... Special Ministries Within Christ Church
There are a variety of special ministries within Christ Church which focus on worship and on the support
and nurture of its parishioners, and the maintenance of the Church and its facilities. These include:
There are other ministries which have a community or outreach focus. For further details on these use the link in the navigation bar on the left.
Children's and Family Services (CAFS)
In addition to the regular services held at Christ Church, a Children's and Family Service ('CAFS") is held every Sunday, with a special emphasis on inclusion and involvement of children and families. These are held in the Parish Hall or Schoolroom at 9.30am alongside the regular morning services. CAFS includes foot-tapping songs, craft work, Bible stories in actions, a short message for chuldren and adults and ... lots more! Everyone is welcome... bring your friends.
The Ministry team are happy to talk with parents and their children about spiritual education and involvement in CAFS, and may be contacted via the Parish Office ... see Contact Us via link to the left or above.
Home Fellowship Groups
These small gatherings of people meet in the home of a fellow parishioner. Those gathered enjoy each others' company, share their experiences and grow together in knowledge and faith. New members of the congregation can always join these groups, if they wish.
The groups are led by members of our church who are themselves searching for understanding and a deeper faith. The leaders meet with the Vicar to prepare for each home group session, as a leaders Fellowship Group.
Groups meet at various times throughout the year in school term time, particularly during Lent and other special seasons in the Christian calendar. Each group follows a theme or draws on a particular book or other writing, and there is a discussion guide to help things along.
See Contact Us for information on who to talk to to link you to a group. New groups and themes are announced in the weekly Sunday Parish Press.
The Church Choir and the Courcelle Organ at Christ Church
Music is an integral part of the Christ Church Community, and has its focus in worship. Christ Church has a splendid and historic organ and has been well served by fine organists. There has been a fine tradition of choral singing and the choirs have reflected the prevailing strengths and abilities of our people. Christ Church was established in 1843, but the original single manual six stop organ designed by Henry Bevington of London, located at the Western entry, proved too small for the church, which had been enlarged by 1859 by addition of the Eastern (Sanctuary) and transepts. In 1862 a new organ of 842 pipes, designed by John Courcelle of London, was installed by George Fincham, a former colleague of Courcelle. The organ then included a pedal open diapason of 30 large wooden pipes, nine ranks of 56 pipes and a 44 note dulciana. It was extensively renovated and enhanced by the very high quality work of Hill, Norman and Beard in the early 1960s, and now (2018) has 1639 pipes, but six hundred of the present 732 Great Organ pipes are the originals which Courcelle designed. A plaque on the organ commemorates the outstanding musicianship of the late Arthur Firth (d.11th August 2008), Organist at Christ Church from 1958 to 1993. The Christ Church organ is a a fine example of 19th Century organ building, and is an integral part of worship, special celebrations, weddings and other festivities at Christ Church.
In 2018 a recording of various works played on the Organ by the late Gary Cowling, who was Organist and Chpoir Director from 1993 to 2012, was released and is for sale ($15) through the Parish Office or whenever the church is open. The CD includes the following tracks -
Pictured to the right is our organist, Winton Barry, appointed in 2013. If you have any queries regarding the Choir or music generally at Christ Church you can speak with Winton, or with the Vicar or one of the Ministry team after any Sunday Service.
The Choir sings throughout the year, but takes a break each January, and you would be welcome to join. Choir practices are at 7.30pm each Thursday, and the choir sings at the 9.30am service each Sunday and at other special occasions as arranged.
Christ Church Social Club
The aim of this group is to provide facilities for all adult parishioners - regardless of age! - to meet together in a friendly social atmosphere. The group meets once a mont, generally on the first Saturday of the month, and announcements about the programme are made in the Parish Press (the weekly pew bulletin available at Sunday services) and in the quarterly Chronicle magazine.
For catering purposes it is a help to respond, when advertised, by contacting the Parish Office before each meeting, or for information about the group.
Brass is cleaned once a month on a roster system. Two people choose which day of the week the brass is cleaned. Special cleaning days are organized prior to special festivals or events. at Christ Church. Further information can be obtained from the Contact Us page.
Christ Church Flower Guild
If you enjoy arranging flowers or simply enjoy helping to arrange them, then the Flower Guild could be an interest for you.
Members of the Guild generally work in pairs or as a small team, on a Friday or Saturday morning, and each team arranges the flowers four or five times a year. The roster is arranged so that people who are busy during school holidays can volunteer for flower arranging during term time.
Donations of flowers from gardens are always appreciated. For weddings and festivals flowers are purchased if necessary to supplement those donated from within the Parish. More information about the Flower Guild can be obtained via the Contact Us page.
Church Maintenance Teams
Volunteer parishioners work as groups as and when required, as announced in the Parish Press. The normal practice is to work between 9am and 12 noon on the 2nd Saturday and then on the Thursday 2 weeks later, each month. Morning tea is always enjoyed by everyone in the maintenance groups! Days and dates etc are advertised in advance in the weekly Parish Press. The Thursday workers tend to concentrate on gardening-type projects and the Saturday people, whilst they also garden, become involved in handyman [handyperson] type activities. This may include painting, cleaning spouting, minor building repairs etc.
Projects are prioritized and the Coordinators of the working groups can be contacted via the Parish Office ... see the Contact Us page.
The Parish Council
The Parish Council (formerly known as Vestry) manages the business affairs of the Church and promotes its well being and life. There are up to 15 members elected or appointed at the Annual General Meeting of parishioners, held in October or November each year. Three of the Council members must be Wardens - they are responsible for all money, items for worship, plant and property. The Vicar or his designate is the chair person of the Parish Council.
See Contact Us for Who's Who on the Christ Church Parish Council.
The Council meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 8.00pm, to oversight the work of the Parish and to bring forward issues which parishioners may wish to raise. Information about Council matters is available from any of the Church Wardens or from the Vicar.