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Issue Issue 33 July-August July-August 2009 2009

Transformed people… transformed lives

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e were immensely privileged to welcome Tony Campolo to St John’s on Sunday 14th June. He‘s a speaker, author, sociologist, pastor, social activist, and passionate follower of Jesus! Over his many years of Christian service, Tony has boldly challenged millions of people all over the world to respond to God‘s boundless love by combining personal discipleship, evangelism, and social justice. Isaiah 65 was the bible passage underpinning his challenging message about transformation, a message which spoke powerfully into our church‘s vision—how transforming our community is not just about social

justice, but about transformation from deep within all of us, in order that we have the heart to bring about the same change in others. ―Christ is here and now. Christ wants to live within you so that through you he can begin to change the world that is, into the world it ought to be.‖ Tony also spoke much about the kingdom of God: ―The kingdom of God is easy to describe – it‘s transformed people living in a transformed world. As it says in the book of James; this is true religion, to visit the fatherless, the widows, and keep oneself spotless from the world. This is part of what‘s involved when the kingdom of God becomes a reality. When God‘s will is done in Egham as it is done in heaven, you won‘t have old people sitting around alone, sad, troubled.‖ The final part of his talk was a challenge to all of us: ―I‘m calling upon you to surrender your life to Christ in the spirit of the living God, so that Christ can enter your life and through you begin to change the world‖ The video of Tony Campolo‘s complete talk can be seen on our church website, www.stjohnsegham.com

Family News!

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aby Gabriel

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IN THIS ISSUE Spotlight on Bible Society p3 Focus on Prayer p4-6 Partnership Profile

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Vision 2012 update

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Mamma Mia Evening

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any congratulations to Matt, Sam and Nancy Harris, on the wonderful arrival of baby Gabriel on 4th June. Sam, who worked part-time in the Church Office, has enjoyed the St John‘s baby meals service featured in the March—April issue of transform. If you‘d like to join the rota to provide these meals, please do contact Heidi Blake via the Church Office.

r and Mrs Wheeler

aturday May 2nd was a glorious day for the wedding of Beccah Beer and Andy Wheeler. The sun shone, and the whole day was filled with music and a celebration of God‘s amazing love and faithfulness. Alan & Sue Beer would like to thank all at St John‘s who were involved in their daughter‘s special day. Beccah and Andy are now living in Byfleet.


Editor‟s Bit The Parable of the Patio

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here was once a humble garden patio. Humble, but still big, stretching round all four sides of a garden. Once, a lovely sandstone colour, over thirty years it had turned black and ugly. transform Editor, Alison Berry But the owners of the garden had got so used to seeing it in its blackened state, they had long forgotten that it could look any different. Then, one day a new owner moved in, looking at the patio with fresh eyes. The owner saw the possible potential of this patio, but was somewhat daunted by the thought of cleaning over four hundred slabs around the garden. Still, the owner decided it was worth under-taking, and set to work with a pressure washer. Some of the task was quite easy, but mostly it was laborious, messy and time consuming, and many times the owner thought there must be an easier way, or that maybe someone else would be better doing it, or about all the other things they could be doing instead. But, the results were spectacular! A complete transformation in fact! From the first slab that was cleaned up, there was a glimpse of what the final effect might be, and when completed, the entire patio was restored to the glory intended by the original creator.....

longs TO SEE RESTORATION AND THE MOST unlovely BECOMING beautiful GOD

Jesus was great at telling stories and using parables to get his point across. Clearly, I don‘t have his skill, but wanted to share this very everyday experience. I can testify to the fact that God speaks through the most ordinary situations – in this case, the patio transformation that I‘ve undertaken at our house recently. As I‘ve undertaken this work, he has shown me a little of what “transforming our community” is all about – how he longs to see a restoration of his original design and about the most unlovely becoming beautiful. There‘s one part I didn‘t include in the ―parable‖. As a bit of fun at the start of the pressure washing, the first thing I did was to spray the names of my three children in big letters on one dirty section. Those were to be the final part to be removed. But the more I looked at the names, I realised that transforming our community isn‘t about changing a faceless place. It‘s more about

transform July-August 09

going under the pressure washer ourselves, and changing to become Christ-centred, to see that our community is made up of people individuals whom God is calling by name, and whom he longs to see changed. The work is tiring, messy, lengthy – but the results will be spectacular, and unlike my patio clean-up, they‘ll be eternal.

about The magazine for members of St John‘s Church in Egham. It is produced bi-monthly, with the aim of helping to connect and build our church family. Its purpose is to provide information and encouragement on church life and our family – specifically to show how God is transforming situations and people. It‘s not designed for people who don‘t yet come to St John‘s. But, if when you‘ve finished reading your copy, you‘d like to pass it on to a friend or neighbour, then that would be great too! Editorial We welcome items for inclusion or ideas for stories. Ideally these should be submitted in an MS Word document, hi -r e s JP G s o r o t h e r e l e c t ro n i c f o r m , a n d s e n t b y e m a i l t o transform@stjohnsegham.com The team transform is edited by Alison Berry, with the support of a wider team; Laura Beattie, Naomi Page and Anne-Maria Roshier. Original magazine layout and design was by Richard Jack. Many of the photos are thanks to the talent of David Charlwood and Sheila Wattley. Advertising We accept adverts each issue both from within the church family, and a small number of external advertisements. Acceptance of any advertising is at the discretion of the editing team, and the acceptance of an advertisement in transform magazine is not necessarily an endorsement by the editorial team of the service or product offered. Deadlines The deadline for submissions to be considered for the next edition of transform (September / October 2009) is 1st August.

Banoffe M

ost of our own homes contain at least two or three Bibles and it is hard to imagine not being able to pick one up and read it whenever we want. But this was not always the case – many of us have heard the story of Mary Jones, a fifteen year old Welsh girl who saved for six years before she walked twenty -five miles to buy her own Bible. Thomas Charles, the man who sold her a Bible, was inspired by Mary. Her story inspired a vision of God's word being made available all over the world. Four years later, on the 7th of March 1804, the Bible Society was launched. During that first year they completed their first Scripture translation – the gospel of John into the Canadian Indian Mohawk language. Since then parts of the Bible have been translated into over 2,000 languages, an impressive feat. However, more than 4,500 languages still lack even one book and only three per cent of languages have the Bible in audio form, despite the fact that a billion people in the world can't read.

Egham Residents Association

Saturday 29th August 7.30—11pm at The Members Tent, Egham Royal Show, Whitehall Lane, Egham

Tickets including fish & chip supper are priced at £12 for adults and £6 for children are available from:

Sian Williams 01784 439744 Jim Pearcy 01784 432805

Can you help?

Thank you to all our advertisers

We need a designer for

this issue!

Please always mention Using Microsoft Publisher to produce the magazine‘s artwork ready for printing every two months. If you‘re interested, or for more information please email transform@stjohnsegham.com

When replying to advertisements!

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Supporting Mission

ee Pie and Bibles St Johns has been supporting the Bible Society for many years, and many of our members support it through the Bible a Month Club. Just £4 is the cost of providing a Bible in someone's own language. For that amount you could buy a box of chocolates, a ready meal or a cheap DVD from Tescos. Or you could send a Bible halfway around the world to become someone's most treasured possession. If you become a Bible Society supporter you will also receive a prayer letter six times a year. You can also support prayerfully – thank the Lord for his goodness, for the worldwide work over the last 200 years and for the Bible. Also pray for God's protection over the Bible Society staff around the world; for His provision for our needs, and that we know and are obedient to God's will. A picnic lunch is being held in the church on July 19th at 1pm, after the 11 o'clock service. Drinks and desserts will be provided (maybe even some banoffee pie!), bring your own blanket and sandwiches! Information about the Bible Society will be shown on the screen so this will be a fun way to find out more about how you can get involved. Information can also be found at http://www.biblesociety.org.uk/.

An AIDS widow in Tanzania receiving a precious family bible

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set

Mission Unwrapped

you free.” John 8:32

St John‘s very own alternative gift catalogue. Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, baptisms...all special occasions, and the chance to give a gift. Use Mission Unwrapped to give a gift that will change a life. For the better, and forever. A selection of gifts, which supports the full range of the church‘s Mission Partners.

£4 is all it costs to provide a Bible in someone's own language. Come along to the Bible Society picnic lunch on Sunday 19th July to see how you can be part of the Bible a Month Club

This year‘s children‘s holiday club August 24-28th 2009 It‘s not too late to come and be part of it! For more information on how to be involved, please contact Rachel Upcott on rachel@stjohnsegham.com

Available as printed catalogue, and also all the gifts can be bought through the church website www.stjohnsegham.com Printed gift cards are available.

‘Restoring the Soul in your Garden’

Garden Design, Planting Makeovers, Consultancy, Gardening

Faith Hair Designs Joe McGowan is a Wella Academy trained, fully qualified hair stylist, based in Egham. For an appointment please call Joe on: 01784 434913 quoting “transform” for a free conditioning treatment. Joe@FairhHairDesign.co.uk

transform July— August 09

Do you need help creating your dream garden? Restoring one that’s seen better days? Want an inspirational garden, but don’t know where to start? Sheila Wattley HND in Garden Design, RHS Hampton Court Show Garden experience and qualifications in Horticulture.

Tel: 01784 479147 Page 3


Focus on Prayer Children and Prayer

If we haven’t taught our children to pray, what have we taught them? (Anon)

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thought provoking quote! We all have that perfect image of a praying child -- closed eyes, folded hands, peaceful expression – but that‘s probably not the most helpful image! Encouraging children to pray is an important challenge to parents. It can be a privilege and a joy to pray with children especially since they often don‘t have the same concerns about praying aloud as adults. The style of prayer can be very simple - the key is to encourage our children to talk to God, to bring their concerns to Him, and to enjoy spending time with Him. Children can use their own words God doesn't demand well constructed sentences and fine poetry, so 'Hello Jesus' is a great opening. Here are some more prayer ideas :

A brief mealtime prayer before eating together. Even a simple prayer such as ―Thank you for our food, Amen‖ means that very young children can join in . Bedtime prayers – simply asking your child what they would like to say thank you to God for today – then praying a one sentence prayer together. Conversational praying can be a very natural way of including God in our conversations. It‘s simply very short prayers without the Amens, e.g. Mum : "Thank you Lord that Granny is feeling better", Sarah "Yes, and we pray that she'd continue to feel stronger each day.", Jim "Help us to remember to phone her each day", Dad : "and we ask that you would be with her." News Prayer - Pray together as a family after watching a news summary. This is an easy way to start praying for broader world issues, and can encourage children and young people to develop a practical concern for God's world. Example - do your children ever see you praying as you go throughout your day? As Christ was our example, parents are called to be Spirit-led models for their children. Start off by saying prayers for your children, while they listen. Soon they will be praying for you, while you listen.

Ask… and You Will Receiv

Naomi Page shares her experiences of being part of a t time praying than just about any thing else….

Anyone at Besom will tell you that prayer is what keeps it going. With goes on there could be accomplished. Here are just a couple of instanc and encouraging us by it.

A few of the team were praying for cutlery one Tuesday afternoon. The mismatched spoons and someone had asked for a set. Thursday mor spoons languished on the shelf. But among the items the van had brou we found a set of cutlery in a tray. Fantastic – God had answered th there. Someone dropped by halfway through the day with another set – in the afternoon two more complete sets were found. We started the da by the end God had provided even more than we'd asked for.

One of the more unusual items given to Besom lately was a rice ste God had provided it for, but after some prayer a name came to mind. W turned out that they had been praying for one that very morning.

If you would like to be involved in Besom, give us a call also have an Open Day coming up on Monday 14th Se 3.30pm. We would love to see you then.

Book Review A Story, a Hug and a Prayer is a great way of helping adults pray with their children.. A series of books is for parents and children to share at bedtime. Each book includes forty imaginative and entertaining stories based on Bible scenes, each followed by short prayers. The author, Michael Forster, also gives ideas to get children talking about their own lives - what makes them happy, what makes them sad - and to think about others who need their prayers. Available priced £10.99 from Canaan Bookshop in Staines

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team that spends more

hout it, not even half of what ces of God answering prayer

e supplies were down to two rning dawned and those two ught in on Tuesday afternoon he prayer. But he didn't stop – and when the van returned ay with little to send out, and

eamer. We weren't sure who When we called the family, it

on 01784 470 387. We ptember from 11am —

ly-August 09

St John‟s : Becoming a House of Prayer

A Passion for Prayer Fred Van Huis talks about Knees, Buns and much more!

What part does prayer play in our lives and how essential is it to us? Do we realise that without it we faint? Our ultimate position as Christians is tested by the character of our prayer life. (Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones)

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y passion is that prayer is at the heart of all our lives. God's desire is that we draw close to him because he loves to hear from us, talk to us, and transform us, so that we in turn can transform the lives of those around us. I grew up in a Christian home, and our family church was the Westminster Chapel in London under the ministries of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones and Dr. RT Kendall. I came to know the reality of a personal relationship with Christ in January 1987 and a favourite verse of mine is Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose". I subsequently spent 14 years at All Souls, Langham Place, during which time I came to live in the Staines area and also became a regular visitor to St Johns. The warmth of the fellowship and sense of community were very compelling so I finally - and prayerfully - joined the church properly in Easter 2006, at the same time that Jeff became our Vicar. I was keen to become involved in the life of the church and soon joined a wonderful Lifegroup, the one through which Besom was becoming established. Having been invited to join the group in their first decorating project, it quickly became clear that God was working out Romans 8:28 in my life, through the practical, prayer driven ministry of Besom. It was the perfect fit, with my job as Longhaul crew for BA giving me sufficient time off to regularly contribute as a part of the team caring for the practical needs of the disadvantaged in our community. Being a part of the Besom ministry continually reinforces the need for prayer, as every item we supply gets prayedin first. We therefore see the Power of prayer at work - of God answering prayer, opening doors, bringing his transformation to situations and people, and through this we ourselves are also changed - all through the very act of prayer. Prayer is also very much a part of my role as Church Warden, and I've just started the second year of what I feel is a very privileged ministry. Being a Warden was not some-

thing I'd ever expected or even aspired to, but once again after much prayer and soul-searching I realised that I could be "so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good" (Romans 8:28-The Message). Touching so many ministries in the life of St Johns as a Warden has also underlined the need for consistent prayer for our church and its leadership - which is also exactly what we do at "Knees at Nine, Buns at ten" on Saturday mornings. Knees and Buns started approximately two and a half years ago when one of our Lifegroup felt led to pray specifically for our church. She committed to doing this, once a week, sitting in her car parked outside the church, usually before going off to work. Having done this for a while, she shared what she was doing with the group (we hadn't known until then) and the response was immediate - we wanted to join her. So it was agreed that we'd meet every Saturday morning, in one of our homes, and it would become a weekly prayer breakfast. Having done this for some eighteen months, really valuing the prayer-time and fellowship, we felt it right to open up the ministry to everyone in the church and therefore started meeting in the Caddey and encouraged the wider family to become involved. We pray from 9am to 10am specifically for the Church: for all the ministries of St Johns in Egham, for our role in the transformation of our community, for all involved in the leadership of the Church, and for those who are hurting or in painful situations. Following this at 10am, we tuck into the buns. Although we remain a small group it's always very encouraging when others come to join us. We'd be delighted to welcome anyone who'd like to come along, whether it be regularly or just occasionally, and even though there's no food from First Class, the buns, croissants, tea and coffee are plentiful, and we share a lovely time of fellowship. Why not come and join us!

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

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People at St John‟s

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Who‟s that out back? experience in our church. Money can sometimes be a difficult issue to talk about, but Jesus talked about money more than anything else except the Kingdom of God. 11 of 39 parables talk about money and 1 of every 7 verses in the Gospel of Luke talk about money. If you haven‘t thought about giving before then the first step is to pray – I truly believe that God will give you guidance, and no-one will be led to give more than they can afford. Many St John‘s Partners would testify to how giving actually opens God‘s floodgates of generosity, and how we are often surprised at how much we‘re freed and blessed through actually giving away – God‘s economy doesn‘t work like venture capitalists!

Lesley Pocock — Partnership Secretary

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n an ongoing series of profiles, transform magazine aims to introduce you to the people, and the positions, that ensure the continued growth of St John’s. They may not always be immediately visible but their work is all around us in the body of our church. Partnership Secretary Lesley Pocock who manages the Partnership Giving scheme at St John’s talks to Laura Beattie about her role. ―The Partnership Giving scheme is actually the main source of income for St John‘s. There are 182 Partners, which is made up of 112 individuals and 70 couples which means that 252 members of St John‘s are committed to making regular financial contributions to the church. The Partnership planned giving, together with the Gift Aid accounts for 68% of our annual income, and literally helps build the practical foundation for everything you see, hear and

The truth is that God‘s economy is strong and will never be in a depression or even a recession. God is not short on cash and He is a great father who is faithful to take care of his children. Thinking back to the Christmas Kitchen, our aim was to give out to our community without counting the cost. Amazingly, at the end of the project, we had a financial surplus! Praise God for his topsy-turvy economy!

The Partnership Secretary position involves confidential maintenance of details of giving and ongoing commitments from the congregation and the processing of the important gift aid tax claim which ensures the maximum return on donations. For those of you who missed the Partnership Sunday a few months ago, you can sign up to give a regular donation or alternatively contribute a one off pledge. In addition, for people with irregular incomes there is the more flexible system of weekly envelopes which need to be filled in fully for tax reasons and then can be dropped off in the collection box at the back of church.

It would be easy to say that the Partnership Secretary role isn‘t exactly spiritual in nature, but it is definitely necessary. Similarly, although a financial commitment might seem unconnected to our personal spiritual development, the two are actually intimately intertwined – especially when it Think of the parable of the widow‘s mite (Mark comes to the progression of what we can do as a 12: 41-44) - whilst we may not be called upon to wider community, transforming our community to give our very last penny, it does highlight that the the glory of God.― actual amount given is less important than the manner in which we approach the situation. Giving anything at all, in a genuine commitment to For more information, or any ideas please God deepens your relationship with him. It also contact Lesley on lesleypocock@aol.com or serves to help ground you more fully in the comalternatively visit the website at munity of the church and new developments like www.stjohnsegham.com under church life/ the church centre – being both spiritually and partnership giving to download a pledge practically ‗invested‘ in each aspect of St John‘s form. is therefore also hugely rewarding.

Giving actually opens God’s floodgates of generosity

I came to St John‘s over 13 years ago - it was

T . R . G A R D E N S E R V IC E S For all your garden requirements Seasonal prep & Planting Pruning—lawns—hedges Maintenance of shed and fences Also odd jobs and small DIY Fully Insured—CRB certificate Registered with “Age Concern” Y E A R R O U N D S E R V IC E Terry 07847 531478 (mobile) 01932 568 774 (ansaphone) transform July-August 09

certainly a ‗God led action‘. I‘ve been Partnership Secretary for five years, - in some ways an obvious position for me as I have a finance background as I was a Senior Manager for Coutts bank, but a great example of how God gives us gifts in the form of skills and experiences, and yet he also provides opportunities for us to give back to him using those very same gifts! A similar concept to our children buying us a gift with their pocket money, when the money came from us anyway!

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St John‟s Vision 2012

What‟s it all about? Alastair Dijksman, one of the Vision 2012 project team explains more….

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hat‟s „Vision 2012‟?

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t‘s the name we‘ve given to our thinking about how we live as a church family. It‘s about the things we do and the activities we get involved in. And importantly it is also about the practical facilities we need for doing these things so we can best serve our community. In other words it‘s about being a church family that is welcoming, that helps us all feel as if we really ‗belong‘ and are able to grow in our faith so that together we ‗transform our community‘ and glorify God. Practically our Vision 2012 work has two interwoven parts. One is a small group who are thinking and praying about all our ministries and how they might develop. The other is concerned with providing the facilities that we need for the future, which is what I‘ll explain more about now.

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hy are we doing this?

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here are many successful things happening in our church life today that we can all be thankful to God for. But there are also activities we would like to do more of, or start afresh, but are restricted because we don‘t have enough space or the right sort of facilities to do them. For example our various children‘s groups currently do very well but could potentially expand significantly if we could improve the quality and capacity of the space we have.

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hat has been done so far?

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dedicated ‗Vision 2012‘ project team was set up about two years ago reporting to the PCC. The team held a number of consultations with the whole church (for example during Sunday morning services) to understand what St Johns needed to both thrive as a church family and to also make a real contribution to the community of Egham. This produced a new expression of who we are and what we are seeking to be and helped formulate the idea of being a church family that can ultimately help transform our community. With a much clearer sense of ‗vision‘ the project team then commissioned an architect, Derek Kemp, to help design some new facilities to support this ‗calling‘. Derek has a wide ex-

transform July-August 09

perience of designing buildings that are dedicated to God‘s work and has deeply impressed us with his sensitivity and personal faith. Derek‘s first action was to speak individually to many in the church to build a more comprehensive picture of what our practical needs were. Needs which included adult ministries (for example to the elderly), expanding our children's work, providing office space for our staff, much improved catering facilities, a range of meeting facilities and so on. He then created some suggested designs which were shared with the church family, and feedback collected. In parallel with this activity an advisory group of respected external people (including our Arch Deacon) was setup to help the project team‘s work. The next practical step was that the PCC agreed that we should seek to buy 140 High Street and speak to English Heritage about a development to the north of the church (the High Street side). A number of independent valuations of the site and subsequent discussions with the owner suggested this was not the right time to purchase this building. But we do have a good relationship with the owner and hope that we may be able to consider purchasing it in the future. Discussions with English Heritage were also encouraging and they were sympathetic to our proposals. However the project team concluded that a smaller north side development may not provide all the space and facilities that were wanted , so we‘re now considering further proposals to see how we might develop a new enhanced and expanded two story building In the region of the existing church centre. We are also exploring how this could be linked to the church to provide ease of access and maximum ease of use.

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hat difference will this make?

od is calling us to build His kingdom — a kingdom of people who know they are loved, forgiven and valued and whose practical needs are met. We are already doing that now in many different ways. The creation of new facilities will mean we can expand our current work and meet many more and different needs. We will be able to offer many more activities outside Sundays, using our buildings throughout the week for the benefit of our community.

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ow long will this take?

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e hope to have firm proposals by this Autumn. We then need to ensure that they are the right ones by sharing them with you. And then once we are confident the choice is right we need to raise a proportion of the money before starting any building work. The work will then begin, almost certainly in a series of phases.

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ow expensive will it be?

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e don‘t know yet but we are undertaking a significant improvement in the church facilities which will carry a significant cost. We expect it will take some while to raise the money and we will expect to see costs from the architect as part of his proposals.

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ow can I found out more and what can I do to help?

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ook on the web site or talk to one of the project team… Please also pray for the project team to be wise and to plan the most effective way to deliver this exciting new stage in our life together.

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Recent events at St John‟s

Thank you for the Music A group of people with a real passion for music take up the story behind the Home & Abroad Summer Concert, which raised £620 for Besom and Tanzania.

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usic has always been my passion; it is something I'm driven to do, even though I'm not a natural performer. An off hand comment along the lines of 'oh we should get together and do a fund raising concert' whilst having coffee after the 11am service with my sister, Debbie Benefield, drove Philippa Stuart into action and the Summer Concert was born. Myself, Debbie and David are relatively new members of St Johns but the opportunity to do something with our God given gifts seemed too obvious to ignore. Days before the concert all of the singers were struck down with illness; Nancy to the degree that she was unable to perform on the night, the remaining three were to be found drinking lemon and honey in the vestry just 5 minutes before the concert began. The wonderful thing is that even though we each worried about our performances due to our illnesses, not one of us cracked a note on the night! Praise God for his faithfulness! Joe McGowan of Fair Faith

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or me music is a lovely way in which I can express myself and my emotions both physically and spiritually. I chose some Sibelius songs and some Italian operatic arias to perform in the concert as they are my favourite songs to sing, although technically difficult. Afterwards I felt elated and awake but with a great sense of peace. The concert was such an example of people working together in the body of Christ. I‘d never even met Ingrid Keedy before we starting planning this event, but it was a real joy and privilege to work with her and be accompanied by her as a pianist, especially in the way she really brought the music to life. Debbie Bennefield

M

y motivation for doing the concert was simply to celebrate musical gifts, whilst raising money for something worthwhile. Over the last few years I've discovered jazz, and the relaxed style suits my voice, and my attitude to performing music, which is simply about sharing a gift and using it to further God's kingdom in any way possible. Ask me to tip up and sing to raise money for a good cause and I'll be there! We don't all have things to give to Besom, or money to give to Tanzania, but we can use our gifts, and have fun in the process. iIf you have a musical gift and would like to participate in the next concert, or even help in another way, then please let me know. I know that God honours our efforts - the one thing I can personally take away from this experience is that we have all been blessed by the friendships that have been formed, and seeing God's love in action, and answers to prayers. Philippa Stuart

Here we go again! How a Life Group idea to raise some money money money for our Capital Challenge, turned into a super trouper evening! The Name of the Game was certainly teamwork – a group of people transforming the church centre (by means of several bikinis and sarongs) into a Greek Paradise, laying on a three-course meal (including excellent moussaka from Banks restaurant), and of course karaoke and dancing. Around sixty people, many of who were from outside the church family enjoyed an excellent evening, raising just over £846. An SOS to Chris Mitchell and Geoff Martin ensured that the technical side of the evening was taken care of. There were plenty of Dancing Queens strutting their stuff, and some wonderful costumes – the question ―Does Your Mother Know?‖ could certainly be asked about some! When All is Said and Done – it‘s a great example of what can be achieved when the body of Christ works together, using their skills, talents, with a whole load of enthusiasm. The sense of purpose and achievement meaning the team gained as much as they gave!

an amazing example of how the parts of St Johns church join together with positivity and strength of purpose

M

y involvement in the concert was playing a selection of wind instruments in Faith Faith. To find myself playing in St Johns, taking to the stage after the smooth jazzy tones of Philippa and the beauty of Debbie‘s performance was a unique experience. In fact the evening was filled with memorable moments; Jeff in his tux hosting the event and even blessing the congregation after we‘d performed a song called ―The Curse‖. But the most memorable thing about this entire event was the way that so many people from St John‘s joined together for one goal, raising money for those who need it. We needed lights for the concert, there was Chris, we needed superb sound mixing, there were Matt and James. The list could go on and on. Whatever we needed, the people appeared and made wonderfully generous donations of their time and energy. The Home and Abroad concert to me will always be an amazing example of how the parts of St Johns church join together with positivity and strength of purpose. Oh, and it was a bloomin‘ good night out too !!! David Bartholomew

transform July-August 09

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Transform Magazine