Monday, December 20, 2010

Sing Choirs of Angels!!

This word cloud was created from the words of the carols and songs used at the 2010 Carol Service.  Can I say here a very public Thank You to all the musicians and singers who made it such a special occasion.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Snowman Competition

Sunday, November 28, 2010

And the Chest!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Vicar having his legs waxed!!

Here is the first video link of Stephen having his legs waxed. For more details see the post below. If you would like to donate (even just £1) then you can do that via Paypal. Again, see below

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Vicar to lose his hair for a good cause

On Saturday 27th November at Midday Rev Stephen Gardner, the Vicar of All Saints Church, Woodlands and Highfields, will be losing some hair to raise money for a good cause.

His wife Jacquie is going to Ethiopia in March 2011 on a trip organised by the aid agency Tearfund and the New Wine network of Churches. The trip will be focussed on supporting local Churches in Ethiopia with their work with the poorest parts of Ethiopian society, furthering the development work of Tearfund in the region and learning lessons from the Ethiopian Church to bring back to the UK as the Church nationwide looks to serve the poorest members of our society.

Rev Stephen Gardner will be having his legs waxed to raise money to support the costs of the trip and in order to be even handed he is also having his chest waxed to raise money for All Saints Church. The waxing will take place at midday at the All Saints Community Centre Christmas Fayre which opens from 11am to 2pm. Despite requests from various people to participate the waxing will be done by an expert – Laura from The Beauty Spot on the Great North Road in Woodlands.

If you would like to sponsor Stephen then donations can be made either at the Christmas Fayre or by using Paypal. This is a very secure method for sending payment over the internet. PAyment should be sent via Paypal to "" stating whether the sponsorship is towards the Tearfund appeal (Legs) or All Saints Church (Chest). If no preference is expressed then it will be assumed that the donation is to be equally split.

Solution Graphics

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Someone should do something

Is the Church sometimes a bit like this... someone needs to do something!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A look inside All Saints

Just wanted to let you know what Techno-Vicars do with their days off?!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Coffee with Jesus

Friday, October 15, 2010

Word Clouds

You may have seen these in various newspapers or on the BBC website - you can make your own on

This is a word cloud of the section of Common Worship which covers services of Holy Communion.

Wordle: Common Worship Communion Words

The next image is from a report I prepared on "Visual Theology" for a conference I've just attended.

Wordle: Visual Theology

More may follow!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Carpet once again!!

Phase 1 of the Community Rooms Project is nearing completion - just a few key jobs left to do before we can throw away our jugs and buckets, move into the new kitchen and invite people from the village to make use of the room.

Yesterday (and most of the previous week) we spent hours painstakingly cleaning the church, removing the layers of dust which have built up over the last 4 months of building work. Our signature red carpet is back down - this time not just for a wedding but for keeps. The cross from the communion table at St George's in Highfields is back in place now forming a central focus for the new rooms.

Come and have a look - you'll be amazed.

Also everyone is invited to our formal service of opening and dedication on All Saints Day - Monday 1st November - where we will be joined by the Rt Rev Cyril Ashton, Bishop of Doncaster.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Some big words but something to ponder

A study of teeneagers in the United States described their faith as "Moralistic Therapeutic Deism." Ouch! I can barely pronounce it - but I read further and found this as the description of what most teenagers there believed.

The beliefs were as follows:
1. "A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth."
2. "God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions."
3. "The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself."
4. "God does not need to be particularly involved in one's life except when God is needed to resolve a problem."
5. "Good people go to heaven when they die."

I find myself wondering how much of faith in our society today is based on the same set of beliefs!

If you like chewing on big words then the article is from The Christian Post.

Monday, May 31, 2010

May festival

More about the community rooms soon but first some video from the Woodlands May Festival starring the All Saints Church Family

and then

Friday, May 07, 2010

A Time to build

Work started this week on a project to build new Community Rooms at All Saints Church.

The three pictures below show the area before work started

Plans have been around for over 20 years to provide a kitchen with running water and drainage. The current toilets are totally unsuitable for disabled visitors and with a growing Church Family with lots of babies some changing facilities would be very nice.

The vision for the current project came from conversations with the Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT). All Saints Church family is comitted to serving the communities of Woodlands and Highfields (North of Doncaster), and as part of that we manage the All Saints Community Centre, which has been very successful in engaging with community groups. There was a growing need for additional Community rooms, which would complement the existing suite at the Community Centre and provide for a different and more discreet location.

All Saints also hosts the Woodlands May Festival and over the last three years the need for improved facilities in the Church itself has become clear. The project provides Community Rooms with separate access, as well as enhanced facilities to enable the Worship Area of All Saints to host a variety of community events.

The work is funded by an £85,000 grant from CRT and a £5000 grant from the Garfield Weston Foundation and we are very grateful for their very generous support. The Grant team was led by Rev Philip Ireson, the Chaplain to HMP Doncaster, who is an associate minister at All Saints where he worships when "off duty".

The pictures below show the current progress - just four days after work started - with work proceeding for the steel superstructure that will support the upper room.

All Saints vision statement is "Knowing Jesus, Showing Jesus, Sharing Jesus"

We hope that this project will enable us to do that more effectively with enhanced facilities for community engagement with the additional benefit to the Church family of the improved facilities in the Church itself.

For any further information please contact the Vicar of All Saints, Rev Stephen Gardner on 01302 339618 or

Monday, April 19, 2010

Exile - more thoughts!

How much would it take for God to put us on the naughty step?

I spent some time with another local church working on the story of Daniel, Shadrach, Mesach and Abednego, (Daniel 1 & Daniel 3 & Daniel 6).

I was pondering about these men of faith trapped in a country that didn't understand them, that sought to enforce a religous worldview that was contrary to their deeply held faith, that used the force of law to insist that they comply with the latest cultural religous shift. They were in Exile and they were called to stand firm in their faith and not sucumb. The words of Shadrach, Mesach and Abednego ring in my ears...

"If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."

Then I began to wonder about the Christians in our nation being told that they cannot wear crosses, that they have to approve of lifestyle choices that the Bible speaks against, that they must accept the new "secular" religion of Diversity without question... or else. And I being to wonder - Are we IN Exile already? Are we the Daniels, Shadrach's Mesach's and Abednegos, called to stand firm, called to say we will not serve you and even if God doesn't deliver us still we will not serve anyone else?

Are we as a nation reaping the rewards of lifestyles which God warned againt - the love of money, the love of self, the love of things rather than people? Are we ON God's naughty step?

And then I remember the words that God spoke to Solomon as the first Temple was dedicated - "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chron 7:14) - and I know what I have to do, what I think we have to do - Humble ourselves, Pray, Seek his face, Turn from our wicked ways and wait for His mercy and His grace to flood our land!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


I've been thinking a lot recently about Exile. In the Old Testament - the first part of the Bible written before Jesus was born - God's people end up in exile. First the nothern tribes known as Israel and then the Southern tribe Judah.

I've been reading the books written by two prophets - Isaiah and now Jeremiah, and we spent a lot of time in church thinking about Isaiah in particular.

One image just won't go away. When Jacquie was preaching she compared God sending the nation into exile because it had fallen away from Him and betrayed His trust to a paretn putting their children onto "the naughty step".

I know, I know, we're not allowed to call it a Naughty step any more - a "Thinking Step" then.

God, having called a nation for His own, puts up with a lot of hassle. He sends preacher after preacher, prophet after prophet, sign after sign. He's counting 1...... 2......

And when He get's to three the people are off, onto the Naughty Step of exile for 70 years. He lets them be taken away from the land He has given them because they have failed him.

It got me thinking - What would it take for God to put us on the naughty step? At what point will Jesus say, "Enough!" Is it enough that we live in a time of Grace rather than Law? Because of what Jesus did on the Cross God's love and mercy are now the standards by which we are called to live, not the demands of the Law. Surely "Exile" is not part of God's plan?

And then a disturbing thought comes to me. I love my children, yet I will send them to the "Naughty", sorry, the "Thinking Step", even though I will forgive them when they say sorry, even though I will hug them when the time of "Thinking" and "Repenting" (saying sorry), is over. Even though I use Love and Mercy and Grace in trying to bring them up (or at least I try to), sometimes some "time out" is needed to help them understand what they have done.

How close are WE to God's naughty step?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Marriage - Maybe it does make sense

These figures come from a group called the Jubilee Centre - reported in the Daily Mail. They make interesting reading.

I know there are lots of issues at work here - perhaps people with more stable relationships will tend to marry earlier and not cohabit - there are exceptions to every statistic, but this makes for sobering reading!

I'd be interested to know what people think!


Figures show that in 1992, 70 per cent of couples who had children after they were married stayed together until their child's 16th birthday.

This increased to 75 per cent in 2006, showing that marriage has become a more stable family background for youngsters.

However, only 36 per cent of cohabiting parents stayed together until their son or daughter reached 16 in 1992. By 2006, just 7 per cent of couples who were unmarried when their child was born were still cohabiting by their 16th birthday.

This figure excludes those couples who were just living together when their child was born and later got married.

Around three in five couples who stop cohabiting decide to marry. Of these just 17 per cent are still together by the time their child is 16, the report says.

The study, Cohabitation in the 21st Century, from Christian thinktank the Jubilee Centre