Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Serenje Update - 22nd June 6.45-8.00pm

Apologies for the short notice, but tomorrow night (Thursday 22nd June) Anne Mumbi from Tearfund Zambia is going to be giving an update on the progress of the Serenje Dormitory, and the Umoja project which we've been sponsoring there for the last couple of years. It will be in the Kerith Centre from 6.45-8.00pm. If you are able to come it would be helpful if you could sign up here so we have some idea of numbers.

Then next Tuesday Leah Mutala, who oversaw the whole of our HIV/AIDS project in Serenje, is arriving in the UK. She'll be with us for the REAL women's conference, and the following Sunday where we'll have a chance to hear from her. It will be great to see her again, and to have an opportunity to thank her for the the time and energy she gave to making both the HIV/AIDS project and the dormitory such a success.


Ps - Hope you're enjoying the sunshine! We've just had a cooling system installed in the Kerith Centre auditorium which hopefully will transform it from one of the hottest places in Bracknell to one of the coolest :)


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Jacqui and Alex Trekking across Iceland

I get lots of people asking me to help tell others about sponsored events they're taking part in. Much as I'd love to say yes to all of them, I usually say no as otherwise my blog would be nothing but an endless list of sponsorship requests!

However, every now and again a request comes along which really catches my attention. That's the case with two amazing people in our community, Jacqui Bowden-Excell and Alex Calce. They are soon heading off to Iceland for a sponsored trek. This would be a big challenge for most of us, but as you read Jacqui's description below of the health challenges she faces you'll realise just quite what a challenge it is going to be. I'm so proud of Jacqui's bravery, and Alex for stepping out to support Jacqui in what she's doing.

Please take a look, and cheer them on in any way you can.

Thanks so much,



I am taking part in Icelandic Lava Trek in July this year. Host to some of Europe’s most incredible wilderness, it will involve trekking 58kms through one of the planet’s most volcanic regions, weaving through vast steaming lava fields, thundering waterfalls, plunging fjords and spouting geysers and walking against a background of multi-coloured rocks. The terrain is very challenging with steep climbs and rough descents.

I have Usher Syndrome, which is a genetic condition affecting my hearing and sight. I am profoundly deaf and have limited sight – tunnel vision and am registered blind. I am raising the money towards Sense, the national (UK) voluntary organisation working with and supporting peoples of all ages who are deafblind.

If you would like to sponsor us please follow this link.

Thank you so much,



Thursday, June 1, 2017

Windsor Vision and Prayer Meeting - 4pm on 11th June

We're taking the next step in the launch of our Windsor site when we hold a vision and prayer meeting at All Saints Church in Dedworth (SL4 4JW) on Sunday 11th June at 4pm. We'll make time to worship, hear the vision behind the Windsor site, pray for ourselves and the other churches in Windsor and talk about what the future holds. We'll also have a limited programme for children. There's plenty of parking around the church - we'll be serving drinks from 3.30pm.

We'll hold a similar meeting on Sunday 9th July, then starting from the 10th September we'll have a monthly meeting which will look more like the regular Sunday meetings on our other sites - all of these at 4pm at All Saints Church. For the meetings from September onwards (which generally will be the second Sunday in the month) we'll have a full kids programme and do everything else to replicate what happens in Bracknell and Sandhurst on a Sunday.

I'd encourage everyone with any interest in what is going on in Windsor to come along on the 11th, whether you're planning on making Kerith Windsor your home or not. It will be great to have you along to pray, and to encourage Leon Johnson and the rest of the team.

Hope to see you there!


Ps - a huge thank you to the Rev. Louise Brown and the team at All Saints Dedworth who have been incredibly welcoming to us. We're so grateful to them making their building available to us for these meetings.


Friday, May 26, 2017

Celebration for the life of Val Cottee

A service to celebrate the life of Val Cottee is going to be held at the Kerith Centre in Bracknell at 12.30pm on Thursday 8th June. Val's sons Simon and Dave would like to invite everyone who knew Val to come along to remember her life and give thanks for how much she meant to so many of us. After the service everyone is invited to stay for drinks and refreshments.

Parking at the Kerith Centre is going to be very tight, especially given that it's also Election Day and our K2 building is being used as a polling station so we won't be able to park outside K2. I'm therefore asking everyone, other than family and those with a Blue Badge, to park in one of the town centre car parks (the Charles Square car park is closest to the Kerith Centre).

Many thanks,


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Kerith Golf Society

Whenever I meet somebody visiting us on a Sunday one of my first thoughts is always "how can I help this person to find community and friendship in the life of the church". It's so key that people begin to build relationships which go deeper than just saying hello on a Sunday. Where they can find a depth of friendship where they can begin to take of the masks and both get and give support in all the ups and downs of life.

As a church we try to make as many ways as possible for people to make those connections. From courses to life groups to interest groups to serving groups, they are all opportunities to start to build friendships at a deeper level. One of those groups is our Golf Society, and Andy Emery who heads it up asked if he could have a bit of space on my blog to let people know about it. So here goes :)



Saturday 29th April saw the first Kerith golf event of the year being played at Pine Ridge golf course. Following bacon rolls, coffee and a catch-up, men of Kerith and their friends started their 5km trek following a little, white ball. Navigating sand, water and trees with the aim of getting that same ball into 18 different holes before heading back to the club house for a well deserved drink and prize giving.

The Kerith Golf Society is made up of around 40 men with a wide range of ages and golfing ability. Whilst there are 6 organised games per year at local golf courses across Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey, there is no requirement to play every game. A typical game would consist of between 16 and 20 golfers.

The golf days are open to everyone, whether you're new to the sport or you've been playing for years. All that's asked is that you've played golf before, have an understanding of golf etiquette and have a handicap, official or otherwise, of 28 or less. They provide a great opportunity to build friendships with other golfing men whilst enjoying friendly competition and exercise. Its also a really good environment to invite golf-loving work colleagues, neighbours and other non-Christian friends into; most enjoy it so much that they then end up playing regularly.

If you would like to join the mailing list or get more information about Kerith Golf Society, including the list of events in 2017, please contact Andy Emery by emailing


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Safeguarding Training

One of our highest priorities as a church is to make sure that all the children who acces our various meetings are kept safe. To that end I'm so pleased that we've got the amazing Hilary Hulme working as our Safeguarding Officer. Hilary does untold amounts of work, so much of it unseen, to make sure the environment we provide for children and vulnerable adults is as safe as it possibly can be.

To that end one of the things Hilary arranges is for everyone working with under 18's in or community to attend safeguarding training every three years. I attended one of these courses recently and found it both helpful and sobering as to what we need to do and be looking out for, and what can go wrong if we don't do our job properly.

Here are some details on the forthcoming courses:

  • It’s a Bracknell Forest course which Hilary delivers on behalf of the Local Child Safeguarding Board.
  • In order to comply with government guidance everyone who volunteers with under 18s needs to do the course.
  • The training needs to be renewed every 3 years.
  • Some people may have completed the course through their work or through another voluntary organisation so they don’t need to come to the Kerith one. If so you just need to let Hilary know you've already completed a course and send her a copy of your certificate.
  • Hilary has arranged 4 dates in June on different days of the week to enable people to do the training (you only need to book one date!).

The dates are as follows. Just click on the link to register for that particular date:

All the courses will take place on our Bracknell site.

If this applies to you please serve Hilary and our children well by booking into one of these courses. And if you see Hilary around please take time to thank her for the amazing job she's doing for our community.

Many thanks,



Monday, May 22, 2017

Generous Gift Days - Cinnamon Update

In December 2015 we held what we called our Generous gift day where the goal was to raise a load of money and give it all away!

As part of that we were able to give £25,000 to Cinnamon Network, an organisation which gives micro grants to churches looking to set up social justice projects. We got an update from Cinnamon on what they'd done with the money in June 2016, but for reasons I'm not quite sure of we never shared the update publicly - sorry about that! I therefore wanted to rectify that by sharing the update here.

Please take a moment to read it as it's so exciting to hear the difference the money made, and I'm sure continues to make, to churches in Northern Ireland.