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Ringing in the New Millennium at All Saints' Odell

Click here to hear the millennium bells from Odell

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From the Rectory

February 2000

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Dear Friends,

I wonder if anyone listened to the Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme in the period before Christmas. It appears that the programme led a survey of the belief of some Christian leaders today. According to the article, Mr. Little’s idea did not go down too well with some leaders in the ecclesiastical and political fields. Some thought that to assess Christian belief in this way was a little simplistic. Others replied with considerable commitment. The survey consisted of ten questions to which yes or no answers were required.

It is quite true that many of the questions might be answered in essays no less than five thousand words. However, that was not the object of the exercise. It was intended to test the temperature of many leaders in the professing Church and to ask the question if we no longer believe in the basics, what is Christianity all about? One person replied in the negative to every question and still wished to be described as a Christian.

The ten questions, or at least nine of them, are very foundational. [I am not using the word fundamental because of the emotive connotations connected with that word from the 1920s.] They are at the centre of the faith although the most critical question, which is the core question, "Do you believe in the historical Christ?" was not among them. It began with the creation, asked about God’s control of every day affairs (Providence) and spoke of heaven (Redemption). The questions are fair and as they are addressed to leaders in the Christian Church, should have presented no problem.

Mr. Little concludes the article by quoting from Graham Greene, the author. "Shortly before he died, Graham Greene said of the Bible: ’The older I get the less I believe - and the greater is my Faith". This is the critical question. Without any reference point how do you know that what you believe in is true? It might be a homespun philosophy or a weird superstition. To base any hope in this way would be like tying a boat to a piece of driftwood in a storm. You might well remain connected but where the boat and the driftwood finish up is a matter of conjecture. That is hardly a hope for the future.

I want to address the questions raised and to try to give a reasonable Christian answer in a series of short articles over the next few months. In so doing, I hope that some of you will read them and perhaps raise questions.

With all good wishes,

Sincerely in Christ,   David Streater

First question, to be answered next month: Do you believe in the literal, Biblical, act of creation, in which God created the world in six days?

Senior Citizen’s Lunch

There will be a ‘Senior Citizens Lunch’ at the Rectory on Wednesday 16th February at 12.30pm.


THANK YOU to Valerie and David Streater from all those who attended the Senior Citizens Christmas Lunch at the Rectory on Wednesday 8th December. The meal was superb and festive spirit abounded – by all accounts this was an occasion not to be missed! Heartfelt thanks from us all!

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).

Millennium Lunch

Click here to see pictures of the Millennium lunch

On Sunday January 9th at 1.00 pm in the Village Hall,

January 9th 2000 will be a date mentioned in any recollection of the past of Odell. It saw the coming together of parishioners, past and present, in the village hall for a sumptuous Sunday Lunch, kindly provided by the P.C.C.

The female stalwarts of the church provided the toil and sweat, and the men folk provided the expertise with the carving knives. This ranged in sophistication from cold hard steel to a little electric number in the corner (that's the knives not the men!).

 The tables were decorated with candles, flowers and bright cloths and the ceiling was adorned with commemorative balloons. Cameras flashed to ensure that the event would be recorded for posterity.

The Chairman of the Parish Council, J Harrison, presented commemorative mugs to all children under the age of 17 years. At this stage Jon Hudson had a mental block and thought he qualified.

The Rector had welcomed everyone to start the proceedings, with a greeting and grace. Lord Luke concluded the event with sincere thanks to all concerned with the organisation and cooking and wished everyone best wishes for the New Millennium.

It was a happy event, which will be fondly remembered by all concerned. Alison Fowler

North Beds Healing Group

Saturday 5 February, 10.30am Celebration of Christian Healing in the context of the Eucharist at St. Albans Abbey.

Speaker: The Revd Michael Mitton (Deputy Director of the Acorn Christian Healing Trust) on ‘Remaining Human in the Healing Ministry.’

Personal Testimony by Hope Price, author of 'Miracles' and 'Angels'

Music by the St Andrew's Consort. This is a very special service so do try to get there.

Tuesday 29 February, 7.45pm Sharing from our Lives - Past, Present and Future.

Murray and Ruth McGavin are willing to share experiences of healing,

medical and miraculous, from the time when he was working on eye problems in Afghanistan. We hope to discuss this balance between medical knowledge and prayer in healing.

Perhaps too we will think about how we should really seek God's will in our lives and commit all things to Him, especially following the recent publication of the biography of Ruth's father, written by Ruth.

At the home of Catherine Corkery, Manor Cottage, High Street, Harrold.

Looking ahead

Tuesday 28 March, 8pm Deanery Service of Prayer for the Sick

at the United Reformed Church, High Street, Harrold.

Speaker: Mrs Ann Bowes, who runs Wellsprings at Hockliffe, Leighton Buzzard - a Christian Centre for many things including Hospitality, Study, Relaxation, Therapy, and General Healing.

Aid for Romania from North Beds

What Names From Romania???

Were you intrigued by the strange names of the children in the photo of the Sponsored families that appeared in the last magazine?

I certainly was, and then amused when I realised that Jon and Tricia had printed the abbreviated names of members of those families I had written on the back of the photo, wanting to point them out to their special friends and sponsors. In fact that photo includes children from the following sponsored families, and I'll indicate in brackets how many children are in total in each family:

Popescu (14), Nicolescu (4), Dinu (5), Ghita (7), Porumb (8), Apostol (2), Dobrita (4), Dumitru (3), Chitu (3), Tibulca (8), Ardeleanu (7), Visan (3), and Petrescu (5). Members of two other families were on that trip to the mountains but they don't appear in this photo. For a variety of reasons children from the other ten families didn't go at all.

As many of you already know, all the boxes sent to our families arrived safely, just a few days before Christmas, so we know that more than 150 people received some good Christmas presents this year, plus each family being given extra food to the value of 10 for Christmas.

We are holding (or will have held) our Posh Supper at the beginning of February and then on April 29th we hope to have supporters running or walking in the Pit Run. Could you help us by taking part, or at least sponsor someone? Please phone with offers to Liz Dodwell on 720640.

Posh Supper

Please make a note in your new diary, and try to come to

our Posh Supper here on Friday February 4th.  Liz 01234-720640

Don’t Forget we have:

Colourful kettle holders (or mats), oven gloves and cushions made by members of three Romanian families ,with or without pads; prices range from 2 to 10.

Riding Lights Theatre Company

For many years this exciting group has toured all over England and overseas giving productions of over 100 shows in many different locations ranging from large theatres to prisons. Two subsidiary companies called Riding Lights Roughshod now cover the community work, touring simultaneously for ten months of the year, reaching an audience of some 8,000 annually.

In February one of them is visiting the Bedford area with two exciting shows. All performances are at 7.30pm unless shown otherwise - details and bookings through numbers given. Tickets are usually 4.50 with 3.50 for concessions.


'Til Kingdom Come’ is based on the true story of Robert Lockyer, a trooper in Cromwell's revolutionary army who is prepared to follow him into the terrifying savagery of Civil War. Already in love with the daughter of a royalist, Lockyer faces the most unexpected conflict of all when his ideas begin to reach beyond the limit of Cromwell's brave new world.....What happens when our convictions - and our callings - clash irreconcilably with those of our neighbours? How do we know who is right? Who ends up making the ultimate sacrifice?

Fri 4 Feb Woodside Christian Centre, Dover Crescent (01234 272022)

Sat 5 Feb Bromham Baptist Church, (01234 407351)

The Time of Your Life is a hilarious collection of sketches, moving and thought-provoking, as thrilling as hanging from the minute hand of Big Ben and as honest as the Greenwich nuclear clock - an alarm clock you can't afford to sleep through. Based on stories from the Bible, from more recent history and from the inexorable imaginations of Riding Lights' team of writers, this revue rings all too true in our strange, frightening and wonderful modern world. Clock in and meet a cast of extraordinary characters who never knew when time might run out, and whose lives were changed in a matter of seconds.

Don’t get bugged by the new millennium – come and experience the ‘time of your life’.

Sun 6 Feb Lincroft Middle School, NB at 6pm (01234 822143/826153)

Fri 11 Feb Christ Church, Denmark Street, Bedford (01234 356373)

Sat 12 Feb Biddenham Upper School, Biddenham Turn (01234 355389)

Sponsored Bike Ride

Early results for the sponsored bike ride in Sept. ’99 indicate a record amount raised, with our Deanery well above last year’s total. As at 6th November ’99 82 of the 3225.80 raised by our Deanery had been received from ‘All Saints’, Odell’ by Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Historic Churches Trust.

Thanks to all concerned.

Meeting Point

Dates for February

Tuesday 8th 10.30am at Mary Rogers’, 2 Hall Close, Sharnbrook.

Wednesday 23rd 10.30am at Doris Bannard-Smith’s, 10 The Bury, Pavenham.


Tuesday 7th 10.30am at Jane Eshelby’s, Newton House, Avenue Rd. Newton Bromswold.

Flower Rota 2000

Please note that this year responsibility for the flowers in the church will be undertaken on a monthly basis. There are still a couple of months not covered so if you feel you can help please see Jill Cheadle or sign the rota in the church.

January Jill Cheadle

February Jenny Mobbs

March Unfilled

April Glynis Hill

May Jen Cuddeford

June Myrna Horne and Avril Saunders

July Jill Cheadle

August Jenny Mobbs

September Avril Saunders and Myrna Horne

October Glynis Hill

November Jen Cuddeford

December Unfilled

Our Giving in February is to the Leprosy Mission.

Contrary to popular belief leprosy is not a disease of the past but is a serious health threat right now in many developing countries. However, leprosy can be cured through multi-drug therapy. We can do our bit to help by giving generously in the special plate at the back of the church.

Christian Viewpoint

extends a warm invitation to their Prayer Meetings held at 10.30am at 63 Philpotts Avenue, (coffee at 10.15) on:, February 11th, March 10th and April 7th.


Acorn Christian Library

Why don’t people consider Christianity more seriously?

Several answers to this question will come to mind. Undoubtedly, one lies in the prevailing attitude towards the Bible. Large numbers believe that it has been proved to be historically unreliable, that it is based largely on myths and is full of contradictions and scientific errors. The Old Testament is regarded as the product of a barbaric age. The Bible as a whole, while containing a certain amount of useful moral teaching, now seems largely irrelevant.

In his books, "Science" and "Archaeology", the first two in his series on "Evidence for Truth", Dr E K Victor Pearce shows how this situation has come about. Over many decades the media has not only given prominence to unfounded criticism of the Bible, but has deliberately suppressed evidence supporting the veracity of the Scriptures. Eminent scholars of a different viewpoint have simply been refused opportunity to reply. The result has been devastating not only among the public at large but among many in the church. Unfounded critical theories are incorporated in theological and lay-readers’ courses, and are accepted because the students simply do not have the true facts presented to them.

Dr Pearce, himself a trained scientist, has specialised in anthropology. He draws on material by many eminent Christian scholars, and is in close touch with developments in the fields of science and archaeology.

His treatment of highly controversial subjects is well balanced and surprisingly effective. Take, for example, his study of the creation of the world and of the universe. He outlines all the main theories from that of evolutionary development over an immensely long period, to the views of the "young earthers" and those who believe that the days of creation as described in Genesis were days of 24 hours. But instead of getting into a fruitless wrangle, pitting one theory against another, he concentrates on showing how all the generally accepted facts concerning the order in which the different forms of life came into being, fit perfectly with the account given in Genesis 1. He then goes on to show that the next ten chapters reveal exactly the same successions of cultures and civilisations as the anthropologists have found. Having said that, he does quote, one suspects with approval, Robert M Bowman, Jr., who presents Biblical evidence supporting the view that the days of Creation were probably periods of time rather than days of 24 hours.

He has some most interesting things to say about the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection as propounded by Darwin, or perhaps more so by his followers. (Incidentally, in his latter years Darwin had deep misgivings about evolution. "I was a young man with unformed ideas. I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time about everything and to my astonishment the ideas took like wildfire.") One of these is his demonstration of the almost unbelievable complexity of plant cells – much more so than those of animals, and everyone accepts that plants came before animals.

We have recently been celebrating the 2000th anniversary of the Incarnation, when God took on human form and nature. Some may be left wondering if, after all, it was simply a myth put out by the early Christians to propagate their views.

As we all know, tremendous strides have been made in recent years, and continue to be made, in our understanding of DNA and the "genetic code". Among other things, Dr Pearce draws on this knowledge to put forward a very interesting suggestion as to how God may have brought about the virgin birth.

It really does seem that as faith in the basic tenets of the Christian faith reaches an extremely low ebb, God is using the latest findings of science and technology to support the truth of the Bible. Dr Pearce finds that as scientific knowledge increases, it always proves that the Bible is correct, and that as a result, increasing numbers of scientists are seeing this as evidence for a Creator.

Although written in a popular style, his books represent many years of careful research. "Science" carries a foreword by Professor Kenneth Kitchen, one of the world’s leading Egyptologists, encouraging the careful reading of every page which has flowed from Dr Pearce’s pen.

Need more be said? - except, of course, that the books are in the Acorn Library. Published by Eagle, an imprint of Inter Publishing Service (IPS) Ltd., they do not have indexes, but they do have comprehensive contents pages, too long to be given here. Why not call at the Library and ask Ann to let you see them? Maurice Thompson

Acorn Christian Library is open every Wednesday morning from 10.00am – 12.00 noon and at other times by request. Coffee is served.

Children’s Corner

Wishing all our young readers a very happy year 2000 from Odell Sunday School.

Birthdays in February

birthday greetings to :

Anthony Merrett who will be 8 on the 14th.

In Memory

The village remember with much fondness Sid and Alice who passed away recently. We all send our condolences to both families.

Sidney Ernest Wright, aged 87, interred in the Churchyard after funeral service in Church. 29th November 1999.

Alice Frederica Joan, aged 99, interred in the Churchyard after funeral service in Church. 14th January 2000.

   February Diary

4th 7.30pm Aid for Romania Posh Supper, Watermead.

4th 7.30pm Riding Lights Theatre Co., Woodside Centre.

5th 7.30pm Riding Lights Theatre Co., Bromham Baptist


5th 10.30am Celebration of Christian Healing, St. Alban’s


6th 6.00pm Riding Lights Theatre Co., Lincroft School,


8th 10.30am Meeting Point at Mary Rogers’, 2 Hall Close,


8th 7.30pm W.I. Odell Village Hall.

11th 7.30pm Riding Lights Theatre Co., Christ Church,

Denmark St., Bedford.

12th 7.30pm Riding Lights Theatre Co., Biddenham Upper

School, Biddenham Turn.

16th 12.30 Senior Citizens Lunch, Rectory.

23rd 10.30am Meeting Point, Doris Bannard-Smith’s, 10 The

Bury, Pavenham.

29th 7.45pm N. Beds Healing Group, Manor Cottage, High

St., Harrold.


4th Village Hall Quiz.

7th 10.30am Meeting Point, Jane Eshelby’s, Newton


20th 8.00pm Parish Council Annual Open Meeting, Village


28th 8.00pm Deanery Service Prayer for Sick, U.R.C., Harrold.

Magazine Deadline

Please send all entries for the March magazine to Tricia Hudson (, Anne Turner, Mandy Sharpe 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.

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Last revised: January 30, 2000.