United at last!

Dear all

This month, I am delighted to be able to tell you formally that we are now according to the new pastoral scheme for the parishes of Ewhurst, Forest Green, Okewood, Ockley and Capel, a united parish with St Margaret’s Ockley under the auspices of the Surrey Weald Team of churches. From now on we are to be known as the parish of Capel and Ockley. The Church Commissioners received no objections to the scheme so were able to ‘make it’ on the 27th December 2017 and it came into effect on the 1st January 2018! This is great news. So what happens now you may ask? Well, you will see in our calendar of services and events that we are now obliged to bring forward what would have been the APCM in this parish in April so that it becomes a Special Parochial Church Meeting. That meeting will be first of two to be held in church on Sunday 11th February at 11.45am in which the main business is to as usual review the past year in church activities and those of the PCC plus an opportunity to review the annual accounts for the parish. That meeting will close the parish of Capel as it stands and will be immediately followed by another Special Parochial Church Meeting which will establish the new united parish of Capel and Ockley! So then we will be up and running!

You will also notice in the calendar that service times have changed slightly. For Capel the weekly Family Communion Service will now begin at 10.30am. The 8 o clock Book of Common Prayer service will now be held every two weeks instead of weekly. For any who may worry about this latter change, sadly numbers have fallen to well below an attendance of 10 regulars; in fact we are doing well if we can count 6! The service at St Margaret’s Ockley will change to 9am instead of 9.30 and will continue to offer Matins and Holy Communion on alternate Sundays. When we have a fifth Sunday in the month which I believe happens 4 times a year then we shall worship together at one church and one service. If you are now totally confused remember this; as I told one of our regular 8 o clockers the other day, if you want Holy Communion just follow me!

So lots of change and adjustment as we settle down together as united parishes but change that will greatly benefit each church and village. We are certainly as congregations approaching our working together with great excitement and anticipation so lots to look forward to!

We are also pleased to offer a bit of an alternative to traditional church in the shape of something called Sunday Sessions which will be an informal gathering where we can relax and discuss pertinent issues for ourselves and our world, along with some mellow music and thoughtful words in the form of poetry and prayer in our Capel Parish Hall on the 18th February at 6pm. Please do read more about it elsewhere in the magazine this month. Also, don’t forget our Curry and Comedy evening on the 8th of this month, but if you would like to come, hurry if you haven’t yet booked a ticket – we need numbers by the 4th of this month!

So, next month I shall be able to give you a review of the church’s activities over this past 10 months at least and a taster of lots of good things to come. Till then, let us remember that in all of these things, in all of our lives, God is with us. Allelulia!

With all blessings

Revd Liz