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'Near restful waters he leads me to revive my drooping spirit'

Mandy Connelly

The Oasis group was set up in our parish  just over 12 years ago and continues to be a wonderful setting where we invite women to be ‘Mary’s’ instead of ‘Martha’s’. In other words, where busy ladies can take a breather and, like Mary in the gospel of Luke, sit at the feet of Jesus in order to be refreshed and renewed by his words.

When we set up Oasis, our vision was to invite women along to be looked after by giving them a beautiful breakfast and encouraging them in their spiritual lives with prayer and praise, followed by a spirit-led talk. Women are so often pulled in many different directions, constantly looking after everyone else, so Oasis provides a space for ladies to stop and just ‘be’.

As the Father says to us in Psalm 46: ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’

The Oasis core group usually gets together every fortnight to plan the breakfast for the following month. The breakfasts take place on the 1st Saturday of each month, with the exception of August and January, and each year we follow a theme for our talks. This year, we are concentrating on ‘Experiencing the Holy Spirit’, so we have talks on God’s Love, Salvation, New Life and Spiritual Growth, to name a few.

Each member of the core group brings her own particular gifts to help make Oasis unique and special. Gifts such as hospitality, music, singing, welcoming, organising or creativity.

On the day, the six core members set up the continental breakfast, music slides, tables and chairs, and the all-important tea and coffee before the ladies arrive at 8.30am. Depending on the talk for that day, we decorate the tables to reflect the theme of the talk, and the ladies are always very appreciative of the efforts from the Oasis team. Prayer and praise follows the breakfast and then we all settle down to listen to the talk. The session usually finishes at around 10.30am.

During Covid, our numbers halved but slowly they have picked up and it is lovely to be once again welcoming well over twenty ladies along each month to our meetings. As well as the women who attend OLSD, we also have ladies coming from churches in Fleet, Church Crookham, Yateley and The Church of the Good Shepherd. We welcome women from any church, or indeed anyone who is looking to grow in their relationship with the Lord.

If you are interested in joining us, please email Mandy Connelly at:

By Anne Diaz and Vicky Evans