Wednesday, 25 January 2012

fancy meeting you here!

Back in the late 70s, I was asked by our minister if I would help out with the young people. Some years previously, the churches in the centre of our town in South London suburbia had agreed to work together to eventually become one church by 1980, and the youth group was where all the young people from all the four churches met each Sunday evening. Sadly, one of the churches eventually voted against the agreement, but the youth group carried on.
I have kept in touch with some of the group; previously with the swapping of Christmas cards but more recently with the aid of facebook.
Last Saturday I was shopping in our local supermarket in South Wales when I saw a familiar figure - a tall, fair haired lady who looked just like one of the youth group. I did a quick calculation and thought; "well she looks like Kate but does she look as if she is in her late forties?" the answer was "no!". But I couldn't get the idea out of my mind and kept looking at this lady through the various isles. I then saw that she was with two other ladies, one about the same age with darker hair - that clinched it, because Kate's sister had dark hair.
This was so strange that I could not concentrate on my shopping and I left hubby with the trolley and approached the dark haired lady as the other two had now walked away.
What was her name? I remember some confusion when her then boyfriend had ordered a cake for her 18th birthday and the person who iced the cake got her name wrong.
"Excuse me, is your name Julie?" "Judith" she replied - so I had got it wrong too!
I introduced myself, and it seems I have changed in the last 34 years! Gradually, Judy recognised me and called Kate back "Look it's Sue from Teens!".
Kate had seen us chatting and thought it typical that Judy having come from South London for a visit should bump into someone she knew!
Although I have been living here for five years, Kate has lived here for the last twenty years, while the minister mentioned above has lived in Wales for nearly thirty years and another member of the youth group also moved to Wales many years ago, and I will be seeing her this coming weekend, something I haven't got around to before!

Friday, 6 January 2012

is it really worth it?

I see that Easter eggs are appearing on the shelves! 
I don't think I had hit my teens when I realised that they were rather expensive for the amount of chocolate that they contained - so I asked my Mum and Dad if I could have a large bar of plain chocolate instead - even now it is difficult to buy a plain chocolate Easter egg!
Then the following November, I asked if I could have chocolate instead of fireworks - again they seemed so expensive and were often a dismal failure - a few seconds of sparkle in exchange for a lot of money!
It seems that I am unusual - but I wonder how many other people find the millions of pounds spent on a ten minute display at the beginning of the year, rather distasteful in this economic climate. 
Where does the money come from?
And how many more millions - no billions are going to be spent on the opening and closing ceremonies at the Olympics? I love the procession of those taking part but isn't the rest of it us just showing off? but please don't burn all that money on fireworks! 
And before that there will be the Queen's Jubilee? I know that many people will be doing something special to celebrate the event but do we really need yet more fireworks!

Monday, 2 January 2012

Happy New Year!

We all say it, but life isn't all happiness and the first Christmas wasn't all singing, presents and gurgling babies either! It was very quickly followed by a jealous king killing all the boys under the age of two. So our service yesterday was a bit down-beat, remembering all those who still grieve for their children killed through war, accidents and disease.
But we also have many things for which we gave thanks. We welcomed two new deacons who are long standing members of the chapel and are now in a position to give more time to the fellowship.
And we also introduced to the congregation our new lectern.

We are very fortunate that the husband of one of our members is a very gifted carpenter who specialises in church furniture. We wanted a lectern that would fit in with the woodwork of the chapel and could be adjusted for people of different height and for those who are a bit unsteady on their feet and would prefer to sit to read. The top is also adjustable for those who prefer a different angle! 
I asked if we could have a celtic cross carved into it.

We are so very happy with the finished result! It is brand new but looks so at home in our 174 year old chapel. Thank you Jeremy!