Saturday, June 30, 2012

Facilities Support Assistant

We're currently advertising for a new role within our facilities department. Anne Lloyd who has been our star cleaner for a number of years now has moved on to pastures new, and James Evans who has been doing a great job as our Facilities Assistant is also moving on. With this in mind we have created a new full time position within the Church for a Facilities Support Assistant. The role involves both keeping the buildings to a high standard of cleanliness, as well as room set ups, basic maintenance and grounds work and assisting the Facilities Manager in the day to day running and repair of all our areas as we continue to expand.

If you have enthusiasm and a desire to take on a new role whereby you can be an integral part of our environment, and want to gain some great knowledge, skills and experience in facilities, then please either pick up an application pack from reception, or speak to Ali Hudell our HR administrator for further details. The closing date is 12th July and interviews will be held on the 24th and 25th July.



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bring Your Stuff Sunday (and Monday)

Hopefully by the end of July we'll have the K4 Kerith shop up and running. This coming Sunday (1st July) we're going to have a "bring your stuff" day as part of the process of getting enough stock for the opening.

If you're coming to the morning meetings please bring your donations to the College car park where they will be collected. At the evening meeting please bring your donations directly to K2.

If you can't bring your stuff on Sunday then you can bring donations to K2 on Monday 2nd July from 9.30am until 3pm.

Catriona Mitchell will need willing hands to help to sort donations from 9.30am until 9pm on Monday 2nd July. If you can volunteer any help please come along to K2 during those times.

Catriona says the following things are what we initially need:

  • Clean adult and children’s clothing, shoes, accessories, handbags – in good saleable condition - not ripped, damaged or stained.
  • Bric a brac, collectables, crockery, china, homeware –all in good saleable condition.
  • Toys in good condition.
  • Linens and other household items,
  • Jewellery; art work; CDs; DVDs.
  • Small electrical items only. We cannot take large items.
At the moment we don't need any furniture or books. In the future we will also accept textiles (clothing household linen etc) which can be recycled in our recycling facility, but not yet please.

If you can't bring stuff on Sunday or Monday then please just hang on to it, as there will be plenty of opportunities to donate in the future.

Thank you so much in advance to everyone who is able to donate - rest assured that all the money raised will be going to fund projects to bless our local community.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Crazy Days

I'm in the middle of a crazy few days of life.

Friday and Saturday were the women's conference, which was amazing with Catrina and Shauna Niequist bringing so much practical, Godly, down to earth advice on doing life well. Sunday was Aaron Nequist leading us in his new liturgy, which was so refreshing and old but new. Then in the afternoon Catrina and I had the privilege of taking Shauna and Aaron round Windsor (their older son Henry loved all the guns and cannons at the castle, Shauna loved Cath Kidston!).

Today in a few minutes I'm off to BlueArc / Hitachi to do my 'other job' for a few hours. Then this afternoon I'm off with Catrina and Pat and Geoff Hallett for a garden party with the Queen (no really, I am).

Tuesday is a day in London with a group of leaders at Westminster Chapel, then Wednesday through to Saturday is ministry reviews with the elders where we review how church is going and come up with plans for the future. Then it's Sunday again :)

But right now I'm taking one of the pieces of advice from Saturday. Catrina has dropped me off close to BlueArc, I've bought a bacon and egg roll from a van and I'm sat looking out over the little lake by Cable and Wireless, talking to God about the weekend (and writing this blog). I can feel my soul be replenished, and God giving me all I need to get through these crazy few days.

Please be kind to yourself this week. You may feel that you're in a season that makes mine seem tranquil. Whatever is happening with you find those stops in the middle of it all to recalibrate, and refocus your attention on God and all that he has for you.

Hope you have a great week,


Friday, June 22, 2012

England v Italy on Sunday Night

I'm very aware that the Euro 2012 England v Italy game kicks off at 7.45pm on Sunday evening. I realise that may cause some issues for those of you in our community who are both football fans and either English or Italian :)

If you really can't face missing the match, then can I encourage you to come to church in the morning and watch it in the evening guilt free.

If you really can't face watching the football then come to both the morning and the evening meetings!

And if like me you want to do both then come in the evening, and we'll all settle down in the auditorium once the meeting is over to watch the second half on the big screen. Should be a great way to finish off what is shaping up to be a brilliant weekend.

Simon (who really had no great expectations of England doing well so is going to be quite happy whatever the result!).


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Aaron Niequist

For all of us who won't get to hear Shauna Niequist speak at the women's conference, we'll have the privilege of having her husband Aaron lead us in a time of reflective worship at all three meetings on Sunday. Shauna and Aaron are part of Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, and Aaron is one of the main worship leaders there. It will be a bit different on Sunday in that we'll have our 'normal' time of worship, then what Aaron leads us in will be in place of the sermon. I'm really looking forward to it, hope you are too!

Also just a reminder that on Sunday we've got our next gift day for paying off the interest free loans for the reception redevelopment. The total needed is now below £125,000 so please be thinking about what you're going to give.

Hope to catch you over the weekend,



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Get to Real

Today I'm working on my talk for the Real women's conference, which is this weekend on Friday night and all day Saturday. So much effort has gone into planning the conference, and it's going to be an amazing 24 hours, so please ladies don't miss out if you can possibly get there.

Tickets are still on sale, either online or from reception, and the girls have just announced a special Friday night only rate for those who can't make the Saturday (you still get the goody bag and lots of the other treats I've heard).

Hope to see you there (and if any men fancy coming and joining me on the front row to make me feel less outnumbered that would be great!).


Monday, June 18, 2012

Earth is not our Home

I spoke on Sunday on how in the story of the two lost sons (or the prodigal son) in Luke 15, we have a picture of the story of the whole of the Bible. At the heart of that story is the reality of our human condition, that that because of sin and the separation it has caused us from God we are all in a sense away from home, away from the relationship with our heavenly Father which we were all created for. That leaves every one of us with an inner sense that there must be more to life than just this world, a longing to find meaning and purpose in our lives, and an unquenchable desire for intimacy and unconditional love.

I recently saw a short film by our friend Erwin McManus which explores this craving for more, through a series of interviews with people living in Calgary in Canada. It's not only beautifully filmed but also thought provoking in the questions it raises. It's only 30 minutes long so can I suggest choosing a time when you've got a spare half an hour and sit down and enjoy it. You can find it on YouTube here.

I'd love to hear your comments on it. I know the theme of earth not being our home resonated with a number of people who spoke to me after the meetings on Sunday - we may well spend some time thinking about it more in a sermon series soon.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Fun Filled Fathers Day


Just a reminder not to miss out on our fun filled Fathers Day.

In the morning we've got a petting farm down the side of K2 between the 9 and 11, and after the 11. My daughter for one is incredibly excited by that! We'll also be having food during the meeting - we are after all celebrating the Feast of the Father as the final part of our prodigal God series.

Then from 4.30pm there is all sorts of excitment going on in the car park with sumo wrestling, a football cage, human table football, a bouncy castle, food, live music and much more. Then at 7pm we'll be meeting for an hour, again celebrating the Feast of the Father, finishing the evening with more live music, drinks and food (if there's any left!).

Please come, and please be thinking about who else you can invite to come and celebrate Fathers Day.



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Kerith Shop

For those of you who haven't heard we're going to be opening a Kerith shop! It's going to be a 'high end' charity shop trading under the name "K4 - Kerith for the Community".

The shop will have four primary aims:

  • To make money for community projects. Our primary funding for community projects will continue to be church giving, but the extra money we raise will allow us to do more to serve our local community.
  • To give Kerith a presence in the town centre, where we can continue our ethos of serving people well and let people know about what we are up to as a church.
  • Providing supported volunteer opportunities giving people less able a hope and a future and a way to contribute to society.
  • Training people up with skills to help with job prospects.
The shop is 27 Charles Square in Bracknell town centre, which you can find if you walk down to town past the banks, turn left at the bandstand, turn right when you get to the fountain and it's straight in front of you! For those who know the area it's the shop to the right of Bar Torino. Here's what it looks like now:

We've now signed all the contracts and have the keys, so work is about to begin on fitting the shop out, ready for opening in 4 to 6 weeks time. We will be employing a full time manager for the shop - if you're interested in that role you can pick up an application pack from reception. The shop will be open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

We'll also be looking for an army of volunteers, both over the next few weeks to help with the refit of the shop, and longer term to sort the stock and greet all the customers. Catriona Mitchell is overseeing the whole of the project, but she's away on a well deserved break at the moment so in the meantime if you're able to help then please email Richard White at

We'll also be having a 'bring your stuff' Sunday on the 1st July where you can bring all those things you don't need any more but haven't yet got rid of. I'll give details on exactly what sort of things we're looking for nearer the time - in the meantime please hold on to it and don't start dropping it off at the Kerith Centre as that could quickly become unmanageable!

We're working in partnership with the Trussell Trust, the people we partner with in Foodbank, to open the shop, and also getting advice from our friends at Kings Community Church in Hedge End who run a chain of very succesful charity shops.

Hope that all makes sense. If not, or you have any questions, you know where to find me!



Friday, June 8, 2012

CAP Money on Saturdays

Lots of people have benefitted from the CAP Money courses we have been running, but a number of people have said they'd love to do the course but can't make a Tuesday night. In response to that Helen Dodwell and her team are going to be running a course on a Saturday morning in the Brook Lounge in the Kerith Centre.

Each session will start at 10am, finishing at 11.30am, and the first Saturday course will start on the 16th June, followed by the 30th June and 14th July.

You can get more information on the course and register here, or pick up a form from reception and fill it in. If you haven't done the course then please consider doing it, as it has the potential to transform how you look at your finances, and your overall financial wellbeing.



Cushions on Sunday

One of the chapters in the Peach and the Coconut is about Artists and how each of us, created in the image of God, has a creative element. This needs to find expression if we are to be all God created us to be. Different people will express their creativity differently, it might be singing, writing, painting, fixing cars, baking cakes or starting companies. As a church we want to give full expression to different peoples creativity.

To that end Catherine Barrett and Rodney Dee came to me a while ago with an idea to express their creativity in some pieces of art around the Kerith Centre. As a start from this Sunday you may notice some random cushions around on the seats. Don’t worry, as these are part of the art project that Rodney and Catherine are doing. They are looking to gather information from people who attend Kerith, which will later be used for future art interventions within the church. All information gathered will be anonymous, so I would just like to encourage you to look out for the cushions on Sunday and add your comments. There will be the opportunity to respond to different questions on cushions over the coming weeks, so look out for them around the auditorium. This is a great way for you to voice your thoughts.

If you have any further questions or would like to know more about this project please speak to Rodney or Catherine at the end of the meeting, or you can also find out more about the project from the link to their blog.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Prodigal God and Being Single

I hope you've had a great Jubilee weekend. I really enjoyed the extended holiday and getting time to slow down for a bit.

On this coming Sunday morning I'm going to be preaching part 5 of the Prodigal God series. Any of you who were away last Sunday can catch part 4 here. I'm really enjoying the series and a whole new dimension it's given me on what it means to be lost - I hope you're enjoying it too.

Then in the evening our good friend Adrian Holloway is going to be with us. One of the times Adrian came to us last year he sent me a number of his sermons to see which one we thought he should preach. There was one on the challenges and opportunities of being single, which although it didn't seem to fit with where we were at last year, would I thought be really good for us to hear in the future. Adrian is going to bring that message on Sunday night, and I think it will be really good for everyone in our community to hear it. Adrian is going to unpack what the Bible has to say about being single, some of the benefits, some of the potential pitfalls and how God can use us whatever stage of life we're in.

Hope to see you Sunday,


Kerith Staff Team Opportunities

Further to my recent blog about the Kerith Konnections Manager role, we’ve got two more opportunities to let you know about.

Firstly, we’re sorry to be saying “Goodbye” to Bill Clague from the finance team. Bill has counted more offerings, posted more journals and settled more expenses than most of us have had hot dinners! He’s a much loved member of the office team, and although he’s moving on we’re delighted he’s still very much part of the Kerith community. As a result, we’re now recruiting for a new part-time Accounts Assistant, reporting to Helen Dodwell, our finance controller.

Secondly, James Evans is stepping back from the Sunday reset team, where he’s probably laid out even more chairs than Bill has settled expenses! Another gem of a team member, again, we’re delighted he’s staying with us and we’re now recruiting this vital role that enables us to gear up for our weekly Sunday meetings. The role reports to Gary Scull, our facilities manager.

If you know someone who might be interested, or are interested in finding out more for yourself, you can pick up an application pack from the Kerith Reception, or check out the job descriptions online here. We’d love to hear from you – please contact with any questions.





Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The One Conference

if you're wondering what to do for your summer holidays, you might want to consider going to the One Conference which is on the Lincolnshire Showground from the 24th - 28th August. It's headed up by a guy called Stuart Bell, who is the father of Dave Bell who recently came down with his band the Moment, and who is a good friend of mine. The speaker lineup for the conference looks really good, other than one slightly suspect speaker from Bracknell!

You can find more details about the conference here, and there are some fliers about it at reception. Catrina and I will be there for all 5 days of the conference. Please come and have a chat with me if you'd like any more information.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Konnections Manager

Those of you who were at last week’s prayer meetings will know that Karen Mehta is going to be stepping down as the manager of Konnections, our ministry supporting disabled children and their families.

Karen has been managing Konnections for the last three years, although she has been involved for much longer than that. She has made an outstanding contribution to both expanding Konnections as a ministry, and making sure that it continues to provide a lifeline to a large number of families. Konnections has an excellent reputation both with the families it supports and within the local community, much of which is down to Karen and her leadership.

Finding the right person to succeed Karen is incredibly important for us as a community. I've included a copy of the job description below. If you're interested in applying then please contact Ali Huddell for further details, or you can pick up an application pack from reception on Sunday or during the week. And let's all be praying for the right person to come forward, as we seek to be more and more of a blessing to our local community.



Konnections Manager Job Description

Kerith Konnections provides support to families with children with disabilities and additional needs through a variety of programmes and initiatives and as a practical expression of God’s love.

A significant part of Konnections’ activity is the provision of Saturday and holiday respite care under an agreement with Bracknell Forest Council. This agreement runs to the 31st March 2013 and the tendering process for the following years will take place this autumn.

The current Konnections Manager is stepping down after three years in the role and a new Konnections Manager is sought to build on the substantial growth and development of Konnections over that period.

This is a significant role both within the local community and within the Church’s Social Justice Team. The right candidate will have the leadership and strategic skills needed to lead a ministry of the size and complexity of Konnections and to build on what has been achieved so far.

Whilst an interest in the area of children’s disability and additional needs and a qualification or background in education or Early Years would be an advantage, more important are a passion to see Konnections operate to a high standard, the vision to take the ministry to its next level and the ability to manage and develop teams which deliver excellence, all combined with a compassion for the families that Konnections seeks to support.

The role will also include liaising closely with the Local Authority, implementing and following the relevant regulations and Ofsted requirements, championing and promoting Konnections in the local community and the proactive oversight of fundraising and grant applications and awards.

For more information on the programmes and initiatives in which Konnections is involved, please see the Konnections pages on the church website

For an application pack for this role please contact Ali Hudell on or 01344 828867


Friday, June 1, 2012

Fathers Day

We've got a really great Fathers Day lined up for the 17th June.

Across the day I'll be preaching the last week of the Prodigal God series, focussing on the Feast of the Father. It's a powerful message, and will finish the series off really well.

In the morning we'll also be serving bacon butties during the meeting (with a veggie option), and then between the 9 and the 11, and after the 11 we'll have a petting farm over by K2 with a cow, ducks and all manner of other animals for the children (and adults) to enjoy. We're also encouraging children to come in animal fancy dress if they want to.

From 4.30pm in the afternoon we're going to have a whole load of entertainment in the Kerith Centre car park, with football, sumo suit wrestling, bouncy castles and live music from the Favours (fronted by Ben Pocock).

Then at 7pm we'll have a shortened meeting, with worship lead by the Favours and me speaking. Before and after the meeting (assuming we don't run out) we'll be serving hot dogs (again with a veggie option).

Please be thinking about who you can invite to what is going to be a brilliant day. There are business card sized invites which you can pick up from reception - featuring our very own Kerith cow!

Hope to see you there,