Do you find yourself thinking - is there more to life than this?
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A new course is being launched in Peasedown St John to give local people the chance to question and ask some of life’s most meaningful and thought-provoking questions.

The Alpha Course has been running nationally and across the globe since the late 1970’s. It is an opportunity to explore the meaning of life from a Christian perspective in a relaxed, low key and friendly way with refreshments at the beginning of every session. Alpha is open to everyone and anybody and is designed specifically for people wanting to find out more about the Christian faith.

Bob Grace, St John’s Church member is coordinating the 10-week course. He said:

“Do you find yourself thinking, is there more to life than this? Is peace possible? What happens when I die? Is Jesus really relevant for today?

If so, our new Friday evening informal get-togethers are just for you.

The Alpha Course makes no expectations of those that come along. You can ask any question you like, no matter how big or small you think it is. Also, you don’t have to sign up for the whole thing, just come along to the first one and see what you think. What have you got to lose?” 

The St J’s Group Alpha Course starts on Friday 21st September, 7.15pm in St John’s Church, Church Road, Peasedown St John (BA2 8AA)

Fresh coffee and cake will be available at the beginning of each session. Listen, discuss and discover. Ask anything. Alpha is a place where no question is too simple or too hostile.

Over 2 million people in the UK and 27 million people around the world have already participated on an Alpha Course 

There is no charge for the course.

All are welcome to come along! For further details contact Bob Grace alpha@stjsgroup.church

 

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Local churches welcome new member
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A group of local churches in the Peasedown St John, Shoscombe, Foxcote and Wellow area have welcomed a new member to their team.

Cath Candish, who spent many years living on a farm in Exmoor has been appointed as a new ‘Ordinand in Training’ – a role that allows her to both study and work out ‘on the field’ throughout the week.

Cath said:

“I’m looking forward to working with Rev Matthew Street and the team in the St J’s Group.

Growing up being a Vicar wasn’t really an option, but what I did want to do was to serve God.

My husband, children, mother and I have recently moved from Exmoor in Devon to Bath. After receiving ‘the call’ to enter the church ministry I was given the opportunity to work in Peasedown St John and surrounding parishes because of the diverse and far reaching community work being done by the church here.”

As well as living on a farm in the south west of England, Cath also lived in Tanzania for 11 years working in International Development. She added:

“I’m hoping to bring my experience and background with me when serving the church and the community.

I’m most looking forward being part of Soul Food, rural services, and learning how to work as part of a rural ministry team.”

Cath will spend three days a week working with the churches, and two days a week conducting theological study and research.

Parishioners living in all three villages will be able to meet Cath at the many events and activities held by the St J’s Group throughout the year, or every Sunday at one the benefices regular church services.

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New Finance Officer joins Peasedown church staff team
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A former teacher has taken on the role of managing a Peasedown church’s finances.

Claire Carr, who previously spent 14 years teaching primary school aged children, has been appointed to the new role of Finance Officer at St John’s Church.

St John’s, which has seen huge levels of growth in members and community activities since 2005, is part of the wider ‘St J’s Group’ - which covers the Anglican parishes of Peasedown St John, Wellow and Foxcote with Shoscombe.

Claire said:

“There is so much happening in the community which the church is taking a lead on. Whether it’s children’s activities, counselling support groups, or supporting the local Foodbank, St John’s is playing an active role in serving the village.

I’m looking forward to serving the church and working with a great bunch of colleagues!”

The new Finance Officer role is a paid position for 15 hours per week. It had previously been carried out by Jane Street, voluntarily since 2006.

Originally from Cornwall, Claire grew up in the Church of England and became a Christian at the age of 16. Having studied at Cardiff University she moved to Bath to do her PGCE over 15 years ago.

As well as Church Finance Officer, Claire will also work as Assistant Worship Pastor and help to run a number of weekly toddler groups too!

Claire added: “My week is very varied – one minute I can be at the bank, and the next day I can be telling a story at Little Ones Pre-School Toddler Group and singing the Hokey Cokey, and the same day I can be at a worship rehearsal playing guitar and singing!”

Public Meeting: Have your say about the future of Peasedown’s Youth Hub
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Residents in Peasedown St John are invited to an open meeting at 7.30pm on Monday 18th June in the Youth Hub to discuss its future.

A group of people from St John’s Church are working with B&NES Council’s Youth Connect team to find a way to keep the Youth Hub in the heart of the village open and to ensure the future of youth work there.

The Youth Hub is under threat due to budget cuts to B&NES Council’s Youth Connect Service. Some residents would like to develop the Youth Hub as a community centre, available for hire for activities from sports, dance, creative arts, internet café to name a few ideas. The centre could also be used for services such as debt advice, health and well-being classes, a jobs club etc.

This is an opportunity being presented to the community to run its own centre and to have clubs and activities based there for the whole community to enjoy. The facilities are very good and should be used more’ says Joy Fraser, who is chairing the committee looking at the possibilities.

She says: “There is much to consider but it is important in our planning to hear from residents and young people about what they would like to see happen in the Youth Hub.”

All residents are welcome to attend along with anyone who might like to start a community activity based in the Youth Hub.

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Future of Peasedown Youth Centre: Give your views at Peasedown Party in the Park
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For over a year community and council leaders have been discussing what future Peasedown St John Youth Centre might have.

Following the announcement in February 2017 from Bath and North East Somerset Council that youth services were to be commissioned out to third sector providers, a number of organisations have been exploring how Peasedown’s youth hub could continue to offer community-based youth work.

At Peasedown’s Party in the Park festival on Saturday 9th June, there will be an opportunity for members of the public, young people, parents and interested residents to have their say.

St John’s Church, who have made an Expression of Interest in managing the youth centre, will be running a consultation stall and want to hear from as many people as possible.

Joy Fraser, Churchwarden at St John’s Church, said:

“Peasedown Youth & Community Centre has played an important role in our village for the past 40 years. So many thousands of young people have walked through its doors, spanning several generations.

As users of the building for the last 7 years, the team at St John’s Church want to ensure the building stays open and remains as a safe place for youngsters to go to.”

St John’s Church will be putting up a marquee at the festival, so local people can come along and share their views on the future of the youth centre, and what services they’d like to see provided there.

Peasedown Councillors Sarah Bevan and Karen Walker, who have been campaigning to keep the youth centre open since the council’s announcement over a year ago, said:

“We welcome the Expression of Interest from St John’s Church to manage and run the youth centre. We set out at the beginning of 2017 to save the building from closure and ensure another provider was found that would continue to offer open-access youth work to teenagers.

We’d like to encourage anyone and everyone to come along to Party in the Park on Saturday 9th June to share their views at the St John’s Church marquee.”

Peasedown Party in the Park will be held on Saturday 9th June, 12 noon – 7pm at Beacon Field, Peasedown St John.

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