Hands clasped in prayer on a pew

Hello everyone,


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 (publicity@christchurchuxbridge.org.uk)



We start with our opening prayer:


Almighty God, let us be quiet and find your presence.
We rejoice in the mystery of your loving justice.
Help us to understand what your love means,
and how we can share that love with others.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
(Adapted from Roots)





Reflection from 17 July

Readings: Luke 10: 38-42 and Colossians 1: 15 -28


This morning I want to look at this idea of making the most of opportunities that present themselves. This week my wife was looking on Facebook marketplace. Our little one is coming up to one, so she was looking for a little slide and she found one but wasn’t quite sure about it as it was a little bit dirty, and I said “well, let’s go and have a look and see what it’s like.” Because, you know, children soon grow up and once you buy one thing, you then need to buy another and you can keep spending and spending and with prices going up, I thought if we could get a bargain it would be brilliant.


We had one slight problem though: our big car was in the garage, so I messaged the woman selling the slide and said, “I’m bringing a little Fiesta around – will it fit?” She said, “don’t worry, it disassembles, it will go in your car.”


When I finally found the house, she was standing there with the slide and said, “there’s a slight problem. I’m having trouble dismantling it. It appears to be stuck.” I said, “Don’t worry, I’ll have a go.”


So there we are trying to dismantle this slide and it won’t go. So she says, “hang on a minute, I’ll get my daughter,” so her daughter came out and there’s me and her daughter trying to dismantle this slide and eventually after much effort, the slide finally came apart and we got it dismantled and put in the car. As I was taking out my wallet to pay the woman I asked how much I owed and she said, “no, no, you’ve earned this, you’ve spent the last half an hour trying to dismantle it so put it towards Alfred’s 1st birthday present” and I thought that was lovely.


That’s an illustration of making the most of opportunities that present themselves, but I want to think about that concept. Do we as believers, do we as Christians make the most of opportunities when the Spirit of God says to us ‘try this, try that.” Do we let go and do we let God?


So first, let us come to our Luke reading, that familiar account of Mary and Martha; the two women with their vastly different approaches when Jesus comes to visit as a guest. One of the sisters, Martha, is so busy ensuring the house is spick and span that she doesn’t really pay much attention to the guest who is in the house. Her sister Mary, though, is the complete opposite and sits at Jesus’s feet, lapping up every word that he says.


A stained glass window depicting Jesus with Martha standing next to him and Mary sitting at his feet


Are you a Mary? Are you a Martha? We say, don’t we, let’s focus from learning from Jesus whilst offering hospitality. But it’s so easy, isn’t it, in our daily lives to get wrapped up in our routines, what we do, that sometimes Jesus gets pushed to one side. We’re so busy with our routines that often Jesus gets pushed aside, and that’s the temptation for all of us, isn’t it? In the busyness of life do we make time for God?
What I would like us to think about this morning is this concept of seizing the moment, of letting go and letting God, being open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Mary let go, and Martha clung on.


So let’s look then at our reading from Colossians, which we appear to be working through in our lectionary readings at the moment. So what do we know so far? That Paul is the undisputed author, which is actually quite rare for a book of the Bible, dated during Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome. So historically we’re placing this letter towards the end of the book of the history of Acts.


Paul, by this point, was an apostle, so an overseer of the church, or a moderator you might say in URC terms. Colossae several hundred years before Paul, so prior to the time of Jesus, had been a leading city in Asia Minor (present day Turkey) located on the Lycus River and it was on the great east – west trading route leading from Ephesus on the Aegean Sea to the Euphrates river in modern day Iraq.


But by the 1st century Colossae was a diminished place, more of a second-rate market town which had been surpassed long ago in power and influence by neighbouring towns, such as Laodicea, which is the famous one which a letter was sent to in the start of the Book of Revelation.


Paul is writing to this Christian group, this believing group, this relatively new church, mainly predominantly Gentile and Jewish. He was writing to them to set the record straight as they’ve got themselves into a bit of a pickle over a number of things. And the part of the book we’re looking at this morning, part of the letter, has two sections in which Paul talks of the supremacy of the Son of God and secondly Paul’s work for the church.


Let’s deal with the first section first, the supremacy of the Son of God. Paul is talking about the primacy of Jesus Christ and the position God the Father has appointed him to. Remember that Paul is writing from a prison cell. But also, although they knew Paul, they had not met him.


Paul wants to help them in key teaching, so the foundations of the church are in a good place for the future. So Paul makes three key sweeping statements; 1) in relation to deity, 2) in relation to creation and 3) in relation to the church.


Earlier in the books, in the letters to the Romans in Galatians, Paul was focusing on explaining the importance of Christ for salvation. Here, Paul seeks to counter arguments about angelic mediators taking the place of Christ by demonstrating Christ’s place in relation to the universe, the world, and the church. Showing that Christ was first; through him, all things were created in Earth and in heaven, seen and unseen.


Paul also demonstrates that Jesus is before all thrones, before all powers. Jesus is before all rulers, and all authorities. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to have King Jesus in charge, instead of some of the corrupt and evil rulers we have in our world today? And sadly, you don’t need me to give you examples, there are far too many of them. Wouldn’t it be good to have some godly, truthful leadership where people in power act with integrity and compassion for all people?


Jesus is before all things, and in him all things hold together. So not only is Jesus the first of all things, in him, everything finds the focal point of unity. Without Jesus, we wouldn’t have that key element for unity. Jesus is the head of the church.


Hand making heart symbol with cross in the centre.


And whilst I’m in an LEP, I do believe that Christians working together across boundaries to build a stronger, more united Church that serves our communities can only ever be a good and positive thing. Wouldn’t it be good if all churches worked together for the common cause to spread the gospel and impact our nation for Jesus. Wouldn’t that just be wonderful? Maybe one day. We live in hope.



Jesus is the beginning and the first born of the dead. We know this, don’t we, because of the resurrection as we celebrated recently at Easter. We know in Jesus he’s the beginning and the first born of the dead, so in everything Jesus is supreme.


The text tells us we were once alienated from God and we’re enemies in our minds because of our evil behaviour. But Jesus, through his sacrifice, has bridged that gap, opened the way to all believers and given us a chance to accept him and have life in all its fullness. So we are challenged in this letter to continue in our faith, established and firm, and not to move from the hope held out in the gospel.


This leads onto the second part of the passage, which focuses on Paul’s work for the church. Basically, Paul affirms in his suffering from the prison cell that he rejoices for the church, which is the body of Christ. So we have that contrast; as Paul’s earthly body decays in the prison cell, so Christ’s body, the Church, has been established and growing and developing through the Holy Spirit.


But Paul is urging them that the church will only grow with secure, proper and correct teaching, otherwise it will not be blessed by God. That is a very important point for today, not to get dragged into debates which drag the focus of the church away from Christ, away from the Bible, and away from the truth, just for the sake of appealing to people in our world. Conversely, those churches that do make a stand for Jesus are the ones which grow and develop, and not the other way around. So as church we need to be countercultural, standing up for Jesus the truth and his word.


So then, what do we learn from these lessons today? Firstly, Christ Jesus at the centre of our lives. Jesus is the cornerstone of our church, teaching and foundations. When Jesus moves away from being the centre of the church, the church may as well pack up and go home. Jesus should be front, first and centre, which is why we have a cross to remind us of all that Jesus has done.


Secondly, seize the moment. Be open through the Holy Spirit to new possibilities, especially in the light of the re-emergence from Covid.


And finally, that we might do this so that everyone will grow in wisdom and grow in maturity in Christ.


Let us let go and let God. Be open to the Spirit. Remember little Alfred and the slide? We all have to let go at the top of the slide otherwise we don’t enjoy the experience. We have to let go and let God. So we remember that is our aim and our goal as we seek to be open to him and his Spirit, this day and always, as we continue to build a Christ-centred church here in Christ Church. Amen.
Andrew Pottage



Readings for 24 July

Luke 11:1-132 (NIV)

Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”


He said to them, “When you pray, say:

hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.’”


Hands clasped in prayer on a pew


Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.


“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.


11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”



Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:

  • Genesis 18:20-32
  • Psalm 138
  • Colossians 2:6-15




Our worship

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 URC lay preacher and Christ Church member, Graham Hinton. 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.


Forthcoming services

24 July – Graham Hinton (URC lay preacher and member of Christ Church)

31 July – Revd Bridget Powell (URC minister) – communion service

7 August – Cathy Smith (Methodist local preacher)

14 August – Christ Church worship group – Songs of Praise service.


Church charity news

Our next coffee morning in aid of HALO will be on Saturday 30 July. Please come along and support our church charity.


If anyone has any ideas for fundraising events for the autumn, please let Louise know.


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

Dates for your diary

Sundays, 12.30pm – 2pm (approx.)
Rehearsals in the chapel for Hopes and Dreams: Moving Forward. Please contact Jean or Louise George for more details.
Please note there will be no rehearsal on 14 August.


Saturday 6th August, 10am – 12noon
Sewing bee for the community anniversary commemorative wall hanging. Please contact Joanne for more details.


Tuesday 16th August, 12noon – 2pm
Bunting making worship. Please contact Denise for more details.


Saturday 3rd September, 12noon – 2pm
Bunting making worship. Please contact Denise for more details.


A banner image with golden balloon, the 50th anniversary logo and the words "Christ Church is 50! Join us for a weekend of celebrations. Saturday 24th September & Sunday 25th September 2022"


Saturday 24th September
All day – Exhibition
10am – 1pm – Fete
3pm – Thanksgiving service
7pm – Quiz supper


Sunday 25th September
11am – Communion and covenant service
1pm – Bring and share lunch
3pm – Hopes and Dreams: Moving Forward


Saturday 8th October, 10am – 12noon
Sewing bee for the community anniversary commemorative wall hanging. Please contact Joanne for more details.


For more information about our anniversary events, please visit our 50th anniversary page.


A cartoon of a boat with people in and the words 'Ninevah Whale Watching Club' passing a whale with a human foot sticking out of its blowhole.
(Copyright Gospel Communications International, Inc – www.reverendfun.com)



Greenbelt – bunting needed

Each year, URC members who aren’t able to join us in person at Greenbelt have connected with us through creating and sending in knitted items, handmade postcards, and through prayer. Each of these small offerings has found a place with many others sent from across the country to create a wonderful reflection of the creativity and diversity of the URC family. And at the end of each festival, people have been queuing up to take a little piece of the display home with them as a lasting reminder of precious times at Greenbelt.


For 2022, we are inviting you to create bunting to display in the tent at Greenbelt. This can be individual triangles or made into a 2-metre length! The bunting can be made from paper, card, cloth or whatever you happen to find around the home. Your bunting triangles can include images of revolting Christians, symbols of faith or just multicoloured patterns and shapes that are beautiful to look at. You could create a representation of your congregation or church building or your neighbourhood or something celebrating the 50th year of the URC. Let your imagination fly!


Please pass on your finished bunting to Joanne Mackin by 22nd August.



Children’s Corner

A crossword puzzle
(Taken from the Roots activity sheet © ROOTS for Churches Ltd (www.rootsontheweb.com) 2002-2022. Reproduced with permission.)



Praying for other churches

This week we hold the following churches in our prayers:

  • Ruislip Manor Methodist
  • Holy Trinity, Perivale (URC/CofE)



Closing prayer

Lord, help us to think before praying,
and pray before acting.
May we see our community
and the people who make it up
as precious to you and precious to us,
as we seek to preserve all that is beautiful
and build up all that is holy and Godly. Amen.
(Taken from Roots)



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‘Look-In’ – 22 July 2022
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