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.

Wednesday, 31 August 2022

Summer Thoughts

Ensenada de la Gorina - Lanzarote by Paul Collings

Jeremiah 31:35
Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the Lord of hosts is his name:

Psalm 107:29
He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.

Matthew 8:23-27 And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him up, saying, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!" And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, you of little faith?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. They were amazed, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?"

After an exhausting day beset by crowds, Jesus was able to sleep peacefully in a boat so swamped by waves that the disciples thought they were going under. It shows a man of unusual health and inner peace. It is from that inner peace that he calms the fears of his friends, and equally reassures the threatened church, often depicted as a fragile, storm-tossed barque.
When I feel tossed by storms, Lord, may I call on you with confidence.

Jesus, when You walked on earth, You demonstrated Your power over nature. You are the One who walked on water and rebuked the fierce tempest, and at Your command, the wind stopped and a great calm prevailed. You are the same yesterday, today and forever. We put our faith and trust in You when we are assailed by the forces of nature. Thank You for Your protection and care. Amen.

Tuesday, 30 August 2022

Summer Thoughts

Playa las de Cucharas Lanzarote by Paul Collings

I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. Genesis 22:17

Jesus went out again beside the sea. The whole crowd kept coming to him, and he kept teaching them. Mark 2:13

One morning an elderly man was walking on a nearly deserted beach. He came upon a boy surrounded by thousands and thousands of starfish. As eagerly as he could, the youngster was picking them up and throwing them back into the ocean as quickly as he could.

Puzzled, the old man looked at the young boy and asked, "Little boy, what are you doing?"

The youth responded without looking up, "I'm trying to save these starfish, sir."
The old man chuckled aloud, and queried, "Son, there must be thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?"

Holding a starfish in his hand, the boy turned to the man and, gently tossing the starfish into the water, said, "It will make a difference to that one!"

Joyful God, we thank you for our Summer Thoughts journey together. We thank for for the sun in the sky, the cool sea water, and the sand.  We thank you for our family, our friends and tthose we have met upon the way. Through this time of refreshment help us to see how we can make a difference in our world.  We ask that you bless us as we journey on with you and we praise you for this beautiful Creation that you have entrusted to us. Amen

Monday, 29 August 2022

Summer Thoughts

Playa Bastian - Costa Teguise - Lanzarote by Paul Collings

Psalm 59:9 O God my strength, I will watch for You; For God is my stronghold my refuge, my protector, my high tower.

Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

Mark 13:35-37 Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back — whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: “Watch!”

Five times in this short passage Jesus tells me to be attentive. I would rather settle down to a comfortable life. But the world of God is breaking in everywhere, like an invasion. I ask for the grace to seek God in all things, as St Ignatius says.

A new world order began with Jesus, and I have a part to play in it. Every day I review what went on, and as G M Hopkins says, ‘I greet him the days I meet him, and bless when I understand’.

Father, just as it’s unwise to let our physical health slip, so it is with our spirits. Help us stand guard and acutely watch their spiritual life. Forgive us Lord for the times life got so busy and we neglected to spend time with You and Your Word. For the times we chose other things over spending time in prayer. Forgive us for assuming that we can ‘get by’ on a few spiritual crumbs. We look to You to help us shake off this smugness and look for you. Amen

Saturday, 27 August 2022

Summer Thoughts

Playa El Ancla - Costa Teguise - Lanzarote by Paul Collings

Proverbs 18:10 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

The story of God’s people is one of God’s strength covering our weakness. Our heavenly Father takes our problems, sins, fears, and feebleness and uses them as opportunities to demonstrate the overwhelming power of his love. He takes those the world deems to be the weakest and uses them to accomplish incredible, powerful works. Isaiah 40:28-31 says:

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Holy God:

With astonishment,

we see that you renew our strength


Allow us not to forget

your presence,

Even in adversity.


in our turn,

we will renew our gratefulness

and we will sing

for your love. Amen 

Friday, 26 August 2022

Summer Thoughts


San Jose Castle Lanzarote by Paul Collings

Proverbs 18:10 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

The story of God’s people is one of God’s strength covering our weakness. Our heavenly Father takes our problems, sins, fears, and feebleness and uses them as opportunities to demonstrate the overwhelming power of his love. He takes those the world deems to be the weakest and uses them to accomplish incredible, powerful works. Isaiah 40:28-31 says:

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Holy One:

With astonishment,

we see that you renew our strength


Allow us not to forget

your presence,

Even in adversity.


in our turn,

we will renew our gratefulness

and we will sing

for your love.


Thursday, 25 August 2022

Summer Thoughts

Punta Farinos North Lanzarote by Paul Collings

Mark 4:37-41 tells us, “A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke Him and said to Him, 'Teacher, don't you care if we drown? ' He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, 'Quiet!

Perhaps in our lives and in our world we are experiencing some kind of fear or anxiety. Maybe we see some threats looming on our horizon and desperately need the peace of Jesus as offered to the disciples here in the boat.

Very often we have no control over the political and social developments of our society; we have little or no control over what other people are doing. We can however, with the help of Jesus, find some peace in it. It is the peace which only he can give and a peace which cannot be taken from us.

Lord, there are times when I need to hear your voice ordering: ‘Peace! Be still!’ There is no basis for my fear. You are with me and I trust you. I need to turn away from the howling of the wind and disturbing noises, and wait for your comforting presence. Amen

Wednesday, 24 August 2022

Summer Thoughts

Gracioso Shoreline Houses by Paul Collings

Matthew 4:18-20 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.

We may well ask what nets do I need to leave in order to follow Jesus wholeheartedly? What obstacles, what material attachments, what comfort zones have wound themselves so tightly around me that I cannot get up and follow him?

Sidney Edward Cox (1887-1975)  Sets the scene in the context of our own circumstances.

By the peaceful shores of Galilee,

Mending their nets by the silvery sea,

The fishermen toiled at their tasks each day,

Till the Master walked along that way.

And they left their nets when they heard his voice.

Making the Master's call their choice;

And they toiled with him for the world astray,

To bring men back to the Father's way.

And the self-same voice is heard today,

Calling to men in the self-same way

As the fishermen heard by Galilee:

Leave now your nets and follow me.

Follow thou me, he calls again,

And I will make you fishers of men;

As in the days by Galilee,

Jesus is calling you and me.

Jesus, show me what I need to leave behind in order to be a good disciple. Do not let me fall far behind you and lose sight of you. Keep me close. Thank you for these times of prayer, and for inviting me to share in following you. Amen’


Tuesday, 23 August 2022

Summer Thoughts

Caleto de Sabo - Gracioso by Paul Collings

Mark 2:13-14

“Once again Jesus went out beside the sea. All the people came to Him, and He taught them there.As He was walking along, He saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth. “Follow Me,” He told him, and Levi got up and followed Him.”

As Jesus preached by the lakeside his words had a different impact from person to person. For some he was just a novelty. Others, perhaps, were half-interested. But the reports reaching Levi sitting in his office-booth nearby must have stirred his heart, for when Jesus invited him to be a co-worker for the Kingdom, Levi rose immediately with not even a thought for the career he was leaving behind.

Perhaps, no matter what our circumstances, we can always have an ear open for the higher call.

I ask, Father, that only your Holy Spirit will speak to me now as I wait on you for wisdom, insight, and direction. And whatever you show me or direct me to do, I pray that I will quickly obey. In Jesus’s name, amen.


Monday, 22 August 2022

Summer Thoughts

Montana Amarilla - Grasioso By Paul Collings

Isaiah 52: 7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

The statement how beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news refers not to the appearance of the feet, but to their action. The coming of the swift-footed messengers of the gospel of the kingdom of God is beautiful. The advent of the runner seen on distant mountains dashing closer with long-expected good news is lovely to the sight. These feet are appealing because they are close at hand with good news of peace, salvation, and God’s sovereign rule.

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you and give you His peace. Praises to the One Who has brought us the Good News, Who has proclaimed peace and salvation to us! May you rejoice in the God of your salvation. Your God reigns! Amen


Saturday, 20 August 2022

Summer Thoughts

Gateway at Bastian Lanzarote by Paul Collings

Matthew 7:14

For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Making one’s way through a narrow passage demands concentration and perseverance. It means avoiding the distractions of broader and more attractive pathways. However, narrowing down the many distractions and temptations that we encounter throughout our lives leads us to the height and the breadth and the depth of God.

Jesus invites us to a way of celebration,

meeting and feasting with the humble and poor.

Let us walk his way with joy.

Jesus beckons us to a way of risk,

letting go of our security.

Let us walk his way with joy.

Jesus challenges us to listen to the voices

of those who have nothing to lose.

Let us walk his way with joy.

Jesus points us to a way of self-giving,

where power and status are overturned.

Let us walk his way with joy.

Jesus calls us to follow the way of the cross,

where despair is transformed

by the promise of new life.

Let us walk his way with joy.


Friday, 19 August 2022

Summer Thoughts

Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe by Paul Collings

Psalm 122

I rejoiced with those who said to me,
    “Let us go to the
house of the Lord.”

That is where the tribes go up—
    the tribes of the Lord—
to praise the name of the Lord
    according to the statute given to Israel.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
    “May those who love you be secure.

May there be peace within your walls
    and security within your citadels.”

For the sake of my family and friends,
    I will say, “Peace be within you.”

For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
    I will seek your prosperity.

St Augustine said, “In the house of God there is never ending festival; the angel choir makes eternal holiday; the presence of God's face gives joy that never fails.”

Loving God,

we are yours.

We come as we are,

with our cares and concerns.

We long to touch you

and find healing in your embrace.

Strengthen our faith

and heal our brokenness,

that we may worship you with joy. Amen.


Thursday, 18 August 2022

Summer Thoughts

San Jose Castle Lanzarote by Paul Collings

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. – Colossians 3:15 

Having the peace of God ruling in our hearts and in our love is something that we have to let happen. If we are focused on being negative and letting all the negativity in our lives overtake what God wants to put in our hearts, we are never going to be at peace. In all things, be thankful for what He has given you, and let peace rule in your heart. Let it overflow in your soul and proclaim it by letting it affect the way you treat and love other people. 

God of the impossible,

We pray for justice, peace and reconciliation;

When the challenges seem too many,

Remind us of your resurrection power;

When the task seems overwhelming,

Remind us of the miracle of love;

And when apathy threatens us,

Remind us of your vision of a world made whole.

Help us to hope that the impossible can happen

And live as if it might do so today. Amen.


Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Summer Thoughts

Playa de las Cucharas Lanzarote by Paul Collings

Hebrews 6:18-19 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,

Through the dark and stormy night Faith beholds a feeble light Up the blackness streaking; Knowing God's own time is best, In a patient hope I rest For the full day-breaking! - John Greenleaf Whittier

You call us,

Wanderer of seashores and sidewalks,

inviting us to sail out of our smug harbours

into the uncharted waters of faith

to wander off from our predictable paths to follow You

into the unpredictable footsteps of the kingdom;

to leave the comfort of our homes and accompany

You into the uncomfortable neighbourhoods we usually avoid.

As we wait,

in our simple, sometimes crazy,

constantly uncertain lives,

speak to us, Spirit of Grace:

of that hope which is our anchor;

of that peace which is our rock;

of that grace which is our refuge. Amen

Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Summer Thoughts

Road to Orzola by Paul Collings

Isaiah 35:8-10

A highway will be there, a roadway,

And it will be called the Highway of Holiness.

The unclean will not travel on it,

But it will be for him who walks that way,

And fools will not wander on it.

No lion will be there,

Nor will any vicious beast go up on it;

These will not be found there.

But the redeemed will walk there,

And the ransomed of the Lord will return

And come with joyful shouting to Zion,

With everlasting joy upon their heads.

They will find gladness and joy,

And sorrow and sighing will flee away.

In every season, God has a plan on how to visit, restore, deliver and

bless His people. This is the season of such visitation in your life! Michael Boadi Nyamekye 

Loving God, 

be to us as a bulldozer of the spirit.

Clear your road in us;

clear a path through 

the detritus of possessions and obsessions.

Thrust aside our divided aims and devious games.

Topple the ramparts of pride and the doubts that deride.

Make a highway on which Christ may come

and take possession of the whole territory of our being.  

To the glory of your name we pray. Amen

Monday, 15 August 2022

Summer Thoughts

Lanzarote Landscape by Paul Collings

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; Isaiah 35:1-10

In the Bible, many passages speak of literal deserts and wildernesses, but desert images are also often employed as an opportunity to reflect on our relationship to God. Deserts can also invite deep reflection on spiritual realities. As the lushness of the material world is stripped from our senses by the barrenness of a desert, we might turn our hearts toward God and seek to discover what is truly important in our lives. Clifford M. Yeary

We will wait for you, O God.

Your Spirit compels us

to go into the wilderness, 

and we ask for the courage to examine

the desert places in our hearts,

and to be be willing to 

face the adversaries in our lives—

that which lures us away 

from being who you have created us to be. 

We pray for the courage to face our wild beasts and fears. 

Relieve the troubles of our hearts, 

and the devastation of our distress. 

Turn your love towards us 

that we may we know your grace in our loneliness and afflictions.

We pray this prayer, 

knowing that you watch over us, and deliver us. 

We wait for you, O God. 

In the name of our brother Jesus we pray,


Saturday, 13 August 2022

Summer Thoughts

Seaside Hut - Lanzarote

By Paul Collings

Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth. (Hos. 6:3) How does a person receive rain? Not by prying it loose from the sky but just by watching it fall, by standing in the downpour, by thanking Him for opening up the floodgates and sending what He knows we need and can’t get for ourselves, yet what He so faithfully, regularly, and graciously gives. - Priscilla Shirer

Lord God, I want to follow your example of work and rest that helps me recover. Give me wisdom to review my work and see where I am not getting enough rest to be refreshed, and where I am not allowing others to unplug and be revived. From your Word you made rest for a reason — so I can be refreshed in mind, body, and soul. Help me plan better so I can take time off whether it is from work, school, or housework. Amen.

Friday, 12 August 2022

Summer Thoughts

Lanzarote Church by Paul Collings

Psalm 139

O LORD, You have searched me

and known me.

You know when I sit and when I rise;

You understand my thoughts from afar.

You search out my path and my lying down;

You are aware of all my ways.

Even before a word is on my tongue,

You know all about it, O LORD.

You hem me in behind and before;

You have laid Your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

too lofty for me to attain.

How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God,

how vast is their sum!

If I were to count them,

they would outnumber the grains of sand;

and when I awake,

I am still with You.

God sometimes answers our prayers by giving us what we would have asked for had we known what He knows. J. D. Greear

Something made the hairs stand up on our necks. Was it you, O God?

Was it you that we saw blowing over the water? 

Was it you that we heard moving through those feet?

Was it you that we felt in the beating of our own hearts?

Was it you that called our names?

Come, O God. Come to search us. Come to know us again.

We were knit in your womb. We have tried to count your works.

Come, O God, so that we can hear you calling our names.

Here and now. Amen

Thursday, 11 August 2022

Summer Thoughts

Playa Blanca - Lanzarote 

By Paul Collings

Psalm 23:3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Let nothing disturb you,

Let nothing frighten you,

All things are passing away:

God never changes. 

Patience obtains all things

Whoever has God lacks nothing;

God alone suffices.

St. Teresa of Avila

Lord, look upon me with eyes of mercy. May Your healing hand rest upon me, may Your life-giving powers flow into every cell of my body and into the depths of my soul, cleansing, purifying, restoring me to wholeness and strength for service in Your Kingdom. Amen.

Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Summer Thoughts

Rubicon - Playa Blanca - Lanzarote

By Paul Collings

Jeremiah 6:16 This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” 

We are urgent about the body; He is about the soul. We call for present comforts; He considers our everlasting rest. And therefore when He sends not the very things we ask, He hears us by sending greater than we can ask or think. - Richard Cecil

Father, I’m thankful that You always act with grace and justice. Your constancy produces great peace within me. Thank You that You are the same yesterday, today and forever.


Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Summer Thoughts

Los Molinos - Lanzarote

By Paul Collings

Psalm 91:Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Jesus Christ became Incarnate for one purpose, to make a way back to God that man might stand before Him as He was created to do, the friend and lover of God Himself. - Oswald Chambers 

Father, You have called me to be still before You, to rest in Your love and to patiently bear the cross that is set before me, knowing that You are not only at my side every moment of the day, but dwelling deep within my heart.

Help me to depend on You in all things, knowing that nights of sadness will soon be turned into mornings of joy, when You are by my side. Keep me from fretful thoughts and foolish imaginings, knowing that You are my best and heavenly Friend, my Shepherd, my Provider, my Defender and the Rock of my salvation.

Draw me every closer to Your heart of love. Quiet my spirit, still my soul and instil in my inner being Your perfect peace that passes all understanding. Help me I pray, to be still and know that You are God, my God in Whom I trust. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen

Monday, 8 August 2022

Summer Thoughts

Gracioso Island Track - Lanzarote 

By Paul Collings

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

As long as I am content to know that He is infinitely greater than I, and that I cannot know Him unless He shows Himself to me, I will have Peace, and He will be near me and in me, and I will rest in Him. - Thomas Merton 

O God of Peace, I stop right now to give You thanks, not just because You deserve it, but because I need it! As I bring my specific requests to You now, fill my mind with the long, long list of things big and small that are Your perfect gifts to me. Above all, thank You for Your Son, for what He did for me, and that I am in Him! Amen.

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Summer Thoughts

Playa de Papagayo - Lanzarote

By Paul Collings

Psalm 37:7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.

If there be anything that can render the soul calm, dissipate its scruples and dispel its fears, sweeten its sufferings by the anointing of love, impart strength to all its actions, and spread abroad the joy of the Holy Spirit in its countenance and words, it is this simple and childlike repose in the arms of God. - S.D. Gordon

Father, can I be honest? I am tired of waiting. Waiting is hard, painful, and exhausting. But I know that learning to wait well is a beautiful, sanctifying, hope-giving thing. So help me wait well. Help me cling to you as I wait. Please Lord, let your peace rule in my heart. Help me live by your grace. Amen each day of this waiting. And help me bring you glory as I wait expectantly. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Friday, 5 August 2022

Summer Thoughts


Villa Toledo - Coste Teguise - Lanzarote

By Paul Collings

Exodus 20:8-10 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.

In place of our exhaustion and spiritual fatigue, God will give us rest. All He asks is that we come to Him...that we spend a while thinking about Him, meditating on Him, talking to Him, listening in silence, occupying ourselves with Him - totally and thoroughly lost in the hiding place of His presence. - Chuck Swindoll

O Sabbath rest by Galilee,
O calm of hills above,
where Jesus knelt to share with thee
the silence of eternity,
interpreted by love!

Drop thy still dews of quietness,
till all our strivings cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
thy coolness and thy balm;
let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm!

John Greenleaf Whittier.

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.