Paul and Phil Wisdom

Newsletter 6-Imaginative title!

It has been a while since Newsletter 5 and a lot has happened.  If you can this is worth reading and it won’t be long until the next one comes……


Gappers Return!
This year Phil helped to train and prepare 6 young people, 3 have spent their 6 month placement in Brazil, 1 has been working in the Youth Development Team based in Llanelli and 2 (a married couple went to North Africa for a slightly longer placement of 10 months. In July they returned for a week of relaxing, sharing, and reflecting on their experiences and adventures.  We take seriously the responsibility to support these young people in their transition back into their home culture.


Avoiding the Ash Cloud!
Paul did the second part of his training to be a Global Journeys Leader by taking a trip to Morocco in April.  The purpose of the journey was to develop leadership skills as we travelled by land rover: navigating the route, setting up camp, sleeping under the stars and leading devotional times.   We had with us 3 Koreans, 1 Welsh, 1 Cornish, 5 English, 1 Land rover, 1 Nissan patrol & 2 trailers!  We drove through France and Spain before taking a ferry across into Morocco.  As we waited in the port we met lots of Brits trying to return home without flying due to the Ash Cloud!
In Morocco we visited different places to pray and encourage workers in the country.  The last eight months have been very challenging for expat workers as many have been expelled from the country.



Phil continues to be involved in a weekly Parents Prayer group for the girl’s school, it is so encouraging to be able to pray for the wider community and the local churches as well as the school.  There is a real sense that God is wanting to redeem and restore things from former days . . . we are only a few miles away from the place where the 1904 revival took place and many people in this area were dramatically affected, with whole families turning to Christ. Generations on and we find ourselves praying God would revive and continue what was begun in some of those families.  Phil is also on the Board of Governors at the school – please pray for her role there, to be salt and light.

  • Jessica is reading well and also enjoying learning Welsh at school.  She is full of smiles and loves making up her own “Knock, Knock” jokes!
  • Bethany recently came 2nd reciting welsh poetry in her School Eistoddfod (Welsh festival of literature, music and performance) earlier in the year and continues to enjoy Brownies.
  • Hannah is 2, loves Cinderella and insists on doing everything her big sisters do.  She always makes herself heard and like her father avoids vegetables where possible! Since Easter she has been going to a nursery for 2 hours everyday.  She loves it.

They all seem to love the outdoors and enjoyed our family camping holidays, trips to the local beach and the planting & harvesting in our vegetable patch – you should see the size of our pumpkin!


Bring on the New!
What’s next?  This weekend saw the start of our new training programme here in South Wales.  Please pray for our 20 new arrivals – 10 of whom are part of this year’s Gap Year, which Phil is responsible for!  They come from a variety of different cultures, nations and backgrounds and are aged 17 to 50!  But one thing they all have in common is that they are on an adventure with God – please pray they would be free to embrace all that Jesus wants to reveal to them in these coming days.


Many thanks for your continued support!

We will write again soon with more details on our plans to move to Asia but do email or call if you want to know more in the meantime!
Paul & Phil Wisdom

Curate Rupert

It was a long journey but I made it…at last!

Rupert shares the days leading up to his ordination on 4th July this year

I had been warned that the months leading up to my ordination would be hectic. They were not wrong!

Firstly there were the numerous forms to be completed, the Criminal Record Check and the certificates to be sent off to prove my qualifications, baptism and confirmation. Then there were the robes to be ordered and the measurements to be sent off to the makers in Newcastle plus an article to write about myself for the Wey. Then there were meetings! – an appraisal with my course Principal and interviews with the Bishop and the Archdeacon – just to check I was safe to ordain! All this was happening at the same time as writing two essays for my ministry course, my full time job which is highly pressurised at this time of year as it deals with the summer’s GCSE and A Level marking, and my broken collar bone, for which I had an operation just five days before my ordination!

One of the high points leading up to my ordination was an invitation to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s garden party on 18 June. This was for all those being ordained that year. It was an ideal opportunity to look around Lambeth Palace and visit the library which had a number of ancient bibles and other historical books. The grounds were amazing and this was matched by a delicious tea served in a large marquee in the gardens. We met Rowan and his wife, both of who were very friendly and unassuming

Ordination week started with the operation to repair my broken collar bone, and on the Thursday my wife Jane and I with the other ordinands and their partners, were invited for lunch at the Bishop of Guildford’s House (Willow Grange). After lunch, we ordinands said good-bye to our partners and went off to Guildford cathedral for a rehearsal of the ordination service. We all changed into our cassocks and were all rather anxious we would trip over them as they were very long. My sore shoulder and sling made getting changed quite difficult but I was surrounded by willing helpers who were a tremendous support throughout the whole process which was particularly exhausting so soon after my operation. We were then led around the Cathedral and shown where we needed to stand and what we needed to do. It was all very complicated; even one of the Cathedral stewards got confused! We just hoped we would remember everything and not make total fools of ourselves

We then went to St Columbas, a retreat house in Woking, where we would stay until the Sunday morning.. Each day we had an address from a speaker and then had most of the day to ourselves – to read, pray and sleep! It was a very special time spiritually but also provided an opportunity to rest from all the pressures of the last few months. During this time we slowly began to realise the enormity of our call and that we would be leaving the relative safety of being a layperson to become a member of those strange looking people with dog collars – the clergy. This became more of a reality when on the morning of our ordination, we came down to breakfast wearing our clerical shirts and dog collars. This felt very strange but exciting at the same time. We had to be at the Cathedral an hour before the service to get robed and take our oaths of allegiance to the Crown and the Bishop! The service was a very special and moving experience and wonderful to have family and friends supporting. My call for the ordained ministry which had probably began when I was teaching in the mid-1970s, had at last come to fruition…35 years later

What now?

I’m now strictly speaking a Curate, and will work alongside Frank and Patrick, but as I am a locally ordained minister I am only licensed to serve at Emmanuel Church so I cannot preach or take services at other churches without permission from the Bishop. At present I am a deacon but next July I will be made a priest in another service at Guildford Cathedral. This will mean that I will be authorised to take communion services and conduct marriages

I would like to say a very big thank you for everyone’s prayers, good wishes and support over these last few years



Welcome to Ray and Nicola and Charlie

The Driscolls are coming…

Hi! We are Ray, Nicky and Charlie Driscoll and we are thrilled to be joining Emmanuel in September 2010

We really enjoyed our day meeting some of you in June and we feel excited to see what God is going to do in the young lives of the church and wider community as Ray serves as your Youth Worker. We’ve been asked to write a little by a way of an introduction, so here we go………

Ray is 32 years old and is a fun-loving, outgoing, enthusiastic person who lives and works at a very fast pace! Ray became a Christian at Spring Harvest when he was 15 years old and immediately got involved in children’s and youth work and has never looked back. Ray has played drums in Christian bands, been on schools work teams, worked for two churches and currently works for a Christian charity called Splash! One of Ray’s biggest achievements was completing his MA in Youth Ministry and Theological Education at Kings College in 2008.

Ray is passionate about helping young people, regardless of their background, to reach their full potential in Christ (John 10:10). Ray loves the company of young people (probably because he secretly never grew up!) and takes great joy from journeying with the young and watching them grow. Ray is also passionate about the church reaching out into the world and is looking forward to exploring what it means to be ‘a church without walls’ to the young people in our schools and on our streets.

Ray loves to spend time with his family playing football, going for walks and going camping in our trailer tent when we can. Ray is sport mad and likes nothing more than watching almost any sport, he is also training for his first half marathon. Other than sport, Ray’s hobbies are reading about World War 2, playing on his IPOD touch and seeing his friends.

Nicky is 31 and loves being a mum and wife. She also likes to make a difference in the places that she lives. Until recently she was a Teaching Assistant in a Horsham secondary school. This was a job she loved and provided a new challenge every day. In the past she has held various church roles, been a childminder, a receptionist, a dot-com shopper, and a supervisor in a financial institution.

Nicky can be very shy and can find social situations difficult but is finding that with age and with each new (and existing) position that she holds she is getting better at coping with her shyness.

The family’s move to Stoughton and to Emmanuel has filled Nicky with nothing but joy. God’s hand has been and still is on this move for the family, something he confirms to her every day and Nicky believes she will see many mighty things happen.

Charlie is 6 and he loves cars. Fast cars, slow cars, funny looking cars, any car, he’s not fussy so long as it is classed as a car. He also loves car shows, Top Gear and Fifth Gear are his two favourite programmes. When he’s not watching programmes about cars, Charlie also loves to read, mostly about cars so his favourite magazines are Top Gear and Autotrader. However, when it comes to books Charlie is a massive fan of Roald Dahl, Mick Inkpen and any story that captures his imagination or makes him laugh.

Charlie is a caring, compassionate child who will always try his best. He can be shy, like his mum, at times but equally when he feels comfortable Charlie can be a showman who loves to sing at the top of his voice, dance and act the fool, just like his dad!

As a family we love to laugh, challenging each other on the Wii and going camping! We are very much looking forward to joining you in September, getting to know you and becoming a part of the family.

Love Ray, Nicky and Charlie Driscoll

A life changing experience

Hello, for those of you who do not know me, my name is Alex and I am 15 years old. During the Easter holidays I went with 6 other lads from a Christian youth group called Urban Saints to Mexico for 11 days to build a house for a family who were not fortunate enough to have a home fit to raise a family in.

We set off to Mexico on Friday 2nd April and after a lot of travel arrived in Mexico at around mid-day on Saturday 3rd April. On the Monday we set off to meet the family that we would be building a house for, none of us knew what to expect but we were greatly blessed with the most humble and loving family you could possibly think of. Every day the Mum and Grandma cooked us a delicious Mexican meal, even though they barely had enough money to eat for themselves, and they would all chip in as best they could in helping us build the house.

One thing I found very moving was seeing how happy the children were and even though they had so little they seemed so content with what they had. It made me look back and realise in England we have so much yet many of us are not happy with what we have and want more when really we are extremely fortunate!

The construction of the house was very tough and at times many of us felt like giving up but thankfully nobody did because we wanted to show the family the love that they showed us in the hope that they would see that the work we did for them was not from us but it was from God.

On Easter Sunday a Mexican man from a local church came to our campsite and spoke, his sermon was amazing and really touched us all. At the end of his talked he asked anyone who wanted to give their life or to re-affirm their faith to go up to the front and I felt God telling me to go up, so I did! I was prayed with for ages and I really felt the holy spirits presence! Overall the trip was a life changing and very moving experience and I would encourage any one interested in doing mission to take up the amazing opportunity to share the word of Jesus!

Christian Aid news…

Christian Aid’s work amongst the world’s poor may have to be curtailed. Daleep Mukarji, Director of Christian Aid writing to supporting churches says “Our income has been seriously affected by the recession and we do not currently have enough funds to support all the people we’d planned to in 2010. I want to reassure you that I have done all I can to avoid the recession impacting on our work with the world’s poorest people…At least 80% of our income, one of the highest percentages of any charity, goes toward our vital work to end poverty. In addition, throughout this year, I have made cutbacks such as limiting all but the most essential travel and, sadly I have also had to make some staff redundancies. All this in a bid to minimise the impact on the world’s poorest people. But, with unfavourable exchange rates and fewer donations, our funds are still falling short.

If things don’t change, we will have to make impossible decisions about who to stop helping. What distresses me most of all is that people are being hit by a recession they didn’t cause and are defenceless to stop. Struggling families that were already living below the poverty line in the world’s poorest communities have been hit by rocketing fuel and food prices, and they have seen the value of their earnings plummet. Though the recession is affecting many individuals and families here and many organisations including Christian Aid, as always the poorest are the hardest hit.”

Christian Aid week relies heavily on funds raised during Christian Aid week which this year is May 9th-15th. During that week all over the country, there is a house-to-house collection. Each year a small number of people from Emmanuel volunteer to collect for Christian Aid. Each year we collect about £2000. If more people could give up just a few hours to collect we could raise more money which is so desperately needed. Please consider helping. Please pray for this year’s collection and for generous giving. Pray for those who work for Christian Aid, for those who have to make difficult decisions about its work and pray especially for those who depend on Christian Aid’s help.

On Saturday 1st May, you are invited to coffee at the Vicarage at 10.30am. This is NOT a fund-raising event, but a chance to be inspired by the work of Christian Aid. Please come if you can. We have raised funds during the year for Christian Aid, more are always welcome! Thank-you to all who came to the Lent lunches. We were able to send £128 to Christian Aid’s workers in Haiti.