JUNE 2001

This is selected highlights from Lindfield United Reformed Church's monthly magazine, Good News. It is freely available from the Church and Lindfield Post Office. The printed edition also contains useful information regarding local meetings and 'Family News'.
If don't live in the area, and wish to recieve a copy of the magazine, please Email the Editors.

Contents this month:

• Worship in June (Norman Smith)

• Letter from the Minister (Norman Smith)

• Invisible God (Suzy Jacques)

• The squirrel writes... (Brother Bushby)

• Lindfield Christian Care Home (Sarah Smith)

• Expecting the Holy Spirit

• Reflection on May Church Meeting

• Dark areas of the World (Herbert Fisher)

• Youth work (Stuart Dew)

• Sussex Christian Camps (Peter Trump)


Worship in May





David Nibloe and Mike Gardiner


Ron Goodenough


Lindfield United Service at All Saints – Mike Gardiner



David Nibloe and Brian Stone


Brian Stone





COMMUNION – Norman Smith


Fiona Tingley and Norman Smith


Richard Walters and Peter Trump



Gerald Bowerman (from Camberley)


COMMUNION – Gerald Bowerman


Mike Gardiner

Lindfield URC Main Site Personal prayer is available after every service. Prayer requests and brief statements of praise for answered prayer can be put in the red book on the concourse table. You can ask the minister for personal prayer ministry at home or in hospital.


This is my last opportunity to write to you around the great festival of Pentecost, about the importance and strategic work of the Holy Spirit.He makes such an amazing difference to our lives and to the life of any church ready to welcome him. He blows the cobwebs away, often disturbs everything that has appeared so neat and tidy and cut and dried! He can make us feel uncomfortable, both about things that have happened and about the challenges confronting us. But he is always rooting for our best interests.He helps us to become Christians in the first place. No one can truly say ‘Jesus is Lord’ unless the Holy Spirit has been at work.

The strange thing is that we so often try to get by without him. Church can become very routine. We struggle in our own strength, we find prayer a chore and Bible reading dull. We glimpse the extraordinary benefits of knowing Jesus but fail to call on the Spirit to help us share the incredible good news of God’s love with even our closest friends and family. We get weighed down by a sense of responsibility to lead or serve but miss out on the liberation and celebration which are all part and parcel of being a Christian.

The supernatural power which raised Jesus from the dead is present in every believer, but many of us behave as if the ‘trip switch’ has gone off and we have no sense of connection with him.

Thirty years ago, I remember knowing, even believing, the theory of the Christian faith but with no awareness of the unlocked resources available of the Holy Spirit! When I finally discovered his refreshment and renewal, I quickly learnt that he needs to be called on frequently and the church has to be continually open to his influence and empowering. He can provide resources for each local church to do the work of the kingdom in vibrant, exciting, faithful ways. He desires to equip us, often surprisingly, with the gifts needed to be a relevant church for the twenty-first century.

What a joy it would be to witness a fresh move of the Holy Spirit in our fellowship so that the joy of the Lord really does become our strength and those around us see more clearly the glory of Jesus. He moves when we are ready to be sorry that we have not lived in accordance with God’s ways. He moves when we are then willing to set out on a new path and He moves when we have the courage simply to ask him to fill us to overflowing with his presence.

Yours in the love of Jesus

Lindfield URC Main Site



I’ve now got to that time of the year when I can say "This time last year, I was in Kenya". Much of it seems so long ago and so far away that I almost can’t believe I was there. So I’ve started reading back my journal, amazed at all I got up to. Being met by a complete stranger at a distant airport, watching "Some mothers do ‘ave ‘em" on my first night there, my first view of the Great Rift Valley – and, of course, my first Swahili church service when the President turned up! All that and more in the first ten days – how dull my past ten days seem in comparison!

This is actually a book review but there is a link to the Kenya experience. You see, when I went to Kenya, I had these grand ideas that, by being a volunteer with a missionary organisation, I’d somehow have a much closer relationship with God, that by working for him nine ‘til five, I’d automatically feel him nearer to me.

Now, in many ways, that did work out. We had prayer times during the day and there were many things that we relied on God for in prayer, though these were more often requests for missionaries in remote locations, as we could generally help ourselves more easily in Nairobi.

But a better relationship with God did not come hand-in-hand with the job description and, in fact, at times, there was even more reason to wonder where God was in many devastating situations. It begged the question that, if God didn’t answer the prayers of these missionaries who had given up their lives to serve him, then why should he answer my prayers?

So, when I stumbled across Philip Yancey’s book "Reaching for the Invisible God" just recently, as I read, I began to realise that by the very fact that God is ‘invisible’ – we can’t see or touch him and most of us do not actually hear him audibly – Christians will doubt.

The book is written in an easy to read, conversational way, with lots of anecdotes and analogies to get his points across. Though I can’t quote from the book (as I’ve already passed it on to my sister to read) the general message was that we can know that God exists but there will be times when, due to his invisibility, we doubt him or his goodness. The encouraging part was that all Christians go through this and that God is using these times of doubt to build our faith.

Though I learned and experienced many things in Kenya, I didn’t ‘experience God’ in the way I had expected. Yet, over the past nine months since I returned, I would definitely say that God has been using my doubts to build my faith and I know that I am better for it.

P.S. If you have any doubts over my enthusiasm for this book, just speak to anyone in my house group as I babbled incessantly on the subject on many a Thursday evening!

Suzy Jacques

Lindfield URC Main Site

Message from the Ryecroft Squirrel …

The missus of the house caught me right by the back door, trying to find one of my larders. When she shouted and waved her hands, I decided it was better to retreat. I have claws of my own and teeth that bite but, on this occasion, I decided to turn and run, with no hard feelings. Humans should be forbearing of one another, too, I understand!

I knew that she had been having a demanding time looking after the old man. From the trees at the bottom of the garden, I had been able to catch sight of him, from time to time, in bed! The room is a bedroom so nothing strange about that, except this was during the day! In fact, I counted ten days and he just stayed in bed flat on his back. I thought, "I must somehow tell the folk next-door what I have discovered." He is supposed to be the minister, who should be up at the crack of dawn, out and about, or in his study, going visiting, or at meetings nearly every day of the week. In fact, he should generally be earning his acorns! Then I noticed different people sitting beside him on a chair in the bedroom. They were all from the place next door so I decided I did not need to use the bushy telegraph.

Some stayed ten minutes and others at least an hour. I found out that they were taking part in what they apparently call ‘pastoral visiting’. The idea is that the visitor ‘listens’ to the conversation and chips in occasionally with the odd question. He or she then uses some words, or puts on an expression, of encouragement. Occasionally, the visitor gets out a book, usually a little one, and reads from it. Then they both shut their eyes and are apparently talking to someone I cannot see. The old man certainly seemed to benefit from all this and, just once in a while, the visitor got a cup of tea and a piece of cake. I gather some of them are quite good at doing this kind of thing and do it frequently but it isn’t everybody’s cup of tea! Another example, I suppose, of ‘pawsing’ for thought and finding out from ‘the one I cannot see’ if this is a job for you.

Brother Bushby

Lindfield URC Main Site


Farewell and Welcome

On two Friday evenings at the end of April, the lounge of Compton House was unusually full as staff, relatives, volunteers and friends gathered to pay tribute to Peter and Jennifer Diack as they ‘retired’ from the House Managers role of LCCH.

Bryan Barnes and Charis Wilson gave a light hearted insight into some of the tasks Peter and Jennifer have found themselves doing throughout the eight and a half years they have been in the role.

Keith Ward reminded us that both had been involved much longer than that, as they were part of the group from the three Lindfield Churches, who had seen their prayers answered in a miraculous way when Compton House was first purchased from John and Ann Blake. (If you don’t know the story do take the time to read the book "The story of Compton House").

Grateful thanks were expressed for the way God has richly blessed and directed the work under Peter and Jennifer’s leadership, and we are pleased to learn that Peter will continue to provide spiritual input, especially as he expects to continue leading some of the Sunday afternoon services.

Opportunity was also given to meet Mrs Janis Daw, the new House Manager. Janis comes with a wealth of experience, having qualified as a State Enrolled Nurse, and then for the last fifteen years served in Senior Management of a Personnel and Training organisation. We are confident she will continue to maintain the high standard of Christian care, as she works alongside Charis and all the nursing staff.

Volunteers from the three churches, who help with gardening, serving teas, visiting the residents etc. play a vital role too, and if you are able to serve in some way, please contact Janis. Please continue to pray for the important work of LCCH.

A new brochure publicising Compton House is currently being produced by our own David Tingley and should be available shortly.

Sarah Smith

Lindfield URC Main Site



Check list for Christians on just twelve of his specialities …

  1. 1. Gives a greater sense of God’s love and holiness

  2. 2. Creates a wonderful sense of assurance that we are, quite undeservedly, ‘safe with God’

  3. 3. May make us very uncomfortable about our complacency and some of our habits

  4. 4. Helps us to become more like Jesus in our attitudes and actions

  5. 5. Gives us a greater desire to read the Bible and pray expectantly

  6. 6. Brings us into unity with those of different ages and outlook

  7. 7. Entrusts us with abilities to be successful kingdom workers

  8. 8. Awakens a greater desire to be generous

  9. 9. Increases our longing to care for others

  10. 10. Makes our private and corporate worship more vibrant and relevant

  11. 11. Enthuses us, and empowers us, to pass on the Good News

  12. 12. Gives us strength to cope with situations that appear impossible.

Sadly, we often block the Spirit because we have been put off by apparent ‘excesses’ and unhelpful ministry …
… so we miss out on all the blessings and benefits he longs to give!


Lindfield URC Main Site



As a variety of people at the meeting made their individual contributions, under a whole range of topics, there seemed to be a common theme emerging!

Again and again, it was said that our church needs to take seriously the challenge to be more involved in our community. This could simply mean that we encourage one another to join village clubs and societies, if we do not belong already, and maybe explore the possibility of taking advantage of what is on offer through the University of the Third Age! Unless Christians develop friendships with others and, by word and deed, reflect the love of the Lord Jesus, the sharp end of evangelism will be severely blunted.

Some of those present were acutely aware that their weekly schedule is already crammed full, often with ‘church type’ meetings, so, in order to release people for such participation, the church might need to make a radical review of its weekly programme!

Most significantly, one of our younger members urged us to be aware of our Christian responsibility to be simply involved, in a caring or serving capacity, for the sake of those currently outside the church.

I am conscious of the fact that a sizeable percentage of our members is already involved in certain groups and organisations – things like CARE, Meals On Wheels, The British Legion, The Women’s Insitute …

We also rely heavily on a committed core of people to lead and help in a busy church programme. Without them, we would not be able to sustain our work among children, young people, senior citizens, people in need, visitors to the church …

So, what is the answer?


Lindfield URC Main Site



Our Mission giving, in April, was devoted to Central Asia – so described above. But is it? This seems to imply that our western world – Europe, USA etc. – is an area of light, freed and prosperous in the light of the gospel. Many Christian denominations started Missionary Societies around at the beginning of the 19th century and did great pioneering and sacrificial work in taking the gospel to ‘foreign lands’. But colonisation of whole areas of the world followed and the western nations thought to convert their colonies into models based upon their own constitutional pattern.

The 20th century saw many of these countries establish their own national churches, to some extent bound together by the World Council of Churches. It also brought independence (so-called) to many, with the worst features of greed, dictatorship and ethnic cleansing following. Meantime, the ‘enlightened’ west is pursuing a policy of ‘what we have, we hold’ as the recent need to reduce indebtedness of third-world countries demonstrated.

In what light do we stand in the 21st century? National prosperity, economics and the encouragement of people to look after themselves first, preach a text very different from "Love your neighbour".

Yes, let us encourage every effort to take the gospel to Asia but let us not believe that we have really acted upon the good news of Jesus Christ, or look down on others as if we are in the light.

Herbert Fisher

Lindfield URC Main Site



Our own detailed policy document on Working with Children and Young People has been published and is in the process of being distributed to all leaders and helpers with Youth and Children’s groups. It contains advice on good practice, as well as detailed instructions on what should happen if an incident of child abuse is disclosed or suspected.

Although the leadership of our Youth and Children’s activities is of a high calibre, we shouldn’t take the view that this is something that couldn’t concern us; we have to be prepared. Besides, if a child comes to trust a Junior Church teacher or Youth or Brigade leader, he or she could decide that this is the trusted adult in whom to confide, perhaps about something happening at home or at school. We have to know how to respond appropriately.

If you are not actively involved with our Youth or Children’s work but would like a copy of the policy document, please see Janet Drayton who is organising distribution. You would also be welcome to attend a Seminar, organised for Youth and Children’s workers, in the church lounge, at 8.00pm, on Wednesday, 4th July.

I am named in the policy as the ‘Point of Reference’ person with whom any child protection concerns should be discussed.

Stuart Dew

Lindfield URC Main Site


Lindfield URC Main Site


Children under your feet? Not sure what to do?


Ages 9 to 13 catered for Sunday 29th July to Friday 3rd August

Fully equipped and safe site in the Sussex countryside, just south of Uckfield, closely supervised by experienced personnel. It is a Christian camp with an emphasis on leading and helping young people to accept Jesus Christ as their own personal saviour.

There is also a Youth Camp, for 14- to 19-year olds, from Sunday, 5th August, to Friday, 10th August.

Both weeks offer an exciting and varied programme
We also need lots of help!
1. Prayer
2. Tent leaders (male and female) for the first week. Are you a Christian, young and active, looking to work with young people? Here’s your opportunity
3. Cooks and general kitchen staff (complete teams welcome!)
4. A backroom couple (to stay on site full-time as odd-job, maintenance and general welfare people)
5. Friday, 27th, and Saturday, 28th, help to erect marquees and tents
6. Saturday, 11th, help to pack everything away!
More information, application forms and costs from:
Peter Trump – 01444-451572

Lindfield URC Main Site






Lindfield URC Main Site