Christmas Tree Festival

Our first Christmas Tree Festival was held on Saturday 15th December from 10:00 to 16:00 and Sunday 16th from 14:00 to 17:00. Donations were collected in aid of Tools for Self Reliance. As well as the church's own tree and one for the 2012 Church Project (Tools for Self Reliance), trees were displayed by the following church groups: Junior Church, Bible Study Group, Pastoral Groups 1 and 12, Network and Guild, High Spirits, Girls Brigade, Brownies, Rainbow Cafe, and also by Lacewood Circle, Woodley Town Council, Southlake Primary School, Woodley Day Services, Oxfam Bookshop, St. John Bosco Church and Woodley Airfield Church.

Messy Nativity Sheep Trail

During the first two weeks of December this trail led children through the centre of Woodley looking for the woolly sheep that had hidden themselves in 14 Woodley shops. Prizes were available for those who could find the 14 hand-knitted sheep and read their names from their labels. Also a colouring picture and nativity story was part of each entry form for the children to keep. The sheep were:

Robert DyasRobbie CargoPatrick
Waitrose Spedan Lewis    ClarksShaun
Iceland Bruno BootsBarney
Woodley Pets Dobby Chapter One BookshopWooly
H.F.NewberryHerbert Just in the Park CafeNicky
Warren's Pet SuppliesSadie LloydsPharmacyNick
Fabric WarehouseBaarrbara Woodley LibraryBilbo

Church Charity Project 2012

Our charity project for 2012 was Tools for Self Reliance and over £4400 (including tax refunds) was raised and a cheque was presented to Bob Brown of the Reading group at the morning service on 27th January.

Pancakes were being served on the evening of Shrove Tuesday, 21st February, before the Woodley Lent Group launch service, which started at 20:00 at Christ Church. £265 was raised which paid for seven kits of tools to be shipped to Malawi.

Countdown came to Reading! On Saturday of Easter weekend, 7th April, there was a Countdown in Reading competition at Christ Church. It was won by James Robinson from Huddersfield and raised over £350 for the project. Results

The big event as always was the Spring Fair, on Saturday 12th May, and this raised over £1000 in cash on the day, through sales, refreshments, games, singing, car wash and so on.

There was a concent with the Thames Valley Barberettes on Saturday 14th July which raised over £310 and on 8th December a concert by Reading Male Voice Choir, with a choir of girls from St Joseph's School, raised another £750.

Football Team

From autumn 2012 the West Reading Churches Football Team have become affiliated to Christ Church. Despite their name they play in Woodley (at Bulmershe Court) and largely live to the east of Reading, including some former members of our BB.

Special Services 30th September 2012

In recognition of 50 years since the laying of the foundation stone for the buildings, the morning service on 30th Spetember 2012 was a special songs of praise service organised by Senior Worship Steward Mrs Ruth Taylor. The order of service

Also on the 30th September, in the evening, was New Beginnings, a new service for the young at heart. This was led by Nancy Quinnell, Brenda McIntosh and the band, and was preceded by pizza at 17:00.

New Sanctuary Furniture

Following various kind bequests and donations, we decided to replace our sanctuary furniture and purchased a matching set of communion table with adjustable height pulpit and lectern. They were dedicated on Easter Sunday 2012.

New sanctuary furniture
HBC Poster

Holiday Bible Club 2012

It ran from 6th until 10th August from 10:00 to 12:30. As usual it was free for children aged 5 to 10 to attend and 81 different children attended over the week. It was called "On Your Marks...", based on the theme of the Olympic games.

Messy Church

Since 8th May 2011, Christ Church has been running its own Messy Church alongside that held at St James Church Centre. It starts at 16:00 and is being held every second Sunday in each month, except August. The December meeting is usually our Christingle and we celebrate other festivals on nearby dates. See our Messy Church page for more details.

Christmas Collections 2011

At our Christmas services we collected £818.37 for Childline.

Church Charity Project 2011

The charity project we were supporting in 2011 was the REinspired who provide RE lessons in local schools. We were raising money to help buy books and resources to help with the lessons. The first event was the Pancake Evening on Tuesday 8th March which raised £132. The annual Church Spring Fair was on Saturday 14th May and it raised nearly £1000. We also had a Scrabble afternoon, a Beetle Drive and a Christmas Concert by the Lower Earley Salvation Army (which alone raised over £200). The total raised was £2500, the balance of which was presented to Linda Galpin at our morning service on 29th January; in return Linda explained some of the work going on in Woodley schools.

Action for Children

On the afternoon of Saturday 9th July 2011 a cream tea was held at the home of Nigel and Ina Hodgson in Shinfield. Entertainment in the form of song, music and poetry was given by High Spirits. The afternoon raised £177.50 for the charity. The quiz at Trinity on 15th October 2011 raised £400 and there was a sponsored swim on 17th March 2012.

Just Around the Corner (JAC)

At our morning service on 21st August 2011 we were visited by this local Christian outreach group. They updated us on their work with young people in the local area and their plans for a new office and stables building. They also explained who their grants had been cut and that they needed extra money. To find out how to support them, visit their website or by texting JATC11 and £2/£5/£10 to 70070.

East Africa Emergency Appeal

In July 2011 we raised money for Christian Aid's emergency East African appeal. At the Sounds of Salvation service on 17th July 2011 we raised £26.50 from the sale of tuck and £6.22 from the retiring collection. Retiring collections from the morning services will be added to these amounts, to make a total of £548.31.

Holiday Bible Club 2011

In 2011 the club started on Monday 8th August. It was called "Mission Rescue", on a secret agent theme, looking at the story of Moses and its relevance to life today. Over 50 children joined in the fun.

Photo Gallery

Our 2010 club was set in a fish and chip cafe called "Rocky's Plaice". Overall 90 children took part with 80 most days. It featured daily puppet shows, dvds, jokes, craft, games, cookery and so on.

Our 2009 club was "ShowStoppers" with a theatre theme. Less children than normal took part this year, but those who did come had a great time learning about God's Great Plan.

In 2008 the club had a sporting theme: "Champion's Challenge"; 90 children attended the first session, with over 100 children taking part in all. In 2007 the club ran with a green theme and the title "Waste Watchers". 101 children (about 80 per day) came. Especially enjoyed were the club song "What a Load of Rubbish", the visit each day by a Wimble (the Woodley equivalent of a Womble) and the cooking of bottle-shaped biscuits.

Malawi Report

We have been supporting a village in Malawi with mosquito nets and help trying to build a well. Read the report for more details.

Christian Aid Week

Each May the church supports Christian Aid Week. In 2011 our collectors raised £1425.50. The Woodley total of £7123.94 was just £409 down on last year. Church members raised over £700 on the sponsored walk.

During the 2010 week we collected £1743 through the house to house collection. In 2009 our church members raised £1557.30. In 2008 we raised £700 through the walk and £1626 through the collections (part of the Woodley total of £7817.75).

Spiritual Care for Older People

This was the subject of the 2011 Pastoral Evening at 7:30 pm on Monday 11th July at the church. The leader was Joanna Collicut who is an Oxford Diocesan Advisor. All were welcome to attend.

Church Constitution

On 5th April 2011 Christ Church adopted a new constitution as a prerequisite to registering with the Charity Commissioners. The Church Leadership Team members were appointed as the initial trustees. Church Meetings are known as Congregational Meetings and the Trustees replace the Church Council, however day to day management of the church is unchanged.

Primary School Work

Through the efforts our lay worker, Nancy Quinnell, and others, the church is involved with various of the local primary schools. Through RE:Inspired 13 lessons have been given to 600 unchurched children, recently on the subjects of Easter and life and death. Two mock weddings with discussions have been held and the church was visited by a local school for children with disabilities. Beechwood School now have a Power Club focusing on the parables. All year 6 pupils in Woodley are receiving "It's Your Move" booklet thanks to Churches Together in Woodley. In connection with the Airfield Church, Nancy has continues to work at the CofE School with Junior Bible Club, story telling and Rainbow Time counselling, and also she is part of the local puppet ministry. The youth counselling service ARC, which Nancy chairs, has won the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.

25th Anniversary Banner

25th Anniversary Banner

Our new 25th Anniversary Banner was dedicated at a special Dedication Service on the afternoon of 11th May 2008. Each of the 24 church groups that had contributed a square talked about their group and what the design of their square signifies. You can also see our other banners.

Church Charity Project 2010

The charity project we were supporting in 2010 was the Wesley Guild's charity, the Nigeria Health Care Project (NHCP). Jenny Benfield, a former teacher in Nigeria and trustee of NHCP was at our morning service on 28th March 2010. The Pancake Evening on Tuesday 16th February raised £146.50. It ran from 17:00 to 19:00 to end in time for the Woodley Lent Groups launch meeting in the church.

Our Spring Fair was on Saturday 8th May. It raised about £950. Also over £180 was raised at the following sale at the pagoda in the precinct. A Junior Church cake sale on 20th June raised £44.10.

The Summer Concert and barbecue on 17th July also raised about £150 for the project. It was put on to say farewell to Andrew Emison and family, as Andrew left us in August to take up ministerial training in Durham.

The Countdown Evening on 4th September raised £72 and the Beetle Drive on 26th September raised £60. We held a silent auction in the church on Saturday 20th November from 2:00pm to 4:00pm (this was like an off-line version of an ebay auction). Gifts of produce, craft, unwanted gifts, vouchers and services had been donated and raised £630. This took the total raised for the project to £3600.

Jenny took our service on 13th March 2011 and accepted the final cheque for £4163.

Christmas Services

Collections at the 2010 Christmas services went to support a village in Malawi who are having a well sunk in search of water. We raised over £1500 of the £1800 needed to complete the project.

Advent Musical

High Spirits and members of the church were leading the church in a performance of "The Inn Crowd" by Roger Jones during the evening service on Sunday 5th December 2010. All were welcome!

November Free2B

Christ Church was pleased to host the November 2010 edition of Free2B. Over 100 people from teenage upwards were able to sing priase in a relaxed atmosphere, listen to the story of Jonah and the message from Revd Graham Dole on suicide, and partake in prayer ministry and refreshments afterwards. Free2B is continuing in 2011, the February one was planned for Emmanuel in Southlake Crescent.

Messy Church

South Woodley Messy Church started in April 2010. Sessions are in a relaxed atmosphere, with craft and other activities for children, a family picnic meal, and a very short act of worship suitable for those with little or no church background. They are being held at St James Church Centre, Southlake, from 4:00pm to 6:00pm (except August). The subjects so far have been Celebrating Creation, The Sea, The World Cup. It restarted on 12th September with theme Fresh Start, followed by Harvest on 10th October, Light on 14th November and Christmas on 12th December.

A Word in Time

A new online Bible study from the Methodist Church follows the daily reading from the Methodist Prayer Handbook. It offers commentary, explanations and questions to ponder of the selected passages. Also available is an audio version to listen to online or download.

Action for Children Quiz

The area quiz in aid of Action for Children was on Saturday 30th October 2010 at 7:30 pm and included a ploughmans. The KLARKS team from Trinity, Lower Earley, were the runaway winners with 112 points. It raised over £200.

Where Two or Three are Gathered...

Prayer and Praying Together, on Tuesday 22nd June 2010, was attended by about 25 people. It was an evening of input, small group discussions with time for Q&A on re-thinking our personal prayer lives and how we can pray more effectively in pastoral settings. It was led by the Revd Dr Andrew Francis, a now-retired UC minister, with an ongoing teaching ministry. Amongst several former roles, he was the URC's Medway District Minister with a specific adult-education brief, for 8 years, has served as a spiritual director and helped develop a French retreat house.

Haiti Earthquake 2010

Retiring collections raised about £1000 for Christian Aid's work in Haiti.

Christmas Gifts 2009

The money donated at our Gift Service on 13th December 2009, and all the money raised at our Christmas Day services, went to support the people of Chikwawa in Malawi, where Tom and Jo Evans are working. Over £270 was raised. A tapestry made by members of Christ Church is now hanging in the church at Chikwawa.

Church Charity Project 2009

The charity project we were supporting in 2009 was Action for Children's (formerly NCH's) Young Carers scheme. The first event was line dancing on 21st February. The Spring Fair on 9th May raised £1189.96. During the summer we were running Grow Your Talents, where members tried to convert £5 into as much money as possible using their talents; nearly £2000 has been raised, including the filling of sweet pots and the over £100 raised at the Celebration of Talents Concert on 19th September 2009. Five Voices presented "A Dickens of a Christmas" on the evening of Saturday 12th December 2009, which raised another £200. The total raised was over £4800.

New Minister

The Revd Martyn Neads has now joined with us and the Airfield Church. His Service of Welcome and Induction was at Christ Church on Friday 4th September 2009 at 19:30. It was led by Revd Adrian Bulley, Moderator of the Wessex Synod of the URC, with contributions from Revd Stuart Innals from Plymouth, Revd Chris Jones (Berkshire Methodists), Revd David Ellis (Reading Circuit), Revd Eddie Marquez (St. John's), Viginia Lawson (URC Pastoral Committee) and some of the local members. A magnificent choir of 31 singers, both young and old, led the singing. Thanks go to all who enabled the event to take place and to those who provided the refreshments afterwards.

Harvest Festival

Our Harvest Festival 2009 was on 20th September. The previous evening we held the Celebration of Talents Concert to welcome Revd Martyn and Danie Neads to our church. Gifts from harvest were given to various church members and as before to CIRDIC.

At our Harvest Festival on 21st September 2008 the church was decorated as usual, with plants and produce, by the Worship Stewards and helpers and the Girls' Brigade. After the morning service the food and fellowship of the Harvest Lunch was enjoyed by 46 people. 12 bunches of flowers and 9 plants were given to elder and sick members of the church, whereas the gifts of produce, according to their wish list, were given to the Churches in Reading Drop In Centre (CIRDIC).

Church Visioning Day

This was on Saturday 28th February 2009 and was led by Revd Valerie Fisher. About 30 church members joined in, with results presented at the following Sunday morning service. More work needed to be done so a second day, called Sharing Church, was organised on the morning of Sunday 28th June starting with breakfast at 08:30.


The churches of Woodley have put together a Recycling Guide (PDF) which covers much more beside the usual council supplied services, such as recycled bible study notes!

Rev Dr Mike Hill

Our minister of seven years, Mike, left us in 2008 to take up an appointment to the High Wycombe circuit (Downley, Naphill, Holmer Green and Tyler Green churches). We are next inviting a URC minister. There was a very successful farewell concert on the evening of Saturday 2nd August 2008 and Mike's last service on Sunday 3rd August 2008, with friends from the Airfield and Three Mile Cross, was followed by a lunch. The circuit farewell service was also at Christ Church on 20th July 2008 at 18:30.

Lay Leadership Team

At the 2008 AGM the new-style Lay Leadership Team was elected replacing the old system of seperate stewards and elders. They started work on 1st May 2008: Andrew Emison, Jacky Peters, Margery Sargent (Steward/Elders), Rosemary Ingolfsrud (Mission and Pastoral Elder), Beryl Wootton (Mission and Outreach Elder), Mary Nash (Mission and Youth Elder), Keith Ternent (Senior Citizens Elder), Judith Norris (Senior Worship Steward), Derek Benham (Finance Steward), James Peddle (Property Steward), Tony Atkins (Church Secretary). In addition Sandra Stock and Alan Harland became Worship Stewards, Grant Evans is Safeguarding Officer, Vickie Allen is Cradle Roll Secretary, Lucy Barnes is second rep to Churches Together in Woodley, and Alan Harland also joined the staffing committee.

Collection for Malawi

At the end of April 2009, £800 was raised to help buy maize and support the other work with the villagers of Chikwawa in Malawi, as Tom and Jo Evans help them recover from a cholera outbreak and flooding.

Christmas Collections 2008

Carol singing in the precinct on the Friday before Christmas raised £60 for Action for Children (ex-NCH). Our Gift Service raised over £680 for education work in Malawi by Hope for Africa. The collections at the Christmas services raised £290 for Causeway Prospects who help churches work with people with learning difficulties. During 2008 the Boys' Brigade raised £380 for children's hospices and £70 for BB work overseas.

Church Charity Project 2008

The charity project we supported in 2008 was Compassion who promote sponsoring the education of children overseas. Steve McTegert from Compassion UK visited our morning service on 13th January and introduced their work. The child we are supporting is Suellen Feliciano aged 10 from Brazil. The Spring Fair on 10th May raised £840 for the project and more was raised at the Banner Dedication service on the 11th May. Another £160 was raised at the after fair sale at the Pagoda in Woodley Precinct. The young people's car wash raised more. The concert by Reading Male Voice Choir and St. Joseph's School in December raised #163;790. The total raised was £3685.

Sermon in a Nutshell

Short sermons from Revd Dr Mike Hill on topical subjects. File opens in a new window; you will need Acrobat or equivalent to view file.

Themed Services

Early in 2008 we had two themes for our services. For five morning services the theme was Climate Change, based on URC publication "On the Water's Edge". The services were: "The Great Escape" (Mike Hill), "Thirsty for Justice" (Tim Astin), "Quality of Water" (Colin Ferguson), "Chaos Creation Chaos" (Andrew Moffoot), "No Harvest without Water" (Mike Hill). For seven evening services the theme was Ephesians: Ch 1 "God's Amazing Plan" (John Ogden), Ch 2:1-10 "Life out of Deadness" (John Phillippo), Ch 2:11-3:13 "Outsiders in Church" (Mike Hill), Ch 3:14-21 "Praying for You!" (Mike Hill), Ch 4 "Working Together" (Jonathan Salmon), Ch 5 "Belong to the Light? Well, Live in the Light!" (Mike Hill), Ch 6 "The Best Defence is" (Valerie Fisher).

Christmas Collections 2007

The collections from Christmas Eve and Day services went to Hope for Africa. At our gift service on 9th December 2007 we collected over £500 towards anti-malaria mosquito netting and we each attached pieces of netting to our Christmas tree. The total amount collected was over £1000.

Christian Aid Week

The church supported Christian Aid Week as normal in 2007. It ran 13th to 19th May. We carried out house to house collections in the streets near the church and took part in the Henley sponsored walks and walks around Dinton Pastures. We raised £1594.66 from collections. In all Woodley raised £7065.97, down £1000 on last year. In addition the FISH Youth Group from Emmanuel Church raised £1233.12 during their "Get Your Own Back". In 2006, we raised £1629 from collections and £1741 from the walks.


Our church members support the children's charity known until mid-2008 as NCH (now Action For Children). In February 2008, a sponsored swim raised £804. There was a Reading Male Voice Choir concert at Wesley Church, Reading, on 16th February 2008; it raised £862. The donations at Nancie Artist's 90th birthday party raised £357.

In 2006, a sponsored swim raised over £1900, Songs in the Park in Reading raised £400, flagday at Savacentre raised £288 and the church ramblers raised £209. Christmas carol singing outside Waitrose raised over £92 and more money was collected at our 2006 Christmas Day services. In 2007 the swim raised £1141.10, the Forbury band concert £294 and a walk by Robert Curnow raised £105. The circuit NCH quiz was at Christ Church on 20th October 2007; it was won by one of our teams (The Lifers), so will be here again in 2008. The home collecting boxes raised £1225.26.

Church Project 2006-2007

The charity project being supported by the church is Christian Community Action (CCA), who provide furniture and fittings for needy members of Reading's population. There was a visit to their Oxford Road shop and warehouse on Friday 3rd March 2006; progress was seen in recovery from their arson attack. The annual model railway day was on April 23rd 2006 (and raised some £70). The Spring Fair was on Saturday 13th May 2006. The various stalls, music, games, refreshments and so on raised over £1000 for CCA. We had a concert by the Reading Male Voice Choir with soloist Lori Tingay on Saturday 9th December 2006 in aid of CCA, which raised about £600. The project continues to raise money for CCA in 2007 as they settle into their new warehouse home. The Line Dancing Evening on 17th February 2007 raised £125 and the Pancake Evening on 20th February 2007 raised £175 and our Spring Fair raised over £1100. More than £6500 was raised over the two years.

If anyone has good used furniture they do not need, then contact CCA, who can collect.

Building Work 2007

We have been improving the facilties in the Stenner Lounge to include double glazing, improved lighting, a kitchenette and redecoration. We have also creatied a patio area behind the kitchen.

Road Repairs 2007

The works and repairs to Arundel Road were completed in the summer and very kindly Murphy have applied fresh tarmac to our entrance way.

Holiday Bible Club 2006 and 2005

The HBC ran from 7th - 11th August 2006 and was called "Pyramid Rock", based on a book from Scripture Union, about the life of Joseph. About 100 children under 11 joined us for free on those 5 mornings. At the Sunday morning service on 13th more than a dozen of the children helped report back to the church what had taken place, with the aid of drama and song and the artwork displayed around the walls. The Elders of the church expressed their appreciation for the adult and young helpers for running this valuable outreach for the children.

The 2005 summer HBC was very successful with over 100 children joining in. The theme of the life of Paul was studied through a theme of pirates. As well as study and worship, the children enjoyed art and craft, cooking, games and a daily puppet show. A photograph and report appeared in the Woodley Chronicle and we were honoured to have a visit from the mayor of Woodley.

Church Anniversaries 2006 and 2005

Our 2006 Church Anniversary was on 19th November led by a former church member, Rev Dr Tony Bell; it featured an afternoon nuclear debate. On 20th November 2005 we were visited by Revd John Bradley, field officer from Churches Together in England.

Woodley Lent Groups Launch 2007

Our pancake evening on Shrove Tuesday (20th February) 2007 was followed by the launch meeting for the Woodley Lent Groups, in the church. Malcolm Duncan gave an excellant introduction to the course, Intelligent Church, available here to listen to.

Harvest Festival 2006

Our Harvest Supper and Auction of Promises (in aid of Church Project) was on Saturday 23rd September 2006, with our Harvest Festival service on the Sunday morning. The Auction of Promises raised £1125 for the church project, CCA, and the organ fund, through purchase of pledges of food, effort, vouchers and other services. Food donated at the service was given to CCA and flowers were sent to sick church members.

New Organ 2006

We have been raising money in 2006/7 towards the cost of our new organ - there was a very enjoyable concert on Saturday 24th June 2006 and there was a coffee morning on 20th April 2006. Over half of the required £2000 needed had been raised and so the new organ arrived at the end of July 2006. The old organ has found a home at a church in Lyme Regis.

Disciple Three Course 2006-2007

The circuit ran this course entitled "Remember Who You Are" for 32 weeks starting in the autumn of 2006 at Christ Church. The group selected Palace Avenue Methodist Church in Paignton as Prayer Partners.

Spring Evening Themed Services 2006

Our evening service theme for Spring was "We beheld His glory!" - the Lord Jesus as seen by His disciples. One by one the disciples looked back at the life of our Lord from their own perspective of being with Him. The services before Easter tended to reflect the situation before the crucifixion where Jesus anticipates His death, and the ones after reflected the resurrection. For some disciples there are many gospel references involving them, for others hardly any; they were just one of the Twelve. Some were not even included in the Twelve. The subjects were - The Twelve and the Woman at the Well; The disciple whom Jesus loved; Mary and Martha; Andrew and Philip; The Two on the road to Emmaus; Thomas the Twin; Nathanael; Simon Peter; Matthew = Levi, Sons of Zebedee; Matthais the 13th.

Prayer Day 2006

There was a prayer day for Woodley at Christ Church on 24th January 2006.

Christmas Charity 2005

The 2005 Christmas services' collection raised nearly £300 in aid of Christian Community Action. Carol singing in the Woodley Shopping Centre raised £170 for NCH. The December hunger lunch raised £24 for African school meals via OXFAM.

Church Projects 2005

The church celebrated Harvest on 25th September, with our supper the evening before. During the harvest service money raised through the "Grow Your Talents" scheme was dedicated. Money raised supported our two charity projects: the school in Rabare, Kenya, and the women's training fellowship at Chiaquelane, Mozambique. Other events throughout 2005 also supported these projects, such as our Spring Fair and Christmas Craft Fairs, and concerts such as "The Pefect Day Concert" in July and that on 10th December with Berkshire Young Musicians and the New Elizabethan Singers.


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Page last updated: 20th August 2013.