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.
A bright sunny day with £115 raised for Bone Cancer Research Trust. It was also a time to celebrate the Golden Wedding of Vincent and Christine who got married at the church in 1968. A lovely cake was shared by all.
The Thornton family joined us today in chapel, to dedicate three vases to the memory of their Aunt Miss Ruth Thornton as well as remembering their other Aunt Mrs Eva Williams. Both ladies used to worship as part of our congregation up to the mid 1970's. The family joined the Pentecost service of Holy Communion lead by Farai and afterwards joined us for our tea and biscuits. Miss Ruth Thornton moved away from the village after her sister Mrs Williams died in 1973 but at the time a bench was set up to her memory which still resides outside the chapel. Mrs Williams daughter came back to open the Methodist Fete in 1974 and was presented a rose by Quentin Howell. The family wanted to make sure that Miss Ruth Thornton was also remembered in the church she used to worship and so have inscribed one of the vases with a dedication.
Diane lead us in an alternate style service which centered in the story of the three wise men. We discussed what we knew about the story and the myths - no one ever mentioned there were only ever three kings or even that they are kings only that they were a number of wise men who bought three gifts. The layout of the church was altered with tables and chairs to help with our creations of candle lights and stars.
The coffee morning started in style with a presentation and cake celebration for Susan and Malcolm Wagg who were married in this chapel fifty years ago.
A busy coffee morning raised £95 for DiabetesUK. A lot of people came to help celebrate with the golden 50th cake and meringue. Even little Ruby managed to return showing off her brand new school uniform. Sheila also displayed her knitted blankets which her family are taking to India.
Parking was eased today thanks to the New Village Hall letting us use their parking area which will also be available for the Choir concert on the 16th of September.
After the service today lead by Farai we had our annual bring and share lunch. The table was once again groaning with food and we even had puddings. We can independently confirm the rumour that Mavis was seen to eat at least three meringues.
Easter day broke with lovely sunshine. The chapel looked lovely with Easter lillies bought but members of the congregation in memory and celebration of loved ones. Farai reminded us during the service that whilst we should remember Easter is also about new life and renewal. Farai had done a lovely altar display which was rapidly dismantled but it included candles which were lit at the start of the service when the lillies were highlighted. After the service chocolate biscuits were enjoyed as a first taste for many who had given chocolate up for Lent.
We had two visitors from Selly Oak Methodist church today who brought our secret Santa parcel - we had no difficulty in finding some young volunteers to unwrap the hamper which contained more than enough tea, coffee and even washing-up liquid which will be in valuable for our post Sunday tea and coffee we have after most Sunday services. We celebrated with a cup of tea and coffee with them. Thank you very much to all the congregation at Selly Oak..
Volunteers keen to open the lovely hamper of tea and coffee goodies.
Today was our final service to be lead by Rev. Andi Smith. He leaves us after two years and we finished our last service sharing lunch with him afterwards. A well attended service despite a number of us being away and during the lunch a small token was presented to Andi.
Whitacre Congregation is a vibrant mix of young and old who enjoy meeting for Sunday worship. Do come and join us.