Jeyapaul's Benefice Visit
PCC Meeting: 2nd June
No Such Thing As Society?
Benefice PCC 14th May
Bibles For Karamoja
Annual Church Meeting
To Be A Churchwarden
Summer Kids' Club
Made Father's Day
Auction Of Promises
Walk The Walk
St. Andrew's Cookbook
Medstead Bowls Club
Gift Aid Changes
Spring Jumble Sale
Births, Deaths & Marriages
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The Reverend Jeyapaul, founder of the Kathryn Mercy Home, is currently visiting the UK with his wife, Annamuthu, and will be arriving in the Benefice on Friday, 27th June, leaving on Friday, 4th July. Their programme is:
Jeyapaul and Annamuthu will be staying at the Rectory but if you would like to host them for a meal then please let Ben or Kathryn know.
My goddaughter, Lucy, and a friend, Jonny, were in Devakottai in March and were overwhelmed by Jeyapaul's generosity. Extracts from their letters appear below.
'Things are still good here. They are feeding me the most amazing amount of food; I would not be surprised if I was obese by the time I left here. I can't get over how generous Jeyapaul's family is. He earns 7000 rupees a month, which is about 60 pounds, and yet he is paying for all of our food, electricity, transport, and he bought Jonny and I a set of Indian clothes each. They will not accept any money from us, and they won't even let us help clear up after meals. When we leave, we are going to leave some money in an envelope for them, if they won't accept that then they can at least take it as a donation towards the school and the mercy home.'
One of the objectives of Jeyapaul's time with us is to raise awareness of the need for more sponsors. As many of you are aware, we raised enough money in 2007 to fund the purchase of land for an extension to the Mercy Home. This has now been built and is providing extra accommodation for the children. It will be so exciting to be able to hear about the new building, paid for by many in this Benefice, now it is up and running.
In Tamil Nadu, one of the poorest states in India, the only way out of poverty is to be able to attend school and gain a qualification. Children of some of the poorest families in the outlying villages live in the Mercy Home so they can cycle into the town of Devakottai to go to school. Their villages are too far away and their are parents too poor for them to be able to travel to Devakottai from their own homes.
'The youth hostel (Joan's Grace Home) is entirely girls. They thought I was going to be a girl, Jonny is confusing apparently and, when they realised I wasn't, they all dissolved into giggles. Yesterday I had to look after 9 of them and initially they pretty much couldn't say anything without laughing and were very shy, then when it came to a hand holding game I was suddenly very popular! The girls are from age 9-17, though are mainly about 13-14 I'd say and are once again all very cute and work like nothing else! Absolute demons. They work about 5-6 hours out of school everyday so they can be doctors. This is apparently considered the peak of the Indian job structure. They showed us some very good local dances. Later I am being kitted out in the male equivalent of a sari, which will be interesting. They have many excursions planned for us which I'm looking forward to a lot.'
The Reverend Jeyapaul has recognised girls tend to get a raw deal and has therefore made the decision to select an equal number of girls and boys from the many families who apply for a place at the Mercy Home. He interviews each child to ensure there is a commitment to make the most of the opportunity offered. It is to his credit all the children selected have remained in school until at least 16.
Sponsor parents undertake to fund the living expenses for a child from the ages of 9 to 16, with the possibility of extending the sponsorship to cover sixth form and university for the few who qualify and elect to stay in full-time education. The current sponsorship is £140 per year.
If you would like to consider becoming a sponsor or want to find out more about the project, please contact Kathryn.
As the project has successfully grown and developed we have decided to apply for charitable status to put the enterprise on a more sustainable footing. Sponsors who pay through the Bentworth PCC account should, from now on, change their standing order or make their cheques payable to The Kathryn Mercy Home. Those who pay via the Micheldever PCC account should continue to do so for this year.
Thank you for your support of this project and please remember Jeyapaul and the Mercy Home in your prayers.
Kathryn & Ben Flenley
The Parochial Church Council met on Monday, 2nd June and, in addition to the usual items of business, discussed the following:
The next PCC Meeting will be held on Tuesday, 22nd July at 8.00pm in the Church Hall, upstairs room. If you have any matters you would like discussed, please contact the PCC Secretary.
How easily one can become a 'grumpy old man'! I find myself becoming increasingly frustrated by what might well seem like the relentless disintegration of "society" in our country.
A recent edition of a Sunday newspaper recorded the rapid rise of teenage girl gangs and the (unrelated) thirteenth murder of a teenager in London this year. Another article reported on the home-made bomb made by a gang of teenage girls which killed one person (not the intended victim), injured others and caused widespread damage to houses.
Other recent reports have, for example, stated that divorce rates are up to 40% now; that an astonishing number of young people have taken their own lives in Bridgend. Another disturbing development has seen the tenor of government advertising become increasingly sinister, whether threatening fines for late tax returns or "we know where you live"-style adverts concerning TV licences and road fund tax. Now the government is considering, we are told, a "Stalinist" approach to the MMR jab: vaccinate your children or they won't be allowed education. What's happened to our "green and pleasant land"?
Of course, some will say this country never was the "Utopia" we like to believe it once was; that things never were that good; that we delude ourselves by this kind of talk. On the other hand, many of remember life a good deal better than this! There have been times when crime rates were lower, people kinder; when the policeman was trusted, not feared, and family life was the norm for the vast majority of children. We even went to church two, even three, times on Sunday - every Sunday!
A succession of changes has been brought about over a long period of time. We've been encouraged to believe that marriage is not the only, or even the best, way to achieve stable family relationships (I would say that the 'truth' of that view lies in ruins all around us!); that parents can leave the teaching of discipline to schools, social workers - anyone, it seems, provided parents don't have to do it! The number of children starting school who are not even potty-trained is unbelievable. It's asserted as true that 'religion' is at the root of all our troubles, yet we are entitled to 'spirituality' - so long as no-one tries to define it. All the time, we are bombarded with the philosophy that nothing should get in the way of our individual human rights; that our greatest duty is to ourselves, first and last. And all this is supposed to lead us into peace and harmony. Hmph!
Our Lord placed the welfare of children as amongst his highest priorities: "If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea." (Matthew 18:6). He blessed marriage by his presence and first miracle at the wedding at Cana (John 2:1ff). And he reminded us of our duty of care to all people (references too numerous to list).
In the Christian Gospel, life could hardly be more different from contemporary society: worship of God first, service of neighbour next; I don't see a manifesto for individual rights, only responsibilities. Rather than stand on his dignity, Jesus gave up his life for our benefit. Few, if any, of us, will be called upon to do that, but all of us are called upon to rescue this country from those who seem to want only to destroy it: by living a Gospel life, and by showing others where they may find Jesus.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Coggan, once said, "The Christian faith is not a burden to be carried, but a wind in our sails." May that wind guide you to do his will.
A combined PCC meeting took place on Wednesday, 14th May in St. Andrew's Church Hall, to discuss items concerning the whole Benefice, which included:
The next United Benefice Standing Committee Meeting is on Tuesday, 7th October, at 8.00pm in St Andrew's Church Hall's upstairs room.
The next Benefice PCC meeting is on Wednesday, 15th October, at 8.00pm in St. Andrew's Church Hall commencing at 8.00 pm. If you have any matters you would like discussed, please let our PCC Secretary, know.
Very many thanks to everyone who inscribed one of the 28 Good News bibles with their favourite verse and personal greeting, to emphasise our human and spiritual links with Karamoja, north-east Uganda, during April.
The bibles, replaced in our pews by copies of the New Revised Standard version and donated to our friends in Karamoja, started their journey to Uganda by air on Tuesday, 6th May. They accompanied Kennett Westmacott and eight other members of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Four Marks, who flew to Entebbe via Nairobi and then travelled on to Kampala by road.
The bibles, with covering letters from Ben Flenley, were delivered to Bishops Joseph Abura and James Nasak personally, in Kampala. They were then taken by road to be divided equally between Kacheri and Kaabong parishes in North Karamoja and the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Diocesan Training Centre, both in Lotome, Karamoja (South).
The team members during the visit, which lasted until 22nd May, are:
We have also now received details of the student, Aguma Joyce, we are currently sponsoring through a bursary at the Diocesan Training Centre in Lotome.
The Gospel reading for the Third Sunday of Easter, 6th April, was the beautiful story of the encounter made by two followers of Jesus while walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35); one of them is named as Cleopas. The story is set on the day of Christ's resurrection.
As the day turns to evening, these two are walking along, having witnessed the Crucifixion three days earlier and heard reports that "some women of our group" (Luke 24:22) had found the tomb empty; angels had told them (the women) of his resurrection. These two disciples were, I suppose, in something of a state of shock and, we're told, were discussing "all these things that had happened" (v 14).
As they continue on their walk, Jesus joins them but - initially - is not recognised. "Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures." (v 27). I don't know whether Jesus found himself bemused by their lack of knowledge of the scriptures but, at one point, he said to them "Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared!" (v 25). It certainly reads as though he thought they should, by then, have worked it all out. In modern-day parlance, he might have termed them 'muppets', though I'm sure couldn't be so unkind.
This passage was taken as part of the main Bible study at Spring Harvest this year. Our, outstanding, speaker Andy Hickford, who is Pastor of a church in Worthing, highlighted the slow response of the two disciples and added, "Though God uses 'muppets' that doesn't mean we can remain muppets. It's our responsibility to change".
Life-long learning is the concept that it's never too soon or too late for learning, a concept which has been taken up by all sorts of organisations. I believe it to be as true for Christians today as for anyone else that we should continue to study and learn about our faith; it never ceases to amaze me how little many churchgoers know about their Bible and Tradition. This, of course, lies behind the continuous programme of study groups which we hold in these parishes each Advent and Lent. Often, I find myself wishing we had more groups meeting more often.
The next groups will be held in the Autumn: I would love to have such demand that extra groups, daytime as well as evening, would be needed. Life-long learning, so widely accepted in other spheres, deserves as much of a place here, too.
Ben Writes... Bible Study
This year's Meeting of Parishioners and Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) was held on Wednesday, 30th April at 8.00pm in the Church Hall.
Responsibility for running and maintaining the Church is delegated to Churchwardens and the Parochial Church Council (PCC). The Churchwardens are elected at the Meeting of Parishoners and the PCC present their annual report to the Annual Parochial Church Meeting, where members of the PCC are also elected.
Highlights of the meeting were as follows:
If you would like to be nominated for, or know someone who may be interested in, our vacant roles, then please contact a Churchwarden.
The Annual Parochial Church Meeting also received and actioned, where appropriate, matters arising from the minutes of the 2007 APCM. Ben also thanked retiring members Stephen Blackshaw, previously Treasurer, and Geoff Spinks, previously Deanery Synod representative, for their work over the year.
You may download the APCM materials, including the Agenda, the Annual Report of the PCC and the minutes of the 2007 APCM, below.
The next PCC Meeting will be held on Monday, 2nd June at 8.00pm in the Church Hall. If you have any matters you would like discussed, please let our Secretary, Yvonne, know in advance.
The next United Benefice Standing Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, 7th May and the next United Benefice PCC meeting will be held on Wednesday, 14th May, both at 8.00pm in the Church Hall.
APCM 2008 Materials
What does a Churchwarden do? Not necessarily what you might think! As officers of the Bishop, Churchwardens are foremost in representing the laity and, in co-operation with the incumbent, should promote and encourage the work of the Church in the parish.
They are the legal owners of the "church plate, ornaments, furniture and furnishings" and are required to maintain a 'terrier' (schedule of real estate) and inventory. Each year, they must inspect the fabric of the church and churchyard and report to the PCC, ensuring the PCC carries out its responsibilities for the care and maintenance of the church.
They are to relieve the incumbent of administrative duties such as insurance, heating, lighting and maintenance matters, and obtain Faculties where necessary. It is their responsibility, with sidesmen, to account for collections and pay money in to the bank or treasurer.
Churchwardens are responsible for maintaining good order during church services and to report any 'neglect or default' of the incumbent to the Bishop. It is extremely helpful, though not strictly part of the 'job description', if a Churchwarden can be present at each service in church and deputise for any sidesman, lesson reader &c. who is absent.
I have often found other tasks 'accrue' to a Churchwarden by default - as if they didn't have enough responsibility already. It shouldn't be down to a Churchwarden to prepare the altar for a Eucharist, as that is the Sacristan's duty. Neither should they wash the linen or repair vestments and hangings. Hmm...
There is always a need for people to offer themselves as Churchwardens at each of our Annual Meetings, so please do think about whether it might be your turn this year.
Changing tack, I would like to arrange for a Confirmation Service to be held this year or next - please pass names of likely candidates to me so I may follow this through.
Confirmation and the first taking of Holy Communion mark the completion of Christian Initiation into the Church of England. Where this used to be almost automatic in many families in the past, it is not necessarily so now. Church-goers who have not been confirmed undoubtedly experience some feeling of exclusion in later life, which can so easily be avoided. I am confident of holding separate preparation classes for adults and young people, so the more the merrier.
As our Annual Meetings approach, I would like to express here my gratitude for all the help and devotion shown in all four parishes by so many people; the part you play in the work of the Church here is inestimable. Thank you.
A good crowd from all four of our parishes, suitably booted and many with four legged friends, gathered outside St. Mary's Church, Lasham on the afternoon of Saturday, 26th April, the Diocesan Day of Prayer, for our annual Rogation Walk.
The first leg of the walk took us down the track and the steep hill to the dairy. We passed the pastures of Young's field and the freshly sprouting wheat in Backside End. When rains are prolonged or torrential the river Lash flows along the bottom of the valley but we were able to stride up Mule's Hill dry-shod.
At the top we paused by the dairy silage clamp to sing and pray, and it was here we particularly remembered our farming community and their stock.
Leaving Shaylor's Folly behind we made our way up the flinty lane of Hurst Hill, pausing to admire the beautiful mauve blue carpet of blue bells in Round Copse. The lane is bordered with beech and cherry trees which give welcome shade when the sun is really hot.
Our next stop was way beyond Blow Wood, down the valley, across the style and half way up Greenhills which in years gone by was often dotted with sheep, but now is planted with wheat. There were prayed for the crops.
On, down the other side of the hill we went and joining the road made our way to the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Shalden. The Churchyard is always a beautiful sight at this time of year. The carpet of early snow drops give way to nodding daffodils and then the avenue of cherry trees bloom.
Much needed refreshments were provided at Shalden Village Hall where the ladies of Shalden and Lasham had provided a fine spread, cups of much needed tea and a bucket of water for the dogs.
Suitably refreshed we set off on the return leg. Our route took us back through the village and out up the hill to the playing fields. We joined the path that goes through the chalk dell of Garson Copse, then, passing between Little and Big Tollbury, we clambered over a style and entered Lasham woods. In a beautifully peaceful leafy glade we stopped to pray. There were deer slots in the mud beside the puddles.
The last leg of our walk took us down across the fields, where again there was a prayer pause, before moving on to a very muddy track to the airfield gate. Gathering by some parked planes there was a penultimate prayer pause before we turned for home.
We had a good view of gliders being winched heavenwards, and also of the collection of planes parked round the hangars of ATC. It was a happy throng that ambled back down Camoys Mead, past the pub to the village pond. There we had our last prayers of the day.
Well done all, and thank you to Ben and Kathryn. Thank you too to Antonia who planned the route, and to the ladies of Lasham and Shalden who provided us with such delicious cakes and thirst-quenching tea. Finally and most importantly thank you to God for a splendid, splendid day.
The hall was abuzz for the April meeting at which Jayne Lewis was the speaker, talking about Today's Rubbish, Tomorrow's Creation.
Everyone was amazed at the wonderful twenty-five book covers, bags and pictures which Jayne had made using a variety of materials including the more unusual like corn plasters and nappy liners - not items one normally thinks of being used in sewing. Jayne is a very talented lady and it is hoped that she will come along and hold a workshop for the craft group.
On Friday, 18th April WI members took part in a marathon swim for Marie Curie Cancer Care, having been busy training in readiness.
A new games club is being tried out at which members will play scrabble and similar games, and this will run in conjunction with the craft group to start with.
On Tuesday 22 April we hosted the Austen Group meeting with our friends from Alton, Alresford & Winchester WI Groups. Speaker Eliza McClelland, a talented actress, skilled needlewoman and beader, treated us to an incredible performance. Having access, in the various theatres where she worked, to the scraps from the wardrobe "bits" box she has hand sewn an exquisite patchwork bed throw with reminders of Ladies Macbeth and McDuff and Joseph's Technicolour Dreamcoat to name but a few. Some of the squares have been further enhanced with beads and sequins.
Eliza also explored the various towns where she was performing and selected small parts of their history to use in her examples of beadwork. She made a jewellery roll with a design of the Queen's State Crown, seen whilst working at the Theatre Royal in Windsor, complete with large ruby and pearl droplets from earrings, and even ermine tippets sourced from a car boot sale by her partner Michael. Another exquisite piece was taken from the Rose Window in York Minster.
Members of the 100-strong audience were allowed to handle all of Eliza's exhibits and encouraged to have a go at beading by purchasing some of the kits available, and all the ladies present will remember 'down-up-plop'!
The annual competition for the Rose Bowl was won by Gill Siddall of Medstead WI with three preserves in a basket. A wonderful afternoon was completed with a scrumptious tea provided by Medstead WI.
At the May meeting members discussed the two resolutions for the NFWI AGM to be held in Liverpool in June: bottom trawling - the deep sea type - and the imprisonment of the mentally ill. Two difficult subjects to research and present but Cherry Messenger and Anne Poupart did a grand job.
Hazel Wilson then gave an excellent presentation on the rights and wrongs and some of the pitfalls of entering preserves, cookery items and flower arrangements into shows. Everyone learnt much more about what the judges look for and as everyone was told - read the schedule!
As always, new members and visitors are extremely welcome to the meetings, which are held on the second Thursday of the month in Medstead Village Hall at 2.15pm.
Medstead WI, Jan-Mar 2008
Plans for Champions' Challenge, our Olympics-themed Summer Kids' Club for primary school children running from Wednesday, 30th July to Friday, 1st August, are progressing well.
If your children would like to attend, then simply complete an application form and return it to Kerry.
You may collect a form from one of the Benefice schools or Churches. We are limited to 50 places so please apply early to avoid disappointment!
The JAM team are currently putting the final touches to the programme for each day, which will start at 10.00am and finish around 2.30pm, to ensure the Club will be jam-packed with fun and games!
You are also invited to our family service at St Mary's Church, Bentworth, on the following Sunday, 3rd August to show what we have been doing during the week, and afterwards for a bring and share picnic.
We shall need a variety of materials which the children will use in the planned activities. There is a box in each Church to place items such as spare pieces of material, ribbon, empty cereal boxes and kitchen towel rolls. A full list of the items required is displayed on the boxes.
If you would like to be involved as a helper then please talk to Kathryn Flenley or Charlie Shaylor. All volunteers will undertake necessary child protection checks with Winchester Diocese and the CRB.
We have already attracted sponsorship from a number of local businesses. If your business would like to join them we would love to hear from you! Our aim is to limit the cost to the participants as much as possible.
Thank you for your support!
The JAM Team
Our Child Protection Policy
Our Father's Day treat, Cream Teas in the Church Hall, on Sunday, 15th June was a great success for all the family.
A magnificent selection of cakes was available, besides the advertised cream teas, whilst a brisk afternoon's trade brought in valuable funds for the Church and provided a good social occasion.
Many thanks to Wendy, Kerry and the team, for organising the event.
At our 11.00am Parish Communion service on Sunday, 15th June we dedicated the new Rectors' Board and the new Church noticeboard.
Our grateful thanks are extended to Tony Chivers for providing the Rectors' Board in memory of his dear wife Daphne who served our church as Sacristan between 1973 and 1987.
The magnificent board was designed, made by and installed by Ian Jurd, whose skills were freely given and for which we give our sincere thanks.
Our new noticeboard, erected in the churchyard and made of solid oak, should last us many years and enable us to effectively advertise our services and events to the village and to visitors.
The noticeboard has been provided by the Prior family in thanksgiving for the life of Val Prior, flower arranger, choir and PCC member at St. Andrew's between 1974 and 2007.
Playing to a packed house, which included many of her friends from St. Andrew's, the afternoon was a delightful tribute to our dear friend Val, whose commitment to the village and its Church was wholehearted. She was such a positive person and an inspiration to us all.
To remember and honour such a lovely lady, much time and energy had been put into the production of the tribute show. The Hall had never looked lovelier and the colour pink was everywhere to be seen. Memories of Val were arranged around the Hall: photographs, dresses and much more.
The show highlighted plays, music, sketches and songs closely associated with Val and it was a treat to see her family following her amateur dramatics tradition.
The ticket price generously included splendid cream teas and a raffle with wonderful prizes. All proceeds will go towards the siting of a picnic bench on the Village Green, in Val's memory.
St. Peter & St. Paul, Shalden hosted their delightful, annual family service dedicated to celebrating the animals in our lives, on Sunday, 8th June.
Amidst glorious afternoon sunshine, an incredibly well behaved group of horses, rabbits, cats and dogs joined the happy crowd gathered in the grounds of the church for an open air service and blessing, followed by refreshments suitable for all!
Thank you to all those who came and joined in, also thanks to Marcus Field for lending us his keyboard, as well as Helen for playing it, and to Jane Shirvell for organising the event.
If you have never been to this service, do look out for it next year and come and join in all the fun!
They are looking for promises and goodies people can donate and for people to come and grab a bargain.
Over sixty, and counting, items have been donated so far, including: a flying lunch to the Isle of Wight and back, dinners for four at three local inns, two tickets for any home Chelsea league game, a riding lesson, the services of a chef and waitresss for the evening, two personal training sessions, an airport run, a motor bike ride, a babysitter, a glider flight, free beer and a load of manure!
The next duties for the St. Andrew's team at the Cathedral Refectory are on Thursdays, 5th June and 7th August.
If you can help for either a whole day or half a day please contact Mary Spinks.
We are looking for more helpers, so please consider volunteering for this important contribution to the Cathedral's activities. No previous experience is needed and this is an equal opportunity job!
I arrived at Hyde Park on a wet and windy evening, on Saturday, 17th May, to be met by a sea of pink and white hats. Moon Walkers, undertaking 26 miles in aid of Breast Cancer Research, were arriving by their thousands in order to enter the largest bright pink marquee you have ever seen. It was a nice surprise to see Cathy, Hannah and Rebecca Bolsover handing out space blankets and plastic macs.
After a couple of hours of entertainment, a substantial meal and some exercises we waited in excited anticipation for the signal to start walking, making last minute adjustments to our, albeit brief, attire. At 11.45pm we set off into a cool but rain-free night.
Our route took us down to the Embankment and from there to Tower Bridge. Along the route, late night revellers hooted and cheered, their cheering becoming more raucous as the night progressed! London never sleeps; as we passed the 19-mile mark at about 4.00am shops were opening. So many people wished us well as we marched on our way. There were even small bands of musicians playing. At each mile marker, volunteers were on hand to give words of encouragement, fruit and water.
As we crossed the Thames again, this time over Albert Bridge, dawn was breaking. At about 6.30am we entered The Mall on our way back to Hyde Park. It was now a beautiful, crisp spring morning. We were rather tired but it was a wonderful feeling to cross the finishing line and know that Breast Cancer charities would be better off by several million pounds. Thank you so much for your sponsorship - I have already received £340 of the £600 pledged!
The Social Committee is creating a St. Andrew's Cookery Book, which will include favourite family recipes from local people and will be on sale to raise money for church funds.
To contribute, please send an email to the Social Committee at
with your recipe, your name and, ideally, some background on how the recipe came into being.
We will shortly advise the deadline for submission, but there will be plenty of notice. Meanwhile start thinking, writing and cooking!
We will have the following positions vacant from 1st May:
Full training will be given, if necessary. If you are interested in taking on one of the roles, please contact a Churchwarden.
The summer Stan Hardman League season opened with wins in our first two matches, away at the Marnel Club in Basingstoke and on our own green against Alton.
The first result was particularly pleasing because the grass green at Marnel was very heavy after a week of wet weather, significantly different from the light conditions on our own all-weather artificial surface, but our players adapted very well.
The improvements to our changing rooms and toilet facilities assisted by grants from the National Lottery and Medstead Parish Council are now complete and have proved very successful.
On the social side, the pig racing and buffet supper on 26th April was attended 44 members and guests and was again a great success. The May event was our annual Ladies' Lunch on the 12th.
On Saturday, 7th June we hold our annual Open Day. Anyone who would like to try the game or simply look round the club will be very welcome.
If you cannot make it to the Open Day, we welcome visitors and casual players to our roll-up games every Wednesday and Friday and Sunday afternoon throughout the year. Just turn up a little before 2.00pm or contact the secretary for more information.
Medstead Bowls Club, Jan-Mar 2008
Jennifer and Sheila were members of a team of five who each swam 40 lengths, 1000 metres, of the pool at Alton Sports Centre. If you would like to sponsor Jennifer and Sheila there will be a box in the Church Hall, after our services.
Following significant lobbying over the last 12 months, there was good news for churches and charities in the Government's Budget plans announced by the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, in March.
From 6th April, 2008, although the basic rate of income tax and the amount the church will be able to reclaim will reduce to 20 per cent, for three years from 2008-09 to 2010-11 a transitional rate of 22 per cent for Gift Aid will continue to operate.
HM Revenue and Customs will calculate and repay the difference to the church. This means the Government will continue to provide an extra 28.2p for every £1 donated under Gift Aid until 6th April, 2011.
Our annual spring Jumble Sale, held on Saturday, 5th April, was another great success, raising £714.18 for Church funds.
Thank you to all those who helped set up, bake cakes, sell and clear up, to those who donated quality clothing, toys, books, curios and more, and to our bargain hunters who, once again, came from far and wide.
Thanks also to Mary and Geoff Spinks for organising this event.
Our social events are always very popular, highlights of our calendar include:
Jumble Sale: 5th April
Fathers' Day Cream Tea: 15th June
Hog Roast: 19th July
French Evening: 11th October
Jumble Sale: 15th November
Recital: 30th November
Please see our regularly updated Events page for more details on these and other village events, and put these dates in your diaries!
If you are interested in joining the Social Committee or helping at any of the events, please contact Sharon Blackshaw.
On Saturday, 21st June, St. Andrew's was the venue for the marriage of Peter Jemmett and Bryonie, daughter of Norman and Judith Read of Grosvenor Road, Soldridge.
The Church was packed and the bride looked an absolute picture in off-white with three bridesmaids wearing lavender dresses.
The service commenced with the solo, O Mio Babbino Caro, sung by Rosalind Fuller. The rain eased off for photographs in the Churchyard and, whilst the weather may not have been perfect, the ceremony was.
After the Service, the guests moved on to the Read family home for the reception, which ended in a grand firework display.
We pray the new Mr and Mrs Jemmett may have a long and happy marriage.
We are sorry to announce the death on Wednesday, 4th June of June Drew who lived in the High Street and had lived in the area for most of her life.
June's funeral was held in St. Andrew's Church on Tuesday, 10th June, followed by cremation at Aldershot Crematorium. Our condolences are extended to her family, especially brother Fred and sister Irene.
We congratulate Terri and Neal Burman of Common Hill who celebrated their 25th Wedding Anniversary on Wednesday, 23rd April by renewing their wedding vows at St Andrew's.
Congratulations to Jennifer who celebrated her 80th birthday on Monday, 21st April.
Those who know Jennifer, which must include virtually everyone in the village, will know she has done a great deal for St Andrew's, for Medstead and for generations of our youngsters.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank her for all she has done - and continues to do - for the community and to wish her a very Happy Birthday!
At our 11.00am Family Service on Sunday, 13th April Sue and Alistair Sly's twin boys Max Daniel and Ollie Luke will be baptised.
It is with great pleasure we welcome Max and Ollie into the family of our Church.