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
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
The opening line of John Keats’ ode To Autumn . Perhaps like me you recognise the line but have absolutely no idea how the poem continues. Even so, that one line paints a picture of Autumn that appeals to the senses. The hot days of summer are no more than a
memory (more memories than usual this year) as the earth moves from season to season. Next comes the cold (and Christmas).
For many Autumn is one of the best times of the year albeit there is an edge to the season. Leaves, often displaying in glorious colour, will soon fall. The days will move on from often balmy September taking us to the edge of winter. The summer is often associated with carefree days; not so this time of the year. (Apparently there is a rose called ‘Carefree Days’, flowering in June, July, August and September. It is amazing the information thrown at you by Google.)
Not that too many days are carefree.
Into these musings came news of an offer, of which more in a moment, which brought to mind a question fairly regularly asked of me. Despite the familiarity with the question I am never quite sure how to answer: “ Are you happy”
The answer is not “No” but neither is it “Yes”. The question is not a simple one not made easier by some of our hymns. For example: Everybody’s singing now, ‘Cause we’re so happy!
Everybody’s dancing now, ‘Cause we’re so happy!
Hmmm… not one I could sing with integrity, hence I do not think I have chosen to use it. There are many others that come to mind.
Trust and obey! For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, But to trust and obey.
Actually, that one is not too bad as it is about being “happy in Jesus” which focuses me onto my Lord. By the way, can you remember the first line? (Answer at the bottom of the next page.)
Others pick up a similar theme. Can you remember singing: I do not offer comfort, I do not offer wealth, but in me will all happiness be found
I suspect the opening words are more familiar: “Follow me, follow
me, leave your home and family”
Most of the time I would rather replace the word ‘happy’ with ‘blessed’. Some of our English Bibles use “happy” when another translation has “blessed”. You can decide for yourself which approach resonates with you. For me a far better and equally biblical word is “content”.
The offer was promoting a course called "The Happiness Lab" from folk with a good track record of producing interesting material. I followed up immediately. This is “a six week course helping you explore what psychologists, doctors and faith leaders have to say about happiness”.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines happiness as “the quality or condition of being happy”! Believe me that definition is easier to understand than some of the philosophical definitions out there. Apparently the happiest occupations are: Clergyman, Actor, Architect, Firefighter
Part of the purpose of the course is to help us see what we can do about the state in which we live. Some common research found that roughly 50 per cent of our happiness is determined by our genes, 40 per cent by our daily activities and the remaining 10 per cent by our circumstances – so what we choose to do with the 40 per cent is entirely up to us. (And perhaps helps explain why some people always seem happier than others.)
I want to run the course in the New Year giving us a chance to get organised and invite
folk along. If you might be interested talk to me. Have a blessed autumn.
Steve Davies,Minister of Christchurch Abbeydale
Welcome to all the family
Alison, Steve and daughter Sian
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
During ‘Work Week’ the Foundation Stone was relaid in the wall of the
back rooms at Christchurch with the Cross above
Christchurch’s first real ‘home’ was the Community Centre and with recent alterations there the foundation stone was made available to us