Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Michael Gove - “There is insufficient respect for the place of religion in society”

Our local MP, Rt Hon Michael Gove (Secretary of State for Education) recently spoke about religion in society the the Mytchett, Frimley Green & Deepcut Society. Although we remain apolitical, it is encouraging to hear a politician talk about a respect for religion in society, and how the book of common prayer, and the King James bible are what politicians have taken their morality and their lead from.

Michael Gove discusses his views on religion in society at the MFGD Society half yearly meeting

(Video courtesy of Surrey Heath Residents)

He said that it is absurd to be told to remove religious symbols, and considered it a broader issue, that consisted of two main points:-

1. “There is insufficient respect for the place of religion in society overall”

2. “The sorts of freedoms that we enjoy in this country are as a result of our traditions, and our traditions are just inevitably shaped by the fact that the book of common prayer, and the King James bible were the sorts of texts that politicians for century's took their morality and their lead from. One of the reasons why this country has succeeded in taking so many people from so many different backgrounds in, is because the principals of tolerance and brotherly love in those texts, are in the air that we breath.”

If you encourage people to undermine and to chip away other peoples religious belief, then what you do is that you chip away at the sort of bricks and mortar that keeps our society stable. So I think that anything we can do to encourage people to respect religious faith… then you’re more likely to have a harmonious society”.

Commenting on the video, Rev’d Mark Chester, Vicar of St Paul’s, Camberley, applauded Michael Gove’s comments, and said: “I think it is encouraging to hear Michael Gove speak positively about the place of religion in society and the positive impact of our Christian heritage.  I look forward to our national leaders affirming this heritage and strengthening, rather than eroding it, through government policy.  A positive heritage inherited is worthwhile bequeathing to future generations.”

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Falklands at Thirty in Camberley

30th Anniversary Falklands War Photo courtesy of the Royal British Legion http://www.britishlegion.org.uk

This year is the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War. For those that are too young to remember, Wikipedia describes the war like this…
“The Falklands War began on Friday 2 April 1982, when Argentine forces invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. The British government dispatched a naval task force to engage the Argentine Navy and Air Force, and retake the islands by amphibious assault. The resulting conflict lasted 74 days and ended with the Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982, which returned the islands to British control. 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 British military personnel and three Falkland Islanders died during the conflict.”

Margaret Thatcher announces to Parliament that the Falklands have been invaded by Argentina in 1982

On Remembrance Sunday, 11 November, we shall be particularly remembering the Falklands war this year. I know members of St Paul’s will be thinking about comrades they knew and fought with during that war, as we remain silent during our services. You might remember from the St Paul’s tribute last year, our own Vicar, Rev’d Mark Chester will be thinking about his friend and colleague who lost his life in the conflict. Our Speakers Corner host, Colonel (retired) Ivar Hellberg OBE, himself commanded a royal marines regiment in the Falklands war.

On Monday 12 November, we are extremely privileged to have Rev’d David Cooper, the Padre to the Second Battalion, The Parachute Regiment at the Battle of Goose Green, visit St Paul’s in Camberley for ‘Speakers Corner’. Ivar says: “David is very interested in the ‘just war theory’ and what is a right war and what is a wrong war. He gets very concerned about our commitment and operations in Iraq. He’s a lovely guy, a Yorkshireman, and the epitome of a good padre”.

I remember as a child watching the conflict unfold on national TV. I would rush home for daily updates, and commentary about how our servicemen were doing. Although the war only lasted just over two months, it claimed the lives of 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 British military personnel and 3 Falkland Islanders, and it’s effects are still felt by many today.

On 14 April 1982, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher made this speech. In conclusion, she said: “The eyes of the world are now focused on the Falkland Islands. Others are watching anxiously to see whether brute force or the rule of law will triumph. Wherever naked aggression occurs it must be overcome. The cost now, however high, must be set against the cost we would one day have to pay if this principle went by default. That is why, through diplomatic, economic and, if necessary, through military means, we shall persevere until freedom and democracy are restored to the people of the Falkland Islands.”

So for me, the extended Remembrance Sunday will  not only be a chance to learn about the morality of war on Monday, from someone who has experienced it first hand, but to also show my support on Sunday, to those that have fought for my freedom, and overcome naked aggression.

Doors open at 7.30pm on Monday 12 November at St Paul’s, Crawley Ridge, Camberley, GU15 2AD. Light refreshments will be served at 9pm after the talk.  Places are limited, so to book your free tickets,  contact media@stpaulscamberley.org.uk. Questions may be sent in prior to the event.
To find out more about St Paul’s, please visit stpaulscamberley.org.uk or contact the office on 01276 700210.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Moments of Mindfulness – Google to Surrey Heath

Ever wondered about the big questions in life, like who you really are?
Google did, and they pulled in Jon Kabat-Zinn, a Professor of Mindfulness, to teach their staff all about it

Jon Kabat-Zinn is Professor of Medicine Emeritus and founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He said “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally”.

Now you have a chance to try out mindfulness for yourself, at a workshop being held by the Spiritual Journeying Group,  part of ‘Churches Together in Camberley’. The group were formed in 1995, and are supported by the NHS. One of their key aims is to provide information about  mental  well-being,  addressing questions about life’s meaning and its spiritual dimension.

The group are hosting a 'mindfulness' workshop offering the opportunity to put mindfulness into practice, on Sat 20 Oct 2012 10am-4pm at St John the Baptist, Church Road, Windlesham, Surrey, GU20 6BL. Advanced booking required. For more information and to book a place, contact Jennine@spiritualjourneying.org.uk or call 07505 477457

Friday, 5 October 2012

McDonald's Milkshake Fun – Year 5 and 6

McDonald’s in Camberley High Street is the venue for a free new club for young people, school years 5 & 6, run by St Paul’s, Camberley.

Camberley Milkshake Chatting with Children’s Worker Sarah Hounslow, she felt there was a need in the community for year 5 & 6 pupils to meet in a safe, fun and relaxing environment in the town, to let off steam and meet new friends. The ‘Milkshake’ club was born, and has had their first meeting. 

Sarah said: “The first Milkshake went really well on Friday 28 September. I would like to thank the McDonald’s staff for their amazing support. 8 young people enjoyed games, shared stories, and met new friends, whilst sipping milkshakes. Card games,  jenga, ice -breaker games and quizzes and challenges are some of the activities planned. The club is free, but bring money for a milkshake.  All are welcome.”

Sarah runs the popular “Who Let The Dads Out” event for younger children, as well as visiting schools in term time. She also has two young children of her own, so she knows what’s cool and what’s not.

‘Milkshake’  runs every fortnight on Friday’s from 7-8pm upstairs in McDonald’s, Camberley High Street. They meet next on 12 and 26 October.  For more information, contact Children's Worker, Sarah Hounslow on 07789 995274 or childrensworker@stpaulscamb.co.uk