In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God
John 1:1



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 


Dear friends,

Warm greetings in the name of Christ

May I begin by expressing my deep gratitude

for the welcome my family and I have received

since arriving in Gloucester. We are beginning to

find our feet and settle into the Abbeydale

community, and your kindness and thoughtfulness have been a real source

of blessing. Thank you!

My Induction Service provided a platform for an inspirational start to

ministry in Abbeydale and the Forest of Dean. I was delighted that URC

Synod Evangelist Nick Stanyon was fit enough to join us and preach so

challengingly to all who gathered to worship God that day. It was very

encouraging to be greeted and welcomed by so many different people

representing the Churches of the Pastorate, the various denominations,

ecumenical partners and the local community. My thanks to all involved in

the organisation of the service, especially Chris Pearce for his patient

work on the order of service, and to all involved in practical ways including

hospitality, music, welcoming and flower arranging.

During the first worship service I led at Christchurch on July 28th, I

preached on this verse from Colossians;

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to

live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in

the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”

(Colossians 2 v 6-7)

Those of you who were present that morning heard me explain how I

would be aiming to implement a strategy through my teaching ministry

(first 3 Sundays in each month) which potentially could enable you to be

rooted, built up and established in your most precious faith and its

promises. This would involve preaching based on the lectionary readings

from December to May each year, but then from June – November, we

could depart from the lectionary in order to explore different issues that

supported the vision and priorities of Christchurch.

My aim therefore between now and the end of November is to share

with you teaching based around ten characteristics of growing churches.

In a previous letter written for the Chronicles I explained briefly what

these ten characteristics were. This is the order I intend to deal with


August 11: Loving, peace-full and United Christian community.

August 18: Mobilised Membership; everyone effectively using their Godgiven


Sept. 8: Continuous Evangelism; sharing our faith naturally and regularly.

Sept. 22: Generous Giving: learning to give generously with trust in God.

Sept. 29: (Harvest) Compassionate Service; overflowing love into the

wider world.

Oct. 13: Commitment to Prayer; the engine room of the Church.

Oct. 27: Respect for Biblical Authority; God’s Word abiding and ruling in us.

Nov. 3: Eventful Worship: Expecting to meet and be changed by God.

Nov. 17: Open to Change: The place of the Spirit in the life of the Church.

TBA Effective Leadership: How should the Church be led and by whom?

This should provide us with a good launching pad into 2020, and into

new vision for many areas in the developing life and mission of our

Church fellowship.

I look forward to visiting many of you in the coming weeks. My visiting

is starting with those with urgent needs, and the members of our Church

Council. However, if you feel the need to speak to me about a personal issue or

something relating to the life of our Church, please contact me. Bear in mind

that every Tuesday I will be working in the Forest of Dean. Tuesday is their

day! Friday will be my regular day off – so avoid contacting me on Fridays

except in cases of serious emergencies. If you can come for healing prayer

ministry at mid-week communion that will help all who are concerned about

their physical, mental or spiritual well-being. I will often be available for

shorter one to one conversation after that service, and for prayer with

individuals who need more personal ministry. Try let me know before the

service if you would like a personal word with me.

We move forward together in the name and love of Jesus. I don’t require

what some refer to as “a honeymoon period”. Let’s just get on with our

work together for God’s glory! You have waited long enough. I hope you enjoy

the journey.

The peace of Christ be with you.

In his name Peter


THIS ‘N THAT from Chris

As I write this, I am still coming down from the tremendous high we

all experienced when we had the privilege of singing Roger Jones’

Jerusalem Joy at Christchurch with Devon, our guest singer. He

recreated the role of Jesus that he sang when the Musical’s CD was

first released. It was just amazing, and we all felt deeply blessed by the

experience. Thanks to all who attended from Christchurch and other

churches in the area. For those of you who missed it, there is a video

that was recorded of the performance. It was a very special evening.

At the Annual Church Meeting we dealt with the business issues of

the church, and adopted our Annual Report. This will go to the Charities

Commission and to the denominations. My thanks go to all who

contributed. We are blessed that we have an active programme of

events and activities. These are not only for our own fellowship, but

through them we reach out to our local community. Thanks to all who

make this possible.

We continue to look forward to the start of Peter Clarkson’s ministry

here at Christchurch, and to his Induction Service on Saturday 27th July.

Please hold Peter and Julia up to the Lord in prayer as they prepare for

their big move. Change brings challenges to everyone. I pray that we

are all prepared to listen to God’s voice as He leads us on.

As those of you who were at the ACM know, I will continue to serve

you as Church Secretary for another year, but will leave Council at the

next ACM. I will have completed 6 years as Secretary by then and a

break from the responsibilities of being a Council Member beckons. I am

sure that God will have plans for Jan and I so we do not expect to be

twiddling our thumbs, but we do look forward to a break and some extra

space in the diary.

May God bless you all, and thanks so much for your love and support.