29th October 2020

From Barbra Depledge

How is your new house feeling?

If you’re feeling cheerful and upbeat about how you’re coping in the pandemic, then please don’t read this!

Back in July, I wrote a piece for these pages about an analogy God had given me of our current situation.  I suggested that it felt as if, in late March, we all had compulsory purchase orders served on our homes and were forced, with very little notice, to move to a new and less pleasant home in a less desirable area.  Almost all of us were finding this transition extremely difficult.  I suggested that somehow we needed to learn to more fully experience God’s presence with us in these new homes, however much we were still struggling to accept them.

To whatever degree we managed to achieve this – or not – I imagine most of us still retained some hope deep down that in the foreseeable future we would be able to move back to our old homes.  We heard all the talk of having to accept a “new normal” but hung onto the notion that “by Christmas” the pandemic would be well on the way to being under control …. “when we get a vaccine” …. and then it was “by next Easter” …… As time goes on, it becomes increasingly difficult to sustain any time-bounded hopes.

Nonetheless we have mostly managed to work out how to maintain our responsibilities and relationships within our new homes.  And, for most of us, life had got quite a bit better.  We have been able to meet friends reasonably freely (subject to social distancing etc.), to see many family members (though the “rule of 6” has presented problems latterly if you have more than a small family), the children being back at school (mostly) has relieved the horrors of trying to “home school” them and simultaneously work at home and for the fortunate, a break away from home has been entirely possible.  Now Coventry is in Tier 2, at least some of these benefits have been withdrawn.  And with colder and more frequently wet weather, all those outdoor get togethers become less attractive!

Initially those fortunate enough to be able to get out and about were able to discover previously unknown local countryside and forms of exercise.  Additionally we saw much evidence of increased kindness and thoughtfulness towards neighbours and others.  As time goes on, that remains true, and hearing examples of exceptional generosity and kindness gladdens our hearts.  However, we cannot fail to be aware also of instances of cynical exploitation of the situation, of uncaring non-compliance with restrictions by some and selfish assertion of “rights” to personal freedoms at the expense of others.  The “blame game” fills a disturbing part of everyday conversations and the divides in our society threaten to get worse not better.  It thus becomes more difficult to believe that we’re all going to come out of this better people and the world a nicer place.

So, for many of us, this new house that we were forced to move to in March is once again not feeling like much of a “des res”;  the old one seems to have been largely demolished and it’s all feeling a bit grim and gloomy.

That all sounds pretty negative.  So, why am I expressing it?  I am certainly not expressing it because I have all the answers.  I definitely do not!  I share it for two reasons:

Firstly I believe profoundly that resolving the feelings of weariness and gloom that many of us are experiencing is not achieved by denying those feelings or latching on to platitudes.  Rather, it is important that we acknowledge those feelings, feel they are “allowed” and validate them in others.

Secondly I believe that we all have “work” to do to process those feelings.  Acknowledging feelings does not mean passively accepting they’re here to stay.  Sometimes we just need to be kind to ourselves and accept that’s how we feel today but at other times we need to examine what’s happening to us both psychologically and spiritually.  Psychologically, for example, old feelings of loss and disappointment will be touched and we need to try and separate what is about this new situation and what is not.  Most of us struggle with uncertainty and the unknown and, somehow, we have to find ways of living with that.  Spiritually, we will all be wondering “where is God in all this?”  Plenty of Christians are offering opinions on that but each of us needs to come to our own view – and learn to be comfortable with the mystery that remains.  Above all, we need to reach out to the God who is already firmly in residence in these new homes of ours and embrace his nearness and the peace, strength and courage he longs to give us.  I can’t tell you how to do that because it will be different for each of us but we will have to dig deep into whatever resources help us personally – Scripture, hymns and songs, different spiritual wisdom and traditions, the support of friends etc.  Sometimes God comes in a flash of healing light – but mostly we do have to work at it!

Barbra Depledge

Though the fig-tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the sheepfold and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in my Saviour.  The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.

Habakkuk 3.17-19

14th October 2020


If you regularly listen to virtual services, you will have heard a vocal group leading our worship with hymns and songs accompanied by piano, or occasionally the organ.  This is the Queens Road “Chordinaires” at work!

Where did the name come from?

Coral had an idea and then Don took it and applied his 1940’s dream world to come up with the name.

What do they do?

They get together electronically to sing songs.

What sort of things do they sing?

They have sung on a Sunday morning:-

And can it be Before the throne of God above
Blessed assurance Jesus is mine Come now is the time to worship
How great Thou art I will sing a wondrous story
In Christ alone To God be the glory
The old rugged cross Thine be the glory
We plough the fields and scatter What a friend we have in Jesus
When I survey the wondrous cross  

Who are they?

Don Brown Chris Burrell Iain Colville Clare Edwards
Coral Lynes Stan Lynes Liz Martin John Pither
Jane Pudsey Poppy Stewart Robert Whale  


Not everyone sings on every item but all the above have been heavily involved.  If you would like to be involved contact Robert Whale on 07912 213520 or Don Brown on 07786 914725


7th October 2020

An anonymous contribution

Rejoice with those who rejoice." Romans 12 v 15 (a)

Oh yes, that's the easy part. I can rejoice with the best of them. Celebrating births of new great grandchildren, grandchildren, great nieces, marriages, birthday celebrations, baptisms. Rejoicing over amazing photos of this year's spring, summer and autumn, most of them taken with a "simple" smartphone camera and some with special lens attachments (quite awesome). Women in Tanzania who are rejoicing over making clay pots to cook on which are quicker, safer and more environmentally friendly than their previous open fires with a few sticks! To be humbled by the fact that I have a temperature controlled oven and hob which comes on with the turn of a knob, and it's indoors. Please don’t think I'm being cynical, I genuinely enjoy celebrating all such events, both great and small. Oh yes, I can definitely rejoice with those who rejoice.  But that's only half of the verse!

"Mourn with those who mourn." Romans 12 v 15 (b)

Those who weep, those who grieve. Oh, do I really have to do that? That just seems soooo and toooo hard.

We often get requests to pray for someone experiencing such heart rending circumstances and sometimes it's just overwhelming. I guess that's how I'm feeling right now.  

How do I pray for a dad whose wife has just died after a battle with leukaemia leaving him with a 3 year old little boy without his mummy. How do I pray for a friend who's just lost a close friend years before his time having lived with dialysis due to diabetes. How do I pray and walk with my 22 year old granddaughter who has lived with Type 1 diabetes from the age of 5 and who has recently been diagnosed with MS and rheumatoid arthritis. How do I pray and walk with and comfort a friend who's son committed suicide at the age of 16 and who feels the excruciating pain of loss that will probably never leave her. What do I say to and pray for a friend who's been told that her 7 year old grandson is unlikely to reach adulthood because of a severe heart condition. How do I pray, encourage and support someone whose son has life changing special needs to become the man God intended him to be. And the oh–so-many others who I meet and hear about along the way, not to mention all the pain, suffering and sorrow we are hit with on a daily basis via the news. Yes, how do I mourn with those who mourn and pray to make a difference? 

I will go to the only place I know. To the foot of the cross, to Him who knew excruciating physical and mental pain and anguish as He suffered for fallen, broken, sinful humanity. To the throne of grace and mercy, where He now sits in the victory of resurrection glory. There I will rejoice with those who rejoice and weep and weep and weep again with those who weep. Sometimes words don't come, but He knows my heart and I can rejoice that one day all things will be made new, all things will be as God created them to be. All tears will be wiped away, all pain, sorrow and suffering ended, for ever and for all eternity. And we will rejoice!



5th October 2020

From Coral Lynes

This hymn/prayer was sung by many children in schools and places of worship during the first half of the 20th Century.  On one of our times of quiet reflection in the grounds of Cloverley Hall during the QRBC weekend last year I was reminded of this song.  Both the words and the tune were easy enough for a child to learn and I felt that it was worth sharing.  The repetition of the second line throughout the hymn is a simple reminder of our need to continually give thanks to our heavenly Father for all his goodness to us even in times of difficulty and trusting him to lead us even when things do not appear clear to us.                        

Giving Thanks

For air and sunshine pure and sweet,
We thank our heavenly Father,
For grass that grows beneath our feet,
We thank our heavenly Father;
For flowers that all around us bloom,
That ever yield their sweet perfume,
For birds that sing in joyful tune,
We thank our heav’nly Father.

For leafy trees, with fruit and shade,
We thank our heavenly Father,
For things of beauty he hath made,
We thank our heavenly Father;
For daily blessings, full and free,
For leading when we cannot see,
For all his care o’er you and me,
We thank our heavenly Father.


27th September 2020

From Margaret Newby

I'm sitting here looking at some flowers that were bought for me about a week ago. They are alstroemerias which are one of my favourite flowers to have in a vase because they last for such a long time. 

However, yesterday, I noticed that one of the stems was bent and had started to look rather sad and droopy. Firstly, I thought I should take it out and put it in our green bin. At least by doing that it would go for compost!  "Hang on a minute"  I thought to myself and with a bit of prodding, poking and adjustment, I managed to stand the droopy stem amongst the other flowers which were stronger and able to support it. This rather droopy and bruised stem is now looking much healthier and happier and with the support from the other stems it will, hopefully, last for many more days.

This reminded me of how God has placed each one of us within His Church family, designed to support and strengthen each other, particularly in times of difficulty. To bear with one another. To rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. We are not meant to stand  alone, we were made to be relational. 

Maybe some of our Church family at QRBC are feeling rather sad, bruised and droopy and lonely at present, just like the stem of one of my flowers. Finding it difficult to keep and feel connected. Communication has become more difficult but let's continue to look at creative ways in which we can support each other at these difficult times. Just like the other stems in my vase are having to use some of their strength to support the bruised and droopy one. it's not without cost to them, but all of them, together, continue to give pleasure, just as we give pleasure, together, to our loving Heavenly Father. 


30th August 2020

Today we share joyfully in the Baptism of

Olly Boxer. Olly wanted to give a fuller

version of his testimony than he

could in the service.

Click on the photo to read

"My Baptismal Testimony" by Olly Boxer.

6th August 2020

A letter to the church from Global Care

Thank you for your donation of £300 safely received via bank transfer.

 I understand that this donation is a result of sales from a book produced by Chris Headon, and we will also write and thank her personally.

This kind donation will be used to meet the needs of vulnerable children and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Responses vary according to the needs of each country, but Global Care’s partners in countries including Uganda, Zambia, India, Bangladesh, Guatemala, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Ethiopia are delivering food, soap and other essentials to vulnerable families unable to work, and therefore unable to eat. Global Care’s partners are also raising awareness for improving hygiene.

Thank you for your donation, which will enable this important work to continue.

 We trust you are staying safe and keeping well in the current outbreak.

 Thank you for standing with vulnerable children during this challenging time.

 Kind regards


 Clare Oliver



3rd August 2020

From Eileen Spriggs

A reflection on Psalm 107

During lockdown.......

Some have completed jigsaws

Others have painted pictures, pots or walls.

Some have provided food parcels

Others have gardened or home schooled.

Whatever we have done,

Wherever we have been

The truth of this Psalm endures.

 Verse 1 reads ‘Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever’.  And the final verse reads ‘Whoever is wise let them heed these things and consider the great love of the Lord’, and with lots in between about ‘Some did this’ and ‘Others that’!


2nd August 2020

Co-incidence, God-incidence?

I happened to be at QR recently ('ooh! what was he doing there'?) when a rather smart car turned into our car park. I saw two men get out and approach the entrance, looking for an open door. 'Hello, welcome, how may I help you'?  'We'd like to give some money to the church'.

Not the sort of thing that happens on a daily basis, although it does happen occasionally. I asked what had led them to make such a gesture.

It transpired that the two men were father and son, both doctors. The son had set up a Bioscience business and was developing a Covid related drug in partnership with Birmingham University. He had decided to sell the business as it needed to be part of a larger group to be able to progress. Both father and son regularly drove past our church on the ring road and often noted the advertising banners above our entrance doors.

1 Cross + 3 Nails = 4given

Recently, they were considering the sale and how much to sell it for, when again driving past our church. Father saw the banner and said 'Go for £Xmillion' They did and the business was sold. They explained that as practising Sikhs, it was their custom to make a thank offering in such circumstances. So, as the sale price was inspired by our banner, they wanted to offer us a token gift, which they did.

I thanked them on behalf of the church for their gesture, we said our goodbyes and I then watched, covetously, as the shiny new Aston Martin left our car park.

You can see more about the project here.  Who knows QR might indirectly have influenced the course of history if this project leads to a successful drug?

Graham Parsons


29th July 2020

On 10th July we published a note from a grateful Mum for the the support she had had from our Babies and Toddler groups, Tiddlers and Tiddlywinks. And now we have another letter of appreciation.

Tiddlers and then Tiddlywinks have been a really important part of our lives since the children were just a few months old. It was our first regular commitment and sometimes it was a real challenge to get us all ready to leave the house and make the half hour walk, but we were really grateful for the welcome and support which made the effort worthwhile. With twins to juggle, the groups have been the only ones that I have been able to access because of the help and support of the team who were always happy to help with one of them. As they grew older, I've enjoyed watching the children access more of the activities, especially at the weekly art table, and as they've become more independent I've even had the opportunity to finish some conversations with other parents which hasn't happened very often since they were born!

We've really appreciated everything that you and the Team have given and will always have happy memories of our time with you.


29th July 2020

From Eileen Spriggs

A story on Patience, or rather, lack of......

Oh dear, what have I done!
I planted the seeds
followed the instructions
Lots and lots of water.
They are water cress seeds after all.
The seeds sprouted, then grew.....
a bit..... hurry up,
I want to eat you, so....
Plant food, proper plant food.
Good for plants?
But can you believe, I’ve killed them!
Is this why God.. Jesus..the bible..
Urges us to have patience?
To wait until the right time.
God has made the world to have order
and sequence and consequences.
Patience as a spiritual fruit and
a lesson I obviously need to learn! 

23rd July 2020

Chris Banks writes:-  "I had shared some pictures in our REAL group of a couple of planters which I had painted. Lots of people had said that they would love to do something similar, so we arranged that I’d do some workshops. The first ones arranged had to be cancelled due to the virus so it was good to actually get together. Lots of fun was had by all! This was the first of two gatherings so as to allow for social distancing. I’ll let you have more pics after the other group meets."

20th July 2020

During lockdown I have started to write down my reflections. This is a recent one on Holiness - or lack of!

Eileen Spriggs

What does it mean to be holy?

It isn’t anything I’ve ever aspired to.

Holy? No, that’s not for me.

It sounds like being ‘holier than thou’

a derogatory term used to mock and

to  ‘bring down to size’. Yet,

it’s a biblical requirement

quoted from Genesis to Revelation.

It is God who is holy, naturally holy,

his character and whole being.

But not ours, not even remotely.

So I can only ask again

What does it mean to be holy?

I am pointed to the cross and why

Jesus chose to die there.

For me. For us. For all.

All generations. All peoples. All time.

When we finally see, really see

God’s amazing love and sacrifice

wiping out our unholiness.

Questions cease, and we fall down at his feet in praise, in thankfulness, awe and worship.

10th July 2020

As well as these written contributions to "Our Stories" we have had two photo galleries filling up with contributions. One is about things seen relating to the natural world and the other is about Arts and Crafts. We have now had a contribution which cannot go in the Arts and Crafts gallery because it is a video so you can see it here instead. Created by Marie Shankland the short video (no sound) shows the finished result of a secret garden that she created using epoxy resin moulds and bits of wood, concrete and other bits & pieces.

10th July 2020

When my oldest was 8 weeks old, we joined a lovely little baby group called Tiddlers. Everyone was so welcoming and helpful, and we even had the added bonus of tea and hot toast, whilst making new friends! It was lovely that when she was 1 she could then go onto the bigger toddler group, Tiddlywinks. And we came every Friday, without fail, except for one when she was really poorly! So when my second came along, we couldn't wait to go back! For 3 years ( 7 in total) we have had the same routine; chat on the way to school, drop big sis off, get the bus, and chat all the way until we reached Tiddlywinks, then excitedly run into the hall to play with all the toys, and chat with all our toddler friends. ( And of course the lovely helpers who always had an activity for us each week.) So we were beyond gutted when the stupid you know what closed the group down, knowing this would be our last time we could attend before my youngest goes to nursery. It didn't really hit me until the following Friday when he looked at me expecting to go, and didn't understand why he couldn't go, and I couldn't really explain to a 3 year old why he couldn't play with his friends, or chase the helpers in his favourite car, or cheekily sneek an extra biscuit in, so I just said ' it's not on today. And we went for a scooter ride instead. So when this lovely book and card arrived in the post today, he beamed! What a lovely gesture, to think of us, even though we can't come back at the moment to have the usual summer party and goodbye song, to still think of us! So thank you everyone at Tiddlywinks! We really are gutted we missed our last few months here, because it honestly is the best toddler group we've ever been too!

A grateful Mum


5th July 2020

A Compulsory Purchase Order?

It seems to me that our spiritual journey is about being pilgrims on a journey and foreigners in our own land (Hebrews 11.13, 1 Peter 2.11).  But as we journey, we have to live out the Good News in the place in which we find ourselves, seeking to become the people God intends us to be right there.  At each stage of the journey, we make a place to stay, a home, hopefully built on the rock (Matthew 7.24-27).

Most of us have experienced house moves in our lives.  Sometimes these are chosen – to a house of more appropriate size, to a preferred area, nearer to family, good schools etc.  Sometimes a move is forced upon us – a change of financial circumstances, a job change, the need for more support from or for family.  When we move, even if we have chosen it, we feel disoriented, concerned about how our cherished possessions will fit.  We begin to adjust once we start to feel safe, to know how to access our desired activities and interactions with others and to fit our possessions in and know where things are.

On 22nd March, it was as if we were all served with a Compulsory Purchase Order on our homes with very little warning. On 23rd March we were evicted from those homes and forced to move to a new property we had not even had a preliminary viewing of.  A few people could immediately see benefits in the new property – less responsibilities, more time to pursue hobbies.  But for the vast majority of us, it was a huge upheaval and we’re still trying to adjust.  Even those who had severely restricted lifestyles before lockdown have less (if any) visitors, less other outlets.  It is increasingly clear that we can never return to our old homes.  And whilst we are being allowed to see more of our friends and family (how many get togethers have you had in the garden in the rain?!?) and to pursue more activities, lots of longed for improvements still seem quite a way off (the kids back in regular schooling, shopping a less stressful experience, indoor groups able to meet, services in the chapel).  If you’re shielding because you are “extremely vulnerable”, or living with someone who is, then the freedom to come and go as you would like to may still seem a very long way off.  It’s still quite hard to see how we can fit into the new house, just what its boundaries are and how safe it is.

We tend to judge the suitability of a new home on whether we believe it meets our needs, enables us to do what we want to do and see who we want to see.  If we do not feel this is the case, we feel trapped within the walls, stuck in longings to go back.  What we actually need is to experience within our homes the heights of God’s love, the depths of his mercy and the width of his grace.  Can we learn to see our new homes in those terms?  Because they may not feel safe based on other criteria any time soon!

I write this not as one who has got it sorted in any sense.  Far from it.  But this further analogy helps me to have another perspective on how to move forward in this particular, challenging bit of the journey.

Barbra Depledge

3rd July 2020

A lifetime adventure

It was fifty years ago today, 3rd July 1970, that we finally, slowly, pulled away from the quayside at Southampton docks at the beginning of a lifetime adventure.  We say finally because it was more than a year since we had had a sharp shock with an incredible answer to prayer that God used to uproot us from a very pleasant job and surroundings.  We say slowly because it is incredible how slow it seems when you have family on the quayside waving you off.  After a couple of years of uncertainty about what was happening, but certainty that God was moving us along we were now on board the Windsor Castle, flagship of the Cunard line, heading for South Africa on our way to Malawi.  We were going to drive from Cape Town to Malawi.  The first problem was that the brand new car, which had been earmarked all the way down the production line for us and Africa, was not on board with us.  They had fitted the extra springs and the sump shield, essential for African roads but local strikes meant that the windscreen and starter motor were not available.  The garage, through whom we were working offered to send a starter motor from their stock to enable the car to catch the boat a week later, but sent the wrong one so the car missed the next boat and whilst the car was ready for the following week dock workers went on strike and no boats sailed for a further three weeks.  A great start to a new life. 

 Actually God used even that.  It meant that we had to spend 5 weeks extra in South Africa waiting for the car.  We had previously been students at the University of Makerere in Uganda and worked in Kenya and Uganda gaining very positive relationships with our African peers and those we worked amongst. We were going to Malawi where a lot of mission work was still in the hands of South Africans.  This was the height of apartheid with South Africans holding very different views than our East African nurtured views.  Those five weeks helped us a lot.  We could never agree with the South African views, but by living (and working) amongst them we did begin to see how their views had developed.  This gave us insights which helped us  when we eventually got to Malawi and had to work alongside Afrikaaners with different ideas.

Ralph and Jane Hanger

29th June 2020

And this time, something completely different …

Since the start of lockdown, I have been enjoying an early morning cycle ride each day in lieu of my previous swims.  Early on, I had two quite difficult encounters with HS2 protesters who were blocking my route along a minor country road and who proved quite reluctant to move sufficiently to enable me to pass at a 2 metre distance.

This is absolutely not a discussion on the rights and wrongs of HS2 (new high speed rail line initially from London to Birmingham and thence onwards).  Suffice it to say that I was not in favour of the construction of HS2 in the first place and expressed this (in a rather tame way, perhaps) via a couple of online petitions.  However, HS2 has for some while been a “done deal” and construction has continued unimpeded throughout lockdown.

As time has gone on, I have had several interesting chats with HS2 construction workers who have told me interesting things about their work and how it fits into their lives and about the progress being made.  These have included chats with a couple of those tasked with maintaining 24/7 the security of the perimeter of the site.

This morning I had quite a different encounter.  I got chatting to two of the protesters, residents of the “….. Protection Camp” (names of places, gender and age of people met deliberately omitted).  They told me about their involvement in the protest and I gained an insight into how it had given two (perhaps quite troubled, disaffected and socially disadvantaged) individuals a cause, a purpose and a “family” of sorts.  These particular individuals were polite and respectful – it was a pleasure chatting with them.  They were keen to tell me that within the camp, they maintain social distance and as proof of this, not one of the residents has contracted the virus.

The conversation was not a long one.  It is my policy never to ask questions and never to express a view - but as the conversation progressed, I was aware of God gently rebuking me.  I had developed quite a fixed perception of a group of people ('the protesters').  The pattern was the usual one.  During those early encounters, I had become very anxious about whether I had in fact managed to stay a sufficient distance from them.  Over the next hours, my anxiety turned to anger.  I found myself thinking “if I get the virus, it will probably be their fault” and I lumped them all together and held a very negative, judging view of them.  This morning’s encounter challenged that.

As I said, this is not about my attitude to HS2.  It’s about my attitude to people.  God challenged me once again to see them as individuals!

Barbra Depledge

29th June 2020

What do missionaries look like?

Following Ian’s comments on Tim and Roddy in ‘Word for the Day‘ on what a missionary looks like and Neil’s comments on Sunday about how some people judge us by our exteriors, we thought you might like to hear of something that happened to us many years ago when we were ‘on leave’ from Malawi.

We were young missionaries, still in our late 20's and visiting folk in Belfast.  We travelled by ferry on a crowded boat.  As we arrived at the docks, the boat emptied with folk being greeted by friends and family, but we were eventually left on our own on the quayside.  We were working for Scripture Union at the time and so had our SU badges well displayed but no-one came to meet us.  At last someone came running up the quayside.  "Are you Ralph and Jane Hanger?" they said.  We were relieved! "We have just realised what we have been doing." they went on. "We have been standing at the end of the docks looking for a couple of missionaries, but we suddenly realised we don't know what missionaries look like!"

There certainly is no accurate stereotype for Missionaries!

Ralph and Jane Hanger

28th June 2020

Places of Passage:  further reflections on how we grow spiritually and emotionally through a period of transition and change!

I started to write this a few days ago – and then the latest announcement was made with a new raft of changes to what we will and will not be able do – mainly from 4th July.  And, as ever, I was so conscious that what brings improvement for some and hope that life will become more bearable before too long, brings little or none for others coping with a different set of circumstances.  Like everyone else, after each shift in this whole period of change, I have to try to grasp its implications for me and then let my world settle back onto some sort of level plain again.

In my last piece, I drew on one of the books I am reading at present.  It is entitled “The Other Side of Chaos: Breaking Through When Life is Breaking Down” and is by Margaret Silf.   In another chapter, Margaret lists 8 different forms of passage – means by which we get from one place to another – but not simply everyday journeys – those which involve a significant transition, a degree of risk or potentially fear.  These passageways offer wonderful pictures, images of our experiences as we journey from our lives as they were before the pandemic, through chaos, uncertainty, and loss towards life as it will be afterwards, the “new normal”.

The routes or places of passage Margaret suggests are:

  1. Tunnels
  2. Mountain passes
  3. Tidal causeways
  4. Flight
  5. Rough sea crossings
  6. Cliff tops
  7. Jungle trails
  8. Desert crossings

I find these really pertinent images because each of them will impact each of us differently.  I’m not keen on tunnels but am not nearly as uncomfortable with them as David (my husband).  As a keen hill walker, I love mountain passes but I’m not so keen if there is a very steep drop on both sides (not for me Striding Edge or Sharp Edge for Lake District enthusiasts!); others may experience serious vertigo on any narrow pass.  Tidal causeways take me to much loved places like the Holy Island of Lindisfarne; I understand the tide times and feel very comfortable that I know when it is safe to cross the causeway and when it is safe to cross the pilgrims’ path across the sands.  Others may fear the rising tide lapping at their backs, swallowing their opportunity for retreat.  Some love flying; others are terrified of it.  I love rough sea crossings; others hate them.  I love cliff tops and cliff paths but can't look when I see how close some people get to the edge – or worse let their children get to the edge!  My experience of jungle trails is limited to a handful of occasions when I’ve had a knowledgeable local guide; my experience of desert crossings is zero!

So some of these images reflect welcome transitions from one place to another, an adventure perhaps; others we will undertake only if we very badly want to get to a destination approached only by this route (a flight across the world, for example, to visit family).

With the pandemic, we have been thrust inescapably into a period of intense change and transition.  For a few this has brought positive benefits – a welcome respite from responsibilities and routine for example; for many there have been experiences of receiving exceptional kindness, discovery of new local places, beauty in unexpected places.  But mostly it has been difficult and unwelcome – and some of the consequences are not going away in a hurry.  We are still in or on those passages, journeying to a less than certain destination.  So much accumulated wisdom about our spiritual journey teaches us that growth comes through unasked for pain.  For Celtic Christians, passages have always had the potential to be “thin places” – places where the presence of God is especially tangible and easily felt.

You may like to reflect on each of these places of passage and see how you experience each image.  Which particularly resonates with you?  How far along or through those do you feel you have come? How is it changing you? I leave it with you!

Barbra Depledge

26th June 2020

This is a response to our questionnaire which you can find here if you would also like to contribute. 

Name (not necessarily your full name or real name)


Is this a shared response and, if yes, who with?

Not shared

Some things that have affected you most in the crisis

The fellowship. So grateful for the contact via I Pad or telephone. Story received written by great grandchild

The hardest thing of all

Missing contact e.g. Big hugs from Friends and family.

Have there been some good points to come out of the crisis?

Being able to share photos of Friends and relatives

Any comments about the spiritual response of yourself and others

To be able to pray with members, at times like this, sharing a prayer helps such a lot.

Are there additional things you would have liked QRBC to do?

Have some traditional hymns included in the service

Anything else you would like to say?

May the love Of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all now and evermore.

22nd June 2020

We asked people to send us a photo (as it says in these notices) and Rev Ian Macnair did. Thank you and thanks to Ian and others who have contributed to our Word for the Day series which this Wednesday reaches 100 days of publication.

21st June 2020

Further lockdown musings

Much is being said and written at the moment expressing the hope that we will come out of this present situation BETTER – as a society and communities - where there is more kindness, more help and support for one another, more awareness of the needs of others.  The achievement of this aspiration clearly rests, not on wishful thinking, but on a significant proportion of individuals being better – kinder, more thoughtful etc.

Clearly the question we each need to be concerned about is “Will I (me, myself!) come out of this a ‘better’ person?”  Not just kinder, but more resilient, more mature in my faith? 

One of the books I am reading at present is proving particularly helpful.  It is by Margaret Silf and called “The Other Side of Chaos: Breaking Through When Life is Breaking Down”.  Margaret is one of my current favourite authors. With an earlier career in business and technology, she is now a Retreat Leader and Spiritual Director and writes from an Ignatian Spirituality perspective.  In the chapter I read this morning, she used the analogy of the story of Noah (Genesis 8).  Noah clearly followed God’s leading during a period of unprecedented chaos and transition.  He and his family were cooped up on the Ark (imagine the smells!) for months on end (ring any bells?).  Eventually the end seemed to be in sight but there were a few false starts before the dove went out and did not return.  Margaret points out that when the Ark comes to rest, it does so on Mount Ararat (conjures up for me wonderful images of the Ark wobbling precariously on some steep mountainside!).  The interesting thing is that this was a much higher place than where they set off from.  Not only quite geographically removed but at a higher altitude, one they might never have reached without the Flood.  This was of course no guarantee of coming out perfectly renewed people as the second half of Chapter 9 of Genesis tells us.  Coming out of this pandemic ‘better’ people – individually or as communities – is by no means guaranteed.  But the opportunity exists.  All of Noah’s friends, his former home and possessions have been stripped away and a new beginning HAS to be made – there is no going back.  For us too, despite our inevitable longings to “go back to normal”, this is not going to happen.  Most of what we long for is to be able to see different people, to do different things.  These are very natural hopes.  But what about who we are?  We will not be kinder, more thoughtful unless we become more spiritually and emotionally resilient.  Challenges there for each of us perhaps?

On a day to day basis, the situation remains horrible for many – painful, lonely, full of daily struggles, pleasures harder to find and to hold on to.  Each new “easing” of restrictions brings joy and improvement for some – and little or none for others.  We are all needing to find joy in small things that are accessible to us and contentment in new routines.  But growth and maturity will not come by denying that it is hard and unwelcome.  Resurrection and new life only follows death.  Death cannot be short circuited.  And one of my passions for now is that we give one another permission to be real about the struggles.  For me that is one of the most important ways in which we need to practice more kindness.

Barbra Depledge

8th June 2020

An appreciation of Jenny Caudwell

As you may have read on this website over the weekend, our member, Jenny Caudwell, died on Friday evening.   She and her husband, Brian, had been part of Queens Road for around 50 years and their three sons grew up with us.

Jenny suffered back and neck problems throughout her adult life following an accident as a young person but she nonetheless contributed much to the life of the church over the years.  Perhaps most notable was all she did to establish, sustain and adapt the Prayer Network as a vital part of the life of the fellowship.  How many of us have cause to be thankful that requests for prayer have been circulated quickly and efficiently, initially by telephone and latterly mainly by email?  Jenny was also a wonderful listener and was a faithful and supportive friend to many.  I was very blessed to have her as my Prayer Partner for many years and she was an absolutely indispensable, totally confidential support in my counselling work with the Light House and subsequently in other settings.

A couple of years ago, following a period of serious ill-health for both of them, Brian and Jenny took the very difficult decision to leave all their friends at Queens Road and move to Hexham where their son, Simon and his wife, Lynn, live.  They moved into a lovely bungalow in the grounds of a care home.  Sadly before long, Jenny needed more practical care than could be provided in that setting so she has been in different care homes whilst Brian remained in the bungalow, visiting her faithfully every day until lockdown started.  Jenny has been very poorly for several months and was ready to go and be with her Lord.  Brian, Simon and Lynn were able to be with her in her final hours.

Brian and Jenny’s other sons live in Canada and Switzerland respectively and their grand-daughter in Liberia.  Thankfully they have all been in close contact via video calling, but nonetheless being so far apart at such a time is hard.

Jenny was not someone who sought the limelight.  She suffered a good deal over her lifetime but she was sustained by her faith in our Lord and is a fine example to us of quiet trust and service.  We rejoice that she is now at peace with her Lord and pray the family will know his peace, his strength and his comfort.  We hope to share details of the funeral service in due course so those who wish, can share in their own homes in this remembrance of Jenny.

Barbra Depledge

27th May 2020

I was reading the story of Martyn Cook who was a member at our church in the 1970s & 80s. (see story on 25th May below). He recently came across some posters of the Evangelist Billy Graham whilst sorting his garage out and was asking about any members who had memories of Billy Graham’s ministry.

Well this is my story :-      My sister Lorraine Mills received an invitation from Queens Road church to attend a Mission England crusade at Villa Park led by the preacher Billy Graham. We both accepted his invitation at the end of his service to get out of our seats and onto the football ground to ask God into our lives.

We both attended a nurture group and then a baptismal class at Queens Road church. In March 1985 we were both baptised and we would both say it is the best decision we have taken in our lives, knowing Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savour and best friend, and I imagine it’s the same for millions of other people around the world that Billy Graham led to Jesus.

There’s lots of quotes of Billy Graham but this is one of my favourites:-

  “The cross tells us that God understands our sin and our suffering, for he took them upon himself in the person of Jesus Christ.

    From the cross God declares “I love you, I understand the heartaches and sorrows and the pain that you feel, but I love 💗 you.

    The story does not end with the cross for Easter points us beyond the tragedy of the cross to the empty tomb, it tells us there is hope, eternal life, for Jesus Christ has conquered evil and death and hell, YES there is hope.

As we look forward this weekend to the celebration of Pentecost, I pray that many more people will experience God's Holy Spirit poured out upon their lives.

God's blessings

Gail Shineton

26th May 2020

Beyond Ourselves……!

LOCKDOWN and SELF-ISOLATION have by and large reduced our horizons to the four walls of our sitting rooms.

Increasingly, we feel the pain and heartache of the loss of that most basic of human needs -------- to be together!  It is, of course, most keenly felt where families are unable to gather, but it also applies to our church family.

*not being able to be in church together

*not being able to sing together, to worship God together, to hear from His Word together

*not receiving/sharing a smile, a handshake, a hug as we greet one another…

*not being able to gather around the LORD’s table together

*not being able to share coffee and a natter afterwards in the servery…

*and, not being able to come together as a church family to celebrate and give thanks for the lives of those we’ve so recently lost and hold most dear.

Whilst many churches, our own included, are doing a magnificent job enabling us to ‘meet and worship’ virtually ___ it is just NOT the same as actually being with one another.  I was sharing this thought recently with a dear friend who lost her husband to cancer just 3 days after Lockdown was imposed and who herself was only 3 weeks post-op following a hip replacement at the time. This was her response:

Yes, it is not the same as really worshipping together. At least we have something ….. unlike our persecuted brothers and sisters. Just been praying for Iran and Algeria this morning. How do they survive?”

As I read her text I felt deeply ashamed and convicted!   There was I bemoaning the loss of being together as church, and she, a newly widowed lady still in the early stages of recovering from surgery, was faithfully praying for fellow believers in Christ who CANNOT MEET TOGETHER as church for fear of the authorities.

The title I gave these few thoughts is “Beyond Ourselves…” because my friend’s wonderful attitude challenged me to think BEYOND myself and my little woes to people who have been suffering much much longer than our 8-9 weeks of Lockdown. We know that ultimately we WILL GET BACK to being together to worship God; to share communion together in freedom. Our friends in Christ in Iran, Algeria and many other countries may never have that privilege or may live in constant fear should they try to meet!

Whilst digital technology may allow persecuted Christians to access Christian material on line or even ‘‘meet virtually’’,  it can also be used by the authorities to identify and discriminate against believers. Attacks against churches , including enforced closure, has risen by 500% in the last year. (source:

Open Doors (  is an International Ministry serving persecuted Christians and churches worldwide.  Barnabas Fund ( stands alongside Christian brothers and sisters where they suffer discrimination and persecution by providing aid through partners on the ground and speaking out on their behalf.  These two organizations are an excellent resource to feed our prayers…

So, let’s look “Beyond Ourselves …!” and pray in earnest for our fellow believers in Christ.

“Bear one another’s burdens , and so fulfil the law of Christ”  (Galatians 6 v2)

Ruth Jess


26th May 2020

This beautiful Red Admiral came into our garden yesterday evening & stayed for about 15 minutes on our choysia. The REAL  group helped me to identify what type of butterfly it was. I also learned that this delicate, but obviously very resliiant creature has flown all the way from North Africa. How incredible is that. I'm also told they like nettles, thistles & budleas, lavender& rosemary, none of which we have in our garden. I feel very privileged to have had this beautiful butterfly spend time in our garden & thank you REAL group, it was a REAL team effort. 

Margaret Newby


25th May 2020

Martyn Cook, one of our members in the 1970'and 80s, has been spending his lockdown clearing out his garage. He came across some old pieces of hardboard (never throw things away that might be useful later), turned them round to find what you see on the photo. It brought back memories and wonders if any others remember visits to Aston Villa football ground in 1984, or were otherwise influenced by Billy Graham's ministry?  If so, you might like to share them in Our Stories.

Martyn is also threatening to send his memories too. He & Donna send their love to any who remember them. They are both involved in their local church in Swindon.


23rd May 2020

Sarah White's contribution to Our Stories is a video which you can see here. If you wish to contact Sarah about what she says, email us here and we will pass it on.


21st May 2020

Ascension Day reflection

I started to write a reflection about Ascension Day last weekend but was then delighted to hear that Ian Macnair was writing his Word for the Day on the subject.   I share the view that this is an under-acknowledged date, most particularly in the Free Churches (Anglican churches do often – in “normal” times at least – have a service to celebrate it).

Coming at it from a rather more subjective angle (as ever), I was reflecting on that gap between Jesus’ resurrection and his ascension.    It seemed to me that the apostles needed that 40 day interval to properly “get” that Jesus was indeed not dead but risen and alive.  Had Jesus simply ascended to heaven straight after his resurrection, the apostles would have had much more difficulty grasping the very extraordinary nature of what followed his death.  The resurrection appearances of Jesus in that 40 day period were much quoted by them subsequently as evidence of the resurrection – and continue to form a big part of our thinking about it.

And then there was another gap – between the Ascension and Pentecost – a 10 day gap – when the apostles must have felt seriously left in the lurch – Jesus had gone but they had still not received the promised “power from on high”. 

It all made me think about those gaps which we experience on our Christian journey – between periods when we feel clear and certain about God’s love and purposes for our lives and periods when we feel all at sea and lost and unsure – or worse.  And currently we are in a gap between “normal” life as we knew it when we could go about our tasks and responsibilities – duties and pleasures – freely, without hindrance – and whatever the “new normal” will be as and when we ever arrive at it at some unknown and still fairly far distant point. 

Just like the early disciples, we can only “hang on in”, trust (in the certainties we have previously experienced), obey (they were told to “wait in Jerusalem”) and stick together (they were “all together” on Pentecost Day).   The “gaps” can be puzzling, confusing and sometimes just horrible but the light has not been quenched just because the sun has gone over the horizon or behind a cloud –  we can reach for it in different forms and in memory.

Barbra Depledge


20th May 2020

News from our Mission Partners in Liberia

Acts Chapel Churches Reopen - With Social Distancing

The government in Liberia has allowed churches in Liberia to reopen with special measures and there was an overflowing of joy and thanksgiving in the three Acts Chapel churches.

Pastor Roberts and the 12 members of the Leadership Team from the 3 Acts Chapel churches spoke last weekend (10 May) and planned multiple reduced sized services. Some key preparations included the use of contactless thermometers installation outside the church as well as the hand washing stations, everyone wore face masks and the Pastors wore Face shields. Everyone went directly to there seats and worshipped and danced in place. 

The Service was one of Thanksgiving for God’s protection in these tough times. The Bible reading Isaiah 40:28 proclaims God never gets tired or weary and the people were encouraged to trust in Him and follow his wisdom which cannot be measured.

The worship was full despite there being a third of the people - people wanted to make a joyful noise!  Each of the 2 services in each location were attended by 42 people - according to the size of the buildings and was an adult only service. 

Pastor Roberts said that people were “most disciplined, the service was so wonderful, people wanted to be in church together but followed the strict code which had been shared with them beforehand by Leaders in group chats on their phones”. 

The children - Miracle Kids are meeting separately on Thursday with 2 sessions to keep the groups smaller and they will follow all the safety protocol as they continuing their youth discipleship programme. 

Bible Study takes place on Wednesday and people are hungry to learn and grow - to be together and worship.

There is excitement and caution as the church continues its plans to meet while maintaining safety and care for all the people. A new way to serve, worship and grow in our constant ever faithful strong loving God.

Prayer points for Acts Chapel 

Keeping safe as a congregation and a country - for people to follow the rules and peace and calm to remain - for the virus to end and for God to be thanked and praised.


19th May 2020

John Pither says  "I thought I would share the short House Group Study we did by Zoom last week in case others would like to use it. It includes our QRBC verse for 2020, Hebrews 12:2."

Short Bible Study on Hebrews 12: 1 -3 & 14 -17.

Read the passage in at least two versions - below is the JB Phillips Translation which is particularly helpful

We should consider these examples and Christ the perfect example
12 1-3 Surrounded then as we are by these serried ranks of witnesses, let us strip off everything that hinders us, as well as the sin which dogs our feet, and let us run the race that we have to run with patience, our eyes fixed on Jesus the source and the goal of our faith. For he himself endured a cross and thought nothing of its shame because of the joy he knew would follow his suffering; and he is now seated at the right hand of God’s throne. Think constantly of him enduring all that sinful men could say against him and you will not lose your purpose or your courage.

In times of testing be especially on your guard against certain sins
14-17 Let it be your ambition to live at peace with all men and to achieve holiness “without which no man shall see the Lord”. Be careful that none of you fails to respond to the grace which God gives, for if he does there can very easily spring up in him a bitter spirit which is not only bad in itself but can also poison the lives of many others. Be careful too, that none of you falls into impurity or loses his reverence for the things of God and then, like Esau, is ready to sell his birthright to satisfy the momentary hunger of his body. Remember how afterwards, when he wanted to have the blessing which was his birthright, he was refused. He never afterwards found the way of repentance though he sought it desperately and with tears.

Questions to Discuss (Adapted from Max Lucado - Just Like Jesus)

Why does Paul call the Christian life a race instead of a walk or jog or some other activity?

What kind of things hinder you from racing effectively? Do you know anyone who has quit?

How can we continue to look joyfully toward the end?

How do we sometimes lose sight of the goal?

Why are you in the race? How can you overcome the urge to stop, rest and take it easy?


18th May 2020

I recently came across these meanderings, written during the first two weeks of Lockdown and reflecting a real roller coaster of thoughts and feelings.  

Thank God for the good memories and training when growing up.  I find it helpful when times are tough to turn to bible verses and songs and hymns committed to memory many years ago, as well as memories of people who have been an influence for good. 

I have hesitated about sharing this earlier as some of it sounded negative.  However, despite my initial hesitation to share these feelings, I have decided to send it as written.  As someone said recently “It is sometimes OK not to be OK.”


The sense of shock & bewilderment

That sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach;

The frenzied activity: -

A deluge of phone calls, emails, texts & letters

T.V., What’s App, Zoom & Video

A never - ending pound, pound in my ears, in my head;

The need to go to ground; the desire to get away from the pound

Of the sound going on and on and round & round.

The thoughts, the memories, feelings & emotions

Crowding in relentlessly.  People to contact, tasks to fulfil

No time or reason to stand still.


There is a sense of sadness, of grief,

Of beauty around us of searching deep

Catching up; Clearing the clutter,

Concern for each other;

 Aching, choking, sobbing

Laughter or sighing

Joy at birth & grief for those dying.


Coral Lynes


17th May 2020

You may be aware that this morning's service had its technical difficulties and one or two of you may wonder just what was going on. 

When we needed, at short notice, to put services online, we had a number of choices. At one end of the scale we could have had one person doing everything spoken and provided a separate YouTube playlist of the songs that went with the service or we could have pre-recorded all the bits, linked them together and put them out on Sunday morning. We decided to go to the other end of the scale. We are very keen to keep the community feeling in our worship so we got lots of people to be involved. They could not come together so they have to be linked electronically. We use some live input and some pre-recorded pieces. Sometimes, for example during the initial welcome, you will see on screen those who are participating in the service as a gallery. This morning the usual Zoom app was not functioning so the technical team had to switch to using Microsoft Teams, something we had not used before. They did brilliantly and the service went ahead half an hour after the original scheduled time. Then the sound from the person doing the reading wasn't audible and Liz Martin had to step in to do the reading. The piece I do at the end was pre-recorded but we couldn't use that as it talked about the after service chat groups which couldn't happen without Zoom, so I did that live.

And yet, through all that, we were able to worship God and share communion together. Thank you to all who joined in. Thank God for the wonders of technology - without it the lockdown would have been much harder to bear for many.

David Depledge

Some of the congregation preparing for communion


16th May 2020

A Letter To Glenys Brown  

Dear Glenys,

So your new adventure has now begun - heaven is the richer.  Behind you are the visits to hospital, the chemo, the home visits to attend to your personal needs, the anxiety - how much longer, how much pain?

Boy, we are going to miss you. You've simply always been there - QR and you are intertwined, you've been part of us since you were born, you've been involved in so much of our family life. You've been a good friend to so many.

You just got on with things - like sorting out our Gift Aid tax reclaim. Boring stuff; someone had to do it......and it was you....probably for 40 years.  

But of course you came from good stock.  Your Mum &  Dad, Gwenfa & Stan Adey - they taught you - don't make a fuss - just get on with it - organised, reliable, trustworthy, full of integrity, faithful.

But maybe the thing we will remember you for, most of all, is the way you handled your daughter Nicola's and your own terminal illnesses.  Nicola, still a young Mum - 'it should have been me not her',  you must have said that over and over again.  Your faith and that of your friends, carried you through. 

You didn't hide it , pretend it wasn't happening; you talked to us about it, before and afterwards.

Then it came to your own illness. By your nature, you had times of worry and anxiety. But, when you knew what was wrong, you seemed to change.  You approached it positively, you were open to talking about it, you let us in to share your journey, you smiled and joked, you seemed to bounce back from every set back.  You encouraged others going through it too.

Then came all these restrictions.  We couldn't visit, we couldn't fling our arms around you, we had to care from a distance. But we were comforted to know that Don was able to care for you in the peace of your own home.

Glenys, you've taught us so much about coping with adversity.  How can 'thank you' be enough?  But we can thank God for you and for being the person you were. We can rejoice that your physical ailments are now no more and that you are now at peace with the Lord you worshipped so faithfully.

It has been a privilege for us to have you walking with us in our journey of faith -  all of us are the richer for it.   You are now on a new journey with the One you love and serve.

With love from from all of us who are your QR family.



11th May 2020

 THE REAL THING                   

Christian ladies form our Group.

We REALly are a feisty Troup.

Some are of a certain age,

Some it is quite hard to gauge.

Young ones too have joined our throng,

We want all sorts to come along.

The point is that we want to share

The love we have and lots of prayer.


Swapping clothes is what came first.        

To change our wardrobe in one burst.

Nothing now will go to waste.

“There’s something here to suit your taste.”

“I cannot think that this is true,

You bought this dress in 62.”

“I think it came from C & A,

A trendy find back in the day.”


A walk at Combe was such a treat,            

A really special place to meet.

The summer saw our next REAL date,

Held at the Russell-Yarde’s Estate.

We ate a tea of scones and jam

And talked about their long lost lamb!

We shared the plants we all had grown

From cuttings and the seeds we’d sown.

 A charity shop is what came next.                  

It rained all day but we weren’t vexed.

We shopped and dropped and dropped and shopped,

Then into Almanacks we popped.

We looked at what each one had bought,

A bargain was the thing we sought.

A box of sticks made Chris’s day,

But what it was, she couldn’t say.


But now the world has changed so much          

And all must miss the human touch.

We stay at home as we are told

Each one within our own stronghold.

But we don’t feel in isolation,

We are part of a congregation

That send by Whatsapp power and love,

Which only comes from God above.    

By Julia Yeomans


11th May 2020

Granny musing again …..

On a morning when we woke up to knowing small children may be able to return to school after half-term and we may be able to go to some pubs and cafes from July, BUT STILL NOT KNOWING WHEN WE CAN PHYSICALLY SEE AND HOLD OUR LOVED ONES – whether close family or dear friends, I was reminded of some words that have spoken to me a few times over the years.  In Jeremiah 6.14, we read of the Lord saying “they act as if my people’s wounds were only scratches” (Good News version) or “not serious” (NIV).  “’All is well’ they say, when all is not well” (Good News); “ ‘Peace, peace’ they say when there is no peace” (NIV).

It is the spiritual leaders of the day who are being condemned here.  I don’t know about you, but I have found the unremittingly upbeat nature of some of the material offered by Christian leaders and circulated via Facebook and other media, hard to take.  (I am NOT referring here to our own leaders).  For many of us, lockdown (however convinced we may have been that it was necessary and justified) has been and is horrible, miserable, wretched and at times unbearably heart-breaking - whether on our own behalf or on behalf of those known to us - in ways too numerous to list.    Of course, God is doing some amazing stuff, the churches have risen magnificently to the challenges and there is much to learn in the present situation.   God is indeed sovereign and will sustain us through it - but I’d still rather he enabled us to see our family members and friends physically, not just technologically, SOON, quick quick pronto.  Things are never going to be the same again – and there will be much for the churches to think about in terms of how they go forward.  But I long to get back most of our usual activities, routines and interactions.

Personally, I find that I can receive encouragement better if the negative stuff has been acknowledged and VALIDATED first.   And for me, this verse in Jeremiah assures me that God understands our pain and does not expect us to underestimate it or play it down.  Scripture in fact contains lots of outpourings of negative emotions – sometimes raw and brutal.  It is the inspired Word of God and it is all there for a reason (2 Timothy 3.16 ,17).  So, let’s encourage one another, by all means, but let’s also be real about the struggles.

Barbra Depledge


5th May 2020

Love greetings from Uganda

Paul and Christine Kyalimpa are our Mission Partners in Uganda. Paul is a Pastor and leader of the Kyenjojo District Baptist Association and also a teacher/trainer in agriculture. His wife Christine runs the family farm and has a teaching ministry, especially amongst the women. Since the photo was taken in 2018 they have a baby grandson, Matthew, who is 14months old. When the virus began to spread Paul had just arrived in Tanzania to do some training for Operation Agri. He had to return home quickly before lockdown. He sent us this at the end of April.  

As a family we are all now living on our farm here at Rwamukoora, in Kyenjojo district of Western Uganda. We do farm work daily; pray daily and worship together as a family on Sunday. I do go out on a motorcycle to buy necessary items for the farm and medicine for us. We thank God we have not had a Corona virus sick person in our district.

Here in Uganda the Lord Jesus Christ has been good to us in that we have had 63 Corona virus cases, and no deaths, so far so good, and 38 have recovered from Corona virus disease.

One measure that we took when we were still at zero Corona virus cases was to go into lockdown. Schools, all public gatherings, worship places, shops that sell non-food items, public transport, private cars, except lorries that carry food were stopped. There is also a curfew from 7.00pm to 6.00 am. Boda-boda motorcycle taxis are not allowed to carry passengers but only goods and that is food. Shops selling drugs for people, livestock and farm items are allowed to open. Lorry drivers infected now from neighbouring countries are the ones coming with the new Corona virus cases into our country.

This has resulted in movement of people from one place to another being heavily restricted now. People in in towns and in rural communities who depend on buying food have run short of money to buy food, treatment of sick, etc. because they are not working and have to stay at home. The government has mobilised to give out food but this is reaching only a few people in Kampala.

We are praying that the lockdown be shortened, but now we are hearing of increasing Corona virus cases in neighbouring countries numbering to 300 people infected with the disease and the number is rising each day. In some of these countries there are reported deaths.

Recently we have heard and seen so many cases of African people greatly mistreated in China by the Chinese just because they are black. Africa is now bleeding by the actions of China and the Chinese.

My prayer is that Africa will forgive China for these evils and the Chinese repent of these evils.

Please pray for us as we pray for you, calling and crying up to God to end this Corona virus epidemic.

Thanks so much for your friendship and more especially in times of need like this.

Sincerely yours

Pastor Paul Kyalimpa


4th May 2020

More musings of a Grandma

Last Sunday l received a request to proof read my eldest grandson's dissertation. He's 23 and in his final year at Preston University studying formula racing engineering. l apologise now to any petrol heads reading this, but formula racing! I just don't get it. However, I was not about to turn down an opportunity to support my grandson in his hour of need!

Having spent a good 4 hours trawling through the dissertation, I have to admit, I was not a lot wiser. Words like "aerofoils" (that's surely to do with a particular brand of chocolate!), "downforce," "iterations" (isn't that a skin complaint?) and others which left me feeling quite dizzy. I did gleen that it was something to do with designing, making and trialing a wing for a racing car to help it go faster and analysing the results.  Apart from the words, the dissertation was littered with graphs and diagrams with different coloured lines going up and down, a bit like the ones we get at our daily briefings from the government on corona virus. Also, various mathematical equations. Well, I wouldn't know if they were right or wrong!

Despite this, my grandson and I had a lovely couple of hours together going through his dissertation looking at mainly the need for capital letters, full stops and slight adjustments to grammar and spelling. The crunch came, however, when he asked me if I understood what I had read and had I found it interesting. If I recall correctly, a bit of bluff and bluster came from my mouth at this point! He then told me that he was concerned that there was not enough technical information and might be too simplistic! I tried my best to reassure him!

Having completed this rather daunting task, it made me think about how I sometimes might approach God's word. The Bible says that ALL scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching us what is true and make us realize what is wrong in our lives.......God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work."  (2 Timothy 3 v 16 & 17) NLT     

I believe this deeply, but have to be honest, there are some parts of the Bible l find more difficult to read and understand. For example, Numbers.  Well,........its got a lot of,.......... numbers in it. I guess that's where the title comes from. Also, the first 9 chapters of 1 Chronicles is mainly a list of names, most of them saying who they were the son of. However, there is a little gem in there, Chapter 4 v 9 & 10. Jabez gets a special mention ........ 

I confess, I do feel guilty at even being tempted to skip over these passages in order to move to what l might consider to be more "interesting" reading. However, they must be there for a reason or they wouldn't be there. I know one of the reasons was that it was important for the children of Israel to know, remember and recall their genealogy and for that to be written down. To remember their roots and whose they were in God's plan and design for all mankind. 

2 Timothy says God's word is for teaching. Therefore, John Ortberg writes,

"I must invite Jesus to be the personal Teacher of my life. I must trust that He is right.....about everything. And therefore, where I disagree with Him I  must either be wrong or not yet understand what it was He was saying." Love Beyond Reason, page 79.

I may have understood very little of my grandson's dissertation, but I trusted him to know what he was talking about. He designed and made the wing for the racing car, he tested it and evaluated the results. He knew what was required and how to communicate the results. God is our creator, He designed and made us for His glory and His honour. His Word is the Maker's manual which shows us how we should live.  And that means all of it.

I don't see a lot of my eldest grandson since he flew the nest, but would not have missed this opportunity to sit with him a while, via FaceTime, and share in something which is of great interest to him, even if l don't understand it all. I think that's what God wants us to do too, to sit with him a while and listen to what He has to say to us from ALL His Word, even though I may not fully understand why it is there, but thankful that l am fully understood. 

God bless and still missing you all to bits.

Margaret Newby

Ps My granddaughter is studying dietetics. Now that's much more up my street, so watch this space!


4th May 2020

From Chris Headon

"My sister sent me this a while back. It is a prayer attributed to Sir Francis Drake. 

Sometimes I find it helpful to pray it as a personal prayer, replacing the 'us' with 'me'".

Disturb us Lord - Francis Drake

Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves, 

When our dreams have come true 

Because we have dreamed too little, 

When we arrived safely 

Because we sailed too close to the shore. 


Disturb us, Lord, when 

With the abundance of things we possess 

We have lost our thirst 

For the waters of life; 

Having fallen in love with life, 

We have ceased to dream of eternity 

And in our efforts to build a new earth, 

We have allowed our vision 

Of the new Heaven to dim. 


Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, 

To venture on wider seas 

Where storms will show Your mastery; 

Where losing sight of land, 

We shall find the stars. 

We ask You to push back 

The horizons of our hopes; 

And to push into the future 

In strength, courage, hope, and love. Amen 


1st May 2020

Musings  - this time from a Granny!

Every morning for the past year or 18 months, I have sent one of our granddaughters a WhatsApp message with an encouraging message from Scripture.  I do this because she appreciates it greatly.  I do it whether I feel like it or not because I have made a commitment – but it has become a valuable spiritual discipline.  To start with, I kept a record of the verses I sent.  More recently I haven’t bothered but I know there have been few repetitions.  This is absolutely NOT because I have an encyclopaedic knowledge of Scripture.  It is because there are such a lot of promises and encouragements in Scripture … and because Google is absolutely brilliant at finding the reference from even the briefest half-remembered phrase or for those “I know it’s in there somewhere but I’ve no idea where” verses!  .  (Older readers of this piece will remember Concordances and the confusion around which version you remember the phrase in!  I haven’t bothered with one for some years now!)  Sometimes what I send arises from one of my morning readings.  Often I have to trawl a bit deeper for inspiration – but, with the help of Google, it always comes.

This morning I shared with her that I felt I was in a deep, dark pit in which there was very little to do and very little certainty when and how I would be able to get out.  (She and many of you may feel like that too).  I told her that God had reminded me that in Psalm 18.19, we are told that God rescues us and brings us out into a spacious place because he delights in us.  Further on, in verse 33, we are told that he makes our feet like the feet of a deer and enables us to stand on the heights.  (Aficionados of wildlife programmes like myself will know that several species of deer and mountain goat are able to scramble up near vertical slopes at remarkable speed to escape predators or access grazing).  If we will allow him, God will help us to ascend to those heights in our minds (access your memories and your dreams!) and in our spirits. 

Barbra Depledge

29th April 2020

Musings of a Grandma

For me, as for many others, not being able to see family and friends is the hardest thing to cope with during our current isolation. I am used to seeing my youngest daughter and my 9 year old grandson very regularly, but because of various health issues, he will have to be in total lockdown for the full 12 weeks. 

To help things along, my daughter has bought him his own mobile phone with WhatsApp & facetime. This has made a huge difference.

So, every morning, anytime after 7am, but before 8 am, I get a message saying "Grandma, are you awake? Do you want to call me?" (No one else is awake in their house at that time of the morning!) For the next 20 -30 minutes, we chat together about this and that. At the same time, he's usually playing a game on the Xbox or TV. Every now and again he looks up to check I'm still there and he can still see me. It's as though, if he can see me I'm there with him.  While we are chatting I sometimes get washing ready for the machine, put dishes away, prepare my breakfast or sit with a cuppa.

I really look forward to these early morning "get togethers" and they certainly make not being able to see him a lot more bearable. 

Over breakfast today, I was reflecting on the new morning routine that he and I now share and began to think about how it could influence and challenge my relationship with God. Here are some of my musings.

Is tuning into God my first thought of the day? Is He the first One I want to talk with?

The conversation I have with my grandson can be two way, but quite often he does most of the talking. Do I stop to listen to what God might want to say to me? Or do I do most of the talking, hardly stopping to take a breath, with a long list of requests, with a few moans and grumbles added in?

Sometimes, my grandson pauses the video link so I can't see him or he'll turn off the sound so I can't hear him.

Do I think I can do that to God when I'm tempted to step away from the way He wants me to live? Thinking he won't see or hear me?

I often carry my phone from room to room so I can still, see and hear him and he can still see and hear me while doing my jobs. 

This seems a lovely picture of how God manages to do everything and be everywhere at once and all the same time. He is able to manage the whole universe 24/7 and at the same time, meet with me face to face. Amazing.

Just as my grandson looks up from time to time to check I'm still there and he can see me. How often do I look up and check that I can still see my heavenly Father and haven't lost sight of or connection to Him.

Finally, after our FaceTime this morning, my grandson sent me a voice text saying that he loved me more than garlic bread, pizza and sausages. Considering that's almost all he eats, I thought that was pretty special. It made me feel happy, it made me laugh, it made me feel special, it made me feel loved, it made me cry. 

I began to wonder, how often do I say to my heavenly Father. " I love you more than...................

When did I last make Him feel loved by me.  When did I last make Him feel special or make Him laugh by doing something funny for Him.

Maybe other thoughts will come to me during the day, I do hope so, because I have so much to learn about growing in my relationship with God.  Maybe you will too.

One last thought, my grandson did not say that he loved me more than chicken nuggets!  Perhaps that's just a step too far! 

So, are there limits on my love towards God? What might they be?

Thank you for listening to the musings of a Grandma.

God bless and lots of love. I miss you all to bits.

Margaret xxx 

23rd April 2020

In the care of God

Recently I was reading  Barbra’s Lockdown Reflection on here (16th April, below) and her pictures during a meditation of walking across sand and it reminded me of a dream I had years ago that I have found helpful to reflect on when life feels quite scary and out of control. It occurred at a time in my life when I was struggling with various situations, ill elderly parents, difficult teenagers at home and a lot of stress at work. In my dream I was walking across a beach and fell face down in wet sand. I initially tried to get up and found I couldn’t. I then realised that I was actually being held face down in the sand by a tremendous weight. I couldn’t turn to see what was holding me but I knew it was Jesus and instead of feeling scared I felt a huge relief that I couldn’t move and my only choice was to totally relax into the sand and be still. It felt wonderful and once awake I became aware that my  body and mind were no longer taut and tense but relaxed and peaceful with a sense of real calm. I had a greater emotional and physical understanding of what it means  to cast our cares up on Christ let him carry some of our cares and troubles.

At a homegroup, also many years ago, one of our senior members Audrey Gibson shared with us that during a time of great worry and shock within her family she had been praying and had experienced the sensation of being wrapped in a warm blanket. It was comforting and reassuring and she felt so aware of God’s presence within such a difficult time.I spoke with Audrey this week by phone at St Andrews Home and she explained that at the moment all of the residents are confined to their rooms and of course cannot have visitors. We spoke about her experience all those years ago and she commented “I have that blanket with me now and it is helping me through this” 

We have our Bibles where we find inspiration, guidance, challenge and comfort. We can also experience  God’s presence in different ways and as we recollect them, share them with each other and draw upon them, those encounters can give us strength, courage, comfort and hope through this and other challenges in our lives.

Sandra Hobley

21st April 2020

We have produced a questionnaire to offer a way to share your story with us all. This is the first reply.

Name (not necessarily your full name or real name)
Kay Hamer

Is this a shared response and, if yes, who with?

Some things that have affected you most in the crisis
concern for my daughter and grandaughter working in hospital and another grandaughter working in a a respite situation

The hardest thing of all
'Down' days

Have there been some good points to come out of the crisis?
Loads. the support, encouragement, love and care shown to me and my husband. Amazing neighbours, loving family. my garden is such a blessing. I am so very thankful for all this and more.

Any comments about the spiritual response of yourself and others
There is a heightened awareness of the richness of God's provision and beauty in nature. The love shared in the REAL group, opportunities now that there is time to pray alone or with friends via Zoom. I am finding that God is speaking in so many ways which in previous busyness I had not noticed

Are there additional things you would have liked QRBC to do?
The Church leaders especially the ministers and officers have gone so so much more than the extra mile. What more can we ask.

Anything else you would like to say?
Thank you Lord for the many many blessings in this awful time.

17th April 2020

Samuel David brings a Jordan Well Project Update

Due to the current situation with the lockdown, we have moved our weekly activities online. Previously we met on Saturdays for bible study at church but now we are utilizing Zoom for this purpose. Therefore, any student or young person who wants to be part of this group should feel free to contact me and I will add them to the invite list.  

As some of you who (use to) attend the evening service know, we normally have our music session on Sunday afternoons but that has been halted since the lockdown. However, we are currently working on a plan to continue practicing songs together through an online means; this will kick off after university exam week which is this week. If this is something you are interested in as a young person or student do contact me.

Most importantly, if you know any young person or student who wants to get involved in any of our activities to keep their faith growing do share their information with me and I will be more than happy to contact them.

Finally, I want to thank those who have been supporting me by constantly praying for me, checking on me and financially supporting me. May God continue to bless you and give you your heart desires.

Those who are supporting me financially and wants an update about how I'm coping with my financial situation should drop me an email with the subject Intern/Sponsor.  And if you want to know what to pray for use this subject - JWP/Prayer/List

Samuel David: 07466305663, email

16th April 2020

A lockdown reflection

Arising from one of the morning meditations I use, I had two pictures this morning:

In the first, I was walking along a vast area of sandy beach.  The sand was firm, mostly easy to walk on and it was not hard to avoid the few obvious soft bits.  It all looked much the same, stretching as far as the eye could see.  Suddenly though, my foot sank deep into an area of quicksand.  It had looked just the same as the rest, but now my foot was firmly stuck, deep in a seemingly bottomless hole.

In the second I was leaping from rock to rock in an area of shallow water – perhaps stepping stones across a river – perhaps the rocks at the edge of a beach.   I was moving steadily and confidently when suddenly one of the stones wobbled and then tipped (in some countries it might be that I had actually stepped on an alligator lurking quietly!!).

In both pictures, the scene changed completely unexpectedly from one of pleasurable progress and enjoyment to one of fear and possibly real danger – trapped by the rising tide, a broken limb, mauled by an alligator – but at very least severe discomfort.

Both these images evoke powerfully for me the situation we find ourselves in at present.  How often do we find ourselves thinking:  “if we’d known even 6 weeks ago what was coming, we wouldn’t have ……”.  Despite mostly trying not to set our hearts on any specific hope of “unlocking”, we find ourselves wondering, longing, dreaming of what we will do when …..

But more significantly perhaps, what are the things we are currently denied which this situation reveals we have come to rely on for our sense of well-being?  The physical presence of family and friends?  Hugs with them?  The freedom to pop to the shops any time we want for that forgotten or longed-for item?  The freedom to pop to a coffee shop to cheer ourselves up?  The freedom to hop in the car for a trip to the countryside, the seaside.  The familiarity of our normal daily, weekly or monthly routine.  None of these are bad things in themselves.  And it is natural that we miss them – desperately, agonisingly at times.  But what are the things we are feeling wobbly and insecure without??  Maybe this is a time when we would benefit from talking with God about what we have become too dependent on.  It is too easy to say simply “we should rely on God and God alone”.  Of course that is true. But he blesses us with many relationships and activities.  Holding these in the right balance is a lifelong part of our journey – which this present situation has thrown a very big boulder on the path of.  How we personally will get past it – or over it – will be seen in the years to come.

Barbra Depledge

14th April 2020


Strange Time or Spring Time

Everything is silent;

All the world perplexed:

Signs of Spring around us,

Through chaos and unrest

And each and every person

Is reaching out this day:

Trying to find some comfort

In finding ways to pray.

So, help us count each blessing,

Not be negative and whining.

As sun peeps through the cloud Lord,

May we experience its silver lining.


Coral Lynes     March/April 2020

12th April 2020


Shared by Iain Colville

Welcome to the real world

I’m beginning to understand.

I saw a sign once

outside a church. It said

'Are you really living

or just walking around

to save the expense of a funeral?'

I didn’t know

that Love is real life,

and everything else

just a more or less entertaining way

of dying.

And I didn’t know

that Love is like nothing on earth.

Love isn’t what you fall in.

It’s what pulls you out

of what you fall in.

Love isn’t a good feeling.

Love is doing good

when you’re feeling bad.

Love means hanging in

when everyone else

shrugs their shoulders

and goes off to McDonalds.

Love means taking the knocks

and coming back

to try to make things better.

Love hurts.

It’s its way of telling you

that you’re alive.

And the funny thing is that after all

Love does feel good.

People say Love is weak.

But Love is tougher than Hate.

Hating’s easy.

Most of us have a gift for it.

But Love counts to ten

while Hate slams the door.

Love says you

where Hate says me.

Love is the strongest weapon

known to mankind.

Other weapons blow people up.

Only Love puts them back together again.

And everything that seems real,

that looks smart,

that feels good,

has a sell-by date.

But Love has no sell-by date.

Love is Long Life.

Love is the ultimate preservative.

I don’t know too much about Love

but I know a man who does,

up there on the cross

loving us to death.

Love is the key

to the door of the place

he’s prepared for you

in the kingdom of God.

If you’re beginning to understand

then welcome to the real world.

© Godfrey Rust, Used with permission: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0, all rights reserved.


12th April 2020

An Easter video made by the Boxer family is here

11th April 2020

Alone, triumphant

Long, long ago the earth was changed,

A man walked through the land. 

By so called holy men disdained,  

He formed a little band.


This band supported Him until

The going got so tough

They stayed until they’d had their fill,

They’d clearly had enough


Authority crept up at night

And took Him off for trial

They cheated; beat him, bloody sight,

He walked the lonely mile.


He hung alone, His friends had left

It’s finished was His cry

His mother stood and looked, bereft,

And watched her loved son die.


He rose triumphant from the grave

And challenged His small band

To go throughout the world and save

All people by his hand

                                 By Don Brown

11th April 2020

And if you would like to try a slightly different approach to praying during the pandemic, the attached 'cartoon' might help you in your thinking.  The text for 'Beatitudes for a Global Pandemic' was written by Jayne Manfredi, based on Matthew chapter 5 and the illustrations are by Dave Walker.

Graham Parsons

10th April 2020

These times are weird. Lots of jobs getting done that have been put on hold for ages.

But as I sit & reflect on the awesome Good Friday Service we've just been blessed with; I also think back to Good Friday 10 years ago. Having been lying flat on my back (following a brain haemorrhage) for 3 weeks I was finally allowed home. I was fortunate in that I'd been given a time scale (3weeks). Many who are currently in hospital have no idea how long their stay will be. I recall the song "God will find a way, when there seems to be no way" helped me through - that and the many many cards that the good folk of QRBC sent me & their wonderful acts of kindness. God did find a way for me then & He will for us all today.

So back to today. I praise God for modern technology which enables us to stay in touch whilst isolated. Please keep in touch & stay safe. May God bless you richly this Easter tide.

Nicky P.

10th April 2020

The Darkest Hours

Death not yet defeated

Victory still to be completed.

You hang in unrelenting agony

In love for all humanity

Upon that cross

In the unnatural darkness of those day light hours

As ‘night’ blots the sunlight of God’s love

And heaven roars

And wars

Against the powers of sin and death and hell!


And in that darkness ‘My God, my God, WHY…’

We hear Your agonising cry

In those dark moments of abandonment

God –forsaken!




You bear our pain.

Our wanton shame

The weight of all our brokenness

Our sin, our failure

Upon you fall,

Our awesome sacrificial Saviour!

And heaven roars

And wars

Against the powers of sin and death and hell!


Then with the curtain torn

Gasps from Your breath

The victory cry!

‘It is finished!’

Sin and death defeated…

Your work on earth completed!

Now Lord for all whom in THIS moment

Bear the pain

Of grief and loss,

Of sin and guilt and shame,

Of gnawing fear 

Of future days unclear

Questioning WHY?

Draw near

And in Your Love -embrace enfold them

Secure and safe to know

Death defeated!

Battle done!

Love has won!......

And glorious Light will dawn

On Resurrection morn

Reflections on the last three hours of Jesus life

and His Cry from the Cross

‘My God, My God, WHY have you abandoned me?


By Judith Brazier

10th April 2020

A Mother’s Love

I felt His love, this Babe of mine;

This Child of God, this Christ divine.

I held sweet Jesus to my breast,

“My Lord, your servant you have blessed”.

Yet in my heart I feel such pain –

A future where a Son is slain.

Could He not know what he must do,

That He must die for me and you.


I felt His goodness touch my heart,

This travesty tore me apart.

As I looked up towards the cross,

How could I bear such futile loss.

They’d crushed His body, seared His skin,

And yet they knew He had no sin.

Oh Son of God, my special Child

I weep to see you so defiled.


I felt His Spirit fill my mind,

My eyes became no longer blind.

“He’s gone from here.” The angel said.

“Your Child, Christ Jesus, is not dead.

The Son who nestled in your womb

Has left the darkness of this tomb.

So from your sin no longer hide,

But by God’s grace, in Him abide.”

                                      By Julia Yeomans

10th April 2020

‘Just seen a news report about the stresses and strains of self-isolation. It reported that people are going crazy from being in lock down! It was strange, actually, because I had just been talking about this with the microwave and the toaster and all of us agreed that things are getting bad. I didn't mention anything to the washing machine as she always has to put a different spin on everything, and certainly not to the fridge as he is acting cold and distant. In the end the iron calmed me down. She said everything will be fine, which surprised me because she’s usually the first one to apply unnecessary pressure and get steamed up over nothing!!!’


9th April 2020

Its Not Just Key Workers Still Working

When people ask me "how is lockdown for you?", my usual answer is "way too busy!" - even though my "day job" as a Finance Manager for Jaguar Land Rover isn't a "key worker" role during the current crisis - I'm not caring for the sick, sorting out food in a store, or delivering people's essential supplies. 

But I'm still hard at work, from my converted box room - working getting close to 50 hours a week, even though the business is currently not producing cars.

Why are we bothering? Well, although we have furloughed a number of staff to keep costs down, there are a number of key activities that need to continue now, to make sure that the region's biggest employer (and the UK's largest manufacturer, at least by value) is still around after this crisis. 

Working full time from home is an odd experience. I've had to get used to holding meetings by video conference, to co-ordinating a team who are now geographically spread from Ayrshire to Leamington Spa, via Birmingham and Scunthorpe, and to working in the same house at the time as the family are around. We're blessed to have a decent internet connection so I work even while other forms of entertainment are in use, and enough space to create a small office for me to work in, but being on top of each other still causes some tensions! 

And I've had to deal with some difficult business decisions as well - including telling a temporary member of staff that his contract was being terminated early due to the virus, and helping my remaining team balance their work commitments with their home struggles and difficulties, all without the benefit of being able to sit down face to face to talk things through.

So next time we're "clapping for key workers", and remembering those who are doing such vital work on the frontlines, perhaps we can spare a thought for the small army who are still hard at work in the spare bedrooms, keeping our "non essential" businesses alive so that there is a functioning economy for the rest of the world to go back to once this is over.. I know I'd appreciate people's prayers as it’s not easy - I'm having to make difficult decisions in difficult circumstances, day in, day out, and I'm sure there are many others in the same situation too!


Jon W.

9th April 2020

Alan and Margaret Betteridge are reported to be well and have shared the following:-

"Starting on Palm Sunday we have been reading through the Gospels the account of Jesus's last earthly days. (In addition to their normal bible readings morning and evening). These readings are based upon Mark but parallel passages in Matthew Luke and John are read as well. It is interesting to think about the differences and to take hold of the common thread, as Jesus moves towards the cross. Some days are quite long like Tuesday and Wednesday, when Jesus does a lot of teaching and faces a lot of controversy. Obviously the climax will be Good Friday to be followed by Easter Day. " Alan & Margaret Betteridge.