The new Basingstoke and Reading Circuit was launched at the "Making A Day of It" gathering at Sherfield School on 31st August 2014. At the Circuit Celebration service in the afternoon, each church hung leaves on a tree with illustrations of the life of their church on. They received in return a certificate showing the new circuit tree logo, a thank you letter from the pilgrimage walkers (who walked around every circuit church over nine days) and a sappling to be planted at the church (ours is a service tree). Each of the 500 or so attendees received a card showing a tree of churches (illustrated) on one side and the new circuit logo and some challenging words on the other side. Various aspects of the day were run by members from Christ Church, including the service projection and a very successful games tent. Xn's Report on Youtube
Linda Retires From Boys' Brigade
One of our church members, Linda Harland, was rewarded with a bunch of flowers and a long service certificate when she retired from running one of the Boys' Brigade sections recently. Linda had been looking after the youngest, Anchor Boys, for 14 years, having started after seeing the benefits her four sons recieved from being in the group. As well as running the section she also acted as their treasurer. A report was included in the Chronicle on 22nd January 2015.
Our 2014 Christmas services raised money for Christian Aid’s expectant mum’s project in Kenya. We collected £815. Every pound raised was being matched by the Government.
It was decided that our Church Charity Project for 2014 is
Mercy Ships. Church Project Flyer (PDF).
At the morning service on 23rd February the congregation were shown Mercy Ships "Love Is" video.
The first fund raising event was the Pancake Evening on 4th March which raised £226.
The next events were "To Jerusalem" which raised £1305, Countdown in Reading which raised £225 and the Spring Fair on 10th May also raised over £1300.
Photos of "To Jerusalem" dress rehearsal on Martyn's Facebook
£3500 was presented to Ken and June Brazier, representatives from Mercy Ships, at our World Church Day service on 18th May. The service was followed by a lunch talk on the subject.
Jill Draper joined in the cicuit pilgrimage in August and walked 117.5 miles around all the churches of the new Basingstoke and Reading Circuit; she raised £660.
The concert by Reading Male Voice Choir featuring Rachel Baker raised over £600.
The total raised by the end of the year was a tremendous £6250.
It ran from 4th until 8th August from 10:00 to 12:30, as usual, and
was free for 65 children, aged 5 to 10, who enjoyed games, art, crafts, cookery, stories, jokes, puppets and music.
It was called "Showstoppers!", based on material from Scripture Union on various stories from the Bible.
In 2014 the 1st Woodley Boys' Brigade (BB) are celebrating their 40th anniversary. At their annual display and awards presentation on Wednesday 21st May this was celebrated with a special cake. This event was noted on the local newspapers with pictures of the parading boys and the cake. There was also a photo display shown that night and subsequently in the church.
One of our members, Allan Crisp, was part of mototcycle ride to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society. They visited visit ten European countries in 10 days. This follows on from their previous successful Land's End to John O'Groats trip. It started on 18th May 2014.
From 22nd July 2013 Christ Church Woodley (Methodist & United Reformed Church) is its own separate charity, number 1152991. This has been done in line with current legislation regarding large churches. Formerly we operated under the registration of The Methodist Church (1132208).
In May 2014 we raised £1383.02 towards the Woodley total for Christain Aid Week.
It was decided that our Church Charity Project for 2013 should be the Reading Branch of The Samaritans. The first major event supporting this was Pancake Day from 17:30 to 19:30 on Tuesday 12th February 2013 in the Lower Hall. This raised £215. The Spring Fair on Saturday 11th May 2013, with the usual variety of stalls and entertainment, raised over £1000. The total raised was nearly £4200 and was presented to a a representative from the Samaritans at the morning service on 23rd February 2014.
The first session of the Forum, "Truth and Lies about Poverty", was on Thursday 5th September 2013. The debate continued at the second session, "Experiencing Poverty", on Thursday 3rd October 2013. The final session on Thursday 7th November 2013 was "What can we do about poverty?", a "Question Time" panel session. On the panel were Rob Wilson MP for Reading East and the representatives of various charities. They successfully fielded questions from a keen audience of some 60 local people.
Starting from our Harvest Festival on 25th September 2011, we are collecting food and drink for the new Woodley Food Store based at Woodley Baptist Church. Parcels will be available to support members of the local community in urgent need. They now have a store in Coronation Hall. Also drivers are needed to help deliver the occasional package. We again collected our harvest gifts for them in 2012. Food Store Requirements
The Woodley Sheep Trail was back for a second season and children had to find the woolly sheep lost in ten Woodley shops. Amongst those to be found were Angus in Boots, Theo in Robert Dyas, Bert in Cargo, Michael in Chapter One, Rambo in Fabric Warehouse and Alan Shearer in Oxfam Books.
On Saturday 7th December Christ Church hosted a concert by the Reading Spring Grdens Band, a brass band who rehearse in our halls on a Thursday evening. The played a variety of tunes, with a loose Christmas connection. Also singing with them were the choir for St. Joseph's College and pupils of the College also perfomed excerpts from their 2014 drama production. The event raised £472.40 for the church charity project (Reading Samaritans).
Woodley Carnival Service - "Praise in the Park" - was held on 2nd June on the edge of Woodford Park, next to Coronation Hall. Puppets and music were provided by Emmanuel Church. Thanks to Janet Blackburn we have a photo montage and another montage. The 2014 edition is on 8th June.
The Monthly Quiz alternates between daytime and evening sessions, where possible. The first, held on the afternoon of 25th April 2013 involved recognising faces of famous people and The next quiz, on the evening of Saturday 25th May, was in the style of Only Connect. Details of the other varied formats can be found on the Quiz page. Check the Events Calendar for the next one.
As a result of elections held at our AGM on 18th April 2013, we welcome Neil Graham to the Church Leadership Team as Mission and Youth Elder, and confirm Sandra Alderson as a Steward Elder. Derek Benham is taking over as Gift Aid Secretary.
It ran from 5th until 9th August from 10:00 to 12:30, as usual, and
was free for about 70 children, aged 5 to 10, who enjoyed games, art, crafts, cookery, stories, jokes, puppets and music.
It was called "Space Academy", based on material from Scripture Union on the story of Daniel.
Our evening worship on 7th April 2013 was "Snedrick: The Graham Kendrick Musical". It was performed by High Spirits, enhanced by a couple of extra singers and musicians. Playing the lead, and writer of the script, was Tony Atkins. The story of Jesus's life, from calling the disciples through to the resurrection, was told through 18 songs of Graham Kendrick and as seen through the eyes of Snedrick, a first century song writer and disciple. It also raised money for the church project.
Countdown in Reading 2013
The second Reading Countdown competition raised £400 (plus tax refunds) for our Church Charity Project for 2013 (the Reading Branch of The Samaritans) on Saturday 30th March. The results show that the best of the 34 players was Mark Deeks from London, who beat Giles Hutchings in the final, watched by a crowd of players, spectators and pirates!
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.
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:
|Woodley Pets||Dobby||Chapter One Bookshop||Wooly|
|H.F.Newberry||Herbert||Just in the Park Cafe||Nicky|
|Warren's Pet Supplies||Sadie||LloydsPharmacy||Nick|
|Fabric Warehouse||Baarrbara||Woodley Library||Bilbo|
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.
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.
This new leaflet has been produced by Churches Together in Woodley, listing many groups, such as cafés, social meetings and youth clubs, that are run by the Woodley churches. Look out for copies, which are available at the church.
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.
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.
At our Christmas services we collected £818.37 for Childline.
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.
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.
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.
We have been supporting a village in Malawi with mosquito nets and help trying to build a well. Read the report for more details.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Retiring collections raised about £1000 for Christian Aid's work in Haiti.
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.
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.
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).
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Short sermons from Revd Dr Mike Hill on topical subjects.
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).
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.
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.
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.
The works and repairs to Arundel Road were completed in the summer and very kindly Murphy have applied fresh tarmac to our entrance way.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Holiday Bible Club
Page last updated: 3rd May 2016.