GrapevineTHE VOICE OF HOPE FOR HASTINGS
Summer 2016 No 57 PPLRAAEESANASSDDEON
Is the song all about you? • Doctor won’t quit shattered Aleppo DISTFRIOBRUFTIROEEN
Kitchen’s ten years as place of hope
After ebola: ‘twin’ Hastings revisited • Handel’s Messiah at the castle
Rev Paul Parks
is the Rector of
Is the song allStHelen’sand
Cover picture: The fist smashed into my face and the This probably saved my life. He put the cold
Early summer force of the punch lifted me off the steel of an eight-inch knife onto my throat as it
morning at Pett Level, ground. I landed on my back in a crumpled was time to cut me. This was tradition, the cutting.
by Paul Mitchell FRPS heap.
My vanity saved me as he said ‘You‘re OK!’ He
Rev Paul Parks x About 20 young men stood around turned around, walked away and his followers and
me. Every now and then a kick would be hangers-on followed him in their blind stupor.
2 GRAPEVINE lashed into me, hitting my body in various
places, causing a pain which would nearly Holding attention
send me unconscious. I suppose I have your attention now. You might ask,
what has this to do with Grapevine? Read on.
I endured some ten minutes of this
punishment. Why? Because I had walked I ran the Hastings Half Marathon with a couple
into another gang’s territory. of other people from St Helen’s church family to
raise money and awareness for some important
‘Hey, I’m Paul,’ I said to myself, stood up and Christian initiatives.
looked the gang leader in the eyes as if to say, ‘Is
that your best?’ The Half Marathon route is much like the
rhythm of life with its trials, tribulations and joys.
There is the euphoria of the beginning of the
race, much like the euphoria of a new birth and the
beginning of that baby’s journey through life.
Then there are the various challenges of the
route. Hills that sap your energy and breath. These
are like the traumas which life inevitably brings to
all of us.
The long, boring, monotony of Queensway. We
all have times in our life when we just have to
There is jubilation at various points on the route
where people cheer you on. This is like the joy in
our lives of weddings, parties and job promotions.
The encouragement spurs the runners on.
Running downhill for such a long way is like
the times in our lives when it all seems to be
Then there is the gruelling last couple of miles
along the seafront to the finish line. I imagine what
I might be like when I am old, tired and ready to
arrive at heaven’s door.
Will there be a crowd cheering us into heaven
as they do at the finish line of the Half Marathon?
Clapping and saying ‘Well done’, ‘You made it’,
Coming back to my introduction I thought my
vanity saved me. No, it was the foolishness of
vanity that nearly lost me my life at such a
Tasha Calton, who is 18, is training to be a VANITY, VANITY …
Christian youth worker. Tasha and her youth leader
colleagues also ran the Half Marathon for the There was a popular song, ‘You’re so vain
charity, Christian Schools Workers Hastings. you probably think this song is about
I know that I, when I was a youth – and the you.’
young people around me – would have benefited At one stage I walked to this song and
from the ministry of love, care, teaching about thought about the words.
Jesus and the role modelling of people God touched my heart and now I crave
like the Christian Schools Workers in the humility of Jesus.
‘It is so Is there a call to us, especially
Two of my friends were dead important church leaders, to consider
before they were 16 years old. whether vanity is stifling unity?
Young people like Tasha and her to work in
colleagues with the aims of this unity’ < Paul finishing the
organisation can prevent young
Hastings Half Marathon
lives from being wasted.
Proverbs 4 says this about advice to
‘My child, listen closely to my teachings and
learn common sense.
My advice is useful, so don’t
‘When I was still very young and my mother’s
favourite child, my father said to me: “If you
follow my teachings and keep them in mind, you
will live” …’
These young leaders need the support of the
whole church across Hastings and St Leonards with
our prayers, encouragement and funding.
I ran the half marathon for the local Loaf
project, Wheels of Mercy. It aims to buy a minibus
for the mentally handicapped and autistic children
in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Added to my personal motivation was my
admiration for the Loaf charity and its heart for
Christian unity in Hastings and St Leonards. >
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Encouraging unity It is so important to work in unity because living
This brings me to a thought which might help in isolation is unhealthy for church leaders and
encourage unity in the different streams of the members.
Christian faith here.
There were, if I remember correctly, 1,355 I remember a part of my escape and evasion
starters on the selection course I did to join the selection. When I was captured and interrogated
Territorial Army Special Air Service. I had to sign a disclaimer just in case the
interrogation and wearing-down techniques caused
Two of us passed the selection in our squadron damage to me!
and this was much the case for the other three
squadrons. My point is that isolation is not good. I can still
see clearly the face of my interrogator and the
One of the SOPs (standard operational feeling of loneliness and emptiness because of the
procedures) we learned became part of the core of isolation.
our being. It was: when on a mission, never leave
anyone behind, wounded or dead. Leaders and church members can suffer the
same symptoms if they isolate themselves instead
This created a great sense of concern for each of drawing strength from each other by working in
other and a unity that could not be broken. unity.
Shared concern St Paul writes in Ephesians 4 on unity and
Whatever Christian stream or denomination we maturity in the Body of Christ:
are part of it would be good to have the same sort
of concern for each other as we had in the special ‘As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to
forces on a mission. live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient,
By looking out for and caring for each other, we bearing with one another in love. Make every effort
would unify and strengthen our mission together. to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of
The mission of the whole church in Hastings To be continued in the next issue…
is to grow God’s kingdom together and reach the
And Jesus said,
“Come to me all who are
tired from carrying heavy
loads and I will give you rest”
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Doctor won’t quit
The brutal, devastating conflict in Syria surgeon and his fellow workers in his clinic and x Typical destruction
has raged for five years. Aleppo has in relief projects that he runs with the Baptist
been particularly in the news recently. church there. in a residential area
At a clinic in the heart of the Although they have a family house in Photograph by Bo Yaser
shattered city a courageous Christian Armenia Dr Jani and his wife have chosen
doctor, with local connections here, to stay under the bombardment in Aleppo,
works tirelessly with his colleagues to providing surgical care to many of the
relieve the suffering. wounded in his clinic.
Loaf Project has channelled a total of £5,500 All 19 Christian doctors working alongside him
from its emergency fund to support a Christian have also chosen to stay, unlike so many others
who have sought safety outside the country. >
Speaking here wells and taking drinking water to the homes of
Dr Jani was recently brought over to the UK by disabled people.
Barnabas Fund, for whom he is the main partner in We saw pictures of the care given to orphans
the city, for a series of meetings. and the handing out of food parcels that Barnabas
The day before he flew back he was able Fund had sent, or had been bought with money the
to attend the annual international conference Fund had supplied.
of Hastings-based Christian charity Prime
(Partnerships in International Medical Education), Narrow escapes
with which he is also a tutor and longstanding in- We praise God that throughout years of conflict,
country partner. Jani’s clinic has been kept safe, unlike most
surrounding buildings – and that so far none
Love in action of the staff has suffered injury despite
Dr John Geater reports. The message ‘We saw mortar shells exploding close to them.
Jani brought was heart-rending and pictures He thanks Loaf for the donations
yet one of indomitable courage born of many
of a love for God and a love for the children left sent from Hastings, and Prime for its
people he is called to serve. orphaned’ prayers and support.
We saw pictures of whole streets Jesus said, ‘In this world you will
have trouble, but take heart! I have
reduced to rubble, of many children left overcome the world.’
orphaned, and heard of how food is scarce The love shown by people such as Jani,
and very expensive, as are the medical supplies he his wife and fellow workers shows how love can
needs. triumph even amid the violence and hatred of
We heard how opposition forces – including this age.
some supported by the West – have recently If you would like to help Dr Jani and his fellow
targeted the Christian section of the city with Christians in Aleppo to continue their relief work.
missiles and mortars. donations (marked clearly for Aleppo) could be
But we also heard how the churches in the city given to Loaf Project Emergency Fund or sent direct
have joined together to tackle the situation, boring to Barnabas Fund: barnabasfund.org
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Kitchen’s ten years HopeKitchenhas
celebrated its tenth
as a place of hope anniversary
Katie Harrison reports
It started as a handful of people meeting
together with a common heart to serve
those in need. It developed into a busy
soup kitchen serving regularly at least
35 homeless and other needy guests on a
There are more than 50 volunteers currently
registered with Hope Kitchen, most of them from
different parts of the church across the town. Mixed emotions
We have seen several hundred guests come In its ten years, Hope Kitchen has experienced its
through our doors over the ten years. challenges and its joys.
None of us knows how life will treat us. There have been times of great sadness
For those who have found themselves ‘Many when the effects of drug or alcohol
at rock bottom and without support, guests have addiction have taken their ultimate toll.
Hope Kitchen has been a lifeline. received and But also times of tremendous joy
when guests have come to know the Lord,
They have come from a variety
of backgrounds, even business, known the love started a new job, found a place to live
health, military and the arts, of Jesus’ and begun to get their lives back on track.
including a professor of music! Throughout it all, Hope Kitchen has
Loving service drawn from the love of God to minister
Not only does Hope Kitchen serve homemade comfort and joy to those who need it most, sustained
soup, sandwiches and hot drinks. Many guests by His provision, strength and faithfulness.
have received and known the love of Jesus
through the compassion shown by our volunteers, We thank God for these last ten years, and look
providing a door of hope to their future. forward to serving with him for many more to come!
Hope Kitchen also serves as a signpost to Anyone interested in volunteering or supporting Hope Christmas celebrations
other vital local agencies who work together to Kitchen in any way can contact George on 07931
restore broken lives. 587349. For further details please see the website, at Hope Kitchen x
Mick, 53, a regular guest at Hope Kitchen,
describes it as a ‘life-saver’
An anniversary celebration service was held at
Wellington Square Baptist church followed by a
It was attended by the mayor and deputy
mayor as well as guests, volunteers and
Dr Mike Cooper shared a brief history of Hope
Kitchen and Shaun, one of the guests, spoke of
how it had impacted his life in a positive way.
He had also written a poem, beautifully
describing his experience of Hope Kitchen and
how much it has blessed him.
HASTINGS SIERRA LEONE FRIENDSHIP LINK
After ebola: ‘twin’reports
A team from here has made the first been allowed out to attend choir practice.
Link visit to Hastings Sierra Leone since On her return she had been scrubbed to
the ebola outbreak that swept across make sure that there was no chance of the
West Africa, taking many lives in its ebola virus reaching their home.
wake. Christine Lane gives her personal
impressions. Her close friend at school in Freetown had
lost one of her parents and then, through
Hastings itself had survived the outbreak ebola, had lost the other. She was unable to
comfort her; something she can’t forget.
relatively unscathed, although many deaths
The teenager who told me had not only
were reported from the two treatment centres just lived through the ebola outbreak but had
early childhood memories of gunshot during
set up nearby. the rebel war. Many young people there must
have had such experiences.
Ebola however took its toll of Hastings. Not
The health centre continued with
least that the children had been out its vaccination programmes and while I
was there the staff were involved in the
‘It was of school for two terms and would World Health Organisation programme to
have to catch up. eradicate polio.
clear that What was more obvious to Teenage mothers
ebola had left the four of us who went was There has been an increase in births – sadly
the disruption to public services. fuelled by a number of rapes and teenage
pregnancies during the ebola epidemic. One
its mark’ There was less grid electricity of our twin schools is now running classes for
and less running water than when these teenage mothers after school time.
we were there two years ago. I am extremely proud of what the staff
and volunteers at the health centre achieve
Certainly the welcome was as warm. under such difficult circumstances.
The children were thrilled to see us and the Delivering babies with no running water is
health centre was working well. But it was clear
that ebola had left its mark.
Scenes in the Being scrubbed
maternity unit at the A 16-year-old girl who I got to know well told
me how hard it had been for her. She had only
health centre x
taken in their stride and babies continued to arrive Campbell described as ‘lawn tennis’ – although there was
during my visit. not a blade of grass in sight!
The Link is looking at ways to ensure a supply of The girls’ rounders was extremely competitive while
running water as well as helping to complete the the star tennis player was James. He had lost his left arm
maternity unit extension. in an accident when he fell from a tree.
It was exciting to see the rewiring of the health We encouraged him to practise serving by first
centre which had been paid for by St Leonards holding the racket under his chin while throwing the ball
Rotary Club. The staff were so thankful. up high with his one arm.
Learning curve Having space
Without doubt, God is in all that we do in Sierra The school has the benefit of a large play area and
Leone. It is not easy and it is a learning curve for all separate classrooms. However this is not the case with
of us but one that I consider a privilege. all of our twinned schools.
We have learnt that it is not always right to One that I visited has no space for games and the
throw money at projects but instead to encourage pupils in their smart pink uniforms have their classes
and enable things to happen if that is what is in one enormous room which resembles one floor of a
needed. multi-storey car park.
We have much to learn from our friends in Sierra Regular contact is kept up by text, including discussion
Leone and I pray that God will continue to bless about the respective English football clubs we support.
this special relationship and that our two towns of
Hastings may benefit from each other. Among friends Below left:
A last word from Christine: James, who lost
Sports report The sun shone, we worked hard and enjoyed every his left arm, is
Richard Lane adds this aspect of the visit: moment of our trip. determined to
Hastings REC primary school in Sierra Leone is play tennis
linked with Ark Blacklands. On our previous visit we This is a partnership that gets under your skin if you
had introduced cricket, rounders and badminton. let it – which I have. Below right:
This time we took tennis rackets. We introduced Certainly I cannot be happier than being among our
the children to what headteacher Sylvanus friends in Hastings Sierra Leone and look forward to with no grass! x
Wallace Boulton ‘It was a place associated with fear, control
reports and warfare. This event links it with the coming
of the Kingdom of God.’
Although it is not an event for an audience,
those who wish to come and listen will be able
to do so from the West Hill or from just outside
the castle grounds.
As the team prayed at the castle and began
planning there were extraordinary pointers
towards the date: Saturday August 13th this
Everything then began to fall into place.
Jenny Miller, an opera teacher in London,
was prepared to train the choir in nine two-
and-a-half hour workshop sessions. These are
being held at His Place community church in
Local professional soloists signed up and
one of the world’s best baroque trumpeters,
Crispian Steel-Perkins, who lives locally, agreed
The conductor will be Nigel Howard. He will
be using the baton which was passed on from
one church location to the next at the worship
relay event last summer.
The idea grew after the Praise to the King There has been an enthusiastic response
event at Hastings Castle in 2007. The of volunteers to join the choir. The 200 mark
Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah was soon passed and the number has since
had been sung as the climax. It was a clear reached 221.
day and the sound had wafted towards There is still a chance for more to register,
the town centre. It was even ‘It is until the workshop on June 18th at
heard on a platform at Hastings an act of 10.00am.
Those who felt inspired to stage worship to the George Frederic Handel composed
Praise to the King were excited by his sacred oratorio in 1741, setting
a vision of the whole of Handel’s Messiah’ to music a text compiled by Charles
Messiah being performed at the castle Jennens from the King James Version
by a volunteer choir of church members of the Bible and from the version of the
and others from across the town. Psalms in the Book of Common Prayer.
Behind this bold venture are Katie Harrison, Handel completed the 52 movements in 24
Susie Molina and Rev Jan Vidler, together with Rev days in what has been described as ‘a fervent
Chris Sears, and with the backing of John Lyttle, race to keep up with his imagination’.
who chairs Church Together in Hastings and St The work was first performed at Dublin
Leonards. Music Hall on April 13th 1742 and had its
London premiere the following year.
Act of worship It is thought that it was then that the
This however will not be a performance in the usual custom was started by King George II of
sense. Katie Harrison explains: ‘It is an act of worship standing for the Hallelujah Chorus.
to the Messiah, the Christ, to glorify him in Hastings.
‘This is the 950th anniversary of the building of To join the choir contact: Hastings247prayer@
Hastings Castle. William the Conqueror brought gmail.com or call 0773 321 6695. On Facebook:
over the timber in his invasion fleet. www.facebook.com/hastingsmessiah2016
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Bishop Richard backs Bishop Richard Jackson, Bishop of Lewes, has
Wheels of Mercy commended the 2016 Loaf project,Wheels of Mercy.
The project is in support of the work of the Centre for Profound
Education in Islamabad, Pakistan (Grapevine 55/56).
The £10,000 project is to provide a minibus to transfer
severely disabled children there from outlying homes and some
from St Joseph’s hospice where they are cared for after being
abandoned by desperate parents.
Bishop Richard writes: ‘I am going to Pakistan myself with
Release International in the first weeks of September. I worked
there in the early 1980s.
‘Our strategy is always to try to embrace local initiatives
where we can, rather than impose top-down solutions,
‘It sounds a great project for local churches to get linked
with. I am very happy to lend my support in whatever ways
might be helpful.’
y Bishop Richard Jackson: Pakistan connections
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LOAF PROJECT WHEELS OF MERCY
Loaf chairman Dr John Geater adds: ’Already Wheels of Mercy
several church groups are holding events to
raise money for the project and there have invites you to
been generous donations from individuals. bring a rug and a picnic to…
‘It is hoped that with the bishop’s
encouragement more will also join in to add to
the engagement of the local community.’
Enjoy the music and Music on a
support the project Summer Afternoon
Coming up next in the events in St Thomas of Canterbury
support of Wheels of Mercy is the Church Gardens (Concordia Hall if wet)
annual Music on a Summer Afternoon
(see display right). Magdalen Road, St Leonards on Sea
This is a time to relax, hopefully in Sunday June 26th, 2.30–5.30pm
mid-summer sunshine, and enjoy a
range of local musical talent. The Secret Chord
The sunshine was lacking for the May Day Loaf Now and Then
Walk. Organiser Roger Mitchell remarks: ‘The
superb views which would have been on offer The Red Geraniums
on a clear day were completely obscured on a St Mary Star of the Sea School Choir
dull day sandwiched between two gloriously
sunny ones. Village Voices
Clare Grimble – Songs from Nepal
‘But nobody got lost and all thought how
lovely the countryside looked in the mist. A suggested donation of £10 is invited for the Loaf Project –
Wheels of Mercy – this year helping to buy a minibus to bring children
‘The bluebells were fantastic, Guestling
woods were heavy with their scent and and young people with learning difficulties to The Centre
elsewhere the wild garlic was a wonderful for Profound Learning in Islamabad
First Sunday Walks
Youngest walker to receive a certificate
was Ben Copland, who cheerfully led his Keep fit, make friends and explore the beautiful countryside
grandmother for five miles. around us. These Sunday afternoon walks, organised by Loaf
Project for Church Together in Hastings and St Leonards, are for
As we go to press more than £1,000 has so the whole family and friends.
far come in for Wheels of Mercy as a result of There is a guided route of 3-4 miles (sometimes with shorter options). There is
the walk. (See page 14 for photographs) no charge to take part. Good walking shoes are needed. Children are welcome,
as are dogs. All walkers take part at their own risk.
Another gig at the June 5th The seashore and Combe Valley nature reserve; meet at the TA centre,
Gecko Cinque Ports Way, St Leonards at 2.30pm.
July 3rd Brede’s byways; meet by the Red Lion, opposite the church, at 2.30pm.
The Hastings Friendship Group led August 7th Udimore and surrounds; meet at Udimore church at 2.30pm.
by Cllr Trevor Webb has adopted September 4th Catsfield countryside; meet by the White Hart at Catsfield
the Wheels of Mercy project as its at 2.30pm.
fundraiser at another evening at the October 2nd Over the bridge to Lordship woods; meet at Salehurst church
Gecko bar and bistro at Grand Parade at 2.30pm.
on the St Leonards seafront.
It was being held on Wednesday
June 1st, with buffet and
entertainment by a line-up of popular
News LOAF WALK FOR WHEELS OF MERCY
y David Walker took The youngest
this beautiful picture of receive a
the bluebell woods certificate was
The intrepid five who
did the whole 21 miles
in excellent time, from
8.30am to 5.15pm The
photo was taken when
they had done eight
miles – and still had
another 13 to do. They
are Lloyd Carey, Nick
Warren, Martin West
and David and Karen
Grapevine is published by Loaf Grapevine team Treasurer Christine Lane, who is
Project (reg charity no 293855) in Loaf chairman Dr John Geater MBE pleased to receive donations at:
association with Church Together Editor Rev Wallace Boulton 151 Old Roar Road, St Leonards
in Hastings and St Leonards to Design John Hawkins, 423859 TN37 7HH. Phone 754608
encourage action for the relief of Advertising and distribution Printed by
poverty and distress in the local Richard Keep, 852131 Hastings Printing Company
community and overseas. Reporter Lynne Clayton Web www.loafproject.co.uk
The future of Hastings Healing Rooms
Open on Saturdays
Grapevine expresses a vision of the whole
Church across Hastings and the surrounding Free, confidential prayer for healing
area and of the Gospel in action. in the name of Jesus Christ
It is a unique communication link, both for “I am the LORD, who heals you.” Exodus 15 v 26
local Christians and the wider community.
3- 4pm at His Place Community Church
There have been many expressions of
appreciation. But these need to be turned into Robertson Street, Hastings. TN34 1HL
financial support if Grapevine is to continue.
It is essential to attract more advertising, (except school summer holidays & Christmas & Easter weekend)
more church backing, and for more individual
supporters to make a regular contribution. Hastings Healing Room is run in association with National Healing Rooms Association England
Charity number 1125094
Treasurer Christine Lane is ‘hugely grateful’
to those who have kept giving regularly for www.healingroomsengland.com
years by banker’s order. We are now appealing
for more to join them. Contact our advertising manager, Richard
Keep on 852131.
Suggested amount each quarter is £20 or £10. One further point. Please ensure that all
But other amounts would of course be very church members receive the magazine by
welcome. Please complete the form and send handing copies out as people leave after
it to Mrs Christine Lane, 151 Old Roar Road, Sunday service and not leaving a pile
St Leonards TN37 7HH (not the bank). somewhere at the back! And encourage
members to take a few extra copies to deliver
New advertisers will find, as existing ones do, to friends and neighbours.
that this is a worthwhile medium. Thank you all for your for your support and
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