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
You might be forgiven for thinking, if you did a search on Google, that faith, predominantly
Christianity, holds a monopoly on discipleship.
Not so. Discipleship is alive and well in many fields. Jeremy Corbyn has many followers – not many of them happen to be elected MPs.
Pope Francis has many who listen to his every word – some of the listeners only want to criticise.
Yet the vast majority of references to discipleship relate to people of faith and most of the references are to Christianity. But there is a twist. The focus is on a disciple, not discipleship.
I think we find it easier to talk about disciples rather than discipleship for it can then be what others do – the spotlight falls on someone else. Ask any government a year into office how much harder it is to be responsible than to hold the responsible to
Our society can use the phrase “He was a self-made man” – said with pride, normally. Any hints that it might have come at a cost are left unsaid particularly if the occasion is a funeral. Our society can exalt – temporarily at least – the individual: What do you feel?
What do you want? Who can you become?
The early church knew the problem: in 1 Corinthians Paul chastises the church for their focus on Apollos, or Cephas or Paul:
For it has been reported to me … that there are quarrels among
you, my brothers and sisters. What I mean is that each of you
says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to
Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” Has Christ been divided? Was
Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
The Christian picture of discipleship, actually being a disciple, can be quite different. There is relationship in a community.
Discipleship as a word is abstract; we need to give shape to the idea.
Which brings me to Steven Croft, who in Transforming Communities tells a story about a small church group meeting together faced with being unable to continue as they were.
'Listen to this’ said the Vicar, as he read them some verses from the Bible. 'This is what it says in the Acts of the Apostles (2.42f) about what the church used to be. See what you think’.
'They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship,
to the breaking of bread and prayers. Awe came upon everyone,
because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles.
All who believed were together and had all things in common; they
would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds
to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time
together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their
food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the
goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their
number those who were being saved.'
After the Vicar had read these words, the group was silent for some time. Heaven held its breath. Unseen angels stood on tiptoe around the room, glimpsing a different kind of future.
'It sounds as though they knew one another’ said one man in a puzzled voice.
'They spent time together’ said another.
'They prayed and helped each other’ said a third.
'People wanted to come and join them.'
'It sounds lovely’, sighed the youngest member of the group. 'I wish I could have been a Christian back then.'
'Do you think we could try and be more like that today?' asked the Vicar.
One man became angry and left the room without saying where he was going.
I wonder… what kind of disciples are we growing here? This topic is our Sunday
focus; I pray it extends out to the rest of the week.
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