CAMEO 100 lunch by Revd Alex Pease

What fun we had!  With tri-colour bunting across the church and our tables bedecked like a Parisian cafe, both guests and helpers turned up dressed like the cast of ‘Allo ‘Allo for our 100th CAMEO lunch.  Nora had prepared and organised much of the food which was completely delicious.  Why a French theme?  Well why not?  It was something different and seemed terribly timely given our country’s current political situation and our impending separation from the EU – perhaps a good time to show solidarity with our nearest neighbours. It was also good to have the Lord’s Prayer read in French so beautifully by Nora and to have the wonderful entertainment of the singing of a number of Edith Piaf and other classic French songs by Muriel.

Mark Stent brilliantly gave a vote of thanks to Lavinia and to the other cooks and helpers and gave a bunch of flowers to her.  We welcomed back Revd Andrew Micklefield and Revd. Rebecca Fardell to the lunch and invited many people who help CAMEO be what it is.  What fun it all was and what a brilliant institution CAMEO has become!


Thank you to everyone who was involved and a particular thank you to Lavinia for organising us!

The reading for the Communion Service was Matthew 6:25-34

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 

34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today. 

 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Mt 6:25–34). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Revd Alex Pease gave the following talk:

Cameo 100 lunch

100 Cameo lunches what a huge achievement!

Can I, on behalf of us all, guests and helpers, thank Lavinia and the whole team of cooks and washers up, table layers and decorators for this wonderful institution which is CAMEO, which has made such a difference to the lives of so many people in Itchen Valley Parish.

But for me question is: would Lavinia have started CAMEO if she knew what she was getting in to; that she would still be leading it over 8 years later?

I think Lavinia may be a bit exceptional in this case, taking on a commitment, when Andrew was Rector, without knowing where it was going to go…My generation and younger tend to be commitment-phobes.  We don’t like to get tied down; we worry about the future; the opportunities that we might have, which we would be prevented from exploiting if we are tied down, if we commit to do this, will we be available if our children or grandchildren need us?

What if some better thing comes along? Although we don’t actually say that, of course, we just think it!

Its a major aspect of the planning for our Alpha course which we are running in September; few people want to commit for the next 10 Tuesday evenings, so I just tend to say ‘Come to the first one and see if you like it’.  Then, if the past is any guide, they do, they love it and they want to come every Tuesday.

The other side of the same coin is not worrying about the fun you might miss out on….but rather worrying about more serious things; the things which might go wrong: the bad diagnosis, the sickness getting worse, the increasing cost of everything, and particularly at the moment, the political situation.

The first time I preached on the passage I have just read, was when I had been asked by the chaplain at St Andrews University to preach at my daughter’s graduation service.  My talk was entitled ‘Don’t be taken over by the fear’.  The title was printed on the service sheet and the service was held on………… Brexit morning!

The Vice Chancellor said that he had never  listened to the words of a Bible passage so closely as he did that morning!

Yes, there is plenty to be worried about……..but Jesus says, in the passage I have just read, ‘don’t worry’ because the same God who created life in us can be trusted with the details of our lives; he knows what we need; he knows what we are fearful about; he knows how we want to be free for our children and grandchildren; he knows we are worried about that diagnosis; he knows these things anyway, but he wants us to tell him as we pray. Most importantly, he doesn’t want our joy of today, in the wonderful world he has created, to be stolen from us by worry about a tomorrow which we cannot control.

So what is the solution?

Jesus would say we need to change our focus: away from the future, the worries about lost opportunities, the worries about things going wrong away from our selves…….Verse 33 Jesus says we need to seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness and he will deal with everything else.

But how do we do that?

Of course, we have to plan for the future, but we need to live in the present, not in the future or the past.  We find God in the moment we are in.  We need to pray our way through every situation whatever our worries, as Psalm 94 says: ‘When I said ‘My foot is slipping’ your unfailing love Lord supported me, when anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy’

Of course, we plan for the future, but once plans have been made, we put our worries to one side.  We search for his will in the now, we try to focus on the other, not on ourselves, whether it be listening to the person sitting next to us at the table, however eccentric we might think they are….or being considerate to the student nurse or junior doctor sent to treat us at the hospital.

We deal with the trouble we are faced with today and we don’t worry about tomorrow.  And, as our fears about the future are lifted, perhaps, we too, might one day find ourselves enjoying a 100 birthday celebration.




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