St Paul's gears up for a busy Holy WeekStaff and clergy at St
Paul's are gearing up for one of the busiest weeks of the year and the
most significant in the Church's calendar. To mark the Easter season, St
Paul's will hold a number of key services from this Thursday, (known as
Maundy Thursday) April 13, Good Friday (April 14),Holy Saturday (April
15) and on Easter Day. The Bishop of Bedford, the Right Rev'd Richard
Atkinson will be presiding at two of the services, including the Good
Friday Liturgy at 2.00pm and the First Eucharist of Easter on Saturday
evening at 8.00pm.
The Anglican Town Centre churches cluster, which consists of St
Paul's, St Andrew's on the Kimbolton Road, St Martins on Clapham Road
and St Peter de Merton on De Pary's Avenue, have also joined together to
hand out palms in the town centre on Wednesday. A member of the clergy
and a member of each of the churches will be stationed in Harpur Square
near the offices of Sharman Law from 09.30am.
In keeping with its tradition, St Paul's will celebrate the Easter
services with fine attention to detail. The Eucharist on Maundy Thursday
evening will be followed by a silent Vigil until midnight in the Trinity
Chapel, where people will be invited to stay after the service for as
short or as long as they wish. On Saturday evening at 8.00pm, we will
celebrate the First Eucharist of Easter, marked by the lighting of the
Paschal fire at the church entrance before processing in to the church.
Our Easter Day Festival Eucharist will start at 10.15 as usual and will
be accompanied by a full choir. Teas and coffees will be served straight
after the service.
For full details of service times, please go the home page and click on
the link for Easter and Holy Week at St Paul's. You can also find all
our services listed at
Live the Challenge This LentWe may be a week into the Lent
season this year, but it's never too late to start following a Lent
The St Albans Diocese Lent Course this year is called Living the
Challenge - Knowing Christ and Making Him Known and each week has an
accompanying set of notes to guide you through the Lent journey. The
first of these can be downloaded below.
We will be updating these every week through Lent so make sure you check
back into our news and events section regularly to download the latest
set of notes.
Bishop of Bedford to lead Lent Course at St Paul's
This year's Lent Course will be led the Rt Rev Richard Atkinson,
Bishop of Bedford and will have a specific focus on the Diocesan Living
God's Love prayer.
The course has been written by the Diocesan bishops and Dean of St
Albans and will run for the five weeks of Lent, starting this Thursday
March 9. Each of the sessions will take one of the qualities mentioned
in the Living God's Love prayer: generosity, joy, imagination, and
courage with the final week looking at the context of how these
qualities can be lived out.
The sessions begin at 7.30pm with tea and coffee served from 7.00pm.
Entry is free and everyone is welcome to attend.
The full list of dates are: March 9, 16, 23, 30 and April 6.
St Paul's marks Ash Wednesday in Bedford town centre
Wednesday March 1 marks the start of Lent in 2017, and like last
year St Paul's church and other churches from Bedford will be in Harpur
Square to offer 'Ashing'.
The ministry of Ashing, the marking on the forehead with ash, will take
place between 09.30am and 3.30pm and will be offered by various
ministers from town centre churches over the course of the day. The
Right Revered Richard Atkinson, Bishop of Bedford will also be anointing
at a point in the day.
People in the town centre who would like to receive the ministry of
ashing will be asked to step to one side when the words will be said:
"remember you are dust and unto dust you shall return", and then marked
on the forehead with ash.
Ash Wednesday marks the start of the 40 days of Lent for Western
Christian churches, a day of penitence before the Lent fast. The cross
of ash is symbolic on a number of levels, acting as a reminder that
death comes to all and that without God we are but dust and ashes. The
cross is a reminder of the cross made at our baptism and of the
atonement for our sins made by Christ on the cross.
Bishop Richard will also be presiding at the 12.00 Noon Eucharist on Ash
Wednesday, normally held in the Trinity Chapel of St Paul's church.
Wellbeing for Later Life
Are you 55 years and over and struggling with isolation,
loneliness or anxiety? St Paul's church has teamed up with local
mental health and wellbeing charity Mind BLMK to organise a
number of informal drop-in sessions which take place at the
church on a number of Monday mornings over the coming months.
The Mind Wellbeing for Later Life co-ordinator and St Paul's
pastoral assistant will be available for informal conversations
about any concerns about wellbeing and to discuss what support
is available in the Bedford borough. The meetings will take
place in The Anderson Room at St Paul's church which offers a
comfortable, private space for one to one meetings, ensuring
that all discussions will be confidential.
The drop in sessions will be available between 11.00am and
1.00pm on the following dates: Monday Jan 30, Monday February
27, Monday 27 March and Monday 24 April.
For more information please also go the Mind BLMK Facebook page
Candlemas Carol Service by candlelight
Sunday 29 January at 5.30 pm St Paul’s Church, Bedford welcomes everyone
to a special Candlemas Carol Service by candlelight. The service will
trace the story of the Wise Men through to the Presentation of Jesus to
Simeon at the Temple with readings and well known carols and hymns for
choir and congregation. During the service gifts of gold, frankincense
and myrrh are offered at the crib and there is a candlelit procession
(hence the name Candlemas) for everyone to enjoy.
This as a joint celebration of the Anglican churches in the town centre
cluster. Whilst many people will be familiar with Advent and Christmas
carol services, St Paul’s is also offering something additional to enjoy
and to finish the Christmas and Epiphany season. Why not come along?
Bring a friend, neighbour or family member.
The Feast of the Presentation, or Candlemas, on 2nd February, occurs
forty days after the birth of Christ . It serves as a special hinge: we
take a final glance at the events commemorated at Christmas and
Epiphany, before turning towards the events of Holy Week and Easter.
After this service the crib figures will finally be taken down until
Lunchtime concert series resumes
St Paul's renowned series of
Tuesday lunchtime concerts begins again next week (Tuesday January
17) when we welcome back tenor Horishima Amako from the Royal Academy of
Music in London. He will be accompanied by Yuko Sano on the piano, also
from the Royal Academy and who has also played at St Paul's before.
The Spring series will then run every Tuesday lunch-time until March
28th and will include concerts on piano, violin, vocal and an organ
recital. The concerts start at 1.10pm and last around 45 minutes. A soup
lunch available at the church from 12.00 noon. The concerts are free to
enter although a donation of £3.50 is greatly appreciated to help the
work of St Paul's and local charities.
St Paul's has a commitment to promoting new talent and has been running
the concerts for a number of years and this series will again include a
wide variety of talent to an appreciative audience.
Further details will be updated weekly on this page or on our
page at. If
you need further information or are a musician interested in performing,
please contact concert director Heather Turnham at
Parking for services this Christmas
Please note that parking will not be permitted on the road around St
Paul's Square over the Christmas weekend, as the usual restrictions will
be in force. Please use the car
park at River Street or on-road parking along the Embankment or
Newnham Road instead.
St Paul's prepares for annual Nine Lessons and Carols
St Paul's is getting ready for one of the most popular dates in its
calender this week when it hosts the traditional Nine Lessons and Carols
on Saturday, December 17.
The service, which starts at 4.00pm will feature the full choir and many
of the Christmas favourites including O Little Town of Bethlehem, While
Sheperds Watched and the Coventry Carol, all by candleight. With a
starting time of 4.00pm, it's a great way for shoppers or visitors to
the town to combine one of the finest carol services in the area with
The service has been popular in recent years, so if you are planning on
coming, please arrive in good time..
Christmas Tree Festival St Paul's popular and spectacular
Christmas Tree Festival opens this week, and set-up is well underway. It
opens to the public this Wednesday November 30 thru to Sunday December
4, from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Refreshments will be available and entry is
just £2.50 for adults while for children under 16 it's free entry. St
Paul's invites you to get your Christmas underway by popping in this
week and enjoying the sight of over 60 trees decorated by local schools,
businesses and charities.
St Paul’s is inviting children to Find the Sheep this Christmas
With the Advent season due to begin this weekend, St Paul’s is inviting
local children to Hunt the sheep, a fun competition asking children to
spot the woolly sheep hiding in the windows of independent shops around
Bedford town centre.
The competition is for under 11s and will run from Saturday 26th
November until Tuesday 20th December. Completed forms returned in good
time will be included in a prize draw from which the winners will be
announced at the Crib Service, on Christmas Eve, 24th December, 4.00 pm.
Forms are available for downloading below or from any of the competing
shops and the St Paul's church office.
These lovely sheep have been individually knitted by members of St
Paul's church Mothers' Union who have also given the prizes.
For further details please call Margaret Blake
0770 845 1282.