Welcome to the latest issue of our church newsletter. I hope you are keeping well and staying safe. Our newsletter is sent out regularly to share reflections from services, Bible readings and church news to our church family.
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:
we come with wounds that often only you know;
we bring weariness and fears as well as hopes and aspirations.
Heal us and refresh us; restore your image in us.
In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
(Taken from Roots)
Reflection from 12 June: Trinity Sunday
Reading: John 16:12-15
Today, in the Church calendar, is known as Trinity Sunday. It’s not an easy concept because we’re talking about three things – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit being just one which we call the Trinity. But maybe it’s not that difficult to understand after all.
If I cut an apple in half, you can see that there are 3 different parts – the seeds, which look different from the flesh, which looks different from the skin. Each serve a very different purpose, but they are all equally an apple. The skin protects the apple – like God the Father protects us. The flesh is like God the Son because Jesus took on human flesh when he came down to earth. And the seeds, which help the next generation of apples to grow, are like God the Holy Spirit because He helps us to grow. Each part of the apple is different, but they are all ‘apple’.
God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit – each is different, but they are all one in the Trinity.
Did you see the Chelsea Flower Show on the television a couple of weeks ago? Gardens like we could only dream of but beautiful. Since the Covid pandemic, gardens – even the tiniest of them – have become more important to many people. They feel like a gift. They are full of life. The wind blows the bushes and flowers. Birds come to eat and bathe. When you check the courgettes, it’s as if they’re telling you that they’re surviving the slugs. Our gardens don’t want us to watch from a distance. They invite us in, to relate and connect. I think our gardens communicate something of God to us – and often when we were talking in our recent Stepwise course about where we had seen God that week it was in nature – flowers, birds, sunshine. God who gives, animates and connects in the most earthy ways. The one God, the three-in-one God. God the Holy Trinity.
Seamus Heaney’s poem Postscript describes a drive out to the coast in County Clare, where wind, light, water and swans combine to create a captivating scene. But this is not something that can be fully appreciated simply by looking and listening. Just as the coastal breezes buffet the car and threaten to burst open its doors, so the heart must be willing to be surprised by its experiences, ever open to receive and learn from them. Likewise, the hearts of Jesus’ disciples, entranced by his example and teaching, must be open to the Spirit of truth, willing to be surprised, comforted and challenged by what they receive in each new moment from their living Lord.
During the various lockdowns and ‘levels’ during the pandemic, changes to the rules often took people by surprise. Many people had to make changes to their plans, often at the last minute. Performances were postponed and rearranged. Weddings ended up completely changed – on different dates, at different venues, with different guest lists. We are used to making plans and looking forward to future events, but we learnt how fragile those plans can be. And perhaps it caused us to ponder what is truly important. Is it the past that has happened? Is it the future that might be? Or is the most important thing the now?
What do you look for in a good book? Some people look for a good story. As the story develops, they become more and more absorbed in it. Others seek for interesting characters, perhaps people they can relate to but especially characters they want to learn more about. However, there always comes a moment when the desire for more has to stop and the reader has to be satisfied with what they have. That may be temporary, because they have to put the book down to do something else, or permanent because they have completed the book.
I wonder what Jesus meant when he told his disciples in verse 16 of the reading from John that there was much more he wanted to say to them, to tell them – but not right now. What questions do you think they might have wanted to ask him? What would his reply have been? Or was the answer right there?
Every moment is an opportunity to do something. God is with us now. The past we cannot change. The future is yet to be revealed. But we can respond to God in the now. It is up to us to make something of it.
Readings for 19 June
Luke 8:26-39 (NIV)
Jesus Restores a Demon-Possessed Man
26 They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” 29 For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.
30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.
32 A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. 33 When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.
34 When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35 and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. 37 Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.
38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.
Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:
- Isaiah 65:1-9
- Psalm 22:19-28
- Galatians 3:23-29
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. Our service this week will be led by Christ Church member, Ken Pearce.. 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.
19 June – Mr Ken Pearce (member of Christ Church)
26 June – Revd Stephen Poole (Methodist minister) – communion service
3 July – Christ Church worship group
10 July – Graham Hinton – parade service
Church charity news
Film afternoon – Saturday 9th July
We will be showing a family-friendly film in the chapel from 1pm on Saturday 9th July. Popcorn, drinks and other refreshments will be available. There is no charge to attend but we will have a collection jar for HALO Children’s Foundation if you would like to donate to our church charity.
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
Christ Church 50th Anniversary
As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations, Jean and Louise George are putting together a drama/musical celebration which will be performed on Sunday 25th September, 3pm – 5pm. There will be opportunities to join in with group songs, as well as solo numbers, readings and drama. Rehearsals will take place on Sundays after the service from 26th June. If you would be interested in taking part, please let Jean or Louise know.
Community Anniversary Commemorative Wall Hanging
We are planning a new wall hanging for the vestibule to mark the church anniversary. Come and be involved. The plan is based on collecting the signatures, names and messages and even logos from those who form the bricks that the church is built upon. Members and friends past and present, groups that use the buildings and visitors. Echoing the brick interior of the church, people will have names on bricks that form the basis of the wall hanging. The anniversary logo will also be included and some bonus material also. The size it ends up will depend on the number of names collected.
Come and be part of the process on 6th August and 8th October between 10am and 12noon. No sewing skills needed, but if you have skills we will use them.
Brigades’ Annual Display
This year’s Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade Annual Display will take place on Friday 1st July, 7pm – 8.30pm. Please do come along and support our young people.
Hillingdon Street Angels
Our aim is to provide Christ’s love in a needy world through engaging with people on the streets, who use the night time entertainment sector within the borough. To care, listen, dialogue and offer practical help. Hillingdon Street Angels has been successfully running in Uxbridge since the 16th October 2009. The Street Angels work, on a rota basis, each Friday night between 10pm and 4am. They are all volunteers from local churches who generously give of their time to work in all types of weather.
Why Street Angels
Several things suggested that God was calling churches in the Uxbridge area to work together in sharing His love with people out late in the evenings.
Acting on this sense of call, representatives from a number of churches, the Metropolitan Police and the London Borough of Hillingdon met with the Ascension Trust and the Town Chaplain from Watford to explore the possibility of setting up either a Street Pastors or Street Angels scheme in Uxbridge. Following these meetings a steering group was set up to consider in more detail the pros and cons of each scheme and to determine the right approach for Uxbridge. They concluded that the formation of ‘Hillingdon Street Angels’ would be the best way forward.
What do they do?
Primarily, the role of Hillingdon Street Angels is to care, listen and help people who are out late in the centre of the town on a Friday evening.
Hillingdon Street Angels exists because people matter and deserve care and love in their time of need. The needs of people out late may be as a result of all kinds of different factors, such as homelessness, intoxication, drug abuse, assault or any other issue which has caused personal distress. Street Angels is non-judgemental, helping people whoever they are and whatever their situation, for example by listening, caring, offering practical help or by referring people to other specialist agencies who can help them. Hillingdon Street Angels operate with support from the Metropolitan Police and the London Borough of Hillingdon.
Management of Street Angels
A management group has been setup to run the scheme. They are elected annually and consist of members of local churches and are supported by the Metropolitan Police and the London Borough of Hillingdon. The management group are accountable to each of the local churches involved.
To join the Street Angels, you need to be over 18 years old, attend a local church and commit to working one night per month.
You could also become a prayer partner by making a commitment to pray for the work of Hillingdon Street Angels and asking to receive the regular prayer updates.
If you would be interested in finding out more about the work of Street Angels, then please speak to Tracey Rees.
Jesus healed a man who was tormented by demons. Can you find these words from the Bible passage?
Praying for other churches
This week we hold the following churches in our prayers:
- North Harrow Methodist
- St George’s & St Margaret’s, Harlesden (URC/Moravian)
Help us, Lord, to know each other really well.
Help us not to be put off by the ways we are different.
Help us to understand each other’s problems and concerns.
Help us to rejoice in the ways we are the same.
Help us to remember that we are one in you,
that you love every one of us. Amen.
(Taken from Roots)