8. Who do we appreciate? [246]

[Dorset blossom]

Bertie here, once more, with a long and exciting litany of date and ideas and important things. I have been listening at doors and hiding behind table legs and abseiling down gravestones in order to get you all of the news you need- I have risked sudden and unexpected hailstorms, batting away the frozen peas which are hurled by the heavens with my trusty cocktail stick (which still has the pineapple on but not the cheese, obvs) and wading through puddles which came up to my very knees so that you can sit in comfort in your kitchen and not have to do that.

Alright, to be honest, I have read a few press releases, wasted time on the internet and written down what Richard wants everyone to know- but why let the facts get in the way of a good story? That’s always been my motto. And if it’s good enough for the BBC…

Dates and walnuts and other tasty treats

Monday the 31st of May, 8,30am: No MP because it’s a Bank Holiday day

Thursday the 3rd of June, 8pm, Mass for the Feast of Corpus Christi- live at St Paul’s and on the Livestream in the usual place

Sunday the 13th of June, 6.15pm, Service with singing in the Churchyard, possibly with a Taize feel

Tuesday the 22nd of June: Making of Honorary Canons at Oxford Cathedral

Sat the 26th of June at 11am: Cara is ordained priest at Reading Minster

Sun the 27th of June at 9.30am: Cara’s First Mass, followed by picnic in and around the Rooms

Sunday the 4th of July: Coffee after the service starts back at St Paul’s (probably)

Monday the 5th of July at 8pm: APCM and AGM for St Paul’s, both in Church and on Zoom

Saturday the 17th of July from 1.30pm: MU Mouse Hunt in the Churchyard, fun for all of the family!

Ideas and things to explore

If you have a bit of time on your hands, and love being outdoors, then we would love to have your help in the Churchyard. You can borrow a mower any day of the week, or help out on a Saturday with the Team. You can look after an area or just work wherever needs attention. You can maintain mowers or sharpen secateurs or polish wheelbarrows, or plant shrubs or a whole host of things, including keeping an eye on the bio-diversity on display. Please speak to Andy Clark or Louise Cole for more info.

In the Autumn the Church of England will be getting fully into the conversation around the Church’s approach and welcome to those who are LGBTIQ +. The process of conversation is informed by the Living in Love and Faith book and resources which are very full and long and can be found here. Living in Love and Faith | The Church of England

As a parish, St Paul’s and St Nick’s signed up to be part of Inclusive Church well over 10 years ago and are proud still to be part of that grouping. We are happy to have conversations and to listen and to learn of course, but we are coming to the conversation with a clear vision for an inclusive Church in obedience to a loving God who longs for all of his children to flourish, to be whole and happy and accepted and welcomed. It is a vital conversation in itself, leading, we pray, to a clear and positive decision in favour of more acceptance and inclusion- but it also has implications for who we can claim to be as a Church. More to follow, of course- but it matters that we are praying about these things and readying ourselves to listen and to speak with courage and out of a life of prayer and obedience.

Inclusive Church (

If you want to find out more then do look on the Diocesan website for the dates of the launch of the LLF Process locally- the Berkshire date is Wed 16th June and everyone is welcome to book a place to find out more.

St Paul’s and St Nick’s need to find some new School Governors, for both St Paul’s Juniors and for St Cecilia’s, the new Church of England Primary which is coming to Matthew’s Green in September 2022. Being a Governor is a commitment, but it is a commitment in a great cause- contributing to the education of local children and representing something of the life of the Church in that context. Please speak to Richard to find out more.

Please keep the listening to God going– take time during the day or at the end of the day to look back on the people you have met and the conversations you have had and the ideas which have surfaced in your head. Oftentimes we rush on from one moment to the next and pausing to pray and listen is a vital way of looking back and noticing and then sharing what God is saying to us as a Church. Please email any insights or thoughts you have had to

Here is a leaflet from the Diocese inviting new people to think about filling a leadership role in the life of the Church… Recruiting key parish officer roles (

If you’re interested or intrigued in what you read then please, again, speak to Richard or Cara.

And finally… two sermons from Sunday (Pentecost) from Cara, which are both absolutely worth your time and attention:

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