Abbey United Reformed Church, Romsey

WW1 Project Update January 2017

Firstly, I would like to share with you something I discovered this Christmas about Jelly Babies, or should I say Peace Babies. Whilst references to a baby-shaped jelly sweet can be found throughout the 1800’s, the first real reference can be found just after World War One when they were launched as ‘Peace Babies.’ Each colour was supposed to symbolise a country that had fought in the war. However, production of the sweets was stopped during WW2 as sweets and chocolates were not essential food.

After the Second World War the ‘Peace Baby’ factory was bought by a Christian who hid secret symbols in each of the babies - a fact that is only now coming out. Below is a guide to the hidden symbols but were you aware that you need to lick the flour off to unveil them?

Black = When you lick off the flour you can see a Heart, which represents the sin in our lives.

Green = You will see the Baby Crying, representing God's sadness that People didn't know the way to Heaven.

Red = You will see a B which represents "Blood" as Christ died to show how much he loved us and to show the way to heaven

Pink = Is a Baby, when we become a Christian we become a "child of God" (or born again).

Yellow = Is wearing a Necklace, representing the riches of Heaven.

Orange = Is wearing a Bum Bag which tells us that we need to be prepared for Jesus coming again.

At the back of the church you will find a tub of small packets of Jelly Babies for you all as a ‘thank you’ for your support on the project.

This year we will be focusing on the community, and how, in the face of everything happening, they remained positive and full of community cheer. We have been using the Church magazine to help with our research and have discovered a few events that our church community and the wider town did get involved with a hundred years ago. We would like to recreate these and I need your help over the last few months of the project to do this. 

The first of these events will be our very own Variety Show that will take place in the Church Hall on Friday 10th February and we will be inviting the community to come and join us. We want to take the Hall back a hundred years to reassemble the soldiers Reading and Recreational Room it was back then and we are looking for volunteers to help transform the hall, to provide food and assistance on the night.  We need to find a compere for the night as well as someone to play the piano on request. Please let me know if you can help or if you would like to offer some entertainment to share on the night.

For those interested in the trip to France, the date has now been confirmed for 1st - 4th April 2017. We will be spending two days in France around the Somme and Arras area before moving to Belgium and Ypres for a further two days. Places are still available so please get in touch if you would like more information or book your place.

The project will then come to an end in the first week of July when we hold our final exhibition as part of the Romsey Festival. In this exhibition, we will be bringing together all the research found during this two-year project and show just how the Great War affected our church and our town. We welcome any help with research or preparation in putting together some of the exhibition.

For anyone that would like to learn more about any of the events then please come along to our workshop on the 7th January 11am – 1pm in the church where we will be able to share more of the plans. We will also be holding a meeting in the church on the 11th January from 7:30pm to discuss preparations and ensure that we are prepared for our first event.

Sarah Stewart


  • This Sunday

    Sunday 20 October

    10.30 am Family Service – led by the Revd Nicky Gilbert

    6.30 pm Evening Communion Service led by the Minister, in Abbey Hall Lounge

    Forthcoming Events

    Monday 21 October 

    10.30 am MOT in Abbey Hall Lounge

    Tuesday 22 October

    10.30 am   Grand Fun in Abbey Hall Lounge

    Wednesday 23 October

    2.00–4.00 pm Kettle’s On-Time for Tea in Abbey Hall Lounge 

    2.30–4.00 pm Table Tennis in Abbey Hall

    Thursday 24 October

    10.30 am Prayer Meeting in Abbey Hall Lounge

    Friday 25 October

    7.30 pm Badminton in Abbey Hall

    Saturday 23 November

    10.00 am – 4.00 pm Church Vision Day in Abbey Hall led by Revd Mary Thomas and Ruth White – all are invited to offer views for the future of our churches at Romsey and Braishfield

    Next Sunday

    Sunday 27 October 

    10.30 am Family Service – led by the Minister

    6.30 pm All Souls Service in the Church – please sign the list at the back of church if you wish the name of a loved one to be remembered during the service


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