Our morning service of Sunday, 29 May, will be a very special occasion. Join us for a ‘Songs of Praise’ service, part of our celebrations to mark the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. During the service we will be dedicating our church organ, which came from Chandlers Ford URC and we especially welcome some of the Chandlers Ford congregation.
If you have any favourite hymns, songs, poems, prose or Bible readings you would like included in this service please let Revd Mike know by 8 May. It would be good if you could tell us why the hymn or reading is special to you, which you could read out yourself, or Revd Mike will be happy to do so.
An update from our last Church meeting; I have joined the Romsey Ukrainian Support Group on Facebook to try and understand the local needs better. I have also investigated how we, as a church, can support our Ukrainian guests and the host families who have welcomed them into their homes. It seemed that it was likely that this group of people would need a base to gather and support each other; so, after discussion at Elders, Abbey United Reformed Church have offered the families and their hosts the use of our hall and lounge for two hours a week, free of charge, to provide a base for them to meet.
Our offer was made at exactly the right time; there had been a meeting the previous day and they were looking at events/coffee mornings for their group – however, they needed a venue! I am currently talking to them about how we can move this forward, but it is exciting that we can offer some practical help and support. I will keep you updated.
We will be holding a Summer Sale for Church funds on Saturday, 25 June from 10am until 12.30pm in the Abbey Hall. Refreshments will be served. We would be grateful for any items that you would like to donate. The stalls are:
Cakes: Val Lloyd Gifts: Janet Littlehales
Jewellery: Fran Henderson Tombola: Hazel Roberts
Raffle: Angela Farmery Plants: Gina Lott
Books: Andy Bevan
If you have items to donate please give to the person in charge of their stall, if possible. I would also collect items if necessary. Please contact me on 01794 514810. Many thanks.
After 2 years of keeping in touch by telephone I felt it was time to test the water and recommence our meeting. l was well aware that 2 years at our age is a long time and that some of our members would not be physically fit to attend. In February 2011 when Balm started, we had 6 members and strangely enough we had 6 on this occasion. So, it will be a case of rebuilding again. We welcomed Gwen and Chris for the first time which was very heartening.
Please remember us in your prayers and if you know anybody who would like to join us, please tell them and they would be made very welcome.
Our curry night was a huge success and we raised £800. There were many happy faces as everyone enjoyed the curry cooked by Darren and Wai and the cakes made by Val. I would like to thank everyone who came and supported me and put me closer to my goal to go to South Korea next summer. Raffle prizes were donated from local stores; Bergman and Brown, WHSmith, Waitrose, Costa Coffee, Cavendish as well as by individuals; so, a big thanks to all contributors. Finally thank you for coming.
Our prayer tree is once again in our front garden. You are invited to tie a ribbon on the tree to share your concerns and your joys as a silent prayer to God. Hopefully, it will brighten the day for all who pass by, and encourage them to do likewise.
At this time, our tree is filled with yellow and blue ribbons as we hold the people of the Ukraine and Russia in our prayers. We pray for peace.
On Wednesday 23 March on the second anniversary of the first national lockdown, we took time to reflect and connect, supporting the millions of people who are grieving, and remembering the family, friends, neighbours and colleagues lost during the pandemic.
At 12 noon, we observed a nationwide minute of silence to honour loved ones who have died and reflect on the challenges we’ve overcome over the past two years. People visited our church front garden and tied ribbons to our prayer tree in remembrance of those we have lost, and in thanks to those who gave so much. The day ended with the nation coming together to 'light up the night'. Our church was open from 7.45pm-8.15pm to enable people to come together to light a candle in quiet reflection and with a short time of prayer. Thank you, Revd Mike, for leading the prayers.
Do I smell marmalade sandwiches? That's right! I'm pleased to announce Paddington has finally finished his pilgrimage round all the churches in Wessex and is grateful for a little respite! He was excited to be back in time to visit Abbey URC for Romsey Sinfonietta presenting Paddington Bear’s first concert.
The WSYE will be having a meeting in May to look through his amazing journals and put together a resource pack to send out to all the churches. Following that, I would love to ask you three questions and if you feel called to please email them on to me so I can bring the views to our upcoming meeting.
Q1) How are you welcoming and encouraging the youth in and around your church?
Q2) How do you encourage them to walk the path of discipleship, to grow and spread God’s word?
Q3) Finally, what sort of thing would you like to see in a resource pack delivered to all the churches who received Paddington that would help our church proceed from the first two questions?
The group has had some exciting activity during the last month. The biggest event was of course being able to celebrate with the rest of the country the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Radcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori. Over the last six years we have contacted MPs and cabinet ministers to campaign for their release and it’s great to have a positive outcome.
As a group we like to focus our efforts on one persecuted individual or community. We hope that with time, and our campaigning, they will be freed. Last month we committed to work on behalf of Kubeo Sukuani, a community of indigenous people in Colombia. Once we find out the issues they face I will let you know, but many of these isolated communities in South America have been forcibly evicted by mineral extractors aided by the government.
Monday, 11 April 10.30am
Abbey Hall Lounge BALM BEREAVEMENT MEETINGS RESTART
This is a self-help group and it will be lovely to welcome you all back. If you have not been before, we are always delighted to welcome new members – we are a very friendly group. We are looking forward to meeting up again.
Sunday 17 April 9.00am Easter Breakfast
All are invited to join us in Abbey Hall Lounge for breakfast on Easter Sunday. It is a lovely informal way to celebrate the arrival of Easter day. Please sign the sheet at the back of the church before Sunday, 3 April 2022 to secure your place. The cost is £2 per head, payable on the day.
Saturday 7 May Synod Big Day Out at Hollycombe Steam.
Please let Andy know, by 17 April at the latest, if you would like to attend so tickets and transport can be arranged. Andy is planning to arrange a mini-bus, or other shared transport, to this event so we can all travel together. Full details of the event can be found in the April magazine.
The church will be open on 28 & 29 May and on 4 & 5 June for an exhibition of Royal in Romsey – through the lens of the people of Romsey. Do you have any photographs of royal occasions in Romsey which we could borrow for display in the church or of your family enjoying royal celebrations? If so, pop to Photoflair with them, they are happy to copy for you and hold the copy ready for the display.
Saturday, 25 June from 10am until 12.30pm.
Church Summer Sale in the Abbey Hall
Plans are going ahead to have a Summer Sale for Church funds on We have various stalls which we would like your help to fill.
We will be having stalls with cakes, gifts, jewellery, books, tombola, raffle and plants; we will also be selling refreshments. Gina would like your help – she’d love to have lots of plants on her stall, so please start growing your seedlings now!
We’d be grateful if you have any items that you would like to donate. If you have any items you need collecting, or you have any queries, please contact me on 01794 514810.