Will the Maize run out ?

Over the years many of us have become use to seeing pictures of terrible suffering in our papers and on the TV. Over the years the images of famine and poverty have desensitised us to the fact that in the 21st century, with all the economic and technological advances in the rich western world, that the third world is starving and dying of illness and diseases that are long gone in our societies.

As we celebrate Harvest, giving thanks for all the food and resources that God has given us, the World Food Programme has highlighted that 13 million people across South Africa are at risk of starvation. Chronic poverty, floods and droughts combined with political and economic factors have created the worst food crisis of the past 50 years. In Malawi 3 million people face starvation. In Zambia a national emergency has been declared as floods and drought have resulted in a shortfall of 600,000 tonnes of grain. Angola, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho face starvation.

God is not remote and uncaring, each human being is special and precious to him. Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one falls to the ground apart from the will of my Father…don’t be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows.” As you prepare to bring your harvest gifts of dried food and money do not forget these people who God loves. In your times of reflection and prayer ask God to guide the Aid Agencies so that they can best deploy their resources. Pray that the rich nations will find a way to write off third world debt and that the various African governments will find ways to alleviate their people’s suffering.




Excerpt from the past. Corps History No 22

The first major renovation of our hall took place just under 40 years after its original opening, and included the whole of the area which we see today in front of the platform.

On Sunday 14th February 1926 the new oak 'penitent form' was dedicated in the-presence of the-mayor and mayoress of Wimbledon by our Divisional Commander Brigadier George Pennick to the glory of God, that it might be used for 'the lost perishing world around of sinners'. Beautifully crafted by a Mr Wood (builder actually based in Kingston Road) it was in those days most often referred to as a penitent form which brought with it the suggestion that whoever knelt there had 'done something wrong'.
Today this very precious aid to Salvation Army worship is more frequently known as the 'mercy seat', a term based on the golden 'atonement cover' resting upon the Ark of the Covenant (see Exodus 25: 17-22) about which Major Rosemary spoke on Sunday 18th August. It was the place where God himself would meet and speak with his people.

Thank God, our own mercy seat has often witnessed reconsecrations which have had far-reaching consequences for both the seeker and the kingdom of God, many a tear of relief, peace and joy having been shed there. It is often said that the seat itself is of no value, and we understand this reasoning, but nonetheless it is an outward sign of either penitence or dedication.

'All your anxiety, all your care,
Bring to the mercy seat - leave it there'
(Song 246)

Just one month later 200 Salvationists and friends met in our hall to celebrate the 70th birthday of General Bramwell Booth, eldest son of the founder. Tea and birthday cake was the order of the day and large photographs of both William and Catherine Booth were unveiled at the back of our hall. Oh, that picture of the founder - he looked so old, so tired, so frail! A pity when there were in existence splendid challenging portraits of him in his prime. To add to the rejoicings the mayor forwarded a message of greeting-to General Bramwell and our corps officers sent him a 'wire' - (telegram) to congratulate him. Bramwell was promoted to Glory in 1929, his wife Florence surviving until 1957.

Next month: A 'drunks raid', and a visit by Boscombe band.
Ron Foot




Praise Meeting

The 15th September saw our first afternoon Praise Meeting for some years as 15 of us gathered together. Many thanks go to all those who ably assisted Major Rosemary - Joy for her duet with Major, Rebecca for her thought provoking monologue and Ailsa and the Sunday Club children for the “mobile” YP story on communication with God. The shared lunch between Sunday Club and the Praise meeting provided an extended chance for fellowship and chat for those that remained at the hall. However for those that went home the hour passed all to quickly and for others it was too short a space of time to eat a cooked meal. In light of this it has been suggested that 3 to 4pm would be a better time for the afternoon praise meeting, with the hall still open for those that want to lunch at the hall.

Can you please let Major Rosemary know over the next two weeks your views so a decision can be made about the time of the afternoon meeting in October. Thanks




Harvest Meetings & Supper

Following the last edition of the newsletter a number of Corps folk have indicated that they will be away over the weekend originally planned for our Harvest Thanksgiving. Therefore the date has been changed to Sunday 13 October for the Harvest Thanksgiving Meeting at 10-30am, when we can bring our gifts of dried and tinned foods that will be used to help those that come to the Corps in need. Our Harvest Supper will then take place on Monday 14th October at 7pm. Betty and Joyce have agreed to prepare a Pie and Chip supper and tickets for this will be £3 from Joyce.




Christmas Bazaar

Looking ahead, so we all have time to prepare, our Corps Christmas Bazaar will take place on 16 November. Doors will be open 11/3pm. The Corps Council proposed that each Section run a stall. There will be a small prize for the best dressed stall. Funds raised will go to the Senior Corps.




The Treat

This event is an alternative to Hallowe’en parties for Young Folk aged 5 years plus. It takes place on 31st October from 6 to 8pm in the Community Hall. The cost is £1 per child and a food contribution for the party. Do feel free to invite children you know to this event. Invites to this are available from Ailsa to give to children, and tracts explaining the occult dangers of Hallowe’en will be available in the Community Hall to give to others.




Annual Appeal

The delivery of envelopes concluded on 29th September. Many thanks go to everyone for all the time and effort taken on preparing and delivering envelopes this year. As and when all donations are received we will let you know how successful the Corps has been this year in assisting to raise the £3+ million needed to support the work of the Salvation Army during civil emergencies, for the elderly, the homeless, those with substance additions and many, many others.




Child Protection …. Whose Responsibility?

One of the painful lessons that has emerged from the well publicised Victoria Climbié Public Inquiry is that child protection is everybody’s responsibility. The untimely death of Victoria was the result of neglect and deliberate cruelty which took place secretly over a number of years at the hands of her aunt and her aunt’s boyfriend Carl Manning. Victoria was extremely isolated. She never went to school. She had no friends. The post-mortem revealed 128 separate injuries caused by cigarette burns, kicking, scalding with hot water and beatings with a bicycle chain and belt buckle. In January 2001 her aunt and Carl Manning were found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Subsequently a public inquiry was set up to investigate the circumstances of Victoria’s death and to make recommendations for action to prevent such a tragedy happening again.

One of the most disturbing aspects of Victoria’s death is that several agencies with a responsibility for child protection missed opportunities to pick up on her plight. A child-minder reported concerns about the care Victoria was receiving. She was seen in hospital several times with suspicious injuries; social services were alerted and even the police were made aware of concerns about abuse. At one stage Victoria’s aunt alleged that Carl Manning was sexually abusing Victoria. Yet, still Victoria fell through the net that should have been protecting her from harm.

Sobering for Christians in particular, is the fact that Victoria was taken to church by her aunt on several occasions. At one church Victoria was pronounced “demonized” and prayers said for her. The pastor saw Victoria shortly before she died. He described vividly how he saw her drifting in and out of consciousness but still he didn’t contact social services, the police or the health authorities. He trusted the aunt’s boyfriend to take Victoria to hospital. The judge questioned the pastor about this and after hearing the pastors explanation said, “You’re a trusting soul”.

This, in a way, lies at the heart of the problem churches have with child protection. Church leaders, all to often, take on trust what parents and carers say about children, whereas children remain unheard. The churches that Victoria attended did attempt (albeit in a misguided way) to show pastoral care to a disturbed and frightened child. However the primary concern is that the church leaders, having observed obvious signs of bruising and neglect on Victoria, failed to make a referral to the statutory authorities. There was a marked lack of awareness of the fact that Victoria’s disturbed behaviour might be indicative of abuse. They could see that she needed prayer, but it did not occur to them that the child protection authorities might have a part to play in her deliverance from evil.

The Salvation Army and the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) believe that churches and other voluntary groups should be regarded as part of the child-protection network. We have a responsibility to listen to and protect the children with whom we have contact. There is a need to work in partnership with the statutory agencies and when there are concerns these should be referred without hesitation to Merton Social Services or the police as detailed in the Salvation Army Safe and sound procedures.
The Salvation Army “Safe and sound” child-protection procedures have been reviewed and brought up to date. However it is not enough to have this procedure sitting in the office gathering dust! At the end of the day it is the attitudes and awareness of all of us in the Corps who have contact with children, that will protect the many children who come to our activities - whether this be Parent and Toddlers Group, Kid’s Club, Holiday Club, Sunday Club, Drama Club, YP Band and Singing Company, or when we have young folk from other Corps visiting us and specialling. To help all of us understand what child-protection is all about there is “Safe and sound” training available this autumn, run by DHQ. It is a requirement that any teenager over 16 years old, adult helping, assisting or leading work that involves children attend this up-dated training. The dates of the training are 21st October at Sittingbourne Corps, 4th November at Tunbridge Wells Corps starting at 8pm. Can you please let Ailsa or Major know which date you can attend so transport can be arranged. Additionally there will be a session at 8pm on 15th November at Canterbury Temple, however you will need to provide your own transport for this venue.

Thanks for all your help and interest in keeping our children safe.

This item is adapted from an article by Bill Stone of The Churches Child Protection Advisory Service, which was published in the August 2002 CPAS Magazine. More information on Child-protection matters can be found on the CCPAS website:




Here and Now

Will be at Wimbeldon Theatre on 20th October. Written by Paul Field this is the sequel to “Hopes and Dreams”. Two years ago a number of Corps folk were involved in the local churches production of Hopes and Dreams at Abbey Mills. Here and Now follows on from this and is based around the teaching of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount. The production involves the Springs Professional Dance company, drama, music and choirs. Performances are at 3-30pm and 7-30pm and tickets cost £10, with concession for students in full time education under 18 at £6. At 1-30pm there will be a talk by Rob Frost, of Share Jesus International, on “A closer look at New Age Spirituality”. Tickets for this cost £4. Tickets for both the talk and performance can be pre-booked on 020 8288 1961.




Preaching programme for October

  Morning Holiness meeting Evening Salvation Meeting
6th 10.30 am Morning Meeting leader to be confirmed. Monthly Corps Prayer Meeting at 5-30pm
6pm Salvation meeting lead by Major Rosemary Randall
Sunday Club No Class YP Away  
Junior Soldiers Class No Class YP Away  
13th 10-30 am Harvest Thanksgiving lead by Major Rosemary Randall 6pm Lead by Major Rosemary Randall
Sunday Club Kid’s Zone - Amazing Jesus -
Acts 9:32-42
Y Zone - Get Up - Acts 9:32-42,
2 Peter 1:3
Junior Soldiers Class Remain in Meeting to Celebrate Harvest  
20th 10-30 am Morning Meeting lead by Major Rosemary Randall 2 pm Praise Meeting lead by Major Rosemary Randall
No evening meeting.
Sunday Club Kid’s Zone - Power for all -
Acts 10:1-48
Y Zone - Eat Up - Acts 10:1-48, Galatians 3:28
Junior Soldiers Class Be on your guard - Ephesians 6:10-18  
27th 10-30 am Morning Meeting lead by Major Rosemary Randall 6pm Lead by Major Rosemary Randall
Sunday Club Kid’s Zone - Time to listen -
1 Kings 16:29-17:1
Y Zone - Drying Up -
1 Kings 16:29-17:1,
Deuteronomy 30:19-20
Junior Soldiers Class Faith and feeling - 1 John 1:9 and 5:19  




YP Memory Verse

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.” 1 Peter 2:3





Warren Wiersbe, in Let’s Get Back to Reading comments, “If you spend 30 minutes a day studying any subject - veterinary medicine for example - within ten years you’d have the equivalent of a Ph.D. in that subject.” I wonder how many of us have faithfully been reading God’s word most days of our lives? So often we stumble for just the right thing to say, or feel unsure of how Jesus would wish us to respond. Next time you feel like that just remember you have gained the wisdom of a doctorate, through reading, prayer and living God’s way. Just trust God he’s already provided you with the answer.




Autumn Reading

If you have known the pain of being “unequally yoked” to an non-believer, or have friends who are, you may find this book reassuring. In “How to pray when he doesn’t believe” Mo Tizzard details her journey of faith through disappointments, persecution and eventual triumph of being married to a non-believer, who eventually came to know God’s salvation for himself. She shares how she learnt to pray strategically, when to keep silent, the value of simple attitude changes and how to wait on God’s timing. It’s not a guaranteed method, but her candid account is inspiring and soul lifting. RRP £6-99 ISBN 0854769927 Publisher Kingsway.

Debt is an increasing problem for many people in the UK. It leads to shame, anxiety and at its worst marital breakdown. “Facing up to Financial Crisis,” written by Keith Tondeur, is one of the 15-minute Life Changers series of booklets. It is easy to read and jargon free offering good advice on handling emotions, telling family members and how to approach creditors. There is then practical advice on how to budget for debt repayment. All this is given within a Bible based framework of principles, prayer and good stewardship. A useful book for anyone dealing with debt. RRP £0.99 ISBN 1853452076 Publisher CWR




Forgiveness: A Value for life

Over this year many charities, churches and hundreds of thousands of individual christians have been joining together to challenge the values prevalent in modern society. This activity came to a focal point between 16 and 30dh September when a focused PR and media campaign reached an estimated 30 million people across the UK. You may well have seen the facevalues posters that challenge people to consider that only God knows the answer our nation needs. The posters asked questions such as Who do you respect? Who could you trust? How can I love again? Where is society heading? The key poster answering these questions appeared during the last fortnight stating “God knows. It’ll take a miracle to forgive”. In many churches Sunday 29th September was Say Sorry Sunday. A time to seek God’s forgiveness in our lives, in the church and for our local community and the nation. Being able to forgive others and ourselves is a key value for life. Do pray for this campaign and that in the days ahead there will be opportunity for follow up work, that there will be individual and corporate healing in christians, families, churches and neighbourhoods. Perhaps there is a need for forgiveness in a situation that you are involved in or aware of. If so why not use this corporate prayer that was written for Say Sorry Sunday.

When we are wilful and wayward,
Father forgive.
When we value possessions and popularity more than people,
Father forgive.
When we judge others by appearance and status,
Father forgive.
When we lie, exaggerate or are economical with the truth,
Father forgive.
When we pursue our rights and dodge our responsibilities,
Father forgive.
When we fail the young, the vulnerable, the outsider and the elderly,
Father forgive.
When we cling to our hurts, harbour our grievances and refuse to forgive,
Father forgive.
When we live by the shallow values of the world instead of the radical values of your kingdom,
Father forgive. Amen.




Prayer Corner

As shared from the platform and during worship a number of our Corps folk, their families or friends are in need of our prayers. Do remember Major’s friend Mary diagnosed with cancer; Sue, Philip, Olive, Eddie, John who are unable to attend regularly; Bernie, Joy and the family. Ailsa’s colleague Paul Leyland following a bereavement. Others named as needing God’s support during prayer in various meetings.

Please uphold the leaders and organisers of the next “Pray Now” meeting on 8th October 2002 in your prayers. These quarterly prayer meetings focus on how to pray for what is in the news, with comments and reflections on current events from different church groups and denominations. The meetings start at 7pm and are held at the Emanuel Centre 9-23 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 3DW. More information is available on 0845 345 07007




Say No to Hallowe'en

It’s all just a bit of harmful fun.
As a responsible adult, what do you think of Hallowe’en ? Is it just scaremongering to oppose Hallowe’en, or is there really a danger in it ?

The problem is that Hallowe’en itself is a ‘scaremongerer’! It concentrates on making fun out of fear, enjoyment from being scared. So what’s wrong with that ? It’s just the same buzz we get as when we have a ride on a rollercoaster, you might say. But fairground rides are designed to be safe the danger is just an illusion, it’s not really there.

It’s different with Hallowe’en. Hallowe’en is a celebration of evil, and Evil really exists. It is not an illusion. And even worse, Hallowe’en has become a celebration for impressionable kids, often at an age when they find difficulty in discerning fact from fantasy.


‘I mean, sooner or later kids have got to face up to the fact that there is evil in the world, haven’t they ?’

Another statement we often hear, but it’s misleading. Kids will have enough trouble facing the real dangers of life, and have enough of them to develop their characters, without further fears -fantasy or real - being added. And another problem not all ‘fantasies surrounding Hallowe’en are fantasies, some are symbolic of real evil.

Ghosts may not go ‘whooo!’ and float around in white sheets, but there are supernatural disturbances which can cause real fear. Witches may not go around in black hats and capes any more, but they do exist, in increasing numbers. Much of the symbolism in Hallowe’en is based on real paganism, satanism and other occult activities.

However much some people may choose to make fun of those who believe in demonic activity; the truth is that there are cases of spiritual oppression which psychologists cannot properly explain or treat. Only God is able to set the people concerned free.

What are the effects ?

Most kids will not be affected badly by Hallowe’en; most will be able to laugh it off. But what about those who hide deep-seated fears and anxieties?

Apart from the distress for the child at the time, these fears can have harmful psychological effects that can stay with us into adulthood. Also, some children will develop an unhealthy interest in the occult, often exacerbated by horror videos, and then we wonder why some do horrible things.

Of course movie-makers refuse to believe that occult films have any effect on children’s behaviour, but if that is true why are there copycat crimes-where something seen in a video or film is mimicked? After all, advertisers would not bother spending thousands on TV adverts if they didn’t think they had any effect!

The best for our kids - The alternative

At the end of the day, we all want the best for our kids. Things that are good, not evil. Christians believe that God also wants the best for us-he is not a killjoy. When, in the Bible, he forbids involvement in something it is because it is harmful. Occult activities are condemned by God and today that includes Hallowe’en. The Bible is clear about this.

Instead of occult activity, God offers us Spiritual power for good. Through Jesus Christ, God’s Holy Spirit can enter our lives and help us to make a difference in this world. He can show us what is really right from wrong, and help us to guide our children away from harm and into freedom and security.

©CPO, Worthing. UK ref. CPO02081




Make a Traditional Corn Dolly

At harvest time, people used to make little figures or models from the last sheaf of corn in the harvest. These ‘corn dolls’ are still made at harvest time and are sometimes placed in churches during harvest festivals.

You will need: about 8 fresh husks from ears of corn (or dried ones from a craft store), several cotton-wool balls, string, and a pair of scissors. To make the head and body, take a couple of corn husks and overlap them lengthways. Place a row of cotton-wool balls in the hollow of the husks, bend the husks over and tie them firmly at the neck and waist.

Then slide a rolled husk, with the ends tied for hands, through the body.

Position the arms midway between the doll’s neck and her waist. If the cotton stuffing spills out through the armholes, push it back inside the body

To make the skirt, place some husks around the figure’s waist so that they cover her head and body, and tie them firmly in place at the waist. Now fold the top ends down to make a skirt and trim them straight across the bottom.

Stand your corn doll upright on her skirt and keep her through the winter until the following spring, when the new crops start to grow.




Corps Diary October 2002

4th/6th YP Corps Weekend Away - See Ailsa for details
Saturday 5th Divisional SAY/Youth Evening Boat Trip on the River Thames. See Sunday Club notice- board for details
Sunday 6th Divisional Youth Councils. See Ailsa for details.
Sunday 13th Harvest Celebration at 10-30am.
Monday 14th Harvest Supper at 7pm. Tickets £3 each from Joyce.
Thursday 17th Monthly Bible Fellowship. See Ron for details.
Friday 18th Kid’s Club at 6-30pm. See Ailsa for details.
Sunday 20th Corps Lunch at 1pm
Sunday 20th Here and Now performances at Wimbeldon Theatre. See notice board for details
Monday 21st Safe from Harm Training. 8pm at Sittingbourne Corps. See Ailsa for details.
Saturday 26th Jumble Sale 2 to 4pm to raise money for the Senior Corps. Please see Major if you can help.
Thursday 31st The Treat Party - The Kid’s Club alternative to Hallowe’en. 6 to 8pm in the Community Hall. See Ailsa for details.




Harvest Dollies

In Cornwall there is a ceremony, which has been carried out for many years, called ‘The Crying of the Neck’. It was a belief that the spirit of the corn lived in the field. People would see it moving in the wind and did not want to destroy it. In many places the last sheaf of corn was treated as a person. Either it was wrapped around one of the reapers or it was shaped into an effigy. This is the origin of the corn dolly. The neck, over which people would chant was a bundle of good ears of corn.




Who am I ?

I am sure that if asked many of you in the Corps will have experienced a time in your lives when there was a need to carry an ID card or wear ID tags under your uniform. However David Blunkett’s plans to introduce a compulsory ID card for every Briton over the age of 16 years has raised many questions. David Blunkett described the ID cards as the new “entitlement card” and he believes they would provide easier access to services such as health and education, while combating fraud and illegal immigration. The scheme may well use fingerprint or iris recognition technology and would cost £3billion to introduce. Critics claim that the introduction of such a card is an infringement of liberty and that the ID cards would only save 1% of welfare losses through fraud. When we apply for loyalty cards we freely offer information to others about ourselves. With a compulsory ID card we lose the right to choose what information we share with others. Others have noted that some countries already have compulsory ID cards and seem none the worst for their existence.

Do you have a view on the introduction of compulsory ID cards? If so why not write to David Blunkett or your local MP to share this view. Parliament works best when lots of people write in and share how they feel about an issue. David Blunkett is spending six months consulting on his proposals. In addition why not pray about the issue - that any system introduced will be used to protect both civil liberties and all citizens living in the UK. That as christians our views on the matter will reflect Christ’s love and protection for all people, especially the vulnerable in society and those who seek our protection and help as immigrants. Finally that those consulting on this plan will seek a wide range of views and write an open and honest report at the end reflecting the views shared during the consultation period.




17th General

The High Council of the Salvation Army elected Commissioner John Lasson to be the 17th General of our church by an overwhelming majority in the first ballot. He will assume the full responsibility as the Salvation Army’s world leader on 13 November 2002 when John Gowans our current General retires.

In an interview given to Tara Fairclough, of Salavationist (14.9.02), John Larsson stated that his first priority on taking up office as General “will be to encourage the renewal which I believe the Lord is bestowing on the Army at this time. There are so many thrilling things happening in the Army - new initiatives, a new openness to change, a new desire to engage in mission - that I really believe the Lord is sending renewal and it is my task to encourage this.”

Do pray for John Lasson as he prepares to take up this mantel of responsibility. Pray also for our Corps and each person who comes here that we may all be open to the Lords renewal in our lives and that we may trust the leaders of our church as they shepherd us through the months and years ahead.