FRESHFORD LIMPLEY STOKE HINTON CHARTERHOUSE

December

Lord God, when you sent you Son to be born as one of us. The world had waited hundreds of years. They had listened, they had watched and they had waited but when the day came for your son to be born so very few even noticed it. May we not be like that, may we be those who listen carefully for Good News, Listen to the voice of the voiceless and the sound of our family and friends. May we watch the world at this time, may we not miss the important events in our families lives, may we know how to love and how much we are loved by others and especially by God. May we wait patiently for the right time and not always wanting everything now! May we learn both patience in waiting and contentment in life. And may God bless us all this Christmas time and always. Amen.

Our Vision and Mission

The parish is one church with one vision in three places. With three, or more, places of worship what is it that makes us unique? In serving the local communities of these three villages and surrounding areas we have a functional role of seeking to connect with people, value their traditions and be available for all as and when they need us to come alongside them. However, we are also the present best hope for the growth in numbers and in depth for the Christian faith in these communities. The Church of England was once described as ‘God’s best hope for the evangelism of the nation’ because we are there in every community. We are three churches with a wide variety of styles of worship but we share one vision as one united parish. We are committed to being Disciples of Christ and so we learn together, of making Disciples of Christ so we share our faith. We are committed to see the growth of the church and so we will be looking to run an introduction to Christianity course, a family enrichment course, perhaps a marriage enrichment course, a leadership course and setting ourselves free to talk to and share our faith with others. Our children and family worker Lindy will come alongside the families in our community to see how we, as a church can support them, sustain them and help them to grow as families together whilst giving the children some forms of worship that will value them equally as children of God. Our church buildings are ancient and beautiful but are they fit for purpose in the 21st Century? We are looking at accessibility, facilities, welcome and styles of worship to connect to people today whilst valuing those with more traditional expectations. So change is afoot but not for changes sake alone but for the sake of the vision to grow the church and make disciples. Each of the churches is currently looking at forms of refurbishment to meet these aims. We want to be a church that is committed to fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus, found at the end of Matthews Gospel. To go and make disciples of all people. We are here for the community in the community but also to bring the living faith we have in Jesus closer to the hearts and lives of those around us.