St Barnabas Church, Epsom logoNOTICES - October 2017

From the Vicar’s Desk:

Dear Friends,

October is my favourite month and always has been.   As a child in school, I remember the bulletin board in every class that was decorated with the month's theme. February was Cupid and hearts, October was jack-o-lanterns and Halloween, November a great big turkey for Thanksgiving, and December was all about Christmas. Given that most of these are no longer politically correct, I don't imagine that American schools are still celebrating like they used to do. Halloween used to be an opportunity to dress up and confront your fear of the dark, unfortunately it has been turned into a night of thuggery and intimidation. Thanksgiving, for a child, was always boring; no dressing up and no presents, though I do remember Grandma's homemade fudge. Christmas hasn't changed too much and I hope it never does. Summer may still be fresh in our minds, but already we are planning for Christmas.

Yet we mustn't forget that October offers us something new and different. The nip in the air and the early nights remind us that we are in a time of change. Everything takes on a different pace, a new sense of urgency, as the days grow shorter and shorter. It's a time to take stock of what we have and where we are going. We look back on all that the summer has given us and we give thanks for the happy times, the sunshine, and the great outdoors. We find new joy in the food on our tables, the friends and family around us, and the simple, cosy pleasure of sitting in front of the fire.

This month, let us take the time to be grateful for the blessings God has given us. Let us spare a thought for his generosity. The things that we rejoice in come not from our own efforts and desire, but from the gifts he has given to us that we might share them with others less fortunate. The political and economic uncertainty that afflicts the world makes this all the more important. We may have all that we need to weather the storm, but we do not have to look very far to find those who will suffer all the more. So let us be glad of what we have and let us be ever mindful of the needs of others. Let us follow the example of God himself, and be generous with others. Let us enjoy the months ahead of home and hearth, let us give thanks always and be glad that we walk in God's love this and every day.


Social Diary:

Sunday1 10.15am Harvest Festival
Thursday 5 11am Coffee Morning
Wednesday 11 8pm Bible Study
Friday 20:  2pm Knit and Natter

Dates to remember:

  • 7 to 15 October -  Epsom Mental Health Week
  • 18 November - Clean up 10am to 1pm
  • 7 to 10 December - Christmas Tree Festival


Would all parishioners who are tax payers please ensure that any monies they donate to the church are “gift aided”. This will make sure that we receive a tax rebate on all your donations. If you are unsure, please fill out a Gift Aid Declaration (available from Ruth). Thank you.

Darkness and Light

(courtesy of Janet Roberts)

The white knuckles gripped to fight, Hands pressed hard, eyes shut tight, Tensing temples, teeth clenched white. All to stop the entry of The light. The light so bright That they prefer the night.

The night where they stumble, Mumble, And fall. Hands are grazed as they clutch at a wall, Eyes have no sight in the pitch-black pall, A friend can't be told from a foe at all In the night.

In the light The grazes and the bruises show, The shifty eyes, the head hung low: It's plain to see who is the foe. And once it's seen, who can deny That they will lead him out to die.

So run, and hide, in darkest night. In night I hid for many years, In night I shed so many tears, In night I hid, with all my fears.

In night there came A gentle sound, A quiet footstep on the ground, A voice that said, “I will not hound You from this place. Look, see my face And see the lantern in my hand.”

The dreaded light? No. A quiet and a peaceful glow. Eyes used to darkness need it so, Eyes used to darkness did not know That light brings healing; Eyes used to darkness did not know Light so revealing Shows us the face of love appealing. Shine on us, O Lord.

Clean up

We will be having a general clean up on Saturday 18th November starting at 10am until 1pm. There is a lot to be done, both inside and outside the church, so we would be grateful if as many people as possible could come along to help - even if just for a little time as every little helps.

 To raise a smile!

(courtesy of Betty Forbes)

 Dear Mr Milkman….

  • I’ve just had a baby, please leave another one.
  • Please leave an extra pint of paralysed milk.
  • Please don’t leave any more milk. All they do is drink it.
  • Sorry not to have paid your bill before, but my wife had a baby and I’ve been carrying it around in my pocket for weeks.
  • Please leave no milk today. When I say today, I mean tomorrow for I wrote this note yesterday.

 I am a Seenager (Senior Teenager). I have everything that I wanted as a teenager, only 60 years later. I don’t have to go to school or work. I get an allowance every month. I own my own pad. I don’t have a curfew. I have a driver’s licence and my own car. The people I hang around with are not scared of getting pregnant and they do not use drugs. And I don’t have acne. Life is great!


Jean and Gordon Rozier celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary recently. We enjoyed a special moment with them and their family at Sunday morning service when Michael marked the occasion with a blessing. We wish them many more happy years together.

Report on the PCC meeting on 20 September 2017

(by Janet Roberts)

The main item on the agenda was our Mission Action Plan. We thought about who we are as a church, what we are here for and what our core values are. Steve Cox, who led our Away Day this year, is to come again in the new year so that all members of the congregation can work on this together.

As part of our Mission Action Plan, we also thought about prayer. A service specifically on prayer will be held, where we can explore in particular praying in groups of three or prayer triplets.

It is good news that our financial position is better than at the same time last year. However, we continue to monitor our finances, as not all our sources of income are secure, and we need to demonstrate to the diocese that we are in a stable financial position.

Donations covered the cost of all the work in the hall, with a small surplus, which is wonderful news. The new floor has a different, more resonant sound; it was suggested that rugs could be purchased with the surplus donations to soften this for events such as Sunday School.

A new building maintenance committee has been formed, consisting of Father Michael, churchwardens Sarah Ford and Helen Dyke, Ivan Hurst, James Kind, Graham Lawrence, Ruth Mey and Frank Sinnock. The five-yearly inspection of the building known as the quinquennial must be carried out this year; we are looking for a suitable architect.

We discussed safeguarding in general and plan to hold safeguarding training for the deanery at St. Barnabas in January or February; the more of the congregation who can attend, the better.

Lastly, Father Michael and Revd. Sue Bull will be holding healing services on the fourth Sunday in the month and inviting a few people to help them with these services.

Sunday Coffee: We are short of a couple of people who can help out with coffee on Sunday mornings. Perhaps not on a regular basis but someone we can call out when usual helpers are unable to get to church. Please speak to Hilary or Ruth if you can help. Thank you.

Readers and Intercessors: The list for October-December is now in the narthex and we would be grateful if you could sign up.

Parish Prayer Chain: Together We Can Make a Difference

Please sign up to prayer triplets – list in the narthex.

Christmas Tree Festival: This month, letters will go out to various companies, associations, charities and individuals within our parish asking if they would like to participate in our festival. This is just to remind you that it is fast approaching. So, if you wish to decorate a Christmas Tree, or know of somebody who would be interested, please let us know in plenty of time. Thank you.

Service to Commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation: 6.30pm on Sunday 29th October at St Martin’s Church, Epsom. Preacher Very Revd Andris Abakuks, Dean of the Latvian Lutheran Church in the UK. All welcome.

Epsom Passion Play: Once again Churches Together in Epsom will be staging the play on Good Friday next year. This incredible act of community witness relies on the help and support of volunteers from local churches. In the near future representatives will be visiting St Barnabas to give a brief overview of the event and to appeal for help for actors and volunteers. Further information to follow.

Birthdays this month:    1st David Anthony

                                          6th Anabel Hindmarsh

                                          8th Doreen Donohue

                                          12th Hilary Batt

                                          18th Bobbie Lawrence

                                          20th Mike Johnson


Sick List: Jim Middleton who is still missing, Doreen, Aimee Williams, Charles.

Suggestions: If you have any suggestions or ideas for our monthly parish news then please speak to Michael, Hilary or Ruth.

As we go to print, we will be preparing for a very busy weekend – Barn Dance and Harvest Festival – report and pictures next month!

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