Methodist Church

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

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Hastings Bexhill & Rye Methodist Circuit - Charity number 1134757

News & Events

See Diary page for forthcoming events

Stewards Scribblings - October 2023

Hello everyone,

Have you noticed how one simple thing often leads to another? Often I see something which seems like a good idea for a quiz question, and I go to look it up, only to find the required answer so interesting that it leads to further research, a satisfyingly large pile of books, and an hour (or more) gone for ever!

A couple of Sundays ago, I went to put the collection plate away, when I thought I would take it home and give it a bit of a polish. Having polished the front, I turned it over to find an inscription I never knew was there. It read, "Presented to Christ Church, Sidley, Sussex on the sixth anniversary of its dedication. 20th March 1913 by EJJ". Who was EJJ? Out came 'The Christ Church Methodist Church: A History', to find a Rev J Johnstone who was a Bexhill minister in 1906. Was this our mysterious donor?

Of course, this led on to a tour of the church with fresh eyes, and I found the clock above the choir stalls with the inscription 'In memory of Mrs FJ Offen December 12th 1918'. I wondered who this obviously worthy and much-loved lady was. Memories came of my dear old Dad who wound her memorial clock faithfully every Sunday, a task now carried on by Clive.

Thinking of Clive, the font in the sanctuary is dedicated to his wife, Jill Lynette Loader, MBE, who died in 2008 and is still fondly remembered by many of us.

The magnificent work of art that is the set of screens dividing the body of the church from the vestibule, was lovingly executed using a dentist drill by Cedric Gillham, a past member of Christchurch. If you search diligently, you will find his initials in one of the panels.

We might not have churchwardens now, but the pew in the vestibule has a text from Hebrews 10 vv 24 and 25. It is inscribed The Churchwarden Pew. Hazel tells me her grandfather, Charles Edwin Dallaway, was a churchwarden at Christchurch!

Gazing around, my eyes lit upon the lectern fall. This was executed by Sheila Richardson, whose husband, Keith was a previous conductor of the Christchurch Singers. If you lift the corner of the fall, there is an embroidered inscription "Lectern Fall" designed by Craig Convery stitched by Sheila Richardson 2006"

Last but not least, I spotted the little font that was used before our present one. This has a brass plaque inscribed "Presented by Mrs Albert H Carey" and sits in the vestibule. There were lots of Careys at Christchurch at one time. Wilf and Beatrice were possibly the last worshipping members here, but some one of you may know differently! They ran Sidley Post Office when it was at the corner of the High Street and Sidley Street, where the Corner Café is now. The Post Office was also a small grocer's shop, and Wilf always wore a spotless white apron and operated the bacon slicer, which sliced your bacon to your required thickness.

I must end my scribblings here with a mention of the smaller of our two magnificent stained glass windows which was given by the man without whom Christchurch would have been 'The Christchurch Arms', Mr Alfred John Marshall Jay. Do read the 'History of Christchurch' to know more.

God bless


Chris Cox,
Senior Steward

Money & Property Matters – and Barry’s Babblings
October 2023

I cannot appreciate how quickly the time seems to be passing and we are now in Autumn and even thinking about Advent and Christmas! Our worship remains the centre of all that we do at Christchurch and we welcome a variety of preachers and leaders. It was a delight to have 'Christian Voices' to lead one of our services when they presented the challenging 'Anger at Nazareth' and we look forward to their next visit. We raised £150 for their chosen charity - 'The Parchment Trust'.

We are looking forward to enjoying an Organ Recital on 27th October at 7.30pm. Our church has a Father Willis organ that is not played very often - all those who know say what a lovely instrument it is. For, our part we do have it regularly tuned and serviced. Please do come along for this musical evening when Andrew McGregor will play and be joined by some guest musicians. No entrance fee but there will be a collection for Bexhill Friends of the Down and for our church.

I wonder how many of you have noticed our rather lovely (but very destructive) roof garden at the pinnacle of the church! Well, it is too late as the buddleia and other plants have been removed - I am pleased to say. We are grateful to the firm that dealt with the needed work - plants are banned from the roof!!

A Church Council has been planned for 10th October and I hope be able to present the annual accounts for the fiscal year ended 31st August 2023 - sadly they will again be in my hand writing before Paul has a chance to 'independently check' the accounts. Those who are members will know that this is always a challenge!! As our Minister is on his sabbatical, the chairman on this occasion will be the Rev Jonathan Todd - a retired Methodist Minister for our St Leonards church.

As readers will know, I am a season ticket holder at Eastbourne Borough FC and I usually attend with my friend, Ken. Last time it was pouring with rain and Ken mentioned a short poem that he had heard - so I said that it should have a wider read so here it is (should bring a smile to your face!).

The rain it raineth every day upon the just and the unjust fella,
But usually on the just because
The unjust hath the just's umbrella!

Ken also mentioned that we should not forget the middle two letters of LIFE - how often in life do we say 'if only'.

Enough of my Babblings and I must now get on with some real work!

Barry Turnwell
Church Treasurer and a Property Steward

Christchurch Messenger Website

You may know that much of the content of the Christchurch Messenger also ends up on the website - www.christchurchmethodist.org - but not all of it. So it is well worth your while to read the Messenger, but also to keep a watchful eye on the website, which is updated every month.

Over 17,500 visits (hits) are made to the website each year, around 48 each day. There are 18 web pages, and the most popular ones are the Home Page, News & Events, Diary, Contacts, Ninfield, and Christchurch Singers. There is also a link to the Winchelsea Chapel website.

If you have any comments or suggestions to make about the website, please let me know.

Peter Downes
Website designer

Winchelsea Methodist Chapel

Winchelsea Methodist Chapel

October 2023

Hopefully you have been able to read a copy of our latest Newsletter - if not do let me know. We would welcome a few more 'Friends' who make a donation each year.

Our Harvest Festival will be on Saturday 7th October at 11am (refreshments at 10.30am) and we look forward to welcoming the Rev Catherine Wagstaff (the wife of our Superintendent) who is a Methodist Minister in Dover. Do come!

Then on Saturday 16th December there will be our Christmas Service at 11am - a date for your diary. It is encouraging that we are seeing an increasing number of folk and groups that wish to make a visit to our Heritage site - we are always pleased to link with visits and to give a short talk about the Chapel (or Preaching House as it should be called).

Barry Turnwell, Publicity Officer