Farewell to Fiona Elvins

On May 19th during the morning service we said our farewells to Fiona Elvins who has been a URC student Minister with us for the past 9 months. Fiona will soon be fully qualified and we wish her well as she starts her new vocation.

During the service gifts were presented to Fiona on behalf of the church.

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A knitted angel was given to remind Fiona of the fun and hilarity we had had on an afternoon in November 2018 when 55o knitted angels were prepared for distribution to the community.

A paintbrush was given to Fiona to remind her of the time spent with a group of members of Radford Road as they painted the Church Hall.

A book was presented on behalf of the church and a Gift Voucher was sent by email and Margaret B gave Fiona a flower arrangement.

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When Fiona arrived home after the service on May 19th she wrote:

Dear James and all the wonderful people at RRC,

Thank you so much for the flowers and gifts you gave me this morning. It is so generous of you all and I thank you so much. My time with you all has been wonderful. Thank you for today – the book is great and I am thrilled with the paint brush and angel. May God bless you all. Fiona x

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Christian Aid Walk 2019

Four walkers from Radford Road Church spent a pleasant morning walking round the Jephson Gardens to raise money for Christian Aid. It was a warm and pleasant morning and everyone enjoyed seeing the flowers, the wood carvings and the trees with their new young leaves. The mulberry tree was just bursting into leaf near the river and the parent swans were guarding their clutch of eggs on the island in the river.

Other people are also walking for this very well worth cause but were unable to join the group on May 11th. However, they will be completing their walks during the coming week.

The swans on their nest on the island

The walkers

And even Annabel, the dog, came too!

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What a good dog she was!

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All Are Welcome


On Tuesday April 30th we started our new “All Are Welcome” morning. This is a weekly event and we invite everyone to come along for a FREE, Yes, FREE, cup of coffee and a toasted teacake.

There are no strings attached. We would just love to see you. We are open between 10am and 11.30am each Tuesday and you will be greeted by one of our helpers and be assured of a warm welcome. We hope you will make friends with others and enjoy a pleasant morning. We plan to build up a small supply of games and magazines for you to enjoy. SEE YOU THERE!



CHILDREN’S ACTIVITY MORNING EASTER 2019

 On Thursday 25th April, we held another Activity Morning, entitled “The Road to Emmaus, attended by 18 young participants aged from 5-11 ish – (there were a couple of younger siblings, who joined in at their own level!)

The session began with the story, told in verse, of Jesus appearing to two disciples on their way to Emmaus, followed by the children acting out the parts of fishermen, after a fruitless night’s fishing, casting their nets to the other side of the boat when commanded by a mystery figure – Jesus, of course.

Our activities included cooking fish shaped biscuits, drawing sea creatures, making foot shapes labelled “Jesus walks with me”, a pop-up picture of the walk to Emmaus, lots of colourful paintings, a treasure hunt and finished with some rousing singing!

It was a super morning, much enjoyed by all. We were delighted to have such a good number attending, as we only had two signed up in advance, and considered cancelling. But we went forward in faith, and were rewarded!

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Easter Morning

Easter morning

Our Easter morning service to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus was held at 10.30am on April 21st and was led by the Revd. Sam McBratney.

It was a joyful happy service when we remembered how Jesus had appeared to his disciples when they thought everything was lost. They were sad and unhappy and unsure when they suddenly realised that Jesus, whom they had seen crucified only three days earlier, appeared to them.

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The congregation brought posies of flowers to decorate the bare cross which, throughout Lent, had symbols hung on it to represent the last days of Jesus before his crucifixion. The cross was suddenly  transformed into a Living Cross of Flowers, to represent new life and the resurrection of Christ.

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CHILDREN’S EASTER ACTIVITY MORNING 2019

 On Thursday 25th April, we held another Activity Morning, entitled “The Road to Emmaus, attended by 18 young participants aged from 5-11 ish – (there were a couple of younger siblings, who joined in at their own level!)

The session began with the story, told in verse, of Jesus appearing to two disciples on their way to Emmaus, followed by the children acting out the parts of fishermen, after a fruitless night’s fishing, casting their nets to the other side of the boat when commanded by a mystery figure – Jesus, of course.

Our activities included cooking fish shaped biscuits, drawing sea creatures, making foot shapes labelled “Jesus walks with me”, a pop-up picture of the walk to Emmaus, lots of colourful paintings, a treasure hunt and finished with some rousing singing!

It was a super morning, much enjoyed by all. We were delighted to have such a good number attending, as we only had two signed up in advance, and considered cancelling. But we went forward in faith, and were rewarded!

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ALL ARE WELCOME

On Tuesday April 30th we started our new “All Are Welcome” morning. This is a weekly event and we invite everyone to come along for a FREE, Yes, FREE, cup of coffee and a toasted teacake.

There are no strings attached. We would just love to see you. We are open between 10am and 11.30am each Tuesday and you will be greeted by one of our helpers and be assured of a warm welcome. We hope you will make friends with others and enjoy a pleasant morning. We plan to build up a small supply of games and magazines for you to enjoy. SEE YOU THERE!

See you there!

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Farewell to Janice

On March 30th 2019 the church bid farewell to Janice who has moved to London. Over many years Janice has given unstinting service to Radford Road and we are grateful for he input, friendship and leadership in many aspects of the work of the church.

janice

We all join in wishing Janice well in her new environment and hope that she will settle happily, link up with another church and continue to use her knowledge and wisdom in the service of God.

Knitted Gifts Update

Margaret and the volunteers of the Night Shelter have sent the following letter of thanks for the hats, gloves and scarves which were hand knitted for the clients of the Night Shelter:

Thank you so much for doing the knitting for our clients. The hats, gloves and scarves have been extremely helpful to us for handing out to our clients. We usually put them by the door so that they (the clients) can help themselves when they leave in the morning. If they are not stopping overnight with us we give the knitted items away in the evening and they  are very thankful.

Margaret goes on to say that the Night Shelter was open as usual during Wednesday and Sunday of Christmas week and they had plenty of volunteers including some from the Winter Night Shelter. The Winter Night Shelter had provided a place of refuge during other nights of the Christmas week.

ANGELS UPDATE 2019

All our 550 knitted angels were distributed around the town and also to people we knew, during the first two weeks of December. It was interesting to watch people’s reactions as they discovered the angels on railings, on street benches and on tree branches. Their faces lit up in delight as they realised that an angel had been left for them to find.  Two teenage girls plucked one from a tree and then looked round to try to find another so that they could each have one.

A grandma and a little boy asked Julia if she was “the angel lady”. The grandma told the child that he had to give it to someone he loved very much and he promised to give it to his little sister. A lady saw one of our distributers leaving the angels on benches in Jephson Gardens and went to pick one up. She looked at her “find” in disbelief and then turned to the distributer and said “What a lovely idea. It shows that people care”. Our Brownies left angels along Radford Road and were rewarded when a Pizza shop owner invited them in and cooked 3 huge pizzas for them free of charge! One Brownie said, “That was the best Brownie meeting ever!”

Each of the 550 angels gave pleasure to the finders and, hopefully, reminded them of the true meaning of Christmas. We were delighted that, as a result of finding angels in the town, six people came along to our service of Readings and Carols on December 23rd and said how much the angels had meant to them. Pat gave some to her son, Doug, to give out at the Christmas Fête at the Children’s Nursery where he works.

Doug writes, I just wanted to say thank you for the knitted angels you let me have to give out at my nursery. Everyone who was offered one was thrilled with them and thought it was a lovely idea . They went to staff, parents and children and have travelled to places such as Cornwall, Devon, Northampton and a couple of other places in the U.K. I believe one is even on its way to Spain.

Well done to all those involved in making them, they have certainly spread a bit of joy this Christmas”.

Thank you so much to all our knitters (especially Bella who topped the list of angel producers) and to those who “bagged” the angels and distributed them. You brought pleasure to many! We shall be knitting angels again for distribution at Advent 2019 so please start knitting NOW!!!

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CHRISTINGLE SERVICE 2018

Children and adults met together on Sunday December 9th to enjoy a Christingle Service led by the Revd. James Church and trainee URC Minister, Fiona Elvins. The music group led the songs.

The service focussed on Jesus, the Light of the World. We began by lighting the second Advent candle symbolising Love and then everyone enjoyed the story of “When Santa learned the Gospel”. telling how Santa realised that only God is perfect but that everyone should endeavour to do their very best to be like him.

Children and adults joined lustily in singing “This Little Light of Mine” and performed actions to the words.

Fiona led us in the making of Christingles and explained the significance of the red ribbon, the fruits of the earth and the candle. The lights were dimmed as we lit our Christingles.

 

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Nativity Sets Exhibition

During Advent 2018 Marjorie and John Carrier have taken their Nativity Exhibition to Hilton Methodist Church, Cambridge and then to Abbey Hill United Reformed Church in Kenilworth.

The organisers of the Church in Hilton were delighted with the response. Photos can be viewed here

Some of the comments written in the Visitors’ Book

There has been a lot of interest from the local press and from social media. You can see a short video on Facebook by clicking on this link and then scrolling down the page:

https://www.facebook.com/BBCCoventryandWarwickshire

TThe Exhibition will be held again in 2019 at Radford Road Church, Leamington Spa between Dec. 2nd and Dec.8th and at Abbey Hill United Reformed Church, Kenilworth between Dec 10th and Dec. 15th 2019. Times to be announced later.

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CHRISTMAS ANGELS READY

 

A group met together on Thursday afternoon Nov. 8th and amidst lots of hilarity,  prepared over 500 knitted angels for the local community.

The angels will be distributed during the first week of Advent and will be left in strategic places around the town to convey Christmas greetings to the local community. Some will be placed on street benches, others on railings, in telephone kiosks, in the library and in shops.

It is hoped that the people finding the angels will realise that the angels have all been made with loving care and that they bring joy to the receivers at Christmas time. Also with each angel will be a little card giving details of the Christmas services being held at Radford Road and inviting people to come along and find the true meaning of Christmas.

Many thanks to all those who gave time and skill to produce this heavenly host.

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WORKING PARTY

A working party wielded tools and paint brushes to give a facelift to the Church Hall and to do running repairs to several outdoor jobs. The group, spearheaded by Bridget, tackled the tasks with verve and vigour. Much light hearted banter made the morning speed by and by lunch time (fish and chips eaten together in the hall) the areas tackled looked much improved. 

Well done to all the volunteers, some of whom are pictured in the following photos.

 

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DEDICATION OF GIFTS TO OTHERS

 

 

On Sunday November 4th 2018 the Revd. James Church dedicated

shoeboxes filled with goodies for children overseas who have little 

 

 

knitted scarves, gloves and hats for clients of our Night Shelter who often have to live on the streets in the bitterly cold winter weather

 

 

 

 

 

 

and angels which members of the congregation had knitted. These will be placed around our town for local people to find and to take home. A small card will be included bringing love and greetings from Radford Road Church and inviting them to our Christmas services.

 

 

 

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CHILDREN’S ACTIVITY MORNING NOV 1ST 2018: ‘JESUS LIGHT OF THE WORLD’

Many thanks to all who volunteered at our Light Party Holiday Club this half term. It was a joy to seen 20 children take part, we learnt that Jesus said that he was ‘the Light of the World’, but we also remembered that Jesus told his disciples that they are to be ‘light to the world’. We played games passing on the light. Learnt a memory verse: ‘His life gave light to all’ – John 1:4 and carved Jesus pumpkins to remind us that Jesus’ light shines in the darkness. It was especially lovely to see many of the young people singing and marching along to the song, ‘This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine’ at the end of the club. 
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REVD. JOHN CARRIER 60 YEARS ANNIVERSARY

 

 

The Revd. John Carrier was presented with a certificate at the Autumn Synod at Rugby URC to celebrate the occasion of 60 years since his Induction to the URC Ministry.

John particularly wanted the certificate presented to him in front of the local congregation at Radford Road and so the Revd. James Church presented the certificate again at the morning service on October 28th 2018.

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HARVEST 2018

Our Harvest Festival Service 2018 was led by Mr Paul Tennyson on Sunday September 23rd 2018.

The Flower Team had decorated the church beautifully to celebrate this occasion.

This was an All Age Parade Sunday and the Uniformed Organisations attended.

The congregation brought gifts of packet and tinned food and this will be given to the Night Shelter and the Food Bank.

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Oct 6th 2018 CRAFT FAIR

 

 Our Annual Craft Fair was held on Oct 6th from 11.00am until 2.00pm

There were some wonderful items made by local craftspeople and people bought them to give as ideal Christmas presents for friends and family. 

There were stalls including wood turning, jewellery, books, home made cards, fabric items, silk printing and loads, loads more. The church was also selling cakes, gifts, bric a brac, jigsaws and bowls of hyacinth bulbs. Food was available throughout the event and entry was free.

It was unfortunate that heavy rain fell throughout the day and this deterred some people from attending. They missed a treat!

Click on the following link to see pictures of the day.

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Last Night of the Proms & Launch of New Mission Project 2018/19

Watching The Last Night of the Proms has become a tradition at Radford Road church and on September 8th 2018 we again gathered together for the live broadcast from the Albert Hall.

The conductor, Sir Andrew Davies explained that the Proms has become a nationwide celebration and he introduced audiences in Hyde Park, Colwyn Bay, Belfast  and Glasgow who had gathered at outdoor venues to be part of the Last Night at the Proms.

The gathering at Radford Road was small in comparison but, nevertheless, everyone entered into the spirit of the evening. Several people had dressed in patriotic garb and everyone waved flags and sang lustily after enjoying the splendid fish and chip supper.

We enjoyed the singing of Canadian baritone, Gerald Finlay and the enthusiastic saxaphone playing of Jess Gillam, the youngest ever soloist at the Proms. In 2016 she had been a finalist in the BBC’s Young Musician of the Year.

We all joined in with the traditional singing of sea shanties whilst some of our group danced energetically at the back of the room!

The commemoration of the centenary of the ending of the First World War was marked by the singing of classics such as Rose of Picadee, It’s a Long way to Tipperary, Keep Right on to the end of the Road and Keep the Home Fires Burning.

No Last Night is complete without the singing  of Rule Britannia, Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory and the evening finished with us all joining in the singing of Auld Lang Syne and the National Anthem.

Our new Mission Project  “World Bicycle Relief” was launched at this event.

Our 2018/19 project is World Bicycle Relief which enables people who live in rural regions of developing countries to conquer the challenge of distance, to achieve independence and to thrive.

In many of these areas walking is the only mode of transport and so to have a Buffalo bike, a whole new series of possibilities opens up.

These bikes  are specially made in the locality where they will be used, and the sturdy bikes can cope with the rough terrain.

In this country we complain about potholes in the roads but in many remote areas of developing countries there are no tarmac roads – only rough tracks. Hence they are given the name “Buffalo Bikes” because each one is as strong as a buffalo.

If the only means of transport is by walking, everyday tasks become a struggle against time and tiredness. Going to school, visiting the health clinic, delivering goods to market are really challenging.

On our display board we have pictures of a few people whose lives have been transformed when they have received a Buffalo bike.

 Royce is a community Health Worker. Before she had a bike, Royce would walk 7 kilometres a day to visit 3 patients. Now she can visit 18 patients a day thanks to her Buffalo Bike.

Ethel is 15 years old and it took her more than 2 hours every day to get to school. Now she has a bike it takes her 45 minutes. She wants to go to school as her aim is to be a nurse. She has to go over hilly, lonely, country to get to school and now she feels much safer and can cover the distance much more easily.

Dixon had a bike before but it was a ramshackle bike and he couldn’t rely on it. He is a butcher and he saw how local farmers benefited from having Buffalo Bikes. They could get their milk and meat to market easily. Now that Dixon has a Buffalo Bike, his business is expanding as he can travel to market and deliver meat to his customers far easier than before.

These are three people who have benefited from being given a Buffalo Bike. There are many others just like Royce, Ethel and Dixon whose lives have been changed by the ownership of a Buffalo Bike.  But there are many, many more people, schoolchildren, nurses, health visitors and traders whose lives would change radically if only they had this simple form of transport.

Each bike costs £96 and we hope to raise £1000 to buy 10 bikes plus repair kits. Ten isn’t very many when you consider the need but it will be wonderful for those 10 people and will transform their lives and also the lives of their communities.

.It was an evening of enjoyment and fun for us all.

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FREE Brunch for Students!!

Thank you to everyone who supported the Students’ Welcome Brunch on Saturday 13th October, especially Margaret who provided the catering and Jenny and Andrew who encouraged people passing by to join us.

It was great to talk, and show our building, to a small number of friendly students who had heard about the event on Facebook or who live in shared housing nearby and who saw our leaflets and banner. We will keep in contact and hope to see them at future events. It appears that Music and Big

Breakfasts are of particular interest to this age group. We also reached out to others in our community who were given a welcome and encouraged to come.

We are learning about ways of inviting people in to our building, whether through social media or directly when we are open.  We pray that our

outreach and relationships with student neighbours and the community will grow.