Newsletter - December 2013 to February 2014


From the Manse

December, 2013

Dear All,

This year at Remembrance I used the reading from Isaiah in which the prophet gives a vision of hope to his people at a time when they were surrounded by more powerful enemies.  He tells them that a time will come when it will be safe to melt down their weapons and turn them into useful tools for producing food and shelter.  That same reading came up again for Advent and so I found myself pondering its message to us today, and in the light of both Christmas and our Methodist service of Covenant which usually takes place in January.

According to my commentary, when the passage from Isaiah was written the people who heard it would have understood this to mean that they would have a patch of land of their own on which they could live and work in safety from the threat of having it taken away from them, or destroyed.

A longing which seems to dominate the politics of the Middle East even today.

In order to secure such a ‘peace’ the people at the time made some poor choices. One could perhaps say this too has not changed.

At Christmas we pray for peace.  But peace for who and at what price?

I believe the peace is for all and the price is found in the words of our Methodist Covenant Prayer:-

I am no longer my own but yours.

Put me to what you will,

Rank me with whom you will;

Put me to doing, put me to suffering;

Let me be employed for you or laid aside for you,

Exalted for you or brought low for you;

Let me be full, let me be empty,

Let me have all things, let me have nothing;

I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal.

I believe peace can only be achieved when we all stop worrying about what we have and who we are.  And the thing that prevents that is what we call sin: greed, envy, lust, gluttony, anger, pride and laziness.

Sin is not a popular word, yet it lives whether we choose to recognise it or hide our eyes.  And it destroys lives and souls and keeps us from the very peace we seek.

I am reminded again of the words of Christina Rossetti: “what I can I give him, give my heart.”

This Christmas as we sing loudly of Peace and good will (love) towards all, let us remember the price God paid: separation, suffering and death - and the price he asks of us in order that such peace, God’s Kingdom, will come. And let us respond with the words of our covenant prayer, so that instead of simply receiving Christmas as a gift we become part of God’s gift to the world.

May God’s peace, a giving and active peace, reign in us all this Christmas and throughout the coming year.

Yours in Christ,


Circuit News

The Guildford Methodists have successfully moved to St Mary’s, Quarry Street and all their services and activities are now taking place there.

FUSION will resume on 15th January, when Andy Kittow will be speaking on “Iran – risking all to take Christ”.  And, on February, 19th Judy Lloyd will talk about “Ruth”.  Tea, coffee and cake will be available from 7.30. 

Advent Reflections on the theme “The Inconvenience of Christmas” will be held at Guildford/St Mary’s on Thursdays 28th Nov – 19th Dec at 12.15 for 12.30, followed by a Bread and Soup lunch. The one on 19th will be a carol service led by Paul Hulme.

The Circuit Mission Supper will be held on Saturday, 1st March at Stoughton at 6.30. The speaker will be Mike King, Vice-President of Conference 2012/13 and previously Head of Overseas Relations for the Methodist Church.

Wesley Day, Saturday 24th May James Strawson is hoping to raise enough support for a Circuit coach to evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral followed by a procession to Wesley’s Chapel.  Please let Margaret know if you might be interested.


Family News

As the time comes round for this Newsletter I felt that many of us take for granted that it will regularly appear on time, without giving a thought for all that is involved in its production, not least the effort involved in getting us to produce our articles before the deadline.  For all this, we thank Margaret who, in an organized and efficient way, has being doing this job for many years without complaint or recognition.  We also thank Bob who does the printing and Celia who provides the attractive covers.

Keith Yule is much on our minds following his major surgery.  He is making slow progress under the watchful eye of his daughter Tina and her husband Brian.  It has been a very difficult time for Keith who has to face the inevitable restrictions he faces.  We miss Keith very much and we hope that his health continues to improve.

It was very good to see Jean Warman again when her daughter brought her to church one Sunday in October.  She is still fragile and having ongoing treatment which she bears with fortitude.  We wish her well and hope that she will feel strong enough to visit again before too long.

Jenny Rogers’ husband Tony has recently undergone a very serious operation.  He has now been allowed home but will need constant care.  This will put big demands on them both and while we do not want to pester Jenny with enquiries, we hope that she will understand our concern and desire to help in whatever way we can.  Jenny, please lift up the ‘phone and call us at any time.

Many congratulations to Catrina Gardham who was chosen to play the leading role of Alice in the Howard of Effingham’s production of Alice in Wonderland. Those who saw this production remarked on the professionalism and confidence which she brought to the occasion and the charm with which she made this role her own.

Jack Isaac, together with two other members of his sixth form, has recently spent a fortnight in India helping in an orphanage in Goa which is sponsored by his school, the University College School in Hampstead.  He was lucky to have this opportunity which proved to be a moving and rewarding experience, with time off to ride elephants.


Local news

Church Charity  This last year we supported Christians Against Poverty, Guildford and we raised £428.  At Church Council we decided that Street Angels in Guildford would be our next main charity, and the focus for the 20p Smarties tubes.

We raised £158.40 for Combat Stress at the Remembrance Day Service and £107.50 for No Five at our Advent Praise.  The Carol Service collection will be for Starlight who provide entertainment in children’s hospitals.

Occasional Lunch  The dates for the next occasional lunch will be Thursday 16th January after the coffee mornings.  There will be a Christmas theme and quiz at the Coffee morning on 12th December.

Christmas Services we will be holding our Carol Service on Sunday 22nd December and the Christmas Day service will be led by Darlene at 11.00, please note the time.

Fuel Poverty will be a problem for some people this winter.  Rod Borehham, the Guildford Town centre chaplain, is coordinating a response in Guildford by the Salvation Army and CAP.  It has been suggested that if you are willing to give up your winter fuel allowance, you could send it to him to help others.  If you write a cheque made payable to Guildford Town Centre Chaplaincy and send it to him at Unit 4, Tunsgate Square Shopping Centre, High Street, Guildford, GU1 3HE, he will make sure the money gets to the right people.

The House Group will be meeting on Thursday23rd January at Celia’s, when she will be talking about the Camino de Santiago and on February27th at Di’s when Margaret will use some of the IOTA material prepared by MRDF.

Quinquennial Inspection - rising damp In November the quinquennial inspection took place, the first time since the new Wesley Room was constructed.  The main concern we have, the damp in the rear corner, also gave concern to the surveyor inspecting the premises. He agreed we should wait for it to dry out before sorting out the plaster and paintwork, but his meter readings indicated that the damp in the south wall is extensive.  To speed up the drying out process he recommends that the area of plaster affected be removed in the spring and the brickwork left exposed for six months before re-plastering.  More in the next Newsletter, but be warned, the church might not look its usual self next summer. However, it will be in our long term interest to make a good job of it.


A Puzzle from the Archive – can anyone help with this please?

Daphne Harvey from Dorset recently wrote in ”Around and About Horsley” about her experiences as a child staying with her grandparents and attending School and our Chapel in West Horsley.  She recalled that her grandmother had established a Methodist sisterhood at the Chapel in around 1926 and that somewhere there was a photograph of this group.  Daphne has now found the photo – her grandmother Emma Harris is standing on the left hand side of the middle row and she thinks the tallest lady centre back is a Mrs Lord, a widow who lived in Shere Road with her small son Derek.  On the reverse of the photo is written “Sisterhood Committee at Morecambe”.  Mrs Harvey comments that it would have been a long trip from Horsley to Morecambe.  Emma Harris had belonged to a Methodist sisterhood in East Sheen before she moved to West Horsley and East Sheen to Morecambe [Lancs.] would have been an easier journey.  So Daphne and I would really like to know if anyone can identify any of the ladies in the photo so that we can establish whether or not this is the West Horsley sisterhood?

Many thanks also to Doris, who has found other interesting photographs from the 70s and Celia, who gave the rather beautiful motif from the pulpit cloth, made she thinks in 1975.                                                                                Jean Bruton


Unfortunately, technology has defeated me and a copy of the is on the board in the Wesley Room

.                                               Margaret


The CTiHO Unity service will be held at the Catholic Church, Our Lady of Sorrows, Effingham on Friday 24th Jan at 7.00.

Lent Discussion Groups will take place for five weeks starting in the week commencing 10th March.  Details will be announced in the New year.  They will be in the same format as last year – Finding the meaning of Lent through poetry, film art and music. 

The Women’s World Day of Prayer Service will be on Friday March 7th at our church at 2.00, with material focussing on Egypt.


Madeira Visit

Whilst on holiday in Madeira, we visited various Churches in the villages and in Funchal, the Capital. In Funchal we visited the Cathedral, the Jesuit Church Igreja do Collegio, a pretty 16th century Church Igreja de Sao Pedro and after a very steep climb the Convento de Santa Clara. Most of the churches in Madeira are Roman Catholic and Portuguese speaking, but we found three churches in Funchal where services were held in English.

We chose to attend Mass at the very beautiful Capella da Penha de Francesca, where the English services are attended by visitors to the island and English speaking residents.  Father Bernadino, who is the appointed priest, gave a special welcome and blessing at the altar to all non Catholic Christians at the service.  Penha means peak and it was certainly another very steep climb to the Chapel but well worth it as the service was so uplifting and friendly and we felt very much at home there.

Originally founded as a shrine in 1622, it came under the care of the Franciscans in 1935.  The tradition of the English Mass began in 1966.  The small nucleus of permanent local members makes a big effort to keep the services organised and to maintain contact with visitors.  The Chapel has a newsletter “The Joyful Gift” and a blog They also have a group “People helping People” which helps those in need on the island who do not qualify for aid from formal institutions - help with food, medicines, rents, bills and so forth to make life easier for those with little or no income.

Father Bernardino is ecumenical in his approach.  Bible study on Wednesdays is held jointly with “The English Church” – Holy Trinity, an Anglican church built in 1822.  Holy Trinity holds all its services in English and it also hosts many cultural and social events.  Every week there are concerts – we attended a wonderful concert given by the amazing mandolin orchestra.  The Baptist Church also holds services in English and Russian as well as Portuguese.  All these churches were very welcoming and obviously well loved and supported.

Jean Bruton


Tim Hart’s Alaskan and Canadian Adventure – July 2013

My adventure started by flying from my home town Perth, Australia to Brisbane where I spent a few days catching up with friends and watching the British Lions beat the Australian Wallabies in the first thrilling test. 

My next destination was San Francisco where I had a 3 day stop off to split up my journey.  I went around the water front, the famous golden gate bridge, took a tour around the giant trees and explored the Nappa wine region and visited Alcatraz.

I then flew to Alaska where I joined an Intrepid tour which took me through incredible mountains and countryside.  We gathered in Anchorage and travelled around the enchanting Kenai Peninsula on the way to Homer exploring some of this Arctic wonderland with its numerous lakes, glaciers and fascinating coastline.  There I joined a Halibut charter and caught 2 large and tasty fish which we ate on consecutive nights at our camp sites.  We continued to Seward, where we visited Kenai fjords National Park, which is home to rugged mountain peaks, glaciers, deep fjords, bears, whales, puffins, and seals.  Then we moved onto Hope - one of Alaska's first gold rush towns, where there was exciting white water rafting.  We took a breathtaking bus ride through Denali National Park seeing grizzly bears, elk, caribou, wolves and many species of birds.  We then went onto Delto Junction, through Fairbanks, Kluane National Park to Skagway, north to Whitehorse, which is the capital of the Yukon Territory and its largest town.  There we visited the White Pass Train Station, the former home of the historic White Pass & Yukon Route Railway, one of the most scenic railways in the world.  We camped at Takhini Hot Springs where you can soak, swim and relax in the natural mineral water.  Then we travelled onto Dawson City which was once the Eldorado of gold diggers.

We went along the ' Top of the World Highway', which provides a great opportunity to drink in the vastness of this landscape.  Beautiful scenery and unique northern outposts are some of the attractions we encountered on our way back into Alaska, including visiting a centre for dog-sledding.  We then took another scenic drive with spectacular views of the Alaska Range on our way to Wrangell-St Elias National Park which is the largest national park in the country.  I was thrilled to do some ice climbing in a glacier.

We continued our journey over Thompson Pass and around the Worthington Glacier towards the coastal town of Valdez.  There I did some kayaking on Prince William Sound and viewed the picturesque Columbia Glacier.  Finally we drove the National Scenic Byway on our way back to Anchorage. 

I then flew to Edmonton to join Canadian friends and spent a week travelling along the famous road through the Rockies from Jasper to Banff via Lake Louise.  After leaving my friends at Calgary I flew to Vancouver and onto Victoria, where I met up with my uncles Geoffrey and Robin (my dad’s older twin brothers).  After a couple of days relaxing it was the long flight home to Perth via New Zealand.


Liz & Ted Hart’s trip to Canada – Aug/Sept 2013

We were invited to the 80th birthday celebration on 2 Sept of Ted’s twin brothers, Geoffrey and Robin.  They both live in Victoria which is on Vancouver Island.  We flew to Vancouver and then bus and ferry to Victoria to be greeted by Geoffrey and his wife Sylvia.

The following day a local church held a cemetery tour, which was introduced by a local historian.  While we went around and stopped at graves of local interest, the deceased person was brought to life by an actress in Victorian costume, who gave a summary of their lives.  Geoffrey’s wife Sylvia was one of them.  We spent a couple of days touring the Saanich Peninsula, including the famous Butchart Gardens, which was full of colour and interest.  We then travelled up the island to Port Alberni via Chemainus which is renowned for its wall murals.  At Port Alberni we took a boat trip to the sea, via a spectacular gorge and small islands.  The following day it was raining so we went on a fascinating old steam train up the valley to a saw mill that was driven by steam.  On the way back from Port Alberni we stopped at Cathedral Grove and looked at some spectacular very high old trees.  Back in Victoria we visited Robin who sadly lives in a residential home and is in a wheelchair, but he is fortunate to have a spectacular view from his room over an inlet and across the sea to mountains in USA.  We then made final preparations for the birthday party where we met many of their friends.  On the last day we visited an aquarium and were fascinated by a large octopus slithering around the tank.  On the way back we were treated to a beautiful sunset from a local lookout. 

Appointment of The Revd Dr Claire Potter Bsc MA

The Circuit Stewards are pleased to announce that the Revd Dr Claire Potter has accepted the Circuit’s invitation to join us from September 2014 as our Superintendent Minister with pastoral oversight of Guildford Methodist Church and Cranleigh Methodist Church. As with all presbyteral appointments this is subject to confirmation by the Methodist Conference next July.


Dates for your Diary


Tuesday 3rd         7.00       Christian Aid event at Guildford/St Mary’s

Wednesday 4th 10.30     Christmas Coffee Morning at Mike and Jean’s

Thursday 5th     12.15       Advent Reflection at Guildford/St Mary’s

Monday 9th          2.00        Bible Study in the Vestry

                                    Thursday 12th   10.30       Christmas Coffee morning in the Wesley Room

Thursday 12th   12.15       Advent Reflection at Guildford/St Mary’s

Thursday 19th   12.15       Carol Service at Guildford/St Mary’s

                                    Sunday 22nd      10.30       Carol Service

                                     Wednesday 25th               Christmas Day Service at 11.00 am


Monday 6h           2.00        Bible Study in the Wesley Room

Sunday 12th      10.30       Covenant Service

Tuesday 14th                      Stewards’ meeting

Thursday 16th                    Occasional lunch

Monday 20th       2.00       Bible Study in the Wesley Room

Thursday 23rd     7.00       House Group at Celia’s

Friday 24th          7.00        Service for Christian Unity at Our Lady of Sorrows


Monday 3rd          2.00       Bible Study in the Wesley Room

Thursday 6th       7.30       Circuit Meeting at Godalming

Friday 7th           10.30       Church council

Monday 17th       2.00       Bible Study in the Wesley Room

Thursday 27th     7.00        House Group at Di’s


Sunday 1st           6.30       Circuit Mission Supper at Stoughton


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