The Hortons

These mischievous, lovable monster puppets have become members of our Sunday School and enjoy story telling, dressing up and working together. They don’t always see things in the same way we humans do, and often get things slightly muddled, but there’s usually a wise member from the church who can point them in the right direction and help them to understand.

Introducing the Hortons (from left to right):

Hannah, is always looking out for others and making sure they don’t get into too much trouble (a tough job for a little monster!). She loves having fun and doing everything creative (the mayhem that follows is all ‘creative mess’). There will most likely be a trail of glitter, flour, or icing sugar…

Hugo is the eldest of the group, not always the wisest (as the other Hortons will tell you) but he does his best and is always eager to learn new things…

Horris, being the youngest Horton, he’s the baby of the group. He loves to eat (and will try eating anything and everything- chocolate yule log, tinsel from the Christmas Tree, the church railings…)

Harry, although the smallest of the group he can be one of the loudest, alongside Hambledon, and the pair can often be found scheming plans of mischief and fun…

Hermione, is sometimes a little shy (as can all the Hortons from time to time) she is very much the girly girl of the group – she loves to dress up and always wants to look her best…

Hambledon is a big friendly monster, he can be a little clumsy and forgetful but his heart’s always in the right place and he loves an adventure…

…and then there is Blue Bird – the Hortons trusted friend. He’s a little camera shy but he keeps a watchful eye on them all and will ‘squawk’ if things are getting too out of hand. He loves to sleep up high on the old oak beams of the Chapel – but also finds it a good viewing point for everything going on below.

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A New Thing

In October 1921, eleven men from Horton Heath formed a Charitable Trust to purchase the land and buildings that comprised the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel. They were all from the local rural and farming community, and between them raised £32-10s-0d to purchase the whole property that had previously been rented from the Shaftesbury Estates.

Over the years the Methodist society at the Chapel has waxed and waned in strength. Recently, due to people moving away, frailty and deaths, the society has declined in number.  A heavy burden on finances and changes to Methodist doctrine at this year’s Conference has brought the society to a crisis point.

At a recent Church Council meeting the worshipping community decided to cease to meet as a Methodist society.

However, the Trust established exactly 100 years ago still owns the property. This unusual situation means that Christian worship will continue. We will effectively be returning to the Wesleyan roots of our forebears.

As a result, from the 1st December 2021 the worshipping community will be operating independently and need to invite ministers and preachers to lead services. So far, we have received several offers of preaching support for which we are very grateful.

So, rather than an ending we have come full circle! This is a new and exciting beginning for Horton Heath Chapel and we step out in faith trusting that God will bless us if we remain faithful, standing firm on His Word and following the example of Jesus.

Isaiah 43:18-19 18“Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. 19I AM about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

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