About Christ Church
Christ Church, Aughton, is a parish church with an evangelical ministry set in the market town of Ormskirk, 14 miles north of Liverpool on the West Lancashire plain.
Our parish of about 8500 is residential with no less than four schools (including our own church primary school) and because half the parish is greenbelt, several farms. An Anglican church, we belong to the diocese of Liverpool and the deanery of Ormskirk.
The church building, sited on the A59 halfway between Liverpool and Preston, has a distinctive tower. As this is the highest point in West Lancashire, it can be seen for miles around – and heard, too, when the bell ringers exercise their ministry!
In 2017 we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the foundation of Christ Church.
Our main focus
Our key task at Christ Church is to share Jesus with everyone in our community. Everyone means everyone. This overarches everything we do and on this website, you can read of this month’s activities in CONSIDER, our news-sheet delivered free of charge to every house in the parish. You can read this month’s copy here.
As a parish church Christ Church aims to be inclusive and new members are continually joining us from different traditions, usually those moving into the parish. Nevertheless our ministry is essentially evangelical and our worship relaxed and participatory.
Our key values
At Christ Church we take the Bible seriously not just in our preaching but in the whole of our church’s life. We particularly value the ministry of preaching and speaking at Family Services. There is also a strong musical tradition, with both choir and music group.
Who belongs to Christ Church?
Nearly all our congregation lives in Ormskirk, most in the parish itself. We are an active member of Ormskirk Churches Together, sharing in the ministries of Debt Counselling, Food Bank, Healing on the Street and Street Pastors,
Moreover we work closely with our neighbouring parish of St Michael’s, having a joint ministry in caring for the frail and vulnerable, both in their own homes and in residential care.
Our church to be a place of welcome, again for all ages and social groups.
Moreover, each church service – whatever type – is important in it own right and is open to everyone.
Attendance is usually around 200 adults including 45 children, rising by about a further 100 young people for our monthly Parade service. However, attendance at Christ Church is, to say the least, complex and we commissioned three detailed attendance surveys in 2001, 2002 and 2006 in order to understand patterns of church attendance.
These surveys showed a developing trend of more church members attending Sunday services (for all kinds of reasons) less regularly.
Geared for growth
There is substantial lay involvement at Christ Church in every area, including worship. We aim to develop the ministry of all church members, of all ages and backgrounds.
Ongoing ministry is the task of the Ministry Team, led by our vicar, Sarah, with nine members, some with a particular area of responsibility, such as welcome ministry or house groups. Christ Church is served by a curate as well as three lay ministers (known as readers).
Our ministry with children and young people
We have an extensive ministry with children and young people, church and uniformed, involving about 60 people as leaders and helpers. This has been recognised by the Child Friendly Church Award, presented October 2017.
Toddler group meeting each Tuesday in the Ministry Centre
(There is currently a waiting list for this group – contact the church office)
Meeting each Sunday:
Tiny Church (upto 3 years),
Diddy Disciples (3-5 years),
Momentum (secondary school)
There is also a midweek meeting for Momentum and a youth Alpha meeting on Wednesdays.
Twice each year we have a residential weekend in the Lake District for our young people. In September 2017 this was held at Rydal Hall.
Our Church School
We enjoy a close relationship with our church school, where the vicar chairs the governing body. This has been recognised with the award of the Church and School Partnership Award.
Our school has been assessed as outstanding in every area in the most recent OFSTED report in June 2012 and SIAMS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools) in July 2017.
The school is heavily oversubscribed.
There are around 14 home groups, some of which started life as an Alpha course. Most meet weekly, using material from the service theme that Sunday. Other groups within the church meet regularly – the Mothers’ Union and Wives Group. Table 49 is an informal group that meets at Wetherspoons in Ormskirk on Mondays 7.00 – 9.00 pm. It is open, honest conversation wherever that leads and is open ended – people can arrive and leave whenever it suits them.
Doing evangelism and encountering God.
We aim for evangelism as priority for all ages and social groups. As in every area of ministry, we are prepared to take risks for Kingdom of God
We have seen much growth through our Alpha courses. Generally speaking those completing an Alpha course will then form into a Beta group which meets for a further term before members join other house groups (or start a new one.)
We have now run 49 different Alpha courses, beginning at the end of January and the end of September each year. Many of those who have completed the Alpha course may join a church nearer to where they leave. We refuse to grow at the expense of other churches
We are committed to priority of prayer for our whole ministry
There is a simple service of Morning Prayer at 9.00 a.m. every weekday in church throughout the year.
Serving the weak and vulnerable
We are conscious of our responsibility to those in our parish who are elderly and sometimes isolated. We now have an active Pastoral Team with some 30 members. We also ensure that those residents in the three Nursing and Residential homes in the parish receive Holy Communion four times each year, generally at the major festivals.
We also have a very active Luncheon Club, attended by about 50 old people every Wednesday, beginning 12.30 p.m.
Honouring God in our finances
We are committed to Christian values in our church finances.
We rely on God’s provision through direct and planned giving rather than fund raising – with every area of finance honouring God.
We tithe the first 10% of our income to God’s work beyond Christ Church.
In all of this and in each area of church life, we aim for shared and transparent decision making.
Working in partnership
We are engaged in active support and engagement with mission partners, within and beyond the diocese.
Andrew and Maria Leake – Land for Life and Church Mission Society, in northern Argentina.
Pam Sephton and Andrew Gordon in Asian Hope schools, Cambodia.
Wong Young Soon, Executive Director of Malaysian Care.
Wong Kim Kong – Christian leadership training in Malaysia.
The people of St Cleopas, Toxteth with their vicar, David Gavin.
Oliver Elliott Associate Minister at St Peter’s Harold Wood.
Church members are given a weekly notice sheet each Sunday. This is also sent by email each Friday along with the vicar’s blog to anyone who wishes to go on our emailing list.
CONSIDER, the church magazine, is distributed to each house in the parish every month (apart from August).
You can follow Christ Church on Facebook with a special page for our Ministry Centre. Also on Twitter @ChristChurchAug.
We look forward to hearing from you and hope that you are able to pray for us in our ministry of sharing Jesus beginning with everyone in our parish.