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Ministerial Musings

December - The Vagaries of time

One of the most comforting sounds in the silence of our chapel is

the ticking of the Parliament clock. It is humbling to know that it kept
time for several generations of worshippers, who looked up at it in
wonder or despair, depending on the quality of worship: wonder, that
time went so fast, or a forlorn hope, that the minister may finally get
around to Amen.
Time-keeping, whether by sundial, clepsydra or clocks and watches
has played an important part in human affairs. One of my favourite
stories is about a tower-clock, based on an incident recorded in a
chronicle from the 17th century.
In 1631 not many people owned watches, and those towns, who
could boast of a town-clock, were the envy of the neighbourhood. The
clock set the time not just for the town-dwellers, but people all around
the county, who were rich enough to possess a watch, would take a
pilgrimage to set their contraption by it. In one of these towns,
unaccountably, the clock stopped one day. According to the gossip,
this momentous event coincided with the return with no explanations,
by a young lady of good family, of the engagement ring given her by
the mayor`s son. This turned out to be the scandal of the century, but
no amount of pleading, threatening, cajoling could persuade the young
lady to change her mind. At that time the city council ruled with a firm
hand and it took upon itself, reinforced by the ecclesiastical authority
to punish this filial disobedience, this unprecedented behaviour. So
they decided that the young lady shall not be allowed to marry for
seven years and she will be virtually cloistered at home for the whole
of that time. Taking this fateful decision, the council then sent a deputy
to the clockmaker of the town, to attend to the clock. Now, what these
brave councillors had no idea of, was the fact that the young lady in
question was in love with the son of the artisan. The clockmaker
promised to do his best and a couple of days later the whole town
gathered to watch with pride their beloved clock functioning again. But
lo, behold the clock was running round like mad – in sixty minutes it
run twelve hours and kept going. Taken to task about this, the old man
replied that the clock will keep this funny time, so to run those seven
years of punishment in seven months. The city council was taken aback
but they saw that there was no alternative: if they stopped the clock
altogether they would anger the people but letting it go like this would
make them the laughing stock of the world. So, after a very short
deliberation, they commuted the sentence of the young lady to seven
months in exchange of the clock keeping the proper time. The clock
was put to rights and after seven months there was a big wedding
under its benevolent ticking.
The last month of the year is a time, when most of us feel that the
clock is running round like mad and not necessarily to our advantage.
There are people for whom time drags – the lover, the convalescent,
and the lonely – but for most of us it flies and it seems there is never
enough of it when you most need it.
Time sets a frame for our life – sometime a help, sometime a
hindrance –but there is always comfort to be drawn from the fact that
we cannot interfere, as our time is kept by a celestial watchmaker.
What can we do, is to use it wisely for the benefit of our life and our
community. Let us look back with gratitude for all that this slowly
fading year has given us and look forward with hope to what the new
one may bring.
May our Parliament clock continue to keep time for us and for
future generations!
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

See you at the OMH.



Gwendoline Booth, wife of Ken and twin of Brenda Northing, member

of the OMH, passed away quietly on November the 8th, aged 86. The
memorial service was held on November 26th at the OMH, followed by
the Committal at Mansfield Crematorium. We hold the family in our
thoughts and prayers.

Congratulations to Janet Ryder on becoming a great-grandmother and

a warm welcome to Noah John. May God`s blessing be on the child,
his parents and all the family!


Dec 2nd 10-45 am Rev Mária Pap Mr P Randall

Dec 9th 10- 45 am Rev Mária Pap Mrs Slack
(V Brown)
Dec 16th 10- 45 am Rev Mária Pap Vacant
Dec 23rd 6-00 pm Carols by Candlelight Vacant
Dec 30th 10-45 am Rev Mária Pap Mrs Y Brown


Dec 2nd 10-45 am Mr R Wain

Dec 9th 10-45 am Mrs J Tedds
Dec 16th 10-45 am Mr N Fisher
Dec 23rd 6-00 pm Mr P Frost
Dec 30th 10-45 am Mr R Wain


Dec 1st Mrs A Binch Mrs J Tedds Mrs L Walton

Dec 8th Miss C Wright Mrs C Wycherley Mr N Fisher
Dec 15th Ms A Perry Mrs M Sharpe Mr T Williams
Dec 22nd Mrs A Binch Mrs J Tedds Mr N Fisher
Dec 29th Miss C Wright Mrs C Wycherley Mrs L Walton

Dec 1st EMU Meeting 12-30 pm

Dec 4th Derek Taylor Yoga Group 6-30 pm
Dec 5th Women’s League 2-00 pm
Dec 7th Words, Music and Silence 11-45 am
Dec 8th Decorating Chapel for Christmas 10-30 am – 12-00
Christmas Dinner 12-45 for 1-00 pm
Dec 10th Civic Carol Service 7-00 pm
Dec 11th Derek Taylor Yoga Group 6-30 pm
Dec 12th Meditation 7-15 pm
Dec 15th Music at the OMH 12-15 pm
Dec 16th Nativity Play 10-45 am


Service on 2nd December at 10-45am not 6 -30 pm
Decorating the Chapel, 8th December, 10-30 am until 12-00 noon.
Music at OMH Saturday,15th December is a Christmas Sing-a-long.
No Yoga Group 18th and 25th December
Carols by Candlelight at 6-00 pm not 6-30 pm
Christmas Dinner – meet at 12-45 pm for Lunch at 1-00 pm.

On Monday, December 10th, at 7 pm the Old Meeting House will host
the Civic Carol Service. This is a wonderful opportunity to make our

presence and values known to the larger community, so please join us
in welcoming the dignitaries of our city and the larger public.

On December 16th, the children and adults of the OMH will present
The Donkey`s Story – a Christmas nativity play by Rev. Derek Smith.
Everybody is welcome and you are encouraged to join in the fun, as we
- and the world around us – are in desperate need of good shepherds,
kindly angels and wise men and women.


In the week leading up to Christmas (17th-22nd December) and on
Christmas Eve (24th) we will have evening devotions led by members
of the congregation and the minister. After all the hassle and bustle of
a busy day, give yourself a respite and join us for a quiet time of prayer
and meditation.

This month’s Congregational Service will take the form of our annual
“Carols by Candlelight”, at 6-00 pm on Sunday, 23rd December. It will
be led by Rev Mária Pap who will welcome your choices of carols,
readings, songs, poetry, music etc by no later than Sunday, 16th


There will be a service on Christmas Morning, commencing at 10-00
am and conducted by our Minister, Rev Mária Pap.

Our thanks go to all who have led or contributed to the Congregational
Services during this past year of 2018. We look forward to your
support again during 2019. Suggestions for themes for such services
are always welcome.

At the last meeting of the Committee, held on Monday, 27th October
the following matters were agreed that:-
 We should plan for a Spring Fair
 We should ask Maun Valley Citizens if our annual subscription
might be paid in instalments
 A calendar of events for the coming year should be prepared
(suggestions and ideas to Mária, please)
 “Jars of Grace” will be dedicated to Send a Child to Hucklow

There will be copies of the Minutes of Committee Meetings at the back

of the Chapel for Members to read if they wish.

PS The Autumn fair realised the sum of £203.


Recently we welcomed a group of very well-behaved six and seven year old
Beavers to look around the Chapel. They had loads of good questions about
the building and it was great to see some becoming new members of an
excellent Scouting organisation and others being presented with different
proficiency badges. Of course, the best bit for them all was finding “treasure”
in the secret drawers under the pews. Sweets!!
Afterwards we received a signed card from all the youngsters and the
following email from Valerie Severn.

“It is always a pleasure to come to the OMH. Thank you to you

all for your kind invitation and having the time to talk to the
Beavers. I know that they all enjoyed the event. The parents
were also impressed with the building which most of them
were visiting for the first time. There is no doubt about it that
the OMH is a 'gem' to be much loved and cherished.”

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