News from the PCC
Our Church Council met on Monday night and this month we have asked Graham Stuart to share his reflections. Graham writes…
"Monday night for me is over-50’s five a side football – one of Christ Church’s less well known forms of outreach! However, this Monday it was also the PCC meeting. So I jumped on my scooter, missed out on my post match beer, and skelped over the bridge to Linden Gate where we meet in the upper room.
About 20 of us from all walks of life met sitting in a semicircle armed with papers – mostly electronic gizmos ranging from swanky iPad to diminutive smart phones. The meeting started with 1930hrs with coffee and cake as people drifted in. Church Warden Sian was in the Chair and welcomed us. Neil opened with a reflection which centred around a passage on healing from Mark’s gospel. We then prayed with the person next to us concentrating on friends and family who are unwell. There was a friendly and welcoming atmosphere as we prayed for many close friends and members of the church family who are experiencing illness.
We then were introduced to our guest, Nadine Parkinson, who gave a really inspiring presentation on the work of Tear Fund in and around Kitgum – a town in Northern Uganda. Nadine described the PEP process (Participative Evaluation Process) which Tear Fund has been developing over the last few years. I have an innate dislike of complex abbreviations but this really is a tremendous project that merits our support. PEP programme of training and discipleship over 3 years where local churches link with the community to identify local needs. The programme has been evaluated by Bath University and has resulted in many health, community and environmental benefits as well as improving self-esteem among the local people. We have been considering CC mission strategy recently and have felt drawn to express mission in a new way. After Nadine left we agreed that this is something we would like to support. We then discussed other ways we can improve our support of local and global mission taking into account the recent audit of Christ Church members views. A new core team is being set up to discuss and plan this further. Watch this space!
We then went through a flurry of other agenda items but concentrated on the church annual budget. At present, we don’t have a church treasurer so Mark Parsons (without whom CC would grind to a halt…) presented a paper from the finance subgroup. This included a spreadsheet which would normally have reduced me to tears (+/- sleep) but thankfully we have several finance literate members of PCC who not only understood it but were able to make informed comments. This year our finances are extremely stretched but in comparison to people in Kitgum (86% live on less than 93 pence per day) we are wealthy! We talked about the need for stewardship of our resources. We also reflected on the need for us as leaders to communicate better with the congregation – many people may not realise that we have a faith budget that supports all our activities. Giving back to God is a duty and something to cherish whether it be time, money or anything else. Several of us shared the incredible ways God has blessed us when we have trusted him with our resources.
We finished our meeting with prayer around 10pm. Two and half hours of sharing and discussion. We don’t always agree with each other but there is mutual respect and serving on PCC is a privilege."
This week at Christ Church
This week, the church will be full of kids from schools all over Bristol for the Christmas Experience. Please do pray for the Ruthy and the team, and for the children and their teachers. As the church is in full use all week, The Spire Coffee Shop will be closed all week. It will re-open as usual on Monday 11th December.
Sorry! We can’t have a weekly news update without mentioning Christmas! To find out all that’s happening at Christmas at Christ Church visit www.ccweb.org.uk/christmas. To get involved visit www.ccweb.org.uk/christmashelp!