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There was a Channel 4 documentary about young

children swapping their nursery school for a nursing
home that was recently in the headlines. It was called, Old
People’s Home for Four Year Olds, and the children spent
their days alongside the pensioners at St Monica’s Care
Home for six weeks.
Of course, the value of inter-generational interaction
and friendships is nothing new and there are lots of care
homes and schools with similar initiatives. Within many
families, the relationships between children, parents,
grandparents, even great-grandparents, can give us such
joy. And in fact, many cultures across the world are built
around this foundation with different generations living
together and learning from one another, sometimes
under the same roof. Inter-generational relationships are faith and sold-out passion for God. We love it when
at the heart of the society. the twenty-something is mentored and discipled by
The reason the Channel 4 documentary got so much the more mature Christian. We love it when the single
publicity is because of the undeniable benefits of this lady has the joy of adopted children and grandchildren
interaction across the generations on both the young in Christ in the family of the church. We love it as our
and the old. But there are fewer and fewer places in our children grow up with godly role models of all ages. We
communities today where this is happening. love it when we are all ages together, sharing with one
another and learning from one another.
Maybe you can see where I’m going with this? Because
the church is one of the places where we still experience This issue begins with stories from the lives of older
and benefit from the interaction of all people of all ages, members of our church, past and present, to teach and
all together. Recognising the richness that this diversity inspire us. It continues with the story of a 40-strong
brings is something we strive for at St John’s and look to Christian family in Haiti that a team from church went
build on as one of the strands of our 2020 vision. to visit in January. And it then explores how we interact
across the generations in a way that is safe for all. Hope
We love it when the heart of the eighty year old man is
you enjoy it.
touched as he hears the simple prayer of the eight year
old. We love it when the young mum is supported by Psalm 148 in the Bible says: “young men and women, old
the older lady who has been there and done it. We love men and children, let them praise the name of the Lord!”
it when teenagers are challenging the rest with their MARK FRANCIS (Vicar)
Here’s a challenge for younger people over the next few months. Why not take the
time to ask someone who’s in their later years about themselves, what they did before
they were retired or how God has worked in their lives?
You might be surprised! Brenda and I have often
been surprised when people have told us about the AMY NICHOLS
amazing things they have done. Sometimes we have Several of the elderly ladies
only found out how God has transformed someone’s that once attended our
life when we have gone to a funeral service and then church had worked in South
it’s too late to ask – we could have learnt so much if America. Amy Nichols and
we had only taken the time. That’s why you should
her husband Edgar left
take up this challenge!
everything they had ever known in England to set
Here are some examples to start us off: up an orphanage for homeless boys from the streets
of Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. A favourite
verse of Amy’s was from Romans 10:17, “faith
comes from hearing the message and the message
You are never too old to set a new goal or
dream a new dream C.S. Lewis is heard through the word about Christ.” Her faith
transformed her life because it was obedient faith.
If you have said “Yes” to Jesus, it can transform your
life too!

OLIVE TEMPLE Those who love deeply never grow old; they may
die of old age, but they die young
We have been blessed Benjamin Franklin
with many people in
our congregation from
Whittington College, just One of the specific gifts older people can give to
across the road from the younger people is to show that faith in God works in
church. Among them was the long term Bishop Ric Thorpe
Olive Temple, who read chemistry at St Hilda’s
Oxford and then became a teacher. At the age of
29, she felt God was calling her to mission work so BARBARA
she travelled across the Atlantic to Canada, took the
train from Montreal to Vancouver, then went by ship
to Japan, Shanghai and into Western China. It was Barbara Kitchin worked in
there she met her husband, Donald, who had left the Chaco with Andrew
London when he was 30 to work for the China Inland and Maria Leake, our CMS
Mission. In October 1951, after the Communists mission partners in Argentina.
came to power, they managed to escape She had previously worked with Andrew’s father
confinement and walked many miles to get out of and grandfather so was in the country a long time
China – there was no other way! They later worked
before coming to Felbridge. During her time there
as missionaries in West Nile Uganda, Malaya and
Kenya. They joined St John’s in 1981 and anyone she set up a teaching programme for the Wichi
who knew them during the next dozen or so years Amerindians and started radio broadcasts to help
was encouraged and inspired by their love of Jesus. the indigenous people participate in the national life
of the country. The broadcasts promoted healthcare
and the registration of children’s births so that they
could go to school.
Preparation for old age should begin not later than
one’s teens – a life which is empty of purpose until
65 will not suddenly become filled on retirement Those who are older should speak, for wisdom
Dwight L. Moody comes with age. Job 32:7
Even in old age the godly will still produce fruit;
they will remain vital and green. They will declare,
“The LORD is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in
him!” Psalm 92:12-14

Our last story is of Thea
Clarke. As a young woman,
Thea left England for
Paraguay, one of the poorest
countries in South America.
She set up a Christian kindergarten with five children Take the challenge, ask someone about
in the capital Asunción, teaching in Spanish and their life today, and you may well be
English. Thea always trusted that God would provide inspired!
everything she needed and a lady in England
You may wish to ask Richard and Dorothy Hale
mortgaged her house to provide the funds for the about their time in South Africa and Haiti, or Barbara
first school buildings. From these small beginnings, Cottier about teaching children in Papua New
today St Andrews College is the best school in the Guinea and Uganda, or Andy and Joan Brown about
country and it’s where the president of Paraguay, working on a hospital ship in Sierra Leone, or Celia
Mario Benitez, received his education and where he Ensum about working in the favelas in Peru.
sends his two children!

The glory of the young is their strength; Even when I am old and grey, don’t leave me,
the grey hair is the splendour of the old. my God. I must declare your power to the next
Proverbs 20:29 generation, your mighty acts to all who are to
come. Psalm 71:18-1

Part 2 of this article will feature in the next issue as we challenge older people to ask the younger
people about their lives. In the meantime, if any children or young people want to write something
about an interesting person they’ve talked to, they can send it to Gordon Wilkinson and we may
publish it in the next edition.

We wish Children & Family centres and

Citizens Advice.
bags and dropped them to local
referral agencies and schools
we didn’t The local need continues to
for them to distribute before
exist… grow and there is much national
comment in the press about the No one wants to rely on a
At the East Grinstead Foodbank,
roll out of Universal Credit and foodbank, and we honestly wish
we remain very grateful for
the need for foodbank services. we didn’t need to exist, but with
the tremendous local support
In addition, the challenge for your continuing local generosity
that we’ve experienced over
many local people needing help and a great team of volunteers
the last year. We have received
is that the nearest DWP centres we can help make life a little
donations from local churches,
are in Redhill & Crawley which easier for those we assist.
supermarkets, community
are expensive to get to by public
centres, schools, firms and More details about the
individuals. Harvest time and foodbank can be found at
the run up to Christmas was Autumn and Winter are our
particularly busy. busiest times. In December
2018, we fed 225 people (132
These donations allow us to
adults and 93 children), and
continue to provide emergency
we are so grateful for all the
food and household items to THANK YOU!
donations. Additionally, we
those referred to us by local
packed over 180 Christmas The Foodbank Steering Team
agencies such as GP surgeries,
IN JANUARY, four members of St John’s – Yvonne
and Sophie Fulcher, together with Brenda and Gordon
Wilkinson – joined a team of volunteers making the
4,500 mile trip to Hope House Haiti. This was a two-
part mission. The first week involved supporting a
Pastors Conference and starting work on health checks
for the kindergarten children at the free school set
up by Yvrose and Pierre Richard Ismael. The next two
weeks were spent continuing the health checks on the
Our team plus translators, doctors & nurses
rest of the 850 or so children plus teachers and staff.

help and feel really blessed to have been able to give

medication to so many lovely children so that they
can have healthier lives. I was also deeply moved by
the faith that Yvrose has that God will provide all their
needs and was thrilled to see that He really does that
day by day”.
Yvrose and Pierre Richard welcomed over 30 local
pastors to Hope House where three of the team from
the UK – Phoebe Mohammed, Dr Benita Morrissey
Our hosts - Yvrose and Pierre Richard Ismael and Adam Simpson – led three days of teaching and
worship. Adam told us: “During my time in Haiti I
NO BIBLE, NO BREAKFAST became really aware of the meaning of unity. As it
At this amazing place in Fonds Parisien, everyone is says in Ephesians 4: 3 – ‘be eager to maintain the
awakened at around 5:30am to the sound of rhythmic unity of the spirit in the bond of peace’. The three
clapping and beautiful singing from the children in of us prepared separately, but the content was
the orphanage. It’s called an orphanage, but a better perfectly complementary - a testimony to each of us
phrase would be ‘God-loving, caring family’. Sophie, listening to the Lord as we did our preparation. Our
who had previously spent nine weeks here in 2017, gifts complemented each other too and the Haitian
says: “This is a community built on the foundation pastors were hungry to hear what we had to say.”
of Christ and united in love for one another. It was a Team Leader Yvonne recalled the visit made by the
blessing to be welcomed into this home and family”. Pastors and the team to a remote village up in the
As soon as the singing starts, visitors like us throw mountains, where they prayed for the villagers, and
on some clothes and join in with the praise. All the said, ‘I was really moved by the number of people
family are able to recite psalms with ease – as Yvrose who gave their lives to the Lord’.
stresses: “you won’t always have a Bible near you or
a smartphone, so you need to have the word of God THE HEALTH CHECKS
embedded in your heart”. And it’s very loud! She After breakfast, there is
adds: “God doesn’t want 70% of your effort, or 80%. a military movement of
He wants 100% of your effort in praising Him”. chairs, tables, equipment
and medication across
Brenda , who with Gordon took responsibility for
the school grounds to a
the pharmacy, said, ‘I have such fond memories Some of the younger children
shaded area under the
of waking up to the sound of the children singing going to their classroom. There
kindergarten classrooms. are over 100 in most classes!
praises and was so impressed by the way they learnt
Children are weighed
Bible passages so quickly. I have always hoped to be
and measured so that they can be checked for
able to go on a trip where I could do something to
malnutrition and to ensure that they are growing year
by year. About 100 are undernourished and referred huge - children who had been in the school several
to a Breakfast Club where they receive a special diet. years and had received the daily lunch at school
needed far less medication than the younger ones
The younger ones, who usually don’t wear shoes
– which is just what you would hope.” To ensure that
at home, have their feet washed to check for skin
medicines are used properly, parents (many of whom
diseases. Brenda Sands who worships at Bolney
can’t read) are invited into school to learn what the
Chapel and was visiting Hope House for the fourth
pictorial medicine labels mean and how important
time, loves this job, saying: “Every time I come here
it is to make sure that the medicine is taken properly
God touches my heart more than he did the time
and not wasted.
before”. The older children all have eye tests which
are also done by the volunteer team with the help of Talking about her role, Nurse Sally Gosling from
translators. Woking felt that she had been, “able to make a real
difference in someone’s life... I particularly remember
Fritz who had an accident and ripped the nail off
his big toe. Elecia and I were able to clean it, give
it regular dressings, and prevent it from becoming
infected by giving him oral antibiotics. When we gave
him new shoes his face lit up with a huge smile and
he said through the interpreter, ‘Thank you for the
shoes, you have made me feel like a gentleman’. He
Sophie and Benita washing Translator Makenson helping was 9 years old”. Sally’s colleague Elecia, a nurse from
children’s feet with eye tests
QVH, added: “the way the spirit of the Lord moved
Children that need replacement shoes, where among the team
possible, receive them from a collection of second- was awesome. God
hand school shoes that the team took in their selected each of us
suitcases along with school uniforms, toys and gifts. individually for our
Yvonne’s highlight from the clinic was, “when a boy gifts, yet he placed us
of 6 or 7 came up clutching a totally worn out pair of as one united team in
trainers, with new shoes on his feet. I pointed to them the right place at the
and said, ‘shoes’ – I will never forget the way his face right time to carry out
lit up and he gave me a wonderful smile”. His divine plan.” Sally looks after Fritz’s
injured toe
All the children see the nurses who do a general The Christian doctors
health check, treat any injuries and then refer them that helped the team were also very enthusiastic
to the Haitian doctors who prescribe whatever is about their role. Dr Innocent told us: “I loved using
necessary. Gordon recalls that a tiny kindergarten girl my knowledge in the service of these children and I
had a burn on her shoulder which the nurses dressed. loved the fellowship that existed at the heart of your
The next day she saw him walking to the clinic, mission - so much love of God and so much love for
pointed at her shoulder, smiled and ran and hugged the children. It was a wonderful experience for me. I
his leg! pray that God will continue to accompany you in your
mission and wish you many blessings.”
When the children don’t need a prescription, they
just move on to having vitamin A, worming tablets Her husband Dr Charles added: “I don’t know how to
and oral rehydration salts like everyone else. Most express my joy and
children have parasitic worms which mean that what gratitude that God
little food they get isn’t absorbed properly so the has chosen me, in
medication they get makes them much healthier; these troubled times,
they’ll get another dose in six months’ time. to use the talents that
he has given me in
this way. I would like
to continue with Hope
House Haiti at every Dr Innocent and Dr Charles
possible occasion to
serve the children of our gracious God”.
For more information, check out:
Yvonne issuing worming Brenda and Gordon waiting
tablets for the next patient
This year, there had been an outbreak of ringworm, Yvrose and Pierre Richard hope to visit the UK
so of the 900 items they dispensed Gordon and later in the year to promote a fund-raising book
Brenda gave out over 90 prescriptions to deal with about their story, so check the notices for news
this; they also issued almost 6,000 multivitamins! of their planned visit to St. John’s.
Gordon said: “the impact of these annual visits is


Christine Ely,
Parish Safeguarding Officer, writes:
At St John’s we work to the principle that everyone in SOME DEFINITIONS
the church has a duty of care to others. The Church Children: anyone under the age of 18
of England recognises the essential role of enacting
Vulnerable adults: anyone aged 18 or over whose
Safeguarding practices in the local church. Safeguarding
ability to protect him/herself from violence, abuse,
is everyone’s business because we all have a
neglect or exploitation is significantly impaired, whether
responsibility to one another, to ensure that the welfare of
temporarily or indefinitely, through physical or mental
children and vulnerable adults is promoted and that they
disability, illness, old age, emotional fragility or distress, or
are protected from abuse of any kind.
We must live out our faith, sharing the gospel and Safeguarding: the action taken to promote a safer
welcoming all into our church. This compels us to respond culture. This means we will promote the welfare of
to the challenges of providing a safe environment for all children, young people and adults, work to prevent abuse
and responding effectively when there are concerns. We from occurring, seek to protect those that are at risk and
have policies and procedures in place and a culture of respond well to those who have been abused
informed vigilance from everyone is required. This means
Safeguarding includes all of the following:
we must all know what to do should we have a concern
1. Creating and promoting a safe environment
and feel confident about the right way to act.
2. Safely recruiting and supporting all with any
responsibility to children or vulnerable adults
Safeguarding is important because EVERY 3. Responding promptly to every safeguarding concern
or allegation
person is important 4. Caring pastorally for victims/survivors of abuse
The primary role of the Church is to bring glory to God 5. Caring pastorally for those who are the subject of
by sharing the amazing news of his offer of salvation to concerns/allegations
all people, made possible through the remarkable events 6. Responding to those that may pose a present risk to
of Jesus’s death and resurrection. Every single person others
has immense value and true dignity as one created in the Abuse: this covers many things from physical or sexual
image of God and as someone who Jesus loves so much abuse, neglect, emotional, institutional, discriminatory or
that he was willing to lay down his life for you. financial abuse, domestic violence, spiritual abuse and
manipulation, or otherwise.
We regularly review our policy and practice, and
2. Taking up references. As well as DBS-checks and
Safeguarding is an item on every agenda for our church
criminal record disclosures, we are now also taking up
leadership meetings (PCC). We are also part of the
references for all volunteers joining teams working with
larger organisation of the Diocese of Southwark where
children or vulnerable adults
their Safeguarding department sets out guidance, hosts
training sessions and is our next step for advice or referral 3. Parental consent for photos and videos. We ensure
if needed. we have parental consent for any photographs or videos
of children that are taken, displayed or stored.
Here are some recent things we have reviewed:
4. Safeguarding posters. Safeguarding posters and
1. Email, social media and online communication.
information about First Aid is clearly displayed around the
Engaging with people through these platforms must be
church facilities.
done safely to avoid the risk of forming inappropriate
relationships, saying things you should not, blurring 5. Luke Markham (Youth Minster) writes:
boundaries between church work and private life, There are many ways we put the Safeguarding policies
grooming and bullying. into practice week-by-week. The most obvious way we
We work within the following guidelines in our youth and safeguard the young people and ourselves is ensuring
children’s ministry: that none of our leaders are ever alone with any of the
• Only hold mobile numbers/email addresses of children young people. This requires enough leaders to help
if parents know and have agreed run the activities (and there are clear guidelines about
• Only communicate with children and young people in the necessary ratios for different age groups) but also
this way for reasons relating to the church taking into consideration the kinds of spaces we use for
• Avoid messages between you and just one individual meetings and events, as well as the times of events.
but instead send to a group (if you have to communicate
with an individual, always also include their parents) One of the less obvious but trickier things we think
• Keep copies of emails and messages for as long as through is how to protect the young people from what
possible has become known as ’spiritual abuse.’ For example,
• Do not use social media for youth work or accept friend on the weekend away we made sure there was never
requests from children or young people any pressure on the young people in how we taught
them from the Bible, we avoided using overly emotional
language, and we also made sure that the young people Visiting someone in their home.
got enough sleep and that the evening sessions were St John’s has an active Pastoral Visiting Team led by Don
not too late so they were not too tired for thinking Ely. The following guidelines are followed by that team,
through big issues of life and faith. We want to protect but it’s worth making a note even if you are just visiting
them from undue pressure and to help those who wish a friend from church. They are in place to ensure that
to, to respond genuinely and appropriately to God for vulnerable adults and church workers are as safe as they
themselves. can be and that there is accountability and transparency
in the way people engage in visits to homes.
Promoting a safe culture – how can you be involved? • Let someone know you are going especially if you don’t
All those working with children and vulnerable adults know the person very well
receive Safeguarding training and have up-to-date DBS • Visiting in pairs is advisable, always carry a mobile
checks, but it is the responsibility of everyone to ensure phone and do not call unannounced
the church is a safe place for all. We seek to create a • Always use positive and affirming language and seek to
positive culture where we encourage, build each other encourage the person you are visiting
up and use positive language. When with children or • Offer assistance in such a way as to maximize a person’s
vulnerable adults, we always work with or within sight independence
of another adult and would never be alone with a child. • Be clear about what support you can offer and the
We respond warmly to those who may need comforting, purpose and limitations of any pastoral support that is
ensuring any physical contact is in view of others. available
• Do not make referrals to any agency without the adult’s
What should you do if you are concerned about permission but encourage them to set up the contact
something that you are told or that you observe? themselves
Responding to Safeguarding concerns or allegations • Never offer over-the-counter remedies or administer
If there is an immediate danger to a child or adult, call prescribed medicines
999. However, most situations are not emergencies and • Do not accept money or gifts or assist with
you should follow these 3 steps: writing cheques or withdrawing money to avoid
1. Observe carefully the details of the situation causing misunderstandings
you concern and/or or listen carefully to the child/adult • Make a note of the date you visit and report back about
disclosing abuse. the visit to the Pastoral Team leader
2. Write down as soon as you can what has happened
and/or what has been said to you (include the date, time
and place) and do not throw away your notes.
3. Talk to your Parish Safeguarding Officer or vicar as soon
as possible, and within 24 hours (or you can seek advice The following people are responsible for Safeguarding
directly from the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor). You at St John’s and should be contacted in the event of any
MUST report all concerns or allegations. Your PSO/vicar concern, whether you consider it to be serious or not.
will seek advice from and share information with the DSA.
3-step summary

1. 2. 3.
Observe Write it all Pass it on to the
and/or listen down PSO, vicar or DSA
carefully (& no one else)

Parish Assistant PSO: Vicar: Mark

Safeguarding Jane Jones Francis 01342
If a child or adult discloses something to you: Officer (PSO): 01342 314027 321524
Do take what is said seriously and remain calm Christine Ely
Do listen and resist asking questions (especially closed or 01342 311614
leading questions)
Do establish only as much information as is needed to tell
Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor (DSA):
your Parish Safeguarding Officer
Kate Singleton 020 7939 9423
Do check whether they mind you taking notes so you can
capture the information accurately Diocesan Safeguarding out-of-hours number:
Do offer reassurance that telling someone is the right 07982 279713
thing to do
Do tell the child or adult what you are going to do next
Do not make promises that cannot be kept (e.g. that you
won’t share the information) Further Safeguarding policies and guidelines for the
Do not make judgements, assumptions or offer Church of England can be found here:
alternative explanations
Do not speak to family members of the person disclosing and-procedures
abuse Anyone is welcome to register for one of the Southwark
Do not contact the person about whom allegations have Diocese Safeguarding training sessions:
been made
Do not do any sort of physical or medical examination or training-events/
further investigation
Do not share with anyone except one of the contacts
Check out the rebranding of our Sunday
morning children’s groups!
The Rock is for 3-11s and they meet in Pebbles The Pebbles are the 3-7s
the church hall during our 10am service. and they have so much fun learning
They have an awesome time together together in all sorts of exciting ways.
learning Bible stories, singing songs,
Boulders The older group (7-10s) have
playing games, making crafts and so
really interesting discussions with lots of
much more.
great insights from the children as they
ask questions and learn together.
What’s in the name? God is described as
the Rock in the Bible. We can build our
If you would like your children to
lives on him. But we also want each of
grow up learning about God and with
the children to be like rocks, strong and
Christian faith as a part of their lives,
resilient and with a firm faith in Jesus that
please come to the Rock. If you just
stands the test of time.
want to try it out one Sunday to see how
your children get on, that’s absolutely
At the Rock, the children have age-
fine. Parents are welcome to sit in while
specific learning and activities in the
their children settle. And if you have any
following groups:
questions please get in touch or speak to
Gems This is our youngest group for 0-3s one of our fabulous team of leaders.
with plenty of play-time and each child
well-supported by our crèche team.
The fabulous team of leaders

We have been attending St Johns for four years now, and greatly value being able to I bring Henry to the Rock because we love
send our two boys to The Rock. They really enjoy learning the Bible stories and the coming to the church and there is such a warm
various activities. They say the best part for them is discussing in groups and watching and welcoming atmosphere. I want my children
the videos. During their time in The Rock they have grown in confidence and it’s also to know all about God, and my son also told
very important for us that there is a space for them where they are happy and well me that he enjoys everything about the Rock,
cared for, so we can join the church service without distractions! especially the singing!
Tim & Tanya (Samuel 10, Joshua 7) Emily (Henry 5, Bethany 2)

WHAT’S GOING ON? CONNECTIONS A place for seniors for friendship and
conversation meeting once-a-month on a Monday
Baptism and Confirmation Service Sunday 14 July at afternoon.
6pm in the church.
BIBLE BY THE BEACH Evening Celebration
VERVE Friday evening youth venue open to all at 7pm in and Concert Sunday 5 May at The Congress
the church (school years 6-9). Theatre in Eastbourne (a coach leaves the
church car park at 4:30pm).
B.O.S.S Sunday youth group at 5:30pm in the church hall
for 11-18s (a delicious tea is included).
SMALL GROUPS Meeting at different times in people’s RIDING LIGHTS Theatre Company
homes, the church or the pub. Coming to St John’s on Saturday 22 June.

YOUNG ADULTS A chance for 20/30s to meet up together If you would like more information about
for Bible study and social time. any of these, please check the website or get in touch.

Children’s Groups for 0-11s meet during our 10am service. 01342 314027
Youth Groups (11-18s) meet during our 6pm service.
Visit the website for more information.