Open door

It has been great to open the church during August – thank you all who have given up time in order to do this. A few things have struck me through having the doors open.

Our building is stunning. Visitors usually comment on the beauty and peacefulness of the church. Hearing this the busyness of any given Sunday I beauty of, for example, our stained glass the intricate wood carvings of our Communion table. Perhaps it’s the same for you. May I suggest you take time to have a good look around and allow God to speak to you through the architecture art, and ambience of the building?

People love history. Visitors have been drawn to, and fascinated by, the old church photographs and documents. Some people have come in with a specific interest in tracing family members who had connections to the church in the past. Motivated by curiosity and spurred on by TV programmes like ‘Who do you think you are’ people seem more interested in making connections with the past and learning more about their heritage.

You never know who will walk in. We have seen friends and strangers come through the door for a whole range of reasons. This has led to fascinating conversations, opportunities to be hospitable and to pray for and minster to people who are hurting.

Our building presents us with a fair few challenges but more than that – it offers us a wonderful opportunity to welcome people and point them to the God who knows them and loves them. I think God wants our doors to be open more often, more widely and in all manner of ways. Watch this space …

Keeping Track …

I have just graduated from the University of Sussex with a degree in Ecology and Environment. I have absolutely loved the three years I spent living as a student in Brighton and have made life-long friends on my course, at the Christian Union, and at my church there.

After a lot of thought and prayer I have decided to return to Brighton in September to become an intern at the church I attended, Holland Road Baptist Church. The internship, called ‘Transform’, aims to grow participants in faith and skills through training, mission and ministry. The training aspect involves meeting up with interns from different churches to receive teaching on different topics such as Church History and Spiritual Gifts. I will also be part of a mission trip to Ethiopia in February 2018 which I know will be very eye-opening. Finally I will focus on one of the church ministries where I will serve throughout the year. For me, this will probably be on the Children’s team which will involve teaching groups on a Sunday and organising after-school and holiday clubs.

I’m not certain what to expect from this upcoming year, but what I do know is that it is going to be busy, challenging and lots of fun! I would appreciate your prayers as I finish my chapter as a student and start this new academic year as an intern. I know that God has a lot to teach me in the upcoming months and I want to be ready and willing to serve Him in whatever way He calls me.

Please feel free to talk to me about this year whenever you next see me, I’m looking forward to keeping you all updated on how this year goes!

Ride+Stride—Saturday September 9th

As you probably know by now Ride+Stride is a sponsored event in which people walk, cycle or ride horses between churches in Dorset. The money raised is used to help conserve Dorset’s churches, chapels and meeting houses. Half the money we raise is used to fund the Dorset Historic Churches Trust and the other half is returned directly to our church.

Michael and I are hoping to cycle to 12 churches covering a distance of about 16 miles. After leaving home we will visit St Andrew’s, Preston: St Francis, Littlemoor; Holy Trinity, Bincombe; St Laurence, Upwey; St Nicholas, Broadwey; St Aldhelm’s; St Ann’s; Emmanuel; St Paul’s; Holy Trinity; St Mary’s; and finally St John’s.

Anne and David Boyd will be starting off from their house on the other side of Weymouth but we hope to meet somewhere en route. Liz Afanasiew and Callum will be striding. Val Collings and her dog also hope to visit a few churches. We have no horse riders! Rather than you being approached by all of us, there is a group sponsor form at the back of church. Please support us.

St John’s needs to be manned during the day and there are still spaces on the list (minimum 2 people) to sit in church to welcome and offer refreshments to any riders and striders. Please sign up if you can.

Linda Miles

Impressions of a New Wine first timer!

Literally thousands of tents and camper vans of all shapes and ages and sizes stretching as far as the eye could see.

Torrential rain showers interspersed with periods of brilliant sunshine (but sadly more rain than shine!)

But brilliantly starry nights at 1.30 am which seemed to be the time every night when I needed to trudge across the fields to the loo (why does that only happen when I’m camping?!!)

But more seriously …

Really good Bible teaching from top class speakers who openly shared their extensive knowledge and experience and feelings – sometimes warts and all!

Fantastic times of worship with really top notch worship leaders.

Challenging evening speakers who both informed us and made us think about how we should respond to world and church issues.

Wonderful work with children of all ages which stretched and challenged them and never dumbed down.

A huge range of seminars during the day on all sorts of topics – with some common threads around practical Christian living, and sharing our faith effectively with the people around us.