UCB Radio: Bible Blogs
If you’re looking for a good podcast
to listen to, why not join David Taviner in conversation with Bible teacher
Mike Beaumont as they journey through the Bible, one character at a time. Tune
in to Bible Blogs in 30 Minutes, every Saturday at 9:15pm on UCB Radio or catch up on UCB Player.
Tony’s Thoughts – Tony Coe, Schools Worker
“As I write this, the thought of going out for
a drive in the roadHoG bus seems a freedom in my long distant memory. However,
in March I completed my last day at Haven High Academy the day before the
announcement came about schools closing. We praise God that we were able to
share with 300 year 7 pupils why Jesus died on the cross and how Christians
celebrate His resurrection at Easter. Some of the questions that came from
sharing that Jesus did this because we needed it and because He thought we are
worth it, were quite amazing and humbling. This was in the midst of the build
up to the schools closing. I was really impressed with the welcome and
dedication of the staff there, and being really nervous about going in, I was
relieved to meet a Christian member of staff.
I have also enjoyed new school visits at St
Georges and St Mary’s Swineshead. The House of God on the road is about people
and about meeting young people, although in this time of keeping our distance
let’s continue to pray for young people at home. Most will be happy, but let’s
pray for those for who being at home will be a struggle for whatever reason”
bus may be off the road, but the prayers continue! Please join us in prayer…
Virtual churches – a list of places to visit
The next best thing to being able to visit in
person, and a different form of online church, are 360° virtual tours around
some of the most iconic and renowned buildings globally. Giving you 24-hour
access, 7 days a week, these tours allow entry to places which would normally
require a fee and waiting in a queue!
Here is a list of UK and worldwide churches and cathedrals
who offer virtual tours for you to enjoy from the comfort of your home.
All Saints Church – Richmond, London
Brecon Cathedral – Brecon, Wales https://www.breconcathedral.org.uk/visiting/cathedral-virtual-tour/
Canterbury Cathedral - Kent, England
Exeter Cathedral - Devon, England
Gloucester Cathedral https://www.gloucestercathedral.org.uk/visit/things-to-do/360/
St George’s Cathedral - Southwark https://www.stgeorgescathedral.org.uk/about/virtual-tour/
St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle https://www.eyerevolution.co.uk/blog/virtual-tours-of-st-georges-chapel-windsor-castle/
St Paul's Cathedral – London
For more around the UK
Rest of the World
Basilica of Saint Peter - Vatican City, Italy http://www.vatican.va/various/basiliche/san_pietro/vr_tour/index-en.html
Basilica of Saint Mary - Minneapolis, America https://www.gigapixelimages.com/events/basilica/?view.vlookat=-8.273047347821981&view.hlookat=0.4400305195072339&view.fov=5.518035626787584&scene=null
Basilica of the National Shrine of the
Immaculate Conception - Washington D.C., America https://www.nationalshrine.org/virtual-tour/
Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Chartres -
Church of the Holy Sepulchre - Jerusalem,
Sistine Chapel - Vatican City, Italy
St Patrick’s Cathedral - New York, America https://saintpatrickscathedral.org/take-a-virtual-tour
Methodist churches are
sharing weekday morning prayers online
09:00 Wesley House, Cambridge: www.facebook.com/wesleycambridge
10:00 Wesley’s Chapel, London:
Closure of church
Church is announcing a closure of all its church buildings for the foreseeable
future. The Methodist Church suspended worship services last week with some
churches remaining open for quiet prayer and reflection. This must now also be
suspended. The only exception is for churches that are offering essential
social outreach such as foodbanks, soup kitchens and night shelters, but these
must be carried out within government guidelines. (The
exception in our area is the Preschool ONLY at Gipsey Bridge, as they are
obliged to stay open for some children).
Warren’s Daily Hope
Every evening at 6.30pm,
Rick Warren brings us a dose of daily hope. Listen in on Premier Christian
Radio, on DAB digital radio, Freeview 725, MW 1305, 1332, 1413 or online at:
book explores the turbulent history of the Christian faith in Lincolnshire and
Miracles * Tragedy * Heroism *
Betrayal * Revelation * Corruption
In a story running from the early 7 th
Century until 1660, Adrian Gray places great and intriguing figures in the
context of their times and in an unfolding story of spiritual change, rebellion
and sometimes death. You will meet again some well-known figures such as Saint
Hugh of Lincoln, Thomas Cranmer the architect of the Church of England, and the
mercurial George Fox from Mansfield who formed the Quakers; you will learn more about the first leaders
of the Baptist Church and those who became the ‘Mayflower’ Pilgrims, but the
text also many more fascinating and often radical figures who have been
forgotten over time.
The range of characters stretches from
Guthlac, whose supernatural experiences in the Fens became the first English
biography, to Elizabeth Hooton, the Nottinghamshire Quaker who travelled the
world and escaped death many times. Often, these people were motivated by a
quest for a better Faith and Church, leading them from the ‘heresy’ of
Lollardism to be champions of the Reformation and ultimately leaders of the
Civil War against King Charles I. Many died for their beliefs.
The story also has its fair share of
‘villains’ including corrupt and venal bishops, despotic leaders who sent those
who disagreed with them to the stake or the gallows, on both sides of the
Atlantic, and one of Elizabethan England’s most sinister torturers.
Hardback, 405pps. RRP £28.00, special
direct order price of £25 for clergy and church staff.
ADRIAN GRAY has an MA in History from
Cambridge University and is the author of over twenty books. He is well-known
as the historical adviser to Pilgrims & Prophets Christian Heritage Tours
and Bassetlaw Christian Heritage, which promote interest in the Christian
history of the two counties.
Order from bookshops or usual
suppliers, or direct from the publisher: https://bookwormretford.co.uk/product/restless-souls-pilgrim-roots-by-adrian-gray/
Care of yourself and those around you
Our increasing isolation, the bombardment of
negative and worrying news stories and concerns for those we love can heighten
anxiety levels and cause depression. Here are some resources that can boost
wellbeing and mental health to help build resilience at this difficult time.
Taking care of yourself and those around you
Each year at the beginning of lent we hear how
Jesus was led into the wilderness, where he was tested. The wilderness is of course an isolated
space; it becomes a testing place precisely because of the isolation. We believe that human beings were created to
live in relationship. Relationship with
one another and primarily with our Creator God.
So now in the lent of 2020 we find ourselves, more than ever,
understanding what Jesus went through – and we can be assured that God has
experience this too.
We read in the scriptures that in the
wilderness Jesus was tested by the devil.
The taunts of “the evil one” have echo of what we might experience
today: increasing isolation, bombardment
of negative and worrying news stories and concerns for the health of those we
love, can heighten anxiety levels and cause depression.
Here are some resources that that can boost
wellbeing and mental health to help build resilience at this difficult time.
The mental health charity, Mind has produced a
comprehensive set of resources:
Big Sunday Service
Premier Christian Radio
The churches may be shut
on Sunday. But you can join hundreds of thousands of other Christians by tuning
in to Premier Christian Radio's Big Sunday Service. You'll find an inspiring
sermon, prayers, take part in communion and hear stories of faith and plenty of
praise and worship
Every Sunday morning,
tune into Premier Christian Radio from 7am for Noel Treddinck in All Souls
in Praise where you will hear the rousing song of praise from the All Souls
At 8am join Pam
Rhodes for Hearts and Hymns where she shares your favourite hymns and the
stories behind them.
From 10 a.m. Simon
Ward hosts Worship At Home the show created for you to experience the joy of
weekly church gathering from your own home. Each week you can hear an inspiring
sermon, prayers, take part in communion and hear stories of faith and plenty of
praise and worship.
Lifeline: The National Christian Helpline
Do you need to talk?
Premier Lifeline is staffed by Christian volunteers who are able to offer
emotional and spiritual support for people who are struggling in any way, who
are anxious or lonely. It’s open from 9am to midnight every day to take calls
from anyone who needs to talk, be heard or prayed with. Call 0300 111 0101.
Men’s Breakfast at
Please note that all
Men’s Breakfasts have been cancelled.
taken expert advice and in line with current recommendations it has been
decided to suspend all RoadHoG activities for the foreseeable future.
are loathe to do this, but the confined space aboard the RoadHoG Bus presents
the perfect place for the Coronavirus to spread between the young people who
attend and between the young people and our Team Members.
believe that as a responsible Christian Organisation, we have no other sensible
option, but suspension of all RoadHoG activities does mean that we need your
prayers for the young people we work with more than ever before.
† The young people will remember all
that they have heard and learned about God, His love for them and that of His
Son Jesus Christ.
† That we will be able to keep in
contact with them through this period by the Website and through Facebook.
† That the young people will return to
the Bus as soon as we are able to get the Bus back on the road and out to the
Stops – and pray that that will be very soon.
† The Teams will be kept safe and built
up in their faith and will be ready and willing to return just as soon as
We have not
come to this decision easily, but though much prayer and soul searching, but Satan
has NOT won – by God’s good grace we will be back!
Praying with our
family during this pandemic
is changing all of our lives, but it isn't changing our God! He is steadfast,
loving, strong and full of grace. Nobody knows that better than the persecuted
church. Many of our brothers and sisters have been worshipping and praying in
isolation for many years. We can look to their examples of faith and strength
in the midst of adversity.
What can we learn from the Chinese church?
buildings in the UK and Ireland will largely be empty this Sunday morning, in
line with the government’s new measures around COVID-19 (coronavirus). But that
has not stopped Christians determined to meet getting creative, with many
churches planning to livestream services, worship and prayer. How is your
church planning to connect?
For millions of our
persecuted brothers and sisters around the world, regular Sunday services have
never been an option. Isolation is key to preserve lives – as we are finding
today, for different reasons. But who’s to say that being apart doesn’t mean
God can’t draw us closer together by other means?
Huang Lei leads a church in Wuhan, China – the epicentre of the COVID-19
outbreak. The coronavirus crisis makes it impossible for his church to have
their usual gatherings – but Pastor Huang and his congregation haven’t let that
stand in their way: they’re meeting online. They are not just doing church –
they are being church.
we have more than 50 groups,” he says. “Almost all the groups are meeting via
the internet. Praying, studying the Bible, sharing, witnessing, praising and
worshipping. Of those 50, we have more than 30 groups which are spending two
hours every day to pray, worship, share and testify together! That’s far more
frequent than our normal meetings.
course, now we have more free time; everybody is staying at home, so that’s
given us the chance to do this. But we usually have the group meeting weekly
and now we’re doing this daily – sometimes even more, so we are very grateful
bringing us closer more than ever”
Huang is seeing opportunities to reach more people and encourage believers
during this difficult time. God loves to bring good things out of bad
situations, and that’s what Pastor Huang is experiencing: “We have heard that
our elderly and disabled have been thankful to the Lord and are greatly
encouraged by this opportunity for online meetings. Before this, they felt
alienated, staying at home alone like they’re abandoned. Now they cherish the
connection between believers more than ever. And they’re more connected. So,
bit by bit, they’ve started to actively throw themselves into praying together
online. I think it’s bringing us closer more than ever. We pray, share
information, and make decisions together. The virus can’t stop us.”
it’s not just Pastor Huang’s church. He’s meeting online with other ministers
in Wuhan twice a week, praying together and sharing vital information – he also
hopes to connect with ministers further afield, across China.
on the message
hard for us to preach to each family, to meet every one of them in person,”
continues Pastor Huang. “Every large-group leader leads three to 10 small
groups. They minister to leaders of the small groups, who then preach to their
members. Nowadays, I usually minister to the deacons every other day, talking
to every one of them through calls and video chat, to find out their situation
and encourage them. They do the same.”
epidemic didn’t cut down our meetings”
whole church benefits by meeting together virtually. “We reach the whole church
by posting videos on our social platform and on our church website. It’s like
we have Sunday worship every day as well as the preaching. The church is
greatly encouraged by that.”
the crisis has even changed the way the church preaches. Rather than going
through the Bible ‘step by step’, at some distance from their lives, the
leaders are seeing the vibrant reality of scripture and how it relates to their
lives, “depending on the situation of the church, the needs of the people, and
the epidemic’s situation,” says Pastor Huang. “We preach about these. So, the
church is greatly encouraged. And the preaching is watched and listened to by
many other churches in China. It brings them comfort as well.
epidemic didn’t cut down our meetings. It’s the opposite. We have prayer
meetings for the whole church, two hours every morning, from 7am to 9am;
there’s 24-hour fasting and prayer, and we are doing a prayer every hour as
well. I think, after this, many church members will be more willing to
communicate with other sisters and brothers in Christ, to encourage each other
and share with each other.”
encouraging to remember that this period of isolation and online church
services is only temporary – for millions of our persecuted church family
around the world, isolation is an everyday reality. But, paradoxically, Pastor
Huang and his church have grown closer together. Could we spend time in prayer,
asking God how He might want to move in and through His church during these
unsettling times? What can we learn about each other, and the God we serve, as
we try to connect in other ways?
is present wherever we are, and however we meet as church family, and He is
always at work to build His kingdom. Let’s lean into this new season and see
what God does!
† For Pastor Huang and his church, that
they would continue to grow in faith and fellowship during this crisis
† For those churches who are having to
find other ways to meet, or whose members are isolated due to COVID-19 – pray
that God will make a way to keep them in contact with each other
† That God would bring good worldwide
from this pandemic, and that the church would be a light in the darkness.
Prayer from the
President of the Methodist Conference
If we are ill, strengthen us.
If we are tired, fortify our spirits.
If we are anxious, help us to consider the lilies of the field and the birds of
Help us not to
stockpile treasures from supermarkets in the barns of our larders.
Don't let fear cause us to overlook the needs of others more vulnerable than
Fix our eyes on your story and our hearts on your grace.
Help us always to hold
fast to the good,
See the good in others,
And remember there is just one world, one hope,
One everlasting love, with baskets of bread for everyone.
In Jesus we make our prayer,
The one who suffered, died and was raised to new life,
In whom we trust these days and all days,
The Revd Barbara Glasson, President of
the Methodist Conference
May God help us and be with us in our
Vice-President of the Methodist
Conference, Professor Clive Marsh, reflects on where God is during the
My hunch is that if someone were to do
a check across the Internet of uses of the word ‘virus’ in recent years, a
large number (the majority?) might have referred to computer viruses. Now we
are struggling collectively, across the world, with a virus for real. Of
course, there have been plenty of real viruses around before now. But of late
they’ve largely been under control, at least in the West. The dominant theme in
many of the faith-related comments I’ve seen about Covid-19, though, is
striking: suddenly we realise we are most certainly not in control, ‘we’ being
humanity as a whole. The fragility of life is emphasised, the limitations of
knowledge become plain and human hubris is challenged.
We may quickly then want to remind
ourselves that ‘God is in control’ in response. True though this will prove, the
tricky thing is that it might imply that God somehow caused the virus. I
suggest we don’t waste any time with such apportioning of blame, or on some
need to locate a cause.
Yes, there will be scientific
explanations for where the virus came from, and there are scientific endeavours
happening as we speak to fight it, and we should be thankful for all that work.
God is in the midst of those efforts. But as for handling and responding to the
situation which the God-given freedom of the natural world has thrown up,
Jesus’ response to the blind man is decisive (John 9.3): don’t ask about sin
here, just concentrate on what happens in response to the situation we’re in.
Even if there may be a sense in which God is ‘responsible for everything’,
don’t press for detail, ask where God is being revealed now, as people cope,
adjust, show compassion, help neighbours, find new ways of connecting, stop
their busyness, support the weak, learn the value of rest.
The feeding of the 5000 (Mark 6.30-44,
and other versions) is a story which works on so many levels, though connects
directly with the calls from leaders of supermarket chains urging people ‘just
to take what they need, so that others can get what they need too’. The
disciples’ exasperation at how all could possibly be fed is being dealt with in
the present. I wonder whether the repeated emphasis that ‘there is enough food
to go round’ will keep on being repeated, on a global scale, after coronavirus
has abated. And thinking of the petition in the Lord’s Prayer to ‘give us this
day our daily bread’ (Matt 6.11), the reminder to live simply so that others
may simply live has never seemed more pressing.
The coronavirus is here to stay, as
part of life, and will take its place alongside others which are already known and
tamed. There will be other viruses yet to come. God’s world remains wonderful
and fragile, and God has entrusted so much to us, as human beings, to be
involved in its care (Gen 1.26-27), not because of any particular merit, but
just because this is how humans are to be understood (Ps 8.4-8). May God help
us and be with us in our struggles.
Mission during the coronavirus
Resources and advice for churches to
still be engaging in mission during the pandemic:
Christian Aid Week
Sunday 10 May to Saturday 16 May
This year Christian Aid
week runs from 10 May to 16 May 2020, with the Humber Bridge Cross fundraising
event taking place on 16 May. Christian Aid this year will support the people
of Kenya in their fight against climate change and drought. Gifts donated will
help communities to build dams, providing long-lasting sources of water, which
would free people from long, painful journeys to collect water. If anyone would
be willing to deliver and collect envelopes this year, please contact the