Magazine April 2018

From our Team Rector:

Dear Friends,

Over the last few months we have enjoyed (endured?) some quite heavy falls of snow. Everything looks so beautiful covered by the mantle of white, and I am sure our school children enjoyed a day or two at home because of snow days. It was amazing how soft and light the latest fall was, there is another Beast from the east on the way at the time of writing. What is it about snow that is so beautiful, after all it makes everything mono-chrome and covers the trees and bushes? It does also cover over all the ugly stuff though, filling in holes and making the most objectionable structures look lovely.

Easter calls us to examine our lives in the light of Jesus’ great sacrifice for us. As we look at Good Friday and Easter we have a few choices to make – to ignore the whole thing, to accept it as truth but not pursue any further what that means for us, or to engage with Christ’s sacrifice for us, and what it means to live out our lives as a daily ‘Living Sacrifice’. Part of what it means to respond to Jesus’ sacrifice by sacrificing our desires and priorities for His glory, to be willing to have our lives shaped by the Holy Spirit in us, is to avoid the temptation of covering over weaknesses and brokenness with a layer of ‘snow’ so that we look great from the outside, but with ugly stuff underneath. Jesus told the Pharisees that they were like whitewashed tombs, sparkling white on the surface, but full of dead stuff on the inside. Easter call us to a cross-road, decision time. You can sail on through with nothing changed, or you can do the deeper work, the under-the-surface, where we allow God to begin a new work in us. The way to true freedom is to walk in the way of the cross, to walk under the blessing of God’s covering, to root out the things that are ungodly in our lives, and find true freedom.

Rev Stephen Harrison


The Licensing of Rev Liz Palin as Team Vicar in the Stroudwater Team will take place on the 24th April at 7pm at St Michael and All Angels, Eastington. Please come along and support Liz and the Team as we take this step forward together. There will be refreshments after the service. Liz will start work in the Team on the 8th May. Please pray for her and her husband Simon, and their daughters, Sophia and Emma as they prepare to pack and move and settle in with us.

Rev Stephen Harrison


Street Pastors Stroud – Join the Prayer Pastors Team


Many of you will have heard that Stroud has its own Street Pastors Team that spread God’s light in our town every Saturday night, but did you know that supporting them, quietly and prayerfully in the background, are a small but dedicated team of Prayer Pastors?

Stroud Prayer Pastors Team are looking for new volunteers who are willing to give up one Saturday night every four-six weeks to support our Street Pastors in prayer and supply them with tea, coffee and refreshments during the evening. Could this be you?

The team works from 2200hrs to 0400hrs (sometimes earlier or later depending on how busy we are!). Some Prayer Pastors work the ‘early shift’ some work the ‘late shift’ others are happy to stay all night. We are very flexible!

If you would like to sample an evening with us, or require any more information, please contact Emma Dunn – Stroud Prayer Pastors co-ordinator on 07855 686 733 or email


An example of how prayer works in the team:

One evening, I was sat quietly with my prayer partner, the Street Pastor Team having just left, when I couldn’t get the thought of John Street out of my mind. I thought about it and prayed, wondering why I could not shift that thought. I spoke to my prayer partner and we both prayed for this area of the town. A few minutes later the radio came to life and we were made aware of a fight that had occurred in that very street and a male was injured, fortunately not seriously. The Street Pastors headed that way and assisted with the casualty. It was then it struck me how vitally important the Prayer Pastors are and the way God talks to us – prayer is not always a one way conversation!




Dear Supporters of PSALMS

I would like to invite you to a PSALMS Quiz Night to raise funds for young people to attend our summer camp and support their participation in the PSALMS Leadership Academy.  It is on Friday 13th April, 7pm, at Maidenhill School. Bring a team of 4 and have a great night. The cost is £5 a ticket which can be purchased on the door and this will include entry to the quiz and a ploughman’s supper. If you can come along and bring some friends or family, that would be great. Also, there will be an opportunity to make further donations on the night as well as participating in our raffle. All the money raised goes towards Stonehouse kids subsidy to our yearly camp as well as helping to cover costs of the PSALMS Leadership Academy which five young people from Stonehouse are on. 

Thank you all for your time,

Andy Poole


Lent Lunches:

This year, the profit was less than previous, due to lower numbers and/or bad weather. That said, a great time was had by all, volunteers and diners alike.

The final total donated to GARAS was £453.40. Thanks to everyone who helped, especially to Fr Bill for the free use of the Hall and to everyone who donated in so many ways.


Mattie, St Joseph’s


Our Famous day trip to Sidmouth!:


Saturday 1st  September 2018

Put it in your diaries.

Tell all your friends.

Tickets  £15 adult    £6 child


Coach departs from the ‘Globe’ at 9.00am and leaves Sidmouth at 5.00pm

Payment secures your seat. Please pay before 31st July.


Anne (01453 822332)


Children’s Society

The Christingle collection made at the Park Junior School amounted to £28.23. Many thanks to those who contributed.


Easter Flowers:

Thank you very much for the cash donations for the flowers. They were much appreciated.



How Well do you know Gloucestershire?

A Quiz

  1. Public Transport becomes older
  2. Double Dairy product?
  3. Surname of Harry Potter’s Uncle and Aunt?
  4. Not a brick abode?
  5. Protective outer garments?
  6. Indoor sport played in Ducal home?
  7. Football Athletic Monarchs?



Dear Foodbank Sponsor,

We'd like to use this opportunity to THANK YOU for your support, it allows us to offer support to individuals and families in our community who find themselves in crisis. We do this primarily through giving food, but also act as a vital signposting agency to point people to long-term help and support. 

The work of the Stroud District Foodbank also connects over 130 volunteers and around 40 churches in a common cause. Local supermarkets, schools, and businesses are also actively engaged in giving time and resources.

Below is a review of news from 2017. Thank you for your support!


Holiday Food

We started a new program in 2017 providing food bags for school children over the Easter and Summer holidays. This scheme is aimed at families that benefit from free school meals and who may struggle over the holiday period. Initially partnering with 10 schools, this will continue to be a service we develop this year.

We also provide food for holiday clubs and youth groups that run to serve the Stroud area.


Food Donations 2017

Food donations are critical to running a Foodbank, and we are very grateful for the generosity of all those who give to us. In September 2017, Morrison’s in Nailsworth added a Foodbank crate to their store, adding to the many local supermarkets who take collections.

We received over 50 tonnes of food and toiletries into the warehouse last year, which was a new record for us. Over half of the food goes directly to individuals and families referred through agencies and collected at our drop in centres Stroud, Wotton, Dursley and Stonehouse. We added a new drop-in centre at Farmhill Baptist in May 2107. Since opening they have fed over 240 people and supported a Holiday Club. The Nailsworth and the Berkeley areas are covered by a delivery service.

Nearly 20% of our food is going out at holiday times, and over 20% goes to other local organisations. These include:  Marah – Beresford Women’s Refuge – Independence Trust – Ark House – Season House –  Salvation Army – Open House – Kid’s Stuff.