Please to remember the fifth of November, With gunpowder, treason and plot. I see no reason why gunpowder treason Should ever be forgot.

For so many children this is an exciting time of year. Making the Guy, building the bonfire, and going to firework displays with family and friends. The sounds, heat from the fire, colours, tingling fingers and warm breath visible in cold air all leave lasting impressions that are carried into adulthood.

Fire and light are wonderfully attractive, as well as potentially dangerous. We love and appreciate things that sparkle and draw our attention. As you draw the dull grey sparkler from its paper packet there is nothing on the outside to suggest the beauty that lies hidden within the dull chemicals. As the lit match touches the dull grey a spark jumps from the end of the sparkler and suddenly we are showered with gold and white sparks. A small spark started a wonderful fire that lights up the darkness of the night and watching children’s faces glow with excitement.

Samuel was a great prophet of God, and did many wondrous things at God’s command as he had learnt to listen to God’s voice. One day God sent him to choose the next King of Israel. Samuel was looking at the brothers considering their strength, their appearance when God said, “Man looks at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7). Samuel had to learn that it is what’s on the inside that matters most. David had the potential to be a great king, but there was something else he needed to be a great king. David needed the divine spark that comes from faith in God.

Just like the apostles on the day of Pentecost needed the Holy Spirit that came on them like tongues of fire, so we also need that divine spark to ignite our faith. When the love of God shines in our faces, in our actions and in our words others will be drawn to God through us. So why not ask God to make you a “Sparkler” for him this month. Go on, light up someone’s life.




Excerpt from the past. Corps History No 34

Within a short time of his arrival our Major Berris was instrumental in setting up ‘The Servicemen’s Fellowship’ to keep in touch with the many corps men (and women) serving their king and country. Their names were read out at the close of every Sunday evening meeting. A monthly newsletter was sent to each one, whether in this country or overseas, sometimes with postage stamps or a postal order, always gratefully received. Several of the committee had themselves been in the forces during World War I and therefore knew something of the problems their young comrades faced.

Ken Berris was my special friend; a little older than I, he was a brilliant violinist and arranger. Together we featured on many a musical programme in the London area. He was a very passionate young man: I once heard a debate between him and his father on whether one should morally give one’s life to save, say, St Paul’s Cathedral! Dad said he would give his life to save a fellow man (I’m sure he would), but not a building. Ken was prepared to go to both extremes. Happily, neither had to die for either cause.

Among his achievements Ken formed the one and only orchestra Wimbledon corps ever possessed, giving a number of programmes. His mother and his sister Lena were among its members. We would start with any song - as long as it was ‘The Lily of the Valley’, because that was the only hymn tune he arranged for the ensemble! I alternated on the string bass and trombone (both hurriedly self-taught for the purpose). What a wealth of talent we possessed! We included an excellent brass quartet and a number of soloists both instrumental and vocal.

The string bass used to be packed into a black cloth case, and one evening four of us put a shoulder each under the bundle and slow marched along the kerb from the ‘quarters’ in Kirkley Road to the halls imitating a funeral procession. Ken, whose idea it was, thought it hilarious but his dad was furious!
During our corps centenary year (1987) we featured a ‘war-time evening’ and it was a great pleasure to have two of the Berris children back to join with us: Lena (with her husband) and Lawrence, then a songster leader, composer and fine pianist who played two solos for the occasion. Ken was by then resident in Australia but sent a message, recalling those very special days of our youth some 45 years earlier.

Next month: A change of leadership and more of wartime Wimbledon.
Ron Foot




Prayer Corner

The golds of autumn, the mist and early frost hint at the winter months that are to come. Hats and gloves are needed as we go out in the evenings. Do pray for everyone attending bonfire parties or having fireworks at home that they may be safe from accidents and frights. Many situations in the world cause concern. As Colonel West reminded us, do uplift the work of the Salvation Army, and other relief agencies, to God. As tensions grow between Israel and Palestine pray that peacemakers may be found on all sides. As Bonfire night remembers the friction between Catholics and Protestants in 1605, let us not forget Northern Ireland. There have been many good moves towards lasting peace; but tension still exists between the Catholics and Protestants communities. Do pray that these tensions will be healed.

Many of our Corps face times of struggle, difficulty or ill health on a daily basis. At these times it can seem hard to talk to God. This is when the love and prayer support of those within the Corps family becomes so real and meaningful. Please pray for Letitia as she settles into her new boarding school. She is a long way away from family and friends and has always found it hard to make new friends. Please remember Tiffany, Gillian, Joy and Bernie and ask God to help them come to terms with the changes that have occurred. Please continue to pray for Mary, Ernest and the family. Pray for Edie, Sue and Philip, Linda, Toni, John and Olive Morris who are unable to attend regularly.




Harvest Celebrations

By all accounts, from those of you that were there Harvest Sunday was a good time to give thanks for the gifts that God gives us each day, and yet which we so often take for-granted. Thanks go to Major Rosemary for bringing God’s thoughts to us.

Thanks also go to Joyce, Betty, Maisie, Jean and Timothy for their work in preparing a welcoming Harvest Supper. The Beetle Drive afterwards, organised by Paul and Ailsa, brought much laughter and fun.

A total of £42 was raised by the event. This has been gifted to Rebecca to help raise the funds she needs as an Optimum Volunteer with Viz-A-Viz National Evangelical Team.




The Treat Party 31st October

Flickering Punkies and twinkling fairy lights greeted the 14 children and 10 adults who gathered for the Treat Party. Traditional Harvest games such as Apple Bobbing and eating hanging donuts; as well as more modern messy games such as Feeding Frenzy (a blindfolded child has to feed their team, who cannot move jelly with a tea spoon) and Dressing the Mummy (turn a leader into an Egyptian Mummy with toilet paper), brought lots of laughter and fun for both the adults and children. The evening finished with everyone sitting around the lit Punkies singing Shalom and a Celtic Blessing;
“God of time
God of dark
God of earth
God of heaven,
You are
Stronger than the elements,
Stronger than the shadows,
Stronger than the fears,
Stronger than human wills,
Stronger than the spirits,
Stronger than magic spells.
Your presence be our shield
The love of God to enfold us;
The peace of God to still us;
The spirit of God to fill us;
The saints of God to inspire us;
The angels of God to guard us
This night, this winter, forever.
From Celtic Blessings compiled by Ray Simpson. Published by Hodder and Stoughton




Imperial War Museum 29th October 2003

Question - How do you keep 16 children spell bound and quiet? Answer - Let them lose in an art gallery to reflect on the various depictions of war!!

To the leaders amazement this last part of the day lead to various thought provoking comments and opportunities to talk about the glamour and reality of war with the children. During the day the group had spent time in a reconstruction of a 1940’s house shortly before it was bombed, a smelly dark reconstruction of a First World War trench, and a shaking scary underground Blitz shelter as the street above was bombed. Grateful thanks go to Lorraine, Vivienne and Sara for helping with the leadership.




Youth Councils

Was a day of humour (thanks Lucy) and frustration. After getting lost on the way, the group of SAY Club (Salvation Army Youth) folk arrived at Chielshurst – only to discover that no one else was there! After phones calls to a number of people it became apparent that the venue had changed to Sittingbourne! So disappointed the party returned home.

Adam Bonner (Divisional Youth Ministries Officer) sends apologies for the mis-understanding. The venue had to be changed unexpectedly during the week before the event. Messages were left by email and for the Corps Officer. Unfortunately Major Rosemary was away in New Zealand so we did not receive the message.




Corps Diary November 2003

Saturday 1st All Saints Day
Saturday 1st Celebration with the General. Royal Festival Hall. Please see notice board for details
Sunday 9th Remembrance Sunday. Witness at Nelson Hospital – see Joy Rogers for details.
Tuesday 11th Songster Practice at 8pm. See Joy for details.
Thursday 13th Bible Fellowship at 7-45pm. David - Loving your Enemy. 1 Samuel 24. See Ron for details.
Friday 14th Kid’s Club. 6/7-30pm. See Ailsa for details.
Saturday 15th Corps Anniversary and quiz. See Major for details.
Sunday 16th Corps Anniversary meetings lead by Major Stephen Huyton.
Tuesday 25th End of Ramaden.
Tuesday 25th Songster Practice at 8pm. See Joy for details.
Friday 28th Kid’s Club. 6/7-30pm. See Ailsa for details.
Saturday 29th Christmas Fair. 10-30am to 3pm.
Sunday 30th St. Andrews Day and First Sunday of Advent.




YP Memory Verse

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14




Building Work at Corps

Building work continues at the Corps. As this work continues meetings will take place in whichever Hall is fit for purpose and not a health and safety risk. Please bear with us through the disruptions it will be worth it in the long term.




Welcome Home

After many weeks away on the far side of the world Major is safely back among us. We trust the furlough brought peace and relaxation with family and friends. No doubt there are many tales to tell, and we look forward to sharing them over the weeks.





Preaching programme for November

  Morning Holiness meeting Evening Salvation Meeting
2nd 10-30 am lead by Major Rosemary Randall 6pm Salvation meeting lead by Major Rosemary Randall
Junior Soldiers Class Children remain in Meeting  
Sunday Club 12/1pm lead by YPSM .  
9th - Remembrance Sunday 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.  
16th – Corps Anniversary 10-30 am lead by Major Stephen Huyton (Canterbury Corps) 3.30 pm Praise Meeting lead by Major Stephen Huyton (Canterbury Corps)
Junior Soldiers Class 11-11.45am  
Sunday Club 12-1pm lead by YPSM.  
23rd– Corps Cadet Weekend 10-30 am lead by YPSM Ailsa Flinders 6pm lead by Major Rosemary Randall.
Junior Soldiers Class 11-11.45am  
Sunday Club 12-1pm  
30th 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.  




Following In Their Footsteps

Margaret, a refugee after the Norman conquest, married Malcolm III of Scotland while taking refuge in his court. She spent lots of time praying and reading, and meditating over her sewing. These things made her a very loving and generous person. Malcolm, who originally was rather coarse, saw through his love for his wife the motivation behind everything she did and saw in her the love of Jesus, and changed. Margaret died in 1093 and the church remembers her on the 16th November.

According to the stories about Clement, he was such an effective Bishop of Rome, evangelising and leading the Churches, that he was exiled to the Crimea. His evangelistic skills were not confined to Rome, as in exile it is claimed that his preaching won so many converts that they had to build 75 churches to put them all in. He was thrown into the sea with an anchor around his neck and drowned in c. 100. However his life had shown many people the love of Jesus and they had come to faith as a result. The church remembers his witness on 23rd November.




November Thoughts

They rise like sudden fiery flowers
That burst upon the night,
Then fall to earth in burning showers
Of crimson, blue and white.

Like birds too wonderful to name,
Each miracle unfolds,
And Catherine wheels begin to flame
Like whirling marigolds.

Rockets and Roman candles make
An orchard of the sky,
Whence magic trees their petals shake
Upon each gazing eye.

© James Reeves. From The Complete Poems for Children. Published by William Heinemann




Grave Situations

A United Reform Church minister was showing his two grandsons around the parish church. There happened to be a Knight and his lady in two separate vaults one over the other. The boys were at different ends of the church when one shouted to the other: “Come and see what I’ve found—BUNK BEDS !!!”

According to the Daily Telegraph, a Dorking cemetery erected to an auctioneer a gravestone with the legend “Gone to the Highest Bidder”
Diocese of Guildford Herald.

Taken from Christian Crackers (6). By Phil Mason.




Panorama Of Islam - Pray Topics For The Muslim World

China has a population well in excess of 1 billion people with an annual growth rate of 1.4%. 92% of the people living there are Chinese (Han) and 8% are ethnic minorities. 59.1% of the population profess no religious belief. 27% follow various Chinese religions. 6.1% are Christian. 3% are Buddhist. 2.4% are Muslim and 2.4% are Animist.Pray for
The peoples of the Xinjiang Uygur Zizhiqu region. The majority are Muslim. Christian and other faith believers having been killed or scattered by persecution from the Muslim community. The 150,000 Christians living in Xinjiang are culturally isolated from the indigenous population – pray for their safety and witness to those around them
Pray for the workers reaching out to those with no faith, that friendships may develop that will lead to faith and the planting of new churches.
Pray for Bible translators so that the Bible can be translated into the local people’s languages.
Pray that radio broadcasts and more religious programmes will be aired in minority languages.
Pray for opportunities where faith leaders may come together to understand each other’s positions, and find ways by which they can live together as peaceful neighbours.




Quotation Of The Month

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.

And sweetest in the gale is heard,
And sore must be the storm
That could bask the little bird
That kept so many warms.

I’ve heard it in the chilliest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
Written by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886). Words found and sent by Letitia to share with us all.

If you have a favourite quotation, poem, Bible verse that inspires you do let Ailsa have a copy so the words can be shared to inspire others in our walk with God.




YP Jokes

Knock, Knock
Whose there?

Boo who!
I’m sorry I made you cry
From Humzar in Kid’s Club.

Q. What do you call a camel with three humps?
A. A humphrey!!!!
From Fleur at Holiday Club.