The Wider Church
World Council of Churches
We join with churches of other denominations in Churches Together in Petts Wood, through which we arrange united services of worship and other activities. Our neighbouring Churches are, working through Petts Wood approximately from West to East, St. James the Great, (Catholic), the Methodist Church, St. Francis Parish Church (C. of E.), the Society of Friends (Quakers), the Lutheran Church, Southborough Baptist Church and Poverest Baptist Church.
The Council for World Mission
We have links with churches in other countries in a variety of ways. Through our contacts with the Council for World Mission, we have, over the years, welcomed visitors from India, South Africa, Zambia, Ghana, Singapore and Guyana, and we have contact with two of our former members, in Jerusalem and Nepal.
Our World Church and Society Working Group remind us regularly of the many links our members have had with various churches throughout the world and the local community.
In common with other churches, we take seriously the teaching and example of Jesus regarding care for those less fortunate than ourselves. We support the work of Christian Aid through local house to house collections, and special fund-raising events.
More than thirty years ago, the United Nations set its national governments a target of Overseas Aid giving at 0.7% of G.N.P. At that time, Britain's own giving was about 0.5%.
To show solidarity with the developing countries, the U.R.C. set up an annual 1% appeal for World Development, such that members were invited to give 1% of their net disposable income for this cause. This appeal has now been incorporated into the URC 'Commitment for Life' project. Through this work we have a link with the Commitment for life – the two Partners we support are Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Zimbabwe.
Over the past twenty years, Britain's Overseas Aid Budget has dwindled to a mere 0.2% of G.N.P
We have had a "twinning arrangement" since 1988 with a group of village churches in the Rhineland-Palatinate area of what was West Germany, centred on Alsenz, with whom we arrange exchange visits. A successful exchange visit with our twin church in Alsenz, the Palatinate, took place 22-28 July 2008 with 15 official guests being hosted by members of Christ Church and a further six making private arrangements, joining in the programme as they were able. It was a delightful time, ending on a high note of celebrating 20 years of partnership in our Sunday morning worship and a barbeque buffet in the evening. The Rev’d Ulrike Degen presented Christ Church with a large commemorative stone and in turn an engraved vase was presented to the Alsenz Church. The twinning arrangement is an opportunity to learn and share with a different part of the World Church and we value the friendships that have developed over the years.
Christ Church also has links with St Paul's Church in Dessau in the former East Germany. Some of us went there in 1997 to visit the church on our way to attend the Kirchentag in Leipzig. Some of us travelled to Dessau again in 1999 for a Church Weekend Bible seminar on the subject of 'Jubilee 2000'.
Four of our people from Petts Wood joined with folk from other local congregations in Kent to visit Kirchentag 1999 in Stuttgart, and Berlin in 2003.