United Church Winchester

Welcome to the United Church Winchester.

 We invite all those who want to share in the exploration of what the Christian faith means to join us in worship and fellowship. We offer lively, relevant and interesting worship and assure you of a warm welcome.

As well as services on Sundays and Friday and groups who meet for fellowship, we have a Coffee Bar which is open to the public every week day morning from 10am - 2pm and on Saturdays from 10am - 12pm.  We also host various events open to one and all.

Please use the navigation list to explore what the church offers more.

 

CHRISTIAN AID WEEK, 13-19 MAY 2018

As Christian Aid Week draws near again we are all aware of the huge problems which continue to face the developing world – both man-made and natural. And it is particularly heart-breaking when a country has barely recovered from one disaster when another strikes. Christian Aid, with our support, aims to be there to help. Christian Aid Week brings tens of thousands of Christians together to achieve incredible things with some of the poorest people in the world. 

This year we meet Marcelin and his three daughters, living in a two-metre-square windowless concrete block in Haiti. Also, Vilia and her family. Much of Haiti was devastated by a powerful earthquake in 2010. Like so many thousands, Vilia lost her home. Christian Aid, working through its local partner KORAL, built her a new earthquake-resistant home – one of 700. In 2016 Hurricane Matthew again created massive devastation. Vilia’s house was the only one in the area sturdy enough to cope with the hurricane. Fifty-four neighbours flocked to her house and were given food and shelter. But many in Haiti are still living in tents (and concrete blocks like Marcelin), and good-quality house building remains critical. For £210 a local builder in Haiti could be trained to build earthquake-resistant houses. Money raised in Christian Aid Week will contribute to this and to other needs around the world.

Last year our churches and communities in Winchester and District raised nearly £30,000 towards the work of Christian Aid. Please help us to do the same or better this year! In many of our parishes house to house collections continue to be carried out, and this is one of the most effective ways of raising money. Please think of helping if this happens in your parish – and if it doesn’t, or you would like to help elsewhere, please contact Rosemary Dunhill as below. If you don’t do house to house, could your church arrange a collection within the church – or could you organise other money-raisers at church or at home[Note from the Editor: Helen McTiffin says she would be happy to welcome any new collectors for our Church ‘patch’ on Teg Down]

There will be a special service to mark the beginning of the Week on Sunday 13 May at 6.30 pm at The United Church, Jewry Street; do come if you can. We have also been given permission to hold a collection in the High Street on Thursday 17 May. If you could help for an hour or two this would again be much appreciated.

Rosemary Dunhill

Winchester and District Christian Aid Week co-ordinator

 

Hope for Planet Earth – Witness: Christine Cook

Profile

 Christine has been a member of The United Church for 30 years.  Among her many roles, she is an engineer, mother, scout leader, and our church treasurer.

 Evidence

Chat with Christine in April 2018

When were you first aware of environmental issues?

In the 1970s we became aware of the Ozone hole.  Because of action taken then, mainly changes in regulations, it has improved now - it showed you can do something with a big problem and make progress.  With wider climate issues, it has crept up and become more and more of a concern. 

Why do you think this issue is important?

I’m concerned about climate change, about the impact of climate change ecologically: species decline, patterns of weather, impact on future generations…and the fact you can see it happening, even in the UK, in my lifetime.  We used to go walking every New Year, usually in deep snow.  Now there isn’t any.  Increases in natural disasters ties in with global justice issues because it affects the most vulnerable worst.

 

What do you do in life because of your care for creation?

We have installed solar panels at home, and a heat exchange heating system because it is more efficient. We try to limit our use of water, electricity and fuel. We are looking into electric cars.  It is behind our thinking when we make decisions.  We have been part of Connecting Kings Worthy Project, a pilot scheme to see if community involvement and developing trust in a community can lead to reduced usage of power.  The community can work together to spread usage away from peak time (e.g. by using slow cookers) to avoid an energy company having to increase infrastructure.  In my work I encourage people to use energy efficient fittings. 

Inspiration

I have hope for the future because things are moving in the right direction.  The Paris Agreement was a strong move…and the fact that lots of American States are continuing their support of it despite Trump’s rejection of it is good.

 

China is investing dramatically in renewables to the extent that though Europe’s investment is reducing, the overall global trend in use of renewables is a steady rise. And this brings down costs, making it easier for others to join in. China is driving things forward. And the economics are changing.

I went to a talk by Tesla last week about batteries.  Use of batteries makes sense with renewables because it could smooth out supply when solar/wind supplies are unpredictable.  I am inspired reading about scientists investigating and highlighting the issues, and engineers developing solutions.  There has been much more general awareness of climate change issues in the last three years or so, and a move from people feeling overwhelmed to thinking ‘we can do stuff, let’s get on with it’.  

There is a lot that individuals can do, and as a Christian community, concerned about social justice, where we see the poorest people affected most by climate change, we should be caring for creation, rather than spoiling it, and leaving it in a better state for future generations.

Jo Crocker

Minister's letter - April

Expect the unexpected!

There’s no doubt about it; the death of Jesus was unexpected, and whilst he gave plenty of hints that it would happen, the disciples either didn’t believe him, or didn’t want to. And when it finally did happen, it left the disciples in a state of shock and dismay that they wouldn’t have recovered from had it not been for what happened next. For if Jesus’ death was unexpected, his resurrection was doubly so … or was it?

It seems to me as I read through some of Jesus’ most well-known miracles that resurrection followed him around. The raising of Lazarus and of Jairus’ daughter, the restoration of sight to the blind, of mobility to the paralysed, and the cleansing of diseases of both body and mind. Whether you believe these miracles were actual bodily restorations, or symbolic of the deeper wholeness we find in Christ, the point is that they were so much more than just random miracles by some mystic from Nazareth. Rather they were the unexpected moments of resurrection that invariably came when the afflicted chose to put their faith in Christ. If Jesus stood for anything in his life, it wasn’t for death, but the limitless possibilities of resurrection.

As we draw close to Easter it is natural for us to concentrate on Jesus’ death, the sacrifice he made and the mind-blowing grace of God. Yet we must also remember the resurrection, not just as a happy after thought to welcome in Easter Day safe in the knowledge that Jesus was ‘alright in the end’, but as a realisation that this was at the very heart of what Jesus was about. His death would have been empty without the resurrection, as empty as the disciples felt as they wandered aimlessly without their teacher, their friend. The whole point of Jesus’ ministry was not to die on the cross, but to be raised from it, however unexpectedly. We are not a people confined to death, but set free by the resurrection of Jesus. We need to live, not as a people still pinned to a cross, but as a people set free by the possibility of resurrection.

In Christ,

Tim

Gold award for the Coffee Bar!

The United Church Coffee Bar has won an award!

Winchester Area Access for All (WAAFA) is a forum for highlighting issues involving access by disabled people to premises in and around Winchester.  Our coffee bar was visited by assessors from WAAFA (without our knowledge) and they found our practices and premises to be deserving of recognition, saying that we have achieved excellence in accessibility.  

On behalf of the Coffee Bar, I received the GOLD AWARD from the Mayor of Winchester at a presentation ceremony in the Discovery Centre on 8 March.  The Chair of WAAFA, Keith Hatter, spoke of the importance of the accessibility of premises for disabled people, and of the helpful attitude of staff to them.  So congratulations to all the volunteers who help in the Coffee Bar!  You can see the certificate displayed in the Coffee Bar.

Graham Rolfe

World Action Project

 

We were delighted to welcome Stella Charman of Luna Children’s Charity to the 10.30 am service on 18 February as part of the official launch of our new World Action Group project.

Stella used a mother and child doll set to help tell the Junior Church the story of one of the children helped by Luna in Uganda, relating how the use of their specialist trauma therapy helped bring her back from trauma-induced muteness to a confident, happy young girl.

Later in the service Stella went into more detail, with the aid of a PowerPoint presentation and video, about the way that Luna works and some of what the therapy involves; her example this time came from work in the Middle East, which is where the money we raise will be principally going to help fund training in Jordan. 

She explained that they are a training charity and that their emphasis is on training therapists in their home countries, giving a sustainable resource where it is most needed. I certainly found what she had to say very interesting and learnt some things which I had never considered before – did you know that a traumatised person should never receive therapy until they are in a completely safe place as the trauma can actually aid survival?

The service was followed by a Middle Eastern inspired lunch and it was wonderful to see the hall so full of people enjoying a meal together and taking the opportunity to ask Stella questions. Hopefully the chance to hear what Stella had to say and to chat with her has helped to gain an understanding of, and connection with, the new project.

 Donations from the lunch resulted in approximately £300 (with Gift Aid to come) towards our funds for Luna.

Jo Pellatt, World Action Group

 

We were delighted to welcome Stella Charman of Luna Children’s Charity to the 10.30 am service on 18 February as part of the official launch of our new World Action Group project.

 

Stella used a mother and child doll set to help tell the Junior Church the story of one of the children helped by Luna in Uganda, relating how the use of their specialist trauma therapy helped bring her back from trauma-induced muteness to a confident, happy young girl.

 

Later in the service Stella went into more detail, with the aid of a PowerPoint presentation and video, about the way that Luna works and some of what the therapy involves; her example this time came from work in the Middle East, which is where the money we raise will be principally going to help fund training in Jordan.

 

She explained that they are a training charity and that their emphasis is on training therapists in their home countries, giving a sustainable resource where it is most needed. I certainly found what she had to say very interesting and learnt some things which I had never considered before – did you know that a traumatised person should never receive therapy until they are in a completely safe place as the trauma can actually aid survival?

 

The service was followed by a Middle Eastern inspired lunch and it was wonderful to see the hall so full of people enjoying a meal together and taking the opportunity to ask Stella questions. Hopefully the chance to hear what Stella had to say and to chat with her has helped to gain an understanding of, and connection with, the new project.

 

 Donations from the lunch resulted in approximately £300 (with Gift Aid to come) towards our funds for Luna.

Jo Pellatt, World Action Group