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He's got the whole world in His Hands!

St Paul's Assistant Curate Fr Phil Bryon will lead a talk on Saturday February 10th, to address one of the most challenging and vexing questions that often faces the Church and those with Christian belief: the practice of prayer, the existence of suffering and God's plan for the world.

Come along, listen and explore these matters of deepest importance to the Church, to ourselves and the wider world. Everyone is welcome to attend, of all faiths or none. The talk begins at 10:15 in the Alexander Room inside St Paul's church.

For more information, please call the office on 01234 340163.

Brighten the dark winter days with this joyous Flower Festival at Candlemas which marks the end of the six weeks following Christmas.

The historic town centre church of St Paul's, Bedford will make a majestic setting for creative floral displays.

60 displays will be mounted throughout the church by groups and individuals from across the county. These include local branches of the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS), Bedfordshire Women's Institute, Bedford Country Market, Queen's Park Community Orchard, numerous places of worship across the region from St Albans Abbey and Bunyan Meeting to Peterborough Cathedral as well as the Road Victims Trust, St John's Hospice and commercial florists.

Don't miss this chance over the first weekend in February to be inspired by the imaginative and beautiful arrangements of flowers and to support this major fundraising project for St Paul's church. The Festival concludes with Carols and Readings for Candlemas, Sunday 4th February, 5.30 pm, sung by the choir of St Paul's, Bedford, one of the finest in the area, under the direction of Ian Runnells.

Open Friday and Saturday 10-4, Sunday 2-4
Admission £2.50 (under 16 free). Refreshments daily.

Further details 01234 391962 or 01234 340163  


St Paul's gears up for Christmas

With the Christmas Tree Festival now underway,
St Paul's is now into its busiest time of year. Bedford's town centre church and civic church for the county will host a number of key services over Christmas to suit all ages.

The first of these is on Friday December 8, when the Christingle service is held at 4.30pm when the church will still be busy with festival goers. The Christingle service will last around 45 minutes and is ideal for smaller children; oranges complete with candle in the middle will be distributed and lit during the service.

St Paul's musical tradition comes to the fore on Saturday December 16 at 4.30pm, the date and time for our traditional Nine Lessons and Carols and a popular date in many people's Christmas calendars. The service will be held in candlelight as the Christmas story is narrated and accompanied by a range of popular carols from the choir and for congregation.

On Christmas Eve, families and children are again catered for with the popular crib service, this year at 4.00pm just as it is getting dark. The first Eucharsit of Christmas (or Midnight Mass) takes place with full choir at 11.00pm on Christmas Eve. while for those with younger children an All-Age Eucharist is held on Christmas Day at 10.15am.

A full monthly listing for December can also be found in the Monthly Worship Calendar.

Cellophony back by popular demand!

London based string octet Cellophony will be performing at this year's Christmas Tree festival concert at St Paul's on Saturday December 9th, starting at 7.00pm.

Tickets are selling fast as the ensemble played at the festival concert two years ago to popular acclaim and both the church and Bedford Hospitals Charity who jointly organise the event, are delighted to confirm their return.

The programme will feature pieces by Vaughan Williams, Debussy and from Wind in the Willows, as well as traditional world folk songs.

Tickets are priced £15.00 with a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie at the interval included in the price. Tickets are available from Bedford Hospital Charities website or in person from the St Paul's office between 10.00am and 4.00pm or by calling 01234 783181.

For a taste of a Cellophony performance, take a look at the YouTube clip on the left.


We are recruiting!

St Paul's is on the look-out for a new Parish Administrator. After eight years loyal service, our current administrator has decided the time is right for a new challenge.

The life of St Paul's is busy and rich in variety, ranging from a schedule of services, concert programme and other events as well as being open every day to provide a welcome for visitors and those seeking refuge.

We are looking for an experienced administrator who is familiar with Anglican worship and who possesses excellent communication and inter-personal skills. The post holder will come into contact with a wide variety of people and will be expected to support the spiritual life of the church. For more information please see the attached detailed job description.

Applications should be made by sending a cover letter and updated CV, complete with the names of two referees to robin.bartlett@stpaulschurchbedford.org.uk by close of business on Friday 20 October. Interviews are planned to take place week commencing 30th October.
  St Paul's church Parish Administrator & PA Job Description October 2017 (PDF)

St Paul's joins Easyfundraising scheme

With Christmas approaching and the often dreaded prospect of Christmas shopping looming large for many of us, you might like to know that St Paul's is now part of the Easyfundraising scheme, an easy way to give money if you are shopping online.
Using Easyfundraising is one of the simplest ways to raise money for the church. They work with over 2000 retailers nationwide who have all agreed to pass a donation to your cause when you shop with them. The donation is usually a percentage of how much you spend on your shopping but it can also be a set amount. Retailers who participate in the scheme include many of the big names such as Amazon, M&S, John Lewis, Argos and 2000 other known names.

For shoppers to raise money, instead of going directly to the retailer website, first log into Easyfundraising and click on the retailer you want to shop with. You’ll then be taken to the retailer’s website where you shop as normal, but because you visited easyfundraising first, your chosen cause gets a donation. It costs shoppers nothing, but if St Paul's is nominated as the chosen cause, the church receives up to 5% of what you spend.

St Paul's Easyfundraising page can be found at www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/stpaulsbedford
  Easyfunding.co.uk Join poster (PDF)

Inherit the Earth- into the heart of the Bolivian rainforest

St Paul's church will be hosting an exhibition of photographs showing Christian Aid's work in the very heart of the Bolivian Amazon rainforest, between 18 and 25 September. The exhibition will also show how gifts in wills and other legacies are being put to good use in one of south America’s poorest countries.

A lunchtime reception will be held inside the church on Wednesday 20 September at 1.00 pm when a speaker from Christian Aid and one from the Society of Later Life Matters will explain more about the exhibition and its aims and how gifts in wills can be arranged. Light refreshments will be served and all are invited to attend.

The photo exhibition is one of the latest initiatives from Christian Aid to demonstrate how gifts in wills and legacies are being put to good use around the world. Entry to the exhibition is free which will be open between 10.00am and 4.00pm Monday to Friday.
  CA Exhibition preview poster (PDF)

St Paul's joins members of Cathedrals Plus

St Paul's is now a fully fledged member of Cathedrals Plus. The association was set-up in the early 1980's among England's cathedrals to discuss and share ideas about how our cathedrals should be run and how best to welcome the increasing number of visitors and pilgrims.

Cathedrals Plus has expanded considerably since the early years and now includes cathedrals from Wales and Scotland as well as several Abbeys, shrines and a number of major churches, of which St Paul's is one.

All of the association's members are featured on the Cathedrals Plus website where details of opening hours, travel, guided tours, historical interest and other information can be found. It also features web links to the individual members if further information is required.

St Paul's membership is part of a drive to raise its profile nationally and to encourage greater visitor numbers to come and enjoys it many features.

St Paul's open for Heritage Day, Saturday September 9

St Paul's church Bedford will be open all day from 10.00am until 6.00pm on Heritage Day Saturday 9 September with guided tours at 10.30 am and 2.30 pm. Donations will go to St Paul's.

There is also an organ Recital at 12.00 noon to be given by Adrian Gunning, St John the Evangelist church, Islington. Admission is free.

We shall also be welcoming cyclists touring Bedfordshire historic churches and chapels on the annual sponsored Beds & Herts Historic Churches Trust Bike'n Hike when visitors across both counties can visit buildings that are often otherwise closed. Most churches and chapels in Bedford will open their doors for this event. Refreshments for cyclists will be available all day.

The church will be open as usual to visitors Friday 8th 10-4 and Sunday 2-4.

St Paul's to host more drop-in sessions

St Paul's has teamed up with local mental health charity MIND BLMK to host two more drop-in sessions at the church. The first of the sessions takes place on Thursday July 27 and the second on Thursday August 10 with both sessions running from 11.00am to 1.00pm.

The sessions are aimed at people aged 55 or over who may be suffering from isolation, loneliness or anxiety and all conversations will be in complete confidence. No appointment is necessary.

To find out more about the MIND, please go to their website at www.mind-blmk.org.uk
  Bedford MIND BLMK - Summer 2017 (PDF)