Christmas Newsletter 2022

It seems we have been in our ‘new’ Café for ever but it’s only two years since we left our home of some forty years in Crown Court. Have you visited us – if not please drop in and enjoy a coffee and a piece of cake!

The smooth running of the cafe very much depends on our hard-working staff and loyal volunteers. We have been blessed with many new and lovely volunteers of all ages and many ’Duke of Edinburgh’ students during the summer and helping with the busy Saturday trade.

So many people help the Cellar to flourish, we are most grateful to our volunteers who work both in the cafe and support us in other ways such as baking lovely homemade cakes and befriending our regular customers. A special mention must go to Colin who has worked five days a week over many years and is loved by us all.

Our most important role is still befriending, listening, and praying with those who are struggling with life, loneliness, mental illness, and budgeting. We strive to build trusting relationships with our customers and help and encourage them day by day. We have our food bank table where people can come and take things without judgement or answering questions and welcome donations for that. We also value donations of homemade cakes.

A huge ‘Thank You’ to everyone who supports us and has encouraged us through these difficult times – if you would like to donate some Christmas Gifts to go into our parcels would you be kind enough to let us have them by 16th December.

Thank you so much!
Debbie Portsmouth and The Cellar Team

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Debbie reflects on our social outreach and Christmas dates

In August we enjoyed a wonderful day out by coach to Worthing, the sun shone all day, and we enjoyed the beach, some delicious food and great company with our friends, we were able to take a coach of 50 people from 4 years to 94 years.

On Saturday 3rd December we are arranging a day out to Chichester for some festive fun and a spot of Christmas shopping at the Christmas market.

On Monday 19th December we will once again be hosting a full Christmas meal for around 30 customers many of whom live alone, this was a huge success last year.

On Tuesday 20th December we will be holding a Christmas party with entertainment and buffet lunch, and we will be distributing Christmas hampers, everyone is very welcome to pop in, do come and meet the lovely people who are supported by the cellar throughout the year.

Christmas blessing from Ali…

‘The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.’
John 1v14
The miracle of ‘the word becoming flesh and dwelling among us,’ is that God, in Jesus, came down right into the mess of our lives, into all the brokenness, among the rubbish and the garbage, the bits we hide from others and sometimes even from ourselves. He embraced it, got stuck in and then changed it with his glory.
I pray you may invite him into those places in your life, in our world, in the lives of those you hold in your heart this Christmas, that they may be touched by His glory, grace and truth.

Other things…

We have a new treasurer in Brian Ko and our sincere thanks to David Oakden for looking after us for the past few years – Brian’s details can be found on the website.

Chris and Maggie have been called to pastures new on the Isle of Wight.

They will be following a pathway of Christian Healing Ministry with others focussed on Carisbrooke Priory where they have historic links. Chris also feels a strong call to instigate a global peace mission on which he is already engaged. He will have the time and space to attend more fully to this calling. He will continue as a trustee and be popping back from time to time but always prayerfully supporting the work of Cellar and Skillway as a ‘flying buttress’!

The move will happen around Easter time next year.

New Home and New Chapter for the Cellar café

We are overjoyed to have a beautiful new home at the heart of Godalming. After much prayer and exploration of alternative locations the Lord has provided us with a glorious warm, spacious and colourful place within which to continue to serve Him.

You will note our modified name and mission statement which reflects the pilgrimage that everyone is journeying along and on which we continue to serve both the local community and the local churches with joy and commitment. Waverley Borough Council have generously provided us with the location and the lease and helped us at every stage of the process. We are enormously grateful and it is a privilege to serve together and to support one another.

We opened our doors on 26th October and Councillor Penny Rivers officiated at the opening ceremony the following day cutting the ribbon with obstetric scissors symbolizing new birth and new hope!

Our aim is to continue to serve those within our local community who are struggling with special needs or circumstantial difficulties including mental problems and poverty. We are aware that this could be a ‘winter of discontent’ and want to be able to provide warmth and friendship and assistance with food parcels or free food as necessary. We would also like to welcome anyone along their ‘pilgrimage’ in whatever state of repair or disrepair to provide rest and refreshment along the way. In these difficult times we are acutely aware of the importance of friendship and welcome. Our Lord Jesus provided us with such an example of this generosity of Spirit and we strive to follow Him in this pathway.

Our ‘regulars’ have found their way to the new café and we have been able to keep in close touch through the summer through meeting at the band stand for picnics and then in a local café when the weather changed. Debbie and Emma have been wonderful in keeping in touch and being Mother Geese to their special flock!

The journey to our home has been drenched in prayer and waiting on the Lord and He has given us a vision for the way ahead with the importance of providing a ‘table’ to continue to wait on and serve those on the journey. He has also guided us into an expanded ministry including street ministry with pray and praise; setting up an expanded Cellar Prayer and Praise Band ; offering our services to the local churches who may be struggling for whatever reason to give support and practical help in the form of leading worship and providing the sermon; providing an early response listening service for troubled young people in collaboration with Trinity Trust Team, Dan Eley Foundation and the newly formed 14-18 group in Busbridge; lastly exploring outreach to the non-churched through camino groups within which, as per the El Camino pilgrim route in Northern Spain, folk are able to share stories and enjoy fellowship. The first such group prior to the second lockdown was most agreeable and spirit-filled.

We are conscious that when the world has had to run for cover the Lord’s Kingdom is unstoppable and the sound of praise from grateful hearts cannot be muzzled. We believe that the Lord has given us a new wineskin within which He is pouring new wine and we rejoice in all that is to come.

Do come and see us and continue to support this wonderful service for the local community and beyond. Our love and blessings to you all,

Dr Chris J