Newsletter - September to November 2011

From the Manse

August, 2011

Dear All,

I have recently heard and read a couple of advertising slogans which have really caught my attention.  The first was ‘you are selling the sizzle, not the sausage’. This reflects the change in advertising tactics that took place in the 1930s when advertisers began to recognise the potential of using principles of psychology to sell their products.

Today all advertisers recognise that they are not selling the better product, but the better dream.  They are trying to tap into our deepest desires of who we would like to be.

The second slogan that caught my attention came from a Woman’s Weekly cover: ‘live the dream’.

Scripture tells us that our ‘dreams’, the deepest desires of our hearts, are very important to God too.  God wants our deepest desire to be a relationship with him, and our dream to be of a world that reflects his values of love and justice.

Now, once again, we find ourselves at the beginning of a New Methodist Year, a time of reflection and resolutions.  A perfect time for dreaming of what might be and resolving to work towards our dream.

A time of reflection on our relationships with God and one another, on our mission in West Horsley, and our role as a part of the Guildford Circuit.  

A time of celebration as we move into our new hall, and a time of resolutions concerning its use as well as our other ambitions for the coming year.

As we move into the business of the autumn with its District, Circuit and Local Church meetings let us take time to pause and consider what our dream for the coming year might be, and how we might inhabit that dream.

May our worship, our meetings, our socials, and our community activities all reflect our Christian perspective and commitment.

Let us Thank God for all his many blessings and in faith go forward into this new Methodist year with hope and enthusiasm.

Yours in Christ,


Choose your Attitude!

John Lawn has given us the piece below, which has been distributed to the residents of Woodbank.

Choose Your Attitude is all about understanding the impact you have on other people, and using this as an opportunity to help change their day for the better.  It takes exactly the same effort to be fed up and in a bad mood as it does to make the effort to be cheerful: however the effect on both yourself and others is very different.  If you actively choose to be positive, it affects other people in a very positive way and the end results can be wonderful.

Ultimately though, there is only one person who can control your mood and your day -YOU!!!  No-one else has the power to make you angry or annoy you: you have the choice whether to feel sad or upset or happy at what others do.  Think about the times when your day hasn't started well -maybe you were stuck in a traffic jam, or someone was rude to you in a shop.

You can either choose to let the incident ruin your whole day, or you can decide that you control how you feel and you have decided not to be upset by it.  It really is as simple as that!  Positive people CHOOSE to be positive: they aren't blessed with a luckier or happier life than anyone else; they just choose to make it happier.

Think about it; today is going to happen whether you are happy about it or not.  You cannot stop today from happening, so why not choose to be as positive as you can be about it?


                                                            Family News

We start with the good news of the birth of Rupert James Chapman, a second son for Roger and Hettie and a brother for Toby, not to mention a second grandson for Celia.  Congratulations and very best wishes to the whole family.

Our love to Renee who is making progress since her recent check up at the Royal Surrey.  Renee has such a wide knowledge and interest in so many subjects, not least poetry, including Lord Byron on whom she is something of an expert.  Renee’s familiarity with the Bible and her critical interpretation is an example to us all.  She finds great solace in the Psalms, especially when read in the King James version.  Renee enjoys hearing all about the church family and she is keeping up to date with all that is happening at the chapel.  Thank you Renee for being such an inspiration.

Special thanks to our dedicated band of collectors who, year after year, take part in House to House collections for Action for Children.  This year the total raised was £702.

Frieda, after many weeks in hospital, is now at home living alone with the help of daily carers and invaluable family support.  She would be very pleased to see anyone who is able to visit her.

John Lawn is still living at Woodbank and is likely to be there for at least six months.  He enjoys visitors and takes a keen interest in all that is going on in Methodism, especially in our own chapel and circuit.  The address of Woodbank Methodist Home is Holly Heath Road, Hook Heath,  Woking GU22 0JP.

It is impossible to thank Bob adequately for all he has done and is doing to make our dream of a new Wesley Room a reality.  Thank you Bob for all your dedication and professional expertise.  Thanks too to Keith for all his hard work and expert knowledge of all things electrical, so that we can rest in the knowledge that we are safe, legal and up to date.  There are so many others who have worked hard as a back-up team.  They know who they are and we thank them very sincerely for all their support.



The Wesley Room as recorded in the Archives

The last Church Council meeting to meet in the old Wesley Room took place on 7th February of this year and the last coffee morning there was held on 10th of July.  The hall has now been demolished and work has begun on the foundations of a splendid new building.

The old hall was well used.  We see in the archives that it was originally known as the schoolroom and was built in 1936 by Messrs Raynes of Godalming at a cost of £116.3s.8d.  We may conjecture that it was built as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Chapel.  Certainly the Trust Minutes contain references to the need for a hall for the Sunday school and for the other activities of a growing congregation.  From its earliest years the Chapel supported a Sunday school and the fortunes of the Sunday school and congregation were closely linked.  We have in the Archives examples of early Sunday school registers and lessons and youth group magazines.  Many members of the present congregation helped to run the Sunday school and sent their children to the classes.

The recent demolition of the hall uncovered evidence of a fire –“quite a blaze affecting the wooden frame at some stage”. Renee Denew remembers this fire.  The booklet printed in 1956 for the 80th anniversary records that the fire broke out on September 24th 1947 and that the manager of the Forest Stores, next door, helped to put the fire out.  The Trustees must have been very alarmed, because they immediately increased the valuation for insurance from £300 to £500.

From the 1980s onwards the room was increasingly used for outreach activities, notably “Frank’s coffee mornings”. Mr Frank Oxford, a Chapel member and Steward started the coffee mornings to help those collecting their pensions from the post office which was then next door.  The meetings were at first monthly, but grew in popularity and as today became weekly.  The room of course has had many other uses –coffee and fellowship after services, fund raising and social events, and recently has been used by community groups.

In 1995 the congregation raised funds for the internal refurbishment of the schoolroom and its kitchen and in 2005 it was joined to the Chapel by the extension known as the Link.  Usage of the room had changed so much that a member [we believe it was the late Colin Price] suggested a new name was needed and it became known as the Wesley Room.  It was realised at this time that a new building was needed and once more funds were raised by the congregation and from grants.

So we will watch the progress of the new building with excitement. The old hall has served us very well.  But now in our 135th anniversary year, we eagerly await the new Wesley Room and the benefits it will bring to our Church and to the neighbourhood.


Wesley Room rebuild

The school summer holidays have brought a dramatic scene of activity at the rear of the church as we demolished the old hall.  As this Newsletter is published the new Wesley Room is rising fast and we hope the basic structure will be completed in mid September. The Tea & Coffee Servery area and decorations together with finishings such as carpets will follow as and when funds permit.

Our builder, Paul Waterer was brought up in West Horsley and lives in Mount Pleasant.  Various specialist trades have been engaged by Paul, but where appropriate he has also engaged the services of his father, Tony, and son, Scott. A true family business!

There is a Service of Dedication planned on 9th October for the new Wesley Room, we hope you all have that date reserved in your diary.

The mini Church Council meeting on 14th August agreed that we could go ahead with the installation of solar panels on the new roof.  This should enable us to recover more than £1,000 a year from the electricity that we can feed-back into the grid.


New Hymn Book – Singing the Faith

In 2004, the Methodist Conference raised the possibility of publishing a supplement to Hymns & Psalms and formed a Committee to make suggestions.  Thousands of texts were considered, including material which had been published since the current hymn book was prepared in 1980, both in the UK and elsewhere in the world.  There was so much material that the 2007 Conference directed that a full successor to Hymns & Psalms should be produced rather than just a supplement.

The resulting book includes traditional hymns and modern worship songs, blending the best of the past with the finest of the present.  Hymns and songs within Methodism have always sought to inspire faith, to comfort, challenge and enable us to express Methodist theology.  It is called ‘Singing the Faith' - “because that's how it has always been in Methodism: that people sing their faith”.

It will be available towards the end of this year and we will be considering whether to purchase it at the Church Council meeting in October.  It will mean no more separate sheets of hymns and songs from the cupboard, as all the ones we currently use are included in the new book.


Circuit News

Alan Thorpe is returning to work at the beginning of September.  At first, he will be half time, concentrating on Merrow and Stoughton. He will not be our Circuit Superintendent and other arrangements will be made.  Please remember Anne and Alan in your prayers for his continued recovery. 

Sunday Evening Services –there will be a meetings for prayer on 11th September at Merrow and on 9th October at Godalming, both at 6.30. Jane O’Leary will be recognised as a Local Preacher at the Circuit Service on 20th November at Cranleigh at 6.30, having successfully completed her training.


Working on the Allotment

Gardening brings one close to Nature.  There is something in most of us that likes plants, flowers and soil and the idea of cultivating nature’s gifts.  This first happened to me when I attended my village primary school in the depths of Cornwall where we had a school garden and entered our produce every year in the local Garden Show.

This is where my new allotment comes in - at Dene Place in West Horsley – leased by the two Parish Councils from the National Trust and allocated to local residents at a very moderate rental charge.  My first allotments were in Rutland in the 1970s and then in the Chilterns.  Retirement has given me the time to dredge up my childhood experiences of gardening – although then we had no insecticides or slug pellets etc.  And living by the sea we used seaweed as manure.  Recommended !


I have a fair sized flower and vegetable garden where we live in East Horsley and this year is my first allotment for many years.  And I love it !  In reality we have had good growing weather despite the May/June drought.  The land at Dene Place was the former kitchen garden to the House and needed loads of clearing as well as fencing and a proper car park.  All credit to those like Su Johnson who has masterminded the whole project, to Bob Spackman of our Methodist Church and many others who have managed the process – including magnificent support from outside in removing every garden’s nightmare – a patch of Japanese Knotweed.

About one third of the area is given over to a ‘Community Garden’ – a mini commune/kibbutz where volunteers work under the guidance of a Head Gardener who really knows his stuff.  Volunteers receive discounts on the produce price based on their contribution in hours worked and 10% of the output is distributed locally and free.  Some of the Community Garden output is also sold via local shops and via the NT shop at Polesden Lacy – under the name ‘Grace and Flavour’.


As an allotment holder ‘reborn’ I have had both triumphs and disasters.  Magpies and crows have pounced on my brassicas – cabbages and cauliflowers mainly.  Next year I will have some netting as some wiser souls had this year.  My ancestors were agricultural labourers from Somerset and could have taught me a lot.  How does one cope with a flood of produce and then live through the lean winter period ?  Answers invited !  We have enough potatoes to keep us going until 2012, I think, and I have given loads away to friends and my family from Bath.  I will not grow marrows again – big and impressive and plentiful but fairly tasteless.  Our courgettes have grown like triffids – overlook them for a few days and small courgettes become marrow sized.  The yellow variety seems better at staying slim.  Our broad beans and runner beans are bliss as is the rhubarb and spinach.  My wife likes flower arranging so we have had sweet peas – gorgeous smell – and gladioli.  The latter were supposed to be in a variety of colours but perhaps they were too cheap - from a market stall.  They are all dark purple.  Our cucumbers look promising – they are the favourite food too of our 60 year old tortoise.

It is good to walk around the allotments and see how others are doing.  Invariably bigger produce than mine !  A kind of unspoken competitiveness here.  I have met many new people from West and East Horsley with this new interest and it is good to compare notes.

Overall it is great to sit and ponder amongst the vegetables and the (ever growing) weeds.  Particularly on a warm quiet evening one feels very close to one’s Maker.  Perhaps too, we are all farmers at heart ?


Michael Bruton


Dates for your Diary


Thursday 8th  7.30          Local Preachers and Worship Leaders Meeting at West Horsley

Saturday 10th                  West Horsley Fete at Dene Place

Wednesday 14th 7.30   Circuit Meeting at Merrow

Wednesday 21st  7.30  Fusion at Guildford Methodist Church

Thursday 22nd     7.00   Housegroup

Thursday 29th     7.30   Churches Together AGM at St Martin’s church Rooms


Tuesday 4th       7.00    Quiz at Wonersh

Wednesday 5th 7.30    Fusion at Guildford Methodist Church

Saturday 8th 9.00am    Women’s Breakfast at St Martin’s church Rooms

Monday 10th    2.30       Church Council

Friday 14th to Sunday 16th. Circuit Weekend Away with the Rev’d. Chris Blake at Sunbury Court

Wednesday 19th 7.30pm Fusion at Guildford Methodist Church

Thursday 27th     7.00  Housegroup



Wednesday 2nd  7.30   Fusion at Guildford Methodist Church

Saturday 12th       7.00 Cranleigh Quiz with Curry for Christian Aid

Wednesday 16th 7.30 Fusion at Guildford Methodist Church

Wednesday 30th 7.30 Fusion at Guildford Methodist Church

 Thursday 24th    7.00 Housegroup at Celia Chapman’s



Saturday 17th               Epworth Choir at Guildford Cathedral


Bible Study Group

The Bible Study Group will be resuming its meetings soon and Heather will speak to members to discuss material and suitable dates.


News of old friends

Bob and Heather recently met Jennie & Jim McLean who sent their best wishes to all who remember them.

Jennie was a Local Preacher when she lived in the area, although these days she has retired. She had been unwell earlier this year, but is now totally recovered and Jim is pretty fit enjoying his golf.  As you read this they are holidaying in Canada before flying to the Far East, New Zealand and Australia, then returning home at Christmas. The long break is to give them plenty of time to catch up with friends around the globe as well as seeing tourist sites en route.


West Horsley Fete

On Saturday 10th September, there will be another Village Fete in the grounds of Dene Place.  With information about many of the organisations and activities which occur in West Horsley and all kinds of attractions - quizzes, competitions, things to buy, things to eat.

We are intending to have another bookstall.  Have you any saleable books left?  Are you able to help on the day, either with transport or selling in the afternoon?  Please let one of the Stewards know.

The AGM of Churches Together will take place at 7.30 on Thursday 29th September in St Martin’s Parish Rooms. Let Heather, Celia or Margaret know if you have any suggestions about its activities.


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