#431: Who’s getting excited about the election after last night’s debate?

Hello! Tis I, the Rector. Yet again, as happens every week, Bertie has made me, through pure force of will, power and charisma, sit down and write this email for you while claiming I am really him, the dashing and debonair parish hero. It is a travesty that I do all of the work and he gets all of the glory and all of the cheese and all of the plaudits- indeed, his very own fanclub. I think that I have probably had as much as I can take of this. I am going to speak to my Union about it- and my solicitor for all of the ways in which he has repeatedly taken all of the credit for my efforts. There must be something about freedom of speech, or owning my own thoughts, or something- I have a good mind to… oh, hello, Bertram, my good friend and dear bosom companion- nothing to see here, I am getting through things very effectively- you just carry on doing the crossword and I will carry on doing the work- not a problem at all- I actually quite enjoy it- please do let me carry on…

Forthcoming Dates

June the 6th at 7pm- Chris Merchant’s Walter Lecture at St Paul’s Church- which will be very good and which is well worth coming to and well worth bringing your friends to.

This coming Saturday, 8th June 2024, is the next Churchyard Working Party.  I will be there at the start but will be going to Oxford to the Diocesan Caring for Gods Creation event which is in the afternoon at Wesley Memorial Hall in Oxford.  As a result Andrew Roberts will be in charge on the day and locking up at the end of the day.  The grass has been growing fat over the last couple of weeks especially in the East end of the churchyard.  There is a grave that needs special attention for a funeral and there is a mower to fix and the strimmers need attending to to ensure they are properly lubricated in the gear head of the machines.  I will ensure there is sufficient fuel mixed and unmixed and ready to go.  There is lots to do and the weather is looking good for the weekend – Sunny at least is forecast at the moment – even though we are still awaiting the warmth we expect of summer!

This coming Sunday (the 9th) sees services at 8, 9.30, 10 and 11. The 11am at St Nick’s is our second trial of Cafe Church- why not come along after your own regular service at 9.30 to see what it is all about and whether the croissants are as tasty as they look in the photo…

We would like to start ringing the main church bell every Sunday at St Paul’s when the elements are consecrated- if you would like to find out how to do it, please stay behind after church on the 16th where Ken Davenport will reveal all.

St Nick’s Church lunch (which is open to all three churches) is on the 16th of June at midday. Do come along!

The next Evensong Sermon is on the 16th of June at 6.15pm- our guest preacher is Peter Moger, the Vice Dean of Christ Church, Oxford who will be preaching on the music which the choir will be singing. Followed by refreshments.

Sat the 22nd of June at 2pm: next Organ Recital to raise money for the Church organ, followed by refreshments.

Sun the 23rd of June: Parish BBQ at 1pm- tickets available from Church or by emailing Trish Gatland or Alan Harrison

Parliamentary Hustings are happening at All Sts on the 26th of June from 7pm, organised by Churches Together in Wokingham. Do please come along and do tell your friends and neighbours too.

As part of the election Bishop Steven is urging us to pray…

Together with my fellow bishops, I am inviting you and your communities, as voters and citizens, to Pray your Part in this season of change. Pray your Part is a 21-day journey of prayer and reflection, designed for use in the days running up to the polling stations opening, beginning on 14 June.

Fr Richard’s Leaving

Do please see the Pews News for more details of the trip organised by SPLOG (and open to everyone) on Friday the 12th of July to Bond Brews on Heathlands Road- and then, on Sunday the 14th, there will be one service in the parish at 9.30am, followed by Games and a picnic on a local field (2.30-4) and then coffee and cake in the Parish Rooms from 4 to 5pm.

The licensing is on the 15th of September in Norwich Cathedral- anyone who would like to provisionally express an interest in going on a coach should email to do so.

Prayer during and for the forthcoming vacancy

We are all only too aware that Fr Richard’s departure date is now less than two months away!

Prayer — for the Lamey family, for Peter and David our Wardens, for Cara, Jane, Judi and other clergy who will be helping with services, for the PCC and the whole parish (St Paul’s, St Nicholas’s and Woosehill), for the recruitment process, for the Deanery … —  is vital. We hope for the coming time of vacancy to be a positive time of growth, both individual and as the body of Christ.

As I have already said (and will doubtless say again) to this end we would all do well to “add in” an extra, focussed prayer element to our normal routines of prayer and worship. The demands on our time and energy, and what this extra element could look like, will vary from person to person.

At the confirmation service Bishop Olivia said, “Pray as you can, not as you can’t”. But please do pray: on your own or in company, at home or out walking or in church … remembering always that prayer includes listening, not just talking, to God!

Some suggestions to consider:

  • Join a prayer group
    • Starting on June 5th, on the first Wednesday of each month until further notice

at 3.00pm at Jane Creasy’s house – 8 Arthur Road, RG41 2SX – for about an hour

Other groups may be meeting at other times and places –

do ask around (or let Bertie know when and where yours meets so others can join you)

  • Come to Morning prayer
    • Mon, Wed  and Thurs at 8.30am on Zoom (Meeting ID: 753 2006 4518 , Passcode: 024453)
    • Tuesdays and Fridays at 9.00 in St Paul’s Church
  • Arrange a regular (maybe weekly or fortnightly) prayer walk with a friend or two around the parish, praying for the area, the people who live there, the church groups there, the right applicants for the post of Rector …

If prayer walking is a new idea for you, one of these guides may give you some ideas, though the focus is a little different:       or

·         Arrive early for any service you attend and spend those extra minutes praying specifically for the parish

  • In your House Group or Tithing set aside some extra time to pray together for all the above needs and groups

The attached prayers are offered to the parish for regular use and inspiration at this time – thank you to all who contributed, and to all who will pray them. Printed copies will also be available soon.


Deputy Warden for Spirituality and Mission

Other News and Notices

You have until lunchtime on Friday to stand for Diocesan Synod, which is an important body and involved in key decisions about the future of the Church. It meets on a Saturday morning about 4 times a year and anyone on the parish Electoral Roll can stand. Do speak to Richard or John Sutton for more details, quite soon…

Beat the Street is starting up again- why not register and do an extra load of walking and exercise? We are not competing as a church this time so why not back the Foodbank? or another school or charity you like? Events | Wokingham | Beat the Street

Very occasionally the Livestream goes out on the wrong link- if that happens again in the future, and you can’t find it, then do check other dates near to the one it should be, or look on YouTube where it will be easily found. Sorry for the inconvenience.

An email from Chris Williams on the Isle of Wight who is thinking of you all…

Dear St Paul’s Church , thanks for your lovely messages which I enjoy reading .

I have been living at Wooton Bridge on the Isle Of Wight since April and i wish everyone at St Paul’s , 

all good wishes for the coming months and the future .

I am now attending church here between St Mark’s and St Edmond’s churches , which is in Wooton Bridge , but I always remember everyone at church in Wokingham , with a deep fondness .

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