All posts by Matt

Farewell Su


On a Sunday in March 2002 we were delighted to welcome two unexpected guests to our Morning Service – the new Rector Su Marshall and her husband Nigel. Having just moved to the area, Church etiquette would not allow them to visit either of the Parish Churches until she was properly in place, so they came to us. At the end of the meeting we gathered round them and asked God to bless the ministry of ‘Reverend Su’ as we came to call her affectionately, and to bless the family in their new home.

That event heralded an encouraging co-operation between ourselves and All Saints and Saint Mary Magdalene Churches, which has continued over the years. The Reverend Su re-invented the Fifth Sunday in the Month to produce Extra Time, to which our members were invited. We ran joint Holiday Clubs for the children in their Summer school break. We shared Lent meetings to our mutual benefit. And we met at the Reid Hall for yummy lunches.

The last one of those was a farewell lunch to mark Su’s retirement. Among the gifts given to her was a quilt made from squares decorated by various families and groups in the village. The square from the Free Church depicted ‘praying hands’ – a reminder of our on-going prayers for Su, Nigel and their Family as they move on.


Real poverty is lack of friendship, according to Brazilian Pastor Claudio
Oliver on his You Tube page. He quotes several Scriptures to support his view, such as: “Two are better than one…if one falls down, his friend can help him up.” (Ecclesiastes ch4 v9+10) “A friend loves at all times…” and “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs ch17v17 and 18v24).

Taking up this theme, our own Pastor Jim Beveridge told those at the May Squeeze of the woman who had no friends (she was alone at the well, the village focal point). Jesus spoke to her, asking for a drink, which was not acceptable in their culture because she was a woman, a stranger, and a foreigner. But this began a conversation which she described to her neighbours as “being told everything I had ever done.” “Could this be the Christ?” she asked them and herself.

Herstmonceux has no well, but it does have those who are in need of friendship. How about finding one or two and bringing them here to be with friends, suggested Pastor Jim.

Spring has Sprung!

Sunshine beamed through the windows of the Village Hall, although it was cold outside, and memories of the harsh winter were dimmed. Under the title Spring has Sprung! and only a week before Mother’s Day, the adults at the March 7th Squeeze Breakfast club were busy rolling multi-coloured sheets of paper and binding them in place with florist’s wire. Each roll was then teased out into a giant ‘dahlia’ to be given to those mothers attending the next Sunday. Some of the children had tried this, but found it difficult for little fingers and had graduated to making Mother’s Day cards

Pastor Jim Beveridge took up the theme with his Topical Talk: The Spring weather gives the chance to explore neglected parts of the garden. Venturing across wet grass, the brown stumps of former plants, layers of dead foliage, and frost damage remains. As the debris is cut away and leaves are cleared, we find some nodules, nodules of green. Green shoots, new shoots. Life springs at Springtime.

To achieve new growth in the garden, it is best to cut away the dead and withered remains of leaf and branch. This is a picture from Nature that is helpful to us as we enter a new Season, a new Spring of our lives. Best to cut away the dead works or finished part of our lives, to clear away past debris to allow new life to grow unhindered.

Spring clean the areas of life that are worn and, frankly, past their “sell by date.” Re-energise the run down springs; receive new springs – of living water, of streams of living water of the river of Life. Don’t paddle in the winter shallows – dive into the refreshing, effervescent Spring Waters. Spring into New Life! Spring has Sprung! Have you?

These verses from the Bible (Isaiah ch.43, vv18 and 19) spring to mind., and may help you: “See I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up. Do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and making streams in the wasteland.” Do not paddle – be immersed. And expect the unexpected. Like Jesus making a way where there seemed to be no way. Try saying ‘YES’ instead of “no way.” Amen

Please note: There will be no Squeeze Breakfast Club in April as the first Sunday falls on Easter Day. We shall meet in our own Church at Chapel Row on that date for Easter Worship.

Saltmine – In The Beginning

Laughter from the Free Church on a Saturday evening could only mean one thing. – “In the Beginning” had begun. Two actors and a sound engineer from the Saltmine Theatre Company presented a fresh look at the Bible’s Book of Genesis. ‘Adam’ strolled in wearing only his trousers to a murmur of appreciation from the ladies. ‘Eve’ volunteered from the audience, but could not read her part because she had left her specs in her handbag.
Scenery was minimal; simply three large screens in blue, red and gold. A household step-ladder stood in for the ladder between heaven and earth in Jacob’s dream. A pink wig was enough to transform Abraham’s wife Sarah into his supposed sister. And their discussion on the subterfuge in Northern tones (the company is based in Dudley) reminded the older ones of Robb Wilton.

The audience sang-along to Noah’s Ark with a humourous version of “Singing in the Rain,” and later rendered the ooh-ooh-ooh bits of “Any dream will do” as Jacob interpreted Pharaoh’s dream of the seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine.

“This was riveting and fast-moving entertainment with a few poignant moments,” in the opinion of one man. “Especially the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac if the Lord so desired it, which brought home to me the death of Christ to take our deserved punishment.”

Squeeze February 2010


NASA finds missing day

Falling only a week before Valentine’s Day, the theme of the February Squeeze Breakfast Club was “Love your neighbour.” Handicrafts majored on that, and ranged from Promise Boxes, making heart shaped sweets, sewing heart-shaped lavender bags and making friendship cards.

NASA scientists plotting the tracks of sun, moon and planets in 100 and 1,000 years from now, to avoid satellites crashing into them, ran into a problem. The computer could not complete the task because there was a day missing from the past. A Christian on the team drew attention to the book of Joshua, ch10, verses 8, 12 and 13; where Joshua calls on the Lord to halt the sun and moon. Verse 13 states, “So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and the moon stayed, ….about [approximately] a whole day “ But the missing time from Joshua’s era accounted for only 23 hours and 20 minutes.

Then the Christian turned to 2 Kings 20 vv 9-11 where Hezekiah asked for proof that he would not die. Do you want the shadow on the sundial to go forward ten degrees, or backward, asked the prophet Isaiah? He chose backward. “Isaiah spoke to the Lord, and the shadow went back ten degrees,” thus providing the extra 40 minutes to make up the missing day.

After this gem from the internet, Pastor Jim Beveridge turned those at the Squeeze Breakfast Club to First Corinthians ch.13, to show what love is – patient, kind, always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres and never fails. And finally to the ultimate Love, John ch3, v16., “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Have you, will you, receive God’s love, the Gift of Jesus, this Valentine’s Day?”

Next Squeeze for all ages at the Village Hall on Sunday 7th March, 10am-12 noon.

Saltmine Theatre Company


In the Beginning…

Take a fresh look at the Creation account as reported in the Book of Genesis, the Bible’s book of beginnings. Enjoy the familiar words heard from an unusual angle, ponder the possibilities when God says ‘Let there be…’ and His pleasure at the end – ‘behold, it was very good!’

At the Free Church, Chapel Row

Saturday 13th February at 6.30pm

Admission is by ticket at £5.00 per person. We have been advised
that the style of this production is not suitable for young children.

Tickets from the Village Information Centre in Gardner Street, the Church in Chapel Row on Sunday morning, or from the Village Hall/Squeeze Breakfast Club (10.00am-12.00) Sun. 7th Feb.

In difficulty – telephone 01424 441281