handsMorsContact - friendship for all

Meets: 1st Tuesday of each month in the Church at 19:30.   Contact: Tony King
Informal meetings 4th Wednesday of each month at 14:00.

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
  • A Monthly Programme of informal meetings
  • Visits and Excursions to places of interest
  • Concerts
  • An Anniversary Service

A further aim is to raise funds in support of Church activities and Local Charities.

Future Programme

3 December The History of Waltham Airfield
Richard Poad
7 January '20 Six Weeks on a Mercy Ship
Jill Souter
4 February Exciting Wildlife from around the World
Tom Way
3 March Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)
Colin Brown
Sat 28 March Concert: BA Band
7 April How the things we can’t do without came about
Tony King
5 May The Anniversary of Dunkirk
Richard Poad
19 May Outing to the Isle of Wight and Osborne House

Monthly Report

World Scout Jamboree ……

I feel very guilty, and owe an apology to Harry McBain, Patrick Fillingham and their families that no mention was made in last month’s Greetings of their presentation.  For those who missed it, their talk was well-prepared, well-delivered and, above all, informative.  It was obvious that much effort had been put into the preparation of their trip to the World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia and also how much enjoyment they got out of the whole experience.  The display of swaps and mementoes was evidence of that.   Over and above the Jamboree itself, they enjoyed tours of New York, Washington and, later, Quebec, the latter especially involving several hours of coach travel in each direction!

Our first MorsContact AGM was held later that evening with an agreed merging of office bearers.  

The History of Porcelain ……

Our 5th November meeting welcomed our own AV expert, Siân Moore, who explored and educated us on the History of Porcelain.  She started by highlighting the differences between porcelain, earthenware, pottery, etc. and exploding the myth that porcelain was ‘too good’ to be put in the microwave or dishwasher.  The progression from the Chinese in the 16th century BC (hence the general term ‘china’) to the European/English attempts to produce similar items from the 16th century AD onwards was explained, as were the differences and difficulties in replicating these.  The development of kaolin, or china clay, from Cornwall boosted the English production, but world wars and the intervening depression soon led to its decline.

Andrew Honeyman

Annual Report (MORS, February 2019)

MORS has had yet another successful year in the life of Rose Street Methodist Church.  Most meetings have seen upwards of 50 people in attendance while topics have ranged from 'Training to Become Cosmonauts in Star City, Russia' to 'Lies and Excuses' put forward by those coming through Customs at Heathrow.  A stained-glass maker explained his expertise and a Chocolate salesman had us eating out of his hand just before Christmas.  The Reading Male Voice Choir gave us a concert in March and the BA Band returned in October, both helping to boost our charity fund.  After a committee apology and some re-arrangement, our morning Anniversary Service in February was conducted by the Rev. Martin Turner, recently of Central Hall, Westminster.

This hiccup only goes to highlight a matter which many church groups may have to face up to in the near future – the continuing increase in the average age of those involved in maintaining these groups.  The MORS committee have already decided that there should be a 'football-like' winter break for meetings, since recent numbers indicate a reluctance to come out on a cold winter's evening.  With that in mind, we intend to have no Tuesday meeting next winter, i.e. November, December 2019 and January, February 2020.  More on this subject over the next few months.  Other decisions still need to be made but, suffice for now, we need more willing and, dare I say fitter, people to help organise.

Andrew Honeyman

Contact - A History

Contact, Young Wives or Wives Group as it was first known, began in September 1962.  The name changed from 1973 to be more inclusive.  The group met on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday evenings of the month.  One meeting had a speaker, while the other was usually a members’ evening.  There were a wide variety of speakers over the years, together with outside visits and theatre outings.

Ladies held their position on the Committee for 2 years only, so every year there were changes to the officers.  Often there were Church events to help organise, like Garden Parties in the summer, Autumn Fayres, Harvest Suppers and Christmas dinners.  The various Rose Fayres were primarily to raise funds for building projects, like the Rank Hall in 1964 and the extended Church in 1973.

An important spin off for over twenty years was the Keep Fit class which began in 1971.  An average of 20 women a week exercised with a teacher and pianist, and there was a creche for young children,  It was a form of outreach, as most particpants were not church members.

Today there are a number of ladies in the Church who have served on the Contact committee in various roles from 1970.  By 1976 the annual subscription was 30p with 10p paid at each meeting attended. Over the years the number of members has fluctuated. By 1984 Annual Programmes were circulated and this encouraged more ladies to join.  The average attendance in 1987 was 22, but two years later it had risen to 30.

B partyContact 'B' party, December 2014

Norma Soby has held several roles over the life of Contact, and Cecily Amos, who became Treasurer in 1998, still holds that office.

There was talk of joining MORS in 1999, when the average attendance was down to 10, but the following year it was decided to only meet monthly instead, on the 4th Wednesday of the month,  In 2002 Janet Severn became Co-ordinator and remained so until she moved way in 2018.  In 2005 gentlemen began to attend Contact meetings which improved the average attendance.

In 2006 the building of the Bradbury Centre commenced.  Contact gave £100 to the Church, recognising that Powerpoint presentations were often used by speakers.  By 2009 subscriptions were £1.50 a meeting and from 2014 Contact members went annually to Daffodil Day at Methodist Central Hall.

By 2018, 51 members attended the AGM, with an average attendance at meetings of 38.  A sum of £420 was given for a large Mosaic fish, part of the design planned for the exterior of the Bradbury Centre wall.

So we arrived at 2019 where the 24 members at the AGM agreed that, mainly due to falling numbers and the average age of the group, Contact would amalgamate with MORS from 1st September 2019.  There will be 3 members from Contact on the MORS committee and we hope that some MORS members will join us at our informal meetings.

57 years is a long time and there are sure to be a great many memories……

Judith Bedwell