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CHURCH NEWS - October  2001

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On Sunday 16th September we held a service in memory of all those who perished in the American terrorist attack of September 11th.  Our prayers were for the injured and bereaved. The thoughts of the people of Odell are with our American brothers and sisters

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Leading the worship were members of the Anglican Youth Fellowship Band of Uganda  who had been staying in Odell and were due to fly to Boston on September 14th.

From the Rectory

October  2001

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Dear Friends,

I was preparing to continue some thoughts on the finer points of Christianity from my previous letter when the atrocity in the United States occurred. I obviously do not wish to dwell upon the political side of these dreadful occurrences but as Odell Church has so many friends on the other side of the Atlantic, many of whom visit our web-site regularly, it seems appropriate to convey our support from the Church and I am sure that many in the village would wish to join with us in these sentiments.

In the welter of emotion as I was watching CNN as the situation developed, there were several incidents that struck me most forcibly. The first was one of disbelief to see the airliners crash into the side of the WTC building and literally to disappear in a ball of fire and smoke. I could only watch in disbelief. I am not the world's most confident flyer and always nervous about the possibility of a crash. To see planes with a full complement of crew and passengers being deliberately flown into a building filled me with horror at the thought of those innocent lives being wiped out, as well as the office workers suddenly being caught in a maelstrom of exploding fuel, wreckage and rubble.

The second thought occurred as the television cameras focussed on the building on fire when some office workers scrambled out of the smashed windows and then launched themselves into the space some thousand feet above the ground. The horror in the building must have been of such a magnitude that the fear of falling from such a height overcame their natural reaction of self-preservation.

The third incident is of an entirely different nature. It was the sight of the army at the changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. The Guard was drawn up with the Band behind it and the Star Spangled Banner was played. There were obviously many US citizens in the crowd mixed in with the British. This is the first time I understand that such a thing has occurred by order of HM the Queen but for me it expressed a very deep emotion of standing shoulder to shoulder with friends and family over the water.

I was grateful to have had access to CNN because I believe it did a better job of reporting than any of our channels. Words are important as they are windows into our minds. Our reporters used the word tragedy. It was not a tragedy, it was an atrocity, a crime against humanity and an act of undeclared war against the US and the civilised world. Another word being used was vengeance. The correct word is retribution which signifies that the act against the perpetrators of this callous act would be entirely proportionate in punishing those responsible.

One of the British reporters made unpleasant comments about the US President which were entirely inappropriate in the light of the horrendous situation. My thought was that I am grateful that we had a different set of reporters with different values in the Second World War otherwise we would have surrendered to another and earlier attack on civilisation.

Perhaps, the worst element of such an atrocity is its religious foundation. In the history of the world some of the cruellest events have taken place in the name of one religion or another. In the Christian world the Inquisition must rank very highly and Cromwell's destruction of Drogheda cannot be left out. The hijackers were referred to as brave men by one columnist in the Daily Telegraph. They attacked silently and suddenly against unarmed men, women and children. They knew that they were going to die and therefore they would escape an earthly tribunal. If their motivation was the same as the suicide bombers in Israel then they believed themselves to be martyrs and going straight to paradise. That is not bravery. The columnist confused bravery with fanaticism.

For those of us who pray, let us pray for the President of the USA and for his Cabinet. Let us remember those who have been severely injured and many others who have been bereaved, a significant number from our own country. Events of this nature are never neutral. They always have consequences. It may well be in the providence of God that this is a means of waking not only America but its allies as well and there is a turning away from the sleepiness of a wealthy consumer society with a secular outlook to a revival of true values, remembering that ‘righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people.’

Yours sincerely in Christ David Streater

(I am always ready to discuss any matters arising from what I have written in the magazine.)

Church Opening

Many of you will know that because of the problems of vandalism and theft from Churches generally, the Parish Church is kept locked. Unless there is a specific reason for opening it earlier, it will be opened for Sunday and occasional services half an hour before the Service is due to start.

The Prayer Chain

The Prayer Chain is there if you need prayer for yourself, for others or for members of your family. Please don’t ask for prayer outside your own family without people’s permission. To have a number of people pray just telephone David (720234) or Dennis (822992).

Harvest Supper.

This will take place on Saturday October 6th in the Village Hall at 7.00 for 7.30pm. A light-hearted quiz will follow the supper. Tickets, costing 3.50 or 2.00 for concessions, are available from Jill Cheadle. Everyone is very welcome!

Meeting Point – October

Wednesday 3rd October 10.30am at Catherine Corkery’s, Manor Cottage, High St., Harrold.

Tuesday 16th October 10.30am at Jill Cheadle’s, Rectory Farm, Odell.

Wednesday 31st October 10.30am at Catherine Corkery’s.

19th Harrold Pit Run - Saturday 15 September

The change of date from April did mean the Pit Run was less well supported than usual but about 60 runners took part in the main race which was run at a cracking pace. So much so, that the dog and I were shamed into running more than we had intended and I suffered aches and pains afterwards. However it was all worth it.

Thank you so much if you supported Aid for Romania with your sponsorship. Seven people ran or walked for us, collecting at least 440, which is split between us and the organisers, Harrold Centre. Lucy and I managed to raise over 250 and we once again won the Rose Bowl. Thank you too to the members of Grace Baptist Church who provided delicious teas, giving the proceeds to Aid for Romania and the Centre. Altogether this means we raised enough to sponsor one of our 28 families for a year, which is wonderful since we now have several families without specific sponsors who are supported from central funds. From us and our friends in Romania, a very big 'Thank You'.     Liz Dodwell

Other Charities: Bethan Lee won the Middle School girls' race and raised 80 for Harrold Pre-School whilst at least two people raised more than 100 on behalf of Odell Scouts. There were three entries for the wheelchair race, and several Odell friends were supporting the efforts of Corner Club and other groups.

Well done everybody!

Aid for Romania

The Dodwells are planning their next visit to Romania, for two weeks in October, to hold the AGM of the Romania Foundation and visit all the sponsored families. You may remember that, before last Christmas, we sent more than 100 boxes and items to our 28 families and the school at Suditi. They were delighted with their gifts and we, and the sponsoring families, received many grateful letters and cards. However the transport cost over 1,000 of which 600 was received in special donations. This year the regulations on taking aid into Romania have become much more complicated, and costs have risen again so we have decided there will be no boxes of clothes and other presents for the foreseeable future. We shall still hope to give them all an extra 20+ to spend on food over Christmas, particularly important for those who now are forced to use all their sponsorship as help in paying their domestic bills. Extra help with medical expenses and dental care still continues.

About 30 of our 120+ children with 4 Mums went to the holiday camp at Bisoca organised by the Orthodox Church. We give a donation, paid for transport and sent food and detergents. Our Romanian administrator wasn't so happy with arrangements this year as the age difference was great and even the very young ones spent time at discos, went to bed late and ate too much fruit in the orchards!

While we are in Romania, we shall also go to visit the little school at Suditi, in which the children from Harrold Middle School have always taken a keen interest. Last year we succeeded in working in co-operation with the local council on some very major structural repairs. We paid for the materials and they paid for the labour. Hopefully this co-operation will continue.

Our help in Romania is still certainly needed and we are very grateful for any contributions you are able to send us, especially towards that Christmas gift for the families.

Thank you everyone for your continuing support and prayers.              Liz and Tim Dodwell

North Beds Healing Group - Wholeness and Healing

Service of Wholeness and Healing with the Laying on of Hands: Felmersham Church, Sunday 7th October at 6pm – everyone welcome.

Forward in Healing course in Bedford

We still hope there will be a Basic Lay Training Course in the Ministry of Healing run over six weeks, early next year, at St Andrew’s Church in Bedford. This will be open to anyone interested from any denomination and deanery. Please contact us if you want to be kept informed or if you can help in any way. Also please tell us what day of the week is best or worst for your church.

Some Enigmas of Healing. Saturday November 3rd

Talk and Discussion led by the Revd Carl Garner at St Andrew's Church, Kimbolton Road, Bedford, from 10am - 12.30.

Looking Way Ahead:

Please note the date for next year’s service at St. Alban’s: Saturday 9 February, 2002. Celebration of Christian Healing in the context of the Eucharist. Speaker: Dr Gareth Tuckwell, (until recently Medical Director at Burrswood)

For more information about the North Beds Healing Group or any of these meetings please contact Liz Dodwell at Watermead, 41 Odell Road, Harrold, Bedford MK 43 7DH (telephone 01234 720640 and e-mail: or Revd D Mason, 2A Devon Road, Bedford (telephone 01234 309737 or e-mail

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Ten members of the Anglican Youth Choir of Uganda came to Odell in September. A five day visit had been planned as an interlude between a tour of England and then of America. Due to circumstances beyond their control the five days became twelve.

A number of local churches and schools were able to enjoy their lively playing and beautiful singing. They wooed all who heard them with their enthusiasm and their love for Christ.

The choir is attached to the Province of the Church of Uganda, which resolved in 1983 that a group should be formed to encourage worship of a more lively nature in the Anglican communion. It began with eleven members and has grown over the years to over thirty five including members who move away and remain as associate members promoting the choir in other parts of the world.

The members of the choir each have their own careers. These include teachers, agriculturalists, personnel officers, accountants, an artist, and even a journalist.

The recent visit was the third the choir has made to this country. A slightly larger number, mostly unmarried, sang to us at the harvest supper of 1993. Now they are all married and all but one with young children. Only two month old Elizabeth refused to be parted from her mother and may well hold the world record as the youngest person to make her stage debut!

At a time of national and international gloom and despondency it was refreshing to have this encouraging and uplifting Christian group in our midst, bringing with them a strong flavour of Africa in the songs written and composed by the members themselves.

Flower Rota

If anyone would like to do the flowers in Church for any Sunday, in memory of a loved one or any other anniversary, please contact Jill Cheadle 720261.

Letter from St Francis of Assissi Theological College, PO Box 1567, Wusasa-zaria, Nigeria

Dear Friends

It is a privilege to have completed our first year at St Francis of Assissi. On June 14 we said our farewells to 37 graduating students whom we had come to know and appreciate during the course of the year. The graduation ceremony was a very special moment for them, marking the culmination of 3 or 4 years of study. For some it meant the end of financial hardship, for others the excitement of being reunited with their families. Most of all, it was an awesome moment because it heralded their forthcoming ordination. By the time you read this many will have been ordained and will be starting their new lives in churches spread across Northern Nigeria.

The end of an academic year is a good time for reflection. Here are some of our first impressions.


We have been impressed by the prayerful lives of the students and their devotion to the things of God: all night prayer vigils, frequent days of fasting, numerous early morning praise meetings, enthusiastic singing, clapping and dancing during chapel meetings and an unquenchable desire to preach the Good News at any and every opportunity.


At times we have been distressed by the poverty of the students and their families. Many have struggled to feed themselves, yet have always been willing to share with others what little they have.

Some have preferred to use food money to purchase the theological books they will need in their future ministry, trusting God to provide their immediate needs.


Lack of water and electricity has been a constant theme throughout the year. In the second semester the supply improved, but the increased output led to the collapse of the transformer supplying Wusasa. We were given a smaller transformer which resulted in power only being available once a week. It was impossible to pump enough water to supply the campus for a week. The students managed to clean the college’s emergency well, but the quantity of available water was still insufficient. We had to put an extra tank on our house to store enough for the week. Other members of staff stored water in as many buckets as they could lay their hands on.

The College has been given two computers. The members of staff have been undergoing training and some are making good progress, despite lack of power and of a printer.


The generally low educational background with which the students come to the college continues to be a challenge. For historical reasons this has long been a problem in Northern Nigeria. During the last year some measures have been put in place and hopefully will be carried into the new academic year.

Dick is conducting research into theological education in Africa and hopes to tie the training given at St Francis to the mission of the church in Northern Nigeria. Caroline is writing English teaching materials in order to tackle the problem of poor language skills. We would very much like to contribute something to the upgrading of the college.

An additional year has been added to the timetable to give those students who need it a year’s intensive English language training. This will give Caroline six courses to teach and Dick will be taking seven.

Daily Life

The pattern of life is very different. ‘Early to bed and early to rise’ has become our motto. The local mosque can start the early morning prayer call two hours before prayers at 5am!

Cooking has been an interesting challenge. No refrigeration so daily purchasing of foodstuffs is necessary. The simpler lifestyle has nevertheless been a refreshing change.

Communication is another difficulty. Post is notoriously unreliable, phone lines often not working, no external fax machine in Zaria and even email is difficult. When news does get through it is wonderful! As communications are so difficult one always gives and receives a warm welcome to any visitors by day or night.

In addition to the issues already raised we would ask you, please to pray for:

the new students as they start the new enter college year

the new courses we will be running

the Acting Dean who is seeking to further his qualifications

continued peace in Kaduna State, giving thanks for the peace of the past 12 months

that both we and the college will be able to establish an adequate email link

Thank you for your continued prayer and support.              Dick and Caroline Seed

Our Giving in October is to : Jenny Ottewell’s personal fund at cms.

In July our giving was to the Church Missionary Society for which Jenny works. This month the giving is directly to Jenny for her own needs – please give generously in our collection or in the plate at the back of the church to support this exceptional lady who gives so much of her life to the needs of others

Sponsored Bike Ride Saturday 8th September

wpe5.jpg (27904 bytes)Once again, the day of the bike ride dawned bright and fair which undoubtedly played a large part in encouraging so many riders to take part. We had more visitors than ever to All Saints’ Church here in Odell, and this year we even managed five riders of our own – many thanks to Tom, Naomi, Caroline, Oliver and Liz Dodwell. Thanks, too, to the ladies who patiently manned the church during the event. Having manned the church myself during several of these events over the past few years I must say that it is a very peaceful and enjoyable "duty".


Amongst Ourselves

We are stunned in disbelief and horror at the terrible events in America, with such evil motives at work causing so many thousands of lives to be innocently lost. It is impossible to understand how anyone could

contemplate such evil thoughts and actions. I am sure that we have all shed a tear or two knowing that the dead and injured are someone’s loved ones. Not only is the USA in shock but also so many other countries, who share in their sadness and wish to support them, and the families of those British people who have also lost their lives, with any help they can.

What can we do? Pray, and continue to pray and uphold these dear people in our hearts and minds for the months that lie ahead. Not only do we pray for these, but we must pray for the people who instigated this awful devastating event. Neither must we judge but place them into God’s hands – for He will deal with them in the way that He knows best!

We pray that something good will come out of something so bad, for so often this is the way our Lord works. As with all disasters, people look to ‘a higher power’ for their help. Prayer always works – keep praying!


We are pleased to know that both Edie Surridge and Eileen Shakespeare have settled back in their own homes after being in hospital. We remember these in our prayers as we also remember the sick, the elderly, the housebound and those in nursing homes. We remember too Jenny Cuddeford on 10th October as she undergoes her operation and we trust that all shall go well.

So we pray:

"Dear Father of all we bring all the above people to you in prayer and ask that you would be with them protecting and healing them and giving them your peace. May your guardian angels be with us all. Thank you for the wonderful days of sunshine that we experienced enabling the children to play outside during their summer holidays and thank you for the rain that followed to dampen the dry earth. Father you are so good to us and know our needs far better than we do. Where would we be without your amazing world of nature, especially in Odell where we have local people who grow such wonderful vegetables and flowers in their well stocked gardens.

How we thank you Lord for all that you give to us. In Odell we are so grateful to have a ‘safe haven’ in Horsefair Lane where the local children have played so happily for year after year. Here they can safely run around and ride their cycles and skateboards – their cheerful voices a pleasure to listen to as they receive such joy and give such joy to us. No wonder that you said "Suffer the little children to come unto me". How much they have to teach us older ones! Give us the same childish joy that they have. Forgive us when we get old and grumpy, and may we remember that we too were children!

As a new term is now well under way we put these children and all scholars in your hands. These youngsters are our tomorrow, and may we never forget that.

Please bless our village, and our church members binding us together in your love. We give you glory and praise for every one and we thank you especially for this special haven of your world in which we live.

Please accept and hear this and all our prayers through your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen." Anne Turner

Remember to put your clocks back 1 hour on Saturday 27th October!

Looking to Jesus

May the Lord show special kindness to Onesiphorus’ 2Timothy 1:16 NLT

Remember ‘the special people’ in your life

Sometimes we just need to pause and remember with gratitude ‘the special people’ in our lives. Paul did. Listen: "May the Lord show special kindness to Onesiphorous - because he often visited and encouraged me" (2 Tim.1.16.NLT). We all need a friend like that! One of my favourite poems is ‘The Friend Who Just Stands By’. Here it is:

When trouble comes your soul to try, you love the friend who just ‘stands by’

Perhaps there’s nothing he can do – the thing is strictly up to you;

For there are troubles all your own, and paths the soul must tread alone;

Times when love can’t smooth the road, nor friendship lift the heavy load.

But just to know you have a friend, who will ‘stand by’ until the end,

Whose sympathy through all endures, whose warm handclasp is always yours;

It helps, some way, to pull you through, although there’s nothing he can do.

And so with fervent heart you cry. "God bless the friend who just stands by".

Don’t just remember the special people in your life today, pray for them and let them know how much you appreciate them. Not only will they feel good, but you’ll feel even better!

Taken from "Word for Today" with kind permission of United Christian Broadcasters. Tel 01782-642100

Thank You Message

Dear Friends,

I would like to thank you all for your kindness, help and especially your prayers before my operation and since. Before my operation it was quite a struggle to get to church but with your help I was able to come until the week before I went into hospital and that meant so much to me.

I am pleased to say that my operation was a great success and I am now free from pain. Unfortunately my walking is still hampered by my ankle but I am hoping to have an operation for that quite soon. However, I hope to come to church before I go back to hospital. Thank you for the many letters of good wishes I received from you.            Love, Eileen Shakespeare.

Give thanks to The Lord because He is good. His love is eternal.

Birthdays – Happy birthday to anyone who has a birthday in October. Don’t forget to let the magazine team know if you would like a birthday to be remembered in the magazine.

 October Diary

3rd 10.30am Meeting Point at Manor Cottage, Harrold.

5th 7.45pm "Chairman Mao" at Sharnbrook Mill Theatre.

6th 7.00pm Harvest Supper, Village Hall.

6th 7.45pm "Chairman Mao" at Sharnbrook Mill Theatre.

9th 7.30pm W.I. in Village Hall

16th 10.30am Meeting Point at Rectory Farm, Odell.

20th 10.30am Coffee Morning at Rectory Farm, Odell.

31st 10.30am Meeting Point at Manor Cottage, Harrold.

Articles Wanted

We are always looking for more articles for the magazine – particularly items of special interest to the church, village and people of Odell!

Magazine Deadline

Please send all entries for the November magazine to Tricia Hudson (, Anne Turner or Catherine Corkery by October12th 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.

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Last revised: September 25, 2001.