#359: “airplanes meeting in the air to be refuelled”

Name the National Trust house?

Hello! Bertie is on tour, visiting ice houses in the grounds of National Trust houses to find the Holy Grail of Cheeses- the 1874 Sturminster Stilton which, legend has it, was lost down the back of a shelf in an ice house some time during the Boer War. And waits there to be discovered again by a true believer, who will see beyond the amazing furriness of the cheese, and behold the beauty within. Which is why I am doing the email once more- and as a thank you, Bertie has faithfully promised that he won’t make me try any of the cheese when he brings it home rejoicing. Here is the News!

Coming Soon

It will be super to welcome the Rev’d Miles Welborn back to St Paul’s on Sunday- Miles came to faith in the parish and was a server here for several years before we went to Hereford to continue exploring his vocation to the priesthood. He was ordained priest last year. Welcome back!

We will be taking a collection for the rescue efforts in Turkiye and Syria on Sunday morning at both St Paul’s and St Nick’s- do please bring a donation with you.

Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal | Disasters Emergency Committee (

We now have a group of young people who are thinking of confirmation. We are starting at Year 6 this year because of the contours of the 5, 6, 7, 8 Group. We will meet on either (you choose which to come to) a Monday on Zoom or on Wednesday in person from the 20th and 22nd of Feb. There is also a separate group for adults on a Thursday morning. Do speak to a member of the clergy for more information or with any questions- the Confirmation Service will be on the 26th of March at 6.15pm and promises to be a big service with candidates from 4 or 5 local Churches.

Meditation Group Tuesday 14th February, St Paul’s Church.

Arrive from 1pm for 1.15pm start


Ash Wednesday is on the 22nd of Feb- there will be Services with the Imposition of Ashes at 10.30 (House Mass) and then at 8pm at St Paul’s. It is one of those services which every disciple should come to.

Headlines and News

The debate at General Synod today has been long and, at times, massively angering and, at other times, inspiring and beautiful. So far the proposals brought by the Bishops have survived in the midst of many amendments which suggests that they judged the mood of Synod well- there was enough support for what they brought to the table but not for much more. We will each have our own opinions on how it should have been done but, at the moment, it seems as if Issues in Human Sexuality will be replaced as a statement of where the Church is which is great news and we will be allowed to offer blessings of same-sex couples in Church. Please continue to pray for everyone involved in Synod, especially those who longed for so much more, and those who feel saddened and distrught that the Church is moving away from them. Please don’t just read the headlines if this is important to you, as it should be for everyone- read the full article, look at the Church Times, dig deep into what has been going on.

And please, everybody, know that this parish continues to be committed to welcome, inclusion and the full flourishing of every created soul. God does not discriminate or offer partial blessings. We dream of a day when the same can be said of the Church of England. The debate will continue tomorrow because they ran out of time today after over 5 hours.

Thank you to everyone who sent in answers to the questions on worship and music at St Paul’s. We had 47 responses which is about half of our regular attenders, and so very representative. As a first step, Louise Cole has produced this summary- it is not exhaustive because a lot of things were said but it captures the key themes and it feels important that people know what was said. We will discuss it next as a Worship Committee- and the hope is that we will be able to make some quick decisions which make things better while also identifying some of the bigger themes we will need to spend more time on. Thank you for your responses- and thank you Louise for the excellent work you have done on putting this document together.

Part of the outcome of recent discussions at PCC and in the Questionnaire is that we will definitely be re-introducing the chalice at St Paul’s for those who want it. We think that it will be in Holy Week as an appropriate time, and are considering either Maundy Thursday or Easter Day. More news to follow!

Every year, Soulscape organise for all of Year 7 at The Holt to visit 4 Churches in Wokingham to see the differences between them and to find out how we serve and support the community. After this year’s visits, Cara said this: “It was a real treat to be able to welcome the Holt Year 7’s to St Paul’s, to show them round the church, talk about worship here, what the building is used for, who we are and what we believe.  The students were respectful and sensitive, and asked some really great though-provoking questions – how and why we worship God in the way that we do, the purpose of different parts of the church building, the reason why people are Christian and the differences and similarities between the way in which the different churches enacted their faith.

Part of the joy of being a parish priest is that we get to share our faith with others, in a variety of different ways, to explain and show what Jesus means to us, and last Thursday definitely felt like this.  St Paul’s is your parish church, you are welcome anytime, and a huge thank you to the staff and volunteers who made the Revive Church Walking Tour possible this year.”

Also, Alice Buddin has made this appeal, which Bertie is fully endorsing:

You may know that I have recently started at a brand new vets practice (don’t worry Bertie, if you need any healthcare I’m sure I can get you mates rates) but being so shiny and new we haven’t built up the usual stock of old towels/blankets and newspapers to line kennels and keep our patients clean and warm. If anyone has any at home that they are able to donate I will happily take them off their hands after church on Sunday.

And a quote from Chris Field to end with:

“Science takes things apart to see how they work. Religion puts things together to see what they mean.” Jonothan Sachs

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