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Christ Church News
Celebrating 20 Years of Women's Ministry
Mother's Union - Everyone's Welcome
Let's Go Rambling
From the Pulpit
Last month we reached the high point of the Church’s year with Easter when we
celebrated the triumph of Jesus over death and sin. But there is still much for us
to remember with joy and thanksgiving.
This month we come to Ascension Day when we remember the bodily ascension
into heaven of Jesus, 40 days after his resurrection. This is recorded briefly in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke and in the Acts of the Apostles’ although no written record of the festival goes back earlier than the 5 th century it is believed that the Church celebrated this day from its beginnings.
Although Ascension is considered to be one of the major festivals of the Church, in recent years it has fallen out of favour. It occurs on a Thursday (29th May this year) and the BBC always used to play “Hail the day that sees Him rise” before the morning news programmes. Services were held both morning and evening and children were given permission to take time off from school in order to go to church. At one time the Church used to “beat the bounds” of the parish on Ascension Day, Church members would walk round the parish boundaries, marking the boundary stones with chalk and hitting them with sticks. This still takes place in a very few parishes and we did a form of this some years ago, prayer walking round the parish boundaries, but without any beating.
All that has now gone and for most people the day passes unnoticed. But it is a vital part of the Christian story. Luke tells us that after Jesus had gone into heaven the disciples returned to Jerusalem with great joy and were constantly in the Temple praising God. We might expect them to be sad because Jesus had gone from them, but they held to his promise that he would be with them always. Ascension Day was the curtain-raiser for Pentecost when the Holy Spirit would come to them and the Church would begin to spread across the known world. At Christ Church we will be marking Ascension Day with communion at
9.30 am. This will be in place of the usual Wednesday morning service.
On 8th May we remember Julian of Norwich, the mystic and spiritual authority, who lived from about 1342 to 1416. We know very little about her. Her name is taken from St Julian’s Church in Norwich where she lived in an anchorite’s cell.
At the age of 30 she had a serious illness and during it she had a series of visions of Jesus which she described in her book “Revelations of Divine Love”. Although Christ Church News Page 2 www.christchurchepsom.org.uk she lived in turbulent times – the Black Death, the Hundred Years War, various peasant revolts, her writings are full of hope and belief in God’s love “All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.” The Venerable Bede is commemorated on 27th May. He lived at Wearmouth and Jarrow from 673 to 735 and wrote about 40 books on nature, poetry, astronomy, lives of saints and history. He is often referred to as “the father of English history”. His bones are buried in Durham Cathedral.
And if you want to recall men of action, who better than John and Charles Wesley, whose day is on 24th May? In the eighteenth century John Wesley travelled round England on horseback, holding open air meetings and founding groups of Christians who became leaders in many social issues of the day including prison reform and the abolition of slavery. The brothers were the founders of Methodism and together they wrote many of the hymns that are still favourites today.
So this month we give thanks for a variety of people – contemplative, evangelists, historian and perhaps you may find inspiration in one of them. All were expressing their love for Jesus Christ, whose ascension into heaven we celebrate this month.
Pamela Buckingham Front Cover Photograph – Roger Morgan
Robert Burns Carol Jamieson rbt.burns@ cljamieson@ email@example.com btinternet.com btinternet.com Registered Charity No. 1127945 Contributors, please note that Christ Church News is uploaded to the Christ Church website for two months and therefore will be available via the Internet. If you do not want your article to be available via the website please advise the editor accordingly.
Christ Church News Page 3 www.christchurchepsom.org.uk Reports from the 6th April Annual Church and PCC Meetings (See also the draft minutes on the notice boards and the fuller summaries available on the PCC page of the church website) ====== Our Annual Church Meeting was held at noon on Sunday 6 April. 59 people attended to review the past year and plan for the one ahead. Key points from the various statutorily-required reports (most of which were published in advance of the meeting) are as below.
Following the usual annual update, the total on the Electoral Roll is now 209 – a net gain of three from the 2013 figure.
The 2013 accounts were formally approved. Thanks to slightly better than budgeted income and some savings on expenditure these showed a deficit of some £14,800 over the year – much less than budgeted, even though some £23,000 was spent on much-needed Hall improvements and other repairs and maintenance.
The main church budget for 2014 was formally adopted. Thanks to our reserves, we are able to absorb another substantial projected in-year deficit.
For the longer term, Christ Church needs to build up its financial base through individuals’ not only reviewing their giving but also making provision to remember the parish in their wills.
Christ Church on the Wells was pleased to have just celebrated its 25th Anniversary, and looked forward to the Autumn’s celebration of the more significant 20th Anniversary of moving from monthly to weekly services.
In the Vicar’s “review of the year” (full text available via the home page of the website), she reflected on the recent launch of the Call to Mission, the third strand of the three-year plan to renew the parish. Together with the continuing Call to Prayer and Call to Discipleship, we now had a firm foundation. The challenge for us all was prayerfully to discern how best to build on this over the next period – to develop a shared “20/20 Vision”.
The following elections and appointments were made at the meeting.
Churchwardens: Robert Burns and Carol Jamieson.
Lay representative on the Deanery Synod: Leslie Jamieson.
Lay representatives on the PCC: Denise Chamberlain, June Skinner, Ro Stretton and John Tregoning – who join the eight members continuing their rolling 3-year terms.
Christ Church News Page 4 www.christchurchepsom.org.uk Sidespeople: Jenny Breese (Senior) – plus Christine Abbott; David Blacoe;
Marilyn Brown; Margaret Carter; Malcolm Channing; Alan Frame; Sheila Frame; Margaret Johnson; Mary Jordan-Chambers; Michal Keefe; Peter Grint;
Richard Martin (underpinning the Wells’ appointment of him as their Senior);
Patience Morriss; Gordon Mylchreest; Maureen Roberts; Pamela Vonberg;
Simon Wade; Vivienne Wade; Jessica Walls; and Jane Ward.
Among the thanks to all those whose faithful service of many different kinds – and often behind the scenes – kept Christ Church going in good shape were particular thanks to Martin Shipton at the end of another five years in the important role of Churchwarden – the third of three such stints totalling 19 years over the last 34! We marked this with a presentation and awarding him the title of “Churchwarden Emeritus”. We also thanked the Vicar for her leadership of the parish over the year.
====== The PCC met immediately after the Annual Church Meeting, mainly to deal with essential housekeeping matters at the beginning of the new PCC’s year.
Composition: We began by noting the PCC’s composition for 2014-15, as below – where those asterisked had been (re-)elected at the Annual Meeting.
Clergy: the Revds Rosemary Donovan; Julian McAllen; and Sue Curtis;
Churchwardens: Robert Burns* & Carol Jamieson*;
Deanery Synod members: Berwick Curtis and Leslie Jamieson*; and Elected PCC members: Denise Chamberlain*; Alan Frame; Gill Glasspool; Lucy Healy, Ruth Grint; Richard Martin; Sue Matthews; Roger Morgan; June Skinner*; Ro Stretton*, Anne Sturton; & John Tregoning*.
Appointments: Among the various annual appointments were: Roger Morgan as PCC Secretary; Alan Frame as Treasurer; Pernilla Blunden as Assistant Treasurer; Mike Gittins as Electoral Roll Officer; and these Committees:— Business & Resources Committee, chaired by the Vicar;
Finance Group, chaired by June Skinner;
Premises Group, chaired by Jim Smith; and Missions Group, chaired by Anne Sturton.
Assistants at Communion: We appointed Jackie Brazier, David Narracott, Chris Purdy and Martin Shipton as additional Assistants at Communion.
Christ Church News Page 5 www.christchurchepsom.org.uk The Epsom Group Ministry: The recent retirement of Revd Michael Preston from St Barnabas and the continuing vacancy at St Martin’s have highlighted the issue of the future of the Group Ministry and how best for the three parishes to minister to the whole of Epsom. Following detailed consultation with senior representatives of the parishes, the Diocese had just proposed that the best next step is to disband the Group. We noted that the Group had never yielded the full fruit intended but that what all had gained from it could continue without the formal structure. Against that background, we agreed to accept the Diocese’s proposal for the Group’s dissolution.
Future meetings: PCC meetings for the remainder of 2014-15 are scheduled for:
16 June; 8 September; 10 November; 12 January; and 9 March – all Mondays at 8pm in the Hall. (Other meetings may, of course, be arranged as necessary.) Roger Morgan PCC Secretary
During the forty-day period before he ascended into heaven, it is believed that Jesus preached and intermingled with his apostles and disciples.
According to tradition, Ascension Day was first celebrated in 68 AD, however the first written evidence of the Ascension Day feast occurred in 385 AD.
Today, Ascension Day is celebrated primarily by Catholics and Anglicans.
According to Western Christianity methods of calculating the dates of Easter, the earliest possible date for Ascension Day is April 30th, the latest possible date is June 3rd.
Ascension Day celebrations include the following:
The Easter (Paschal) candle is put out.
There may be processions with torches and banners and fruits and vegetables may be blessed in church.
Ten days after Ascension Day is Pentecost (Whitsuntide) which commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples. Pentecost ends the cycle of Easter related events in the Christian Calendar.
Did you know?
Germany also celebrates Father's Day on the same date.
An old English tradition is that if it is sunny on Ascension Day, it will be a warm summer; but if it rains, it will a poor harvest and livestock will suffer from disease.
In Sweden people go into the woods very early in the morning to hear the birds at sunrise. It is said to be good luck if a cuckoo is heard from the east or west.
Christ Church News Page 7 www.christchurchepsom.org.uk Mothers’ Union Diary Dates & Jelly Babies ALL MEMBERS OF CHRIST CHURCH ARE WELCOME to our meetings, whether they be a Mothers’ Union member/non-member, male or female … please read this article to the end, especially if you are not a member!
In a discussion about Mothers’ Union, the universe and everything at our AGM in February, we agreed to alter the dates of some of our diaried daytime meetings to benefit those who are compelled to miss our usual Thursday slot due to regular commitments. We do want as many people as possible to have the opportunity to participate in the calendar of events, so please note our dates to the end of the year and update your diary. Where known, meeting topics are also confirmed. Unless otherwise stated, all meetings will take place
in the church hall. Deanery events are noted in italic:
At our April Meeting we considered the Christian significance of Jelly Babies and undertook a blind tasting to guess the colour (55 % success rate)! In March we were a little more studious, sharing a bible study based on Paul’s letter to the Galatians.
The Mothers’ Union is a worldwide Christian charity working with people of all faiths (and no faith) in 83 countries to promote stable marriage, family life and the protection of children through praying, enabling and campaigning. Just paying an annual subscription, £21.50 in 2014, and supporting the organisation in prayer is a fantastic contribution to all it achieves. Plus, we hold some informative and fun events … look out for Roger Morgan’s debut in September which is open to all!
If you would like to receive information about the Mothers’ Union or our meetings, please contact Gill Glasspool on 01372 741699 or at firstname.lastname@example.org Christ Church News Page 9 www.christchurchepsom.org.uk The Old Vicarage The first Christ Church (1843-76) was set up as a “Chapel of Ease” for St Martin’s, and operated under the wing of its Vicar, Bradney Bockett. To cater for the growing population in the area, that Chapel was replaced in 1876 by the present larger Christ Church, established as a parish church in its own right. As such, it needed its own Vicar – and, of course, Vicarage.
As there was no suitable house nearby that could be purchased, one was built, also in 1876. As shown in the picture below (kindly provided by Bourne Hall Museum), it was a very substantial building, standing on what is the main lawn of the current Vicarage. The cost was £2,799 – over 40% of the £6,589 it cost to build (minus the subsequently added South Aisle and Tower) Christ Church itself!
Christ Church’s first two Vicars (George Willes, 1876-1881 and Archer Hunter, 1881-1911) had private means and appear to have taken the significant upkeep of the Vicarage in their stride.