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Christchurch Methodist Church

Springfield Road, Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex TN40 2BX

Christchurch Methodist Church

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Methodist Church

Superintendent Minister's Letter

Thank you all for your welcome and for the work that took place behind the scenes in preparation for my welcome service at the beginning of September. Thank you too for your welcome the Sunday before, when we were able to join together for worship. Having been to a couple of meetings at Christchurch since, I am now nearly able to get to the Church without resorting to the use of the satnav for help!

Being new to a circuit means meeting new people and finding new places. It is also a time when we bring our different stories together. You know something of my story from the article in the last copy of the Messenger and I am getting to know something of the Christchurch story which you have shared and shaped together over the years. We bring that story into our worship when we listen to the ‘old old story, of Jesus and his love’, as the hymn puts it. At the same time we seek to listen to and respond to our community, seeking new opportunities as we seek to ‘serve the present age, our calling to fulfil’.

While the story that we find within the bible was written long ago, how we understand and engage with the story of God’s presence is part of our ongoing discovery of life and faith today. As the writer of Lamentations (3 v 22-3) says ‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.’ That newness is part of our ongoing engagement with the abundance of God’s love which is seen within the stories of people and communities within the bible and which are explored today as part of our daily living.

We are living through strange times which means that the story that has moulded our faith is more important than ever. Much has changed over the past months and Covid 19 has directly affected many families deeply. As a community we have got used to face coverings, no singing in worship, social distancing and hand sanitiser as we work to keep each other safe. Of course, it’s not the first time that we have lived in a time of uncertainty and change and it won’t be the last. In the Old Testament when the people of Israel were in Exile they asked, ‘How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?’ We too are in a changing landscape but we keep on exploring what it is to live out our faith and sing the Lord’s song, as we continue to explore the way of God in our time and place, lived out in our lives and the life of our community.

I look forward to meeting with you all and working with you in mission and ministry as we continue to explore together the Methodist way of life through ‘Our Calling’ over the next few years.

Every blessing

Philip                                                                                                                            Rev Philip Wagstaff
October 2020


The Methodist Church website says that Wesley’s Chapel in London will continue to live-stream worship, adapted for no physical congregation. Service times are Wednesday 12:45,  Thursday 12:45, Sunday 9:45 and 11:00.   All these services will be available at: www.youtube.com/channel/UCUAUqhmhevz5sqhh72LIMxA
Here is a prayer written by the President of the Conference
for us to use at this time:

God of all hope we call on you today.
We pray for those who are living in fear:
Fear of illness, fear for loved ones, fear of other’s reactions to them.
May your Spirit give us a sense of calmness and peace.

We pray for your church in this time of uncertainty.
For those people who are worried about attending worship.
For those needing to make decisions in order to care for others.
For those who will feel more isolated by not being able to attend.
Grant us your wisdom.
 Holy God, we remember that you have promised that Nothing will separate us from your love – demonstrated to us in Jesus Christ.   Help us turn our eyes, hearts and minds to you. Amen

 

© Copyright 2020 Christchurch Methodist Church
Hastings Bexhill & Rye Methodist Circuit - Charity number 1134757