Our Church in the News
Our Church in the News
Church hosts 500 primary school pupils for Easter play
Our 2013 Easter Experience play was presented to 500 pupils and teachers from eight local primary schools during the week beginning Monday 18th March. Schools sending primary classes to Carshalton Methodist Church this year were All Saints Carshalton; Barrow Hedges; Camden; Collingwood; Holy Trinity; Rushey Meadow; Stanley Park; and St Mary's.
Church members became austere looking Temple priests, Roman soldiers and disciples as we depicted the events of Holy Week in AD33 Jerusalem. Children and teachers became involved as extras. This was our highest ever schools attendance since we started to host the Sutton Schools Easter Experience play eight years ago.
Jive comes to the Church
Our 2012 Christmas Tree Festival saw us introduce a new Christmas caberet to our week of Christmas festivities. Singer Diane Moore revived the 1940s for us and the local Surrey Jive Group took as on into the 1950s. Many remarked on how versatile the church has become since fixed pews were removed six years earlier. Our new warm air heaters have also made our church a wonderful place for church social events. Photo by David Moore.
Makeover for Rear of the Church
The clear and crisp days of November allowed us to give a makeover to the rear of the church that faces towards Carshalton Park and often leaves walkers and visitors wondering what the white building is. Our new chancel window was complemented by rendering repairs, the removal of an old chimney and a fresh coat of magnolia paint by Harris Brothers, our next door neighbours. Malcolm Underwood is seen mounting a new brown cross on the wall.
Last Night of the Proms for Jubilee Year
We brought back our Last Night of the Proms night for church and community members to enjoy. Together with our Afternoon Tea for the Over Sixties on the day of the Thames River Pageant, this event marked our celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year. The London Borough of Sutton included the two events in its 2012 Summer Festival programme and gave the church £500 to assist the celebrations. All places were taken up at both events. Last Night photo taken by church member David Moore.
Stainer's Crucifixion returns for Centenary Year
A little piece of Church history was recreated on Good Friday when the Carshalton Choral Society performed Sir John Stainer's Crucifixion in Carshalton Methodist Church after a gap of almost half a century. From the end of the Second World War The Crucifixion had been performed every Good Friday for around twenty years and it is recorded in our achives that people came from all over Surrey to attend and participate. We are indebted to the Carshalton Choral Society for their kind and generous centenary gift.
Heaven's Jukebox tops our bill
Musicians John Perry (Cliff Richard Band) and Eddie McManus (Matthews Southern Comfort) topped the bill at the Church's four day Christmas Tree Festival in December. Now committed Christians, they entertained us with songs and stories of working with some of the big name stars who made their names in the sixties.
Although they are very active in their own churches in the South East of England, John (right) and Eddie (left) frequently work together as Heaven's Jukebox to share with others their particular musical talents and commitment to God. All who were there enjoyed a wonderful evening of music combined with their Christian message.
Launch of Centenary Celebrations
Carshalton Methodist Church commenced its celebration of 100 years of worshipping God and serving the community on its Ruskin Road site. There will be a year of centenary events including monthly coffee mornings when the Church and its community will be able to celebrate aspects of local and Church life.
Past President of the Methodist Conference, Rev Brian Hoare, narrated the Church's Saturday evening performance of his musical New Creation and led Sunday worship on the following day.
The Church Story unfolds
Local historian and former Heritage Manager for the London Borough of Sutton, John Phillips, was the highlight of a Church coffee morning when he spoke and showed images of 100 Years Ago in Carshalton.
Church user groups, like Grayes Dance School, Scouts and Brownies, remembered past decades by decorating display boards and showing where their organisations sat on the timeline.
A display of photographs and text was mounted to give Church members and visitors a brief overview of the Church's history. They included this rare photograph of the Ruskin Road Methodist Church (now the Ruskin Hall) in the days when it had a church spire.
Welcome Reverend John
The Church welcomed Rev John Amankwatia to the Team Ministry that serves The Three Churches - Bandon Hill, Carshalton and Wallington Methodists. Rev John arrived in time for the celebration of Carshalton's 100 years of worshipping God and serving the community on its Ruskin Road site.
An Amazing Flower Festival
Church members created the most amazing Flower Festival for the Bank Holiday weekend. Entitled Sing it with Flowers the three day event gave Church members, local florists and local churches the opportunity to match their displays to favourite pieces of music which played throughout the festival. On Bank Holiday Monday the Festival attracted many visitors from those attending the Environmental Fair in Carshalton Park.
Picture: David Moore
Farewell Rev Suzanna
Church members bade a fond farewell to Rev Suzanna Bates after two years as one of our ministers. Members had hoped she would extend her contract but the lure of joining her family in Canada proved too strong. Church members had taken Rev Suzanna to their hearts soon after she arrived and thoroughly enjoyed her innovative and spiritually challenging preaching. She used her artistic skills and beautiful singing voice to great effect. God speed!
Holiday fun days blast off
Church members used the February half term to give local children use of a bouncy castle, play equipment, craft opportunities and story times. Parents and carers enjoyed refreshments and the chance to meet each other and our church staff and helpers. 70 children and over 40 parents joined us on the first of our fun days which we plan to hold twice a year. Fun days will link to the work of our summer holiday bible club and weekly junior church. Photo: Rev Julie Underwood chats to a parent whose child in engrossed in craft activities.
Welcome Paul Jones and Fiona Hendley Jones
Our ministers, Rev Suzanna Bates (far left) and Rev Julie Underwood (far right) are pictured welcoming former Manfred Mann and Blues Band singer, Paul Jones, and his wife, Fiona Hendley Jones, to our church. The show biz couple had accepted our invitation to be the top event at the church's Christmas Tree Festival, now in its 4th year.
Paul and Fiona have been active Christians since the mid 1980's. They performed a number of songs from their gospel album Personal, expressing their love for their heavenly father and for each other.
Songs of Praise features Carshalton Methodist Church
Months of planning and preparation culminated in Carshalton Methodist Church featuring in the BBC Songs of Praise tribute to the Methodist philanthropist and British film mogul, J Arthur Rank. BBC presenter Pam Rhodes recalled that when the present church was built in the 1920s local people thought it looked like a cinema. Perhaps they had a point because the architect, Andrew Mather, also designed 41 Odeon cinemas for the Rank Corporation.
The BBC's top religious programme showed 320 Carshalton Methodist Church members and guests from local churches singing five hymns including J Arthur Rank's favourite Onward Christian Soldiers. Also reported was the work of the Church's Ruskin Community Cinema which follows in the footsteps of J Arthur Rank by holding regular cinema nights and using film to support other Christian or community based initiatives in the locality.
Tony Pattison, co-founder of the Ruskin Community Cinema, entralled millions of BBC viewers with his memories as one of Lord Rank's volunteers. Many of those early ideals have found their way into the cinema which Tony and others run as a community service.
BBC Songs of Praise presenter visits Community Cinema
BBC Songs of Praise presenter, Pam Rhodes, met Ruskin Community Cinema volunteers and audience members on Friday 15 October. Our cinema was showing The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie as a tribute to British film-making. The BBC cameras recorded sequences for its programme on J Arthur Rank, British film maker and Christian philanthropist.
50 years in Ordained Ministry
Our Church congratulated Rev David Holland on achieving fifty years in ordained ministry. David continues to minister to us by leading occasional worship and exercising a pastoral ministry. We are greatly blessed to have him, and his wife Meryl, as part of our Church family.
Church celebrates Outreach worker legacy
Our Church gave thanks for the work of Nick Boddy, its Outreach worker for the past three years. Nick re-introduced the Alpha course, helped to invigorate home groups, and built up an in-house prayer team. He brought the Ruskin Road Pre School closer to the Church, introducing Bible stories and four Church services a year for the pre school children. Nick (centre photo) is seen here celebrating his three years with Rev Julie Underwood (second row in pink) and other members of the Carshalton Methodist Church Leadership Team.
New Chancel Furniture arrives
The Church's development plans have refreshed the Church chancel. New red carpet covers the Chancel floor and extends into the former Choir space, now designated as a new Prayer space. New ecclesiastical furniture has been purchased - two gas-operated lecterns, a communion table and two new chairs. The new furniture can be moved to allow the Chancel and Prayer space to be used together for smaller worship groups. The design on the furniture reflects the shape of our magnificent Chancel window.
Bank Loss will hit community spirit says new Minister
Reverend Julie Underwood speaks for the community
The new Minister for Carshalton Methodist Church has called on Barclays Bank to reconsider its decision to close its Carshalton High Street branch. Rev Julie Underwood said Barclays planned closure of the branch would create difficulties for businesses and vulnerable people. She has written to the Barclays Bank chief executive asking him to reconsider the closure, which would spell the end of banking services in Carshalton. Source: Sutton Guardian 22 October 2009.
Community Cinema honours Pavarotti
The Church's Cinema on your Doorstep celebrated three years with an evening devoted to the life and work of the late Luciano Pavarotti. The sell-out cabaret raised funds for the Church.
Since it began with National Lottery funding our Cinema on your Doorstep has shown some forty films to local residents, many of whom feel uncomfortable about going to town centre cinemas. It has provided shows for special audiences, such as beaver and cub scouts. It has also supported local environmental initiatives.
Farewell Rev Simon Leigh
The final service led by our Minister, Rev Simon Leigh, took place on Sunday 19 July. The service and Church lunch afterwards recounted the spiritual growth and church development he had encouraged during his nine-year ministry. Simon departed to become the Superintendent of the Plymouth and Devonport Circuit. We pray that he, Donna and their family will settle and be blessed by God in their new home in the West Country. Pictured below Rev Sarah Sewell and worship leaders from our Church pray for Simon and his family.
Our Church gets a make-over
Our Church has created plans to develop the premises over time and projects are being undertaken as money becomes available. High on our priority list are changes that will create more flexible space for community as well as Church use. Fixed pews have already given way to bright, colourful and movable seating and there are plans to create a stage with more effective lighting in the Chancel. A new Prayer Space will also be created.
Our latest step is a redecoration of the Church to refresh the building and remove the damage suffered from water ingress over the years. For almost a month Roach Brothers have had scaffolding towers in the Church replastering and repainting the walls.
Bringing hope and a smile to some of the World's poorest children at Christmas
Church members brought shoe boxes filled with childrens' gifts to a special Sunday service. Other local people had dropped boxes into our Church during the week before. All the gifts came together over prayers during our service led by Rev David Holland and when our younger people described and acted out the effects that the gifts would have.
We collected a total of 80 filled shoeboxes this year. Across the country £1.2 million were received and despatched to children abroad in time for Christmas. Thank you, everyone!
Top Spot in Fair Trade Fortnight
Sutton Borough's Fair Trade Steering Group allocated Carshalton Methodist Church a top spot in the local celebration of Fair Trade Fortnight 25 February - 9 March 2008. Our Ruskin Community Cinema hosted the screening of Black Gold, the BIFA award winning film about inequities in the world coffee market. The cinema show attracted an audience of ninety with refreshments generously sponsored by the Co-op. Audience donations raised £225 to support the Sutton Fair Trade Steering Group's work.
Charles Wesley 1707-2007
Carshalton Methodist Church hosted a special Sutton Circuit event to mark this year's tercentenary of Charles Wesley's birth. Charles was a founder of Methodism and is chiefly remembered for the many hymns he wrote, including "And Can It Be that I should Gain?"; "Christ the Lord Is Risen Today"; "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing"; and "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling."
Around 170 people from local Methodist churches enjoyed an evening of superb music. Organiser Michael Boxall led the Wesley Celebration Choir drawn from a number of churches. Special songs were presented by the Epsom Chinese Choir and Stephen Haylett of Sutton Trinity was the organist. Clips from a filmed stage production about Charles Wesley laced together the hymns and songs and were projected by our Ruskin community cinema.
Halloween Revellers were welcome
Carshalton Methodist Church hosted a special Halloween Night run by Ruskin Community Cinema members. Many churches shunned the evening that is now second only in public popularity to Christmas. But the doors were open at Carshalton Methodist Church and trick and treaters came in their finest costumes to see a cinema showing of the film Night at the Museum.
Putting the emphasis on the light rather than the dark side of Halloween was the purpose of the cinema team seen here in the swing of the evening. From left to right: Jacky Waite, Nancy Houghton, Beryl Jones, David Forty, David Jones, David Moore and Tony Pattison.
Gospel Singers raise the Roof
The South London Liberty Gospel Singers were welcome guests at the Church. Their exhilarating "Praise Upraising" concert raised the roof and had us clapping and dancing along. Afterwards the Singers and our audience enjoyed a bar-be-que supper together.
Outreach Worker Appointed
The Church gave a three year contract to Nick Boddy who became our Outreach Worker in May 2007. Nick is getting to know our church members and is doing a wonderful job in helping to sharpen up our outreach in Carshalton. He has trodden our “boards” as High Priest Caiaphas in the Easter experiences of the past two years and is also one of Sutton’s volunteer street pastors.
New Leadership Team Elected
Our Church’s leadership team for the next three to four years was elected. The team comprises Revd Simon Leigh – Minister; David Forty – Senior Steward; Jacky Waite – General Church Secretary; Caroline Cook – Church Treasurer; Nick Boddy – Outreach Worker; Michael Boxall; Kate Francis; Katy Frenkiel; Caroline Kingsnorth; John Kingsnorth; David Palmer;
Church Joins Sutton Arts Council
Sutton Arts Council welcomed
New Church Chairs And Notice Boards
As part of our plan to reach out to the community, our Church removed its wooden pews in 2007 and brought in brightly coloured chairs and notice boards. As well as brightening the church, the chairs can be moved around easily, allowing the church space to be used for many different types of use. The new stacking chairs can be easily wheeled, eight at a time, into the adjoining halls allowing people to sit in comfort while they are in meetings, enjoying plays or watching film performances. There is no more need for visitors to bring their own cushions! Our new notice boards are also part of the more flexible interior design. We can use them to display notices in the church and halls. We can use them to stage exhibitions for art and camera work. We can also use them as dividers within the church, allowing smaller groups to feel that they are meeting in less cavernous surroundings.
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