Recent Events

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land – Report

A recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land was led by the Revd John Baxter and included several members of our congregation. You can read all about it here:

St Mary’s Christmas dinner

Christmas Cracker proved to be an inspired choice of name for the dinner on Saturday, December 1, as it certainly was a cracking event! St Mary’s Church Hall could not accommodate more than 60 diners so, reluctantly, the organisers had to disappoint many members of the congregation who were keen to buy tickets.

For those fortunate enough to get their applications in early, it was a memorable evening. A team from the social committee had transformed the hall into a visual delight of reds, greens and gold and a party atmosphere soon developed as David and Jenny Dance served welcoming glasses of “bubbly”, crackers were pulled, paper hats donned and excruciating mottoes exchanged.

One small mishap caused momentary concern when, unable to cope with the weight of heavy garments on a bitterly cold night, the coat stands collapsed. That problem resolved, MC Malcolm Lawther called upon the vicar to say grace. Thanks to excellent service by the volunteer waitresses, in no time everyone was enjoying the first course, a delicious spinach roulade made by Gilda Everson and Lucy Piercy. Many congratulations are owed to cooks Kathie Burgess and Rosemarie Henson who produced the main course of succulent roast pork and apple sauce served with stuffing balls, croquette potatoes and mixed vegetables (accompanied by a choice of fine red or white wine).

In the short interval that followed, diners were treated to an unusual pantomime performance of Cinderella by the St Mary’s Players. A more unlikely leading lady it would have been hard to find but “she”, played by a beautifully coiffured Mike Henson, managed to capture the heart of the handsome Prince Charming, none other than our vicar Russell Dewhurst. John Baxter, just returned from leading the pilgrimage to Israel, only barely managed to suppress his laughter as he narrated the story. Other parts were played by Bill Rackham, a convincing Ugly Sister (sorry, Bill), and Arthur Mathews, whose portrayal of a rotundish Fairy Godmother caused considerable hilarity. At the piano was the talented organ scholar Jonathan Allsop and authentic sounding “noises off” were provided by Gilda Everson.

Next, a hard decision had to be made, which to choose from the three tempting desserts on offer: Sybil Hale’s ever-popular chocolate roulade, Jenny Dance’s seasonal mincemeat strudel and cream, or a cholesterol-packed Christmas trifle. Coffee and mints completed the meal and entertainment continued with moving renditions of “Ave Maria” and “Where’er you walk” in Tim Tomkins’ rich baritone. Changing to a lighter mood, he was joined by the silver-voiced Lizzy Humphries, who led everyone in singing a selection of Christmas songs. The grand finale saw Tim teamed up with Promella Mullen to perform her witty adaptation of “Daisy Daisy”.

As well as providing an evening of feasting and fun, Christmas Cracker managed to make a very creditable surplus of nearly £170. Well done everyone!

Replicas of ancient brasses unveiled

On Sunday, December 2, the morning after the Christmas Cracker dinner, St Mary’s Church Hall was again packed to capacity as members of the congregation crowded in after the 9.30 service for a preview of the copies of the church’s 500-year-old monumental brasses, which have been produced in exquisite replicas for use in displays and brass-rubbing.

The replicas were donated to St Mary’s by Eve Myatt-Price to commemorate her 50 years membership of the church. At the unveiling, the vicar said everyone was greatly indebted to her and to another local historian, Charles Abdy, for conducting negotiations with the manufacturer, Michael Ward of Crewkerne. He also thanked Jeremy Harte, curator of the Bourne Hall museum, and Ray Eyres for setting up the displays.

Miss Myatt-Price said she hoped the ladies of Ewell depicted in the brasses – Jane, Dorothy and Marjery – were looking down reverently as they were being commemorated. She recalled that the extensive damage caused to the church in 1973 had first alerted her to the importance of having replicas made. Although the brasses cemented to the wall in south aisle were spared any harm, she was aware that similar disasters in future could not be ruled out.

The copies have now gone on loan to Bourne Hall museum and Jeremy Harte was at the special viewing to introduce some youngsters to the joys of brass-rubbing. It has been a cherished ambition of his to create a centre for the activity, which would give children something fascinating to do as well as bringing them in touch with people of medieval times. Lack of funds meant the project had to be put on hold, but thanks to Miss Myatt-Price’s generosity, it will soon become a reality.

It is hoped that the replica brasses will be shown to the public for the first time at the Herald of Spring festival in Bourne Hall in February.

brasses 3 brasses 5 brasses 6 brasses 7 brasses 9 brasses 10

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

The Revd John Baxter and members of St Mary’s Church, and other nearby churches,  set off on pilgrimage to the Holy Land on Monday 19 November. Read about the beginning of their trip in this article in the Epsom Guardian.

A report of the pilgrimage with photographs can be found here:

Ronny Krippner organ recital

On 10 November 2012 St Mary’s hosted the latest in our series of organ recitals. On this occasion the recitalist was Ronny Krippner, Organist and Teacher of Music at King’s College School, Wimbledon and Assistant Director of Music at the celebrated ‘Handel church’, St George’s, Hanover Square.

The programme was as follows:

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) – Sinfonia from Cantata No. 29 arr. Guilmant

Francois Couperin (1668-1733) – from Messe pour les Couvents

William Boyce (1711-79) – Voluntary in D

Herbert Howells (1892-1983) – Master Tallis’ Testament

Percy Whitlock (1903-1946) – Folk Tune from Five Short Pieces

Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937) – Finale from Organ Symphony No. 6 in G Minor,  Op. 42 No. 2

R. Krippner (*1980) Improvised Organ Symphony in 4 movements: Allegro – Adagio – Scherzo – Allegro (based on sponsored themes)

A full report on this recital will appear in a future issue of the Ewell Parish News.

Shown above (from left to right): St Mary’s Director of Music Jonathan Holmes; St Mary’s Senior Organ Scholar Jonny Allsopp; recitalist Ronny Krippner; organ curator Arthur Mathews.

Fireworks Fun Day

On 1st November 2012, over forty children gather at St Mary’s for a season “Fireworks Fun Day”. Great fun was indeed had by all: music, craft, games, and more made up the day. Watch out on the website for information about future fun days!

Schools Concert 2012

On Saturday 13 October 2012, St Mary’s annual schools concert was held in church.

Ewell Grove Infants, Danetree Junior School, Ewell Castle Junior School, and Ewell Castle Senior School’s “The Castle Ravens” all sang pieces for us in the first half, followed by instrumental performances by a choral scholar and organ scholar from St Mary’s. After enjoying refreshments during the interval we reconvened to hear Emanuel School’s group “Vocalicity”, then all the choir got together for as a combined choir singing songs from the shows– raising the roof, to great applause and appreciation from all who attended. Many thanks to all those who worked so hard to make such a fantastic musical evening bringing so many schools in the community together.

A full report is expected in the Ewell Parish News soon.

Turning our Vision into Reality

On Sunday 16 September, St Mary’s people from all our congregations, and others, gather together to hear presentations about “2013: Turning our Vision into Reality.” If you couldn’t make the day and would like to find out more, you can download the information in the response packs below. We look forward to hearing your responses!

A photograph showing the day’s first presentation in progress:


The Vicar’s sermon for the morning will be posted here in due course.

Ewell Village Fair 2012

Ewell Village Fair took place on 14 July in the grounds of Glyn House (many thanks to Ewell Castle School for making their premises available), in the church, church hall, and church grounds. Despite the forecasts there was only a little rain, and a great day was had by all: very many thanks are due to all those who took part and made the day possible. It was wonderful to see so many residents of Ewell, and so many visitors.

The Fair was opened by Councillor Christine Long, Mayor of Epsom and Ewell, and the Grand Draw was made by the Rt Hon Chris Grayling, MP for Epsom and Ewell.

The above photo shows the Ewell St Mary’s Morris Men overseeing the “Gurning Through the Horse Collar” contest at the fair.

We hope to add more photos here soon, so watch this space!

Visit of the Bishop of Guyana

On 1 July 2012, the Bishop of Guyana, the Rt Revd Cornell Moss, visited St Mary’s. After celebrating the Eucharist and preaching a very engaging sermon, the Bishop answered our questions about his diocese and about our links parishes. (You can read more about our ongoing Guyana link).

We then took over the whole ground floor of the Il Laghetto restaurant at the end of Church Street for lunch with the Bishop. Around fifty parishioners filled the restaurant and enjoyed a very good lunch with our episcopal guest.

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