Hi Bertie here, and I’ve decided to take your fabulous human tradition of celebrating any birthday that ends in a zero and I’ve declared this ‘Bertie’s Brilliant Birthday Bonanza’. I’m kicking off the celebrations with, you guessed it, cheese at the curatage, where Cara made me a 4 tier cheese cake (not to be confused with cheesecake), a tier for each of the 100 days I’ve been writing to you. Later on I’m being treated to a little massage for my delicate paws and ears, as they do work incredibly hard to listen out for all the church news that I diligently pass on, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year…
Services coming up
This Sunday there are services at 9.30, 10 and 11, and J Club is back again. Before you leave Church please add the names of your loved ones who have died to the sheets in Church, and please print them clearly. And do say hello to someone you don’t know over coffee or as you leave Church- community matters.
We are keeping the feast of All Souls’ on Thurs the 2nd of November at 8pm. Please do come along to what is always a moving and comforting service- do tell your friends and neighbours about it, especially if they have been bereaved- and do let Louise in the Office know if you would be able to come along early to light some of the candles in the Churchyard. Most of our regular candle-lighters are not around this year so we need some new volunteers to help with that. (We will, confusingly, keep All Sts on the 5th of November because you can’t move it forward onto a Sunday but only back).
The Bazaar, Sat Nov the 11th, Parish Rooms
Lots of exciting things to know and to help with before this amazing event. We will have an Organ Recital from Chris at 11am, followed by the Bazaar at 12. We are looking for more volunteers (talk to Liz G or Teri) and also these things for stalls…
Gift Stall: I am running a gift stall at the Bazaar. If you have anything suitable or can make anything for the stall I would be very grateful to receive them. Wendy Darlison
Richard and the Clergy Team are still collecting wine bottles with screw lids, and empty wine bottles with screw lids, and small packs of soft drinks we can raffle off.
Tombola – The choir will once again be running the Tombola at the Bazaar on 11th November. We would be very grateful for suitable donations of bottles, packets, tins, toiletries, sweets etc. There will be a box at the back of church for donations on 29 October and 5 November or please hand them to a member of the choir. Thank you, Lesley.
Bric à Brac Stall – We would be grateful for any saleable contributions for this stall before the event if possible. You can deliver to me at 37 Chestnut Avenue, Wokingham RG41 3HW. I am also happy to pick them up from you. You can also give them to me at church. Thank you, Elizabeth Hunter. (0118 9783260)
Have your say – Wokingham Community
Wokingham Borough Council are consulting on the future of the Borough, what we value and what we would like to keep. Responses need to be in by the 6th of November and filling things in online is the easiest way to reply- if you can read an email from Bertie then you have all of the tech skills you need in order to be able to fill in the online form. Do reply and do tell your friends. We want as many replies as possible in order to be able to have confidence in what we are being told by the people of the Borough.
We are still looking into how and when and what is the best way we can cut down our poorly oak tree in the churchyard. The tree has been there for so long, housed so many species, provided space for nests for so many birds, sheltered us from the wind and rain, provided much needed shade on a cool day, and done so for hundreds of people over the years. We are increasingly growing more aware of the amazing role trees play in our world, the amount of stability and good they provide, how a forest can cool the hot summers day by lowering the temperature by a few degrees, how trees communicate with one another, and how they share the sunlight rather than compete with one another. A congregation member was reflecting on trees in the Bible, the tree of life in Genesis came to their mind, and how trees can be seen as a symbol of peace – something which our world is in particular need of right now as we pray for peace in the Holy Land, in Ukraine and Russia, and every person and place affected by the horror of war and by the absence of peace. They wondered about how best we could plant a tree for peace, and if this is something you’d like to do, we have a few suggestions:
- At St Pauls’, our intention is to plant a new tree in the same area of the existing Oak Tree which will eventually grow to a similar size – in 350 years. So we are also appealing for funding for our tree replacement project. You can donate using the following link: One-off Gifts – Parish Giving Scheme
- Plant an Olive Tree in a pot for your own house or porch, and use it as a focus for your own prayers for peace.
- Donate to an existing plant a tree scheme, some suggestions are here:
Or even this:
St George’s, Owlsmoor
Our friends at St George’s are celebrating their 30th birthday this week, with lots going on tomorrow, 26th, and on Sunday. Do have a look at the poster and support them as a neighbouring church.
Link Visiting Scheme
It is amazingly the 12th year of the Link Visiting Scheme’s Christmas Day Lunch, and they’re asked us to share this:
Giving the gift of friendship this Christmas
The Link Visiting Scheme is an award-winning charity dedicated to reducing loneliness in Wokingham Borough. For over 25 years, we’ve brought vital, life-enhancing social connections to older people through regular visits and local community activities. With the support of over 420 wonderful volunteers, we currently help around 570 people feel valued and connected.
For many, Christmas Day is a day for family, for getting together and celebrating with loved ones. Sadly, however, for some people, it is a difficult day where isolation, loss and grief are even more keenly felt.
For the 12th year running, The Link Visiting Scheme are planning to change that story for older people who are alone. If you think you would benefit from some company on the 25th, or you know someone who would, we’d love to hear from you. Our Christmas Day lunch is a shining example of what we do all year; providing good company and warmth and making a world of difference. On Christmas Day we also provide delicious food, treats, and gifts too! It’s not to be missed. We want to help those who are housebound or those who would like to be with others in a local venue.
This Christmas, join us in making a difference. To refer someone for our lunch, to volunteer or to donate, visit our website. We look forward to hearing from you.
www.linkvisiting.org/christmas or call our office 0118 9798019
Prayer for Peace
Finally, we continue to pray for peace in the Middle East amidst the devastating news we hear and read daily. You might find these prayers particularly helpful as you do so.