Paul led the Sunday Service on 6th June which was broadcast to an audience of around 900,000 on BBC local radio stations across England and via BBC Sounds. The service focussed on the work of Street Angels and Festival Angels and included hymns, prayers, a Bible reading and a talk from Paul.
Listen to the service here.
Here is some of the feedback:
The head of BBC local radio called it a 'cracking service'
"would like to thank you for your amazing Sunday morning services at 8am. At 8am on a Sunday morning we have church in bed. It is a very blessed time. I can't thank you enough."
"Loved the modern music in the service this morning."
"The service was great this morning. I was born a Christian and I loved how it wasn't overly religious!! I really enjoyed it! I'm going through a bad patch at the moment and I just stood and listened to it. I just thought it was wonderful. Please do more of these!"
"I'm not overly religious but this really captured my imagination!"
"enjoyed the service this morning. Loved the music, especially the ‘I need you’ and the Blessing. Thanks to all concerned."
"Another great service, many thanks."
"An enjoyable morning service. Thank you"
"What a lovely service I really enjoyed it"
"Very powerful – Very challenging - what wonderful people makes me feel very inadequate."
"Good to hear a service from the street angels straight to the point and wonderful"
"GOD BLESS THE STREET ANGELS and may we all be salt and light in the world THANK YOU"
"The Street Angels service I found to be wonderful and very challenging readings songs and testimonies from various groups and areas which I very much enjoyed listening to."
"Thankyou for this morning service so different but so much to the point .What wonderful people to give there time when the majority of us are safe in our home , this really is God working in society"
"Today's was a lovely service - in the words of my wife, "that was worth getting up for!"
In our rush to return to 'normal' I think we need to stop and think if what we were doing before as 'normal' was in reality working!
This last 15 months has shown us that a lot of what was essential we can do differently and life still works! For example many can quite happily sit at home and work without the need to be physically together in an office. We can easily run a meeting on Zoom without the need to spend (often) several hours travelling to a venue to be together. We can be connected and do community from our sofa.
I am finding physical meetings have become a time of value that is more focussed on the people and not the business agenda. A refocus on building one another up: supporting, connecting, valuing time spent in one another's presence.
This is a great opportunity to press pause and be creative with new ways of doing.
The world I find myself in the most is connected to charities, organisations and church. Maybe this is a great time to press pause on what this sector does and return to the simplicity of what we do! Certainly within Christian organisations our simplicity should be around love God and love people - all we are about should be a demonstration as to the reality of this (and recognise that God can be at work through all and in all!)
I found this the other day on Facebook written be a former pastor Jim Palmer (in relation to church life) and think it can be really helpful as we re-discover and be creative in the days ahead:
Putting church over community
Putting orthodoxy over love.
Putting certainty over wonder.
Putting teaching over conversation.
Putting polished over real.
Putting explanations over empathy.
Putting answers over questions.
Putting membership over friendship.
Putting prayer over action.
Putting services over self-care.
Putting style over substance.
Putting appearance over authenticity.
Putting functionality over beauty.
Putting religion over spirituality.
Putting numbers over faces.
Putting holiness over humanity.
Putting accountability over acceptance.
Putting heaven over earth.
Putting meetings over relationships.
Putting reputation over risk.
Putting superiority over humility.
Putting charisma over compassion.
Putting the afterlife over the herelife.
Putting doctrine over reason.
Putting hierarchy over equality.
Paul is featured on a new website Christian Creative Directory - see Paul's listing here and do add a review.
"Paul is one of the most friendly, kindest and inspirational people I have had the pleasure to meet. To get it out there I have a pagan heart, Paul has always respected this and has always included me in everything and I respect him fully for this. I have had the pleasure if working alongside and supporting Street Angels and also have jumped into the odd zoom Christian Service and found him an eloquent speaker and a friend to all. His Street Angels book is a favourite read and if not for his vision I think there would’ve been a lot of discord and lives lost on the streets at night."
"With a real heart to ‘seek the peace and prosperity of the city’, Paul has an inspiring track record of transformational initiatives that help the church to love the people in front of them in practical ways."
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog piece on New Wineskins for Christians Who Lead - check it out here.
As I have pondered and prayed I have started to write some thoughts on what I think is the best type of leadership as we journey together towards the Promised Land.
In the ‘New Wineskin’ blog I wrote: "This is a moment in history when new leaders and new leadership styles will be defined. The future is a blank canvas! The new breed of leaders need to dream, plan, be visionary and prophetic and lead in a different way to how we did before."
These ten thoughts are: some from experience; some from my own developed style of leadership; and some from what I seek to be as a leader. It is not a definitive list and I think as we journey the list will grow and develop - but it is a start!
Christian leaders are called to do things differently. We can apply Godly wisdom and counsel in our leadership styles. We are people who should be lovers of God and lovers of people.
The new unwritten chapter I spoke about in my New Wineskins blog is beginning to emerge. The Promised Land is in view, new wild ideas are welcomed! This is our moment - God is calling us: to be brave; to be wild; to greater levels of wisdom; to be leaders who lead the leaders!
Let’s go lead…..
Paul Blakey MBE
A video to mark One Year On since England went into the first lockdown has been produced by church and community groups in Halifax and surrounding areas.
The video, a joint initiative of Halifax Elim Church and King’s Church Halifax, aims to provide an opportunity to reflect on our journey through the last twelve months, to thank those who have gone above and beyond, and to help us look forward in hope for the future.
Contributions to the video include: the Bishop of Huddersfield Jonathan Gibbs; The Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Ed Anderson; Halifax MP Holly Lynch; CEO of the Calderdale and Kirklees NHS Trust Owen Williams; Assistant Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police Angela Williams; Chief Executive of The Piece Hall Nicky Chance-Thompson DL; and schools worker for Christians in Calderdale Schools Chris Mason.
Church communities who have contributed are: All Saints’ Salterhebble; Christ Church Sowerby Bridge; Christ Church Pellon; Calderdale Methodist Circuit; Halifax Elim Church; Holy Nativity Mixenden; King’s Church Halifax and St Augustine’s. Music is provided by both Halifax Elim Church and worship leaders and songwriters Cath and Angus MacGregor.
Community Pastor at Halifax Elim Church and inspiration behind the video, Reverend Marcus Bennett, said, “This last twelve months has been extremely impactful and life changing in so many ways. I had the idea to pull together a video to help communities across Halifax and Calderdale reflect and remember, but also to look forward with a new sense of hope. The contributions from community leaders and the church will be a focus for many as we stand together to mark One Year On.”
Paul Blakey MBE, Operations and Development Manager at King’s Church, Halifax, commented, “The renewed sense of community has become an important part of the last twelve months. One aim of this video is to say thank you, from both church and community, to those who have stepped up and gone above and beyond in so many ways. Twelve months ago most of us thought that this would all be over within a few weeks, yet through these strange and difficult weeks we have seen moments of grace, hope and joy that is at the heart of the message of Jesus, and we hope this video shares some of that.”
I saw this idea one day and thought I would give it a go! Download and print at home colouring books - available on Etsy (click here) or as an email (PDF file) when you donate £3.00 on PayPal (make sure you leave your email address in the NOTES)
The colouring book has 31 pages of high quality colouring images each with a Bible verse (see samples below).
Welcome to the Blog pages of Paul Blakey MBE!