The Blog

Seems that everyone has a blog these days so we thought we would share what is happening in our fellowship.

3rd March 2020

So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.
Exodus 3v8

Over this last month we have been looking at the book of Exodus and how God led the Israelites out of Egypt and the lessons they learnt along the way. Learning to trust God for His provision of food and water on a daily basis, learning to trust Him for their protection from the enemies that would enslave them. Learning to trust God in each and every situation is not easy, we are so quick to panic when the difficult times come upon us and it certainly was a month that saw difficult times as storms raged around causing chaos and damage to so many.

However, as storms raged around, it was also a month that saw loss of friends and loved ones. It is at times like this that material loss seems insignificant and once again our eyes are drawn to our own mortality and the thoughts of our eternal destination. In our Bible studies it was good to ponder on these things and once again make sure that we are on the right path, looking to Jesus and following in his footsteps.

It is during these times we start to understand our need of being rescued, of somehow being lifted out of the chaos that can so easily overwhelm us.

The Psalmist wrote:
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
Psalm 40v1-2

Waiting patiently for the Lord in a slimy pit is not easy, we are impatient, we want things sorted now and often abandon seeking the Lord for a quick solution of our own, missing out on the Lords provision for our life. If only we will go to the Lord, if we will seek His wisdom and His ways, He is more than able to meet all our needs and provide for us in the worst of wildernesses just as He did for the Israelites.

The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34v18

No matter how deep and slimy the pit is that you find yourself in, the Lord’s help and provision is only a prayer away.

9th January 2020

Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2v11

As would be expected in a church, December was a time of looking at the birth of Jesus. However, as we looked at his birth, we also kept looking at his death. For the baby Jesus that we think about in the nativity scene is the same Jesus that would die on the cross for our sins. As the verse in Luke says, "a Saviour has been born". This sweet looking innocent child was the one who would be sacrificed for our sin; it can be very easy to separate the two. Again a great challenge to us as to the gift of God that has been given for our salvation.

As well as looking at the meaning of Christmas in the Sunday services, it was also great to be able to join with the residents of Severn Heights to celebrate Christmas with a carol service. It was a blessed time for us all.

Alongside our Christmas services the Bible studies spent most of the month working through a few verses in 1 Corinthians on the subject of love.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13v4-7

It is easy to study these things from an intellectual perspective, but as always in our studies the goal is to see how these things effect our daily lives, to allow God to show us the areas in our hearts and lives that are not loving in the way he would love, to allow ourselves to be transformed into the likeness of Christ. The big lesson to be learnt is that God's love is always a giving love; it sacrifices of itself for the benefit of others while our love tends to be selfish and is about what we can get back.

As we look at God's love we see that he was willing to give everything out of His love for us, even his one and only Son. What greater Christmas present could we wish for?

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3v16

12th December 2019

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.
Matthew 28v19-20

November was a month where missions became a focus. Usually when people think of missionaries, they think of someone wearing a pith helmet and fighting their way through jungles to find lost tribes, but this month the focus of missions was on a couple of countries that can be reached on a budget airline in a couple of hours.

The first was Romania with a visit from Wayne O’Leary from the Slavic Gospel Association. It was amazing to see how God had changed the lives of people living in some very difficult conditions, changes that had come about through the change of heart they had received through Christ.

After hearing about the work that God is doing in Romania it was time for our Pastor (Simon) to fly out to Poland to do a few days teaching. The visit marked just over 30 years of working in Poland. It has been amazing to watch the changes that have taken place in the country year after year, but again the real joy has been to see the growth in individuals relationships with the Lord as well as the growth in numbers in the church itself.

As well as the joy of seeing what the Lord is doing in other countries, as usual it was also a month of seeing the Lord answer prayer in the lives of those in the church, from practical situations to health problems, the Lord was at work throughout the month.

1st November 2019

For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.
1 Peter 3v18

Month after month there always seems to be a particular verse or theme that gets repeated week after week and this month this verse in Peter has been the one that the Lord has brought us back to time and time again.

The death of Jesus on the cross, dying for our sins, is something that we think about a lot. People will often think about Jesus dying for their sins so that they can be forgiven, so that they can go to heaven. Yet so often the whole point of Jesus dying on the cross gets missed, it was to bring us to God. The forgiveness of sins was not just so that we could feel better, go to heaven or join a church. It serves a purpose in allowing us to go into the presence of a Holy God who wants to be our Heavenly Father.

It allows us to come to Him and have the relationship with Him that He desires us to have. Even as Christians it can become all too easy to reduce our Christian life to a series of church meetings, of reading the Bible and saying the occasional prayer when we are in need, yet not maintaining the relationship with the Father that we should.

Our challenge this month has been our heart attitudes towards God. He has displayed his overwhelming love for us in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. In view of that sacrifice have we taken the route on offer to come to the Father? Or do we just look from a distance acknowledging the way He has made but never taking the first step?

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
John 14v6

1st October 2019

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.
Psalm 23v1-2

So often when people think of prayer they think of using God as some kind of spiritual vending machine, we tell him what to do and He then obeys. We don't realise that in doing so we are not treating Jesus as Lord but in fact turning him into our servant. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray it was a two way conversation, it was about seeking Gods will and direction in a situation and then acting on the instruction given, even if at times it made no sense. That is what walking by faith is all about. Trusting that the Lord will lead and guide us along the ways and paths that are best for us. For if we are not willing to obey His leading then we are not treating Him as Lord at all.

For many in the church this last month has been a month of taking on new challenges from the Lord, being moved on from a position of comfort, of the way it's always been and Instead listening to the leading of the Holy Spirit and walking in faith into pastures new. Moving out of our comfort zone is not easy, but as we follow the Lords direction we start to experience His provision in our life and that always brings true blessing. We look forward to seeing how the Lords plans work out over the coming months.

This month we also returned to Severn Heights to take the monthly communion service. After not being able to have a service in August it was a real blessing to be able to join in again with those who over the years have become part of the church family even though they will never be able to come to a Sunday service. We Look forward to returning soon.

3rd September 2019

"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery - but I am talking about Christ and the church.
Ephesians 5v31-32

As a church, August is always one of the quietest months with many people away on holidays especially on the Bank Holiday weekend, so it was a great joy on the day that should have been the quietest, to be able to welcome a number of visitors from various places.

During the last month we focused on marriage both in the morning and evening Sunday services, and also in some of the bible studies as well. Not only did we look at what Biblical marriage is about, but we also looked at how we not only protect our own marriages, but also the marriages of others.

Marriage is always an interesting pictural lesson of Christ and the church, and we saw not only how lessons from physical marriage and the respect and love that the Bible tells us to show towards each other can be applied to our relationship with God, but also how the blessings of our relationships with God overflow into our marriages, as our hearts are changed by our relationship with Him.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Ephesians 5v25-27

31st July 2019

It is not often that you would put a funeral as the highlight of a month, but as a church the highlight of July has to be the funeral of Brian Merry.
It was a great day with many travelling long distances to be there as we celebrated not just the life of a man of God, but a man who knew his failings which became apparent in his eulogy which he had written himself.
He wrote:

"I sincerely request that Christ be at the centre of my thanksgiving service! The Apostle Paul who describes himself as, 'The Chief of Sinners' reminds us in the book of Timothy that we have all sinned and not one of us can claim any kind of self-righteousness, and the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. I acknowledge before God that during my lifetime I have broken every commandment, in either, thought, word, or deed. I therefore stand before my Maker and claim salvation through the grace of Jesus Christ who died on the cross, taking my punishment, so that my sins might be covered by His blood."

As such we gave thanks for the real person, as he put it, "Warts and all." For our joy is not based on his abilities but in his hope in Christ alone. We will miss him but the loss is ours, not his. For as the Apostle Paul wrote:

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Philippians 1v21

As well as giving thanks for having known Brian, as a church the month ended with us giving thanks for a new member that we will grow to know over the coming months with the birth of a new baby Annabelle. It is during months like this that we are able to see how the Lord works from the start of life to the end. A journey that He desires to share with us if only we will allow Him into our lives.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4v6-7

2nd July 2019

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8v38-39

Christianity is about coming into a relationship with a loving Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ our Lord. It's not about church or being religious, but about maintaining a healthy relationship with God himself. It is a relationship that is meant for eternity, not just for this life, so what a joy it is to read these words from Paul explaining to the believer that there is nothing in this world that can ruin that relationship.

For one of our congregation these words became even more real as just after hearing these words being read he passed away in the Sunday morning service. Not something that happens often, and at first it could be looked on as a disaster, but for someone who has spent over sixty years following the Lord it was more a case of leaving one service to enter eternal service.

It is so easy at these times to let the sadness of loss get in the way of the eternal joy they now enjoy through Jesus Christ, our loss, our mourning are for ourselves because for the believer the end of life on this earth is just the beginning.

As the Apostle Paul wrote:

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Philippians 1v21

4th June 2019

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4v6-7

Prayer is often looked on as a method of telling God what needs to be done, but when we look at the way Jesus prayed we see that he gave his requests to God, but also listened to what his Heavenly Father instructed him to do. So often we just shout up the request and forget to listen for the response, the instruction and direction that God wants us to take.

This last month as a church it has been a great joy to see more joining in at the prayer meeting but also a joy to see how the Lord has responded to those prayers. For some it has been answers to prayer in the search for jobs or accommodation, for others it has been about listening to the Lords answer and acting on it; Taking a step of faith into the unknown. Whatever the answer to prayer, it starts with a humble request before God and as we see the answers to often impossible situations it only makes our awe of the power and majesty of God grow in our lives. A change that brings about true peace in our lives.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence , so that we may receive mercy and grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 4v16

1st May 2019

Easter is a very special time for Christians, it has more significance than Christmas because it was at Easter on the cross that Jesus died and rose again bringing forgiveness for sins and hope for the future.

We started our remembrance of Easter with a Good Friday meeting at Severn Heights Care home and then continued through the Sunday services. At each one taking communion to focus again on the great sacrifice that was made all those years ago.

As well as the services, our Bible study of the First book of Peter also echoed the theme of Easter with the following verses.

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you by your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
1 Peter 1v18-19

We Looked at what it means when something is precious; how we protect and care for the precious things in our life. For it is so easy to read the Bible and agree intellectually, yet live our lives in a way that brings disgrace to the God we claim to worship. It is so easy for something to become so familiar that over time it loses it's value. Easter is always a great reminder of the incredible price paid for our salvation, a free gift that cost so much.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
Ephesians 2v8

2nd April 2019

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Ephesians 6v10

March marked the 7th birthday of the church, the time seems to have gone very quickly At a time like this it is often good to take stock of what God has been doing in our lives and so throughout the month it has been a constant challenge, a spiritual health check to make sure as individuals and as a church we are staying on the course God has given us. It is so easy with all the activity to assume all is well because we are doing the right things but at times we need to ask ourselves why we are doing them. The Bible warns the church at Ephesus:

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.
Revelation 2v4

The church was doing the right things, but it had just become a religion, their relationship with God was fading and it is good at times like this to have a spiritual health check.

At the same time there is always the danger of trying to earn our salvation by doing the "right" things! For our last Sunday morning service of March it was great to welcome Mike Loveridge from Manor Park Church who reminded us once again that through the death of Jesus on the cross we are set free from trying to earn our salvation. The penalty of sin has been removed and we are free to serve God out of thankfulness for what He has done rather than to earn His favour.

We now look forward to what the next year has in store for us.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5v1

5th March 2019

Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1v13

Being a Christian is not just about having a belief, it is about the action that springs from that belief, the Bible calls it faith. Over the last few months as a church we have been studying the First Book of Peter and this particular verse has been one that has had quite an impact on lives. The need to be thinking in Godly ways rather than the ways of this world.

The apostle Paul writes:

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12v2

This transformation is something that is an ongoing process, but can only be done if we set our minds towards the task and are prepared to accept change in our lives.

From an action point of view we have been quite busy with the usual meeting at Severn Heights but also meetings a bit further afield with Simon (our Pastor) flying out to Poland to work with some of the small Polish churches in the east of the country. As always when the pastor is away it means others have to be prepared for action.

These last couple of months have also seen an increase in the numbers attending the evening service. It has been great to welcome visitors but also to be blessed by those who have decided to make the church their new spiritual home.

However an even greater blessing is the increase in numbers at the prayer meeting, for no matter how busy we are with studying or works for the Lord, if we are not communicating with God himself, we have lost the whole point of being a Christian.

For as Jesus said:

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14v6

Jesus died on the cross, not to give us church or religion, but to allow us to come into the presence of our Heavenly Father and so if we are not willing to come to Him we are rejecting the work of Christ on the cross.

As a wise Pastor once said:

You can tell how popular a church is by who comes on Sunday morning.
You can tell how popular the pastor or evangelist is by who comes on Sunday night.
But you can tell how popular Jesus is by who comes to the prayer meeting.

5th January 2019

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9v6

December was definitely a month of celebration and thanksgiving for things that have endured. We started with the celebration of Christmas, the birth of Christ and the enduring love that God has shown us through Him. As a church we looked at the different characters who had a part in the nativity story. Looking at how God had called them and the struggles they had faced to walk in the ways of God. It is not easy to walk in a direction when everyone else is trying to go the opposite way. Yet through their faith and struggles they saw and took part in a moment of history that has effects on our life to the present day and beyond.

Our second celebration took a different form. There is a scripture that says:
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
Proverbs 31v10

However, this was not a celebration of rubies, but of diamonds; as we celebrated a 60th wedding anniversary, an incredible achievement.

Marriage is not always easy, it requires a dedication to another that often means losing out to self. It is why it is so often used as a picture of the Christian life and our relationship with God. For to endure over the years requires a love that is far deeper than just the romantic love that we see portrayed today. It is a love that requires self sacrifice, a love that we see poured out on us in Christ and that as Christians we try our best to give back in thankfulness.

So now after a month of looking back, we look forward to what the Lord has in store for us in the New Year.

1st December 2018

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
Philemon 1v25

Although the book of Philemon is only 25 verses long it has proved an interesting Bible study over the last few months. It has proved a very practical book as it deals with the every day issues of conflicts and day to day decision making that we could all use some extra godly help with at times. For just studying the Bible in an intellectual way is of little benefit, the real benefit of reading God's word is learning how to apply it to day to day living. We hope we will be equally blessed in our new study of the book of the First letter of Peter.

As usual we had our monthly service at Severn Heights care home in Callow End and this month it was great to be joined by so many of the residents with the room being totally full. It is always a blessing to be able to encourage those who cannot get out and we are all looking forward to our next visit at the end of December for a Christmas Carol Service which is always a favourite with the residents.

The month finished with a joint evening service with the congregation from the Wyche Free Church in Malvern. It was definitely the largest number we have had for an evening service and was a real blessing for us as a church as not only did we have a lot of visitors but they also brought the preacher and a great message it was as well.

Finally as a church we would like to wish you all a blessed and peaceful Christmas.

1st November 2018

How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!
Psalm 133v1

It had been quite a long time since we last had a joint service, so it was great to meet up with the Wyche Free Church in Malvern for an evening service. Having a service is far more than just singing a few hymns and listening to a message, it gives us an opportunity to meet other believers and find out what the Lord is doing in their lives and in the life of the church in other places. We look forward to meeting up again at the end of November when they come to visit us.

As a church October has also been a month of increased numbers with new ones joining us both for the morning and evening services. This combined with visitors has led to a few very full services which is always a great joy.

Away from the Sunday services we have been working our way through the book of Philemon, a very small New Testament book of just 25 verses.
Despite it's small size it has been very challenging in teaching about how conflicts should be resolved in a godly way. It is so easy just to get angry and react rather than take the time to ask what God would do in this situation. How do we deal with conflict in the light of God's love? Sometimes these things can be hard for us to learn, we have reacted the same way for so long that it is hard to change, but at least as we read of God's ways we know what we are supposed to be doing, even if at times we fail.

Yet I appeal to you on the basis of love.
Philemon 1v9

1st October 2018

"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
"Come," he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came towards Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord save me!"
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.
"You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
Matthew 14v28-31

When Peter was called to get out of the relative security of the boat he took a step of faith, he did what the Lord said was possible even though it should be impossible, not only did he do it, he did it in a storm!

As a church this month many of us saw the Lord working in areas of our life right in the midst of the storm when all the securities of the world had been removed. It is at that time that we have the choice to take the hand that the Lord offers us or to struggle on alone. Over the month we saw the Lord at work in all areas, from health and financial needs to provision and protection in a hurricane. As people reached out to the Lord He provided the answers. With so many answers to prayer in such a short time one of our prayer meetings became dedicated to praising the Lord for the great things he had done.

I hope as Peter had learned that we need to keep our eyes fixed on the Lord and not be scared by the fears that the storms bring into our lives. So often we only want to obey the Lords commands when it suits us and life is calm and pleasant, yet it is in the storms that we really learn to trust the Lord and see his abundant provision.

As the Lord provided and protected, the words of the Psalmist became a real truth in so many peoples lives.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23v4

As well as the Lord doing a work within the church, it was also a month when the church got accepted into the "Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC)." This will allow us to help other independent churches in our area and be more involved with missions within our nation as well as being able to seek outside help and guidance as needed. Joining has already blessed us in so many areas in the administrative side of the church, but this month we look forward to our first joint service with another FIEC church.

How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!
Psalm 133v1

4th August 2018

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10v25.

As a small church, the summer months are often difficult as people go away on holiday. Yet, we continued to meet as often as possible and on one particular weekend when most of us were away, those left still met with brothers and sisters at another local church. Despite the difficulties, it was still great to be able to welcome visitors at morning, evening and midweek services throughout the month.

As well as welcoming visitors, it was also an answer to prayer to have one of our regular members return to Severn Heights Nursing Home in Callow End and for her to be able to once again join us in praising God. When someone is ill for so long they are really missed and despite meeting on one of the hottest days of the year, we had a good gathering together.

July also saw us finally finish our study of the book of Jude. It is a very short book, only twenty five verses, but has been such a blessing as we looked through it week after week.
The final verse reads:

To the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
Jude 1v25

Over the month we considered what these words meant and the implications for our life. How should the glory, majesty, power and authority of God be demonstrated in our lives? It was often very challenging but as we thought about the meanings and how the Bible describes these aspects of God, it proved a challenge to all and only serves to spur us on to serve God in a greater way.

3rd July 2018

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy.
Jude 1v24

Over the last few months our Bible studies have been working through the book of Jude. Despite being only 25 verses long it has been a time of great blessing and growth. As with so much of the Bible, it is not about gaining head knowledge, but about gaining a practical knowledge that can be put into practice in our daily lives. This month we spent a couple of weeks just looking at the verse written above, looking at the things that cause us to fall in life, but also being encouraged at the fact that God does not want us to fall and is there to hold our hand and guide us through the difficult times that often come upon us.

As a loving Heavenly Father, He desires not only to see us grow and prosper in our spiritual life, but to grow in a way that brings joy into our lives. As so many in the church have discovered, even in the most difficult times, God himself can bring joy into our lives.

This month as we took the service at Severn Heights it was great to see the joy in the life of those who struggle with their health and mobility and yet can still know the same peace and joy that the Lord offers to all who call on him. As always the time before and after the service is as precious as the service itself and it's a pleasure to be able to minister to some real characters. This month I was congratulating one lady of 100 who for some time has been the oldest person attending the meeting only for her to tell me, with a cheeky grin, that her new friend a few chairs away was 104!

From the oldest to the youngest, Our Heavenly Father wishes to bring blessing into our lives as we turn our eyes and thoughts towards Him.

1st June 2018

Every month the Lord seems to be teaching us different lessons about himself. This month seemed to be a month of God showing himself as a Heavenly Father who can provide for His children no matter how impossible the situation may seem if only we will trust in Him and follow his directions. For God is a God of the impossible, he delights in proving Himself to His children.

So often we can be faced with problems in life that can seem overwhelming with no way out, yet in Christ there is always an answer if only we will turn to God in prayer. As the apostle Paul said:

I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4v13

Paul knew that no matter what the world threw at him, God was more than able to see him through, as a church that has been the testimony of so many this month.

Sometimes we look at the big things as God's blessing, yet miss the tiny things that show how the Lord cares for even the smallest details of our lives. As a church we have a number of age groups at the different meetings that range from birth to old age. For the babies we have seen the Lords provision in the new room we meet in on Sundays that has everything a child could need, yet at the other end of the spectrum it was such a joy to be able to meet and pray with those at the other end of life and to hear a 100 year old talk of how blessed and encouraged they have been by the Word of God. As a church we have seen that no matter how old we are, no matter what our background or bank balance, God loves us and desires us to know His blessing and the peace that comes from knowing Him.

He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever.
Psalm 111v5

3rd May 2018

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
Matthew 19v14

April saw us finally move our morning and evening services from the university to the Worcester Early Years Centre. Despite the change of location it was great to welcome visitors new and old again.

For our first Sunday in the new location there could not have been a more fitting start than to have the service of dedication of our youngest member. More than just a quick prayer, we looked at the real meaning and the costs involved of dedication; as dedication to anything always comes at a cost.

The following week saw us move from the challenge of parenting in this country to us learning of the struggles that Christians face around the world as we listened to John Butterworth from Open Doors speak to us about the persecuted church. So often we can get so wrapped up in our own needs and problems that we just fail to grasp how difficult life can be in other countries, where persecution, loss and death can strike at any moment. However, to listen without action is not enough, and it was a great joy as a church to be able to give to the needs of brothers and sisters in far off lands to help provide them with the basic necessities that we take for granted.

As well as the things to rejoice over, as a church the month also had it's sad moments as we visited the care home at Severn Heights to find one of our oldest members now in a poor state of health, both physically and mentally. It is at these tough times that more than ever we need to seek the Lord and pray that the Lord will reveal himself and give peace. For God is more than capable of meeting the needs of our loved ones no matter what struggle they face.

30th March 2018

Sometimes God moves in the most mysterious of ways and the start to March certainly proved that. Our first Sunday service of the month was to be a trial at the Worcester Early Years Centre that we will be using for all our Sunday services in the future. We thought we had planned for everything until we woke up to snow! It's so easy to panic with thoughts of people getting stuck, but instead, it was time to pray that the Lord would sort the problems out and give us his peace.

Thankfully the new location was easily accessible, even in the snow, and despite the bad weather and all the changes, the new location worked very well for us and we look forward to meeting there every week in the future. Even more of a blessing was that despite all the changes and the snow it was a great blessing to have visitors from another church join with us. It was also a blessing to have visitors join us for other services throughout the month.

As well as the joy of others visiting us, there was our usual visit to the residents of Severn Heights. As always it's a great joy to be able to spend time together with those who cannot get out to a church service.

Our final service of the month was on Palm Sunday and the real blessing was about the thought of Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey, a small act that can look so insignificant, yet speaks so loudly if only we will listen.

"Say to the Daughter of Zion, 'See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'"
Matthew 21v5

He did not enter on a horse, because a horse was ridden in times of war and conquest. He entered on a donkey, a symbol that he had come in peace.

For Jesus has always come peacefully to all who will accept him as their Lord and saviour. Will we welcome him with praises or reject him with cries of "crucify him"?

1st March 2018

See I am doing a new thing!
Isaiah 43v19

There are times when a season comes to an end and a new season starts and as a church February has marked the end of the old and beginning of the new. Change is something that we often say we look forward to, yet when it arrives can be unsettling. However, as a church there is a definite sense of excitement as we look to the future.

Our biggest physical change will be a change of location for our Sunday services that will take place over March and April. We will be moving to the Early Years Centre just off the Lower Wick roundabout. Although it is just a change of location, just like moving house, it is amazing how many little details have to be changed to get everything right.

As well as a change of location we have also had a change in our Bible study. After just over three years we finished our study of the book of Matthew, it has been such a blessing, but the end has finally come and we have started on a new book, this time one of the smallest books, the book of Jude. However just because it is a small book does not mean that is in anyway lacking and it is already proving itself to be a challenge and a blessing.

Although some things are changing, other things remain the same and as usual it was a blessing to take the service at Severn Heights again, to be able to help and encourage those who cannot get to church.

Maybe the greatest blessing was left to the end of the month and a look at a very simple verse in the book of Jude. To once again remember what God desires for each one of us if only we would follow in his ways.

Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.
Jude 1v2

1st February 2018

About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” - which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Although it has been a busy month with visitors joining us for different meetings and the monthly meeting at Severn Heights, as a church, the single item that has been the focus all month has been the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross all those years ago.

As we have studied the book of Matthew we have arrived at the cross and have been looking at just how much Jesus suffered for our sin. It has given us a fresh insight into the grace that we have received through him as we see the penalty he paid on our behalf on the cross. As our appreciation for that sacrifice has grown, so too has our understanding of the depths of our sin and just how lost we would be without Jesus. It is easy over the years to become complacent, to allow something so precious to become normal instead of to be in awe of what God has done.

The beatings, the humiliation, the mocking and eventually the cross, all of these penalties taken on our behalf that we might be forgiven from sin. Only a God who truly loved us would allow Jesus to have gone through this suffering on our behalf. It truly has been humbling to see the love of God that was poured out for us at the cross and a reminder once again to live our lives in thankfulness for all he has done for us.

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honour because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
Hebrews 2v9

2nd January 2018

O come all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant
O come ye O come ye to Bethlehem
Come and behold Him
Born the King of angels

As we looked forward to celebrating the birth of Christ, at times the journey made by the wise men seemed simple as we struggled through the snow. Yet as always God was good to us and we managed to continue the services as normal and enjoyed one of those rare moments when we got to sing carols as the snow fell outside. Thankfully it didn’t last too long and we were able to go out to Severn Heights to take the Christmas carol service with the residents and staff.

It was a great time of singing and listening to God’s word, but also a time to talk, to build up the friendships we have made over the years and to celebrate this special time together with those who cannot get out no matter what the weather.

Over the Christmas period the theme of the faithful coming to God continued as we celebrated on Christmas Eve and as we met together on Christmas day. A time to remember the incredible gift that God has given us in Jesus, and as we took communion, a time to remember not just the joys of his birth, but the reason for his coming, to die for our sin on the cross!

With Christmas Eve being a Sunday, it gave us two days of services to remember this special occasion and to help us keep our focus on the true meaning of Christmas, for even as we celebrate, it is so easy to be distracted by the things of the world, for priorities to be put in the wrong order. May we be those who continue to be faithful and continue to come to the Lord through the coming year.

O come let us adore Him
Christ the Lord

30th November 2017

In our study of the book of Matthew, November brought us to Chapter 26 and the betrayal of Jesus. Betrayal is not something nice to think about but it was a challenge to see how one of Jesus's disciples had so easily sold him for a few pieces of silver, while others who said they would die for him deserted him within the hour. Too see how easy it is to fall is a sobering thought and just shows the need to draw ever closer to God.

Throughout the month it was also great to welcome visitors to just about every service and meeting, it is always great to share and be encouraged by others.

We also took one of the biggest teams to Severn Heights including our two youngest members. Needless to say I think they proved to be very welcome and as usual a great time was had by all. We look forward to taking the carol service at the home next month.

Meanwhile as a church we make our preparations for the Christmas period, making sure that the focus does not move off of Christ.

1st November 2017

I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.
Romans 1v11-2

October was a month of welcomes and good byes. The month started with a welcome for our youngest member as we welcomed another baby into the fellowship. However, as a church of all ages, we see and experience the full cycle of life; so it was also with sadness that we said goodbye as one of our eldest members passed away; though there is sadness there is always the joy that for those in Christ there is eternal life ahead of them.

As well as welcoming the youngest, it was a month of welcoming many visitors of all ages throughout the month at the various meetings, not just on Sunday, but through the weeks as well. It is always a joy to share and worship with other believers, some visiting the area, others moving to Worcester and the surrounding villages for the first time.

As well as welcomes at the main meetings, it was also great to welcome new faces to our meeting at Severn Heights with this month being a special harvest festival service. Not only was it a time for us to meet new residents, but also a time for the residents to be able to meet some of our new members as one of the babies attended for the first time, a moment that was enjoyed by all.

The month also ended with welcomes and goodbyes as Simon flew out to Poland to teach at one of the churches for the weekend. A time to catch up with old friends, but also to share and mutually encourage one another in the Lord.

We look forward with expectation to what the Lord has in store for us this month.

2nd October 2017

So he said to me, "This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty."
Zechariah 4v6

This verse very much summed up church life in September. For it is so easy to look to our own strength or the ways of this world, to try to manipulate situations rather than seeking the Lord and trusting in the direction He gives.

So as a small church it was such an encouragement to have a number of visitors through the month, not just on Sundays, but at the midweek meetings as well. Indeed on weeks when we thought we would be reduced in numbers because of holidays it was great to have those that the Lord had led to us, join in.

Yet despite the joys of extra numbers, it has also been a month of teaching on being faithful in the small things, to continue to persevere in faith even when things do not look as if they are going the right way. For the Lord asks us to walk by faith and not by sight, to keep our eyes fixed on Him and His ways. Of course it is easy to read these things and think we have taken them to heart when in fact we only have head knowledge. So in many ways the Lord gave us a very practical lesson with the last service of the month being the smallest attendance we have had for many years. One of those tests of faithfulness that is always a good reminder as to who we are serving and who we are looking to for strength and encouragement.

Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of his servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
Matthew 24v45-47

1st September 2017

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ’, and will deceive many.

The summer period is often difficult in a small church with many being away on holiday and visiting family, yet it has been a month of great spiritual growth. Through the month we have been looking at some of the last bits of teaching that Jesus gave in the book of Matthew. His great warning was to not be deceived and that the only way to prevent ourselves being deceived is to keep our hearts fixed on Jesus, to stay alert to the leadings of our Heavenly Father.

Sadly, we see how often we do not stay alert to the things of God and slowly start to drift away from the truth. It has been a challenging time, but a time of the Lord working in lives and giving direction, of truth being revealed and lives being changed. Sometimes the truth has not been easy, it can be hard to admit we have been going in a wrong direction, but God’s word never fails and as we repent and turn to Him there is always freedom.

Jesus said “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8v31-32

We now look forward to the continuing challenge of trying to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

1st August 2017

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given…
Isaiah 9v6

Although these words are of course about Jesus, as a church it was great to welcome our youngest member who made a very quiet entry into the church. Children are such a blessing from the Lord and we give praise for this new ones safe arrival.

At the other end of the age scale, it was great to have so many at our recent meeting at the Severn Heights Care home with a great time of worship together. It is a privilege to be able to spend time with those in their later years.

As well as the old and the young we also had visitors from near and far, we hope to see those from nearby again, although doubt our visitor from Australia will be joining us on a regular basis. However it is always great to join with others as we worship the Lord.

As a church though for the past month, if there was one theme that stuck out it was how the Lord helps us to deal with our fears. So often we want God to remove from our lives anything that causes us stress, but this month it was great to see people learning to experience the peace of God through situations that in the past would have caused panic. It is a sign of the growth and trust that takes place in our relationship with God over time. A learning to walk in faith and trust in His promises whatever the situation may look like.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4v6-7

It has been a proving of the words of Jesus:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14v27

No matter what the situation, there is always peace to be found through Jesus.

30th June 2017

Who despises the day of small things?
Zechariah 4v10

It is so easy to look for the big and miraculous, yet so often, God is moving in the small and quiet ways that we can so easily miss.

This month has been no exception, there has been the excitement of having different visitors at the various meetings coming from both near and far, but the real joy has been seeing God move in the life of individuals, giving them direction and peace in situations that before would have brought stress and panic. This is the peace that God offers us through Christ, not a worldly peace where all the bad things are removed, but a peace of knowing that the Lord is in charge no matter what trial we are going through.

As well as peace in our own hearts one of the special meetings we had was on election day, to meet and pray for the country. It was not about praying for a particular party or policies, but to pray for the needs, especially the spiritual needs of our country.
The other meetings that have been a great blessing this month have been the Bible studies as we continue to read through the book of Matthew. Over the last few weeks we have been looking at the dangers of deception in our lives and how easy it is to move from God’s ways to man’s ways. It has been a great challenge for all of us to look at our lives and see the areas that we so easily drift into, yet God in His mercy is always calling us back to Himself. It is a theme that has been continued in the various Sunday services as we continue to seek out the will of God in our lives.
As Jesus said:

"Watch out that no one deceives you."
Matthew 24v4

How important it is to watch our lives and make sure we are not tempted off the course God has given us.

1st May 2017

As we entered April our study through the book of Matthew got to the greatest commandment. 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind' (Matthew22v37).

It was a very fitting verse to start with as we approached Easter and once again remembered the love that Jesus demonstrated towards us by dying on the cross. It is so easy to get selfish in our relationship with God, wanting everything for us, but giving no love back to Him. The example of Jesus again reminds us of the love we should give.

April was also our first month of evening services with a small group meeting at the university on Sunday evenings. A time of praise, worship and teaching is always a great way to end the weekend and we look forward to how the service develops over the coming months, especially as we move to a new room in the Hines building.

It was also a great joy to be able to go out to Severn Heights care home and be able to take the monthly service there. It was encouraging to see new faces and to join together in a time of worship to God. It may be a group that are getting on in years and not always in the best of health, but that makes the sacrifice of praise just that extra bit special.

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the day approaching.
Hebrews 10v25

19th April 2017

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.
Hebrews 11v1-2

As the church enters its sixth year, we look back and see a journey of faith, a step that was taken without any firm idea of what lay ahead, but a journey that has seen our relationships with the Lord grow year after year as well as seeing just how the Lord has provided for individuals and the church as a whole. We praise God the way He has moved in our lives and how we have been able to grown in both the knowledge of and relationship with the Lord.

In March we felt led to take another step of faith, hence a new evening service commenced with a small group meeting together to worship the Lord. We look forward to what the Lord will do in this meeting over the coming months.

However, God also works in the small things and this month as we visited the care home at Severn Heights it was great to see how the Lord was revealing himself to individuals who in themselves may be old and weak, but in Gods eyes are as precious as anyone else.

It has also been a month of challenges at the Bible studies as week after week we look at what the Lord desires and then look at our own lives. At times it can feel uncomfortable, yet at the same time it is great how God once more draws us in closer to Him. We look forward to the adventures of faith in the coming year.

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.
Zechariah 4v10 (NLT)

28th February 2017

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
2 Chronicles 7v14

As always it was nice to welcome visitors. February saw a special visit from a worker for Christians Against Poverty, an organisation that was set up to help those in debt. It was great to hear about the work, not only of helping people to sort their debts out in the short term, but how help is given in areas such as budgeting to help those in need going forwards as well as dealing with the many issues that lead people into debt in the first place. It was encouraging to hear of a ministry dealing with the spiritual and physical needs of individuals and families trapped in what can seem like a financial prison.

As a church February was a great month of prayer, it can sound so boring, but being able to take the needs of the individual, our city, nation and even the world before God is something we are asked to do and there is a real joy in taking part in the Lords work. However when we pray and seek God we can only expect Him to reply and guide us. As the month went on through the prayer meetings, Sunday services and Bible studies, a common theme seemed to be the need for holiness, to draw closer to God and to come to know Him and appreciate His glory that so often comes from allowing the Lord to work in the little details of our lives.

It is amazing what God wants to do in our lives, if only we will call on him.

31st January 2017

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10v22-23

As the New Year started it felt very much as if the Lord was putting new challenges before us and calling us to know Him in a greater way. At the Bible studies and the prayer meetings it felt as if God was drawing us in deeper revealing more of His ways and wonders to us. So often as we draw close to God at these times it feels like we are involved in His great plan, not a bystander but treated as part of his family.

Prayer becomes a joy as it changes from being a shopping list of wants to asking the Lord to explain the things that we see going on around us, to seeking Him about how we can serve Him in better ways. It is the things of God that once again we have felt so challenged about as we go into this New Year.

As we move forward together the sense of family deepens and we see that we have a greater spiritual family around us supporting and encouraging us in our walk with God. That sense of family is felt not only in the Sunday service, but in time spent together, indeed there is no greater sense of this, than in having a meal together just as Jesus did with his disciples, and that is how we ended the month, with a bring and share lunch, a time to just eat and be together.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ took hold of me.
Philippians 3v12

3rd January 2017

Being part of a small church is like having an extended family and Christmas is one of those times when those links just seem to show through even more. It was a time to share a meal, or two, or three together, to be able to bless each other in big and small ways and to see the family of God working together.

It was a month of the Lord answering prayer, especially for a couple of the congregation who needed hospital treatment. For Simon, his operation was cancelled with the surgeon going away until January and two wards closed due to viruses there looked little hope, yet instead of panic there was just a simple time of prayer. The next day the hospital rang to say they had another surgeon and would operate at the weekend. We praise God that not only did He make a way, but Simon was recovered enough to preach on Christmas Day. For another in our congregation in need of urgent treatment, the next treatment slot was in January, but once again the Lord answered prayer with everything being done before Christmas; God has been good to us.

However, Christmas is a time for giving and sharing, not just receiving, and it was great to be able to take a carol service at the Severn Heights care home. To be able to sing and share the good news of Jesus with a good number of those who cannot get out. There is always a pleasure in bringing joy to others and the one we hope we can bring most joy to is the Lord, not only by giving thanks for the gift of Jesus, but by living our lives in thankfulness for what He has done for us. It’s always good to say thank you.

We look forward to seeing what the Lord will do in the coming year.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Ephesians 1v3

7th December 2016

November was a very busy month for those who produce and deliver the church leaflets as for November and December we had one leaflet with the local Christmas services listed. As these started very early in December it was quite a rush to deliver to the many thousands of homes in the area we cover but by gods grace it was done.

Sunday services saw visitors both local and long distance and even international, as always it is great to meet with other believers from around the country and the world. As with life you never know when things can suddenly change and our last service of the month saw what looked like chaos as our room at the university had been double booked. Despite the problems a number of us still managed to meet together to worship the Lord at an alternate location.

As well as the normal Sunday service we also had a fellowship lunch together after a Sunday service. It is always a joy to spend extra time together and find out more about each other and what the Lord is doing in peoples lives.

November was also a month when the church trustees decided on items to give to. As always, time had been spent in prayer, seeking the Lord on where and how much to give; this year, as well as supporting needs in our own country, it was a time to help those in need from man made and natural disasters around the world and we praise God that we are able to help those in need and to see just how blessed we are in this nation.

5th October 2016

For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8v28

August was a month of constant change, with Simon our Pastor being in hospital and building work going on at the university, it felt like every meeting was in a different place and led by a different person; so September was a month where things started to get back to normal.

The month started with a visiting speaker, Pastor Boyd from St Paul's, together with his wife, joined us to share the word of God. While the following week the church made the journey to rural Herefordshire, to join with the church at Priors Frome. As always it was a great time of meeting with another small fellowship and seeing what the Lord is doing in a different community.

After the different locations of the first couple of weeks it was great to finally return to our normal room in the Sheila Scott building and once again it was great to welcome visitors and friends to our Sunday services.

At the same time the Bible studies returned to their normal schedules and once again we returned to the book of Matthew, looking at how the teaching and life of Jesus apply to our lives today.
The month finished with a meeting with the residents of Severn Heights Care home, it's always a privilege to be able to share with those in need and we look forward to being able to minister to them again next month.
With the Lord doing so much and answering prayer in so many ways we just give thanks for all He has done.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Psalm 107v1

13th September 2016

And we know that in all things God works together for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8v28

August was a month where just about every meeting got turned on its head.

It started with Simon (our pastor) and Liz going away for a weeks holiday, as Simon left he thought he had a bit of flu, who was to know that what was first thought of as flu would lead to Simon being away for the rest of the month with an extended stay in hospital including some surgery. This sudden change meant that many meetings would have to be changed. Thankfully the church is bigger than an individual, so with different ones leading and taking different meetings we managed to get through the month. It certainly provided some variety for the month.

However, Simon being away wasn't the only thing that changed without warning, due to an overrun on some building work our Sunday services had to be changed to a different location, sometimes so last minute it was impossible to inform everyone. Despite this not only did the services go ahead but we even managed to welcome new people who still managed to find us.

The end of the month finally saw Simon return home and we now pray that he will recover his strength soon.

29th July 2016

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Colossians 1v19-20

Throughout July our Sunday services focused on the state of the nation, not the politics of the country, but the heart of the nation and why we see certain actions taking place in our own country and around the world. It was sobering at times to see just how deceitful our hearts can be, yet despite this God is good, his love mercy and forgiveness is available for all and we saw how God can change hearts and attitudes bringing peace into lives.

As usual it was great to welcome visitors at just about every meeting through the month; Bible studies, Sundays services and even the prayer meeting, it was a joy to join with others from our city, our country and indeed from different continents as we sought after God together. It was a great example of the diversity of the body of Christ, the church. All backgrounds, ages and nations joined together through the common bond of Christ. We hope to welcome many of them again in the future although I'm not sure the Australians will be able to make it every week!

As well as visitors joining with us we also had our monthly service at Severn Heights, taking the church to those who cannot get out. It is always a joy to share the word of God and join together singing some of the great old hymns.

Looking back though, the meeting that the Lord really seemed to be working in was our prayer meeting. Events of late combined with the teachings on Sunday have shown us that the solutions lie in a change of hearts and for that we need a work of God in our land.

2nd July 2016

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
1 Timothy 2v1-2

June was a great month for us as a church, we welcomed many new people to the various meetings, but three highlights stood out for me.

The first was our meeting at Severn Heights; due to illness and the hot weather only a few could come downstairs and of those only one was awake for the service. From the outside it could be seen as a total waste of time, yet to me it showed God's love for an elderly sick individual that the Lord had met with in her time of need. Despite the smaller numbers it was a great time of singing Gods praises.

The second was our prayer meeting on the day of the referendum; we prayed for the future of our country and especially for those who would be disappointed by the result as it was obvious that it would be close. It was also a time to pray for those from other countries who can feel very vulnerable at times like this. It was great to come away with God's peace that passes all understanding, ready to face whatever the future may throw at us. However, prayer is not a one off event and we continue to meet weekly to seek the Lord on behalf of nations and individuals.

Finally we ended the month with a joint service at Priors Frome Chapel in rural Herefordshire. After all the issues of the week, it was a joy to be able to worship the Lord, to hear about the great things God is doing around the world and in our land, and to come away spiritually recharged. Together we gained a greater understanding of all we see happening around us in the wider world today.

31st May 2016

His disciples answered, "Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?"
"How many loaves do you have?" Jesus asked. "Seven," they replied, "and a few small fish."
Matthew 15v33-34

May was a month of offering God what we had and him multiplying the offering. We started with a request for a new Bible study in Malvern, but the only time available was a morning which would not normally be an ideal time. However, as always, if we bring what we have to the Lord he is more than able to use it and the study now has a good number attending. It's an unusual study as it's mainly mothers so we have toddlers doing what toddlers do during the meeting but the Lord is showing us so much even through the various disturbances.

At the other end of the age spectrum we had our monthly meeting at Severn Heights and enjoyed a time of ministry and friendship with the residents for whether we are old or young, in sickness or health the Lord wants to minister to us all.

It was also a month when Simon published a new book called "The Spiritual Man". It's a book that many of the church have been involved with supplying help and advice during the proof reading. Books are always quite expensive to publish so it was amazing how the Lord took the little that was available and made the publication possible. As always the Lords ways are not always our ways, but they are far better if only we will take the time to seek Him and be guided by Him.

3rd May 2016

"Lord if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said.
Matthew 14v28-29

April always starts with the annual church meeting, a legal requirement of being a trust. As the meeting is usually very short we have a faith lunch, a great time where the church members bring some food and we share together. A great time to see how God has provided over the year while enjoying the provision of the day.

Not only was the first Sunday of the month different with the church meeting and lunch, but through the month different ones were away at other churches as well as Simon being away teaching in the east of Poland. This meant that others had to take up roles that they don't usually do. Despite many nerves this is always a good thing as it drives us to seek the Lord in an even greater way as we seek his help to do something that we do not feel capable of in ourselves. It's always amazing to see what God can do through us if only we will allow Him and so the services were a real blessing to all.

It was also a fitting practical lesson having just looked at Peter walking with Jesus on the water in our Bible study. For like Peter, we have to be called and then keep our eyes on Jesus if we don't want to end up getting wet. Thankfully even when we fail he is always willing to save us if only we will call on Him.

But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and , beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord save me!"
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.
Matthew 14v30-31

5th April 2016

But we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1v23-24

Easter is such an important time for Christians as we look back at that moment when Jesus was crucified for our sins and so it was great to be able to welcome visitors to our Easter service. Easter is an odd celebration, the remembrance of a horrific death, but a death that led to resurrection and new life, not only for Jesus, but for all those who would follow him by faith. It is the centre point of the Christian life around which everything else revolves, so as a church it was a time where we once again looked at the message of the cross and the fact that without that sacrifice we would be without hope, with no opportunity to have a relationship with God now or eternally.

Eternal consequences also formed part of our Bible study as we looked at the judgement in Matthew 13v49-50. We saw how Jesus talked about the separation of the wicked and the righteous and the punishment of the wicked in hell. We can only thank God more that He made a way for us to be righteous through Christ, for if there were any other way, Jesus would not have needed to die on the cross. The cross may seem foolish and insignificant but it shows us just how great Gods love is for each one of us, if only we will accept that love.

The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13v49-50

1st March 2016

Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbour as yourself.'"
Matthew 22v37-39

Love is a word that is used very lightly in the world today. Love tends to be used to describe the people and things that we like when it suits us. Yet real love, the type that Jesus talked about, is the type of love that makes sacrifices for the benefit of another even when it means loss to self. The Bible often talks about it as dying to self, dying to our own will, laying down our lives for another.

It's a type of love that takes time to develop in our lives as we see little example to follow in the world and yet as we look at the life of Jesus that is the sacrificial type of love we see. A life devoted to the will of God no matter what the cost.

As a church we have now been meeting together for four years and as we look back at the journey that God has taken us on it has been a journey of love. A journey of learning to love God more and through that love, to love others in a greater way. The journey has not always been easy, there have been struggles and losses along the way, but as we press on towards the goal that God has called us to, we reap the greatest reward. To know the Father in a greater way and to know that every path He leads us down is to our eternal benefit because He loves us with a love that is beyond our understanding, yet it is a love He wants to demonstrate to us day after day.

1st February 2016

Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being praise his holy name.
Psalm 103v1

The new year got off to a great start; it was great to welcome new people to just about every meeting, while welcoming back those who have been away. The afternoon Bible study at Callow End has proved very popular at the new time slot with the room rapidly filling up.

As well as the increase in numbers at the various meetings it has also been a great month to see how God answers prayer both in the working in peoples hearts, changing attitudes and releasing them from various things that have bound them, but also seeing Gods physical provision in various forms. God has an incredible ability to provide the perfect solution for every situation if only we will hang on in faith and trust Him.

However, the gospel is not just for those in church and it has been a real pleasure to be able to pray with various residents at Severn Heights, asking God to meet the needs and meet with those who often do not know Him, for Jesus came to meet the needs of the lost, not just those who knew Him.

We look forward with anticipation to what God will do in February.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.
Hebrews 11v1-2

1st January 2016

Over the Christmas period I was at various gatherings with family and friends where I caught up with old friends as well as meeting new people. With those I didnt know well it often felt like we went through the motions of being polite to each other, but never got to know each other. With others that I knew well, the conversation became much deeper, as we shared things that are only shared with those we trust.

It reminded me of the difference between treating Christianity as a religion rather than a relationship. In a religion we go through the various observances yet we hold back the thing that would make the relationship, our heart. For it is our heart that needs to be towards God for there to be a relationship. With a religion we are often happy to know about God, yet we do not want to open up our lives to him. For to have a close relationship we must open up our hearts.

Opening our hearts is the real cost of any relationship, for it shows that we are willing to share from deep within, but also for a relationship to work it has to be two ways. We cannot expect a relationship to work if all we care about is getting. For a relationship to work we must also give out, to want the best for the other person as well as for ourselves.

When God sent Jesus, He revealed to us his heart, his teaching showed us the way that God thinks and what he wants from us and for us. It is not a selfish desire, for God was not only willing to send Jesus to show us the way but also through Jesus death and resurrection to make a way for us to enter into relationship with God himself.

God does not want to be a stranger to us, he wants to share his heart with us and for us to share ours with Him.

Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16v7

30th November 2015

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the father seeks.
John 4v23

Another month rushed by so fast that at times it's hard to remember all that happened. As a church it was a time of adjustment to new members, younger ones need to be taken into account not just in services, but also the needs of parents. This meant a few changes to our afternoon Bible study to get the timings right to fit in with pick up times from school. So often it is the little changes that enable people to be able to partake in more things when otherwise the restrictions of life would leave them excluded.

The same is true with our visits to Severn Heights. The resident's health prevents them from being able to get to church so church is taken to them, it is great for members of our congregation to share in a service with them and as time goes by friendships continue to grow. For the church is not an organisation or a building, it's the people who make up the church and just because someone cannot get to a service does not make them any less a part of the church.

As the university had an open day, our month ended with a joint service with the church of Priors Frome on the outskirts of Hereford. Instead of our usual Sunday service it was great to be able to join together and share in our praise and worship of God, two different congregations joined together by the faith in Christ.

3rd November 2015

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Matthew 10v39

Another encouraging month goes by, it was great to have visitors and new people both young and old on Sundays, but also to welcome new people to the Bible studies and ladies fellowship. Christianity is so much more than a quick meeting on a Sunday and as we have grown in the Lord we see more and more how God sees the church and how different it is to the religious institutions man so often creates.

God as a heavenly Father is interested in the people as individuals and as new ones join us the church changes its shape and character as each ones relationship with God adds to the flavour and style of the fellowship. It is also about changing things to fit around the people rather than expecting people to fit around the church schedule. One of the joys of a small fellowship is the ability to change the time of meetings to accommodate changes in the members lives.

As usual we had our meeting at the care home at Severn Heights and again it is about altering the service to meet the needs of those who come. The message of Christ and the cross remains constant, but as we see in the life of Jesus, the way he explained it changed depending on who he was speaking to, so that as many as possible could come to an understanding of who He was. For God treats each one of us as a unique individual, an individual that he loved enough to send Jesus to die for, that we might know him as a friend.

16th September 2015

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Psalm 136v1

Despite being the holiday season, which meant most weeks someone was away, August was also a month where we seemed to welcome new faces to a variety of meetings through the week. It is always great to welcome new faces be they just visiting for the week or joining us on a more permanent basis. It has been even more amazing to have visits on Sunday as the meeting room has changed a number of times due to building work at the university, however we all found the fellowship lunch on the last Sunday of the month.

However just as it is great to welcome new people it is always good to maintain and grow relationships with those that we meet on a regular basis and this month it was a pleasure to take out a larger than normal team to Severn Heights care home for the monthly meeting. The larger team made it possible to spend more time with individuals after the service.

August was also one of the months that often seemed to be a test of faith, trusting God with situations that often look impossible and waiting for him to bring the answer rather than charging in and trying to sort it ourselves. It is such a joy to see the way that God moves in our lives and answers prayers in ways we would have never thought possible.

As the month ends we look back with thankfulness for what God has done, but also look forward to meeting with the church at Priors Frome and to moving back to our regular site at the Sheila Scott building, to our freshly refurbished room and the new things that God will do in our lives.

4th August 2015

And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1v8

Due to building work at the university it was a month that often felt like finding the Sunday service was a journey in itself with the room changing most weeks. Never before has listening to the notices become so important, but praise God apart from a couple of exceptions we all found the room most weeks. Despite the changes it was obvious that God was at work among us during the month as we met to praise and worship him on Sundays as well as study the Bible on Tuesdays.

Some of the topics that our study of Matthew have brought up have been a challenge to us all. Looking at our attitudes to God and to each other in the light of scripture so often shows us how much more we need to allow the Lord to work in our lives, and that the changes need to take place on the inside, and that the change of heart and attitude that God brings will then change our outside actions. We look forward to what the Lord will reveal to us in the coming month.

It was also a sad and happy time for the fellowship as we said goodbye to Lauren who is off to work with addicts in Germany. Sad in that we will miss her and her input into the church, but also joy that she is moving on to fresh challenges that the Lord has put before her. We look forward to hearing what God does in her life over the coming months as she shares the love of God with those in need.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29v11

30th June 2015

His ways are eternal. Habakkuk 3v6

Sometimes you start a month with a set of plans and goals and by the end of the month things seemed to have turned out very different to how you expected, June was one of those months for the church. It often seemed that God was showing us ways and directions that we had not foreseen and as is always the case his ways are above our ways.

As well as visitors joining us at different services, it was also great as a church to be visitors at another church as we joined with the church at Priors Frome for one of our Sunday services, it was great to be with another group of believers and share what God was doing among us. However our plans for a fellowship lunch together had to change and yet God always knows what he is doing.
The following week we found that there would be change again with building work taking place in our usual meeting place so again last minute changes to plans, but how God met with us as we looked at "hell" and began to understand more of what God has saved us from in Christ. It just made us more grateful and thankful for the love that God has shown to us through Jesus and the cross. So often we look at the problems instead of looking at the solutions and the blessing that are available in Christ.

Finally we also met for our fellowship lunch, yet again a time of relaxation and enjoying each others company and sharing about what God has done in our lives. Not to mention the various trifles as well.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3v16

1st June 2015

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.'
But I tell you: Love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven." Matthew 5v43-45

May was a long month that seemed to go by very quickly. As a church we continue to look through the book of Matthew and especially the sermon on the mount in Chapters 5 and 6. So many times Jesus says "you have heard", but how often do we act on what we have heard? It was also a time of looking at the heart attitude and not just our outward action. It has been a challenging month.

One of the topics Jesus talked about was prayer, again it so easy to talk about it, but not to do it. It has been a joy to have new faces at the prayer meeting as we put the teachings of Jesus into practice and aim to put Christ more central in our lives.

As usual we joined with the residents at Severn Heights at Callow End for the monthly communion service. It is always a joy to spend time with the residents and the time always seems to go too quickly.

As well as new faces in some meetings it was also a month with our smallest Sunday service for some time, one of those odd weeks when many are away at the same time but even with smaller numbers the Lord is still there.

The month ended with the normal Sunday service followed by a fellowship lunch, a special time when everyone can just relax together around good food and get to know each other better. A true family atmosphere.

30th April 2015

But we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1v23-24

With the first Sunday of the month being Easter there was only one message and that was Christ crucified, the message of how Jesus came to die for our sin so that we may have access to God once again. It was a message that very much dominated the whole of April as we looked at different aspects of the cross and looked again at what was accomplished. It was also great to welcome new people and visitors through the month. It's always a pleasure to have new people worship with us.

April was also the annual church business meeting where we celebrated our third anniversary, the meeting was quickly over but the faith lunch that went with it lasted most of the afternoon and a good time was had by all as we relaxed together.

We also had our monthly communion service at Severn Heights in Callow End, it's always a pleasure to spend time with the residents sharing the word of God and singing hymns, however this month there was a tinge of sadness with the passing of Mavis, one of the staff who had worked so hard for many years with the residents. She will be greatly missed by many and the church has been praying for the family left behind.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5v4

31st March 2015

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43v19

Not just another month passed by, but for the church another year passed as we enter our third year. The time has gone so quickly and this month like so many has seen the Lords doing many great things in our lives, new things that change our lives for the better. As we continue to study the book of Matthew we are constantly being challenged as to our attitudes and the changes that need to take place in our lives.

Sunday services have seemed even more special with the Lord leading different ways each week; with new worship songs and even new song books God is leading us in new ways and his presence has seemed even more tangible.

It has also been a month of visitors from both near and far, it has been a joy to share with those from other churches and to join with them in worshiping God.
As well as our own services we continue to join with the residents of Severn Heights for our monthly communion service, as always it is such a joy to take the service to those who cannot join with us on a Sunday.

We look forward to April with anticipation.

Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

4th March 2015

He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. Isaiah 61v1-3

After suffering loss in our own fellowship in January, February was a month of sharing loss with others, comforting and praying for those who had also suffered loss, to be able to mourn with those who mourn. It was also a privilege to be asked to take funerals for two families and to join in the celebrations for lost ones lives.
As well as losses it was also another month of gains with visitors to different services as well as the monthly communion service at Severn Heights in Callow End. It's always a joy to serve and minister to those who cannot get to a church service.
February also saw us continue with our study of the book of Matthew, as usual there are challenges to our own lives to how we live and act as Christians as we look to follow Christ and his example.
To end the month we had a fellowship lunch on the final Sunday, a time where as a church we can meet together and just enjoy spending an afternoon in each others company learning about our different back grounds and cultures. A perfect end to the month.

2nd February 2015

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12v15

As a small church family we have become very close, so when one member rejoices or suffers we all rejoice or suffer. For Simon and Liz the year started with the loss of their daughter Abi, It was a tough time for all, but as we came together, to pray, to seek God and strengthen each other we very much felt the presence of God in individual lives as well as in our Sunday services. God had not deserted us or forgotten us, but was there in an ever greater way and so at the end of the month despite the sadness we were able to share in a celebration of Abi's life with other Christians from around the city, giving thanks for the time we spent with her and the impact she had on all our lives. It is at times like this that we can give thanks and be comforted by the fact that through Christ a way can be found to the Father and that although Abi is lost to us, she is very much alive to God.

At the same time it brings to mind just how fragile life can be and just how real eternity is and the importance of accepting Jesus as lord and saviour, of accepting Jesus as the way to God.

Just as we mourn together we also rejoice together and there was plenty to rejoice in. God really blessed us as a church through January, we saw new people join us, as well as visitors to just about every meeting. It was great to meet and pray with new people and to hear new voices at the Bible studies and fellowship meetings and to learn of others journey with God.

Maybe not a month we would like to repeat but as with so many things we learn the most in tough times and we have all grown in the Lord this month.

1st January 2015

December may be the end of the year but it was certainly a busy and blessed month. As the church led up to the Christmas celebrations remembering again the birth of Jesus our Lord and Saviour it felt like we refocused on the Lord.

One of the highlights was the carol service at Severn Heights, it was such a joy to be able to share the Christmas story and sing the carols we all knew so well with those who could not get out to a service. We look forward to being able to share more during 2015.

Another highlight of the month was to be able to share on the leaflet the services going on at so many different churches on the West side of Worcester, as a congregation many of us attended not just our own services but joined with others to celebrate this special time.

Another special event was our Christmas fellowship lunch, somehow we all managed to fit round the table and a great afternoon was spent in fellowship with one another with more than enough food to go round.

As well as the Christmas events we continued our usual Bible studies and finally after 6 months finished the book of James. As a church it has been a real blessing to have studied this book with so many practical lessons learnt, we all feel as if we have grown in the Lord through the study. Our study has now moved on to the gospel of Matthew and we look forward to seeing what the Lord will show us through this book in 2015.

The Lord also seemed to be moving a new way in our Sunday services, it felt like there was a greater freedom in the Lord and so many times there was nothing to be said or sung as we just waited on God and bathed in his presence. What more could we ask for?

2nd December 2014

Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1v4

November was a very busy month with many changes both within the church and individuals lives. It was a month of changing faces with some moving on to new pastures while new ones joined us with each change altering the flavour of the church. With each change it means new roles for people, a fresh challenge and a seeking of the Lord for direction.

It was also a month that saw our first Sunday service in Callow End as we could not use the University due to an Open day. Again it was a time of change, a new location and a different style of worship and allowing the Lord to work in new ways.

As well as changes in the church it was also a month of changes in individuals lives, it was another month where the Lord seemed to be moving people forward into a greater relationship with Him as they let go of the past. As we have continued our Bible study of book of James it has felt to many as if we are not just studying the book, but learning to live it, with the Lord placing many challenges before us that have really helped to show us the truths within this book. The need to seek the Lords wisdom has been highlighted more and more.

As well as all that has happened within the church there was also time for Simon to make another teaching trip to Poland to work with a small church in the East of the country. It is always a great joy to be able to help and encourage other believers around the world.

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1v5

31st October 2014

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Philemon 1v6

October saw the team take two meetings at the Severn heights care home, it is always a privilege to be able to take a service for those who cannot get to a church and to be able to spend time encouraging them in the Lord. Over the months it has been a joy to see the relationships building up between the residents and the team and we look forward to the next service with anticipation.

As well as our own meetings it has also been a joy to join with other believers with a group of us joining in with Bromyard Road Methodist church on a Sunday evening for their Momentum meetings. Based around the student Alpha course it has been a blessed time of learning, discussion and worship and a great encouragement to all.

Throughout the month we have continued our study through the book of James, it is a very practical book with James getting to the point very quickly. We have been looking at faith and posing the question, If our faith does not lead to action, is it really faith? As the book of James says, "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says" (James 1v22). James goes on to explain how our faith should guide not only our actions but our words as well with plenty of references to taming the tongue. It has been a challenge and a blessing to us all.

In the same way faith if not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2v17

22nd September 2014

How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! Psalm 133v1

It's not often that a pastor encourages his congregation to go to other churches, but that's exactly what we did on Sunday when it was not possible to get our usual room at the university due to an open day. Instead of attending our usual service we went to other churches in the area before meeting up for a fellowship lunch to discuss the morning's messages. A great time of fellowship followed as we discussed what we had heard and the different styles of services and how it linked in with our own bible studies in the book of James.
It was a real blessing to able to see what God was doing in other churches, to share in fellowship with other brothers and sisters, and see that the Kingdom of God is much bigger than our little church.

The fellowship lunch was also a highlight in itself with the usual varieties of foods and a real blessing of numerous desserts. In our recent study of James we had looked at "favouritism" so as a pastor there was a real dilemma about which desert I should favour. In the end I obeyed scripture and tried them all so as not to favour any particular person... it's tough being a pastor at times!

The evening was also a blessing as many of us attended other services in the area, a truly blessed day and we give thanks to all those other churches who made us so welcome.

1st August 2014

Consider it pure joy, my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. James 1v2-4

July saw us start a new study on the book of James, as with all the studies the goal is not to gain knowledge, but to better understand and experience the Lord working in our lives. The study on James has certainly done that and it has been great to see people walking closer with God. As we have learnt to understand trials and temptations it helps us to live the way God wants and to understand how to overcome in his strength not ours. It has been great to listen to the testimonies of how God has been bringing people closer to himself.

It was another month of visitors as well, with visitors joining us most weeks. As usual it's great to meet Christians from other churches and to join with them worshiping the Lord.

1st July 2014

As well as the joy of being able to welcome different visitors through the month it was also a time of welcoming back those who had been on various holidays. It often felt like members of a family returning from a journey and highlighted just how close the various members of the church have become.

It was also a month of many answers to prayer, from Gods provision and protection through to His peace that passes all understanding, as people faced various trials of life. The prayer meetings continue to be a very special meeting and through the month there has been a special emphasis praying for other churches in the area and the work they are doing. The kingdom of God is far bigger than our fellowship and it is good to bring before the Lord the needs of others.

It has also been a privilege for members of the church to be able to continue to take the communion services at the Severn Heights Care home in Callow End. For those who can no longer get to church, the church comes to them. So often we can fall into the trap of expecting the people to come to the church. Jesus was the example of serving by going out to the people and commanded his church to do the same.

Finally the month finished with a fellowship lunch, a time to relax and just enjoy being in each others company, a great end to the month. It's always a great time to just talk while enjoying good food and company, It's an event we all look forward to.

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Matthew 28v19-20

12th June 2014

During May a friend to many of us in the Fellowship died. Jonnie had many struggles in life and yet he was a man who fully trusted in the grace of God for his salvation.

As Christians so often we can be so busy trying to do the right thing that we forget that it is simply by faith in the blood of Jesus, shed on the cross, that gives us salvation. It's not what we do or what we have said, it comes down to a simple act of faith in Gods grace.

Jonnie knew this, he knew the grace of God despite his failings, in many ways he understood it more because of his failings and in this poem he explains in his owns words the cry of his heart to his Lord and saviour.

Jesus, Jesus I love you more than I can say.
You always stand beside me no matter what's in my way.
But sometimes I can't see you,
that is down to me
because you are always there my Lord,
your power sets me free.

You shine your light in darkness every single day
But sometimes we are not strong enough
to follow in your ways.

I always beg for forgiveness Lord,
I know that you are true,
So why do I find it hard my Lord
to give my life to you.

Jonathan Hundley 1959-2014

2nd June 2014

May was a tough month for many in the fellowship and yet the Lords encouragement seemed more pronounced than ever.
A constant scripture that came up was Mark 4v35-41 where the disciples are in the middle of a storm terrified while Jesus slept. The need for us to trust in the Lords ability to get us through and not to panic was a constant theme that encouraged us all. So often in a storm there is a desire to abandon ship and try to swim back to the shore rather than fixing our eyes on Jesus and trusting him to get us through.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning it's shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of god. Hebrews 12v2

As different ones looked to the Lord we saw God move in lives, maybe not in the way we had expected, but we certainly saw God move and for that we praise him. Gods ways are not our ways but he hears our prayers and he does answer them.

11th May 2014

Although quite a number where missing due to holidays God was definitely present and doing a great work among us. It has been amazing to see how the Lord is leading us.

4th May 2014

As we go on with the Lord sometimes there are good times, but sometimes there are struggles. A real blessing this week was a poem written by one of the church this week. It was a real encouragement to many.

Hold Your Ground

"I'm tired of all this iron,
exhausted of carrying on this road.
This sword is so heavy,
the breastplate weighs me down.
This shield is useless and I can't bear it.
And on this steep hill
I'm tired of dragging up my feet.
My eyes grew weary of all the watchful hours.
Day in and day out.
I've had enough.
I break away now from this place."

"Hold your ground!
Under no circumstances
you run away frantically
in the face of your enemy,
throwing away your shield,
your breastplate, your helmet
your sword.
You'll be dead the second
You leave of this place.
Without me, you're dead.
Thousands of arrows
will pierce your heart.

If you want to live
you carry this iron on you.
Though your armor heavy be,
You're still alive, fighting for me.
Your weapon will find its use
When in my battles against the enemy,
The world and sin you'll fight,
And quench the fiery darts.

There is no other choice:
You live, fighting along with me,
Or you die along with them.
You want to live, you fight
Every single day of your entire life.
The moment you stop watching and fighting
It's when you will go down.

So, take heart, my soldier.
I have overcome the world
I've robbed the powers and authorities
And made a public show of them.
I triumphed through my cross.
Take heart, my loved one,
I have won."

Sabina Rosca

1st May 2014

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17v7-8

So often we can talk about trusting in God for his provision while in truth we trust in our own plans and ideas, this month a number of situations led to God being the only answer and when we trust totally in the Lord he does not disappoint. He is a God that can be trusted even if it means holding on in faith until the absolute end.
Although the month had some great Bible studies and Sunday teaching, the highlights had to be the prayer meetings, that time spent with God and then on the Fridays seeing how God had moved, healings from long and short term issues, answers to situations that seemed impossible, the Lord worked in so many ways and it was a real joy to be a witness to it all. How often we struggle on in our own strength when the Lord is just waiting for us to ask him.
Finally it's been a month of visitors and as usual it's been great to meet and have fellowship with those from other churches.

My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Job 42v5

1st April 2014

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given you as well. Matthew 6v33

As the church entered its third year there seemed to be a renewed challenge from the Lord throughout the month about who we are serving, the world or ourselves. There seemed to be a constant warning of just how easy it is to make the wrong choices and take our eye off the Lord and His ways. The same message seemed to come through so many times from the different messages with the decisions we make showing if we are seeking after kingdom of God or seeking the ways of this world.

Another change in the month was our first couple of meetings in a nursing home, a great joy for the team to be able to minister to those who could otherwise not get to church. We look forward to being able to share more over the coming months.

In our Bible studies we finally reached the end of the book of Colossians after many months, it has been a real joy to work through the book verse by verse with everyone being able to share what they have gleaned from the book. We look forward to the next study in the book of Esther and the lessons we will learn from it.

But God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5v8

1st March 2014

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. Psalm 19v1-2

As we all know, February will be remembered for the rain and floods and as a church it certainly made life interesting. For the leafleting teams it was a battle to keep the leaflets dry, but they battled on and got the job done and learnt a few new lessons. It was amazing to be out and about and see the power of nature at work and to contemplate on the power of God at work in his creation.
With the river bridge closing it also made for an interesting Sunday, it was great to welcome visitors who could not make it across the bridge to their churches on the East side of the river, it's always a joy to meet and share with believers from other churches.

February was also a month of seeing the Lords provision at work for many members of the fellowship both spiritually and physically. Hearing people give testimony of what God is doing in peoples lives is always a joy. It also saw the launch of a new website with an extended version of the "Thought for the day message" and it was a great encouragement to hear from those who had been blessed through it.

The month ended with another fellowship lunch, a time for the whole church to come together and just be able to spend time getting to know each other better. What better way to end another year as the church enters it's 3rd year this month.

11th February 2014

As I look back through my diary for January the thing that stands out most is the number of occasions where God has done something in someone's life. How the Holy Spirit has spoken into someone's life either through a bible verse or a message that was preached, and how when that word has been acted upon, change has been brought about in situations. So often we can ask God to fix the situation rather than realising God has put us in a place to teach us something so that we can be changed. We saw how this has changed some relationships and situations that from an earthly perspective seemed to have no hope and yet God has made a way. The Lord has done so much this month that we look forward to a year of blessing.

It's was also a month of learning more about servanthood, how we learn to live our lives to serve God rather than serving ourselves and seeing that all we need to serve is available "in Christ". That if we will allow God to work in our lives he can be our strength, our hope, our provider and that as we trust in Him and walk in his ways He in turn has blessed us and given us a greater understanding of his will in our lives and the spiritual battle that rages around us. Learning that as we hand things to the Lord in prayer, He is more than capable of dealing with the situation without our interference.

Finally it's also been a month of welcoming visitors both on Sundays and at the Bible studies, it's always a joy to have new people with us and to share with them the things that God is doing in our lives and we look forward to what the Lord will do in the coming weeks.

19th January 2014

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2v20

Once again the Lord has been doing great things among us, it was great to share testimony of the things that the Lord had done this last week and then to join together in prayer and praise to give thanks to the Lord. It was a service where the words "In Christ" seemed to be emphasised by the Holy Spirit in the various scriptures read, the hymns we sang and the word that was given. The need to realise that the old man in dead and that all we need to live the life God wants is found in Christ. So often we struggle in our own strength when the Lord just wants us to call out to him that he can rescue us once again proving that he is a mighty God and more than worthy of our praise and adoration.

2nd January 2014

December is traditionally a month of giving but this year it felt like God was doing all the giving. It was a month of so many testimonies of what the Lord was doing in people's lives, from jobs to healing; the Lord was at work amongst us. As we shared with each other what God was doing it seemed like he had been at work in everyone's lives. One of the church had been healed of a knee injury that had plagued him for 10 years, a simple prayer of faith at a Bible study and the next day he was able to climb ladders with no pain or discomfort. It was great to see someone set free by the Lord.
It was also great to hear how God had challenged various members of the church to take various steps of faith and how they had seen the Lord move through these steps. Trusting that He who had spoken was able to fulfil His words.
As well as being able to share with each other what the Lord was doing in our lives we also had our Christmas dinner with almost the whole church in attendance, a great time spent together and for the final mens and Ladies fellowships we joined together for a faith lunch, again a great time to be together.
Christmas day saw us meet together to celebrate the birth of Jesus, it was a time not just to remember his birth but also his purpose in coming. For most of us we have no idea what the future holds for our children but with Jesus the Father knew exactly how his son would die and why. We praised God for his incredible gift to us.
Our last service of the year was a time of remembrance for what the Lord has done over the last 12 months but also a time of challenge and dedication for what lies ahead in 2014. We look back with thanks, we look forward with anticipation.

2nd December 2013

The month started with a trip out to the small chapel at Priors Frome to join them for bonfire night, a good night was had by all with plenty of hot dogs eaten.

Back in church the main lessons for this month have been about spiritual warfare, as the church members have moved closer to God so the battles have become even more obvious, but we praise God that through Christ we have the victory. This has given the prayer meetings an even greater sense of urgency which has meant we now have to bring some extra chairs along to fit everyone in.
The new Bible study groups are working well, now that the groups are a bit smaller it's easier for everyone to get involved in the discussions.

Sundays have also been an interesting trial with the boiler breaking leaving the room very cold. Despite this we have persevered and continued to be blessed by the teaching and fellowship we take part in on a Sunday morning and we look forward to the heat returning soon.

1st November 2013

"Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice!" Philippians 4v4

October has been a month to rejoice in the Lord, a month of many changes in the fellowship as those attending the different meetings has grown in numbers to the point of overflowing in some cases.

The biggest change has been with the Bible studies, with a new group being formed for new believers and those who have no experience of studying the Bible. This group is going through the basics with plenty of time to ask questions and to get a real understanding of the Word of God. At the same time a new group has been set up in Bromwich Rd as the Lower Wick group was full to capacity.

Another meeting that is almost full now is the prayer meeting, it's a real joy to see people wanting to spend time with God and it won't be long until this group has to be split.

The Sunday service has also seen an increase in numbers, it's always a joy to meet new people whether they are intending to just visit or join the fellowship.

Finally the month ended with Simon and Liz travelling to Poland to teach in Miedzyrzec Podlaski. It's always a joy to return and encourage the believers in this small church. The time included teaching for the whole church as well as a special mens conference and teaching in one of the church plants in a small village house church. A blessed time for all.

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." Psalm 119v105

1st October 2013

September was another month where prayer took a priority with the prayer meeting growing in numbers again. Prayer is such a special time, talking and listening to what the Lord has to say and seeing so many answers to prayer. We just praise God for what he is doing amongst us.

We also had another fellowship lunch, a time for the church to come together in a relaxed atmosphere and just spend time in each others company. Time when we are able to find out more about each other outside of the normal services.

This months bible studies have been spent looking at the covenants in the bible, the agreements that God made with man and how they effect us today along with the blessings if we obey.

Sundays have been on a variety of subjects and it's great to see more people growing in the Lord and taking part in the meetings, seeing the church working and growing together as a body is such a joy to watch.

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7v14

2nd September 2013

August saw us move into the Sheila Scott building off Turnpike Road for our Sunday services. The church quickly settled into the new location and it was great to have visitors and friends join us through the month, the room is filling up! This month we spent a couple of weeks looking at Abraham and his relationship with God and the things we can learn from his life.

This month we also brought the prayer meeting forward which has worked well although it's such a great time with the Lord we still seem to finish at the old time, we just get an extra 30 minutes of prayer. However it's not just that ability to come before God in prayer but that ability to praise him for the answers to prayer, of seeing God move in power in peoples lives and situations, these things just drive us on to seek Him more.

The bible studies have also grown in numbers with both groups now working through the book of Ephesians looking at the different aspects of the church and the impact that has on our relationships with each other and with the Lord. Only when we understand the plans and the materials the great architect has specified can we build the church in the way he wants. It has been a challenge to look into these things as it gives us a greater understanding of the depth of the relationship God wants with each one of us and wants us to have with our fellow believers.

"I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." Matthew 16:18

1st August 2013

Sometimes so much seems to happen in a month it can almost become a jumble in our minds, July was one of those months. It was a month of many visitors, young and old, as well as new people joining the fellowship so extra rows of seats required on Sundays and new faces at the bible studies and Men's and Ladies fellowships as well.

The different bible study groups have taken on their own characters, the Callow End are currently working through a study on servant hood while the Lower Wick group are about to start a new study looking at the book of Ephesians.

Thursdays prayer meetings are also becoming a highlight of the week with an ever increasing sense of Gods presence and the encouragement of seeing so many answers to prayer. We have had to move the time forward a bit so that we finish at a reasonable time. There is a real excitement of wanting to see what the Lord will do next.

Our final Sunday service of the month saw us looking at the grace of God, the undeserved favour that God has for each one of us that was demonstrated in Jesus. A great way to end the month.

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5v8

1st July 2013

June was another month where there was a real sense of getting closer to God, not only in the Sunday services but in the lives of individuals. As people have drawn closer to God, he has drawn closer to them. Prayer, that vital communication with our Heavenly Father has taken on an even greater urgency, not in a boring religious way, but in a desire to spend time with Almighty God and see him moving in our lives. As a church we where left in awe and wonder at the answers to prayer this month; the joy of seeing God move in peoples lives, healing relationships, dealing with the every day issues that trouble us and bringing people back to himself, it has been a month where God has proved himself sovereign
June has seen God bless us with new people joining us at the Men's and Ladies fellowships as well as on Sundays. We also enjoyed a relaxing fellowship meal, a time enjoying each others company and getting to know each other better.

As the month ends we just look forward to July and drawing even closer to God and spending more time in His presence. How great is our God!

2 Chronicles 7:14 - "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

1st June 2013

May saw the start of the new bible study in Callow End, this is the first study we have run in the afternoon. It has proved a very popular time slot and we hope to introduce some more afternoon groups in the future in other locations. Although both study groups are following the same subjects at the moment each group has it's own distinct personality as the questions asked on the same subject vary so much depending on the people present.

The month also saw various visitors joining us for Sunday worship, it's always a joy to join with others to worship the Lord, to praise him and listen to his word.

It has also been great to have others join us for the Ladies and Mens fellowships on a Thursday, it's great to be able to have an informal meal and be able to share each others lives.

However the main focus of the fellowship is God himself and this month has again been a month of seeing God moving in peoples lives, of answers to prayer in so many areas, of knowing the peace that comes through our relationship with God even in times of trouble and sadness. We serve an awesome God.

"Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom."
Psalm 145v3

1st May 2013

As I look back at April we see how the Lord has worked in so many ways and how he has been with us through the good and the bad.
The month started with Easter and giving thanks for the work of Jesus on the cross and then as we went through the month, we continued to look at our relationship with the Father through that work on the cross and how he treats us as his children both in blessing and discipline.
At our bible studies we looked at Gods agreements (covenants) with man, looking at how he wishes to enter into a relationship with us where he puts the whole resource of heaven behind us as well as the part that we play in that covenant.
The final week of the month seemed to be one bit of bad news after another and yet as a church there was an overwhelming sense of Gods presence with the final Sunday morning service being a real sacrifice of praise for so many. It's so easy to sing praises when all is well but the service was so special that despite the clouds that seemed to surround us, God lifted us up in his hands.

"Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
Psalm 23v4-6

1st April 2013

March was a very busy and cold month for the church. It started with Simon spending a weekend teaching at a small church in Miedzyrzec Podlaski, Poland. It's a church Simon has worked with for over 20 years so always great to catch up. March also saw the first "Money Box" meeting take place with lessons being learnt by all about how to budget and some seeing instant savings made.
It was also a month with new people joining us for the men's and ladies fellowships as well as bible studies and Sunday services. We have updated our website with a better diary system making it easier to find when meetings are taking place as well as giving a bit more information about the church.
We also spent a Wednesday evening visiting the church at Priors Frome to join in an evening explaining the Passover so that we could appreciate even more the significance of Easter.
The month finished with our Easter service, a time of reflection on the crucifixion and the sacrifice Jesus had made on the cross on our behalf. It was a meeting where God spoke and we listened, what better end could there be to the month.

1st March 2013

The beginning of March saw the 1st anniversary of the church and it was a great time to look back and give thanks for everything the Lord has done for us in this last twelve months as well as giving thanks for those who have been involved with the church.
We look forward to the next year with expectation for what God will do among us.
February also saw our Ladies and Men's fellowships both change location to "Manor Farm" in Lower Wick. Both groups continue to enjoy sharing time and a meal together.

1st February 2013

As a church it's been a busy start to the new year, changes of rooms, the transport issues with the snow and new meetings such as the new "God Squad" bible study for those at the YMCA; but aside from the business it's been great to see God moving and answering prayer, seeing him move in people's lives and helping them break free of things that have held them back for so long. It's that great sense of excitement to see how our prayers will be answered.
It's also been a joy to see people growing in their relationship with God, to watch them develop in new areas of their lives and to watch them truly start to live. We can never out give God and the more we give of ourselves the more he gives us back.

1st January 2013

What a great month for the church. On Sundays we celebrated the birth of Jesus looking at why he had come as well as who he had come for. It was also great to sing carols throughout December instead of just saving them for the Christmas week. It was also a time of realising just how the church has grown into an extended family. The church christmas dinner really did feel like a family event.

Although the month started with some sadness as we celebrated the life of Trevor who had gone to be with the Lord we also saw church growth with new people joining us as well as visitors joining us for some Sunday services. It was great to listen and hear how God has been working in others lives outside of our fellowship.

December was also a time of looking back, of remembering the amazing things we have seen the Lord do in our short church history, of remembering answers to prayer both big and small as well as giving thanks for the growth in our relationships with him.

We ended the year looking forward to what the Lord has in store for us in 2013, the new challenges that lay ahead and the excitement at what the Lord will do in the coming year. There is a definite excitement in the church as we move into the new year knowing that as we move forward in him we will see him move more and more in our lives. We serve a mighty God.

1st December 2012

November was an emotional rollercoaster for many of us, after seeing church growth we also saw our first losses with one brother moving to another city and Trevor moving on to be with the Lord. There was sadness at the loss of both but also a joy that we had been able to share in the lives of these brothers.

This month's Tuesday bible study continued to build on the theme of "Bringing heaven down to earth" and again it has been great to have new people join with us for the studies while at the same time the men started a men's fellowship to try and keep up with the ladies who continue to enjoy their weekly fellowship meeting.

Our final Sunday of the month saw disruption from floods with some of our more rural members cut off from the city including our keyboard player but our loss was also our gain as we were joined by Tim Prince who could not get to his church at Priors Frome due to the conditions and so brought his guitar along and led us in worship. Along with a couple of other visitors we continued to see God pour out his blessing upon us.

Finally, it's always good to share how God has moved in an individual's life in answer to prayer and this month we saw God move in the life of Paul. Paul has been on medication for many years and we believed it was time for him to be released. We met for prayer on the Thursday evening and brought Paul before the Lord that it would not be a push from man but from God that set him free. The following morning I met up with Paul and asked how he was doing, his answer was that he wasn't sure as the Lord had spoken to him about coming off his medication and so he had stopped taking it. It was an encouragement to him to hear how we had been praying but a real joy in my heart to hear how Paul had heard the Lord and nervously acted in obedience. Two weeks later and he's looking great and moving forward knowing that God has done a miracle in his life freeing him from years of bondage.

So we ended the month rejoicing at what God had done but also excited for the future.

1st November 2012

The biggest change in October was the move to Sunday services at a room in the University of Worcester. It has allowed us more space and means we can also have keyboard. After a month it feels like we have settled in our new home. It's also been great to welcome new members and visitors without the fear of running out of space.

Tuesday studies continue to stretch us with the group members now being taught to prepare material to share. As well as this we now have prayer triplets set up and the ladies meeting continues to bless all those that attend. It's been a month where the Lord has spoken and in which we have seen the Lord move in miraculous ways.

We look forward to his leading through the coming months.

1st October 2012

August and September once again was a time of growth in so many ways. As a church there has been a deepening of the unity and love we have eachother but more importantly a greater desire to server the Lord and give our lives to Him who first gave His life for us.

It's been a couple of months of challenges with all of us stepping out of our comfort zone in so many ways.

September also saw another great fellowship lunch but also thoughts about how things will change as we move to Sunday meetings at the university to allow more space. It feels like we are moving into a new phase in the churches growth.

In many ways this sums up the last couple of months, as our minds have been transformed through the word of God through the various messages there is a greater desire to give everything to the Lord and to see His Kingdom come and His will be done and His name glorified.

September also saw the tractor being shipped out to Romania for the farm project that various members of our fellowship are involved with. We praise God for the way the transport was provided for and the vehicles safe arrival.

Romans 12v1-2 says "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will."

1st August 2012

Time seems to pass very quickly. July saw continued church involvement with the Hope Church Encounter meetings on Friday evenings, it also saw the start of our ladies fellowship with a good group meeting on Thursday lunchtimes.

We also had some new faces attending both the studies and the Sunday meeting.

More importantly it was a month of seeing God do great things from the simple challenges from His word to miracles of healing, July was a month when God did great things not only in our church but with the various ministries we support overseas with outreaches taking place in Romania and new plans for outreach in Poland.

2nd July 2012

One of the highlights of June was the church camp, it was an opportunity to meet with other Christians from other churches in the area and enjoy the teaching and fellowship. Despite a wet and windy set up day the Lord blessed us with good weather. This was then followed by the Encounter camp that some of us attended on various nights and it was great to see people getting saved as well as the Lord dealing with various issues in peoples lives.

June also saw new faces at both the Sunday service and bible study and we continue to look at the "Ready for Battle" theme.

Just as important as numerical growth is the growth in the love between the members of the fellowship but even more the deepening of the relationship with God himself. It is great to hear their weekly testimonies of what God is doing in peoples lives.

1st June 2012

Another busy month that started with us all going out to Prior's Frome in Herefordshire for a joint service in the chapel. A great time of fellowship was had by all. Also as two small fellowships meeting it always strengthens everyone to see that we are part of something much bigger, the worldwide church.

May was also busy on the mission front with a lot of time and prayer going into the work that some of the church are involved with in Romania as well as Simon spending a long weekend ministering in the East of Poland.

Our Tuesday studies have been on the subject of "Ready for Battle", a series of teaching on spiritual warfare. As a church we have all grown and although the enemy still attacks the series has helped us to recognise the attacks, to stand firm and fight back.

As a church it feels like the Lord is building us up ready to go forward, that this is a great time of foundational teaching ready for the work that lies ahead.

1st May 2012

Easter day was a special service, not only had we grown to 7 but it was a time to read through the account of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus and to share thoughts as a fellowship. An amazing time before the Lord.

We also felt led to give away our first months offering to a couple working in Romania that some of our fellowship have had contact with. It's important even when only small in numbers to remember we are part of the greater global church.

Tuesday bible studies have been about the main ministries (apostles, prophets, teachers, evangelists and pastors), an interesting and challenging time for us all.

2nd April 2012

We started with 4 people on a Sunday and about 12 at the Tuesday bible study but by the end of the month had grown to 5 on Sundays. Like all new things there is an excitement and an anticipation of what the Lord will do but at the same time a realisation that this will not be easy.

Sundays have been about the Lord giving us the vision for the future and us realising that it is only in Him that we can fulfil His plans for us. It's been great to be able to share the week's answers to prayer and to be able to praise God as a church for these things. Sharing in this way has become such an important part of our Sunday meeting in such a short time. The time just seems to fly by. We also had our first fellowship lunch and it was great to be able to spend time in each other's company.

The Tuesday bible study saw us studying the various spiritual gifts. It certainly laid some challenges before us.

The prayer meeting has been a great time seeking the Lord on how we should move forwards as well as seeing God answer so many prayers in such a short time.