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News from Abbey United Reformed Church, Romsey and sister church at Braishfield December 2010


December 2010

Dear friends, Are you reading any good stories at the moment? I must admit that just at the moment I have gone back to some of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple stories, as an easy and undemanding read at the end of the day. But then what’s better than a good detective story? If you are not reading a book at the moment you may well be following a story on a TV soap or radio. Or downloading the latest celebrity news? But what about our own story? Each of us has a story to tell or rather many stories because our story overlaps with that of other people – family, friends, church, community and nation. Increasingly we recognise that history is not something locked in the past but a stream of events of which we are part. Our story interlocks with the story of others, the story of humanity and the story of the planet itself. The plot is complex and convoluted and at present humanity is wondering how the story of our planet will turn out, with all the pressures of global warming, population growth, pressure on resources and the extinction of precious species. This Year of Biodiversity has reminded us that humanity cannot survive on its own: we are part of a complex range of life forms, on which we depend. Alongside this complex evolving story Christians tell another story: the story of God, forming and sustaining life, reaching out in love to all, working among us by the Spirit. This is the good news story which helps us reflect on where we have come from, what we are here for and the future we seek for ourselves and our world. It’s a plot that is interwoven with all the other stories we tell. As someone said ‘God cannot be put into the picture of life: God is the canvas on which life is drawn.’ Amid all the December busy-ness can we find time and space to hear this alternative story that enriches and enlightens our own story? This is God not as abstract concept but Emmanuel ‘God with us’. It is a story that finds its human word and form in the story of a child born in poverty, who comes as a light for the world. As you come towards the end of another year, reflect again on your own story and the story of our world at this time; and make space for that other story: the Saviour born in Bethlehem whose life has enlightened countless people’s lives down the centuries and still does today. Come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord. Terry Hinks

PRAYER FOR THE MONTH Don’t let the sun go down... Advent Sunday, 28 November, marks the beginning of the Vision4Life Year of Evangelism. Our prayer this month comes from materials produced for the three year Vision4Life (with its focus on Bible, prayer and Evangelism) and is available on the website A ball of fire, burning brightly, heat and light and life. Created with love, given in love to bring love and life. A ball of life, water and land, animal, vegetable, and mineral in perfect harmony; a symphony of creation, balanced, nurtured and held within a greater life. A playground for humanity or an unmistakable statement of love? Creator God, in the beginning you made all things and they were good but we have misinterpreted your statement for an invitation to play, not with you but despite you. We have forgotten your gift and forgotten each other and we risk all for our children, gambling away your gift for a joyride; selfishly using resources meant for sharing. Help us change before the sun goes down on your world. Heather Whyte


CHURCH FAMILY NEWS Our congratulations to: Alberta Hurley who celebrated her 90th birthday on 7 November Our best wishes Susan, Martin and Callum Lord who have moved house. Their new address is 1 Avens Close, Fair Oak, SO50 7PW. Their new telephone number is 02380695972. Our prayers are with: All who are unwell, housebound or in hospital. We remember people by name Sunday by Sunday in our intercessions. Please add names to the book of prayer requests (in church entrance). From the church registers Weddings 20 Nov Michael Cooper and Katie Shephard We wish them every happiness Funerals 22 Oct

Betty Williams Service of thanksgiving at church followed by committal at Southampton Crematorium led by Revd Alan Green

Cradle Roll Birthdays in December 5 December Toby Langelier 14 December Jessica Phelps 28 December Leylah Twyman

3 years 5 years 4 years


Pilots Charity 2010 The Fashion Show on 28 October event raised £420 and we would like to thank all who made this event a successful one. The final event of the year is the Afternoon Tea arranged by Jill Stagg to take place on 19 December (see separate notice). Please remember to return all Gift of Life boxes or coins collected for the charity by end of December as the cheque will be handed over on 9 January 2011. Thank you for your continuing support. Christmas All the children are looking forward to Christmas, Carole and Susan with the children are preparing for their Christmas presentation. Pilots in Sundays The Pilots are learning about living in God’s family based on Jesus’ teaching in Matthew’s Gospel. If you know of any children who might be interested in joining our Pilots group invite them to come along. Wai Chan 07794 361570 Within Pilots we follow the guidelines laid down for Good Practice in Safeguarding Children. Pilots meet on Sunday mornings between 10.30 and 11.30.

Tiny Tots Service Thursday 7 December (and 6 January 2011) 2 pm in the hall lounge 7 December Preparing for Christmas Bring an angel (e.g. decoration or picture) Twenty minutes of songs and stories for pre-school children, babies and parents followed by refreshments and activities: very informal and relaxed. For more details contact Angela Bevan (01794 511161) or the Minister 4

Afternoon Tea before Carols

in aid of the Pilots charity – UNICEF Gift of life Sunday 19 December 2010 at 4.30 pm Abbey Hall, Romsey A traditional afternoon tea will be served at 4.30 pm on Sunday 19 December prior to the Candlelit Service at 6.30 pm. Tickets (adults £4 and children £2) available from Jill Stagg (01794 513794)

LADIES’ GROUP Our last meeting of 2010 is on Thursday 2 December: Carols and readings (in the hall lounge at 7.30 pm). Our Christmas Fayre on 13 November raised £705.90. Many thanks to all who helped on the stalls, with the catering, and to all who donated gifts. Christmas Dinner is on 13 January at Blue Hayes restaurant, 6.30 for 7 pm. Anyone wishing to come please contact me as soon as possible. Gwen Sloan 01794 514810

Exploring the Bible The series exploring the Bible, led by Alan Green at Alan and Brenda’s home at 81 Withy Close (01794 518032) continues with a meeting at 7.30 pm on Tuesday 7 December exploring the Magnificat (Luke 1:46–55). The final meetings in 2011 on Tuesdays 11 January, 8 February, 8 March (all beginning at 7.30 pm) 5

A FAITH WORTH SHARING What is Faith? What is its Worth? How can we Share it? These were three questions put to 12 members of our fellowship at the beginning of a weekend at Ivy House, Warminster and they led us to define how we recognise faith in others and to explore group faith and our own personal faith as part of the Vision4Life programme. Terry began the weekend by posing the initial questions and asking each of us to come prepared to share the name of a biblical character of faith and that of someone from the present or the relatively recent past. The list from the Bible included Noah, Nehemiah, Joseph and Ruth from the Old Testament while from the New we had Peter, Thomas, Paul and another Joseph – well this was a sneaky one as he was renamed Barnabas. Those from the present day included Bishop Desmond Tutu, Gladys Aylward, Oscar Romero and one or two people known to us personally. Did these people have common characteristics that we can recognize? The list was long but included: Love Courage Strength

Persistence Commitment Action

Reluctance Fear Belief

During Saturday afternoon we abandoned the cerebral activity for something more practical. We divided into three groups to create a banner, to paint pots and plant them with bulbs and to be involved in dramatic reading. Later on Saturday we enjoyed a social evening. At the end of each day we met in the Chapel for an Epilogue. They were periods of quiet and thankfulness and an opportunity to be conscious of the presence of the Spirit of God among us. 6

On Sunday we attended the United Church in Warminster for Morning Worship. The congregation was very welcoming and Janet and Heather, two lovely people who had joined with us on Saturday, led the service. Janet used ‘Faith Worth Sharing’ as her theme which, for us, began the process of pulling everything together. Heather had taught us a song, ‘Somebody prayed for me’, which we sang before and after the Prayers of Intercession. Well, we sang it four times in all and by the last time it sounded OK. The first time through we were lucky not to have received a barrage of rotten eggs! The final act of the weekend was a simple communion in the Chapel – a very moving experience when God seemed very close. So what now? We were a small part of the fellowship of Abbey United Reformed Church and we were always conscious that we are a part of a greater whole. We thought about how God works within us and through us to help us share our faith with others. We would like to share our experiences with you, please ask one of us if you would like to know more. As a group we have experienced a strengthening of our faith and have recognised individually some of the characteristics listed above. As Teilhard de Chardin put it, there is something here of ‘the breathing together of all things’. On a more mundane level, Ivy House was excellent. If you ever use it remember to bring some clothes a size up – the food is excellent and plentiful. Derek Hiscocks Human Rights Day is celebrated on 10 December, to mark the United Nations General Assembly's adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which took place on 10 December 1948. One of the groups campaigning for those rights is Amnesty International. The local group hold their Card Signing in the hall lounge on 6 December.

December Concerts in our church 7

Sing out for Marie Curie: ‘Peace on earth’ An evening of music for Christmas with the Romsey Ladies’ Choir (formerly Sing Something Simple) with guest soloist Ray Beer on Saturday 4 December at 7.30 pm. Admission £5, children free (proceeds to Marie Curie Cancer Care) ‘The Wonder of Christmas’: Romsey Choral Society give their annual Christmas Concert on Saturday 11 December at 7.30 pm. Admission £8 (tickets at door). Refreshments available during the interval. ‘Behold the Star’: Charity Christmas concert with a bit of a difference! On Wednesday 22 December 7 – 9 pm we are hosting a Christmas concert by the New Forest Community Choir, who sang so joyously in the church at the Beggars Fair last July. They were really enchanted with the church and the acoustics that so suited them, and they asked to return to perform their Christmas programme. This friendly and informal choir is well known in the area for singing their delicious range of world music, classical and more contemporary songs under the directorship of Fabian Lochner, who has many years’ experience in performing and conducting choirs in New York and the UK. In this concert they will combine their love of world and classical music with a new take on some Christmas favourites. They will also welcome their guest flautist, Kathleen Meyts-Coba, who with Fabian will play a French Romantic piece, early music and some South American dances. Do come along if you can, it costs only £5 (on the door) and accompanied children are free. Your ticket includes entry into the raffle where some lovely prizes are to be won, and mulled wine and mince pies will be served during the interval. All profits will be donated to Naomi House Hospice for Children, which provide a wonderfully worthwhile service for families in the area who have a child with a life limiting illness. Tell your friends and all come along – you’ll be glad you did!


Reflecting and praying during Advent 2010

Saturday 4 December 2010 8.30 – 10.30 am ARC Advent Prayer Breakfast. in URC Hall Lounge hosted by St Joseph’s Church Breakfast followed by time of prayer: all welcome Wisdom House is running a series of quiet evenings for Advent, open to people from all of the Romsey Churches: Wednesday 1 December (7.30 – 9 pm) Advent Evening of Reflection Stewards of the Story: Isaiah and John the Baptist Wednesday 8 December (7.30 – 9 pm) Advent Evening of Reflection Stewards of the Story: Mary and Joseph There is also the opportunity to share in a Quiet Day at Wisdom House: Saturday 11 December (10.30 – 4.00 pm Coffee from 10 am) ‘Praying the O Antiphons’: A Day of Reflection for Advent using the traditional Magnificat Antiphons for Evening Prayer in the Octave leading up to Christmas. Our Tuesday prayers is another opportunity to share in prayer: an informal half hour of open and silent prayers, held in our church vestry at 9.30 am each week. All are welcome. For more details contact the Minister 9


There are plenty of special Advent and Christmas services so do invite your friends and neighbours Here are some highlights: 12 December 10.30 am

Gift Service

(please bring new or nearly new toys which will be distributed to families in the Southampton area) 6.30 pm

Advent Communion

19 December 10.30 am 6.30 pm

Pilot Nativity Presentation Candlelit Carol Service

24 December 4.30 pm 11.30 pm

Children’s Nativity Service Midnight Communion

25 December 10.30 am

United Christmas Worship

26 December 10.30 am

Worship for all ages (no evening service)

(friends from the Christian Centre, the Methodist, Baptist and New Life churches join us to celebrate Christ’s birth)

Joy to the world, the Lord is come The Minister and elders wish you and yours a very happy Christmas and God’s blessing for the New Year. 10


I would like to thank everyone involved in the production of the magazine over the past year for all their hard work – and wish all readers a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Elizabeth Hinks (Editor)

I would like to thank everyone who has helped me with the distribution of the magazine over the past year. The subscription for 2011 is unchanged at £4. For those who have their copy by post the cost will be £7.50. Amy Roberts Thank you for the lovely flowers brought to us by Alice and the phone calls of concern for Anna. She is now recovering at home. With love, Janet and Alan

Romsey Flower Rota 5 Dec 12 19 26

Elizabeth Powell Gwen Sloan Wedding Christmas Flowers

If you would like to donate or arrange flowers please add your name to rota at the back of church or contact Janet Littlehales – 02380 733654 A new rota for 2011 will be going up soon; we need your help filling the dates. WORK MORNING 9 am – 12 noon

at church (DIY and cleaning jobs) on Saturday 4 December Contact Geoff Prestage (01794 884948) 11

Church Calendar for December 1 Dec 2 Dec 4 Dec

2.30 – 4 pm 7.30 pm 2.00 pm 7.30 pm 8.30 am 9 – 12 noon 7.30 pm

5 Dec

6 Dec 7 Dec

10.30 am 6.30 pm 7.30 pm

8 Dec 9 Dec

7.30 pm 7.30 pm 10.30 am

10 Dec 11 Dec

7.30 pm

12 Dec

13 Dec 14 Dec 15 Dec 16 Dec

10.30 am 3.00 pm 6.30 pm 7.30 pm 12.30 pm 2.00 pm 10.00 am 6.30 pm 7.00 pm

18 Dec

3.00 pm

19 Dec

10.30 am 4.30 pm

Table tennis in the hall Advent Reflection at Wisdom House Tiny Tots in hall lounge (bring an angel) Ladies' Group: Carols and readings Prayer Breakfast hosted by St Joseph’s in URC Hall lounge Working Party on church buildings Romsey Ladies' Choir Concert Family worship and communion led by the Minister Evening worship led by the Minister Amnesty Card signing in hall lounge Women's Guild Christmas Lunch Exploring the Bible (Session 6) Advent Reflection at Wisdom House Short Communion Service in hall lounge followed by refreshments Late night Shopping Choral Society Christmas Concert Family Worship led by the Minister Scout Carol Service Evening Worship led by the Minister Pilot Leaders Church Lunch Club and carols Women's Guild: Romsey Primary School Carols Cupernham Junior School Carols Sherry and Mince pies at Elttoc, Braishfield for Braishfield URC charity Wedding of Paul Moulds and Lynette North Family Worship led by the Minister Afternoon Tea in aid of Pilots charity 12

19 Dec

6.30 pm

Candlelit Carol Service

20 Dec 21 Dec

7.00 pm 7.00 pm

22 Dec 24 Dec 25 Dec

7.00 pm 4.30 pm 11.30 pm 10.30 am

Rotary Carol Singing in Market Place Carol Singing and refreshments at Braishfield URC for church’s charity New Forest Community Choir Concert Children’s Nativity Service Midnight Communion United Christmas Day Service here

26 Dec

10.30 am

2 Jan 2010 10.30 am

6 Jan

2.00 pm

Family Worship led by the Minister (no evening service) Rededication Sunday: Family Worship and Communion led by Revd Alan Green and Angela Bevan (no evening service) Tiny Tots in hall lounge

Magazine material for January to be submitted by Sunday 12 December please

Tuesday Prayers 9.30 - 10 am in the vestry

The suggested readings for December are: 7 Dec Psalm 90. 1 – 4 1 Thessalonians 5. 1 – 11 14 Dec Psalm 91. 1 – 4 1 Thessalonians 5. 12 – 28 21 Dec Psalm 92. 1 – 5 John 1. 1 – 9 28 Dec Psalm 93. 1 – 5 John 1. 10 – 14 4 Jan Psalm 95. 1 – 7a John 1. 15 – 18 If you have particular prayer requests, please add them to the book at the back of church. 13

Braishfield United Reformed Church Minister: Secretary: Treasurer:

Reverend Terry Hinks, Abbey Manse, The Abbey, Romsey 01794 512163 Mrs Shirley Smith, Elttoc, Kiln Lane, Braishfield 01794 368447 Mrs Margery Randall, Paddock View, Newport Lane, Braishfield 01794 367738 Sunday Services

First Sunday All other Sundays

Holy Communion Junior Church Family Worship and Junior Church

9.30 10.00 10.00

Calendar December 5 9.30 am Holy Communion led by the Minister 10.00 am Junior Church 12 10.00 am Toy Service led by Angela Bevan 16 7.00-9.00 pm Sherry and Mince Pies at Shirley and Rusty’s 19 10.00 am Family worship led by Peter White 6.30 pm Candlelit service at Romsey 21 7.00 pm Carols by Candlelight – last event for our charity 25 9.30 am Christmas Day service led by the Minister 26 10.30 am Service at Romsey. No service at Braishfield January 2011 2 9.30 am Holy Communion led by Revd Alan Green News from Braishfield Christine was delighted to have raised £150 at her coffee morning on 15 October for the Society of St James. Thanks to Christine, Jean, the helpers and everyone who supported this event. Now to December. Our Toy service is on 12 December with toys going to needy families in the Southampton area. On the 16th we have our sherry and mince pies evening at Rusty’s and my home; see page 16. 14

We have our Carols by Candlelight on the 21st and our Christmas Day service at the earlier time of 9.30 am. There is no service on Boxing Day at our church, but it is hoped that many of us will go to the service at Romsey URC at 10.30 am. A reminder that on 16 January Trevor Pickup from the Society of St James will join us to collect the cheque for our 2010 charity. I wish all readers a very happy and peaceful Christmas and look forward to seeing many of you at our services and events. You will all be very welcome to join us. Shirley Smith Braishfield Flower Rota 5 December Joan Glister 12 Hazel Prince 19 Shirley Smith 9 January Pat Old ___________________________________________________________ Alan Fielding and Jim Glister We in the church, the village and beyond were sad to hear the news that Alan Fielding died on 30 October. We send our deepest sympathy to Sharon, Craig and Laura and also to Alan’s brothers and sisters, Reg, John, Peter, Jean and Joan and all their families. The funeral was conducted by our Minister at All Saints Church. The church was filled to capacity with a large number of people outside not being able to get into the building – a wonderful tribute to Alan who had lived in Braishfield all his life. He will be greatly missed by his family and many friends. We were also sad to hear of the death of Jim Glister who died in Derby the same week as Alan. We send our sympathy to Jim’s brothers and sisters, Ted, Ena, Tom, Dick, Paddy and Margaret and their families. The Glister and Fielding families lived next door to each other in Common Hill Road for many years, with Margaret and Sharon still living in the family homes. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all at this sad time. Shirley Smith 15

Braishfield United Reformed Church Sherry and Mince Pie Evening on Thursday 16 December 7 – 9 pm at Elttoc, Kiln Lane, Braishfield (Shirley and Rusty’s home) Raffle * Tombola * Bric-a-brac * Bring and Buy * Tea and coffee

Dreaming of a Green Christmas from the ARC Environment Group If you want a green Christmas, keep in mind the 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – and use them in that order in the preparation: before, during and after Christmas Day. Here are a few ideas: 1) Christmas tree – choose a real one, preferably with roots, which can be replanted. 2) Decorate your home with real holly and all natural and recyclable materials, much of which can be used year after year. 3) Candles – use soy, beeswax or natural vegetable based candles which biodegrade and are smoke free. 4) Buy a local organic turkey (or equivalent) of a reasonable size. 5) Use low energy fairy lights. 6) Don’t leave electricity on unnecessarily, even on standby. 7) Use rechargeable batteries. 8) Buy recycled paper and cards and recycle afterwards. Large wrapping paper can be used again next year. 9) Buy gifts which benefit the recipient, or try Present Aid for the person who has everything. 10) Left-over food. Visit for recipes and tips. 11) Finally make a New Year’s resolution to think green in 2011.

Have a wonderful Christmas & a very happy new year. Janet Sampson (Member of ARC Environment Group) PS You will be glad to know that the ARC Christmas Card is printed on recycled paper this year. 16

A Contemporary Christmas

It’s Christmas day. Dawn lights the stumps of twisted steel and glints on shards of jagged glass scattered here. From scorched and barren dust, a cry; a mother holds her new born child who rails against nativity on Christmas day in troubled lands. In such a ‘turmoiled’ world as this are we, protestors, part to blame? Do we, affronted, share this crime? Was Christ’s great Coming but a dream that Christmas day, so long ago? Each hand held out in selfless love brings gifts of hope to stricken man. Pick out the motes of doubt and fear in your own heart. Bind up your transgressor’s wounds. Feel his pain, and call him friend and bring to him Christ’s gift of peace this Christmastime.

Frances Dixon 17

Braishfield United Reformed Church Carols by Candlelight Evening on Tuesday 21 December 7 pm in the church (collection for Society of St James) followed by tea and coffee and mince pies

Southampton sings the Carols Be part of an official Guinness World Records™ attempt at St Mary’s Football Stadium Friday 17 December, 7.15 - 8.30 pm Gates open and kids entertainment from 6 pm Tickets £4 per person, family ticket £12 Tickets available in person from St Mary’s stadium ticket office or the ticket hotline: Freephone 0800 2800 050 All proceeds go towards the Southampton Passion For more information:

News from the Synod ‘THANK YOU’ AND ‘FAREWELL’ FROM ADRIAN BULLEY Adrian Bulley writes: I should like to take the opportunity presented by this e-Newsletter to express a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who contributed towards the gifts I received at the special service on Sunday 17 October. The Welsh Dictionary and cheque are very much appreciated, but I will particularly treasure the specially bound book of appreciations and good wishes which will always serve as a reminder of the many friends I have made in Wessex Synod, and the privilege of having served as its Moderator for nearly nine years. As I said at the service: ‘I look back on these years with thankfulness to God for giving me this opportunity, and with thankfulness to the people of the Wessex Synod who have accepted me and walked with me on this pilgrimage.’ I shall continue to pray for the Synod, and for God’s blessings as the people get to know Clare Downing. Please pray for Ann and me as we move to Cardiff and as I commence my ministry there. 18

News from the Synod continued GREENING THE WAY Church members at Park United Reformed Church, Reading gave the green light to two exciting and innovative projects which will help reduce their carbon footprint, helping to save the planet for future generations. At the church meeting on Sunday 17 October the members gave overwhelming support to two major projects: to install £30,000 solar panels on the church and church hall roof and to install a £50,000 wood pellet boiler. The church has already raised three-quarters of the funds to install photovoltaic solar panels to generate green electricity and to install a wood-pellet boiler to switch to a renewable fuel to heat the extensive church and community halls. Half of the funding has come from the Community Sustainable Energy Programme. The United Reformed Church Wessex Synod has also offered loan and grant funding, up to £25,000. Park United Reformed Church is looking to raise the remaining £15,000 through further grant applications, local businesses, and local fundraising initiatives. Further details about this project can be found on the website Celebration of the Nativity Exhibition is to be held at Pear Tree Green URC Bridge Road, Woolston. The exhibition will be opened with a service on Friday 3 December at 10 am. Thereafter the exhibition will be open as follows: Friday 3 December 10 am – 4 pm; Saturday 4 December 10 am – 4 pm; Sunday 5 December 2 pm – 4 pm. All are welcome. The Synod Day on 18 June 2011 ‘Full steam ahead’ at Foley Hill near Henley on Thames: a day for all ages. Many attractions including a working steam locomotive (hence the title!) A date in your new diary. The 2011 Synod Retreat (for all - members and ministers) at Old Arlesford on the weekend of 7 - 9 October 2011 with the theme of ‘God is still speaking: are we listening?' to be led by Peter Mackintosh (former director of the Windermere Centre, Assembly Moderator and well experienced in leading weekends and retreats). Come and enjoy a relaxed weekend in a very comfortable venue near Winchester, set in 5 acres, using the opportunity to ‘let go and let God’. Cost £110 (full board). Limited places. For more details speak to Terry Hinks. 19

A union of Congregational, Presbyterian and Church of Christ traditions (formed in 1972) the United Reformed Church is committed to working and praying for greater unity among all Christians today. It publishes a monthly magazine Reform

ADVERTISING IN THE CHURCH’S MAGAZINE If you would like to advertise in the Church’s magazine please contact the Editor Elizabeth Hinks (01794 512163) The rates for advertising in 11 issues over the year are: Small advert: £37.00 Medium advert: £48.00 Large advert: £60.00 Full page advert: £142.00 The Magazine is widely distributed across Romsey including Doctor and Dentist Surgery waiting rooms.

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