Christmas is coming

Here we are into the second week of December! Christmas lights are on in the towns and Christmas trees are springing up as we move through Advent. We had a wonderful concert at St Katharine’s on Saturday – a really lovely evening. Coming up next in our Christmas list will be the fun Beer and Carols on The Tollgate on 19th December. Come and join us.


Preparing for a new future in the Diocese of Kadugli, Sudan

We have been delighted to hear more of the stories of God working, and the healings that took place during the Kadugli conference. To read the new blog, please follow the link below to the Rooted in Jesus website. In recent months Sudan has undergone regime change. There is a new Prime Minister and a government shared between civilians and the military which is intended to lead to elections in three years’ time. The people of Sudan have great hopes that this will bring greater freedom, a relaxing of sanctions which are currently crippling their economy, and peace between warring parties.  The team who went came back full of joy at all that God had done. To read more click here: Rooted in Jesus blog


November 2019 visit to Kadugli

In November 2019 a team from the Bradford Deanery left for Sudan to deliver a Rooted in Jesus discipleship course. Andrew has a few words about their trip.

Well, we are back from Kadugli in the Republic of Sudan, and I am pleased to report that we are all home safely.

At the end of our visit, and over our final meal in Kadugli, the Catholic priest explained to us that over the years of war, the Christians were considered the targets by the Islamic soldiers. This had brought great unity between all the denominations, who were now as one. They were now traumatised by war, and the fact that six Christians from England had come all this way to encourage them and express solidarity with them was heart-warming for them.

None of us had considered ourselves in any particular danger, but many people in Kadugli expressed amazement that six white men had been given permission by the government to go to the city which is still classed as being in a war zone.

On arrival in Kadugli we were greeted with joyful singing in the cathedral (a building with a corrugated iron roof that we might describe as a large hut). Our conference began on the Tuesday and went through to the Friday. Jesus made disciples – people who were trained and equipped by him to do the things he did and to be like him. Our conference was about making disciples who go on themselves to make even more disciples. The irony that this is exactly what the Church of England finds so difficult, did not escape us!

The idea was that the conference delegates were to go home and form a group of 6-12 people who would meet weekly and who they would disciple using the books which we gave to them. Part of the challenge of the conference was to help them to work as groups – their usual model of teaching being one person speaks and everyone else listens. The other challenge was to teach them to rely on the Holy Spirit.

We taught them to stand and wait with their hands held expectantly in front of them, as we asked the Holy Spirit to come upon them. Some of them were healed, even without our asking, as the Holy Spirit came upon them. Somebody in St Katharine’s had sent me a Word of Knowledge (basically a message from God) that there would be a lady there who was dressed in a bright yellow and green dress and head-dress who had suffered from a snake bite. The lady didn’t seem to be in the meeting, but then she came in. She had been cooking for the delegates. We asked her whether she had recently been bitten by a snake, and she had. We prayed for her and the bite was healed.

There was a boy who was gripped with fear and would not let go of his mother’s skirt tails. He received prayer; the fear left him. He started playing with the other children and went home on his own for the first time ever. Many other healings happened in the week.

Christopher Fielden took our greetings to the Mother’s Union in Kadugli and in Dilling (the MU is very strong in Africa). The poverty of the people in Kadugli is very great. They really have nothing, and we are so privileged in comparison. Despite the fact that our circumstances are very different, it is good to know that we have friends in Kadugli and that they have friends here who pray for them and consider them brothers and sisters in Christ.


Dominica – Building back Better

Dominica has close links with St Katharine’s and we were delighted to welcome Tina recently.
Dominica is building back better two years on from Hurricane Maria. I came back recently to check on Mum and Dad and bring news of repairing and building of homes and the development of several new hotels, a geothermal plant and plans for an international airport. Over 3,000 people have invested in becoming Dominican citizens (usd100,000) and this money, together with remarkable international aid is helping to reconstruct roads, bridges and apartments for those in shelters and tents.  At a recent sitting of the Dominican parliament one representative exclaimed that in a thunderstorm that reminded him of the Hurricane he could only exclaim “ I see the stars I hear the mighty thunder, thy power throughout the universe displayed…. My God How Great Thou Art!” Several international NGOs such as All Hands and Hearts and Habitat for Humanity use our Lifeline Ministries (www.lifelinedominica.dm) as their local partner charity and we have a hand in the building of two primary schools and four preschools so far.
The president announced  a day of remembrance on the second anniversary at which the Prime Minister said we must give Glory to God for our remarkable recovery.

Lifeline continues to focus on the most vulnerable. Helping with gifts of furniture, clothing and pampers for children and the elderly and also with educational scholarships for children with special needs. We help broken people heal and this means counselling, support groups and training, still with a special focus on those who are rejected and abused. Please pray with us as Harry blows the shofar calling people to come and meet Him who knows everything we have ever done and still loves us. Thank you for all your gifts in kind and in cash through www.give.net. Thank you for buying our ladies jewellery, and please know we appreciate the  hugs and warm welcome we always feel in returning to this branch of the family!  Tina


Eco Church Award

We are delighted to have received our Bronze Eco Church Award and it is been the great teamwork that has helped move this along. There is a draft management plan in place for the churchyard now and this can be viewed in the church. There are plans to develop a wildflower area and places of reflection. If you wander through the churchyard at any time, you will find a labyrinth mown into the grass behind the church. This traditional prayer walk allows time and space to pray or just be quiet and gather your thoughts. Their are guides to help if you have never walked a labyrinth before. We also have a large pile of leaf mould and compost in the churchyard. Contact us if you are interested in taking some for your garden.  Watch this space for progress towards our Silver award.


What St. Katharine’s means to me

Quotes collected at Morning Worship Patronal service 26 November 2017

  • Friendships
  • Confidence to do new things
  • Rescued me, my marriage and family
  • Loved and accepted
  • Launch into a calling
  • Peace and safety
  • Build me up – walk tall again
  • Family and support
  • Freedom to love God
  • Spirit present
  • Confident in whom I am
  • Set free from lies and healed
  • Not judged
  • Love of God in action
  • Encountered God for the first time
  • Transformed my life
  • Found God again
  • A healing God
  • Got confirmed

Explore life, faith and meaning

We believe that everyone should have the chance to explore the Christian faith, ask questions and share their point of view; wherever they are in the world.

Alpha offers the opportunity to do just that – in an informal, friendly and open environment.

Come and join our Alpha course at the Tollgate, Holt on Monday evenings at 7.30pm. The course consists of free weekly sessions and runs from 15 January to 26 March 2018. We look forward to welcoming you.

Please contact Dawn at the Benefice office on 01225 782717 or whatsonbenefice@gmail.com to secure your place or find out more.


News from Sudan

News from Kadugli
(August 2017)

What takes our missionary links forward is the way we develop the relationships with those we seek to support. Bishop Hassan’s visit to us two years ago, had a profound affect and we felt we had a friend in Sudan.

It was therefore very important that Christopher, Ann and I made the trip to Khartoum to share with them in the celebrations of the creation of the new Anglican province of Sudan. The service lasted four and a half hours in a blistering 43 degrees heat. As I put my robes on, there was no doubt in my mind that an extra layer was not going to be helpful…!

There were fans in the ceiling of the cathedral, and it was uncomfortable but just about bearable, that was until the electricity failed and the fans stopped turning. Then with all the people in the building we sweltered. Thankfully they cut out the last hymns and even the communion or the service would have lasted 6 hours! Anyway, it was great to be there and our friend Archbishop Ezekiel is now the head of this brand new province and the Archbishop of Canterbury was present to install Ezekiel in his new role.

Service for the creation of the 39th Province of the Anglican Church

 

Kadugli is situate in a part of the country to which entry is normally denied for foreign visitors. However, since ++ Justin Welby was allowed to visit Kadugli on an official visit, I was given the opportunity to fly down to Kadugli with him as part of his official party which included the acting head of DFID and the British Ambassador to Sudan. We were escorted round by the governor of South Kordofan state. Everything had been smartened up for our visit, which sadly meant I didn’t get to see the grinding station which is in an area of town which was not deemed fit for us to see. Our grinding station in Delling has been open several months and is making income for the Diocese and feeding the poorest. The Kadugli one has only just opened.

One of the televised sessions with ++Justin, the governor and +Hassan

 

Andrew, ++Justin and +Hassan in Kadugli

 

I did however see the Archbishop of Canterbury in action at press conferences and televised meetings and he was absolutely brilliant at thinking on his feet and saying exactly the right thing. He was very gracious to the governor, but at the same time challenging him to treat Christians equally with Muslims, and to work for peace. + Hassan says the government has not bombed the people of the Nuba mountains for 9 months, so there is hope of peace. Please pray for it.

The Archbishop re-opened the Diocesan Office in Kadugli and we enjoyed a joyous service in the Cathedral.

Christopher and Ann’s Golden Wedding party in Khartoum

 

Please read on for details of this wonderful occasion . . .

Our time in Khartoum started with this service among some refugees and here are some pictures of the building they borrow as a church and the people who attended and finished with a visit to Hassan’s home and family.

The building where the church met

 

Some of the lovely people at the service

And where they live

 

At Hassan’s house. Hassan’s new wife in the check next to Andrew & Ann

 

Lots more fantastic things to share about this trip as time allows!

Andrew

 

A Golden Wedding with a Difference 

I suppose the date of our Golden Wedding was fixed the day we got married; that is, as long as the marriage lasted that long! It presented us with something of a problem, therefore, when we received an invitation to attend the celebrations of the Inauguration of the 39th Province of the Anglican Communion in Khartoum on 30 July, the day after our date. How could we refuse, particularly when Bishop Hassan of Kadugli, who has stayed with us in Broughton Gifford, said that he would organise a party for us?

In the event, he could not be in Khartoum on that day, but someone else would take on the responsibility for all the organisation. We were told that it would take place on the Saturday evening, from 20:00 – 22:00, at the Kanon Hotel, and how much it would cost us. (Rather more that I had expected!) We had no idea, however, what format it would take or who would be invited. To be completely fair, this is not totally true. The Sudanese love ‘programmes’ and we were sent one which included a number of speeches and concluded, somewhat cryptically, with ‘gifts’.

On the morning itself, we were told that a car would come to collect us from our hotel at 19:00. However, TIA This is Africa, no-one had arrived by a quarter to eight, so we found someone else to take us to the hotel. When we arrived there, we were told that the party was on the seventh floor and, indeed, there were tables laid for 35 people, but no people.

In due course they arrived and they included two archbishops, Khartoum and Canterbury, and about twenty others. We cut an enormous cake and sat down to a most enjoyable meal. The ‘gifts’ appeared as commemorative mugs, for all present, bearing on one side the message: Happy Wedding of 50 Years of Mr. Christopher and Mrs. Ann. 2017.7.29 and on the other Episcopal Church of Sudan, Diocese of Kadugli. We are certain that, in time, these will become collectors’ pieces, more valuable than Coronation Mugs.

This was a Golden Wedding to be remembered. We feel honoured that it was graced by two Graces!

Christopher and Ann Fielden


St Katharine’s Services have moved back to the church!!

       

Services have moved back to St. Katharine’s!

Our services have moved back to the church now that the work in St. Katharine’s has been completed.

Please join us at one of our Sunday services at St. Katharine’s to worship with us and experience the beautifully bright and updated surroundings of the church.