Praying with our feet and voices for the UN climate talks in Paris

At the end of November, world leaders will meet at the UN climate talks in Paris. It’s a crucial moment, as negotiators from more than 190 nations will gather to discuss a new global agreement on climate change aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 when current commitments run out.

The Church of England, Christian Aid, CAFOD and Tearfund have come together to organise a Pilgrimage2Paris ahead of the UN talks. The pilgrimage will start in London on 13th November and arrive in Paris on November 27. Inspired by their faith, pilgrims from across the UK will come together to call on world leaders to agree a fair, ambitious and binding climate change deal in Paris.

Revd Lesley Crawley, who is helping to organise the Diocese’s response to the climate talks said, “We have two great opportunities to pray for all involved in these crucial climate talks. On the evening of the 13th November, the pilgrims will be in our diocese, sleeping in the churches in Banstead before heading off for Crawley the following morning. Everyone is welcome to join them. You can simply cheer the pilgrims on, or walk with them some of the way – there will be stopping off points for coffee, lunch and tea. In addition, we are having a prayer vigil on November 28 at Guildford Cathedral from 4-5pm. This will be led by Bishop Andrew and will involve prayer stations throughout the cathedral. We will be joining our prayers with the prayers of thousands of others, of many faiths and across many nations.”

Anyone wishing to join the pilgrimage (for the Banstead–Crawley leg or more) can do so by signing up on the website http://www.pilgrimage2paris.org.uk. Please sign up even if you are walking only part of the route. To find out more know and to liaise about timings contact Lesley Crawley on 01252 820537 or revdlesley@gmail.com

What is Knitivity?

This year in the Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale we have decided to take our nativity on a tour around the parish and this year we have a ‘knitivity’ This consists of a knitted Nativity which is being knitted by anyone and everyone during October and November.

Knitivity is all about preparing during Advent for the celebration of birth of Christ. It is a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.Our knitted Mary, Joseph, donkey and other characters will begin their journey from one of the three churches on Advent Sunday – 29th November (we’ll let you know which church nearer the time!) and they will travel around the parish, staying in a different home each night during Advent, and at each home one of the sheep will be left. We hope that during the day they will turn up in some of the more public places within the parish, such as shops, schools and offices. We will chart their journey with pictures on our Facebook Page. Finally, all the sheep will be re-united at the Christmas Day services in church – 9:30am at St John’s, 10:00am at St George’s and 11:00am at St Mark’s.

The idea of ‘Knitivity’ is not only to remind us of the real meaning of Christmas within the parish and the community, but it is also an opportunity to share hospitality with one another in our homes, whilst remembering the joy of the incarnation of Christ. When the nativity set is passed from one to the other there is a prayer of giving the set and a prayer of receiving it.

If you would like to be involved, please contact Kris on 01252 327832/07876 204665 krislawr@aol.com

St George’s Vision Day

I only came to St George’s Vision Day part way through, but I thought it was a fascinating, honest and invigorating conversation, with children as well as adults contributing. Some of the pertinent questions were:

  • Are we really a community, a spiritual family, can we count on each other?
  • Does it really matter if we don’t know each other, if we enjoy the services?
  • What happens if we still haven’t found what we are looking for?

Truthfully, I think it was a difficult day – it is always hard when we ask searching questions. But I also felt it was cathartic, there was an unmasking, reality shone through – and it is in these places of honesty that we encounter God.

Ideas to take forward are:

  • drop the rota for Family Praise and the 10 O’Clock services
  • have more St G’s socials to get to know each other
  • get the youth involved in the services
  • have small groups at St G’s
  • do Questioning Faith at St G’s
  • buy some comfortable furniture for the St G’s room so we can meet there.

Ultimately, it is Christ who builds his church and so we pray that we will be built into the spiritual family we are called to be.

St Mark’s is hosting its first ‘Apple Day’

Celebrate the first fruits of the Hale community orchard from 10:00 until 11:00am on 11th October at St Mark’s Church, Upper Hale. The eleven trees in the orchard were each adopted by different community groups in Hale and have all thrived since they were planted in December.

The Reverend Lesley Crawley, a priest at the church explained, “We are delighted that our community orchard is bearing fruit and so we decided to celebrate! We will be having some entertainment including apple tasting and apple-y music and possibly dance. If that isn’t enough apply-ness there will be pancakes with apple filling to eat! There will be no religious element to the apple hour so come along if you have any faith or none and join in the fun. Afterwards, you are welcome to stay for the 11am service if you wish, there is also a bring-and-share lunch afterwards.”

John Ely, who has overseen the planting of the trees said, “We will bring a juicer, so if you would like to turn your apples into juice then bring apples that are in good condition, washed and picked from the tree along with clean two litre plastic milk cartons including the lid to put the juice in.”

TTT Sunday – Christian Stewardship

On 11th October at St Mark’s and on 18th October at St John’s and
St George’s we are having our annual TTT service – TTT stands for Time, Talents and Ten Pound Notes. I’m hoping they will be services that are filled with joy. Please do put the dates in your diary and come along as a priority!

What is Christian Stewardship?

Christian Stewardship is not a programme, nor is about raising money. Instead, it is part of our lifelong discipleship journey. We learn more and more about God’s calling on our lives and we learn how to open ourselves up in joyful generosity.

Stewardship is a way of life in which we regard ourselves and our possessions as being held on trust from God, to be used in His service. God has made us His stewards or managers of everything He has given to us: our time, our abilities, our possessions, our money, our whole lives.

Stewardship for Christians is not about giving so that the church can “make ends meet” but, rather acknowledging how generously God has given to us and then generously giving back to God and seeing His church grow as it is resourced for mission and ministry.

How can I know what my calling is?

Often others see our calling before we see it ourselves. But a good start would be to ask questions like:

– What gifts has God given me that might be used?
– What am I passionate about?
– Where do I long to see God act?
– What gives me energy?

When we use our gifts to do something that we are passionate about and it meets a need in God’s world then we have found our calling. It is very a very exciting journey! If you would like to explore this more deeply please talk to Alan or I – we love helping people to explore these things.

How should we give?

In 1 Corinthians 16:2, St Paul, encouraging the church in Corinth to give, said, “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income.” From this we see that our giving is:

• A priority: A first call on our disposable income. We give what’s right, not what’s left.
• Planned: We should plan and review our giving to God through the ministry of this Church on a regular basis, using Gift Aid if we pay tax and, ideally, giving by standing order.
• Proportionate: As God blesses us with all we have so our giving should reflect his generosity by us giving a proportion, a percentage of our income rather than a fixed amount. The exact proportion can only be decided through prayer and reflection before God. And, at the right time in our lives and having made adequate provision for those we love, we may plan to leave a legacy as a proportion of our estate.

The Church of England suggests that a good number to start with is 5% of our gross income – or 5% of our net income and give the tax back through gift aiding. This is not possible for some and for others it is too little. You will know through prayer what the right amount is for you.

What next?

Come to the services to celebrate God’s generosity to us. Review your calling to see what God has for you this year and review your giving. To find out more email Alan – reverend.alan@gmail.com or 01252 820537

Harvest Festival – a time to share

Many churches have a tradition of people bringing the ‘fruits of creation’ to the altar at the Harvest Festival service, thanking God for them and then distributing them to those who need them. In the Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale, the churches of St John’s, Hale, St Mark’s, Upper Hale and St George’s, Badshot Lea will be collecting food for the local Foodbank on 4th October at the Harvest Services which are 9:30am, 10am and 11am respectively.

The Reverend Lesley Crawley said, “Please come along and sing your favourite harvest songs and, if possible, bring some food for those who don’t have enough. We will also be taking a collection at the end of the service at the door for the Syrian refugees.”

The Foodbank are particularly in need of tinned meat, instant mash, tinned Sponge Puddings, powdered milk, chocolate, Long Life fruit juice, tinned fruit, biscuits, snack bars, tinned rice pudding, UHT Milk, sugar, tinned vegetables, tinned fish and toiletries.

Photo accreditation: Georgie Fry

A Concert to Help Save our Pipe Organ “Emily”

A concert not to be missed

This is a rare opportunity to experience a superb musical evening’s entertainment. On November 14th at 7.30pm at St. Mark’s there will be an organ recital by Stephen Lacey resident organist and director of music at St. Andrew’s Church Farnham. A choral repertoire will be provided by Sedici with musical director Valerie Hoppe MBE. They will be singing a range of music from Vaughn Williams ‘Falstaff and the Fairies’ and the ‘Wedding Chorus’, Chilcott ‘Thou Knowest Lord’, ‘The Silver Swan’ Orlando Gibbons through to more modern arrangements of ‘Putting on the Ritz’ & ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’. There will also be an interesting range of readings by a wide variety of authors from Noel Coward to Conan Doyle and J.M.Barrie to Kipling, all read by Rosemary Wisbey. Refreshments will be available during the interval.

There is no charge for this wonderful evening of entertainment but a retiring collection will be taken in aid of our pipe organ “Emily”. Please put the date in your diary and come along.

Why does Emily need saving?

Emily is a beautiful Edwardian pipe organ that is just over 100 years old. She is referred to as “Emily” after her benefactor – Emily Mangles. Sadly, she has been used very rarely over the past three years because after a century of service she is in need of a complete overhaul. The “action” which links the keys to the pipes has become sluggish, the leatherwork is failing and the wind noise from the leaking wind trunks is detracting from her beautiful tone. The time has come for us to restore her.

St George’s Vision Day

If you attend St George’s Church, however infrequently then we need your help. Please come to the service at 10 am at St Georges on 27th September, Steve Cox from the Diocese will be preaching. They stay on for the Vision Day. The aim is to look at what we need to do to improve congregation attendance and engagement. We will work for 1 1/2 hours, have a short Bring and Share Lunch and work for another hour, finishing by 2:30. Your thoughts and ideas are vital so please make this a priority.

Hale rocked to the sound of the Parish Fete

The annual Fete of the Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale went with a swing this year as ‘60s music rocked the Rectory garden. New this year was the DJ Jim Flanagan who had stall holders and customers dancing and singing, interspersed with some lively banter. Over £2000 was made to continue the community outreach work of the parish.

The Reverend Lesley Crawley said, “It was brilliant fun and a lovely community day. It was also an important fundraising event for our community work. We do work in the parish in many and varied ways; we care for those who are alone or have been bereaved, we have a Families Worker for mums and dads who need some support, we have clergy and lay people for those who need a listening ear. There are too many volunteers and community groups to list and they couldn’t continue their work without this fundraising.”

She continued, “I’m so thankful to Bill and Mavis Leach and their team for running the fete over the last few years. I’m also thankful that Maxine Everitt will run the fete next year. The DJ is already booked – I suspect he’ll be even more audacious – I can’t wait!”

Photo is of Maxine Everitt, one of the churchwardens at St George’s Church, Badshot Lea, with “Lucy” the St George’s Dragon. Photo accreditation – Georgie Fry