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.
At 6.30pm on the evening of Sunday 28 February we will begin our 2021 Lent Course on Zoom, using the ‘Holy Habits Following Jesus' resource.
This is open to everyone from Braishfield and Abbey URCs – and indeed anyone else who would like to join in! If you would like to take part either on Zoom or at your leisure in your own time, please let Revd Mike know and he will get a booklet to you so you can follow the course. The Zoom link is ID: 864 1780 6994, Password: learning
AN EVENING WITH CAROLINE NOKES
Caroline Nokes, Romsey MP since 2010, joined us for our 4 March Zoom meeting. She was Home Office Minister of State for Immigration for 18 months until July 2019 and continues to have a special interest in immigration; she gave a long and detailed interview about it to the Independent in January, and it was following this that we invited her to join us.
She mainly talked about asylum seekers, who are people arriving in the UK after fleeing their homes because of persecution and who apply to stay; if successful they would be allowed to stay, initially for six months. Despite scaremongering tabloid headlines, the actual number arriving here is less than 40,000 each year – far fewer than most European countries. Once here, they are often housed in poor accommodation and given £37.75 per week to cover their food, clothes, toiletries and other essentials.
UPDATE: About 10 days ago Amnesty International sent news about Nazanin. She was due to be released and her ankle band had been removed. However, the Embassy knew nothing about when to expect her. She has served the full term of her original sentence, but it now appears that her case is being reviewed again, However, she faces a second charge and had to go back to court in Iran on Sunday, 14 March. After a trial lasting 20 minutes, a verdict will be due in the next week. Her daughter is now 5 years old.
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.
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
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.