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Last month we had our Annual Parochial Church Meeting at St Martin’s. All those in charge of church activities are requested to write an annual report about the work. This is what I wrote about HOTS:
Healing on the Streets Annual Report 2013
A group of us from St Martin’s and other churches in Birmingham go outside on Edgbaston Street to pray for people each first Saturday of the month.
The ‘Healing on the Streets’ model is a simple way to reach out to the lost and hurting on the streets. It enables us to connect with our community expressing God’s love in the market place. We simply invite people to sit on the chairs so we can pray for them. Over time we build relationships, creating stepping stones for people to come to Jesus and be healed along the way.
An account of one of the prayers
A lady who is a regular member of the Saturday service since we did Alpha Course in 2013 has been coming to HOTs since then. This is what she said to us:
‘I went for a check-up and tests and inflammation in my eyes decreased. The doctor was encouraging. I know God had a role in this’. She has a condition called epiretinal membrane. The wonderful thing about this lady is that every time she comes we see her growing closer to God and opening her heart to receive his love and to know him as her personal saviour and Lord. She said she will continue to come to HOTS every month as part of her spiritual growth.
Now I see we have church outside on Edgbaston St for two hours once a month! I invite you to come and see that too.
The lady I mentioned in my report came back this month. She joined us in with the prayer we do outside before we start giving out leaflets. She even knelt down on the pavement together with us. Then she sat on the chair. We prayed for her and she asked if she could say a prayer herself too. She did and thanked God for directing her life, for the healing she has and is receiving and for bringing her closer to him.
Here are some other prayer requests.
Here are some folks now who came back to tell us about their improvement after prayer:
Between April and May we have 50 accounts recorded in our book. Not all the prayers are recorded and I can’t feed back all of them to you. But as I said in my Annual Parochial Church report for HOTS –
‘Now I see we have church outside on Edgbaston St for two hours once a month! I invite you to come and see that too’.
This invitation is for you too.
Revd Elsie Blair Chappell
By popular demand our next Craft Fair will be Saturday 10th May, 10am – 4:30pm
We have more stalls than ever booked in this time, some who will be (hopefully) enjoying the sunshine on our terrace. We’ll have live music and refreshment throughout the day. They’ll also be quiet places for prayer and contemplation in our chapels.
All stalls are fully booked, but crafts people are welcome to join our waiting list and/or our mailing list.
Mango Mosaics, Cath and Jenny, Flutterpetal, Victorious Cakes and Cookies, Kashmir Art, Back-in-the-Day, The Mindful Beader, Platten Design, Jazzy Beads, Lifelites, Foxglass, Clardel Designs, Mommy Bears Soy Wax Melts and Candles, Maidens Fayre, Charlie’s Mom’s Chocolate Factory, The Beaded Phoenix, Poppy’s Stall, Sue Sews, Designs by Ceri, Bubblicious soaps, ULC Photography, Franks Pots, Photo Digital Art, Arts with Hearts, PK Hats, Joans Dolls and Childrens dresses and knits … and of course St Martin’s own stall of donated handmade crafts.
We look forward to welcoming you!
GOOD FRIDAY 18th April 2014
This Good Friday come and discover what Jesus did on the Cross for you.
Each hour is a mixture of music, readings, silence, images, video and symbols.
Come and go on the hour or stay for all three.
12noon – 1pm: The Kiss of deceit
1pm-2pm: The Kiss of desolation
2pm-3pm: The Kiss of death
40 days of Prayer
Please join us in 40 days of prayer this Lent.
Loving Father, bless the community of St. Martin’s with your love, compassion and care. Fill us with your Spirit that we might walk in your ways. Open our eyes to see your hand at work in our lives and glorify your name through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Upcoming special events for Lent:
Ash Wednesday – 5th March
We will mark the start of Lent with services at 12 noon and 6pm on Ash Wednesday. Both services will include the opportunity to receive the imposition of ashes as a mark of this season of penitence. The 6pm service will be Holy Communion. All welcome.
Last week 27 Anglican bishops wrote an open letter to the government to protest about people going hungry in the UK. This is part of the End Hunger Fast campaign (see www.endhungerfast.co.uk). The Lent course is called Parables & Possessions and looks at issues of poverty and our relationship with money.
It will be on Wednesday evenings from 7.30pm in the Training Room starting on Wednesday 12th March. Please speak to Dom if you are interested.
More events will be added forthwith.
It was like a spring day when we had our HOTS session at St Martin’s. We even enjoyed the sun warming our faces at times. The Market place was busy and there were lots of people from all faiths, cultures, social and economic backgrounds.
This is an extract of last March’s HOTS feedback. How weird this is – I could write this all over again for this year’s feedback .The weather was just like a year ago!!!!
The Bible reading for that day in the Church of England lectionary was James 5: 13-end. We read that ‘Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain and it didn’t. Again he prayed that it would rain and the heavens gave rain and it produced its crops…’
Two things called my attention in this reading:
Why? What is going on here? Without turning this feedback into a sermon, I’d just like to say this to encourage us as we pray for others, for ourselves, for families and friends.
‘Lord, what do you want me to pray for? What do you want to do today?
These were the people and things we believe God wanted us to pray for:
Lastly – A lady who has been coming to HOTs for over a year has this to say:
‘I went for a check-up and tests and inflammation in my eyes decreased. The doctor was encouraging. I know God had a role in this’. She has a condition called epiretinal membrane. The wonderful thing about this lady is that every time she comes we see her growing closer to God and opening her heart to receive his love and to know him as her personal saviour and Lord.
All these prayers are a result of asking God, ‘What do you want to do today?’
I encourage you to pray this prayer too.
Revd Elsie Blair-Chappell
14th-19th April 2014
A stranger arrives in Birmingham City Centre as the biggest festival in its history begins. The events of the next few days will turn the world upside down.
A Passion For Birmingham is a new promenade play retelling the Passion story in modern-day Birmingham. An event for the diocese and beyond, the promenade production will lead its audience around three venues: Birmingham Cathedral and grounds, The Old Joint Stock Pub & Theatre, and the Wellington Pub. In each new location, a new scene unfolds.
Tickets are available now from the Old Joint Stock Box Office or on their website www.oldjointstocktheatre.co.uk.
Monday 14th April 6:30pm & 8:30pm
Tuesday 15th April 2pm
Wednesday 16th April 6:30pm & 8:30pm
Thursday 17th April 2pm
Friday 18th April 8:30pm
Saturday 19th April 1pm & 6:30pm & 8:30pm
Running time: 1hr 15 approx.
Please wear suitable footwear. We apologise that due to the nature of the promenade style, the production is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible.
Calling all singers! Would you like to be part of the community choir for A Passion For Birmingham?
We are looking for a large community choir for a final song at the end of each performance of A Passion For Birmingham. The performance will be a five-minute group performance of a simple modern anthem. Commitment for each performance will be around 45 minutes.
We do not need choirmembers to be available for all performances, though they will need to be able to attend one of our choir rehearsals in early April.
Please email email@example.com if you would like to take part.
Cuppa and Chat continues to go from strength to strength!
We are getting a really good group of regulars now who all have an interesting story or two to tell. It has been wonderful to see people over a period of time gradually come out of their shell and talk more especially about things that might be bothering them. We also continue to get people who just happen to wander into the church and are delighted at the thought of a free cup of tea or coffee.
We have started working more closely with West Midlands police to run an informal monthly police surgery where a local policewoman called Beth comes along and chats to people that attend to see if there are ways that she can provide advice and support to people. This has been a new initiative piloted by the police in order to build relationships with more vulnerable people in a safe and non threatening environment. We look forward to seeing how that develops.
We have also been working In partnership with The Community Navigators Scheme which involves a worker called Angie coming along to Cuppa and Chat each week and offering practical support to people that might need it eg. Help with benefits, accommodation, befriending services etc. On average we have been able to refer 2-3 people to Angie every week which has meant a great deal to some of the people that are attending and are in very real need of help and support. We are very grateful to Angie for her time and expertise.
I must also give a shout out to my very dedicated and wonderful team of volunteers who turn up every week to care for and support the people that we get along on a Monday morning. I definitely couldn’t do it without them!
As always if you, or someone you know would like a free hot drink and someone to talk to then please pop along to St Martins Church on Monday Morning between 10-12pm, we would love to see you there!
For any more information about this or any other activities that are run at St Martins, please contact the office on 0121 600 6020 or use the contact form at the bottom of this page.
Thank you so much to everyone who sponsored the three of us from St. Martin’s who did the St. Basil’s Big Sleep Out in December. It was cold and exhausting, but at least it didn’t rain and it was fun to meet so many people for such a special event.
We are still collecting in the last bits of our sponsorship money, but between us we have already raised over £700 (not including Gift Aid)! At the event we were part of a much larger group of young people from churches all over Birmingham (about 17 of us). We are hoping to find out how much we all raised together, and will let you know when we find out… Thank you all again for helping us to support this fantastic charity. If you would still like to make a donation then you can give cash or cheques (payable to St. Basils) to Oli Preston or you can donate online through www.virginmoneygiving.com/OliPreston.
Photo by Jas Sansi (Birmingham Post)
We are launching a new student group at St. Martin’s starting on Wednesday 29th January at 1:30pm.
This is for you whether you are here for a few years or visiting on a short term placement. Our location in the Bullring is a great place to meet up, worship, grow in our faith and think about God’s mission through us. Students at St Martin’s come from Britain and all over the world attending the many universities and colleges across the city. There are several services so it is not always easy to meet up with other students after church.
This week we will meet in the Tea Lounge. Please come along as we plan for this term or get in touch with Dom (the curate) on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image from Flikr by Sean MacEntee