On Thursday 25th September 22 people met at the Underhill Centre at St Johns Church for our Awayday. The day was led by our Minister the Rev. Arthur Cowburn. We were pleased to welcome two members of the Methodist Church in Woolston who joined us for the occasion.
We started by discussing what we know of the origins of various Church Traditions, and then found out the facts behind the Myths. We came up with a lot of reasonable reasons for the origin of the Communion Rail, but the real one was that it was originally instigated by law so that people could tie their dogs to the Rail whilst they took communion. None of us had thought of this one. There were seven traditions which were discussed altogether. We then thought that if we did not know why these things happenned that it must be very difficult for people who were new to the Church to understand what we were getting up to.
The Answer to the title of the day “why the lecturn crossed the Chapel” was that in the Church where Rev. Arthur Cowburn trained the Lecturn was always on the left hand side of the Church, except for when Communion Services took place when it was on the Right, the trainees discovered one day that nobody knew why this was, although there was a theory that it was to do with issues of space.
We then discussed various questions to do with the appropriateness of tradition in Christian Society as a whole and the churches we attended.
After this discussion we stopped and had our packed Lunch and some of us explored the Wildlife Garden at the Back of the Church. We then started again by reading and discussing the story in the book of John about Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the Well. After this we discussed how traditions in the Christian Church as a whole and the Methodist organisation in particular, may effect churches in the future.
The day was not all spent in serious contemplation, as some of it was very lighthearted, and in the breaks and during Lunch we were able to spend some time enjoying the company of our fellow attendees.
There have been many different Creative activities undertaken in the church over this weekend we have made things ranging from Paintings to Scarecrows. We started on Saturday Morning at Jammy Church where a happy time was had by all despite the theme for the day being “The Ten Plagues “. This continued the Jammy Church exploration of the story of Moses. There were about 50 people who attended aged from 2 to possibly 82 (we did not ask). Pictures were painted of many aspects of the story, some on traditional paper and some on pieces of Bread. Also some games were played and we were entertained by the puppet group.
On Sunday Morning the Preacher was Mrs Jane Castle. During her talk to us all she illustrated the story of Matthew 18 v 21 -35 ( The Parable of the Unmerciful servant ) by painting a picture on a large Piece of paper and adding the people and the bags of Money etc as she spoke about them. She left the picture with us.
After the service whilst most of us were enjoying a drink and a chat, people could be found working in the schoolroom. They were completing the Scarecrows ready to be put out the front of the Church to invite people to attend our Harvest Festival service next Sunday.
It was good to see the many creative talents of the Church Community.
On Saturday 20th September Hedge End Methodist Church will be the hosts for the Churches Together in Hedge End Christian Aid Lunch. This will take place at 12 noon in the Hall at the Back of the Church. For a small charge a simple Lunch is served to anyone who wishes to turn up on the day, there is no need to book. It is believed that the Lunches consist of items such as Soup and a Roll, or Bread and Cheese. We take turns to host this event with the other Churches in the Hedge End Area, which include the URC and St Johns Church. Proceeds from the Event are given to Christian Aid.
The Churches together website can be found at
For more details about Christian Aid please see
Ministers in the Methodist Church normally Move every three to seven years. This happens on the 1st of September which is the start of the Methodist Church Year.
The Morning Service on Sunday 31st August was therefore the last service which the Rev. Christine Coram took as our Minister. At the end of the Service the Senior Church Steward presented Christine with a Watercolour picture of the Church, which had been painted by a previous member of the congregation. This picture was signed on the back by many of us. She was also given some book tokens and a Card. Rev. Christine Coram, has been with us since 2011. We will continue to see her regularly as she is moving to Shirley to take over as Minister at St James Road Church.
On Friday 5th September we will be hosting a “Circuit Welcome Service” for Rev. Arthur Cowburn who is taking over as our Minister. He will also be responsible for Woolston Methodist Church. The Service will start at 7. p.m. and will be followed by refreshments. The Preacher for the occasion will be Rev. Dr. Andrew Wood: the District Chair of the Southampton District of the Methodist Church.
We are all looking forward to working with Rev. Arthur Cowburn in the Future and getting to know him better. Many of us have been fortunate to have met him already, as he has been living in the Southampton area for just over a year now. Rev. Arthur Cowburn wrote an article about himself which has been reproduced in the blog entry for 17th June.
On Sunday 21st September at 10.30 a.m. our Harvest Festival Service will be conducted by Don Skinner, a Methodist local Preacher. Harvest Festival marks the end of the main harvest Season. We give thanks to God for the crops that have been grown and celebrate the hard work involved in reaping them.
During the Service people will be given an opportunity to donate food to the Food Bank in Hedge End and St Dismas, a Charity that helps the Homeless.
More information about the food bank can be found at http://www.kccsouthampton.org/foodcentre/
if you wish to do this please bring a Tin or a Carton of Food with you. In the past the Charity has been given lots of Baked Beans so if you can another product would be appreciated. Donating is not compulsory you are very welcome to join us for the service whether or not you donate.
Harvest Festival is a lovely community event, which can be enjoyed by families, friends and occasional visitors. There will be an invitation to Tea, coffee and biscuits after the service.
Twice a year, Northam Methodist Church has ‘Caribbean’ events in recognition of the strong links that the community has with Islands. The Christmas Songs of Praise with a Steel Band is a packed event with a unique and colourful style of worship. Do attend if you can.
Each summer it has a ‘Caribbean Evening’ and the recent version was great fun. There were Poems read and jokes made and there was an ongoing easy banter between the audience and the presenters and also with the local Steel Band, whose rhythms were captivating and the range of tunes eclectic. Half way through we all left the packed small hall and went off for a huge buffet of Caribbean ‘small eats’ and refreshments and then brought our well filled plates back into the hall. There was much noisy chatter and gossip by the 40 or so in the audience at this time. The second half included more rhythms and vocals from the Steel Band, which was still raucous and lively and everybody ended up tapping their toes to the beats. Finally, we were all provided with a splendid hot curry supper dish ‘at seat’ and again there was much lively chatter. We all went away with happy memories of the event and the new characters we had met.
We should also remember that Northam only has 20 members yet they have many activities involving the local community AND they have a weekly House Group meeting [the only weekly one in the Circuit?] They deserve our support.
Recently we went to Shanklin one Sunday afternoon where Tim Dakin [of Radio Solent fame] was leading a ‘Songs of Praise’ service in celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Shanklin Methodist Church. It was a traditional event when well known hymns were sung, interspersed many interesting quips and quotes from Tim.
Tim said he is invited regularly to Anniversary events; they rightly recognise the sacrifices of significant amounts of time and money invested by earlier generations and we should all be thankful for their efforts and celebrate their foresight and faith in the future. He warned us not to be too precocious though about the past; to survive in 2014, churches cannot be bound by traditions and attitudes such as ‘we have done it this way for many years’ and ‘we tried this once before and it failed’ – we all owe it both to those who went before and to the future generations to be innovative in our ways of worship in order to engage with the young and the old in our local communities; often people find conventional church events unattractive.
Do we in Hedge End share these views? Can we do more for the young and old in Hedge End??
On Thursday 25th September we will be holding our Awayday. All the congregation are invited to join together for a day of Study . Morning and afternoon refreshments will be provided, but participants are asked to provide their own packed lunch. The Cost for the Day is £5.00 per Participant.
We will be starting at 10.30 a.m. and we expect to finish at approximately 4 p.m. To enable people without Transport to participate we will be meeting in St Johns Church just up the road from us (Rather than in the New Forest as we did last year). If you need to know the Postcode it is SO30 0BW.
The day will be lead by our New Minister the Rev. Arthur Cowburn the title for the day being “Why did the Lecturn cross the Chapel ?.
We look forward to a day of fellowship and fun – it will not all be serious!
Flyers giving more details of the day and how to book are now available from the front of the Church. If you would like to join us please return your booking form and the payment to a Steward by Sunday 21st September.
The Picture above shows some of the items produced at the last Awayday.
Nine of us met at the Woodmill car park during the evening of Thursday 7th August. We started by walking along the edge of the river Itchen at the Edge of the Park, where we saw about 15 ducks all sat on a log. We walked up to the old bridge, and then we then went through a wood. We saw the remains of a lock on the Itchen Navigation which was built as a Canal about 300 years ago. We carried on until we reached the Mansbridge Reservoir which had a lot of Waterlilies on it. We went a different way back to the bridge near the beginning of the walk and turned right. This took us past some houses until we came to the South Stoneham Church. According to the sign some of the the Church dates back to the 12th Century. We looked at the different sorts of stonework on the building and the signs on their memorial gardens. We then walked back along the road for a while, and along a small path until we got to the Canoe centre on the otherside of the Road from where we had parked the cars. We enjoyed the sunshine and the opportunity to explore some of the History of the area. Thank you to those people who kindly led us on the Walk.
During the Evening of Wednesday 16th July, 18 of us met in the Swanwick Shore Car Park. We strolled along the River in the direction of Warsash, enjoying a cooling breeze while we walked. We saw lots of ducks who were swimming in a straight line, and a Llama which was in a field with a small pony. We walked through the Universal Boatyard, and saw many large yachts including some which seemed to be in a multistorey boat park. After about half an hour we stopped at a Bridge for a while, and had a sweet each. We then returned to the Car Park the same way that we had come. Our thanks to those people who had arranged the Walk. It was good to enjoy the Scenery whilst enjoying fellowship together.