This post by kathylarkman was originally published at GRACE PLACE


Hannah Spruijt, contributor of today’s post

I’ll be honest, I am not a big fan of this time of the year. The endless grey dreariness gets me down, and I don’t much like going out in the cold. The bright twinkly lights of Christmas feel far in the past, despite January having only just begun! However, it struck me this week, that despite my ‘poor me’ feelings, the message of Christmas is still well and truly here if I would just focus my heart on it.
As I was reading Titus 2, verse 11 stood out to me; “For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people” (NLT). My first thought was Christmas! Jesus, our salvation bringer, revealed to us by piercing the darkness of a cold night in Bethlehem. The Christmas message that warms my heart as I ponder on it through December, is STILL there to be found in gloomy January!
We are reading through the New Testament in a year with our life group this year; one chapter a day. Yesterday whilst reading Matthew 2, verse 10 spoke to my heart. “When they (the Magi) saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” (ESV). The Magi, who had travelled SO far and for SO long must have indeed been thrilled by the sight of the star leading them to their final destination. And yet they didn’t even know the full story that we know now… How that baby-King would one day die a cruel death on a cross, bearing the punishment of the sins of all people in order to bring them back into a right relationship with the Father God. How that baby-King would triumph over death, making the hope of eternity with him a possibility for those who would believe and trust in him. And how that baby-King will one day come again, not as a baby but as majestic Ruler of All, bringing justice and ushering in his kingdom. But WE KNOW! As Paul said to Titus, the grace of God has been REVEALED! It has been enough to make my heart rejoice all over again. And when I am tempted to (or give in to) despair and gloom, I have made it my arrow-prayer to say “Father I choose to rejoice right now that…” and fill the blank with truths like:
You have revealed Jesus to us
Jesus has brought salvation to messed-up me
I am loved by the Creator of the universe
I am redeemed
I am being sanctified (made holy)
I will one day be with you forever…
Titus is full of truths I am able to use to fight back against the gloom! I pray that you too will be able to rejoice in the amazing truth that Titus 2:11 shows us; the grace of God has been revealed! Choose to fix your eyes on Jesus, our salvation-bringer, today and every day.

Notices 6th January 2019

CBC logo notices in greyscale


Elections of Safeguarding Deacon, Fabric Deacon and Elder and will take place at the next Church Meeting.  Nominations for these positions close at 6pm tonight.  Adrian Pillinger and Martin Sheringham have indicated their willingness to be re-nominated for positions of Elder and Fabric Deacon respectively. All the relevant paperwork is at the back.

Midweek Service

The next meeting is on Wednesday 9th January at 2pm. The text is Matthew 2.1-18.  Eric Seager will be leading and David Morrell preaching.  Refreshments follow at 3pm.

Baptismal Services

We will be having two baptisms on 27th January at Priory Street…Tom Price at the 9:15am and Adrianna Hurley at the 11:15am service.  If you feel you would like to be baptised, or have any questions about this, please speak to Eddie Larkman or one of the church leaders.

Church Meeting

The first Church Meeting of the year will take place on Monday 21st January 2019 at 8pm.  Agenda to follow in due course.

Mission News!

Steve and Gill Bryant have put out their December newsletter.  Please take a copy from the table at the back. 

A reminder that the Littles‘ blogs can be found at and as they continue serving the Lord on Africa Mercy off the coast of West Africa.

Neal and Lesley Grindrod leave for Vienna on Sunday 27th January and return on Monday 8th April. They do not have any airport transport organised yet and would be very grateful if someone from CBC could help them out.  They need to be at Bristol airport for 10am on the Sunday morning.

Prayer requests for Lesley and Neal: 

* That God would keep them both strong and healthy as they prepare to leave for Austria

* That they will be able to ‘hit the ground running’ and be a blessing to the team and refugees

* That the team dynamic (relationships) will be healthy and they will fit in easily under the new leadership at Oasis

Oasis Building Mission Trip

Martin Sheringham is leading a building team to the Oasis Centre, Traiskirchen, Vienna on 2/3rd February returning 9/10th February.  Paul Garcia and Chris Drake are the other two going. They will be remodelling a toilet to allow for wheel chair access.  Please pray for the preparations required to make this trip successful. Thank you.

Clothing Donations to the Oasis Refugee Centre

Martin and the team would like to take clothing aid as they will be going in a mini-van. Oasis would like donations of clothing but they are mainly in need of new adult men’s/women’s underwear and socks.  Other warm second hand clothing – coats, hats etc would be welcome, but the greatest need is for the former.  Please bring donations to church during the week preceding the trip ie. from January 26th onwards and leave in the big box which will be in the church entrance.  Any queries, please contact Jo or Martin Sheringham.

Women’s Bible Study

This will be held on Monday 28th January at the usual time of 7:30pm.  Study notes are on the table at the back.  Please take one in advance of the meeting.

…This week…

Monday: Mums’ bible study, 9:30am

Wednesday: Midweek service, 2pm

Thursday: Toddler Group, 10am; Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 7:30pm

Friday: Corsham Money and Debt Advice Centre, 9:30am; Encounter, 3.45pm; Engage, 4:30pm; Energize, 5:30pm

Life groups meet in and around Corsham and neighbouring towns and villages during the week.  If you would like more information on any small groups, please speak to your congregational leaders.

… Looking ahead…

14th January: Fight night; prayer for persecuted church and missions

18th-19th January: Leaders’ retreat

21st January: Church Meeting, 8pm

23rd January: Midweek service, 2pm

26th January: The Ark, 10am

27th January: Baptism service, 9:15am and 11:15am  service; Grindrods leave for Austria

28th January: Women’s bible study, 7:30pm



This post by kathylarkman was originally published at GRACE PLACE

Billy-Graham-prayingThis prayer from Billy Graham, written for The Saturday Evening Post in 2008, is just as relevant more than a decade later.
Our Father and our God, as we stand at the beginning of this new year we confess our need of Your presence and Your guidance as we face the future.
We each have our hopes and expectations for the year that is ahead of us—but You alone know what it holds for us, and only You can give us the strength and the wisdom we will need to meet its challenges. So help us to humbly put our hands into Your hand, and to trust You and to seek Your will for our lives during this coming year.
In the midst of life’s uncertainties in the days ahead, assure us of the certainty of Your unchanging love.
In the midst of life’s inevitable disappointments and heartaches, help us to turn to You for the stability and comfort we will need.
In the midst of life’s temptations and the pull of our stubborn self-will, help us not to lose our way but to have the courage to do what is right in Your sight, regardless of the cost.
And in the midst of our daily preoccupations and pursuits, open our eyes to the sorrows and injustices of our hurting world, and help us to respond with compassion and sacrifice to those who are friendless and in need. May our constant prayer be that of the ancient Psalmist: “Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end” (Psalm 119:33).
We pray for our nation and its leaders during these difficult times, and for all those who are seeking to bring peace and justice to our dangerous and troubled world. We pray especially for Your protection on all those who serve in our armed forces, and we thank You for their commitment to defend our freedoms, even at the cost of their own lives. Be with their families also, and assure them of Your love and concern for them.
Bring our divided nation together, and give us a greater vision of what You would have us to be. Your Word reminds us that “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12).
As we look back over this past year we thank You for Your goodness to us—far beyond what we have deserved. May we never presume on Your past goodness or forget all Your mercies to us, but may they instead lead us to repentance, and to a new commitment to make You the foundation and center of our lives this year.
And so, our Father, we thank You for the promise and hope of this new year, and we look forward to it with expectancy and faith. This I ask in the name of our Lord and Savior, who by His death and resurrection has given us hope both for this world and the world to come.
© 2008 Saturday Evening Post Society. Reprinted with permission.