The Roman Catholic Parish of Lady, Star of the Sea, Weymouth, Dorset, UK

Catholic Women’s League

About the Catholic Women’s League

Margaret Fletcher set up the Catholic Women’s League in 1906 for the education of women. The League still offers members the opportunities to develop and learn new skills, and use them for the benefit of the church and especially their local parish. Belonging to CWL is a journey of prayer, faith and friendship.

Our Patron is St Margaret Clitherow, Martyred at York on 25th March 1586, canonised by Pope Paul VI in 1970.

Generally ...

Whether it is providing coffee and biscuits after Mass, helping with catering at other parish events, fundraising for national and local community charities, our parish CWL members show unity in prayer and action.

Interested in joining us? Speak with committee members Monica Garlick (Chairperson) or June Rust (Secretary). You will be welcome!


News December 2014

The Section had covered the successful Bric a Brac Stall and provided kitchen helpers at the Parish Bazaar. Another successful venture had been the CWL Doll Raffle which made £98 for funds. Members will be on duty again providing and serving mulled wine and mince-pies after the Carol Service on 21st December.

Weymouth sent six members to the recent Founder’s Day Event at Branksome. They met up with other Dorset members for Mass; everyone was in good voice! Wine and refreshments were available afterwards. After a Branch Meeting we entertained ourselves with the Twelve Days of Christmas with actions; hilarious! The afternoon ended with Advent Readings and Carols. A wonderful day out with friends but we noticed that our Section banner was the only one that did not have a stand; it had to be propped up ignominiously. Our stand seems to have vanished in the parish move. It has been suggested that the Young Offenders might provide one as part of their carpentry course.

At our December meeting members were pleased to hear that £5,000 has been given by CWL National for the Ebola Crisis Fund.

We held a Beetle Drive at the end of our meeting. Although there were only 8 players, a great time was had by all! There was a very generous raffle too. A big “thank you” to Monica, our chairperson, for organising this socialising event. Thanks too to all members who provided a delicious buffet. We meet again on Tuesday 13th January at 2pm.

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News November 2014

Fifteen people attended the November Section Meeting to learn that the Healing Mass was re-scheduled for Saturday 6th December. Prior to that there is the Christmas Parish Bazaar on Saturday November 29th; CWL have been asked to be responsible for the Bric a Brac Stall and to help with refreshments. Founders Day is 4th December and 5 members will be travelling to Branksome/Parkstone. Lastly on Tuesday December 9th we will be hosting other Dorset Sections to a Beetle Drive in our parish hall. Roll on Christmas!

The Weymouth LIFE Shop has asked members who knit to help provide new hand-knitted baby cardigans and cuddle blankets to sell in the Esplanade shop.

Recently CWL National had asked Sections to do a Skills Audit. A full assessment of the Weymouth Audit will be available at our January Meeting. However, charities and good causes, that members had put forward in the audit, were revealed at the November meeting. Such a list will make easier the choice of those to support over the next few years. Also from the audit the chairperson and Secretary were given details of members' email addresses and mobile phone numbers to help improve communication in our Section.

Our speaker was Father Stephen, our Spiritual Director, and his topic concerned Fatima and its importance. Our Lady appeared first to the three children on 13th May 1917 and on that same day in 1981 Pope John Paul II was shot. The Pope was convinced that Our Lady Of Fatima had saved him.The bullet is now set in the crown of the statue of Our Lady, which is carried in procession in Fatima. Father Stephen stressed the importance of saying the Rosary as Our Lady of Fatima had asked.

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News October 2014

June, our Secretary, reported that she had recieved an update from the Thomas Fowell Buxton Society, advertising their Black History Month Event on Wednesday 29th October, 7pm at the Firestation Community Centre, Radipole Lane, Weymouth. The main historical presentation is Slavery in the USA and there are shorter ethical presentations on 21st Century Slavery by Fairtrade Forum, Purple Teardrop Campaign and South West Dorset Multicultural Network. Our Section has heard presentations this year from both Fairtrade Forum, against economic slavery, and Purple Teardrop Campaign, against trafficking and sex slavery.

The meeting then focused on the serious business of box-ticking the 6 recommendations of the national CWL 1st Year Plan. Weymouth Section chairperson, Monica, will be sending our resultant justification document to CWL Dorset Branch. Job done!

The members were pleased to hear that the children of St Augustine’s Primary School had taken home their first copies of the Catholic parent/pupil newspaper Reach, which the Section had purchased for them. There will be three more issues of the newspaper during the academic year to celebrate the 50th Birthday of the Hardy Avenue School.

Our chairperson reported on her visit to CWL National AGM in the Midlands. Some aspects of her report will be food for thought in months to come.

Lastly, the hospitality arrangements were agreed on for our Parish Healing Mass on November 15th, namely the provision of numerous casseroles and apple pies.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 11th November at 2pm when our speaker will be Father Stephen, our Spiritual Director. He was unable to give his presentation in October as previously planned.

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News September 2014

There had been no August Meeting, as we had our Summer Meal at Gould's Garden Centre Café. Esmee Nichols said what a good time she had had and thanked our Secretary, June Rust, for the organisation involved in running this successful lunch. The meeting seconded this with a spontaneous round of applause. June also organises our Christmas Meal equally successfully!

The September meeting noted that on Tuesday 16th September at 10am it was our Weymouth Section's Rota Mass. Throughout the year each CWL Section has a Mass said in its parish, so that there is a progression of prayer throughout the year. Members will endeavour to attend this Mass.

Masses will also be said, on the Section's behalf, for our Deacon Rev. Wilf Westlake and former Section chairperson, Peggy Atkinson, both lately deceased and much missed.

The 7th October is the CWL Dorset Branch Half Day of Recollection, starting at 2pm, which our Section is hosting in St Joseph's Church and Hall, Stavordale Road.

Our chairperson, Monica Garlick, reminded the meeting that our Healing Mass would be on Saturday 15th November. Four CWL delegates from our Section will attend the Seminar on Our Church as a Dementia Friendly Church to be held in our parish on 8th November, from 10am to 3pm. As our Section organises the parish Healing Mass, this Seminar is important to us. Also as many of our members have been dementia-carers in the past and with some of our former members having the condition, we have a vested interest in helping to address the spiritual needs of sufferers.

The meeting ended with tea/coffee, and cake, baked by Liz Grant and Monica Garlick, and our raffle. The prize of a bottle of wine was donated kindly by Margaret Stephenson and won by Diane Thorn. This was followed by a presentation on the NHS by speaker Brian Gibbons. He reminded the members how fortunate they were with UK health services, when contrasted with his many experiences abroad. Paddy Thoyts, on behalf of the Section, thanked Brian for his most interesting talk.

Our next section meeting is on October 14th at 2pm. At 3pm the speaker will be our Spiritual Director, Father Stephen.

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News July 2014

At our meeting this month there was yet another Cream Tea. This time it was a “thank you” gesture to members from the Chairperson and Secretary. In future at each meeting there will be a raffle. The prize this month, a hairdressing voucher, was won by Audrey Dagger.

The meeting was made aware that Pauline Toohey, Parish Council Chairperson, was setting up a Parish visiting scheme. She has been invited to our September meeting to talk us through the proposed scheme and hopefully recruit some members for her visiting list.

For the past few meetings we have been looking at how we fulfil the World Union of Catholic Women Organisation's call to action. CWL is an affiliated member of this global band of Catholic women. So far we have considered ecumenical outreach and evangelisation. This month it was the turn of our pro-life commitment. Annual support of Weymouth and District LIFE Group is the main way in which we realise this pro-life requirement. However, the meeting learned that Weymouth and District LIFE Group is under threat of closure after existing for 33 years. People are needed desperately to add numbers and energy to its current parish-based committee.

In addition our CWL Section desperately needs a treasurer. An advert appealing for one has been put in the Parish Newsletter. The treasurer need not be a CWL member but must be a Catholic lady.

Our meeting finished with a “Flog It” presentation by Mr Andrew Marlborough of Duke’s Auctioneers, Dorchester. Members had brought their treasured items for valuation. Valuations ranged from a few pounds to one item reaching £800+. Andrew is a specialist in oriental ceramics and ivories. We had to spot the fake amongst the oriental items he had brought to show us. Some members must be Bargain Hunt fans as they were spot on.

Our next meeting is Tuesday 9th September at 2pm. There is no August Meeting as we will be enjoying ourselves at our annual Summer Meal Out at Gould's Garden Centre.

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News June 2014

The ecumenical Cream Tea was held at St Joseph’s Hall and was enjoyed by 60 guests; the noise was deafening! It was a very friendly and most interesting afternoon. Sadly our booked entertainer had to cancel at the last minute. However, a kind guest, Daphne Pont, stepped into the breach and gave a most interesting off-the-cuff talk on the Bridges of London. The assembled ladies gave her a well-deserved ovation in appreciation.

It is the Cream Tea Season as an invitation has been offered to us for the Cream Tea organised by the Dorchester Section on 29th July; waistlines are expanding.

Members attended the Lulworth Mass on 18th June. This beautiful event was followed by a picnic in the grounds. One difficulty in attending away events has been that the Section had so few drivers available to give lifts to our non-driving ladies. However, there is hope as three new driver members have joined us recently.

Michael Lobo, Head Teacher of St Augustine’s School, has approved the CathCom newspaper Reach. The CWL Weymouth Section will treat the School to this Catholic quarterly newspaper for the first year. In this way we will help to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Hardy Avenue School. The newspaper caters for Primary School children and their parents and will be offered free to them.

The Section’s Table Top Sale realised £192.42 for our funds. Well done and thank you to all those who worked so hard to make this such a success. On the same Corpus Christi weekend our members were making teas and coffees for the parents and families of our First Communion children. Both of these events followed hard on the heels of CWL organising the Parish Fete Raffle the previous weekend. Luckily our exceptionally busy June is nearing its end and we can all sit back and relax a little.

Our next meeting is Tuesday 8th July at 2pm when as a speaker at 3pm we welcome Andrew Marlborough from Duke’s Auctioneers in Dorchester. Come along and enjoy tea/coffee and cake with us.

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News June 2014 The Parish Fête

Parish Fête Grand Draw, Prize Winners List
PrizeDonorTicket No.Winner
1£100?0703Pat Eastman
2A£20 VoucherBluebird Coaches.0290Rose Bruce
2B£20 VoucherBluebird Coaches.1895Margaret Naine
3Bottle of WhiskyBob Garlick0412Orla Shooter
4Basket of FruitMonica Garlick0748Mr Dawson
5Statue of Holy FamilyPauline Freeman0893Wendy Williams
6Fish & Chip Supper Margret Davies1884Tony Keane
7Pair of PicturesDavid Ward1663Enid Guyette
8Vase Made By Pauline HaydenPauline's Family0187Mrs. Spearing
9£10 Gift VoucherIllusionz Hair Salon0046Jim McPartland
10Fish & Chips Alf's.0796Colin Smith
11Cyclamen Plant?0323Peter Dunn

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News May 2014

The meeting on 13th May dealt with preparations for the annual ecumenical Cream Tea, when guests are invited from other Christian parishes in Weymouth. This is on the 10th June. The section’s meal out is planned for August 12th; members will gather at Gould’s, Littlemoor, to enjoy a meal in the café.

The CWL is organising the sale of the Parish Summer Fete Draw tickets. These will be available before and after weekend Masses. The Fete takes place at the Convent of Mercy on Saturday 14th June.

Saturday June 21st is the CWL Table Top Sale in St Joseph’s Hall. Items for the sale can be given to the chairperson, Monica Garlick. So, all in all, June is a very busy month indeed.

The meeting decided to offer to fund the catholic primary school newspaper Reach for the pupils at St Augustine's School, if the Head Teacher approves it. The CWL were pleased to offer to fund it for the first year to celebrate 50 years since the building of the school at Hardy Avenue, Weymouth.

Members took on posters advertising the Thomas Fowell Buxton Society Piano Recital at St Mary’s Church on Saturday 14th June at 7.30pm. The pianist is Weymouth-born, Duncan Honeybourne. There is an overarching local theme to the concert in that Duncan will play a piece by Ronald Swaffield who lived in Weymouth for many years and died here in 1962. The programme includes other pieces by Listz, Schumann and Chopin. Tickets are available from the Thomas Fowell Buxton Society’s website.

The speaker at our meeting was Jo Maidment giving a presentation on the Purple Teardrop Campaign against sex trafficking. It is a reality that trafficking business accounts for a staggering $150 billion each year. Two thirds of this is from the sex industry. Members signed the petition in support of a Bill to abolish sex advertising, much of which fronts the trafficking. It poses the question, as smoking advertising is forbidden, why do we permit the other? Jo was thanked for her thought-provoking presentation.

Interested in joining us? Come along to our next meeting on Tuesday 10th June at 2pm and enjoy entertainment and a cream tea!

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News April 2014

The April meeting finalised arrangements for the parish Passover Meal, the catering for the Mission Healing Mass on 10th May, and the Buckfast Pilgrimage on 14th May. There are always enough hands going up to ensure that plans become hands-on reality. At Buckfast Abbey the Section’s CWL banner will be carried by Esme Nichols, with escorts Liz Grant and Greta Watkins.

A card from Weymouth and District LIFE Group had been received, thanking the Section for a donation of £100. Support of local good causes is part of our section’s remit.

As ever the meeting opened and closed with prayers. In these prayers Pauline Hayden, who is very ill, was remembered.

The speaker was Maria Carey who runs a Tradecraft stall after Masses on the third Sunday in each month. Maria spoke of the importance of providing a market for Fairtrade products for the people of Africa, This ensures food, clean water, shelter, education and health care. The people do not want handouts; they wanted the opportunity to be self sufficient. The chairperson, Monika Garlick, thanked Maria for her very informative talk. Maria’'s sterling work in the parish is very much appreciated.

The next CWL meeting is on Tuesday 13th May at 2pm in the Hall at Stavordale Road. The speaker will be Jo Maidment of the Purple Teardrop Campaign.

Considering joining CWL? Come and join us on the 13th May for a taster session; you will be made welcome. There is always the free tea or coffee and cake to tempt you!

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News March 2014

The CWL National Coffee Morning held on Sunday March 2nd was aimed at raising awareness of the work of the CWL, both at national and local level. The Bric a Brac Stall and raffle, together with the refreshments, raised upwards of £100 for local funds.

The Women’s World Day of Prayer was held at St Joseph’s Catholic Church on March 7th at 2pm and CWL members helped to prepare the church and hall for this ecumenical event. The same service was held in churches internationally. It had been created by Christian women in Egypt. The Mayor, Ray Banham, attended and the church was full. The organisers were pleased with this positive response.

March 7th was also the start of the morning parish Lenten Lunches prepared by the ladies of the CWL. The nominated charity is Guide Dogs for the Blind. This was adopted as there has been a greatly increased demand for trained dogs for our injured servicemen returning from Afghanistan. In addition, at National level the CWL Services Committee provides support for serving and retired members of her Majesty’s Forces and their dependants.

March 11th was the Weymouth Section’s AGM. Sheila Watkins from Branch was the guest speaker. She praised the section warmly for what they had achieved in the past year. Our Spiritual Director, Father Stephen, spoke as well and he too praised the Section’s varied and indispensable work in the parish. The afternoon ended with traditional tea, coffee and cakes.

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News February 2014

The meeting in February was devoted to planning events entered in our diary: CWL National Coffee Morning (March 2nd), Lenten Lunches (starting 7th March AM), Women's World Day of Prayer (7th March PM), CWL Weymouth Section AGM (March 11th) and the Mission Healing Mass (May 10th). Next month is proving very busy!

Our Secretary provided the list of speakers she has booked for the months ahead: Sheila Watkins from CWL Branch (March), Maria Carey speaking on Fairtrade (April), Jo Maidment from Purple Teardrop Campaign (May), Gill Penwell, speaking at the annual Cream Tea, (June), Mr Andrew Marlborough from Dukes Antiques (July), Mrs Joyce Fannon speaking on 50th Anniversary of St Augustine's School, (September), Mr Brian Gibbons (October) and finally, Father Stephen, our Spiritual Director, (November).

The CWL Coffee Morning with Bric a Brac Stall will be in the hall at Stavordale Road after the two Masses on Sunday March 2nd. There will be 3 minute presentations at the end of both Masses to raise awareness of the work of the CWL and promotional leaflets will be handed out. The message is, "Come and join us!".

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News January 2014

Tuesday 7th January saw the members of the CWL at the Spa Hotel enjoying a Christmas Menu. We meet for a meal twice a year and a good time is had by all.

At our usual January meeting the speaker was Gillian Penwell who updated members on changes in regulations and provisions for Carers; Gillian is a regular speaker and always welcome.

At this meeting a report was given on the World Union of Catholic Women's Organisations to which the CWL is affiliated. WUCWO has been a dominant voice against human trafficking for a number of years.

This year a WUCWO European Conference was held in Leeds at which a series of statements of intent were issued based on the theme RESPECT:

We resolve to:

  • Renew with increased fervour our shared responsibility and duty to EVANGELISE.
  • Be more pro-active in ECUMENISM and INTERFAITH relations.
  • Uphold the SANCTITY OF LIFE with kindness and sensitivity, in giving caring support to lone pregnant women and girls.
  • Continue to work, contrary to the prevailing influences in society today, for STRONG MORAL GUIDANCE and teaching for CHASTITY, SELF RESPECT and RESPECT for OTHERS.
  • Be SENSITIVE and COMPASSIONATE to those wounded in mind and body.
  • WELCOME the healing of past divisions now developing through the Catholic Ordinariate of Walsingham.
  • Move beyond and work outside the safe areas of our organisations and communities with RESPECT FOR ALL.

Members of the Weymouth CWL meeting felt that we were already achieving some of these recommendations in the work we do currently both in the parish and in the wider community in Charity, Work and Loyalty; the keystones of our endeavours.

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