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From the Rectory

June 2000

Dear Friends,

The fourth question raised by the Today programme is, "Do you believe in the Second Coming of Christ?" Interestingly, the question omits the word "literally", which was used in the previous questions. However, this may be nothing more than a slip of the pen. What do we mean by this statement of Christian belief, which is summed up in the Apostles Creed, based on the New Testament evidence, that, "From thence he will come to judge the living and the dead". In simple terms, there is at the end of this age a direct intervention in the course, not only of human history, but also in the story of the universe.

We need to understand that this is not like some intervention of the gods in a Greek tragedy. It is the Creator who called all things into being, who came to take human form in deep humility, who comes again in glory to close this period of history. In this way all the doctrines of the Christian faith interlock.

What is the object of the Second Coming? It is to bring into judgment all who have lived. The purpose of the universe is not simply a "big bang" followed by a low moan. The universe and the human race are bound up together inextricably under the view of the moral Governor. So all will be held to account for the things that they have done in this life.

The judgment, which will be absolutely righteous, will take place on the basis of God’s moral law for those who are aware of it. Those who do not know will be held accountable in the terms of the light that they have. The judgment prepares the way for the regeneration of the universe and from a temporary state, although long by human standards, it changes to a kingdom without end. Absent from this kingdom are sin and death, disease, suffering and sorrow.

The importance of the Second Coming lies in the fact that it forms the final act of God’s creation, his guiding and governing of all things and the fulfilment of his purposes in redeeming those who will believe his promise in Christ. As the curtain falls on this creation, so a more glorious creation is revealed. The Second Coming of Christ forms the way this will occur.

The second question that we shall ask is how will this happen? There are over three hundred references to the Second Coming of Christ in the New Testament. Although there are a number of interpretations concerning the precise details of this end-time occurrence, we shall restrict ourselves to certain observations. Christ will return personally. "This same Jesus who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven". Acts 1, 11. The promise of the angels refers to the time of Christ’s ascension. This was not a space trip but the passage from one sphere to another. Christ will return visibly from that spiritual sphere to this world. There is no secret coming but a worldwide return. "For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God." 1 Thessalonians 4, 16.

The question that must be asked is when will this take place? There are many references to the need to be ready but the precise timing is not given. There are a number of events that will precede the Second Coming. The gospel will be preached throughout the world. There will be a general falling away and the rise of false teachers. A worldwide persecution of Christians will occur.

The end of the age will also be characterised by abnormal events on the earth and in the heavens. Of course, many of these things have happened through the ages. There are many interesting things occurring today. To that degree the signs are not precise. However, when all the various signs come together and increase in frequency and intensity, these point forward to the fact that the time may be approaching.

When we consider the question of the Second Coming of Christ, we need to remember certain facts. The first is that we know the universe had a beginning and that it will end. The Creator God began it with his powerful word. The creator God will bring it to its conclusion by the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ. The second is that it is clear from the witness of the New Testament that all the apostles believed in the Second Coming and that it would be personal, visible and glorious. Not only did they keep this hope before their own minds they urged it constantly upon the Church of the New Testament. This hope forms part of the Christian’s faith and witness in this world.

With all good wishes,         Sincerely in Christ

David Streater

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).  

U.K. Brain Tumour Society

Tim and Liz Dodwell with Gwenda Gillard invite you to a

Charity Supper

held in special memory of the Revd Geoff Gillard

at Watermead, 41 Odell Road, Harrold from 7.30pm

on Saturday July 1st, 2000

Musical entertainment by the family Mocioc

Tickets price £15, or £10 (concessions)

PLEASE BOOK NOW through Gwenda (720767) or the Dodwells (720640)

Donations, raffle prizes and offers to help with food will be much appreciated.

Dress - smart casual. Numbers will be limited.

North Beds Healing Group

The service planned for June 27th at Wymington Church has been cancelled.

Pentecost Sunday. June 11th

Services and BBQ Lunch with Churches together.

This year at 9am on Sunday June 11th in All Saints Church, Odell, there will be a short said communion service (Book of Common Prayer). Our main celebration of Pentecost will be a Joint Service with the churches of Harrold and Carlton, in the Country Park at the later time of 11.30am. This will be followed by a BBQ lunch served from the marquee sited beyond Truly Scrumptious at the Harrold end of the Country Park. Offers of contributions of money or food will be appreciated (salads and cakes etc and finger puds) and should be made to Liz Dodwell please (720640), as well as an indication of numbers for lunch. Do try to join us.

Hopefully lunch will be followed by games or other activities.

Meeting Point


Tuesday 6th 10.30am at Jill’s, Rectory Farm, Odell

Wednesday 21st 10.30am at Catherine’s, Manor Cottage, Harrold.


Tuesday 4th 10.30am at Mary’s, 2 Hall Close, Sharnbrook.

Join with the ladies of Tea and Talk for their afternoon meeting and tea at 2.30pm on July 11th at Doris Bannard-Smith's, Goodly Heritage, The Bury, Pavenham .

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

It was a privilege for four of us from Odell Church to be among a party of pilgrims to visit the Holy Land over Easter. This was organised by Rev. Mark Madeley with Christian Tours.

We flew from Heathrow Airport after rigorous security checks which seemed to last for ever. We left a dull grey day behind us, to find on arrival at Tel Aviv some 4½ hours later a warm, balmy air, so natural for the Mediterranean region. A bus awaited us to take us to our first destination, "The Bethlehem Hotel", Bethlehem, our home for the next 4 days.

After a brief sleep our bus took us early next morning (and each morning) to various places of biblical importance. First to Jerusalem where we walked the Via Dolorosa, in the steps Jesus had taken 2000 years ago to his crucifixion. We saw The Temple Mount and the Golden Gate and The Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane where 8 olive trees, 2000 years old, still grow. We visited Yad Vashem, the museum to the holocaust where 3 candles are lit and a thousand mirrors gives the effect of 1.5 million lights, one for each child killed in the holocaust.

wpe2.jpg (20200 bytes)Garden of Gethsemane and Mount of Olives

During our 4 days the old city walls of Jerusalem became a familiar sight, with the magnificent "Dome of the Rock" as a landmark. It was Passover week, a Jewish holiday to celebrate the freedom from bondage of the Israelites from Egypt. We visited the Western Wall, "Wailing Wall", as it is familiarly known, to see the Jews offering prayers and reciting the "Torah"; it was a sight to behold.

Each day our faithful bus driver, Mohammed, would drive probably 10 hours and Yigal, our Jewish guide, would give us a fluent biblical and historical lesson of what we were to see. He got the reputation of never being able to stop talking but he was the most wonderful man and his knowledge of the Bible was unbelievable... even the New Testament. At each place we would have a passage of scripture, a hymn and sometimes a communion service, led by Mark, using the book he had printed (Yellow Pages as it affectionately became known), which went with us everywhere. At the end of the 4 days we had the experience of going through desert land to the Dead Sea. We were able to float (not swim) as it is so toxic; it is the most salt saturated water in the world. That same day we saw Qumran, where in a cave in the hills in the late 1940's a shepherd boy, looking for one of his flock, came across the "Dead Sea Scrolls". We also went, by cable car, to the top of the amazing cliff top fortress of Masada rising up from the desert.

 We toured Bethlehem one day and saw the "shepherds fields" where the Angel Gabriel told the shepherds of Jesus' birth in a stable. In the main square we saw the Church of Nativity and the cave where Jesus was born.

On Saturday we moved from Bethlehem to Tiberias travelling along the coastal plain, visiting Caesarea and Meggido on the way. It was like going to another country from the dry parched ground of Jerusalem to lush green fertile land where farmers grow wheat and maize. We passed banana and palm trees, orange and lemon groves, avocados and endless beautiful plants, even a field of lilies, eventually reaching The Hotel Shalom Plaza, in Tiberias, in the evening.

wpe3.jpg (8257 bytes)Sea of Galilee

We awoke the next morning, Easter Sunday, at 5.3Oam, as our bus awaited to take us to the shore of the "Sea of Galilee". We sat on the rocks and Mark led us for a Communion Service. It was so peaceful and quiet, only the sound of water as it lapped against the rocks and the occasional cry of a heron or cormorant as it flew by. It was here we saw the most beautiful dawn. As we watched the sun rise over the Golan Heights, we could feel Jesus' presence and almost see him walking on the water, it was so calm. There wasn't a dry eye among us. We visited the mount of Beatitudes and also had a boat trip from Capernaum to Tiberias where we ate at a restaurant over-looking the lake. We went to the River Jordan hoping to swim (that's another chapter!) but were not allowed to as people were retaking their baptismal vows. On our last day we went to the top of Mount Tabor and visited Nazareth and Cana.

wpe4.jpg (34425 bytes)The 'Loaves and Fishes' Restaurant recomended by the Thompsons

Our week came to a close all too quickly and we had to say goodbye to Mohammed our excellent driver, Yigal our guide who was almost a father figure to us and most of all to Mark our spiritual guide who had so lovingly led us all week in our acts of worship. We packed for our journey home, our yellow pages a little dog-eared, our skin a little tanned, and our hearts heavy to be leaving. Despite a few downs we had enjoyed 9 days of wonderful fellowship together, made new friends, shared together the steps that Jesus took 2000 years ago; we had been where He had been, and hopefully become better people for it.

Leaving the sunshine of Israel behind, we flew back to London where, needless to say, it was cold and damp. Yes we were home!

Catherine, Jane, Jill and Liz.

 Our giving in June will be to the Church Pastoral Aid Society – C.P.A.S.

The work of C.P.A.S. is to give aid to both churches and individuals in such wide-ranging areas as evangelising, training for clergy and laity, youth work, holiday activities for young people, provision of resources (books, courses etc.), working with older people and specialised ministry to both men and women.

Please give generously to this worthwhile charity.

Looking to Jesus with Anne Turner:

"The heavens are telling the glory of God; they are a marvellous display of His craftsmanship." (Ps 9.v1)

Accident or design?

Whether you look through a telescope or a microscope, God is an awesome Designer. Take a look at these three things:

1. Temperature: The sun is 12,000 degrees Fahrenheit and we are 93 million miles away from it - just the right distance. If the earth's temperature were even 50 degrees hotter or colder, all life would cease. Why was the earth not fixed twice as far away or twice as near? Accident or design?

2. Rotation. We rotate 365 times a year as we pass around the sun. Suppose we only rotated 36 times instead? Well our days and nights would be ten times as long; we'd be terribly hot on one side and unbearably cold on the other and life as we know it would disappear. Accident or design?

3. Air. Oxygen constitutes about 21 per cent of our atmosphere; just the right amount. Why not 50 per cent? Well, if it were 50 per cent, the first time someone lit a match, we'd all be toast. Is it 21 per cent by accident or design?

Where there is a design, there must be a designer! Would you like to know Him? In creation, He shows you His hand, but at the cross He shows you His heart (John 3:6). Through Jesus Christ His Son, you can know the great Designer personally and receive eternal life. If you don't, you'll spend eternity in hell. Any chance that you may be an exception? No! The only people in heaven will be those who are there by design - not by accident. Think about it!

Printed with kind permission from "Word for Today". Available from United Christian Broadcasters Tel: 0782 642100.

United Christian Broadcasters is fighting for a licence to play the kind of music that will teach young people biblical principles and build godly character. To win this struggle they need your help.

Please write to them and join around 25,000 others who are saying to our government "Give UCB a national licence."

For more info write to UCB PO Box 255 Stoke on Trent ST4 8YY

We desperately need to bring more good into the world. Our children listen to music, and so much of it is the kind most parents do not wish them to hear. Please help.

Thank you Anne Turner

Amongst Ourselves

We continue to hold the sick in our prayers.

We think of Mary Ditmas recovering from an eye operation, Ann Hudson and Joan Thompson experiencing and giving thanks and glory for that special ' touch of the master's hand'. We celebrate with Meg Clark that she has the 'all clear' regarding her health. It’s so good to know we have answered prayer.

Within Odell we name Phyllis Ames, Barbara Lady Luke and Lin Samuels. In the Nursing Homes: Gladys Gadsby, Phyllis Dowdeswell, Marion Smith and Marjorie Owen. These dear people continue to need our prayers, love and support as they experience frailty and poor health. Many will know that Liz Dodwell fell from her horse some weeks ago - Liz is still suffering from concussion and really would appreciate prayer for her healing. At Rushden we pray for Mrs Eshelby (Snr) who needs the support of her family.

Within the village we look to the fete, and all those who will be involved in this special day. People come from far and wide and somehow this tiny village draws back people who have found a special link here, needless to say the Boys Brigade intend to make it a reunion visit - they used to think of Odell as a second home away from the noise of London.

Father God, we do indeed praise you yet again for this special corner of your world, thanking you for all we have here, and glory that other people have been touched by Odell and all it offers. The tranquillity and beauty, which so many hearts hold dear, whether it be those who live here now, or from years and years ago. We know that your hand is upon the fete and all those involved, and we thank you that people give their time and efforts to raise money for our beautiful church of All Saints.

Anne Turner

Gift Aid – New Rules Can Benefit Our Church

Many people will know that the Church and other charities have in the past been able to benefit by getting tax repayments on money paid under Deeds of Covenant and on single payments of a minimum of £250 under Gift Aid. This year's Budget has made great changes and now a tax repayment can be claimed on any payment, however small, provided the person who made it can be identified, has paid at least the relevant amount of tax, and has said they want the payment treated under Gift Aid.

If you do not already take part in the existing envelope scheme, please help us to get as much tax repaid as possible by putting any money you give to the Church, in collections at services or in any other way, in an envelope with your name on it. This also applies to one-off donations, and our Treasurer, Helen Chapman, is arranging to put suitable envelopes in the Church with the necessary details printed on them.

If you have any queries about this, please contact Helen Chapman on 01234 720131. Please help if you can. Payments made under the new scheme can be worth 28% more with the tax repayment! Tim Dodwell

Acorn Christian Library

Acorn Library Book Review

"Sacre and Asc: a Guide" Penny Thompson

This unprepossessing title must be that of one of the most important booklets in print. A further description of its contents given on the cover reads:

"What members of SACRE or ASC need to know about the legal status and functions of the Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education and the Agreed Syllabus Conference".

Expressed in simpler terms, the booklet might be entitled, ‘RE and the Law.’

At the Christian Resources Exhibition 2000, which took place at Esher in May, two days were devoted specially to the subject of Christianity and Schools. A wide range of lectures was given on most subjects which would be of interest to RE teachers, school governors and all with any involvement whatever with the subject. Surprisingly, not one of the main lectures dealt with the subject of RE and the law. Unfortunately it was too late to give this author a ‘slot’ but she was given opportunities by a stand-holder to introduce her booklet and to sell copies.

The author is a serving member of the SACRE in Sefton where she has taught RE for fifteen years. She is also a member of ASC. Over several years she has made it her business to examine carefully not only how these bodies work in practice, but also exactly what the law does and does not say on the subject of RE teaching. Her conclusions will come as a surprise to many members of these bodies who will find that in various respects they have been acting outside both the spirit and letter of the law, to the detriment of Christian teaching.

Space forbids even a brief look at the contents of the booklet, but it is absolutely essential reading for Christians who are concerned to make the most of the opportunities currently available under the law for teaching Christianity in schools.

In a quiet, methodical and scholarly way the author makes a devastating exposé of how, deliberately or otherwise, Christians have been misled as to what their rights are.

Her style is perhaps best illustrated by the opening paragraph of her appendix on ‘Indoctrination and Religious Education’:-

"The idea of pupils being taught from a base in one faith may raise concerns about indoctrination. It is certainly true that the term has achieved notoriety in the RE profession such that prospective RE teachers when interviewed, even at schools with a Christian foundation, always declare that they do not believe in or practise indoctrination. However it is not easy to pin down exactly what indoctrination is and why it is so necessary to avoid it. Many experts have attempted to define it which in itself suggests that the concept is problematic. Literally the word means ‘teaching in’ and has in the past been understood as an entirely benign and appropriate process whereby pupils (or learners of any age) are informed (shaped) through teaching in a particular subject. In fact as late as 1979 the Oxford English Dictionary did not give any pejorative sense to the word."

The Acorn Library has several copies of the booklet (published privately by the author in April 2000) and copies can be ordered for any who wish to purchase them at £1 each. Those on the Internet will find the whole booklet (and two others on the same subject but for different readerships) on the author’s web site:

Coming soon at The Corn Exchange in Bedford…

Hopes and Dreams – a community event for the Millennium, Saturday 17th June.

5pm: The Banquet – hosted by the local churches as part of our thanksgiving to God. Come to the banquet and share in hopes and dreams for Bedford

7pm: The Millennium Musical – Hopes and Dreams.

The music, dance, monologue and comedy expressed in this musical explore the many facets of what is probably the world’s most famous prayer – ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ – and reminds us of just how relevant the words of the prayer are to our millennium celebrations.

Contacts: John Sackett 01234 216880, Hazel Hurlbut 01234 210033


Birthday Greetings to Robert Merret who will be 10 on the 11th

And to anyone else who celebrates a birthday in June!

 June Diary

                                                            6th 10.30am Meeting Point at Jill’s, Rectory Farm.

                                                            10th 2.00pm Odell Fete, Horsefair Lane

11th 11.30am Outdoor Pentecost Service with Harrold and Carlton Churches, Country Park, followed by BBQ lunch.

17th, 11am-6pm Yelnow Farm open gardens in aid of Henry

& 18th Doubleday Research Association.

17th 2.30pm Service of Thanksgiving for Marriage, St. Peter’s, Sharnbrook.

17th 5.00pm Hopes and Dreams Banquet

7.00pm Hopes and Dreams Musical

21st 10.30am Meeting Point at Catherine’s, Manor Cottage, High St, Harrold.

21st 3 – 5.00pm ‘Corner Club’ Cream Tea, Linden House, High St., Odell.


1st 7.30pm Brain Tumour Society Charity Supper, Watermead.

4th 10.30am Meeting Point, Mary Rogers’, 2 Hall Close, Sharnbrook.


Magazine Deadline

Please send all entries for the July and August magazine (nb DOUBLE EDITION) to Tricia Hudson (, Anne Turner, Mandy Sharpe or Catherine Corkery by June 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: May 24, 2000.