The Rector writes ...
As is the way of publishing schedules, magazine articles are written well ahead of publication date.
We are currently fully into the swing of the joyful round of anticipatory Christmas celebrations – trees, tinsel, lights, carol services, carol singing, nativity plays, school fairs, special assemblies, Crib services – all in the middle of the church season of Advent, a time of looking forward to the Second Coming of Jesus.
I do hope that your seasonal celebrations will have been peaceful, joy-filled and lots of fun.
And it’s time to start thinking about our New Year resolutions. When Archbishop Justin Welby spoke at New Wine 2013 he said that the church should focus on three priorities – becoming communities of prayer, seeking reconciliation and making new disciples. Addressing the first of these is what I am encouraging in the church. We have a parish Prayer Diary that contains an entry for each day of the month, with the names of members of the church family, an aspect of the town and a number of roads so that we can pray for those living and working there.
Please consider making it one of your resolutions to get hold of a copy of the Prayer Diary and use it in your prayer life – as well as losing weight, stopping smoking, joining a gym, and being nicer to the dog!!
I heard a lovely story about a nativity play the other day. The cast had behaved beautifully, the play had gone brilliantly, the music had been faultless and the finale was going SO well – the entire cast processing out of the hall down the centre aisle. The angels had led the way, then came the animals, then the shepherds, then the kings and, finally, Mary and Joseph.
The mood was shattered when, halfway down the aisle, Mary said in a piercing wail “Oh ****, I’ve forgotten the baby!”
A cautionary tale. We would all do well not to forget the baby – and all that He means - this Christmas and New Year.
Happy New Year!
Church Notes - January 2014
On Sunday 1st of December, a quarter peal of Plain Bob Doubles containing 1320 changes was rung by:
1 Julian Steed #
2 Ann Steed
3 Mike Todd
4 John Aronson
5 Rex Woodland
6 Peter Ford
Rung for Advent Sunday. Conducted by Ann Steed
# First quarter on the treble.
Church Matters for January 2014
The PCC met at the end of November and although I was laid low by a respiratory infection caught in Edinburgh I understand that some of the following things might have happened!
The agenda included a financial report, news of the Quinquennial Inspection and subsequent report, a discussion about chancel repair liability and our application to the Charity Commissioners.
The final version of our submission to the Charity Commissioners about Chancel Repair Liability (CRL) is now almost complete thanks to diligent work by Julie West.
The new Inspecting Architect, John Bailey – who is also the Cathedral’s architect – has begun to consider the implications of the Quinquennial Report. All of the immediate repairs noted in the report have already been completed and we now await the schedule of the more major work to be undertaken. There should be more news about this activity following a meeting due to have been held in December.
You should notice a difference to the north east corner of the churchyard following the removal of the damaged and diseased ash tree. All of the trees have now been surveyed and the subsequent report forms part of the Quinquennial Report. It is inevitable that more tree work will need to be done after consideration of the survey.
At long last the Diocesan Registry has issued a Faculty to us to make permanent the use of the All Saints church building by the Leatherhead Youth Project subject to a licence agreement between LYP and the PCC. It has taken almost a year for us to get to this conclusion – not through delays at the parish’s end I may say. Thanks to advice from Archdeacon Stuart Beake we have also been able to find a home with an organisation called Church Antiques for the no longer needed altar.
Put a date in your diary: Saturday January 25th. Following really good feedback from last year there’ll be a Burns Night celebration this year starting at 7pm on this date. The usual haggis, neeps and tatties will be served plus pudding. There might be a little something special to drink too! Tickets are available from Nicky Osborne.
Spare a thought – and a prayer too – for the Rector. He’ll be out of action for several weeks following a total knee replacement scheduled for January 15th at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore.
Finally, overheard in Edinburgh outside the Anglican Cathedral after Choral Evensong, an elderly man was talking about his wife to a friend. The wife had apparently just had a very big birthday. “Aye” he said “she’s just an old whisky maker now but I love her still”.
Church Watch Stewards
Thank you very much to all the Church Watchers who gave of their time during 2013 to keep our beautiful church open during the daytime to allow visitors to see the inside and to enjoy its peaceful atmosphere. Many of our visitors have remarked how wonderful it is to see a church still with its traditional wooden pews which help preserve this atmosphere.
Carole E Neeser
Leatherhead Morning W.I.
The November meeting was our AGM. The business side was completed quickly, as Hazel Richmond-Coggan is willing to continue as President, and the Committee had just one change. The programme of events for 2012 was reviewed, reminding us of the wide variety that we enjoyed. Next year’s programme has been arranged, and details will be circulated at the next meeting. A letter of thanks was received from the British Legion for the poppy wreath laid on Remembrance Day on behalf of the W.I. As our Christmas lunch was a little earlier, at the beginning of December, I am able to say that it was a very enjoyable occasion. On 10 December we have a trip to Chichester, to their Christmas Market – news of that next time!As several of our members are involved in various crafts we hope to develop interest in these in the future.
As always, we would like to attract new members, and visitors are always welcome. Our meetings are held on the fourth Thursday in the month, in Leatherhead Parish Hall (opposite the Church), at 10.15am. For any further information please ring L374570.
We devoted our meeting on 6th November to Remembrance. Mike Tuohy from RBL Industries in Kingston Road came along and played on his guitar and sang a most beautiful song, “Fields of Green”. This was followed by poems and prayers led by members, and Celia Hamilton spoke of her time during the War. Marian Kempsall kindly made scones. The afternoon was enjoyed by all.
On 3rd December seven members took part in the Pilgrimage of Prayer at Guildford Cathedral. The Cathedral was taking shape with preparations for Christmas and it was a joy to see that Trinity School had made a mural for one of the alcoves (well done, Trinity). On our return home we met at Squires Garden Centre for lunch.
In January we will be meeting on 8th.
Our next project is to provide overnight toiletry bags for those going unexpectedly into Epsom Hospital. If you would like to join us then please place small items such as soap, tooth paste, tooth brushes, combs, tissues, wipes, and, not forgetting the gentlemen, razors in the box provided in Church. Thank you.
Wanted: Sales & Publications Secretary
The Leatherhead & District Local History Society is urgently looking for a Sales & Publications Secretary to promote the Society’s own publications and other local books. Would suit a retired person with buying, selling, and bookkeeping knowledge, together with computer skills in Word and Excel, who is looking for a new challenge.
For further information contact Leatherhead & District Local History Society, Leatherhead Museum, Hampton Cottage, 64 Church Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 8DP; telephone 01372 386348 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
New Future Update
Members of the Standing Committee have recently met with our new Inspecting Architect, John Bailey, to make further progress with our New Future.
In early 2012, the PCC commissioned some concept drawings for re-ordering the church. These were presented to the PCC in the Summer.
Before they were given a wider airing to the congregation as a whole, the drawings were reviewed during a site visit by the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC), the body that advises the Chancellor whether or not to grant a Faculty (the Church of England’s planning permission process).
After their meeting, the DAC Secretary wrote to say that we needed to do some more thinking about our Statement of Needs and how it would be addressed by the concept drawings. Back to the drawing board!
The PCC held fire until a new Inspecting Architect had been appointed before returning to the task. John is now considering what we discussed and will come back to us – before too long, we hope.
Prayer for 2014
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
In happy moments, praise God,
In difficult moments, seek God,
In quiet moments, worship God,
In painful moments, trust God,
Every moment, thank God.
Mary, Incarnation and Women in the Bible: January 2014
Guildford Cathedral will be hosting a series of events in January on “Mary, Incarnation and Women in the Bible.” More detail available online at:
http://www.guildford-cathedral.org/events/diary/january or by email to email@example.com
Friends of Leatherhead Parish Church
Happy New Year! Good news that the November Bridge Tea raised £1,000 for the Friends’ support of the maintenance of the fabric of the Church; many thanks to Fran Fleming and her team. We have two more fund-raising events on the horizon for your new diaries – full details below.
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).
“Guildford Cathedral is at serious risk of closure"
These slightly shocking words appeared accompanying the programme of a John Rutter Christmas music concert on Saturday. As I watched the cathedral fill up with eager and anticipating concert goers and throughout the beautiful music, I found myself reflecting on this worrying statement and trying not to imagine how it would be if the cathedral really did close down. How would it impact on the diocese both in a religious and non-religious way? How much would most people care? Could it ever be too late to save? How would it be if the golden angel ceased to look down over the city and the A3? Who WOULD care? Does the Leatherhead congregation care? All these questions interrupted my concentration on the joyful music.
On leaving, I couldn't help noticing that most of the leaflets had been left on the seats as the happy, chattering crowds dispersed leaving yet another unrewarding chore for the busy stewards to clear away!
Funds are urgently needed for very necessary work particularly to replace the blue asbestos used in construction of the ceiling vaults, which could pose a danger to the public, plus many other things such as lighting, sound, wheelchair access etc. Unlike older cathedrals, Guildford has no endowments.
Our own church is in need of funds. We care, but how much can we do? Is this a very modern problem? Have past generations been more grateful to God and were we a more Christian nation then than we are today? Do our foundations reflect both our physical and spiritual state? Why is the Christian church shrinking, is it anything to do with us, are we complacent?
Perhaps in the New Year we should resolve to speak more openly about our faith and pray that we may be encouragers to those with no faith and to witness to what God has done in our lives, giving Him the glory.
As we approach 2014 Bishop Ian shares his thoughts on leading the diocese during the vacancy and offers a prayer to be said during this time
I am very much aware that I have the immense privilege of leading the diocese over this period of vacancy with its considerable responsibilities. Vacancies are not about marking time, but continuing to pray and see where God is leading us, as we seek to do God’s will and live out our life together in a rich diversity across the diocese. So may I ask your prayers not only for myself but also for my colleagues on the Senior Staff, remembering especially Paul Bryer, as he begins his ministry as Archdeacon of Dorking. Remember also those behind the scenes, the PAs and Secretaries and Chaplains, who work so hard to support us.
The Crown Nomination Commission meets in June and July in 2014 to appoint a new Bishop of Guildford (they have to appoint seven other diocesan bishops before they get to us!). So all things being equal I would expect for our new Bishop to be in post early in 2015. Pray for the CNC and for our six representatives from the diocese who will serve on it.
Here is a prayer that I would ask every parish to use during this period of vacancy:
Look with your 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. We ask this in the knowledge that you have oversight of us all, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bishop of Dorking and Commissary during the Vacancy-in-See