Local Arrangement 10/6/18

10th June 2018 saw our Local Arrangement.   It was Methodist Homes Association Sunday and as they are celebrating their 75th anniversary this year, we thought it would be a great way of recognising the wonderful work of this organisation.

MHA was founded in 1943 by a group of Methodists who wanted to improve the quality of life of older people in the time before the creation of the Welfare State. MHA was founded by the Methodist Church as an independent charity to provide care, support and accommodation for older people in need.

MHA now runs 90 care homes, 72 retirement living schemes and 61 Live at Home schemes, supporting more than 18,000 older people across England, Scotland and Wales, employing 7,000 staff and enjoying the support of over 5,500 volunteers.

It continues to invest in services for older people, as evidenced by its newest care home – Montpellier Manor near Middlesbrough which opened its doors to its first residents in March 2018.

Now that calls for a celebration!

As part of its celebrations, MHA is holding a Service of Thanksgiving at Derby Cathedral on Saturday 13th October, starting at 3pm.

We also took a retiring collection after the service for MHA and will do again next week.

Matt, Helen and Ben performed a puppet sketch with our old favourite puppet, Grandpa.  Grandpa told us of all the things we take for granted now but that were not around when he was a boy.  It was so funny and made us all laugh, especially when his granddaughter’s mobile phone rang during the service!

Colin gave an informative talk on the ages of man which was both interesting and humorous.  Gil did the Bible reading and Heather our prayers of intercession.  Douglas prayed over the offertory and Wendy gave the closing blessing.

Sue hosted the ‘Generation Game’.  It was hilarious.  There were two teams comprising of Julia and Heather on one team and Ben and Matt on the other.  The task was to ice and decorate fairy cakes.  The real unintended challenge on the day, being on how to operate the nozzle on the icing!!  Both teams rose to the challenge and although the congregation had to judge which were the best decorated cakes – we were stumped to make a choice – so both teams drew.  We enjoyed the cakes during refreshments and so we were all winners.

Keg spoke of how God used older men and women from the Bible, people who were in their golden years but listened and acted on His word, having to trust in Him and in His strength to perform the tasks that were given to them, but also having the wisdom of years and depth of  spiritual insight to not act impetuously.   People such as Abram, Moses, Eli, Simeon and Anna still working and dedicating their lives to working in His service at their great ages but all being mightily blessed for their faithfulness.  This is a real encouragement to us today.  Our lives are not over when maybe our culture sees us as old and past it, we can still dedicate ourselves to His service, and God sees us as precious in older age as He did in our youth.


Here is a rather nice quote from Billy Graham who died this year aged 99 years having served God all his life, into advanced old age:-

Scripture is filled with examples of men and women whom God used late in life, often with great impact – men and women who refused to use old age as an excuse to ignore what God wanted them to do. Billy Graham


Club 15 August 2018

For the Club 15 event in August I shall be leading a walk on Wednesday 15th August from near Finchampstead to the Tally Ho pub in Eversley.

Those who came on last year’s walk, and wondered where our footpath continued to, will be able to find out for themselves this time. The outbound leg of the walk will be around 2km undertaken in daylight passing through pleasant countryside before reaching the pub, and those who wish to may terminate their walk here. Later that evening, some may like to join me retracing our steps to the start point, when we might experience some of the sights and sounds of the countryside at night.

If you are interested, please contact me for further details, letting me know if you intend to do the full walk or the short version so that I can organise car parking etc.

Robert Godden

07543 800921 / godden_robert@yahoo.com

tally ho

Praise and Prayer June 2018

Thirteen of us enjoyed an afternoon of fellowship, singing hymns and praying for our families, friends and the wider community. Audrey Gamlin gave us an insight into changing career midlife when Roy and Audrey trained to become fully qualified funeral directors. She had interesting stories to tell and showed how their faith sustained them.

We were missing Diane Knight but luckily for us Joan and Sandra stepped in and refreshments were served. Do come and join us at the next meeting on 10th July.



Club 15 July 2018


Sunday 15th July, I am hosting a picnic at Highcliffe.

Spectacular views across the sea to the picturesque Isle of Wight (am I selling it to you?).

For those of you who might like an early start, I am preaching in the morning at Milford on Sea SO41 0QE at their 10.45 service.  If you are looking for a more leisurely start then 1pm at 5 Edwards Court, Wortley Road, Highcliffe BH23 5DR.

Please bring your own picnic and chairs.

Please let me know if you are coming and also if you are coming to the service.

I look forward to hearing from you.


07721611700 or diana@polygonum.co.uk


Open Garden 7/7/18

Tom and Chris Barker are opening their beautiful garden on Saturday July 7th in aid of Bracknell Methodist Church Charity of the Year, Pilgrim Hearts.

As well as viewing the garden the entrance fee of £5 includes free tea/coffee, a slice of delicious homemade cake, a plant stall and a cake stall.

The garden at 89a, Ellis Road, Crowthorne RG45 6PJ is open from2pm to 5pm.


Minister’s letter July 2018

Dear friends,

Shhhhh…………come closer……….…let me whisper something to you……….I don’t actually like football very much. There it is, I’ve confessed! Unlikely though it may seem with a husband who is a referee and two sons who, with him, are keen Watford supporters, you would think that over the years some of their enthusiasm would have rubbed off, but no, I’ve never been bitten by the bug and I couldn’t tell you the offside rule to save my life!

Nevertheless, there’s something about World Cup fever that is catching. It’s hard not to share in the sense of optimism and hope that is buzzing around at this stage of the games. Where else could diverse countries from opposites sides of the world do battle without bloodshed, Davids and Goliaths compete on an even playing field, or people of different faiths and ethnicities play for the same team and be judged only on their footballing skill? Of course supporters want their own country’s team to win, that’s only natural, but there’s a grace in playing well and yet losing that softens the blow of the defeat.

The excitement of the World Cup invades our TV screens and social media, it pervades our schools, shops and conversations. Children – and adults! – are busy collecting World Cup stickers. We can try to avoid it or we can embrace it and join in the celebration or commiseration as each game is played.

I think the atmosphere at the Russian venues must be amazing and electrifying. It would blow a person away tACo be there and join in when the crowds erupt into singing. I can’t help thinking: wouldn’t it be wonderful to hear such a mass of voices praising God? The nearest I’ve ever come to it was at Soul Survivor where over 9,000 young people and their leaders crammed into a Big Top every evening and sung their hearts out. A goose-bumps moment for sure.  Yet 9,000 pales into insignificance compared with the numbers that attend World Cup matches, with the 1950 final between Brazil and Uruguay still holding the record for the highest attendance ever at nearly 200,000.

Imagine if all those people gathered, not to watch their football heroes but in love and adoration of the greatest hero of all time: Jesus Christ….. Well, the Bible promises us that such a day will come when ‘at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Philip. 2: 10) On that day surely we will taste heaven and everyone will be a winner.

With every blessing,




Hawaii 2018 – exciting but not too exciting!

I have been asked to write a bit about my recent family holiday to Hawai’i—not because you really want to know about my family holiday, but because of the recent seismic activity that started while we were there.

Having arrived in Hawai’i (the Big Island) on Friday 27th April, we got to our accommodation in Volcano Village on Sun 29th. This is just on the northern edge of the Volcanoes National Park which contains Kilauea, the currently most active volcano on Hawai’i. On Monday 30th we spent the day in the south-eastern corner (Pahoa area) visiting the Lava Tree State Monument, and driving as far west along the coast road (Highway 137) that it is possible to drive. The lava flows between 1986 and 2004 cut that road off as the lava reached the sea. The house insurance situation in Hawaii is that you still own the land if your house is overrun by lava, (even though it might be 10m below the lava), so we found people rebuilding houses there now on bare lava (see below).


The next day was spent in Volcanoes National Park. We walked through a crater next to the main Kilauea caldera, on top of the lava lake (thankfully solidified but steaming gently here and there) called Kilauea Iki (see below) and visited the Thurston Lava Tube.


All ok so far—no seismic activity. But on Thursday 3rd we drove along the Saddle Road, visiting the highest peak on Hawai’i (Mauna Kea) which houses an observatory. As we were driving, we saw a curious pinkish plume in the sky off to the south-east, and on checking, found that this was coming from the Pu’u O’o crater (between Kilauea and Pahoa) – a rock fall into the crater causing it. No big deal we thought—it didn’t last long.

The next day though—everything changed. Once again in Volcanoes National Park, we drove down Chain of Craters Road, to the south-east, stopping at Pu’u Loa to see the petroglyphs (figures etched in the lava). While on the boardwalk there, we all seemed to trip—at exactly the same time—and realised that actually this was due to an earthquake (5.3 on the Richter scale). A few minutes later a cloud of pink ash/dust could be seen to the north of us coming out of Pu’u O’o. Ok—quite exciting, but still no big deal.

The big deal happened an hour or so later when we were at the coast, at the end of Chain of Craters Road, where it would have joined up with Highway 137 to the east had the 1986-2004 lava flow not cut it off. We had just parked when the big earthquake happened. This was 6.9 on the Richter scale, and went on for over 10 seconds, knocking me off my feet. What a scary (and yet exhilarating) experience to have the ground move under your feet, and keep on moving! Part of the cliffs just there fell into the sea and Jen (who you might remember has a PhD in volcanology) started to herd us back to the car because she realised that, depending on where the epicentre was, there might be a tsunami. A little while later the Park Rangers arrived and started moving everyone out of the Park—or at least to much higher up where we would be safe. Pu’u O’o was now producing more dust/ash (see below).


So we were the first to set off—finding that we had to stop the car a number of times to move rocks off the road that had been shaken down from the sides.

We checked the internet on getting back to Volcano Village, Jen looking at the data rather than what you see on the news, and found that this was a significant seismic event, with the main crater in Kilauea caldera (Halema’uma’u) also now producing dust/ash.

Over the next few days there were many aftershocks. Our house was made of wood and just shook and groaned each time with pictures going crooked, cupboard doors coming open and things falling off shelves. Back in Pahoa, fissures were opening up, producing more and more lava as the days went by. There are around 20 fissures now (20/5/18) and the lava has flowed all the way to the sea, cutting off Highway 137 again— east of the place where it was cut off before, where we had just been. The triangle between Highways 130, 132 and 137 has now been partially evacuated, a number of dwellings destroyed, and one person seriously injured by blobs of lava being spurted out of a fissure. He was just sitting on his third floor balcony so it had been thrown quite a distance!

Volcanoes National Park is partially closed—some of the roads still accessible, but trails that we had walked earlier in the week are now closed, and the overlook for Halema’uma’u is also closed. They did open the overlook in the Park again on Sunday 6th, so we went along in the evening, and found that the level of lava in the lava lake had dropped around 700’, the lava having moved towards the east, along the Eastern Rift Zone, contributing to the eruption in Pahoa. Although we couldn’t see any lava, the red glow from it down below was reflected in the emissions and clouds (see below).


We flew to Honolulu a couple of days later.

I am left with an overwhelming sense of awe at God’s creation, and gratitude that I was there for the start of this amazing seismic event—we arrived just at the right time and left before it got worse. Sadly thousands of residents of the Pahoa district are not so lucky.

Sue T

There are lots of photos of the trip on Facebook if you have an account— just search for ‘Sue Truby’ and look at the ‘Hawaii 2018’ album.