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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

News & Events

Advent Ring
Altar on Advent Sunday
Food and gifts that were contributed for the gift day service. Half will go to the food bank and the other half to Christians Against Poverty
Christmas card where people write messages in to everyone at Christchurch and donate the money they would have spent on cards towards the Action For Children charity

Christmas Praise

Invitation

We at Christchurch wish you a joyful, peaceful and blessed Christmas, and assure you of a warm welcome at any of our special services and events.
With all best wishes for Christmas and the New Year. God Bless you.

Rev. Tricia Williams                  
Minister at Christchurch

Advent and Christmas at Christchurch

Sunday, December 10th at 6pm
 The Christchurch Singers present ‘Christmas Praise’ in the church. As well as songs from the choir, there will be opportunities for you to sing well known carols, too, accompanied by our guests for this Christmas, Hooe Silver Band, in their 60th year.  Although this concert is FREE, there will be a collection in aid of Charity For Kids. Come early for a seat at this popular annual event, and stay afterwards for free refreshments.

Sunday December 17th at 10.30am
This morning, our Junior Church and members of the congregation will be giving their interpretation of the Nativity during our family service and, if you would like to, bring a tin of food or two, because we’re supporting ‘Christians against Poverty’ and the Bexhill Women’s Refuge this year.

Sunday December 17th at 6pm
Our annual ‘Carols by Candlelight’ service. The church will be decorated for Christmas with a big Christmas tree, and lit by candles. Raise the roof with the singing of all your favourite Christmas carols. Faces glow in the flickering candlelight and there’s a definite feel-good factor in the air as we await Christmas Day itself.

Christmas Eve, December 24th at 7pm
Candle of Hope service
Amidst the joys of Christmastime, and the gatherings of family and friends, there can be the sadness that a special somebody in your life won’t be celebrating with you this year. We would like to invite you to this special service where, as well as singing more of your favourite carols, we will remember those absent friends or relations, and think of them in prayer and by each person present holding a lit candle. The custom began in the USA during the Vietnam War, when a family of a serving soldier lit a candle to place in their window on Christmas Eve as a sign of hope that they would be reunited. Others soon followed their example, the churches took it up and the Candle of Hope Service was born.

 Christmas Day, December 25th at 10am
Worship for all ages as we celebrate the birth of Jesus our Saviour, God’s gift to us all. Bring a gift you’ve received to show everyone present!!



How far around the world?

As part of a recent Supper Club meeting we put on a world map countries which we had visited ( we also brought a dish from that country to our meeting to enjoy!).  The map is now on the wall in the Primary Room – please do have a look.

We thought it would be great to see what other places people from Christchurch had visited to see how much of the world we have covered – so if you would like to join in please go to the map, take a disc and stick it on the country you have visited on the map.

If there is already a disc on the country then no need to put another one!  However if it is a large country e.g. Russia, USA, Australia etc. you may wish to add another disc as there will be room!!

I wonder whether we will cover the whole map??!!

Thanks

Wendy Gorham



Action for Children

Action

Thank you to every one who has handed me their Action for Children 'lantern'.  This year we have raised £172.66 for this charity which exists to help vulnerable children and young people.

If you would like to research the excellent work this  charity does, please see the web site at www.actionforchildren.org.uk

This year we will once again have a giant Christmas card for you to write your Christmas greetings in to our Christchurch family.  When you write your greeting you may wish to make a donation to Action for Children; there will be a collection box next to the card for your convenience.

Thank you in advance.  I will let you know how much the giant Christmas card raises in due course.

Thank you and though it seems very early to be saying this.......Happy Christmas!

Michelle Benge


Annual Covenant Service

Along with many other Methodists we shall hold our annual Covenant Service in January. Both the Covenant Prayer and Service are regarded as jewels of Methodism and many other churches are now discovering it and using it in their worshipping life. 
Many have compared the annual Covenant Service to a new year’s resolution, particularly as it is often held at the beginning of a new year. But it is much more than that – it is an invitation to renew our commitment to God. 
The Covenant Service dates back to the earliest days of Methodism and to John Wesley himself. He wanted a form of worship that would help people to open themselves to God more fully and deepen their discipleship. 
The Covenant Service is particularly special for me because it reminds us of the commitments that we have made as disciples of Christ and members of the Methodist Church. As the words of the annual membership ticket remind us, we are called to regular worship and service, caring and sharing and working for God’s peace and justice. 
The heart of the service is the Covenant Prayer which embraces the whole of life: 
I am not longer my own but yours. 
Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will; 
put me to doing, put me to suffering; 
let me be employed by you or laid aside for you; 
let me be full, let me be empty, 
let me have all things, let me have nothing; 
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things 
to your pleasure and disposal. 
And now, glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are mine and I am yours. 
And the covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen. 
(Methodist Worship Book, page 290) 
© Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. 
Many of us find it hard to say the prayer and really mean it for it is uncomfortable and challenging. The prayer represents a commitment to being a disciple and putting God first in in our lives: what we do, what we say and who we are. It is both a surrender to and a trust in God. The final words are a gracious reminder: “You are mine and I am yours.” We don’t pray and live in our own strength but in God’s. 
As we look ahead to sharing in the Covenant Service I invite you to prayerfully reflect on the words of the Covenant Prayer and what they mean to you. You may like to write your thoughts down and share them with others in the next newsletter. 
Revd Tricia Williams


Remembrance Sunday 2018

2018 will mark 100 years since the end of the First World War. I wonder if we could mark it in a very special way, by having our own ‘Sea of Poppies’. I suggest that a cascade of poppies could be made, by knitting, crochet, using felt, clay etc. all in Poppy red and displayed on a falling net fabric into the area outside the church to the left hand side of the display window on Springfield Road. I have researched the number of service personnel killed in Bexhill in conflict and we would need 472 hence suggesting we start now! This number equates to about 10 per week being produced between now and November next year!! 
I have simple knitting and crochet patterns if anyone would like one, but any design would be lovely! Thank you so much and happy knitting!!  Jill


MONEY AND PROPERTY MATTERS – AND BARRY’S BABBLINGS!

Have you noticed how the main hall looks very different now that the Pre School had to close? It does not have the same ‘lived in’ look although a number of activities are still held there each week. It would be lovely to find a few more bookings – or even perhaps to start, say, a Parent and Toddler Group or a weekly/monthly Coffee Morning? Any thoughts would be welcome. 
The Advent season starts on Advent Sunday, 3rd December and I look forward to leading the service – with plenty of help from various people. If you look in the Singing the Faith hymn book there is a good supply of Advent carols and hymns – numbers 165 – 189, and some 
make very good meditations for the season. This also sees the start of the Advent Ring when we light a different candle each week at the start of the service. 
There is plenty more to look forward to – the Christchurch Singers will give us ‘Christmas Praise’ on Sunday 10th at 6pm – come early to get a good seat. The Hooe Silver Band will also be there and they are now in their 90th year (the actual band and not the members!!). 
Sunday 17th sees the Junior Church nativity in the morning and the ‘Carols by Candlelight’ in the evening. Christmas Eve at 7pm we all share in the ‘Candle of Hope’ service, and on Christmas Day at 10am there is a united service in our church. Perhaps here we could give a vote of thanks to all who make these events actually happen – from stewards to flower arrangers and many, many more. Thanks to you all. 
Thank you also for your kind financial giving to the church – we are not covering our outgoings at the moment and having to draw on reserves. This cannot continue indefinitely and I know that some folk are increasing their giving, and more are now making regular monthly payments direct to the church bank account. Steve does an excellent job dealing with the Gift Aid and this too is income that we so need to have each year. If you would like to know more do give me or Steve a call. 
We are continuing to reflect upon the future of Methodism within our town and please remember these discussions in your prayers. The recent Church Council was well attended and there was a positive feel about the future. Don’t forget that your views are important to us all. 
I do like the Advent and Christmas season when we can remind ourselves what is at the heart of our faith. Many of you have heard me say that when being interviewed many years ago Walt Disney reminded his listeners – ‘Don’t forget that the whole story of his entertainment business started with a mouse!’ (He was originally called Mortimer before changing to Mickey). To paraphrase we could rightly say ‘Don’t forget that the whole Christian faith started with a baby’ – who was to become the Saviour of the world. As I watch my TV screen and listen to the news, I feel that the sooner that we return and adhere to the teachings of that Saviour how vastly better things would be. 
Have a wonderful Advent and Christmas, and also a peaceful and blessed 2018. 
Barry Turnwell 
Church Treasurer and a Property Steward.


Stewards Scribblings

With the summer well behind us and holidays a fond memory we are now getting ready for Advent and Christmas celebrations here at Christchurch. Where has the last 12 months gone? 
I do want to mention the beautifully decorated church at our Harvest Festival service which was followed by a lovely Supper on the Monday evening. This year the catering was done by our very own Steve Roberts and his team which enabled all our church members to relax and enjoy the sit down meal. I believe this is the way forward and next year we must try to cater for a more traditional meal, utilising our own kitchen facilities as well as Steve’s expertise. Thank you all for your generosity at the produce auction, and with the surplus from the ticket sales Christchurch was able to send £200 for Methodist Relief Work overseas. 
You will be aware that combined meetings have been held between members of Christchurch, Little Common and Sackville Road churches to review the future of Methodism within Bexhill. I had expected the discussions to focus on the future (5/10 years ahead?) of our Methodist presence in Bexhill. We are experiencing a declining and increasingly older and less active membership and in common with other local churches will experience problems with replacing Ministers when they leave. At the meetings there was very little opportunity to talk about important and serious matters such as finances, premises, overstretched Ministers and the increasing difficulty in filling roles within our churches. Several people remarked that “no change is not an option” although this is certainly easier than making difficult decisions! 
At the Church Council meetings held in October each church was asked to include on the agenda a discussion chaired by our Superintendent Minister on formulating their individual response to the Bexhill Review. This provided an opportunity for a free expression of thoughts and ideas from everyone present who wished to have their say and various points of view were put forward. Little Common Church Council have decided they want to stay as they are and remain part of the ecumenical presence in their village. The outcome of the Church Council meeting at Sackville Road has not yet been notified so we are awaiting a summary of the review process by the Circuit Leadership Team. 
Finally, we are most grateful to everyone who has filled a Shoe Box in response to the appeal and our thanks to Chris for bringing the empty boxes all the way from Eastbourne on the bus! 
Peter Watson


THE THURSFORD TRIP!

Some of us have just returned from what might be called an adult Sunday School Outing to Thursford! It was a wonderful weekend enjoyed by 14 from our church family – organised by ‘Just Go! Holidays’. We were part of their party of 45 people and stayed at the St George’s Hotel in Great Yarmouth. 
Gary was our excellent coach driver and as well as a day in Norwich the highlight was the trip to the Thursford Christmas Spectacular. It all started many years ago when ‘carols in the barn’ was enjoyed in the village of Thursford in Norfolk. It has grown into a wonderful Christmas Celebration with displays and a show with a cast of 100. It is now one of the most spectacular Christmas shows in Europe. Rehearsals started last September and some of these even spilled over into the local Methodist Church! 
The theatre seats 1473 and there are two performances every day from early November to the 23rd December. The true Christmas story has a very high profile, many carols are sung and the story told in different ways in music and song. A really fantastic show and all seats are fully booked for every show. 
The Christchurch party spent the Sunday in Norwich and joined with the two minutes silence outside of the Civic Hall and then some moved on to join the service at the cathedral. 
In the hotel each evening there was some entertainment for us to enjoy and our driver ensured that each day we were well informed and comfortable. 
We all look forward to the next trip to a destination as yet unknown – I am all for these adult Sunday School outings they are really great ! 
Barry Turnwell

 

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Hastings Bexhill & Rye Methodist Circuit - Charity number 1134757