THE CENTRE CHAPLAIN’S CORNER – December
We enter into December 2018 wondering what 2019 is going to bring and reflecting on the circumstances, events as well as situations which have occurred in 2018.
The year seems to have gone by very quickly but can be remembered especially by the very warm weather we experienced. We should question what have been the successes or failures during the year in order to learn lessons and make any necessary improvements in the service The Centre provides.
What has happened in The Christian Centre over this year of 2018?
† January and February - Quiet
† 28th March - New chef Jason commenced employment
† March/April - Lent Bible Sessions on the topic ‘Living Faith’ (invitations from the cross by Krish Kandiah)
† 28th April - Plant/Book/DVD sale – over £600
† 20-24 August - Holiday at Home
† 28th August - Celebration of Betty Scott’s life
† 31st August - Thanksgiving Service for Doris Kent
† 3rd November - Pastoral Assistant Authorisation Service for Cathy Merrikin at Guildford Cathedral
† 7th November - Companionship and Cake Afternoon Tea
† 11th November - ‘Passing Away’ of Eric (Café Guest)
† 22nd November – 10/01/19 - Day time Advent Bible Sessions at Christian Centre
As aforesaid in November’s magazine my contract has been extended for another two years for which I am very grateful. My pastoral work continues, particularly in the Café during the morning and at lunch time. There have been several homeless people and we have been able to help and support them in their difficulties. One gentleman after a very long wait has been given a room by the Mole Valley Council for which he is so appreciative.
By sometimes working in the afternoon I often meet people who are seeking some kind of help and it has been advantageous to have been available.
Our Listening Service is still in place on one day a week. We certainly need to have this service two or three days a week. One of our regular listeners (from Crossways Baptist Church) has now moved on and we thank him for his service over a couple of years or so. Very grateful thanks to Diana Burgess who comes in on Thursdays to provide a Listening Service. One lady comes twice a week from Kingston on the bus for this service as she finds the support she receives invaluable.
The summer was comparatively quiet and a few people are not here any longer. We miss dear Betty Scott at the till and then Eric a very regular Café Guest passed away on Sunday the 11th November 2018 at 11am. He was noticeably becoming frailer but always independent travelling on his electric scooter everywhere to the other end of the town for a trip or into Sainsbury’s to do his shopping. He will also be missed. Memories though become treasures.
About ten or twelve of us went to Guildford Cathedral on Saturday the 3rd of November to support Cathy Merrikin as she was authorised by Bishop Jo to be a Pastoral Assistant. It was a special day and there is more about the service in the magazine. Hopefully Cathy will be helping with the Listening Service in the new year and she also assists with SMURF’s.
Lunch will take place at The Christian Centre on Christmas Day. 11 am for coffee and mince-pies; lunch at 12 midday or thereabouts. A full programme will be available nearer the time.
It is important to please book the lunch via the Centre Managers on 01306 886830 (09:00 – 14:00) for catering purposes. Two couples from St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church have volunteered – the ladies doing the cooking and the gentlemen hosting plus dealing with the necessary ‘techy’ things i.e. The Queens 3pm Christmas Day Speech.
Let us remember the real meaning of Christmas. The theme for the Advent Bible sessions which will have commenced in November is ‘Making Room for Jesus’. In the busyness of Christmas with all the cooking and entertaining sometimes no room is made for Jesus.
There was no room at the inn for Jesus when he was born (Luke 2 v 7) but he is no longer that baby – he grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man (Luke 2 v 52). was no room for Jesus in his mature years either and he was crucified. Jesus died so that we might live, but He is risen and He will come again. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Do you have room for Jesus in your life? Could you make more room for Jesus as you live your daily lives. A challenging question to ask is ‘Would I do or say whatever it may be if Jesus was by my side’? The answer well might be ‘no’ on more than one occasion.
May God care for you particularly this Christmas time even when some of you have experienced sadness during the year. Make Jesus the focus of your life now and especially in 2019 and for the years in the future. None of us know exactly what is going to happen with Brexit but just hang on to the fact that ‘God is in control and He does care’ even if we perceive this is not the case!
God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. …….. but if we walk in the light, as he is the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son purifies us from all/every sin. This is the true meaning of Christmas and by faith we believe that Jesus died for our sins so that we might be saved and one day we will be with Him for evermore.
God richly bless each one of you and may you sense his nearness to you especially if you need his assuring comfort.
Rowan Nunnerley (Centre Chaplain)
Contact details: 01306 886830 or 07706 041339