I am with you always, to the close of the age
Matthew 28:20



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 to you in the name of Christ.

As I write this letter to you, I am unsure which monthly newsletter it

will be placed into, but it comes with my love and prayers. I have just

finished writing my final letter for Wigton Moor Church in Leeds and

bidding farewell to the pastorate I have served for 22 years. It is time for

me to look forward with great hope to my time with you and ministry

amongst you. God is with us.

As I begin work amongst you, I will start visiting you and getting to know

you personally. I hope to build your trust and confidence in my leadership as

quickly as I can, but I realise that establishing trust and respect always

takes time. As I spend time with you, I hope we can talk around some of the

following things. You might like to start thinking about them.

• Your families and the things that matter to you .

• Your faith in Christ and how you came to trust and follow him.

• The reason/s you have chosen to be part of the Christchurch family of

Christian faith and care.

• Your feelings and opinions about the present strengths and weaknesses

of the Church.

• Your hopes and prayers for the future.

One of my main initial tasks will be that of listening. I will need to grow

in my understanding of your personal lives and the life of Christchurch and

its witness to the local area and surrounding community. I look forward to

hearing your stories. It will be good to begin praying with you according your

needs and hopes.

The peace of Christ be with you.

In his matchless love.


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 taken on an additional

role - they are now taking it in turns to write a monthly contribution for the

Chronicle. This month Norman Whitaker shares thoughts with us

I read recently about a four year old who has a mind like a sponge. He

soaks up information from TV kids’ shows, and remembers everything his Mum

says, (much to her dismay at times!) One day she asked him what the heart

did. Without hesitation he answered ‘It pumps blood round the body, and

gives you love.’ His mum discovered through further conversation, that he

was sure those two functions are connected.

This made me think. We’re told by the prophet Jeremiah that when we

search for God with all of our heart, we will find Him. (Jer. 29: 13.) But how

do we seek The Lord with all of our heart, when we’re also told to love others

as we love ourselves? Maybe that young boy’s understanding has the answer.

In Hebrew, and throughout Scripture, the ‘heart’ is more than an organ of

romance; it’s the very centre of our being, physical, mental, emotional and

spiritual. So rather than being consumed by thoughts about God, He asks to

be put at the centre of our lives, so that we seek Him from the very core of

our being. If we manage this, concern and compassion for other people are

natural by-products. Jesus shows us how to do this, by His ministry, death and

resurrection. By His example, our lives become God-focused, and God-centred.

In our last month’s Chronicle, Peter Clarkson included a very challenging

letter about 10 points he wants us to focus on, in our life in Christchurch. He

is obviously coming prepared to play his part in the pastoral side of ministry. In

return he expects us to play our part in maintaining and enhancing the witness,

work and worship of our church.

It seems to me that to do that, we need to take to heart that 4 year old’s

philosophy; and enable the life-blood of Jesus to be pumped round His body,

which is the Church. In that way, we can, in thankfulness and praise, give God

back the love He gives us, through our care for each other, and the people in

our community.

As we look forward in anticipation to Peter’s ministry, may we continue to

love and serve God, in the Name of Jesus and by the power of The Holy Spirit.

Shalom, Norman Whitaker.


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.