NOTICES

SERVICES EVERY SUNDAY 2:45 pm to 3:45 pm 2017 Schedule of Services-- <>4th June Mrs RUTH WOODHOUSE<> <>11th June MRS JOANNE WILLIAMS<> <>18th June MR GEOF FLOYD<> <>25th June REV CATHY ARSCOTT. H.C.<> <>2nd July. MR DEREK FAWCETT<> <>9th July. CAROL SERVICE MR HUGH GOUGH<> <>16th July MR TOM HILL<> <>30th July REV MAREE FARRIMOND<> <>6th August MR TREVOR RANGER<> <>13th August REV. JANICE. HAMILTON<> <>20th August REV DAVID COPPARD. H.C<> <>27th August MRS ANNETTE FOSTER<> SERVICES START AT 2:45 PM- ALL ARE WELCOME - Monks Chapel has now been certified as a place registered for the solemnisation of opposite sex marriages. So we can now accept inquiries for weddings.

Richards Pew

If you would like to be put on our mailing list to receive our “Friendship Hour” cd. Then please send me an e-mail or call me on the telephone number next to my picture below.  Here is an interview from 1985 where I explain how and why  the “Friendship Hour” cd’s came about.


 

May 2017

This Month I am going to tell you about things that go wrong with the best laid plans of a recording session. The first one I ever did was in a country chapel with a tin roof you can understand what that one sounded like when it started to rain!

Another time I was asked to record a Carol service in a lovely old church in Newton St Loe just out side of Bath Wells. When we set up the equipment it was daylight, and we found the Church had no electric. So we had to run two extension leads joined together (one plugged into the other) across the Church yard over to the Village Hall. We made the mains plug join as water proof as we could, using a plastic bag and some insulating tape.

All was well until a few minutes before the service started when the power went off. This did not matter to the people in the Church because they all had candles but of course our recording machines would not work. So grabbing a torch we followed the lead through the foggy grave yard over the field to the village hall.

So imagine our surprise when we found the caretaker had pulled the plug out to boil his kettle! He was very sorry about it and was a little red faced. We were soon reconnected and the Service went off with no more problems.

Another clanger was when we went to Wooton Bassett to record a service in a big Church in the high street, where the preacher was to be the president of the Methodist Conference that year. Well we arrived with all our gear in the afternoon. We laid all the gear out on the floor and with a great horror found we had left the mikes at home. Well you can see what a problem that was no time to go back to Chippenham to get them No mobile phones in those days but a phone box outside the Church I managed to phone my Nephew and he went round to our house got the case of mikes and brought them up to us. We had already laid the cables and we were just fitting the mikes up just as the service started .

For my last tale this Month let me tell you a story about “when time stood still”. It was on lovely Spring morning in Chippenham. We were to record the Chippenham Folk Festival in Central Methodist Church as we have done every year since it came into being, and as usual put all the gear in the day before. So all we had to do was to turn up on the Sunday morning and record it.

Owing to other things happening in the town the service is always a 10 am start. This is no problem except that I was still in bed when I awoke with a start. I was rapidly putting clothes on, and praying that I would not be too late jumped in the car and tore down to the Church. Luckily there was parking space right outside the door. I ran up the stairs to find the Church was still filling up so the start was delayed for 10 mins, so it was all well. Thank the Lord for slowing down time!

richard-2

God Bless

Richard and Jan Smith.
(+44) (0) 1249 653897.

Richard.smith753@btinternet.com
 

 

 
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February 2017

Hello again, I’ve received an email from my friend Paul, who does a huge amount of Charity work, despite being blind from a young age. He is an inspiration to us all. Here is the email he sent to me a few days ago…

Hi all, I haven’t done a news email for a while, so hear goes.

A fortnight ago, I received a email from the Lord Mayor’s Secretary, asking me to go and have a cup of tea with the Lord Mayor of Swansea, in the Mayors parlour, in the Guildhall, as he wanted to thank me for all the charity work I have done over the last 30 years.

I was so surprised and felt humbled. What had happened! it seems friends of mine from the Grand Theatre Club had come to see my mother when I was doing my radio program back around November, to get some details, and paper cuttings about me, no one said anything to me in case it didn’t come off.  So when I received the email my mother told me that she had known for months, but wasn’t allowed to tell me, I was so excited!

IMG_1903So on Tuesday we were picked up by our local councillor, who also had a invite, when we got to the Guildhall, we were shown into the Lord Mayors parlour, there was myself my Mother our local councillor, the Lord Mayor, and Lady Mayoress, my friends David and Val who nominated me, and the councillor who put it forward.  The Lord Mayor explained to us that he wanted it in the Mayor’s parlour in the Guildhall, as it would be something special, as not many people get to use it. He also said he wanted to say thank you to me for all the charity work I have done over the last 30 years not just on behalf of him, but the City and County of Swansea.  We then had tea and cakes, and we chatted about the different charity things I had done over the years, I reminded him it was back on Saturday 22nd February, 1987, that I did 10 laps around the Morfa Stadium, with his mother when she was Lord Mayor at the time, for her charity that year, friends of the young disabled. And how she presented me with a tracksuit with my name on it, and how I had treasured it for years. He then asked me to sign the special visitors book, and here is the photo of me with the Mayor and Mayoress, signing the visitors book, after that we had more photos taken.  I felt so proud to have been invited,  and will never forget my special afternoon.

I have a very busy calendar, tomorrow I am off to a exhibition for the blind, and will be giving a talk in the evening about “growing up with blindness”.  As its St. David’s day next Wednesday on my program I will be playing all Welsh songs, then in the evening I will be going to the Grand Theatre to see Mike Doyle. Then next Saturday I’m going to see Max Boyce with my friend Carl from Cardiff. On Saturday the 11th off to the Grand Theatre again to see Chris Needs, and friends, and on Saturday the 18th, I am doing poems in a show in Pontlliw, to raise money for the Stroke Ward,

My next charity shows are, Tuesday the 21st of March starting at 7 pm, in Swansea Dockers club raising money for the Lanton community, who do work with special needs, singers Andy Davies, Jeena Lodwick, and Lorraine King, admission is £3.00. Tuesday April the 18th also starting at 7 pm, at the Mansion House, singers and buffet, tickets £7.00, money raised on that night will go to two charities the Swansea and Gower talking magazine for the blind, and the disabled Christian fellowship,

And on Friday the 30th of June another charity event at the Pengry Road Club Lougher, and that will be raising money for Gorseinon Parkinsons Clinic.

Hope to hear from you all soon…. Paul

richard-2

God Bless

Richard and Jan Smith.
(+44) (0) 1249 653897.

Richard.smith753@btinternet.com
 

 

 

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September 2016

Hello again continuing the story of our tape ministry. We now come to the point where we have grown to a sizable unit. Most of the churches are helping us in several ways. We needed lots of helpers who could give up time every two weeks to take the cassettes by hand to house bound people. This was a big task the producers had to make the master tape and get it to the copiers on time, to be sorted into areas for the final delivery to the homes.

This was all given free of charge but of course the running costs were high. We had to buy tapes in the hundreds and also purchase high speed copiers . By this time I had become chairman so this was another worry. But I need not have worried because Churches and schools soon started fund raising with sponsored walks rides etc one group did a cycle ride around Castle Coombe race course with one man riding on penny farthing.

Another group from Chippenham did a mile of pennies up and down the high street. Then along came the Rotory Club with a copier. And then the round table and a group of RAF lads from Lynham air base took us on as a fund raising term for a year. We now had a lot of good recording gear to be able to go out and about recording local events and concerts… More about that next month.

richard-2

God Bless

Richard and Jan Smith.
(+44) (0) 1249 653897.

 

Richard.smith753@btinternet.com

 

 

 

 

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June 2016

Our Tapes Ministry called “Chippenham Tapes”, first ever meeting was held in the School room of the Congregational Church in St Marys Street in Chippenham.

A committee of six people was formed to start a “cassette club” who’s aim was to make audio programmes that would be issued to people who were housebound, and unable to attend a church service.

One of the members, Reg Coates, had a bit of experience of tape recording choirs in the parish Church in Chippenham, and the opera group at the Methodist Church in Monkton hill in the town. So Reg made a start with our first music tape.

The Chairman was Rev. William West, who organised a team to deliver the tapes to people who for health reasons were unable to get to church. The delivery was going to be every two weeks and delivered by hand. The aim was to make sure each listener had a regular visit. This was a massive task and involved the help of most of the Churches and youth groups in Chippenham.

A “magazine tape” followed, produced by Cath and Rodney Ryall. Also a request tape service was organised by the Bath group.

I helped with the distribution of the tapes which soon grew from the six listeners to over one hundred! and involved nearly as many delivery persons.

Thus started a service which lasted many years and grew to take in the towns of Calne, Corsham and Melksham to name but a few.

Next Month I will tell you how all this was funded….Bye for now

richard-2

God Bless

Richard and Jan Smith.
(+44) (0) 1249 653897.

 

Richard.smith753@btinternet.com
 

 

 

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March 2016

Good news Monks Chapel has now been certified as a place registered for the solemnisation of marriages for opposite sex marriage only. So we can now accept inquiries for weddings.

Music for Christ Recordings has this year reached a big milestone in our ministry. It was forty years ago that I did my first recording of a service. It was at a little Baptist Chapel in Biddestone Wiltshire.

Mr.George Farquhar led the Service helped by some young ladies guitar group from Sheldon road Methodist Church in Chippenham. The year was 1976.

How did I get involved with a tape ministry in the first place. Well I was interested in tape recordings to make sound tracks for films and I was buying tapes and machines from John Fishlock in Bath. John was involved in making tapes for a tape ministry in Bath who delivered them to people who were housebound and also Hospital Radio. One of his listeners was the wife of Rev,William West in Chippenham who thought it a good idea to form a group in the town. A meeting was arranged at the Congregational Church in the town and I went along with John to observe but not get involved

What happened next I will tell you next month….Bye for now

richard-2

God Bless

Richard and Jan Smith.
(+44) (0) 1249 653897.

 

Richard.smith753@btinternet.com

 

 

 

 

 

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September 2015

Dear Friends…

Well at last the Chapel has had the last tin of paint put on and it looks lovely .

The painters took five weeks to re-plaster and paint the building as it had to be done with lime plaster and a lime based paint which could only be put on with brushes it was a very skilled job. Then it took every body in the fellowship two weeks to clean the Chapel up and put the fixtures back in place.

We will be having a open day on the 28th of November for people to come and have a look around and a thanksgiving and rededication service on Sunday the 29th November, with our Minister the Rev Cathy Arscott as the preacher.

We had to find rather a lot of money for this project and gifts and grants have most of it but if any one would like to make a contribution we would be very grateful for any donation large or small. Our treasurer is Mrs J Smith 1, Unity Street Chippenham, Wilts SN14 0AR

We give a big thank you to the Methodist Chapel in Whitley for the use of their premises will Monks was closed it meant we could worship as usual each Sunday.

richard-2God bless

Richard and Jan Smith.
(+44) (0) 1249 653897.

Richard.smith753@btinternet.com

 

 

 

 

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July 2015

Dear Friends…

It is about time I put you in the picture of what we have been up to lately.

Well at long last we will be starting on the repairs to the plaster work in the Chapel and painting the complete interior. This is a very skilful job because it has to be done in lime plaster and paint. It has taken a long time to find the people to do this job but it is now going to start on Monday, 6th July.

It is going to cost in the region of £10,000! We have some of the money but not enough to complete the job and we put our faith in the Lord to supply the rest.

He has never let us down in the past and know he will supply now. We have to close the Chapel for a few weeks but our friends in the Methodist Church in Whitely have kindly let us use their premises to hold our services.

We are also in the process of getting our records and grave records up to date which is another big task.

Music for Christ recordings continue to record Services an send them all over the world.

This is another example of the Lords faithfulness as we have never asked for funds but rely on the Lord to supply every need. He has done so for over forty years.

Please pray for us to be able to continue to spread the Gospel in this way.

richard-2God bless

Richard and Jan Smith.
(+44) (0) 1249 653897.

Richard.smith753@btinternet.com

 

 

 

 

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February 2015

Dear All

This month I have some sad news for you.

Last month one of our faithful supporters went to be with her lord. She was Mrs Netta Farquhar from Chippenham.

Back in 1975 when we began as a small group in Chippenham, we also started Chippenham tapes fellowship making audio tapes for the housebound in North Wiltshire. From the very start Netta delivered tapes by hand to our listeners . She was also involved in the fund raising side, holding rummage sales and bring and buy sales. In fact the first service we recorded was led by her husband George at a small Baptist chapel in a village near here.

Over the years we have been grateful for her help and encouragement as the tapes [now c d s] started to grow and now go out world wide. Netta also was involved in the making of a cine film “A Bible for Mary” which was the story of Mary Jones a young girl who saved up her pocket money and walked many miles over the Welsh mountains to buy a Bible.

This was the start of the British and Foreign Bible Society. This film took two years to make and both our families travelled to Wales to make some of it on the sites that it actually took place. Netta also wrote poems and over the years we recorded her reciting them for use in our monthly cd “The Friendship hour”.

So thank you Netta we will miss you but know you are now with the Lord you served so well.

richard-2God bless

Richard and Jan Smith.
(+44) (0) 1249 653897.

Richard.smith753@btinternet.com

 

 

 

 

 

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January 2015

Dear All

We would like to thank all of you who helped to make last year another successful  one.  We lost a few listeners but gained some more so members receiving cd’s  each month remained steady. We received many letters and emails and phone calls of encouragement. So our aims for this New Year is the same as always to bring the good news of our Lord and Saviour into the homes of as many lonely people as we can, and to those who cannot get to a place of worship each week, which in this day and age there are lots. Another way of helping the shut in’s is to keep a eye open in your area.  If you haven’t seen or heard someone for a while, why not find out why. Pop around for a chat or offer to do a bit of shopping or just make sure they are warm and have food in the cupboard. Some people don’t see another person for days on end.

With so many Churches closed now Christian fellowship is missed for many folk. But there is hope because apart from our tape ministry there are many Churches record their services each week and make them available to anyone who asks. There are also many postal services around as well .

If you want to know more please contact us.

richard-2God bless

Richard and Jan Smith.
(+44) (0) 1249 653897.

Richard.smith753@btinternet.com

 

 

 

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December 2014

Dear All.

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-2God bless

Richard and Jan Smith.
(+44) (0) 1249 653897.

Richard.smith753@btinternet.com