The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
Psalms 23



These proposals were accepted at the January Church Meeting. They
are based on: recommendation of Church Council that the denominational
missionary charities are supported, suggestions from church members and
the need to balance our focus on Third World countries with some local
and national charities
Month              Name of Charity                      Type of Charity
January            Feed the Minds                       International
February           Compassion UK                      International
March               Listening Post                         Local
April                 Council for World Mission         Denominational
May                 Christian Aid                            International
June                 Pied Piper                               Local
July                  Nigeria Health Care Project       International
August             Gloucester City Mission            Local
September        Tearfund                                   International
October            Bible Society                            International
November         Church Missionary Society        Denominational
December         Action for Children                    National
Jan. 2016          Street Pastors                         Local / National

EYE-WITNESS Stories from the West Bank & Israel
We heard first-hand from Theresa Mansbridge who has recently returned from the West Bank
· What is daily life under occupation really like?
· What is the Israeli peace movement doing?
· What can we do to promote a just peace in Israel‑occupied Palestine?

The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) is a programme coordinated by the World Council of Churches founded in response to a call from the local Heads of Churches in Jerusalem that brings internationals to the West Bank. Since 2002, over 1,500 volunteers have come for 3 months to be Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs).

Our vision – a future in which the occupation of Palestine has ended and both Palestinians and Israelis enjoy a just peace with freedom and security based on international law.

Our mission – to witness life under occupation, engage with local Palestinians and Israelis pursuing a just peace, to change the international community’s involvement in the conflict, urging them to act against injustice in the region.

Our EAs offer protective presence to vulnerable communities and monitor and report human rights abuses. They join Palestinians and Israelis who work in nonviolent ways for peace and support the local churches.  When they return home, EAs use their first-hand experiences to open the eyes of the world to the realities of occupation and campaign for a just and peaceful resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict based on international law. EAs range in age from 25 to 70 years old and are of many different backgrounds, but what they all share is a deep dedication to human rights.

Christmas Shoe-box Appeal
The Mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God's love in a tangible way to
needy children around the world and together with the local Church worldwide, to share the
Good News of Jesus Christ'.
The time of year is here again when we can think about sending a box full of love to a needy child somewhere in the world through the Samaritan's Purse organisation. We have been doing this as a church for many years now and I hope that we can respond to the need once again this year. Most of you will know how it works but here is a reminder. If you are able to take part you will need a medium sized shoe box, which should be covered in Christmas wrapping paper. You can then have fun choosing small gifts to go in it, according to the age and gender of the child you wish it to go to. If you knit then you can make a hat, or gloves or
finger puppets to go in it. There are certain restrictions as to what is allowed in the boxes and this you can read about in the leaflet which will be available in church. As before participants are asked to give a donation towards the shipping costs of their box.Shoe Boxes002web.jpg


This car park is used during the week by NHS staff working out of the adjacent Rikenel Building - but on a Saturday it is made available for fund raising by charities.

The car park is manned by volunteers from the chosen charity and a charge / donation collected, all of which goes to the charity concerned.

On Saturday 23rd November the charity was ‘Action for Children’ and the organisers were Peter & Audrey Staite. A number of other Christchurch folk were also involved, taking turns to man the barriers and collect the money
The total raised was £328



As an act of solidarity to the Church of Pakistan, the Methodist Church in Britain has granted the Diocese of Peshawar £5,000 from the World Mission Fund.  This will help the victims of the tragic suicide-bomb attack which took place at the All Saints Church of Peshawar on Sunday 22 September, killing 81 people and leaving over 120 wounded.

The twin suicide-bomb attack was reported as one of the worst-ever attacks on a minority religious group within the country who often suffer a complete lack of protection by the authorities.  Such an attack has raised the level of fear among the Christians who form less than 2% of the population.  It is important that the Christian community knows that we are remembering them in prayer



It may seem that it has all gone a bit quiet on the ‘Agape’ front over the past few months. That is because having reached our initial target of £20,000, when we got updated costs from India, we realised that there was a shortfall of some £1,600. That has been caused by two things – an unfavourable exchange rate between sterling and the Indian rupee, and inflation to building materials prices.

The Agape committee has been working at this, and has invited each of the three local primary schools who are our partners – Abbeymead, Heron and Upton St Leonards – to raise £400 each towards meeting the shortfall. The final £400 will be raised by Christchurch Abbeydale by means of a concert on Saturday 22 September, when the Dulcian Wind Quintet from Manchester will again entertain us. Those who remember their previous concert here in the Autumn of 2009 will no doubt keenly anticipate this one, as they gave us an excellent evening of varied music, played to an extremely high standard. So please book 22 September in your diary – tickets will be £5 each in advance or £6 on the night.

In the meantime, he has written to the Surveyor of CSI Rayalaseema Diocese, asking him to come up with a schedule of construction. We will send the money out in tranches as the buildings are reconstructed. This gives us a significant element of control, which is important. The money will be sent each time to the Church of South India’s national office in Chennai (formerly Madras), by bank transfer. From there it will be transmitted to CSI Rayalaseema Diocese in Kadapa, who in turn will be responsible for paying those who do the construction work. This may seem a bit long winded, but it helps to ensure that the money gets to where it is meant to go.

Once the buildings are complete, Les plans to travel to India again, to be there for the opening. When he returns, he is committed to returning to Christchurch Abbeydale to present an evening of photographs so that everyone can see the result of their hard fundraising work.

This is still many months away, as the building work has yet to commence. In the meantime, the fund now stands at £21,684, and is increasing at a rate of circa £24 per month from interest the balance is earning. This, together with the £1,600 being raised, will give us a small financial cushion to help ensure the building work is fully funded and completed.


What is AGAPE?

It is a project to raise money to re-build two primary schools for the poor in Gooty, andhra pradesh, south india

Who is Involved?

At the time of writing, the following are involved:

  • Christchurch Abbeydale
  • The children, parents and teachers of Heron and Abbeymead Primary Schools
  • The Local Community

Other interested parties are hoping to "come on board"

The Story so Far...

When Les Mather came as minister to Christchurch Abbeydale he was bringing to a conclusion a project to rebuild two primary schools for the poor in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh an hour’s drive away from Gooty). He visited Anantapur again in February 2008 to open the two schools and whilst travelling in the area he saw the schools in Gooty, which are in a worse condition than the ones were in Anantapur. Hence this project!


If you would like to know more please talk to Susan Hill.

The cards being sold in aid of the Agapé Project, Susanna Cards, were produced by June Lunn. She combined her skill with and love of photography with her firm Christian commitment, which led her to want to find ways of supporting and helping those in need in many places overseas as well as in Britain.

June travelled a great deal for the church, and as a member of the National Committee of Women’s World Day of Prayer, as well as privately, giving her many opportunities to find beautiful scenes to photograph. The cards are a result of this desire to help others and have been sold around the country to raise funds for many projects. Sadly, June died in 2007, but her husband Ian, a former Chairman of the Bristol Methodist District, continues to sell the cards, while stocks last.


Your Support

Thank you to all who continue to hold this project in your sights, initiatives and prayers. Together we can make a difference to the children’s learning environment in Gooty India when the schools are built. Mavis Wood