From the February magazine
The Curate writes ...
Red is the colour of Valentine's Day, but I suspect most people do not know why. Valentine's Day has become a time of celebrating love, especially married love, but it is also an ancient commemoration of the Christian Church.
When it comes to the real reason for St Valentine's Day red is not symbolic of hearts or roses. The red is both festive and sombre - for it is the red of flowing blood, blood spilled for the sake of the Gospel.
For St Valentine, or in the original Latin Valentines, was a Christian martyr.
There were several martyrs named Valentine but the Church remembers particularly the 3rd century priest in Rome who gave his life for the Christian faith. Part of his priestly duties, of course, involved consecrating the holy estate of marriage in his community.
Emperor Claudius II felt that single men made better soldiers so he forbade the marriage of his military. It was Valentine's sacred pastoral duty to continue to bless marriages and couples continued to come to him in defiance of the imperial order. Valentine was eventually caught, was imprisoned, and was beheaded in circa 269.
Valentine is a reminder to us that love and marriage are not trite things, not merely warm fuzzy feelings or forced sentimentality. Rather true love is exactly what Jesus tells us it is: a willingness of the lover to die for the beloved. The beloved is held more dear even than life itself.
St Valentine is a Christian hero, a pastor who laid down his life for his sheep just as the Good Shepherd, our Lord Jesus, lays down His life for His sheep. It is time we put the "Saint" back in Valentine's Day!
This month take a moment to honour St Valentine whose love was not merely expressed with a clever verse in a greeting card but rather by virtue of his deeds and by his blood. May we follow in the footsteps of this faithful servant of the Word, this humble martyr of the Church, whose name is synonymous with love itself.Kuhan
Church Notes - February 2014
Our most popular service at Christmas was the crib service. Once again it broke all records as it has done for the last four years. The Nine Lessons and Carols also had its best attendance in the last four years. Were we affected by the floods? Of course we were - in our hearts and through our prayers for those flooded out. The family service on Christmas morning had noticeably fewer worshippers as did the Midnight Mass. A review has been made of the Christmas services.
We had an "unusual" Christmas morning family service too. There was no organ as Gina was marooned and couldn't get to us. Stepping in wonderfully however were the Osborne family who provided music and song to lead us all through the service. Thank you! We also had a visit from a BBC reporting crew and TV camera. We may not have made the ten o'clock news but it was exciting at the time.
If you can't find that pair of warm gloves or your reading glasses don't be afraid to look in the "lost property" basket in church. You'd have found both of these items there last month.
Bishop Christopher writes to say "thank you to so many people" for filling the Cathedral at his Farewell Eucharist. He adds that "retiring and moving is a bitter sweet moment. But thank you for marking our rite of passage". He and Hilary have moved to Ruardean in the Forest of Dean where he is active in the three local parishes that make up the joint benefice.
Last month the Standing Committee and the Parochial Church Council met. Agenda topics included finance - this is inevitable and is discussed at all of these meetings. Our planned giving income continues to be worryingly less that our regular week by week expenditure. Both meetings also reviewed the work done to date by John Bailey our new Inspecting Architect. He has recommended a plan for tackling the many items in the Quinquennial inspection that need attention and a process for the development of a feasibility study to move us a little further along the road towards our New Future. There will be more news about these projects as they progress.
There is some movement towards to appointment of our new Bishop. A Statement of Needs has been produced by the Vacancy-in-See committee and it can be found on the diocesan website. It is ten pages long (!) but a copy will be posted on the Churchwardens' notice board by the beginning of the month.
There will be some formal consultations around the Diocese in the spring. In the meantime Bishop Ian asks that we pray the following prayer: "Heavenly Father look with mercy and favour upon your faithful people here in the diocese of Guildford. Bless and guide those responsible for the appointment of our new Bishop, someone of deep faith, soaked in the Scriptures and with a love for your people".
The first meeting on this year's Deanery Synod will be on 19 February in Effingham with a speaker from the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity who will talk and lead discussion about Community Engagement.Donald Yeates
On 5th February we are holding our Annual Birthday afternoon tea, when we invite Members from other branches and get to know one another.
If you wish to attend you will be made more than welcome. If possible will you please bring a photo of yourself in your younger years.
We will be holding a raffle and a bring and buy stall; all proceeds will be going to the MU Relief Fund. Headquarters recently sent £2,000 to the Philippines Appeal. We will also continue to collect toiletry items for Epsom Hospital.Jane Summerfield
Women's World Day Of Prayer
This year the Women's World Day of Prayer will be held at the Catholic Church on Friday 7th March at 2.30. The theme is "Streams in the Desert" prepared by Christian Women of Egypt.
Refreshments will be served afterwards in the Church Hall, and we will have our Fair Trade Stall. All are welcome.Jane Summerfield
Would you like a say in the selection of the next Bishop of Guildford?
Following the retirement of the Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Revd Christopher Hill, in November the search has begun for a new bishop to lead the diocese.
Six diocesan representatives have been elected to sit on the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) which will meet twice this summer to discuss and propose potential candidates for the role.
As part of its deliberations the CNC - also made up of the two Archbishops and six members of General Synod - will consider views from the diocese.
If you have a candidate in mind or a view you would like to express you are invited to write to these diocesan representatives whose addresses can be found via the link below. Please note they will not be able to enter into correspondence with you.
Members of the public are also invited to take part in a public meeting on Wednesday 12 March at Holy Trinity Church, Guildford, at 7pm where everyone is welcome to express their thoughts on the needs of the diocese. The meeting will be attended by the Archbishops' and the Prime Minister's appointment secretaries as part of a two-day fact-finding visit to the diocese.
Their views on the requirements of the diocese and on the desired profile of the new bishop will also feed into the Crown Nominations Commission which will meet in June and July. Interviews will be held in July after which two names are typically nominated to the Prime Minister, one of whom will be a preferred candidate.
The Prime Minister invites the candidate to accept the nomination and then advises The Queen, who formally nominates the successful candidate to the See. An announcement is expected early in 2015.
For more information, contact details of diocesan representatives, or to view the diocese's Statement of Needs drawn up by the diocese's Vacancy in See Committee to provide a description of the diocese and set out a desired profile for the new bishop, visit: www.cofeguildford.org.uk/diocesan-life/vacancy-in-see/
Pope Encourages Breastfeeding in Sistine Chapel
'Pope Francis encouraged mothers to breastfeed in the Sistine chapel on Sunday 12 January, before baptizing the baby of a couple married in a civil service (something not previously done). The pope baptized 32 babies in the sacred Catholic chapel, telling mothers they should not be embarrassed to feed their hungry children there.
Unlike his predecessors, who usually delivered long homilies at the yearly baptism event, the Pope offered a brief one of 300 words, centred on the children. "Today the choir will sing, but the most beautiful choir of all is the choir of the infants who will make a noise." He continued in a relaxed manner addressing parents, "Some will cry because they are not comfortable, or because they are hungry. If they are hungry, mothers, feed them, without thinking twice. Because they are the most important people here."
His words were delivered in the same room as the one in which he was elected on March 13th last year as the first non-European pope in 1,300 years. Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel are some of the world's most celebrated works of art. The ceiling depicts the creation of man and the altar wall shows a severe God at the Last Judgement. The Pope told mothers to not feel intimidated by the surrounding, echoing an interview he gave last month in which he said mothers should never feel uncomfortable breastfeeding during his services and ceremonies.'
This was sent to me by one of the young mothers in our congregation and I thought it should be shared more widely. It first appeared as a blog post on the website www.drmomma.org.
It reminded me of a conversation I had shortly before my ordination as deacon at Guildford Cathedral with the Bishop's wife, Hilary Hill. Hilary told me emphatically that Christine should feel comfortable breastfeeding in the cathedral and if anybody gave her any trouble or dirty looks she should be confident that the Bishop's wife had told her it was fine, and if anybody had any problems they should come and speak to her!
Breastfeeding is accepted and welcomed in the Sistine chapel, Guildford Cathedral and indeed in our own parish church.Kuhan Satkunanayagam
Friends of Leatherhead Parish Church
There are still places available for the following events in March - we hope you will join us.
Sunday 2 March 2014 - CHORAL COUNTDOWN at St Clement Danes in the Strand
You and your friends are invited to a choral concert at St Clement Danes on the afternoon of Sunday, 2 March. The cost of £29 includes the concert ticket, coach transfer from Leatherhead and driver’s gratuity. As a special concession, the Brandenburg Choral Festival will donate a proportion of the ticket price to the Friends. Booking Form
Saturday 8 March 2014 - IT’S QUIZ TIME AGAIN - With Quizmaster, Frank Haslam
Tickets are again £12 each, which includes an Italian supper with salad and crusty bread (bring your own drinks and glasses).Booking FormJune Robinson
Parish of Leatherhead - Wholly Beaders 2014 Programme
|2nd Wed* 8 January||Peyote ribbons 1||Delicas in 2 colours; 11 seeds|
|1st Wed 5 February||Peyote ribbons 2||As above|
|2nd Wed* 12 March||Circular peyote||As above|
|2nd Wed* 9 April||Easter decoration||4mm crystals, delicas, 11 seeds|
|1st Wed 7 May||Make your own earrings/necklace||Selection of different size beads and crystals|
|1st Wed 4 June||Square stitch||Delicas in different colours|
|1st Wed 2 July||XOXO bracelet||4mm crystals, 4mm pearls, 11 seeds|
|1st Wed 6 August||Autumn Fayre 1||Preparation for Fayre|
|1st Wed 3 September||Autumn Fayre 2||Preparation for Fayre|
|1st Wed 1 October||Autumn Fayre 3||Preparation for Fayre|
|1st Wed 5 November||Christmas 1||Bauble: 11 seeds|
|1st Wed 3 December||Christmas 2||Christmas gifts|
* Car Park will be busy on 2nd Wednesdays
Wholly Beaders meet on the first or second Wednesday of the month at 7.15pm - 9.30pm in the Reeves Room, upstairs in the Parish Church Hall
Newcomers - just turn up - no previous experience necessary.
Experienced beaders - please bring your basic beading equipment to each meeting: bead mat, needles, thread, scissors, beads of your choice.
Appropriate beads will also be available in a limited choice of colours.
The cost is £5 for the evening. Refreshments are included.Contact: L Willmott L375773