Category Archives: Our Events

News related to the events we’re holding, this could include up-coming presentations

What do those Dorridge Christadelphians do?

25 years after the Knowle and Dorridge Christadelphians began our church activities in this part of Solihull Borough we’d like to think that you know something about us….

For example, you might have noticed we meet at Dorridge Village Hall every Sunday for our services and Bible School; you might be aware that every Christmas we sing carols in Knowle precinct; – you might even have read some of our invitations to Bible courses or special Bible talks put through your door or know that we run youth activities.

But what do we really do and why do we do it???

Well now you can find out! On Sunday 21st July we are holding an Open Day from 2 p.m. onwards at Dorridge Village Hall and everyone is invited.

There will be information stands and videos about our faith and how it works in action, a Bible Learning Centre stall selling Bibles, children’s Bible books and Bible reference books, activities for children including face painting, Bible story time and puppet shows and outdoor games, plus cream teas, a plant stall and live music. Highlight of the afternoon will be miniature rides behind a working model steam locomotive!

Entry will be free but we will be raising money for Meal a Day.

The Truth in Africa

TruthInAfrica

There are many thousands of Christadelphians in Africa, and there are some places where the Christadelphian congregation is the only Christian church, and forms the focal point for the local village.

Several charitable funds have been set up to provide for the needs of these believers and their communities – a Welfare Fund gives money to help with urgent needs arising from things such as famine, sickness and poverty, while the Christadelphian Meal a Day Fund finances community projects such as orphanages, bore holes and water tanks.  The needs seem to increase every year, as rising food prices combine with climate change to make it ever harder for families in Africa to feed themselves and their children, and AIDS creates ever more orphans.

The Lord Jesus showed us that preaching the gospel involves both teaching and love – there is no point in trying to preach a message of the love of God unless it is accompanied by an expression of that love on our part.

Several members of the Christadelphian church in Knowle and Dorridge are involved in mission work in other countries, visiting Africa, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union, but everyone contributes to the cost of the work through the collections that we regularly hold.

Visit to Chakhlovka

visittochakhlovka

Christadelphians in Knowle & Dorridge look after the pastoral needs of our few members in the former Soviet republics of Tatarstan, Marij-El and Bashkortostan as well as the Kirov region of Russia itself.

In April when most of the snow had gone, two of our members went to look for Nina in Chakhlovka in Kirov region.  The nearest station is 28 hours from Moscow by express train, and then a bus from the station runs only twice a week the 30 km to the village.  The population of the village was down from 300 to 90 since their last visit.  When they eventually found Nina’s shack, it had fallen down.  At last they found Nina – moved to another shack.  She survives by growing potatoes and cabbage during the summer months to see her and her family through the winter.  As well as keeping 4 generations of her own family off her meagre pension, all living in her wooden shack – it takes more than 6 months’ pension to pay for firewood for the minus 42 degrees winter – Nina has taken in a down-and-out she found unconscious in the snow.  As a result of frostbite, he’s now lost both hands and both feet and is totally dependent upon Nina’s care.

Our field workers felt that Nina could teach them quite a lot about pastoral work.

To Russia with Love

Russia is vast – 71 bigger than UK, stretching 179° of the 360° round the globe. Christianity, permitted only since the fall of Communism, is in its infancy.  Our 250 Christadelphians are thinly spread.  Some practise their faith in total isolation while others meet in groups of two or three.

There are no Christadelphian Sunday Schools there, so a team from Dorridge sends Bible lessons to 100 children each month.  Many families struggle financially or live in isolated villages and can’t get the basic essentials.  So we send each child a starter pack every year.  It contains pens, pencils, sharpener, eraser, felt tips, crayons, scissors, glue stick & Sellotape – everything they need for the worksheets and creative activities in the lessons. Also, we pop a paper fastener, pipe cleaner or small ball of wool into each envelope when an activity needs an extra item.

Once or twice a year there’s great excitement when our children’s Bible magazine, Heavenly Treasure, goes out with the lessons.  Packed with stories and exciting things to do, it’s compiled by Ksenya, a talented young Siberian Christadelphian.  We print it in the UK and send it out with the lessons.  Ksenya’s always wanted it in full colour, but that was too costly until now.  However she got her wish this month – Issue 8 is in full colour – and what a difference it makes!

Few people reading this will be Russian speakers, but the pictures are lively – have a look and you’ll recognise the Bible stories and characters in this edition.

Hoddesdon Christadelphian Conference 2013

Earlier in March, over 200 Christadelphians from all over the country attended the annual conference at CCT’s High Leigh Conference Centre, Hoddesdon. Several members from the Knowle & Dorridge ecclesia were there.

This conference has run for over 50 years. It has always had a focus on young people with a large percentage of teens and twenty-somethings in the age mix, though there are also delegates in their 80s – a true family gathering.

Among members from Knowle & Dorridge, Peter and Judith Ward were there with their daughter and son-in-law who live in Derbyshire and worship at the Christadelphian church in Ashby-de-la-Zouch. Peter and his son-in-law were part of the band leading the singing, Peter playing his violin in public for the first time for many years. “It was such a pleasure leading the worship like this”, said Peter, “it’s encouraged me to get practising again!”.

More details on the Christadelphian Hoddesdon can be found on the website here. Content from this and previous years’ conferences can be downloaded from the site in both mp3 and video formats.

“Where can we get the CD?”

CarolSinging_BLC

It’s not everyday that a group of amateur carol-singers get asked if there is a CD of their singing, – but one member of a small crowd of appreciative listeners in Poplar Way one Saturday before Christmas did actually ask, which was encouraging to the 25 or so Christadelphians from Solihull, Shirley and Knowle and Dorridge. Equally encouraging was the fact that one bystander asked to borrow the carol book and joined in!

“We’re not a choir,” said John Botten, Bible Learning Centre co-ordinator, who had organised the event, “but we love having the chance to sing together, especially since most of us can sing harmonies, an ability which is increasingly rare these days. We were also so glad to be able to draw people’s attention to the truth about the Lord Jesus Christ at a time when he is often forgotten in the rush of present-buying and giving.”

The carol singing was also to raise money for the Air Ambulance Service and the group was even more delighted with the £208 collected!

Bible School & CYC Christmas Party

Knowle Village Hall was again the venue for our annual Christmas Party for the youngsters of our Bible School and CYC Youth Club. Most of our church family also came along to celebrate the end of another year and the time that our Lord Jesus was born.

After a session of mad games including ‘Musical Hats’ and ‘Decorate the Human Christmas Tree’, there was a short break for ice cream whilst the grown-ups relaxed with mulled wine and mince pies.

The children provided the initial entertainment with musical items, poems and gymnastic displays, as well as the ‘Brussel Sprout Chocolatiers’.

After a short Bible thought we tucked into supper before the grown-ups performed a ‘Seasonal Sketch’. Bevan’s Unexpected Journey had him travelling on a long journey home with his poor pregnant wife Bekka in an alternative nativity tale mixed up with the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Many characters from previous year’s sketches put in a re-appearance including The Hungry Caterpillar, The Fairy Godmother, The Princess, ageing Rockers from the Band Methuselah, along with previously unseen talent including a strange Maori Warrior.

Needless to say the story had a happy ending with Baby Emelia May arriving safely on stage and sleeping through her starring role as Emmanuel.

The wise men were in attendance and brought gifts for the new arrival as well as all the other children. It was another great evening with our spiritual family celebrating the arrival of our Saviour Jesus and the light that he shines into our lives.

Singin’ in the Rain!

Your Kenilworth correspondent was aware of deep puddles (lakes?) on the road between Balsall Common and Knowle and so chose to drive to Knowle via Warwick Parkway, Wroxall and Chadwick End in steady persistent rain, in the face of 300 flood alerts throughout England and Wales. Parking nearby was almost non-existent, but, only a few minutes later than planned, some 20 singers gathered under the concrete overhang in the Knowle Shopping Precinct.

We bravely embarked on our programme of carols sung a cappella , interspersed with brief announcements and continuity by Steve Harris, pointing out the relevance of the birth of Jesus to modern life, and drawing attention to our regular Sunday Morning Bible Hour, and our special Carol Service the following day.

Because of the weather, not too many people were about, but many took pity on us and put contributions in the bucket, ably held out by the Ensells’ grandchildren, and a sum of approx. £42 was added to the money so far collected for the Sebakaki borehole project in Kenya.

I was surprised to learn that we have been singing carols in that spot for around 20 years, and it’s good to be able to maintain witness to God’s intervention in the world by the birth of Jesus in this way.

I don’t think Gene Kelly could have done better in the circumstances!

It’s not just the soup…….

SoupKitchen_2012

Christadelphians in and around Birmingham run soup kitchens on a regular basis, so about twice a year we organise it. But it’s not just food and drink we take along, hopefully there are smiling welcoming faces, ready to chat, advise or even discuss deeper matters. There will be some clothing, either good quality second hand or smaller new items such as gloves and socks.

It can be an unnerving experience, especially for the younger helpers, facing the homeless on a dark winter night, so having one’s friends around is a great support. It helps to bridge that divide between our warm and comfortable lives and their, often very sad, cold and lonely lives. It makes us appreciate what we have and give something back to those in need.