#423: which isn’t as pleasing as 432 will be

Bertie here, enjoying the sunshine and trying to work out how to count things on my paws.  Did you know that we mice have 5 digits just like you?  4 fingers and 1 thumb, but my thumb is a little tucked away which makes it quite hard to count how many Alleluia’s are being shouted out in our services at the moment.  It also makes it a little difficult to count how many notices and bits of information I’m meant to be writing about, but luckily doesn’t impact my grip on a piece of cheese.


This coming Sunday, 14th April, there are services at 8am and 9.30am at St Paul’s, 10am at Woosehill, and 11am at St Nick’s.  There is no J Club at the 9.30am service at St Paul’s, but we will have activity sheets related to the readings so do please pick those up from the back of church as you arrive.

We hugely look forward to welcoming Bruce Ruddock, Chaplain to the King, on Sunday the 21st of April to preach the next sermon in the Evensong Series of “God’s Masterpiece.” 6.15pm. Do come!

The next Table Tennis evening at Woosehill Church is the 12th of April at 7.30pm. Perfect for beginners and experts. Why not go along with a friend?

Wokingham Repair Cafe meets for the first time on the 13th of April at All Sts-

The Annual AB Walker Memorial Service will be happening in Reading on the 21st of April.

We are hoping to run a course around Carbon Literacy on Thursday evenings in May in the Parish Rooms. Please can you let Louise Cole know this week if you would like to come along?

The next Parish Games Evening in the Parish Rooms will be on Sunday the 12th of May at 7pm. Why not come along as a Tithings Group- or come on your own- or with a friend?

APCM Sunday 28th April 2024 to be held in the Parish Rooms at 5pm.

This is your chance to hear what has been happening over the last 12 months.

At the meeting we will need to elect or re-elect two churchwardens for St Paul’s, two pro-wardens for St Nick’s, one Deanery Synod rep and up to eight PCC members.

If you are interested in becoming a PCC member, please speak to Lesley, Fr Richard or one of the churchwardens as soon as possible and complete a nomination form. PCC meetings are held 6 times a year on Monday evenings.

The papers for the meeting and the nomination forms are all available on our website and in hard copy at the back of church.

Please consider whether you are called to stand, and also pray for the life and work of the PCC, its effectiveness, commitment and openness to the guidance of God.

Fundraising Update

Thank you again to everyone who donated money for the new Hymn Books, which are now on order.

The one thing we had not predicted was receiving more money in donations than we originally expected for the Hymn Books – but amazingly we have. We have been able to buy some more Words Editions together with plastic covers and a specialist copy for our Organist but still have a little money left over. We will include every dedication we have received from those who bought books, printed inside the cover of a book.

Our proposal is to put this extra money (about £900) into the Organ Fund to go towards the cost of vital organ repair work. (There’s no point having Hymn Books if the organ doesn’t work and the organ work feels the closest thing in spirit to donating hymn books).

The cost of the organ renovation will be significantly in excess of £10,000 and the work is currently planned to start in October. If anyone would like a proportion of their donation for the hymn books refunded instead of being put towards this work, please could you let Louise Cole know by the end of April 2024?

Thank you again- and thank you for giving us such a welcome and unexpected problem to solve.  

Erleigh Cantors

Attached is a poster giving details of the next Erleigh Cantors concert in St Peter’s Erleigh. Sunny, Fiona C, David and Lesley are singing in it and it would be great if some of you could come along to support us (and Alexander Devine Hospice).

How to grieve without losing your mind, by Nadia Bolz-Weber

Dear reader,

When I answered my phone on a Friday morning in August 2021, and my sister said “someone killed Henry” (her son), my mind rejected the words. I knew what they meant individually; I knew what “someone” meant and what “killed” meant and what “Henry” meant. But together they were indecipherable.  

So I said, “no.”

Reader, I’m not sure how many times in a row I said no, but it was many, many times. No is the only response my mind had to the words Someone and Killed and Henry all in a row. So my mind grabbed the biggest NO it could find, placed it between her hands and pushed to try and keep the three impossible words out.

But it didn’t work.

Then, a couple days later, when I was trying to pack to fly to where my nephew had been living so Eric and I could clean out Henry’s apartment for my sister, my mind could no longer tell me what to put in a suitcase. My mind had done really well up until then knowing how many shirts to include, and what size travel toothpaste is allowed, and where my toiletry case is. But this time she failed. I failed. I am a seasoned traveler and I packed for shit that day.

I guess one way to think of it is that I had lost my mind. But another way is this: my mind had to take to the skies, it had to go circle the globe and then dig itself a hole in which to rest in order to ever come back to me.

So, sweet reader, how do you grieve without losing your mind?

You can’t.

The poor thing is undergoing a prolonged software update. Because it had understood the world one way – as one in which nephews aren’t shot to death and that world doesn’t exists any more.

It had a way of understanding a world in which your best friend doesn’t suddenly betray you, or a world in which other people have cancer but not you, or a world in which your husband still loves you, and that world doesn’t exist anymore.

So if your mind doesn’t remember to pack underwear, or how to keep showing up for work, or the name of the person who cuts your hair, try and just be gentle with it. It will come back, but it and you will be changed.

No one escapes this, my friend. Which sucks, but is a comfort…because you’re not alone in the madness. And we who have also lost our minds with grief will overpack for you. Just in case. Maybe not underwear, but you know what I mean…

Love, Nadia

Walking Group

The walking group thought you might like a photo for Bertie. We are enjoying a coffee in the sunshine at Sandhurst Memorial Park after a lovely walk by the Blackwater river.

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