From the June magazine
The Rector writes ...
As the seasons come and go in the cycle of nature, so the church year has its seasons.
We have just celebrated the Easter season, the crowning glory of God's love affair with the world. We have seen once again the affirmation that the love of God is stronger than death and that, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, there is the promise of eternal life open to all who believe.
In parallel with this, every parish - as with every business - has to go through the process each year of assembling a set of accounts for the financial year and a preparing report from the "board" - the Parochial Church Council or PCC.
Every parish has to do this, as does every Diocese. In our own parish we have just been through the reporting process and the Annual Parochial Church Meeting and Diocesan Audit and Finance Group has been preparing the accounts for the Bishops Council, and then Diocesan Synod, to approve.
It was a delight to welcome our new Bishop, The Rt Revd Andrew Watson, to Leatherhead Deanery a week or so ago. He spent the morning with all the clergy in the Deanery - the Deanery Chapter - and then came back for the evening to St Nicolas, Great Bookham, for a question and answer session and a communion service. Some of you were able to attend.
Bishop Andrew is keen that all of us in the Diocese look again at the Common Purpose that Bishop Christopher took to the Diocesan Synod at Trinity 2009, and to which the Diocese has been committed since. Common Purpose is a vision for growth in three areas :-
- growing in spiritual maturity o growing in numbers
- growing in engagement with our communities
Our own areas of mission in this parish map very well onto these three purposes:
- growing in spiritual maturity
- growing our music in worship in different styles to lift us higher, take us deeper, and draw us nearer to God
- growing as disciples by being or becoming intentionally prayerful, making time to spend in God's presence, and intentionally living out the vision and values that we have embraced as a parish
- growing in numbers
- focusing on our ministry to children and families with the appointment of a Children and Families Worker
- growing in engaging with our communities
- continuing to support Leatherhead Trinity School and the Leatherhead youth project, who undertake our youth work,
- and especially Allsaints Coffee, the social enterprise company that is already employing four of our town's young people, three of them on an apprenticeship scheme
Albert Einstein is quoted as saying that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. Broadly speaking, the Church of England has been doing things pretty much the same way for some time with the result that overall it is in decline. There are churches where there is growth, sometimes spectacular growth, but they are the ones where they have dared to do something different.
We have to do something different. As you know, my philosophy is "as well as, not instead of" so we are focusing on offering new and exciting things for our children and families, and for all young people, and providing warm comfortable flexible worship space for both traditional and modern forms of worship. The project to equip ourselves with buildings fit for the 21st century is taking the time it needs to get it right... but more of this in future months.
As the season of Spring rolls into the season of Summer - Season's Greetings!Graham Osborne
It is with sadness that we learned that Edith died in York Hospital on 26th May [after the deadline for the May Magazine]. She became ill during a visit she was determined to make to family to celebrate her 93rd birthday, which was on 23rd May. Her life both here and elsewhere was one of service to the community and her church and of course she would want it to be remembered as a partnership with her beloved Warner. She was one of the most supportive and positive people you could meet, "my dear". Her funeral will be on Friday 26th June at 1.30pm in Leatherhead Parish Church.
The Annual Parish Council meeting is dealt with elsewhere in this month's magazine and we now have a new PCC and welcome Martin Farrell as Churchwarden. However I would like to take this opportunity to thank two of our previous wardens, Frances Presley and Peter Leith, for their valuable help with Sunday services over the last few months; no mean feat, as they are both members of our Choir and have had to juggle these two vital roles. We are enormously blessed in having Sheila Sutherland as our Assistant Churchwarden, whose knowledge, good humour, and sheer hard work has been and continues to be immeasurable, especially as we are currently without a second Assistant Warden. Thank you.
Onwards and upwards! Monday 11th May saw the Archdeacons' Visitation of Churchwardens and Admission to Office at St. Martin's, Dorking. This is an annual service of Commission and Blessing for the wardens of all parishes in our Deanery, supported by their Incumbents. It is both a moving and a serious occasion as well as being an official requirement.
Talking of "Upwards" there has been a fair amount of looking literally in that direction recently. A full electrical survey, lasting for two days, was carried out by Buchanan and Curwen (Leatherhead) Ltd. This is a specified condition of our Insurance Policy as well as a Health and Safety issue. It necessitates checking all Circuits as well as climbing high to the Nave and Tower lights, and hopefully will explain to us why the lights in the South Aisle are so temperamental. These latter have been "mended" on at least three occasions in the past year, but still fail when most needed.
Our second upward move has been into the trees of our Churchyard - well, not literally, but a survey has now been completed of the status and condition of every tree in that area. It has been a huge and comprehensive survey, again to comply with Quinquennial and Health and Safety requirements, resulting in every tree being tagged, recorded, and assessed by species, age, height, spread, vigour, life expectancy, condition, and individual future recommendation. As an immediate result there are two trees needing urgent attention: one has a snapped and dislodged branch; the other is split and decaying with several dead branches. The survey will now be presented to the PCC for discussion and action. This initial work has been carried out by Treeline Services Ltd of Dorking, one of three companies to give quotes.
The scaffolding around the Church has been removed, but there remains a certain amount of builders' rubble. Action is being taken in this area. The revised refurbishment plans have gone for costing and the PCC awaits the outcome. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, there remains a brick missing at the steps in front of the West door. It will probably be quicker to mend it ourselves, but Mole Valley has the responsibility. On the subject of bricks, a lorry backed into and dislodged bricks from the entrance wall of All Saints Church and this, too, will hopefully soon be rectified. Perhaps part of the remit of a Churchwarden should include a City and Guilds brick-laying course!Sue Roberts
Notes from The Belfry - from the June 2015 magazine
A successful "Open day" on Saturday 9th of May was held when a lot of people visited the tower, had a "go" at ringing, and tried hand bell ringing with the help of friends from local towers. To celebrate, we rang a quarter peal on Sunday 10th as detailed below:
A quarter peal of Grandsire Doubles consisting of 1260 changes was rung by the following:
This was rung to mark: 70th anniversary of VE day.Peter Ford
PRAYER 24 - June 27/28
This will start at 11am on Saturday and finish after the 10.30am Service on Sunday with prayers attached to Balloons (as last year).
Last year we had a reply from Germany... let's see if we can go further this year!
There will be different ways of praying and worshiping—come and try something new.
Come and enjoy our beautiful Church in quiet contemplation during the night OR with the sun shining through the stained glass windows.
Remember all those people who have been praying in this building for hundreds of years.
Sign up to either lead something like reflections, reading, prayers, hymns, songs, crafts OR just sit quietly for an hour. Write some prayers and put them on the pillars.
There will be a sign up sheet in church nearer the date.
COME and be part of it!!!!
Don’t forget God wants us to communicate with Him!!!!! (and what better opportunity!!!)
Any questions or for more information please contact meS Cole 07981892594
Easter Flowers Thank You
A huge thank you to all who came to help decorate the church with Easter flowers. The church was filled with marvellous arrangements and they all looked wonderful. Also a big thank you to all those who made a donation towards the Easter lilies. Very much appreciated.Liz Meikle
Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM)
The APCM took place on 29 April 2015 attended by 51 parishioners.
The meeting received and approved the accounts for the year ended 31 December 2014. Alan Fleming then gave a short presentation on the Parish Giving Scheme developed in Gloucester Diocese and subsequently adopted by a number of other dioceses including Guildford. The main features were that contributions would be by direct debit (not standing order) with automatic uprating each year in line with inflation. Payments would be made to a central office in Gloucester who would return the money to the parish together with any tax refund under Gift Aid. It would be open to individuals to decide whether or not to agree to the automatic uprating of their contribution. Alan hoped that the PCC would agree to pilot the scheme.
The meeting also received reports on the fabric, furnishings and ornaments of the Parish Church and All Saints Church, the proceedings of Leatherhead Deanery Synod, and the proceedings of the PCC. It was noted that the Friends of Leatherhead Parish Church had met the cost (some £14k) of the first tranche of repairs recommended by the Quinquennial Inspection Report and the Friends were thanked for their amazing generosity.
It was noted that Bill and Brenda Peetz had stood down from their positions as Assistant Churchwarden and PCC Treasurer respectively, and that Lorraine Wilmott, who was still recovering from serious illness, had decided to stand down as Sacristan and was not seeking re-election to the PCC this time. Dr Donald Yeates had retired from the position of churchwarden but remained on the PCC as one of the representatives to Deanery Synod. He was presented with a gift as a token of all the work he had done.
The following were elected to office:Churchwardens: Sue Roberts, Martin Farrell Assistant Churchwarden: Sheila Sutherland PCC Members: Alan Fleming, Janine Stagg, Martin West
The Rector then outlined the highlights of the past year and his hopes for the next twelve months, including the development of the "New Future" project for buildings fit for the 21st Century.
Following the conclusion of the APCM, the new PCC met briefly to elect the following officers:PCC Secretary: Anne Thomson PCC Treasurer: Alan Fleming Anne Thomson
Families Matter is a project managed by the communities Engagement Team (CET) of the Diocese of Guildford. This is a response by CET to support and strengthen families in the local community.
Some of the ways we offer support to families includes providing parenting support, social groups and befriending. If you are a good listener, committed, reliable and would like to know more please contact: Kelly Hewson 07548 962881 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Next 2-day volunteer training session Wed 17th and Thurs 18th June, St Nicholas Church, Guildford.Jane Summerfield
3rd June Joy Croome will be coming along to give us a talk on "Expat Life". We will also be holding a raffle.
1st July we are going to Ashtead Park for a cream tea; if you haven't booked please contact L811422.
There will be no meeting in August.Jane Summerfield
WE NEED HELP!
"We" are the Church mice; the unseen little creatures that scuttle round the building, picking up the odd scraps left behind by the visitors. Usually only bits of paper, dust, or cobwebs, but occasionally a sweet wrapper [we wonder who eats the sweets?] or the odd berry or leaf. Mind you, the Flower ladies are so clean and thorough they rarely leave us anything. Last week we found a silver coin, but one can't eat coins, so it went in the blue box.
We like to keep everything clean and tidy and we do our best, but the vacuum cleaners are too heavy, so we have to have human help for these. The problem is, some of our human helpers are finding it too much and their number is dwindling, so we could do with reinforcements. Please could you join us for an hour, once a month?
We would be SO grateful.
One of our very best human helpers is sadly leaving us, so we say a very special "Thank you" to Mrs. Jan Whiting who has been an absolute tower of strength to us small creatures. Sadly, she is moving far away and we shall miss her so much. Who else is going to lift up those heavy gratings and extricate all those hidden gems? Thank you, Mrs. Jan, ma'am.Squeaky Cleaner & Co.
"I Wanna tell you a story"
Yes remember Max Bygraves - "Singalong-a-Max", "Family Fortunes", "Tulips from Amsterdam", films, and so on?
And he lived here in Leatherhead in the late sixties, in Pachesham Park: a familiar figure in his mustard coloured convertible Bentley. Around that time also was the BT advert featuring a sparrow called Busby who sang Max's song "I wanna tell you a story" (Deck of Cards). As you can imagine as a comedian Max had a ball with that one.
Well come on folks what about your stories? Our magazine doesn't have to be all about parochial matters. We all have our stories to tell, funny or otherwise - come on let's hear them.John Sutherland
Friends of Leatherhead Parish Church
The group of Friends of Leatherhead Parish Church had a special bonus when they visited St Paul's Covent Garden, the Actors' Church, for a "Heavenly Choral" concert on 22 March. They were also able to view Bruce Denny's statue "Conversion of Saint Paul", which had been unveiled by Dame Judi Dench in the Church grounds the previous Friday.
The concert was part of the annual Brandenburg Choral Festival and the organisers generously donated a proportion of the ticket sales and donations to the Friends' funds to support the maintenance of the Parish Church.June Robinson
Leatherhead Community Association
There is a really busy and interesting Summer programme of visits, talks and walks planned by the LCA over the Summer months. How about going to the Physic Gardens and Saatchi Gallery on 25th June? Or there is a Day at the Races at Lingfield Race Course on 8th July, a visit to houses connected with the Bloomsbury Group on 15th August, or even Buckingham Palace State Rooms and Gardens on 8th September?
Looking ahead, there are recorded music afternoons at 2.15pm on 17th June, 15th July, and 19th August, no booking necessary, and tickets have already been reserved for the Frank Sinatra Tribute Concert on 12 December.
The Tea and Talks subject on 12 June is "Life on a Lighthouse" by Peter Smith who grew up in a lighthouse - not many people have done that!
Peter Humphreys has planned a very varied programme of short and longer walks and strolls which include Teazle Wood, Ham - Twickenham riverside, and the Leith Hill Rhododendron Dell.
Full details of all these events can be found at the Letherhead Institute, why not call in at 67 High Street Leatherhead, or contact Sarah on 01372 360508 every day between 9am and 12pm. Also, please click on to the website to find out more - http//www.leatherheadca.org.uk or email us on email@example.comFrances Presley
A Recent Sermon - Kuhan
There were so many requests for my notes after my sermon on 10th May based on John 15: 9-17 that I have followed up the suggestion to publish it in the parish magazine.
LOVE (III) by George HerbertLove bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back, Guilty of dust and sin. But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack From my first entrance in, Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning If I lack'd anything. "A guest," I answer'd, "worthy to be here"; Love said, "You shall be he." "I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah my dear, I cannot look on thee." Love took my hand and smiling did reply, "Who made the eyes but I?" "Truth, Lord, but I have marr'd them; let my shame Go where it doth deserve." "And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?" "My dear, then I will serve." "You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat." So I did sit and eat. In the breaking of bread and the outpouring of wine, we see the breadth and depth of God's love for us. In what we touch, taste and enact, we are given a model for how we are to love. Here, is love: embodied, enacted, felt, tasted, heard and seen. Love is-: remembered in liberation, service and sacrifice. It is love that stills our fears and satisfies our longings, which bears sorrows and shares joys. Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back, Guilty of dust and sin. Human beings are fragile. Our hearts are easily broken and our hopes frustrated. We also have a tremendous potential to act with compassion; yet become brittle and defensive. Our vulnerability is our greatest gift, with its capacity for empathy, and service of the other. It is also, apart from God's assurance, our greatest weakness. We build walls of pride and selfishness, of certainty and prejudice. We slide into patterns of thought, speech and action which despise, mistrust and undermine. Then, in the presence of Love, our soul draws back; we see ourselves as unworthy or inadequate; guilty of dust and sin. But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack From my first entrance in, Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning If I lack'd anything. God knows us fully. He knows our capacity to wound and be wounded; to be self-reliant and self-serving. He knows our lack : of assurance, of trust, of faithfulness; he knows too our deepest desires, for healing, for hope, for purpose. We long for what we lack, to be fully who we are called to be. God reaches out to us and calls forth honesty about our human condition. "A guest," I answer'd, "worthy to be here"; Love said, "You shall be he. " I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah my dear, I cannot look on Thee." Often our own self-perception creates a barrier. Our flaws re-direct our gaze away from love; we both long for and resist that refining, intense love. Pride gets in the way, frustrating our response to love poured out for us in humble service. Love took my hand and smiling did reply, "Who made the eyes but I?" We are welcomed, met with a tender touch and perceptive smile. We are reminded that we are made in the image of God and are full of potential. "Truth Lord; but I have marr'd them; let my shame Go where it doth deserve. " "And know you not,"says Love, "Who bore the blame?" We are reminded that our shame and blame are born for us by the servant king. The body of Christ is broken for the world. Today we touch, and taste and see what love looks like; how it transforms us and reverses the status quo. When human weakness and vulnerability can lead us to be defensive, angry, selfish and arrogant, we see an alternative. God's love is the first and final word. Our capacity for generosity, acceptance, forgiveness and compassion is expanded as we receive those gifts of love. "My dear, then I will serve. " "You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat. So I did sit and eat. Jesus does not only point us to actions - acts of peace, of shared food or acts of kindness. He embodies God's love and forgiveness in the midst of betrayal, humiliation, suffering and death. The cost of that love serves as a challenge to us - when we condemn, or judge or disappoint. The cost of that love stands in solidarity with us - when we are condemned, or judged or disappointed. Love bade me welcome. "And know you not," says Love "Who bore the blame?" "Who made the eyes but I?" There is nothing manipulative or coercive about such love. Its strength is in humility. When Jesus breaks bread and shares the cup of wine, he points to his own self-giving love. He enables our communion with God to be renewed as we become one body. He enacts generous, compassionate service. He restores human dignity. Here is a place where we bring our whole selves; here is the place of acceptance, forgiveness and transformation; here we are commanded to remember and imitate that love. Love bade me welcome...quick-eyed Love...Drew nearer to me There is no place where God's love is not. Love is. The beginning; the end. Amen.
Get set for Summer School 2015
The Diocese of Guildford's Summer School 2015 runs from July 6-24 and is boldly titled Finding Freedom to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.
Everyone is welcome to take part in the sessions, which will explore the concept of freedom historically and in today's society through talks and a range of interactive sessions. "Both Bishop Andrew and Bishop Ian will be speaking along with a range of presenters on related topics during Summer School 2015, with titles including The Liberty trail from Magna Carta 1215 to the Human Rights Act 1998, Freedom from Addiction, Living in Freedom and Work and Freedom," said Adult Discipleship Development Adviser, the Revd Matt Prior, who is busy organising the detail of the 22 events that make up this year's programme.
In support of Summer School 2015, Bishop Andrew adds: "Today, women and men near and far cry out for freedom from oppression, poverty, addiction, distraction and self-absorption. How can the good news of Jesus Christ help us to find true freedom in our contemporary world? Summer School 2015 is an excellent opportunity for us to think about our ethical, social and missional engagement with the world as disciples and citizens."
More details and booking information available via the diocesan website www.cofeguildford.org.uk with a printed brochure of Summer School 2015 events available in churches too by the end of April.
For more information please contact Matt Prior by telephone on 01483 790309 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Try Freedom! - Highlights - all at the Education Centre. Guildford Cathedral - include...
Freedom: realityor dream? Monday 6 July, 7.30pm - The Liberty trail from Magna Carta 1215 to the Human Rights Act 1998 The older I get, the less I know! Thursday 9 July, 7.45pm - Bishop Ian retires in the autumn, but not before exploring his journey of faith
Freedom to share our faith Tuesday 14 July, 7.45pm - An interactive session, engaging from both a Christian and a Muslim perspective with the challenges of sharing faith today
Let my people go! Monday 20 July, 7.45pm - Bishop Andrew explores the Magna Carta themes of freedom, values and society - building from the Exodus story
Paint your heart - Tuesday 21 July, 7.45pm - The Revd Mark Rudall gives you the freedom to "Paint Your Heart" with brush, paper and paints provided, but with fascinating insights from God.