Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth and the life, No one comes to the Father but by me."
John 14:6
 

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 

 

“It is important to remember” 
was how I started my contribution to the November Chronicle four years ago. As I thought about what I should write for my fifth November
here it seemed sensible to remind myself of previous years. What follows is both personal and topical.
I decided to reuse the headline; the phrase comes from a Rudyard
Kipling poem, Recessional, published in 1897 that I quoted back in
2013. In case you need reminding 1897 was a Jubilee year,
celebrating 60 years of Queen Victoria. Amidst all the national
rejoicing Kipling takes a step back and reminds his readers of the
impermanence of human achievement in the light of the permanence
of God. Even the celebrated British Empire would pass.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!
Kipling, not known for being religious, was quoting a line from the
book of Deuteronomy (6.12), a passage foreshadowing the entry into
the promised land and warning the people that when they were
enjoying the houses and wells, vineyards and crops (that they had
not laboured for) they were to remember who they were and where
they had come from. A few verses earlier there are the even more
familiar words:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord
your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all
your strength.
The Israelites were to remember their past and let it shape their
future in the promised land. They had to be constantly reminded.
Reflecting on where we are and where we came from is important;
these reflections guide us into the future. On the morning of
Saturday 11 November there is a Vision Day at Christchurch led by
one of the ecumenical team currently doing a review of the church.
Everyone’s views are important: if you cannot be present please
consider writing something and getting it to the Way Forward group
BEFORE the day. Your views matter and should be heard.
This month I have my personal ministerial review looking back as
well as forward. All Anglican ministers have an annual review –
something I took for normal during my time in the computer
industry.
Memory and remembering came to the fore when a few weeks ago
several of us from the church attended Dementia Friendly Church, a
day course helping us look at what could be done in the church for
those who suffer from a crippling disease. It cannot be cured;
some changes in approach can make a big difference. Audrey Staite
has written elsewhere in this edition of the Chronicle about this.
I had wanted to go for two prime reasons. More and more people
will be affected by dementia and it is important we as a church are
able to do the best we can for them. I also have strong personal
reasons.
Four years ago when I started here I could talk with my Dad, and to
some extent with my Mum, about the new post in Gloucester. They
are both still alive but I can no longer have that type of
conversation, or indeed any conversation that seems meaningful.
Mum has slipped even further into a peaceful world of her own; The
last time Dad knew me was over a year ago and today addresses me
by a name that bears no relation to anyone he has ever, to the
family’s knowledge, known. He has become more difficult and now
has to live in a secure unit.
The words of Dylan Thomas are not far from my mind.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Everyone’s experience of dementia will be different. The progress
of the disease varies with each individual. And we need to
remember that all are still loved by God. And when in church loved
by us.
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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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