June 2010

Indoor Games

Leslie Brown

A small (and dare we say ‘select’?) group of people have been meeting regularly on Thursday evenings for a little physical activity ever since we moved to the new building. Our numbers are diminishing (mainly due to age but for other reasons also) to the point where sometimes only four people are present – just enough for a game of badminton!

Our main game (apart from being sarcastic in ‘the best possible taste’ about the playing abilities of the others present) is badminton. You don’t have to be an expert player to come – or even know the rules of the game (some have been playing since the group started - for all those years - and after all this time do not know even the basics!) but it helps if you can count (only up to 15) and remember what happened two minutes ago so you know who should be serving next (again some of the present players cannot do either of these things).

If you prefer other games, we do have a table tennis table (you do have to be able to count up to 21 for this) and a small snooker table (up to 147 for this!), so there is plenty for everyone. It only costs 75p a week, with all ‘donations’ (having bought a few shuttlecocks, that is) going to the church. So why not come along (all ages are welcome as long as they are not too energetic or active) and have some fun – quite a lot of ‘chatting’ does take place as well!
Leslie Brown
p.p The FURC Sporting (well we try anyway!) Group

A final letter from the interim moderator

Nigel Douglas

It is a sadness that I make my last contribution, as interim moderator, to the Messenger without seeing an end to the vacancy. I am saying farewell to the Gosport pastorate and another interim moderator will be appointed in due course by Synod for Fareham and Sarisbury Green. In August I and my family are moving to Buckinghamshire where I have been called as minister to Beaconsfield and Holtspur United Reformed Churches.

It has been interesting to me to see the process of ministerial appointment from both sides at the same time. From the perspective of interim moderator one tends to see candidates and pastorates failing to connect--and one is tempted to be critical of the rather clumsy URC system of filling vacancies. From my perspective as a candidate the same system, which is undoubtedly trying for some ministers, can also work very smoothly and relatively quickly--and I am thankful that that has been my experience over the last few months.

My experience may give heart to congregations struggling to fill vacancies. God does have a purpose, and is implementing his plan. In dues course the right candidate will come along and then this process which has so far been so frustrating and unfruitful will (I hope) quickly and easily achieve its purpose. Our task, as congregations and as ministers, is to remember that we are seeking God's will, and be prepared to wait for his timing.

One final thought. As a farewell to the lovely Hampshire coastline, and as an opportunity to raise money for a charity with which I have a close connection, I am asking my congregations if (instead of any leaving gifts) they would sponsor me to walk the Solent Way, from Emsworth to Milford on Sea, a distance of 60 miles, in two days. The money raised will go through Health Help International to help fund a centre for disabled children in Tamil Nadu, south India. If anyone in the church would like to sponsor me, I would be most grateful.

I wish you every blessing during the rest of your vacancy and on the appointment, in due course, of a new minister for Fareham and Sarisbury Green United Reformed Churches.

Nigel Douglas

Bible Enlightenment’

Over the next few weeks we shall be meeting and working through an excellent booklet called PRAYER – THE REAL BATTLE. If you are interested in exploring your ideas and/or finding out about the life of prayer that Brother Andrew and Al Janssen describe, please join us on the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of the month at 7.30 pm for tea & biscuits, chat and discussion in an informal and relaxed atmosphere.

We are looking forward to you joining us on our continuing journey. Alternatively, if you have any questions about this or the booklet, please see Audrey Mann or Carol Rogers.

In my opinion....Send a Cow

Nicky Gilbert


“Send a Cow started when some British farmers were watching a programme about African farmers struggling to survive. They joked about sending some of their own fine cattle, but from this first silly suggestion grew a charity with a determination to improve the lives of poor farmers in developing countries.

They do literally take cows and other livestock, improving the gene-pool of the local animals by cross-breeding. They provide training in animal care and farming methods, research accessible technology and run health-care classes.
Everyone who receives an animal is expected to pass on the first-born kid or calf to another family; even seeds from fruit trees are passed on. Those who receive training are expected to train their neighbours.

Recently, they sent me a story of a woman in Ethiopia who was given training and a metal stove pipe and roofing. From this she built a cook-house and efficient oven. She made each brick herself from local mud. She can now cook for and feed her extended family and the orphans she cares for more hygienically and using much less wood.

The result of these small gifts and training (and a great deal of hard work from the people themselves) is that the crops are increased, children are fed and educated, diets are improved and simple medicines are purchased. Community life is grown and the standing of widows improved.”


A Meditation used at the Day of Prayer written by Gill Bailey

I am Alpha and Omega

I am Alpha
I was here in the beginning, the beginning of all that is.
Before the world was, I was here, waiting, waiting for you.
Before there was sea or crushing waves,
Before there was sky or rushing clouds,
Before there was land or snow covered mountains,
I was here.

I was here in the beginning.
Before the fish swam or the insects crawled,
Before the cockerels crowed or the lions roared,
Before the singing of a million feathered life-forms greeted the rising sun,
I was here.

I am Alpha
I was here before man and woman came into being,
Before you built your homes,
Before you worked in the fields or subdued the land,
Before you discovered technology or sought to control the world through science.
I was here.

I was here in the beginning,
Before you lived or loved,
Before you talked or toiled,
Before your worried weariness made you doubt my existence.
I was here waiting, waiting for you.

I am Alpha
There is nothing I have not seen.
There is nowhere I have not been.
There is nothing I do not know or have not experienced,
No situation that I have not encountered,
No emotion that I do not have,
No feeling that I cannot understand.
There is no joy too great, no laughter too loud,
No amusement that I cannot enjoy,
No caring touch that I cannot feel.

I was here in the beginning.
There is no sorrow I cannot share,
No tears too deep, no pain too great,
No aching loneliness that I have not known,
No hatred or betrayal that I have not suffered.
Nothing is new to me.
Before the world began, I was here, waiting, waiting for you.
I am Alpha. Before the world began, ‘I am’.

I am Omega
I am the end,
The end of all that was, the end of all that will be.
I am the last, the final curtain.
When the world is no more and all is still,
I’ll be there waiting, waiting for you.

I am Omega
When the sun no longer shines and the rain ceases,
When mists no longer gather, nor snowflakes fall,
When the wind stops its constant roaming and rainbows are but a distant memory,
I’ll be there.

When wheat no longer grows, nor kestrels dive,
When boats no longer sail, nor passengers arrive,
When loud music ceases and all is hushed,
I’ll be there, waiting, waiting for you.

I am Omega
When you have done your worst to destroy my world,
Pulled down my trees, flattened my forests,
Polluted my rivers and plundered the land,
Altered the genes and confused the life-cycles,
I’ll be there.

When you have exploded your bombs and fought your wars,
Race against race, colour against colour,
When you have abused the young and ridiculed the old,
When you have ignored the poor and disobeyed my teaching,
I’ll be there, waiting, waiting for you.

I am Omega
I am the end.
One day I will return and take you with me.
You need not fear me, for I love you.
I created you in my image,
Made you to live in my world,
To know its joys and woes,
To work, to play, to love!
To win, to lose and start again,
To live and breathe and know that I am your God and you are my people.
I am the end.
When evil is banished and all creation is at peace again as it was in the beginning,
I’ll be there.

For I am Alpha and Omega,
The beginning and the end,
The first and the last,
And I am waiting, waiting for you.

Pictures of Fareham United Reformed Church

The Church is surrounded by a gardenThe Church is surrounded by a gardenA view of the sanctuary.A view of the sanctuary.The Hangings: The three hangings were made by Pamela Pavitt.  The two side panels are changed regularly to depict the seasons.The Hangings: The three hangings were made by Pamela Pavitt. The two side panels are changed regularly to depict the seasons.



At the morning service on Sunday June 13th which was led by Mrs Gill Bailey, the choir under the baton of Dennis Mason performed Saints Alive! by Roger Jones.
The musical tells the story of the Christian Church at Pentecost, based on the account in Acts chapters 1 and 2. It vividly portrays the change in the apostles from being defeated and hopeless men to a group who turned the world upside down.