My name is Louise and I am the Vicar of St Giles, Balderton, All Saints, Barnby in the Willows & All Saints, Coddington.
I continue to be deeply moved and encouraged as I meet with people and hear stories of what God has done and is doing in their lives and it is great to take part in so many occasions when the church and the community come together.
As we engage with our diocesan vision of Growing Disciples Wider Younger Deeper and continue to reflect on our journey so far. I look forward to all that God has in store for our communities as we serve him and share in his mission here. In the coming months we will together discover more of the love of Jesus as we grow in our own discipleship and invite others to join us.
If you would like to find out more about what is going on in our churches, if you have questions about the Christian faith or would just like to chat then please get in touch. Revd Louise Holliday
From the Vicarage: February 2018
From Revd Louise…
Boxing Day News.
Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, could not have picked a more appropriate time to announce his governmental review into the plight of persecuted Christians around the world than Boxing Day, the day the Church remembers St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr.
The review will be led by Rt. Rev. Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Truro and formerly head of Church Mission Society, which works with Christians the world over. He and his team will look at the efforts of our government to help some of the estimated 215 million Christians worldwide who face discrimination and violence. Every indication is that the level of violence against Christians is rising dramatically with an average of 250 killed every month in recent years.
The review will aim to:
map the persecution of Christians in key countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
provide an analysis of current U.K. government support
offer recommendations for a cohesive and comprehensive policy response.
One of the organisations that will feed into the review will be Open Doors, a charity dedicated to supporting persecuted Christians in over 70 countries where Christianity is socially or legally discouraged or oppressed.
Open Doors was founded in 1955 by Brother Andrew (God’s smuggler) who famously smuggled bibles into Communist countries at the height of the Cold War. Each year, in January, Open Doors publishes a World Watch List which highlights the 50 countries where it is most difficult to live as a Christian. These are places where Christians must keep their beliefs hidden or where living openly as a Christian means they face beatings, imprisonments, discrimination, abuse or worse.
Open Doors underground networks provide Bibles and other Christian literature, theological training, emergency relief, training, care and advocacy support.
Zoe Smith, Head of Advocacy at Open Doors U.K. was part of the congregation at St. Giles on Christmas morning along with members of her family. She says that ‘it is highly encouraging to see this step change in response from the U.K. government towards Christian persecution. This review is just the first step and our hope is that it will lead to real change for persecuted Christians and others around the world who are unable to freely practice the religion or belief of their choice’.
Count your blessings.
We are so fortunate in this part of England to be able to worship freely and without fear. Let us pray that this review will result in significantly greater support being given to persecuted Christians across the world.
Let’s also pray for the work of Open Doors and their partners who risk their lives to bring support and comfort to the most needy parts of the worldwide family of Jesus to which we belong. And don’t forget to count your blessings!
With love and prayer, Revd Louise