Our continuing journey - more about us and our activities
Scroll down to find our more about Christ Church
Church in the time of Covid
Our activities were rather constrained by lockdown, as you might imagine. No more coffee mornings, social events or hymn singing! But we continued to worship and to meet for fellowship, making good use of Zoom and thanking the Lord for technology! The pictures show a few images of what it has meant to be church in the past couple of years.
By summer 2021 we were able to meet again in person but we still make use of Zoom at times and also of our church garden. At Christmas 2021 we gathered outside to sing carols, and our Nativity display outside the church doors lit up the night sky.
So we have learned new ways of being church over the past two years - and there's nothing wrong with that!
The Gethsemane Garden
Christ Church is a full member of Churches Together in Marlow, which normally organises a Walk of Witness on Good Friday. But what to do in 2021 when such gatherings were not allowed? The answer from CTM was a 'church walk' itinerary, visiting most of the churches in the town and with an external display at each.
So Christ Church's garden became Gethsemane for a two week period, during which we were pleased to receive many visitors. The pictures show some of the display that they were able to view.
Our garden has really become an extension of the church in the past couple of years. With the inauguration of the Walk of Life we have created a community facility for local people and visitors, but our minister has also delivered video prayers from the garden and you can see some of those by clicking here.
Christ Church has long supported this annual activity and, as well as our own contribution, one of our members has coordinated the appeal for the past decade across all of the churches in Marlow.
In 2021, due to the pandemic, Christian Aid Week had to be completely rethought on multiple fronts but we had a spectacular success with an online 'Psalmathon' (sponsored reading of all the psalms) which alone raised almost £7,000. In all, including a JustGiving appeal under the headline 'Say thanks for your vaccine', an envelope drop with return to several retail outlets, and a cake sale, the grand total raised was £14,641, by far the best we have ever achieved!
2022 was always bound to be something of an anticlimax... Nonetheless, the cake sale was back, along with a fundraising concert, a soup lunch and of course the options to give through an envelope drop or online with Justgiving. Overall we raised almost £6,500 from Marlow - money that will go straight to helping some of the world's poorest people. THANKS to all who helped! And donations can still be made at https://tinyurl.com/mcag2022
Christian Aid Week 2021 - 2022
Friends in Zimbabwe
For over a decade, Christ Church has supported a group of sculptors called Artpeace in Zimbabwe. The link passes through a member of another URC, who has most loyally and persistently championed their cause over the years and tried to find ways to help them.
Our first step on this road was in 2010 when we hosted an exhibition of the sculptors' work at Christ Church, turning our building into a gallery and raising almost £20,000 to send to them. Sadly, since then, economic and political circumstances have spiralled down and down in Zimbabwe. The sculptors can no longer sell to tourists, as that business has all-but dried up, and they have been forced into desperate poverty.
In recent years we have helped by sending funds for buying seed maize and fertiliser, tools, or to meet other practical needs. In return, when they can, Artpeace send us pictures, news updates and prayers of thanks.
While they are far away, and we have never met them, they are our friends. Read their latest news (Aug-Sep 2022) here.
Marlow and Maidenhead
Maidenhead URC, like Christ Church, traces its history back over three centuries. But we had not had many connections as congregations until around 2015 when we were both looking for a new minister. So we formed what is called a 'joint pastorate' and we now share the ministry of Revd David Downing.
Coming together in this way has enabled us to get to know each other better, enjoy shared social activities like church concerts, quizzes and walks, pool our efforts (for example, both churches combined to send a team to help out with refugees in Calais) and worship jointly on some Sundays. During Lockdown, this was a particular strength as both congregations came together on Zoom for worship, something that we are continuing to do once a month.
Serving our neighbour and the community
We are called as Christians to love and serve our neighbour. Living out this challenge leads us sometimes to unexpected places.
Individually, many of our members are engaged in local projects in the town, including Marlow Age Concern and the local Rotary. As a church, we fundraise for local (and national) charities, collect food and clothing for One Can Trust and Wycombe Homeless Connection, lend a hand where we can to Marlow Refugee Action and, during the pandemic, baked cakes for NHS frontline staff as part of 'Operation Wingman'. We also support the annual 'Lighthouse' ecumenical summer event for children in Marlow, and have been involved twice in visits to Calais to help with the refugee response there.
In 2019, before the pandemic, we also ran a Volunteering Fair at Christ Church to help local charities reach out to the public and try to find new volunteers to help in their work. The pictures show this and some of the other activities.
Witnessing to Marlow
As a small church, it is not easy to 'speak' to a whole community about your faith. And, in truth, we may not be the world's best when it comes to talking about what it means to us. The big word is 'evangelising' - but we probably don't either say it or do it as much as we should.
For all that, we try to tell Marlow about us and about Jesus. We try to show what we are about and we try to do it through practical action. So we have regularly taken part in community events, run stalls in the park, or invited local people to activities that we put on. We also have been contributors over recent years to the 'Faith Matters' programme on Marlow FM. Through such means, and through this website, we hope that people will see and hear something of us, and perhaps want to know more!