The production of crochet and knitted poppies has progressed so well that we now have plenty for our Remembrance display that will be a feature in our church front garden. If you would like to start bringing these to church on a Sunday morning, from 25 July, we can begin to collect them together.
Now! What to do next! We wonder whether, now we have plenty of poppies, our crafters would like to begin knitting or crocheting items for a harvest display that can be placed in the church garden? Perhaps leaves, flowers, fruit and veg may be possibilities, and all in ‘autumnal’ colours? Hopefully it will be possible for those of you with internet access to find some patterns to share. Thanks for all your hard work so far!
Revd Mike attended the Romsey Festival Launch on the evening of Friday 2 July. It was a smaller affair than previous years with invited guests and dignitaries limited to thirty, and it was held in the South Garth of Romsey Abbey rather than in the Town Hall; but we launched the Festival in a very appropriate way, featuring the raising of the brand-new Romsey Festival flag on the Abbey Tower!
It was lovely to welcome people to our church for the Festival Opening Service on the Sunday evening of 4 July. The Test Valley Borough Council Mayor, Cllr Mark Cooper and his wife Mayoress Dr Susan Tippett were in attendance, along with representatives from the Romsey Festival Committee who participated in the service, with members and friends from our congregation and local community. Kirsty and Rod provided musical interludes which were very welcome especially as we were still not able to sing hymns as a congregation.
So, the Romsey Festival has been launched! There are a number of concerts and recitals taking place here at church, we look forward to seeing you.
A huge thank you to everyone who sponsored Richard and Kathleen. They have raised an astounding £1,485 to date – well over their target, thank you!
Sadly, Sunday 4 July 2021, dawned cloudy and this means Kathleen and Richard’s skydive was postponed – apparently if you can’t see where you should land, you’re not allowed to jump! So, we’re now awaiting a rescheduled date – we’re keep you informed, and when they do finally get to jump, I’m sure Kathleen will let you know how it went!
However, it is important to remember the main reason for their dare-devil activity was to raise awareness and funds for Wessex Cancer Trust who are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year. From its start in a portacabin on the site of The Royal South Hants Hospital in 1981, Wessex Cancer Trust has grown and evolved to now support over 8,000 people each year affected by cancer; this support is a lifeline to many people.
Thank you to all who have donated; we have been overwhelmed by the support they have received. If you would still like to donate, their Just Giving page is open until the end of July, you can access it by clicking HERE, you could contact me or you could send a your donation direct to the charity.
Thank you once again,
I’m sorry to have to report sad news from Braishfield URC. We will not now be re-opening our church for Sunday Worship until the new date of 25th July 2021. We have all been told by the Prime Minister that all restrictions will be lifted on 19th July 2021, so the next Sunday after that date will be 25th July. We are sorry about this, but most of our congregation were in favour of waiting for 25th July for a new re-opening day. We are sorry also that we had to postpone the visit from the Reverend Mary Thomas but hope she will be able to come to Braishfield next year.
On the 25th July we will have our 203rd Church Anniversary service, (we thought it made sense to move that as well as our re-opening day). We look forward to being back in church where we will welcome Mr Peter Pay to lead our worship at 10.00 am. Peter has been our worship leader before, but this time he comes to Braishfield as the Joint Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church. This is post he holds with Reverend Clare Downing.
We send our best wishes to those of our congregation who have been under the weather recently and congratulations to everyone celebrating special birthdays and anniversaries in June and July.
Love and best wishes to all of our congregation at Braishfield and we hope to be together again in our church on 25th July at 10.00 am.
The covid 19 pandemic continues to have an enormous impact on the lives of Palestinians. The economy has shrunk and access to health care is reduced. Christian Aid partners have continued to respond to the situation and make progress despite the challenges.
Abu Rashwan is an agricultural area in Gaza where 9,000 residents have had no properly functioning sewage or water services and electricity shortages are common. Families live hand to mouth. A group from Culture and Free Thought Association (CFTA) have been organising and training people to make positive changes and a road has been newly paved and with solar panel lighting. A member from the community commented,” I have been living in this area for 25 years and when returning home at night, this is the first time I saw the road clearly”.
Commitment for Life is the URC programme for global justice which offers guidance to churches to pray and offer support for vulnerable communities worldwide.
ROUND ROMSEY SPONSORED WALK
I would like to express my thanks to all those who supported my effort to raise money for Christian Aid Week. In addition to all my friends at Church, I received great support from friends near and far away, generous neighbours as well as members of my family.
To my delight, the sum of £1,370 was raised and helped the Christian Aid Committee in Romsey to raise over £2,000. Let us all pray now that the work of Christian Aid in many developing nations will bear fruit and help to bring justice and peace into our troubled world.
I would like to conclude these few words of appreciation by thanking both my wife Brenda and Ian C for walking with me. This means they did 4 walks each! They made sure I completed what I promised!
GLOBAL HUNGER APPEAL
Over 30 million people in 20 countries are teetering on the brink of famine. Now is the time to act and save lives. This is a global hunger emergency. The Covid-19 pandemic, violent conflict and the climate crisis have all increased global hunger. We need your help to raise emergency funds to support those worst affected. Please give in love for your global neighbour in extreme hunger. No one should face acute malnutrition, be forced to flee their homes, or have to resort to child marriage as a coping strategy.
Families desperately need food and clean water to survive. If we act now, we can prevent unnecessary deaths. If you would like to donate to this appeal your donation can be made through the Christian Aid website @ www.christianaid.org.ukor by posting a cheque toChristian Aid, 35 Lower Marsh, London, SE1 7RL.
The final total raised by the combined efforts of all the churches was a magnificent £3,682.13. Events by other churches included socially distanced coffee mornings, a sponsored walk by a members of the Baptist church, Christian Aid envelopes to each member of the congregation and £647.93 raised at the Bookstall in the Cornmarket.
There was varied and interesting discussion at the AGM and church meeting on 21 July.
Return to worship: the way forward was discussed at the meeting to help retain a safe environment on our return to church. As the church can safely hold our congregation, socially distanced, it was agreed to remove the need to pre-register with Revd Mike and just register at the door on entry. Please follow the one-way system and sit, socially-distanced, in the allocated pews. From Sunday we will resume singing. It was agreed the congregation will continue to wear masks and remain seated for the time being, Each Sunday there will be an Elder and a steward to help you, if required. We look forward to welcoming you back!
Happy June everyone! I've had my second farrier competition of the year. This was held by the same people as the last one I mentioned, so was still online. It went really well and I felt more relaxed going into this one and was happy with the shoes I produced. For this round I'm happy to say I came 7th in my group, so still in the top ten! Just one more round to go....
At our May Outreach meeting we looked at measures we could easily undertake as a church to assist people with sight loss. If you have any suggestions you would like to offer, please do let me know.
Following Andy Lester’s talk at our recent Church Meeting, we also explored how we could make a difference to our carbon footprint and local environment; again please do let me know your suggestions, big or small. It is hoped to hold an environmental service during September.
A scaled down 2021 Romsey Festival is planned from 3-18 July, with our church hosting the opening service at 6.30pm on Sunday 4 July. Our plans are now progressing to hold a musical or poetry recital each weekday throughout the Romsey Festival and we have a varied programme ranging from a children’s choir to poetry recitals, as well as string quartets and piano soloists.
There are a few days which we have not been able to fill so if you are, or know, a budding artiste who would like to offer their talents from 12.30- 1.15pm one lunch time I would be delighted to hear from you.
We have decided that our theme for July to September will be Fairtrade, with our Harvest celebrations also focusing on the Fairtrade Foundation. Our next meeting on 14 July will be looking at ways to celebrate harvest this year. If you would like to join in our discussions, book the date now and come along.
Andy B Convenor of Outreach Group
I have recently attended a Connect 5 course with East Hants MIND. This is run for charities and community groups and individuals working in key settings are 100% subsidised, thanks to funding from Hampshire Public Health.
The Connect 5 Course can be delivered as a 2 day face to face or on-line as three half day sessions. It was an excellent opportunity to learn how to listen to and help others at work, personally or through our outreach at church. I also found it really helpful to review how I look after my own mental wellbeing – which I think will be essential in the months to come.
The Connect 5 course aims to build the capacity and capability of people to have more proactive and evidence-based conversations about mental health. Full details can be found at https://www.easthantsmind.org/