July 2022

Central Church Newsletter July 2022

What a brilliant celebration that was for our Queen’s Platinum Jubilee! We hope you all managed to celebrate in one way or another. The weather, too, behaved for the most part! Now that we are in the full flow of summer let us thank God for the beauty that is all around us and let’s take advantage of this green and pleasant land.

Linda and Malcolm Johnson

Beautiful flower arrangement by Jo Dance at Central Church for the Jubilee weekend.

Photo courtesy of Marion Manning.

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BUILDING WORK IN PROGRESS!

Dear Friends,

Ever since I joined you last year, I have been fascinated by the huge building site next door to the Pilgrim Centre. For most of that time it has looked empty and sad. Aspen House, which housed Council Offices, was demolished in 2013 but now, at long last, building work is underway. A few weeks ago the hoardings around the site were painted purple, and slowly but surely a new and very large Premier Inn is being built. The hotel will be eight stories high and will have 200 beds. I am enjoying watching the building work and look forward to us having a smart neighbour. I am sure it can only be a good development for the centre of Swindon.

The apostle Paul often spoke about building work. He saw the church as being God’s building, and was clear that the church wasn’t finished. It was a work in progress. Paul saw himself as being like a skilled master builder, building on the foundation of Jesus Christ. In writing to the church in Corinth he encouraged everyone to be careful how they built. They needed to build with materials that would last. They needed to choose gold, silver and precious stones rather than wood, hay or straw because he knew that the fires of life would burn up anything that was sub-standard. You can read about this in 1 Corinthians chapter 3 verses 10 to 15.

This poses a question to us right now. How are we building? Are we building with solid materials which will ensure that the church will become stronger and more useful to God in central Swindon? Or are we using materials which will soon perish? I am absolutely sure that there is a special role for us in the middle of a large and growing town. Life has changed enormously over the last couple of years, and it will continue to change, but I am certain that there is a huge need for a welcoming and loving church right in the middle of our community.

Our building materials will be prayer, worship and love. As we become stronger in our Christian lives we will become more useful to God, and more able to get involved in the building work.

As you know we have been exploring the possibility of developing our building as a Christian Hub. I am delighted to inform you that there has been a very positive response to this suggestion by many Christian charities which are serving our community. Over the last few days we have heard requests from a number of groups to be part of this project. Please pray for our friend Andrew Williams who is heading this up and let’s look for ways in which we can be involved in this building work. Our first task is to pray and, in due course, there will be other opportunities for us to contribute to this initiative, as we are able.

Central is not the church that it was ten, twenty or thirty years ago – but then God isn’t calling on us to put the clock back. He is calling us to serve him now, amidst the circumstances of a changed and changing town centre. I, for one, am feeling very excited about what God is doing and I invite you to join me on this exciting building adventure.

With warmest greetings.

Yours in Christ,

Jonathan's signature

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Preachers at the 10.30 a.m. Sunday service in July 2022

3 July : Revd Jonathan Edwards (Holy Communion)
10 July: Deacon Stephen Roe
17 July: Revd Jonathan Edwards (Holy Communion)
24 July: Revd Andrew Francis
31 July: Revd Gerald England

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Diary Dates for July 2022

Thursday 7 July: Bible Study at 2 p.m.
Executive Meeting at 7 p.m.
Sunday 17 July: Church Meeting following morning worship
Thursday 21 July: Bible Study at 2 p.m.

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The Small Beatitudes

Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves; they will have no end of fun.

Blessed are those who can tell a mountain from a molehill; they will be saved a lot of bother.

Blessed are those who know how to relax without looking for excuses; they are on the way to becoming wise.

Blessed are those who are sane enough not to take themselves too seriously; they will be valued most by those about them.

Happy are you if you can take small things seriously and face serious things calmly; you will go far in life.

Happy are you if you can appreciate a smile and forget a frown; you will walk on the sunny side of the street.

Happy are you if you can be kind in understanding the attitude of others even when the signs are unfavourable; you may be taken for a fool but this is the price of charity.

Blessed are those who think before acting, and pray before thinking; they will avoid many blunders.

Happy are you if you know how to hold your tongue and smile, even when people interrupt and contradict you or tread on your toes; the Gospel has begun to seep into your heart.

Above all, blessed are you who recognize the Lord in all whom you meet; the light of truth shines in your life for you have found true wisdom.

Quoted in Partners in Learning (May 2001) and acknowledged with thanks from Ruth Preston

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Happiness quotation

The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.

Victor Hugo

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Deadline for August Newsletter: Wednesday 27th July 2022.