May 2010

Letter for June

Author: 
Jeff Smith

Dear Friends,

One of my favourite poems from my schooldays is “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, which, if you are not familiar with this poem, is the story of an old sailor who accosts a wedding guest with a tale of a shipwreck following his killing of an albatross. It includes the famous line: “Water, water, everywhere nor any drop to drink”, and it is true that of all the water in the world over 97% is undrinkable as it is seawater. Of the 3% that remains, 2% is part of the icecaps, leaving less than 1% that is available for people to use. It’s no wonder that water is so precious.

Water was a scarce resource in Palestine in Jesus’ time, as it is today, and there are numerous references to water in the New Testament. Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding in Canaan; he was baptised in the waters of the River Jordan; he washed the feet of his disciples in water; and Pilate washed his hands in water when not releasing Jesus just before the Crucifixion. In particular, I wanted to refer to Matthew chapter 10 verse 42 where Jesus says: “You can be sure that whoever gives even a drink of cold water to one of the least of my followers... will certainly receive a reward”. How can we give water to those who need it? Well (!), one of the organisations that is doing just that is Water Aid. In fact Water Aid is one of the two charities adopted by the church to support this year. On your behalf I have already sent Water Aid a cheque for £200 and will send them a further one later in the year. That will be for a larger amount as any money put on the offertory plate is shared between the two charities.

Finally, Jesus did not only offer physical water but also spiritual water in saying “...whoever drinks the water that I will give will never be thirsty again”. May we appreciate the water that Jesus gives and not take it for granted.
Jeff Smith

Soapbox for June 2010

Author: 
Gill Bailey

Soapbox
(The page for YOUR special causes, ideas, etc.)

On 1st October 2007, Bryn Parry of the Royal Green Jackets launched an appeal to provide extra and better facilities and support for our wounded service men and women returning from Afghanistan, a new charity called ‘Help for Heroes’.

Headley Court, the government run rehabilitation centre, near Epsom in Surrey, was once an Elizabethan Farmhouse, which was bought and extended into a large mansion and later used as the HQ for Canadian forces during the war, training engineers in the art of building air strips and trench systems.

Although this is a large building which already provided a hydrotherapy pool, there wasn’t a full size swimming pool, so patients had to be taken to the public pools in Leatherhead. Unfortunately, this resulted in some unpleasant encounters! The charity provided the money for a new on-site pool, which has now been built. Sadly, due to the increasing number of casualties, there is now a need to arrange accommodation for 30 more beds to add to the current 28.

Another objective was to try to raise funds to build three new Personal Recovery Centres across England and to extend, or replace, the one in Scotland. The charity has now successfully raised the necessary £20 million to begin the first one, which will be built at Colchester. These brand new facilities will not only have comfortable accommodation, but also all the latest gadgets and technology needed to provide excellent care for each individual, so that they can begin to rebuild their lives in the best possible way.

The money is also being used to provide accommodation for relatives coming to support and encourage their sons, daughters, husbands, or wives, as they begin to start on the long road to recovery. Families are also given money to go out for a meal together, as these wounded personal are often daunted by the prospect of being seen in public with their injuries.

It seems to me that if we expect men and women, some of them heartbreakingly young, to go out and risk their lives for our sakes, the least we can do for them is to provide the best possible help for them when and if they need it.

Should you wish to send a donation, the address is;

H4H,Unit 6,Aspire Business, Ordnance Road, Tidworth Hants SP9 7QD

Gill B.

Prayer Can Make A Difference

Author: 
CR

Showing their faith in the power of prayer members and friends took part in 12 hours of continuous prayer on Saturday May 22nd. Prayer stations were placed around the sanctuary for silent prayer and meditation and every two hours there was a short meditation and prayer led by various members. Those taking part were asked to pray for the church, the community and the world as well as for their personal concerns.