Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth and the life, No one comes to the Father but by me."
John 14:6
 

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 

 

This month’s Remembrance Sunday is a special one. It
marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World
War and it coincides exactly with 11th November when the
armistice came into effect. In Gloucester our Cathedral
Tower will glow as a sign of Remembrance each night between
5th and 16th November. Inside the Lady Chapel a giant
waterfall of handmade poppies will be on display until 26th
November.
At Christchurch we welcome the local Scouts to our
Remembrance Service on 11th November, seeking to combine young and old in
a common bond of respect and gratitude for those who made sacrifices in the
past to strengthen the liberties that we all take for granted today. We have
acquired one of the small ‘There But Not There’ silhouettes made to benefit
Help for Heroes and other charities. These figures made of Perspex
represent those who served in the First World War but did not return home.
As they are transparent, it is possible to look through them beyond their
suffering to all that has happened in the hundred years since.
One of the most exciting developments in the life of Gloucester in
recent years has been the creation of an annual History Festival each
September. This year one of the most thought-provoking talks looked at how
the news of the armistice of 1918 was received in Gloucester.
The details of the armistice were worked out in France during the
early hours of 11th November. News of the ceasefire, due to come into
effect at 11 a.m., did not arrive in Gloucester until 10.30, when a message was
telegraphed to the office of the ‘Citizen’ newspaper. Within just a few
minutes, a newssheet had been printed and boys were sent to spread the
word in the streets. Many people were not sure how to react. The news was
largely unexpected as just six months earlier a German victory had seemed
likely. Most Gloucester folk were more focused on dealing with food
shortages than following military manoeuvres. They also had the
devastating Spanish flu outbreak to cope with.
In London there were reports of people going crazy in celebration
of the armistice with instances of drunkenness and what was regarded at
the time as inappropriate street dancing. This did not happen in
Gloucester. As church bells rang and factory sirens sounded, businesses
closed. People poured into the streets and a crowd assembled at the Cross
around a group of sailors who were home on leave. It was a cold, damp
Monday morning and, unsure exactly what to do, the crowd were led by a
bugle player along Eastgate Street to the Guildhall. There they were
addressed from the balcony by the mayor, Sir James Bruton. He said the
news received that morning was the best and most glorious of their lives,
as peace had been ensured, not only for those alive but for those who
would come after them. There was loud cheering and applause. Then the
mayor went on to say that his view was that this was not a time for
excessive rejoicing; people needed to remember the aching hearts of those
whose loved ones had given their lives in the terrible war. He ended by
asking people to reconvene at the Cathedral later in the afternoon.
The Cathedral was crowded for that service of Evensong with
hardly an inch of standing room left. The National Anthem, psalms 21 and
126, and the hymn ‘O God Our Help in Ages Past’ were sung. The Bishop, Dr
Edgar Gibson, said that the stirring news of the cessation of hostilities
filled the hearts of everyone in the country with the deepest sense of
thankfulness to God. Echoing what the mayor had said earlier, he felt
that this was an occasion meriting no delirious or wild tumult of celebration.
There were too many sad memories of what the peace had cost and the
price that had been paid in the sacrifice of some of Britain’s best men.
“We rejoice indeed”, he said, “that no more hearts are to be made to ache,
but we cannot forget those whose hearts are too full of sorrow and loss to
share without pain in the greatness of our joy”.
It is clear that the overall mood in 1918 was one of thoughtful
consideration rather than uncontrolled celebration. May we follow in the
footsteps of that generation by marking the Remembrance Centenary in
our own quietly appreciative way as we give thanks for all those who have
helped to preserve peace in the years since.
David Evans


POSTCARD FROM LEIGHTON BUZZARD

It is almost three months since I said farewell

to Gloucester and hung up my (slightly used)

cassock. I have used the robe once here at the

retirement service of the Team Rector. Doubtless

it will make an appearance at some future time.

It has been good to settle to a new, more relaxed

(mostly), routine with the space to spend longer in

the gym in the mornings and even time to get into the garden

(occasionally). (Still not done the Tax Return though.)

The current season is quick to remind me that the year is passing.

Outside the study door I am aware of the swirling leaves (that will

need clearing), a pile of wood that needs to be chopped into fire

sized pieces and a lawn that is still showing the scars of the

oppressive summer months. Alison sees more jobs than I do!

There have been times when we have used the freedom from the

diary. A trip to London with a picnic lunch in St James’ Park with

the family and a few days in and around Southampton visiting old

friends with several more short trips away planned to catch up with

people long known and not often seen. At some point it will be good

to get back to Gloucester to see folk remembered with fondness.

Not that we have been entirely cut off from the flow of news:

Facebook and friends (perhaps it should be the other way around)

communicate some items to this eastern location.

Christchurch Abbeydale is a special place; it can offer so much to

the wider church because of its shared denominational history and

the way that experiences can be shared and affirmed within its

ecumenical setting. I valued my time there as your minister and

continue to pray for you – particularly those who carry more of the

load during the vacancy and with responsibility for guiding the

church into the future.

With my love and blessings,

Steve Crop.jpgSteve

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

1988 Community Centre D.JPG1988 Community Centre M.JPG

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

1988 Community Centre F.JPG