Lexden Link Autumn 2013

Lexden Link – Autumn 2013 – Issue 42


From our Minister

This month sees the start of a new academic year at schools and universities and, although the ‘back to school’ signs have been in the shops for some time, it still seems to be the herald of new beginnings. I always remember a mix of feelings connected with going back to school; sadness at the end of the holidays, trepidation and anxiety about what my new class might be like and excitement about what lay ahead in terms of a new school year. One of the best parts of the new term was always receiving blank exercise books. They always felt so fresh and new and for the first few weeks I would try extra hard not to make any mistakes.

New beginnings like returning to school always conjure up a mixture of feelings. And can be anything from moving house, starting a new job to simply the start of another Methodist Connexional year. Whatever the beginning it is natural to feel nervous about what might be as well as excited about the potential that a new start brings, just like those exercise books!

In order to make the best of any new beginning we have to be prepared to step out in faith and to do our best, whatever the situation might bring. It always felt dangerous to begin writing in those new exercise books in case you made a mistake, but writing nothing would have meant that the books remained blank and empty with nothing to say and with any new start in our lives we need to be prepared to embrace the challenge and to do our best in order to fulfil our potential. I think of Peter when Jesus called him to step out of the boat on the Sea of Galilee. He could have remained safely in the boat and he would never have sunk. However he would also never have known the joy of walking on the water or the grasp of Jesus’ hand as he lifted him out of the waves.

God calls us to make the most of every new beginning and every challenge that we face in life and as with Peter, when we get in a muddle, He will lift us up when we call His name. God gives us new pages to turn when we make a mistake, but He also calls us to keep trying and to learn from Him. So this Autumn, in all of the new challenges that come your way place your trust in God and step out in faith and hope.

God bless.


Lexden Methodist Website

Here are some interesting statistics about our website:

Our new website is called a ‘Blog’ and that means people can receive regular updates via email.

People also visit the site through the internet and in a recent 30 day period we had: –

57 visits from the United Kingdom
2 visits from the United States
2 visits from Australia
1 visit from Denmark
1 visit from New Zealand
1 visit from Germany
1 visit from Netherlands

If you look at the internet hits from the last year we were visited by people from 31 different countries!

Most people arrive by bookmark or typing the URL directly, or via a
search engine. A few arrive via this link:

People that arrived via a search engine were most often searching for
lexden methodist church. Other searches included sign post, methodist
church magazines, methodist church colchester, straight road methodist
church, minister of lexden methodist church, and lots of similar terms.

One person recently was searching for “a poem about little girl on train with
no money for her fare because Jesus paid it”. They found this in the Spring 2013 edition of Lexden Link.

Most people visit the home page since that’s where the most recent
content is. The other top pages are:

Comings and Goings

We were very sad to lose our dear friend Rita Moss recently, especially as this happened so soon after Rose and Peter Bobby lost their son, David. Our thoughts and prayers remain with both families.

We are also losing Mo and David Beale but this is the start of a new life for them in the Isle of Wight. They will be missed. John and Jane Allison are also entering a new stage of their lives after John retired as Superintendent Minister and they left the Manse for their home in Great Bentley. We wish both couples joy and happiness for the future.

We are pleased to welcome Alan Jenkins to our circuit and his wife Janet who is a Deacon in our neighbouring circuit of Tendring.


“Life is never measured by the years through which you live,
But by the kind deeds you do and the friendly cheer you give.”

Helen Steiner Rice

With thanks to Jane for sharing this wonderful quote from her calendar.

The Editor’s favourite quote is this one from Michael Quoist –

Tomorrow God isn’t going to ask you what did you dream, what did you think, what did you plan, what did you preach? He’s going to ask, what did you do?


“Oh, why did you make woman so beautiful?” the man says to God.
God says: “So you would love her.”

Is an anagram of –

“Ay true,” the man says. “But God, why did you make a woman so foolish?”
God: “So she would love you.”

The Hymn Writers

The Revd Sabine Baring Gould (1834-1924) was born in Exeter and educated at Cambridge, where he chose the Church as his calling, and became Vicar of Dalton in Yorkshire.

A rather eccentric High Churchman, he was offered the living at local East Mersea Church in 1871.

This was a mismatch from the start, as the rather highbrow Vicar came to disdain the humble Essex peasants, and they had no great love for him. But it lasted for 10 years, during which he wrote much poetry, travel books, Church history and a number of hymns.

His famous novel of 1880 concerned life in the Essex marshes around Mersea and Tollesbury (in places rather violent and cruel) and was entitled “Mehalah”. This is still available in local libraries.

His two best known hymns are, “Onward Christian Soldiers” – written after he moved to Devon – and “Now the Day is Over” – rarely sung now with the sad demise of Evening Worship in most Churches.

“Onward Christian Soldiers” caused some controversy as the rather low-church Bishop of Exeter found the implied procession, – “With the Cross of Jesus going on before” – a bit too much for his low-church thinking and suggested that Baring Gould modify that line.

The rather haughty Baring Gould soon fixed that, returning the amendment as “With the Cross of Jesus left behind the door!” Apparently no more was heard on the subject, though in later years some Hymn Book editors have modified that line.

He also translated some hymns and we can thank God for using all sorts of men and women in His service, even those who are a little controversial!

John Hampshire