#357: a pleasing pattern in a phone number

Bertie here, back with a major problem- the unusually long cold snap has meant that my entire cheese supply- my main supply, my reserve supply, my emergency supply, my emergency emergency supply, my secret supply and my hidden supply- have all frozen solid which leaves me having to try to chip tiny corners off, or trying to defrost the cheese with some of the Church candles from the candle stand. It is a worry- will my cheese ever be edible again? I was talking to Bramble the Dog last week and she is equally unhappy with the cold weather because it means that she can’t paddle in the puddles no matter how hard she smacks the ice with her paws. We have decided to become a team- she will lie on my cheese and I will attack her ice with a corkscrew. Everyone is a winner. Here is the news.

Coming Soon

This Sunday is Candlemas (4 days early) which counts as the end of Epiphanytide. St Paul’s have the lovely tradition of bringing candles to the front to put on the altar as a way of representing the fact that we all burn with the same light but that we are each different and wonderfully unique. Do please bring along a candle which can safely be put on the altar and do make sure you take it away with you as well, at the end. Swrvices on Sunday are 9.30, 10 and 11. See you there! Do come along on what is a very special Sunday in the Church’s year.

Other News and Notices

This Friday (27th) we are holding Communion Services at Alexandra Grange at 11.30 and then the Berkshire Care Home at 2.15pm- we would love to have some congregation members along to help run the service and to chat to the residents. Either turn up or speak to Care for more details- the same applies to West Oak on a Thursday morning every other week- please speak to Mary Cassidy or Judi Hattaway for information.

SPLOG is a group for men who meet every other month on a Friday night for a meal and fellowship- please email John Sutton at if you would like to find out more, or to come along to the next meeting, which is this Friday night at Sanpa.

Please don’t forget to fill in a Worship Questionnaire at St Paul’s if you have not done one already- they really need to be in on Sunday so we can start to gather, peruse and study them.

A reminder of the National Gallery Lecture on Zoom at 1pm on Monday the 30th of January on the current exhibition, Fruits of the Spirit- it looks really good- Fruits of the Spirit | Art and Religion | National Gallery, London

The Parish Quiz Night is on Saturday the 4th of Feb in the Parish Rooms- there are still some spaces so don’t miss out! Details from

Last call for the Soulscape Event for Years 6 to 11 in the Parish Rooms on Sunday the 5th of Feb- looking at the environment and our responsibility for creation. We need to know by the end of Sunday the 29th who is coming so we can check if we have enough people or nor to make it work.

Also, the Taverners is a lunchtime group for men who meet at the Old Leathern Bottle- the next lunch is on the 7th of Feb- please speak to Chris Rutter for more details-

Lent Retreat on 3rd to 5th of March– pretty much last call for people who would like to go- speak to Mary Cassidy for details. It will be a super weekend and a really enriching thing to do in Lent.

We need to know pretty much this weekend if anyone else would like to be part of the Confirmation Course as we prepare for the Confirmation service on the 26th of March at 6.15pm at St Paul’s- please can you let Richard or Cara know if you would like to join in or find out more.

The Diocese is organising a Pilgrimage to Taize this summer for those aged 16-30- it will be extremely good- do see the poster here: 2023 Pilgrimage to Taizé – Diocese of Oxford (

January Lucky Numbers

The January draw took place on Sunday 22nd January 2023 after the 11:00 Communion service at St Nicholas.

The lucky winners were:

£50        No. 92          David & Janet Charlton

£25        No. 13           Rhoda Hart

£15        No. 84           Frances Self

£10        No. 36          Ann Eggleston 

Thank you to all those annual cheque/cash subscribers who have renewed their membership by the due date. For those who haven’t yet, this is a gentle reminder to renew as soon as you can.

The draw takes place monthly at either St Paul’s or St Nicholas’s. One share (number) costs £24 per year. Funds remaining after the prizes have been distributed go to the Restoration Fund, for repairs and renewals to the church building. For more 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’).

Notes from a recent J-Club session on how we can welcome and support refugees.

Ideas and Inspirations

A reminder that the Parish Rooms Trust is an educational charity and we make grants to people aged 4 to 24 in the parish, or who went to School in the parish, or are at school in the parish- we are always looking for good applications to fund and support:

And here is the grant application form:

In a Church Times article on being bereaved, after the death of his wife, Tony Horsfall included these ideas and thoughts, which I found helpful and encouraging- for those who are bereaved, he asks “What have you lost as well as your loved one?” And remember that when someone you are married to or in a deep relationship with dies you lose not only the person who you loved but also the person who loved you.

Here is the Sonning Deanery Prayer Cycle for February:

The Rev’d Canon Mark Oakley is an exceptional writer and preacher, and the Dean of St John’s College, Cambridge- this is his very personal and very beautiful and very moving sermon on Sunday after the Bishops announced what they would be sending to General Synod around the question of same-sex marriage: Sunday Eucharist Sermons LT23 | St John’s College, University of Cambridge

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