After driving past an old vicarage being used as a language school during his holidays in the 80s, Joe Hobday, Youthwork Pioneer, has shared his excitement as Radipole and Melcombe Regis Parish has re-acquired the building.

During my holidays, when I often drove past an old grey building, which before the 80s had been a vicarage and then in the late 80s and 90’s a language school, I find it extremely strange that I am now the Youthwork Pioneer at the exact same ‘Old Grey Building’. We now know it as Hope House.

This house had for years, prior to being sold, served this community and is now back in the hands of Radipole and Melcombe Regis Parish and truly beginning to serve our community once again.

My passion as the Youth Pioneer is that we are connected to our community and work alongside them. We need to find out where God is working and partner with Him in all that He’s doing.

On 4th June, Annette and I said yes to moving back to Dorset (for other purposes we thought). On 6th June I contacted Tom, because
there was an advert for children and family worker, Tom asked for a Zoom meeting and told me about the role I’m in now. Tom had been wondering a couple of days beforehand if I’d ever be moving back to the area again, as he thought I would possibly be a suitable candidate to take on the task of running Hope House. I went through the process of application and interview, and it seemed like God opened, moved and provided everything. The adventure begins!

At Hope House every Monday we have a prayer meeting 12:30 -1:00. You are all very welcome. God has been speaking to us in these times recently.

Someone had a picture of a Fireman. The message was; just as a member of the Fire Service has all the equipment needed, so does Hope House.

We need to be patient however the very strong message was. Being patient is not a passive thing.

In another picture the front door was broken down. This was a good thing as it meant ACCESS to Hope House is for all.

Hope House will become like a second home for many. Just as the building had been used in the past for learning new languages, the community will now learn the language of Jesus.

The above is just a few examples of the many pictures and words God is revealing to His people during our time together.

This obviously is just a tiny snapshot of my time so far at Hope House and our journey since 1st November.

Please continue to pray for all concerned and connected to Hope House.

We can’t do this alone. We are all team.

Joe Hobday

My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing he cannot do

I have just finished reading a book written by Klaus-Dieter John entitled God Has Seen Us. It is a story shared around the world about the Diospi Suyana Hospital – a main hospital, dental hospital and eye hospital that was built by donations in a very poor part of Peru, where the Quechua people live in the Andes. The hospital and subsequent school are in Cusco.

Klaus and his wife, Martina John, German missionaries had a passion for making this all happen through the hand of God. In her forward, Dr Martina John writes, “Our Almighty God is not some distant creator, nor is He a vending machine that chucks out the desired answer to our prayers”.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit we can have a relationship with God. In this book, the John’s trust in much prayer, and see it a privilege to work alongside God.

They tell the story as it really is through all the ups and downs in life, the good times and the disappointments, hurts and sad times. They have a great love for the Quechuan people and indeed obtained Peruvian citizenship, which helped them to work with the Peruvian authorities. It is a story of medicine, money and miracles. I couldn’t put this book down, it captivated me.

So what did it personally say to me? God is so powerful, there is indeed nothing he cannot do, and he does immeasurably more than we can conceive. It has helped me to learn to trust God more, especially in times of difficulty. It has also taught me about the power of prayer, and to never give up on seemingly impossible situations for humans to resolve. God is indeed a loving God who wants the best for all of us.

I know that I have eternal life – starting here and now, and also in heaven. So as we consider changes that will affect our lives in Weymouth, I know that we can become a dynamic church at St. John’s – and we can go out into serving the community with God’s help.

Hilary Lidstone

You can find out more information about this book here.

Latest News From Elaine

Some of you will remember Elaine Galliot when she, her husband Ivor and children worshipped at St John’s. During her time with us she attended Moorlands College in Christchurch. Their website states, “Since 1948, Moorlands College has given Christians passionate about Jesus Christ the knowledge and skills they need to impact the Church and wider world.” After one year Elaine felt she had a vocation so she went through the process of selection which lead to two years training at Cuddeston in Oxford. The family moved away from Weymouth. The time has now come when Elaine is at the end of her course and will be ordained.

If you are part of St John’s WhatsApp group you will have received this message:-

“To my wonderful sending church family!!

The day is fast approaching, where God willing, I shall be ordained at Salisbury Cathedral on July 3rd at 10.30am. I would love to see you and share this incredible adventure that we are on with God. It is open to the public (subject to change with Covid obviously)
I would suggest arriving earlier to get seats as it it’s on a first come first serve basis. I envisage a ‘celebration’ of sorts will follow the service which I shall give details as and when they are arranged. If however I could have suggested numbers it will help us to determine what catering and venue will be needed for such a celebration.

So look forward to sharing this day with you all.

Lots of love

Elaine and Co”

Some personal reflections on Recycling

I can still clearly remember the days when, what we would now consider to be household recyclable waste products, all went into the same refuse bin or sack, including food waste. No doubt there were still plenty of landfill sites available to receive all this ‘rubbish’. I remember my late parents who were thrifty, saving old newspapers, cardboard boxes and jars for wrapping or storage. Also, there was less packaging and plastics around and fewer people!

How times have changed since then, as we have all become more aware of the need to protect our environment and to become less wasteful. Recycling is far more efficient than landfill, incineration and extracting more raw materials.

Back in the late ‘80’s or early ‘90’s, when I was living in Woking, a few years before residents were given separate refuse and recycled kerbside collection bins, they had an opportunity to take common recyclable items (paper, cardboard, tins and glass) on a Saturday morning to the local council depot. At the time, I felt proud for doing my small part to save the planet!

Today a vast range of waste products can be recycled and to find out what can be recycled do visit the local council and major supermarket web-sites. If you still cannot recycle certain goods, then there are other sites to investigate including Terracycle and Recycle more.

The UK now recycles about 44% of its waste, some of which is sent overseas for reprocessing. An important question is, how much of this amount is used to make recycled products? The current system in this country is very complicated with each Council doing things differently. In Weymouth, unlike some other councils, glass is put in a separate container for roadside collection. Also, some do not collect food waste, which then ends up in the refuse bin.

Recently, the Dorset Echo (7/2/22) reported that Dorset taxpayers had to pay out £1.1 million to deal with waste wrongly placed in recycling bins last year. I’m sure most of us have been guilty of this. Unfortunately manufacturers produce non-recyclable plastic and cardboard packaging – maybe its done for economy or safety reasons. It is frustrating searching and not finding any information on whether the packaging is recyclable – if there’s no information, I assume it cannot be recycled. Also, there must be recyclable items which are incorrectly put into the refuse bin – would these be physically removed ?

This same article states that Defra has consulted with manufacturers with a proposal to force them to label all packaging clearly. This would make it easier for consumers and help reduce the amount of contamination in the recycling stream.

The biggest headache for recycling must be plastics. In Ruth Valerio’s very readable book, ‘L is for Lifestyle’, there is a chapter on ‘Plastic’ where she outlines the problems of pollution (including marine pollution) and how we can live more plastic free.

A few years ago I stayed at a luxury holiday resort in Tunisia. Early each morning the beach was cleared of any litter, before the holiday makers descended to take up their sun-loungers. I walked a mile or so from that beach, and came across an area on the shore festooned with plastics, tins, and other items of rubbish. Obviously there was no coherent recycling infrastructure, and this is not unique to Tunisia.

How we deal with recyclable products is our responsibility, and how we as individuals can take care of God’s creation. As Ruth Valerio states in her book, ‘..there is no such thing as waste in nature – the output from one organism is the input for another.’ As we are part of natural world, we too can take steps to radically reduce our waste. Nothing goes to waste in nature, including animals killed on our roads.

Mike Lidstone

What is operation mobilisation?

It is a missionary organisation founded in 1957 by an American student George Verwer who had a desire to mobilise people of his own age to share the gospel with others. The first summer mission took place in Mexico and gradually expanded to Europe, India and the Middle East. His vision for further outreach extended across the seas and the first of four ships was purchased in 1970. They visited ports throughout the world and welcomed people onboard to encourage cross cultural friendship, an understanding of the gospel message and to supply literature and other resources. Since then the ships have visited over 151 countries, docked in 480 ports and welcomed over 45 million visitors on board. Some years ago the ship Doulos docked in Portland Port and many of us had the privilege of going on board.

The ships library has over 5000 books for sale – not just about Christianity – but other topics such as science, cookery, sport and the arts which are sold as a fraction of the retail price or in some cases donated. The organisation currently has only one ship, the Logos Hope, which at the time of writing is docked in a Ghanian port with the aim of sailing to Monrovia in Liberia and then to Las Palmas and Seville in April, Covid restrictions and finances permitting. All crew members are Christians and many are volunteers.

Are these just facts and figures? No because St John’s has a long tradition of generous giving to missionary societies and that includes OM. As a church we have a personal connection to the organisation because a local girl, Ann Walton who worshipped at St John’s in the 1960s, joined OM and worked in India where she met her husband Edwin. They now live in Zaventum, Belgium and used to make regular visits with their family to Weymouth. Advancing age has made this more difficult but I know that they appreciate reading the Jottings and getting phone calls from church members who remember them. They are also VERY VERY grateful for the financial and prayer support for OM which has been unbroken for nearly 60 years. Our faithfulness in giving has opened doors to the gospel message which gives hope to the hopeless.

How thrilling it would be for me personally and as a church fellowship if some of our young people felt called to join this mission on a short term basis. Want to know more? Have a chat with me or visit the OM website and keep praying!

Dave Moore. OM secretary.


The Electoral Roll for St John’s will be updated in time for the Annual Church Meeting (Sunday 3 April). If you would like your name added to the Roll, there are forms available in church which should be completed and returned to Jean Halford by Friday 18 March at the latest. Forms received after this date can still be added but not until after the Annual Parish Meeting. The new Electoral Roll will be in church on Sunday 20 March.

If your name is already on the Electoral Roll there is no need to complete another form this year. If you wish to confirm that your name is already included, there is a copy of the current Roll on the table at the back of church.

Not just for Christmas

Growing up – on Christmas Day, before we sat down to the meal, we had to listen to an LP. The singer Tennessee Ernie Ford. The complete record was not required, just a particular track. It might have been easier to listen to the whole; as in those (old) days it was by record player and with a needle/stylus you had to place with care. It needed a steady hand; one a child didn’t always have. The track, the very famous, His Eye Is on the Sparrow.

It is only very recently I discovered the story behind the song. It was a poem written in 1905 by Civilla D Martin, the music added by Charles H Gabriel. Civilla and her husband had a deep friendship with Mr & Mrs Doolittle. Mrs Doolittle had been bedridden for 20 years whilst her husband was wheelchair bound. Despite all this they lived happy, inspirational Christian lives. Once they were asked the secret of their bright hopefulness. Mrs Doolittle’s response: “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me”

(abridged from the United Methodist church – History of Hymns)

The hymn, His Eye Is on the Sparrow, resulted:

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come, Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home, When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Matthew 6:26 & Matthew 10:29 – 31
Frances Childs

We didn’t know this hymn so we searched for it on line. You might also like to search on line for this song, especially like us if you do not know it. There are some amazing versions.

Linda and Michael

Trim and Tidy the Grounds

Saturday 26th March Do come and help

Date for Your Diary St John’s AGM 3rd APRIL