Monday, 17 June 2013

Inner Wheel and Rotary - Joint Thanksgiving Service

Sunday 16th June was the day set for the joint Inner Wheel and Rotary Thanksgiving Service, which was held at All Saints Church in Ripley.   I chose that church because of my personal connections with it over a great many years, from being a chorister and a bell-ringer there as a lad, to my daughter Sarah getting married there a few years ago.

Before we set off, my sister Jen, who as a lay-reader at the church, was involve din the service, rang me to say that when they had turned the organ on for the morning service there had been a distinct smell of burning and smoke was seen rising from it.     Not really a problem as they had a smaller electric  keyboard that would do the job.

On arrival at the church about 1pm to get everything set up, we were greeted by men in overalls from the electricity company who declared that they would have to turn off all the power to the church whilst they dug a big hole in the road outside to investigate the problem with the organ - which it subsequently transpired they had caused. 

So off went the power.   No organ, no electric keyboard, no lighting, no heating, no way of boiling a kettle for refreshments.  After a very quick get together we put Plan B into place - nip over the road for plastic cups and orange juice.    Job sorted.

Fortunately half an hour before the service started the power was restored.   Back to Plan A.

My sister Jen and Rotarian Michael Longdon took the service.   Ann Cottee and I read the two lessons.    It was a really nice and well planned service.   The Inner Wheel choir sang beautifully.   Afterwards the congregation enjoyed tea or coffee and home made cakes - courtesy of Gail and some friends inside and out of Rotary.    Many compliments were passed about the cakes and offers for Gail to move in with a couple of Rotarians were made and politely declined.

During the service there was a collection, the proceeds of which are being split equally between Bluebell Wood Hospice and Rainbows Hospice.    This raised a few pence short of £300.

I would like to express my thanks to everyone concerned with the planning and organisation of the service, preparing and printing the service sheets and for taking part in the service.     My thanks also to those Rotarians and members of Inner Wheel who attended and enjoyed the fellowship which was forthcoming.

My only disappointment is that so few Rotarians attended.  I appreciate that it was father's day and I take that into account. Unfortunately 16th June was the only Sunday when both the Church, myself and Anne Cottee the Chairman of Inner Wheel were all available.  Nevertheless the attendance for a District wide event was extremely low.   Perhaps something we need to address for next year.

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