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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.

We try to meet these aims by arranging:
  • 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.

Future Programme

 4 February
10.30am & 6.00pm MORS Anniversary Services
        Revd Nick Thompson
        MORS Choir
5.45pm Community Hymn Singing
        Chris Barker

 6 February
Wildlife on your Doorstep
        Tom Way

20 February
Annual Dinner at 'The Bull', Arborfield
        Booking required

 6 March
It's Fun to be Fooled
        Simon Williams      change to published programme

10 March
Reading Male Voice Choir Concert
        Booking required

 3 April
My Experiences Training with the Cosmonauts at Star City, Russia
        Jane Simpson

 1 May
A Long Walk across England
        Graham Hom

 5 June
Lies and Excuses - Going through Customs
        Malcolm Nelson

12 June
Outing to Lacock Village and Museum
        Lunch in Chippenham - Booking required

Monthly Review
Event Reports

We had quite a busy programme over this Christmas period, starting with our visit to Windsor.  As expected, we were most impressed by the Castle dressed in all its Christmas finery and we also found time to do a bit of Christmas shopping.

At our December meeting we were expecting Simon Williams from the 'Magic Circle', but he vanished and Tony King appeared in his place.  However they sorted out the mystery and Simon will appear at our March meeting to tell us "It's fun to be fooled".  Tony didn't disappoint either as out Magician's 'sub'.  He gave us an hour of first class entertainment, tracing the evolution of the 'musical' from its birth in 1728 with Jonathon Gay and his 'Beggars Opera', through to Cameron Mackintosh and his incomparable 'Les Miserables'.  Over the centuries major steps forward in Musical Theatre were made by Offenbach's introduction of Operettas in 1855.  Other talented contributors included Gilbert & Sullivan, George Bernard Shaw with Pygmalion and Lionel Bart's 'Oliver'.  The contribution of the American musicals was also outstanding.  The examples Tony chose to illustrate this included 'Show Boat', 'West-Side Story' and many others.  Dancing also added value to the musicals – who can forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers?  Tony illustrated his talk with nostalgic and much loved excerpts from the musicals, and gave us a very enjoyable evening.

He then reappeared on our programme on 2nd January and, despite the dismal weather, attracted an audience of 60 to learn what he had discovered about 'The Edwardians', especially King Edward VII who reigned from 1901 to 1910, following a very strict upbringing by his mother, Queen Victoria.  Indeed he was 50 before she allowed him to go on an overseas visit of his own choice.  Many major events and developments took place during his era e.g. the Boer War which was very unpopular, and the Sinking of the Titanic.  New technology brought major advances in transportation such as powered flight, and in telecommunications with the new-fangled telephone. On the political front the suffragette movement was born, and the fight for a fairer distribution of wealth began.

Indeed probably the most dramatic messages from Tony's talk were the unimaginable differences between the lifestyle of the incredibly rich, and the abject poverty of the ordinary working class - especially those whose only refuge was the 'workhouse'.  Meanwhile Edward and his group indulged in a life of luxury, with trips abroad and high life at home including Ascot and Henley, and visits to country houses for their hunting, shooting and fishing.  Edward took an entourage of about 80 servants on such visits to serve his every need, especially his 5 main meals a day!  Ladies also featured very prominently in Edward's social calendar - the most prominent being the attractive Lily Langtree.

The social calendar of the population at large started to improve and now included the annual week at the seaside, with its donkey rides and most unattractive neck-to-ankle bathing costumes.  The Music Halls began to feature strongly, providing entertainment, and we all recognised and joined in with the traditional ballads such as "My old man said follow the Van and don't dilly-dally on the way----".  Less attractive were the long working hours and the extreme hazards in mines and factories to which both adults and children were exposed, frequently losing life or limb.  Notable too were the commendable efforts to help those in need.  Outstanding examples include William Booth with the Salvation Army, and Dr Barnardo with his children's homes.  Tony covered a very wide range of subjects, all professionally highlighted by sound and by another new development – the Movies.  One image which appealed was to see the streets of London packed as tightly as they are today - but with horses and carriages!

Future Events

On 4th February we look forward to the return of the Revd Nick Thompson to lead our MORS Anniversary services - the Community Hymn Singing, led this year by Christine Barker, will start at 5.45pm.  Then on Tuesday 20th February we will be holding our Annual Dinner at 'The Bull at Arborfield' – the Booking Form is printed in February Greetings.

As usual everyone is welcome to our Monthly Meetings at 7.30 pm in The Church – every first Tuesday of the month.  Our next one is on Tuesday 6th February when Tom Way will talk about 'Wildlife on your doorstep'.

Guy Masdin

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.

P1040465WWe 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'.

Guy Masdin