Welcome to the latest issue of our church newsletter. I hope you are keeping well and staying safe. Our church is open for Sunday services but we will continue to live-stream our services and send out our newsletter regularly for the foreseeable future.
You can find previous issues of the newsletter on our church website at www.christchurchuxbridge.org.uk We would love to hear from you and are looking for uplifting and encouraging content to share in future issues of this newsletter. If you have any ideas or content that we can share, please do email them to Louise (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We start with our opening prayer:
Here we are, Lord,
with our gifts and our gaps,
our successes and our failures,
our enthusiasm and our doubts,
our passion and our unworthiness.
Help us to hear your call
and to have the courage to say,
‘Here I am, send me.’
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
(Taken from Roots)
Unfortunately, we are currently experiencing staff shortages at the church due to Covid. As a result of this, Church Council has regretfully decided to close the church and halls buildings, other than for Sunday services, for the next week at least. We hope to be able to reopen the buildings by Monday 14 February and will keep you updated via our website, social media and next week’s newsletter. In the meantime, we hold all those who are currently unwell in our prayers and pray that they will all be well again soon.
Peter King – Church Secretary
Reflection from 30 January: Challenging the Certainties
Readings: Luke 4.21-30 and 1 Corinthians 13
On a scale of one (not at all) to 10 (complete free thinker) how independent minded do you think you are? We all like to think we’re independent minded kind of people. Not the sort just to go along with the crowd. However, it is quite likely we are actually disposed to go along with the crowd more than we think. The psychologists call this Affinity Bias.
Jesus however does not seem to have suffered from this. In our gospel story he surprises those with whom he has grown up. He reminds his audience through examples like the widow at Zarephath that God’s generosity is often shown to outsiders rather than to the inside crowd.
So perhaps one of the challenges of following him is daring to call out affinity bias. This could however be costly. It was quite upsetting for example for the ‘losing side’ in the Zero Intolerance Debate some time ago in the URC. These were well intentioned folk who wanted to have a completely open door in terms of who was welcomed into the church fellowship. As it turned out the majority of URC members felt that this could cause problems.
Paul, in our famous reading from Corinthians, says faith, hope and love have lasting value. But the greatest of these is love. What might you say if you were told this was naïve? After all isn’t it the case that history has repeatedly shown that power and greed win out in the short and sometimes long term? When we look at the world today it doesn’t exactly look full of Love.
Here in the UK in recent weeks we have had distressing and seemingly accurate reports about ‘dodgy dealings’ in high places. The MP for Uxbridge himself has been in the spotlight.
The problems need to be addressed vigorously by MPs of ALL parties to preserve our precious democracy and Britain’s traditions of good governance. In addition, some of the clearly populist measures recently announced need to cause concern across the political spectrum.
The reality of history and indeed current events is that good and bad seem to run in parallel. The kingdom in some sense may be already here but is clearly not yet present in all its fulness.
As Christians we need to do what we can to help bring about a better world. That surely is what the Justice and Peace movement is all about. And we need to do this together. Paul’s words in the reading refer above all to our life together in community.
The search for Justice and Peace needs too to be conducted in a loving way – namely one that invites us to dwell in each other and to grow in mutual generosity. This of course is love which may involve personal sacrifice. (The Costly Discipleship of which Dietrich Bonhoeffer spoke.)
Shortly we will be celebrating the sacrament of Holy Communion. At the heart of this are the words of the Prayer of Thanksgiving:
‘We praise you for Christ,
…whose body was broken for us,
And whose blood was poured out for us.’
Those of us who try to make Jesus our role model need to be prepared to act out love in the self-sacrificial way in which he did.
Jesus in our story from Luke annoys his home community by reminding them that God’s message of love and justice is for everyone (including outsiders).
How does that apply to this congregation in Christ Church? In my own congregation in Hounslow, it has involved being part of the local Rough Sleepers project.
My friends, the Bible encourages us to listen to the voice of God, and to the voices of those we often ignore, even when their messages are disquieting. It encourages us to find our voice: to speak God ‘s word, and to speak for those whose voices need amplifying. Amen.
Rev’d Andrew McLuskey
Readings for 6 February
Luke 5:1-11 (NIV)
Jesus Calls His First Disciples
5 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:
- Isaiah 6:1-8 (9-13)
- Psalm 138
- 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
We meet at 11am for our Sunday services, which are also live-streamed on our Facebook page. If you wish to view our services online, you can find them at www.facebook.com/christchurchuxbridge. You do not have to be a Facebook user to watch them – our services are publicly viewable. You can also view a recent service on our church website. This week’s service will be led by Methodist local preacher, Neville Walton. You can find the order of service here.
If you are unable to join us in person or online for our Sunday services, but would like to receive a recording of them on a memory stick to watch at home, please let us know.
6 February – Mr Neville Walton (Methodist local preacher)
13 February – Christ Church worship group – parade service
20 February – Dr Paul Ashitey (URC lay preacher)
27 February – Rev’d Julie King (Methodist minister) – communion service
Church charity news
Our fundraising total so far for HALO Children’s Foundation is £163. Thank you to everyone who has supported our fundraising events so far.
You can find more details about HALO Children’s Foundation, our church charity for 2022 at:
To make a donation to our church charity online visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/christ-church-halo2022
Lent Bible Study
We will be starting a Lent Bible study group in the chapel on Saturday mornings, 10am – 11.15am. This will be followed by the weekly time of prayer. The Lent group will run each Saturday, starting on 5 March and running until 9 April.
If you would be interested in taking part in the Lent Bible study group, please let Graham or Louise know.
From the Methodist Circuit
Job vacancy – Circuit Property Manager
The Harrow & Hillingdon Circuit are currently looking for a Circuit Property Manager.
The main duties will involve:
- Budgeting and scheduling the maintenance for 9 domestic properties, supported by Local Manse Stewards.
- To advertise and liaise with the Property Stewards when requested at 16 Local Churches and 2 Community Centres.
- To ensure the Circuit keeps up to date with all current property and insurance guidance.
- Complete annual returns relating to the circuit properties and report regularly to the Circuit Resources Network.
- Manage the change of occupancy for the 9 domestic properties.
- Liaising with Letting Agents.
Applicants are sought with relevant experience, computer literacy and sympathy with the aims of the Church.
The post is for 20 hours per week (flexible working). It is a 3 year fixed-term contract with the possibility of moving to a permanent contract. Salary is £15 per hour.
For an application pack or for more information, please contact The Circuit Office, Lighthouse Centre, Queens Walk, South Ruislip HA4 0NL. Tel: 01895 662758, email email@example.com
Closing date for applications: 20th February 2022.
Memories from Syd
I was born on 27th October 1920 into a very poor family due to my family having been gassed in 1916 on the German offensive. They had waited until the wind was flowing from their direction to ours. They were using chlorine gas which damages the lungs. My father was invalided out of the army in 1916 with a pension of five shillings per week on which to keep the family.
I have written several times on how poor we were, but sometimes some little thing came about that caused a different feeling. As a youngster I was very interested in steam wagons. There were two manufacturers: Foden with its pointed drivers cabin, and Sentinel with its rounded cabin. We lived in New Windsor Street, two doors away from the bridge over the River Frays.
Between the bridge and the river was Lawn Road. The back of our houses had a gate into a passage. One day my father was coming out of the passage when a steam wagon came over the bridge and, instead of going up Lawn Road, the steering got locked and the wagon crashed through the railings into the river. The driver was pinned by his legs under the river.
Dad jumped in, despite his very poor health, and held the driver’s head above the water. They must have been in this situation for several minutes before enough help came to lift the side of the wagon so that my father could lift the driver out.
Two years after the above happened, a steam wagon came down Chandlers Hill, which in those days had a sharp curve halfway down. The wagon must have been travelling too fast and tipped over into a ten feet sheer drop. The driver was killed instantly.
Praying for other churches
This week we hold the following churches in our prayers:
- Hayes Methodist
- Ealing Green (URC/Methodist)
Lord of the deep,
be with us when we feel out of our depth.
Lord of the waves,
send us where we are most needed.
Lord of the shore,
bring us safely home.
In Jesus’ name.
(Taken from Roots)