Unification: More important than ever?

Recently, in our COGS meetings, we have been discussing the need for unity and the ways in which it can be achieved, through the Church and other walks of life. With recent events, it is a topic which holds more significance than any other.

In previous blog posts I have mentioned the need to stand together as a Church, particularly after the atrocities at the Manchester Arena and in London, but this message is one not so widely aimed, per say.

Instead, it is an invitation for those within the Church, in particular the PCC, to consider, take on board and pray about. It involves our Church uniting with other churches in the Southampton area, not just those in SO16, something I brought up in one of our discussion sessions at COGS.  download (1)

I am aware of how united our Church is as a whole, being completely together on every issue that arises and, most importantly, the appointment of new ministers and vicars. We discussed how some Churches can break apart in these times and it was pleasing to come to the conclusion that Lordshill is not one of those Churches at all. What I am proposing now – as I mentioned then – is that Lordshill becomes more involved with other Churches in the Denary.

Perhaps this isn’t possible. Perhaps the PCC feels that the work we do with the S016 network is more than enough and takes up enough resources to make any other outreach impossible. However, I implore that the idea of working with Churches of all denominations of Christianity is considered. Because, I personally believe, that if we reach out and unite with other Churches of different denominations, we can show how united we are as a Church and become a beacon for others to potentially follow and embrace the idea of working with other Churches they may not have, so spreading the message of God’s all-encompassing love stronger and further than ever.

On a more personal note, I am settling into college well and thoroughly enjoying the environment I am working in; Barton is most definitely the nicest college I visited and I am very glad I decided – with God’s guidance – to attend there.

As well as this, I am also enjoying where I am working, at Costa, Chandler’s Ford, despite it meaning I have to forgo the morning worship at 10:30. Perhaps I might start attending the 8:30 is God calls me to do so. I am, however, glad I still have the opportunity to attend COGS in the evening as it helps top up my faith despite not being able to attend every Sunday morning.


As a sign off then, I hope some of you reading this will also pray and consider the idea of a wider Church network united together for the sole, shared purpose of spreading God’s love and message.

Edit: At this point, I should point out that S016 and the Denary are two separate things. S016 is a group within the postcode area S016 that includes predominantly Church of England (C of  E) Churches, with a few from other denominations. The Denary is specifically for C of E Churches and covers the whole of the city. (In case there was any confusion)


We interrupt this break to return to the normally scheduled program

Doesn’t time fly? Suddenly it’s been three months since the last update and I’ve only just realised.

So, first of all, apologies for that. I’ve had a lot going on what with exams and then South Africa and by the time I’d realised that’s over it’s the summer holidays proper and the blog completely slipped my mind!

Secondly, the purpose of this article is basically just an update about the time I’ve been away before, (hopefully), a regular service of updates kicks back in. With the imminent arrival of college, the hope is that I’ll get back into the swing of things fairly quickly. Image result for exam results clipart

With that, a run through of the last three months of my life: exams, South Africa and then general unwinding after all of that.

Of course, by now most of you are aware what I got in my GCSE’s but for the sake of those who might not have heard on the grape vine, I got: 2 A*s, 1 A+ and 6 A’s. All the hard work certainly paid off!

South Africa was certainly the best couple of weeks of my life without a doubt. Coming home was definitely the hardest part! It was such a magical experience with great friends and the added emotion of it being my last involvement with Mountbatten, I would absolutely relive it again and again given half the chance.

Currently, alongside all my college prep work, I am preparing a presentation about South Africa which at some point I will share with everyone in the Church to let you all know how amazing it was – something this short blog post just wouldn’t be able to justify.

Speaking of college, I begin at Barton Peveril next Monday having enrolled for nearly everything I wanted to do. Having said that, I feel happier about what I am going to do as there will be less work on me than I planned before, allowing me to balance my work and my social life better which is a blessing.

That’s about all folks, so fingers crossed I get back into the habit of regularly updating my blog over the new term but I am fairly forgetful so bear with me on that one!

Stay tuned…

Carry On

Monday 22nd May 2017. A day that will live long in the memories of the UK for all the wrong reasons. 22 innocents doomed to never return the moment they set foot in Manchester Arena to watch their favourite artist perform. Young lives cut short in a moment of barbaric, senseless killing. Futures gone in the blink of an eye.

Now the challenge is to pick ourselves back up after the horrific events of Monday evening and carry on as usual and, above all that, support those affected and draw together with all those as appalled as we all are at this attack. Because, as the American Indie band FUN. once said, “If you’re lost and alone; or sinking like a stone: Carry on.”

And there has never been a message so powerful at a time such as this.

The terrorists want us to cower in our homes, afraid to do the things we enjoy. Future events, (in the near future the FA Cup final and the Aviva Premiership final this weekend for example), will be under held under heightened security, as they should in the wake of such an event. But they WILL be held. And that is most critical.

Because as soon as we as a country or any other country cancels a popular event or source of entertainment, terrorism has a small victory. And that is not a small victory we can afford to give them; nor is it a small victory they deserve.

Killing innocents is not engrained in the Islamic Holy Book, nor is it in the Bible, nor the religious texts of Buddhists or Sikhs. At the end of the day, we are all children of the same God and “the creed and the colour and the name won’t matter”, if you’re prepared to stand shoulder to shoulder with men, women and children of all faiths and none to stop terrible things like this from happening again.

Even on Monday, beautiful stories were flowering from chaos. Taxi drivers gave stranded, lost children and families free lifts; doors were opened and strangers were welcomed in and given a bed for the night. People reacted without thinking to what had happened and, what we mustn’t forget, is the fact that there were true Muslims running to the aid of those affected as well as the emergency services. Muslims who detest the actions of the majority tainting their religion as much as everyone else does; Muslims who acted out of love and not out of hate; Muslims who stand as strong against the extremists within their religion as everyone else does.

Those are the true followers of Allah.

What we also mustn’t forget is the need for a united front of love in the coming weeks to all. “In darkness we are revealed,” to quote Doctor Who, and this time of darkness is where the church and all within it to reveal themselves as rays of light, hope and love in response to such a cowardly assault. “Men of faith, rise up and sing”- true now, more than ever.

The last couple of days have shown the strength held within the United Kingdom. Extremism has attacked the very heart of the nation who stood firm against the brutal Nazi Blitzkrieg which decimated Western Europe in WW2. This nation carried on throughout the Blitz, never ceasing, always caring, forever fighting. “Dunkirk spirit” in action.

It’s time for that “Dunkirk Spirit” once more. It’s time to rise up together, united under one banner of love, to prove to these “losers”, (one of Donald Trump’s better quotes), that under no circumstances can they win. And under no circumstances will they win.

Study, Study… Jesus?

Sorry it’s been a while. I’ve had a lot going on the last few months.

As you’re all probably aware, I’m well into exam season: that glorious few months where pressure and revision are omnipresent and everything else is forced out of frazzled minds around the country. So, does that include Jesus and faith?

I’ve never been one for burying my head in textbooks and reading about Genetic Engineering and Adult Cell Cloning for hours a day. During this period, I would say the plethora of activities I take part in – and my faith – have been a welcome release from studying.

Every day at school now is more or less the same – revision, revision, revision and, if you’re not yet bored of it, after school revision as well. For me, to then go home and do effectively the same thing again is unthinkable. I’d much rather carry on as normal, thank you very much.

And, I suppose, faith has helped a lot as well. A quote I remember, but not being able to quote who said it or where I heard it, describes faith as follows: “reaching out into the darkness and finding your hand held.” That quote has stuck with me for many years and now is more important than ever.


It gives me stability amidst all the pressure and allows me to remain optimistic throughout the biggest time of my life so far when some others, without faith, might be floundering a little. As such, it means I have one less thing to worry about knowing – partially – the plan God has set out for my life and realising that whatever happens in these exams, it happens for a reason.



This blog will probably take a back seat over the next few weeks, so don’t be surprised if nothing else is posted until mid-June. 

21st Century Jesus

One of the big issues within the Church at the moment is keeping Christ relevant for our modern-day world and, especially, making him more appealing to the youth. The internet generation are more interested in social media stories, “Unheard of D-list celebrity expecting fifth child” or watching reality TV like “Help! My Career’s dramatically collapsed and I need some more money so I’m going to eat bugs in a jungle for a month!” and “The X Factor- until I try to release my first album and then I’m off to the Jungle as well.”

So, is Jesus still relevant to this revolution generation?

Well, statistics don’t lie, and at the end of October 2016 an article was published on consequenceofsound.net with the alarming statistic that more people searched for memes (funny pictures such as the one below; often highly controversial) than Jesus.


Yep, officially the Messiah is less popular than a dead gorilla and picture of cats doing ridiculous things. Youth Culture is turning away from Jesus more than the last big revolution during the sixties, when four Liverpudlians proclaimed they were “bigger than Jesus.”

While they may have had a point at the time, I think the general consensus was the Messiah was just about hanging on at the top. However, if a band came out today and said something similar, people would most definitely agree.

For example, One Direction.

A group of nobody’s who went through a TV talent show, trying to worm their way into Simon Cowell’s gold lined pockets, they emerged as nobody’s having failed to secure that lucrative album deal. Yet, seven or so years on from their failure, no one can remember which “talent” Cowell chose to be his next protégé, and just look at where One Direction got to. Millions of adoring fans, and now successful solo careers for several of the members. If, just before they had broken up, Harry Styles, soon to be known for his acting rather than singing (unless the producers of Dunkirk got him doing a rendition of “Pack up your troubles” or “Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler?”), had said words to the same effect of John Lennon’s infamous quote fifty years ago, many people would have believed them.

This is surely a worry for the Church. The invention of Social Media and the scandals emerging from within its ranks over the last couple of years has left it teetering on the edge. The Church is at a crossroads: change with the times or let the times sweep it into obscurity.

It is a troubling problem for all Christians, one which can only be solved by group focus on targeting the specific audience that is so neglecting it.

The Church is here to save people, but right here, right now, it needs to save itself.

The Church may not have connected enough with this internet generation yet, but there are definitely ways it can do so, and opportunities for it to do so.


At the end of the last quarter, Facebook had 1.8 BILLION active users. Instagram, the world’s fastest growing Social Media platform, had 600 MILLION at the same point. Twitter, 319 MILLION active users. And this is before taking into account other social media platforms such as Snapchat and Pinterest.

The Church has to take advantage of this plethora of potential Christians. Without modernising itself to utilise these platforms, it will simply lose its identity.

Don’t get me wrong, the Church is definitely trying to modernise, but, as a Christian Youth myself, if the Church connected with the Social Media generation better than it currently is it can only be positive.

There are many ways: Facebook Live, an Instagram account regularly updated with key points from services and photos of what the Church does and regular tweets doing much the same. All these will give the Church another way of connecting with society.

Potentially the best way is Facebook Live. What is Facebook Live? Well, Facebook Live does as it says on the tin. You go live, and all your Facebook friends can watch you then like, comment and share the video. Potentially, the sermon/snippet of service/other could be shared around hundreds of times. That would reach thousands of people, around the world. The average person on Facebook has 338 friends. If only 10% of those people shared the video, that’s nearly forty shares. That then goes out to, if my maths is correct, 13,520 people roughly. Add in the original 338 and that’s nearly 14,000 people.


If the Church can tap into that volume of people that simply, they can spread the love and word of Jesus to a whole new audience. Included in that 14,000 will surely be many agnostic Youth’s- those who acknowledge God but don’t openly worship or believe in him. If that sermon/snippet can speak to them in some way, even to a small number at a time, they may be encouraged to become a practising Christian, helping to get the Lord Jesus back above memes as the biggest internet search, where he belongs.

Not only that, if the Church can get a small number of the people who watched the original sermon livestreaming amongst their friends, spreading the word of God, more people will be exposed to it and so on. A chain reaction could grow, sending the love of God around the world digitally.

So, whilst Social Media is the problem for the Church, it doesn’t have to be the end of it either. It is something which needs addressing and I would encourage the Church to pray about it, as it is definitely a solution which could help Youth worship immensely.


Fresh Face

We’re back! Not that we ever really left….

Consider this blog page under new management as it were. With Amy away at University, it only seems fair someone else run the race with this blog page. So here I am!

Obviously, “I” is a little vague for a first greeting. I’m Drew and I thought I would dedicate my first article to talking a little bit about me and my faith.

I have been coming to Lordshill Church since I was three which is a whole thirteen years ago, (it scares me too) but I would say I’ve only really been a Christian for the last two.

Now, that might sound odd: “How can you come to Church but not be a Christian?”, you may ask. It’s actually easier than you might think.

As I’ve been coming from such a young age, it wasn’t always my choice to head down the road on a Sunday morning and go to the building with a funny cross on the front next to the Library. My mum wanted to go regularly so I ended up there as well.

The thing is: going to Church always seemed like a struggle to me. Sometimes it still is, but I want to go a lot more now than I used to. In some ways, I think the two years I played football on a Sunday morning for helped me find my faith more than if I’d kept forcing myself to Church every Sunday.IMG_5349

Someone once said to me: “Sometimes stepping away for a while helps in the long run.” Now, this was a long time ago so I may have misquoted but the point remains: having some time away from the faith I never really followed helped me to grow closer a couple of years down the line.

Even when I was confirmed at thirteen, I don’t think I was really ready; don’t think I really understood. Perhaps I should have waited until now but, then again, maybe I needed to be confirmed when I was to help me with my faith now.

Confused? Me too. But that’s the way with God – His plan exists and pity the fool who tries or pretends to understand it. Either way, I’m much stronger in my faith now and it helps me a lot more than it ever used to.

I suppose what I’ve tried to say here is find God when you’re ready. Coming to Church should always be something you want to do, and so, sometimes taking a step away from faith for a while is beneficial and necessary for it to grow later on.youth

Hello from Plymouth!

So a week has gone by here in Plymouth and it has been hectic to say the least. With so many new people to meet, societies to join, flatmates to live with and other fellowship with Christians, I have often come back to my room and been completely exhausted as a result!

Alongside this, I have had the task of juggling the joys of Fresher’s Week where it feels that the underlying expectation is that you spend the week socialising whist mainly enjoying large quantities of alcohol. This is not very ‘me’ and on reflection, I think I have managed to get a great balance between going out in the evening/early morning with flatmates whilst also going to events run by the Christian Union (CU) and meeting people over a free meal from the university chaplaincy.

It has been interesting seeing how people perceive me as a Christian and a student as they kind of feel like two separate spheres at the moment. I have already made some great friendships with other Christians and its great knowing that I already have that support network of students from across all years at the CU.

However, I have also discovered that I really need and enjoy some ‘me’ time in my day. Be it just getting on with work, watching TV or walking wth my music playing. I find this to be a valuable time to reflect on my day and what may be coming up in my life.

I also find that church life pops up its head almost on a daily basis. As I write this, I can hear the bell ringing group at the local Minster (church) having their weekly rehearsal. Also, my first lectures took place in a building that used to be a church and the lights from the stained glass windows that shone on my face as I entered the lecture theatre were a big  reminder that God is with me.

I am also enjoying going along to the evening service (Sunday morning lie in advantage) and student group at St Andrew’s Minster Church here. It is such a huge building and it has a similar feel to Romsey Abbey, but I am actually enjoying the grandeur of the place with its stained glass windows, pews and large altar. Everyone has been very welcoming and it is a great feeling being part of a church right at the heart of the city.

So Plymouth is starting to feel like home and I think this is because I can really feel God’s presence with me here – in the people I meet, the church leaders I chat to, the fellowship and even in the times when I’m alone in my room.

So all is well here and I am excited to see what God has in store!

I’m also thinking of you all back home and keeping tabs on you in many ways – mysterious isn’t it!

Best wishes and prayers.

Amy 🙂

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Nothing Changes

Change can be a scary thing for anyone. Be it big or small, it can make your stomach churn or make you physically shake with nerves. So when a new life milestone approaches it can be hard to know what to feel and when.

Personally, I am someone who doesn’t get even slightly excited or overwhelmed until the event in question is just hours or even minutes away. I think this is something I have conditioned myself to do in preparing for dance performances, as if I was a nervous or excitable wreck then rehearsals would be a waste of time and I would probably end up falling flat on my face.

And I think that is what would happen in any other situation as well. If I rushed into things I wouldn’t  normally consider doing and my week wasn’t grounded with time spent in church, then I would once again (metaphorically) end up flat on my face and exhausted.

So going to university and juggling the potential craziness that is freshers week with new coursework, deadlines and teaching placement has been playing on my mind and I have been wondering how I am going to cope with that level of multitasking whilst remaining committed to who I am and my faith.

Cue Church Family…

The send off I received today was so great and reminded me how being part of a church family is just like being in a biological family! They are a group of people that will always be emotionally and spiritually invested in you no matter where you are or what you are doing. They raise you up when you deserve praise and are with you if things crumble around you. They support you and your family when things get rough and encourage your endeavours both within the church community and outside.

I’m sure many other congregations across the world are like this but never the less Lord’s Hill church family does feel particularly unique. Its family nature and the presence of children every Sunday morning never fails to put a smile on my face. If anything, it also acts as a personal reminder of how far I have come as an individual growing up in this church and how being part of it has enriched my life so far.

I am speaking slightly as if it were the end of the world as we know it and I am aware that this is not the case. But visits during the holidays will be in sharp contrast to the routine I have become used to over the last 17 years.

On many occasions, people have commented ‘Oh so your one of those Christians that goes to church every Sunday – so you are quite a strict Christian then?’ I feel like I have never really given a proper answer to this as my Sunday morning routine seems second nature. The only thoughts that I could ever say were that being a Christian is a commitment so why wouldn’t you remind yourself of that each week and make time for God.

But I think another part to the Sunday Morning routine is that I’m not sure I could get through my week, or my life for that matter, without engaging with other christians from all walks of life and sharing in fellowship, worship and prayer. For me at this point of change in my life, it is quite inconceivable that I would never want to be a part of that church family style community (The church hunting in my universities city has already begun online).

So the answer that I might have given has so many dimensions to it. I would have most certainly emphasised the diversity of the church family, and the complexity of my possible answer may have slightly bamboozled the questioner.

That being said, to even get the courage and knowledge to figure out how to answer these kind of questions takes a long time. They are often questions that can make you doubt your personal choice to follow Jesus. As a young person these are the ones where people seem to particularly enjoy watching you squirm as you try to answer them. A real corker of a question that has come my way is ‘Well I’m guessing you only go to church because your parents/carers go?’. It is as if being a young person means that we are so easily lead and that our minds must be prime material for brainwashing or something equally as strange.

Through confirmation and other experiences, I am the one who makes the choice to get out of my cozy, warm bed (where I could have chosen to spend a few more hours) and use my Sunday morning to glorify God and worship Him.

I believe that the people of Lord’s Hill church have a real talent for treasuring and nurturing young people, including those in COG’s. We are valued and appreciated and have always been supported despite age or circumstance. For this I will always be grateful and will be something I hope to find in a new congregation when I move away.

I also believe that my church has fully equipped me for the challenges that life may throw at me and if something unexpected does come my way, then I know I have a whole support network just a letter, phone call, email or Facebook message away.

So to summarise, moving away from your childhood church family can be daunting because when it is such as big part of your routine, it can be a painful reminder that big changes are coming. But you have to trust that they have enriched your life to the point where you can go on and do great things and still know that they are spiritually and personally invested in you.

Most importantly, they and God aren’t going anywhere and they have always got your back.

Amy 🙂

Summer 2

This half term is a crazy one to say the least! We have so much happening personally that we only have few sessions left before the end of the year.

However, we are really looking forward to welcoming Rev. Dr. Chris Knights as our new minister at Lord’s Hill.


12th June – Pizza and Planning Session

19th June – Pizza and Planning Session

26th June – EU Referendum Discussion

3rd July – Social with Rownhams PLC (Movie Night @ LHC)

10th July – No Meeting

17th July – Bible Study/Reflection on the Licensing of our new minister

24th July – Bible Study/Reflection on the Licensing of our new minister

SUMMER HOLIDAY (so no meetings in August)

Are you a Game Changer?


Hi everyone!

COGs are pleased to announce that our Youth Service is now confirmed and will be on Sunday the 5th of June and the theme will be Game Changers!

We chose this theme because some of our youth went to Spring Harvest this year where the theme was Game Changers!

We will look at how you don’t have to do huge things to be a Game Changer and how you can change the Game for God!

Time to get excited!

See you there!