Christchurch Christian Centre UK

Christchurch Christian Centre UK

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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Poem 'Why do I share?'


Why do I share?

Do I really care?
About my fellow man
In a way that God is pleased with me
And according to His plan

Is my heart yet burdened?
About the world that’s all around
I know I’m far from perfect
Though in Jesus I am found

Is my heart full of yearning?
Do I seek to do God’s will?
To see many people born again
Does my duty linger still?

If I do not seek a real heart
For the spiritually lost and blind
Will more people miss God’s heaven
And that bad place likely find

Do I truly have God’s wisdom?
Do I fall at Jesus feet?
Do I yet still have a heart of stone?
When I know that I’m complete

Is it just to escape God’s judgement?
That I want to share Gods plan
Or is it the whole experience
That they might understand

For just as I was born again
With a life all fresh and new
Surely it’s appropriate
That the lost should be born too

Do I really believe that darkness
Is dispelled by Jesus light?
Am I really going to use my knees?
And join into this fight

Do I really seek God’s spirit?
To help many others see
Or am I just content to know
That I am born and free?


It seems I’ve come a long way
Over 30 years or more
And the world seems more resentful
Against what you came here for

It wouldn’t be correct or right
To try this on my own
When I think about Gods holiness
Jesus gloriously enthroned

Oh Jesus Holy Spirit
Please cause my heart to see
Lead me, lead me, lead me
That others can be freed

How many souls before me
Have called out to this plight
Because we, when we become God’s children
Have become all clean and right

Yes, yes, yes
Again I want to say
I cannot do this on my own
In my life you shall have your say
In my life you shall have your say.

Amen and Amen
---
Written for the morning service on Sunday 5th September 2013 to the Glory of God to encourage myself and to encourage others to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ all the more.

Written by David Samways © Copyright 2013
A member of Christchurch Christian Centre - www.christchurchchristiancentre.org

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Our testimony of God's material & financial provision in growth


Faith in times of expansion


Christchurch Elim Church, Millhams Street, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 1DN

 To God alone be all the glory


In 1937, following an evangelistic campaign held by a lady evangelist, Christchurch Elim Church was planted. The congregation met in a hired upper room in Millhams Street Christchurch (we do not now know the location of that room) until 1939, when just before the beginning of world war two, in faith, a gospel hall was built in Jumpers Road, Christchurch. The land cost £100 and hall cost £217 and was built by a Mr. Leat of Bransgore. The work was completed in November 1939.

The new gospel hall was small and could only seat about 60 people comfortably. In 1984 a new porch was added to the building, which cost about £4,000.  Research was undertaken, plans were drawn up and consents were obtained from the authorities for the building of the porch and the Church began to pray.  Little by little the money began to come in starting with a gift of 50p from one of the children who wanted to give to the project from her pocket money. The porch was built without borrowing any money.

In 1991 the congregation began to grow and by 1993 the church needed some extra room. By faith, plans were drawn up to extend the building at a cost of about £40,000.  The Church prayed and the money came in just in time to meet the bills. With the addition of the new extension in 1994, the building could now hold up to about 120 people.

For many years the church had been praying for new premises with better facilities as the children were meeting for Sunday school in the kitchen and in the small back room and there was no more room to build on that site.

It is important to this account that an incident is mentioned that occurred some years before the need for a new building became plain. What happened was this. Several years before the congregation began to grow, the Pastor had been walking along Millhams Street in the town centre. Situated in Millhams Street was the second largest church building in the town with a clock tower and large facilities, including a separate hall and numerous rooms suitable for Sunday School and other activities. The building was in a very poor state of repair with missing slates, broken windows, seriously eroded stonework and many other visible signs of a lack of care.  As the Pastor walked past that building, he asked God, “Why is this church in such a state?” Immediately the question was asked, God answered by giving a very clear and precise thought to the pastor. The thought was silent but as clear as if spoken out loud, “Because the life has gone out of it!”  In an instant, the Pastor responded, “Then put the life back in it”. 

Little did He know how that prayer would be answered.

By the time the extension to the building in Jumpers Road was completed, it became clear bigger facilities were needed if the church was to continue to move forward.

On land adjacent to the church there was an old factory building which came onto the market. After prayer, the pastor enquired wanting to make an offer but the property had just been sold. God had different plans.

It was subsequently learned that the believers who met in the URC building in Millhams Street were considering leaving the building as so much work was needed to restore the property to a useable standard. The building was and is a grade II listed building. 

On hearing about this probability, the pastor of the Elim Church contacted the URC church officials and offered to purchase the building for £1.

After an inspection by the Elim Church Leadership and discussion with the URC leadership, the URC decided not to sell the property. On hearing that news, the Elim pastor went home and with his wife prayed a simple prayer, “Lord give us the building and fill it.” Later, and without any prompting by Elim, the URC contacted Elim and agreed that the Elim Church could take over the building for only £1.00.

It was decided by Elim to go ahead, believing it was God’s will for them to do so despite the fact that there was an enormous amount of work to be undertaken. At that time, Christchurch Elim had less than £4000 in the building fund.  The church buildings in Millhams Street were to be transferred without the kitchen and toilets as they were sited on a piece of land that was to be sold separately by the URC to a developer who planned to build houses on the land. Despite this, Elim went ahead fully persuaded that it was God’s plan for them to do so.

On the surface £1.00 seems very little, but the amount of money required to fix the building was estimated at over £250,000. Subsequent to moving in, a quantity surveyor assessed the cost of restoration at £750000.

The Elim Church congregation took possession of the building on the 13th of November 1998, moving from the small building in Jumpers Road, to the new building with all of its problems but with space for growth and all the potential of the larger facilities.

The old building was subsequently sold for £65,000 and net sale proceeds of about £63,000, together with the building fund of £3,673 was everything that the congregation had towards the restoration project.  

The roof was leaking badly in many places and for some time there were even buckets spread around the building catching the drips of water during services on rainy days.  It was so bad that the electrics were being compromised by the water ingress during the services.  A quite extensive (though not complete) list of works can be found on the website showing the extent of what was required.

Do take a Look at this list on our site - http://www.christchurchchristiancentre.org/restoration2.html

Although the estimated costs were so high, the Church relied 100% on God supplying the money for the restoration and they determined not to borrow or go into debt. Although there was one time cash flow seemed likely to be inadequate, in the event there was sufficient in hand to cover all needs as they arose. Prayer continued as the project proceeded and God not only sent in money little by little but He also sent some new church members along who had the skills needed for particular parts of the restoration work. In particular, the church prayed for a builder to join. That prayer was wonderfully answered and God sent a skillful builder (who had trained as an engineer) and other able tradesmen to help.

We cannot say that the numbers attending are very high but finance has still come in.  This is more clear evidence that God is the God of the impossible. The first part of the request, “Lord give us the building,” was answered. The second part will be answered too, “And fill it.”

More than fourteen and a half years on and the building project is ongoing, however it is nearly completed.  There has not been much financial support from outside the church and almost all of the £400,000 plus that has been spent thus far, has come from two main sources:- the generous giving of the church members and the income from a 3 hour coffee morning held each Monday morning in the church hall.

God taught this little church to exercise faith, starting with a £4,000 porch and then a £40,000 extension to the original building and now the current project. God has worked in response to faith and obedience.  At times work was started when insufficient funds were available but acting in faith led to these steps being taken and the bills were always paid, although on several occasions the finance came in at the very last minute.

The amazing testimony is that all of the money required for this restoration project has come in on top of the general income required to run the church, pay the bills, employ a full time Pastor, reach out to our community with the love of Christ and to continue support for international missions each month.

Some people told the Pastor that he was crazy taking on such a project.  Some told Him that it could not be done and that they would fail.  However, obedience and faith in The God of the impossible are ingredients for success.

It could be said that it all started with the prayer, “Then put the life back in it,” but we believe in God’s purposes and doubtless, what we see Him doing now is what He has always intended. 

We have continued in prayer, often quoting part of the Lord’s Prayer but always looking to God who alone will see His will fulfilled. We pray, “Lord give us our daily bread, build Your Church and bring in what is needed to restore this facility”. We continue in prayer, “Lord build Your Church, fill this Church and save this town.

To God alone be all the Glory and Honour.

Hebrews 11:1 NKJV
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Main Meeting Area - Project Update

2013 Restoration & modernisation of main meeting area




In January of this year work began on a significant and necessary modernisation project to our main sanctuary. With access restricted by the fixed layout and signs of severe deterioration to the supporting floor joists 2013 has become the year we finally tackled this essential work.

This project has been divided into three phases and below are some photo's of the work so far.

Phases 1 & 2

Removal of the side seating areas and sub-floor to enable essential repairs



Significant deterioration was found to all floor timbers and almost all had to be replaced on both sides including the wall plates



 
New wall plates and treated timbers in place ready for the flooring to go back down




 

 

With necessary timbers replaced and repairs to the walls and flooring now complete on both sides, it was time to move onto phase three.


Phase Three

Removal of the central seating areas to enable essential repairs, installation of a new heating system and leveling of aisles to provide a safer and more functional space.

 
 




We were very pleased to discover that the condition of the timbers beneath the central seating area was not as bad as the sides although some repairs were necessary.

The heating engineer is onsite this week working on the new system and work has also begun on leveling the floor.

We are thankful to God for His provision of finance for this project which has allowed us to make a good start.  Please contact us if you are interested in making a donation towards this project which we believe will be of great benefit to the church and community for many years to come.

We hope this work will all be completed by the end of September.

We will post another update soon to show how things are progressing.

Our Sunday services are temporarily being held in the rear hall for the duration of this final stage.


Thursday, 2 August 2012

Stone capitals




Our stone mason Mark Lillywhite has been hard at work and sent us these photos: check out these beautiful stone capitals! We can't wait for them to be fitted!

Friday, 27 April 2012

S'nice today

Sun shining, birds singing. Via my study window, I am enjoying a warm breeze today - where has the rain gone?

Tomorrow we have a wedding at Millhams Street. Hope the weather stays fine.