For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son
John 3:16
 

UPCOMING EVENTS:


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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 

 

“What happened next?”

In the last Chronicle I ended my piece in a bit of a rush. I wrote more than I expected whilst saying little

about the selection process for ordination or the time in college.

It was sixteen years ago that I prepared to go to Wycliffe Hall in Oxford to be trained for ordination.

You will remember the year. I had left IBM a few weeks before the early October start of term which

meant I was at home on the afternoon of 11 September and watched with horror the breaking news coverage from the USA. It felt unreal. This should not have been happening. The world changed that day, although if you go back into history there are far too many examples of terror unleashed in an attempt to change who holds the power.

It was not the most auspicious of starts to an extended spell of lectures, essay writing, spiritual formation and the inevitable cups of tea and coffee bolstered by the occasional pint in the local pub.

With hindsight those two years passed quickly; it did not always feel as though time passed quickly as we lived through Alison’s operation, travelling back and forth from Winchester, reading, studying, learning, essay after essay, placements, as well as the search for what would happen after college and where we would be.

When you are accepted for ordination training in the Church of England there is no guarantee of a post at the end of the course.

Towards the end of the course there is an interview with the Bishop who has a report from college and here it is decided whether you will be ordained or not (and it is normally ‘yes’) BUT there has to be a post in which those first years of ordination can be served. It used to be the case that at the end of the final term some people were left with nowhere to go; it might still be the same today. My curacy fell into place after a six week summer placement in the benefice to which I return as Curate. It had not been intended as an extended job interview… We did not even have to move house. It was arranged that we would stay in our own home in Winchester within easy reach of the three parishes, Crawley, Littleton and Sparsholt, to which the Bishop of Winchester licensed me.

Memories of the curacy were brought to the fore recently when Alison and I had a weekend in  Winchester and we went back to the benefice which I had left ten years ago. It was good to catch up with some old (now older) friends and to openly appreciate what they had done for me in the three years I was there.

On leaving college I joined a cell group of four other men and we have been meeting regularly ever since (three times a year has been the average) for prayer, support as well as gentle exercise (walking, cycling) the effect of which is diluted by eating and drinking. We meet again early in September for 24 hours of varied activity.

Each of us has a story to tell. That story is a mix of things past, things present and things yet to be for some of the story is yet to be written. All of the story, past and present, is in God’s hands – “I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love—not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and not powers above or powers below. Nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!” Those words from Romans chapter 8 will be familiar and for many of us a needful reminder of the God who is with us through all of life until the end.

What is your story? Please feel free to share some of it either through these pages or in church at a  Sunday service. I would love to hear it.

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Steve Davies,

Minister of Christchurch Abbeydale




 

Welcome to all the family

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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

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During ‘Work Week’ the Foundation Stone was relaid in the wall of the

back rooms at Christchurch with the Cross above

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Christchurch’s first real ‘home’ was the Community Centre and with recent alterations there the foundation stone was made available to us

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