Abbey United Reformed Church, Romsey

Explorers' Charity

Explorers' Charity

Each year the children and young people collect for a charity, either in this country or overseas.  In 2018 they will be supporting Mercy Ships.

On 4 March the Explorers introduced the 2018 charity, Mercy Ships, to the congregations, along with their representation of ‘Africa Mercy’. The Explorers had a visit from Matthew who told them about the charity who sail to the edges of the poorest continents, bringing hope and healing to adults and children in desperate need.

Matthew volunteered on the ship Africa Mercy as a navigator. He could see first-hand how much it helps the people in the countries it visits. He even helped with some dental surgery. He showed the Explorers pictures of the ship and all the different facilities they have on board. There are operating theatres, wards, a school and even a swimming pool. He challenged the Explorers to make their own version of the ship but it was quite tricky as the ship is 152 metres long and carries a fleet of 27 vehicles!

When the ship docks there are thousands of people queuing for medical treatment, People start queuing long before daybreak and some have walked over the borders of 3 countries when they hear the ship is coming. During the screening days, the crew decides who they can help on board. Their faith helps them through these very difficult decisions.

There are a whole range of services available on the ship from basic dental and eye surgeries to cleft lip and limb correction. Often there are cases where people suffer large growths on their bodies which have to be removed. Matthew showed some ‘before and after’ photographs of people who have been helped and the children were amazed at the life changing transformations that had been possible through the help of Mercy Ships.

All the volunteers live on the ship and their children are educated on board. It is a way of life for them, as once the ships docks, it stays in the same place for many months. Each year more than 1600 volunteers from over 50 nations give their time to be of service on the ship.

The sale of cakes after the service raised £30. We would like to thank everyone for the kind donations of Easter Eggs and for buying raffle tickets. The draw will be made on Easter Sunday before the service, so please check to see if you are a winner! Also, on Easter Sunday we will be selling take-away cream teas, kindly donated by Val Lloyd.

 On the 14 January we handed over a cheque for £1360.00 to Canine Partners.  Thank you to all who helped raise this magnificent total, supporting our fundraising events and collecting coins. This will buy a puppy to train and cover some of his expenses.


On Saturday, 30 September the Explorers, Pioneers with their family and friends enjoyed a sponsored walk to Mudeford Quay.  The weather was kind and everyone have enjoyed the walk.   Thank you to everyone who supported us.

On Saturday 10 June, we had a Bingo night in aid of Canine Partners in the Abbey Hall and we were delighted to have more people than last year. Everyone enjoyed the event, especially the food!

Wendy, a puppy parent from Canine Partners, brought along her dog Quella who demonstrated what she had already learned as a puppy of

just 8 months.  

Thank you very much for the amazing amount of money that the explorers and congregation managed to raise for the Madabadaba school. I had a great time raising the money with you at things like sponsored walks, quiz evenings and cake sales and I am honoured to have done all of that with you.

At the end of it all you’re not just helping me build the school, you're helping 250 children who will have a good school to go to with proper class rooms, toilets and an actual building that is secure and safe for them to learn in. Not only will it be a larger and well organised building, but the  students they will teach will now also include the girls. This is because there is currently no room for every child so they prioritise with teaching the boys.  However when we have rebuilt the school it will be big enough to teach the girls as well which gives them an equal opportunity in education. So thank you very much for all of your generosity and help, for both me and all those 250 children.


We presented the cheque to Kathleen for the Madabadaba Primary School Project for £1030. Most of the money came from the bingo night, the sponsored walk, coin collection and donations. We thank you all for your generosity. During the explorer session Kathleen told them about her latest training weekend which had centred on health and safety and first aid, as the nearest hospital is a long way away.

Kathleen was very grateful for the support the Explorers, and the church, had given to her in preparation of her trip and promised to return and share her adventures.

Saturday, 24 September dawned bright and breezy for the start of the Abbey United Reformed Church’s Sponsored Walk.  Nineteen members and friends of the Abbey United Reformed Church met at Friars Cliff car park to undertake a walk along the seafront to Mudeford and back.  They were all there to raise funds towards the Explorer’s Charity.  Each year the children and young people of the church collect for a charity, either in the UK or overseas.  In 2016 they are supporting the building of Madabadaba Primary School which is part of the Tanzania 2017 Hampshire Scouts Expedition.  Kathleen, a Pioneer at Romsey URC, is a member of this expedition.

It was a lovely sunny day and everyone enjoyed walking along the front watching the swimmers, families and wind/kite surfers enjoying the Indian summer.  On arriving at Mudeford Quay the group stopped for refreshments before returning to Friars Cliff to round off the day enjoying a picnic lunch together.

Kathleen Beaman was chosen as part of the unit made up of 150 young people and adults from Scouting who will be travelling to Tanzania in summer 2017 to undertake community projects.  Kathleen is in Team Tembo (Elephant in Swahili) and their project is rebuilding a school in a remote village, Madabadaba.  The current school is only a tin shack which provides education for the boys as there is not enough space to educate the girls as well.  The village has donated a larger area of land for the team to build a brick built school which will have room for 250 pupils; this will mean all children in the area can receive an education.

The preparation for Tanzania began in January 2016 and will take 18 months, during which time the Scouts will grow in confidence and learn many new skills.  The group will bond over a series of weekend camps and activities on the gear up to Tanzania to ensure they are fully prepared for the life changing adventure. Not only will they have the opportunity to change the lives of local villagers, the experience offers them the chance to learn new skills that they will use throughout their lives.

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.

On a lovely sunny day, 31 October 2015, a group of 12 adults, 1 Pioneer, 2 Explorers and a dog walked from Friars Cliff car park to Mudeford Quay. We stopped for refreshments at Mudeford before walking back.  The children had a lovely time making slides on the beach.  The walk was in aid of the Explorer's Charity 2015 - Romsey Young Carers.


The Explorers had great fun finding out about their chosen charity this year - they were even allowed to chose which animals we would like to give to the charity! Every family who receives a gift from Send a Cow promises to pass on a gift to another family in need. Whether it’s the first female calf, seeds, saplings or skills, each gift starts a chain of giving that continues to grow and grow. Importantly, they become donors themselves, restoring their dignity and pride.

During 2013 the Explorers supported Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.  They raised money through baking cakes, doing raffles, charity teas and Christmas hampers!  The highlight was the visit from the newest Hearing Dog!


On Sunday 13th January, Sarah Beaman was presented with a cheque for £1179.73 for the work of Project Luangwa in Zambia. The money had been raised in a number of ways by the Explorers and congregation of the Abbey United Reformed Church. They held a Cupcake and Cookies workshop, a table top sale with a Sushi making demonstration, a Harvest lunch, an afternoon tea and a Christmas Hamper raffle. They sold coffees and cakes and over the year the congregation saved their small change and this mounted up to add a significant amount to the total.
Thanking the children and congregation Sarah told them how her family became involved with the project when they went to Zambia to celebrate her goddaughter’s wedding. The project started when a lady called Jo Pope arrived at Robin Pope Safaris to start her new job. Whilst working there she fell in love with the area, and her husband to be, and stayed. For over twenty years Jo worked in the area and also found time to raise money to help a school in the local village which was in desperate need of funds. As time went on, for Jo that was not good enough, she went on to support another school, and then build two more community schools. Funds were also found to train and pay teachers, to sponsor vulnerable children and help the villagers start their own tourism project.
In 2008, Jo worried that the global recession could have an adverse impact on all her friends and neighbours in Luangwa, by 2009 she was sure that it would. Worried how the community would survive these hard times Jo decided to find an answer. She rallied the safari lodge owners to come together and so Project Luangwa was born.
There are so many ways Project Luangwa helps in the area, they provide schools, clean water, toilets, books, scholarships, train teachers and even provide football kits for the kids. They provide employment for local people by purchasing as much as possible locally – and if it isn’t available, by training locals to manufacture it.
The aim of Project Luangwa is to ensure that the people of the Luangwa valley gain the full benefit of tourism by investing in education – and this they are fulfilling in so many amazing ways.
The money raised will make a huge difference, and the amazing thing is how far our money will go. For as little as £18 the project can provide clean water for a whole school and for £2000 they can provide a double toilet block for a school. The children had decided that helping to provide a toilet block was how they wanted the money to be spent.
They were also celebrating the group's 20th anniversary. The cake was decorated by Sue Dunstan to reflect the theme of the charity - animal conservation.



  • This Sunday

    Sunday 22 April

    10.30 am         Family Worship led by the Minister

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

    Forthcoming Events 

    Tuesday 24 April

    9.30 am     Prayer Meeting in Abbey Hall Lounge. Readings to be used: Psalm 23: John 10: 11-18

    7.30 pm     Elders Meeting in Abbey Hall Lounge

    Wednesday 25 April

    2.30 - 4.00 pm Church Table Tennis in Abbey Hall

    Friday 27 April

    7.30 pm     Mila Piano Trio Concert - part of the Romsey Chamber Festival

    7.30 pm     Badminton in Abbey Hall

    Future Dates for your Diary

    10.00 am– 4.30 pm 12 May      Church Open Day 

    7.30 pm 24 May Church Annual General Meeting.

    Future Dates for your Diary

    Saturday 12 May - Church Open Day

    10.00 am– 3.00 pm      Wedding Fare in church

    10.00 am - 4.30 pm      Programme of activities in the hall

    24 May

    7.30 pm Church Annual General Meeting

    Next Sunday

    Sunday 29 April 

    10.30 am    Family Worship led by the Minister

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



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