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S T A R   L A N E     P E 9  1 P H

front page May 2024

M A Y   2024

While Easter has already been remembered in the Western Christian Church, the Orthodox Church will be celebrating the day on 5th May this year.  The differing dates have to do with the calendars followed by the varying religious affiliations. While most Western countries and Christian denominations refer to the Gregorian calendar, the date for Orthodox Easter comes from the old Julian calendar.

The Julian calendar, based on the solar cycle, was established by Julius Caesar in 45 B.C. before later being replaced by the Gregorian calendar. Although much of the world now uses the Gregorian calendar, the custom has remained to use the Julian calendar to calculate the date of Orthodox Easter as it was used when the Orthodox Church was initially set up.

There are around 40 calendars still in use today, but the main calendars used around the world are the Gregorian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Chinese, Julian, and Persian calendars.  They are generally governed by the solar or lunar cycles with some being hybrid of both, known as lunisolar calendars, which are based on the positions of the sun and moon together.  Modern China for instance, follows the Gregorian calendar, but holidays are based on a lunisolar one.  The Jewish calendar is also a lunisolar calendar that is primarily used today to determine Jewish customs, holidays, readings, and ceremonies.  India traditionally uses a lunisolar calendar alongside the Gregorian calendar for its religious events and holidays.

Like Christmas, we may not be able to exactly date the birth and death of Jesus but whichever day and month we agree, becomes a significant time to remember, commemorate and reflect on the impact this man has had on the history of humankind and our own lives.  For Christians, these dates and times matter as they hold importance and meaning for our faith.  Human constructs of time matter less and are simply there to enable order and common understanding of place.  What is of greater value is the knowledge that God so loved the world that he gave his only son so that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

However and whenever we remember our Lord’s actions, may they be a time of blessing and joy.


Blessings,   Peter            


 May Services




5th May

Maggie Kirkbride

Ann Llowarch

12th May

Revd. Dr. Peter Stevenson – Communion

John Hall

19th May

Audrey Hensman

Rob Edwards

26th May

Revd. Dr. Peter Stevenson

         Ann Llowarch     



All services commence at 10.30am unless otherwise stated.


Notes to Services


Sanctuary Service

The next Sanctuary Service is on Thursday 9th May. It features Tara Jaff on Celtic harp and performing Kurdish song. 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

  5th May      Jane Kew

12th May      Irene Strohn

19th May      Lisa Merriman

26th May      Anne Thompson



Request for favourite hymns for Songs of Praise Service on Sunday 9th June.

Can you please have a think about what your favourite hymn is and then let Anne Thompson know. She is collecting suggestions for the above service in June and would love to hear from you in the next couple of weeks.


Thank you, Anne.




Lent Bible Study Sessions

Following on from the success of the six Lent Bible Study 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. The sessions helped to open up new perspectives and facilitate discussions amongst the group on a variety of topics.

Peter has said that he is happy to help to establish this during his remaining time.

Please make your interest known about this to Peter and/or The Elders – if we don’t do it in the next 6-9months, we probably never will…



Christian Aid Week is coming soon - Sunday 12th May – Saturday 18th May.

An extract from an e-mail from Christian Aid:

Pushed to the brink of survival 

This Christian Aid Week we're highlighting our work in Burundi, one of the poorest countries in the world financially, and one of the least prepared to combat the effects of climate crisis. With a fragile economy built on agriculture, people in Burundi find themselves in a precarious position in the face of droughts, floods and landslides. The global cost of living crisis has intensified the challenges families face. More than 70% of the population live in poverty, and 52% of children are chronically malnourished. Women and children make up the majority of the population – an outcome of the violent civil war between 1993 and 2005. Despite women making up most of the workforce, persistent patriarchal values ensure that women have little representation in seats of power or decision-making, enabling both the economic and physical exploitation of women.


We work with partners across the Makamba and Rumonge Provinces of southern Burundi, where extreme poverty and the effects of the climate crisis make it deeply challenging to find meaningful employment and a reliable income. In these communities, you can’t take your daily meal, the roof over your head, or your survival for granted.


We know we can’t solve every problem that our neighbours in Burundi will face, but with our support, more families are building reliable and diverse incomes that are bringing them food security, better health, safer homes, increased resilience, and hope.



‘When we see Christian Aid, we feel comforted, we feel we are not alone.  We see that we have people to back us up.’  Aline Nibogora.


Aline's story

Aline (pronounced ‘Ahh-leen’) felt the full force of extreme poverty after several years of an abusive marriage ended, when her husband married another woman, forcing her to flee without her six children. She was forced to sleep on the streets of Burundi. With no home, healthcare or security, Aline was pushed to the brink of survival.


'I wandered the streets, asking anyone for a place to sleep. Those who showed me kindness would let me stay for two or three days, but it was difficult. People would insult me and treat me with contempt. They forgot I was a human being. It filled me with sorrow.’


But Aline transformed her life after meeting Christian Aid.  We provided vital training and support that meant Aline could nurture a small business trading avocados and peanuts locally. This has enabled her to buy and grow nutritious food, build a home to call her own, and return her children to her side. Aline was determined to push back against the inhumanity of poverty, driven by hope, faith and the love of her children.  Against the odds she had done this, with just a little help from Christian Aid.




Last Church Meeting - EGM on Sunday 14th April.

The EGM Church Meeting further discussed the plans and presentation given previously by Paul Hutchings of PDG architects on 24th March. There was plenty of questions, queries and debate by the members about the plans, implications, etc. In the end there was a unanimous vote to proceed with the next stage of the project, i.e. to ask PDG to appoint a quantity surveyor and proceed to produce costed plans for the redevelopment. This is subject to an initial inspection of the hall roof to determine whether there is asbestos present, which will affect the cost and ease of the project. That initial inspection is being arranged over the next few weeks, with Paul Hutchings in attendance.



Reminder - 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  | |






Recipe for Feelgood Flapjacks


2oz/50g melted butter

2tbsp peanut butter

3tbsp maple syrup

2 ripe bananas – mashed up

1 apple – grated (no need to peel)

9oz/250g rolled oats

3oz/85g dried apricots - chopped

4oz/100g raisins

3oz/85g mixed seeds (e.g. pumpkin, sunflower, etc.)

100ml hot water

Optional – salt, cinnamon, ground cardamom, ginger



STEP 1        Pre-heat the oven to 150oC/140oC fan/Gas Mark 3.

STEP 2        Grease and line a 20cm square tin (or use ungreased silicone).

STEP 3        Heat the butter, peanut butter and maple syrup in a pan until melted.

STEP 4        Add the mashed banana, grated apple, hot water and mix.

STEP 5        Tip oats, dried fruit and seeds into a large bowl and mix together.

STEP 6        Add this mix into the pan and stir.

STEP 7        Tip the mixture into the cake tin and then bake for 55mins.

STEP 8        Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.

STEP 9        Cut into 12 pieces and store in an airtight container in the fridge – it will keep for 3 days.


This recipe was originally from Elizabeth Banks, via Thad Wilk.






Stamford Street Pastors Service & AGM

The Stamford Street Pastors service in Star Lane on 21st April was very well attended.


A note from Ishobel:

Thanks for all the help. Just a quick message to say thank you to all who came to the Street Pastors AGM, all those who brought along super cakes, savouries, nibbles and everything that contributed to the loaded table after the service. Also thanks to all those who helped to clear away, and the two young helpers in the kitchen - Gabriel and Catalina. Hope everyone enjoyed the evening.  

Ishobel Macnab



Quote of the month:

“You can shed tears that she is gone, or you can smile because she has lived…

…You can remember only that she is gone, or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back.

Or you can do what she'd want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.


Extracts from, “She is Gone”, by David Harkins.




















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