A busy service where we were joined by our Romanian friends. They sang some Christmas carols both in English and Romanian which was a pleasure to hear. These families from several surrounding areas, use our church as a meeting point to maintain their Romanian traditions of worship so their children experience them. They came and joined some of us for a meal on Friday evening making the whole weekend something of a meeting between the two cultures.
At the end of the service Xavier entertained us festively.
The Parish Rogation walk 2018 was a scorcher, beautiful morning sunshine greeted the early starters at they prepared for the days walk. Meeting at the Methodist Chapel from 9 am the 'catering team' had put together a very welcoming start to the day, tables laid out in a lovely country cafe style with dishes of butter, jams & marmalade's, plenty of tea and toast served to the tables.
The Methodists had a very busy morning serving the walkers who started arriving around 8.40 and we had a steady flow until around 10 a.m. several dogs too, whose owners opted to sit outside. We collected around £70 in donations,
The day started off in high spirits as walking attire, nobbly knees, Mike's thighs, sun hats, refreshment stops were considered in preparation for the walk. Every year the walk gets more popular, and by the 10am stop at St John's in Lea Marston for the bacon and sausage butties there was quite a crowd had gathered.
This year, the Tame Valley wetlands had also joined in the action to offer walkers the opportunity to do short circuit of the bluebell woods adjacent to the St John's which was very lovely, and promote some of their forthcoming events.
The day was fantastic, every one in good spirits. The refreshments en-route were plentiful and lovely quality produce including the ploughmans lunch at St Cuthberts, Shustoke, followed by strawberry's/melon and cream & wine at Over Whitacre church (St Leonards), and finally on to St Giles Church, Nether Whitacre for afternoon tea/ cakes and a short church service to commend that day.
What is especially nice is those who were unable to do the walk for whatever reason (either in part or in full) could still take part in a wonderful parish event by simply attending each of the churches. It was lovely to see so many from the parish young & old joining in, enjoying the sunshine, or the cool of churches or enjoying a picnic on the grass.
Thanks to our roving reporters Becky, Julie, Christine, Lynda and David.
A group of twenty one met to sing around the village - once again the weather was dry and not too cold. A number of us came dressed festively and we raised £425 for Brain Tumour Society and Mary Ann Hospice. Many thanks to all who sang and all who answered their doors and welcomed us with donations.
Forty eight shoe boxes were delivered to the Samaritans purse. Thank you to all who have assembled a box for deprived children in the Middle East.
A busy morning presided over for the last time by Jean and Beryl who have decided to hang up their coffee morning boots. A potted cyclamen were presented to both in recognition of their support. Warwickshire rural watch coordinator Carol Cotteril and police community officer Jane Owen joined us with a display table, introducing themselves and giving out safety passes and safety awareness packs. This month £125 was raised for Dogs for Good, which sponsors dogs for community and family environments as well as for more traditional disability helping dogs. Whatever the situation these dogs are a therapy and support for their owners. To help raise further funds a Manchester City football was offered for auction by Sheila and Vincent was the winning bidder who paid £15 in the auction. Sheila daughter is offering a service to make front door Christmas wreaths for £15. £5 of this will be donated to Cancer Research and are available bespoke in any colour. With so many people present the tea and cakes more or less sold out.
August weather was with us today as quite a number of hardy people set off around the village footpaths. Five dogs dragged their owners round too. Steve led us around the village past the lamas who came out to see who was passing. The walkers also found a rather overgrown path which needed nettles pushing back to get the intrepid rambles through. We made it safely back to the BBQ successfully manned by Phil and backed up by Pauline who between them cooked and prepared the food thank you. The evening service was led by Rev Ian Howarth.
Twenty five hardy souls braved the cold but fortunately dry evening to come and sing their hearts out raising money for Action for Children and St. Basils Homeless Centre in Birmingham. The group tackled a new area down Station Road at the Station Stores and Water works end of the village. A number of households were pleasantly surprised to have possibly for the first time carol singers on their door and we all ended up in a lovely garden chalet complete with a coal fire which warmed us all up. Afterwards the choir retired to the Railway Inn to further swell the collection tins. A total of £400 has been raised which will be split between our charities for this year; Action for Children and St Basils homeless centre in Birmingham
A grand total of 83 shoeboxes were taken today for onward transportation. This year they have gone to Romania. This massive total consisted of 46 boxes from our community and a further 37 via a member from Walmley Junior school. Our thanks to all who have contributed to make someone else Christmas just that little bit brighter.
Around 45 people celebrated the Women's World Day of Prayer on Friday March 4th at the Methodist Church. Wil had decorated the church beautifully with knitted Cuban banners and pictures of children. The theme was chosen by Cuban women and was Receive children, Receive Me. Jessica Smith and Hannah Hall, two of our younger worshippers took part. Gill Noble was the leader and Marjorie Walton led the reflections. Many of the hymns were new to us but the choir led the singing and the music was enjoyed by all.
As we entered the church we were asked to write our name on a paper lily and then these flowers were taken home by members of the congregation who were to pray for the person named on their flower. Over a cup of tea afterwards you could identify the person, if you did not know them. It led to a positive period of contact and we hope too, you will notice the power of prayer in your life as a result.
£127.10 was sent off to the nominated Womens World Day in Prayer charities.
Whitacre Congregation is a vibrant mix of young and old who enjoy meeting for Sunday worship. Do come and join us.