Newsletter - December 2016 to February 2017

Newsletter September- December 2016

Message from our Minister                   December  2016

Update on refugees

My daughter Jessica and I visited Jordan in October to get an update on the work of All We Can’s partners.  We met with Rachel Luce and Dimitrij Dukovicj, respectively Country Directors of partners LWF and IOCC, and went to Talbiah Refugee Camp with Director of DSPR, Fares Swais.

All agreed that the situation in Syria is not improving, the bombardment of Aleppo is appalling, and peace seems a long way away.  The aid agencies are having to think in terms of a five year plan for relief and development work. Sustainable funding is the major concern.  The partners are continuing to do excellent work providing health and socio-pyschological support, food programmes, education and cash for rent and living.  Humanitarian aid is needed for some 70,000 trapped and desperate Syrians, mainly women and children, trapped in a “no-man’s land” between Syria and Jordan, but at the moment due to security issues, no aid organisations are able to reach these people.

At Talbiah Womens Vocational Centre, we attended a children’s class on environmental issues and distributed some small gifts we had brought.  We then took part in a women’s forum focusing on honour killing, a growing problem in the camps.  The centre is starting a vocational course on hairdressing for the refugees and we were shown around the hairdressing room and asked if we could provide some equipment for it such as hairbrushes, grips, combs, rollers and other styling aids.  We are appealing for donations of these items (new please, not used) and if you can help please contact me (tel 01483 536638 or  email

Claire Hargreaves



Thanks to all those who attended the Refugee Update on 29th November when I shared stories of the refugees helped by All We Can’s partners in Jordan and talked about the latest visit I made with my daughter Jessica in October 2016.  Please pass on our grateful thanks for all the donations of equipment for the new hairdressing vocational course at Talbiah Refugee Camp.  In addition, £45 was donated which will be used to buy more equipment.

Donations of brushes, combs, pony tail bands and similar (no liquids or aerosols please) will be welcome until Sunday 11th December, after which we will be sending the items to Talbiah.

For collection or more information please contact me (details above.)

Thank you.



The destruction of Aleppo must stop

The statement below has been signed by leaders of the Baptist and Methodist churches, URC, Church of Scotland, Church of Wales and the Quakers, representing more than one million people in the UK.

“We are appalled by the attacks on civilians by the Syrian Government, Russian and other forces. Life is a gift of God.  The targeting and killing of civilians can never be passed off merely as a consequence of war. Aerial strikes on homes, hospitals and aid convoys are never acceptable, under any circumstances.

The responsibility for such attacks lies first and foremost with those who have carried them out. But the frequency of such attacks in Syria also underlines a failure on the part of the international community to uphold long-established principles concerning the immunity of civilians in conflict.  Member states of the United Nations should seek to hold to account the parties responsible for indiscriminate attacks on men, women, children, hospitals, humanitarian and rescue workers, which could be construed as war crimes.

The world cries out for an end to the death and destruction in Syria that daily adds to the largest flight of refugees since the Second World War. We join with our brothers and sisters of other churches and other faiths in praying for the people of Syria. We claim no simple solution to a complex political reality but offer the simple message of our faith: that every life is valued by God and that the slaughter must end now.”


Family News

We are deeply indebted to Bob for his dedication and expertise in overseeing the repairs to the chapel and also, with Heather’s invaluable help, making it possible to hold our December services in the chapel  Thanks too, to Margaret who for so long and so efficiently has undertaken the time consuming job of editing the Newsletter.

It is good news that both Roger and Keith are recovering well from their hip operations and we send our best wishes for their ongoing progress.  Keith has now returned to the Haviland care home.  Amazingly he recognised his room and is happy to be there. Tina reports that he has eaten all his tea, too, which is great as he hardly ate anything in the hospital.  He can walk with frame and carer either side but lacks confidence so they have arranged physio for him.  Tina and Brian are pleased to have him close at hand.  Tina sends her regards and thanks us for our prayers.

Two of Tony and Jenny’s grandchildren, Killian Anthony (3 years) and Rosalie Florence (8 weeks), were christened at the church of St Alban, Cheam on 16th October.  It was a wonderful occasion which brought all the children’s relatives over from Ireland.  The christening service was just for Killian and Rosalie, in the beautiful barn church built in 1930, which was constructed from the 400 year old Cheam Court Farm, originally of Nonesuch Palace.  A retired minister conducted the service and several key parishioners were on hand to assist with helping several of the children present to take part in the service.  Everyone was incredibly welcoming, which made it a very joyous occasion.

Congratulations to Margaret Webb who has become a great grandmother.

Our service on Christmas Day will be led by Darlene and the following Sunday will be a Local Arrangement, which we hope will be well supported.

Liz and Ted are looking forward to having Tim home for Christmas and, as well as having family members for Christmas, Heather and Bob will be entertaining two dogs.

We wish you a joyful Christmas and a peaceful New Year.


Local News

Bible Study

Claire is hoping to lead us in a Bible Study series in the New Year. Watch out for dates in the weekly notices.

House Group 

The House Group has a new day and a new venue!  It will meet on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7.00pm at Ruth Isaac’s home.  The next meeting will be on January 24th when we will discuss a Christian perspective on current new items and then on February 28th Claire will talk about the origins and traditions of Ash Wednesday.

Occasional lunches.  The next Occasional lunch will be on 5th January.  Meanwhile, the Thursday Coffee mornings continue weekly so please come and join us for company and a natter.


Sadly the national news makes us all too aware of the need for vigilance in the area of safeguarding.

We are fortunate in having strong leadership within the circuit, and the lead team of Maggie Woolcock, Catherine Heffernan and Nan McFarlane meet biannually with all the church safeguarding reps and are always on hand for advice.

The next Foundation Module Safeguarding training will be held at Merrow Methodist Church, GU1 2SH on Saturday 28th January 2017 at 2.15, finishing by 5.0pm. The newly updated course will be run by the Reverend Peter Hills and is for those with jobs within the church who have never received Safeguarding training before.

Book via Heather or e mail Catherine at:


Finance Report 2015/16

The year finished with a surplus of £3, giving a total in reserves of £10,420.  These reserves are to cover any unexpected property repairs and other contingencies.

Regular giving through the collections has decreased by £500, probably a reflection of the smaller congregations.  And, with a slightly reduced tax refund, this amounted to £10,432.  We also received income from meetings held in the Wesley Room (£861), Feed in Tariffs generated by our solar panels (£610) and £195 surplus on lunches. Together, these made a decrease in total income of nearly £1,500. 

The expenditure has increased by £660, and included £8,605 to the Circuit, £643 on general maintenance, £992 on the damp repairs, £1,272 on utilities and £622 on insurance.  We also purchased some more folding tables at £200.

We would encourage those in the envelope scheme to consider increasing their contributions, if they are able, and those not involved to consider this form of regular giving – speak to Margaret for details.


Church Charity

For the past 12 months, we have raised over £260 for the local charity Cherry Trees.  Thank you to all those who have been saving up 20p coins in their Smartie tubes.

At the recent Church Council, we agreed that the next charity we would support will be SANDS.  This Surrey based group exists to support parents whose babies die either during pregnancy, at, or shortly after birth.  It operates a helpline, befrienders and support groups.  It has helped create or refurbish bereavement rooms for families in 7 Surrey hospitals, including one at the Royal Surrey.  Doris and Jane are among many knitters who provide angel pockets, burial gowns and blankets to give dignity to the babies.  Please speak to either of them if you would like any further information and keep on saving those 20p coins.

We have also been thanked for the generous donations of items for the Number Five project for homeless men.  Please continue to put items in the box in the Wesley Room.


Property Report

We are approaching the end, we hope, of our five years of trouble with damp in the south wall of the church.  Since our last newsletter, we invited everyone to vote on whether we should retain a small section of the brickwork exposed where we had removed the plaster.  The overwhelming response was to plaster the whole wall, which has now been completed.  However many people took interest in the brickwork and the craftsmanship therein and so Ted has taken a series of photos for posterity and the archives.

As well as the plastering, other minor works have been carried out; the floor access to the central heating pipes has been cut and a damp and partially rotted window sill treated.  By the time this Newsletter is published the replacement of the central heating pipes and radiators in the church should be underway, to be followed by the fitting of new skirting boards.  Next on the schedule is to have the carpets thoroughly cleaned and then the church set for Christmas.

In the New Year we will have the walls and windows in the church repainted and later the carpet in the Wesley Room cleaned.

We are very grateful to the Circuit for their generous grant which will cover most of the costs of these repairs.

As was our wish when we rebuilt the Wesley Room, it continues to be regularly used by various community groups, mainly groups from the U3A and Wheel of Care, but also casual groups looking for small warm premises.  These bring in a small income, but importantly enable people to be aware of our church and its welcoming facilities.

In 2017 not a lot of work is envisaged on the property front except replacement of a short piece of leaky guttering by the side door and possibly localised painting of a section of the external south wall of the church where paint is blistering.


CTHO met on Nov 30th over a soup lunch in the Wesley Room.  12 members from the main churches, plus a representative from the St Saviour housegroup, regenerated the enthusiasm for the churches to work together and share news.  Although the 3 Anglican vicars are now a team ministry they are keen to work with all the other churches.

The Christian Unity Service will be held on Sunday May 14th at 6.00 at St Martin's. 

The usual Good Friday service will be outside the Shops in East Horsley at 10.00, which will be organised by St Mary's. 

Do look out for information about the Ecumenical Lent Discussions.  If you wish to join a group, which will use the York course entitled 'ReceivingChrist', Heather will have more details. 

Once a month, usually on the 2nd Sunday, each church in CTHO prays on a common theme.  These are included in our notices.

There was discussion as to whether the title of the group should change to CHRISTIANS IN Horsley and Ockham since there is no actual church for the Catholics and St Saviour's housegroup.  Please let Celia know your opinion.


Spiritual Cinema at St Martin’s

Spiritual Cinema provides the opportunity to see a good film with a spiritual twist, inviting thought and discussion over a light supper.  Taking place on Sundays 11th Dec, 15th Jan and 19th Feb at 6.00 in the Canterbury Rooms.

Reverse Advent Collection

We are being encouraged to donate goods for our local food banks during Advent.  A number of the shops in East Horsley are acting as collecting points – look out for the posters.  All goods must be in by 17th Dec.


Dates for your Diary



                                    Saturday 3rd   7.00       Carol Praise

Tuesday 6th    7.00       Carols by Candlelight for Christian Aid at Guildford, St Mary’s

Saturday 10th 10.00     Carols and mince pies in The Orchard

Sunday 11th    6.00       Spiritual Cinema at St Martin’s

Thursday 15th 10.30-12.30      Coffee Morning for AFC at Merrow

Sunday 18th    10.30     Carol Service, with Claire, collection for AWC Syria appeal.

Thursday 22nd 10.30    Special Christmas Coffee Morning

Sunday 25th    10.30     Christmas Day Service with Darlene, collection for No 5 Project.


Thursday 5th   12.15    Occasional Lunch

Sunday 8th     10.30      Annual Covenant Service

Sunday 15th    6.00       Spiritual Cinema at St Martin’s

Tuesday 24th  7.00       House Group at Ruth’s – news stories



Saturday 4th   6.00       Circuit Mission Supper at Woking Trinity Speakers – President & Vice President of the Methodist Conference – the Syrian Refugee Camps

Monday 6th   10.00      Church Council

Sunday 19th    6.00       Spiritual Cinema at St Martin’s

Tuesday 24th  7.00       House Group at Ruth’s – Claire with Ash Wednesday traditions


Friday 3rd      2.00        Women’s World Day of Prayer service at St Martin’s


Carol Praise

Our now customary Carol Praise evening was held at the beginning of Advent. It was a joyful and enjoyable evening and we thank everyone who contributed to make this possible, especially Celia for her organization beforehand and leadership on the night and also Mark Hargreaves for his uplifting playing of the organ and piano.  We missed several regulars due to the clash of dates with the Horsley Choral Society concert but still managed a good volume of robust Advent Praise, and were delighted to welcome some new faces. 

We also much appreciated Claire’s moving words about her work with Syrian refugees under the auspices of All We Can.


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