The Wessex Synod met on March 8th at London Street URC, Basingstoke, where Kay Blackwell is now the minister. She led the opening and closing worship and it was, as you would expect, innovative.

Synod for me is always interesting, but the main joy is seeing old friends. The hubbub in the foyer at the start and over lunch suggests that that is true for many people.

commitment for lifeBetween us we are supporting the following Christian Aid
projects:

Avenue St Andrew's is currently
focusing on Jamaica, Isaac Watts Memorial is currently focusing on Central
America Region of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua, Chandler's
Ford is currently focusing on Israel and the Occupied Territories of
Palestinian Territories, and Freemantle is currently focusing on Zimbabwe.

See http://www.urc.org.uk/mission/commitment-for-life/stories-from-partner-countries.html
for some touching stories from these countries

You may (or may not!) be aware that part of your giving as a church in support of either Home Mission Fund (Baptist), Ministry and Mission Fund (United Reformed Church) or the Southampton Methodist
District supports the ministry of a Chaplain at the University of Southampton. Since December 2010 I have occupied that position on behalf of the Free Churches.

The induction of Rev Dr Sarah Hall to the South West Hants Group took place at Freemantle URC on Sunday 14 April 2013. The service was led by the Synod Moderator Rev Clare Downing amid a packed church with a direct video feed to Sarah's previous church in Sheffield.

 Here are some images of some of those who took part in the ceremony.

Rev Clare DowningHigh Cross Church in Camberley is a lovely multi-purpose building, with many rooms off the main downstairs space and the church is upstairs, accessible by lift or sweeping staircase - an ideal place for Wessex Synod to meet. We arrived for coffee and signing in and then assembled in the church for Synod.

I always enjoy the Moderator's worship sessions. Rev Clare Downing always seems to have something "down to earth" and helpful to share. This time she got us talking about the Kingdom of God with our
neighbours, told us it was too easy to feel hopeless about achieving it on earth and then gave us a salutary extract from "Chicken Run" where the hens are discussing the difficulties of escape! Hope against all the odds served them well.