Christ Church ECO Congregation Award Aug 2011Christ Church, Weston Super Mare is awarded eco-congregation status.

Christ Church has joined the 200 churches, chapels and cathedrals in England and Wales that have achieved eco-congregation status. It is the first to do so among the 40 churches in its home town of Weston super Mare. The achievement is the culmination of three years effort by a small but determined eco-group (pictured right) backed by a supportive leadership and church membership of 240. The journey to the present stage began with a survey of church members. This had the twin aims of gaining an understanding of individual people’s views on the need to care for God’s creation and of finding out what practical efforts they were making both individually and as households to that end.

Safeguarding in the church community ie making our church safe for children, young people and vulnerable adults, is everyone’s responsibility.

Everyone involved in life at Christchurch should know what to do in a situation where a child, young person or vulnerable adult may have been harmed.

Each parish or benefice has an appointed person for safeguarding – that named person for Christchurch with Emmanuel is Hilary Emery.

The Christian Police Association organised a day conference at Police Headquarters in Portishead.  It was a truly inspiring day.  DCC Rob Beckley said he was a constable in Brixton London in the 70s when they were allowed no contact with the local authority or youth services.

He said it was a complete standoff – them and us.  A local black pastor had offered to help.  He said he was such a force for good and the sharing of values.  The difference in the atmosphere around was striking.  Now there is a real understanding that we need to work together for the good of all.  Policing is all of our business.

About 18 months ago I was made aware that there was going to be a ‘pot of money’ from the government to allow mainly privately run groups to apply for, to have work done to improve the facilities that pre-schools offer.  So as soon as possible I started to apply.

The School Cross PictureWhilst walking through the hall at school past all the colourful displays of children’s work I stopped to take in this wonderful cross.

I paused to thank God for the wonderful Christian witness the children of Christ Church Primary School experience everyday.  How fantastic that they sit at the foot of this cross daily during their services and can take in the message that is displayed so prominently in their school. Jesus taught us to love one another so in our school we value …

… Wisdom, Hope, Compassion, Humility, Thankfulness,
Trust, Forgiveness, Fellowship, Endurance, Creation,
Peace, Friendship, Reverence and Justice
.

Let us take up God’s invitation to live life courageously

When my children were much younger they couldn’t work out why it wasn’t possible to have Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday all in the same week!  I have to say there were moments in my time as a Parish Priest when I wished that could have been the case. But think what I might have missed.  Those forty days of Lent are when we’re invited to pay attention to the things of God within us and around us because so often in the rest of the year we don’t.  We are all familiar with the story of Moses and the burning bush, but reflect on it again just for a moment.