Great Ashby is a new estate and Great Ashby Community Church is a newish Church. So, we are still learning what it means to be part of a community that is just starting up.
We get involved in the community centre, the school and local community groups because we believe it's our responsibility to be part of making living in Great Ashby a life affirming experience.
We have decided not to have a building of our own but to use our homes and local facilities like the community centre and school.
Who we are
Our doors are wide open to people from all backgrounds. Whether you are new to Great Ashby or a long term resident, have no church background or you used to be an archbishop - we just don't mind!
We consider ourselves to be on a journey of faith. Even though we come from different backgrounds with different life experiences, we have one thing in common: a personal encounter with the God of grace and love.
On the Vine
2nd May 2015
As some of you may know, Martin and I have a small Victorian terraced house in the middle of Winchester to which we will retire in a few years' time. (Not yet!!!) At the moment we are in the process of having some extensive renovations done to it. This means the hiring of several skips, walls being knocked down, plaster being stripped off, new electric wiring and plumbing being put in and a lovely new kitchen and bathroom being ordered from a large DIY store. There is a huge amount to be done. Bricks will be taken out of some places and then rebuilt into other parts of the wall, a window will turn into a door, a bedroom will turn into a bathroom... I could go on and on! (and probably do) We are told that the work should be completed by mid July after which we can go in and decorate, carpet etc. It's all very exciting and thrilling to see it beginning to take shape and we are looking forward to being able equip it and then to stay there occasionally for holidays, days off etc.
While we and our builders are in the process of building a small house in Hampshire, God is in the process of building something far greater and built from living stones. In his first letter, chapter 2, Peter talks about how we are those living stones.
"You .. like living stones are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 2:5)
I think this is a really important thing for all of us to do as we enter another new year. Even if we think we know the answers to these questions, God may want to say new things to us. He may want to be calling us in different directions. We will not know unless we spend time with him, listening to him.
I wonder which part of the building you or I belong to? Each part, as Martin and I have found, is equally as important as another. Each tiny part is necessary and if one isn't there or breaks, or decays, the whole house will be affected. I wonder whether God feels as thrilled with his building project as we feel. I hope he does although there will always be more work for him to do before each part plays its part as well as it can. "Being built" can sometimes be painful, uncomfortable, worrying and difficult...the same is true of a normal house as with a spiritual house, but let us pray that we allow God to do the work that needs to be done so that our house, especially the one he is building at Great Ashby, becomes one which, even as it is being built, "Declares His praises" as we "Live such good lives among those around us that... they may see our good deeds and glorify God." (v11 & 12)
Yours in Christian friendship,