This page gives some general information about who we are if you are just casually looking. Below we describe what you can expect if you join us on a Sunday morning and what other things we do.
There is also a short description of how the Seed was founded and a short bio for Julian and Wendy, our leaders.
What do we do?
We gather every Sunday at Churchill Memorial Hall on Ladymead Lane in Churchill, North Somerset. The meeting formally starts at 11am, but people usually start arriving up to half an hour beforehand to mingle and chat, to catch up over a coffee. Refreshments are free – but at this time, please bring your own cup.
Around 11am Julian will start the meeting with a short prayer and some announcements to remind people of things happening during the week or in other churches and so on. Below is a description of some of the things which we do. They don’t always happen in the same order, but we will generally include these things in our meeting:
More traditional churches use prayers books and will say prayers written down for them. We tend not to do that. We don’t have a set time of prayer in our meeting, instead we try to pause or have instrumental times during the worship and people are encouraged to say prayers to God out loud. That way people pray for the things that are bothering them and they are talking to God “as a man talks to his friend”. Some people find this very intimidating, so if you don’t want to do that, don’t worry, say your prayers silently during the worship. God can hear those just as well!
We do, however say The Lords Prayer together from time to time.
This is essentially singing songs. Many churches would describe this as a time of worship. The songs we sing are a mixture of Hymns (which will be familiar to many who remember school assemblies) and more recent songs which have a much more contemporary feel. The words to the songs are projected onto a screen for everyone to join in with.
Julian gives a talk on a Bible passage. He will try to explain what the passage means, and how it applies to us – today.
From time to time we will invite a visiting speaker to fill this “slot”. They may be a representative of a Christian organisation or a missionary who we’ve asked to tell us about their work, or they may be a fellow minister or Christian we feel has something to say to us. Either way Julian gets a break that week!
Communion is where we use bread and wine to remember Jesus’ death on the cross for us. We don’t follow any set way of doing this, so it will be slightly different every week, but it always means taking a small piece of bread which reminds us of the Body of Jesus which was ”broken” for us and a small sip of wine which reminds us of the Blood of Jesus which was shed for us on the cross. This is something that you should only join in with if you are a Christian. If you’re not, no one is taking notes or watching you and you can easily opt out without embarrassment.
Set up and Clear up
As we rent the hall, those who are willing pitch in and help set up the hall before we start and clear up when we’re done, this means setting up and packing down all the equipment and loading it into the car, putting out chairs and stacking them away, and sweeping the hall and generally leaving everything ship shape and Bristol fashion for the next users.
Mid Week Meetings
Like many churches, we meet up during the week, it’s far too long to wait ’till next Sunday!
We meet in the home of one of our members in small groups of 12 or so, we generally drink tea/coffee, chat, pray together and engage in various activities. One week we might play a game together, another we might watch a short DVD based on a Christian theme and then discuss what we think. We might plan and prepare for an upcoming “special” meeting. Anything is possible and depends on the group.
The main point of the group is so that we get to know each other really well and learn to live out Jesus’ words that we are to “love one another”.
At 9am on Monday mornings the men gather at Julian’s home and sit in the garden scoffing bacon butties, drinking tea and chatting!
This generally lasts an hour, and from time to time those who are able to stay on and engage in some kind of practical activity. This has included doing a tip run, clearing part of a garden (Julian’s!), and we have gone for a “photography walk” together. We are ready and willing to do any practical work for anyone who asks.
Who We Are
In September 2014, Julian & Wendy Richards and Steve & Sarah Stotesbury started praying and meeting together. A number of people joined us and a small community developed. In the summer of 2016, we felt it right to start meeting more “formally” on Sunday mornings and Tuesday evenings since that time. Julian took on the role of pastor with Wendy, Steve and Sarah in support. Just before lockdown, Steve and Sarah started to prepare to move out of the area to pastures new, and we started to rent the hall in Churchill. Almost immediately, the Covid-19 virus ‘hit’ and our use of the Hall was halted. We moved online, and started renting the hall again in the summer lockdown was lifted. Steve and Sarah are now established in their new church on the South Coast. We wish them well.
Julian & Wendy
Julian and Wendy met in the mid 1980’s at a nurture group following the Billy Graham “Mission England” events in 1984. Married in 1985 they have three grown children, two of whom now have families of their own. It is a source of great joy to them that all of their children have chosen to become Christians themselves.
They were sent by their home church (Christ the Rock Christian Fellowship in Yate, South Gloucestershire) to Moorlands Bible College in 1993 and Julian finished his degree at Trinity College Bristol in 1997. They have been involved in Church leadership since the late 1980s, and pastoring churches in both salaried and bi-vocational capacities since Julian’s graduation in 1997. Julian currently leads The Seed alongside his role as UK Development Director for the mission organisation Christ for India. Wendy also runs her own small business to help keep the wolf from the door.
In their down time, they love to dance ballroom and sequence (that’s waltz’s quicksteps, foxtrots, tangos, cha-cha and the like!). Wendy also enjoys pottering in the garden and Julian loves to laze in the shade with his beloved guitar.
With your permission, we will use your email address to keep you up to date with our activities, invite you to upcoming services and so on. We will NEVER ask you for money, nor will we give your email to any third parties.