|Good Friday Walk of Witness |
Tilford 150th Anniversary
Fr.Matthew Gerin: a remarkable Farnham priest
Annual Unity Service & Week of Prayer
Revd.Canon Anne Gell leaves Wrecclesham
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Churches Together E-Newsletter
Good Friday Walk of Witness 2017
All Saints Church, Tilford
The local community have valued the church and continued support will be essential to preserve the spiritual heart of the village.
The anniversary is being commemorated with a programme of events; it is to be hoped that all in the community will be able to join in celebrating this important village milestone, in so doing ensuring that All Saints Church will continue to serve future generations living in and around Tilford.
The next Anniversary Event is shown below:
Father Matthew Gerin
Commemorating a Remarkable French Priest who came to Farnham
Matthew Gerin was born in Lyons in 1851, growing up to become Father Matthew Gerin, a local Parish Priest. When in his 30s, he was dispossessed of his parish in the diocese of Lyons by the anti-clerical French Government. Leaving France, he arrived penniless in England, where he was taken in by the Woodroffe family at Frensham Place (now Edgeborough School). Here he celebrated Mass for the family in their chapel, which was soon opened for Mass to the faithful of the neighbourhood, calling it “The Chapel of the Holy Name”.
With the steady increase of Sunday visitors, Father Gerin decided to found a mission in Farnham. On 26th January 1890, the Feast of St.Polycarp, the new church was opened, becoming the first post-Reformation Catholic Church in Farnham. The following year St.Polycarp’s school was opened in one small room downstairs.
In February 1905, Father Gerin met with a car accident that put an end to his active life. He never recovered and received no compensation, retiring as an invalid in May 1907 and, for a while, lived first in Fleet and then in Ash, finally moving to Littlehampton. In 1916, he was declared bankrupt.
Father Gerin died in Littlehampton on 2nd February 1918. He was buried there in an unmarked grave. Recently, Patricia Knight, author of “The Bear Lane Years of St.Polycarp’s School”, found the unmarked plot in Littlehampton cemetery. The Parish of St.Joan of Arc purchased the plot and erected a memorial stone to recognise their debt to this extraordinary man, his work and precious legacy. On Monday 13th February 2017, Bishop Richard Moth led a graveside service of Blessing and Thanksgiving for the finding of Father Gerin’s grave.
Requiescat in Pace.
With acknowledgements to the St.Joan of Arc web site
Churches Together in Farnham
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
As in previous years, Churches Together in Farnham marked the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity by daily prayers during the week, with a Service of Christian Unity on the Sunday falling within the week (22nd January this year).
The daily prayers were hosted mainly by St.Joan’s Catholic Church, with meetings also held at the Anglican parish church of St.Andrew and at Farnham Pentecostal Church.
Farnham United Service on Sunday 22nd January 2017
The Unity Service was held this year at Farnham Methodist Church and attended by some seventy Christians from a wide range of local churches. It was led by Revd.David Ashby of the Rowledge Methodist Church, Revd.Michael Hopkins of Farnham United Reformed Church, and David Uffindell, Rector of Farnham. Readings and intercessions were offered by members of other local churches.
The service featured the construction of a wall between the congregation and the cross, made of bricks symbolising such things as “hate and contempt”, “persecution”, “broken communion”.
After the two readings, David Ashby gave a powerful address, reminding us of the needs of the world and the ease with which Christians can be distracted from being Jesus to the people around us and instead concentrate more on managing the various religious institutions we are part of.
Andrew Partridge, Secretary of Churches Together in Farnham, afterwards commented: “I found the whole week to be a joyful reminder of all the wonderful people in churches beyond my own, and all the wonderful things that they do, great and small, in the service of our community here in Farnham.”
Revd.Canon Anne Gell to be
In Memoriam ...
Churches Together in in Farnham record with sadness the death of dedicated and committed Christians who have played important roles in our support.
Please CLICK HERE to see recent reports.
The January 2017 Edition of the CTF Directory has been issued. This provides contact information for local churches, ministers and Christian organisations.
Copies available to those working with Churches Together in Farnham on application to the secretary. Also available for download by authorised persons — please refer to the “Contacts” page.