Annual Report for 2009Branch meetings were well supported throughout 2009 with good attendances and we have enjoyed an interesting and varied programme of speakers.
We ran 2 very successful outings. Our day trip, in June, was to Buxton. We were once again blessed with wonderful weather, and after a trip through beautiful countryside we were free to explore the town and enjoy the parks and gardens. For our mystery outing this year we visited Ruthin. After an excellent lunch, we visited the church where we had a short service of prayers followed by a talk on the history of the church. We had time to look round the church before our visit was rounded off nicely by tea and biscuits provided by the local MU. After a scenic ride home through the Horseshoe Pass, we arrived back in Ellesmere at about 5.30 pm.
Ten of us attended the Deanery Festival in May. As always it was a lovely service and it was good to get together with members from other branches. We were pleased to welcome MU members from Llanyblodwell to our church for a visit on 11 June. We hope they enjoyed the tea and cakes we provided and the talk on the history of our church. Also in June several of us joined Welshampton MU in celebrating their centenary. After a lovely service in a packed church, we went to the village hall for an excellent tea. It was altogether a very happy and enjoyable occasion.
In August, in place of a meeting, we had a service in church where we admitted 4 members (including our first male member) to our Branch and welcomed one member from another branch. This was followed by afternoon tea in St John’s Room.
In December, we had a very successful Christmas party in the Black Lion, where we enjoyed a very good turkey dinner and were entertained by a surprise appearance by the Christmas Fairy. The evening was rounded off by singing a few Christmas carols.
We have contributed to our Deanery project of bags of toiletries for women arriving at the newly open Women’s Refuge in our area. We have also raised money through raffles and donations for the emergency appeal for East Africa.
We have helped to raise funds for our church through running the cake stall at the Autumn Market. We made posies to give out at the Mothering Sunday Service, we also made Christingles (with the help of St Mary’s Club members and parents), and we have continued to give our support and help to the Family Services. We are continuing with our work of sending out baptism anniversary cards to children baptised in our church. These cards are sent for 4 years after baptism and, where appropriate, the fourth card contains an invitation to join St Mary’s Club. We feel that this is an important outreach into the community
Many members are active members of the church, acting as sidesmen, welcomers, servers and chalice assistants, supporting fund raising efforts, helping with refreshments, serving on the PCC and other church committees, reading the lessons, helping with the Sunday school, etc. We have a rota of members to lead intercessions at our Corporate Communion on the first Sunday of each month and a group of members meets monthly to write these.
Members are also active in the community in a variety of ways including serving in the charity shops in town, helping at the Age Concern day centre, delivering meals on wheels, acting as advocates for people with learning difficulties, and helping with riding for the disabled.