Reporting – September 2017

Dear Friends

Through August the Church buildings seemed strangely quiet as most groups took a summer break. Thankfully not everything stopped. Prayer Group continued to meet as did Monday Makers and Knit, Stitch and Natter.

A number of knitters have worked on two projects through August – making hundreds of poppies for a ‘curtain of poppies’ for Remembrance Sunday and making chickens for Harvest (1st October)! All We Can, the Methodist international development fund, are asking us to inspire our churches to ‘Chirp for Joy’ this harvest season. The idea is that congregations up and down Britain will focus on the work All We Can is doing in Zimbabwe where they are combating poverty by supporting start up farming projects. Every £21 we raise this Harvest through our donations and auction of produce will buy 20 chickens which will enable a family to start a small business – eggcellent.

Holiday at Home also met for three days and proved again to be a much appreciated event thanks to the huge investment of time, energy and attention to detail of David and Gillian Loader and their team of helpers. Thank you for what must have taken months to prepare. ‘A World of Colour’, as it was titled this year was attended by some 30 people.

Another August event was a BBQ organised by our Networker as a meeting point for Wesley families – thank you Bobbi.

As the new church year begins it is a delight to welcome into membership Penny Brain who became part of the church community through Card Group and Knit, Stitch and Natter, Andrea Hamilton who has moved from Bury St Edmunds Methodist Church, and Graham and Beryl Jarvis who have come from Snitterfield Methodist Church.

Congratulations to Anna and Nicholas Cooley on the birth of they son Harry. A baby brother for Danica. Congratulations too to Oli Evens who has gained a place at Leeds University.

On 17th September an old friend of mine is coming to lead Sunday worship. The Rev’d Rosemary Fletcher serves currently as Superintendent in the St Albans Circuit but some of you may know her name and that of her husband James Rowley through having prayed for them each month when they were on Mission Partners in Sri Lanka. Rosemany and I served together in Reading in the 1990’s at Caversham and Woodley respectively.

On 24th September baby Barnaby Felix Rose will be baptized during the morning service. The evening service will be led by the Rev’d Dr Israel Selvanayagam and the Rev’d Eric Lott. The service which will include some Indian style worship with a band and liturgical dance is being held to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the formation of the Church of South India (CSI). The reason the service is to be held at Stratford is that Israel, who comes to us from CSI, discovered that one of the founding members of the CSI, Mission Partner the Rev’d J S M Hooper, attended our church when a Supernumerary minister.

On 30th September will we have a stall at the Stratford Engage Festival at the Levi Fox Hall from 10-4pm when Stratford organisations and group that engage with the 50+ age group will be promoting their activities. Joan Taylor has organised our stall which will be staffed by church members – pop along during the day and support this outreach.

One of the biggest changes in the church life comes with the retirement of Bill Giles from the role of Booking Secretary which he has held for nearly 38 years. This has been a tremendous service to the church due to Bill’s diligence, orderliness, calmness and willingness to be available to potential hirers to answer their requests and show them the building. Our thanks to Bill for the wonderful service he has given. From 1st September bookings are to be made through Colette Inman.

With every blessing for this new Church year.