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Faculty Notices

Download   Bronze Candlesticks Public Notice Form 4a
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Solidarity for Refugee Week at St Paul's

St Paul's will be hosting a small installation of creative pieces by local schools and community groups on the theme of 'Solidarity' as part of Refugee Week, a UK-wide festival (2),14th to 19th of June. Creative pieces will also reflect the lived experience of those seeking asylum who tell their powerful stories of struggle and hope. Relevant organisations are also welcome to display information about their work.

Members of the public are invited to take a quiet and reflective walk around the church to view the installations, open 12.00-2.00 daily.

Fr. Luke Larner, assistant curate at St Paul’s, said:

"St Paul's church, with its history of opening its doors to individuals from across the world from all walks of life, is ideally suited to host these displays and to be a point of reference for those seeking to be informed."

Throughout the week St Paul's will be running an online campaign including short interviews to hear more about the work many organisations are doing to support people. Videos will be available on Facebook, instagram and St Paul’s YouTube channel

Organisations partnered include:

BRASS (Bedford Refugee and Asylum Seeker Support)
Yarl’s Wood Befrienders
Migrants Organise
Local schools
Local art groups
Soul Food Poetry

Strict COVID precautions will be followed at St Paul's in its large and well-ventilated space.

Earlier this year, Fr. Luke took part in a campaign among other local faith and community leaders to raise questions about controversial plans to house 200 people seeking asylum on a temporary site adjacent to Yarl’s Wood IRC. Concerns were raised about the suitability of the site and the potential impact on the wellbeing of the proposed occupants. The plans have now been scrapped, and the site dismantled, with questions being raised about the process and the significant expenditure on the project.


Refugee Week is a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. Founded in 1998 and held every year around World Refugee Day on the 20 June, Refugee Week is also a growing global movement. This year's theme is ' We cannot walk alone'. Through a programme of arts, cultural, sports and educational events alongside media and creative campaigns, Refugee Week enables people from different backgrounds to connect as well as encouraging understanding of why people are displaced, and the challenges they face when seeking safety. See www.refugeeweek.org.uk.

Ash Wednesday service

Marking the start of Lent, our Ash Wednesday service on February 17th commences as usual at 12.00. The service will be a Eucharist with the Sprinkling of Ashes. All are welcome.

For more details of services currently being held at St Paul's, please go to the Worship and prayer section on the home page.

Letter from Fr Kevin, Vicar

Dear Friends,

I write to update you on our life together at St Pauls. As I said in last Sunday’s address, the weariness of the harsh journey of the Wise Men resonates in our own difficult journeying through the past nine months of lockdowns and restrictions.

As we enter this third lockdown, we are following, as before, official guidance produced by the Government and the Church of England. That the Government has allowed churches to remain open for worship and private prayer seems an affirmation, both of the Church’s efforts in making our buildings Covid safe and the support we are giving to those who seek our guidance on spiritual and mental health issues. The Bishop of St Albans has emphasised that, while the possibility of Covid transmission in church is miniscule, each parish is free to make its own decision, to continue to offer public worship, taking into account the local context, including its ability to provide a safe environment. Because each context is different, that decision may be different in one place to another. One size does not fit all and we should refrain from make judgments about others.

Following consultation with the ministerial team and the PCC’s Standing Committee, it has been decided that, as things presently stand, we should keep the building open for private prayer between 12noon and 2pm from Monday to Saturday. We shall also continue to celebrate the Eucharist on Sundays at 10.15 and Wednesdays at 12noon. This will be reviewed, if circumstances change.

While we warmly welcome everyone to our services, no-one should feel under any pressure to attend. This must be a personal choice. Most of the more vulnerable members of our community wisely chose not to attend on the past two Sundays when attendance dropped down to a fifth of our electoral roll. However, those who did attend found plenty of safe space. The opportunity to pray privately or worship in church is clearly valued by a significant number, to whom this is ‘a lifeline’, and has been a major reason in our decision to keep St Paul’s open. We also hope to stream services and addresses soon, and I thank members of the ministerial team and PCC for their help in ensuring pastoral care, especially as many people are housebound or live alone.

We remind everyone to comply with the national requirements of Hands, Face and Space. Those with coronavirus symptoms should stay at home; there should be no mingling with anyone outside our household or support bubble; a social distance of at least two metres must be maintained, and hand sanitizer must be used and face coverings be worn.

As we, like the Wise Men, journey on this hard road through Epiphany, let us pray for each other, for the doctors and nurses in our National Health Service and for those who deliver our essential services. As we look to the future, let us remember that God is faithful: so let us together “put our hands into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

May God bless you all,

Fr Kevin

We are still open - an update

St Paul's church remains open following the latest Government announcements regarding Covid-19. We are open every day between Monday and Saturday for individual prayer, between 12.00 Noon and 2.00pm and when church welcomers will be on duty. Worship also currently continues with a weekday Eucharist at 12.00 on Wednesday and the main weekly service at 10.15am on Sunday.

All the necessary precautions a in place to ensure to everyone's safety and we kindly ask visitors to wear face coverings and sanitise their hands on entry and exit to the church. PLease check back here regularly for further updates.

Faculty notices

Download   Form 4A - Public Notice - Water Leak
Download   Form 4A - Public Notice - Vestments
Download   Form 2 - Vestments
Download   Certified Minute - Vestments
Download   Statement of Needs - Vestments
Download   St Pauls Bedford - Statement of Significance - High Mass Sets
Download   Purple High Mass Set Fabric

Faculty notices relating to our installation of full Wi-Fi in St Paul's

Download   Form 4A - Public Notice - Wi-Fi in the Church
Download   Form 2 - Diocesan Advisory Committee Notification of Advice
Download   Pinnacles Wi-Fi Water - Certified Minutes
Download   Report to PCC Regarding Wi-Fi in Church
Download   Bedford St Paul 1043 Interim Faculty letter - 16 October
Download   Wi-Fi Cabling Description
Download   St Pauls Wi-Fi - Microsmiths (BT)

Details of church worship

When the church reopens the following protocols will apply.
The church will be open at 09:45am for the Eucharist which starts at 10.15am.
The wearing of face-coverings is now mandatory.
  A limit of 60 people can be seated in the main body of the church. Seating has been arranged to accommodate a mix of individuals, couples and families.
  Social distancing rules apply.
  The service will be a Said Eucharist.
  We ask members of the congregation to enter through the North door and exit through the West door, making sure to use hand-sanitiser on arriving and leaving and before receiving Communion.
  Communion will be received standing at the front of the Nave and will be given in one kind only.
  After the service please leave via the West-door, no refreshments will be provided until further notice.
  Worshippers' details will be taken and kept for 21 days to facilitate Track and Trace, if necessary.
  Worshippers are reminded to self-isolate if there is a confirmed case of Covid-19 in the household.

St Paul's Church is awarded 'Major Parish Church' status

St Paul's church in the centre of Bedford is celebrating its award as a Major Parish Church and being granted membership of the Major Churches Network, in recognition of its importance to the town.

The Major Churches Network is a body set up by the Church of England which comprises 350 of the largest and most significant churches across England which are not cathedrals but fulfil many of the same functions within their communities and includes some of the best loved places of worship around the UK.

There are strict qualifying criteria to become a member such as being a building of exceptional significance (often Grade I listed), being open daily to visitors, to have a role which goes beyond a normal parish church by fulfilling an important civic and cultural role and by making an economic contribution to their local area.

St Paul's qualifies in all categories - it is the biggest religious building in the St Albans Diocese after St Albans Cathedral, the civic and county church of Bedfordshire, and it plays host to events and concerts throughout the year. For the past year the new Bedford Visitor Information Centre - which replaced the old Tourist Information when it closed - has also been based inside the main body of the church.

Canon Fr Kevin Goss, Vicar of St Paul's said: "We are delighted to have received this recognition and to have been officially designated a member of the Major Churches Network. We welcome thousands of visitors every year and would hope this affiliation will boost the church's profile further, and in doing do attract more visitors into Bedford."

St Paul's is already a member of Cathedrals Plus, a body that promotes cathedrals, abbeys, shrines and major churches which already receive large numbers of visitors. The church is well-known locally for hosting the annual Christmas Tree Festival in conjunction with Bedford Hospitals Charity, attracting around 5000 visitors over the five day event.   
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