Stories to lift your spirits
Change lives this Christmas
Rosemary Conley on faith, fitness and success Win chocolate Nativity tree decorations! Hope for those behind bars
Xplore: a mission gap year you’ll never forget
PLUS:I The Word, puzzles,I fun and more!I
Wh not y gi dif fere ve n thi s y tly ear ?
November/ December 2011
Christmas Collection Catalogue from CPO
Our new Christmas Collection is now available Discover a great selection of colourful designs and co-ordinated publicity material – ideal for your Christmas outreach! New Resources include: ❅ Christmas Publicity ❅ Christmas Cards ❅ Posters & Banners ❅ Invitations ❅ Christmas lights ❅ Candles ❅ Outreach tracts and booklets ❅ Children’s Christmas materials ❅ and much more!
To order a catalogue Tel: 01903 263354 or order online at:
Stories to lift your spirits
Make your gifts count this Christmas Welcome to our Christmas issue of Inspire, where we hope you’ll find loads of ideas, encouragement, challenge and stories to make you think! We’ve got lots of options in our Alternative Gift Guide (p18-21), plus some thoughts on how your giving this Christmas can change lives. Why not dive in and give some gifts that really do make the future brighter for someone in need? There’s the inspirational story of fitness queen Rosemary Conley (p4–5), a look at some pioneering local radio work in Marlow (p12-13) and a glimpse behind the scenes at Christians making a difference in the UK’s prisons (p24-25). If one of your youngsters is considering a gap year in 2012, point them at the Church Army’s Xplore scheme (p8-9) for a real challenge. May God bless you and yours this Christmas (and don’t forget to enter our Giveaways – you could land some Nativity chocolate decorations for your tree!) ın Issue
Cha live nge Chriss this tmas
Russ and the Inspire team
Xplor a missie: gap yeaon you’ll r never forge t
W h n di ot gi y ff th eren ve is yea tly r?
on fait nle h, fitn y ess and suc cess Win cho Nativ colate decor ity tree ation s! Hope for those behin d bars
PLUS:I The Wor fun and d, puz more!I zles,I
TO ORDER INSPIRE
Nove Dece mber/ 2011 mber
You can order a regular copy of Inspire for yourself, or a pack for your church (in bundles of 10) either by going to our website – www.inspiremagazine.org.uk and clicking the Order button – or by sending back the form on Page 15. Inspire is distributed free to around 70,000 every month in churches across the UK (readership 200,000), and is funded by partners, advertising and donations. Editor: Russ Bravo :: firstname.lastname@example.org Assistant editor: Sharon Barnard :: email@example.com Designer: Phill Roberts Advertising Sales: Display/Inserts: Paula Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org :: Tel 01903 604342 Recruitment/classified: Sally-Jane Martin email@example.com :: Tel 01903 604339 or firstname.lastname@example.org Printers: Bishops Printers, Portsmouth Cover photo: Shutterstock Order enquiries: Steve Boyce, Barbara Godfrey email@example.com :: 01903 604348. Order: at www.inspiremagazine.org.uk
Contents © Copyright 2011 Publishers: CPO, Garcia Estate, Canterbury Road Worthing, West Sussex BN13 1BW :: Tel 01903 264556 Acceptance of advertising does not imply endorsement Registered in England No. 5298514
4 Big Interview – Rosemary Conley on faith, fitness and success 6 Bits n Pieces – fun, facts and websites to visit 8 Xplore – the challenge of a gap year with Church Army 10 Now a Christian – free online course to help you explore what it means to follow Jesus 12 Community radio – the inspiring story of Marlow FM 14 Flying high – MAF’s airborne help for those others can’t reach 16 The Word – Rob James says if you find faith a rollercoaster ride, you’re not alone 18 Alternative Gift Guide – ideas on how different gifts can change lives this Christmas, and 10 charities to choose from 24 Inside story – Juliet England looks at the Christians taking God’s love to prisoners across Britain 26 Giveaways – we’ve a bumper Christmas treasure chest with great books, worship CDs and chocolate tree decorations that tell the Nativity story 28 Jobs and Classified
31 W oman Alive – why not buy a gift subscription to our sister magazine, the UK’s only monthly for Christian women? www.inspiremagazine.org.uk
ınspıre :: BIG INTERVIEW
God is my
chairman Fitness guru Rosemary Conley tells SANDIE SHIRLEY how God has changed her life, her relationships and her business For Rosemary Conley, the woman who received a CBE for helping to change the nation’s eating and fitness habits, 2011 has been a milestone year. It marks her 40th year in business and her 25th wedding anniversary after God took her from illness to the altar when her life reached rock bottom. Says Rosemary: “God is the chairman of my board of life.” She gave him the reins 25 years ago when she was overweight, seriously ill in hospital and was caught up with selling her house when her job came to an end. To cap it all, the relationship with the new man in her life had also broken down. Rosemary, now 64, needed a spiritual and physical overhaul and it came with a simple prayer. Her life began to be transformed after reading a book about celebrities who experienced lifechanging encounters with God. “I knelt at the side of my bed after I left hospital and asked God into my life, my body and my soul. There were no flashing lights,” remembers Rosemary
who started afresh with a promise from her Saviour that he would take care of her. Within two days she had a visit from her former boyfriend who wanted to restore the relationship. The couple wed four months later, after Rosemary proposed to the man who soon shared her faith. The rest is history – happiness, health and success followed after Rosemary’s hospital stay had dictated a low-fat diet for her serious gall bladder problem. Together with exercise, it heralded a breakthrough which has been the foundation for her business ever since. “I used to eat fat for Britain but my huge hips and thighs were changing shape. Inches of fat were disappearing from this area that had caused me
BIG INTERVIEW ::
My faith has given me … the courage to cope when things don’t go well
constant embarrassment. Now I feel 30 years younger than I am and I want others to be fit and active and able to keep their weight down,” says the fitness queen. Her business empire has helped thousands of women, men and children trim down and tone-up. Her Kids 2 classes are the first of their kind in the UK and aim to build effective eating and exercise strategies for the long-term to help combat obesity. The emphasis is on fun rather than a slimming club explains Rosemary. Practical, motivational advice, quizzes, circuit training, meal planning and preparation are taught during the sixweek course for parents together with their children.
In December 2001 Rosemary was the first woman to be granted the Freedom of the City of Leicester and she gives six talks a year about the faith that has fired her quest to help others. She is also patron, trustee and fundraiser for Steps, a unique charity supporting youngsters with motor learning difficulties and their families in the East Midlands. Rosemary became involved from the beginning after her vicar’s grandson was born with cerebral palsy. The little boy’s life turned around when he visited Hungary with his family for expensive conductive education to develop his motor skills. Today those benefits are available through a purpose-built centre near Rosemary’s home at an annual cost of £200,000. www.rosemaryconley.com www.stepscentre.org,
Rosemary has written more than 30 books and produced as many fitness videos. Her business includes a flourishing diet and fitness club franchise, online slimming club and an internet television channel, while producing a regular magazine and mail-order calorie controlled meals that also cater for vegetarians. Beauty and fitness products and a range of cookware are available too, helping devotees maintain the healthy principles at home. “I have responsibility in a complicated arena to tell a straightforward message of eating less, eating healthily and looking after your body,” says Rosemary. It began 40 years ago when she formed her first slimming club in the 1970s with a group of overweight ladies in her kitchen. She juggled her expanding business with a secretarial job but the pressure resulted in the break-up of her first marriage. Now her business has made her a respectable household name among the slim-conscious public with 165 franchises running almost 2,000 diet and fitness classes every week in the UK. Her company has also twice won the British Franchise Association’s Franchisor of the Year as well as other awards for business acumen. “My faith has given me the patience and ability to cope with the challenges and opportunities and the courage to cope when things don’t go well. “God has stuck me together with super glue when I went through a tough, challenging time with my marriage 10 years ago. I surrounded myself with godly things – Bible tracks, Christian music – and focused on God,” explains Rosemary who believes her marriage is now stronger than ever. “As a Christian, the Holy Spirit gives me a strong sense of what is right and wrong,” she emphasises. www.inspiremagazine.org.uk
ınspıre :: BITS ’N’PIECES STATS
Lyfe/Bible Society have been working with Renovaré to produce new discipleship resources for small groups. See www.lyfe.org.uk
Whilst we all try to be polite, most of us have some experience of forcing a smile upon receiving an unwanted gift. It seems we are a nation stuck in a never-ending cycle of buying for the sake of it, and receiving useless presents in exchange, according to Smartbox (www.smartbox.co.uk). To support the launch of their new range of lifestyle gift experiences, powered by Time Out, a survey of 845 people revealed that: Receiving • 44% of people have returned a gift that was bought for them, with Londoners being the most likely to do so • 40% prefer to choose their own gifts • Top of the list of the worst present received was clothing (particularly socks, ill-fitting pants and hosiery) • 84% said that an expensive gift would not mean more to them, with 95% claiming they’d prefer a gift that’s thoughtful, regardless of cost Giving • 47% don’t feel their gifts are always truly appreciated • 66% often spend more on a gift than they had hoped to, with a shocking 42% admitting they often spend more than they can afford
A man was terribly overweight, so his doctor put him on a diet. “I want you to eat regularly for two days, then skip a day. Then eat regularly again for two days, then skip a day. “Repeat this procedure for two weeks. The next time I see you, you should have lost at least five pounds.” When the man returned, he shocked the doctor by having lost nearly 60 pounds. “Wow, that’s amazing!” the doctor said. “Did you follow my instructions?” The man nodded. “I’ll tell you though, I thought I was going to drop dead on the third day.” “From the hunger, you mean?” asked the doctor. “No, from the skipping.” www.mikeysfunnies.com
I enjoy reading Inspire, which is passed on to me by my friend at Kingswood Methodist Church – and doing the crossword! Betty Hinch, Corby
We love Inspire
iPhone developer David Fox and designer James Sparkes have created an app that promotes safer travel. Travellers relay their journey to selected friends via the www.safejourneyapp.com or by using the free SafeJourney Tracker app. Go Genie (www.gogenie. org) is aiming to ensure as many places as possible are rated for requirements such as disability access, family friendliness, induction loops etc. Developed after intensive consultation with disabled people.
ınspıre :: MISSION
A year on the ed Church Army’s gap year scheme www.xplore.org.uk is a great way for 18 to 25-year-olds to learn about the challenge of modern mission, explains Programme Leader NEVILLE BARNES
Xplorer, Winnie Amoaku, taking part in a mission placement
What the Xplorers say Tim Cottingham, 21, from Wigton in Cumbria, graduated from Xplore in July 2011. Here he reflects on his time in Romania: “For the whole team, the experiences we shared in Romania were some of the most incredible times of our entire training period. “Our exposure to the poverty and injustice of life in Romanian villages was a massive blessing, and has allowed the Holy Spirit to further dislodge us from our love of the world. “There is only so much that classroom tuition
and biblical theory can teach us. While our studies provided a solid foundation of understanding, it was our time in Romania that made bringing the Kingdom of God a tangible reality. “Most days were spent outside clearing land and digging trenches for water supplies. My aching back at the end of the day was a great reminder of the call to offer each day as a sacrifice of worship. “I also had the opportunity to work with people in the ghetto in the city of Arad where I
XPLORE isn’t just another gap year – it will impact the rest of your life! We are looking for young adults who want to be motivated, trained and equipped for relevant 21st century mission and who want to live their lives to the full for Jesus. The programme starts with a sixweek placement in Romania where the Xplorers work among some of the poorest people in Europe and learn what it really means to live as a mission community. They will get involved in practical outreach such as building projects,
got involved in youth work, a local school and visited families.” Felicity Pennington, 21, from Norfolk, also graduated from Xplore in July 2011 and spent a large part of her year working with vulnerable homeless women at Church Army’s Marylebone Project in London: “Spending time at The Marylebone Project as a Community Enhancement Volunteer was a real honour. I was given the opportunity to
youth and children’s work and spending time with families. On returning to the UK and Ireland they are then placed with an experienced Church Army Evangelist at a mission base. These bases are located throughout the country and work with people on the edge of society who have little or no experience of church. Alongside these practical placements, the Xplorers receive teaching which will help them explore the Bible further, understand what it means to live in community in a broken world and discover what it means to make disciples of Jesus. Church Army’s Chief Executive, Mark Russell, who spent 10 years in youth work, said: “I am very excited about Xplore. As a youth leader I was always looking for gap years that would transform young people for mission. That’s exactly what Xplore is about!” If you would like to apply for Xplore or to find out more, please visit www.xplore.org.uk, call 08445 853575 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
work in all areas of the project, including the day centre and residential centre. “I helped to organise activities for the women that included coffee mornings and discussions about faith and spirituality. I also really enjoyed working with a project called Sweet Notions, which reaches out to deprived women through jewellery-making workshops. “Xplore really helped me learn who I was in relation to God and how to live as a Christian outside a family context.” www.inspiremagazine.org.uk
ınspıre :: MISSION
…but what next? More than 1,500 people have taken part in Church Army’s Now a Christian course since it was launched in 2009. HANNAH GRAY finds out more Now a Christian is a free online course which has been specially designed to help people explore the basics of Christianity and what it means to follow Jesus. It is particularly helpful for those who have recently become Christians or who want to re-engage with their faith. People can sign up by visiting the Now a Christian website and they will then receive an e-mail every day for five weeks that will help them make their own decisions about the Christian faith. The e-mails also deal with everyday concerns about living as a Christian and include some really encouraging Bible verses. At the end of each week,
people are invited to record their thoughts on an interactive website. ‘Adam’, who recently completed the course, said: “I have found Now a Christian to be really helpful. The e-mails I have received are wellwritten and really make me think about my faith and my relationship with Jesus. I have now started to go to a local church. The e-mails from Now a Christian have been very important to me.”
To sign up for Now a Christian or for more information, please visit www.nowachristian.org If you would like to receive some literature to promote Now a Christian please e-mail email@example.com or telephone 0300 123 2113.
RESPITE CARE W
offers a break to individuals and their caregivers.
e cosset the individuals and their caregivers can go on holiday, or simply relax at home, knowing their special person is enjoying life and the company of others, and is in the very best hands.
I enclose a cheque in appreciation and thanks for your magazine that is distributed to and read by our members. Steve Price, Bishop Latimer United Church, Winson Green, Birmingham I am in prison at HMP Wandsworth and I find your magazine, which I get from the chaplaincy here, very inspirational and encouraging. Obi Dominic, HMP Wandsworth
We love Inspire
Inspire lives up to the title, and is very encouraging – thank you! Russell Elson, Colchester We really enjoy and value the contents of Inspire and appreciate your policy of not having a cover price. Ken Sutcliffe, Bingley Baptist Church, West Yorkshire We do appreciate Inspire – it is used well! May the Lord bless you and the work you are involved in. Derek and Muriel Draper, Christchurch, Dorset
Quebec Hall is a Christian Home providing personal care and accommodation for up to 20 older people. The Hall is an attractive Georgian building on the outskirts of Dereham, a market town in Norfolk, which offers a wide range of facilities. Within the grounds, there are 44 bungalows offering sheltered housing. The management and staff of Quebec Hall aim to provide a secure home-from-home atmosphere with personal care and attention. Above
Reg. Charity No. 251535
all, they wish the Home to be one in which the love of God is readily apparent through the care shown. l l
All rooms are en-suite Passenger lift or Stannah chair lift to provide access to all floors All dietary requirements are met Bungalows fitted with emergency call points Day care is available A wide range of activities are provided Links with local churches
For further information, please contact Mark Woodgett (General Manager) or Karen Vertigan (Head of Care). Alternatively, please visit our website, where you will also find pictures of the Home, the bungalows and the picturesque grounds.
To enquire about availability, email. firstname.lastname@example.org or go online at www.pilgrimsfriend.org.uk or telephone 0300 303 1400
You can choose from a range of locations – from the beautiful countryside of Wellsborough, to the fresh seaside air of the Essex Coast,(Ernest Luff Homes) to the ancient port town of Plymouth (Bethany Christian Care Home).
ınspıre :: RADIO
by radi There are many creative ways to impact your local community – and setting up your own radio station is just one of them, as Sue Morton found out from Marlow FM’s Tim Ashburner
WHEN TIM decided to set up a trial community radio station in his local church hall, some people thought he was mad, while others thought him very brave. Nevertheless, with a transmitter on the church spire and a short term licence, he went ahead with his venture and Marlow FM was born. He was more than qualified for the job. “I’ve always been fascinated by radio,” says Tim. “I used to be a sound supervisor on the BBC radio news Today programme and worked on Radio 4’s The World Tonight. Eventually I left with two colleagues and we set up our own radio transmission business. “I discovered that Marlow was not officially covered by any radio station so I sent out e-mails and held
a meeting in the church hall. Lots of people turned up, signed up to do different jobs and it went from there.” Drawing people together and building community was at the heart of Tim’s plan for the radio station. The town of Marlow, Buckinghamshire where he lives and attends the Methodist Church with his wife Tina and children Lucy and James, is situated on the River Thames, west of London. Many commute to work and may not know their neighbours and there are often newcomers in the town. Tim studied the demographics of Marlow and ensured that he knew his audience. As a Christian, he wanted Marlow FM to have some Christian input while catering for as much of the community as possible.
io “Lots of people turned up, signed up to do different jobs and it went from there”
“I didn’t set out to make it a Christian radio station, but I didn’t think it would be too much of an issue to have religious content. Also, as a community project the church is heavily involved and to me it was important to have a project that had the full support of the church.” So, in Tim’s breakfast interview slot, rubbing shoulders with local celebrities such as Olympic rower Sir Steve Redgrave, Shakin’ Stevens and television presenter Paul Ross, were members of local churches explaining how Christians were at work in the community or involved in mission overseas.
He also dropped in some Christian music alongside secular songs and introduced Thought for the Day which proved highly popular with Christians and non-Christians alike, with contributions being read live by volunteers from local churches. “We peaked at 4,500 listeners!” says a delighted Tim. The radio station became the topic of conversation in the town as his enthusiasm helped others to catch the vision for Marlow FM. Many became involved from postmen to primary school children. An Asian dance show preceded a Christian Youth Club slot, local mums read a book at bedtime, while the newsagent reviewed the papers. Not only did one in 10 people in Marlow tune in, but also the listening community spread to Spain, America and Hungary via the internet and Sky. However, the 28-day project was not without its difficulties: initially, filling airtime was a problem; another challenge arose when a storm affected the satellite dish on the church hall. Tim remained unruffled: “In between records – I put on two or three at a time – I was getting a ladder on the roof in the pouring rain to try to get the dish back on.” The project was also expensive. It cost about £5,000, which so far Tim has financed himself. However, he is already looking ahead to the coming year when he hopes to continue Marlow FM on a full-time basis, planning increased Christian content. “There would probably be a Christian music show and, on a rotational basis, Sunday mornings could be given over to broadcasting a live church service,” he says. And for others considering setting up community radio, Tim’s message is clear: “Be bold. Do it!” www.inspiremagazine.org.uk
ınspıre :: MINISTRY
Medicines, supplies, food and people reach some of the most isolated places on earth thanks to Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF). EMMA STEWART reports EVERY DAY, pilots from aviation charity MAF bring ‘precious cargo’ – aid workers, missionaries, food and medical supplies – to some of the world’s most vulnerable people living in remote communities, as well as responding to medical emergencies.
Nyapieth is just one of many who are here today because of the work of people like the nurses from Medair and the pilots who flew in supplies. Snakes are not something we have to think about much in the UK, but in Papua New Guinea (PNG) where snakes
With war, insecurity and poor or no infrastructure affecting travel overland, small aircraft are often the only way to reach many areas across the developing world. They can land on basic airstrips or on the top of mountains and fly over jungles. They can cross rivers – land on them even. With them, MAF is reaching the unreachable. MAF is responding to disasters, not just those that make the headlines but also to ongoing disasters that are rarely reported by the world’s media. Kala-azar – a deadly disease that attacks the liver – broke out in parts of South Sudan. Relief and development organisation Medair needed supplies to treat the growing number of patients. Nyapieth was carried by villagers to the clinic on a stretcher, unconscious. She had severe bilateral pneumonia and Kala-azar. For weeks she lay on the dirt floor of the clinic in a makeshift shelter. She had antibiotics, IVs, nutritional support, Kalaazar treatment and physio. Gradually she relearnt to walk and now she is restored to a beautiful smiling girl ready for the challenges that face millions of South Sudanese every day.
are common, it is vital to be within reach of medical care and antivenom. However, the terrain makes travel overland extremely challenging, sometimes taking days to walk to the nearest facility. Planes are a lifeline in an emergency. Last year in PNG, the MAF team flew more than 495 medical emergencies including dealing with several snakebite incidents. If you’d like to know more about MAF and how you can be involved, please go to www.maf-uk.org or call 0845 850 9505.
Saving time and lives
Planes are a lifeline in an emergency
Order Inspire – FREE for churches!*
If this is the first issue of Inspire magazine you’ve come across – welcome!
Change lives this Christmas Xplore: a mission gap year you’ll never forge t
on faith, fitnes s and succe ss Win choco late Nativity tree decoratio ns!
W not hy diff give this erentl year y ?
PLUS:I The Word, puzzle fun and more!I s,I
Hope for those behind bars
November/ December 2011
We’re hugely encouraged with the continued growth of Inspire – since our launch in March 2006 with a circulation of 50,000, we have grown to around 70,000 copies monthly, entirely because of demand. Every day, new churches and individuals join our readership, and tell us how they find Inspire a great mix in both encouraging them with stories of God at work, and challenging them to make a difference where they live. Published by CPO, and funded by partners, advertising and donations, it’s been our vision from day one to produce a magazine that is good news, telling the stories you don’t always hear of changed people, churches, and communities. From what you’re telling us, we’re delivering that. Find daily updated news on www.inspiremagazine.org. uk as well as stacks more content not in the magazine. You can also find us on Facebook (Inspire Readers Group) and Twitter (http:twitter.com/inspirenews)! *We do encourage churches to consider an annual donation towards our postage costs. Russ Bravo Editor
Give hope to someone this Christmas
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lift your spirits
ınspıre :: THE WORD
Deciding to follow Christ eventually cost Peter his life. But what a life! says ROB JAMES I HAVE no idea what was going through Stanley Ann Dunham’s mind when she was lying on her hospital bed in Hawaii in August 1961, but I am pretty confident that she wasn’t thinking: “I am about to give birth to the 44th President of the United States”. In a similar way it is difficult to believe that Simon Peter’s mother thought her son would spearhead a movement that would last for 2,000
years, or that he would end his days on a Roman cross. I hardly think these were on Peter’s agenda when he was growing up either. But it all changed the day that a young prophet from Nazareth asked Peter to drop everything and follow him. Peter did, but it proved something of a roller coaster ride until he finally came to see that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah.
Reading Mark 8:27-38 John 21:15-22 Isaiah 9:1-7
Prayer Thank you Father for all you have shown us and done for us through your Son. Help us to follow you trusting that: “From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny”.
THE WORD ::
Peter, understandably, had been slow to catch on. Jesus didn’t fit the bill; he simply didn’t live up to popular expectations. But by the time they arrived in Caesarea Philippi, Peter had become convinced that the young man from Nazareth was none other than the one the prophets had predicted.
Countless Christians have been willing to walk in Peter’s footsteps And Peter’s learning experience didn’t end in Caesarea Philippi. There was so much more to discover about the charismatic preacher who had been born in a manger. In fact it began immediately when Jesus told him that he would end up rejected and crucified. Peter couldn’t accept that at first, but he eventually came to see that the cross was not a sign of defeat or failure but all part of God’s plan. By then, Peter had discovered that it was the only way God could forgive his, and our sins. Peter could be a very impetuous man. He showed this when he assured Jesus of his undying loyalty but, much to his dismay, he failed, abysmally.
However, just a few days later Peter discovered that ‘the Son of David’ still loved him and wanted to use him. Peter grasped the opportunity with both hands, but by then he had learned a lesson in humility from the one who was willing to humble himself unto death, even death on a cross. Peter came to see that the Holy Spirit who had come upon the Virgin Mary, and then anointed her son can empower us too. As a result Peter ‘the failure’ became Peter ‘the preacher’ and Peter ‘the healer’. Even more amazingly ‘the wimp’ became ‘the willing martyr’ when he was executed in Rome several decades later. Jesus knew that would happen of course, and had shared it with him years before it happened, albeit cryptically. For, as they walked along the lakeside, Peter discovered that the one who was born in a manger can not only save his people from their sins but can also ask them to walk a very costly path. And ever since then, countless Christians have been willing to walk in Peter’s footsteps because like him they have been convinced that: “The government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His ever-expanding peaceful government will never end. He will rule forever with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David” (Isaiah 9:6-7 New Living Translation).
Buy a gift and change a life
ınspıre :: ALTERNATIVE GIFT GUIDE
Here are some ideas to help you really make someone’s Christmas AS BELTS get pulled in even tighter this year, most of us will be giving our Christmas present list a trim and looking at imaginative ways to make our money go just that little bit further. More and more charities are encouraging their supporters to buy an alternative gift – anything from a mosquito net or a chicken to a week’s worth of school dinners, or even the contents of a school classroom – for those who would otherwise go without. And those who will be benefiting could be in a poverty-hit, far-flung part of the world, or closer to home in a deprived inner city area in the UK. Instead of battling your way round the shops or going to your favourite online store for your pressies, here are five good reasons for buying an alternative gift this Christmas:
Find a charity or charities that produce an alternative gift catalogue. Request a copy or visit the gift section on their website. Your purchases can be made by phone, post or online. Simple.
There’s something to suit all budgets
Whether you want to spend £5 or £500, you will find something that will help someone.
Why not ditch the family Christmas tree presents or office Secret Santa this year and all pitch in to buy a gift that will bring cheer to an elderly shut-in, feed a hungry family or encourage the persecuted?
There’s no waste
We’ve all given – and received – those presents that were funny or useful for five minutes but if we’re honest were a waste of cash. Buying an alternative gift means your money really will be well spent.
It shows you’ve given some thought
We all love to unwrap a present – and there’s no reason to stop exchanging gifts on Christmas Day of course – but maybe your Aunty would much prefer to know that you’ve contributed towards vaccinations for a child in Africa than that pair of Jingle Bells slippers that she’ll never wear.
It makes a big difference
In exchange for a small amount of money, you can put a meal on a table, give a hard-pressed carer a night off, or contribute to the health and wellbeing of an entire village. Now that’s got to be worth every penny.
ALTERNATIVE GIFT GUIDE ::
Barnabas Fund Barnabas Gifts: Gifts of Love for the Persecuted Church Barnabas Gifts tells the untold story of what God is doing through key ministries supported by Barnabas Fund, which transform the lives of Christians suffering discrimination and persecution for their faith. Our catalogue offers alternative gifts to feed needy families, help prisoners and victims of violence, send disaster relief, train leaders, provide Bibles and literature, and educate Christian children. Order your free copy from www.barnabasfund.org or phone 024 7623 1923
Crisis Centre Ministries run three projects in Bristol aimed at helping homeless people and drug-addicts break the cycle and show God’s love to them. Our projects serve over 80,000 free, hot meals, help hundreds of people into supported accommodation, run retraining courses to help clients find employment and serve food parcels to those who’ve had their benefits cut. We are supported by Churches across Bristol, with
over 250 volunteers from those Churches helping us. Please donate to help us keep our doors open all year round and be a testament to God’s love and mercy. For more information please contact us on: www.crisis-centre.org.uk, firstname.lastname@example.org or 0117 330 1230.
RAHAB: An outreach ministry to women involved in prostitution in the city of Plymouth.
Rahab, 6 Ermington Terrace, Plymouth PL4 6QG Tel: 01752 265369 Mob: 07539 222212 www.keychange.org.uk
Your offering this season would symbolise God’s amazing Grace, bring light in the midst of a city’s red light area and touch a broken heart: Just £8 would provide a Christmas gift for one woman, £10 enable an outreach evening to take place, or £10 for a jewellery-making starter kit. Your donation will make a difference.
MECO UK and Ireland Improve the health of a collector in Garbage City, provide a sewing machine to help earn a living, pay a child’s school fees ... MECO works with the poorest of the poor in the Middle East showing God’s love to all. See the back cover of this issue of Inspire and this Christmas Give a Gift through MECO that can change lives! T: 01892 521541 E: email@example.com W: www.aboutmeco.org
Set an extra place at your table this Christmas Set space at the table for the hungry through just christmas. By spending less on gifts and giving to those in real need, your family, friends and church can rediscover the timelessness of generosity and compassion. Choose life-giving presents from hot meals for the elderly in East Europe, feeding someone suffering from AIDS in Asia or providing emergency food relief in East Africa. www.justchristmas.om.org Operation Mobilisation UK The Quinta, Oswestry SY10 7LT 01691 773388 www.inspiremagazine.org.uk
:: ALTERNATIVE Inspire AD_Layout 1 GIFT 21/10/2011 GUIDE11:28 ınspıre
Be alongside people with dementia How do you “touch” someone with dementia or help create a “magic moment”? MHA aims to improve the quality of life for older people, inspired by Christian concern. Recognised for our specialised Dementia Care, our “Keeping in Touch” booklet could help anyone caring for a friend or loved one with dementia.
Order your FREE copy on 0113
272 8482 For more information about us visit www.mha.org.uk
Mercy Ships Mercy Ships - the hospital ship charity. Take the stress out of Christmas and surprise your friends and family with a unique and inspiring present from our Gifts of Hope catalogue. Transforming a life doesn’t cost much. Just £9 can provide sunglasses for three people who’ve received eye surgery aboard our hospital ship. Or how about the gift of a new smile through cleft lip surgery for just £40. Order online today at www.charitycardshop.com/mercyships or call 01438 727800 for a free catalogue.
Put a smile on everyone’s face this Christmas, with the Samaritan’s Purse giving catalogue. We have over 20 great gifts to choose from, including a water filter made personal and gift vouchers that let your friend or loved one choose. We promise each gift will make a big difference to some of the poorest people in the world. Visit www.givingcatalogue.org.uk or phone 020 8559 1180 to request a copy. Help struggling Christians in the Middle East and North Africa to stand firm in their faith. Enable seekers to find spiritual truth. Provide new believers with discipleship. You can make all this possible by purchasing a gift from SAT-7’s alternative gift catalogue. Through your generosity SAT-7 will be able to continue broadcasting life-giving Christian programmes directly into the homes of millions of Arabic, Farsi and Turkish speakers across the Middle East and North Africa. Small gift. Big impact! Visit http://gifts.sat7.org.
Give a life-changing gift this Christmas You can give a unique gift to your loved ones this Christmas and help change a homeless person’s life. Our Give where it counts gift brochure offers ‘alternative’ gifts that show you care. From helping us give someone a safe warm bed and a healthy new start to helping us give a dog a home, your gift will make a real and lasting difference. Visit www.mungos.org/gifts or call 0208 600 3000 for your free brochure
ALTERNATIVE GIFT GUIDE ::
How you can make a
A few ways to make your cash count this Christmas …
A £10 donation to Barnabas Fund A financial gift will enable the •www.barnabasfund.org •Christian could provide charity Crisis Centre Ministries a ‘gift of love’ in the shape of a 25kg sack of wheat flour to feed a family in Ethiopia for a month. £9 will enable Mercy Ships to provide UV blocking sunglasses for three people following precious eye surgery. For a copy of their Gifts of Hope catalogue go to www.charitycardshop. com/mercyships A donation to Keychange www. keychange.org.uk will help the charity’s ministry Rahab to reach out to women involved in prostitution in the city of Plymouth. SAT-7 broadcasts to remote areas, to people who are far from any church. Your £10 could help SAT-7 reach 10 people with God’s love. Go to http:// gifts.sat7.org for further information.
www.crisis-centre.org.uk to continue its vital work helping homeless and drug-addicted people in Bristol. A gift of just £9 to Samaritan’s Purse International Relief will buy a Ugandan child a school uniform, paper, and stationery. For more ideas take a look at their Giving Catalogue at www. givingcatalogue.org.uk Click and donate online at www. justchristmas.om.org to give a boost to Operation Mobilisation’s work helping to feed those in desperate need. £10 will help St Mungo’s support a homeless person (and their dog) as they recover from the traumas of homelessness. Go to www.mungos. org/gifts MHA provides housing and care for older people. A gift of £15 will buy plants for a sensory garden. Find out more at www.mha.org.uk Have you a heart for the Middle East? Support MECO as they work with Middle Eastern churches and agencies to show God’s love to everyone in this region. For further details go to www. aboutmeco.org All charities appreciate regular donations. Christmas could be a good time to up your standing order if you have one. Or if you don’t often give to charity, find a cause close to your heart and give a monthly gift that will spread some cheer the whole year through.
• • • •
Across 1. Wife’s partner (7) 5. Hairpiece (3) 7. Snapshot (abbr) (5) 8. Variety of fruit (5) 9. Refuse collector (7) 11. Join together, fasten (7) 15. Erect (5) 16. Sixteenth of a pound (5) 17. Moose (3) 18. Sweet course (7)
Down 1. Opposite of sad (5) 2. Abominable ___, yeti (7) 3. Not silently (5) 4. Clock/watch faces (5) 6. Colour for go (5) 10. Afternoon performance (7) 11. Electricity wire (5) 12. Finished, done (5) 13. Spades, rakes etc (5) 14. Opposite of sour (5)) You’ll find the solution in our Extras section at www.inspiremagazine.org.uk
SuDoku SuDoku in Japanese means ‘number-solving’.
6 5 8
You’ll find the solution in our Extras section at www. inspiremagazine. org.uk
How many words of four letters or more can you make from the letters shown here? Each must contain the centre letter, all the others can be used only once. Goal: Superb – 30; Excellent – 26; Well Done – 20; Good – 15
T A I R E G V A T
Puzzles by www.puzzle.tv
The grid is 9x9, but has nine 3x3 mini-grids or ‘regions’ built in. Some numbers, called ‘givens’, are inserted to give you a start. The goal is to fill in the empty cells, one number in each, so that each column and row in the main grid, and each region, contains the numbers 1–9 exactly once.
CARE HOME MANAGER – Brighton
After years of dedicated service, our Brighton care home manager is relocating with her family to another part of the country. She leaves behind a friendly team and an attractive, well run home. Now we are looking for the person God has in mind for the job of home manager. The home in Egremont place, Brighton, is famous for its loving family atmosphere, and Christian ethos. It is home to thirty-ﬁve older Christians; 21 in residential care and 15 in sheltered housing.
the natural choice for churchgoers
It has been extensively refurbished and redecorated, and is a happy place to live and work.
Competitive interest rates |
If you feel God is calling you, you will: ● Be a committed Christian, able to lead
| Inherently ethical |
● Have management or supervisory experience
Comprehensive range of accounts |
in a care setting
● Have good communication skills, able to interact
| Tax free Cash ISAs |
empathetically with residents and relatives, as well as with local authority and regulatory bodies
Open YOur AccOunt tOdAY
Could this be for you? You will be making a vital difference in the lives of the older people God has entrusted to our care. You will be well supported by our head ofﬁce team as well as the home’s own well trained personnel.
0115 921 7250
PLEASE CONTACT: Pilgrim Homes, 175 Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 2AL Tel: 0300 303 1400 Fax: 0300 303 1415 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Savings which directly support mortgages and loans to growing churches and Christian Ministries.
Kingdom Bank Limited, registered in England and Wales No. 4346834. Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Kingdom Bank Limited, Ruddington Fields Business Park, Mere Way, Ruddington, Nottingham NG11 6JS
Pilgrim Homes is part of Pilgrims’ Friend Society
How Christians are supporting offenders as they face up to the consequences of their crimes. JULIET ENGLAND reports
TOO OFTEN, especially with younger offenders, the cycle of crime and imprisonment is hard to break. Today, with 85,000 prisoners in England and Wales facing chronic overcrowding, conditions are harder and services such as education and training are under pressure. The summer’s riots across England have made matters even worse. Against this bleak backdrop, Christian charities are striving to offer support and help to break the cycle of reoffending. Prison Fellowship England and Wales works to transform the lives of prisoners, crime victims and their families.
The organisation’s 1,400 volunteers work to strengthen family relationships, increase victim awareness and bring hope to an often neglected and forgotten sector of society. Its six-week-long Sycamore Tree course helps inmates to appreciate how their crimes have affected them, their victims and their communities. One prisoner who took the course said: “It made me look hard at myself and the way my life is heading. I’ve learned that if you show you are genuinely sorry, there are those who are willing to forgive you.” Prison Fellowship’s Claire Bonham, Head of Volunteering, says: “Under the scheme, a crime victim shares their story, and, once the six weeks are up,
Photos © Prison Fellowship England & Wales
Holding hope for prisoners
“These are the people that Jesus died for”
inmates offer to do something to show they are sorry, and frequently make a commitment to a life without crime.” Often, apologies involve symbolic but powerful acts such as a work of art, or a piece of writing. The organisation also matches prisoners and their volunteers through its letter-writing programme. Those in jail value the link with the world beyond the prison walls. One inmate who has received letters for 11 years said: “A letter means a lot and all the time it has kept me going.” The Angel Tree scheme provides prisoners’ children with Christmas presents from their imprisoned parent. (Family contact during a sentence can dramatically reduce reoffending rates.) Last Christmas, more than 4,500 seasonal gifts were sent, each with a personal message. The partner of one prisoner said: “My son was over the moon with his gift, knowing his Dad had sent it him. He cried. It was just what he wanted.” Prison Fellowship’s Chief Executive Natalie Cronin believes their work is making a difference: “We have a unique contribution to make, something you won’t find anywhere else in the prison system. “Our volunteers hold hope for prisoners, and cheer them along as they change.” Regions Manager Terry Brown said: “As Christians, we have to say that prisoners are not just those who need to be locked away. These are the people that Jesus died for.” Hilary Field is Project Manager of a voluntary, Christian-based mentoring scheme in a young offenders’ institute where around 300 teenagers from across the UK are serving time for a range of offences. The project is based within the prison’s chaplaincy. She explained: “We deal with the
fall-out from the sad emergencies in these boys’ broken lives – from suicide of friends and siblings to fractured families, substance abuse to long years in multiple care and foster homes, to undernourishment.” The statistics are shocking. More than three quarters of the lads Hilary and her team see will find themselves back behind bars within three years. It was this dire figure that inspired the Head Chaplain to start the scheme some three years ago, having realised that the real problem was the lack of a strong, positive role model in the lads’ lives. Since then, more than 40 volunteer mentors have been trained and commit to meet a young offender once a week in prison to get to know him and encourage and inspire him into a new, positive way of life. Weekly meetings continue for up to a year after release. Mentors help with practical tasks such as cooking and shopping, job and college applications and offer emotional support. Hilary adds: “Of course it doesn’t always go that smoothly, especially after release. But when the mentoring relationship works, it works well, and boys’ lives are dramatically changed. “For the first time, a young lad has someone dependable to speak to who won’t let him down. And when someone returns to prison, having had a mentor, they often ask for a second chance, this time with more determination to make it work. “Despite the disappointments, helping just one of them to lead a happier life and make him feel he is worth caring for is a life-changing experience for both mentee and mentor.” For more information go to www.prisonfellowship.org.uk or call 020 7799 2500
32 great giveaways! Every month in Inspire, we give you the opportunity to bag an inspiring book, CD, DVD, tickets – anything we can lay our hands on to give away. Just fill in the form and tick your preference. You never know, you could be a winner!
Elevation (www. elevationmusic.com) have produced a number of praise and worship CDs over the last year including live recordings and instrumentals of classic songs. We are giving away a clutch of albums ranging from Hymn Anthems and Keswick Reflections to Drive Time Worship and Songs of Comfort. 9 CDs Meaningful Chocolate Tree Decorations give people the opportunity to buy an interactive gift that encourages
the telling of the Christmas story. Each box contains a Christmas story card, sticker set and six hand-wrapped quality Fairtrade chocolate decorations. Once completed, the decorations can be hung on the tree as a reminder of the real meaning of Christmas. Only available online at www.meaningfulchristmas. co.uk (price £3.95 and 15p from every sale is donated to Traidcraft Exchange). 12 packs Bazil Meade, the man behind The London Community Gospel Choir (LCGC), can’t read music and plays purely by instinct, but over the years he and the choir have worked with most of the greats from Damon Albarn (Blur) to Diana Ross. A Boy, a Journey, a Dream by Bazil Meade and Jan Greenough (Monarch, £9.99) tells the story of his
poor childhood in the cotton fields of Montserrat, moving to England, and the creation of the longest standing gospel choir in Europe. 6 copies Tell a friend how much they’re appreciated by giving them a copy of A Hug for a Friend (TLM Trading Ltd www. tlmtrading.com, £5). This easy-to-post gift book includes some warm and witty quotes about friendship alongside some stunning photos that are bound to cheer the heart. 5 copies
Title_________________ Name__________________________________________________ Address______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________Postcode______________________________ Tel ____________________________________E-mail_________________________________ Who do you receive Inspire from?_________________________________________________ My church is __________________________________________________________________ My choice:
n Elevation CDs n A Boy, a Journey, a Dream
n Meaningful Chocolate Tree Decorations n A Hug for a Friend
Please return this form to: Inspire Giveaways, CPO, Garcia Estate, Canterbury Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 1BW Closing date: 13 December 2011. The editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. n P lease tick if you would like to receive occasional updates from Inspire and information relating to products
and services from the publisher, CPO. It is our policy to ensure your details will not be disclosed to third parties.
Daily Bible Reading notes for 2012 in one volume 100,000 copies studied around the world It is e v the p ery day a a p Kate ge for the leasure to H d contr ughes (e ay. Thank read dit ib Path utor in m or) and e you fo v y and e r this exc Light for ery our ellen ncou t r ‘the r w a ight p gement t ork o go ath’. A rea der fr
pass year ther w very o n a t ries ho enta not le you I can t telling ur comm ke up a u o ta witho I enjoy y ay. You which d h muc rds for To so often g e in o in W nt attitud erstand d e differ ns my un e p e . e g d in frica think uth A and m So o der fr A rea
se tho nd Bible a e anc the uid ore or g expl f l o a Ide ting t r sta
£8.75 Now £7.75 each inc p&p Please quot e INW11
So m the any f tra confi resh v d n A re ition eme oices .. ade al b nt t r fro ase o a . esca p we mA . ste es ust rn rali a
£3,000 available for new outreach initiative 50 years of Rural Ministries 1962 – 2012
www.christianeducation.org.uk/ibra email@example.com • tel: 0121 472 4242 1020 Bristol Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham B29 6LB
During 2012 Rural Ministries are celebrating 50 years of encouraging churches in the countryside. Grants will be available to help your local outreach and the competition is open to all rural churches. Have you always wanted to commence an activity to spread and share the gospel but funds have been a problem? Up to three grants with a maximum of £3000 each are available to support the most enterprising applications. We are looking for imagination and the ability to see the gospel impact your community. The awards will be presented at a lunch being held in June 2012 to celebrate the work and vision of Rural Ministries. More information and competition rules can be found on the Rural Ministries website: www.ruralministries.org.uk
Closing date for entries is the 1st March 2012 and they are to be sent to Rural Ministries, Wellingborough Innovation Centre, Church Street, Wellingborough NN8 4PD
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holidays – south west
holidays – wales
ALGARVE, PORTUGAL Luxury 3 bed villa (all en-suite) sleeps 6/8. Pestana Golf Resort, Carvoeiro, own pool, BBQ & large garden. Faro Airport 45 mins. Details & brochure: Brian Chambers. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.casa-oleander.co.uk Tel: 02380 265683
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holidays – IRELAND IDYLLIC WEST CORK. Beautiful privately owned self catering properties with sea views and gardens. Personal recommendations to traditional music and restaurants. Discounted ferries. Story book colour brochures. Kathleen 01778 571968 Visit www.daltonsholidays.com quote ad ref 10550
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Acclaimed Bible Tours with Chris Hill, international Bible Teacher and leader of over 84 tours. C L Ministries (01473 311128) Email: email@example.com www.clministries.org.uk
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Colour Brochure + info Phone 01492 878447 Email:
holidays – EAST
OVERSEAS RETREAT Relax and unwind in the countryside of SW France. Self Contained / B&B / half board accommodation available all year. Special rates for long duration. Lourdes and Pyrenees accessible. Owners attend St. Andrews, Pau. www.holidayretreatgersfrance.co.uk Tel. 0033-562090828
CHALET (SLEEPS 6) Nr PADSTOW, CORNWALL Distant sea views. Beaches 2 miles. £150-£350 weekly (including heating). Missionaries special rates. Tel: 01202 253879/ 382598 firstname.lastname@example.org – www.atlanticbaysholidaypark.co.uk
Mobile home fully fitted with shower,kitchen and 2 bedrooms. Excellent amenities on site. Close to Nice, Cannes, Monaco. Good local transport also transport can be arranged from Nice airport. www.psmobilehome.co.uk or phone 01706 601046
(LLANDUDNO) Andrew & Paula offer you a warm Christian welcome, a relaxed atmosphere, Good home cooked food, diets catered for and a high standard of cleanliness overlooking Llandudno bay. All bedrooms are En-suite.
Don’t waste your gap year. Africa Quest the ultimate Africa experience, exciting small team serving poor African churches. Jan to June. www.soapboxtrust.com
holidays – abroad
LITERATURE by Kate Woodman An inspiring story of Kate’s mission trips to Azerbaijan, her strong Christian faith and her battle with leukaemia. www.kate-woodman.blogspot.com Book price £7.50 + £2.50 p&p Email: email@example.com Tel: 0777 985 2112
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Wishing all our customers a very warm Christmas and prosperous New Year from Paula and Sally-Jane
15:38:52 booking and copy deadline for the AD DEADLINE The7/6/11
January issue of Inspire is…
Don't be a lemon, be a pair!
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prisoners on Death Row in the United States, through letter writing. It is the first established organisation of its kind and has members all over the world.
Now we need to recruit a Care Nurse Manager It is a full time job for a registered nurse with the ability to motivate others. When deputising for the Home Manager the Care Nurse Manager will also be responsible for health care assistants and other staff within the home. The person appointed will also be able to nurture the loving care and Christian environment that is so important to our residents. If you feel that God may be calling you and you would like to know more, please contact: Pilgrims’ Friend Society, 175 Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 2AL
Tel: 0300 303 1400 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ROCKINGHAM ROAD BAPTIST CHURCH
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To advertise classified & recruitment contact: Sally-Jane Martin e-mail: email@example.com Tel: 01903 604339 To advertise display contact: Paula Taylor e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01903 604342
If this is a form of service to which you believe the Lord may be calling you, please in the first instance contact the Church Secretary: Mrs Wendy Farey Tel: 01536 412045 between 8.45–11.45 weekdays.
The original magazine for Christian women. herever you are on your faith journey, Woman Alive offers ideas, inspiration W and advice to help you draw closer to God and to live out what you believe Meet women like you every month in the magazine for today’s Christian woman
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Give a Gift through MECO this Christmas and change lives in the Middle East
For 150 years MECO has been working with Middle East churches, spreading the Good News, training, educating and meeting practical needs
Your gift of £20 can improve the health of a rubbish collector in Garbage City, Cairo
A £60 gift for a sewing machine will enable this Egyptian mother to eran an income for her family
A £50 gift to help pay school fees gives poor children in Lebanon a future and a hope
I would like to give a gift to MECO’s work in the Middle East of £ for (please tick) Sewing machines
22 Culverden Park Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 9RA E: email@example.com T: 01892 521541 W: www.aboutmeco.org
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Please make your cheque payable to MECO UK and Ireland. Please mail to MECO UK and Ireland, 22 Culverden Park Road , Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 9RA. A form will be mailed/emailed if you wish to Gift Aid your giving. We would like to keep you informed about the work of MECO. If you do not wish to receive such information please tick this box: Insp11-12/11
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The UK's fastest growing Christian title now goes out to more than 70,000 people in churches all over the UK. Subtitled 'Stories to lift you...