News from St. Anne’s Church January and February 2020


We often make New Year’s resolutions – usually things we want to change in our lives (eg - losing weight, exercising more, starting a new hobby). When we have instigated these, we are more than happy to embrace the changes we make, until the end of January at least!  As I approach retirement, I have been reflecting on just over 6 years of ministry at St Anne’s and the local Schools, latterly with the addition of St Mary’s Eling. I have thought about the people I have got to know, both young and old, in the community as well as the Church, with whom I have had the privilege of journeying, through difficult circumstances, as well as celebrations.   I remember too those who we have sadly lost, who have moved on to eternity with God.  It has been exciting to see the ways in which the Church as well as individuals have embraced change, to watch as, gradually, slowly but surely, God has been transforming lives, particularly through Alpha, Pilgrim courses and now through Lego Church and work with families. It’s wonderful to hear some of the children I have met, particularly at Calmore Infants and Junior schools, remembering something about God through stories, or Christian songs, we have shared – God’s seeds that have been sown which I pray will flourish in time. I even had 60 Year R children (4 and 5 year olds) choosing to come to St Anne’s for their end of term treat! Indeed, a treat for me too!  Children are always changing, emerging like butterflies from chrysalises (is that a word?!) – as we watch them grow up, we can see them develop in confidence as well as size. They are so used to advances in technology, things altering around them frequently, which we often struggle with! We adults don’t like it as we see changes in the world, our bodies and our circumstances….let alone in Church! Children are eager to learn and are inquisitive. Life is fascinating for them! Have we lost that spark of our Christian faith? The energy to progress? St Paul says: ‘I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 3:14) God has a plan for each of our lives, but it demands us to be open to his call, to embrace change and to grow closer to him.  As I think about the future, I am challenged by what retirement might mean for me. Rest (yes!), recuperation, quality time with Stewart and our families, enjoying God’s creation in sunny (but mostly rainy) South Devon! What I am learning is that I am retiring from my role as Team Vicar, but none of us retires from being a Christian! The mission still continues! I am excited to wait for what God has in store for us as we move west.  For the community here at St Anne’s, St Mary’s and St Winfrid’s, in particular, there have already been significant changes over the last 2 years….and there will be more, as the vacancy is discussed, the parish profile created and you eagerly await the person God has assigned to the post. May I encourage each of us to live our lives empowered by the Holy Spirit, ready to emerge from caterpillars into beautiful butterflies for God, as we discover the gifts he wants us to release into our families, our Church family and further afield. Warning – we must guard against becoming stuck in the ineffective chrysalis stage of development! The mission of Christ for each of us continues to eternity: not a huge task looming but a manageable period of reliance on God. Stick with it!

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind’.  James 1: 2-6

May God bless you richly, as you continue to trust and obey the Lord….. and be surprised by what he has in store!  Sally


Forthcoming events at St. Anne’s Church

Wednesday January 8th           7.00 pm             Alpha Course begins

Thursday January 9th               6.00–7.00 pm   Lego Church

Saturday January 18th              2.00-4.30 pm     Beetle Drive

Monday January 20th               4.00 pm            Fundraising Planning Meeting in the School Room

Tuesday January 21st              7.30 pm            Open meeting with Bishop Debbie Sellin

Monday January 27th               2.00 pm            Fellowship - “Suffering Suffragette” by Jane Glennie

Thursday February 6th             6.00–7.00 pm   Lego Church

Monday February 24th              2.00 pm             Fellowship – “When I Grow Up” by Gordon Lewis (Careers


Sunday April 5th                       After the service - St. Anne’s Annual General Meeting

Team Events

Wednesday January 15th         2 – 4.00 pm      Team Social Group meet at The Spot in The Woods,

Woodlands Road.

Perhaps start the New Year by bringing someone along who finds it hard to get out and about in the winter

time – enjoy a late lunch together or sample one of the treats from the counter!


Please pray for the impact of our new congregation –  once a month on a Thursday at 6pm

 Next Lego Church – Thursday January 9th

Sue Manning and Pat James will be leading this - if anyone is able to help in any way, please contact them.Future Dates: February 6th; April 2nd

Tot’s Café

Tuesdays (in term time)       09.30-11.30     St. Mary’s,Eling for toddlers and carers.

Toys, Crafts, Singing, Story Telling, Refreshments

Fundraising Planning Meeting – Monday January 20th at 4.00 pm

All are welcome to this meeting to plan our fund-raising strategy for 2020 – please come along with ideas and suggestions!

Open Meeting with Bishop Debbie Sellin

Tuesday January 21st at 7.30 pm at St. Anne’s Church

Bishop Debbie has agreed to attend an open meeting to hear your views and opinions about the future of the churches in the Totton Team – and your reactions to plans already publicised. This is a great opportunity for everyone with an interest in the future organisation of the churches and the direction that ministry and mission should take to share their thoughts.                                                                                                         Ian Gregory          

Churches Together in Totton and the Forest Edge

Sunday Jan 26th   7pm – Testwood Baptist Church – Transforming Totton Prayers for Totton and its people


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.

                                                       Newsletter – The Future

I have been composing the monthly newsletter for over 5 years and have very rarely been short of copy to fill 4 pages. The St. Anne’s newsletter is an essential asset to the church mission – it enables us to inform all church members and friends of what is happening in and around the church community and give news of what has been achieved. Sally’s retirement means that this will be the last time that I will compose and publish the newsletter.  So St. Anne’s needs a volunteer to take over the role of editor! I can provide the templates for composing the newsletter and distribution lists – all it needs is a volunteer with a computer and with basic word processing skills and formatting skills. Simple! It usually takes me 1 -2 days per month to compose the newsletter, print about 75 copies for those needing hard copies and to issue it by email to everyone else.  It will be able to be copied on a Friday at the Church Team Office behind St. Winfrid’s Church  If you would be interested in taking on this role please contact Ian Gregory.    Thank you to you all for your support over the last five years and your promptness in supplying copy in time for our monthly publication!                            Stewart            

      Choir Appeal

The choir is in need of Sopranos (singing the tune).  If anyone is interested themselves, or knows of anyone, please have a word with Sue Manning (our organist/pianist) or Geoff Aston. Choir practices are on Thursday evenings at 7.30pm and services 9.30am on a Sunday.

                                                          Beetle Drive – Saturday January 18th at 2.00 pm

Don’t miss our next afternoon of fun and laughter as we chase those elusive beetles again!  Adults £2.50: Children £1.50 – includes tea and biscuits!                                                                                

Christmas Bazaar

Thank you to everyone who worked so hard making their stalls so attractive and to those who laid out the tables in the hall. It was a very enjoyable morning. The total raised – including a stall during the week – was £801 !  The sale of books this year has raised £104, mainly from users of the church room.                                                  Val

Basics Bank – Latest News

Please do keep the donations coming – the need continues, especially after the Christmas period. Tinned foods are particularly needed – such as potatoes and vegetables – because the Bank cannot accept fresh food. They have plenty of tinned beans and pasta at present. Toilet rolls are always needed.   (Please make sure that all items are in date.)

Wednesday Morning Coffee Group

During the year we’ve had a monthly collection for the Basics Bank, either of donated goods, donations or from the sale of surplus garden produce. Thanks to everyone who has supported this charity. The final total of money donated for the year was £141. 

5p Coins  Have you got any tucked away in your purse? We are collecting them for the Air Ambulance!  Ronda and I will be pleased to receive them. During 2019 we have donated £50                                                                Val

Alpha Course Wednesday January 8th – 7pm at St. Anne’s Church

You are invited to join us at St. Anne’s Church, Calmore Road for an introductory social evening and an outline of this 10-week course. Alpha offers an opportunity to explore life and the Christian Faith in a friendly, open and informal environment. Each session includes food, a short talk and discussion where you can share your thoughts. There’s no pressure and no charge.  What have you got to lose? Come along without commitment on January 8th and see what it is all about.  The course starts on Wednesday January 15th. #Try Alpha

Call 023 8086 5103 to register your interest.

Who to contact Team Rector - Totton Team - The Revd. Chris Steed  07704 138433
Churchwardens  Ian Gregory Tel: 02380 872885  

Church Website
Find us at the junction of Calmore Road and Cooks Lane – SO40 2RH