Sunday, 12 February 2017

Church News: January 1978

From the pages of "The Pilot", 1978 comes this snippet of news from St Aubin on the Hill and St Clement. Terry Hampton chose Eye Camps as a particularly good overseas charity to support because for a modest sum, sight problems could be restored.

Eye camps are still going strong today. 285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired worldwide, 90% of which live in developing countries. But 80% of all visual impairment can be avoided or cured.

Both "Pilot" pages give a snapshot of life in those churches in the late 1970s. It was a time when the old certainties were being challenged, although in the case of the TV series BC The Archaeology of the Bible Lands, this was simply presenting information known to scholars for decades to the general public who were (and probably still are) unaware of those. A group of Cambridge scholars of diverse backgrounds had also published "The Myth of God Incarnate" in which they challenged more traditional conceptions of incarnation (and the weakness in some of those).


MONDAY BLUES. Even Ministers get that jaded, weary feeling we all know so well. Some deal with it by having their day off then; in the Group ministry we have a staff meeting. Whether that adds to the gloom or lightens it is sometimes a moot point! (If Gerald Stoddern [Methodist Minister, Bulwarks Church] is in good form then it certainly lightens the day.)

A few weeks ago I was surveying the piles of paper on my desk, and decided to phone one of our folk who had promised a gift for our congregational Eye Camp. The "blues" were miraculously banished when I heard that the cheque wasn't just to top-up what we needed, but a gift of one complete new Camp! So in 1977 we have provided three Eye Camps, which means that over 100 people will have sight restored and over 1,000 will get treatment to prevent them going blind. Isn't that fabulous?

In April we hope to welcome back Chris Friend, of the Royal Commonwealth society for the Blind. I have already had several cheques from other churches for another Deanery Project, and I hope that we shall get the approval of all the other clergy for this in the New Year.

CHURCH COUNCIL NEWS. At our December meeting we decided to respond to the Bishop of Winchester's Ordination Fund Appeal by sending a cheque for £100. Most of us have very little idea of how men are trained for the Ministry, and we look forward to Tony Hart, who is studying at Llandaff, coming to tell us about it all. New subjects are being added, plus the need to master the latest theological research material. (No doubt the recent "Myth" book, as well as the Magnusson archaeology programmes, made many a lively Common Room debate.) During the coming year we are committed to pay the school fees and expenses of James Quobela in Lesotho. There is a letter from James, and his school report, on display at the back of the church.

JOINT ADVENT EVENING SERVICE. We did enjoy welcoming members of the Bay and the Bulwarks to this service, and special thanks to the Bay choir for adding to the richness of the singing. Something which many people commented on was the high quality of the readings. So thanks to all who helped, and a special thanks to James our organist, who linked up everything musically with organ, piano and guitar.

I was able to use some of my Palestine archaeology slides dealing with the life of John the Baptist. We shall be using our big screen more during the winter months. One other point I must mention was that as people went out they said how welcome they had felt, and what a warm, lovely service it had been.

DATES. Sunday, January 8, at 3pm is the Epiphany Carol Service at St Bernadette's Church. The Sunday School based in the Communicare Centre will be leading parts of the service. The Area Anniversary Service is on Sunday, 22, at the Parish Church at 11 am. This means there will not be a Family Service that morning, and I do ask that we all come and worship at the Bay with our families. We will try to keep the service shorter than in previous years!

ST AUBIN'S DAY. Just to remind you again that our family adults' party is on Saturday, February 25, and our Patronal Day thanksgiving services are on Sunday, February 26. Do come, and invite a friend to come with you.

NEW YEAR. It really is difficult to think about 1978 while involved in the Christmas build-up. But in the new year we must make time to plan ahead, and more people will be needed to take on new responsibilities. Our Steward-ship pledges have come in, many of them very generous ones. We have a detailed list of Time and Talents, but still gaps and spaces. I hope and pray that we shall see a real deepening of our spiritual life together, and a widening of our love and concern, both locally and overseas. Would you use this prayer during 1978? It is part of the Lee Abbey Friend's prayer, and is relevant for every Christian.

"O God our Father, Keep us faithful in all we have promised; Keep us honest in our thinking; Keep us regular in our praying; Keep us diligent in studying your Word and in joining in your worship; Keep us brave and sensitive in sharing with others what we know to be true, through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Our love and our prayers for you all as we enter a year of challenge and opportunity for God.




My dear People.

THANK YOU! Yes, I must indeed begin by thanking those of you who so willingly and kindly sent contributions to our Patronal Gift Day. At the time of going to press the amount stands at around £760. I think it likely that more is yet to come, and I hope therefore that we shall be able to top £800.

We have already paid our Diocesan Quota (£680) in full, so that we can now look the Diocesan Treasurer squarely in the eye - not that I have ever seen the gentleman. I will let you know the final result next month, all being well.

CONFIRMATIONS. The Bishop of Winchester will be conducting the Confirmation Services during the first week in May. There will be only four: the number gets less each year, which means that an ever-increasing number of candidates has to be packed into fewer churches. Presumably tickets will again have to be issued in order that parents and Godparents may secure admission, a practice which engenders irritation on their part. However, I am neither bishop nor dignitary; have no control over these matters; can only wield my pen, which, although allegedly mightier than the sword, is less mighty than the mitre. Be that as it may, I should be glad to receive written applications from those parents who wish me to prepare their children for Confirmation, or, in fact, from any adults who wish to be confirmed.


The coffee, cake and slide evening which we held last month at Caldwell Hall was very much enjoyed, Everyone liked the slides I projected and were only disappointed that I did not bring more with me The occasion might have been better attended if, earlier on that evening, the island had not been plunged into darkness for an hour-and-a-half. This put out of gear practically everyone's cooking arrangements - and possibly shaving and toiletry ones, too! However, those of us who overcame the inconvenience thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

There will be a similar evening on Friday. January 20, at 8 pm. On this occasion, two films from the Lord Rank Film Scheme will be screened. The first film is entitled, Where Jesus Walked running for about half-an-hour, and the second, a shorter one, The Fiery Furnace. Despite its title, it is especially aimed at a children's audience. Both films are in sound and colour.

SUNDAY SCHOOL. Mrs Green has given up Sunday School teaching as she is expecting her second baby Mrs Prescott has again come to our rescue, and we are grateful to her for coming back at such short notice. Deborah and Karen continue to help. Sunday School re-opens on January 15 in Caldwell Hall. We are also planning our annual winter party, but parents will be notified separately about this. Numbers have dropped recently I they fluctuate from year to year), and I do hope that parents will seriously consider sending their children to it, for Sunday Schools nowadays are often the only media through which children receive any Biblical or doctrinal teaching at all.

I have sent out some three hundred Christmas cards. wishing you a happy New Year. If I have inadvertently left anyone out, then I repeat my wish here, adding the sure hope that God will guide and bless you throughout its course.


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