Newsletter 25th January 2015

Louise,

Church Meeting

Our first Church Meeting of 2015 will take place Monday night, 26th January, at 8pm. The agenda and minutes from the last Church Meeting are on the table.

Saturday morning prayer

There is a prayer meeting every Saturday morning for the new work in Rudloe and for wider gospel expansion in Corsham. We meet in the hut at 8.30am. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The Ark

There is another session of The Ark taking place on Saturday 31st January at 10am at CBC. This is an outreach activity to families with young children in the community and involves craft, singing, puppets etc. Please speak to Rachel if you would like to know more about this monthly event.

 CBC Craft Group

Have you a craft or sewing skill you can share or something you would like to learn? Come and join CBC Craft Group on the first Saturday of the month between 10am–12.30pm in the coffee hall starting on 7th February. For more information contact Pam or Kathy or just pop in in February to see what we are doing!

Junior Church, Kestrels

Thanks to everyone who helped last year.  There will be a sign-up sheet in the main hall for anyone who would like to help in the kestrels group (ages 4-6) this year.  Sheet runs from now until Easter and you only need to sign up for those dates when you are available.

Thanks from the Treasurer

We have received letters of thanks for our Christmas donations, from Corsham Churches Foodbank for £671 and also from Tearfund (Ebola crisis) for £729.

Life in the Lancs Lane

Steve and Ruth, our missionaries in Tanzania, have returned to Africa after a short Christmas break in the UK. They have compiled another interesting and information-packed newsletter for January. There are paper copies on the table at the back or you can visit their blog at http://www.lancsintanz.blogspot.co.uk/

This week…

Monday : Mums’ bible study group, 10am; Church Meeting, 8pm

Wednesday : Early morning prayer, 7.15am

Thursday : Mums ‘n Tots, 10am; Corsham Money & Debt Advice Centre, 7.30pm

Friday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion, 8.30am, The Hut; The Ark 10am

Looking ahead…

4th February: Midweek service, 2pm

7th February: CBC Craft Group, 10am

8th February: Baby dedication, 10.45am

11th February: Missions and persecuted church prayer meeting, 7.30pm

14th February: Matthew & Ginny’s wedding, 12.30pm

16th February: Housegroup leaders’ meeting

18th February: Midweek service, 2pm

22nd February: Baby dedication, 10.45am

23rd February: Ladies’ bible study

28th February: The Ark, 10am

 

Newsletter 18th January 2015

Louise,

Ladies’ Bible Study

The first ladies’ bible study of the year will take place tomorrow night, Monday 19th January at 7.30pm. The study notes (pink sheets) are on the table at the back of church. The study is open to all women. Please speak to Anne or Kathy.

Church Meeting

Our first Church Meeting of 2015 will take place on the 26th January at 8pm.

Saturday morning prayer

Saturday morning prayer for gospel expansion in Corsham has started again. We meet in the hut at 8.30am. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Life in the Lancs Lane

Steve and Ruth, our missionaries in Tanzania, have returned to Africa after a short Christmas break in the UK. They have compiled another interesting and information-packed newsletter for December. There are paper copies on the table at the back or you can visit their blog at http://www.lancsintanz.blogspot.co.uk/

CBC Craft Group

Have you a craft or sewing skill you can share or something you would like to learn? Come and join CBC Craft Group on the first Saturday of the month between 10am–12.30pm in the coffee hall starting on February 7th. For more information contact Pam Mitchell or Kathy Ewins or just pop in in February to see what we are doing!

Midweek Service

The next midweek service will be held this Wednesday 21st January with Eric Seager leading and preaching. The text will be Luke 9.28-36.

Junior Church, Kestrels

Thanks to everyone who helped last year.  There will be a sign-up sheet in the main hall for anyone who would like to help in the kestrels group (ages 4-6) this year.  Sheet runs from now until Easter and you only need to sign up for those dates when you are available.

Housegroup Leaders’ Meeting

The housegroup leaders’ meeting which was due to take place tomorrow has been changed to Monday 16th February. Please speak to Vicky Stephenson for more details.

 

This week…

WEEK OF CHRISTIAN UNITY

Monday : Mums’ bible study group, 10am; ladies’ bible study, 7.30pm

Wednesday : Early morning prayer, 7.15am; Midweek service, 2pm

Thursday : Mums ‘n Tots, 10am; Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 7.30pm

Friday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion in Corsham, 8.30am, The Hut

Looking ahead…

25th January: Leadership training

26th January: Church meeting, 8pm

31st January: The Ark, 10am

4th February: Midweek service, 2pm

7th February: CBC Craft Group, 10am

8th February: Baby dedication, 10.45am

11th February: Missions and persecuted church prayer meeting, 7.30pm

14th February: Matthew & Ginny’s wedding, 12.30pm

16th February: Housegroup leaders’ meeting

18th February: Midweek service, 2pm

22nd February: Baby dedication, 10.45am

23rd February: Ladies’ bible study

28th February: The Ark, 10am

Week of Christian Unity

18th – 25th January is the week of Christian Unity. There are booklets on the table at the back should you wish to know more and a sheet detailing church opening times. There will be a service at St. Patrick’s on Sunday 25th at 6pm should anyone wish to attend. The evening service at CBC will still be held as normal.

Christmas Capers

Steve and Ruth Lancaster,

This post by Steve and Ruth Lancaster was originally published at Life in the Lancs Lane

As I type the thunder is echoing off the hills behind us and the rain is drumming heavily on our tin roof, and all around is either verdant green or muddy red!  A week ago, as Tony and I attempted to tackle the fourth fairway of the local golf course, we were forced to abandon our game due to thunder, lightening and driving rain; in fact the rain seemed to be ‘driving’ with more effect than we were!  Needless to say we got an absolute soaking!  And then a few weeks ago, the New Year celebrations here in Morogoro were dampened as the outdoor market was deluged; the rickety old wooden shacks and stalls were marooned in waist-deep water!  It seems as though the rainy season is well under way although, with weather patterns across Africa becoming unpredictable, we’re not sure whether it’s the ‘long rains’ come early or the ‘short rains’ come late!

Celebrating with the Lancasters at New Year

As you know we celebrated Christmas and New Year in the UK with our families – and what a wonderful time of reunion/ blessing/fun/laughter it was, except for one night of hospitalisation for Ruth in Lincoln!  Under a general anaesthetic she had a minor operation to drain a large abscess, which had started off as a boil and developed into a nasty carbuncle – we’ll spare you the photos! Although it made a slight dent in our schedule, it was timely as we were able to use the services of the NHS rather than have it done in Tanzania.  Nearly four weeks after the operation the wound is more or less healed, and thankfully, Ruth hasn’t had another boil.

Despite the fact it was only a brief visit we managed to pack a lot in (travelling between Newark, Carlisle, Elgin, Nairn and Bicester), and yet our time didn’t feel too squashed.  We wandered the beaches of Nairn, revelled in the frost of Elgin on Christmas Day, meandered through the frozen forests of Culbin and then, in complete contrast, jostled our way through the crowded streets of London, watched The Hobbit in Bicester cinema – and ate rather a lot of food at various family gatherings!

Twins!  But which one is Ruth?

Did it feel strange to be back in the UK after being in Tanzania for the past 17 months?  In all honesty, not at all.  I think we expected to feel a bit strange given the many differences there are between the two cultures – but it all felt very normal, although we took a great deal of pleasure from some of the things we once took for granted.  It was so nice to eat chips from a chippie, to drink water straight from the tap, to wander around the spotlessly clean and varied aisles of Sainsbury’s (!), awesome to drive roads which weren’t littered with pot-holes and vehicle wrecks, relaxing to feel safe on those roads, and great to feel chilly when you first get into bed!


The machete sharpener!

But now – we’re back here in Tanzania.  All our flights were bang on time and we managed to fly in and out of Nairobi airport just a few hours before the runway closed after a plane belly-flopped onto the runway following landing-gear failure!  The airport was closed for six hours and all flights diverted to Mombasa!  I found myself pondering the many differences between the UK and Tanzania as I sat in the barbers the day after we returned.  Sat next to me in the no-frills shop were three Maasai men dressed in their traditional red attire.  The doors were wide open, the air was hot and humid, and the noisy generator was chugging away outside because the power was out once again – and the haircut cost me £1.50!  It’s back to sleeping under a mozzie net, watching the geckos hang off the ceiling and hearing the various minarets ‘singing’ out their calls to prayer.  It’s back to the land of whacky races, swerving to avoid pot-holes, people, bikes and mini-buses on the roads.  It’s back to the noises of the night – the cicadas, crickets and frogs; it’s back to being confronted with the poverty that many people here experience, as well as feeling tongue-tied as I grapple to find the right Swahili word!  It’s back to seeing children walking to school with machetes and brooms in their hands!

And as the New Year begins it’s also back to work, serving the pastors of the Africa Inland Church here in eastern Tanzania, and helping out at the home of the Institute of Bible & Ministry at Sanga Sanga.  And do you know what?  It’s amazing how normal it all feels!  And that’s because this is where we’re meant to be doing for this chapter of life.  That being said – it also feels rather daunting as we enter our second full year here in Morogoro as things are going to get busier and more involved.  I am trying to set aside Jan/Feb as study months for my teaching sessions for the year ahead.  I’ve been set the task of looking at the person and role of the Holy Spirit; both exciting and of course daunting! I’ve also been asked to preach in Swahili once a month (from March) at the ‘back-garden’ church featured in last months blog, and from April onwards I’ll also be taking on the role of unit leader for the northern part of eastern Tanzania (more info next time).  Ruth is planning her English classes for the next few months, wrestling with the accounts and working on how to raise funds for the next phase of construction at Sanga.



The site where the conference hall
will be built

The 13 acre site at Sanga currently has a number of agricultural plots and bandas, a pump house with a  container-style office, a campsite for passing travellers and the recently constructed Retreat House which has a small meeting room and sleeps 13 people.  The next stage is to build a 250-seat conference hall towards the top end of the site complete with a seminar room and a small library to aid visiting pastors in their studies. The site has been cleared and various test holes have been dug and the boys with the shovels are about to ‘break ground’, although the speed of progress will depend very much on what’s in the kitty from week to week!  Apart from an annual gift from AIC Tanz the development of IBM & Sanga relies on donations – so if you’re looking for a project to support in 2015, and believe in the ethos of IBM (which is to enable, mobilise and inspire pastors and evangelists to a deeper relationship with God and effectiveness in ministry) and want to contribute, then please consider giving to either the training/seminar project or the development/building project. For more info on IBM or to make a donation, please see the following websites: www.aimint.org/eu/give and www.aictbibleinstitute.org.

Praise & Prayer Points:

  • We’re praising God for a wonderful two weeks back in UK with family – loved it!
  • We’re thanking God that Ruth was able to get good medical care exactly when she needed it and we’re also grateful for a 7th wedding anniversary on 19th Jan! 
  • Please pray for Ruth as she continues to look for a language helper and as she prepares for new English classes (beginning 26th Jan);
  • Please pray for me as I knuckle down to preparing for my teaching on the Holy Spirit, firstly in English and then translating into Swahili.
  • And finally, please pray the words of Eph 1:17-19 for us as we head into this year, that “God would give us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that we may know Him better. Pray also that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened in order that we may know the hope to which He has called us, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.”

Many, many thanks. 

Steve & Ruth





Random photos of the month:



 
Guess what the nephew got for Christmas!

 

Newsletter 11th January 2015

Louise,

Ladies’ Bible Study

The first ladies’ bible study of the year will take place on Monday 19th January at 7.30pm. The study notes (pink sheets) are on the table at the back of church. The study is open to all women. Please speak to Anne or Kathy.

The Lunch Club

Please remember, there is no Lunch Club meeting in January. We hope to resume our lunches in February once the new cooker has been installed.

Missions and Persecuted Church Prayer Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Wednesday 14th January at 7.30pm at Joan Cooper’s home.  Please note the change of venue.  We will pray for our missionaries and the country of the month, which is Somalia.  All welcome – see Gill for more information.

Church Meeting

Our first Church Meeting of 2015 will take place on the 26th January at 8pm.

Saturday morning prayer

Saturday morning prayer for gospel expansion in Corsham will start again on Saturday 17th January at 8.30am.

Questions and Cake!

Vicky is organising some dates when housegroups will get together over “questions and cake” – the next one will be this Wednesday 14th January. 7.45pm start and 9.15pm finish. Please speak to Vicky for more details.

Life in the Lancs Lane

Steve and Ruth, our missionaries in Tanzania, are now back in Tanzania after a short trip to the UK for Christmas. They have compiled another interesting and information-packed newsletter. There are paper copies on the table at the back or you can visit their blog at http://www.lancsintanz.blogspot.co.uk/

CBC Craft Group

Have you a craft or sewing skill you can share or something you would like to learn? Come and join CBC Craft Group on the first Saturday of the month between 10am–12.30pm in the coffee hall starting on February 7th. For more information contact Pam or Kathy or just pop in in February to see what we are doing!

Junior Church, Kestrels

Thanks to everyone who helped last year.  There will be a sign-up sheet in the main hall for anyone who would like to help in the kestrels group (ages 4-6) this year.  Sheet runs from now until Easter and you only need to sign up for those dates when you are available.

Feeding Back to You

Thank you once again for your generous and consistent support of the Foodbank project throughout 2014, but particularly during the run up to our busy Christmas period. Almost 40 Christmas hampers were issued just prior to Christmas, and that same week we were called on to support a further 10 families and individuals.

God has been faithful in blessing this ministry both through the churches and the community, and continues to enable us to meet the local need. At the moment, the Foodbank shelves are in need of some replenishment, and currently the stocks of the following items do need to be built up:

Packets of cereals

Tins of vegetables, potatoes and fruit

Tins of rice pudding & custard

Tinned sponge puddings

Cartons of UHT long-life milk

Treats (jam, honey and savoury spreads)

If you would like to know more about the work of the Foodbank or are thinking about volunteering or would like to consider joining the Foodbank Nectar card scheme, please speak to Roger or Hazel.

 

This week…

 Monday : Mums’ bible study group, 10am

Wednesday : Early morning prayer, 7.15am; Missions and Persecuted Church Prayer meeting, 7.30pm; Questions and Cake, 7.45pm

Thursday : Mums ‘n Tots, 10am; Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 7.30pm

Friday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion in Corsham, 8.30am, The Hut

 

Looking ahead…

 19th January : Ladies’ Bible Study, 7.30pm

21st January : Midweek service, 2pm

25th January : Leadership training

26th January : Church meeting, 8pm

31st January : The Ark, 10am

4th February : Midweek service, 2pm

7th February : CBC Craft Group, 10am

11th February : Missions and persecuted church prayer meeting, 7.30pm

14th February : Matthew & Ginny’s wedding, 12.30pm

16th February: Housegroup leaders’ meeting, 7.45pm

 

Heart 4 Rudloe, Sunday 11th January, 4-6pm.

Adrian,

Our friends from the Box Anglican Church organise a ‘fun family church’ twice a month at Crumpets Cafe on Portal Avenue, Rudloe.

The afternoon is full of crafts, worship, stories, prayer, and food. All ages welcome, but children please bring an adult!

January 11th marks the first Heart4Rudloe meeting this year and it will be all the more exciting if you can be there!

More details can be found at their Facebook webpage.

Newsletter 4th January 2015

Louise,

Midweek Service

The next midweek service will be held this Wednesday, 7th January, at 2pm. The reading is from Luke 9:18-27. Eric will be leading and preaching and there will be communion.

Ladies’ Bible Study

The first ladies’ bible study of the year will take place on Monday 19th January at 7.30pm. The study notes (pink sheets) are on the table at the back of church. The study is open to all women. Please speak to Anne or Kathy.

Leaders’ Retreat

Please pray for our leaders as they go away for the night on their annual retreat to Childswickham on the 9th January.

Stamp Collection

Just a reminder that there is a box on the table at the back to collect all your stamps. Paul sends these off to BMS. Please remember to keep yours!

Saturday morning prayer

Saturday morning prayer for gospel expansion in Corsham will start again on Saturday 17th January at 8.30am.

Questions and Cake!

Vicky will be organising some dates when housegroups will get together over “questions and cake” – the next one will be on Wednesday 14th January. 7.45pm start and 9.15pm finish. Please speak to Vicky for more details.

Life in the Lancs Lane

Steve and Ruth, our missionaries in Tanzania, are currently enjoying a short Christmas break in the UK. They have compiled another interesting and information-packed newsletter for December. There are paper copies on the table at the back or you can visit their blog at http://www.lancsintanz.blogspot.co.uk/

CBC Craft Group

Have you a craft or sewing skill you can share or something you would like to learn? Come and join CBC Craft Group on the first Saturday of the month between 10am–12.30pm in the coffee hall starting on February 7th. For more information contact Pam or Kathy Ewins or just pop in in February to see what we are doing!

Can you help?!

Ginny is requesting help! She needs to collect different sized, cleaned, jam jars for her wedding. Please bring them to church or leave in the office. Thank you.

Joan’s report on her visit to the Oasis Centre, Traiskirchen, December 2014

“Recently I had the privilege of revisiting the Oasis Centre near Vienna, and for a few precious days I was part of the team that reached out and touched the lives of refugees from many nations.  We had a clothing room for ladies and it was such a joy to be able to give out baby bags to two Syrian ladies who were about to have their babies. These little ones would not have many of the things that we take for granted, but they did have blankets lovingly knitted and crocheted by our local ladies, and clothes to keep them warm – and the knowledge that the love of Jesus was being given to them too.

On the Wednesday evening, the Christmas story of Jesus’ birth was preached at Oasis by an American.  It was translated into German, Farsi, French and Egyptian!  Besides the speaker and  translators, the team included other volunteers  who talked  with refugees, prepared the room, cleaned at the end of the night, marked in Bibles, and prepared coffee and tea and cake.  For some of these workers, they paid their own train ticket from Vienna to come and serve.  

This was not a special event, but something that happens every week – plus a coffee evening every Thursday, weekly German classes, a monthly ladies’ evening, German classes for refugees, and an Alpha course. So much is happening – the Oasis team is reduced in numbers, and the Lagar refugee centre just down the road is far too full, but on the positive side, there are now many volunteers coming to help and the Oasis building is well used.

The highlights of that packed week? The joyous entrance of six Iranians who had just been baptized who came to Oasis for a pizza party, and the ladies’ evening when “Silent Night” was sung  (in a room lit only by glow sticks – great excitement!) and they were told the story of Christ’s birth,  most hearing this for the first time.  It was a privilege to share all of this with the Team and to encourage them with our support.”

 

Steve Bryant’s visit to Senegal January 2015

Adrian,

On 2nd January Steve will be travelling to Senegal, where he and Gill lived and worked from 1990 to 2001 at the WEC run school for missionaries’ children. While there he will participate in the team conference, which is held every year at this time. WEC Senegal has several teams working in different parts of the country, doing both urban and rural evangelism and church planting among several people groups. Other team members are involved in running an orphanage for street children, teaching English, youth work, sports ministry, administration, guest house management and leadership responsibilities. Steve is very much looking forward to renewing fellowship with the members of WEC Senegal.

The conference will be held at Bourofaye Christian School, where Steve and Gill used to teach. In the photo you can see the children, missionary staff and local African staff.

Bourofaye Christian School

Steve will teach seminars on child protection, and also do one of the devotional talks.  After the conference he will stay on at the school to spend time with the staff and children, participating in the various activities going on, and also assisting them in addressing any issues where help is sought.

Please pray for Steve as he prepares for this visit.  We know from our time overseas that a visitor can bring enormous encouragement.  Pray also for the following points:

  • That the seminars he gives will be effective, well understood and useful for all ministries and situations involving children.
  • For his devotional talk, for the Holy Spirit to enable him as he prepares and delivers this.
  • That his presence will be a help and an encouragement, both to colleagues that he has know for many years, and for those he has not met before.
  • For wisdom in areas where he needs to give advice.
  • For good health and safe travel.  We praise the Lord that there is no Ebola in Senegal at this time.
  • For Gill as she holds the fort at home.

Thank you!

Newsletter 14th December, Nativity Service

Louise,

Rob and Sharon

At the Special Church Meeting held on Monday 1st December it was agreed, by majority vote, that Rob be called to join the staff at Corsham Baptist Church as a pastor. Rob and his wife, Sharon, have accepted the offer and Rob will commence his ministry with us in April 2015. We give grateful thanks and praise to God for guiding us during this church plant process and would ask that you continue to pray for the fledgling work in the Rudloe community.

Christmas Offerings

The offering at the Nativity service will be donated the the Corsham Food Bank. The offering at the ‘Carols by Candlelight’ service will go to Tearfund in support of their work in combating Ebola.  If you wish to gift-aid your offering, please put it into one of the white gift-aid envelopes (available on the table at the church entrance), and fill in the appropriate details.

Ladies’ Christmas Meal

This will be held Monday night, 15th December at 7.30pm.   We will have home-made soup and pudding.  Cost is £3 per person. Please sign up on the sheet at the back so we have an idea of numbers for catering purposes or speak to Anne Holmes or Kathy Larkman. Thank you.

Church Directory 2015

If you would like to be entered in the booklet, please complete the blue form at the back and place in the box or leave in the office. Please do not enter information that you do not want published in the directory. If you are already in the directory and all your details remain unchanged, there is no need to complete a form.

Prayer Meeting

We are continuing with our regular prayer meetings for gospel expansion in Corsham and surrounding areas. The meetings take place in The Hut from 8.30-9.30am on Saturday mornings. We would encourage people to attend this meeting and everyone is welcome!

Life in the Lancs Lane

Steve and Ruth, our missionaries in Tanzania, have compiled another interesting and information-packed newsletter for December. There are paper copies on the table at the back or you can visit their blog at http://www.lancsintanz.blogspot.co.uk/

Midweek Service

The midweek service on Wednesday 17th Dec will be the annual carol service, starting at the usual time of 2pm, followed by tea and cake. Please speak to Eric for more info.

Questions and Cake!

Vicky is organising some dates when housegroups will get together over “questions and cake” – the December date has been cancelled and so the next one will be on Wednesday 14th January. 7.45pm start and 9.15pm finish. Please speak to Vicky for more details.

Christmas Services 2014 at CBC

17th Dec 2pm – carol service

21st Dec 6pm – carols by candlelight

24th Dec 6pm – Christmas eve, with communion

25th Dec 10am – Christmas day family worship service

 

There are A6 fliers on the table to hand out to neighbours, friends and family!

The town Christmas card is also available to take away.

Don’t forget the Carol Service down the High Street on Tuesday 16th December at 6.45pm!!

This week:

Monday: Young mums’ bible study, 10am; Ladies’ supper, 7.30pm

Wednesday: Morning prayer, 7.15am; Carol Service 2pm

Thursday: Mums ‘n Tots, 10am; Debt Advice Centre 7.30pm

Friday: Debt Advice Centre, 9.30am

Saturday: Prayer for gospel expansion in and around Corsham, 8.30am, the Hut

Waterholes and weddings!

Steve and Ruth Lancaster,

This post by Steve and Ruth Lancaster was originally published at Life in the Lancs Lane

2014 is fast drawing to a close and this time next week (18th) we’ll be on a plane UK-bound for 2 weeks of holiday and catching up with family!  It’s been a year of adjusting and learning; a year of grappling with Tanzanian culture and a year of new experiences – most of them good ones!  

Meeting in the pump house at Sanga Sanga

Since our last newsletter we have attended two pastors’ conferences – one at Sanga Sanga and the other in Lindi, a 12 hour drive away in the south of the country.  The conference at Sanga Sanga was well attended with over 70 pastors and their wives coming from all over the diocese.  We all crammed into the very first building put up on the Sanga site, which is essentially the pump house!  We look forward to the day when our conference hall is built and we can welcome even bigger groups of pastors for Bible training, fellowship and respite – no pressure Matt Dixon!  More details about that next month.
 

The Lindi conference was the last of 8 this year.  As well as Tanzanian pastors and evangelists, it was good to meet up with some of our AIM colleagues who are based in various locations near Lindi, some on TIMO and post-TIMO teams.  Lindi is right on the coast and was picture-postcard pretty in some ways but boy, was it hot and sticky!  In future Steve will be following the example of the Tanzanians and taking a ‘preacher’s flannel’ with him to mop his dripping brow!  He taught three sessions in Swahili and was encouraged to receive good feedback on his pronunciation.  That seminar brought to a close his preaching this year on the subject of ‘Miraculous Movements’ and in the first few months of next year he’ll be preparing talks for the 2015 calendar of seminars.

The newlyweds shimmy down the aisle

In the last few weeks we’ve had a couple of interesting and very different cultural experiences; a baptism and a wedding.  Tanzanian weddings aren’t known to be brief affairs and we braced ourselves for a long day.  The service was due to start at 2pm and we were assured in advance by the pastor that it would start on time.  When we arrived at 2.30pm the church was still only a quarter full, the bridegroom was sitting outside in his car (making the most of the AC) and the bride had not yet arrived!  When things eventually got underway we were interested and slightly amused to see all the members of the wedding party dance down the aisle – the groom, his best man, the bridesmaids and the bride – imagine that in the UK!  The bride came in by herself, sashaying demurely halfway up the aisle where she waited for her groom to come and meet her, he looking rather self-conscious as he shimmied down towards her!  He lifted up her veil and the two of them continued up the aisle together.  There was a real atmosphere of celebration and of course the music and singing was full on!  Needless to say, at the end of the service the whole wedding party shimmied back down the aisle!