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St Mary’s Parish Magazine

Volume 3, Issue 7

Christmas 2011


Growth through diversity The joy of Christmas brings many welcome visitors through our church doors. We are glad to see them, and hope that they will catch a glimpse of God’s love and glory - a glimpse that will bring them back before next Christmas. We believe that God sent his Son into the world to make a difference to people’s lives, through the transforming love and forgiveness that he offered. The love of Jesus is for everyone. A year ago the Church Council set up a working group to consider questions like: ⇒ how can we call more people to experience the love of God, and become part of his community in Woodford? ⇒ what will St Mary’s look like in five years or ten years time? We tried to learn about what churches are doing elsewhere, and think what we could do here. We brought some interim proposals back to the Church Council, about the welcome we offer to newcomers, and about personal prayer ministry. After that however, we asked how best we can serve the very diverse population of Woodford, and looked at the options for introducing a new regular service which might attract people not served by our current three Sunday services. Three options were brought to the Church Council, which chose two possibilities to be explored further: Our cover picture is of the Advent wreath made by St Mary’s young people this year. Read about the new SHaPE group on page 7.


a service to be held late on a Saturday afternoon, as is currently done at Christ Church in Wanstead, to meet the needs of people who, for whatever reason, can’t get to church on Sunday; ⇒ offering an informal, café-style activity in parallel with our 10am service on Sunday morning, for people who are unfamiliar with, or uncomfortable in, our usual style of worship. A small group will study these options and consult the wider congregation as to whether they, or people whom they know, would find them helpful. Pray for us as we look to do what God wants for his church. ⇒

Have a happy Christmas, and may God bless us all in 2012. Ian

Parish register Welcomed into God’s family in Baptism 23rd October Alanna-Grace Duffus & Connor Baptiste 6th November Oludamilola Daramola 20th November Donnie Wiltshire 27th November Amelia Roche

Above Connor Baptiste and left Donnie Wiltshire with their proud parents

Funerals 30th September Rene Ebsworth 14th October John Tabor 23rd Nov Peggy Brennan 5th Dec May Hearn May they rest in peace and rise in glory


A tale of two Eppings. We may not have had any recent weddings at St Mary’s but Roberta Flynn announces one with local and faraway connections.

Celebrations in Epping Forest and cake cutting in Australia

Joe Flynn, formerly of this parish, married his fiancée Patricia on 20 August at St John’s Church Epping. That’s Epping, Melbourne, Australia, close to the bride’s family home. The couple then made the 10,000 mile journey for a reception at the Royal Forest Hotel in our own Epping Forest. Among the guests were many friends from St Mary’s who remember Joe as a Seeker, Quester and altar server. He and Trish now live in South London where they both teach English at a convent school, but they send greetings to all at St Mary’s and hope to be with us at Christmas.

Sustained by Faith and Love Chris Winward pays tribute to Stella Wright. In September, we gave thanks to God for the life of Stella who worshipped at St Mary’s for many years along with her husband David and her five children whilst they were growing up. During her teenage years she joined the Salvation Army but came here to worship so that the whole family could be together. Only when the children had grown up did she return to the Salvation Army at Ilford where she taught the cadets, sang with the songsters and latterly helped lead the over 60’s club. She returned to worship here when, owing to her physical limitations, she was unable to get to Ilford. For the last few years of her life, she was largely confined to her home but the church maintained its fellowship links with her through the regular visits of her friends here and the ministry team. Stella was a lady of immense courage and good humour. She contracted polio at the age of 9 and her parents were told that she would never walk


again but, with the aid of a new treatment and her own great determination, she did walk again with the aid of a caliper for the rest of her life. She never, however, let it curb her zest for life. She trained and worked as a social worker during which time she met and married her husband David with whom she raised five children. She enjoyed a lifelong loving relationship with each of Stella with David and St Mary’s friends them. Many of us will recall a little while ago that David was a busy GP in Hainault and also served as churchwarden here during the years of the rebuilding of the church after it was all-but destroyed by fire. David could not have done all this without Stella’s unstinting and loving support. With five children, their home life was pretty hectic but Stella ran the home with great energy, good humour and family and friends alike paid tribute to the warmth of her hospitality. She was blessed with six grandchildren and a great grandson and they enjoyed mutual adoration. Stella also cherished an intensely close relationship with her sister Beryl with whom she spoke nearly every day of her life. Despite the physical challenges that she had to face in life, Stella remained positive throughout and was eternally grateful to God for all the blessings she received from a happy marriage, a large family and so many good friends. Three years ago, she had to face the loss of her dear sister and beloved husband but she coped with great courage. To those of us who knew her, she remains as an example of tremendous fortitude and good humour born of the deep Christian faith which sustained her and those she loved throughout her long and happy life.

Thank you for your generosity in the past few weeks. The Send A cow Lunch raised £300 (before the money from the stars) The coffee morning and collection for the Manna raised nearly £800 And a quiz at St Barnabas with many St Mary’s people and friends raised over £650 for the Children’s Society.

Mild he lays his glory by, born that man no more may die.


How to work out food for 700 children Don’t panic if you’re cooking for ten on Christmas Day – Louie Park recalls cooking for up to 700 when she worked at Churchfields! This is her story as told to Penny Freeston. Louie worked at Churchfields for about twenty seven years, first as a general kitchen assistant, then as assistant cook before becoming the head cook and later, combined cook/supervisor. In the ‘good old days’ four assistants prepared and cooked all the vegetables from scratch and one lady was in charge of custard, semolina etc. Work started at 8 am and was generally over by 3.30, although Louie continued with her office work till 5 on Fridays when her role was combined with that of supervisor. Originally a supervisor was also employed to work out dietary needs, order ingredients and cost out the meals. Each week there were two roast dinners, fish and chips and a rotating selection of pies, stews, cheese flans, sausages and mash and salads with grated cheese and hardboiled eggs. Puddings included jam or syrup sponge, chocolate sponge with chocolate custard, rice pudding and trifle. Christmas Puddings were mixed by hand in large bowls by all the kitchen staff. Louie recalls a mother coming into the kitchens to discuss a child’s food allergy but that was unusual. A day before and after the beginning and end of each term was spent ‘spring-cleaning’ and a maintenance man came round regularly to service ovens, slicing machines, steamers and boilers. When Snaresbrook Primary School was built in Meadow Walk, Redbridge sent a van to Churchfields to collect their dinners (about 400) on a daily basis. This brought their catering numbers up to around 700 plus teaching staff, kitchen staff and mid-day assistants, one being our very own Joan Ware. The caretaker would transport cooked dinners to Churchfields Infants School from the Junior school kitchens and Louie would run down to the bottom of the field with anything that had been forgotten. “ One time cattle were in the field and I thought one of them was chasing me and I started to run. The children had a good laugh!” Louie recalls. “Those were the days when cattle were free to roam the forest and often would meander down the roads.” About seven years before Louie retired school meals in Redbridge were altered to reflect more popular choices such as burgers, hot dogs, salads, filled rolls, sausage rolls, baked beans and chips. Although a meal of the day, such as Shepherd’s Pie or Lasagne, was still offered it was not as Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay


popular. Louie took on the combined role of both cook and supervisor and recalls spending about 23p per child, “sometimes more, sometimes less”. Louie says, “I enjoyed my time at Churchfields and the girls I worked with were wonderful. I retired twenty-one years ago and have many fond memories.” She remembers the children having great respect for Mr. Williams, the head master she remembers most, and the hush in the dining halls when he entered to say Grace. She would also like it known that “the custard was never lumpy!” Louie has been attending St. Mary’s for about 16 years since bringing her friend, a former mid-day assistant, Gladys Matthews, to church in a wheel chair each Sunday and was introduced to Woodford Wives. She has lived in Malmesbury Road for sixty years. Although widowed, sadly at 47 when her husband Jim passed away, Louie continues to cook for her family every other Sunday: her two sons, their wives and three grand children and has recently become a very proud great-grandmother. She still tends to ‘over-cook’, perhaps a legacy from those days when she dreaded running short if there was a discrepancy with dinner numbers. Talking to Louie (short for Louisa) brought back nostalgic memories of dinner registers, huge baking tins, wobbly jelly, Spotted Dick and watching ‘dinner ladies’ walking off into the sunshine while I was still teaching. As a child I loved school dinners and would badger my mother to replicate my favourite dessert, cornflake tart, when I came home from school. Happy Days!

Churchfields School Appeal At the end of November, Annie, Andrena and I went for a tour of the newly rebuilt Churchfields Junior School writes Ian The building is impressively light and spacious – compared with the old building which had narrow corridors and staircases. Everything is now connected together, so that there is no need to go out of doors to get to another part of the school. The classrooms are well equipped with furniture, whiteboards and data projectors. The new school hall is far bigger than the old one, making it easier to provide assemblies for the whole school. The kitchen is Churchfields School smart new kitchen full of shiny new equipment.


The head, Wendy Thomas, has invited Annie to lead an assembly early in the new year, blessing the school and all who learn or work there. Sadly the money for the project ran out before all the trimmings were finished. The Head was concerned that, although coat pegs had been installed for all the children, the shelves that had been planned to go beneath the pegs - for lunch boxes, PE kits, and so on - were not. Perhaps folk from St Mary's, especially past pupils of the school, could help with that in some way? We are looking into it! (Ed note: if you have any ideas to help do let us know.)

SHaPEd by God

Some of the SHaPE group: from left to right Hannah, Sarah, Hannah, Emma and Laura

Andrena Palmer introduces us to the new group for our older teenagers I have been leader of SHaPE since September - and it is a pleasure and privilege to meet with such great young people. Our weekly sessions on a Sunday morning are written by Urban Saints, and I present this so that there is music, discussion, bible study, chocolate, games and craft. We have studied "And who is my Neighbour?" when we thought about the Woodford area, and how

we could pray for the people who live here. We also led the Remembrance Sunday All-age worship based on John 15. This was a great opportunity for the Church to see who we are, and for those who were present to take part in the leadership and direction of the service. We currently have nine people in our group - and I feel that they are getting to know me well, and, I hope, are seeing what I am trying to do in my work with them. We recently had drop-in sessions, and it was a blessing to welcome young people from SHaPE and Quest, and their parents, along for "brunch" and to hear their ideas about what activities they enjoy. I now have an idea of what activities to arrange for the coming few months.


I can not do this alone, and I welcome the input from Ian, Annie, Chris and Liz (my support group) and also Bridget Webb, Roberta Flynn and Lizete Teofilo, who supported me during these drop in sessions. We have started a Facebook group called YSM (Young people at St Mary's) - where we will advertise all events, and for parents and young people to book time to see me. See the link on the church website. (NB remember that Facebook users must be 13 or older.) I am really enjoying my time at St Mary's and I am grateful to you all for your warm welcome and encouragement. I look forward to being here and serving your young people for a while. This shows that the young people have chosen well in the name for their group: A Desire... It is not you that shapes God It's God that shapes you. If then you are the work of God, then wait for the hand of the artist who does all things in due season. Offer Him your heart, soft and tractable, And keep the form in which the artist has fashioned you. Let your clay be moist, less you grow hard and lose the imprint of His fingers. - St Irenaeus -

And should you be towards the other end of the age scale . . . • • •

• •

• •

Most of us spend our lives as if we had another one in the bank. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. As you grow older you’ll find that the things you regret most are the things you didn’t do. Do not regret growing older, it is a privilege denied to many. You do not stop playing games because you are growing old; you grow old because you stop playing games. Live every day as if it were your last, and some day you’ll be right. The trick is growing up without growing old.

Then why should men on earth be sad Since our Redeemer made us glad


Not long now Our build up to London 2012 continues as we look back and forwards to next summer. Eileen Duffus remembers the 1948 Torch relay: At the age of 6 years my parents took me to Windsor for the day. As lunchtime approached we went into a restaurant, on the Main Street, and were seated on the first floor. Suddenly the street was lined with sight-seers and a buzz of excitement filled the air. As a small child I was put by the window, with other children and we watched the runner and attendants pass by carrying the Olympic torch. The memory stays with me to this day. Penny Freeston describes her visit to one of the many test events being held ahead of the main Games. When we heard that the Olympics were coming to London in 2012 I imagined us all going, en famille, to a variety of events fortuitously close to home. Like many others, we applied for our tickets to find we had all been ‘blown out’ in the first ballot. Undeterred, I ordered some tickets to watch some ‘warm-up’ events and in August (thankfully, the week after the riots!) seven of us, including our two grandsons, watched three international basketball matches in the completed stadium. We arrived at The stadium has moved on apace 1.30 pm to go through security checks, followed by a shuttle bus trip to the purpose-built stadium, where we were able to see ‘work in progress’ at the Olympic Park site. We watched three matches: China versus Australia, Serbia versus Croatia and France versus Great Britain, all for £25 each (£10 for children) It was all great fun; there were refreshments and souvenirs on sale and, because seating was limited, we were not caught up with huge crowds. And we still sang or hummed all the national anthems! If this appeals to you, more events are lined up for next year, and tickets can be bought from but get in quickly because even these are selling fast!


Viveca Dutt gets excited about becoming a volunteer: I first put my name forward as a volunteer to help support the bid. Many years, and a long application process later I received an email last month asking me to become a volunteer driver for the ‘Olympic family’ based at the Olympic Park. Suddenly the Games have become very real and watch out next year for many tales of “guess who I had in the back of my courtesy car.” And Annie Mctighe says that we are planning many events to celebrate the Games and the Cultural Olympiad here at St Mary’s Get these dates in your diary now and tell all your friends:

Saturday 28 July Jazz concert featuring Chris Higginsbottom 20.00 cost £5 Saturday 28 July Historical Tour of St Mary’s 10.30 Wednesday 1 August Historical Tour of St Mary’s 10.30 Saturday 4 August Big Screens in the Church for events including Rowing, Triathalon, 100m 09.00 to 21.00 with youth and children’s events during the day 11.00 Brunch 14.00 – 19.00 BBQ

Sunday 5th August Big Screens in the Memorial Hall 12.00 BYO lunch and watch the events. 19.30 2/3 course sit down meal. Thursday 23rd August Wine tasting at Waitrose 18.00 to 20.00. Cost £10 (limited spaces) Saturday 8th September Quiz night proceeds to Paralympic charity Watch the magazine, diary and website for more details.

The gift of hospitality Could you host the families of athletes coming to London next year? Become part of the Church response to London 2012, help people who cannot afford to stay in hotels and enjoy welcoming the world to our doorstep. If you are interested in finding out more contact John Goldsmith: via the Parish Office Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain, Gold I bring to crown Him again, King forever, ceasing never, Over us all to reign.


Auf Wiedersehen Girls Jane Hawkes choir director for the The Churchfields Singers writes about the group and their trip to Germany in early December. The Group travelled to Wilhelmshaven in northern Germany to join forces with 50 German dancers on an intensive three day course based in the beautiful castle, Burg Kniphausen. The courses covered ballet, musical theatre and ensemble singing Whilst there, the group also gave two recitals; one in a medieval church in Sengwarden and a second in the castle where they were based for the course. The first concert had a The Churchfields Singers at their fund raising more classical focus, concert at St Marys including Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols and four Schumann and Brahms lieder and the second was a lighter programme including The Happy Wanderer (in German), Christmas Songs from around the world plus pop and musical theatre favourites. We are constantly looking for new performing opportunities to widen the girls’ horizons, so when last Christmas a colleague in Bonn suggested an inter-cultural collaboration, this seemed a golden opportunity. The girls, naturally were excited at the prospect of travelling abroad to sing. Immediately, work began on some German repertoire...The Happy Wanderer and Stille Nacht were obvious choices, everyone knows the English versions but could the girls learn them and be convincing, in German? A year on, the trip is set up with all four secondary schools willing to release the girls for a few days and The School Journey Association taking care of the coach transfer. A pianist from Amsterdam accompanied the concerts and the girls worked with German ballet and musical theatre teachers. A native German speaker, Viola Benz has been coaching the group and teaching some basic German as part of the recent Sunday rehearsals and this has been invaluable. The group of 20 girls has now been singing together for three years. Before that they all sang in lunchtime choirs at Churchfields Junior School from Year 4. The new, elite group began in 2008 with only seven singers, trying


out harmony work that had not been tackled in the bigger Churchfields Junior School Choirs, which often numbered over 60. Initially, they rehearsed in my music studio in Derby Road just for fun but it was not long before the group blossomed into what it is now and a larger working space was required. St Mary’s then came to the rescue and now the Gwinnell Room is a regular venue on Sunday afternoons when not needed for other church business. In June this year the choir spent a weekend in Norfolk recording some of their repertoire; this has now expanded to over 40 pieces – all of which are sung from memory; the styles range from Britten, Chilcott and Sarah Watts to jazz, folk, pop and of course, musical theatre, a particular favourite of the girls. The aim of the project was to give the girls recording experience, not to make a commercial recording. The girls camped in the garden of a farm (the temperature dropping to 5 degrees – very unusual for June). We managed to put down 21 tracks – far more than was originally planned. Next year’s plans include recitals for the Woodford Music Circle, the Little Venice Music Festival, and entertaining at the Royal Overseas League for The Association of English Speakers and Singers. The group also hopes also to return to Norfolk for the third year running to sing at Fulmodestone Parish church as part of their Summer Festival. For more information on The Churchfields Singers and availability, please contact Jane Hawkes on 07956 921894 or Finally, a big thank you from the group to all the audience for attending a hugely successful Fundraising Concert on Sat 19th November at St Mary’s. After costs of programmes and advertising, £1000 was raised which will go towards the cost of accommodation in Germany.

One of the singers, Molly Walker, has other activities in her busy life: she was declared “Sportswoman of the year” for 2011, at Woodbridge School, because of her football, trampolining and other sports involvement. Congratulations, Molly!


Speaking of Germany Cheryl Corney writes: Our church magazine is not only read in the Woodford area. Frau Anemone Steche, who lives in Essen in Germany, has been reading our magazine for some years. She has been visiting Woodford for more than three decades and has especially enjoyed speaking German with Valerie Geller, attending a house group at Jean Russell’s house and hearing the church bells summoning the faithful to worship. From Essen, Frau Steche writes The uplifting peal of the bells of St. Mary's can be heard even in the north-western part of Germany via the parish magazine which reaches me regularly so that I can share a bit of the community life and read the many thought-provoking articles. I am thus made to feel part of this congregation. Thank you very much, dear editors, for all the time and trouble spent in creating this magazine. Some of the contributors I have come to be very fond of in the course of the past 30 years, and whenever I am privileged to rest my sometimes weary bones in Cheryl Corney’s room I look out of the window towards the spire, wait for the Monday evening bell ringing practice session and feel at home. Lasset die Glocken klingeln! May the bells ring!

Rose Cottage Remembered It wasn’t just London Bridge that the Americans bought. Peggy Renouf remembers her family’s role in shipping a cottage out. In 1930 Henry Ford came to England and bought a cottage he had seen at Chedworth. This was dismantled – each stone and slate numbered – packed and shipped off to America. My father, who was the foreman of the building firm, and a slater were then sent off with it to supervise the rebuilding. After three days on Ellis Island, they were allowed to start work. My mother was left to look after the five children for six months. As we were getting ready for school one day a message came that we were to have our photo taken. A large black car arrived and out stepped Henry Ford and his son, Edsol. He patted us all on the head, kissed my little sister and away they went. My father was This picture of Rose cottage in presented with the picture of his the USA is thanks to Ken family. The cottage, complete with all Giorlando in Greenfield USA its furniture, can be seen at the Ford Museum at Dearborn, near Detroit.


From Rose Cottage to Ice House Penny Freeston remembers walking past the Woodford Ice House often with a school friend who lived in Chelmsford Road on their way to the station in the mid-60s. Thanks are due to Peter Lawrence, President of the Woodford Historical Society who found a slide, at her request, and sent in this information to jog our memories! I remember the ice house in the 1950s. It stood in what had become the front garden of a Peter Lawrence’s picture of the Ice Victorian house at the southern House end of Buckingham Road. At this time the structure had a mock gothic front to it and a friend of mine's father used to garage his motorcycle-combination in it! Several children at the time thought it was the entrance tunnel that had led monks to St Mary's church! The fact is that the ice house may have been constructed or enhanced in about 1801 when the new owner of the Woodford Hall estate, John Maitland, commissioned the landscape gardener, Humphrey Repton, to improve the grounds. The ice house is clearly shown on the 1st edition of the 2.5" Ordnance Survey map. In 1825 the Maitlands, through an inheritance, moved to Loughton Hall and Woodford Hall was let to a series of families including William Morris's father. In 1866 most of the estate was auctioned off for development, leaving just the Hall surrounded by a new rendered wall, of which fragments remain in Chelmsford and Buckingham Roads. All the roads in the Woodford Hall estate were named after Lord Derby's second Cabinet. The 18th century Woodford Hall was finally demolished in 1902. The rear of the Memorial Hall, the present Rectory and the house "Chapel en le Frith" in Buckingham Road all stand on the footprint of that once grand house. The ice house and adjoining Victorian house were demolished in the 1960s to make way for the flats that now occupy the site but not before the local historian, Jack Elsdon Tuffs had taken some photographs and made notes and sketches of its construction. I enhanced those sketches in 1988. One of the estate lodges survives at the Fullers Road end of Stanley Road but is now almost unrecognisable due to extensions and rendering in the 1970s. Come they told me,. . . A new born King to see


Peace and Mutual Respect Chris Meikle gives us a personal perspective on the Three Faiths Forum joint pilgrimage to the Holy Land to visit sites holy to Christians, Jews and Muslims. Most people were from the Redbridge area but some travellers joined us from as far afield as Newcastle and South Shields. It was amazing how quickly we gelled as a group and many new friendships were made. The advantage of going in a mixed group is that everyone has something to contribute towards a better understanding of what faith is all about. Deep Galilee: A place of peace discussions took place spontaneously and informally at places of worship. People were genuinely interested and asked searching questions about each others customs and beliefs. Often there was some common ground. After relating the significance of a ritual or a Bible text the response often was – “Oh, we have a story very similar to that. It says . . .” The three Abrahamic faiths have much in common although versions of some ‘Old Testament’ events will differ in their detail. It was interesting to compare them and accept that there were differences. Everyone was willing to agree to disagree, but always with respect. One comment I heard made by so many people on different days throughout the week was “I’m so glad I came on this trip. I’ve learned new things and understand so much better.” Our guide Eli was very knowledgeable and eloquent. He gave us daily, indepth history lessons. He also engaged well with the young men to discuss religious, ethical and political issues. Chris, Sally and Ian at St George’s It was a busy week in very hot Cathedral, Jerusalem weather but there were few grumbles. Everyone looked after each other. It’s


impossible to see and experience everything you’d like to in the space of a week. We shared most experiences as a whole group but some compromises had to be made. During Friday noon prayers at Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, there was an opportunity for some of us to visit other places such as the room of The Last Supper and the Garden Tomb. A special moment was the sharing of the end of Sabbath prayers, which our guide Eli led with the help of the Imam’s wife who held the Havdalah candle. Again, on the last day, four of us [3 Christians and 1 Muslim] split from the main group to attend morning worship at the Anglican Cathedral. It was an enriching experience for us all which highlighted what we share – our faith in God and a desire to live in peace and mutual respect.

I remember War Two of our Brownies: Ellodie Reynolds and Lara Pearson wrote this poem for Remembrance weekend. I remember war I I I I I I I

remember the terrible trenches. remember the terrifying guns. remember the awful bombs remember the dreadful injuries. remember my friends and people dying. remember drifting across the sky, guns were going off. was terrified. I remember the poppies scattered across the ground. I remember the nurses. I remember the war graves from far away. I remember the fighting, I remember the war. Here I am, wearing a poppy.

radiant beams from thy holy face, with the dawn of redeeming grace Jesus Lord at thy birth


Sixty-Six Books Penny Freeston writes about an intriguing evening in Westminster Abbey featuring tweeting, 16th century Bishops and a handcuffed saint What was I doing in Westminster Abbey one October evening from 7 pm till 7 am the next morning? You may well ask! I was part of an audience listening to specially commissioned plays, poetry and monologues penned by contemporary authors (including Rowan Williams and Carol Ann Duffy) by the Bush Theatre in response to books in the Bible. Over a period of twelve hours we heard thirty-something of these, accompanied by 16th-17th century music by Dowland, Byrd and Gibbons and contemporary compositions. The first three hours took place in the Nave, starting with Catherine Tate, tweeting in a Brooklyn accent in Godblog, Jeanette Winterson’s response to the book of Genesis. There was a very moving performance by an African actress portraying Esther and a whirlwind monologue about books begetting books in response to Chronicles. Those of us intrepid enough to stay beyond 11 pm were shepherded around in small groups throughout the night (a good technique to keep us awake). Midnight found me in Henry VII’s Chapel listening to a play about three bishops from the 16th century; the early hours found me in the Museum learning about Joshua and sitting in the dark cloisters by candlelight as St. Paul, handcuffed in prison, wrote his letter to Philemon. I would love to say I stayed awake throughout, but Juliet Stevenson’s somniferous voice in response to Song of Solomon sent me into a torpor (Leonard Cohen had the same effect at the Isle of Wight pop festival in 1970) and I drifted off someway into Revelations by Kate Mosse. At one point I was in the Islip Chapel, at another sitting in the Quire. There was a dream-like quality as the words washed over us, although there were regular intervals and the coffee bar was open all night. At 7 am, with dawn breaking over the Thames and Parliament Square, I said goodbye to the friendly marshals and made my way back to the Underground, slept solidly till Stratford, then caught an Epping train and climbed into bed. The last time I had stayed up all night was in 1972 when Martin and I watched an all-night Russian film of War and Peace in Bloomsbury before joining an early queue for the Treasures of Tutankhamun at the British Museum. I do hope some of the commissioned responses surface in print one day – they deserve to be read and heard again before long. Would I stay up again all night? Yes, the Abbey was much warmer and cosier than I’d imagined it to be but I’d advise anyone to get plenty of sleep the day before! O come, Thou Key of David, come, And open wide our heavenly home;


Walking with God’s Word Eileen Duffus writes: New Daylight is a publication of Bible readings to assist your walk with God. The booklet is produced three times per year. There is one page per day relating to a Bible reading, an interpretation of that reading and a prayer. The early pages contain brief descriptions of the writers who have contributed to that issue. The book can be purchased through St. Mary's The cost is £3.90 per issue. The readings are different from the Essential 100 daily readings, so provide an opportunity to vary one's bible studies. See Eileen if you want to know more or order a copy.

Thank you Shirley Chris Winward writes: You will all be aware that Shirley has decided to retire from the leadership of Seekers, a role which she has fulfilled so ably for over 20 years; a role motivated by her great love for children and her Holy Spirit inspired desire that they be taught the Christian gospel. Sue Sainsbury, amongst many others, has worked closely with Shirley for much of that time and writes Shirley has been amazing throughout her leadership. I have never known anyone with such energy and enthusiasm for everything she does, never complaining or airing her own concerns and worries. Over the years, she has taken on more and more of the burden of Seekers, organising and preparing nearly everything herself and she was always concerned about the other teachers and their commitments but never her own. Children and parents alike warm to Shirley instantly. She never forgets a name and is always ready to welcome everyone with her reassuring presence. She has a sound knowledge of the Bible and a gift for passing this knowledge on to children through her teaching. Her singing voice is quite beautiful and she has confidently led and taught hymns and songs to us all. Shirley would carry equipment, set up the tables and chairs for assemblies and lessons, organise food when necessary, phone us all up, keeping us informed of what was happening. She organised and led


assemblies, collected and stored toys from Toy Sunday and set up and ran the toy stall at the bazaar which she continues to do. She organised the stamp books and attendance prizes and has collected, used and kept numerous pieces of artwork under a spare bed. Shirley has been lovingly assisted by John throughout, often filling his car boot with yet more ‘stuff’ to be stored at their home. We, the teachers, have been mere helpers led and guided by Shirley’s all-embracing love and nurturing care. She has also encouraged and supported so many parents through their worries in bringing up their children and has worked with many rectors, curates and readers in organising youth services, nativity plays and numerous other events. It is quite exhausting just listing what Shirley has done for us and we have to remember that she is involved in other groups and activites at St Mary’s as well. Shirley, how many children must have passed through your classes? I have heard parents saying ‘I remember when you taught me Shirley. Do you remember?’ And, of course Shirley, you always do remember. Thank you for all you have taught and done for so many children for so many years. We will miss you. Chris Winward: On behalf of us all, Sue has said it all hasn’t she? And It is a comfort to know that Shirley will still be around to advise , support and encourage and we hope and pray that she and John will enjoy many more years of Christian fellowship with us. If you enjoyed listening to Frederick Stocken playing his new composition “Archangels” at the Woodford Festival you will be pleased to know that you can see a recording on YouTube at: or follow the link on the St Mary’s website.


Intrigue in the Church of England is the backdrop to a series of novels by Kate Charles reviewed here by Cheryl Corney There is always some intrigue in the Church of England, isn’t there? At least there has been since the Reformation…. If you like church detective novels you might enjoy novels by Kate Charles. I especially enjoyed Kate Charles’s earlier novels and found all of them a good read. She is an expatriate American, but a most Anglophilic one. She has a shrewd knowledge of matters clerical and a good eye for characters. Kate Charles is a former Chairman of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Barbara Pym Society. When reading the books I shared Kate’s fascination with her characters. Her books explore issues within the Church of England. A Drink of Deadly Wine was about “outing” before the term was in current use. The high church/low church debate is explored in The Snares of Death along with issues of fundamentalism and extremism. Appointed to Die is a story about the problems of a cathedral and its staff. A Dead Man out of Mind has as its topic the ordination of women. The church’s financial crisis features in Evil Angels among them. I think there is at least one gay priest in each book. Later books are about a young woman curate called Callie Anson. Kate has good insight into the ideals of the Church of England as well as the foibles of some its characters.

My best friend Jenny Clinch’ s moving tribute to Mike was shared with many friends from St Mary’s at his memorial service in September The important things in Michael's life were simply his faith and his family and friends, and to see many of you here today, would have both humbled him yet pleased him greatly and I would like to thank you all for being here with us. He grew into his faith from childhood and at various stages acted as choirboy, server, member of the PCC and churchwarden, in three different parishes. Giving of himself and his time and talents came naturally to him. If he felt that what he had to offer was what was needed, then he would step forward, always striving to do the very best job, though never being fully satisfied with the results. He was very self critical. Mike's family were especially important to him. He took his role of provider and protector very seriously and I have only learnt after his death, that in conversation with Jonathan, he was at least satisfied


that he had achieved all that he could for our future wellbeing without him. He was very proud of his children Jonathan and Deborah, (as I am) in the people that they have grown up to be:, considerate and caring. Theresa had also become important to him, as were his four godchildren. Many of our friends have become like family to us, and I know Mike enjoyed the many good times, days out, quiz nights, family gatherings, usually including good food and a glass of wine or two, that we shared together. When it came to employment, both in BT and at Chigwell School, he enjoyed working with both the people and the computers! The development of new advancements made in the technological and scientific world had always enthralled him and I admit that many times I would try to look interested as he explained the answer to a programming problem he had sorted out, although he may well have been speaking a foreign language! It was the one part of his life I could not fully take part in. Mike's choice of hobbies were not often 'normal', except for his life long interest in photography. For 16 years we had bees at the bottom of our garden, and although Mike did not particularly like honey, he was fascinated by the life and society of the honey bee. Luckily for me Jonathan proved to be a good assistant bee-keeper from an early age, so my duties were concerned mainly with the honey. Another interest that Jon joined his father in, was cars, especially Land Rovers and cross country driving. Perhaps his favourite car was our original Triumph Herald, he could spend many a Saturday tinkering with the engine! His last hobby may well have become the most important to him. He admired the beautiful windows in churches, and was pleased that our original home was Edwardian, with leaded lights. About eight years ago he started to learn the craft of glass work, partly to repair some of our own windows and to replace the plain glass repairs to our windows after war damage to the house, with new designs, in keeping with the period. This was to be his retirement hobby, and included a memorial window in Chigwell School's chapel for a student who died tragically, shortly after leaving the school, and his last piece of glass work, the window here, over the new vestry door. He was determined to get this finished although he was beginning to have problems with his hands. Mike's diagnosis of motor neurone disease in May 2010 was a cruel blow to our plans for years of retirement together in our new home here in Maldon. This cruel disease was no stranger to our family, as his brother, who lived in Australia, had died of the same disease six years earlier. So we knew what lay ahead of us, and started to plan our life accordingly. Supported wonderfully by our new friends here at All Saints, as well as by many family members and older friends, the last year has not been as hard as it could have been for us. We have also been greatly helped by the medical team at Basildon Hospital, our local MND Association and Farleigh Hospice, both at the Maldon Day Centre, which he attended weekly, and the main Chelmsford centre, where we renewed our wedding vows in June, and for the


last week of his life, our local district nurses team. To everyone who has shown such care and love to Michael and to us, his family, I give my deepest thanks. Never one did I hear him complain of the disease, nor say 'Why me?' or The stained glass window Mike made for his new to rage at his fate. church at All Saints Maldon His belief in God was as firm as ever, and he never lost his sense of humour, though in the last few days smiling was an effort for him. I am only please that though his decline over the last few weeks was rapid and we did not get the chance to say all we would have wished, his time of being so totally dependent on other people was short. In his last days he was also struggling with his i pad, and to lose that most important tool of communication would have been unbearable for him. We found this short piece on his i pad that he had written five days before his death. It is titled ' Ode to MND'. A year ago, I could Laugh and sing Kiss and speak Drive, whistle and spit Now A dumb animal Then comes the MND big F word Frustration Michael was firstly my best friend, and we shared many similar likes and dislikes, values and ideas and we enjoyed each other's company. As you can imagine I'm feeling somewhat lost without him and it will take quite a long time to become accustomed to this new phase of my life, but with family and friends around us I am sure I, Jonathan and Deborah, can follow his example and together with love, face what the future will be without complaint. He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove, The glories of His righteousness, And wonders of his love


Autumn to Winter to Christmas and beyond Taking God’s word to the community Rowena Rudkin celebrating Harvest at Churchfields Nursing Home Our God heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain

Autumn brings the Woodford Festival

And the Big Draw Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head; "To me be as it pleaseth God!" she said.


November can only mean the bazaar Richard Walker tells us about another successful day This year's charity bazaar confounded the doubters by bucking against the current trend of general austerity; surprisingly we had better over all takings than last year! (around ÂŁ4,000 on the day.) Special thanks to the silent humper lumpers that shifted all the stalls and tables into place on Friday despite being low in number, although complemented by more helping hands as usual to rapidly clear away again on Saturday. And thank you to those that leant a hand for the first time too; a welcome addition, particularly the big earning bottle stall holders (NB a job well done is a job for life in St Mary's!) In 6 hours of book sorting I managed to select a few corkers; now there's a tip for anyone looking to help in that job next year (please). Although we managed to sell many books and bric-a-brac, the perennial problem is what to do with the masses of stock left at the end; it has to be cleared almost to zero otherwise we just accumulate too much ongoing. In previous years various charity shops have benefited, but this year the Manna Centre took our left overs, so don't be surprised to see the new Manna Centre Library opening, quite handy if Redbridge Council carries on closing everything it possibly can that people use and enjoy! Look now, for glad and golden hours, Come swiftly on the wing; Oh rest beside the weary road and hear the angels sing.


A firm favourite at the Bazaar is Wendy Littlejohns’ Apricot Tea Bread. Thanks to Wendy for sharing her secret. 2 oz dried apricots 5 oz sultanas 1/4 pt warm tea 4 oz granulated sugar 1 standard egg 8 oz self raising flour 1/2 level teaspoon mixed spice 1/2 level teaspoon salt Chop (cut with scissors is quicker) the apricots into small pieces and place in a mixing bowl with sultanas, the granulated sugar and warm ♦ tea, mix together, cover, and leave to soak overnight. (unless you use the no need to soak variety of apricots; then 2-3 hours is sufficient) ♦ Prepare a cool oven 325F 160C (Fan 155) Gas Mk3. Grease a 2lb loaf tin, line base with greaseproof paper, grease paper. Stir egg into fruit mixture. Sift flour, spice and salt together, add to fruit mixture in bowl and mix well. Place mixture into tin and level top with the back of a metal spoon. ♦ Bake in centre of oven for 1 hour, 15 minutes (if in a fan oven - 1hour) until well risen. Test by pressing with finger (or use a skewer which should come out clean). If cooked tea bread should spring back. Turn out and remove paper and leave to cool on wire rack. ♦ Serve sliced with butter and especially good with apricot jam. ♦ Store in a tin, and it will keeps for several weeks; if the family don’t eat it before then! Wendy’s extra tips: ♦ Double portions and make two at one time, or triple ingredients and make small, medium and large, which is what I do for the Bazaar., 1.5/2lb and 2lb tins are needed for this. ♦ Lakeland loaf tin liners are excellent for this. ♦ The loaf can be frozen. Oh, bring us a figgy pudding; Oh, bring us a figgy pudding; Oh, bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer


November has festival days too Ever wondered about Martinmas? Cheryl Corney explains all St. Martin’s day is celebrated widely in many European countries. The festival, also known as Martinmas, is celebrated on 11th November. Autumn wheat seeding is completed and farm labourers would seek new jobs at hiring fairs. St. Martin of Tours began his working life as a Roman soldier. Later he was baptized as an adult and became a monk. He was a quiet, kind man who led a simple life. According to legend one night in a snowstorm he cut his coat in half to share with a beggar who was dying of the cold. The beggar’s life was saved. That night Martin dreamed that Jesus was wearing the half of the coat which he had given away. He heard Jesus saying to the angels: “Here is Martin, the Roman soldier who is not baptised; he has The cross of St Martin has clothed me.” stood outside the Church From the late fourth century until the late of St. Columba on the Isle Middle ages Christians in much of Europe, of Iona, for more than including Britain, started a forty day period of 1000 years. fasting after the great feasts on St Martin’s day. This period was called Quadragesima Sancti Martini (Latin for the forty days of St Martin). This fasting time later was called “Advent” by the church.

Advent began with song Jean Morgan writes about an early carol service Christmas started early at St Mary's when on December 3rd, the South West Essex Federation of Townswomen's Guild held a carol service with the Mayor and Mayoress of Redbridge attending. There was a wonderful atmosphere with congregation singing, readings, a memorable performance from the Churchfields Singers,


Frederick on the organ and piano and Ian leading the service with an inspiring address. There was much conversation afterwards over hot drinks and mince pies and a retiring collection raised £210 for the Essex Air ambulance. If Christmas preparations are getting a little fraught this interpretation of 1 Corinthians 13 may help. It was read at the Townswomen’s Guild service

Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse. Love is kind, though harried and tired. Love does not envy another's home that has coordinated ChristIf I slave away in the mas china and table linens. kitchen, Love does not yell at the kids to baking dozens of Christmas get out of the way, cookies, but is thankful they are there to preparing gourmet meals be in the way. and arranging a beautifully Love does not give only to those adorned table at mealtime: but do not show love to my family, who are able to give in return; but rejoices in giving to those who I'm just another cook. cannot. If I work at a soup kitchen Love bears all things, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity; believes all things, but do not show love to my family, hopes all things, and endures all things. it profits me nothing. Love never fails. If I trim the spruce with shimmer- Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, ing angels golf clubs will rust; and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties but giving the gift of love will endure. and sing in the choir's cantata but do not focus on Christ, Sharon Jaynes I have missed the point.

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

See how the shepherds, Summoned to His cradle, Leaving their flocks, draw nigh to gaze;


Annie McTighe writes about carol singing at Queen Mary Gate The night was freezing but 25 enthusiastic singers came to Queen Mary’s Gate to sing lively renditions of old favourites, while Waitrose blessed us with mince pies and mulled wine. It was a great night and a God-given opportunity to be a visible presence of Jesus this Advent season.

My Ladies and Me John Green describes the reputation a Home Group host can get. Discussion Group 13 has been convening at my home on and off since the 1960s, and so we met on November 14 at 2pm. We had just begun when there was a knock on the door - my neighbour who had been out when I took in a parcel destined for her. “Sorry Heather,” I said “I’ve got ten ladies here so I can’t stop for a chat.” “Never mind John” she replied. “But I’ll look in again about 5 to make sure you are OK. Take care!”

A new light has dawned Ian explains the great season we celebrate after Christmas The word ‘epiphany’ means ‘showing forth’ or ‘made visible’. The feast of the Epiphany, traditionally celebrated on 6th January, looks back to the visit of the wise men to see the infant Jesus. Christmas cards and nativity scenes often show the wise men in the stable with the shepherds, but careful reading of the text suggests that they arrived rather later: ⇒ they came to a ‘house’ instead of stable ⇒ they saw a ‘child’ not a ‘baby’ ⇒ the presentation in Jerusalem, when Jesus was 40 days old, must have happened first, because Jerusalem would not have been safe after the wise men visited Herod ⇒ Herod ordered the death of all children in Bethlehem under the age of two years. The feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, is traditionally celebrated on 2nd February, forty days after Christmas. It is sometimes


called Candlemas, because of a medieval tradition of blessing a year’s supply of church candles on that day. In our church calendar, the season of Epiphany runs from the feast of Epiphany to the feast of the Presentation, and there are common themes every year…. ⇒ Thinking of the wise men, we remember that Jesus came for people of all nations, and we pray about our task of sharing the Good News, by word and action. ⇒ We remember how Jesus was revealed as the Son of God at his baptism, which reminds us our own baptisms, our relationship with our heavenly Father, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. ⇒ We also remember the first miracle by which Jesus revealed his glory: the changing of water into wine at the wedding feast; and this makes us think of the way in which the grace of God can transform the lives of his people. Some words sometimes used in the Communion service in the season of Epiphany: …a new light has dawned upon the world that all the nations may be brought out of darkness to see the radiance of your glory.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the magazine over the past year and we wish all our friends near and far all God’ s blessings for Christmas and for 2012. We have many exciting events planned for next year to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the rededication of St Mary’s and the Olympic Games so keep an eye on all our regular publications. Please continue to send us your comments, contributions and news for the magazine next year and please remember that we really like pictures. Please send any material to Copy date for the next edition is 29 February 2012. Don’t forget our regular columns; gardening, cookery and of course theology if you have any questions!


Some Diary Dates Sun 8th Jan

Feast of the Epiphany

Sun 15th Jan

Joint choral evensong at Wanstead

Sat 21st Jan

Bingo Evening for Mission Funds

Sun 22nd Jan

All-age Eucharist with 1st Woodford Brownies

Tue 24th Jan

Faith and Image - William Byrd music

Sun 29th Jan

Songs of Praise with Cluster Partners — at St Barnabas

Sun 5th Feb

10am Choral Eucharist

Sat 11th Feb

Coffee Morning and Race Night

Sun 19th Feb

Evening service to launch lent groups

Mon 20th Feb

Cluster Quiz at the Memorial Hall

Wed 22nd Feb

Ash Wednesday

Sat 25th Feb

Quiet Day at Derby Road Methodist Church

Did you notice the lines from well known Christmas hymns scattered through the magazine. How many did you recognise? Here is a final teaser: How silently, how silently, The wondrous gift is given! So God imparts to human hearts The blessings of His heaven. Answers below P4 Hark the Herald Angels Sing; P5 Away In a Manger P8 On Christmas Night (the Sussex Carol) P 10 We Three Kings P14 The little Drummer boy P16 Silent Night P 17 O Come O Come Emmanuel P 22 Joy to the World P 23 In the bleak mid winter and (bottom) Most Highly Favoured Lady P24 It came Upon the Midnight Clear P 25 We Wish you a Merry Christmas P27 O Come All Ye Faithful 30

Through the Decades: Were you married or baptised in the “new” St Mary’s? As part of next year’s 40 years celebration we are looking for photos, wedding dresses and baptismal gowns for a display. Please contact Sally Barton via the parish Office

Christmas and New Year Services at St Mary’s Saturday 24th December Christmas Eve 5pm Children’s Service 11.30pm Holy Communion Sunday 25th December Christmas Day 8am Holy Communion (CW) 10am Sung Eucharist No evening service today. No services in church until 1st January.

St Mary's Christmas Magazine 2012  

The latest edition of our quarterly magazine

St Mary's Christmas Magazine 2012  

The latest edition of our quarterly magazine