Richards Pew – latest news from Richard
I would like to put you all up to date as we have had a very busy summer at Monks this year, due to the lack of a organist we had to purchase a Hymnal Plus box. This is a wonderful piece of equipment it has nearly every hymn ever written and every tune as well. We had it installed with Complete Mission Praise and it was duly fitted in July. After some teething troubles including a mouse attacking it! we are now getting used to it. It seems strange not to see anyone playing the organ but with Nick or Pat at the controls we manage quite well;
We also had a new p.a.system with a loop system for people with hearing difficulties. The next big task is to get some of the plaster in the Chapel replaced and the walls repainted, but has this has to be done in lime plaster and paint it is hard to find men who know how to do the job and of course we will need to find the money to pay for it.
We could be looking at a total cost of £10,000!
Two people has left us recently, the Rev Roy Fowler who is mentioned in another part of this site. The other persons are Andrew & Audrey Pye who have been coming to take services for us for many years. Andrew had a health scare and was advised to cut back on his preaching dates. We shall miss them all a thank the Lord for their service to us and send our prayers with them in their future walk with God.
Well as one door shuts another opens and we give a warm welcome to our new minister the Revd Cathy Arscott.
Cathy and her husband Frank comes to us after serving ten years in the Launceston Methodist circuit in Cornwall. Where she looked after six country chapels in West Devon and Cornwall. Before her call to the ministry Cathy worked as a school secretary and before that as a music tutor in a primary school. Cathy and Frank have four married children and ten grandchildren and a dog. They enjoy ballroom dancing classes at the Manor School in Melkshamand spend a lot of time exploring the Wiltshire countryside and taking Sam on walks. Well thats all my new for the moment.
Richard and Jan Smith.
(+44) (0) 1249 653897.
Hello again, sorry I haven’t written lately but I had a health problem which included a short spell in hospital. As I had never been in hospital before this came as a bit of a shock. So as I am used to being a visitor I was now the visited. We were very touched by the prayers and help from visitors and help from neighbours etc which made us think of several Bible verses.
From Isaiah 41. They helped everyone his neighbours and everyone said to his brother be of good courage.
The Bible has a message for all the young remember thy creator in the days of thy youth.
For the old – They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.
For the anxious – All things work together for good to them that loves god.
For the sufferers – My grace is sufficient for thee for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
For the lonely – Lo I am with you always even until the end of the world.
For the sorrowing – The lord has anointed me to comfort all that morn.
Richard and Jan Smith. (+44) (0) 1249 653897.
Dear friends we would like to wish all our readers and followers of Monks Chapel a very happy and blessed new year for 2014.
We have been blessed in many ways over the last year. All our special services were well attended and the weather was kind to us. The hole which appeared in the graveyard caused a lot of interest, it turned out to be a old tomb which contained the remains of two family’s. It was a large vault about 6ft deep 8ft long and 4ft wide. After it was photographed and thoroughly investigated it was found that the tomb contained the remains of the Barton family and the Dunsdon family’s from Bradford on Avon Wilts. Dated Circa 1879 and 1895. They have now been covered over and the stone repaired so they can rest in peace.
During the year we had problems with the electric heating bills and had new meters installed. The organ was playing up and needed attention also. We have a problem getting organists every week and sometimes have to use cd’s which is not very suitable. We discussed the possibility of purchasing a hymnal plus which many churches now have, but as they cost over two thousand pounds which is well out of reach at the moment, we have not given up on the idea and have put it in the lords hands, he has never let us down to date.
At the end of the year another of our older members Peggy Purnell (pictured right) passed to glory at the age of 98. Peggy was the last of a group of loyal friends led by Ivor Tilly who saved this chapel back in 1972 from closure. Peggy was a active member and elder of the chapel all those years and her great faith was a inspiration to all who knew her. No one was ever turned away and all came away greatly blessed . We shall all miss Peggy, but realise the great responsibilty we have to carry on and keep this lovely place of worship a witness in the world we live in. And spread the good news of the gospel to all who visit us or hear the word via the cd’s. we send out each month.
Many people will tell you how important the organ is in a church, well you may have the best organ in the world but it is no good if you do not have a organist to play it. At Monks we have a electric organ which has been repaired a few times (they do not like the damp). We do not have a regular organist now but rely on Several organists from other churches to play for us . One plays two Sundays and another plays for the one Sunday. One lady (Claire) who used to play is now working in Uganda, in a school for young girls.
That leaves us short on two Sundays so we have to rely on cd’s, and if you have ever tried to sing to them you will know that is not very good. We have looked at a hymn box machine but they all way above our means. So we are thankful for what we have and hope and pray that one day we will have a new organ and someone to play it.
We did have an organist for many years who only stopped when her health failed at the age of 97. Dear Gladys started playing at the age of 14 and played in Baptist and Methodist Chapels in Atworth and Whitley before coming to Monks.
She was awarded a diploma for her long service to church music and was mentioned in the Churches press for her achievements. When we first met Gladys at the organ at Monks her husband Raymond was treasurer which when he passed to glory took on that job as well. They both served the Chapel as elders.
We have many memories of them and we will always remember Raymond standing behind her at the organ and when it came to the last verse would tap her on the shoulder to let her know it was the last verse. When Raymond could no longer stand Jan would hold her hand up and we used to get some strange looks from the pulpit when a visiting preacher came who did not know of our methods.
“Gladys had a lovely voice and would often sing along with her playing”
Even in her last year Gladys would get to as many services as she could, getting up the steps with her frame or wheelchair helped by her grandson Martin. She loved a cup of tea and a chat after a service and she loved the old hymns in Congregational Praise but not the modern ones which she said was written for guitars not organs. In all the time we knew her we never heard her say a cross word or moan about anyone of anything. So we remember them both with love and gratitude for their service and hope Gladys now has a brand new organ in heaven that will not break down.
31st August 2012
MUSIC FOR CHRIST RECORDINGS
This month I would like to tell you how good the lord has been to us this summer, as you may know Monks Chapel at Corsham where we record much of our material for our programmes, celebrated 350 years of continued worship. In June and in partners with the Anglian church in Gastard we held a flower festival and thanksgiving services. Monks was packed to the rafters with the Rev. DAVID GROSCH-MILLER taking the service.
One month later we recorded our annual carol service and again a full church.
Last Sunday we planted a tree in the burial ground to mark the occasion of our 350th year, and in spite of the wet summer, we had three lovely hot dry days. We also had very big collections and we gave some to five local charities.
How great is our god that after all these years can still find a use for a little Chapel in the countryside.
As for the future with the lord’s help we will endeavor to carry on the vision of those friends years ago who decided to build this church in the middle of the countryside
We thank all of you who helped in any way to make this summers events such a big success.
Christian love from Richard & Jan Smith.