Latest news from St Mary's 

The latest news from St Mary's is below, use this link if you would like a RSS feed of our news.

Are you looking for ideas of Christmas reading and materials to give as gifts? 

We have complied a list of useful resources which can be found in our Christmas section of the website. 


SMoB Christmas services 2017 

This is one of our best opportunities of the year to engage with people who don’t yet know Jesus. Please do plan to come to the services and activities we offer at SMOB and prayerfully think about who you can invite in. Vicar Mark

Look out for our posters and invitations and take an invite to ask along friends, neighbours and family.  We are not organising a parish leaflet drop, but if you have a heart to deliver invites to your neighbours, please do take a few and let us know where you deliver - we have been specifically requested not to deliver to any of the flats,  please.

Sunday 17 Dec - one combined morning service at 10.30am.
6.30pm - Carol Service - begin your Christmas celebrations, singing your favourite carols in one of our most popular services of the year, followed by mulled wine and mince pies.

Christmas Eve - Sunday 24th Dec 3:30pm - Crib Service - relive the first Christmas in a service which is fun for all the family. If you have a Nativity costume, you are welcome to wear it to the service.
11:00pm - Christmas Eve Communion - start your Christmas Day the traditional way, in the darkness, quiet and mystery of our midnight service.

Christmas Day - Monday 25th Dec 8:00am - Communion Service
10:00am Informal Christmas Celebration
11:00am - Traditional Communion

Sunday 31 Dec - New Year's Eve - one combined morning service at 10.30am - join us as we pray ahead of the new year.


Mince pies wanted for Carol service on Sunday 17 December

Could you add a box of 6 mince pies into your weekly shopping?  This year we only need mince pies for the carol service, thank you.  Please sign up on the list in church,  if you can help supply these.  There is a drop off point in the worship area.

Prayer for the Nation 

We shall be meeting  to pray in the creche THIS Thursday 14 December. Do join us!

How to support our local community groups this Christmas

Look out for the 'giving table' at the back of the church.
Send greetings to all your church family friends without having to write piles of Christmas cards or spend on postage - a new twist to the SMoB Christmas card!

This Advent we are collecting requested items for our community partners, Besom and the York Road Project.  Rather than a donation of money to a nominated charity, please donate any of the following in the supplied containers, and don't forget to sign the Christmas card!  Thank you to Mike, Marta and family for making the card.

York Road Project
small packs which can be given straight to clients and made up by pastorates:
These could include items such as:
boxer shorts or ladies pants (25% of clients are female)
Christmas card saying a few words of encouragement and care
or loose items:
scarves, sleeping bags, thermos mugs and anything else which would be of benefit during the winter months.  Wash items such as shampoo or shower gel are not necessary as these items are already covered and tend to get left as they add weight to a ruck sack.

Thank you very much for your generous support - please note that the Christmas Foodbank and Besom collections have now closed and been dropped off.

Staff retirement news 

Anne Bulmer is to retire at Christmas from her job in the Church office.  We will miss Anne’s calm efficiency and patience which we have benefited from for many years but we wish her well in this exciting new chapter in her life.  We will formally say goodbye at the service at 10:30 THIS Sunday, 17th December. There is a card for all to sign by the pigeon holes.

SMoB carol singing 

Would you like to be part of a group bringing festive cheer in our parish on  Wednesday 20 December at 8pm?  Meet at SMoB at 7.45pm - all welcome. Vicar Mark will be doing a 'shout out' in church in the next couple of weeks to establish whether there is enough support for this.  Wrap up warm and bring your best singing voice!

Christmas Quiz 

Brian Harris has prepared another Cryptic Christmas Quiz to puzzle and to test knowledge. Sheets will be available from the back of the church or from Brian. Participation will at £1.00 per copy and there will be the valuable prize of a £10.00 Amazon voucher for the lucky winner. All completed entries to be given to Brian Harris or Nick Mendham, with the winner to be announced in January. 

Christmas shopping on line? - raise funds for SMoB as you shop! 

Take a look at  You could be collecting FREE donations for the church every time you shop online. 

A number of our members have signed up and St Mary of Bethany Church is already receiving the donations. 
This easy-to-use fundraising site allows charities to receive small donations from the reseller when you buy online, at no cost to you!! 

Please log onto the easyfundraising website as you start your online shopping. There are so many opportunities to gain extra donations as you shop at your favourite retailers for gifts, food, travel. You can also win a bonus donation for St Mary’s by introducing more people to the site. This is a painless way to raise money to support the mission and ministry of the church at no extra personal cost.


The Diocese of Guildford offices have moved

from the Education Centre at Guildford Cathedral and Quarry Street in central Guildford, to a new location on the Surrey Research Park with the following address:
20 Alan Turing Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7YF.
Telephone numbers, email addresses and website locations remain the same.

A new Archdeacon for Surrey 

THE NEW ARCHDEACON OF SURREY was installed and welcomed to the Diocese of Guildford at a service in Guildford Cathedral on 10 December. The Venerable Paul Davies (44) was previously an Archdeacon in the Church in Wales.
For the full story, go to 

Christmas service collections 

This year collections at our carol service and services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be divided between the York Road Project for the Homeless and Woking Besom.   

Woking Football Christmas event - Thursday 21 December 5 - 7.30pm 

Woking Football Club warmly invites you to join them for a celebration of Christmas in Jubilee Square, Woking
meet Anthony Limbrick and the players
test your football skills
collect autographs from the team squad
games and activities
school choirs
interviews with the team
carols and the Salvation Army Band
seasonal ale, mulled wine, soft drinks and refreshments will be available.  This event is organised by Woking FC Chaplaincy and sponsored by Woking churches, including SMoB.
Pick up a flyer in the church entrance lobby.

Origin Bookshop, Woking - 20% off on Thursday 21 December - one day only! 

The bookshop will open late to coincide with the Christmas Woking Football event in Jubilee Square and there will be a 20% discount on all items in the shop.

Filled shoe boxes - a thank you 

A huge thank you to all at St Mary of Bethany for providing 53 beautiful shoeboxes.  This was quite a good result in view of our "low key" campaign this year. 
The container at Aldershot left last Thursday and is on its way to Central Asia, where no open following of any faith is tolerated.  As the container was filled up before St Mary's boxes were checked and cartoned, these will have gone on to our Tonbridge warehouse.
Their boxes are going to a number of countries in Central Asia.
Unfortunately we have no photos of the truck leaving as it came a day earlier than expected.  However, two photos are posted on the noticeboard of the worship area which were taken when the last cartons were put into the container.
Stephen and Eleanor Shurville