Vicar's update 24th FebruarySteve Newbold1

Wow! Many of us were deeply touched during the 10.30am service yesterday as we moved things around a bit so that we could open ourselves to more of God’s power and love.  I have heard so many testimonies of how people connected with God in a fresh way and if you weren’t able to listen to Mark Tate’s talk I encourage you to do so – it’s available on the website here.  Sam, Caroline and I would love to hear from others about your personal experience.
 
I am grateful that after last week’s appeal we have now received sufficient donations towards the cost of new Bibles for use in church – thank you so very much.
 
This Wednesday (26th), Ash Wednesday marks the start of the season of Lent – a time when we are called to spring clean our spiritual lives.  We have two services that day – 9.30am and 8pm when, as a mark of repentance and a desire to make a fresh start, we are invited to come and receive a sign of ash on our foreheads.
 
Saturday (29th) is our Big Clean and DIY morning.  Can you find just one hour to come and join in, in some way?  Refreshments provided!  Whether it’s removing high level cobwebs, cleaning out cupboards, sweeping leaves or touching up some paintwork we need your help.
 
Some of you will remember the Revd Bryan Wadland who provided a good deal of Sunday Service cover before I arrived in 2009.  Sadly Bryan died on Saturday 8th February at the age of 86.  There is to be a Thanksgiving Service at St Giles Ickenham on Friday 28th February at 1.30pm led by Bishop Pete, following a short funeral service at Breakspear Crematorium at 11am.  All are welcome to either or both services.  
 
 The funeral service for the late Pat Devereux will take place in Church at 12.30pm on Thursday 5th March.

Last year a number of our families and others from our church took part in a morning of food packing at Haven Green Baptist Church when 5,000 meals were packed in less than 1.5 hours for Hand to Hand, a Church-based, community-focused food packing event.  Ealing churches are repeating this on Saturday 21st March at Haven Green Baptist Church.  It is a great opportunity to invite neighbours and friends who are not connected with church to work together to make a difference. Do sign up if you can.
 
This coming Sunday (1st March) we have our usual 9am Traditional service including a post marriage blessing for Judy Craddock and Nick Shippobotham.  At 10.30am it's All Age Worship with the baptism of Reilly Nolan and at 6.30pm (the first of our new monthly pattern) Open to God.  Also on Sunday there is a bring and share lunch for families with pre and school age children.  Please let the office know (admin@ststephens-ealing.org know if you are planning to attend).

Steve