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The magazine of Banstead United Reformed Church

BANSTEAD UNITED REFORMED CHURCH SERVICES Our Family Worship is held every Sunday at 10.30am a crèche is provided. Junior Church for children aged 3-14 meets at the same time, and we have a music group which meets at 10.10am. Holy Communion is normally celebrated during our morning service on the first Sunday of each month. The Prayer Circle meets every two weeks. Please note: Monday is the Minister’s day off. For details of future events and important dates for your diary please see the monthly Diary Sheet or check out our Website: Tidings is edited by Linda Richards. Address: 3 Breech Lane, Walton on the Hill, Tadworth, Surrey KT20 7SQ Tel 01737 813617, e-mail I am happy to receive your contributions, ideas and suggestions for Tidings at any time but copy for the next edition should be with the editor by

Sunday, 17th February 2013

Surrey Harmony, a Women’s Barbershop Chorus is making a welcome return to Banstead URC. They will be giving a concert on Saturday 23rd March starting at 7.30pm. Tickets, priced £5 to include refreshments, are available from Val, Sheila and Alan.

Dear Friends With Easter coming early in 2013, February marks a hinge point in the Christian year. We move from celebrating Candlemas, the end of the season of Christmas on February 3rd, and into Lent on February 13th. Lent house groups (sign-up sheet on the noticeboard!) and Lent evening services in each of the Banstead Five Churches are already being planned. This seeming headlong rush into Lent is, it seems to me, all the more reason for holding onto Christmas while we have time to think about it. And for those confined to home by the snow, there is rather more thinking time than might have been expected. What does Christmas mean to us – and what is the link between Christmas and Easter? How do we look at Christmas in the light of Easter, and Easter in the light of Christmas? Or are they totally separate? Is Christmas for the children, and Easter for the adults? After all, it is right that as parents we should be concerned that we tell the Easter story to our children with the sensitivity of their years in mind. I recall seeing many years ago in Kings College Chapel, the painting by Reubens of the Adoration of the Magi. All seems to be richness and splendour but one’s eye in looking at the infant Jesus is somehow drawn to the rough timber of the stable, which presages the Cross. It is as though the artist is telling us not to be distracted by the wealth and flamboyance of the Magi’s attire, but to see in their gifts the future of the adult Christ. In the picture there is incredible harmony, in spite of the contrasts. So we shall hold on to Christmas, giving our final farewells at Candlemas, as we look to the Light of the World to guide us through our Lenten journey. Yours in Christ, Jenny

LOCAL MISSION AND MINISTRY REVIEW (LMMR) We seem to have been talking about this for some time now, and when this edition of Tidings is published, our LMMR will at last be under way. LMMR brings together the old District Pastoral Visitation (every 5 years) and the Minister’s Accompanied SelfAppraisal and relates them to the church’s Pastorate Profile (formerly only used during a vacancy) as we look at the life and mission of the church. The Pastorate Profile then becomes a living document, and part of the church’s mission planning. Our church review team (approved at Church Meeting) will be seeking the views of everyone connected with the church, so we hope that the final report will present an accurate picture of church life, and one which will guide our future mission.

Junior Church would like to say a huge “THANK YOU” to everyone who contributed to our Christmas Greetings board. The magnificent sum of £388.10 was raised to go towards a wheelchair.

We also want to say “Thank You” to Ruth H-C for making such a beautiful and eye catching display.

CHURCH FAMILY NEWS In our thoughts and prayers … We send our love and sympathy to the friends and family of Joan Mills who died just before Christmas aged 99. We thank God for her and all that she gave to the life of this church. There will be a tribute to Joan in the next issue of Tidings. At this time of year we pray for those who find it particularly difficult to get out and about in cold and icy conditions. Please remember them and offer a helping hand to those who are less mobile. We are delighted that Chris Harris has accepted the Elders’ nomination to fill the casual vacancy on the Elders meeting. Her appointment was agreed unanimously at January’s Church Meeting. Please pray for Chris as she takes on this new responsibility. Nominations are now invited for people to fill the four vacancies on the Elders meeting which will arise in July. All Church members should have received an nomination form. Please think and pray carefully about people whom God might be calling to the Eldership of this church. Nomination forms must be returned to the minister by Sunday 10th February.

STOP PRESS – a brief note on Church Meeting held on 23 January 

We were pleased that our LMMR teams were affirmed. Bea Pollard, Revd Peter Flint and Jeanette Chamberlain are our Pastoral Committee team, and our local church review team was appointed. We agreed a revised policy for the provision of alcohol on church premises. Copies are available for those who were not at Church Meeting. Sunday morning coffee will be served either in the Sanctum or Spencer Hall – those on the rota will decide which location they prefer. The accounts for 2012 were approved subject to inspection, and the budget for 2013 was agreed. The Treasurer drew our attention to the need to review our giving as income from committed giving is declining.

GERALDINE STOCKLEY 29th March 1924 - 1st November 2012 Gerry was born in China in 1924 – her father was a doctor working for the Baptist Missionary Society. In 1928 the family - by then there were four children - returned to the UK and her father became a GP in Croydon. Eventually she had three brothers and three sisters. Gerry went to Croydon High School but rather than staying on to take School Certificate her mother, who was Swiss, arranged for her to have a year out in Lausanne with Swiss cousins and there she learnt to speak and write excellent French. She had already decided to go into nursing so in September 1940 instead of returning to school she went to St Mary’s Carshalton to train as a Children’s Nurse spending four years there before going on to University College Hospital to get her SRN. This eventually led to midwifery with the Salvation Army and then two years at a care home run by the Bermondsey Medical Mission for the terminally ill. In 1954 she was accepted by the Overseas Missionary Fellowship to work in Thailand and went to Singapore for language study. She could soon speak and write fluent Thai - a difficult tonal language with its own alphabet – and had to pass her nursing exams again before going to work in general nursing at Manorom Hospital and then out in the District where she was particularly concerned with leprosy patients who had received reconstructive surgery at the hospital. The nurses would cycle round in pairs – once she and a colleague were held up at gun point and had their bikes taken but the parents of the boys responsible were very angry and the bikes quickly came back! The local Thai were mainly Buddhist but listening to the gospel story (told in their own language), learning of the love of God, seeing this in the dedication, healing and care of the Mission, many became Christians and churches were built. A fellow worker remembers Gerry there as a “wonderful role model – efficient, knowledgeable and caring”. After 14 years Gerry decided she would come back to work in England as she felt, her mother having died, that she could be needed to look after her father. Fairly soon she was helping a

friend out at Banstead Place, part of the Queen Elizabeth Foundation for the Disabled, and this led to her becoming their Matron. I think she would regard successfully seeing through the marriage of two patients, severely handicapped with cerebral palsy, so they could set up home on their own as one of the most worthwhile achievements. Not surprisingly they kept in touch with her and she spoke at their Silver Wedding. However after 6 years the emphasis of the work there was to change, concentrating more on young people with head injuries – and Gerry didn’t think this was so much her. She then worked at Dorking and Caterham Hospitals but when she was promoted to Nursing Officer she found there was too much administration and not enough patient contact. At a time when most of us would be happy to settle down to a quieter, more comfortable life Gerry’s attention was caught by an advertisement which had been inserted by a Christian Organisation, Southeast Asian Outreach, for nurses to work in a refugee camp on the Laos Cambodian border and there she went for a year living in fairly primitive conditions. It was a final and fulfilling time for her working abroad. Her return to England coincided with my wanting to move from a flat to a house – and so we came to North Acre which allowed me to learn the piano and Gerry to enjoy her love of gardening. But of course much else ……. Gerry was a Baptist but when she first came to live in Banstead felt more in tune with Banstead URC – I’m glad she did for that is where we met way back in the seventies. She soon became an Elder and later served for a period as Assistant Church Secretary. When it was decided we should have a separate World Church Committee she became its Chairman. She introduced the sale of Traidcraft on a regular basis capturing our interest and support with free yoghurt raisins! She was a great visitor and very good at talking to new people at church. She also took services at the local Care Homes, Roseland and Roseacre . For many years she was our representative on the Banstead Christian Studies Committee, becoming their secretary and keeping it afloat during a rather long and difficult interval between Chairmen. From its inception she worked for the Dayout Club at our church held for people with memory problems. I was fortunate to have her steady help when I was Church Secretary – her opinion on events was always worth having.

In the village she worked for OXFAM for 17 years. She was the ideal volunteer, good with the customers and when sorting the black bags which came into the back of the shop able to put her innate ability to restore order out of the inevitable chaos to excellent use. She loved travel - many times we took the car to France and the locals would enjoy her excellent French. But also we went to the States, Canada, Iceland and even a return visit to China taking an English/Chinese Bible to give to whoever we thought would appreciate it. The Bible was given by Winnie Whitehorn in memory of Gerry’s parents whom she had known when in Croydon. She was a modest individual but during her life met some interesting people who kept in touch with her – notably Gladys Aylward (her uncle was the doctor who met and cared for Gladys when she arrived in Sian with the children after their epic trip out of China) and Dame Cicely Saunders founder of the Hospice movement. When at Banstead Place she had even entertained the Queen Mother! She was a nurse par excellence – I remember soon after moving to North Acre having a nasty bout of bronchitis and thinking it was almost worth it to have Gerry look after one! Calm capable and well balanced, she had such concern for the wellbeing of others. Once when we were at a party in Roseland Gerry detached herself from the rest of us to go and comfort a new resident who was sitting on her own gently weeping for the home she had just given up. Fairly soon after going into Kingswood she said to me “I am happy here” – and then typically, still concerned for others, she asked me “Are you happy?” A friend who had known her over many years wrote when she heard of her death saying ”I think she was one of the nicest people I have ever met”. We all remember that lovely smile – but perhaps we didn’t all know just what strength lay behind it. She was as good a friend to me as one could hope to have. It was fitting that Gerry who had spent so much of her life looking after others should, when she needed it, receive the same degree of care herself – and that Kingswood Care Home really did provide. Gerry’s family and I record our very grateful thanks to them. She died on All Saints Day –which seemed so appropriate. Ruth Williams

AUDREY GILLOTT 27th December 1923 – 1st December 2012 Audrey spent most of her life in this area, and all of her life with a strong involvement in the church. She and Vernon met when Audrey was only 17 years old, and they were married in 1947. They had two children: Rosalind, born in 1952, and Nigel born in 1955. Audrey and Vernon were members of Wallington Presbyterian Church, and then St Andrew’s, Cheam where Audrey and Vernon were active in the church. Audrey transferred her membership to Banstead when she moved to Sunrise. An enthusiastic teacher and musician (ARCM), using these gifts in her church as well as her secular life, Audrey assisted Vernon in his role as Sunday School Superintendent and frequently played the piano for various events and organisations in this church. Audrey had a deep and questioning faith, and throughout her life she was concerned that so many people were apparently unaware of, or simply not concerned about, God. When visiting Audrey, you knew you would face some challenging questions! Perhaps one of our most vivid memories of Audrey in recent years is of Audrey+scooter. As long as her health permitted she made her own way to church on Sunday mornings, and was frequently to be seen in Banstead High Street, as well as undertaking longer trips into Sutton. Her bright and lively mind hid her considerable health problems. She was determined not to allow her life to be restricted if she could possibly avoid it and her scooter allowed her greater freedom than she would otherwise have experienced. Audrey also expressed her faith through her thankfulness – for all the gifts of God, spiritual and material – and through her concern that others should share in these gifts.

There will be a tribute to Joan Mills, a long-standing and faithful member of our church who died on 22nd December 2012, in the March edition of Tidings.

THANK YOUS We had a wonderful Toy Service at the end of November when the congregation were invited to bring gifts for distribution by the Salvation Army to children who are in particular need. The resulting pile of toys was amazing. Early in December we received the following letter from Major Kingsley Layton of the Salvation Army. Thank you so much for the generous donations received by my colleague Stan Spencer when he visited your church just recently. You can be sure that your gifts are very much appreciated and will be distributed where there is most need this Christmas. Please convey our appreciation to members of your congregation. With every blessing this Christmas season Yours sincerely Kingsley Layton Major

Thank you to our Junior Church children and leaders for preparing such a lovely service for us on 16th December. The inclusion of members of the congregation in the Nativity Play was appreciated by all - who knew that Alan and Robin were such ‘Wise Men’? And Kevin wielding a soldier’s sword was a stark warning to us all! The children, as always, were the stars and led us to look with fresh eyes at the familiar story of Christ’s birth.

BANSTEAD 5 CHURCHES FAVOURITE BIBLE PASSAGES I am hoping to compile a book of favourite Bible Passages chosen by members and friends of the Banstead 5 Churches. This book will then be sold with all proceeds going to Christian Aid. This venture will only be a success if as many people as possible from ALL the 5 Churches take part. Therefore, I would be really grateful if you could please take some time and think about which Bible passage means a lot to you / has been helpful to you and then saying the reason why you chose that particular Bible Passage. Please look out for the Gold coloured paper which has all the information on it which will be available at Church at the beginning of February. Thank you very much. Diana Parsk Chairman of the Banstead 5 Executive Committee

TRINITY TREK FOR FEBRUARY Saturday 9th February starting at 2pm Please contact John Mason For further details.

SPRING CLEANING Our Lives ... Father, Sometimes there is so much clutter and rubbish in our lives and in our hearts that we can’t see where we are, or where we are going. We can’t find our way and there is so little room for you to get through, to show us. Help us to learn to de-clutter regularly; to sweep away the distractions; to throw out the things that take up the space we could share more wholesomely with you. May we co-operate as you spring-clean our hearts Lord. Help us to make it easy for you to reach us, to sort us out and to fill each part of us with your cleansing Holy Spirit, so that your love will shine through our lives to draw others to you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. By Daphne Kitching

and Our Church On Saturday 13th April from 9am we will be having a major Spring Clean of our church premises. Lots of volunteers will be needed. Make sure you mark the date in your diary and let Caroline Burns know if you are able to help.

What happened to your mince pies? In the UK, on average each person throws away in their household waste bin 2.2 kg of food a week. This is a staggering total of over 7.2 million tonnes of food a year, which would fill Wembley Stadium 7 times. We put more food in our waste bins than packaging! The food we put in our waste bins could feed two thirds of the world’s hungry people! Every year we throw away from our homes: 1.6 billion apples – that’s 25 per person! 2.6 billion slices of bread 74 million mince pies – that’s twice as many mince pies as sold by M&S at Christmas! If we stopped throwing away this good food: It would reduce carbon dioxide emissions - equivalent to taking 1 in every 5 cars off our roads It would reduce the UK’s water demand by 4% We would save money! On average £480/year per household. Can we do better? Yes! Households in the UK bin 7 times more food than in Germany. Last year several households in London took part in a food waste challenge. Within two weeks all had significantly reduced the amount of food thrown way. Two households achieved zero waste! For more information and tips on how to reduce the amount of food you throw away please visit

NEWS FROM PERU - PUT THEM FIRST Natalie Kent and Daniele have been travelling in South America and have spent some time volunteering with the charity Put Them First in Peru. Their fundraising quiz at the church last year was raising funds for this charity. Here is an (edited) excerpt from their blog telling of their experiences. The main focus of Put Them First's work is a project called the "library" in the poor community of Villa Santa Rosa, in the outskirts of Arequipa. Villa Santa Rosa is a relatively young settlement, situated on the foot of the volcano El Misti, and is only now in the process of finally getting running water. We spend every afternoon from Monday to Friday, as well as Saturday mornings, at the library which is an after school club for all the children of Villa Santa Rosa. PTF has a strong bond with the school as well as providing the afterschool club they also pay for a warm lunch for all the children each day and organise trips and parties for the community. We hosted a Christmas party for the school and community, where each of the children received Christmas presents and cake! A typical afternoon at the library is composed of 4 different lessons: reading, writing/comprehension, English and a fun activity. The children arrive from 14.30-15.30 depending on when they finish school. Once they have come in and washed their hands in a tub outside (like the whole community, the school has no running water, so we have to get water from a well), they can select books from the library's collection. The collection of books is still relatively small, but it is growing thanks to generous donations and fundraising. In fact, part of the money we raised at the quiz at the URC will be spent on buying more books.

We are both in the small class with children aged 4-8. (There is one other class for children aged 9-15.) Usually, there are between 8 and 15 children in each class. During the reading hour, we sit with the children and, depending on their literacy levels, assist with their reading or read to them (in Spanish, of course). Then we do a variety of activities, such as practising writing their names, saying the alphabet for the younger children, or creative writing for the older children. Up until now we have had to teach which has been rather difficult with our rusty Spanish, but it will be much easier for us in January as a Peruvian teacher will be coming every day to teach this part of the afternoon (the money we raised at the fundraising quiz will also be paying her salary).

After eating their piece of fruit (a banana, an apple, or a slice of watermelon) provided by PTF, and a glass of water, taken from the well and boiled at the beginning of the day, the children have a break. Most of the boys run off and play football, whereas the girls prefer to play with the skipping ropes. We are actually planning on spending some of the money we raised on new sports equipment for the children as all they currently have is a football, a volleyball, and 5 skipping ropes. Then the children have to brush their teeth with toothbrushes and toothpaste provided by PTF. This is necessary as for many of them it is the only time they do it. Surprisingly the children love brushing their teeth (and competing at who can spit the furthest and/or wildest onto the ground!).

We then have just over an hour to teach some English - we have learned quite a few songs, such as the Hokey Cokey and Incy Wincy Spider; and have taught colours, numbers, and food. For these children English is a great advantage for the future, as there are many jobs in tourism that could offer them a way out of poverty. We also lead a creative activity - eg. making Christmas cards. Working with the children is very rewarding, but can also be challenging. Some are behind at school and have learning difficulties. Malnutrition and alcohol abuse during pregnancy have stunted some children's physical and mental development. There is no extra help for special needs students in Peruvian schools. On the other hand, some of the children are incredibly bright and well-behaved. Often, these children are the ones that go to better schools in the centre of Arequipa, rather than the local community school. There is not just a difference in standards of living in the outskirts compared to the centre of the city, but also a big difference in the quality of education between the rich areas and the poorer ones, which is often simply a result of chronic underfunding in the poorer areas. Apart from the work at the project, we have also helped out with Put Them First's local fundraising. Ever since the great success of our fundraiser at the United Reformed Church in Banstead (so many thanks again to everyone who came, helped, and contributed!), we have had a reputation as being skilled (not sure if it's deserved) fundraisers! In any case, in the last month we have been involved with the planning of two fundraising events: a quiz at a hostel and a Christmas party at a bar, both of which were great fun and also quite successful from a financial point of view. Taken from by Natalie Kent and Daniele

INVITATION FROM THE KREUZKIRCHE DESSAU The Elders of the Kreuzkirche in Dessau have invited a group from our church to attend the 80th Anniversary celebrations of the Kreuzkirche which take place between 27th May and 2nd June. The church was founded on 28th May 1933 as the southern suburbs of Dessau were developed. We have been invited to attend the events and anniversary service over the weekend of Friday 31st May to Sunday 2nd June, but we are also welcome to come earlier in the week when other activities are planned. Travel to Dessau is by Easyjet from Gatwick to Berlin-Schönefeld and then onwards by train. Current fares for return flights are between £100 and £130 depending on the day and time of travel. Would anyone who is interested in joining in this happy occasion please contact either Alan Kirby or Robin Sanders. You don’t need to have visited Dessau before or to be fluent in German.

OF DOGS AND GOD The following was sent to Arthur Bestente by a friend and we thought it was worth sharing ‘Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month. The day after she passed away my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so, and she dictated these words: Dear God, Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I’m happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to swim and play with balls. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her. Love, Meredith We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey & Meredith, addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had. Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, 'To Meredith' in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, 'When a Pet Dies.' Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith, Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help and I recognized her right away. Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in so I'm sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by. Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I'm easy to find. I am wherever there is love. Love, God’

A Heavenly Valentine For God so loVed the world That he gAve His onLy begottEn SoN That whosoever Believeth In him Should Not perish But have Everlasting life. John 3:16

BANSTEAD ARTS FESTIVAL SOCIETY Saturday 2nd February at 7.30 pm in the Community Hall, Park Road, Banstead, SM7 3AJ IVANA GAVRIC, piano Named Newcomer of the Year 2011 by BBC Music Magazine following her Wigmore Hall debut, Ivana Gavric has also featured as Gramophone Magazine's One to Watch and BBC Music Magazine's Rising Star. Her programme, ranging from virtuoso works by Liszt and Ravel to the intimacy and poetry of Grieg and Schubert, is ideally suited to her special artistry. Tickets cost £12 (school pupils £3). They may be bought at The Ibis Bookshop in High Street, Banstead or at the door or at To reserve them in advance, telephone: 01737-350288 or email:


Which servant of God was the most flagrant lawbreaker in the Bible? Moses. He broke all 10 commandments at once.

Q. A.

Which area of Palestine was especially wealthy? The area around Jordan. The banks were always over flowing.

Q. A.

Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible? Samson. He brought the house down.

Q. A.

Which Bible character had no parents? Joshua, son of Nun.

DON’T LET THE SHORT MONTH STOP YOU GIVING BLOOD People in Banstead are being urged not to let the short month of February stop them giving blood. With only 28 days in the calendar this month, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is appealing to new and existing donors in the area to make a date to donate in plenty of time. Blood stocks can often come under pressure during the winter as adverse weather conditions and seasonal illnesses prevent regular donors from keeping their appointments, making it doubly important for people to give blood if able to do so. Donated blood is vital for a wide variety of life-saving procedures in local hospitals. Patients undergoing major surgery and emergency treatment often require blood transfusions, but perhaps less well-known is the fact that blood is essential to the treatment for many different types of cancer and blood disorders. NHSBT’s lead donor relations manager for the Banstead area, John Canning, said: “As there are only 28 days in February, there’s always the chance that people may intend to give blood this month but leave it too late to make an appointment. “As a result, we’d urge both existing and new donors to help save lives by booking into one of their local sessions as soon as they can. This can be done quickly and easily by going to or calling 0300 123 23 23.” Anyone aged between 17-65, weighing more than 50 kg (7 stone 12lbs) and in general good health could potentially start saving lives by becoming a blood donor. There is no upper age limit for donors who have donated in the last two years. For more information, to book an appointment or to find a local blood donor session please call 0300 123 23 23 or visit

Minister: Revd. Jennifer Morgan, 01737 355026 Church Secretary: Kevin Dinnage 01737 356380 Copy for the next edition should be with the editor by Sunday, 17th February 2013. Email:

Tidings February 2013  

Banstead United Reformed Church magazine Tidings February 2013