More on Names by Paul Arnold

Juliet’s blog post reminded me of part of a sermon I preached in 2018 on Philippians 3v1-11 and I spoke on our new identity in Christ, not based on our ethnicity, sex, nationality, nor outward physical symbol, and we have a new name.

In TS Elliot’s poem about the naming of cats he describes cats as having three names, we might think of them as identities:

Firstly, the name that the family uses daily,

Then a name particular to that cat – that only he has. A name that he cherishes and gives him pride.

Finally, a name that no human research can discover – as the poem says:

His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation

Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name

His ineffable effable


Deep and inscrutable singular name.

Just like the cats in the poem we have a name that God has given us that no one else can discover, a name that reaches to the centre of our very being in Christ.

Paul Arnold

What’s in a name? By Juliet Bohun

I have been blessed with a lovely Christian name, Juliet, no middle name. I was fortunate because my father, a professional musician, wanted to call me Cecilia, after the patron saint of music. Fortunately, this did not go with my surname which was Sunderland, which I had for twenty years. My first married name was Bycroft which I had for another twenty years and for the past thirty-three years, I have been Bohun. Technically, my name should now be Budd but that’s another story! No-one can spell or pronounce or spell my surname which is Bo-une but it is distinctive.

My name is what defines me. I am Juliet, Juliet Bohun. What would I do nowadays if I did not have an email/user name?

Isaiah (in Chapter 43, verse 1) says, “ the Lord who created you says, I have called you by name – you are mine.” In verse 4 he says, “you are precious to me.” I, me, am special and precious to God. In Psalm 139, David says that God knows everything about me. He knows my thoughts and my words before I speak them. His knowledge of me is so deep that it is beyond my understanding.

Do read Isaiah 43 1-5 and Psalm 139. Know that you, each one of you, too, has been called by name and you, too, are special and precious to God.

Juliet Bohun

A Blessing from David Strutt

I have a copy of Russ Parker’s excellent new book, ‘Pilgrim Wild’ and I offer you this blessing today:

God the Father bless you with a journey not imprisoned

By fears but one shot through with hope.

 God the Son bless you with a life not defined by your

Words and deeds but one transfigured by truth too vast to


 God the Holy Spirit bless you with a mission not

Determined by the level of your understanding or wisdom

But one lifted up by the power in His wings.


 You can change the ‘you’ to ‘me’ and pray it over yourself when you wish. Very beautiful.

Some thoughts on lockdown by Juliet Bohun

I spent the whole winter of 1970/71 living on my own with my 3 year old daughter in a married quarter in Kent. It was a bitterly cold winter and we had several heavy snowfalls. I had no central heating, only a coal fire, no telephone, no car and had to carry food in, trudging through the snow. The only means I had of communicating with my husband who was on board a ship in the Far East, was by writing letters (I think I wrote 150) and the only means of communication with my family was from a public phone box. I had a television with, I think, three channels. I was not in lockdown but had no transport and nowhere much to go.

Fast forward 50 years! I am still living on my own but I have central heating, a landline phone, a mobile phone, a tablet, a computer, Messenger, Zoom, a car and Sainsbury delivering all I need each week. How many channels do I have on my television? I still have that delightful daughter, now aged 53. I can’t meet friends in person in their home but I have all these means of communicating with them and I can actually see them! All meetings and church carry on as normal but on Zoom.

So, what on earth am I complaining about?

Juliet Bohun

Val’s blog for the week – Saturday

It’s always good to reflect on a week of outreach. Every day was different. Some days I had a stream of people just wanting to talk, other days were quieter which gave me an opportunity to pray for the village – and it was often on these days that I had the most significant conversations. The last day was a good one! One man with his two young daughters who may start coming to our church (there were a few of those!), another young man who had had a long battle with depression and anxiety, a lady with back pain (no more!), a young man with big questions, and I wouldn’t have spoken to any of them had I not taken the time to pray and to be available.

I think that’s the big learning – and it usually strikes me whenever I set time aside to do something for God. So often we just need to make ourselves available and when we do God has no trouble using us just as we are to see him work in ways that are beyond us. I’m planning to make myself more available in this season – I’m going to enrol in a course because part of being available is making myself available to God. I’m also going to do more in the way of outreach mainly because I do sense that this is where we need to be as a church so watch this space. Thank you to all. 

Val’s blog for the week – Thursday

It’s good to rest in God’s presence – in many ways that’s what being in the square is all about.  Just resting and praying and being with the community, and today was all about just that.  Resting, praying and meeting, an amazing French Sommelier who told me all about his dad and his amazing ideas about why we’re here, a wise old dad still looking after his kids as best he could after they’d long left home, a local councillor who told me all about her family, local shop keepers most of whom would love me to bless their businesses, local personalities friends from church one of whom had ventured out of her house for the first time.  Listening, chatting and praying.

The general bonhomie and good feeling has been growing – I was surprised to see my face on the front of the herald – pleased to give cake to the staff in the pub who have been amazing, cheered by the drinks and offers of food.  Tomorrow is a day off but I’ll be praying for sunny Saturday – praying for God to do something big and something new.

Val’s blog for the week – Wednesday

Val’s blog for the week – Wednesday

Well the sun broke through today in the square – and so did God as one after another people came up for a chat – There’s so much need and God is doing amazing things!  I chatted with a student who’s atheism is in the process of crumbling, an ex-army NCO who was so open and so in need of hug from the Father, a parent who’s trying to adopt, a young man who’s had an experience of God, an older guy who was such a big fat juicy atheist – but was happy for me to bless his son!  An amazing guy who has too many problems to mention – and finally two lads who helped me put the tent away and weren’t expecting to hear encouraging words and a blessing from God!

And lots of people who’ve noticed me out there (hard to miss) and love that the church is meeting people in this way.  Someone even said that the atmosphere in the square has changed even though she’s not a churchgoer herself!  More Holy Spirit – more!!

Do pray for the momentum of what the Spirit is doing to build tomorrow and in particular on Saturday.  That God will really bless all the people that I’ve spoken to and that heaven will rain down over the square.

Val’s blog for the week – Tuesday

Val’s blog for the week – Tuesday

Today was free gift day!  Starting with a delicious coffee, then a mystery tea which I found after my run, a bottle of San Pellagrino and finally a pint of Guinness – all with me in the down time between conversations planning my sermon – lots to pray and think about with services resuming.  Particularly the church centre on the 19th July when we really want to welcome the children back to church (they’ve had a raw deal online).

I had some really significant conversations again – one of my friends said he’s been thinking about God a lot – (oh for another Alpha course) – another God-incidence when a girl I’d prayed for many years ago turned up with her new baby and boyfriend in tow – they live in Guildford and had just gone out for a drive and saw me!  Just good to be out there as well engaging with all sorts of different people from surveyors, carers, mums, seniors.

Thanks so much for your prayers Day 3 has started with rain – so I’m declaring blue skies over Liphook!

Val’s blog for the week – Wednesday

Val’s blog for the week – Monday

Something must have happened – I’m writing a blog. But I had to because today was AWESOME – I had visions of the vicar cutting a lonely beleaguered figure amidst howling winds and driving rain – a bit like Eeyore in the monsoon!

The opposite happened, as the summer sun shone down over us all, and one after another people came to chat – people from our church – people outside it – Atheists – Christians and some real needs – Do pray for a cat who’s injured (seriously!) – do pray for one of my friends who’s having real marriage problems – for another who’s asking big amazing honest questions – for a lady who’s just lost her husband – for a carer who’s really open to the spiritual side of life – for an amazing elderly woman who’s had such a tough old life. These are just some of the many conversations amongst smiles, hoots from cars (not rude gesticulating hoots but happy smiley ones) waves and ditherers who sort of want to talk but feel self-conscious – all of whom seem to love seeing their local vicar reaching out.

A big THANK YOU to all who are praying, and all who are patiently waiting on urgent e-mails!

Healing Conference Day – Guildford Cathedral

Healing Conference Day – Guildford Cathedral

“In the steps of Jesus.   Saturday 1st February 2020 from 10.00am  – 4pm.     Venue  – Guildford cathedral. 

For the past year Acorn Healing Trust have been holding monthly sessions in the Lady Chapel in the Cathedral – with the blessing of Bishop Andrew.   Attended by 25  – 30 people from the fairly local area. Every two years Acorn organise a day long  Conference at the cathedral ending with a Eucharist service led by the Bishop. 

This year the conference was held – pre Corona virus pandemic  – on Saturday 1st Feb. 
Below is a brief resume of how the day went.   You will notice the number of speakers and the breadth of topics covered. 

For me,  the day stated at 7. 30am at the cathedral,  in my role as part time roadie/helper.    Helping to move mountains of projection equipment and miles of electrical cables.    Between 8.30 – 9.30 we had to stop to allow a quiet service to be conducted… before the participants arrived at 9.30am.   A  busy but organised time… slightly stressful!. 

The morning session started at 10am with sung worship led by the Acorn Scratch choir and Rev.  Wes Sutton leading from his keyboard.

The choir came from various local  churches ( St.  Albans,  St. Luke’s and Church Centre).     It was glorious to sing at full volume in the huge cathedral… with minimal rehearsal time.   About 150 people attended this service  and joined in.    Amazing time of praise! 

The Rev Elizabeth Knifton (St. Luke’s Grayshott ) opened and introduced the day in prayer at 10.30am. 

The keynote speakers were  :-
1) Rt.  Rev James Newcombe Bishop of Carlisle.    Lead bishop in the House of Lords for Healthcare and the NHS… and also Acorn patron. 

2) Howard Flemming.   Senior Acorn national training manager. 

3) Rev.  Wes Sutton. Director of Acorn Healing Trust

4) Mrs Nonie Insall.   Psychotherapist and member of Acorn prayer ministry. 

5) Rev.  Paul Harcourt.   Vicar of All saints church Woodford Green Chelmsford.  Also New wine  conference leader. 

1st Keynote speaker  – Rt Rev James Newcombe – Bishop of Carlisle. Title of Talk –  The Church,  The NHS  and the future. 

This talk lasted for more than an hour and was very detailed.    I cannot do it justice in a short article.  The amount of detail shows the enormity of the strategic tasks facing both the NHS  and the Church  (and especially now as we try to relax some of the Lockdown) examples – NAH staff shortages of doctors and nurses.     A & E Delays.     Waiting times/lists for operations (hips, knees etc).    Volume of dementia cases.   Lifestyle issues including addictions,  obesity,  diabetes,  loneliness,  homelessness,  depression,  mental health etc. And the difficult one….. Ethical issues such as euthanasia,  Abortion,  palliative care,  seniors/ residential care,  genetic advances. 

And of course just recently PPE shortages with Covid 19 Virus. 

2nd Keynote speaker –  Howard Flemming.   Disability –  how we perceive it and respond.

Very compelling talk.. started with a slide of a woman in a wheelchair approaching an old building with lots of steps,  and no ramp. 
The second slide was of Hussain Bolt and Stephen Hawkins (in his adapted wheelchair).   Both are achievers,  so what is a disability? 

3rd Keynote speaker – Rev.  Wes Sutton….. Mental health issues in young people

With 10.3 million children between 4 -18yrs in UK there are 1 in 10 children with diagnosable mental health conditions.   75% are not receiving treatment.    Children under 16yrs are suffering with gender identity problems.    Other issues such as bullying,  social isolation of peers,  peer pressure,  trolls on social media,  suicide,  home breakdown,  single parent families (absent fathers) etc etc. 
How can the church help? 

4th Keynote speaker – Nonie Insall (psychotherapist)  – The emotional toll of the Healing ministry.

Examples –  carrying other people’s views,  letting go at the end of the working day,  upset when people are not healed,  and finding space in a busy schedule to relax and unwind.   The personal cost of caring,  active/intensive listening. Ways to relax and creating space. 

5th Keynote speaker – Rev Paul Harcourt – Living a life of integrity  and showing compassion of Jesus.

Healing values to display – pray with love,  faith,  Authority,  simplicity,  humility,  compassion and persistence. 
Power of (appropriate) touch.   Jesus touched people’s hands, feet, eyes,  ears,  legs, wrists,  skin (leprosy ) etc with love and respect.  We should do likewise.  Paul also touched on parenting.   He has two autistic children and the difficulties of  bringing them up…. powerful testimony. 

FINALLY,  the day had a double endings  first  a service of Holy communion led by the Bishop.   The congregation (after lunch) rose to over 200.    Valentine was one of many clergy anointing people with holy oil. 
Secondly people had the opportunity to be listened to,  and prayed for,  by the Acorn prayer ministry team,  in the little side alcoves all along the two side walls.   This lasted over an hour! 

What a “full-on” day!     It gave us all a revised perspective  of the NHS  and Christian healing ministry and just how complex some of the health issues are in our country. 

If you would like to hear more about this day then please speak to Sue Wood or  Jane Detrey,  Hilton Carr  or myself,  who attended from Liphook.

Keith Ireland  (Seniors Worker & Acorn Hospitality team)