Newsletter - March 2013 to May 2013

Newsletter March 2013 – May 2013

 

From the Manse                                                                                February, 2013

Over the past few years, most recently about the hospital in Stafford, we have heard people talk about a need for a culture change, and about ‘institutional culture’.

‘Culture’ is another way of saying the way we think about and react to certain actions, situations, or groups of people. Institutional culture is how we do that as a group.

The implication is that the growing problems within the NHS, are the result of a bad cultural change, a situation where injustice and abuse is allowed to flourish because of indifference on the part of the authorities, a lack of ‘normal’ human compassion (finance more important than people), and lack of a sense of community responsibility and co-operation among the staff.

The sudden upsurge in cases of past abuse coming to light are, I believe, a result of another kind of culture change. We have always had a culture that said these things are unacceptable; but at the same time we had a culture of burying our heads and pretending such things did not happen.  If someone dared to force us to see what we wanted to pretend didn’t happen, we blamed the victim.

In this case, over the past 40 years various individuals and campaign groups have forced us to face up to blindness and prejudices of the past.  This is a change that acknowledges injustice and resists it.

What about the culture of churches and discipleship?  How has that changed over the past 40 years?  Has it been a change for the better or the worse?

There are many good changes, for example the growing away from focusing on denominational differences and instead looking for links. There is still a very long way to go on genuine working together, but at least we no longer bicker and refuse to acknowledge one another’s existence as in the past.  And most churches are generally more open and welcoming than in the past.

Why do I feel that we now have a culture that is afraid of evangelism, and exhibits a lack of commitment to corporate prayer and study?  Are we afraid it puts people off?

Lent is a time for thinking about such things: about the culture of our worship and discipleship; about what we might have got wrong; about the ‘cultural changes’ needed for the future.

May this Lent be for each of us just such a time of reflection and, where needed, repentance – and change! - so that Easter may be a time of renewed commitment to our discipleship journeys, as individuals and equally importantly, as a church family together.

May God’s light shine his light of truth in our lives this Lent as we reflect on how our faith is lived out in our homes and communities, and may Easter commitment turn into Pentecost action.

Darlene

 

John Lawn

It is with profound sadness and a deep sense of loss that we are coming to terms with John Lawn’s death.  All of us who have known and loved John will never forget his constant presence with us and all that he meant to our chapel.  We thank God for the day when he threw in his lot with us, and our fellowship became part of his extended family.

At the heart of John’s ministry was his pastoral visiting.  John was a kind and good man with a loving concern for other people.  By drawing on his own experience of life, he was able to empathise with others and share their joys and sorrows.  When John was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he showed great fortitude and courage in facing the inevitable decline which followed and which was then compounded by cancer which led to his death.  When he was unable to drive he could no longer visit people in their homes but he still kept contact by post.  We were so grateful to John’s wife, Ruth, for bringing him to church on Sundays so that he could remain a very real presence among us.  His mind remained as active as ever and he continued to take great interest in all that was going on at West Horsley and in the circuit.  He was a man of vision and full of ideas for the chapel’s future which he would never live to see.

John was meticulous in all that he undertook, in such things as preaching preparation, pastoral work and not least in his carefully researched history of the chapel.  It was good that he knew Jean Bruton, who has become our archivist ensuring that his work would continue.

The chapel was full to overflowing for the Thanksgiving service for John’s life; it was led by Darlene and members of John’s family.  John’s daughter Mary gave a moving, personal tribute to her father with an engaging touch of humour.  John’s grandchildren, of whom he was so proud and who gave him such pleasure, shared with us the affection in which they held their grandfather.  Laura led us in prayer and Ben read us a poem, part of which I would like to share with you :-

“Miss me a little but not too long,

And not with your head bowed low,

Remember the love that we once shared,

Miss me but let me go.

For this is a journey that we all must take,

And each must go alone,

It’s all a part of God’s perfect plan,

A step on the road to home.”

 

 

Chapel Archive – new items received in January 2013.

We have received from Geoff Willott a very good photograph of the 1976 Centenary Celebrations.  In return I was able to give Geoff a photograph of the Willott family, which had been sent as a Christmas greeting to John Lawn.  Geoff has also found for us a typed copy of notes on the History of Chapel from 1876 to 1956 by Rev. G.H.Flemington.  These notes were probably the basis of the booklet by the Rev Flemington, which has been invaluable to all researching the History of the Chapel.

We are most grateful to Ruth Lawn, who has given us John Lawn’s papers relating to his work for the Chapel, including some of materials he found in his research for his History of the Chapel and his hand written draft of the History.  These papers are an important addition to our archive.  There are too many documents to list here, but I am in process of adding them to our Archive Catalogue.

To mention just a few - there are very good copies of John’s searches in the Surrey Advertiser of 1876:-

Advertisement in ”The Surrey Advertiser and County Times” April 15th 1876 for fund raising bazaar for “Erection of a Wesleyan Chapel which really is a necessity”.

Report in ”The Surrey Advertiser and County Times” April 29th stone laying ceremony - laying memorial stones in chapel then in course of erection.

John Lawn’s notes on the hymn “This stone to thee in faith we lay” sung at the ceremony.

Advertisements in “The Surrey Advertiser and County Times”on June 17th and June 24th 1876 for the opening service of the Chapel.

Report in ”The Surrey Advertiser and County Times” July 15th of the opening service in the chapel. – “a very neat and commodious little chapel was opened for public worship.......at the close of the service a goodly number of friends partook of an excellent tea ........ the meeting was really a grand success – quite a triumph for Surrey Methodism”.

The documents include a copy of John’s Commissioning Service as Pastoral Assistant, his hopes for our Church and many interesting letters and photographs.  We are privileged to have these papers as they show how much John Lawn cared for West Horsley Church and its congregation and plan to display some of these items as part of the 2013 anniversary celebrations.

Jean Bruton

 

Family News

Congratulations and all good wishes to Ruth Erasmus as she enters a new decade.  Her birthday was celebrated in style with her family and friends.

Congratulations also to Roy Havard who enters our select band of octogenarians; we didn’t know about this until Roy arrived at the chapel, not only with Renee, but also bearing a splendid cake for us to have with our coffee after the service.  Thank you Roy.

It is good to have Liz and Ted safely back from Australia where they were able to spend precious time with Tim and also to attend a family wedding which was held in the Japanese garden at Melbourne Zoo.  The bride was Chinese so the ceremony was conducted in English and Chinese.  It was a great opportunity for them to catch up with family and friends.

We also have other doughty travellers soon to set off for foreign climes.  We wish Celia Godspeed as she goes to Burma, a country which even Roger hasn’t visited.

Margaret will be going to Tunisia in April where she will visit the site of Carthage, the home of Hannibal.  In preparation, Margaret has been doing background reading on the Punic Wars.

We wish Darlene a happy and successful visit to her family in Texas. She will be away from March 14th-25th.

We were very sorry to hear of Thelma McVittie’s death.  We much enjoyed the time when Thelma was part of our fellowship at West Horsley and we remember her with affection. Heather has kept us in touch with Thelma since she moved away.  We send our sympathy to Thelma’s family and friends.

 

Church news

Our Church is open for Prayer every Wednesday morning from 8.30 – 9.30.  People are welcome to come and go, although together we pray silently.  There is a notepad and box on the window sill of the Link for you to put any prayer requests.

House Group will be meeting on the last Thursday of each month at 7.00 at Di Bamber’s house.  We will be led by Darlene on Feb 28th, Margaret on March 28th and David Welbourn on April 25th.

Fairtrade Fortnight

We will be having a Fairtrade stall on Sunday 10th March – thanks to Sylvia Taylor for her help in providing the goods

The next “occasional Lunch” will take place on Thursday 14th March – soup and cheese.

Songs of Praise

Our usual Songs of Praise evening will be on Saturday 27th April at 7.00.

Finance

The budgets for the current year and for the following year show that the church income will not quite cover the expenditure.  Please would you all, prayerfully, consider your regular giving and join the Gift Aid scheme if you are able.  Additionally, we will be having a “Gift Day” on our Chapel Anniversary to raise funds to cover the cost of painting the exterior of the Chapel.

 

Thank you to Darlene and everyone for your wonderful support at the baptism of Sienna Grace Faulkner on 9th December last year.  The friends and family all remarked on the warm welcome they received. 

 

Proud Great-aunt is particularly fond of this photo !

CAP Guildford

We are currently supporting the Guildford CAP Centre - here is some news from Jane Seal, CAP Co-ordinator

“In the last newsletter I asked for prayer for the Christmas client event. An excellent Christmas dinner was cooked by some kind folk at Westborough Church and it was enjoyed by several clients and their families.  Every ongoing client was given a Christmas hamper, courtesy of Besom and the generosity of people in Guildford churches.  These were a real blessing to people who don’t have much at any time of the year, let alone Christmas.  The cost of fuel is a very real challenge during the winter months and many people coming to CAP for help are not in debt because of borrowing, but simply because they are behind with their bills.”

Last month Jane asked for prayer that people would not take out more debt over Christmas.  As far she knows, all her clients resisted the temptation.  Please pray now for those who are worried about the coming benefits changes.

Number 5 

We were reminded about homeless people on Christmas Day when a "man of the road", called David, came into church and joined the service.  This has prompted us to reinstate a box in the Wesley Room into which we can donate items of non perishable food and toiletries that are much needed at the Number 5 project hostel in York Road, Guildford.  This is a place where homeless men can gain shelter to sleep, eat and wash, overnight or for a maximum of a week.  Small sizes of toiletries are best as the men often only stay one night.  If any of us know of any people who travel on "long haul" flights please ask them if they could bring back for us any unused travel toiletries given by airlines, as small soaps and the toothbrushes and tiny toothpastes are particularly suitable.

Women's World Day of Prayer         

This year the Women’s World Day of Prayer is being held on Friday 1st March at 2.00 at St Mary’s church.  The theme, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me,” was chosen by the Women of France who looked for a Christian response to struggles concerning immigration and for ways to welcome “the stranger”.

The Lent Lunch will be held on Saturday 2nd March at East Horsley Village Hall.  There will be a collection for Mary’s Meals – providing lunches to African school children.

Whit Walk on Sat May 18th

Start St Mary's at 9.30, walk to Methodists for coffee, then via Silkmore Lane, Green Lane and Long Reach to Ockham for lunch. Please bring own packed lunch.  Leave Ockham approx 2.00 and walk via Stumps Grove, Drift, Forest Road and Great Ridings Wood to St Martin's for tea.  Extension to Effingham RC church for Mass at 6.00.

 

And, (not quite) Finally.......

Every year the Spackmans exchange Christmas letters with the student who came to stay with them when he was part of a mission group that came to the Horsleys from St Aldate's church, Oxford, several years ago.  He is now married and supports his wife in her work training and supporting overseas mission personnel, particularly in the area of trauma management for those working in places such as Syria.  The following is an extract from Debbie and David's last letter: "February: After persistent nuisance phone calls asking about our gas supply, including during the night, Debbie decided that this was an opportunity to evangelise.  The next time someone phoned to ask, "Which energy supplier are you with?" Debbie replied, "God gives me energy---would you like to hear about it?"  The caller put the phone down and the calls stopped.

 

Circuit News

Circuit merger talks

Discussions have been taking place with the Woking & Walton Circuit about the possibility of a merger.  The recommendation of the group is that we should not merge at the current time but conversations about how we might collaborate more should continue.  This will be discussed at the Circuit Meeting in March.

 

The Annual Circuit Missions Supper will be held on Saturday March 9th at 6.30, at the Guildford Church.  The speaker will be Tony Miller, Warden of the Whitechapel Mission, London.

 

Guildford Lent Lunchtime Reflections

At St Mary's, Quarry Street, Guildford, in conjunction with Guildford Methodist Church. The 15 min reflections on Thursdays, at 12.15 for 12.30, will be followed by a soup and bread roll lunch.

The reflections will be based on Jesus' last words on the cross:

Feb 28 Darlene McCarley ‘Care’ John 19: 26-27

Mar 7 Kingsley Coomber ‘Loneliness ‘ Matt 27:46 , Mark 15:34

Mar 14 Jane Vlach ‘Suffering’ John 19:28

Mar 21 Peter Levell ‘Triumph’ John 19:30

Mar 28 Rod Boreham ‘ Reunion’ Luke 23:46

 

FUSION

It has been agreed that in future, FUSION will meet monthly at Guildford Methodist, 7.30 for 8pm.and the future meetings are:

24th April Mr Andy Poulson will speak about The Trinity Trust (TTT) Godalming.  Formed in 2000, it was driven by the vision of Christian youth workers present in local schools and community, as well as actively involved in church based youth ministry. Today the team comprises a full time Director and 2 full time youth workers.

22nd May  Celebrating the Wesleys with Revd Paul Hulme and Rev Barrie Tabraham.

 

FACE TO FACE

A series of conversations on Sunday evenings at 6.20 at Godalming United Church between Rev Paul Hulme and prominent clergy.

17th March  The Very Rev Victor Stock, former Dean of Guildford

21st April  The Rev Lord Leslie Griffiths, minister of Wesley’s Chapel and former President of Conference

 

 

Dates for your Diary

March

Friday 1st           2.00   Women’s World Day of Prayer Service at St Mary’s.

Saturday 2nd  12.30    Lent Lunch at East Horsley Village Hall

Monday 4th        2.00      Bible Study

Thursday 7th   8.00     Circut Meeting at Guildford

Saturday 9th   10.30 – 12.30    Fairtrade Coffee Morning at Merrow

                           6.30  Missions Supper at Guildford

Thursday 14th 12.15    “Occassional” Lunch

Sunday 17th      6.30    Face to Face with Victor Stock at Godalming

Monday 18th      2.00     Bible Study

Thursday 28th   7.00    House Group

Friday 29th        9.15    Good Friday Meditation

                          10.00 Good Friday Service at East Horsley shops

                                               April

Monday 8th         2.00      Bible Study

Sunday 21st    10.30    Chapel Anniversary Service and lunch

                           6.30  Face to Face with Lord Griffiths at Godalming

                                                Wednesday 24th 7.30 FUSION at Guildford – Godalming Trinity Trust

Thursday 25th   7.00    House Group

Saturday 27th    7.00    Songs of Praise

May

Saturday 18th  from 9.30          Churches Together Whit Walk

Wedenesday 22nd 7.30 FUSION at Guildford – Celebrating the Wesleys

Thursday 23rd   7.00    House Group