St-Martins-&-St-Stephen's-Large-Font-web-banner

By Editor, Jul 16 2019 06:04PM

I think it must be old age as events in June already seem to be so long ago! However from the viewpoint of a lazy member of St. Stephen’s family the month was both pleasurable and satisfying. I equate much that occurs in St. Stephen’s with all the behind the scenes work that Judith and the rest of her team seem to manage so effortlessly – knowing full well that the end results really all take an awful lot of both time and effort. To me, Judith and Linda personify this image, accomplishing much with grace and seeming ease.


Now back to June and a birthday celebration – Pentecost. Happy Club always celebrated with a party, cakes and candles, not to mention hats, so it was a real treat after our service to be regaled by Howard with most of the aforementioned, except for the hats, but with added liquid refreshments instead! We did sing Happy Birthday too, so smiles were guaranteed. Thank you, Howard.


I think now may be an appropriate time too to thank all of our clergy staff both for the services we receive and their fantastic ability to cope spontaneously with any and every little mishap that might arise. They are always amazing!


Next back to the afternoon of our Pentecost Service when Linda was down at St. Martin’s for the latest of her, highly successful, Beacon Teas. Not satisfied with branching out into her Beacon Christmas Lunch, Linda has been busy planning the possibility of a summer outing for her group, which seems to be nearing completion. I believe the planned outing is to Denbies and includes the provision of tea – so none of Linda’s delicious homemade cakes then!


The last weekend in June was a joyous time for all in our parish. On the Saturday, several members of our congregation travelled to Guildford Cathedral, along with a coachload from St Martin’s, to support David as he was ordained priest. The next day Linda, Judith, Hazel, Vicky, Mary and Frances attended St Martin’s, as David presided over his first communion as priest. From all accounts, this was a wonderful celebration. For those remaining behind at St Stephen’s, our thanks go to Pat, who gave an interesting and enlightening talk on Petertide, and Janet, who led the intercessionary prayers and the singing.


So we came to the end of June in an entirely satisfying manner. Now it just remains to wish you all sunny, but not too hot, days ahead and send our very best wishes to David for happiness and fulfilment in the future and our thanks for all his caring ministry.


On behalf of everyone here at St. Stephen’s Janie Grinstead


PS For those of you in the Village who remember Margaret Hughes, at one time Head of the old Village school, Margaret recently died, just five days short of her 90th birthday. R.I.P. With love.


By Editor, Jun 12 2019 06:14PM

As I write this month Easter seems a long time ago but Pauline’s remembrance of our service on this particular day was still filled with happiness as she recounted it. Not only was it the most joyful service of the year with Adrian presiding, but it was enhanced by the welcoming through baptism of Pauline’s first grandchild, little Georgiana, into our church family.


According to Pauline, everything about the day was perfect and it all began with that service on Easter Sunday morning. We hope that perfect beginning to little Georgiana’s life within our church family continues and send her and all her family our love and best wishes for the future.


Coincidentally, a few Sundays later we ‘lost’ Adrian to another service, which included three baptisms, ‘down at St. Martin’s’. Although disappointed on our own behalf, how could we possibly begrudge others the joy such services bring? Fortunately, Judith and Pat shared the presentation of our own service between them, to the satisfaction of everyone present – we are very lucky!


And we were very lucky at our Christian Aid Coffee Morning too, where contributions from all the different sources resulted in a total of almost £400. This was due to both the usual lovely people giving unstintingly of time and effort and all the lovely people who came and shared the morning with us.


Frances’ plant stall was, as always, quickly sold out, due to all her healthy looking plants, so beautifully presented. Martine’s Bric a Brac stall was not quite cleared of items but was even more beautifully presented, and they were both surrounded throughout the morning by lots of, more or less, helpful grandchildren! A lovely family event it seems and Martine also baked some superb cakes for the cake stall. One can admit to feeling a little bit envious of Martine’s skills especially as her cakes sold before one (meaning me) could buy them.


So another Christian Aid Week comes and goes and together with the lily of the valley in our gardens it brings to mind Olive, whom we remembered at our St. Stephen’s meeting last Sunday. At this time of year Olive in turn always remembered her daughter Jane on the anniversary of her birthday. Marlene was always commissioned by Olive to provide one of her gorgeous flower arrangements in Jane’s memory.

This year Marlene arranged her beautiful flower displays in memory of both Olive and Jane, with our love. And Olive would have been very pleased with our efforts and results on behalf of Christian Aid!


On behalf of everyone here at St. Stephen’s Janie Grinstead


P.S Congratulations to Linnet and family on the recent birth of her baby daughter, Grace Georgina Evans. For many years Linnet was a very supportive, and happy, member of Happy Club!


By Editor, Apr 6 2019 01:16PM

March seems to be a quiet month here at St. Stephen’s, but I think that’s a false perception. For Judith and Linda especially, this is a time of much active preparation, in addition to the quiet contemplation the rest of us enjoy in this period leading up towards Easter.


We began on the Sunday following Liz’s celebration service, with its beautiful flowers. Friends were invited to share in the distribution of those beautiful flowers, in remembrance of Liz. I think Liz would have loved that gesture, and so St. Stephen’s was left in its beautiful, stark simplicity, ready for the Lenten season.

Thinking of Liz, this seems an appropriate time to remember too Lidia, a kind and gentle lady, courteous and caring. So we send our thoughts to Stefano and to all those who loved Lidia.


Next I include a contribution from Judith that was a pleasure to receive – you would not believe the number of fruitless requests that have been sent out over the years!

Judith writes:


‘Perhaps you could mention the success of the Churches Together ‘Taste and See’ Cake Stall in Epsom last Saturday and thank those who helped by making cakes, especially Frances, Martine and Phoebe. It was wonderful that so many people came to help with the Stall from all the different churches and we had so many wonderful colourful cakes to give to people who passed by. We had great fun on the stall meeting new people, and for those who missed it this time they can pop along on Saturday 15th June when we’ll be outside the Metro Bank from 11am for two hours.’


I would just like to add that Phoebe is the eleven year old grand-daughter of Frances. She is an accomplished little cook and bakes the most delicious cheese straws.


Speaking of food, now seems an appropriate time to mention your invitation to Pat’s Lenten Lunch, held on behalf of The Children’s Society, at 12.30 on Tuesday 2nd April at 15, Grosvenor Road. Regular attendees will know that Pat always provides a simple but delicious lunch of home-made soups, bread and cheeses, accompanied by lots of interesting facts about the chosen charity and friendly discussion.

Pat will also be providing her home-baked Simnel Cake for our Mothering Sunday service. I gather from Judith that those preparations are already underway. So, worthwhile making the effort to join us for the service, even if we will all be missing an hour’s sleep because the clocks are ‘changing’!


As we move on to services in April, Judith has asked me to remind you of Epsom’s Passion Play which takes place on Good Friday, starting at 9.50am. The procession begins in the car park opposite the Fire Station and proceeds to the Market Square, with the drama unfolding en- route. It concludes in the Square at approximately 11am.


Following the conclusion of the Passion Play, hot cross buns will be distributed, both in the Square and at Epsom Methodist Church. Linda has attended the Play in the past and highly recommends going along to witness what she has described as a surprisingly moving event.


Then in the afternoon St. Stephen’s Good Friday continues at 2.00pm, when Ruth Foxcroft will be joining us to lead an hour of reflection and prayer.


There is, of course, a published programme of Lenten Services and events available from both St. Stephen’s and St. Martin’s.


So we end by looking forward to the most joyful service of the year, Easter Day on Sunday April 21st, this year enhanced for us at St. Stephen’s by the baptism of little Georgiana, Pauline’s grand-daughter. Do join us for this or any of our other services, you will be most welcome.


Happy Easter, on behalf of everyone here at St. Stephen’s


Janie Grinstead


By Editor, Mar 8 2019 11:53AM

As I write this morning the sky is blue and the sun shining, already the promise of another glorious day. Sadly, this month’s newsletter has become the victim of neglect and opportunism, the days having been most brilliantly taken advantage of. That is terrible grammar, but it’s very true!


And it was a most glorious day for the thanksgiving service, celebrating the ‘circle of the life’ of Liz Bird, held most appositely on her birthday. St. Stephen’s was filled to overflowing with both family and friends for this service of celebration and remembrance, led by David. Liz spanned many areas of life in the Village, a kind, generous, thoughtful friend and a very brave and feisty lady. Our thoughts and prayers go now to John, Caroline and Terence, and all those who loved Liz.


It was so lovely to have Mary providing the music for Liz, and Marlene’s flower arrangements were beautiful too. At one of our recent services Mary was unable to be with us so Lynn led both our service and the singing, ably abetted by Graham and backed up by Janet, sitting behind me. All went well until the final hymn which Janet, inexplicably, did not know. Mary’s music was much appreciated the following week, as was Janet’s singing!


I would like to mention here Jeannette Norrington. We really were just ‘passing acquaintances’, meeting most weeks as we went about our shopping in the Ashley Centre, mainly in Waitrose. David and I miss the few pleasantries we always exchanged with such a lovely lady, and feel a surprising sense of loss. We both appreciated, very much, the few words written about St. Martin’s floral tribute to Jeannette, and would like to thank whoever penned them - they were just so right.


Such a short month and quite a short newsletter too. It just remains for me to thank all the clergy team, and of course Judith, for some very rewarding services. To my great regret I missed our Candlemas service with Adrian. There was snow on the ground and my family forbids me to leave the house under such circumstances, due to my ‘history’ of falls and their consequences. Judith said it was a lovely service too.


With hopes for more beautiful Spring days to come for all of us -


On behalf of everyone here at St. Stephen’s Janie Grinstead


By Editor, Feb 1 2019 10:22AM

January, a month for both looking back at 2018 and looking forward to 2019. At St. Stephen’s in 2018 Judith seamlessly ‘inherited’ our family as sole pro warden. Essentially the family remains the same but aspirations will always change. January also seems an appropriate time to give thanks to all those who make St. Stephen’s special, difficult to do without making it seem a list, but herewith my attempt!


We give thanks to Judith for accepting the pro warden ship and everything that entails, and to quiet Fred our sacristan, whose gloriously joyous tree at Christmas is a gift to us all, not just the children. At Christmas we were especially grateful too to Mary, whose music enhances every service throughout the year, and to Janet whose input is always enormous but this Christmas was increased by Linda’s absence. Christmas also gave us the gift of Pat to preside over our Midnight Eucharist, in addition to all her other roles. Linda’s rest at Christmas was so well deserved as, since taking semi-retirement, she has channelled her vast well of caring kindness into other peoples’ lives. She has very little time to spare for herself. I’m not sure Frances and Martine have much time to spare either but they, and their families, were there at Christmas too, helping out just as Frances and Martine do throughout the year, giving unstintingly at many varied events. One such kindness is Frances helping Hazel, our gentle coffee provider and steadfast chalice assistant. Another quiet contributor is Marlene, who brightens up our church and our days with her beautiful flower arrangements.


There are so many others one should thank, not least our clergy team and all those who share fellowship and friendship with us each week. So please consider yourselves remembered with a big ‘Thank you’ to each and every one of you from each and every one of us at St. Stephen’s.


Now to the ‘forward looking’ of January. At last Sunday’s Church Meeting Judith both chaired and took the minutes. The following day she circulated immaculate minutes of said meeting. Does she realize she now has a job for life?! Seriously the meeting, which I was unable to attend, was full of enthusiasm and hope for the future with much valuable input from everyone, but notably from Simon and Lis. (together with their daughters another big bonus from 2018 for whom we give thanks!).


Many dates and events for the forthcoming year were discussed, possibilities voiced and commitments made. Obviously as events are due to take place details will be made available. I must admit that two dates give me immediate pleasure, one being the baptism of little Georgiana, Pauline’s grandchild on Easter Sunday. Georgiana made her first appearance with us at our Christingle service when just a few days old and was absolutely gorgeous. The second date appeared on our news list- Adrian is to be the presiding minister at our Candlemas service.


So, a Happy New Year indeed.


On behalf of everyone here at St. Stephen’s Janie Grinstead


By Editor, Feb 1 2019 10:22AM

January, a month for both looking back at 2018 and looking forward to 2019. At St. Stephen’s in 2018 Judith seamlessly ‘inherited’ our family as sole pro warden. Essentially the family remains the same but aspirations will always change. January also seems an appropriate time to give thanks to all those who make St. Stephen’s special, difficult to do without making it seem a list, but herewith my attempt!


We give thanks to Judith for accepting the pro warden ship and everything that entails, and to quiet Fred our sacristan, whose gloriously joyous tree at Christmas is a gift to us all, not just the children. At Christmas we were especially grateful too to Mary, whose music enhances every service throughout the year, and to Janet whose input is always enormous but this Christmas was increased by Linda’s absence. Christmas also gave us the gift of Pat to preside over our Midnight Eucharist, in addition to all her other roles. Linda’s rest at Christmas was so well deserved as, since taking semi-retirement, she has channelled her vast well of caring kindness into other peoples’ lives. She has very little time to spare for herself. I’m not sure Frances and Martine have much time to spare either but they, and their families, were there at Christmas too, helping out just as Frances and Martine do throughout the year, giving unstintingly at many varied events. One such kindness is Frances helping Hazel, our gentle coffee provider and steadfast chalice assistant. Another quiet contributor is Marlene, who brightens up our church and our days with her beautiful flower arrangements.


There are so many others one should thank, not least our clergy team and all those who share fellowship and friendship with us each week. So please consider yourselves remembered with a big ‘Thank you’ to each and every one of you from each and every one of us at St. Stephen’s.


Now to the ‘forward looking’ of January. At last Sunday’s Church Meeting Judith both chaired and took the minutes. The following day she circulated immaculate minutes of said meeting. Does she realize she now has a job for life?! Seriously the meeting, which I was unable to attend, was full of enthusiasm and hope for the future with much valuable input from everyone, but notably from Simon and Lis. (together with their daughters another big bonus from 2018 for whom we give thanks!).


Many dates and events for the forthcoming year were discussed, possibilities voiced and commitments made. Obviously as events are due to take place details will be made available. I must admit that two dates give me immediate pleasure, one being the baptism of little Georgiana, Pauline’s grandchild on Easter Sunday. Georgiana made her first appearance with us at our Christingle service when just a few days old and was absolutely gorgeous. The second date appeared on our news list- Adrian is to be the presiding minister at our Candlemas service.


So, a Happy New Year indeed.


On behalf of everyone here at St. Stephen’s Janie Grinstead


By Editor, Jan 7 2019 07:34PM

Just a very short letter this month to send greetings from St. Stephen’s, while still in the midst of our Christmas preparations.


We’ve had our happy, if slightly unorthodox Nativity, when sadly our designated baby Jesus was unwell. Happily, at the very last moment toddler Henry walked in, with mother, father and 12 week old Erin. Erin was an exemplary ‘Jesus’ and Dad even had a beard! Thank you all so much, you were a lovely Holy Family.


Frances’ grandchildren enhanced the service beautifully with Lottie’s rendition of Away in a Manger, and both Phoebe and Lottie narrated. Meanwhile Emma was a little angel and the boys were angelic too!

And thank you, David for being a lovely, unfazed, ‘anchor man’.


Numbers were a little down for our Carols Evening, but that meant there was much delicious mulled wine and many nibbles to share. As usual the content of the readings varied from amusing to serious. Janet presented Simon, on the night, with a reading of the first Christmas Day during the First World War. Fortunately Simon was unfazed too, as it was a moving extract, beautifully read.


I think Janet will now be embroiled in the preparation of those Christingle oranges and then there is our midnight service to look forward to.


Now it just remains to say, we wish you and all your loved ones a happy and peaceful Christmas, sending our love and thoughts especially to baby Ernie and his family, and all those who are sad or unwell at this time.


For myself, when we are walking home after our midnight service, I shall think of Adrian once again placing the Christ child in his manger, and be thankful.


On behalf of us all here at St. Stephen’s Janie Grinstead






By Editor, Dec 21 2018 07:49PM

Boys running around in knee high socks? Helping old women cross the road? Running around shouting “DYB DYB DYB, DOB DOB DOB”? None of this seems relevant to the party going, brand wearing youth of today, and yet all are associated with scouting. As styles and music tastes have matured over the past 150 years, so has scouting - leaving Baden-Powell’s ‘DYB DYB’ing wolf cubs as relics of the past. There are approximately 391,000 scouts, both male and female, across the UK aged between 6 and 25. They are all flourishing young people who are learning much more than just how to tie a reef knot. 

 

Scouting’s mission is to ensure that ‘scouting actively engages and supports young people in their personal development, empowering them to make a positive contribution to society’, encouraging them to step out of their comfort zones and introducing them to new activities. Many people who have been exposed to this kind of experience have gone far. Sir David Attenborough, an documentarian of legendary status; Tony Blair, former prime minister; and Sir Richard Branson, world leading entrepreneur are among the advocates. It seems out of the question for the kids of today to not have these kinds of opportunities, yet there are still some people whose view of scouting is stuck in the past. 

 

Youth shaped scouting is where the youth are put in positions of leadership to teach them organization and leadership skills. The hashtag "#skillsforlife" is used throughout the scouting social media accounts and is made the forefront of many scouting events throughout the movement. Leadership roles are taken on by members throughout the age groups, starting as young as 8, with opportunities constantly renewing. Helping to plan the program or individual evenings or events stimulates independence and organizational skills. Independence granted on camps encourages them to think for themselves. Children as young as 9 learn to do tasks such as washing up, cooking, putting up tents and collecting fire wood which are skills that are rarely taught by parents until their teenage years and help them mature as people. People skills and public speaking, although taught in schools, are developed and nurtured in a less pressured environment and are constantly applicable in later life. 

 

The scouting values are care, respect, integrity, cooperation and belief, and these values develop the character of the scouts. The movement is multicultural and fully inclusive, exposing children to how others live and challenging prejudice. Those that are handicapped in any way still get to experience the same opportunities as their peers; no mountain is too high or activity too dangerous for anyone. 


International and global opportunities are also available through scouting, allowing young people to interact with other scouts from around the world. These opportunities enable them to experience the cultural differences, even within their common interest, and exchange the values and information that they have drawn from scouting to educate one another. The JOTA (Jamboree On The Airwaves) and JOTI (Jamboree On The Internet) are global events for young people to contact other scouts and chat about any topic without even leaving their own town. The European and World Scout Jamborees, despite being selective events, allow scouts to visit areas all over the world and view them from a different perspective. People often grow new eyes when the glistening hotels and pristine swimming pools are removed. These immersive experiences and various other opportunities are rarely accessible through school and help to make scouts more employable and generally more rounded human beings. 

 

Why should a young person not become a scout? Scouting may make them a more employable, less biased and more skilled adult; encourage them to become a scout and watch them flourish. 


By Ella Danks — 3rd Epsom (St Martin's) Scout Group


By Editor, Nov 29 2018 07:50PM

Another month, another lovely baptism, with lots of family, friends and love, this time for little Ernie, Lauren’s son. Ernie was angelic throughout the ceremony – we do hope he replicates that in his next starring role as baby Jesus during our ‘nativity’.


Big sister, Ivy, with a bow as gorgeous as she is, and grandmother Irene, were among the supporting cast and it was a joy to formally welcome Ernie into our church family. As always we send love and good wishes for future happiness to the entire family but, on his day, especially to little Ernie.


Another happy gathering took place recently in the Village Hall, St. Stephen’s Christmas Tea Party. This event, instigated by Frances and her family several years ago, continues to be popular and successful due to all their hard work. Especial thanks are due to Martine - and her fantastic creative skills displayed on the Christmas stall. Frances, all her family, and Linda of course, are incredibly supportive, so it is only fitting that the majority of funds donated on the day, £200, was given to one of Frances’ favourite charities, the Red Cross, and the residue, £40, to church funds.


Of course, November brings one of the more solemn services of our year and this year was even more special being the one hundredth anniversary of Armistice Day. We were without music as Mary is always committed elsewhere on this day and Jane was unable to play. Nevertheless it was lovely that Jane was able to join us for the service and we hope by now her hand is better. David and Judith chose to supplement the service with poems in the place of music, which was fitting, and solemn, in keeping with both the theme and the day.


Now we look forward to a season of joyful services and celebrations throughout the Christmas season. We begin with our Advent Party on Friday 7th December at 8.00pm in St. Stephen’s –‘drinks and nibbles’ provided!


Our Nativity, very simplistic this year, is on the 16th December at 9.30 am, followed that evening at 6.30pm by our Carols and Readings, led by Janet. Our Christingle Service is, as always, on Christmas Eve at 3.00 pm. At 11.00pm we have our service to welcome the Christ Child – still my favourite of the whole year, although the Christingle service is always bubbling with suppressed joy and anticipation too – just of a different kind!


St. Stephen’s welcomes you to each and every service we hold but Christmas is extra special to everyone, so consider yourselves extra specially welcomed to any or all of our Christmas events. To end the season we have the service for our very own St. Stephen – his patronal service is on 30th December at 9.30am.


Just one more service to mention - Olive’s, both solemn and affectionate, with Matthew’s eulogy and the music encapsulating some of the facets of a ‘big’ little lady. Now we look forward to sharing a further farewell to Olive at St. Stephen’s on Monday 3rd December at 12.00.


So we begin this letter by welcoming little Ernie to join us through his baptism and end by bidding Olive farewell – both will be remembered with love as treasured members of our church family.


On behalf of everyone here at St. Stephen’s Janie Grinstead




 

Welcome to our online parish blog!  

 

Here you will find the latest news, views and reviews from our church family. You can subscribe to the blog on the right to receive alerts via email when new articles are published.

 

If you would like to contribute anything to NVR, please contact the editor using the button below.  

Email the Editor Magazine banner