A child's hand receiving a teddy bear at a charity event

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)


This will be the last newsletter for this year – the next newsletter will be sent out on 5 January. Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas and blessings for the new year ahead.


An silhouetted image of a stable with a star above on a blue background. The text reads "May the joy of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, the worship of the wise men and the peace of the Christ child be yours this Christmas."



Opening Prayer

God of the manger,
God of the shepherds,
God of the angels – I worship you this day.


I worship a God who came to a young woman in Nazareth, in unknowable ways, and who made the impossible possible and who made the incomprehensible happen, a God who became a tiny baby boy, who contracted infinite power and strength into a fragile, feeble and dependent human life.


I worship a Christmas God.
I stand with the angels.
I stand in the presence of God.


The Christmas God who came, you are also the God who comes – today, now, into my life.


I, like John the Baptist, look for ways I can prepare the way for you to come. I seek to know you more, and to do your will in the world around us.


I have failed, I have fallen short, but I know something of the peace, the acceptance, the warmth of the Advent God.


This day, I look to your coming Lord,
I stand with the angels.
I stand in the presence of an ordinary, extraordinary God.
(Taken from The Vine)







Prayer for Israel and Palestine

Oh sacred head now wounded…
Today, as every day, you are wounded again by the sins of the world.
Today the wounded of Gaza cry to you and we lift our cries with them.
How long, we wonder, will it be until your promised reign of peace comes.
How long before the captives will be released.
O sacred head, when the wounds seem too hard to bear, too awful to see,
teach us not to turn away but instead remind us
that in you all trauma can find healing
and long years of hatreds be transformed.
Oh, make us yours forever
And should we fainting be
Lord, let us never, never
Outlive our love for thee.
(From the Methodist Circuit newsletter)








Reflection from 10 December: The gift of joy

Reading – Luke 2: 8-12


There is enormous joy in the wonder of Christmas – in the promise of the angels, the accounts of shepherds and wise travellers, as well as the marvellous incarnation of Jesus Christ himself.  Here, we see the love of God made real.


The angel brings surprising, fabulous news that will stir hearts and change lives, and a sign of this new beginning – of the reign of a Saviour – is the arrival of a vulnerable child in a stable.  It was a wonderful and yet strange sign, one that directed attention to the child on the margins, to what was expectation.  This is hugely significant, for it inverts contemporary values and understandings: it places a weak and vulnerable child at the centre of God’s purposes.  This is what led shepherds into new discoveries of wonder and joy.  It also signified the beginning of more positive attitudes and regard for children, seen in the coming years, among the followers of Jesus.


Action for Children has known that wonder and joy can be found in the unlikeliest of places.  The Christmas story reminds us how the extraordinary is revealed in what might first appear as weak, neglected or marginalised.  We know that in the most fragile of environments (and with the right support), security, happiness and opportunity can be found, and lives utterly transformed.  Action for Children has seen this in their residential homes, their provision for disabled children, mental health programmes, advice services, short breaks, fostering support, and interventions among children exploited through organised crime networks.


There is joy in abundance when children are helped to make new discoveries, realise their potential, develop bonds of security and trust, and feel affirmed and supported.


There are many ways in which we can bring the joy of that first Christmas into the lives of others.  In working for safe and happy childhoods, Action for Children is an important one of them.


A child's hand receiving a teddy bear at a charity event


So, like the shepherds, we can each of us keep watch this Christmas and be aware of the needs of others around us.  Like the shepherds, we can each of us believe in the joyful gift of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the example of his life and service to the most vulnerable.  And like the shepherds, we can each of us act to bring joy to our communities as we have this morning with the gifts you have brought for Trinity.
(Reflection by the Revd Mike Long, Action for Children Trustee and Notting Hill Methodist Circuit Superintendent, adapted by Stephanie Marr)






Readings for 17 December

John 1: 6-8, 19-28

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.


John the Baptist Denies Being the Messiah
19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”


21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”


22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”


23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”


24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptise if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”


26 “I baptise with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”


An illustration of John the Baptist baptising in the Jordan river


28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptising.



Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:

  • Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-11
  • Psalm 126
  • 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-24




Readings for 24 December

Luke 1: 26-38

The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.”


An illustration of the Angel Gabriel's visit to Mary.


29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”


34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”


35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”


38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.



Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:

  • 2 Samuel 7: 1-11, 16
  • Psalm 89: 1-4. 19-26
  • Romans 16:25-27




Readings for 25 December

John 1: 1-14

The Word Became Flesh
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.


There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.


14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


An open Bible with candles and twinkly lights in the background



Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:

  • Isaiah 52:7-10
  • Psalm 98
  • Hebrews 1:1-4 (5-12)





Readings for 31 December

Luke 2: 22-40

Jesus Presented in the Temple
22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”


25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:


29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31     which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”


A stained glass window depicting Jesus's presentation in the temple


33 The child’s father and mother marvelled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”


36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.


39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.



Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:

  • Isaiah 61: 10 – 62: 3
  • Psalm 148
  • Galatians 4: 4-7




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 for the third Sunday of Advent will be a carol service led by Christ Church member, Joanne Mackin. 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 December – Christ Church worship group – carol service

24 December – Revd Maggie Hindley (URC minister) – Christmas Eve service

25 December – Neil Mackin (Christ Church member) – Christmas morning service (10.30am)

31 December – Revd Dr Leao Neto (Methodist minister) – Holy Communion

7 January – Christ Church worship group

14 January – Neil Mackin (Christ Church member) – parade service




Gift service

Thank you to everyone who brought along a gift for Trinity’s Christmas appeal at our gift service last week. The gifts have now been delivered to Trinity to be distributed to those in need.


Gifts around the bottom of a Christmas tree


Following the retiring collection after our Gift Service, Christ Church was able to give £50 to Action for Children’s Secret Santa campaign. Thank you.




Christmas at Christ Church

Friday 15 December, 12noon – Carols and mince pies

Join us for a carol service in the chapel followed by mince pies. All are welcome.


Sunday 17 December, 11am – Carol service

This year’s carol service will be a ‘Songs of Praise’ style carol service led by Christ Church member, Joanne Mackin.


Sunday 24 December, 11am – Christmas Eve service

Our Christmas Eve service will be led by URC minister, Revd Maggie Hindley. All are welcome.


Monday 25 December, 10.30am – Christmas Day service

Our Christmas Day service will be led by Christ Church member, Neil Mackin. All are welcome.




You can find details of other Christmas services taking place in Uxbridge on the CTU website:



A poster advertising Christmas services. The background is of a blue night sky with stars and at the bottom are silhouetted hills and palm trees and an orange-lit stable with two figures kneeling either side of a baby in a manger. The text on the poster reads “Christmas Greetings. Churches Together in Uxbridge wish you a happy Christmas and invite you to join them in celebrating the birth of Jesus. Sunday 17th December. 11am – Carol Service, Christ Church. 5pm – Candlelit Carol Service, St Andrew’s. 6pm – Carols by Candlelight, St Margaret’s. Tuesday 19th December. 7.30am – Rorate Candlelit Mass, Our Lady of Lourdes and St Michael. Wednesday 20th December. 7pm – Blue Christmas, St Andrew’s. Sunday 24th December. 8am – Mass (also at 10am), Our Lady of Lourdes and St Michael. 10.30am – Christmas Eve worship, Uxbridge Quakers. 11am – Christmas Eve service, Christ Church. 4pm – Mass with ‘Living Nativity’, Our Lady of Lourdes and St Michael; Parish Crib Service, St Margaret’s. 10.30pm – Carol Service, Our Lady of Lourdes and St Michael. 11pm – Midnight Mass, Our Lady of Lourdes and St Michael. 11.30pm – Parish Midnight Mass, St Andrew’s. Monday 25th December. 8am – Mass (also at 9.30am & 11am) – Our Lady of Lourdes and St Michael. 10am – Christmas Day family service, St Andrew’s; Christmas Day family service – St Margaret’s. 10.30am – Christmas Day service, Christ Church; Christmas Day worship, Uxbridge Quakers. May the joy of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, the worship of the wise men, and the peace of the Christ child be yours this Christmas.”



Advent and Christmas services across the Harrow & Hillingdon Methodist Circuit are available at:





A cartoon of the three wise men looking at the stable with a star over it. The caption reads "It's the best one-star hotel that I've ever seen."
(Copyright Gospel Communications International, Inc – www.reverendfun.com)



From the Circuit

Circuit Life newsletter

The latest issue of ‘Circuit Life’ is now available and can be downloaded here.



Dates for your diary


15 December Carols and mince pies
25 December Christmas morning worship
10 January Welcome Wednesdays
24 January Welcome Wednesdays
7 February Welcome Wednesdays
18 February Annual Congregational Meeting
21 February Welcome Wednesdays
6 March Welcome Wednesdays
20 March Welcome Wednesdays
3 April Welcome Wednesdays
17 April Welcome Wednesdays
19 May Congregational Meeting
8 September Congregational Meeting
24 November Congregational Meeting



Children’s Corner


A code breaker puzzle
(Taken from the Roots activity sheet © ROOTS for Churches Ltd (www.rootsontheweb.com) 2002-2023. Reproduced with permission.)



Praying for other churches

w/c 17 December

This week we hold the following churches in our prayers:

  • Ruislip Methodist
  • Christ Church, Enfield (URC)
  • The Kingsborough Centre, Uxbridge


w/c 24 December

This week we hold the following churches in our prayers:

  • The Lighthouse Centre, Harrow & Hillingdon Circuit
  • All churches in Uxbridge


w/c 31 December

This week we hold Christ Church in our prayers.


Closing prayer

Lord, help us to reflect you at work.
Help us to reflect you at school.
Help us to reflect you at home.
Help us to reflect you when we’re out.
Help us to reflect you with our friends.
Help us to reflect you to our neighbours.
Shine your light so all may see your love this Christmas.
(Taken from Roots)



A silhouetted image of the Nativity scene with the three wise men approaching and shepherds kneeling. on a deep blue background There are three white angels in the sky above the stable




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‘Look-In’ – 15 December 2023
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