Pilgrims Book Club

As the smell of grilled bacon wafted through the church, pilgrims arrived for the first session of our new book club.

Most arrived on foot from the car park, not having trudged the Camino de Santiago, several having just received their double jabs that morning.

Gordon started by asking what is it we want from life. It turns out we long for healing and freedom, belonging and peace. With that as a good place to start we were asked in small groups to come up with a definition of being kind. Which led us nicely into receiving our own copies of the book being studied – Humankind, a Hopeful History, by Rutger Bregman.

Our second session started with coffee and croissants. Gordon outlined some important aspects of the history of Christianity and led us in a very varied discussion of the contents of chapter two.

The next session is on Saturday 6th November at 9:30am. Please read the rest of the book.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Vision Launch Event

This joint Hub event in the Beacon café on Saturday 18th September went very well, with a comfortable number of people coming to find out what the Vision Group have been up to, and to offer their support for some new initiatives.

We had 4 stalls set up, run by Alison, Rachel, Beryl and Pam. The stalls were promoting Chillout Church, Café Church, Traditional Church and Small Groups. We were busy talking to people and taking names.

The Vision Group is meeting again early in October to bring together all the information gathered.

Click here for the information brochure

Link to Hope Shoeboxes

Even with the difficulties caused by the Pandemic last year, we were delighted to be able to contribute 71 Shoeboxes to the Link to Hope Shoebox Appeal. In total, the small Christian charity which offers help to people of all backgrounds regardless of race, colour or creed with no qualifying criteria other than that they are poor and marginalised, was able to distribute 20.678 boxes to families and elderly people in Eastern Europe (Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine).

Of those 71 boxes, 10 were put together by individuals and the incredible generosity of monetary donations, handmade crafts and other gifts meant that Russell and I were able to put together the other 61 boxes.

We hope that people would like to get involved again this year. If you feel able to pack a box yourself, then that would be great – thank you. But, if you like to join in but would rather not/are unable to go to the shops and would be happy to give a donation, Russell and I are willing to do the shopping and packing for you! We will do some ‘bulk’ online ordering – using the ‘Link to Hope Shoebox Appeal 2020’ Wishlist on Amazon, local Charity Shops & other online suppliers similar to those we used last year.

A shoebox for a Family means that everyone receives a gift. A scarf for the mum, a tape measure for the dad, toys and games for the children as well as stationery and coloured pens. Also, toiletries, toothpaste, shampoo and soap to keep
everyone clean and free from the germs that make them ill. And, of course, sweets and chocolates for everyone.

Due to the number of elderly people that are now being left alone due to their families leaving to work away, Elderly shoeboxes are also vital. The boxes are similar to the Family Shoeboxes; however, the children’s games and education materials are replaced with a hot water bottle, sensory items, candle and holder etc.
We have the leaflets which give you all the information – let us know if you want 1 (or more); or you can download them from the Link to Hope website, where there is also a lot of extra information, including a video showing the gifts being distributed and the love that is shown to all:
https://linktohope.co.uk/shoebox-appeal-2021/

The website also gives ideas for handmade items – for the crafty ones amongst you!
If you want to find out about Link to Hope’s story and visual information on what to put in the boxes, watch
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nzA5SYWf4Q

An important date – All shoeboxes MUST be in Church/with Hilary & Russell by Sunday 31st October.
If you need any more information, please contact us. Thanking you, in anticipation! Hilary & Russell Collins.

Action for Children Garden Party

Keith & Margaret organised a very pleasant ‘CHURCH AFTERNOON GARDEN TEA PARTY’ on Saturday (21st August) and this was well attended in spite of a VERY WET MORNING preceding it …however, the weather cleared after lunch and we all (about 45 of us) sat down for a nice chat followed by scones, cakes and cups of tea! It stayed dry ALL afternoon!

At the conclusion a BUCKET COLLECTION was taken for ‘ACTION FOR CHILDREN’ and this raised £210!!
Many thanks to Keith and Margaret for their hospitality and for being able to enjoy their lovely garden!

Michael Bale – on behalf of all who attended!

Sweet Peas

During my early teens one summer evening I remember going with some ladies from the Baptist church I attended to a little village chapel in  Nempnett (near Chew Magna) Somerset, to share in an evening service.  Growing up on a council estate in Southmead, Bristol not many households attended their gardens and if they did, like my own grandparents they only grew vegetables. 

On entering the little chapel at Nempnett I encountered my first site and smell of sweet peas which were on display on the communion table and since then this delightful, delicate flower has remained a favourite of mine.  I have managed to successfully grow Sweet Peas myself and due to having to cut them regularly they have become a ‘give away’ flower and sharing them with others has become a delight and joy.  

Kathy Griffin.

Photo by Raimond Klavins of Unsplash

Rev Andrew’s Wales Spartan Challenge

Amazing job! Andrew & Jonathan completed the Spartan Challenge in Chepstow today, 20th June. They managed the 10 km run and various strength & endurance tests. Great thanks to the many supporters who turned out to cheer on our “dynamic duo” – Andrew & John were so encouraged.

An absolutely wonderful  £6449 has been raised for Hope in Christ School, Zambia up until today, which will enable them to build a NEW school classroom and will help towards refurbishing the school kitchen & dining room. Along with all at Hope in Christ we give grateful thanks to God and to all of you who have so very kindly and generously supported this project. 

It’s not too late to sponsor them. You can still do so online using your credit/debit card through the link below

Link to give.net

Hope In Christ Grade 8 Class

In-Person Services

Hello Church Family!

I’m sure many of you are as excited to get back into our church building as I am, even if there is just a hint of uncertainty lingering!

As I’m sure most of you are aware, we will return to our building for worship on the 6th June. This will look very much as it did in that interim period between lockdowns previously. This means that it will be a ‘hybrid’ service (which means it will be made available live on Zoom, then a recording later posted on YouTube).

This also means that, should you wish to worship in the church building, you must ‘book in’ with Debbie Cairns, as currently, we are still limited to 30 people indoors. It is possible that, by the 13th of June, we will be able to have up to 50 indoors. Also like previous occasions, in order to worship in the church building, one must still wear a mask, follow the one-way system, and maintain social distancing as much as possible.

It is certainly my hope that, in the near future, we’ll be able to worship again with a full house, with no masks or other restrictions—something that is almost difficult to imagine after all this time! In the meantime, though, we press on and continue to worship our God through all of life’s ups, downs, twists, and turns.

Blessings,

Rachel

Beacon Re-opens

We are pleased to tell you that you can come into the Beacon coffee shop as from Monday 17th May for your coffees, teas and light meals. Debbie and Cheryl will be there from 9:30 to 1pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The family room is open for two families at a time. Please book the family room with Debbie using the email beaconbookings@gmail.com