Sunday 8th January 2023

 

All our latest events, information and prayer needs

Our Mission Statement: "To enable everyone to be maturing followers of Christ, who experience and live out God’s love in every part of their lives."
 

Sunday 8th January

The Baptism of Christ / The First Sunday of Epiphany

9am - Morning Worship – New Series: Why Church? We Gather Together (Heb 10:19-25) – David Thomas

10.30am - Holy Communion - as above

* The 10.30am service will be livestreamed via the Christ Church Bedford YouTube channel *        

6pm - Prayer Meeting – in Room 4 for approx. 40 minutes

7pm - Sundays@Seven – as above – AJ Wade

Why Church? We are beginning a new sermon series titled Why Church? Over the coming weeks we will be exploring something of what it means to be church, asking questions about why we do some of the things we do? From thinking about gathering together and Holy Communion, to worshipping and reading the bible together, to serving and mission.
 

Services in the coming week

Wednesday 11th January
10am - Holy Communion 

Sunday 15th January
9am -  Holy Communion – Why Church? We Serve Together (John 13:1-17) – Alan Cottenden
10.30am - Morning Worship - as above
4.30pm - Wild Church at Leslie Sell Activity Centre, Bromham          
6pm - Prayer Meeting – in Room 4 for approx. 40 minutes
7pm - Sundays@Seven - as above – David Thomas
 
A Word from the Vicar

Last Sunday I shared a verse for 2023 which came from Isaiah 54:2.
 
“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.”

The sense I had was this meant 3 things for us:
  1. Allow more space for God.
  2. Dream big.
  3. Be more welcoming.
If you are able to, please do watch Sunday’s talk, my apologies that it is slightly longer than normal, I may have got carried away! At the start of this new year, I believe there is an opportunity for us both individually and collectively.
 
On Monday morning, my Father in Law and I were in the front garden chopping back the rather wild trees that were now encroaching on the guttering. And I was reminded of the words of Jesus about pruning in John’s gospel. That the point of pruning is to lead to growth, that God our Father is in the business of pruning. And perhaps a part of allowing more space for God is for some pruning to take place in our lives both individually and as a church, to allow the fruit that God wants for us. So let us stretch our curtains wide, lengthen the cords of our tent, strengthen the stakes in their new positions, and so enlarge the place of our tent. That Jesus may be glorified in all things, amen.
 
For your prayers this week
 
Prayer for Epiphany
Creator of the heavens, who led the Magi by a star to worship the Christ-child: guide and sustain us, that we may find our journey’s end in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Please Pray:
  • YP & Jude – for wisdom as they continue to serve their local community.
  • For the Deaf School in Egypt.
  • For Christ Church Pre-School at the start of a new term.
  • For the families of those who have recently lost loved ones, that they would know comfort and peace as they mourn.
  • For volunteers to join in serving on the Prayer Ministry team.
Prayer for the Baptism of Christ / The First Sunday of Epiphany
Heavenly Father, at the Jordan you revealed Jesus as your Son: may we recognise him as our Lord and know ourselves to be your beloved children; through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
 
Prayer for our Church
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 grow in numbers, in spiritual commitment to you, and in service to our local community, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
Children's Ministry and Events 
 
THIS SUNDAY 8th January:
 
 


Please register your children at the welcome desk in the hub before the service - this will be available from 10:15am. Visitors are most welcome to join in with the children's work and can also register at the welcome desk. 

COMING UP THIS WEEK:
 

NEXT SUNDAY 15th January:


Church Weekend Away Children's Team:
If you are coming to the CWA and would like to have an exciting time with the children join us for our next team meeting! SUNDAY 22nd JANUARY at 3PM in Room 7. 

For more information about our regular groups please look on our website here.  
 
Youth Ministry and Events
 
Friday Night Youth Returns TONIGHT FRIDAY 6th January for 11-18 year olds with fun, games, chat - join us from 7.30pm to 9pm, meeting at Christ Church.

J-Team for school years 7-9+ during the 10.30am service in Room 7 returns on SUNDAY 8th January.
 

For more information on the above, please contact Ellie.
 

Church Family News

 
Winter Fuel Help: If you would like to give towards this short-term scheme you can do so by bank transfer to Christ Church with the reference FUEL or speak to Chris Stevens.
If you would like to receive a one off payment (between £50-100) then please email vicar@ccbedford.org with your request. This will be on a first come first served basis, until the fund is exhausted.
 
Church Weekend Away 2023 UPDATE
 

At King’s Park Conference Centre, Northampton. 10th – 12th March 2023.  
 
Church Weekend Away: This is just NINE weeks away (10—12 March) at King’s Park Conference Centre, Northampton.  We are all really excited and looking forward to it. Have you read the information in our latest magazine? 

The balance for the weekend will be due at the start of February.  More details coming next week. We hope you have booked to join us, but there is still some space available for the whole weekend and it is possible to join us as a day visitor.  If you would like to come, including if you would like to book as a non-residential guest, please book via this link https://ccbedford.churchsuite.com/events/aflhcdl2 or please let us know by speaking to the Vicar or to one of the wardens, as we need to confirm numbers with the centre. 

 
What is happening at Christ Church and beyond?
 
New Grow Group is starting - Grow is for anybody who wants to make progress in their faith - to think a bit more, learn, discuss, share together. Time undecided as yet but we will meet at church. Interested? Have a chat with Michael Bishop.
 
Warm Space: Our warm space is open again now on Fridays from Noon-2pm, as a free, non-judgemental space where people can go to stay warm and maybe enjoy some company and a hot drink, or simply spend time reading a magazine or book.

Go4Gold Social: Friday 13th January 2-3.15pm Refreshments included. No booking needed, just turn up if you are free.



 
Winter Fun in the church halls Saturday 21st January 3-5pm, come and spend time together: bouncy castle, table tennis, winter ski fun, refreshments and much more.

Malawi Meal Enjoy a simple meal together and find out more about (and donate to) the work of the Home of Hope on Sunday 29th January after the 10.30am service. Children very welcome and dietary requirements can be catered for.  To help us know the options required, and to have an idea of numbers, please see Phil or Ruth Janes in the Hub after the 10.30am service
.  Offers of puddings for this lunch will be gratefully received – contact Ruth Janes as above.

Organ Recital in aid of Pilgrims’ Friend Society at Christ Church on Saturday 4th February at 3.30pm.  Organist: Justin Waters (Lucy’s son).
 

Bedford Foodbank: The most needed food items at the moment are: UHT milk, cup-a-soup, fruit juice (longlife), tinned spaghetti, vegetables, tuna, tomatoes, fruit, coffee (100g), tinned meat in sauce (e.g. chilli, curry), jars of curry sauce and pasta sauce, and non-food items: washing up liquid, anti-bac spray. Collection in the Hub.
 
Hello
Hello and welcome to our church. If you are a new visitor, we have a page for you to get to know us and learn more about planning a visit.
Click here to see more.

Planning your Visit

A Warm Hello

The following information is specifically for those planning a visit, so that you know, beforehand, what to expect on a Sunday morning. When you arrive, you should be greeted by someone on our Welcome Team.

Our 9:00am service is traditional in style and lasts about 45 minutes.

Our main Sunday family service starts at 10:30am and runs for about 90 minutes, everyone gathers together at the beginning of the service. After a short time of worship together, we divide into different teaching and worship groups as children up to school year 8 leave. Our crèche however, is available from the beginning of the service.

At our all-age services (60 minutes), everyone stays together for the whole service. Our weekly notice-sheet gives details of all important events happening in the near future and some guidance on topics for prayer.

Tea, coffee and biscuits are served after the service where there is plenty of time to meet new people and ask more questions. We are proud to be a certified Fair Trade Church.

Our 7:00pm Sunday evening service runs for about 75 minutes and adopts a more contemporary style with a focus on deeper worship and teaching.   

 

What happens to the kids at church?

Children

We have a fantastic programme for the kids at the Church:

Sunday Mornings 10.30am service:

Daring Disciples - (Babies to 8 years). Our weekly group for babies to 8 year olds (school year 3).
Passports -  (9-11 years) Our weekly ministry to encourage our older children in the experience and love of God, through story, worship, prayer, discussion, craft etc. Meets in room 5 during the service.

Children stay with their parents at the start of the service as we worship (sing songs!) together for the first part of the morning. Someone will announce when the children need to go to their programme. You will need to go with your children and register them, the first time they attend.

For more information about our provision for children please visit the children's work page.

What about accessibility?

There are parking spaces next to the church halls but for the 10:30am service a larger car park is available at Castle Newman School just a few yards along Goldington Road. We have step free access from both Denmark street and Dudley street and there is space for buggies and wheelchairs in the Hub area of the new halls. There are baby changing and accessible toilet facilities and a lift to the second floor. Our sound system incorporates a hearing loop.

Getting Connected


Small Groups

While Sundays are a great way to meet new people, it is often in smaller gatherings that you can really get to know someone. Being part of one of our small groups allows you to make new friends, share together and support each other. We have a variety of groups that meet throughout the week, some afternoons and some evenings. Check out Small Groups and see if there’s one that you could join, or we can put you in touch with a small group leader who will be more than happy to invite you along to their group.

Serving and Volunteering

If you want to get involved in the life of the church and help us make Sundays run smoothly, you can sign up to serve on a team. 

Other Ministries

We also run the following ministries:

  • Men's Ministries
  • Women's Ministries
  • Students
  • Foodbank