August 2010

Fun for Under Fives

Fun for Under Fives meets each Monday morning at 9.30am in term time. It provides an opportunity for small children to play in a safe environment and gives parents and carers a chance to meet together socially. The beginning of the new school year means that is no longer a waiting list and new faces will be very welcome. The leader, Audrey Mann, will be at the church at 9.30am each Monday morning and will be able to show just what is available at each session.

Letter for September

Author: 
Sandy Nunn

Dear Friends,

It has fallen to me to write September’s letter and, at the moment, I don’t know which way this will go! Last week I read an interesting article in ‘Christianity’ magazine about rules and regulations and worship. It posed an interesting question, “Are we too hide-bound by rules and do we forget about the message Jesus gave us?”

I have always felt self-conscious when reading, serving communion or welcoming friends to church because of my taste in clothing. One thing that is important to me (apart from my faith) is my type of music and I often wear ‘Heavy Metal’ T-shirts – advertising some of my favourite groups. I have an inkling, at the back of my mind, that the designs may cause offence or even repulsion to members of the congregation. However, the article outlined many points about ‘living by the rules’ rather than ‘by the spirit’. Would I be a better Christian if I wore a suit to church every Sunday? The article talked about how the early Christians were not so interested in HOW they worshipped God – just that they DID worship God. The article ended with something like, “will there some day be a group of Christians worshipping God kneeling on a mat, facing Jerusalem and doing it five times a day? I pray so.”

Surely it isn’t what God wants, us going to church only on Sundays, in our best clothes, and then being done with Him for the rest of the week. How many of us have started to say grace at every meal, as Bill McCrea encouraged us to do? How many of us include God in everything we do?

Should I still feel self-conscious about not wearing a suit on Sundays? . . . . . . . Probably not!

Fairtrade

Author: 
Rachel Hicks

Fairtrade Borough Group
Annual review 2009/10

It has been another good year in the life of the group, culminating in the successful renewal of the Borough’s Fairtrade status, which was obtained in April. This is great news. The Fairtrade Foundation was very complimentary about the work that we do and the progress we have made. We will next have to renew in the spring of 2012.
Our work with the Borough Council was given a boost this year by the support we received from council leader Cllr Seán Woodward. The Council now has an official representative on the working group, Cllr Pam Bryant, whose presence is already proving very useful and positive. We were invited to have a Fairtrade stand at all six of the Summer 2010 Community Action Team meetings across the borough, which have been fruitful in reaching more people with the message of Fairtrade. The Hampshire County Councillors representing Fareham have also been very supportive.
The year has seen a big increase in the number and range of Fairtrade products which are available in shops throughout the borough. To a large extent this is due to major brands, and big retailers’ own brands, becoming Fairtrade: for example four-finger Kit Kats and Sainsbury’s Red Label tea. And it’s not just food: more and more clothes retailers are turning to Fairtrade cotton, and Fairtrade cosmetics and other beauty products are starting to become available. However, there is still room for individuals and groups to put pressure on their local store to stock more Fairtrade items; so please keep doing so!
We have received great support from the Southern Co-Operative group, which is based in Fareham. They have been generous with vouchers to enable us to offer free Fairtrade samples at our events, and also gave us a grant of £655 to buy a set of display boards.
We have continued our extensive work with schools, running assemblies and workshops, and helping teachers to work Fairtrade into the curriculum. We have also given talks to various community groups. We are always glad to do more of these, so if your school or community group would like us to come along please contact me. Faith groups throughout the borough also continue to support Fairtrade in a big way: mostly these are churches, although we have also made good links with the local Muslim congregation.
Fairtrade Fortnight, in late February and early March, was most successful, with a variety of displays and stalls. Our main stall, in Fareham Shopping Centre, was supported by the Mayor of Fareham, the leader of the council, and Mark Hoban MP, and attracted a lot of interest. We also sold a number of our unique Fairtrade cotton shopping bags, proclaiming that Fareham is a Fairtrade Borough – these are still available, priced at a very reasonable £2.
We have enjoyed increasingly close co-operation with other local Fairtrade groups. We attended events in Gosport, Eastleigh and Winchester, and together with several local groups we hosted a visit by Vinay Devaiah, a Fairtrade tea producer from India, who was able to share first-hand experience of the difference Fairtrade makes where it matters – in poor communities in the developing world.
When you buy Fairtrade, you are making a real difference. You are enabling people who have very little to earn a living, invest in their community, and take a big step out of poverty and into a fulfilled and dignified life. Thank you for your support.
Rachel Hicks
chair@fftb.org.uk 01329 312895

THE CHRISTIAN RAMBLING CLUB THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY

Author: 
Jane Dowdell

“Ask where the good way is and walk in it.” Jeremiah 6:16

The Christian Rambling Club celebrates its thirtieth anniversary next year, 2011, having been founded in 1981 to provide opportunities to enjoy walking at the weekend whilst still having Christian fellowship. Membership is open to any professing Christian aged 18 and over who acknowledge Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

HAMPSHIRE DAY WALKING GROUP OF CHRISTIAN RAMBLING CLUB

“You have made known to me the path of life” Psalm 16:11

The local branch, the Hampshire Christian Rambling Club focuses on keeping Sunday special and arranges a varied and interesting programme of walks on a Saturday so that the walks do not clash with Sunday services. The group starts with prayer, thanking God for the fellowship and committing the day to his hands. Some walks are relatively easy, others more challenging and are varied in length from 5 to 14 miles, depending on whoever has planned and is leading the walk. Walks might include a picnic lunch, pub lunch and may finish in a teashop. The programme includes occasional social events. To join us in Christian fellowship, fresh air and health giving exercise, contact the membership secretary on hcrc@btinternet.com.
You don’t have to live in Hampshire to join the HCRC for although the walks tend to be in Hampshire, walks have been arranged in Dorset, West Sussex, Wiltshire and of course the Isle of Wight. A very warm welcome awaits you, as well as plenty of fresh air, exercise and fellowship.

GARDENING LIGHT D.I.Y. CHANGING A LIGHT BULB ??

Is there a job you really need to do, but it’s just all too much??
Contact one of the members of the Worship Group listed below and we shall try to find a church member who can help.

If you indicated an interest in helping with odd jobs when you completed the Worship Group questionnaire earlier this year, be prepared – we may be calling on your services soon.

Gill Bailey, Sue Brown, Margaret Boyne, Carol Rogers.