Hands lifted upwards in prayer against rays of sunlight

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 with 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)



Opening Prayer

Hands open, hearts open, eyes open, Lord, I come.
Head full of responsibilities and to-do lists, Lord I come.
Heart full of worries, sorrows, hopes, fears, dreams and longing, Lord I come.
Just as I am, Lord I come.
Fill me anew with the beauty, power and wonder of your word,
Strengthen me with the sure knowledge of your presence and companionship.
Lord, as I come, may I know myself forgiven, loved and set free,
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
(Taken from The Vine)



Hands lifted upwards in prayer against rays of sunlight






Reflection from 16 June

Reading – Ezekiel 17: 22-24, Psalm 92: 1-4, 12-15 and Mark 4: 26-34


Our two parables from Mark this morning are well-known ones, describing the kingdom of God using the imagery of seeds growing. In both these parables, the seeds grow by themselves, in their own time. In the first parable, we hear of the stages that the seed goes through in order to reach the point when it is ready to be harvested – “first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.” The man has no power to hurry the seed along – it grows in its own time and only when it is ready can the grain be harvested.


The seeds that we sow in our own lives and in our church life are similar. We have to be patient while we’re waiting for things to grow, to change, to bear fruit. As much as we might like to hurry things along, we often have to wait for it to happen in God’s time.


It’s quite a magical thing isn’t growing things from seeds? To see fruit, vegetables, flowers coming from such a tiny little unassuming object. To see nothing but bare earth one moment and then the next time you look there are green leaves appearing. Some seeds need a lot of attention and nurturing whereas others spring up from nowhere. We have forget-me-nots and wild strawberries growing in our garden. I didn’t plant them – one year they just appeared and now they grow happily each year with very little attention on my part.


Forget-me-not flowers in a garden


There’s so much potential hidden inside a tiny seed. When we plant a seed in the ground, we don’t know how big it will grow, how many flowers it will produce or how much fruit it will generate. If we take our faith, and allow God to work through us, who knows how much will grow as a result – what fruit will be produced.


In our first reading this morning from Ezekiel, we have the image of God taking a shoot from a cedar tree and planting it on top of a mountain. There’s a wonderful image of all the life that is part of this tree as it grows – the branches, the fruit, the birds nesting in the tree and finding shelter in its branches. From a simple shoot, comes a whole ecosystem. We’re reminded of God’s work all around us – the beauty of nature and how things are linked together. The tree doesn’t grow in isolation – it becomes a central part of a natural community, providing food, a place to live, shelter.

A cedar tree on a mountain with yellow and green foliage in the background


Like the tree, we don’t grow in isolation either. We’re also part of a community – part of a support network.


The last verse is a reminder though that things can change. The tall tree will be brought down and the low tree will grow tall. God will dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. We might think we’re in control of things, but at the end of the day, it is God who has the ultimate control.


The image of the cedar tree is also found in the Psalm: “the righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon.. they will still bear fruit in old age.”


I was talking to a friend earlier this week and smiling over the fact that despite being middle-aged, within the church I’m still considered as being one of the younger generation! Within many church communities, those who are retired are often very active within church life, being vocal on church groups and committees, volunteering for roles within the church and helping to keep churches running. Like the cedar tree in the Psalm, they’re still bearing fruit. Not because of their own strength, but because of God working through them. It’s a good reminder that God works through us all, throughout our lives – that we can still be a vital and active part of church life whatever our age.


When we trust in God to work through us, when we use the gifts that God has given us, we plant seeds all around us. And like the seed in the first parable of our gospel reading, they will sprout and grow although we may not know how. It might take time for those seeds to take root and grow, and we might never see what grows from some of the seeds that we have planted, but sometimes the smallest seed can grow into something big.


Back when we had our series of Frontline Sundays services, we reflected on our Monday to Saturday lives as a scattered church. We spend most of our time as a church outside of our church building, going about our everyday lives and that part of our Christian life is so important. When we talk to others outside of our church, when we go about our everyday lives, we might plant seeds in others – friends, strangers. We may never know what the result of these might be, what might come from words that perhaps someone just needed to hear in that moment, but we plant seeds wherever we go.


What seeds are being planted in your life today? What seeds are you planting in those around you? As we go through the week ahead, may we each trust God as he plants those seeds in us and in those around us, and be open to how those seeds may grow and bear fruit. Amen.
Louise George




Readings for 23 June

Mark 4: 35-41

Jesus Calms the Storm
35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”


39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.


An illustration depicting Jesus in a boat with the disciples, calming the storm.


40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”


41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”



Further readings from the lectionary this week are as follows:

  • Job 38: 1-11
  • Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32
  • 2 Corinthians 6:1-13







Our worship

We meet at 11am for our Sunday services, which are also live-streamed on our YouTube channel. If you wish to view our services online, you can find them at https://www.youtube.com/@christchurchuxbridge


You can also view a recent service on our church website. Our service this week will be led by Methodist local preacher, Richard Reid. 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

23 June – Richard Reid (Methodist local preacher)

30 June – Revd John Mackerness (URC minister) – Holy Communion

7 July – Neil Mackin (Christ Church member and trainee URC lay preacher)

14 July – Christ Church worship group – parade service and service of thanksgiving to mark Stephanie Marr’s retirement as Girls’ Brigade Captain





A cartoon of one man holding a Bible talking to another man. The caption reads "So you've heard the good news of Jesus Christ, but have you heard it from me yet?"
(Copyright Gospel Communications International, Inc – www.reverendfun.com)


From the Circuit

St. Andrews Christian Literary Festival

St Andrew’s Christian Bookshop in the beautiful village of Great Missenden will be holding its first Christian literary festival, where many of the UK’s most beloved authors will be present, on the 21st and 22nd June. There will be interviews with the author, book discussions, and even kids events. The venues for the literary festival will be in the churches of Great Missenden – to book tickets or see specific dates and times for the festival events, visit the website on stalitfest.co.uk, where you can also find a list of the 20+ confirmed contributing authors.



Farewell to Revd Nigel Cowgill

Nigel’s time as a Chair of the District is coming to an end in August. To thank him for all his work and service to the London District and wider church the District is holding a Farewell Service on Sunday 21 July at Hinde Street Methodist Church, W1U 2QJ. The afternoon will start with refreshments from 5:30pm, followed by a service at 6:30pm. If you would like to attend, please let the Circuit know on admin@hahcircuit.org.uk so that we can give an estimated headcount to the organisers of the event.




URC News

Get crafting to dream on

What are your dreams for yourself, for the church and for the world?


Show us by designing a 15x15cm square. Knit, crochet, make a patchwork square or even draw. All the squares will be joined together to make one massive quilt of dreams.



A patchwork pattern of colourful watercolour prints



Whatever your talent, we would like your help. Be a part of the URC’s presence at this year’s Greenbelt festival, titled ‘Dream On’, even if you can’t be there in person.


How to join in:

  • Your square(s) should be 15x15cm.
  • If you are knitting or crocheting, use any wool you like.
  • If drawing/writing with fabric pens or stitching, please do so on a cotton square (any colour you prefer).
  • Please send your squares to The Quilt of Dreams, 116 Mount Road, Penn, Wolverhampton WV4 5RZ by 15 July, 2024 so we can stitch them all together.


Please email samara.andrews@urc.org.uk if you have any questions.


Find out more at https://urc.org.uk/greenbelt






Sunday 30th June 2024, 1pm at the Quaker Meeting House, York Road, Uxbridge

This year’s Churches Together in Uxbridge AGM will be taking place on Sunday 30th June at the Quaker Meeting House. All are welcome to join us for a shared lunch from 1pm, followed by the AGM where we will also be welcoming a speaker, Judy Barber, who will talk about her experiences working as an Ecumenical Accompanier for EAPPI in Israel and Palestine.


Nominations for CTU officer positions (chair, vice-chair, secretary and treasurer) are also open. If you would be interested in standing for any of these, please email secretary@churchestogether-uxbridge.com


A poster with the heading ‘Churches Together in Uxbridge’ with images of the Churches Together in Uxbridge logo and the logos of the different member churches below the heading. There is also a photo of three women walking along a dusty road – two are wearing headscarves and one is wearing a summer hat. The logo for the ‘Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel’ is next to the photo. There is also a box advertising a Christian Book Fair in aid of ‘Hillingdon Foodbank’. The text on the poster reads “AGM and Shared Lunch at Quaker Meeting House, York Road/Belmont Road, Sunday 30th June 2024. 1pm: Shared lunch – small meeting house & garden – provided by member churches. 1.30pm: AGM business in large meeting house. 2pm: Talk / Q&A with Judy Barber about her experiences working as an Ecumenical Accompanier for EAPPI with people in Palestine/Israel. 2.45pm: Prayer/epilogue. 3pm: Close.”




Children’s Corner


A word code puzzle
(Taken from the Roots activity sheet © ROOTS for Churches Ltd (www.rootsontheweb.com) 2002-2024. Reproduced with permission.)




Dates for your diary


26 June Welcome Wednesday
30 June CTU AGM
10 July Welcome Wednesday
24 July Welcome Wednesday
4 September Welcome Wednesday
8 September Congregational Meeting
18 September Welcome Wednesday
24 November Congregational Meeting




Praying for other churches

This week we hold the following in our prayers:

  • Ministers and local preachers in Harrow and Hillingdon Circuit
  • URC ministers and lay preachers in Thames North Synod




Closing prayer

Go with courage, followers of the Christ.
Go into a world crying out for love and hope.
Go to spread peace.
Go, and the Spirit of God goes before you. Amen.
(Taken from The Vine)







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‘Look-In’ – 21 June 2024
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