What We Do
AT ST PAUL'S, in the HEART of the CITY
In the St Paul's Centre, to the rear of the Church, the Parish is host to a wide range of activities, mostly under the umbrella of Methodist City Action. Throughout the week the Centre is a hive of activity, as the different groups work on their programmes.
More information about the work of Methodist City Action may be obtained from the Office at the Centre in London Street behind St Paul's Church.
MELVILLE METHODIST WOMEN'S FELLOWSHIP
This News Item was published in the Waikato Times on the 28th April 1959
"NEW WOMEN'S GUILD AT MELVILLE"
"Women members of the Methodist Church in the Melville area now have their own organisation, the Melville Methodist Women's Guild Fellowship, which has been formed to foster the social and spiritual life of the Church for the women living in the district. The new group is affiliated with the Waikato District Guild and will be represented at its meetings".
Fifty five years on the Fellowship is still functional and, even with small numbers, are very active. Yes, numbers have fluctuated over the years but the morale of the group is still high.
The Melville MWF started the Combined Melville Churches' Fellowship meetings, the first of which was held on 13 July 1967 and on special occasions the Methodist, Anglican, Presbyterian and Catholic women's groups still meet together.
The Melville Fellowship originally met on an evening but, as the years went by and members ceased to go out to employment, in 1988 the meetings were changed to an afternoon and this is the case still with two foundation members, Dorrie Hosking and Marj Williams, attending regularly. We continue to be responsible for activities such as catering at funerals, keeping in touch with members who are unwell, sending greetings and helping to staff the Church opp shop (Bargain Bin).
Our meetings vary somewhat with guest speakers, table games afternoons, visits to gardens, meeting in members' homes or sharing holiday experiences. Once a year the residents of two Retirement Villages are our guests for a musical afternoon, humorous skits and afternoon tea – this occasion is enjoyed immensely by the elderly men and women.
It is a challenge each year for the Fellowship to raise as much money as we can for the Special Project. Over the years this has been done through dinners, coffee and dessert evenings and a congregational appeal. Our members also make their own personal effort by collecting their small coins in their 'project jar'.
Melville Methodist Women's Fellowship continues to enjoy and appreciate each other's company and friendship and we pray that with God's blessing we will share this pleasure for many more years.
MELVILLE METHODIST BARGAIN BIN
The Melville Bargain Bin, the "Brain Child" of the late Rev Harry Shaw, was opened on the 12th April, 1988. At the time, the only room available was the Fellowship Room, which was used for numerous activities, so consequently each Wednesday morning the staff on duty in the shop had to carry cartons of clothes from the adjoining small room and display them ready for sale . At the end of the day everything had to be re-packed into cartons and stowed tidily in the small room once more.
This chore was overcome by being granted use of a pre-fab on site, and with help from a grand team of volunteers the new Bargain Bin was opened on the 4th June 1991, much to everyone's delight. The shop was then opened from 9.30 am to 3.30 pm to enable parents to bring in their children after school for trying on garments. The shop has been a real asset to the community and it is known that we have the lowest prices in Hamilton. We have regular customers from Kawhia, Raglan, an occasional van-load from Rotorua, and even a group from Auckland. The Hospitality Room, known as the Bert Buchanan Room, is set up to care for small children while their parents browse through and hopefully buy from the Bargain Bin.
A sideline from the Bargain Bin is the Cut Rag contract with a local motor firm. Each week 40 kgs of rags were cut and delivered by a team of three women, two of whom start at 6.30 am, to be joined by the third shortly afterwards. Well done, ladies, you do a mammoth job. The shop continues to have steady trading and each year makes donations to the Hamilton Methodist Parish as well as numerous charities and organisations around Hamilton. Due to staff growing older or moving away, the hours the shop is open have been cut back, and it is now open only on Fridays between the hours of 9.30 to 2.30.This move has proved satisfactory to the staff, and the income is only slightly less that when the shop was open for longer periods.
A huge vote of thanks for all who have helped this enterprise, especially those who have been involved from Day One!
Report from Dorrie Hosking, - edited by F Gilbert.