Since January Soulfire (our 11-18s Youth Group) has embarked on a journey of "NT60" - reading the New Testament in 60 days. For the youth, the aim has been to touch base with every book of the New Testament at least once, with four readings a week. To help them on their journey, we've been reading the New Testament together on Sunday, providing videos in the week and reading together on some of our Friday sessions.
The Bell Tower is now in it’s fourth year of operation as an after school youth drop-in centre and is now a well established hub in the community for local young people. We have extended our work into local secondary schools, running assemblies and regular lunch time drop-in sessions to connect with those who have not yet made use of the centre.
The wonderful City Angels volunteers continue to go out on the streets in all weathers until the early hours on weekend evenings, helping anyone in need and bringing a calming presence to the city centre streets. The following statistics from January to December 2017 highlight the continued need for their presence:
Total number of people given assistance: 157 (222 including those involved in group fights)
Number of men given assistance: 94
Number of women given assistance: 78
Free drinks served: 1686
Length of time spent supporting individuals: 40+ hours
Number of times 999 called: 11
People found collapsed/unconscious: 10
Number of times CA intervened to stop/prevent escalation of group fights (often with police/door security) back up: 9
Incidences of potential drink spiking: 3+
Incidences when an individual was deemed vulnerable of sexual assault and were supported by CA: 3
As you can see, there is still a huge need for their presence on the streets – what would have happened to the 10 people found collapsed/unconscious, if they hadn’t been found by City Angels? City Angels continue to work closely with Sussex Police and all the door security men and women; as well as liaising with CCTV and working with City and District Councils.
City Angels have also been busy with other events – in January the volunteers celebrated with an end of year party; the following evening several volunteers were present at Chichester cathedral for the churches’ Unity Service – celebrating the work of many such essential voluntary projects run by different churches across the local area.
One night in January the City Angels team received a call on the radio from door security staff that had found a young lady at the back of The Vestry, vomiting and reluctant to move. City Angels took over, allowing the security team to go back to work. On the same night another young lady was found outside The Fountain, also vomiting and unable to walk – City Angels helped her back to the university campus and alerted Student Campus Security who were able to check up on her. City Angels then received a radio call from The Fountain to say that a lady had collapsed in the toilets upstairs, and was semi-conscious and having a seizure. City Angels were able to call her father and support her until her father arrived to take her home.
If you would like to volunteer please contact Lin Roberts admin@cityangels,org.uk
Thank you so much to all the highly committed and hard-working City Angels volunteers!
This Autumn, our church is looking at what we believe, and using the Nicene Creed as a basis for exploring this (this creed is an ancient declaration of the Christian faith dating back to AD325 and the early church communities). Last month, Dan Slatter asked us if we might create a short film recording of the creed. You may have already seen this film at church and recognise some of the voices on it!
We decided to record many different voices because we wanted to build a diverse picture of what it means to be part of church family – the young and old together, from many backgrounds and upbringings, all united in their love and adoration of Christ. So, on this recording you will hear Scottish, Irish, English and even Afro-French accents! In the western world we value highly our individualism with “I” and “my” being some of our most frequently used words. Christ knew that it was “we” - the church - that would become a beautiful family of relationships - his bride and treasure on earth. He knew that if we continued to view the world and understand ourselves with an “I” outlook, that we would fall to confusion or comparison. “We believe” is then a transforming creed, “we” are whole within the body, we are valued within the body and “we” are sheltered within the body.
We hope that the imagery we have woven into this film will help others who are on a journey of faith to distil, contemplate and rest in these ancient statements. We are “one” in belief, connected to our brothers and sisters of faith through many generations in Christ. “We” can play our part – not with fear, comparison or insecurity, but with confidence. “We” belong – accepted, loved, forgiven and free. “We” can rest when we are tired, question when we doubt, and be carried when we can no longer stand because we share in the love and the legacy of others who have gone before us.
Neil & Julie Haydock
Here are the words to this glorious declaration of Christian faith:
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
A Level results are out! We are thinking of those across the country who have now received their results. For many, these results will determine 'what's next'. Let's be praying for students who are coming to study here in Chichester this year, and for those returning in the coming weeks.
If you are coming to Chichester university this term, we'd love to hear from you. Keep an eye on our student Facebook page to stay up-to-date with freshers and autumn term events: www.facebook.com/revelationfamilystudents/
Dwell - Neil & Julie's new album!
If you were at church on Sunday 2nd July you'll know that we were interviewed about our prayer resource - Prayerscapes. We’re super-excited to announce the release of our new album “Dwell”, now available via iTunes, Amazon and on our site at prayerscapes.com.
Some of the material on “Dwell” is taken from the videos that you may already have seen in some of our church meetings. The album weaves inspirational poetry, foundational scripture and song ministry together with filmatic soundtracks.
"If you are looking for a recording all about Biblical meditation and reflection you won't find anything better than the prayerscapes albums. We've used them for years at our creative prayer workshops. What makes Dwell even more a winner for us is that a lot of our talented friends are involved on it. Yet again Neil & Julie prove that they have a God given talent by producing this unique new album."
Ishmael & Irene Smale
(Ishmael - singer/songwriter - writer of "Father God, I wonder" and numerous children's albums.)
Much of the material on the new album has been born out of some of our life experiences over the last few years. "May the Road Rise Up to Meet You" came out of praying for Julie, soon after our second child was born. I stumbled over this ancient Celtic blessing and found myself praying/singing it for her. It became a gentle reminder that whatever stresses we face (and these were plentiful with a small baby & a six year old child!) God holds us in the palm of His hand, and His faithfulness and love will never let us go:-
Other tracks have emerged from flashes of inspiration and creativity. The words to the track "Prayer Connects" came to Julie as one continuous stream of ideas - she scribbled the words down with the aid of a torch during the middle of the night! The poem is read by the wonderful Ant Stewart and is about God's amazing gift of prayer, charting the many different ways in which we encounter this gift in our lives:-
There are also tracks on the album which take the form of ministry songs, such as "Take my Hand". This song seeks to carry the love, grace, healing and hope that we have in Christ for those who are suffering. We played this track a couple of weeks ago in our morning meeting together:-
Dwelling is about finding a home, about connection with our Eternal Creator, pushing our roots deep into God’s Kingdom. To find “home“ we need to settle, unpack, relax and feel welcome. ”Dwell” is an open door leading us to moments that crystallize our beliefs, shelter our troubled hearts and inspire us to connect, to rest and to seek after the love of Christ.
It's possible to explore the album further by visiting this page and clicking on the samples from the tracks on "Dwell". Clicking on the track titles will take you to the lyrics, scriptures and poems that are on the album. Here you can also buy the album, either as mp3s or as a good old physical CD!
Neil & Julie
Robert Armstrong has started up a blog called “Easy Money” to help and encourage people to manage their money better, and he already has quite a few followers in Revs. Here’s a link to it:
He says his blog is about “making it easier to manage money on a day-to-day basis by organising our finances so that we only have to think really hard about money (which we don’t like doing) very occasionally.”
Robert is also the point of contact for Christians Against Poverty (CAP) within Revelation Family Church and recently trained as a CAP Money Coach. CAP helped more than 8,000 families in the UK with financial problems last year.
Robert believes that how we manage our money is central to our walk with God, and when Jesus said “I have come to set the captives free”, this includes being free from debt and financial worries.
Chichester Anna Chaplain to Older People
Part-time, 14 hours a week £7,200 - £9,200 pa dependent on experience
The Anna Chaplaincy is a post promoting the spiritual wellbeing of older people. It is a pioneering role offering spiritual support to older people living in care homes, sheltered housing and within the community. It includes supporting relatives, friends, and care staff. The Anna Chaplain will recruit, support and sustain volunteers in this work.
The Anna Chaplain also has a wider role within the community as an advocate and champion of the contribution older people make to society. This is an opportunity to draw alongside people of all faiths and none, as well as encourage the wider church to celebrate and cherish older members of their congregations.
The applicant would be part of a growing ecumenical network of such chaplains, developing links with our national partners, the Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF), through the Gift of Years – “resourcing the spiritual journey of older people.”
It is an occupational requirement for the person appointed to be a professing and practising Christian (Equality Act 2010).
The role is a part-time one of 14 hours a week, times to be agreed though some flexibility will be required, increasing to 21 hours following a review of the service. Enhanced DBS and references will be required.
Chichester Anna Chaplaincy is registered 1172058 with the Charity Commission.
For more details and how to apply, please visit Chichester Cathedral’s website at: www.chichestercathedral.org.uk (go to the About Us tab then to Job Vacancies).
The closing date for applications is Monday 15th May by 17.00hrs.
Interviews will be held on Tuesday 6th June 2017.
It is highly desirable that the appointee be available to attend the formal launch of the Chaplaincy in Chichester on 7th July
NT60 - RICH LUSH
As we head towards the final couple of weeks in the New Testament, it felt like the perfect time to reflect on this season. I don’t know about you, but for me there has been some real challenge in what I’ve read. Not only in terms of the scriptures, but practically fitting it in as well. Life is busy, as I’m sure we’re all aware and reading four chapters some days feels like more effort then perhaps we’re willing to put in.
Still, it has been a great joy to engage with the scriptures. For me it has felt like someone has put me on a physical workout plan or set diet for a season - and I feel the benefits of that in my daily walk. I’ve found that parts of scriptures have come alive in a way that I’d never really felt before. The book of Acts no longer felt like a record of events, but a story where I felt Paul’s pain as he said goodbye to the leaders of the Ephesian church for the last time, knowing that prison awaited him next. Where I could read about the churches he visited and read the letters he wrote to those same churches, whether he wrote in excitement to them or in desperation.
Reading through the letters, it was good to be reminded that the culture Paul was speaking to was not completely removed from our own as so often is claimed. Instead these were churches, much like our own, were working through day to day life, with ordinary people wanting to live a Godly extraordinary life, whilst dealing with fear and worry, questions around death and life, issues of how to connect with the culture and how to be a light to it. The world they lived in was filled with sexual promiscuity, drunkenness, con-men, judgment and a government that petrified many of them by the actions they took. This could easily be any English city.
For me all of this reminds me again and again that this book that we hold is still as relevant today as it has ever been - it still carries a great weight and is still a model of God’s authority in our life. When I don’t know the answer to an issue, the answer is probably in the Bible. And if it isn’t, then the way to work it out has probably already been modelled in the Bible!
Too often our culture wants to claim that this book is worthless, but it should be precious to us - as it holds truth in a world that wants to claim there is no truth.
In closing, I don’t know whether we’ve realised how revolutionary this time has been, to be a modern church intentionally reading their Bible heavily over a set season - there are plenty of churches out there whose congregations don’t read the word - whose pastors, as I read today, have said we need to stop “valuing” it in the same way; but I would argue that the Bible is no less relevant today then it was 2,000 years ago, and when we feast on His word through the eyes of the Holy Spirit and put it into action, both practically, thoughtfully and prayerfully, we will see His Glory.