St Maryâ€™s Parish Magazine
Volume 2, Issue 5
Summer 2011 www.stmaryswoodford.org.uk
Finding our God given shape In this magazine you will read a number of stories about amazingly different people doing surprising things. 'Hear our prayer for all your people, that each in their vocation and ministry may be instruments of your love...' These lines, from a prayer often used at ordination and licensing services, remind us that God calls each of us to serve him in various ways: whatever our race, gender, age, abilities or disabilities. God equips us in different ways; and he invites us to use them in the church and in the wider world. Our Diocese runs a number training courses to prepare people for service; and it is currently helping parishes run a local six-evening course called 'Your SHAPE for God's service'. Merely unpacking the 'SHAPE' in the title is a lesson in itself: • Spiritual Gifts (God’s unique gifts to you) • Heart’s Desire (what you love to do) • Abilities (your talents, knowledge and skills) • Personality (your personal qualities and strengths) • Experience (your experiences and what you’ve learnt) These factors make each of us unique. And Christians believe that we each have a role to play, like the different tools in a mechanic's toolkit. Over this summer, why not spend some time thinking about the SHAPE that God has given you - and how he wants you to use it in the coming year? Ian Our cover picture is of the group who spent a sunny weekend on retreat at Pleshey. You can read more about the retreat on page 22
Parish Register Confirmed in the Holy Spirit 17 March at St Jamesâ€™ Stratford Nicola Tomaszewska William Layzell-Smith United before God in marriage 4 June Titi Voinoiu & Claudia Kimmel Funerals 4 April Joyce Giles 13 May Joan Skerry 18 May Albert Hare 20 May Jack Morrison May they rest in peace and rise in glory
Nicola and William with the Bishop of Barking
News From Kenya Return visit Last year when a party from our church went to Kenya, Revd Sospeter Ngari Njambere welcomed us to his parish of Karima in Mbeere Diocese. This year Sospeter came to England for a two-week course organised by Sharing Of Ministries Abroad (SOMA) in Canterbury, with 30 other Anglican clergy from 20 countries around the world. His third week here was spent visiting parishes and projects in Chelmsford Diocese, including our own parish, where he was reunited with David and Wendy Littlejohns, Nick Hayes and myself. Ian Tarrant
Building Hope from Tragedy Wendy Littlejohns on an inspiring story from Kenya How do you cope with being widowed at the age of 36 with four children, the youngest of whom was just three weeks old? Canon Naomi Waqo was just such a person and recently told her story to the Hillcrest Road Home Group. Her husband was Rt Revd William Waqo Assistant Bishop of Marsabit in north Kenya - an area the size of England but with no tarmac roads. In 2006, a drought in the area led to clashes over water. Local MPs and William were sent to mediate after 78 people died during one of the disputes. But sadly, appalling weather led to a helicopter crash in which everyone died.
Canon Naomi now works as an administrator at the St Nicholas Children’s Centre, an orphanage in Karin a suburb of Nairobi. The centre had its roots as a feeding centre at All Saints Cathedral, but now occupies 5.5 acres including accommodation for 38 children and a primary school for 200. Many have gone on to secondary school and university. Naomi lives in the south of Nairobi with her four children aged from 5 to 20 years and all at various levels of education. She is a charming lady who, though devastated by her husband’s untimely death, has risen to the challenge of continuing his legacy. Last year on the 4th anniversary of the crash, with Naomi’s active support, the Bishop Waqo Peace and Canon Naomi Waqo Reconciliation Initiative was launched. The aim is to raise up Peace Champions, from groups of elders, women, and young people to help promote peace and integration through working to resolve common issues and developing initiatives such as micro-financing.
Welcome Frederick who has joined us as Director of Music. Frederick Stocken reflects on his arrival and the music tradition at St Mary’s You certainly do things properly at St Mary’s. After a forty-five-minute interview before a panel of five, directing a half-hour sample choir practice of three contrasting pieces, playing a fifteen-minute organ recital of two contrasting pieces – all under the musical supervision of a managing editor of Radio 3 - here I am as your new Director of Music. I have enjoyed my first few weeks at St Mary’s, and have been impressed by the great care that goes into planning the worship here. As a believing Christian, I do not see my professional contribution to the music in isolation but as supporting the wider ministry at St Mary’s. The various strands of worship here mean that I have to be flexible – not to say versatile – but I aim to provide appropriate musical support to the highest standards of which I am capable. I am most grateful to Ian and the other clergy for their help and for the warmth of the welcome from the congregation. I especially thank my new friends, the choir. Ian has asked me to say a little bit about myself, and I confess I find this apparently simple request daunting. The bullet-point facts are that I was a chorister at Southwell Minster in Nottinghamshire, a student at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester and Organ Scholar of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. I also have a PhD in music from Manchester University and am a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, for which I also now do some teaching. My longest church-music appointment before St Mary’s was at Holy Trinity Church in Barnes, where I was Director of Music for ten years.
Aside from freelance piano and organ teaching, lecturing and examining for the Associate Board, the main focus of my musical career has been composition, and I try, as far as possible, to keep my mornings free for creative work. I’ve been fortunate to have had many varied opportunities. My composing career had something of a kick-start when my Lament for Bosnia, through beginner’s luck, was number one in the classical charts of Tower Records for several weeks. Of all my pieces, I suppose my most high-profile commission to date has been my First Symphony, commissioned for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and played by the orchestra in the Royal Albert Hall conducted by Vernon Handley and broadcast on Classic FM. Since then I’ve had a Second Symphony played, and I have also, over the years, written scores for diverse forces, including orchestral, ballet, choral and piano music, often to commission. Quite a lot of my music has only been heard once and then ‘withdrawn’, unfortunately; I am rather (and increasingly) self-critical. Having been rather circumspect about composing for the organ for many years, I recently rediscovered a great passion for the instrument, and a main reason why I was keen to take this job, was in order to gain some inspiration by having ready access to a top-quality organ. You are warmly invited to hear my first efforts at organ composition on Saturday 8 October at 11am when I am giving a recital to open the Woodford Festival; as part of it I will be giving a performance of my new Archangels, which will include a piece each for St Gabriel, St Raphael and St Michael; as I write, St Gabriel is still not quite complete! I’ve also written a book on Anton Bruckner and published a method for learning piano scales. My current non-musical ambition is to be able to identify different types of trees better; ‘Stocken’ actually means ‘stump of a tree’. A good reminder of just what a fine tradition of music St Mary’s has is our choir library, which houses a treasure-trove of music going way back, much of it still in regular use. Running my eyes along the shelves of the library, maintained so devotedly by our choir librarian, Jane O’Regan, I am forcibly struck by what wide-ranging, and often very ambitious, music has echoed around St Mary’s over the years. I do hope that, with your prayers, please, both for me and our extremely committed choir, we’ll be able to keep a great musical tradition going. (You can hear clips from Frederick’s work at www.frederickstocken.com)
Easter joy is not just for Eastertide Maundy Thursday reflections from Rowena and Marilyn’s thoughts about the Lent course and Easter celebrations in the Methodist Church remind us that Easter truths are for every day. Food for thought The East Anglian Readers were lucky enough to have the Archbishop of York as the main speaker at their Away Day this March. The gentleman who has organised these days for many years is now very frail and, for the first time, came in a wheel chair. The Archbishop insisted on pushing the chair himself. Apart from the very important fact that this meant a great deal to the gentleman concerned, it was a gesture of humility of a kind that we all need. We acknowledge when we commemorate Jesus washing the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper, that it is the role of those in high authority to serve. We need those in high authority to perform these gestures, to focus us and to give us symbolism. In the Middle Ages monarchs actually washed the feet of poor people at the Maundy Thursday ceremony as well as giving alms. The topic the Archbishop had been given was “Spirituality in the Church” but he does not like the word “spirituality”. He feels that it is too loosely used at the present time, prefers “prayer and meditation” and took the Lord’s Prayer as his example. It so happens that I had been meditating on the thoughts of St Maximos the Confessor* on the Lord’s Prayer and would select from his writings what he says on “Give us this day, our daily bread”, Maximos says when we pray this we are asking for: ♦ Our earthly food this day - this day, not forever; we live from day to day. ♦ Our spiritual food - one form of which is the Eucharist , but there are many ways in which we can be spiritually fed, not least prayer and meditation. ♦ We are reminded of our complete dependence on God as were the Israelites in the wilderness after they had left Egypt. ♦ And we are reminded of our own mortality. It’s a lot in seven words. Rowena Rudkin Maximos the Confessor A.D. 580-662, was a Byzantine civil servant who took monastic vows at an uncertain date. He is venerated as a saint in Eastern and Western Churches. His feast day is 13th August.
The Lent Groups Following the Lent discussions held at Penny’s home and led by Cheryl, I was asked to record my thoughts from a Methodist point of view. John and his brother Charles were ordained as Anglican clergymen at Lincoln College, Oxford. They believed that ‘the Christian life could only be lived within the grace and fellowship of the Church,’ a Church they never left. They were given the nickname Methodists by their fellow students because of their regular prayer and bible studying practices. The women at the tomb In the first session we discussed the picture from www.biblegallery.com resurrection and the power it gave the disciples to convey the miraculous news to the rest of the world. It was to Mary Magdalene that Jesus first revealed himself as the risen Lord. Women have always had the opportunity to work as local preachers in the Methodist Church - that is to conduct a service; from 1975 they could become ordained as Ministers. The Rev. Elizabeth Rundle and the Rev. Eleanor Jackson are two recent examples at Derby Road of that valuable service women give in the Church. During the following sessions we examined our church communities. Do we bear witness ‘to receive and enjoy the grace of God given to us through Jesus and then share it with the rest of the world?’ William Booth felt the Methodists in his day were not doing enough to help those in need spiritually and practically and left to found the Salvation Army. Do we need to ask ourselves the same questions today? The study notes give a quote from Nelson Mandela: ‘I saw that virtually all of the achievements of Africans seemed to have come about through the missionary work of the church.’ This spirit of reconciliation following Jesus’ teaching that ‘we must love one another as I have loved you’ enabled the end of apartheid to be accomplished peacefully. Jesus showed by the way he suffered pain, ridicule and humiliation that it was a freely offered sacrifice so that our sins would be forgiven and that is how we should forgive others. In the Methodist church everyone is welcome at the Lord’s Table whatever their creed, age or gender. This Easter was made very special for us by the way the Rev. Jongikaya Zihle conducted all of the services, beginning with a Seder meal on Thursday evening to remind us of the Last Supper, followed by a service on Good Friday which made us very aware of Jesus’ suffering
on the Cross; on Easter Sunday at 5.45a.m. a service in the forest, when Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, followed by an Easter service celebrating the Risen Christ. John and Charles Wesley wrote many hymns whereby everyone could sing of their faith and this is especially true at Easter. Great favourites are Christ the Lord is risen today, And can it be, and Father whose everlasting love. Some of us were privileged to have gone on pilgrimage to the Holy Land with the Rev. Elizabeth Rundle and Rev. Linda Chester to walk in Jesus’ footsteps and to remind us of his teaching and legacy of love. Marilyn Hawes, Derby Road Methodist Church
Big Screens, bunting and flypasts How St Mary’s people celebrated the Royal Wedding Wendy Littlejohn’s daughter Carol took her children to London for live action On Friday April 29th, we went up to London to see the wedding of William & Kate. We had decided that we ought to take our children (aged 6 and 9) to experience the event as it might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We hoped to catch a glimpse of a carriage or two and maybe even Kate in the flesh! Watching the news the night before Rebekah and Ben enjoying the day made us realise it was going to be very busy, so we decided to head for Trafalgar Square first and see how far we got. We left South Woodford soon after 9 on the Friday morning, having painted Union Flags on the children's faces and got the tube up to Leicester Square then walked down to Trafalgar Square. The church bells of St. Martin’s in the Fields were ringing, which sounded lovely. There were two screens but finding somewhere where we could see the screen was a challenge; we had to move twice to achieve this. Eventually the children were able to sit on top of a column outside the National Portrait Gallery which was better. Seeing Kate in her dress on screen made it all feel very real. It was obviously a real hit with everyone! Following the helicopters above with cameras meant you could see where the important cars had got to. We managed to buy one of the souvenir programmes which had the order of service in, which was great. It meant we could join in with the hymns during the service, which helped us to feel part of the occasion.
There were a lot less police present than I had thought as they had drafted in lots of stewards for crowd control. This meant it felt a lot less threatening. In fact the police seemed to be in a good mood and the ones we encountered were helpful and smiley. Towards the end of the service we decided it would be good to see if we could get down to Buckingham Palace end of the Mall, so we could see people arriving and be present for the flypast. Unfortunately we werenâ€™t the only ones who thought of this! We walked up towards Green Park but discovered everywhere was closed off. Green Park itself was full and the stewards were telling everyone to go to the screens in Hyde Park, so in the end we decided to do that too. By the time we got to the Park, everyone had arrived at the Palace, so we found somewhere to sit where we could see the screens and had lunch. They had a tribute band on, singing pop songs, to try and entertain everyone. Eventually the BBC coverage went back on the screens, Kate and Wills came out on the balcony and everyone waved their flags like mad when they kissed! Then the planes came over, we heard them first, then saw them on the screens and then they were over us! The Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster bomber came right overhead where we were so we got a great view and Chris even got some pictures! Then it was all over and we started the journey home. Our 6 year old daughter was disappointed not to get to see Kate for real but they both enjoyed the day, especially the flypast and hopefully they will have some memory of it when they are older. Richard Walker describes our successful indoor street party Much discussion, planning and preparation culminated in a very successful and popular event in the Memorial Hall to celebrate and communally watch the televised royal wedding service and festivities for William and Catherine. The afternoon before was spent decorating the hall with bunting, and preparing the TVs, James Sale had thankfully organised for our entertainment via his BBC connections. The wedding morning saw an early start to prepare the hall ready for a house full from early doors; but even we helpers managed to get our own wedding breakfast; bacon baps that Lesley somehow managed to create as well as everything else.
Tables and chairs were positioned for a good view of screens by all so everyone could feel involved, many joining in with the service hymns too. Drinks were chilled, glasses primed, and a very slick bar operation created and well managed by Andrew Kelly. But the piece-de-resistance was the food; Lesley really pushed the boat out, doing a magnificent wedding feast to be proud of, ably assisted by both family and friends Alison and Shirley. And considering we had 140 plus covers, serving all promptly was no mean feat either, yet everybody had generous portions along with a champagne toast to cheer the happy couple. Then a generous raffle prize distribution and the children’s afternoon entertainment to follow with Bob and Shirley in the adjacent hall for the smalls. As well as a fantastic fellowship experience the day was also an opportunity to fund raise for the Hall’s refurbishment. Many guests attending, and even some who couldn’t attend, gave generously as donations, plus the bar, and the raffle raised near £800 clear profit. I believe we made it a memorable occasion for young and old alike which was the main purpose though. A big ‘Thank You’ all to helpers especially, but to guests too, and to fellow organising committee members, Gerry, John and Fred; back patting all round, people. St Mary’s really excels at community events when we put our hearts and souls into it. As William and Kate began their married life, Penny and Martin Freeston celebrated their 37th Anniversary on the same day. Many congratulations! And thanks to Penny for the fiendish quiz on the next page. Answers next time. And finally on Royal Weddings. Spot the differences below (or not!) with thanks to Richard Walker snr
A fiendish, historical Royal Weddings Quiz (by popular request) Answers to 67 Derby Road First correct answers will win a prize! 1. A journalist wrote, ‘The rage is begun. We are all going stark, staring mad.’ Name the happy couple. 2. Who lamented, ‘Princes take as is brought them by others, while poor men be commonly at their own choice’? 3. When she first refused his proposal he ‘beat her, rolled her in the mud, spoiled her rich array, and then rode off at full speed’. Name this unlikely couple. 4. Which princess stumbled under the weight of her outfit because it was so heavy? 5. Who officiated at the wedding of Henry I and Matilda of Scotland at Westminster Abbey in 1100? 6. His stag night took place at the Dorchester Hotel. The designer said speculation about the dress ‘became wild and almost hysterical’. Name the couple. 7. Each bridesmaid was presented with a brooch designed by the groom. Who was he? 8. Where was Richard 1 married on the way to the Third Crusade? 9. The groom wore ‘a rose samite belted tunic with a mantle of striped silk tissue threaded with gold crescents and silver suns’. Who was he? 10. Who became the first Roman Catholic princess for 300 years? 11. The groom wanted a honeymoon of six weeks; the bride was set on three days. Who was she? 12. Which queen died of plague at Sheen Palace? 13. Which royal bride turned to her chief bridesmaid at Westminster Abbey and said, ‘Your turn next’? 14. Which royal bride had to pawn silver to pay the sailors who brought her to England? 15. Plague was raging in London so they were married in Canterbury. Name that couple. 16. Whose long fair hair was loose beneath a gem-studded ‘coronal of gold’ with trefoils fashioned to look like sprigs of rosemary? 17. Which queen conceived 18 children, none of whom lived to adulthood? 18. Name the 21-year-old princess who gave birth to a still-born son and died a few hours later. 19. Where did Edward IV marry in 1470? 20. Whose wedding ring cost 23s. 4d.? 21. The 550 guests included neither politicians nor foreign dignitaries. Name the couple. 22. Of whom was it said, by his prospective bride, ‘I think he is very fat’? 23. How old was Isabella of France when she married Edward II in 1308? 24. Who was not granted the title Her Royal Highness? 25. Who would differ from other royal brides by not wearing a tiara and lay her bouquet on the tomb of the Unknown Warrior before proceeding to the altar?
A surprise and inspiring meeting Anila Banerjee, a neighbour of Penny Freeston shows us that you never know what might happen at an airport. Calcutta airport, late in the afternoon and the flight was delayed. I was anxious to get home to my baby son. His present, a picture book, was in my handbag. Finally, they called our flight to Bombay and everyone rushed to the security gates. I hung back, waiting for the crowd to thin. From the corner of my eye, I saw two older ladies in white approaching. I paid no attention till they were almost next to me. “Are you going to Bombay?” one asked. I nodded warily. “Then you can take care of her,” the other pointed behind her. I looked over expecting to see an old lady who required assistance on her first trip on a plane. Oh my, it was Mother Teresa! I could only stare wordlessly as I was handed her luggage – a cardboard box tied up with twine. “Make sure she does not go through the electronic gate. Her pace maker...” Suddenly I was ushering her through the VIP gate, asking people to form an orderly line to get her blessings, being sent off to ask the airport authorities to call Alitalia to delay her flight to Rome as she was going to meet the Pope…. Mother Teresa knew what she wanted. The crowds didn’t bother her. Her beads clicked as she suddenly went quiet meditating. We were rushed through to the plane. Everyone thought I was her companion. No matter what I said would change it. I sat next to her on the plane. Conveying her answers to everyone and asking questions on their behalf. She wasn’t a celebrity interested only in being recognised and served. She wanted to know all about my work and children. We had a long conversation about girls in her orphanage and asked me to visit her. Perhaps, she said, I would want to adopt a little girl. She gladly signed the book for my son. She would pause in between and close her eyes to meditate and when she was ready we would continue our chat. As the plane landed, we were asked to wait so she could disembark first. I got her box for her and gave it to the sisters who came through the door. As I stood watching her walk to the door, she turned around and raised her hand in blessing. I am blessed to have met her! My son, has two treasures – first the Mother Teresa book and the other, a Jane Goodall signed book. Both determined ladies who helped change the world!
Congratulations to the Fellowship Committee celebrating 25 years of providing fun, friendship and fun at St Mary’s From left to right: Martin Freeston, Jane O’Regan, Hazel Mears, Jackie Peacock, Valerie Howard– Gibbons, Martine Jackson, Joan Ware, Kate Walker
Ancient cities and modern technology Cheryl Corney on an inadvertent trip to Kent I was very excited when I found out that one can now travel on a frequent train service from Stratford International Station to Canterbury. What a splendid outing that would be, perhaps it could be a pilgrimage for the people of St Mary’s. So, full of thoughts of Chaucer and of a certain murder in a certain cathedral I set out to find Stratford International Station. I travelled from Mind the doors South Woodford to Stratford and was told to go to the end of platform eleven. I was then taken by bus on a short journey through lots of building work to Stratford International Station. Yes, there are indeed many trains from there to Canterbury, and to Dover and to other places. Before setting out on my journey to Canterbury I thought I would try out the exciting new high speed train with a shorter journey. So one evening I bought a ticket from St Pancras International to Stratford International, and boarded the fine new train with all its technological features. There were no more than a few of us on the train. A very few minutes later we were in Stratford. I pushed the button at the train door. The door opened and then speedily shut again. The train and I were heading for Ebbsfleet International, the next stop….. Am I, I wonder, too slow for the modern age of technology? I do not know. I do know however that the guard on the train was very helpful. He wrote a note on my ticket to explain the situation and made sure that I managed to get off the train at Ebbsfleet International. From there I had a pleasant and very fast return journey to Stratford International. The train stopped. I pressed the button. The door opened. I left the train. I have not yet been to Canterbury via Stratford International, but I have not given up on the idea. Would anyone else like to come?
Fearfully and wonderfully made A set of articles celebrating our oneness before God and reflecting on living with disabilities. Annie McTighe asks if learning disabilities are a handicap or a gifting We are all fearfully and wonderfully made by God! That is all of us!! Each one of us was knitted together in our mothers womb - What a wonder…. And God in His magnificence created us all very different, each with our own gifts, talents, passion and yet we are still very special. And yet our society often views some people as too different, too complicated, and too much work….because they are different from the norm, because they are disabled. I include myself in this group because I suffer with dyslexia. Dyslexia takes many forms and can manifest itself in people in a variety of ways. So I can only talk about my issues. Firstly I can read and write – in fact so well I have a BSc, a BA and a PGCE. It is just that the words move on the page, I get confused when reading , especially aloud – I will say the wrong word just because it starts with the same letter as the word I want to say. When I am tired or busy I find it hard to discern sentiment or meaning behind written words. As a consequence I will often ask people to talk to me, face-to-face, rather that write because I can take in a lot of detail by listening and by watching the body language. A classic symptom of my dyslexia happened at the Easter Eve service when I stated that the response to one of the psalms was “I will sing to the Lord for He has triumphed graciously” when I should have said “…..Gloriously.” I also find that I will become very engrossed in a task, so I don’t get it wrong but that means I find it hard to move into another area of ministry – so 15 minutes before the service begins is not a good time for people to talk to me about next week or even to tell me off - you will find me dull and uncommunicative…. I will be focusing on today and that is where you need me to be. I find reading handwriting a particular challenge and when reading I quite often have to use my finger to follow the words. I have never been able to learn by rote and so you will find me forgetting the responses to the scripture readings…! Yet, what a gift dyslexia is…It allows me the freedom to look at situations outside of ‘the box.’ Because I have to lean on my other senses I am able to be open to the movement and voice of the Holy Spirit. I am able to see patterns quickly and feel empathy in many situations. It means I have to have an organised study where everything is filed away – so I know where to find it. However, there are also a number of frustrations and difficulties which are mainly due to other peoples reactions to the dyslexia. An example is
telephone operators who get frustrated because I can not understand the letter or bill they have sent. They always refer me to the terms and conditions….which I have no chance of understanding. Or the people who treat me as if I am stupid because I make mistakes when reading and then the increased pressure causes me to make more and more mistakes, getting more and more frustrated and confused. I am not the only person in the Be as little children church who suffers in this way. Dyslexia is on a spectrum which can include dyspraxia and autism. These disorders also come with many gifts which are not recognised or respected. Instead we tend to concentrate on the weaknesses and the difficulties they bring. I often think to myself ‘what would Jesus say if he came across people with learning disabilities.’ Well in Matthew 19.14 Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’ I feel that here he is asking us all to be like children in the way we view the kingdom of God and in being honest – honest about our pain, our lives, our abilities and disabilities. We are to come to Christ as we are – that is without any masks but purely as we were formed by the Holy Spirit – not embarrassed by our vulnerabilities. This is because Christ accepts us all as we are and loves us all equally. I want to thank those of you who have supported, encouraged and been patient with myself and others in our congregation and our community with disabilities. And request that those who have found these disabilities hard to understand please try to be more understanding of us – look for how much God has gifted us rather than our weaknesses as we seek to recognise your gifts and your style of learning. So in this Petertide let us look at ourselves and each other afresh…. No matter what we are fearfully and wonderfully made each as individuals with our own strengths and weakness to worship our King. Emma Pamplin shows us that dyslexia is no barrier to ambition Since I was about 8 years old I have had help in school after I was tested for dyslexia. I’m alright with writing and I try to work out the spellings of words, I sometimes have to ask for help with words. I don’t like reading because it’s too long to read a book. If I have to read something, like a prayer in church I have to read it over and over again until I can learn it because I can’t just read it.
Also I can’t read a page full of text because it is too difficult. When there are lots of words I can’t read them, I stumble over them. It frightens me before I even start. I like songs and find it easier to learn the words but I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because it’s a thing I like to do. I would like to remember more things like school work and to get better grades. I put all the effort in to get good grades, I think it is rubbish that I put in all my effort and still my grades are not that good and all the people who do less work, they get good grades and I don’t like it and I think it’s unfair. I feel that I deserve more. I am doing my GCSEs at the moment and I am Emma singing at the welcome lunch for Annie going to college in September to do Performing Arts. I will be getting help at college for my written work, but they have said I can record a lot of my work instead of writing it. I hope it does not affect my future and I will continue to work hard so that I can get my Diploma and a good job. Hazel Mears reflects on how Roy praises God in his own way Roy, born in 1966, was our third child. Our elder daughter, Pamela, born in 1961, spent most of her young life in hospital and died after an unsuccessful heart operation at the age of 3 months. Wendy, born two years later, also spent her first days in an incubator because of a birth complication but happily this was soon resolved and she is now a healthy and happy wife and mother. There were no apparent problems for the first few months after Roy was born but as time passed it became an increasing concern that the usual development landmarks were not being reached when we expected. We first took him to a local pediatrician when he was about 12 months old but sadly we were given very little help or advice until, in desperation when Roy was past his third birthday barely able to walk unsupported and with quite limited speech, we paid for a private examination at Great Ormond Street Hospital. The consultant there was, fortunately, very sympathetic and helpful. He confirmed that Roy had moderate to severe learning difficulties and although he would be expected to make some further progress, many normal attainments would not be possible for him. The Council arranged for placement in a special needs day-school and for the next few years we enjoyed a reasonably normal family life. Roy
particularly enjoyed playing cricket in the back garden, and watching cricket and wrestling on television; the latter lead to having many "play fights" with Dad on the hall floor which seemed to help him cope with some of his frustrations. A little later some hard work by Wendy's swimming teacher resulted in Roy learning to swim Roy enjoying a family moment with Hazel and Clive which gave us an activity in which all four of us could participate. The other regular family activity was attendance at the 10 a.m. Sunday service at St. Mary's; Jean Morgans, as his Sunday School teacher, was a particular favourite with him. He enjoyed the music and if his favourite hymn, "Lord of the Dance" was included he would join in with great enthusiasm. When he was 13 our social worker recommended that we allow Roy to be taken formally "into care" so that he could be placed in a residential care home. Unfortunately the only placement which the Council could offer at that time was in Lyme Regis; as we hoped this would be in Roy's best interest we agreed and for the next four years we travelled to Dorset and back each fourth weekend, winter and summer, to visit Roy and take him out for the day. He settled well into his new environment; although he was always pleased to see us there was never any trouble when the time came to return him to the care home at the end of the day. After four years he was relocated in a Barnardos unit at Woodford Bridge and has since lived in three other care homes in the locality - mostly well run although for a few years one of them had a manager who had his own health problems and was not able to maintain entirely satisfactory standards. By the time he had returned from Lyme Regis it had been diagnosed that Roy was also epileptic and over the years he has suffered a number of seizures resulting at various times in a broken leg, an injured shoulder requiring an operation, several severe cuts to his eyebrows and the loss of three front teeth. Constant experimentation with medication has reduced the number of drop fits in recent years but some seizures, less severe but more frequent, affecting the temporal lobe area of the brain lead to some erratic behaviour and in recent years there has been some
deterioration in his mental capacities. He still knows us and is pleased to see us but is no longer able to carry on any meaningful conversation. Although there have been some periods when the quality of service has fallen below what we would have wished, overall Social Services and the staff at the various care homes have so far given Roy a much better quality of life than we could have managed if he had stayed at home with us. Inevitably there have been and continue to be periods of worry - while we have been writing this we have had a phone call to say that Roy had a drop fit in the shower, hitting his head on the way down and has been taken to hospital for a checkup - but reflecting over the last 45 years there are several positives to be grateful for: ⇒ When Roy outgrew Sunday School and sat with us, he would sometimes stand up in the pew and "conduct" during a hymn, or step into the aisle and do a little dance. The Rector at that time, Bob Birchnall, would not let us stop him doing this; "that is Roy's way of praising the Good Lord" he would say. This empathy and acceptance of Roy's needs and difficulties was reflected in the supportive attitude of most of the congregation; we were able to feel an accepted part of the Church family ⇒ With very few exceptions, during Roy's 30+ years in care homes we have met a considerable number of staff, of several nationalities, who have committed their working lives to doing their best to meet their clients' various needs. ⇒ I had asked the consultant at Great Ormond Street how we should deal with Roy when he was naughty. "Try to assess his 'mental age' in relation to the situation and deal with him as you would have dealt with Wendy at that age" was his very helpful reply. ⇒ In other words "take Roy where he's at, not where you would like him to be". This is a philosophy that can be applied in our dealings with other people when we do not necessarily know what pressures or difficulties they are facing. We like to think that it has made us more tolerant. ⇒ Our daughter Wendy, two years older than Roy, developed an understanding of special needs children at quite an early age, helped in an orchestra for the disabled to which we took Roy, and as a teenager helped at the Winston Churchill School for the Deaf in Churchfields. After leaving school she qualified as a teacher of the deaf and progressed to become deputy head of a school for the deaf in Preston until the birth of her daughter 8 years ago. She has since acquired additional qualifications and now works part-time with multi-sensory impaired children and their families. We are certain that her early years with Roy inspired this very worthwhile career. We must let Roy have the last word, recalling a few years ago when we took him to meet his niece, then 2 years old. Roy got out of the car, saw this - to him - tiny person and said "who's that down there?"
If summer weather is getting you into gardening mode a few tips from Carol Alexander-Williams to get you thinking. I'm starting an allotment. What do you recommend growing? This will depend on the condition of your plot. Lots of people inherit neglected plots so starting with crops like potatoes will help to clear the ground of weeds as you earth up your spuds. If you have the luxury of a clear plot then the month will help you decide what to plant or sow. It's well worth speaking to your allotment neighbours who will be able to advise you on what grows best on the plot. They will often have spare plants that they will be happy to give you. What do you do about slugs and snails? The options are endless including traditional chemical slug pellets, gravel barriers, nematodes or physically drowning or squashing them. You choose your method based on what stomach you have for the more violent methods of dispatch or whether you can cope with using chemical warfare. Or you can limit the damage by planting crops that slugs and snails don't like. But if you need some inspiration first, here are some suggestions for gardens to explore Check the websites for opening days and times. Just up the A10 in Enfield is Myddelton House, where the noted plantsman E A Bowles lived from 1865 to 1954. The garden has very recently been restored and now boasts a visitor centre and tea room. You will see the renovated kitchen garden, an alpine meadow area, and the Lunatic Asylum - his collection of unusual plants. Website: www.leevalleypark.org.uk Postcode for SatNav users: EN2 9HG Around the corner from Myddelton House is Capel Manor College, London’s centre for land-based studies. Its 30 acres of gardens are open to the public, and include a multitude of themed gardens such as a Japanese Garden, Sensory Garden, Italianate maze, and a Recycled Garden. Website: www.capelmanorgardens.co.uk Postcode: EN1 4RQ Up the M11 is the Gibberd Garden in Old Harlow. This is the quirky private garden of Sir Frederick Gibberd, the architect and town planner, opened to the public after his death in 1984. This sloping seven acre garden contains about eighty sculptures, a concrete gazebo and many interesting corners. Children will love the moated ‘castle’, complete with drawbridge. Website: www.thegibberdgarden.co.uk Postcode: CM17 0NA
The RHS’s garden at Hyde Hall is along the A12, south-east of Chelmsford. This challenging site on top of a windy hill was originally planted up by the former owners, then developed further by the RHS over the last eighteen years. It has colourthemed herbaceous borders, a rose garden, acres of wildflower meadow and a famous Dry Garden, together with a new visitor centre and café. Website: www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/ hyde-hall Postcode: CM3 8AT Just off the A120 near Coggeshall is Marks Hall, best known for its walled garden designed by Brita von Schoenaich. This two-acre area contains five terraced contemporary gardens and a 450 feet long double border. There is also an arboretum, a wildflower meadow and Gondwanaland – an area planted up with trees and plants from the southern hemisphere. Website: www.markshall.org.uk Postcode: CO6 1TG A visit to Marks Hall could easily be combined with the Beth Chatto Gardens, at Elmstead Market near Colchester. Beth Chatto began her transformation of an area of farm wasteland fifty years ago, and is renowned for her adherence to ecological principles in planting. The drought-tolerant plants in her Gravel Garden have never been artificially watered since the garden was planted in 1991. There is also a woodland garden, a scree garden, and a series of water gardens. Many of the plants you will see are available in the nursery next door. After all that, you can relax in the Tea Room with some well-deserved cake! Website: www.bethchatto.co.uk Postcode: CO7 7DB With thanks to Dave Alexander-Williams
25 years at an 800 year old church Edmund Booth reflects on his time at St Mary’s On Trinity Sunday last year during the morning service, Ian Tarrant invited me to say a few words during the sermon slot about what my time as a member of the parish had meant to me. The fact that I agreed so readily confirms that it did indeed have quite an impact. Anna and I were just about to move to Tring in Hertfordshire, one important chapter of my life was drawing to a close and it seemed a good time to reflect. 25 years in one parish – a third of a lifetime, maybe – is a very significant spell, although of course there are many in the congregation who can boast much longer and more faithful service.
I even said to Geoff Jones after the Trinity Sunday service that I’d write a related piece for the magazine, and faithfully promised to deliver it by June 2010. It’s taken a bit longer than that, but, dear Editors, please forgive me and never mind the wait, read the quality.... here are some of my reflections on that quarter century. Even in a parish whose roots go back at least 800 years, things move on in the course of 25 years. Three very different rectors held office during my time, each of whom I admired and felt I knew, at least to some extent - Bob, the charismatic Yorkshireman who held the parish together in difficult times through force of personality, Geoffrey, deep thinking and organised, who moved us into the twenty first century (did we really not share the peace until he arrived?), and Ian, the newcomer to the role of a parish priest, whose fresh approach to things I greatly miss. And there was the shadow of a fourth rector, Christopher Wansey, a fascinating and probably divisive character I regret never having met. I learnt about him mainly from my dear first neighbours, Gladys and Charles Matthews, who clearly held him in great regard, despite the laughter which punctuated all the outrageous stories they told about him. St Mary’s provided my main South Woodford friendships, through the strength of the house group my first wife Sheena and I were part of, through helping Roberta run Quest and through Sheena’s membership of various groups like Wynne Ludlow’s painting group and the Mums & Toddlers service. The great musical tradition was a draw, too. There were three main organists during my time, Roger Sayer, the inspirational trainer, Roger Bluff, the wonderful organist, and Martin Seymour, the dedicated promoter of the choir. Others lasted less long; there was the tall one, whom Sheena asked, after his first service, whether the rather petite girl on his arm was his daughter. It turned out to be his girl friend, and he moved on from St Marys soon after. Even Sheena was a touch embarrassed by this incident. But however important a parish’s social and musical life, and its work and witness to the world outside the confines of the church building, the worship of a church must surely be at the centre of its life. The big, occasional, services, like weddings, confirmations and funerals, stand out as landmarks and of course I shall always remember the intensity of the memorial service for Sheena and, nearly eight years later, the joy and inspiration of the Saturday evensong, led by Richard Wyber, which marked and celebrated my marriage to Anna which had taken place the previous month. Still, despite the impact such big occasions have, it is the regular
worship, Sunday by Sunday, that most defines a church (or at any rate an Anglican church). Parish communion at St Mary’s has a directness and clarity, a full involvement of the laity in conducting the worship, and a great tradition of excellent sermons, which were an immediate draw and made it possible (though not always easy) for me to resist, more often than not, the competing demands on the precious free time of Sunday. It was also wonderful to know that a Book of Common Prayer sung evensong was there almost every Sunday of the year to conclude the Sabbath day of rest and ease the transition to the world of work the next day. I should have made more use of it! In the second half of my time at St Marys, I was involved, through Quest, in another sort of service. I was led to a growing realization that ‘Sunday School’ didn’t just mean bible stories and silly games (much though I enjoyed both) but also a chance to share worship and be influenced by an age group that Jesus held up as a model. What went on was not reliable or predictable, of course – I look back on my time in church youth work with great enthusiasm but not through rose-tinted spectacles – but there were moments in Quest worship which touched me as deeply as anything that took place in the church next door. Do I miss you all? Not in the sense of being dissatisfied with my current lot and longing to be back. Actually, there is a sense of (slightly guilty) relief that Anna and I have yet to be sucked into church duties at our new parish and can still enjoy a leisurely Sunday breakfast – a state of grace that I suppose may not last for ever. I must say, too, that other Christian communities were important during those 25 years at St Marys, particularly the Ecumenical Church at Woodford Wells, the Othona Community in Bradwell, and St Anne and St Agnes Lutheran church in the City. A touch of promiscuity in church going is healthy, I believe. Still, I don’t have any doubt that St Marys played a hugely important part during that quarter of a century of my life; it helped shape me, and sometimes even gave me glimpses of the Kingdom of Heaven. St Peter’s Bradwell
Edmund and Anna, with Frederick Stocken, are organising a concert at St Mary’s on Guy Fawkes Night (Saturday 5th November, to raise funds for the Memorial Hall (another institution close to Edmund’s heart). Both of us will be performing, and hope you will all try and come, so that we can renew old acquaintances, as well as raise money for a worthy cause.
We need to face the light Some reflections on the parish retreat at Pleshey in May Jean Morgans: For those of you who wonder why anyone wants to go on a retreat, an excerpt from Evelyn Underhill's book, 'The Fruit of the Spirit' sums it up beautifully. Jesus said,'When you pray, go into a room by yourself and shut the door. It is the shutting of the door which makes the difference. It is no good entering that room clutching the daily papers, reports of societies you support, your engagement book and personal correspondence'.It is a time when you shed worries and concerns and the busyness of daily life and have quality time with the Lord. A time of refreshment and renewal which was experienced by the 16 members of St. Mary's. Chris Miekle: To retreat - to go back. In my case, to examine my faith, question my beliefs and deal with my doubts. But also to learn from the Scriptures and move forward with renewed confidence. For me Pleshey also meant an escape from a growing wall of boxes and the stress of moving house. Ian and Annie fed my soul while Pleshey staff fed my body.(Both excellently.)Last, but by no means least, I enjoyed the fellowship - in silence, in worship, in music, in conversation and in laughter. Most of our party were 'seasoned retreaters' but as a newcomer I found the balance just right. So I would like to recommend the experience to any potential first-timers. You'll be glad you went. Jane Fone: From Ezekial's dry bones and psalmist's valley of the shadow of death, the Spirit of God fills the world and seeks to renew and revive us as the disciples discovered when suddenly filled with the Holy Spirit. We need to remember to face the light to let the shadows fall behind. Kathy Wiltshire: Our two night retreat at Pleshey provided opportunity to step back from daily demands and spend time with God and in fellowship with each other. Ian and Annie gave several short reflections on the influence of the Holy Spirit on the Old Testament prophets, on Jesus during his earthly ministry and on the disciples after Pentecost. Bible readings evoked the elemental nature of the Holy Spirit using images of earth, air, fire and water. We reflected on the Holy Spirit hovering over the earth at the beginning of Genesis, sweeping us along in the river of life, and filling the disciples and us like water in an overflowing glass so that we can reach out to others in need of healing and prayer. The Pleshey garden was in abundant bloom with a carpet of wisteria tumbling down through the trellis over the side door - this for me evoked the pouring out of God's spirit into our world. The balance of silence and conversation was perfect - time to reflect, pray and read in
silence, but also time to get to know each other better over delicious meals and in sharing our Desert Island Discs. Revd. Annie McTighe: I had a great time on the parish retreat. It was wonderful to see the Holy Spirit welcomed and working in people's lives. I was also blessed by the great fellowship and love that was shared. Bridget Webb: Our weekend at Pleshey's retreat house, on the theme of nature and working of the Holy Spirit, was a real blessing. The pattern of activities, with prayer, Holy Communion and teaching sessions gave shape and purpose to each day. The beautiful garden provided a calming and refreshing dimension to everything. Kit Dobson: Set in beautiful surroundings - we all delighted to be able to walk in the garden- so that our souls were refreshed and our bodies nourished with excellent food. The teaching about the Holy Spirit completed this restorative and encouraging weekend at Pleshey. Thank you, Ian and Annie! Thoughts on the Holy Spirit at Pleshey by Valerie Geller Gently pervading Appearing and fading Not even aware Of his gentle care. Yet in you abiding Pointing and guiding From burping, to slurping
Through learning and birthing. In loving and caring In sadness and sharing Even through greying And aches of the ageing. With joy be aware The Holy Spirit is there
Eden – what’s in a name? Clorinda Goodman on the inspiration behind her carving The stone carving I made of Eden, or rather, of a crucial event that took place there, was completed in Spring 2010. At first the name seemed so obvious that I did not give it a second thought. It shows the moment that Eve picked the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. And instead of rebuking her for disobedience, Adam is holding up his hand for a piece of it to taste. Somehow, one feels instinctively that this would have been more likely. After all they thought they were alone in the garden, and nobody could see, or would know. My initial view of the matter was that it had been very unfair of Adam to blame Eve later, when the Lord God found out what they had done. So my carving was intended as a slightly feminist critique of Adam’s behaviour. As usual, the woman gets the blame for the man’s problems. I only vaguely recalled some words from Genesis: ‘The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I did eat’ (ch.3.v.12). When challenged by God, Eve’s excuse is ‘The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat’. So the question arose as to whether Eve
knew of the ban on eating from this particular tree? That was not something that sprang readily to mind. After a sermon on Genesis, I finally had to examine my bible and look more closely at the sequence of events. Was Eve present when God told Adam, or did Adam pass the message on later? So was Eve truly an innocent party? The place where God forbids Adam to eat fruit from the Tree of Knowledge is in Clorinda Goodman’s carving of Eden chapter 2.vv.16 and 17. But it is only in the following verse, v.18, that God decides that Adam needs a companion in the garden, and in v.21 creates her from a rib taken from Adam’s side as he lies in a deep sleep. Clearly Eve did not even exist at the time of this prohibition. Looking back at the confession to the Lord God, Eve blamed the serpent. So I went further back to ch.3.v.1 which describes the serpent as ‘more subtil’ than any beast the field, and recounts its conversation with Eve. When the serpent encourages her to eat, she explains that it is forbidden by the Lord God (v.3). So this lets poor old Adam off the hook! Before she picked the fruit, Eve knew indeed that it was forbidden. Adam and Eve both experience a sudden unexpected consequence of their actions in ch.3.v.7 ‘And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons’. The meeting with God follows immediately, when he punishes them by condemning the woman to the pains of childbirth and Adam to a life of hard labour. The serpent simply receives a general curse. So what is this chapter telling us? What underlying or symbolic meaning can we extract from it? Why did they become ashamed of being naked and sew themselves aprons - as opposed to a coat or any other garment? The most obvious answer is that this is about the awakening of shame, self consciousness and sexual maturity. Or perhaps, in Freudian terms, it portrays the journey from id to ego and super ego. Although earlier (ch.1.v.27) Genesis told us that God had created man in his own image, ‘male and female created he them’, v.28 finds God commanding them to ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it and have dominion over …the fish, the fowl and every living thing’. This is well before God decided to create a companion for Adam in the garden in ch.2.v.18.
So the writer of Genesis perceived a conundrum. How could Adam and Eve be fruitful and multiply without the means to do so? Remaining in a state of blissful innocence simply would not do. Even when Adam welcomes Eve as his companion at the end of ch.2, and says she is ‘flesh of his flesh’, and that man shall leave his parents and cleave to his wife and become one flesh with her, v.25 reminds us that they were still naked and not ashamed. So they lacked self consciousness, and sexual desire until the serpent intervenes – as perhaps another powerful sexual symbol. If the serpent had not beguiled her, Eve would not have eaten the fruit, whether it was an apple or a pomegranate as some think. Had she not offered it to Adam, they would have remained in that delightful, carefree state of innocence that we see in small children. So although it was disobedience, both the serpent and Eve were enabling God’s commandment to be fruitful to be fulfilled, but in a slightly different way than any of them appreciated. We are used to seeing the Virgin Mary referred to as ‘Ancilla Domini’, the handmaid of the Lord, at the Annunciation, when she agrees to bear the Son of God to be the Redeemer of the World. Perhaps it is time to reconsider Eve’s role, for without her curiosity, willingness to listen to persuasive argument and disobedience, human beings would have remained trapped in a sterile Paradise. Was Eve indeed the first Ancilla Domini? There is less to condemn in Adam, and more to thank Eve for than I first thought. So what about the role of the serpent? And finally, should I re-name my carving in Eve’s honour?
Ask the Clergy Got a theology question that has stumped you? Has something arisen in a Home Group you are not sure about? Then email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will ask the clergy. Cheryl Corney has passed on this question from a Lent Group discussion on Mark 11: 12-14. Why did Jesus curse the fig tree? The plight of the fig tree on the outskirts of Jerusalem has puzzled many plant-loving Bible readers over the centuries. It has both theological and botanical explanations. In the Old Testament there are a many examples of enacted prophecy: Isaiah walking barefoot (Is 20), Ezekiel shaving his head with a sword (Ezek 20), Hosea's marriage (Hosea 1), to name but three. They are visual aids that speak louder than words. In the Gospels most of the miracles of Jesus carry a spiritual message: for example, the changing of water into wine points to the way in which Jesus can transform people's lives. The fig tree in Mark 11 represents the temple (or its leadership) which has become fruitless, and is now condemned. After cursing the tree in
v14, Jesus goes on to cleanse the temple; and in chapter 13 he predicts the destruction of the temple. When, on the next day, Peter notices that the tree is withered, Jesus uses the occasion to speak about the efficacy of the prayer of a believer. Thus two theological points are made. Much has been written about the leaves and fruit of fig trees in the Holy Land. Apparently at the time of the first leaves, a healthy tree bears edible fleshy lumps, called 'taqsh' in Arabic - so it was not unreasonable of Jesus to look for something to eat on the tree; and the absence of 'taqsh' may have suggested that the tree had reached the end of its useful life. (References: W.Kaiser et al, Hard sayings of the Bible; C.Evans, Word Bibical Commentary vol 34B) Ian Tarrant
King James Bible Four Hundred Years We celebrated the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible with a schools art competition. Prize winners were presented at a special service of thanksgiving in June. Well done to all the winners: Year
Nikeel Patel St Aubynâ€™s
Jack Attwood Moreton Primary
Pulkit Malkotra Wells Primary
Lauren Shadrock Snaresbrook Primary
Spike House Snaresbrook Primary
Jack Carabin Snaresbrook Primary
Rufay Kamaran Snaresbrook Primary
Alivia Goldhill Moreton Primary
Rufay and Alivia receiving their prizes from Ian and Keith Brame of the Bible Society for their interpretations of the story of the prodigal son
When the Church was home for the night Gordon Duffus remembers the early days of the project to help homeless people in Redbridge Anyone who remembers Rev Bob Birchnall will know how good he was at getting â€˜volunteersâ€™. He asked me to go with him to a meeting about a scheme to give food and beds for the homeless in Redbridge. When we left the meeting I asked him if the convenor, that was mentioned had anything to do with me and he said that was the idea. I found that the committee had been meeting for two years and that the shelters would start on the 1st of November. This was at the beginning of October and I was going to Normandy on holiday for two weeks. I put a request for volunteers, in the notice sheet, for a meeting after church the following Sunday. I was overwhelmed by the response, the choir stalls were full of very positive and enthusiastic volunteers. I asked the volunteers to make out a list of dates and shifts that they could cover and again I was amazed at the response. I ended up sorting out the rotas in the restaurant on the ferry on the way back from France. Seven churches , one each night of the week , set up and ran a shelter. Our night was every Wednesday from November to April. This meant preparing and serving a hot evening meal, setting up camp beds, bringing blankets from the store and talking and listening to our clients. A second team spent the night ( with a little bit of sleep) from 10pm to 6am. The third team started at 6am to prepare breakfast and tidy everything away. They also swabbed all the floors, Gwinnell room, kitchen, stairs and foyer. One lady made it her duty to clean the toilets, as a penance. The Mums and Tods leaders were very happy as the floors were so clean. The first Wednesday was a bit daunting as we did not know what to expect. I think that we had twelve customers none of whom we had met before and it was a learning experience. We came out of the church at 8am the next morning feeling that we had gained some experience, but realised that there was a lot of things that could be improved. We started to receive gifts of tinned food from all sorts of sources, school harvest goods, churches and individuals. The problem was what could you do with one tin of rhubarb or artichoke hearts etc. My garage started to look like a supermarket warehouse. We were From EU surplus to delicious food
allocated a supply of EU meat. Well when word reached our clients they refused to eat it. They did not bargain for the expertise of our gifted ladies who turned the EU meat into pies, stews etc., which went down well on cold winter nights. Facilities were far from perfect as there was no showers and only one sink to wash. I don’t think that bothered some of our guests. We often had ladies or girls which added more complications. Now about our guests ,we had a varied collection, old, young, foreign, genuine and not so genuine. This was brought out when two ladies from the council housing department attended to try to help find homes for the homeless. Nobody wanted to speak to them. When I asked why this was I was told that they might find out too much about them. On the first night we met Angus who could not stop shaking with cold. He had been sleeping in the forest and said on a number of occasions that we saved his life, this could well be true. His story was that he had had a good job in IT in Saudi Arabia but the drink had reduced him to the state that he was in. He was later given a flat in Forest Gate but one of the young lads stole most of his property and he went back to the drink. There was an unwritten code amongst our visitors that you did not steal from another member. I was told the following week that we would not be seeing the culprit again and we never did. Another incident of theft was when the mobile phone, which was provide for the carers, disappeared from the case that was passed from centre to centre. Two weeks later when I collected the case the phone was back. Again our friends told me that they had discovered who had taken it and that we would not be seeing him again. I didn’t ask any more questions. John was an older man who wore a trilby hat and commanded the respect of the younger people. If I was aware of problems between certain people I would in the first instance tell John. He was nearly always able to resolve the matter and it meant that the ‘establishment’ was not involved. Jason was a character who wore a top hat at times. His claim to fame was the night when the Salvation Army carol service was in church and he conducted the band. The band changed their night after that. The numbers overnight varied but we rarely had less than 15 and one very cold night we had twenty one. It was a great commitment by the volunteers from November to April. Every helper could write a story about their experiences at the night shelter. After a number of years, due to my changes of duties, I handed the leadership over to the very capable Mark Spencer Ellis. The final chapter of the Redbridge Night Shelter, as we knew it, was when Redbridge Council opened a fully equipped premises in York Road, Ilford.
Universal Worship How Jill Groh, US soldiers and Germans worshipped together Jill lived on the outskirts of Frankfurt in Germany amidst many, many banks and financial institutions for thirty years from 1975 to 2005. In the early years Jill and her husband R端diger attended cultural events in Bad Homburg, a nearby spa town. There they met Air Force people from the Jill with members of the Altar Guild American forces. They were black Americans who had their own church services in English with a gospel choir on Sunday afternoons. These services were full of exuberant prayer and praise. In the mid eighties Jill found the Church of Christ the King, also an American church but this time an Episcopalian church. The church was on a huge American army base, where there were schools, shops, flats and everything the soldiers occupying Germany needed. The area became open to others, to Germans and to anyone else who lived in the area. Somehow or other the church was put up for sale. The Episcopalian Church and the Old Catholic Church both wanted to buy the church, so they obtained a mortgage together and bought the church together. After some years the Old Catholics left, leaving the mortgage to the Episcopalians. This had to be paid entirely by the members of the congregation. Some rich American army personnel donated generously before returning to America. Jill attended this church from about 1987 to 2005. She looked after the kitchen. They found any excuse to have celebration meals to raise money for the mortgage. Jill was a member of the in-reach committee, whose members arranged the meals, and a good time was had by all. There was always plenty of food, including some for the homeless. Jill was a member of the Altar Guild. On Saturday afternoons the members dressed the altars in the church and its chapel for the Sunday services. Jill ordered the communion wine, the wafers and the candles and everything for the services. For a time from 1998 until 2005 Jill moved to another area and attended the German Protestant Church, where the services were simple and grape juice was used instead of communion wine, and
where homemade bread was used as the host. Sometimes she attended the local Catholic church, where Jill found more joyous, elaborate services, and where she was welcome to receive communion. This church’s chapel was always open and Jill used to go there to sit and to pray near a beautiful statue of Mary.
Walk To D’FEET MND Congratulations to Debbie Clinch on a heroic feat Debbie and Mike arrived at Leighon-Sea on Sunday 15th May to take part in ‘Walk to d’feet mnd’ a sponsored walk organised by the South Essex MND Association. As most of you know, Mike was diagnosed a year ago with Motor Neurone Disease and is now in a wheelchair, so Debbie was going to push her Dad the 3.2 miles of the overall walk. That Sunday was colder than many of the days previously and it was windy along the sea front. The walk was in stages along the front towards Southend. There were about 200 people taking part in the walk, doing various lengths according to their abilities. Debbie and Mike do not know the area, and there were no markers to let you know when to turn round and walk back. By the time they realised and asked a fellow walker (on their return journey) they had long passed their return point! Arriving back at the original check point they were very cold and Debbie’s arms and legs were aching. They then realised that they had done nearer 7 miles, over twice their intended amount! This had taken them 3 hours. After hot coffee, Debbie decided that she deserved a large sausage, bacon and onion baguette, then they made their weary way home by cab. Debbie ached for several days after. Many friends and family were very generous in sponsoring them: in Maldon, our old home in South Woodford, and from as far afield as Texas, USA and Australia. At the moment the total stands at £1035.50p! and still counting. The money will be divided between the MND Associations of South Essex and Mid Essex (the latter being our own group) which support members and their families in many ways. Many thanks to all of you for your support. Debbie and Mike www.mndassociation.org
Summery Sweetness Adela Kay confesses to her sweet tooth and gives us a delicious recipe French Blueberry Tart My sweet tooth is becoming evident from my recipes for the magazine but as my two little girls have just downed two punnets of blueberries, it reminded me of this recipe. I have to say though this is a very adaptable recipe and when I need a posh pudding quickly. I quite often make this with a packet of those frozen forest fruits from the freezer. I don't bother to defrost them but put them in the oven for about 10mins more. First of all you need to make Pate Brisee a kind of sweet pastry. You need • 250g Flour, • 175g butter • 20g caster sugar • 1 egg • 1/2 tbsp water Rub the flour and butter together until it appears like bread crumbs. Mix in the sugar then add the egg and water and bring together into a pastry ball. Then put it into a food bag and into the fridge for at least 30mins. If you are doing this ahead of time you can freeze it at this stage. Now grease a flan tin with a loose bottom. Dust a cool surface with flour and roll out the pastry until it more than fits your tin. Place over the tin and press to the corners, then cut off the excess by rolling the rolling pin over the tin. Return to the fridge for at least 30mins. Now mix together until smooth: • 2 eggs • 125 caster sugar • 175ml double cream • 25g flour • 1 dessert spoon creme de cassis Heat the oven to gas 6/200c Place the blueberries into the chilled case and then pour the cream mix over the fruit. Place in the oven for 35mins or until golden brown. Sprinkle with caster sugar, serve cold or warm with cream/creme fraiche/ice cream. This can also be frozen for use later on.
Something to look forward to in old age Beverley Fuentes on a good news story in social care A few years ago I went down to part time work and having some extra free time, I offered up a prayer that it might be used beneficially. On cue I received an email from a friend inviting my husband Luis and me to consider joining the committee at Homesdale and so began my relationship with this wonderful place. Homesdale is a Christian organisation in New Wanstead providing sheltered accommodation in 70 self-contained flats plus a residential care home. The flats (that are rented) range from bedsits to 3 bedroom flats and there are also Bev and Luis gardens and communal lounges with kitchens for at Homesdale shared activities. Within the complex is a Domiciliary Care Unit that can offer whatever support to residents in the flats that is needed, from pill taking to shopping, housework etc. Should independent living become too difficult then the residential care home is on site and able to meet additional care needs. But what is of real importance is the ethos of the loving, Christian care of the residents. There are a range of optional activities including regular Church services, trips out etc. The first Christmas party I attended was an eye-opening experience. Musical chairs was suggested - nice to see a sense of competition in old age! When the dancing began and my husband decided to try out some Latin American moves with the residents, as walking sticks went flying I did enquire if the insurance cover was up to date! The priority at Homesdale is the well being of the residents within a Christian environment - I wonder if it’s too soon to put my name on the waiting list? If you are interested in Homesdale please feel free to contact me or check out the website www.homesdale.co.uk
Something else to look forward to If you were one of the many people desperate to have money leave your bank account to pay for Olympic tickets, you will know that July 2012 is not far away! Penny Freeston begins our build up by introducing two local athletes who competed in the 1948 London Games. Having been ‘tipped off’ that Zena Bridgeman had attended the 1948 Olympics I was keen to find out more. Zena excelled herself by not only producing an account by a fellow spectator, John Hayward, but also setting up an ‘interview’ when we both met two local competitors from 1948: Dorothy (née Manley) and her husband, John Parlett.
Dorothy came second in the Ladies’ 100 metres final behind Fanny Blankers-Koen; John, originally from Surrey, took part in the Men’s 800 metres. Both went on to take part in the 1950 Empire Games, now known as the Commonwealth Games. This included a five-week journey each way to Auckland, New Zealand. Sport provided unique opportunities to travel; John Dorothy Manley (left) with recalled participating in events in Fanny Blankers-Koen Glasgow and Paris. Although expenses were paid, athletics were strictly amateur pursuits in those days. As this was a time of rationing some food parcels were sent to British athletes from Australia and Canada. Dorothy was a full-time shorthandtypist at the Suez Canal Company when she was chosen as one of six ‘possibles’ to take part in each event. Originally she was selected for the High Jump but Sandy Duncan, the coach, saw more potential in her sprinting ability. With four months’ training, four times a week and at weekends, she took part in her first International Event at Wembley Stadium in front of 80,000 spectators, one of only four British girls to have gained second place and a silver medal. Only one other British girl, coincidentally also called Dorothy, has ever been placed in an Olympic 100 metres event. It was thrilling to watch an old newsreel of twenty-one-year-old Dorothy taking part in 1948 and to hear a recording of an interview with Stewart McPherson from 1985. Dorothy was the only person in her family to take up running and developed her skills at Ray Lodge School before joining the Essex Ladies Athletics Club as a teenager. Training took place at Victoria Park, Hackney, long before a track was built at Ashton Playing Fields. Her mother made both her running shorts and vest for the 1948 Olympics; although they bought their own ‘spikes’, competitors were given a tracksuit, and were kitted out from Bourne and Hollingsworth. Dorothy wore a white dress and navy blazer as a member of the London team. In those days women were restricted to running a maximum of 200 metres; the London Marathon, which has promoted much enjoyment and raising money for charity only started as recently as 1981. Both Dorothy and John, still fit and agile, look back on happy memories, recalling the spirit of the Olympics to bring countries together with emphasis on taking part, rather than winning, being paramount. Many thanks to Dorothy and John Parlett for this interview and to Zena for arranging it.
• Do you have any memories of 1948? • Did you get 2012 tickets? • Do you know any aspiring local athletes? Let us know of any special events you are planning, as we look forward to welcoming the world to our doorstep next year.
Our warmest congratulations to Annie on her ordination to the priesthood on June 26 at St Paul’s West Ham and we pray for God’s blessing on her continuing ministry. We were pleased to welcome Ruth Huesler, our CMS partner to tell us about some of the people she is working with. Thank you for raising about £200 at a special collection for CMS. And for other generous contributions to our fund raising: • Lent Lunches raised £388 for ELHAP • We sent £972 to the Bishop’s Lent Appeal for clergy transport in Kenya • And all our Christian Aid collections (including helpers from the Ecumenical church) raised £1352. Thank you to all our contributors to this edition. Apologies if we have had to hold your contribution for lack of space! Please send any comments or articles for future editions, to email@example.com Copy date for the next edition is August 31st. Don’t forget our experts: gardening, cookery and of course theology if you have any questions!
Diary Dates Saturday 9th July
Afternoon Tea at 14 Finchingfield Ave Woodford Green. In aid of the Bazaar Fund
Sunday 10th July
Faith and Image Visit to Cookham
Wednesday 20th July
7.30pm Three Faiths Forum - Money South Woodford Mosque
Sunday 17th July
Lunchtime picnic in Ray Lodge Park with cluster partner churches
Sunday 24th July
2.30pm Three Faiths Forum - Summer party Party St Anne Line RC Church
Children’s Holiday Club, mornings
11th - 18th Sept
Three Faiths Forum - trip to the Holy Land
Saturday 8th October
Start of Woodford Festival at St Mary’s
Sunday 9th October
Sunday afternoon jazz at St Mary’s
Would you like to take part in the 2011 Woodford Festival? Come and read a favourite poem, or choose one to be read. Saturday, 8th October at 3 p.m. in the Gwinnell Room. Contact Penny Freeston 020 8505 2951 www.woodfordfestival.co.uk
The latest edition of our summer magazine