Parish of Leatherhead - Mole Valley District Council Civic Service, 13 March 2005



Sunday 13 March 2005 at 3.00 pm

St Mary and St Nicholas Parish Church

Canon David Eaton
The Revd Ian Howarth
The Revd Dean Tapley

Chairman of the Council
Councillor Bridget Lewis

Mole Valley District Council
We are just completing 30 years since the Council was formed in 1974. I think this is an appropriate point in time to reflect on this and to give thanks to God for the good fortune that we have to live and work here. Mole Valley is mostly a prosperous District with the lowest unemployment in the South East Region. Surrey is still, by a whisker, -the safest county in England and Wales (with Wiltshire hot on our heels) and Mole Valley is the safest District or Borough within Surrey. The District of Mole Valley lies at the heart of Surrey, mid-way between London and the Sussex coast, and about half way between Hampshire and Kent. The District is served with excellent road links, and is equidistant from Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

We have two towns, Leatherhead with its population of almost 10,000, and Dorking, which is slightly larger, and which the surrounding villages in the large rural area mainly use for convenience shopping and evening entertainment.

Our rural areas account for 90% of the District, most of which is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and an Area of Great Landscape Value. It has the protection of the Metropolitan Green Belt, but this is under intense development pressure.

Our heritage is extensive, with 28 Conservation Areas in the towns and just over 1,000 Listed Buildings. We are proud of our 25 Scheduled Ancient Monuments. Our history has many high points back to the Dark Ages when Leatherhead was on the edge of the Kingdom of Marcia.


This is the Year of the Volunteer, and I have asked you here this afternoon to acknowledge and to celebrate this. You are representative of the volunteers here in Mole Valley who give freely of your time for the benefit of others. You are the mortar which binds the bricks of our community. You give us the cohesion which is so necessary to resist the pressures of greed, and- selfishness, which so often destroy neighbourliness.

I have lived here for 28 years, and amongst the many voluntary groups here, I am delighted to be joined this afternoon by many of the Young Wives group which I chaired long ago. Very few members of that group have moved away from Leatherhead, testifying what a congenial community we have here. Thank you for coming today.

And thank you to all the Distinguished Guests for coming to my Civic Service this afternoon, to celebrate these 30 years of our District Council. I thank you for your contributions to the community of Mole Valley.

Bridget Lewis
Chairman: Mole Valley District Council


Order of Service

Organ fanfare

All stand for the Civic Procession preceded by the Choir and Ministers.

The Welcome

Minister: Chairman, we welcome you and your honoured guests to the Parish Church of St Mary and St Nicholas. We have come together to celebrate the life of Mole Valley: its council on the 30th Anniversary of its inauguration and all who serve the community.

Chairman: Thank you for your welcome. May God's blessing rest on this District and guide the lives of its people and representatives.

All: We give thanks for the communities from which we come and to which we belong. We dedicate our lives afresh to serve all in need and the greater good of people everywhere.

Hymn: Praise my Soul the King of Heaven


Merciful Lord, we are privileged to live in a beautiful part of the world in prosperity and safety; and yet we sometimes feel ourselves hard done by. For our ingratitude:

All: Father, forgive us

Merciful Lord, You have called us to love our neighbour and to serve our communities; and yet sometimes we turn away from genuine need and are ignorant of real hardship. For our complacency:

All: Father, forgive us

Merciful Lord, we think we understand other people's point of view; and yet we are too quick to dismiss people who are different to ourselves. For our arrogance:

All: Father, forgive us


Minister: Father of all mercies cleanse us from our sins and restore in us the image and likeness of your son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


1 Corinthians 12: 14-26

Read by Councillor Bridget Lewis, Chairman of the Council


String Quartet Op 50 No 2 in C Major by Joseph Haydn
2nd movement - Adagio

Played by The Yehudi Menuhin School

Verity Thirkettle - Violin
Melanie Di Cristino - Violin
Jayne Christopher - Viola
Jee Yon Kim - Cello

Hymn: O Lord, all the World belongs to You (Patrick Appleford)

Prayers for the Community

Led by The Revd Dean Tapley
Minister, Christ Church, Leatherhead


The Call by Ralph Vaughan Williams
to the setting by George Herbert

Sung by The Revd Ian Howarth, Bass
Minister, Leatherhead Methodist Church

Hymn: Make me a Channel of Your Peace


A Community in Partnership
Canon David Eaton

Hymn: Lord, the Light of your Love is Shining (Graham Kendrick)

National Anthem

The Blessing

Please remain standing during the departure of the Clergy, Civic Procession and Choir.

All are welcome at the Reception in the Parish Church Hall opposite immediately following this service.

Donations to the Chairman's Charity, The Brigitte Trust, may be made as you leave church.

Organist and Director of Music
David Oliver

Leatherhead Parish Church Choir and Ringers


The Brigitte Trust

The Brigitte Trust is a Dorking-based charity providing a free service , of emotional support and practical help at home to those facing life threatening illness. When an illness like cancer is diagnosed, life can change overnight.

Everyday practicalities can become overwhelming when the daily routine so often centres on hospital visits and treatment regimes. The emotional effects can be intense and sometimes hard to share, even with other family members.

A Brigitte Trust volunteer can help share that load. Fully trained men and women offer weekly visits, enabling carers to take some time for themselves, or clients who live alone to enjoy regular company and a listening ear. Often, just sitting quietly and listening is the most important help a volunteer can give. Although not contributing to the medical care of the client, Brigitte Trust volunteers have strong links with Primary Care teams and most referrals come from District Nurses who are working in the community daily and can see the need for extra help at home.

Over 130 families were helped last year, and the numbers are rising. Volunteers work within a wide area around Dorking, bounded by Epsom and Ewell, Horley, Cobham and the edge of Guildford, down to Oakwood Hill in the south, and new volunteers from all these areas are warmly welcomed. Each volunteer works with the support of the Area Organiser for that town or village.

Volunteers offer 2-3 hours a week, which could be taken up sitting quietly with a client, taking them to appointments or out of pleasure, doing some light housework, shopping or walking the dog.


from the Leatherhead Advertiser, 31 March 2005

Celebrating a council's 30th birthday

Dignitaries: Mole Valley District Council chairman Bridget Lewis (centre) with High Sheriff Dr Grace Dowling on her right

The mayors and chairmen of Surrey joined the High Sheriff of the county, Dr Grace Dowling, to celebrate 30 years of Mole Valley District Council at a special service. The event, on Sunday March 13, was designed and conducted by the Reverend Canon David Eaton, of St Mary's and St Nicholas Parish Church, Leatherhead.

It included a string quartet from the Yehudi Menuhin School, in Stoke d'Abernon, and a bass solo by Reverend Ian Howarth, of the Methodist Church, Leatherhead.

Prayers were led by [The Revd] Dean Cantley [Tapley], of the United Reformed Church [Leatherhead].

A reception was held afterwards in the parish hall, where tea had been prepared by former members of the Young Wives of Leatherhead, once chaired by district council chairman Bridget Lewis.

A collection was donated to the Brigitte Trust, a Dorking based charity supported by Mrs Lewis in her year as chairman of the district council. The trust provides care and support to family members suffering trauma and loss.

last updated 4 Apr 2005