The Degibna Prayer Chapel web pages

Degibna Prayer Chapel and Prayer Garden

Special April Newsletter 2020



Dear Friends, 


This is the first of the promised monthly newsletters coming to most of you by email. (If you receive this by post but do have an email address, please let me have if for future newsletters.) I hope you are keeping safe and well in these unprecedented times. 


For all of us this will be a very different Easter. Nevertheless the good news of Jesus Christ continues to be good news in difficult and troubled times. The Easter story of death and resurrection reminds us that even when things go from bad to worse, there is still hope and God is not defeated. May the message of Easter take on a new depth of meaning for all of us this year as around the world we battle the coronavirus and begin to tackle the personal, social and international repercussions. 


A Reflection

This short reflection will be familiar to many of you as it comes from 1 of our 8 meditation cards.

It is a timely reminder that our God is mighty and merciful – mightier by far than the coronavirus!

This does not mean we should underestimate the profound effect the virus is likely to have on our economy and society, but it does mean that we can confidently trust in God who is able to do far

more than we ask or imagine. May these words strengthen and encourage us in troubled times.

Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,

mightier than the breakers of the sea –

the Lord on high is mighty.” Psalm 93 v4

Mightier than politics, economics or genetics;

mightier than psychology, sociology or theology;

mightier than chance, fate or superstition;

mightier than disease, decay or death;

mightier than our troubles, anxieties or worries;

mightier than our failures, frustrations and fears;

mightier than all that would overwhelm us:

the Lord on high is mighty,

the Lord on high is compassionate,

and he cares for us.


Vision Meeting Summary

Our Annual Vision meeting took place on Monday 16th March. Since then it has been decided that no events or bookings take place for the time being even for individuals. The Prayer Garden remains open but the nearby National Trust Car Park is closed.

The following Good News was shared at the Vision Meeting:

- 68 Friends so far this year [now 72].

- Our first Community & Friends Social attracted 20+.

- We have been given an electric piano on long-term loan.

- Oasis numbers have increased to 15+.

- Snowdrops from Margaret Froggatt have been planted in garden & front lawn.

- 10th Anniversary Cake ordered. Rev Steven Wild hopes to attend.


Other matters reported and discussed :

- Sadly the coronavirus + 2 quotations for work on outside toilet that were much higher than anticipated, means that our Anniversary Garden Scheme is now suspended and will need modifying. A simpler scheme is envisaged still focusing on the garden and improving disabled access but excluding rebuilding the outside toilet. Thanks to those who have already contributed.

- Sadly also, our wonderful cleaner, Lucy, has had to step down for health reasons. We wish her well.

- John Bilkey reported that our finances are healthy.

- We shared in a time of reflection based on 4 themes from our Epiphany Communion.

- We are considering purchasing a set of ‘Singing The Faith’ as our ‘Hymns & Psalms’ copies are showing their age.

- Next year’s Vision meeting will be after Easter (2.00pm Monday 26th April 2021) in the hope that more Friends can attend.


Spring Harvest Home 

With thousands of other Barbara and I had booked to attend Spring Harvest at Minehead this year but, like so many other events, it has been cancelled … or rather adapted! This year Spring Harvest takes place online and anyone can join in.

Here is a completely free online conference programme with content suitable for everyone in the family. Lined up for the week after Easter (April 13 – 17), we have some amazing material all built around the 2020 theme of 

Unleashed – The Acts Church Today“.  Never has there been a more appropriate time for us to gather together as a community to worship, learn, laugh and pray together.’ Visit www.springharvest.org for more details and to register.


No Mow May (Every Flower Counts)

And now, for all you keen and not-so-keen gardeners: the Charity ‘Plantlife’ are encouraging us to take part in some citizen science this year. We are challenged not to mow all or part of our lawn during May, then on the last weekend to count how many wild flowers (daisies, clover etc.) are flowering in one or more 1m2. Using this information they can calculate how good your un-mown lawn is for pollinators like butterflies, bees and hoverflies. If you have a lawn you can do your bit for the environment without leaving home! Visit www.plantlife.org.uk for more details under ‘Every Flower Counts’, then register if you wish to take part. Let me know how you get on.


Some Prayer Points

- Pray for the Healing of the Nations (our own & others in the news)

- Pray for God’s wisdom for those in positions of authority

- Pray for Businesses & Charities threatened by the virus

- Pray for those showing care & compassion, going the extra mile.

- Pray for individuals who are anxious, lonely, weary or troubled.

- Pray for our society and world as we adjust now, then again later to life post-coronavirus

- Pray for one another as Friends of Degibna Prayer Chapel.


Many of us find we have more time on our hands in this time of lockdown. Let us ensure that we use some of that to pray more and worry less, study God’s word in the Bible, encourage one another and serve as we have opportunity. Prayer makes a difference. Thank you for your prayers.

So, in the midst of all our troubles, may I wish you and those you love a peaceful and joyful Easter.

Every Blessing, Rev Andrew Hill (01326 569803 andrew@aandbhill.plus.com)




Degibna Prayer Chapel and Prayer Garden 


Spring Newsletter 2019



Dear Friends, welcome and hospitality are at the heart of the Christian faith, because as the poet and priest Malcolm Guite says, ‘both are in the heart of God’. We remember Abraham and Sarah in their tent at Mamre (Genesis Chapter 18), welcoming their unknown guests. We remember Jesus, catching up a child in his arms and saying to the disciples; ‘Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me’ (Mark Chapter 9 verses 36-17).


At Degibna Prayer Chapel, we continue in this tradition by welcoming a wide range of people, groups and individuals to share in the life of the place, use the facilities and in the peace and through the hospitality, we hope, gain a glimpse into the heart of God. In 2019 the new group ‘Crafty Ladies’ begins, alongside longstanding groups such as the Astronomy Society. The regular programme of Quiet Days and worship continues too. Opportunities to meet other friends of Degibna are at the annual Cream Tea and the new ‘friends’ socials held once a quarter, another chance to exercise hospitality and meet those who use the chapel but who don’t get to meet up often. It would be lovely to see you at one of these events.


Reflection

The sea at Loe Bar is only about 20-30 minutes’ walk from the chapel depending on the length of your legs! The path takes you beside freshwater Loe pool and out onto the sand through a varied landscape of sights and sounds. The ever changing nature of the Bar and the storms of 2018 that have affected the beach and the cliff path to Porthleven illustrate how things don’t stay the same. Being near the sea and witnessing the power of wind and ocean reminds us of the sheer force of nature and the year the chapel roof blew off (2006).Yet it was that negative event which brought new life to the chapel. The words below, from Psalm 93 v 4, encourage us to trust in God even in difficult and challenging times when the usual path looks different ahead, the way seems hard or unknown and new plans need to be made for the future.

Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,

mightier than the breakers of the sea –

the LORD on high is mighty

Thankfully God is with us, more powerful than anything or anyone on earth.


Garden News

Spring is already coming to the Prayer Garden: primroses, daffodils, crocuses, hellebores and more are all flowering. It is a lovely time to visit, so if you have not been recently, do come to any of our events, try one of the local walks or just spend time wandering and wondering in the Garden. From time to time we hear stories of people, otherwise unconnected with the chapel, who visit the garden regularly or occasionally, finding peace and refreshment. We hope to arrange a couple of working parties this spring and summer. All volunteers welcome!


Recommended …

There are many books about to read specifically at Lent and Easter. One published for 2019 is called the ‘Merciful Humility of God’ by Jane Williams. It sounds intriguing. How do you prepare for Holy Week and Easter? At the Prayer Chapel this year Helen Purchase will be helping us do just that on Saturday April 13th. Why not set this time aside and draw breath for a day?


Degibna Prayer Chapel News

The chapel will be open all day on Sundays from Easter to the end of September. This is a move of ‘radical hospitality’ when we offer the facilities; tea, coffee and use of the toilet to passers-by.

Please feel free to come along to the Vision and AGM afternoons: two separate events when we gather to pray and seek God’s will for the chapel. Please come along and keep in touch by being a Friend or following the chapel on Facebook, or both!

Every Blessing and please pray for the work and Vision at Degibna Prayer Chapel

Rev Amanda Stevens (01326 561792) on behalf of the Prayer Chapel Team.


John and Jackie Allen have now moved to Lancashire to be near family. Both were involved in the vision for Degibna Prayer Chapel from the beginning. John’s contribution in designing the refurbishment scheme and as treasurer and property steward for many years is incalculable. We think of them with much gratitude and affection. We also want to thank John Bilkey for taking over as treasurer. John already looks after our website (do visit if you have access) and has several other ‘hats’ so we trust this new role is not too onerous. Anne Moyle has stepped down as booking secretary after many years but is still much involved at Degibna. Thank you, Anne. Theresa Hosking in the Circuit Office has taken over the administration of bookings and a small team of volunteers arrange the hospitality. We receive much encouraging feedback from visiting groups.


The last circuit meeting of 2018 agreed our revised vision statement which is, in summary:

We seek to be a place set apart for worship and wonder,

reflection and refreshment, peace and prayer, hospitality and healing.

As a Circuit, District and Ecumenical resource,

we seek to be used by individuals and groups from the wider community.

All are welcome in this place.


Thank you for supporting and being part of this vision. I am delighted to report that to date we have 56 Friends of Degibna Prayer Chapel, including several new Friends. We are grateful for each and every one. In February we held our second Friends Social. It was a lovely, informal occasion. If you live nearby, why not come along to the next ones (May & September)? And don’t forget our annual cream tea in July. Last year we had a record number attending, but we can always squeeze in a few more!


Thank you for your support and a special thank you for your prayers. We have seen over the years how God does answer prayer; not always as we expect, but sometimes beyond our expectations. Please pray for us, as we pray for you. We are always pleased to hear from you by letter, phone or email. If you have questions or suggestions or wish to be included in our prayers, do get in touch.

Rev Andrew Hill, Chair of Vision & Management Team