A painting depicting a tornado against a dark cloudy sky

Hello everyone,

Welcome to the latest issue of our church newsletter. 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 on our church website here. We would love to hear from you and are always 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:


Loving God, source of healing and hope,
strengthen us for life’s challenges,
help us to trust the future to you,
and to remember the courage
of those who have faced adversity with faith. Amen.
(Taken from Roots)






Reflection from 6 November

Reading: Job 19.23-27a and 2 Thessalonians 2.1-5,13-17


My main theme is going to be Job but let’s take a little bit of time to about what was going on in that letter from Paul to the Thessalonians. He’s writing to them to deal with a crisis of faith and to urge them to keep their head. They think the Second Coming of the Lord is so near that it’s as good as present now. They’re disturbed by this new teaching and they no longer know what to believe and how to act. Paul, in his letter, says that wherever the rumour came from, it’s wrong. His aim in the letter is very practical. He wants to remind them not to be thrown off balance. They must be calm and composed in clear thinking, despite the upheaval around them. He also wants to comfort them with reassurance of the hope, the future hope, that lies in the gospel. He says that strength in the face of persecution and affliction is a mark of true faithfulness. So it’s not so much about enduring trials with faith, but by faith.


The new teaching about the end times was very alarming to this young congregation in Thessalonica. So most of Paul’s effort has gone into encouraging people to keep trusting in God and keep doing good rather than obsessing about the end. To stay strong in faith and centred on the path to which God has called them.


Staying strong in faith, despite all suffering is the theme of Job, set in the land of Uz a long time ago. As a work of literature it is quite magnificent. I think it stands alongside the Iliad and the Odyssey as a creative work from that, the oldest period of literature that we know. But it is a problem text. It’s full of problems and unresolved issues and what are we meant to take from it? What are we meant to do with it? Do we love God because of what he does for us? And that you could say, is the prosperity gospel that some churches preach. Or do we love him because we can see that God is to be loved for his own sake without expectation of favour or reward?


The book is so complex it doesn’t provide many easily extracted lectionary readings, so it doesn’t appear in our cycle of readings very often. And you almost never hear it preached on. It is a dialogue between different ideas, different understandings of the world and different moods all conducted through poetry. The reading occurs in the middle of the exchange of a conversation between Job and his friends. Job details how God’s actions have hurt him. Despite proclaiming his innocence all along, it is clear to Job that both God and his friends have turned against him. Job is determined not to be remembered as a bad man who received his just rewards. So he sets out to prove his innocence and be vindicated even in his death. And this takes us to a really interesting translation problem in the in the text that we’ve had today. “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at last he will stand upon the Earth.”


An illustration of Job and his friends

I know that my Redeemer lives is found in Handel’s Messiah. It’s one of the famous texts in music, isn’t it? I know that my Redeemer lives. And here’s the problem. When it was written and what’s intended by is something completely different from what we hear and how we as Christians read it. The original text is a reference to what happens in an ancient Hebraic court case. As a person facing criminal charges, you were allowed to bring in somebody to speak for you; a very close friend or most often a member of your family. They were your redeemer. Job is asking for God to come in as his redeemer and stand up in court and speak for him. In our Christian tradition, we’ve understood it differently as Job meeting the living Christ at the end of times. But you see how the different meanings speak to each other.


As we know the book of Job is about suffering and it doesn’t offer any easy answers to the questions that we all have when we see a loved one suffer, somebody who is quite innocent. What’s God’s role? How should we respond? There’s a technical theological word for this, the word ‘theodicy’ which describes God’s goodness in the face of suffering that is in no way deserved. The beginnings of Job’s response come in Chapter 3 where he just pleads for his death, his own death. He goes further and wishes he’d never been born. And then wishes he’d never been conceived. And he says, “why give light to the wretched and life to the deeply embittered who wait for death in vain and dig for it more than treasure.

Job’s family and friends turn from him. They take it for granted that the point of worshipping God is that he will protect you. So it must follow that if you’re not protected, you must have done something terribly wrong. But Job rejects that idea. In our reading today he’s reached the end of his tether. He’s described how those who should love him and support him have abandoned him. But he will not pass that abandonment on. He still cannot turn against God. Certainly he’s angry with God and he wants a written record of all he’s been through so that he can present it to God and ask for an answer. But God is still his whole horizon. It doesn’t occur to him in his pain and suffering to stop believing in God. He might want everything back, his health, his family, his wealth. But above all, he wants to stand in the presence of God and to hear from him that he is loved. That his redeemer lives.


The book gives us a framework where the question of divine justice can be examined, and it’s examined through a poetic debate between the characters. As the theologian, Stuart Weeks says, that whole debate turns out to be inadequate. God is powerful and frightening, wild and untamed, so that whatever rules we might think he works by, the reality is that no rules constrain him. So we hear God responding to the darkness of Job’s death wish with images of light and a dramatic interplay between lightness and darkness.


‘And the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind, and he said, “Who is this? Who darkens counsel in words without knowledge. Gird your loins like a man that I may question you and you will answer me. Where were you when I founded Earth? Tell if you know understanding who fixed its measures. Do you know? Or who stretches a line upon it in what were its sockets? Who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Who hedged the sea with double doors when it gushed forth from the womb, when I made cloud its clothing and thick mist its swaddling bands. I made breakers upon it my limit and set a bolt with double doors and said, ‘this far come no farther here. Here ends the surge of your proud waves.’ Have you ever commanded the morning, appointed the dawn to its place to seize the Earth’s corners that the wicked shall be shaken from it? Have you come into the springs of the sea and the bottommost deep? Walked about have the gates of death been laid bare to you and the gates of death’s shadow, have you seen? Did you take in the breadth of the earth? Tell if you know it all. Where is the way that light dwells and darkness, where is its place that you might take it to its home and understand the paths to its house.” ‘


A painting depicting a tornado against a dark cloudy sky


After this extraordinary speech from the whirlwind, Job’s final response is to answer the Lord with, “I know you can do anything and no devising is beyond you. Who is this obscuring counsel without knowledge? Therefore I told but did not understand windows beyond me that I did not know here. Pray and I will speak. Let me ask you that you may inform me. By the ears I heard of you and now my eye has seen you. Therefore, do I recant and I repent in dust and ashes.”


Faith, we are reminded, isn’t about passive acceptance. Our relationship with God is one that’s not afraid to ask difficult questions. To challenge God to be open and honest in our conversation with God, but above all, to trust God even in the darkest times. As Jane Williams put it, we follow a God who choose his crucifixion as his way into the world. So how could we possibly believe that mere prosperity is a sign of God’s favour. We cannot.


Let me close with. The final verses from Paul’s letter which are a prayer:


“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us, and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.”
Peter Knowles




Readings for 13 November

Luke 21:5-19 (NIV)

Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, ‘As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.’


‘Teacher,’ they asked, ‘when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?’


He replied: ‘Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am he,” and, “The time is near.” Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.’


10 Then he said to them: ‘Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.


12 ‘But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13 And so you will bear testimony to me. 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 Everyone will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 Stand firm, and you will win life.



Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:

  • Isaiah 65:17-15
  • Psalm 98
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13






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 is our Remembrance Sunday service which will be led by Christ Church member, Louise George, and will start at the earlier time of 10.50am. 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

13 November – Christ Church worship group – Remembrance Sunday (10.50am)

20 November – Cathy Smith (Methodist local preacher)

27 November – Revd Jonathan Dean (URC minister) – communion

4 December – Cathy Smith (Methodist local preacher)





Church charity news

Operation Christmas Child

Flat-packed shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child are now available in the vestibule. These will be dedicated at the service on 13 November before being sent to children overseas. Please bring your filled shoeboxes to the church at this service or before this date.



Table-top games afternoon

There will be a table-top games afternoon after the service on 13th November as a fundraiser for HALO Children’s Foundation. We’ll be gathering together at around 12.30pm for lunch (bring your own) before the afternoon begins. All are welcome to join us. There will be table-top games provided but if you have a favourite you would like to bring, please do so.



A slide advertising the Table-top games afternoon on Sunday 13th November, 12.30pm in aid of Halo Children's Foundation.



You can find more details about HALO Children’s Foundation, our church charity for 2022 at:
www.christchurchuxbridge.org.uk/activities/churchcharity2022To make a donation to our church charity online visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/christ-church-halo2022


Warm Spaces – volunteers needed

Warm Spaces is an initiative started in response to the cost-of-living crisis, providing warm spaces where people can come together to stay warm and perhaps enjoy a cup of tea and a biscuit. It originally started in Gateshead but has grown to become a nationwide initiative with many places of worship and community buildings becoming involved.


Christ Church are hoping to provide a Warm Space in the meeting area with hot drinks available on Mondays, 10am – 2pm starting from 28 November and running until mid-March. We will need volunteers to welcome and talk with people, and to be able to signpost them to other sources of support available. Volunteers will need to have undergone foundation safeguarding training. If anyone would be interested in volunteering to be part of this initiative, please let Louise know (publicity@christchurchuxbridge.org.uk)


Hillingdon Interfaith Community – Interfaith Week Events – 12-20 November 2022

Saturday 12 November

11am – 12.30pm – Event: Shabbat Morning Service followed by Q&A
Ark Synagogue, 18-24 Oakland Gates, Northwood, HA6 3AA. Contact: Rabbi Aaron rabbiaaron@npls.org.uk


Monday 14 November
12noon – 1pm – Seminar: A Christian Theology of Interfaith Relations
St Margaret’s Church, Windsor Street, Uxbridge. Contact: secretary@uxbridgeparish.org


Tuesday 15 November
11am – 12noon – Event: Open place of worship
Sikh Gurudwara. The Sikh Temple, Golden Crescent, Hayes, UB3 1AQ. Contact: dalipsambhi@gmail.com


10am – 1pm – Event: Exhibition and Q & A
The Quakers. Friends Meeting House, Belmont Road, Uxbridge. Contact: Mike Beranek – uxbridgequakersoffice@gmail.com


10.30am & 1.30pm – Event: Guided Tours with Q&As
Guided tour start times are 10.30am & 1.30pm.
Christ Church, Redford Way, Uxbridge. Contact: publicity@christchurchuxbridge.org.uk


Wednesday 16 November
10.30am – 11.30am – Event: Open place of worship and Q&A
Our Lady of Lourdes & St Michael Roman Catholic Church, Osborne Road, Uxbridge. Contact: uxbridge@rcdow.org.uk


Friday 18 November
11.30am – 3pm – Event: To be guest observers of Friday prayers
Hayes Muslim Centre, 3 Pump Lane, Hayes Town, Hayes, UB3 3NB. Contact: contactijaz@hotmail.com


Sunday 20 November
2pm – 3pm – Event: Introduction to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and Q&A
Baitul Amn Mosque, Royal Lane, Uxbridge, UB8 3QU. Contact: mansur.amj@gmail.com



Invite to Baitul Amn Mosque

Christ Church have been invited to join with the people of the Baitul Amn Mosque on Thursday 24th November at 7 pm for food and a short talk about their beliefs with a focus on one of the festivals they celebrate and we have been invited to give a short similar talk.  Any volunteers? This should be a lovely evening of getting to know other people in the area for which faith is a strong part of their lives. The food should be lovely.


The mosque is situated in Royal Lane near the hospital and comes from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association of Mosques. The Community’s principle of ‘Love for All, Hatred for None’ can be seen in the daily lives of its members.


Please let Joanne know if you would like to come and give any dietary needs by 20th November as we need to give them numbers. Lifts can be provided. and there is ample parking and good bus links.


NB If you wish to visit the prayer room while you are there, you will need to remove your shoes.
Joanne Mackin

Carol Service – 18 December

We are planning a Songs of Praise style service for this year’s carol service and would like members of our church family to choose a carol to share as part of this. If you have a carol that you would like to be included in this service, please let Joanne know.



Songs for an autumn evening – Saturday 19 November, 7pm

Hillingdon u3a singers present ‘Songs for an autumn evening’ featuring additional items by the Hillingdon u3a Guitar group and the Hillingdon u3a Ukulele group. The concert takes place at Christ Church on Saturday 19 November at 7pm. Tickets cost £10 (£3 for children) and include light refreshments. Tickets are available on the door or from members of the u3a groups.

A flyer for the u3a concert. The text reads "Hillingdon u3a Singers present 'Songs for an autumn evening. Saturday 19 November 2022, 7pm" Featuring additional items by the Hillingdon u3a Guitar group and the Hillingdon u3a Ukulele group. Christ Church, Redford Way, Uxbridge. Ticket £10 (£3 for children) including light refreshments."





A cartoon showing a devil typing on a computer. The text reads "Dear Computer User. You too can get rich on the Internet. This is not a scam. This is legit. Just do the following: 1) Send me money."
(Copyright Gospel Communications International, Inc – www.reverendfun.com)

Church administrator vacancy

We currently have a job vacancy for a full-time church administrator. The main duties will involve:


  • Leading the day-to-day management of the church buildings
  • Providing information for maintenance of financial records
  • Liaising between the church organisation and users of the church buildings
  • Providing management and leadership for secretarial, cleaning and caretaking staff
  • Responding to personal enquiries and visitors to the church office


Applicants are sought with relevant experience, computer literacy and sympathy with the aims of the Church.


The post is for 35 hours a week (worked Monday – Friday)
Proposed start date: January 2023
Salary £26,000 – £28,000 per annum depending on experience


An application pack is available from the Resources coordinator (resources@christchurchuxbridge.org.uk)
Closing date for applications: 5pm on Monday 21 November 2022



Children’s Corner

A wordsearch puzzle with a hidden message to solve
(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

God grant to the living grace, to the departed rest,
to the Church, the State, and all people, unity, peace and concord,
and to us, and all God’s servants, life everlasting.
And the blessing of God Almighty,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you all
and remain with you always.  Amen
(From the Council of Churches of Britain and Ireland)


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‘Look-In’ – 11 November 2022
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