St. Paul's Church, Widnes

St Paul's is an extended family here at the heart of Widnes on a journey into God. 

We come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and ages. Some have been part of St Paul's for many years; others have joined us over the last few months. All are equal. Some are particularly active and involved, others less so, but we are all in our own way seeking to connect with and go deeper with God.

This is our website with all the official information on, to meet the community itself, find us on facebook and twitter

St. Paul's Church






St Paul's Tots Update

posted Oct 18, 2016, 6:08 AM by Kirsty O'Grady   [ updated Oct 18, 2016, 6:18 AM ]

St Paul’s Tots is our new Parent and Toddler group running every Monday morning during term time from 10.00-11.30. It’s a warm, welcoming place where parents/ grandparents/ carers can bring their little one along,  grab a cup of coffee and a piece of toast whilst their little ones can run ragged and play till their hearts content!!! 


It’s early days and we have only been running the group for 3 weeks, but it has been so encouraging seeing lots of new faces and seeing people bring along new friends each week. It is beautiful to see both parents and kids enjoying themselves! 


There are a variety of toys for babies and preschool children to enjoy, craft activities, a simple Bible story and we  round it all off with singing some nursery rhymes and even doing the Hokey Cokey ( a family favourite!!!)  So if you have a little one or know of anyone who has then please come and join us for just a £1 donation per family! 

Thank you to everyone who has been praying and asking about how the group is going. Please continue to pray that the group will be a place where people feel welcomed, are able to have fun and that the group will be a way for families to connect with the Church and most of all with Jesus. 

Thank you,

Sophie Sharples

The St Paul's Way - Do Something Different

posted Oct 18, 2016, 6:03 AM by Kirsty O'Grady   [ updated Oct 18, 2016, 6:06 AM ]

As many of you will know, in both our Sunday services and within these articles, we have been working our way through the 9 healthy habits that help connect us to God, our Church and our World – the St Paul’s Way. This week we are exploring the monthly habit of: “Do Something Different” meaning seeking out other Christian experiences by visiting other balloons or going to an event outside St Paul’s.

This month, my “Do Something Different” was attending the New Wine North West gathering in Aughton on Tuesday night. This was an evening of sung worship, a really encouraging message by Ness Wilson from Loughborough and a time for prayer and response to Jesus. It was such a great experience to worship with so many Christians from all across our region who although have many different backgrounds, traditions, dreams and desires are united in the loving family of Christ. Likewise it was fantastic to join together with them as a region of Christians asking God to bless us with His boldness in order to empower us to share our faith more openly with people through our words as well as our actions.

This habit is not to say that St Paul’s and the balloon(s) you currently attend aren’t great but actually to encourage us to both meet other Christians and share in a part of their journey as well as broadening the situations and different ways in which we make ourselves available to Jesus to speak to us and through us. So for your next “something different” why not try a trip to the next New Wine gathering at 7pm on 6th November at St Philip’s in Salford? You might just be amazed at what God does somewhere and in something different… 

Notes from the PCC Meeting Monday September 12 2016

posted Oct 18, 2016, 5:58 AM by Kirsty O'Grady   [ updated Oct 18, 2016, 6:00 AM ]

Worship

We started our September meeting with a time of worship lead by Steve Shuttleworth the reading was from Philippians 4:4-9.  We joined together in reading the Felgild Compline from the Northumbria Christian Community.

                                                Safeguarding Children

Sophie Sharples, Safeguarding Children officer for St Paul’s explained her responsibilities.  We have adopted the Safeguarding policy from Liverpool Diocese the policy requires that church roles working with children have a job description.  Workers need to complete safeguarding self-declaration on diocese website and need annual review.  Policy, including the position of safeguarding officer needs to be reviewed annually.

                                                    PCC Secretary

Due to Reader training commitments Steve Shuttleworth has stepped down as PCC Secretary.  Nikki Lamb has taken over the position.  Steve was thanked for all his hard work in the role.

                                                 St Paul’s Vicarage

The Arch Deacon has agreed for St Pauls PCC to take on the responsibility for the Vicarage while it is vacant until a new Vicar is appointed some-time after next Easter. The PCC has appointed Billy and Andrea Bromilow as ‘Guardians’ to live in the Vicarage.  Once a new Vicar is appointed and there is then clarity if the Vicar wishes to live in the vicarage further plans can then be made.   Billy and Andrea moved into the vicarage 12th September 2016.

                                                    Vicar’s Report

Sophie Sharples is going to be running a Parents & toddler group starting 26/9/2016 – 10.00am, a great opportunity to open our doors to more people in our local community.

                                                Treasurer’s Report

Each year we try to donate 10% of St Paul’s income to Missionary projects spreading the donations across Overseas, National and Local organisations.  We agreed to add two new services to our list this year – Reach Christian counselling services and OneTwo Sports Ministry.

                            Growth Planning Framework (see attached document)

The growth planning Framework which is used to monitor how all aspects of our church is run, developed and expanded is reviewed at most meetings to make sure that it is clear how we are progressing in growing St Paul’s Church. (copies of the framework can be obtained at the back of church)

The full PCC minutes are at the back of Church

Next PCC meeting is on Monday 10th October 2016 at 7.30pm

Please remember the PCC members in your prayers.

The St Paul's Way - Missionary Moment

posted Oct 18, 2016, 1:46 AM by Kirsty O'Grady

As we continue our fortnightly look at the St Paul’s Way - Healthy Habits that help us connect to God, our Church and our World - our attention turns to a habit that leads us outward, “Missionary Moment”. 

 

What does it look like for us at St Paul’s to point someone who does not know Jesus towards him? Not just once. Not once a year, or even a month, but on a weekly basis? What does it mean for us to have a habit of taking the opportunities that God gives us to introduce people to Him?

 

Now, I’ve been around churches long enough to know that the moment we start talking about evangelism, or anything that smells a bit like it, we can end up either feeling rather guilty about missed opportunities, or feeling bad that we are not very good at this sort of thing. These are understandable responses especially when we think about the potentially awkward conversations we might end up having and the associated potential for rejection. If you are feeling like that here are some words of encouragement:

 

1.    Point someone to Jesus. This doesn’t mean once a week we all need to be street preachers, but rather, that in our own ways, appropriate to our own jobs, communities etc we offer pointers to Jesus. This could be inviting someone to Long Loaf, thinking of a way to bless a work colleague (and then doing it) or praying with a friend - or anything else you can think of.

2.    Conversations about faith are great but we can easily be asked tricky questions. Offering people prayer takes a conversation away from arguing about principles and towards meeting Jesus.

3.    You don’t have to be an expert. In Mark 6 when Jesus sends out the 12 disciples, the thing that has just happened in the previous passage is that he’s being rejected in his home town, unable to do what he wanted there.

I find this encouraging because Jesus doesn’t send us out saying we need to succeed each time but rather he does it acknowledging that it is not easy - even for him. 

 

So why should we share our faith? Some closing words from the book of Philemon v6:

 

“I pray that you will be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.”

 

If we want to know Jesus more, it seems pointing others to him is part of that.

St Paul's @ 4 Update

posted Sep 19, 2016, 6:46 AM by Kirsty O'Grady

St Paul’s @ 4 aims to be a growing, relaxed, spiritual community and I have to say I think it achieves that very well! St Paul’s @ 4 really provides that environment, just like Steve said of St Paul’s @ 10.30, for people to “come as they are”. We’re certainly are a wacky and wonderful bunch!

This service consists of a lot of kids, prayer, a time of contemporary sung worship where we praise Jesus for who he is and all he has done, is doing and will do, Bible reading, discussion, listening to what God wants to say (both through the speaker that day and also through prayer, quiet times and worship) and preparing ourselves to go out into our day-to-day lives with Him.

St Paul’s @4 is certainly louder than ever as we’ve seen the people attending grow both in number and spiritually. On a quiet week we have 40 people now meaning our kids groups (PYGs and PYGlets) have grown significantly too. 
We have been trying to increase our awareness of the Holy Spirit and also provide more opportunities to encounter and be used by God within these services. So far this has often been reflected in our times of sung worship and responsive prayer and I for one can’t wait to see more of it. 

So if you fancy meeting Jesus whilst having a little dance, the opportunity to bang a drum, the chance to get involved with some kids work or just the ham butties afterwards please do come along and join us! 

The St Paul's Way - Come Along!

posted Sep 19, 2016, 6:44 AM by Kirsty O'Grady

So if you’re reading this, my guess is that a lot of you have already mastered this part of the St Paul’s Way. “Come along” refers to us attending at least one of the St Paul’s “balloons” every week. Felicity wrote a few weeks ago about how important her family and friends are to her. “Come along” is the part of the St Paul’s Way which gives us the chance to create more of these meaningful friendships with other Christians by being a part of one of these communities.

I have been to St Paul’s @ 4 and St Paul’s @ Spoons every week when I’ve been in Widnes for almost 2 years now and I’ve grown to know so many of you so much better through that. I have been privileged enough to see people grow in their faith and their confidence – things which I may have never been privy to had I not committed to attending these groups every week. 

Likewise, God has used these groups as places to grow my relationship with Him. In spending time with other Christians (both simply for fellowship and fun as well as to study the Word and pray) Jesus has consistently spoken into my life. In the hardest times when perhaps it has been harder for me to seek his guidance alone or perhaps I’ve felt exhausted and not necessarily wanted to attend the groups he has faithfully spoken a word of truth, a promise, an encouragement to me and through me to other members of the group. 

So you see? The encouragement to “come along” not only helps us but helps others too – I love seeing you all every week (and I know Jesus enjoys seeing us spend time together too)!

                                                                                                                                                Kirsty O'Grady

St Paul's @10.30 Update

posted Sep 6, 2016, 2:24 AM by Kirsty O'Grady

The church website, describes our Sunday morning service as a welcoming, relaxed ‘classic’ church service, with hymns, sermon, readings and prayers. Yes, it’s all these things, but I believe it is far more than just the sum of those parts. 

As someone who has attended our church for over 44 years, I can testify that the format of the Sunday morning service has changed many, many times over the years, but, at its heart, there remain the key components of Worship, Biblical Teaching, Communal Prayer and Fellowship. 

Over the last twelve months or so, we have been blessed, in a growth in numbers who attend 10.30am. We have gone from an average of about 30+ to about 40+. It’s been really encouraging to see new people joining the church family as well as taking an active role in leading prayers and doing the bible readings. 

Growth obviously is an important thing in the life of any church and that’s no different for the 10.30am service. We are seeking to attract people to come along and experience meeting with Jesus, to hear God’s word and to be challenged by it. As with most things a personal invitation often works best. 

I think there are four fantastic things that the 10.30am service has to offer: 
    1. Massive experience of knowing Jesus. - The community at 10.30 has literally hundreds of years of                     experience of knowing Jesus. Just think about how much guidance and encouragement we can give to others,         especially those people that are just beginning their walk with Jesus. 
    2. Loving Fellowship. It is amazing how much care is shown to one another by the 10.30 family. People do not         sit in ‘splendid isolation’ in their pew, it is quite the opposite. People do say hello, they do ask how you’re            doing, and they do take time to talk with you. 
    3. Generous commitment – In my experience the people who come to 10.30am are generous with their time and     money. A number of people attend at least one other of the ‘balloons’ at St Pauls and/or they give their time to            serve God in many, many ways, doing all those jobs that need doing that nobody notices until people stop doing        them! 
    4. Refreshments after the service - Superb coffee/tea/biscuits, served by our smiling team of volunteers. A great         way to get to know each other a little bit better. 

Just like all the ‘balloons’ at St Paul’s, St Pauls@ 10.30 seeks to serve God and the local community. Why not come along. 

Steve Shuttleworth

The St Paul's Way - Family and Friends

posted Sep 6, 2016, 2:10 AM by Kirsty O'Grady

One of the weekly Healthy Habits is Family and Friends. I, like many others, have a great connection with parents, sisters, brothers, extended family and friends. The people we are close to contribute to who we are and help shape the people we become. 

My father is a widower now, lives alone, he is 87 years old and in poor health. I visit him at least 6 days a week. I clean and do the garden as he is unable to do these things, although he can still cook for himself at the moment. However, the most important part about visiting someone who lives alone is to talk and listen to them. With dad I do try to make sure he does all the talking as he just loves to talk. I don’t visit dad out of a sense of duty, I do this out of love for him. As 1 Corinthians 13:7 reminds us about love ‘7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.’ 

My husband is the biggest influence in my life. I have been blessed he is a terrific man. I love him dearly and thank God that He gave Kevin to me. What a wonderful gift God has given me. 

Friends are also important to me. I have made some great friends at St Paul’s. I have been warmly welcomed at Happy Mondays, Sofa and Extended Worship Gathering. These groups have helped my circle of friends grow and I have met people who are as eager as I am in the pursuit of God and His holy word. These friends are strengthening my faith and I thank them for that. I guess by attending the weekly groups we come together as an extended part of our family units. Yet another great gift from God. 

So this week think about or visit your family and friends as you share hope, faith and real friendship with them all. 

Colossians 3:12-14 sums up how we should relate to each other and how our love can grow as we follow the guidance God has provided for us: ‘12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.’ 

Best wishes, Felicity

St. Paul's @ Spoon's Update

posted Aug 24, 2016, 12:52 AM by Jack Austin

A few months ago I wrote talking about the process of moving from one Spoon's group to two Spoon's groups. I spoke a little about some of the pain and difficulty involved and how we were stepping out in faith to create something new. Now that we are well into this process, I have a few more reflections I can share with you all.
Something I have discovered in this process is the importance of prayer and fasting when stepping out like this. After spending a day praying and fasting as the leadership team, we got a much clearer sense of what it is God is seeking to do with our Wednesday group, and have been able to press forward with much more confidence, knowing that we are called to lead a group which is inspired by and related to Spoon's, but not identical. This correction was so encouraging for us, and helped us to persevere.
The first few weeks were difficult, getting so few at meetings. After a while though, we started to develop relationships with people, and now have a decent group who come along to our socials. This isn't just a matter of blindly continuing in what you have already been doing though, it is so important to meet people where they are, not where you are. 
Our existing format was great for us, but not for the people we longed to see joining our group. So we listened to God, and we shook it up. Now we're running a series of socials for all different tastes to get people interested and along before we get started with an Alpha course in September.
Thank you all for your prayers, we encourage you to keep us in your prayers as we carry on in our journey of working out what following Jesus in the whole of life looks like for 18-30s in Widnes.
Jack Austin

Summer

posted Jul 25, 2016, 12:45 AM by Jack Austin

It’s that time of year again, the sun is out, calves are out, gardens are beginning to take shape again, walking into church you are greeted with a drop in temperature (actually that’s true all year, it’s just that it’s pleasant when it’s like this!). But it is not just the weather that marks this season as strange. Take a look around the church and you’ll see. The Sunday morning service music has been led on the organ; this can mean only one thing: Keswick! Take a peek in the south transept; you will see piles of camping equipment from the tower which have been cleaned, counted, and checked; this too can mean only one thing: New wine! Hang around Janice for long enough and you’ll hear all about a mad rush for permission slips before Wednesday; this also can mean only one thing: Soul Survivor!
So why is it that so many of us head various distances across the country to go to these summer conventions, gatherings, and festivals? 
One key thing to notice is that we usually go together, and even when we don’t we meet people there. If you pick up a Bible and start reading from the beginning, you’ll notice that everything is “good” to start off with, but keep reading and you soon arrive at a “not good” (go on, I’ll wait). 
That’s right, Genesis 2:18 has the first “not good” of the Bible with “it is not good for man to be alone”. One key thing that summer gatherings (or in fact any extended time together as a church) do, is to remind us not only of this, but of how good it is to be together. When we come together we are reminded of the goodness of being together. Of our faith’s roots in an actual family who actually lived in the actual middle east, and of our calling to be part of God’s family. It all feels very real when you are seeing your brothers and sisters every single day; this reality, in the arguments and heart to hearts with which extended time replaces polite nods and small talk, brings us closer together, and points us all towards the real God!
It’s a chance to learn from some very well learned people as well. Where else can you get so many people with so much knowledge about God together talk to non-academics like us? We go to these places to hear about God from lots of different angles, and it’s there back in our churches too, as we gather for lunch or tea or cocoa and talk about things we’ve heard in seminars and try to make sense of them as a church.
There’s something incredible about worshipping, singing, praying together as thousands. There’s something so special about singing along to very talented and skilled musicians, and being led by such spirit-soaked leaders. There’s something exciting about seeing people come to faith every day. There’s something comforting about not being in the minority. 
There are so many reasons why we go to summer festivals, but mainly it’s the same reason we do most things: to love, worship, and encounter God.

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