For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.
Ephesians 2:8


Community and Outreach Report to Christchurch AGM, 2014

In our Church Vision Day back in 2012 we identified that as a Church we were called to focus on what we were already doing in this area of Church life, and "do it well" unto the Lord.  This was particularly relevant as we were going through the process of preparing a Church Profile and calling a new minister.  We decided that the valuable initiatives we were already providing for community involvement should be continued and supported. 

Existing activities that are relevant are:

  • T @3
  • Boys Brigade and Girls Association
  • Open the Book
  • Coffee and Chat
  • Messy Church (albeit lack of support has caused this now to be put on hold)
  • Alpha (albeit this has not been run during the period where we were without a minister)
  • Craft clubs
  • Holiday activities
  • Flower Festival
  • Church Fairs, special events (eg Songs from the Movies evening), etc.

I would like to thank, on behalf of everyone at Christchurch, all those who faithfully give their time and effort to make these activities happen.  You are our unsung heroes.

In addition, during the last year we organised a stall at the GL4 Community day, where we gave away over 200 balloon models, provided colouring opportunities for children (book marks and badges) and provided visibility for the Community of what we at Christchurch provide and stand for.  We had a very good reception.  Parents were amazed that we were giving away rather than expecting to receive.  I pray we "gave away" the love of God to those who came.  This included the Mayor and his family!

Seminar with Rev Malcolm Duncan

Three of us attended a seminar led by Malcolm Duncan on what we are here to do as a church in the area of mission.  He looked at the Gospel message we have to give (that reconciliation with God is possible, of God's unconditional love for us, a new life with and through Jesus, our future hope and that we are a "work in progress" being transformed as we grow on Christ). 

He emphasised that the Gospel message is unchangeable and that the facts that Christ is God and Man, that he died on the cross for our sins, that he was buried, rose again and sits at the right hand of the Father are not negotiable and underpin our mission and thinking.  He also said that Jesus appeared to many after His death and that we can bring our own witness to an encounter with Him when we present the Gospel message.

As a Church our outreach to those around is so important.  We are to be:

1.      A proclamative people, pointing to Jesus with our words

2.      God's local presence- His hands and feet, pointing to Jesus through our actions

3.      A prophetic people standing against injustice

4.      A community of prayer as "without God we can do nothing".

He told us to celebrate what we already do and not "beat ourselves up" over what we do not do today.

He also identified two, what he called, "theological principles":

1.      I need help- "without God you can do nothing"

2.      I can help- "who, me Lord?"

What therefore might our next steps be?

In committing to any course of action that shows Christ to others we must expect opposition.  It is therefore essential that anything we do is grounded in and covered by prayer.  In Acts 1:14 we see that prayer was the foundation for the building of the early church.  We need prayer in order to identify and support the vision- we need to take up the challenge of prayer specifically for this area.  We have to seek the heart of God regarding our local community

We can consider:

  • Identifying and commissioning an “outreach/community prayer champion” to organise us for prayer
  • Add to the Prayer diary specific local outreach issues
  • Engage those who are unable to be actively involved to pray regularly from home
  • Prayer walks around the community
  • Etc.

Prayer must come before new action and can of course focus on lifting existing activities up to God too.

We also need to identify who we mean by "community" and identify what their needs might be.  For example, our “Community” can be seen as:

  • Un-churched or unsaved family members
  • Our friends and close acquaintances who do not know the Lord
  • Those around us in their homes
  • Users of the local facilities and shops
  • Others in our city

What do I need from you next year?

I need help!

It is clear to Jan and I that if we are to launch any new development we need a core team who feel the call “I can help”.  This does not mean you have to be the front-person for anything, just a reliable team member with a burden for the unsaved around us.  If we are to go forward we need this team to be identified.

We need then to find the focus that God wants for our future development and resource it.

Please consider and pray about this part of Church life.  Is God speaking to you?  Are you listening?  Please speak to Steve, Jan or Chris if you feel led to join a core team for this area of our Church life.

Chris Pearce

The St Ann Society of Gloucester

The City of Gloucester, England, is twinned with the Parish of St Ann,
Jamaica. Twinning activities are organised via the St Ann Society, Gloucester.
Aims And Objectives of The St Ann Society of Gloucester
· To promote friendship and understanding between the communities
of the city of Gloucester, England and the parish of St Ann, Jamaica
· To strengthen educational and cultural links between the two
· To stimulate and foster mutual exchanges between teachers,
healthcare workers and young people of the two communities
· To render aid and assistance in whatever form is considered to be
beneficial to the health, education and welfare of either community
· To organise fund-raising activities to support the objectives of
the Society and where financial need is urgently required in
cases of natural and health-care Emergencies
The Society is currently raising funds to assist the parish of St Ann
with urgent healthcare needs for its population. This project is
personally supported by the Jamaica High Commissioner, the Mayor of
St Ann and the Mayor of Gloucester who is the President of the St Ann
Members of Jubilate and individual contributions from members and
young people at Christchurch will be joined by a Black Gospel Choir and a
talented young soloist from Gloucester.
Christchurch members are asked to help and encourage others to
help make this concert a success as we seek to raise as much money as
possible to help our twinned city of St Ann.
Thank you
Carole Francis-McGann, Chair, St Ann Society Gloucester


Open the Book is a nationally co-ordinated scheme which aims to offer primary school children an opportunity to hear stories from the bible.  Each team presents a story within the context of collective worship.


On behalf of Christ Church we have a dedicated and faithful team who visit two of our local primary schools – Abbeymead and Heron – providing three or four ‘Open the Book’ assemblies each term.

We work from specific material using The Lion Storyteller Bible and supporting handbook. We do not have to ‘learn lines’ as the intention is for the story to be narrated as it is enacted.

We wear very basic costumes, usually tabards and headgear, and use some ingenious yet simple props.

2014-06-20 09.06.59.jpg

The calendar for the academic year is agreed and made known in advance.  Visits to Abbeymead school are on a Thursday. For this we meet at the church at 9.45 to rehearse before going to Abbeymead to deliver the Assembly at about 10.45.  Visits to Heron School are on a Friday – meeting there at 8.45 for their Assembly at about 9.00. Rehearsals, when needed, take place in the church the day before (Thursday) at 9.45.

We are learning that the more we put into our assemblies the more pleasure and satisfaction we gain from them. It really can be fun! There is no doubt that the children enjoy our presentations and our hope is that this ministry of outreach will bear fruit for years to come.


We would welcome a few more volunteers – particularly men – so please give it some thought!

Val Phillips 

Team Co-ordinator

“Be the Change you want to See”
Several years ago we began meeting
with others from different traditions under the guidance of the “Spirit of
Peace” movement, which seeks to give us ways of making peace in our own lives and in all places of conflict. It was a shared concern for the Holy Land which brought us in touch with people from the Friendship Café. The Spirit of Peace movement in this country grew from the Jerusalem Peacemakers, a group of Christians, Jews and Muslims and Others, working through their scriptures to bring people together.
Looking for a venue, Spirit of Peace was warmly welcomed to meet at the
‘Friendship Café’ in Barton Street. The Friendship Café has evolved over 25 years from a small group of young enthusiasts looking to form a club, initially for themselves, but now with a greater emphasis on the whole community.
From this they now provide a wealth of activities for children, young people, and women’s groups, mainly in the Barton and Tredworth part of the city, but ALL are welcome
Their latest expansion a couple of years ago was to take over the running
of the City Farm, behind St James’ church, when cuts forced the City Council to consider closing it. This runs mainly on young volunteer effort, and is ‘hands-on’, and an on-site café has been added for the over 1000 visitors a month, who come to see cows, chickens, pigs, horse, etc. in the city. The farm is one of only two ‘city farms’ in the country.
The meeting on June 9th will be a ‘Shared Meal’, ie an ‘American Supper’,
contributions, vegetarian and alcohol free, are welcome. The programme for the evening will be a tour of the building and a review of future events. The Sheriff of Gloucester will be one of the invited guests. Up to now, folk from all over the county and from a variety of Jewish, Christian and Muslim backgrounds have heard talks and seen films relating to peacemaking, at home and abroad. Joan and David Perkins
Friendship Cafe has moved to the Chequers Bridge Centre in Painswick Rd (building on the right just before the railway bridge
as you go into Gloucester)
Next Meeting
Monday June 9th at 7.00 for 7.30pm.till 8.45pm.
Shared Meal at the Friendship Café’s new Painswick Rd Centre

  There is a weekly collection of food on a Sunday from Christchurch co-ordinated by Sam & Jane Sims and Carol Francis-McGann

While the stock of food is at a healthy level foodbank still have items that  they are short of. Hence an up to date list of food items  needed is given below.
Many of you are aware that we need funds towards our running costs to keep the foodbank open. Half of our costs are covered through standing orders. Currently we are managing to cover the remaining costs through one off donations plus the occasional grant. While we are very grateful for all donations this is not guaranteed income. If you know of anyone who would like to support us by making a regular donation please get in touch with us and we can send a standing order form.
To help raise funds on a regular basis we now have an agreement with a recycling company ‘RAG-BAG’ who will pay us for textiles in any condition. If any of you have textiles to recycle why not bring it along with your regular food donation. Or you can do a one off textile harvest within your organisation. Here is a list of items you can donate for recycling:
CONTACT  FOODBANK       TEL: 01452 30968301452 309683      


7th Gloucester Boy Brigade & Girls Association


 May sees the end of our winter session, and we are preparing for
our summer programme. We have seen another 4 members join the
Anchor section just before Easter taking our number in the section to
20 youngsters. On Monday the 19th May we will be holding our display
and Awards evening which we would like to extend a invitation to all
church members to support the youngsters in their awards. After the
awards evening we will be going into our summer programme which will
have loads of exciting activities.
Some of our Juniors and Company Section will be joining other
companies from the West of England District for a weekend camp in
Devon at the end of May, with gorge walking, rock climbing, and water
sports as part of the entertainment they will be enjoying. On the
Sunday morning of camp we will attending the service at the Methodist
Church in Bovey Tracey.
Diana Dale (Captain)