Category Archives: Vocation

Shh! It could be a vocation…

In which a member of the parish fesses up…

There is something I have been keeping quiet about over the past couple of years – my vocation. Shh! Don’t say that too loud. Someone might hear.

It has always seemed like a big word, a big deal, something other people had. I was willing to accept that we all have the vocation to be the person we were born to be and to be that in the fullest possible way. Actually, that is a pretty big deal, especially as so much can get in the way of that vocation. But over the past few years I have had a growing sense that part of following that vocation, part of living my life to the fullest, could mean being ordained into the church.

No. Not me. That was something that vicars did and vicars knew the answers and could explain the Trinity and always believed in God, and never swore. I didn’t know the answers, wasn’t sure that it mattered that the Trinity is inexplicable (in my opinion – see, I don’t know), and had days when I wasn’t sure whether God was just something made up to make us feel better or, far too often, feel worse. Though obviously I never swore….(just ask my colleagues).

And yet… I kept wondering and I kept being encouraged in this wondering by Alan and Lesley who seemed to think that I might be suitable vicar material (and vicars obviously know the answers so they must have had a point…). And before I knew it, somehow I was being referred to the Diocesan Director or Ordinands for the Diocese of Guildford, a delightful and perceptive man called Rev’d Canon William Challis who shared my sort of sense of humour. So began a series of meetings in which we discussed faith, the church (not necessarily the same thing) and laughed a fair bit. Meanwhile we were both doing some discerning.

I assumed that William would discern that I was not suitable material and we’d agree that this was not part of my vocation and I’d say a sad farewell, glad I had kept quiet about it as how embarrassing would that be if people knew I didn’t fit the criteria, or that I had even assumed I might have done?!

But we kept on, looking at those criteria for selection and discussing subjects such as faith, mission, leadership, spirituality, vocation. It was challenging but fascinating. References were sought and given, William came to visit the family, and it seemed that he thought I was suitable after all. Suddenly I was faced with going on a Bishops’ Advisory Panel, or BAP, three days of intense scrutiny with other potential ordinands by a team of assessors who would make recommendations about us all.

As the months that this process took progressed, several things became a little clearer. The first was that I could be a vicar and still not know everything – still have days of doubt, still be human, still be me. After all this is an opening up to God and being led by God, I am not expected to do it on my own.

The second was that ordained local ministry would be a better fit than having my own parish. This would mean I could stay in the parish here (hooray!) as part of the team. I would be part-time and self-supporting (ie. non-paid) so I’ll have to keep working elsewhere to bring in the money. That will be OK though as I am rubbish at boundaries I will need help here.

The boundaries issue was one of the points made in the report which came back from those BAP assessors who were really quite nice and not the Harry Potter dementors that I had envisaged. They also came back with a resounding yes! I start training next September on the Guildford Local Ministry Programme with a view to ordination in 2022.

The other thing that has dawned on me is that I am responding to a loving God. A separate, though intertwined, process has been going on over the past few years. With the help of those actually very wise and knowledgeable vicars here in the parish I have gradually been losing my perception of God as an angry taskmaster whom I could never please, and finding that God is a gracious outpouring of love for us all, a God who can help us step into our vocations and allow all of us to live our fullest lives.

Stella Wiseman

 

Situations Vacant

There are a number of jobs which have become vacant after a number of years work by a number of different people.  If you would like to know more about any of these roles please ask Alan or Lesley in the first instance.

Administration

We would like to build up an admin team to print the weekly paperwork and posters.  It could be shared across weeks or even within a week, and could be done on a Thursday morning while coffee is on.  Training in use of the computer and printer will be given.

There are also other admin tasks where help would be great – writing Baptism or Wedding Certificates, updating various spreadsheets – some weekly, some more ad hoc.

Electoral Roll Officer

This role involves keeping a list of those who have signed up to the electoral roll.  It is largely an annual job ensuring that the roll is up to date for the APCM in April, although there are occasional applicants during the year.  Every six years everybody has to reapply and this happens in 2019.  Full training will be given.

Magazine Advertising Manager

This is mainly an annual task and involves billing the existing magazine advertisers, asking whether they wish to continue, checking that the money has been received, and liaising with the editor to ensure that the correct adverts appear in the magazine.  There may be a small amount of work through the year if new advertisers are found.  Full training will be given, but there will also be the opportunity to shape the work to suit your skills and time.

Noticeboard Managers

We would like to build a team at each Church to keep the noticeboards, both internal and external, up to date.  Posters and documents arrive each Sunday in a brown bag and out of date posters need removing and new ones need putting up.  In addition the bag contains children’s colouring sheets, monthly news sheets and special orders of service which need putting out. Would you be willing to do this for your church?

Leading your Church into Growth

EVERYONE is invited to be part of the training sessions for Leading your Church into Growth – an exciting programme that will help all the congregations in the parish to grow. It is practical, simple, transformational and fun. Please put these dates in your diary, make it a priority and come along:

Saturday 21st April at St Mark’s 10:00 – 15:30 (though Hannah thinks it may not take that long). We will have pizza for lunch.

At St George’s at 7:30PM:

1st May – Our Focus

22nd May – Our Plan

5th June – Our Culture

4th Sep – Our Calling

25th Sep – Our Journey

16th Oct – Our Heart

At all Churches:

13th Jan – Celebration Services

Lesley Crawley

Young Preacher of the Year competition launched

The Diocese of Guildford has launched its first ever preaching competition for young people. Open to any young preachers with a connection to the diocese, the competition aims to encourage young people to give preaching a try, and to find creative ways in which we can hear the voices of young people.

The sponsor of the project, Bishop Jo Wells, the Bishop of Dorking, said: “I am delighted to launch ‘Young Preacher of the Year’ across the Diocese. It provides an opportunity for any young person aged 14 to 18 to have a go at preaching, and for others to discover budding preachers in their midst.

“Giving young people a voice and a very public platform is vital if we are to be ‘transforming church, and transform lives’ as we proclaim in our vision.  If you are aged 14 to 18 and think this might be for you, we’d love you to enter. All are welcome to enter regardless of experience or qualification.”

The prize for the competition includes both a trophy and the opportunity to preach from the highest pulpit in the area (well above sea level anyway) – the one in Guildford Cathedral.

Entrants must be in school years 10-13 in September 2017 (aged 14-18). Entry is simple – just record yourself preaching for 3-4 minutes on your mobile phone and complete the short entry form on the competition website. More information here www.youngpreacheroftheyear.co.uk

Closing date for entries is 5th November 2017. For a poster to display in your church or school see www.youngpreacheroftheyear.co.uk/poster

To find out more about the Young Preacher of the Year competition, contact organiser David Welch, Diocesan Youth Adviser, by email to david.welch@cofeguildford.org.uk

What’s a Prayer Co-ordinator?

Hello, I’m your Parish Prayer Co-ordinator. Now, I bet you didn’t know we have a Prayer Co-ordinator and perhaps you are wondering what I have been doing all this time. Prayer underpins our lives and the life of our parish. It is the way we communicate with God and it is often an individual matter between you and God. It is certainly NOT the role of Prayer Co-ordinator to interfere in any way with your personal prayer with God.

We have run sessions introducing new ideas to reinvigorate your prayer-life and this is something we could develop. You may have seen pop-up displays in church with photos, artefacts and thought-provoking quotations. Or perhaps you have missed them … they are designed to be a momentary, fresh display to inspire prayer and help you to ponder theological questions during the week. There will be more. They are part of my role: I am passionate about finding ways to get people creatively thinking about prayer.

My latest target in the parish is the Prayer Boards we have in St George’s and St John’s. The aim is to take the prayers made via these boards and present them during the Sunday service. They will be brought to the altar and blessed at the same time as the collection (not read out loud). From there, they will be delivered to me as Prayer Co-ordinator and I will ensure that they are prayed from Thursday till the following Thursday. I believe this scheme will ensure that people’s prayers are prayed and honoured both on the Sunday at the main service and during the following week.
Obviously, if there is a particular pastoral issue, I will relay that to the ministry team. We will be trialling this scheme for three months, starting on 1 October.

If you have any ideas or concerns about this scheme, or the prayer-life of our parish generally, please let me know.

Lesley Shatwell (LLM)
llm.lesley@badshotleaandhale.org

Looking forward to Priesting – My Story

Some thoughts from our curate, Hannah Moore, as she approached her priesting.

I had my call to ordained ministry twenty years ago. I had been recently married and was pursuing my teaching career. One Sunday as a knelt at the communion rail to receive communion I had a real sense of God saying, “Hannah one day you will do this.” My response was “oh okay” and then I put it to the back of my mind. I got on with starting a family, moving back to the UK from South Africa and setting up my own business.

Some fifteen years later, now with two children, I was approached by my local vicar and asked whether I had considered discerning a vocation to ordained ministry.

As he said it, I got butterflies in my tummy and felt electrified. The long forgotten memory from the altar rail came flooding back.

My circumstances twenty-three years ago were so different from today. Pursuing a calling to ordained ministry at that time would probably been easier as I only had myself and my husband to consider. I certainly would not have had to learn juggle as much as I have over the last few years – being a wife, a mother, my theological studies, closing a business, working in a church placement and starting my curacy.

However, I have to trust in God’s timing. He knew the right time for me to answer the call he had placed on my life, he understands the impact it has had on my family.
.
Not long after my ordination as a deacon last year, I was assisting at a funeral. I was walking in front of the coffin, leading the family to the graveyard when I had that “aha moment”. A sense of confirmation that I am doing what God wants me to do with my life. I was so excited in that moment that I wanted to do a Charlie Chaplin leap into the air but that would have been inappropriate, so I calmly lead the procession across the road.

The past year since my ordination as a deacon in the Church of England has been a time of learning and growing. I have been able to conduct funerals, baptisms and be involved in various other ministries in the Parish.

By being ordained a priest it will also give me the opportunity to journey with couples towards their wedding day. I am looking forward to performing my first wedding in August which should be a joyful occasion for everyone involved. As I continue my curacy as a priest I am looking forward to finding opportunities to engage with my local community on Sandy Hill and explore plans for extending the community engagement in St John’s Church in Hale.

I am excited and a bit nervous as I will be able to preside at communion. During a communion service the church remembers Jesus’ actions during the Last Supper. Jesus took bread and wine and shared it with his disciples, and he encourages us to continue to do this as we remember his death on the cross and his resurrection. I am looking forward to fulfilling a priestly role at the altar table which draws people closer to God as they remember Jesus actions at the Last Supper, his death and resurrection. In performing this role I believe I am fulfilling what was said to me all those years ago – “Hannah one day you will do this.”

I wanted to finish with a short reflection I have written since my ordination it is called:

‘Just About’

I don’t know about you but I live in a world of “just about.”
I am “just about” on top of my housework.
I am “just about” at the bottom of the ironing pile.
I am “just about” doing all the mum things I need to do.
I am “just about” spending enough time with my husband to keep our relationship safe.
I “just about” manage a weekly catch up with my family.
I “just about” manage to see my pre-ordination friends.
I “just about” play golf weekly to do a bit of exercise.
I have “just about” enough time and energy I need to fulfil my role as a curate.
And then, there are those moments that are “just about” GOD.
Without these valuable “just about” moments…… all the other “just abouts” would be impossible.
Maybe you are “just about” doing what God wants you to do but maybe you are not. Maybe he is calling to something completely different – you will never know unless you push at the door.

Introducing our LLM-in-training

 Hello from Wendy Edwards

A very big thank you, to all of you at St. John’s, for your warm welcome to me since I started worshipping with you on February 19th, 2017.  I look forward to worshipping at St. George’s and St. Mark’s over the summer and to gradually meeting you all.

I am approaching my final year of 4 years of training to be a Licensed Lay Minister and hope to be licensed in June 2018, God willing. I feel excited and grateful to Lesley and Alan that I am now joining the Ministry Team in the Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale.

I was born in Lincolnshire but we moved to Upper Weybourne Lane with my family in 1962 when I was 5 and we moved to Roman Way when I was 9. I attended primary and secondary schools in Farnham. I left home to live in Wimbledon when I was 18, worked in the law and taught Keep Fit classes and returned to Farnham recently, after 41 years away, to live in Oast House Crescent with my husband, Steve.  We have 2 grown up children and a young grandson. We are very grateful to live in such a beautiful, peaceful location.

Sadly, my mum, Jean Parratt, died on my 59th birthday last October. She was known to many of you for her Museum on a Shoestring talks, her work on the Farnham Diary and at Farnham Museum and her 10 books about Farnham.

Through my grief, I have found it heart-warming to benefit from the high regard in which she was held by so many Farnham people. The unique legacy she has left the people of Farnham has buoyed us up immensely and it has helped me to feel seamlessly included in the Farnham community which she loved so much.

I was a bridesmaid twice at St. John’s for my late Uncle Francis when he married Auntie Sally in April 1966 and for my Auntie Margaret and Uncle Geoff. Here is a photo of me at their wedding (I am the dark haired 11-year-old bridesmaid) with my late sister, Debbie (the younger, blonde, bridesmaid) on 25th January 1969.  I look a bit different now and don’t wear turquoise velvet much nowadays! I do look forward to chatting to you over coffee after a service in the coming months.

Best wishes, Wendy Edwards

Election Results 2017 (PCC not Country!)

At the Annual Church Meetings held on Sunday 30th April the following were elected:

Ex Officio
Lesley Crawley
Alan Crawley
Lesley Shatwell
Hannah Moore

Churchwardens:
Carol Le Page
Pamela Marsham
Bob Shatwell

Deputy Churchwardens:
Margaret Emberson
Maxine Everitt

PCC Members:
John Boas
Gemma Brown
Sylvie Burrows
Angela Hall
Kris Lawrence
Annie Thomas
Bill Thomas
Diana Thomas
Stella Wiseman

Co-opted Members:
Sarah Kay
Vicky Kidney

Other Church Officers

Secretary:
Gemma Brown

Treasurer:
Sarah Kay

Safeguarding Officer
Maurice Emberson

Electoral Roll Officer
Jennifer Paterson

Stewardship Officer
Peter Paterson

Celebration of Ministry and APCM

A date for your diary : Sunday 30th April at 6:30PM at St George’s Church Room. Come and join the celebration of all that is good and find out about aspects of life in our Parish with which you may not be too familiar. There will be cheese and wine to sustain you while you chat, look at photos and have fun. We have achieved so much in the last year and hope to do even more in the future. This will be followed at 7:30PM by the Annual Meetings.

We will be printing very few Annual Meeting booklets this year so please find it electronically here. Also, please find these documents by clicking on them:

2017 Agenda for Annual Parochial Church Meeting
2017 Agenda for Annual Meeting of Parishioners

2016 Minutes of the Annual Parochial Church Meeting
2016 Minutes of the Annual Meeting of Parishioners

Gemma Brown

PCC Secretary