I’ve recently read a fascinating book called “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker. The book is an International Bestseller and has the subtitle “The New Science of Sleep and Dreams.” As might be deduced from the subtitle, Matthew Walker is a Sleep Scientist and has been scientifically investigating sleep for many, many years. Although the book is American in origin, for that is where Matthew now lives and undertakes his work, he himself is British, born in Liverpool. Despite him being a scientist, the book is far from dry and beyond understanding. While it has some staggering revelations it is immensely readable and practical. Continue reading
For six months the Church Calendar rolls steadily on remembering the events of Jesus’ earthly life. Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Ascension (and Pentecost). Then suddenly it all seems to come to a halt and there is nothing for the next six months until Advent rolls round again. Of course this is really only a matter of perception. There are many other events in the Church Calendar: some such as Patronal Festivals and Anniversaries being spread through the year; and others like Harvest and Remembrance filling in the gap. But if we restrict ourselves just to those festivals which commemorate the main events in the life of Jesus then the six month rule applies very well indeed.
Personally I find this fact quite challenging. It is a reminder that with Jesus’ departure at Ascension and with the arrival of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, to empower the Church, God in effect says “It’s over to you now; get out there and spread the Good News.”
With all the busy-ness of making sure that we get our celebrations right we can forget that the essential function of the Church does not change in those empty six months – nor has it in the past two thousand years.
We might do well to ask who the celebrations of the Church Calendar are for? Continue reading
The SHARE Guide to Saving Energy in the Home
SHARE has delivered this handy FREE booklet to all households in South Hill Parish. It’s full of tips and advice from the Energy Saving Trust to help you save energy AND money. Use it to reduce your bills AND your carbon footprint.
For example – DID YOU KNOW…?
You can save around £30 a year just by turning your appliances off stand-by mode! Your TV, your laptop power supply, your phone charger – they don’t use much power but if they’re on 24/7 it adds up to a lot.
You can also read the Guide online at www.south-hill.co.uk/SHARE.
Just in case we’ve missed anybody out… If you live in the parish and haven’t seen the booklet, please email or phone and we’ll deliver one to you.
Good News! Investment offer over-subscribed.
Our recent investment offer was very well received by the membership. The investment is a 2-year fixed term loan to SHARE which will pay 4% interest annually – better than any bank or building society.
About a quarter of members expressed an interest in the offer, and of those more than half decided to invest. As a result, we were offered more money than we needed, so we scaled back the amount we will borrow from each lender.
The money raised is used to finance our solar PV installation at Church Park, South Hill, which has been in operation for 22 months and is performing even better than our original forecast.
SHARE IN OUR COMMUNITY
SHARE is proud to support St Sampson’s Church in their application to the Heritage Lottery Fund. Improvements planned for the church include the addition of toilet and kitchen facilities. This will be a green community initiative, using renewable, sustainable and locally sourced materials where possible.
We are also supporting the Parish Hall committee with their bid for funding from the Big Lottery Fund which, if successful, will enable the installation of a new kitchen, and battery storage to make better use of power generated by the solar panels on the Hall roof. SHARE will encourage the use of energy-efficient appliances and an instant hot water boiler to replace the power-hungry tea urn.
With help from the Parish Council, SHARE has been paying for the fibre broadband and wi-fi connection at the Parish Hall in Golberdon, using income from the solar PV panels on the Hall roof (which we share 50:50 with the Parish Hall committee). BUT… our BT contract is now coming to an end, BT want to almost double the cost, and the Parish Council have said they can no longer contribute. What do we do? Our share of the income from the solar PV is not enough to cover BT’s aggressive price increase, so we are looking at alternatives. It would be a shame if we had to abandon this valuable asset to the community.
Do YOU use the wi-fi service at the Hall? Please let us know if this is important to you.
Planned visit to Plymouth Incinerator
This is still on the cards. Details to follow.
Church MATTERS. So, we arrive at Easter once again. This will be my 64th. From my younger days I can remember it as something special to look forward to – time off from school for a start, but then the much anticipated chocolate Easter Eggs – how many and how big was the measure of a good Easter Day. In later years it became what type of Egg would I get a girlfriend (often with pretty bows – such a charmer), and then into adulthood and work when Eggs were no longer a high priority, just the bank holidays and extra time for football (playing and watching). Easter as an adult wasn’t all that bad, but as with many things the excitement of such occasions wasn’t as great as in childhood. As someone once said about adulthood, “Don’t grow up – it’s a trap!” – quite an apt saying in many respects.
As you might expect with my being a church minister, Easter these days takes on a different dimension. It’s not necessarily because of my position as a church leader – it’s more to do with the challenge that a person once placed upon me. That person was Billy Graham, the American Evangelist who passed on in late February. My wife Pam and I found ourselves in a sports hall in Woking, Surrey, watching a live-link satellite broadcast from Earls Court in London where Billy Graham was speaking. I can’t really remember anything that he said apart from the point where he stopped and invited anyone who wanted to turn back to God to get up from their seat and walk forward to the front. This invitation was for those who were in Earls Court, the sports hall in Woking, and anywhere else that the satellite broadcast was going to. It was a really challenging moment for me, but I felt compelled to leave my seat and walk to the front. There and then I was prayed for and felt total peace – a peace that I had never felt before. Continue reading
Palm Sunday, 25th March, St Sampson’s Church, South Hill, are planning an informal service, with a real donkey, A good natured miniature chap called Corduroy, who is a local resident. it will take place at Golberdon parish Hall at 10am We will have a short walk of witness and singing, led by the donkey, starting from outside Green Meadow, (on the road towards South Hill) to the hall, join us there or along the route, or at the hall, bring a branch to wave. This will be followed by a short friendly service, biscuit making for all ages, tea coffee and hot cross buns.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
So here we go again – the slide into Christmas and all the good things that it can bring. I’m well aware that it can also bring added pressure on those who set out to make sure that it is a special time for family and friends, but my hope is that the appreciation by family and friends would bring a sense of joy, peace and fulfillment to those who put the effort in. Who knows, the appreciation may even spill over into doing the washing up after Christmas lunch.
Within the Christmas season we of course can’t escape the commercial importance to retailers and all the advertising that goes along with it. You may recall that at this time last year I wrote about the 2016 John Lewis Christmas TV advert and how bowled over I was about its creative brilliance. This year’s John Lewis advert has been eagerly anticipated in some quarters, with even an article in The Guardian on Friday 10 November informing its readers of the first viewing schedules later that day. In some ways the news item and interest surrounding the advert was taking on the dimensions of what we have seen in the launch events of such things as Apple iPhones and the like.
So, the 2017 John Lewis advert features Moz the Monster who sleeps under a youngster’s bed and, over period of time, a fun and loving relationship grows between the two. This culminates in a Christmas present from Moz to the youngster, unwrapped on Christmas Day with the tag line “For gifts that brighten their world.” As The Guardian article said – an advert designed to pull on the heart strings to loosen the purse strings. Continue reading
Whenever i sit down to write a church article for a magazine there is always the question as to other the content should be slanted towards the seasonal, topical or eternal. So having considered all that I’ve decided this month to write about Postman Pat, the BBC children’s TV series.
When our youngsters were small, Postman Pat was a regular favourite TV watching experience. My wife Pam and I would often sit and watch the programme with them, getting quite familiar with the characters of Pat and his faithful black and white sidekick Jess the cat (and even as I type away I find that in my head I’m singing along with “Postman Pat, Postman Pat, Postman Pat and his Black and White Cat…”). They had such adventures trying to get the mail through to the outer lying areas of the village of Greendale, with early episode titles such as “Postman Pat’s Windy Day,” “Postman Pat’s Foggy Day,” “Postman Pat’s Difficult Day,” and “Postman Pat’s Tractor Express.” And then of course there were the other characters – Mrs Goggins the postmistress, Alf Thompson the farmer, Ted Glenn the handyman and the Reverend Timms.
I must admit I’ve lost track of all the adventures that Pat has had down the years, and I’m a little astonished to see that in 2016/17 the programme is now into its eighth series. It seems that the story lines might have progressed a little, as now there are episode titles such as “Postman Pat and the Zooming Zipwire.” There’s even one called “Postman Pat and the Cornish Caper” and another called “Postman Pat and the Loch Ness Monster.” Although I haven’t sat down to watch any of these episodes, it’s obvious that Pat’s mail delivery area and duties have been extended. Continue reading
– Keith Browne It is the season for Harvest Services in our Churches. By the time you read this many will have already been held – some will be yet to come. I have vivid memories of Harvest Festivals as a child.
I was brought up in West London in the 1950s. There was still an air of post-war austerity – with very few luxuries around. My mother took my brother and I along to a Baptist Church each Sunday. The church interior was an austere space with minimal ornamentation. There was almost no colour – the small illuminated red cross in the light above the pulpit being the only bright spot. The abiding impression is that the church, in general, was a solemn place. I can’t even remember whether there were any decorations at Christmas. I think that in later years there was a small Christmas tree placed on a platform above the side pews. Continue reading
Thanksgiving service for our animals
Celebrating God’s care and concern for creation
Sunday 24th September 10am
St Sampson’s Church, South Hill
This will be a short informal service followed by coffee, tea, juice and the best cake ever.
Our lives are enriched by our animals. They bring us many blessings and they play a big part in our lives, giving us joy, companionship, livelihood and sustenance.
You are invited to bring your well behaved: dog, cat, rabbit, parrot, stick insect, sheep, horse or chicken, whatever, to give thanks for the part they play in your life.
Bring a photo of your pet past or present.
Recently our church received a beautiful quilted banner from South Hill Piece Makers of St Sampson, the patron Saint of our Church, but who was he? Why is this church dedicated to him? We know a few things basis in historical fact.
Of all the so-called ‘Cornish’ saints, Sampson is the only one for whom there appears to be documentary evidence written at the time he was alive: there is a reference to a bishop, probably our St Sampson signing his name with other bishops who attended a church council in Paris in 562. Sampson also has the distinction of being the only ‘Cornish’ saint whose biography, was written less than 200 years after his death.
Sampson was the son of a noble family from South Wales, born in the early 500s. He was regarded as a miraculous child because he was born when his parents had long given up hope of having a child and was named after the Biblical Samson in the book of Judges. He was educated in a monastery at Llantwit Major where he eventually became ordained. Continue reading