NOW is the time for us to imagine a further purpose and future mission for our churches and communities in the West Wight.
The first call of the church is to be missional; to go out to the people in the name of Jesus. That was the way of the earliest Christians and it is still the way that Jesus calls us today.
Church was never meant to be just a club where members meet because they have the same or similar interest in God.
Church is where people encounter the presence of God, learn about the teaching of Jesus and are encouraged to invite the Holy Spirit into their lives. They can then come to know the fullnes of God’s love and purpose and follow his plan for their lives. Church can be known as a gathering in a building or as a group of people who go beyond church walls, reaching out in their communities.
I have met so many incredible Christians across our churches and within our communities in the West Wight who are following the plan that God has set out for their lives. They are people of faith who have a deep passion for God and for others. They reach out in a creative, practical, and purposeful way to build relationships in the name of Jesus through loving their community. They love people with a fullness of grace experienced nowhere else in life. This is where mission begins.
Being missional is about meeting people where they are with the Good News of Jesus in their everyday need and life, but it is also an opportunity to share in both word and deed the story of how Christ changes hearts and lives.This can be an invitation to others to make space for Him to do the same for them.
In July and August our churches will be thinking about how we can continue to prayerfully meet, teach and share the Good News in our communities and churches. I invite you to get involved in this first step of the new missional journey ahead of us, by joining in with our missional prayer…..
SO we pray…
God of Mission who alone brings growth to your church,
send your Holy Spirit to give vision to our planning,
wisdom to our actions,
and power to our witness.
Help our church to grow in numbers, in spiritual commitment to you and in service to our local community,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Women’s Fellowship Group
The women’s fellowship was formed in November 2014 and has 14 Christ Church members. We meet regularly on the 1st and 3rd Friday of each month between 10.15am and 12 noon and also enjoy shared meals at such times as Easter, Christmas and end of terms. This summer we enjoyed a light lunch together, after spending a relaxing time painting pottery at our local pottery.
We meet primarily to study the Bible, to enjoy fellowship and to pray. As we grow in faith and friendship we trust that God will develop our individual and shared ministries. Recently we have been studying ‘Spiritual Gifts’ by R Paul Stevens. This thought provoking and challenging book uses both the Old and New Testament to discuss how the Holy Spirit gives his presence and power to ordinary followers of Christ enabling them to serve others lovingly. Each one of us is uniquely gifted and understanding our spiritual gifting is a crucial part of knowing how we are called to participate in God’s work of renewal. We are currently studying Women of the New Testament by Phyllis J Le Peau.
The Retreat House Group
The Retreat Group normally meets every Monday at 7.30pm. An informal, friendly bible study group, meeting to learn, share fellowship and to pray.
Pastoral Care Team
The church recognises the problems that face young parents and older members of our community especially in this rural setting. We have problems of poverty, loneliness and bereavement especially in our older population and we seek to keep contact with these people and the church through our pastoral care team.
The team will keep in contact with those who are bereaved, living on their own or have other social problems and through visits and telephone calls maintain contact with them. Communion at home can be provided for those who have mobility problems and are unable to attend church and the church is able to provides community lunches in the Annexe throughout the year.
If you need to contact a member of the Pastoral Care Team please use the Contact Us link and your query will be directed to the relevant person.
Our Local Mission Work
Christ Church members are very active in the West Wight community, working directly through the church, individually, or with organisations such as Churches Together in West Wight. You will find volunteers from Christ Church helping on a regular basis in local charity shops, at the Foodbank, the Our Place Community Cafe, the Oasis drop-in… and more besides. These ventures give us an opportunity to get alongside people and listen to their cares and concerns, offering a friendly and sympathetic ear which is often the first step to getting the help they need or feeling more able to cope.
This is an all age drop in community cafe where you can drop in for a chat, refreshments and free use of games. A relaxed informal place where you can pick up information about local activities, getting involved with the local community, or get help with forms, applications, employment, finance, housing, debt, benefits, welfare reform or any other issues. Come and meet your ‘Just Ask’ Officer, Southern Housing Rep or Local Co-ordinator. Every Tuesday 10.00am – 12.30pm. Click here to find out more.
The combination of friendship and care from the volunteers and specific advice and support from professionals has helped to change many lives as this poem from one ‘service user’ describes (click on the poem to read it in full screen):
A relaxed meeting space held every Monday morning at Freshwater Methodist Church, Brookside, Freshwater. Friendship and a listening ear whilst enjoying tea, coffee and biscuits, scrabble, jigsaws knitting, newspapers and Fairtrade goods. Every Monday 10.00am – 12noon.
Christ Church works with your local Foodbank collection and distribution centre at Colwell Baptist Hall. Drop in for tea, coffee and biscuits and a chat. Tuesdays 2.00pm – 4.00pm or Fridays 10.00am – 1.00pm.
Care Homes Ministry
Four of our local care homes are partnered with Christ Church via the CTWW Care Homes Ministry. Christ Church members lead services at Inglefield, Eden House, Little Hayes and Whitmore Court on a regular basis.
The CTWW Care Homes Co-Ordinator is Sheila Spivey.
The Christ Church Annexe is the venue for ‘Memory Lane’ a local Churches Together in West Wight group initiative offering support, company and fun activities for those with dementia and memory difficulties. Featuring music, quizzes, reminiscence, tea and a chat. Usually the 1st Wednesday in the month between 2.00pm – 4.00pm. Members of Christ Church are amongst the volunteers.
Working With Young People
Seen as one of the most important areas of CTWW ministry, CTWW employs a youth worker to communicate with the young church of today through fun activities, food and learning. The Christ Church representative on the Youth Project Management Team is Tom Eggeling.
For detailed information of our Youth Work follow the link:http://christchurchtotland.org.uk/about-us/children-and-youth/youth-work/
Holiday Bible Club
CTWW provides a themed week of activities for primary school children. (See ‘Holiday Bible Club’ on the Christ Church ‘Children and Youth’ page for more details.) Christ Church members play an active role in this.
Open The Book
CTWW provides dramatized bible stories at local school assemblies. CTWW also provides books for the children at the Easter and Christmas Open The Book events. (See ‘Open The Book’ on the Christ Church ‘Children and Youth’ page for more details.) Christ Church has members in both teams.
Other Youth Activities
include Messy Church, Youth led Services, working in schools.
For further information about CTWW Youth Work click here or contact Dan by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07772 042838.
Christ Church supports many local mission initiatives:
Provision of Christmas Hampers
Support for the local Wessex Cancer Trust
Christmas and Easter books for school children.
Isle of Wight Street and School Pastors
Support for Churches Together in West Wight Lent Brunches (Raising money for local and national charities)
The FYT Charity Shop (funds raised on Monday going to Christ Church Mission Fund)
Table Top Sale raising money for Christ Church Mission Fund