10th March 2019

First of all a massive thank you for everyone who helped out at the pancake party on Shrove Tuesday because it was massively busy. It was a huge success – it was full on for an hour and a half. Thanks initially to Sue as she must have cooked about 90 pancakes; thanks to Natasha, Helen D, Bob and Jake who helped in the kitchen & to the Mothers’ Union: Caroline, Gill & Jill as they handled the craft activities. It was such a success this year as the parents of the beavers stayed & joined in this year, making it a great family occasion. I did my bit in finishing off the pancakes: about 7 in total!!

This followed on from another fantastic event which was last Sunday’s family service where Bishop Nicholas Chamberlain blessed the flags of our scout group: 7th Scouts, Lincoln. The church was full of beavers, cubs, scouts, explorers, leaders and parents in addition to our own congregation all designing flags. By working together, these flags were then put together to form 2 large flags that had contributions right from the very young to the (very) old. Just fab!! The scout group are next with us in church for their sleepover & the Easter Dawn service (6.30am start) with breakfast – not to be missed; it’s very moving as the young people help to lead this most important service of the year.

Lastly, I am running a series of Sunday evening sessions looking at prayer, specifically prayer that involves silence. Each session will roughly involve ‘ an introduction to the prayer/ type of prayer being looked at, a period of silence, followed by a short liturgy (closing prayers). It will start at 5pm & finish no later than 5.45pm. This week, I will look at how the practice of Lectio Divina can help in our prayer.

God bless, Revd Julie

3rd March 2019

Firstly I would like to welcome all beavers, cub, scouts and their leaders and supporters of 7th Lincoln Scout group. It is such a privilege to welcome you all for a service of blessing your flags today. This service is about celebrating all that is good about scouting, working together whilst reminding us of the ideals set out in their Promise & Law.

I would also like to welcome too, Bishop Nicholas (Bishop of Grantham), who will be providing us with our talk this morning and blessing the flags for us. This is the 1st time Bishop Nicholas visits us at St Faith’s & we are really pleased he agreed to come and be involved in this very special service today.

Thank you to youth club members for planting the bulbs which are now flowering by the church door & to the church member who donated the money to buy them. Thanks also to the beavers who joined in to make the garden look lovely by planting some bulbs in the garden too. Please do admire them on your way out as the bulbs are now growing.

Lent begins this week with the ‘Pancake Party’ on Shrove Tues (5.30pm-7pm). Come along & join us in the hall with the beavers, as we tuck into pancakes with different toppings to go with them (my favourite is lemon & sugar, although Nutella with banana is a close 2nd). There will be a craft too! Following on from the party where we ‘traditionally’ empty the cupboard of luxury things for Lent, we mark the start of Lent with our Ash Wednesday services (6 Mar: 9.15am & 7.30pm). If you are a regular, you should have received a Lent reflection book on ‘The Beatitudes’; if you are not a regular & would like one, please ask. Our Lent course begins on Wed 13 March for 5 weeks based on the film ‘I Daniel Blake’ (books available from Helen D). Then, all you need to do know is decide on what you give up &/or take on for Lent! God bless you, Revd Julie

24th February 2019

Back at the start of February, we looked at how to support the work of St Faith’s in the parish. Information was given out, If you missed these, then be please be sure to pick up a pack. One of the things we looked at was how to donate money to support the work of the church, in particular joining the new ‘Parish Giving Scheme’: this is very easy to do. PCC members including Pete, the treasurer, will help to answer any questions. Much good work has been done so far in the parish but only if we look & act together can we continue to make a difference in the parish.

There is a Consultation on Lincoln’s Transportation Strategy that happens every 15 years & looks at all aspect of transportation. The last time resulted in the by-pass that is currently being built. Why is it so important? It is your chance to have your say about what you think about transport in Lincoln – walking, cycling, driving, buses, trains, taxis, horses & freight and ideas of how things could be improved. It is particularly important due to the significant increase in residences that are to be built in the next 5 years. None of these are scheduled for the West End, but there are residences planned out at Saxilby. This will have an impact in the level of traffic through the West End. Please add any comments on a piece of paper & pop them in the box. A presentation on the back table gives some overview; if you just want to capture the issues with transport as you see them now, then you can do that too.

God bless, Revd Julie

17th February 2019

Firstly I would like to say thank you to everyone who contributed to the services held for Reverend Les Acklam on Friday. I would especially like to thank Caroline, Richard, Gill, Bob, Helen T, Angela, Paul, Pete, the volunteer ‘washer-uppers’ and to Rachel and Neil led the services. It all went very well with many positive comments about the hospitality offered – a party was definitely had in Les’ honour.

Apologies for repeating much of last week’s pew sheet, but for the sake of those not at church last week, I want to bring to their attention (and remind you) of the Consultation on Lincoln’s Transportation Strategy. This is a consultation that happens every 15 years & looks at all aspect of transportation. The last time resulted in the Eastern by-pass that is currently being built. Why is it so important? It is your chance to have your say about what you think about transport in Lincoln – walking, cycling, driving, buses, trains, taxis, horses & freight and ideas of how things could be improved. It is particularly important due to the significant increase in residences that are to be built in the next 5 years. Although none of these are scheduled for the West End, there are residences planned for the West End of Lincoln out at Saxilby which will have an impact in the level of traffic through the West End.

Have your say? Go online and have a look at the information https://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/lincoln-transport-strategy/81505.article. For those who don’t have the luxury, then there is a copy of a presentation at the back of church. The PCC have decided to help in try to give everyone a voice in church by collecting your thoughts on the matter. There are forms at the back of church to help you with this along with a box to put your responses in; this will be available until 24 February. The responses will be pulled together to feed back through the Carholme Community Forum who are working together for the benefit of the West End & Carholme Ward as a whole. There are 2 remaining workshops associated with the consultation, but they are out of Lincoln.

* Welton Village Hall (51 Ryland Road, LN2 3LU): Monday 25 February, 3-8pm

* Waddington Community Hub (on Waddington High St, LN5 9RF): Wednesday 27 February, 3-8pm

God bless, Revd Julie

10th February 2019

Today we are looking how to support the work of St Faith’s in the parish. There will be a lot of information, which is why we have provided you with packs so you can take them away and have a read. One of the things we will be looking at is how we donate money to support the work of the church, in particular joining the new ‘Parish Giving Scheme’, this is very easy to do. PCC members will be available to answer any questions after today’s service & at later dates. Much good work has been done so far in the parish but only if we look & act together can we continue to make a difference in the parish.

In addition to the Stewardship aspect of today, I want to bring to your attention the Consultation on Lincoln’s Transportation Strategy. This is a consultation that happens every 15 years & looks at all aspect of transportation. The last time resulted in the Eastern by-pass that is currently being built. Why is it so important? It is your chance to have your say about what you think about transport in Lincoln – walking, cycling, driving, buses, trains, taxis, horses & freight and ideas of how things could be improved. It is particularly important due to the significant increase in residences that are to be built in the next 5 years. Although none of these are scheduled for the West End, there are residences planned for the West End of Lincoln out at Saxilby which will have an impact in the level of traffic through the West End.

Have your say? Go online and have a look at the information https://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/lincoln-transport-strategy/81505.article. For those who don’t have the luxury, then there is a copy of a presentation at the back of church. The PCC have decided to help in try to give everyone a voice in church by collecting your thoughts on the matter. There are forms at the back of church to help you with this along with a box to put your responses in; this will be available until 24 February. The responses will be pulled together to feed back through the Carholme Community Forum who are working together for the benefit of the West End & Carholme Ward as a whole. There are 2 remaining workshops associated with the consultation, but they are out of Lincoln:

* Welton Village Hall (51 Ryland Road, LN2 3LU): Monday 25 February, 3-8pm

* Waddington Community Hub (on Waddington High St, LN5 9RF): Wednesday 27 February, 3-8pm

Thanks for your continued commitment, God bless, Revd Julie

3rd February 2019

Unfortunately due to the loss of my voice earlier this week, accompanied by a cold has meant, I have been largely confined to the house, both in terms of not wanting to share my bug or strain my voice. However a few meetings have gone ahead including the PCC. The PCC (on behalf of the members of St Faith’s), in recognition of Revd Les’ time at St Faith’s, have offered to provide the refreshments to those attending the ‘Celebration of Life’ service on Friday 15 February at 1pm in St Faith’s church. Please back of pew sheet for details of the different ways you can help with the event & refreshments.

We have also been asked by our Bishops to pray for difficulties surrounding Brexit with the following prayer:

Lord, the God of righteousness and truth, grant to our Queen and her government, to Members of Parliament and all in positions of responsibility, the guidance of your Spirit. May they never lead the nation wrongly through love of power, desire to please, or unworthy ideals but laying aside all private interests and prejudices keep in mind their responsibility to seek to improve the condition of all humankind; so may your kingdom come and your name be hallowed. Amen

A quick thanks to Rob Frew who has agreed to lead phase II of the ‘South Churchyard’ Project for chairing his first meeting yesterday. Thanks to those attended. More details will follow.

God bless, Revd Julie.

27th January 2019

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day and I am shocked to read that that 1 in 20 people do not believe the Holocaust is a real event. Is it because it is on a scale that is so unimaginable, or that the living conditions, the gas chambers, the torture Is so unimaginable that can’t possibly make it true? Whilst on holiday this last week, I read The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. It is a heart-breaking story set in Auschwitz- Birkenau of a man, the Tattooist, himself a captured Jew, who helped many people in the camp and about the love between 2 people that sustained them. Just even reading a small bit about the detail of what it was like on a day-to-day basis is difficult to imagine – difficult to imagine how anyone survived those conditions. The thing that struck me at one point which is very vivid – is the fear of the ‘not knowing’ if you were singled out for any reason whether this was death or torture or something else- and this could just depend on a whim or the mood of an officer on any given day. If you have not read it, it is worth a read. It is humbling. I don’t know whether I could have had the stamina let alone the bravery that the Tattooist amongst others showed during their time in the camps.

6th January 2019

Happy New year! How’s the new year’s resolutions going?

This week, I have been in sorting/clear out/ tidy up mode in the office and have also made a start in the church. I find that 1 challenge is it always looks worse before it gets better, and the other(annoying) challenge that towards the end, when things are looking so much better, there are a few things that don’t seem to have a home other than that drawer – the one full of bits without a home!!

Today, after family church, we are taking down the church’s Christmas decorations. If you can stay & help that would be good, as working together it doesn’t take long.

Lastly, if you have volunteered for the church in 2018, in any capacity, then please come along to the PCC/ Social volunteer evening on Monday 7 Jan at the vicarage. Details overleaf.

Happy New Year, God bless, Revd Julie

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30th December 2018

Last Sunday, after the service, a few of us got together for carol singing in the evening, the problem being, I had lost my ability to be able to sing & needed to find a voice for Christmas Eve/ Christmas Day services. So the intrepid 4 of Janet, Helen D, Heather & Sue headed for Hewson Road without me. Following their stint of carol singing around the streets, they came back & lead the carols in the Queen in the West. I joined them having found a solution for my absent voice - I accompanied on my French horn. We had a good time & with everyone joining in. We raised £83.71 for P3- thanks to those who donated. This charity reaches out to the homeless & builds relationships to help find lasting solutions for people starting to rebuild their lives. Thanks to Janet, Helen D, Sue & Heather for this initiative.

The following day, St Faith’s had their crib service. It was well attended- plenty of angels, some Marys, shepherds and Joseph a lovely little lamb. Thanks to the volunteers who helped make the service a success- those on the mulled wine & mince pies, those on the costumes, the welcomers and general organisation & those who dressed up to bring us the missing nativity characters- you were all stars that night. Following this, I took our surplus mince pies & headed for West Parade police station to bring some cheer to the members on duty on Christmas Eve.

Midnight mass was as beautiful as ever – the church looked lovely all lit up with the candles & the lights from the Christmas Trees around the church. We received a lovely message on Twitter about midnight mass with an encouragement for what the church is doing locally.

Christmas morning saw 9 children show me what Christmas presents Santa had brought them after we had discussed what was in a Christmas cracker and how this reminds us of the first Christmas when Jesus was born.

Since then, I have managed a few days meeting family across the holidays, reflecting on 2018 & looking forward to 2019. What is your year going to hold? Any plans?

Happy New Year, God bless, Revd Julie

23rd December 2018

The Advent season for St Faith’s is principally all about hospitality. As part of the preparations for Christmas & as we look forward to the birth of the baby Jesus, we welcome different people & groups into church. We start with West End Lights & Christmas Tree festival, the crafts, mulled wine & mince pies ( the latter carries right through to Christmas Eve. This year saw two bands come together to provide us with festive music & many of the band members themselves, both from the UK & Neustadt have commented on the warmth of the welcome.

This week to 10 days is probably the busiest we see all year. I reckon by Christmas day we will have welcomed the best part of 1000 children, young people & adults through the doors of St Faith’s thanks to the work of an army of volunteers from St Faith’s and not forgetting the support of the Mother’s Union. Last Sunday, it was our Christingle service, turning oranges into Christingles & learning about the love of God sending His son Jesus Christ to be with us.

We then welcomed the Air Training Cadets on Tuesday evening for their carol service. I did a talk with the leftover oranges from the Christingle service, although I was fortunate to have the chocolate orange J as we talked about sharing with others. Thanks to Diane who spent the night looking for oranges! I am just beginning in my role of assistant chaplain and so it was fantastic to begin this by enrolling 14 cadets. I am looking forward to the new year and taking this role up on a regular basis.

Wednesday & Thursday saw the schools’ Christmas services of St Faith’s CE Infant & Nursery & St Faith & St Martin CE Junior schools. Both services were brilliant: the poems written by the Collective Worship council from the infant’s school were amazing & the junior service showcased lots of talent within the school, we had musicians, choir, actors & readers; an exceptionally fun bit was the 12 days of Christmas – each day done by a class or staff– the parents too, had their day, day 12!

One person that works really hard across this season is Pete – our organist! Often in the corner on the organ, hidden away – a shout of thanks to him for his contribution to Christmas & throughout the year. Thanks to Alex who now plays on our 3rd Sunday of the month.

Tonight (23rd), a slight change as we head to the streets & the Queen in the West for carolling – 7pm meet at the Queen for the streets, or 8pm for the pub version!

Christmas Eve is our crib service at 4pm Please come as a nativity characters. If you can we welcome small unwrapped gifts to be donated to the West Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Service to help ensure everyone gets a gift at Christmas & for birthdays- old & young.

Midnight mass begins at 11.30pm & our Family Christmas Communion at 10am on Christmas day-don’t forget to bring a present to show Reverend Julie.

Lastly, a thank you to Ros & Emily for their work on the children’s area & to all who responded to the Facebook appeal to enable us to renew this area in church.

I would like to wish you all God’s blessings of hope, joy, peace and love as celebrate the birth of Jesus. May He live in your hearts for sharing them with others.

God bless, Revd Julie