Saturday, 28 April 2012

Camberley Young People Confirmed By Bishop of Guildford

One Bishop, eleven young people from St Paul’s, and one amazing day. Sunday 22 April was a special day, when a group of young people made a real commitment to their faith, by getting confirmed. Bishop Christopher visited St Paul’s for the occasion.St Pauls Camberley Young People Confirmation

Pictured (no specific order) Daniel Bonnett, Beth Crees, Daniella Hares, Hattie Lloyd, Beth Mead, Emily Sewell, Lucy Shearer, Paloma Vince, Saskia Vince, Lauren Whittle and Rosie Whittle.

Sarah Percival, Youth Director at St Paul’s said: “It was such a joy and a privilege to see 6 of our young people baptised and a further 5 confirmed last week. Praise God that he is at work and that he answers prayers! It was such a lovely event. A great family atmosphere and the church was absolutely packed out. The young people invited loads of their friends, family and teachers!”.

It was standing room only, as each person gave a testimony as part of the service, a pretty brave declaration! Daniel and Emily’s typify those from the rest of the group.

“I first felt that I wanted to become confirmed after my second year at new wine [Christian summer conference], where I met and saw people whose lives had really taken a turn for the better through coming closer to God. I knew at once that I wanted to become a greater part of that. From that day forward I have felt that I have become closer to God through the church, and I now feel  ready to join him.” – Daniel Bonnett

“From the beginning I was brought up in a Christian family. However, I wanted to make my  own decision and choose the way of the lord Jesus. After being at Church, Alpha, and Bible Study groups at the weekends, I decided that I believe Jesus died to take away my sins. The reason I want to be confirmed is to show that I want to become closer to God and have an  even stronger faith.” – Emily Sewell

Congratulations to you all!St Pauls Camberley Young People Confirmation Procession

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Are all young people just Feasters for Easter?

We had a great celebration of Holy Week and Easter. Abi Paterson is a young person from St Paul’s, and this is her view on why Easter is still relevant to the youth of Camberley.

Abi PatersonAbi Paterson – St Paul’s, Camberley

For the majority of people when the word Easter is mentioned the first thing that springs to mind is CHOCOLATE!!! And let’s face it that’s what we’re fed through the media: that Easter is all about chocolate.

But in order to gain a proper insight as to what Easter means for the youths of our day we need to ask those who are both Christian and Non-Christian for their perspectives:

“Food.” - Gemma Bean, 17

“Easter for me is a time to celebrate, after the reflection of Lent, the fact that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, conquering death and beating sin” - Paloma Vince, 16

“Easter means being with the family, new starts and chocolate “ - Sophie Astles, 18

"Easter means, to me, remembering the life of Jesus and the sacrifice he made to show God's love for us and that our lives are sacred “ - Joshua Rowland, 18

So as we can see Easter does mean different things for different people depending on their beliefs. For the most part, we can see the elements of family and spending time reflecting on the true meaning of Easter are essential parts for young people.

Therefore is it time our stereotypes changed and the information that the media feeds us changes?

Clearly our young people are not as easily influenced by the media’s perspective for them there is more to Easter than chocolate.

Wishing you a Happy Easter from St Paul’s.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Special Easter Message – Revd Mark Chester

Revd Mark Chester, Vicar St Paul's Camberley I find it interesting to discover why people do what they do? 

Of course people do all sorts of things.  At one extreme some people spend all their energy and money in having fun, in whatever way appeals to them.  At the other extreme some people spend their energy and money on things that are of no direct benefit to themselves but can change others lives for the better.  Why the difference?


There are probably as many answers as there are people in the world, but I have seen that many who focus on the needs of others do so because they know they can make a difference in the short term, and also forever.  These are people who believe that everything does not end when the body and mind stop working. These are people who believe one thing lasts forever - putting others before yourself, or as some call it, 'Love'.


These people believe one man allowed himself to be killed for love of others. Having been killed He came back to life three days later and is still alive. They believe that this way is open to all who follow this man.

That man's name was Jesus and what he did and why he did it are celebrated every Easter. I am one of his followers.

That is why I celebrate Easter.

Revd Mark Chester

Vicar – St Paul’s Camberley

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Easter – Sharing the Love

Easter comes and goes every year, and we buy and eat eggs, perhaps do an Easter egg hunt, or chase the Easter bunny. Always great to get some bank holidays too. But is that all that Easter is? Why do we celebrate Easter?

Beautiful Spring is all about rebirth, renewal and re-growth. Sunshine smiles down on us, and Easter is just around the corner, when we can look forward to Easter eggs. Happy days. The week leading up to Easter is known as Holy Week, and without Holy Week, there wouldn’t be Easter. So what is Holy Week, and where does Easter fit in?

image courtesy of http://www.cydonian.com/photos/img699.htm

Holy Week is all about a journey, and it’s quite a trip. In fact, St Paul’s is beautifully decorated with flowers and interactive displays to help us think about that journey. Palm Sunday is the start of Holy Week, and it’s when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem to a huge welcome. People waved palm leaves. These days, we wave small palm crosses at St Paul’s on Palm Sunday. The combination of the cross and the palm help us think about our faith. A really joyous day, of high spirits, fun and a sense of expectation.

Maundy Thursday is next up. This is when Jesus had his last meal with his friends – the Last Supper. Maundy I think sounds like quite a sad word, but it isn’t at all. The word comes from the command ‘mandate’, which Jesus gave during the Last Supper, that  ‘we should love one another’. So whilst the Last Supper sounds sad, loving one another is a great command that I think most of us would agree with. For me, all the beauty we see at this time of year, having come out of a dull dark winter, makes loving others feel like a great thing to do. Perhaps give way to someone in the car, or let the lady with the screaming child jump the queue. So many ways to show our love. Back in the day, Jesus showed his love by washing the feet of his friends, knowing this was going to be the last time with them before he was crucified, on Good Friday. The Queen continues an ancient tradition of handing out Maundy money to people who have really helped out their communities, showing the love.

image courtesy of http://www.fotopedia.com/items/flickr-2351862710

Good Friday is an odd name for such a sad day. On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be anything good about Good Friday. Jesus was executed by crucifixion on the cross. Sounds like a pretty un-Good Friday, and not something to celebrate. But actually, the good in Good Friday is all about the sacrifice Jesus made and His victory over sin, death, and the devil. By giving himself up in the full knowledge of what He was about to go through, He sacrificed himself, on our behalf. He died on that cross, so that any wrong doings we might have committed, may be forgiven. Try as I might, I’m not perfect, and find myself being rude to people, or driving aggressively sometimes. These are bad things, maybe not the worst, but not showing the love either. Jesus went through that agonising pain, for the whole world's' wrong doings. Murder, adultery, theft, lying and persecution, are just some of the bad things he took on whilst dying on the cross. So whilst we won’t be dancing in the isles at St Paul’s, we will be thinking about the truly good deed Jesus did for us. You might see people from all the churches in Camberley in the afternoon, as we carry the cross around town, to remind people what the day is all about. When I eat hot cross buns on Good Friday, that cross on the bun helps me think about Jesus love for us.

Image courtesy of Ian Britton FreeFoto.com Easter Day. I know what you’re thinking. Easter eggs! Now we will be dancing in the isles on Easter day, before and after we tuck into our Easter eggs. That’s because an amazing thing happened. You see after Jesus body had been taken down from the cross, it was placed in a tomb, and a giant stone was rolled over the entrance. The amazing thing happened on the following Sunday, when that stone had been moved, the tomb was empty, and Jesus himself was seen alive by many people – the resurrection. God had raised Jesus from the dead. Awesome.

An Easter egg looks a bit like a stone, and rolls like a stone (thankfully it doesn’t taste like a stone). It’s a great symbol for Easter day. As I unwrap my Easter egg, I think about rebirth, renewal and re-growth – the resurrection of Jesus, just like the chick that hatches from an egg.

I thank God for the Easter bank holiday to relax and wind down, have fun with my family, and celebrate all that is good. Come and join in with the Easter journey at St Paul’s. We’d like to share the love, and maybe a few delicious Easter treats too!