Blog, February 25th

Bible reading Mark 8 v31 to the end.

Jesus teaches the disciples that the Son of Man will suffer, be rejected, killed, and three days later rise again. Peter understands the contradiction inherent between Messiah and Jesus’ words. Jesus rebukes Peter for focusing on human things as opposed to divine things. Then follows the paradox: One must lose one’s life in order to save it. To profit the whole world is to forfeit one’s life.

This is the first of three predictions of Jesus’ suffering, rejection, death and resurrection in the gospel of Mark.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Week 2 – Temptation.
‘At first Edmund tried to remember that it is rude to speak with one’s mouth full, but soon he forgot about this and thought only of trying to shovel down as much Turkish Delight as he could, and the more he ate the more he wanted to eat…’
This week, we’re thinking about Lucy’s brother, Edmund, and his encounter with the White Witch when he enters Narnia for the first time. Upon meeting Edmund, and discovering he has a brother and two sisters, the Witch realises that she must trick him into bringing his siblings to her castle, so she can destroy the four of them and thwart the prophecy which would see her toppled from her throne. And how does she initiate this evil plan? By deceit, flattery and temptation. She offers Edmund what he thinks he most wants: Turkish Delight, a rare treat during the rationing of the Second World War. Further, she suggests that should Edmund succeed in bringing his brother and sisters to her, she will make him Prince, then King one day, with his siblings to serve him. And Edmund, already festering with a resentment he barely understands, gives way to his own worst instincts from that moment on. We can see his craving for sweets as a fall into the classical sin of gluttony, but it’s perhaps more profitably considered a general example of how easily we can be tempted by those things we know are not good for us, but lack the reflective insight to resist. Similarly, through the Witch’s flattery — by her promises to make Edmund King — Edmund succumbs to pride and is tempted by power for himself, over others. This episode will lead him down the road of lies and betrayal, from which only sacrifice and forgiveness can redeem him…

Website of the week

Saint Patrick’s Prayer of Protection
(also known as The Deer’s Cry, St Patrick’s Breastplate, or St Patrick’s Lorica) 
The world has probably never been in greater need of sanctuary than it is now. Climate change, earthquakes and war rage across our planet. St Patrick speaks to us down 16 centuries in what may be the most powerful prayer for protection ever composed.

I arise today, through the strength of heaven;
Light of sun, radiance of moon,
Splendour of fire, speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind, depth of the sea,
Stability of earth, firmness of rock.

I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me;
God’s eye to look before me, God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me,
From all who shall wish me ill, afar and a-near,
Alone and in a multitude.

Against every cruel merciless power
That may oppose my body and soul.
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ in me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise, Christ to shield me.
Christ in the heart of every one who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every one who speaks of me.
I arise today.

It is set to music here by Shaun Davey and sung by Rita Connolly.

Social Justice course – Act on Poverty,

a Christian Aid resource
Wednesday, 28th Feb, 6pm, in the Celtic side chapel at St. Mary’s.
Together we’ll enable churches and individuals UK-wide to gain a deeper understanding of experiences of poverty, local and global. We’ll be sharing stories of faith and activism that challenge the status quo. And we’ll be offering inspiration for actions big and small that we can all take to tackle poverty together.

Week Two: Broken
1 in 3 disabled working-age adults live in poverty in the UK.
The British Social Attitudes Survey 2022 asked people whether they would consider someone ‘in poverty’ if they meet these descriptions:
* Can’t afford to eat and live without debt: 79% agree
* Can afford to eat and live but can’t afford other needs: 69% agree
* Can afford needs but can’t afford things others take for granted: 39% agree
What do you think of these definitions of poverty?
Useful audio and video links:

A question to consider before the second session:  Who in your life has been a neighbour to you? What did they do to help you?

NightChurchPZ Update

Following a steering group meeting on Monday, NightChurchPZ will now open every Wednesday from 6pm-8pm, and from May we will open twice a month on the second and fourth Saturday from 8pm-1am (ish). If you would like to volunteer, please speak to Alice. Please do also remember that NightChurch is for everyone – you don’t have to be a volunteer to come along and you won’t be forced to stay until the wee hours!

If you would like to understand better the causes of homelessness, the issues people face, and the services that are open to those who find themselves living on the streets, Alice will be arranging some awareness training in April with the team at Breadline. Please email her on if you’re interested.

Tree planting.

The first planting at the Paul Community Orchard was postponed owing to very heavy rain, a new date will be announced soon.

The Julian Meeting

This will be held online at 6pm this week and the link is below.   If you are unable to join us and would like to reflect at a time convenient to you, the prayers are below.
Go well, with love Mel, Judith, Virginia and Diana

Opening Prayer for Lent
Lead us on our journey
From who we are to who you want us to be;
So that patience is built into us
Kindness is assumed in us,
Gentleness is part of us,
Compassion flows from us,
Truth is second nature to us,
And the commitment of love is part of us.
Lead us on our journey
Glory, blessings, even in darkness;
All through the night, held by your love

Alpha course

It was a lovely start to the Alpha course on Wednesday as we watched the first two episodes: Is there more to life than this and who is Jesus? Alpha is a great opportunity for people to ask questions about life and faith in a relaxed atmosphere. It isn’t too late to join in or if you know someone who you could invite, bring them along! The next session is on Wednesday 28 February at 9.30am onwards for drinks and pastries and a 10am start.

Paul Summer Talks

Sorry for the Inconvenience But This Is an Emergency.

Lynne Jones presents an insider’s candid account of our new era of mass protest, calling passionately for action against existential threats. As floods and fires rage across the planet, ever more people are embracing nonviolent action to achieve political change. Can it work? 

Doctor and aid worker Lynne offers a compelling, ground-level account of the last five years of UK protests, exploring how and why ordinary citizens have adopted extraordinary methods to confront the climate and nature crises.
In Paul church, Tuesday March 5th  £5.  7pm drinks & nibbles, talk starts 7.30pm.  All are welcome.

Full details of what looks to be an interesting programme of talks will be available soon.

Lent Film Club

The Straight Story

Thursday 7th March at the Kings Arms, Paul 2pm
A retired farmer and widower in his 70s, Alvin Straight (Richard Farnsworth) learns one day that his distant brother Lyle (Harry Dean Stanton) has suffered a stroke and may not recover. Alvin is determined to make things right with Lyle while he still can, but his brother lives in Wisconsin, while Alvin is stuck in Iowa with no car and no driver’s license. Then he hits on the idea of making the trip on his old lawnmower, thus beginning a picturesque and at times deeply spiritual odyssey.

CTIPA Update

  • CTIPA are looking a school assemblies co-ordinator to manage a team of volunteers who provide local schools (particularly Humphrey Davey) with Christian assemblies, prayer spaces and carol concerts. Please email Howard for information. 
  • Friday 1st March at 10am – World Day of Prayer, prepared by the women of Palestine, at the Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception. 
  • Good Friday ‘Walk of Witness’, meeting at 11am at PZ bus station. Walking to Salvation Army for tea and coffee. Look out for posters.
  • Weekly Thursdays, 9:15am at High St Methodist Church, a small group of people pray for community projects in PZ, including NightChurch, Foodbank, Assemblies and Breakfast Project at Breadline. All are welcome to join. They also pray for community concerns, and projects addressing such concerns have been born from this. 
  • Taize group coming soon to High Street Methodist Church. Dates to be announced but will be on a Sunday afternoon. 
  • Second Monday of every month, 11am at High St Methodist Church, a group working with ‘Open Doors UK’ write letters and cards to persecuted Christians worldwide. All are welcome to join.

Deanery news for late February

Other Articles;

Memory Café

United Nations Climate Change conference in the United Arab Emirates

Care for Creation

We want to demonstrate that the gospel is good news for God’s earth.

More Information;

St Mary’s CofE

A happy Church of England School in a stunning location with an entrance directly off Penzance Prom.

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