Materialism – The opiate of the people

You say; I am rich, I have prospered and I need nothing, not realising that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked. REV 3:17

We live in a society where we are bombarded every moment of the day with subtle often unnoticed inducements to buy stuff. Our every whim and desire can be purchased with a few key strokes of our computers without us even venturing from our armchairs. Our lives are spent earning enough money to buy everything we feel we need.


Our idols are our possessions and our pride in them; also, our need for endless connections on social media.


The question we must ask ourselves is where is our first love? Do we spend more time in front of a screen than we do in prayer, worship and bible study?


Recently we have been studying the letters to the churches in the book of Revelation.


Each letter highlights the good points and the often-hidden problem areas which characterises each church, I think the largely unrecognised problem in the Western church is our reliance on wealth and not on the faithfulness of God.


What we forget is that any idol is of no use in eternity, Jeremiah wonderfully lampoons idols when he describes them as worthless as scarecrows in a cucumber field.


Jesus underlines this problem on the sermon on the mount when he tells us that we can either serve God or money. Matthew 6 19-24


The sad reality is that we no longer just own our possessions but they actually own us. For example, two lovers sitting across a candle-lit table and staring into their mobile phones instead of each other’s eyes.


Remember the story of the rich young man who wants to follow Jesus, only to go away sorrowful unable to fulfil Jesus’ request to sell all that he had and give to the poor. Jesus commentary on the story is another wonderful hyperbole. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter heaven. Luke 18:18-30


So how do we avoid the traps of materialism which are very powerful always waiting to ensnare us?  For us it seems nigh impossible but as Jesus says with God everything is possible.


It can only be done through the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives to help us to focus on the love of Jesus. All our desires have to be on Him, as the old hymn says,


” Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.”


As many of us have found a trip to a third world country helps us to realise that money does not buy the wonderful blessings of a loving community and helps us to have compassion for the poor, and the evils of hoarding wealth for ourselves when so much could be done with our money to bring real benefits to the poor. Love of money will be replaced by compassion for the poor, as Scrooge discovered in the well-known Dickens tale.


So as Jesus says, let us store up treasures in heaven.


Last month as part of Thy Kingdom Come and the Diocesan Year of Prayer we were praying in our new prayer room at The TRINITY Centre, 24 hours a day for 4 days. It was wonderful to take the time out to seek God for those we love, for the town we love, and the world we love.


Then a chance conversation about prayer reminded me that prayer is so many different things to different people. Some time ago I was seeking God to help me write a preach on the theme of prayer and I was struggling to pull it all together so I just sat down and waited on God. These are the words that came.




Prayer is a conversation.
not one way, but feels a lot like that sometimes.


Prayer is having Gods undivided attention. Not engaged, not on hold, not the 27th person in the queue, prayer is getting straight through when the line doesn’t even ring.


Prayer is solid, dependable, words on a page, liturgical, lyrical, it’s rhythmic, routine.


It’s out of kilter, out of line, stand up on the restaurant table and shout at the top of your voice.


Prayer is a weapon, a fighting tool… 
a comfort blanket, a hot water bottle, 


It’s rough and ready, its harsh, it’s loud angry shouting, 
it’s quiet and soft, whispering in the ear of a loved one, it’s gentle singing, it’s worshipping the most amazing wonderful person that one could ever even begin to imagine.


Prayer is being tucked up under the duvet, needing a fix to even move one toe out into the cold harsh world.


Prayer is a longing, a desire, an unquenchable fire burning within and unable to get out.



Prayer is in the mud, in the dirt, getting covered from head to toe, in the grime, in the gutter, a desperate plea, just a few words uttered,


help me.


Prayer is stepping out of those grubby clothes, in a warm bath, bubbles, rose petals, it’s soothing, it’s gentle, soaking. 


Prayer is the beautiful tune of a lover singing to their beloved.  
It’s the most intimate thoughts that we share with no one. It’s the things that shame us, the things that define us, the things that no other living soul knows.


Prayer is the most dramatic, fantastic, all consuming, loving welcome: come on in, this house is your house, kick back, enjoy…



Prayer is a child curled up on their dads lap, arms encircling, loving, blessing, soothing, warming.


Prayer is crying out together in defiance. in pain, in love, in desperation. It’s standing alongside each other, battling, warriors, in unison in our pain.


Prayer is angry, ‘what do you want from me’, where are you?, why have you forsaken me? 


Prayer is sobbing, streaming, making a scene, it’s unattractive.


Prayer is laughter, hysterical, screaming, uncontrollable, giggling.


It’s wailing, longing, seeking, needing, begging…


Prayer is indulgent, it’s selfish, self seeking, self-serving, 
It’s soaking, enjoying, drowning in love, like a depth of love you have never known


Prayer is burning desire, unquenchable, out of control.


It’s like breathing, like water, it’s daily bread.


Prayer is being at one. being at peace.  


Prayer is: encountering God.


Consider The Lilies

In April I went to visit Ravenna, on the Adriatic coast of Italy, in company with some of my art history friends.

We had been studying the art of mosaics, their history and how they were made, and we wanted to see the most famous examples in their original sites. Made from tiny pieces of coloured stone, they adorned church buildings, basilicas, baptisteries and mausoleums. They have survived, as bright as new, since the fifth and sixth centuries in Ravenna, which was once the western capital of the Empire of Roman Catholic Church under Theodoric, then taken over by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian and his wife the Empress Theodora, both Christian rulers, in the sixth century. They built a wonderful basilica church, San Vitale, dedicated to the glory of God, and adorned it with mosaics on walls , arches and apse, showing Christ in majesty and processions coming to worship.


The images are breathtaking, their colours vivid, and perhaps the most striking thing of all is how the natural world appears everywhere in the mosaic pictures. These early Christians wanted to show the glory of God’s creation- everywhere there are flowers, fruits, birds and animals, all integrated into the worship of the Creator God. Everywhere there are biblical references- the fruit of the vine (“I am the vine, you are thebranches”), doves of the Holy Spirit drink from the fountain, the source of eternal life, and I was told there are 52 different birds shown in these mosaics!


In those days the ordinary people could not read and did not have books, so the mosaic pictures told the stories found in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, as did fresco paintings in churches in other places, and even some remain here in Sussex. You may find similar references to the natural world in stained glass windows in many of our English churches, often with local scenes celebrating the riches of Gods creation with flowers, animals and birds found locally.


One of my favourite verses from the Bible is:


“Consider the lilies of the field, they toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I tell you, Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these”.


It was lovely to see reminders of these verses portrayed in stone and to think of the continuity of the biblical teaching from so may hundreds of years ago.


We also visited two other basilicas dedicated to the local sixth century bishop and saint, Apollinare. There, the processions of martyrs and saints coming to worship Christ in Majesty are also accompanied by palm fronds, flowers and birds. At Saint Apollinare in Classe, just outside the town at the ancient Roman port of Classis, Christ is shown as shepherd of the sheep, with his disciples in the form of sheep, in a heavenly meadow. Saint Apollinare’s robe is covered in bees, symbolic of his role as leader of a monastic order- monks were workers in cells like the bees! I am told there is an old custom of telling the bees if someone dies, as they will fly straight up to God to announce the passing of a loved one from life on earth to that in heaven.


Sermons in stones still have relevance to us today as we care for God’s beautiful creation around us.


Shirley Darlington
Creation Care Team

24/4 Prayer: Time to listen, time to adore

Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. Luke 6:12

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.  Mark 1:35

From Wednesday 16th May to Pentecost Sunday, Trinity will be hosting a time of continuous prayer. As a community we will be following Jesus’ example of spending significant time in prayer. Jesus never did anything that was not totally in the will of His Father in the power of the Holy Spirit.


What a privilege to be able to enter the very throne room of God! Jesus has done everything to give us free access by His death and resurrection. We are cleansed and adopted as children of God.


The children of a king can always run up to Him and sit on His knee. Prayer gives us intimate access to the very presence of the triune God.  Although coming into the presence of the living God, (as John experienced on the isle of Patmos), we may fall in awe before the wonder and beauty of the risen and resurrected Christ and stay prostrate until he says “Fear not – get up “.    If you have ever been in love, you will know that you want to spend as much time as possible with your beloved, to be alone, experiencing the intimate nearness of the beloved. If you love Jesus a little and want to love Him more, then go into your quiet space, shut the door and pray:


“Heaven is not heaven without Christ. It is better to be in any place with Christ than to be in heaven itself without him.”


Do not be daunted by having to spend one or two hours alone in silence. The time will go very quickly; once we appreciate the presence of Jesus, we will want to spend time just listening and entering into wonder and adoration. The psalms and Song of Solomon are good resources for intimacy in prayer. For example ,“Youhave captured my heart, my treasure, my bride…your love delights me, my treasure, my bride.Your love is better than wine.”


Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is full of wonderful prayers. Through prayer we can understand how wide, long, high and deep the love of Jesus is, even for us! Although it is too wonderful to be fully known.


Once we have spent some time in adoration and praise, we will experience a closeness to Christ where it is easy to come with prayers and intercessions. Jesus gives the perfect template for prayer in the Lord’s prayer, slowly praying through and hanging all our prayers on each paragraph.


Every time we worship and pray, we are being transformed into the image of the Lord Jesus. We are given power to fulfil our mission as Trinity, to see lives transformed by the love of Christ and our mission is to build wholehearted disciples of Jesus. We will be a people who will bring Christ’s Kingdom in on earth here in Lewes as it is in heaven. Do sign up for an hour or more of prayer.



Ian Hempshall

Creation Care in Nicaragua

For the Lord will comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places, and will make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song. Isaiah 51:3 NRSV

In February a small contingent from Trinity went with a group from  Amos Trust to Nicaragua, led by Katie Hagley a former worshiper at Southover.


We visited a charity called CEPAD – a relief organisation started by protestant ministers after an earthquake that destroyed most of Managua the capital. It now works by committing to a poor community for five years and working to help develop that community. They work with the local churches, which are mainly Mennonite, training the pastors. They help to develop the community with training in leadership skills and forming co-operatives, and teaching craft-making skills.


The most impressive part of the work is the way they develop the health and nutrition of the villagers by teaching them organic methods of growing food, and by providing water harvesting and simple water filtration, using a biofilter made with local materials, aggregates from the river and charcoal from the fire, which people can make and maintain for themselves.


Villagers have to commit to working with CEPAD, only using the organic methods they would be trained in. At first many people are reluctant to join as they feel they have to have chemical fertilisers and insecticides, but as soon as they see the miraculous change in the gardens of people using the new methods, they are very keen to join. The soil in Teusteppe where we were working is volcanic, very arid, and the area mountainous. Our job was to provide simple water harvesting ponds for which we had fundraised. CEPAD provided seeds which are germinated in seed beds and newspaper pots, which are then planted into the soil, using home-made composts and natural plant insecticides.


Fruit trees are grown and planted out; this solves the problem of soil erosion and provides shade for the smaller crops. The fruit provides vitamins and varied nutrition as well as a surplus to sell at market. By the end of the five years each participant should have 19 different varieties of fruit tree and vegetable in their garden, also they should have taught another to use the CEPAD method.


In one community we worked in a garden attached to the school, this was enormous fun as we worked with the school children and the local community who all came out to help. Some of the group helped cook a delicious meal for the whole workforce using the locally grown organic vegetables. The local pastor was always much in view, always in the midst of the hardest work, providing love and encouragement to his little flock. The church in Nicaragua is very focused on helping the poor and being an integral part of poor communities. After we had finished our work for the day, it was very natural for us to all troop into the little shanty church for a session of joyful hymn singing, the pastor and various locals passing round a guitar. Our team is now fundraising to provide waterfilters .


Ian Hempsall


Holy Week Reflections

Holy Saturday – in the Grave

Read: Luke 23:50-56

  • What, if anything, stands out to you?

Listen: Stations of the Cross by Malcolm Guite 13 and 14 click on the numbers to get the audio


Artwork: two choices today:

‘The Deposition’ Ugolino de Neriolook close up at the faces of Mary and Jesus 


or Michelangelo’s ‘Pieta’ sculpture (click on the titles to see the paintings)


  • Both these pieces depict the raw emotion of a Mother with her dead son. Can you feel the sorrow through the artwork?


Prayer Points:

  • As we come to the end of the week’s reflections, why not commit yourself afresh to the Lord? You could use this prayer – The Methodist Covenant Prayer which Methodists repeat every year in committing themselves afresh to the Lord.


I am no longer my own but yours.

Put me to what you will,

rank me with whom you will;

put me to doing, put me to suffering;

let me be employed for you or laid aside for you,

exalted for you or brought low for you.

Let me be full, let me be empty,

let me have all things, let me have nothing.

I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things

to your pleasure and disposal.

And now, glorious and blessed God,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

you are mine and I am yours.

So be it.

And the covenant made on earth,

let it be ratified in heaven.





Good Friday – The Crucifixion

Read: Mark 15:21-41 perhaps 2 or 3 times

  • What, if anything, stands out to you?
  • Imagine yourself in the text, at the foot of the cross, how does it make you feel?

Listen: Stations of the Cross by Malcolm Guite 11 and 12 click on the number to get the audio

Painting: ‘St John of the Cross’ by Salvador Dali Click on the title to see the painting


  • This painting was inspired by a drawing, kept in the Convent of the Incarnation in Avila, Spain, which was done by Saint John of the Cross after he had seen a vision of Christ during a powerful spiritual experience. Dali talks of the unity of the world in Christ through his own interpretation. What does it speak of to you?


Song: Strange way by Martyn Joseph

  • A cleverly written song on the Crucifixion, have a listen to the lyrics and see what stands out to you and think about why.

Prayer Points

  • We sometimes talk of nailing our burdens or our sin to the cross. What do you need to let go of and give to the Lord right now? Lift it to him in prayer.
  • Pray for those who are persecuted for their Christian faith around the world.
  • Pray for those you know struggling in their faith



Maundy Thursday – The Last Supper

Read: Luke 22: 7-30 and/or John 13:1-17

  • What, if anything, stands out to you? 

Listen: Stations of the Cross by Malcolm Guite 9 and 10, click on the number to hear the audio


Painting: ‘Journey with Jesus’ by He Qi click on the title to see the image


  • There is much symbolism and many references in this picture, what stands out to you?
  • Where would you be in this picture?


Prayer Points:

  • Focus on the line from Luke ‘…my blood is poured out for you…’ Spend some time thanking God for the amazing sacrifice he made for you.
  • Pray for those in positions where service is key, perhaps the emergency services, medical staff or armed forces.
  • Pray for those who serve you personally. At home, work, church or in the community…




Wednesday – Betrayal

Read: John 13: 18-30, perhaps 2 or 3 times.

  • What, if anything, stands out to you?
  • How do you feel about Judas? Was he purely evil? Was he deceived by the Devil? Do you think he had a choice about what he went to do?


Listen: Stations of the Cross by Malcolm Guite 7 and 8click on the numbers to get the audio.


Painting: ‘The Bound lamb (Agnus dei)’ by Francisco de Zubaran click on the title to see the picture

  • The image of Jesus as the pure and innocent lamb is very powerful, especially as depicted here tied and bound and completely helpless. Does this help you to focus on the idea of Christ as a pure sacrifice? Or on the idea of betrayal? Have you ever betrayed Jesus?


Prayer Points:

  • Lift up to the Lord any situations where you feel you have let him down, perhaps even betrayed him, seek his forgiveness.
  • Pray for those who are helpless in our wider world, for example those starving in the current famine in East Africa. (Tearfund has some prayer points here)
  • Pray for those close to you who feel helpless in a situation they face


Visit: Pop into our Easter Encounter Space at TRINITY Southover, open all day today from 10am – 10pm. Explore the Easter story through the prayer stations.

And/or Join us for worship and prayer 8-9pm at TRINITY Southover




Tuesday – The Greatest Commandment

Read: Matthew 22: 34-40, perhaps 2 or 3 times.

  • What, if anything, stands out to you?
  • How important are these commandments to you in your life? In what ways do you show the love of Christ in your daily life?


Listen: Stations of the Cross by Malcolm Guite 5 and 6(click on the numbers of get the audio)

Painting: ‘God Hold Me’ by Charlie Mackesy

Available here but you need to scroll down to item 74



  • Can you imagine yourself in this painting?
  • Can you think of a time when you have experienced God holding you in this way? Perhaps you might need to experience this now in a situation you face?


Article: Holy Week in an Unholy World


  • Does this article resound with you?


Prayer Points:

  • As above, imagine God holding you in an embrace like the painting. Can you invite him into a particular situation you are facing?
  • For situations in the world that need God’s embrace more than ever right now, for example for those grieving in Syria
  • For someone you know who needs to feel God’s embrace afresh today


Visit: Pop into our Easter Encounter Space at TRINITY Southover, open all day today from 10am – 10pm. Explore the Easter story through the prayer stations.




Monday – Cleansing of the Temple

 Read: Mark 11: 15 – 19, perhaps 2 or 3 times.

  • What, if anything, stands out to you?
  • What are the things that make you angry? Why not spend some time thinking about a time when you were angry, frustrated or annoyed recently. Spend some time reflecting on how Jesus might have reacted to that situation?

Listen: Stations of the Cross by Malcolm Guite 3 and 4Click on the numbers to go to the audio.

Illustration: Modern interpretation of Christ driving the money changers from the temple’ by Anthony Freda/Daniel Zollinger (click on the title to see the image)

  • What is your instant reaction to this picture? What emotions does it raise in you? Do you think it is fair as a modern interpretation?

Article: Following Jesus Means Being Political and Advocating for “The Least of These”

Following Jesus Means Being Political and Advocating for “The Least of These”

  • Does this article resound with you?
  • Does following Jesus mean being political to you?

Prayer Points:

  • If you feel led to do so, pray into the situations you thought about above where you experienced anger.
  • Pray for an issue of injustice, for example those who suffer because of race, religion or sexuality.
  • For those you know who struggle with unresolved anger


All God’s Creatures

One of the most confusing aspects for me as a Christian is to reconcile our attitude towards animals with God’s word and purpose, which I believe is for the whole of creation. There are many reasons why Christians may be ‘spiritually blind’ concerning this subject, one of which is uncertainty in interpretation of animal behaviour.

For instance, some scientists declare we cannot know for sure whether animals, such as pigs, feel ‘happy’ or ‘sad’, unless we can prove it and explain it in terms of human emotions. Therefore it is acceptable to keep pigs in ‘unhappy’ conditions, which are inhumane.  The arrogance of this stance is responsible for animal suffering on an unimaginable scale. If we accept we are imperfect, surely we should accept our science is imperfect.

Jumping Cow
A ‘happy’ cow jumping for joy after being released from winter barn



One of many examples of our imperfect science is revealed by the commonly used idiom: ‘He has a memory like a fish’. The belief that fish only remember for 3-4 seconds has exonerated us from keeping them in confined places where they may experience frustration and stress. It seems fish have good memories, according to one Cambridge researcher who describes them as ‘‘amazing and intelligent”.

Both modern scientific understanding and our own experience demonstrate that animals are similar to us in many ways. Some create valued, life-long, exclusive relationships with other animals, they protect what is important to them, they sacrifice themselves for their young, they think and feel, they experience pleasure and pain and mourn their dead.


OK, maybe we cannot be absolutely sure the caged animal suffers as we would; its ‘apparent’ dejected frustrated manner could mean something else.  Surely the response to this uncertainty would be to give these creatures the benefit of the doubt and to ask oneself: ‘would I want to be treated like this? Would I let my dog be treated like this?’ Surely the answer would be ‘no’.

In fact, ‘’if one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people.” (Ruth Harrison, Animal Machines)


Of course, in the end, we are consumers responsible for our actions. If we choose to buy intensively farmed food, knowing how it is produced, are we not insulting God?

Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si has brought the problem of animal welfare into the public domain, and the Times reported in 2013:


‘There may be no other single human activity that has a bigger impact on the planet than the raising of livestock’.


Many believe the real solution to minimising human pressure on the environment lies in agriculture and reducing consumption of animal products, which will also result in better health as well as improving the lives of the poor in underdeveloped countries.

Maybe these concerns for humanity will challenge our ‘spiritual blindness’. But I wish we were motivated for the right reasons:  that we acknowledge the cruelty and suffering we inflict on animals through our ignorance and apathy.  Maybe all we have to ask is ‘what would Jesus do?’ and our duty of care would be revealed.



Caroline Hodges
Creation Care Team


The adoration of the crucified risen and ascended Lord Jesus

Imagine a dark church at 3 o’clock in the morning, you have been woken from sleep by the church clock. You struggle into wakefulness and strike a match which shines out into the church and you light a candle that is placed before a simple wooden cross.

As the stark image of the cross seems to flow and grow, filling your field of vision, the words of Isaiah 6  ” I saw the Lord high and lifted up” come into your mind as the image of the cross sparks the imagination.

However, the image of the cross does not support a vision of God clothed in fiery royal finery, seated on a majestic throne, but of a king stripped naked and bloody with skin stripped off by flogging and hands pierced by cruel nails.

Isaiah’s vision produces holy fear and underlines our need for repentance in the face of a thrice Holy God.

However, the vision of Jesus lifted high on the cross fills our hearts with love for a God who left his throne in the heavenly places to suffer and die the most horrible and degrading death for everyone who puts their trust in Him. The glory of the cross is a very strange sort of glory. Jesus knew that he had to be lifted up, like the serpent in the wilderness, then He would draw all people to Himself.

Philippians2:6-11  is a wonderful picture of Jesus as the obedient son of God leaving the majesty of heaven and the perpetual love of the trinity of persons of which he was fully part. He laid aside all the joys and majesty of that union to become fully human, suffering everything that we suffer, including death, even death on a cross.

However, the death or Jesus was followed by His glorious resurrection and ascension. On the cross, our broken nature and our lives which end in death were totally transformed, by the power of what Jesus did on the cross. We have been transferred from the kingdom of this world of sin and death to the Kingdom of Christ and to life in a new world were Jesus reigns as God and King. The dividing wall that separated us from God has been broken down and we have free access into the throne room of grace.

Once we give our lives to Christ we are given everything that Jesus achieved, by His death on the cross.

Our lives which were once full of pride and totally obsessed with self, have become the place where love flows out to all around, helping to bring in the kingdom of Christ, until our physical death calls us to life with Him.

We can then continue in adoration, love and worship of our wonderful crucified raised and glorified Jesus Christ in His new restored creation; a unified heaven and earth.



Ian Hempshall


Trees For Life

I wonder if you, like me, feel guilty about flying to foreign parts for a holiday? I hate to think of the damage done to our environment and the ozone layer by aeroplanes. Friends of mine have taken the pledge not to fly any more, for this reason.

But I do love exploring different places, and this late summer I was drawn back to Crete, the second largest island in the Mediterranean. Not just for sun, sea and sandy beaches, you understand, but because I love the wild rugged landscape, the history, the people, their traditional ways of life, their generosity to strangers.

You can sit on a hillside looking out over olive groves towards a glimpse of sea, and hear nothing at all, except perhaps the distant tinkle of bells round the necks of foraging goats. Or spot a local Cretan gathering food from his patch of garden, fruit from the trees, or hay from the tiny fields.

On this trip we came across something extraordinary. Driving from Chania towards Omalos in the White Mountains, we saw a sign pointing to “ National Botanic Garden.” Intrigued, we followed the winding road higher and still higher, until we arrived at the entrance, and decided to visit. It was a hot sunny day, but there was a delightful cooling breeze. As we parked and entered, the first thing we saw was a huge gaunt olive tree, probably hundreds of years old, with its central trunk hollowed out, burnt away by fire. A powerful symbol, indeed. (see picture)

Burnt Olive Tree With Still living Green Shoots

We learned that the Botanical Park and Garden had been created after a disastrous forest fire which had devastated several acres of the hillsides in 2003. As the leaflet we were given says, the area was reborn from its ashes. The aim of the garden is to educate visitors about how important trees and plants are to our wellbeing.  We were offered water, sunhats and stout walking sticks to help us round a 5km trail through the forest,  which gave us shade and intense visual pleasure as we gazed at the wonderful and amazing variety of shapes and colours of trees and plants from habitats all around the world.  I thought of the lines in Andrew Marvell’s poem The Garden: “Annihilating all that’s made, to a green thought, in a green shade”.

As we wandered around in wonder, it was very interesting to observe others too, carefully reading labels on the plants, which named each one, its country of origin, and its uses. Many were medicinal plants, herbs and trees, for example the Willow, from which we obtain aspirin. Such huge variety of leaf shapes, brightly coloured flowers, tree trunk markings and scents…

Our leaflet said : “Walking around the Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete offers spiritual tranquillity and visual pleasure, while getting acquainted with flora and their compositions”. For me personally, it was a reminder of the wonder of God’s creation, and renewed my faith as I silently offered up a prayer of thanks for His goodness to us. Here was an example of spiritual teaching, without any need to preach, because I felt God’s creative presence all around me. And here also was a good example of how to follow God’s instruction to care for his Creation, and to encourage others to do likewise.

Not only spiritual needs were met, but the walk ended in a beautiful restaurant overlooking the wonderful view of the forest and mountains, where all the delicious food came from the gardens, including a fruit drink made from the fruits of trees grown there. The whole experience was very special, and I believe the Botanical Park and Gardens are unique in Europe. So if you are ever in Crete, do visit. Sharing this experience helps ease my conscience about the air flight!


“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” Genesis 2:15

        Shapes of Trees and Leaves                    Tree Trunk Markings





Shirley Darlington
Creation Care Team

Listening to the right voice

Last term I spoke at the 6:30 and encouraged the congregation to think about who they follow (eg: a sports team, band, someone on social media) and then invited them to shout out that thing all at the same time.

The point being that you then couldn’t hear what everyone was saying, which is a bit like life – there are so many voices calling out to us, enticing us to follow them, that it can be hard to know which one to listen to. It might be advertising voices, magazines, celebrities, political voices, social media posts, all speaking to us about what we should do and who we should follow.

I continue to be challenged by this thought. In this day and age it’s getting harder and harder to suss out the right voice to follow, or which one is even telling us the truth, there is so much ‘fake news’ about now (and I shall refrain from commenting on that!).

I think if we are honest, most of us want something to follow, a path, or we want a label. We want to be loved and accepted and those paths or labels we use to help us fit in.  So when we choose to follow things we are actually just looking for, or forming our own identity. What or who we follow, reflects who we are, or who we choose to be, or how we want to be seen. And I feel that now more than ever we need to really take stock of who we are following, what voices are we listening to and taking on board.

Because the real truth is, a truth that can’t be changed, and an identity for all of us… is that God loves us. Every one of us. No matter who we are, what we’ve done or said, we are loved, just as we are. The bible tells us that Jesus gives us the right to become children of God. That can be our true identity if we listen, if we choose to follow him.

But perhaps amidst the babble that is hard to hear, I mean why on earth would anyone choose to follow Jesus’ voice in this day and age? With all that choice? Can he give us as much street cred as an iphone X? Can he get us the best seat in a restaurant ? or make us part of the in crowd?

When I preach I love to leave the listeners with a challenge and I guess that’s what this whole post is – a challenge to you to really think about how you are shaping your identity. What or who influences you? What or who do you spend most time thinking about? Where do you spend your money? Your time? Your energy?

Because most of those voices we hear have an ulterior motive – financial, political, for personal gain; but the voice of Jesus simply wants us to know how loved we are, wants to draw us closer to him and to that ultimate truth. That’s why we should listen to him over any other voice.


Jules Middleton

Jo Marks, Figurative artist

Jo Marks is a British figurative artist. Using graphic lines, her chalk and charcoal drawings are developed from a fascination with the human form.

Having studied life drawing and sculpture for years, Jo says she is “always looking for the perfect line which says a lot with very little”.

Her unedited marks reflect the energy and urgency with which the subject was observed. Whether these marks are intuitively abstract or more true to life, they always express an authentic understanding of form.

Exploring femininity as her central theme, Jo’s drawings are simultaneously tender and strong. She says: “Having recently become a mother I am in awe of how wonderfully we are made. We are incredibly strong, although I know at times I feel the opposite. It is this contrast, this vulnerability which I try to communicate”.

While Jo tries to reflect this sense of dichotomy in her carefully balanced compositions, she also aims to ensure her work brings a sense of peace. “Knowing when to stop is a huge challenge, I never want to over-bake my pieces but instead reflect the joy with which they were made.”

Martina La Trobe-Bateman, Photographer

‘What Lies Hidden’

Martina was struck by the stories of pain, suffering and incredible strength and integrity she discovered just among friends and family. All hidden behind the socially acceptable facade of: ‘I’m fine’.

Using the limitations of photographic representation to mimic human interaction that can be limited to a skin-level or outside interaction, she highlights the fact that all of us have another story to tell, and to awaken the senses to the complexity of the “other” we are meeting every day.

For this series she has photographed women with a hidden illness or trauma. The women choose a flower, branch or other foliage to represent the fact that there is more to discover than can be seen on the outside. The choice of foliage or its positioning may reveal something about their illness or struggle and how it affects their relationships and identity.

Julie Janvrin, Sculptor

Although I have been sculpting in clay for many years, it was as a mature student that I went to study ceramics at Falmouth College of Art. Returning to Sussex I set up my own studio producing figurative stoneware sculpture. Singers, dancers, performers, some written over with sonnets or songs, my work reflects my love of literature and my early career in the theatre. I constantly go back to basics, which for me is an endless exploration of the human form.

The theme of Communication for this exhibition is a broad one. Visibly, verbally and tangibly, art is the great communicator, giving us fresh insight into the human condition. I like the image in the bible of the body being the temple of the soul. I hope these quiet abstract nudes have a meditative quality - meditation being perhaps one of the purest forms of communication.

The other two figures were inspired by events in the life of Jesus Christ 2000 years ago, but they are very modern tragedies. A Syrian refugee, her child in her arms and her possessions on her back, flees her country. A mother cradles her son after violence on a Hackney street. Only you, the viewer can say what, if anything they communicate, but if you have paused to look and wonder for a moment why these things happen, then thank you.

Suzanne Hennegrave, Artist and Educator BA Hons, MA


Suzanne Hennegrave is a semi-abstract, contemporary landscape painter and a teacher. She is inspired by the land, sea and big skies. She paints in oils and mixed-media from memory and experience and her work is developed using artistic intuition.

Her greatest loves are atmospheric weather and fleeting light and this she tries to capture in her work, through her own emotional response.  She hopes that her paintings will encourage viewers to foster a greater appreciation of their natural surroundings also.

‘If we do not engage with God’s creation in a joyful way, there is no hope of healing.’

Hmmm Cake…

Our cakes are all homemade and baked with love – as priced

Daily free from gluten and dairy cake choice

Vegan option

Fruit scone, cream and jam                          2.50

Cheese straw                                                    60p


A spot of lunch…

Homemade soup of the day (vg / gf)          3.90

With a chunk of local bread & butter

Grazer plates

Cheese, ham or hummus                               4.90

With local bread, homemade chutney & coleslaw

(gf bread & df spread available)

Puff Pizza

Tomato and mozzarella                                 3.00

Caramelised red onion & goats cheese       4.00

Jacket Spuds

Just butter (dairy free available)                  3.00

Cheese / beans / hummus / coleslaw          50p per filling

Tuna Mayo                                                         90p

Crisps                                                                  90p

Piece of fruit                                                      40p


For the kids…

Mini soup of the day                                        2.10

Mini grazer                                                        2.90

Carrot soldiers with Cheese or hummus     2.20

Bread and butter                                              1.50

Ellas kitchen pouches                                      1.50 - 2.20

Organix snacks                                                 90p – 1.60

Nothing from Thursday, 20 September 2018 to Friday, 19 October 2018.

Love in a mug…                                          

Organic Triple Certified Espresso Beans

100% Arabica. Fairtrade Papua New Guinea 60%

Fairtrade Rainforest Alliance Honduras 40%

One shot         Two shots

Espresso                                1.50                1.80

Americano                             1.50                1.80

Cappuccino                            1.70                2.10

Latte                                       1.70                2.10

Mocha                                    1.90                2.20

Syrup shot                             30p


Want it different? Just ask…

Milk, mug and shot alternatives all available.


Tea                                         1.00

Speciality Tea                        1.50

Hot Chocolate                        1.50                1.90

‘Oh go on then’ Chocolate     1.90                2.40

(Whipped cream, mini marshmallows & a dusting of chocolate)

Mini oh go on (kids only)     60p


Something cool…

Shake of the day                    2.50                Comes with a top up!

(Made with ice cream, milk & a chocolate bar, finished with whipped cream & sprinkles)

Life water (BPA free)           60p

Glass of Downsview milk     60p

Fruit Hit  - fairtrade              80p

Ubuntu – fairtrade cola        90p

San Pellegrino                       1.30

Belvior Presse                       1.80

Sussex Orchard Apple          1.90

Jug of organic squash           1.50


The TRINITY Centre
Abinger Place

Manager // Zoe Tompsett


Opening Hours

Tuesday // 10am - 4pm

Wednesday // 10am - 4pm

Thursday // 10am - 4pm

Friday // 10am - 5pm  // Dog's welcome // Four Legged Friday

Saturday // 9am - 1pm // Drinks and cakes only


Lunch served 12-2.30pm (except on Saturday)


Please get in touch if you would like to know more about Café12/31 or just drop in to see us!

Loving our neighbour //

Café12/31 is a project of TRINITY church, built on the ethos of being a place of love and welcome. In fact, our name comes from the bible verse Mark 12:31 ‘love your neighbour’ and that’s exactly what we are aiming to do. All that we do at Café12/31 is rooted in the love of God and we want to show that love to all our customers by aiming to become a true community café, a place for all to feel welcome and that they belong.

Café12/31 will be especially friendly to young families, with our onsite playroom for pre-schoolers, and plenty of space to stash buggies. We’re hoping to develop links to other organisations and groups, to create a hub for the whole community, as well as developing a range of fun events.

Loving our environment //

As part of an 'Eco church', Café12/31 is guided by the TRINITY Creation Care team, so that we can be as environmentally friendly as possible. We’ve sourced the best take away containers from 'Vegware' and are also big fans of ‘Plastic Free Lewes’, aiming to use as little single use plastic as possible.

Wherever we can we are supporting the Lewes area and stocking local produce too, keeping down our carbon footprint, and stocking fair trade coffee too.

Loving our customers //

We’ll also have some delicious ‘free from’ options on our menu, including vegan and gluten free. TRINITY also aims to be nut free and whilst we cannot guarantee our premises are nut free, we do not use any nut containing ingredients and are aiming to make the venue as safe as possible for those with nut allergies.

We hope you will love Café12/31 as much as we do, do pop by and see us and let us know what you think!


Serving In Mission

For more information about SIM, take a look at their WEBSITE HERE

Established in 1848 BHCM seeks to serve the City, with the Church, for Christ.


BHCM care practically and spiritually for many with needs around the city. They currently serve through three teams, Schools, Food Bank and Rest Homes.


The Brighton Food Bank exists to help families and individuals going through times of crisis.  This is done primarily through food parcels, but also through supporting clients emotionally, physically, and spiritually, whilst also signposting them to other agencies across the city for expert advice. As a Christian food bank BHCM are privileged to share their faith with clients, and offer prayer when welcomed.


For more information about Brighton & Hove City Mission, take a look at their WEBSITE HERE

A Rocha UK are a Christian conservation charity working to protect and restore the natural world both nationwide and through local projects as in Southall where the A Rocha UK Centre is located.


TRINITY member David Melville has been working part time for over 7 years with ARUK, latterly as Education Manager in west London in two areas – Minet Country Park a living legacy and in the Wolf Fields Community Gardens, a new venture.


He has encouraged the next generation of local primary school children (3000 footfall 2017) by having an environmental encounter through activities all linked to the national curriculum, always giving credit to the Creator.


For more information about A Rocha, take a look at their WEBSITE HERE

Passion for Sport uses media to introduce sports fans to Jesus.


Passion for Sport traces its roots back to 1991 when missionary radio producers from Reach Beyond reported from the World Student Games in Sheffield. Their sports content with a Christian perspective is so well received they report the following year from the Barcelona Olympic Games in English and Spanish.


Passion For Sport reports from major sporting events including the FIFA World Cup™, Cricket World Cup, Rugby World Cup, World Championships in Athletics and Olympic Games. An increasing number of commercial radio stations broadcast their content, and they plan to add video reports and expand their reach into social media and digital channels.


In 2014, 1,350 radio stations broadcast content produced in English and Spanish from the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.


For more information about Passion For Sport, take a look at their WEBSITE HERE

For several years we've been supporting the work of Wycliffe Bible Translators in Papua New Guinea (PNG),
specifically the Iduna Translation Project. 

The Iduna New Testament was first published in 1982, and is currently being revised, and the Old Testament is a work in progress.  Teams of translators visit the Alotau Regional Centre, in the Milne Bay Province, on a regular basis, in order to carry out translation checking. Joe and Heather Patrick are the current centre managers.


Our support of the Iduna translation is specifically in the area of travel to, and accommodation at, the Centre, and also in supporting other language groups which do not have outside funding.


For more information about Wycliffe, take a look at their WEBSITE HERE


Tearfund is a Christian organisation that's "passionate about ending poverty".


They follow Jesus where the need is greatest, working through local churches to unlock people's potential and helping them to discover that the answer to poverty is within themselves. Tearfund responds quickly when disasters strike and won't stop until poverty stops.


For more information about Tearfund, take a look at their WEBSITE HERE

Life in Abundance International

Life In Abundance is an African founded, faith-based community development organisation serving in 14 countries throughout Africa and the Caribbean. They seek to partner and empower the local church to break the cycle of poverty within some of the poorest and most maginalised communities by restoring health, renewing hope and inspiring lasting transformation.


Their unique, proven and sustainable model of transformational development builds on the spiritual truth that the Gospel should bring about changes within the spiritual, social and material dimensions of a community to improve the human condition with a “wholistic” approach.


For more information about Life In Abundance, take a look at their WEBSITE HERE

Prison Fellowship UK exists to reach out to prisoners with the love of Jesus.
Its work is based largely on volunteers, who can be found in many different roles.
Volunteers from TRINITY Lewes & other churches are involved in many different activities - visiting Lewes prisoners on the wings, helping in prison chapel services, talking and praying with prisoners showing them love and acceptance.  Volunteers run a creche for prisoners’ children during families’ visiting hours, guitar courses, Sycamore Tree courses to enable prisoners to look at the effect of their crimes on their victims and seek to make changes in their lives,  Alpha courses,  letter writing and correspondence; and helping prisoners send Christmas presents to their children, through Angel Tree.
We also meet privately for monthly prayer, and  prayer requests from prisoners and Chaplaincy team are  emailed to those willing to pray.
New volunteers are always welcome to join the team . There are many opportunities to get involved in this “mission field on our doorstep".
Not all these activities take place all the time. but if you are interested in any particular activity please contact:
Howard Taylor - 01273 472185
Dick Field - 01273472884


For more information about Prison Fellowship, take a look at their WEBSITE HERE

Feba is working to inspire people to follow Jesus.


They are making it a priority to work in places where it is hard to be a Christian, which often means working in communities that are rooted in other faiths. They work in places where people’s lives are often affected by war, crisis or disaster.


Feba always work with local partners on the ground and wherever possible alongside the local church.  They believe God has called them to use the power of radio and other audio media to help people come to know Jesus Christ and then support them in their ongoing lives as his disciples.


For more information about Feba, take a look at their WEBSITE HERE

Open Hands was founded in England in 2010 by TRINITY member Rebekka Maughan. The charity works in Romania with the most vulnerable and neglected children.


Rebekka and her team, which includes two Trustees from TRINITY congregations, bring the transforming love of Christ where the need is the greatest and currently work with 90 children and families, from extremely poor backgrounds. Children are reached through two programs which focus on education, health and practical help.


Open Hands bears witness that with the love of Jesus nothing is impossible and that through the power of His love all things can be achieved.

For more information about Open Hands, take a look at their WEBSITE HERE

Lisa Meadows - River Of Life, Uganda

For more information about River Of Life Church, take a look at their WEBSITE HERE

Standing Order

After PGS which is the simplest, the next easiest way to give is to set up a bank standing order that comes direct from your bank/building society account at a time to suit you.


If you are a tax payer then for every £1 you give a further 25p can be claimed by the church from the Inland Revenue; all you need to do is to sign a 'Gift Aid'  form.


Useful Links

A Rocha website (international site)


Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals

Ethical Purchasing

As a church we are committed to creation care and want to make responsible and ethical choices in all areas of church life. To support us in the endeavour we have agreed a policy on Ethical purchasing and created an accompanying set of guidelines.


Download our Ethical Purchasing Policy HERE.


Download our Ethical Purchasing guidelines HERE.

Managing Lifestyles

Everyone has a part to play in looking after God’s creation through our lifestlyes. Areas to consider are:

Cutting down on how much we consume by living more simply.

Modifying our purchasing choices.

Increasing the opportunities for biodiversity within our own gardens.

Join the team

If you have a passion for the environment then we would love to have you as part of our team. Working in our churchyard at Southover & South Malling is an ongoing part of our work and we regularly have fun and friendly working parties for gardening and maintenance of the grounds.


In the future we will be working on renewable energy solutions to the heating and lighting in our church buildings. Any expertise on the energy side of our work would be gratefully received.

Contact Us

Our telephone number is 07852 221449. Anyone can contact the service by telephoning or texting and leaving a message. We will respond as soon as possible, normally within one to two working days.


Please use this number to enquire about counseling availability, or to make or change appointments.


For other enquires we would appreciate contact by email or by letter to:


Southover Counselling.
Church End,
1 Cockshut Road,
Lewes. BN7 1JH
Or email Southover Counselling

Professional Training

Southover Counselling organises occasional professional training days for counsellors and pastoral workers. These days are designed for those already within a professional or voluntary counselling role and contribute towards Continuing Professional Development.


The training days are advertised on our website or details sent to those who have previously attended training days and wish to be on our mailing list. If you are interested in being on our mailing list for the next study day please contact us via email, telephone or post.

Useful Links

NHS Choices





Bereavement Course

Starting Monday 15th October ~ 7-9pm ~ Church End, TRINITY Southover 


Walking through grief takes a long time and no two people have the same loss or the same journey.


We offer a 6wk course called "The Bereavement Journey" on Mondays at various points each year. It's held at Church End, TRINITY Southover from 7- 9 pm providing support and community for anyone who would like to share their journey within a small group.


It is run in partnership with TRINITY Church and is open to anyone with faith, no faith, whether recently bereaved for some months or years.  There will a small charge for the course booklet and light refreshments.


If you feel you would like to join this group or know someone who might be interested. Contact Jeanette Clifton for further information. 07852221449 or via email.

What our clients say

When a client completes a programme with a counsellor, we always ask for feedback. With the clients' permission, here are some comments we have received.


'A counselling service that has been professional and that I could truly trust. '


'more at peace with myself and my life as it is now. It has been a wonderful experience for me. I would recommend Southover Counselling to other people. My counsellor listened and suggested strategies, and helped me understand myself more and like myself again. Thank you'


'I am clearer about my past and more optimistic about my future'.


'Very friendly, welcoming and patient service. Always professional'


'This has been a truly wonderful and helpful journey for me. I have learned so much, and have looked forward to each session'.


The first session will be exploratory and there is a minimum charge of £10. If you decide to go ahead, your first task will be to agree a programme of appointments and costs. The Counsellor will discuss financial arrangments.

It is a policy of Southover Counselling that no one should be excluded from the service on financial grounds. At present our costs are £40 for individuals and £50 for couples. A reduced rate can be negotiated depending on circumstances.

Each session lasts approximately 50 minutes. If you have to cancel a session please give at least 24 hours notice; otherwise 50% of the agreed fee is chargeable.

In order to maintain our services we regularly fund-raise and receive donations from organisations and individuals. We appreciate all contributions to aid with the continuation of our services.

What to expect

Therapy is not an instant cure. Your counsellor will aim to develop with you a supportive relationship within which thoughts and feelings around current or past experiences can be safely shared and explored. This can help you to gain new insights about yourself and your situation.


Through this changed perspective, you may be enabled to respond differently to your situation and to experience personal growth. This may involve a regular meeting with your counsellor over a period of weeks or months.


The number of sessions and timing will vary according to your needs.


For more information about how we handle sensitive data and comply with GDPR please CLICK HERE

Our Team

We have a team of professionally qualified counsellors who are either members of The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) or the Association of Christian Counsellors.


They regularly update their knowledge and skills and some members of the team have a particular expertise with couples, youngsters or people with specific issues.


As part of their Continuing Professional Development they attend supervision and provide evidence of ongoing learning and development.


See the BACP online Glossary entry for Counselling and Psychotherapy or visit their website for further information.


About us

Southover Counselling is a professional counselling service based in Lewes, East Sussex. It is a service that was established 10 years ago and works with clients from youngsters to older people.


It employs a team of professionally trained counsellors who are all members of a recognized professional body. Its services are offered to all irrespective of belief, gender, race, disability or sexual orientation.


Our Carers

All our carers are fully DBS checked, and monitored to ensure they give the care you expect and deserve.


Care Quality Commission

Southover Community Care has been rated "Good" by the Care Quality Commission.


The CQC certificate can be viewed HERE.

You can view Southover Community Care's Data Privacy Notice HERE.

What services can
Southover Community Care provide?

Help with getting up or going to bed

Preparing meals

Washing & ironing

Cleaning your home

Personal hygiene

Taking you out for leisure activities

ShoppingHelp for the blind e.g. with correspondence

What we do

By assisting you with daily tasks our friendly staff will help you to live your life to the full, by giving you the freedom and dignity to make your own choices.

For more information contact Janette Watkins the Registered Manager on 07866 301384.

The Prospects Team

The Team are all Christians with a personal faith and a passion for sharing Jesus with people who are often over-looked in society.

What happens at Prospects?

Praying & learning about God

Making friends & chat

Music & singing

Drama & dance

Games & quizzes

Craft activities

Food, tea & coffee!

Prospects Ministry focuses on making worship, Christian teaching and fellowship accessible to people with a learning disability or difficulty, using multi-sensory teaching, drama, craft and music in small groups.


The Lewes branch is supported by TRINITY Church and affiliated to the National Prospects organization who provide training and teaching materials.

Where & When?

Lewes Goes Strictly runs for 6 weeks with a Beginners class at 7.30pm, tea, coffee and practice time at 8.30pm.


The venue is TRINITY Church Southover and access is via the back door on Cockshut Road.

All our evenings are delivered under the expert tuition of East Sussex Dance.

Cost & Sign up

Cost is £30 for the 6 week course and sign up is done online. When a new term is due to start further information about sign up will be found here.


Dances each term vary but Social Foxtrot, Tango, Waltz, Cha Cha Cha and Rock Jive.

What's Involved?

Have fun and meet new people while dancing in the beautiful, historic setting of TRINITY Church, Southover.


Sessions are relaxed and informal - novices and experts equally welcome!

Join as an individual or a couple - either way is fine.

Karen Gibson, a full time choir conductor and workshop leader, is a powerhouse of inspiration and energy. Recently nominated in the categories of Best Contribution to Gospel Music for the GMA’s and the music category of the Wise Woman Awards, she conducts several choirs in the South-East of England.


She led one of her choirs, the Maria Fidelis Gospel Choir, to victory in the Songs of Praise Senior School Choir last year, and directed this same choir during an audience with the Pope as well as before the Queen, Prince Charles with Camilla and the Mayor of London.


She also led another of her choirs, Southampton’s SINGIT!, to the finals of the BBC Choir of the Year Competition in 2010.


In addition to the choirs that Karen facilitates, she is the founder of the award-winning Kingdom Choir.


Karen’s experience is extensive. She has been involved with vocal groups and choirs for over 25 years, conducting gospel workshops all over the UK and Europe as well as Nigeria, Japan, Zimbabwe and the USA. She has been instrumental in drawing together and conducting some of the most prestigious large-scale choirs for a variety of gospel and community initiatives. These include The Queen's Jubilee, The Global Day of Prayer and Concert for Diana. Numbers in the choirs have ranged between 200 and 4000.


Karen has recently been featured in the first ever book written about British Gospel Music. The book, entitled 'British Black Gospel' is written by Steve Alexander Smith and cites Karen as a pioneer of the sound of gospel in this country.


Karen has been conductor at Lewes Sings Gospel since its inception in Autumn 2009.

LSG is open to all

In 2014 Lewes Sings Gospel were the winners of the BBC Songs of Praise Gospel Choir of the Year award. While our musical standard and public profile has increased, our vision remains the same: LSG is for all, and anyone can join regardless of ability or experience. You do not have to have any particular beliefs or the ability to read music.

Join LSG this term

Rehearsals run for 13 weeks in the Autumn & Summer terms. All rehearsals take place 7:30-9:30pm at TRINITY Church St John sub Castro in Lewes with doors opening for refreshments from 7pm. Our end of term concerts take place in early January & late July.


The cost to participate in the Lewes Sings Gospel Term is £100 plus £10 non-refundable registration fee.


Registration is through our Ticket Tailor page only and requires a non-refundable deposit of £10. Registration and payment of the deposit secures a provisional place on the term and also pays for access to the first rehearsal.


Buy tickets for Lewes Sings Gospel


Your provisional place will be held until the start of our second rehearsal. The remaining £100 is payable by this time in order to secure your place in the choir for the term.



A £10 deposit is made alongside the initial booking on the Ticket Tailor page. The remaining £100 can be paid as follows:

1) By Cash or Cheque, at, during or after the first rehearsal, or before the rehearsal on week 2.

2) By sending a cheque to Lewes Sings Gospel, The TRINITY Centre, St John sub Castro, Abinger Place, Lewes. BN7 2QA

3) By bank transfer (BACS). Details available at first rehearsal.

Please make cheques payable to 'TRINITY Church'

LSG End of term concert

Each term culminates in fantastic evening full of music and gospel energy with a packed house. Concerts are usually in early January and mid July.


Tickets go on sale  about 6 weeks prior to the concert on our website and on our ticket site.

Buy tickets for Lewes Sings Gospel

Legacy Gift in your will

Finally, you can leave a legacy to the church in your Will which will help the ongoing mission of the church.

Sunday collection for church ministries.

If you want your Sunday collection money to go to the church rather than the monthly mission partner put it in one of the envelopes with red printing.  If you are a taxpayer then put your details on the front of the envelope to add the Gift Aid which we claim back.

Sunday collection given to mission partners.

Each month we give to a different mission partner and if you wish the money to go direct to them you need to use the envelopes with the BLACK writing on. Put your details on the front of the envelope to make it eligible for Gift Aid.  Details of which mission partner it is for the month appears on the back of the notice sheet.

Regular Giving via envelopes

If you prefer to give what you can regularly on a Sunday you can have some envelopes from the Deputy Treasurer, with your own giving number written on them, this unique number identifies you, and again tax can be claimed back if you complete a Gift Aid form.  All you do then is to place the envelope in the collection bag on a Sunday.  The Deputy Treasurer can give you your number (or you can select your own if it is not already taken).  The Office will supply envelopes.

TRINITY Church, South Malling:
A Historic Guide

The current church building was built in 1628, replacing an earlier medieval church.  We have memorial stones in the churchyard dating back to 1609.

If you would like to know more about the interesting history of our church, you can download a copy of a history of the church HERE which was written in 2002.  Printed copies are also available which include some photos and illustrations.

Church and Churchyard Memorials/Gravestones

CLICK HERE if you would like to download a transcript of the wording from each stone.

Family History & Records

The registers containing historic details of baptisms, weddings and burials at the church are held by:
East Sussex Record Office
The Maltings
Castle Precincts
Lewes BN7 1YT
Tel: 01273 482349

A list of the records held there and other information can be found HERE.

TRINITY Church, St. John sub Castro:
A Historic Guide

There is evidence to suggest that the site upon which the present church of St John sub Castro is built, together with its churchyard, served as a Roman camp. The site was probably chosen because of the steep natural banks to the West, North and East, and its ability to command a nearby crossing point on the River Ouse.


There is also evidence to suggest that a church may have existed on the site in the 8th or early 9th centuries – perhaps to establish a Christian presence amidst the pagan burial mounds which were both on the site and in close proximity to it. The dedication to St John supports this theory – the feast day of St John coincides with the pagan rituals associated with mid-summer.
There is strong evidence to support the existence the church by the 11th century.


In the early centuries following the Norman Conquest, evidence points to St John’s having acquired minster status.


In the 17th century, the St John’s rector is recorded as being the best endowed in the town, but notwithstanding this, the church had fallen into disrepair – probably due to a decrease in the local population.


In the early part of the 19th century however, residential development in the immediate area gave rise to the need for a much larger church. The mediaeval church was therefore demolished in 1839, and the present church built adjacent to it on the site of one of the remaining pagan burial mounds.


The new church comprised a large aisled nave, with a small Sanctuary at the liturgical East end, and an iconic castellated tower at the West end. There were galleries to the North, West and South sides. It was consecrated on 3rd June 1840.


The chancel slab of the original church can still be seen in the churchyard, and other features of it are built into the external fabric of the present church – most notably a Triple Arch doorway (generally recognised as being of Anglo-Saxon origin); the inscription commemorating a Danish anchorite of royal descent whose cell was in the medieval church (c.1200); and the James Lambert memorial. All of these are believed to be in need of conservation.


Relics of the original church are also to be found inside the present church – for example the mediaeval font, the three bells (two of which are listed and dated 1724), and a number of memorials.


The church was altered in 1883 by the removal of the liturgical West gallery, and an extension at the East end to form a Chancel, Sanctuary, and vestries.


The Powell stained glass in the apse was designed by Henry Holiday, and there are Kempe and Savell windows in the North and South aisles.
The two-manual organ was built by Bishop in 1882, rebuilt by Morgan & Smith of Brighton in 1927, and restored in 2011.


For further details see

Youth Worship is a weekly music group for 14-18 year olds.

We aim to provide opportunity to grow as singers, instrumentalists & worshipers. Some of the young people rehearsing each week take part in leading our termly "youth-led" evening services.

Our choir sings almost every Sunday at our 10am services and once a month at our 4:30pm service

We are a growing SATB choir and are open to all ages and abilities. As well as regular services we also sing at special TRINITY events and at other churches.


Throughout the year we also put together an orchestra for special occasions. If you play an orchestral instrument to a reasonably proficient standard (Grade 5-6 or above) please do contact us if you would like to be involved.


For more information about the choir or orchestra please contact Stella Hull

Our sung worship is supported by a fantastic team of sound and screen operators


As much part of the worship team as the musicians and singers, the Sound and AV operators enable our worship each Sunday across all our congregations but most notably at our 9:30am, 10am, 11:15am & 6:30pm services.

If you have some experience or skill in technical areas we'd love to have you in the team. Get in touch and we'll arrange to meet up and discuss the next steps.

Our worship team is made up of contemporary musicians who play guitars, keys, bass, drums, sing and melody instruments.

This group serves our 9:30am(monthly), 10am, 11:15am and 6:30pm congregations  each week.


We love to encourage anyone who wants to develop their gifts in music; please to get in touch and let us know which instruments you play.


We will arrange to meet with you to discuss the next steps.  The contemporary musicians meet monthly for a team night, rehearse before each relevant service and serve on a rota basis.

Walking, Cycling & Sailing!

TFM holds walking weekends twice a year and organises an annual cycling trip to France each summer. We've also been known to form a crew and sail over the channel!

Each walk is carefully chosen to include beautiful scenery, an interesting route and plenty of good food. Recommended for anyone who needs a good dose of fresh air and light exercise.

Le Tour is standout fixture in the annual TFM calendar - with great company, some friendly competition and European cuisine, the men’s cycling weekend is always a winner.

TFM Socials occur throughout the year

A great chance to get to know other men in the Church or invite new friends, events are organised throughout the year. Sometimes around food, playing sport or watching national sporting events even organising BBQs for the whole church!

Men's Weekend Away
Bowles Development Centre

Every year we use a weekend away to encourage each other in life, faith and friendship. This year we're returning to Bowles Development Centre to engage our bodies as well as our minds!

Men's Breakfasts
Church End, TRINITY Southover

A Full English breakfast and food for thought: groups meet regularly for a hearty breakfast and either discussion on a chosen topic or an in-depth bible study.

1st & 3rd Thursday each month, 2:30 - 4pm, Chapter House, TRINITY Southover

Links meets fortnightly for friendship and support, speakers and outings. Open to both Church and community members

Creative Conversations
4th Thursday each month, 2:30 - 4:30pm, Chapter House, TRINITY Southover

Creative Conversations is open to all women and includes cake and an opportunity to discuss a range of topics. Welcome to bring a friend.

Social Events for women

Throughout the year various events for women are organised. More details in the upcoming events calendar, in the Notice Sheet and on the TRINITY Facebook page.

Youth Weekend Away for all those in secondary school

Every February half term we all go away to Dalesdown Activity Centre for a creative weekend full of fun, fellowship, workshops, speakers, bonfire and marshmallows, sports, talent shows, drama and more.

Deeper Bible Study for teens

We run 3 small groups. Lads 14+, Senior girls 16+, Girls 14-16. If you would like to join us please speak to Dianne about meeting times.

Pathfinders is our group for school years 7-10 at our 10am & 11:15am services

Pathfinders is a fun and relaxed program for Junior youth (years 7-10). We explore the bible and its relevance to our lives in an interactive way.


Meet us at TRINITY Southover at 10am  or TRINITY St John sub Castro at 11:15am each Sunday (during term-time) where we are in the service for 10 minutes before heading off for activities.


On the first Sunday of the month we stay in church for the whole service to meet together as part of the church family.

For Young Adults Aged 18-25
Sunday nights, 8 - 9:45pm
TRINITY Southover

A community of young adults focused on supporting one another in our faith. We meet at 8pm on Sunday evenings in the Chapter House to have dinner together before the programme begins.

For Young people aged 14-17
Sunday nights, 8 - 9:45pm
Church End, TRINITY Southover

Food, fun & faith for 14-17 yr olds. We normally join together for the 6:30pm service and then have dinner in Church End at 8pm followed by a fun programme.

Sunday nights, 6:30pm
TRINITY Southover

Our 6:30 evening service is a lively, contemporary-style service which we aim to be accessible to both teenagers and adults alike.


It's home to around seventy people each week and is the service that you will find our AfterHours (Age 14-18) & 18:25 groups before they head off to their programmes.

Fridays 7:30 - 9:30pm during term time. Church Hall, TRINITY Southover

The HUB is our largest weekly event and is the flagship meeting of our youth ministry.


Open to anyone from Year 7 to Year 12, whether you come to church or not. The HUB has boasted some of the most stylish, off-beat, fun, and often outrageous social events available in the town.


We usually meet on Fridays during term time between 7:30 and 9:30pm at Southover Hall at the bottom of St. James, Street, Lewes. These times and locations can vary for special events so be sure to check out what's going on in the upcoming events calendar!

TRINITY Voices is our friendly "cafe choir" for retired people. Every Tuesday 10:45am -12:15pm at TRINITY St John sub Castro

If you are retired, love music, singing and like the idea of meeting new people whilst having fun, come and join us! No singing experience necessary.


Refreshments from 10:45am. Singing from 11:15am - 12:15pm


£3 per session including refreshments


Contact Emilie Watson on 01273 470144 for more information.

Monday Club is a group for over 70s.
Every Monday from 10am to 2pm.

Monday Club is primarily for those who live on their own, who value the chance to meet up with others and share community together.


We have a regular programme of fun activities, and guests speakers, and a quality home-cooked lunch is served every week.  Our friendly team ensure a welcoming and safe environment for everyone.


Throughout the year we also put on regular trips to places of interest.


If you or a relative is interested in joining us at Monday Club, contact Janette Watkins.

We have a range of Sunday services with special care available for Seniors.

People of all ages are welcome at all our services. For those seeking to be Grandparents of the church we have our 9:30am, 10am and 11:15 congregations with members ranging from infant through to 80+.

If a quieter, more traditional style is preferred our 8am communion or 4:30pm service may be more suited.

Click here for details of all our Sunday services.

CAMEO - "Come And Meet Each Other"
Thursdays, 1:45 - 4pm

Cameo is a relaxed afternoon drop-in group for parents and young children.


Come for friendship, relaxation and termly bring and share lunches which begin a bit earlier at 12:30pm.


Contact Jan Pepler for details

Inspire - Bible Study for mums
Fridays, 9:45 - 11:15am

Inspire is a Bible study group for mums, during which your babies and toddlers are looked after to leave you free to discuss the Bible and real life with peace of mind.


The ‘inspire’ group meets fortnightly. For more information about the group get in touch with Jules.

TRINITY Home Groups

Home Groups form a central part of our church life. They provide a basis for Bible study and discussion, and enable us to care for one another within a group of friends.


Home groups take place fortnightly, and most are on Wednesday evenings. If you would like to become more involved in the life of TRINITY Church, joining a home group is a good place to start. For more information contact Ian Taplin.

Connect Teaching

At various points throughout the year we interrupt our normal midweek groups and hold one-off teaching events. The purpose of these events is to allow time to explore subjects which are hard to cover adequately in a standard Sunday sermon.


These teaching nights may be held at any of our locations, are advertised in plenty of time and are open to all


Get in touch with Steve Daughtery for more information.

Prayer & Praise

At Prayer and Praise meetings we come together to praise and worship, to seek God and to pray for the ministry of the church and beyond.


Join us fortnightly on Wednesday nights at TRINITY St John sub Castro with refreshments from 7:45pm and focussed worship and prayer 8-9pm


Get in touch with Martin Dyer for more information.

Church Hall, TRINITY Southover

Our Church Hall is located on St James Street, off Southover Highstreet and is used daily by TRINITY Church ministries, Southover Nursery, community groups and private hirers.

Many of our Youth and Children's groups and events are run here on Sundays and during the week as well as other special TRINITY events throughout the year.

Church End, TRINITY Southover

Church End is used on Sundays alongside our services as a base for some of our youth and children's programmes, during the week for meetings, Monday Club, Alpha and other groups.


It is also home to Southover Counselling and the registered offices of Southover Community Care.


Church End is accessed via Cockshut Road and has Disabled parking available for those attending events.

TRINITY St John sub Castro

A historic building, churchyard and highly visible landmark located in the town centre on the corner of Abinger Place.


Also known at The TRINITY Centre, this location is home to our 11:15am & 4:30pm congregations, a community Cafe and our "Love in Action" ministries. It also hosts a number of other midweek events such as Lewes Sings Gospel, TRINITY Voices, Boogie Bunch and is used by a variety of community groups.


Information on the history of all our buildings can be found on our Historic Guides page.

TRINITY Southover

A historic building and churchyard with links to the nearby Priory located on Southover Highstreet


This location is home to our 8am, 10am & 6:30pm congregations and also hosts a number of other events throughout the year such as Holiday Club, various concerts, Lewes Goes Strictly and TRINITY Connect events.


Information on the history of all our buildings can be found on our Historic Guides page.

The parochial church council (PCC) is the executive committee of TRINITY Parish and consists of clergy and churchwardens of the parish, together with representatives of the laity. Legally the council is responsible for the financial affairs of the church parish and the maintenance of its assets, such as churches and church halls, and for promoting the mission of the church.


Steve Daughtery (Chair), Jeremy Bamber, Jules Middleton


Ken Bridger, Ian Graham, John Jardine


Trevor Meadows, Andrew White, Ron Hammond

Elected Members

Tim Charman, Carole Darling, Richard Jayawant, Trevor Pearce, Jean Pengelly, Lucy-May Tarafder, Ann Voigt, Joy Shave, Michelle Hammond

Deanery Synod Representatives

Anne Almond, Sharon Philips, Ian Rothery, Ian Taplin, Milly Murphy


Derek Hull

Licensed Lay Worker

Janette Watkins


 Neil Chisnall, Martin Dyer, Dianne Hamilton

TRINITY South Malling

A beautiful building and churchyard tucked away at the end of Church Lane!


This location is home to our 9:30am congregation and also hosts a number of other events throughout the year such as Children & Family Craft mornings & community BBQs.


Information on the history of all our buildings can be found on our Historic Guides page.

The Alpha Course is an opportunity for anyone to explore the Christian faith in a relaxed, non-threatening manner over ten thought-provoking evenings and an away day.

All evening sessions take place at Church End, Southover, starting with supper at 7:30pm followed by a short talk, coffee, and a chance to ask questions and discuss.

Week 1: Who is Jesus?
Week 2: Why did Jesus die?
Week 3: How can I be sure of my faith?
Week 4: Why & how should I read the Bible?
Week 5: Why & how should I pray?
Week 6: How does God guide us?
Week 7: How can I resist evil?
Week 8: Why & how should I tell others?
Week 9: Does God heal today?
Week 10: What about the Church?
Away Day: Who is the Holy Spirit & what does He do?

We run two Alpha courses each year usually starting February & September.

To find out when the next Alpha course starts and to book yourself a place please get in touch with Steve Daughtery via the office.

Our Journey

It is natural for people to want to gather together with others who share the same tastes and outlook on life. It would be easy and very comfortable for TRINITY to focus its ministry on a particular cultural age group or personality type. But God does not often call us to opt for the comfortable life! Instead, as we humbly engage with our differences this is how we are stretched and grow. We believe that this is part and parcel of the gospel message to “love one another” and we want it to be one of the key marks of our church. We want to strive to make TRINITY a place “where everybody is somebody and Jesus is Lord”.


As we serve others we long to see people progress in their journey and become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ who see themselves at the heart of God’s people at TRINITY. It is possible for people to see themselves at one of four stages in their journey of faith:


Outside Church Community – someone who has no particular interest in Church.
Church Fringe – someone who is exploring their faith and who sees themselves as a guest rather than a host when attending something that we do.
Congregation – Someone who sees themselves as a host rather than a guest but has not yet found the place to exercise their ministry.
Committed to following Jesus Christ – Someone who is personally committed to becoming a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ and seeing this happen in others.


We want to do anything and everything possible to help people grow in their faith. To do this we must develop an exciting and engaging series of ministries that develop the core values across all groups of people.


We believe that each of the Building Blocks and each of the groups of people are important and we wish to progress on all of them together. This is possible because we see the function of leadership not primarily as “doing” but as helping to equip, harness and release the ministry of the whole congregation. Leadership involves helping as many members of the church as possible to see where they fit and how they may use their gifts. Having said this, progress will be determined by the people and resources that God gives us.


What are the implications for us?

As a response to this strategy we will develop an action plan for each of the Building Blocks and for each of the groups of people. Every year we will use this action plan not only to show us our “next step” but also to help us understand where we have come from and where we are going. Our strategy and our action plan will be communicated as widely as possible so that they may be shaped and changed by the congregation as we grow.


May God bless us as we journey together.

TRINITY’s Five Building Blocks

There are five purposes of our Church’s mission, based on the dynamic life of the early church in Acts Chapter 2. These purposes are:

1. Preaching & Teaching

We want to be hungry to know God deeply and personally through the Bible, and for our lives to be shaped and directed by His word.

2. Fellowship & Pastoral Care

We want to be an all-embracing and outward-looking community, in which we support, care for and love each other as God loves us.

3. Worship & Prayer

We want to glorify God and experience His love in our worship, be refreshed and sustained by a real encounter with Him and see Him move in response to our prayers.

4. Service & Social Action

We want to be so motivated by Jesus’ sacrificial love that we will serve others to make a radical difference to our Church, Lewes and beyond.

5. Mission & Evangelism

We want to share the joy of God’s good news in a natural and relevant way, so that many come to know Jesus as Saviour and Lord.

Our mission is to build wholehearted disciples of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, ”Love the Lord our God with all your heart , and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength; … and love your neighbour as yourself”. Mark 12v30


As a church family we are from many different backgrounds: from lighthouse keeper to architect; we’re single, married, widowed and divorced; young, old and somewhere in between. We long to grow in every aspect of our being (e.g. deeper in our understanding of God, more caring in our relationships, larger through helping people find God). This desire to move on and to grow in our love of God and for each other is at the heart of who we are. For TRINITY, maintaining the “status quo” is not an option, we hunger to respond to God’s love, to be transformed, to grow.


TRINITY Church exists to build wholehearted disciples of Jesus Christ. This is our mission and it shapes who we are and everything we do.

"to see lives transformed by the love of Christ."

Jesus said: ‘I have come that you may have life and have it to the full.’ John 10:10


Jesus Christ came to teach, to serve and to heal. Most importantly, he came to die for us, so that we might be offered a life lived in relationship with God. Jesus invites us to find in him the security, joy, friendship and adventure which we have all been made to enjoy. We believe in the power of this Good News to change lives and communities, and Jesus sends us to be agents of that change across our town and beyond.


This vision is the heartbeat of TRINITY.

6:30 Service - TRINITY Southover

The 6.30 service is our most lively service, with music led by our worship band. The congregation is made up of youth, young adults, and older folk, usually totalling around 90-100 people.


The service format is simple: after a short introduction, we sing worship songs for around 15-20 minutes with space for open prayer, after which there is a reading and sermon.


After the sermon we respond with some more sung worship, during which there is prayer ministry available. We take Communion together on the first Sunday of every month.

4:30 Service - TRINITY St John sub Castro

The 4:30 service meets fortnightly on the 1st, 3rd & 5th Sunday each month and has a more traditional style with music led from the organ or piano.

11:15 Service – TRINITY St John sub Castro

The 11:15 service meets every Sunday morning at St John sub Castro. Families with young children make up much of this congregation, usually of around 50 adults . After some tea and pastries, we start at 11:30 with worship altogether with the children.


After the children go to their groups, we sing for around 15-20 minutes, led by a contemporary band. There is a 20 minute sermon, followed by closing songs during which prayer ministry is available.


On the first Sunday of the month, we have an all-age service which is more informal in feel with shorter talks and livelier music and normally lasts 45-50 minutes.

10am Service – TRINITY Southover

The 10am service is a very busy service, attended by about 160-180 adults, sometimes more. Do arrive 15-20 minutes early for the best choice of seating! There is always a lively buzz at this service, with plenty of families also attending. After an opening all-age song followed by a hymn on the organ the children leave for their groups, and the service continues with a mix of readings, hymns, songs, prayer time and a sermon.


The 10am service mixes both traditional and contemporary styles of music evenly, led by an organ or a music group, plus our choir of 10-15 people. The service includes a 20-25 minutes sermon and normally lasts between 65-75 minutes. On the second Sunday we celebrate Communion.


After the service there are refreshments served, during which lots of people hang around to meet one another and chat! On the first Sunday of the month, we have an all-age service which is more informal in feel with shorter talks and livelier music and normally lasts 45-50 minutes.

9:30 Service – TRINITY South Malling

The 9:30am congregation meets every Sunday. Throughout the month you could expect all age services, more structured liturgical worship with music led from the organ, Communion services and band led “Morning Praise” services.


The services include activities for children and there are refreshments afterwards.

8am Communion – TRINITY Southover

The 8am service is a quiet and reflective service, hosting a handful of people (between 10-15) each week. There is no music, but the service follows the traditional ‘Book of Common Prayer’ service. You will be given a prayer book and a notice sheet as you come in, and invited to sit wherever you please.


The service includes a 20-minute sermon, after which communion will follow: anyone who considers themselves a Christian is welcome to take communion. The whole service usually lasts about 45-50 minutes, after which tea and coffee is served.

School Years Reception - Yr6
Tuesday 28th - Friday 31st Aug 2018
TRINITY Southover

Every summer we host a four-day Holiday Club for children in school years 1-6, featuring a wide range of exciting and imaginative activities whilst exploring Christian teaching and themes.

This Summer we're off on a Wild West adventure in Calamity Creek. You can register from Saturday 9th June HERE.

For Parents, babies and toddlers
Thursday 12 noon to 1:45pm
Church Hall, TRINITY Southover

This is a great chance for parents and carers with babies and toddlers to enjoy a adult sandwich lunch and a chat.  There are always plenty of toys and helping hands as well and friendly volunteers!

For Parents, babies and toddlers
Thursday 10am to 10:45am
TRINITY St John sub Castro


Our weekly singing group for parents and preschool children.

Sunday Groups

Children aged 4-11
Sundays 9:30am, 10am & 11:15am services
TRINITY South Malling / Southover / St. John sub Castro


After singing one or two songs together with the adults, children continue to learn about and worship God in their groups with their leaders.


Our sessions aim to help children build a relationship with the living and true God, through fun and interactive teaching, including games, bible stories, craft and more.


School Years 4-6
Friday 5:15 to 6:45pm
Church Hall, TRINITY Southover


Generally each week we will start off playing games and buying tuck (bring some pennies), followed by finding out something amazing about God. Then it’s time for our activity that week! We wind down by finding out who our blobs are that week (blobs are a bit like stars of the week)!


Cost is £1 entry and there is a tuck shop, so bring some extra pennies!