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


Easter @ St Paul's 

It's Holy Week which means we have lots of exciting things happening at St Paul's this week.

Tuesday:
7pm (Wetherspoons Widnes) - St Paul's @ Spoons Easter Reflections 

Wednesday:
12pm (St Paul's Church Hall) - Long Loaf Community Meal
Come along for a 2 course lunch for £2 and a chance to refresh your memory of the Easter story and what it means for our lives today. 
7.30pm (St Paul's Church Hall) -"My Adventures in the Land Where Jesus Walked" 
Join with our Sofa and Spoons group for a slap up meal and to hear some of one of our wonderful leaders, Rachel, on her time in Israel. 

Thursday:
5.30pm (St Paul's Church Hall) - Passover Meal 
When Jesus shared the last supper with his friends it was in celebration of the Passover. Come join us for a great lamb dinner and an interactive presentation of what the Passover is all about!

Good Friday:
10.30am (St Paul's Church) Traditional Worship Service
Join us for bible reading, prayers and singing as we reflect on how Jesus lovingly sacrificed Himself  for us. 
7pm (St Paul's Church Hall) - Whistlestop Café - Easter Bingo
Join us all at the monthly Whistlestop café for some Easter Bingo - tea, coffee, food, fun and eggs galore!


Sunday:
5am (St Paul's Church) Sunrise Service 
Let's celebrate Jesus' resurrection, how he brings life out of death and light out of darkness together as the sun rises on this incredible day - He is risen! 
10.30am (St Paul's Church) Traditional Worship Service
Let's celebrate Jesus' resurrection together in a traditional service of holy communion, remembering as we take this bread and wine that Jesus has died and risen once again to give us life! He is risen!
4p(St Paul's Church) Family Worship Service
Join us to celebrate Jesus' resurrection together in our family service with contemporary worship and instruments for the kids. He is risen! 

St. Paul's Church






Alpha: Join the Adventure.

posted Jan 17, 2017, 2:49 AM by Kirsty O'Grady

Hopefully most of you will know that we are starting the Alpha course on Wednesday nights 7.30-9.30 (beginning this Wednesday 18th for 10 weeks). The alpha course is for anyone who is wondering if there is more to life than this, what all this God stuff is about or what it means to be a Christian. It is a time where we can join together for a meal, think about life, the world around us and faith and chat to lots of different people.

Alpha’s national campaign at the minute sees Bear Grylls speak of how putting his faith in Jesus has been his greatest adventure and it really is a wonderful adventure! Many of the people of St Paul’s came to believe and trust in Jesus through attending an alpha course and they all say it was a brilliant experience. In Long Loaf this week Billy shared about how alpha didn’t just give him a better understanding of who God is but also brought him lasting friendships with the people that he attended the course with – “the social part was just as important”.

So, maybe Alpha sounds like what you’re looking for? Great! Sign up on the sheet at the back of church or let Greg or Kirsty know that you’re planning on coming.

Maybe you’ve had a faith in Jesus for years, great! So who could you invite to come to Alpha? Who is the one person that Jesus is asking you to share your faith with? Invite them! Take as many flyers as you like from the back and invite as many people as possible.

We want to see people join this amazing adventure: a life with Jesus Christ. 

Originally Printed in Newsletter 15-01-17 

Merry Christmas… EVERYONE!!

posted Jan 17, 2017, 2:47 AM by Kirsty O'Grady   [ updated Apr 11, 2017, 9:46 AM ]

Hopefully, by now you are aware of the fact that we are having a Christmas meal, here at St Paul’s on Christmas Day at 12pm! This is a free meal (although donations are welcome) which is open to…ANYONE AND EVERYONE!

We want to encourage as many of you as possible to come down and get involved… Christmas is a wonderful time when we celebrate the birth of Jesus! We celebrate the willingness of God to come down to Earth in human form and be “God with us”. It has also become a great time to gather and celebrate with family and friends!

Not have many family members around here and want to be able to enjoy Christmas dinner with good company? This is for you!

Not able to afford (with either money or time) to purchase and cook a Christmas meal for yourselves and your family? This is for you!

Plenty of family, able to afford it but would like to celebrate this incredible time with your wider church family? This is for you!

In Matthew, Jesus said that those he judges to be blessed by His Father will be those who fed him when he was hungry and gave him a drink when he was thirsty and this is a great opportunity for us as a church to do just that! Of course, many of us have our own Christmas routine which is great and you can be involved even if you can’t come along on the day. Perhaps you would like to help financially towards the meal? Or assist Greg with some of the preparation on Christmas Eve?  Or by simply spreading the word (especially to those in need this Christmas) that this is happening.

For those who would like to come and eat with us on Christmas Day please tell Kirsty today or call Felicity in the office and put your name down. If you would like to help with either the preparation of the meal or support us in funding this event, please let Greg know.

Merry Christmas! 

Originally Printed in Newsletter 18-12-16

Fasting: Fastening onto Jesus

posted Jan 17, 2017, 2:43 AM by Kirsty O'Grady   [ updated Jan 17, 2017, 2:46 AM ]

As you know, we are now in the season of Advent, a time of preparation and waiting for Jesus to come again as the King who reigns in glory. Alongside that we are in a time of preparation and waiting for the appointment of our new vicar. Due to both of these, we have entered into a time of fasting as a church.

Some of us are fasting food, cake, alcohol or social media but the important thing isn’t necessarily about what we choose to give up but what we take up instead. Greg preached a couple of weeks ago about fasting and told us how it means “fastening onto” – fasting is a time for us to fasten onto Jesus.

Fasting is not about punishing ourselves unnecessarily or about trying to convince God to do what we want. It is about denying ourselves the things we want and using the moments when we think about or long for those things to pray and seek the Lord and His will instead. When we fast we put our trust and reliance more in the one who is our sustenance – Jesus says in John 6:35 “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

I’ve heard it said that it’s when we reach the end of ourselves that we hear what Jesus is trying to say to us the clearest. How incredible would it be if we could use our desires for cake, Facebook or wine to hear the energising wisdom and truth of our Lord? So the next time that craving calls, call to Jesus – pray for yourself, pray for St Paul’s, for Widnes, for our world. Praise God for all he provides and seek his will for your life and the life of our church (especially our new vicar).

Happy Fasting! 

Originally Printed in Newsletter 11-12-16

St Paul's Extended Worship Gathering Update

posted Jan 17, 2017, 2:42 AM by Kirsty O'Grady

Many of you have probably heard of Extended Worship Gathering (or EWG for short), but what actually is it? Well, the clue is in the name…

Essentially EWG is a monthly Sunday service at 6.30pm which is a little longer. EWG was originally started because those who had attended the New Wine conference in August desired a similar experience back here in Widnes. As such, there is a longer time of sung worship, an often interactive talk and then there is a longer time reserved at the end of the service to respond to what is said in prayer by asking God to speak to us. We often ask for the Holy Spirit to give us gifts of prophecy or healing in this time and we like to leave enough space to allow God to do what he wants to do.

At the moment in EWG we are going through a series on the sayings of Jesus in John’s Gospel where Jesus tells us about who he is: “I am…” So far we have explored how Jesus is the bread of life and the light of the world and tonight we will be exploring how Jesus is the gate or the door.

Everyone is welcome so please do come along… We believe that Jesus is alive and wants to do something here in Widnes and in our hearts and lives and we believe this is a pretty good place to start. 

Originally Printed in Newsletter 27-11-16

The St Paul's Way - Visit Someone

posted Jan 17, 2017, 2:39 AM by Kirsty O'Grady

The next habit in the St Paul’s Way for us to look at is one of our monthly habits: “Visit Someone”.

This is as simple as it sounds – we as a church want to aim to visit someone from church once a month. Perhaps we are most likely to do this when someone is unwell – we want to hear Jesus say: “I was sick, and you visited Me;” (Matt 25:36). However, this is a great habit, not only in terms of visiting those who may be struggling to leave the house and so missing the company and fellowship of church, but also to develop the connections and relationships we have with each other across all of our balloons.

 Visiting is a great way to get to know each other better. One of my favourite parts of my placement last summer was visiting some of you and finding out the part that St Paul’s plays in your lives. I loved hearing stories of family, friends and holidays, old stories about St Paul’s and Widnes and just generally having a cup of tea and a chat with so many of you. (Thanks for your hospitality.)

Just like we visit family members, so it is really beautiful to see the family of God visiting each other – showing each other they care for one another enough to take time out to see how they’re doing. Likewise we need to give hospitality to each other when someone comes knocking – 1 Peter 4:9 tells us to “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

 So, let’s do this! Let’s be willing to be hospitable and pop the kettle on when somebody from church (no matter which balloon) comes knocking on the door… And let’s be ready to go out of our way to visit each other – after all, we’re family… Sorry about that! ;) 

Originally Printed in Newsletter 20-11-16

The St Paul’s Way: Serve Here

posted Jan 17, 2017, 2:35 AM by Kirsty O'Grady   [ updated Jan 17, 2017, 2:37 AM ]

This week we’re taking a look at one of the Monthly parts of our St Paul’s Way: Serve Here.

The Bible is full of verses which tell us to serve the Lord and to serve others. One of my favourite of these verses is from  1 Peter 4:10:
E
ach of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.


I love the fact that God has made each of us unique with unique gifts. That means that only Linda can lead in the way she leads, only Gary can sing the way he sings, only Barbara can make a cup of tea the way she does, only Eileen can make butties the way she does, only Jeff can greet people the way he does… God wants us to use whatever we’ve got to serve - no matter how small it may seem! If Jesus can take 5 loves and 2 fish and feed over 5000 people – he can use “little old me” to serve his church.

 

There is so much going on in the life of St Paul’s that you can get involved with not just within Sunday Services (welcoming people, making tea and coffee, helping make sandwiches) but also through the week at groups such as Long Loaf on a Wednesday afternoon who are always extremely grateful of an extra pair of hands to chop some carrots or wash a pan or two.

 

So, why not get involved? This is one of our monthly ways but you can always serve more often if you like! Speak to Greg, myself or any of the balloon leaders for more information about how you can start serving here today! 


Originally printed in Newsletter 06-11-16

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.

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