A Life of Faith

This page is a space to learn about what life as a Christian is or could be, particularly in the context of Queens Road Baptist Church, Coventry.

It will contain biblical reflections, information about activities and the thoughts of people doing them, photographs of the world around us, comment on events in the wider world and probably more things as we learn how best to use it. We invite contributions from those who have something to say. We cannot guarantee to publish everything we are sent but please contact us here to discuss any ideas that you might have to offer.

Guidance for contributors

 

23rd September 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicky and john Pither write:-

What do you want me to do for you?

Mark 10:51

As we reflect back to when we were working our answer to this question would have focussed on work issues. Having both recently retired our answer now has a different response.

We face the challenges of transition from work to retirement including moving from our home in Coventry to our new home in Brixham (we still believe!). This has been a bit of a rollercoaster over the last few months. The focus at times has shifted to solicitors, estate agents and others getting their jobs done.

Yet today reflecting a bit deeper our real focus should not have changed. It should be on seeing Jesus and how beautiful he is. Praising Him for the small day to day blessings.  Retiring has given us both more time to reflect this in our day to day lives; spending time together with Him more as part of our day.

The old chorus goes “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His Glory and Grace.”

He has done so much for us – paid such a sacrificial cost just to show how much he loves us.

We believe God has a plan for this next stage of our lives together and therefore our hope and trust is in Him because “He is able”. Therefore, we continue to wait expectantly even though life takes slower pace.

 

 

16th September 2021

Ange Liley writes:-

‘I have been asked to introduce myself as one of your newly elected deacons but, as I’ve been part of the Queen’s Road family since I was born, I’m sure most of you know me already!

For those who don’t, I’m the daughter of Sue Senior and Mum of Josh (19) & James (16) In any spare time I like to watch TV, read, do puzzles or meet friends for cake!

Over the years, I have served in the church in various capacities. As a teaching assistant in a primary school, I have been most comfortable in the roles which involve working with children (helping in groups on a Sunday morning, in GB and running Tiddlywinks etc.)

I had never considered becoming a deacon so when I was approached to think about standing, my initial response was ‘No – I can’t do that!’  I didn’t think I was good enough for such an important role; I didn’t read my Bible enough or pray enough and I had no idea what skills I could offer!

However, I prayed about it and God spoke clearly to me. The notes in my ‘UCB Word for today’ told me to “Use what God has given you” and to “be of courage and do it – this matter is your responsibility.”

I believe God has called me to this position and I am trusting Him to guide me, but it is certainly a steep learning curve! I have come to understand that we can only grow when we step out of our comfort zones and I believe this is a message for me personally, but also for us as a church going forwards.  Recently, I read (again in ‘Word for Today’) that “Once you get into a rut, it’s hard to get out, especially if it’s comfortable. But you will never become what God wants you to be, or all that you could be, as long as you resist change and insist on staying as you are.”

Being part of the diaconate is challenging, scary and exciting – much like returning to church will be for many of you. My prayer is that, as we seek God’s guidance for our future at Queen’s Road, we can embrace any changes as opportunities to grow and that we will support each other as we journey together.

 

12th September 2021

This is my first venture into the website blog ‘A Life of Faith’, following up the study of Nehemiah chapter 2 on Sunday 12th September. There wasn’t time to develop the section on effective leadership and so here are some more thoughts. If you missed the service you can watch and listen here  https://youtu.be/RLLMOj3ai0k

Rev Ian Macnair

LESSONS IN EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP FROM NEHEMIAH CHAPTER 2

#1 Make prayer a priority. [Then I prayed to the God of heaven ] Talk to God before you talk to anyone else.

#2 Look after yourself, your health, your family [after staying there three days I set out].

#3 Be prepared to take the initiative [what my God had put in my heart to do]. If God calls you to be a leader then lead.

#4 Be ready for the long haul [Come, let us rebuild].

#5 Be accountable to people you can trust [I set out during the night with a few others].

#6 Be careful to maintain confidentiality [I had not told anyone … as yet I had said nothing].

#7 Be transparent in all your dealings [Then I said to … the Jews, the priests, nobles, officials and any others who would be doing the work].

#8 Work with a team [Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace].

#9 Major on encouragement [I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me].

#10 Expect opposition [Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem … mocked and ridiculed us].

#11 Be discerning about who not to involve [but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it].

#12 Have faith in God [The God of heaven will give us success].

THE THREE CIRCLES

There is the innermost circle: yourself and God, also your family.

The second circle is a slightly wider group of people to whom you are accountable.

The third circle is a much broader group, your team, with whom and for whom you will be doing the work.

Outside these circles there will be those who oppose the work, using mockery, threats, deceit and even violence (as subsequent chapters of Nehemiah will reveal). There will also be some who are in sympathy, perhaps surprisingly (like the Persian king, Artaxerxes).

Nehemiah may not have been as analytical as this but he recognised these circles and the appropriate response to each.

BALANCING DIFFERENT PRIORITIES

Three of the priorities of an effective leader are accountability, confidentiality and transparency. It takes wisdom to keep all three in balance. Sadly, according to the recent report from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, religious leaders discouraged reporting abuse to protect reputations, blamed victims for their abuse, and relied on religious dogma when responding to allegations.

Discernment and good ground rules are needed to ensure that neither confidentiality nor transparency are abused and accountability is maintained.

 

 

10th September 2021

35 years ago this month The Light House started offering Christian counselling in Coventry. It was set up, at God’s calling, by three QRBC members, Barbra and David Depledge and Lynne Kirby. None of the founders are still directly involved in the work but it has been passed on to others and continues to provide a valuable service to the city. Here one of the present team tells her story of moving from client to counsellor:-

“My name is Caroline and I have been involved with the Light House in different capacities for over 30 years. My first encounter was about 30 years ago as a client. We had a young family so paying for counselling was outside our reach. Light House provided a place to resolve issues from the past which has enabled me to live in greater freedom. 

Many years later I did a placement at Sycamore Counselling service in Nuneaton (which David Depledge helped to set up and where Mary Morris worked for some time) whilst I was doing my counselling training. Again, what I valued was the unique opportunity to offer counselling at little or no cost to people who would not have been able to afford it. It also enabled me to work with clients from 18-80 with a huge range of presenting issues and see many of them leave the service lighter and more able to live in life well. I also really appreciated the time and energy Sycamore put into me as a student, growing my skills and confidence in what was a warm and supportive environment. 

After my placement I got a job for another organisation offering counselling for young people, children, couples and families, which proved interesting and exciting work. I have had the great privilege of doing further training and increasing my knowledge and skills. 

 For the last 15 years or so I have been supervising a team of counsellors for another organisation. About 8 years ago I chose to do my counselling practice as an associate counsellor for the Light House. For me it is a great way of giving back both to the Light House the investment they made in me as a client and student. But perhaps even greater than that, is it fits my passion that everyone should be able to access counselling, whoever they are and whatever their resources.

 After many, many years of working therapeutically with people I have seen the power and the transformation counselling can bring the lives of people, enabling them to live in life with greater joy and peace. Although we don't explicitly mention God to our clients, unless they do, I have seen God at work in lives of people who have no faith or only a hazy view of God. God, in his gracious delight to bring healing and wholeness to all people, has showed up and brought redemption, healing, forgiveness and peace. Many have left the counselling room knowing they have encountered something beyond themselves…. And I pray that it is the beginning of journey to discover our God, who is good, incredibly kind and gentle and desires to give the best to all peoples.”

Sharon Gardner

 

8th September 2021

Chris Headon writes:    

‘I have recently had the privilege of being elected to the diaconate at QR and have been asked to tell you a little about myself....I was brought up in a Christian family and came to a personal faith quite early in my life. As I grew up, I became more involved in church life, along with my brother and sister, who are now both married with children and grandchildren. 

I trained as a teacher and taught in primary schools around Kent, where I lived at the time. 

I became involved in Scripture Union beach missions and residential camps.

After 23 years of teaching, I took a 'gap year' to work at a Christian Camp in New Zealand, where I learnt many new skills. 

When I returned to the UK, I worked as a supply teacher in SE London and was involved in the work of Perry Rise Baptist Church, where I worshipped. Along with a close friend, I ran Children's holiday clubs and planned for a series of all age services every summer. 

Having now retired to Coventry, I am discovering that my plans for retirement were very dull compared with what God has in store!

I am involved in the team of people doing all age talks in church and have loved learning new skills as part of the tech team streaming services. 

I walk every day and, with the help of my niece, produced two photo books and the QR calendar during 2020, having so much of God's beautiful creation around here. With your invaluable prayer support, I am really looking forward to seeing what God has in store in the next phase of my life as I take on a slightly daunting role as a deacon at Queen’s Road.

5th September 2021

Graham Carpmail prefers to make his contributions by speaking them rather than writing them so his first contribution to our Life of Faith page is here for you to listen to.

3rd September 2021

Changing times

To me the beginning of the pandemic seems to have been almost a life time away. So much has happened, things have changed so much in ways we might have thought impossible, that it is hard to remember what "normal life" was like. And now things are changing again to a "new normal", although having experienced what we have experienced in the last 18 month, perhaps we are not entirely sure there will not be some bumps on the way.

My role has been and is to keep channels of communication open through all the restrictions that have hit us and, just as we changed the website from its original form to achieve that, it is now time to make some more changes to reflect the present situation - hence this new page in place of "Word for the Day" and "Our Stories". Word for the Day has been a fantastic effort by the fellowship with nearly 50 people providing over 450 devotional pieces, all written specially for us. Thanks to all of those who contributed. But now, with things changing we feel the time is over for "Word for the Day" (although not for daily devotional times!). "Our Stories" is similar with lots of really inspiring and thought provoking contributions and a gallery of lovely photographs and we would very much like those to continue whilst at the same time open up to articles about the excellent work that is happening in the church and beyond. 

To help you make your contributions there are some guidance notes here.

So, let us see if we can do this together and continue the journey towards what God wants us to be at a church now.

David Depledge