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News people, church and the village Keeping on track In the garden Free healthcare Wildlife Watch Wake up Bruno 2-3 5 7 8 9 11 13


The Wiremill




Mark Francis has been appointed as the new minister at St. Johns. Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark, will conduct a special service at St Johns on Tuesday, 22nd October at 7.30pm where Mark will be licensed as the new minister. Marks first service at the church will be at 10am on Sunday 27th October. Everyone is welcome to attend. Mark grew up in Tunbridge Wells and studied at the University of Durham. After spending time in Bosnia, he worked in Redhill, North London and Egham, where he served as curate and acting vicar of St. Johns Egham. Prior to training for the ministry, Mark worked in oil exploration as a seismic engineer. He is married to Sarah and they have two daughters, Bethany (8) and Martha (5). A keen Spurs supporter, Mark enjoys all kinds of sport, particularly rugby and football. The family, are really looking forward to living in Felbridge and being part of St. Johns says Mark.
Humpty Dumpty Pre-School, which is run in the Church Hall, celebrated its 45th birthday with a Fun Day at Whittington College, a lovely birthday cake and balloon race for the children. According to Nikki Harris, its a professionally-run pre-school which conforms to EYFS and Ofsted regulations and the committee ensures that parents and carers always have their say in how theyd like the Pre-School to be run. She adds: We have a fantastic, friendly team of staff, who are all parents themselves. Theyre totally dedicated to the well-being of the children at Humptys. We can take up to 20 children per day, four or five of which can be two year-olds. We have spaces for two and three year-olds and we get funding for children with special needs or whose parents have financial difficulties. Theres lots of things going on, including involvement in the Harvest Festival, another trip to explore the garden at Whittington and a Christmas Nativity, with lots of fun rehearsals. If youd like to know more, click on or call Nikki on 07546 263029



DIARY DATES OCtober TO December

Meetings at Felbridge Village Hall:

Lunch Club:
17th October and 21st November 12pm to 1:30pm Contact Mary Taplin on 325548

Horticultural Society:
19th September, 17th October and 21st November (AGM) at 8:15pm Contact Sylvia Huggett on 326617

Felbridge WI:
1st October (AGM), 5th November and 3rd December 1:30pm to 3:30pm Contact Angela Cole on 321567
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Felbridge History Group:

24th November and 13th December Contact for programme

Photo: John Archer/Tearfund


Tearfund supporters and fund-raisers from St. Johns Jon Toogood and Brenda and Gordon Wilkinson - have produced a novel calendar for 2014 with the aim of raising over 5,000 for the charity. Their previous project, the Recipes for Disaster Relief and Development cookbook raised almost 27,000. Gordon said: On our travels to Tearfund projects around the world we have seen many peoples lives transformed by the charity and its partners. We decided to produce this calendar to illustrate some of the projects so supporters could see that the aid Tearfund provides really does change lives for the better. Brenda adds, every page of the calendar shows a different project and theres a QR code that you can scan with your smartphone to link you with a page on the Tearfund website to find out more. Copies are on sale from Brenda on 01342 311516 for 5 each or at 5 for 24.50. You can also buy them online via the Created website, or by phoning the sales office on 0845 218 3960.
was funny reported Ben, the disciples were fighting the guards and John accidentally fell in the dyke. As the actors moved along in a procession, they talked to the audience saying things like He should be crucified . Rowan added, When we were at the lake, one of the disciples jumped out of the boat and swam to meet Jesus who was cooking fish over a fire. There were real fish in a lobster cage. It really made things come to life. Di Giles is organising another trip to Wintershall Estate on Friday 20th December call her on 01342 328855 if you are interested in going.

Rowan (14) and Ben (11) Saunders

along with friends Di, Rona, Beth, David and Julie from St. Johns, visited Wintershall recently to report for Felbridge Focus on a production of The Life of Christ. Rowan writes: Act 1 took place in a massive field, so there was lots of room. It started with the birth of Jesus. A real baby played the part of Jesus and there were real shepherds and horses! The story of John the Baptist Act 2 - took place by a lake. I wouldnt have liked to be dunked in the water like Jesus was said Ben. Everyone thought John the Baptist was mad. Watching it made me realise how they could have thought that he added. Act 3 was split into the trial, crucifixion, the resurrection and the Sea of Galilee. The trial


scarecrow entry to an event at RHS Gardens Wisley on 18th July when WI members went along to admire the creativity of others in making their scarecrows. The delightful Felbridge entry, organised by Committee Member Jean Blakeston, was named Evelyn Chestnut after the row of chestnut trees along Crawley Down Road planted by the Evelyn family who owned the Felbridge estate from 1588 to 1856. Thanks to Peter and Joan Bateman for the photograph. Cover photo: Brenda Wilkinson. The Felbridge village sign was designed by former Parish Councillor Ken Housman and made by Jon Jones in 1984. The design represents the bridge over the Fel, with one of the Evelyn chestnuts, which are a familiar sight in the village. The cannon and cannon balls are for the iron industry that flourished from the mid 1500s to the late 1700s (see p13). The water wheel symbolises the water that once powered the iron industry and reminds us of the water mill that once stood at Hedgecourt. The squirrel either side of the word Felbridge represents the symbol used by Felbridge Primary School, which was founded in 1783.
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Well done to Felbridge WI for their

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On our walking holiday in the Lake District we learnt that there are around three million sheep in Cumbria. Of the half dozen or so local breeds, Herdwick and Rough Fell sheep are rather special because they can be trained to graze on selected areas of the fells without the need for fencing. For hundreds of years, these flocks have grazed the same hill territory or heaf with each generation of ewes teaching their lambs. No matter where they wander, hefted sheep always return to the same area. The outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease in 2001 devastated the UKs sheep and cattle population. Cumbria was the worst affected area with many flocks of sheep having to be culled. Shepherds had to start afresh and teach their new flocks where the boundaries were on the fells. The ewes then passed this on to their lambs and, within about five years, the flocks were back to normal and keeping to their traditional areas. Parents would agree that young children need to be taught their boundaries to be shown whats right and whats wrong, how to behave, and not to stray too far from home. You can see the similarity here to what I was saying about sheep.

on track

Kendal Rough Fell sheep the quality of his writings, the prophet Isaiah says: We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way (Isaiah 53: 6). He was telling the people of Israel that they knew what was right and what was wrong, but they just werent bothered and were pleasing themselves what they did. Thats not very different from life today, is it?

Photo: Michelle Paige

In many parts of the world you still see lots of sheep and goats in rural areas. In some places life hasnt changed for thousands of years. So its not surprising that Isaiah referred to us as sheep. Jesus used a similar metaphor when The problems he said: I am the good shepherd. The good can really shepherd lays down his life for the sheep start when (John 10: 11). In saying that he gave a clue to c h i l d r e n??????? his followers as to how his own life would end. turn into t e e n a g e r s Theres a simple message here: we need to and mature be like Herdwick or Rough Fell sheep and into adults. know our boundaries. We need to keep our S o m e t i m e s lives on the right track. And if weve gone off r e f e r r e d course and got lost, its not a problem. Theres to as the someone who can help to get us back on track Shakespeare and guide us home its that good shepherd of the Bible who gave his life for us, Jesus. because of Gordon Wilkinson
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6 AUTUMN 2013


Weather permitting, this is a busy month in the garden as we get ready for winter. Its an important month for planting bare root perennials, roses, hedging, trees, shrubs and soft fruit, having prepared the ground in advance. This is also the time to lift and divide overcrowded perennials, ornamental grasses, herbs and rhubarb. With frost imminent, protect tender plants, moving them inside, mulching vulnerable salvias and agapanthus in situ or wrapping in fleece or bubble wrap. Autumn wind and rain can wreak havoc with climbing and rambling roses, so tie them in securely. Fruit trees need grease bands fixed and, if peach leaf curl is a problem, spray now and then again in February. If you are hoping for early vegetable crops next year, plant spring cabbage and broad beans now, to overwinter.

Not the ideal month to be gardening, but remember how long it is until next spring and make the most of any fine days we do get! Unless the ground is frozen, theres still time to plant tulips. Alternatively, plant them in large pots for a brilliant display of colour near the house next year. Move those expensive pots under cover and stand them on pot feet for extra frost protection, even if they are said to be frost proof. If they are too big to move, wrap them in bubble wrap. Dont waste the fallen leaves that you have spent hours sweeping up - turn them into valuable leaf mould for soil improvement. Lift a few clumps of perennial herbs such as chives, pot them up and keep indoors for use in the kitchen.

There are still jobs to be done so wrap up warm and get out there. Begin to prune gooseberries, currants, apples and pears. If the soil is workable, perfumed winter shrubs such as Sarcococca and Daphne bholua can be planted now, as can hellebores and winter pansies. It will be warmer in the greenhouse so clean the interior and the staging, the pots and the seed trays to get rid of any lingering pests and remember to lag or turn off outside taps. Make sure that paths, patios and decking are kept safe by cleaning off lichen and moss. Remember to fill up the bird feeders and bird bath and collect up colourful stems, berries, holly and other greenery, before heading back into the warm to prepare for Christmas. Rosemary Archer
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Free healthcare in Freetown

The NHS is often in the news, but just imagine if basic free healthcare didnt really exist at all. Thats the situation in many countries, especially in Africa, Central America and parts of Asia. Now imagine a ship crewed by doctors and nurses visiting some of the poorest countries in the world and providing life-changing treatment and operations free of charge. Thats the idea behind Mercy Ships, an organisation set up in 1978 to convert a passenger ship into a floating hospital.
Inspired by what they knew about the charity, churchwarden Andy Brown and his wife Joan signed up to work for four weeks as volunteers on M/V Africa Mercy when it docked in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Andy says: The contrast on leaving the sleek modern aircraft to enter the throng of people in the run-down airport couldnt have been greater. It was soon obvious that this was one of the poorest countries in the world, despite being one of the richest in diamonds and natural minerals corruption in business and politics is still a major problem. Sierra Leones 10-year civil war ended in 2002, but the restoration of the country to normal life remains slow. He recalls: It was immediately obvious that the medical needs were overwhelming and the ship had to be very selective who it could accept for treatment. As a specialist maxillofacial surgeon I was in at the deep end with patients lined up for me to operate on and Joan was also kept busy assisting the physiotherapy/rehabilitation team. Andy adds, The ship seemed an oasis of normality compared to the chaos, poverty and squalor of Freetown right on our doorstep. Four weeks of almost non-stop operating, was very, very tiring, but it made us refocus our priorities and made us even more thankful for all that we enjoy in the comfort of our lives in the UK. There was so much pain and suffering, which people seemed to accept as their lot. I dont know how they remained cheerful. I also know that the work we did was a drop in the ocean, but at least it was everything for the fortunate few we treated. We just prayed
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Warning. This Field Contains Taraxacum officinale. This notice displayed by a farmer whose fields had been visited by too many illegal campers had the desired effect. Only a passing botanist chuckled as he recognised the scientific name of the dandelion. Often confused with it, the common ragwort, an officially classified noxious weed of the daisy family, has been exceptionally obvious this year. Its deeply divided leaves give it a ragged look, hence the name. Ragwort is highly poisonous to cattle and horses, yet it is host to the glorious black and yellow striped caterpillars of the black and scarlet cinnabar moth. While the worlds media awaits the arrival of a zoo-bred giant panda, our local British Wildlife Centre at Newchapel has two litters of Scottish wildcats. There are probably fewer than fifty in the Highlands so these kittens are especially delightful to see. In the garden, dont be tempted to tidy up too much. Leave the sunflowers seed heads on and look out for greenfinches, siskins, redpolls and goldfinches, which will appreciate the banquet as winter progresses. Keep an eye out for travelling flocks of small birds, often tits, which may include the occasional goldcrest, Europes smallest bird. Why not visit the hide in the car park at the west end of Weir Wood Reservoir and look out for the blue flash of a kingfisher? These birds are resident all the year round, make their homes in holes in the banks and can regularly be seen flying to and fro. You might also notice wood sandpipers probing in the mud, which is a life saver for migrants travelling through to Africa. The swallows and house martins will be migrating south and redwings and fieldfares starting to arrive from Scandinavia. Keep an eye open for the wide range of fungi that are appearing and search the hedgerows for the last of the blackberries. Last night I saw a ghost, well a ghost moth, flying between the raspberry canes. Its larvae feed on the underground roots of plants, including dandelions which is where we came in. Peter Bateman
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that the Christian love and care in action which pervaded the ship would bear fruit. Andy and Joan left the ship to come home before it moved on to a new assignment in Togo, one of 150 ports that the Mercy Ships fleet visits regularly. To date, these hospital ships have performed over 61,000 life-changing operations and treated more than 539,000 patients in village clinics and a further 109,000 dental patients. The statistics concludes Andy, dont tell the real story. Kamara, one of my patients who needed a massive deforming jaw tumour removed, told me after the operation Now I can face my village community again without being an outcast. I can get back to working to support my family thats what makes the work of Mercy Ships so worthwhile.

Ragwort. Photo: Bill Welch

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10 AUTUMN 2013

Wa ke

Br un p u
o! un W
Oh, Im so tired. Ive only just got back.

o ! Wak

eu ak p

[Sleepily] Errr, Hello Diane?

Well, Diane, I went to the Lake District to see cousin Shep.

Did you have a good time? Whats it like in the Lake District Bruno?

Where did you go?

Cmon Bruno, time to get up.

Yes I did. Shep is a working dog. He helps Max round up his sheep on the hills.

Its very different to Felbridge, Diane. Its not so good for dogs as there arent that many trees. The hills are really steep and the sheep wander free.

Dont they get lost?

Yes Diane, and I was thinking, Jesus was called the Good Shepherd wasnt he? Yes Bruno and he used stories to teach people what they should and shouldnt do.

Fascinating Bruno, what a great holiday.

Its not Diane. They have special sheep that can be taught where they can go. Once the shepherd has taught the ewes, they teach their lambs.

Like the one about the Good Samaritan when Jesus tells us to be kind to other people?

Thats right Bruno and those stories have been passed down to us just like the ewes teaching the lambs - so that we could learn too.

So Diane, we should listen to our parents and teachers when they tell us how to be more like Jesus or tell us things we need to know to keep us safe.


up Br

No Diane. Shep explained to me that the ewes (thats the mother sheep) are hefted!

What does hefted mean Bruno? It sounds painful.

Yes Bruno, yes we should.

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12 AUTUMN 2013


was still in operation in 1911, but ceased shortly afterwards when it was converted first to a dwelling house and then for use in the leisure industry. The Wiremill has been a hotel and a country club, but today operates as a friendly pub with lakeside terrace and offers six en-suite guest bedrooms and a private dining room. Why not visit and relax by the lake that was once at the heart of industrial Felbridge?

Wiremill Inn, 1911 Situated near the end of a long road to the east of the A22 at Newchapel, The Wiremill with its lake is an idyllic and relaxing location. This has not always been the case as it was once the site of a noisy hammer mill known as Woodcock Forge. The forge had been established by 1561 and used the flow of water from the man-made lake as its source of power. The iron industry in which Woodcock Forge was involved played a pivotal role in the development of Felbridge and was the reason for the creation of Furnace Lake, Hedgecourt Lake and Wiremill Lake. Woodcock Forge had a large forge to heat iron ore with bellows powered by one waterwheel and a heavy mechanical hammer which was lifted by a second waterwheel. Several times a minute the hammer was dropped onto heated cast iron bars on an anvil to convert them into wrought iron that could then be made into everyday iron implements, tools and household equipment. The noise from the forge would have been heard several miles away. The hammer mill continued to be used until the late 1700s when the property was converted to manufacture metal wire. The wire was made from metal ingots by heating and rolling them ever thinner until it was possible to draw them through smaller and smaller holes to make a length of wire. The last industrial use of the property was as a flour mill from about 1817 with the two waterwheels driving the mill stones. The mill Jeremy Clarke

If you want to find out more about the history of your area, visit www. or consider joining the Felbridge History Group.

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29 Back to Church Sunday
Everyone is welcome at our 10am service - a great opportunity to come back to church. There will be familiar hymns and a straightforward talk by James Clarke from All Saints, Lindfield, plus fun activities for children in the church hall.


3 Shoebox Service

5-6 Harvest Weekend OCT

Join us for our Harvest Supper on the Saturday evening. The 10am service on Sunday morning is an all-age family service, where we will be collecting food gifts to give to Crawley Open House and East Grinstead Food Bank.

During October the church family has been filling shoeboxes with appropriate gifts for needy children. Today they will bring their Love in a Box gifts to the front of church so they can be sent to Mustard Seed Relief Missions.


16 Quiz Night

St. Johns will be running a Cake Stall at the Village Hall from 10am until 4pm. Can you make a cake? If so, phone Lis Woolley on 01342 300356. If not, just come along on the day and enjoy the event

26 Felbridge Arts, Crafts OCT and Food Market

Good company, puzzling questions and an eloquent quizmaster, St Johns Quiz Night is back by popular demand in November. Tickets on sale from 13th October at 8 from Ann Morley (01342 714645). Price includes supper and soft drinks


Toy Service

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At our 10am all-age family service we will be collecting gifts for Welcare. The gifts will be distributed to needy families in our Diocese. For more information, contact our Welcare representative Rona Bingham on 01342 312285

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Winning and building followers of Jesus Christ

We believe that the Christian faith is good news

As a local church we have a special responsibility for the Parish of Felbridge but we are also committed to supporting Gods work in the surrounding area and further afield through Churches Together in East Grinstead (CTEG), the Sussex Gospel Partnership and links we have with many mission partners active in Christian service in this country and around the world. You would be very welcome at any of our meetings.

08:00am Morning Prayer 10:00am Morning Prayer 18:00pm Evening Prayer
Access our archive of Sunday sermon podcasts, and view the latest church news online:

Afternoon meeting, 2 - 4pm, in the Church Hall for retired or semi-retired people. Diary dates: 7th October; 4th November and 2nd December (5:30pm)

Come and join us to play games, do interesting activities, learn new skills or just chat. Youll find people playing Tri-ominos, Scrabble, Rummikub and a host of other games. Three of four people gather CONTACT US around a large jigsaw puzzle; others exchange books on the book table, or discuss the news as they flick through the days papers. Part Mark Francis way through we have tea, coffee, and (extremely good) cake. While 01342 321524 everyone is drinking and munching there is a short talk (usually about - from 22nd October 5 minutes) which starts with a topical issue and connects it to a big Andy Brown theme of the Bible. Everyone welcome.

Church and Community

Toddlers, Children and Young People

Babies, toddlers and children are always welcome at St Johns. Theres a creche for theunder-3s and aFamily Corner in church with toys and books. We also have special Out of this World groups (Stars for 3 to 6 year olds; Comets for school years 2 to 4; and Meteors for school years 5 and 6) in the Church Hall. For the 11 to 14 year olds, we have a group calledThe Rock.


01342 314267

Phil Todman

01342 322825

Rosemary Archer Peter Bateman Andy Brown Bruno Jeremy Clarke Sarah Francis Nikki Harris Ben Saunders Rowan Saunders Brenda Wilkinson Gordon Wilkinson

To advertise in Felbridge Focus please contact Gordon Wilkinson on 01342 311516 or email