The Parish of Christ Church, Felixstowe
Patron: Church Trust Fund Trust (CPAS)
Our Vision Statement: “To know Christ more and make Him known”
Parish Status: This was granted on the 1st August 2007
Population: The population of the parish is approximately 5600
Electoral Roll: 75 of which a significant proportion do not reside in the parish.
Christ Church Felixstowe is a relatively young church, birthed out of a ‘fresh expression’ in this area nearly 30 years ago, previously known as Cavendish Community Church. We are an urban parish situated at the gateway to nations - Felixstowe is the largest container port in the UK but still retains its status as a lovely welcoming seaside resort on the east coast.
Felixstowe is an attractive Victorian coastal resort, as well as home to Britain’s largest container port. Christ Church is located in the heart of several housing estates on the dock side of the town to the west of the main town centre.
The main housing areas are:
Cavendish Park, privately owned housing.
Orwell Green, a mix of privately owned and housing association properties.
Cricket Hill, which is both privately owned and housing association properties.
Coronation Drive, formerly Council housing, but now mix of private and housing association.
There is also a small unit of former ‘Shaftesbury’ Housing Association housing in the vicinity.
Other buildings and institutions in our area include:
A residential care home and sheltered accommodation within the parish (The Firs, Rowland House, Reynolds Court, and Yetton Ward House), a British Legion centre, a doctor’s surgery, two pubs (The Dooley and the Owl and Pussycat), Morrison’s Supermarket, a Macdonald’s Restaurant and 2 large caravan sites.
Significant local employers in the area include the many companies associated with Felixstowe docks and BT’s Adastral Park at Martlesham.
In the Felixstowe area there are eleven schools (nine infant, junior and primary schools, an Academy which was formed out of the merging of two High Schools into one new building in 2013). One of these schools, Grange Primary School, lies within the Parish of Christ Church. The nearest Church of England primary school is in Nacton, around 5-6 miles away. Locally there are also Higher and Further education establishments with the University College Suffolk and Suffolk College in nearby Ipswich.
Felixstowe Docks is situated at the edge of Christ Church Parish, and together with other churches in Churches Together in Felixstowe, we support the Mission to Seafarers.
How we fit into the wider Church
Christ Church is in the Colneys deanery which is part of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, and you can find more information about these in the appendices. Christ Church Felixstowe became a parish in its own right in 2014 when it was separated from the Orwell Team Ministry, which included St. Mary’s Walton and St.Martin’s and St. Mary’s Trimley, which has enabled us to take full responsibility for our own life and mission.
Relationships with other churches at home and overseas Within Felixstowe there is an active ‘Churches Together’ of which Christ Church is a pro-active and prominent member, who hold joint services for special festivals such as Pentecost & Easter and “Praise on the Prom” in the summer. We support the Chaplaincy at the Felixstowe Academy, run through the Boost Trust, and the Felixstowe Town Pastors, and some of our members have been involved, or are involved in overseas missions.
Over the last few years there have been a number of large scale schools-based music projects, which whilst not formally CCF projects, they have been mainly driven from members within the church (see everlastinglight.org.uk as an example).
CCF originally began as a church plant following a call and vision for there to be a church at the heart of our community. Our church is here to act as a focus and resource for charismatic renewal. Whilst basically Anglican, the church has a strong ecumenical bias and over the years has embraced teaching and guidance from other denominations as well as including retired non-Anglican clergy as part of the leadership. Over the past few years increasingly our attention has been directed towards serving the needs of the local estates. The heart of the church is evangelical with a charismatic flavour and a desire to grow further in an understanding of Kingdom values.
The mission statement of “To know Christ more and make Him known” is at the core of all we do.
There is a strong team of lay leaders who are involved in various ways including the leading of worship, prayer, ministry etc. under the overall guidance of the vicar and leadership team. At Christ Church we have a strong family emphasis with children’s groups and youth who together with people of all ages, regularly contribute to our worship. CCF has a Declaration of Ecumenical Welcome, signed by all the denominational leaders in the county and is committed to working with and welcoming people from other denominations in the area. CCF is a member of the Evangelical Alliance, New Wine Network and Churches Together in Felixstowe.
The PCC (known within CCF as the Forum ) comprises around 12 members in various capacities including members of the Leadership Team as well as Deanery reps.
The Leadership Team itself, is comprised of the vicar, two church wardens and three elected lay members. This team supports the vicar in leading and directing the life of the church.
When CCF became a church with its own parish as part of the process changed its name from Cavendish Community Church to Christ Church.
There have been three vicars within the life of our church as well as two Ordained Local Ministers and two non-Anglican associate ministers. We value and welcome the fact that the Bishop has licensed non-Anglican associate leadership within our church and would be open to explore this again in the future. In the past CCF has also supported the training of curates as part of their ministry too.
Following a period of 5 years worshipping in a number of locations, Christ Church is now in a modern purpose built church, constructed in 1994. It has a well equipped worship area (225 maximum seating capacity), kitchen, office, downstairs small meeting room (used for prayer and crèche) plus one large and two small upper rooms.
At Christ Church the building is used by many community groups including a Community Association, U3A History Group, Brownies and Guides and is also hired for elections, community meetings and for children’s birthday parties.
At CCF we share the following values:-
• Local church life that is welcoming, relational, accessible for all generations and builds family and community life.
• Inspiring worship that is passionate, intimate, culturally appropriate and facilitates encounter with God.
• Anointed leadership that is visionary, courageous, humble, consistent, full of faith and releases church members into their God-given ministries.
• Spirit-empowered mission that is evangelistic, holistic, kingdom centred and concerned with justice and care for the poor and encourages new church-planting initiatives.
• Orthodox theology with doctrine and ethics founded on the person, teaching and work of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Bible.
• Bible-based teaching and training that is thoughtful, relevant and equips for everyday life and ministry.
• Personal discipleship that is based on living like Jesus, exemplifying love, prayerfulness, holiness, integrity, accountability, humility and generosity.
• Every-member ministry that discerns each person’s calling and expresses God’s love through the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit.
• Giving - the church gives away 10% of its unrestricted income.
Activities within CCF
There are a wide range of activities, groups and teams within CCF ranging from those that support the leading of CCF through to those involved in the organisation and implementation of social events and outreach.
• Home Groups (on various nights of the week)
• A Parent & Toddler group
• A Tuesday Prayer Group
• Annual men’s walking weekend
• Children’s groups both on a Sunday morning and during the week
• The Alpha Course
• Youth Group on Sunday evenings
• ‘The Marriage Course’ and pre-marriage courses from time to time
• An annual Church Weekend away at Sizewell Hall
• Social events for the local community (such as quizzes, music, drama, mime etc.)
What we offer
We believe that our main strengths are
• Excellent provision for worship with several highly competent musicians.
• Strong emphasis on family and building a place of belonging for all.
• A good technical capability with fully integrated visuals and sound system
• Highly effective children and youth ministry, with a committed team
• A modern and versatile building
• Active participation in Churches Together in Felixstowe
• An informal and open approach to liturgy and style with an enthusiasm to explore new areas of worship
• A Policy on Safeguarding
• High quality and strength of teaching
• A wide spectrum of denominational backgrounds within the congregation
In addition we have
• A part-time church administrator
• A part-time cleaner
• A ‘Prayer Ministry Team’
• A ‘Pastoral Care Team’
• A Worship Team
• A Welcome Team