#320: Bertie’s paws are still too tired to let him come to the keyboard

(Palm Sunday a few years ago…)

Dear friends,

Bertie here, reclining on a chaise longue and bossing the Rector round something chronic. A half-marathon is quite a long way if you’re a human being but it is an extraordinarily long way when you are a small and slightly portly mouse wearing a knitted waistcoat. And since he did this to me by signing me up the least he can do is go and fetch my water bottle, and my icepack, and my newspaper, and my cheese roll and my cheese straw and my cheese string and my cheese cloth which, now I come to think of it, tastes a tiny bit chewy. Weird. Anyway, I am too weary to dictate any more. Lamey, over to you.

Thank you, Bertie- as if having you whinging at me all around the streets of Reading was not bad enough you haven’t stopped since. Here is the news, he says, carefully stepping away from the couch to a place of blissful quiet… the good news is that you can just shut the door on someone who’s paws are that achey because they really can’t chase you! To business…

Holy Week and Easter

Please do come along to as many of the services as you can. Most will be Livestreamed for those who can’t come but it is the perfect time to start coming to things in person because worship and discipleship do not get more profound than in the next days.

The two main children’s events are these- do come along to support and have fun if you can: Good Friday drop-in from 10 to 12 and Easter Day at 9.30am. And here are the main services: don’t forget Midday Prayer (St Paul’s) and an 8pm Service on Mon (P), Tues (N) and Wed (W). If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask.

This Sunday is Palm Sunday– 8am, 9am meeting at St Paul’s School in time to walk over the bridge for the 9.30am Mass, which will be Livestreamed- then 10 and 11 Services, baptisms at 12.30 and 1.30 and a beautiful Evening Service of Readings and Music for Holy Week at 6.15pm. It’s like Lessons and Carols and an evocative way into Holy Week. Do please come along and bring your friends.

We are following that with a social event for newcomers, relative newcomers and old hands in the Parish Rooms after the service (from about 7.30pm). Please can you tell Louise that you are coming so we know how many pizzas to hunt down, freeze and then put in the oven? Thanks. Do bring your favourite drink and your favourite boardgame too.

Also, here is the St Paul’s Order of Service (in its penultimate form) ready for Sunday morning at 9.30:

Other important notices and news

Thank you so, so much to everyone who sponsored my half-marathon. I really enjoyed it, the time went quickly, I narrowly beat the time I was aiming for and I fell in with someone at 10miles who was aiming for the same time so we ran the last 3 miles in step which made it very much easier than it would have been on my own. Oh, and your amazing generosity has meant that I raised a smidge over £1,000 for the RBH Charity, which is just awesome.

Come along to Sip and Share next Saturday 9th April at Woosehill church from 11 am come and make new friends and enjoy a coffee. Everyone is welcome.

Meditation Group 1.15-1.45 Tuesday 12th April in St Paul’s: Come and be still: Susanna: meditationgroup@spauls.org.uk

If you’re part of J-Club, or a young person in the parish don’t forget Jason’s invitation to a Lego challenge and a cupcake decoration competition on Easter Eve (Sat the 16th of April) which you should have had an email about. He has more details if you need them, and will be in Church on Sunday. Do ask for info! 5, 6, 7, 8 meet again on Monday (the 11th) at 4.30pm. See you then.

We have decided to refocus the Children’s Chapel in Church at the back, where it used to be. Is anyone around this week to help move things and then organise them again? Please let Richard know- many hands make light work is the mantra I am going for, rather than anything negative about too many cooks…

SPLOG is a group for the gentlemen (and other men) of the parish, meeting monthly on a Friday night for a drink and meal out and some good conversation. The first gathering since the pandemic crashed in is this Friday night. Speak to Lyn or Richard for more details, and to go on the mailing list. The Taverners are also a group for men who like to meet for a drink and a meal out, this time on a Tuesday lunchtime, once a fortnight- I can add you to the mailing list for that group too. The next meal should be on the 19th of April.

Tithings- don’t forget your Tithings Group. When did you last meet? When are you planning to meet next? Go for it!

A copy of the latest Pathways magazine is available for you to take home. The magazine is for all churches in the Diocese of Oxford, which covers Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. It’s a forum for articles relevant to a life of faith in 2022. In the latest issue, discover what it takes to be united as a church; a debate about using male pronouns to describe God; how we can forgive ourselves for what happened in the past… and all about singing. Do ask for one at your local Newsagent- sorry, Church- we will be handing them out on Sunday after the service.

The Church Electoral Roll for 2022 is displayed in the porch and for those who have made applications to be added this year, please check that you have been entered- Teri can answer all and any questions. And if you ever think that you don’t know who some of the people I talk about are, do look at the helpful and cheery photoboard in the Church porch.

And finally…

I know that a good number of people will be away over the next fortnight- do have a super time catching up with friends and having adventures and seeing the world, or at least Bournemouth. If you can, still make time for Holy Week- you can catch up with most of the services on the Livestream or you can pop into a local church and see how they do things there and pray with them. This Holy Week promises to be very special, not least because we are going to be able to sing once more, unlike the last two Easters. If you are still in Town, why not come along to a service you haven’t been to before? All Saints are joining us for Maundy Thursday, which will be lovely, and there will be bacon sandwiches and bucks fizz after the 5.30 Dawn Service on Easter Day (if you say 5.30 really fast it doesn’t sound as bad as it actually is…)

Happy Easter when it comes- but before then, let us together keep a good and holy Holy Week, walking each step with Jesus as he prepares to prove his undying love for us for all time.

Richard

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