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mors - friendship for all

Meets: 1st Tuesday of each Month in the Church at 19:30.  Contact: Tony King

MORS is a Church Social Group open to “Methodists of Rose Street”, and to all other friends of the Church.  Our main aims are to encourage friendships to grow and to welcome everyone into the overall Church family.

We try to meet these aims by arranging:
  • A Monthly Programme of talks followed by refreshments
  • Visits and Excursions to places of interest
  • Concerts
  • An Annual Dinner and Anniversary Service

A further aim is to raise funds in support of Church activities and Local Charities.

Future Programme

 3 July
Wish You Were Here
        David Tinker

 4 September
Exciting Wildlife around the World
        Tom Way

13 October 7:30pm
British Airways Band Concert
        Tickets required

Monthly Review
Event Reports

Malcolm Nelson, a Customs & Excise official for 40 years, previously presented to MORS the measures taken to control drugs – the top priority for most smugglers.  At our June meeting he reviewed the lies and excuses people come up with when going through Customs for all other items.

These are usually expensive pieces such as jewellery, cameras, clothing, sporting equipment spirits & tobacco etc. where the duty charged is high. Malcolm's list included the golfer who claimed that he won £75,000 worth of gear in the USA, which would have been Duty Free as an 'award of merit'.  Unfortunately for him the Customs Officer found the receipt showing he had actually purchased it. The most embarrassed smuggler had lots of baggage, in which Customs found he had concealed 310 porno videos.  His wife was furious - and of course customs had to watch the videos twice to ensure they found all the evidence!  A well-known celebrity claimed that 3 suits should be duty free, but Customs found they cost £11,000 on which the import duty due was £4,000.  The ladies also featured in Malcolm's anecdotes - he recalled a beautiful young lady bringing in several magnificent, very expensive fur coats.  One he couldn't recognise, and the young lady was furious when a colleague shouted out that it was made from the fur of water rats!  Expensive maybe, but not quite projecting a celebrity image.

A striking feature of Malcolm's talk was the use Customs make of body language and behaviour patterns of people waiting to clear Customs in both the Green and Red channels.  In some circumstances apparently being observed as 'too calm' is as much a give-away as looking too nervous.  The clear conclusion is – if you like the product, then pay the duty!

Laycock Abbey Oriel WindowOn Tuesday 12th June the MORS outing took 100 people to the Cotswolds and visited Laycock Abbey, located within the 13th century village of Laycock, often used as a location for filming series like 'Downton Abbey' and 'Wolf Hall'.  All very picturesque!  In 1835 one of the owners of the Abbey, William Henry Fox Talbot, created the first photographic negative when he took a picture of the oriel window in his house – establishing Laycock as the birthplace of photography.  The Fox Talbot Museum in the Abbey grounds spans the history of photography up to the present day, and this picture shows Tony King and Gerry Higson looking at the oriel window that was first pictured in 1835.

Future Events

We now look forward to the final monthly meeting of the season when, on 3rd July, David Tinker will present an affectionate history of the seaside under the traditional title of 'Wish You Were Here'.

The Programme for 2018-2019 has now been finalised and will be available at the July meeting.

The new session commences on the 4th September when Tom Way returns to give a new presentation 'Exciting Wildlife around the World'. Many will recall when Tom came to us last time and showed us incredible photographs of wildlife in this country - now he is going to take us further afield.

Guy Masdin

Annual Review  (February 2018)

It's worth drawing to attention the aim of MORS which is not only for members of the Church but also in our outreach to the wider community – we meet this aim by arranging:

· A Monthly Programme of talks followed by refreshments.
· Visits and Excursions to places of interest
· Concerts
· An Annual Dinner and Anniversary Service

A further aim is to raise funds to support Church activities and Local Charities.

This past year MORS has again enjoyed a full programme with strong support for our activities.  An average of around 60 people attended our monthly talks which were far ranging from the production of 'A Painting Before Your Eyes' to 'The Changing Face of Reading' in photographs.  It's also a pleasure to see everyone staying on afterwards in the Meeting Place to enjoy refreshments and a chat.

We also enjoyed visits to Sudeley Castle and to Windsor Castle - decorated with Christmas trees.

We welcomed back the Revd. Nick Thompson to conduct our Anniversary Service in February.  Community Hymn Singing was led by Christine Barker prior to the evening service.  And of course, the MORS Male Voice Choir raised everyone's spirits by their enthusiastic and professional contribution under their conductor Eileen Goode - reaching the climax with 'We'll go in the strength of the Lord'.  It was a pleasure to have our own Minister taking part in the Service.

We maintained tradition by holding our Annual Dinner at 'The Bull' at Arborfield.

The Reading Phoenix Choir gave a first-class concert and, at time of writing, we are looking forward to the Reading Male Voice Choir in March.  Our old friends the British Airways Band are returning to give a concert in October.  We are grateful to Malcolm Souter for taking over the arrangements of the concerts in future.  The proceeds from the concerts make a considerable contribution to our Charity funds.

Tony King (Secretary)