The Coming of the King

Are you counting down the days to 19th December? Are you ready for the Coming of the King? For the third year running Christmas will see cinemas packed with people eager to see the latest Lord of the Rings film. The movies have proved popular with fans of JRR Tolkien’s original books, as well as with a new audience of film-goers who wouldn’t previously have known an Orc if one ambushed them on Wimbledon Common.

Although much of Return of the King will focus on Frodo’s quest to destroy the Ring, the title of the film doesn’t refer to the small hairy - footed ring - bearer, but to one of the other main characters. When we first meet Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings, he seems to be ‘just’ a Ranger. Little more than a tough, uncompromising woodsman; a mysterious warrior who protects Frodo and his friends in the early stages of their epic journey. What the Halflings don’t realise is that they are in the care of a King in exile. For generations the humans of the Western lands have been waiting for the heir of Isildur to claim his throne, and Aragorn is revealed as the long awaited heir who becomes the King, returning to bring peace and healing and to unite his people.

“But when Aragorn arose all that beheld him gazed in silence, for it seemed to them that he was revealed to them now for the first time. Tall as the sea-kings of old, he stood above all that were near; ancient of days he seemed and yet in the flower of manhood; and wisdom sat upon his brow, and strength and healing were in his hands and a light was about him. And then Faramir cried: ‘Behold the King!”…… “And soon the words had gone out from the House that the King was indeed come among them, and after war he brought healing; and the news ran through the City’. (The Return of the King, by JRR Tolkien)

Aragorn isn’t the only King who wasn’t recognised immediately. When Jesus was born wise men, shepherds and even angels honoured him. But then he lived a quiet, ordinary life for 30 years before carrying out the task that he was born for. The King of Kings was born as a human baby, and born for one reason only: To be Immanuel - God with us. To heal all the wrong in the world and make it possible for us to be united with each other and with God.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.” (Isaiah 9:6-7, The Bible)

As you go out and about this Christmas-time why not change the words of Tolkien to say, “And soon the words had gone out from God’s people that the King was indeed come among them, and after war he brought healing; and the news ran through the City’. If you dream it and gossip it to your friends they to will hear the wonderful good news that Christ is among us. Truly a Christmas present worth sharing. God bless you.

Adapted from The Lord of the Kings. The coming of the King by CPO 2003.




Excerpt from the past. Corps History No 35

The Christmas period in Wimbledon back in 1940 was one of mixed blessings and fortunes. On the night of 6th November the town suffered its heaviest airraid of World War II 67 highexplosive bombs falling in one hour over a vast area. A month later (8th December), although only 5 explosive bombs descended, the Luftwaffe dropped a large number of incendiary bombs, small missiles each capable of setting a building alight if not extinguished promptly. One landed on Wimbledon’s famous tennis centre court, another very serious fire started at 29 Herbert Road, just a couple of doors from our Lorraine’s home, and some more minor fire damage was caused when one landed on our Salvation Army hall. The rest of the month was comparatively quiet, allowing us to play carols around the district, but only on Saturdays and Sunday afternoons because of the blackout.

Christmas and Boxing day passed without incident, thanks to our enemies respecting Christmas but, alas, the RAF was not so thoughtful, inflicting heavy raids upon Berlin. In reprisal, on 29th December the Germans set the city of London alight, the awful red glow clearly visible from Wimbledon. By morning the whole ‘square mile’ was burning, destroying the City’s Guildhall and eight of the lovely Wren churches but mercifully leaving St Paul’s Cathedral almost unscathed.

May 1942, saw the departure of the intrepid Berris family when the Majors farewelled to take charge of Staines Corps, and the arrival of Major and Mrs William Ough who were to make unique history at Wimbledon.
In January 1943 Mrs Ough was promoted to Glory after a long and distressing illness, becoming the first Corps Officer to die in service at Wimbledon. Her husband, on the other hand, later met, the second love of his life to become the first Corps Officer to be married while in charge here! Wonder what Major Rosemary’s claim to fame will be?

On Monday 10th July 1944 our hall suffered its most severe damage of the war when a V1 flying bomb (also known as the ‘doodle-bug’) crashed very close to Pelham Road school just after 9 am. Normally there would have been several hundred children in the playground but, because of difficulties of travelling and the frequent air-raid warnings, only 28 had arrived and they had all taken shelter before the bomb landed. The blast killed one person and injured 92 ... and The Salvation Army had to look for alternative accommodation.

Next month: We move for a while.
Ron Foot




Praise at Elver Bank Centre

During the summer holidays the Sunday Club were invited to lead a meeting at Elver Bank. They obviously made a good impression as we have been invited back to share with the residents at this centre again at 3pm on Sunday 21st December 2003. Ailsa is co-ordinating this meeting and if you would like to join the YP Corps in sharing the joys of Christmas please let Ailsa know as soon as possible so transport etc can be arranged.

There will be no afternoon praise meeting at the Corps on this Sunday.




Christmas Fair 29th November

Many, many thanks to everyone who turned out to set up and run stalls on these very wet, gray and dismal days. Though the fellowship and sense of working together was good, the customers were few and far between which means that this year only about £200 was raised, significantly less than last year. The suggestion has been made for a Spring or Easter Fair to sell the remaining items. Major would appreciate your views on this.




Prayer Corner

The cold frosty mornings of December are upon us, and children’s face light up with glee as they look forward to Christmas. November was a month when so many things seemed to have happened. We need to give thanks to God for answered prayers. Lorraine safely through heart surgery, Rebecca able to walk with out crutches in time for the Christmas Presents Tour starting 29 November, Mary home from hospital, Gillian safely through surgery on her teeth. No terrorist attacks while George Bush was in London.

Many situations in the world however give cause concern. World AIDS Day is on 1 December 2003. Following on from General Larson’s called to Prayer for South Africa do continue to remember this country and all the difficulties the people living there face through December. Remember Baghdad, Istanbul, Israel and other areas where there is war, terrorism and violence. As Christmas approaches do remember the civilians and service personnel that are separated from their families and friends, or who may be grieving for those who have been injured or killed.

When we face times of ill health, difficulty or loneliness in our lives it can be hard to talk to God and share the burden with him. This is when the prayers and concern of our families, friends and Corps folk can be so special and meaningful. We think of those who are ill and those that are caring for them especially - Mary, Ernest and the family; Vivienne’s Mother with cancer; Sonia, Ailsa’s brother- in-law Leslie awaiting medical tests; Kerri from Holiday Club; Ella who is increasingly confused; Helen, Scott and the family following the death of Scott’s Grandmother Gwen. Do continue to pray for Sue and Philip, Linda, Edie, Letitia, John, and Olive Morris who are unable to attend regularly




116th Corps Anniversary Weekend

November 15/16 saw so many of us gathered to celebrate the 116th anniversary of the Corps. Celebrations started with a corps meal on Saturday evening. It was good to see Majors Stephen and Margaret, catch up with all the news and admire Garth’s Wedding Photo’s. Thanks go to Betty, Joyce, Major and everyone who helped organise or contributed to the meal. Having pleasantly relaxed our minds where jolted back to reality by one of Majors tough quiz’s. The ultimate winners were a collective of Major Stephen, Joyce and Ailsa who achieved 19 out of a possible 40!!. The evening then finished with laugher as Paul and Ailsa lead us in a merry dance with Beetle Drive.

Major Stephen returned on Sunday to lead the Holiness and Praise Meetings. These were a celebration of faith, uplifting and encouraging us to keep the witness for Christ alive in all that we do as a Corps. It was good to see Joan and John, and other visitors who joined us over the weekend. A special mention goes to Charlotte for sharing with us her thoughts about the future, and to James for bringing to us the Praise Meeting Bible Readings.




Corps Diary December 2003

Monday 1st World AIDS Day – please pray in particular for South Africa
  8pm Salvation Army Celebrating Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall. Details in Salvationist.
Tuesday 2nd 7-30pm. Corps Carolling at Naomi Watts Home, Denmark Ave. See Joy for details.
Sunday 7th Toy Service. Please bring a gift for children who help care for disabled parents or siblings.
Tuesday 9th 7-30pm Corps Carolling at Alexander House, Clifton Road. See Joy for details.
Thursday 11th 7-45pm. Bible Fellowship. Moses seeking Justice. Exodus 2:11-25. See Ron for details.
Friday 12th 6pm to 7-30pm. Kid’s Club. See Ailsa for details
Tuesday 16th 7-30pm. Corps Carolling at Rathbone Home, The Downs. See Joy for details.
Sunday 21st 3pm. Christmas Praise at Elver Bank Centre. See Ailsa for details.




Keep right on to the End of the Road

As most of the Salvation Army Youth in our Corps are away at the current time – SAY Sunday became Sunday Club Sunday as all the young people assisted in helping us worship God in the holiness meeting. There have been many challenges and difficulties experienced by both the young folk and leaders in the YP Corps over recent months so the theme was “persevere to overcome” or “Keep right on to the end of the road” as the song by Harry Lauder reminded us. We all need to concentrate on Jesus and keep our lives focused on what he wants us to do. Then he will help us all to be “overcomers”. Thanks go to all the young people and leaders for their help and participation in this Holiness Meeting.




Toy Service – 7th December

The year has quickly flown by and the Toy Service has arrived. This year the gifts of Toy’s you give will be donated to the Merton Association for Young Carers. Young Carers are children who live with a disabled or ill parent or sibling, and who have to make adjustments in their lives to a ccommodate this situation or help care for that person. Please bear in mind that gifts should be suitable for 5 to 16 year olds when considering what to buy.




Preaching programme for December

  Morning Holiness meeting Evening Salvation Meeting
7th Toy Service 10-30 am Toy Service lead by Major Rosemary Randall 6pm Salvation meeting lead by Major Rosemary Randall
Junior Soldiers Class Stay in the Toy Service.  
Sunday Club 12/1pm lead by YPSM .  
14th 10-30 am lead by Major Rosemary Randall 6pm lead by Major Rosemary Randall
Junior Soldiers Class 11/11-45am  
Sunday Club 12/1pm lead by YPSM.  
21st 10-30 am lead by Major Rosemary Randall 3.00 pm Christmas Praise Meeting lead by YPSM Ailsa Flinders at Elver Bank Care Centre
Junior Soldiers Class 11/11-45am  
Sunday Club 12/1pm lead by YPSM.  
28th 10-30 am Christmas Carols lead by Major Rosemary Randall No meeting
Junior Soldiers Class No Junior Soldiers Class  
Sunday Club No Sunday Club  




YP Memory Verse

“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – which means ‘God with us.’” Matthew 1:23





Following In Their Footsteps

Saint Nicholas, better known as Santa Claus, was a fourth century bishop in what is now Turkey. He was put in prison for a while during the persecution of Christians, but was released in time to go to the second Nicean Council. He was a generous person – one story says how he gave marriage dowries in gold to three girls who would otherwise have been forced to make a living through prostitution. The church remembers his generous nature and faith on 6th December.

When Eglantine Jebb was 24 she started travelling, trying to improve the conditions of the places she went to and the places she returned home to. Her work gradually developed into the Save the Children
Fund; she raised millions of pounds which helped to provide food for children who did not have any. In 1924 the League of Nations passed the “children’s charter” which supported her principles. The church remembers her compassion for children on 17th December.




My hope for the Future

For my birthday treat (last month) I went for a tour of the BBC Television Centre at Shepherds Bush with a few of my friends.

My hope for a future career when I grow up is to be a television presenter. My hope is also to still keep my old friends and make new friends too. A verse of one of my favourite songs at school is:-
“Make new friends but keep the old One is silver and the other gold.”

My hope for the future of our world is peace. A world where everyone can live safely with enough food, water and medicine to keep them healthy. I hope that everyone can live in a warm home where their families are happy and look after each other.

I love learning new things at school and meeting my friends. I hope that in the future all children around the world will be able to go to school, because in some countries poor children have to go to work.

I hope that in the future everyone will understand God loves them so much that Jesus died for us all.

My hope for us here at Wimbledon Corps is that we, our friends and neighbours, will all have fun learning about Jesus.
by Charlotte Murfin.




To The People Of The World

This is the story that must be told,
Of an Iraqi baby, not very old
Lying in her crib on a star-lit night
How could she know of those planes in flight?
She lies there quietly touching her nose
Watching her mobile, wiggling her toes
Oohing and cooing, so sweetly is she
Talking to someone, who could it be?
An angel is standing with her in the room.
The baby is smiling, unaware of her doom.
The crib starts to shake and the mobile goes round
Then suddenly comes the most deafening sound
The ceiling drops in, in a second or two...
On her crib so she ceases to coo...
No one knows how long she lies there
Who thought about it? Doesn't anyone care?
Is she alive? Is she dead? Is she in pain?
Now that you mention it, who knows her name?
Her name is Amel, in English we say Hope
Crushed between the rubble, her tiny fingers start to grope!
Where is my Mommy? I love her so dear.
Come get me Mommy! It's dark in here!
I'm scared and hungry and I can't see my feet,
There's blood in my mouth! Give me something to eat!
Where is Daddy? Where's my big brother?
It hurts when I breathe! Where is my mother?!
How long have I been here? Is this just a dream?
I open my mouth, but I can't even scream!
They appear again by my side.
This time with a tear I plead...Why have I died?
Am I alone in my suffering? NO, there are many others.
In our grief and misery, we are all sisters and brothers.
Who are we, I ask you.. for what crime did we die?
They're throwing a party! Doesn't anyone cry?!
Is it true? Am I nothing?! How could it be?
Don't they also have babies, just like me?
It is war they say, of which death is a part.
How blind they've become, how hardened of heart.
Did someone say hero? To whom they speak?
A victory claimed for killing the weak?!
Why are they happy? Why are they proud?
Don't they know that I'm cold in my burial shroud?!
No war has been won; no ifs, buts or maybes
For Saddam still lives: THEY'VE ONLY KILLED BABIES!!!
Author uknown.
Found by Rebecca, on the internet.




Big Top of the Christmas Charts

1857 Jingle Bells published - James Pierpont
1916 O Holy Night - Caruso
1931 ‘Arf A Pint of Ale - Gus Elen
1942 White Christmas - Bing Crosby
1945 Blue Christmas was song and later recorded - Bobby Sherman and Elvis Presley
1950 Frosty the Snowman - The Beach Boys
1955 The Little Drummer boy - Harry Simeone Chorale
1960 Bambino - The Springfields
1970 Winter song - Magna Carta
1975 It’s Gonna be a Cold, Cold Christmas - Dana
1980 Stop the Cavalry - Joan Lewie
1985 Walking in the Air - Aled Jones
1990 Saviour’s Day - Cliff Richard
1991 Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen.
1992 I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston.
1993 Mr Blobby - Mr Blobby.
1994 Stay Another Day - East 17.
1995 Earth Song - Michael Jackson
1996 2 Become 1 - Spice Girls
1997 Too Much - Spice Girls.
1998 Goodbye - Spice Girls.
1999 I Have A Dream / Seasons in the Sun - Westlife.
2000 Can we fix it? - Bob the Builder
2001 Somethin’ Stupid - Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman
2002 Sound of the Underground - Girls Aloud
Adapted from © CPO. Worthing UK Ref: CPO2209




Did you know.

Big Freeze.
The largest snowflake in the Guinness World Records archives measured an incredible 38cm (15in) wide and 20cm (8in) thick. It was measured on 28th January 1887 at Fort Keogh, Montana, USA, by ranch owner Matt Coleman.
Big Bang
A Christmas cracker made by parents and children at Ley Hill School and Pre-School, Chesham, Buckinghamshire holds the Guinness World Record as the biggest cracker in the world. It measured 63.1m (207ft) long and 4m (13ft) in diameter, and contained balloons, toys, a hat measuring 2.5m (8ft) in diameter and a joke.
Big Impression
The worlds largest gathering of Santas occurred on 7th December 2002 when 2685 costumed Santas paraded down the streets of Bralanda, Sweden. All participants wore red Santa costumes with matching hats and fake white beards, breaking the previous Guinness World Record, set the year before in Portugal, of 2627 Santas.
© CPO. Worthing UK Ref: CPO2209




Twelve Days of Christmas

There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled meWhat in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out of the pear treehave to do with Christmas?

Below is the explanation From 1558 until 1829,Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly.Someone during that erawrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.It has two levels of meaning:the surface meaningplus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church.Each element in the carolhas a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.
The partridge in a pear tree
was Jesus Christ.

Two turtle doves
were the Old and New Testaments.

Three French hens
stood for faith, hope and love.

The four calling birds
were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

The five golden rings
recalled the Torah or Law,the first five books of the Old Testament.

The six geese a-laying
stood for the six days of creation.

Seven swans a-swimming
represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit-- Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

The eight maids a-milking
were the eight beatitudes.

Nine ladies dancing
were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit - Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

The ten lords a-leaping
were the ten commandments.

The eleven pipers piping
stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

The twelve drummers drumming
symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles Creed 12 days of Christmas.htm





Sunday 9th November was a time of Remembrance, but also a day when we said farewell to Toni Rogers as she moves on and will no longer be able to attend the Corps. Toni’s faith and belief in Jesus has helped her cope with very difficult circumstances. As she moves on to a new future do remember her, her Nan Gill Williams and her parents Eric and Zoë in your prayers.




Advent Thoughts

Our thoughts for this season focus on Mary and the responsibility she accepted with no experience of pregnancy, childbirth or motherhood. She just accepted what was to be as “God’s will.”

I have travelled many moonless nights, Cold and weary with a babe inside. And I wonder what I’ve done. Holy Father, you have come And chosen me now To carry your son.

I am waiting in a silent prayer. I am frightened by the load I bear. In a world as cold as stone, Must I walk this path alone? Be with me now.

Do you wonder as you watch my face If a wiser one should have had my place? But I offer all I am For the mercy of your plan. Help me be strong.

Words from the song Breath of Heaven written by Chris Eaton and Amy Grant © 1992 Clouseau Music / SGO Music Publishing Ltd.




Big idea?!

Do you know what would have happened if it had been Three Wise Women instead of Three Wise Men?
  • They would have asked for directions and so arrived on time to help with the birth.
  • They would have cleaned up the stable and cleared out those unhygienic animals.
  • They would have brought practical gifts AND a Christmas dinner for supper.
© CPO. Worthing UK Ref: CPO2209




Christmas Biscuit

400g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
230g butter
230g dark brown sugar
2 egg white

  1. Sieve flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, then beat in egg whites.
  3. Slowly work in dry ingredients.
  4. Wrap and chill for 12 hours.
  5. Heat oven to 350o C (gas mark 4)
  6. Roll out to ½ cm thick.
  7. Cut into shapes and place on greased baking tray.
  8. Cook for 10 minutes until brown.
  9. Cool and then decorate.
© CPO. Worthing UK Ref: CPO2209




Cracker Jokes

What did the big cracker say to the little cracker?
My pop is bigger than your pop!

What did the big candle say to the little candle?
I’m going out tonight!

What do you call a reindeer with huge eyes?
A Big Idea!

© CPO. Worthing UK Ref: CPO2209

What’s the difference between Father Christmas and a warm dog?
Father Christmas wears a whole suite, a dog just pants.
From Charlotte Murfin.




The Story Behind "White Christmas"

Irving Berlin didn't think the song was any good. He was a Jewish-American composer and was charged with writing songs about every major holiday for a film titled "Holiday Inn", starring Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby. However Bing Crosby assured Berlin that "White Christmas" was a winner. Christmas is a time full of feeling for home and family and love. And "White Christmas" captured that feeling perfectly.

These days, we sing White Christmas with a Currier and Ives-like scene in mind. But for the folks who heard it for the first time for real it had a most profound meaning. The year was 1941. It was a time when folks were possessed with worries of an unstable world, of loved ones being shipped off for war not knowing when they would be together again and when futures were put on hold. A Christmas "just like the ones I used to know" was definitely something to hope for and a sentiment they shared equally.

For most of the folks listening to Bing Crosby's radio show on NBC, their thoughts were of separation during Christmas' to come. Nobody knew how long the war would last or what the outcome would be. For many, facing Christmas under these circumstances made "White Christmas" a song listened to with reverence and reflection.

As the war progressed, it became, in essence, an anthem itself. Christmas 1943 saw many families torn apart as America fought the war on two fronts. Christmas 1944 was a cold, bitter and frightful time for folks living continents away. This song was cherished on both sides of the ocean, and revered for the sentiment it carried. Bing Crosby performed for the troops overseas in countless places during the war. Without fail, he recalls requests for "White Christmas" regardless of the season. "It really got so that I hesitated about doing it because invariably it caused such a nostalgic yearning among the men that it made them sad. Heaven knows that I didn't come that far to make them sad. And for this reason, several times I tried to cut it out of the show. But these guys just hollered for it."

By the end of the war, "White Christmas" had become the biggest selling single of all time. For the next several years it raced up the Top 30 charts no less than 16 times. For over 50 years it remained the biggest selling single of all time in all song categories and was only surpassed in 1998 by Elton John's "Candle in the Wind" recording in honour of Princess Diana.

"White Christmas" has to be the ultimate Christmas song. It has endured recordings by many artists; there are over 500 versions! And it has been translated into 25 different languages. I wonder if it is in your Christmas collection?

Adapted from an Internet article by Jeff Westover ©1993-2003