Remembering there is hope….

Thank you for taking a moment to read this Month’s Parish News Comment….

This month is Remembrance, and as I write this, I am very much hoping that the Bishop’s

Waltham and Upham Remembrance services will still be going ahead on Sunday 8th November:

St Peter’s 10:50am at the War Memorial and, Blessed Mary 10:50am in the Blessed Mary churchyard.

In the 75th anniversary year of VE day, whether we will be able to meet or not, we will remember all those who died to bring us peace, and also all those who have been involved in a different kind of fight against the Covid virus in this very different year. We will remember the death of loved ones in the distant past and in recent times, but we will also remember, to remind us, that through those who have given their lives, we can find hope of a better future.

In the last year it might seem that all there has been is ‘Bad News’, however, there have been and are lots of good things happening as well to give us hope.  Here at St Peter’s and Blessed Mary I would like to share with you two bits of Good News of those who feel called to give their life and time to help bring some hope of better things.

First, I am pleased to announce the appointment of two lovely people, Kate Smyth and Katie Harrison, as our ‘Family Children and Youth Workers’. Katie will be focusing on families in St Peter’s and Bishop’s Waltham with younger children, whilst Kate, especially families with older children and youth. Kate will be looking after families, children and young people at Blessed Mary and in Upham. As well as church groups and activities, they both want to especially support our wonderful schools and community groups and activities. For more about Kate and Katie and their families and interests, please read the full announcement later in the magazine. In future Parish News magazines there will be more about what they will be doing. If you do meet them in and around Bishop’s Waltham and Upham they would love to say hello!

Second, I am very pleased to highlight an exciting new initiative to help support families in these current times and beyond: the ‘Meon Valley Baby Bank’ led by Hannah Horner from St Peter’s Church supported by all local churches and community groups. Hannah says about the MVBB:

“The mission of the MVBB is to support and care for families in our local communities who are in need of essential baby care items and clothes for children up to the age of 4. Everyone is welcome whether they are in need of clothes or baby care essentials, or if they would simply like to exchange some items. We can also make and offer gift packages by request on behalf of friends, family or through child and family care agencies.

The MVBB will initially run on the first Thursday of every month, starting from 5th November between 10 and 11:30am in The Stables, Maypole Green, Bishop’s Waltham.

As the weather will be getting colder, we look forward to welcoming you with a warm drink!”

For more details and up to date information please see the MVBB Facebook page @meonvalleybabybank or e-mail Hannah at:

So, in this month of November, we will remember looking back as we usually do, but I hope we can also look forward to what is going to be happening and that can give us hope for good things in the coming months and especially for our families, children and young people.

With my prayers for November

Revd James – Rector St Peter’s Bishop’s Waltham and Blessed Mary, Upham

10th October 2020

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