The Women’s Group met on 21st September at St. Stephen’s Church. The topic was The Mary Wood Trust – Supporting education among the poor in South West Uganda and the speaker was Clare Ramsden, a trustee of the Charity.
In 2002 Clare’s mother, Mary Wood and two of her friends started a Scholarship & Development Fund to encourage and support the education of young people, especially girls, in Kinkiizi Diocese, South West Uganda at Nyakabungo Girls Secondary School.
Initially the charity was part of the Bradford Diocese, under the auspices of Christ Church, Lothersdale. However, almost 10 years after the initial thoughts were put into place, it is now a full charity in its own right, in the name of The Mary Wood Trust – a wonderful achievement and a lasting memorial to the work that Mary Wood started.
Over the years, Clare and the three other trustees, who include the original two members and her brother have invested their time and efforts in the growth of this Charity.
The fruits of their labour have truly been blessed in seeing what they have been able to achieve. Their success has enabled them to extend their reach to two other organisations – Ruth Memorial Nursery School and Nyakatare Health Centre.
Their main aims and objectives are:
- To provide scholarships for education and training with a view to improving disadvantaged young people’s life skills and opportunities in Uganda.
- To advance education and relieve poverty by providing sponsorship, training, funds or items for disadvantaged children, young people and those in need in Uganda.
- To develop facilities in Kinkiizi Diocese, Kanungu District, in particular Nyakabungo Girls Secondary School and Ruth Memorial Nursery School, in order to achieve the aims outlined in 1 and 2 above.You can find out more about the Charity by visiting their website http://www.marywoodtrust4uganda.org/page2.php or contacting them be email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Women’s Group met on 19th January at St. Stephen’s Church with 17 attendances. The speaker, Brenda Pearson who became blind at the age of 45, entertained us with her stories.
Brenda was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at the age of 38. She became totally blind at the age of 47 and was fortunate to get her training in Hong Kong, which she said was the best. The training was to equip her with skills she would need to be able to lead a near normal life. Brenda and her husband Keith moved to Paphos on retirement, 23 years ago.
Her numerous incidents included flying acrobatics in a Tiger Moth with a one-eyed pilot (which she only found out later), bungee jumping in New Zealand, learning to navigate by herself in the busy streets of Hong Kong, finding herself in a car with a stranger who turned out to be a gentleman and of course learning the fine art of using a computer, long before many of us did, I suppose.
Brenda’s spirit and energy was an inspiration to us and we unanimously agreed that we all would be half as fortunate if we had the courage and optimism of this amazing woman.
The next meeting will be on 16th February at St. Luke’s Church in Prodromi, Polis at 3.00 p.m. The speaker will be Peter Latham. He will be giving a talk about the building of the Dreamland Mission Hospital and his experience in Kenya.
The Women’s Group met on 17th November at St. Stephen’s church which was hosted by Ayia Kyriaki with 22 attendances.
The speaker, Gareth Edwards, told us the fascinating stories of four women from very different backgrounds and cultures with each having an underlying message.
The stories varied from showing that law didn’t treat everyone alike to cultural differences in the interpretation of the law and of course the abuse of the legal system.
However the final story ended in a positive tone about a young Chinese girl who single handedly got the Chinese government to address the issue of birth defects in a village due to lack of folic acid. Such was her success that she was recognised by Harvard and was awarded full scholarship for her studies. Though she suffered from a rare skin condition, her prayers were always for others before her needs.
Her humility, grace and faith has been rewarded as she has recovered from her condition and is a freshman at Harvard.
Gareth is a retired judge and legal expert whose career has included time with the British army in Germany and the Commonwealth Office. Latterly he resided over courts in the North West UK as Civil Judge and Queen’s Counsel.
Since retiring 10 years ago he and his wife spend their time between Paphos and Chester.
The Women’s Group met on 20th October at St. Luke’s Church in Polis with 17 attendances. The speaker, Ken Wiseman, the Chaplain to the Seafarers’ mission in Cyprus gave us an understanding on the work and challenges involved.
The Mission to Seafarers (MTS) is a diverse organisation – yet with a united purpose: working in 257 ports (including 5 in the Cyprus chaplaincies) in 76 countries showing the LOVE OF GOD for men and women who sustain our lives yet are sometimes forgotten.
The Limassol Mission is based in one of the largest centres of Maritime traffic in the European Union.
- The volunteers welcomed 7,254 visitors lest year.
- 507 ships were visited.
- They raised awareness in various local churches, clubs, societies and shipping companies.
The Limassol MTS is open 5 days a week and, even closed, Seafarers are able to use their 24/7 Wifi facility.
If you would like to know about the Mission or would like to help in anyway please contact Ken on 99 539144 or
Discovery to Recovery – On Thursday 15th September, the Women’s Group heard a really encouraging talk from Lisa Smith, about her experience with Breast Cancer.
She had been in the habit of having a regular annual mammogram, and in 2014 that showed a very small lump in her breast, diagnosed as breast cancer; a second opinion confirmed this diagnosis. She advised our ladies to take a friend, if in this situation, as the news can be shattering. The lump was removed in a private hospital in Limassol, and the operation was successful and neatly done. Then she had regular chemotherapy, during which she lost her hair – which makes a woman feel awful! However, she got a lovely wig, which many thought was her own hair, and complimented her on it! This was followed by daily visits to Nicosia for radiotherapy, lasting for about 6 weeks. The two hour drive in the Cancer Patients’ minibus, followed fairly quickly by about 3 minutes of radio treatment was OK, but the long wait for everyone to be treated and ready for the bus was a bit of a drag. And then there was still the long journey back to Paphos. When that was finished, Lisa recovered rapidly, her hair grew – and now she is her normal self again, though still having regular check-ups – that will continue for ten years.She is so very grateful for the prompt treatment which not only saved her life, but led to a complete recovery, and she urges everyone who may suspect that something is not quite right, to have it thoroughly checked out – better to be safe than sorry! Thank you Lisa, for a very helpful talk, and also thanks to the ladies of St. Stephen’s for the very enjoyable refreshments afterwards. Next month’s talk will be at St. Luke’s, 3pm on 20th October, when Ken Wiseman will talk about the Mission to Seafarers.
The Women’s Group met on Wednesday, 25th May and the speaker was Pat Burrow. Pat gave us an interesting insight to her great grandfather Samuel Bacon Fairbank’s missionary life in India.
In the year 1846, at the age of 24, he made an epic journey (which only took 4 months on a sailing ship whose main cargo was ice from the New England ponds). He joined the American Marathi Mission in Bombay where he learned the language and took charge of the mission press. In 1857 he and his second wife, Mary Ballantine, moved 260 km inland to Ahmednagar by oxcart. He moved out from there 46 km to the village of Vadala where he was treated coolly, and told to camp under a tamarind tree which was known to be haunted by evil spirits. When his family survived the night, after singing hymns and praying, the village elders were impressed and welcomed them.
He worked in this area for the rest of his life travelling to small villages and starting churches, hospitals, schools (educating both men and women), and promoting industrial education and modern farming methods. He died in India in 1898 and six of his ten surviving children also worked as missionaries there.
Pat spent a week in India re-tracing her great grandfather’s footsteps last winter and understanding the immense positive impact her great grandfather’s missionary work had in that region, especially in relation to education and farming.
The following quote from a recent article in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research beautifully summarises Samuel Fairbank’s life:- “By all accounts, he conducted his life with good humor, honesty, equanimity and great sensitivity to the people among whom he ministered.”
There will be no meeting in June as Margaret Keeble is hosting a fund raising Garden party on Friday, 24th June which will be well attended by most of the ladies.
However to bridge the gap until September, the Women’s Group will be hosting a coffee morning from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm on Thursday, 28th July at the Ayios Neophytos Monastery Café in Tala. All are welcome to come and enjoy a drink in a cool, relaxing atmosphere.
The children of Dabasco School in Kenya certainly put us to shame, in their appreciation of the small gifts we have given them!
1600 children tried very hard to learn in a school of rough stone classrooms roofed with corrugated iron,each with 40 pupils in a temperature of 40°C, seated on a mud floor with only one book, one pencil and a few scraps of paper between them. As if this was not hard enough, the National Examinations were set in English, and these children spoke Swahili, so they had first to learn English. This was the situation found by Ann and Graham Lawrence when they were first taken to visit the school during a holiday in 2006. When they returned home the first thing they did was to spread the request for donations of pencils and jotters. Working in partnership with the school management committee, head teacher and staff during the past 10 years, the school has vastly improved, with jotters and pencils for all, ventilation, benches and tables, two new classrooms and now a library is being collected for them – all due to the British students and churches who have supported Ann and Graham’s efforts. One of those churches was the Anglican Church of Paphos, notably St. Luke’s, who have received enthusiastic letters of gratitude from some of the children, written by themselves, in good (if not quite perfect) English. Some of the children have now passed the National Examinations, which will qualify them for good jobs!
WHAT a wonderful achievement, Ann and Graham! Thank you for coming to tell us about it.
Don’t forget, the next meeting of the Women’s Group will be on Wednesday 25th May, hosted by Ayia Kyriaki at St. Stephen’s; 3 p.m. as usual.So I hope all those ladies who have other engagements on a Thursday will come along this time. The speaker will be Pat Burrow who will tell us about her Great Grandfather’s time in Colonial India.She tells me there are some fascinating tales preserved by the family, about a time that was, I understand, dangerous and scary, but also heart-warming and happy. I am looking forward to it, and hope for a good turnout.
Barbara Reid, 96 673393 or email@example.com
On Thursday 17th March, 14 ladies enjoyed a talk from Annie Piper about pearls, and it was fascinating! I hadn’t realised that natural pearls were rough while artificial ones are smooth and slippery – and cultured pearls can be distinguished from ‘wild’ pearls only by X-ray.
Our next meeting will be on Thursday 21st April at St. Luke’s, when Ann Lawrence will be telling us about the ongoing relationship between our Church and the Dabasco School in Kenya. I heard her talking about it when it started, some years ago, and it was both interesting and moving, so I look forward to the update. It is a lovely time of year for a drive to Prodromi, so I hope to see a large audience.
The date of the May meeting, at St. Stephen’s, has been changed to Wednesday 25th at the usual time of 3 p.m. So please make a note of this in your diary. The speaker has not yet been decided.
If you would like further information on the Women’s Group, please contact me, Barbara Reid on 96 673393 or by
e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
On Thursday 18th February, 18 ladies enjoyed an interesting and informative talk from Lorna Firth on Modern Methods of Stress Management. We learned how to cure ourselves of low spirits, and become happy and confident by a simple DIY method. I got the impression that some of the ladies were NOT convinced, and were prepared to argue about it. A spirited discussion ensued! And the chat, over the usual mouth-watering refreshments, afterwards was also quite lively.
On 17th March, also at St. Stephen’s and hosted by them, Annie Piper will talk about pearls. An old Arab legend tells that a pearl is formed when a tear from the moon falls into the ocean and is swallowed by an oyster. Annie will explain just how these beautiful gifts from nature are formed. She will talk about natural, cultured and synthetic pearls and how to tell the difference. There will be tips on how to care for your pearls and how to renovate those old family heirlooms you may have. Please feel free to bring along any pearls on which you have queries.
If you would like further information on the Women’s Group, please see the Church website: contact me, Barbara Reid at email@example.com or ring 96 673393.
We have had a very interesting year so far and the last for the year was no exception. On 19th November Joan Brewster entertained us with a talk entitled:- “From turf fires to computers in the classroom!”
It was a light hearted look at 5 decades of change and humour in the classroom. Some of the tales she told us were hilarious, but my favourite was about the little boy who arrived home after his first day at the small country primary school. He kept muttering “I just CAN’T believe it” over and over. His father, exasperated, said “So tell us what you can’t believe, and we may be able to explain it”. “Well,” said the child, “A wee mouse ran out of the cupboard and up the teacher’s leg. She clapped her hand over it, and caught it – but I just CAN’T believe all that water came from such a tiny mouse!”. The meeting was held in St. Stephen’s, and hosted by them.
There will be no meeting in December, so the next one will be on 21st January 2016, when we can enjoy the lovely drive to Prodromi to hear Russ Fern talk about his experiences as a fireman.
For more information, please contact me, Barbara Reid, at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 96 673393.