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CHURCH NEWS - September 2004
New minister - the candidate we met in June decided to take another position - so we are still looking for a minister. See www.kbnet.co.uk/odell/vacancy.htm
We are delighted to have as an opening feature for this month’s magazine a recent letter from Anthony and Clare Wells. Anthony was Rector of All Saints’, Odell, from October 1978 to December 1985. He and Clare are now extremely involved in the work of the Anglican Church in France, as their letter will explain. We are very touched that they have not forgotten their friends and life in Odell; we have very fond memories of Anthony, Clare, Anna, Edward and Oliver and of Anthony’s inspirational ministry here.
The God of Surprises!It never crossed our minds when we arrived in beautiful rural Bedfordshire in 1978 that twenty years later God would call us to urban Paris! What a contrast from looking out over the tranquillity of ploughed fields to looking down on the constant activity of a Parisian street from our second floor apartment. Normality now is 24 hour surveillance against terrorism - the British Consulate is one block away. Anthony was appointed Chaplain to St. Michael's Church in 1998 and four years later was asked by the Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe to be also Archdeacon of France. He therefore juggles these two roles with the wonderful support of eight staff at St. Michael's; the Intercontinental Church Society who are our patrons and a small diocesan team back in the U.K. The Anglican Church in France with thirty or so chaplaincies is bucking the national trend in the U.K. by growing at 10%! Perhaps this is not surprising considering what the Queen affirmed this April during her State Visit to France for the centenary of the Entente Cordiale that 'thousands of British are settling, living and working in France'. The new chaplaincy of Poitou-Charentes, the size of Wales, includes an estimated 25,000 English-speakers for example, and Anthony has just returned from traveling 400 kilometers. around the Toulouse Chaplaincy which is growing new mini congregations in the hinterland behind that city. The church of St. Michael's, situated close to the British Embassy, has been known down the decades for its warm hospitality to students and business clientele. Many have come to faith and today we welcome Christians and seekers from over thirty different nationalities. The average age of St. Michael's congregations is early thirties.
We hold five services each Sunday: three in English, one in Tamil and one in French. The church building is much in need of renovation: as much a problem for 1970s architecture as for our more historic churches. The Alpha Course is arranged here in English and in French twice a year. Many find or renew their faith through this course. We rejoice that across France Alpha has grown from around 30 to 300 courses in the last three years.
When we left Odell and Pavenham Oliver was 2 years old! He has now just graduated from Oxford Brookes University in Real Estate Management; not a little influenced by his early years in Bedfordshire. Edward is training to be a rural surveyor in Warwick; Anna has been teaching for five years and is now looking forward to going to bible college in Oxford. Clare's life has not changed greatly except she has taken up golf! This is a real family surprise! She is also now licensed as a Reader.Do make contact if any of you visit Paris and why not check out the nearest Anglican congregation if you are on holiday in France or are tempted by The Times adverts of 'Properties for Sale'.... Anthony and Clare Wells
Increase Our Faith
In June Rev Cyril Harris gave an address under the heading ‘Increase our faith’.
He reminded us that to embrace the Christian Religion is a tough choice. At the centre of it is a cross coupled with the teaching and example of Jesus.
We live in an increasingly secular society and many Christians experience the conflict between Jesus’ teaching and society’s values. In Luke’s gospel chapter 17 we read of the disciples coming to Jesus and asking Him : ‘Increase our faith’. Why?
Christ’s teaching was demanding and the disciples were deeply conscious of their lack of power - but conscious too of the possibility of a resource of strength available by which to achieve what was otherwise out of their reach. In other words it was a cry for help. ‘Lord, we are at the end of our tether’. The disciples request was genuine; they recognised the difficulty of always acting in a forgiving way and wanted the faith necessary to follow Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness. ‘Belief is Truth in the Mind; Faith is Fire in the Heart’.
What is faith? It is total dependence on God and a willingness to do his will. It is complete and humble obedience, a readiness to do whatever he calls us to do. The amount of faith is not as important as the kind of faith. It is faith in all that God is. A tiny seed is enough, if it is alive and growing. Some people’s faith has been kept in a box too long and now consists of little more than the recognition that Jesus was a good man and that honesty is the best policy. Both of these propositions happen to be true, but there is very little life in that sort of seed. If this is all we have to plant when worried stiff about the serious things of life it will help very little. If our faith is no more than notions retained from childhood it will not carry us through the stresses of everyday life.
Faith is connecting up to the infinite resources of God’s power. To press this home Jesus gave an example which is absurd if taken literally: ‘if you had faith no bigger than a mustard seed, you could say to this tree, be up-rooted and planted in the sea and it will obey you’. It makes the point that it is not the size of our faith that matters but the size of God’s power with which we connect by the plug we call faith.
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 Dennis (822992).
Mrs Audrey Eshelby26th July 1902 – 11th August 2004
David Streater led the service of thanksgiving for the life Mrs Audrey Eshelby in Odell Church on 23rd August. Jane and Martin would like to thank all who attended the service, sent letters and donations and provided cakes for the refreshments in the Church afterwards; it made for a very social occasion to say goodbye to Audrey at the remarkable age of 102.
e-Round News from the Diocese of St. Albans
Wanted - Co-ordinator for the Chellington Centre. Are you up to the challenge of a blank canvas? Reach Out Projects requires a Co-ordinator to manage the Chellington youth residential centre in North Bedfordshire. The centre is reopening during 2005 after a major redevelopment. This is a new and exciting role, which will involve working with children, young people, schools and church groups in their use of the centre. You will also be responsible for the marketing of the center. Salary range £18,000 to £22,000 dependent upon experience. The job description and application details are available from our web site: www.chellington.org.uk. Closing date for applications: 30th September 2004. Contact: Dave Green, Reach Out Projects, Diocesan Education Centre, Hall Grove, Welwyn Garden City, Herts AL7 4PJ. Tel : 01707 386019. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.Web sites: www.chellington.org.uk andwww.reachoutprojects.org.uk http://www.reachoutprojects.org.uk
Harvest resource pack:SPCK Worldwide is offering a free Harvest resource pack - "Reaping Learning" - to churches wishing to celebrate Harvest with a difference this year. The pack - suitable for all types of harvest celebration including family services - highlights the crucial role that education plays in personal and community development in poor places across the world. A special version for primary school teachers is also available that includes stories, activities, assembly ideas and free colour posters. To receive their free copy of the Reaping Learning Harvest Pack 2004, churches and teachers should contact Gareth Squire: by email: Harvest@spck.org.uk <mailto:Harvest@spck.org.uk> or by post: SPCK Worldwide, Holy Trinity Church, 1 Marylebone Road, London. NW1 4DU, stating the full name of the church, contact person and full postal address.
Wildlife Festival Weekend: St Denys Church, Colmworth, Bedfordshire. Exhibition and Sale of Wild Flower and Bird Photographs; 11am to 5pm on Saturday 18 September; 2pm to 5pm on Sunday 19 September; 11am Morning Service on Sunday "In Praise of Creation". All Welcome. Flower displays, home-made teas, cake stall, card stall. Live Classical Music. Proceeds in aid of St Denys Organ Fund. Entrance Fee £2.50, Children Free. Enquiries 01234 376597.
The Communications Unit, Diocese of St. Albans,
Wednesday 8th 10.30am at Jill’s, Rectory Farm, Odell.
Tuesday 21st 10.30am at Jane’s, Newton House, Avenue Rd.,Rushden.
Harvest Festival at All Saints’ Odell
Saturday October 2nd
10.00am.Please come and help decorate the church for our Harvest Festival. Flowers, fruit and greenery are always needed but most of all we need your help!
7.00 for 7.30pm. Harvest Supper in the Village Hall. Everyone welcome. Tickets from Jill Cheadle 720261, £3.50, £2.00 concessions.
Sunday October 3rd. 10.00am Harvest Thanksgiving Family Service. Any produce donated by the congregation will be distributed among the elderly of the village.
Odell Village Fete 2004
We now have the figure for the final profit made by this year’s fete – a magnificent £2780.62. Once again, many thanks to all helpers and those who contributed in any way.
Garment found at fete: A grey cardigan was left at the fete. If you think you may own this please contact Jill Cheadle (720261).
The date for next year’s fete has been set at Saturday 11th June.
All Saints’ Appeal Fund
The ‘Just William Lady’ drama event and supper on June 18th in the Village Hall made a profit of £500 which will go into the All Saints’ Appeal Fund.
Our Giving in September is to St. Luke’s hospital.
St. Luke’s was originally a hospital dedicated to serving the clergy and their families, but has now expanded and welcomes anybody who wishes to join their medical scheme. However, their first priority is still with the clergy so that they can be treated and return to work in their parishes as quickly as possible. For more information you can write to: St. Luke’s Hospital, 14 Fitzroy Square, London W1P 6AH.
Do please give generously in our collection or in the plate at the back of the church.
United Christian Conferences
"Feast of Tabernacles"
Sunday 3rd October, 6.30pm St. Bartholomew’s Church
Booking essential. You will need to purchase meal tickets for this at £3 per person. Wine will be on sale. Cheques payable to "United Christian Conferences".
Payment, together with a stamped addressed envelope, should be sent to: The Revd. Canon John Knight, The Rectory, Towcester Rd., Green’s Norton NN12 8BL.
Katie Corkery sets sail for Benin,
By the time you are reading this, Katie Corkery will have set sail for Benin, West Africa, on the Mercy Ship ‘M/V Anastasis’, which is one of two fully equipped floating hospital ships owned by the charity ‘Mercy Ships’. These ships are sent out to areas of the developing world where they will dock and provide Medical Care and Relief and Development Work to some of the world’s poorest nations.
‘Mercy Ships’ is a Christian charity set up in 1978, with the mission to follow the example of Jesus, showing love through action, bringing hope and healing to those made desperate through poverty, war or famine. They bring practical help in the form of life-changing medical operations, field clinics and health care, training and education schemes, clean water and sanitation and construction and agricultural projects.
Katie’s role is as a teacher to the children of the team of over 480 Medics, Engineers, Teachers and Domestic Staff on board the ship. She has initially taken the post for one year, maybe even teaching through the school holidays so that the parents are able to continue with their valuable work.
‘M/V Anastasis’ will reach Benin by 1st November, moving on to Liberia in March and will remain there until mid June when it will move on to Durban in South Africa.
Katie has asked for our support through prayer and has suggested that we think of the following areas in particular:
For the people who will come into contact with the ship in Benin and Liberia; for those having operations on the ship – for success and quick recovery; settling in on board; friendships on board and the children she will teach. I think we would also want to include a prayer that the ship has a safe journey and also pray for the well-being of all those on board throughout its mission.
Each member of the crew and staff has had to meet their own expenses, including insurance and crew fees and Katie is thrilled to have reached her target with the generous support of friends and many trusts and organisations that she has approached.
Katie would love to receive any e-mails or letters while she is away to make her feel closer to home. Letters can be sent to:
Katie Corkery (Teacher in Academy)
12 Meadway Court
Or e-mail: email@example.com
"Then He touched her, and instantly she could stand straight.
How she praised and thanked God!." Luke 13:13, NLT
As long as she needed their help, the people around this woman had no problem with her. But when Jesus set her free and she started praising Him, they couldn't handle it. Actually, they wanted to throw her out of their church!
How would you have acted if you'd been chronically ill for 18 years, and suddenly Jesus made you whole? People fall over themselves about getting a prize on a TV show. They scream and hug total strangers when their team wins, and the world says it's okay. But show a little emotion because of what God's done for you, and they'll call you a fanatic. No problem; it's easier to cool down a fanatic, than heat up a corpse!!
So, what are you going to do? Do what she did! She carried on, and let Jesus deal with her critics. While she was glorifying Him, He was dealing with them. That's how it works.
While you're praising God, He's fighting for you. While you're exalting His name, His angels are coming into your hospital room, or surrounding your loved one who's in danger, or going before you to open doors.
If people are upset because you praise the Lord, that's their problem! There'll always be a critic. There may even be one in your house, criticising you for praising Him in the shower; or at work, mocking you for just giving thanks before you eat lunch. Pay them no attention. Just keep Praising God, regardless of the background noise!
Printed with kind permission of UCB PO Box 255 Stoke-on-Trent. ST4 8YY
Father God, we thank you and praise you for your love for us. For the wonderful summer of sunshine that we have had, enabling the children to play outside during their holiday time; for the rain that we so need for the garden, and even the loud claps of thunder. We think of the students getting their exam results, praying that when the marks are lower than expected that parents will understand and not reprimand them, as they will have done their best. There has been an abundance of birds in the garden, singing and trilling away - the doves which remind us of your peace in this special part of your wonderful world in this unique village of Odell with its surrounding places which give us cause to be so thankful and offer you our praise for making it so special. We are so blessed!
We continue to pray for a leader for our Church here, believing that you have the ideal person in mind. We wait upon your perfect timing!
Into your hands we place the sick and suffering, the lonely and elderly and those in hospital or nursing homes. We pray for Martin and Jane Eshelby and their family upon the death of Martin's mother giving thanks for her wonderful age of 102 and remembering Mary Rogers and family, upon the death of Sam's mother. Lord take care of them at this sad time.
We think of Tim and Liz Dodwell having moved to Brockenhurst, Hampshire, and for Phil and Liz Lewis as they move to Canterbury for Phil's new post at King’s School. We give you thanks for their time at All Saints’ and for the love and care that they have given to us all and pray for their happiness and good health in their new ventures. We shall truly miss them all.
We are right to give you thanks and praise. You are an awesome God. Amen. Anne Turner
3rd 6-8.30pm Jazz band in garden of The Bell.
5th 11.00am Dog Show, Mill Theatre Grounds, Sharnbrook.
8th 10.30am Meeting Point, Rectory Farm, Odell.
11th 10-6pm Historic Churches Bike Ride.
11th Proms in the Village Hall.
14th 7.30pm W.I. Odell Village Hall.
18th 11-5pm Exhibition/sale wildflower & bird photographs, St. Denys Church, Colmworth.
19th 2-5pm As above
20th 8.00pm Parish Council Meeting, Village Hall.
21st 10.30am Meeting Point, Newton House, Avenue Rd., Rushden.
2nd 10.00am Church decorating for Harvest.
2nd 7 for 7.30pm Harvest Supper, Village Hall.
3rd 10.00am Service of Harvest Thanksgiving, All Saints’.
3rd 6.30pm Feast of Tabernacles, St. Bartholomew’s Church, Green’s Norton.
13th 12 for 12.30 Senior Citizens Harvest Lunch, Village Hall.
16th Quiz, Village Hall.
Please send all entries for the October 2004 magazine to Tricia Hudson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Anne Turner or Catherine Corkery by September 12th 2004 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.
electronic mail address is <jh at kbnet.net>