October 2014
Men's Breakfast
Picture, Men at Breakfast
Our regular slot in September had to be slipped to October because of the availability of people and venue, so on Saturday 25th October, we began in the usual way with a 'Full English Breakfast' before hearing from our guest speaker. This month it was the minister from Glebe Free Chapel in nearby Newent, Rupert Abbott. Before he took up his present role he had an outreach ministry in Birmingham UK but he took a sabbatical year out to go to Pakistan to do missionary work there. That year turned into 12, with 9 years to follow in Thailand, so it was 21 years later that he took up an invitation from his one of his sponsors, Glebe Chapel, to become a minister on his return to the UK. (Return to top)

He explained that even 21 years ago, it was realised that just giving aid to people in need wasn't sufficient, aid was needed immediately, but in the longer term education was needed to help such people learn skills necessary to support themselves in the future, so he ran a project to teach and promote better agricultural practices, particularly in the growing of potatoes. (Return to top)

He shared several tales of 'hairy' experiences in the steep valley terrain of the 100% Muslim area of Pakistan where he was based, before culminating in the need to evacuate his school for missionary families to Thailand for safety, following the 9/11 incident in New York, which is how he came to be based in that country. His tales of people surviving and even making a go of it in very difficult circumstances certainly made us appreciate our own advantages and what we can do to help others. (Return to top)
School Harvest Service
Picture, School Harvest
As usual, Ann Cam Infants/Primary School combined their Harvest Celebration with their end of term Service, so the whole school with many of their parents filled Dymock Church on Thursday 23 October. This year there was a new innovation, instead of the Service being led by the Headmaster, Mr Ward, after welcoming everyone he handed it over to be led by the pupils of the top class who did all the introductions. (Return to top)

It began with the everyone singing the song 'Pears and Apples' before Class 1 gave an animated presentation called 'Dingle Dangle Scarecrow' with enthusiastic jumping up at one point in each chorus! Class 2 then recited a poem about Harvest Time followed by the school choir who sang three songs; the first, 'Harvest Song' written by one of the pupils, Annie Powell. (Return to top)

Class 3 held up pictures about harvest they'd prepared whilst they read an 'acrostic' poem on the letters of the word 'Harvest' describing what's special about the season, then Class 4 recited harvest poems they'd each written, developed from a common first line. We all sang the song, 'Harvest Hymn' before three of the older girls led us all in prayers they'd written for harvest. Finally, Mr Ward handed out awards for good achievements to several pupils from each class. (Return to top)
1980s Disco Evening
On 18th October, a 1980s disco-themed social evening was held in Dymock Parish Hall. Hopefully a report will appear here shortly!
Charity Family Service For 'Cobalt'
Cobalt Unit Logo
Our Family Service on Sunday 12th October was the second of our 'Charity' events this year. In April our focus was on the international charity 'Toilet Twinning' but this month we focused on a local charity - 'Cobalt' in Cheltenham, with a guest speaker from there - Jen Millar. (Return to top).

Jen explained that the were originally set-up by a doctor who realised the benefits of scanning to see inside a person to detect cancer as opposed to the then need to 'cut you open' to make an investigation. They were setup as 'The Cobalt Unit' but now are a charity called just 'Cobalt'. They have a range of scanners including CT and MRI which are used to detect many different types of cancer and serve the three counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. The equipment is large so they had to fund the construction of a building to house it. Today their mobile scanners in lorries, go out to other local hospitals too that don't have the equipment. (Return to top).

Regrettable the equipment is constantly evolving and is expensive, beyond the day-to-day means of the NHS budget, so it's manned by volunteers like her and funded through charity donations. Patients take a mildly radioactive sugar solution which is absorbed more by 'active' cells like cancer, so shows up as a bright spot on their scanner. More recently its been realised that the brain of people suffering from Alzheimer's and Dementia has dead areas which don't absorbed the sugar (as they're dead!) so the same principal can be used in reverse with dark areas showing dead parts of the brain. More and more therefore they're getting involved in research into those two diseases. (Return to top).

Our collection among the congregation present would be augmented by a donation from the Church Council budget and sent to he charity to support their anniversary fund raising, which has already bought an up-to-date scanner but needs more funds to support it's effective operation - a total of £1.5 million. (Return to top).
Grant Presentation
Picture, GHCT Cheque Presentation
The Gloucester Historic Churches Trust (GHCT) made another generous grant towards our Restoration Appeal, this time towards the necessary repairs to the external stone walls and repainting of the nave ceiling. Their representative attended our regular Service on Sunday 5th October and presented a cheque for £4,000 (Return to top).

The picture shows the presentation ceremony just before the Sermon, with many of the people who had taken part in last year's 'Ride and Stride' fund-raising event which raised over £1,300 - half of which went to our church and half towards to Trust's funds. (Return to top).

We are still collecting the donations against this year's pledges, so don't yet know how much we've raised in 2014. (Return to top).