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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)



Church cleaner required!

We are looking for a new cleaner to help us look after our busy town centre church here at St Paul's, as our previous cleaner is moving on after several years of loyal service. Our building is many centuries old, but our cleaning needs are straightforward.

We need someone to help us keep the main church clean and tidy and to make sure that our kitchens, toilets and reception areas are spotless for the many visitors that we welcome and also maintain our hard won hygiene accreditation standards.

We are flexible about the time of day which you may be able to work but we do require you to work 8 hours a week and be able to work some of these hours on Mondays and Fridays. If you have previous experience of working in a church environment, that would be very helpful but is not essential.

Please apply to Robin Bartlett, Pastoral Assistant & Centre Manager at St Paul's Church, in the first instance, ideally by email to pastoral@stpaulschurchbedford.org.uk.

Alternatively please call the church office on 01234 340163.

 

Ascension Day celebrations

This week we celebrate Ascension Day (also known as Ascension Thursday or Holy Thursday) to commemorate the bodily ascension of Jesus into heaven. It is one of the ecumenical - or universally celebrated - feasts of the Christian church, ranking with the feasts of Passion, Easter and Pentecost. It is traditionally celebrated on the 40th day of Easter, although some Christian denominations have moved the observance to the following Sunday.

At St Paul's we will be holding two Eucharist services this Thursday to mark the day, one at 7.30am (to be held in the Trinity Chapel) and the main service at 8.00pm in the main church.

The observance of Ascension Day goes all the way back to the 4th and 5th centuries and the earliest theologians and Fathers of the church, including St Augustine who speaks of it in a way that shows it was the universal observance of the church long before his own time. Ascension is sometimes considered a rather shadowy feast day, when Jesus has been taken to live in a distant realm of which we have no direct experience. But it encourages Christians to thoughtful praise, where glory is finally fulfilled.

St Paul's May Market heralds the start of Spring

With the trees now coming into full bloom, it must be Spring which means it's nearly the time for St Paul's annual May Market. Traditionally held on the third Saturday of May, so this year the market is being held on Saturday May 20.

The usual range of attractions will be there including book stalls, bric-a-brac, cakes and preserves, raffle and nearly new (clothes).

Doors open at 10.00am and it will run until 4.00pm. Tea and coffee is available throughout the day and light lunches of soup and sandwiches are also served from noon. The May Market is an important fund-raiser for the church, which costs nearly £400 a day just to keep open every day to serve the Bedford community. St Paul's also hosts a market in September and a Christmas fair at the end of November.

Entry on the door is just £1 while for the under 16's it's free.

Going to church is a stroll

The Environment Officer from the St Albans is urging people who live in the Diocese to leave the car at home this Sunday, which has been designated Walk to Church Sunday.

If you live within walking distance of the church and feel able - and energetic enough - to walk to church this week, then please do so, and don't forget to take a few snaps along the way and send them into us so we can post them on the website.

Many people will still need to drive of course due the distance from home or due to their mobility but in the interests of being green, how about swinging a leg over a bike and cycling in, if the church is too far to walk? Maybe the Diocese should consider broadening its appeal and a change of name for next year from Walk to Church Sunday to Leave the Car At Home Sunday? Just a thought.
 
  Walk to Church Sunday Poster (PDF)