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No.314                                                                                                                           March 2020



From our minister

Dear Friends  

I am working on this letter just before the start of Lent – which as always begins on Ash Wednesday – this year on 26th February.  That is marked with a Circuit service – including Holy Communion and the imposition of Ashes.  For me that service is the right way to start Lent - a reminder of our frailty and weakness, and a pledge to give of ourselves in Christ’s service.

Lent is a time when many give themselves a little more to prayer, study or acts of service – or just settle for giving up something!  The choice to be active in our Christian discipleship during Lent is right and proper.  Using these 40 days (less the Sundays, which are technically not part of Lent) to do something different is a good thing. 

Plans are under way for a church Lent course, which will be on Tuesday afternoons, studying the film “I, Daniel Blake”, with materials from Church Action on Poverty.  There are many other options also.  “All we can” (Methodist Relief and Development) offers both a booklet and weekly emails to assist in our journey through Lent (their theme this year is “Radically changing the story”) as well as Biblical reflections, prayers, powerful stories and opportunities to act to help lives affected by climate change. 

JPIT – the Joint Public Issues Team of our Church and others – also have materials and a challenge for us this Lent.  They offer “Living Lent” - an opportunity to respond to the urgent call for climate action by making a significant personal commitment to changing your lifestyle for the climate.  They invite us to choose one of 6 actions which will help the climate.  (Information about this and All We Can options can be found on the Internet)

For those wanting to pray through Lent, there are some booklets, entitled “Transform Croydon”, provided by the Croydon Churches Forum at the back of the church.  They offer a prayer subject for something in Croydon, usually the work of the churches, for each day of Lent and just beyond.  Please take a copy and offer your prayers alongside others throughout the Borough. 

With every blessing for your Lenten journey, 


New minister to join our Circuit 

The Circuit leadership team are very pleased to announce that we will welcome Revd. Sang Wook Han as a probationer minister from September 2020 to replace Revd. Kathy Flynn.  He will be minister of Caterham, Hurst Green and Whitethorn Avenue churches and will also be involved at Warlingham church.  We are all looking forward to enjoying his ministry amongst us. 

World Day of Prayer 

Come to the World Day of Prayer and be part of the largest church congregation in the world, on the first Friday in March.  The Day of Prayer is a global, women-led organisation, celebrated in over 170 countries and is for everyone.  The same service, in different languages, travels throughout the world beginning in Samoa, then through Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas, before finishing in American Samoa more than 36 hours later. 

Women of Zimbabwe have prepared this year’s service and they encourage us all to reflect on the difficulties and unrest that have plagued their country over many years.  They share the challenges they have met, and the hopes they have for the future.  On the theme of ‘Rise, take your mat and walk’ they invite us to walk with them as they continue their often turbulent journey towards full reconciliation. 

You are invited to join in the service on Friday 6 March at 10.30am at the Old Coulsdon Congregational Church, and afterwards to stay for refreshments and meet friends from other churches. 

Lent study meetings 

There will be six meetings on Tuesday afternoons at 2.30pm, starting on 25 February.  (The meeting on 10 March may be subject to change.)  Please enquire about the location.  We will be looking at the film “I Daniel Blake” and using materials prepared by Church Action on Poverty.  All are welcome to come to these meetings, which have different stand-alone topics. 

Fairtrade Fortnight 

Fairtrade Fortnight runs from Monday 24 February - Sunday 8 March.  This year's theme is all to do with cocoa, one of the most recognisable Fairtrade products.  However, you might be surprised to know just how many Fairtrade products are out there.  From black pepper and turmeric to peanut butter, muesli, body butter and lip gloss, there is so much to choose from.  Why not have a look on the Fairtrade website and see what other products you can buy and play your part in ensuring that farmers get a fair price for their crops. 

Church diary 

Sun 1 Mar.      10am               Holy Communion (Rev. Stephen Mares) 

Tue 3 Mar.       2.30pm             Lent study group (see above) 

Thu 5 Mar.       10.30am          Open church (Prayers at 11.45) 

                        1.30pm             Table tennis (in church hall) 

Fri 6 Mar         10.30am          World Day of Prayer service (see above) 

Sun 8 Mar.      8.45am             Bible study breakfast (Jonah) 

10am                Morning worship (own arrangements) 

Mon 9 Mar.      8pm                 Open to Question (at Sanderstead M.C.) 

Tue 10 Mar.     (tbc)                 Lent study group (see above) 

Thu 12 Mar.     10.30am          Open church (Prayers at 11.45) 

                        1.30pm             Table tennis (in church hall) 

Sun 15 Mar.    10am               Morning worship (Curtis Juman) 

                        6.30pm            Holy Communion (at Whitethorn Avenue) 

Mon 16 Mar.    10am               Craft Club (Liberated canvas) 

Tue 17 Mar.     2.30pm             Lent study group (see above) 

Thu 17 Mar.     10.30am          Open church (Prayers at 11.45) 

                        1.30pm             Table tennis (in church hall) 

Sun 22 Mar.    10am               Morning worship (Rev. Stephen Mares) 

Tue 24 Mar.     2.30pm             Lent study group (see above) 

Wed 25 Mar.    2.30pm             Time for Tea 

Thu 24 Mar.     10.30am          Open church (Prayers at 11.45) 

                        1.30pm             Table tennis (in church hall) 

Sun 29 Mar     10am               Morning worship (Peace Furusa) 

Tue 31 Mar.     2.30pm             Lent study group (see above) 

Thu 2 Apr         10.30am         Open church (Prayers at 11.45) 

                        1.30pm             Table tennis (in church hall) 

Sun 5 Apr        10am               Palm Sunday (tba)


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