News from St. Anne’s Church June 2019
As some of you know, I have started to take more of an interest in the garden and greenhouse this year! In addition to the courgettes and tomatoes I bought at the plant sale, I have sown some seeds which are beginning to show some green shoots. It is such a joy to see results so soon.
Gardening is good exercise, but also gets us outside, which is therapy in itself! Appreciating the Creator’s wonderful gifts to us, the colours, weathers, variety and the sound of the birds encourages me to praise God! I heard an interview on the radio this week with the comedian, Paul Whitehouse, who has spent many years fishing – he recently had major heart surgery and encouraged his friend and fellow performer, Bob Mortimer, to go with him, after he suffered from a heart attack. ‘Gone Fishing’ is the title of his book and the TV programme, which some of you may have seen. Paul said that communing with ‘mother nature’ had really given him hope, peace and perspective on life. It helps him to appreciate every moment of every day.
We all need time out, away from our pressing busyness – even if it’s only space in our heads (blue sky moments) to pray! If we don’t, like plants that do not thrive because of lack of the appropriate amount of water, sunlight and nutrients in the soil, we are liable to become ‘pot bound’ – so focussed on ourselves and our agendas that we do not look at the bigger picture. We must guard against being stifled by the cares of the world, our own selfishness, greed and other preoccupations.
Jesus often used parables or analogies to explain how we can live our lives to the full: He talked about us being ‘in the vine’ (in God), as branches producing fruit (enabled by His strength); he refers to seeds planted on various soil-types, tiny mustard seeds (of faith) growing into the enormous trees, enabling others to shelter and be protected. In Ephesians, St Paul encouraged the Church: ‘so then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness’. ‘Be still and know that I am God’, a familiar song but also a Bible verse from the Psalms (46 verse 10). Our minds, hearts and lives need some ‘good soil, light and water’ in order to continue to develop and grow our Christian faith.
Our focus, between Ascension Day and Pentecost has been the Church of England ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ initiative, with prayer meetings across the Totton Team. As part of this, we are each encouraged to pray daily for 5 people we know to come to know Christ as their Saviour and Lord, to pray for our community and the mission of our local Churches. Let us take this to heart and begin to produce new shoots so that we can all flourish for God’s Kingdom.
Happy gardening! Sally
Forthcoming events at St. Anne’s Church
Saturday June 15th 7.00 pm – 9.30 pm Scattergories – a fun quiz evening!
Monday June 10th 7.00 pm for 7.30 pm Fellowship Social Evening
Saturday June 29th 2.00 – 4.00 pm Summer Fete
Tuesday July 23rd 7.00 – 9.00 pm Accordion Concert
Monday July 29th 11.00 am – 1.00 pm Quiet Spaces at The Vicarage, Cooks Lane
We will be intentionally praying for Mission in the Totton area on the following dates –
Tuesday June 4th 7.00 pm St. Matthew’s A Wave of Prayer for Pentecost
Thursday June 13th 7.00 pm St. Mary’s A Wave of Prayer for Pentecost
Monday June 17th 2.00 – 4.00 pm Team Social at The Spot in the Woods
Please bring along a friend or neighbour who might not otherwise get out to eat cake and share fellowship! All welcome!
Saturday June 8th 1.00 pm Totton Fun Day – Recreation Ground, Salisbury Road
Sunday June 9th 6.30 pm St. Matthew’s Netley Marsh Pentecost Celebration
Would you like to join our team that lead our prayers of intercession on a Sunday morning? We would welcome new volunteers to join the rota. Guidance will be available to help new team members to prepare for the role. If you would like to know more please talk to Sally or to Graham.
Pastoral Visiting Team
If you are interested in joining our Pastoral Visiting Team at St. Anne’s, visiting those in our parish who are housebound, in hospital or in a Care Home, please let Sally know. We will be running training sessions to enhance our ministry.
Exciting Times Ahead!
Each Church in the Totton Team has been challenged to start a new initiative to encourage more families and children into the Church. At St. Anne’s we will be starting Lego Church – once a month on a Thursday at 6pm – beginning on November 7th and December 5th. There will be Bacon Butties, Cakes, Drinks, Lego, a story and a song. Please do invite families that you know and pray for a team of volunteers to help with refreshments and ‘befriending’ those who come. Another possibility in the planning stage is a Tots Café at AFC Totton – a St. Anne’s and St. Win’s joint venture. Please pray for this too.
That’s all for now – Many Thanks – Sally
If you have any ideas for a stall or a game, can contribute items for stalls and the draw, or can offer help on the day, please contact me! Val
Our Beetle Drive in May was a fun evening – drawing butterflies instead of beetles in the second half was a surprising challenge! The evening raised over £100 for church funds.Whatever will be drawing at the next Beetle Drive? In the mean-time Sharon and Mary are organising a ‘Scattergories’ evening – details above. This team event evening sounds like huge fun – please do join us!
Big thanks to Sharon and Mary for all their hard work.
Spring Plant Sale
The Plant Sale was a great success again, we didn't make millions, but it was all good fun and a nice social occasion which is a good start to the summer activities, nice to see old friends and chat about plants. Some unusual ones on sale this year were walnut trees (can't wait to see how that turns out), and box hedging shrubs. We had a good turn-out of bedding plants which has been great fun bringing on for the Summer Fete. Tomato plants as ever were very popular sellers. Thanks to all concerned for a great effort and for donations made, about £400. Good growing and see you at the Summer Fete, Cheers Geoff
RWANDA AND SABBATICAL
First of all, may I thank the DCC and Team Council for allowing me to take a Sabbatical/Study Leave break this year – it was most timely and was a chance to reflect on life as a Vicar!
The Rwanda experience was again amazing: the visit became the Deanery Trip, with 8 of us, two from St Winfrid’s, Stewart and myself, three from Sway and one from Hythe. Those who were at the Rwanda Focus Sunday heard snap-shots of the time we spent in Africa. We spent some time in Kigali, the capital, visiting the Genocide Museum to understand what the country went through in the 1990s and the Theological College, which was the focus of the Deanery Lent Appeal in 2017. We were also able to see how last year’s Lent Appeal was spent, in the hospital at Gahini. The children’s ward now has new beds, mosquito nets, windows, a washable floor, walls and a cement ceiling, along with some vital equipment, eg incubators. A small amount of money goes a long way in Africa. In Kibuye Parish, where our link Parish is, we spent time with Archdeacon Justin and understood the practicalities of trying to attain the new government standards for Church buildings and the training of Clergy. Because the area is 3 hours away by public transport, along rough roads, Pastors are finding it difficult to travel to the Theological College, both the fees and transport costs are huge in a largely hand-to-mouth economy. This year, the donations from the Lent Project are being distributed locally amongst the linked Parishes, to help to offset some of those costs. Each trainee and existing Pastor must have gained a BA qualification by 2023 – even I haven’t got that! Churches are closing because they cannot afford to concrete the floors, put windows and roofs in place, nor build western-style toilets – they are having to meet in the open air or in schools. The most poignant experience was meeting up with Laurence (who is a lady) in Musabeye, who had been so inspired by our last visit in 2016 that she is now the Pastor! The £200 raised by St Anne’s Church was given to Archdeacon Justin, whose motorbike had run out of insurance and was not roadworthy. He has now been able to get mobile again. This is his only form of transport to his 13 remote Churches as the roads in his Deanery are mostly inaccessible to other vehicles. We were able to see the beginnings of micro-industries in Kibuye, which the £1,000 we sent via the Kivu Diocesan Bishop last year, will eventually support, these include buying more hardy banana trees, fertiliser, goats, pigs, cows and a knitting machine.
On our return, we moved to our flat in Sussex and I was able to work for a month as a Volunteer Chaplain at St Barnabas Hospice, Worthing. It was a privilege to journey with the terminally ill and their families and to share in leadership of worship, Holy Communion and Quiet Meditation in their lovely Chapel. It was also good to work in such a welcoming and caring environment – and to have a job with regular hours!
Our final 3 weeks was spent in the South of France, resting and walking. Stewart and I reckon we managed 80 miles! As I am training for the MacMillan Thames Path Walk on 20 July, we were gradually increasing our pace and distance. Sally
Who to contact
Team Vicar Revd Sally Marchant Tel: 02380488113 firstname.lastname@example.org NB Sally is "off duty" on Fridays
Churchwardens Ian Gregory Tel: 02380 872885
Church Website www.stannescalmore.co.uk
Find us at the junction of Calmore Road and Cooks Lane – SO40 2RH
Copy for July Newsletter Please forward items to Stewart by Sunday June 23rd
for publication on June 26th email@example.com