Black Country Unitarians
Dudley, Oldbury & Wolverhampton Congregations

"They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old; age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them." Laurence Binyon



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Barbara and Ken Russell celebrate their Diamond Wedding anniversary (15/07/12)

On Sunday 15th July, a large group of family and friends gathered at Old Meeting House Dudley to celebrate the Diamond Wedding Anniversary of Barbara and Ken Russell. The joyful service was conducted by Rev. Penny Johnson, who had been Barbara and Ken's bridesmaid sixty years before. Following a welcome to the congregation by Sandy Ellis, Clerk to the Dudley Trustees, the readings included Psalm 16, because their "lines have fallen in pleasant places", read by Gavin Lloyd, a recipe for sixty years of happiness written by Barbara herself, read by Sue Woolley, and two short pieces, one from Winnie the Pooh and one by George Eliot. The hymns included one written especially for the occasion by Barbara. After the service, the congregation enjoyed some time to share and reminisce, together with some lovely refreshments, including a special cake, which the happy couple cut.

Oldbury Rose Service (4/7/2010)

Held at The Old Meeting House, Dudley, this was a celebration of Summer enjoyed by us all. Pam Rose (Oldbury) had decorated the church with flowers, and our good agent, Carol Marsh, had contributed two bouquets.

Pam opened the service by lighting the chalice candle with words she had remembered from Sunday School days "God made my life a little light within the world to glow; a little flame that burneth bright wherever I may go."

Gavin Lloyd (Oxford) exhorted us to "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord", which, with the help of David Mearman (Stourbridge) at the organ, we did.

Evelyn Cowley (Oldbury) read July Evening, followed by Irene Hickman (Dudley) reading Well Spent, a whimsical verse I found among the papers Janice Ashley had passed on to me. It was good to remember Janice, who was a frequent visitor to this church.

Then - had we tempted fate with Summer Suns Are Glowing?  But no, the weather was kind!

Ritchie Shaw's poem A Weeder's Thoughts wondered: if people must fight,why not fight the weeds instead of each other?

The third hymn was from Sing Your Faith,  new words, but sung to Hyfrydol, a tune that helped us to remember Tom Poole, another well-loved speaker here. Audrey Green (Stourbridge) described God in Nature in her reading.

With Gavin's extract from Isaiah, the service was nearly over, but I had saved my reading until the end for a special reason. When I went into our garden, neglected for two years because of ill-health, I expected a mess - but what I saw was glory. The unpruned roses were blooming beautifully, up to their knees in self-sown forget-me-nots, the unpruned shrubs weighed down with blossom, and the wallflowers had seeded themselves all over the gravel bed and the perfume was lovely. I couldn't have done better if I'd tried. It made me think of a line from Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey "Nature never did betray the heart that loved her" so I just had to look up te rest of the passage.

Vesper sung, we adjourned to the tea table to enjoy cakes provided by Audrey, Evelyn and Pam, and a welcome cup of tea, after all that singing. Pam distributed the flowers amongst the ladies, and she and I would like to thank everyone who took part in making a joyous Summer Sunday.

Barbara Russell

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