Dear friends,

Warm and sincere greetings in the name of Christ.

It has been a joy to welcome five of our members on to the Church Council recently and to dedicate their service to God during a Sunday morning act of worship. This comes at a point when we begin to order things a little differently in our monthly ChurchCouncil meetings, gatherings which we hope will be focused much more on our vision for growth as a Church. Over the next few months, we hope to build upon LYCIG (Leading Your Church into Growth) and develop vision and action in the areas of prayer, evangelism, spiritual growth, fellowship, pastoral care, children’s and youth work, communications and compassionate outreach to our community. We can be excited at our potential as a local Church under the leadership of Christ, and as we seek to walk in the power and life of the Holy Spirit.

Our recent Flower Festival was a wonderful success and illustrates how well we can work and grow together under the banner of God’s love. So many gifts were used during that brilliant weekend, through which there was encouraging evidence of creativity, united fellowship, hospitality, pastoral care, outreach, faith and welcome. I congratulate all our amazing flower arrangers and those who provided such caring and thoughtful welcome and hospitality. God’s goodness was put on display for all to see and experience, and we rejoice that so many people recognised God’s presence amongst us. God is good. Thank you to all who were involved and to those who supported and visited our Church.

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is just around the corner, and we hope to enjoy a special time of worship, fellowship and reflection together on June 5th. I am sure we will have visitors among us that day as we give thanks for the unique life and reign of our Queen, and as we celebrate her faith and hope in Jesus. Our service and lunch are being widely advertised, so be ready to welcome new faces.I would also encourage you to support other local community events that will betaking place. This is a great opportunity for all communities to regain and revive community spirit and cohesion after our recent pandemic. I pray that Churches across Gloucester and Gloucestershire can play a central part in rebuilding community life, care, and happiness.

At our ACM, we were reminded of many challenges that we face – including the ongoing challenge to demonstrate pastoral care and consistent and thoughtful financial giving. At the moment we are carrying quite a significant deficit as a Church as we approach the mid-way point of 2022. Can I urge everyone to consider increasing their regular giving by a small amount? If members and friends of Christchurch were able to increase their giving by £1.00 per week, we would easily raise an extra £5000 per annum, thus easing any difficulties we might encounter by the end of the year. As we get back on track as a Church, we will need to offer all that we are and all that we have to God. Renewal starts with prayer. Building the Church involves the faith, commitment, and sacrificial service of all of us. Let the thought and knowledge of God’s constant faithfulness to us once again stimulate the stirring up of our faithfulness and love toward Him and His Kingdom.

Please listen out for details concerning the start of the Bible Course. I hope to launch this in the summer as a means of giving us great encouragement in the handling of the Bible. Know and Grow meetings are an opportunity for us all to grow in faith, confidence, hope and gifting. Growing in faith inevitably means growing in our use of the Bible and the understanding of our biblical faith. Let the Bible Course be a turning point for you, and pray that it will generate much growth in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Growing together is exciting and liberating.

May God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you his grace and peace. 1 Corinthians 1:3

May you overflow with hope through the power of the Spirit. Romans 15:13b.

May the Lord bless you and keep you now and always.

With love and prayers,

Peter