#405: Legendary A-Road from Watford to St Albans- or St Albans to Watford…

My dear friends,

Bertie here again- my typing might be a bit erratic because I am sat here, wrapped up, in a chilly church like a Dickensian pickpocket. My fingerless mittens are held out to the floor grates and I am just relieved that there are no chestnut roasters nearby because eating chestnuts is surely one of the most pointless things ever invented. It is not a huge surprise that it is chilly thought because it is getting quite near to Advent- talking of which…

Advent Preparations and Advent Keeping

These papers will all be available at the back of Church as a way of getting ready for Advent but some people might prefer to have them online so here we go… Do enjoy and do engage with them as a way of getting ready for Christmas.

And do look out for the helpful guide to Reverse Advent Calendars at the back of Church too.

And don’t forget.. Advent Sunday is this coming Sunday- services at 9.30, 10 and 11 and then the always enjoyable and moving Advent Lessons and Music at 6.15pm which is basically like Nine Lessons but with Advent Music, and which is followed by carol singing in the parish rooms. Do come along to it all, and do join in! 9.30 will be an All Together Service as we start the New Year at Church together.

Notes and Queries

We have lots of Christmas postcards to deliver again this year, to tell everyone about our Christmas services. If you are able to deliver to a few roads, please get in touch with Louise Cole in the office to arrange collection either from the office or the back of church and to make sure we don’t duplicate roads!

The Mothers’ Union branches of St Paul’s and All Saints’ are holding a joint service service dedicated to the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence on Tuesday 5th December at All Saints’ Church, starting at 10am.  Everyone is invited to this service and there will be refreshments to follow.  If you have any queries, please speak to Teri Austen or Jean Vaughan.

The Choir are singing in the Market Place on Saturday the 9th at about 10.30- do pop by, do offer your support, do join in.

Please don’t forget to talk to Liz Gallagher if you are planning to go to St Nick’s for their Patronal Festival Lunch on the 10th of December after the 11am service.

It is looking most likely that the large oak tree will come in at around £17,000 in the end in total, which is a lot of money but a lot better than it could have been and was looking at one stage. The definite day of its removal has not been set yet but we are exploring the idea of doing it between Christmas and New Year when the traffic on the Reading Road (which will have to be closed) is less and the Schools are on their hols.

Blood Donors will be in the Parish Rooms on Boxing Day- do book in if you are a regular and do speak to Richard or Jean Vaughan if you would like to find out more about how to give blood- we are both regular donors and happy to enthuse about how easy it is and how tasty the free biscuits at the end are.

St Paul’s CofE Junior School currently has vacancies for 2 Learning Mentors and an assistant Site Controller.  These positions are advertised on their website   Further information can also be obtained from the school or by talking to Pauline Wells in her role as Clerk to the Governors.

Here is the Sonning Deanery Prayer Cycle.

Nearly finally and finally…

Look out for the Advent Market tomorrow (30th) at St Mary’s, Winnersh…

Many of you will already know of the growing crisis around refugees and homelessness in Reading and Wokingham (and further afield).  As the Home Office grants status to those who have claimed asylum, the processes that transition them from asylum seeker to refugee, with leave to remain in the UK are failing.  Many are being given 7 days or less to find alternative accomodation (as well find employment, sign on to benefits, get a bank account and find somewhere to stay).

Reading Bed 4 the Night is trying to extend its usual offer of a warm place to sleep throughout the winter months to these especially vulnerable people.  The offer will be a place in one of 4 church halls who will open up at night on a rota basis, as well as a cooked evening meal and breakfast.

In order to make this happen we desperately need volunteers to:

  • Spend one night a week in one of the locations (with support and other volunteers)
  • To provide and deliver breakfast/evening meal once a week.

If you think you could help, please register here:

Or email me on

There is training planned for volunteers, in the first week of December.

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