Newsletter - December 2018 to February 2019

Newsletter December 2018

Dear friends,

By the time you read this message (assuming first Sunday in December) though the shops would have been announcing the arrival of Christmas for few weeks, the Advent Season has only just begun giving the news that Christmas is just round the corner.  This is a busy time for us in our families, Church life and in our work lives.  Within the Christian faith communities in this country and around the world, Church services will no doubt also have a sense of overflowing joy as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Here at Horsley Methodist Church, I would hope that together with the joyful and celebratory activities, there will also be opportunities to be still and to consider the wonder of all that we celebrate.

At the heart of the familiar stories of shepherds, angels, wise men, and bright star, the carols and the candles, the gifts and Father Christmas, is the deep truth central to our faith, that in the birth of Jesus, God demonstrates his love for us.  In Jesus, God shares in our joys and sorrows not in his majesty and power, but in flesh and blood as our brother, neighbour and fellow human being.  The birth of Jesus proclaims the new relationship which is established with God, as he demonstrates the ultimate caring for all his creation by the giving of his Son.  This truth gives us cause to celebrate and to be joyful and we shall certainly be expressing these emotions in our worship and activities we are engaged in during this period.  Along with the emotions of celebration and joy, perhaps, there is also a need for repentance.  More than two millenniums after the birth of Jesus, the world still fails to take hold of God’s message of grace and mercy, love and care and peace and justice. May these attributes of God and practised so fully in the earthly life of Jesus, become the very foundation of our lives.

For us as Methodists, Christmas will then lead into the Covenant Service in the month of January leading us into commitment to God’s service for the year ahead as we endeavour to be disciples of Jesus.

May the Lord bless us during this Advent and Christmas time and into the New Year, as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Christ Jesus.

Asif Das

December 2018


Church News

Carol Praise – We are holding our annual Carol Praise evening on Saturday 8th December at 7.00.  Please invite all your friends and everyone you meet to join us for this uplifting occasion as we prepare for Christmas.

Sunday 30th December – there will not be a service in our chapel.  Instead there will be a Circuit Service at the Merrow church at 10.30 led by our Superintendent Minister, the Rev Keith Beckingham.  Lifts will be available to take people to Merrow.

The Bible Study Group will meet on 10th Dec, 7th Jan (no Bible study on Christmas Eve) and will be finishing our current study on Proverbs on 21st Jan.  The group meets fortnightly at church and is open to all.  We usually choose a study book together so suggestions are always welcome.

House Group meets at Ruth Isaac’s home at 7.00 on the fourth Tuesday of the month.  The next meeting will be led by Rev Asif Das on 22nd January and the following one will be on 25th February.

Occasional lunches.  The next Occasional lunch will be on Thursday 3rd January at 12.15.  Meanwhile, the Thursday Coffee mornings continue weekly, so please come and join us for company and a natter, any time from 10.30-12.00. 

Local News

World Day of Prayer (formerly Women’s World Day of Prayer) will take place in our church at 10.00 on Friday 1st March.  This year’s service has been prepared by Christian women from Slovenia.  We are responsible for organizing this service and for the refreshments afterwards – see the notices nearer the time.

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

Link Together Event

The Women's Institute is campaigning nationally to reduce loneliness and, what better way to avoid becoming lonely than to join a club or to take part in local activities?  West Horsley Evening WI is giving local clubs and groups an opportunity to showcase what they offer at an event at West Horsley Village Hall on Saturday 19th January between 2pm - 4pm.

We will be taking part in this 'Link Together' event which will be free and open to the general public, with a small exhibit to show the residents of West Horsley what we offer.


A service for Christian Unity will be held at 3.00 on Sunday 27th January at St Martin’s Church, East Horsley.  This will be organized by our friends from the Catholic Church.

Joint Lent Groups will be organized in the New Year; watch out for further information about this opportunity to discuss and study with other Christians in our area.

There will not been a Reverse Advent scheme this year in the village.  Please take the opportunity to remember the homeless and those suffering hardship by making use of the collection points for foodbanks at St Martin’s and at our local supermarkets and also the box in the Wesley Room for the No 5 Project in Guildford.


Around the Circuit

Advent Reflections at St Mary’s Guildford started on Thursday 29th November at 12.15 for 12.30, followed by bread and soup lunch.  This year’s theme is “Waiting” and the topics are:-

29th Nov          Keeping awake to wait –Allan Taylor

 6th  Dec           Watching and waiting: hope – Rosemary Lee

13th Dec           What are we waiting for? – Nick Edwards

20th Dec           Waiting together – Catherine Rand

The Circuit Mission Supper will take place on Saturday 23rd February at 6.00/6.30 at Trinity Methodist Church, Woking.  Tickets at £7 will be available in the New Year.  The speaker will be Rev Mike Long, Minister of Notting Hill Methodist Church.  He will speak about his church’s involvement in the Grenfell fire disaster and the ongoing work in the local community.

The Barnabus Fund is campaigning for the Government to introduce a law to enshrine the following religious freedoms:-

To Worship

To Read scriptures in public

To Interpret Scripture without government interference

To choose or change your faith or belief

To preach

To build places of worship

Freedom from being required to affirm a particular set of beliefs to attend university, hold a public sector job or stand for election.

Further information on the noticeboard.


Church Charity

We have been raising money for SANDS for the last two years and, so far have raised almost £800.  The bulk of this has been sent off and SANDS has sent us a Certificate of Appreciation, which is on the notice board in the Wesley Room.

We considered a new charity at our church council meeting in October and selected the Prisoners Education Trust.  We will be switching the 20p donations to this charity from 1st January, until then contributions will still be going to SANDS.

This is a charity that aims to put learning at the heart of rehabilitation. Founded in 1989, it gives advice and funding to around 3,000 prisoners a year providing educational opportunities for men and women prisoners to make positive changes to their lives.  It also provides funding for art and hobby materials.

The advice manager regularly visits prisons and young offenders institutions, and the board of trustees have a wide range of experience in prison education, social policy, finance, and charity management.

Many prisoners have poor literacy skills and little past success in exams, but as one who benefitted from this charity said: "Learning in prison brought a different part of my brain alive."

With help, the years in prison need not be wasted. Research has shown that those funded by Prisoners Educational Trust, (or P.E.T.), are less likely to reoffend, and 26% more likely to be in employment a year after release.


Thank you for your generous contributions to recent collections:-

British Legion Poppy Appeal             £47.65

Methodist Homes                              £93.10

All We Can Harvest Appeal               £115.00


Conference News - Reaffirming Our Calling

During the last year the Methodist Council has considered how Our Calling could be reaffirmed and used as the basis for the shaping of Connexional priorities.

The Revd Canon Gareth J Powell, Secretary of the Conference, said: “We hope that the affirmation of the Conference will continue to influence and steer the thinking of bodies such as the Council in the course of the next year, to ensure that our decision-making and thinking is entirely rooted in the life of God and that our choices are made in light of the need to be a faithful people of Christ today.”


The Calling of the Methodist Church is to respond to the gospel of God's love in Christ and to live out its discipleship in worship and mission.

It does this through:


The Church exists to increase awareness of God's presence and to celebrate God's love.

Learning and Caring

The Church exists to help people to grow and learn as Christians, through mutual support and care.


The Church exists to be a good neighbour to people in need and to challenge injustice.


The Church exists to make more followers of Jesus Christ.


The Twelve Days of Christmas

From 1558 until 1629, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly.  Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.  It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church.  Each element in the carol has a code word or a religious reality which the children could remember.

  • The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ
  • Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments
  • Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love
  • Four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
  • The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament
  • The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation
  • Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit – Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership and Mercy
  • The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes
  • Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control
  • The ten lord a-leaping were the ten Commandments
  • The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples
  • The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.


Thanks to Celia for providing this interesting information.


Dates for your Diary


Saturday 8th    7.00     Carol Praise, in the chapel

Monday 10th   2.00     Bible Study Group in the Vestry

Sunday 23rd    10.30   Carol Service

Tuesday 25th   10.30  Christmas Day Service with Darlene McCarley

Sunday 30th     10.30   Circuit Service at Merrow



Thursday 3rd   12.15   Occasional Lunch

Monday 7th     2.00     Bible Study Group in the Wesley Room

Saturday19th  2.00-4.00  WI Link Together event in the Village Hall

Sunday 20th     10.50   Covenant Service

Monday 21st   2.00     Bible Study Group in the Wesley Room

Tuesday 22nd 7.00     House Group at Ruth Isaac’s – Asif Das

Sunday 27th   3.00     Service for Christian Unity at St Martin’s



Sunday 3rd      12.15   Church AGM

Monday 4th     2.00     Bible Study Group in the Wesley Room

Monday 18th   2.00     Bible Study Group in the Wesley Room

Saturday 23rd  6.30     Circuit Mission Supper at Trinity, Woking

Tuesday 26th  7.00     House Group at Ruth Isaac’s



Friday 1st        2.00     World Day of Prayer Service in our chapel

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