Main Notices for the week
Don’t forget the Bazaar and Organ Recital this Saturday, Natalie Bowden’s memorial Service on Sunday at 3pm (after Remembrance in the morning) and Choral Evensong on the 19th at 6.15pm.
Please look out for the ‘There but not there’ figures in St Paul’s Church- plastic figures which evoke and commemorate those who died in war from the parish and from our pews. There are leaflets at the back with more information.
Last minute appeal for the Bazaar… The social committee are providing afternoon teas as well as lunches so they need contributions of cake. If anyone is willing to do so, please let Trish, Liz or Teri know. Thanks. Also, Please get your baking hat on and make some cakes, puddings or biscuits for the stall at the bazaar on 11th. And if you have any jams or chutneys that we can sell that would be wonderful. Thanks . Jean
The Social Committee do an amazing job of serving tea and coffee, preparing loads of amazing meals, organising events and making sure that noone goes away hungry. There are a couple of vacancies at the moment on what is a popular and practical and enjoyable group to be part of. Please speak to Alan Harrison, Trish Gatland or Fr Richard if you would like to find out more or make an offer we can’t refuse.
Here is the updated, improved and more accurate copy of the yellow Term Card which was given out last week-
In November there is a national focus on Safeguarding, and everyone is encouraged to look at this excellent series of videos and short articles from Newcastle Diocese… If I Told You, What Would You Do? – Newcastle Diocese (anglican.org) And, as always if you have seen something you want to check out, or you need to talk about something, please speak to a member of the clergy, or a member of the Parish Safeguarding Team.
Here is Cara’s outstanding sermon from All Souls’ Day last week- and do look it up on the YouTube channel for the parish if you would like to listen to it rather than read it…
Other bits and bobs
Churches Together in Wokingham are running a stall at the Wokingham Winter Carnival on Sunday 26th November 2023 from 11am to 5pm
This event is the most popular annual event in the town. Last year we gave away 800 Christingle packs with a Christian booklet inside. There was huge demand for the packs and they went quickly so this year we are planning to give away 1,000. We need volunteers to help with the stall on the Sunday (11 – 5) and to help with preparing the bags on Saturday 25th Nov, 9:30 – 11:30 at Wokingham Baptist Church, Milton Road. We will have pre-packed bags of sweets so assembling the packs will be much quicker than last year. If you can offer a couple of hours on either day to help, please call or message Victor Freeney on 07747 642073 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A message from Liz Jackson, our Associate Archdeacon, around an unintended crisis affecting asylum seekers locally…
People who are living in hotels across the UK are facing particular challenges at the moment. The Home Office is fast tracking some asylum claims and granting refugee status to some people – which is good.
Usually, an asylum seeker is given 28 days’ notice to leave their asylum seeker accomodation. In this time, they are expected to sign on to benefits, apply for jobs, get an national Insurance number, get a bank account AND find somewhere to live. 28 days is barely enough to do this, but at the moment we are seeing people routinely being given 7 days or less. The processes have failed, and many people are being given their status letters late, or even not at all, and being asked to leave the hotels that they have been living in with almost no notice.
Locally we are seeing increased homelessness amongst people seeking refuge and a huge increase in pressure on organisations like Care 4 Calais who are trying to support them. Wokingham Borough Council have asked if local churches can help to support people through this crisis.
We are looking for people who can volunteer to support English Language teaching, in person on Mondays and Thursdays and also people who feel confident enough to sit with people and help them fill out benefit application forms and apply for accomodation.
The aim is to begin offering support from St Nicholas’ Church in Earley, which a view to scaling up and out to other churches as and if necessary.
In addition, we are looking at accomodation options for those people being evicted from hotels with no or little notice. One option is to run a Bed for the Night scheme where local churches offer a safe place to sleep each night. Another option is to ask for short-term community hosts (who we would want to register with Sanctuary Hosting or Refugees at Home) who are able to offer a spare room.
If you would like to know more, if you feel you can help with practical support in the week, including teaching English or if you can offer a spare room, please do get in touch with me.
In addition, if you can support this appeal with resources, we need laptops to support learning and access to support for the team volunteers to use.
A correspondent has said that Ecclesiastical Insurance (who insure the Church and Rooms) will give £130 to St Paul’s if you take out a new home insurance policy with them- do consider it if you are currently re-insuring your home. They call it Trust130.
And here is the Prayer List for the Deanery for this month:
A correspondent writes of his visit to the Royal Hospital, Chelsea…
Several years ago, I had the pleasure of visiting the Royal Hospital Chelsea (Home of the Chelsea Pensioners) on a Sunday to attend the Morning Church Service and to see the Pensioners on Parade.
After the Service we had to leave whilst they had their lunch. We returned in the afternoon and were given a full guided tour by one of the Pensioners which was very informative and interesting. Only Ex Male Army Personnel were allowed to live there having given up their Army Pension. Today Ex Female Soldiers are also able to live there.
While they are in and around the Hospital, they wear a dark blue uniform but when going out they must wear their scarlet tunics.
It is very moving at the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance in the Royal Albert Hall when the Chelsea Pensioners are welcomed in and everyone including the Royal Box is upstanding and applauding them in and a few tears are shed.
You can find all the information you need about the Hospital by going on Google and I will also be very happy to talk to you about my experience which will live with me forever.
And here is a poster about The Link Visiting Scheme’s Christmas Lunch which is a true blessing for anyone who might be on their own at Christmas…
And the latest news from Bishop Hall in Madagascar…
Bertie’s Cheese Adventure
Bertie’s disappeared again. He’s made friends with the waiter in charge of the cheese serving counter and has now got his own plate hidden from view behind the mountain of cheeses.