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.


9.30am Colin Bones (URC minister at Canford Heath, Poole)
11.00am Colin Bones
6.30pm Norman Nibloe (Owner of HH Christian Bookshop)

9.30am Ron Goodenough
11.00am Ron Goodenough
6.30pm COMMUNION (in round) Norman Smith

9.30am BRIGADE ENROLMENT - David Walters
11.00am Stuart Dew

9.30am Stephen Newell (URC minister at Long Ashton, Wrington and Winscombe)
11.00am COMMUNION - Stephen Newell
6.30pm Stephen Newell


What a great two weeks! For two days, in the blistering sun - do you still remember? - workers put up three very large marquees and twelve large ridge tents. The kitchen was cleaned from top to bottom, including all the pots and pans. Loos were installed, food purchased, all was ready!

The first week saw 87 children come to camp. The resident speaker and his wife (Will and Lyn Andrews) Counties workers in Bedfordshire, turned the main marquee into a BIG TOP and chose characters from the Bible, linked with circus acts.

Sunday was the introduction
Monday SAMSON the strong man
Tuesday JONAH the escapologist
Wednesday ELIJAH the fire eater
Thursday DANIEL the lion tamer
Friday MOSES the ring master
Several children were challenged enough to take a small booklet, based on the Prodigal son, entitled "You Matter" and to make a commitment to follow the Lord Jesus Christ.
On the last evening, four parents took a copy of the New Testament and said that they would read it.

With visits to Blacklands, to swing through the trees; Knockhatch, to let your hair down; the Sovereign centre (swimming pool) to wash away your blues or smelly bodies, a good time was had by all.
On Youth Week, 18 teenagers were challenged by the life of Elisha, with studies in the morning and evenings. These sessions were taken by John Skingly, a children's evangelist from Shrewsbury.
Outings were arranged for the day and everyone benefited from their time together.
It was good to see John and Ann Blake come and help - they seemed to be at home! For all those who helped in any way, a big 'thank you', particularly to the cake makers.

So, please, make a note in your diary for next year's camp:
28th July to 2nd August (9-13 year olds)
4th August to 9th August (14+year olds)
Our needs will be the same:
1. Prayer.
2. Tent leaders (male and female) for the first week. Here's an opportunity for active Christians, looking to work with young people.
3. Cooks or a chef.
4. General kitchen staff (complete teams welcome!) washing up etc.
5. A background couple to stay on site full-time, carrying out odd-jobs, maintenance and general welfare of the site - a very important job.
6. Friday, 26th, and Saturday, 27th July, help to erect marquees and tents.
7. Saturday, 10th August, help to pack everything away!

More information, application forms and costs from Peter Trump

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Singing on Sundays

We have been using the combined Songs of Fellowship hymn book for several years. It contains a good breadth of hymns and songs, some very old and some very new. I find it is a good basis for all our services. I realise that not everyone agrees! Those who join us at 9.30am or 6.30pm appear to find much of the material, supplemented with new songs from other sources, inspiring and helpful in worship. Many of those who come at 11.00am appreciate the traditional words of familiar hymns which do not feature in our other hymn book Hymns for Today's Church.

You will not be surprised to learn that there is now a supplement to Songs of Fellowship! New songs are being written all the time, (perhaps you have written one?) and those who go off to national, or international, conferences, often find themselves deeply moved by new songs. After all, Scripture does encourage us to "Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous things" (Psalm 98:1).

I look forward to the possibility of learning new songs during the coming weeks, as well as rejoicing in the great hymns that have been used for centuries.

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Lindfield URC Main Site

An Anniversary

This month, I have the opportunity to share in the 250th Anniversary celebrations of the church, in Kent, where I used to be the minister. It will be a time of meeting up with people whom I knew fairly well twenty to thirty years ago. I have kept in touch with some of them over the years, mostly by the annual Christmas card and the occasional phone call, or meeting. Many members, of course, have now journeyed on to their place in heaven and newcomers have taken their place. The congregation will be rejoicing in the faithful witness of a Christian presence in the main High Street of the town for two-and-a-half centuries. Their building has changed radically in recent years, but so have the surrounding shops and stores. I still recall the hotel which used to be almost adjacent to the church (now a Pound Stretcher shop) and the large, open space at the back, housing the local cricket ground. Sainsburys and Bentalls have built on that, including a huge car park, and the multiplication of commercial premises has escalated. On Sundays, the once fairly quiet neighbourhood has become very busy and the church competes with a lively Macdonalds fast-food store right opposite and a busy Sunday market near its back door. The current minister has, from time to time, taken the morning congregation into the market place to witness to the shopping public!

Whenever Christians engage in celebration, they need to keep in mind the fine line of being glad about the things that never change and being aware of all that needs to change in order that the eternal Gospel is wrapped in the most up-to-date and relevant covering to reach our modern society!

I wonder what changes we need to contemplate in order to be more effective in our own presentation of the amazing grace of the living God?

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During the month of November, we will, once again, be supporting the Operation Christmas Child project that is organised by Samaritan's Purse. The project delivers gifts to hurting children while also telling them about God's greatest gift, His Son Jesus Christ.

As a church, we would like to encourage everyone to get involved by filling up a shoe-box, for a boy or a girl, with gifts such as sweets, small toys and games, school supplies, toiletries, clothing and a Christmas card. The boxes can be tailored to specific age groups (2-4, 5-9 or 10-14). If you are unable to fill a whole shoe-box but would still like to get involved, then speak to anyone from the Missions Group to see how you can help. The filled boxes will be collect during the services on 4th November and will be distributed by Operation Christmas Child to children who have suffered because of war, natural disaster, poverty, illness or neglect.

Let us join with others to bring Christmas joy and hope to millions of children across the world. For further information, pick up a leaflet or speak to Trudy Biersteker, Ron Goodenough, Bill Green, Iris Green or John Barling.

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The old man actually chased me along the fence the other day. I had noticed a strange animal in Ryecroft's back garden so I was doing a bit of snooping.
The animal was about my size but had such a titchy tail. It had longer ears than mine but they were all flopped over - very untidy!

Listening intently, I think his 'missus' said something about guarding the lop-eared rabbit. The old man actually picked it up and took it indoors and I saw it hopping around the kitchen. I wondered if I might try that. I have not, as yet, ventured into the sanctuary of the manse. But then the old man went for me. He shouted 'shoo', clapped his hands and ran after me. I did not think that was the way to make a non-Christian feel welcome!

I also had second thoughts about attempting a visit into the house like the rabbit because the old man soon picked it up and shut it firmly in an outside box called, I think, a hutch. Making sure I kept my distance, I took in the fact that this poor animal is shut away, 'banged up' they would say in the prison world, for more than 23 hours a day. Again, that didn't seem very Christian. The whole emphasis, I seem to remember, from the sermons I have slept through, is that freedom is one of the things on offer. It is said "Become a Christian and find you are free!" I need hardly point out that has no monetary connotation but one is supposed to discover a wonderful sense of liberty by trusting Christ. I voiced my opinion to my better half. She reminded me that, when she went to Oaks Chapel on Sundays, they heard about Christians in prison, banged up for 24, not 23, hours a day. They had names like Paul and Peter (not the rabbit one) but wrote about freedom. Sometimes, I think this Christianity stuff is hard to take in but, I must say, it definitely does a lot of good for many Lindfield residents.

Have you explored it?
Brother Bushby

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Recommended Reading

"Sharing Jesus in a new Millennium" by Rob Frost
This book has been used as a basis for our services during September. It will underline the points you may have heard preached, but also provide much extra material.

"Spiritual Mentoring - A guide for seeking and giving direction" by Keith Anderson & Randy Reese
This has been the basis of our sessions thus far on the subject of mentoring. It is well worth reading to encourage a deeper understanding of this most valuable concept, aimed at encouraging our spiritual growth.

If you prefer something more meaty, try "Mentoring to develop Disciples and Leaders" by John Mallison. He is a man with many years of extensive experience of mentoring Christian leaders, young and old, in all sections of the church.

Another meaty volume, for those interested in serious reading on the subject of Christian Healing, is "A Time to Heal". This claims to be visionary, prophetic and dynamic. It is the first report from the Anglican church on the ministry of healing for over forty years! There is a small handbook published with it which concentrates on practical guidelines.

Anyone interested in wrestling with how our church institutions need to change in order to serve a new generation of Christians is encouraged to read :-
"Church Next" by Eddie Gibbs and Ian Coffey. A volume that looks at developing new leaders, mentoring, worship, spirituality and evangelism and
"The Challenge of Cell Church" by Phil Potter. This is designed to help those who are puzzled but intrigued by the mention of 'cell church'. It covers issues such as shared ministry, discipling, communication, community, evangelism, prayer and worship.

Happy Reading!

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Reality Bites

The pictures of shear horror that we have all seen on our television screens, or heard described in terrible detail on the radio, are that which I have never seen before. Many have compared the devastating attacks on the United States of America with that of modern 'action' movies - but that is the kind of film I don't watch. Why? Because it upsets me. I end up feeling worse than I did before the title sequence! But this is one movie that won't go away and one nightmare that many, sadly, won't wake up from.

The still images are often the most graphic and, as I sit and look, in stunned amazement, out of, what is, I guess, morbid curiosity, I cannot help thinking of how so many spent their last moments on this earth. Fear I cannot imagine and pain I can't bear to.
How would such an instant disaster affect my mind. What reactions might they have seen from their colleagues in those closing minutes?

Amid many bleak statistics, I wonder how many might have chosen prayer over panic, or confession over catastrophe. Who grabbed hold of the love of Jesus Christ for the first time, just after 9.00am on Tuesday, 11th September 2001, in the confines of a building that was creaking under the weight of impact? These people were so desperate that some chose to leap to certain, sudden death rather than wait for the ravaging flames.

These are the same people as you and I, at the beginning of their daily routine, going about their normal business. The ordinary turned extraordinary all too quickly - and the skyline of New York was re-drawn with disturbing ease. These events remind us of the frailty of life and, of course, how far we have let our world slip from the truths that God set down in the Bible.

On this basis then, should we not be even more passionate in telling our friends about Jesus. We cannot determine when our time will be up. I cannot answer your questions about why God allows such a scale of human suffering but I do know that Jesus wants a relationship with each one of us. It is not to fill up church coffers, keep up numbers in the cr¸che or even to maintain an army of people who are always at 'meetings' - no, Jesus simply loves you and me.

The best piece of advice I heard, during our church's four-week focus on Evangelism, in September, was, if you don't know what to say to your friends, relatives or neighbours, just speak to them about Jesus Christ. If we could only push our pride aside and let the Holy Spirit do the talking, we will find our friends may be more receptive that we imagined. But, be sure, there are no prizes for the Christian who introduces their friends to Jesus, the gain is purely to the hearer. Jesus commands us and we should want to obey.

As we lift up our hearts in prayer for the thousands affected by the terrible trauma in the USA, let us commend our friends closer to home to Him, too. A lot of prayer and a bit of action will make all the difference.
David Tingley

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In a Cemetery

The winds whistle through the trees
As I sit silently amidst the gravestones.
They say nothing, neither do they see,
Because they have been dead for many a year.
Oh! death, where is thy sting,
Oh! grave, where is thy victory.
I look towards the sky, at the sun shining down
To earth, that we may live by the warmth given
By its spreading rays.
The spirit of God is amongst us,
To move us in his mysterious way,
His wonders to perform.
Youth, age, time matters not;
The gravestones tell us so.
In memory of, died, aged six years,
In memory of, died, aged thirty-five years,
In memory of, died, aged, eighty-six years.
Time, immortal, travel through space.
Time, immortal, what is the race?
God knows your wants before you are born
What is the use of being forlorn?
You'll get there in time, just as sure as can be,
And when we get there, what shall we see?

Leslie Crayford

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"Run with Perseverance"

That is the encouraging advice of the writer of the letter to the Hebrews. He gives Jesus as an example to follow, emphasising that he endured the cross because his ultimate focus was on life beyond death - (see Chapter 12:1-2).

There are often all sorts of distractions aimed to discourage us from continuing our Christian journey so we need to be on our guard and claim the immeasurable power of the Holy Spirit to give us victory.

Perhaps we need to heed the advice in our spiritual disciplines of prayer and Bible study.
Perhaps we need to heed the advice in addressing issues in our relationships.
Perhaps we need to heed the advice in tackling the work schedules at our place of employment, or those voluntarily accepted as members of the church.

Perhaps we need to heed the advice in our leisure pursuits - how many reading this have given up aerobics, walking, sessions on the exercise bike ... ?

The great Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon, stated that it was by perseverance the snail reached the ark! (A gardener in our congregation said he wished the snail hadn't persevered!)

John Wesley's diary reveals perseverance. He faced opposition in place after place and could have been totally disheartened. Another entry, one morning, indicates, once again, he was not welcome and he was kicked off the highway but, that very same day, in the afternoon of 2nd June, he preached in the open air and ten thousand people came to hear him!

"Postage stamps are getting more expensive, but at least they have one attribute that most of us could emulate - they stick to one thing until they get there."
(A brief synopsis of a sermon preached at LURC in August)


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More on the Passion Play at Wintershall

Fiona 'beat me to it' and wrote, so much better than I, the account of this play, a most professional enactment with unexpected and surprising elements. To me, those truths which unfolded in that beautiful estate were, synonymously speaking, 'out-of-this-world'.

Next morning, I simply had to phone someone to talk about my sense of elation, following what was, surely, a day of grace. Norna said: "So, you are on cloud nine!" and that was exactly the case and I was in that state for several days. As we had sat on the high bank, near the lake, after the final scene (most people had left) still drinking in what we had seen and heard, 'Jesus' appeared from a grove behind which he had disappeared/ascended. He stayed to talk and drank some of my tea. He told us that he felt emotionally drained, but exhilarated. We found out that this actor became a Christian during his first time in this role at Wintershall. Later, I bumped into 'John the Baptist' (he also played Barabbas) and had a very pleasant talk with him. He, too, felt the joy of acting in this play. He was one of the three professional actors there.

These two actors informed me that the Passion Play was unlikely to be held again. I was utterly dismayed (they were too) as I would see it again and again. I have written to Mr and Mrs Hutchens, the owners of the estate. Mr Hutchens was the instigator and producer of the play. I wrote glowing praise, with a plea that they reconsider, and hope that others have done, or will do, the same. My name has been placed on their mailing list.

Information has already been sent to me on their Nativity Play. 'John the Baptist' told me that it is particularly spiritual and beautiful. It is staged inside and outside a large barn on the same estate. Let me know if you are interested.

I am one person who has the two videos (13/4 and 2 hours). My Bible study group has seen them at my home. The videos, on a large screen, are so clear. I have one of these, so anyone with a small, or old, TV is welcome to use mine.

Jean Baxter

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On 11th September 2001, the inconceivable happened!

The world watched, in shock horror, at the destruction of strategic buildings in the United States of America and began to come to terms with the devastation being caused to thousands of lives.

The scenes are etched in history as probably the most evil attack ever mounted, not just on one nation but on the entire democratic world. The few individual stories of rescue and courage are, sadly, dwarfed by the fact that many thousands of people perished and many others have been scarred for ever.

We have been bombarded with rhetoric and calls for revenge and retribution. Although God would have any of us brought to justice, certainly all who perpetrated this crime, the Christian has to be reminded again and again of the incredible importance of love and forgiveness in all circumstances. It will serve no good purpose to initiate cruise missile strikes to other countries, or all out war, which would inevitably add more civilian deaths to those that have already happened.

IF EVER there was a deep, consistent need for Christians to be on our knees, confessing our sins and our failure to be involved in all forms of reconciliation ... IT IS NOW!
IF EVER there was a clear call to share the truth of Jesus with a suffering world ... IT IS NOW!

IF EVER there was a need to pray earnestly that all in authority take wise, measured, patient decisions for the good of humanity ... IT IS NOW!


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... or, simply, Hello! ... a phrase that became familiar to John Barling and Ron Goodenough during their recent visit to Moldavia, a region of Romania close to its border with the Ukraine. The reason for the trip was to share in a Christian conference sponsored by the Romanian charity, DORCA, which brought together 60 young people from Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Baptist traditions from as far away as Timioara (the seat of revolution in '89) to explore, from a Biblical perspective, the real issues of fear which they face in a rapidly changing world.

There was laughter and fun but also serious times of sharing the sometimes bitter experiences of life. It was very moving to be with young people earnest about their faith, learning together and wanting to serve God through serving others.

One highlight was a midweek visit to a Gypsy church started 4 years ago when 50 became Christians at a funeral service. Although extremely poor, and often regarded with disdain by many Romanians, the Gypsy believers are rich in faith ... and can they sing! The Project Ruth initiative in Bucharest is another Christian charity that provides basic education, a daily meal and other life skills to 100 gypsy children aged 7 to 11.

Another DORCA initiative is the allotment project that allows several poor families to grow their own vegetables. Also, over recent years, gifts of good quality second-hand clothing from France and the UK, including Lindfield, have provided a valuable resource through sales (although 90% is given away to needy families) to finance other projects including vocational training and a Christian library in a nearby town. Recent new regulations, however, now effectively prevent further supplies from the UK and wisdom is needed to know the best way forward. It is a sad fact that children are prevented from going to school in the winter because they have no shoes!

Forget the England-v-Greece match. Why not come and hear more about Romania at our Missions Supper at the church at 7.30pm, Saturday, 6th October? The food, the plums, the monasteries, the cold showers and much more. FREE TICKETS (for catering purposes) are available from John, Ron or any of the Missions Team - Bill or Iris Green or Trudy Biersteker.

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Following my call for an 'amnesty' on not knowing each other's names, I continue to invite you to make the effort to greet a person you, as yet, do not know.

It doesn't matter, this month, whether the person has just started coming to church services and events, or if they have been coming for years. Be bold, go straight up to them, and ask their name. Try to engage in a conversation, but try not to get upset if they hardly reciprocate! Many of us are shy and suspicious, even, it seems, in church circles. Hopefully, you will not be rebuffed but, if you are, please try again with somebody else. The most common thing to happen is that you are told another person's name and immediately forget it. This month, ask the name again and again, if necessary, even write it down on the order of service paper and use that as a memory jogger. If the circumstances seem right, and time is on your side, try to develop a conversation. Because we have three services nearly every Sunday, we have three separate congregations. Although there is some overlap, with a few people attending two or even three services, others just stick to the one service. Congregating between the morning services, or attending a weekday function, provides windows of opportunity to venture into the unknown but, perhaps understandably, we tend to stick with a group of people we already know. This can also result in some people being left 'high and dry' propping up the wall, or sitting on a chair in the corner, while all around them people are busily engaged in pastoral care or local gossip!


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The main services are held on the first and third Sundays of the month, at 11.00am. The speakers for this month are:
7th October Frank Mugridge
21st October Norman Smith - COMMUNION

Friendship Lunch

This is held on the second Sunday of the month, at 1.00pm. We extend a warm welcome to everyone, whether they are connected with a church or not. There is no charge - we just ask people to bring some food to share. From time to time, we have a speaker who will give a short talk, or watch a short video following the lunch.

Before the lunch, at 12 noon, we hold an informal family service to which you are also invited. We are pleased for people to come to one or other, or both.

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