Saturday, June 29, 2013

Job Opportunity: Events Co-ordinator

In preparation for our Multisite launch in September we have a new part-time Events Co-ordinator role available on our staff team. The Events team plans and brings to life the hosting experience for all of our Sunday meetings and large Events, too. We’re after someone who can serve different teams to enabling hosting to a high standard across multiple venues. Sound fun?

The role is a blend of both admin (to provide the tools the teams need) and people skills (to grow and build the volunteer teams). As well as Sundays we also run other large Events throughout the year. Here, there’s plenty to do on the day, but also lots of preparation work from registering guests to providing them with badges – anything that helps people feel at home and get the most from their experience with us.

We’ll need you between 16hrs and 20hrs per week. We’ll fix that in our discussions with you based on your availability. The role reports to Sue Ranger, our Events Manager, and is part of our Ops team based in our Barn Office near Wokingham. You’ll play a full role in staff life at Kerith, too.

If you think this is for you, or for someone you know, application packs (including a full job description) are available at Reception, or by contacting Ali Hudell via the who's who page on the website. Please get those applications in by 15th July in preparation for interviews on 25th July. We really look forward to hearing from you.


Friday, June 28, 2013

Adoption and Baptism

Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) (Ephesians 1:5 MSG)

We've got another really exciting Sunday coming up. As the next part of our "Family Portrait" series we're exploring what it means to be adopted into God's family. I'm going to be talking with Sharon Klitgaard about her experience of being an adopted child, and all that she has learnt through that about what it means to be an adopted child of God. Chatting with Sharon has helped me have a whole new level of understanding of my relationship with God - I'm confident it will do the same for you.

We're also baptising people in all three meetings, with ten people being baptised across the day. As always we'll hear inspiring stories of how God has moved in the lives of some very precious people.

Please plan to be there on Sunday, and be thinking about who else you can invite along. Hope to see you there!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Final Final Reminder - Major General Tim Cross Breakfast

We've still got some spaces left at the breakfast with Major General Tim Cross this Friday morning (28th June, 7am at the Bracknell Hilton). I really don't want any leaders to miss out on this, as I know from previous stuff with Tim how inspiring he is going to be, so if you're not booked in already and can make it then please come.

We're already supposed to have given the Hilton the final numbers, but I'm sure they won't mind cooking for a few more if we get the extra numbers to them early tomorrow (Thursday) morning. To be fair to them we really need to do that by 10am, so if you're not already booked in but would like to come then please before 10am tomorrow morning either book in online here or phone the Kerith Centre reception on 01344 862699 and leave your details either on the answer phone or give them to the receptionists. If you can then bring the £15 cost in cash on Friday morning that would be really helpful.

Hope to see you there,


Giving to Grow - July Gift Day

The July "Giving to Grow" gift day is fast approaching on the 7th July. Already we've raised over £116,000 in these gift days, which has allowed us to pay the deposit and legal fees on the house we're buying from Bracknell and Wokingham College, repay a large chunk of the money still owing for the reception redevelopment, upgrade the Brook Lounge, Rochdale Room and the old main office for use by kids, nursing mums and youth on a Sunday and courses and other groups midweek, and give money away nationally and internationally,

The July gift day is all about us raising the money for our new site in Sandhurst (the picture is from our recent All Leaders Meeting which we held in the hall we'll be using in Sandhurst School). We're going to start meeting there on September 15th, and in order to make sure the whole experience there is as good as it is in Bracknell we need to invest in the new site. In total we'd like to raise £100,000 to fund the start up of the new site, which breaks down as follows:

  • £9,000 - Kids Equipment. We want our children's work in Sandhurst to be every bit as good as it is in Bracknell, which means not only having a great team but also giving them the toys and equipment required to create an environment where the children are both safe and feel excited to be there.
  • £1,000 - Youth Equipment. We want to create a relaxed space for the 11-14's to meet in during the adult meeting.
  • £54,000 - Audio Visual Equipment. Much of what we do on a Sunday relies on people being able to clearly see and hear what is going on. This money will allow us to upgrade the PA, lights and projection in the hall at Sandhurst to bring it up to the same standard as we have in the Kerith Centre. It will also be equipment the school will be able to make use of in their productions and events, which is great as we so want to be a blessing to them.
  • £1,500 - Welcome. Our welcome begins as people drive up, so we want banners telling them where we are, car parkers with fluorescent jackets to show them where to park, signs telling them where to go and information boards where they can pick up literature.
  • £7,500 - Publicity. We want to let people know we're in Sandhurst, and remind them we're in Bracknell too! We'll be producing new leaflets to hand out, having a wraparound in the local newspaper and updating all our literature to reflect us being on two sites.
  • £1,500 - Kitchen set up. Serving quality drinks has become part of our culture, giving us a great opportunity to build community with one another. We want to have all the equipment to serve quality drinks in Sandhurst.
  • £20,000 - Facilities Hire. We would love to cover the cost of the first years hire of the school in Sandhurst from the gift day.

Ideally we'd like to raise the whole of that £100,000 in the July gift day. That will allow us to buy all the equipment required in plenty of time for the kick off in September, and to get the upgrades to the school hall installed during the school summer holidays.

Please be thinking and praying about what to give on the 7th. £100,000 might sound like a huge amount of money, but with over 1,000 people attending Kerith on a Sunday that means on average each of us giving £100. Now some of us will be able to give far less than that, but let's believe that whether we are able to give £10 or £10,000, as we all do what we can do then God will do something amazing with our giving and bring in more than we need.



Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Job Opportunity: Site Services Co-ordinator

Those of you with good memories will remember that a few weeks ago I blogged about us looking for someone to work in our facilities team helping to look after our buildings. Although we had some good candidates come forward, none of them quite had the gift mix we were looking for, so we've decided to re-advertise the role.

We are looking to recruit this full time role to help oversee the day to day running of the Kerith Centre, and to help us to maintain our other buildings. The role is very hands on, and we are looking for someone who is both practical and people orientated, to help ensure that each ministry gets exactly what they need when they book a room, and that and all of our buildings are looked after and kept clean and in working order. The role has potential for you to really grow into if you have a passion for our Church and a previous experience in building services. If you are interested in coming on board you can pick up an application pack from the Kerith Reception desk from Friday this week - interviews will be held in the next few weeks with an anticipated start date in early August.

If you have any questions on the role then you can contact Ali Hudell via the who's who section of the website.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Yeldall Manor Open Day

Andy Partington, who is both part of Kerith and the Director of Yeldall Manor, would like to invite everyone to the Yeldall Manor Open Day on 6th July from 1pm.

Yeldall Manor is a Christian drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre for men. Gates open at 1pm for a hog roast, stalls, games and live music. Then at 3pm there’s a celebration event with worship (led by Amanda Wolfram and her team) news, and stories of transformation and hope. The afternoon will finish with a lovely strawberry tea, which you really won’t want to miss! For more details see or call 0118 940 1093.

I know Andy and his amazing team would really appreciate your support on what will be a great day out.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Breakfast with Major General Tim Cross

This Friday, 28th June, is our next Business and Community Leaders Breakfast. The breakfast will be held at the Bracknell Hilton, Bagshot Road, Bracknell, RG12 0QJ. We’ll be gathering from 7.00-8.30am to equip those who are leading in the 'market place' or in a community role. There will be a full cooked breakfast with a vegetarian option available as well as pastries, croissants, fruit platters, teas and coffees.

As well as an opportunity to gather together and network with other leaders, and to enjoy some great food, we'll also be hearing from a great friend of Kerith's, Major General Tim Cross who will inspire and equip us to lead more effectively and to better serve the people we lead.

Tickets for the breakfast on the 28th June are on sale now. They are priced at £15, available either from the Kerith Reception or by phoning the church office on 01344 862699. If you'd like to book now and pay later sign up here. There are only 70 places available so please get in quickly if you want to come.

Why not pick up your ticket on Sunday and make sure of your place.



Friday, June 21, 2013

Family Portrait Series

Last week we started a 4 week series called "Family Portrait", where each week we're looking at a different aspect of what it means to be family and how that helps us understand our relationship with God. Throughout the series, we'll be hearing from different people in our community, learning from their experiences and exploring how the Church are the family of God and that God's desire for us is to build strong families.

The series started last week as we celebrated Fathers Day together, looking at the Father Heart of God and dwelling on the amazing opportunity that we all have to become children of God. Phil Curtis spoke very movingly of his experience of growing up in a children's home - you can listen to it here, beginning with a drama acted out by Ben Lewi.

This week we're looking at family and God's plan for family. I'll be talking to Amanda Wolfram about her experience of raising two great children, Jed and Anna, and seeing what we can learn from them about both building a family, and being a part of God's family.

Then next week we're looking at adoption with Sharon Klitgaard. Adoption, and the idea of us being adopted into God's family, is not an issue we talk about very often and having met Sharon this week to talk about what she's going to say I think it's going to give us a whole new perspective on our relationship with God.

Then in the final week Catrina and I are going to talk about marriage, and our experience of 24 years of marriage.

Hope to catch you on Sunday,


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Kerith Volunteer Celebration

Kerith would be nothing without the army of volunteers who are at the heart of everything we do. Whether it is a Sunday, a course, a small group, social justice outreach or a conference we're hosting, nothing we do could be achieved without our amazing volunteers.

Once a year the staff team like to lay on an event to say a BIG THANK YOU for all the early mornings, late nights, coffee poured, children and youth befriended, cars parked, food parcels delivered and whatever else you've done in the last 12 months.

This year we're having a party, starting at 7pm this Saturday 22nd June at Brackenhale School, Rectory Lane, Wild Ridings, RG12 7BA. There is loads of parking on site. There will be light refreshments served and no dress code, which makes me very happy. Even better it's all free!

If you are a Kerith volunteer you should already have received an invite from your team leader. However, if by any chance that invite hasn't made its way to you please consider yourself invited. You can just turn up on the night, although if you were able to let your team leader know you were coming that would help us with numbers. Hope to see you there!


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Choosing Extraordinary by Helen Cottee

One of my goals as I'm involved in helping lead Kerith is to release the creativity which I believe we all possess. God is a creative God (just take a look at Genesis 1:1) and we made in his image have that creativity in us too.

We will all express that creativity differently. Some of us will do that in ways we normally define creativity such as painting, singing, playing an instrument or writing music. Others will do it in less traditional ways such as restoring cars, building a business, writing software, gardening or baking cupcakes!

Helen Cottee is someone in our community who certainly fits in the former category of creative gifts (I can't comment on her car restoring or cupcake making ability!). Many of you will know her as our worship pastor and a song writer and worship leader, but in the last year she has stepped down from those responsibilities in order to focus on writing a book called "Choosing Extraordinary", which she's now finished. I want to hugely commend Helen for seeing the creative process all the way through to its conclusion, and producing what from the bits I've read looks like an excellent book.

Helen describes her book as follows:

It’s a strange thing to write a book about living an extraordinary life. It can somehow have the power to make you feel anything but extraordinary. In fact on a very regular basis the question slithers through my mind ‘Who on earth am I to be talking about this this?’

But that, my friend, is entirely the point. Who am I? Who is anyone? Where does this niggle inside us to do something noteworthy come from? Were we created to drudge through lives with little regard for our dreams, our eternity or the people around us; or could it be the case that there is something greater planted in each one of us that pushes us on to live a life that matters, to be someone that makes a difference in the world?

This book is my journey into the discovery of 'extraordinary'; it is the shrugging off of the every-day in favour of something bolder. This book embraces the idea that every person has dreams and desires planted in their heart, and that these dreams can and should be fulfilled.

We only get one life, let's make sure we make it an extraordinary one.

You can also read excerpts on Helen's blog. Helen's book is available from the Kerith bookshop and from Amazon. She's also keen to help anyone who would like to use the book in a small group setting, either within Kerith or in other churches. If you're insterested in that you can contact Helen by leaving a comment on her blog.

Well done Helen, and may she encourage the rest of us to step out in our own expression of creativity and choose extraordinary!


Friday, June 14, 2013

Fathers Day

A big encouragement to be thinking about who to invite to join us in our Fathers Day celebrations.

In the morning we've got a kids farm outside K2 after both the 9am and 11am meetings. We've also got thanksgivings at the 11 and I'll be interviewing Phillip Curtis about what it feels like growing up not knowing your father, and what we can learn from his experience both about being a dad, and knowing God as our Father.

Then in the evening at 6pm we head over to Oakwood Youth Challenge (RG40 3DA) for a relaxed time together with a hog roast, a live band, football and a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and make some new ones. Everyone is welcome (not just Dads) so just turn up for what should be a great evening. There will be soft drinks and food on sale, although you're welcome to bring your own if you want to.

Obviously the event at Oakwood means there's no 7pm meeting at the Kerith Centre.

Hope to see you there!


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pete Greig and Prayer Meetings

We were so blessed on Sunday morning to have Pete Greig with us. There was a double bonus for those of us who made both meetings as he preached a different message at the 9 and 11. Both messages should be going up on the website, although only the message from the 9 has been uploaded so far - I'd really encourage everyone to listen to both of them.

In the message at the 11 Pete spoke about prayer being the hinge on which us experiencing God's blessing turns. That times of trouble and testing are inevitable for us, but it is only if we pray that we will see God meeting us supernaturally in the midst of our trouble. Yet if we are willing to pray, then all heavens resources can and will be released at the time of God's choosing.

So let's pray. I encourage all those who can to make it to the prayer meeting this Wednesday from 8-9pm in K2, and to the Social Justice prayer meeting which runs for the preceding hour in the K2 lounge. Sadly I can't be there as I'm in Estonia this week, but please don't let that stop you from coming, or give you an excuse for not being there.

On great thing Pete said, amongst many, was "your prayer life is at its best not when you pray about the big things occasionally but the small things continually". I've decided this week to try to pray about the small things continually, can I encourage you to do the same.

With much love from Estonia,


Monday, June 10, 2013

In Estonia

I've just landed in Estonia where I've come with Ken Bothamley for a five day trip. We're being looked after by the wonderful Mike and Virge Maton, who many of you will remember from their time in Kerith. The picture is of the house opposite Mike and Virge's - I think this is a place I could feel very at home!

We've come over to visit some of the Estonian churches we work with, especially the church on the island of Kuressaare where our Academy students come from.

Although we work with lots of churches overseas, my approach has always been that it should be other people who go and visit and work with those churches, whilst I focus on building our local Kerith Community. Having said that I try every year to go to one of the countries we are working in - two years ago it was Lithuania, last year it was Albania and this year it is Estonia. Usually those trips are midweek so that I can still be in Kerith the Sunday either side of the trip.

God has put the nations on our heart, and I think we're just at the very beginning of an explosion of nations God is joining us with. My prayer is that as part of that many of our community would get to travel and be a blessing to many other churches around the world. It might be you :-)

Have a great week, and hope to catch you on Sunday for our Fathers Day celebrations - Sunday morning in the Kerith Centre and a hog roast at Oakwood in the evening. Can't wait.



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Peter Greig with us this Sunday Morning

This Sunday we've got the privilege of having Pete Greig with us for both the 9am and 11am gatherings. Pete is one of the founders of the 24-7 prayer movement, the Director for prayer at Holy Trinity Brompton in London and leads a church called Emmaus Rd in Guildford.

I first came across Pete through his book "God on Mute". In essence it tells the story of Pete's wife Sammy and her battle with a life threatening brain tumour. It wrestles with the huge issues of unanswered prayer and why a loving God would allow people who love him to suffer. I read it around the time we were praying for Janine Jackson not to lose her leg to cancer, and it profoundly shaped me, my prayer life and my relationship with God. If you haven't read it I can't recommend it highly enough.

More recently a number of us heard Pete speak on prayer at the HTB Leadership Conference, and I heard him do possibly the best salvation appeal I've ever heard at the Big Church Day Out! Pease come and hear all that he has to say to us about prayer.

Sadly Pete won't be with us for the 7pm, so please can I encourage all those who normally come to the 7 to come and hear Pete in the morning - you won't regret it. Then at the 7 we'll be having an evening of worship, which lots of people have been requesting for a while.

Hope to see you twice on Sunday!



All Leaders Meeting

This blog is for all Kerith leaders, and for anyone interested in joining our new Sandhurst site in September.

Wednesday night this week (5th June) is our termly All Leaders Meeting, starting at 7.45pm. We've got a bit of a change this time in that we're going to be meeting in Sandhurst School, our new Kerith venue from September. We'll start the evening with drinks and refreshments, then have a chance to look round the rooms in the school which we're going to be using. We'll then meet in the hall for worship, some updates on the life of Kerith from me and then a chance for Q&A and time to pray together.

If you're either a Kerith leader, or have registered an interest in being part of the Sandhurst site, then you should have already received an invitation. However, if somehow the invite didn't get to you, or you'd just be interested to hear all that is going on, please consider yourself invited.

Please don't be at all worried about having to make it over to Sandhurst. The school is really easy to find. For all of you with satnavs the postcode is GU47 0SD. For the rest you basically head towards Camberley Marks & Spencer's down the A3095, and before you get to the Rackstraw Pub turn left down Owlsmoor Road. The school is down that road after about half a mile on the left. We'll have some friendly car parkers out there to show you the way!