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CHURCH NEWS - March 2003

From the Rectory               

March  2003

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From the Rectory

March 2003

Dear Friends,

One of the objects of the exercise in seeking to fill up a page and a half at the beginning of each monthly parish magazine is to bring a biblical Christian perspective on to many things that occur. Why do I believe this to be necessary? It is very simply that the orthodox Christian view is largely being excluded from any opportunity to make its voice heard in the discussions and debates that take place in our country. Obviously, one cannot compete with the media but that is no reason for silence.

I was reflecting on this and the particular changes that have occurred in the last forty years when the death and subsequent obituary of Roy Jenkins took place. Many of the changes that we have seen dated from his time in office. Many were the praises given to him and of course, there is no doubt that his was a brilliant mind. However, in the total sum of happiness of the human race generally and the people of the United Kingdom particularly, much of the legislation which undid the biblical base of the laws of the land can be attributed to his term in office.

Jenkins was not the first, nor indeed the last to be involved in this downgrading of the Christian faith and ethic in our country. Nor was his the only political party to do so. All the parties to some degree or another have turned their backs on the Christian basis of our land. The net result is that we have no real standard by which we may judge that which is right or wrong.

The European Convention of Human Rights is an attempt to codify a new standard, separate from God’s standards and is effectively a resurrection of the French revolution dogma of liberty, equality and fraternity. Those of us who have remembered our history and have been privileged to read Dickens’ ‘Tale of Two Cities’ may well be aware that such dogma led to Madame Guillotine. Those who for one reason or another were regarded at the time as not being politically correct were executed. It is estimated that before the Terror had finished forty thousand people had lost their lives. These were by no means all aristocrats. Many of them were peasants. The parallel between the French Revolution and the Russian is striking.

John Wycliffe, the Oxford scholar of the fourteenth century, had written in his Bible translation into English that, ‘This Bible is for the government of the people, by the people and for the people.’ It was the first rustlings of democracy that took many more centuries to develop into that freedom that we enjoy now. This was an attempt to place God’s Moral Law as the centre by which the people would be governed and who in turn would have the opportunity to read, mark, learn and know what things they should do.

Both the Civil Wars in England followed by the Glorious Revolution of 1688 were based largely on Biblical principles. Hence, in both cases, for all their faults, wholesale executions and terror did not follow these events. Voltaire, who as a philosopher had a great impact on France was influenced by the situation in England. He saw that the power of Kings (government) was encouraged to do good and restrained in committing evil. What Voltaire forgot was that the underlying reason for the difference was that in England there was a biblical base. This was not so in France. Hence the Terror.

Liberty that loses its boundaries always leads to anarchy and anarchy eventually leads to dictatorship. Dictatorship seeks to retain power by the use of the sword. The post-first world war German Weimar Republic was a case in point followed by the Nazi regime. The growth of crime, the loss of a basic morality, the breakdown of families and family values much encouraged by the media, the loss of proportion by many of the judiciary are all cases pointing to a breakdown in this land through a genuine liberalism being overtaken by sentimentalism. Once the cycle begins, it is very difficult to break.

The reason is that our people have changed their laws and a change of law always reflects a change of leadership. In abandoning Christian basic standards the land has given notice to God that it has turned its back on Him and is seeking fresh gods. Either directly, or indirectly, our legislation has declared that we will not have Jesus Christ to reign over us. The situation is not beyond remedy but Church and State both need to redress the situation. Such redress does not threaten the minorities, rather it guarantees their freedom. It also guarantees the freedom of the individual to walk the streets of our cities without fear.

With all good wishes, Sincerely    David Streater.

I am always ready to discuss any matter which I have written about.

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).

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.


If there is anyone considering confirmation please would they contact David.

News from St. Albans Diocese

Licensing Bill - latest. The Church of England has warmly welcomed the Government's tabled amendment to the Licensing Bill which ensures that places of worship will be exempt from the requirements for public entertainment licensing. At the same time the Government proposes to exempt Church and Village Halls from a need to pay licensing fees. More information on the diocesan website

Welcoming the Bishop. The new Bishop of Bedford, the Rt Revd Richard Inwood, and his wife, Liz, will be welcomed at a special service at St Paul's Church, Bedford on Saturday March 8th at 5 pm. The service, open to everyone, follows his Consecration at Southwark Cathedral the previous day by the new Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Rowan Williams.

Easter Monday Pilgrimage. An extended exchange of the sign of Christ's peace - probably the biggest in the country that day - will form a central part of the Easter Monday Pilgrimage at St Albans Abbey on Monday April 21st. This year's theme is "My peace I give to you." Once at the Abbey, the day will consist of fun activities from 1.30 pm on the Abbey Orchard. Pilgrims are asked to bring their lunch. Processions into the Abbey will begin at 2.30 pm.

On your bike. The Beds & Herts Historic Churches Trust have announced plans for this year's sponsored bike ride - to take place on Saturday September 13th. Last year's event raised more than £80,000, a record for the event.     Peter Crumpler    Communications Officer Diocese of St. Albans.

Meeting Point


Wednesday 12th 10.30am at Catherine’s, Manor Cottage, High St., Harrold.

Tuesday 25th 10.30am at Jen’s, 36 Grange Gardens, Sharnbrook.

North Beds Healing Group - Wholeness and Healing

Celebration of Christian Healing at St Albans Abbey, on Sat 1st Feb. Despite the terrible weather quite a number of people managed to get to this special service and enjoyed an excellent talk by Peter Horrobin of Ellel Ministries. The service and the music by Face 2 Face set just the right atmosphere for personal ministry afterwards and many people came forward.

An evening of Fellowship, Comfort and Encouragement at Wellspings near Leighton Buzzard, Friday April 11th.

Ann Bowes cooks wonderful suppers and offers her home for Christian meetings (see recent See Round). She will also give us a short talk. Group size limited but all welcome, not just those involved in the Healing Ministry.

Please contact Liz Dodwell if you are interested in coming (price £10 each).

Aid for Romania from North Bedfordshire.

Posh Supper.

Thank you to everyone who supported this event. We raised at least £800 from the supper itself, plus £100 from selling patchwork and £200 promised in sponsorship for the Pit Run! - amazing and a great way to celebrate our 10th and possibly our last such supper. We have made over £5,000 over the previous nine years which has made it possible to sponsor at least two families from central funds. At the moment we have three and a half families supported centrally so we are still hoping for some more sponsors.

At the Dinner the special needs of several sponsored families were publicised. Two of the three new families have nine and ten children and these large families are finding it very hard to cope in a system where the charges for basic services are based on the number of people in a flat as well as the size. We continue to have a drink problem with the three Dads who are raising their families on their own without a Mum. Somehow their children seem to survive in this very difficult environment. It is not perhaps surprising that one of these Dads and one of their sons are now in prison. We try to give the best support appropriate to these families.

We are currently investigating the medical histories of two youngsters whom we may be able to help with surgery. Mihaela is 16 years old, has cerebral palsy and has been supported by us for many years. We are in touch with an orthopaedic surgeon to see if surgery and/or therapy is appropriate so that she can manage to continue to live at home, becoming as independent as possible. Alex, aged six, is blind and may be helped by a corneal graft.

Pit Run Saturday April 26th

This year’s Pit Run will take place as usual from Harrold Green, round the Lakes and back to the Green. There will be refreshments, sideshows and stalls and it is usually a good fun "villagey" event. Several groups supported by members of our village are taking part including Aid for Romania and Corner Club and this year we hope there will be volunteers to run or walk to raise money for our Church Appeal.

Our Giving in March is to tear fund

Please give generously to this charity dedicated to helping struggling people in the third-world countries.

Women’s World Day of Prayer

Holy Spirit, Fill us.

Interdenominational Service

Harrold Chapel, 10 am, Friday March 7th

Speaker: Doreen Vick

Men also welcome. Refreshments afterwards

This is a very special annual service, which members of our Church like to support. It is friendly and informal, whilst following the format used round the world. This year the Christian women of the Lebanon have prepared the service. This seems particularly appropriate as we are all praying for difficult situations in the Middle East. If you would like to help contribute to the service in some way, please contact Liz Dodwell (720640).

Looking to Jesus

"I will heal their waywardness, and love them freely , for My anger has turned away from them" Hos 14:4


Have you ever gone astray? Have you ended up being wounded, because you took the wrong turn on the road? In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus said, "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among thieves" (Lk 10.30). Jerusalem was the place of God's blessing and Jericho was the place of judgment.

When you leave one for the other, you're "going down" and you can count on one thing: that it always ends the same way. "They stripped him, they wounded him and they left him to die". No matter what your friends or your instincts tell you, the last chapter is always the same. But there's hope! God says, "I will heal your waywardness and love you freely".

The book of Hosea is an amazing rescue operation! God told the prophet to marry a woman who would sell herself into prostitution, desert her children and break his heart. Then he was commanded to go and buy her back off the auction block and "Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites." (Hos 3:1)

Some of us don't find God until we hit the bottom and hit it hard. Others hit "false bottoms" only to discover that the elevator can go even lower. When the prodigal finally "came to himself", he was "wasted". But the story doesn't end there. Those wounded feet were bathed in the tears of a father's love and fitted with shoes that only a child of the king can wear. His scars of sin were covered with a robe of righteousness and those hands that had been used for evil were washed and given a ring of son-ship. Listen: "Kill the fatted calf" (Luke 15:23). How long does it take to fatten a calf? Think about it! The father had been preparing for a long time for this moment and the God who has never stopped loving you is waiting for you to come home today. He'll welcome you with open arms - all you have to do is come!

Printed with kind permission of United Christian Broadcaster and taken from "Word for today".

Valerie Payton Wedding News

We have received the very happy news that Valerie Payton, known to many in Odell Village and Church, is to marry Rev Richard French (retired) from Lindfield, Haywards Heath, W. Sussex. They are to be married on 29th March at St Mary's, Luton. All are invited to the service at 12.00 noon and to a drink and cake reception afterwards in the Church Hall.

Amongst Ourselves

Congratulations to Valerie Payton on her forthcoming marriage. Many in our church will remember Valerie on her visits here with John who was such a support to our church at various functions. We are so pleased at this good and blessed news and pray for their years of happiness together.

Father we look around as Spring is here with the wonder of the flowers,primroses and snowdrops, peeping through, and the birds all happily flying around reminding us again and again of what a Mighty God you are. The colours of the beautiful skies remind us of what an artist you are. Everything so perfect. Such unusual colours. We stand in awe of you Dear Lord. All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, You Lord God made them all. Amen.

Father we ask you to bless all those families that mourn, surrounding them with your loving care.

Keep the homeless, and those who need lots of loving care in your protection and remind us when we see people begging to give them food and not money to buy drugs or drink with. We are so thankful to have a roof over our heads and warmth and food enough.

Father as war is still the topic we pray that you would give all world leaders your wisdom. Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein are in your hands; may they be under your watchful eye. Give these leaders a heart like your heart – full of love and not of hatred. We do pray for peace, Lord, not just abroad but in our own land and in our homes also.

Drugs are rife here and Father we pray that you would bless and empower the work of the Police and all who work to rid our country of this evil so that so many lives can be saved. Have mercy on them all for we know that whoever they are, whatever their addiction, you love them all.

Give us all a heart like your heart please, and help us never to judge others - for they may have a splinter in their eye and we could have a log. Accept these prayers through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Anne Turner

Obituary – John Hampton

We are sorry to learn of the death of John Hampton who died in Bedford General Hospital (South Wing) aged 77 years. We send our love and prayers to Peggy and the family. John and his family lived in Odell for many years where he worked for Lord Luke and the "Castle Estate", living next door to the Bell before moving to the bungalows opposite. His cheerfulness during his time here will be well remembered, as will the poems that he submitted to the Magazine and which we all so very much enjoyed. Upon their move to Peach's Close, Harrold, he was occasionally to be seen as he journeyed through the Country Park in his motorised wheel- chair which, since he had lost both his legs, enabled him to travel about a little. The funeral service took place at St Peters, Harrold, on 19th February.

Odell Lunch Club for Senior Citizens

A Village re-union – the annual ‘Fish and Chip Lunch’ – will take place on Wednesday 5th March at 12.30 for

1.00 pm at Odell Village Hall. If any pensioner does not receive a personal invitation and wishes to come please phone Roma on 720431. Anyone who would like to come and meet old friends please join us for coffee at 2.00pm.

All Saints’ Odell Flower Rota

The key for the church is at The Rectory and if you have any problems please contact Jane Eshelby on 01933 410959. The only flowers that need attention are the two vases up by the altar and the large vase behind the lectern.


23rd Eileen Shakespeare

30th Mothering Sunday Jill Cheadle


6th Liz Lewis

Odell Village Fete

Saturday June 14th 2003

Family Dog Show Pony Rides Cash Raffle

Children’s Collage Competition Tombola

Fire Brigade Children’s Sports Local Band

Lucky Programme Draw Children’s Stalls

Ice Creams Refreshments

Many Side Shows

Gifts White Elephant Bottle Stall

Books Cakes Plants Produce

Please everyone, make a note of the date of the fete now and put it in your diaries! We will once again hold the Dog Show that was such a success last year. Don’t forget to invite all your family and friends for the day.

The site is once again the field at the end of Horsefair




5th 12.30 Fish and Chip Lunch for Senior Citizens, Village Hall.

7th 10.00am Women’s World Day of Prayer, Harrold Chapel.

8th 5pm Service to welcome new Bishop of Bedford, St. Paul’s Church Bedford.

11th 7.30pm W.I. Odell Village Hall.

12th 10.30am Meeting Point, Catherine Corkery’s, Manor Cottage, High St. Harrold.

22nd 10.30am Coffee Morning in Village Hall in aid of Church Appeal Fund.

25th 10.30am Meeting Point, Jen Cuddeford’s, 36 Grange Gardens, Sharnbrook.


Magazine Deadline

Please send all entries for the April 2003 magazine to Tricia Hudson (, Anne Turner or Catherine Corkery by March 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.


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Last revised: March 08, 2003.