Twelve Days of Christmas

Within our family gold is the traditional colour that is used to decorate the festive table at which meals are eaten throughout the 12 days of Christmas. Gold candles burn during the evening meals, gold embroidery gives a delicate pattern to the white cloth and various dried leaves are sprayed with gold to create the table centrepiece. A table which is shared with friends and family as we celebrate the 12 days of the traditional holiday period which ends on 6th Jan.

Today few families mark the full 12 days of Christmas. TV programmes return to normal the day after Boxing Day, and then change again for the secular New Year Celebrations. By the 6th Jan school has restarted, people are back at work, the festivities are over, and there is the superstition that all the Christmas decorations should be down or else you will experience bad luck in the year ahead.

Lost to so many are the celebrations of the festival of Epiphany on the Twelfth Day of Christmas. A time when the Christian church focuses on the visit of the three Magi to the baby Jesus, bearing their gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, and the fact that Jesus was revealed to and worshipped by those outside of the Jewish faith and culture. It is a pointer to the ministry Jesus was to have as an adult and which the Christian church has to this day as it reaches out to people across the world telling them that God loves them and cares for them. It is a pointer to the time when “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil. 2:10/11).

Gold - a precious metal that represents wealth, enhances beauty and is used as money to buy and exchange goods. Gold - a colour that reflects light and creates a sense of warmth. Gold – a metal that is purified by fire and beaten into refined shapes and objects. As the New Year starts why not reflect on your “golden life” – does it reflect the light and warmth of God’s love for those around you? Does it reflect the wealth and riches that Christ’s love gives to you? Does it reflect the beauty of the Holy Spirit guiding and filling your life? Does it reflect the life of submission to God as you allow Him to refine the impurities of your life before you came to know Him? Not sure - then why not make the Festival of Epiphany a day of prayer and reflection when you can come before Him afresh and ask God to help you be a revealer of Jesus to all you meet in 2004.




Excerpt from the past. Corps History No 36

The effect on our hall caused by that flying bomb on 10th July 1944 was very serious. Every window had been blown out and the roof extensively damaged. Our C0, Major Ough (pronounced Oh!) toured the district, finally making arrangements for us to worship in the upstairs floor of Haddon Hall (then used primarily for dancing) in Broadway Court, Wimbledon. I recently paid a nostalgic visit to the Court (between Millets and Clarks’ Shoes in the Broadway) after 60 years to find Haddon Hall with its mock Tudor exterior, still in existence. A sign on the door reads ‘Haddon Hall OSA’ which Muriel suggests must mean ‘old Salvation Army’!

Our history book scribe says of it ‘it is very small and different to our own spacious hall but God has met with us and we have been very much blessed. Because of the flying bombs and evacuation our numbers have been small during the month of August’. In fact, the very last flying bomb on Wimbledon was on the afternoon of 28th August, passing over the town at some height; then, as the engine cut out, it continued to glide and, turning through 1800, it headed back to crash among houses in Lambton Road, Raynes Park killing two people and causing extensive damage all around. The allied landing on the continent (begun on D-Day, 6th June) effectively eradicated the flying bomb menace but the dreaded V-2 rockets followed in September, damaging many areas though none fell in Wimbledon. There were no further active raids on the borough and in all raids on the town 150 were killed, 440 seriously injured, 810 houses were either destroyed or damaged beyond repair, around 12,000 more suffering to a lesser extent and over 2,100 people were made homeless. I remember a young man named Arthur Page, a member of the Royal Air Force, who often accompanied the singing in our wartime meetings. He was a splendid musician and I used to listen with rapture to his delightful touch and sympathetic accompaniments. Sadly, Arthur left these shores one day as a member of a bomber crew destined for Germany and never returned. It was believed that the plane was brought down, possibly in the sea, with the loss of all the crew.
Ron Foot




Toy Service – 7th December

What a blessing it is to see all the Corps family together for this meeting. It was no place for quiet reflection as the younger members of our Parent and Toddler group cheered the singing and brought their own interpretation to the Nativity Story (Mary and Joseph had fallen out by the time they reached the stable!). The giving of toys for children, who help with the care of a sick or disabled parent or sibling, was amazing. Thank you for your generosity. Thanks also go to Major for leading this meeting, Betty and Lorraine for organising all the PAT children and Paul for helping with the visit of Father Christmas.




Christmas Greetings

The festive season is a time of sharing with others and this year we have received Seasonal Greetings from Vi Tucker (it was good to see her when she joined us for worship on 21 December), Mavis in New Zealand, Majors Steve and Margaret Huyton and Letitia Rogers




Praise at Elver Bank Centre

A big well done to all the children and leaders who helped with the presentation of the Christmas Praise Meeting to the residents at Elver Bank. Despite one car arriving late, the meeting went well and nerves did not affect things too badly. A special mention goes to Rosie, Vivienne and Charlotte who all played the Timbrel this Christmas for the first time.




Christmas Praise Carol Sheet

Have you found the new Christmas Praise Carol Sheets good to use this year? As many of you commented last year the old yellow ones had really worn out and it was time to ring in the new. The purchase of these carol sheets has been made possible by a generous donation for which we give thanks.





As usual we were welcomed by the residents and staff of the three care homes which the Corps visits each year. Joy and Major Rosemary had prepared a varied programme of music, song and readings. It was a pleasure to see Don and Eileen and other bands folk from Balham who kindly supported the evenings. A big thank you to everyone who turned out to support and take part. Just think no more carols until practices start in October!




Preaching programme for January

  Morning Holiness meeting Evening Salvation Meeting
4th 10-30 am lead by Major Rosemary Randall 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 Commitment 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 YP Prize Giving 10-30 am lead by YPSM Ailsa Flinders 3.00 pm Praise Meeting lead by Major Rosemary Randall
Junior Soldiers Class 11/11-45am Children remain in Meeting  
Sunday Club 12/1pm lead by YPSM.  
25th 10-30 am lead by Major Rosemary Randall 6 pm lead by Major Rosemary Randall
Junior Soldiers Class 11/11-45am lead by Lorraine O’Haloran  
Sunday Club 12/1pm led by Songster Leader Joy Rogers  
1st February 10-30 am lead by Major Rosemary Randall 6 pm lead by Major Rosemary Randall
Junior Soldiers Class 1/11-45am Children remain in Meeting  
Sunday Club 12/1pm led by Songster Leader Joy Rogers  




Prayer Corner

January is the month that we associate with snow that makes our feet and fingers glow. However this year it is a wet and gray month that seems to leave the spirit low. A number of our corps family continue to need our love and support in prayer this month. Firstly there are those who are unwell and their carers - Ella who is in St. Helier hospital. Mary has made some improvement and was discharged home before Christmas where Ernie is caring for her. Sonia continues to need prayer for healing as does Vivienne’s Mother with cancer. We need to give thanks that Leslie’s (Paul’s brother) medical tests show he only has a duodenal ulcer and nothing more serious that needs healing. We also need to remember Edie, Linda, Sue and Philip, Letitia, John, and Olive Morris who are unable to attend regularly.





It is always a delight to recognise the hard work of people within the Corps. Somewhat belatedly we need to acknowledge the hard work of two young folk known to the Corps for their success in the Junior Soldier Award Scheme. Toni Rogers who achieved her Silver in November and Timothy Veacock who has completed his Crest Award. Well done both of you.




Flower List and Coffee Fellowship Rota

As normal this is the time of year for looking ahead and helping out with fellowship each Sunday. Do please check the Flower and Coffee Fellowship rotas on the board in the main hall for 2004. If you see a blank space do volunteer to help serve coffees or provide flowers to grace our Altar Table each week. Both help us appreciate the joy of fellowship and the beauty of God’s creation to us.





Junior Soldier Classes

Since September, while Rebecca is away, Ailsa has been running the Junior Soldiers Classes with the ad hoc support of Vivienne and Bernie. Though this has worked it would be good to have a regular group of people who can help Ailsa with this class each week so that no one is missing out on the message every week. If you would be prepared to help out please see Ailsa as soon as possible. The greater the number of volunteers the more time you have to share in the full meetings.




Bible Fellowship

For many years Ron has faithfully prepared the stimulating and often challenging Bible studies that many of us in the Corps have attended and through them grown closer to God. As he now relinquishes this role we say thank you Ron for all you have done, and the encouragement your witness has given to so many of us.




By Royal Appointment

All Parent and Toddler, Kid’s Club and Sunday Club members are invited to the YP Kings and Queens New Year Party on 17th January between 3 and 6pm at the Hall. Do come dressed as a King or Queen, Prince (or frog!), Princess or Emperor. The Palace would appreciate a food contribution for the Royal tea!!




New Year Thoughts

Thinking of you, when the firelight Flings its glow o’er wall and floor; Thinking of you, when the faces Enter at the open door; Wishing yours were there among them; Wafting – Ah! You little guess What a crowd of tender longings For your Christmas Happiness

Thinking of you, in the darkness, When the chiming of the bells Once again the bright beginning Of the New Year’s morning tells; Wishing for you ever blessing, Breathing many an earnest prayer That, through all the year’s that’s coming God may have you in His care.

In A Christmas card received in December 2002




Past: Present: Future

Here are a few thoughts from Emily Bronte (1818-48) that Letitia has gathered for us.

“Tell me, tell me, smiling child. What the past is like to thee.”
“An Autumn evening soft and mild with a wind that sighs mournfully.”
“Tell me what is the present hour.”
“A green and flowery spray, where a young bird sits gathering it’s power to mount and fly away.”
“And what is the future, happy one?”
“A sea beneath a cloudless sun. A mighty glorious dazzling sea stretching into infinity.”

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.




10 Things You Should Have Learned By Middle Age ....

  1. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
  2. No evidence supports the notion that life is serious
  3. If you look like your passport picture, you could probably do with the trip.
  4. A balanced diet is a biscuit in each hand.
  5. Middle age is when broadness of the mind and narrowness of the waist change places.
  6. Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.
  7. By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.
  8. Junk is something you’ve kept for years and throw away three days before it’s needed.
  9. Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognise a mistake when you make it again.
  10. If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you’ve never tried before.

The Cherchefellian Autumn Ed. 2003.




Please Note

Owing to the Editor’s holiday in Aviemore, between 24 January and 1 February, the February newsletter will be out one week late on 8th February. Please post articles for inclusion to Paul Flinders, 19 Riverview road, Ewell, Surrey, KT19 OJY.




Corps Diary January 2004

Friday 2nd 6pm to 7-30pm. Kid’s Club. See Ailsa for details.
Tuesday 6th Festival of Epiphany.
Monday 12th 8pm YP Leaders Meeting. See Ailsa for details.
Friday 16th 6pm to 7-30pm. Kid’s Club. See Ailsa for details.
Saturday 17th 3pm to 6pm YP New Year Party. See Ailsa for details.
Thursday 22nd Chinese New Year.
Friday 30th 6pm to 7-30pm. Kid’s Club. See Ailsa for details.




Optical Illusion ?

1) Relax and concentrate on the 4 small dots in the middle of the picture for about. 30-40 seconds.
2) Then, take a look at a wall near you ( any smooth, single coloured surface)
3) You will see a circle of light developing
4) Start blinking your eyes a couple of times and you will see a figure emerging…
5) What do you see?
Moreover, who do you see?




Amazing Grace

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:15b NLT ''And as God's grace brings more and more people to Christ, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.''

He wrecked every car he owned over a 7 year period.
He destroyed two jeeps.
He demolished a camper.
He sank two boats.
He jumped from a speeding car just before it careened over a 600 foot cliff.
He drank way too much whisky and beer.
He swallowed amphetamines by the handful.
He divorced his wife leaving four children.
He was drug crazed when he drove a tractor in to an ice cold lake.
He knocked down doors and smashed in walls.
He sawed the legs off furniture in motel rooms.
He triggered fire alarms in the middle of the night.
He broke his jaw and nose in a reckless car accident.
He did all this before his 36th birthday.

Like John Newton the author of the hymn Amazing Grace, Johnny Cash had survived like a cat with nine x nine lives. At age twelve Johnny Cash had given his life to Christ and through the bad and ugly years God did not give up on Johnny.

Little did Johnny know at that time that nearly half his life had passed him bye. But a recommitment to Christ, new marriage and vigour to help others changed everything for Johnny.

The second half of his life would be different.

Bible believing church member.
Faithful husband.
Born again Christian.
Sowed seeds of favour into everyone around him.
Movie Star.
Called an ''Institution of Country Music''.
Won 10 Grammys.

A month before he died Johnny was quoted as saying, ''Oh, I expect my life to end pretty soon,'' he says. ''You know, I'm 71 years old. I have great faith, though. I have unshakeable faith.'' Any regrets Johnny? ''I used to,'' he says, ''But I forgave myself. When God forgave me, I figured I'd better do it, too.''

All his practice done Johnny Cash is now singing praises to the Lord of Lord and King of Kings. Can't you just hear him now, ''Hello, I'm Johnny Cash.''

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see. Devotions - Amazing Grace.htm