Christingle rounds off Advent for Cliff Park Community Church
A Christingle service on Christmas Eve attracted a large number to Gorleston's Cliff Park Community Church. It was the second year the church had held this traditional service with children invited to help create the Christingle oranges before lighting the candles
While the idea of a Christingle was invented by a German priest over 200 years ago as a simple means of explaining the Christmas story and God's love to the world, it was only in the 1960s it was rediscovered and has since gained popularity. Morrisons donated the oranges as part of the supermarket's community involvement. A bucket collection at the end of the service raised £80 for the local food bank.
The service helped round off a busy Advent period which saw the annual open-air Carols on the Green on the Cliff Park estate attracting a record 130 people thanks to publicity, invitations with a mince pie giveaway, and the unusually mild weather. There was also a Carols by Candlelight service as well as the popular Carols and Coffee at Gorleston Pavilion on Advent Sunday which this year featured a full youth orchestra, the Orchestrate! Project and Norwich Young Voices choir conducted by their founder and Cliff Park church member John Stephens.
Wow such a wonderful time at Cliff Park Community Church this Christmas. From mince pie deliveries, taking part in the Gorleston High St Light Switch On outdoor carol singing, Carols & Coffee at an Edwardian theatre to meals with friends. And it's not even Christmas yet!
During July our annual Prize Giving Service was held where we get to celebrate the children in our church family and thank our children's workers for all their work throughout the year.
We are feeling truly blessed by our recent church weekend away to Sizewell Hall. There was plenty of time to relax, take a walk in the beautiful location, chat to friends and make new ones in between the gentle but challenging talks from John Irvine, accompanied by his lovely wife Andy. Worship was provided by Matthew Hanks and his worship team and our childrens groups had fun with Matt & Hannah Ashpole, Saskia Simm and Angel Beadle.
Gillian & Brian Philpott cooked their way through the weekend assisted by Stuart, Tony & Jenny. There were always plenty of tasty food to eat and we finally made our way through the cake mountain by Sunday afternoon.
Entertainment on Saturday came by way of the Wyllie family and a Ceilidh. Testing for many of us in the fitness and co-ordination department but lots of fun. Twinkle Toes Hanks, who is rumoured to be preparing for the next season of Strictly, putting most of us to shame!
Here's what others thought about the weekend:
"It was a real blessing to me, thank you."
"I thoroughly enjoyed the whole weekend, everything was just perfect, the teaching, the worship, the accommodation, the food. Spending time with my church family was such a blessing."
"First of all, thanks to all those who organised, cooked, made sure things were running well, and to those who led in teaching and worship. I think it was a great weekend with a good balance of fun and laughter! sharing, prayer, teaching, worship and of course eating! We were very blessed with beautiful weather and I would have liked to have been there for an extra day. Thank you everyone, most of all thanks to our amazing God because without Him we wouldn’t be getting together like this."
Come with us next time if you can.
Thanks to John Stebbings and Jill Swan for the photographs.
What a wonderful morning celebrating Duang's Baptism.
It was a lovely warm summers day to meet down on the beach at Gorleston. After the Baptism which was led by Rev MIke Simm, assisted by Sadie and Gary, we all headed back to Cliff Park Community Church for coffee and cakes and a moving service. During the service Duang gave her testimony.
CAP in Schools
Jan Gwyn and a team of CAP supporters went in to the local school to run CAP (Christians Against Poverty) Kids Money courses. The course helps children to understand how much everyday items cost, the concept of saving and how to make good choices when shopping. The children enjoyed the games and activities, which present the concepts of money and saving in fun ways. The team have been asked to return to run the course again in the future.
EASTER WAS A TIME OF SHARING
Lester Bullen is seen here leading the hymn singing at one of the stops along the route during the Good Friday March of Witness which this year went from Magdalen Square around Church Lane and Middleton Road ending at St.Mary Magdalene for
the 11am service and refreshments. All the local churches took part. We also joined with St. Mary Magdalene on Maundy Thursday for the communion service at which our minister Mike Simm was the speaker. On Easter Sunday several of us joined with St.Andrew's, Bradwell and St.Mary Magdalene churches for the sunrise service on the beach. Even if for once the sun didn't appear it was as always a joyous time to be able to declare early on Easter morning 'He is Risen, He is Risen indeed, Hallellujah!'
Open the Book Team - The Story of Joseph
There was some serious over-acting taking place during February when our wonderful Open the Book team performed the story of Joseph for us. Absolutely brilliant, well done team. Each month Open the Book visit the local infant and junior school to perform a bible story for the children as a way of sharing the word of God.
Carols by Candlelight
Candles light up Christmas Eve at Cliff Park
The simple Christingle service proved a big attraction at Cliff Park Community Church. It was the first time for three years the church had held a Christmas Eve family service and over a hundred people attended, enjoying putting together the traditional candles.
Christingle, which means ‘Light of the World’, originated in the Moravian Church in Germany in the 18th century where a priest invented the idea of a candle in an orange with a red ribbon as a way of conveying the story of Jesus to young people. It quickly caught on and in more recent years it has been revived and features in many churches. Morrisons supermarket in Gorleston kindly donated over 80 oranges to the church as part of their support for the local community. During the service children and grown ups were invited to put the Christingles together before the school hall lights were switched off and the candles lit for the singing of a carol.
The service was devised and led by Kids Church leaders Richard and Laura Revell who prepared some of the youngsters to read lessons and prayers. The talk was given by Paul Lilly who delighted everyone with his use of the Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear to explain why Jesus came. Minister the Rev Mike Simm explained the significance of the Christingle.
‘We decided to experiment with a Christmas Eve service after a break and it was very successful. The week before we also had a very full church for Carols by Candlelight and our annual Carols and Coffee service at Gorleston Pavilion on Advent Sunday attracted a record crowd. It just goes to show that the Christmas season still has a strong appeal and it provides us with a great opportunity to present the gospel and the meaning of Christmas.’ said the Rev.Simm.
There was a very warm welcome at Cliff Park Community Church in December when the carol service was lit by hundreds of candles. A large congregation filled the Cliff Park Junior School hall for the traditional service which was led by Jamie Wyllie with an illustrated talk from minister the Rev Mike Simm and a moving testimony from church member Alison Roberts. Prayers were led by Hilary Wyllie and the Bible reader was Jan Allen. Mince pies and mulled wine were served at the end. On the previous Sunday retired Baptist minister Richard Hughes preached to mark the church’s 18th birthday. Cliff Park Church was set up by St.Andrew’s and Gorleston Baptist Churches in December 1999. Richard Hughes was the Baptist minister at that time and one of the main founders of the church.
Carols & Coffee
Advent Service ‘The Most Accessible Christian Event’
We really did need the House Full sign up for Carols & Coffee at Gorleston Pavilion which this year moved forward to Advent Sunday and attracted a record 300 people. ‘We decided to put in all the extra chairs available, increasing it to eight a table and it was just as well since every seat was needed’ said organiser Tony Mallion. ‘All the publicity including invitations handed out at the High Street Christmas Fair really worked as we had quite a few new faces attending.’ The coffee bar even ran out of cups at one point and Jane the manager said it was the busiest they’d ever been. Above all was a wonderful opportunity to share the love and good news of Jesus and also to remind people about our special services throughout December. Dorothy McCabe commented: ‘Congratulations to you and the whole team for a wonderful start to Advent with such a clear message that these next four weeks are looking forward to celebrating the birth of Christ! It was an excellent service in all its diversity.’ The service began with Lester Bullen singing the opening verse of that ancient and wonderful carol ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel’ before our duo of Vicky Blanchard and Abi Oyawa joined in accompanied by Richard Revell on the keyboard which was a great opener followed by members of our teenage Q3 group – Abbie, Marissa, Gabe and Michael with leader Justin Hanks – presenting a dramatised reading of the Nativity story. For the first time our singers also took a solo spot with Richard accompanying and made ‘Mary Did You Know?’ and ‘Angels We Have Heard on High’ very special. The carols were, as always, led by the Great Yarmouth Future Brass under conductor Joel Heys who had a busy day with a concert at Christchurch straight after the Pavilion. Dom Allen’s testimony was really moving and fitted so well after Mike’s excellent talk. Tracy Mayne led the prayers and Anna Heydon and Stuart Hanks spoke with real passion about the The Living Room and its work among the homeless of the borough – the bucket collection in the foyer, with Michael and Gabe refusing to let anyone get past them, raised a record £670 for the charity. Church administrator Andrea said people began arriving at 9.30. One person who had brought a group of seven who were on the fringe of their church said they had all really enjoyed it, including the sermon, and appreciated all the work which had gone into it. They added it was the most accessible Christian event (that includes a preach), that they’d been to since moving to the area 18 months ago.
Bishop Alan joined us in October to lead our Communion service and bring us a talk based on Matthew 22 vs 1-10.
Children's Prize Giving Service
We are blessed at Cliff Park Community Church by our children and young people who attend the kids groups regularly and are exploring their own relationship with Jesus. Our recent Prize Giving service celebrated the youngsters and their group leaders. From the very youngest to those preparing to leave home for the first time, you make our family complete and bring us many smiles and encouragements with your words of hope and faith.
Family Fun Day
Here are a few photos from our recent All Age service 'It Can Be Hard To Be Generous' looking at verses from Luke 12 vs 13-31. To listen to Rachel's talk from the service visit our Weekly Sermons page.
Ordinary People for Extraordinary Things - that was the title for our All Age service during February. Sometimes it can feel like we don't have much to offer God to use compared to others. We need to confidently offer God what we do have so He can turn it into so much more. Our young people helped us to not only hear but see this by acting out the passages from John 6 verses 1-15.
2016 - A Wonderful Christmas Time...
It was lights out at Cliff Park Community Church on Sunday afternoon when the traditional Carols by Candlelight service was revived after a break of several years
The church worship band lead the singing of familiar carols with the church hall lit by scores of candles around the room. The service was followed with mulled wine and mince pies.
Hundreds of invitations, complete with a tea light candle stuck on them as a reminder, went out to the surrounding area inviting people along.
ON the third Sunday of Advent we were once again at the Pavilion Theatre in Gorleston for Carols & Coffee. A packed house enjoyed singing along to their favourite carols and watching the tableaux of the arrival of the three wise men acted out by our Kidz Church group. Great Yarmouth Future Brass and singers from the church worship band lead the singing.
It was the eighth year the service has taken place but it once again attracted a full house of almost 300 people and raised £650 with a voluntary bucket collection for the work among Syrian refugees of Christian relief organisation Tear Fund.
Our Christingle Service on 4th December was a fun afternoon filled with craft, stickers, festive treats to eat and the wonder of Jesus shown through the Christingles.
Rod's Big Day at the Beach
Rodney Farrants was baptised at Gorleston beach recently. Once again the sun shone down on us and, thanks to the preceding week being warmest week of the year, the sea was warm too.
Following the baptism it was back to church for coffee and cake and a chance to hear Rodney's testimony. Rodney feels that God has been with him all through his life, helping him to find the right job situations and protecting him when he had an accident at work too.
Building Firm Foundations for Future Generations
“We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord” Psalm 78v4
In February 2016 we were treated to a marvellous service full of energy, fun and smiles from our children’s groups. The service was led by James, accompanied by the younger members of our worship band. Prayers were read by members of our Q3 group and the younger children from A Team and Kidz Church helped us worship with some of their favourite action songs.
After 8's put on a short sketch based around starting your own business which highlighted the need to prepare well in order to help you through the tough times which may arise. We were blessed to see and hear the worship and light show which regularly helps our young people in Special Church draw nearer to God too.
During the coffee break a display was held in the small hall showcasing the work of all the different groups giving us an insight into what the children do on Sunday mornings. It was such an uplifting service and a privilege to see how the youngsters are growing in faith and enjoying themselves so much in the process.