Virtual Death

I’m dead. There was nothing I could do. My eyes did not see the blow coming. My hands responded slowly, too slowly. I was knocked from the slippery deck into the freezing gale swept seas. There was nothing I could do but accept that this was it. The end. My death witnessed by the friends around me.

Sounds dramatic doesn’t it? But was it really what it seemed? Nintendo and Sony are two makers of computer-gaming consoles where lives are lost and saved. Battles are fought and won. Gang warfare rages. Space ships explode and aliens invade Earth. Martial arts warriors, Lara Croft and 007 are all to be found and experienced as part of the role-playing fantasy adventures you can play on your own or with friends.

A quick eye, flexible fingers, good co-ordination and the ability to concentrate and multi-task are key skills that determine whether you will live or die. Whether you will progress from this level to the next level of difficulty. When work, or mum or something else demands our time we hit the off switch and leave it. Only to be electronically re-born next time we switch the console on.

In his letter to the Romans (chapter 6) Paul talks of the miracle of a new start, of being born again spiritually to live a different life. A life where we are no longer held captive by the thoughts and behaviours that offend God. A life where the wrong doings have been forgiven, the past forgotten, so each day is a wonderful new day. A life where Jesus is Saviour, friend, companion.

In the gaming-world, even though we die and are reborn many times, when we turn the console off we turn away unchanged. In the Jesus-world we choose to die to ourselves and accept the gift of grace which brings a wonderfully new and changed life. This Easter as we celebrate the death and return to life of Jesus Christ why not take time to reflect on the fact that Jesus has no off-button. When we invite Jesus to be a part of our lives, our whole existence, both now and in eternity, is changed forever.




Excerpt from the past. Corps History No 39

Following the departure of our Welsh heroes, Danny and Gwyneth Thomas, we welcomed on 1st September 1945 Adjutants Sidney and Doris Baker, together with their three little boys.

It was the beginning of our post-war resurgence. The service men and women returned one by one on the basis of first in, first out. Included among them were Bandsman Charles Davis and Brother Barton, both of whom had been prisoners of war in German hands. Charlie had been a naughty boy, escaping more than once from prison camps, and was ‘rewarded’ by being incarcerated in the fearsome Colditz where he suffered considerable hardship. Our band and songster sections steadily grew in numbers and the world suddenly seemed a much happier place. A special ‘Servicemen’s welcome home’ weekend was convened at the beginning of April 1946 and a Salvation Army song book was presented to each. I still treasure mine with its distinctive inscription:
This was signed by all the faithful committee members who had served us so splendidly during our absence from the corps. On the Saturday evening Croydon Citadel band gave a fine programme to a packed congregation in our hall.

On Wednesday 24 July of that year we were privileged to have the visit of General Albert Osborn at the invitation of the mayor of Wimbledon. A civic reception at the town hall was followed by a great meeting in the old public hall, 1200 people attending. At the conclusion we read, ‘two young people came forward in reconsecration’. Wonder who they were, and whether their lives were spent in service for the Lord?

Various officers and other folk visited us in the coming months, many with harrowing tales to tell of their internment in concentration camp, particularly in the far east.

In October 1946 the Bakers left us - we didn’t have commanding officers for long in those days! Doris, bless her, now resides at Alver Bank in her advanced years. Replacing them were Adjutant Helen Nelson and Captain Margaret Drummond, the first women officers for some 40 years to take charge of Wimbledon corps.

Next month: We celebrate our Diamond Jubilee
Ron Foot




Spring Fair – 8th May

A date for your diary. Looking ahead the Corps Spring Fair will take place between 11am and 3pm on Saturday 8th May. If you have goods that could be sold and are able to help run a stall on the day please let Major know as soon as possible.




Timbrels on Parade

Where you there? Did you see them. The Senior Trimbrel Group contributed two testing and fun-filled items to the concert programme held at Wimbledon Methodist church on 27th March. Well done Major for drilling Joy and Ailsa so well. It was wonderful to see.




Prayer Corner

The last month has seen so much happening around the world, that it is almost possible to become immune to it as we focus on issues closer to home In your prayers do remember the victims and survivors of the bombings in Madrid and the newly elected politicians who are reconsidering the countries support for issues in Iraq. Do uphold the victims and survivors of the bombs in Baghdad. With the assassination of the Hamas leader in Palestine do pray that God will find peacemakers who can speak to the hearts and minds of all peoples affected by this conflict. As civil conflict breaks out in Cosova pray that the United Nations and leaders within both communities will find a way to bring lasting peace.

Within the Corps there are things to give thanks for – A positive Corps Review. Further growth in Kid’s Club. Progression of the application for a bursary for a Youth Worker. Then there are those with particular needs. Please pray for Tiffany who was physically assaulted on her way home from school; Bernie, Vini, Joy and the family at this time as Stan is very poorly following admission to hospital with a stroke. Rebecca as she seeks God’s will for what He wants her to do from September. Ailsa’s friend Elaine, whose 27yr old son is seriously ill with cancer and Sharon who is highly stressed at work. Do continue to pray for Ella, Mary and Ernie, Edie, John, Linda, Sue and Philip, Olive Morris, Rebecca and Letitia who are unable to join with us for worship.




Self- Denial Altar Service

March the 7th marked the end of our month where we have given up something to contribute to the work of the Salvation Army on the mission fields around the world. Major Rosemary’s theme for the day “God – the open door” was built around thoughts penned by William Booth (Founder of the Salvation Army) in 1904. The array of dolls in costumes from around the world, with maps and Salvation Army Flags visually enhanced the theme and helped create an atmosphere of peaceful contemplation and prayer. We give thanks to God for the £908 gifted in the Altar Service.




Easter Extravaganza – 9th April 3pm to 6pm

Kid’s Club will once again be hosting their traditional Easter Extravaganza. This is a chance for all children aged 5 to 11 years to come together and take part in some of the traditional games, art/craft and celebrations that Christians have used to celebrate Easter over the centuries. The cost is £2 per child. Flyers are available from Ailsa. Do encourage any young folk you may know to come.




We Give Thanks

March was a month where we shared our fellowship with a number of visiting guests and worship leaders. We thank Major Drew McCombe for leading the Corps Review and Spiritual Day on Mothering Sunday and our Divisional Commander David Jones for his message on 28th March




YP Fund Raising

SouthWest Trains have agreed that a Standing collection can be made at Wimbledon Station on 2 April and Worcester Park Station on 16 April. From past experience the best time of day to stand is during the rush hour periods. If you are able to help with the Wimbledon Station collection between 7 / 9 am and 5/7 pm can you please let Ailsa know.




Homelessness Project

Following the update in March Newsletter the Faith in Action Group have agreed that they wish to lease the Community Hall so the homelessness project can operate from the Salvation Army. DHQ have supported this and discussions will now start with regards the terms of the lease/contract and how building work etc will be progressed.




Senior Corps Review 20 to 22 March 2004

This positive event was ably lead by Major Drew McCombe from DHQ, with good commitment and support from the whole Corps. There are a lot of things to share from this Review, and as and when the notes of the planning sessions are finalised these will be circulated to everyone in the Corps. Further highlights will appear in future newsletters.






To Alex Phillips (Kid’s Club) for securing a role in the recent TV film on King George.

Congratulations also go to Samrand (Kid’s Club) for passing his 11plus exam.




YP Jokes

Here are a few more jokes from the many that YP members have given the editor over recent months.

Knock, Knock
Whose there?
Gran who?
Knock, Knock
Whose there?
Gran who?
Knock, Knock
Whose there?
Aunt who?
Aunt you glad it isn’t Gran!!

from Tiffany Rogers
Q. What’s a cold, evil candle called?
A. The wicked wick of the north!!!

Q. Who is a vampire likely to fall in love with?
A. The girl next door.

from Charlotte Murfin




Standing Day – 6th March

Despite the short notice grateful thanks are given to the four Corps folk who volunteered to collect funds from the public. A grand total of £189-29 was given.




Corps Diary April 2004

Friday 2nd YP fund raising Standing Day at Wimbledon Station See Ailsa if you can help..
Sunday 4th Palm Sunday.
End of YP Tiddler's Race.
Tuesday 6th Jewish Passover Festival
Friday 9th 10-30am Good Friday Meeting
3/6pm Easter Extravaganza. See Ailsa for details.
Monday 12th Easter Bank Holiday Monday
Friday 16th YP fund raising Standing Day at Worcester Park Station. See Ailsa if you can help.
Saturday 17th Territorial Youth Ministry Day – London.
Sunday 18th Junior Soldiers Day of Renewal
3pm Sunday Club leading worship at Alver Bank Home. See Ailsa for details.
Friday 23rd St. George’s Day.
6pm to 7-30pm. Kid’s Club. Lead by Joy.
Saturday 24th Divisional Children’s Fun Day. See Ailsa for Details.
Friday 30th to 3 May Roots. See notice board for details.
8th May 11am to 3pm Spring Fair




Preaching programme for April

  Morning Holiness meeting Evening Salvation Meeting
4th Palm Sunday 10-30 am lead by Sunday Club. 6pm Salvation meeting lead by Major Rosemary Randall
Junior Soldiers Class 11/11-45am Children remain in Meeting  
Sunday Club 12/1pm lead by YPSM.  
11th Easter Sunday. 10-30 am lead by Major Rosemary Randall 6pm lead by Major Rosemary Randall
Junior Soldiers Class 11/11-45am lead by YPSM  
Sunday Club 12/1pm lead by YPSM.  
18th Junior Soldiers Day of Renewal. 10-30 am lead by Major Rosemary Randall. 3.00pm YPSM Ailsa Flinders at Alver Bank
Junior Soldiers Class 11/11-45am lead by YPSM  
Sunday Club 12/1pm lead by YPSM  
25th St. Mark’s Day 10-30 am lead byMajor Rosemary Randall. 6 pm lead by Major Rosemary Randall
Junior Soldiers Class 11/11-45am lead by YPSM  
Sunday Club 12/1pm led by YPSM  




YP Memory Verse

“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
John 1:12




Simnel Muffins

Traditionally young women in service would bake an Easter Simnel Cake and bring it home with them on Mothering Sunday as a gift for mum. 11 marzipan balls decorated the top, representing the Apostles that stayed true to Jesus. For many families today a traditional Simnel cake is too rich, too big or the kid’s don’t like fruitcake - so why not try these muffins as a taste alternative. They are best eaten within a day of baking.

250g/9oz mixed dried fruit
Grated zest and juice of 1 medium orange
175g/6oz softened butter
175g/6oz golden caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
300g/10oz self-raising flour
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
5 tbsp milk
175g/6oz marzipan

200g/8oz icing sugar
2 tbsp orange juice for mixing
Sugar eggs or mini eggs to decorate

1) Place dried fruit, zest and juice of orange into a bowl and microwave on medium for 2 minutes (or leave to soak for 1 hour).

2) Preheat oven to 180C/gas 4/fan ovens 160C. Line 12 deep muffin tins with paper muffin cases.

3) Beat together the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, spices and milk (for about 4 minutes) until the mixture is light and fluffy using a wooden spoon or handheld mixer. Then stir in the soaked fruit.

4) Half fill the muffin cases with the mixture. Divide the marzipan into 12 equal pieces, roll into balls, and then flatten with your thumb to fit the size of the muffin case. Place one in each muffin case and spoon the rest of the mixture over them.

5) Bake for 25-30 minutes, until risen, golden and firm to touch. Leave to cool

6) Beat together the icing sugar and orange juice to make icing thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Drizzle over the muffins and top with 2 or 3 mini eggs. Leave to set.

© from BBC Songs of Praise Magazine Spring 2004




Russian Easter Carol

Easter eggs! Easter eggs!
Give to him that begs!
For Christ the Lord is arisen.

To the poor, open door,
Something give from your store!
For Christ the Lord is arisen.

Those who hoard, can’t afford –
Moth and rust their reward!
For Christ the Lord is arisen.

Those who love freely give –
Long and well may they live!
For Christ the Lord is arisen.

Eastertide, like a bride,
Comes, and won’t be denied.
For Christ the Lord is arisen.

If you have a favourite quotation, poem, or Bible verse that inspires do let Ailsa have a copy so we can all be helped in our walk with God.




Songs of Praise Magazine

Is the BBC Songs of Praise one of your favourite programmes? If so this new magazine may be just for you. In each issue you travel to some of the locations featured in Songs of Praise. Read about people who can inspire and uplift you. There are guides to some of the hymns, delicious recipes, seasonal gardening, brain teasing puzzles, book and music reviews.
The magazine is published four times a year at a cost of £9-99. It can be ordered on subscription from Songs of Praise Magazine, PO Box 279, Sittingbourne Kent, ME9 8DF or via credit cared hot-line on 0870 458 3772 quoting reference SPP204.




The Passion Flower

Flos passionis is a beautiful flower that has inspired so many people over the centuries.
It has a strong link with Easter as in the Christian world it has become a symbol that reminds us of Christ’s passion in the last days of his life.
The ten glistening, pale green petals and sepals remind us of the disciples. Yes there are only ten because Judas betrayed him and Peter denied him.
The band of purple radiating filaments represents heaven.
The flower parts protruding from the centre of the flower look like an ornate crown and represent the crown of thorns.
The five stamens were the five wounds on Christ’s body and the three styles represent the nails.
Finally the five-lobed leaves represent the hands of the persecutors and the sculptural tendrils represent the cords that bound Jesus.




The Passion of the Christ

“This film can change the way you look at life – forever.” Gerald Coates. “After watching ‘The Passion of the Christ’ I feel as if I have actually been there. I was moved to tears. I doubt if there has ever been a more graphic and moving presentation of Jesus’ death and resurrection.” Billy Graham. This film was a labour of love for Mel Gibson, who is a devout Catholic. There has already been controversy in the USA when it opened, and yet it has also seen thousands deeply affected and challenged to think again about the events in Jesus life.
The film opens in the UK on 26 March. Further information is available on 0208 781 1742 or .




The Great Debate

Following a conference in 1604 at Hampton Court King James I/IV commissioned a committee of 54 men to produce the King James Bible. A feat that took seven years and which brought the scriptures to ordinary people in their own language for the first time.

If you have the time to spare this Easter, consider taking a trip to Hampton Court Palace to discover this story for yourself. From 9 to 18 April costumed guides will take on the roles of disputing factions who have to appear in the Great Hall and explain themselves in the great debate before King James. Advanced tickets can be booked on 0870 753 7777.




The Easter Journey

In Britain the meaning of Easter is rapidly becoming lost, as the commercial world attempts to take it over and duplicate the sales hype of Christmas! So why not commemorate Jesus’ resurrection this year by marking the traditional feast days and remembering each part of Easter, a journey that assures us of our salvation
28 March Passion (or Judgement) Sunday. The fifth Sunday in lent is when the church remembers the plotting of the Pharisees and priests as they planned Jesus death.
4 April Palm Sunday. The start of Holy Week. Churches are decorated with Palms as we recall Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem when palm branches were scattered in his path. A time to think about our commitment to our faith.
5 April This day commemorates Jesus’ cleansing of the temple, when he threw the traders and money changers out of God’s house of prayer. What do we need to throw out of our lives to bring us back to a point where our bodies are a temple to the living God?
7 April Spy Wednesday. A day to reflect on Judas’s decision to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Are there people we have betrayed or let down? Do we need to say sorry or seek reconciliation?
8th April Maundy Thursday. Maundy comes from the Latin “mandatum” or commandment. A time to reflect on Jesus’ commandment at the Last Supper to love one another. Some churches hold a foot-washing service on this day remembering how Jesus tended to his disciples and showed that leadership is about service to others.
9th April Good Friday. Is a day for mourning and meditation on the suffering and death of Jesus. It is “good” in the sense that this death is a gift to all humanity so we could all become at one with God.
10th April Holy Saturday. The Easter Vigil starts with the lighting of the Paschal (Easter) Candle, which signifies new light in the world. On this day some churches bless the baptismal waters and baptisms take place welcoming new members into the church.
11th April Easter Sunday. The tomb is empty. Jesus is seen by his friends and disciples. This day marks Jesus resurrection from the dead. Lots of candles are lit from the Paschal Candle celebrating the spread of Christ’s Good News across the world. Traditionally some churches renew baptismal vows on this day.
Adapted from BBC Songs of Praise Magazine Spring 2004