News from the Messenger July/Aug 2017

Rwanda Update and Thanks to You All.

After three very busy weeks for the eight of us in the team working in schools, running teachers’ workshops and worshipping in communities across the diocese of Kigali, we are home again. Our friends in the churches in Kigali asked me to tell you all that we are always in their prayers and that they welcome our support in prayer, too.

           Your generous donations that went with me have been put to very good use. I met and even worked with the two Emmanuels whom we are supporting through vocational training as they were in the classes I was teaching during the second week. They were excited to see me and so grateful that some of your donations will see them through their two month long industrial placements, when they have to fund their own transport, accommodation and meal costs, and even buy the uniform they must wear. It was wonderful to hear their teachers speak so highly of them and their efforts to succeed, especially when I think about how desperate they were just a year ago. Now, thanks to you, they can both have a secure future.           

More of your donations provided text books in primary and secondary schools and resources for the preschools set up by local churches, and to give the teachers lunch during the Saturday workshops. Some of the money was also given as a start-up for a savings scheme in one of the really remote rural communities where they are struggling to cope with maintaining their small holdings to produce enough food for their families with some left to sell so their children can go to school.


One of my team is an LLM as I am, and we were asked to preach on our final Sunday in a remote community church. The bishop came with us, too, but sat back and listened while we preached for the requisite 45 minutes!! We counted at least 500 in the congregation with around 200 children. Their six choirs were stunning - we told them theirs was the best singing we’d heard. The church had been built by the community - they even made their own bricks - but had had a donation to pay for the roof from the church in Burwell in our diocese. They are saving up to concrete the floor, because the earth floor makes so much dust when the dancing becomes very energetic! What a stunning example of faith and joyful praise.

Ann Williams



For many people in church, the term Pastoral Care implies that a Pastor or Priest is doing the care. 

But actually the term covers all the caring that happens within a church community.

It is within and between all the people in the community that calls itself church.

We know that the people are the church so this means that Pastoral Care happens whenever we meet, at Sunday or weekday services,  within small groups  who meet now and again for coffee,  for fellowship, for bible study,  for helping others , for group meetings  like Mothers’ Union.

At the top of that caring is the small team of people consisting of Father Paul, our LLM, Ann Williams  and our two Pastoral Care ALM's  Catherina Griffiths and Rosemary Darrington who visit the sick in their homes or hospital and take them communion .  There are others as well who help them with home visiting and keeping in touch, and a smaller group involved in visiting the bereaved.  But there are never enough volunteers to cope with the needs of a large congregation. If you feel that pastoral visiting is something that you could become involved with please speak to Paul, Ann, Rosemary or Catherina.

Our Church  congregation covers a  wide geographic area, not just the Parish of St Neots but also people who come from Eynesbury,  the Eatons,  the Offords,  the Paxtons,  and villages much further away like Godmanchester  and Hilton.  It is therefore impossible for just a few people to know all the trials and tribulations , the joys  and sorrows of everyone within the church community.   

But there is always someone  (apart from our Loving God  of course)  who knows a friend or hears about a neighbour who is unwell or lonely,  perhaps caring for an elderly parent, or coping with a new baby, or a sick child who  needs  a helping hand;  that person is you,  all of us,  individually ,  within the church.

If anyone  feels  that the need is such that Father Paul , Ann,  Catherina or Rosemary should also know please speak to one of them,  they cannot know of everyone and need,  in fact,  rely on all of us, to share the care needs of our church family with them. We cannot emphasise too strongly that unless you tell us that you’ve noticed that someone hasn’t been to church for a few weeks, or that you know someone is in need, we cannot respond to that need. We need everyone to get involved.

Parish Development Plan  Lever Two – To develop pastoral care across the parish

Christian Laughton



 George Wakeman RIP

George  passed away peacefully in the early hours of Wednesday, June 21st in Sawtry, to where he had moved with Ruth so they could be closer to their family.

So many of us remember their determination, even as they both became more frail, to join us at the weekday services when they could no longer manage to get to the Sunday services.

George had, for many, many years, been a server and a member of the Servers’ Guild, and continually reminded us of the importance of that ministry. He continued to serve as long as his legs would allow him to walk and to stand, but eventually the time came when he could no longer cope.

George’s funeral will take the form of a Requiem Eucharist in church on Tuesday 4 July at 11am

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.


Eddie Edwards RIP

 Too late for inclusion in the printed magazine, we heard the sad news that Eddie died in Hinchingbrooke Hospital on Saturday 24 June. Eddie and Iris have not been able to come to church for some considerable time, due to Eddie’s poor health in recent years, and while we know that for Eddie, a long period of suffering is now over, for Iris and their family, as well as for their many friends in our church family, this is a sad time. Eddie will be remembered in church at a memorial service, following a family ceremony at Bedford Crematorium, on Wednesday 12 July at 1.30pm. Please keep Iris in your prayers. May Eddie too, rest in peace and rise in glory.


Book Group

The next meeting will be on Friday, August 4th,

2pm at 12 Bodiam Way

The book to be discussed is Mansfield Park by Jane Austen.


A Message from the Social Committee

Many thanks as always to all who attend and help with our events. It is lovely to have opportunities to spend more time together.

Talking of such opportunities please note the dates below:

August Bank Holiday weekend will see an Exhibition of amazing photographs in church – more details from Rosemary Darrington on page 18.


Sunday October 1st – Harvest Lunch


Saturday October 14th – “Pointless” Evening with Fish and Chip Supper – please come and enjoy a fun evening based on this popular television quiz. More details to follow

           … and finally … will you be “Noughty” this year?! – you may remember that Christian and Lottie organised a wonderful lunch last year for us all to celebrate with those who had birthdays and anniversaries ending in “0” – if you will be having a “noughty” birthday or anniversary this year and would like to be part of a similar event please let me know. We hope to have a lunch party one Sunday in November to which everyone will be invited to help the “Noughties” to celebrate their big days. There is a sign-up sheet in church to help us with our planning so please fill that in and / or just contact me directly.

As always we welcome feedback, new ideas for events, and offers of help – please talk to me or any member of the Social Committee

Best wishes


01480 210339

The Holy Terrors

The Holy Terrors is the   social club for children in the last 2 years of primary school and who attend       St Neots and Eynesbury Parish Churches. 

Activities are varied - cooking, indoor and outdoor games, handcrafts, quizzes and celebrating seasonal things from Chinese New Year to Guy Fawkes.   We have a Carol party at Christmas and a barbeque in the summer, both hosted by the children.

The club meets on Mondays during term time at the home of Eileen and Peter Raggatt at the Ferns, Berkley Street, Eynesbury, PE19 2NE Tel: 01480 213884

Next term will start on Monday 11th September 2017.

If you would like more information, please contact Father Paul, the parish office or Eileen (who runs it).  We'd love to hear from you if you would like to join.



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