February 2010

Holy Week 2010

Reflections for Holy Week
at 7.30 pm

Monday 29th – Wednesday 31st March
Readings - Reflections – Prayers

Maundy Thursday 1st April - Communion

Good Friday Worship – 7.30 pm

Communion BreadCommunion Bread

Letter from Cockermouth United Reformed Church

On behalf of the fellowship of Cockermouth United Reformed Church I write to thank the members of Fareham U.R.C. for their gracious and generous gift of £160, sent to help those affected by the flooding last November. Several members were flooded out, some for the second time, and the church building was severely damaged. Recovery will be a long, slow and difficult process.

Nevertheless we are grateful for the many messages of goodwill, prayers and tokens of support which we have received. They all help to strengthen us as we look to the future resolutely and with hope.

Our Methodist friends have invited us to join them, so at the moment we share worship together.

We would like you to know that your donation is being used thoughtfully and with care to meet a variety of needs.
Once again our grateful thanks
Margaret McQueen

The Well

The Well’s Vision is to offer:
• A place where all people will be accepted and welcomed
• A place where fairly traded goods will be available for sale
• A centre where people will find resources for discovering, or growing in, the Christian faith; for spiritual growth; for sharing their faith; and for worship
• A meeting place and forum for communication so that members of the Christian community, and others, may know one another better and draw closer together.

We exist to show God’s loving care for others as well as promote the selling of all books and provide healthy eating at competitive prices. The Well is a place where you can find solace and hospitality and where service to others is key. We are a Christian presence in the High Street as well as a training centre for all. Many people have given and received so much being part of this venture and we thank God for this. We cannot exist without donations and patronage in this tough climate and pray that you will all continue to support us again in this coming year.

Training
We hope to be able to complete another training course later this year. Please do contact us if you know of anyone who would like to volunteer or to receive training in Food Hygiene, Health and Safety, Customer Care and Work Placement.

New Closing Times
Please note that our Coffee Shop opens at 9:30 am and closes at 3:00 pm and our Book Shop opens at 9:30 am and closes at 4:00 pm Monday to Saturday.

Special Functions
Just to remind everyone that our facilities are available for meetings in the afternoons or for special occasions in the evenings. We can also cater for buffets and for breakfasts. Why not use the facilities for Alpha Courses and socials etc. or order take-away food. The facilities are extremely good. Please talk to June or Shirley if you are interested in finding out what’s on offer!

Story Time with Children and Parents
Because of the inclement weather attendance was low at Christmas but we are planning further Story Times throughout the year. Please look out for our posters as it is a lovely time when children can listen and learn.

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Bargains
We have a large supply of bargain books and gifts and looking to put on a Bargain Book/Gift Bonanza very soon.

Also available is a good selection of bibles and children’s books. If we do not have a book on the shelf we are able to purchase it very quickly. Why not give us a chance to quote for any large church orders as we are able to negotiate prices from time to time.

On the coffee shop side we are still offering regular coffee and tea at a bargain cost of 99p and hot bacon baps, sausage baps and mushrooms on toast with coffee at a very reduced deal price. If you are in the town between 9:30am and 11:30am please give us a visit.

Volunteers
Once again we would like to give a big thank you to all our regular volunteers for all the hard work they have given to the smooth running of The Well. This year the Managers were able to support the costs a Christmas meal for the volunteers. It was a lovely occasion where invitations were given out to over sixty volunteers. Everyone commented how good the food and social time was together.

There is also an opportunity to help support The Well’s marketing campaign. We are at present looking for a small team of people who are able and willing to promote the business and its activities. Please do contact June Haye on 01329 231449 if you would like to know more.

Did You Know -
That we are now selling Mothers Day and Easter Cards with Christian verses in. Supplies are good at present. Do shop early if you would like an excellent selection to choose from.

That Pam Gillard, the Shopping Centre Manager, has given us much support over the years and is allowing us to promote The Well in one of her unit windows for a peppercorn rent?

A Big ‘Thank you’
To those people, including Churches and Solicitors, who have been able to donate to the Well Charity. With the closure of so many Christian Book Retailers we praise God that we have people like you!!

Prayer Request
Please pray for our management team, trustees, directors and regular volunteers as they continue their ministry in this difficult climate. Thank you.
June Haye

Child Protection

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FURC RESPONSE TO RESEARCH –

"CHILDREN STILL NOT SAFE IN UK CHURCHES"

FURC have revised our child protection policy, in light of the research undertaken by the Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) "Safeguarding Children In Church". The research found that children are still not safe in UK Churches and advises that as Christians we need to look beyond our buildings and be aware that some individuals can gain access to children under the cloak of their apparent Christian faith.

Contrary to Government recommendations in force since 1993, the CCPAS 2009 research found that fewer than 50% of church employees paid to work with children were asked to complete an application form or were formally interviewed; 50% were not required to provide references, 44% did not require employees to have child protection training on appointment and 40% had no named supervisor.
The CCPAS urges all places of worship not to be complacent but to look afresh at how we are managing and implementing the all important protection of children in our care. These theme is being followed through in a series of national training initiatives, "Facing the Unthinkable", one of which will be at Hythe URC, Southampton on 22nd May. Training places are still available at cost pp of £17.50; £75 for group of five or whatever a person can afford.

As such, good child safeguarding polices and procedures with regular updated child protection training are the key measures which can minimise risk. The revised FURC child protection policy incorporates all the CCPAS recommendations and is out in draft format for church member consultation. E mail or hard copy available from child protection co-ordinator Jane.dowdell@ntlworld.com Closing date for comments Monday 8th March.

Full report, "Safeguarding Children in Church" and details of "Facing the Unthinkable" training seminar is available from the CCPAS website www.ccpas.co.uk
Jane Dowdell
Child Protection Co-ordinator, Fareham URC
jane.dowdell@ntlworld.com

Letter from Revd Brenda Russell

Dear Friends,
Did you have pancakes on Shrove Tuesday? In years gone by, making pancakes on this day was a way of using up eggs and other ingredients before the fast of Lent. In 2010 many still keep the tradition, but that, for most, is all it is. We know that the next day is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, but, for most, this is not a time of fasting. Having said that, there are still many who decide to give something up, like sweets, cigarettes or cakes, during Lent. My question is, “Who does this benefit?” We may lose a little weight or give our lungs a short respite but, if, as soon as Lent ends, we go back to the old ways, what good has it been giving up for just a short time?

Surely we need to make this season a time which has some positive outcome. Lent is the time when we remember the time when Jesus was getting closer to Jerusalem and his crucifixion on a cross outside the walls of the city, the time when he took our sins on his shoulders and died to pay the price of our salvation. How will you travel through Lent 2010?

I wonder if each one of us can try to find a positive way to show how grateful we are to our Lord. If you have decided to give something up, why not give the money you save to a good cause of your choice? Or you might use what Christian Aid has published, a leaflet which is entitled ‘Count your blessings 2010’, which some of you will have received in your latest edition of Reform. In the leaflet is a calendar of the days of Lent, each with a reminder of people around the world who are less fortunate then we are, or with a challenge; for example, when you next go to the supermarket, buy as many items on your shopping list as possible from the Fairtrade range of goods. If we can follow this calendar or find some other way to show our gratitude for all the gifts we have from God, then Lent 2010 will be a positive time and others will benefit.

Can I suggest that giving more time regularly to prayer would also be a positive way to use this season of Lent? As was mentioned at Church Meeting, there is a booklet to help with the development of our prayer lives. Please pick one up, take it home and take a look at it; I’m sure you will find something there that will help you. At our next Church Meeting we shall be having a discussion about how we can develop the Church’s prayer life; please come and share - Tuesday 13th April at 7.30 pm. I believe that prayer changes things and there is so much that needs to change if our world is to be as our Creator God wants it to be. I hope that we can pick up the challenge and, as Paul told the Philippians, we can ‘Rejoice in the Lord always, do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.’
Shalom
Brenda Russell

Skittles Evening

The Social Committee has arranged a Skittles Evening at The Crofton, Hillhead, on 7th April. The cost will be £7.25 per person, which includes hire of skittles alley and a meal. We need a minimum of 20 people but I don’t think this should be hard to find. A list will be put up beside the coffee hatch for you to sign if you would like to join us.
A deposit of £5.00 is requested with the balance being paid later. If preferred, the total cost an be paid now as we have had to pay a deposit to The Crofton. See you on 7th April.
Ronald Henderson

Letter from Bishop's Waltham Church

Excerpts from a letter from Bishop’s Waltham …
We as a united Methodist and URC fellowship have been very blessed by the preaching ministry of three of your lay preachers, Sue Brown, Gill Bailey and Nicky Gilbert, who, between them, have led morning worship faithfully on the first Sunday of every month for several years. Their services are always tailor-made for our situation, and we have enjoyed a variety of worship styles, including several family services and wonderful prayers and meditations. We are always inspired, encouraged and challenged by the message they bring to us month by month.

It is the beginning of our centenary year - the doors of our building in Basingwell Street, Bishop's Waltham were opened on 23rd February 1910. We have several special events planned, and we would be delighted to welcome members of your congregation to come to share in these with us. Please would you be kind enough to publish our thanks to Sue, Gill and Nicky and the special events we have planned …
Angela Fry - Steward

Junior Church

Junior Church

After 32 years of service to the children in the Junior Church, Mrs Jo Cutress has decided to step down. Many children over the years have enjoyed and benefited from her teaching and the other teachers have enjoyed working with her. Everyone hopes that she will enjoy her “retirement” from this work and looks forward to receiving post cards from any far flung places she sails to!

The Junior Church is now very small in numbers. However, in order to comply with Child Protection Safeguards, it is necessary to have 2 adults per class, even if there is only a single child. New additions to the rota would be very welcome indeed. The same safeguards do mean that helpers do have to be CRB checked, but this can be done very easily, so don’t let it frighten you away from offering to help. The rota system means that no-one has to commit to 52 weeks each year, but for just a few Sundays at a time.

Those working with the Junior Church and Young People meet regularly and at the meeting in February resolved to ask the whole church to help to find the right way forward in this essential work. Obviously a much larger number of children would be wonderful, and we all need to work out ways of attracting children to join us on Sundays, but there are other ideas to be explored to which might bring children into our premises at other times and could build on the success of F.F.U.Fs. Please pray for, and think hard about, the future of our work with children and young people, and share your thoughts with us - no idea will be too small or even too way out to be considered, and when this item comes to the church meeting let’s have a really constructive discussion.
Carol Rogers
Children’s Elder

Response to the Appeal for Haiti

Author: 
Carol Rogers

Moved by the plight of the people of Haiti, the congregation have been raising funds for the appeal launched by the Disasters Emergency Committee. The proceeds from a famine lunch, where almost 60 people sat down to soup and bread, and a lively auction have been added to the retiring collections taken over the past two weeks,resulting in £1000 being sent to the DEC to provide necessities for the suffering people.