You may have noticed that at the back of Christ Church there have recently appeared some piles of little booklets enclosed within pink wrappers and boldly inscribed “FREE”.   These are, in fact, complete annual sets of “once-used”  Bible Reading schemes and are there thanks to  a number of current subscribers, who have donated their notes back for re-use.  Some sets have also been provided for Emmanuel church.

If you are not already in a scheme, do please have a look and select a set to try out.  Alternatively, if you would like to try a different scheme to the one you are using now, then the same applies to you.  Or, could you take a pack for a friend, to encourage them to take up regular Bible reading?  We are entering a very challenging time in the life of both churches.  Thankfully, we are advertising for a Vicar who ”believes in the authority of Scripture” and is “a gifted Bible teacher”.  Let’s hope that when that person comes, he or she will find congregations who are up to speed in their own grasp of what the Bible really does have to say in today’s world.

BCMBCM International UK: Reaching Children, Serving Churches

You might be familiar with the 10-40 Window but have you heard about the 4-14 Window?  About 85% of Christians across the world began to follow Jesus between the ages of 4 and 14.  With 2.2 billion children in the world, BCM International has made this strategic 4-14 Window the central focus of its ministry since beginning as the Bible Club Movement in 1936.  Now, as Bible Centred Ministries, BCM is committed to partnering with local churches and other like-minded organisations to disciple children and young people in God’s Word.

Through the ministry of our missionaries and volunteers, 1.2 million children around the world hear God’s Word each year in Bible Clubs and schools and we run Bible Camps in more than 20 countries.  Here in the UK our small team of missionaries aims to mobilise, train and assist local churches to teach children and young people the Bible so that they may come to know, love and obey God.

Progress is very slow at present as we are still waiting for quotes from builders for the new accessible toilet. We can report that we have a new boiler in the kitchen, at present providing all the hot water to the sinks and dishwasher.  It will eventually supply heating to the new radiators in all the toilets as well as replacing the old boiler which heats the present radiators in the downstairs hall. This old boiler, in the small store room, fitted in 1999, will be removed when new pipes have been installed from the new kitchen boiler.

Life opened the door for the very first time on August 15th 2011 at 13 The Centre. They began with nothing except a conviction that our town needed to keep a Christian presence in the ‘High street’ and that God would supply all their needs. With the help of the George Muller Foundation (who own the building) and some second-hand books, they put their feet where their faith was.

Emmanuel Church and it’s relationship with the new space.

Since the new development of Dolphin Square became an actuality Emmanuel PCC have been excited about how the church building could be drawn into it.

In 1847 when the church was first built, it was for those who lived in that part of the town. As Dolphin Square and Carlton Street Car Park were created so the heart of the Church family disappeared being rehoused and relocated to other areas. The PCC were keen that with this new development the church be seen as a living, breathing part of the community, ready to welcome people in and offer space for community activities.

For years the organisation of church maintenance has been the responsibility of the wardens. They have carried out these duties on top of all of the other duties including having to be present at services and meetings.

Since the vacancy, the responsibilities and workload for the wardens have increased. One way in which we can spread this workload is for the management of church maintenance to be organised in such a way that more people can be drafted in to help.

We hope to compile a list of names, abilities and availabilities and scheduled workdays, so that if a particular problem or job arises, we can approach the right person to do the job. We already know of someone who has done a superb job of painting a rear external door!