The Prayer Visiting Team There are many people in the Parish who, at various times, wish to give thanks to God or to ask for God’s help and guidance. They may want to do so for themselves or for others. Sometimes those who request prayers are members of our congregations, but frequently they are people who do not regularly attend services at either of the churches in Swanmore. A team of people from both St Barnabas’ and Swanmore Methodist Church visits 20 or 30 different homes in the parish each month. It takes us over two years to visit everyone in Swanmore, but that is what we have done. We offer to take people’s prayer requests and include them in both the churches’ services one Sunday during the month. From these initial visits we are able to offer continuing pastoral support and care as may be appropriate, and by the most appropriate people.
Mothers’ Union (MU) These days the Mothers’ Union is commonly called simply by its initial letters, ‘MU’. It is a highly active organisation within the Anglican Church and is the largest Christian Charity in the world, with 3 million members in 72 countries. The MU was founded in 1876, 10 miles away in the Parish of Alresford. The Saint Barnabas’ branch was formed just a couple of years later and is still an integral part of parish life here. The MU exists to encourage and support all parents and to promote conditions in society, favourable to stable family life and the protection of children. Swanmore has an active branch with monthly meetings, There is a ‘praying for family life’ prayer meeting on the 3rd Monday of the month at 9.30am, taking place in different members’ homes. There is an evening meeting on the last Wednesday of the month at 7.30 pm in the Paterson Centre. We arrange a varied programme of speakers, outings, social and fund raising events in support of MU aims and objectives. We are a vibrant, out-going group, whose members enjoy all that we do together. Visitors are always welcome, without any need for prior announcement, so please come and meet us and join in whenever you like. Please contact the parish office for more information.
Church Cleaning and Flowers – Our church building is greatly enhanced by the hard work of many committed volunteers who help to keep it clean and tidy, and by those who decorate it so skilfully with colourful flower arrangements. Please contact the parish office if you’d like more information on how to get involved. Cleaning This is done on Friday morning, in pairs, on a weekly rota. There are several people on the list at the moment, some of whom clean regularly each month, whilst others are only called upon from time to time. It takes each pair about an hour and a half to do all the sweeping, dusting and polishing that needs to be done. An annual ‘supreme clean’ is carried out in time for Easter. New volunteers ALWAYS warmly welcomed!
Flowers – These are also arranged on a weekly rota basis. At major festivals, all join forces to put on a special show. New arrangers are very welcome, whether they count themselves ‘experts’, ‘beginners’ or ‘just may be interested.’
Home Groups Home groups provide an opportunity for members of St Barnabas, Swanmore Methodist Church and others to explore the Christian faith together. Each group aims to nurture the spiritual development of its members through its regular meetings, which are a close blend of fellowship, prayer and study, combined with mutual support, fun and friendship. There are a number of different groups meeting at different times, days and venues:
- Monday afternoon
- Monday evening (2 groups)
- Tuesday evening (men’s group)
- Wednesday evening – @ Swanmore Methodist Church
- Friday morning
Please contact the Vicar or Mary Morfill, Home Groups Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in joining a Home Group.