Wed 24 Nov
STOP PRESS! Mary and Joseph have decided to stay in Air BnBs this year so will not need hospitality in the Parish. Thank you to those who offered - they will be back next year!
Fri 19 Nov
As you may have seen from the opening banner on the website we are delighted to have won the 2021 Nayler Award for Excellence in Church Maintenance. The awards are organised by the National Churches Trust
and supported by The Pilgrim Trust
You can find out more about the award HERE
Of course this is very much a team award. So many volunteers work so hard in many different ways to keep our beautiful church in a good state of repair. We are also blessed with some great partnerships including Nick Bethune our architect from West Scott Architects
the builders currently engaged with Phase Two of our Stonework replacement project, Universal Stone
and our electrician Ian Middleton.
We would like to receive this award in memory of Paul Atkins, a former Churchwarden who died earlier this year. He was a maintenance man par excellence
with a power tool for everything and limitless skill and patience dedicated to the maintenance of our church building.
Photo credit: Andy Sillitt
Wed 17 Nov
Yes it's almost Advent so once again Mary, Joseph and Bonkey the Donkey will be travelling around the parish hopefully staying each night in a different home. This year again we are running it virtually.
The Holy Family can stay in your home by using figures from your nativity set, dressing dolls or colouring templates you will be able to find here soon. Arrange a short virtual meet-up via Zoom or by phone to receive the Holy Family and then one as you pass them on to their next hosts. Feel free to meet in person if you are both happy to! It’s a great way to meet others from Church and reflect on the travels of Mary and Joseph during Advent.
Please sign up now for a date HERE
Please contact Jen if you have any questions - firstname.lastname@example.org or 07792 242 710.
Mon 15 Nov
Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness have just produced their Annual Report - it makes inspiring reading HERE
Thurs 11 Nov
Balance CIO, our partner in our Community Cafe, has produced its Autumn newsletter. Take a look HERE
to find out more about the great work they do. You should recognise some familiar faces!
Wed 10 Nov
In time for Remembrance Day tomorrow we have uploaded our WW1 Exhibition boards onto the website HERE
Thurs 4 Nov
If you miss being able to pick up a copy of the Diocesan newspaper 'The Bridge'
you can look at it online HERE
and if you have never heard of it, even more reason to take a look!
Tues 26 Oct
Apologies for this late post - there is still much important action and praying to be done . . .
There is estimated to be over 100,000 victims of slavery in the UK today
Here are a few of the signs you may see of victims of slavery today, a worker may:
Show signs of physical or psychological abuse and untreated injuries
Look malnourished or unkempt, or appear withdrawn and neglected
Seem under the control or influence of others
Wear the same clothes every day
Wear no safety equipment even if their work requires it
Be collected and dropped off on a regular basis early in the morning or late at night. In a crowded minibus with other workers
Reluctant to seek help and avoid eye contact
Appear frightened or hesitant to talk to strangers
Who to do if you suspect someone is a victim of slavery?
If there is an emergency and someone is in immediate danger, call 999.
If you would like to report any non-emergency suspicious activity in your local area then call your local police on 101 or go to your local police station.
Call CrimeStoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
If you need advice or support on a modern slavery issue then you can call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700. It operates 24 hour a day, 365 days a year.
Always remember that if you are offered a service – car wash, nail bar, building work that seems to be too good to be true it almost certainly is and someone is suffering!
For more information see the websites of Stop the Traffik
or The Clewer Initiative
Fri 1 Oct
Sleep Out to Help Out
On Friday 15 October, young people from St Matthew's, St George's, and St Paul's Churches will be sleeping overnight in Church to raise money for Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness (KCAH). Please show your support by sponsoring them here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Fuel-KCAH
Or donations can be given to Jen Houghton.
Sun 26 Sept
This morning in our joint service at 10am celebrating St Matthew's Weekend and Harvest we are inviting everyone to offer to do something to serve the church. We have all been given gifts and abilities - even if we don't think they are very important - and together they can run a church. Pretty much every job is covered and there are lots!
We want everyone to feel involved in this so if you are watching online HERE
is the form - please download, complete and send it to us. Sorry there is no clever online poll to complete but an old-fashioned piece of paper! Alternatively you could take look at the form and then just email us through the contact page of the website HERE
with your offering.
Mon 13 Sept
For those who would like to read and think through some more around the issues raised in our current sermon series on 'Reaping a rich harvest in Ruth' there is a useful toolkit on the Church of England's website which you can find HERE
. It us particularly aimed at the Afghan refugee crisis but has some much wider resources as well.
Thurs 10 Sept
Feels like a new term has begun and there is certainly lots of activity here!
to find out about our Heritage Open Day this coming Saturday
Be ready to celebrate our St Matthew's Weekend with the following:
Get your tickets for another-not-too-far-AwayDay, following the great success or our first AwayDay back in 2018.
And finally we are beginning The Bereavement Journey Course on Tues 28 Sept - details below.
Tues 27 July
To find out more about re-planting the new garden - please click HERE
Sun 25 July
Following the PCC meeting last week it has now been decided that from 5 September we shall return to our old service pattern with slightly changed timings.
The traditional service with choir and organ will start at 9am. This slightly earlier start time will accommodate the second service (with band and children’s groups) starting at 10.45am.
These new service times will trial through the autumn although we confirm that the order of the services will not change.
Apologies to those who would have preferred a different time – taking into account the preferences of everyone was not possible.
Remembering, Reflecting and Recovering
Here are the Pandemic Experience Sheets
we looked at in the service this morning so you can follow the links
For the Family
For Young People
And finally the link to the FREE App which was mentioned - you can download HERE
from the Google story or HERE
from the Apple Store.
This is what the makers say about it:
We're delighted to bring you the new Sanctuary app, featuring Together Again, a game to kickstart conversations about wellbeing and faith.
Throughout lockdown, checking on each others’ wellbeing has been an important part of life together. Together Again continues this conversation as we move into a new season, generating questions to help us explore the challenges of the year, as well as the lighter moments.
"What activity restores your soul or brings you joy?"
"Name one thing you don't want to forget from last year.''
Whether it's two friends on a walk, a family sharing a meal, or a group gathered around a campfire—meaningful connections can happen anywhere.
As recent changes and the easing of restrictions start to impact us, these questions are designed to help us connect with each other and pace our recovery. Discover a simple way to keep the wellbeing conversation alive in our faith communities and beyond with Together Again.
In the app you'll find:
Together Again, a conversation-starting game
Links to emergency mental health support
Access to a suite of free Sanctuary resources to support faith and mental health
Ways to take the conversation further with The Sanctuary Course
If you'd like to meet up on a Wednesday in August to discuss this please let Helen know either day time or evening.
Thurs 22 July
After discussion at PCC in which there was an incredibly wide set of views (expressed generously and sensitively) and the guidance from the central church (which you can read for yourself HERE
if you are interested and have half an hour! ) we have decided that this Sunday, 25 July, we will seek to observe all the same rules as last Sunday
This will be a relief to some and a cause of frustration for others.
Over the coming weeks during August we will gradually look to ease certain of the restrictions but we intend for the next few weeks at least (and subject to prevailing conditions)
to continue the social distancing in the pews,
once singing begins in church to do so with masks on
to allow masks to be removed while seated, if individuals wish
to continue track and trace
Obviously we do not have legal backing to enforce any of this but we hope that people attending will comply.
If you have any questions or comments please do get in touch with Helen, Mike or Jackie
Sat 10 July
If you would like to look at the Diocesan newspaper The Bridge for this month - please click HERE
Sun 4 July
If you feel strongly about being able to be allowed to sing in church once again, you may want to sign the petition HERE.
If 10,000 signatures are received, the government commit to responding to the petition.
Thank you to all those (over 30) who contributed to our Maintenance Morning in so many different ways yesterday. If you missed out we will be compiling a list of jobs which still need doing and it would be great if some of these could be tackled in August - more details to follow or ask Jackie and Mike.
ALSO a BIG thank you to the girls from Surbiton High School who came and did some great work on Friday to add to the efforts of our maintenance weekend. They showed such hard work, creativity and commitment we are very grateful to them all.
Sat 26 June
And here is the link to the Facebook page on which our bell ringers feature for the anniversary celebrations (see below).
Bell-ringing event at St Matthew’s on Saturday 26 June at 12.00 noon
As you may know, St Matthew’s Church has an unusual set of bells which includes what is known as
an Ellacombe Chime. This is an arrangement whereby bells (hemispherical ones in our case) can be
played by one bell-ringer using a series of ropes looking
a bit like a harp, and is named after a Reverend
Ellacombe who invented the system in 1821. It is said
that he devised the mechanism so that all the bells
could be rung by one trusted person without involving
a band of unruly and perhaps drunken ringers!
As this is the 200 th anniversary of the reverend
gentleman’s invention, all churches which have a
working set of Ellacombe chimes have been invited to
take part in a ‘celebration ring’ this Saturday (26 th June)
at 12 noon. We are intending to be one of only 78
churches in the UK taking part in this, as Ellacombe
systems are now relatively rare, especially ones that work well and are in regular use. Our bells were fully refurbished during the tower restoration two years ago.
Bells throughout the world will be ringing on Saturday, starting in New Zealand. They will be heard in each of the major time zones, played at noon local time in each location. They will make their way to Surbiton, then across the Americas, finishing in Vancouver, Canada, 17 hours after they first started.
The Ellacombe system allows the ringer to play tunes, and you may have heard carols and hymns being played before some of our services last Christmas and Easter.
We hope you will enjoy hearing the bells on
this special occasion. We will have a team of
ringers in the tower so that no one person
gets exhausted! Do look in to the church on
Saturday between 12.00 and 1pm, if you
would like. We can tell you a little bit more
about the bells, and will have a replica
practice frame at the back of the church
which will allow you to try your hand. We
also have cameras in the tower which will
allow you to see the action from ground
Captain Nicholas Lebey (Church Army) is being ordained in Southwark Cathedral this coming Saturday at 11am and will be the new pioneer curate at St George's. If you would like to watch the service HERE
is the link