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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

Lent and Easter 2021 issue

The New St George’s

John Symonds authored the book, The History of the Old St George’s, and more recently worked on a history of The New St George’s, covering the period from the construction of the new church in 1970, to the year 2010. We are pleased to be serialising this account over the coming issues of St George’s News.

Chapter 3 - The Eighties

Anne Brown became leader of the St Georges Ladies Group  early in 1980 and the same year saw an enjoyable Parish Outing to Glastonbury. At the end of October the new A.S.B. Prayer book began to be used for services. On 23 April 1981 the 150th Anniversary of the foundation of the church was commemorated with a Celebration Eucharist led by Bishop Warren Hunt.

The end of an era came in October when our vicar The Reverend Harry Gibson retired after 18 years in the parish and went to live in Chichester.

The Rev Michael Gover was left in charge during a six month inter-regnum until the induction on 11 May 1982 of the new vicar the Rev Malcolm Ferrier from St Saviour’s Saltley, Birmingham. After National Service in the R.A.F. he served in the Metropolitan Police for six years before training for the ministry at Llandaff Theological College. Ordained in 1962 he served his curacy at St Alphege, Solihull and then for five years was priest in charge of St Helen’s Church Centre before his appointment to Saltley, a multi-racial parish in 1975.

At the Easter Vestry Mr Tom Churchill retired as Church Warden after 20 years devoted service and was replaced by Mr Douglas Shepherd. He remained on the P.C.C. which now consisted of the following members – Mr David Jarman, Mrs Madelaine Lennon, Mrs J Cameron, Mr Stuart Todd, Mr Christopher Plummer, Mrs Ruth Loveman, Mrs Margaret Symonds, Mr John Osmond and Mr Eric Dinneen with Mr John Randall and Mr Paul Ostermayer as Synod Representatives.

The vicar introduced a Daily Eucharist for the first time. Later in the year the P.C.C. voted against the Scheme of Reconciliation being produced by the Methodist Church. When the curate Rev Michael Gover left in January 1983 there was no immediate replacement.

This year saw what was to be the first of many stage performances by various groups when a small Revue took place in January.

In March the 11.30 Family Service was discontinued due to lack of support whilst the Sunday School began meeting at 9.45 just prior to the main Eucharist at ten o’clock. In October Mr John Randall resigned as P.C.C. Secretary because of failing health. He had held the post for twenty years and was respected by all.

The summer of 1984 saw several new developments. The Youth Club was restarted meeting on Saturday mornings under the leadership of Mike Wadley. Mr John Osmond retired as church gardener after 30 years service to be replaced by Mr Doug Shepherd and a team of volunteers. An Envelope Scheme was introduced for Church giving and in July a new statue of Our Lady was blessed and placed in the north east corner of the church. The following month a new curate, the Rev Peter Stanway, was at last appointed. He had spent some years in Sakatchewan Canada ministering to an Eskimo congregation.

In the autumn another long serving P.C.C. member retired. This was Flora Shotter who for thirty years had been in charge of the Free Will Offering scheme and for 27 years had taught in the Sunday School. In fact a lot of “new blood” had already been elected to the P.C.C. at the April Vestry including Ruby Bullock, Tony Rice-Oxley, Andrew Clark, Christine Culley, Norman Linney, Mary Todd, John Upton and Lynn Winter. Eric Dinneen and Frank Mills were elected as Synod Representatives. The year ended with much discussion regarding the ageing Church Hall. Should it be completely rebuilt or merely restored? It was eventually decided that a new hall would be too expensive. On a brighter note the Christmas Bazaar raised a record sum of £1129.

The vicar published some interesting statistics in the magazine comparing 1983 with the church in 1912 when Waterlooville was still a small village community.

January 1985 Mrs Margaret Symonds succeeded Mrs Cooper as Enrolling Member of the Mothers Union Branch, whilst Ruby Bullock  began leading regular Church Rambles. These proved to be very popular and continued for many years. In March the Rev Peter Stanway announced his engagement to Helena Michell of Dulwich and in August they were married at St George’s.



Holy Communion















Easter offerings



Easter Ciommuinions



The thorny issue of women priests was being widely discussed throughout the Anglican church. The vicar wrote an article in the magazine strongly opposing the idea but opinion remained divided. The cost of refurbishing the Church Hall was estimated to be in the region of £20,000 and to help raise funds for this Tony Rice-Oxley instituted the 100 Club in December, this proved very popular and it has continued ever since. The first two winners of the monthly draw were Colin Plummer and Frank Cork.

At this time the various Church Groups were led by the following people.

Bible Reading Fellowship                 Mrs Adina Burton

Christian Aid                                 Mrs Pamela Dinneen

Mothers Union                               Mrs Margaret Symonds

Mothers and Toddlers Group             Mrs Lesley Handy

St Georges Ladies                          Mrs Anne Brown

Sunday School                                Mrs Ruth Loveman

Youth Club                                     Mr Mike Wadley

1986 began with the church pantomime, The Sleeping Beauty, produced by Jane Rice-Oxley. It was a great success and involved many members of the congregation. Fundraising for the Church Hall restoration continued apace. Mr Gerry Marfleet took over as Fund Raiser with Mr Tom Churchill as Project Manager, and by March £1500 had been raised towards the target of £20,000.

It was voted to begin retiring collections as the plan to use direct church funds had not worked well as little was left to give to charities after the standard outgoings.

The vicar appointed 6 lay persons to assist with the distribution of Holy Communion. They were Tony Shepherd, Doug Shepherd, Chris Dursley and Malcolm Freemantle together with Pat Phillips and Margaret Symonds as the first ever lady assistants.

       In April Mr Andrew Clark became Church Warden in place of Mr Chris Dursley who left the parish to live in Dorset.

A month later the vicar and his friend Fr Graham Holcombe of Llandaff Cathedral led a party of 25 on a tour of the Holy Land. The Summer Fete held in the Church grounds for the first time raised £850 and a Harvest Barn Dance in October proved very popular. The same month saw the birth of a daughter Louise to  the Rev Peter Stanway and his wife. The year ended with a beautiful icon of St John being presented to the church in memory of Gilbert Sharp.  

In 1987 the Church players produced a revue which included Andrew Clark and some youth club members in ‘The Piggy Revue’.

In May the vicar led 21 of the congregation on a week-end pilgrimage to Walsingham in Norfolk thus inaugurating an annual church event.

The same month double-sided stoles, an altar crucifix and candlesticks were presented in memory of Eric Aust. Later in the year a colourful statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was  given  by the sisters of St Margaret’s of East Grinstead. It had been restored by Siegfried Pietzach of St Alban’s in memory of Kathleen Dines a former missionary in South Africa and sister of Mrs Roslyn Edwards, a member of St George’s congregation.

In October many new kneelers were stitched for the chapel and presented by members of the M.U. branch and friends.

In the same month it was announced that the Rev Peter Stanway was leaving having been appointed Rector of Laughton, Chalvington and Ripe in the Chichester Diocese.

1988 saw a new Church Warden appointed with Norman Linney replacing Doug Shepherd. It was agreed that in future churchwardens would normally be appointed for a four year term. This year’s pantomime  was Alice in Pantoland written and performed by St George’s Players. In May we welcomed the Revd Jane Hedges as Assistant Curate and also as Diocesan Stewardship Adviser. The Parish Outing to Arundel and Alfriston soon followed. It ended with a detour to Ripe where the Stanway family greeted us for a pleasant re-union.

During the summer Margaret Symonds and Jennefer Higginbottom with a party from Catherington Church made a pilgrimage to Taize in France. There was also a visit from Fr Thomas, Vicar of St Mary the Virgin, Axim, in Ghana, our linked parish. He preached at the Sunday Eucharist and his wife Grace attended the MU meeting that week. The Summer Fête was enhanced by a Flower Festival and this attracted many visitors to the church. At the end of the year a set of catafalque wrought iron candlesticks for the altar was given in memory of Malcolm Freemantle.

In 1989 Geoffrey Tomkins, a member of the congregation, presented one of his paintings to the church. It hangs today on the south east wall and depicts the shops in Waterlooville precinct with the risen Christ standing in the midst.

The wedding of Peter Stanway and Helena  in August

The departure of Chris and Grace Dursley after many years service at St George’s

A shot from the Revue with Andrew Clark and some youth club members in “The Piggy Revue”

The Pilgrimage to Walsingham

The MU presenting newly made Kneelers

 In September the parish joined in a big Open Air Eucharist held in the Guildhall Square Portsmouth for the whole Diocese. Several of our Chalice assistants took part. Then from 5-15 October Fr Richard Oakley C.R. assisted by two nuns, led a successful Parish Mission. The Bishop of Portsmouth (Rt. Revd Timothy Bavin) came for the commissioning Eucharist.

The Parish Msision 1989 Team

A few weeks later we welcomed to the congregation the Revd Ronald Bowles and his wife Mary. They had moved into the area following his retirement from a parish in Bournemouth.