Newsletter - March 2016 to May 2016

Newsletter March 2016 - May 2016

Dear all

Easter is early this year with Good Friday on 25th and Easter Sunday on 27th March.  It seems that New Year is barely over before it is time to be thinking of the ecumenical Lent course organised by Churches Together across the local churches.  The Lent groups are an enjoyable way to get to know others from different churches in the local area and offer a genuine welcome to all.

So after you’ve eaten the pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, how do you mark the days of Lent leading up to the Easter weekend?  Lent is traditionally a time for reflection and renewed awareness of what God has done for us in Christ but it need not be so solemn as to be a heavy chore.  If you are not able to attend the Churches Together Lent meetings, why not follow an individual study guide?  This year the charity Embrace the Middle East has produced a topical Lent Study Guide called Six Middle Eastern Encounters.  Each of the six sessions includes Bible study, prayer, information, “inside the story” monologues and actions.  Every week you will meet a different woman from the Bible who met Jesus and was changed forever.  At the same time you are brought face to face with a woman from the Middle East today who is being empowered to live a fuller life through the work of Embrace.

Why not try it?  The course is free to download at

In October I met Fatima when I visited the Talbiah Refugee Camp in Amman, Jordan on behalf of the Methodist charity All We Can.  

Fatima fled Homs in Syria in fear of her life and the safety of her four young children.  She was so anxious and traumatised that for the first four months she was afraid to leave the small dark one roomed building in the camp.

Then she received a visit from the All We Can partner DSPR and was invited to the Vocational Training Centre. Gradually through attending the psycho-social workshops there, Fatima gained more confidence and was able to talk to other women who had been through similar experiences.  She made friends and eventually accepted that she and her family would never be able to go back to their old life in Syria.  She has decided to make the best of the opportunities in Talbiah and has become one of the trainers in the Centre, helping other frightened and bewildered women to cope.

Fatima was in despair, but now her life has been transformed through the work and compassion of others.  She has been given hope.  On Easter Sunday, after travelling through the trauma of Christ’s suffering and sacrifice, we too will joyfully affirm our fresh hope in Christ our Saviour.

After darkness, light;

After winter, spring;

After dying, life:

Alleluia.                      (STF 292 Fred Pratt Green)

If you would like to support All We Can’s work with refugees like Fatima please make a donation via the website or by cheque to “All We Can” 25 Marylebone Road London NW1 5JR marking your gift “Syria Appeal”.

Claire Hargreaves

Family News.

Many congratulations to Ruth Erasmus who has become a very proud great-grandmother.  She is delighted that David and Alice have given their new baby a Welsh name - Emlyn.

Jane, who became a proud great aunt last year, reports that Heidi recently celebrated her first birthday.  She had a very worrying start in life, being premature and therefore spending her early days in hospital.  She is now crawling and generally making up for lost time.

We look forward to welcoming back Darlene on March 6th when she returns to take our Mothering Sunday Service when we hope to welcome some of the children, and adults!, whom she christened during her 10-year ministry with us.

Catherine Bruton’s [Mike and Jean’s daughter –in- law] third book in her “Somersaults and Dreams” series is now on the shelves and selling well.  “Going for Gold” finds Ellie with her heart set on competing in the European Gymnastic championships.  But an apparently unsympathetic coach and a serious injury see Ellie sent back to Cornwall to recuperate.  This series is written in the name of Cate Shearwater –“Shearwater” being the name of Mike’s family home in Cornwall.

Since this Newsletter takes us to the end of May and the start of the exam season, we send all our good wishes to those family members about to embark on public exams and we reassure them that their hard work will be worth it.


Local News

Occasional lunches

The next Occasional lunch will be held on Thursday 17th March.  This is a valued opportunity for fellowship with people from our local community, please come and encourage your friends.  Please let Heather or Celia know if you are able to help.  The following one will be on Thursday May 19th.

Bible Study

Members of the Bible Study group, which meets fortnightly on Monday afternoons at the church, have recently begun a new study on the Sermon on the Mount using a study guide by Christine Leonard.  The Beatitudes were the first subject chosen when the group started up several years ago and it is proving very worthwhile to revisit these and continue further into Jesus' words in Mathew's gospel. 

House Group

The house group meets at 7.00 usually on the 4th Thursday of the month, at Di Bamber’s house.  The next meetings are on 24th March, 28th April and 26th May.


On Good Friday, 19th March, the chapel will be open for personal meditation from 9.00 – 10.00.  The Churches Together service will be held at the East Horsley shops at 10.00.

On Easter Day we will be having a church breakfast at 9.30, followed by a celebratory communion service at 10.30.

140th Chapel Anniversary weekend 16/17 April

We will be holding our usual Songs of Praise evening on Saturday, 16th April at 7.00.  Please ask your friends to put this date in their diaries.  On Sunday 17th our Chapel Anniversary service will be led by Claire Hargreaves and the preacher will be the Rev Gareth Powell, Secretary of the Methodist Conference.  This will be followed by a simple soup and sandwich lunch.

Charity support

“20ps in Smartie Tubes”

We are currently supporting Cherry Trees, the local care home providing respite care for children.  Bob has very kindly provided some new Smartie tubes, if you would like to use this method of giving, they are in the Wesley Room.

Christmas collections for the homeless

The “loose” collection at our Carol Service on Sunday 20th Dec raised £66.60 to help the work of the Whitechapel Mission and the Christmas Day collection raised £146.70 for the Number 5 project in Guildford. 


The envelopes for Sunday collections will be renewed on April 4th.  Please speak to Margaret if you would like to join this method of regular giving to our church.



Local clergy changes

All the three Anglican churches now have clergy.  Rev Hugh Grear was installed at All Saints’, Ockham in October.  Rev Renos Pittarides was installed at St Martin's, East Horsley during November.  And, the Rev Philip Herrington will be installed at St Mary's, West Horsley on 15th March.  Philip has come from Cockfosters, with his wife Louise and two little daughters.  They are already living in the rectory in order for their oldest to be registered for a place at the Raleigh School.

These three Anglican clergy are to work together as a team ministry.  We wish them well in their various parishes and look forward to meeting them in due course.

Churches Together are organising the usual Good Friday service at the East Horsley Station Parade shops at 10.00.

There will be a day walk around all the churches on Sat May 14th starting at St Mary’s and finishing with a Unity service at our chapel at 5.00.

The Women’s World Day of Prayer Service this year will be held at All Saints Church, Ockham at 2.00 on Friday 4th March.  The worship material has been prepared by the Christian women from Cuba – “Receive children. Receive me.”


How Can I Pray?

The Rev Nicola Vidamour drew attention to this Ignatian method of prayer in a recent series of articles in the Methodist Recorder.

A great way to pray is to look for God’s presence in your life. More than 400 years ago St. Ignatius Loyola encouraged prayer-filled mindfulness by proposing what has been called the Daily Examen.  The Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and to discern his direction for us. Try this version of St. Ignatius’s prayer.

1. Become aware of God’s presence.  Look back on the events of the day in the company of the Holy Spirit.  The day may seem confusing to you — a blur, a jumble, a muddle.  Ask God to bring clarity and understanding.

2. Review the day with gratitude.  Gratitude is the foundation of our relationship with God.  Walk through your day in the presence of God and note its joys and delights.  Focus on the day’s gifts.  Look at the work you did, the people you interacted with.  What did you receive from these people?  What did you give them?  Pay attention to small things — the food you ate, the sights you saw, and other seemingly small pleasures.  God is in the details.

3. Pay attention to your emotions.  One of St. Ignatius’s great insights was that we detect the presence of the Spirit of God in the movements of our emotions.  Reflect on the feelings you experienced during the day. Boredom? Elation? Resentment? Compassion? Anger? Confidence?  What is God saying through these feelings?

God will most likely show you some ways that you fell short.  Make note of these sins and faults.  But look deeply for other implications. Does a feeling of frustration perhaps mean that God wants you consider a new direction in some area of your work?  Are you concerned about a friend?  Perhaps you should reach out to her in some way.

4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.  Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you to something during the day that God thinks is particularly important. It may involve a feeling — positive or negative.  It may be a significant encounter with another person or a vivid moment of pleasure or peace.  Or it may be something that seems rather insignificant.  Look at it. Pray about it.  Allow the prayer to arise spontaneously from your heart — whether intercession, praise, repentance, or gratitude.

5. Look toward tomorrow.  Ask God to give you light for tomorrow’s challenges.  Pay attention to the feelings that surface as you survey what’s coming up.  Are you doubtful? Cheerful? Apprehensive? Full of delighted anticipation?  Allow these feelings to turn into prayer.  Seek God’s guidance.  Ask him for help and understanding. Pray for hope.

See more at:


Ancestors’ Corner

Following the interesting articles by Bob and Margaret about their ancestors, and also because June 2015 was the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, I have been finding out more about my great-great-grandfather, Robert Waterloo Bond, so nick-named by the people of Yaxley due to his “heroic exploits” documented in the local newspaper of that time. 

He was born in 1790 in Yaxley in Suffolk, and at the age of eighteen, in 1809, he enlisted into the Ist Battalion 4th King’s Own Regiment of Foot.  In January 1812, the Regiment was sent to the Peninsular.  Robert fought in several battles before being taken prisoner by the French.  After eighteen months, he was released in April 2014 on an exchange of prisoners.

The Regiment was then selected to form part of a force of “the best and most experienced Regiments” to sail to North America under the command of the Duke of Wellington.  After mixed success and failure, the Americans triumphed.  Following the peace agreement of February 1815, the battalion returned to England, arriving on 18th May, only to learn of Napoleon’s escape from Elba.  The Regiment was back just in time for the Battle of Waterloo. After a forced march of 48 miles in 30 hours, they arrived at the field of battle by 8.30 on Sunday 18th June.  As the battle was being fought, gun fire was reportedly heard at around eleven o’clock in parts of England when people were going to church.  Robert was wounded in the thigh and deafened by the gun fire.  He was discharged and received the Waterloo Medal.  He returned to Yaxley to live out the remainder of his long life. 

It is recorded on his tombstone that “he died a Christian death on the night of his birthday, Christmas Day 1878, aged 88, father of a large family”.  Also on his tombstone are these words:-

When I was young I ventured life and blood,-

Both for my king and for my country’s good.

In elder years my care was chief to be

Soldier for Him who shed His blood for me.

My grandfather, also named Robert Bond, was a Methodist minister at the time when they moved every three years.  For this reason, my grandmother never kept anything “not wanted on voyage”.  We wonder if this is how the French sword captured by Waterloo Bond, disappeared.

Dates for your Diary


Friday 4th          2.00    Women’s World Day of Prayer Service

Sunday 6th      10.30     Mothering Sunday service with Rev Darlene


Thursday 10th   7.30    Circuit Meeting at Godalming

Monday 14th     2.00    Bible Study Group in the Wesley Room

Thursday 17th 12.15    Occasional Lunch

Thursday 24th   7.00    Maundy Thursday House Group at Di


Friday 25th                   Good Friday Service at East Horsley shops

Sunday 27th      9.30     Easter Breakfast

Monday 28th    2.00     Bible Study Group in the Wesley Room



Sunday 10th      6.30     Stuart Townend Songs of Praise at Merrow

Saturday 16th   7.00     Songs of Praise

Sunday 17th    10.30     Chapel Anniversary service with Rev Gareth


Thursday 28th   7.00    House Group at Di Bamber’s



Saturday 14th               Churches Together Walk and Service

Sunday 15th                  Christian Aid Sunday

Thursday 19th  12.15   Occasional Lunch

Sunday 22nd       6.30   Circuit Service at Merrow

Thursday 26th    7.00   House Group at Di Bamber’s


Gareth Powell was appointed Secretary of the Methodist Conference in Sept 2015, having previously been Assistant Secretary and Head of Governance Support in the Connexional Team.  He read theology at Westminster College, Oxford and then undertook ministerial training at The Queen's College, Birmingham, before spending time at the Graduate School of Ecumenical Studies, the University of Geneva.  He was ordained in 1999, and stationed to the Cardiff Circuit as a circuit minister and university chaplain.  From 2002-2008 he was Methodist Chaplain and Chaplaincy Coordinator at Cardiff University.




Catherine Bruton’s [Mike and Jean’s daughter –in- law] third book in her “Somersaults and Dreams” series.



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