Newsletter - September 2013 to November 2013

Newsletter Sept-Nov 2013


From the Manse

August 2013 

Dear All,


Here we are again at the beginning of a new Methodist year, and ahead lies not only a year of worship, but also a year of organising that worship as well as our charity giving and community service.

This is perhaps a good time to remind ourselves of our vision statement:-

“Our vision is to continue to develop the spiritual growth of the members and those on the community roll, and to promote evangelism through outreach and pastoral care within the wider community.”

We have also committed ourselves to not ‘spending’ (time and money) on ourselves to an extent that impinges on our commitments to charity and community service.  Will this make us a ‘high maintenance’ church?

This subject was recently brought to my attention in an article by a church elder of another denomination.  And with the problems so many churches face these days of ageing and diminishing congregations it is a subject of some importance.

West Horsley has always had to share its minister with at least one other church in the Circuit we belonged to, and we have not always been in the Guildford Circuit.  This means that the Chapel necessarily has a tradition of being low maintenance for it minister.  At the same time this means it makes more demands of its members.

The article ends by quoting 1 Corinthians: “What should be done then, my friends?  When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation.”  And suggesting that perhaps we shouldn’t be looking for our church life to be low maintenance.

I would basically agree – after all, haven’t we been very high maintenance for God, requiring nothing less than death on a cross?

My only reservation would be that our first commitment is to the Kingdom without walls, and not to a building.  Which, I think, makes both our vision statement and our spending commitment particularly important.

Our Chapel is very precious to us, but it is only a tool in our journey of faith and discipleship.  A tool that requires loving care in order to keep it a good and useful tool, but must never be mistaken for the kingdom of God we are seeking to work towards.  And it must not be misused in a way that it is not designed for by God.

So in all the meetings and organisation to come, let us keep ever before us our primary commitment to the Kingdom of God and always ask ourselves – “is this the best method available to us, and a right use of our time, talents, and possessions?”  And, of course, surround every thought and action with prayer.

May God travel with us into this new church year and touch our hearts and minds by his Holy Spirit that we may individually and corporately live to his glory both in our hearts and our actions.


Yours in Christ,



Family News


It is always good to get news of chapel grandchildren.  We start with 27th July which was a memorable and happy day for Ruth Erasmus when she attended the marriage of her grandson David with Alice Swan.  We wish them every success and joy in their future life together.  Ruth enjoyed the occasion very much and said that she was treated royally.

In this summer of our country’s sporting achievements, especially winning the Ashes, it is encouraging to find enthusiasm for cricket among our talented grandchildren.  In the Stephenson family, Jean’s grandson, Stephen, has always been a keen sportsman; as a schoolboy , he was mentioned three years running in Wisden for his outstanding performances with bat and ball.  Now aged 18, his main sport is golf where he has gone from strength to strength and now has a handicap of 2.  We add to this, Geoff Willott’s grandson Thomas Foster, a keen and successful young cricketer who clearly has a promising future in the game.  He has been playing for Hampshire under 14’s who recently played against Wales.  Geoff has now changed his allegiance from Surrey to Hampshire.  The Willott family has played a significant role for more than half our chapel’s history and we are so glad that Geoff has maintained this link, regularly playing the organ as his father Horace did before him.

Tim Hart’s exciting sabbatical has almost come to an end and we hope to hear more about it in the next Newsletter.  Once again, we thank Liz and Ted for the constant pleasure we get from the chapel garden, front, side and back.  One cannot but be aware of the dedicated hard work which is required to maintain the garden and the artistic inspiration which once again won a well deserved Silver Award in the Horsley in Bloom competition.

Our thanks to all those who have contributed to making the Wesley Room such an attractive venue and how good to see it so well used. The latest booking is for the Wheel of Care Film Club which requires curtains for all the windows; undaunted, Doris and Celia undertook this task in a very professional way, for which we are most grateful.

Following the recent Worship Leaders’ course held at West Horsley, we have the good news that Di and Heather have agreed to become worship leaders.

Since the last Newsletter, Renee has celebrated her 97th birthday.  Like Minnie, Renee has had a very long association with our chapel and her memories of times past are to be cherished.  Since moving to Lime Grove she welcomes and appreciates what she calls ‘drop in’ visitors.

We have been greatly saddened to hear of the ongoing and very serious health problems afflicting Jean Warman.  Jean is much missed at Sunday worship and also in the House Group which she regularly attended. Our prayers are with Jean and her family at this very distressing time.

We have also received the very sad news of the death of Faith Beaumont on 25th August.  Faith died peacefully in her sleep in her own home, lovingly supported by her family who have been with her and cared for her day and night throughout the last phase of her life.  Faith was a regular and popular member of the coffee morning and all who knew her will miss her very much.




There will be a Churches Together Stall at the West Horsley Village Fete at Dene Place on Saturday 7th September.  Celia is co-ordinating helpers, if you can offer assistance.

The AGM of Churches Together will be held on Thursday 19th September at 7.30 in St Martin’s Parish Room.


House Group

In August, Linda Cox came to Housegroup to talk to us about the work of Street Angels, a voluntary organisation whose members patrol the club- and pub-land area of Guildford.  Several of us had heard that they carried flip-flops and lollipops as they assisted revellers in the area around Bridge Street but Linda, of course, told us much more about her work.

Street Angels was set up in Halifax 7 years ago and there are many groups now, not necessarily in big cities.  Most of the volunteers in Guildford are drawn from 20 or so churches of all denominations around Guildford and the Angels are mostly but not exclusively Christian.  They meet regularly to pray.  Their guiding principle is the compassionate ministry of Jesus, particularly shown in the parable of the Good Samaritan.  They are not judgemental whatever the circumstances and rely on the power of prayer at all times.  From their base at the Y, they provide a service in the town every Friday and Saturday night from 10.30pm to 4.00am and are also out on ‘special’ nights such as A level results night and when the University students return.

After rigorous training they work alongside the professionals including the police, paramedics and door staff to keep young people, often the worse for wear, safe and out of trouble.  Often they can diffuse a situation so that no arrests need be made and, yes, they distribute lollipops on occasions to calm things down.  They help at the taxi ranks and the Station at closing time and reunite individuals who have become separated from their friends or have lost their mobile phones.  Flip-flops are given to girls who have kicked off their uncomfortable shoes and are in danger of walking on broken glass or trying to get home barefoot.  Working in twos, ideally a man and a woman, wearing Hi-Viz jackets with their distinctive logo, they carry a backpack containing gloves, wipes, basic first aid equipment and a radio.  Linda was full of praise for the police and their sensitive handling of often volatile situations.  They do not wish to make arrests unless it is absolutely necessary.  A Street Angel jacket is not as threatening as a police uniform to many young people.  The crime rate has been reduced quite considerably since the Angels began work.

The next meeting of the Housegroup is on September 26th at Ruth’s house when Mike and Julia Evans will be talking to us about their work with the Number 5 Project.  All are welcome.  On Thursday 24th October the meeting will be led by Darlene and will be held at Di’s.  The meeting starts at 7pm sharp and normally finishes by 9pm.


Church News

Occasional Lunches

We have decided to try and provide our Occasional Lunches more regularly – probably every two months.  The next will be a Ploughman’s on Thursday 5th September, after Coffee morning.

Book Sale

We will be having another Book Sale on Saturday 21st September from 10.30 – 3.30.  Please look out books that will sell easily!  There will also be a cake stall; so any items for this will be welcome.


We will be holding our Harvest Celebrations on Sunday 22nd September.  There will be a Ploughman’s Lunch after the service and we hope to have a Fairtrade stall in the Wesley Room.

Remembrance Sunday

For the first time for many years, the British Legion and the Scouts will be joining us for our Remembrance service on 10th November which will be led by Darlene.

Carol Praise

We will be repeating our very successful Carol Praise evening this year on Saturday 31st November at 7.00, so get ready to choose your favourite Advent and Christmas Carols.  And, in preparation for the festive season, the Brutons have invited us to a Christmas coffee morning at their house, Hadlands, High Park Avenue, on Wednesday 4th December from 10.30.

Prayer Meeting

Darlene mentions underpinning our actions with prayer in her letter and this is a reminder that our church is open for quiet prayer and meditation every Wednesday morning from 8.30 – 9.30; all are welcome.

Solar Panels

We have received two payments so far totalling £257 for the electricity we have “fed-back” from our solar panels.  There should be another large payment in September as a result of all the sunny weather we have been enjoying.  This will set us up well in case we have a cold winter!

Fund-raising for Action for Children

Another record breaking year, including £564 from the Coffee morning and table sales and £788 from our House-to-House collection.  Well done everyone.

Whitechapel Mission

A big “thank You” to all those who contributed donations of food and clothing to the Whitechapel Mission.  Tony Miller, Director, of the Mission came and collected a trailer full of items donated across the Circuit.


Gift Day/Maintenance

Thank you to everyone for your generous contributions to our recent Gift Day.  Together with the Gift Aid Tax, we raised just over £1,500, which was enough to pay for the recent painting of the exterior of the chapel.


Chapel Archive notes (1) – the contribution of Frank Oxford

Amongst John Lawn’s papers, recently given to the Chapel Archive, are notes relating to the life of Frank Oxford and his work for the community of Horsley and for our Methodist Church.  As we now have the new Wesley Room which is being used for a variety of Chapel and community activities, it is interesting to remember the inspiration behind Frank’s introduction of the coffee mornings in the old school room.

John Lawn believed that Frank introduced the idea in 1989 following a Circuit Ministries Meeting.  The basis for discussion at that meeting was “How do we as a Church reach out?”  In response Frank developed the idea of the coffee morning and for six years committed himself to this at first monthly, later weekly.  Many times he would cycle from his home in East Horsley with the refreshments in a carrier on the handlebars, whatever the weather.

East Horsley Parish Council presented kneelers to our Chapel in acknowledgement of Frank’s long years of service to the community. Frank left school at the age of fourteen.  He had a variety of jobs and in the Twenties bought his first bike and joined a cycling club in 1932.  In 1939 Frank bought a plot of land in East Horsley and built a bungalow where he lived with his wife Edith and, later his son Ian.  After his war service he became a post man working from East Horsley sorting office delivering post in East and West Horsley.  He served on the Parish council for 21 years going everywhere on his bike until he became too frail.  He was treasurer of the Liberal Democrats and chairman of the British Legion local branch.  At our Church he was a steward, communion steward and treasurer.

The rector of St Martin’s Church wrote in the Parish Magazine in 1995 “Frank had a deep and sincere faith which was at the heart of all he did. The chapel was the place where this was nurtured. He will be much missed. He was indeed a good man.”

Archive notes (2)- Daphne Harvey –“Memories of Old West Horsley


In the summer edition of “Around and About Horsley” Daphne Harvey gives an account of staying as a child in the 20s with her grandparents Henry and Emma Harris in the bungalow which they had built in Shere Road.  She has some fascinating memories of West Horsley and for a time attended the village school.

She writes that her grandmother became involved in village affairs and started a Methodist sisterhood group.  As there was already another group for women in the village, it caused some bad feeling and did not last long.

I spoke to Daphne, who now lives in Dorset, and she told me that when she stayed with her grandparents she did attend our Chapel.  She remembers that the congregation was very small and that she did not enjoy the services very much!  Her grandmother was for some time a regular attender at the Chapel, but then joined the congregation at St Mary’s.  Daphne has a photograph of the Methodist sisterhood group which she is trying to find for me.

We have very little information about the Chapel in the 20s, 30s and 40s so any more memories would be very useful.


Jean Bruton


Circuit News


The Revd John Hellyer, District Chair, has taken on the additional role of our Circuit Superintendent until September 2014.  We are grateful to the Revd Asif Das for so admirably “holding the fort” since March.  We are in the process of preparing the material for a prospective new member of staff who will be Superintendent from next September.  We hope and pray that an appropriate person will be matched with this appointment.

Margaret Ireland is joining the team of Circuit Stewards.  She is a member of Godalming United Church, having moved there from Weybridge six years ago.  She has been part of the Chaplaincy team at HMP Send for 16 years and we look forward to working with her.

Work continues on the merger of the Guildford congregation with that of St. Mary’s in the town centre.  The final Sunday service at Woodbridge Road will take place on 1st Sept followed by a walk in procession to St Mary’s. The building is up for sale and it is hoped to be concluded soon.  Shalfod Church buildings are also up for sale.


The next Face to Face conversation will be held with The Rt Revd Christopher Hill, currently Bishop of Guildford, on Sunday 6th October at 6.30 at Godalming United Church.


We hope to arrange a new programme of FUSION starting on Thursday 25th September with Guildford Methodists talking about “An African Experience”, at 7.30 for 8pm, venue to be advised.


James Strawson is a member of the planning group which is progressing the idea of a "Stag Hill Institute" bringing into partnership the Cathedral, the Diocese and the University in the sphere of public education and engagement.  James will be able to keep the Methodists involved.





Bob’s sailing trip


The beginning of June saw me enjoying the Round the Island sailing race in which yachts of all sizes circumnavigate the Isle of Wight.  It was a beautiful day and we completed it in 7hour 56 mins.  The next day we set off on a cruise around Brittany via Lulworth Cove and Ushant or Ile D'Ouessant to give its French name.  We anchored off Ushant and hired bikes for an evening exercise before finding a little restaurant where we enjoyed fresh crab collected in the local waters.

Returning aboard we sailed out to sea and over the next few days went south and east along the southern coast of Brittany.  We avoided the mainland and visited the numerous islands with little fishing harbours.  Further east we anchored in Sauzon on Belle-Ile, where thoughts turned to Nelson and Hornblower!  Next we anchored off the long sandy beach of a very small island, Ile d'Houat and used our tender to go ashore for lunch.  There was a thriving small community and we found a suitable cafe to have a light lunch. In the square there was a memorial to those who lost their lives in the Great War and behind it a large chapel.  The churches and chapels around the French coast are in communities which are very conscious of the sea and its power.  Many of them have model ships hanging from the ceiling and this was no exception.  Whilst the church was old at some stage it had its windows replaced and beautiful modern stained glass ones installed.

After leaving Ile d'Houat we went north to Gulfe du Morbihand, where I have sailed dinghies on several occasions, and then east to St Nazaire, our destination.  By contrast to the lovely little island and its church we entered the docks and tied up near the notorious U-boat pens.  They are foreboding structures even today and we soon moved off and moored some distance away.  So after nine days, three of us left the yacht and flew home leaving the skipper to greet his family and enjoy a quiet holiday and tasting more fresh crab!


Dates for your Diary



Monday 2nd         2.00       Bible Study in the Wesley Room

Thursday 5th     12.00       Occasional Lunch in the Wesley Room

Saturday 7th        2.00       West Horsley Fete at Dene Place

Monday 16th        2.00       Bible Study in the Wesley Room

Thursday 19th     7.30       Churches Together AGM

Saturday  21st   10.30       Book Sale

Sunday 22ndd                    Harvest Celebrations and Lunch

Wednesday 25th 7.30     FUSION “An African Experience”

Thursday 26th    7.00      House Group at Ruth Isaac’s: No Five Project

Monday 30th        2.00       Bible Study in the Wesley Room



Friday 4th            9.30        Stewards’ Meeting in Wesley Room

Sunday 6th          6.30        Face to Face conversation with Bishop of Guildford at Godalming United Church

Monday 14th       2.00        Bible Study in the Vestry

Thursday 17h     7.30        Circuit Meeting at Merrow

Friday 18th        10.30        Church Council in Wesley Room

Thursday 24th   7.00         House Group at Di Bamber’s: Darlene

Monday 28th    2.00          Bible Study in Wesley Room



Monday 11th      2.00         Bible Study in the Vestry

Monday 25th      2.00         Bible Study in the Wesley Room

Thursday 28th   7.00         House Group at Ruth’s

Saturday 30th   7.00          Carol Praise



Wednesday 4th 10.30     Christmas Coffee Morning - Jean & Mike's

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