Christchurch Methodist Church

Springfield Road, Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex TN40 2BX

Christchurch Methodist Church

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Stewards Scribblings - November 2018  
Most of us will recall the rhyme “Remember, Remember the 5th of November” with its association with bonfires and fireworks. But during November we also remember the ending of the Great War of 1914/1918 and this year is the 100th anniversary of the Armistice. 
At Christchurch we are not only recalling church members recorded on the brass plaque who died in the conflict. Jill Read, with the help of her team of knitters, has also organised a poppy display remembering all the local people from Bexhill itself who gave their lives fighting for their country. This will be a visual reminder of the debt we owe to past generations, who gave us the freedoms we enjoy today. 
Now some news from the recent quarterly Circuit meeting that was attended by representatives from all the local churches. You are probably aware that our Superintendent Minister Ian is unwell and on a temporary basis he and Lis will be occupying a newly refurbished manse in Hailsham. This is only a twenty minute drive from Bexhill and we look forward to Ian resuming his duties as soon as he is fit to return to work. Meanwhile it has been decided to sell one, and possibly both, of the manses in Hastings and replace them with more up to date, lower maintenance properties. 
The day to day finances of most churches in the Circuit continue to give cause for concern, with expenditure exceeding income. Sooner or later there will need to be a further rationalisation in the number of places of worship, to reflect the current declining active Methodist membership within the Circuit. Even at Christchurch the longstanding members are not getting any younger, merely growing old gracefully together! 
I have mentioned previously the need for Christchurch members to be willing to involve themselves more fully in the life of our church and take on positions of responsibility. The good news is that two people have offered to help as Communion Stewards. However, we are still waiting for a volunteer to take on Safeguarding duties and another person to lead our Junior Church section. In addition, Pat Hennessy has had to give up her stewarding duties due to increased family commitments so we now urgently require a replacement Steward to join Jill, Judy and myself. A church cannot function without the goodwill and commitment of all its members. 
Finally, I hope to see as many of you as possible at the nostalgic concert and singalong with a First World War theme being organised by Chris and friends on Saturday 10 November. 

November 2018

I am writing my Babblings just a few days before the Finance and Property Committee members meet to discuss plans for the future. However, I can say that the accounts for the fiscal year ended 31st August 2018 have been completed and are in the hands of Paul Burson who very kindly acts as the ‘independent examiner’ for us. Financially things are rather tight at present and if you are able to review your regular giving (upwards that is!) that would be much appreciated. 
We are still awaiting the refund of tax that we are able to claim on some designated giving and Steve has been working hard to obtain the funds and hopefully they will arrive very soon. 
Last month I did mention about the use of our facilities and there are vacancies when we could accommodate folk who may like to hire the hall. I am in discussion with a group and if you know of any interested club do let me know and I will be delighted to meet with them and give them a tour of the premises and also talk about the costs. 
I am sure that avid readers of the local paper will have seen various items bout our church – particularly the Messy Church and the special events surrounding Remembrance Sunday. We are looking forward to seeing the special display of poppies outside of the church and thanks to all who have made this rather special display possible. 
These are not easy days for many of our churches and also we are missing the Rev Ian Pruden (our Superintendent Minister) who remains on extended sick leave. He is missed by us all and hope that it will not be too long before he is fit and well again. Our own Minister will be having her sabbatical from March to May and so we will all have to fill the gap as best we can. 
The circuit stewards and Leadership team are very busy at the moment as we all plan for the future. The Rev Peggy Heim (the other circuit minister) will have fulfilled her term by the end of August 2019 and this also being considered at the present time. The circuit meeting (on which there are representatives of all the circuit churches) is the deciding body and many important decisions will have to be made in the coming months. We should hold our ministers and the members of the Leadership Team in our prayers as they wrestle with some difficult decisions. 
As I frequently mention – our worship is at the heart of our church life. We are grateful to all who lead and take part in worship. We are still considering the very important work of Junior Church and as Michelle retires in December we must look for a continued positive future. In addition we are still discussing plans for a possible Community Lay Worker to be appointed at Christchurch and our Church Council will, no doubt, be discussing this further at the next meeting (30th October). 
Finally, may I just remind readers of the Christchurch Singers Christmas Praise concert on Sunday December 9th at 6pm when we will be joined by the Hooe Silver Band – it should be an excellent evening (apart from the MC but you can’t have everything!!). 
Barry Turnwell 
Treasurer and a Property Steward. 

Remembrance Sunday 2018

2018 will mark 100 years since the end of the First World War. I wonder if we could mark it in a very special way, by having our own ‘Sea of Poppies’. I suggest that a cascade of poppies could be made, by knitting, crochet, using felt, clay etc. all in Poppy red and displayed on a falling net fabric into the area outside the church to the left hand side of the display window on Springfield Road. I have researched the number of service personnel killed in Bexhill in conflict and we would need 472 hence suggesting we start now! This number equates to about 10 per week being produced between now and November next year!! 
I have simple knitting and crochet patterns if anyone would like one, but any design would be lovely! Thank you so much and happy knitting!!  Jill


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Hastings Bexhill & Rye Methodist Circuit - Charity number 1134757