We were very pleased to have been invited to be the quarterly charity at Tewkesbury Abbey for July, August and September 2019. What has happened so far?
In the first week in July, the JRI Administrator, Karen Vincent, arranged for our posters, literature and roller banner to be displayed in the Abbey. They will have been seen by the many visitors to the Abbey during the summer.
The first the Sundays to focus on the work of JRI was on 21st July when our Vice-President, Rev Dr John Weaver preached at both of the morning services. His sermons focussed on climate change and Colossians 1.15-28 and were uploaded to the Abbey website HERE (you will need to scroll down to 21 July).
Our second Sunday was the 18th August when JRI Director, Rev Margot Hodson, introduced the work of JRI at both of the morning services.
The quarterly charities at the Abbey are all asked if they would like to provide volunteers to run the Touching Souls tearooms once during their quarter. For a small charity like JRI this can be a bit of a challenge, but we rose to it on Saturday 24th August! Karen Vincent managed the whole event very skilfully, and we had just the right number of committed volunteers. Many thanks to Andrew, Cynthia, John, Karen, Marc, Margot, Martin, Matt, Pauline and Sophie. We had a surprise on the night before the event when we discovered on Twitter that the choir from St Mary le More Church, Wallingford, Oxfordshire were due to sing at Evensong on that Saturday. Moreover, a coach party from the church came on the day to support them. Both Martin and Margot Hodson had given talks on the environment to the church in the autumn of 2018 and they remembered that! They even announced we were at the tea rooms on the coach to Tewkesbury. So we were very pleased to welcome the choir and the congregation to the tearooms during the day, and we had many good conversations. It was a small miracle. Martin and Margot attended the Evensong and the choir were really good. It was a pretty exhausting day, but a very good one.
Our final Sunday will be on 15th September when Karen Vincent will introduce our work at the two morning services. We remain very grateful to Tewkesbury Abbey for giving us this wonderful opportunity.
Dr Martin J Hodson
JRI Operations Director