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St. George’s Parish Magazine

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December 2011 Rushbottom Lane New Thundersley

A.W. ALDEN & SON 24 HOUR SERVICE PRIVATE CHAPELS OF REST FLORAL TRIBUTES

Spanish Tuition Argentinean teacher, grammar and /or conversation, small groups or personal. £20 per lesson £30 home lesson

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She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. Matthew 1: 21


Church Home Groups See weekly notice sheet

St. George’s Pre-School Mon - Fri 9.15 - 12 noon

Apply at Church hall after 10.00am

River of God 1st Wednesday of the month

St. George’s Parent & Toddlers Group Thursdays 1.00 - 3.00pm Jane Rose 792088

Vicar Revd. Anthony Rose 792088 Curate Revd. Peter Begley 01702 476500 Youth Pastor Revd. Peter Hillman 755306 Reader Mr. Dave Brown 753238 Church Wardens Mrs. Margaret Rostron 757984 Mrs. Anne Nunn 754332 Church Administrator Mrs. Denise Marsh 792088 office hours Mon - Thurs 9.30-12pm

Intercession Prayer Request Mrs. Margaret King 752571 Honorary Secretary Mrs. Lynda King 771174

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Honorary Treasurer Mrs. Irene Lock 750882 Organist Mrs. Ina Osborn 793453 Magazine Editors Mrs. Marisa Murphy 565464 Mrs. Karen Smith 776443 Magazine Secretary Mrs. Margaret King 752571 Missionary Secretary Suzanne Marshak 755663 Fair Trade Goods Karen Hillman Youth People Leaders Dragon Slayers (5-11yrs) Mrs. Jane Rose 792088 Under 5’s Mrs. Jean Payne 754132

Mens Prayer Night Last Thursday of the month

Rainbow Tuesdays 5.00 - 6.00pm Kelliesue Jeffery 565461 Friday 4.30 - 5.30pm Denise Mechem-Whitefield 751766

Hall Booking Secretary Joy Mickleburgh 07808 164724

Brownies Tuesday 4.45 - 6.00pm Mrs. D. Longhurst 751766 Wednesday 4.15 - 5.45pm Mrs. Janice Adams 757619

Altar Guild Mary Bridgeman 792296

Wives Club Thursday 8.00pm Gloria Logan

New Thundersley Seniors Club Tuesday 2.00 - 4.00pm Mavis Fawell 794305 Mary Bridgeman 792296

Guides Wednesday 6.15 - 7.45pm Susie Miller 750362

New Thundersley Townswomans Guild

Cubs Friday 6.15pm Alan & Carol Lynes 690976 Scouts Friday 8.00pm Mr. J Payne 754132

1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month for more information please Jan Payne 01268 757395 27


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18th - 10.00am Communion Service 4.00pm All-age Christmas Celebration with Christingles 6.30pm Traditional Carol Service (Seasonal refreshments at the 4pm and 6.30pm services) Christmas Eve 24th December 4.00pm Carols around the Crib (Especially suitable for young children) 11.00pm Midnight Communion Christmas Day 25th December 10.00am All-age Christmas Morning Celebration New year eve party 8.30pm - 1.00am

contents St.george’s magazine Sundays at St George’s 2 Contacts 2 What’s on 3 Anthony’s Welcome 4-5 Editorial 6 New Year Eve party 7 Calling all 70 percenters 8 - 9 Remembrance Sunday 10 -11 Book review 11 Church Meetings 14 -16 A christmas i always remember 17

Barney’s page Cap Puzzle page Recipe Gardening Group contacts

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Anthony’s Welcome

know there are those who decorate their homes early too. Christmas has become something rather stretched out, even though most people take down the decorations very quickly instead of waiting for the traditional twelve days of Christmas.

Why do people do this with Christmas? Don't get me wrong; I think it's a very special time of year. It's obviously an opportunity for families to get together, the atmosphere is Dear friends, always special, and even nasty people can behave as human beings There are always stories at this time of sometimes! The sad thing, I fear, is that year to amuse us. I read about a man for many people it's become simply an in Ohio who was arrested after attempt to escape the realities of life. allegedly breaking into a family's In the current economic climate, and house and putting up their Christmas with our over-exposure to bad news decorations. The 44-year-old through the media, people will hang apparently let himself into the house, on to anything that gives them a sense lit a candle and turned on a TV before of well-being. doing some Christmas decorating. He was allegedly high on bath salts, of all Karl Marx famously once wrote that religion is 'the opium of the people'. things. The family's 11-year-old son He believed that people sought solace reportedly came home after the break-in and found him sitting on the in religion as an illusion that would couch. It ended peacefully, I'm glad to turn their attention away from their plight of poverty and oppression by say, but I'd love to see the police report! the ruling classes. That's why The story in itself is a little unusual, but communism in the Soviet Union for many years persecuted Christians and what's even more remarkable is that tried to destroy the church. Now, we the date of the news story I saw was 14th November. Now, either the man could take that phrase of Marx's and found the decorations in a cupboard easily apply it to all manner of things; drugs, alcohol, the false hope somewhere or the family really were going to put up the decorations that gambling gives, living for holidays, early. I know that shops have them in anything that takes our minds off everyday realities. And I think for some ridiculously early these days, but I 4

Do You Dig It..... As usual I did not achieve all I set out to do last month, if you managed any of my suggestions from last month well done that’s great! Still here is a quick reminder Digging over the beds and adding Nitro chalk, Potash and Blood Fish & Bone. Covering Beds with Black Plastic so they are nice and warm, for an early start in spring! Washing and sterilizing all pots, containers and racking. Also two other jobs are turning the compost in your bin and cleaning/sharpening your tools for the new season. And keep checking that stored fruit, we don’t need one rotten apple spoiling a barrel! I have just ordered my seed catalogues, its good to sit in a comfy chair and plan the crop rotation of veg beds as well as pots. Stick with what has worked, dump what hasn’t. Try something new and by listing where it likes to grow, when it is best to sow / harvest and store. By keeping a note book each year with the information to hand, I find I don’t miss sowing times or plant in the wrong soil, but you all know I have a terrible memory. Short and sweet this month as the garden and us are resting. God Bless to all Paul Cleasby

Have you ever thought about adopting part of the church garden? Claire and I did after the last clean up day. We had been working on the front garden near the bus stop when we decided to adopt it. So far we have cut back several shrubs, planted cyclamen and bulbs. We are currently in the process of clearing and weeding the area. We find it very enjoyable watching the area improve and also very relaxing. Why don't you give it a go too! Sue Benton and Claire Littlejohn

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Ye Olde Christmas Cake by Margaret Hillman It’s that time of year again and I know that many of you enjoy making my old Granny’s Christmas cake but have lost the recipe. Well, don’t despair it’s not too late you still have time before Christmas to get cooking. Ingredients 1lb 4oz Dried Fruit soaked for three days in sherry. 4oz raisins 4oz currants 4oz glace cherries quartered 6oz soft margarine I bottle cognac 6oz dark soft brown sugar Grated rind of lemon Grated rind of orange 3 eggs I tabsp black treacle 2oz blanched almonds chopped 4oz plain flour 2 oz self-raising flour I tsp. mixed spice. Method Sample the cognac to check for quality. Take a large bowl. Check cognac again. To be absolutely sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink it. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer; beat soft margarine and sugar in large fluffy bowl. Add eggs and beat again. Make sure the cognac is still ok. Cry another tup. Turn off the mixerer. Chuck in the dried fruit. Mix on the turner. If the dried fruit gets stuck in the beaterers, pry loose with a drewscriver. Sample the cognac to check for tonsisticity. Nest sift the flour or salt or something, who cares? Check the cognac. Now sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one tablespoon of something. Whatever you've got left. Grease the oven. Turn the cake on to 300 degrees. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Throw the bowl out of the window. Check the cognac again and go to bed. Marks & Spencer produce a very good Christmas Cake which you can always bring home in a discreet carrier bag. Merry Christmas to All. 24

people we could add Christmas to the list as well - 'Christmas is the opium of the people'! It's a strange mixture really, because although most say they're looking forward to it, the pressures are on to be ready in time, to spend what they haven't got, and so on. If you really delve into what Christmas is supposed to be about – celebrating the birth of Christ – you actually find little in the story that's escapism. Instead, there's much to do with the harsh realities of life: poverty and short life-expectancy for most at the time, a baby born in very difficult circumstances, a harsh occupying imperial force, a cruel and jealous king, an enforced exile for Jesus and his family. Yet we still celebrate the event as having immense significance. In fact, that significance comes not from the birth story itself but from what happens later. Jesus grows up to become the One who will save mankind by bearing our sin in his death on the cross and opening the way to eternal life with God his Father. That's what gives us the real hope of Christmas, not the tinsel and the vague goodwill that lasts only a while. No, this hope lasts and it sees you through everything, thick and thin, if you have a living connection with the hope-giver.

'Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.' 'Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.' 'Jesus Christ was born to save!' 'Not in that poor, lowly stable, we shall see him; but in heaven, set at God's right hand on high.' Many of these songs look forward to something more than just the Nativity. Those who have found a real relationship with the crucified, risen Christ will tell you that they can celebrate Christmas in a far more meaningful and deep way than they ever could without him, and in him they look forward to a glorious eternal future. I do pray that you can find a hope this year that goes deeper than the decorations, that lasts longer than the Christmas TV schedules, that is more meaningful than the presents you may give or receive and that will last well beyond the season, indeed into eternity. A truly happy Christmas and joyful New Year to you and yours from me and mine! With best wishes, Anthony.

Actually, we sing of this reality of hope in the carols every year. Try these lines for instance: 5


Editorial

dozens of figures, with mountains, shepherds and animals, do not make sense until the main figure, which incidentally is very small, that of Jesus, is placed in the manger. Something 25th December is Christmas Day, similar happens in the soul. Until Jesus when we commemorate the birth of is born in the hearts of men it is not Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, according yet Christmas, but only the hope of it. to the gospels of Matthew and Luke. The most important thing is within After Easter it is the most important the heart, where God is born. The cave feast of the ecclesiastical year. where Jesus was born was a dirty and Christmas, as we know it today, is a ugly cave, abandoned. creation of the nineteenth century. But when the Blessed Virgin placed The Christmas tree, originally from her child in that crib, it became the Germanic areas, spread to other areas throne of God and the cave of heaven. of Europe and America. The carols Our soul is a cave like that; dirty and were retrieved and many new ones ugly until God dwells there. Our were composed (the custom of sing- manger, our heart, is just a place to ing carols, though of ancient origins, store more or less good feelings. But comes mainly from the nineteenth when God dwells in us our heart and century). Christmas cards did not start soul become a heaven. This is Christto be used until the 1870s, although mas, heaven in our souls, Jesus in our the first was printed in London in hearts. 1846. Toast with our wine and our Christmas The familiar image of Santa Claus, meal the coming of the Son of God. with the sleigh, reindeer and bags Let us open the doors of our homes with toys, is an American invention and our hearts. from these years, but the legend of The Baby Jesus came to give his life for Santa Claus is old and complex, partly our salvation, for the redemption of derived from St. Nicholas and a jovial our sins. medieval figure, the spirit of May this Christmas pour out upon our Christmas. In Russia he traditionally families the peace that the angels has a pink piglet under his arm. announced – “Peace to the men who Today, Christmas is a time of great love the Lord” commercial activity and the exchange of gifts. God Bless At the first Christmas there was only Jesus. In our present-day Christmas Marisa & Karen there are lots of things ... but hopefully, still, Jesus. Christmas is about the Baby Jesus. There is the custom in some houses to prepare for the birth a few days before Email the mag 24th December, but the cradle in the azine st .georgesmag cave is empty, Jesus is unborn. We @yahoo.co.u k could say that all that birth, with

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Isaiah 9:6-7 – The darkness turns to light Z U I R V P G J F R E V E R O F D N A W Y Y X W A

N F F S U W Z E Y G E D F Q I S R K P I T E Y I C

F A D Y B O M J X D S I V B S K X G Y L H S S T H

D E L L A C E B L L I W E H A O I X X L G T J H I

G H P O O I Z J H Y H P C Y E N O L U A I H K J L

G L U M E A S I P S Z P H M K N L O T C M E M U D

F N W D N V G I W S T P M D A F O T D C L G F S I

R O L L E S N U O C L U F R E D N O W O A O T T S

The following 25 phrases are all found in Isaiah 9:6-7 (NIV). Can you find them all? They are in passage order. • FOR TO US • A CHILD IS BORN • A SON IS GIVEN • THE GOVERNMENT • ON HIS SHOULDERS

W N I F J Y F A F S K G S O M V T D T M D V E I B

E C A E P F O E C N I R P Q T T P N N P R E S C O

D R O V E R H I S K I N G D O M Y E E L O R T E R

Z D R O E P N F O I I G T D D C P O M I L N A N N

Z K Q K V G G N N O V S W H U F E N N S E M B G U

Z F G Z E I N V F O Q L J E V Z X E R H H E L I P

A W L Z A B X M E M V O A U J D M B E T T N I E H

E V E R L A S T I N G F A T H E R L V H D T S R O

O N D A V I D S T H R O N E F P A L O I O H H L L

• HE WILL BE CALLED • WONDERFUL COUNSELLOR • MIGHTY GOD • EVERLASTING FATHER • PRINCE OF PEACE • OF THE GREATNESS • OF HIS GOVERNMENT • AND PEACE • THERE WILL BE NO END • HE WILL REIGN 22

N O E M I T T A H T M O R F O T D I G S G G I L D

S S E N S U O E T H G I R X R L H W S Q Y U N I I

A N D P E A C E G J Y E W Q T Q Q E I P T P G W N

S S E N T A E R G E H T F O O L R R H M H R T E G

A R V E T N H H E N N P J K U K V E F Z G D A H Z

D G N E V I G S I N O S A T S E O H O X I J U Q U

Z J Y U W T O G E N K W K F O X D T M W M K L U H

• ON DAVID’S THRONE • OVER HIS KINGDOM • ESTABLISHING • UPHOLDING • WITH JUSTICE • RIGHTEOUSNESS • FROM THAT TIME ON • AND FOREVER • THE LORD ALMIGHTY • WILL ACCOMPLISH THIS

T P D N B H R E O O N H I S S H O U L D E R S U H

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CALLING ALL 70 PERCENTERS

to save it (John 12:47). On that occasion he had simply come to reveal God’s plan for the world (Ephesians Christmas comes but once a year, and 1:9-10), and tell us what we had to do so do many Christians to church. Why to avoid God’s judgement in the is it that some people who mark on a future (Matthew 4:17). But make no mistake, the warning has already been census form that they are Christian given, next time we see Him it will be (about 70% of the population at the judgement time; the sheep will be last count) only make the effort to come to church during the Christmas separated from the goats (Matthew 25:31-46). period? Some will come into the church building just to see their children or grandchildren take part in For the past 1500 years the laws and moral precepts that have guided this a festive pageant re-enacting the Christmas story of Jesus who was born nation and influenced the world have been drawn from the teachings of in poverty in a stable; there he is, so small, so cuddly, so meek, so mild, so Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate needing protection, and not a threat at this time of the year, and from God’s manual for human beings, the Bible. to anyone. The cattle are lowing the baby awakes, the little Lord Jesus no This Holy book tells us that: ‘All scripture is inspired by God and is crying He makes. I love thee Lord Jesus and ask thee to stay close by me useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our forever and love me I pray. Some lives. It corrects us when we are wrong once-a-year-Christians will come and teaches us to do what is right’ because Christmas is meant to be a (2 Timothy 3:16). The book of Proverbs happy time of the year, and singing traditional hymns with candles aglow (2:6) in the Old Testament informs us and mulled wine afterwards seems to that: ‘It is the Lord who gives wisdom; from Him come knowledge and evoke the best sort of cosiness in us understanding.’ As we collectively turn 70 percenters, and these traditions help chase away the mid-winter blues. our backs on God’s truth we start to walk in ignorance. Let us list some of Why do we need to go to church more the signs of our disconnect from the often than once a year? Well, if you put Word of God: lack of wisdom, a banking crisis led by greed and on your census form that you are a Christian, then you must believe that stupidity, greater inequality, social there is a God. If you believe that there strife, gang culture, rioting, excessive is a God, who will one day judge us all, greed at the top of society, celebrity perhaps it would be to our benefit to worship, pornography in shops and on pay attention to what He tells us to do the Internet, alcohol abuse, proliferabefore judgement day comes around tion of drug use, broken families, national and personal debt crisis, 5m (Revelation 14:7). When Jesus first visited this planet in human form 2000 people in the UK dependent on state handouts, adultery is common and years ago, and stayed for around 33 years, He informed the world that He accepted in high places, the downhad not come to judge the world but grading of marriage, full prisons, 8 abortion - around 180,000 unborn by Ken Miller

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babies are destroyed on the altar of convenience each year in this country alone. The moral and spiritual tank of this nation is nearly empty, we are spluttering to a moral collapse. Is this the sort of world we wish to leave to our children; do we want them to be brought up knowing the laws of God or the laws of the jungle? All visitors to St. George’s this Christmas are being offered a free copy of the New Testament which describes the history and teachings of Jesus Christ. We urge you to accept this gift and put it to good use by reading it regularly; look up the quotations in this article and pray to God for a greater understanding of His word. The 70 percenters of this nation must help push back the ignorance that is engulfing the people, parliament, and the judiciary. Become one of the 5 percenters who regularly come to church to worship our Lord and to hear the Word of God spoken. For the sake of the well being of this nation it is imperative that we narrow the gap between the 5 percenters and the 70 percenters. Year’s ago there used to be a car sticker reminding people that dogs are not just for Christmas; well, perhaps it’s about time that Christians got to understand that churchgoing is not just for Christmas either. We need to save ourselves, and this nation; help us to become the salt and light for this generation (Matthew 5:13-16). A comfortable way of re-connecting with the teachings of Christ is to come along to an internationally acclaimed evening Alpha Course where a pleasant meal is served to those on the course in a home setting with a short talk followed by informal discussions. Stay in touch for details of the next course.

“Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good. Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer.” Hebrews 10:24-25 (GNB). We at St. George’s pray that you will all have an enjoyable Christmas, and a God-inspired New Year, and we look forward to meeting many of you at St. George’s in the future. God bless.

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Remembrance Sunday

others of our organisation to we had to muster, as they only knew the by Richard Seely column they were in, not the position in that column. I was one of the earlier ones to arrive, and after showing my pass at the entrance, walked over to collect my marker. Each column has a couple of stewards as well as a column marshal, and they told me where to stand and I then learnt that we were to be the first column to go out onto Whitehall. There is a great atmosphere and a real feeling of togetherness, both on Horse Guards and in the crowds thronging the surrounding streets, made up of a huge mix of I have been marching in the Cenotaph people ranging from the very old to Remembrance Parade for a number of the quite young. About 9.55am the column marshal was getting a bit years with one of the ex-service concerned as there were still only two organisations to which I belong, of us in our group, and he wanted six namely ‘The Fellowship of the across when we were to move off at Services’. For the past three years I 10.15am! Thankfully in the next fifteen have been asked to lay the wreath minutes about fifty turned up and so when we march past the Cenotaph after the memorial service. The parade we could make a good showing. We also had a Guards officer as our right is organised by The Royal British Legion, and they now have it off to a hand marker and to guide us to our allotted position in Whitehall. They are fine art, having done it so often, but there still is a huge amount of work to very precise with their markings as they have to fit four columns into be sorted beforehand, as well as Whitehall and there is very little room everything coming together on the to spare. At 10.15am we marched off day. Each year I receive my ticket to through the arch into Whitehall and get onto Horse Guards, a number to show our position in our column, and into our position about fifty yards from the Cenotaph, so we had a great the wreath. This year we were still to be in our usual column ‘F’, but instead view of all that occurred. It was here of being in the middle, we were to be that I learnt that we were to be the the lead unit. We would have a great lead off column for the march past view of all the dignitaries forming up after the ceremonies, which was a huge and very pleasant surprise. We around the Cenotaph for the service watched as more bands arrived as well and the laying of their wreaths, normally I watch it on the big screens as detachments of all the services to they have along Whitehall. I arrived on take up their pre-ordained positions around the area. At about 10.50am the Horse Guards at about 8.25am because I knew I would have to hold dignitaries started to emerge onto Whitehall and finally, just as Big Ben the column marker to guide the 10 started, the Royal party came out and

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Jesus, a VERY special person

Barney says

God’s word

For a child has been born—for us!

the gift of a son—for us! He’ll take over the running of the world. His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. Isaiah 9:6 (The Message)

Hello friends, Christmas is such an exciting time of year: the world celebrates the birth of the baby Jesus. Through Isaiah, God told the Israelites that Jesus would be coming. Isaiah wrote his words about Jesus about 700 years before he was born! That’s a long time to wait – a lot longer than the 24 days on your Advent Calendars. Jesus is a special person, just look at the names Isaiah uses to describe him – amazing, strong, eternal and a prince. No wonder Jesus’ birth is a really special time and it’s great that we can celebrate it. Whatever you do this year, have a very Happy Christmas! Love Barney

We often remember the birth of Jesus through Nativity plays. Colour in this picture.

The nativity

Barney’s jokes

Dear God, Thank you that we can celebrate Christmas – please help me to remember that it’s all about Jesus. Amen

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Book Review by Paul Cleasby

Everyman’s Battle By Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker

From all sides we are being attacked,TV, mags, computers and billboards with sensual images that are impossible to avoid, but not to rise above! Guys if you feel a separation from God, when all around you are really close, it’s worth reading this book, to get a spirit of Job who made a covenant with his eyes, God called him blameless and upright. Would you like God to think of you in the same way?

Mens events for the Diary Wednesday 8th February 2012 Ten Pin Bowling, Basildon

Let’s talk to God!

say What is a What did Adam re fo be mum’s favourite y da e th on Christmas caro Christmas? l? Eve! Silent Nigh t! It’s Christmas,

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took their positions. The gun sounds for the start of two minutes silence which is ended with The Last Post, and the laying of the wreaths. The Bishop of London leads a short but very moving service, after which the Royal party and all the other dignitaries leave the parade. It is then our turn to march past and to hand in our wreaths for them to be laid at the Cenotaph. One of the guards’ bands took up position a little way ahead of us, and as they moved off about a dozen members of The Royal British Legion marched in behind them and then we followed. I handed in the wreath as we came up to the Cenotaph to a very efficient group of people who lay them, forming a great carpet of poppies at one end of the Cenotaph. We marched up to Parliament Square, did a right turn into Great George Street, a left turn along the side of St. James Park. I can never get over how moving it is with the packed crowds along the whole route clapping and cheering the whole way. The atmosphere as one marches is electric and very humbling, but so glad to be able to honour those who cannot be there. We approached Horse Guards again and about half way along the salute is taken by a member of the Royal family, and this year it was the Prince of Wales, after which we turn back onto Horse Guards where we are dismissed. The weather had been glorious and I was so pleased to have been part of this Remembrance Day Parade.

Saturday 17th March 2012 London Men’s Convention 11


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A Christmas I Always Remember by Margaret King When I was organist at St Margaret’s one Christmas Eve I was playing for the midnight communion. It was a wonderful and uplifting experience. The church was lit entirely by candles except for one low watt bulb over the organ. The church was packed and many of the congregation were having to stand at the back. It had been a very uplifting and emotional service and the singing of carols and hymns led by the choir, raised the rafters. At the end of the service the rector was reading The Last Gospel which begins “In the beginning was the Word” (St John 1:1-14) when in the congregation a 6 week old baby started to cry. It was such an emotional moment. We had been celebrating the birth of Jesus when suddenly this baby started to cry. I did get very emotional and the tears started to fall – so much so that I had difficulty in playing the last hymn. Even now, when I remember this incident at Christmas I still feel very emotional.

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17


is about so much more than merely meetings or singing. With all that in mind, how might we need to change the style of our 11 o'clock service in future in order to keep the essence of what we're doing whilst trying to share what we have with others that aren't used to what we've become used to? Maybe our musical style will need to change; perhaps sitting in rows (there's few places outside church where people do that) isn't the best way of encouraging people to interact with each other; maybe the method of Bible teaching will be more interactive too in future – we vary rarely sit and listen to one person speak for an extended period outside church; perhaps we'll need to think about ways of encouraging more people to use their gifts and participate rather than consume what is presented to them; isn't it strange that when we're at home with friends or watching TV, we often have coffee or tea at the same time, but in church we wait until the meeting is over? Finally, on the subject of style versus substance, take a look at this excerpt from a U.S newspaper objecting to the new trends in church music: “There are several reasons for opposing it. • One, it’s too new. • Two, it’s often worldly, even blasphemous. • The new Christian music is not as pleasant as the more established style. • Because there are so many songs, you can’t learn them all. • It puts too much emphasis on instru- 16

mental music rather than Godly lyrics. • This new music creates disturbances making people act indecently and disorderly. • The preceding generation got along without it. • It’s a money making scene and some of these new music upstarts are lewd and loose.” This was written by a pastor in 1723 attacking Isaac Watts, the writer of great hymns like 'When I Survey the Wondrous Cross', 'Joy to the World', and 'O God, Our Help in Ages Past'. It just goes to show that changes to traditional ways of worshipping God have always been difficult for people but that the way in which we conduct our church meetings now has changed over the years and will need to keep changing in future. by Jonathan Pinnock

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St. George's has a vision and a purpose statement that read: Our vision is to see the community around us transformed by God through relationship with Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. Our purpose is to be and to do all we can to enable our vision to become reality. We therefore aim: • To encounter God as we worship the risen Christ. • To grow in our prayer life, individually and together, always giving thanks to God and learning to pray in accordance with His will as we seek His guidance in all things. • To grow in community life through love and acceptance of each other, learning to be disciples of Christ through our relationships, our study of His Word, and our openness to the workings of His Spirit. • To fulfil our mission to win the wider community for Christ through evangelism and social care.

service. We have a couple of bands who share leading these times, but participation during the meeting from the whole church is welcomed, as the point of these times is for everyone to be able to express their worship to Jesus and to encounter Him as they do so. We pray together for our nation, for Benfleet, and for people who are in particular need. We also make a point of asking (and receiving) God's forgiveness for where we have slipped up and fallen short of His standards. Since we believe God is very much alive and active and cares for us all, we try to listen to Him for any specific situations where He wants to help someone. We share these together and offer prayer for anyone who would like to respond. Some of the answers to prayer have been amazing. In order to learn more about God, and about how to be followers of Jesus, we read a part of the Bible and someone (normally Anthony, our vicar) explains what it means and how to apply it in our The 11 o'clock Sunday meeting is just own lives. one of the times in the week when our At the same time as all this is happening, community comes together to try to put the children have their own events in some of these aims into practice. We the church hall next door although at spend some of the time giving thanks several times during the year, we all and praise to God for what He does and meet together. for who He is. This is often done using Once a month, we especially remember songs, music and words that are together the sacrifice that Jesus made contemporary and accessible to those for us on the cross so that we could all who aren't perhaps familiar with a be forgiven. We call this 'communion'. traditional English form of church 14 After the meetings, there always time to

catch up and chat with each other over end up being our main concern. The tea or coffee. essence of why we meet together is far The 11 o'clock service is quite informal; more important than the expression of the intention of this again is so that we how we meet. don't exclude those from the wider Some of the principles mentioned in the community in Benfleet who aren't used Bible include: to church traditions. Someone once said • We should meet together and encourthat church is the only organisation age each other (Hebrews 10v25) which exists for the benefit of its non• We should “Speak to one another with members, so we try to make those who psalms, hymns and spiritual songs”. don't normally attend feel as welcome (Ephesians 5 v19) as possible. Many visitors have com• When we meet together it is implied mented that they have been pleasantly that we should remember what Jesus surprised that church isn't as stuffy, did for us by sharing a meal of bread boring and irrelevant as they'd and wine together (Communion) but we expected. If you're at a loose end one should forgive each other first and not Sunday morning, you'd be very dishonour Jesus by the way that we welcome to come along and try us out. conduct ourselves during the meal. (1 So, is the 11 o'clock style of meeting the Corinthians 11) only right way of “doing church”?; could • Our meetings should be orderly, but it be improved? The answers are “no” to this instruction was given because there the first question and “yes' to the were too many prophecies/revelations second. etc. and too many people were speaking God's handbook for our lives (the Bible) at once, not because everything is doesn't actually provide us with the supposed to follow the same format exact “correct” meeting or service every week!. (1 Corinthians 14 v40) format. It does give some guidelines and • We should care for each other and put principles but its the substance rather each other first (1 Corinthians 11) than the style of meeting which is • Our worship should be focussed on important as far as the Bible is God and not about how we like to concerned. We'd all do well to heed that organise our meetings. In other words, when we start to think that the format its all about Him and not us. of church service that we like best (and • We should share the good news of it usually is about personal preferences Jesus in a way that is relevant to our and what we've become comfortable culture (that's what Jesus was doing with) is the “right” way to do it. Styles or when He used parables to teach traditions of worship vary from church people). to church and even within the same In the end, our Sunday meetings aren't church. That's fine as long as the main the be all and end all of 'church'. The principles and guidelines are followed, Sunday meeting isn't what church is and if the tradition or format doesn't 15 supposed to be all about really. Worship


St. George's has a vision and a purpose statement that read: Our vision is to see the community around us transformed by God through relationship with Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. Our purpose is to be and to do all we can to enable our vision to become reality. We therefore aim: • To encounter God as we worship the risen Christ. • To grow in our prayer life, individually and together, always giving thanks to God and learning to pray in accordance with His will as we seek His guidance in all things. • To grow in community life through love and acceptance of each other, learning to be disciples of Christ through our relationships, our study of His Word, and our openness to the workings of His Spirit. • To fulfil our mission to win the wider community for Christ through evangelism and social care.

service. We have a couple of bands who share leading these times, but participation during the meeting from the whole church is welcomed, as the point of these times is for everyone to be able to express their worship to Jesus and to encounter Him as they do so. We pray together for our nation, for Benfleet, and for people who are in particular need. We also make a point of asking (and receiving) God's forgiveness for where we have slipped up and fallen short of His standards. Since we believe God is very much alive and active and cares for us all, we try to listen to Him for any specific situations where He wants to help someone. We share these together and offer prayer for anyone who would like to respond. Some of the answers to prayer have been amazing. In order to learn more about God, and about how to be followers of Jesus, we read a part of the Bible and someone (normally Anthony, our vicar) explains what it means and how to apply it in our The 11 o'clock Sunday meeting is just own lives. one of the times in the week when our At the same time as all this is happening, community comes together to try to put the children have their own events in some of these aims into practice. We the church hall next door although at spend some of the time giving thanks several times during the year, we all and praise to God for what He does and meet together. for who He is. This is often done using Once a month, we especially remember songs, music and words that are together the sacrifice that Jesus made contemporary and accessible to those for us on the cross so that we could all who aren't perhaps familiar with a be forgiven. We call this 'communion'. traditional English form of church 14 After the meetings, there always time to

catch up and chat with each other over end up being our main concern. The tea or coffee. essence of why we meet together is far The 11 o'clock service is quite informal; more important than the expression of the intention of this again is so that we how we meet. don't exclude those from the wider Some of the principles mentioned in the community in Benfleet who aren't used Bible include: to church traditions. Someone once said • We should meet together and encourthat church is the only organisation age each other (Hebrews 10v25) which exists for the benefit of its non• We should “Speak to one another with members, so we try to make those who psalms, hymns and spiritual songs”. don't normally attend feel as welcome (Ephesians 5 v19) as possible. Many visitors have com• When we meet together it is implied mented that they have been pleasantly that we should remember what Jesus surprised that church isn't as stuffy, did for us by sharing a meal of bread boring and irrelevant as they'd and wine together (Communion) but we expected. If you're at a loose end one should forgive each other first and not Sunday morning, you'd be very dishonour Jesus by the way that we welcome to come along and try us out. conduct ourselves during the meal. (1 So, is the 11 o'clock style of meeting the Corinthians 11) only right way of “doing church”?; could • Our meetings should be orderly, but it be improved? The answers are “no” to this instruction was given because there the first question and “yes' to the were too many prophecies/revelations second. etc. and too many people were speaking God's handbook for our lives (the Bible) at once, not because everything is doesn't actually provide us with the supposed to follow the same format exact “correct” meeting or service every week!. (1 Corinthians 14 v40) format. It does give some guidelines and • We should care for each other and put principles but its the substance rather each other first (1 Corinthians 11) than the style of meeting which is • Our worship should be focussed on important as far as the Bible is God and not about how we like to concerned. We'd all do well to heed that organise our meetings. In other words, when we start to think that the format its all about Him and not us. of church service that we like best (and • We should share the good news of it usually is about personal preferences Jesus in a way that is relevant to our and what we've become comfortable culture (that's what Jesus was doing with) is the “right” way to do it. Styles or when He used parables to teach traditions of worship vary from church people). to church and even within the same In the end, our Sunday meetings aren't church. That's fine as long as the main the be all and end all of 'church'. The principles and guidelines are followed, Sunday meeting isn't what church is and if the tradition or format doesn't 15 supposed to be all about really. Worship


is about so much more than merely meetings or singing. With all that in mind, how might we need to change the style of our 11 o'clock service in future in order to keep the essence of what we're doing whilst trying to share what we have with others that aren't used to what we've become used to? Maybe our musical style will need to change; perhaps sitting in rows (there's few places outside church where people do that) isn't the best way of encouraging people to interact with each other; maybe the method of Bible teaching will be more interactive too in future – we vary rarely sit and listen to one person speak for an extended period outside church; perhaps we'll need to think about ways of encouraging more people to use their gifts and participate rather than consume what is presented to them; isn't it strange that when we're at home with friends or watching TV, we often have coffee or tea at the same time, but in church we wait until the meeting is over? Finally, on the subject of style versus substance, take a look at this excerpt from a U.S newspaper objecting to the new trends in church music: “There are several reasons for opposing it. • One, it’s too new. • Two, it’s often worldly, even blasphemous. • The new Christian music is not as pleasant as the more established style. • Because there are so many songs, you can’t learn them all. • It puts too much emphasis on instru- 16

mental music rather than Godly lyrics. • This new music creates disturbances making people act indecently and disorderly. • The preceding generation got along without it. • It’s a money making scene and some of these new music upstarts are lewd and loose.” This was written by a pastor in 1723 attacking Isaac Watts, the writer of great hymns like 'When I Survey the Wondrous Cross', 'Joy to the World', and 'O God, Our Help in Ages Past'. It just goes to show that changes to traditional ways of worshipping God have always been difficult for people but that the way in which we conduct our church meetings now has changed over the years and will need to keep changing in future. by Jonathan Pinnock

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Have your say

Email the m agazine st.georgesm ag@yahooco .uk

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A Fine Selection of Wines & Beers always available Opening Hours Mon - Sat 8:00am - 10:00pm Sun 9:00am - 9:00pm

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A Christmas I Always Remember by Margaret King When I was organist at St Margaret’s one Christmas Eve I was playing for the midnight communion. It was a wonderful and uplifting experience. The church was lit entirely by candles except for one low watt bulb over the organ. The church was packed and many of the congregation were having to stand at the back. It had been a very uplifting and emotional service and the singing of carols and hymns led by the choir, raised the rafters. At the end of the service the rector was reading The Last Gospel which begins “In the beginning was the Word” (St John 1:1-14) when in the congregation a 6 week old baby started to cry. It was such an emotional moment. We had been celebrating the birth of Jesus when suddenly this baby started to cry. I did get very emotional and the tears started to fall – so much so that I had difficulty in playing the last hymn. Even now, when I remember this incident at Christmas I still feel very emotional.

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22 years experience

• Our company is owned and managed by qualified nurses

reliable & professional service

• Free Assessment

for a FREE no obligation quote contact Jessy on

01268 759731 12

• Providing assistance with washing and dressing

tel 01268 565844 mobile 07966 227146

• Respite, shopping and light household chores

5 Romsey Road, Benfleet, Essex. SS7 5TP

Please contact us on 01702 526797 www.brooks-care.co.uk

17


Jesus, a VERY special person

Barney says

God’s word

For a child has been born—for us!

the gift of a son—for us! He’ll take over the running of the world. His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. Isaiah 9:6 (The Message)

Hello friends, Christmas is such an exciting time of year: the world celebrates the birth of the baby Jesus. Through Isaiah, God told the Israelites that Jesus would be coming. Isaiah wrote his words about Jesus about 700 years before he was born! That’s a long time to wait – a lot longer than the 24 days on your Advent Calendars. Jesus is a special person, just look at the names Isaiah uses to describe him – amazing, strong, eternal and a prince. No wonder Jesus’ birth is a really special time and it’s great that we can celebrate it. Whatever you do this year, have a very Happy Christmas! Love Barney

We often remember the birth of Jesus through Nativity plays. Colour in this picture.

The nativity

Barney’s jokes

Dear God, Thank you that we can celebrate Christmas – please help me to remember that it’s all about Jesus. Amen

18

Book Review by Paul Cleasby

Everyman’s Battle By Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker

From all sides we are being attacked,TV, mags, computers and billboards with sensual images that are impossible to avoid, but not to rise above! Guys if you feel a separation from God, when all around you are really close, it’s worth reading this book, to get a spirit of Job who made a covenant with his eyes, God called him blameless and upright. Would you like God to think of you in the same way?

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took their positions. The gun sounds for the start of two minutes silence which is ended with The Last Post, and the laying of the wreaths. The Bishop of London leads a short but very moving service, after which the Royal party and all the other dignitaries leave the parade. It is then our turn to march past and to hand in our wreaths for them to be laid at the Cenotaph. One of the guards’ bands took up position a little way ahead of us, and as they moved off about a dozen members of The Royal British Legion marched in behind them and then we followed. I handed in the wreath as we came up to the Cenotaph to a very efficient group of people who lay them, forming a great carpet of poppies at one end of the Cenotaph. We marched up to Parliament Square, did a right turn into Great George Street, a left turn along the side of St. James Park. I can never get over how moving it is with the packed crowds along the whole route clapping and cheering the whole way. The atmosphere as one marches is electric and very humbling, but so glad to be able to honour those who cannot be there. We approached Horse Guards again and about half way along the salute is taken by a member of the Royal family, and this year it was the Prince of Wales, after which we turn back onto Horse Guards where we are dismissed. The weather had been glorious and I was so pleased to have been part of this Remembrance Day Parade.

Saturday 17th March 2012 London Men’s Convention 11


Remembrance Sunday

others of our organisation to we had to muster, as they only knew the by Richard Seely column they were in, not the position in that column. I was one of the earlier ones to arrive, and after showing my pass at the entrance, walked over to collect my marker. Each column has a couple of stewards as well as a column marshal, and they told me where to stand and I then learnt that we were to be the first column to go out onto Whitehall. There is a great atmosphere and a real feeling of togetherness, both on Horse Guards and in the crowds thronging the surrounding streets, made up of a huge mix of I have been marching in the Cenotaph people ranging from the very old to Remembrance Parade for a number of the quite young. About 9.55am the column marshal was getting a bit years with one of the ex-service concerned as there were still only two organisations to which I belong, of us in our group, and he wanted six namely ‘The Fellowship of the across when we were to move off at Services’. For the past three years I 10.15am! Thankfully in the next fifteen have been asked to lay the wreath minutes about fifty turned up and so when we march past the Cenotaph after the memorial service. The parade we could make a good showing. We also had a Guards officer as our right is organised by The Royal British Legion, and they now have it off to a hand marker and to guide us to our allotted position in Whitehall. They are fine art, having done it so often, but there still is a huge amount of work to very precise with their markings as they have to fit four columns into be sorted beforehand, as well as Whitehall and there is very little room everything coming together on the to spare. At 10.15am we marched off day. Each year I receive my ticket to through the arch into Whitehall and get onto Horse Guards, a number to show our position in our column, and into our position about fifty yards from the Cenotaph, so we had a great the wreath. This year we were still to be in our usual column ‘F’, but instead view of all that occurred. It was here of being in the middle, we were to be that I learnt that we were to be the the lead unit. We would have a great lead off column for the march past view of all the dignitaries forming up after the ceremonies, which was a huge and very pleasant surprise. We around the Cenotaph for the service watched as more bands arrived as well and the laying of their wreaths, normally I watch it on the big screens as detachments of all the services to they have along Whitehall. I arrived on take up their pre-ordained positions around the area. At about 10.50am the Horse Guards at about 8.25am because I knew I would have to hold dignitaries started to emerge onto Whitehall and finally, just as Big Ben the column marker to guide the 10 started, the Royal party came out and

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19


Struggling with�Debt

In partnership with Christians Against Poverty (CAP) St George’s has set up a centre in Benfleet. CAP offers FREE debt counselling for everyone. If you need help to gain control of your finances, CAP has a number of options, whether through face to face debt counselling, attending a CAP Money Course, or using our online tools and Self Help Pack. To learn more, check out: www.capuk.org

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babies are destroyed on the altar of convenience each year in this country alone. The moral and spiritual tank of this nation is nearly empty, we are spluttering to a moral collapse. Is this the sort of world we wish to leave to our children; do we want them to be brought up knowing the laws of God or the laws of the jungle? All visitors to St. George’s this Christmas are being offered a free copy of the New Testament which describes the history and teachings of Jesus Christ. We urge you to accept this gift and put it to good use by reading it regularly; look up the quotations in this article and pray to God for a greater understanding of His word. The 70 percenters of this nation must help push back the ignorance that is engulfing the people, parliament, and the judiciary. Become one of the 5 percenters who regularly come to church to worship our Lord and to hear the Word of God spoken. For the sake of the well being of this nation it is imperative that we narrow the gap between the 5 percenters and the 70 percenters. Year’s ago there used to be a car sticker reminding people that dogs are not just for Christmas; well, perhaps it’s about time that Christians got to understand that churchgoing is not just for Christmas either. We need to save ourselves, and this nation; help us to become the salt and light for this generation (Matthew 5:13-16). A comfortable way of re-connecting with the teachings of Christ is to come along to an internationally acclaimed evening Alpha Course where a pleasant meal is served to those on the course in a home setting with a short talk followed by informal discussions. Stay in touch for details of the next course.

“Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good. Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer.” Hebrews 10:24-25 (GNB). We at St. George’s pray that you will all have an enjoyable Christmas, and a God-inspired New Year, and we look forward to meeting many of you at St. George’s in the future. God bless.

9


CALLING ALL 70 PERCENTERS

to save it (John 12:47). On that occasion he had simply come to reveal God’s plan for the world (Ephesians Christmas comes but once a year, and 1:9-10), and tell us what we had to do so do many Christians to church. Why to avoid God’s judgement in the is it that some people who mark on a future (Matthew 4:17). But make no mistake, the warning has already been census form that they are Christian given, next time we see Him it will be (about 70% of the population at the judgement time; the sheep will be last count) only make the effort to come to church during the Christmas separated from the goats (Matthew 25:31-46). period? Some will come into the church building just to see their children or grandchildren take part in For the past 1500 years the laws and moral precepts that have guided this a festive pageant re-enacting the Christmas story of Jesus who was born nation and influenced the world have been drawn from the teachings of in poverty in a stable; there he is, so small, so cuddly, so meek, so mild, so Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate needing protection, and not a threat at this time of the year, and from God’s manual for human beings, the Bible. to anyone. The cattle are lowing the baby awakes, the little Lord Jesus no This Holy book tells us that: ‘All scripture is inspired by God and is crying He makes. I love thee Lord Jesus and ask thee to stay close by me useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our forever and love me I pray. Some lives. It corrects us when we are wrong once-a-year-Christians will come and teaches us to do what is right’ because Christmas is meant to be a (2 Timothy 3:16). The book of Proverbs happy time of the year, and singing traditional hymns with candles aglow (2:6) in the Old Testament informs us and mulled wine afterwards seems to that: ‘It is the Lord who gives wisdom; from Him come knowledge and evoke the best sort of cosiness in us understanding.’ As we collectively turn 70 percenters, and these traditions help chase away the mid-winter blues. our backs on God’s truth we start to walk in ignorance. Let us list some of Why do we need to go to church more the signs of our disconnect from the often than once a year? Well, if you put Word of God: lack of wisdom, a banking crisis led by greed and on your census form that you are a Christian, then you must believe that stupidity, greater inequality, social there is a God. If you believe that there strife, gang culture, rioting, excessive is a God, who will one day judge us all, greed at the top of society, celebrity perhaps it would be to our benefit to worship, pornography in shops and on pay attention to what He tells us to do the Internet, alcohol abuse, proliferabefore judgement day comes around tion of drug use, broken families, national and personal debt crisis, 5m (Revelation 14:7). When Jesus first visited this planet in human form 2000 people in the UK dependent on state handouts, adultery is common and years ago, and stayed for around 33 years, He informed the world that He accepted in high places, the downhad not come to judge the world but grading of marriage, full prisons, 8 abortion - around 180,000 unborn by Ken Miller

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Isaiah 9:6-7 – The darkness turns to light Z U I R V P G J F R E V E R O F D N A W Y Y X W A

N F F S U W Z E Y G E D F Q I S R K P I T E Y I C

F A D Y B O M J X D S I V B S K X G Y L H S S T H

D E L L A C E B L L I W E H A O I X X L G T J H I

G H P O O I Z J H Y H P C Y E N O L U A I H K J L

G L U M E A S I P S Z P H M K N L O T C M E M U D

F N W D N V G I W S T P M D A F O T D C L G F S I

R O L L E S N U O C L U F R E D N O W O A O T T S

The following 25 phrases are all found in Isaiah 9:6-7 (NIV). Can you find them all? They are in passage order. • FOR TO US • A CHILD IS BORN • A SON IS GIVEN • THE GOVERNMENT • ON HIS SHOULDERS

W N I F J Y F A F S K G S O M V T D T M D V E I B

E C A E P F O E C N I R P Q T T P N N P R E S C O

D R O V E R H I S K I N G D O M Y E E L O R T E R

Z D R O E P N F O I I G T D D C P O M I L N A N N

Z K Q K V G G N N O V S W H U F E N N S E M B G U

Z F G Z E I N V F O Q L J E V Z X E R H H E L I P

A W L Z A B X M E M V O A U J D M B E T T N I E H

E V E R L A S T I N G F A T H E R L V H D T S R O

O N D A V I D S T H R O N E F P A L O I O H H L L

• HE WILL BE CALLED • WONDERFUL COUNSELLOR • MIGHTY GOD • EVERLASTING FATHER • PRINCE OF PEACE • OF THE GREATNESS • OF HIS GOVERNMENT • AND PEACE • THERE WILL BE NO END • HE WILL REIGN 22

N O E M I T T A H T M O R F O T D I G S G G I L D

S S E N S U O E T H G I R X R L H W S Q Y U N I I

A N D P E A C E G J Y E W Q T Q Q E I P T P G W N

S S E N T A E R G E H T F O O L R R H M H R T E G

A R V E T N H H E N N P J K U K V E F Z G D A H Z

D G N E V I G S I N O S A T S E O H O X I J U Q U

Z J Y U W T O G E N K W K F O X D T M W M K L U H

• ON DAVID’S THRONE • OVER HIS KINGDOM • ESTABLISHING • UPHOLDING • WITH JUSTICE • RIGHTEOUSNESS • FROM THAT TIME ON • AND FOREVER • THE LORD ALMIGHTY • WILL ACCOMPLISH THIS

T P D N B H R E O O N H I S S H O U L D E R S U H

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Editorial

dozens of figures, with mountains, shepherds and animals, do not make sense until the main figure, which incidentally is very small, that of Jesus, is placed in the manger. Something 25th December is Christmas Day, similar happens in the soul. Until Jesus when we commemorate the birth of is born in the hearts of men it is not Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, according yet Christmas, but only the hope of it. to the gospels of Matthew and Luke. The most important thing is within After Easter it is the most important the heart, where God is born. The cave feast of the ecclesiastical year. where Jesus was born was a dirty and Christmas, as we know it today, is a ugly cave, abandoned. creation of the nineteenth century. But when the Blessed Virgin placed The Christmas tree, originally from her child in that crib, it became the Germanic areas, spread to other areas throne of God and the cave of heaven. of Europe and America. The carols Our soul is a cave like that; dirty and were retrieved and many new ones ugly until God dwells there. Our were composed (the custom of sing- manger, our heart, is just a place to ing carols, though of ancient origins, store more or less good feelings. But comes mainly from the nineteenth when God dwells in us our heart and century). Christmas cards did not start soul become a heaven. This is Christto be used until the 1870s, although mas, heaven in our souls, Jesus in our the first was printed in London in hearts. 1846. Toast with our wine and our Christmas The familiar image of Santa Claus, meal the coming of the Son of God. with the sleigh, reindeer and bags Let us open the doors of our homes with toys, is an American invention and our hearts. from these years, but the legend of The Baby Jesus came to give his life for Santa Claus is old and complex, partly our salvation, for the redemption of derived from St. Nicholas and a jovial our sins. medieval figure, the spirit of May this Christmas pour out upon our Christmas. In Russia he traditionally families the peace that the angels has a pink piglet under his arm. announced – “Peace to the men who Today, Christmas is a time of great love the Lord” commercial activity and the exchange of gifts. God Bless At the first Christmas there was only Jesus. In our present-day Christmas Marisa & Karen there are lots of things ... but hopefully, still, Jesus. Christmas is about the Baby Jesus. There is the custom in some houses to prepare for the birth a few days before Email the mag 24th December, but the cradle in the azine st .georgesmag cave is empty, Jesus is unborn. We @yahoo.co.u k could say that all that birth, with

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Ye Olde Christmas Cake by Margaret Hillman It’s that time of year again and I know that many of you enjoy making my old Granny’s Christmas cake but have lost the recipe. Well, don’t despair it’s not too late you still have time before Christmas to get cooking. Ingredients 1lb 4oz Dried Fruit soaked for three days in sherry. 4oz raisins 4oz currants 4oz glace cherries quartered 6oz soft margarine I bottle cognac 6oz dark soft brown sugar Grated rind of lemon Grated rind of orange 3 eggs I tabsp black treacle 2oz blanched almonds chopped 4oz plain flour 2 oz self-raising flour I tsp. mixed spice. Method Sample the cognac to check for quality. Take a large bowl. Check cognac again. To be absolutely sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink it. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer; beat soft margarine and sugar in large fluffy bowl. Add eggs and beat again. Make sure the cognac is still ok. Cry another tup. Turn off the mixerer. Chuck in the dried fruit. Mix on the turner. If the dried fruit gets stuck in the beaterers, pry loose with a drewscriver. Sample the cognac to check for tonsisticity. Nest sift the flour or salt or something, who cares? Check the cognac. Now sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one tablespoon of something. Whatever you've got left. Grease the oven. Turn the cake on to 300 degrees. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Throw the bowl out of the window. Check the cognac again and go to bed. Marks & Spencer produce a very good Christmas Cake which you can always bring home in a discreet carrier bag. Merry Christmas to All. 24

people we could add Christmas to the list as well - 'Christmas is the opium of the people'! It's a strange mixture really, because although most say they're looking forward to it, the pressures are on to be ready in time, to spend what they haven't got, and so on. If you really delve into what Christmas is supposed to be about – celebrating the birth of Christ – you actually find little in the story that's escapism. Instead, there's much to do with the harsh realities of life: poverty and short life-expectancy for most at the time, a baby born in very difficult circumstances, a harsh occupying imperial force, a cruel and jealous king, an enforced exile for Jesus and his family. Yet we still celebrate the event as having immense significance. In fact, that significance comes not from the birth story itself but from what happens later. Jesus grows up to become the One who will save mankind by bearing our sin in his death on the cross and opening the way to eternal life with God his Father. That's what gives us the real hope of Christmas, not the tinsel and the vague goodwill that lasts only a while. No, this hope lasts and it sees you through everything, thick and thin, if you have a living connection with the hope-giver.

'Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.' 'Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.' 'Jesus Christ was born to save!' 'Not in that poor, lowly stable, we shall see him; but in heaven, set at God's right hand on high.' Many of these songs look forward to something more than just the Nativity. Those who have found a real relationship with the crucified, risen Christ will tell you that they can celebrate Christmas in a far more meaningful and deep way than they ever could without him, and in him they look forward to a glorious eternal future. I do pray that you can find a hope this year that goes deeper than the decorations, that lasts longer than the Christmas TV schedules, that is more meaningful than the presents you may give or receive and that will last well beyond the season, indeed into eternity. A truly happy Christmas and joyful New Year to you and yours from me and mine! With best wishes, Anthony.

Actually, we sing of this reality of hope in the carols every year. Try these lines for instance: 5


Anthony’s Welcome

know there are those who decorate their homes early too. Christmas has become something rather stretched out, even though most people take down the decorations very quickly instead of waiting for the traditional twelve days of Christmas.

Why do people do this with Christmas? Don't get me wrong; I think it's a very special time of year. It's obviously an opportunity for families to get together, the atmosphere is Dear friends, always special, and even nasty people can behave as human beings There are always stories at this time of sometimes! The sad thing, I fear, is that year to amuse us. I read about a man for many people it's become simply an in Ohio who was arrested after attempt to escape the realities of life. allegedly breaking into a family's In the current economic climate, and house and putting up their Christmas with our over-exposure to bad news decorations. The 44-year-old through the media, people will hang apparently let himself into the house, on to anything that gives them a sense lit a candle and turned on a TV before of well-being. doing some Christmas decorating. He was allegedly high on bath salts, of all Karl Marx famously once wrote that religion is 'the opium of the people'. things. The family's 11-year-old son He believed that people sought solace reportedly came home after the break-in and found him sitting on the in religion as an illusion that would couch. It ended peacefully, I'm glad to turn their attention away from their plight of poverty and oppression by say, but I'd love to see the police report! the ruling classes. That's why The story in itself is a little unusual, but communism in the Soviet Union for many years persecuted Christians and what's even more remarkable is that tried to destroy the church. Now, we the date of the news story I saw was 14th November. Now, either the man could take that phrase of Marx's and found the decorations in a cupboard easily apply it to all manner of things; drugs, alcohol, the false hope somewhere or the family really were going to put up the decorations that gambling gives, living for holidays, early. I know that shops have them in anything that takes our minds off everyday realities. And I think for some ridiculously early these days, but I 4

Do You Dig It..... As usual I did not achieve all I set out to do last month, if you managed any of my suggestions from last month well done that’s great! Still here is a quick reminder Digging over the beds and adding Nitro chalk, Potash and Blood Fish & Bone. Covering Beds with Black Plastic so they are nice and warm, for an early start in spring! Washing and sterilizing all pots, containers and racking. Also two other jobs are turning the compost in your bin and cleaning/sharpening your tools for the new season. And keep checking that stored fruit, we don’t need one rotten apple spoiling a barrel! I have just ordered my seed catalogues, its good to sit in a comfy chair and plan the crop rotation of veg beds as well as pots. Stick with what has worked, dump what hasn’t. Try something new and by listing where it likes to grow, when it is best to sow / harvest and store. By keeping a note book each year with the information to hand, I find I don’t miss sowing times or plant in the wrong soil, but you all know I have a terrible memory. Short and sweet this month as the garden and us are resting. God Bless to all Paul Cleasby

Have you ever thought about adopting part of the church garden? Claire and I did after the last clean up day. We had been working on the front garden near the bus stop when we decided to adopt it. So far we have cut back several shrubs, planted cyclamen and bulbs. We are currently in the process of clearing and weeding the area. We find it very enjoyable watching the area improve and also very relaxing. Why don't you give it a go too! Sue Benton and Claire Littlejohn

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Home maintenance & Renovation’s

Stewart Hobbs

what’s on in

December 4th Christmas Lunch 7th - river of god

carpentry, door hanging, kitchens, Bedroom & bathroom installations. tiling, disability fittings, electrics. paintingz & decorating, flat pack assembly

for a reliable & professional service please contact stewart on tel: 01702 421688 mob: 07821160590 free estimates available

-line y k s aerials Digital TV aerials DAB radio aerials and Freeview Boxes installed also All Home Entertainment Equipment installed and demonstrated

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18th - 10.00am Communion Service 4.00pm All-age Christmas Celebration with Christingles 6.30pm Traditional Carol Service (Seasonal refreshments at the 4pm and 6.30pm services) Christmas Eve 24th December 4.00pm Carols around the Crib (Especially suitable for young children) 11.00pm Midnight Communion Christmas Day 25th December 10.00am All-age Christmas Morning Celebration New year eve party 8.30pm - 1.00am

contents St.george’s magazine Sundays at St George’s 2 Contacts 2 What’s on 3 Anthony’s Welcome 4-5 Editorial 6 New Year Eve party 7 Calling all 70 percenters 8 - 9 Remembrance Sunday 10 -11 Book review 11 Church Meetings 14 -16 A christmas i always remember 17

Barney’s page Cap Puzzle page Recipe Gardening Group contacts

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18 20 22 24 25 27


Church Home Groups See weekly notice sheet

St. George’s Pre-School Mon - Fri 9.15 - 12 noon

Apply at Church hall after 10.00am

River of God 1st Wednesday of the month

St. George’s Parent & Toddlers Group Thursdays 1.00 - 3.00pm Jane Rose 792088

Vicar Revd. Anthony Rose 792088 Curate Revd. Peter Begley 01702 476500 Youth Pastor Revd. Peter Hillman 755306 Reader Mr. Dave Brown 753238 Church Wardens Mrs. Margaret Rostron 757984 Mrs. Anne Nunn 754332 Church Administrator Mrs. Denise Marsh 792088 office hours Mon - Thurs 9.30-12pm

Intercession Prayer Request Mrs. Margaret King 752571 Honorary Secretary Mrs. Lynda King 771174

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Honorary Treasurer Mrs. Irene Lock 750882 Organist Mrs. Ina Osborn 793453 Magazine Editors Mrs. Marisa Murphy 565464 Mrs. Karen Smith 776443 Magazine Secretary Mrs. Margaret King 752571 Missionary Secretary Suzanne Marshak 755663 Fair Trade Goods Karen Hillman Youth People Leaders Dragon Slayers (5-11yrs) Mrs. Jane Rose 792088 Under 5’s Mrs. Jean Payne 754132

Mens Prayer Night Last Thursday of the month

Rainbow Tuesdays 5.00 - 6.00pm Kelliesue Jeffery 565461 Friday 4.30 - 5.30pm Denise Mechem-Whitefield 751766

Hall Booking Secretary Joy Mickleburgh 07808 164724

Brownies Tuesday 4.45 - 6.00pm Mrs. D. Longhurst 751766 Wednesday 4.15 - 5.45pm Mrs. Janice Adams 757619

Altar Guild Mary Bridgeman 792296

Wives Club Thursday 8.00pm Gloria Logan

New Thundersley Seniors Club Tuesday 2.00 - 4.00pm Mavis Fawell 794305 Mary Bridgeman 792296

Guides Wednesday 6.15 - 7.45pm Susie Miller 750362

New Thundersley Townswomans Guild

Cubs Friday 6.15pm Alan & Carol Lynes 690976 Scouts Friday 8.00pm Mr. J Payne 754132

1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month for more information please Jan Payne 01268 757395 27


St. George’s Parish Magazine

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December 2011 Rushbottom Lane New Thundersley

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Spanish Tuition Argentinean teacher, grammar and /or conversation, small groups or personal. £20 per lesson £30 home lesson

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She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. Matthew 1: 21


St. George's Parish Magazine December