Wednesday, 21 December 2011


I knew from the moment I received the acceptance email for Soul61 that it would mean change. I knew I'd be broken and remade, my mentality and morals would change, my perspective would change, my lifestyle, my thoughts and dreams. I knew there'd be a shift in friendships and relationships, in my views and opinions. I knew that God would be re-shaping and re-moulding me, into the person He wants me to be; nobody else, just Him. I was, and still am, willing to let Him change me.
What I didn't think was, that it would be immediate. In fact, I never realised. I didn't notice change, I've been completely oblivious! Coming home has shone a very bright light on the different ways in which God has changed me.

Being caught up in the whirlwind of Explore, Soul Survivor and Soul61, meant that I slightly lost focus on prioritising God above all else. Not cool. I mentioned before, that I'd been struggling spending time on my own with God, and that has changed, but not dramatically. Also, not cool. Don't assume that because you're working in a church, studying Theology, being involved in worship, praying for others and going to three services a week that your relationship with God is fine. In my experience it's not. It has got better, but it's certainly not where I want it to be.
For a while, I was spending no time with God whatsoever, then I chose to set my alarm an hour and a half before I had to leave, so I could spend about 45 minutes with Him. That worked for all of about 3 days. I started to get very tired and couldn't get out of bed. I came down with a very nasty flu, spend a week in bed, asleep and did not very much else. I felt so guilty that I just turned my alarm off and went back to sleep, so I prayed about it, and asked God to help me with it; God gave me was Psalm 127, in which it says "God gives rest to those He loves".
Immediately, I no longer felt guilty, but felt God say to me, "I know your heart Leah, I know you want to get up and pray and read my Word, but you need to rest". Thank goodness! I don't have flu anymore, just a cold, so I need to be disciplined and get into a routine before I go back to Watford.

I've noticed that every time I'm doing something to waste time; reading blogs, watching TV or opening the fridge, God just whispers to me. Like He's saying, 'Hey, how about me?'. I know it has to happen, the penny has dropped, I just have to do it now! Before Soul61, I just went about my day, praying continually throughout the day, mostly when I was in the car by myself, I would read my Bible In One Year as I woke up and that was it. There was no heartfelt prayer or me delving into scripture in there, yes, I had conversation and constantly chatted with God, which I think is important, but I never spent time with Him. There's one change.
I've found that any bad, mean, spiteful or hurtful language is like alarm bells in my head. I never noticed it before. I don't even mean swearing, just remarks made about how 'Stupid she is to cut me up', or 'What an idiot'. It's just not necessary; the person can't hear it, it makes you even more angry and how about James 3:10? "Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brother, this should not be". :)
I'm bored. Prior to Soul61, I was working or at home, bored. But at Soul Survivor, it's chock-a-block, we're getting teaching, serving and working, when we have time off, everyone is around you. You're never bored. But here, I don't know what to do with myself! I want to go to church, I want to worship, to pray, to learn and serve. I'm craving church life and family!

They might only be little changes, but I've been home for two days, I'm pretty sure over my two weeks off, God will reveal some more changes in me.


Monday, 19 December 2011

On home turf

I have arrived home!

Man, it feels good to be home, but also slightly strange. I feel a little lost; I can't wander into another flat, think about what to cook, expect my lovely flat mates home or stare at my huge pile of washing. Well that's a lie, the pile of washing on my bedroom floor is monstrous! I've cuddled my cats and family, but I feel so strange without Hannah and Be. They're wonderful, and I love them a lot.
Already, it's easy to say we are like a big, 39 strong family. The community between us and the huge amount of love we have for each other is amazing. So leaving that behind for two weeks does feel odd. But I'm here, with my incredible family, home church and cats. Never far from God either.

I can eat good food, sleep in my lush bed, shower without thinking someone would walk in on me and drive! It's going to be a great two weeks!

God has done so much the past two and a half months; I did a talk, I lead a song, I auditioned, I've been broke and remade, I am a book acting as a doorstop, I've fallen in love with God and met my best friends and family. I feel so grateful to Him for sending me on a journey, a whirlwind journey, where I'm in His perfect plan. I still cannot get my mind round that.

Amongst all the temporary goodbyes, there was one that was permanent and a little sad. Tom, our lovely flat mate is currently flying back to New Zealand to go home. It was a pleasure getting to know him and he welcomed us well and kept us laughing a lot! Prayers for a safe and comfortable trip! See you in the summer Tom! :)

For now, I need a cuppa', and we have milk that's not off! Wahoo!


Monday, 12 December 2011

Festivities and Forgiveness

In my flat, we have a small Christmas tree, some snowflakes in the windows and of course, advent calendars. Propped up against the window, underneath some snowflakes, we have three idly waiting to be opened every couple of days.

The countdown to Christmas has well and truly taken siege, the shops are packed with frantic mothers buying Christmas gifts, the decorations are up all over the place, and Watford has gotten right into the festivities. As have Soul Survivor and Explore; both boasting 12ft Christmas trees, baubles and fairy lights, mulled wine and carols taking place and Christmas gifs ideas coming out of their ears. We're in a church and the focus of course is Jesus' birth. But for everyone else, and even ourselves, sometimes the excitement has built a tainted picture of what Christmas is. We're writing Christmas lists, trying to out-shine our decorations to our next door neighbors, buying the best possible gift for someone who has everything and I'm sure you're wearing your Christmas jumper right now! Christmas is about giving and receiving right? Wrong, it's Jesus' birthday! Has anybody thought about what He'd like? What's on His Christmas list? Because I'm sure it's not an Xbox.
As Christians we should be celebrating Jesus, not ourselves. Our Christmas traditions should be different to others, we should be leaking the radiant love of God at Christmas; giving without expecting to receive, helping our neighbors put up their lights, inviting the old lady from across the road in for some mince pies and telling your family about Jesus. You love people until it's genuine.

This year, for me, I've grasped that. As a kid Christmas was always about presents and getting what I wanted, when I became a Christian it was about Jesus and getting what I wanted, but this year I feel differently; I've finally remembered, and really remembered it's Jesus' birthday. I want to be celebrating Him, not myself, I want to be worshipping Him and remembering that the birth of that little King, led to my sins being forgiven and eternal life!

Forget advent calendars, I'm counting down until eternity.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Doorstop comes before the Book.

I feel like I'm constantly apologising for not posting; and here I am, doing it again.
I've currently got the flu. Not great. Since Friday night I've felt rough, run down and poorly. I've got the chills, then I'm too hot, headaches, temperature, swollen glands, sore throat, lack of sleep, snuffles and super achey. Would really appreciate your prayers for this, I've had to take 2 days off! I don't want to miss to much.

Last week, in short, involved; a ’Grub Crawl’, epic rounds of signs, free entry and bustin’ some moves in Revs, buying a Christmas tree, running out of electricity, ice skating with my cell group and successfully staying on my feet, doing our first online shop, Back to the Future 1 and 2, having nothing to eat in the flat, soaking, actually waking up early to pray and learning how to prepare a talk.
This week, in short, involved; decorating Explore church for Christmas, the electricity running out again, finally finding my feet, getting the flu, watching Gordon house play sardines, having our first two Soul61 birthdays, getting treated like princesses by all the Soul61 boys, travelling into London and seeing as many sights as possible, calling in sick, twice! and growing in prophecy.

Before moving and whilst being here, I’ve known that God’s going to do a lot of breaking and remaking, I don’t expect to come home in 10 months time completely unchanged. I’m expecting struggles, strains, trials and tests! One of the things I’d love to do while I’m here, is give some prayer requests when I feel they are needed and ask if you could pray for me. Some things this week are;
- Intimacy with God; I'm struggling to actually spend time with God myself, on a one to one basis. It's proving difficult, however I do feel like when I end up sleeping in and not getting up early enough to pray and read my bible, that God's okay with it. He gave me a verse in Psalm 127, that says He gives rest to those He loves. Which I definitely need!
- Missing Libby. Of course I miss my family and friends, but I know they're not far, and only a phone call away. But I miss Libby a lot, not being able to talk to her and not see her is horrible.
- Not exactly for me, but prayer for Libby would be great. She's finding it real tough, she's homesick and wanting to come home.
- No distractions; I want to really delve into scripture, pray, write out my notes, write letters to Libby and my family, keep my journal/diary about what God is doing. Sharing a room, flat and house is pretty distracting when spending time by myself and with God.

I was really, really struggling with my placement at Explore, seeing God's will in it, why I'm here and what I'm gaining out of admin and kids work. Then, our flat and flat 3, the girls of Gordon spent an evening prophesying and praying for each other, to grow in our giftings. I had quite a few relevant pictures and words regarding Explore; it's a season of preparation, that, like a cocoon, the process is isolating, protecting and preparation, but something beautiful will come out of it at the end.
After it settling in my heart that God did want me there, I then wanted to know why. Hannah told me that Corrie Ten Boom said, "some knowledge is too heavy, your Father will carry it until you are able". I'm not ready to know yet, because it's too big! Which, in itself is encouraging! God's got big plans for me.
Today we had teaching with a man called Jeremy, the head of the prophesy team at Soul Survivor, on prophesy. It was pretty exciting, seeing that not one person got left out and got nothing. Somebody came up to me at the end with a picture, she saw a book that was being used as a doorstop. She said God needed me somewhere that I wasn't made to be, I was being a doorstop when I'm meant to be a book. Which is so perfect. I felt so sure I was in the wrong place, but God wanted me there, so now knowing that after my time of being a 'doorstop' at Explore, I'll be the 'book' God designed me to be!

Leah XXX

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Jesus came with Grace & truth; so must we

It's Thursday, and I'm in my flat on my own, so I thought it would be a good chance to blog without interruption! I'm currently listening to the new Soul Survivor album, which is incredible! I've had it since it came into the offices at church, so a little while longer than you. :P I've just completed a HUGE pile of washing up, hung up my wet clothes and tidied around bit. We seem to not find time to do this too much, we're all pretty busy! The dishes get done at most, every other day. Disgusting but cannot be helped.

The title of all my posts I'm going to make a quote or lesson I've learnt recently, and I'll explain it at the bottom, so if you want to read it or not, that's your choice. :)

Today we had our second day of teaching with Andy this week, our first being on Tuesdays. I tell you honestly, my mind is frazzled. Heavy stuff! But so inspiring and encouraging. I've never been academic, and as we all know, unmotivated to do any work at school... but teaching here is so different! I want to be here first things first, secondly I'm eager to learn more about the bible and Christianity. I suppose those two are quite imposing factors.
We've currently doing Apologetics and the themes throughout the Bible. I prefer Apologetics, it's all about the 'big' questions a lot of Christians find difficult to answer; "If God is all-loving and all-powerful, why is there suffering?", "How can you know the truth, when you haven't tried other alternatives? there can't be just one true religion", "Are all other religions completely wrong?" and "What about people who never hear of Jesus?". Tough stuff.
I love Apologetics because it's so relevant, I've been asked many times about suffering and how I know it's real and the likes, but answering is something on another level. Growing up in a Christian school, is much more difficult than it sounds; as a generalisation, a lot of people have already made their mind up about God, their views, gone through suffering and blamed God and asked why. Christians were a minority in a Christian school, so it's very difficult for people to understand why we believe what we believe, if we've experienced similar things. The difference is truth. So having teaching on this stuff, gives me a better answer, if not, a good lot of food for thought.
The themes in the bible are about the different threads running through the whole 66 books; the Covenant thread, Jesus in the Old Testament, the Kingdom thread and the Worship thread. Obviously, it's all important stuff, but it's so much heavier, I'd have to look over my notes two or three times to really get it.

Finally we've been placed in our Cell groups, which was exciting, because for me, I've never been part of one at LVC, so getting a chance to know people in the church is really exciting. I've been put in Andy and Beth Croft's cell, which is even more exciting! Cells are on a Wednesday night at their house, for Soul Survivor, but tonight I have lifegroup at Dave and Janey's for Explore church. So I'm part of two cells!! Getting stuck in.

In lighter news, we got locked out of our flat last night! WOO for Ben ford and Flat 4. Ben is a second year who cycled from church to Gordon to let us back in (it's a good 20 minute cycle) and Flat 4 let us (as usual) chill at there's until we could get in. What lovely boys. :)

Rachael is coming to stay at the weekend, which I'm super excited for! I miss her lots, so it'll be lovely to see her and mum for a bit. I'll be taking her around Watford probably and the 7pm service on Sunday. Then saying farewell again until Christmas. :(


PS. They're currently experimenting with swapping warehouses/venues for the 5pm and 7pm on Sundays, so it's a bit cramped but more intimate at the 7pm and the 5pm has much more space! :)

'Jesus came with Grace & truth; so must we'
In John's gospel it's says Jesus came to earth in Grace AND Truth. For us to be like Christ, we have to as well.
Imagine you're in a pub with a non-Christian friend, and he tells you he thinks Christianity is exclusive. You have two extremes of answering; "No it's not, we believe what we believe because it's right, the bible says it's right and Jesus is the way the truth and the life, and not believing in Him will get you into hell." or "You're right mate, it is, everyone will end up in heaven anyway!". Both answers aren't said in Grace and Truth.
The first, is only truth, which, if said like that will anger people and push them further away. The second is only grace, and completely untrue, they won't be angry but they'll believe the wrong thing.
To come with Grace and Truth, you get the right answer and hopefully the right response. To have Grace, you must listen well, ask questions and be gentle.

Thursday, 10 November 2011


Hey guys,

I'd like to apologise, I have blogged twice since 'Go...' but it hasn't saved or sent, which is very annoying! I don't remember what i said either. So, sorry for any confusion or for feeling left in the dark.

So it's now my 12th day in, it has been a wonderful whirlwind! It's so full and crazy. My schedule isn't quite set in stone yet, so my week could change, but it's getting busier! I have mondays off, which is great, because lets face it, no one likes Mondays! Tuesday and Thursday are teaching days, where usually Andy will bombard us with information. Wednesday and Friday I spend at my placement, which is with Explore church, a church planted in Croxley Green by Soul Survivor. Saturday is another day off and Sunday I have to go to Explore for their morning service and either of the evening services at Soul Survivor. So already it is busy!

On top of that, we've got Prayer Triplets with other on the course, however my triplet is actually a quadruplet, where we pray together, talk together and support each other. We've yet to be put in our Cells, because Andy was training for Ordination last week, so we'll get our groups this week hopefully. Then we'll get chances to be in Accountability groups, Mentoring and get involved in everything to do with the church!

Last Friday (4th) Soul Survivor had an event called Live At The Barn, where they open their (barn) doors to anyone under 18 and had multiple bands and a DJ playing sets. It was all about having fun! I was put on the inside team, also known as 'Sex Watch Team' - self explanatory. My job was to break up things if they got too 'inappropriate', stop heavy moshing and dance... all night! It was SO much fun! I haven't danced so much in ages! We had to encourage dancing too, so we couldn't just bounce or act 'cool', we had to really go for it.

This week just gone, we were really given our duties in placement; mine include organising and sorting out the Explore Fridays, which are an after school club on a Friday, for primary aged kids. I have to come up with about 12 different activities for them, including an assortment of crafts and games, oversee the whole afternoon and improve each one. I'm also getting stuck in with a lot of the creative stuff that goes on at Explore, I'll be designing logos, heading up the Christmas decorations, which is wonderful! I get an outlet for my creativity. :)
Being at Explore church does involve a lot of kids work, which isn't particularly what I wanted to do, I felt a calling to Youth work, but I'm where God wants me and I'm not up for moaning about it. I feel that serving is the best way to lead. I'm not to be serve, but to serve. Andy says, 'The only way up, is down'. Even if I'm washing up for 2 hours straight (which happened on Friday), I'm happy.

On Thursday, all of the girls on Soul61 met at one of the houses for an encouraging evening with Beth and Andy croft, Jo Woodman and all the other ladies. It will become a twice termly thing for Soul Survivor to learn how to encourage us as Women in Leadership! We'll have Ali Martin and Rachel Hughes teaching us and sharing a bit of knowledge about how to be the best we can be.

On a lighter note, I'm finally learning the guitar! After putting it off for a good year and a half, I've picked it up and it's not been back in it's case for a week! It helps a huge amount that between 15 of us in Gordon, there are about 8 guitars and a huge amount of musicians always ready to help. :)
I also just wrote a shopping list! Which is crazy... I'm turning into my mum! Which is a good thing of course. We're aiming, as a flat to spend about £60 on food a week, which is £20 each. Keeping us fed and energised.

Speak to you soon!

Monday, 31 October 2011


If every day is like today, I might have to hibernate at Christmas.

We just arrived back to Gordon House after the 30 minute walk from church, absolutely shattered. But so happy. I may have to hibernate at Christmas, but there is no way I'm missing anything while I'm here! We had an introduction to the church, Mike told us the history of Soul Survivor, the reason behind the name, the values and rules, after lunch we were taught on how to 'appropriately' pray for people and had all of our questions answered. 9.30am-4.30pm, I enjoyed it. :)

It feels so surreal being here, actually being exactly where the God who created the universe, the galaxies, the stars and the planets, being exactly where that God wants me. It feels incredible. I cannot wait to get stuck in, to make the most o every opportunity, not just do what I'm told or the bare minimum but go over and above!

Thank you for your prayers.


Sunday, 30 October 2011


So, I have arrived, unpacked, set up, settled in and had one nights sleep. After watching my dad struggle to drill my desk together, and making endless cups of tea for the flats parents, the Gordon House lot (4 flats, about 14 of us) went to Modello, to see some of the Soul Survivor lot play an acoustic set. Which was lovely. Got to meet majority of people on Soul61, with no help from the hustle and bustle.

Today, we have 3 services to attend; 10.30am, 5pm and 7pm, we will be introduced to each congregation, and given free lunch! WOO for student living. :)

Orientation week begins on Monday, with teaching from Mike for 7 hours... but there we will finally get to meet everyone properly!

It's going to be an amazing 10 months for sure, even if we get locked out because our front door handle is broken and we only have one key!


PS. Please keep me and the other Soul61'ers in your prayers. :)

Thursday, 27 October 2011


I cannot quite get my head around the fact that I'm moving out in two days. I don't think it's sunk in yet. I feel like I should be far more nervous, prepared and ready.
I am prepared, of course; for those that know, my mum would not let me go unprepared. :) Thank goodness, if left to my own devices I would probably forget my bible and underwear!

Despite the excitement, which has been greatly influenced and increased majorly by the influx of facebook friend requests, group set up and constant conversing with other Soul61'ers, it still feels surreal. Time is one element of many I will never understand; it goes so quickly but so slowly. It feels like only last week did I have my interview! It was on the 27th April!

My brain doesn't quite get it, I've never moved house, and moving room within my house doesn't exactly qualify as 'moving', so I don't know if I'm doing it right? Surely I'm meant to be more stressed, or more organised. I'm currently sitting at my desk, on my lovely Mac (THANK YOU ANON) surrounded by boxes and one very large, heavy and bursting at the seams suitcase... and I'm still not finished.

In other news, I have been informed of who I am living with, where I am living and what placement i am doing! Better late than never. :)
I am living in a flat with 2 other wonderful girls whom I've been talking to, one also being from Essex. (THANK YOU GOD) You'll probably hear lots about them. I'll be living above a cafe, with another 3 flats, 4 in total, full of Soul61'ers. Should be social!

Sunday the 16th October, was the deadline for our placement choices. Funnily enough, God does things late in my time, perfect in his time. So at 9pm on Sunday night I email Jo back with my preferences. My top 4 choices being; Youth Work, Evangelism, Explore Church Plant and Pastoral Aide. There were 12 in total. Only today did we find out where we've been placed. In all honesty, I was really disappointed. I've been put in the Explore Church team; my third choice. I was sure I heard God correctly when he said youth work. But c'est la vie. I believe wherever I was placed was where God wanted me. So Explore Church it is! after praying alone and with my mum and sister I feel much better about it, and I'm sure by the time I start, God would've softened my heart even more.

So, from now on, this blog will no longer be me promoting fundraisers and asking (nicely) for money! I will be keeping it as the musings of my time in Watford; Flat 2, Gordon House, my flatmates, Hannah and Bethan, what we get up to in our spare time, the explore Church team, my workshops and theology teachings and everything amazing that God does!


PS. Feel free to send Red Cross/Food parcels to us... ask for my address! :D

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


Good afternoon guys :)

Just a quick reminder and thank you today, these blog posts will become more informative about how I'm feeling and what I'll be getting up to, when I move and get settled.

We had the Quiz Night on Friday 30th September, and it went so well! We had a full 6 teams, all with 'witty' names. Lots of people came who don't come to LVC too, which was lovely. I always say it, but I feel so supported and blessed. We raised a total of £348, which is so great, it's such a great boost in my living costs. Thank you to everyone who came and enjoyed the evening, congratulations to the winners too!! A big thank you to Celene, my mum, for organising the quiz, and coming up with those 10 rounds! She did an amazing job. :)

Remember this Friday is the Ladies Pamper evening at Lea Valley Church, usually it's a free event, but Bo has kindly said for there to be a donation for each treatment.

Also, Saturday the 9th, Ian Liddle has organised a Car Rally Treasure Hunt. It's £20 per car, about 40 miles in total, meet at the church at 1.30pm. :)

Thank you for your support guys. :D

Leah XXX

Tuesday, 27 September 2011


Hey guys,

The countdown until I leave is getting very exciting! 32 DAYS! I'm enjoying my freedom, whilst it lasts, because very soon, my mum is going to be making me pack up my life and go shopping for essentials!

Just a quick reminder; the Quiz Night is this Friday (30th Sept.) at 7pm, for a 7.30pm start. It's in the Lea Valley Church hall and tickets are available now for £7, just contact Celene on, 0791 222 7843. We shall be in teams of 8 and nibbles are provided.

We also have another fundraiser coming up, very well organised by Ian; a Car Rally! It's a treasure hunt in your cars, on Saturday the 8th October. Contact Ian for more details. (number to come)


I know it's not really anything to do with Soul61. But I must say, Sunday was absolutely lovely. Watching my sister get baptised is one thing, but baptising her myself was wonderful. Congratulations to the other ladies who got baptised too! I hope your journey with God is exciting and enjoyable. :)


Monday, 12 September 2011


Remember to get your tickets for the Quiz Night on the 30th of September!

This is all in advance so I'm afraid you can't buy tickets on the door. Tickets are £7.00, this includes nibbles, sandwiches, cold drinks, teas, coffees and cakes! 7.30pm for an 8pm start, teams of 8, first come first serve. Held in Lea Valley Church hall, Monkswood Ave. Waltham Abbey.

Let us know if you want a couple of tickets or you want to get a team sorted! Call Celene on 079122 27843.


Thank you!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011


Hello! :)

So, we had the Jewellery Party on Saturday afternoon, and what a lovely day we had! The sun was shining, the jewellery was gorgeous (Thank you Bo!) and we raised £350! Thank you God for such blessings! What a success.

On a different note; the deadline for the Soul61 fees (£3995) is drawing close, the 16th of September is only next week! BUT... We have met the target!!!!!!!!! I went to collect the cheque this morning from Joan for the money the church was holding from the fundraisers, then went to the bank to cash it in, ready for a couple of days once it's in my account then I can pay for the course.
Thank you so much, to everyone who has supported me in every way, with donations, buying jewellery, bidding on an item, winning an item and promising something, for buying cards, coming to the choir concert and for your support in coming to events. I am so grateful, and I feel to blessed to know such generous people. With all of your help we've reached the first target.

Finally, a quick promo on the up and coming events we have planned;

The Quiz Night at Lea Valley Church is on the 30th September at 7.30pm, call Celene for details, on 07912 227843.

On the 8th October we have the Car Rally at 1pm, hosted my Ian and Mick, so contact them for more information. (Contact details to come)


Thursday, 1 September 2011


Hello everyone!

I got back from my holidays on Tuesday evening, but wanted a couple of days to chillax and sort things out. So I'm here now, ready and raring to go and updating more regularly! (hopefully?)

The countdown has begun...
I am moving out on the 29th October, meaning I have 58 days to do everything! Scary stuff.

As of that day, in 58 days, the '10 month plan' will commence!
- I have been told I need £3000 for the whole 10 months, which means £300 per month, £50-£70 a week, about a tenner a day. This money is to be used for living costs; things like food mainly, toiletries, shopping, and, erm, living, I guess.
There have been a few monthly pledges already made by some lovely generous people, who I'm utterly grateful to. So at the moment, talking about the '10 month plan', I'm about half way to my monthly allowance, and we have 58 days to double it! (In the realm of about £150ish pledged already)

If anyone feels that they would like to support me over the 10 months of Soul61, or give a one off donation, contact Celene (07912227843) or me (07912224834) for more information.

Thank you so much to those already pledging and sponsoring me! :)

Second and lastly, The Tea Party and Jewellery Sale is tomorrow afternoon! :)
Bo has kindly made some gorgeous pieces, there'll be scones, cupcakes and light refreshments, lots of other ladies to talk to and hopefully lots of fun!
It takes place at my house; please ask for details. From 3pm to 6pm.
Bring some friends, your mum or sister, auntie or cousin! All welcome!


Sunday, 7 August 2011


This blog post is going to be a little different from the others; more like a diary entry than an information packed post. I feel it neccessary to let you know how I am doing, and how I'm feeling about the process leading up to Soul61, as well as keeping you up to date with the finances and the up and coming events.

So, I've been feeling a little nervous of late! I hadn't really sat down and fully worked out my finances with mum until last week, and then it kind of dawned on me, it's coming so quickly! I started to doubt it all, of course an attack! I know God's gonna provide, he got me in, that's a miracle in itself. Just working out the finances, worried me a bit, I started thinking we ouldn't raise it, and I couldn't earn it. Then I chose to put my birthday money into the fund, which helped a lot, but meant I had to give up having a Macbook Pro! But, c'est la vie, this is where God wants me and that's all I want; to be where God wants me.

I'm getting increasingly excited, especially because I'm now off to spend 15 days in a field, with God, friends and music. My favourite things; bar the field... I am so excited about what God's got in store for me and the others, he never ceases to amaze me, and this year, I, myself am in a completely different place to where I was last year. I've kept up everything and not fallen away or gotten over 'Soul Survivor Fever'. So it's the next level this year. :)

I have been in contact with Soul61 a lot, they email me over more information every so often, recently they asked me to fill in a personal profile and add a picture! So hopefully, soon I'll have a collection of 35ish peoples personal profiles, and them having a mug of me too! Lovely. :)
As well as the personal profiles, Soul61 asked me if I was attending any of the 4 festivals, because they planned meetups with the others availbale those particular week, that are also attending Soul61. I looked a bit eager saying I was going to 3 out of 4... but it means I'll meet the majority of people! SO hopefully I'll come back home, knowing a few faces, that I'll be spending all my ten months with! Exciting stuff.

In other news, I was advised to apply for grants to up my finances; they're all very specific, but I applied to 8 different schemes. However, so far I've had no luck. I have 4 yet to get back to me, but the others said I didn't come under their banner. I knew it would be a longshot, because I was applying late, however even £50 here or there would help!



Good evening lovely people,

Just an update on finances as it's the end of the month, beginning of the new month. Just to confirm and clarify; the total I have to pay by September 16th is £4000, this is compulsory. Then over the period of the 10 months whilst I'm in Watford, I'll need £3000, which is also compulsory, however, I don't need the full amount to start with, it can be added to over the course etc. Then there's £2000 approximately, for the missions trips that happen, however, this cost is NOT compulsory.
The trustees are holding the money that we raise as a church at fundriasers, and I hold the money I earn/get gifted/get sponsored etc. So in effect, I have two totals going on at the minute.

Firstly, I have a running total (a big poster on my wall being added to in berol black pen!) for the amounts of money on both accounts, but I only actually hold one lot in my bank account. I will give the two totals, then full total, then how much needs to be raised, hopefully to give you the full idea and keep you as involved as possible! Bear with me!

For the month of July
Earnt: £447
Choir Concert: £215
LVC Donations: £115
Promise Auction: £1012
My Birthday: £900

July Total: £3550

Thank you to those who donated, whether it's a sponser or a one-off, I appreciate it greatly. I feel utterly blessed. Now, the £900 from my birthday; I asked from money from my parents and my family for my 18th. I wnnted a Mac laptop for my birthday, however, they are expensive, and my parents weren't going to buy me one! So, I was planning on buying one myself wih all the birthday money I was gifted, however, I have chosen to use it for Soul61 and sacrifice the laptop! We were cutting it close with finances, and the £900 gave it a huge boost!

Here's are the two running totals:
What the church hold
Choir Concert: £215
Promise Auction: £1012
Total: £1227

What I hold
(From earnings, donations, Krispy Kreme fundraiser and birthday money)
Total: £2262.50

Total overall £3489.5 !!!!!!!

My fees of $3995 are due on the 16th of September - and we are ALMOST there! God has blessed me so much so far, and I'm getting even more excited!
I'm off to Soul Survivor tomorrow with the youth, but I'm also staying on for the next two festivals! Weeks C and Momentum, (a repeat of Week B, and a week aimed at students and twenty-somethings) I'll be serving on team/volunteering with my close friend Libby for Week C and attending Momentum with a house group. So I'm away for the majority of August! I won't be working or earning while I'm away, but as soon as I come back, I'll be working as much as possible in my final 8 weeks before I go!

I've worked a little this month and am really trusting God that the finances come about by September 16th... then I'll be really concentrating on the next stage! "The Ten Month Plan".

I'll explain the "Ten Month Plan" in my next post!

Hope you all have a lovely day/evening. :)

Leah X

Saturday, 23 July 2011



I think this is long overdue! So apologies! I've not kept to my goal of blogging once or twice fortnightly. I shall be turning even more into my mum, and setting reminders on my phone and putting weekly nights aside to blog in my diary. :) She should be proud.

I had two posts lined up, but neither of them posted? One regarding the Choir Concert we had a couple of weeks ago and the other being a reminder about the Promise Auction we held last night!

Thank you so much to Lesley and the choir for preparing the concert, the songs and the entertainment; it was a very enjoyable everyone, had by everyone who attended, and we saw an even more improved Choir showcasing some of their newer learnt things. Thanks also to Shyam and Karen for baking yummy cakes, particularly to Shyam for selling tickets and doing a lot of organising! Thank you also, to all the people that helped on the night; teas and coffees, on the door, filming, sound, etc. But finally, thank you to all of you that made it! Without you turing up and coming it would have been a bit rubbish! So thank you to you, for inviting your family and friends, for buying the tickets and coming on the night. It was and still is, greatly appreciated!

So, now that's done, I can tell you about the amazing evening had last night!
After a month and a bit of hard work preparing, the Promise Auction happened. It was an incredible night, shared with many. We saw lots of Promises being auctioned off, banter at it's best and I know I saw a huge amount of support!
Well done to Rob, who, if you atteneded, know, did an absolutely amazing job playing auctioneer last minute, standing in for Geoff. Geoff should be getting scared! Rob stood him up well and good! So, thank you Rob! You were wonderful!
Thank you to all the people that helped on the night; Lesley, for being a runner, Bo and Celene for sorting out the money, Simon, Rachael and Megan for serving drinks all night and for every person who offered up their services, talents and gifts for promises! I'm extremely grateful for your Promises and honestly, can say I'm utterly speechless at the amount of money raised. I feel so blessed to be part of our church family, to know the people I know and to be so supported. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

After a bit of a dip in work, I can say I feel well and truely on my way to Soul61. Bring on October!


Thursday, 30 June 2011


Hello all,

This coming Saturday, (2nd July) taking place in Lea Valley Church Hall, there will be the 'RHYTHM of LIFE' Choir Concert taking place. It shall adorn a variety of music, song choice and light entertainment.
The concert will start at 7.00pm, and the cheap ticket price of £4.50 includes light refreshments.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Lesley Lewis for organising the evening and practicing with the choir. She always does a great job and we look forward to seeing them at their best on Saturday!
I also want to thank Shyam Thambiah-Lennon, for selling tickets and organising a lot of the evening too, she's done a wonderful job chasing people up and keeping me up to date on ticket sales! So thank you very much ladies for you amazing upport in organising the evening!

Hopefully, you all know about the Promise Auction by now! It's being held in the Lea Valley Church Hall on the 22nd of July, entry is free and light refreshments will be available.
Mum has been doing an amazing job organising bidding items, and we hopefully have some incredible top lots! We still need more offers, so if you have, or know anyone that has any skills that could be put forward, we'd love to hear from you! (Maths lessons, ironing/cleaning services etc.) Speak to Celene Sullivan for more information, and of course; I'll be keeping everything updated on here!

Finally; I sat down and sorted out my finances the other day, with the help of a very experienced mother. Since starting study leave, I've worked hard, trying to earn money, get fundraisers together with help and of course finish my A levels!

I've set up an e-account with my bank which will hold all funds going towards Soul61, and ALL my earnings, donations, profits from fundraisers, sponser etc, will be pitching tent in there.

I will be updating monthly, regarding a running total; where the money has come from, such as, what I've earnt, what has been donated, what is sponsered/pledged monthly and what ahs come from the fundraisers.

This month (June) TOTAL: £965.82
of which are
Earnings: £665.82
Donations: £195
Pledge/Sponsers: £105

Thank you to everyone who has donated; anonymous or not, and who has chosen to sponser, I am incredibly grateful for your support.


Tuesday, 7 June 2011


If you're reading this, I want to thank you. I'm sincerely grateful that you've taken some time to learn more about what it is I'm embarking on and how I'm going to do it. What you're doing, just by reading; is supporting me. So, thank you.

I started this blog to build a network, so that anyone who feels led to support me financially or otherwise, can feel like a partner in the journey I've started on. I will not be sitting back and waiting for money to roll in; I am working hard myself in different jobs, some temporary some permanent, I am organising a fair amount of fundraisers and events with a huge help from some of the important people in my life. So, this blog is a place to catch up on how I'm feeling about it all, but also with the things happening, our plans and how we intend to achieve them, and finally, how well we are doing financially.

I'm not going give a vague idea of the monetry need, I will clearly state what I need, what it goes towards and when it is needed by. This isn't as to scare anyone or to guilt trip people, it is purely so that you can understand fully and get the whole picture. Therefore, if people do choose to give/sponser/donate, they know exactly where their money is going.

For now until October, I shall be using this blog in a promotional manner; advertising the things that are happening to fundraise, as well as keeping you updated on the emotional and spiritual journey I partake in.
After I begin Soul61, I hope to continue with this blog, turning it more into an open diary, informing you of the antics and doings of my 10 months in Watford. I want to show you just how much your support means, during the build up and the whole time I am there. When I leave in October, you will still hear from me!