#384: beautifully long evenings edition

My dear friends,

I have done very well this week- first we had the outstanding parish BBQ on Sunday which was such fun- so good to see old friends and to make new ones as well, and enormous thanks to the Social Committee for organising the whole thing, and for everyone who stepped in to help out in any way- and then today I got to got to Wimbledon in Mother Jane’s blazer pocket. Nibbling strawberries on centre court while sipping champagne with a straw is the perfect way to spend the day on Centre Court. Such fun. I am writing this on the train home so apologies for any typos or errors- the curve of the track and the fizzing bubbles are probably not conjucif, conjoociv, condewsieve- that’s it, got it- to accuracy of typing. Here is the news, he says hurriedly, to distract you from that difficult word…

[Also, please note that the Lions’ Auction of Promises that was going to happen this week has had to be postponed so please don’t turn up this time…]

This Coming Week

This Sunday, the 16th of July. It would be superb to have a big turnout at all of the churches- 9.30, 10 and 11. At St Paul’s we are marking the end of the academic year with an All Together Service focusing on the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13, which is the reading set for the day. It would be amazing to have as many people from J-Club as we possibly can, as well as the whole wider congregation, as we also have the last Sunday of the school year with the formal choir in the stalls helping to lead our worship so well and with such inspiration.

Then, in the evening, Miles Welborn is preaching at 6.15pm at Choral Evensong. Miles came to faith and discerned his vocation to the priesthood at St Paul’s and it will be great to welcome him back, along with Katie and their new son Jesse. Then stay for refreshments in the summer sunshine, the perfect way of stepping into the holidays.

Cara explains the plan for J-Club over the school holidays

For the rest of July and August, there is no J Club on a Sunday morning however do please still come to church to worship God and enjoy each other’s company.  We have some special service sheets for children, which are more interactive with things to notice, to colour, to fill in and to think about.  Do please pick one of those up as you come into church, they are in a brown bag complete with colouring pencils – the service sheet is yours to keep, the bags with the pencils please return before leaving church so Bertie can nibble the pencils sharp ready for next week.  It’s a difficult task being both pencil sharpener extraordinaire and saving enough room for cheese, but a task that Bertie is happy to take on, and we do occasionally indulge him with these little jobs.  We’ll also have activity sheets to go with the Gospel.

Then on 3rd September we will be having our annual bag blessing.  Bring your school bags so we can bless them and pray for our children, their families, schools and teachers ready for the start of a brand new academic year.

Looking further ahead

Coffee and Chat on tour for the next three weeks…

Coffee & Chat will move for the three weeks covering the Art Exhibition…

Friday 21st July

We will meet up for a cuppa at The Rose Inn in town from 2pm to 4’ish.  

Friday 28th & Friday 4th August Woosehill Church are kindly letting us use their premises, which are positioned behind Hawthorns School

There is going to be an excellent concert of guitar and bassoon on the 29th of July at St Paul’s…

Chris Cipkin’s first Organ Concert in a series which will run over the next 12 months will happen on Sunday the 20th of August at 6.15pm…

Ride and Stride is happening again in September. Andrew Harte has sent the Rector this message…

Dear Richard.

I have no doubt that Bertie will have gorged himself on the left-overs at today’s parish BBQ. Has he also been gorging on cheese whilst watching the cricket or the tennis? perhaps with some cheese balls to keep in the spirit of the sport?

Therefore it is probably time for Bertie to do some exercise. I have just the goal for him to motivate him to get into shape. Ride & Stride on Sat 9th September. He could get a bike and do some cycling; but I expect he would rather scurry along his mouse runs between the churches in Wokingham. Although, since it has been closed for so long, I imagine the path to All Saints might be a little overgrown and might need some maintenance in advance!

Saturday 9th September 2023

This national event happens every year across the country, where church members obtain sponsorship to visit churches in their area – in our case across Berkshire.   Any mode of transport is fine – you could walk, cycle, ride – simply choose a route and find lots of sponsorship from all your friends and family, perhaps every person in your congregation could sponsor you? 

You can go by yourself or in a group, any time between 10am and 6pm and many people make a day of it.  There are so many wonderful and interesting churches to visit, many will be open and offering refreshments too. Perhaps we could get a group of people from the parish to visit a town in Berkshire and visit the churches in that location together. It is a great opportunity to see other churches and going as a group makes it is nice social event too! Or you can get your bike out and visit some churches over a wider area, that you might otherwise never see.

There is also the Daphne Barnes-Phillips trophy which is awarded to the most successful church each year – this is a splendid silver cup which is still resting with St Peter’s Woolhampton as they raised the most sponsorship in 2022.  

Our parish will benefit hugely as we will receive half of your sponsorship.  The remaining 50% goes to Berkshire Historic Churches Trust which in turn makes generous grants to churches in need.

People also come and visit our church from other parishes during the day and we will also need a team of people to be in church during the day to be Welcomers for those visitors.

Please think about participating as a Walker or a Rider or being in the church as a Welcomer and let me know if you would like to participate. If you are interested in visiting as part of a group, let me know that is well. I can then let you have copies of the sponsorship forms

Andrew Harte

St Paul’s Parish Ride & Stride Co-ordinator


And other notes and news

Hi all,

I want to thank you for your overwhelming support over the past few weeks. As of this moment, more than £700 has been raised for Spectrum Gaming. This will go a long way in helping autistic children access the opportunities that this charity strives to provide. The cycling itself went really well. We covered 232km (~145 miles) on the first day through the North York Moors in sweltering 30 degree heat, and 318km (~200 miles) on the second much flatter and cooler day through Fenland. Sadly my mate Jamie struggled a bit and only made it to Milton Keynes but I continued solo for the final 100km to Reading with the final hour in darkness. This has all been a lot of fun and I look forward to doing even more crazy challenges in future summers.

James Riley

And more welcome news from Madagascar…

Here is the July video update from one of our Charity partners, Soulscape: 

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