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Team Letter

Dear Friends

I have recently been given a well-thumbed little book entitled ‘His thoughts said.... His Father said.’ written by Amy Wilson Carmichael.  First published in 1941, Amy Carmichael was a Protestant Christian Missionary, who was born in 1867 and died in 1951 having served for fifty five years in India. She opened an orphanage and founded a mission in Dohnavur as well as writing many books about her work there. Within the pages of this little book she presents the voices and inner thoughts we all have that bring judgment, doubt and fear into the forefront of our minds and then counterbalances them with a ‘godly response’ that, if we choose to listen, can begin to dispel such false ideas.

On the first page, she writes.....

‘His thoughts said, I have been reading a spiritual book and I am confused and tired with trying to understand.

His Father said, Leave that book and read the Book that thou lovest best; thou wilt find it much simpler.’

A timely thought, perhaps, as the beginning of March also heralds the start of Lent; a time when once again, the shelves of Christian book shops are bowing under the weight of a vast number of books, written specifically to provide a platform to disturb and challenge our understanding; to get us thinking.  Whatever our tradition or preference, Lent is a time when we are encouraged to reflect upon the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness; tempted by the devil and surely challenged on every level of his being. It is a time when we are called to reflect upon what Jesus’s response would be to the wilderness places not only in our own lives but in the context of the wider world.  

Although we don’t have to have a new book to help us do that, a different and new perspective can open our minds and enrich our thinking.

I offer you two alternatives, firstly I have on order the Archbishop of Canterbury’s book entitled; ‘Dethroning Mammon; Making money serve grace.’  In it Justin Welby looks at the contentious issues of money and materialism; the Cross of Christ ie the Cross of Wood, versus the Cross of Mammon, the Cross of Gold. A second option is to join others across the Caterham Team to study a course tackling poverty and injustice in the Middle East entitled ‘Moving the Margins’.

Engaging with either of these titles will inevitably push the boundaries of our understanding and I don’t for one minute imagine that either will be an easy or comfortable read. In fact, I’m sure that many will, in the words of Miss Carmichael, feel ‘confused and tired with trying to understand’.

There to encourage and challenge our way of thinking, some books will help whilst others will only hinder us and weigh us down. In her ‘godly response’  whilst giving us permission to put such books aside, Miss Carmichael gently reminds us not to become idle but to ‘Read the Book that thou lovest best;’ and by that I believe she is referring to God’s word. The holy scriptures are there to enlighten our thinking as we confront the issues we encounter and find ourselves in wilderness places. During this period of Lent as we read and pray together or alone let us ask God to enrich our lives with new understanding and grace.

Revd Frany Long

Praying Together

Making time to pray together on the

first Wednesday of the month

No meeting in March (Ash Wednesday)

Wednesday 5th April

Wednesday 3rd May

at 7pm

A time of Silent Prayer followed by the short service of Compline in the Sacrament Chapel, St Mary’s Church

Led by Rev. Frany Long

The Beacon - Page 1

Beacon magazine cover page

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Team Lent Course

Wednesdays in Lent

at 8.00pm

in St. Lawrence’s Church

This year the subject will be

the Church in the Middle East.

Junior Choir

Do you know a young person aged 8 or over who is interested in singing and would like to join our junior choir?

If so, please speak to Yvonne Coldron or Fiona Izzard or contact the parish office.

Practice times are for 1 hour from 6.30pm on Wednesday evenings, or for a short practice after the 9.30 Sunday Eucharist.

Children singing

Page 1

Team Letter

Praying Together

Lent Course

Junior Choir

Page 2

Electoral Roll Renewal

Scouts Fund-Raising

Guild of Friends

Womans World Day Prayer

Page 3

From the Registers

Munch with Music

East Surrey Walkers


Page 4

Gatton Community Theatre

North Downs Consort

Bed for Sale