#309 version 2, with minor improvements and some small changes: I tried curling but they told me to get off the ice rink. Now my Olympic Dreams are over before they could begin.

Something of a helpful overview today, mostly focused on your diary for the week ahead. Lots of things to look forward to and to be part of. And also, even though it seems that the Government is relaxing the rules around Covid, it is still vital that we continue to care for each other and look out for each other in Church. If you do have a cold or you think you have Covid, or you have had a positive test from the LFTs you have recently stockpiled in the secret cupboard under the stairs, why not try out Livestream worship instead of coming to Church in person? Thank you.

Announcements

From Sunday 27th February, you are invited to submit applications to the Electoral Roll.  Anyone who lives in the parish is eligible to apply, as are those who live outside the parish but attend church regularly.   If you wish to take an official post within the church you must have your name on the Electoral Roll.   Application forms are available from a sides person in church or from the parish office.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask Fr Richard, Teri Austen or Louise Cole in the office.  If you are already on the Electoral Roll, you do not need to apply but if your details have changed please could you submit a new application form.

On Saturday 5th March (in two weeks’ time) the Reading Phoenix Choir are putting on a concert of choral music in the UoR Great Hall (near the Royal Berkshire Hospital). The concert will feature music by Thomas Tallis, Tomás Luis de Victoria, Orlande de Lassus and William Byrd as well as pieces by more recent composers such as Gustav Holst, Charles Villiers Stanford and Kim André Arnesen, plus music by Cecilia McDowall and some other modern female composers.

We will also perform a piece by John Rutter for unaccompanied double choir, which is about as different from his compositions like “A Clare Benediction” as it can be, and shows what Rutter is capable of creating. Worth coming just to hear this!

The highlight of the evening will be the announcement of the winner of the Walter Hussey Composition Competition for Young Composers that was run in 2020 for composers under 25 years of age. There were over 100 entries. The choir will then give the first performance of the winning composition. This may be your only chance in 2022 of being at a World Premiere!

Tickets are £15 on the door but only £13.50 online (plus a booking fee).

The Lent Lunch this year will happen on the 12th of March, raising money for our three Charities.

The Week Ahead

Sunday the 27th (Watch out for the Wokingham Half-marathon if you normally come through the town centre). Official launch of the Parish Giving Scheme which is a really helpful way of giving your money to Church more efficiently and in a way which speeds up the Gift Aid as well. Look out for more information on the website, and for personal communications coming out soon. It’s so easy to use that even Bertie has managed it. And he is a mouse. Joshua Townson is coming to the 9.30 and 11 Services to preach and introduce the Scheme. (There is also an 8am and a 10am Service).

Tuesday the 1st of March- Come to hear Bishop Steven at The Whitty Theatre, Luckley House School at 7.30pm. (See advert at the top of the letter).

Wed the 2nd of March is Ash Wednesday. There will be a Service at Lyn and Teri’s at 10.30am (please let Louise in the Office know if you would like to come) and at 8pm in Church (just turn up) which will also be Livestreamed. Lent is an absolute gift to the Church and to each of us- do please think now about how you will keep a good and focused Lent this time round- lots of ideas to follow… including this letter…

Four specific things to think about for Lent

30 Creative Things to Give Up for Lent 2022 – What to Give Up for Lent (goodhousekeeping.com)

Purchase a Lent Book from the back of St Paul’s, offering one think to do each day- #LiveLent 2022: Embracing Justice – Diocese of London (anglican.org)

Make time to pray a little longer every day- come to Morning Prayer, read through Luke’s Gospel, sit and reflect on things you need to fix or let go off, go for a prayer walk, spend 10 minutes in St Paul’s…

Give something up– it is something we think about every year but there is something absolute and focusing about it. If nothing else, it makes you remember that it is Lent every day and that is in and of itself a helpful part of Lent.

And once you have made a decision on how to keep Lent, why not write down that promise and attach it to the board at the back of St Paul’s as a mark of commitment and so that others can support you in prayer while you try to fulfil it?

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