Church News

Join us for a unique online retreat experience this Holy Week – completely free of charge.

The Holy Week story dominates the gospels, and the cross is the central Christian symbol. Yet all too easily this mystery at the heart of Christian faith slips by in the rush of approaching Easter and its transforming potential cannot penetrate deeply into our lives.

Led by David and Helen Newman, this online retreat offers the opportunity to enter deeply into the last week of Jesus’ life, to find ourselves there with all our sadness, weakness and vulnerability, and to discover the life and hope that emerges out of the darkness.

In the midst of the ongoing coronavirus crisis we’re aware that many people will be unable to engage with their churches and Christian communities over Holy Week. To help sustain your life of prayer and discipleship, Launde Abbey is offering this entire online retreat free of charge.


BOOK LAUNCH, I Dreamt the Sweetest Dreams

The book I Dreamt the Sweetest Dreams, a memoir by Dilsa Doddrell, was launched in Petts Wood Methodist Church on 9th November. It was a joyful, memorable event attended by around 100 people who gathered in the Queensway Hall to savour a delicious afternoon tea followed by the book signing. The proceeds of the book sales were donated to Happy Child-– an institution that cares for vulnerable children in Brazil, of which she is Patron. Dilsa and John are delighted to announce that so far the book launch has raised £1,300. They would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who acquired a copy of the book and are deeply indebted to those who worked very hard to organise the afternoon tea, beautifully decorated with flowers, making the occasion a success much appreciated by the guests.

During the event, John Doddrell spoke about the book and read some extracts from it illustrating Dilsa’s origin in a small village in Northeast Brazil. He also highlighted aspects of her remarkable journey by which, in pursuit of her dreams, she travelled from her humble beginnings to the bright lights of the big Brazilian cities, and on to London where she completed her doctorate. She later married an Englishman who was appointed British Consul General in Brazil and, after 20 years living in the UK, returned to her home country but this time sharing responsibilities with her husband in representing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Following John’s speech, a representative of Happy Child, Caroline Taylor, spoke about the Institution and thanked Dilsa for donating the profits of the book launch to the work developed in her hometown Recife. Dilsa had the final word and thanked everyone for their presence and the invaluable help given by those who organised the event. She concluded by saying “I hope that you enjoy reading the book and don’t fall asleep half way through…but, if you do, I hope that you dream the sweetest dreams.”

If you were unable to attend the book launch but would like to obtain a copy, or would like to obtain another copy as a present for a friend or relative, please contact Dilsa by email or by phone 01689 605 959/ 0755 444 2010