Life & Soul explores the kinds of questions we all ask at times, such as ‘What’s life all about?’ and ‘Is there anybody out there?’ and asks what the Christian faith has to say in response. Mornings are fun and interactive, with barista coffee and pastries, talks, activities and discussion and all views are welcome. Whether you consider yourself an atheist, agnostic, spiritual but not religious, a Christian believer or not sure, you would be very welcome.
What are the subjects for discussion?
Jan 13 …intro and taster
Jan 20 …NO SESSION
Jan 27 …on meaning of life
Feb 3 …on existence of God
Feb 10 …on Jesus’ life
(break for half term)
Feb 24 …on Jesus’ death
Mar 3 …on the resurrection
Mar 10 …on what now?
Mar 17 …on spiritual practices
When? But join on any session
Eight Sunday mornings from 13th January 2018, 10:30am – 12 noon.
Ebeneezer Scrooge has no time for Christmas, until one Christmas Eve he is visited by the ghost of Jacob Marley, his late business partner. Marley warns him that the miserly spirit with which he lives his life will mean misery in the afterlife. Scrooge is then visited by three more spirits. The Ghost of Christmas Past reminds him of his unhappy childhood and the poor choices he made as a young man. The Ghost of Christmas Present opens his eyes to the poverty all around him and the generous Christmas spirit that his poor neighbours show each other despite their circumstances. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come reveals the legacy he will leave behind him when he dies unless he changes his ways. Finally Scrooge wakes up on Christmas morning, a changed man, determined to honour Christmas in his heart, and keep it all year round.
Follow on a journey with Scrooge via four short films on the church Facebook, Twitter and Instagram weekly across December on #WhatTheDickens as together we seek to discover what the Dickens Christmas is really all about.
…and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us!
Watched the films, so what now?
With the passing of Christmas does the message dim or does it blaze brightly as an offer to all of us every day of the year? Scrooge met with a transformation at Christmas, his outlook, heart and mind recieved the light of Christmas and his life took on a new meaning.
“I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future!” Scrooge repeated, as he scrambled out of bed. “The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. Oh Jacob Marley! Heaven, and the Christmas Time be praised for this. I say it on my knees, old Jacob, on my knees”.
He went to church, and walked about the streets, and watched the people hurrying to and fro, and patted children on the head, and questioned beggars, and looked down into the kitchens of houses, and up to the windows, and found that everything could yield him pleasure. He had never dreamed that any walk — that anything — could give him so much happiness. In the afternoon he turned his steps towards his nephew’s house.
He passed the door a dozen times, before he had the courage to go up and knock. But he made a dash, and did it:
An installation of silhouettes and their stories of fallen British and Commonwealth soldiers, linked to Leigh Road Baptist Church and from Leigh-on-Sea on display in Leigh Road Baptist Church, Leigh-on-Sea until 14th November.
Pop along at any time while open.
There but not there installation: Saturday 10th November, 1pm-5pm Remembrance Sunday Service and Instalation: With live coverage on the big screen from the Cenotaph, London: Sunday 11th November, 10:30am-12 noon, installation remains open until 2pm. There but not there installation & talk: Monday 12th November, 10am-12 noon, installation remains open until 4:30pm. There but not there installation: Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th November, 9:30am until 4:30pm.
There But Not There aims to place a representative figure for every name on local war memorials around the country, into their place of worship, their school, their workplace or wherever their absence was keenly felt. These transparent silhouettes will be back within their communities for Remembrance 2018, the centenary commemoration of the end of the 1914-1918 First World War.
Halloween? Love it or Hate it? Take our quick poll below and then read on and watch on below.
God’s light has defeated the darkness
We all have things we’re afraid of. Some of them we know are silly, such as fear of spiders, air travel or being alone in the dark. Some of our fears are deeper, though: we may be worried about the future, scared of the terrible things we see on the news, or afraid of people seeing us as we really are.
When you put on a light, it’s not dark any more. Christians believe that God shone brightly in the darkness and defeated it through his Son, Jesus Christ. We read in the Bible that Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, died on the cross and then came back to life on the third day after his death. That means that God is more powerful than all the things we are afraid of – he’s even more powerful than death itself.
Have a great time this Halloween, dressing up, eating sweets and enjoying yourself, but don’t be afraid.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
– John chapter 8 verse 12, The Bible (New Living Translation)
Vast armies undead do tread through the night and
In hordes march towards hapless victims to frighten.
They stumble in step with glass-eyes on the prizes;
Bunched hither, hunched over in monstrous disguises;
In sizes not lofty but numb’ring a throng;
To unleash on their prey the dreaded DING DONG.
Small faces with traces of mother’s eye-liner,
Peer up to the resident candy provider.
And there to intone ancient threats learnt verbatim;
They lisp “TRICK OR TREAT!” Tis their stark ultimatum.
Thus: region by region such legions take plunder.
Does this spector-full spectacle cause you to wonder?
Just how did our fair festive forebears conceive,
Of this primeval practice called All Hallows Eve?
The answer, if anyone cares to research,
Surprises, it rises from old mother church.
On the cusp of the customary All Saints Day
The Christ-i-an kinsfolk made mocking display.
These children of light both to tease and deride;
Don darkness, doll down as the sinister side.
In pre-post-er-ous pageants and dress diabolic,
They hand to the damned just one final frolick.
You see with the light of the dawn on the morrow,
The sunrise will swallow such darkness and sorrow.
The future is futile for forces of evil;
And so they did scorn them in times Medieval.
For this is the nature of shadow and gloom;
In the gleaming of glory there can be no room.
What force is resourced by the echoing black?
When the brightness ignites can the shadow push back?
These ‘powers’ of darkness, if such can be called,
Are banished by brilliance, by blazing enthralled.
So the bible begins with this fore-resolved fight;
For a moment the darkness…. then “Let there be Light!”
First grief in the gloom, then joy from the East.
First valley of shadow, then mountaintop feast.
First wait for Messiah, then long-promised Dawn.
First desolate Friday and then Easter Morn.
The armies of darkness when doing their worst,
Can never extinguish this Dazzling Sunburst.
So… ridicule rogues if you must play a role;
But beware getting lost in that bottomless hole.
The triumph is not with the forces of night.
It dawned with the One who said “I am the Light!”
You are always welcome to join with us as we explore each Sunday who Jesus the light who expels all darkness is. We have lots on throughout the week too for children and adults, have an explore of our website or give us a call/email.
Following the success of last year’s Wellbeing Fair at Oasis The Coffee House, 189 Leigh Road, Leigh-on-Sea we will again be offering a range of stalls promoting different ways of improving physical and mental wellbeing.
Whether life is a struggle or pretty good right now, we all need to maintain good physical and mental health. Come along and find out how you could be kinder to yourself.
Saturday 29 September, 10-3pm Oasis The Coffee House, 189 Leigh Road, Leigh-on-Sea Drop in at any time to explore what’s on offer in treating ourselves well…
You’ll find info on…
// Craft Club // Reading Group // Food & Drink // Wellbeing Matters // CAP Money // Dementia Support // Talking Therapies // Conversation // Mind // Life & Soul Course //
We will also be previewing the new Oasis Saturday menu of light lunches and snacks as well as all your favourite Oasis Fairtrade coffees, teas and milkshakes.
Harvest Experience – a fun, interactive, harvest-themed event for all ages
Sunday 16 September 2018 – 10:30am to 12:00 noon
You are invited to a fun, interactive, harvest-themed event for all ages at Leigh Road Baptist Church, Marguerite Drive, Leigh-on-Sea.
Together we will explore the good gifts of creation through craft, cooking, games, songs and (most importantly) food!
The Harvest Experience will last one hour and will have activities for pre-schoolers through to pensioners. It will be followed by a bring and share lunch, so If you are able, please bring some food to share on the day, along with a gift of non-perishable food to donate to the Southend Foodbank.
Leigh Road Baptist Church Men’s Group present an evening of BBQ, motorsport, classic cars and stories of what drives us… Fuelled-Up!
Saturday 22 September 2018, 7:30pm Leigh Road Baptist Church
Essex SS9 1NN
We have invited the team from Faith Fuelled Racing a competitive motorcycle race team run by Christians. They will bring their bike for us all to see and tell stories of their faith at 100mph. We will also have on show 4-6 classic cars in the church garden along with their owners.
We will look after your bellies too with a delicious BBQ served up (Vegetarian options also available).
Tickets cost £15 each and this event is open to all men and any profits made will be donated to Prostate Cancer UK.
Once again Leigh Road Baptist Church Community Volunteers will be involved in supporting tremendous The Old Leigh Regatta 2018.
The end of summer is always marked by a traditional community event that has been held in Old Leigh Town for almost half a century – The Old Leigh Regatta which this year is again run by The Lions Club of Leigh on Sea in conjunction with the Scouts from Old Leigh.
Over the years, the Regatta has changed but although old favourites like the greasy pole and bowsprit fighting have succumbed to the health and safety brigade, the Leigh Regatta has lost none of its old fashioned charm and the scouts will still be out on the mud having fun with their tug-o-war and welly hoying exploits and destroying china by the ton with the Krazy Kitchen whilst their colleagues will be taking part in numerous water-borne activities in the estuary.
Children have always been an important part of Regatta and as well as the traditional favourites like Punch & Judy, there will be face painting, the Princess Gatherings, Story Telling from June Wells, the Lions’ Pig Race and a pirate-themed competition run by the Art Ministry.
There will be range of stalls and stands offering hot and cold, sweet and savoury delights which can be washed down with a cool glass of prosecco or a local refreshing beer from one of the two real ale bars. There’s even an alcoholic lollipop stall !
Music and dance have featured at Leigh Regatta forever and this year, as well as the cream of local bands, there will be local clog dancers and at least four shanty crews to give the event that salty touch. Don’t miss the Shanty Extravaganza Finale at the Mayflower Arena.
Perhaps the best part of the Old Leigh Regatta is that its free for the public to attend and free for local non-profit making organisations to show the community what they are about.
It all starts around 10.30 am on Sunday 9th September with the opening service from Leigh Salvation Army.
So “Down, down won’t you come down to the Old Leigh Town Regatta ?” as local songwriter Jack Forbes once wrote.
Having the opportunity to go up early my family and I had the pleasure of putting up the tents leisurely and finally when the last peg was hammered into the earth we all breathed a sigh of relief only to realise we’d put the wrong poles in and had to start all over again!
With the young people arriving an hour later spaghetti bolognaise was quickly underway and started to bubble just as the mini-bus arrived with the children practically falling over each other in an effort to escape the heat. During dinner where Jaime Currell intruded the talks of the book of Judges; a list of stories of the Israelites not living Gods ways and seemingly surprised when bad things happened. After a fantastic game of Dad’s Army where Sally Willcock and Dawn Tucker were almost forgotten in the middle of the field, the younger ones headed to bed while the elders went down to the beach.
After a scrumptious fried breakfast Jamie spoke of Deborah and Barrack as well as Jail and her tent peg which was hilariously acted out for us by the Elcock’s. While most headed to the games field to play a game of football, Karen Hamburger raced around coating children in sun cream as the day grew hotter.
Finally the water balloons were brought out and chaos reigned as none were safe… Eventually lunch was served and then everyone trouped into cars to travel to the swimming pool in a larger effort to cool down. Returning to base the BBQ was set up and food started to draw drooling faces nearer and as the chips arrived it seemed to disappear just as quickly as it had arrived!
The talk was how God used different, unexpected people to fulfil his plans. As the firewood was gathered for later, some went to the park others to the beach and some just sat around contemplating life’s mysteries…well as much as a group of teens can anyway. When the fire was declared ready by the experts we sat around the flames singing the old songs and some new ones lead by Niamh Tucker, Natalie Elcock and Lauren Pawsey. With bellies full of hot chocolate and marshmallows it was time for bed again.
Sunday dawned bright and as usual chaos ensued as people looked for the items that had disappeared over the two days and tents were pulled down eventually the campsite was bare and we all gathered down the beach to be distracted by dogs I mean talk about Samsung and Delilah and Gods plan for us. With a few brave souls daring to feel the North sea it was time to dry up and enjoy a roast for lunch before having one last Judge to discuss as the last bits and bobs were chucked into the bus and we left for another year.
UPDATE: Thank you! We reached our target thanks to the generous contributions of our friends and church members. Wonderfully the family will be reunited.
Leigh Road Baptist Church have been supporting a family of Syrian Refugees for the last two years as their landlords and friends.
Two years ago Mum, Dad and Teenage Daughter came to the UK through the government’s VPRS programme and settled in Southend. They left behind a son who has been living as a refugee in Turkey and another son who was unjustly taken from their home in Aleppo 6 years ago and held in the infamous Adra Prison. This son was finally released six months ago and is now seeking temporary legal sanctuary alongside his brother in Turkey in the hope that one day, in the not too distant future, they will be reunited with the rest of the family here in the UK.
Recently an opportunity has arisen for mum and dad to take their daughter and, the most recent addition to the family, their six month old son, to Turkey to visit their other two sons. This would be the first time the whole family has been together in six years since they left Aleppo (and the first time the two sons will have met their baby brother). Clearly every member of this wonderful family would benefit greatly from being in each other’s company, even if just for a couple of weeks – the ordeal of their separation and the knowledge of the suffering they’ve all faced in different ways throughout that separation has taken its toll on them all and so enabling this visit would be a real act of human solidarity and kindness.
To pay for the visas (which have been granted), the flights and some spending money for internal travel and food we are trying to raise £1800 in a very short period of time – they hope to fly as soon as the schools break up (and have been restricted to school holidays for the sake of their daughter’s education). Anything you can give to this cause would be deeply appreciated by the family.