Saturday, 28 August 2010

Selborne and Noar Hill – The Walk Goes On

IMG00058-20100821-1107 The St Paul’s Walkers were out on Saturday 21 August, on an 8 mile ramble in the countryside of naturalist Gilbert White. Much of the best landscapes in eastern Hampshire are around Selborne and Noar Hill. Plenty of ups and downs and too many stiles to count! We had light rain for some of our walk but nothing to dampen our spirits.


The Route – Selborne & Noar Hill

IMG00054-20100821-1014The route ascended the famous zigzag up Selborne Hill and onto Selborne Common, then down through grassy fields and up again to Noar Hill. Down once more through woodland clinging to a steep escarpment, across another field and stream and a stop for coffee next to logging woods.

Then upwards again through very tempting apple orchards, down to  a lake and up a valley with a steep climb at the far end to another orchard. The final mile of relatively flat walking back into Selborne heralded good views of the hills we had climbed earlier in the day.

 © Copyright Barry Shimmon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The Queens Hotel was very welcoming but disorganised as our hosts had only taken over a few days before! However, the food was very good. 




For more information on the St Paul’s Walking Group, see Walking Back To Happiness. A list of all our events at St Paul’s, including scheduled walks, is available here. If you’re interested in coming along to a walk, we would love to hear from you.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Drunk on New Wine

Every year in July thousands of people drive into the Mendip Hills of Somerset and pitch their tents, caravans and mobile homes in the Royal Bath and West Showground. The usual rain, mud and cold does nothing to dampen the warm welcome and excitement in the air. A happy gathering place for people of all ages and backgrounds come to enjoy inspiring teaching, heart-filled worship and good old plain fun, yes FUN. The annual New Wine Summer Conference begins.

Kids have an amazing time in their groups, sometimes praying, sometimes singing, sometimes listening, lots of times gunging and playing games. New friendships are made and parents are relaxed knowing their kids are in good hands. Children with special needs are welcomed  with open arms and they are included in all the children’s programmes.2010_0730NewWine100005

The youth discover God in the “toasty corner”(I believe this is where they make toast!), the tuck shop, the wii challenge, the basket ball matches as well as in worshiping through live Christian bands and taking part in prayer and ministry.  

At the end of each day filled with as much or as little teaching and worship you want, you can relax listening to live music, stand up comedy, shop at the market place, hang out with friends at the over 18’s bar, take part in speed dating, pub quizzes or just dance the night away.

Sound too good to be true? Well it is not just me who is drunk on New Wine:

“We have been going to new wine for 6 years and every year we live under canvas for a week. Not ideal as I am no camper but we go with St Paul’s and the fellowship and friendship far outweighs the discomforts of sharing grassy showers and muddy toilets. Also packing a few bottles of wine never hurts. DSC00038 Our children love going, meeting their friends and enjoying their independence and my teenage sons have now started to help out with the kid’s clubs. Geoff and I enjoy going to seminars (though I have been known to attend zero) and the morning and evening worship is pretty special. There is something awesome about worshiping together with thousands of people.” Anne

“New Wine is a great experience and a real holiday for our family. The children have so much freedom and come and go to their daytime and evening groups as they wish. Every day the children left for their groups full of eagerness and excitement whilst my wife and I were able to spend time together catching up with each other and resting. We also attended some interesting seminars such as ‘how to live a significant life’ and ‘parenting teenagers’. We will be going back for sure. “ Richard

“For me New Wine is a special time of year. Not just because it is an amazing place to worship God but it is also a time I mDSC00004eet up with friends I don’t see very often. Some years when the rain threatens to penetrate my tent I long for my warm bed and am tempted to run to the train station but there is something about New Wine that keeps pulling you back. For me, I think it is the community spirit. I wake every morning to a cheery “hello” despite my sleep deprived grunts and there is never a short supply of food and drink. Just the other morning I woke up to a big jug of fresh coffee that someone had made and left before hurrying off to the early morning 7.15am worship and most days I would be invited to eat dinosaur portions in someone else’s caravan or tent. This year I worked in Pebbles, the kids club for aged 3-4 year olds. Wow! exhausting but really rewarding.” Matt  DSC00002

  So, just a few comments from other New Wine buffs and it seems that once tried, the taste for New Wine seldom leaves you. In fact I would go as far to say it grows and matures and leaves a wonderful refreshing, spiritual flavour in your life.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Inflatable bananas - find out more!

This month I've tried to download the newsletter - and almost succeeded. Next month I will try to download it in the right page order!
I hope you will enjoy reading about what we are up to using this facility. Feedback will be gratefully received.

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Monday, 9 August 2010

From Youth Club to Vicar School

Daniel's Farewell from the Youth and Children at St Paul's

Daniel Natnael, Youth Pastor at St Paul’s for the past 5 years, is off to Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, to train as a vicar. We said farewell Sunday 8 August, and wished him and his family well in the next stage of their lives.

Together with our gap year students, Afua and Kiran, Daniel and the team have formed a close relationship with local schools such as Kings International College, Collingwood College, and Crawley Ridge Junior School. Amongst their many achievements, the Youth Team led the Gospel choir at Kings, which has been a popular choice for pupils.

We interviewed him for the blog this week, to find out about how he spent his time at St Paul’s.

What was your greatest achievement?

Daniel and his son“After 400+ Freezone & Rock Sessions, 400+ Morning evening youth cell sessions, Equal number of visits to the local schools for assemblies, lessons & detached work, hours of music practices, countless team and committee meetings, 4 youth alpha and confirmation courses, 5 youth baptisms, working with few but committed youth leaders, 11 gap year workers from 8 different nations, 3 different curates, under the leadership of 1 great vicar & being part of 1 amazing Church – you can’t help but witness God doing so many great things. As I write this a song comes to mind - It’s all about you Jesus. “

How do you feel about the next stage of your spiritual journey?

“Well, I am leaving behind not only the church and the young people that I love but also I am leaving behind my 17 years of youth work as well. So, this is a bit of a bereavement time for me. On the other hand I am looking forward to the next stage of my ministry and excited to see where God will lead and what He is going to do. Another thing comes to mind – this time from the bible “Be confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 So watch the space. “

What was your most humorous moment at St Paul’s?

2009_0621FathersDay0025“I am not sure if I should tell you. It is probably better left untold as it could be a bad example for Sarah. “

What lessons have you learned along the way?

2010_0711DanielsLeavingParty0013 “One of my favourite stories in the bible is the story of Moses and his stick. God gave to Moses a monstrous task - ‘deliver Israel out of the land of Egypt. Moses, being only human, felt ill equipped for the task. "What is that in your hand?" God asked. "A staff," Moses replied. He saw no special significance in it. But God demonstrated to him the miraculous potential in that seemingly insignificant staff - something simple and common, turned into a powerful and authoritative tool. When God finished showing to Moses that his staff was an instrument of divine power and authority, it was all he needed to fulfil his task. With that rod Moses defeated the magicians of Egypt, stripped Pharaoh of his power, humiliated Egypt's gods and brought Israel out from slavery to freedom on the edge of the Promised Land.

One of the significant lessons I have leaned along my journey of faith is when God calls he also equips. But sometimes I, like Moses, treat my small and common things as insignificant & simple instead of trusting God’s equipping through them. Another bible verse - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6.

Sorry if I’m sounding like a vicar already. “

The Future

DSC00025Sarah Percival has taken over as Youth Director at St Paul’s, and we wish her a warm welcome.

More on Sarah in a future article.

Youth and Children’s Work

St Paul’s run the following youth and children’s groups, and everyone is welcome, regardless of faith.

  • Freezone – youth club for year 6-8. Thursday & Friday evenings
  • Rock – youth club for year 9+. Thursday & Friday evenings
  • Youth Cells - Sunday discipleship programme for young people
  • Youth Alpha – introduction to the Christian faith for young people
  • Creche – during our Sunday services, a creche is provided for under 3’s
  • Climbers – Sunday group for year’s 1-3
  • Scramblers – Sunday group for children aged 3-4
  • Explorers – Sunday group for year’s 4-6
  • Toddler Group – meet during the week

The annual Glow Party (October), and Duggie Dug Dug (March) events are hugely popular.

For more information on youth and children’s work at St Paul’s, Sarah may be contacted at or telephone 01276 700210.

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