I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep
John 10:11
 

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 

 

Shape…
My wife Alison tells me that she has had to buy some new clothes to match her changing
shape. Since being in Leighton Buzzard she has been doing rather more walking
than when in Gloucester without eating any more than usual and as a result has lost inches.
Recently in Church on a course given by the Diocese those of us present were thinking about a different kind of SHAPE
Spiritual Gifts
Heart
Abilities
Personality
Experience
In the context of Christian service the words are there to help us focus on where God wants to use us and how he has been preparing us throughout our lives – for all of us
are uniquely created and all of us are created for service.
Neither of the above is cost free. Anyone who has lost weight knows that it does not happen automatically (if only!). It often takes far longer than we would like to change our shape for the better – I am still working on it with little to show (or should that be too much to show). And we know that once the goal has been reached the habits formed in the journey are not put aside otherwise the losses are reversed.
There are parallels in the spiritual journey: as we progress in understanding ourselves and learning how God wants to work in us and through us we recognise that changes brought about in us are meant to be permanent even when the particular job or task changes.
Remember that God does not love us for our perfection. God loves us for our humanity. God does not expect us to be divine; God asks us to be fully human and let him work in us to make us as he meant us to be. God has no expectation that we will not make mistakes
Spiritual Gifts along the way; he has sent the gift of his spirit to remind us that he is always with us and will never leave us.
Over the last few days many will have been reminded of the words of a young woman spoken on her 21st birthday:
”I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong”
It was in a broadcast to the Commonwealth on 21 April 1947. Did our Queen really understand what she was saying? I doubt that she could have had any real sense of how long her journey would be or what it would ask of her. There was, perhaps, some naivety in the young lady; there was also complete commitment.
We do not know what story our lives will tell – the shape of the future is yet to be revealed. God asks us to trust him; he asks us to commit to him. We may not get the story right – one child wrote the following about Shakespeare: there is truth in the words but not
necessarily as we would put it.
"The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespear.
Shakespear never made much money and is only famous because of his plays. He lived at Windsor with his merry wives, writing tragedies, comedies and errors. In one of Shakespear's famous plays, Hamlet rations out his situation by relieving himself in a long
soliloquy. Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couplet.
Writing at the same time as Shakespear was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote Donkey Hote. The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote Paradise Lost. Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained."
The disciples of Jesus did not fully understand but they knew that Jesus was the Way, the Truth and the Life. The young Elizabeth could make a promise in faith for she did not know what would happen.
Perhaps you could take a moment or two to reflect on your shape?

Blessings,

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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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