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/
Hello everyone! I've just got back from my 4th college block. I had a really good time at college catching up with my apprentice friends and learning a huge amount of new information. We also got to shoe horses on this block and trim a donkey’s hoof! I was pleased to pass this block, so I am now officially over half way through my apprenticeship!
Not only did college go well, I also entered an online farrier competition. I went to my boss’ forge as we were both competing in the same competition but in a different class. The challenge was to make two specific shoes in an hour and, because of Covid restrictions, send in pictures of them to be scored. It was tough, but I had fun taking part. Well, obviously I did something right - I came first place, against 18 other apprentices in the competition! I've got another couple of competitions coming up in the next few months and I'll let you know how it all goes!
It was good to welcome Chris Stratta from The Leprosy Mission to lead our service on 18 April and it certainly left us better informed about the work of this amazing charity. Leprosy is a bacterial disease which can be cured for those in whom it is detected at earlier stages, whilst others in more affluent societies are not even susceptible to the disease as our immune system will resist the bacteria. Yet still today there are many who are affected by the disease and subjected by outdated views to discrimination and even rejection.
Chris told the story of Zaina, a young mother of a three year old son who was banned from her village and her son taken away from her when she developed the early signs of Leprosy. She was found by a worker from The Leprosy Mission, given the necessary medication to cure her of the disease, and allowed to return to her village after The Leprosy Mission had educated the villagers about the true facts of Leprosy. She is now a leader in that village, passing on her experiences and helping to continue educating others about the disease. The difference that worker from The Leprosy Mission has made to Zaina can be summed up in her quote given in the short film we watched. She said “I wish I could take my heart out and show you how happy I am”.
What a novel way to express how you feel about life and all that God has done for you.
If you ever wonder about a birthday present for someone who has everything, why not visit The Leprosy Mission website and see their range of unusual gifts, including how you can help someone with Leprosy by paying for special shoes, schooling, tools or a host of other sponsor opportunities.
How dull – no mice or badgers to report this month!
We are looking forward to 27th June when we hope to re-open our church for Sunday Worship at 10.00am. The Reverend Mary Thomas will lead the service, which will be the 203rd Church Anniversary for Braishfield United Reformed Church, our church having been built in 1818. We do hope many of you will be able to join us on this special day. There will be other services of celebration during the coming months.
Following the recent death of Andy Jack, Margaret and Ian Caldwell have kindly given our church Andy and Alice’s dining room table and six chairs for us to use in the church. This is a lovely addition to the church and very much appreciated. Our thanks go to Rusty Smith for transporting the new furniture from Baddesley and for removing the existing table and chairs, which were full of woodworm, and burning them.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all and for those who are not feeling too well at this time.
HMRC makes an offering to church funds!
Well, strictly speaking, HMRC gave us back the tax our regular gift aiders had already paid, but it netted us the sum of £719.49 for the year August 2019 to August 2020. If you are a regular gift aider, and have envelopes ready for me, now that total lockdown has lifted perhaps you could drop them at Shirley and Rusty's house, or contact me to arrange a meeting outdoors somewhere. You can always pay by cheque or bank transfer; again, please contact me for details.
If you're not a regular gift aider but would like to be, contact me either by email or telephone, and we'll have a chat.
I hope you're all keeping well, and that we will meet up soon. We have a lot of big birthdays and wedding anniversaries to celebrate!
Thank you. Sharon
Back in January, I received a New Year's Magazine from Christian Aid. It contained an article headed Reimagine - Reshape - Rebuild. One sentence reads like this: "we have a struggle ahead to build a world in which everyone can thrive".
I was moved by this article and I felt I wanted to do something to support Christian Aid in this appeal. In my old age (!) I realise that I can still walk a reasonable distance and I felt moved to dream up the idea contained in the heading above. The plan was submitted to the Christian Aid Committee which represents many of the Churches in the area and they agreed to promote the Appeal.
Be assured - I will not attempt to do this walk in one go! The plan is that I will do 8 circular walks, each of two and a half miles, around Romsey. They will be spread over 4 days with one walk in the morning and the other after lunch! I plan to do this over 6 days, from 27 April to 1 May 2021. That allows for some days not being suitable for walking! I will not go alone either, as Brenda will accompany me in the morning walk and Ian Caldwell will join me in the afternoon one. Each walk takes between 60 to 80 minutes.
Thank you for reading this and for any support you can offer.
It was lovely to see so many people at the quiz night supporting the A Rocha charity and having a fun evening on zoom. A huge thank you to Carole for organising, we had some very different rounds with most of them based on nature, the world and its climate. An astounding score or 70.5 points took the Allsopp's well into the lead, especially after winning the Beetle game twice! Thanks again everyone, it was great to see you, Kathleen
The Pioneers would like to thank everyone for their generous support of our Fun Night. Carole would like to thank Kathleen, Freddie, Mike, Susan and Callum and Kirsty for their contributions to the quiz rounds and Susan for keeping score.
The church has had visitors again. Would you believe this – not mice but a badger this time?! (And not to mention the buffaloes in our garden at home a little while ago!).
On 2nd March, Alan, who lives next door to our church, rang me to say “you have a badger trying to get in the back door of the church! Does he belong to you?”
Well, I made a quick phone call to Mike at the Hampshire Wildlife Rescue, who sent David, a badger expert from Fordingbridge, to view the situation. When David arrived, he shone his torch in “Brock’s” direction and the badger made a very quick getaway through the shrubs. David then went to a few houses to alert people in case the badger ended up in their gardens, as David thought the animal may have been hit by a car.
This all happened in about 1½ hours. It was wonderful work from the Hampshire Wildlife Rescue team and we are grateful to them.
Our Fabric group met at the church recently and decided the outside of our church could do with being redecorated. Also, it was decided to have the vestry and toilet facilities redecorated too. The inside walls of the church are quite good, so aside from a bit of DIY painting of a patch on one wall, it was decided to redecorate the rest of the inside of the church sometime in the future.
Although Romsey URC still hope to re-open on 23rd May for Sunday Worship, as we at Braishfield were hoping to as well, but having talked to our minister, the Revd Mike Perrott and Maggie B, our pulpit secretary, we at Braishfield URC think it would be wise for us to wait until after 21st June, when hopefully all restrictions will be lifted. So, we hope to re-open for Sunday Worship on 27th June, for our 203rd Church Anniversary Service at 10am.
We trust that most of redecoration work will be done before the church re-opens.
Of course, there will undoubtedly still be some restrictions in place for a while but hopefully not for too long. When all the restrictions are lifted, we will have a Songs of Praise service to celebrate and who knows what else we will do! We will keep in touch, with more details later.
With best wishes to all of our readers and we hope to be able to see you soon!
CALLING ALL CRAFTERS - CAN YOU HELP PREPARE POPPIES?
Thank you to you ‘crafters’ out there who have offered to help make knitted or crocheted poppies to create a hanging curtain for the Abbey URC church railings for next Remembrance Day. So far there are three of you that have responded by email and through the pastorate Facebook page. We will need quite a lot of people and poppies to achieve a striking poppy curtain – please let Revd Mike know if you would like to be involved and he will put you in touch with each other. Patterns, if required (in association with the Royal British Legion), are available from https://www.deramores.com/collections/poppy-appeal for 50 pence.
THANK YOU FOR JOINING THE 2021 LENT COURSE
Our 2021 Lent Course on Zoom, using the ‘Holy Habits’ Following Jesus resource, went well, with seven regular participants sharing on Zoom and others sharing at home. Some of our reflections during our Sunday services during Lent outlined what we had been doing and reflected upon, helping everyone to join in with what we have been thinking about. It was a good time of sharing in prayer and reflection, and was a good ‘taster’ for other ‘Holy Habits’ resources as we come to use them.
Freddie and Henry send their love and greetings to everyone in church. Pioneers are about to complete the Alpha Youth Series and will move on to revisit some of the Old Testament characters via a combination of short videos (movies, science/archaeological findings and adventure) from YouTube and other sources.
To date, the amount raised for the Pioneers’ Charity 2020 is £929.84. Thank you all for your support.
We are planning an online fundraising event on Zoom on the 20 March 2021, there will be a potpourri of games and quiz rounds, something for everyone. If you would like to provide a quiz round let Carole know. It would be useful to know who is coming so that we can make sure you have everything you need for the evening’s entertainment. Do keep the date open on your diary.