Tag Archives: Virginia Water

Pentecost Baptisms at Christ Church

On Sunday 31st May, six members of Christ Church family were baptised. Check out the photos and video. Or watch it here…

Baptisms at Pentecost: Sunday 31st May 2009 from Stephen Sizer on Vimeo.

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Be Faithful: The Launch of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans – May 15th in Virginia Water & July 6th at Westminster Central Hall

The launch in the UK and Ireland of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA), the orthodox Anglican movement for mission at global and local level, is to take place on July 6 in London.

The Fellowship is the outworking of last year’s GAFCON conference in Jerusalem, at which 1200 delegates signed up to the Jerusalem Statement. Those attending Gafcon 2008 represented some 40 million Anglicans world-wide, 70% of the total active membership of 55 million.

The launch event, entitled ‘Be Faithful! – Confessing Anglicans  in Global and Local Mission’ will be held at Westminster Central Hall from 10.30am-5.30pm.  The aim is to encourage and envision Anglicans who are committed to the orthodox teachings of the Anglican Church and who are passionate about global and local mission.  It will be the first of regular ‘fellowship’ events both in the UK and across the world.

Speakers at the July 6 gathering, where around 2,300 bishops, clergy and laity are expected, will include contributors from across the Anglican Communion, including Bishops Keith Ackerman (President of Forward in Faith International), Wallace Benn (Bishop of Lewes), John Broadhurst (Chairman of Forward in Faith UK) and Michael Nazir-Ali, Dr Chik Kaw Tan plus Archbishop Peter Jensen (secretary of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans www.fca.net).  They, and others yet to be announced, will also lead gatherings in London churches on Sunday July 5th. the day before the launch.

Regional meetings, in the run up to the London event will also be held on:-

* May 14, St Batholomew’s, Bath
May 15, Christ Church, Virginia Water
* May 18, Holy Trinity, Platt, Manchester
* May 19, St Andrew’s, Newcastle-under-Lyme
* May 20, Christ Church, Fulwood, Sheffield

The Revd Paul Perkin, , vicar of St Mark’s Battersea Rise, London, and Chairman of the event planning team, said: “The fellowship is just that, a spiritual movement of brothers and sisters across the nation and the world. It is not a separatist party, nor is it an organisation, but a spiritual fellowship issuing from a concern for truth and unity. It is a renewal of our confessing Anglican roots and convictions, and will be forward-looking in gospel mission locally, and in solidarity globally with Anglicans throughout the world, especially those suffering through poverty or discrimination”.

For further information about the event, email befaithfulanglicans@gmail.com, or book on-line on www.anglican-mainstream.net

For further information:

Revd Paul Perkin, Be Faithful, Event Chairman: 020 7326 9412
Canon Dr Chris Sugden (Anglican Mainstream): 01865 883388

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Building Community to Defeat Extremism

Remember that phrase in the film Miss Congeniality when all the beauty contestants are asked what is the one most important thing our society needs? They all reply “world peace” and the crowd cheers ecstatically. What is your wish for Virginia Water in 2009? Sounds a little more specific than your hopes for the entire world doesn’t it?

Focussing on Virginia Water moves us from generalities to responsibilities, from what we hope others will do to what we can do. And sometimes it only takes one person’s initiative. I hope you too were inspired by PC Elaine Bryant’s initiative to get the first ever Virginia Water community Christmas trees up. I kept thinking two things – first, why hadn’t we done it before and second, see what a person with vision and determination can achieve in a few weeks to bring us together.

OK, we are only talking about two Christmas trees with lights for heaven’s sake but that is not the point. Judging by the hundreds of people who turned out on a cold wet evening, including families with small children and senior citizens, to sing carols, drink mulled wine and eat mince pies and ginger bread men, perhaps PC Bryant’s initiative struck a chord in a lot of us. We certainly had more police officers in Virginia Water than I have ever seen before.

So what is my hope for Virginia Water in 2009? To see you and everyone else in the community come to know Jesus as your friend and leader. That is my first hope and prayer. If you want to know more, come along any Sunday at 9:30, 11:00 or 6:30.

My second hope is to see us as a community grow closer together in the year ahead. With the recession beginning to bite harder and forecast to last at least a year, with the steady rise in radical political and religious extremism, anti-social behaviour and the threat of terrorism ever before us, the temptation in 2009 will be to retreat into our shells or begin to blame others for our woes.

Remember Oswald Mosley and his Black Shirts that fed off the back of the Great Depression? How do we avoid it ever happening again? If we are tempted to think it could never happen here, we need to think again. I was pleased to see that the Holocaust Research Centre of Royal Holloway University are collaborating with German educational institutions in a conference this month in Berlin on holocaust perpetrators. The conference will address how and why ‘normal’ people become genocide perpetrators.

With the leaking in November of the names, addresses and occupations of the 12,000 members of the British National Party (BNP), media attention, has focussed on the handful of police officers, teachers and soldiers so identified. While membership of the political party is entirely legal, certain occupations are banned from being members of the BNP.

I was encouraged by two aspects of the incident. First, membership of such parties is still perceived to be an embarrassment to the majority of people in Britain. Second, given legitimate concerns over evidence of institutional racism and anti-semitism I was relieved that so few Christian leaders were listed.

Ben Wilson, a spokesman for the Church of England, said in November. “The church’s General Synod passed a motion in 2004 stating that any political movement that seeks to divide our communities on the basis of ethnicity is an affront to the nature of God revealed in creation and scripture and is a grave danger to harmonious community relationships; consequently voting for and/or supporting a political party that offers racist policies is incompatible with Christian discipleship.”

So how do we combat religious and political extremism and build community here in Virginia Water? Here are three ideas:

1. Support the Virginia Water Community Association; the Royal British Legion; our three local schools PTA’s and governing bodies at Trumps Green, Christ Church and St Ann’s Heath; the Scouts, Cubs, Guides and Brownies; the Library; the Help the Aged charity shop; and further afield, White Lodge and St Peters Hospital. There’s also the lobby against the incinerator at Trumps Farm. I am sure you can think of others.

2. Volunteer to serve in the community. At Christ Church, we encourage every member to volunteer at least an hour a week in the church and community – with things like a monthly senior citizen’s lunch club and Scallywags and Cherubs toddler groups. If everyone in Virginia Water volunteered an hour a week to the community, it would be the equivalent of employing 18 people. Two hours each and it would be the equivalent of employing 36 people. A sign of a healthy community is how well it cares for the most vulnerable – whether in terms of gender, health, age or race. How do you think we are doing?

3. Support community based events in 2009. There will hopefully be the VWCA Carnival Capers, the open air Summer art exhibition, the school productions and Fayres, the Polo Championship, the Wentworth bonfire, the Remembrance Sunday wreath laying, and now the Christmas tree lighting. At Christ Church we have added annual events like Mothering Sunday, the Bank Holiday Rogation Walk around Virginia Water, a Summer Picnic in the Park and of course the Church festivals of Easter, Harvest and Christmas to help build community.

So, how about it? What is your hope for Virginia Water in 2009? What are you prepared to do to turn it into a reality? If you have other ideas on how to strengthen our community write a letter to the editor. May the Lord bless you and those you love throughout the year ahead.

Article published in the January edition of Connection, the community magazine of Virginia Water, and delivered at the 2008 Wentworth Christmas Carol Concert

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The Day the Earth Stood Still: Jesus, Klaatu and Osama Bin Laden

Jesus, Klaatu and Osama Bin Laden
“Once upon a time, a supernatural being, who so loved the world, took on our DNA and became one of us. He walked among us, taught us, cared for us, walked on water, brought one of us back from the dead, and ascended into the heavens. You know the story well. And his name was Klaatu. Klaatu? Well, yes. He is the central figure in the box office hit this Christmas in the film The Day the Earth Stood Still. Its a remake of the 1951 classic, which was one of the best sci-fi movies of all time. Klaatu is an alien who has come to earth in an attempt to save the planet—ostensibly from itself (on the brink of war in the 1951 original, and rolling toward environmental catastrophe in 2008). A representative of an alien race that went through drastic evolution to survive its own climate change, Klaatu (Keanu Reeves) comes to Earth to assess whether humanity can prevent the environmental damage they have inflicted on their own planet. Klaatu himself already has a negative opinion of humans, and in the end the aliens decide to intervene pre-emptively—without any warning—and wipe out human civilization so that all the other species on our planet can survive.  If you have seen the film or just the trailers, then you know that swarms of microscopic beings—insects, robots, or both—are sent forth to bring about the apocalypse, shredding everything from giant sports stadiums to moving vehicles.[1]

Peter T. Chattaway observes, “One of the fascinating things about the original film is that Klaatu was such an obvious Christ-figure—he went by the name Carpenter when he mingled among regular people, he died and came back to life, and he professed a belief in the “Almighty Spirit.”

In the remake, the religious parallels are more subdued: Klaatu raises someone else from the dead, after killing him, but never dies himself; he never goes by the name Carpenter; and he talks of how “the universe” transforms people when they die. In the original film, Klaatu represented a certain ideal, a vision of what we humans could become, and our survival depended on becoming more like him. In the remake, on the other hand, our survival depends on bringing the alien down to our level and making him more like us. That may or may not have theological significance, but it does say something about how our culture has changed over the last five decades.”[2]

Kenneth Chan writes, “The verdict? The human race is destructive. The sentence? The human race will be terminated. “If the earth dies, humans die. If humans die, the earth lives,” Klaatu says in one scene. Although some will see a green agenda in the remake, the message goes deeper than that. It’s not just about our destructiveness toward the Earth, but toward one another. Is the human race without hope? This is what Klaatu believes after receiving his colleagues’ report.  I won’t spoil it by giving more of the plot away.[3]

The movie does help us understand why a Holy God could and one day will cleanse this world of evil.[4] Klaatu is not a type of Jesus Christ. He is fallible and fallen. But he is representative of those who believe it is their destiny to use violence to bring about God’s judgement. Can you think of anyone who believes they have a divine mandate to purify this world of evil and destroy all infidels? The man President George Bush refers to as “the evil one”. The one the newspapers call the “CEO of Terror Incorporated.” The mastermind behind the worst terrorist attacks in recent history – monstrous crimes of premeditated mass murder – Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam in 1998, New York and  Washington in 2001, Madrid 2004, London 2005, Algiers 2007,  probably Mumbai 2008.

If Bin Laden represents the most wanted man in the world what would Jesus say to him tonight? If we could listen in on a one to one between Jesus and Osama bin Laden this Christmas, what would Jesus say?

Read more here

Listen here

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Christmas for Children at Christ Church

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Christmas at Christ Church

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