A new priest for St Wulfran’s

The Churchwardens and PCC are delighted to announce the appointment of Reverend  Kathryn Twining as our new vicar and parish priest.

Mother Kathryn moves to us from Guildford Diocese, where she works as a member of Clergy on Call, teaching, preaching, presiding – and more! – in parishes throughout the diocese.

She is Rector of the Guildford Chapter of the Society of Catholic Priests, supporting men and women in their priestly service of God within the Anglican Communion.

She trained for ordination at Westcott House and Sidney Sussex College Cambridge, then served her Title in Southwark Diocese at St Alfege Greenwich and St Edward King & Confessor New Addington.

She is a professional pianist and private teacher.

Her interests include liturgy, the arts, the great outdoors and motorcycling. Mother Kathryn is bilingual – fluent in both American and English!

We look forward to her licensing in St Wulfran’s by the Bishop of Chichester on Thursday 18th October 2018. Time TBA.

Letter from Peter

Crisis? What crisis?

We seem to stagger from one crisis to the next day by day. It may be the fault of the all pervading media, but I always seem to wake up to news which paints a grim picture of the world around me. Today it is plastic – we have filled the sea with our cast-off packaging and are in danger of killing off all swimming creatures. Yesterday it was air pollution – we have permeated God’s clean air with every kind of dust so that soon nobody will be able to breathe.

Before that is was pesticides souring the land, hunting destroying wildlife, corruption distorting politics, sexual aggression tainting careers. Then, of course, there is the dreadful state of our infrastructure, teetering on the brink like the railways, the dreadful housing shortage, the stretched to breaking point health service and our schools bursting at the seams.

I sometimes wonder how we can possibly continue without some major disaster.

And the reason for all this? Greed.

We want what we can get, we want it now, and we want it as cheaply as we possibly can. Instead of taking the long view, working through the implications and consequences of our actions, we – and I do include me – rush in. Our  political leaders are geared to a short term Parliament, so anything that may take longer than a couple of years is rejected. All eyes are focussed on getting re-elected instead of on the long term good of the country. That is why everything is mended with sticking plaster rather than given a considered, strategic remedy.

By contrast, religion is about being in it for the long haul. Christianity is about eternal values, about seeking to live a life which reflects a timescale far beyond a lifespan here on earth. “Life eternal” is not just something that starts when we die, but is a mindset for the here and now as well.

It is no longer fashionable to talk about sin, but almost all those vices which the term represents are down to short-termism – selfishly amassing everything for ourselves without a care for the consequences for others.

At 9.15a.m. on 21st October  1966 it took just five minutes for a pit heap to slide down the mountain onto the primary school of Aberfan in Wales. 116 children and 28 adults died. And they died because the mine owners did not deal with the pit waste properly –  a quick profit was more important.

That story is repeated again and again in our world, to our huge discredit. Destroying our environment is easy. It takes faith and wisdom to be proper stewards of God’s creation.

Peter Wolfenden



Prayer for Healing Service


Our ‘ Second Sunday ‘ evening service this month at St Wulfran’s is a Healing Service on Sunday 14 January at 6pm.

Everyone is invited to come to this quiet reflective service of words and music as we pray for healing for our world, our friends and ourselves. There will be the option for the laying on of hands for wholeness and healing for those who wish. In the midst of our busy and complicated lives, services like this can be a Godsend – literally.


Letter from the Parish Priest


Another New Year, another set of anniversaries to look forward to. You know the sort of thing: Thomas Hardy died in 1928 – 90 years ago. Authors rush to produce articles or even books to coincide with the date, and radio and TV programmes are broadcast. Then it’s straight on to, “First telegraph message sent in the United States, 180 years ago this month” with references to Trump and Tweet. Or more seriously, it will be 70 years this year since Gandhi was assassinated, with all that that meant at the time and subsequently.

But my anniversary of choice this year will happen on 5th July when it will be exactly 70 years since the National Health Service was created. I know it took years of preparation and many hours of negotiation; I know there were some unfortunate fudges to get it off the ground. But it still seems to me to be remarkable that, in 1948 when we were still struggling with the aftermath of war, plans which had been drawn up even in the darkest years of that war, finally came together in an announcement by Aneurin Bevan at Park Hospital, Manchester, and the National Health became a reality. “Free at point of use” was the slogan.

I had cataracts as a small boy – and seventy years ago the operation to deal with that condition was complex and expensive. I marvel that nowadays it is a half a day routine procedure – I was in hospital for three quite long periods. But I was treated; I did not lose my sight and I was equipped with pink wired National Health glasses of alarming thickness.

And for the rest of my life – and I suspect that of a goodly number of readers of this magazine – I have never had to worry about the charges before contacting the GP, or going to the Eye Hospital, or having a new hip, or having my hearing checked. That is not to say that I am unaware of the shortcomings of the system, of all the ways in which improvements can still be made. But all of those failures do not negate the wonderful care my wife received for her cancer, let alone my own experience.

As the New Year begins, let us recognise that when we really understand our relationship to each other – the common responsibility we have to care for every human being, whoever they are and whatever their circumstances may be – in Christian terms that we are all children of the same heavenly Father, uniquely precious in His sight – then we can rise to real heights of community spirit, true compassion in our common humanity.

There is much to do to redress the balance between rich and poor in our land today, and to reverse our profligate abuse of the planet and its seas. But just for a moment let us use the New Year to celebrate what can be achieved, be positive in our thanks and praise to those who are the NHS for us, and be a little bit proud of what happened, seventy years ago, in July, 1948.

Peter Wolfenden

The Deans Praise Group

Download the Poster

Local churches making music together.

  • We meet monthly , 8pm Friday (generally first Friday of the month) at various venues in the Deans
  • All welcome – musicians and singers & all who enjoy singing
  • Learn new songs; sing favourite ones; enjoy fellowship together

For more information contact: Shirley Ross 01273 301075 or Phil Parsons 01273 683918

All welcome!