'I have thoroughly enjoyed my first few weeks as Headteacher at Christ Church Primary School – the time has really flown by.  As in all schools, there is always a lot to do, but I feel very supported by all the staff working at the school.  It’s the children that really make a school though and I’ve been very impressed with the warm, friendly and enthusiastic nature of the pupils at Christ Church.  They really care about the school and I’ve had the pleasure to work with the School / Eco- Council already and I’ve seen how responsible and committed they are to improving their school.  All of this helps to create the ‘special atmosphere’ that many visitors comment on.'

On a dreamy day recently, I was sat with my foot up (broken ankle!) and had three wishes:- 1.    Everyone gave by Bankers Orders, so that money went straight to the bank, which is safer and requires less counting or
recording and I knew what was due in each month when paying bills, or if not... 2.    Regular giving by Giving Envelopes.   3.    and with either method Giving with Gift Aid to increase the amount given by 25%. I imagined a rush for Bankers Orders, Giving Envelopes and Gift Aid Declarations, all available from the Church Office or Treasurer, and thought ‘Why Not?’. Audrey Flew


“Read and Return”

I guess because it’s tucked away in a corner of the church (and sometimes obscured by notice boards!) the Lending Library tends to get overlooked.  However, its shelves are filled with a very good selection of recent books, many of which are still currently on sale in the book shops, whilst others are ‘classics’ which are out of print and not available anywhere else. Paradoxically, the very simplicity of the scheme confuses people!  “Where do I sign to say I’ve taken a book?” is a question I’m sometimes asked.  The thing is – you don’t!  

Christ ChurchEmmanuel ChurchSince I was formally made the Vicar of Emmanuel in 2005, the links between our two churches have grown.

Both P.C.C.’s recently have been encouraged by identifying areas now shared, and I am now hoping that you too may be both pleased and perhaps even surprised at how far we have gone in sharing resources and working together.



  1. Overlapping worship at the Sunday evening service and Wednesday morning.
  2. This magazine has many articles, like this one, that will be in both church’s magazines.
  3. Sunday preachers/leaders/musicians.
  4. Prayer pointers for the weekly service sheet are shared.
  5. Publicity throughout both parishes contain details of both church services.
  6. The Houseparty weekend is shared.
  7. Winter Warmth has volunteers from both.
  8. The Beacon is led by folk from both.
  9. We support each others events - coffee/socials etc.
  10. The Bible reading notes are administered by one person for both.
  11. Our Home Groups are open to both.
  12. Coping with the challenge of finance/auditing is shared.
  13. Cleaning and D.I.Y. are spread across both.

Not to mention the Vicars time! Quite a bit I think you will agree.  It is the result of steady and healthy growth hopefully for the benefit of both, for which we praise God.

Geoff Hobden

Bishop PeterBe ready to glimpse God’s love in the everyday

I have largely resisted the temptation to wax lyrical about the sabbatical three months that I had in the latter part of last year, but the dark days of January have prompted me to reflect on one particular experience that followed Liz and I as we travelled through France in those first few weeks of our time away. Some of you may know that I have a fondness for bird watching.  This never gets serious enough to gain me entry into the ‘twitcher’ fraternity, but does provide me with memorable ‘glimpses of glory’ from time to time.  One of the joys of my office in the Palace is that its window looks out on to the moat and I have regular sights of a kingfisher as it goes about its daily business.  Little did I expect that our trip round France would be interrupted with similar sightings at every place we stayed.  At first I put it down to coincidence, but as a friend remarked perhaps it was ‘God incidence’

Come and listen at Storytellers

There is power in a story.  Jesus knew that.  And he was the supreme storyteller.  And amongst the members of Christ Church and Emmanuel we are discovering that there is a wealth of talent for writing, reading and telling stories as well as an interest in simply listening.

Most of us like listening to or telling stories.  Whether fact or fiction, stories play a vital part in helping us to understand the world in which we live.  And when we share stories we get to know each other a little better.