Fore Street Topsham, Exeter

Minister : Reverend Paul Collings BTh (Hons) : email : : Telephone : 01392 206229 : Mobile : 07941 880768

About Us

St Nicholas Methodist Church has existed on the present site for over 150 years since it opened in 1867.

We are a friendly community of believers where all are welcomed. We help each other to worship God, and strive to live more like Christ in service beyond the walls of our church building.

Part of the
Exeter Coast and Country Circuit of the Methodist Church.

Saturday, 19 September 2020

To Poland with Love - Recalling the 1988 Mission during a Communist Era 11

The Royal Castle and Square - Warsaw by Rev’d Paul Collings
Tuesday Afternoon 13th September

They brought children to Jesus.

For the next 3 afternoons our venue would be picturesque Old Town Square. One thing that impressed me about Poland and in particular Warsaw, was how it’s people and planners had and indeed continue to meticulously bring the city’s buildings back to life. Not only was there mass destruction as the enemy forces swept across the country in 1939, and later as the Soviet troops battled from the east in 1945, but as the Nazi troops retreated, they set explosives to raise to the ground any structure that was still standing.

But back to the day in hand. This time with police escort, we marched through the old town towards the Royal Castle to hold an open air service underneath the  350 year old  statue of Statue of King Sigismund III.  Again the National Television Broadcast crew where there filming ready for an item on the evening news.

It was strange feeling sharing music and testimony whilst soviet troops in their distinctive uniforms where much in evidence in this heart of the Capitol City of Poland and though we had the support of the local police, the so called secret police where evident; so much for being ‘undercover’.

As I conducted the band, I became aware of a boy aged 5 or 6 standing on the step beside me with his mum smiling at the bottom of the steps. I looked at him and he at me and though language was a barrier, I pointed to my baton and offered it to the lad. He took the baton and I lifted him up so that together we could lead the band. His, and his mother’s face was a picture.

You will have seen the caps worn by Salvationist that have a red band around it with The Salvation Army in either silver or gold lettering. We had special cap bands screen printed for the campaign with the words “Armia Zbawienia”, Salvation Army in Polish. With the lad still in my arms I passed my cap to my father to take the polish band off and I gave it to the lad and saying “Dziękuję Ci” - thank you, one of my only two polish phrases. He smiled and ran down the steps to his waiting mother waving the cap band.

I have often thought of that little blonde boy in his dungarees these thirty two years later and wondered where he is today, and if he still remembers that incident.

I also thought on the one hand of the polish children who in those dark years had starved and fought and died, in appalling circumstances, whilst in my minds eye I also had a picture of Jesus,  in the gospels, where we read. “One day children were brought to Jesus in the hope that he would lay hands on them and pray over them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus intervened: “Let the children alone, don’t prevent them from coming to me. God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.” After laying hands on them, he left.” Matthew 19:14-15

This too, the hurt and harm to the innocent was to become a reoccurring theme for the rest of the week, that despite the horrors of humanity, children still matter to God and we are called to share in the ministry of welcoming little ones, who perhaps show us the true nature of his kingdom.

Dear Lord, Your Word calls us to hunger and thirst for righteousness — a righteousness that leads to compassion for the poor and a renewing of minds. Lead us to this kind of faith that works to make a better world for all Your children. Amen

Tomorrow - Sharing with Warsaw’s Baptist

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Community Groups Regularly Usiing the Church

Regrettably, due to the current restrictions, there are no community activities at the church premises.

Watch this space for news of when activities will restart.