November 2023 Gathering

November 14th

Woodbine Willy

A trip down distant memory lane this month as we recalled the work of Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy who lived and worked in Worcester and some of his 1st World War poetry.

The central aisle had a display of books and pictures with remembrance poppies.

Alex welcomed everyone to the gathering including more new faces, we commenced by singing “Great is the darkness that covers the earth” and a version of “the Lord is my Shepherd” – both songs of hope in times of trouble – which were followed by prayers.

Barbara gave a talk about Studdert Kennedy born in Leeds in 1883, a former Vicar of St Paul’s church Worcester, who became famous during the 1st World War, when he ministered to the soldiers and gave them copies of the New Testament along with cigarettes. He was forever after known as “Woodbine Willie”.

He was a prolific writer who wrote articles as well as many poems. One is called “Waste”, which you will find on the November Creative Writing page.

He was a much-loved preacher and worked tirelessly to help the poor and disadvantaged. He died in 1929 and is buried in St. John’s churchyard and commemorated with a statue in Cornmarket.

This morning’s activities:-

The ongoing project continued to make a large, cross shaped hanging, devised of individually designed and sewn hessian squares.

Each square is proving to be be uniquely beautiful and there are many techniques being employed. Splendid fabric, stitching and applique.

There were some canvas backgrounds to be painted ready to mount these on.

The writing focus was to take some of the long list of words and their opposites; for example, war and peace, hatred and love to weave a piece of writing or a poem. Some very moving pieces were written.

Alison brought air drying modelling clay, so that doves could be created and at least partially dried.

There was a table of “junk” materials for constructions to be created without glue, Sellotape or pins. This was quite challenging and leant itself to abstract as well as an interpretation of a dove.

There were also the usual opportunities for quiet, contemplative, prayerful knitting.

The conversations abounded around the tables and we were kept refreshed by Carolyn with coffee, tea and biscuits.

Today we said, “Farewell” to Comfort, as she returns home to Nigeria after 3 months in England with her family. She sang us a beautiful Blessing and we look forward to her next visit sometime in 2024.

Soup will most definitely be on the menu again next month and of course mince pies will make a brief appearance on December 12th!
Please remember the new start time – Coffee from 10.00, followed by worship and activities, with lunch around 12.40. We hope to welcome you all there.

Barbara Rolison