There will be a service of healing and wholeness at St Mark’s on 23 September at 11:00. Please come along, there will be the opportunity to receive prayer and anointing with oil.
A Celtic Service
God above us – trees, birds and sunshine, stars and moonlight – God above us.
God within us – hope, tears and laughter, love and wonder – God within us.
A few weeks ago I was chatting with my son about the Celtic service at St George’s I was going to be taking part in, with Wendy Edwards and Dave and Helena Walker. As a joke – I think – he asked Is that where you paint your face blue and dance around with no clothes on?”
I said that was not what we would be doing and he seemed disappointed ! However it did make me think that other people may have similar ideas.
So to reassure everyone, on Saturday, July 14 at 5pm, 22 of us met in the garden of St. George’s for a Celtic Service. The weather and setting were just right.
Wendy led our worship beautifully with words and prayers, and told us how she found God at the bottom of her garden. Helena and Dave prepared an area for us do do various art activities, and brought a large Celtic cross they had painted.
We sang some familiar hymns and some new songs and sang The Lord’s Prayer to the tune of Auld Lang Syne.
Afterwards we all stayed to chat over refreshments of shortbread, Welsh cakes and homemade fruit bread, with tea and coffee.
It was a beautiful service. Thank you Wendy. I look forward to the next one.
PS And we did NOT paint our faces blue and dance around with no clothes on!
Last Wednesday (July 18) I and several others from the parish, had the privilege of being part of a ‘Rainbow Service’ at St Mary’s Church in Guildford, a communion service which celebrated diversity and in particular welcomed people from the LGBTI+ community, along with family, friends and allies.
The word ‘privilege’ is often used to describe people’s feelings when they have attended an event, so often used that it has become a cliché and I thought carefully before using it, but it really did feel a privilege to be part of a warm, joyful, colourful service which not only celebrated diversity but was also ground-breaking. There have been other such services in other places but this was, I believe, the first in this part of the Diocese of Guildford. It was also packed, and not just with Anglicans, for it was an ecumenical service. I don’t know who came from which church but among those I was particularly pleased to welcome were three from the Godalming Unitarian Chapel including the minister Sheena.
The word privilege is important here for another reason too. Those who identify as straight and cisgendered have been privileged in society, and LGBTI+ people have been at best marginalised and discriminated against. More than that they have often been persecuted, attacked, forced to hide themselves. In some places they are imprisoned, killed. Though in many countries society is much more welcoming now – we have equal marriage after all, though ceremonies cannot be conducted in the Anglican Church – discrimination remains and the church is in large part responsible. There were those I knew there who had experienced direct discrimination and humiliation from both church and society, and I knew just a few of the congregation.
During the service there were references to the wounds that have been and continue to be inflicted, but there was no sense of bitterness, simply an offering of ourselves to God and a joy that God welcomes us all here, now, as we are, and loves and celebrates us. The Confession included the words: ‘Forgive us when we don’t believe such love is true or possible, when we wonder how you could love us just as we are, when we forget our intricate construction, fearfully, wonderfully made, in your image! You know our hearts – and you love us still.’
There was joy, there was wonderful music, and there was colour, not least in the ribbons that we all wore and then tied to a huge circle of wool which we all held, before placing it on the altar, in the rainbow cloth in front of the altar, in the rainbow banner which until the night before had adorned St Mark’s in Hale, in the amazing rainbow cupcakes which a lady called Liz had made, in the installation celebrating and challenging us on inclusion which Lesley Shatwell had prepared, in the rainbow collages which Dave and Helena Walker encouraged us to make.
There was also talk, lots of it, with people lingering over nibbles, wine and those cupcakes, making friends, just feeling welcome. It was, as I said, a privilege and the first, I am certain, of many such occasions.
Come to St George’s on 8 July 11:30-12:15 for a special service and Teddy Bears’ Picnic. All teddies and other favourite characters very welcome.
Please come to St Mark’s on 17 June at 11:00 there will be an all-age service with an opportunity to thank God for dads. Free Mars Bars to say thank-you to all you dads!
Wendy is being licensed as an LLM and Craig is being licensed to this Parish at St Paul’s Dorking on 23 June at 17:30. All are welcome to attend, but we have been asked to inform them if more than 10 are attending for catering purposes. If you plan to attend, please would you let Alan know?
Please join us at the Rectory (25 Upper Hale Road) for a barbeque in the garden on 10th May from 6pm. Bring your own alcoholic drinks and meat. We’ll provide buns, salad and soft drinks. This is followed by a short Communion Service at 7:30pmin the garden for people of all ages.
There will be a service of healing and wholeness at St John’s on 26 April at 19:30 Please come along, there will be the opportunity to receive prayer and anointing with oil.
We’re having a party on 11th February to show that we love our church – come and join the party, we were going to have balloons and cake and the opportunity to ask any question you want to ask during the sermon. Please put it in the diary and make it a priority.