This is the Christmas bumper edition of Focus and as I write, I am finalising all the loose ends for the examination of the church accounts in the preparation of the Annual Report.
It has not been easy since we are now in the new regime called FRS 102. This has a number of new requirements and I am having to determine which ones we have to use, and which ones are outside our scope.
There are two problems in moving to a new regime. One is the format of the information they require. For this I am beholden to the Methodist gurus who have only just prepared a document to follow. I am grateful that it is at last available. But that leads to the second problem. It requires a new set of categories for the main accounts. This may seem straightforward, but the item headings are not as specific as one would like to see and I am having to decide under which heading each of the various figures should reside. I think I am nearly there, but it will mean a conversation with Harry, our accounts examiner, to be sure we have got it correct. However, the one joy is that once we have agreed it for this year, it should be the same for many years to come.
I hope that the finalised Annual Report will be going forward to the January meeting of the Church Council. If it gets approval, it will then be available on the Charity Commission website for anyone to examine.
A very Happy Christmas to you all, and again, thank you for your continued support for the church over the past year. In February I will be able to let you know how the first quarter in the financial year has gone.
EMC is looking to expand and enhance ROOTS, our Coffee Shop with this new position.
This is an exciting opportunity to be part of the team in our successful Coffee Shop, which opened in April 2017. This role will suit someone with catering experience and proven ability of working in a team, preferably with volunteers. 18 to 20.5 hours per week, plus holiday / sickness cover; 1 year fixed term contract initially; salary approx. £10 per hour.
Applicants should be sympathetic to our church’s Christian views and have a desire to run a professional operation that puts hospitality at the heart of our ministry.
CLOSING DATE: 1 March 2018
Application Pack from Sue Massingham: 01372 728535 / 07534 428584
A satisfactory disclosure from the DBS is an essential requirement for this post.
History Review from a 1999 viewpoint
And so, in the words of Tom Styche (1999)
"Let us turn back the clock 159 years
Back in 1840, open-air services were held on Epsom Common by a lay preacher, not an ordained minister. When the weather was cold and wet, the services were held in the tiny cottages on Epsom Common and the children had a story time in the parlour.
During the week, meetings were held in the cottages for bible study and prayer. These meetings were called "class meetings" - a name still used today. All the time numbers were growing. More and more people wanted to attend and know about the bible and Jesus.
The nearest Methodist Church with a minister was Sutton, and some of our members used to walk from Epsom to Sutton, about seven or eight miles, to hear the preacher, before walking home. The enthusiastic group meeting in the cottages on the Common started getting restless. They wanted something bigger. They wanted their own chapel in which their ever-growing numbers could meet to worship and praise the Lord.
They had a vision and faith and for seven years they worked hard and saved their money. Then in 1847 they purchased a barn - right in the town centre. In those days, much of the current town centre was still fields, open land or farms. Therefore, the first Methodist chapel was given the name "Pretty Rustic Chapel"! Being surrounded by farms and fields, there were occasions when a chicken would stroll down the aisle and one morning the service was stopped because a donkey tried to get in.
However, it did not matter. There was much rejoicing at the first chapel, with worshippers wanting to share what they knew. However, very soon the barn became too small for all the adults and children, and it became necessary to look for another site.
Yet again, a site was found in the town centre, quite close to the present railway station. In 1863, the second chapel was opened at a cost of £1,300, which was a fair amount in those days. It had meant a lot of hard work, but all the time numbers continued to grow. In addition, by 1900 they had reached 150 adults with as many children in the Sunday school. The second chapel was no longer large enough, and so once again there was a lot of talk, a lot of prayer and the decision was made to look for another site.
They did not have to look far because this site, here in Ashley Road was an empty field. Another area right in the town, so with faith and confidence the site was purchased. What faith, what a vision for the future. So a new church was built, which cost £7,700 and this church was opened in 1914.
In 1944 during the Second World War, a bomb fell next door, and we lost all our windows, but two remained. The large window up there in the front and the lovely rose window behind.
In addition, membership continues to grow and grow and grow ... 200, 300, 400, 500 and on. Because of the large numbers and all the activities, especially with young people, the Church hall was built in 1959. I just do not know how we managed without the Church hall for so many years. In 1962, we built the transept, and in 1968, we made the front porch larger. Then in 1984 we built the Church office and Ministers office in front of the Church hall
One hundred and fifty nine years ago those early Wesleyan Methodists had a vision. Equally important they had their faith. Without their dedication, we would not have these premises today. On this Church anniversary, we give thanks for all the hard work, love and prayer, and we are so grateful.
We now look forward to the future with exciting plans, and trust that we have that same sense of dedication as we plan for the future. And for all those who will follow to serve the Lord and witness to those around us, as they did all those years ago to make this place of worship possible."
Therefore, what is next?
We shall pray that for three main objectives:
We shall all be granted the same vision for a Redeveloped Church open, welcoming and rebuilt and refurbished for all the people of Epsom, Ashtead and beyond.
The design will be right and reflect God’s wishes for EMC.
The money will be found.
May each and everyone’s prayers and personal decisions fulfil God’s wishes for the future of EMC
Building Together @EMC
Annual General Meeting 2017
On Sunday 19th March 2017 we held the Annual General Meeting between the two morning services. There was a good attendance from the congregations. There were several matters of business dealt with. Carol Thorley gave a report of the year as Senior Steward. She is stepping down from the Leadership Team and being Senior Steward. The Leadership team gave her a plant and card to say thank you, and we would like to express our gratitude to her for taking it on suddenly and for all her hard work. Carol is being succeeded by Rachel King who was officially appointed by the meeting with Jane Williams as the Deputy Senior Steward. James (Jim) Bosley, Val Imms, Simon Jump, Kathryn Thompson, and David Williams were also appointed to the Leadership Team. Elizabeth Mulling Smith has stepped down and we thank her for her contribution over the years to the work of the church and Leadership Team. We also had a report from Richard about the Finances as reported in the Annual Report. The Annual Report can be found online here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission and copies are available in the EMC office upon request.
Mark finished with some comments about the plans for the coming year. The Minutes will be available from the Church Office. The format and date of the next Annual General meeting will be discussed and we will let you know the details in the New Year.