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    • Catalyst THE MAGAZINE OF HAYES FREE CHURCH (U.R.C.) Final preparations for the Christmas Fair on 9th November 2013. December 2013 January 2014
    • HAYES FREE CHURCH 111, Pickhurst Lane, Hayes, Kent BR2 7HU Sunday Services. 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m. We are a member of the United Reformed Church. We believe in Justice and Peace. Principal Contacts Minister: Church Secretary: Fabric Steward Rev. Sue Powell Mrs Mavis Righini Mr. Chris Wood Tel: 020 8462 2212 Tel: 020 8462 1168 Tel: 020 8462 2444 Treasurer: Lettings Secretary: Mr. Simon Narracott Mrs Undine Connolly Tel: 020 8462 2004 Tel: 020 8776 0108 Caretaker: Mr. Ian Jones Tel: 020 8313 1556 Church Website www.hayesfreechurch.com Catalyst Editor: Mr Richard Brown Contents : - Items not covered by the diary of events. Sunday Services 2 Church Notices 3-5 Notes on visiting preachers 3 A Quote 4 How wrong you can be 6 Christmas Tree Festival 7 Christmas Fair & Charity Card Sale 10 The Nation’s 10 best hymns 10 Season’s Greetings 11, 14 Notice Board Three Christmas stories Website of the month and competition Extra Notice Board URC Moderator’s letter The way things once were Things you never hear in Church Church Organisations 12 - 13 15 16 - 17 18 - 19 20 - 21 21 24 IBC This month’s website: The website of the month is the one from which material will be drawn for "The Way Things Once Were" over the next year. This link will take you to the home page - www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/about Now, turn to Pages 16 & 17 for more details of the website, and of a competition........ Ed Copy for the February 2014 edition needs to be handed in by Sunday, 12th January. Please submit items in good time. You can leave copy in the “B” Pigeon Hole for Richard Brown to collect, or hand it directly to him on a Sunday morning. You can also e-mail copy to richardmbrown6@gmail.com Thank You. Editor
    • Letter from the Minister Dear Friends, Christmas! Do you remember the excitement? In those days before ‘political correctness’ came into being… I refuse to purchase cards with the words ‘Seasons Greetings’ or ‘Happy Holiday’. We are celebrating Christmas –the celebration of Christ’s birth. So many people in our multi-cultural, multi-faith society feel the need to protect others from ‘insult’ when our Christian country celebrates its faith. Yet Muslims and Hindus and others are happy not only for us to celebrate, but to join in. In her first Christmas as Conservative Party chairman, Baroness Warsi had been upset to discover that the proposed official chairman’s card had no mention of Christianity – so she binned it and replaced it with a ‘proper traditional card, with Merry Christmas on it’. She insisted that, for her, there was no contradiction between being a devout Muslim and celebrating Christmas. Dr. Rowan Williams said: “The weary annual attempts by right-thinking people in Britain to ban or discourage Nativity plays or public carol-singing out of sensitivity to the supposed tender consciences of other religions fail to notice that most people of other religions and cultures both love the story and respect the message.” It’s far more likely to be people of no faith who are flying the flag for political correctness! We seem to spend too much of our time and energy lamenting the “politically correct” brigade instead of focusing on our own spiritual preparations for the season. In the words of the old song, we need to “accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.” Every peace-loving Christian and congregation could do with showing more unconditional love. Instead of judging others and condemning others, we need to get alongside others, and seek to understand them and love them. After all, that is what our God did when he came as a vulnerable child into our dark and sinful world, one cold winter’s night in Bethlehem. What he did for me and for you, we need to do for others or else we lose all credibility in the eyes of the world. May you all enjoy a blessed Christmas. 1
    • Sunday Services December 2013 1st 10.30 am - Morning Service - Jim Holman 6.30 pm - Evening Service - The Minister with Pickhurst Junior School (No Holy Communion) 8th 10.30 am - Parade & Gift Service - The Minister 6.30 pm - C.T.H. with musical accompaniment by musicians from Hayes School 15th 10.30 am - Morning Service - Margaret Smith with puppet 6.30 pm - Carols by Candlelight - The Minister 10.30 am - Nativity by the Brownies & Holy Communion The Minister 22nd 6.30 pm - Evening Service - Pastor Roy Powell 29th 10.30 am - Joint Morning Service - at Beckenham United Reformed Church There will be no Evening Service. January 2014 5th 10.30 am - Morning Service - Rev Geoff Larcombe 6.30 pm - Holy Communion - The Minister 12th 10.30 am - Morning Service - The Minister 6.30 pm - Evening Service - The Minister 19th 10.30 am - Morning Service - John Cox 6.30 pm - Evening Service - The Minister 26th 10.30 am - Holy Communion - The Minister 6.30 pm - Evening Service - David and Alison Hawthorn February 2014 2nd Candlemas Day 10.30 am - Morning Service - Margaret Smith with puppet 6.30 pm - Holy Communion - The Minister See the facing page for notes on the visiting preachers. 2
    • News of the Church Family Announcements are welcome :BMD - Changes of address, etc. Contact details v Helen Hebbes has moved to Glebe Court, Glebe Way, West Wickham, BR4 ORZ v Jenny Carr's e-mail address is :-jennyc_carr@hotmail.com Your prayers would be appreciated for: Marjorie Curry, Ruth Rees, and Jessie Martin. Church Meetings The next Elders’ meetings will be on Wednesday, 11th December 2013 at 7.30 pm, and Tuesday 7th January 2014, at 8.00 pm in the small hall. The next Church meeting will be on Sunday 26th January at 12.00 noon after the morning service. Women's Contact Group The Contact Group will NOT be meeting in December. In 2014, we will meet on 6th January at Joan Cook’s home - 12, Broadoaks Way, and then on 3rd February at Jenny Carr’s home - 152, Langley Way. Meetings start at 8.00 pm. Sylvia Mack Some notes on the visiting preachers. v Jim Holman is a Methodist preacher. He has led services at HFC in the past. v Mrs. Margaret Smith is a Methodist Lay Preacher. She has led services at HFC on a number of occasions. This time, she will be accompanied by a puppet. v Pastor Roy Powell is a Lay Preacher at Camberwell Green U.R.C. – as well as being Sue’s husband! v Revd Geoff Larcombe is a local representative from the Bible Society. He spoke at the Bible celebration supper in the spring of 2011. v John Cox is known to us, having conducted services at HFC in the past. v David and Alison Hawthorn are members of the HFC congregation. David has contributed articles for Catalyst. They are taking the lead in two groups at HFC. 3
    • Tuesday Prayer Meetings for December and January Held at 10.00am at the following homes:3rd Martin Nunn’s. 10th Betty Coster’s. 17th Brenda Cordingley’s. 24th & 31st There will be no meetings. January 7th Martin Nunn’s. 14th Betty Coster’s. 21st Brenda Cordingley’s. 28th The Church. Then in February: 4th Martin Nunn’s. NOTE: Double check these arrangements in the Sunday Link sheets. Please address any queries to Martin Nunn. Saturday Fellowship We will NOT be meeting in December. The next meeting will be on the 4th of January, 2014 at 2.30pm at Barbara Jones’ home. Martin Nunn will be leading a Bible Study. You are welcome to join us. Men's Group Our next meeting will be in the small hall on Thursday 17th January at 8.00 pm for a New Year’s Feast organised by Bill Bowman. Ministry of Flowers Thank you to those who will be providing flowers over the next 2 months. December 1st - Doreen Hobbs 8th - Kay & Tony Atkinson 15th - Margaret 22nd - Janet & John Moren i.m.o. Nell & Syd Williams 29th - Gill at Beckenham URC 5th - Gill & Chris Wood i.m.o. Matthew January 12th - Mr & Mrs Yonge 19th - Ruth White i.m.o. Her mother 26th - Amanda & Jason Matthews i.m.o. Baby Sasha A big thank you to those who kindly arrange the flowers when needed. After the Sunday evening services, the flowers are distributed to members and friends, bringing joy to the recipients. Mavis Righini Being kind is much more important than being right, for sometimes all a person needs is not a brilliant mind that speaks, but a patient heart that listens. Unknown 4
    • Hayes Mothers’ & Toddlers’ Club We welcome all babies and children under school age, accompanied by their parents, grandparents or carers, to our club on Friday afternoons between 2 and 4pm during term time. The fee is £1 per family – tea, squash and biscuits are provided. This is a time when adults can meet up, while the children in their care are busy playing with toys and activities in the company of other children. Our CHRISTMAS PARTY and last meeting of term is on December 6th at 2.15pm Tickets priced at £2.50 per child must be bought in advance! Our first meeting for 2014 is on January 10th at 2.00pm May we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!' We look forward to seeing you. Judith Stoner - Secretary. Bible Study Group The Bible Study group meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month at 2.30pm in the small hall. Please note we will NOT be meeting on the 26th of December. Worship Group The Wednesday Reflections Group meets at 6.30pm on the 4th Wednesday of each month. Please note we will NOT be meeting in December. Linda Michie Notice Sheets - December, January & 1st Sunday in February December 1st & 8th 15th & 22nd 29th January 5th 12th & 19th 26th February 2nd Brenda Cordingley Pam Collison Joan Smith 8462 3867 8658 0748 8462 3920 Joan Smith Daphne Cummings 8777 2487 Brenda Cordingley Brenda Cordingley If you require items to be included in the notice sheets, please contact the appropriate person by the previous Tuesday. 5
    • Women's Fellowship M eetings are in the small hall at 2.00 p.m., unless otherwise stated, on Tuesdays and finish about 3.30 p.m. The December meetings will be: 3rd Emmanuel Women’s Fellowship Tea. (Pick up from HFC) 10th Christmas Party. The January meetings will be: 7th No meeting 14th Holiday stories / Favourite Greeting cards / Reminiscences 21st Australian Afternoon - Betty Coster 28th Holiday Slides – Mary Moore The first meeting in February will be 4th Mavis and Ken Baker – a musical interlude MINI-AMBULANCE Members who use the mini-ambulance are asked to phone Marion Swanborough on 8462 3981 by 9.00 am on any Tuesday when they are unable to come to the meetings. As always, we welcome all ladies to our meetings. Please come along for a pleasant afternoon. We do have a very varied programme with plenty to interest everyone. Sue & Marion How wrong you can be British people overestimate the number for Muslims in the country by a factor of five. In a survey of 1,015 adults by Ipsos Mori for King's College, London, those who took part said, on average, that 24% of the UK are Muslims. The actual number is 5%. They did even worse on teenage pregnancies, estimating 15% of teenage girls get pregnant each year, which is 25 times the correct answer of 0.6%. And still worse on benefit fraud: they estimated 24% of benefit money is claimed fraudulently, when the true figure is 0.7%. They thought that 26% of the population are immigrants, which is twice the true figure; and that 30% are black or Asian, when the right answer is 11%. 6
    • Women’s Contact Coffee Morning There will not be a coffee morning in December. We will be holding the next coffee morning in the Small Hall from 10.00am to 12.00 on the 11th of January, 2014. In February, the coffee morning will take place on the 8th. We are continuing to raise monies to contribute to disaster relief funds in different parts of the world. We hope to see you at the Coffee Mornings, and why not bring a friend? Please note that the monies raised from the coffee mornings are separate from those raised through the refreshments trolley after Sunday morning services. Barbara Jones The Fairtrade Sunday Stall We hold a fair trade stall after the morning service on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month. In December the stall will be held on the 8th and the 22nd. In January the stall will be held on the 12th and the 26th Please continue to support your fair trade stall. Thank you. Richard and Barbara. CHRISTMAS TREE FESTIVAL 2013 Can you Help? -------------A number of our blind friends from KAB wish to attend the concert to be given by the Beckenham Concert Band. Would you be prepared to give a lift to the Christmas Tree Festival on the evening of Saturday 7th December for them: q A lady plus guide dog from Mayfield Avenue, Orpington q A gentleman from Darwen Close, Farnborough q Two ladies from Hawes Lane, West Wickham q A lady from Eden Way, Eden Park. Please contact John Moren if you can give a lift. 7
    • THE COMPASSIONATE FRIENDS ARE HOLDING THEIR ANNUAL SERVICE OF REMEMBRANCE FOR BEREAVED PARENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES AT HAYES FREE CHURCH, PICKHURST LANE, HAYES ON SATURDAY 21st DECEMBER AT 6.00 P.M. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT GILL WOOD ON 0208 462 2444 REFRESHMENTS WILL BE SERVED AFTERWARDS 8
    • HAYES FREE CHURCH CHRISTMAS TREE FESTIVAL IN AID OF KENT ASSOCIATION FOR THE BLIND FROM FRIDAY 29th NOVEMBER to SUNDAY 8th DECEMBER The Festival will be open each day from 2.00 pm from December 2 to December 7. The Church will be open at service times each Sunday (10.30 am and 6.30 pm) Programme of Entertainment for the Festival November Friday 29th Opening Concert 7.30 pm Saturday 30th Film The Snowman 2.30 pm Followed by Tea for Children Saturday 30th Film It’s a Wonderful Life James Stewart and Donna Reed 7.30 pm December Sunday 1st Pickhurst Junior School 6.30 pm Monday 2nd Bishop Justus School 7.30 pm Tuesday 3rd Friends of the Allegri Singers 7.30 pm Wednesday 4th Wandle Ringers 7.30 pm Thursday 5th Orpington Rock Choir 7.30 pm Friday 6th Christmas Quiz 7.30 pm Saturday 7th Beckenham Concert Band 7.45 pm Sunday 8th Churches Together in Hayes with musical 6.30 pm accompaniment by the musicians from Hayes School Admission charges: All money raised will go to THE SNOWMAN - Children £2.00 the Kent Association for Adults £4.00 the Blind IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE Adults £4.00 HAYES FREE CHURCH CHRISTMAS QUIZ - £2.00 per Person 111, Pickhurst Lane (Bring your own drinks & nibbles ) Bromley BR2 7HU Tables of 8. Form a team or we will www.hayesfreechurch.com make up a team if you are on your own. Tickets for the films and quiz from John Curry Tel: 020 8249 3663 Cheques should be made payable to: HAYES FREE CHURCH TREE APPEAL 9
    • CHRISTMAS FAIR AND CHARITY CARD SALE Let me start on behalf of Pam, John Curry and myself by thanking everybody involved before, on the day and those who helped clear up afterwards. Once again our usual hard working stall holders did the majority of the work for which we give them great thanks, but to me the success of our Christmas gatherings proves one thing, we as a church work well when we pull together. It is so rewarding to see all of your smiling faces, in both halls and with approximately 600 people coming through the door on what was a pretty awful day (weather wise), it kept our gallant ‘kitchen kings’ on their toes, culminating in an amazing £2,200 being raised on the day. It was good that ‘the charities’ had a reasonably good day, and although charity cards are available from so many outlets these days it is no surprise that takings were slightly down, but all the time ‘the charities’ are keen to have stalls in our church, I feel we should welcome them. So thank you all again and any constructive recommendations on how to improve next year would be gratefully received. Chris Wood THE NATION’S 10 BEST HYMNS On Sunday 27 October Songs of Praise had the Big Sing from the Royal Albert Hall when the Nation’s 10 best hymns were sung. They were:10th 9th 8th 7th 6th 5th 4th 3rd 2nd 1st The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended Make me a channel of your peace. Guide me O thou great Jehovah Abide with me; fast falls the eventide. And can it be that I should gain Here I am Lord Dear Lord and Father of mankind Be still for the presence of the Lord In Christ alone How great thou art 10
    • Catalyst Needs You! This page will be kept for YOUR contributions - NOTHING ELSE will go on this page. Hopefully, you will be inspired to share some pictures, poetry or stories. etings s Gre ason' Se We send Christmas Greetings to everyone in Hayes Free Church and best wishes for a peaceful New Year. Ann and David Watson Christmas Greetings and Best Wishes for the New Year to everyone at HFC. Our sincere thanks, too, for the warm welcome you have given us. Kate and Philip Sheardown To all in Hayes Free Church Wishing you a happy and peaceful Christmas Love from Daphne To all my friends in my Church family with best wishes for Christmas and the New Year. May we continue to reach out to each other in love & share Peace and Tranquility of the Holy Spirit within our Church. X Jean Ritchie Continued on page 14 . . . . . . 11
    • NOTICE HFC CHRISTMAS POST -------------It was agreed at a Church meeting earlier this year that it was an unnecessary expense to send cards to people that we see every week. In these austerity days it was felt that this was a sensible decision. Therefore there will be NO Christmas Post this year. However, it was agreed that we could send a card to all our friends at the church and that the card will be displayed at the front for all to see. It was also agreed that we would make a contribution to a charity, as usual, in lieu of postage. The chosen charity will be decided at the November Church meeting. The November Church meeting will also decide which charity will benefit from the collection on Christmas Day. John Curry 12
    • BOARD Do come to “A CHRISTMAS CRACKER” Performance At Bromley Central Library On Thursday 19th December 12 Noon to 2.00 pm Tickets £5 from Enquiry Desk And with refreshments. It is the last performance this year, directed by Adrian Boynton, and it’s always excellent. Saturday 14 December 2013 Due to their previous success the Bromley Rock Choir are returning to Hayes Free Church, this time to raise funds for our friends at Nash College which relies on charity to carry out their very worthwhile work for students with disabilities aged between 17 and 25 years The gig will start at 8 pm and tickets are available from Margaret Tannock @ £10 which will include mulled wine and mince pies. If you didn't come the last time let me encourage you to support this fund raiser. Thanks Margaret 13
    • tings Gree 's eason S . . . . . . Continued from page 11 Merry Christmas and Happy 2014 to all at HFC Judith and David Stoner Best Wishes for a Very Happy Christmas and New Year To all my friends at H.F.C. Thelma Baggs Our best wishes to everyone at HFC for a Merry Christmas And a peaceful and prosperous New Year from Richard & Flora Brown 14
    • From the Forums There is a family friendly forum dedicated to iPad users. The forum covers technical and social topics. There is one discussion thread called “Everything to do with Christmas”. These are two posts from that thread..... Our family has three Christmas traditions 1) We open one gift on Christmas Eve and discuss how we think that gift will change and/or affect our daily life. 2) The eldest family member present reads "'Twas the night before Christmas" just before bedtime. 3) Christmas dinner is not complete without some type of candy scattered around the table - between the dishes. It's usually M&Ms or gummy bears and serves as both afters and decoration for the table. I'm not sure how or when these traditions started but I remember them since I was a kid. The Christmas Pudding I have just recalled the year that my mother decided to buy a Christmas pudding in a can (tin). She had never bought one before so had to read the heating instructions on the label which called for heating the can in boiling water. My dad was just about to take a sip of his scotch when there was such a BOOM that he ended up throwing the glassful in his face. He was yelling in agony with neat whiskey in his eyes, my mother was frozen with shock at the noise as we kids headed off to find the source of the explosion. Well.....there was Christmas pudding all over the kitchen walls, floor and ceiling along with shrapnel from the can. She had missed the instruction to pierce the can before heating! Oops... From the Lincolnshire Family History Society Journal Feb 2013 ---------------------------------- DRAKARD'S STAMFORD NEWS Friday 3rd January 1834 'GOSBERTON: On Christmas Day the Choir of singers connected with the Parish Church of Gosberton were desirous of exhibiting their vocal powers by singing an anthem on the Nativity of Christ. but as permission to do so was peremptorily refused by the Clergyman, the whole choir took up their instruments and books and left the minister and congregation to learn the value of their services by the loss of them!' 15
    • Website of the Month The First World War Poetry Digital Archive There are 2 main sections; the First World War Poetry Digital Archive, and the Great War Archive . Both sections contain a variety of items which relate to WW1. Two examples of memorabilia are shown here. The following wording has been taken from the website. The First World War Poetry Digital Archive (based at the University of Oxford) made available to the general public a wide array of archival resources relating to literature of the First World War. Building on the success of Oxford's 'Wilfred Owen Multimedia Digital Archive', and the 'Virtual Seminars for Teaching Literature' project (1996), this multimedia digital archive contains archival resources from other major British poets of the First World War plus images, text, audio and video of primary contextual materials. The archive was one of 22 projects funded by the JISC Digitisation programme (Apr 2007 - Mar 2009) delivering high quality online content for use by the UK further and higher education communities. Further work was made possible through the JISC Enriching Digital Resources Programme (Oct 2008 - Sept 2009). There can be no doubt about the widespread popularity of war poetry, and First World War poetry in particular, in literature and history courses across the country. It is taught in most universities, FE colleges and, of course, at school level. It also continues Item A to attract considerable public attention due to the cultural importance of the period for modern day Britain, and the way it shaped attitudes to warfare. The Great War Archive A Community Collection The development of The Great War Archive has enabled the remote contribution of digital objects to the collection, thus releasing material which Item B Continued on Page 17 .... 16
    • .... Continued from Page 16 up to now has been stored by individuals but inaccessible to scholars. …. Because of the chronological proximity of the First World War, many people hold personal items to do with the war that they have been happy to share via a straightforward licence. …. In total over 6,500 items were submitted to the archive, all of which are now freely available online in the Great War Archive. Fully aware of the educational significance of this archival collection, in conjunction with teachers and lecturers the project has developed a rich education area for both educators and learners. …. Visitors to the archive can create their own annotated trails through the archive for others to use …. and also map historical and archival data using the site's interactive timelines. Beyond the Archive One of the things that makes this resource so rich is the community surrounding its webpages. …. From time to time we may run workshops for educators and other special events. -----------------------------------Item A is from The Great War Archive, University of Oxford (www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa); © James Mottershaw Item B is from The Great War Archive, University of Oxford (www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa); © Laurie Thomas ------------------------------------ The Competition There are 2 prizes on offer. One prize is for those who can work out what the 2 items are, but don’t have access to the Internet. The questions are: 1) What is Item A and whose name is associated with this item? 2) What is Item B? The other prize is for those who can answer the following questions by checking through the website. 3) How many images are associated with the first item? Item A 4) Who contributed the image for the second item? Item B Answers must be received by the editor in writing, or by email before the 12th of January press date. Winners will be announced in February’s edition of Catalyst. Good luck. Ed 17
    • extra NOTICE Commitment for Life The choice is yours It is now that time of year when your commitment for life envelope is attached to your copy of Catalyst. The season of goodwill is fast approaching, and events which have been reported during 2013 will surely test our strengths and compassion. FURTHER INFORMATION FROM CHRIS WOOD ON 0208 462 2444 Heart Start Some of you may remember the 'Staying Alive' TV advert last year with Vinnie Jones. This formed part of a campaign called HeartStart run jointly by the British Heart Foundation and the various ambulance services. The campaign aims to increase awareness of how to treat someone who is having, or has had, a heart attack. The training involves a single session, after which you will receive a certificate of completion. No prior first aid experience is required. I will be running a number of sessions in the new year, dates to be confirmed. If you are interested in attending one of them, please contact me to register your interest. Tom Strachan 22nd Bromley Explorer Scout Leader thomassstrachan@hotmail.com Tel: 07745 813295 18
    • BOARD extra Subscriptions for Catalyst Subscriptions for 2014 are due in December. The cost is £6 if you wish to receive Catalyst via the pigeonholes at the back of the church. Please let Judith or David Stoner have this amount as soon as possible. If you wish to have the magazine sent by post, the cost is £11 and you should send your subscription to: Judith and David Stoner 113 Bourne Way Bromley BR2 7EX Cheques should be made payable to Hayes Free Church. It would be helpful if subscribers who no longer wish to receive Catalyst by post would let us know. If you would like to receive Catalyst on-line, you will not have to pay a subscription. Kindly email the editor if you wish to use this service, and advise Judith & David of this. Music to the ears Martin’s niece, Jenny Nunn, has produced a professional recording of some of her most recent songs. It is a beautifully moving performance including keyboard, violin, flute and clarinet. Copies of the CD are available from Martin Nunn at the special price of £10 (normally £11.50). 19
    • Southern Synod 7nbsp Synod office East Croydon URC Addiscombe Grove Croydon CR0 5LP Telephone 020 8688 3730 Fax No 020 8688 2698 Website - www.urcsouthern.org.uk 12t h November 2013 Dear Friends, The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in the land of deep darkness on them light has shined. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome .it Last night as I was driving home from church (in mid November) I was struck by the number of homes that had Christmas lights strung and brilliantly lit. There were houses with Santas (more than one!) and houses with stars and bells and reindeers and a plethora of angels, all flashing like beacons in the darkness. It gives new meaning to the phrase ‘your Christmases have come early this year’. As I drove on I wondered why there are so many lights so early this year? And what kind of people live in the houses behind those lights? Did those lights illuminate the homes of both those who did and did not proclaim Jesus as the Christ-child ? I would like to believe that the lights that I saw were expressions of defiance in the face of dark times whether it be poverty at home, or earthquakes in China and flooding in the Philippines not to mention war and rumours of war that still encircle our world. I would like to believe that they are tangible statements that when all is increasingly dark there is always hope. I would like to believe that they are an attempt on the part of believers and non-believers alike to affirm that, at this Christmastime, there is goodness and tidings of great joy to be had. Continued on the next page ....... 20
    • ... Continued from the previous page We all need to defy the darkness. We all need hope. For me, the lights of Christmas provide this. Even as I get older the anticipation of the birth of the Christ-child grows. I find it so exciting to prepare for Christmas by hanging lights and decorating trees and preparing gifts for those you love. I drive my husband mad! But I find it even more exciting knowing that the reason for my eagerness is that a time is coming when the whole world will have hope. It is because of the birth of the Light of the World at the first Christmas. It is because of his life, death and resurrection and his promise to come again. It is because he is present in the hearts of all those who believe in him through his Spirit that the world can have hope and change and be at peace. The growth of food banks in our local churches working in co-operation with local authorities, the increasing numbers of people involved in Street Pastors, those supporting the homeless through night shelters are all testament to the fact that our world is hopeful. The light of the world has truly come! May His light shine from your homes this Christmastime and in all the seasons of your days. Christmas Blessings, Synod Moderator Synod Clerk Synod Treasurer The Revd Nicola Furley-Smith The Revd Derrick Dzandu-Hedidor Mr Ian Fleming 020 8688 3730 020 8660 3415 020 8337 8581 moderator@urcsouthern.org.uk synodclerk@urcsouthern.org.uk treasurer@urcsouthern.org.uk The way things once were This year’s theme covers sayings or poetry from the First World War The following gratifying letter was received on December 18, 191#:The Oaks School, Harrow on the Hill Dear Sir, The £7 I am sending herewith represents the proceed of a school Christmas party given to parents and friends of the pupils here, when we made a special appeal for the funds of your Society. The motive for this is supplied by yourselves. I can never be grateful enough for the help and kindness proffered to my son, a “Shipwrecked Mariner” as a result of being torpedoed last April. ------------------------------------- This item is from The Great War Archive, University of Oxford (www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa); © Julia Allison 21
    • December 2013 10.30 am - Morning Service - Jim Holman 6.30 pm - Evening Service - The Minister with Pickhurst Junior School (No Holy Communion) Page 9 1st Sun 2nd Mon 7.30 pm - Bishop Justus School Page 9 3rd Tue 2.00 pm - Women’s Fellowship 7.30 pm - Friends of the Allegri Singers Page 6 Page 9 4th Wed 7.30 pm - Wandle Ringers Page 9 5th Thu 7.30 pm - Orpington Rock Choir Page 9 6th Fri 2.15 pm - Mothers’ & Toddlers’ Club 7.30 pm - Christmas Quiz Page 5 Page 9 7th Sat 7.45 pm - Beckenham Concert Band Page 9 8th Sun 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat 15th Sun 16th Mon 17th Tue 18th 19th Wed Thu 20th Fri 21st Sat 10.30 am - Parade & Gift Service - The Minister Followed by Fairtrade stall Page 7 6.30 pm - C.T.H. with musical accompaniment by musicians from Hayes Page 9 22nd Sun 23rd 24th 2.00 pm - Women’s Fellowship 7.30 pm - Elders’ Meeting 2.30 pm - Bible Study Group Page 6 Page 3 Page 5 7.30 pm - Bromley Rock Choir Page 13 10.30 am - Morning Service - Margaret Smith with puppet 6.30 pm - Carols by Candlelight - The Minister 8.00 pm - Men’s Group Page 4 6.00 pm - Compassionate Friends’ Service Page 8 10.30 am - Nativity by the Brownies & Holy Communion The Minister Followed by Fairtrade stall Page 7 6.30 pm - Evening Service - Pastor Roy Powell Mon Tue 22
    • December 2013 25th Wed 26th Thu 27th Fri 28th Christmas Day Sat 29th Sun 30th 10.30 am - Joint Morning Service - at Beckenham United Reformed Church There will be no Evening Service. Mon 31st Boxing Day Tue January 2014 1st 2nd 3rd Wed New Year's Day Thu Fri 4th Sat 2.30 pm - Saturday Fellowship 5th Sun 10.30 am - Morning Service - Rev Geoff Larcombe 6.30 pm - Holy Communion - The Minister 6th Mon 8.00 pm - Women’s Contact Group 7th Tue 8th Wed 9th Page 4 Page 3 2.00 pm - Women’s Fellowship 8.00 pm - Elders’ Meeting Page 6 Page 3 Thu 2.30 pm - Bible Study Group Page 5 10th Fri 2.00 pm - Mothers’ & Toddlers’ Club Page 5 11th Sat 10.00 am - Women’s Contact Coffee Morning Page 7 12th Sun 10.30 am - Morning Service - The Minister Followed by Fairtrade stall 6.30 pm - Evening Service - The Minister Page 7 13th Mon 14th Tue 15th Wed 16th Thu 17th Fri 2.00 pm - Women’s Fellowship Page 6 2.00 pm - Mothers’ & Toddlers’ Club Page 5 23
    • January 2014 18th Sat 19th Sun 20th Mon 21st Tue 10.30 am - Morning Service - John Cox 6.30 pm - Evening Service - The Minister 2.00 pm - Women’s Fellowship Page 6 22nd Wed 23rd Thu 2.30 pm - Bible Study Group Page 5 24th Fri 2.00 pm - Mothers’ & Toddlers’ Club Page 5 25th Sat 10.30 am - Holy Communion - The Minister Followed by Fairtrade stall Page 7 12.00 Noon - Church Meeting Page 3 6.30 pm - Evening Service - David and Alison Hawthorn 26th Sun 27th Mon 28th Tue 2.00 pm - Women’s Fellowship Page 6 29th Wed 6.30 pm - Worship Group Page 5 30th Thu 31st Fri 2.00 pm - Mothers’ & Toddlers’ Club Page 5 February 2014 1st 2nd Sat Sun Candlemas Day 10.30 am - Morning Service - Margaret Smith with puppet 6.30 pm - Holy Communion - The Minister DATES FOR YOUR DIARY There were no further dates for your diary at the time of going to press. THINGS YOU NEVER HEAR IN CHURCH Nothing inspires me and strengthens my commitment like our annual stewardship campaign!. 24
    • CHURCH ORGANISATIONS Day Organisation Contact Phone Sunday Club Mike Duke 8462 5103 Jayne Carvell 07913 299773 Brownies Cubs Women's Contact Group Sarah Humphrey Brenda Petts Sylvia Mack 8249 9982 8325 3956 8462 1938 10.00am Prayer Meeting Martin Nunn 8462 5918 2.00pm 7.00pm Women's Fellowship Scouts Sue Powell Paul Hasling 8462 2212 3236 0083 3.30pm - 4th Messy Church Sue Powell 8462 2212 5.15pm 6.00pm 6.30pm - 4th 8.00pm Rainbows Beavers Reflections Group Explorers Jenny Longman Brenda Petts Bill Michie Tom Strachan 07730 574962 8325 3956 8658 4167 07745 813 295 2.30pm - 2nd, Bible Study & 4th 5.30pm Brownies Sue Powell 8462 2212 Stevie Blair. 8325 3469 7.15 - 8.45pm Senior Guides Georgina Chappell 07983 471308 8.00pm - 3rd Men's Group Bruce Tannock Sunday 10.25am Weekdays 9.15 -12.15pm Pre School Group 12.15 -12.45pm P/School lunch club Monday 5.45pm 6.30pm 8.00pm - 1st Tuesday Wednesday Thursday 8325 6264 Friday 9.00 - 12.00pm 2.00pm Coffee morning during term times Mothers & Toddlers Judith Stoner 8462 3023 6.30pm Guides Teresa Cheyne 8777 6042 Saturday Fellowship Martin Nunn 8462 5918 Saturday 2.30pm - 1st NOTE: - Some of the organisations meet once or twice per month. This is indicated by 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th. The numbers relate to which week day of the month, NOT the calendar date.
    • Final Thought Luke 2:8-20 God's love, a child on earth Loving God. let tonight ring with song and shine in our hearts with light brighter than angels, as we greet the coming of Mary's boy. Give us the excitement of the shepherds, and as we come to worship the new-born Christ, set our hearts joyfully alight. so that our praise becomes a match for any angel choir! Jesus, let your nativity enchant our hearts again; and as we ponder quietly, like Mary, come home to us and stay. Then send us out into the cold night of the world, to proclaim the wonder of your coming: God's love, a child on earth. Alan Gaunt From the U.R.C. Prayer Handbook 2011