The Vicar Writes

Revd Liz Richardson

Revd Liz Richardson

Below you will find my monthly newsletter which also appears in the Capel & Beare Green Magazine. If you wish to receive this newsletter by email, please subscribe here.

Christmas lead up

Last month’s Remembrance Sunday services were I felt very special services as they always are but even more poignant this year. The service in the afternoon at Capel is the most attended service each year and it was wonderful to welcome our wonderful Scouts, Cubs and Beavers along with the British Legion and distinguished service people. I was also struck in the morning service at St Margaret’s at Ockley at how wonderful it was that we continue to remember our war dead and how important this is, over 100 years later, that if it wasn’t for the sacrifices made on our behalf we wouldn’t necessarily have the freedom we enjoy today. Both wonderful services in our villages and thank you to Stuart Cole who gave an excellent address at Capel in the afternoon. Remembrance last month has given room now to begin the Christmas countdown which comes around faster each year doesn’t it?! Not for the children I know – amazing how time is so much slower when you are a child! Many of you will have visited the now annual Capel Christmas Fair which was another wonderful occasion (yesterday as I am writing). A huge thank you to Suzanne… Read More

Memories then and now

Everything seems to pale into significance doesn’t it when we consider the terrible events that have unfolded in Israel and Gaza in recent weeks. War is always a terrible thing but there has been a particularly horrible brutality which threatens to destabilise the whole region aside from the suffering of those innocent victims, ordinary Israelis and Palestinians, caught up in this escalating crisis. As I write humanitarian aid has been allowed to come through from Egypt and I pray that by the time you read this letter, more will have been able to have been achieved. We continue to pray for peace and for humanitarian solutions to be found knowing that all our hearts and minds go out to all those affected by violence and war. I think our traditional services of remembrance will be especially poignant this year as we come together to remember all those who have died as a result of war, whether as service men and women or the many civilians who lost their lives. Please see the church calendar for further details of our Remembrance Sunday services. Last month we celebrated our Harvest Festival and collected much needed produce for Dorking Foodbank and Leatherhead START.… Read More

Autumn colours and textures

This month begins with final week of our season of Creationtide. Five weeks where we have explored our role as human beings in the story of creation, our relationship to the earth, and the earth’s relationship with the Creator God. It has been a fascinating time of discovery and one which as a parish we hope to continue as well as aiming to cut our carbon footprint in our church buildings and churchyards. We shall be celebrating and giving thanks for God’s creation at our Harvest Festivals, and Capel’s Harvest Festival is the very first day of this lovely month of October. We will be welcoming your donations of food that is suitable to take to Dorking Foodbank for their distribution as well as LeatherHEAD START who provide emergency housing for homeless people in the local area. As well as donations of foodstuff we will be collecting monetary donations and offering our Harvest collections from both churches (St Margaret’s Ockley and St John’s Capel) to the charity ShelterBox. This charity based in Cornwall exists to ensure no one is without shelter after disaster. Providing tents, shelter kits, and other essential equipment ShelterBox works to support thousands of people affected by… Read More

Let Justice and Peace Flow

September and Autumn beckons once more. I always say this is a favourite time of year for me. Apart from the beautiful Autumn colours, I enjoy the changing of the seasons but I like that September is very much a season of new beginnings too. A new academic term begins and children and young people everywhere will be starting new schools, new classes or college for the first time. Our eldest granddaughter is starting secondary school this year which seems unbelievable! So lots of new things begin in the Autumn don’t they and I am sure there is a lot going on in our community groups and organisations to encourage us all to do something new perhaps? Talking of which… we are doing something new this Autumn in our churches. We are recognising properly for the first time ever, the season known as Creationtide. The season begins on September 1st, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, to October 4th, the feast of St Francis of Assisi. In order to assist our celebration of this season we are using resources from an annual ecumenical global movement to pray and act to protect our world. This global movement has… Read More

Coronation Celebration

We are at church enjoying what is known as the Great Fifty Days of Eastertide during which the tone of joy created on Easter Day is sustained through to the Feast of Pentecost at the end of this month. So May is very much a month of celebration which is very appropriate for the Coronation of King Charles III. We will be holding special Services of Commemoration at both Ockley and Capel, on Sunday the day after Coronation Day. In Ockley the service will take place outside in the Coronation Marquee on Ockley Green at 9.30am preceded by coffee and croissants from 9am! Later that day the village will celebrate with various fun events and Ocklympics on the Green. Then it will be a quick dash for me to Capel for our Service of Commemoration in church, where we will be joined by Brigadier (Ret’d) Roger Hood, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Surrey. Brig. Roger is looking forward to being with us on this occasion and we are especially keen for children and their families to join us too as we would love them to take part in a special ‘royal parade’ within the service. Please do encourage any young, and… Read More

Happy Easter!

What a lovely time of the year Spring is! A time of new life in creation with the beautiful blossoms, Spring flowers and the sounds of the new born birds and animals around us. We so need the beauty of our surroundings as we live in this somewhat disordered world – it gives us hope, restores our soul and assists us in what we call in our modern world – our wellbeing! We are drawing to the end of Lent now and as this month begins we mark the beginning of the Easter Season with Palm Sunday, a day when we celebrate with Jesus his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, his way paved with palms. The triumphal atmosphere doesn’t last long however as the excited crowds who welcomed Jesus are replaced by a baying mob and demand that he be crucified. Each year we read the story of the Passion and this year it is the turn of Matthew’s gospel as we perform a dramatised reading of the events leading up to the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus. This acts as a springboard for the rest of Holy Week and allows us to enter into that journey through the pain and… Read More

Living in Love, Faith and Humanity!

A few days ago, the General Synod of the Church of England welcomed the Bishops’ proposals for providing prayers to bless same-sex couples in church which is I am sure, something you have heard about through media coverage. Synod members also voted to ‘lament and repent’ of the failure of the Church to welcome LGBTQI+ people and for the harm that LGBTQI+ people have experienced and continue to experience in church. This was a landmark debate with a last minute proviso that the use of these prayers would not contradict the Church’s historic and current teaching on marriage. The debate overran by several hours and although the Synod passed the motion, it is very clear that the Church of England is very divided on this issue. The debate follows six years of listening, learning and discernment known as Living in Love and Faith. The Synod debate heard many different arguments from members’ personal experience and the Church Times newspaper asked the Archbishop, Justin Welby about the place of personal experience in decision making. He reflected that if you read the Book of Acts – the Acts of the Apostles, the clearest and most important decisions were a combination of scripture,… Read More

Looking upwards

Dear friends Happy New Year! Here we are again at the start of the year and perhaps thinking what the year ahead might look like? Well, it will no doubt continue to be a tough time for many as we negotiate the continuation of winter but it always lifts me when I see how even in January the days are just that bit lighter and longer. December 21st was the day the year turned as it was officially the shortest day and the official beginning of astronomical winter. Things can only get brighter! This month we are very much celebrating Christ as the light that came into the world, following the visit of the Magi to the manger at the beginning of this month right through to the last days of January as Jesus is presented at the Jewish Temple as was the custom. This ‘presentation’ falls for us this year on the 29th January when we traditionally hold our annual Christingle service. We do hope many will join us for this lovely occasion when we decorate oranges with fruits, sweets, a red ribbon and a candle. A couple of days later it is Candlemas Day when traditionally candles were… Read More

Travelling on - following the star!

Dear all Happy New Year! As I write this early on a very dark December morning – or is it still night(?)! it feels hard to believe that yes, another year is about to finish and we begin again and enter 2020. In one sense we begin again at the start of the year, with our usual round, the familiarity of routine, the predictability or not of the seasons as our weather patterns seem to change. Perhaps new years’ resolutions are made; ways to make our lives work better for us, for others, as our lives return to normal after the riches of the Christmas season. Yet in another sense we don’t begin again because we are travelling on into the future, into the unknown, with a whole wealth of experience to take our bearings from as we negotiate the way ahead. For most of us our lives begun a long time ago now! For some the new year will bring or has already brought about great changes. These may be exciting new things in which to engage ourselves with all sorts of new opportunities and we rejoice with you and wish you God speed! For others change will be… Read More

A True Sabbath

Dear all There is a much loved hymn which has often been claimed to be one of the country’s favourite which is called ‘Dear Lord and Father of Mankind’ … ‘forgive our foolish ways’. It is a beautiful hymn with lovely words which are very gentle and calming. One of the lines I really like begins ‘O Sabbath rest by Galilee, O calm of hills above’ to me sounds perfect! I will be taking some time off the first part of this month of August and am looking forward at some point to some rest and relaxation. I say at some point, because the first part of the holiday involves going to Eurodisney with our grandchildren! Well they say a change is as good as a rest don’t they, despite the fact that the temperatures are once again set to soar here and in France. I am hoping Disney have installed some innovative ways of keeping their visitors cool whilst standing and waiting in the heat for the next ride. Or even perhaps there will be a welcome water spray. I like the idea of Sabbath time though and this is meant to be taken on a regular basis, not… Read More

Team Work

Dear all When you read this our annual vicarage fete will have taken place and hopefully we will have raised lots of funds for our local schools. The day itself it rather like a whirlwind when everyone arrives to set up their stalls and attractions; our lovely visitors arrive, our children dance and entertain us, yummy refreshments are prepared and eaten and if the weather is good much ice cream will be sold! Three hours later and the garden is back to normal just like magic. It’s amazing! How does this happen so quickly and so effectively? Its team work! It all begins with a wonderful team who start planning the fete earlier in the year so that on the day everything falls easily into place. Then there are teams who come the day before and set up all the gazebos etc. Then on the morning a team pick up all the tables and chairs they can lay their hands on and deliver them to the Vicarage. The same team gather them up at the end of the day and return them to hall and church! Team work is so vital isn’t it and it struck me that our villages… Read More

A joyous June!

Dear all It’s getting to that time of the year when some people’s thoughts are turning to holidays and with that in mind I would like to draw your attention to a very special sort of holiday that our parish is planning for Autumn 2020. It is some years since there was a pilgrimage to any of the Holy sites in Israel or the Mediterranean and so we have invited someone who has been leading tour groups to the Holy Land or as he puts it ‘The land of the Holy one’ for over 30 years. His name is Haydon Wilcox and he is an ordained priest in the Church of England. The pilgrimage will be 12 days in all visiting Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the Judean Desert and the region of the Dead Sea, Samaria, The Galilee and Northern Israel. The trip will be very much focussed on listening to the many different voices in The Holy Land and experiencing the diverse culture in Jerusalem. We will be experiencing contrasts between the different districts in the city, Hasidic, Arab and secular plus meeting with the Palestinian community. We shall celebrate Shabbat and learn about the issues of the Palestinian Christian Church… Read More

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