Starting in May

Starting in May
In Small Groups

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Leading from Memory or Imagination?

The question is: are you leading from memory or imagination? From experience or creative thinking? Are you doing what worked before or thinking differently? Are you doing the same or dreaming again? Are you leading through a method or innovation? Are you thinking about what was or what could be? Repeating the past or creating the future?
I am discovering that what worked in Camberley is not right for Newbury. I have some experience but I also need to be open to new ideas. If we only do what we always did, we will only get what we always had. Think again...

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Making a drama out of a mole hill - Roughshod Theatre Company

Roughshod were great. A professional theatre company, from the Riding Lights stable, who connected very well with people. They went into schools, youth events, performed on the streets of Newbury, performed a full show on stage, they even came to church. With sketches ranging from bible stories to thought provoking pieces on forgiveness, justice and Islamic fundamentalism...we were left not just entertained but with much to think about. Funny, powerful, poignant and challenging.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Diary of a Church Planter - moving Sunday venues.

I am pleased to say the time has come - this Sunday, 2nd April, Bridge Church Newbury moves from Speenhamland school to Trinity school Newbury for Sunday morning meetings. Speenhamland school has been great, but it is time to create room for growth. Trinity school is much bigger - the hall seats 300. It costs more. Deep breath. This is a step of faith and expectation. I expect the church to grow. I expect God will bless us more.
Sometimes the timing of a change of Sunday venue is precipitated by events, availability or finances. Sometimes a step of faith is called for...

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Roughshod Theatre Company coming to Newbury.

Roughshod Theatre Company are coming to Newbury 2-9th April.
Roughshod Theatre Company are a full-time professional touring theatre company based in York. They are part of Riding Lights. They will be performing in schools in Newbury 3-7th April with their unique, topical and humorous shows relating to issues of identity, friendships, family, faith and food!

Roughshod will also be performing a short show at St. Nicholas’ church Newbury Sunday 2nd April 6.30pm (free admission) and a full length show at St. Bart’s school Newbury Saturday 8th April 7.30pm. Tickets on the door or from Shoemakers Bookshop The Arcade Newbury. Great fun!

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Match Report from Commission Prayer March 2017

We travelled down to Bournemouth for the away leg of Commission Prayer. It did not take long for  in-form Guy Miller to strike from outside the box - prophesying and praying over various leaders. Route 1 stuff. The new look Commission Team were unveiled to the crowd - a good mix of youth and experience. Quick passing between the squad followed with good news stories drawing applause from the crowd. Not many will forget the great goal from Adrian Birks - securing a church building to rent for £1 a year . The second half saw solid-in-defence Malcolm Kayes show good control with Psalm 90, then a good pass to play-maker Simon Walker revelling in his new position in midfield. Academy graduates Duncan Lee and Dave Rogers showed flashes of skill and inspiration up front, whilst Miles Jarvis showed a safe pair of hands in goal. Kara Newman came off the bench once again to demonstrate why she is a player in high demand. While some were revelling in Barcelona's Champions League comeback, we exalted and sang about the greatest comeback in history...

Friday, 3 March 2017

Mark's Review of God is Good by Bill Johnson

Is it just me, or do others find it a bit trite sometimes when we are encouraged to repeat: "God is good...all the time"? I find myself wanting to say: "Yes, but..." Well, this book is for you. It is very helpful in instructing people, like me, understand God's character and His overwhelming goodness. The sub title of the book: "He's Better Than You Think" is brilliant. In typical Bill Johnson fashion some of his one liners are terrific - "Love stands for something. Love is confrontational. Love is honest. Love requires action. Love chooses the best. Love doesn't choose what feels good." I particularly enjoyed one page where Bill uses all these words: "Risk...explore...create...travel... extreme...bigger...adventure...search...curious...desire...faith." Inspiring. I loved it. And more thing...He really is Good.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Are you taking enough risks...?

Recently, I read the results of a survey of those in their later years. The question was asked of them: Looking back on your life, what would you do differently? The top 3 answers were compelling: Travel more; Invest more in relationships; Take more risks... How can we take more risks? Perhaps it is going somewhere new, trying a new activity, new job or training, doing something physical for the first time, eating different food, taking a risk in a relationship, with your money - giving it away, a purchase or an investment opportunity. A new look? Trusting God for something?..How might you take a risk?

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Mark drives the Infinity Q50 and likes it

I like driving cars. I like my Nissan Note, which I have had for 9 years. Nothing prepared me however for driving the Infinity Q50. Infinity is the luxury brand of Nissan and the Q50 is an impressive alternative to its German rivals - BMW 3, Mercedes C and Audi A4. The Q50 combines luxury, style, high tech spec with a sporty feel. The acceleration of the 2.2d is impressive. The 2 dash touch screens and full colour parking camera are clear and bright (if a little distracting whilst driving!). For tall drivers, the position feels awkward at first, with some steering wheel knee knock until you figure out adjustments, but overall the Q50 is a brilliant rival to the better-known German makes.

Friday, 17 February 2017

3 days in Provence

I was taken in by 3 days in Provence. I heard it was beautiful - evocative with beautiful climate, light, lavender fields, suspended hill top villages, beaches close by, sunshine and lots of L'Occitane perfume. All that I discovered to be true and more. Provence really is beautiful. I took Beverley there for a few days for her birthday: Nice, Antibes, Gourdon, St Paul de Vance - we enjoyed them all. All deserve another visit and with reasonably priced flights Provence becomes very accessible. One more thing...the friends we visited are leading a great multi-cultural church.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Split - the movie and do real people have Multiple Personalities?

Split is a creepy new film released in cinemas. It stars James McAvoy in a psychological thriller as a deranged man with 23 personalities who kidnaps 3 girls. But can people have multiple personalities? Can they really split, as McAvoy does in the film? What is Disassociative Identity Disorder (DID)? Is there any help? The good news is that you don't have to go to see the movie to find the answers to these questions, nor is it all terrifying. One of the nations foremost authorities on DID lives in Newbury, West Berkshire, - Carolyn Bramhall. Her book, Am I Good Girl Yet? Plus her many speaking engagements and seminars help folk understand, come to terms with and find help.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Highlights of @Commission Leaders Weekend @Newfrontiers

It was great. It was great to be with other leaders - to be with friends. The hotel was great. The pool was great. The food was great. Graham and Charlotte Webb from Liverpool were great - they spoke on Scars and Wounds. They were very honest about their own scars and wounds which helps...a lot. Somehow hearing others be honest about their wounds, gives you permission to be honest about yours. Guy Miller was great too. We will always remember him impersonating Peter the apostle trying to walk on the choppy water. Despite the storms and waves that come, we are going to the other side with Jesus. Great.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Why I was impressed with Trump's inauguration.

Whatever you might think of the man and his politics, whatever you might think of his "...America first" speech , I was impressed with the inauguration. I made a point of watching it. I was impressed that God was there. In a ceremony lasting an hour, The Bible was honoured and read, being quoted by the new President Donald Trump and by those who prayed. Six people prayed, six. Heartfelt, humble, powerful prayers. Paula White's prayer received loud applause. Let's keep praying for wisdom...we all need it.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Mark's review of La La land

It certainly is colourful and fun. It was won a record 7 Golden Globes and is up for the Oscars, but is it really that good...? La La Land is unusual in that it is a modern, romantic, musical that is doing rather well. It has a very strong performance by Emma Stone who can sing, dance and act. She is terrific. Ryan Gosling can act, play the piano, dance a bit and sing not so well. He just about carries it off. I would have liked more big dance numbers. The feel-good theme of follow your dream and not giving up is standard Hollywood fare but it is still the perfect anti-dote for the those January blues. A great date night movie.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Diary of a Church Planter - 2 Years On...

This week we celebrate 2 years of Bridge Church Newbury. It has been hard work and fun.We began meeting in a home, outgrew 2 other facilities and now meet in a school; been to Westpoint together, camped together; started with grants and now are financially self-supporting; we are working with other churches to serve the community as Street Pastors, Bus of Hope, Food bank, COINS in schools, and at a Women's Refuge; 4 families have relocated to be part of the church plant; we have baptised 12 people; seen the church grow and experience God's presence; we have 4 people on Foundations Theological Training; we have seen people grow.  We are grateful and looking forward to more...

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Bridge Church Newbury Highlights of 2016

So many good things about 2016 for Bridge Church Newbury - the Alpha Course with Gary Grant CEO of The Entertainer, the church going away together to Westpoint and Sunny Camp, having John and Sue Hosier visit, Guy and Heather Miller coming, Malcolm Kayes coming to our first Leaders Day, 7 baptisms in one day (six men!), working with other churches at Easter, Christmas, in schools and on the streets, meeting with Glendale church, serving the Women's Refuge, seeing individuals flourish and grow...