News & Events Feb 2015

Lent CourseLent Course in the Benefice
Each year during the season of Lent, we run a course for all who might be interested.
This year we are looking at some ‘Big Questions’.
Some people have important issues that they would like to be resolved or addressed on a journey towards belief, certain ‘belief blockers’ as they investigate the Christian Faith. Or, some Christians feel ill-equipped to discuss some of the big questions with their non-Christian friends.
Here is a series looking at some of these issues, through a DVD presentation, through which some leading Christian thinkers help to unblock the issues for us, followed by some discussion in smaller groups.
Refreshments are always at hand.
Issues we will look at include ‘Suffering’, ‘Science and Christianity’, ‘Religious Violence’.
When and where? – Helpston Parish Church, Wednesday evenings 7.45pm (finish by 9.15). First meeting will be 25th February.

Persecution In Our Time
According to the Pew Centre for Research, a think tank based in Washington DC, Christians currently face religious oppression in 151 of the world’s countries. This observation complements the declaration by the Barnabas Fund that more Christians were martyred for their faith in the 20th century than in all the preceding centuries put together, and the situation is not improving in our own.
This oppression does not necessarily occur on a large scale. Recent events reported by Barnabas include a raid by Muslims on a Christian church in Uganda where a small prayer group was in session; multiple injuries were inflicted and an 18 year old woman was hacked to death. In Northern Nigeria, Boko Haram has issued letters to pastors telling them they must leave or face the consequences; two pastors were killed on the night of 25-26 August. A pastor in Sri Lanka was attacked in his home by a mob following a prayer meeting; serious damage was caused before  police could be summoned. In Cuba 170 religious freedom violations have been reported in the first half of 2014, many by government authorities. A Chinese pastor has been jailed for twelve years following an attempt to mediate in a land dispute on behalf of disadvantaged groups. In July a church in the Indian state  of Uttar Pradesh was stormed by the militant Hindu organisation Bajrang Dal during a bible study session; the pastor’s young daughter was among those beaten and the cross on the roof was demolished.
The list of injustices throughout the world is endless. In Bahrain a young woman has been sentenced to three years in prison for tearing up a picture of the king. Her sister has been sentenced to one year for “assaulting police officers” in the course of a body search at Bahrain airport. Their father, who founded the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights in 2002, is serving a life sentence, following pro democracy demonstrations in 2011. Another jailed at this time was the founder of the Bahrain Teachers Association. His crime was “inciting hatred of the regime”. Amnesty International are seeking to free both men. Even here religion is a factor; the majority of the population is Shia, the royal family are Sunni. Finally, a citizen of Iran who recently converted to Christianity has been severely tortured by the authorities seeking further names. He has managed to escape and has sought asylum in Britain. His case has been taken up by the charity Freedom from Torture.
In future this column will be headed “Justice and Peace”. In addition, Rev Dave Maylor wishes to give support to forming a group under this title to meet at intervals to share prayers, readings and discussions on this topic which is assuming ever growing importance in our time. Anyone interested in joining the group should please contact Dave or John Tanner on 01780 740216 or via This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Meanwhile here is a prayer commended by the Barnabas Fund:
Almighty God, we pray for Christians and other non-Hindus in India,who have faced increasing pressure and violence since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party gained power on 26 May last year. We pray for the victims of over 600 attacks on Christians and Muslims in the following three months. We ask that you will guide  Prime Minister Modi to ensure that he upholds the religious liberty enshrined in the Indian constitution. Please also guide our Christian brothers and sisters with your wisdom to know how best to respond to the developing situation in a Christ-like way.

The Good News Van
The Good News Van will be coming to Barnack on Tuesday 17th February at 10.30am. All are warmly invited to come to 17 Bishops Walk to view the books and videos available to borrow, and also for a chat and a hot drink. Perhaps even a pancake!! We look forward to seeing you. Pam Mills.

Barnack Community Association
A date for your diary
A Fish and Chip supper and Race Night is being held in the Village Hall on Friday March 13th  at 7:30 to raise funds for the upkeep of the Village Hall.
The Fish and Chips are from the Millstone
Tickets are available at £7.50 from the Post Office.

Barnack Bowls 200 Club
The winners for December are:
44    Pat Barton    £50
90    Reg Thompson    £30
22    Viv Anthony    £30
28    Joan Thompson    £10
And for January

17     George Butcher    £25
 9    Peter Sindall    £15
13    Steve Gyles    £10
I would be grateful if I could have the subscriptions which are still outstanding.
Jill Unsworth

Bainton Pub Night
The next Bainton pub night is on Friday 13th February and is at the Blue Boar, hosted by Rob & Pam.  Normal Bainton pub rules apply, which are bring yourself and  you’re own drinks, glasses, nibbles, etc. Host’s are wanted for pub nights from June onwards. Any questions or queries, contact rob McNeish on 01780 740709

Barnack Community Church
Thank you to everyone who came along to the Charity Christmas Concert, making it such a successful evening.  Thank you also to the school for the use of their hall, which proved to be a really good venue, spacious yet still intimate .  The line –up for the night included songs from Rev Dave Maylor on guitar, Michael Keithson on guitar and keyboard, songs from Community Church singers with great supporting musicans, poems, stories and some readings from letters and recordings made by men involved in the Christmas truce of 1914,  all rounded off with everyone singing carols.   
Through the ticket sales for the concert and offering on Christmas Day we will be sharing £340 between The Phoebe Research Fund and Hope into Action.   The Phoebe Research Fund was set up by Zoe Crowson who lives in Pilsgate.  Zoe’s five year old daughter Phoebe has the rare condition Epidermolysis Bullosa.    
This is an inherited lifelong condition in which the skin is fragile and will blister or shear away with minimal friction or trauma, and it also affects the eyes, mouth and oesophagus.   Very sadly Phoebe has a life threatening form of the disease.  There is no known cure and very little funding for research because the condition is so rare.  The Phoebe Research Fund hopes to help sufferers like Phoebe through funding research into finding a cure.   The money raised by the concert will enable a full day’s research.  For more information visit www.phoeberesearch.co.uk.     
Hope into Action is charity started in Peterborough, now working nationally, committed to enabling churches to house and support the homeless.  For more information visit www.hopeintoaction.org.uk .   Thank you again for coming along to the concert, we hope you had a good time!

Messy Church with the Community Church 
The next Messy Church will be on Sunday 8th February in the School Hall at 4pm, it’s earlier in the month than usual so as to avoid the school half term holiday.    For the first 50 minutes we have lots of themed crafts and fun activities.  Then we sit down together for a short celebration time finding out more about the theme for the month with a bible story and singing some songs, Our God is a Great Big God remains a firm favourite.  An important part of Messy Church is the meal at the end, homemade soups or jacket potatoes are on the menu for the winter months and there are always cakes and some fruit. The mealtime around long tables gives plenty of time for a good chat, catching up with friends and making new ones. Messy Church is great for children and families and all who are young at heart. We really look forward to welcoming you.  To find out more about our Messy Church please call Julie 749123.

Little Lambs
Little Lambs Toddler Group takes place every Tuesday at Barnack Village Hall in school term time from 10am-12pm.  Little Lambs is for mums, dads, grandparents and carers with babies and toddlers from birth to 4 years.  Each session starts off with the hall set out with toys and games, a home play corner, tunnel and slide and rugs to sit on. 
There’s always a great craft activity to share and a jigsaw puzzle table. Midway through the morning tea, coffee and cakes are served around a long table, with a tasty snack of fruit and small cake or biscuit for the children. This is followed by a bible story and song time, which the children all seem to really enjoy.  Then, with the hall cleared, there’s ten minutes or so for the toddlers to let off a bit of steam whizzing round on cars and trikes before going home for a well-earned rest, and hopefully an afternoon nap. 
Little Lambs is a lovely, welcoming place to meet new people, catch up with friends and watch the children discover the fun of playing together. Little Lambs is run by the Community Church – for further details please contact Melanie Clarkson 07792667563.

The Coffee Stop at the Community Chapel
Every Thursday morning at the Community Chapel, Main Street, Barnack 10am to 12.30am, with delicious homemade cakes, scones and toasted teacakes, cafetière coffee or instant if you prefer and a choice of teas, all at very reasonable prices.
The Coffee Stop is held in the back room at the chapel which is looking really welcoming with cheerful tablecloths, flowers and a play corner for little customers.   Our aim is for it to be a friendly, inviting place to meet and relax, a place for making new friends and meeting up with old friends and we are delighted that the Coffee Stop is proving to be so popular.  
The Coffee Stop is for everyone in the village communities to enjoy, do come and give it a try.    Run by the Community Church – please ring Tracy Porter 740663 if you want to find out more.