From the May magazine
The Licensed Lay Minister writes ...
Past Treasure Inspires the Present: She and her sister, my sister and I were constant holiday companions throughout our childhood. My younger sister and Pip had briefly been at the same prep school, but we went to different boarding schools. So the close friendships we formed were not those of convenience, but something deeper and more lasting. They were golden days, we swam together, played tennis together, quoits in their garden, table tennis in our dining room, endless board games on cold winter afternoons, bike rides all over the Cotswolds, we built camps in the woods, and played a special game we had devised when their mother took us up to Painswick Beacon on the occasional Sunday afternoon; and lots more besides.
Then, many years later, we had taken a group of people to watch a musical written by a friend for the prep school where he was Musical Director. I remarked that the surname of one of the cast meant he had surely to be related to Pip, as the name was so unusual. When the curtain went up, there was Helen of Troy, and the lady I was sitting next to giggled "That's my son!" she exclaimed, "He looks just like my sister." I was sitting next to our childhood friend! We now meet regularly.
One day when I was on duty as chaplain at Guildford Cathedral a lady stood, silhouetted in the West door. She came right up to me "It is Gail isn't it?" Although she was familiar I couldn't at first put a name to her. "It's Clare" she exclaimed. But even then it took me some while to remember who she was. We had been near neighbours in our twenties. Our children had played together on the open plan in front of our houses, I hadn't seen her for decades; but we have picked up where we left off and visit one another frequently.
Then, just last month I was at a house warming party when a lady came up to me to ask if I was the host. "No, but I will introduce you to her," I replied. And after the introduction we started to talk, we discovered we knew people in common; and then the penny dropped ... she had been in my class at school. In fact her mother and mine had been best friends at school, and her mother had been my Godmother. The last time I had seen her was at her mother's funeral in Harpenden. She lives now in Westcott, we have picked up the threads, and will keep in touch. Although I now see Pip, and Clare, and Virginia regularly, and our shared past is hugely precious, we seldom talk about it, it is the treasure we carry with us and enables us to feel comfortable in one another's company, but we are more interested in what each one of us is up to in the present. The childhood, school days, young adulthood, we shared, gives us a feeling of belonging to one another, sharing a history, but we have moved on.
One of the things I love above all about the Anglican Church is its evolving, expanding tradition. We don't have to always do things the way we always did! We don't have to believe what the Church taught in the past. Doctrine like friendships needs to evolve, grow and be ever more inclusive. We are enriched by those whose experience or outlook is different to ours. They bring fresh experiences of life and meaning, wisdom and compassion to inform the living Church of today.
In the life time of many of us the Church has discussed and grappled with its doctrine; and has been prepared to move on. So we have evolved our thinking on birth control, the Peace Movement, divorce, women's ministry, homosexuality, IVF, abortion, and now the hot potato is Medically Assisted Suicide. None of these issues were ever clear cut. Biblical texts could always be twisted to support arguments on both sides. But people came together with a genuine desire to listen, reflect, and change, to allow the Church to speak with wisdom and compassion to meet the needs, understanding and challenges of the day.
We see the same happening in our liturgy. Fresh Expressions of Being Church can mean quite different forms of worship, Messy Church, Cafe Church and the use of our church buildings for meetings and activities seven days a week. With Series 1, 2 and 3, then the Alternative Service Book and now Common Worship our liturgy has evolved. We do not abandon the past; it is because the history and tradition with which we have been so blessed were good that we are inspired and enabled to follow where God is calling us now. Like my renewed friendships; the past isn't taken away or denied; but it is built upon to enable a fresh vision for today and tomorrow. We belong to and proclaim, not a dying institution, but a living Church. Alleluia!Gail Partridge
After a truly memorable and joyous Easter the Church year settles to the quieter run up to Pentecost on Sunday 24th May. At Easter there was a joining together of tradition and innovation; a case of "Something old, something new, something borrowed ..." even something "blue" - in that the skies remained blue most of the time. The "old" was retained in the Palm Sunday procession from the Town to the Church, the Lent Groups' supper, the deeply moving 'Last Hour' on Good Friday, and the 7.00am Striking the New Fire on Easter Day, prior to 8.00 am Communion. The "new" included a wonderful Easter Extravaganza in the Town Centre on the Saturday before Palm Sunday, organised by Churches Together in Leatherhead, which sought to make the message of Easter accessible to a wider public than it was felt the Good Friday Walk of Witness had been in the past. And what did we "borrow"? Well, this was a fascinating Seder meal, traditionally part of the Jewish Passover, explained to us and shared with us by a Jewish family on Maundy Thursday. All in all, Holy Week was truly memorable and meaningful this year.
By the time this edition of the magazine appears we will have held our Annual Parochial Church Meeting and established the new PCC for the coming year. It is a fitting and appropriate time to thank Donald Yeates for the enormous contribution he has made to the life of our Church. We shall greatly miss his knowledge and expertise in so many areas. The good news is that he continues to make an excellent recovery and is able to join us at Church services; he will also continue to be a Deanery Synod representative.
Among the "housekeeping" items of our Church, various necessary tasks are underway. The electrical inspection of all lighting and wiring began on 15th April and the Churchyard Tree Survey began on May 1st. This survey may lead to some trimming and tidying of trees, but is mostly a health and safety issue required as part of the Quinquennial Inspection. Hopefully, the scaffolding at various points of the church exterior will also be removed shortly. There is also a plan to have a bonfire at the top left corner of the Churchyard of all the cuttings and rubbish cleared by our excellent churchyard volunteers, before the pile becomes too huge; it was set for 25th April, but this is totally dependent on the weather, so fingers crossed.
A small word of caution: if you use the steps leading from the park at the front of the Church be aware that a brick is missing from the lower step. Mole Valley has been notified, as it is their responsibility. In similar vein, there were two large broken paving stones in front of the church lych-gate, but Surrey County Council acted within three hours of my phone call and made them safe. It can be done!Sue Roberts
Christian Aid Week 10-16 May
This year we particularly need new recruits as the URC team who have done so splendidly for many years are not fielding a collection team any longer. If you can help collect door to door or for an hour or two in the town please contact Frank Haslam (379341).
Tower Open Day
On 9th May the Bell Tower will be open to visitors from 2pm to 5pm(ish) There are 44 stairs to climb to see a lot of history and see how the English custom of change ringing is done.
Maybe have a try yourself!
We hope to have refreshments available. Children are welcome if under control. There will be placards under the tower for you to view prior to the 9th.Peter Ford
Leatherhead Morning W.I.
Our first meeting of Spring was well attended, and we were given our new name badges. This was following a suggestion at our last meeting that it would help our new members to get to know us, and establish a rapport.
We were brought up to date with reports from our President. Bookings are being taken for forthcoming trips, one to the Kennet and Avon Canal, and one to Worthing. There may be a further one in the Autumn, to Chartwell.
Members were reminded that our April meeting will be our 30th birthday celebration, starting at 2.15pm, in our usual venue. Guests have been invited, and we look forward to welcoming old friends.
Our speaker was Mrs M Laurenson, on "Me and My Hats", who began by telling us about her eventful life, after coming to England from Germany in 1958. It was a long-held ambition of hers to come to this country, and she found it very strange at first. After several jobs in domestic situations, she decided to follow her dream of working with textiles. She was attracted to the idea of making hats, and attended the London College of Fashion, to pursue this aim.
Mrs Laurenson had brought along a selection of her imaginative creations to show us, and we were impressed by the styles and bold colours. It was a very interesting insight into the world of millinery.
The May meeting, on 28th of the month, will be held at Leatherhead Parish Hall at 10.15am.
For any further information, please ring L374570.Hazel Brown
FRIENDS OF LEATHERHEAD PARISH CHURCH
The Annual General Meeting, will take place in the Reeves Room of the Leatherhead Parish Church Hall at 7.30 pm on Friday 22 May 2015. Wine, soft drinks and nibbles will be available from 7 pm.
- Apologies for absence
- Minutes of AGM held on 16 May 2014
- Matters Arising
- Chairman’s Report
- Treasurer’s Report
- Election of Officers and Committee
- Continuation of Examiner of Accounts: Roger Lynch FCA
- Any other business.
Following the formal business of the meeting, the Rector, Graham Osborne will speak about the next phase in the planned programme of repairs and re-ordering of the Church.
On 6th May we have Jenny Sullivan coming along to talk about the Charity "Happy Child".
3rd June Joy Croome will be giving a talk on "Expat Life".
Both of these speakers seem very interesting, and if you would like to join us you would be more than welcome at the Parish Hall at 2.30pm -a cup of tea is always served at the close of the meeting.
If you would like a lift please call L811422.
Mothering Sunday and Easter Sunday: We were so fortunate to have two beautiful Services - many thanks to all those who made this possible, from the flower ladies to the waving of flags. So much thought and preparation had gone into both services, so again many thanks.Jane Summerfield
More People under 30 going for Ordination
Latest statistics released by the Church of England show that the number of young people (under 30s) now make up a quarter of all people accepted for training for the Church of England ministry.
Figures for 2014 show that 116 young people under 30 were accepted for training. This is the highest number of young people accepted for ordination training in the past 25 years. One young ordinand, who six years ago was a soldier serving in Iraq, describes her journey to ordination in a Church of England blog: "I'd hit rock bottom and feeling I had nowhere else to turn decided to shout out to God whilst on a helicopter in the way to the Iranian border."
Liz Boughton, Young Vocations Advisor, Ministry Division of the Archbishops' Council said: "We are so pleased to see more young people being recommended for ordination than in the last ten years. The gifts and insights that young people bring to ministry are more important than ever in the life of the Church of England and I look forward to seeing the impact that a generation of young priests will bring."
The Bishop of Sheffield, Steven Croft, chair of the Ministry Council, said: "It is really encouraging that young people are continuing to come forward, playing their part in the Church of the future. More and more young people are hearing God's call to bring their energy and gifts to serve in the mission of the church. As a Church we need this movement to deepen and grow still further."
A Reflection on Lent Groups
Ten ecumenical groups met weekly in various homes around the parish, hosted and led by members of Churches together in Leatherhead.
Almost 100 people attended the groups and from the feedback I received they enjoyed: good fellowship, getting to know each other, inter-faith dialogue, stimulating conversation, frank and honest discussion, challenging questions, sharing experiences, sharing our faith journeys, using the Bible, and the contributions of the speakers on the CD.
During Holy Week we met for a shared supper together which was a lovely opportunity to end the journey through Lent which we had travelled together and to enjoy the delicious food which everyone had brought. Hedley Kay led us in singing and Gail Partridge reflected on the course We has studied "Songs of Praise in the New Testament" as follows.
Gail says: "The theologian Paula Gooder reminded us in her introduction that 'The reason why it is worth studying these songs is that they remind us time and time again of who God was, and is and will be; what he has done and what he will continue to do for each one of us. When we encounter this God, the only reasonable response is to praise him.' I'm sure all the groups must have found the material we had to discuss this Lent both thought-provoking and affirming. Paula chose from the New Testament Songs ones which would lead us into discussing five different themes.
Session 1 GRATITUDE It is not that God needs or demands our gratitude, but that we need to express it. It helps us to realize how blessed we are; it is hard to say 'thank you' without smiling, we feel enlightened, helped and healed when we are grateful. Those whose cups are half full, rather than half empty are invariably happier, they are not just 'full' but 'fulfilled'. In our group we were especially touched by the story of the children survivors of the Nazi concentration camps who slept better if they went to bed holding a piece of bread, reassured that they would have something to eat in the morning. We need both physical and spiritual nourishment. And of this we are reminded at each Eucharist 'I am the bread of life.' And for both we give thanks.
Session 2 THE IMAGE OF GOD To claim that we are made in the Image of God would surely be the greatest arrogance, if Jesus hadn't demonstrated that we meet God in his humanity, therefore in one another's. I think our group found this session a bit challenging. We didn't all, always entirely agree with the contributors in the booklet or on the CD, which led to some quite deep discussions of what we did believe, and as always it all boiled down, in the end, to Love. If God is Love, and we are made in his image, we too are repositories of Love. And when we love one another we increase the sum total of love in the world, and make God more visible.
Session 3 HUMILITY God doesn't wow us into believing in him. He comes not in majesty or might, but in love; not in a show of wealth, but in bread and wine. Elijah expected to meet him in the Wind, the Earthquake or the Fire, but met him in the Still Small Voice. Our group found this session very immediate. It resonated with our experiences. Paula reminded us that Christ is not someone to be admired, but someone to be followed. We don't just say or think Christianity; we do it! 'True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less' was the C.S Lewis quote we found thought provoking.
Session 4 NEW BIRTH Too often the world understands Hope to mean Hopeless, a slim chance of a favourable outcome. Fingers Crossed! Yet Christian Hope is synonymous with New Birth, New Beginnings, both right here and now and beyond this life. Or as contributed by Dr Alec Graham, former Bishop of Newcastle, in the booklet, 'Christian hope is not some pale virtue, with its focus principally on life after death, nor a wistful wish that in the meanwhile all will go well. On the contrary, Christian hope derives from the resurrection of Jesus Christ.' Or IPeter 1 Verse 3 God has given us a new birth into a living hope.' So hope is not some future wistful thinking; but a present reality.
Session 5 WORD MADE FLESH John 1. 1-14 This of course is among everyone's top ten bible passages; a hymn of praise and affirmation which describes God in Jesus as mystery. Or, as Paula Gooder says, sends tingles down your spine every Christmas carol service. The Greek word 'Logos' can be translated many different ways, and our group found it quite helpful to replace 'Word' with 'Wisdom'. In the beginning was Wisdom, and Wisdom was with God, and Wisdom was God'. And this further helped us to understand Jesus coming as 'Light into the world' for Wisdom is also Enlightenment. But at the end of the day, we all agreed that the text calls us into fresh understanding each time we read it, it also leaves us with a profound humility in the face of a great mystery. Altogether I believe this year's material has prepared us well for Christ's Passion and Resurrection. We meet him now in this shared meal; and we walk with him on the way of the cross this Holy Week; and as dawn breaks on Easter morning he stands risen among us harbinger of Light, Love, Hope and Everlasting Life. Amen."
Thank you to everyone who used their gifts of leadership or hospitality to help with the groups and to everyone who participated.Linda Hauxwell
Home Groups take place weekly throughout the Parish and if you are interested in joining a group for fellowship, fun, challenging discussions, sharing experiences, Bible study and prayer plus outings and enjoying meals together please contact me for more information on L370308
Allsaints Coffee Shop Goes From Strength to Strength
Allsaints, has now been open for almost 6 months and has been getting rave reviews from its customers. 'The best coffee in Leatherhead', 'the best coffee shop for families with little ones' and 'a unique space to relax or work' have been just some of the reviews left on Trip Advisor or Allsaints Facebook page. In fact the coffee shop is now ranked 2 out of 46 for food & drink locations in Leatherhead on Trip Advisor.
As a Social Enterprise, Allsaints has been setup to support local young people.into work and provide them with excellent training through the national apprenticeship scheme. Matt Fleming (aged 19) the coffee shop manager explains how this works. 'We look out for young people who are not sure what their step into work or training is, then we offer them an employment and training solution which gives them the best chance of a long term working future.' Allsaints has already had to take on an extra member of staff with Codie (aged 16) joining the team last month. And the busier business gets, the more young people Allsaints will be able to give this life-enhancing opportunity to. Also this month Allsaints has opened up its hot-desking service alongside its meeting room - available for hire at £10 an hour. If you'd like to find out more please visit us on your social networks @allsaints_so.
Allsaints is open Monday to Friday from 8am-3pm based in All Saints Church, Kingston Road, Leatherhead.
Sandy Morris Remembered at Bletchley Park
Sandy was our Vicar from 1971 and was succeeded by David Eaton in 1989. In WW2, on the day before Sandy was due to enter the Royal Navy, he was called to London and after an interview was told that as a Classics student at Jesus College, Cambridge, he was being posted to Bedford to learn Japanese! This he duly accomplished and was posted to Hut 7 at Bletchley Park to learn the mysteries of the Japanese naval cyphers. He was then posted to Colombo, in what was Ceylon but is now Sri Lanka.
Sandy's widow Anne (now Mrs Gabbott) is delighted that Sandy is commemorated in the on-line Bletchley Park Veterans Roll of Honour maintained by the Bletchley Park Trust. The family are in contact with Bletchley Park Trust to get the spelling of Sandy's middle name corrected.http://rollofhonour.bletchleypark.ora.uk/search/record-detail/11479/
Incidentally, Alison Wright recently told me a story she heard from Sandy about him accidentally bumping into a tiny Japanese lady. He found himself profusely apologising to her - to his utter amazement after so many years not speaking a word of it - in Japanese!Frank Haslam, Parish Archivist
Isn't History Amazing?
A WWI April 1915 Parish Magazine extract in last month's magazine was about a Confirmation Service in Leatherhead taken by the Bishop of Guildford which included 12 soldier candidates.
Peter Ford, of our Bellringers, asked "was there a Bishop of Guildford in 1915?". A very interesting question. Yes - it was the Suffragan Bishop of Guildford, created in 1874 to help the Bishop of the then huge Diocese of Winchester. Since 1927 the Bishop of Guildford has been a Diocesan Bishop.
The first Suffragan Bishop of Guildford, John Utterton, is commemorated in the stained glass windows of our Lady Chapel and is buried in our churchyard. His headstone has a Bishop’s Crook carved on it.
The East Window in the Chancel is dedicated to his son, Frank Utterton, who was a much admired Vicar here from 1875 to 1907 (see the plaque in the Chancel). Frank and his wife Eveline are buried next to the Bishop. Their graves are along the "Worple Road side" path in the churchyard.
The "Utterton" East Window replaced one given in 1863 by the Henderson family of Randalls Park. With their consent that (very nice) window was removed to a church in Bishopstoke, Hampshire by one of Frank Utterton's Leatherhead curates, Sidney Sedgwick, who became Rector there.
The "Henderson" East Window here replaced one made up of assorted old stained glass that had been collected by an antiquarian Vicar of Leatherhead, James Dallaway. It was placed in storage above the choir vestry and faded from memory, only to be rediscovered years later when electric lighting was installed. It included Death on a Pale Horse, described by one of our WW2 Vicars, Gerald Coleridge (great grandson of the poet Coleridge) as "the stuff of nightmares". Eventually Death and another section went to the V&A Museum. The rest can be seen in our Chapel of Remembrance Window, which is in memory of Gerald Coleridge.
Sedgwick's housekeeper in Leatherhead was Charlotte Collyer. She and her family moved with him to Bishopstoke. The Collyers later decided to emigrate. Charlotte and her daughter Marjorie survived a nightmare crossing of the Atlantic but her husband Harvey did not. They were on the Titanic.
This is an extremely condensed version of what can be seen in full with images on a page in our website at www.parishchurch.leatherheadweb.org.uk/isnt-history-amazing.htm - or you can look afresh at our church and churchyard and, for the Collyers, visit Leatherhead Museum.Frank Haslam, Parish Archivist: with thanks to Peter Ford, John Morris and the late Linda Heath