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Barrow Voice is published by Barrow upon Soar Community Association. Opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed by the editorial committee or the Community Association.

Barrow Community Association is a registered Charity No: 505692.
Barrow Voice Team
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24th January 2004

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31st January 2004
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A powerful service of worship and testimony marked the Ordination of Rev Chris Johnson. The congregation of over 250, friends, relatives and former work colleagues from AstraZeneca joined in the celebrations on 11th October.

Chris Johnson being ordained at Barrow Baptist Church

Rev Chris Johnson has completed a three year in-pastorate training course at Regent's Park College, Oxford and was inducted to serve as Pastor here in Barrow. He joins Rev Mark Turner (Senior Minister) and Mr Simon Atkinson (Student Pastor at Long Whatton) in the growing ministerial team in this active village church.

Rev Dr Robert Ellis, Pastoral Director at Regents Park College, addressed the congregation and the Rev Peter Grange, Region Minister for the Baptist Union, led the service. Rev Johnson commented "I found the service very moving and I am so grateful to those who have made it such a special day for me".

The appointment is designed to enable the church to continue to develop ministries within the church and to the whole community, such as the successful all age services started in the last year at the Community Centre. Chris and his wife Lynne have lived in the village for the last 14 years.


Most Roman Catholics in Barrow will have heard recently about the controversy surrounding some of the new 'suggestions' coming from the cardinals in Rome. One that caused particular 'discussion' suggested that girls should only be used as altar servers as a last resort, as it was 'better' to have boys.

Beth Halliwell, altar server at St Gregory's, felt strongly enough to put pen to paper and made these comments:

On being an altar server

I think it is important that young people, boys and girls, have the chance to serve because if is a way they can feel part of what goes on.

Three years ago, my sister Katie was asked to be an altar server at St Gregory's Catholic Church in Sileby. It so happened she was the first girl ever to serve at that church. Since then eight young people have joined, two of them girls. St Stephen is the patron saint of altar servers and after a trial period of five or six months a person who has regularly been serving, can be enrolled in the Guild of St Stephen. On Sunday 5 October I was very proud to receive the medal that marked my commitment to being an altar server.

I like serving because it means I am more involved in the mass and have a better understanding of what goes on. There are lots of jobs you can do such as be the person who carries the candles (they are called acolytes), swing the thurible (incense burner), bring the incense boat, be the book bearer or cross bearer. All these jobs help the mass go more smoothly. Sometimes if the Bishop visits, there are extra jobs to do such as holding his heavy hat (mitre). I think it is important that young people, boys and girls, have the chance to serve because if is a way they can feel part of what goes on.


Barrow upon Soar Methodist Church has been busy over the past few weeks helping to collect items small enough to put into shoeboxes that will be sent as gifts for children overseas who would otherwise receive no presents this Christmas time.

Since 1990 Operation Christmas Child has brought joy to millions of boys and girls in over 110 countries including the Amazon basin of Brazil, the wilderness of Western Afghanistan and the frozen Far East Russia.

Sometimes, there is a shortage of boxes for a particular age group in particular for teenage boys and girls. Last year one teenage boy was given a girl's box because there were none available suitable for him. When one of the workers saw that the boy was looking at a necklace he tried to change it for something else more suitable. The boy replied 'no, no, for mama' indicating that he wanted to keep it as a present for his mother. It seems so extraordinary that many times those who receive the gifts want to share them with other people instead of keeping them all for themselves despite having very little of their own.

Anthea Baker and Janet Thompson who coordinated the collection in Barrow upon Soar and district expressed very grateful thanks to all friends and families who donated items and money so willingly. The completed shoeboxes were taken to the Family Service on Sunday 16 November from where they will go on to the transport depot ready for despatch in time to arrive for Christmas.