Vicar's Letter

January 2016

Dear Friends,

In the days leading up to Christmas the comment I heard more than any other was “I’ll be glad when it’s all over!” That’s hardly surprising. The so-called “season of goodwill” can be exhausting and as the TV soaps never fail to remind us, can strain relationships to breaking-point. It’s no wonder that so many people can hardly wait to get back to normal.

But to imagine that a return to normality signifies the end of Christmas would be to misunderstand its message completely. The Word was made flesh (incarnate) not to pay us a flying visit but to dwell among us; to be God-with-us (Immanuel) in every aspect of our ordinary, everyday lives. The tradition of observing a forty day long Christmas season, embracing the

December 2015

Dear Friends,

Ring, bells, ring, ring, ring!

Sing choirs, sing, sing, sing!

When he comes,

When he comes,

Who will make him welcome?*


Wentworth doesn’t need any lessons in welcoming. Chris and I have been on the receiving end, so we know. Bells, singing, lavish and friendly hospitality to visitors from some of our former parishes and – as if that wasn’t enough – a pie and pea supper! Thank you all so much. We have greatly appreciated your kindness.


It’s quite a season for welcomes. Advent Sunday is the first day of a new Christian year, and the re-telling of ‘the old, old story of Jesus and his love’ begins once again. We hear it in the Bible passages appointed to be read in church Sunday by Sunday, so I hope

November 2015


A very warm invitation is extended to all to the Licensing service of Reverend Michael Champneys as the new Vicar (Priest in Charge) of Wentworth, by Bishop Peter, the Bishop of Doncaster. This will be a very special service and will take place on Tuesday 10th November at 7-30 and will be followed by light refreshments.

We do hope that you will be able to attend and support Michael at the start of his new ministry at Wentworth.

Church Wardens
Jim and Stephen

Dear Friends

Although I was born in Liverpool, I grew up in West Sussex a few minutes walk from the sea, and near to open country, where so much of my boyhood was spent on the beach, swimming and exploring the countryside by bicycle and on foot. My other great interest was music. In my teens I was the despair of my teachers, playing the trombone in two orchestras, being organist of the village church and indulging in informal music-making with friends to the detriment of my studies. However I did continue my studies at the Royal Academy of Music for three years and after

October 2015

[Our October Article has been written by John Barrett]


Dear Friends

It has been hardly what one would call a great summer. When we wanted rain at the Oval it stayed dry - otherwise it rained and rained. Not as bad as 2012 but bad enough if you planned a special outing for Bank Holiday Monday. We had a three day trip to Bruges at the end of the month and we got soaked though every day especially on a rather sad trip on an open boat on the canals when our views of this beautiful city where completely obscured by our umbrellas!

It is said:
“England does not have a climate it has weather!”

I suppose this prompted Dr Johnson to write in his diary.

“When two Englishmen meet, their first talk is of the weather!”

Considering those comments it made me think the Psalmists must have been Englishmen! Wherever you look in the Psalms there seems to be an illusion to the weather. It is almost

September 2015

[Our September Article has been written by Ann Collier]


Dear Friends


This month sees the start of the new academic year for schools and most colleges and universities. For some, not only will it be a new year, but also a new location. We pray for all who are facing these new challenges that God’s peace and strength may abide with them. We particularly pray for our own Church of England school here in Wentworth at the start of a new school year, for all the staff and the pupils.

As regards the church’s year, our attention is also drawn towards new things at this time. The reading for Trinity XII, the first Sunday of September, speaks of God’s New Covenant with his people (2 Corinthians ch.3 v.4) “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive”, (1 Corinthians, ch.15 v.22) and at the sound of those words the music of Handel’s Messiah thunders in our ears giving them the dramatic emphasis they deserve (some things, one can argue, are definitely better expressed in music!) This reminder of God’s wonderful and enduring promise to us is very reassuring as summer wanes, autumn approaches and winter looms ahead. It is also good to contemplate God’s New Covenant wit his people prior to Advent, which heralds the coming of Christ through who the New Covenant was enacted.

In 2 Corinthians, Chapter 3, Paul emphasises that God “has qualified us to be ministers of a New Covenant, not in a written code but in the spirit, for the written code kills, but the Spirit gives life”. How well that sums it up! Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to try to lay down rules of “do’s and don’ts” that cover absolutely every eventuality so as to be just and fair? Moses tried and

August 2015

[This article first appeared in the July 2015 issue of ‘Connection’ – the magazine of Christ Church, Virginia Water, Surrey]

Dear Friends

Whilst looking for an article for our magazine I came upon this piece which seemed to me to be rather apt for the time of year

“80 years ago this month, on 21st Aug 1935, the Rev John Hartley, the British tennis champion, died. He was the world’s number one player in 1879 and 1880, when he won Wimbledon both years. He was the only clergyman to ever win Wimbledon. Here Richard Bewes, a keen tennis man, looks back on Hartley’s life…

“Lawn Tennis,” wrote J.B. Priestley, “is a name with the mildest associations. It suggests a companion pastime to croquet, a late-Victorian thing, bright with petticoats and delicately clouded

July 2015

[Our editorial this month is written by Barbara Sabin]


Dear Friends

Do you ever give thanks for the kindness of God? You can read in the Old Testament ‘God chose you not because you were big and important, the fact is there was almost nothing to you, He did it out of sheer love….’

Have you heard of Eddie Rickenbacker?

"Thousands of Americans laid aside their newspapers on Oct. 22, 1942, and abandoned hope for Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker and his seven companions after reading the last message, radioed from their Flying Fortress...."

They were eight men adrift in the Pacific with four oranges, no water, one working watch, life jackets, a Bible, and a few flares. Could they survive the weeks between disaster and rescue? Seven did. This is their story reconstructed from the salt-encrusted diary of

June 2015

[Our June Article is written by John Barrett


Dear Friends

In my last Parish, almost ever day, my wife and I would walk our dogs in a very well known area of Birmingham known as the Lickey Hills. Being creatures of habit we followed an almost identical track through the trees and then out onto the open space to look down on Rubery (our Parish). We would walk in the wind, the rain, the snow and even the sunshine. It was one of the glorious privileges of living in that part of the county.

Usually Mary and I walked together and so kept each other company. However on rare occasions I had to walk the dogs alone. Our dogs may have been pretty but they were not great conversationalist. So as I walked I tended to find myself deep in thought and miles away and walking on automatic pilot. My feet knew the way!

However I recall one particular occasion when walking by myself. I suddenly I looked up and saw what I thought was a new wooden memorial erected on the green. I thought that’s strange. That wasn't there yesterday! I went forward a few paces to examine this new memorial more closely. Then I saw it wasn’t a new memorial but the same broken down seat, which had stood in that spot for ever! It wasn’t that my eyes had deceived me. Rather that my first look at it had been from a different position. For some reason I had cut the corner and. so approached the seat from a new and for me, unusual angle!

Because of this I saw things very differently. My eyes and then my mind had taken in the information. A quick analysis and I had drawn the conclusion that before me was a new object. From that angle the old seat the old bench became a brand new wooden

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