Abbey United Reformed Church, Romsey

Carole Cox

Carole Cox

Thursday, 07 October 2021 17:23

News from Braishfield October 2021

How great it is to see our congregation back in church since our re-opening on 25th July. It is also wonderful to give a warm welcome to Annabel to our congregation. It is so good to have you with us.

Unfortunately, we still have some of our congregation, family members, and friends, who are not too well. Some are recovering from operations and some are receiving treatment. Also, some are having tests for various things and some are waiting for results. We send our love and best wishes to everyone feeling a bit under the weather at the moment.

Our Minister will have dedicated our new table and chairs, (which were given in memory of the late Alice and Andy Jack), for use in our church on 26th September. I hope to report on that service in the next magazine.

Our church was beautifully decorated for our Harvest Festival service, led by David Childs, on 19th September. It went well and our sincere thanks to go to everyone who was involved in any way with decorating the church. It looked lovely once again.

All of the food items brought to the Harvest Gift Service, together with any food items used to decorate the church, have been taken to the Food Bank in Romsey. Unfortunately, we were not able to have a Harvest Supper again this year. Let’s hope we will be able to do so in 2022!

We will be having a Church Meeting on 5th October at 7.30 pm in the church. We invite all members of our congregation, and anyone interested in our church, to come to this. Please come if you can and support the church here in Braishfield.

Last but not least, there are two important and lovely dates I need to tell you about. Our congratulations and best wishes go to:-

Kath who will celebrate her 90th birthday on 24th October.

Margery and Bill who will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on 30th October.

Shirley Smith

Thursday, 07 October 2021 17:19

Let there be light

In October we can celebrate the life and work of William Tyndale.  His life was devoted to the translation of the Bible from Latin and Hebrew into the everyday language of the people in the 15th century.   He did all his work of translation in Germany and the Low Countries, as it was forbidden in England.   He famously said, “a boy that driveth the plough” will be able to read the scriptures for himself. The new translations were smuggled into England via the 'cloth routes'.   Merchants came from Europe to the Cotswolds to buy fleeces and wool.   The small Bibles were hidden in bales of cloth.

Tyndale was harried and imprisoned as a heretic and finally burnt at the stake; a martyr in 1536. His beautiful phrases were taken later into the 1611 King James version of the Bible, where we can still read them today:

'Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God'

'Let not your hearts be troubled’

'A new commandment I give unto you,

that you love one another as I have loved you'

‘Ye are the salt of the earth’

On Prison Sunday, 10 October, there will be a speaker from Winchester Prison in Abbey URC to tell us more about his life and work.

Jennifer Prestage

Thursday, 07 October 2021 17:13


In collaboration with Romsey Dementia Action Group (ROMDAG) we will be sharing a service at Abbey URC on Tuesday 9 November, time to be finalised (between 11.30 and 1.30).

Hymns & Praise is self-explanatory, but why Remember 1961?  Well, this was the year that saw the first televised broadcast of the well-loved programme ‘Songs of Praise’. 

We will be looking to include some of the hymns included in that programme and some special memories of that year.  Keep a look out for further details in next month’s Pastorate magazine and the news section of our service sheets!

Andy B

Thursday, 09 September 2021 07:16

Prayer Post Box

In the next few weeks our prayer post box will be moving into our church garden.  This is a trial; however, we hope to be able to leave it in the front garden permanently. 

The post-box will be available so that anyone passing by the church can pop a pre-written prayer into the post box at any time.  Currently there will not be paper or pencils available.

Simply tell us what you'd like us to pray for on your behalf on a piece of paper, then pop it into the box. These prayers will be gathered by the Minister and be included in the prayers during the week and on Sundays. You don’t need to be specific or use names - messages are confidential. It's free and there's no catch - we'll say one for you!

Thursday, 09 September 2021 07:05

HARVEST FESTIVAL 11 and 12 September 2021

This year we will be using material from Fairtrade for our harvest celebration and taking part in the “Great Big Green Week”.  This will conclude our third quarter focus on Fairtrade.

Many of those benefitting from better living conditions, due to working with Fairtrade, are also directly affected by global warning.  During this year’s harvest we are asked by Fairtrade to highlight the climate change crisis and encourage everyone to play their part in reducing carbon emissions.  At our Outreach Group meeting in July, we discussed how our domestic waste is recycled.  Many items which producers say can be recycled, cannot be placed in our domestic recycling bin.  The policy determining which materials most of us can recycle is made by Hampshire County Council and Veolia under Project Integra.

As a harvest project we would like to collect as many signatories as possible to send a petition to Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Lead Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council and on the board of Project Integra.  The petition is to ask Hampshire County Council to allow a wider range of recyclable domestic waste through the fortnightly recycling collection system.  The main barriers to recycling more materials is the lack of centres for sorting recycled material; there are currently only two in Hampshire. This lack of facilities can give rise to illegal exports of so-called recycled materials to other countries. 

Would you be able to volunteer to collect these signatures around the town on Saturday, 11 September so as many signatures as possible can be collected on the petition?  This will also be available for you to sign at our Harvest Festival service on 12 September.  If you would like to take part in collecting signatures, please contact me.  If you are unable to attend but would like to sign, please let me know.  We hope to share our petition with other churches and communities within Romsey to widen the reach. If you would like a sheet to share, again, please let me know.

On Sunday, 12 September at our Harvest service we will be collecting dry, tinned and fresh produce which will be taken after the service to the RCS Community Pantry which is based at Unit 7 Dukes Mill in Romsey.  They are very happy to receive our harvest donations.

Please read the News section of the worship sheet for updates on their most popular items.

The principle of the Pantry is to give those in need the opportunity to have a ‘helping hand’, by getting food for a small membership fee per visit.  The Pantry provides a wide range of fresh, frozen and ambient food, giving households reassurance, support to manage and budget and reducing food entering land fill.  Their opening hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9.30am-12 noon; twilight hours on Wednesdays 4pm-6pm. 

Following our Harvest service on 12 September, weather permitting, we propose to hold a Harvest Fairtrade picnic in the Memorial Park. If the weather is inclement, we will use the hall. 

There is no need to sign up to attend, just arrive in the park for 12 noon with your Fairtrade Picnic.  How many Fairtrade items can you include in your picnic hamper? Come and share your picnic recipes. We look forward to seeing you there.

Andy Bevan

Monday, 05 July 2021 17:23

Romsey Festival Opening Service 2021

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.

Thursday, 08 July 2021 17:14

Poppies to Harvest

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!

Monday, 05 July 2021 11:30

Falling for Wessex Cancer Trust

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,

Sarah B

Wednesday, 01 September 2021 11:16

Christian Aid Update September 2021

The Romsey Committee of Christian Aid are delighted to have raised a total of £4,866.99 to date, with 2 major fund-raising events still to come. 

On 2 October the committee is planning another book stall in the Market Place.  We have plenty of books to sell but do need buyers to buy them! So, book the date and meet us there.

Also, John Reeves from Romsey Baptist Church is seeking sponsors for a sponsored cycle ride.  John plans to ride 100 miles over 4 days, 25 miles a day.  His thoughts are to time it during either the week before half term in October, or perhaps during the half term as he hopes that children will be enthused to join in even if they only ride a few miles.  He is going to plan 4 routes, one to each of east, west, north and south of Romsey, and suggests that a good starting point is the Co-op at Abbotswood.  More details in next month’s magazine.

We are urgently looking for a representative from Abbey URC to serve on the local committee.  If you would like to be involved with helping the local committee raise awareness, and much needed funds for Christian Aid, please contact me.

Andy Bevan

Thursday, 01 July 2021 11:07

News from Braishfield June 2021

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.


Shirley Smith



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  • 23 October 2021 19.30pm - Concert with Romsey Male Voice Choir and Notability

    See their website for details


    24 October 2021  

    10.30am  Morning Service led by Mrs Andy Bevan

    The order of service is available here


    24 October 2021  

    6.30pm Discussion Group on Zoom

    You can join the meeting by clicking on Bible Study or Meeting ID: 864 1780 6994, passcode: learning


    27 October 2021 2pm-3pm - Kettle's On - in Abbey Hall Lounge

    Weekly social time on Wednesdays - all welcome


    You can read this month's magazine by clicking on Magazine

    This week's news sheet is available by clicking on News


    You may find this list of opportunities to access services/Christian content on radio/TV and on-line helpful:
     the Daily Service at 9.45 on Radio 4 long-wave
     The Sunday Service on Radio 4 at 8.10am
     Songs of Praise Sunday 1.15pm ish on BBC1
     Choral Evensong Sunday Radio 3 at 3pm and repeated on Wednesday Radio 3 at 3.30pm
     Tim Daykin Radio Solent Sunday 6-9am for worship songs, interesting information and a feeling of connectedness




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