Parish of Leatherhead - Millennium Services

Watchnight Service on Millennium Eve (Jan 2000 magazine)

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.

Civic and Community Service 2 Jan 2000 (Jan 2000 magazine)

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.

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]

Planting of the Millennium Yew by Chairman of Mole Valley District Council,
Councillor Mrs. Blanche Douglass.

see also

New Millennium Blues

Millennium Cope

Millennium Resolution

But is it? - from 100 years ago