Magazine May 2018

Operation Christmas Child (OCC)

Samaritan’s Purse Connect Conference’ – 23rd-25th March 2018

At Yarnfield Park, Staffordshire

After settling into our rooms, our first session in the main hall covered ‘God’s Love’ – ‘Welcome to the OCC Family’

We are all a vital part of the wall of Living Stones: 1 Peter 2:5

  1.  In the row
  2. Bricks below
  3. Bricks above

Our organisation is not just about the simple shoeboxes but the way in which the gifts sent can be the start of a wonderful journey with the Lord, the way whole families and communities can be changed for the better, churches are growing, children fed, educated, nurtured through this outreach.

We heard from four ‘Full Circle’ speakers over the weekend, one of whom is a volunteer in our Gloucester Processing Warehouse. She lives with her family in Churchdown – Otilia (Tilly) Jelfs. She spoke so emotionally about the day she received her shoebox and what an impact it had on her life in Romania under the terrible dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu. She still has her ‘precious hat’. Our other three speakers were:-

Tyra Omeir – growing up in Nicaragua with her father leaving when she was eight years old and mum forced to take work outside the country.

Rebecca Dimitrov – being treated like outcasts, isolated, food rationing (Romania) and hiding under the kitchen table as tanks passed her home.

Pille Kulla grew up in remote forests of Estonia with five siblings, with no running water, heating, in a two-bed house...

Our worship times were led by Ian Yates and his wife Kate from Liverpool. Ian travels all over the UK serving the church through musical worship.

We had the joy of hearing from Beena Nathan, who has been serving in ministry with her husband Mahesh and three daughters in Central Asia for the last twenty-three years. She had trained in Calcutta and has been serving OCC since 2005 as a Ministry Partner, National Leadership Team Member, as an International Field Representative and currently, as Regional Manager for South Asia. She knows only too well the difficulties that face the children in South Asia, living in slums, on the streets and on rubbish heaps. She was an amazing lady and we were able to talk to her during the Conference weekend.

We attended various Seminars as well as lots of prayer in the ‘Prayer Space’ (a special room) and in the worship times. There was a ‘Social Hub’, Logistics, Media and Merchandise areas.

The UK’s total of shoeboxes for the eight regions, in 2017 was 678,924 and worldwide (13 countries) was 11,012,840. In 25 years, 157 million shoe boxes! Since the ‘Greatest Journey’ was started 3,866,208 teachers have been trained and 7,134,506 children have become Christians.

We had to say farewell to one of our amazing Regional Managers who has been serving OCC for around 27 years as he has suffered very poor health last year and is retiring to Derbyshire. He has led many ‘Distribution/Vision Trips’ including the Belarus one I went on 4 years ago. Ian has recently (2017) led a group to Macedonia and is so active in reaching so many of us volunteers and through prayer, I, like so many, will miss our ‘gentle giant/big Daddy’ as we move OCC forward in faith. A truly remarkable man of faith. Please pray that he will have a long, happy and healthy retirement.

Please pray for ‘Operation Christmas Child 2018’.

May we collect more shoeboxes this year – giving hope and love to all those children in our world who suffer and have nothing. God Bless you All.

    Love from June Dolphin.



APCM 2018: Results of elections:



Elected until

Team Vicar

Revd. Charles Minchin



Val Winder



Colin Wood



Kay Hensley



John Morse



Richard Hensley


Deanery Synod



Deanery Synod

John Morse


Member 1

Robin Screen


Member 2

Colin Matthews


Member 3

Steve Allen


Member 4

Audrey Ricks


Member 5

Emma Dunn


Member 6



Member 7



Member 8



Member 9





Independent Financial Examiner:        Simon Williams


Colin Matthews, Michael Wright, June Dolphin, Barry Francis,

Marnie Downey, Caroline Hensley, Anne Minchin, John Morse,

Kay Hensley, Glenis Abbott, Michelle Baxter.


Other Offices: (Elected at the first meeting of the new PCC 22nd April 2018)

Lay Chair                  Colin Matthews    Stewardship Recorder        Barry Francis

Hon. Treasurer          Val Winder              Parish Giving                 Vacancy

Minutes Secretary         Kay Hensley            Webmaster           Richard Hensley

Electoral Roll Officer   Colin Matthews        Letters Secretary                    Vacancy

Safeguarding Officer    Audrey Ricks               


We thank the above for giving their time and energy in the service of our church.


Messages from Rector Steve:

Healing service:

Please join us for our healing service at St Peters, Framilode on 6th May at 6pm. Rev Steve Harrison will lead the service with Rev Peter Francis preaching. Come if you need prayer for healing, bring someone who needs a touch of God’s presence, come anyway for worship and encouragement. 

Ascension Day service:

Come along on the 10th May to St Mary, Frampton at 7pm for our Stroudwater Team, Ascension Day service.

This will be a great opportunity to worship together and observe this important festival.

The Filling Station:

Standish Village Hall, Standish Lane, Standish, Stonehouse GL10 3DW

Tuesday 1st May at 7pm - 8:30     Refreshments are served 


Using monthly mid-week evening ‘celebration’ meetings held in non-church venues we have seen Christian communities grow in depth & numbers where a Filling Station has been opened. The Filling Station offers high quality speakers and teachers, contemporary sung worship and powerful, accessible prayer ministry.

Our meetings are designed to be overtly spiritual but presented in a manner that those outside the church would feel comfortable. Meetings are held monthly and aim to be short, sharp and focused in character. We find many people meet God through these meetings and faith is built up. Many church leaders find them an excellent additional ministry tool.

So that’s the Filling Station mission, and the format is worship, teaching and prayer ministry. For us worship is led by Revs Steve Harrison and Simon Howell, our speaker for the evening is Rev Nick Crawley.

Nick serves as the regional consultant for all the Filling Station meetings in the South West of England. He leads Crossnet, an Anglican Community for discipleship and mission based in Bristol, and is Director of ‘Bible for Life’ a Bible Teaching and Coaching ministry. In the 1990s, he led a large church in Harare, Zimbabwe and has been on several missions abroad. Nick’s ministry focuses on teaching the Bible and discipling individuals. He gave the main stage Bible Readings at New Wine in 2007. He is deeply committed to the joint ministries of the ‘Word and the Spirit’. He is married to Lucy Peppiatt, the Principal of Westminster Theological College, and they have four sons.

Do come along and bring friends who might be interested too.

With love from the Filling Station Team: 

Steve Harrison, Simon Howell, Vernon Lidstone, John Aldis and Corinne Aldis.