Lent 2015

Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent

This month sees the beginning of Lent, the 40 days of preparation running up to Easter.  Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, which this year falls on Wednesday 17th February.

The forty days of Lent is a reference to the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert fasting and praying, and preparing for his public ministry. He also taught his disciples to fast, so that they had time to focus on God and make time for prayer.  Prayer and fasting often go hand in hand; ‘So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.’ (Ezra 6:23)

Sometimes people might fast by missing a meal during the day to make time to seek God (although obviously this isn’t suitable for some people).  Others might refrain from TV or alcohol, or whatever else might get in the way of being fully focused on God.

In recent years, there have been campaigns to encourage people to start doing something during Lent, instead of giving something up.  These might include carrying out a random act of kindness every day, or something more planned such as volunteering, or actively helping a neighbour in need.

Celebrate the start of Lent, and commit to giving something up, or starting something new, at the Ash Wednesday service at St Peter’s Church on Wednesday 17th February at 7.30pm.

Dan in Real Life

Film Club – February 2015

Friday evening, 13th February, 7:30pm

‘Dan in Real Life’ (2007)    PG Rating

Starring the incomparable Steve Carell, this light-hearted romantic drama centres around the character of Dan Burns (Carell), a newspaper columnist, widower, and single father of three girls who travel to his parents’ house in Rhode Island for a family reunion.

Dan encounters a woman called Marie, who he feels an instant connection with, but then she turns out to be the new girlfriend of his younger brother! And so the comedy begins…

Full of believable, yet quirky characters, gentle humour and a sweet and engaging storyline, this film was released without huge fanfare, but has received excellent reviews for its poignancy and superb storytelling.  The film also stars Juliette Binoche, Dane Cook, Alison Pill and Britt Robertson.

This film was a bit of a low-key release, but has had some excellent reviews.

Free admission, tea & coffee, but bring your own popcorn!

Film shown at St Peter’s Church, Lake Lock Road, doors open 7pm



Bill’s Letter February 2015

This is the first magazine of 2015, so I would like to begin with wishing you a Happy New Year.

This time last year I was writing about the imminent dismantling of the old church building, and inviting people to a service that we held to commemorate its place in the community.  We had a really good turn out, so thank you to those who supported that, and came to tea at the Centre afterwards.  It was a moving service and I was encouraged by the number of people who came

We are determined that the old site will continue to be a sacred space where people can come to sit, reflect or pray.  We are working with Groundworks to take the ideas that have come from the community and turn them into a workable plan to include the War    Memorial and an attractive seating area.  We are now looking for   funding to take the plans forward.  People have been offering to contribute, either with funds or with time and skills.  The more we can work together to put the plans into place, the more it will be a genuine community project that will be sustainable and we can be proud of.  Let us know if you would like to help.

With the old building gone, there is the opportunity and  challenge to continue to develop a place of worship in Stanley that  people will want to use for the important occasions in life when people naturally turn to the church: weddings, baptisms and funerals. The place we are seeking to develop is the old nursery building we are    using now. From the outside, architecturally it is clearly a school.  We are looking for ways to transform its identity so that it is clearly a place of Christian worship as well as a place to serve the community in other ways.

The council have kindly agreed for an Asset Transfer of the building to us for 25 years.  If we are going to do major work on it, it would be helpful to have a longer lease, and we are in discussions about that now.  Please pray that they will be successful.  We would welcome ideas from the village, so if you feel inspired, please get in touch.

Rev Bill Henderson


Film Club – January 2014

Friday evening, 9th January, 7:30pm

‘Life of Pi’ (2012)    PG Rating

Life of Pi is an adventure drama film based on Yann Martel’s 2001 novel of the same name. Directed by Ang Lee, the film stars Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Rafe Spall, Gérard Depardieu, Tabu, and Adil Hussain.

The storyline revolves around an Indian man named Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, living in Canada and telling a novelist about his life story and how at 16 he survives a shipwreck in which his family dies, and is stranded in the Pacific Ocean on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

Life of Pi emerged as a critical and commercial success, earning over $609 million worldwide. It was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards which included the Best Picture – Drama and the Best Director and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score. At the 85th Academy Awards it had eleven nominations, including Best Picture, and won four (the most for the evening) including Best Director for Ang Lee.

Free admission, tea & coffee, but bring your own popcorn!

Film shown at St Peter’s Church, Lake Lock Road, doors open 7pm



Film Club – December 2014

Friday evening, 12th December, 7:30pm

‘Mr Popper’s Penguins’ (2012)    PG Rating

Based on the 1938 book of the same name by Richard and Florence Atwater, ‘Mr Popper’s Penguins’ is a comedy about how the surprise appearance of a penguin at a New York businessman’s door turns his life completely upside down, while simultaneously teaching him an important lesson about the value of family.  Mr Popper (Jim Carrey) lives in an exclusive Park Avenue apartment, has his sights set on    becoming a partner in his firm, and is an every-other-weekend father to his two children.  A ruthless developer with no time for anything but business, he resolves to deal with his father’s parting gift of a penguin by getting rid of the annoying bird as quickly as possible.  That proves much more difficult than expected, even with the help of his ultra-efficient assistant Pippi, who speaks primarily in p’s, and he soon winds up with six penguins.  Even more unexpected is how markedly those penguins begin to affect the relationship between Mr. Popper and his children and how that change affects the rest of Mr. Popper’s life.  This is a delightful, fun film that will entertain the whole family.

Free admission, tea & coffee, but bring your own popcorn!

Film shown at St Peter’s Church, Lake Lock Road, doors open 7pm


Bills Letter Christmas

Bill’s Letter December 2014/January 2015

I came across this picture some years ago, as an idea for a Christmas card.  It’s a picture that set me thinking about a number of messages that are important for Christmas.


The focus of the picture is Jesus as a baby, but with the star that shows this is not an ordinary baby.  The star is a symbol of his power and glory, his light and role as guide and revealer of the truth.

Jesus is the one whom people are coming to see and to meet.  The people are from different cultures yet all are attracted to see Jesus. The Bible and Christian history are full of stories of people meeting Jesus and their lives being transformed.  If our Christmas is going to start with Christ, this means taking time to think what this means.

I would like to encourage you to use this picture to think about Christmas and your place in the story.  Where would you put yourself in the picture?  What would it mean to meet with Jesus?  How would you like your life and your relationships to be transformed?

With all the rush and bustle of Christmas, it is sometimes hard to keep the focus on Jesus.  With all the crowds it is sometimes hard to really meet with each other.

Please take the opportunity to come to some of the events advertised in this magazine; decide to start this Christmas with Christ and show his love to one another.

Rev Bill Henderson


Film Club – November 2014

Friday evening, 14th November, 7:30pm

‘Private Peaceful’ (2012)    12 Rating

An ideal film to watch as we remember 100 years since the start of World War 1, ‘Private Peaceful’ is an adaptation of the brilliant best-selling novel by Michael Morpugo.  It tells the story of the unbreakable bond between two brothers during World War 1, in which they are transported from childhood innocence in the fields of Devon to the  violence of the battlefield in Flanders.  In the trenches they experience the brutal injustice of war, far removed from rural family life, and their rivalry for the beautiful Molly Monks.  Directed by Pat O’Connor and with an all-British cast including George MacKay, Jack O’Connell and  Maxine Peake, this is a powerful and emotional tale of injustice, love, heroism, and fierce family ties that will never be broken.

Free admission, tea & coffee, but bring your own popcorn!

Film shown at St Peter’s Church, Lake Lock Road, doors open 7pm