Looking back and forward – 31 December 2013

We hope you had a very Happy Christmas and will enjoy a peaceful New Year.

Carols by Candlelight

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.

Final view before the big pack up began
Parkside stall at Maidenhead Festival

Aside from Christmas, we’ve had a busy 2013 with Family Services being held each month as well as enjoying a busy day with our stall at the inaugral Maidenhead Festival, back in the summer.

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.

Mike Wells

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:


Family Service and BBQ – 2nd September 2012

We had a great turnout for our latest Family Service, taken by Alan Michael from our series of Celebrations.

Around forty-five people joined us outside afterwards for our final BBQ of the year.

Fortunately the weather stayed largely dry and we were able to cook and serve the food outside, as well as being able to get out into the park to play some games afterwards.  It was a far cry from the same event last year!

Robert and Phil manning the September 2011 BBQ in monsoon conditions

It was great to welcome back some old friends as well as meeting some new ones.

Our next Family Service takes the form of a Family Tea and will be on 14th October.  We hope you’ll be able to join us then.

Family Service and BBQ – 17th June 2012

We had around 55 people for the latest in our series of Family Services on ‘Celebrations’ in the Bible.

This month included Victor chairing, a quiz from Alan and David Hedges speaking briefly on the story of the Lost Son.

Afterwards, everyone trooped out into the sunshine to enjoy freshly cooked burgers and sausages, followed by a range of desserts.

Following this, there were games in the park, including the ubiquitous Kubb!

Desserts are served in the shade of the marquee

Family Service and BBQ – 4th September 2011

Some forty people gathered for our latest Family Service and BBQ today.

With the planned speaker being unable to attend at the last minute it fell to Alan Michael to take up the baton in his place.

The service was once again chaired by David Hedges and began with the singing of Come and see followed by prayer.

Those present were tasked with choosing new team names for the Sunday Club teams and decided upon Bangers and Mash.

We then had a number of children’s choruses as usual before the memory verse for the month – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies”. – John 11:25.

Alan then came to speak on the subject of the raising of Lazarus, taken from John 11, and introduced Lazarus, Mary and Martha.

Lazarus then becomes ill and dies and Alan brought out the question as to why God allows suffering and bad things to happen to people who love him.  Lazarus died that God might be glorified through his death.  The Bible tells us that when Christians die it is like sleep as we have a great hope to look forward to when Jesus returns.

Jesus proves that He is the resurrection and the life by raising Lazarus back to life.  Many believed in Him as a result.

Jesus met the needs of Lazarus, Mary and Martha in different ways.

  • Remember – Look back and know that God loves you.
  • Review – Look at present circumstances.  God is with us.
  • Re-focus – Do we need to change our direction?  Are we disciples?  Remember that Jesus said ‘I am the resurrection and the life’.

We finished the service by singing Low in the grave and prayer.

The planned BBQ and games in the park had to be somewhat scaled back due to monsoon rainfall that fell during and after the Family Service.

Photo by Paul Cogger
Robert and Phil manning the BBQ in monsoon conditions

We had earlier set up a marquee to cook under, but ended up serving food in the back room and putting round tables in the main hall rather than in the park.

Photo by Paul Cogger
Burger or sausage, anyone?


Friends and Neighbours BBQ – 13th August 2011

Following some weeks of planning, we hosted our Friends and Neighbours BBQ today, between 5 and 7.30pm.

The weather was fine, with some cloud, but fortunately a lot drier than our equivalent BBQ last year.

Bunting set up with welcome tent in the background

We set up one marquee in the car-park and the second one out in the park.  In addition, we had a smaller marquee set out in the car-park as a welcome tent.  Here, Pam and Angela greeted visitors and gave them the option to wear a sticky label with their name on.

The welcome tent

By 5pm the BBQ was lit, the tents and bunting were in place and we had a good turnout from those at Parkside.

Robert at the BBQ
The marquee and BBQ in the car park

We had various quizzes ready as well as some games in the park and a treasure hunt.

The marquee and tables in the park

We were pleased to welcome some visitors along to the BBQ although were somewhat disappointed by the overall number of people joining us for the evening and will look to change things accordingly for next year.