The Parish Church of St George the Martyr, Waterlooville

Whilst St George’s Church, Waterlooville celebrates forty years since the rebuilding and enlargement of its structure, the MU Branch celebrated its 100th Anniversary.  On Sunday 21st November the church was decorated with flags of many nations, representing the world wide nature of the MU. A short sketch was written and acted by members and friends, depicting the meeting of Mary Sumner with  the young wife  of the vicar, Mrs Suffrin and their three children [acted by the Lloyd family] .The aim was to explain the origin and purpose of the organisation and its expansion world wide. The sketch took the place of the sermon.  Sheila King spoke briefly about the work of the MU in our diocese at the present time.  The children in the congregation were then invited, each accompanied by a parent, to light a candle and place it on a large map of the world. Following the Service a large birthday cake, made by a branch member, Margot Farrell, was shared, with wine, amongst the members of the congregation. A former Enrolling Member, Joyce Gibson, now living in Chichester, cut the cake.

On the following Thursday, the actual anniversary day, Diocesan Trustees and friends of the Branch were served a simple lunch. We were so delighted that Stella Page and Scilla Rollison made the effort to join us having travelled, on a very cold day, from Freshwater and Newport on the Isle of Wight. Lunch was followed by a non Eucharistic Service of thanksgiving, to which members of the local R.C. and Baptist churches and neighbouring MU Branches were invited.  It was led by our MU Chaplain Revd Barry Smith. The sketch was performed again. This time Barry spoke about the present activities of the MU and Sheila King, our President, explained the Bye Buy Childhood Petition and invited those present to sign it. Subsequently five and a half pages of signatures were posted to the PM.

The ladies from the Union of Catholic Mothers presented the Branch with a beautiful candle and stand. We ended the celebrations with tea and homemade biscuits in church.

Additional activities during this celebratory year included a visit by the Revd Roly Bain, who conducts his ministry through clowning, at a Family Fun Day, in May, for the entire Parish. We also participated in the first Christmas Tree Festival to be held at St George’s. Our tree depicting the work and world wide nature of the MU was one amongst 21 other trees. The Festival lasted a week and was opened by the Archdeacon, Revd Trevor Reader, who with a click of a switch turned on all the Christmas tree lights at one go.

Whilst we have enjoyed these events we hope that our activities have displayed the love of Christ as well as the origins and purpose of our organisation.  We hope we have provided a better understanding of the Mothers’ Union and possibly encouraged others to join us.

Epiphany Party

We began the New Year with our Epiphany Party which was well supported both by our own members and members from Denmead and Portsdown branches. We were also delighted to welcome our Diocesan President Mrs Sheila King, as well as some of our friends from the Catholic Church. We enjoyed a pleasant afternoon with some quizzes, spiritual readings and an amusing poem read by Mrs Pam Dinneen describing the funnier side of getting old! together with hymns and prayers. As usual our members had provided a splendid afternoon tea together with an individual present for everyone.

Havant Women’s Aid

Our meeting began with Margaret welcoming guests and a new member and introducing our speakers, Sue and Yvonne, from Havant Women’s Aid.

Sue gave us a most interesting talk on their work. Havant Women’s Aid began in 1979 when it was felt there was a need for a refuge for women victims of domestic abuse. At first it operated on a mainly voluntary / grant basis, as the demand grew a more professional framework was established.

There are now paid staff, students on placement and volunteers.

At a secret location they can accommodate up to six ladies and twelve (or more) children.

There are communal lounges, a kitchen, dining room, playroom, and offices, as well as bedrooms and bathrooms.

Most families come from outside the area for safety reasons and can stay for up to two years if necessary, although most stay only weeks.

Havant Women’s Aid also run a youth group and holiday activities for children.

Sue told us that single bedding, towels and toiletries are always needed and can be left with Margaret Symonds for collection.

Lenten Meditation

On Thursday 17th March we held our Lenten Meditation. This was led by Rev Ruth Loveman, with bible readings, additional readings and music. It was most enjoyable and spiritual and much appreciated by all the ladies present.

Forthcoming events

April visit of the World Wide President Rosemary Kempsell. Rosemary will be in the diocese from Sunday 17th – Wednesday 20th. She will be visiting Havant Deanery MU on Tuesday 19th at Catherington at 2pm  to meet the members and to share tea and cakes.

On Wednesday 20th she will be with us, along with Bp Christopher, at the Diocesan Festival Service, at the Cathedral at noon.

On April 28th Bishop Godfrey Ashby will be our speaker.

Thursday May 19th: ‘Board games with a difference’.

Sue Andrews,

Janet Johnson,

Margaret Symonds

Easter Edition 2011

St George’s Mothers’ Union