Life at Christ Church: 2007 onwards
New service formats
In November 2007 the morning services changed to their current format. The 9.30 ‘Sssh Free’ service replaced New Start with all of the children’s groups relocated within it. A new 11.00 service was also established with Holy Communion on the first and third Sundays and Morning Prayer on the others. From January 2008 a new look 6.30 service began with an emphasis upon the use of worship songs and a short time after this adopted the café style which it now has.
An important part of this new format, and to ensure Christ Church remained one church rather than three, was the establishment of United Services for Harvest, Christmas, Easter as well as special occasions such as our 150th Anniversary.
The photo below was taken at the Children's Carol Service in 2016, where dressing up is (almost, but not quite) mandatory!
Another new venture which began from December 2007 was Grapevine – a monthly lunchclub meeting in the Christ Church lounge on the first Sunday of every month and aiming to express the love of God through a great lunch, community and friendship. The original Grapevine flyer shows it aim to share God’s love with no strings attached.
Grapevine has grown strongly over the last nine years with many happy times as well as a number of tragedies involving its members.
From 2010 a prayer time began after Grapevine and from 2011 a ‘home group’ for its members meeting midway through the month – ‘Grapevine Extra’.
An important milestone in 2008 was Helen Durant-Stevensen becoming the first woman Curate-in-Charge/Associate Vicar at St John’s.
In 2010 Helen Hancock and Carolyn Lucas (having become deacons the year before) became the first women to serve as priests at Christ Church.
The photo below is from a Church Picnic organised by FUNC in 2008.
The photos below were taken at the surprise 40th birthday celebration for Stephen Kuhrt that was organised by the FUN Committee in 2009.
This photo is from a day trip to Littlehampton in 2008.
Other noteworthy events include the Murder Mystery Who Killed The Vicar? from 2015.
From 2009 Christ Church has taken part in a Cold Weather Night Shelter coordinated by Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness (KCAH). On Thursday evenings, around eight to twelve people who are homeless come for a meal and to sleep for the night. A crucial part of the evening is the friendship and fun that we seek to provide through chatting and playing games together.
Nick Clegg comes to Christ Church
A noteworthy event in April 2010 was a visit to Christ Church by Nick Clegg, then leader of the Liberal Democrats. This followed Christian Aid persuading the main political leaders to spend a day within the General Election campaign focusing on World Poverty.
Sniffer dogs arrived at 7.00 am to check the church for bombs, following which Nick Clegg - then at the height of his popularity and shortly afterwards to become Deputy Prime Minister - spoke between the two morning services.
Recents weddings at Christ Church include that of Susannah Alexander and Paul Sloman in 2014.
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