All posts by Vicar

Knowing with certainty – Talks from Luke’s Gospel

Luke’s gospel begins with these words  Luke 1:1-4:

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eye witnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

Luke investigated eye witness accounts, of those who had seen and heard what Jesus had said and done. Luke wrote his gospel for his friend and for us, so that we might have certainty about Jesus for ourselves. We pray that by listening to these talks you may become convinced of the truth of all that Jesus said and did.

Luke 4:16-24 Bible Sunday 2016
Listen or download the talk from Luke 4 by Elaine White.

Questions from Luke 4

  1. Share a verse, book or story from the Bible that has inspired or affected you in some way.
  2. In Luke 4 who does Jesus claim the Old Testament and the Prophets were speaking about? How will knowing this help us as we read the Bible?

    See 2 Timothy 3:14-17 and 2 Corinthians 1:18-22

  3. How does Jesus continue to fulfil this prophecy from Isaiah today? You may want to speak about an experience of your own.

  4. Familiarity blinded the people to Jesus’ true identity, “isn’t this Joseph’s Son?”. We can all overlook or underestimate Jesus and often the Bible too. Share how you renew or remind yourself of your relationship with Jesus or of the value of the Bible.

  5. Read Psalm 19 and pray about how you would like the Bible to impact you each day and grow in your love for the Lord.

Luke 8:22-25 – Where is your Faith?
Watch the talk given by Ruth Boulton on from Luke 8.

Luke 15:1-10
Listen or download a talk from Luke 15, as Jesus speaks about seeking the lost.

You might like to think about these questions as you read the passage or listen to the talk.

Questions on Luke 15:1-10 from Sunday 11 Sept 2016

    1. Share or think of a time when you went looking for something that was lost.
    1. What objections might people have to us sharing our faith about Jesus?
    1. Who is Jesus telling these stories to and what had upset them so much? v1-3
    1. What encourages you about the stories Jesus told? What do they tell us about Jesus? v4-10
    1. Share your experience of being found by Jesus. If you’ve not had that experience share what has stopped you from knowing Jesus as your saviour.
    1. Find a way to celebrate the amazing news that Jesus has saved you! Think about how we might celebrate this as a church.
  1. Who do you want to speaking to about Jesus?

Luke 16:19-31 Sunday 25 Sept 2016

Listen or download the talk on Luke 16 by Ted Dew.

Questions on Luke 16

1. Do you feel rich or poor?

2. How might Jesus’ story sound simply like the rich are bad and the poor good? What was the difference between the two? Luke 16:27-31

3. How does the mans lack of generosity to Lazarus parallel his feelings toward God? What other passages on generosity could we read? e.g. James 2:15-16, Matt 6:1-4

4. Does the story from Luke 16 frighten you or make you feel thankful? Do you need to do something in response?

5. Looking at the big picture, not just the here and now, how important is the choice to repent and seek God’s grace?

6. Last week sharing God’s love and joy drove us to pray for others. What other motivation are we reminded of this week, especially praying for those who don’t know Jesus?

Pray for the Holy Spirit to move you to repent or give you opportunities to share Jesus with others.

Luke 17:11-19

Read the talk and the passage from Sunday 9th Oct 2016.

Questions on Luke 17:11-19

    1. Are you naturally thankful or prone to disappointment or ungratefulness?
    1. How does this miracle compare with what happened in Luke 5:12-16?
    1. What is the surprising outcome of the miracle? See v15,16
    1. What blessing does the man who returned receive, that the others didn’t? v19
    1. What does Jesus expect of those who have received a miracle? See v17-18. Salvation is a miracle, have we acted like the 9 men or the one who returned in our response to Jesus?
    1. If you are a Christian then you have so much to be thankful for, not just God’s daily provisions but also our new spiritual identity, life and gifts in Christ. Share some of God’s gifts that you are most thankful for?
  1. Share a practical way in which you can make giving thanks to God a daily part of your life.

Further reflection

Spend some time giving thanks to God for his goodness to you. You may want to use the words of a Psalm or read Colossians 1:1-23 for inspiration.

Luke 23:33-43

Life group notes 20 Nov 2016

Christ the King – Merciful, Sacrificial and Forgiving

    1. Think about how people react to dangerous situations? What is our instinct if we encounter something scary?
    1. What is Jesus’ reaction to those who have put him on the cross? What does it tell us about Jesus?
    1. In v35-39 Jesus is mocked and told to save himself from the cross? What would have happened if he had chosen to save himself?
    1. What does the criminal in v40-42 recognise firstly about himself and about Jesus?
    1. What does the Criminal’s request in v42 show he believes about Jesus?
  1. How do Jesus’ words in v43 challenge the way we think about death?

Give people the chance in your groups to respond in humility before Jesus, maybe ask people to stay behind if they want to ask Jesus to be their King.

Pray to God the Father to help someone you know who is unclear about who Jesus is, to see clearly and turn to him.

Latest uploads

We haven’t uploaded any talks for a while, so here are a couple of talks on a variety of topics.

Our first talk is by Philip Mounstephen from the Church Mission Society, on the book of Ruth and the work of CMS. One of the challenges was to “love those who are not like us”.

 

The second talk is from Sunday the 24 June by Ruth Boulton on Mark 4:35-41. Even having spent time with Jesus the Disciples still wondered who he was. Do you truly know Jesus?

 

Our other talks were given by Stephen Bazely, the first is on Romans 8:26-39. Words of encouragement, as we discover where real security comes from!

 

The second is on Matthew 13:1-9 and 18-23, and the passage asks whether we are committed to Jesus? “Our response to Jesus is the one that matters?”

2017 Annual Report

Vicar’s Report

Praise God
I am so thankful as I look back on 2017 to see the ways in which God has blessed and used us. In October 2017 we marked a year of our new services. We started two new services and a new breakfast gathering, which took a lot of trust in the Lord and a willingness to make sacrifices and serve God and one another. Praise God for the positive response, as people have found the service that enables them to serve and be encouraged. The breakfast has provided a great place to get to know others better as well as pray for each other. Unity was at the heart of the decision to change and I am glad to see the ways God has used it to bring us together as a church. So let us pray that services will help us to reach and serve the community more effectively in the years to come.

2017 also marked the 1st birthday for our Singing Club at Willaston CofE Primary School. With Wendy Hill and a number of volunteers leading the club, it has been a huge success and one way for families to experience church as their children come to sing for us. The Creche which was started in 2015 remains a great encouragement, with a growing group of young families joining us each week.

We also completed a Community Audit to help us lay the ground work for improving the church. More information go to: christchurchwillaston.com/church-improvements

Knowing Jesus
Our primary mission is to know Jesus, whether that means coming to know him or growing in him. Either we remain in Jesus and grow or we stagnate and sometimes slip away. Although our services and preaching are Jesus centred, just as we can’t eat once a week, we cannot expect Sunday to keep us going. That is why we run our Life Groups and special courses to help us wherever we are in our faith. We had a very successful Life Explored course which ran for the first time. This has been followed after Easter by the popular Christianity Explored course.

Sharing Jesus
We have lots of opportunities to share Jesus with others, whether it is a conversation at our Soup lunch or as people join us at our Christmas Tree Festival. But it may be more low key than that, an invitation to church or a conversation at the pub. All sorts of conversations and prayers are going on, and only God knows about them all. Your relationships are the key to reaching our community for Christ. So as you share Jesus and what he is doing in your life, we pray that people will come into God’s Kingdom. So as important as our Sunday services are, it is so often what happens outside church that makes the eternal difference. So I hope this year we will all discover the people in our lives that God wants us to reach with the love of Christ.

Thank you
I don’t often get the chance to say how thankful I am for you all. So let me say it now, thank you! Thank you, because without your love for Christ put in to action we would not achieve anything. What a good God we have, who has blessed us so abundantly in Jesus!

God bless, Rev Stephen Bazely
Priest-in-Charge

Child Protection & Safeguarding

This year we continue to have a rigorous system to ensure the safety of our children, vulnerable adults and of our leaders at Christ Church, Willaston.

During 2013 we registered as a parish to be part of the diocesan safeguarding process and our DBS forms continue to be processed online by CCPAS (Church Child Protection Advisory Service).

In conjunction with the diocese and CCPAS, we now have 21 members of church with up to date and valid DBS certificates.

This year, 9 members have had their DBS certificates expire and have been formally invited to renew. At this moment in time only one person has requested to renew their DBS certificate. 4 members of the church have gained their DBS certificate for the first time with us. We have also had some members move away or leave the church. We currently have 3 members undergoing the process of applying for their DBS certificate.

During the year, we did appoint Chris Baines as our ‘Children’s Advocate’, however, due to the very sad loss of Chris, this position is now vacant once again.

Over the year, I have ensured that all members with a valid DBS certificate have been made aware of the diocesan safeguarding policy, ‘Safe in Our Care’. Members have been asked to read the document and sign to verify that they are aware of its contents.

Diocesan guidelines state that the responsibility for the safeguarding of our children and vulnerable adults within a parish, remains with the incumbent and that PCC should appoint at least one Safeguarding co-ordinator to work with the incumbent.

Mrs Claire Bannon

March 2018

Christ Church Singing Club

We launched ‘The Singing Club’ in September 2016, a weekly lunch club held in school and aimed at children in Year 3. With a growing number of year 3 children and some from year 4, the group is very enthusiastic. During the sessions, the children play musical games and sing Christian Praise Songs. Once a term they are invited to bring their families to church to hear them sing at the 10:45 Sunday Service. They also enjoy singing their songs for Mothers’ Union events and for the rest of the school in the occasional Wednesday assembly. They contribute to the Whole School Visits to church for Harvest, Easter and the End of Year Services too. The group could not run without the help of some wonderful volunteers from the congregation. My thanks to them and the school for being so accommodating and welcoming.

Wendy Hill

Christian Aid

Are you interested in being the new representative? If you are then please speak to Rev Stephen.

In support of Christian Aid members of our church and the Methodist Chapel join in the sponsored walk and a number of people help with bucket collections at Gordales.

Creche

God is continuing to grow our church family here in the crèche with new families having joined us this year. On a number of weeks we have as many as 12 little ones and their parents squeeze into the vestry for songs, a bible story and activities! In May Joanna took a group of eight mums to Care for the Family’s Parentalk in Liverpool and it was a lovely, encouraging evening for us all as parents. At Christmas the children from crèche (and parents!) performed the nativity for the church family which was great fun and had a great response. The crèche leaders led the service with Wendy playing the piano for us and Jo and Joanna narrating. The children and grown ups enjoyed dressing up and performing and the congregation were wonderfully enthusiastic as they interacted with us!

Joanna Bazely

Children’s Church Group

We have had an encouraging 12 months. The Children’s group in the Scout Hut has had mixed attendance, sometimes 5 or more children, sometimes none. It has been put on hold for some time due to a lack of volunteers.

Going forward, key events like baptisms and the Singing Club joining us, will bring in more children, many of whom may not have had much opportunity to explore the Bible for themselves. The material and group is geared towards Reception and Years 1 and 2, but there is room in the Scout Hut for another group. With the right leaders we could then offer something for year 3 and up.

It is great news that we now have enough helpers to restart the group and we pray that more people will be able to offer time so we can accommodate all of our young parishioners.
Diane Duret

Electoral Roll Report

This year we have 135 members on our electoral roll, down from 142 last year.

Methodist Chapel

Many of you will know that our current minister Marcus Torchon is leaving us at the end of August to take up a new post in the Midlands.  Ministerial supervision of Willaston will be taken by Rev’d Kim Goh, whose involvement in Willaston will be limited.

In order to ensure continued operation of the Methodist Church with limited ministerial input, the Church Council decided to appoint a Local Lay Pastor to oversee the day-to-day church activities and drive Mission.  I was commissioned for this role on April 22nd.

I have been pleased to work with the Vicar and members of Christ Church on a number of mission and church development activities.  I am keen to consolidate the church’s mission to the community by reinforcing what has been accomplished to date, and extend it on a joint basis wherever possible. I believe that although we worship in two distinct church buildings, it is by working together across the village that we can provide the greatest service in mission.

Where we working together
Together we hold a Pentecost service, Lent Study Sessions, taking assemblies at School and the Neston and District Churches Together ‘Open the Book’, acting out three stories per school term in each of 6 junior schools across Parkgate, Neston, Little Neston, Burton and Willaston. We also contribute to the Food bank together and held our first joint Carol Service at Weatherstones last year.

We also held an Easter Experience for the school, with both Churches hosting. The school children displayed art, writing, poetry and craft about Easter and told the Easter story to fellow students, parents and grandparents. A successful event that the school are eager to repeat next year.

We also join you for Remembrance Sunday and support the Christmas Tree Festival with a tree decorated by children from the ‘Church Mice’ and ‘Create’ groups.

As Lay Leader for Willaston Methodist, I will share a number of ways in which we can partner in mission to the community. Either by extending existing activities or starting new ones.

Jim Shaw – Local Lay Pastor of Willaston Methodist Chapel

Mothers’ Union

This year our theme is ‘Walking in Mary Sumner’s Footsteps’. It all began in the Old Rectory in Aylesford, the home of Mary Sumner and her husband, the vicar of the parish. She had a great concern for the young women she knew who were finding life difficult and determined to support them by inviting them to the vicarage to meet together. She was passionate about supporting marriage and family life and this has continued and spread throughout the world since that time helping those facing adversity by praying, campaigning and enabling.

We now have 38 members in Willaston Branch and continue to meet monthly on the second Wednesday of each month at 2pm in the Methodist chapel schoolroom. During our meetings we pray for the work of Mothers’ Union worldwide, we usually have an interesting speaker telling about the Christian work they are involved in. Last year we had a member of Heswall Youth Fellowship talking about her forthcoming journey to Uganda, providing mosquito nets to prevent malaria taking hold and working in schools. Wendy Steadman, the widow of Fred, a previous vicar in Willaston, told us about her journey to ordination. Many of our long standing members remembered her when she was involved in Sunday school and Mothers’ Union some 30 years ago!!

We continue to establish links with our local village school. Three of our members are involved with the singing club who are invited to church from time to time to sing to us all. The school choir and the singing club visit our meetings and provide an excellent afternoon of entertainment. We also listen to the children read in school.

We support the Liverpool Seafarers Mission and were so fortunate to be able to invite John Wilson from the mission to one of our meetings.He pointed out the importance of being able to welcome all seafarers to the port and where possible take them to the mission in Crosby by mini-bus where they are able to contact their families after many months away from them.

He said they were guided by Matthew 25 v35 ‘For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. Grateful thanks were given for the knitted hats, warm mens clothing, cds videos and teddies.

Midweek communion with Mothers’ Union takes place on 3rd Wednesday in Church at 10.30. Knit and natter group meet twice each month. We follow up Baptisms by keeping in touch with the families until the child reaches school age.

A very special thank you for the love and support by our clergy families, Stephen and Joanna, Lyndon and Claire, for welcoming us into their homes and gardens during the year and providing us with some truly delicious treats.

Thank you to both families for your loving hospitality.

We warmly welcome new members, male or female who support Christian concern for families.

Kath Walker, Branch Leader

Parish News

The Parish News, produced by Christ Church, serves the community, by gathering information, notices, diary dates and reports from the local area and diocese of interest and use for the many activities taking place in the village and surrounds.

In August the printers had a workforce crisis which disrupted delivery date for a while. However, from this we have progressed to a ‘print ready’ submission which requires more work at our end but gives us more control and a much speedier turnaround from the printer, although delivery slots can affect timing.

Whilst this will not reduce prices it helps our printers, Inprint, keep costs as low as they can. Last year the Parish News made a small profit; with the closure of local businesses due to relocation or retirement that advertising revenue is reducing so any new advertising would be welcome.

Contribution from the church about events and activities has increased whilst maintaining the balance and good relationship with other village activities. The back page and contact details pages have been much improved by Lyndon and Paddy, many thanks to both.

Much hard work is conducted by Mrs. Inneen Taylor, our distributor, collating the Diocesan News, preparing the magazine for delivery and organising her team of deliverers. Inneen also contributes inspiring and reflective poetry. Again Mrs Viv Ley has organised the economics and advertising. Many thanks are again due to them both. Our thanks are due to the deliverers and to the contributors and subscribers who make the magazine possible and enable the service to continue.

Susan Schwab – Magazine Editor

Pastoral Team

As stated in our church magazine ‘members of the team can be contacted to share concerns about family, friends or neighbours who have needs. Their main job is to keep everyone connected to the church family but they cannot supply services which would normally be given by one of the various care agencies.’

Rather than think of the team as an action group with formally allocated tasks it is perhaps more helpful to think of it as an information network sharing concerns about church family members experiencing a difficulty and trying to find a solution. Giving lifts to church for people with mobility problems is a simple example.

When we meet, which is only 3 or 4 times a year, we meet for the purpose of mutual encouragement and to affirm that taking an interest in people is not ‘idle curiosity’ but our response as Christians to ‘love as He  loved’.

A date for the next meeting will be announced shortly which will include an invitation for others to join us.

Ted Dew – Warden

Wardens’ Report

Since the completion of the roof there has only been one significant improvement to the fabric of the church building during the last year, which is the rewiring of the electrical supply to the toilet and the choir vestry and the consequent provision of hot water to those areas.

Others have been busy progressing the procedures for the re-ordering which should begin to produce visible results as this year continues and we are grateful to them for their efforts.

Having received a visit from the Fire and Rescue Service there is now a growing need to respond to the recommendations that have been made and this will be driven by the wardens but will require the cooperation of everyone. it is expected that some of the issues will covered by the re-ordering.

Last summer, there were complaints about the condition of the graveyard, when, through injury, our gardener wasn’t able to work. Happily, he is now well and doing a good job.

It is recognised that there is a need to establish a good path to the new grave area but this will have to allow access for the gravediggers’ heavy equipment. Again, this is expected to be completed this year.

In order to reduce costs a different gas and electric supplier has been arranged. As a church family we should all be thankful to those volunteers who have cleaned the church during the last year especially for the big events. Finally, I’m pleased to report we now have an increasing colony of Snowdrops.

Ted Dew

Willaston Church of England Primary School

Christ Church has many links with our Village school, with members of the Governing body, volunteer Reading Rangers and as parents and members of the PTA. Rev Stephen takes assemblies, takes classes into church for lessons and welcomes the whole school into church for special services through the year.

Over the last year both Viv Ley and Susan Schwab have come to the end of their terms as Foundation Governors, they have both contributed a great deal to the school and I and the school are very grateful for their service representing the church and blessing the school.

Following an ‘Outstanding’ church inspection known as SIAMS, the school also received a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating and has a record number of children at the moment.

The highlight of the year so far for me has to be the Easter Experience! A chance for the children in years 3, 4 and 5 to share the Easter story in lots of creative and moving ways, with stations in both the churches. You can still see some of their work up in church. – Rev Stephen

Weatherstones Worship

Our regular monthly afternoon services at Weatherstones Nursing Home continued throughout the year. Now well established, they continue to be popular with both residents and their visitors with typically some eight to ten attending. Every service involves the same welcoming, relaxed and prayerful environment and usually some enthusiastic singing!

David Compton

UpLIFT – Women’s group

UpLIFT (Ladies In Fellowship Together – Upholding one another as we share the love and joy of knowing Christ.) was formed in May 2016 in order to provide a space for both members and non-members of the church to come together for a time of fellowship and friendship.

The group meets monthly on the second or third Thursday evening and is free to all who wish to come (we only charge for tickets or materials as an event requires). The group is open to all ladies whether they are Christians or not. We have participated in a very wide variety of events including walking, theatre visits, craft activities and a post-Christmas meal together.

The group has seen approximately 25 ladies come to the evenings across the year. The nature of the group is to provide a wide range of activities in order to appeal to as many people as possible. Members are free to come to as many or as few meetings as they feel appropriate.

Over the course of the second year of UpLIFT, we have enjoyed many interesting experiences: a hanging basket demonstration at Gordale; a talk about being ‘Dementia Friendly’ by the Alzheimer’s Association; a treasure hunt around Willaston (with prizes for all who took part!); a summer evening walk through Eastham Woods; paper flower arranging; a visit to see War Horse at The Liverpool Empire and finally we ended 2017 with a wonderful joint Advent Carol Service along with The MU and Men’s Group.

We now have a programme for our third year well under way which has seen us already listen to George Roach talk about being a Christian in the emergency services and a very busy craft night led by Merlynn. The rest of the year will see us take part in an art journaling evening focused on prayer; a visit to watch the sunset on the ‘Liverpool Cathedral Twilight Tower Tour’; a visit to New Ferry Butterfly Park; a summer evening walk from Thornton Hough and later in the autumn, a return visit to The Liverpool Empire to see ‘Calendar Girls’.

Our programme is available in church and details can be found by speaking to Helen or Claire.

Helen Heath & Claire Bannon

Join us this Easter

Come and join us as we journey through Easter together and celebrate that Jesus is alive!

March

25th Palm Sunday 9&10:45am

29th Maundy Thursday 7:30pm

30th Good Friday 10am

31st Easter Vigil 7.30pm

1st April Easter Day

10am 
Celebration service with a special Easter egg hunt.

Life Explored 8 Jan – 20 Feb

Life Explored Logo

Life Explored is a short course exploring the big questions of life:

Where is true happiness found?
Where can we find lasting satisfaction?
Where can we find meaningful purpose?
What is the best gift God could give you?

In each session there is a short film exploring one of these questions, looking at a particular aspect of God’s character. All the films are beautifully produced and afterwards there will then be the chance to discuss the issues raised in an informal setting.

This course is for anyone who has big questions, whether you are an atheist, agnostic,or consider yourself spiritual. It is also a great course to bring a friend along to.

Join us on Tuesdays from the 9th January to the 20th Feb at 7:30pm in Church. Feel free to turn up to any session and see what you think!

Life to the full

‘One Scripture that has been really powerful for me is John 10.10, “I have come in order that you might have life – life in all its fullness.” I became a Christian when I was 15, but I was 40 before I had a huge shift and understood this idea of life in all its fullness. It was like stepping out of the Championship and into the Premier League. It changed my life and then it changed my business…To read more visit the Bible Society.

If you want to know more about life to the full join us for our Life Explored course, join us on Sunday or get in touch.

Christmas Tree Festival

Come and enjoy Christmas trees decorated by the community, Films, a Christmas Market, Live Music and our Advent Services.

Friday 1st December

Festive Film Night – Scrooge 7:30pm Mulled Wine & Mince pies, £5 donation suggested.

Saturday 2nd December

Christmas Market 10-4pm

Festive Family Film 5:30pm
Muppet Christmas Carol – Free entry bring your own snacks

Sunday 3rd December

Advent Services 9am & 10:45am
Live Music and Tree Auction 1pm – 5pm