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

9th December 2018

A huge thank you to everyone who helped to make West End Lights happen. So many of you helped in one way or another and so it is difficult to mention people by name.

West End Lights was a hugely successful evening and the church looks beautiful. Thank you to everyone who helped to decorate the church, for Jake who got the tree, and 2 our two parking attendants – Dave and Rob.

Thanks to everyone who helped out on the night – it was lovely to have so many people helping with a huge thank you to those who stayed behind, including the Mothers Union & the Scouts, for making sure that the church was clean and tidy for this morning’s service.

Thanks to Pete for his music, and also to both the Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue Concert Band & the visiting Neustadt band, Musikverein Diedersfeld. We have already had many comments on the music that added to the festive atmosphere of the night. This church loves live music and the band commented on how much they enjoyed playing here.

The biggest comment made to me, especially from our German friends, were their remarks on how warm & friendly the church is & how family-friendly it is. That warmth of welcome comes from each one of you at St Faith’s & this was supplemented by the Mother’s Union & the Scouts – our extended family.

I do want to give a final thank you to Kathy, who has been organising this for a few weeks & who has virtually run around all week either to preparing for Friday night, or getting the Parish Focus out to our volunteers for delivery as well as deliver some. It needed a quick delivery as the advertising inside included this event. The printer had been unable to print for 3 weeks so it was late arriving.

Please do take time to look at the Christmas trees, if you have not already done so – they are all brilliant. Angels from the Realms of Glory and the one from the pop-up café are quite exquisite.

Looking forward to next weekend, it is out Christmas Lunch on the Saturday – don’t forget to get your tickets, & bring your family & friends & don’t forget a neighbour or two. We already have a few extra guests from Ridgeway care home. On Sunday, it is our Christingle service, so please spread the word & invite your local community to come along. Everyone will get a chance to make a Christingle from 3.30pm & then we light them towards the end of Christingle Carol Service, the service itself begins at 4pm. All supplemented by mulled wine and mince pies.

In the midst of this Advent season of preparation, try to take a moment to think about Jesus , God bless, Revd Julie

18th November 2018

Last Sunday was Remembrance Sunday, especially commemorating a 100 years since the end of World War 1. It was a very special service, with the scouts telling us about what it was like to be a scout in world war 1, a short reflection by Councillor Chris Burke on the RAF and its 100th anniversary and the West End Youth Club sharing with us a bit about the men who had given their lives from the West End community in service to their country – to bring us the freedom we experience today. The whole event was made extra special by the fantastic decoration of the churches with over 1000 poppies from both St Faith’s CE Infant & Nursery & St Faith & St Martin CE Junior schools which include an ‘installation’ coming down the pulpit. We were fortunate to have the company of the Deputy Mayoress Councillor Sue Burke, and Trevor, a cornet player, who played us the Last Post & Reveille at the time we remembered over 200 names on both St Faith’s war memorial & the war memorial from St Martin’s church when it existed. Trevor also came into the Junior school on the Monday & played the Last Post there for the children.

I am looking forward to the next event at the schools which is ‘World Hello Day’, where as a city we are encouraged to say ‘hello’ to 10 people we do not know. Please do come & be part of the West End community saying ‘hello’ to children. Next week, I am also judging the advent competition at the schools, with the view to giving out an advent calendar to the winners & chocolate angels to the runners up. All prizes are from Meaningful chocolate which is both Fairtrade but contain the Story of Jesus’ birth.

Earlier this week I attended training, safeTALK, on recognising people who might be considering suicide. It is not a course specifically for professionals, it is a course for every single one of us, as any of us could make a difference.

Last night was the RAF Supper & Quiz night. Thanks to Kathy, Brian, Helen D & Janet for the amazing food & to Sue & Jake for the quiz. A great thematic night with the winners of the evening being ‘Bold & Spicy’. The ‘4 wise men’ (the clergy) were perhaps no ‘so wise’ coming last!

On a personal note, this week I played with Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue Concert band (LFRCB) for the Firefighters Long Term Service Medal Ceremony which recognises the work of Firefighters in Lincolnshire. LFRCB is sponsored by the Fire & Rescue Service, & it was a privilege to be at the ceremony. LFRCB is involved in other events in the near future: the Carol Concert at Lincoln Cathedral, with school choirs & singing groups, raising money for LIVES on 3 Dec, 7.30pm, tickets £5 & jointly with Musikverein Diedersfeld , Neustadt, to bring us carols at St Faith’s church at West End Lights on 7th Dec. The bands will also make some appearances at the Christmas market & the Guildhall.

Have a good week, God bless, Rev’d Julie

11th November 2018

First of all, I would like to welcome Madam Deputy Mayoress, Councillor Sue Burke, Consort Councillor Christopher Burke, the uniformed organisations, Trevor, our cornet player & all visitors to St Faith’s church for our service of Remembrance commemorating 100 years since the end of WW1. This year, the scout group has prepared a special account of what it was like to be a scout in WW1 & the West End Youth Club has looked at what we know about some of the names that are on St Faith’s WW1 memorial. Both schools have been making poppies: you can see the fabulous contribution around the church today as they have used their poppies to decorate the church.

I was in St Faith’s CE Infant & Nursery School for Collective Worship this week to kick off their day looking at memories with a Collective Worship on memories and what the poppy stands for. The children held a 10 second silence & you could’ve heard a pin drop – they were brilliant. On Monday I will be in St Faith & St Martin CE Junior school as I lead their Collective Worship on Remembrance.

You will have also noticed that we have silhouettes in church; this is part of the ‘There But Not There’ project which aims to place a representative figure for the names on local war memorials around the country, into their place of worship, their school, their workplace or wherever their absence was keenly felt. These transparent silhouettes represent those who should have returned home to their communities but did not; it forms part of the centenary commemoration of the end of the 1914-1918 WW1.

Last week I popped into the bonfire party for the children & youth associated with St Faith’s. I want to say a big thanks to Sue & Jake for hosting this year’s event & to Helen D who helped with the organisation of the event. There were many families there: good food, lots of sparklers, fireworks with toasted marshmallows as well. It was a great evening & it was good for both King’s Lions & West End Youth Club & their families to come together for the evening.

It’s been a full week with many highlights including the St Faith & St Martin CE Junior school iSingPOP concert at Alive church. iSingPOP is the Innervation Trust's primary school singing & recording project. They are a Christian charity that give thousands of children the chance to learn an amazing set of specially written pop songs, to record their very own album & perform a fantastic concert. The singing was outstanding & was accompanied with awesome dance moves. Thanks to Alive church for making this happen.

Please see our ‘Dates for your Diary’ on the back page for news of the events coming up. We have community meals aimed at bringing the community together. Our RAF supper this Saturday – 17th November is the next event & our Christmas Lunch should not be missed. Please come along & please invite someone who you feel may also enjoy the company – maybe a neighbour you know is on their own and ma not get a Christmas dinner otherwise.

The other big event coming up is St Faith’s Family Fashion Show at the junior school – all the latest fashions, only £5 a ticket to come along & enjoy a local evening out with local models (it seems I have been volunteered)!!

Have a good week, God bless, Rev’d Julie