An open Bible on a wooden table with autumn leaves behind it

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 (




Opening Prayer

God of all, we come to offer you the best of ourselves:
to take hold of mercy and let go of fear,
to take hold of generosity and to let go of resentment,
to take hold of forgiveness and to let go of sin,
to take hold of gratitude and to let go of grudge,
to take hold of all your very self,
in Jesus Christ our Saviour.
(Taken from Roots)


Hands clasped in prayer on top of an open Bible




Reflection from 10 September

Reading – Hebrews 10:19-25


Our reading this morning starts with the Christian message of good news – the reminder that Jesus has cleared the way for us to come closer to God and then goes on to encourage us to do just that – to draw closer to God in full belief, confident that we are able to do so. It reminds us that God is faithful to his promises and then it continues to encourage all of us to come together, to help each other, to encourage each other in love, to spur each other on and to worship together.


For four sessions, we’ve been talking about our frontlines and on being Christians in our Monday to Saturday lives – our lives as a scattered church. Today we’re taking it back to Sunday and the importance of our gathered church life. Our reading this morning reminds us of the importance of our lives together and how we need that time to encourage and support each other. Here in our church building, we gather to listen to God together, to share in our family life as a church, to learn from each other and from the way God has been working in each of our lives. We gather to support and encourage each other, to give each other strength when things are hard, to give each other hope in the times when God seems far away.


For many of us, the Covid pandemic made us realise just how important it was to be able to gather with others. Not necessarily within a church setting, but the thing that many of struggled the most with was that loss of our communities. Not being able to meet with others; not being able to physically be close to other people. The face-to-face contact with the people we cared about was something that many of us missed the most.


It opened our eyes to ways of doing things differently and the realisation that church was more than just the building and I think gave us a reminder that we are the church wherever we are – whether we’re here in this building or in our homes or out and about on our frontlines. But it also made us realise anew the importance of our gathered life.


And so, we found ways to gather in spite of being physically separated. We found ways to keep the connection alive. We found ways to be a gathered church online – through Zoom meetings and streaming of services. We connected through phone calls, through newsletters. Because that connection mattered.


An adult and child praying in front of an open laptop


For some people, the loss of that gathered connection perhaps made it harder to hold on to their faith. We often need other people to encourage us when God feels far away and our faith feels weak. For myself, and perhaps for others, the response of people to support and encourage each other, to go out and help others in various ways, the way people pulled together and the drive to find ways to reconnect and to be church in new ways actually strengthened my faith. It reminded me that God was still there in the difficult times. But for others, God may have felt very far away.


When times are hard, we need others to encourage us on. We’re all here this morning because we feel the need to gather together as Christians, physically or being part of this church family and community through joining in online. We can worship God at home – we can pray wherever we are, we can read our Bibles, we can learn more about God’s love as individuals. But we need that encouragement and support from others in our faith too – to know that we are not alone, because even though we know God is always with us, we need human contact and encouragement too.

A group of people praying with their hands clasped on top of open Bibles


Coming together as a church and listening to each other; listening to what is shared in our services each Sunday, also helps us gain new insights into who God is, what his purpose for our lives might be. You might not have a “ah!” moment listening to me talk today, but I’m sure many of us have had moments of listening to someone sharing a reflection or a sermon and it’s been like a little light has gone off in our brain, giving us a new insight into something that we’d never thought of before.


We come here to learn and to grow, and then at the end of the service, we’re encouraged to go out into the world, taking some of what we’ve shared together and to use what God has spoken into our hearts in our everyday lives – taking it out into our frontlines.


We’ve emphasised a lot in this series about the importance of the work we do on our frontlines. But this time together as a gathered church is also important. It is here that we are reminded of the core elements of our faith, it is here where our church family can help us remain faithful to our calling. It is here in our gathered church where we teach, guide, challenge, equip, encourage, love and commission one another for our lives on the frontline.


The final video for the Frontline Sundays series reminds us of those reasons why we come together and why it’s so important for us to do so.


Gathered. Welcomed. Celebrated. Restored. Gathered together. Encouraged. Supported. Loved. Reminded who God is. Hearts awed by his majesty. Eyes seeing afresh the wonder of grace. Thankful for his awesome unwavering love. Reminded who I am and all I have received.  Challenged. Equipped. Renewed. Commissioned. Ready. Sent.
Louise George






Readings for 17 September

Matthew 18: 21-35

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I cancelled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”


An open Bible on a wooden table with autumn leaves behind it


Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:

  • Genesis 50: 15-21
  • Psalm 103: 8-13
  • Romans 14: 1-12






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 our Harvest and parade service, 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

17 September – Graham Hinton (URC lay preacher and Christ Church member) – Harvest and parade service

24 September – Revd Dr Leao Neto (Methodist minister) – Holy Communion

1 October – Anne Byfield (URC lay preacher)

8 October – Peter Davies (Methodist local preacher)




Harvest Service Foodbank donations

We will be collecting donations for the local foodbank at our harvest service on 17 September. If you would like to bring a donation for the foodbank, the following items are those they are currently in most need of:


  • Carrier bags
  • All and any toiletries
  • Washing up liquid
  • Jam/honey
  • Rice pudding
  • Custard
  • Tinned fruit
  • Sugar (500g or 1kg)
  • Microwave rice packets
  • Tinned fish
  • Pasta sauce
  • Tinned potatoes
  • Instant coffee
  • Long life milk (ideally full fat or semi skimmed)
  • Long life fruit juice
  • 1l fruit squash
  • Biscuits
  • Dried noodles
  • Tinned spaghetti
  • Long grain rice


A table filled with food being donated to the foodbank at the front of the church during a harvest service





Church charity news

We have two events coming up as fundraisers for our church charity:


Table-top sale – Saturday 23 September, 10am – 3pm

A variety of crafts and other items available along with tea, coffee and cakes from our coffee morning, which will be hosted by our Girls’ Brigade company. If you are interested in booking a table for £10, please speak to Jean George.


Quiz supper – Saturday 14 October, 6.30pm in the Watts Hall

Come and join us for a fun quiz evening along with a supper of fish and chips (or sausage/veggie burger/chicken and chips). Tickets cost £15 per person. Booking forms are available in the meeting area. Please return your completed form and payment to the office by Friday 6 October.


Fish and chips with a lemon wedge on a sheet of greaseproof paper


You can find more details about Communicare Counselling Service, our church charity for 2023 at:






A cartoon illustration of a cross-looking person leaning out of a broken window throwing a baseball to two children standing outside the window. The caption reads "This is the seventieth times seventh time I've forgiven your baseball through my window... this is the last time!
(Copyright Gospel Communications International, Inc –


CTU Bible exploration: Just Economics

Tuesdays, 12.30pm – 1.30pm from 26 September

What should the goal of the economy be? Why isn’t our current system enabling people to flourish, especially as the cost of living crisis bites? Could a change in approach help us solve the climate crisis? What does our Christian faith have to say about the economy?


“Just ECONOMICS” is a six-session small group course, opening up some of these questions and starting a conversation about how the economy might be re-shaped to enable the wellbeing of all people and the planet.


Suitable for individual or group study, this course is designed for people with no background in finance or economics. It is rooted in ideas found in the Bible and the teachings of Jesus, and compares this with other thinking around money, poverty and wealth, leading us to examine our own attitudes to systems of worth and how our society could be changed for the better.


Each week we will be exploring a different theme as follows:

Week 1 – Crisis

Week 2 – Enough

Week 3 – Growth

Week 4 – Value

Week 5 – Freedom

Week 6 – Change


The sessions will be held in the chapel at Christ Church on Tuesdays from 12.30pm – 1.30pm from 26 September. All are welcome to attend.




From the Circuit

Circuit Life Newsletter

The latest Circuit Life newsletter is now available and can be read here.

Dates for your diary

23 September Table-top sale in aid of Communicare Counselling Service
26 September CTU Bible exploration group
30 September URC Learning Hub (focusing on small groups and intentional relationships).
3 October CTU Bible exploration group
4 October Welcome Wednesdays
10 October CTU Bible exploration group
14 October Quiz night in aid of Communicare Counselling Service
17 October CTU Bible exploration group
18 October Welcome Wednesdays
22 October Congregational meeting
24 October CTU Bible exploration group
31 October CTU Bible exploration group
1 November Welcome Wednesdays
15 November Welcome Wednesdays
29 November Welcome Wednesdays
10 December Congregational meeting with bring and share lunch
13 December Welcome Wednesdays




Children’s Corner

Solve the multiplication clues to colour in the design. Which numbers feature in the Bible passage (Matthew 18: 21-35)?


7 x 1 = Orange

7 x 2 = Blue

7 x 3 = Green

7 x 5 = Red

11 x 7 = Yellow


A picture of a crown with the main part of the crown marked "77" and the jewels marked with various other numbers.
(Taken from the Roots activity sheet © ROOTS for Churches Ltd ( 2002-2023. Reproduced with permission.)






Praying for other churches

This week we hold the following churches in our prayers:


  • Cannon Lane Methodist
  • Acton Hill (URC/Methodist)
  • St Margaret’s, Uxbridge



Two people holding out their hands palms up touching each other. A cross rests in their open palms.

Closing prayer

Beloved, let’s love as we have been loved,
let’s forgive as we have been forgiven,
let’s allow grace to flow in and spill out of our lives,
healing and blessing as it goes.
And may the bountiful, beautiful, blessing of God,
Source, Saviour and Spirit
be yours today and always.
(Taken from the URC worship notes for 17 September)









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‘Look-In’ – 15 September 2023
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