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

26th May 2019

This week I attended the annual Civic Prayer Breakfast. This is the Lincoln Active Faith Network initiative to bring different sectors within the City of Lincoln together to present their greatest challenge & a hope for the future. After each sector has presented their challenge/ hope, a prayer is said for that sector. It is the only forum that brings various leaders within the city together in this way. Those in attendance include Mayor Sue Burke & party, each of sectors mentioned below, church leaders & groups eg Street Pastors, Joy Foundation of different denominations and many more. I bring to you the greatest challenges & hopes for you to pray for this week as we seek to build a better & stringer community across Lincoln.

● Politics & Government: Greatest Challenge: level of decision in community seems to be increasing Hope: renewed engagement with politics for younger generation helping to make real changes for fairness, social justice and environmental issues

● Policing & Security: Greatest Challenge: ever changing entity and the need to respond effectively & efficiently to new ways of committing crime, with fewer resources Hope: for continued working together to make more ‘cohesive, fair & tolerant community, reflecting the values of caring, love & respect

● Business & Finance: Engineering Energy Sector Greatest Challenge: to be able to succeed in a rapidly changing world of conflict & instability Hope: add value to community thro’ engagement, inspire future engineers to make a difference

● Education & Learning: University of Lincoln (UoL) Greatest Challenge: uncertainty over government funding in learning & education, rising costs & fewer resources, potential fall in no. students Hope: UoL want to act as source of renewal & enlightenment to the community

● Heath & Well-being Greatest Challenge: 1 in 4 people have mental health disease impacts on life; suicide biggest killer of men under 45. Faced with increasing demands with less resources. Hope: work cohesively & holistically in partnership with different agencies and with communities in fostering recovery, connection, well being

● Media, Arts & Entertainment Greatest Challenge: although fastest growing sector it is undervalued being seriously underfunded by the Arts Council, so artists are not staying in area & sharing their gifts

● Hope: recognition of how art changes people’s lives by creating a community of shared experiences, preventing isolation & increased mental well-being.

● Community & Family: P3 outreach

Greatest Challenge: ‘Othering’(rough sleepers, beggars, druggies, zombies, spiceheads, offenders): is based on conscious/ unconscious assumption that certain groups pose a threat a ‘favoured’ group, so the individuals/ group is dismissed as ‘less than human’

Hope: whatever a person’s circumstance, we should never forget that people, are people first.

God bless you in all you do & with all you come into contact with, this week, Revd Julie

19th May 2019

Thanks to everyone who helped out to ensure the concert was a success on Thursday night, with especially thanks to the social committee and the flower arrangers and included Kathy, Helen D, Janet, Helen T as well as Gill Kerr, Jill Mills and Pete Hill. The warmth of the hospitality was welcomed and commented on; the band, too, were appreciative of their refreshments. £248.50 was raised and this will be split to support the work of both St Faith’s and of the Lincoln Fire & Rescue Band. 2 members of the band had a connection to St faith’s – one was married in 1963 and the other was confirmed here; there was another lady who also got married in the church in 1963 who had come to the church. They were chuffed to see the registers with their names in them

This week began at St Faith’s CE Infant & Nursery School with collective worship (CW) on Christian Aid. It was on how we can help our global neighbours with the hands we have. The children were so quiet coming into CW that I did not hear them come in while I was trying to sort the computer out – quieter than mice even!!!

Have a good week, Revd Julie

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12th May 2019

Looking forward to next week, which starts with Collective Worship at St Faith’s CE Infant & Nursery School on the work of Christian Aid & how joining hands acts as a sign of friendship & community, & by showing this friendship & support through our words & actions to our global neighbours this Christian Aid Week helps to make a difference in their lives.

Hope to see you at the concert on Thursday when I play my French Horn with the Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue Band.

Have a good week, Revd Julie

5th May 2019

On Tuesday, I was changing ‘water into wine’ as I visited St Faith’s CE Infant & Nursery school for Collective Worship which was good fun as I told the story of Jesus at the Wedding of Cana. This was followed by a mock baptism (for a doll named Rosy) when year 1 came to visit me in the church to find out about baptism.

On Wednesday, in the beautiful sunshine, I cycled to Newark & back to attend the police conference on Wellbeing in my role as volunteer police chaplain. The topic was about helping ourselves to remain healthy in a stressed environment. It was very interesting – it was looking at pro-activity rather than having to wait to react to when things go wrong.

Have a good week, God bless, Revd Julie

28th April 2019

Next week is our Christian Aid Service at St Faith’s, please do come along and support this most important cause.

I started back to work full-time this week on Thursday & my first event was the opening of the ‘Peace Garden’ at St Faith’s CE Infant & Nursery School. The Peace Garden is a lovely place for the pupils of the school to be able to go to sit quietly & to reflect on things. Not all children have a garden so to some this place is very special for them. Bishop Nicholas blessed the peace garden & the service ended with a Chinese poem which talked about peace needing to be in our hearts before we can have peace anywhere else. The choir sang & the Collective Worship Council (2 pupils from each year group) led the whole event which was held outside despite the impending rain; although it was a touch cold, we were, in fact, blessed with the sun at one point. Janet Whitehead (now the school’s Bishop’s visitor), along with the chair of governor’s & a representative from local radio were also present.

On Friday, I took the funeral for Joan Eatch, who died at the age of 93 last month. She was a long term member of our St Faith’s, particularly of the Wednesday morning service. It was sad to say goodbye, but we can rest in the knowledge of God’s promise of his eternal Kingdom. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

Finally, today is the last day for Kate to be with us. She joined us as an observer as she considers her vocation. I want to thank her on behalf of St Faith’s as she has been much more than an observer and really helped out despite my not being around to support her. Please join me in wishing her many blessing with God’s call on her life.

Have a good week, God bless, Revd Julie

21st April 2019

Holy week, starting last Sunday with a celebration on Palm Sunday of Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem on a donkey, was followed that afternoon by a quiet service of reflection, Stations of the Cross, prayerfully considering Jesus’ journey from meeting with Pilate to the cross. Maundy Thursday marked the Last Supper & Jesus’ washing of disciples feet, followed by Good Friday’s service remembering Jesus’ time on the cross. The quiet Saturday Easter vigil being more of a rowdy Scouts sleepover as they watched a film. It’s a delight to be able to welcome the beavers, cubs & scouts into church for the sleepover. They make the fire for the Dawn service, where a new Easter candle is marked & lit reminding us of Christ as the Light of the World, they help to lead the service & cook us an English breakfast!

Holy week is about the journey of walking with Jesus through the final tragic & torturous moments of His life. Easter day is the celebration that follows as Jesus rises from the dead taking away the pain & sorrow. Jesus went through this to bring us new life, bringing us closer to God. Remember when scoffing a hot cross bun or sinking those chocolate Easter eggs, the biggest gift of all is the one that God gave us this day through the resurrection of His son. Don’t forget to share God’s love & this gift with everyone.

God bless you this Easter, Revd Julie

7th April 2019

At the beginning of the week I was in St Faith & St Martin CE Junior School for Collective Worship; the topic: If God created the world, why are there natural disasters? With chocolate buttons, a bit about free will (good/ bad decisions) and thinking about climate change – we were able to think about humanity’s impact on the world.

This week has been the final week of the school term & so the children have been learning all about Easter & celebrating it with their end of school services this week. Both schools had hot cross buns as refreshments afterwards. Thanks to everyone who helped with the buttering of the buns & with the refreshments themselves.

Last week we had a collection at our Sunday service for the DEC disaster fund for those affected by Cyclone Idai. Thank you to everyone who contributed.

Looking forward, next Sunday is Palm Sunday so there will be a procession from the church hall at 10.30am, please do join us if you can. The service itself will start in the church about 10.35am for those who want to go straight there.

In the afternoon, the final Lent prayer session will be Stations of the Cross. Stations of the Cross is about prayerfully following the last steps Jesus took to the Cross through a series of stations set round the church; we embark on a journey praying at each station.

Don’t forget the ‘History of the West End‘exhibition either at the university of Lincoln next Saturday or St Faith’s church hall on the Sunday.

Have a good week, God bless, Revd Julie

31st March 2019

Just a brief note to remind you that we will be collecting for the Disaster appeal following the Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe today. The DEC only put together an appeal in times of true crisis: Cyclone Idai killed at least 750 people with 2.5 million in need of help of water, food, shelter with the risk of disease, especially cholera. The collection will be on the table at the back of church. God bless, Reverend Julie