Bear Essentials Week Beginning 20 May 2018


‘For this is what the Lord has commanded us:
“I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
    that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.”’

Acts 13:47  (NIV)


The Bear Notices

Psalms, Stretches and Salad – TOMORROW, Saturday 19 May. Forget that wedding! Instead, ladies it’s time to get out that moth eaten gym-wear that’s been lurking with intent in the bottom drawer and jog on down to the The Bear.  Ruth Carpenter will be leading us all in an exercise/praise combo: “The aim of this session is to stretch out tensions we accumulate, to strengthen our physical bodies, and to set aside time to centre ourselves in our creator and focus our minds on his word.” see for more information. We will then eat lunch together.  Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity!  Open to all ladies (youth need to be year 10 +) Cost £10 which includes lunch.  Spaces are limited to 30 so email: asap to reserve a place. Bring your £10 on the day!

Youth Social – TONIGHT Friday 18 May 7.30 – 9.30 pm at Katharine and Daniel’s home in Forest Hill. All I know is what I told you last week, that there will be a Chiminea. Do you need to know anything more? If yes, please ask Katharine A.

Sunday Morning Service – From one extreme to the other, we leave the dance behind and head to the Sofa this Sunday. Our theme for this week is ‘Women with a Mission.’ We’ll be hearing from two people about the mission God’s given them to do this year. Also they’ll be a few words from the Vorsters, as Dale heads off across the pond for pastures, mountain ranges and apple pie anew.  If you would like to pray before the service, it’s 10 am in the foyer and the service starts at 10.30 am.

Youth Update – Youth will be having their own service this week, Sunday 20 May. Please pass GO and head on to Bench for 10.30 am. Contact for more details.

Evening Service – Please sign up to help next week and future Sunday nights. The Bear opens the doors to the most vulnerable people in our area for a bowl of soup, some cake and a short service. Help is always welcome. Speak to one of the ES team for more information: Richard, Declan, Margaret, Simon to name a few. Click on this link to sign up and help out:  

Wendy in Cambodia – Richard and Sally are heading out to Cambodia on 24 May to visit Wendy P. If you would like to give Wendy a present, card or send a word, then pass it on to Richard and Sally this week and they will happily take it with them.

Everyone is invited to a ‘Big Lunch’ - immediately after the service on Sunday 3 June 2018. The Bear church, 999 Club and Bench Outreach are hosting a Big Lunch in Giffin Square – the space in front of the library and you are all invited. It’s a great way to remind people of what we do. Big Lunch is an annual event where people across the UK comes together in the street to meet, greet, share, swap, sing, play and laugh for no reason other than that we all need to. In 2017 9.3 million people took to their streets, gardens and neighbourhoods to join in for a few hours of community, friendship and fun at over 90,000 events. The Big Lunch connects people and encourages friendlier, safer neighbourhoods where people start to share more — from conversations and ideas, to skills and resources. So, come on down and bring some food to share. Please contact Tim Fallon on 07542 003 938 or with any questions or to volunteer”

Men’s Weekend Away – Friday 29 June to Sunday 1 July staying by the River Thurne in Norfolk. All men welcome (and boys in Year 10+, but under 18’s must be accompanied by a parent) £60 per person. River, bed, boats and lots of meat included, but not travel. Contact: to book or speak to Daniel.

Camping - Bank Holiday Weekend (24th-27th August) camping at Kingsdown Campsite in Kent. There are no planned activities for the weekend – it’s just camping together with others from The Bear.  Book in now if you want to come because the campsite will fill up. More details can be found at   Minimum two-night rate applies on Bank Holiday dates so adults £10-14 per night, children (4-17yrs) £6, up to 3yrs are free. Ask Pastor Paul if you have questions.

Outside Space – if your children play behind the church and in the small garden (accessible through hall) while at The Bear they do so at their own risk. Traders use the car park space for storage, so please be aware there will be property belonging to others and some very hazardous obstacles. Children should be supervised by a parent or carer at all times. Any concerns, please speak to Tessa.

CCTV – be aware that the Shaftesbury Christian Centre is now under surveillance from CCTV cameras. This is for the safety and security of all who use the building. If you have any concerns or would like more information please speak to Paul A or email:

Home Groups – If you are part of The Bear and would like to join a mid-week home group please contact

Giving – if you are part of The Bear, you can set up a standing order for your giving. Details from Please note that we are not using Just Giving at present because of the changes to the trust.

Mid-Week Activities at The Bear –

Bear Cubs – Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays at The Bear Church. For the modern, about town, pre-school child looking to keep their carer/parent out of trouble.
Women’s Bible Study -  study the Bible and pray together. Every Tuesday from 1.30pm. Contact Margaret P for details.

English Fridays – is our weekly language class for people to learn English in a relaxed and encouraging environment. We have a qualified ESOL teacher, but really need another volunteer to get alongside the students as they learn. Previous experience is NOT required, just a willingness to support, chat and encourage students in the class. Please contact: if you’d like to get involved.

Non-Bear Notices

(Cardiac Risk in the Young) Amanda and Livvy from Central Asia will be taking part in The Heart of London Bridges Walk on 24 June. The walk is in support of CRY’s work to raise awareness, prevent sudden death and support families who have lost loved ones like Joseph, Amanda and Richard’s son.  A few people from the Bear are already signed up to go as well. If you would like to join them in supporting the charity and taking the opportunity to remember Joseph, please follow the link.

Mission 18 Concert – for the Youth Team going to China. 5.30 – 8 pm, 16 May at The Hope Centre, Sydenham. (£8, Students £5, 11-18 £3 and children FREE) There will be refreshments to buy. Come and enjoy an evening of music all in a good cause.

Cherish Uganda – one of the projects that some of the Bear Youth will be visiting this August have just released their 10-year impact report. If you would like to find out more please follow the link:

Elevate Dance Foundation and Elevate Dance Company – Intensive dance training courses: Improve your dance technique in a nurturing Christian environment through daily technique classes. Become experienced, creative and encouraging teachers by gaining greater confidence and professionalism in your teaching methods. Perform vibrant, faith-filled dance in a nationwide tour to churches, schools, festivals and community venues. Tell stories, express worship, explore current issues and inspire hope in people of all ages. Apply now to join in September 2018. Audition Tuesday 22 May. For more information. <>

The Bear Diary:

Week Beginning 19 May

10 am                         Prayer
10.30 am                    Morning Service
10.30 am                    Youth Service at Bench
6. 30 pm                     Evening Service

10 am                          Bear Cubs
8 pm                            Bear Leadership Team

10 am                         Breast Feeding Support Group
1.30 pm                      Women’s Bible Study

10 am                          Parenting Course
8 pm                            Home Groups

10 am                         Bear Cubs Parent & Toddler Group
1 pm                           Bear Cubs
8 pm                           Home Groups

9.30 am                      Bear Cubs Parent and Toddler Group
1.30 pm                      English Fridays
7.30 pm                      Youth Social


INET Job Opportunity –
are looking for a temporary administrator/book-keeper to cover maternity leave (up to 12 months). INET facilitate overseas cross-cultural work for individuals and churches.  For more details contact: Applications should be received by 5 pm on Wednesday 6 June.

Please email: to advertise here.

Church on the Street

We are always looking for people to help with our Sunday evening services. These are to serve those who live on the street or in shelters and those who need a safe place to eat a meal. We serve soup and bread at 6.30 pm and for anyone who wishes to stay on, there is an informal service at about 7.30 pm. 

If you would like to help prepare food, volunteers are welcome from 4.30pm, or come just before 6pm to serve food and drinks. 

We meet most Sundays, except 1st Sunday of the month. Check the Bear Essentials Newsletter for updated news.

For more information contact