Magazine November 2016

Advent Carols 2016

Parish Magazine ~ November 2016

The Rev'd Dr Gordon Giles

Do you ever wish you had more faith? I’m sure most of us do, certainly at times. When the going gets tough, our faith seems not enough. And we may feel roughed-up spiritually, when we watch the plight of those children in Calais, or read about some terrible crime locally, or indeed, when something deep and personal causes underlying damage to the tapestry of beliefs that we have woven over the years. ‘If only I had a bit more faith’, we cry inwardly. We may even pray for more faith.

Yet, if you think about it, this is a bit odd because it implies that faith is measurable, and comes in quantities. There is that old saying, isn’t there—that it is not quantity, but quality that counts. We say it when only a small crowd show up to an event, or when there is only a small portion on the plate! Perhaps you have cooked with saffron—the better it is, the less of it you need. Saffron is what turns rice yellow, and it comes from crocuses. If you have cheap saffron, you need to use more of it—but if it is really good quality—and costly—you don’t need so much.

And faith is a bit like that—it’s about quality not quantity. The really good stuff is costly, but you don’t need much! Even Jesus’ disciples got this wrong, when they asked Jesus for ‘more’ faith. They thought that they didn’t have enough—and assumed that a top up was available if they asked. Just as you can top up your mobile phone, or put a bit more petrol in the car, they wanted some more spiritual fuel for the journey. How like us they are—and we like them!

But Jesus told them that if they had as little faith as a tiny mustard seed, into which is compacted the potential for a great tree—then they could do great things. So, they ask for more faith and he tells them that they hardly need any. An amount as small as a mustard seed is enough. (See Luke 17:5-10)

Like yeast in bread, or fine saffron in rice, it is not the quantity as such that makes the difference, it is its mere presence. Faith is a bit like radioactivity—you don’t need much to do the damage—or the good—whether you are poisoning someone like that poor man Litvinenko a few years ago, or trying to attack cancer cells, the merest amount will do the job.

We understand this concept easily from art, craft and other walks of life. Haydn is not a better composer because he wrote over a hundred symphonies while Beethoven only wrote nine. Michaelangelo is not a better artist than Leonardo because he did more sculptures. These are not the yardsticks by which we measure them.

So Jesus’ disciples get a rather strange answer to their request for more faith.

Seeking extra doses of faith, or special powers, or privileges, is missing the point. Faith is not quantifiable after all. So the issue is not how much faith we have, but what kind of faith? It is not the amount of faith that matters, but the mere presence of something with great potential—because God can work with that. For from what seems like very little, great trees can blossom.

So do not worry about whether you have enough faith, but consider whether whatever faith you have is a quality product, fashioned of trust, truth, humility and grace. Nurture and water it, and give it light and air. For less can be more, and from little seeds grow great trees.


From the Parish Registers

18 September 2016
Kaylan Ashley Bicar

Interment of Ashes
17 October 2016
Lilian Minnie Tuck

Anneliese has a new grandchild. Carol and Stephen Farr have a son, Thomas Fenwick Farr born on 2 July 2016.

If anyone is celebrating a birthday or anniversary and wishes to take up the elements please inform the churchwardens.

Harvest and Beyond!

Well what a weekend Harvest turned out to be! On the Saturday evening we danced in celebration and on Sunday morning we thanked the Lord for his gifts in worship, then shared in a wonderful meal with food from the UK, China, Italy, the West Indies, Spain and probably many others besides. Then in the evening we sang all our favourite harvest hymns. I think we did the whole thing very thoroughly indeed!

I would like to thank everyone who came along and supported the barn dance and/or the bring and share lunch and so helped to make both a success. Shall we do it all again next year?

In the meantime there are other things to look forward to, not least the quiz on 19th November. Alison and Paul Reeve will be putting us all through our paces again, but we are trying something new by way of food. Instead of the usual fish and chips, we're going to have pizza and salad for a change. I hope that proves popular and lots of you come along and join us. Please do let me know if you are coming and whether or not you have a team of eight. I look forward to seeing you there.

Judy Smith

Christmas Fair

The choir will once again be running the bathroom stall and would be grateful for any suitable items for sale. Please give any donations to a member of the choir or place it in the box at the church entrance.

Eleanor Pritchard


Programme for 2016

November The wonderful Padwick and Ball team return with new material.

The Christmas lunch will be on Wednesday 21st December at 12:30 pm at the Ridgeway Tavern. Please tell Mo if you would like to come!

Maureen Lunn

Fairtrade logo Traidcraft logo

The next Traidcraft stall will be
Sunday 6th November
in the hall after 10:00 am service. All the usual essentials and treats will be there.

Come and see if there is anything new. If you want anything before that date, (ginger biscuits, chocolate…?) just ask me.

The Christmas catalogue is now available for ordering cards, gifts and goodies.

I have samples of all the Christmas cards and will have them available to look at each Sunday during coffee after the 10.0’clock service.

Alison Reeve

News From The Home Group

Our Concept:

We extend a warm, open invitation to share prayer and fellowship; encouraging one another's walk of faith, to know God more clearly, love him more dearly and follow him more nearly, day by day.

Sponsor of Ambassadors within Capital Vision 2020 is our Bishop Rob. There’s a message from him in a booklet published by the Diocese of London called “Right Where You Are”, written by Mark Greene, co-author of “The Servant Queen”, and Executive Director of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. Seeking to equip and commission 100,000 ambassadors representing Jesus Christ in daily life, this booklet is part of a series of resources and events currently available including a free four week course called “Find Your Voice”. The course is being held on consecutive Monday’s from October 31st to November 21st, 18:30-20:30, at Saint Mellitus College, 24 Collingham Road. SW5 0LX.

After reading the booklet and consulting, the Ambassadors 2020 website, the Home Group enthusiastically and unanimously agreed to sign up and booked our places for this event. Should anyone like to travel with us ensemble, we’ll be meeting outside Saint Mary Magdalene’s church at 17:00 on each of the four Mondays.

Revised Film Night schedule:

November 28th (postponed from October 31st) - “God’s Not Dead”
December 19th - “God’s Not Dead 2”
January 30th - “Scrooge”
February 27th - “It’s A Wonderful Life”

Please follow, friend or message us on Twitter and Facebook; you’ll find my/Laura’s posts at "Happy Daiz", Ken at “Ken Cope” and Dawn at “Dawn Joy Cope”.

God bless. Love Laura, Ken and Dawn Cope

Up And Coming Events For Your Diary

19 ~ Quiz Night and Fish & Chip Supper – 7:30 pm

7 ~ Merryhills Carol Concert – 6pm
11 ~ Festive Fayre – 10:00 am
17 ~ Centenary of the Lady Chapel - tbc
18 ~ Nine Lessons and Carols – 6:30pm
24 ~ Crib Christingle Services – 3:00pm and 4:.30pm
24 ~ Midnight Mass – 11:30pm
25 ~ Christmas Day Communion – 10am

Coffee Mornings

As I expect you all know throughout this year we will be raising money for St Mary’s Organ Fund and it would be good if you will please put the following dates in your diary - they are all third Tuesday in the month & are coffee mornings unless otherwise stated.

15th Nov ~ Pam & Vic Harrington

12th Dec ~ Rita Barker
Please note this is a Monday

Hope to see you at all or some of these events.

Rita Barker

Christmas Fair

It’s not too early to start thinking about the Christmas Fair.

We will be looking for donations of

Cakes and preserves
New or second hand jewellery
Raffle prizes.

If you have any ideas for new stalls or would like to volunteer to help on the day in any way please talk to Alison Reeve.

And please don’t forget to put the date in your diary –

Saturday 10th December.

It’s a great way to get the festive season started!


Lunchtime Recitals

In October Catherine Leonard once again played for us beautifully and professionally. As she has played in many venues including Blenheim Palace and Southwark Cathedral, we are fortunate to be able to listen to her music in our Church.

As 12.30 pm on Wednesday 9 November, Luca Luciano will play the clarinet. Do come along if you are free. Ploughman’s lunch with hot soup will be available afterwards at the very reasonable price of £3.50.

Eleanor Pritchard

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm
Retiring Collection
Ploughman’s Lunch £3.50, if required, in the Choir Vestry afterwards

Concert Programme For 2016

9 November
Luca Luciano - Clarinet

14 December
Marion and Michael Smith - Piano and Organ

It’s Conker Time

It was raining early in the morning on Saturday 24th October but, of course, by the time we bell ringers met up the sun was shining and the prospects for the day were good. David and Gill were kindly driving me and Angela whilst Peter and Janet took John. Jason and Bea who had organized the outing were sadly unable to join us so it was just the seven of us who left Enfield for Dartford. However the first priority before leaving Waitrose car park was to collect some conkers for the Harvest display which Gill was helping with. There is a good conker tree in Waitrose car park in case anyone needs to know for future reference! I hope Gill remembers the bagful in the boot.

Our small band set off for the M25 and hence to Dartford which proved to be a bit of a maze. We finally found the church, with its impressive square tower, next to a river. It was a very impressive building but was sadly completely encircled with roads and not very pleasant shops with no sign of a church car park. We managed to park the cars fairly near and made our way to the church which would, no doubt, once have been surrounded by beautiful fields. We were met by a pleasant lady who was just about to start cutting the church grass. She explained that the tower at Holy Trinity Church is over 1000 years old and the little arch doorway to the staircase was very low. We all had to duck down. The steps up to the bell chamber showed an enormous amount of wear and the dust of ages. There was a particular step that was slightly higher than most of the others and we were warned that it would catch us unawares if we were not careful. As we climbed, the message followed down the line as each person arrived at the rogue step. “Here it is just by the window” came the echo.

Our guide showed us the ropes and explained that the tenor, which weighed nearly a ton, had not been rung recently and suggested we should not use it. We didn’t need to be told twice and were happy to use the front six. A peal board from 30th October 1749 was on the wall showing that ‘A Society of Ringers from Ye Parish’ rang a peal in three hours. Amongst the ringers were three Williams and three Johns. At the bottom of the board it was noted that exactly 200 years later, on 30th October 1949, a peal was rung to commemorate the finding of the board and its hanging on the bell chamber wall in its rightful place. The walls were also home to some of the biggest cracks you can imagine, extending a long way down both sides of the tower. Perhaps it was just as well we didn’t ring the tenor. We had a good ring here and had to make a hasty departure to get to our second church.

St Mary the Virgin at Horton Kirby was in a lovely village setting. The brick tower was another square one and most impressive. A gentleman met us and we apologised for being a bit late. We weaved our way up the very narrow staircase which thankfully had a most useful hand rail. This is always helpful as you can lose fingernails grasping the stonework as you climb up and down. This bell chamber was large enough to have a table in the middle and still have plenty of room around it. There was a huge bell wheel mounted on the wall and at its centre photographs of the other wheels and bells in the tower. These bells were very light and we all enjoyed ringing here. We had to be locked into the church as the person who met us had another job to do. He promised to return in time to let us out.

A clever contraption was screwed to the floor just beside the table in the middle. It was a rope warmer which comprised a heavy metal mounting under which there was a greenhouse heater on a timer. There was a length of wide down pipe which could be attached to the metal mounting down which the bell ropes could be fed. This we thought was a brilliant way of keeping the damp off the ropes and we will consider how we can emulate this idea. The gentleman was as good as his word and did return to let us out. We had to get to our lunch venue by noon and it was fast approaching that already.

The Lion Hotel at Farningham took a bit of finding but was certainly well worth the search. The front garden ran down to the pretty river Darent. It was a warm day and there were plenty of people sitting outside enjoying the late summer sun. We were shown to our table and the meals were promptly supplied. Claude arrived just as we were finishing our meal and joined us for a drink. Now we had eight ringers. We all had a rest here and discovered that our next church was just across the road from the pub (well done Jason) so we were able to leave the cars where they were and wander down the road to St Peter and St Paul Farningham. Across the river next to the road bridge was a construction which looked like the remains of a bridge with only one side but it turned out to be a purpose built cattle screen, built in the mid 1700’s, to stop the cattle going off down the river when they were being herded across the ford.

St Peter and St Paul’s was set back off the road and the churchyard was dotted with ancient yew trees and a very old wooden sign erected in memory of William Pounds who died aged 99 in 1822. We climbed the very high tower and this time there was a rather floppy rope which was supposed to help the climb. The final steps at the top were made of wood and although there was a roof above us it was clear that this part of the staircase had been built over the roof of the church so we were effectively outside but still inside! We had to step down quite a way into the bell chamber which was again rather large, compared with ours. When Peter introduced himself to the gentleman who met us he asked if he was any relation to Stephen Rossiter and Peter said “I am his father”. This gentleman apparently also rings at Westminster Abbey. He didn’t stay to watch us ring. There were only six bells so some of us were able to sit out a bit which was good as we had only just had lunch. We had a bit of trouble with these bells. I don’t know if it was the thought of the Westminster Abbey ringer perhaps listening from a distance that made us go wrong but it was not the best ring of the day. We had to get the bells up and I failed miserably and had to ask Claude to help me. He took over from me very deftly and finished the job properly. Anyway we gave it a go and that is what matters.

Many of the churches we visited sadly did not have a regular Sunday service because they have to share vicars. Farningham obviously don’t have that problem because as you approach the church there is a vast sign that shouts “Services every Sunday at 11 am”.

Cars reclaimed from the pub car park we set off towards Stansted with Gill using her phone sat nav to get us there. One problem – no signal! We weaved about the country lanes all very pretty, found the main road and then managed to speed past the turning we needed. Not to worry we took another left turn further on and eventually found St Mary’s church Stansted another square tower set in a large church yard. But where were Peter, Jane, John and Claude? No sign! We were rather late but we were pleased and surprised to see Jason and Ewan who had arrived at Stansted before us having found time to join us for the last two rings of the day, and had met the two ladies who were there to greet us. The others did finally appear, they had tried to follow us but were a bit behind - at least we were all together again.

This was a galleried ring so although there were few steps, which incidentally spiralled the opposite way from normal, there was another very low small arched entrance. I think I was the only one who banged their head negotiating the doorway. These bells were the lightest of the day and David described one of the ones he rang as “a thimble”. We did very well on these bells and all had a good ring. Peter asked John to take the treble and hence he would start the ringing. The call to start is “Look two, treble’s going, treble’s gone”. John started to speak and simultaneously David shouted “Look two, treble’s going, treble’s gone” and he was on the tenor, which should be last not first. I was sitting watching as this took place and chaos ensued, followed by peals of laughter and the shout of “stand”. Nobody knew who to follow.

We had a go at Claude’s Mexican Wave. He explained how to ring this particular pattern and we all had a try. It was quite a clever way of changing places with the bell next to you and then back again. Not so easy to explain on paper. Anyway we had a go and it was good to try something different. I couldn’t tell you what it sounded like as I was too busy trying not to ring in the wrong place. More practice needed.

As well as all the high tech in the bell chamber, which included a camera on the ringers which meant you could see yourself ringing, this church contained the oldest bell of the day dating from 1418. Most of us had a go on this one just to say we had. The heaviest bell here only weighed five and a bit hundredweight. Outside in the large churchyard there is an enormous yew tree so big and gnarled that the trunk had split and Ewan was able to walk inside it. It is purported to be a thousand years old. We were all getting a bit tired by now but we had one more church to find, St John the Baptist at Meopham.

Meopham turned out to be a very long town consisting of quite a few villages now joined together. We kept thinking we must have missed the church but the sat nav said carry on. Eventually we spotted a lychgate and David turned left just before it, only to find that the church was on the other side of the road. However all the people following had turned left with us, except of course Jason who knew where he was going. Our little entourage did three point turns and located the church car park. The inside of the church was amazing. There was a new marble floor throughout and lovely separate upholstered wooden chairs instead of pews. They had made a wonderful job of mixing the old with the new very sympathetically. Here was yet another tiny archway to negotiate. This time there was a step down first before the first step up and the stairs were very steep. There had been a great deal of refurbishment which included a very well ordered bell chamber and on the wall a complete set of hand bells. There were eight bells here but there was a long draught on the ropes and some of them did not have guide holes. The ropes were flighty and the noise from the bells was quite deafening. Their refurbishment had not stretched as far as soundproofing. We did a good job here and when David did some calling he got us ringing a pattern called Crowns which we had seen illustrated at the church in Horton Kirby that morning. We ended our ringing day on a high and still in the bell chamber we squashed ourselves into a photo taken on Peter’s phone by Ewan using a selfie stick! The lady, who had seen us in, kindly took a rather more formal photo of our little group outside in the church yard. Ewan gathered more conkers here for Gill’s collection.

Janet suggested a cup of tea which we all decided was a good idea but Jason and Ewan headed off. Suitably refreshed we said our goodbyes and headed back to Enfield. We had a bit of a journey back but least said soonest mended. We had all had a lovely day and been fortunate with the weather as well. Well done Jason and Bea for finding such diverse churches and a lovely lunch place. Sorry Bea was not able to join us but next time. Thanks to Peter for keeping us in order and David and Gill for driving me and Angela around all day.

PS I have been reliably informed that Gill did not remember the conkers in the car!

Angela Davis


A drum, a drum, Macbeth doth come … again

It’s hard to believe that the Drama Group’s production of ‘Macbeth’ was over a year ago. It took almost 6 months of rehearsals for us to prepare or the performances in June 2015.

The journey has not ended. Through our friendships and connections with the Cuffley Players, the production is to be revived this November.

The drama group’s connections are long standing, with several of us having performed in their productions in the past, and they in turn have helped and supported us in turn.

This is the first time that the two acting companies have combined forces in this way. The production conceived and developed here and six of the original cast members and two other familiar St Mary’s faces Susan Rix and Sammi Reeve, with be joined by members of the Cuffley Players for what promises to be a memorable joint production. I am delighted that we are able to perform the play again in the year that marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. It will also be a landmark production for Cuffley, as it will be the first Shakespeare play they have staged in their 83 year history.

If you’re kicking yourself for having missed the original performances, or if you would welcome the chance to see it again, now is your chance.

Please come along and support us in our continuing sojourn on the increasingly familiar blasted heath.

We will have flyers with booking details available soon in the meantime make a note of the dates in your diary, the cast would love to see you there.

The performances will be in Cuffley Hall 9 – 12th November at 8.00pm with a matinee at 3.00pm on the Saturday

Box Office opens mid October (07857 841930)

Rachel Moon

Magazine Stapling Rota 2016-17

3 December 2016
Ken and Laura Cope, Gill Bird

7 January 2017
Peter and Carol Lamb, Eleanor Pritchard

4 February 2017
Vic Harrington, Pam Hagan, Helen Clarke

5 March 2017
Ken and Laura Cope, Gill Bird

2 April 2017
Peter and Carol Lamb, Eleanor Pritchard

30 April 2017
Ken and Laura Cope, Gill Bird

4 June 2017
Vic Harrington, Pam Hagan, Helen Clarke

29 July 2017
Ju(Yezi) Lan Zhen, Fal Hayes

26 August 2017
Ken & Laura Cope, Gill Bird

23 September 2017
Peter & Carol Lamb, Eleanor Pritchard

21 October 2017
Vic Harrington, Pam Hagan, Helen Clarke

If you know of any lady or gentleman who would be able to help with stapling or if you are unable to keep the above dates please contact either Michael or Janet Dixon or Janet Whelpdale.

Christmas services 2016