about st george's church st george's news advertisers Waterlooville Music Festival
printer info
From the Vicar Golden treasury 100 years of worship Garden gossip African Child Trust The new St George's The Choir Book Corner Who am I? Happy Wanderer heads North Crossword Puzzle time Bereavement Group Waterlooville Fun Club Heathcare Chaplaincy World Day of Prayer PCC Report Alfreda

St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

The Website for St George’s Church, Waterlooville and its Parish Magazine St George’s News

Summer 2021 issue

The New St George’s

John Symonds authored the book, The History of the Old St George’s, and more recently worked on a history of The New St George’s, covering the period from the construction of the new church in 1970, to the year 2010. We are pleased to be serialising this account over the coming issues of St George’s News.

Chapter 4 - The Nineties

The Youth Club now led by Brian Guymer and Emma Loveman continued to flourish. Early in 1990 The Revd Jane Hedges and her husband Chris took over the leadership. The year ended with the Christmas Bazaar which raised the record sum of £1500 whilst for the first time incense was used at the Christmas Eucharist. The interior of the church was redecorated at a cost of £2,300 and the new Stations of the Cross were donated.

The parish share was raised to £16,620 and the hall monies were transferred to a new separate account.

At the A.G.M. in April 1991 Geoffrey Tomkins succeeded Andrew Clark as Church Warden; Rosemary Monk became P.C.C. Secretary and Judi Hayward,  Treasurer. Geoffrey Jones resigned as Organist and was replaced by Richard Hayward. Another change came when Mrs Florence Malthouse resigned as Verger after 20 years of service. She ran a monthly mini market to pay for the upkeep of the organ and for the choir robes, which she herself made. She was replaced by Leon Bartosiak. In the Spring the vestry, choir and sacristry were redecorated whilst the Stations of the Cross were installed, the gift of Mr Bob Phillips in memory of his mother Mrs Olive Phillips. A Memorial Lamp was also given for the chapel by John Randall for many years Hon. Sec. to the PCC. A photocopier was installed in the Sacristy. The Annual Parish Outing was made to Broadlands in Romsey the home of Lord Louis Mountbatten. In the autumn the Bishop led a discussion regarding the ordination of women priests. The first women servers in the parish had already been appointed. Just before Christmas news was received of the death of the Rev William Haig-Brown our former curate whom many will remember for his humour and conjuring tricks.

1992 began on a high note when the St George’s Players, led by Tony and Jane Rice-Oxley, performed an amusing “End of the Pier” show in the Church Hall. At the end of January, 5 Warfield Avenue was eventually sold for £75,000. Mrs Margaret Symonds was elected as Diocesan President of the Mothers’ Union whilst at the same time Felicity Best became leader of the Sunday School in place of Ruth Loveman. In May Richard Hayward (a serving naval officer) resigned as organist to be replaced a month later by Christopher Powell. A sing-in was performed and  broadcast on Radio Solent.

History was made at the Annual Vestry Meeting when Glenys Hanlon was elected as the first lady churchwarden of St George’s, taking over from Norman Linney. In the autumn Jennefer Higginbottom formed a Healing Prayer Group. The Bishop (Rt Rev Timothy Bavin) made a Parish Visitation in October and confirmed 16 candidates. A month later after much debate Synod gave approval for the ordination of women priests. In September Jane and Chris Hedges stood down as Youth club leaders and the hunt began for a successor.

In March 1993 we were pleased to welcome into the congregation the Rev Arthur Green and his wife Vera. A retired clergyman from Norfolk, he began assisting with services. Several new members were elected to the P.C.C. a month later including Julia Spurgeon, Amanda Jones, Eric Bradshaw and June Bradley. Eric Smith and Norman Linney were nominated as Deanery Synod representatives.

On 24 June David Palmer pulled off a remarkable feat. The challenge was to walk the South Downs Way from Buriton to Eastbourne, a distance of 80 miles, in 24 hours. He set off from Buriton at 4 a.m. Two friends accompanied him for part of the way whilst a car driver delivered food and drink at pre-arranged rendezvous points. The route was via Harting Hill, Cocking, Amberley, Chanctonbury Ring, Devils Dyke and on to Pycombe, Mill Hill, Firle Beacon, Alfriston and Jevington. Finally at 12.50 on Sunday morning Eastbourne was reached so “Goliath was slain” in approximately 21 hours. It was a truly magnificent achievement. David was sponsoring the St George’s Piano Fund and altogether raised £681.81.

In October the vicar announced that he was leaving after Christmas to become Vicar of Godshill on the Isle of Wight. However a month later he withdrew his acceptance and continued as vicar. In November the 80th Anniversary of the building of the Church Hall was celebrated. Later that month the congregation voted in favour of women priests whereupon Mr Geoffrey Tomkins resigned as Church Warden, Mrs Ruth Loveman was elected in his place.

March 1994 saw the appointment of 6 lay assistants as servers at Communion. They were Tony Rice-Oxley, Norman Linney, Garry Coy, Margaret Symonds, Glenys Hanlon and Amanda Jones. Tony and Jane Rice-Oxley took over the leadership of the Youth Club ably supported by Rosemary and Colin Monk and Lesley and Dick Handy. The team organised a Canal holiday on the River Avon at Easter. This was so popular that it became an annual event for many years.

Perhaps stimulated by the epic walk of David Palmer on Easter Monday, Garry Coy decided to lead a group of about 16 teenagers on a 100 mile walk from Woburn to Walsingham for charity. Much careful planning went into the operation. The group went by rail to Woburn in Bedfordshire and then walked 10-15 miles a day  via Sandy, Swavesey (Cambs) through the Fens to Littleport then on to Royden and finally to Walsingham. Norman Linney accompanied Garry, and three drivers, including a mini-bus with all the luggage, went as back-up. Margaret Symonds, accompanied by Vi Wills, also went by car. Their task was to drive ahead to cook meals for the walkers. Accommodation was arranged in various church halls en route. It was an exhausting schedule. After clearing up after breakfast each morning the two cooks then had to drive out to a pre-arranged rendezvous, distribute hot soup, made in situ and sandwiches, fruit and cake to all the walkers before racing off to shop for milk, eggs, bread etc and locating  the next church hall in which to prepare the evening meal. Hot water was always available for foot washing for tired walkers. Fortunately the map reading was good and no-one got lost. Altogether over £1,600 was raised for charity. The parish share rose to £29,641. Ruby Bullock attempted to walk the South Downs Way but met with horrendous rain and severe weather conditions and was forced to abandon the walk. Patrick Anderson resigned as Head Server and Sacristan after many years of service. Rosemary Goulding replaced him as Sacristan.

In the autumn Jennefer Higginbottom became Enrolling Member of the M.U. branch in place of Winifred Mancz whilst Jeffrey Hammond took over as Editor of the Church magazine. Just before Christmas the  church heating system boiler under the hall was converted to gas from oil at a cost of £8000.

Early in 1995 the vicar made a surprise announcement saying that in September he would be going to Australia for a sabbatical year and exchanging parishes with a New South Wales priest Brett Ward. Before then in May there was a joint celebration of the Silver Jubilee of the vicar’s ordination and of the  “new” St George’s. The former vicar, Rev Harry Gibson returned to preach at the Morning Eucharist whilst the Bishop of Portsmouth preached at Evensong. In July Christopher Powell, our organist, departed to begin ordination studies at Mirfield. Fortunately a replacement was quickly found and three months later Mark Dancer was appointed as the new organist. In addition the long awaited Grand Piano had been purchased. It was to prove a very useful asset for concerts and choir practices.  Winifred Mancz was voted in as Churchwarden.

In September the vicar departed for Australia and we welcomed the exchange, the Rev Brett Ward who quickly became very popular. A month later Bishop Timothy retired and we welcomed The Right Reverend Kenneth Stevenson as our new Bishop of Portsmouth and it was he who soon licensed Eric Bradshaw, Andrew Clark, Jennefer Higginbottom and Lynn Winter as additional assistants at the Holy Eucharist.

The vicar returned the following summer. Fr Brett Ward went back to his parish in Australia but in 1999 returned to England and Bishop Stevenson appointed him priest-in-charge of St John the Evangelist in Gosport. The autumn of 1996 saw the purchase of three new sets of vestments, the installation of a new sound system, whilst the organ was restored at a cost of £7,500. In December to help pay for this a special Songs of Praise was recorded and sold as  C.D’s. This year saw the first of the new fund raising charity shops. This lasted a week and was very successful. So much so that it was decided to repeat it yearly. The magazine became available on the Internet, the very first to do so.

In 1997 Yvonne Jones replaced Jennefer Higginbottom as Branch Leader of the M.U. Branch whilst Winifred Mancz was elected Church Warden in place of Glenys Hanlon. A year later in 1998 Tony Rice-Oxley replaced Ruth Loveman as the other Church Warden.

That summer David Palmer led a team on a 43 mile sponsored walk from Buriton to Devils Dyke which they accomplished in the remarkable time of 10 hours 15 minutes. Later that year a flag pole was erected in the churchyard in memory of Flora Shotter, a former Sunday school teacher, whilst an anonymous donor paid for a new iron fence around the Garden of Remembrance at a cost of £3,440.

Early in 1999 Margaret Symonds the Portsmouth Diocesan M.U. President, accompanied by Anne Lawrie of Liss, made a three and a half weeks visit to Nigeria, visiting various linked dioceses and churches there. They returned loaded with gifts and photographs. A commissioning service was held at St George’s before their departure. During July there was a sponsored ramble from the Staunton Arms, via Chalton to raise funds for St George’s and the day ended with a barbecue and Evensong in the Queen Elizabeth Country Park. A week later there was a Parish Outing to Cardiff and Llandaff Cathedral. There we were guided around by Fr Graham Holcombe an old college friend of the vicar. In the autumn several yew trees in the churchyard had to be cut down and just before Christmas a Millennium Cross was placed on the tower.  An architectural survey of the hall was carried out and a full report found quite a few problems which would have to be faced in the coming months and years.

             • To be continued