Saturday June 19 2021



In Full . . .

40 years of fellowship

Posted on November 02 2005 at 10:31:41

Garden party

November 11 was a special day for the St Laurence Women’s Fellowship, which celebrated the 40th (Ruby) anniversary of its inauguration, writes Enid Brumsen.

We marked the occasion with a cake and glasses of wine – quite typical of this warm and welcoming fellowship which over the decades has sought to provide a mid-week monthly break, with Christian company, interesting talks and the occasional “feast” for its members.

Today we are an ecumenical group, welcoming Catholics, Baptists, Methodists and Anglicans.

A perusal of notes made by Dr Tolia English from the Fellowship’s first two minute books reveals that some things have remained reassuringly the same throughout nearly 40 years – meetings are still held on the fourth Wednesday of the month, the membership subscription is still modest (3/6d then; £7 now), meetings are concluded with tea and biscuits, and there are frequent charitable donations; originally these were all focused on the needs of the Church – now they cover a wider spectrum of worthy causes.

Records reveal, for example, that the blue carpet still in the centre aisle of St Laurence Church was paid for by three Fellowship members, Mrs James and her sisters the Misses Moore, and laid in 1968; they also donated the cluster of lights which used to hang over the aisle until it was replaced in 2000. The

Fellowship contributed towards the cost of the new organ dedicated in 1970.

Nor was it only financial aid which was given; for the induction of Revd Leslie Aitken as Rector in 1968, it is recorded that the ladies “washed down the windows and gave the hassocks a good beating”!

Many members will remember Mary Whithead who died in 1998. A longstanding Church Secretary and a stalwart Fellowship member, she hosted a garden party for the group for a staggering 30 years.

Throughout the incumbencies of four Rectors – Revd Patrick Blakiston, Revd Leslie Aitken, Revd Alan Hayward and Revd David Martin – the Women’s Fellowship has faithfully promoted the interests of the women of the village, with a very stable membership of about 40.

If you fancy joining us, note that we meet at the Tanyard Lane Community Centre at 2pm on the fourth Wednesday of the month – you will receive a warm welcome!

Above: a garden meeting at Mary Whitehead’s home in 1994.

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