mors - friendship for all
Meets: 1st Tuesday of each Month in the Church at 19:30. Contact: Tony King
MORS is a Church Social Group open to “Methodists of Rose Street”, and to all other friends of the Church. Our main aims are to encourage friendships to grow and to welcome everyone into the overall Church family.
- A Monthly Programme of talks followed by refreshments and a chat in The Meeting Place
- Visits and Excursions to places of interest
- An Annual Dinner and Anniversary Service
A further aim is to raise funds in support of Church activities and Local Charities via our own efforts and also in cooperation with other Church groups, especially Contact and the Theatre Club.
I'll take the High Road
Life on the Reef
The MORS outing to the Cotswolds on 16th May was much enjoyed by over 100 people. We stopped for lunch at Bourton-on-the-Water then went on to the 1,000 year old Sudeley Castle, home to both Richard III and Queen Catherine Parr over the years. The weather allowed us to explore the beautiful gardens of this manor house plus the treasures it held within, including paintings by Rubens, Van Dyke and Turner, plus Civil War memorabilia. The castle was allied to the Royalists during the Civil War and was plundered by the Roundheads, after which the castle and chapel were left to rot for some 200 years. In the late 19th Century it was the Dent family, famous for making gloves, who purchased the ruins and started to restore the castle, eventually filling the interior with some of the treasures you can see today. Well worth a visit next time you are in the Cotswolds!
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At our June meeting we were treated to a nostalgic journey down Forces Radio memory lane. We all recall Forces Family Favourites, which attracted an audience of 20 million listeners at Sunday lunch time. The 'British Forces Broadcasting Service' began in 1943, and our speaker Alan Grace joined them shortly afterwards. Alan enjoyed an international career in broadcasting and is still involved as the BFBS archivist.
As his talk to us coincided with the 73rd anniversary of D-Day, he began by reviewing some fascinating material from that period, which included recordings from John Snagg, Ike and Monty. De Gaulle was apparently very upset to be left out! We also learned that the expression 'The Longest Day' was coined by Rommel, and that Eisenhower was so uncertain about the outcome of D-Day, that for 3 days he carried a letter in his pocket taking personal responsibility should the invasion fail.
After the war, the approach by the forces for their own broadcasting arm received nominal support from Whitehall, but they had to go ahead with no staff, no kit and no money! However, the commendable initiative of the enthusiasts in the forces led to BFBS becoming very successful, reaching out to our troops wherever they were stationed. The equipment ranged from the highly sophisticated in Europe to the simple, but still effective set-up in places like Afghanistan. Alan entertained and educated us with an impressive collection of anecdotes captured at the time in sound recordings, on film and in print. Many of the broadcasters and performers involved became household names. These included Cliff & Jean Michelmore, Raymond Baxter, Tommy Handley, Peter Sellars, David Jacobs and many more. BFBS also gave birth to memorable programmes such as Dick Barton, and the Archers. Alan left us in no doubt that from their small beginnings BFBS had grown into a highly successful international organisation.
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In June we welcomed back the Reading Phoenix Choir who gave us a first class concert, with music to suit all tastes. This they achieved with a beautifully arranged programme ranging from Rachmaninov to Freddie Mercury.
We now look forward to the last talk of the current season when on 4th July John Harrison tells us 'I'll take the High Road'.
Some highlights from our future programme include a visit in late November to Windsor Castle when the State Rooms are decorated and dressed for Christmas plus time for Christmas shopping in Windsor, and a further visit next summer to Lacock Abbey and its Historic Village. The Abbey played host to the BBC production of 'Wolf Hall' recently, and the picturesque streets and cottages of the historic village have made appearances in Downton Abbey, Pride & Prejudice and Cranford.
Our new season of talks begins on Tuesday September 5th when Neil Steward describes the beauty of the under-water world with some stunning photographs showing us 'Life on the Reef'.
Annual Review (February 2017)
We support 'Our Vision' by providing 'an exciting and comprehensive range of activities -- in an environment where everyone belongs, and enjoys true friendship'.
We meet this aim through our diverse programme of Talks, Visits, Concerts, Dinners and Annual Services. Our monthly talks attract an audience of about 65 people, from Church and Community. Last year we were entertained by a variety of subjects ranging from a rather novel 'Audience with a Mole' to a nostalgic 'Do you remember the Fifties?' We then all enjoyed coffee and a chat in the Meeting Place, which itself is a major asset in building up friendships. We also attracted splendid support for our traditional British Airways Band Concert, which raised over £1000, and for our Annual Dinner at the Bull at Arborfield where once again over 70 of us thoroughly enjoyed the first class food and excellent service provided by Bruno and his team.
We were delighted that the Revd Bryan Coates, along with Sandy, returned this year to lead our Anniversary Services, which he did in great style. Mike Bowstead led the Community Hymn Singing during the evening, at the same time giving us knowledgeable insight into the importance of the music and lyrics of each hymn. Again the MORS Male Voice Choir, conducted by Eileen Goode, gave another splendid performance- a successful and thoroughly enjoyable day.
This year, thanks to the support received for our activities, we were able to donate over £3,600 to local charities from the MORS Charity Fund, as well as £1,700 to our Church. We trust that all our activities again created the environment for generating 'friendship for all'.