The Parish of Leatherhead - The new Millennium

Millennium Cope

Watchnight Service on Millennium Eve

Civic and Community Service

Millennium Yew

Millennium Resolution

But is it? - excerpt from Letherhead Parish Magazine 1899-1900

The Millennium Cope

(based on Parish Magazine, Jan 2000 issue and other sources)

The two 'M's signify the new Millennium.
The lilies: St.Mary.
The two mitres: St.Nicholas.

The colours represent the seasons of the church:
gold - Easter & Christmas
purple - Lent & Advent
red - saints' days and Pentecost
green - Trinity

The new cope was necessary as the old red one was too fragile to be cleaned. The fabric is 'St Margaret' as on altar frontals, as is the gold fabric used.

The Cope cost 1100: 640 was raised by the Linen Guild organised from various generous sources and the balance was provided from Millennium Project Funding by Mole Valley District Council.  

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David Eaton, Vicar of Leatherhead, at the Millennium Yew Planting, in the new Millennium Cope

The Hood shows a Cross & Crown for All Saints. The Cope was made by Wendy Oakeshott, who has done a lot of similar work including for Chichester Cathedral.

Watchnight Service on Millennium Eve (Jan 2000 issue)

Christians in Leatherhead celebrated the turning of the Millennium with two special and well attended services at Leatherhead Parish Church.

Millennium Eve evening began with a well attended and enjoyable Churches Together Millennium Faith Supper in the Parish Hall, with entertainment provided by the Pilgrim Singers.

The special Watchnight service which followed led up to midnight, with prayers, hymns, the lighting of millennium candles, and renewed Christian commitment.

"It was quite dramatic" said one of the congregation "It was all quiet in the church when the candles had been lit, and we waited for midnight.   Then there were sudden explosions of noise outside as all the fireworks started and the bells began to ring. "

On the stroke of midnight the bellringers rang in the new millennium, led by their Tower Captain Peter Ford. Down below, churchwarden Mike Lewis led the congregation in a millennium toast.

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Civic and Community Service (Jan 2000 issue)

On Sunday 2 January a Civic and Community Service drew a large representation from the churches and the community, led by the Chairman of Mole Valley District Council, Councillor Mrs. Blanche Douglass. 

The service began with a short history of Leatherhead over the last 2000 years compiled by Linda Heath and read by Margaret Eckersley.  The church choir, under the direction of Carol Coslett and organist Christopher Slater, sang O Thou the central orb by Charles Wood.

The Vicar of Leatherhead, the Revd David Eaton, who wore the new Millennium Cope for the first time,  said: "On today the Feast of the Epiphany we remember the journey of the Three Kings. Like them we seek to discover the Christ Child in our community.  We do so when genuine partnership is established in community affairs.  The days are gone when the few decide for the many.  Communities are built by the people."

He went on to say "we must also remain hopeful and confident about the future.  Many people have been working to find a way forward over the Thorndike Theatre.  It's a tough nut to crack.  It has a noble past. It is a valuable resource built by the people and for the people.  Let 's go on believing a way can be found, if we work together, to return that resource to the people in a new form and for our time."

After the service a Millennium Yew sapling was planted by the Chairman of the Council in the Park Gardens below the church.  Over 6000 millennium yews like this one were planted on the same day throughout the country under a scheme sponsored by the Conservation Foundation.

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Planting of the Millennium Yew by Chairman of Mole Valley District Council, Councillor Mrs. Blanche Douglass.
The shovel used is the one used for turning the first sod of All Saints' Church in Kingston Road in 1886.

The sapling comes from stock said to be 2000 years old.

[based on Parish press release: photos Haslam]

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Millennium Resolution

(Jan 2000 issue)

Let there be
respect for the earth
peace for its people
love in our lives
delight in the good
forgiveness for past wrongs
and from now on a new start

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But is it? - excerpt from Letherhead Parish Magazine 1899-1900

(Jan 2000 issue)

The question whether we entered on a New Century on January 1st 1900, has been discussed, and in France it has been decided that the Twentieth Century commenced on that date, but we do not always follow French examples nor see with the same eyes as our French neighbours see with, and we venture to differ with them on this point - and also on several other points. [website editor - some things never change?]

This year, 1900, seems clearly to be the last year of the Nineteenth Century, not the first of the Twentieth Century, e.g. at the close of the first year we entered on year two, at the close of the second year on year three, and at the close of the eighteen hundred and ninety-ninth year on year 1900. We have therefore passed only 1899 complete years since the commencement of the Christian era, and not until the end of 1900 shall we enter on the New Twentieth Century.

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