Virtual Services: Sunday 12th July

Pastor David Fielding
David Sherwood

Dear Castlefields Friends,

Here is the usual Sunday ‘CNews’  with details of the hymns, Bible Readings & message titles for Sunday.
It also contains a handy map which will be useful for following the Bible Reading & Message in the morning.

There is also the ‘Junior Learning Together‘ sheet for the children to complete.

This week we are trialling video in the morning — so be prepared to see David as well as hear him!

As with all first time attempts at anything new, there are a number of glitches that will need ironing out for the future but we gradually want to make our services resemble the usual pattern that we were all used to before ‘lock down’.

We continue to explore opportunities to meet together physically rather than virtually, so please pray for us as we meet to try and advance these arrangements this week.

Evening services will remain on the website in audio version for the present time.

Every blessing.

David, Peter, Richard, Martin & Lee

Download AM & PM hymn sheets.

You can listen to the messages on the website front page or via these links: AM message from Pastor David Fielding & PM message from David Sherwood..

Download children’s activity sheets.

These messages are now available on Spotify & Apple Podcasts.

Virtual Services: Sunday 5th July

Pastor David Fielding
Peter Leyshon-Jones

Dear Castlefields Friends,

In our usual way, we are attaching the following items for tomorrow’s services:

  • CNews with hymns, Bible Readings & Message titles.
  • ‘Junior Learning Together’ sheet for the morning service.
  • Activity sheet for younger children for the evening service.
  • Activity sheet for older children for the evening service.

The Government are allowing churches re-open this Sunday but the process is complex and, in our case made more challenging by the size of our building. It will be very difficult to comply with mandatory hygiene & ‘self distancing’ requirements in our premises.

Please pray specifically for a way forward for us to adapt or use a suitable building for our morning services.

Next week, we hope to use video to advance our connection with you but for a time, other services will be audio based and our mid week prayer meetings will remain on Zoom by invitation.

We trust the Lord to provide for all our needs as His care for His church is infinite and perfect.

Every blessing.

David, Peter, Richard, Martin & Lee

Download AM & PM hymn sheets.

You can listen to the messages on the website front page or via these links: AM message from Pastor David Fielding & PM message from Peter Leyshon-Jones.

Download children’s activity sheets: Morning sheet; Evening sheet (younger children); Evening sheet (older children).

These messages are now available on Spotify & Apple Podcasts.

Meet A Christian: Amanda

I am not from a Christian background, but God blessed us with a Christian witness in our family when I was growing up, Great Aunt Jean. She would often mention things from the Bible and gave my sister and I a Good News Bibles when we were young; the verse she wrote in mine reads ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ’ (Acts 16 verse 31). 

Fast forward to my early twenties when I came to Derby to study Business Studies at the University.  It was a 4-year degree course and in the third year I did an industrial placement working for Midland Bank, now HSBC. I was 25 years old; my work placement was going from bad to worse and I was feeling depressed. One cold February evening I was walking home from work and I heard someone singing loudly behind me. I turned around and said to this man “Why are you so happy?” He replied, “I’m praising the Lord, he makes me so happy”. “Oh, right” I said.  He asked me “Do you believe in God?” “Yes” I replied. “Are you a Christian?” he asked. “I’m not sure, what is a Christian? He explained its someone who believes in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. He was bold enough to ask for my telephone number, I remember thinking, “If he is Godly then he is a good man”. I had crossed paths with a Nigerian Evangelist!

He called me that night and we talked on the phone; he was interested in my life and before I knew it, I mentioned my troubles at work. He rang me every night for a few days and talked to me about Jesus and one verse he quoted was from John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave us his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have ever lasting life.” The gospel was going in!

At that time, I had taken some sick leave and it was during this time that he brought round some Christian literature, a Christian tape, and a tract. He said, “read this tract and if you believe pray the confession prayer”. The tract was called ‘Somebody Cares’ and was about a verse from 1 Peter ‘Cast all your cares on me because I care for you”. As I read the tract, Jesus talked to me so tenderly and powerfully that tears welled up inside. He said, “I love you Amanda; I care for you and am concerned about your progress and well-being. Accept my invitation and I will come into your life and will be with you and give you a new start.” I realised that I was lost and on the wrong path. Something supernatural happened, a light switched on and I believed Jesus had died on the cross for my sins. It all became so personal. 

I gave my life to Jesus that February night in 1998, Jesus became my Lord and Saviour. That same night Saibe rang and asked me “Do you believe?” I said, “Yes, I believe”. He said “Hallelujah! A host of angels are rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents.” He promptly visited the flat, we held hands and Saibe prayed, and the Holy Spirit came into my heart. I knew instantly that I was different: peace, joy and love flowed into my inner being, I had changed internally and spiritually.

God worked straight away, I lost my job and moved back to live with my parents. Saibe said “You must find a good Bible believing church.” His words rang in my ears and he followed up with a phone call to check on my progress. I found a Baptist church and they were starting a discipleship course, so I joined and made friends. At the discipleship class I was taught that I needed to be baptised as a believer. I was a tender shoot, so new at being a Christian, yet God spoke so clearly to me ‘You believe!”. I was baptised on August 30th, 1998. Part of my Baptism song was: “Lord I come to you, let my heart be changed, renewed, flowing from the grace that I’ve found in you!”

I can testify to this day that God is so gracious and faithful that my life has flowed with God’s grace.  He has kept me safe and on the right track, even when I have made mistakes God is so merciful and kind. My heart’s desire is to continually live for him until he calls me home, to love him even more and to pray for people to also see their need of a loving Saviour. I always say it was the best decision of my life to follow Jesus. I pray it might be true of you too! Thank you for reading my story and God bless you.

To read more stories like Amanda’s: click here.

Virtual Services: Sunday 28th June

Pastor David Fielding
Peter Fry

Dear Castlefields Friends,

Here is ‘CNews’ No 42 with the hymns, Bible readings & message titles.

As usual there is also a Junior Learning Together sheet for the children to work through.

As the ‘lock down’ gradually eases we will need great prayer & patience as we work through the necessary steps to steer our Sunday activities back to something like “normal”! In the meantime, our on line services continue in audio format, so please pray with us that they will be greatly blessed to many far & wide, as well as our usual congregation

We pray God’s richest blessing on the ministry of the Word for young and old alike.

Every blessing,

David, Peter, Richard, Martin & Lee

Download AM & PM hymn sheets.

You can listen to the messages on the website front page or via these links: AM message from Pastor David Fielding & PM message from Peter Fry.

Download the children’t activity sheet.

These messages are now available on Spotify & Apple Podcasts.

Meet A Christian: Sarah

Hi, I’m Sarah a student at Sheffield studying Early Childhood Studies. Despite being in Sheffield 50% of the time, Derby is my home and when I’m home I attend Castlefields Church where I am currently a member. I’ve been coming to Castlefields since I was born so this church is very much my family.

I want to share with you the testimony of my Christian faith and how I came to know Jesus as my Saviour. I’ve been brought up in a Christian home so was taken to Church each week where I would listen to sermons and attend the Sunday school. For many years I enjoyed going to church solely because I got to play with my friends which meant I never really pondered on what was being preached. Not much changed over the years until my older sister got baptised.

During this time I felt a lot of pressure for me to get baptised too but something was holding me back. When I’d seen other Christians get baptised previously and heard their testimony they talked about the amazing transformations in their life. I realised that I couldn’t relate as I hadn’t had a ‘big’ change yet, therefore surely, I couldn’t be a Christian. After going over and over it in my mind, I plucked up the courage to ask my mum what she thought. She explained to me that it’s tricky to see a change in yourself when you’ve been brought up in a Christian home and told me most importantly to pray about it. This led me to praying every night that God would make me a Christian.

One Sunday evening I remember a visiting preacher talked about what you need to do to be a Christian. He explained that you simply need to believe in God & Jesus’ death and ask for forgiveness of sins. God spoke to me that evening. I’d done those things already! Surely, I was a Christian?

From then on, I struggled in my faith as I had doubts about not actually being a Christian. I remember getting really scared and worked up about death. I’d go to bed each evening & ask myself “what if I go to sleep and never wake up? What would happen?” I’ve always been known as a worrier but this has to be my most worrying question. I didn’t trust that God had really accepted me as one of His children. But then through church sermons and reading my bible, I was reminded of one of the many truths in the Bible…

“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me, I will by no means cast out”.

John 6 v 37

This verse in particular gave me the reassurance that I needed. I WAS a Christian! I knew that I had come to God and asked for forgiveness and this verse reminded me that He wouldn’t (and still won’t) cast me out. It’s like that classic Sunday school song that I’m sure you’ve heard before… ‘He’s got the whole world in His hands’ – the end verse says ‘He’s got you and me brother in His hands’ now I can rejoice that I know for a fact that this is true! God has got me in His hands and will never let me go 😊

A few months later, this led to my baptism. I don’t like being under the spotlight but I realised that this wasn’t all about me – it was about my relationship with God and what He had done for me. I just want to point out that my baptism was a symbol of me being born again to a new life in Christ – baptism is not something that saves you.

So fast-forwarding to now, over 4 years later. I can see God’s hand in my life as I have faced both ups and downs. Ultimately, I know that even the moments in my life that have been difficult they have all been for my growth as a Christian believer. You may think that because I am a believer I no longer sin and do wrong things but oh how incorrect you are! I sin every day without fail and am constantly asking for forgiveness from God. But the great thing is that I know that Jesus died for each of those individual sins and that He will forgive me!

I’m still very new in my faith and know that I have a long journey ahead of me to understand more of God’s grace and love but it’s a journey that I look forward to as I know it deepens my relationship with my Saviour.

For more stories like Sarah’s, click here.

Virtual Services: Sunday 21st June

Peter Leyshon-Jones
Pastor David Fielding

Dear Castlefields Friends,

Here is the usual ‘CNews’ for this Sunday with hymns, Bible Readings & sermon titles. There are a number of additional things to mention as well.

Our morning preacher is different this week. Peter Leyshon-Jones will be leading & preaching for us. For a change, David will be leading and preaching in the evening.

Peter has included a hymn that might not be very familiar as it was only written just as the ‘lock down’ was beginning, earlier this year! We included it in a ‘CNews’ Special edition on 16th April. A copy of that edition is also attached & you will find a link on there to enable you to listen to the tune in readiness for Sunday morning. It is an excellent hymn, based on the Heidelberg Catechism, and wonderfully fitting for the days in which we live.

There are three children’s activity sheets this Sunday:- one for younger children for the morning service, based on Psalm 1- one for older children based on the morning sermon in Ecclesiastes Chapter 3.  
– a colouring sheet based on the verses for the evening sermon in Numbers 6.

We pray God’s richest blessing on the ministry of the Word for young and old alike.

With love in Christ.

David, Peter, Richard, Martin & Lee

Download AM & PM hymn sheets. Info on new hymn “Christ Our Hope in Life and Death”.

You can listen to the messages on the website front page or via these links: AM Message from Peter Leyshon-Jones & PM Message from Pastor David Fielding.

Download the children’t activity sheets: AM younger children, AM older children & PM sheet.

These messages are now available on Spotify & Apple Podcasts.

Virtual Sunday Services 14/06/20

David Fielding
Richard Carvell

Dear Castlefields Friends,

Here are the details of our hymns, Bible Readings and message titles for this Sunday.
As usual there is also attached a sheet that can be used with younger children to help go through the Scripture passage.

The passage that we are looking at in the morning service is quite long and therefore we have included some brief notes after the morning hymns, that help us to follow the progression of the narrative.

In this world of turmoil we thank God for His unchanging Word and what we learn of His unchanging gospel purposes.

Singing God’s praise is good for us – today; seek out good “psalms & hymns & spiritual songs” to sing, as well as those chosen for our two services.
We pray for His blessing on His people, all across the world on His Day!

In Christ.

David, Peter, Richard, Martin & Lee

Download AM & PM hymn sheets.

You can listen to the messages on the website front page or via these links: AM Message from Pastor David Fielding & PM Message from Richard Carvell.

Download the children’s sheet.

These messages are now available on Spotify & Apple Podcasts.

Virtual Sunday Services 7/6/20

David Sherwood
Pastor David Fielding

Dear Castlefields Friends,

Here is the latest ‘CNews’ No35 with details of our services on Sunday.

This includes a handy map showing locations mentioned in the Bible passage which we will be expounding & applying in the morning service.

As usual there is also a “Junior Learning Together” activity sheet for children to complete based on the passage in Acts.

With the world in turmoil how we love to spend Sunday focusing on the word & work of God. Even though we cannot meet physically, lets make the most of meeting virtually.

Every blessing,

David, Peter, Richard, Martin & Lee

Download AM & PM hymn sheets.

You can listen to the messages on the website front page or via these links: AM Message from Pastor David Fielding & PM Message from David Sherwood.

Download the children’s sheet.

These messages are now available on Spotify & Apple Podcasts.

Six Essentials for a church in ‘lock down’ (& beyond!)

“Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come —and the books, especially the parchments”. 2 Timothy 4 v 13

Please read 2 Timothy and especially note v13 in the context of chapter 4 v 6 – 18. 

When we read Paul’s second letter to Timothy, we read the last remaining letter of the Apostle. He is in ‘lock down’; literally! He is writing to his dear young friend Timothy who is the Pastor of the church in Ephesus. Paul is in prison in Rome and believes that soon he will face the Roman court once again – and this time the end of his life will come. 

His writing is full of pathos and feeling, yet realism and instruction. Luke seems to be in Rome and able to visit Paul but his request is for Timothy to come, if he possibly can. His request for Timothy to bring with him the three “essentials” mentioned in v13 is very instructive. 

Using this verse, its context and the wider reminder of other Scriptures, we can apply this request pertinently to ourselves at Castlefields in our ‘lock down’ in these days. Whilst there are many other things that we would love to have, here are six ‘essentials’ for us to ensure that we have in place as our ‘lock down’ eases. 

1. A right perspective of the ‘big picture’. Paul had been in prison in Rome before – but not quite like this! Note Acts 28 v 30/31. This time it was serious (v6). All around him things were changing & normality was crumbling (v10- 16). That is just what has been happening in our days of lock down. But Paul had an awareness of the “big picture” (v17/18). It needs to be the same for us. It is essential that our eyes look in faith beyond the present trials to the big picture of God’s sovereignty & His purposes for the church. “Mission Unstoppable”, begun in Acts, still goes on and will be completed, we should not lose sight of that truth. 

The Prophet Habakkuk lived in desperate days but in Hab 2 v 1 we read that he went up into a ‘watch tower’ to wait & see what God would do. There he received the encouraging word of Hab 2v14: “For the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea”. 

Personally, we must not forget that the Lord is progressively sanctifying us so that we might be “blameless” at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thess 5 v 23/24). It may be, that through our ‘lock down’ that is being achieved in specific ways – so we must recognize that and thank God for it. 

2. A right love for the local church. God has brought us all here to Castlefields for His purposes and we are to love the church into which He has placed us. It is very easy to become dissatisfied and envious of larger, more ‘tech savvy’ & prosperous churches. We can easily ‘church hop’ on line but this can result in us becoming critical and ‘picky’ with the leadership and with the way things are done here. Excessive comparisons can leave us feeling that Castlefields is a very ordinary sweet in a bag of other church goodies that are on offer. We all need to place ourselves into the spirit and practical outworking of Romans 12. Timothy was reminded by Paul that in Ephesus, the local church into which he had been called, he was to “hold fast” (1v13), “be strong” (2v1) and there to faithfully “preach the Word” (4v2). All that was to be “in season and out of season”. In other words, at all times, whatever the circumstances; even in ‘lock down’. 

3. A right involvement in service for the Lord. Paul was a man who had travelled many miles, preached to thousands, pastored, mentored & taught to great effect. He was a man of massive ability and usefulness; and yet, now he is ‘locked down’. Was this a time to give up and give in? No! Paul calls for “books” – so that he can read and learn yet more of God, and “parchments” – paper to write on. Maybe further Epistles were in his mind, to Timothy and other churches. He saw that ‘lock down’ was still a time to serve! How Timothy must have benefitted from this wonderfully encouraging & practical letter. How we still benefit from it today, as inspired Scripture. We are glad that Paul did not give up on serving the Lord in ‘lock down’.

Our preaching series in Acts chapter chap 8, impressed upon us how we might come alongside someone – although not in a chariot these days! – and share the gospel with them. We could ask them, about the Bible they are reading, “Do you understand…” just as Philip did to the Ethiopian Eunuch. We could guide them into reading Christian literature and biography. 

By writing as he does in v13 Paul is saying what we must say, “I’m not done serving yet – despite being locked down!” 

4. A right awareness of the dangers that surround us. For the Christian there are always dangers to beware of. Every period and phase of life presents its own temptations, pitfalls and trials of faith. A period of ‘lock down’ is no different! In chap 2v3 Paul reminds Timothy that he is a “good soldier of Jesus Christ”. Soldiers are for fighting, for warfare and for winning battles. As Christians we should never forget these truths. 

The temptations of ‘lock down’ are many, here are just a few: Selfishness; Idleness; Over-work; Introspection; Doubt; Anxiety; Boredom; Time wasting; Moodiness; Hard heartedness (towards your spouse, your children, your parents, the Government, church leaders); Internet sinfulness; TV bingeing; Xbox gaming (too much!) 

We need to pay special attention to the Lord’s Day and ensure that we do not lose the blessings of Isaiah 58 v13/14. Self-discipline in “attending” the services at the set times (as we always would have done) will help us to keep a good structure and discipline to the day for our spiritual good. This will particularly help with the raising of children and profitable family life. 

A ‘lock down’ is wearing, and that is a strategy that Satan loves – to wear us down so that we lose our spiritual sharpness! We need to watch out, because he wants to “devour” us (1Peter 5v8). Take action now – before it is too late! ‘Lock down’ can, and should be for profit – pray that it certainly would not be for loss! 

5. A right balance of praise & worship. Maybe our attitude is, “we’ll sing when ‘lock down’ ends”. We might feel like the Old Testament people of God in Psalm 137 v 4, “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?”. We see ‘lock down’ as a foreign land and we just want to be free of it! Until then, how can we really praise God? 

Paul longed to be joyful – we can see that in chap 1v4. If Timothy could come to visit him, he would be filled with joy. Sometimes we take that to an extreme and say “if only… then I will sing” but that is not right. God has not changed; Jesus has not changed and everything that is true about our salvation has not changed – every Christian needs to sing – now! 

Everything about the coronavirus is horrible, fearful and terrible. What a contrast in Psalm 147 v 1, it tells us that singing praises to our God is “pleasant” and praise is “beautiful”. In the previous Psalm it tells us that we should sing praise while we have life and being! Even in ‘lock down’ we have those things and we need to balance the difficulties, fears and worries with praise! 

We must not forget how to sing! ‘Lock down’ may end, but the opportunity for Christians to sing praises in a corporate, church setting may not be allowed for many, many months to come. Seek out good resources – the Internet is full of them – to enable you to praise and worship the Lord in prayer and in song – it will do your soul good! 

6. A right dependence on the Lord. How very alone Paul must have felt in his ‘lock down’. How sad to read that “all forsook him” in his hour of need. So, in v 17/18, how much he was helped by the Lord standing with him, strengthening him and in knowing that in the end He would deliver him and preserve him right 

through to his final place in God’s heavenly kingdom. There was no one else he could depend on now; he was cast upon God. 

For us, as individuals, the future is totally unknown. There may well be many job losses in Derby and the practical, emotional and spiritual fall out from this ‘lock down’ may be massive. 

As a church we are faced with the tremendous logistical problems of a small building and a large congregation! What are we to do? How are we to “do church” in all its aspects (Sunday Services, The Lord’s Table, Baptism, Youth work etc)? 

Our dependence on the Lord for help in all these things is essential. Humanly speaking we have no quick and easy answers. Our dependence is to be individually but it is to be corporately too. 

There are many things that we will want to do and experience after ‘lock down’ has ended but here are six essentials that we must have right now. If they are right today, then with God’s help, they will be right during the easing of current restrictions and right when we come right through. 

Click here to download this article as a PDF document.

Virtual Sunday Services 31/05/20

Peter Leyshon-Jones
Pastor David Fielding

Dear Castlefields Friends,

Here is:

  • the CNews No32 with hymns, readings & titles of messages for tomorrow – these go on to two pages this week as some of our hymns are quite long.
  • the children’s activity sheets for morning AND evening services.

We pray that the Lord’s Day may prove to be a great blessing to all who join us.

Every blessing

David, Peter, Richard, Martin & Lee

Download AM & PM hymn sheets.

You can listen to the messages on the website front page or via these links: AM Message from Pastor David Fielding & PM Message from Peter Leyshon-Jones.

Download the sheets for children: Morning & Evening

These messages are now available on Spotify & Apple Podcasts.