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.

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

To Poland with Love - Recalling the 1988 Mission during a Communist Era 21

Evangelical-Augsburg Holy Trinity (Lutheran) Church by Rev’d Paul Collings 

Final farewell and homeward bound.

1 John 1: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

For the final gathering we once more gathered with our new christian friends at the Evangelical-Augsburg Holy Trinity (Lutheran) Church where we couldn’t have got another person into the church with over 500 in attendance.

The service was a mixture of music, testimony and sharing the word. I have a number of memories from the evening, I can still hear the Bravo as we played a brass arrangement of their national composer’s Polonaise in A major, Op. 40, No. 1 (nicknamed the "Military" Polonaise) by Chopin. Or hearing my linguist colleague David, following his 8 month crash course in Polish, gave his testimony, something that was clearly appreciated by the eager congregation.  The Colonel’s Sermon where he spoke of how the Holy Spirit is constantly at work through, in and even in spite of us.

The congregation stood as we played both theirs and our national anthems. Our Coach drivers, whilst in Warsaw had managed to find the scout headquarters that also had a shop where they purchased a polish flag for every member of our party.  The Colonel asked for the Salvation Army flag to be brought to the front and threaded one of the polish flags alongside the yellow red and blue.

Sadly, it took another 17 years before the Salvation Army started work formally in Poland. I often questioned was this a missed opportunity and perhaps reflected the initial reticence of the Army to give permission for us to undertake  the campaign in the first place. Brian Hart, the architect and organiser of the campaign rightly stressed, ‘ We did not come to bring Christ here - he is already - but to share in Christian fellowship in this land of miracles.”. He perhaps prophetically also so said, “A fire had been lit in our lifetime. A spark of the Holy Spirit is here in Poland. In pray it will sweep across Poland in Eastern Europe and that warmth with will flow back into Western Europe.”

What a 10 days, 19 opportunities to work with fellows christians, but perhaps the lasting image was to see groups of young polish christians stranding around people with praying in the street. These 32 years on, many of those young people are now the leaders of the free and growing churches of Poland. Those 10 days certainly changed me and looking back was partly instrumental in my move from Salvation Army Cap to the Collar of Methodist Minister.  

Whilst the 2 day journey home was tiring, we were elated as the news filtered through of changes in government, but more importantly, the gospel once kept behind closed doors was finding a renewed public expression and to this day is having an impact much larger than we could have ever imagined.

Father God,

We thank You for this day. You are the same today as You were yesterday, and as You are tomorrow. Since the beginning, You sought to have a relationship with Your creation, to instruct us in the way that we ought to go. Today we pray for discernment. We pray that the indwelling Holy Spirit gives us a peace beyond understanding to know precisely when something is You, and when something is not. Father, we want to be obedient to Your call in our lives. We pray for such discernment to not only make wise choices, but in the course of it all to know we can trust Your guiding hand.

In Jesus Name,


Tomorrow - Tent Making Ministry.


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Community Groups Regularly Usiing the Church

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Watch this space for news of when activities will restart.