Category Archives: Parish News

Articles which have appeared in the parish news

Old Friends

Old friends; not ‘old’ but known each other for a long time. Now reflected in the west end show The Simon and Garfunkel Story.

“Old friends, old friends
Sat on the park bench like bookends
Old friends, the winter companions
The old friends
Old friends
Memory brushes the same years.”

We can identify with the image of good friends being like the support of two bookends. Father God knows how we need support in our loves, and he gives us family, relatives, and friends. God knows we need even more support to our spirit. Not just two supports like bookends, but three. God as brother, Jesus as our brother, and the Holy Spirit as our support and comforter. A tripod of support to our frail frames. A three legged stool of support and rest.

It’s important to know all three in mature balance.
To walk with all three in life yet they are as one.

One old friend, with you as the other ‘bookend’ to one day sit on that park bench with the heavenly views. In life you can write your own Bible bookend. Have you started yet?

Old Friends is copyright Paul Simon 1967/68.

Ford Every Stream

It seemed so simple at the time; just drive to the neighbouring town for a New Year’s Day family meal. But it had rained, and that rain was followed by more rain. Then more rain was added in brutal, unrelenting deluges. The streams turned to wide lakes across the fields and the roads we drove on. The depths and valleys filled and filled and the waters rose; stretches at first to 300mm deep, then to 600 mm, then deepening to 900mm. The car, in low gear, ploughed up to its axles, and becoming more and more laboured to stalling point, cut through the flood. To add to the problems, the spray and backwash blocked the driver’s view, blinding them.

But the paved and straight course to the drier road overcame, and isn’t life also like that? The problems mount and we seem to get in deep water. We can stop and sink, stranded and marooned by our circumstances.

As Christians we cannot ford every stream in our own strength, but the power of the Holy Spirit will take us through. When we are blinded, he will be clear sighted. When we sink, he rescues. As troubles come, he comforts. How? Often through others. Others in deed and word. Others sharing everything they had. Sharing their problems. Fording the streams together. It worked in the Book of Acts in the Bible. It will work for you now!

PS, one last thing to share: a happy New Year to you all.

Jesus – Man and Child

As we approach the Christmas season, the season of Christ’s birth, it can be difficult to see Jesus through the tinsel and turkey, shopping, eating, and sleeping. We know from the Bible that three wise men came to His place of birth, and from that we get to the three presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. So perhaps to make Jesus more visible – more real – may we consider Jesus coming to stay as a grown-up this Christmas? So what present should we get for the adult Jesus? It’s often difficult to choose the right present, but for Jesus? He’s coming to stay with you from his village as the village carpenter, so you may consider a new carpentry tool. A new saw, new chisels, a pole lathe to fashion and finish wood. We would have to be careful in our choice, as we know he required nothing for himself, so what you give he will probably give away. Give away to the poor, the homeless, the disadvantaged. The poor man of Galilee giving richly.

In one Bible story it is recounted that Jesus knelt and wrote with his finger in the dust and soil on the ground. What he wrote we do not know. Let us kneel with Jesus this Christmas as he writes his Christmas list in the earth. It’s a short list that he writes in Aramaic. You. He wants the heart of you this Christmas. Did you leave yourself off Jesus’ Christmas list this year? He knows you and can see you clearly. Can you make room for him on your list? He’s waiting for his present of yourself – not just at Christmas but every day.

A happy Christmas and a great New Year to you all.

Squeeze Sunday 1st December
This Sunday we celebrated our 6th Christmas Squeeze. Festive foods and a warm and spicy drink were added to the usual festive fare. The Christmas crafts were related to our text “Glory to God in the heavenly heights, peace to all men and women on Earth.” Luke 2:14. There were baubles to decorate for selling at the Christmas market, with the proceeds going to Matthew 25. The HFC are going to match the takings so that they will have a generous amount to give. The other crafts on offer were pebble painting, Christmas card making, and icing angel biscuits. There were also jars that could be painted so that they would give out a coloured glow if a tealight was put inside them.

Have You Ever Hidden Anything?

You are going away and you think you must hide something important in the house. When you return one or two weeks later you clearly remember what it was, but where, O where, did you hide it? “I’m sure it was in this room”, and your thorough search reveals nothing!

Things that are hidden often need to be revealed. Perhaps that was what Matthew in his gospel meant by saying “The Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field” (Matthew 13 v 44). So how to explain this hidden treasure?

Loren Eiseley, in The Starfish Story, said this:

A couple were walking along the seashore and saw a figure moving like a dancer. As they came closer they saw the figure was an old man and he was not dancing. “May we ask what you are doing?” The old man paused, looked up and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean”. “Why?” the couple asked. The old man smiled “Because the sun is up and the tide is going out. If I do not throw them in they will die”. The couple said, “There are miles and miles of beach and starfish along every mile. You can’t possibly make a difference!” At this, the old man bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the ocean. He said, “It made a difference to that one!”

And Jesus is like that, He knows the treasures in Heaven He has for us. Each one of us is so special to Him, down to our unique set of fingerprints. He wants to find us and help us to that safe haven for eternity. So, if you are dry and beached, or the tidal events of life are flooding in, remember Jesus, the Beachcomber of Galilee, is looking for you. Why not give Him a shout, “Help” will do, it can be called prayer.

And yes, in case you ask, for me the important item was in the back bedroom, in the teapot, if only I could have remembered sooner!…

Pastor Jim Beveridge


As our theme for November had been ‘Hidden Treasure’ our craft activities were all related to treasure. Coins from around the world were available for coin rubbing onto paper. Shoe boxes were gift wrapped to receive ‘treasure’ to send, via Samaritan’s Purse charity, to children who will not have much this Christmas. Our children made treasure boxes in which to collect chocolate coins that were reward for treasure seeking and various tasks undertaken.

Join us next time on Sunday 1st December at the village hall for All Things Christmas from 10.00am. A warm welcome awaits one and all.

Whose Flag Do You Sail Under?

A flag can signal or indicate a number of things. A country’s flag, a white flag of surrender or a flag of convenience, used on ships where registration is under a country other than the owner’s country. It can be used as a courtesy, as a ship sails into a foreign port, it will often raise the flag of that country as a mark of respect. We put flags at half-mast when sad events happen, or the Royal Pennant is flown over the House the Queen occupies.

Now the Bible in Song of Songs (Ch 2 v 4) talks of a different flag, a banner, not just a piece of material but ‘His banner over me is love’. Alternatively, Jesus’ banner, or covering, over me (and you) is love.

So, in Song of Songs we get the Flag of Flags! The picture given is of a banquet in a delightful shade and we can imagine the banner on the wall behind the table not only says love but is love in action. In that place we can feel the love of God in His goodness and grace for us.

But there are other flags such as a pirate ship would show, the skull and crossbones. The ship of death flying the flag of destruction. These ships carry the cargo of materialism, selfishness, evil and world values on a voyage to the rocks of ruin. They sail close to the wind, the ship of chance but never reaching a good port. If we are not careful we can be part of that overloaded ship, the ship that will turn turtle on our lives and cast us to a watery end.

The flag of the skull and crossbones or the banner of Jesus’ love. What would you put on the Jesus flag that you design to signify Him? Then when you have finished your design would you be happy to sail your life under that flag?

Whose flag do you sail under now?

Pastor Jim Beveridge


As the Song of Songs verse ‘His banner over me is love’ was our theme for October it was fitting that we had Yvonne Taylor join us for the morning. Yvonne is a banner worship leader at Crowhurst Home of Healing and she spent time showing us how to make banners that we could use in our worship time. Some of our youngsters made musical tubes and tambourines using bells and streamers. We were also encouraged to write our praises to God on a praise bunting to be displayed in church. It was lovely to have Yvonne demonstrate worship dance using the banners and there was even opportunity, for those brave enough, to try worship dance for ourselves.

We always have fun, so do join us for our next Squeeze on Sunday 3rd November from 10.00am at Herstmonceux Village Hall where, at no cost, both breakfast and treasure waits to be found!