The Rector writes
So much to do with Autumn speaks of life shutting down, of hibernation, even of decay. The leaves fall and begin to rot, trees become more and more bare, gardens lose their vibrant colours. BUT, in our parish, there are lots and lots of signs of new life and new beginnings.
We have just had a re-vamped Autumn Fayre, all the wonderful variety of stalls we have come to expect plus a plethora of fun things for the children to do – negotiating an electric maze, playing Hook-a-Duck, making lots of noise in Tin Can Alley, hosing down plastic bottles – such fun! Not only that but the Cake Stall, for example, was awash with cakes and biscuits of all sorts – including Owls and Pussycats.
We are also just a month into our very first Alpha Course – a ten-week exploratory course for enquirers into the Christian faith. About 35 of us gather in the church every Monday evening for a delicious meal – we’ve had lasagne, sausages and onions, shepherd’s pie and curry so far (not all at once!) – sit down together to watch a very entertaining talk on DVD and then get into small groups to chew over what we have heard. Topics such as Who is Jesus? Why Did Jesus Die? and How and Why Should I Pray? give us some high fibre material to get our teeth into.
And then we have our new website: www.leatherheadparish.com in the very capable hands of our Webmaster, Julian Rickard. Please do have a wander around the pages and let us know whether it gives you what you need to know, how easy it is find what you are after, and how we might improve it. Our History website, to which you can link direct from the new website, will continue to be maintained and developed by our new Archivist, Frank Haslam.
With the retirement of our Inspecting Architect, David Jewel, after having completed our latest Quinquennial Inspection and Report, we have had to undertake a selection process to find and appoint a new one (churches are not permitted to be without an Inspecting Architect). Donald Yeates conducted an extensive research project to whittle the candidates down to a shortlist of three, from which we finally selected one to whom we offered the position. I am delighted to say that he accepted with alacrity. He is John Bailey, a partner in Thomas Ford & Partners, Chartered Architects and Surveyors, based in Sydenham. John is also the Inspecting Architect for Guildford Cathedral, so we are in exalted company (or is it the Dean and Chapter who are?)
And the final new beginning that we can celebrate is the appointment of the new Archdeacon of Dorking. He is The Revd Paul Bryer, currently Vicar of St Paul’s, Dorking and Rural Dean of the Dorking Deanery. Before he was ordained Paul taught Religious Studies at Therfield School here in Leatherhead, so we can celebrate some close links, both geographical and historical. We wish him every blessing in his new appointment.
Isn’t God amazing? As it so aptly says in Revelation 21.5 “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new!’“ What a splendid way to start an Autumn.
Yours in Him,
Church Notes - November 2013
Congratulations to Sheila Cole and Linda Shepherd who were admitted to the Mothers' Union on Sunday 6th October by our Rector Graham Osborne.
Our meeting on 6th November will be Remembrance, with poems, readings and prayer. We hope that Celia will be fit enough to give us a talk on her experience as a WRAF.
On 3rd December we are going to Guildford Cathedral for the Pilgrimage of Prayer. Those not able to make this can meet up with us at Squires Garden Centre on the top road going towards Guildford. I have no times at the moment.
Church Matters for November 2013
It is said that an Irish newspaper made record sales when its news vendors’ posters carried the headline “no news of the Pope”. However it turned out not to be bad news, just that the April 1st issue had no news of the Pope. On a smaller scale, there’s “no news of the Autumn Fayre” in Church Matters – read about it elsewhere!
There is, however, news of a departing Bishop, an arriving Archdeacon, a newly recruited Inspecting Architect, and a new strategy for Guildford Cathedral. Beginning with the cathedral strategy we hear that some of the land on Stag Hill will be sold for housing development including ”a new Cathedral Close to accommodate staff and clergy which will replace the existing sub standard housing” as well as social and private housing. It costs just under £1.2 million annually to operate the Cathedral and there’s currently a deficit of £100,000 a year so some bold moves need to be made to use the cathedral’s assets better.
The arriving Archdeacon is the Revd Paul Bryer, presently the vicar of St Paul’s Dorking, and Rural Dean. He’ll become our Archdeacon, probably in February, and he has a Leatherhead connection too as he was at one time Head of Religious Studies at Therfield. Meantime, we’ll continue to be looked after by the Archdeacon of Surrey, Stuart Beake, who came on a visit to spend an afternoon with clergy and churchwardens on October 9th.
The departing Bishop is of course Bishop Christopher who will finally say goodbye to the Diocese at his leaving service on November 30th, coincidentally on the sixteenth anniversary of his inauguration as our Bishop. There’s to be a series of prayer walks beforehand; some have already happened. Our rural Dean Robert Jenkins is in the middle of the arrangements for a walk in our Deanery but at the time of writing the date is not known.
Good news about a new Inspecting Architect. Following meetings with our shortlisted candidates we have appointed John Bailey of Thomas Ford and Partners. He has thirteen years experience of building conservation work, is the architect for Guildford (G11*) and Wakefield (G1) cathedrals and has the King of Prussia’s – yes honestly (!) – Gold Medal for church conservation and repairs of churches in Kent. You can see his work on the www. He’s already reviewing the implications of our Quinquennial inspection report and there are plans for him to come to the PCC to tell us what the remedial work plan will look like.
Our heritage days in September attracted 73 visitors fascinated by the historical displays and the opportunity to go up the tower. The Harvest Supper was a really good evening with 99 tickets sold, lots of food consumed, and good fellowship and entertainment enjoyed. The following Monday’s Alpha course also benefited from some surplus apple crumbles.
Activities in church have included a heart-warming Compassion Sunday service on October 6th when eight children from under developed countries were “adopted” by members of our congregation who will now support them in their school and daily life through the Compassion charity (www.compassionuk.org). The All Age Service on October 6th was wonderful. Almost the entire congregation took the opportunity to plant a mustard seed and take away a mustard seed bookmark to a background of gentle music from the music group and quietly spoken prayers from the Rector. The silence when this part of the service ended was most moving. (If you’re not sure what all this is about read Luke 18 verses 5 to 10.)
Tips for Arranging Church Flowers
Demonstration at Christ Church URC by Alison Gillott
Saturday 23rd November at 11.30am in the Church
No charge - All Welcome - Coffee/Tea available
Any questions? L386520
A New Way to Share the Christmas Story
The Real Advent Calendar is a great way to share the real meaning of Christmas: there’s a line of the Christmas story and a chocolate star behind each window, and behind the final window is a 24-page Christmas storybook. The Real Chocolate Company will make a donation to The Children’s Society from each calendar’s sale. And, of course, like the Real Easter Egg the Advent Calendar is made from fairly traded chocolate.
It might be difficult to believe but recent surveys show that knowledge of the Christmas story is fading. Among 5-7 year olds 36% don’t know whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas and 72% don’t know Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Among adults less than 12% know the full nativity story and 51% say that the birth of Jesus is irrelevant to their Christmas.
The Christmas Starts with Christ campaign hopes to reverse the trend by telling the Christmas story in new ways. The Real Advent Calendar is designed to support the campaign as a new and fun way to share the Christmas story. You can read more at www.realadvent.co.uk
We shall have the Calendars on our fortnightly Fairtrade stall from 3 November. Each calendar costs £3.99.
Mole Valley District Council Chairman’s Carol Service at The Parish Church of St Mary & St Nicholas on Friday 6th December 2013 at 6.30pm
David Sharland, Chairman of the Council, invites everyone to a service of carols and lessons arranged by St John’s School Leatherhead and supported by children from Trinity School. All are welcome to attend this free event. There will be a retiring collection in aid of the Chairman’s Charity for the year:Against Breast Cancer.
Friends of Leatherhead Parish Church
Notices will be going out this month inviting renewal of FLPC memberships. We should like to encourage more people interested in maintaining our beautiful Parish Church both for this and future generations to join us and, if possible, play a role, however modest, in organising our fund raising activities.
Even if you don’t feel able to commit to a very modest annual contribution – there is no minimum although £10 is suggested – you may wish to help us with your time. Do you have an interesting or perhaps unique garden, no matter how large or small, which you would be willing to open for Charity on one Sunday afternoon? We would welcome hearing from you at any time; contact numbers at the back of each month’s Parish Magazine. The coming year is already shaping up well, so you may like to note the following dates in your diary:
Sunday 2 March 2014: Afternoon visit to London by Coach for Brandenburg Choral Festival concert at the “Oranges and Lemons” Church – St Clement Danes.
Saturday 8 March: The FLPC’s ever popular Annual Quiz Night, 7pm in the Parish Church Hall. (Bookings open in January).
Friday 16 May: Annual General Meeting, 8 pm in the Parish Church Hall. Everyone welcome.
Sunday 8 June: Leatherhead Open Gardens Day.
Then keep watching this space for even more dates ...
C Evans (L372169)
Revd Gualter de Mello retires
It all began for us in 1981, when we were invited to Hackney. The Vicar, Revd Sandy Morris, had answered an advertisement in the Church Times asking for produce from the Harvest Festival, and after a couple of years the parish was invited to visit Prideaux House in Hackney to see what the charity did.
Friends Anonymous Service had been set up after an old lady was found dead in her flat at Christmas. She had been dead for three days. The founder was Gualter de Mello, who had come from Brazil as a young man to help to look after the Revd Tubby Clayton in his old age. Tubby was the founder of Toc H, the organisation started after the First World War to strengthen community bonds. Gualter often said that he learnt everything he knew from Tubby.
FAS grew out of a Toc H hostel for young men, and in its heyday ran a playgroup, a youth club, and many other community projects. Its core work, however, was to bring together local people, either at the Lunch Club, or on outings, holidays, and home visiting. Everything revolved around food, with parties for Valentine’s Day, Shrove Tuesday, national saints’ days and so on. There was a Christmas dinner once a month, because, as Gualter maintained, you couldn’t fit everyone in at Christmas, and it was too good an occasion to restrict to once a year!
A coachload from Leatherhead went several times to Hackney, and a memorable return match was organised when Gualter preached, and then the guests had Sunday lunch with individual families (food again!) and met for tea in the parish hall. My husband Horace bought a van to take goods from this locality to the charity shop in Hackney, and we got involved with all its work.
Gualter’s drive and enthusiasm was unique – his watchword was, and is, “Any problem is no problem”. When the volcano in Montserrat in the West Indies forced nearly half the population to flee, he worked tirelessly to gain them evacuee, rather than refugee, status.
Gualter was helped in his work by a succession of young volunteers, who often came in their gap year, and by Molly Carleton, who retired to Hackney from Hampstead in 1960 because Hampstead was “boring”. She ran the charity shop and the outings until she was 92, and now beats me in 3 out of the 4 Scrabble games we play daily on the computer! Molly will be 103 in November! Both she and Gualter have been awarded the M.B.E.
In latter years Prideaux House has been rebuilt, and caters for a core membership of elderly people. Members of this parish will remember with pleasure our annual Pancake Races on Shrove Tuesday, and a few years ago the Montserrat Steel Band and Choir came to perform in the church gardens. We are still able to help them as the leftovers from the Autumn Fayre every year are taken to the shop. A number of us have been on holiday to Belgium, Sweden, Portugal, and Montserrat, as well as the annual reunion at Ely.
Gualter has now returned to Brazil to be with his family. The work at Prideaux House which was his inspiration will continue.
Christmas Family Fun Day and Afternoon Tea at Hartsfield Manor on Sunday 8th December 2013 - in support of Dorking Friends of Cancer Research UK.
12 – 4pm fun and games for the whole family - free entrance
Festive afternoon tea - including warm scones with clotted cream and jam, mince pies, and fruit cake £15.95 per person with £1 going to Cancer Research UK.
Hartsfield Manor, Sandy Lane, Betchworth, RH3 7AA.
Call 01737 845 300 to book afternoon tea.
The maker doesn't want it,
The buyer doesn't use it,
The user doesn't see it,
What is it?
John Sutherland (answer is on this page)
New York September 2013
I love New York: it never sleeps, it's dirty, it's noisy, and it is always full of people from every part of the globe that you can think of, and some that you can't! When I knew that I was going to be there for a few days, visiting “Ground Zero” was at the top of my list. However, it is no longer called “Ground Zero” but the “9/11 Memorial”.
You can only go if you have a pre-booked ticket, otherwise you need to be there by 9.30am which meant an early start on the subway, to stand in the queue for the limited day tickets that are issued. Once I was in the 9/11 area, after the usual queuing and security checks, my first impression was one of space, peace and respect in spite of the fact that several hundred people were already there. There are two “footprints”, each approximately 200ft square, which are placed where the original North and South towers stood. Each is a deep hole lined in granite with water continuously falling 30 ft from the top edges and running into a smaller square in the base. Set around the top of the walls of the “footprints” are written the names of those who died in each respective tower, nearly 3,000 in all. They are not in alphabetical order but written where their loved ones wanted the names to be, and placed so that friends and colleagues would be near each other.
416 oak trees have been planted which adds to the feeling of calm, but standing proudly is the only survivor from the original gardens that was found battered and charred and which has been lovingly nursed back to life. The museum is due to open in the Spring of next year and it will be filled with artefacts relating to the events of 9/11. It will be set at least seven storeys underground so as to accommodate the last seven staircases - the “Survivors' Stairs” - down which so many people were able to escape the disaster.
Nestled no more than a few hundred yards from the 9/11 site in a small square is St Paul's Chapel, Manhattan's oldest church, and standing between the churchyard and the entrance to the Church is a bell which was given to the City of New York by the City of London after 9/11. What is of great significance about the churchyard is that it was completely covered with debris from the falling towers which took two years to clear up. The bell is struck at particular times of commemoration.
The Church itself is modelled on St Martin in the Fields, although it would probably fit at least four times into the London Church and, close as it was to the fall-out, not a pane of glass was broken. After 9/11 its community of volunteers provided food, beds, counselling, or just a shoulder to cry on for the many firemen, police, and other first responders who worked round the clock on the recovery and clean-up over many months. Around the inside walls of the Church are small exhibitions showing the beds, clothing, and food that were provided and many photos of the dirt, dust and grime that everyone had to cope with. I attended their 10am Eucharist which was celebrated in the round, and was warmly welcomed afterwards by their vicar who wanted to know where I had come from.
I have only given a tiny impression of the area and, as you have probably realised by now, I found the whole experience deeply moving causing me to ask yet again - Why? I brought away the official book of the National September 11 Memorial “A Place of Remembrance” which shows far more graphically than I can the horrors of that beautiful day in September and explains the beginnings and coming to fruition of the Memorial. I am very happy to lend it out.
Milk Bottle Tops
I am still collecting milk bottle tops. These go to The Priory School in Dorking where they are melted into plastic sheets by the metalwork department and used for school projects. There is a clear plastic labelled box – please put all donations into this. I will empty it frequently.
Answer to the Riddle: A coffin.
Parish Church Hall Committee Room
The Sewing Shop is in operation until Friday 25 October.
The Cards for Good Causes opens on Saturday 2 November.
The Sewing Shop is available within the Community Market from Friday 1 November from 10.30am
Please support local initiatives on your doorstep.