Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Christmas Message from Revd Mark Chester

Mark is the Vicar of St Paul’s Church in Camberley, and he has a special Christmas message.

Revd Mark Chester “Particular days often mark particular events. Every day of the year seems to mark something! From the well-known to Remembrance Day to the less well-known National day for Preservation of Red-eyed Hamsters. Well I made that up – but you know what I mean!

One day has been marked for longer than any other and more widely than any other, simply because it marks the beginning of a life that has been the most influential in the history of the world. A life which has given western civilisation and many other cultures its understanding of the importance of humanity, the value of character, and a sure basis for a hope for the future.

Christmas Day marks that particular day – the birth of Jesus Christ the Son of God.”


How will you mark this particular day this year?

Rev’d Mark Chester (Vicar of St Paul’s, Camberley)

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Big Besom Camberley Christmas Cracker

One of the great things about Christmas is ‘giving’. Knowing that others will have a great Christmas this year because you have shared some of your good fortune. Camberley Churches have been busy donating hampers for those in need this Christmas.

Camberley Besom Team

Camberley Besom Team

Churches Together in Camberley, Partnership Development Officer, Karen Kendall helps out, as the Besom team of volunteers prepare around 60 Christmas hampers. Many of the donations from 5 churches, 2 nurseries  and 3 schools, gathered at their harvest festivals, were used to supply the basic items. The luxury items were donated from local churches in December, as they were encouraged to put Besom on their Christmas shopping list. St Paul’s donated 10 Christmas hampers.

St Paul's  Christmas Hampers for Besom Camberley

It’s been a hectic few months at Camberley Besom. Referrals have grown rapidly, as more organisations work with the Besom, such as Camberley Frontline and the Citizen Advice Bureau. Many more families will see a real difference this Christmas, thanks to local charities and organisations collaborating. Camberley Besom Christmas Hampers

As demand increases, Camberley Besom are seeing that donations are matching demand. What an incredible Camberley Christmas story. All this means they are short on storage space, and need a place where they can store and prepare parcels for those in need. If you can offer them such a place, you can contact them on camberleybesom@googlemail.com

Camberley Besom Christmas Boxes

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Santa drops in on Seniors at St Paul's

Father Christmas may be busy at this time of year, but he never forgets those young at heart in Camberley, and seems to have a special present for a Reverend or two!

St Paul's Camberley Senior Christmas Party

Father Christmas with Revd Russ at the Seniors Christmas Party

Father Christmas popped into St Paul’s Camberley earlier this week to the annual Christmas Tea. Over forty guests were welcomed with mulled wine and festive nibbles, before settling down to a delicious tea of seasonal sandwiches and yummy cakes.

Rosie Payne, with Mike and Sylvia, led a sing-a-long of Christmas songs and carols as the partygoers enthusiastically joined in, shaking percussion instruments borrowed from the children.

Diana Dunford made a beautifully decorated Christmas cake, enjoyed by all, before a surprise visit from Santa Claus who arrived with a sack full of gifts for the good girls and boys!

St Paul's Seniors at the Christmas Party

If you haven’t joined in with the Christmas services and events yet at St Paul’s in Camberley, there is still lots to do. Check out our Christmas line up. Everyone is welcome, no exceptions. Doesn’t matter if you attend St Paul’s or have never been in a church in your life. We’d love to see you.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Children’s Christmas Craft Party

Great to see 17 families getting together on Saturday 15 December, and having some ‘crafty’ fun at the St Paul’s Christmas Craft Party. There was plenty of hands on messy creative stuff happening, as the 5-9 year olds decorated a bag which they filled with their creations. Christmas Craft Party at St Paul's CamberleyTree decorations, stained glass windows and stockings were a few of the crafty creations the kids filled their bags with. In the true spirit of Christmas, thinking of others, the gang even made a Christmas card for the residents of Cherrydale care home in Camberley.

Christmas Party fun at St Paul's Camberley

After all their hard work, the girls and boys enjoyed a feast of yummy cup cakes and juice, before the party games kicked off. They all agreed it had been a brilliant party and they had enjoyed making friends and laughing lot's with people around them.

Having fun. Christmas Craft Party at St Paul's Camberley

If you’re older (aged 9-11), then don’t miss out on the fun. St Paul’s are hosting a Snow Ball on Friday 21 December. See Children’s Christmas Events – At a Glance for details.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Children’s Christmas Events – At a Glance

Christmas is a special time for children, and we want to do our part to make this Christmas an unforgettable time for all our young people. Here’s a handy guide to our Christmas services and events ideal for children (taken from our complete guide).

Friday 14 December

7.30pm Sandhurst Silver Band Christmas Concert. To book tickets contact 01276 700210.

SilverBand12

The programme will include the Yateley Manor School Children’s Choir – the ‘Manor Singers’ with their Director of Music Mr Paul Hemmings and the ‘Big Mac’s Little Band’ playing light jazz. A great festive start to Christmas.

Tickets £8.00, or £6.50 for seniors and children 15 and under go free. To book, please contact Ian McElligott on 01276 700210 or email ian.mcelligott@stpaulscamb.co.uk

 

Saturday 15 December

3pm – 5pm Christmas Craft Party (ages 5-9) – booking required

Christmas crafts If your child is aged 5-9, then this is the Christmas party for them. Crafty crafts, party games, and yummy cup cakes and drinks. To book a place, contact our Children’s Worker, Sarah Hounslow on 07789 995274 or email childrensworker@stpaulscamb.co.uk  

Friday 21 December

6.30pm – 8.00pm Snow Ball  (ages 9-11) – booking required

snow ball flyer A fabulous dress up sit down Christmas feast , followed by disco and dancing. We'll even rustle up some party games to make it extra special for the young people.  Come and have some party fun. To book a place, contact our Children’s Worker, Sarah Hounslow on 07789 995274 or email childrensworker@stpaulscamb.co.uk 

Christmas Eve

2.30pm, 4.00pm  & 5.30pm Christingles at St Paul’s

Carol Service at St Paul's CamberleyChristmas eve is a special time, especially for the younger members of the family who can barely contain their excitement.  The early evening Christmas Eve Christingle Service helps them remember the original cause for their excitement.  There will be a tableau of the crib scene, child friendly carols, candle lit christingles in a darkened church and a small farewell gift.  All ages are welcome. Come early to get a seat as this service is always very popular, even with three services to choose from!

Christmas Day Family Celebration

10am  Family Celebration

Christmas Day Celebration at St Paul's Camberley It’s Christmas morning!  A time of great excitement for many.  All the preparations are complete, the turkey is cooking and the table is laid.  Now it is time to come along to St Paul’s at 10 a.m. to join in a joyous celebration of the real meaning of Christmas.  There will be something for everyone, whatever age you are.  We will be singing traditional Christmas carols, finding out about what weird and wacky gifts people have already given and received, and also celebrating the birth of the greatest gift of all – Jesus Christ.  The theme of our celebration is “Expect the Unexpected!” 

We have a big welcome waiting for you this Christmas, and lots of festive fun at St Paul’s, Crawley Ridge, Camberley, Surrey GU15 2AD. Directions on our website.

Christmas Services & Events at St Paul’s Camberley 2012

Christmas Angel at St Paul's Camberley We’re heading for Christmas at a phenomenal speed, and before you know it, we’ll have sung carols, been to the Christingle service with the children, and had a great big celebration on Christmas day.

If you don’t usually attend St Paul’s Camberley, you might like to know more about how we do Christmas and what to expect. We’re a welcoming church, in fact “All are welcome, there are no exceptions”. You can find us on Crawley Ridge in Camberley, and we’ve done all we can to make your visit a special time. Comfy seats, red carpet, refreshments, and the Christmas story.

Here’s a handy guide for you to print out of what to expect at each of our Christmas services and events this year, along with a few other Christmas events held by Camberley Churches Together.

 

Sunday 9 December

3.00pm – A special carol service for all those who have been bereaved, held at St Michael’s church

Friday 14 December

7.30pm Sandhurst Silver Band Christmas Concert. To book tickets contact 01276 700210.

Sandhurst Silver Band Christmas Concert at St Paul's Camberley 

The programme will include the Yateley Manor School Children’s Choir – the ‘Manor Singers’ with their Director of Music Mr Paul Hemmings and the ‘Big Mac’s Little Band’ playing light jazz. A great festive start to Christmas.

Tickets £8.00, or £6.50 for seniors and children 15 and under go free. To book, please contact Ian McElligott on 01276 700210 or email ian.mcelligott@stpaulscamb.co.uk

 

Saturday 15 December

3pm – 5pm Christmas Craft Party (ages 5-9) – booking required

Christmas crafts at St Paul's Camberley

If your child is aged 5-9, then this is the Christmas party for them. Crafty crafts, party games, and yummy cup cakes and drinks. To book a place, contact our Children’s Worker, Sarah Hounslow on 07789 995274 or email childrensworker@stpaulscamb.co.uk

 

Sunday 16 December

6.00pm Carols by Candlelight

Carol Service at St Paul's Camberley A service based around carols and bible readings of the birth of Jesus Christ.  In a beautiful candle lit church, the retelling of the Christmas story through bible reading, carols and music of a variety of styles blends both the traditional and the modern.  This is a time for thought and reflection on the richness of what we experience. Stay on afterwards for mulled wine and  light refreshments. This service is intended more for adults and older children. 

 

Thursday 20 December

7.00pm Open Air Carol Concert in Park Street

Camberley Charles Church band and Surrey Heath Choral Society arranged with Camberley Collective

 

Friday 21 December

6.30pm – 8.00pm Snow Ball  (ages 9-11) – booking requiredSt Paul's Snow Ball in CamberleyA fabulous dress up sit down Christmas feast , followed by disco and dancing. We'll even rustle up some party games to make it extra special for the young people.  Come and have some party fun. To book a place, contact our Children’s Worker, Sarah Hounslow on 07789 995274 or email childrensworker@stpaulscamb.co.uk

 

Saturday 22 December

10.30am Carol Singing in Park Street

 

Christmas Eve

10.30am Carol Singing in the Mall (Park Street)

2.30pm, 4.00pm  & 5.30pm Christingles at St Paul’s (great for children)

Christingles at St Paul's Camberley Christmas eve is a special time, especially for the younger members of the family who can barely contain their excitement.  The early evening Christmas Eve Christingle Service helps them remember the original cause for their excitement.  There will be a tableau of the crib scene, child friendly carols, candle lit christingles in a darkened church and a small farewell gift.  All ages are welcome. Come early to get a seat as this service is always very popular, even with three services to choose from!

11.00pm Midnight Holy Communion

Christmas Day Family Celebration

10am  Family Celebration  (great for children)

Christmas Day Celebration at St Paul's Camberley It’s Christmas morning!  A time of great excitement for many.  All the preparations are complete, the turkey is cooking and the table is laid.  Now it is time to come along to St Paul’s at 10 a.m. to join in a joyous celebration of the real meaning of Christmas.  There will be something for everyone, whatever age you are.  We will be singing traditional Christmas carols, finding out about what weird and wacky gifts people have already given and received, and also celebrating the birth of the greatest gift of all – Jesus Christ.  The theme of our celebration is “Expect the Unexpected!” 

We look forwards to welcoming you to join in our festive fun at St Paul’s, Crawley Ridge, Camberley, Surrey GU15 2AD. Directions on our website.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Church says Tweet at Christmas

Delighted to see the following press release from the Church of England encouraging everyone to tweet in church this Christmas. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #ChristmasStartsWithChrist !

“The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams (@lambethpalace), the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu (@johnsentamu) and Archbishop Designate Justin Welby (@bishopofdurham) will have their Christmas Day sermons tweeted for the first time ever this year. They will be joined by congregations and clergy from across the Church of England (@c_of_e) in a Christmas Tweet campaign on #ChristmasStartsWithChrist.

St Paul's Camberley  at ChristmasOn Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, congregations and clergy in the 12,000 parishes of the Church of England are being encouraged to get out their smartphones and livetweet the joy and meaning of Christmas to the 10 million  people who make up the UK's 'Twitterati'.

"This is a brilliant opportunity for parishes to take the good news of the first Christmas out of churches and into people's lives and homes," says the Revd Arun Arora (@RevArun), Director of Communications at the Archbishops' Council. "It is the first time that the joy and excitement of Christmas will have been broadcast widely on Twitter. There are large numbers of social media enthusiasts to be found in pews and pulpits across the country. This is an invitation for them to join together to celebrate the joy of the Christ Child coming into the world, taking the real meaning of Christmas to a new digital audience. Churches from all denominations will be invited to broadcast their services via twitter."

A Twitter spokesperson said: "Twitter brings you closer to the things you are passionate about - and for millions of people across the globe that is faith."

"It is fantastic to see the Church of England embracing Twitter and using it to share their Christmas message with new audiences."
The hashtag #ChristmasStartsWithChrist goes live on Christmas Eve. Tweets can be expected from carol, crib and midnight services, before carrying on into Christmas morning services at which stage the highlights of the sermons at Canterbury Cathedral, York Minster and Durham Cathedral will join the torrent of tweets.”

Friday, 7 December 2012

Special Camberley Carol Service - for people to remember those who they have loved and lost 2012

Christmas can be a sad time if you’ve been bereaved this year. The first Christmas without your loved one can feel very empty, as people rush around buying presents and families prepare to gather together. Local churches in Camberley are holding a special carol service for people to remember those who they have loved and lost. This is an opportunity to come together with others who are feeling the same as you, and to support one another. The service will be held  at St Michael’s. Memories, reflections and carols are devised to help you get through this difficult time.

St Michael's Camberley

Churches together in Camberley recognise that Christmas can be a lonely and upsetting experience for people who have lost loved ones. Every year around 100 people attend this special service, which provides spiritual support and comfort from being with others in a supportive atmosphere. The service is hosted at St Michael’s Church, London Road, Camberley GU15 3JP on Sunday 9th December at 3pm.  A very warm and understanding welcome awaits, so don’t feel alone, please come along, and take part in this special service this Christmas time.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Christmas Services 2012

We would love you to join us at one of our main services this Christmas. Here is our flyer for starters, but watch out for more info on the blog of other events this Christmas.

StPaulsCamberleyChristmasFlyer

Sunday, 2 December 2012

The Stig in Camberley – Formula Fantastic

The Stig at St Paul's Camberley

Motorsport Legend - ‘The Stig’ with the children at the St Paul’s RC Challenge

St Paul's RC Challenge with The Stig

This regular event to give Dads some playtime with their children, and mum a break, is usually known as “Who Let The Dads Out”, but on this occasion, it could be renamed to “Who Let The Stig Out!”. He managed to escape Clarkson and the lads from BBC Top Gear, and take part in the St Paul’s Radio Controlled Car Challenge on Saturday 1 December. There were even a couple of monster trucks thrown in for good measure. Looks like 14 children and their dads, uncles and grandads had a formula fantastic time with Sarah, the children’s worker at St Paul’s who arranged it. Sarah said: “It was lovely to see the smiles on the children’s faces, but one face we didn’t see was The Stig. He still managed a bacon butty though, through his helmet”.

Motorsport anthems blasted out as the cars raced around the cleverly devised circuit. In the pits, yummy bacon butties and drink were served up for those needed refuelling. The icing on the cake was The Stig presenting the prizes and allowing us to do a photocall with him, before he sped off into the distance. He had to get back to HQ before the Top Gear boys missed him.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Camberley ‘STIG’ Children’s RC Challenge

Did you watch the Formula One racing this weekend? I love the thrills and spills of track based sport, especially in the wet.

St Paul’s, have come up with another winning combination for all F1 fans, and their Dads. They’re hosting the motoring legend that is ‘The Stig’, for a children’s remote control car challenge, and providing bacon butties and drinks – all for free!

St Paul's Camberley - The Stig

‘The Stig’ has been captured, and St Paul’s are holding on to him until after Saturday 1 December (Clarkson wanted to come too, but he didn’t want to leave his mummy for too long, so he couldn’t make it). They’ve got some great F1 anthems playing track side (Jessica, Rocket and The Chain) as the cars rev up and roll. Presenting the prizes on the podium after the event, in true F1 style, The Stig may even let photos be taken of him and the kids. It doesn’t get much better than that for free. Dads, grandads, uncles or carers are all welcome to join the pit crew, as their young person burns rubber around the track.

The really clever thing is dads get some sneaky time to be lads with their kids, eat bacon butties, and take in the F1 atmosphere, whilst mum gets time off to prepare for Christmas. It’s a no brainer -  I can hear dads across Surrey Heath rehearsing now, in a casual, off the cuff manner. “Darling, would you like me to take Johnny out for a few hours on Saturday, and get him breakfast? You have a lie in, and do some Christmas shopping. I’ll take care of everything”. Nicely manoeuvred, and we won’t say a word (neither will The Stig of course).

At the start of the festive season, this event gives mums space to start preparing for Christmas, whilst the boys spend an unforgettable morning soaking up the F1 atmosphere, eating bacon butties, and listening to classic F1 themes, as they race RC cars around the track.

Sarah, our track side motorsport marshal for the morning, and also Children’s Worker at St Paul’s says: “We devised ‘Who Let The Dads Out’ earlier this year, and it has been such a success. Busy working dad’s in Surrey often don’t have as much time as they would like to spend with their children. We provide the environment for them to do some bonding over breakfast. This ‘Dads Out’ is going to be really memorable though, as we have the STIG as our special guest presenting the winners trophy!”.

The free event is for children of all ages, and the fun and food starts at 9.00am until 11.00am on Saturday 1 December at St Paul's, Crawley Ridge, Camberley, Surrey GU15 2AD. People are welcome to drop in at any time, but places are limited due to vroom capacity (see what I did there).

For more information, contact Sarah Hounslow on 07789 995274 or email childrensworker@stpaulscamb.co.uk

To find out more about St Paul’s, please visit http://stpaulscamberley.org.uk or contact the office on 01276 700210.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Camberley Street Angels – Violence & Vomit

Recently, Cllr Paul Deach took to the streets of Camberley on a Saturday night to experience the night-time economy, through the eyes of Street Angels. Paul chats with police officers, young people, and the Angels themselves.

Some of what he saw was clearly bravado by some young men, as they showed their bottoms to the camera. Please do not watch the video if this would offend you.

Camberley Street Angels

With thanks to Cllr Paul Deach and Surrey Heath Residents Network

Camberley Street Angels experience much the same reception as other Angels up and down the country, very warm and welcoming. The guys in the video are obviously showing off for the camera, but they do give an indication of the state of groups of young people, after a few drinks. Although the Angels observe violence, this is mainly directed at the police. Fortunately, violence is often a situation the Angels can dispel, before it gets unpleasant. Angels work with the emergency services, town centre management, pubs and clubs. However they are keen to point out, they remain independent, and their role is simply to look out for people who may be worse for wear, or in need of help – Guardian Angels.

Fortunately, it’s not all ‘violence and vomit’. Karen Kendall, Partnership Development Officer at Camberley Churches Together, and a Street Angel herself says “I am sure that baring bums was a response to the camera! But everything else I would agree is very typical of my experience on Friday nights. It is very rewarding, plenty of kisses and hugs on offer in exchange for help, flip flops and lollies.”

Street Angels are part of a national initiative, and you can find them in many towns and cities up and down the country. Check out video updates from Guildford, Halifax (the birthplace of Street Angels), Scarborough, and Bradford.

Camberley Street Angels are part of Camberley Churches Together (CTC). You can check out more posts about them here.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Morality in War - what is a ‘just’ war?

Rev’d David Cooper captivated the audience of 110, at St Paul’s Speakers Corner, as he talked about morality and war. The event raised a magnificent £300 for the charity Help For Heroes, who provide practical support to service personnel, veterans, and their families.

Morality in War : thanks the th Daily Telegraph for the photo

David’s discussion centred around Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) definition of a ‘just war’. David  cited examples from the Falklands war, and Iraq during his talk at St Paul’s, Camberley on Monday 12 November.

A cross section of members of the community, including soldiers from RMA Sandhurst, attended the talk, and took part in quizzing David after the talk.

 

Rev’d Cooper was Padre to the Second Battalion, The Parachute Regiment at the Battle of Goose Green in the Falklands War, and he has also served with the Battalion during the troubles in Northern Ireland. It was particularly appropriate that he came to speak the day after Remembrance Sunday, in this 30th anniversary year of the Falklands conflict.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

We Will Remember Them

Our remembrance service starts at 10.50am today

poppies2012_large

Recorded in 2011, but still stands today.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Michael Gove - “There is insufficient respect for the place of religion in society”

Our local MP, Rt Hon Michael Gove (Secretary of State for Education) recently spoke about religion in society the the Mytchett, Frimley Green & Deepcut Society. Although we remain apolitical, it is encouraging to hear a politician talk about a respect for religion in society, and how the book of common prayer, and the King James bible are what politicians have taken their morality and their lead from.

Michael Gove discusses his views on religion in society at the MFGD Society half yearly meeting

(Video courtesy of Surrey Heath Residents)

He said that it is absurd to be told to remove religious symbols, and considered it a broader issue, that consisted of two main points:-

1. “There is insufficient respect for the place of religion in society overall”

2. “The sorts of freedoms that we enjoy in this country are as a result of our traditions, and our traditions are just inevitably shaped by the fact that the book of common prayer, and the King James bible were the sorts of texts that politicians for century's took their morality and their lead from. One of the reasons why this country has succeeded in taking so many people from so many different backgrounds in, is because the principals of tolerance and brotherly love in those texts, are in the air that we breath.”

If you encourage people to undermine and to chip away other peoples religious belief, then what you do is that you chip away at the sort of bricks and mortar that keeps our society stable. So I think that anything we can do to encourage people to respect religious faith… then you’re more likely to have a harmonious society”.

Commenting on the video, Rev’d Mark Chester, Vicar of St Paul’s, Camberley, applauded Michael Gove’s comments, and said: “I think it is encouraging to hear Michael Gove speak positively about the place of religion in society and the positive impact of our Christian heritage.  I look forward to our national leaders affirming this heritage and strengthening, rather than eroding it, through government policy.  A positive heritage inherited is worthwhile bequeathing to future generations.”

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Falklands at Thirty in Camberley

30th Anniversary Falklands War Photo courtesy of the Royal British Legion http://www.britishlegion.org.uk

This year is the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War. For those that are too young to remember, Wikipedia describes the war like this…
“The Falklands War began on Friday 2 April 1982, when Argentine forces invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. The British government dispatched a naval task force to engage the Argentine Navy and Air Force, and retake the islands by amphibious assault. The resulting conflict lasted 74 days and ended with the Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982, which returned the islands to British control. 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 British military personnel and three Falkland Islanders died during the conflict.”

Margaret Thatcher announces to Parliament that the Falklands have been invaded by Argentina in 1982

On Remembrance Sunday, 11 November, we shall be particularly remembering the Falklands war this year. I know members of St Paul’s will be thinking about comrades they knew and fought with during that war, as we remain silent during our services. You might remember from the St Paul’s tribute last year, our own Vicar, Rev’d Mark Chester will be thinking about his friend and colleague who lost his life in the conflict. Our Speakers Corner host, Colonel (retired) Ivar Hellberg OBE, himself commanded a royal marines regiment in the Falklands war.

On Monday 12 November, we are extremely privileged to have Rev’d David Cooper, the Padre to the Second Battalion, The Parachute Regiment at the Battle of Goose Green, visit St Paul’s in Camberley for ‘Speakers Corner’. Ivar says: “David is very interested in the ‘just war theory’ and what is a right war and what is a wrong war. He gets very concerned about our commitment and operations in Iraq. He’s a lovely guy, a Yorkshireman, and the epitome of a good padre”.



I remember as a child watching the conflict unfold on national TV. I would rush home for daily updates, and commentary about how our servicemen were doing. Although the war only lasted just over two months, it claimed the lives of 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 British military personnel and 3 Falkland Islanders, and it’s effects are still felt by many today.

On 14 April 1982, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher made this speech. In conclusion, she said: “The eyes of the world are now focused on the Falkland Islands. Others are watching anxiously to see whether brute force or the rule of law will triumph. Wherever naked aggression occurs it must be overcome. The cost now, however high, must be set against the cost we would one day have to pay if this principle went by default. That is why, through diplomatic, economic and, if necessary, through military means, we shall persevere until freedom and democracy are restored to the people of the Falkland Islands.”

So for me, the extended Remembrance Sunday will  not only be a chance to learn about the morality of war on Monday, from someone who has experienced it first hand, but to also show my support on Sunday, to those that have fought for my freedom, and overcome naked aggression.

Doors open at 7.30pm on Monday 12 November at St Paul’s, Crawley Ridge, Camberley, GU15 2AD. Light refreshments will be served at 9pm after the talk.  Places are limited, so to book your free tickets,  contact media@stpaulscamberley.org.uk. Questions may be sent in prior to the event.
To find out more about St Paul’s, please visit stpaulscamberley.org.uk or contact the office on 01276 700210.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Moments of Mindfulness – Google to Surrey Heath

Ever wondered about the big questions in life, like who you really are?
Google did, and they pulled in Jon Kabat-Zinn, a Professor of Mindfulness, to teach their staff all about it
.

Jon Kabat-Zinn is Professor of Medicine Emeritus and founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He said “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally”.

Now you have a chance to try out mindfulness for yourself, at a workshop being held by the Spiritual Journeying Group,  part of ‘Churches Together in Camberley’. The group were formed in 1995, and are supported by the NHS. One of their key aims is to provide information about  mental  well-being,  addressing questions about life’s meaning and its spiritual dimension.

The group are hosting a 'mindfulness' workshop offering the opportunity to put mindfulness into practice, on Sat 20 Oct 2012 10am-4pm at St John the Baptist, Church Road, Windlesham, Surrey, GU20 6BL. Advanced booking required. For more information and to book a place, contact Jennine@spiritualjourneying.org.uk or call 07505 477457

Friday, 5 October 2012

McDonald's Milkshake Fun – Year 5 and 6

McDonald’s in Camberley High Street is the venue for a free new club for young people, school years 5 & 6, run by St Paul’s, Camberley.

Camberley Milkshake Chatting with Children’s Worker Sarah Hounslow, she felt there was a need in the community for year 5 & 6 pupils to meet in a safe, fun and relaxing environment in the town, to let off steam and meet new friends. The ‘Milkshake’ club was born, and has had their first meeting. 

Sarah said: “The first Milkshake went really well on Friday 28 September. I would like to thank the McDonald’s staff for their amazing support. 8 young people enjoyed games, shared stories, and met new friends, whilst sipping milkshakes. Card games,  jenga, ice -breaker games and quizzes and challenges are some of the activities planned. The club is free, but bring money for a milkshake.  All are welcome.”

Sarah runs the popular “Who Let The Dads Out” event for younger children, as well as visiting schools in term time. She also has two young children of her own, so she knows what’s cool and what’s not.

‘Milkshake’  runs every fortnight on Friday’s from 7-8pm upstairs in McDonald’s, Camberley High Street. They meet next on 12 and 26 October.  For more information, contact Children's Worker, Sarah Hounslow on 07789 995274 or childrensworker@stpaulscamb.co.uk

Friday, 28 September 2012

Contra Band in Camberley

Fancy a good night out? St Paul’s in Camberley is the venue for an evening of entertainment in aid of a local charity. ‘Baby Face Nelson and the Contra Band’ will be playing acoustic folk as part of a double bill of entertainment to raise money for Connect Counselling in Camberley. Connect Counselling is a local counselling service offering free help and support to individuals, couples and families experiencing a range of problems and difficulties. They rely on donations and fundraising, so this is your chance to have a good time, and make a real difference to local people.

Baby Face Nelson Contra BandBaby Face Nelson and the Contra Band

‘Baby Face Nelson and the Contra Band’ has elements of roots, folk, Americana and bluegrass. Check out “I love the sunshine” from their latest album – we need some of that at this time of the year! You can give them feedback on their Facebook page or tweet to them.

They formed over a common desire to play acoustic music using a variety of unusual instruments gathered on their travels. Dave sings, plays banjo, acoustic guitar, resonator guitar and piano. He also teaches music to pay the bills. Babs sings and plays the bodhran. Occasionally, she also plays the whistle. In her spare time, Babs is a midwife. John has had a long career in the music business. Occasional lead guitarist for rock band, 'After The Fire,' he sings, plays mandocello, mandolin and acoustic guitar. John runs a small recording studio and helps to look after a village church where he lives. Bekah has a degree in music and works as a music therapist as well as teaching. She sings, plays fiddle, accordion and glockenspiel.

Cathie Russell from Connect Counselling says: “We’re looking forward to a sensational evening of music and entertainment to raise vital funds for our Camberley counselling service,  which last year alone held 2024 sessions and saw 156 new clients from the area in need of support and help to overcome difficulties in their lives. We rely on evenings like this  to raise adequate funding for our service, so your evening out is a double whammy – a  great night out, and knowing you are enabling our counsellors to make a real difference  to the lives of local people.”

‘Baby Face Nelson and the Contra Band’, a Hampshire based 4 piece folk band, will be playing at St. Paul's Church Hall, Crawley Ridge, Camberley on Saturday 13th October at 7.30pm. Tickets for the evening are £10 and are available from Connect Counselling on 01276 24210

Friday, 17 August 2012

Holiday at Home

Jubilant Camberley Seniors were treated to a ‘Holiday at Home’ by a team from St Paul’s.  Around 30 people attended ‘Holiday at Home’ at St Paul's, Crawley Ridge, on Tuesday 14th August, organised by Revd Claire Isherwood.

St Paul's Holiday At Home

Seniors Celebrate at St Paul’s ‘Holiday at Home’

One of the volunteer helpers, Janet Perrott said: “We wanted to give people a chance to experience a holiday atmosphere, who might not otherwise get out of Camberley. I think we made their day, and I’m sure they will be talking about it for some time to come. On behalf of all the attendees, I’d like to thank the volunteers who helped make this such a special holiday at home”.

Flags and bunting created a holiday atmosphere. The holiday makers were treated to a delicious 2 course home cooked meal, joined by staff Russ Gant, Claire Isherwood and Sandra Higgins.

Parish Nurse Sandra Higgins, with the holiday makersParish Nurse Sandra Higgins, takes time out with the holiday makers

They all had a great afternoon relaxing, playing Scrabble or Rummikub,  indulging in a pampering hand massage or nail treatment, or simply chatting to new friends. Tea and a scrumptious selection of homemade cakes rounded off the afternoon, before the holiday makers set off home.

For more information on future events at St Paul’s, see our website http://stpaulscamberley.org.uk

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Free Camberley Children's Activities in August

'Every little helps' might be the motto of a large supermarket, but one large church in Camberley is also doing it's bit to help families this summer holiday.

St Paul's on Crawley Ridge, is hosting free children's activities Thursday morning's in August. There's a different theme each week, starting with 'reduced reuse recycle' on 2 August 10am - 12pm.

Children's worker, Sarah Hounslow  said: "Times are tough for many families right now. 'Living Christ in Camberley' is our mission statement. That means helping and caring for the people of our parish. Providing free fun family activities for 5-11 year old's I hope will help split up their week. This is something that everyone can join in with, it costs nothing."

The full programme is:-

2 Aug - reduce reuse recycle. Junk modeling
9 Aug - play in the park. Old fashioned games, at South Cote Park
23 Aug - messy science. Be ready to make a mess and see strange things happen
30 Aug - summer craft. Cards, biscuits and lots of sticking

To find out more please visit stpaulscamberley.org.uk or contact Sarah Hounslow on 0778 999 5274.



Friday, 20 July 2012

Camberley Frontline New Recruits

As Camberley News reports this week on the work of the Besom charity, helping people with food parcels in Camberley, lets not overlook Camberley Frontline, the free debt and benefit advice service. Frontline has 4 new recruits that join the 5 existing volunteers. Marianne and Ruth (pictured 1st and 4th from left to right) are two of them, who have recently completed the training course.

Camberley Frontline Team 2012 - Free Debt and Benefit Advice

The Frontline Team in Camberley

Why do they do it? I went along to an evening meeting to find out more.  Jim is retired, and wanted to do something to help others, inspired by another Frontline adviser's testimony. He is finding the whole experience very rewarding.  Ruth and Marianne are new recruits. Marianne heard about Frontline at St Paul's, and having managed the family finances, thought she would put per experience to good use helping others. Ruth is a full time accountant, and wanted to use her skills, helping people in need.

You can hear the full interview here...

Once the new volunteers are up to speed this will make a big difference to Camberley Frontline’s capacity and its ability to help those in need. Charles Bruce from Frontline says: “There is still desperate need to be addressed and the new volunteers will help to do this. Many of the clients are vulnerable people, with some suffering from depression or other illnesses and disabilities. Some, however, are very capable and realise they have a problem and come to us in good time”.

Camberley Frontline has now helped or is helping, nearly 40 clients, from all walks of life and as far afield as Aldershot, Bracknell and Wokingham. A third of these have debt problems, a third require benefits advice and a third need help on both. The bulk of them are very vulnerable people hanging on by their fingernails.

There are many heart-wrenching stories from people who have approached Frontline, some of which I have blogged about previously. One client told a Frontline adviser, during a telephone conversation, that they were overwhelmed by problems and were going to kill themselves. The emergency services were called, thankfully, in time. Emergency food parcels were arranged , and Frontline are in discussions with their creditors. Frontline are helping this person make an application for a debt relief order (a simpler and cheaper form of bankruptcy), so they are now on the right track towards resolving their issues.

In virtually every case, Frontline advisers have been, or are on the way to being, able to achieve a resolution to their clients problems. This can be very time consuming and they still have ongoing cases from clients who have been with them since they “opened shop” in Camberley in 2010.

Frontline provide free debt and benefit advice in Camberley. If you need help please contact them.

Phone: 07880 711730 (24 hour message line)        Email: camberley@FrontlineDebtAdvice.org.uk

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Spotlight on Head of Children and Youth Work – Gael Brodie

As the world celebrates the Olympic volunteers, I think of our own volunteers at St Paul’s, who tirelessly run our children and youth work, week in, week out. They may not be Olympic athletes, but it takes stamina to devise programmes for 0-18 year olds and direct them. If you need proof, checkout my post on FreeZone – Entering The Zone!

Gael Brodie St Pauls Head Of Youth and Children

Gael Brodie - Ministry Co-ordinator for Youth and Children

Along with staff, Youth Director Sarah Percival, and Children’s worker Sarah Hounslow, a team of volunteers run activities all week. Visiting schools in term-time, running weekend activities such as “Summer Thursday’s” and “Who Let The Dad’s Out”, running youth groups in the evenings or taking a group to summer camp – these are some of the initiatives the leaders co-ordinate.

Gael Brodie, a retired deputy headteacher, heads up this area of ministry, and is responsible for the smooth running of ‘Team St Paul’s’ children and youth work. The skills in her former job; understanding children’s development and what motivates them, conflict management, planning, and leadership are being put to good use in her volunteer role. She is interested and committed to working with children. She said “My role is to support all those working with children and young people. Our aim is to bring as many children and youth to know and commit themselves to Jesus Christ by providing quality experiences at St Paul’s and through outreach events to grow our numbers”. When asked how she felt about her role, Gael said she was, “on a learning journey. Excited and looking forward to seeing where God is leading the Children’s ministry. I feel like ‘new beginnings’ with a new children’s worker and new KidZone coordinators. Wonderful to learn all that is happening in youth work, and toddlers group.”

Gael has a close family, with 3 children of her own, Katie, Greg and Eilidh, and 8 grandchildren. She loves spending time with them, and is enjoying the special moments with her grandchildren. Her Scottish mum showed her the importance of family (Gael was born in Dundee). She also likes reading, cooking, and has started playing golf again. She says golf “takes time but is a marvellous way to relax”.


When she isn’t volunteering, a perfect day for her would be on a beach, with blue skies, warm sunshine, sharing fun and food with her family. Then bed with a good book at 10 o’clock. But what is her strategy for dealing with not so good days?  “Start with prayer and reading encouraging scripture. I keep a collection of verses from the bible for times like these. I also make sure I go out to see someone”.

The Bishop of Chelmsford, commenting on the Olympics, said: “Commentators, marvelling at the efficiency with which these Games have been put together, have said it is the largest logistical exercise in Britain since the Second World War. It might also be one of the largest outpourings of good will. This is an Olympic legacy worth holding onto: the desire to serve my neighbour and the desire to celebrate with my neighbour. It is with these things that communities are built”. St Paul’s have served their neighbours in so many ways, and built relationships with the community, and will continue to do so long after the Olympics.

For more information on children’s and young people’s activities at St Paul’s,  please check out the children and youth sections on the website at stpaulscamberley.org.uk.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Besom in Camberley – Changing Lives

The Besom are a local charity who specialise in providing food packs and other items to those in need locally. They work with local churches, who provide a support network of collection points, where various items may be dropped off.

Camberley Besom have reported an exceptionally busy few months leading up to June, with a massive increase in referrals. In the first four months of 2011 they received 7 referrals and gave out 15 packs in response. In the first four months of this year they received 40 referrals and gave out 132 Packs – an average of 4 packs per referral. This six-fold increase in demand highlights the increased difficulties faced by the local community in Camberley.

Graph showing the percentage

The Church Urban Fund recently performed a survey on poverty in the UK. They found stark contrasts across the town. Camberley has the least deprived, and most deprived parishes in the diocese of Guildford. For example, the Old Dean (parish of St Martins) ranks 164 out of 165 parishes in the Guildford diocese. This means that this parish is just about the most deprived parish in the diocese. In contrast, Heatherside ranks 1 out of 165, making it the least deprived.

To get an idea of how some of the most deprived people are living in the area, I’d like to paint a picture for you. Imagine moving into a new home with just your clothes and a couple of boxes. You are confronted by one bare room and shared  facilities. The room has no carpet, no curtains, no furniture or any of the basic things that make up a home. You may have lost your job, your home and spent weeks living in very basic accommodation or sleeping on a friend’s sofa. You may be on your own or struggling to provide for your family. You have nothing, and no money to buy what you need. Life is not good. This is the reality for many people living in Camberley who the charity help out.

Now imagine walking into that same room. You have been told all that you need will be provided by the local churches, but your expectations are low. All you expect are well used goods that someone no longer wants. What you get is decent furniture and a fridge, new bedding and towels, a kettle and toaster, food and all the essentials you need to get you started, plus a few treats.

St. Vincent De Paul Society and The Besom in Camberley act as a bridge between local churches who donate to the charities, and those in need, to meet all those basic needs. People feel valued and their self-esteem is lifted, and lives are changed. These charities work closely with Frontline in Camberley, who provide free debt and benefit advice. All three charities are staffed by volunteer members of local churches, and partly funded by them.

For more information on Camberley Besom, or to get in contact with them, you can email camberleybesom@gmail.com or phone             07543 319921

Sunday, 1 July 2012

An Evening With Ann Widdecombe in Camberley

St Paul’s, Camberley, is hosting an evening with former Conservative MP, Ann Widdecombe, author, columnist, celebrity and former Shadow Home Secretary, discussing  “Morality in public life”.

Ann Widdecombe (Credits http://www.annwiddecombe.com)

Ann, aged 65, had a distinguished career as a politician before retiring at the 2010 general election. During this time she took on a range of roles, ending in Shadow Home Secretary.

Since retiring, she has written several novels, is a columnist for the Guardian and Daily Mail, and has become a celebrity after appearing as a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing. Recently she even made her debut at London's Royal Opera House in La Fille Du Regiment.

Ann is a Christian, and  was a member of the Conservative Christian Fellowship. Speaking recently to children from Christ The King College on the Isle of Wight, about faith and aspiration, she told them, “Don’t be discouraged...don’t expect success to come quickly and easily...and none of it’s worth doing unless it’s for God or other people”.

This talk continues a series held by St Paul’s around a central theme of "Morality in Public Life". Previous speakers have included Claudia Sturt (Deputy Director Prison Service), Melanie Phillips (columnist and public speaker) and General the Lord Dannatt (ex Chief of the Defence Staff).

Doors open 7pm on July 9th at St Paul’s, Crawley Ridge, Camberley, GU15 2AD. Light refreshments will be served at 9pm after the debate. 

Fee tickets are available by contacting media@stpaulscamberley.org.uk. Questions may be sent in prior to the event. To find out more about St Paul’s, please visit stpaulscamberley.org.uk or contact the office on 01276 700210.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Jubilant Jubilee Party

The St Paul’s Seniors had a vibrant Jubilee Summer Tea Party this week, as they celebrated in style with all the trimmings. On Tuesday 26th June, 35 seniors attended the Jubilee Tea Party.

St Paul's Seniors Jubilee Party

Rev’d Claire Isherwood, Assistant Curate at St Paul’s joined the right royal celebrations, and enjoyed chatting with the seniors, and sharing fun and food. Claire said: “This is a great way for some of the senior members of St Paul’s and the Thursday Coffee Morning group to get to know each other.  It provides the opportunity for those who live alone to have some company, and for those who live in residential homes to have an outing.  These events only happen because of the care and dedication of a team of volunteers who provided food, transport and entertainment.  We thank them all for the love and interest they show to others.  Everyone had a lot of fun and went away cheered, not to mention rather full of delicious afternoon tea.  The next event for seniors is our annual Holiday at Home on 14th and 16th August.  Last year’s was a great success and we hope for even better things this year.  Look out for the publicity for that coming your way soon - booking will open shortly!”

Organiser, Janet Perrott said: “Bunting and flags adorned the walls of the Garden Room and the theme was matched on the tables. They were greeted with glasses of Pimms and this was followed by a typical English afternoon tea of sandwiches and cakes. The guests were entertained by Joanne Bonnett, accompanied by Dave Batt, Mike Lyons and Shirley Powell, who sang patriotic songs and encouraged all to join in the choruses. There was lots of flag waving and the afternoon ended with a rendition of 'I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles' with all the guests enthusiastically joining in and blowing 'pretty bubbles in the air'!”

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Walking The Battlefields of the Somme

Words and Pictures by Jane Orr

St Paul's Fine Weather Walkers and friends went to war!  We went much further afield than usual and spent the Early Spring Bank Holiday weekend on the Somme

Cemetary and landscape

We stayed in the village of Auchonvillers (known as Ocean Villas to the soldiers of the First World War) and walked over battlefields, visiting cemeteries and strategic points in the area over three days, walking some 13 miles. 

We visited famous 1916 battlefields such as Mametz Wood and High Wood on Saturday, and on Sunday, after a service above a WW1 dressing station, walked from Beaumont Hamel to the Thiepval Memorial.  Explanations of the sites we were seeing were given by military historian Michael Orr.

Thiepval Memorial
On the Saturday afternoon we were lucky to find a battlefield archaeology team at work at La Boiselle and were shown round by the experts there.

The group at La Boiselle

The two disappointing things about the weekend were the weather and the small numbers who came.  There were 15 of us who had a fascinating and educative weekend in good company.  To keep it "in the family" we were expertly driven by Mark Appleby who is the son-in-law of the vicar of St Michael’s, Revd Bruce Nicole.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Who Let The Dads Out – Race It Challenge!

St Paul’s are hosting a free  ‘Race It Challenge’ for dads, grandads, uncles and carers with their children, as part of its regular ‘who let the dads out’ event, this weekend.

who let the dads out

St Paul’s, Crawley Ridge in Camberley, are asking families to bring a plastic bottle with them to compete in the rocket racers challenge, and they will provide the rest.

Adults can drop in and chill-out in a relaxed cafe style play area, read the newspapers and tuck in to unlimited bacon (and vegetarian) butties, tea and coffee. They also have the opportunity to join in with their children playing games, and our children’s staff will be available to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Sarah Hounslow, Children’s Worker at St Paul’s, Camberley, is responsible for the event. She says:  “The who let the dads out is going to have a challenge this time. We are going to make rockets and race them and I'm sure there will be a bit of a competitive element. Games will still be out for the children to play with and as usual unlimited free bacon butties will be available for all. This is a great way to give mum a break whilst the guys chill and spend time with their children, and make it a fathers day weekend.”

The event is for under 12’s, and the fun and food starts at 9.00am until 11.00am on Saturday 16 June at St Paul's, Crawley Ridge, Camberley, Surrey GU15 2AD. People are welcome to drop in at any time.

For more information, contact Sarah Hounslow on 07789 995274 or email childrensworker@stpaulscamb.co.uk

To find out more about St Paul’s, please visit http://stpaulscamberley.org.uk or contact the office on 01276 700210.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Roving Rev Bruce Nicole Welcomes All As He Sets Off From Camberley To Holy Island On A 390 Mile Trek

Rev’d Bruce Nicole from our neighbouring parish St Michael’s, Camberley is about to set off on a 390 mile trek from Camberley to Lindisfarne in Northumberland. He’s earned the nickname ‘Roving Rev’, having done a similar walk to northern Spain a few years ago. He plans to connect with communities up and down the country as he walks, and will be using social media on the move to stay in touch. You can even track him on the website at http://stmikesopen4all.org.uk, tweet him @StMikesOpen4All, like his facebook page or listen to his podcasts and watch the videos, as he charts his progress, live.

Sounds like he will be having a fitting send-off, and everyone is invited. After a 10am service, and farewell meal,  his journey begins at 1pm on Sunday 10 June from St Michael's in Camberley, and lasts one month. A piper, police escort and local vicars will start the walk with him as far as the meadows, then he will be on his own.Revd Bruce Nicole aka Roving Rev

‘Roving Rev’ Bruce Nicole from St Michael’s, Camberley

This is all part of the St Michael’s Open4All project, which aims to raise £2.6 million for the vital modernisation of St Michael's, Camberley, and Camberley Connect. The project will make the space a multipurpose area fit for use by the whole community. A church is just a building without people. St Michael’s want it to be a space everyone can use, as sadly there isn’t such a space locally. Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Member of Parliament for Surrey Heath, is the patron of the project, and he’s clearly impressed by it.

Michael Gove said: Camberley is at the heart of my constituency and at the heart of Camberley is St Michael’s Church. Community hubs are very important to me so anything that can be done to support and invigorate them is to be greatly encouraged. I’m proud that St Michael’s has taken this decision – it shows the type of leadership, vision and responsibility that gets things done – and I have every confidence they will achieve their goal.  I’ve come to know this friendly and welcoming church well over the years and support their fund-raising efforts whole-heartedly.”

Model Of St Michael's  Camberley Modernisation

Model of the proposed changes to St Michael’s, Camberley, showing the new hall

After 161 years, St Michael’s needs a facelift so it can continue to be an effective building for worship and for use by the community.  The changes will retain its Victorian heritage, but include a new community space, essential structural work and interior enhancements to make the church easily accessible, flexible and open for all.  

Andy Mitchell, Churchwarden. said: "Bruce has chosen a wonderful way of demonstrating not just his own faith, but his faith in the renewal of St Michael's. Our project to raise these funds isn't just about a new church building, it's also about renewing the faith in our Camberley community and Bruce's pilgrimage to Holy Island will link communities up and down the country. His commitment and leadership in doing this is highly commendable and a very fitting way to kick off our fund-raising".

The project also includes raising money for Camberley Connect Christian Counselling Service. Connect is a counselling service offering help and support to individuals, couples and families experiencing a range of problems and difficulties.  No fixed charge is made to cover costs, and significant fund-raising is needed to ensure that high quality counselling can continue to be provided to people of all faiths and none, and regardless of financial situation.

To follow Bruce’s progress on his walk, or find out more about the project, visit http://stmikesopen4all.org.uk