#303: famous Polish RAF Squadron in 1940

Dear friends,

Bertie here, back from his exciting trip to Downing Street. I got on with Dilyn very well, although it turns out he is a ball of absolute energy. And so I’ve come back to Wokingham for a rest in my snuggly bed with my snuggly duvet and my snuggly hot water bottle which is made in the shape of a lump of cheese- the corners do dig in a bit but it is just lovely to be lying in bed cuddling a piece of cheese while my cheese-scented candle fills my little home with gorgeous smells. It’s like living in a fondue. Heaven on a stick. Heaven on earth. Until it comes time to brush your fur because you can end up with gouda even behind your ears. Anyway- here is the news.

1) This Coming Sunday: keeping the feast of the Conversion of Paul

Services at St Paul’s at 8 and 9.30, at Woosehill at 10 and at St Nick’s at 11. We will be focusing on the example of Paul at St Paul’s and St Nicholas’ as an example of how God can work in people’s lives and in our lives for good.

And please don’t forget that the Sunday after (the 30th of Jan) is the Feast of Candlemas where we have the lovely tradition of putting a candle stick or holder per person on the altar at St Paul’s and St Nick’s. Do please pick one out or decorate one this week, put your name on the bottom and then bring it with you on the day. If you’re not able to come on the day, or are joining in from home, you can leave the candle in the Church porch at St Paul’s and we will include it in the service- or send in a photo of a candle in your house which we can use in the Livestream.

2) New Year, New Adventure, New Opportunity

As restrictions ease, hopefully, and the New Year finds its rhythm, here are 8 things for you to think about and consider about your week and your involvement in Church…

a) Want to find out more about our faith? Come to the Confirmation Exploration Course on Zoom on a Tuesday evening from early in Feb.

b) Organised and enthusiastic? Could you help us to introduce the Parish Giving Scheme which is an efficient and elegant way of donating to St Paul’s and St Nick’s? It is a role you can do in your own time and you will be part of a small and welcoming team. It involves some admin and a willingness to give Notices and answer questions.

c) Free on a Saturday? Help out in the Churchyard with the Payback Team and a Church Team serving refreshments or maintaining the Churchyard.

d) Keen on the parish and helping to shape its future? We will be looking for some new Church officers and PCC Members in April. Can you start to think now about whether you could stand? Or if there is someone else you know who would make a valuable contribution. There are jobs for people of all skills and at all different levels of commitment.

e) We are trying to rebuild our Serving Team on a Sunday morning at St Paul’s, at 8am and 9.30am. Please speak to Peter for more details- it would especially suit anyone who has ever thought they would like to have a go, and children or teenagers who don’t feel called to be in the choir.

f) We need to strengthen all of our committees, especially the Social Committee because they are going to play a key role in re-establishing all of the community events we love so much.

g) We need more people willing to be DBS checked and to go out with J-Club on a Sunday morning, as well as more people to plan and organise the session (with great support from the other leaders and the clergy of course).

h) Coffee and Chat is going from strength to strength on a Friday afternoon and is now working with the Friendship Alliance to be a local centre for welcome and friendship. Do look on their website for more information about who they are. Meeting around the core hour of 2 to 3 it is a brilliant chance to play games and chat and make friends and be with people, while the bottomless teapots and the endless supply of cakes do their rounds. Speak to Susanna Allen or Liz Gallagher for more information. And then just turn up in the Parish Rooms!

So, in short, please do spend 10 minutes thinking about whether you might have some time to offer to Church in the next weeks and months. There is basically nothing in the life of the Church which is so well staffed and resourced that they wouldn’t welcome more helpers and volunteers. What could you do? What would you enjoy doing? And then, as you’ve thought, pick up the phone or send an email and ask for more details. You can always step back later on, and we need more energy and more help now as we start to properly rebuild after the last two years.

3) Lucky Numbers for January

The January draw took place at St Nicholas’s after Communion on Sunday 16 January.

The lucky winners were:-

£50        No. 77           Jo Gulliford

£25        No. 42           Lesley & David Ruddock

£15        No. 29           Ann Mayers

£10        No. 66            Pam & Tony Roberts

The Draw is a simple way of raising funds for repairs and renewals to the church building. One share (number) costs £24 per year and the draw takes place monthly (either at St Nicholas’s or St Paul’s) for prizes of £50, £25, £15, and £10. All remaining funds go to the Restoration Fund.

A reminder for those that subscribe annually by cash or cheque and missed the deadline of 17th January. Please renew as soon as possible – otherwise your number(s) will not be included in future draws.

If you would like to subscribe, or want further information, please contact Tony Roberts (979 5351), Liz Gallagher (989 1176) or Mary Cassidy (979 5096) – or in person at church (Mary at St Paul’s, Tony or Liz at St Nicholas’).

4) Other News and Happenings

Parish Quiz on Zoom on the 5th of Feb- see email 302 for full details. And come along!

The clergy are back taking Services at Alexandra Grange every fortnight on a Friday morning at 11.30am. If you would like to come along as well and help to lead the service and the singing, please speak to Louise or Cara or Richard.

Christ Church Cathedral are encouraging members of the Diocese to get a Your Cathedral Card which allows free and effortless admission to the Cathedral when you are in Oxford- Your Cathedral | Christ Church, Oxford University

St Nick’s have some old hymnbooks that they don’t use any more- before they are escorted out of the building, would anyone like to have one or two of them at home? Come and Praise and Hymns A and M. Speak to Liz if you would like to adopt an unneeded hymnbook.

Soulscape Update from one of our three charities…

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