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St Martin of Tours


By Editor, May 30 2017 10:30AM

I enjoyed reading the Weekly Newsletter and Service Sheet last Sunday, May 7th and send my compliments to the Office staff and contributors. To be honest, I think it largely negates the necessity for letters such as this, especially as often little prior notice of events is available and comments are very retrospective.

However, retrospectively!

Palm Sunday was celebrated with Adrian presiding and joining us for our Breakfast. As usual a select affair, with just sixteen present, but nonetheless enjoyable. My thanks to Linda for frying those eggs, to Judith and everyone for all the clearing up, but mostly to each of you for sharing our service and meal.

Next came the Vigil Service. Greeted the following Sunday by Linda’s, ‘How many grown men does it take to light a fire?’ I understand that Scout’s honour was involved, so my sympathies are with Adrian and co. and Ruth and all the lovely contingent from St. Martin’s family who joined with St. Stephen’s for this special event.

Easter Day was also celebrated with Adrian, joyously, and we were treated to many chocolate treats by Christopher, Brian and Jeremy from St. Anthony’s, and joined by several new faces. Through Peter, who often must hurry away to finish preparing lunch, we sent our love to Mary, who was unable to be with us.

The recent AGM then heralded the changeover of co pro- wardenship from Linda to Janet. With Judith being firmly established and Janet re–assuming a role she knows well, we look forward with anticipation and equanimity to both stability and change!

Stepping aside as co pro-warden would normally signal a slowing down process but Linda seems to be more committed than ever. Together with Helen Mitchell, she is currently training for her Pastoral Assistant role, and they are due to receive authorisation on the 15th July at Guildford Cathedral. Linda is immersed in this course, bubbling with enthusiasm about the scope of the training, looking forward with much anticipation to each new stage.

Judith and Linda are also involved in training to become chalice assistants, in company with Adrian, whom I hasten to add is undergoing this training in the interests of maintaining consistency of administration only. He will then become the ‘trainer’ himself.

The last of Linda’s new undertakings is her joining with Pat in organizing the Friendship Circle, as Jill Lacey is standing aside.

We are so fortunate with this St. Stephen’s team. When Stephen Cox presented his vision/suggestions, for the future of St. Stephens, it was Linda who provided her usual delicious buffet lunch and Judith who ‘hosted’ the meeting.

Now we look forward to our Christian Aid ‘Coffee, Cakes and Plants’ morning on May 20th. We remember Olive, whose ‘baby’ this has always been, with hopes that she will be well enough to join us.

Then we shall be ready for our Fireworks and Fizz Service on Ascension Day, May 25th, closely followed by the Beating of the Bounds on May 29th.

Finally, just think how busy all this keeps Fred, our sacristan, who is always so quiet and self- effacing – and so indispensable. Thank you, Fred.

On behalf of everyone here at St. Stephen’s

Janie Grinstead

By Editor, May 25 2017 06:00AM

Volume 1 - Becoming a Churchwarden

There are two stages to the process of becoming a Churchwarden: firstly the election by the Parishioners, followed by a formal swearing in by the Archdeacon.

Each year, every parish in the Church of England convenes a meeting of parishioners commonly referred to as the Annual Vestry Meeting to elect churchwardens for the forthcoming twelve months. The meeting must be held by 30 April and is usually held immediately prior to the annual parochial church meeting. And so it was that on Sunday 23 April, Alyson and I were duly elected.

Although the Wardens are the senior lay leadership of the Church, it is interesting to note that in law we also represent the population of the parish as a whole. As a consequence of this, the Vestry Meeting is a public meeting and notice must be given in writing with the minimum period of two Sundays before the date of the meeting and the notice must be displayed publicly.

As a public meeting the following people may vote in any election for Churchwardens:

• People whose names are on the church electoral roll (whether or not they are resident in the church parish) and

• People who are resident in the parish and who are also on the register of local government electors; this means any resident of the parish and who is registered to vote – irrespective of whether they attend St Martins or indeed any church or none.

After the election, the Secretary to the PCC notifies the Diocese of the names of the Wardens who have been elected. A few weeks later, Wardens are invited to meet with the Archdeacon to be formally Admitted to Office. In this Diocese, the Archdeacons carry out this duty by organising three or four services across the Diocese and admitting all the Wardens en bloc. So last Thursday, accompanied by Nick, I attended Leatherhead Parish Church along with Wardens and incumbents from the Epsom, Leatherhead and Dorking Deanery for a Visitation of Churchwardens, by the Archdeacon of Dorking, and was admitted to office.

The Visitation of Churchwardens is a simple service, but is typical of the Church of England in that its beauty rests within its simplicity. After an opening hymn and prayers and a passage of scripture taken from John, the Archdeacon preached what is known as the Archdeacons’ Charge. This is a cross between a sermon and a pep talk for Wardens, with helpful suggestions and advice.

After the Charge, the Deputy Diocesan Registrar asks a series of questions of the Wardens, asking for example whether we will encourage the practice of true religion and promote unity and peace within our parish, and whether we will co-operate with our incumbent.

Having responded in the affirmative to all of the questions, the Registrar formally admits all of the Wardens to serve in the Parishes where we have been appointed. The incumbents and others present, then pray for the new Wardens which is followed by Prayers of Intercession, a Hymn and the service concludes with the Archdeacon Blessing and commissioning us.

And that was it; the service lasted about 40 minutes and I am now an elected Churchwarden who has been admitted to office by the Archdeacon!

David Eggett

By Editor, May 22 2017 06:44PM

This is a summary of two evening talks given by Rev. Alan Hulme, director of Mission and Evangelism in the Guildford Diocese on 30th April and 7th May 2017.

Our aim should be to make prayerful and confident disciples growing year by year to maturity. We also need to increase the numbers of believers so what is God calling us to do? Who are we not reaching? The ‘good news’ has not changed so what are the barriers? Life is always changing and the way we do things will change too. Why don’t other people see the world as we do?

2 Cor.4 v.4 ‘the world is spiritually blind’ - so prayer is the only answer, prayer and planning.

Today’s life style has both parents working, people are unchurched, children dominate the ‘rest time’, mobile phones create stress, Sundays are for shopping or sport. Here is a brief history of change over the last 3 generations:-

a) born 1925-45. Value work, no debts, duty before pleasure, waste not want not, don’t express emotion, hang on to things as they are. They desire a God who is in control.

b) Born 1945-70. Post war baby boomers. Can do anything, expect to succeed, motivated by vision, all will be bigger and better. God is powerful.

c) Born 1970-90. Generation X. Grew up with uncertainty, broken families, sexually complex, let down by institutions, family and friends first, music important. Look to God as healer and comforter. Life is short, do not like commitment.

d) Born 1990-2000. Generation Y. Post cold war, protected childhood, celebrities, technology, less sex drugs and alcohol, look to God as a trusted advisor, open to spiritual discussion, expect to be part of the decision making.

e) Born after 2008. The emerging generation, all digital, communication by devices. God-???

From the above evangelism has changed over the years, all different but not wrong. God has not changed. How do we build relationships now and what might integration look like? We have a pearl of great price to pass on as half the population have no spiritual contact and there is an urgent need to reach the younger generation. How do YOU best connect with God? - talk about your faith to all you meet in this way.

Evangelism in the 80’s - people came to big rallies. In the 90’ – to hear guest speakers. In 2000 - small groups. Nowadays we meet in the pubs or coffee shops. What are the steps from there to the church? Perhaps not drawing them to us but us staying with them.

There are growing churches in the Guildford Diocese, what do they have in common?

1) Prayer is a priority; they are dependent on God and listen and are then obedient to Him. We are all different and must find different ways of praying together.

2) Have a church development plan. Desire to join in God’s plans, review where we are, discern where God wants us to be, plan how to achieve the goals, act on it and do it, celebrate what God has done.

3) PCC to regularly consider this plan.

4) We are not a club but a missionary movement usually hindered by not wanting to change.

5) Help people to find their gifts and motivation, their passions, make mature disciples and live life on fire for Christ. Wherever you are on the road of faith take another step forward depending on God.

6) Invite your new church members to lunch, be welcoming and generous and consider small groups.

Notes taken by Chris Hyde.

By Editor, Apr 30 2017 05:00AM

As I write this morning it promises to be a lovely day. Tomorrow is Palm Sunday and our kitchen is full of colourful plastic preparations for our Palm Sunday Breakfast – a throw back to when Happy Club hosted the celebrations and, as a consequence, my daughter made many visits to Ikea for my Easter gifts!

But first of all we remember some of our other ‘meals’, both Pat’s Lenten lunches and Linda’s contributions at St. Martins. Linda was so pleased with the outcome of her sessions. There was little comment on the meals she provided but such lovely, positive, thoughts on the follow up discussions, which I understand both John and Adrian led. Linda felt the talks and interaction really enhanced her understanding and was very thankful to everyone involved.

Pat, meanwhile, also had lovely gatherings, and very productive ones too. I know from past experience how rewarding these lunches are, on many different levels. They are sociable, caring, and absolutely delicious (!) and the participants are universally generous to a fault.

This year, after the usual interesting discussions at each lunch, the charities supported were, of course, The Children’s Society, plus Mercy Ships, Christian Aid and, a very old and special favourite, Send a Cow.

Both Pat and Linda always play down their own contributions to the success of these events but none of us under estimates either the time or caring that they always invest. We do thank them – a lot.

And just over a week ago we celebrated Mothering Sunday with thoughts of both St. Martin’s Church and mothers everywhere. Adrian presided and it was rather fitting that little Samuel George and his parents were there to celebrate with us.

Sadly, Janet and Margaret were among those unable to join us, but we did remember them. Janet is still suffering quite a lot from the aftermath of her fall but I understand that family and numerous friends are keeping her occupied. Judith has been a star, covering for one and all.

Finally, the days are passing swiftly and Holy Week is with us. St. Stephen’s holds its Easter Vigil at 8.00pm on Easter Saturday and our remaining hope is for a joyous and peaceful Eastertide for all.

On behalf of everyone here at St. Stephen's

Janie Grinstead

By Editor, Apr 29 2017 07:00PM

During Lent a group of us watched films and discussed them afterwards. The films we saw were “Monty Python’s Life of Brian”, “The Crucible”, “Shadowlands”, “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” and “Marvellous”. The range of subjects gave us plenty of topics to talk about, such as, the meaning of blasphemy, faith in God, pain and loss, the Holocaust, human nature and humour in life.

Michael and Sarah Standage

By Editor, Apr 8 2017 05:00PM

This year, St Martin's very own Vicky Holmes entered the Epsom Garden Society Spring Show. She entered three flower arrangements in the novice classes. As it was her first entry, she has to achieve four 1st prizes in the novice classes before she is allowed entry into the intermediate classes, and then six 1st prizes in the intermediate classes before being allowed to progress into the advanced class - quite a challenge!

However, Vicky's debut was a great success - she achieved two first prizes and a second. Here is a selection of Vicky's work: firstly "A Design for the Kitchen", then "Simply Spring" and finally "Valentine's Day".

Vicky's "Simply Spring" arrangement was awarded "The Judge's Choice" for which she was presented with a certificate. She also received a trophy cup for the most points gained for the flower arrangement section.

Great news Vicky - many congratulations!

By Editor, Apr 5 2017 05:07PM

On the morning of Saturday 25th March, the church was taken over by children and crafts to celebrate the forthcoming Mothering Sunday.

Children of all shapes and sizes (some looking suspiciously like grown ups) participated in making cards, painting, sewing bunting, decorating glass jars and most importantly eating delicious home made cakes!

A huge thanks to all who helped, made cakes or gave their support!


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