CUR:ve stands for “the Church in Upper Rissington: valuing everyone” and is the name that was devised for the work in Upper Rissington that was started and continues to be supported by Westcote Methodist Church, the Church of England in Bourton (St Lawrence) and the Rissingtons, and Bourton Baptist Church.
The CUR:ve story began in the 1990s when planning permission was given for the former RAF base at Little Rissington to be developed into a new village, which was later to be given the name ‘Upper Rissington’. Unlike most Cotswold villages, Upper Rissington at the time had no Church – in terms of either a building or a congregation – and several local Churches came together to see if something could be established.
Sunday Café opened its doors for the first time in September 2007 and has continued on the first Sunday of every month right up to the present day. Recognising that the main need in Upper Rissington at the time was a way to help the community come together, the aim was to provide a relaxed place where people from the village could meet and where God’s love could be shown in practical ways.
In addition, the Churches put on a number of one-off events, such as barbecues in the summer, followed by a ‘Songs of Praise’ style service, or village Carol Services at Christmas. A weekly Bible Study Group was also started, and other ways of serving the community were explored, such as children’s holiday clubs.
There was also a lot of discussion about what the work in Upper Rissington should be called, and at the end of 2008 the name ‘CUR:ve’ was chosen. CUR:ve stands for ‘The Church in Upper Rissington: valuing everyone’. A logo was also designed around the name, hopefully reflecting something of the history (the RAF plane) and focus that CUR:ve has (the cross and the rainbow).
The CUR:ve team has always been very aware of the number of younger people in Upper Rissington compared with other Cotswold villages, and wanted to find ways to connect with them. The open spaces within the village seemed ideal for some sort of sport activities, and so in 2012 CUR:ve applied for funding for a Community and Sport worker – and were successful! Rob French started work in September 2012, and soon made a huge difference. Casual football sessions on Saturday mornings snowballed into a range of sport activities running on the field behind the village hall every week. And when Rob moved on and Kami Kalsi was appointed in October 2015, further activities during the week were added to the growing list.
As other people have joined the CUR:ve team too various other activities have started during the week, including a coffee drop-in and various opportunities to come together for food and prayer. Village coffee mornings take place alongside the sports once a month. And CUR:ve now also meets every Sunday morning – either for Sunday Café or Sunday Café Plus (which is like Sunday Café but includes a time of worship songs and a talk).
Members of CUR:ve have also become involved in a wide range of village activities, including the Social Committee and the village magazine (‘The Breeze’). And of course this is all just a start! CUR:ve continues to look for new ways to engage with people in Upper Rissington – valuing everyone, helping to build community, and showing people more about Jesus. You could say, in many ways, the story has really only just begun …