Sunday Nights at Belvoir

Autumn DATES

4th Oct, 18th Oct, 1st Nov, 15th Nov, 29th Nov 2020

Worship – Teaching – Prayer
We are starting something new and we would love you to join us!
This will be an informal time of worship, teaching and prayer.

Whether you have never been to church before or you are a lifelong member you are very welcome to our Sunday Nights at Belvoir at 7pm.

Useful Things to Know before coming to a bubble
* Wear a Mask (unless you cannot for medical reasons or are under 12 years old)
* Arrive on time (ideally no more than 30 minutes and no less than 5 minutes before start time)
* Keep your distance (try to maintain a distance of (at least) 2 metres from others at all times
* Do not come if you have symptoms or have to been told to self isolate
* Wrap Up. Windows and doors will be left open for ventilation so it may get chilly.

* We will meet in our “Church Bubble’, please use the back entrance (carpark).
You can listen back to the teaching from previous weeks by selecting the Sunday Nights at Belvoir series on the Sermons page. Or subscribe to us on all major podcast platforms.

The Family Picnic

Autumn DATES
11th Oct, 25th Oct, 8th Nov, 22nd Nov 2020

The Family Picnic‘The Family Picnic’ (for Young families). We would love your family to join us!

“It will be a little bit like church, a little bit like Sunday school and a little bit like going to a cafe for snack…”

Whether your family has never been to church before or have been with us for a long time, you will be very welcome at ‘The Family Picnic’. So come along for a family fun time of kids crafts, songs and much more!

We’ll be set up round tables to allow you to sit in your household group and can join in the fun. Bring along your own picnic (or snack), coffee flask, water bottle, etc.
Watch the video at this link as Catherine explains abit more of what to expect.
Useful Things to Know before coming to a bubble
* Wear a Mask (unless you cannot for medical reasons or are under 12 years old)
* Arrive on time (ideally no more than 30 minutes and no less than 5 minutes before start time)
* Keep your distance (try to maintain a distance of (at least) 2 metres from others at all times
* Do not come if you have symptoms or have to been told to self isolate
* Wrap Up. Windows and doors will be left open for ventilation so it may get chilly.
*Please enter through the front door and you’ll be directed to the Church hall.
#cafestylechurch #informal #families

One Small Step

Thursdays at 10:30am in Church Bubble.

This short service is designed as a first small step – a time of quietness, a moment to meet people, a time to be still, thankful and prayerful.

Useful Things to Know before coming to a bubble
* Wear a Mask (unless you cannot for medical reasons or are under 12 years old)
* Arrive on time (ideally no more than 30 minutes and no less than 5 minutes before start time)
* Keep your distance (try to maintain a distance of (at least) 2 metres from others at all times
* Do not come if you have symptoms or have to been told to self isolate
* Wrap Up. Windows and doors will be left open for ventilation so it may get chilly.

Prayer Garden

Everyone is welcome to use our Prayer Garden just beside the church carpark under the big trees.
Amazing mosaic stepping stones created by Sandi Thompson lead the way through the Prayer Garden. Each one inviting a pause for prayerful contemplation.
Meanwhile the acorns were ripening, and a small flock of tiny birds were calling from the tops of the tall oaks: goldcrests, long-tailed-tits, coal tits? Impossible to see!
Photos by Helen Long

Thoughts 09.07.20

Dear everyone, 

We have finally reached the summer hols.  Like the rest of you I am wondering what we are supposed to do with them this year.  Aside from getting out the buckets and spades, getting out those white legs and the Moses sandals (no socks), here are few suggestions from a faith perspective.

The last four months have been challenging, like nothing we have ever experienced before.  Reflecting is like looking in a mirror, having a good look at your own reflection.  A mirror allows you also to look at what is behind you.  Be honest: fear, anxiety, loneliness, inability to cope, burning desire to go out and shop so you can hide all the anxiety under new sets of clothes or whatever.  We all react differently and cope differently, but it is important to reflect on what we do and how we feel, just in case any of it is not healthy or unhelpful.  Look at what Elijah said in a moment of reflection (1 Kings 19:3-5) Elijah…came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed…. “I have had enough, Lord,”…Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.  Now that is honesty before God and before himself!  Don’t make it up but be real.

This is more difficult, because having a good oul moan is dead easy most of the time.  Re-creating is challenging because it may mean doing some things.  It is a bit like charging a battery or digging over the vegetable patch.  It is about putting back in some of the things that have worn out.  Look at some of the things Jesus did to be re-created.

  • At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place (Luke 4)
  • But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed (Luke 5)
  • Each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives (Luke 21)

Jesus intentionally spent time being re-created.  Here are some of the things I am going to do.  I have downloaded a new CD by a woman called Vicky Beeching (worship songs mostly).  I hope to know it off-by-heart by the end of August.  The first song is already buzzing in my head.  I started a book about God this week – two chapters done already – I am underlining things, turning down pages, letting it seep in.  Getting away from everyone is all part of this – it could be for an afternoon rather than a week.  But do it deliberately and write down the things you want to think about.  There must be lots more we could do as well.

When you re-cover a sofa, you take off the old cover and put on a new one.  You would never dream of putting it over the old one.  As we face a new season there must be a few things that we would like to do better or that would help us face the future more productively or maybe less painfully.   You may only begin to realise what these are when you have done some reflecting and some re-creating.  So, allow an empty page at the back of your life to write some new things on.

  • Maybe join a huddle.
  • Re-budget your money and give more away (I am certainly spending less than I used to)
  • Some new timetable arrangements – more time with family, less in work, more in work, less in the shops, keep connected to those neighbours…whatever will be life-giving
  • Exercise
  • Bible
  • Paint
  • Read
  • Listen
  • Garden

There is no plan waiting out there for you personally, you have to invent it with God in one hand and with your own life in the other.  Let the two mix and see what comes out.  Try it and see.  You can always reflect, re-create and recover again next summer.

Have a great one!
Wish you were here,
Adrian and Janice

Thoughts 23.06.20

This week’s Thoughts that get you thinkingpost was written by Jonny Watson and featured in the Church of Ireland Gazette Issue 15.

Dear Belvoir family,

Across the globe, the language of how we are called to respond to the coronavirus speaks of self-isolation, separation, avoidance and withdrawal. The physical and emotional territory that we find ourselves in has many hallmarks of the desert and wilderness.

Insights from psychology teach us that, when faced with testing experiences, we humans often ‘busy ourselves’ to avoid and distract from the thoughts and feelings these bring up. During the coronavirus pandemic, the usual distractions of work, travel, socialising, sport and shopping are not available.

Authentic spirituality and our relationship with the Lord is always concerned with the reality of our lives – not how we want them to be. We can be assured that our God, who is a God of love, is not sitting idly by watching us suffer.

During my years as a social worker, | learnt through experience that in any crisis it’s easy to identify the obvious threat; but the challenge is to search for and seize the opportunity. Latterly, as a spiritual director, this translates as finding where God is in every experience – even those that are difficult.

God has always used the wilderness as His classroom: A place of learning and transformation, from which new insights emerge. John the Baptist began his ministry in the wilderness. Jesus went there to face temptations at the start of His own.

The wilderness is inextricably interwoven with the spiritual history of Israel. It was the place they were humbled, tested and ultimately strengthened. The Desert Fathers and Mothers of the early Church chose the barren Egyptian deserts and deliberate asceticism to live out their desire to draw closer to God.

Might we understand the wilderness of the lockdown experience as something to be accepted, even embraced, rather than something to fear, avoid or get through quickly? Might we discover that God is somehow in this – even using it for good?

These days offer an invitation to arrive at a fresh understanding of God, ourselves and the role that the Church has to play in our constantly evolving world.

Jesus tells how the seed has to fall into the earth to die for growth to come forth. If we step back, we notice fresh shoots appearing. Churches are connecting online in ways never envisaged. In countless parishes, the Church has emerged as the hub of community outreach to those in need. Parents have stepped off the treadmill of work and productivity to spend time together as families. There has been a revival of wildlife and waterways and a pooling of human intellect in the search for a vaccine. We realise the items we thought we desperately needed were only wants.

It is often in times of great difficulty that we see how Jesus reaches us through the love, care and kindness of other people. The invitation is to continue to look for these fresh shoots and nurture their growth.

The temptation will be to rush and accelerate out of this wilderness. Desiring ‘normality’ to return and claiming back certainty are normal human responses. Jesus’ temptations in the desert centred around the human desire for power and control. The children of Israel wanted to leave the wilderness and return to their accustomed way of life as slaves, rather than continue to journey in the uncomfortable liminal space which required dependence on God.

When life inevitably got tough for the Desert Fathers and Mothers, they faced the tug to abandon their life of prayer and return to civilisation.

The fulcrum point of our faith as Christians is the death and resurrection of Christ: The darkest hour becomes the brightest morning – but not immediately. We must journey through the wilderness and emptiness of Holy Saturday.

As we slowly creep out of lockdown, might we live true to the vision of Christ as pioneers in this new world that is opening out in front of us. Asking ourselves how do we nurture what has germinated over the last months and is now being birthed, rather than rushing to get back to the way things were before? As that wonderful prayer, attributed to St Brendan, begins: “Help us to journey beyond the familiar and into the unknown. Give us the faith to leave old ways and break fresh ground with You.”

Jonny Watson

Celebration Weekend

A weekend of celebrating the end of school, Sunday club and celebrating families and church family and marking 100 Daily Candles. Go to this link to join the fun!

Saturday 27th
6pm The Big Belvoir Talent Show

Sunday 28th
10.30 Virtual Breakfast Club
11am Scattered Together Special
12pm Sunday Club Party on Zoom and Youth Cell on Zoom
7pm Worship and Prayer

Monday 29th
6pm 100th Daily Candle

The Big Belvoir Talent Show

Show off your talent in the Big Belvoir Talent Show on Sat 27th June at 6pm!

Whether it is a new skill you have learned over lockdown or something you were born with. Telling jokes, baking cakes, dancing, singing or keepie uppies we want you to show us what you’ve got. It isn’t a competition and there will be no nasty judges – just a celebration of you and you talent.

How to Enter

1 Make a video of you showing off
2 Videos must be no longer than 3 minutes – so you can edit it to show the best bits
3 Send us your video – upload it at or email
4 All entries must be received by Thursday 25th at midnight.

Thoughts 16.06.20

Belvoir ParishDear Belvoir family

May I apologise for this not being a chatty newsletter about parish life.  All sorts of social media abound with pics and thoughts and chat. So, let’s use this for a wee think…

In the last email I was trying to describe the BIG PICTURE of God’s landscape on which the details of our lives are lived out.  That landscape is:

  • a beautiful creation that went badly wrong because of human freedom misused,
  • a redemptive plan that involved God living and dying among us,
  • and a future certainty of a new heaven and a new earth.

Many of the questions we ask can only be answered if we try to place them first on that landscape.  So, let’s jump straight into another big feature on that landscape; EVIL and God’s response to it?  Evil can be described in two ways.

Moral Evil
This is exactly what it sounds like – evil perpetrated by people against people and against nature.  Both the result and the source are evil.  Murder, war, abuse, racism…it is pretty obvious.  Terrible acts committed by humans against humans.  But what about pollution, extinction of species, poverty, poor education, tower blocks that burn?  Suddenly the perpetrators of moral evil may be people like me, or may even include me. Unfortunately when even someone as insignificant as me is multiplied by a few million (or a couple of billion) the results on many people in the world and on the environment are devastating (moral evil).  I was going to suggest that maybe God could just quietly remove all the bad people.  The frightening sub-question would be where would he stop – murderers and abusers and violent people and tax-dodgers, and polluters, and people who park illegally in disabled parking spaces or on yellow lines, and gossips, and people who wear pyjamas to the shops, and queue jumpers, and sickie-day takers…. hold on a minute!  I may be on the wrong side of one or two issues there.  What if God did something much more merciful?  What if God organised a way to deal with the spiritual evil source that wreaks such havoc in our hearts?  What if God organised a way to change the heart of the individual human being so that when that is multiplied by millions or billions we find a new heart beating in our world?  That would be an incredibly gracious God, especially if that plan required a personal self-giving of the Divine Life itself.  God has already done it (it is the central theme of the landscape described above).  So, let’s agree that we don’t want God to wipe out all bad people, because that would include us, and maybe we should also think a bit longer before blaming all the bad things on others. and it would be very subjective for me to expect God to wipe out the all the bad people as decided by me.  It is worth mentioning that the normal human solutions to moral evil are more laws and greater threats of punishment.  These things sometimes modify behaviour but rarely change hearts.  Guidelines only have positive effect when people comply with them.  Consider the response of a wealthy educated society like ours that emptied every shelf in every shop in a few days – rampant moral evil fueled by fear and selfishness.   Legislation does not combat greed and selfishness.  Look at our lockdown beaches on a sunny Saturday.  Moral evil needs a deeper solution.

Natural Evil.
Natural Evil has evil results, but the source is not evil (compared to Moral Evil).  It is mostly the natural activities of our wonderful world.  We would never dream of arresting a shark for taking a bite out of a swimmer.  There is no moral evil in the shark.  But the result is evil, a leg damaged for life with all the associated consequences.  Coronavirus is just one of millions of viral types on the earth, most of which are beneficial and necessary for the health and well-being* of some living organism.  Coronavirus has no moral stance or awareness.  It just does what a virus does.  Nonetheless, coronavirus19 has evil results – suffering, illness and death.  Other sources of natural evil include storms, earthquakes, tidal waves, volcanoes, plagues and illnesses.  Many of these are part of how our planet works.  It is as natural as my hair falling out but with much more devastating results.  God’s response to these situations is found in the life of Christ, inspiring us to respond with development in the poorest places, bringing medical care and healing, housing, new technologies and new possibilities.   It is possible to reduce the suffering caused by natural evil.  Not responding to the suffering caused by natural evil may take us into the world of moral evil???? We cannot blame God for the suffering caused by natural evil when He is helping us to solve it.  We cannot blame God for moral evil when He has supplied the solution to it.

As with last email, could I remind us that there is an eternal dimension to all of this?  “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18   This assurance allows us to take the risk of self-giving service to others.

Lots of love

*“Where is God in a Coronavirus World?”  (p.33) Professor JC Lennox