Newsletter - December 2017 to February 2018

Christmas, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus

Newsletter December 2017

Message from Rev Allan Taylor                                

Dear Friends,

First, may I say how grateful I am to your minister, Rev Claire Hargreaves, for entrusting you to me during her sabbatical.  The little I have been able to do, including writing this letter, has been a joy!

In the next three months there are so many important times in the life of the Church.  There are two periods of preparation: Advent and the beginning of Lent, including Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday.  There are the two Festivals of Christmas and Epiphany.  And in January as well as the New Year, we have the Methodist Covenant Service and a week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

h of Jesus, is the one Christian festival most people...including some members of other faiths...are happy to share in to a greater or lesser extent.  We probably all remember some of the words written by the one-time Poet Laureate John Betjeman:

And girls in slacks remember Dad,

And oafish louts remember Mum,

And sleepless children’s hearts are glad.

And Christmas morning bells say ‘Come!’

Even to the shining ones

Safe in the Dorchester Hotel.

Christmas in the UK has an almost universal appeal and we rejoice that our Christian heritage is so widely acknowledged and respected.  The point of Christmas of course is that we are celebrating the coming of Jesus into the world, God coming to dwell amongst us, but coming as a little baby thing that made a woman cry... in the  words of another poet, Charles Wesley, ‘our God contracted to a span, incomprehensibly made man.’

Back to Betjeman again:

And is it true,

This most tremendous tale of all,

Seen in a stained glass window’s hue,

A Baby in an ox’s stall?

The Maker of the stars and sea

Become a Child on earth for me?

Well, that’s a question we all have to answer for ourselves but this Christmas is a time when we might reflect again on the vulnerability of babies and children everywhere and especially in countries ravaged by war and violence, in refugee camps deprived of proper food, clean water and shelter and in situations where there are no medical resources to protect them against sickness and infection.

May it be that as we enter fully into the joy of Christmas we shall remember the work of charities such as ‘Action for Children ‘ and ‘All We Can’ as we go once again to Bethlehem and ‘see this thing that has come to pass.’

Merry Christmas


Renee Denew

The death of Renee at the age of 101 marks the end of an era for the chapel.  Renee was born in the middle of the Great War when Lloyd George was Prime Minister.  She had lasting vivid memories of the post war years.  On her way to school she passed a Home for wounded soldiers and wondered why they were all in what she called prams.  She then found out they were all amputees having lost both legs.  Her father also was affected for the rest of his life following a gas attack in the war.  At school, Renee was a high achiever with many talents but always modest about them. 

Renee came to Horsley at the age of 16.  Although she was confirmed at St Mary’s church, it was not long before she met Stan Denew, whom she later married, and his sister Molly, who became a lifelong friend.  It was thanks to their influence that Renee joined the Methodist church.  It is said that Molly and Renee used to scrub the chapel floor every week.  In those early days, there was a group of indomitable women, all with minds of their own but united in their dedication to the well-being of the chapel.  Renee outlived them all.  Chief mover among them was Minnie Willott who is remembered with admiration and affection.  In later years, Renee never tired of recalling those days and many have been the laughs about various ‘incidents’ along the way. 

We owe so much to them for their dedication and influence.  Renee’s deep faith shone through her and I shall ever be grateful for the wonderful times we had together with the Bible and Charles Wesley’s hymns never far away.  Renee was greatly blessed in having such a wonderful daughter in Jeanne, whose love and devotion knew no bounds, being there for her in all situations and at all times.  Together with Jeanne, Jane Francis has been a dear friend and constant support.  Jane and Renee were neighbours for countless years to their mutual benefit and Jane became like an adopted daughter.

Claire regularly visited Renee, giving her communion which was so much appreciated.  The final occasion was very special because it was shortly before Renee died; she could no longer speak but seemed to understand as we sang one of her favourite hymns “And can it be?”  She previously pointed out how many questions there are in that hymn.  I am sure that she will now have the answers.

We shall miss Renee greatly, but death cannot take way all our good memories and the influence which she has had on our lives.


Local News

Our Carol Praise will take place on Saturday 9th Dec.  Please tell your friends about this joyous start to the Advent season and don’t forget to put your requests in the box.

Bible Study will resume in January when Claire will lead us.  See the weekly notices for details.

House Group meets at Ruth Isaac’s home at 7.00 on the fourth Tuesday of the month.  On Tuesday 23rd January, Claire will be talking to us about different aspects of her sabbatical.

Occasional lunches.  The next Occasional lunch will be on Thursday January 4th.  Meanwhile, the Thursday Coffee mornings continue weekly, so please come and join us for company and a natter.  On 21st December there will be a Christmas theme, including a jolly quiz.

MHA Thank you for your donations of £76 to the work of MHA.

Foodbank –There are foodbanks in Cobham and Guildford to help those in need.  We now have a collecting point in the link for items for the foodbanks.  If you would like to make a contribution, the Cobham foodbank is currently asking for Tinned Tomatoes, Potatoes, Meat and Fruit.  Also, Rice Pudding, Custard, 0.5kg bags of Sugar, Toilet Rolls and Ketchup.  The Sainsbury’s and Waitrose supermarkets in Cobham also have collection points with a list of requirements, if you feel able to add something while doing your shopping.  

Reverse Advent The “Reverse Advent“ event will be taking place again this year from 1st - 16th December.  Look out for boxes placed in the local shops in which you can place gifts of food etc for the needy or make use of our collecting point.  And, on 18th December there will be carol singing at Horsley station.

Our Organists  We are very grateful to our team of church organists – Celia, Janet, Geoff and Mark, who play for us every week.  We would be lost without you – thank you.

Finance Report 2015/16

Thank you to everyone who has contributed so generously to the church funds over the past year.  We finished with a surplus of £1,683, giving a total in reserves of £12,103. 

Regular giving through the collections, donations and tax refund on gift aided envelopes, amounted to £11,224.  We also received additional income from meetings held in the Wesley Room (£1,358), and Feed in Tariffs generated by our solar panels (£631). 

The expenditure has increased by £7,316.  This included £8,490 to the Circuit as assessment, £2,375 on general maintenance, £1,451 on utilities, £593 on insurance and we completed the payments for the damp repairs at £6,791.

Some people have asked about making their contributions directly from their bank accounts.  Please speak to me if you would like to do have the details of how to do this.




St Mary’s will hold a Wreath making event in EH village Hall Dec 2nd.

The Anglicans are arranging another Alpha course starting mid Jan

The Good Friday service will be organised by us on Friday 6th April.

The Unity Service will be on Sunday May 13th at 6.00 at Ockham.

The Anglican “Thy Kingdom Come’ initiative will happen in the week leading up to Pentecost

An “Around the Churches Walk” will take place on Saturday May 19th.

Spiritual Cinema is held monthly at St Martin’s, East Horsley.  A chance to watch and discuss a thought provoking film. 

Everyone is invited to join in these events; more details will be in the weekly notices.


Around the Circuit

The Mission Supper will take place on Saturday 24th February 2018 at 6.30. The speaker will be Dr Olubunmi Olayisade, who is the Methodist Church’s World Church Co-ordinator for Africa.  Trinity Woking will again host the event.  Tickets will be £7 per head as last year.

Prayer Vigil  A circuit prayer vigil will take place on 9/10 December.  Each church is requested to do two slots in the 24 hours and we have been allocated 12.00-1.00pm on Saturday and 10.00-11.00am on Sunday.  In addition, all churches have been requested to pray between 7.00 and 8.00am on the Sunday.  A list of prayer requests is on the notice board. 

Practical Aspects of Spirituality – Poetry will be the topic of a morning session, 9.30-12.30 on Saturday 9th Dec at Guildford St Mary’s.

The Wintershall Nativity Play will take place on Dec 13/14/15/16/17 see the notice board for details.

A Training/refresher session on leading prayers of intercession will take place at Merrow Methodist Church 2.30pm - 4.30pm, on 4th February 2018.  The aim is to enable each church in the circuit to build a team of people willing to lead prayers of intercession.

To book a place please contact Lyn Mckay on 01483 533636 or

There will be a series of Advent reflections at Guildford St Mary’s every Thursday from 30th Nov – 21st Dec at 12.30, followed by bread and soup lunch

We are pleased to learn that a new minister, Rev Keith Beckingham, will be joining our Circuit in September 2018 to replace Claire Potter as Superintendent.

Byfleet church are holding a weekend of activities on 2/3 Dec, including a display of Nativity sets with our set made by John Lawn.

See the current edition of Wey Forward for other events.


Dates for your Diary


Tuesday 28th   7.00     House Group meeting at Ruth Isaac’s – Peter Hills


Monday 4th      2.00    Bible Study Group in the Wesley Room

Saturday 9th      7.00     Carol Praise

Sat/Sun 9/10              Prayer Vigil

Wednesday 13th 2.00 Elsie Wilton’s Funeral at Randalls Park, followed by refreshments in the Wesley Room

Sunday 17th    10.30    Carol Service, collection for All We Can

Thursday 21st 10.30    Christmas themed Coffee Morning

Monday 25th 10.30    Christmas Day Service, collection for No. 5 Project


Thursday 4th  12.15   Occasional Lunch

Sunday 14th    10.30  Covenant Service

Tuesday 23rd   7.00    House Group – Rev Claire Hargreaves


Friday 9th        10.00    Church Council

Saturday 17th              Church stewards’ training Day

Saturday 24th 6.00/6.30  Circuit Mission Supper at Trinity Woking, The Methodist Church in Africa

26th – 11th March               Fairtrade Fortnight


Friday 2nd        2.00     Women’s World Day of Prayer Service


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