Re-consecration of Abinger Church 1951

Appeal for Funds to Complete the Furnishings

The first Church at Abinger may have been built of wood in Saxon times and destroyed by the Danes. A Church at Abinger is mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086 A.D. and part of the nave is early Norman. On 3rd August, 1944, the Church was very largely destroyed by a flying bomb. Portions of the North and South walls of the nave, with the three-light 13th century window and the round-headed single light next to it, were left intact. The roofs of the Church and lych-gate were blown off. The walls of the rest of the Church remained standing, but most of the furnishings, font, pews, organ, etc., were badly damaged or destroyed.

The original appeal in 1944 raised £41,968 12s. 3d. Part of this money has been used for putting the North Chapel in serviceable condition, for a new heating system and for various repairs not covered by War Damage. The balance will be required for architect’s fees. A further large sum of about £4,000 will he needed for furnishings such as the following:


approx. £2,000

Other necessary articles are altar frontals, etc., altar rails, clergy stall, carpets. One or two items have already been given or promised. It may be that some friends of the Church would like to present a definite article such as a pew, a carpet, or altar rails, etc. The Church Council hopes to collect a substantial sum as soon as possible to complete the essential furnishings at an early date and therefore asks you to contribute as generously as possible. Donations large or small will be gratefully received and appreciated. They should be sent, to the Hon. Treasurer of the Rebuilding Fund : Mr. R. J. G. O’Donoghue, Hill House, Abinger Hammer.

May, 1951.

C. T. CHAPMAN, Rector.

The FORM and ORDER of The Consecration of St. James, Abinger
Saturday, 12th May, 1951 at 8 p.m.


The High Altar of the Church shall be bare and without ornaments of any kind until the conclusion of the Service.

A chair for the Bishop shall be set in the Sanctuary, and seats also for his Chaplain, the Archdeacon and. the Rural Dean; likewie seats, conveniently near the Bishop, but outside the Sanctuary, for the Registrar, and the Apparitor. A table, with pen, and blotting paper, shall also be provided.

At 7.55 p.m. the Procession of the visiting Clergy shall be formed, on the footpath outside the South Door, At 8 p.m. the Rector and the Church Wardens shall receive the Lord Bishop of the Diocese at the South Door.

The Bishop shall be attended in this order:

  • The Crucifer
  • Representatives of the Builders [Mr RL Bennett]
  • The Architect [Mr Frederick Etchells]
  • The Rural Dean
  • The Registrar of the Diocese [Mr DM Moir]
  • The Archdeacon of Dorking [Ven. E Newill]
  • The Apparitur
  • The Bishop's Chaplain
  • The Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Guildford [Dr Montgomery Campbell]


First a petition praying the Bishop to consecrate the Church shalt be presented to him by the Rector and Churchwardens with the following words:

Right Reverend Father in God, we pray you to consecrate this Church.

To which the Bishop shall make reply :

"I am ready to proceed to the consecration."

Then shall the Bishop say:

Let us pray :
PREVENT us, 0 Lord, in all our doings with thy most gracious favour, and further us with thy continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy Name, and finally by thy mercy obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then the Bishop shall take his Pastoral Staff in his right hand and knock three times upon the closed door, whereupon the congregation shall rise and the Bishop shall say:

Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up, ye ever-lasting doors: and the King of Glory shall come in.

Answer shall be made from within by the people:

Who is the King of Glory?

The Bishop shall answer:

It is the Lord strong and mighty; even the Lord of Hosts, He is the King of Glory.


Then shall the door be opened wide, and the keys delivered to the Bishop by the Churchwardens; thereupon the Bishop shall enter the Church, and holding his Staff in his hand shall say:

The Lord be with you.
People: And with thy Spirit.
Bishop: Peace be to this House from God our heavenly Father. Peace be to this House from his Son who is our peace. Peace be to this House from the Holy Ghost the Comforter.

ENTER, 0 Lord, we beseech thee, this House, and make for thyself an everlasting habitation within the hearts of thy faithful people, that they may grow into an holy temple by the power of thy Holy Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Bishop shall then trace the Sign of the Cross, and the letters Alpha and Omega upon the pavement.


The Bishop and the Procession shall now pass through the Church from west to east. Meanwhile the following hymn shall be sung.

CHRIST is made the sure Foundation,
And the precious Corner-stone,
Who, the two walls underlying,
Bound in each, binds both in one,
Holy Sion's help for ever,
And her confidence alone.

All that dedicated City,
Dearly loved by God on high,
In exultant jubilation
Pours perpetual melody:
God the One, and God the Trinal.
Singing everlastingly.

To this temple, where we call thee,
Come, 0 Lord of Hosts, to-day;
With thy wonted loving-kindness
Hear thy people as they pray;
And thy fullest benediction
Shed within its walls for ay.

Here vouchsafe to all thy servants
What they supplicate to gain;
Here to have and hold for ever
Those good things their prayers obtain,
And hereafter in thy glory
With thy blessed ones to reign.

Laud and honour to the Father;
Laud and honour to the Son;
Laud and honour to the Spirit;
Ever three and ever One;
Consubstantial, co-eternal,
While unending ages run. Amen.

At the conclusion of the hymn the Bishop, standing before the Altar, shall place the keys of the Church thereon, and pray as follows :

0 LORD Jesus Christ, who art the beginning and ending of all things, the first and the last, who openest and no man shutteth, who shuttest and no man openeth: give thy power we pray thee, to us thy servants, and grant that this House now opened for thy service may ever he tilled with thy presence, and may ever remain a refuge for thy faithful children : who with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest one God for ever and ever. Amen.

Then shall the Bishop bid the congregation kneel and Pray with him in silence for the Church and those who worship there.

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
And lighten with celestial fire;
Thou the anointing Spirit art,
Who dost thy sevenfold gifts impart.

Thy blessed unction from above,
Is comfort, life and fire of love;
Enable with perpetual light
The dullness of our blinded sight.

Anoint and cheer our soiled face
With the abundance of thy grace:
Keep far our foes, give peace at home;
Where thou art Guide no ill can come.

Teach us to know the Father, Son,
And thee, of Both, to be but one :
That through the ages all along
This may be our endless song.

Praise to thy eternal merit,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Then shalt the Rector recite:

0 GOD the Father of heaven : Have mercy upon us.
O God the Son, Redeemer of the world : Have mercy upon us.
0 God the Holy Ghost : Have mercy upon us.
Holy Trinity, One God : Have mercy upon us.
Stretch out thine hand upon us, 0 Lord, and save us; pity us, raise us up, and defend us; : We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
For the peace that is from above, and for the salvation of thy servants' souls, let us pray unto the Lord; We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
For the peace of the world, for the unity, welfare and increase of the Church of God, let us pray unto the Lord; We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
For all Kings and rulers, especially our Sovereign Lord King George, and all that are set in authority under him, let us pray unto the Lord; We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
For Geoffrey, Archbishop of this Province, Henry, Bishop of this Diocese, the Assistant Bishop, priests and deacons and for the people committed to their charge, let us pray unto the Lord; We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
For the people of Abinger, let us pray unto the Lord; We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
For this House that is to be hallowed, and those that with desire and longing shall enter therein, let us pray unto the Lord; We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
For all benefactors of this House of God, for the Church-people of the Diocese of Guildford and of this parish who have given of their substance and labour to build it, let us pray unto the Lord; We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
For the Architect, Builders and Craftsmen of this Church, and for all who have taken part in its fashioning, let us pray unto the Lord; We beseech. thee to hear us, good Lord.
For all men according to their needs, and especially those who are any ways afflicted or distressed, let us pray unto the Lord; We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
In communion with all the Saints, let us commend ourselves and each other and all our life to Christ, our God. Amen.


Then shall the Bishop rise and say this prayer, the rest still kneeling:

0 ETERNAL Lord God, mighty in power and of majesty incomprehensible, who although the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee, yet dost vouchsafe to manifest thy Presence in temples made with hands: strengthen us by thy Holy Spirit rightly to perform the Consecration of this House, in honour of St. James, to separate it henceforth from all unhallowed, common and ordinary uses, and sanctify it for thy worship, for the ministry of thy Word and Sacraments, for offering to thy glorious Majesty the Sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, for blessing the people in thy Name, and for the performance of all holy ordinances. Let thine eyes be open upon it day and night, and thine ears be attentive to the prayers of those who enter it to call upon thy name, and mercifully grant to them whatsoever they shall ask in faith. Let this House stand firm, and make it a shrine of thine indwelling Glory, so that the prayers of thy faithful people here offered unto thee may be joined to the service and worship of Heaven, for thou, Lord, art holy, and dwellest in the holy places, and to thee we offer up our praises and thanksgivings, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; for ever and ever. Amen.


Then the people standing, the following psalm shall be sung, and the Bishop, accompanied by the Archdeacon, the Rector, and Churchwardens, and preceded by the crucifer, shall proceed to the Font.

LORD, who shall dwell in thy tabernacle : or who shall rest upon thy holy hill?
Even he, that leadeth an uncorrupt life : and doeth the thing which is right, and speaketh the truth from his heart.
He that hath used no deceit in his tongue, nor done evil to his neighbour : and bath not slandered his neighbour.
He that setteth not by himself, but is lowly in his own eyes : and maketh much of them that fear the Lord.
He that sweareth unto his neighbour and disappointeth him not : though it were to his own hindrance.
He that hath not given his money upon usury : nor taken reward against the innocent.
Whoso doeth these things, shall never fall.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

At the Font, the Archdeacon shall read as follows :

HEAR what our Saviour Christ hath taught us. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost : teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you : and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."

Then the Bishop, laying his hand upon the Font, shall pray as follows, the people standing :

GRANT, 0 Lord, that this Font, hallowed for thy service, may be a laver of new birth for all who shall be baptized therein; that, being washed and sanctified with the Holy Ghost, they may die unto sin, and rise again unto righteousness, and ever remain in the number of thy faithful and elect children; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Then shall the Bishop, with his attendants, proceed to the Lectern, where the Archdeacon shall read as follows :

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

Then the Bishop shall Pray as follows :

GRANT, 0 Lord, that all who in this place shall read the scriptures which thou East given us, may be filled with the faith of thy Gospel and with thankfulness to thee, who dost reveal thyself to men by the Word of Life, and may so read that all shall understand; and grant that all who hear it may receive that Word into honest and good hearts, and may bring forth fruit with patience; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Then shall the Bishop and his attendants proceed to the place of time Pulpit, where the Archdeacon shall read as follows :

"Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine; do the work of an evangelist; make full proof of thy ministry."

Then the Bishop shall pray as follows :

GRANT, 0 Lord, that all who in this place shall preach thy Word, may be so filled with thy Holy Spirit that their wisdom and fervent zeal may turn back the hearts of sinners and establish the faith of all thy children; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Then shall the Bishop, with his attendants, proceed to the Place for the laying on of hands in Confirmation, where the Archdeacon shall read as follows :

"Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John : who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost : then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost."

Then the Bishop shall pray as follows :

GRANT, 0 Lord, that all who in this place shall renew the promises and vows of their Baptism may be confirmed and strengthened with the power from on high, and receiving the sevenfold gift of the Holy Ghost, may continue thine for ever, and daily increase in thy Holy Spirit more and more until they come to thy everlasting Kingdom through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Then shall the Bishop with his attendants proceed to the Chapel and pray as follows :

ALMIGHTY and Everlasting God, who in every part of thy dominion art present to help and control, he present in this Chapel and keep it with thy protection, that, by the aid of thy Holy Spirit, those who worship here may offer to thee the pure homage of free will and devotion. Help them to keep in remembrance those who in generations past have sought thee here and are now in thy presence so that, knowing they are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, they may run with patience the race that is set before them, looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith. Amen.


Then shall the Bishop proceed to the High Altar and say ;

The Lord he with you.
People : And with thy spirit.
Bishop : Lift up your hearts,
People: We lift them up unto the Lord.
Bishop: Let us give thanks unto our Lord God.
People: It is meet and right so to do.
IT is very meet, right and our bounden duty, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks unto thee, 0 Lord, Holy Father, Almighty, Everlasting God, for that thou of thy tender mercy didst give thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ to take our nature upon him and to suffer death upon the Cross for our redemption; who in the power of his living Sacrifice and one Offering, and by taking the common things of earth to make them rich with redeeming love, and to be our spiritual food in the Holy Sacrament of his Body and Blood :
HEAR, we beseech thee, the prayer of thy people, and sanctify this Altar that the Memorial of his death may here be made with reverance and holy fear, and the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving offered with holiness and joy; that thy Blessed Son may ever be made known in the Breaking of the Bread, and thy people fed with his Body and Blood to the strengthening and refreshing of their souls.

VOUCHSAFE, 0 Lord our Dod, we beseech thee, to bless, hallow, and consecrate this altar for the perpetual memorial of the one oblation once offered upon the cross ☨ ; and bless and consecrate this whole building with the ever-lasting fulness of thy sanctifying power;
for to thee, 0 Father, with the Son and the Holy Spirit, belong all glory, honour and adoration, world without end.

And all present shall reply :


☨ Here the Bishop shall lay his hand on the altar

Here shall the people join with the Bishop in the Lord's Prayer, the Bishop first saying:

As our Saviour Christ hath commanded and taught us, we are bold to say, OUR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name; thy Kingdom come; thy will be done; in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Then shall the _following hymn be sung during which the Altar shall be covered with the fair linen cloth; and the ornaments placed thereon, and the candles lighted.

THE Church of God a Kingdom is,
Where Christ in power cloth reign,
spirits yearn till, seen in bliss,
Their Lord shall come again.

Glad companies of saints possess
This Church below, above;
And God's perpetual calm doth bless
Their paradise of love.

An altar stands within the shrine
Whereon, once sacrificed,
Is set, immaculate, divine,
The Lamb of God, the Christ.

One holy Church, one army strong,
One steadfast, high intent;
One working band, one harvest-song,
One King omnipotent.

How purely hath thy speech come down
From man's primaeval youth!
How grandly hath thine empire grown
Of freedom, love and truth!

How gleam thy watch-fires through the night
With never-fainting !
How rise thy towers, serene and bright,
To meet the dawning day!

In vain the surge's angry shock,
In vain the drifting sands :
Unharmed upon the eternal Rock
The eternal City stands.

When the Bishop has received and presented the alms of the people, he shall pray as follows, the congregation kneeling.

GRANT, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that like as we do believe thy only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into the heavens; so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with him continually dwell, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

0 LORD God, who holdest all souls in life, we beseech thee to shed forth upon thy whole Church in Paradise and on earth the bright beams of thy light and heavenly comfort; and grant that we, following the good examples of those who have served thee here and are now at rest, may with them enter at last into thine unending joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then the Bishop shall pronounce


The Congregation shall the sing the following Hymn during which the Bishop and his attendents leave the Church.

Praise my soul, the King of Heaven,
To His feet thy tribute bring;
Ransom'd, heal'd, restor'd, forgiven,
Ever more His praises sing;
Alleluia ! Alleluia! Praise the everlasting King.

Praise Him for His grace and favour
To our fathers in distress;
Praise Him still the same as ever,
Slow tod, and swift to bless;
Alleluia ! Alleluia! Glorious in His faithfulness.

Father-like, He tends and spares us,
Well our feeble frame He knows;
In His hands He gently bears us,
Rescues us from all our foes;
Alleluia! Allelulia! Widely yet his mercy flows.

Angels in the height, adore Him;
Ye behold him face to face;
Saints triumphant, bow before Him,
Gather'd in from every race;
Alleluia! Alleleliah! Praise with us the God of grace.

The Consecration of the Church will be completed by the celebration of Communion at 8 a.m. on Whit Sunday, 13th May. The celebrant will be the Bishop of Guildford. It is hoped that all confirmed members of the congregation will endeavour to make their Communion at this service.

Facsimile of the original service sheet here.

The Bishop Blesses Rebuilt Church

"Idea of Spiritual Club Houses Must Go"

"I SUGGEST that this church should stand under the good hand of God for three things: for edification, for the conversion of those who are without, and for social righteousnes" said the Bishop of Guildford at a service to consecrate the rebuilt parish church of St. James, Abinger, on Saturday evening.

All the 160 seats in the nave and the north chapel were occupied by villagers and visiting clergy for the moving and simple ceremony. Part of the previous church is Early Norman. It was largely destroyed in August 1944, by a flying bomb.

The new building is starkly unormented inside, but gives a lovely set of space with its white walls, plain windows and light furnishings. There are as yet no pews, organ, or pulpit, these being among the many things needed for the church and for which a £4,000 appeal has been opened.


There was a dramatic start to Saturday's service when the Bishop knocked three times upon the closed door and his voice was heard outside saying, "Lift up your heads. O ye gates."

Handed the key of the church, he entered and traced the sign of the Cross and the letters Alpha and Omega on the stone floor. The Bishop preceded up the aisle by a procession which included Mr. D. M. Moir Ca... (Registrar of the Archdeaconries), Archdeacon of Dorking (the Ven. E Newill), the Rector of Abinger (Rev. C. T. Chapman), the churchwardens (Messrs. R. G. MacInnes ... A. Randall), Mr. R. I. Bennett (representing Messrs. Trollope and Colls, the builders), and the banner of Abinger Mothers' Union.

The Registrar pronounced the Sentance of Consecration, which was signed by the Bishop, who said. "I do now declare to be consecrate, and for ever set apart from all profane and common uses, this House of God."

A collection was taken for Bishop's Challenge Fund. During the service a harmonium was played by Mr. F. White, who has been blind since birth, and the choir led the singing. In In his address Dr. Montgomery Campbell first stressed that people should never think they had reach the highest standard of which they were capable. "We must advance week by week in holiness, and ... up in the love of God." Secondly, he said, the church must stand for conversion. "We think readily of churches as spiritual club houses: this idea must be banished. How, though, can stone, window and roof do anything in the task of converting a heathen? Partly by preaching of the Word of God, And the place must be felt to be holy by he who is without. This atmosphere depends not on the preacher but on you who worship here."


The Bishop asked the congregation to bring love, effort to worship, in the highest aspirations to the church, that a feeling of them may be behind. And there must be no inhospitality or resentment towards a stranger. The Bishop's last point concerned "battling for the Lord." He said "There are many arrayed against the forces of God in His Kingdom. Let such things as these be in your minds and translate them into practice so that this church can achieve the purpose for which it was built here."

The Bishop remained the night at the Rectory, celebrated Holy Communion at the church the next morning, and preached at matins.

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