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.
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.
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.
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?
Fairtrade Fortnight takes place from Monday, 21 February until 6 March 2022. There is an online festival with ‘Choose the World You Want’ as the theme, with speakers, panels, cooking demonstrations and more. To access the festival, Google ‘Fairtrade Festival’ where you can register for online events.
There is also an ‘on demand’ portal to watch events that you’ve missed.
HENRY’S SOUTH KOREA 2023 JAMBOREE ADVENTURE
On the 29 January I went to a meeting with my Jamboree Unit, Unit 62; getting to know everyone there and finding out a bit about what it would be like in Korea.
Excitingly, we also started planning future meetings and camps. Some of the activities we may participate in, for our unit team building, were paintball, rafting and manhunts (basically a big game of tag). I made many friends and the leaders were super nice.
There is also a planned Monopoly run in London in March. This is essentially a game of Monopoly but using real-life buildings which will be great fun.
I have made progress in terms of planning fundraising events. I had a meeting with Mike, Andy and Wai to plan out the next few months of fundraising with Church. They were really helpful and supportive; we had some good ideas; more information at a later date!
I have set up a GoFundMe so if you wish to donate then please go to https://gofund.me/5bc7656a on google or whatever browser you use and donate from there. But if you cannot navigate this, there will be plenty of opportunities to donate.
Over the past two years, we have had the prayer tree in our front garden. People have been invited to come and tie a ribbon on the tree as a way of saying a silent prayer to God. They were tied on to praise God, thank God, ask God to help, say sorry, pray for peace or in memory of a loved one.
Each time the tree has been brought in, the ribbons have been collected and carefully stored. We have been thinking of something to do with these ribbons of prayer; Chris L suggested making a ribbon wreath, enabling us to display the prayer ribbons and provide a constant, beautiful reminder of those prayers.
Thank you, Chris, the prayer ribbons look beautiful hanging in the Prayer Corner.