Almost 22 years ago a lady named Pauline moved to Hayling and joined our Baptist church at the Community Centre. After about six months she approached our pastor, Jan Worthy, with the suggestion of beginning a ladies' meeting similar to the one she had run in her previous church. Jan's response was, "That sounds good, I'll come and see you in the morning and I think I know just the person to help you". She spoke to me and I agreed to go with her to talk to Pauline.
That was how it all began. We agreed to meet on a Thursday morning from 10am to 12noon and anyone interested would be welcomed. We started with just six of us: Pauline, myself, Edna (Yvonne Glasgow's grandma), Olive (Jean Smith's mother) and her friend Eileen, and Molly (a lady who had recently lost her husband). None of us knew Molly then, but she became a friend and made valuable contributions to the meetings.
We made the decision to call our gathering BREAD. It stands for "Bible Reading, Encouragement and Devotion". As it was a new beginning, we started by studying the beginning of the Bible: Genesis. Since then we have studied many other books of the Bible, growing both in our knowledge of God's truth and in our desire to apply what we've learned in our own lives.
After quite a short while it wasn't convenient to meet at Pauline's house so we changed to my bungalow and have met there ever since.
Over the years we have met lots of lovely ladies. Many of them have gone to be with the Lord now and many have moved away, but it's been amazing that whenever we've lost somebody, a new lady has always asked to join. Mel and Elaine are two of our newest members. We have 14 regulars and two of those who moved occasionally revisit us, which is so nice.
Three months after our 20th anniversay, in January 2019, Pauline also moved to Wiltshire, but everyone wanted to continue, so we have a rota and those who are on it take it in turns to lead, which works very well and the Lord continues to bless us. The ladies are from various churches, but Pauline and I have always welcomed them. Over the years we have not only learned a great deal about the Bible, but have also become great friends and prayer partners. I count it a great privilege to still be able to host BREAD. I know God blesses our meeting, so to Him be all the glory!
I would like to add a message from Pauline sending her love to everyone and thanking our loving Heavenly Father for his love and care over the years.