The Parish Church of St George the Martyr, Waterlooville
What is happening locally?
Scripture Distribution: Readers will probably be familiar with the copies of the Gideons Bibles which are to be found widely available in Hotel rooms around the country and abroad. Many people tell us how helpful they have found this and some have written to our Headquarters to say how much this has helped them. Many lives have been transformed.
Beyond these familiar copies it is less widely known that the Gideons produce and distribute a large-print edition of the New testament and Psalms for those whose eyesight need this. There is also an ultra large-print edition for anyone whose eyesight is very poor. In the latter part of last year, the local branch, which covers South-East Hampshire, undertook a drive to visit every Care Home or Home for the Elderly across this area in order to offer large-print Scriptures to them. Almost invariably when the Homes saw the copies, they snapped them up so that residents could have access to them. In a couple of instances the Homes said that they would also use them to read to residents who enjoyed this. Alongside this the Branch also provided pocket-sized copies of the New Testament for members of the Staff. It was a real joy to be involved in this project and it proved to be as much a blessing to the members taking part as the Homes which received them. On one visit the Home asked for advice on how to organise regular Services in the Home for the residents.
Local Schools: The Gideons continue to be well-received in many local Secondary Schools. The objective is to provide New Testaments for each pupil in Year 7 of every Secondary School in the Branch Area from Emsworth to the edge of Southampton. These total 20 which gives some idea of the size of the task which it is a great joy to undertake each year. The Gideons rely upon the goodwill of Head Teachers and their Staff to facilitate this and so often there is a very warm greeting awaiting the Gideons who build up strong links over the years. The preferred method of distribution is at School Assemblies but sometimes this is not possible and occasionally Scriptures are handed out in classes or at a Church Service, where this is held. The Gideons are so grateful to the Lord for continuing to open doors to make this widespread distribution possible to young people. The Branch would value your prayers that the Schools will remain open for this valuable work. Where it is currently not possible, it would be so good if doors would be opened again.
If you would like to know more about what the Gideons are doing locally and how you might get involved in this work, please ring 023 9225 7291.
Secretary, South-East Hants Branch