Speer Road Church

(United Reformed Church)

Thames Ditton


Church Family News

To all at Speer Road Church

Leonard Warren

We extend our deepest sympathy, love and prayers to Linda whose father passed away in Kingston hospital on the 4th November. Len’s health had been failing him and he had recently had a number of short stays in hospital. Being an only child Linda and her father were close to one another. It is always hard to lose a parent but during this time of the pandemic and lockdown it is particularly isolating and challenging to experience bereavement without the physical support of friends. Let us give thanks for the life of Len and assure Linda of our loving prayerful support.

Every Blessing,


Church Closure

Linda has written an article for Thames Ditton Today to inform our community about the possible church closure. Click on the link below to read it

Christmas Memories of the Church from our members

Christmas 1942. - my Magical Christmas

This is the first Christmas I can actually remember in some detail. I was five years old in the infant class of the local primary school. Not a large school, the infant class was divided into four sections to accommodate the approximately thirty boys and girls sitting on red, blue, green or yellow chairs at desks.

The school was situated on the edge of the village mostly surrounded by fields.Next door to the school was a camp for soldiers - the land previously had been used by a building contractor. Commandeered by the government to house troops of men “passing through “. I vaguely remember the Italians who came before the Polish soldiers who gave me my Magic Christmas.

The primary school was invited to a Christmas party in the camp.The excitement was palpable. We (the children)had communicated with the soldiers through the fence but although language was a hindrance they were friendly and polite. When the day arrived we filed into the camp with teachers. The men had gone to great lengths to decorate the huts with beautiful paintings and ribbons on the a walls and there were at least two Christmas trees.Looking back these young men were as excited as we were and must have been missing their own families dreadfully.

Despite rationing they had managed to provide a banquet with food we had never experienced before.

Then came the time for presents - all made by the soldiers - and with wood found around the yard.
I was mesmerised with my present. It was a beautiful butterfly fixed to two wheels attached to a long handle. When pushed the wings moved up and down showing the intricate pattern painted in exquisite colours. Magical! It was a wonderful piece of workmanship and it was a sturdy butterfly which I treasured it for years.

Ella Wickham

DORNOCH 1938 21st December

At the age of four I was invited to the Christmas party at Dornoch Academy although it would be 1939 before I joined the Infant Class. I was very fascinated with Santa Claus who distributed presents beside a large Christmas tree. When I got home I was met at the front door by my mother’s two maiden aunts who said that while I was at the party Santa Claus had brought me a baby brother!

I was taken to an upstairs bedroom where my mother was in bed and the baby in a cot at the end of the bed. A fire was burning in the hearth. I could not work out how Santa managed to be in two places at once ................. I am still wondering.

Bob Wickham The Church’s Winter Wonderland

Mike and I came to the Church one Autumn in the late 1970s and it soon became apparent that a big event was coming up – the Church’s Winter Wonderland. We took all the hype with a pinch of salt. We rather thought that it would be a slightly superior White Elephant sale with perhaps a few jolly bits thrown in. How wrong can you be?!

When we arrived at the Church that Saturday morning we were indeed ushered into a Winter Wonderland! Christmas music was playing and the Hall was festively decorated. Matt Pitman and Phil Chapman had constructed wooden frames for each stall. These were emblazoned with the names of the stalls, crepe paper decorations and lights. It also seemed as if each stall holder had vied with each other to make theirs the most attractive table in the room! Marjorie Hunt and her good friend and neighbour Sheila presided over the Toiletries stand. I later learned that Marjorie would start collecting things for next year’s fair early in January. Then too there was Edith Kendall who ran the costume and antique jewellery stand – what a treasure trove she always produced! Books and records, a toy stand, a secondhand clothes table, and a White Elephant stall with interesting odd bits which Ella and Bob Wickham were in charge of. I suppose though that the first place everyone headed for was the Baked Goods stand. Actually, it consisted of two tables because it seems that the ladies led by Dorothy Pryor always outdid themselves with delicious offerings. Those in the know always headed there first to claim a cake or mince pies, biscuits, scones and the like. The stand also had homemade marmalade and various jellies and preserves. Definitely not a stall to be missed!

In the centre of the room there was Lucky Dip barrel that the children always headed to first! There was also the Raffle table which Joan Barber with her lovely sense of humour manned. Guess the weight of the cake, Name the Teddy etc. were some of the raffles that people enjoyed. The main raffle prize was a super big Christmas cake that Ella had made, but there were also offerings of wines, chocolates and other goodies. The room seemed to be abuzz and friends, neighbours and locals poured through the doors.

Lady Lloyd and Dorothy Poulton presided over the kitchen. One could get coffee and tea and baked goods all morning and at lunchtime there was soup and a roll on offer. Phyllis Lloyd was a commanding figure in her apron who always seemed to be wielding a wooden spoon! She brooked no nonsense but the food she and her team produced was great!

The morning slid into the early afternoon and still people came. The publicity that Tony Osborne had generated caught a lot of people’s attention. The jolly music and the happy buzz of people wandering around the hall and enjoying themselves really added to the day. What we had thought would be something that we would just show our faces in and disappear turned out to be a most enjoyable day and by the following year we were happily helping with stalls and other activities. It was an event that everyone in the Church helped with even if I haven’t mentioned them here. In its day, The Winter Wonderland was a real money-spinner for the Church. Each year the Church would garner between £800 and £1,000 which, considering that we are talking about more than 40 years ago, was quite an achievement!

After another 5 or 6 years we no longer had the manpower to produce such an extravaganza though the Fair did continue in a lower key for a number of years. Still, I will also remember the joy and pleasure that the Church’s Winter Wonderland brought to Mike and me and indeed all those who used to come. It really was a good time!

Linda Lambert

Christmas Present (a letter from the moderator)

Christmas 2020

Dear friends,

As I write the papers are saying ‘Christmas is cancelled this year’. What a dreadful thought! And now the recent lockdown makes us worry who can be in our bubble or whether we are going to spend Christmas alone.

Of course, the real Christmas is never cancelled and that is a great relief for the whole world. Like many ministers I am at home this year, shut in my study answering emails, doing Zoom meetings and making phone calls. It’s a very different type of ministry we are engaged in. We need to remember Christ’s coming more this year maybe than at any other time.

Friends have said they cannot wait to put up decorations: the sparkle and ribbons, the lights piercing the darkness of a December afternoon, the hope of presents and a great big tree all lit up. In truth, this year we really need Jesus. We need the Lord to give us hope where we have lost it.

It always seems amazing to me that God should choose a helpless baby to pierce the darkness of the Roman empire and the hardness of humanity’s hearts. But God did. A baby who has come for over 2,019 years and will come to us again this year – despite a pandemic. We may choose the tinsel and sparkle of Christmas, but Christ chooses our hearts. Luke 2:8-12

As we approach Advent and Christmas, we know that this year we are living in challenging times. We may not be able to sing of love coming down at Christmas in our churches, we may not be able to be with family and friends and the brokenness of the world continues. Yet Jesus, the Christ- child, the Light of the world, will still come to us. Christ is still the source of our hope and joy. Nothing can stop our Lord coming to meet us where we are.

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Luke 2:10

Christ is a never-ending source of love, light and wellbeing. Not only are we the cracked clay pots in which Jesus places the light of the world, we are the vessels God uses to spill out the light of love into the world. Full of this light we know we don’t have to be afraid of the future. For God is with us. With us in pandemics, injustice, bereavement, pain and fear. Christ is never cancelled from our lives. All we have to do is shine.

I wish you and your families, a very blessed Christmas.

Home / Events

Church Closing ? /

The Last Word /