The end of June sees the centenary commemorations of the Battle of the Somme. To mark the occasion, I will be travelling to France to take part in the memorial events at Thiepval, the memorial that bears the names of 72,194 men who fought in World War One but have no graves and is the largest memorial to the missing. During the day I have been given the opportunity to lay a wreath and I will be taking one to remember those that fought from the Church and the Town. In addition, I shall be visiting the graves and memorials of 10 other men in different cemeteries.
Article from Romsey Congregational Magazine - June 1916 Notes of the Month
Our Soldiers’ Recreation Committee has been very busy lately. Since the Troops have come to the Woodley Infantry Camp, the Abbey Hall has been well filled every evening. The more one sees of this work, the more one realizes its importance. The ladies who are giving so much of their time to this work have the satisfaction of knowing that their efforts are fully appreciated by the men from the Camps. A few days ago a number of R.A.M.C. men from the West Country told me that though they had been stationed at various places in different parts of England, they had never met with such real kindness as they had at the Abbey Hall, Romsey. And not only is the hall a place of rest and recreation and refreshment for the men; it is also a place where many of them are influenced for good. The temptations of camp life are many, and were it not for places like the Abbey Hall many young fellows would succumb to them. So I am glad that our Church has taken up this work with such enthusiasm; and I take this opportunity of congratulating the workers upon their splendid efforts on behalf of the Troops.
Today as I write this, it is the 14 April, and on 12 April we took a further step on the Prime Minister's Road Map. Now we can eat out-of-doors at pubs and restaurants – providing they have al-fresco dining facilities. Together with a previous relaxation of the rules, we can eat these meals in groups of 6 or as 2 households. I have been waiting to be able to go out to eat again but now we are there, I am not so sure.
I ought to be happy that, as a nation, we can take this next step to getting back to something that feels more like life pre-pandemic. I ought to, but I don’t. In fact, I feel more anxious and most of the people I speak to feel similarly. Will this step lead to a spike in infections? Can we, as a nation, exert proper restraint as we go forward? Will those exhibiting ‘gung-ho’ behaviour having had their 2 injections make life difficult for the rest of us?
It is in times like these that I remember a jazz song, some of the words of which are, “If you’ve not needed the Lord before, you sure do need him now”.
Shall we pray together, for yourself and/or others:
Sometimes I feel lonely or frightened, and from the depths I cry to you loving God, and within me, your voice answers me, and I know that you, Father, are near me.
Sometimes a sense of failure seizes me, and I am disheartened. To you Lord I raise my eyes and the light of my heavenly Father shines on me, and bids me persevere.
Sometimes my daily life oppresses me. To you I lift my soul and I realize that by serving others I am serving you.
Sometimes I am sad and sick at heart, but when I think of you, Spirit of righteousness and love, a wonderful joy comes to me, for I know that you are guiding me. O Lord God, surely you will ever comfort me. Blessed be your Name for ever and ever.
(adapted from Fratres Book of Prayer)
As has become the tradition at Abbey URC, we will again be having a Community Awareness Service in 2021. This will be held on Sunday 14 February. In 2015 we nominated The Gate, now renamed Amber, to be one of the beneficiaries of our Christmas donations. This is an outreach project of City Life Church in Southampton. Amber offers a listening ear, emotional support, signposting and prayer to women who are involved in the sex industry in Southampton. We have asked someone from Amber to update us on their work, whether in person at the service or by a report.
It is our normal custom for the Community Awareness Service to give the cash offertory (not envelopes) to the charity about which we have been learning. This year, if you would like to make a donation to Amber’s work, you can do so by putting your cash or cheque in an envelope clearly marked AMBER, and posting it through the Manse door. Alternatively, you can make a payment into the church bank account Abbey United Reformed Church Romsey, Sort code: 60 18 46 Account: 21166757 Bank: NatWest. Thank you.
On Sunday 10 January 2016 Chris Hall, the Manager of Romsey Young Carers, visited Abbey United Reformed Church to collect a cheque for £1,050 from the church's Pioneers and Explorers youth sections. The money had been raised by the young people of the church with the help of the congregation. The Pioneers and Explorers had chosen Romsey Young Carers their charity for 2015. At the start of the year they learned about the work of the charity and how different the lives of young carers were from their own. They made cakes and also ran a craft table at the charity’s Family Day in August. Other activities during the year included raffles, including one for Christmas hampers, a sponsored walk, a skittles evening and a Christmas tea. There were lots of donations and everyone had been filling jars and bags with their spare change - so lots of 5p, 2p and 1p coins were counted. Chris thanked the children and the congregation, he explained that the money would be used by Romsey Young Carers for respite activities for the young people
Young carers are children and young people whose lives are affected by caring for a family member who has a long-term illnes or disability, mental health problem or issues with drugs or alcohol. They may care for a parent, brother or sister, or perhaps a grandparent living in the family home. Caring is not always about practical tasks. Children and young people can find themselves offering significant emotional support which can have an impact on their daily life as well as their development. For young carers the charity organises family days, outings, cook days, trips to theme parks and residential breaks.
The hall is a good sized area, used for badminton, table tennis, table sales, fun clubs, lunches and meetings.The lounge is a smaller room with comfortable chairs and is used as a meeting space and benefits from a loop system and audio-visual facilities. Both the hall and the lounge have a piano. The kitchen is a modern well-equipped facility with a hygiene rating of 5.
The application form and schedule of charges are available for download.
Guidelines for hiring the hall during Covid-19 restrictions can als o be downloaded.
The Bible readings we will focus on in June will be:
|06||Psalm 130||Mark 3:20-35|
|13||Psalm 92:1-4; 12-15||Mark 4:26-34
|20||Psalm 107:1-3; 23-32
|27||Psalm 30||Mark 5:21-43|