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St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

The Website for St George’s Church, Waterlooville and its Parish Magazine St George’s News

Easter 2017 issue

Mothers’ Union notes

Epiphany Party

This took place on Thursday 19th January. Our invited guests included members from Denmead, Catherington and Christ-church branches and ladies from the Roman Catholic Church.

After a hymn, prayers and readings and table quizzes including one on shop names, we tucked into a buffet tea of sandwiches, savouries, cakes and biscuits, plus tea or coffee.

As usual everyone had a surprise wrapped present to take home.

AGM and Coffee Morning

Our coffee morning held on Wednesday 8th February raised £142.45 for Mothers’ Union projects. There was a Bring and Buy stall, a table of MU Merchandise including Mothering Sunday and Easter cards, and also a raffle.

Our AGM followed the coffee morning at noon.

February meeting

Nine members were present at our February meeting.

Jennefer led the prayers and as we had just passed St Valentine’s Day, chose the theme of Love as appropriate for our service.

Our speaker was Major Gill Smith, talking about her work with the prison service.

She became a prison visitor after meeting her husband who was already involved in this area.

We were encouraged to rethink our stereotype ideas of prisoners as merely criminals and to re-envisage them as fathers, mothers, sons and daughters.

Many had had traumatic childhoods, regretted their turning to crime, feeling they were wasting their lives.

They felt able to talk to Major Gill and her husband, responding to their unconditional friendship and reassurance.

She showed us gifts prisoners had made for them and also items they had bought, including a clown nightdress case, pottery and a globe made of matches.

Some were able to turn their lives around and never returned to prison. Others sadly they met again and again.

This was a most interesting talk about some of the valuable work done by the Salvation Army.

Women’s World Day of Prayer

This year’s Women’s World Day of Prayer was held at St John’s Church Purbrook.

The Interdenominational service was prepared by the Christian women of the Philippines.

Entitled “Am I being unfair to you?” an almost full church listened as a “Leader” and “Readers” offered short insights into the difficulties encountered by women in that country.

Lenten Meditation

Fr Ray’s Lenten Meditation on the History of the Bible took us back to the time of Abraham, on to Moses and the flight of the Israelites into the Wilderness. While there they began to evolve from twelve tribes into a more united people. Later, as a settled nation, their history and traditions previously passed down only by word of mouth were written down to preserve them for future generations.

An important find of parchment and papyrus in 1946/7, known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, written mainly in Hebrew, possibly by the ancient Jewish Sect, the Essenes and hidden in caves, showed the writers believed as Isaiah had prophesied centuries earlier that sometime in the future a true leader, a Saviour would appear.

In the time of Jesus, John the Baptist proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah, the King the Jews had been waiting for.

Evidence from other historical sources and archeological finds help to verify the ancient Jewish writings. We were told how events documented by different civilizations’ histories fit together.

For me this was a tantalising glimpse into a most important and valuable subject and I wished we had had time to explore this in far greater depth.

Prayer Pilgrimage

Several of us gathered at Margaret’s house on Thursday 23rd March as part of our Diocesan President, Rev Elizabeth Groves, Prayer Pilgrimage: her aim being to visit each MU Branch in the Portsmouth Diocese during Lent.

Leading us in Prayers for the work of the Mothers’ Union, it was also a morning of quiet reflection and thought concluding with Mary Sumner’s Prayer and the Prayer of the Mothers’ Union.

Afterwards we all enjoyed lunch together, kindly provided by Margaret.

Lady Day Service

This year’s Lady Day Service was at All Saints Church, Denmead. The new Vicar, Rev Emma Racklyeft officiated, there was a most interesting talk by Rev Elizabeth Groves (our MU Diocesan President) and the Intercessions were led by Ven. Dr Trevor Reader (MU Chaplain for Portsmouth Diocese).

During the service items representing MU Projects were placed on the altar.

Afterwards refreshments were served in the Church Hall.

Someone asked me what the origin of Lady Day was. Wikipedia told me it is the traditional name of the Feast of the Annunciation, the ‘Lady’ referring to the Virgin Mary.

It is the first of the four Legal Quarter Days, annual contracts between English landowners and their tenant farmers used to start and end on this date. Between 1155 and 1752 it was the first day of the New Year in England, because it was near to the equinox, when day and night are equal. In some ancient cultures eg Iran a date in March still determines the start of the New Year.

The new Mothers’ Union tablecloth, made for us by Jennefer.

Examples of Mothers’ Union projects displayed on Lady Day