The Alpha Course
For everyone, whether new to Christianity, wanting to investigate, or just brushing up on the basics.
Alpha at Christ Church
2014 marks some significant anniversaries. For some it will be the fifty-first year of Dr. Who; for others the end of their time in office as an elected official. For Christ Church, Moreton Hall, it marks the twenty-first year of ministry in our building, and the twenty-eighth year of a church community on this estate.
In the twenty-three years I have been here I have watched the estate grow from barely one thousand homes to nearly three and half thousand. Soon another five hundred homes will be constructed around the Flying Fortress public house. Then possibly a further one thousand two hundred on the other side of the railway tracks. How are we to respond to all these new people joining us here on Moreton Hall?
For me, at this time of year my thoughts turn to Christmas and its true significance. Jesus Christ was born as a baby to achieve many things – to teach the truth about God; to heal people; to perform miracles; and above all, to die and rise again for our sins. But he also came to create a new sort of community – the church. This was to be a community that worked within the larger community showing by example and through love and forgiveness what human relationships could be like; a place of joy and contentment, laughter and fellowship, but also where the deeper issues that trouble our souls can be dealt with and healed as well as our bodies and our relationships.
Since my letter to the Bury Free Press which was reproduced in the Moreton Hall Directory, there has been considerable activity over the issue of the travellers. It has led to a number of meetings with political leaders and conferences with the police. There will be a Meeting with Moreton Hall community leader, David Ruffley MP and Mr Passmore the Police commissioner on Monday the 14th October. There does seem to be a willingness to address this issue and for significant action to be taken to address the problem.
Despite all that has happened, Moreton Hall is not anti traveller. We do understand that provision must be made for their particular needs. This will have to be taken out of the public purse at a time when we are concerned about costs and expenditure. This is only fair and just.
Many people are already booked into the Alpha Course at the Flying Fortress public house this year. It begins with a taster session on 7.30pm 3rd October. If you would like to be included please contact me using the details on the left of this page. The first evening is free and includes a carvery supper. For the subsequent seven sessions there will be a charge of £5.00 for the carvery meal, the course itself being free. Even if you cannot make the initial meeting, you would be very welcome to join us from 10th October onwards. If you miss out on this course, we hope to run another one after Christmas next year.
Dear Parishioners of Moreton Hall
I must commend all the council workers who have come daily to clean up the litter when they can get close enough to do so. What they cannot do is deal with the human waste that is now in the hedge rows. No wonder our children have not returned to playing field in the numbers we have become accustomed to.
Today I have observed the council preventing access to the field next to the community centre. My main reason for posting this is to say if the site is now secure. Any access to the site by caravans must involve significant damage to the hedges and fences. If access is gained I personally can verify that damage has been done. I hope this will cause people to think before acting so that no laws will be broken. We all need to let the legal process take its course.
As I prepare this article our thoughts are on two things. One is whether or not Andy Murray will win Wimbledon, and the other is whether the Duchess of Cornwall will give birth to a healthy boy or girl.
By the time you read this, we will know whether Andy Murray has fulfilled the hopes of the nation by his efforts and we will probably know whether the successor to Prince William will be a girl or a boy. Certainly there is nothing like the birth of a child to bring a family together and, of course, it is very likely that the birth of this child will bring the whole nation together.
Birth is a very important dynamic in the Bible. Every great leader and saviour, including Jesus, is born. Some births go unnoticed, bur some like Samson’s and Moses’s are attended to with great interest and, of course, the most recorded of all is Jesus Christ’s himself.
But the Bible is not just concerned about birth, it is concerned about being born again. This is a strange phrase which has caused a lot of controversy in recent years, but what does is actually mean?
Firstly, I want to give everybody on the Moreton Hall estate a huge thank you for their generosity. In the last few years we have collected on average about £3,000 for Christian Aid week. This year, despite the recession and all the other difficulties, we actually exceeded that total. Over £3,300 was collected through a combination of the church service, the Fun Run and, of course, the house to house collection. My counters tell me we have never collected so much from the house to house collection as we did this year. So, on behalf of everyone at Christ Church, Moreton Hall, and Christian Aid, I would like to say to the entire estate, “Thank you so very much and well done.” It is always worth remembering that every time you raise 50p for Christian Aid you save a life somewhere in the world, so there are over six thousand people who are going to be alive this year because of what you have done and on behalf of them, thank you.
A spirit of generosity has been in the press a lot quite recently. A few weeks ago the Bishop of London hit the headlines for criticising the baby boom generation (of which I am a member). He pointed out that we consume the lion’s share of resources and, through various means, have left the world at tougher place for those who follow us.