Our Amnesty International group met on 18 January. We met together to keep in touch with each other and discuss various things, some of them about Amnesty International. Our next meeting is to be held on 8 February when we will be joining with Southampton AI to hear Mike Brown, a member of Clear, who will be telling us about how the refugees they are supporting are coping with Covid 19.
We held our annual Greetings Card evening, as we have done for many previous years, on the nearest Monday to Human Rights Day which is 10 December. Between 70 to 80 cards were sent to many parts of the world, as far away as China, South America and Malta. Amnesty Headquarters send out actions through the Internet, and we do these too.
Hello all, hope you are keeping well. I just wanted to keep you posted on my farriery! Just before Christmas I went back to Hereford college for my next block of education which was three weeks and went really well. I stayed in my usual accommodation whilst there, which was really nice as they were happy to see I'd kept at my work and was progressing.
I learnt a huge amount at college this block, such as the concussive mechanisms of the limb, the stay apparatus which lets the horse sleep standing up and how the hoof actually grows. I think my favourite part of the block was that we actually got to work with horses this time by taking measurements of the foot, cutting the correct metal and then making the shoe to fit before nailing it on as well!
It was a big step to be doing this at college now but really fun as well as interesting to see how the rest of the group work. I am still greatly enjoying the apprenticeship and love that I'm learning all sorts of practical new things, love to you all.
BALM (BEREAVEMENT AND LOSS MEETING)
HAPPY 10TH ANNIVERSARY!
Balm was started on February 2011 with 3 leaders Stella, Maureen and myself. It was the idea of Stella and Maureen who had been to a Synod meeting and found themselves in a group discussing bereavement and came back to Romsey inspired to start a group.
We had 6 ladies and now have 24 members. Two of those ladies still attend and are a great help to me in welcoming new members. The Church and Terry Hinks were very supportive allowing us to use the lounge and donating a small sum of money to get us started.
We are there for each other and we see ourselves very much as a self-help group. Both Stella and Maureen have moved on and we welcomed Joy, our Methodist friend, who comes loyally every month to preside in the kitchen making sure we are fed and watered! Many of our members have made friends amongst the group and in pre-Covid days met socially as well. Now we try and keep contact on the phone, a much-needed lifeline.
During our Outreach Meeting on 13 January, we covered several aspects of our church’s outreach, including a discussion on equality. In addition to activities mentioned elsewhere in the Magazine, here are some of the key points about our discussion.
Equality – part of our discussion looked at our church and whether there was more we could do for those visiting our buildings. Several ideas were offered which would help people of differing disabilities, if you have a suggestion please let me know.
For the theme for the second quarter of 2021, we agreed to look at the work of the Leprosy Mission. Our service on 18 April 2021 will be led by Chris Stratta, Regional Manager London and the South East of The Leprosy Mission.
Whether we will be able to hold this service by Zoom or at Abbey URC remains to be seen. Just in case we can meet Chris in person, it would be great to give him a large parcel of used stamps, or send it to him before the service if it is held by Zoom. So please continue to keep your used postage stamps. Much of The Leprosy Mission funds are raised through selling used postage stamps to avid stamp collectors, so please continue to collect your used postage stamps for this special occasion.
We will be recording our Candlelight Carols service at Abbey URC and broadcasting it over our church website at 6.30pm on Sunday, 20 December. If you are unable to access it over the internet, we hope to be able to produce CDs or DVDs of this service.
If you would like one to play on your home sound system (CD) or your DVD player (DVD) they will cost around £2 each (plus any donation to church funds you would like to make). Please order yours from Revd Mike by December 15.
The Christmas tree outside church was bedecked with prayers, in the form of ribbons, over the festive period. It was lovely to see the number of ribbons increasing as we walked past.
On twelfth night, the Christmas tree came down and the prayer tree resumed its place in our front garden. The 36 ribbons and one bauble representing the prayers and thoughts of our local community were moved over from the Christmas tree. When passing, we have seen people in the front garden looking at our prayer trees – a lovely way to invite our community into our church.
The prayer tree is there for all to share and everyone is welcome to add a ribbon to represent their hopes and prayers.
It was a real pleasure for 5 of us when we picked up a table tennis bat and ball and played a few games on the afternoon of the 30th September.
At present the plan is to play monthly, Covid restrictions permitting, but we may be able to extend this at a later date. We are using 2 tables because we can only play singles.
Because of the restrictions it means that our twice monthly sessions with our friends from the Dementia Group is not permitted. I have been in touch with them and it was good to know that they were still keen to resume when the Government declares it is safe to do so.
If anyone reading this is interested in playing the game then please let me know and we will do our best to have you on the list for the days to come. The possibility of having an extra session each month is being considered.
We are delighted to again be asked to support Southampton Social Services in their annual Toy appeal.
We had great fun on Saturday 14 November and it was so good to do a whole family thing!
Thanks to Carole for rallying us into action, when church friends of all ages came “together” on Zoom for a very varied evening of games and quizzes... no mean feat!
We played dice beetle - family bundle for the dice! Dingbats, with helpful clues from Ian - our brains working 'out of the box'. Challenging successful James's of the world; so many! My favourite - the National Parks of the World; loved the pictures for identification.
Scavenger hunt; hilarious - we knocked over a drink in our bid to find a cooking implement. The trickiest mythology questions from avid fan Henry and a decade round showing us all our age!
Fantastically imaginative rounds to make for a varied evening’s entertainment; something for everyone. Great to see our church friends well and to chat and laugh too. Thanks for letting us win!
It was great being back in church - the atmosphere and even the smell is a reminder of God’s continuing presence with us. Also, it was good to hear Kirsty playing the organ and singing a beautiful solo. The work done by Carole and Sarah in carefully devising a choreography for getting us to our seats and out again and keeping us safe during worship was comforting. Thank you to them and to Barry for spraying the premises.
It was wonderful being back, worshipping in church and seeing people in real life, though at a distance and behind their face coverings. The steps put in place to keep everyone as safe as possible are organized well; and entering and leaving the church went very smoothly. And what a joy to hear Kirsty play some wonderful pieces on the organ and to hear her sing. Many thanks to Sarah and Carole, and all the others who have given their time and energy to make it possible to return to church. A special well done to Kathleen who was wearing a colourful and nicely coordinated face covering and blouse. Love to all,
- Numbers are limited – ensure you book a space for you/your household or bubble by phoning or emailing Revd Mike between Thursday and Saturday lunchtime.
- Remember to bring the service sheet with you, as this will not be available in the church.
- Wear a facemask within the Church.
- Communion Sunday – if you would like to take communion, bring bread and wine with you. Your mask should not be removed, just lift to take communion.
The new Rule of 6 will not affect your worshipping in the church, unless your ‘bubble’ contains more than 6 people. The things to remember are 4 Ds and a V: Distance – 2 metres, Density - not too many people, Duration – not too long, Direction – face the same way, Ventilation – we leave doors and windows open.