The last of the evening social events in 2010, the traditional Christmas Party, took place on Monday 6th December in the Upper Gatehouse Room at Oat Street Chapel. The generosity and hard work of Chris and Sally and their many helpers was much appreciated by all present. The seasonal roast dinner and trimmings (with a selection of tempting desserts to follow) was consumed with much satisfaction, especially so in view of the decidedly wintry weather. Those who eagerly awaited the annual visit from Father Christmas were not disappointed; presents were distributed to all with the customary festive cheer. At a signal from Chris, the room underwent a dramatic rearrangement prior to the traditional game of Pass-the-Parcel or, to be more precise, Pass-the-Parcel-and-perhaps-Win-a-Bear. £387.50 was raised for Chapel funds. Thank you Chris and Sally for another memorably festive evening.
The Playhouse Pre-School group also celebrated Christmas, by presenting the nativity story to parents and friends assembled in the Chapel. Rather than expect each child to learn a speaking part, they held dolls (Mary, a baby, a shepherd, a wise man, etc.) and as their teacher read the story, at the appropriate point each child took its doll and put it in the nativity scene which had been set up on a table. It was very effective, and all present enjoyed it.
Local madrigal group, Musyck Anon provided an enjoyable musical evening at Oat Street Chapel on the 17th December. Despite inclement weather, forty or so people attended the concert and the reception hosted by Chapel members. The retiring collection raised £150 for the Evesham Talking Newspaper for the Blind.
The snow and subsequent icy weather in December disrupted many scheduled activities across the Cotswold Group of Congregations. One Sunday without a service at Oat Street Chapel is unusual but the absence of one on two successive Sundays is probably a first! Whilst the decision not to have a service on 26th December had been taken in November, the service would have had to be cancelled anyway because of the weather, as was the one in the preceding week. As testament to the exceptionally low temperatures over the Christmas period, both the Vestry and the Gatehouse suffered burst pipes, possibly for the first and, hopefully, only time. Thanks to the hard work of John & Eileen Green and Anne & Barrie Wheeler (and an accommodating plumber and electrician) however, the Service on 2nd January was unaffected, as was the return of the Playhouse Pre-School later in the week.
The weekend of 11th and 12th of September once again saw the doors of Oat Street Chapel open to visitors for the annual Heritage Open Days: Saturday 10am to 4pm and Sunday 12noon to 4pm.
Many thanks to John Green for coordinating the event and to all Members and Friends who gave up part of their weekend to provide a welcoming presence and refreshments. Despite our best efforts, however, visitor numbers showed only a small increase over last year and hence we were significantly down from the high numbers of the year before. We had 40 visitors on the Saturday and 38 on the Sunday, the respective figures being 48 & 26 (2009) and 72 & 35 (2008).
The traditional Harvest Supper at Oat Street Chapel took place in the Upper Gatehouse Room on the evening of Monday 27th September, only a few days after the autumnal equinox, when the hours of daylight are decreasing at their maximum rate.
Whilst the arrival of autumn was therefore in no doubt, the approach of winter did nothing to dampen the conviviality of the forty or so who came to sup. The selection of main courses and desserts provided by Sally and her helpers having been consumed with some relish, the traditional raffle was drawn, to be followed by a decidedly un-traditional round of community singing. Whilst passers-by may well have recognised the tune, ably played by Humphrey Bright at the keyboard, as that of a well-known, not to say well-loved, hymn*, the words actually being voiced with some gusto would no doubt have caused them puzzlement and, we hope, amusement.
Further entertainment was provided by Chris in the form of a musical quiz – easy for those with the ability to match their recognition of a tune with its name, and vexing to those who struggle with its name on the tip of their tongue.
Thank you, Chris and Sally, for another evening of good company and good fun. A total of £426 was raised for Chapel funds.
*All things bright and beautiful
Evesham Unitarian’s new web-site was launched today. It incorporates a new design, new photography by Syd Mathews, a Monthly Calendar and News page.