Christ Church
Billericay, Essex


Registered Charity No: 1131650

News Archive 2014


Visit of Teacher from Ciamanda, Kenya  - 24th-30th September

Teacher Visit from Chiamanda 1
Teacher Visit from Chiamanda 2Another teacher from Ciamanda Primary School, Ciamanda Parish, Kenya visited Billericay this year as part of the Diocesan Schools Link project.  Ariet Ndwiga is the 6th teacher to visit Buttsbury Junior School since 2010 and the teachers and pupils at Buttsbury are now very familiar with the link project and are learning a great deal from it.  Ariet spent the first three days in school teaching in the classrooms and the children asked her lots of questions about life in Kenya

Teacher Visit from Chiamanda 3On the Sunday Ariet attended a lively Baptism Service at Little Burstead Church which approximately 100 people attended.  Christianity in Embu is only 100 years old so Ariet had never seen a Church which was so old and she thought it was wonderful to think that people had been worshipping at Little Burstead for almost 800 years!

In the afternoon Maureen & Brian Ellis hosted a tea which 20 or so people from Christ Church attended so that they could meet with Ariet.  Ariet addressed us telling us how the water, chicken, feeding programme, and educational projects, which have been supported by Christ Church and others, are progressing.  She said the Ciamanda community were very grateful to us, and she told us what a difference the support had made to the lives of the children who are now healthier and happier.  Receiving first-hand feedback on the supported projects was very helpful. and gave everyone a great deal of encouragement


Bishop Stephens Missionary Walk - Lunch at Christ Church - Sunday 21st September

Bishop Stephen and walkers arrived for lunch at Christ Church on Sunday 21st September 2014 after walking from Basildon via Great Burstead Church.  This was the 8th of 10 Missionary walks which the Bishop is undertaking in the Diocesan Centenary year.  Bishop Stephen said the walks emulate the missionary journeys of St Paul who greeted and encouraged the Churches along the way.  The walkers left after lunch to walk to Brentwood via Hutton.  Bishop Stephen was presiding at a Confirmation Service in Brentwood the evening

Website Link

Bishop Stephen
Lunch at Christ Church
Lunch at Christ Church 2
Bishop Stephen at Christ Church


Falcon AfloatYouth Update - 1st September 2014

Liz has been busy this summer attending three different camps. At the end of July she was at Tollesbury with the Fellowship Afloat Charitable Trust (F.A.C.T.) Team and Falcon Team running Falcon Afloat, a CPAS holiday for 10 to 14 year olds. Along with 40 others she lived on a boat for 5 days and did various activities including a day sailing with F.A.C.T volunteer instructors

Soul SurvivorAfter weeks holiday it was back to administration duties and preparation of the autumn term before heading to Shepton Mallet to attend Soul Survivor. Five more days away but this time in a field with thousands of other Christian and non-Christian young people and adults. The talks in the main sessions were based around the theme of relationships and we learnt that sacrifice plays a major part in all our relationships.

The final youth camp was hosted by Letton Hall and the Baptist Church Youth Team. All of our young people attended this camp, due to their on going friendships from school and as part of the discipleship group Gary Bott runs on a Wednesday evening. It was a great opportunity to worship and live with the young people for a week. Ruth Strickland was teaching on Paul's second letter to the Corinthians. On the final night of camp we experienced the power of prayer and the Holy Spirit spoke to a number of young people with pictures, scripture and words of encouragement. Their testimonies on the last morning were powerful.

Letton Hall Youth Camp
Please keep praying for our young people at the start of the academic year. Some are changing schools, others are off to university. Pray that they settle in well


Thank You from the Pidgeon Family - Sunday 31st August 2014

We felt many mixed emotions as we said goodbye to Christ Church and goodbye to Billericay on Sunday 31st August. We absolutely loved spending 8 years with you, and will miss you all a great deal. Thank you ever so much for the cards, the many encouraging messages, and the generous gifts. We feel blessed indeed.

The Pidgeon family
Pidgeon Family


Farewell to the Pidgeon Family - Sunday 31st August

It was with great sadness that the Christ Church family said goodbye to Warner, Moira, Stephen, Matthew and Rebekah Pidgeon on the 31st August 2014.  The Pidgeon family have moved to Carshalton Beeches to being a new ministry at the Church of the Good Shepherd.

Farewell to the Pidgeon Family


Chelmsford Holding Crosses - Sunday 17th August 2014

On Sunday, 17th August 2014 we introduced the 'Chelmsford Holding Cross' at our All Age Service and gave one each to Clare, Harry and Isabel who were baptised during the Service.  The Crosses have been made have been made as part of the Chelmsford Diocese Centenary Celebrations and they are handmade from three sources:

  • reclaimed wood from pews previously used in the Chelmsford Diocese;
  • from wood in our link Diocese in Kenya; and
  • from fresh pine from a sustainable source of the kind grown in our link Diocese in Sweden.

Inscribed on the Cross are the words which Jesus tells us is the most important Commandment “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength … and love your neighbour as yourself (Mark 12 v 30-31).  The Holding Cross is something to keep or give away to others to help us focus on God in our prayers and especially at those times when it is difficult to know what to pray.

Christ Church will hold a stock of these Crosses which will be available from the Church office at £5 each.


Street Pastors Update - 23rd July 2014

We are pleased to be able to share this good news update from Billericay Street Pastors, filmed by Mina Smallman the Archdeacon of Southend. Several folk from Christ Church volunteer as Street Pastors. For more information about how to become a street pastor contact Phil Norton using the details provided at the end of this video


Role-Play Weddings with Buttsbury - Tuesday 15th July 2014

We had great fun here at Christ Church with 120 children from year 2 at Buttsbury Infant school plus teachers and parents. It was a pleasure to host two role-play weddings with a bride and groom in the morning and again in the afternoon, plus bridesmaids, page-boys, photographers, caterers, musicians and more! Les Sheppard (a governor at Buttsbury) made two amazing cakes in Buttsbury colours and the children asked some challenging, thoughtful questions. Our thanks go to the parents of Alexa and Joseph who are happy for us to publish these photos, and to everyone who attended and helped make it a memorable and fun learning experience
Role Play Weddings 4
Role Play Weddings 1
Role Play Weddings 2
Role Play Weddings 3


Billericay twins club – Monday 14th July 2014

Both Rev Warner Pidgeon and Rev Margaret Fowler were at Twins Club on Monday morning. Margaret continues to do an amazing job helping and encouraging families with twins, and Warner played his guitar and sang some songs. Some of the children absolutely loved it! We thank God for this amazing ministry that started in Margaret’s lounge more than 30 years ago.

Twins Club July 2014


Margaret Fowler’s Ordination Day – Saturday 28th June 2014

We are so very proud of our very own Margaret Fowler! She was ordained at Chelmsford Cathedral at 2 p.m. on the same day that a total of 488 new ministers were ordained in the Church of England across the UK. What a day! After the ordination service we took lots of photos and enjoyed an amazing cream tea back at Christ Church. No doubt there will be more photos to follow but here are a few highlights:

Margaret Fowler Ordination 1
Margaret Fowler Ordination 2
Margaret Fowler Ordination 4
Margaret Fowler Ordination 3


Taste at Mayflower High School - 19-24th June 2014

From Thursday 19th June until Tuesday 24th June, TASTE taught in Mayflower High School. TASTE are the Viz-A-Viz Ministries band and have travelled around the UK and Europe visiting schools and talking about Christianity from various different angles. After setting up in Room 41 in Mayflower they taught groups from year 7 to year 10, seeing nearly 500 students across four days. From there they moved to Billericay School and played at Fun in the Park, leading the final act of worship on Sunday 29th June. It was great to see some of the students from Mayflower at the park on Sunday and really good to have TASTE in our local schools for the time leading up to Sunday

Taste June 2014


Margaret Fowler prepares for her Ordination

Margaret has been on placement with the Wickford and Runwell team since the start of April. She is to be ordained as a Locally Deployed Self-Supporting minister within the church, based at Christ Church. This photograph was taken at Pleshey Retreat House on Friday 27 June with the Bishop of Chelmsford Stephen Cottrell, and we look forward to more photos and stories after Margaret’s ordination. How exciting!

Margaret Fowler's Pre Ordination photo


Community Day - Saturday 17th May 2014

On 17th May a team from Christ Church joined with staff at Brightside Primary School to paint fences around the Early Years Foundation Stage class rooms. It was a fun, sunny day with lots of banter and we were all amazed at how quickly our team of 12 got the fence painted in green, blue, red and yellow. We love our friendship with Brightside and this was a tangible way to show that love. This short video captures something of the fun we had, with special thanks to site manager Joe Lane for keeping us in check!



Liz and RayWedding of our Youth Outreach Worker Liz Fisher to Ray Skudder  Saturday 10th May 2014

Wedding CakeWhat a celebration we had. The sun shone, more than 250 people were in full voice, and our very own Liz Fisher got married to her fiancée Ray Skudder – youth pastor at Emmanuel, Billericay. So many people helped to make it a wonderful day.

Thank you to all of you! Warner



Baptism Role PlayRole-Play Baptisms with Buttsbury Year 1 - Thursday 8th May 2014

What fun we had! Way back in the summer of 2013 year 1 teachers at Buttsbury asked our Vicar if they could visit Christ Church for role-play baptisms. They had seen the fun that year 2 children have coming to church for role-play weddings, and naturally Warner was only too pleased to oblige. Two classes visited us in the morning and two in the afternoon making a total of 4 baptisms as each class had named a child. All the children came in smart clothes along with other family members. We sang and we prayed and the children loved it when Warner acted out the baptisms. At the end of the mini-service the children enjoyed cake and some dancing and there was plenty of opportunity for the children to ask questions about baptism and other aspects of the Christian faith


Warner and LizStuart GibbsH.M. The Queen’s Visit to Chelmsford – 6th May 2014

Our Youth Worker Liz Fisher, Stuart Gibbs, and our Vicar Warner Pidgeon, were delighted to receive Golden Tickets inviting them to a service at Chelmsford Cathedral to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Chelmsford Diocese. They were doubly pleased to later discover that HM The Queen would be the guest of honour! The service itself lasted about 50 minutes and included a wonderfully encouraging talk by Stephen Cottrell the Bishop of Chelmsford. Singing the National Anthem in the presence of Royalty was both moving and very emotional, and the music and singing throughout the service was amazing. In short ...God is good!


You can hear Stephen’s excellent sermon here


Mega Makers Easter Holiday Bible Club at Christ Church - 14-17th April 2014

Mega Makers 4Mega Makers 3During the Easter holidays around 50 children between the ages of 5 and 11 years came to our holiday Bible club. This was based on the Scripture Union material of Mega Makers.

The overall truth explored during the week of activity and fun was that God’s love for each one of us is vast – far wider, and longer and higher and deeper than we can imagine.  Four stories from the gospel of Matthew were used to illustrate what it means to be a lifelong follower of Jesus and enabled the children to make a response to that love.

Christ Church became an inventor’s workshop for theMega Makers 5 week with Boffin and his very able assistant Brainwave conducting a series of experiments with the amazing Mega Machine constructed for the week from recycled materials by Graham Deall and Chris Davis.  The molecular splunger and electronic Mega Makers 6dibber were put to good use as the machine did a series of wonderful transformations, a bread roll was transformed to a large loaf of bread, the machine showered out party hats and party balloons and by Easter Sunday it was producing an amazing quantity of chocolate Easter eggs!

Team challenges of blind folded bread making, the raw egg challenge, the blind folded jelly eating race and the Volcano experiment were sights to behold and will not be forgotten by anyone who enjoyed the fun and laughter of them all.

Each day the children went into the same small group to join their adult leaders. They came up with imaginative group names such as the Elastic Bandits, the Brain Bods, the Transformers and the Mad Animal Gang. Mega Makers 2 Each group spent time as Messy Mechanics and by the end of the week had produced their own mini Mega Machine able to do various tasks.

Mega Makers was blessed to have the gifts of Matthew Pidgeon as worship leader and by the end of the week the songs  ‘Wide and High and Long and Deep’  and  ‘Shine, from the inside out’ were firm favourites with both the children and their leaders.  I have heard since that the children have carried on singing these songs when they got home or at school.

A very big thank you also goes to Carol Cockcroft, Sue Butt, Angela Wood, and Lynne Woodland who planned, prepared and led the week and all the other helpers who made it such a wonderful experience and demonstration of God’s love in action in Billericay.

Jane Vaughan

Mega Makers 7
Mega Makers 1
Mega Makers 8
Mega Makers 9


Easter Holiday Bible Club - 14th-17th April 2014

50 children enjoyed an amazing week of songs, games, prayer, and learning about Jesus at our 2014 Easter Holiday Bible Club – MegaMakers! Boffin and Brainwave were our resident hosts as the children thought about, learnt about, prayed about and sung about the love of God that is wider, higher and deeper than we can ever imagine. The children loved singing a song called SHINE, and they were wild about the Mega Machine – an invention of Boffin and Brainwave


Warner PidgeonA message from our Vicar – Rev. Warner Pidgeon - Sunday 13th April 2014

It is with mixed emotions that I announced on 13 April that I have been appointed to a new role. Mixed emotions because I speak for my whole family when I say we LOVE being in Billericay, and we love you, our Christ Church family. We will find it hard leaving Billericay. Our move will most likely be during the school summer holidays because both Matthew and Rebekah need to start a new school on 1st September.  It will be hard to leave because we have made many good friends here, and we have shared the highs and lows of our lives with you over these last eight years.

However, we are excited about the future and what God has in store. On Wednesday 9 April I took Moira, Matthew and Rebekah to have a look round our new Parish, our new home, and the local park and they were all smiles – something that Moira and I are very grateful for.  One person who helped me to look at this new role said, “Warner, it’s got your name written all over it”; and I am delighted that God has trusted me with this new opportunity.

The formal announcement reads like this:

    We are pleased to announce today, 13 April 2014 that the Rev Warner Pidgeon, presently Team Vicar [at Christ Church] in the Billericay & Little Burstead Team Ministry in the Diocese of Chelmsford, has been appointed Vicar of The Good Shepherd, Carshalton Beeches by the Bishop of Southwark, The Rt. Revd Christopher Chessun - subject to satisfactory completion of the necessary procedures. Warner’s last service at Christ Church will be 10am on Sunday 31st August and his Institution service in Carshalton Beeches will be 7.30pm on Wednesday 1st October. Please let the Church Office know if you would like to attend

There will be much sadness, but we hope and pray that you will be able to share our excitement about what lies ahead.



Billericay Town CouncilChurches Together in BillericayCivic Service - Sunday 16th March 2014

On 16th March we hosted the first ever Billericay Civic Service, organised by Churches Together in Billericay on behalf of the Town Council. 190 people were in attendance, including the recently formed Billericay Community Choir, Lord Petre, Kay Twitchen the Chair of Essex County Council, local Town Councillors, The Bishop of Bradwell John Wraw, and representatives from many community organisations.

Many people commented afterwards what a great occasion it was. Rev Tom Loh the Chair of Churches Together was our speaker and there was an opportunity to share stories from the community projects carried out the previous day. We sang the National Anthem, along with some great songs of worship such as Be Thou my Vision, and as a gathered congregation we committed ourselves to pray for The Queen, our Government, our MP, and our Town Council.

More than anything else it was a wonderful way to declare together that we all Love Billericay!


Community Day VolunteersCommunity Day - Saturday 15th March 2014

Churches all over Billericay took part in various projects to show our love for Billericay. The Town Council organised a Big Litter Pick. A Family Treasure Trail took place down the High Street, and Christ Church organised a working party at Buttsbury Junior School, filling a skip with old branches and garden waste. We took a couple of photos of the team and we’re now looking forward to a painting project at Brightside School in a few weeks time

Community Day Skip


Launch Date for Essex Savers Credit Union in Billericay - Tuesday 11th February

Great News! Our local Service Point for Essex Savers Credit Union will launch on Billericay High Street from Tuesday 11th  February at Billericay Library

Billericay Credit Union


The Big Promise - Saturday 8th February 2014

Our Vicar Warner Pidgeon and several couples from Christ Church were part of a new world record on Saturday 8th February. 80 venues across the UK including St Mary Magdalen Billericay took part in a simultaneous renewal of marriage vows. Although the final number is yet to be verified (by the Guinness Book of Records) the event organisers Marriage Week have announced that more than 1,400 couples took part, smashing the previous world record of 1,087. Primarily the event was organised to encourage and support married couples and we had a lot of fun along the way!

2014 02 08 Big Promise
Big Promise Cake
Pete and Jo
Brian and Maureen
Vince and Rita


Credit Union for Billericay - 22nd January 2014

People from Christ Church are at the heart of moves by Churches Together in Billericay to launch a Service Point for a Credit Union on Billericay High Street. Credit Unions provide a whole range of services including a service that could help to compete Wonga out of the market. This newspaper article explains more

Billericay Credit Union 2014


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