Sunday, 28 June 2009

Peace, Goodwill and Sunshine

Off to preach at Stoneygate Baptist this morning. Everybody was very welcoming and after the service it was good to chat with people over the cups of [Fairtrade] tea and coffee. The building went up during the first world war, and has some wonderful architectural details. Behind the communion table are some wood panels

DSCF0017 I am not sure when the inscriptions were painted - but it is interesting to think they might first have been done during The Great War.


The roof is supported by columns, with carvings at the top. Apparently there was a delay in getting the steel for these because


of the War, so the Hall at the back was completed before the Chapel itself.

Outside, the brickwork is very typical of its period. The building was opened by various Baptist worthies including W Y Fullerton [who wrote the hymn "I cannot tell" which is usually sung to the Londonderry Air]

Inside there is a photograph of the opening ceremony.

I suspect that Princess May of Teck in her Toque is lurking in this picture.


[I have always been fascinated by the idea of a Princess of Teck in a Toque - sounds like she ran on clockwork!]

Enough of the architecture and history - the current congregation are friendly and eager to move forward. God bless them in that, I say!

God bless my friend Elizabeth too - she is back from her work at the Hebron Mission School in India for a few weeks, and the family kindly invited us for Sunday lunch. Which was really useful- on a Sunday when we are both preaching, lunch can sometimes be a little haphazard!


Here's Elizabeth with parents Gwen and Ken, and Gran Maisie [and Bob] enjoying the hot sunshine after lunch. And here's Kandy


One very playful dog, alongside a doggy sculpture, in their beautiful garden


This evening I enjoyed Bob's sermon from1 Kings 18 about Obadiah [not the prophet, the Civil servant at the time of Ahab] We sung some great hymns, including "I'm not ashamed to own my Lord" - the version from Redemption Hymnal with the chorus "At the Cross". Which is actually mixing two different Isaac watts hymns up, I think, but never mind. We had a good sing, and I thought of my friend Charlie in Manchester who died this week, and I am confident he will be singing up in heaven now. [Charlie was a great friend of Ivan from Norfolk, whose funeral I went to earlier this year]

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

OK, I know the last line of this is a bit weak and only put in for the rhyme [nobody is "happy all the day" if they are honest] but this hymn is one of joyful enthusiasm and confident faith.

I read in the paper that Richard Dawkins is organising some Children's Summer Camps to teach them about atheism. I just feel so sorry for that man - what will they learn ? - that there is no God of Love, no Heaven, no ultimate justice, and no way of redemption. How sad for them!

I know he thinks believers like me are deluded - but right now, I have the peace that passes understanding, and joy down in my heart, and bright hope for tomorrow, and a mighty Saviour - and I think I will stick with all that, thank you very much!


  1. Hi Angela
    Finally got round to reading your blog again today - I think it must have been a week since I "blogged in" - been so busy! It was great to have you and Bob round for lunch - after you went Maisie requested that we play petanque, so we spent most of the afternoon in the sunshine which is unusual for us. Just one thing though - our dog's name is spelt with a K - after the place Kandy in Sri Lanka where we spent a lovely Christmas!
    Thanks for all you do - Blessings Gwen

  2. How terrible to think that children are being taught about atheism. What next? Camps for the black arts??

  3. We have a URC building in our town, buit around 1910(ish) which has those lovely turn of the century touches. I'm glad your preaching went well. I thought of you when I was listening to Radio 4 about a new design of summer cassock which enables ministers to wear the bear (or should that be bare?) minimum of clothes under their vestments without compromising their modesty! I thought "will Angela wear one of those when she preaches?" and then I realised that it is more likely you'll not be wearing a cassock at all. Of course, I spent the entire church service on Sunday wondering what the vicar was (or was not) wearing. I should really keep my mind off worldly things.

    As for Prof. Dawkins, I don't know quite how to react. Why such militancy? Why must we teach children about atheism? It's not as though Christianity is threatening the freedom of the secularists. Oh, and surely he'll just be preaching to the converted (excuse the inappropriate idiom)? Only atheists will send their kids to an atheistic summer camp? What's the bloody point of it all, other than to cause a bit of a fuss, there are tons of secualr, non-religious summer camps out there!

  4. G - it was a LOVELY afternoon with you, thanks again. I have corrected Kandy's name!
    E - I suspect there porbably are Wicca Camps already
    DD - you're right, I revel in the freedom of being a Nonconformist. I HAVE seen adverts for an American tee shirt for women preachers with the slogan "Does My Butt Look Big In This Pulpit?" but I feel that may distract worshippers, so have not purchased one myself.

    thanks for all the comments - enjoy the sunshine

  5. I hope Princess May didn't steal anything from the Church while she was there. In later life as Queen Mary she was known to be a bit of a kleptomaniac. The aristocracy tried to hide their small valuables when she was a house guest.


  6. Wow! I didn't know the about the kleptomania - now I am even more fascinated.


Always glad to hear from you - thanks for stopping by!
I am blocking anonymous comments now, due to excessive spam!