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St Martin of Tours

Epsom

By Editor, Aug 18 2017 05:00PM

‘Come with me to a quiet place and get some rest’ Mark 6.31

The open gate welcomes and beckons

A straight, messy track leads the way beyond

In the stiff breeze and leaves rustling

The distant bleat of lambs cries

Over the closed gate beyond brow of hill within field

Pointed ears apart, legs stumbling among tufts of grass

Inquisitive yet wary little eyes questioning

Scamper back for mother comfort.


The track becomes path and splits two ways

One way to the woods another across fields

Nestling amongst dark trunks, Bluebells await trumpeting Spring

That dash of intense blue filling sweet air with hope and peace

The retreat has begun.


‘Make your home in me, as I make mine in you’ John 15.5

A boiler house transformed is where I stay

Just suits two of us

Kitchen awaits yet fridge switched off

Alongside a beautiful bathroom, in modern European style

A restful lounge overlooking garden

And view at the back where I listen

All is still, just bird song, no creaky floor or hub bub to distract

This is the place to be refreshed and renewed.



Back to the meeting point for all the residents once more

A common room for seat and coffee

Also a squash court transformed to a chapel outside

Chairs separate, purposefully placed

Ahead on altar wall

A favourite focus of mine

Christ the Worker meets us face to face

Artistic creation by Jon Hayward

What a vision, so inspiring

This picture stays with me as reminder

Christ supreme king, high priest, servant worker.


My eyes draw to the creases upon the apron cloth

The angles strident in form

Hands and feet stiffly placed

Tarnished with wounds of crucifixion prominent

Yet hands are gathering

Inclusive, comforting and welcoming

Stance of feet defies gravity, ascending, weightless


Scripture verse fills the conscious mind

Repeated and confirmed once more

Come with me and I will give you rest’

Always remember never forget

Nothing can be challenged Godless

Christ the divine, Halo adorned

Thick neck strong, straight faced, eyes focused

Commanding repentance, letting go of self-desire

You come to me and live

I promise you a place in heaven Love one another as I have loved you

As compline closes silence rules

I hear the door slam, departing feet striding out with the

Shuffle of bags, paper folded, chairs left bare

The candles snuffed, bird song ceases, darkness envelopes

Time for mind, soul and body to rest as one

Sleep surrounds.

The day done


Day 2.

‘I have called you by name and you are mine…created for my glory’ Isaiah 43.1,7

The dawn chorus welcomes, alarm switched off

We meet in the chapel for Morning Prayer.

Breakfast is accompanied by Bach’s violin concerto and Beethoven’s Moonlight

Ethereal sounds that blissfully masks the mundane clatter of spoons,

The chomping of jaws and the smacking of lips.

In the silence sign language communicates

To pass the plate of heated bread rolls, butter pat, marmalade, or honey

The tea pot and milk to fill empty cups

Along the length of tables formally placed.


Back in the cottage lounge overlooking the view

Mist is clearing on the distant horizon

Sun light warms the shade of green.

It’s still cold and breeze remaining

The sky covered in cloud, a promise of sun later

Alongside a solitary resident reading

I notice a wagtail landing on the dew soaked grass

Shrivelled daffodil heads lay limp in the dank air

Broken twigs stick up from grassy knell beneath tree

Looking stark, bare and lifeless

The sun appears again, gently bathing land with warmth

The young leaves grow fresh from living twigs, dance in the breeze

In the near distance an empty washing line

An upturned solitary peg left dangling

Hope for washing to dry from its hold, a purpose to fulfil?


Behold the glory of God is within the sun’s ray

We are the upturned peg, the broken twig, and the shrivelled daffodil head

We all yearn for the sun’s warmth and presence

We present our tiredness, to God to be, fed nurtured and restored

We are part of God’s Glory

We are called by name- identified just as we are

Created in his image


Abide in me and I in you we say

Life giver stems brimming with minerals, and sap to all who seek it

Flower petals resplendent in glory

For our pleasure, adornment and fragrance

The exodus of seeds transported to spread and restore new life

Restore me Lord; I come to you for rest


As I return to the cottage from the chapel once more

The friendly wagtail greets me at the door

The wagtail reminds one that this is where to belong

The open gate, the gap in the hedge, the beckoning path, the

Sun’s rays, the upturned peg to be transformed, cleansed, restored.

As the resurrection community, we belong

‘Here I am I stand at the door and knock’ Revelation 3.20


After lunch the sun’s intensity increases.

The first cuckoo song enchants

It’s time to celebrate all creation, breathe in sweet air

Two sheep huddle at the base of nearby tree

In opposite field black sheep wander

The road side enhanced by blue and white mix of wild flowers

Bluebell alongside a delicate white stitchwort adding vibrant fragrance


A left turn passes familiar sites even the church of South Park Estate.

The door, rickety, old and rather stiff pushed open

Reveals an inviting, historic interior with stories to tell

Old Icons, crucifixes, a beautiful nativity scene

Berries and hawthorn blossom adorned the wooden beams above

A Mayday Garland perhaps?

Yet in a dark corner a written traditional prayer of a 17th Century Nun


‘Come and share your master’s delight’ Matthew (5.21,23)

Two other residents join me as we walk towards a lovely mansion

On the perimeter wall an invitation for all passers by

Come in. So we look and espy a beautifully manicured garden

We leave as we entered and continue south, past woods, lakes,

Streams and the occasional hare in distant pasture

Suddenly a grunt from behind startles us

As rider on horseback pass, the horse bows politely.

A chat to each other was opening doors

Allowing others into our lives sharing thoughts worries joys

By default God had put us there together and he comes in

We opened the door and let him enter.

Time to retrace our steps for dinner, to the bell for the grace and silent thought.

After dinner the final guided silence

Reveals Christ’s delight when we do!


The light is fading, the mist returning the door is closes

What a great day.

For now I rest and think of the cuckoo call in the wood

A welcome to Spring


Day 3

‘I have come that you may have life abundantly’ John 10.10

After egg for breakfast I walk again

Witnessing a nip in the air but at least it is dry.

I turn right on the road not left

It is a change to concentrate on the flora and fauna of the hedgerows

Not to pass houses but an old public footpath sign leading nowhere,

An entrance to a field blocked by an old antiquated wardrobe

Flat on its back filled with ivy, bracken and twigs

Is it meant to house something?

Suddenly the peace is disturbed

By the babble and clomping soles of joggers

Everybody friendly meeting a like-minded person in search of exercise

‘Good day for it!’ is their cry


I retrace my steps eyeing on route a possible bridleway to explore next

At the retreat centre I put my coat in the car

However, the walk is not over yet

I noticed two pregnant ewes awkwardly flat on their sides motionless,

The chef is alerted who kindly opens the gate and walks up to them close

As he looks they get up and walk on nose held high aloft.


The final words ‘I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly’,

The main emphasis of John’s Gospel

Receiving communion itself concluded all.

The taste of wine and wafer consumed

Shed for us so that we have life.

The spirit within makes me sing

‘O come to my heart Lord Jesus there is room in my heart for thee’.


After the mornings service and heavy bleating during prayers

The ewes have been moved nearer the farm

Sheep with tiny lambs replace them

The week old lambs springing about

The ones we observed at the start with

Flapping tails, fluffy bodies and spiky ears apart.

Who scamper back for mother comfort?

Yes what joy to know God’s love?

‘I will put my spirit in you and you will live. Ezekiel 37.14


Ruth Foxcroft



By Editor, Aug 15 2017 10:00AM

There are as many different ways of praying as there are people, and we all have our favourites. Vocal prayer can include offering up intercessions or praise, speaking the words of the daily offices, reciting a psalm or praying for another’s healing. Mental prayer or meditation engages the mind, to ponder gospel stories or a mystery of the faith. In discursive prayer we “have friendly communication with him who we know loves us”, and as prayer changes it can become that of the heart and devotion, the gift of contemplation and quiet. Some ways of praying we do together in church but others are private, when we go into our room and close the door.


From time to time, a parish in the diocese will offer to host a Week of Accompanied Prayer. These are a way of bringing support to the private places and sharing - appropriately - with others like us. The people who participate become ‘pilgrims’ during the week, and may be joined by others from neighbouring churches, other denominations, who also wish to commit themselves to their own personal prayer and to deepening their relationship with God. Some seek meaning in their lives, others wish to explore prayer through scripture or images. Some to learn new ways of praying contemplatively or just to give time to what they already know.


The difference between this and other times of prayer is that each pilgrim is accompanied by an experienced prayer guide, who meets with them daily. The team of prayer guides includes a range of people, men and women, of different denominations, some lay and some ordained. The role of the guide is to listen, to encourage and to enable you to develop, deepen and be supported in your everyday faith journey.


You start the week with an opening service for all the pilgrims and guides together. You meet your guide and some of your fellow pilgrims, perhaps share some of your hopes and worries about the week, and leave having something to pray with overnight. The next day and for each of the following four or five days, depending on the length of the ‘week’, you spend some time in prayer with the material your guide has given. You also meet with your guide for about 25-30 minutes to share your experiences, ask questions and discover what might bring you closer to God. Your prayer, more than normal, will influence your day. Your day may affect the way you pray. The intention and desire is that God will be revealed more and more in both. A closing service on the final day brings you together again with all the pilgrims and guides to give thanks and reflect on how the journey has evolved and what God has given during this precious time.


One recent pilgrim said “Life is very busy and I wasn’t sure about committing so much time to the week. It’s the best thing I’ve done in a long time, listening to myself, to God and it’s slowing me down . . . I intend to make some changes!” And another, “I do pray and I wasn’t sure what the week could give me . . . the help I received was so good, especially about stillness. Also, instead of always working out meanings in prayer, I found a depth of simply relating.”


“This was a most life-giving week, seeing how God is working in all I do and drawing me to a deeper trust and freedom to walk with God more closely.”


It is a privilege to join in one of these Weeks of Accompanied Prayer and experience firsthand the listening, the sharing, and letting God speak and act in us and through us. The Holy Spirit touches our lives, giving far more than expected, deeply healing us, refreshing us, enlivening us, bringing peace and calm, new direction and vision. It can be a rich and rewarding time that helps us find our own ways of praying and can change our lives.


If you would like to know more, there is much available on Internet, including a video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GO_WrOBXJuI, and look out for our own Cathedral’s Week later in 2017.


Anon






By Editor, Aug 13 2017 05:00AM


The iPad pings with message alert

Sophie has moved into flat with view

A photo of glorious sunset on Oxford skyline

You must see this. Come and visit

Arrangements are made to see new abode

Various items packed with gifts and card

A date is fixed for a long weekend Oxford bound.


Trinity Court sign glistens in the sun

In Cowley a town, once a car manufacture haven,

Bubbles up a new identity

We enter the car park

Deftly pressing code on awaiting key pad

In sombre grandeur barrier is lifted

Our car lies to rest at last, a time to cool down


Sophie and Sam appear in person

Guide us up steps to third floor

Door opens as key rattles asunder

Our eyes meet opposite window view for sure

There beyond outstretched horizon

Hills and spires of Oxford visible

Sun’s rays breaking forth from passing drizzle.


We walk through Cowley pass church, and precinct

And venture towards tiny residential streets

After a short while old flat is visited

Spent time with tropical fish in shop nearby

All species large and small represented

A long horned cow fish stole the limelight

Not at all streamlined, cuboid with tail flowing.


Our ultimate goal was Bannister café

Ripe for extension, service excellent friendly

A perfect place for lunch and chat

Found off Iffley Road its main highway.

On we wander towards the city

Places we recognise from earlier visits

Cross Magdalen Bridge to Radcliffe Camera.


We observe St Mary’s traditional Anglican interior

Thirteenth century carving, beetle battered

On to St Aldates into Alice in Wonderland shop

What had we eaten? Such a tight squeeze

Sophie keen to show St Aldates Church

No pews, just carpet space between relics of cross

And exhibition of bible and creation depicted.


By Folly Bridge we walk alongside the Thames

Cyclists mingle with weary walkers and dogs

Narrow tow path with varnished benches poised

Intercepted with city council logo on savoured bin

The opposite bank plagued with rowing club boat houses

We make tracks towards Cowley shops once more

Purchase a teapot and provisions before final rest in lounge


Teresa and Dan face timed and joined the party

Perfectly timed to coincide with Alice’s feed

Good to see three at home, with Alice in charge

Dan moved her lower lip expressing memories of family past

She settled, swaddled tight in sleep mode

Dan and Teresa free for chat

However, our meal was ready –call cut short for later.


Sam and Sophie prepare excellent meal

Salmon, potatoes, roast veg with salad garnish to start

A bowl of strawberries and new tea to taste followed.

Ending perfect day viewing Monty Python

Yet like Alice, our eyelids too become heavy laden

Artificial lights dominate skyline

The sunset has eluded us for sure.


River Day

After sharing bathroom and sizzling breakfast

A morning chat and lazy chill out

A need for fresh air beckoned despite clouds threatening,

Street art adorned brick walls once bare on Cowley Road

Attractive, colourful, impressively placed

People swarmed out of nearby mosque after prayers

A rich, diverse culture and nation noticed



We queued to hire a punt from Magdalen Bridge

Sam took the pole; I the paddle

Andy and Sophie to the front and rear of me respectively

Broke through the barrage of punters struggling

We made way underneath branches, bush and tree trunk protruding

Sandwiches eaten with duck and swan accompanying

Feathered guests disperse once crumbs consumed.


I grit my teeth tense with trepidation

As Sam exchanges with Andy punt wobbling.

Sophie takes over to guide us home

Quite an art through maze of inlets

Fortunately with map Sophie finds right bridge and turn

She skilfully reverses punt between others to moor

At Magdalen Bridge the ideal base for sure


With sea legs, we stride up to road level

Toward the covered market for tea with rock bun

Time to make tracks to the Trout for meal

Pass the station and find the Thames northbound

We follow the tow path and eye the deep water

A blue, green water reflecting sky

Of sombre grey clouds in sky, rain beckoning?


Cross Rainbow Bridge pass bathers to the Perch

A good stopping point for bird and us I think

On we trek towards the Trout

Viewing distant herd of cattle grazing

A few spots of rain hastens our pace

We’ve made it to enjoy magnificent meal

As darkness and heavy rain prevail outside


A taxi is called as once feel replenished

To take us via by-pass to front door of flat

We rested with film night of the prom s just finishing

Sam melted Brie and toast for supper

Andy and I had it cold with bread

What a perfect day we pondered

However, the sunset view had eluded us once more


Last Whole Day

The chink of spoon on cereal bowl echoed

Sam sets off early to start work

Sophie plans the walk after breakfast

Down Iffley Road to Rusty Bicycle for coffee

Back to roundabout where Iffley meets Cowley

Towards Head of River Pub Andy’s favourite

But we are intent to visit Botanical garden opposite


Gardeners would love the old walled garden

1640 border plants for medical and skin treatments

Amongst water gardens and fountain we explore glasshouses

Spectacular interiors full of the exotic

Alas heavens opened and manage to shelter

On dry part of bench under leafy tree

Then jostle between tourists to visit Pit Rivers


Between cast iron pillars and cast iron arches

Giant jaws, gnashing teeth bay down upon us

Dinosaur skeletons compete to thrill

And fill one with awe, eyeing our every move

Cases line the route full of fossils; the extinct Dodo

The most fascinating the bugs, flea and mosquito

Reserved and pinned down for prosperity


Cases brimming with all species of birds imaginable

Their song and flutter markedly absent

Yet a special exhibition distracts us

Away from ancient rocks and the fallen

To the development of the human brain from birth

At 65 there is an increase of gap between each lobe

That’s why connections are becoming vacant as the year draws closer


After the inevitable refreshment before closing time

We set off for Trinity Court in driving rain

Down Iffley Road and Cowley shops and church

So welcome was the comfortable flat

Face timing Teresa, Dan and Alice

Sophie prepared omelette, salad and magnum

Rain and cloud makes sure the sunset is as elusive as ever.


Day to go Home

Cooler air and better night sleep

Heralded sunshine breaking through thinning cloud

Short walk hinted to Oxford via Meadow

Met Isis Lock and pub adjacent boathouse

Idyllic country setting and popular

Pub eccentric, rustic in style

Old worn out couches and furniture of latter day present


We note the flora and fauna fringing

Tow path of the Thames northward bound

Geese, ducks and swan’s natter at Donnington Bridge

Startling bell of speedy cyclists and grunt of joggers

Keeping us alert ‘til Head of River Pub inviting

Food ordered this time and not disappointed

Sun strong in full force but cloud protected.


Later we pass Christ Church College its side entrance open

Swallowing long extended queue

Of the tourists groups who wish to visit

We avoid the area and in opposite direction

Down Long Walk round Christ church meadow in tranquil space.

On towards Holywell Road, the Radcliffe Camera away from the bustle

Back to Magdalen Bridge for choc chip with flake


Down Jackdaw Lane to tow path southbound on Thames

The skies dull, back to gather belongings

We bade our farewell. The car awaiting, packed

Once back in Epsom we ponder on excellent break

As evening approaches the iPad pings message from Sophie,

We‘ve just missed the once elusive glorious sunset

A photo of it is given to savour. Typical


R Foxcroft



By Editor, Aug 11 2017 04:00PM

Here are some photos of our sponsored cycle ride in May from Guildford to Brighton, together with two photos of the St Martin's and St Stephen's oxen that were bought at Lalibela market with the proceeds of the fundraising.




The 43-mile cycle ride took us the whole day, despite being a pretty flat, former railway track most of the way between Guildford and Shoreham. After negotiating the traffic around unbeautiful Shoreham docks, we were glad to see Brighton pier in the distance and know that a comfortable train would get us back home. The cycle way passes through lovely countryside, is well signposted and the surface is good for hybrid and mountain bikes. We would thoroughly recommended a section of the route or the whole cycleway for an active day out.




Thanks again to all who generously contributed to these two families' needs.


Laurence Impey





By Editor, Aug 9 2017 08:00PM

Saturday 01 July was a special day in the life of the Parish as this was the day when Chris Hancock was Ordained as Priest by the Bishop of Dorking. The service of Ordination happens within an overall Eucharistic setting.


Chris Hyde decided to organise a coach trip to the service and members of the congregations of both churches gathered at 8.30am on the forecourt of St Martins to travel together to Guildford. There were detailed plans for the trip, and it was a pleasure to be driven all the way from outside our Church to outside the Cathedral, without having to find somewhere to park. Fortunately traffic on the way down was light and we arrived in good time so that those who had missed breakfast could visit the Cathedral refectory for a cup of coffee.


Chris Hyde’s organisation skills also extended to providing us with reserved seating in the Cathedral, so that we could all sit together. Prior to the service starting we were able to marvel at the extent of the Cathedral refurbishment works that are now nearing completion. Although the scaffolding was still in place, we had a sense that in a week or two, we would be able to enjoy the Cathedral again in its full glory and as it was originally designed to be.


Whilst we were settling into our seats, Chris Hancock, together with the 15 other fellow Ordinands, was being taken through the legal preliminaries with the Bishop. This included his Oath of Allegiance to the Queen and his Declaration of Assent and Canonical Obedience to the Bishop.


And then the service started with a full procession of Cathedral clergy, choir, Bishops and of course the candidates as well. After the Bishop of Dorking introduced the service, the candidates for Ordination were “presented” to the Bishop by the Archdeacons. The Bishop then asked the Diocesan Director of Ordinands to confirm that the Candidates are of godly life and sound learning.


The service continued in the normal Eucharistic pattern with the Liturgy of the Word and the sermon, preached by the Revd. Libby Talbot, Associate Rector of St Paul’s and St George’s Edinburgh.

Following this, we came to the actual Liturgy of Ordination, which had a strong emphasis on prayer and the presence of the Holy Spirit. This led to the climax of the Ordination process when the Ordinands came forward and the Bishops laid hands on each in turn, together with the Clergy who were present to support each candidate.


The service re-joined the format of the Eucharist, with the Peace, Offertory and Eucharistic Prayer. Then at the end of the entire service, the Bishops led all of the newly ordained priests out of the Cathedral and onto the west terrace.


It was a wonderful occasion for all of us who were present to support Chris, and we had a definite sense that he was now setting out on the next chapter in his life. It was a privilege and pleasure to the present at this occasion and witness this important step that Chris has taken in his ministry.




After the photographs were taken, we re-joined our coach for the ride back to Epsom.



David Eggett




By Editor, Jul 2 2017 07:00AM

Can you help?


St Martin's Toddler Group is looking for additional helpers.


Can you spare a few hours a couple of times per month on a Thursday morning?


This would include helping with activities such as setting up and packing away play equipment and toys, craft and song time, and preparing and serving refreshments.


Your primary responsibility is towards the health, safety and wellbeing of those attending. As with all those volunteering, you will be expected to comply with the PCC's guidelines on safeguarding & the running of church groups - all relevant training will be provided.


Your time commitment will on average be 3 hours on agreed Thursday mornings during term time.


It would be desirable (but not essential!) if you have experience of working with children aged 0 - 4 years, however the most important quality is to be friendly and approachable to the children and parents / carers of those attending.


For more information speak to either Yvonne Parish after the 10am Sunday service (01372 743336) Or Carol Skelton on either 01372 724911 or 0777 9956102


Please feel free to share this post with anybody who you think might be interested.


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.


 

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