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Pole to Pole photography exhibition opens next week

Wildlife photographer, Ursula Clare Franklin will be bringing an exhibition of her stunning photographs to St Paul's for 3 days next week, 22-24 June 2018.

Ursula loves focusing on the detail that the naked eye often misses, for example the hairs on the legs of insects and the stamens of flowers. Since early childhood Ursula has spent time in the countryside, developing a real love of nature.

Ursula is a former chorister at St Paul’s and now lives in the Quantcocks in the West Country from where she often heads for the Exmoor National Park, a photographer’s paradise with its red deer, ponies and birdlife. She also loves taking photographs further afield and has travelled from the Arctic to Antarctica with many places in between - hence the exhibition title ‘Pole to Pole’.

Ursula uses her images in her work as a leadership development consultant, combining these with inspirational quotes. All images are for sale and commissions taken for different sizes and canvases.

The exhibition is open Friday June 22 (10am to 4.00pm), Saturday June 23 (10.00am to 4.00pm) and Sunday June 24 (2.00pm to 4.00pm). Admission is just £1 and children under 16 come in free.



St Paul's receives Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor

St Paul's is enjoying rave reviews on the visitor feedback website, TripAdvisor. With many reviews received over the past two years, St Paul's has received a certificate of excellence for consistently earning great reviews from visitors.

The positive feedback covers all areas of church life too, including the building, the people, worship and the lunchtime concerts.

To see the full list of those have visited St Paul's, please visit TripAdvisor.

The church is open every day between 10.00am and 4.00pm with a light lunches and a free concert on Tuesdays (term time) and refreshments also sold on Saturday between 10.00am and 3.00pm.

Spring Fair this Saturday

A little earlier than usual, St Paul's will hold its Spring Fair (formerly the May Market) this Saturday, April 28.

There will be the usual range of stalls to browse, including books, cakes, a variety of home gifts, gift cards, cosmetics and soft toys. The St Paul's choir will be manning the bottle stall and face-painting is being done for the smaller children, until lunchtime.

Refreshments will be available throughout the day and light lunches (soup and sandwiches) from 12.00.

Entry is free and doors open to the public at 10.00am.


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)