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St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

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

The New St George’s, 1970 - 2010

John Symonds

Autumn 2022 issue

2006 got off to a sad start when news came of the death of the former vicar Harry Gibson at the age of 91. His funeral in Chichester was attended by many of the older members of the congregation.

A major new initiative came in June when the vicar planned and organised the first ever Waterlooville Music Festival. Lasting a week, all 16 concerts were held in the church, both lunch time and evenings, and light refreshments were served. Most performances were by local choirs and bands and included several school groups. It proved a great success as 1380 people attended throughout the week. As the vicar wrote in the magazine afterwards “10 concerts were held, 400 draw tickets sold with 34 prizes awarded, 18 sponsors were involved, 177 pieces of music were played and numerous glasses of wine, cups of tea and coffee and lunches served.” This would now become an annual community event following much the same format.

A new hymnal, Hymns Old and New, was introduced.

Another new experience was a Greek Evening organised by  Lynda Sheffield in the Church Hall. There was also a visit from Kunle Onabulu of the African Child Trust which some 60 members of the congregation support with annual donations. He spoke about the charity during the Sunday Eucharist. The same year saw Andrew Clark retire as Steward of the Church Hall after some 20 years of sterling service whilst John Johnson became Editor of the Parish magazine which he was already putting “on line” every month. Because of rising costs it was decided that in future the magazine would only be published bi-monthly.

2007 saw the Quota increase to a daunting £48,440. In April there was a confirmation service in the church when Bishop Trevor of Basingstoke confirmed 28 candidates including 10 from St Georges.

The June Music Festival attracted some 1800 people throughout the week. The lunch concerts were attended by 625 whilst 784 attended the evening concerts. In addition 62 attended flower arranging and organ workshops and 371 came to the various services.

Other events included a cycling week-end for Youth Club members in Fordingbridge whilst a Travelling Supper raised some much needed money for the Quota.

There was much celebration on 12 October when Ruby Bullock became the first St Georges centenarian. She also wrote her life story for publication in the magazine. In the autumn the vicar was granted a Sabbatical and spent several months in New Zealand.

• to be continued.