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Painted icons by highly talented local artist to feature at St Paul's

Cathy Young of Luton brings a selection of her hand painted Christian icons to St Paul's this week, Thursday May 9 to Sunday May 12.

Cathy has painted icons for some 25 years. These can now be found in the UK, the US, Australia and Italy. They are in churches and private collections, and are owned by bishops, canons, other clergy and lay people.

Cathy who is an Anglican says: "I use acrylic paint on the finest quality canvas. Icons are painted as a prayer; each one is a sermon and contains a wealth of information that can be 'read' just as a document can be read".

She continues: "Icons look back in time to a vastly rich tradition, forward to continuing belief, but my icons have been adapted to the modern world. They reach horizontally; all over the world and even embrace people of faiths other than Christian "

Cathy is currently working on a series of 12 apostles for a rood screen in the chapel at Buittle Castle in south-west Scotland.

The exhibition is free to enter and is open daily, Thursday 9th May to Sunday 12th May, 10-4. Many icons are for sale.

For more information visit Kathy's website at www.iconismus.com or contact St Paul's office on 01234 340163. Cathy can be contacted by email at

St Pauls's Festival Concert

St Pauls'c Christmas Tree Festival will soon open for another year and the tradition of having a festival concert on the Friday evening continues this year with the Philharmonia chamber players. The six string players are a unique part of the bigger Philharmonia Orchestra, set up to showcase a rich and wide variety of musical repertoire for a small ensemble. This year's concert, which takes place at St Paul's church on Friday December 7th and set to a wonderful backdrop of over 60 decorated trees, will feature works by Brahms. Piazzola, Gershwin and Cole Porter.

Tickets for the concert are 16 and will include a glass of mulled wine and mince pies. For more information please call 01234 783181 or 01234 340163 or visit the St Paul's church office where tickets can be bought in person.
Download 2018 Festival Concert Poster



New Bedford Visitor Information Centre set for launch

Following months of discussions, the town centre church of St Paul's is set to host a new information service for visitors and the people of Bedford.

The new Bedford Visitor Information Desk will open inside the church on Wednesday October 17 and will effectively replace the old tourist information office which the council closed in 2017.

The Information Desk will be run by volunteers and has been created to provide a central resource for visitors as well and the local community. It will provide a wide range of information on services and attractions, including where to shop, what's showing at local theatres and cinemas, guides to restaurants and galleries as well as all of the historical places of interest. St Paul's church will be used as the starting point for guided walks around the town.

Steve Barratt, the manager of the new Information centre explained: "After the closure of the tourist information office at the bus station, we have received constant feedback that Bedford is in urgent need of central hub for information about the town. We looked around for some time to find a suitable venue and following our discussions with St Paul's church we jointly agreed it would be the perfect spot.

"Although we won't have the facility to sell travel or concert tickets, we will be able to provide a wide range of information about what is going on in and around Bedford. It has taken quite a few months and a lot of hard work to get to this point, so I really hope the new service will provide a valuable asset to the town and will be welcomed by locals and visitors alike."

Initially the centre will be open three days a week on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday between the hours of 10.30am to 4.00pm. It will be staffed by knowledgeable volunteers, some of whom previously worked with the tourist information service and all of whom live in and around Bedford and share a joint interest in promoting the town and its attractions.

St Paul's Church is based at St Paul's Square in the centre of Bedford and is open to public every day between 10.00am and 4.00pm.

Autumn Tuesday Lunchtime Concerts

You know it's Back to School time when the St Paul's Autumn series of Tuesday lunchtime concerts resume....The new series kicks off next week on Tuesday September 11th with a trio of piano and two sopranos.

This term's concerts will feature a range of musicians from solo pianists, violinists and organists. Later in the term the music scholars of Bedford School get their opportunity to play in front of an appreciative audience, while there will also be a recital from the 2012 winner of the BBC young Musician of the Year, Lara Melda.

Our long-standing concert organiser Heather Turnham will again host the concerts and light lunches of soup and sandwiches will be available from 12.00 noon.

Church Cleaner Wanted

We are looking for a new cleaner to help us look after our busy town centre church at St Paul's Bedford. Our building is many centuries old, but our cleaning needs are straightforward.

We are looking for a reliable and experienced cleaner whose job will be to keep the main church clean and tidy throughout the week and to make sure that kitchens, toilets and reception areas are spotless for our many visitors and to help us maintain our five-star hygiene accreditation standards.

We have some flexibility over working hours however the job does require someone to work 8 hours a week and to be able to work some of these hours on both Mondays and Fridays. Experience of contract or commercial cleaning is required while an understanding and sympathy with the ethos of the Church of England is preferred. References and DBS checks will be carried out for the successful candidate.

To be considered for the role please send a short cover letter and up to date CV to
in the first instance. For more information please call the church office on 01234 340163.

We're recruiting: St Paul's to appoint new Treasurer

We are currently looking to appoint a new Treasurer here at the busy church of St Paul's. As the town centre church of Bedford and civic church for the county, there is always plenty going on.

The Treasurer supports the ministry of the Parochial Church Council (PCC) and the ministry team through ensuring that the financial affairs of the parish are correctly ordered. The Treasurer is an officer of the PCC, an official position serving the church by providing financial leadership at a strategic level. He/she is appointed by the PCC, with the support of the Incumbent and Churchwardens and will sit on various committees and must act as the first and primary tier of financial checks and balances.

This is a voluntary role which requires between 8 and 10 hours a week. Some evening work is required to attend meetings.

For further information and a full job specification, please write to Alison Phillipson at

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.