Why I bother with the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women!

wf logoWFM&UCW Tree of Life logo

I never expected the amazing experiences I would enjoy when I allowed my name to go forward for the position of Area President for the Britain and Ireland Area of the WFM&UCW. Travelling opportunities yes: to South Africa for the 12th World Assembly, to Basel for a World Executive meeting, to Rome for the Joint European Areas Seminar, and to Melbourne for the next World Executive in July when I guess we shall be planning the 13th World Assembly in Houston, Texas.
But it’s not just the travel, exciting though that is. It is the personal contact with women in so many parts of the world, God’s world, (John Wesley’s Parish!) that is an inspiration to me. It’s having opportunities to hear stories of bravery and determination, as we did in Johannesburg, from real women I could see and touch and eat meals with and ask questions of and pray with and take photos of. It’s meeting women like Marianne and Dessie from Bulgaria who came to the Southampton District last October and shared their faith stories with us.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     Marianne and Dessie in Gillingham

Having the privilege of planning the Joint Area Seminar in Italy with sisters from Ireland, Bulgaria, Sweden and Italy is awesome. To pray for sisters in Ukraine, knowing that two of them are hoping to come to Rome for the Seminar this Pentecost, and wondering whether they will get the necessary visas. Knowing that women around Britain are raising £10,000 so that women from smaller Units have a chance to come to Pomezia for this event (and that women in USA are helping pay travel expenses). Unit Presidents will attend the Weaving Together Programme (prior to the Seminar), which will encourage and equip them to continue the development of women’s lay ministry in their own countries.
The knowledge that through the World Federation, we have a voice at UN level at the Economic Social Council ECOSOC, through our representative Brenda Smith in New York; knowing that through the work of Methodist and Uniting Church Women towards achieving the MDGs* we are step by step making a positive difference in the world. Reading about this work in the pages of the quarterly Tree of Life newsletter and on the website http://www.mwib.org.uk .

WFMUCW 75yrs logo FINAL

This year we are celebrating 75 years since Helen Kim, a young Korean woman, founded the movement first known as the Word Federation of Methodist Women. There have been 75 years of stories of women making a difference. Bringing healing and new hope to their communities. That’s worth bothering about!

Alison Judd

*The United Nations Millennium Development Goals.


Maundy Thursday Service of Light and Darkness

Maundy Thursday
The service will start at 7:30p.m. in the church (front entrance and last for about an hour).  This is what Wikipedia says about this service:

Tenebrae (Latin for ‘shadows’ or ‘darkness’) is a Christian religious service celebrated within Western Christianity on the evening before or early morning of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, which are the last three days of Holy Week. The distinctive ceremony of Tenebrae is the gradual extinguishing of candles while a series of readings and psalms is chanted or recited.

We form a circle of chairs.  Beforehand about a dozen of us have been allocated a short passage from the bible relating to the events at Easter up until the Good Friday.  In due course and after silence each of us reads our allocated passage.  There are a number of candles in the centre of the circle.  We each extinguish one of the candles, so that at the end of the service the room has become darker.  This is a sombre event which attempts to capture some of the gravity of events in the days up to and including the killing of Jesus on the cross.

The event is open to everyone, both Christians and Non-christians, though it is not quite everybodies thing.

The Choir at Easter


Over the next few months we aim to bring attention to a number of the churches social groups.  The choir meet most Monday evenings to practice.  They sing during Sunday Morning Worship, and at other occasional services.  This is a photograph of the choir members just after Palm Sunday Worship having just sung beautifully and joyfully during the service.  They sing to a very good standard but not toffy nosedly.

The choir are always interested in new budding choiristers to join their ranks.  They sing a combination of traditional and modern pieces, both single hymns and extended suites, predominately of a religious nature, and they sound superb.  They are generally accompanied by organ, piano, french horn and sometimes by other Hedge End Methodist instrumental groups.

Sing to the Lord a joyful song,
Lift up your hearts, your voices raise;
To us his gracious gifts belong,
To him our songs of love and praise;

Easter 2014


Easter this year takes place between Maundy Thursday (17th April) and Easter Sunday (20th April). There will be a number of services and activities during this time.

Service of Light and Darkness
This will take place at 7.30 on Maundy Thursday (17th April).The service includes communion.

Good Friday
The Organisation “Churches together in Hedge End ” Hold a Walk of Witness at 11.p.m. starting in the Centre of Hedge End. Near the Co-operative store.  There will be a Service in Hedge End Methodist Church at 3.p.m. on Good Friday conducted by the Rev. Christine Coram.

Agape service
On  Sunday  ,  Easter  Day,  we  are  holding  an  Agape  service  at  8.00am., when  the  New  Testament  Church  met,  they  shared  fellowship,  worship  and  food.  They  enjoyed  a  common  meal  together,  which  eventually  became  the  Eucharist  or  Lord’s  Supper  or  Holy  Communion.

We  are  going  back  to  those  earliest  times,  to  share  in  another  part  of  the  common  meal,  called  an  Agape  or  Love  Feast.  At  this  meal  we  share  food  and  fellowship  together.  You  can  actively  take  part,  if  you  wish,  by  bringing  along  a  prayer,  a reading,  a  poem,  a  testimony  or  something  similar.  Or,  of  course,  you  can  simply  listen.

You  don’t  need  to  bring  any  food  of  your  own,  as  we’ll  be  providing  some  light  refreshment.  It  will  be  a  special  act  of  worship  and  all  are  invited. We’d  love  you  to  come!

Easter Cross
During the Service at 10.30 a.m. on Easter Sunday we will be creating a Floral Easter Cross.  This will be similar to one we made in a previous year which is depicted (right). If you would like to contribute to this please feel free to bring a few flowers with you to the service.

Ramble In Hamble


On Saturday April 5th we ventured on the first Ramble of the Year. 15 of us met in Hamble during the Morning. We walked down to the Quay and then through the Woods to the Beach. We then Walked along the Beach and back to the Village. It was slightly damp and drizzly but none of us got too wet, and we managed to avoid the most muddy paths. Some people who had walked along the beach on a previous Walk were surprised at the extent of the erosion of the Beach paths; this is presumably a result of the recent storms. We were pleased to see that the Spring Flowers were starting to appear. After the Walk we went into to the “Victory” Pub where we had Lunch together. Our Thanks to those people who had arranged this Ramble for us.

Our Busy Weekend

We started on Friday Night by Hosting this years Womans World Day of Prayer.  This years event material was prepared by the Women of Egypt; next year it will be arranged by Women from The Bahamas.  This event is arranged so that during the 24 hours an almost identical service is held in many places and countries in the World.  We were pleased to be able to host this service, the hosting of which is shared between the churches in the Hedge End Area, so it tends to be our turn every eight years or so.  We welcomed our friends from the other Churches to our Church on this occasion. Our thanks to everyone who organised or helped in anyway to make this interesting service possible.

On Saturday we held our childrens event, “Jammy Church”  which we hold every second Saturday of the Month. This is an opportunity to think about the Stories in the Bible whilst enjoying yourself doing Craft activities and Eating. This is mainly aimed at families, although the young at heart are very welcome. Saturdays Theme was the story of the Disabled Man who was lowered through the Roof on his mattress so that he got to see Jesus.

When we entered the Church on Sunday we could see that some people had been very busy on Saturday.  This was because the front few rows of Pews had been removed and replaced with Chairs.  This should make it a lot easier for people with difficulties to sit down comfortably.  We would like to thank the Church that wanted to get rid of their chairs and wanted some more Pews.   It was good to be able to do a straight swop with them.  We are grateful to the Church Council and everyone else involved in arranging this.

The Sunday Service was taken by Deacon Brian Purchase on the Theme of Salt and Light.  Some Volunteers got to light some Candles and everyone was given some Crisps to Eat. We were encouraged to think about the theme of bringing light to other people during our normal lives following the service.  We were pleased to welcome the Girls and Boys Brigade to this service, and the District officer of the Girls Brigade who presented Gemma with her badge to become an Officer of the Girls Brigade.

Women’s World Day of Prayer

The Hedge End Service as part of this International initiative will be be held in Hedge End Methodist Church on Friday 7th March at 7.30 p.m.  This years Service has been arranged by the Women of Egypt and the theme is “Streams in the Desert”. The speaker is Alison Judd, Area President of Methodist Woman in Britain. Light Refreshments will be served at the conclusion of the Service. All are very welcome to attend this service including men.

Duke of Edinburgh and Queens Badge Awards


On Sunday 9th February we were pleased to welcome the Mayor of Eastleigh Councillor Malcolm Cross and his wife Sue. During the Sunday Morning Service The Mayor presented  4 Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Awards and 3 Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards to members of the Boys Brigade, and a Queens Badge to Gemma from the Girls Brigade. We were all pleased to have the opportunity to congratulate them all on their hardwork in achieving these Awards. Ben, Jonathan and Jonathan are due to attend St James Palace to be presented with their Gold Award certificates either by the Duke of Edinburgh or Prince Edward.  The Sunday Service on the theme of the Prodigal son was conducted by our Minister the Rev. Christine Coram and 157 people attended.

Childrens Church Saturday

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Our theme today was the Prodigal Son.  The children made piggy biscuits and piggy masks.  Richard helped in the construction of home made compasses.  We enjoyed the performance from the puppeteers.   To celebrate the  third year of the childrens group (which we call Jammy Church) everyone ate their share of a big cake with lots of sweets on it.  Everyone had a baked potato lunch together.

Helping you to live in a fellowship of friendship.