We hope you had a very Happy Christmas and will enjoy a peaceful New Year.
We’ve had a great time over the Christmas period, particularly thinking about the real reason that we celebrate Christmas – that of the birth of the Lord Jesus at Bethlehem.
Our December Family Service was followed by an excellent Christmas lunch which proved to be very enjoyable. We also had over 80 people along for our Carols by Candlelight service on Christmas Eve, which was brilliant.
We had good numbers for our two BBQs in the summer and Mother’s Day Tea in March.
Our young people had a great weekend away at Swindon, where they studied the Seven Churches mentioned in Revelation, as well as at the annual camp in Romsey.
2013 also saw the commencement of our ‘Men’s Night’ and ‘Ladies Night’ activities. The men enjoyed a meal and also had a walk and BBQ evenings.
It’s also been a sad time in some ways as we said goodbye to Karla Cordell, back in January who had been suffering ill health for some years. Later in the year, we also bid farewell to Mike Wells who passed away after a period of illness. We had an excellent Thanksgiving Service for his life, with over 150 attending.
We’re thankful that both Karla and Mike are free from their discomfort and are with their Lord and Saviour. We continue to remember their families in prayer.
In practical matters, 2013 has also seen changes to the outside of the building. We put up a new sign on the front and also resurfaced the car park and created additional parking.
In 2014 we’re making some changes, as we begin our new discover service on 5 January.
This will be a combination of our monthly Family Services, our weekly Sunday Club and The Link Coffee Bar and will contain activities for all ages. We’ll begin with talks for the adults from the popular Christianity Explored course, for the first six weeks in January.
As a consequence of the changes on Sunday mornings, our Evening Service at 5.30pm on Sundays will no longer take place. Instead, we’ll be moving our Bible Teaching from Tuesday evenings to Sundays, beginning at 6pm. Our Prayer Meeting will also be moving from Thursday night to Wednesday night at 8pm.
We’re excited with the plans that lie ahead for 2014 and go into them all with an air of expectation and faith.
We don’t know what the Lord has in store for us at Parkside during the next year, but we look forward to every opportunity that we’ll have to tell others about our Saviour and what He has done for us.
Below are a few tweets from 2013:
I do not know what lies ahead, the way I cannot see; yet One stands near to be my guide, He’ll show the way to me:
After spending most of yesterday morning clearing up the hall following the recent painting and laying of the new carpet, everything was in place in time for our opening carol service this evening.
Like last year, the series is being hosted by Phil Bray and each of the four weeks consists of a similar format with a mixture of carols, a quiz and a short talk.
Tonight the carols were ‘O little town of Bethlehem’, ‘Away in a manger’, ‘See Him a-lying on a bed of straw’ and ‘Unto us a child is born’. We also enjoyed a debut performance from the Parkside Voices with Paul, Rachel and Judith singing their version of ‘Mary, did you know’? The accompaniment was a mixture of piano playing from Paul mingling with guitars from Jon and Judith.
Had a good time at our first carol service, today. An excellent debut from the 'Parkside Voices'. Week 2, #Joseph, is next Sunday at 4.30pm.
This year’s quiz consists of two teams – the Turkeys and the Crackers – each taking it in turns to remove a layer from a big parcel. This reveals an envelope containing a number between 1 and 24 which then gives a question for the team. The quiz will run over the four weeks with the final prize being revealed on 23rd December.
The speaker for the opening service was Alan, who had the subject of Mary and spoke bringing out her blessed nature.
The service was followed by a selection of mince pies and other festive treats as well as a hot drink.
The second in the series takes place next Sunday at 4.30pm, when we’ll be looking at the story through the eyes of Joseph, told by Paul.
This morning a group of us met up for prayer before we headed off to the High Street to hand out invitations for our Carols by Candlelight, held today at 5pm. We had a good time in the town and handed out well over 500 invite cards in less than half an hour.
Afterwards we regrouped and shared a coffee in Costa Coffee before heading home.
This is the first time that we have held a carol service on Christmas Eve and we were delighted with the response. Earlier in the week a group of us had gone carol singing, also for the first time, around the local roads and had handed out mince pies and sweets. This had also been very positive and well received.
Great night carol singing by candlelight. Mince pies, sweets & invites to our Christmas Eve carol service well received.
Some 80 people gathered with us this evening for our Carols by Candlelight service to enjoy a tradition mixture of the Christmas favourites and listen to something about the real meaning of Christmas.
The service was led by Alan Michael and began with the singing of Hark the herald angels sing, followed by prayer and a welcome to all.
The second carol was Silent Night, which was followed by a reading from Jeremy, based around the first subject in our ‘Step into Christmas’ series – Christmas: The Plan.
Some of the younger children from Sunday Club came up to sing Away in a manger. This was followed by our second reading, read by Phil Bray and set around verses to highlight Christmas: The Person.
Our fourth carol was Once in royal David’s city. After the carol, poems that the children had written about Christmas were displayed on the screen in the form of video clips showing them being read by their authors.
This was followed by our final readings which highlighted Christmas: The Purpose and were read by David Angell.
Our fifth carol was O little town of Bethlehem. After this, David Hedges came up to speak. He highlighted God’s present at Christmas – the sending of the Lord Jesus Christ into the world – and how easy it was to lose sight of this in among the distractions of Christmas.
Our final carol was O come all ye faithful which was followed by prayer.
Alan and David handed out presents for those who attend Sunday Club and explained that there was something for everyone to take away with the refreshments offered after the carol service.
Among other giveaways was a Parkside fridge magnet for 2012, which also proved somewhat popular.
Overall, it was a tremendous evening and really encouraging for us all to see the hall full. It’s definitely something that we’ll look to repeat next year.