Our morning meeting this week was led by Major Ian and began with the call to worship
Hebrews 10 22-23
So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word.
This was followed by two congregational songs -275 “Sing We The King” & 635 ” When the Music Fades” .
Following this the Singing company , Led by Kate Boughton, Sang the song “Run the Race” , which was written by our own Emma Davis.
Major Estelle Clack was then called to the platform to be commissioned as the leader of the Cameo group, a role she has been fulfilling with great success for a while, with great support from Major Peter
The congregation then sang song 949 ” Come join our Army”
We had a Bible reading from Marjory Hudson , who read
Ephesians 1 v3-14 .
The Songsters contribution this morning was the song ” Would you Know ”
Major Ian began his message of “Jesus in the community” by enquiring of the congregation what was our intent on coming to the meeting today, and what was our intent next week when our morning meeting will be in the High St. Do we believe we can make a difference in peoples lives.
Major Ian quoted from an earlier commanding officer of Chatham Corps
Gypsy Smith (1860-1947)
His Life and Work
My first charge after my marriage was at Chatham. This station, which was several years old, had never been a success. If it had, then it had fallen very low. I was sent down to end it or mend it. The General had visited the town and knew the situation exactly. I shall never forget the reception that my congregation, numbering thirteen, gave me on the first night. There had been dissension among them, and each of them sat as far away from his neighbour as possible. I saw there was something the matter somewhere, and resolved to set it right if it were possible. I sat down and looked at my frigid congregation for quite a number of minutes. The thirteen isolated items were meanwhile exchanging glances, mutely inquiring of each other what was the matter, and what they were waiting for. At length one man more bold than his neighbours arose to tackle me, wanting to know what I meant by not beginning the meeting. “I am getting to know,” I said, “what is the matter with you. I am studying the disease – am feeling your pulse. A doctor does not prescribe until he knows what the disease is.” There was another dead silence, and at length I began the service. But my troubles were still to come. One old man, who had gazed at me in consternation and suspicion all through my address, said to me –
“Who sent you here, my boy?”
“The Rev. William Booth, the superintendent of this Mission.”
“Well, you won’t do for us.”
“Why, what have I done? Why do you not like me?”
“Oh,” said the old man, “you are too young for us.”
“Is that it?”
“That is it.”
“Well,” I said, “if you let me stop here awhile I shall get older. I am not to blame for being young. But if I have not any more whiskers than a gooseberry, I have got a wife. What more do you want?”
I held up the book containing the names of the members, and I told the people that I had authority to burn it if I liked. But I had no desire to do this. I wanted their sympathy, prayers, and co-operation.
I showed the people that I meant business – that I was eager for the help of those who were of the same mind, and as for the others, they must cease their troubling or betake themselves elsewhere. The result was as satisfactory as it was sudden. Harmony was restored. The individual members of the congregation no longer sat far apart. The people of the neighbourhood got to know of the change in the relation of our members to each other, and came to our chapel to see what was happening. The congregation grew apace, and when I left, after nine months’ service, the membership had risen from thirty-five to 250. .
The times have changed but our mission is still the same , and next week we have an opportunity ..but we can only give out to other what we have within ourselves..
The meeting ended with the congregation singing song 601 “Lord I come to you” and Song 938 ” we have caught the vision”.
In the afternoon our Band & Songsters were at the annual service of remembrance at Medway Crematorium
Our Evening meeting was entitled ” On the Sofa” with Steve and Tracy Wood.
Our first song was 869 ” I’ve found the pearl of greatest price” – supported by the Band,
Major Ian welcomed everyone, explain this evening was a chance for us to get to know Steve & Tracy a little better, and get a glimpse into the events in their lives that shaped them .
Tracey growing up as one of eleven children , and living locally , worshipping at Chatham for many years . Singing in the singing company
Steve who was born in Nuneaton, and moved to Ipswich as young boy, playing side drum in the YP Band. He told the story of seeing the Royal Marines Band at a county show, and being so in taken by what he saw he enlisted in the Marines at the age of 14 ( being enrolled as a senior soldier the night before he left)
our 2nd song was 355 – Beautiful Lord Wonderful Saviour
Tracy told us that initially she was going to work in catering , but was put off that, and began a career with Lloyds.
Steve told us how much he appreciated his Marine commanding officers willingness to allow the Christians in the Royal Marines Band opportunities to attend worship at local Churches and Salvation Army Corps , when they were away from base. This even included the time when Steve and a friend missed their Aircraft carriers departure from Helsinki , because they were being entertained by the area Salvation Army Commissioner .
The 3rd musical interlude was the Band bring us “In Quiet Pastures” by Ray Steadman Allen, which Steve said he first heard played when his Father was Bandmaster in Ipswich
Tracy told us of her wish to stop working where she was and work full time in Children’s Ministry, with the SA. Tracy explained that she wrote a letter to God ( kept secretly in a Bible) , challenging God to show her they way if it was the right thing for her. in the letter she named our then CO Drew Mcombe , as someone who should be involved in the process. it was about two years later that Drew approached Tracy to ask if she could go on a training course for Childrens ministry work ! ,and this letter was not know about by anyone (even Steve) until this Saturday.
The Songsters contribution was ” His Provision ”
Steve & Tracy were asked by Major Ian what their Favourite Bible verses were.
Tracy’s was Psalm 47
Steve said his was Ephesians 3 verse 14 to the end
and then our meeting was closed with the final song
568 ” all that I am ” This song was especially chosen by Steve and Tracy as this was the song that was playing at the Royal Albert Hall in 1993 , when they were at the commissioning of some friends. During the singing of this song they were led to rededicate their lives to the Army, and therefore this song is especially memorable to them.
Thanks to Steve and Tracy for being willing interviewees on the Sofa.
I thank Mike Gibbs for taking the pictures in the morning meeting . The Crematorium photographs I copied from the Major.
Next Week 1st July our morning meeting will be held in Chatham High Street, this because of the Borough Conferment of Honorary Freedom to C Company, 3RD BATTALION OF PRINCESS OF WALES’S ROYAL REGIMENT, as is the right of a Freeman, they will be parading through the town at 11am. The street around our hall will be utilised at the rally area, so access will be difficult. It will be great to see everyone down there
Will be the Farewell meeting to Major Karen Smith who is taking up her appointment as CO at Hastings Temple, and a chance to thank Murray Smith for his loyal service to the Corps over many years