This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it
Psalms 118:24
 

UPCOMING EVENTS:


Church Life

Sunday Services

10:00am Morning Service with all age Junior Church

6:00pm Evening Service

 



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CHRISTCHURCH ABBEYDALE MEMBERSHIP FIGURES

          December               2017         (2016)

Church of England               38             (43)

Baptist                                 10              (10)

Methodist                            36              (36)

URC                                      12              (17)

Ecumenical                             5               (7)

__________________________________

Total Membership               101             (113)

Adherents                            66             (67)


CHURCH COUNCIL REPORT
The Church Council meets monthly and reviews the life of the church across all the areas of church life, and ensures that the Aims and Objectives are respected.
The use of the building by Community and other Groups remains high.
Following ratification of a revised and updated Constitution by Denominational Partners, the 2016 Annual Church Meeting formally voted to introduce this Constitution, and no updates were introduced during the year.
Council expresses its thanks on behalf of the Church to all Council Members who stepped down during the period for their invaluable service to Christchurch.
Yvonne Heggs was elected to Council by the Annual Church Meeting. Chris Pearce was elected as Church Secretary and Howard Francis as Treasurer by Church Council.


FINANCE REPORT

ALL CONTRIBUTIONS HAVE BEEN GRATEFULLY WELCOMED

Offerings:

This year we had offerings totalling £39,740 which is slightly down on the previous two years. The membership in 2016 was 112 and 2017 was 101.

There has been a slight drop in attendances which has a link to contributions

Other Givings

This year we received £306 towards the cost of the Chronicle, it reflects on how well received the magazine is to members and friends.

Charitable Donations and Appeals

Our twelve charities between them received £964 and special appeals during the year raised £598. More information and presentation need to be done for the monthly charities.

Donations

We are grateful for the donation of £1,600 from Christchurch Holiday & Travel plus all the individuals and groups who have made special donations to the church amounting to £1,318.

Other Fund Raising Activities

Fund raising quiz night, barn dance, ride & stride, plus concerts and fairs have contributed £2,356 towards church funds. Thanks for all the effort from our army of volunteers.

Gift Aid

With the inclusion of The Small Donation Scheme amount of £1,250 this year amounted to £10,724 Please sign up for Gift Aid if you pay Income Tax, this amount is essential in contributing to meeting the church expenditure.

EXPENDITURE

Denominational Payments

Church membership has slightly changed over the year and the denominational payment amounted to £8,297.

Ministerial Costs

There has been no significant change to this amount, and the payment for this year was £44,630.

Building Maintenance

This year we replaced the gas cooker which was coming to the end of its cost effective life. The members and friends again saved us paying out for maintenance by their contribution to work week. The Building Maintenance amount this year including building insurance came to £3,805.

Accounts Summary

With Balance of £5,421 brought forward, the total incomings including gift aid was £82,042 and we had expenditure of £73,962 to leave us with a current account bank balance of £8,080

The accounts during the year operated within the confines of the budget which was set at the start of the year.

Reserve Accounts

The COIF Charity Deposit Reserves stands at £9,875

The COIF Charity Property Reserves stands at £16,214 and the annual amount of £2,500 was transferred into the account

The Treasurer is therefore recommending to the Church Meeting:-

1. That the Independent Examined Accounts be accepted.

Howard Francis (Treasurer)


AGAPE 

(Abbeymead, Gooty and Abbeydale Partnership in Education)

Christchurch Abbeydale contributed towards the "AGAPE" project over a number of years, along with other donors from the local community, schools and businesses. Project donations are be used to rebuild an Elementary School in the village of Gooty where the project has started and is progressing well. Church Council has approved the transfer of further funds based on photographic evidence of progress with the project, and the forecast small surplus of funds will be dedicated towards the equipping of the new school.


SAFEGUARDING

Christchurch Abbeydale is committed in providing a safe place for all to come. We have adopted the Safeguarding guidelines of the Methodist Church and follow their processes. We ensure that anyone involved with children and young people and/or vulnerable adults has a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service check) appropriate for the level of contact. We recognise that safeguarding is not a "nice to have", it is essential. Policies for Safeguarding Children and Young people and Vulnerable Adults have been posted in the vestibule. They are displayed so that everyone who comes to Christchurch is under no illusion as to our view of Safeguarding. If anyone enquires about Safeguarding policies they should be directed to the notice boards in the first instance. The policies are important as they demonstrate quite clearly that any kind of abuse must not be ignored be

it emotional, physical, financial, discriminatory, domestic, neglect, institutional, spiritual, or sexual.

Some Christchurch members have received Safeguarding Training in 2017. Refresher training for all Christchurch members is being planned for later in 2018. No incidents have been recorded in the last year.

Yvonne Heggs has recently taken on the role of Safeguarding Officer.

PASTORAL REPORT

The Pastoral Team has continued with twenty Pastoral Links this year. We have met regularly with the Minister to review the Pastoral Lists and discuss our work.

One of the aspirations to come out of the Vision Day in November was that we need to maintain and strengthen our Pastoral Care to bind together our diverse community and adherents to ensure that we all feel valued. This was a topic for discussion at our most recent meeting. Once again it was realised that we cannot help unless we know there is a need, and it is important to keep good communications between Pastoral Links (within the bounds of confidentiality).

A Dementia Friendly Church training course was run by the Dioceses and those who attended found it enlightening. Over the next few months a small group will be looking into implementing ways to make our church "Dementia Friendly".

Several Pastoral Links attended the Methodist Pastoral training in February 2018. Although many of us have been working in Pastoral Care for a long time it was good to have a refresher course. The importance of listening to people was stressed, but also that whilst caring for others, Pastoral Links need to be kind to themselves, asking for help where necessary.

Church flowers are given on a Monday to those who would appreciate a lift. Please advise Carol Terry if you know of someone who would benefit. These flowers give so much pleasure to many people.

Pastoral care is a "Ministry" and Pastoral Links are representatives of God's church and love. This is shared by all the congregation who show their love and care to others.

As we say "goodbye" to our Minister and seek a new one, we will continue with that care and love. Our thanks go to Steve for all his guidance and loving care during his time with us.

"Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care" (1 Peter 1, 5v2)

Audrey Staite


CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

Our thanks go to all who have contributed to the youth work of the church.  Activities are covered by the various reports in this Annual Report.  Relevant sections are:  Boys Brigade and Girls Association, Experience Easter and Christmas, Junior Church and The Core, and Open The Book.


REPORTS ON CHURCH ACTIVITIES

Banner Group 

The aim of this very small group is always to produce banners that “speak” to people which we hope we have achieved with the banners we have made this last year. We usually begin our group with a prayer as we look for guidance from the Lord. After a few months break, the group is meeting again on a Monday morning to discuss, plan and make new banners. If you feel this is something you would like to get involved in please feel free to join us. You would be most welcome as we can always do with more hands, especially as we have temporarily lost one member for a few months, meaning we are now down to only 3 regular members.

Carol Terry


7th Gloucester Boy's Brigade and Girl's Association Report

The Company as whole has continued to flourish. We have done our usual Poppy appeal collecting at Morrison’s in the new Session since September, a car wash to raise funds for the Shoe Box appeal, and two bag packs at Morrison’s. One of these the proceeds were shared between BB and Click Sergeant, Morrison’s charity of the year, and the second one was for BB/Church Funds. We all took part in the Annual Remembrance Day Parade at Hucclecote in November, and each section did something exciting for their Christmas treat.

The Anchors started off the new session in September with 4 members and has quickly grown to 8. They have enjoyed a varied programme since then. At Christmas they enjoyed a trip on the Santa Steam Train from Cheltenham Racecourse and presents from Father Christmas. They have also enjoyed several visits from Frank Heggs, who comes in to tell them stories from the Bible which they love.
Juniors have 14 regular attendee’s on a Monday night. They have taken part in the Battalion Junior Quiz, the Swimming Gala and Ten Pin Bowling. They also take part in District Events at Yeovil once a year. They have had two camps this last year, one in residential accommodation (with Heated Swimming Pool) near Weston Super Mare in May, and a weekend camp near Newent in tents in September.
Company Section continue to meet at Hucclecote on a Thursday evening with a regular attendance of 10-12 every week. Some of the children have just started their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh training and the rest are integrated into badge classes with 5th Gloucester. They have taken part in the Battalion Ten Pin Bowling and Swimming Gala, and the District Sports at Yeovil, to name just a few of the events they do. They spent a week away with 5th Gloucester camping at Ringwood the first week of the summer holidays.
We continue to have some great staff helping with all sections. Margaret is now an officer and is taking a much bigger role in the Company.
We would like to thank the church and Steve our minister for their continuing support over the year. We have this year done more fundraising than in the past, and hope that this will enable us to break even on our finances or even make a profit.
Diana Dale Captain

Christchurch Walkers and Strollers

March 2017- 15 walkers went to Cambridge (on the A38) to walk along the River Cam, through fields and woods to the Gloucester Canal. We had a history lesson on the Quarry Railway at Frampton on Severn, and returned along the Canal to lunch at the Royal George. It was a dry, sunny day.

April 2017- 16 walkers went to Arlingham, taking the horseshoe walk, a walk with no stiles, crossing fields, woods and lanes. We passed Wick Court where there were lambs in the orchard and followed the River Severn. It was a dry, sunny day and we took a pub lunch at the Bell Inn in Frampton on Severn.

May 2017- 16 walkers went to the Forest of Dean, walking from Morseley Green to Parkend and Cannop Ponds, returning through woods to the Rising Sun for a pub lunch. This was an easy walk with no stiles.

June 2017- Walkers visited Woodchester Park and Manor. The tracks into the valley were easy and fairly flat, and we returned past "Dog Kennels" and "Boat House". We picnicked in a sheltered spot by the Manor and visited the Shop. It was a dry, sunny day and a walk with no stiles.

July 2017-10 walkers went to Parkend's Church of St Pauls in the Forest of Dean, walking then to Fancy View Point for a picnic lunch and then on to Mallards Pike Lake. We returned passing old mining workings and finished with ice creams, teas and cakes in the cycle shop gardening, whilst doing a bit of train spotting. A walk with no stiles.

August 2017- 14 walkers went to see the Purton Hulks, walking on then to Sharpness along the canal. Picnic lunch was taken overlooking the River Severn. We returned by lanes and fields to Purton, a walk with one stile. It was a dry, sunny day, but cold in the wind.

September 2017-10 walkers went to Winchcombe train station to walk to Toddington. We walked along the tracks and across fields to Hailes Abbey and church, and then on to Hailes Holt, a new stop on the G.W.R Heritage Railway where we picnicked. We the crossed the fields to Toddington, taking the train back to Winchcombe. A walk with three stiles.

October 2017-16 walkers went to Miserden with the walk starting from the Carpenter's Arms, passing into the Park and dropping down to the River Frome. We went into the village of Winstone and back into the Park via muddy lanes and forest tracks. It was a dry, cloudy day, and a walk with no stiles.

November 2017-Walk was cancelled owing to heavy rain.

December 2017- "Ian's Christmas Walk". Walkers enjoyed the walk up to the Royal William for lunch, on to the Beacon and return via Watery Lane.

January 2018- Walkers started the New Year of walking with a visit to Painswick Golf Club. This was a circular walk visiting Halcombe House, Spoonbed Valley, Cudd Hill and Painswick Beacon. A walk with two stiles was followed by lunch at the Golf Club.

February 2018- Walkers braved the light rain for another walk around the Arlingham Horseshoe, crossing fields and walking the river bank. A pub lunch was taken at the Village-owned Red Lion. This was a walk with no stiles.

"CAN TWO WALK TOGETHER EXCEPT THEY BE AGREED?" Amos 3v3

Vic Dowdeswell

In April 2018, we celebrate 15 years of walks led by Vic. Thanks, Vic, for your leadership, comradeship and good humour. We wish you many more years of happy walking.

Your friends at Christchurch


Chronicle

The Church magazine is produced ten times a year. It has a monthly circulation of around 150 copies. Most material is readily provided by church members and this includes information on the outside organisations members actively support. It is seen as a way of sharing the experiences of members both with each other and with the wider community. The Chronicle is also distributed to members who are housebound and unable to get to services. In addition it is made available to other organisations and individuals in the local community.

There is no charge for the Chronicle but once a year making a voluntary financial contribution is suggested.

The Chronicle Team covers all aspects of production ‘in house’ and thanks are due to this extended team.

Mike Wood


Craft Circle

We sent six large black bags of various knitted items to our chosen charity for 2017 "Chernobyl Child's Lifeline". We also supported the Neonatal Unit at Gloucester Royal Hospital, with small cardigans, hats and blankets.

The Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child had the knitting and crochet needles flying along making hats, small purses and hand puppets for the shoeboxes. Julia surely has achieved a record for her clown hand puppets- a staggering 400 made in under a year! Jean and Pat also deserve to be included in the Craft Circle Records. They knitted 130 delightful purses.

We gave financial support to the African Emergency Fund Appeal with £100, and sold our crafts at the Church Christmas Fair, raising £126.25 for Church Funds. We have decided to have a "calm" 2018 and concentrate on hats and mittens for the Christmas Shoeboxes, hopefully making enough for others to take for their boxes, by providing a table in the church lobby a couple of weeks before the processing begins, thus allowing people to enhance their box. This approach proved very successful a couple of years ago. We cannot thank our ladies enough for their talent so cheerfully given. May God bless them- and keep their fingers nimble!

Val Doll


Crèche

Our only 2 regular children will reach school age in September and therefore will move up to Junior Church. It has been a real joy to care for Robert and Leigh and they will be missed but we look forward to seeing them develop further. At present there is no one to lead Junior Church which presents a real problem. We have one volunteer willing to lead this group but she simply cannot do it alone. We are desperate for volunteers and especially leaders. The crèche will remain on standby for any visitors that we do have from time to time, and for new children coming in. My grateful thanks to Carole Francis-McGann for the help she has given me over the last few months. Carol Terry

Experience Easter and Christmas 

We have welcomed children from Abbeymead and Heron Schools to both Christmas and Easter events. Christmas last year was made extra special when a group of children serenaded us with one of the songs they had been practicing for their school nativity play. This is what makes all the effort worthwhile for the dedicated team of helpers. A huge thank you to all who work so hard to make this such a special time for the teachers helpers and children from both schools.

Val Stephens


Fellowship and Fairs

What a year of variety- from a "Grey Cells" workout to singing, dancing and flower arranging! Our doors were open to the Community with music at Easter, The Excelsior Brass Band, the ever popular Salvation Army Carols evening, mini-market, Christmas Fair and a Carols and Flower Demonstration evening, all of which brought in valuable funds for our church. "Saturday Night at the Movies" rivalled anything at the London Palladium [!!!Editor’s note- Val is never one to practice hyperbole] and the Barn Dance again had our toes tapping.

The Boys Brigade and Girls Association put on a Quiz and Curry Night that was well attended and enjoyed by the children and their families. To support Operation Christmas Child, Chris and Bob Draycott held a "pot-luck" supper.
Together, Christchurch and Abbey Church organised the NOAL (Nativity on a Lorry) once again, driving through Abbeydale, distributing books and sweets to as many homes as possible, thus bringing the Christian Christmas Story to those who may not attend church, or indeed be believers.
Our thanks goes to all who organised and supported these events with their special talents, put up banners, went into lofts for stored items, etc., and to all who came to cheer everything along and made all the hard work worthwhile.
We started 2018 with our Annual Quiz in February that will be followed in March by the Police Male Voice Choir supported by Jubilate, an event raising funds for the BB & GA.
We hope that 2018/19 will be as adventurous as last year, and all will enjoy our hospitality and journey with us.
Val Dol


Flower Report 2017/18

Firstly can I thank all those people who put their names down on the flower rota last year to pay for flowers in the church on a Sunday, it is really appreciated, particularly by those that receive them on a Monday, for special occasions or if they are poorly.

This May will see us again have our bi-annual Flower Festival on the first May Bank Holiday.

Just before Christmas this year Alison and I with the help of Jubilate did a Carols and Flowers evening which was enjoyed by all who attended, and we hope to do this again in the future.

If you would like to have flowers in the church but do not want to arrange them yourself then one of us in the flower team is happy to do this for you, but why not have a go yourself.

I would like to thank Audrey, Isobel, Jan, and Alison for their support over the last year, and especially Alison who like me has done a great deal of flower arranging over the last year.

Diana Dale


Food Bank

The weekly collections from Christchurch in 2017 resulted in 691kg (up from 623kg in 2016) of food and £192 being donated to the Gloucester Foodbank. A collection point has also been set up by Rahul and Seeta at Upton St Leonards Post Office and this collection has been combined with and included in the above donations. Thanks go to all the contributors and also to Sam & Jane Sims and Carole Francis- McGann who have made sure that during 2017 the donations all got down to the Foodbank each week. They have also been prepared to answer any Foodbank related questions. The Food Bank represents an important part of our giving to benefit local people, and this is recognised at Morning Communions where the Food Bank Hamper is brought forward and presented with the offertory. Last year the Gloucester Foodbank handed out 5.8 tonnes of food to needy people and we are pleased to have been able to be a small part of this.

Mike and Mavis Wood


Friday morning Coffee and Chat

A regular group of 15 – 20 folk meet on a Friday morning between 10.30 & 12 noon. This cheerful group are always ready with a listening ear for anyone in need of friendship.

There is a committed band of volunteers who make the coffee & tea and they deserve a special mention – Audrey Cooke, Greta Knowles, Pauline Corcoran, Ron Polledri & Val Doll, also Val Bolton & Lesley & David Jacques who step in if there’s an emergency. A big thank you to you all.
Judy Potts

We've had another busy year in Jubilate. Between singing during morning services and Café Church, we've been practising a lot of new songs. There are so many excellent songs being written that it's sometimes hard to stop choosing new ones to try out! Outside of the regular services, we have sung at Lydney and St Mary's, as well as providing a musical accompaniment for a "Flowers and Carols" evening organised by Alison and Di, plus at the end of March we sang some of our favourites alongside the Gloucestershire Police Choir. We have recently welcomed a couple of new members, and as yet haven't scared them away, so that's good. As always, new people are more than welcome to join us - you don't need to be a fantastic singer, or even able to read music; finding joy in the songs we sing and enjoying our relaxed, sociable practices is all that's required! I would like to thank each and every person in the group for their constant hard work and dedication. Some of the songs I chose aren't the easiest to learn, but they're worth it in the end. And thank you also to everyone at Christchurch for your encouragement and gratitude for what we try to do with our singing - praising God.

Daniel Tuck


Junior Church and The Core

We are very grateful to those who lead and help our children and young people each Sunday. There is a prepared rota to ensure that each group has a leader and helper each week.

The Junior Church and The Core groups meet most Sunday mornings during the 10am service. During 2017 we have amalgamated these two groups due to the small number of children attending. Many different activities are provided for the children. These include reading and acting out Bible stories, researching on the computer, prayer time, quizzes, games, puzzles, discussions, crafts etc. The sessions are organised by a number of leaders on a rota basis and there is always another adult helper present.

There are All Age Worship services about once a quarter when sometimes the children take an active part such as at Harvest and Christmas. Christmas 2017 saw the children working with Jubilate to produce a Christmas tableau through a Bible Society presentation.

Crèche is also available for babies and pre-school children.

We need to prepare for September 2018 when two of our crèche will be eligible to come into Junior Church. This will mean reverting back to separate groups for The Core and Junior Church thus needing more leaders and helpers. So prayerful thought is needed to see how we can best accommodate this situation to the benefit of all the children involved.

The children are a very important part of our congregation and we show we care for them by taking an active interest in their lives, sending birthday cards, and gifts given at Easter and Christmas.

Pauline Evans and Sheila Whitaker

Keep Fit 

We are now in our 14th year with some of the original members still attending classes!! Over the last year there have been a few changes, folk who had left have returned, a couple of ladies have left temporarily due to health issues but intend to return as soon as possible and quite recently we welcomed 2 new members. The Tuesday class has grown significantly, having previously always been "very small". The exercise routines remain the same, the object being to keep aging muscles and joints flexible. Exercises are done standing as well as on the floor with the option of doing similar routines sitting or holding on to a chair.

We always make time for a chat with lots of fun and laughter thrown in!
Carol Terry

Lunchtime Fellowship 

We meet on the second Wednesday of the month for a two course lunch and continue into the afternoon usually with a speaker, slides or films. There are usually 14-18 of us and we have extended our menu over the year to be able to offer a choice of 3 main dishes and 3 or 4 desserts plus Cheese and Biscuits and Tea or Coffee. There is a short time of devotions between lunch and welcoming our speaker for the afternoon. As with many groups we are finding it increasing difficult to find affordable speakers & would welcome any ideas. Our special thanks go to Pam Kelly, Pauline Corcoran, Ron Polledri and Jane and Sam Sims, without whose help we couldn’t continue, and to all those who help with laying tables, putting out chairs and help with the clearing up. It wouldn’t be the same without you

Judy Potts


Monday Afternoon Bible Study Group 

We continue to meet most Monday afternoons and have enjoyed looking at a number of different books from the bible in the past year. Newcomers are always welcome to our group.

Val Stephens


Open the Book

The Open the Book Team continue to operate on behalf of Christchurch. We present the story of the Bible to approximately 520 children each month at Abbeymead and Heron Schools. All the children look forward to us coming and are really excited when we arrive. There have been a number of occasions when team members have had the opportunity to speak to children and parents outside of school about Open the Book when we have been recognised. We have a good rapport with the schools and the teachers. There is nothing more rewarding than telling Gospel stories to children. This makes us all the more grateful that Christchurch has been able to offer this service to schools over the last ten years.

Frank and I met Bob Hartman the author of the Open the Book stories at an event called Books for Life at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in October. We are now using the new Christian values material, however we do have to adapt it to suit our own presentation format.

Sincere thanks go to the current team. Some weeks the story requires only a small team but other times we need up to twelve people. Whilst we do appreciate a regular team, it doesn’t have to be a regular commitment every month.

Yvonne Heggs


T@3 Report

Once again T @ 3 has enjoyed a successful year with an average attendance of 36 at each session, ranging from a peak of 51 in February to only 27 in July and August. The year started with “An Opportunity to Laugh” given by one of our ex-Ministers and the laughter was still resounding until much later in the year! We have had talks on various subjects including a History of Gloucester, the Fighting Forties with tales of life in the 1940's accompanied by numerous “props” and mementoes from the time, the history of Barnwood Hospital, the Galapagos Islands with fantastic photographs of the birds and wildlife of the Islands, a Year in Nepal and a Tall Ships Encounter in Gloucester Docks, given by one of our own members, (who realised we have a star of the silver screen in our midst!). We have had musical afternoons and the year finished with a Christmas “Olde Tyme Musical Hall” with the performers in costume!

We continue to welcome a significant number of folks from the surrounding area who have little or no other connections with Christchurch and we would welcome more Christchurch members to our afternoons to help extend the hand of friendship to our visitors. As usual we thank our small band of willing helpers who provide the welcome teas and coffees and put out and away all the tables at each session. We couldn't do it without you, your help and dedication is much appreciated.

David & Kath Barber.


Wednesday Prayer Lunch

A small group continues to meet on Wednesday lunchtimes several times a month for a half hour prayer time after which sandwiches are enjoyed together. Prayers range over many subjects, from local and church concerns to world church matters and issues highlighted in the Christian Aid weekly newsletter. If you are free and would like to spend your lunch hour in this way then please come. You will be most welcome