Thursday, 31 December 2009


Hitherto we have been able only to imagine how hard Santa's elves have laboured to clean up his subterranean grotto after all those grubby reindeer have been in and out of there having their sleighs loaded up with presents. But now, in order to uncover the true facts for our readers, we have boldly gone deep into the cellars below our very own Parish Rooms. So at last we are able to show you how John's prodigious labours to maintain control of our capricious heating system have kept us all from freezing over Christmas.


Not everything is completely happy in a warm church, so Pat is kept busy continually slaking the thirst of the flowers in the splendid arrangements she and her team have set up around the altar and on the window sills, which as always have added to the dignity of the Masses celebrated here, and were much appreciated by those who attended our Parish Christmas services.


A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey;
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.
T.S.Eliot: Journey of the Magi


This photo is of South Lawns Hotel, Milford, where our annual Parish Dinner will take place on Thursday 21st January (7pm for 7.30). The cost of £22.95 per person includes three courses, coffee and mints. If you would like to join us, please complete one of the forms on the table at the back of the church and return it to the Presbytery by this Sunday, January 3rd, together with a cheque made payable to the South Lawns Hotel.

Thursday, 24 December 2009


The performers are shown here relaxing at the end of this year's beautifully produced and thoroughly enjoyable performance, while Fr Jamie thanks them and their parents for all their efforts. He expressed the gratitude of the congregation to Monica and her helpers for producing such a delightful Christingle service. And so say all of us who were fortunate enough to be there!


After the Christingle was over, who do you think suddenly appeared in the Parish Rooms with three of his young admirers? Yes, I know it's Father Christmas. But who was the Parish Father Christmas? Whose good-looking visage was hidden behind all that face-fungus? Whose handsome blue eyes shone through those specs? If you really can't penetrate the disguise, you'll have to look at the first comment. (The first polite one, that is!)


This delightful Nativity scene illustrating cleanliness in caring for the Holy Child has been painted in the style of the early Medieval period. So were the people of that time so aware of the importance of proper hygiene? The extraordinary arrangement, the fascinating detail and the delicacy of the brushwork on this beautiful painting can be better appreciated by clicking on the picture to enlarge it. It can be found on Google Images, but without title, name of artist, date or other details. Can anyone help, please? (Please click on "comment" below if you can assist.)

Thursday, 17 December 2009


Those of us who were lucky enough to be able to get to this year's Christmas Concert spent a delightful afternoon with a group of girls and boys who showed their talents by dancing, singing, and playing musical instruments, while Henry, the young M.C., kept us all laughing at his corny riddles. Our thanks and congratulations to them, to their parents and to Bernadette with her helpers for their hard work and for the amount of time that must have been spent practising and rehearsing. Well done!


Joan is one of several parishioners who, together with Al and other Christians working for Basics Bank, and assisted by a group of girls from the Lymington Rangers, packed more than 140 bags of Christmas goodies for delivery to needy families in the New Forest Area.
Meanwhile, in the main part of the new URC hall, Clare directed the distribution of the filled bags as they came through to her.

Now can you see that it really was him?

One reader admits to not having recognised the photo which we published in November of the 35-year-old future Pope. Scroll right down this blog until you come to the photograph headed: "Of course, you recognise this man, don't you?" Now compare that to the above photo, which is from Papa Ratzinger's Blog (

Thursday, 10 December 2009


Fr. Jamie reads a lesson at the Blessing of the Crib outside St Thomas Church in the High Street. The Vicar, the Rev. Peter Salisbury, is in the shadows behind him on the left of the picture, and the Mayor, Cllr. Jan Hawker, is standing directly behind the microphone. The three senior representatives of other Christian denominations whose faces are most clearly visible in this photo are Sandra Jackson (United Reformed Church), Phil Wiseman (Lymington Methodists) and, standing just behind them, Dr.Phyllis Lemon (Quakers).
(Click on any part of the picture that you cannot see clearly)

The purpose of the Friendship Club is to help you to have more friends

Veronica and Delia, Noreen and Moira, and Ivy and Betty were so involved in being friends with each other at the Christmas meeting of the Friendship Club that they nearly forgot to eat Joan's delicious cake!


This painting of St Anne with Mary in her womb by the Flemish artist Jean Bellagambe (c.1480- c.1535) is his attempt to illustrate Our Lady's Immaculate Conception, which was not declared a dogma of the Church until more than 300 years later.

Saturday, 5 December 2009


Fr.Jamie, Sean, Peter and Linda are part of our Lectio Divina group, caught here relaxing after a recent session in the Parish Rooms. Lectio, or Sacred Reading, which is a slow, contemplative praying of the Scriptures, has been practised since the early years of Christianity, and has been an important part of the spiritual routine of the Benedictine order since its foundation in the sixth century.


What a lovely Christmas present! Floppy-eared goats cost their donors £30 each, but Zemansh is not starting a herd. Having received this present she will give away all the kids her pair produce to help other families in her village to become self-supporting. If you want to know more about the organisation which gives presents like this to people like Zemansh, just click on Farm Africa.


Margaret, seen here serving Anna, Ellie and Hannah, is one of the Catholic Women's League who organise coffee and biscuits each Saturday morning for market shoppers and the occasional stray parishioner (Sorry, Peggy!). Saturday coffee mornings are the main source of the donations made by our C.W.L. to charities. Between January last year and October this year they donated a total of £1595. A list of the good causes which benefited is on the coffee room door.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

So here's a photo of the real star of Vatican II taken on the tenth anniversary of his ordination at the age of 33. What a difference in appearance! (If you are still unsure, look at the first comment below.)

Of course, you recognise this man - don't you?

Have a close look at this young theologian. This photo of him was taken during Vatican II when he was only in his thirties, and was helping to formulate the doctrines adopted at that Council. If you don't recognise him, click on "comment" below.
photo from the Catholic Herald

No mistakes at St Dominic's!

At the Convent Christmas Market, Sisters Julie and Michelle check to see who's won the whisky.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

How does Jesus look at him?

Guernico (1591-1666) The Woman taken in Adultery

The man whose face is turned away from us wants to throw stones at this lady until he has killed her. Jesus is stopping him from doing this. Yet Guernico has not shown him as a strong, powerful person who dominates the fellow by the force of his personality. He simply looks at the man, and reasons with him quietly.

The original is at Dulwich Picture Gallery