Cornflake crisis, cereal shortage, time to either panic or eat toast… [190]

Bertie here- back by popular demand. I have to say that I have stopped showing Richard all of the mail I get telling me how much people prefer my emails, and how much more capable and handsome and clever and popular I am than him. It is quite sad really- but then, some of us just have charm and some, sadly, not so much. Still, best not to tell him too often- no point making him feel sad when he can’t do anything about it. Anyway, to business- I have to go and keep looking for that wheel of camembert he told me was heading for the railway station last work- I still haven’t found it and I have a very good nose when it comes to cheese, especially cheese in peril.

Part 1: Events this week/ Part 2: Ways to help the community/ Part 3: Bits and bobs

Part 1: Events this week

  1. Meditation Group– tomorrow afternoon- all welcome…

Time: Jan 12, 2021 01:15 PM London
 Meeting ID: 710 4463 4953 Passcode: cHv9mf

  1. The Parish Bible Study begins a new series tomorrow, looking at the Letter to the Ephesians and using an excellent book written by the Bishop of Oxford. There is also a podcast you can listen to. Do give it a go, especially since it is at an earlier time to make it more attractive to people who might have felt that 8pm is a tad late. See poster attached.
  1. The Parish 6s and 7s Group continues for those in those school years on Wednesday at 4.30. Do send Richard an email if you would like to know any more details- we meet on Zoom every fortnight on Wed.
  1. Morning Prayer continues to happen at 8.30am on a Mon and Thurs across the Parish- just download the Daily Prayer app onto your phone and then join in. Very welcome. Richard Lamey is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Meeting ID: 753 2006 4518   Passcode: 024453

  1. Prayers on Thursday evening: During the previous lockdown we felt it important to increase our praying together on Zoom to weekly and now we are unfortunately back in the same situation. Therefore, we shall meet at 8pm every Thursday evening to offer our prayers for all our concerns, both personal, local, nationwide and worldwide. We shall keep the meetings short, certainly no longer than an hour. I know we all pray individually but there is  a comfort and powerful knowledge of God’s presence with us as we pray together. So please join us if you can- Zoom details are not published in order to keep prayer meetings confidential, but please contact either Lynn Smith or myself for the ID and password details.

    Lyn Brown ( or 07880 946366 )        Lynn Smith ( or 07757701730)
    Keep well and smiling!
  1. Saturdays at 4 were very popular in the last lockdown, and the Quiz last Saturday which launched the new series of gatherings was very popular- thanks, Jane. This week: “Getting to know you..” Turn up with your best straight-faces and your most persuasive and compelling lie…

Meeting ID: 824 9898 9632   Passcode: 007776

Part 2: Ways to help the community

We’ve been talking to some of the staff at the RBH this week and they’ve asked for two things- one is some ‘treats’ to

keep them going during the very long shifts they are doing. Biscuits, chocolate, tea, coffee, crisps etc would be really welcome, as well as bottles of squash. There is a box at the back of St Paul’s Church if anyone would like to donate anything and then we will make sure they get from there to the RBH or, possibly, local GP surgeries if we get a lot of stuff. Foodstuffs need to be individually wrapped- a box of biscuits wouldn’t work but individually wrapped biscuit bars would, for example.

Also, and at least as important, the staff would also love to have letters of encouragement from the community- a note, a thought, a prayer, a picture, something to read through or look at when things are at their most challenging. Again, they can be left at the back of St Paul’s or sent straight to the Hospital, or given to someone you know who works for the NHS.

Or you can email your pictures and notes to one of the Chaplaincy team, she will be very happy to send them on to the Wards and Staff from there. Thank you.

Part 3: Bits and bobs

  1. The Spotify playlist is up and running- Cheery Lockdown Encouragement, from Wokingham:

This playlist has been put together by local clergy, teachers and Headteachers, Councillors, charity founders, journalists, Doctors, children, and members of the community to give us all a lift in these difficult days.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed- and we are still open for outstanding ideas!

Modern music tends to be early on, classical further down, with a twist in the tail-

and there is a story behind each choice- from it reminding someone of falling off a stage in a concert, to time with friends, to travelling on an ancient bus round Madagascar, to driving in a classic convertible, to it being recorded by their son.

Enjoy what is an eclectic mix!

  1. Attached is the latest news from Bishop Hall in Madagascar.
  1. Also, here are Jane’s Grandchildren enjoying the best bit of cooking: although it would be better if it were a cheesecake…
  1. Here are some of the first answers back about what people enjoy doing to lift their spirits in the current context…
  2. What do I find uplifting in these cold winter months ? A real fire, the lights dimmed and the stereo playing Richard Briers reading “The Willows in Winter” by William Horwood. Can’t be bettered.
  3. There are three great TV shows running this week for those of us who love walking and the outdoors generally. Just the thing for these cold winter nights, lockdown or no lockdown. First, Rick Stein’s Cornwall, 6.30pm on BBC2 – there are 15 episodes! Lovely scenery, friendly people, and of course wonderful food. Secondly, Winter Walks (Channel 4, 7pm), the simple pleasures of walking in the familiar territory of the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors, which brings back memories of many happy days in God’s Own County and makes us dream of revisiting these places when we can. Equally heartwarming. And Julia Bradbury is doing a series on Devon and Cornwall on ITV, though we have not seen any of these yet.   
  4. Yesterday I unlocked the church as usual, but I took a new choral music CD with me which Father Christmas had kindly found at the bottom of his sack. I turned up the sound system and soon Stanford in A with full orchestra and Parry’s ‘I Was Glad’ were booming at full blast through the speakers in the nave. That cheered the heart immensely, and so I left the CD running for anyone else that might come in during the day (even mice) although I did turn the sound down before leaving, so as not to disturb their meditations too much.  
  5. Photo 42 (attached) reminds me of places I have been to, and love, and will go to again- this time, Cornwall.
  1. The attached video is a really encouraging short video of a sermon from America about how God has long shielded his people and how he always acts when that shielding is over– it’s been sent us from Holme Grange School.
  1. And this has been sent in from a Church member from the Action for happiness website- Action for Happiness:

bits of it are very helpful…

  1. Another poem from John Sutton…

Woman to Child by Judith Wright

You who were darkness warmed my flesh 

where out of darkness rose the seed. 

Then all a world I made in me; 

all the world you hear and see 

hung upon my dreaming blood. 

There moved the multitudinous stars, 

and coloured birds and fishes moved. 

There swam the sliding continents. 

All time lay rolled in me, and sense, 

and love that knew not its beloved. 

O node and focus of the world; 

I hold you deep within that well 

you shall escape and not escape- 

that mirrors still your sleeping shape; 

that nurtures still your crescent cell. 

I wither and you break from me; 

yet though you dance in living light 

I am the earth, I am the root, 

I am the stem that fed the fruit, 

the link that joins you to the night.

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