Bill’s Letter May 2015

I have spent some time recently in Kenya visiting our daughter, and travelling back to Tanzania to help with the ‘Water for Life’ project. It has been running for 7 years now and so far over £75,000 has been raised and sent to the project.

We began by helping train people to build hand dug wells and fit hand pumps to extract the water. There is also an important element of health education so that people understand the value of clean water. The purpose of the visit is to help evaluate the project, see what lessons can be learned and how to carry on into the future. I hope to get some good feedback from the local people about what has been helpful.

There are a number of challenges to make the project work. The first one is for the villagers to take responsibility for ‘their’ well in the long term so it will be maintained. Education is part of this so people will understand the health benefits. Finding a good site can be difficult too and of course it is very discouraging to dig down, even breaking through rock, only to find there is no water. We have been looking at ways to do more effective surveys, but these can be expensive.

I visited each of the three dioceses: Mara, Rorya and Tarime. Mara is well established and has an experienced team working in development. Tarime is a new diocese but has some very good staff working for them. Rorya has much poorer infrastructure and probably needs different support.

I flew into Nairobi, Kenya, then hired a 4×4 and drove with Susie over the border into Tanzania. This is always an interesting trip; hot, dusty with lots to see. We met with the development team and people from the communities in each of the dioceses. In some places it is not suitable to dig a well and so the project is to harvest rain water from roofs. This does not provide as good a solution as a well, but is better than just going to a river or unprotected well. Susie will teach about her women’s health project and see if it can be launched in our link dioceses. In Rorya diocese, I visited our link parish, Sakawa. I also visited Rose and her husband, Samuel, who is now principal of the local Bible College. Rose visited us here in Stanley some years ago.

Rev Bill Henderson


Film Club – May 2015

Friday evening, 8th May, 7:30pm

‘Déjà Vu’ (2007)   12 Rating

When a ferry filled with crewmen from the USS Nimitz and their   families is blown up in New Orleans, Federal Agent Doug Carlin (Denzel Washington) is brought in to help with the investigation. He joins an experimental FBI surveillance unit that uses spacefolding technology to look back a little over four days into the past. While tracking down the bomber Carlin gets an idea in his head: could they use the device to actually travel back in time and not only prevent the bombing but also the murder of a local woman whose truck was used in the atrocity? Director Tony Scott’s most effective film since ‘Enemy of the State’, this sci-fi thriller is constructed around a clever script and is executed by a top notch cast, including Val Kilmer, Paula Patton and an eerie Jim Caviezel.

Doors open 7pm, film start 7.30pm.

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


Film Club – April 2015

Friday evening, 10th April, 7:30pm

‘God’s not Dead’ (2014)   12 Rating

An atheist Philosophy professor (Kevin Sorbo) decides to forego dusty arguments in his class, and instead insists that the new students declare that ‘God is dead’. Unable to do this, Josh (Shane Harper) is challenged to defend his faith and prove to the class that ‘God is NOT dead’. Against all odds, Josh stands up for his faith and takes on the challenge—let the debate begin! With enthralling performances from the star-studded cast, including David A.R. White, Dean Cain, and with a special appearance by Christian rock band ‘Newsboys’, and Willie and Korie Robertson (from American reality TV series ’Duck Dynasty’), this is an intensely thought provoking, faith inspiring and uplifting film.

Doors open 7pm, film start 7.30pm.

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




Bill’s Letter April 2015

Since the demolition of the old church we have been working to establish a long term place of worship in the village.

There has been recent change in the legal designation of the Church Centre. It is now a ‘Parish Centre of Worship’. A Parish Centre of Worship is a church or other building licensed as such by the diocesan bishop in the Church of England, usually where there is no parish church. For most purposes it is deemed to be a parish church but it is dedicated, not consecrated, and parishioners have a right to be married in a neighbouring parish. There is also a licence to be married at St Peter’s Church and Centre too. This means people living in Stanley have a choice about where they get married. So if you are thinking about getting married and are not sure of your options do get in touch.

The events we remember at Easter are, I would say, the most  decisive events in human history. They contain the deepest tragedy and the greatest hope. As we enter into this story once again, we are given strength to face our own difficulties and confidence to embrace our times of joy.

Jesus was called to the home of his dear friend Lazarus who was on the point of death. But he does not set off straight away. By the time he arrives, Lazarus has died. His sisters Martha and Mary, both say, “ If only you had been here”. But Jesus transforms the situation; he claims to BE the resurrection and the life. Then he demonstrates it by raising Lazarus from the dead.

The implication of this does not sink in for the disciples—that Jesus has the power over death. So when Jesus was killed, his friends were frightened and upset. This changed when Jesus was not resuscitated like Lazarus but resurrected. At this Easter may we know the transforming power of Christ, so we experience the hope of new life in whatever we face.

Rev Bill Henderson


Easter 2015

Easter Services 2015 in Stanley

Please join us at St Peter’s Church on Lake Lock Road and at the Methodist Chapel on Mount Road for our Easter services next month: we will be very happy to welcome you.


Sunday 29th March, 10am

Palm Sunday Parade Service: The service will begin at Mount Road Chapel: half-way through the service the congregation will walk to St Peter’s for the rest of the service.

Wednesday 1st April, 7.30pm

Holy week Taize service: a contemplative style of worship with meditative music.

Thursday 2nd April, 7:30pm

Maundy Thursday Passover meal at St Peter’s Church. A special evening service and meal to celebrate the Last Supper. Please let us know if you’d like to come so we know how many people to expect.

Friday 3rd April, 2pm

Good Friday Hot Cross Bun service: a very popular service for all ages, followed by crafts and refreshments.

Sunday 5th April, 10am and 10:30am 

Easter Day services: Easter Sunday family services at 10am at St Peter’s Church or at 10.30am at Mount Road Chapel. Everyone is very welcome.



Film Club – March 2015

Friday evening, 13th March, 7:30pm

‘Saving Mr Banks’ (2014)   12 Rating

Emma Thompson was nominated for a BAFTA for her role as the Mary   Poppins author P.L Travers in the film ’Saving Mr Banks’.  The film was inspired by the extraordinary untold tale of how this, one of the most   beloved stories of all time, was brought to the big screen.

The film is a poignant, sharply funny and moving recounting of Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) quest to fulfil a promise to his daughters to make a film of their favourite book, and of its fiercely protective author P.L Travers (Thompson), who has no intention of letting her beloved nanny go to  Hollywood.

The film follows Walt as he pulls out all the stops to change her mind and both have to face some uncomfortable truths about their childhoods. Together they set Mary Poppins free to become one of the most endearing films in cinematic history.

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 March 2015

One of the great themes of God’s relationship with his people throughout history, is helping them move from slavery into freedom. As we approach Easter we see this powerful picture of hope displayed in a number of ways. At Passover the Jewish people remember how God set his people free from slavery in Egypt, using symbols to remember both the pain and suffering as well as the joy.

This year we are planning some thing special for Maundy   Thursday—the night we remember Jesus at the last supper with his friends. It was the time of the Jewish Passover and Jesus took the traditional symbols that had been used for hundreds of years and developed them in a way that is relevant for us today. We will be celebrating a version of the Passover meal.

This has been the foundation for the communion service that we use today. Taking part in the Passover meal really adds to our understanding of the history of our faith, and the powerful symbols of bread and wine help us to identify with the first disciples.

When Jesus took these symbols and applied them to himself, he was pointing to a profound new way that God was setting people free. Free from a deeper and more insidious slavery, a slavery to selfishness that leads to self destruction. This is not just a message for 2000 years ago, but a message for today. A message not just for certain communities, but for everyone. As we become more self aware we realise the different ways that we are still slaves: slaves to other     peoples’ opinion; slaves to the desire for more money or excitement; slaves to fashion and consumerism. Each of us can move and grow into new freedom. Jesus said, “ I have come that you may have LIFE, and life in abundance”. He delivered this promise, supremely by releasing us from the fear of death by his glorious resurrection.

This is a time when we seek to receive this promise afresh. Do please make a point of coming to join in our celebrations that evening, Thursday 2nd April at 7.30pm in the Church Centre, or some of our other Easter celebrations, details of which you can find here.

Rev Bill Henderson