Two barns with the text “You have stored up plenty” and keep out, do not enter signs by the barns

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 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 (



We start with our opening prayer:


We put our hope in the Lord;
the Lord is our protector and our help,
the root of our gladness
and in the Lord we trust.
May your constant love be with us, Lord,
as we put our hope in you. Amen.
(Taken from Roots)





Reflection from 31 July: Treasures worth accumulating

Reading: Luke 12:13-21


Mahatma Gandhi said that the world has enough for everybody needs, but not everybody’s greed, and it’s very true. We have got enough in our world that if it was shared fairly, no-one would go hungry. But life isn’t like that. It’s tough, isn’t it?


In the Luke reading the man approaches Jesus and asked him to intervene in a family row over money. He wants his brother to share the wealth of the family between the two of them. Jesus tells him that it isn’t his role; the man has to sort that one out himself. And then Jesus tells this parable about the rich man who aimed to build his wealth and possessions. And he got so much he couldn’t fit it in his barn, so he built bigger barns. And so this went on: more and more possessions, and he wanted to give up work, sit back, enjoy himself, and live a merry life. And what happens? God says to him, “You fool. You’re going to die tomorrow. What will happen then to all these things you built up? What was the point?”


It’s a parable we don’t use very often, but it does make quite an important point. Jesus emphasises that we should build up treasure in heaven and be rich towards God; that there is actually no point in accumulating things in the hope they will help us enjoy living a selfish life. This is greed.


In the parable, the man focuses on wrong things. He spends his life getting rich rather than making his life rich with God, and he misses out on the chance to have a lasting heavenly legacy.


And this is the important thing: what are we leaving? I’m sure you may have been to many funerals where you’ve given thanks for the example that person has given in their life for people to follow. Sometimes we don’t really think about this, and we don’t like to talk about it, but we are, as we live on Earth, building up a legacy for other folk as we go along.


Two images showing two barns – 1) with the text “You have stored up plenty” and keep out, do not enter signs by the barns; 2) with the text “Be rich toward God” and signs saying ‘free’, ‘plenty for all’, ‘welcome’


In the image above, the barns at the top say, “You have stored up plenty. This is mine. Keep out. Do not enter, stay away.” Not very friendly, is it? Then we have the barns at the bottom which are about being rich towards God. Food for the hungry. Welcome. And it’s all free. Life isn’t always like that though, is it? But wouldn’t it be nice if it was a bit more like that?


I was looking at some statistics recently. The rate of inflation has reached 9.4%, which is higher than it’s been for over 40 years. And this has caused a rise in prices of food, clothes, energy etc. suddenly being more expensive. Everything is going up and this increase wouldn’t matter so much if wages were going up at the same rate, but of course they’re not. Some are struggling to go up at all. Since 2010, prices have risen while average incomes have remained the same or fallen in comparison. That’s quite something, and we haven’t been in this sort of recession for many, many years and many people are struggling.


Some can adjust their spending to cope with inflation by perhaps cutting out a few luxuries, perhaps not having a holiday, but we know that many are struggling to make ends meet and have to make decisions between eating or heating their houses. We’re still masked at the moment because we’re in the summer, but come the winter that is going to get worse. This rise in prices is a worry.


I want you to think for a minute. If you had to wish for something – ‘I wish I had more of this’ – what would you wish for? Time, extra pairs of hands, patience, energy. What does the church need more of at the moment? People, yes, people giving up time and making a commitment.  It’s a difficult one and we’ve got to be careful we don’t let it pull us down because that isn’t what’s needed either. We’ve got to keep being cheerful and positive, to try and encourage ourselves and help one another and that is very important.


What about things that we’re grateful for but don’t actually cost anything – God’s free gifts? Nature, the stars at night, contact with other people, hugs, positiveness, happiness. And I think something that’s very important was people greeted me with a smile when I came in. Aren’t smiles important? I wonder if you’ve ever had somebody take a service who hasn’t smiled the whole service. I hope it hasn’t happened, but I wonder how you’d feel by the end of that service? Smiles are infectious, aren’t they, and they’re necessary. For a church, people smiling and being welcoming is very important.


Did you enjoy the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations? Isn’t it good we’ve got a queen who could show a sense of humor? Did you see her draw her marmalade sandwiches out of her handbag to copy Paddington? We need those moments, don’t we, to share together? We need to avoid the selfishness of not sharing. We need to share and by doing that we serve others. There’s so many free things we can share and enjoy without having to spend a lot of money. I mean, how much does a marmalade sandwich cost?


Living well is about sharing and caring about what we do; having food to satisfy everyone needs. The image below is an example though of how we don’t share. Global food waste. A third of food globally is wasted. A lot of it goes to waste because it just can’t get where it’s going in time, or because we want our food to look nice. You know, the straight carrot, the round potato. A lot of food is rejected because it doesn’t come up to standard.


A chart showing global food waste as follows: 45% of fruit and vegetables, 45% of roots and tubers, 35% of fish, 30% of cereals, 20% of meat, 20% of dairy and 20% of oilseeds and pulses


I don’t know that we personally can do an awful lot about global food waste except to try and keep our own housekeeping on track.


On another note, I expect most of you will have registered that David Trimble sadly died on Monday. He was a Northern Irish politician who was key to the Good Friday Agreement being agreed and signed in 1998. He worked hard to get the Unionist community in Northern Ireland to give peace a chance. It wasn’t easy. There were tough compromises, difficult decisions, and lot of people weren’t happy. He personally received death threats and lost votes and friends, but he didn’t give up because he knew that these decisions could bring peace.


There are now people in Northern Ireland who don’t remember the violence that used to be a constant part of everyday life. The peace is David Trimble’s legacy and others like him. The difficult moments were worth it in the end.


I spent a week at Corrymeela, a community on the North Coast of Ireland that works to bring people from different communities together and they meet there for holidays and work and to continue this pre peace movement. During that week, I was taken round Derry by someone who was very active in the IRA and had friends killed on Bloody Sunday. He took us around that area and told us all his stories and he now is very actively working for peace.


I hope none of us will be in quite such drastic situations as that, but maybe we can bring a bit of harmony somewhere or help to make decisions for peace. The challenge is to make the right decisions at the right times when things may be difficult.


And so where are we in all of this? There’s actually nothing wrong with accumulating treasures, providing we use them wisely; share them for the benefit of people around us. We can’t take our wealth with us, but we can leave a legacy and build up things that are worthwhile. This is what Jesus taught us to do when he said, “follow me.” He set the perfect example of how to live a Christian life.


A heavenly treasure hunt: 1) submit to Jesus, 2) set heart on things above, 3) study God’s word, 4) seek God’s kingdom, 5) serve others, 6) share your resources and 7) spread the gospel


Our final image is a heavenly treasure hunt: to submit to Jesus; to set hearts on things above; to study God’s word; to seek God’s kingdom; to serve others; to share your resources and to spread the gospel. I thought that summarises it quite nicely. Put your focus on God and then you will share, you will serve and God’s kingdom will grow. And hopefully we’ll all end up smiling, which is so vital.
Revd Bridget Powell




Readings for 7 August

Luke 12:32-40 (NIV)

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. 39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”


Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:

  • Genesis 15:1-6
  • Psalm 33:12-22
  • Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16




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 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 Methodist local preacher Cathy Smith. 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

7 August – Cathy Smith (Methodist local preacher)

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

21 August – Lilian Evans (URC lay preacher)

28 August – Revd Dr Claire Potter (Methodist minister) – communion service



Songs of Praise service on 14 August

Psalm 150 invites us to praise the Lord!  We would like to invite you to let us know if you have a hymn or Bible passage that will help us all to praise the Lord on Sunday 14th August in a Songs of Praise Service which Stephanie will be leading.  Or maybe there is a poem or a piece of music that we can listen to – or even a picture or painting to look at.  It would be lovely if you could say something about the reasons for your choice, but not essential.


Please contact Stephanie on 07788 290813 or via email at if you would like to share a hymn, Bible passage, poem, picture or piece of music as part of this service.

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 or 28 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.


Two men looking at a scroll with the caption "can you scroll back up?"
(Copyright Gospel Communications International, Inc –


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 puzzle with several hidden pieces of treasure in an image
(Taken from the Roots activity sheet © ROOTS for Churches Ltd ( 2002-2022. Reproduced with permission.)


Praying for other churches

This week we hold Trinity (URC and Methodist) in our prayers.


Hands making heart symbol with cross in the centre



Closing prayer

Lord, go with us.
Help us to seek your treasure.
Help us to look for all you’re doing right now.
Help us – by our example as much as by our words –
to share your treasure and your life-giving story
with the people we meet this week. Amen.
(Taken from Roots)



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‘Look-In’ – 5 August 2022
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