Pilgrims Book Club

As the smell of grilled bacon wafted through the church, pilgrims arrived for the first session of our new book club.

Most arrived on foot from the car park, not having trudged the Camino de Santiago, several having just received their double jabs that morning.

Gordon started by asking what is it we want from life. It turns out we long for healing and freedom, belonging and peace. With that as a good place to start we were asked in small groups to come up with a definition of being kind. Which led us nicely into receiving our own copies of the book being studied – Humankind, a Hopeful History, by Rutger Bregman.

Our second session started with coffee and croissants. Gordon outlined some important aspects of the history of Christianity and led us in a very varied discussion of the contents of chapter two.

The next session is on Saturday 6th November at 9:30am. Please read the rest of the book.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Vision Launch Event

This joint Hub event in the Beacon café on Saturday 18th September went very well, with a comfortable number of people coming to find out what the Vision Group have been up to, and to offer their support for some new initiatives.

We had 4 stalls set up, run by Alison, Rachel, Beryl and Pam. The stalls were promoting Chillout Church, Café Church, Traditional Church and Small Groups. We were busy talking to people and taking names.

The Vision Group is meeting again early in October to bring together all the information gathered.

Click here for the information brochure

Link to Hope Shoeboxes

Even with the difficulties caused by the Pandemic last year, we were delighted to be able to contribute 71 Shoeboxes to the Link to Hope Shoebox Appeal. In total, the small Christian charity which offers help to people of all backgrounds regardless of race, colour or creed with no qualifying criteria other than that they are poor and marginalised, was able to distribute 20.678 boxes to families and elderly people in Eastern Europe (Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine).

Of those 71 boxes, 10 were put together by individuals and the incredible generosity of monetary donations, handmade crafts and other gifts meant that Russell and I were able to put together the other 61 boxes.

We hope that people would like to get involved again this year. If you feel able to pack a box yourself, then that would be great – thank you. But, if you like to join in but would rather not/are unable to go to the shops and would be happy to give a donation, Russell and I are willing to do the shopping and packing for you! We will do some ‘bulk’ online ordering – using the ‘Link to Hope Shoebox Appeal 2020’ Wishlist on Amazon, local Charity Shops & other online suppliers similar to those we used last year.

A shoebox for a Family means that everyone receives a gift. A scarf for the mum, a tape measure for the dad, toys and games for the children as well as stationery and coloured pens. Also, toiletries, toothpaste, shampoo and soap to keep
everyone clean and free from the germs that make them ill. And, of course, sweets and chocolates for everyone.

Due to the number of elderly people that are now being left alone due to their families leaving to work away, Elderly shoeboxes are also vital. The boxes are similar to the Family Shoeboxes; however, the children’s games and education materials are replaced with a hot water bottle, sensory items, candle and holder etc.
We have the leaflets which give you all the information – let us know if you want 1 (or more); or you can download them from the Link to Hope website, where there is also a lot of extra information, including a video showing the gifts being distributed and the love that is shown to all:
https://linktohope.co.uk/shoebox-appeal-2021/

The website also gives ideas for handmade items – for the crafty ones amongst you!
If you want to find out about Link to Hope’s story and visual information on what to put in the boxes, watch
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nzA5SYWf4Q

An important date – All shoeboxes MUST be in Church/with Hilary & Russell by Sunday 31st October.
If you need any more information, please contact us. Thanking you, in anticipation! Hilary & Russell Collins.

Forest Church

Church for people who feel closer to God outdoors.

Sunday 19th September at 3pm at The Gaer Hillfort, Newport.

Start at the entrance to the hillfort on Gaer Park Road, NP20 3NU.

We will be celebrating the autumnal equinox. Prepare for any weather.

Bring a picnic if you want to stay around afterwards.

For further information email Tim Crahart at timcrahart@yahoo.co.uk

Action for Children Garden Party

Keith & Margaret organised a very pleasant ‘CHURCH AFTERNOON GARDEN TEA PARTY’ on Saturday (21st August) and this was well attended in spite of a VERY WET MORNING preceding it …however, the weather cleared after lunch and we all (about 45 of us) sat down for a nice chat followed by scones, cakes and cups of tea! It stayed dry ALL afternoon!

At the conclusion a BUCKET COLLECTION was taken for ‘ACTION FOR CHILDREN’ and this raised £210!!
Many thanks to Keith and Margaret for their hospitality and for being able to enjoy their lovely garden!

Michael Bale – on behalf of all who attended!

Action for Children Service

There will be a special service next Sunday 8th August, led by the Church Stewards and members of the Action for Children Committee. This will be to celebrate the work of Action for Children and to give thanks for the amazing amount collected this year. An Envelope Collection for Action for Children will be taken at this service.

Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash

Sweet Peas

During my early teens one summer evening I remember going with some ladies from the Baptist church I attended to a little village chapel in  Nempnett (near Chew Magna) Somerset, to share in an evening service.  Growing up on a council estate in Southmead, Bristol not many households attended their gardens and if they did, like my own grandparents they only grew vegetables. 

On entering the little chapel at Nempnett I encountered my first site and smell of sweet peas which were on display on the communion table and since then this delightful, delicate flower has remained a favourite of mine.  I have managed to successfully grow Sweet Peas myself and due to having to cut them regularly they have become a ‘give away’ flower and sharing them with others has become a delight and joy.  

Kathy Griffin.

Photo by Raimond Klavins of Unsplash