Month: July 2009

Win a Beauty Treatment Voucher – write an article for us!

We are looking forward to our November weekend away in Coventry and are delighted that so many of you have booked up. If you would like any additional publicity leaflets to hand out to your friends or neighbours then please contact us on the website.
We would also like to encourage more of you to write articles for our website. As a thank you we would like to offer a £25 voucher towards a hair or beauty appointment at the Spindles Salon at the Royal Court Hotel to be used during our November weekend away.
All you need to do is log in with a user name and your own password then click on Create Content and add an article that you think will inspire others. Perhaps you could tell us about an event that you hosted recently, both the joys and difficulties are interesting! Maybe you could tell us about a great conversation you had with someone about faith. If you want to recommend a book, website or cd that would be great too. Then send us a message on our contact form telling us your name and we will have your voucher ready for you when you check in on our weekend at the Royal Court on the 13th of November. We look forward to reading exciting new web content.

Invite an Activate Your Life Speaker

Activate Your Life is run by keen volunteers. We are headed up by our wonderful president Fiona Castle,who is helped along by two directors Mandy Catto and Sarah McKerney. Then the creative thinking is aided by a ‘Dream Team’ of talented women who meet six times a year in London to thrash out website and weekend away details, discuss, network and endeavour to ‘think outside the box’.The team consists of Sheila Bridge, Caroline East,Sarah Hyde, Rhianon Goulding and Julie Wilkins. Some of the team are willing to come and speak at events around the country. If you are interested in inviting them to your area then read their biographies below and contact us through the website contact form and we’ll be in touch.

Shelia BridgeSheila Bridge Sheila is a favourite Activate conference speaker. She has written a number of books on family life and parenting. Most recently she has written Who Stole Your Sex Life? (published by Kingway) and is currently writing How to Feel Good Naked (due out Easter 2010). She has been year head in a secondary school and also a prison chaplain. Currently she is training to become an Anglican vicar. Married, with two adult children, she lives in the Midlands and would be happy to travel reasonable distances to speak on the subjects of Sex or Body Image. The sex talk is along the lines of improving your sex life (lots of jokes, tips, video clips but no diagrams!) and the Body image talk is about finding a solid basis for self-esteem in unconditional love. Both talks aim to present the Christian viewpoint on the subject in an appealing way that doesn’t make any assumptions of belief.

Mandy CattoMandy Catto Mandy is one of Activate’s directors and spends far too much of her time working on the Activate Your Life Website! She works part-time as a tutor at Moorlands School of Theology and is a school governor. Her favourite job is being a mum to her three busy children. She loves spending time at the beach in Dorset. She is happy to come and share the ‘Unlocking the Door’ presentation, to share some of Activate’s vision or to present short wrap up talks during events.

Sharon PriorSharon Prior I was born in Enfield, North London and following school went to work in the Pathology Department of the local hospital training to be a Medical Microbiologist; during my training I became a Christian. I have worked with Crusaders, Moorlands College and Scripture Union. In 2006 I decided to go freelance and am a trainer, mentor and leadership coach. I am passionate about seeing women develop into their full potential under God and have enjoyed setting up the Sophia Network. In my spare time I am an aerobics instructor and a volunteer at my local church working with the teenagers. I am also involved in leading women’s retreats. In the past I have spoken at various women’s events and led some aerobics sessions as well (the aerobics sessions have been optional!!). I combine the aerobics with an evangelistic testimony to make a relaxing and fun evening for Christians to bring their non-Christian friends along to. I enjoy reading, walking on the beach and eating Chinese food!!! I am prepared to travel around the country and my costs for Christian Organisations and churches are £200.00 per day and travel at 40p per mile.

Caroline ThompsonCaroline East I am passionate about my friends and my family, particularly my nine year old daughter (our favourite things to enjoy together are Roald Dahl books and ‘Strictly Come Dancing’). I love getting together with the girls for coffee, chocolate, laughter (and tears as and when necessary!) I am motivated by sharing my faith through my social life inside and outside the church building. I feel passionate about sharing the ups and downs of my faith journey with those inside the church and out. I am able to deliver training based around Ruth Adams and Jan Harney’s popular book “Unlocking the Door” which gives masses of ideas on how to meet non-Christians where they are. I am happy to come and talk to you and encourage your church settings in the way in which you reach out particularly to women. My background of working within churches and my experience as a single parent has given me a variety of life and faith experiences to draw on as I encourage you to be who you are, where you are, for God. I am based in Derby where I work part-time as a community evangelist. If you invite me to meet with you, fees will be related to the task and travel expenses will need to be met.

Alison Tinsley Alison Tinsley Meet the original desperate housewife! Alison had it all but ended up broke and broken. On the bumpy road to rebuilding her life, she made an amazing discovery: no matter what happens in life, she could choose to respond proactively. She was no longer at the mercy of others opinions,circumstance or upbringing. She was free to make her own independent decisions based on solid principles.For the past 5 years she has chosen to share her life experiences and professional skills as an Image Consultant and Life Coach. Alison writes, talks and coaches on how to cultivate high self esteem, acquire a healthy self confidence and make the most of life, whatever your situation. She has been featured in The Daily Express, the Daily Mirror and Bella magazine and contributes to other magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Now. Regularly a radio guest she has also recently published her first book. ‘Confessions of an unfaithful heart’ charts her own account of infidelity and the life changing lessons learnt. Alison is available for speaking engagements on any of the following subjects: How to look good naked and even better with your clothes on! – Image and style tricks of the trade to help you look and feel your absolute best Love, sex and in it for the long haul! – Make marriage fun, exciting and rewarding Be a divorce diva – Live a full and exciting life after divorce Confidence tricks – How to acquire unstoppable confidence and a healthy self esteem Communicate with body language – Develop your communication skills with body language techniques Speaking fees from £100

You Are Special

Fiona Castle was the guest speaker at my son’s school speech day this week. She was wonderful – spreading joy, peace and a gentle message of hope and faith. I thought you might like to read the poem she finished with. Is there someone who you need to share this message with today? Or is this a poem from God, and passed on by Fiona, just to you –

You Are Special

In all the world there is nobody, nobody like you.

Since the beginning of time there has never been another person like you. Nobody has your smile, your eyes, your hands, your hair. Nobody owns your handwriting, your voice. You’re special. Nobody can paint your brushstrokes. Nobody has your taste for food or music or dance or art. Nobody in the universe sees things as you do. In all time there has never been anyone who laughs in exactly your way and what makes you laugh or cry or think, may have a totally different response in another.

So…. you’re special. You’re different from any other person who has ever lived in the history of the universe. You are the only one in the whole of creation who has your particular set of abilities. There is always someone who is better at one thing or another. Every person is your superior in at least one way.

Nobody in the Universe can reach the quality of the combination of your talents, your feelings. Like a roomful of musical instruments, some might excel in one way or another, but nobody can match the symphonic sound when all are played together. Your symphony!

Through all eternity no one will ever walk, talk, think or do exactly like you. You’re special. You’re rare and in all rarity there is enormous value and because of your great value, the need for you to imitate anyone else is absolutely unnecessary. You’re special and it is no accident that you are. Please realize that God made you for a special purpose. He has a job for you to do that nobody else can do as well as you. Out of the billions of applicants, only one is qualified. Only one has the unique and right combination of what it takes and that one is you. You are special.

Author unknown.


I have just read a brilliant article in the Daily Mail (July 4th) by Jan Moir on the sad demise of Michael Jackson, entitled “The Fatal Lure Of Fame”. She describes the growing desire in our nation for people to experience fame at any cost. Right now more than 100,000 young people are auditioning for the next X Factor, convinced that fame will change their lives for the better. But will it? She lists many, so called, “idols” whose lives have been ruined by fame and by the publicity and wealth that fame often brings with it. This obviously includes Michael Jackson.

This is a topic that has always been close to my heart, having aspired to become a ballerina in my childhood; not for fame, but for the love of dance and the joy that such expression brought me. I never made it….but my husband did! He was picked out as a child “with talent” at a young age and from the age of eight pursued a career in showbusiness until his death in 1994. However, he, like me, was grounded in a strong, stable and loving family, with Christian values. He never allowed success to go to his head. In fact, he said that it was easier to deal with failure than success, as success has so many consequences.
There is a famous “showbiz” saying. You had better be nice to people on the way up, because you are bound to meet them again on the way down!! How true!
The Bible tells us “God has deliberately chosen to use ideas the world considers foolish and of little worth, in order to shame those people considered by the world as wise and great. He has chosen a plan despised by the world, counted as nothing at all, and used it to bring down to nothing those the world considers great, so that no one anywhere can boast in the presence of God. For it is on God alone that you have your life through Christ Jesus”. I Corinthians 1: 27 – 30
Do read the article on line if you can. It serves as such a good reminder to any who are mothers that there is NOTHING that can replace the security of a strong loving family, where parents are there for their children and where Bible values are observed and applied! This will supply the lasting satisfaction that a few minutes of fame can never bring.

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