Messy Church

Since 8th May 2011, Christ Church has been running its own Messy Church alongside that held at St James Church Centre. It starts at 16:00 and is being held every second Sunday in each month, except August. The December meeting is usually our Christingle and we celebrate other festivals on nearby dates. See our Messy Church page for more details.

Christmas Collections 2011

At our Christmas services we collected £818.37 for Childline.

Action for Children 2011

On the afternoon of Saturday 9th July 2011 a cream tea was held at the home of Nigel and Ina Hodgson in Shinfield. Entertainment in the form of song, music and poetry was given by High Spirits. The afternoon raised £177.50 for the charity. The quiz at Trinity on 15th October 2011 raised £400 and there was a sponsored swim on 17th March 2012.

Just Around the Corner (JAC)

At our morning service on 21st August 2011 we were visited by this local Christian outreach group. They updated us on their work with young people in the local area and their plans for a new office and stables building. They also explained who their grants had been cut and that they needed extra money. To find out how to support them, visit their website or by texting JATC11 and £2/£5/£10 to 70070.

East Africa Emergency Appeal 2011

In July 2011 we raised money for Christian Aid's emergency East African appeal. At the Sounds of Salvation service on 17th July 2011 we raised £26.50 from the sale of tuck and £6.22 from the retiring collection. Retiring collections from the morning services will be added to these amounts, to make a total of £548.31.

Malawi Report 2011

We have been supporting a village in Malawi with mosquito nets and help trying to build a well. Read the report for more details.

Christian Aid Week

Each May the church supports Christian Aid Week. In 2011 our collectors raised £1425.50. The Woodley total of £7123.94 was just £409 down on last year. Church members raised over £700 on the sponsored walk.

During the 2010 week we collected £1743 through the house to house collection. In 2009 our church members raised £1557.30. In 2008 we raised £700 through the walk and £1626 through the collections (part of the Woodley total of £7817.75).

The church supported Christian Aid Week as normal in 2007. It ran 13th to 19th May. We carried out house to house collections in the streets near the church and took part in the Henley sponsored walks and walks around Dinton Pastures. We raised £1594.66 from collections. In all Woodley raised £7065.97, down £1000 on last year. In addition the FISH Youth Group from Emmanuel Church raised £1233.12 during their "Get Your Own Back". In 2006, we raised £1629 from collections and £1741 from the walks.

Spiritual Care for Older People

This was the subject of the 2011 Pastoral Evening at 7:30 pm on Monday 11th July at the church. The leader was Joanna Collicut who is an Oxford Diocesan Advisor. All were welcome to attend.

Church Constitution

On 5th April 2011 Christ Church adopted a new constitution as a prerequisite to registering with the Charity Commissioners. The Church Leadership Team members were appointed as the initial trustees. Church Meetings are known as Congregational Meetings and the Trustees replace the Church Council, however day to day management of the church is unchanged.

Primary School Work

Through the efforts our lay worker, Nancy Quinnell, and others, the church is involved with various of the local primary schools. Through RE:Inspired 13 lessons have been given to 600 unchurched children, recently on the subjects of Easter and life and death. Two mock weddings with discussions have been held and the church was visited by a local school for children with disabilities. Beechwood School now have a Power Club focusing on the parables. All year 6 pupils in Woodley are receiving "It's Your Move" booklet thanks to Churches Together in Woodley. In connection with the Airfield Church, Nancy has continues to work at the CofE School with Junior Bible Club, story telling and Rainbow Time counselling, and also she is part of the local puppet ministry. The youth counselling service ARC, which Nancy chairs, has won the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.

Christmas Services 2010

Collections at the 2010 Christmas services went to support a village in Malawi who are having a well sunk in search of water. We raised over £1500 of the £1800 needed to complete the project.

Advent Musical 2010

High Spirits and members of the church were leading the church in a performance of "The Inn Crowd" by Roger Jones during the evening service on Sunday 5th December 2010. All were welcome!

November 2010 Free2B

Christ Church was pleased to host the November 2010 edition of Free2B. Over 100 people from teenage upwards were able to sing praise in a relaxed atmosphere, listen to the story of Jonah and the message from Revd Graham Dole on suicide, and partake in prayer ministry and refreshments afterwards. Free2B is continuing in 2011, the February one was planned for Emmanuel in Southlake Crescent.

Action for Children Quiz 2010

The area quiz in aid of Action for Children was on Saturday 30th October 2010 and included a ploughman's. The KLARKS team from Trinity, Lower Earley, were the runaway winners with 112 points. It raised over £200.

Where Two or Three are Gathered...

Prayer and Praying Together, on Tuesday 22nd June 2010, was attended by about 25 people. It was an evening of input, small group discussions with time for Q&A on re-thinking our personal prayer lives and how we can pray more effectively in pastoral settings. It was led by the Revd Dr Andrew Francis, a now-retired UC minister, with an ongoing teaching ministry. Amongst several former roles, he was the URC's Medway District Minister with a specific adult-education brief, for 8 years, has served as a spiritual director and helped develop a French retreat house.

Haiti Earthquake 2010

Retiring collections raised about £1000 for Christian Aid's work in Haiti.

Christmas Gifts 2009

The money donated at our Gift Service on 13th December 2009, and all the money raised at our Christmas Day services, went to support the people of Chikwawa in Malawi, where Tom and Jo Evans are working. Over £270 was raised. A tapestry made by members of Christ Church is now hanging in the church at Chikwawa.

New Minister

The Revd Martyn Neads has now joined with us and the Airfield Church. His Service of Welcome and Induction was at Christ Church on Friday 4th September 2009 at 19:30. It was led by Revd Adrian Bulley, Moderator of the Wessex Synod of the URC, with contributions from Revd Stuart Innals from Plymouth, Revd Chris Jones (Berkshire Methodists), Revd David Ellis (Reading Circuit), Revd Eddie Marquez (St. John's), Virginia Lawson (URC Pastoral Committee) and some of the local members. A magnificent choir of 31 singers, both young and old, led the singing. Thanks go to all who enabled the event to take place and to those who provided the refreshments afterwards.

Harvest Festival 2009

Our Harvest Festival 2009 was on 20th September. The previous evening we held the Celebration of Talents Concert to welcome Revd Martyn and Danie Neads to our church. Gifts from harvest were given to various church members and as before to CIRDIC.

At our Harvest Festival on 21st September 2008 the church was decorated as usual, with plants and produce, by the Worship Stewards and helpers and the Girls' Brigade. After the morning service the food and fellowship of the Harvest Lunch was enjoyed by 46 people. 12 bunches of flowers and 9 plants were given to elder and sick members of the church, whereas the gifts of produce, according to their wish list, were given to the Churches in Reading Drop In Centre (CIRDIC).

Church Visioning Day 2009

This was on Saturday 28th February 2009 and was led by Revd Valerie Fisher. About 30 church members joined in, with results presented at the following Sunday morning service. More work needed to be done so a second day, called Sharing Church, was organised on the morning of Sunday 28th June starting with breakfast at 08:30.


The churches of Woodley have put together a Recycling Guide (PDF) which covers much more beside the usual council supplied services, such as recycled bible study notes!

Rev Dr Mike Hill

Our minister of seven years, Mike, left us in 2008 to take up an appointment to the High Wycombe circuit (Downley, Naphill, Holmer Green and Tyler Green churches). We are next inviting a URC minister. There was a very successful farewell concert on the evening of Saturday 2nd August 2008 and Mike's last service on Sunday 3rd August 2008, with friends from the Airfield and Three Mile Cross, was followed by a lunch. The circuit farewell service was also at Christ Church on 20th July 2008 at 18:30.

Lay Leadership Team

At the 2008 AGM the new-style Lay Leadership Team was elected replacing the old system of separate stewards and elders. They started work on 1st May 2008: Andrew Emison, Jacky Peters, Margery Sargent (Steward/Elders), Rosemary Ingolfsrud (Mission and Pastoral Elder), Beryl Wootton (Mission and Outreach Elder), Mary Nash (Mission and Youth Elder), Keith Ternent (Senior Citizens Elder), Judith Norris (Senior Worship Steward), Derek Benham (Finance Steward), James Peddle (Property Steward), Tony Atkins (Church Secretary). In addition Sandra Stock and Alan Harland became Worship Stewards, Grant Evans is Safeguarding Officer, Vickie Allen is Cradle Roll Secretary, Lucy Barnes is second rep to Churches Together in Woodley, and Alan Harland also joined the staffing committee.

Collection for Malawi 2009

At the end of April 2009, £800 was raised to help buy maize and support the other work with the villagers of Chikwawa in Malawi, as Tom and Jo Evans help them recover from a cholera outbreak and flooding.

Christmas Collections 2008

Carol singing in the precinct on the Friday before Christmas raised £60 for Action for Children (ex-NCH). Our Gift Service raised over £680 for education work in Malawi by Hope for Africa. The collections at the Christmas services raised £290 for Causeway Prospects who help churches work with people with learning difficulties. During 2008 the Boys' Brigade raised £380 for children's hospices and £70 for BB work overseas.

Sermon in a Nutshell

Short sermons from Revd Dr Mike Hill on topical subjects.

Themed Services 2008

Early in 2008 we had two themes for our services. For five morning services the theme was Climate Change, based on URC publication "On the Water's Edge". The services were: "The Great Escape" (Mike Hill), "Thirsty for Justice" (Tim Astin), "Quality of Water" (Colin Ferguson), "Chaos Creation Chaos" (Andrew Moffoot), "No Harvest without Water" (Mike Hill). For seven evening services the theme was Ephesians: Ch 1 "God's Amazing Plan" (John Ogden), Ch 2:1-10 "Life out of Deadness" (John Phillippo), Ch 2:11-3:13 "Outsiders in Church" (Mike Hill), Ch 3:14-21 "Praying for You!" (Mike Hill), Ch 4 "Working Together" (Jonathan Salmon), Ch 5 "Belong to the Light? Well, Live in the Light!" (Mike Hill), Ch 6 "The Best Defence is" (Valerie Fisher).

Christmas Collections 2007

The collections from Christmas Eve and Day services went to Hope for Africa. At our gift service on 9th December 2007 we collected over £500 towards anti-malaria mosquito netting and we each attached pieces of netting to our Christmas tree. The total amount collected was over £1000.


Our church members support the children's charity known until mid-2008 as NCH (now Action For Children). In February 2008, a sponsored swim raised £804. There was a Reading Male Voice Choir concert at Wesley Church, Reading, on 16th February 2008; it raised £862. The donations at Nancie Artist's 90th birthday party raised £357.

In 2006, a sponsored swim raised over £1900, Songs in the Park in Reading raised £400, flag day at Savacentre raised £288 and the church ramblers raised £209. Christmas carol singing outside Waitrose raised over £92 and more money was collected at our 2006 Christmas Day services. In 2007 the swim raised £1141.10, the Forbury band concert £294 and a walk by Robert Curnow raised £105. The circuit NCH quiz was at Christ Church on 20th October 2007; it was won by one of our teams (The Lifers), so will be here again in 2008. The home collecting boxes raised £1225.26.

Building Work 2007

We have been improving the facilities in the Stenner Lounge to include double glazing, improved lighting, a kitchenette and redecoration. We have also created a patio area behind the kitchen.

Road Repairs 2007

The works and repairs to Arundel Road were completed in the summer and very kindly Murphy have applied fresh tarmac to our entrance way.

Harvest Festival 2006

Our Harvest Supper and Auction of Promises (in aid of Church Project) was on Saturday 23rd September 2006, with our Harvest Festival service on the Sunday morning. The Auction of Promises raised £1125 for the church project, CCA, and the organ fund, through purchase of pledges of food, effort, vouchers and other services. Food donated at the service was given to CCA and flowers were sent to sick church members.

New Organ 2006

We have been raising money in 2006/7 towards the cost of our new organ - there was a very enjoyable concert on Saturday 24th June 2006 and there was a coffee morning on 20th April 2006. Over half of the required £2000 needed had been raised and so the new organ arrived at the end of July 2006. The old organ has found a home at a church in Lyme Regis.

Disciple Three Course 2006-2007

The circuit ran this course entitled "Remember Who You Are" for 32 weeks starting in the autumn of 2006 at Christ Church. The group selected Palace Avenue Methodist Church in Paignton as Prayer Partners.

Spring Evening Themed Services 2006

Our evening service theme for Spring was "We beheld His glory!" - the Lord Jesus as seen by His disciples. One by one the disciples looked back at the life of our Lord from their own perspective of being with Him. The services before Easter tended to reflect the situation before the crucifixion where Jesus anticipates His death, and the ones after reflected the resurrection. For some disciples there are many gospel references involving them, for others hardly any; they were just one of the Twelve. Some were not even included in the Twelve. The subjects were - The Twelve and the Woman at the Well; The disciple whom Jesus loved; Mary and Martha; Andrew and Philip; The Two on the road to Emmaus; Thomas the Twin; Nathanael; Simon Peter; Matthew = Levi, Sons of Zebedee; Matthias the 13th.

Christmas Charity 2005

The 2005 Christmas services' collection raised nearly £300 in aid of Christian Community Action. Carol singing in the Woodley Shopping Centre raised £170 for NCH. The December hunger lunch raised £24 for African school meals via OXFAM.

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Page last updated: 16th September 2018.