8th September 2019

What a great occasion last week when members of one of our church families got baptised. It was a privilege to baptise Noah, Christopher & Sadie as well as receiving Robert into the Church of England. It was great how the church family came together for the ‘Bring and Share’ lunch to help them celebrate – thanks to Sue for making the celebratory cake. It was also lovely to see Kath back in church, and also that she is back baking.

On Tuesday, after an afternoon with cakes at the police station with my police chaplaincy, I was up with the Air Training Cadets taking my first ‘full squadron’ session. This centred around leadership, teamwork & communication skills aimed at ensuring everyone be treated. The exercise involved a tent, blindfold to simulate blindness as well as ties to create different obstacles in terms of mobility. The teams had to work together to put the tents up against the clock to be the winning team

Later today, I am looking forward to the ‘Afternoon Tea’ & singalong in the hall. If you have not bought your ticket yet – it’s not too late- ring Kathy (see back of pew sheet) or pop into the hall after the service.

Have a good week, God bless, Julie

25th August 2019

This week we held our first Communion service at Roman Wharf Care Home. Angela & I centred the service around Jesus’ feeding of the 5000. We took the netting with all the beautifully coloured fish & flowers that developed over the last couple of ‘Family Churches’, sang a couple of hymns, heard the story of Jesus with the 5 loves & 2 fish & shared some of the bread. It was well attended & we’ll be returning in September with a harvest service. There is also a monthly communion service at Ridgeway led by Revd Alex Whitehead with Janet. WE are hoping a few residents may join us for afternoon tea or for Christmas meal as was the case last year.

Every Sunday at 10.30am, we have ‘Family Church’. Family church is not just for families but everyone to come together as a family. It is an intergenerational service involving song, prayer, talk & a craft/ activity to help us think about the message that week. Next Sunday is extra special as we have 3 members of the church family being baptised & 1 member being received into the C of E. We are going to celebrate with a ‘Bring ‘n’ Share’ lunch. The following ‘Family Church’ service (October 6) will be our harvest service with a Scout Parade when we will be collecting food for the Lincoln Community Larder. Everyone is welcome to our services.

Have a good week, God bless, Revd Juli

17th August 2019

Last week I was formally appointed as 204 ATC Squadron Chaplain. The ATC is the Air (Training) Cadets & is the uniformed association affiliated with the Royal Air Force. The 204 squadron is based on Burton Road and is for ages 12-20 years. It offers incredible opportunities for young people to develop good leadership & citizenship skills, encouraging an interest in aviation, this includes, when the weather is co-operative, the chance to fly, as well as other adventure & fun. My role involves the moral & pastoral care of supporting personnel & staff (irrespective of religious beliefs), to attend a monthly to lead a session & be part of the Exec team. Last Tuesday, I lead ‘Padre’s hour’ with a group of cadets due to be enrolled as we went through the promise they were to make upon enrolment. The promise involves quite a commitment & this was recognised by those present. The promise is:

“I herby solemnly promise on my honour, to serve my unit loyally, and to be faithful to by obligations, as a member of the air training corps.

I further promise to be a good citizen, and to do my duty to God and the queen, my country and my flag”.

If you have not met the Cadets before then they will be at the Carholme Gala on 22 Sept between 12 & 4pm, along with St Faith’s Scouts’ groups as the West End hosts a gala for its residents & to welcome students. Come & be part of & support your local community. Money raised during the event helps to support the organisations in their activities.

Have a good week, God bless, Revd Juli

11th August 2019

We are 3 weeks into the school holidays & my best laid plans of using this quieter time of the year to catch up seem to be rapidly disappearing out the window. As quickly as school events & meetings disappeared into the distance, other things crept into the diary. I try hard avoid meetings & especially evening meetings in August both from a personal perspective to live life at a slower pace (before the ramp up from September as we step onboard the Christmas express) and also to give the same chance to all church members to take a breather. It is not always possible, but is an intention that takes some work to initiate. The intention being to spend more time with God, to reflect on where we are as a church as well as to attack those things on my ‘to do’ list that need more time at my desk to conquer. It has also been a good time to have the ‘late’ spring clean of the office. So in effect, the intention for August, is de-cluttering. De-cluttering from both a mental and physical perspective – the office, the ‘to do’ list, the ironing basket, the sewing basket – the things I ‘never get round to’ which otherwise just gradually increase in size.

It brought me round to ask myself: what other things are cluttering up my life – where can I create space for the good of my physical & mental health but most of all my spiritual well-being? Because when life becomes to full, too hectic, we are in danger of suddenly finding that we are spending less time with God, who should be our first priority as all things come from Him & without Him, we can do nothing. Let us take that extra time to renew our rhythm with God helping us to build our relationship with Him & in so doing, enhance all our relationships. The Epistle today reminds us that our lives are rooted by our faith & hope in God, the God who has time for us, let’s make sure we have time for Him.

Have a fruitful week, God bless, Revd Julie

4th August 2019

The irony of preaching on the parable of the rich fool (Luke 12:13-21) has not been lost on me as I have just had to make a new purchase. It is hard to draw that line between necessity and want.

It reminds me though that it is difficult to make a purchase these days without thinking of the environment. According to the Independent, we hear this week that ‘plastic bag usage in supermarkets is down by 90%’, there is renewed energy towards getting rid of single use plastic – supermarkets are looking at alternatives for fruit and vegetable as plastic is shunned for home compostable. This has all come about by individuals EACH making an effort to work towards protecting our environment, our world. It shows how as one individual as a collective we can change things. As Christians, we realise we are accountable for looking after God’s creation – the book of Genesis reminds us we were put in charge of caring for God’s world. There is also some urgency in the matter.

Going forward in St Faith’s, when the PCC and its committees make decisions, the impact on the environment will be considered as part of the decision-making process; we are on the cusp of renewing our energy contract, so we will be looking at renewable fuels. We will start to look at how we provide refreshments at different occasions, but we will use out current stocks first as part of making that transition. If you have any ideas or thoughts about how St Faith’s can make a difference then please send your ideas our parish

secretary, Helen T, and she will collate them so we can consider the possibilities/ practicalities around the ideas.

Have a thoughtful, blessed week, Revd Julie

28th July 2019

This week was a contrast compared with last week. It involved more preparation that running around. Monday was spent largely in preparation for Monday night’s PCC meeting and as part of that meeting the PCC were looking at what we want to communicate about St Faith’s during our 125 years celebrations – what is our renewed vision? One of the things we are exploring is to be an ‘Inclusive Church’. Many of us may already feel we are part of being an ‘inclusive’ church, but this means ‘everybody’. To be inclusive means looking at our theology (what we believe), to ensure it is in line with our actions, it means looking at facilities to see how we can improve them, training needs, etc. St Faith’s is known for the welcome and hospitality to everyone who walks through the doors, it feels time to look at how we can expand and improve that welcome & how we can announce that to others. There is an association called ‘inclusive church’, which we will be looking closely at. For those who have internet capacity you might want to look at: https://www.inclusive-church.org/ More information will follow after the PCC meeting on this. If you want to know more, or what to share your comments/ views in the meantime then please feel free to chat to me about them..

At the PCC meeting we also talked about parish share. Many of us have been talking about parish share for years and forget that for some people ‘Parish Share’ is an enigma. Although we are the established church of the England, we do not get funded by government, the church as a whole have to fund everything ourselves. Apart from the money we give to other charities or for resources for St Faith’s mission for St Faith’s, the running costs of St Faith’s church (and the hall), we give money to the diocese ie the parish share. This is our share of supporting the church as a whole, locally and nationally. The money we give to the diocese pays for clergy (includes salary, housing, pensions), parish support, mission & ministry, legal & professional, education and the national church. There is a breakdown of that on the back table. Our parish share is £28,600 which is about 2/3 of what it costs to cover the total cost of a full-time priest in the parish. We are aiming to pay 50% share this year, £14,300 but we have only paid £1,750. We are a long way off paying this. The latest diocesan information sheet on the parish share is available for you to take away & read. More information will follow about how we can raise our share, please think about reviewing your giving through the Parish Giving Scheme.

This week, our 2 parish safeguarding officers, Helen D and Ros and I attended our refresher in safeguarding training. It was excellent training but also reminded us that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility not just those in leadership i.e. that includes ‘YOU’. Please read the noticeboard & see the folder at the back of church for more information so you know what to do if you see something that concerns you about another’s safety, or someone tells you about abuse. If you have suffered abuse yourself and want to talk to someone about it please speak to me, Helen D or Ros. God bless, Revd Julie

21st July 2019

This week has been a big schools week. It began with Collective Worship at St Faith & St Martin CE Junior School as we looked at the word ‘Goodbye’ in different languages translations included: fun, peace, love – ‘Goodbye’ itself means ‘God be with you’. It was also a chance to play Bill Haley & the Comets – yes you guessed – ‘see you later alligator, (in a while crocodile’) J This was followed with a meeting with Mr Kyle (headteacher) as Foundation Governor as part of the visits we are required to do being part of the governing body. Later that day, it was back to the Junior school for the last of full governors of the year.

On Tuesday, I was in West Parade police station as part of the support the chaplaincy team offers to Lincolnshire police, helped along by with cake.

Wednesday, it was to St Faith’s CE Infant & Nursery School as Dave Sutton, the caretaker is leaving after 24 years. His commitment & service was celebrated with a special leaving assembly where we saw lots of photos from previous years & staff who previously worked at the school also came to say ‘goodbye’. One of the gifts was the new Lincoln City football kit – very apt as he is avid fan! It was then back to the Junior school for one final meeting.

On Thursday, the schools’ came to church. The morning it was the Infants school end of year ‘Thanksgiving’ service involving the choir, samba dancing in the aisles, the story of Midas turning everything into gold, a Spanish prayer (very special as the girl’s grandparents were over from Spain), we saw lots of photos of the year’s events & listened to some of their favourite things from the year.

In the afternoon, it was the year 6 (age 11) leavers from the Junior school. Year 6 have done very well in their SATs which has been an extra celebration – teachers shared their memories of the year, there were photos of the children from their first day at the junior school which produced a few giggles, there were awards & value medals – the last one awarded was the winner of patience. St Faith’s gave the Y6 leavers a book: It’s your move – which is all about making the transition to secondary school as well as a small wooden cross with a copy of the Lord’s prayer. This is a real milestone for the children as they start at the ‘big’ school which is outside the community.

Friday was year 2 (age 7) leaver’s assembly- another emotional service. The children pretended & dressed as if they were 70 years old. The service was then approached as if they were remembering the good ole days at the infants’ school. The songs included ‘You can count on me’ and ‘You’ve got a friend in me’ – difficult to have a ‘dry eye’ after those…! Up to the Junior school to join other governors to congratulate the staff on the excellent results with cup cakes. I also had time to drop into the hall there to visit the talent show that runs on the last day of term to see the excellent gymnastics & singing.

Finally I want to say thanks to the volunteers from our local Sainsbury’s store who came & worked hard in the garden this week: the garden looks like it’s had a makeover. Thanks to Brian who cut the grass (& keeps coming to cut the grass). Thanks to everyone who came to support them & finally to Kathy who organised the clean. The volunteers will be back as they want to support an afternoon tea at the church to raise money for St Faith’s. We hope this to be accompanied by some live Chamber Music.

Happy holidays to pupils and staff, God bless, Revd Julie

14th July 2019

Back to work this week with governor’s meeting at St Faith’s Infant’s, a chaplaincy conference on how to be inclusive in giving of pastoral care to all faiths and those without faith, & Diocesan synod on Wednesday. The latter looked at the ongoing problem of a £3m deficit in the diocesan budget (parish share is so important in keeping clergy in churches), an update on safeguarding & a call to take climate change seriously & to look at what we can do at both a church level (to become an Eco church?) & as individuals (more details to follow).

This week saw good news at St Faith & St Martin CE Junior School as their SATs results were outstanding, far above the national results. Well done Mr Kyle, staff & Year 6.

Have a good week, Revd Julie

16th June 2019

The week started off with a training day on suicide awareness and prevention. In 2017, there were 16 deaths a day in the UK due to suicide, and men are at risk more than women. Death by suicide is pervasive as it not only affects the person who commits suicide but also friends and family around them, like ripples on a pond. No profession is exempt from it, but some professions have a higher risk than others.

Prevention is very much about resilience, about build your own resilience as well as helping others to build their resilience. Some of these are fairly straight forward, as we discussed the important of good friends and social networks, good diet with exercise, good peer support, hobbies and faith can also play a positive role. Those who are more optimistic in nature are more likely to be more resilient than those more pessimistic in their outlook. That does not mean that Optimism is about everything being alright and in fact it is just a cover for ‘brushing things under the carpet’. If you are not sure which you are there is a ‘Learned Optimism Test’ at https://web.stanford.edu/class/msande271/onlinetools/LearnedOpt.html

Later in the week our Lincoln diocesan clergy conference was held at BGU, the first for a no. of years in Lincoln bringing clergy from across the diocese together. Guest speaker was Bishop Victoria Matthews, Bishop who was instrumental in helping moving the community forward after the collapse of the Christchurch Cathedral, New Zealand following the earthquake in 2011. An inspirational speaker talking to us about reconnecting with our original call to work for God & looking at how we are responding. It is a also a good opportunity to connect with other clergy across the diocese & hear about what they are doing in their community, building relationships.

Finally, looking forward, out next event is the fashion at St Faith & St Martin CE Junior School on Mon 17 June, 7.30pm: £5 entry with a complimentary prosecco/ juice – do come along & bring a friend – this is a relaxed evening, lasting just over an hour, an opportunity to mix with friends with the potential to treat yourself to some summer clothes (please note: no purchase is necessary to attend event). Hope to see you there. God bless, Revd Julie

2nd June 2019

I hope you all had a good bank holiday– despite the variability in the weather. I enjoyed cycling in the sunshine on Saturday & managed to dodge some of the rain on Monday. It was good to be back on the bike.

Back to work on Tuesday with an early meeting up at the cathedral. Despite the schools being on holiday, I was having initial discussion about how we can arrange a Whit walk for the schools next year during our year of celebration, 2020 and what else the children might be able to experience whilst in the cathedral. Some exciting ideas in the making especially as it is anticipated that the new Cathedral Centre may be open by then.

I have recently started back at the West Parade after having a break from chaplaincy whilst I was not 100%. It was good to be back with some cakes & be able to talk to the various police staff committed to serving us despite the pressures & budget restraints which they have to cope with daily.

Our next event is coming up pretty soon, with people working hard behind the scene to make it happen; this is the Fashion Show on 17th June. 7pm at St Faith & St Martin CE Junior school; money raised will be towards the project for ‘audio equipment’ for the church. If everybody bought a ticket and brought one other person with them, that would really make a difference to the number of people attending. It is a fun, relaxed evening, with a glass of prosecco/ juice & a chance to get some of your summer fashions!

Have a good week, keep praying ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ for 5 people, with the Lord’s Prayer.

God bless, Revd Juli