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"I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7

community church


COMING TOGETHER This summer we’ll hopefully have a great time celebrating both the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics coming to London. One of the things I love about the Olympics is so many different people coming together to take part in one thing. This year 216 different nations will be competing in the Olympics, millions will be coming to London to watch it, and billions around the world will be watching it on TV. A truly global get together. In this issue of LinK we’ve picked up on this Olympic theme, looking at the power of community in the life of the church. We have stories from people whose lives have been changed through the church community, and we see how the wider community can be changed for good when church community works as it should. I hope you enjoy the Jubilee, the Olympics and reading this edition of LinK! Simon.

TEAMLINK Chief Editor Beccy Oliver Copy Editor Steve Scott Consulting Editors Simon Benham, Penny Lander, Colin Boyle Magazine Coordinator Joanna Krzeczunowicz Editorial contribution Gideon Heugh, Suzanne Whitton, Tony Pudner, Clive Challis, Heather Pocock, Dave Betts, Penny Lander Art Director Mike Charlton Head of Photography John Mitchell Photographic contribution Sarina Cooper

Simon & Catrina Benham





the power of the community

TAKING PART CONTENTS A journey of discovery Small group community Social justice - Andy Jackson Olympics trafficking - Ben Cooley Revolution Going for Gold - Tony Pudner Peach and coconut Olympic heroes Kerith reflections A different race - Clive Challis The Penny Lander Interview Books, movies and music reviews 60 second Interview REAL Previews and dates for the diary Who to contact Finding Kerith

4-5 6-7 8-9 10 11 12-13 14 15 16 17 18-19 20-21 22 23 24-25 26-27 28


The marriage course

The Alpha course

Freedom in Christ

Building great relationships

Introduction to the Christian faith

Intermediate discipleship

Evening theology study course

Bereavement course Coping with the death of a loved one

Kerith academy

Worship academy


Discovery workshop

Year training in theology and practical service

Musical tuition in the context of worship

Practical skills to help with parenting

Realise your spiritual gifting

CAP Money



Money management

For children aged 7-11 who want to know more about God

Kerith courses & academies

Explode Sparklers

Dance group for children aged 5-11


Life groups

Central line

Midweek small groups

Life within Kerith

Parent and toddler group

Dynamite Choir for children aged 5-11


Deaf hope

Midweek group for the retired

Group for the deaf and hard of hearing


Children’s ministry Sandhurst


Unique women’s ministry

Treasure Tots

Konstruction Krew




Young adult community

Simply events




Women’s book club

Women’s mentoring programme

Women’s writing group

Encounter Twinkles Babies

Youth ministry Jewels 1s

Ground breakers 5-7s

Precious Stones 3-4s

Rock solid 8-9s

Boulder gang 10-11s

Sunday children’s groups that meet in K2, our building across the car park from the Kerith Centre

United men’s ministry

Discipleship groups

Little Gems 2s

Single parents’ group

Midday bible study group

Next Steps

J Generation Sunday youth meetings

Project 125 Life

T.O.B Youth drama group


Friday night youth event

Football club

Golf club

Monday nights




Schools’ work Networking within local secondary schools



Supporting leaders in two churches

Developing leaders and supporting youth events in churches



Act for Justice

CAP Free debt advice through a national charity




Group for adults with learning disabilities

Feeding local people in crisis


Support and awareness of human trafficking in the local community

Crisis Intervention


Practical help for people in crisis



Kerith in the Community

Welcome team

Support groups for children with disabilities and their families

Courses Car parking

District line Outreaching work of Kerith

Kerith Community Church

Oakwood youth challenge Partner organisation, outward bound activity and leadership training centre

Sibling Support Youth Sailing

Respite Saturday and holiday clubs for disabled children

Youth Monday night youth group

Creative arts

Mums’ group

Drama Sunday meetings and productions

International hub

Worship Resound


Adult worship bands

Youth worship band

Support group for mothers of disabled children

Sunday buddies Support for disabled children during our Sunday children’s meetings

Tech team

Media team

Graphics team

Sound, lighting, projection & recording

Video editing and animated production

Website, graphics, set design and literature



Serenje appeal

Helping establish first Lithuanian Willow Creek Leadership Summit

Church plant in Melle

Five-year programme supporting HIV/AIDS projects in Zambia


TEAM SPIRIT WHAT’S SO GOOD ABOUT SMALL GROUPS? LinK asked four group members how they benefit from doing the ‘real stuff’ in their communities:

miriam Barker

“In TMTL, the group for the retired, we have a wonderful opportunity once a month to watch DVDs of great speakers. It is a time for me to learn and grow through their thoughts and wisdom, and an opportunity to focus on God. Recently I gave my story and it gave me confidence to speak in front of people, something I’m not usually too comfortable doing. God is giving me confidence in lots of ways.”

Laura fixter

“The minute I walked into the single parents’ group I felt so welcome. Everybody was very encouraging, and because we share the same experiences I feel I can relate to them. I love to see how God is working and the fantastic plans he has for us. The group makes me feel part of a community, something I’ve never felt before.”

cory Spaan

“My wife and I have been very blessed by our Life Group. Not only have we made wonderful friends but we could not have made the move to England and the transition to English culture without them. They and the church have been our lifesavers. These friends have supported my wife and I with practical things like moving flats, and have also provided me a place to talk about significant issues in my life. This has shown what can happen when you trust in God, that He will not leave you abandoned.”



At the start of every But between those two ceremonies the guts of the Olympics actually takes Olympics is an opening place. The athletes go off to take part in their individual events, which may be as different as sailing, horse riding or rhythmic gymnastics. ceremony. A huge, preplanned, People compete, medals are won and lost, and the ‘real stuff’ carefully choreographed celebration happens. which brings all of the athletes In many ways I think church is similar. On Sundays we gather in together as they anticipate what is large, planned celebrations. These are great times to all come together, worship together and hear life-changing messages. But in about to take place. Similarly, at the many ways the ‘real stuff’ happens not in these big gatherings but end of the Olympics is a huge closing when we meet during the week in small group communities. These celebration where once again are where we get to share our lives with one another at a deeper level, everyone comes together in a where we get to care for one another’s needs, where we get to serve our local community and where life change happens most powerfully. celebration of all that This year we’ve set ourselves the goal of having 50 different small group has taken place. communities. These might be a course, a serving team or a special interest group. If, at the moment, you’re just attending our opening and closing ceremonies, our Sundays, then I encourage you to take part in an event too!

Simon Benham

philip curtis

“In Proverbs 27:17 it says: ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another’. In the men’s prayer group we recognise our need to challenge each other to give ourselves to a cause greater than ourselves. This is so that we will grow into a deeper relationship with each other and God as we make ourselves accountable. We do this by meeting regularly to pray and discuss the impact of God's word on our lives. I love going because I enjoy the support I get from the guys, and the way their input challenges me to be a better Christian, husband and friend. A better man.”

whAt iS A SmALL Group At Kerith? A small group at Kerith meets regularly, is committed to growing in friendships together, and engages in spiritual disciplines that bring us closer to God. There’s a huge diversity of groups that could be small groups. We’ve got courses, serving teams, special interest groups and life groups already - but we’d welcome more.

SOCIAL JUSTICE FEATURE KERITHDIRECTORY mAny Know Andy JAcKSon AS the SportLovinG mAin mAn of the BrAcKneLL cAp centre (chriStiAnS AGAinSt poverty). But did you Know he now hAS A new roLe At the Kerith? And how ABout the LittLe-Known fActS thAt he once Stood in the LocAL eLectionS And wiLL, thiS Summer, cArry the oLympic torch? LinK ASKed him to SpiLL the BeAnS.

did you ever dream you'd one day be carrying the olympic flame?! This may sound like a cliché but I don’t think there can ever have been anything further from my mind. As a teenage middle distance runner I used to dream of coming off the final bend in an Olympic 1,500m final to take the gold medal. It was pretty clear even then that this would only ever be a dream. Carrying the torch is something I never contemplated and it will be a real privilege to be involved in the Olympics even in this small way.

you were a candidate in the local elections last year. how did you get involved in politics? I can’t pinpoint a particular time when my interest in politics developed, but I believe strongly this is an area of life which Christians shouldn’t be afraid of. There’s a long tradition in the UK of politicians whose politics has been driven by their faith, including some very recent Prime Ministers. Politics can be very divisive but we need to be comfortable with the fact that sharing a Christian faith does not necessarily mean we will share political views. For me the motivation to be involved is wanting this to be a local community and ultimately a country where we’re narrowing the gap between rich and the poor, where we stand up for those who don’t have a voice and where we care for the vulnerable and people in need.

what is your role at the Kerith now?

how did you come to be picked as an olympic torch bearer? I was very kindly nominated by somebody, but I have to confess that I didn’t ever expect to be selected. I was amazed when I received the email telling me that I will be carrying the torch in July when it comes through Maidenhead. I feel as though I’ll actually be carrying the torch on behalf of a lot of other people – my family, the church and anyone involved with my social justice team. My wife Janine was diagnosed with a form of bone cancer seven years ago and subsequently had to have a leg amputated. As a family we’ve had to face the challenges of living with that diagnosis and Janine’s disability. She had cancer again last year but is now in remission for a second time. She’s the hero really and I should probably have nominated her! We’ve received incredible support from the church and would not be where we are without it.

I started working for the church six years ago as manager of our then new CAP Centre. It was something of a dream job for me – I was able to use skills I’d gained as a lawyer and work for people in real need. We’ve seen God do some amazing things in people’s lives. Last summer I was asked if I would change my role and oversee all the social justice projects at the Kerith – everything from CAP to Foodbank, Konnections, Hilltop, Crisis Intervention, Act For Justice, our very new Job Club and some of the background aspects of our project in Serenje, Zambia. I’ll also be looking at what we might develop next. We certainly don’t have it all worked out when it comes to social justice at Kerith, but we’ve come a long way. We have a team of very committed people who are passionate about what they’re doing and the people they’re reaching. It’s a privilege to be overseeing them and I don’t take for granted that I’m part of a church where we don’t think twice about whether the pursuit of social justice is something we should be doing.



i was amazed when i received the email telling me that i will be carrying the torch in July when it comes through maidenhead. i feel as though i’ll actually be carrying the torch on behalf of a lot of other people – my family, the church and anyone involved with my social justice team at Kerith.


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KERITH INTERVIEW - TONY PUDNER : OAKWOOD KERITHDIRECTORY oakwood youth challenge is such an inspiration for everyone who steps foot on site. can you explain a little about its conception?

we know you as a man with a great drive and determination – with a love of adventure. do you have some examples you could share with us?

computer, three times faster than the American and Japanese designs. Soon after I started my own computer design company.

One way or another since the 1980s I I enjoy challenge, it is exciting and have always been involved in youth invigorating. Challenge gives you an Running your own business is a continual work. I helped with and ran many opportunity to move from one level to challenge and as a Christian it presents Christian youth clubs an opportunity to operate and holiday clubs in accordance to Biblical usually involving principles. God showed tony pudner iS A memBer of the Kerith community, But iS worship, a gospel me at the outset that if I Known more wideLy AS the founder of oAKwood youth message and a range of looked after His church, chALLenGe, An outwArd Bound centre in woKinGhAm. he iS A indoor activities. While He would look after my mAn of GreAt drive And pASSion. LinK ASKed him to SpeAK they were well attended, company. The company I knew that I would used the biblical principle ABout the theme of 'chALLenGe'. never have gone to these of tithing (giving away when I was young – they 10% of its income) and for were just too tame. the next, to extend your borders. and for each company employee we When I was 18, I wanted to be a doctor aimed to fund a missionary serving God In 2001 I was in a prayer meeting but I couldn’t get any funding. I was full-time. The company prospered and and God showed me a picture. It was on holiday in France and while was blessed with technically challenging as though I was looking down on my attending a bullfight, an work. Eventually it was to become the house and all the surrounding area. announcement was made that anyone financial basis of Oakwood. Over the On my land there were a number of who could get a rosette from between years God has shown me to find out His stars. Each star represented the bull’s horns would win a big cash will and then go for it. somebody being born into the prize. This would be sufficient to pay Kingdom of God. However in the my way through medical school. Many what has God taught you about challenges adjacent derelict pig farm were dived into the bull ring, as did I. I got through the process of building oakwood? hundreds and thousands of stars. I tossed around a fair bit but I got the When it came to Oakwood, I knew God’s felt that God was saying that He rosette, much to the bull’s displeasure. leading, but I had no idea what I was wanted to use the farm, known as That is the way to handle challenge – Oakwood, for His work and that focus on the goal and hang on for dear many thousands would be saved life. It was good to win but I later there. I approached the owner and found out that I had actually won made an offer to buy the farm. It was 5,000 centimes and not 5,000 francs, declined. I left the offer open to the and medical school never owner – if it was of God it would be materialised. I did however manage to accepted. Two months later I was on get sponsorship to study engineering. holiday and on the point of buying building. I was only ever shown the next another property. I asked God you were involved in computer design step and not the final outcome. Building whether I should go ahead with this prior to oakwood. what challenges did Oakwood has been a series of challenges, other property. God brought to my you confront in this arena? often taking the form of direct and attention that I could not afford to My career as an engineer led me to aggressive opposition. Opposition is an buy both and that He had, I believe, computer design. In the 1980s the excellent tool that God uses to get you told me to buy Oakwood. So I world of computing was challenged by dependant on Him. However hard things phoned the agent and withdrew the Japanese announcing a new are, you can have absolute assurance that from the other deal. I then called my generation of computing based on in God you will not be tested beyond your secretary at work to collect any artificial intelligence. The Japanese strength. Whenever I received messages. I had a message from my designed their prototype and the opposition, my response was not to react neighbour accepting the offer. As Americans responded with a faster to it directly, but rather to put in another you enter Oakwood today you will be version. What an opportunity. I planning application to increase the size met by a large sign proclaiming: ‘The acquired some research funding and of Oakwood further. The size of Oakwood earth and everything in it belongs to designed what turned out to be the is testimony more to the level of God’ (Psalm 24:1). It really does. world’s fastest artificial intelligence opposition than to my forward planning!




what would you say to LinK readers who are facing life challenges? Challenge is a part of what we do at Oakwood, so that we can help those who come through our doors to move forward and upward. We believe that everyone should have a mountain to climb, a challenge to meet, a goal to aim for. While striving for these things, people will experience good and bad times, and have to take some risks. We aim to provide people with the skills they need to meet these challenges, face the risks head on, and ultimately succeed. Challenge is the way that we test and extend our boundaries. It opposes complacency. take up God’s challenge for you whatever that is, see it through, and see God provide.




G n i comoon S

Simon Benham’s first book will hit the shelves this September!

‘the peach and the coconut’ will feature 30 chapters on the culture we are trying to build at Kerith community church.

LinK managed to secure an exclusive extract to whet your appetite: The dictionary defines culture as ‘the behaviours and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group’. Every family, every town, every football club, every pub, every church, and every country has a culture, a particular way in which it behaves and a set of beliefs which drive that behaviour. Often cultures just develop without anyone thinking too much about it. For instance families develop their own particular way of doing

Christmas. There isn't necessarily any right and wrong about when in the day the presents should be opened, or whether after lunch you crash in front of the TV or play games, it's just different. But sometimes there are moments where we need to try to define and shape culture – what some have called being ‘cultural architects’. We can do that by painting a picture of what we would like the culture to be, then striving with all our being to build the community we've described.

My aim here is to use words to paint a picture of the culture we want to build in Kerith Community Church, based around the analogy of the peach and the coconut. This isn't so much a description of how things are today (although hopefully we're at least some of the way there), but more a picture of where we want to be. There will always be bits of what we do that don't live up to the ideal. But that must never stop us striving to build and to be the church, the beautiful bride that Jesus has always longed for.



the oLympic GAmeS Are A pLAce where dreAmS come true And heroeS Are mAde. LinK ASKed the queStion:

Michael Phelps USA gold medalist in swimming. Such a great sports person. robyn-Lee upton

who’S your oLympic hero And why?

Daley thompson He was a great all-rounder in the decathlon and had a killer ’tache! I liked him so much I dressed up as him at a school fancy dress day! Steve Scott

linford Christie He won a medal in the 100m when we were internationally acknowledged as being pretty poor at athletics. He came third, but got bumped up to silver when Ben Johnson was disqualified for banned substances. Ben oliver

Zola Budd The bare foot runner from my homeland South Africa. Judy Baker

Steve ovett Because I was that side of Mark Spitz the Ovett and Coe rivalry, and Olympic swimmer because he was part of a golden age from the 1970s, because I of British running. It was a great met him once at a primary moment when he, Coe and Cram were school swimming lesson. first, second and third at the bell in Lorraine wade Carl lewis the 1984 1,500m final. It’s a shame it The sprinter – he prayed didn't finish that way and he had about the final race of the 100m to drop out with breathing sprint in 1988 and God told him difficulties. that he would get gold and to rely Andrew Jackson on him. He came second but Jesse owens thanked God anyway, then the A black athlete who won winner was stripped of the medal four gold medals in the for steroid use and Carl got 1936 Olympics. Hitler refused Steve Cram the gold. to shake hands with him and His TV advert was so trevor meardon was annoyed because he wanted convincing that I actually the Berlin Games to show the believed Kellogg’s Start superiority of the Aryan race. was a 'sports' cereal. catriona mitchell david cottee

KERITH REFLECTIONS KERITHDIRECTORY l Hybels, ley and Bil Andy Stan kers from nown spea two well-k th stage d the Keri USA, share nuary. They Ja for a day in leaders ions from st e u q d across fielde m avelled fro ckedwho had tr a p nd this e tt a to K the U out event.

Unique events for women kicked off with the much-loved classic Sound Of Music singalong, with popcorn and toe-tapping while the snow settled outside. Simply Word and Worship provided space for God to speak to us…and yummy cake pops!

Nearly 50 child ren aged five to 11 attended BU ILD, an activity during Februa ry half-term. They found ou t more about God through th e ups and downs of Jose ph’s story.

ear, of the y g in n in e beg nded to Since th n have respo e sus to b dre 36 chil tion to ask Je t os ita the inv ver friend’. M n are e r o d hil re their ‘f ut 90 c n Krew. o b a s y Sunda tructio g Kons in d n e t t a

Explode Dance Group took part in a Youth Dance Festival at South Hill Park.

‘Soprano’ style New Yorker Pete Sca zzero spo ke about transform the ation of h is li church th rough con fe and templative prayer an d meditati o n. His term ‘emotiona lly healthy s piritually’ will reson ate at Keri th for a lo while. ng

Tim Hughes, internationally renowned worship leader, spoke with great grace at two Sunday morning meetings in the latest part of our Texts For Life series.

A new-st yle thank sgiving me gave us a eting great oppo rtunity to celebrate with some of our Ker families a ith nd give th a n ks for the children. ir

ceived a Konnections re om NatWest £6,275 grant fr rce. Community Fo

Youth are continuing to get stu into Kerith ck having firs t come alo to LIFE on ng a Friday n ight. Some being bap tised and giving their family an o ppo to Jesus to rtunity to respond o, others a ttending LIFE and s tarting to serve in th church th e e minute a fter. January was another busy month for the Foodbank, they saw a total of 196 people being supported, one of our highest monthly totals to-date. It also saw over 1.6 tonne of food given out, reflecting both the cold weather and economic climate. Bracknell Area Foodbank is also registered with Localgiving: The team is pleased to offer your community organisation another opportunity to double donations made to your charity £ for £ beginning on the 1st March 2012 in the £375,000 March Match Fund!

ll the Trusse is m ro f y le David McAu ded us the church that Trust reminfor the world, and ions. the hope useless without act ks words are the trust’s foodban eople. This year more than 100,000 p will feed

A glittering awards ceremony honoured the hundreds of volunteers who serve at the Kerith. A red carpet flowed through reception and staff warmed up the crowd with a High School Musical number!



cLive chALLiS hAS Been A vALued memBer of the Kerith community for mAny yeArS. he BecAme the church treASurer in 1982, hoLdinG down A fuLL-time JoB whiLe KeepinG the church’S finAnceS in order for neArLy 25 yeArS. he cArried the church throuGh mAJor proJectS Such AS the BuiLdinG of the Kerith centre, which opened in 1989. in 2007, cLive wAS diAGnoSed with muLtipLe ScLeroSiS – A muScLe wAStinG diSeASe which AttAcKS the centrAL nervouS SyStem. cLive ShAred with LinK hiS thouGhtS on ‘runninG A rAce’ thAt wAS not of hiS chooSinG…

ENDURANCE FINDING STRENGTH At a recent Life Group we were discussing why it is that so often God appears not to answer our prayers. I woke up during the following night and started to consider how God, although not directly answering my prayers for healing, had answered many other prayers since being diagnosed with MS. I remembered an email I’d received from a friend on the day of my first neurology appointment, the start of my journey to a diagnosis. She told me that she felt God was saying: 'I care a lot, not just a little bit, but to overflowing!’ Until now I had only considered this a promise for the future, which indeed it was. But I believe it was also a declaration that God has been with me in the past.

In the early 80s I made a disastrous job change and, in my mid-30s, felt I needed to rebuild my career. God opened doors and I was soon in the role of financial controller for a division of a large UK company. It was as a result of that promotion, with all the financial benefits that came with it, that I was able to retire at the age of 51. It would not be for some years that I would realise the significance of the timing of my retirement. If I had not retired early I would not have had those pre-MS years when I was able to live life without any disability. I have been able to travel, visiting churches in Kenya and Uganda. If I had retired at the normal age, mobility problems would have made it difficult to have made those trips.

I thought back to when we first moved to Bracknell, way back in 1974, and how we very much believed that it was all part of God’s plan for us. While visiting Bracknell town centre one Saturday morning prior to moving, we met Ben Davies, the senior pastor of what was then Bracknell Baptist Church. I’m sure this was a Godordained moment and it seemed perfectly natural for us to begin attending his church. Thinking back, I'm sure that if we had not moved we would have most likely fallen away from following God.

Looking back over the last five years of living with MS, I’m convinced that God has protected me from the worst that this disease could have thrown at me; I may not be able to walk very well but that’s my only really serious symptom. Would I like God to heal me? Of course, but whether He does or not, I know that I’m not travelling this journey alone. Looking back, God has been in control of our life events. God may not be healing me, but He has shown that He is in control.


i Grew up with no SenSe of God BeinG reAL, ALive And LovinG. So my encounter with JeSuS in my 20S, when ALAn And i were hAppy newLy-wedS, Seemed to come out of the BLue. now i wAnted ALL thAt God hAd for me. Get BAptiSed, reAd the BiBLe, Serve, prAy, Give my money – i hAd never Been So ALive.

RUNNING A DIFFER But then nine months after we’d both become Christians, we learnt that we would never have children. How could that loving, all-powerful God allow my world to fall apart? I couldn’t hold two such opposing ideas in my head. I cried, prayed and felt guilty, because surely it must be my lack of faith. Over the years there would be countless times of telling God: “I can’t do this childlessness any more.” I don’t know how He did it, but God would change me from the inside, smoothing those sharp broken pieces of pain and loss. When I was angry, or didn’t want to admit my hurt – always God’s peace would come, sometimes quickly or sometimes slowly, but it came. Turning points in life’s marathon are rarely signposted and the book which I took last-minute to Cornwall one summer certainly didn’t look like one. When I read about Joni Eareckson’s acceptance of being paralysed from the neck down from a teenage diving accident, after she'd struggled against it for years, I knew that God’s call was for us to stop praying for children. The same painful thought was in Alan’s mind. As we prayed and gave our desire for children back to God, hope replaced helplessness. How like God though – this marathon was only mapped out to the next turning point. Two years on a newspaper cutting shook my world again. A new medical treatment offered the hope of babies to couples like us. Then at the same time another ‘chance’ conversation and I learnt that in China there were babies waiting for parents. Not some immoral

child-smuggling operation, but legitimate intergovernment adoptions. We knew that our deep desire wasn’t medical intervention, but to adopt children who needed us. Scared of starting a dead-end journey, I left the bulging brown envelope of adoption information unopened for days. But in all these years God had been constant, the Bible a source of comfort and direction. One morning, as the radio woke me, a longforgotten verse floated feather-like round my mind. I picked up my Bible from by the bed and opened it at random (oh I love God’s ‘random!’) and there was THE verse (Isaiah 43:5): “Do not be afraid, for I am with you, I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.” Fast forward 18 months through a rollercoaster of emotions – home studies, social workers, adoption panel, paperwork, praying, waiting – to November 1998. We are walking through baggage claim at Beijing Airport, proud parents with our baby daughter, and a group of cheering Americans call out ‘congratulations’. Fast forward again to Heathrow, June 2001, carrying our precious second daughter to introduce her to her waiting daddy and sister, grandparents and friends. Then on to today and our two wonderful girls at secondary school. And I’m still running my marathon not knowing what is round the corner. What I do know after all these years is God’s presence – real, alive and loving.




Penny Lander has been part of Kerith Community Church for over 30 years. In this issue of LinK Penny shares with us the race she and her husband Alan have been running together.

“do not be afraid, for i am with you, i will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.� isaiah 43:5

KERITH REVIEWS KERITHDIRECTORY What better way to spend those summer months than tucking into a good book, listening to the latest tunes or settling down to a good flick? With holiday season fast approaching, LinK asked its team of reviewers to recommend one treat each for bookworms, movie buffs and music lovers to digest.



the Blind Side

Johnny english Reborn

‘Matins vespers’ by Parachute Band

‘For the Honor’ by elevation Worship

This is the biographical true story of young American footballer Michael Oher, who has an absent father and a drug addicted mother. A caring couple take him in and give him every opportunity they can to help him succeed in life. I have no interest in American football and hadn’t heard of Michael Oher before seeing this film, but I really enjoyed it. It is heart-warming and funny, and the real footage at the end of Oher and his adoptive family is particularly moving.

This is a comedy, action and adventure film, about a spy who goes on a mission to try and eliminate a group of international assassins before they cause global chaos. I think it’s worth buying the DVD because Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) makes loads of hilarious mistakes. One of the funniest scenes is when he is being chased round London and he is in a motorised wheelchair.

The new album from Parachute Band is brilliant, fresh and exciting. The popular band from New Zealand have created this doubledisc album, drawing its title from the early church traditions of Matins (morning songs of praise) and Vespers (evening reflective worship). The aim is to encourage us to start our day with worship to God, and to end it fixing our eyes back on him through contemplation. Something very different and very powerful. A must buy!

For me there are few songs as powerful as the phenomenal title track on this astonishing album, with its simple yet profound lyrics and stunning arrangement. Particular highlights include The Lord Is My Rock (which you may recognise from our Sunday meetings), The Highest, Give Me Faith, and a short but poignant message from Elevation Church pastor Steven Furtick. A thoroughly recommended album for your collections.

Heather Pocock

Josie lander (14)

Helen Cottee

Dave Betts




‘St Matthew Passion’ by JS Bach

‘Seriously Funny’ by Adrian Plass and Jeff lucas

‘the english Civil War A People's History’ by Diane Purkiss

‘Finishing Strong: Going the Distance for Your Family’ by Steve Farrar

This choral work tells of the events leading to Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. You don’t need to be a classical music fanatic to appreciate it, nor do you need to be a Christian. There is something universal and compelling in the emotion of Bach’s work that will move you regardless of your position. There are numerous recordings of this, but I would recommend getting hold of whichever version you can.

It is confirmed, God does have a sense of humour! These two well-known Christian writers tackle serious issues, celebrate their faith and make themselves vulnerable in their letters to each other. But they can’t resist letting their sense of humour shine through their love of Jesus. A great, challenging read for any season. But a word of caution: others by the pool might wonder what is making you laugh out loud!

The English Civil War from 1642 to 1651 is a period of English history often not fully understood or remembered, but it had such a significant influence on what is now modern Britain. What gripped me about this book is that it was written to reflect what life was like for ordinary people – the effects of war on them, the country and of course the church, which was at the centre of the conflict. As a great fan of history this book gave me a whole new and to-date unlearned knowledge of the many and varied reasons for the conflict.

I am really pleased to have the opportunity to recommend a book which has had a major impact on me over the last couple of years. It is directed towards men and is invaluable reading for any man who wants to finish life strong. It is challenging, encouraging, full of essential lifestyle strategies and an easy read. I seldom read a book more than once, but I keep going back to this one!

Jo Krzeczunowicz

Paula Ridgway

Mick Wade

Alan lander


describe your role in the church in one sentence. I am part of the senior leadership team and oversee pastoral work, Academy (our year out training program), INvest (our theological course), youth and safeguarding.

what’s your favourite and least favourite thing about working in the church? Not to sound cheesy but I have no least favourite thing. My favourite thing is doing what I love. I feel privileged to have a job that I love to come to everyday.

if you could have any job you wanted, other than the one you already have, what would it be? Surfing evangelist (in the ocean, not on a computer).

what would be your idea of a perfect day? Spending time with my family. I just love being with them, whatever it is we’re doing.

do you have any guilty pleasures? Chocolate and caramel lattes.

who would you say has had the biggest influence on your life? A great pastor friend of mine in South Africa called Barry Marshall.

if you could be a character in the Bible, who would you pick? Daniel.


meet Lee LAyton-mAtthewS, ASSociAte pAStor And pArt of the Senior LeAderShip teAm At the Kerith. oriGinALLy from South AfricA, Lee’S previouS JoBS hAve incLuded worKinG AS A mAitre’d in An itALiAn reStAurAnt, SeLLinG AccountinG pAcKAGeS for A SoftwAre compAny, worKinG for the royAL mAiL And AS A reSettLement worKer for recoverinG AddictS. Lee iS huSBAnd to LindA And fAther to two dAuGhterS, rAcheL And eLLA.

Say you were stranded on a desert island and could only have three items with you, what would they be? Surf I need anything else (except my family)?!

what’s your favourite Bible verse? Jeremiah 33:3: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know’. It’s God’s phone number isn’t it?!

you haven’t always been a christian, so what are the main ways in which faith has changed your life? It hasn’t only changed my life, it has completely revolutionised the way I live and experience life.


finally, tell us something about yourself that we don’t know. I learnt to surf at the age of 22. Nothing’s too late!


GOD’S MOVE A REAL STORY Sian Pounce is a working mum who was married to tony for nearly 10 years before they divorced. Although her family and friends thought it would never happen, after an incredible series of events they got re-married. linK found out how God used the ReAl conference as a platform for Sian to begin her re-union with her husband. Initially after the divorce, Sian felt she had done the right thing and was feeling much happier. However she developed a growing sense of unease about the situation and leading up to REAL 2010 felt God was telling her she needed to reconcile her marriage. Sian says: "REAL was a defining moment in my life – so much was said that resonated with me. One of the speakers said 'hope is real’ and her question ‘will you be the hope-giver?’ really spoke to me. A lady prayed with me who amazingly had also prayed with my daughter Abby, who had asked God to get her mum and dad back together.” No accident, but another sign from God. Sian moved house to be near the Kerith. A year later her and Tony were not back together. Feeling despondent and discouraged, Sian went to REAL a second time.


At the end of reAL we were given a chess piece and challenged to apply the teaching, with the question ‘what’s your next move?’

This had a big impact on Tony and was a turning point in their relationship, which eventually led to the remarriage. Sian adds: “Looking back, Tony and I now see how we had let discontentment and unrest into our marriage without even realising it. But God's timing is perfect. More than that, REAL provided an opportunity to hear from God away from all the busyness of life.” The reality is, many of us lead busy lives. Does Jesus’ question also ring true for you? "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or illfitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)

She says: “My experience at REAL 2011 was different from the first, but equally powerful in providing support and moving events on. I decided to give the issue to God and felt an amazing sense of peace. I told Tony that I wanted to be married again and that I'd done all I could do. At the end of REAL we were given a chess piece and challenged to apply the teaching, with the question ‘what’s your next move?’ Tony saw the chess piece on the window sill and asked Sian about it. She told him it was there as a reminder that it was her move - her choice to decide how to move forward.

If you want to hear from God, or are not even expecting anything, you might be surprised at what he has to say.

reAL is a conference for women of all ages and at all stages of their christian lives. reAL is a statement of faith; it’s all about having a real faith in a real God for our real and varied lives.

reAL takes place at the Kerith on the evening of friday June 22 and all day on Saturday June 23. visit for more information and to book your place.


l a d g i o d g o pr

the feast of the father

This summer term Simon Benham is leading us through the series based on Tim Keller’s inspiring book ‘The Prodigal God- Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith’.

Il APR9 The Parable 2

Fathers Day at Kerith. It's the boys’ turn!! A meeting for all of us to celebrate the MEN in our lives. Don't miss out at 9am and 11am. At 7pm, a meeting with a twist - live music by ‘The Favours’.

The People around Jesus MAY (He welcomes sinners) 6

Kerith community church picnic

MA3Y (Give me my share) 1

oakwood youth challenge

The Two Lost Sons

E The Elder Brother


JUl2Y 2

Come and join with us for an afternoon of food, fun and with the Olympics in full swing be prepared to get competitive this year!

AAron niequiSt tALKS worShip

(He refused to go in)

E JUN7 The Feast of the Father (Fathers Day) 1


Two days of inspiration, encouragement and skill development with a dynamic line-up of leaders and thinkers via a large screen.

To book

7th & 8th October 2012

Saturday 17th November 2012

ADVANCE A conference for kids' ministry leaders Do you want to be inspired to be the best you can in kids' work for under fives up to pre-teens? ADVANCE will challenge and encourage kids' ministry leaders from any style of church, no matter the size of their present kids' work. Incorporating a fun atmosphere and awesome worship, there will be inspirational teaching to stir up the hearts of those who already serve, and others wanting to get involved to ADVANCE to the next level in kids' ministry.

E JUN4 2

Aaron Niequist (Worship Leader at Willow Creek Community Church, Chicago) is joining us on Sunday 24th June 9am,11am and 7pm meetings to walk us through a reflective worship experience. Not to be missed.

E JUN0 The True Elder Brother 1 (Everything I have is yours)

Information coming soon - check our website

E JUN7 1

REAL 2012 for all women is happening on the evening of Friday 22nd and all day Saturday 23rd June. Speakers include Catrina Benham (Kerith) and Shauna Niequist (Willow Creek Community Church). To book go to:








At Kerith we love to celebrate and pray with families for their children. Sign up for May 20th if you would like your family to be part one of these meetings. Forms at the information point in the foyer. We love baptism meetings as a chance to celebrate what God has done in the life of those being baptised. If you are a Christian and have not been baptised this is the next step for you. Sign up via the forms in the foyer and join the preparation course before the May or July meetings.





17 18, 19 20 21 24 25

Parenting Course (Week 1) 7:30pm Church Prayer Meeting, 8pm Exposition Writing Group Julian Adams Conference CAP Money Course (Week 1) 8pm Invest (Week 1) 7:30pm

Kerith Lounge K2 Hall Off site Kerith Centre Kerith Centre Kerith Centre

All Leaders Meeting 7:45pm Activate Book Club 7:30pm Discovery Workshop (Week 1) 8pm Act for Justice Meeting 8pm Church Prayer meeting 8pm Simply Quiz Night for Women 7:30pm Thanksgiving Meetings 9 & 11am The Moment Band 7pm CAP Training Event 8pm Baptism Meetings 9, 11am & 7pm

K2 Off site K2 Hall Kerith Centre K2 Hall Kerith Centre Kerith Centre Kerith Centre K2 Kerith Centre

BUILD Kerith Kids Holiday Club Discover Kerith Lunch 1pm Adrian Holloway on Singleness 7pm Church Prayer Meeting, 8pm Fathers Day 9, 11am & 7pm REAL conference Act for Justice 8pm

Kerith Centre Kerith Centre Kerith Centre K2 Hall Kerith Centre Kerith Centre Kerith Centre

Baptism Meetings 9,11am & 7pm Olympic Torch through Bracknell CAP Training Event 8pm 10Ten Preaches 9, 11am & 7pm All Church Prayer Meeting, 8pm Academy Graduation

Kerith Centre


COURSES @ Kerith this term Start dates and times in the LinK diary (page 26 & 27) or on the online calender at

CAP Money A comprehensive yet astonishingly simple money management course to help you get, and then stay, in control of your finances. A three session DVD based course for anyone - no matter your financial situation.

Parenting Course For parents with 5-15 year olds. This programme is designed to help parents develop practical skills to become more effective in parenting. It includes topics such as encouraging children, listening, communicating about problems & disciplining children.

Discovery Workshop A training course to help you discover your spiritual gifts, passion and personal style in order to help you determine how you are best equipped and where you can serve in the church.

Invest Invest is Kerith’s training course for all those wanting to deepen their knowledge, understanding and application of the Bible. This course is open to everyone - no matter what Bible knowledge or ability you feel you arrive with! TO FIND OUT MORE AND TO BOOK ONTO THE COURSE- PICK UP A LEAFLET FROM THE INFORMATION POINT IN THE FOYER OF THE KERITH CENTRE OR GO ONLINE TO WWW.KERITH.CO.UK

8 12 15 15 16, 17 19 20 20 23 27



6 10 10 13, 14 17 22, 23 27

JUlY 8 10 11 15 18,19 22

Kerith Centre Kerith Centre K2 Hall Kerith Centre

For contact details see pages 26-27

KERITH CONTACTS KERITHDIRECTORY COURSES Freedom in Christ The Freedom in Christ course is designed to help you take hold of the amazing truth about who you are as a follower of Christ. Find out more: Pick up a form from Kerith Centre Reception Phone: 01344 862699 Email: Course Leaders: Rob & Stacey Omokaro

Discovery Workshop A 3 week training course to help you to discover your spiritual gifts. Find out more: Pick up a form from Kerith Centre Reception Phone: 01344 862699 Email: Course Leaders: Geoff Hawke & Mark Ridgway

Bereavement Course A 5 week training course facilitating how to deal with your grief. Find out more: Pick up a form from Kerith Centre Reception Phone: 01344 862699 Email: Course Leaders: Pete & Alex Moon, Sue Davis

INvest Evening course aimed at helping you to grow your relationship with God through the study of the Bible and its practical application. Find out more: Phone: 01344 862699 Email: To sign up for INvest visit: Group Leader: Ben Pocock

For start dates of all courses see page 25

The Marriage course

CAP money

An opportunity to enhance your marriage by discussing all those things you never get time to do at home. Find out more: Pick up a form from Kerith Centre Reception Phone: 01344 862699 Email: Course Leaders: Jonathan & Sue Davis

For advice on handling your money better on a day to day basis join the CAP Money course. Find out more: Pick up a form from Kerith Centre Reception Phone: 01344 862699 Email: Course Leader: Helen Dodwell

Parenting course

The Alpha course Alpha is an opportunity to explore the meaning of life through a 10 week course designed as a basic introduction to the Christian faith. Find out more: Pick up a form from Kerith Centre Reception Phone: 01344 862699 Register via Course Leader: Caroline Hanbury Email:

A programme designed to help develop practical skills to become more effective parents. Find out more: Pick up a form from Kerith Centre Reception Phone: 01344 862699 Email: Course Leaders: Duncan & Sharon Klitgaard

MEETINGS & GROUPS Treasure Tots (under 5s) Konstruction krew (5-11) We welcome all children from birth to final year of primary school, including those with disabilities. To find out more come along any Sunday to K2. Find out more: Phone: 01344 862699 visit: Under 5s - Lydia Harris-Lane 5-11s - Yvonne Scott Group Leaders: Lydia Harris-Lane and Yvonne Scott

SPARKLERS parent and toddler group We are a large and friendly toddler group for all pre-school children (including babies) and their carers. Find out more: Phone: 01344 862699 Email: Group Leader: Dany Smith

Life groups doing life together Small midweek groups that meet in people’s homes. We seek to get to know God more and do life together. Find out more: visit: Visit the Life Group Stand in Reception after a Sunday meeting for a chat. Email: Group Leaders: Ben & Beccy Oliver

Encounter Midweek Bible Study An informal opportunity to explore the Bible, led by Ben Davies. 12.50pm Wednesdays. Find out more: Phone: 01344 862699 Email: Group Leader: Ben Davies






young adult community

for women Unique is the ministry for all women. Find out more: (blog) Phone: 01344 862699 Email: Group Leader: Catrina Benham

SIMPLY EVENTS Look out for these large events for women coming together to share fun and faith.

ACTIVATE A book club for all women who enjoy reading or want to be motivated to read more books. Meets bi-monthly. Group Leader: Ope Olugbile

EXPOSITION A women's writing group for those who would like to grow in the art of writing. Meets third Friday of the month. Group Leader: Jacqui Webber-Gant:

FOURTEEN DAY RETREATS This is a day for you - time for rest and enjoyment, for personal reflection & prayer. Group Leaders: Elizabeth Pudner and Melita Cullis

Foodbank Restoring dignity reviving hope Find out more: Phone: 01344 862699 Email: Group Leader: Pat Hallett

There’s more to life


TMTL is a group dedicated to the retired. Thursdays from 1.00pm. Find out more: Phone: 01344 862699 Email: Group Leaders: Roy Buck, Bob Wilson, Bill Dick, Dave Barker.

Single Parents Group A group for single parents which meets every second Friday night to pray, support one other and have fun. Find out more: Phone: 01344 862699 Email: Group Leader: Sarah Hardy

HILLTOP is for adults who have a learning disability and is a place where they are welcomed and valued. Sundays, once a month from 4.45pm. Find out more: Pick up info from Kerith Centre Reception Phone: 01344 862699 Email: Group Leader: Hazel White

EXP is the community for 16-30(ish!) young adults. We meet for various social events and gatherings throughout the year. Find out more: Phone: 01344 862699 Email: Group Leader: Ben Pocock

Youth & LIFE


at the Kerith

support group

A number of different groups that seek to support both children with disabilities and their families Find out more: Karen Mehta-01344 828802 or Sandy Carter-01344 828809 Group Leader: Karen Mehta


Crisis Intervention Serving the whole of Bracknell community with practical help and support to families and individuals alongside other services in the area. Find out more: Pick up a form from Kerith Centre Reception Phone: 01344 862699 Email: Group Leader: Lorraine Wade

Christians against poverty UK Free debt advice from award winning charity for anyone struggling with debt. Find out more: Appointments freefone: 0800 328 0006 Bracknell Centre: 01344 828805 Centre manager: Lisa Rutland

Act for justice We are a group dedicated to praying, fundraising and campaigning to raise awareness of trafficking in our local community Find out more: Phone: 01344 862699 Email: Group Leader: Lianne Allen

A community of young people school years 7-13. Find out more: Phone: 01344 862699 Email: Group Leader: Liam Parker

Deaf hope A group serving the deaf and hard of hearing in the Kerith community. Find out more: Pick up info from Kerith Centre Reception Phone: 01344 862699 Email: Group Leaders: Mark & Alex Hooper

Worship Academy Music courses for school years 6-11 covering drums, guitar, keyboards and vocals. Find out more: Phone: 01344 862699 Email: Group Leader: Dave Betts

RECRUITMENT Kerith Volunteers Meet people and get involved with the many projects and ministries that make up Kerith Community Church. Find out more: Email: Group Leader: Sue Ranger






The early bird meeting

worship The fancy a lie in meeting


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Kerith is not just about Sundays. There's loads going on during the week, for more information go online or ask at the Kerith reception.














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The night owl meeting

To catch the latest Kerith news and thoughts from our Senior Pastor, Simon Benham subscribe to twitter: @simonbenham



kerith community church The Kerith Centre Church Road Bracknell RG12 1EH Tel: +44 (0)1344 862699 email: 01344 862699

LinK 8  

Kerith Community Church's magazine

LinK 8  

Kerith Community Church's magazine