Category Archives: Church

Church Matters Nov 2018


This is my 65th year, getting on a bit, but I was still born 9 years after the end of the Second World War. Whilst our nation has been involved in many conflicts during my lifetime, none of them have had a major impact on life in this country – although some terror attacks did come quite close while we were living in London. My mother told me a little of her recollections of the blitz – of one occasion when a stick of bombs was falling, each one getting closer, knowing that the next one would get her – but fortunately there wasn’t another one! My father never spoke about the war, other than to say that he was in a ‘reserved occupation’ and didn’t have to serve in the forces. It was only at his funeral that my brother and I learnt that he had been employed during the war years as an auditor hunting for ‘economic saboteurs’ – an account I shall now never be told in full.

Many, over the years, have been reticent to recount their war experiences, though fortunately a few have left us their stories in print, and there are many images which allow us a fuller picture. Today, of course, we see all too much of what is happening in conflicts around the world virtually as it happens. Such reporting shows us first hand what we have always really known – that war is a terrible thing in which there are no real winners, and where the only certainty is that there will be terrible suffering. This suffering is inflicted by all sides whether deliberately or by accident – wars create casualties – and wars are created by humanity. Continue reading

Church Matters


Church Matters

There are times when I’m intrigued by the lives of well-known personalities. So often they can be seen to be achieving so much in their lives, and yet at times there emerges the frailties that they can suffer in their more private moments. There can be no doubting the influence and success that they have, but we don’t often catch a glimpse of the inner person that may be quietly plagued with doubt and fear.

I recently came across a Guardian newspaper interview with Lisa Brennan-Jobs. I suspect that name will not be instantly recognisable, but Lisa is the daughter of Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, the company that is now the largest in the world by market value (over 1 trillion dollars). He was in many senses a brilliant man – a visionary of how technology could be designed and produced to not only look and feel good, but effectively support new and effective ways of doing things. One well-known example was the launch of the iPhone back in 2007, a totally new approach to the mobile phone which changed the market completely. Since that time most mobile phone manufacturers try to out-do the latest iPhone with each release of a new product. Continue reading

SAVE OUR CHURCH


CHERISHED & RESTORED OR LOCKED & LOST?

St Sampson’s Church, South Hill, as many of you will be aware, needs major repairs and improvements. In August our funding bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund was unsuccessful but they like our project and we were advised to reapply in the New Year under a new funding programme, with a scaled down project and more evidence of community need and support. There was one million pounds available to the South West with a total of five million being requested from fourteen applicants. We were asking for £500,000 so half the pot that was available!

Undeterred we will apply again. In consultation with our architect, the most urgent and essential items that need to be done are; the ceiling, which now has holes in it, the roof, which needs re–slating, the tower, to prevent water coming in, a toilet, which also means getting a water supply, and the window and stone work repairs, which will stop many of those pesky draughts. This scaled down work will still cost in excess of £300,000.

This is a huge sum, but not impossible to raise. Some people have said, “why doesn’t the Church of England pay for it?”  The answer is, “Each congregation is responsible for maintaining their church building and the Church of England does not provide money for repairs”. Others have said, “Taxes pay for churches”, the answer to that is, “no they don’t”. There is no central or official funding for church buildings. Another question may be, “we have a fantastic well used hall, why do we need another space?” and the answer is, “it is used almost to capacity and another public space will complement the hall”.   There are funding bodies out there that can help, but so can each member of our community. St Sampson’s needs to show not only why the repairs and improvements are needed but also that there is community support (the survey you all completed two years ago was a big help, thank you).  Funding bodies want to see the community rallying round, doing their best and doing their bit. The building with its rich heritage could be used much more by the community, especially if we have toilet facilities. Some of the things you suggested in the survey were concerts, exhibitions, a meeting space, educational classes. All this and more could happen if the repairs and improvements are done.  But… there is a real risk that without repairs, improvements and support St Sampson’s will be locked and lost in the future.

Does St Sampson’s hold a special place for you? Do you know about its Cornish heritage and history?

If you value St Sampson’s, for whatever reason, how can you help? Your time, your expertise, your ideas, your contacts, your enthusiasm. I have had a lot of conversations recently, making people aware of the situation, and this has resulted in some brilliant ideas and excitement for the project. We need to share ideas and enthusiasm and that is the purpose of the community meeting on Monday 29th October in the Parish Hall at 7.30pm. Please do come along, bring your friends and neighbours near and far, they don’t have to live in the parish.  We need you all for a group photo to show how valued St Sampson’s Church is.

Can’t make the meeting, but want to show support? contact Judith Ayers judithayers@yahoo.co.uk

 

Let’s make St Sampson’s Church Cherished and Restored.

Commonwealth War Graves


Commonwealth War Graves

Some of you will have seen the Commonwealth War Graves Commission sign which has gone up outside St Sampson’s church. If you try to find the usual Portland stone headstones you will search in vain.

John Henry Rogers and Aaron Dennis are commemorated in the churchyard not with official war commission memorials but with personal gravestones.  There are no Commonwealth War Graves Commission memorials in St Sampson’s churchyard.

John Henry Dennis was Chief Stoker aboard HMS Earnest when he died on Tuesday 8th February 1916, age 39.

Aaron Rogers was a Petty Officer, on HMS Vivid, who died on Thursday February 10th, age 40.

For reasons unknown, neither of these men’s names appears on the war memorial in Golberdon.

Their graves can be found in the churchyard next to each other in the row of graves nearest to the road wall.

 

Thank You Miranda Lawrence-Owen for this information.

Church Matters August 2018


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

Church MATTERS June 2018


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

SHARE Update June 2018


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.

Wi-fi disconnection?

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 April 2018


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

Come and meet the donkey


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 judithayers@yahoo.co.uk for more information.

Church MATTERS


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