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THE PARISHIONER Christmas 2019 and New Year 2020

L’OREAL ON 25TH MARCH The greatest gift of all came silently, inexplicably, imperceptibly. The angel had been and gone, Mary was left wondering, with no one to talk to, no possible explanation. Perhaps, sometime later, she felt something, a feeling that she would later describe as “being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit”. Perhaps she felt nothing at all. The church assumes that 25th March is the date of the Annunciation, because that would make Mary’s pregnancy exactly 9 months long. I like to reflect on that date that God became the tiniest speck, a fertilised human egg, a bundle of cells too small for the eye to see. God couldn’t speak, couldn’t move, couldn’t think, not even self-aware; God utterly vulnerable. When I’m in a humorous mood, I like to think of the angels in heaven trying to understand the idea of God choosing to become something so small and so vulnerable. I like to think of the conversations they have when they think God isn’t listening! But when I’m in a more reflective mood, I remind myself that I too was once that small. At the All Souls Day service this year, when we light candles to remember those that we have loved who have died, I was moved to light an extra candle for all the babies who have died in the womb, through miscarriage and abortion, and possibly, occasionally, through the death of the mother. God shared their vulnerability. God shares our pain. As the Son of God was quietly growing in Mary’s womb, silently, imperceptibly, the world was carrying on as normal – hard grind, family concerns, financial worries, tough taxation, concerns about the weather, Temple observance, religious arguments (much like today, in many ways, but they didn’t have an election or the shadow of Brexit – but they did have the Roman occupation, of course). People had no way of knowing at that stage that God was 2

with them. They couldn’t see or hear the Son of God, but he was there (again much like today). The next time that Jesus was this utterly vulnerable was hanging on the cross. Just hours from his own death he was able to forgive his enemies, and he was able to promise the penitent thief, “I promise you that today you will be with me in Paradise”. Why “L’Oreal”? God took on our vulnerability, “because we are worth it!” This Christmas let us reflect that we too are vulnerable. Pastoral ministry always reminds me both that life is precious, and also that life is fragile. God shared our precious fragility because he loves each and every one of us. We are worth it. Happy Christmas! With love,



CHURCHES TOGETHER in HORSLEY and OCKHAM Intercessory Prayers DECEMBER 2019 Dear Lord, we pray particularly around this Christmas time that you would Bless the many broken and suffering families who are struggling to cope with sudden or ongoing situations. Please grant them the Grace, help and encouragement each of them needs to rebuild their lives and to feel loved and valued, particularly by You. May our Churches be special places of welcome, inclusion and understanding. AMEN JANUARY 2020 Almighty God, we hear in the Gospels your warning against division and your command that “we must be one�. We implore you to help us follow your guidance for Unity, acknowledging that only by YOUR Grace, can we work together to heal the divisions of our Churches, our country and our World. AMEN


MU4ALL Is Just That! For ALL: THE BEEHIVE The Beehive meets once a month on the 4th Thursday at 2.00 p.m. at St. Martin’s Court. Coffee, cake and a time to share, whilst making a difference to others in need. We meet together to work at MU projects, such as neonatal supplies, knitting, making blankets and quilts and any particular needs which arise.

FOODBANK The Cobham Food Bank still needs our support, both by our donations, and by giving out vouchers. The need for the Foodbank is as great as ever and donations can be made at both All Saints and Downside as well as Costa Coffee, Sainsburys and Waitrose in Cobham. Donations must be non-perishable. Hugh has food vouchers. The Revd Renos Pittarides Rector of East Horsley The Rectory
Ockham Road South
East Horsley
KT24 6RL t: 01483 283713


Parish Clergy Rector: Revd. Hugh Grear* Tel: 01483 224136 Email: Revd. Elisabeth Burke (01932 863886) Email: LLM Lay Reader: Mrs. Clare Bevan (01483 479963) Church Wardens Mrs. Sally Pound (01932 400189) Mrs. Jan Winser (01483 225200) *Hugh’s working days are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday Don’t forget to keep up to date with everything happening in our Parish by going to

St Michael’s Chapel, Downside is available for hire for meetings and other events at very reasonable rates. Contact David Pappin (01932 863020) or email Please send articles for the next edition by the 19th of the month preceding publication to CHURCH POSTCODE GU23 6NQ 6

OCKHAM CHOIR IS LOOKING FOR HELP AT CHRISTMAS Do you enjoy singing traditional Christmas Carols? Ockham Choir is looking for additional help at Christmas, mainly for the Carol Service on Sunday 15 December. We would welcome any voices – sopranos, altos, tenors or basses – and you don’t have to be able to read music. Enthusiasm is more important! We meet at Sheila Mellstrom’s house on a Wednesday evening usually at 7.30pm for an hour, but we may be able to put that back to 8pm if more convenient for those who are working. The Carol Service is at 4pm on Sunday 15 December, and if you’d like to help out at Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, you’d be welcome then to – but that’s optional. To find out more please call Sheila on 01483 282551 or email her at


ST MICHAEL'S CHAPEL, DOWNSIDE IS NOW LICENSED FOR WEDDINGS! Up until now anyone wanting to get married in our chapel at Downside has had to get a special licence. But the Bishop of Guildford has now granted us a full license. It is a lovely, modern and intimate venue for a wedding - the chapel seats a maximum of 40 people and the east window looks out over fields. For more information contact Hugh Grear 01483 224136


MIND, BODY AND SOUL The idea that spending recreational time in natural settings is good for our health and wellbeing is hardly new, but how would you encourage our readers to embrace this for the New Year? Think mind, body and soul before the excuses stop you from venturing outside this Christmas and New Year. Not wanting to get cold and wet can be the first thing to put you off, so asking for a decent coat and wellies for Christmas to keep you warm and dry will help. There is pleasure in feeling the fresh cold air or drizzle against your face, especially if you have somewhere warm and dry to go afterwards.

What are the benefits? It’s not just to stretch your legs for exercise. Nature has a balancing effect, clears your mind and brings equilibrium, like a walking meditation. Witnessing the ever changing weather patterns, trees, ephemeral colours and wildlife is mysteriously grounding as you become aware of something more constant 9

within. And when you hear the gentle whisper of your thoughts upon the breeze there is an inner peace to be found. Surrey boasts so many amazing surroundings, what can you recommend? The intimacy of any Surrey woodland is very appealing. Not being able to see too far ahead is a comfort and the branches reach out as if to greet you as you pass. In contrast there’s a wonder and thrill in experiencing big wide open space like the North Downs or a vast wilderness like Chobham or Wisley and Ockham Common. Feeling the buffeting wind, looking out across the rolling hills and distant landscape, there is a sense that you are a part of a much larger natural environment. Jo Foat Surrey Wildlife Trust Are you a member of Surrey Wildlife Trust? Help protect Surrey’s wildlife by joining as a member or making a donation. Surrey Wildlife Trust cares for more than 9,000 hectares of the county’s countryside and could not carry out vital conservation work without the support of members, supporters and volunteers. To join and to find out more about the benefits of SWT membership, visit




At THE BLACK SWAN at 7.00 pm The first Monday of each month for drinks And nibbles and occasional raffle for OHRA ** We are looking for volunteers to host ( not organise) each month!! If you would like to help please do contact either Jan Winser at or 01483-224909. Or Doreen Jones at Or 07988-818903 Thank you Jan and Doreen


CLASSIC CAR EVENT At the Black Swan Second Sunday in each month Classic Car morning from 8am at the Black Swan Breakfasts served!

CAROL SINGING Just to say that I am not organising the Carol Singing around the village this year. Last year the weather got the better of us and we sang carols at the Parish Room instead. Thank you to everyone who has supported this event over the years and allowed us to support the Ockham Church Charities at Christmas time. We will, of course, be singing carols at the church services over Christmas. Jenny Milligan


FORTHCOMING SERVICES Sunday 1st December Advent Sunday 9.00 am Downside Songs of Praise 10.30 am All Saints’ Parish Communion *PEBBLES Sunday 8th December Second Sunday in Advent 9.00 am Downside Holy Communion 10.30 am All Saints’ Parish Communion *PEBBLES Sunday 15th December Third Sunday in Advent 9.00 am Downside Holy Communion 10.30 am All Saints’ Parish Communion *PEBBLES 4.00 pm All Saints’ Carol Service Sunday 22nd December Fourth Sunday in Advent 9.00 am Downside Holy Communion 10.30 am All Saints’ Family Service Tuesday 24th December CHRISTMAS EVE 4.00 pm Downside Crib Service 5.00 pm Downside Carols in the Chapel 11.00 pm All Saints’ Midnight Mass Wednesday 25th December 9.00 am Downside 10.30 am All Saints’


Sunday 29th December First Sunday of Christmas 9.00 am Downside Holy Communion 10.30 am All Saints’ Joint Service of Holy Communion together with St Martin’s & St Mary’s


2020 Sunday 5th January Epiphany 9.00 am Downside 10.30 am All Saints’

Songs of Praise Parish Communion *PEBBLES

Sunday 12th January Baptism of Christ 9.00 am Downside Holy Communion 10.30 am All Saints’ Parish Communion *PEBBLES Sunday 19th January Third Sunday in Epiphany 9.00 am Downside Holy Communion 10.30 am All Saints’ Parish Communion *PEBBLES Sunday 26th January Candlemas 9.00 am Downside 10.30 am All Saints’

Holy Communion Family Service

Sunday 2nd February 4th Sunday before Lent 9.00 am Downside Songs of Praise 10.30 am All Saints’ Parish Communion *PEBBLES Sunday 9th February 3rd Sunday before Lent 9.00 am Downside Holy Communion 10.30 am All Saints’ Parish Communion *PEBBLES

*PEBBLES children’s group meet in church at the start of every Communion service, leave for their own activities in the Cabin and join the congregation at the end.


ST MATTHEW’S INFANT SCHOOL This term has been an exciting and busy one here at St Matthew’s with a happy buzz of learning and many exciting things happening. Our new Reception Class, Rabbits, have settled very well and are enjoying all their learning activities and getting to know all of the other children around the school. In September, we were delighted to welcome Mary Lewis and to show her around St Matthews so that she could see us in action and meet the children. She joined us in assembly and contributed to our discussion about this term’s value Responsibility, telling the children all about her responsibilities as Surrey County Councillor and Cabinet Member for Children – they enjoyed asking her questions about her role and telling her about their responsibilities as members of our school community. Classes have had great learning experiences through history and drama workshops this term – learning about Mary Anning and castle life; and have had some exciting trips related to their learning, visiting Nower Wood, Leeds Castle and the Natural History Museum. Year One took part in an Infants Sports Festival at St Teresa’s and Key Stage One are brushing up their football skills ready for a tournament early next term. We continue to value our strong community links, performing our annual Maypole Dancing demonstration at the Cobham Heritage Day in September – children practised hard for this and enjoyed the experience of the audience clapping along on the day. We thank 1st Cobham Scouts for helping us to make our lanterns, ready for the Cobham Extravaganza and light parade this Friday – we are looking forward to walking together with other local schools and lighting the way through the streets. Year Two are looking forward to singing some favourite Christmas songs to the residents of Cossins Care Home in the last week of term. 16

We are proud of our strong links with All Saints Ockham and enjoy our relationship through Revs Hugh and Elisabeth. The children love their assemblies and collective Worship and enjoy going to All Saints – many families took part in the Harvest Service and in the Remembrance Service and Parade. The children put a lot of thought into making their class wreaths for Remembrance and were proud to represent their school at the parade. Classes are currently practising their lines and dances for this year’s Nativity – ‘Lights, Camels, Action’ – and it promises to be a good show that combines fun with the true Christmas message of Jesus’ birth. Christmas is galloping towards us rather quickly! We are currently fund-raising for new reading books and a new canopied area to enable shade and cover when the children are playing and learning outside – if you like running or walking, a date for your diaries is Sunday 17th May 2020 when we will be having our annual 5 / 10k Fun Run. We would love you to join us! Kathy Hutt Headteacher.


IN PRAISE OF GOOD KING WENCESLAS When I was a choir boy many years ago, ‘Good King Wenceslas’ was a very popular carol. A tenor sang the King’s lines, a treble sang the Page’s, and the choir filled in the narrative. It was not of course technically a Christmas carol but one for which most people know as ‘Boxing Day’ – the ‘Feast of Stephen’ the first Christian martyr. But you don’t hear Good King Wenceslas these days. It has fallen foul of political correctness. The king was wealthy and very kindly, helped a poor man, but the last verse was the problem. It called on ‘Christian men, wealth and rank possessing’. To help the poor and be blessed in doing it. All very patronising, class-conscious, and chauvinistic. So, it has simply disappeared. I think that’s a pity, and I also think it’s a serious misunderstanding of the carol. It relates to the good deeds of a tenth century Duke of Bohemia, Wenceslas I, and concerns a king and his page, and a poor man freezing and potentially starving whom he saw from his window. The king didn’t, as he might well have done, simply order some minion to take the man some food or fuel. He decided to do it himself assisted by his young page. Together they braved the bitter wind and snow in order to take pine logs and food to this humble dwelling. That is not patronising but true Christian grace. Yes, the last verse does express a Victorian view of the characters but that’s when it was written. No one should condemn the carol and its message. Who would shrink from following its example? I’m afraid texting a token ten quid to a charity does not quite qualify. Love requires action, if we don’t see that then we have missed the point. That is the message of this lovely carol. The Editor 18








Profile for Richard Peters

The Parishioner Christmas 2019  

Magazine of the Parish of Ockham with Hatchford & Downside

The Parishioner Christmas 2019  

Magazine of the Parish of Ockham with Hatchford & Downside