Thought for the Day – 28th May – 11th June 2021

28th May 2021 – Revd Philip Bee  Although we value being independent, we still rely on many people for support. We often feel a deep sense of gratitude to those we depend on most. God is generous to us in all sorts of ways and we have much to be grateful for. Thanking God builds … Continued

Thought for the day 12th May – 26th May 2021

12th May 2021  – Rev Paul Bettison  The Real Love Campaign is in full swing.  As our District Chair writes, ‘it is to encourage you to find simple ways to be love where you live, work and worship.’ In Gainsborough’s painting ‘Chasing the Butterfly’ we see his two wistful young daughters, whom he called Molly … Continued

Thought for the day 19th April – 30th April

19th April 2021  – Rev Paul Bettison   Well, Ralph Vaughan Williams has pulled it off again.  ‘The Lark Ascending’ has, for the ninth time, been voted number one.  Classic fm listeners were encouraged to choose their three favourite pieces of music and the top three hundred formed the Hall of Fame. Tempted by the prospect … Continued

Holy Week Reflections 2021

We have recorded a series of reflections to help you to journey through the story of Jesus’s crucifixion during Holy Week. These are all very short – no more than 3 minutes each – and include a Bible text, a picture by the German artist, Sieger Koder, a short reflection, and a prayer. They are … Continued

Thought for the day – 22nd March – 26th March 2021

22nd March 2021  – Rev Paul Bettison  “What would not I give to wander Where my old companions dwell? Absence makes the heart grow fonder; Isle of Beauty, fare thee well!”.   Whilst it had been around for a couple of centuries, ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’ was a phrase that, in 1844, Thomas … Continued

Thought for the day 8th March – 19th March 2021

8th March 2021  – Revd Paul Bettison ‘Speech is silver, silence is golden’.  So runs the ancient proverb. The sentiment is echoed in the bible ‘When there is too much talk, offence is never far away; the prudent hold their tongues’. (Proverbs 10 verse 19)  I can, without too much difficulty, call to mind meetings … Continued

Thought for the day 22nd Feb – 5th March 2021

  22nd February 2021  – Revd Paul Bettison  Well, Perseverance has paid off!  The spacecraft has completed its 470-million-kilometre journey and its ‘Rover’ will, for the next two years, drill into the rocks of the crater Jezero, looking for evidence of past life.  Maybe there will emerge an answer to the question posed by David … Continued

Thought for the day 8th Feb – 19th Feb 2021

8th February 2021 – Rev Paul Bettison St Francis of Assisi, it is said, loved birds. So much so that he used to talk to them. In the year 1220, as the story goes, he even preached them a sermon. So, maybe he didn’t love them that much!  Yet, in that sermon he encouraged his … Continued

Thought for the day 27th January – 5th February 2021

Wednesday 27th  January  2021  – Rev Philip Bee Travelling Light I once lived in a house not far from the local secondary school. At the start of every school year, I used to smile at the new students lumbering to school. They were smaller than the older children, but also weighed down with luggage that … Continued


Dear Friends Because we are restricted in how we are able to meet together for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity this year, CTBI have produced resources for download only. They are accessed at: For those of you who cannot access online resources, the readings and prayers below are an abbreviated version of … Continued

Thought for the day 11th – 15th January 2021

11th January 2021 – Revd Paul Bettison  I write this as we enter the third lockdown and I sense that there is a feeling around that we can’t take much more of this.  I won’t rehearse the trials and tribulations that we experience because of the pandemic.  We don’t need reminding, for we know them … Continued

Thought for the day – 4th to 8th Jan 2021

4th January 2021  – Revd Paul Bettison  We’ll gently remove the Christmas lights and baubles from the tree and carefully pack them away for next year.  Likewise, the decorations will be taken down and, together with the Christmas crockery, stored in the loft.  Memories of the ‘Christmas like none other’ will be squirrelled away, only … Continued

Thought for the Day 14th December – 30th December 2020

14th December 2020 – Rev Paul Bettison  They’re only small but, they can cause havoc.  Barnacles attach themselves to the hulls of boats and ships and can, over time, almost completely cover the surface, resulting in significantly impeded performance. Hence the need for their regular removal. Richard Holloway, in his book, Doubts and Loves, writes; … Continued

Thought for the Day 30th November 2020 – 11th December 2020

30th November 2020  – Rev Paul Bettison  Apparently Golden Oldies are seen by Elmbridge Borough Council as being a threat to the prosperity of their town centre.  Its members consider that a proposed development comprising flats for the over 65s would ‘..undermine the vitality and viability of the town centre’  and have therefore rejected the … Continued

Thought for the Day 16th – 27th November 2020

Paul Bettison 16th Nov The Bay tree is snugly wrapped in sheets of insulating fleece.  We know from bitter experience that it doesn’t react well to arctic winds or biting frost.  Now I can sleep soundly, content to know that it is well protected and safe from harm. For some folk, faith is thought to … Continued

Thought for the day 2nd – 13th November 2020

2nd November  – Rev Paul Bettison  Turn the key in the ignition, the engine roars into life and we’re off. I rarely give it a second thought.  Just imagine my horror when, instead of being greeted by the purr of the engine, my ears were attacked by what sounded like the screeching of a cat … Continued

Thought for the Day 19th Oct – 30th Oct

  19th October  – Rev Paul Bettison It’s that time of year again – and what a bumper crop of conkers there is.  I remember, as a child, collecting conkers and recall one year in particular.  There was a bumper crop and I arrived home with a carrier bag full to the brim with fine … Continued

Thought for the day 5th October – 16th October

5th October 2020 – Revd Paul Bettison  You may have heard the story of the letter, signed by Desert Pete, found in a baking powder tin tied to the handle of an old rusty water pump on a little used desert trail; This pump is all right as of June 1932. I put a new … Continued

Thought for the day 28th September – 9th October

28th September 2020 – Revd Paul Bettison  It’s been a strange morning.  In the words of my mother, when talking about the weather, “It doesn’t know what it wants to do!”  One minute the sky is dark and overcast, clouds scud over the waving branches of the trees.  Then, the sun breaks through, blue skies … Continued

Thought for the day 14th September – 25th September

14th September  – Revd Paul Bettison  September arrived and what would it be – “It’s one of the dark days before Christmas” or “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”?  Day in day out the boss, when he arrived at the office, would greet us with one or the other.  It all depended on the weather, … Continued

Thought for the day 2nd September – 11th September

2nd September 2020  – Revd Paul Bettison  Mixed Colours the label said.  Packs of a dozen bedding geraniums, but no indication as to what colour they would turn out to be, or indeed whether they would flourish. I needn’t have worried.  With careful nurturing, and a few weeks to settle in and become established, they … Continued

Thought for the day 17th Aug – 28th Aug 2020

17th August 2020  – Revd Philip Bee Bigger than you READ In the middle of the woods close to my home, a beech tree stretches out a huge canopy above the forest floor. It casts such a shadow that nothing else grows. The place is often still and the dome of branches and leaves above … Continued

Thought for the Day 3rd Aug – 14th Aug

3rd August 2020  – Revd Paul Bettison  We’ve been reminded more times than we’ve sung ‘And can it be’ that the New Normal for Churches will be quite different from the Old Normal.  How true.  We will learn how to let go of some things that over the years have become, as it were, part … Continued

Thought for the days. 27th July – 31st July 2020

  27th July 2020  – Revd Philip Bee Jesus and Social Isolation We think of social isolation as a contemporary thing. Much of Jesus’s ministry, however, involves the rehabilitation of those who have become socially isolated – from family, friends and neighbours. Lepers, for instance, were kept in separate colonies outside villages to avoid spreading … Continued

Thought for the Day 20th July – 25th July

20th July 2020  – Paul Bridges 19th July Do you have a sanctuary? A place or a way of getting away from it all, having some “me time”. Does a favourite walk or place come to mind or is it a particular activity. Perhaps it is your garden or even your shed! – I once … Continued

Thought for the day 13th – 18th July 2020

13th July 2020 – Ian Morris  One bright aspect of the lockdown was people going out to clap their hands in appreciation of the NHS. One of the Bible readings for this Sunday has a phrase, “The trees of the fields shall clap their hands,” made well known by its inclusion in a popular modern … Continued

Thought for the Day 6th July – 11th July 2020

6th July 2020 Stuart Merry   Luke 12:22-34 Isolation apart, It’s been a useful time to get on top of sorting the clutter of a lifetime; the multiple sets of old (but oh so comfy) work clothes and shoes; the old radio, the rusty tools, and the debris and decay of a long-neglected garden. Sat in … Continued

Thought for the day 29th June 2020 – 4th July 2020

29th June 2020 Rev Paul Bettison  Kingdom There are, in the world, many countries, nations, and states, but very few kingdoms. That is if the dictionary entry – a community or territory over which a single sovereign rules – is used to define what constitutes an kingdom. It appears that kingdoms are relegated to the … Continued

Thought for the day 22nd – 27th June 2020

22nd June 2020 – Revd Paul Bettison It’s understandable if we are totally pre-occupied with the impact upon us of the pandemic. Yet, life restricting, life threatening, and life changing though it may be, Covid 19 is not like the Hokey Cokey – ‘what it’s all about’. There’s much more to life than the virus … Continued

Thought for the day 15th June – 20th June 2020

Revd Philip Bee 15th June 2020 I was in Handsworth during the 1991 riots that occurred when an electricity substation broke down, plunging the area into darkness. This sparked looting reminiscent of the more serious riots of 1985. It was over quickly, but not before the Churches in the area had jettisoned ministers out onto … Continued

Thoughts for the Day 8th – 13th June 2020

8th June 2020 Revd Paul Bettison   The Open Book Light appears to shine from the book laying open before the High Priest. Jesus stands impassive as the priest, using the book of scripture as his authority, accuses him of blasphemy. In his painting, Gerrit van Honthorst illustrates the danger of being too ready to … Continued

Thought for the day 1st June – 6th June

1st June 2020 Revd Paul Bettison  The Divine Heart of Darkness I’ve been reading Catherine Bird’s book ‘The Divine Heart of Darkness’ and to be honest, I found it a bit hard going. But there were some real gems between its covers. Catherine challenges the assumption that associates darkness with fear and evil and points … Continued

Thought for the day 25th -30th May 2020

25th May 2020 Revd Paul Bettison  ‘This is the Day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.’ So exhorts the psalmist. All well and good, but what day is it? Pre-pandemic, I knew that if it was choir practice, then the day was Monday; if collecting grandchildren from school … Continued

Thought for the day 18th – 23rd May 2020

Revd Philip Bee – 18th May 2020 SSU 20 – Secrets and Spirituality READ It’s been said that every single person has a secret that would break your heart! I suspect that is true. Sometimes we do things wrong that make us feel guilty. On other occasions something happens to us which makes us feel … Continued

Thought for the days 11th – 16th May 2020

Sue Ellis 11th May Thought for theday 4- Hope and despair llustration by Isabelle Arsenault from Mr. Gauguin’s Heart by Marie-Danielle Croteau, the story of how Paul Gauguin used the grief of his childhood as a catalyst for a lifetime of art I came upon a thoughtful article about writing that weighs the complexities of sustaining hope … Continued

Thought for the days 4th May – 9th May 2020

5th May  Paul Bettison  When listening to the daily Covid 19 Press Conferences, ears prick up at the sound of two little words – ‘Green Shoots’ – they herald signs of recovery. In gardens everywhere the sight of green shoots warms the heart and lifts the spirit. In his Easter hymn, John Macleod Campbell Crum … Continued

Thought for the Days 27th April – 2nd May 2020

Irene Richardson April 27th Previously, I’ve not stayed inside the house for so long. Perhaps you’re finding this, too. There’s only so much sorting, tidying and cleaning that can be done. A good chance to re-evaluate who and what are important to us. Family and friends are to many of us. What about our relationship … Continued

Thought for the day’s 20th – 25th April 2020

Irene Richardson 20th April 2020 It’s so reassuring to see such lovely spring flowers blossoming and trees budding. Butterflies, bees and ladybirds are out and the birds are very active. All this in spite of our present situation. How reliable is the natural world, the changing of the seasons, longer days. We can praise our … Continued

Thought or the days – 13th to 17th April 2020

Monday 13th April Most weeks, Miss McLellan brought flowers to grace the table. She knew us all by name; Sunday by Sunday she told us Bible stories and invited us, each in turn, to take the collection box round the class as we sang ‘Hear the pennies dropping; listen as they fall”. It must have … Continued

Sermon 19th April 2020 – Rev Alan Wilthew

The Word Online: read John 20: 19-31. Pentecost is still more than a month away. Notice that in John’s gospel, however, the Holy Spirit is given to the disciples in one of the Easter resurrection stories (verse 22). Sermon 19th April 2020

SSU – believe in……

Sunny Side Up – Believe in … READ Contemporary spiritualities encourage us to believe in yourself as though there is no-one beyond you to believe in. True spirituality, however, encourages you to believe in God to discover the strength to do far more than you are able on your own. The Bible is littered with … Continued