Newsletter - June 2011 to August 2011


Newsletter - June 2011 - August 2011

From the Manse   - May 2011

Dear All,

As I write this we are having glorious weather, but I wonder what it will be like by the time you are reading it?  It is a standing English joke that most conversations are at least initially ‘weather related’.  Why is it so important to us?

Probably because most of us feel better for a bright sunny day and, being human, we want as many such happy days as possible.  However I was recently shown one of the big advantages of our rain at least. Visitors from Northern Italy were delighted at being taken to Wisley, and even thought it a treat to sit in my neglected garden. One visitor commented (of Wisley – not my garden) that he was seeing so many plants for the first time.  And I lost track of the times they sighed and told me how lucky I was to have a home with a garden, as well as having beautiful gardens to visit.

By now you probably think that the theme of this letter is that life is a necessary mixture of joy and sorrow – the crucifixion cross of Good Friday was necessary for the empty cross and resurrection joy of Easter Sunday.  All true, but actually it is instead a Pentecost warning.

On the 12th of June we will celebrate Pentecost, the birth of the Christian Church, and a valued celebration in our chapel.  So what is my ‘Pentecost warning’?  It concerns ‘doing’ and ‘being’.

Methodism has always had a particular leaning towards social justice and action, and it has been said that our symbol should be a teapot because of our leaning towards the gifts of hospitality.  Although we may have a more low key approach than some Christian denominations, Evangelism has also been a high priority with Methodists.  And even our prayers are often more about ‘action needed’ (usually on God’s part) than simple praise and appreciation. All these are excellent, scripture driven, and should not be neglected.

But as summer stretches before us we should also think about another theme of summer – holidays. We should think about the Christian teaching on ‘being’. It is particularly important in today’s rushed and rushing society that we should model a pattern not just of action, but also of resting.  The purpose after all of the Sabbath, is to remind us to rest, to just ‘be’, and interact with God, with one another, and with the world around us in genuine appreciation rather than simply for some action driven purpose.

Having said all this, for our chapel, Pentecost 2011 will be followed by a particularly active July and August as we see the demolition of the old Wesley room and the building of the new one.  So as part of this Pentecost worship (and beyond) we should take time to pray especially for those who will be overseeing the building project, and for our builders and all for whom the summer is a busy time of year.

In spite of all the activity, I pray the summer may still be a time of refreshment for our souls.  That the busy times may be accompanied by moments of pausing to celebrate God’s many gifts to us and our chapel.  And that when the building is completed, we will take time to appreciate it before plunging into the activities it will enable, as well as thanking God each time we enjoy its advantages.

May our summer be blessed and enriched by our awareness and celebration of God’s presence with us and love for us.

Yours in Christ,



 Elsie Wilton - 100th Birthday

We were delighted to celebrate Elsie Wilton’s 100th birthday which took place on 27th April 2011, which was also the chapel’s 135th birthday. 

Congratulations Elsie, and may you continue to inspire us with your enthusiasm, vitality and cheerfulness, not to mention the cheese scones and apple pies!

Elsie invited 50 friends and family to a centenary celebratory tea in West Horsley Village Hall on her birthday.  The family had put together a continuous display of photos reflecting Elsie’s life and this provided a background as people gathered. 

Entertainment was supplied by her talented grandchildren and warm tributes to Elsie were made by her two sons and other family members and friends.


For over 50 years, Elsie was a Londoner.  She was born in Fulham, but soon afterwards the family moved to Kensington where Elsie was brought up.  She attended St Mary Abbot School in Kensington High Street until she was 14.  Always a keen sportswoman, she wasawarded a medal for running.  She remembers walking to school unless it was raining, in which case she was given 3 halfpennies for the train fare.  Much enjoyment was derived from the proximity of Kensington Gardens and the Museum.  After leaving school, Elsie trained in tailoring at Barrets in Oxford Street.

Elsie’s next move was to Hounslow on her marriage to Charles.  Over the following years, their two sons, Michael and Roger were born and raised.  Elsie now has 4 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.  In 1967 Elsie and Charles moved to West Horsley where Elsie’s sister May and their mother were already living.  Deciding that they were too old for tennis, they founded the Bowls Club which has continued to flourish.  On the occasion of its opening, Charles bowled the first wood, followed by the Lady Mayoress. 

When asked why she came to the Methodist chapel, Elsie said “because it was the nearest” and she stayed because she found the friendship and uncomplicated form of worship more to her liking than the high church, liturgical services which she had experienced earlier in life.  She has continued with us ever since and she is a very important part of our chapel life.  When asked the inevitable question “to what do you attribute your longevity”, Elsie replied “a contented mind”.  As a favourite hymn, Elsie chose “O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come. Our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home.”

Elsie is still very active in local affairs, is always ready for an outing, and is on the Committee for the Good Companions.  The reason that she was missing from church recently was because she was at an Austin 10 car rally – an annual event!


Molly Denew

Jean Conisbee, Molly’s niece provided the following tribute,read by Claire Hargreaves at the funeral service on Wednesday 27th April.

Molly was the youngest child born to Tom and Annie Denew at Roundtree Farm, West Horsley on 18th August 1915.  She attended St Martin’s school, Easy Horsley, was good at sports and won the silver cup awarded to the top sports person of the year in 1926

Our grandmother was profoundly deaf from the age of eleven so Aunt’s presence in the home was essential, especially after grandfather’s death; as well as helping in the home, she helped in the dairy.

From childhood Aunt came to this chapel.  Marion, a life-long friend and companion to a Mrs Weller, Vine Cottage, also worshipped here, together they helped run a girls’ club, Bible study and Sunday school.  They each took their turn cleaning, which entailed scrubbing the, then, wooden floors.

Once a week Aunt would join a group of ladies whose sole purpose was to make gifts to sell at the popular yearly “Sale of Work”, homemade pickles, jams, cakes, buns etc were always the first to go.

Gran’s two sisters lived at the farm in their declining years, Aunt patiently caring for them; she also regularly visited her Uncle John (Gran’s brother) who was blind.

Family News

Since the last Newsletter, it has been a sad time for our church family.  The death of Molly Denew on Palm Sunday marked the end of an era.  Molly has been an integral part of our chapel’s history for nearly a century and she still worshipped Sunday by Sunday until a short while before she died.  Molly was a great favourite with us all and she will be sadly missed and remembered with great affection.  In Darlene’s absence, the funeral service was led by the Reverend Claire Hargreaves in the chapel which Molly had loved and served with such devotion.  It was a beautiful and fitting occasion as we said goodbye to Molly, giving thanks for her life before committing her into her Lord’s safe keeping.  Jean Conisbee had written a touching and heartfelt appreciation of “Aunt”; this was read by Claire, and, with Jean’s permission, we have included a copy in this Newsletter.  After the chapel service, Molly’s burial took place in the graveyard of St Mary’s church.

The death of Leslie Greenacre was further distressing news and our prayers and thoughts are with Frieda and her family as they try to come to terms with their great loss.  Les was one of nature’s gentlemen and a true Christian, loved and admired by all who were privileged to know him.  He was generous with his time and gifts, ready to help anyone who needed him.  He did much to help West Horsley village and St Mary’s church where he had at one time been a church warden.  It would be hard to find a more decent, honest and upright man than Les; his influence will live on in his loving family and all those whose lives have been enhanced by his friendship.  Les’s funeral service took place at St Mary’s church and was conducted by the Rector, The Reverend James Porter.  Les, too, was buried in the graveyard at St Mary’s.

We extend our love and sympathy to Jane Francis on the death of her mother, Peggy Greaves, whom we were always pleased to see when she was visiting West Horsley.

John Lawn is still in Woodbank; he misses, us as we do him, and sends us his love and best wishes.


Dates for your Diary


Wednesday 1st 7.30   FUSION at Guildford

Saturday 4th      2.00 – 5.00     Stoughton Fete

Wednesday 15th 7.30FUSION at Guildford

Thursday 23rd     7.00  House Group

Wednesday 30th 7.30FUSION at Guildford



Saturday 9th    3.00 – 5.00       Shalford Garden Party

Sunday 10th      6.30     Circuit Songs of Praise at Wonersh

Thursday 28th  7.00    House Group



Thursday 25th 7.00     House Group



Saturday  10th              West Horsley Fete at Dene Place

We will be having our Book Stall, again.  If you are able to help with books or by manning the stall on the day – please let Margaret know.


Friday 14th – 16th         Circuit Weekend Away

Saturday  22nd              Circuit Missions Supper at Merrow


The Bible Study Group is having a summer break; will members please consult the weekly notices for the date when we will restart.


Wesley Room rebuild

We are approaching the summer period when works will start. Currently the architect and engineers are finalising their drawings.  Submission is going in to Guildford BC for an additional window in the rear elevation.  Kitchen design is moving towards a conclusion.  


Circuit News

Fusion Meetingsare held on Wednesdays, 7.30/8.00 – 9.15 at Guildford Church. 

1st June            Galapagos Adventure – Sylvia Kelley

15th June          Samaritan Insights – Peter Youngs

29th June          Contemporary Worship – Claire Hargreaves

13th July           Journeying with Chinese Christians – Hazel & Ernest Yu.

Sunday Evening Service–there will be an Open Air Songs of Praise service at Wonersh on July 10th at 6.30.


Circuit Weekend Away

14th – 16th October

At the Salvation Army Conference Centre at Sunbury-on-Thames

 Cost £150

The speaker will be the Revd Dr Chris Blake, currently Principal at Cliff College, originally from our Circuit.  Chris is committed to exploring new ways of being church, encouraging growth in discipleship and to communicating the message of Jesus in methods that are relevant for the 21st Century.  The theme for the weekend will be Mission – based.  This promises to be an interesting and stimulating time.

More News from the Archives.

The chest in the Vestry is beginning to fill up as members of the congregation bring interesting finds.  Many thanks to Heather and Bob Spackman who have unearthed many fascinating documents and photographs.  Heather has contributed a collection of newsletters dating from the early 90s covering the ministries of David Coote and Nick Holt.  They include the lovely memories of the Chapel written by Stan and Renee Denew.  If anyone has any more copies of past newsletters, which might complete the collection, I would be very pleased to have these.  All newsletters are useful, but in particular I would like to make a full collection from 2000 onwards.  They do make a very interesting record of the activities of the Chapel and its members.

Bob’s maintenance files from 1980 onwards show the huge amount of work undertaken by the property stewards.  The Chapel has been extremely fortunate to have dedicated and professionally qualified members who have worked so hard to maintain the fabric and arrange grants to ensure ongoing development.  It is remarkable that a small congregation has been able to raise funds when needed so that the Chapel looks loved and welcoming.

Also of great interest in these files are copies of important documents: a certificate made in 1926 confirming that “The Wesleyan Chapel”, West Horsley was first registered as a “Place of Meeting for Religious Worship” in 1876; a copy of the certificate registering “Methodist Chapel”, The Street, West Horsley for the solemnising of marriages in 1934; a copy of a new deed signed by the trustees in 1947 that “the church lands situated at the Street West Horsley in the county of Surrey and the chapel, schoolroom and vestries thereon” were to be held in accordance with the Methodist Church Union Act of 1929.

Jean Bruton.










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