Newsletter - June 2017 to August 2017

Newsletter June 2017

Message from our Minister

May 2017

Summer is coming!  Yes, it really is, despite the cold and frosty nights we experienced last month!

And so, for some of us, our thoughts may turn to holidays.  Originally the word “holiday” only referred to special religious holy days.  In Christian tradition, these were times of special significance in the church year, such as Christmas and Easter.  Roman Catholic and Western Orthodox churches also celebrate particular patron saints’ days as holidays; in Islam the most significant holidays are Eid-ul-Fitr immediately after Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, and Eid al-Adha, at the end of the Hajj pilgrimage.  In Jewish culture the main holidays are Passover and Pentecost in Spring and Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, in the Autumn.

If the original intention of a holiday was to allow people to observe religious feasts, nowadays holidays are regarded generally as times of rest and relaxation.  Soon after Christmas the holiday brochures start to arrive and individuals and families begin to plan for their big summer getaway, perhaps abroad or somewhere in the UK.  Recently the idea of a “staycation” has become trendy – the idea being that either holidays are taken within the UK, or spending the holiday at home, with perhaps some day trips to local attractions.  The choice of holidays is endless, but it is easy to lose sight of their prime purpose – rest and relaxation – in the busyness of planning, packing and travelling.

Jesus’ holidays were holy days – he was a Jew who attended the synagogue regularly, and the gospels tell us that he observed the traditional holy days such as the Passover.  He also knew the value of rest and relaxation with friends and family.  He enjoyed social gatherings – the wedding at Cana, dinner with Martha and Mary, and Nicodemus – and spent time with his friends – the disciples, Lazarus, even Zaccheus.  Jesus recognised the need to step out of daily routine in order to be refreshed and renewed in energy.  The scriptures tell us that on more than one occasion he deliberately went apart from the large numbers of people who followed his every move, in order to give himself some space and recovery time. (Matt 13.1 sitting by a lake, in a boat to escape the crowds; Matt 14.13 “he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place”; Luke 6.12 “…went to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God”.)

Whatever you are planning this summer, I hope that you will be able to take some time out from your daily routines and do something different and enjoyable that will enable you to rest and relax, ready to return refreshed to resume regular activities with renewed energy.

Every blessing



Local News

Bible Study is currently being led by Claire Hargreaves and we are studying the book of the prophet Haggai – do join us, fortnightly on Mondays, if you can.

House Group  Meets at Ruth Isaac’s home at 7.00 on the fourth Tuesday of the month.  On May 23rd Barrie Tabraham will focus on Charles Wesley.  On 27th June, Claire Hargreaves will bring us issues on Brexit from the Women’s Conference and , on July 25th, Natalie Newton, our Regional Learning Co-ordinator will speak to us.

Occasional lunches.  The next Occasional lunch will be on Thursday July 6th.  Meanwhile, the Thursday Coffee mornings continue weekly, so please come and join us for company and a natter.

Property update:

A big “thank you” to Bob for solving the damp problems and organising all the works needed to correct the damage.  A number of visitors have remarked on the “fresh” condition of the chapel.

The last of our green stacking chairs have been removed from the link and taken to Grace & Flavour, on the understanding that we can have them back if we need them at any time.

Village Fete

A West Horsley Village Fete will be held on Saturday 9th September in the grounds of West Horsley Place.  We are planning to have an information stand.  Do come and join us.


There are foodbanks in Cobham and Guildford to help those in need.  The Sainsbury’s and Waitrose supermarkets in Cobham have collection points with a list of requirements; if you feel able to add something while doing your shopping.







News from St Martin’s East Horsley

Spiritual Cinema, usually on the third Sunday of each month at 6.00 in the Canterbury Rooms.  An opportunity to watch a film and discuss it informally over a light supper.


Saturday 3rd June at 7.00, a concert of music for guitar and cello by Falla, Bach and Schubert.

Saturday 1st  July at 7.00, a concert by Tenors Un Limited, tickets £13.

Garden Safari Sunday 11th June, visit local gardens in East Horsley.  Maps at £5 from Wills & Smerdon.


And, from St Mary’s, West Horsley

“Deeper” on the fourth Thursday of each month, 8.00pm-9.30, an evening of informal Spirit-led prayer at The Wheelhouse.

1-2 June 24/7 Prayer Space: Thy Kingdom Come – sign up for an hour and be part of praying for 24 hours, from 7.00am – 7.00am.


News from around the Circuit

The Wey Valley Circuit is approaching its first Birthday, and a Celebratory Walk along the River Wey and Wey Navigation is planned on Saturday 3rd June.  The intention is that people can join at various points on the route – Godalming United Church 8.15 am, Guildford 10.00, Send at noon, West Byfleet at 3.00, finishing at the Thames Lock north of Weybridge about 6 pm.

Free Online Training is available; topics covered include food safety and Health & Safety Basics.  Please let Margaret know if you are interested.

There will be a Circuit Service at Godalming on June 11th at 6.30, to celebrate the long service of 12 of our local preachers.

Appreciating Church an afternoon of conversation and inspiration to explore the church’s mission and vision, on Saturday 10th June at Addleston and on 18th June at Cranleigh, 2.30-5.00.

Western Area Study Day on Saturday 15th July at Woking, from 10am – 4pm, “Living and Worshipping Honestly in God’s World”.  

Charity Coffee Mornings at Merrow 10.30 – 12.30:

8th June Esuubi’s work in Uganda, 13th July Cancer Research.

Cream Tea at St Mary’s Guildford - Tuesday 29th August, 1.30-4.30.


Whitechapel Mission

Whitechapel Mission runs a centre for homeless men open each morning from 6am to 11am, 365 days of the year.  All who come – up to 300 each day – are provided with the opportunity to shower and to have a change of clothes, as well as breakfast.


Can you help with providing Men’s Clothing and Non-perishable Breakfast Foods?

A collection will be held during the period 2nd July to 17th July at Godalming United Church.


Clothing needs to be appropriate for street dwellers and not in a poor condition.  There is a particular need for men’s socks, underwear and trainers, as well as shirts, sweaters, jeans, trousers, and outer clothing.

A list of the items that are needed is on the notice board in the Wesley Room, If you are able to help with the provision of any of these items it will be of much benefit and we will arrange for them to be taken to Godalming.


Refugees and humanitarian aid

Some really good news – the All We Can/Methodist Church World Relationships Team East Africa Famine Appeal has raised more than £340,000 to date to help avert famine in countries on the verge of disaster. (Methodist Recorder April 28th)  This generosity has been matched on a local level by the vote of the Circuit Meeting on 30th March to make a generous gift of £5000 from the Wey Valley Methodist Circuit to the Appeal particularly to support All We Can’s vital life saving work in Yemen.  The situation in war torn Yemen is extremely difficult and sensitive for aid agencies, but All We Can’s experienced humanitarian aid partner in Yemen has been able to distribute food aid to families effectively.

At the same Circuit Meeting, it was agreed that a sum of £5000 be set aside for urgent needs for refugees locally.  This will enable us to respond more efficiently to appeals for help and equipment for refugee families coming into our area.

It has just been announced that 130 more lone child refugees from Europe will be taken by Britain after the government admitted a mistake in its previous calculations.  This means that the total number of children coming under the “Dubs” scheme will be 480.  Originally campaigners had asked for 3000 refugee children to be admitted and pressure is being kept up on the government to re-open the “Dubs” scheme (The Times April 27th).

Fares Swais the Executive Director of DSPR has confirmed that the hairdressing gifts have arrived at Talbiah Refugee Camp and have been joyfully and gratefully received by the women there.  I was hoping to visit Talbiah in May during my sabbatical but as this has now been moved to the autumn, I am having to re-arrange my plans.

Refugee Week begins on 19th June!  Do let me know of any events you are holding.  I will be speaking about the refugees I met in Jordan and about the work here in this Circuit at a Conference entitled “Brexit – the impact and consequences” at Methodist Central Hall Westminster on Saturday 24th June.                     Claire


Wintershall Passion of Christ

This Easter Saturday, I suddenly decided at midday to catch the Park and Ride to see the Passion of Christ in Guildford High Street.  Having been to see The Life of Christ at the Wintershall Estate several times, I knew what type of play it would be but I was curious as to how they would do it in the High Street.  Apart from speakers on a stand there was no evidence that the play would start until several ladies in biblical dress started to scrub the cobble stones.  Gradually more characters appeared as the shopping crowds began to watch from the pavement outside Boots.  Amazingly, an arena became apparent and all began with Jesus entering Jerusalem and facing the High Priests.  Then Roman soldiers entered in their metal armour and spears until Pilate appeared and the story unfolded.  I wondered how they would depict the last supper but low tables were brought in and wooden goblets used as the disciples, mainly dressed in blue, sat on the cobbles.  The Garden of Gethsemane slowly enfolded and Jesus was dragged into a side street reappearing with lashings and a loin cloth.

The crowd was asked to follow Jesus and the cross up the High Street to outside Holy Trinity church where 3 crosses were erected against the wall and even the thunder sounded.  When they took Jesus down from the cross he was stretchered off to the tomb down on the pavement.  The final resurrection took place on the steps and the close was as Jesus disappeared through the church doors. 

It was an emotional, realistic and accurate depiction of Christ’s passion but easily accessed by anyone, young or old.  For me, it was a true outreach showing that there is greater need to move out of our churches and be where most people are.


I would strongly invite anyone who has not experienced the Wintershall plays to go to the ‘Life of Christ’ which is held at the Wintershall Estate just south of Bramley this summer.  It is a whole day in the open air on June 20th – 24th.  If not then, wait until next Easter for Guildford High Street.  It is not to be missed.                                                            Celia


Dates for your Diary


Saturday 3rd                   Circuit Walk

Monday 5th     2.00       Bible Study Group in the Wesley Room

Thursday 8th  10.30-12.30   Esuubi Coffee Morning at Merrow

Sunday 11th     6.30       Circuit Service at Godalming

Sunday 18th     2.30       Appreciating Church discussion, Cranleigh

Monday 19th   2.00       Bible Study Group in the Wesley Room

Tuesday 27th  7.00      House Group @ Ruth Isaac’s – Claire Hargreaves


Monday 3rd      2.00      Bible Study Group in the Wesley Room

Thursday 6th   12.15     “Occasional” Lunch

Thursday 13th 10.30-12.30 Cancer Research Coffee Morning at Merrow

Saturday 15th 10-4.00  Study day at Woking

Monday 17th    2.00      Bible Study Group in the Wesley Room

Tuesday 25th   7.00     House Group @ Ruth Isaac’s – Natalie Newton

Monday 31st    2.00      Bible Study Group in the Wesley Room


Monday 14th    2.00      Bible Study Group in the Vestry

Tuesday 29th 1.30-4.30   Cream Tea at St Mary’s Guildford

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