Women's World Day of Prayer
Friday 3rd March 2016 at 10.30 a.m. and 8.00p.m.
Both Services at Christ Church, Epsom Common
The morning service for the 2016 Women's World Day of Prayer was held at Christ Church, Epsom Common. Seventy-four adults attended and there were two toddlers and two primary school girls who took part in the service.
We were also delighted that the Worshipful the Mayor of Epsom & Ewell, Councillor Chris Frost and the Mayoress, Councillor Liz Frost were able to attend. The sunshine brightened the church and our singing was enhanced by a small choir and accompaniment by our pianist, Ruth Broder. They also sang and played at the evening service held at Epsom Baptist Church., where thirty-four people attended.
The congregation enjoyed drinking lemonade before the service began, in accordance with the direction of the Cuban Women's ecumenical Committee who wrote the service.
Refreshments, including Cuban cookies, were also appreciated after both services and provided an opportunity for members of different churches to mingle and catch-up with each other.
We were very grateful to Reverend Sue Curtis, Associate Minister at Christ Church who gave an excellent talk on the theme "Receive children, receive me" at both services
Women's World Day of Prayer 2015 Report
Friday 6th March 2015 at 10.30 a.m. and 8.00p.m.
Both Services at St Barnabas Church, Temple Road, Epsom
Please note this year the format of the service does not require a speaker
2015, Jesus said to them:
"Do you know what I have done to you?", The Bahamas
Women’s World Day of Prayer 2015
This year the Women’s World Day of Prayer was prepared by women from The Bahamas. They have been participating in this event for 65 years.
The theme for 2015 being:-
“Do you know what I have done for you?”
John13: 1 -17.
On March 6th we had sunshine coming through the windows of St Barnabas and thanks to many who had parts in the service an array of cheerful bright clothes inside.
The service did not include a speaker this year.
In keeping with the theme of washing the feet we were asked to provide footprint shaped notelets for the congregation to write on, on how they could show radical love to others.
We also had larger footprints with names of Bahamian Islands on them placed on the floor leading to the altar. In the informative book the committee members have, we found the prayer of the big toe which was ably read at both services.
Including those taking part there were 61 at the morning service and 31 in the evening.
This year our committee had a different makeup. The Baptist Church were unable to take part, but we did have a new member from St Martins and also one from St Josephs.
Ruth Mey and I have now handed the baton on to Christ Church for the 2016 service arranged by women from Cuba. The services are always prepared by women but are not exclusively for women.
The theme is “Receive children, Receive me”.
This year material written by the women of The Bahamas.
- Background to The Bahamas..........here.
Women's World Day of Prayer 2014 - Epsom Report
Services on Friday 7th March 2014 at 10.30
Streams in the desert
This year material written by the women of Egypt.
Speaker - Rev Heather Cadoux
The morning service was held at Epsom United Reformed Church and was prepared by the Christian women of Egypt on the theme ‘Streams in the Desert’.
The speaker for the morning was the Rev Heather Cadoux from Epsom United Reformed Church and the leader was Barbara Wood also from the Epsom United Reformed Church. The Mayoress, Mrs Josie Taylor also attended and read the scriptures. The whole service, including all the symbolic action and drama, progressed very smoothly.
Heather Blackburn from Epsom Methodist Church was attired as an ancient Egyptian woman, and acted her part admirably in both services despite having broken her elbow the previous day. Jonathan Broder provided all the technical support and expertise for the day, and took photographs.
2014 Photographs with thanks to Jonathan Broder
The Mayoress of Epsom and Ewell Josie Taylor
2014 Evening Service at
Epsom Baptist Church, 6 Church Street, Epsom, KT17 4NY
Speaker - Peter Thompson
The evening service was held at Epsom Baptist church and the speaker was Peter Thompson from Epsom Methodist Church.
All in all it was felt that the Women's World Day of Prayer services in Epsom were excellent, and our thanks go to Ruth Broder and Barbara Wood from the United Reformed Church who organised the event along with the other members of the committee.
2014 Photographs with thanks to Jonathan Broder
Background to Egypt..........here.
Women's World Day of Prayer 2013 - Epsom Report
The Women’s World Day of Prayer – 1st March 2013
‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me’ This year it was St Martin’s Church turn to host this very special Day and the Epsom Committee were delighted to learn the service had been prepared by the women of France, not only because they are our next door neighbours, but we also have a very vibrant and active link with Chantilly our twinned town.
So we called upon the Epsom and Ewell Town Twinning Association for help and they were delighted to offer.
As you know, each year the service has a theme and this one resonates with both our nations as more and more refugees seek to be ‘welcomed’.
The service started with a welcome: ‘Bonjour. We, the Christian women who have prepared our Day of Prayer service, open to you the doors of France’. It is a very emotive subject and this was evident as we listened to the stories of many women now living in France. The Epsom Committee held a rehearsal and worked hard to do justice to the excellent service that included a lot of participants. The church was decorated with red, white and blue, the colours of France, fruit juice was offered as the congregation arrived, a splendid display board was loaned by the Twinning Association, and instead of using the organ, a member from the United Reformed Church led the hymns on our marvellous grand piano.
The Rev Simon Talbott gave a warm welcome to everyone and then handed over to the Rev Lynn Alsop who led the service. It all went smoothly and speakers from the main churches in Epsom took part. The readings and life stories were beautiful and thought provoking and during the offering we were blessed with members of the Sponsalia Chamber Choir who sang a song in French, written specially for the services by P. Theozed.
We always have a reflection or meditation on the theme and on this day we welcomed, not a stranger but a good friend - our one-time Curate, Carol Bourne. She spoke right from the heart and gave us much to mull over. We ended this splendid Day, as always, with our own Hymn ‘The Day Thou Gavest’ which sums up all that we are about. Wonderful! After all this excitement we ended the day with excellent refreshments and catching up with good friends from the other churches. Last words to take away: ‘There are no strangers; there are only women and men who have not yet met’.
PS See you again next year in another church.
Women's World Day of Prayer 2012 - Epsom Report
LET JUSTICE PREVAIL was the theme for the Christian Women of Malaysia as they compiled the Service for 2012, and this prayer touched the lives of over 3 million people around the Globe, sweeping around the world with the first service in Tonga until the final service some 35 hours later in Western Samoa.
And it joined together in prayer 170 countries, with over 6,000 services alone, in the British Isles.
Mind boggling stuff.
It's a bit difficult to come back to earth after taking this in, but we must come back to our little corner of the Globe to let folk in Epsom know how we celebrated this amazing Day Very well in fact!
With a splendid service in Epsom Methodist Church, which went smoothly, thanks to the committee holding a rehearsal (which also went well) Most of the Christian Churches in Epsom provided speakers who took part in the service representing the role of Malaysian women at this present time. Things have greatly improved in their country over the years, but surprising for us to realise they are still undervalued, in spite of the contribution they make to their society. Male children are still valued more than female. However, they seem to be happy. Only 7% of the population is Christian - and religious tolerance is the norm, more HERE
Attendance at the morning service was good, and better than last year.
We had a very good speaker, the Rev Anne Rusbridge from Ryelands Methodist Home for the Aged. Ryelands Methodist Home for the Aged, Wallington consists of four units: Ryelands, Brookands, Newlands and Moorlands to provide homes for elderly people with differing needs. The Epsom Methodist Minister Rev. Nick Oborski opened the service with a prayer, stayed the whole morning, and gave the final blessing.
Which we all found very encouraging.
This year we were delighted to resume our evening service at The Epsom Baptist Church after a break of four years, and this again was a very good time, and much appreciated by those who couldn't manage the morning.
Again a very good speaker and new ground was broken as the Baptists invited a man Mr. Paul Tepre, a Barrister and a member of their congregation. The Minister Colin Holmes and his wife joined us and he gave the final blessing. Numbers were also up on this service.
Refreshments were available at both services and it was a golden opportunity for us to renew or refresh friendships. This is a sometimes overlooked bonus of the Day, that it brings us together in preparation, and in celebration, in our own community, and, with other women worldwide as we learn about their countries and their lives thus, enabling us to pray more positively for their needs.
“Went the Day well" - without wishing to boast - It did!
Photographs below are with thanks to Tracy Dale
Gillian Mead who produced an excellent PowerPoint presentation
A selection of the slides are shown below these
The Epsom Methodist Minister Rev. Nick Oborski opened the service with a prayer and gave the final blessing
The slides below are with thanks to Gillian Mead
LET JUSTICE PREVAIL
Malaysia -the WWDP working group
Malaysia -truly Asia
Malaysia - Flora and Fauna
Malaysia -Land of Plenty
Malaysia -Religious Tolerance
Malaysia -Sisters in Islam
Malaysia -Migrant workers care
Malaysia -the Political Stysem
Malaysia -Women in Politics
Malaysia -Education for all
Malaysia -Opportunities for Women
Malaysia -Kula Lumpar
and below the contrasts between city and rural life
Malaysia -SAWO project
Malaysia -Health care
Malaysia -truly Asia
Women's World Day of Prayer 2011 - Epsom Report
Enough for All but we have to Share
An ecumenical group of women from Chile prepared a service which sought to acknowledge the difficulties of life in their country rejoice in its diversity of people and terrain and seek hope for the future in a more just sharing of resources. It was of course written before the major events last year of the earthquake in February and the mining accident in August.
A special thank you to Avril Shipton who very ably reflected on the theme “How many loaves have you?” and to husband Martin who supported with an inspiring power-point slide presentation.
Many stayed for coffee and enjoyed Chilean muffins, some saying they felt that it had been one of the best WWDP Services they had attended in recent times.
Pam Buckingham led a very thought-provoking Bible Study in the afternoon and the day ended beautifully with Evening Prayer in the Memorial Chapel.
Chairman and Secretary: - Clare Preston from St Barnabus Church
Women's World Day of Prayer 2010 - Epsom Report
Women's World Day of Prayer 2010
Friday 5 March 2010 - Let Everything that has Breath Praise God
Epsom - 10:30am - Venue: St Barnabas Church, Temple Road, Epsom, Surrey
The Speaker was Mrs Trish Heywood (left)
This year it was the turn of St Barnabas Church to host this very special day in Epsom on the chosen theme
‘LET EVERYTHING THAT HAS BREATH PRAISE GOD’
The church was open for the whole day with the main service at 10.30am followed by refreshments.
The Christian Women of Cameroon in West Africa prepared the service and it truly reflected this joyful message. We were encouraged to wear bright cheerful dress which, of course, comes naturally to women in Africa. Our invited speaker was Trish Heywood, who was the Mothers’ Union World Wide President for 6 years before coming to live in Ashtead, a few years ago.
She has visited many countries in West Africa, some bordering on Cameroon but not actually the country itself. However, she wore a splendid blue dress and turban given on one of her visits to West Africa and during the first hymn – “We are marching in the light of God” – everyone involved in the service came dancing in, led by Trish, waving flags, and making joyful noises with a variety of handheld instruments, in a sort of crocodile which wound around the central altar. Anyone who knows “The Transformed St Barnabas” will realise how effective this was, how it echoed the Theme, and made a happy beginning to a truly enjoyable service. We repeated our promenade at the end as we sang “You shall go out with joy”. We were well into our stride by this time!
Although most Cameroonians have little of the luxuries we enjoy in the West, they are a very resilient nation and their faith enables them to praise God, in good and in bad times. Life expectancy in their country is 51 years, a salutary reminder, perhaps, that we too should praise more often!
The attendance in the morning was 77 with 10 children in the Crèche. Not bad considering that although it was a gloriously sunny day, Temple Road was closed all day for road-surfacing. At 3.30pm, Afternoon Tea was served followed by a lively bible study which attracted 17 people. Evening prayers followed at about 5pm and a simple communion service in the Lady Chapel at 7pm. The day closed with Prayer and Reflection led by the Reverend Sue Bull.
This was a truly wonderful day, even the sun went down in a beautiful golden haze, and it reminded us what we can achieve when Churches in Epsom are really Together.
This year material written by the women of Cameroon.
- Background to Cameroon..........here.
Rosemary Botting and our speaker Trish Heywood in traditional West African dress
Women's World Day of Prayer 2009 - Epsom Report
A year ago the Epsom Committee of WWDP was somewhat downcast about the future of this annual event in Epsom. It was decided to seek encouragement from the various churches and also Churches Together in Epsom, and to bring our findings to an Extraordinary Committee Meeting. St Martin's were particularly concerned as it was their turn to host in 2009. In the event the feedback was almost unanimously supportive and it was decided to go ahead but with a new format.
The Theme for 2009 - "In Christ there are many members yet one body" was visibly lived out, both in the preparations beforehand, and on the Day itself - Friday 6th March 2009 - As guests arrived they were asked to write their names on a large paper cut-out of a figure Many people had a part to play and there was a great sense of unity between those present, and the communities around the world, all using the same prayers, from first light in the East until the sun set in the West We felt especially close to the Women of Papua New Guinea who had prepared a lovely service.
The morning service was at 10.30 am followed by coffee: attendance was good 115 present (including a sprinkling of courageous men) and four little ones in the crèche. We abandoned the usual evening service but kept St Martin's open all day with an invitation to come in and pray - ongoing refreshments were available. At 4 pm Afternoon Tea was served followed by an excellent and thought-provoking bible study on passages from the service itself led by Mrs. Pam Buckingham of Epsom Christchurch. Then at 7 pm The Rev Adrian Esdaile of St Martins led a Quiet Reflection to end the Day, by which time we felt well and truly -" One Body
Our Speaker was Mrs. Andrea West from The Brigitte Trust based at Dorking, a charity helping families with life-threatening illnesses. There were several stalls at the back of the church: Including a display about Papua New Guinea and a CD Rom showing the country, Fairtrade, WWD Resources, and The Brigitte Trust. Giving was very generous this year; many supported the Gift Aid provision, thanks to all.
"one of the best services ever"
"the whole day felt like a Retreat "
"lovely sense of unity"
Our future looks good, we have two new active members on the committee, and even though St Joseph's are not represented, they did take part in the service, so we are still One Body! This was indeed a day of great blessings.
We are grateful to CTiE for their encouragement and support-but after all, that is what the Churches Together in Epsom is all about and long may it continue!
Rosemary Botting of St Martin's Church
Women's World Day of Prayer 2008 - Report for Churches Together
This event took place on Friday 7th March 2008 at St Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in the morning and at St Barnabas Church in the evening. Attendances were slightly up on the previous year (141 this year and 117 last year) Donations were also up: and we were able to send £350 to HQ this year against last year £200. For the first time, we had gift aid envelopes available and £208 qualified for this tax relief.
The Women's World Day of Prayer gives annual grants to many organisations in this country and one-off grants to overseas as the need arises and also International Donations.
At the committee meeting afterwards, when we tie up all the loose ends, and appoint a new chairman and secretary, we found ourselves at cross-roads: Our aim is to have two members from each church but one church from CTiE had decided to pull out altogether and others were finding it difficult to recruit new members. A decision was made to go back to our churches to seek support and to hold an extra-ordinary on 21st April 2008, bringing our findings.
Also to seek support from Churches Together in Epsom.
The consensus was that the committee will continue as there are enough committed members, the next Women's World Day of Prayer will be on Friday 6 March 2009 - "In Christ there are many members but one Body" will be held in the morning at St Martin's and the church will be open all day for people to come in and pray and possibly in the evening there will be prayers from the WWDP Service, with refreshments available. Full details with be available later in the year.
What we are asking from CTIE is that everyone will try to promote this very worthwhile event which has a long and valued history in our town.
The worldwide need for prayer is as urgent now as it was in 1938 when the first service was held in our town, in St Martin's Church.
We are extremely grateful to our Chairman Sue Bull and Adrian Esdaile for their support
And we hope we can rely on yours. Thankyou
“United Under Gods Tent” 2007
There are miraculous clues to how to live together, beyond oppression and division. The one that strikes me most powerfully is that 90% of the population is mestizo, of mixed Spanish and Guarani Indian descent. In other words, sexual relationships and marriages and families have occurred across cultural boundaries, some violently, some lovingly, but all creating a people who can claim a rich Indigenous and European heritage, as well as take pride in the new kind of people they have become through the genetic integration of people who were once strangers and enemies of each other.
This alone is a lesson we could well learn. Our history includes a fear of such racial integration, and continuing racism based on proportions of mixed heritage in a persons genetic makeup, even though we well know that the C19th scientific theories about the hierarchy of races was just that: theories. Different cultural groups have differences, but they are also intimately connected to each other as Gods children, as people sharing the same country, and, frequently amongst our own community, as sharing joint heritage and creating families that reflect these. In the 1930’s, the Presbyterian missionary at Ernabella JRB Love wrote to John Flynn, and said 'the questions of white and black are wholly bound up in each other', and tried to urge Flynn to extend his mantle of safety to Indigenous residents of the inland as well. Flynn agreed medical care should exist for Indigenous people, but said that his AIM was not the organization to provide it. He argued, in effect, to keep the two races separate. So while the image of a mantle of safety is very much like the idea of a tent, a protective shelter cast over a group, I often think that Flynn’s mantle wasn’t quite big enough to cover all of the Inland. The women of Paraguay remind us today that the tent of God is the place where all people gather together in safety, and in intimate proximity to each other.
In a country like Paraguay (left), despite its history, the Indigenous language is one of the two official languages. Their tent is large enough to embrace all that two languages implies: cultural difference, and respect of cultural heritage.
The Internet we have gives a clue to Paraguay's resources that enable them to share Gods tent together. The society that has been developed through war and violence and poverty has held at its core hospitality, caring and sharing. I remember reading the Grape of Wrath when I was at school,. And being struck by the quote by the mother of the poor and disenfranchised family saying: whenever you’re in need or trouble, go to poor people. They are the ones that will help. Just today in the courtyard, I was talking to one of my Indigenous friends who often spends time on the lawns, and who has at times talked to me about her efforts to get off the drink. She was complaining about a friend who had come to stay with her, ate her food, drank her beer, smoked her cigarettes. She’d seen him again one pay day in the supermarket, and he’d high tailed it the other way, to avoid having to give to her, when she asked him to share his money. That’s not right, she said. She had done the right thing, sharing all she had: now it was his turn to reciprocate. Ask poor people for help: their world depends on sharing with those in need, and the expectation that they will share with you when you are in need. After all, we are all in this life together. We are all intimately connected under the one tent of God; we all have need of each other.
The story we heard of Abraham and Sarah reinforces hospitality as that social glue that keeps us living peaceably together. Abraham did not know it was the Lord. In fact he saw three strangers approaching in the midday sun. He did not baulk: he offered not his lunch leftovers, but the best of what he had to them. Abraham was quick to embrace the stranger, as he had been to embrace Melkizidech in the previous chapter, breaking bread with the priest of another faith, and exchanging blessings. When Abraham and Sarah offer hospitality to these strangers, in return, they offered him a blessing…children to he and Sarah in their old age. Of course Sarah laughed: she laughed at God. Impossible! But the blessing was reiterated: they had opened their home to the strangers, and in return they would become a great nation. They shared hospitality…and a people would be born of the heritage of that encounter.
The implications for us are fairly clear. Hospitality – sharing our homes, our hearts, our families, ourselves – with those we think of as different to ourselves, is the way we manage to live together under the one tent that God spreads over us. Gods mantle of love is wide enough to embrace us all, as vast as the land in which we live, as wide as the sky that covers us all.
When we, or our forebears, came here as strangers to this Arrernte country, it was the hospitality of country and its peoples that kept us here, and bound us into this place and each other. In a very real way, the Arrernte people continue to extend hospitality to strangers here; in return, strangers have become family and together have created a new nation here, that is learning to live together in peace under the one tent. It is not easy, and sometimes it is not comfortable. But we are becoming, with help from the one spirit of God, united under Gods tent. Amen.
With thanks to Rev. Tracy Spencer - Alice Springs, Australia