The chapel met to have an open air service today for the first time since the start of the Covid crisis. Twenty three people each in their socially distanced groups met for a short service of prayer and reflection as well as listening to the two set readings for this Sunday. The weather was kind and shone upon us too
As part of an ecumenical project to read the bible stories to young people in schools a group of readers have been trained many from our own congregation to deliver this programme in our local primary school. Shustoke is a C of E aided school and was one of the few in the area which was bereft of this programme. The first read happened today and was a great success judging from a few of the young people who were able to recount an outline of the event. Find out more about Open the Book here
Lovely evening being treated to a traditional Romanian Christmas meal by the group who use our church on a Friday evening to celebrate in their own language Romanian style.
Our main course of food was sarmale (a cabbage wrapped meal ball) with a mămăliga (polenta) and goat cheese side. This was topped with cişcă (a hot pepper) which many found rather hot indeed!
Second course was cotonac (a fruity nut and turkish delight bread) and turtă dulce (ginger bread biscuits) all washed down with fruit and tea to finish.
We all experienced a lovely sociable evening talking and finding out about each others traditions and life experiences. We thank our hosts for a really memorable evening.
Our family service lead by Peter Tonks featured the parable of the men who built their houses on sand and rock. A number of young people were involved in a short play and some experiments and we were delighted once again by the music played by Peter as well as joining in with the hymns with our own instruments.
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.
Whitacre Congregation is a vibrant mix of young and old who enjoy meeting for Sunday worship. Do come and join us.