Church Notices

A memorable morning in the Benefice

This is not so much a Church Notice, as a personal reaction after attending services in the Benefice this morning, 30 June 2019.

What a wonderful day!

This morning’s 8.00 am Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion was truly memorable. 21 people were crammed into the small and intimate Bucklers Hard chapel (as many as I can remember on a ‘normal’ Sunday) including a young boy of around 10, a young man from the United States of America and a retired priest and his wife, recently sailing in via the Beaulieu River! An inspirational sermon was delivered by our Rector, connecting the ancient art of ploughing behind a team of oxen (First Book of Kings Chapter 19, vv 15 to 21) with Luke’s reporting of Jesus rebuking a would be disciple who wanted first to farewell his family (Luke Chapter 9) with the importance in modern Christian witness, to concentrate on the important aspects of faith and look forwards not backwards. A buzz of appreciation and renewal from all attending. Wonderful!

And if that was not enough, the Benefice Service in St Katharine’s Exbury must have attracted close to 90 souls, enjoying Choral Matins led by the choir from Beaulieu Abbey Church. Amongst the congregation was a gentleman of 96 or 97 years, who could remember escorting King George VI in 1944, in this Church, after His Majesty had reviewed the fleet nearby. He was escorted by family from New Zealand, coming from a small town in the Lower North Island which was very well know to your scribe, who lived only twenty miles away from that place for many years.

What a truly wonderful morning’s worship.

”Thanks be to God”

A visit to the Hospital of St Cross in Winchester

For a few hours on Wednesday, June 25 some thirty members of the benefice Churches of Beaulieu, Exbury and East Boldre were given the opportunity to savour the life enjoyed by the residents of a mediaeval almshouse!  The hospital of St Cross, and the Almshouse of Noble Poverty were the results of a charotable foundation in the twelth century, and they have retained much of the atmosphere and dignity of that time.  In an anceint building reminiscent (to your scribe at least) of the Abbey of Romsey or the minster at Tewkesbury, services are held, and the resident brethren attend, much as they must have done seven hundred years ago.  Some pictures of the experience are shown here.

A Summer time Rectors Lunch

The latest Rector's Lunch was held in the Beaulieu Abbey Church Hall on Sunday June 9.  It was a delightful occasion, with just under 50 people attending.  The Beaulieu Abbey Church Social Committee did all the hard work with stalwarts Jan Hoy, Gloria Knight, Annie Melhuish and Margaret Marshall shouldering most of the burden, ably supported by partners and friends.  After a welcome drink of sherry or elderflower water, the main course of baked salmon, with new potatoes, garden peas and salad was soon devoured.  Conversation followed, and then some truly delightful English strawberries (when did we start calling them 'straws'?) were served with meringue and whipped cream.  Tea and coffee was then distributed, masterminded by Father John who showed huge skills in calculating numbers!

An important part of the mission of the Christian Church is to give hospitality and to share food with others.  The Rector's lunches are an important way of demonstrating that need.

Well done the cooks and servers, and indeed the washers up!  And an especial "thank-you" to the many diners who helped with stacking those chairs (grhhh!) and tables.

Some pictures of the lunch are available here

D Day Celebrations in Exbury

June 6 2019 was a memorable day in Exbury, in Southern Hampshire.  The Exbury veterans (from the Second World War) arranged a service in St Katharine's Church, Exbury to mark the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings, an event which heralded the eventual defeat of Nazi Germany.  The service was conducted by the Father John Cooper White, Rector of the Beaulieu, Exbury and East Boldre benefice.  The sermon was preached by the Rev'd Reg Sweet, and an anthem sung by the Beaulieu Abbey Choir.  The large congregation then moved from the Church to a memorial at Exbury Gardens. An introduction was given by Shiela Wise, Chair of the Exbury Veterans Association, followed by the laying of a wreath, and the reading of the poem written by Michael Renyard, and read by Exbury Veteran Marion Loveland.  Some pictures of the event can be seen by clicking here.

Fun and Finance at Beaulieu Abbey Church

It would be great if we could carry out our worship and pastoral activities with no thought of money.  Money really is often "the root of all evil"!!

However, Church Officers have a responsibility to balance their books, and readers of this page may be surprised to know that the Beaulieu Abbey Church needs a budget in excess of £115,000 to carry out its activities.  Monies must be raised and spent wisely, including not only our outward giving, but also to support Diocesan activities, pay stipends for priests and their housing, care for our historic buildings and pay for administrative staff and other support activities.

However, all fund raising events need not be serious!  In July, the Abbey Church embarks on two activities that will both raise money, AND allow us to have some fun.  On July 13, a Musical Gala will be held in the Abbey Church, where highly talented local performers will entertain.  And on July 20, the Beaulieu Village Fete takes place, with fun for all and 50% of the nett proceeds to the Abbey Church.

Please plan to join us at both these fun activities (and help us raise money to allow the Abbey Church to continue its mission).  Further details will be posted on this site and appear in the Monthly Magazine.

Many thanks

Peter Melhuish (Warden and Vice Chairman of the Beaulieu Village Fete Committee)