The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
Psalms 23
 

UPCOMING EVENTS:


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Welcome to Christchurch Abbeydale

We offer a warm welcome to all.  Christchurch is an ecumenical church which embraces four Christian denominations, Anglican, Baptist, Methodist and United Reformed Church, worshipping together as one congregation.  Whether you already belong to one of these denominations or not you are most welcome. 


We welcome children of all ages. A crèche is available for pre-school children. There is Junior Church for children aged 5 to 11 and ‘The Core’ for children aged 11 years +. Children stay with us for the first part of the service and then go with the youth leader to take part in planned activities 

 

Christchurch Church Council
The Council meets regularly to discuss and plan the way forward. Members
of the Council take turns to introduce services and have recently taken on
an additional role following Steve Davies’s departure - they are now taking
it in turns to write the monthly letter for the Chronicle. Our first
volunteer is Audrey Staite and Audrey’s letter follows Ed.
I write this letter as the heat-wave breaks and we have some
welcome rain to refresh our gardens and refill our reservoirs, with the
promise of some more warm weather later on - we hope!!
September is the start of the new school year and some children will
be going to school for the first time and others changing schools or moving
into new classes . A time of change for them and their families but also this
year a change for us as a church . We said goodbye to Steve and Alison at
the end of July, wishing them well in retirement and in whatever direction
the Lord takes them . We look to the future while still building on what has
been good over the last five years . However as Bishop Rachel said in her
sermon on the 29th July, we may have to let go of some things we might want
to keep and embrace the new.
While on holiday in the Spring we went to the famous Keukenhof
gardens in the Netherlands . Beautiful as they are, we found the true beauty
away from the busy commercialisation in the peaceful fields further north
with mile upon mile of tulips and hyacinths in blocks of colour. You could only
marvel at the hard work and dedication needed to produce this . We have
many different talents within our church and for the church to grow
spiritually and physically we need to recognise and encourage these talents
so that everyone, young and old, is included in God's work.
As the well known hymn says ' Keep me travelling along with you ' as the
process to find a new minister continues. We need to be patient and pray
that God in his time will send the right person to work with us and enable us
here at Christchurch to continue spreading God's word in the local
community and to all those with whom we come into contact.
Meanwhile we carry on caring for each other, worshipping and thanking
God for his goodness to u s .
Every blessing,
Audrey


MINISTER'S ANNUAL REPORT
A year ago when I wrote my piece for the annual report I had in mind what I would be saying at the annual meeting. This year I can promise you that I have no intention of adding to the shock I appeared to cause last year when I announced a leaving date. My last Sunday here at Christchurch Abbeydale will be 29 July 2018, close to five years since I arrived. If the perceived speed of passing years increases with age then I have aged since being here! Where has the time gone?
Wheels were then set in motion to look at the future. What will happen is in God’s hands; what is right is that many people should be engaged with the process. The Way Forward Group has led this activity in preparing the Church Profile (the document that goes to potentially interested ministers) and all the other matters that have to be attended to. Prayer is – and should be – integral to the life of the church and no less so than in the process of succession. There are now regular monthlyprayer meetings at 7pm in church on a Wednesday evening – see the notice sheet for dates.
Prayer became a particular focus in 2017 when from Ascension Day to Pentecost the church was open during the day for folk to come and spend time by themselves or at the prayer stations around the church. “THY KINGDOM COME” has attracted much support in this country and around the world and there will be more this year between Ascension and Pentecost.
As I reflect on 2017 many images come to mind – the Nativity Lorry went out again albeit in rather damper conditions than the year before. The two local schools sent a year group to the church for Experience Easter and Christmas. The Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Association continued and it was good to see more members join at the young end.
The normal ecclesiastical activities continued: Wednesday and Sunday services, baptisms and funerals both in the church and at the crematorium.
The regular activities of the church are reported on elsewhere in this report: let me express my grateful thanks to all those who give of themselves in the various activities of the church. Most groups would welcome new folk to help – please do not be shy in coming forward.
Abbeydale Joint Council
In May the Abbeydale Joint Council met for the second time since I arrived. This is effectively the reviewing body for our Church made up of representatives, often senior people, from the four denominations. The quinquennial building report was accepted and there was discussion as to how the denominations could support Christchurch into the future. The church was commended on its approach and there is a strong desire to see the church continue to witness to God’s love in this area.
Church Council
At the time of writing it is good to know that some folk are offering themselves to serve on the Church Council. The Church benefits when there is representation from all the members.
I am grateful to those who have served on the Council over the past years, taking responsibility for various areas of the life of the church. Their input and support is greatly valued; please pray for all those who serve the church.
Personally
Throughout 2017 I was regularly travelling back and forth to Leighton Buzzard where Alison has spent the majority of her time overseeing the work in the house and being able to spend more time with her mother. There has been significant progress – more remains to be done.
Many people will be aware that for Alison and me 2018 did not start well. In mid-January Alison’s appendix burst although she thought it was just a very bad tummy upset and did not get medical attention for four days. At which point the ambulance was called and she ended up with an emergency open appendectomy. Recovery continues. In the middle of this my Dad contracted a chest infection from which he did not fully recover and he died early in February. I took his funeral at Chichester crematorium a week after my Mother’s 90th birthday. Both Mum and Dad have had (different) dementia for several years – a disease that is all too common. I want to put on record my thanks for the support I have received throughout this time and for the way cover has been arranged whilst I have had extended time away.
To all: thank you for the past year; pray for the coming year. Together we continue to learn what it means to be disciples of Jesus.
Steve Davies Minister of Christchurch Abbeydale

 

Welcome to all the family

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Alison, Steve and daughter Sian



Relocation of an earlier Christchurch Cross & Foundation Stone

The Foundation Stone was originally in the outside wall by the main entrance to the Community Centre

The Cross was kept in the small church rooms at the Community Centre and brought out into the Badminton Hall when services were held

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During ‘Work Week’ the Foundation Stone was relaid in the wall of the

back rooms at Christchurch with the Cross above

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Christchurch’s first real ‘home’ was the Community Centre and with recent alterations there the foundation stone was made available to us

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