S T A M F O R D  U N I T E D   R E F O R M E D  C H U R C H

S T A R   L A N E     P E 9  1 P H

Apr 2024

 A P R I L     2 0 2 4

On 1st April we might be more alert for those trying to convince us of a ridiculous fact or event. Some have proposed that the modern custom of All Fool’s Day originated in France, officially with the Edict of Roussillon (promulgated in August 1564), in which Charles IX decreed that the new year would no longer begin on Easter, as had been common throughout Christendom, but rather on January 1. Because Easter was a lunar and therefore moveable date, those who clung to the old ways were the “April Fools.” Others have suggested that the timing of the day may be related to the vernal equinox (March 21), a time when people are fooled by sudden changes in the weather.

There are variations between countries in the celebration of April Fools’ Day, but all have in common an excuse to make someone play the fool. In France, for example, the fooled person is called poisson d’avril (“April fish”), perhaps in reference to a young fish and hence to one that is easily caught; it is common for French children to pin a paper fish to the backs of unsuspecting friends. In Scotland the day is Gowkie Day, for the gowk, or cuckoo, a symbol of the fool. In many countries newspapers and the other media participate in false headlines or news stories.

I wonder how the early church viewed the story about Jesus being resurrected from the tomb? Paul later suggests that the message is, “… foolishness to those who are perishing..” (1 Cor 1:18) and continues,

“22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise (v27). Perhaps we are foolish when we question the meaning of the cross as a sign of God’s love for all creation, that means you and me!

Blessings, Peter

April Services

All services commence at 10.30am unless otherwise stated.

Notes to Services

Please note that there is no morning service on Sunday 21st April. The service is at 5pm, by Stamford Street Pastors, and is followed by their AGM.

Sanctuary Service

The next Sanctuary Service is on Thursday 11th April. It features Ellie Turner on her electro-harp. Presented by Peter, world-class live music provides the stimulus for contemplation, in a peaceful space where all are welcome. Doors open ~7.45pm.

There is also an earlier Relaxed Sanctuary Service with Ellie Turner held each month at 6 – 6.45pm, doors open 5.50pm. It features live music and peaceful sound relaxation for families and those with additional needs.

Resource Area Service

Advanced notice that there will be a service on 30th June at Spalding URC, Pinchbeck Road, PE11 1QD. Anyone from Stamford is invited to attend and represent us at the service.

Flower Rota

7th Apr. Helen Smith

14th Apr. Sue Samuels

21st Apr. Rosemary Walters

28th Apr. Anne Thompson




7TH Apr

Mr Geoff Milnes

Mr John Hall

14th Apr

Revd Dr Peter Stevenson (Communion)

Mrs Ann Llowarch

21st Apr (5.00pm)

Street Pastors Service and AGM

Mr John Chambers

28th Apr

Revd Dr Peter Stevenson

Mrs Ann Llowarch

Stamford Street Pastors AGM – Sunday 21st April at 5pm

Great news, The URC is hosting the Street Pastors AGM this year on Sunday 21st April at 5 o'clock in our church, the service led by our minister Rev Peter, followed by a get together in the hall with refreshments. Please put this in your diary as Street Pastors are vital to Stamford life and we need to support them whole heartedly. It would also show our appreciation of all they do by baking some nice cakes to eat after the service., looking forward to seeing you there.

Ishobel Macnab

Friday Coffee Morning

The opening hours of the usual Friday Coffee Morning will change slightly after Easter – from Friday 5th April it will start at 9am and finish at 12noon. So still a duration of 3 hours, just shifted back by 30mins. This will be a permanent change of hours.

Friday Coffee Morning is as popular as ever and it was great to hear that takings have increased by ~£1,000 over the last year! It’s a great testament to the hard work and dedication of Pam and the team, and many thanks to all our regular, occasional and new customers.

Any new volunteers would also be very welcome.

Lent Bible Study Sessions

The six Monday afternoons from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. in the Livingstone Room of the Church Hall during Lent, looking at Mark’s gospel, were a great success, with 6-8 attendees each week.

We thank Peter for his time and effort in preparing material, opening up new perspectives and facilitating enlightening discussions in the group.

At the end of the sessions, there was some talk of trying to keep a regular (monthly?) Bible Study group going, at a convenient time and location that works for the widest number of people. Please make your interest known about this.

Prize Bingo on Saturday 23rd March

This event in the Church Hall was quite well attended, with some good fun and great prizes. Peter did a sterling job and has clearly found his new calling…

The event raised £124 – thanks to all who attended and especially to those who organised it.

Watch this space for other fundraising and fellowship events happening like a Mr & Mrs (or Mums and Daughters), Beetle Drive, Pie and Games, Harvest Supper, Musical evenings and who knows what else?

Advanced Notice: Christian Aid Week Sunday 12th May – Saturday 18th May.

Following our donation of the collection from the Christmas Carol Concert to Centrepoint, please see below their letter back to us:

Centre Point Letter

Church Hall Future Plans - Meeting with PDG Architects

Paul Hutchings presented his plans to members at the Church AGM Meeting on 24th March, which gave all members the opportunity to gain a more detailed understanding of the proposals and to ask any questions. Hard copies of the plans were also available at the meeting. There was a good number of questions and points raised, along with some discussion before the AGM section of the meeting.

Paul promised to forward a copy of his PowerPoint presentation for distribution after the meeting - and this has just been sent out to church members. This will give people further chance to look at the plans and think about any further questions they may have, prior to the next Church Meeting, which is an EGM.

The AGM followed afterwards, including the Treasurer’s report. Lisa would be willing to send a copy of her summary report to anyone who missed the AGM.

Minutes of the meeting and AGM will be distributed this month.

Next Church Meeting – EGM on Sunday 14th April.

The next Church Meeting will be an Extraordinary General Meeting. The idea of this meeting is to further discuss the plans and presentation by Paul Hutchings of PDG architects, including more time for questions by members. Peter has sent out an e-mail explaining this last week.

Please can as many people as possible attend.

At this stage, the view remains to then subsequently produce final plans that are decided and costed around the middle of the year, with funding to be sought after that.

The next Regular Church Meeting is on Thursday 6th June

‘Living stones for a living church: buildings for the ministry of Mission’

We recently received an e-mail from Synod about this mission, please see below:

To: Synod Moderators, Synod Clerks, Mission Enablers Network, CRCWs, CYDO+, TDO+, previous Buildings Forum attendees, Church House Staff (apologies for any cross-postings)

The United Reformed Church Buildings Forum Webinar: ‘Living stones for a living church: buildings for the ministry of Mission’

Part 1 21 May 7.30pm Part 2 04 June 7.30pm

This is an open invitation to attend the URC Church Buildings Forum webinar on Zoom on 21 May 2024 7.30-9pm. Following the launch of these webinars just over three years ago, The Revd Dr John P. Bradbury will return as the keynote speaker to address how we may best use our building and assets for mission and ministry, particularly within the context of the Church Life Review and its outworking. As always with the webinars, you will have the opportunity for conversation in breakout rooms and, importantly, it will also be a listening exercise to hear the questions that you have, the challenges that churches face, and positive ideas, examples and news to be shared.

A complementary and more pragmatically focussed Part Two will take place on 4 June 2024 7.30-9pm. There will be a presentation of North Western Synod’s strategy ‘A Church with People at the Margins: A Strategy for Mission and Ministry’ and examples of a number of local churches already on that journey, in order to stimulate debate and encourage other synods and local churches.

Coming along to one of the webinars will be more useful than not coming to either, but we do hope that you will be able to attend both. To register for either or both seminars please email

Best wishes,

Carole Sired

Administrator to Mission and Ecumenical & Interfaith Relations | United Reformed Church

86 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9RT 020 7916 8655 | |

The Green Claims Code

Most of us remember the Green Cross Code (I won’t mention the relevant decades) but I came across a reference to the Green Claims Code last week, see the link below – it’s part of the Competition and Marketing Authority website:

Green Claims Code - Get Your Green Claims Right - Green Claims Code

It aims to help educate the public, as well as retailers and manufacturers, about what can, and cannot, be legally said about products and their packaging.

Amongst other things, the site contains a quiz and also a “Tips for Shoppers” link:

Green Claims Code - Get Your Green Claims Right - Green Claims Code Green claims code for shoppers - GOV.UK (

Give the quiz a go and see how you get on…and kudos to anyone who gets full marks!

…And for those of you who are feeling nostalgic about The Tufty Club, here’s a link to a YouTube video from back then featuring Willy Weasel, and narrated by the much-loved Bernard Cribbins: Tufty Road safety campaign from the seventies (

Elizabeth Cheffins

Following the recent sad loss of our friend Elizabeth, her family have confirmed that her funeral will take place on Monday 15th April with a private cremation, followed by a Service of Thanksgiving at Star Lane at 3:00 p.m.








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