Upcoming Events

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Further Ahead

  • christmas with st pauls

    For all information on all our services and events running up to Christmas visit the Christmas page on our website.

  • christmas party

    saturday 2nd december

    Book your tickets now!!!!


    For more info and to book your tickets click go to our Christmas Party page


chaplain's log

  • Simon writes... 19th october 20

    I am writing this at the end of a morning in the office when 4 things have happened that make me question why people are like they are! 2 phone calls and 2 emails have left me bemused and saddened at the way people deal with one another.


    It would be inappropriate to go into detail but 2 of them involve folk from outside our Chaplaincy. It concerns people I know well and is about how those in authority exercise their pastoral responsibility for others. Why do people not talk directly to each other? Why do people not use one on one communication to establish facts rather than doing things from a secondary source? Do folk think about those whose lives & careers they are dealing with? Do people look to the bigger picture?


    And then I received a couple of internal church communications. People imagining & saying things to others in an unrealistic & hurtful way. Folk assuming that the way they interpret something must be the only way. Have we lost the art of genuine discussion, negotiation & communication? Are we scared of relating to others? I am fearful that emails etc have made us far less emotionally intelligent and able to share each others’ journey, joys and burdens.


    I’d like to make a great theological point – but Jesus never received an email nor had to deal with a phone call! But even so, St Paul does remind us to be Christ like in our relationships.... Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Phil 2:3-4) Amen to that, I say!

  • simon writes... 12th november 2017

    Last Sunday evening Ann & I drove into Brussels to go to see the film ‘Detroit’ at the cinema. It is an interesting, challenging & shocking film about events that took place during the 1967 riots in Detroit, Michigan. Based on a real life incident at the Algiers Motel during Detroit's 1967 12th Street Riot, the film's release commemorated the 50th anniversary of the event. I do not know how historically accurate it was but the incident was a portrayal of terrible police aggression & brutality towards young (mostly) black men. A very interesting film, well worth seeing, I felt.


    When we returned to our car we discovered that it had been broken into. The small side glass smashed and the sat nav stolen. That was all! We were rather put out and frustrated that we’d not removed the sat nav (silly us)! We felt violated and cross with whoever had done this to us. By lunchtime the following day the broken window had been repaired (free on our insurance) and all we had lost was the sat nav (which our daughter had passed on to us when she bought a new car with its own sat nav). It owed us nothing! How fortunate we are. Yes, we will need to get a new sat nav...but the security of our financial position meant we did not suffer. It was all taken care of!


    We were left to reflect on the city of Detroit (which I don’t know) and to wonder about the lives of those less financially stable (than we are) who live there. Left to think about those whose parents were caught up in the rioting in 1967.....how have they fared since then? Very challengingly, Jesus said ‘The poor you will always have with you’ Matthew 26:11. I don’t know how I would cope if I were poor! Oh how fortunate I am!

  • simon writes... 22nd october 2017

    This week we are continuing our sermon series looking at the books of Ezra & Haggai on Rebuilding the Temple. In this 3rd week we will be introduced to Ezra himself and the role he takes in the narrative. ‘God’s hand was on us’ is the theme and we will be reminded that with our God everything is possible.


    Can I encourage you in your regular Bible reading to read these passages which are linked to this theme....


    Ezra 7 & 8,      Jeremiah 29,      Psalm 63,        Isaiah 35,        Luke 9,       1 Peter 2


    Please also pray for the work of our Church Council and its members. We are holding an Away Day on Saturday 21st October with ‘the Objective of building on the 5 Focus areas of St Paul's and agreeing ideas, timings and money needed for an outstanding 2018.’ The 5 Focus areas of St Paul’s are: Proclaiming the Good News; Growing Community; Children & Youth; Here, in Belgium; The Wider World. We are looking to the future & planning ahead! (Rather as Ezra & those who rebuilt the Temple!)


    And thank you very much for all your prayers and encouragement as I spent last week on retreat. Believe it or not I had 6 days of silence on an IGR Individually Guided Retreat at St Beuno’s in North Wales. It was lovely.

    Entering into silence & space can take some time but when it happens we have ears to hear the God who wants to speak to us. I reflected on Scripture and let it speak to me. From Isaiah 55 I heard these words ‘Listen to me......that your soul may live.’ It was deep, profound & very special!

  • simon writes... 15th October 2017

    Recently reading an article about the place of the sermon & preaching in church, I came across this poem. It spoke to me. I don’t think it says all that needs to be said about the sermon.......what could? But I found it intriguing, interesting & challenging. Maybe you will too! It was written by Irish poet Pádraig Ó Tuama. 


    Take a story.

    Then take another.

    One from the story of life, one from a

    story of your life.

    Hold them together in the light

    of each other.

    View each through the lens of the other.

    Listen.

    Add salt, or whatever it is that

    helps you taste.

    Add a friend.

    Add poetry.

    Add honesty.

    Listen again.

    Keep listening.

    Think of the people you will be

    speaking to.

    Listen to their listening.

    Face your fear.

    Think about being a bit courageous, a bit

    vulnerable, a bit open.

    Think about what love would say.

    Think about what needs to die.

    Think about what needs to rise.

    Keep adding poetry.

    Open your mouth, sinner, and speak.


    Note: the story of life seems to me to be a reference to the Bible. To the Christ-follower it is THE story that matters. And what love would say is surely a reference to God himself; see 1 John 4:16

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