Newsletter - September to November 2012

 Newsletter September - November 2012

From the Manse                                                                                            August, 2012

Dear All,

Where does the time go!?!  Here we are again at the beginning of another Methodist year, and the beginning of my 10th year at West Horsley and it seems less than half that time has passed.

So much has happened within our church in those years, friends have died or moved away leaving sadness mixed with the happy memories, new friends have joined us bringing fresh ideas and helping hands, and one of us is able to look back on over 100 years of personal memories.  We have raised funds for charity, and funds enabling us to change the look and feel of our building.  We have been a part of some exciting events in our community (including hosting the stewards for the two days of the Olympic cycle races this summer), and also played our part in ecumenical activities.  A tremendous amount has happened over the 10 years.


Wonderful as it is to look back and celebrate, or even just rest in happy memories, we are disciples living in the Kingdom of God and that means there is always a future filled with new tasks beckoning us onwards.

I have already begun the process of downsizing in preparation for my retirement and in going through old worship notes I have come across three quotes of the thoughts of others on the meaning of Kingdom living which I share here.

“Today, Christian people are not called upon to build or establish the kingdom for themselves, but to seek for it and enter it.  This seeking and entering is most important because it calls not only for theoretical knowledge about the kingdom, but for the clearest way to give it practical expression.  The Kingdom of heaven is like people who care for the well-being of other people, and care so much they are never without a cause to campaign for.”  (anon)

“When religion forsakes politics it becomes unworthy and useless;

When politics is divorced from religion it becomes materialistic and violent”  (Donald Soper)

“I have an ideal: rather than aim to be upwardly mobile.  I want to aim to be outwardly ministering.  I know l will fall short many times but it is an ideal I passionately want to hold onto.  I know that with God, I can have a real deep hope for the future.”  (a visitor to the Greenbelt Festival)

So, as we begin this new Methodist year let us seek the Kingdom in prayer, and commit ourselves to involvement in outward ministry to our community and world in the name and pattern of Christ.

May this year be filled with the joy and peace of Christ for us all,

Yours in Christ,


Olympic Cycling Weekend


As soon as it was realized that the Cycle races were to come through our village it seemed a golden opportunity for our church to open its door and offer hospitality.  We certainly did and had a wonderful response.  

From 8.30 in the morning  locals, as well as ‘foreigners’ from as far away as Shropshire, dropping in to use the toilets or have a drink.  We didn’t charge for drinks but asked for a donation for Help the Heroes if they had something to eat.  As a result we made over £170 for the charity.

Saturday was the busier day.  Sunday culminated in a celebratory service led by Janet Gardham on the theme of Hospitality.  

The church was also used as a base for the 6 Ambassadors who were local people selected to give advice and directions to anyone.  They greatly appreciated having somewhere to leave their bikes and belongings as well as getting their lunch.  It was great to see the Wesley Room being used and appreciated by so many.  We have received a letter from Surrey County Council thanking us for our hospitality. 


Family News

Recently, the Methodist Recorder ran a series entitled ‘Proud to be a Methodist’, when they invited readers to share their own experiences.  The weekend of the Olympic Cycle Races was a very special occasion when we too felt that pride.  Full credit and thanks to Celia, who not only came up with the suggestion that we should open the chapel on both days and offer hospitality for spectators, but also organized all the catering and was herself present throughout to make sure that everything ran smoothly.  Apart from the actual race times, we had a steady stream of appreciative visitors, some of whom had come a very long way.  It was also so good to have Janet leading our closing service in the afternoon with the appropriate theme ‘Welcoming and Hospitality’.  It was a wonderful and memorable weekend and a fitting use for our new Wesley Room.  We had a collecting box for Help for Heroes and, such was the generosity of the visitors, a sum of £178-50 was raised.  Celia followed this by leading a Local Arrangement service on 5th August with the theme “Undefeated” with the Paralympics in mind and showing how people overcome tremendous problems in their lives.

All at the coffee morning were very sorry to hear that Sheelagh Trier fell in her house and broke her hip; she has been in the Royal Surrey Hospital.  We have missed her cheerful presence and entertaining conversation and we hope that she will soon be back with us.

Once again, our chapel garden, which this year included the new back garden, received a silver award in the non-residential display category of the West Horsley in Bloom competition.  It is remarkable to see what can be achieved in such a limited space.  This is entirely due to all the hard work and gardening skills of Liz and Ted.  The back garden impressed the judges and we are grateful to all who contributed plants.  Liz and Ted and Celia also received Silver Gilt awards for their own gardens.  Many congratulations and thanks for all the pleasure you give us.  Recently, a statuette of St Francis appeared on our gate post and nobody has yet claimed him; meanwhile, he looks very much at home in our back garden.

At a recent House Group Darlene shared with us her own experiences of prayer and how prayer was such a vital part of our Christian lives.  We are grateful to Heather for taking action on this and arranging for the chapel to be open from 8.30-9.30 every Wednesday morning, for quiet prayer and meditation.

It is always good to have news of grandchildren and we have just heard that Ruth Erasmus’s grandson David has become engaged to Alice.  We send them our congratulations and very best wishes for their future life together.

John Lamont

We have been so pleased to welcome John Lamont to our chapel.  John comes from Scotland but is currently lodging in West Horsley while working on a contract with K.B.R. at Leatherhead concerning the development of an unusually large gas pipe from Azerbaijan to Turkey which will reduce Europe’s reliance on Russia.  John was born in Oban in 1944 and was brought up on the Isle of Tiree until he was seven; the family then moved to Glasgow where he attended both Primary school and Secondary school.  At the age of sixteen he went to sea as an engineering cadet.  John was almost drowned in Auckland harbour on Christmas Day 1960 when he was pulled unconscious from the water.  He left the sea in 1969 and subsequently went to work for an engineering firm.  John and his wife were married in 1972 and will therefore be celebrating their Ruby Wedding on 15th September

John has been involved in the church all his life including Sunday School, Boys Brigade, Sunday School teaching and as a Scout Leader.  In 1995 he entered training to become a Reader in the Church of Scotland.  From the Medieval church through the Scottish Reformation and onwards, the office of Reader has been through many stages of development to being the much respected office of Reader today.

From the moment that John embarked on a Foundation course he underwent a rigorous training both academic and practical.  Among other things he was involved in a preaching course with Christian Studies and a Pastoral Care course as well as obtaining a Bachelor of Divinity degree (with merit) at Glasgow University.  During and after his training he was attached to several churches and he also has the authority to work as a chaplain and to administer the sacrament of Holy Communion in the Church of Scotland.  We are looking forward to the first Sunday in September when John will be leading our service.

 Super Saturday!

Saturday 4th August was a special day for the Spackmans.  Bob's brother, Clive, had flown in from Singapore the night before to deliver our joint birthday present, tickets for the Olympic Athletic Stadium on what turned out to be an historic night for British Athletics.  It was Heather's actual birthday and for her a special surprise was to find David and Ross as well as eldest grandson Tom also there.  

We began with a walk around the Olympic Park to see the fantastic transformation of what was once a very blighted part of east London. Now the home of gardens covered in flowers, thronged by thousands of happy visitors and decked with great sporting facilities, this area is an exciting result of a grand vision some eight years ago.  

Inside the stadium the atmosphere was enveloping, superb organisation everywhere meant that everyone was in good humour.  There was never a dull moment, either a race on the track, a long jumper launching himself down the side of the arena or a discus thrower flinging her disc in the centre of the field, and all the competitors got a cheer or clap or thunderous applause.  How good the large screens were too, it meant action at the far end could be appreciated everywhere by everyone. Greg Rutherford's face on winning the long jump was delightful, Mo Farah's pride was wonderful too, but for me the memory I brought home was the expression of sheer joy and relief on Jessica Ennis's face when she won the 800m and the Gold medal.  The expectations of the nation for the 'face of the Olympics' for the past two years, were realised by a supreme athlete.

We left the stadium late in the evening and walked to the station along with the huge crowd.  It was a night when one was proud to be British, not just because of the three gold medals won by British athletes, but by the success and the scale of the Olympic Games organisation, the good humour of the Olympic volunteers and pleasantness of armed forces personnel on security duty..........and to crown it all the trains were on time!

 Local News

Our Church is open for Prayer every Wednesday morning from 8.30 – 9.30.  People are welcome to come and go, although together, we pray silently.  An opportunity to pray for things and people on our minds and also to pray for the mission of our own church.

The Bible Study group is working through St John’s Gospel.  It meets on Mondays, fortnightly, at 2.00 at Di Bamber’s house.

The House group has arranged this programme for the next three months:

September 27th – Revd Allan Taylor

October 25th - Choosing hymns from Singing the Faith

November 22nd - Undefeated- a discussion about disability

All meetings at 7.00 at Di Bamber’s house.

Bob Spackman will be the speaker at the next Women’s Breakfast at 9.00 on Saturday 13th October in St Martin’s Church Rooms.  His topic is – Christian Dreams, Christian Outcomes.

The Churches Together AGM will take place on Monday 24th at 7.30 in St Martin’s Church Rooms, East Horsley.

A number of local places will be celebrating their Heritage on Open Days from 6th to 9th September.  See the noticeboard for details. 

Pastoral Care

In the early days of Methodism, church members would meet regularly in small groups during the week to study the Bible together under the leadership of their class leader, who would get to know them well enough to be aware of any pastoral needs they might have.

Over the years things have changed in all the churches, and when Bob and I became members at West Horsley over 25 years ago there was just one housegroup meeting monthly, but members were still nominally grouped with a suitable longer standing member (still called “class leader”) who would deliver the membership tickets and alert the minister if one needed a visit.

These days the class leaders have become known as pastoral visitors and we recently met with Darlene to discuss how best to support our church family, recognising that Darlene does not live within our villages and is unable to visit in the way ministers used to before they had to look after more than one church and deal with all the ‘new regulations' and extra meetings that have so regrettably impinged upon their time.  At this meeting it was recognised that when people need support they will probably choose whom to approach, rather than a named visitor, and may choose different people for different matters.  It was also recognised that it should not be only one person’s responsibility to visit or support a fellow member.  As a caring community, and bearing in mind the Methodist ideology of “the priesthood of all believers”, we all have a part to play in keeping an eye out for each other.  Often those least able to help in obviously practical ways are those with most time to support through prayer.  Darlene is keen to respond to specific requests for spiritual help, visits or home communions, but has suggested that it would be particularly helpful at present for the Pastoral 'point of contact' not simply to inform her but to make specific arrangements with her as to when she could visit, or take communion.  However busy ministers and other leaders may become within the circuit, spiritual pastoral care must not be neglected, so we simply have to make sure definite arrangements are made.

Darlene has always been quick to respond to specific requests for spiritual help or Holy Communion to be taken to the housebound, and wishes us to remember her willingness to do this when needed: as long as she is told.

She suggested that all of us who worship regularly at our chapel should have a named person who is a point of contact.  Someone who will be aware if we are missing and check we are alright.  Someone who will not be intrusive, but will alert others if help would be welcome.  Someone who can tell Darlene if we have not liked to ring or e mail her ourselves but would like her to know of our situation.  Someone who will make sure we know what is going on if we are absent for a time.  Someone who will ensure we know if the time of a service has to be changed, or if there is to be a lunch!

At the time of writing I’m not sure what these people will be called, but I know we should all have one!                                                                                                              Heather

 Circuit News

The Welcome and Induction Service for the two new ministers in our Circuit, Revd Paul Hulme (Godalming) and Revd Asif Das (Stoughton and Merrow) will take place on Sunday 9th September at 3.00 at Godalming United Church.

Lyn McKay will be accredited as a fully-fledged Local Preacher at the Circuit Service on Sunday 21st at 6.30 at Merrow Church

The two Circuit Leadership Teams of our Circuit and of Woking & Walton are exploring the possibility of closer working between the two circuits.  Everyone is invited to take part in a conversation and consultation to explore what it might mean to enter into some form of partnership as a way of consolidating, developing and using precious resources for mission and ministry throughout the Circuit.

Please come along to one of the following meetings as we seek to move forward in faith.

Monday 17th September, 8.00 to 9.30pm at Merrow Methodist Church.  Coffee & Tea served from 7.30pm

Wednesday 3rd October, 8.00 to 9.30pm at Godalming United Church. Coffee & Tea served from 7.30pm

What is the future for Christianity in its homelands?

Mike and I recently attended a mission event at St Saviour’s Church, Guildford discussing the future for the Church in the Middle East and North Africa.  The complexities of the religious and political upheaval of the Arab Spring were discussed by an academic expert on the Middle East and by Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, the former bishop of Rochester.  Both speakers were wise and well informed.  Dr Nazir- Ali, now at Oxford University, spoke of his concerns that the defeat of harsh regimes is not enough if democracy and toleration do not follow.  He believes that it is not the first free election following a dictatorship that matters but the second one whether those elected freely allow further free elections.

Both speakers were very concerned for the future of Christianity in the Middle East. Dr Nazir-Ali has a particular concern for the ministry where the Church is under pressure or facing persecution.  He wishes to promote engagement between Christianity and Islam but believes it may not be possible to satisfy demands made by those Muslims who are oppressors or terrorists.  One consequence of the upheaval in the Middle East has been persecution and forced emigration of Christians from the West Bank and Gaza, from Iraq, in Egypt and now in Syria. While the Assad regime was repressive Christians were free to worship.  Many Iraqi Christians fled to Syria and now face a second displacement together with Syrian Christians.

The second part of the evening was led by Rachel Fadipe, Executive director of SAT-7 Trust, a charity which seeks to help Christians in the Middle East who are unable to attend services and worship openly.  Using satellite TV, SAT-7 sends religious programmes and services for adults and children uncensored into the homes of millions of people in the Middle East and North Africa, who are forced to pray and worship at home in secrecy.  SAT-7 broadcast in Arabic, Farsi and Turkish.  They get hundreds of text/twitter/face book messages from Christians who regard the programmes as a lifeline.

SAT-7 asked for help for our prayers, and for us to learn about the situation in the Middle East.  7 is short of money and needs donations to continue its work.  With a donation of £1 they can transmit to one home for a year.  It has a UK base and donations can be sent to them at the SAT-7 Trust, The Coach House, 43 New Road, Chippenham, Wiltshire or via the website                                                               Jean and Mike Bruton

Computers Discover Lost Day

Harold Hill, president of the Curtis Engine Company in Baltimore, Maryland, and a consultant in the space programme, relates the following development:

"I think one of the most amazing things God has done for us to-day happened recently to our space scientists at Green Belt, Maryland.  They were checking where the sun, moon and planets would be 100 years and 1,000 years from now.  We have to know this so we don't send a satellite up and have it bump into something later on in its orbit.  We have to lay out the orbits in terms of the life of the satellite, and where the planets will be, so the whole thing will not bog down. 

"They ran the computer measurement back and forth over the centuries, and the computer came to a halt.  That meant there was something wrong either with the information fed into it or with the results as compared to the standards.

They called in the service department to check it out, and the service people said "It's perfect".  The head of operations asked, "What's wrong?"

"We have found a day missing in space, in elapsed time"!  They scratched their heads.  There was no answer!

"One religious fellow on the team said, "You know, one time at Sunday school they talked about the sun standing still".  They did not believe him, but they did not have the answer so they said "Show us".  He got a Bible and went back to the Book of Joshua where they found a pretty ridiculous statement for anybody who has 'common sense'. 

There they found in Joshua 10 that Joshua was concerned because he was surrounded by the enemy and if darkness fell they would overpower them.  So Joshua asked the Lord to make the sun stand still: 'The sun stood still and the moon stayed ......and hastened not to go down about a whole day'.

The space men said, "There is a day missing!"  They checked the computers, going back into the time of Joshua and found it was close-but not close enough.  The elapsed time that was missing back in Joshua's day was 23 hours and 20 minutes- not a whole day.  They read the Bible: and there it was: 'ABOUT (approximately) a whole day.

Those little words in the Bible are important, but they were still in trouble because if you cannot account for 40 minutes, you will still be in trouble 1,000 years from now.  40 minutes had to be found because it can be multiplied many times over in orbits.  This religious fellow also remembered somewhere in the Bible where it said the sun went BACKWARDS.  The space men told him he was out of his mind, but they got out the Book and read in 2 Kings 20, verses 9-11 how Hezekiah, on his death bed, was visited by the prophet Isaiah who told him that he was not going to die.  Hezekiah asked for a sign as proof.  Isaiah said "Do you want the sun to go ahead 10 degrees?"  Hezekiah said “It's nothing for the sun to go ahead 10 degrees, but let the shadow return backwards l0 degrees". Isaiah spoke to the Lord, and the Lord brought the shadow l0 degrees backwards. 

l0 degrees is exactly 40 minutes! 23 hours and 20minutes in Joshua, plus 40 minutes in Second Kings make the missing 24 hours the space tavellers had to log as being the missing day!

Isn't that amazing? Our God has His ways of bringing His truth to man's attention.”

 Spencer, Indiana EVENING WORLD 13th August 1970


Dates for your Diary


Monday 3rd     2.00      Bible Study at Di Bamber’s

Sunday 9th       3.00     Welcome & Induction Service for Revds Paul Hulme and Asif Das at Godalming United Church

Monday 11th   2.00      Bible Study at Di Bamber’s

Sunday 16th     10.30   Harvest Service followed by Lunch

Monday 17th   2.00    Bible Study at Di Bamber’s

Monday 17th    8.00     Circuit Consultation meeting at Merrow

Monday 24th    7.30     Churches Together AGM at St Martin’s Church Rooms, East Horsley

Tuesday 18th    8.00    Circuit Meeting at Guildford

Thursday 28th  7.00     House Group  - Rev Allan Taylor


Monday 1st        2.00   Bible Study at Di Bamber’s

Wednesday 4th 8.00    Circuit Consultation meeting at Merrow

Wednesday 10th 10.00    Stewards’ Meeting

Saturday 13th     9.00   Women’s Breakfast in St Martin’s Church Rooms

Monday 15th         2.00    Bible Study

Wednesday 17th 7.30  FUSION at Guildford

Sunday 21st        6.30  Circuit Service at Merrow

Thursday 25th   2.30    Church Council

Thursday 25th   7.00    House Group - Choosing hymns

Monday 29th     2.00    Bible Study

Wednesday 31st 7.30  FUSION at Guildford


Monday 12th         2.00   Bible Study

Wednesday 14th 7.30  FUSION at Guildford

Thursday 22nd   7.00  House Group - Undefeated

Monday 26th        2.00   Bible Study

Wednesday 28th 7.30  FUSION at Guildford


Small miracles at harvest time

The food crisis in the Sahel region in West Africa has been in the news recently but small miracles are still happening.  Tonko Diallo, 60, lives in Mali.  Without access to decent tools or knowledge of improved farming techniques, he struggled to grow enough crops on his land.  MRDF's partner approached Tonko and offered training to improve the quality and quantity of his crops.  "The training has really changed things," he said. "Before, it was very difficult, but using manure from animals has made a big increase in our production."

We will be using MRDF’s material for our Harvest service on 16th Sept.

 Tax injustice

"The poorest have been paying more tax, but for the rich and multinational companies the UK has become a tax haven.  The result has been a massive rise in inequality in this country as the rich have got richer and the rest have stood still, or worse." (Richard Murphy, Quaker and founder of the Tax Justice Network)

This autumn, Church Action on Poverty joins up with Christian Aid to take the campaign for Fair Taxes on the road.  A bright red London bus will travel across Britain and Ireland, to promote the simple message:  It's time for tax justice.  Look out for it in our area (possibly on 13th September). 

National Day of Prayer and Worship:

9 September 2012 Saturday (2pm-6:30pm) at Wembley Stadium

The National Day of Prayer and Worship is an opportunity for Christians from across Britain to come together in prayer at Wembley Stadium.  Unite with 80,000 Christians in Prayer and Worship.  Join Matt Redman, Noel Robinson, Lara Martin, Graham Kendrick, Noel Richards, Godfrey Birtil, LZ7 and tens of thousands of other believers.



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