with a clean sheet.  There will be a meeting of Churchwardens from all the parishes in the affected area on 23rd March to hear the proposals for the Deanery from the Bishop of Bedford.  Hopefully we shall be able to provide an up-date in the April magazine.                  Martin Eshelby, Jill Cheadle.

Click here to download John Weaver's talk from February 1st  (Meditation)

Click here to download John Weaver's talk from January 18th (Simeon)

Notice to Hymn choosers - click here to see available Hymns

February 2015 

In December, BBC Countryfile included a feature on rural ministry.  We followed a vicar with pastoral care of ten churches in Herefordshire, as he set off on a normal Sunday with four different services in four villages.  He stressed the importance of the church as part of the community and confessed that he didn’t know what went on in the ten villages.  Well, how could he?  He was fortunate in having the help of a reader and retired clergy. 

It is an important time for the churches in North Bedfordshire.  We have an ever increasing number of vacancies in the Deanery: Wymington and Poddington, Odell, Turvey and Stevington, and from March Sharnbrook, Felmersham and Souldrop.  A group has been meeting to form a Pastoral Plan for the Deanery and will now be focussing on this area.  Happily, the Bishop of St Albans is firm in his views of maintaining clergy numbers in the Diocese and especially in rural areas, so we should not be faced with a situation like Herefordshire and parts of Norfolk, with clergy responsible for large numbers of churches.  Please take an interest.  Find out who the members of the Deanery group are and express your viewpoint. 

I recently went on a one day conference at Coventry organised by the Arthur Rank Centre, called ‘GERMINATE!  Growing and equipping rural mission.’  About three hundred of us from many parts of the country and from different denominations enjoyed a well-planned and inspiring day.

It began with a video welcome by Archbishop Justin Welby, in which he stressed how important strong community is in rural ministry and urged us to be ‘brave and radical.’  The Bishop of Shrewsbury, Mark Rylands, spoke about being a flourishing church to be there for the community and a blessing for others.  He particularly stressed how we can get exhausted and need to remember that ministry is God’s, not ours, and our role is to co-operate with him – to see where seeds are growing and to nurture them.  Throughout the day we were encouraged to write down ideas to reflect on and put into action.  

In this time of uncertainty, I really appreciated the day for the opportunity to share ideas and experiences with others in an atmosphere of mutual listening, encouragement and prayer.  Please support and pray for all those involved in and responsible for future ministry in this area of Bedfordshire.    Jane Fox


Friday 6th March at Harrold URC


Women’s World Day of Prayer is an International, inter-church, organisation which enables us to hear the voices of women, from a different part of the world each year, expressing their hopes and concerns and bringing them before the rest of the world in prayer.

This year’s order of service has been written by Christian women in The Bahamas and translated into over 1000 different languages and dialects.

The theme of the service is taken from St John’s Gospel:

Jesus said to them:“ Do you know what I have done to you?”

Everyone is welcome to attend the service, men, women – people of all ages. For further information, please see the WWDP website:


Churches Together in Harrold and Carlton 

Lent Course 2015 – Praise him

This year’s course is called “Praise him – songs of praise in the New Testament.”  It explores five hymns and poems: what they tell us about God and Jesus, but also reflecting on what they tell us about ourselves and our faith.  There is a well written study booklet by Dr Paula Gooder and the CD includes contributions by Archbishop Justin Welby, David Suchet and Sister Wendy Beckett.  Discussion in small groups will focus on questions raised in the booklet.  

Groups will meet weekly from Monday 23rd February to Thursday 26th March over the five weeks of Lent in four homes in the villages as follows:                                                                                        

Mondays 7.30pm at 3, The Moor, Carlton.

Tuesdays at 7.30pm at Pointers Lodge, Church Walk, Harrold.                                                                

Wednesdays 1.30pm at 32 Rectory Close, Carlton.                                             

Thursdays 10.30am at The Stables, Church Walk, Harrold.

Each session will last 1-1 ½ hours including time for refreshments.

There will be a charge of £5 per person covering the cost of the individual course booklets and the shared CD.  If you would like to join a Lent group, please contact the Churches Together Office on 01234 368564 or by February 13th.

If you would like further details please call Revd Jane Fox on 720262.

Copies of the course are available at Church House to look at.


Churches Together in Harrold and Carlton with Odell

United Services


Fri March 6 10.30am Women’s World Day of Prayer Service at the           United Reformed Church, Harrold

Sun Mar 8      10.45am Anniversary Service at the United Reformed Church, Harrold. Speaker: Revd Peter Meek,  Moderator of East Midlands Synod

Mon Mar 3 0      8.00pm Taize Service and meditation at St Peter’s  Church, Harrold

Tue Mar 31       8.00pm Taize Service and meditation at St Mary’s Church, Carlton

Wed Apr 1       8.00pm Taize Service and meditation at All Saints’ Church, Odell

Thur Apr 2       6.30pm  Agape at the United Reformed Church, Harrold

Fri Apr 3

Good Friday  11.00am Short service and erection of the cross on Harrold  Village Green

                          2.00pm Hour at the Cross at St Peter’s Church, Harrold


See Round, the Diocese of St Albans' monthly newsletter, is no longer produced in paper form and delivered to church, but for anyone who is interested in what goes on, you can sign up to receive it on your computer.  Visit and just click the link and follow the instructions. 


All Saints’ Flower Rota


1st Jill Cheadle 

All Saints’ Church Charitable Giving for the month of February will be to:  Mission Aviation Fellowship – a Christian airborne mission serving remote and inaccessible places, transporting Christian workers and medical supplies. 

Summer Holiday Club

Advance notice that Summer Holiday Club for 5 – 11 year olds will be held from Monday 3rd to Friday 7th August 2015, each morning at the United reformed Church, Harrold. Details and application forms will be available nearer the time, but do put the dates in your diary so that you are free for this very popular event!

If you would be willing to help as an adult or teenage helper and have not done so before, please contact Church House Office 368564 – we shall be delighted to hear from you.

 Prayer Group

What is the Prayer Group?  It is made up of members of All Saints’ Church who undertake to pray regularly, on an individual basis, for people who ask us for prayer support.   

Who do we pray for?  Anyone whom we are asked to remember; these might be people from our church, from our local community or others known to us.   

What do we pray about?  Anything which you would like brought before God; maybe anxiety due to illness, stress or loneliness.  You can also tell us of a special day you wish to be remembered – perhaps for an interview or an exam.  Any information will be treated in strictest confidence. 

How can you let us know if you would like us to pray for you?  You can telephone Madeline Jeeves (720803) and email

Messy Church (Fusion)       


In November we had a ‘Messy Christingle’. We made Christingles with oranges, red ribbon, a candle and sweets on cocktail sticks and learnt what all the parts of a Christingle mean. We thought about light and darkness and made sun ray prayers. We did weaving with different coloured ribbons and thought about a red ribbon representing God’s love spreading through everything. We lit the candles on our Christingles and prayed in the candlelight. Then we shared a hot meal and the biscuits we had decorated.

You are very welcome to join us. The next sessions are: Monday 9 February and Monday 16 March.

Families are welcome to come along to Harrold United Reformed Church from 3.30 to 6.00pm to enjoy the fun and share a hot meal, but please contact Carol Ormond on 720409 to ensure we have catered for you!


Happy birthday to:

Jack Holden Postles who will be 14 on the 10th and to anyone else with a birthday in February.



4th 10.30am Meeting Point at Jane Smith’s, Horsefair Lane

9th 3.30pm Messy Church, Harrold URC

10th 7.30pm W.I., Village Hall

12th 10.30am Health Walk, HOCP

18th 10.30am Meeting Point at Jane Eshelby’s, Newton House, Avenue Road, Rushden

23rd 10am HOCP Conservation Tasks Day

23rd 7.30pm Lent Course, 3 The Moor, Carlton

24th 7.30pm “ “ Pointers Lodge, Church Walk, Harrold

25th 1.30pm “ “ 32 Rectory Close, Carlton

26th 10.30am “ “ The Stables, Church Walk, Harrold

26th 10.30am Health Walk, HOCP


2nd 7.30pm Lent Course, 3 The Moor, Carlton

3rd 7.30pm “ “ Pointers Lodge, Church Walk, Harrold

4th 1.30pm “ “ 32 Rectory Close, Carlton

5th 10.30am “ “ The Stables, Church Walk, Harrold

6th 10.30am Women’s World Day of Prayer, Harrold URC

11th 12.30 Senior Citizens’ Fish and Chip Lunch 

Magazine Deadline

Please send all entries for the March 2015 magazine to Tricia Hudson (ed at  or Catherine Corkery by February 12th at the latest.  May we remind you that the editorial team exercises the right to edit, shorten or alter any items that are submitted.  Also, the opinions expressed in the articles are those of the contributors and are not the responsibility of the editorial team.


Last revised: February 22, 2015.