The Parish Magazine January 2021


The Parish Magazine - January 2021 1




The John King Trophy and Gold Award

Best Magazine of the Year 2018

National Parish Magazine Awards

Best Overall Magazine 2020

Best Editor 2019

Best Print 2018

Best Content 2016

Best Overall Magazine 2015

Serving the communities of Charvil, Sonning & Sonning Eye since 1869

January 2021 — Epiphany

Church of St Andrew

Serving Sonning, Charvil & Sonning Eye

the church of st andrew, SERVING THE COMMUNITIES OF


2 The Parish Magazine - January 2021

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Serving the communities of Charvil, Sonning & Sonning Eye since 1869

Church of St Andrew

Serving Sonning, Charvil & Sonning Eye

The Parish Magazine - January 2021 1

The John King Trophy and Gold Award

Best Magazine of the Year 2018

National Parish Magazine Awards

Best Overall Magazine 2020

Best Editor 2019

Best Print 2018

Best Content 2016

Best Overall Magazine 2015

information — 1

Contents January 2021



— STAY, 7, 9

— Simeon Stylites, 10

— The Persecuted Church, 10

— National Award, 11

— From the Editor's desk, 11

— For your prayers in January, 11

— Morning Prayer, 13


— Private Benjamin Dark, 15-17

— History of pandemics, 19-21

— Magi from the East, 21

— Parish winter wildlife, 22-23

— Dutch elm disease, 24-25

— Five things to see this year, 27

around the villages

— Spring Gardens Band, 29

— Sonning Art Group, 31

— Charvil female singers, 31


— St Joseph the Carpenter, 33

— Archbishop's Lent book, 33


— Dr Simon Ruffle writes, 35


the sciences

— Letter to the Church, 37


— Mistletoe left on high, 37

— In the front garden, 39

— Beware of river chemicals, 39

— Recipe of the Month, 39

children's page, 41


— Church services, 3

— From the registers, 3

— Parish contacts, 42

— Advertisers index, 42

This month's FRONT COVER

January 2021 — Epiphany




the church of st andrew, SERVING THE COMMUNITIES OF


Parish wildlife in winter (see page 22)

Picture: Peter Rennie


The editorial deadline for every issue

of The Parish Magazine is 12 noon on

the sixth day of the month prior to the

date of publication.

The deadline for the February

issue of The Parish Magazine is:

Wednesday 6 January at 12 noon

The Parish Magazine online

This issue can be viewed online at:

Earlier issues from 1869 onwards are

stored in a secure online archive. If you

wish to view these archives contact the

editor who will authorise

access for you:

From the



— Wednesday 18 November

Alastair Moncur

Interment of Ashes in churchyard

— Thursday 19 November

Olga Webb

Funeral Service in church

followed by burial in churchyard

— Tuesday 24 November

David Fillingham

Funeral Service in church

followed by cremation at Reading


The Parish Magazine - January 2021 3

Services at

St Andrew’s

At the time this issue went to press

the Covid-19 and Church of England

guidelines meant that the number of

services are being restricted.

The congregation is limited in numbers

and strict social distance seating rules

apply. Live streaming of the Sunday

service can be seen on Facebook - you do

not need a Facebook account.

There are one way systems inside the

church and The Ark and face masks must

be worn in both buildings. Please use the

hand sanitation at the entrance and exit.

Please check the weekly news sheet or

website, or contact the Parish Office for

updates. Unless there is a policy change

the January services will be:

Epiphany Sunday 3 January

— 9.30am Family Holy Communion

Common Worship

Wednesday 6 January

— 10.00am Holy Communion, The Ark

Sunday 10 January

— 9.30am Holy Communion

Book of Common Prayer

Tuesday 12 January

— 9.30am Morning Prayer

Wednesday 13 January

— 10.00am Holy Communion, The Ark

Sunday 17 January

— 9.30am Family Holy Communion

Common Worship

Tuesday 19 January

— 9.30am Morning Prayer

Wednesday 20 January

— 10.00am Holy Communion, The Ark

Sunday 24 January

— 9.30am Holy Communion

Book of Common Prayer

Tuesday 26 January

— 9.30am Morning Prayer

Wednesday 27 January

— 10.00am Holy Communion, The Ark

Sunday 31 January

— 9.30am Holy Communion

Common Worship

4 The Parish Magazine - January 2021

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The vicar's letter

The Parish Magazine - January 2021 5

Dear friends,

Well good riddance to 2020 and here’s to a happier and more normal 2021!

Aren’t we all so weary of talk of 'tiers', 'bubbles' and 'self-isolation'? As

for Christmas without congregational carols, well, please, never again.

It is very good to start the year with some good news. Once again,

this magazine, believed to be the oldest, continuously published such

publication of its kind in the country, has been judged to be the best in

Great Britain! This is an extraordinary achievement and I warmly pay

tribute to our editor, Bob Peters and his team. This is such a vindication of

our decision in 2012 to move over to a free, colour publication, delivered

to every house in Charvil, Sonning and Sonning Eye, and it is also an

example of what can be achieved when a church council is prepared

to take risks. We had no guarantee of success and the decision was a

bold one, but it paid off, thanks in no small part to Gordon Nutbrown’s

excellent stewardship of the advertising income which funds the printing

costs. A single ecclesiastical parish which comprises three different village

communities is not always an environment in which it is easy to foster a

sense of togetherness. However, since 2012, this magazine has brought

our communities together much more and I know it is an appreciated

means of passing on local news.


As we all navigated our way through the pandemic last year a common theme was to thank those who

work in the NHS and other caring professions. We lit the church up in blue and I rang the church bell each

Thursday night as many of you stood outside and clapped and cheered. I have reflected in recent months on

another profession which is, in many ways, at the forefront of the national response to Covid, but we have not

been as demonstrative in showing our appreciation. I am married to a secondary school teacher and my late

mother was a teacher and so I may be biased. However, I suggest that the way those in that profession have

responded, particularly since September, when they have helped keep the schools open, is worth praising.

The extraordinary lengths that schools have had to go to in order to minimise contagion has shocked me and

I simply do not know how teachers cope with the extra demands placed upon them. Of course, they are also

putting themselves at much greater risk of contracting Covid, mixing with 30 pupils in hot classrooms, but

without them, if the schools were closed, the effects on both the economy and the educational prospects of our

young people would be devastating. So, here’s a big thank you to all our teachers and head teachers. We owe you

all so much.


As a church, we have much to reflect on from the last 10 months or so. At times it felt as if we had just

been lurching from one week to the next, trying to keep things bubbling along as best we could. I have been

saddened and frustrated at not being able to hold our senior citizens’ lunches and all the youth and children’s

activities. However, there have been some really encouraging signs of new life, not least with our St Andrew’s

Shepherds scheme which I have heard so many good things of. I was really pleased to learn just this week of one

of Westy’s initiatives whereby the young people of STAY are going to bake Christmas shortbread and deliver it

to those from the congregation who live alone.

The Church Council was supposed to go away last October to formulate our 5 year vision plan. It was not to

be because of Covid but the landscape has so changed in the last 10 months that it was clearly not the right

time to make long term plans for our church and its outreach. What a number of us are seeing is that, before

plans, there must be sustained prayer, and so as we enter a new year, that will be our priority; seeking God’s

guidance first and foremost, mindful that we are in a time of great uncertainty and change for the church

nationally, but that as in any time of trial, there are always opportunities and new priorities to be engaged


Brighter days are ahead, of that I am certain!

With warm wishes.


6 The Parish Magazine - January 2021

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ST Andrew's Youth

The Parish Magazine - January 2021 7

for Advent

This year I decided to make some Advent reflections, called

‘Walking in their footsteps’, for STAY on Sunday and some

of the STAY on Friday young people. The idea is that the

youth get to walk in the footsteps of four different sets

of characters in the period of Advent — Elizabeth and

Zechariah, Mary, Joseph and the Shepherds.

Each reflection involved reading part of their story from

scripture, doing an action, spending a moment reflecting and

then saying a prayer to finish. For the reflection about Mary,

they had to wrap a bed sheet round themselves, wear their

school bag on their front and then spend a moment walking

in Mary’s footsteps. Thinking about what it might have felt

like carrying the Saviour of the world, then praying to be

more obedient like Mary.

This card explained what to do and when to open each

envelope . . .

Young people roasting marshmallows at STAY on Friday youth club

STAY on Friday

After a short break due to the second lockdown,

the STAY Friday night youth club was able to meet

throughout December with the added bonus of roasting

marshmallows on a fire pit as well as the usual fun and

games in and outside the Ark.

. . . and here’s the Mary reflection . . .

STAY on Sunday

On Sundays we continued with the brilliant Alpha youth

film series over Zoom. It’s been the most engaging and

conversation starting thing we’ve done so far! We’ve

looked at topics such as:

LIFE — is this it?

JESUS — who is he?

CROSS — why did Jesus die?

PRAYER — why and how do I pray?

BIBLE — what is the Bible and how do I read it?

STAY in Schools

The ongoing mentoring and assemblies have continued in

all the local schools, both secondary and primary. We’ve

also started a brand new advocacy group at Piggott. It’s a

group to encourage a small group of teenagers to think of

a cause and, through research and campaigning, they will

amplify the voice of the voiceless.

turn to page 9

8 The Parish Magazine - January 2021

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from page 7


The Parish Magazine - January 2021 9

Here’s me hand writing 120 envelopes! All laid out and ready to load up the envelopes with chocolates! All packed and ready to post!

STAY Christmas Gifts

For Christmas I wanted to send

a little gift bag of goodies to the

STAY on Sunday young people! The

gift bag included; a pin badge to

encourage their faith - e.g. ‘LOVE

NEVER GIVES UP’ from Psalm

27:14. A postcard to wish them a

merry Christmas and advertise a

summer camp next year. Something

chocolaty. A wristband with an

encouraging Bible verse on - e.g.

Isaiah 40:31. A personalised pop

socket with their name on and a


STAY Resources Online

With so much online youth work and with young people spending so much time

online it felt pertinent to equip them with some useful faith building websites

and resources!

Thanks for reading and please get in

touch if you’d like to know more of

what the young people get up to, or

to get more involved. Westy!

My email is:

10 The Parish Magazine - January 2021

the parish noticeboard — 3



— one

of the




This hermit,


as a saint by the

Coptic Orthodox

Church, was as

weird as they

come, but he

loved God, and

God blessed him,

strange though he

was. So perhaps

Simeon Stylites

(390-459) should

be the patron

saint of all really

eccentric people!

Simeon was the son

of a shepherd on

the Syrian border

of Cilicia. He joined

a monastery near

A 'tower church' dedicated to Saint Simeon

Stylites, in Veliky Ustyug, Russia

Picture: Boris Breytman,

Antioch, where he practised mortifications and penances

that nearly killed him. When the abbot dismissed him as

crazy, Simeon moved to Telanissos — called Dair Sem’an

today — and spent his first Lent there in a total fast. He was

found unconscious on Easter Day. After three years in the

monastery he felt life was too easy, and moved to the top of

a nearby mountain, where he chained himself to a rock. He

began to be talked about, and people went to look at him.


Simeon, not wanting their company, escaped to the top

of a 9 foot high pillar where he lived for the next four years.

More people went to see him so, in desperation, he added to

his pillar. It grew to 18 feet tall but still people went to see

him. Three years later, he built a pillar 33 feet high, but even

more people — both Christians and pagans — went to see

him. He built yet another pillar. This one was was 60 feet

high and 6 feet wide. At last he found peace and quiet, and

lived there for the last 20 years of his life even though people

— including emperors such as Theodosius, Leo and Marcian

— still went to see him. They tried to catch the ‘sacred’ lice

that fell off his body and enjoyed his twice daily exhortations

to everyone below.

A scholar has written of Simeon: 'His preaching was

practical, kindly, and free from fanaticism. In an age of

licentiousness and luxury he gave unique and abiding witness

to the need for penance and prayer; his way of life provided a

spectacle at once challenging, repulsive and awesome.'

The persecuted church

A round-up of news items, features, and links: please read for

awareness, and support through prayer and further support —

financial or otherwise — by Colin Bailey.

This month we see what we can learn about faith and

danger from the Open Doors 2020 World Watch List,

concluding with a message from possibly the best-known

persecuted Christian of recent times.

Each year, Open Doors publishes a report about the 50

countries in the world where it is most difficult to be a

Christian because of the worst cases of persecution. There

is a launch event in Parliament of the 'World Watch List',

on 13 January, to which MPs are invited. We look forward

to the 2021 report to discover the latest news about the

faith of the persecuted church.

Below are some brief details about the top five countries

from the 2020 list, with information gathered from Open

Doors UK and USA.

#1 North Korea

Leader Kim Jong-un and his family are worshipped

like gods. It is difficult to be sure of the total number of

Christian believers as they must keep their faith secret.

Open Doors gives an estimate of 300,000, with around

50,000-70,000 in labour camps because of their faith.

#2 Afghanistan

In Afghanistan it is illegal to leave Islam which is seen as a

core part of Afghan identity. Even exploring Christianity

(such as via the internet) can mean immediate action

through re-indoctrination, potentially torture.

#3 Somalia

There is a militant Islamist group in the Horn of Africa,

akin to ISIS in the Middle East, called al-Shabbab. They

have said that they want ‘Somalia free of all Christians’.

#4 Libya

There is a tiny proportion of Christians in Libya. Almost

all of that, approximately 36,000, are migrant workers. No

churches are allowed to be built. If the migrant workers

meet for worship, they risk attack by Islamic extremists.

Much of Libya is effectively lawless because there is no

central government.

#5 Pakistan

A strongly Islamic society, jobs that Christians have

are generally regarded as low and derogatory. The

controversial blasphemy laws in the country are

frequently used to target Christians and other religious

minorities. Asia Bibi, who was convicted under those

blasphemy laws in 2010, was given a death sentence.

She was finally freed in 2018 and left the country the

following year. In a message to those who supported her

and prayed for her, Asia said 'God is with you in the exact

way he was with me. You are in God’s hands and you are vital.'

Thank you to the readers of the magazine for your concern

about the persecuted church and for your prayers.

the parish noticeboard — 4

The National Parish

Magazine Awards

We are proud to announce that The Parish Magazine

serving Charvil, Sonning and Sonning Eye, has won its

fifth National Parish Magazine Award. In the latest

awards for 2020, which were announced at the end of

November, this magazine came first and was judged to

be 'The best overall'.

Parish magazines from throughout the UK are first judged

for the quality of their editing, content, design and print

with awards being presented for each of these categories,

and then an overall winner is chosen.

This is the second time that we have been chosen as the

best overall winner and on other occasions we have been

awarded 'Best Editor', 'Best Content', and 'Best Print'.

Thank you to everyone who supports the magazine,

especially our readers who often suggest ideas for the

content, our editorial contributors — especially those who

don't complain when I edit their stories! — our advertisers

whose adverts not only boost the interest and quality of

the magazine but enable us to produce the magazine free

of charge for every home in Charvil, Sonning and Sonning

Eye, our creative photographers who spend a great deal of

their time planning and ensuring we have a large range

of top quality pictures to choose from, and my colleagues,

Gordon Nutbrown and Pat Livesey who manage all the

financial aspects of the magazine and so enable me to

concentrate on the editing and layout.

Bob Peters, editor

— All teachers in our local schools

— For Christian school governors

— For the Ministry Team of our parish

and their families


For your prayers in


— For our young people completing the

Youth Alpha course

Picture: EdwardJE on

From the desk

of the editor

The Parish Magazine - January 2021 11

History repeating itself

January always reminds me of the editor of the first

newspaper I worked on. He was a quiet, thoughtful man

unlike the editors often portrayed on tv and in films who

tend to be noisy, rude and bossy — he left that role to the

news editor! Each week, under the pen name of Janus, he

wrote an influential column about the electronics industry

that the newspaper was serving. Janus was a Roman god

who had two heads that enabled him to look both ways at

once, hence January is the month that we look back on the

previous year and forward to the future.

As the events of last year demonstrated, we can always

see clearly when looking back to the past, but we can never

accurately see into the future. All that we can do is to

see the errors we have made and try to do better. This, of

course, is why history is so important, as long as we learn

from our past mistakes.

This is also why I welcome the opportunity to publish

an article on page 17 of this issue about the history

of pandemics by Dr Tim Mason, a retired lecturer in

microbiology from the University of Portsmouth and who

continues to give lectures on the history of infectious

diseases to a wide range of audiences. It is encouraging

that scientists usually find a way of dealing with

pandemics, just as they seem to be doing so with Covid-19.

We just need to be patient.


In the meantime, we can all continue to help relieve the

situation by doing what may seem small things to improve

each other's lives, especially in our local environment. On

the centre pages, for example, are two appeals, one from

the RSPCA and another from a Charvil nature lover, who

are asking us to help them preserve local wildlife that has

a fundamental role in the environment in which we live.

And then, on the following two pages, we report on

an environmental issue that has been prevalent in our

locality for nearly half a century — Dutch elm disease.

The way that this has been dealt with in the past is an

excellent example of how local residents have come

together to work with scientists to save our environment.

Just like the pandemics of the past, and of the present

day, everyone has a role to play. We all need to listen to

the scientists and follow their advice. If it worked for the

Dutch elm disease pandemic, and the plagues of the past,

it can work for us today.

History also shows us that throughout all the upheavals

of pandemics and environmental disasters there has always

been one constant source of life that we, and the scientists,

politicians and engineers, and everyone else, have, and

still can, draw strength from — our unchanging and everpresent

God! (see page 37) Happy New Year!

12 The Parish Magazine - January 2021

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the parish noticeboard — 5

Join us every Tuesday for Morning Prayer

The Parish Magazine - January 2021 13

The traditional service of Morning Prayer is being restarted in St Andrew's

Church at 9.30am on Tuesday 12 January.

Morning Prayer will be said weekly

by members of the ministry team

who invite everyone to join them. The

15-20 minute service will be using the

Common Worship Morning Prayer

service recommended by the Church

of England. It includes the reading

of the Bible, psalms, prayers and


There are no hymns or sermon,

although during Lent, which starts

on Wednesday 17 February, a member

of the ministry team will give a short

Lenten talk.

According to Wikipedia: The

Anglican practice of saying daily morning

and evening prayer derives from the pre-

Reformation canonical hours, of which

eight were required to be said in churches

and by clergy daily: Matins, Lauds, Prime,

Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline.

This practice derived from the earliest

Mihai Cosmin,

centuries of Christianity, and ultimately

from the pre-Christian Jewish practice of

reciting the Shema prayer in the morning

and evening as well as a remembrance of

the daily sacrifices in the Temple.

Today, many Christians continue

the tradition by giving thanks and

praise to God at set times every day.

The clergy will usually do this alone in

their church although many churches,

and cathedrals, welcome others to join

them, as we at St Andrew's certainly do!

When shopping online with Amazon you can help raise

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purchase price (excluding VAT, returns and shipping

fees) of eligible purchases to the

Parochial Church Council

of the Ecclesiastical Parish of Sonning.

14 The Parish Magazine - January 2021

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feature — 1

The Parish Magazine - January 2021 15

A dark churchyard mystery

By David Hedley-Goddard

Tom Farncombe

Bob Peters

Buried in the churchyard of Saint Andrew's Church lies the remains of Private

201317 Benjamin Dark of the 5th Bn (Reserve) Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

He was not a local man and there is no mention of him on the war memorial

inside the church.

Benjamin was born in July 1884

in Birmingham. Before the second

World War he worked as a tinsmith.

He was an average man, 5 feet 4

inches tall, weighing 133 lbs, of fair

complexion with grey eyes and dark

brown hair. He came from a large

family with seven siblings.

When war arrived, Benjamin, like

many other young men, enlisted in

the army. However it seems he was

not a natural soldier and was often in

trouble with the military or in poor


He was eventually transferred

from military duties, due to his

poor health, and seconded to the

munitions factory at Farnborough.


On, or around, 24 August 1917

Benjamin arrived in Sonning.

Later on that day two lads

walking on the tow path at Sonning

found a man hanging from a tree

at a place then known as the Dell,

in the grounds of Holme Park. They

immediately went to find help, and

this came in the form of Edwin

Ernest Light, the Sonning lock


The police were called and the

body was taken to the Sonning

Mortuary, now part of the Saint Sarik

Room at Saint Andrew's. The body

was that of Benjamin Dark.

The story is best continued by

evidence at an inquest in Sonning

by Rowland Kent, deputy coroner,

Eastern Division, Berkshire.

The following transcript is taken

from the original documents and

from Benjamin's service history.

Many such documents were

destroyed in World War II, however,

Benjamin's were recovered, albeit

severely damaged, hence some of the

following is noted as unreadable.


First called to give evidence by

the coroner was Benjamin's mother,

Fanny Dark. She said:

I am the mother of Benjamin Dark,

I am a widow. I have seen the body at

the Mortuary Sonning and it is the body

of my son Benjamin Dark. He is/was

34 years of age and a tinplate worker

by trade. He joined the army since

war broke out, he joined 5th Bn Royal

Warwickshire Regiment, and was a


From the Army he was released

for work in munitions work at

Farnborough. I last saw him alive about

two months ago when he came home to

attend his father's funeral, he did not

appear to be in good health, he seemed

depressed but probably that was owing

to the death of his father.

I think he was transferred to

munitions work in consequence of

his health after a severe attack of

bronchitis. He was a single man. I do

not know anything that would cause

him to take his own life.

Next to give evidence was Leah

Dark, Benjamin's sister and one of

his seven siblings. She said:

I live with my mother at 26, Dymoke

Street, Birmingham, and have seen the

body in the mortuary and I identify it

as that of my brother. I have heard my

mother's evidence and agree that we

know no reason why he should take his



Evidence was then given by Edwin

Ernest Light of Sonning and on his

oath states:

I am the lock keeper and reside at the

Lock Sonning on (unreadable) August

at 11.30am I was at Sonning Lock when

two boys came (unreadable) me that

there was a man hanging in a tree

(unreadable) Park.

The body was hanging from a dead

limb of the tree (unreadable) being

about nine inches to a foot from the

ground. I found (unreadable) hanging

from a cord.

I cut the cord and found that

the (unreadable) stiff and cold. He

had apparently been dead for some

(unreadable) indication of a struggle

having taken place or any (unreadable).

Evidence was then given by Police

Constable Albert John Whal who on

his oath said:

turn to page 17

16 The Parish Magazine - January 2021

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feature — 2

from page 15

The dark mystery from Sonning churchyard

The Parish Magazine - January 2021 17

Benjamin's grave on the north side of the church is marked by a white Commonwealth War Grave Commision headstone

Bob Peters

I am a PC stationed at Sonning.

On Friday the (unreadable) of August

at about 12.15 pm from information

I received, I went to the Dell on the

tow path at Sonning. There I saw the

last witness Edwin Ernest Light who

showed me the body of a man he had cut

down out of a tree.

The body was cold and stiff and had

been dead for some hours. I searched

the spot but could find no evidence of

any struggle having taken place or any


I took the body to Sonning Mortuary

and searched it and found the following


One metal watch, a Post Office Savings

Bank book issued to Benjamin Dark

showing a credit of £1.0.6d. A war

saving certificate to B Dark value

15/6d with the address of No. 10, Hut

(unreadable) Taft Town Farnborough.

One war association savings book with

two (unreadable) 2/- stamps therein.

A purse containing 9 1/2d, a letter from

the Ministry of Munitions in answer to

a letter he had sent for transfer to some

other munitions factory.

Also a certificate from the army

authorities showing that he was a

soldier liberated (unreadable) for work

on munitions and that he could wear

civilian clothes.

No further evidence was

offered and no representatives

of the military or the Ministry

of Munitions were asked to give


The Jury returned the following

verdict, that (unreadable) took his own

life by hanging during temporary fit of



Private Benjamin Dark was buried

in St Andrew's churchyard on the

afternoon of 28 August 1917. The cost

of his funeral was borne initially by

the local constabulary who were later

repaid the full costs of £1/18/6d by

the military.

His mother was given custody of

his personal effects and was awarded

£1/17/2d Benjamin's back pay, no

gratuity was awarded.

Benjamin's grave lies on the

south side of the church next to a

path and is marked by a standard

Commonwealth War Grave

Commission Portland stone white



It is interesting that the Coroner's

Court never asked some pertinent

questions such as:

— Why was Benjamin in Sonning?

There seemed to be no connections

whatsoever with Sonning and he was

based in Farnborough, quite a long

way in those times.

—How did he get there? No travel

documents or tickets were found and

he seemed to have little cash.

—Why did he choose Sonning to

eventually end his life?

—Did he know someone in the



No mention was made of the fact

Benjamin had received notification

that he was under orders to be

returned to military duties for

trade testing on 31 August 1917.

This presumably could have meant

that he would be sent to the front

line in France. This information

presumably did not come to light as

there was no military or munitions



Was Benjamin more prepared to

kill himself rather than go to the

front? Sadly it remains a mystery.

Benjamin's name is not

called out at the Remembrance

commemoration services, he was not

a son of Sonning and he was a long

way from his home. Whatever the

reasons were for his death, it comes

down to the fact that he was another

victim of this horrible conflict which

took the lives of over 750,000 men.

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feature — 3

Pandemics: An historical perspective

The Parish Magazine - January 2021 19

By Dr Tim Mason

turn to page 21

Marseille was the last-significant European outbreak of the 'Black Death' pandemic


We are currently threatened by

the Coronavirus which has caused

a global epidemic, a pandemic, of

Covid-19. Pandemics though are

nothing new and over the centuries

we have developed ways of dealing

with them. This is a brief history of

pandemics and ways of responding

to them. Today’s problems are not so

dissimilar to those of the past.

One of the first pandemics of which

we are aware was ‘The Plague’.

Starting out as a harmless bacterium

colonising reptile intestines it had,

by 1000BCE, evolved to cause lethal

infections in people.

That evolution continued for

another millennium when, in 180CE,

a strain arose which would change

the course of human history.

By 660CE it had killed a third of

the population of Constantinople,

from where it spread further west,

reaching Britain 120 years later.

That’s less than 20 miles per year!

History shows us then, that

pandemics begin imperceptibly as

microbes evolve and are then spread

by human activity.


A second pandemic of the Plague,

one which became known as ‘The

Black Death’, originated in China

around 1200.

From there, facilitated by trade

and warfare, it spread at twice the

speed of the first. It arrived in Dorset

on 7 July 1348, an event now proudly

recorded there, on a plaque!

From here it spread along the

coast in small trading vessels,

arriving in my home village of

Titchfield in October that year - the

first place in Hampshire to get the


The Manorial Court there

recorded eight deaths that month, a

figure which by May of the following

year had increased to a total of 155, a

third of the population. A death toll

that was repeated throughout the



By this time the disease was

recognised as infectious, so the

response made to it was to prevent

the sick from coming into contact

with the healthy.

Houses where a sick person lived

were sealed up, leaving sick and

healthy together to their fate. Doors

were guarded and food provided.

No-one was allowed in or out for six


By that time sufferers would have

either died or recovered and certainly

none would be infectious. We’d call

that enforced quarantine today.

Windsor in the 16th Century

adopted an even more radical

measure. Seeing London as a

potential source of infection, they set

up a gallows to hang anyone arriving

from there! A rather extreme

enforcement of Lockdown!

A century later the capital was

again suffering from the disease and,

in an attempt to escape it, Charles I

moved the law courts out to Reading.

The result was an outbreak of the

disease there and sufferers were

moved out to a recently built ‘Pest

House’ in Whitley.

The disease remained a threat

until the late 18th Century, by

which time improved housing and

nutrition, along with recognition

that rats were an undesirable

presence in places of human

habitation, saw the disease decline.

This decline was probably

also driven by a drop in global

temperature. It was not unusual for

the Thames to freeze over for up to

two months!


While pandemics of plague ceased

without vaccines, the expectation

is that a vaccine will soon be widely

available for Covid-19.

The first disease for which a

vaccine was produced was smallpox,

which had been causing pandemics

since the second century CE.

That disease was caused by the

variola virus. It had been recognised

well before that, in China in the 5th

Century BCE. They observed that it

could only be contracted once and, by

the 10th Century CE, it was common

turn to page 21

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feature — 4

The Parish Magazine - January 2021 21

from page 19

Pandemic history


Magi from the East

Daniel Schlui,

for children there to be deliberately

infected with a mild form of the

disease and thereby be protected

from any more serious form.

It was not until the early 18th

Century that news of this technique,

called ‘Inoculation’, reached Britain.

Its use soon became widespread.


In the context of smallpox

immunisation though, it is Edward

Jenner who is remembered by

his establishing the alternative

technique of ‘vaccination’, using

Vaccinia, a similar virus from

cows. He had heard that milkmaids

infected with cowpox became

immune to smallpox, without their

having risked a smallpox infection.

They developed no more than sores

on their fingers. So, in 1796 he

vaccinated Sarah Nelmes, using

cowpox from a cow called Blossom.

It worked and subsequent worldwide

vaccination resulted in the eventual

elimination of smallpox in 1980. The

first infection for which that had

been achieved.

The elimination of Covid-19 is

today's objective. It will undoubtedly

be a bigger challenge, but bigger too

are the tools at our disposal.

This article was first published in ‘Titchfield

News’, December 2020. Dr Tim Mason is

a retired lecturer in Microbiology from the

University of Portsmouth. He continues

to give lectures on the history of infectious

diseases to a wide range of audiences.

Magi from the East isn’t a lot to go on. The Magi had originally been a Persian

religious caste. Their devotion to astrology, divination and the interpretation of

dreams led to an extension in the meaning of the word, and by the first century

the Magi in Matthew’s gospel could have been astrologers from outside Persia.

Some scholars believe they might have come from South Arabia.

In the first century astrology was practised there, and it was the region where the

Queen of Sheba had lived. When she visited Solomon she would have heard the

prophecies about how a Messiah would be born to become king of the Israelites.

Matthew’s gospel (chapter 2) tells us the Magi asked Herod: ‘Where is the one

who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship

him.’ So it is possible that in southern Arabia the Queen of Sheba’s story of an

Israeli Messiah had survived. Certainly, there are other early legends that connect

southern Arabia with Solomon’s Israel.

To many people this makes sense: that the ancient stories of a Messiah,

linked to later astrological study, prompted these alert and god-fearing men to

the realisation that something very stupendous was happening in Israel. After

centuries, the King of the Jews, the Messiah, was about to be born.

Adding weight to the theory that the Magi came from southern Arabia is that if

you study any map of Palestine in biblical times, you will find that the old Arabian

caravan routes all entered Palestine ‘from the east’.


The story of the coming of the Magi grew with time and by the 6th Century

they had acquired names: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. By medieval times they

were considered to be kings. Whoever they were, we know from Matthew that they

brought three gifts to Jesus — gold, frankincense and myrrh. A Victorian scholar,

Rev John Henry Hopkins, an American Episcopalian minister, offered a possible

explanation as to the significance of the gifts in a much-loved Christmas carol that

he wrote in 1857 — We Three Kings of Orient Are.

Gold, said John Henry Hopkins, was a gift that would have been given to a king.

Frankincense had traditionally been brought by priests as they worshipped God in

the temple. Myrrh was a spice that the ancients used in preparing bodies for burial.

If this is true, then you could say that the wise men, in choosing their gifts for

Jesus, honoured him with gold because he was King of the Jews, with frankincense

because he was to be worshipped as divine, and with myrrh, because he would also

become a sacrifice and die for his people.

The wise men were the first Gentiles ever to worship Jesus. What faith they had!

They travelled for months over difficult terrain, they never saw any evidence of

Jesus’ kingship, his divinity or his sacrificial death. They worshipped him through

faith in God’s promises about him. Isaiah foresaw this response to Jesus: ‘Nations

will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.’ The Magi’s eyes of faith

saw clearly and far into the future.

Compare that with the high priest and religious leaders whom the wise men

saw in Jerusalem when they first arrived. These head priests knew all about the

prophecies of their own coming Messiah, but not one Jewish religious leader

travelled to look for him in Bethlehem. And it is only six miles down the road!

22 The Parish Magazine - January 2021

feature — 5

RSPCA and a Charvil nature lover appeal for help d

The River Thames in winter: Rod Thomas

In the wake of Covid-19, RSPCA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), like most

of the 168,000+ charities registered in the UK, is facing extremely difficult times and appealing for

additional financial and practical help from the public. As well as caring for the increasing numbers of

animals being taken into their care as result of the pandemic, it continues to be concerned about the

annual seasonal fluctuations that comes with the winter weather.

The RSPCA was the first national animal welfare

society in the world and was founded in 1824 by

an Anglican priest, Rev Arthur Broome. He asked

the question, ‘Can the infliction of cruelty on any

being which the Almighty has endued with feelings

of pain and pleasure consist with genuine and true


It was called the Society for the Prevention of

Cruelty to Animals until Queen Victoria gave it her

royal patronage in 1840.

The prime concern in 1824 was pit ponies and

the harsh cruelty that was being inflicted on them.

Today the work it undertakes is staggering and

includes all animals — working, farm, household

pets and wild. It has over 640,000 animals in

its care and during the pandemic this number

continues to grow along with the workload.

For example, between 24 March and 5 August, it

was swamped with 442,344 calls, and responded to

106,676 incidents of animals in need. That averaged

790 incidents a day!

Such a volume of need was a challenge as the

charity was working with fewer officers, due to

‘furlough, shielding and ill health’, a spokesman


He went on: 'As well as operating an emergency

service, rescuing animals in need, RSPCA officers

Squirrel: Shri Hooley,

have also been collecting animals from the homes

of people who have been admitted to hospital with

Covid-19, and who may not have anyone else to

care for them while their owners are being treated.


Now, with a second Covid wave in progress

and the winter months adding to the existing

demands caring for wildlife, such as that

found in our local environment — badgers,

foxes, deer, hedgehogs, squirrels, rabbits and

a variety of birds and wildfowl — the RSPCA is

appealing for communities everywhere to help

by actively keeping an eye out for animals in

need and help the wildlife by putting out extra

food and shelter.

A great example of a simple way of helping

the RSPCA is to join Karen (read her story on the

right) by creating a hedgehog highway in your


You can find plenty of ideas for doing this and

other things on the RSPCA website which has an

excellent series of information sheets that can be

downloaded free of charge — and you can also

make a donation to their work while you are there!


The Parish Magazine - January 2021 23

uring the second Covid wave and winter months

Deer: Peter Rennie

Deer: Perry Mills

Badger: Peter Rennie

Fox: Peter Rennie



By Karen Ostrowski

Make a hole, make a difference!

When I was growing up in the 60’s hedgehogs were a common sight. Even when I first

moved to Charvil in 1995 we had regular hedgehog visitors to our garden. However, I

realised several years ago that I was no longer seeing any sign of them. Since the Millennium

hedgehog numbers have fallen dramatically by 50% in suburban areas and they are now listed

as 'vulnerable to extinction' as of July 2020. Therefore, it is now up to us to help these beautiful creatures.

Mankind, unfortunately, has compartmentalised

gardens with walls and fences, and this is thought

to be a major reason for their decline.

Hedgehogs need to cover a mile during the

night to enable them to find enough food and to

breed. They are attracted to our gardens because of

the wide range of plants, which naturally attracts

the food that they love. They do so much good

by keeping pests at bay as they eat caterpillars,

beetles, slugs, and snails. They really are a

gardener’s friend.

Gardens also provide nesting sites under sheds,

decking, and compost heaps. By making our

gardens inaccessible we are depriving hedgehogs

of a valuable and safe habitat.


During our first lockdown, I was thrilled to

find hedgehogs had returned to my garden. I

started to feed them regularly with cat biscuits

and fresh water.

Having bought a trail camera I have been able

to monitor their activities and currently have four

hedgehog houses which are all in regular use.

I want to do more to help these prickly friends

and so I am asking all local residents to please

help by making small CD-sized access holes in

your boundary fences and walls (picture right)

to allow hedgehogs to roam freely. Speak to your

neighbours and by linking our gardens, we can

create hedgehog highways and provide a safe route

for them avoiding hazardous roads.

It’s a small thing to do but it could make a

huge difference to help these animals increase in

numbers and come back from the brink.

My daughter is 22 and had never seen a

hedgehog before spring last year. It would be heart

breaking if the next generation never experienced

seeing these lovely little creatures in our gardens.

Black &white images are by Karen Ostrowski

and the hedgehog cutout is from a picture

by Tadeusz-Lakota,

For more information on the national campaign

to create a safe hedgehog highway see the website

below, where you can log your activity and put

Charvil and Sonning on the hedgehog highway map.

24 The Parish Magazine - January 2021

feature — 6

The 'Dutch pandemic' story that killed 25 millio




In January 1972 a brief note in this magazine

heralded a story that has run for 49 years. The

note told residents in the Parish of St Andrew's

Church that 'The Forestry Commission has been

asked to give guidance on how Dutch elm disease

can be recognised at this time of the year—if this

is possible, and any information will be passed

on through the magazine'. The repercussions of

this destructive disease that spread throughout

Europe, the UK and North America is still

being felt today. Indeed, only 6 months ago the

Brighton Argus reported that Dutch elm disease

was 'killing off trees in an unusually severe


The Argus report said, Brighton’s 17,000 elms are

at risk and the infection could wipe out thousands of

historic trees if it is not brought under control.

Last year, one of the city’s two 400-year-old elms,

known as 'The Twins', was felled in Preston Park after

contracting Dutch elm disease. It was planted in the

reign of James I.

Throughout the UK during the 1960's and 70's

Dutch elm disease has been responsible for an

estimated 25 million trees — about 90% of the

total — being lost. Despite its name, the disease

did not originate in the Netherlands — it is

named after Dutch scientists who identified the

ophiostoma ulmi fungus that attacks and kills the

trees. They also discovered that it was spread from

tree to tree by elm bark beetles.

While Dutch elm disease is still a threat today

— it is spreading slowly northwards across the

country — there are several types of diseaseresistant

species already available and others are

being developed.


In 2020, The Tree Council held a national

competition to celebrate the 30th year of its

volunteer tree warden scheme who were asked to

enter a suitable site for one of the new diseaseresistant

elm trees. There would be 30 winners.

Charvil's three tree wardens, led by Sarah

Swatridge, and supported by Charvil Parish

Council, submitted a site for an elm tree on the

mound at the opposite side of East Park Farm

playing field from the village school. Unexpectedly

Charvil wardens proposed site was chosen.

It is hoped that in years to come for future

generations the 'elm on the mound' will become

a local landmark that will be clearly seen as you

look across the playing fields from the village

school and pavilion. It will be a constant reminder

Above: Giant elm tree

Insert: An elm bark beetle

Below: View from the mound



Sue Peters

to children and adults alike of the importance of

caring for our environment and preserving it for

the future.


The Tree Council was formed in 1974 as the

parent charity for organisations in the UK

involved with caring for, conserving and planting

trees. It came about after the National Tree

Planting Year in 1973 which encouraged everyone

to 'Plant a Tree in 73'. (see archive account opposite)

In 1990, the Tree Warden Scheme, grew out

of the work of a few community-minded people

in Leicestershire and East Sussex who wanted to

plant and care for their local trees.

Today, there are thousands of volunteers

around the country who have planted, and care

for, millions of trees, rejuvenated woodlands,

created community orchards, and worked with

local authorities to establish and care for trees in

parks, woodlands and on the streets.

January 1972: The Forestry Commission has been

asked to give guidance on how Dutch elm disease

can be recognised at this time of the year.

April 1972: Expert advice was being taken especially

for the preservation of trees and the retention of

Sonning Lane in its natural state.

August 1973: The County Council Dutch elm disease

Officer has also made a round of the Parish and been

extremely helpful...we have a serious problem and

and if nothing is done about it at once, in a year or so

all the elms in the parish will die.

August 1973: Charvil’s list of trees recommended for

tree preservation has been forwarded to the District

Council. In order to encourage a pioneering effort

by members of the local tree planting committee —

some of whom personally treated trees for Dutch

elm disease — the council have authorised a grant of

£25 towards the cost of the apparatus needed.

Sonning: Good luck to all who are working to save

a tree in ’73. Maples, red hawthorns, silver birches,

white beams and a beech tree are among some 20

trees so far planted throughout the village. In the

autumn it is hoped to replace some of the diseased

elms in Milestone Avenue.

Charvil: Contributions totalling £120 from

individuals and organisations in the village made

The Parish Magazine - January 2021 25

n UK elm trees continues today in our parish

The Dutch Elm disease story in Charvil and Sonning . . .

The following are edited extracts from this magazine's archives which date from January 1869

this fine effort possible. In addition some £115 was

raised for the campaign against Dutch elm disease,

and Charvilians should note with some pride that we

were the first village in Berkshire to organise such a


September 1973: The response to the call for

volunteers to operate on the Dutch elms has been

truly magnificent and, clearly, a spirit exists in

Sonning to deal with such emergencies for which one

is hard put to find a word which adequately describes

it...well over 45 trees will have been treated by these

volunteer efforts alone and, together with those

done in the parish by private owners, makes it a very

impressive performance indeed.

October 1973: In accordance with the policy of

preserving and planting trees, the council has sent

a list of trees in Charvil which it is suggested should

be preserved, and representatives are obtaining

quotations for the planting of new trees. Dutch elm

disease continues to be dealt with by local volunteers.

Between 30 and 40 trees had so far been treated.

March 1974: Charvil tree planting committee...with

the planting of a field maple in Charvil House Road

by the 1st Charvil brownie pack, the first phase of the

tree planting scheme has been completed.

August 1974: Dutch elm disease is again with us.

February 1977: A huge pile of timber from the trees

stricken with the mortal Dutch elm disease awaited

attention, and, a happy band of amateur foresters set

to with gusto...hand saws and axes.

September 1977: Dear editors, Some time ago

you were kind enough to publish a note in which I

forecast the effects Dutch elm disease would have

on our trees, if it was allowed to spread. Sadly my

forecast has proved accurate.

January 1981: The last of the dead elms in the

spinney in the [Sonning] recreation ground, which

were fast becoming a serious menace to life and limb,

have now been felled and the problem besetting the

parish council is how best to replace them.

It will be remembered that when a call went out for

volunteers to help in the job of injecting the elms, in

an unavailing attempt to save them from Dutch elm

disease, the response was excellent. The idea now

is to invite a few parishioners, a couple of dozen or

so, to enter into a scheme whereby they would each

provide a tree, plant it in the spinney themselves and

then tend it, by watering for instance, until it became


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Five things I’d like to see in 2021 . . .

Rev Peter Crumpler, a Church of England priest in St Albans,

Herts, and a former communications director for the Church of

England, considers the New Year ahead.

I keep hearing people say that 2020 was a ‘year like no

other.’ Friends have been writing a special journal recording

the year, so they can pass it on to their grandchildren.

Others just want to leave 2020 behind and look to a happier

new year.

Both reactions are completely understandable. But I’ve been

looking ahead to 2021 and thinking about the five top things

I’d like to see in the year ahead. I wonder if you’ll agree with

them or not? Maybe you could put together your own list.

#1: Let’s make sure the vaccines are distributed fairly and

speedily. Those who need the vaccine most urgently should

receive it first, with a fair system for ensuring everyone else

can be vaccinated quickly and efficiently. We need to ensure

that everyone receives the vaccine wherever they live in the

world — from the poor to the rich. Especially, in those parts

of the world where there is war, and where there are refugees.

The Parish Magazine - January 2021 27

#2: Let’s learn the lessons of the pandemic — not just going

back to how life was, as quickly as possible. Many of us learnt

to appreciate our family so very much more — especially

when we could not be with them for months on end. We

learnt lessons about how important our neighbours and local

businesses are, how precious our NHS, medical researchers,

care providers and other frontline workers are. Let’s not

forget them.

#3: Let’s value nature. Those of us with gardens, or with

parks or fields nearby, have been massively blessed. I’ve learnt

to pay attention to bird song, to the changing colours of the

trees, and how unexpected plants have taken root in our

garden. Pets have played a major part in helping us endure the

lockdowns, especially for people who live alone. May we all

learn to value the natural world on our doorsteps.

#4: Let’s bless technology. Without the use of the internet,

meeting people ‘online’ or keeping in touch via email,

Facetime or other technologies, 2020 would have been a whole

lot tougher. Churches across the country moved their Sunday

services online, and soon adapted to a different way of

worshipping — not the same, but still helping us to worship

together and see familiar faces. Let’s continue to give thanks

for the science that made that contact possible in 2020.

# 5: Let’s value our church family. Imperfect we may be, like

any family. But the months without being physically able

to worship with them, share communion with them, sing

alongside them have been hard. I value so much how many

churches have risen to the pandemic challenge and sought to

serve their communities in all kinds of ways. May we take all

this experience into 2021 and build upon it.

Whatever 2021 holds for you and all those that you love, I

pray that you may know the love of God in your life, and be

able to pass it on to others.

Old word gets new meaning

'Quarantine' has

beaten 'pandemic' and

'lockdown' in Cambridge

Dictionary's ‘Word of

the Year’ 2020'. It was

the word most looked up

between January and

October of last year.

The editors also added

a new meaning for

'quarantine': ‘A general

period of time in which

people are not allowed to

leave their homes or travel

freely, so that they do not

catch or spread a disease.'

They are also considering

possible new words

for their dictionary:

‘Quaranteam’ — a group

of people who go into

quarantine together,

'Lockstalgia' — a feeling

of nostalgia for the

lockdown period, and

'Coronnial' — someone

born around the time of

the pandemic.

Rachel Strong,

Kelly Sikkema,

28 The Parish Magazine - January 2021

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around the villages — 1

The Parish Magazine - January 2021 29

Help a local brass band to play on after Covid-19

The Reading Spring Gardens Brass Band is seeking help from local

communities to help them as part of a national initiative launched by Brass

Bands England to save the many UK brass bands which are struggling to

survive the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the past, volunteer musicians

played in many brass and silver

bands that were at the heart of most

villages and towns.

Sonning had Mr Prior's muchloved

Silver Band, while in Reading,

according to past issues of this

magazine, there were several other

bands that also visited Sonning to

perform. These included the Reading

Mechanics Band, Mr Farr's Reading

Band, Reading Temperance Band and

the Reading Spring Gardens Brass


In September 1907, for example,

we reported that at the Woodley and

Sonning Horticultural Society's 34th

annual show:

'There were various forms of amusement,

and music was discoursed by the Reading

Spring Gardens Band.'


The Reading Spring Gardens Brass

Band dates from Victorian times

when a ladies’ sewing circle at the

Spring Gardens Mission Methodist

Chapel — now Reading Hindu Centre

— raised funds to purchase brass

instruments for the Spring Gardens

Wesleyan Mission Concertina Band.

In the early 1930's the band cut

its links with the chapel because the

chapel leaders objected to the band

raising money to buy instruments

and new uniforms by selling scent

cards and football tickets. The band

has remained an unsponsored,

community based musical organisation

and continues to actively support and

promote Reading both locally and

further afield.

In the 1900's there were a large

number of bands around the country

but today many of them have

disappeared — and many of those

that have survived are now facing an

extremely difficult year ahead.

Like the Reading Spring

Gardens Band, most are formed

with volunteer musicians which

means that, while charging for

performances, the income is only

used to cover their operational costs

and for supporting charities.

The Reading Spring Gardens

Band has, over the years, supported

charities such as the Sue Ryder

Hospice, the Duchess of Kent Hospice

Andy Scicluna

Reading Pride and Sarcoma UK.

Not being able to perform for

almost a year means many such

bands throughout the country will

not be able to survive.

To help the band in the current

difficult financial situation, the

Reading Spring Gardens Band is

taking part in a Brass Bands England

initiative by holding an online

crowdfunding campaign with a

target of £1,000.

Matthew Ruel, Reading Spring

Gardens Brass Band conductor, said:

'Any contribution received, large

or small, will help keep brass band

music-making and our cultural heritage

in Reading alive. With your generous

support the band will play on!'

Hopefully this might also mean

that we will hear the band playing

again in our parish!

Reading Spring Gardens Brass Band c1950

30 The Parish Magazine - January 2021

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around the villages — 2

From ancient

chess pieces

to Christmas

baubles . . .

To celebrate St Andrew's Day on 30

November, Rob Farquhar, a Sonning

Art Group member, painted four of

the 12th Century chess pieces found

on a beach near Uig on the Isle of

Lewis in 1831 by Malcolm MacLeod

of Pennydonald.

Almost four sets of chess pieces

made from walrus ivory were found

and most of them can be seen in

museums — there are some in the

Lews Castle Museum, Stornoway on

the Isle of Lewis, the British Museum

in Bloomsbury, London and National

Museums Scotland in Edinburgh.

When the chessmen were found,

a knight and four warders were

missing — a 'warder' was a bearded

figure with a sword in his right hand

and shield at his left side and today is

better known as the 'rook' or 'castle'.

However, in July 2019, one of the

missing warder's came to light. It had

been kept unknowingly in someone's

drawer for at least 55 years and was

purchased by a private buyer at a

Sotheby's auction for £735,000.

As well as Rob Farquhar's picture,

other Sonning Art Group members

met virtually to paint on the theme

of St Andrew's Day, for example,

Sue Dobson's delightful picture of a

Scottie dog.

Another theme for the group

recently was, of course, Christmas

as can be seen (right) by George

Gallocker’s Christmas card of a

church on a snowy morning, while

John Birtwistle kept things simple

with colourful baubles.

The art group's traditional

Christmas party took place on a

Zoom meeting with a quiz, a poem

and everyone dressing in their

Christmas finery and enjoying

Christmas treats to eat and drink.

Like all parish groups, they are

looking forward to being able to

meet together in real life!

Sue Dobson

The Parish Magazine - January 2021 31

Rob Farquhar

George Gallocker

John Birtwistle

SNOW AND BAUBLES Charvil female voices warm up for 2021

Jewel Tones, the Charvil choir for girls between 10 and 18 years of age, have

continued to hold Sunday afternoon rehearsals online this term but are hoping

to be back 'live' in Charvil Village Hall this month. The girls have been working

on some great new songs including a medley of Disney movie ballads, California

Dreamin, Inscription of Hope and When You Believe. They have a concert planned for

14 March at Queen Anne's School, Caversham and there are also four spaces for

new members to join them.

Meanwhile, Sapphire, the Charvil ladies choir, who normally rehearse on

Monday evenings and which involves short themed courses, is hoping to resume

in February. The ladies choir is planning an informal performance on 24 May

with songs from Broadway shows including a medley from Oklahoma, I dreamed

a dream, For good and Lullaby of Broadway. A second course will take place in June

and July — the theme being 'Coming home'. Songs will include Nine hundred miles,

Homeward bound, Home and One mile. There are spaces for both courses.

Contact: Suzanne Newman on 0118 934 0589 or

32 The Parish Magazine - January 2021

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The light to guide us

through the New Year

Revd Michael Burgess views ‘St Joseph the Carpenter’ (right)

by Georges de la Tour which hangs in The Louvre, Paris.

When St Paul wrote about the birth and humanity of

Jesus to the Philippians, he described it as an emptying

and a humbling. Jesus humbled himself, he wrote, ‘and

became obedient to the point of death, even death on

a cross.’ In obedience and love Jesus followed the will

of his Father through his ministry from baptism to the

cross and Easter beyond.

But what about that period called ‘the hidden years’, after

the Holy Family’s return from Egypt?

The Gospels tell us of only one event in that period

leading up to adulthood — the pilgrimage to Jerusalem

when Jesus was 12. For 30 years, he lived with Mary and

Joseph ‘growing in wisdom and in divine and human

favour.’ Just as he followed his heavenly Father’s will in

his ministry, so in these growing years Jesus followed the

guidance and teaching of Mary and Joseph.


This month’s painting highlights one moment in those

years of growth: St Joseph the Carpenter by Georges de la


‘Highlights’ is the right word, because this painting

captures the strong contrast of light and darkness.

Georges de la Tour lived from 1593 to 1652 in Lorraine.

He was part of a Franciscan-led revival, and this work

from the 1640's captures St Joseph and the Christ-Child

with Franciscan tenderness and insight.

We can see the tools of Joseph’s trade on the ground.

He leans over them, hard at work on a piece of wood.

Jesus is sitting by his side, his face lit by the candle, which

lights up the carpenter’s shop. As well as contrasting light

and dark, there is the contrast of young and old, and the

thought that the child learning from the old man is also

the one who can teach us.

De la Tour was particularly fascinated by light and

shadows cast by a candle or a lantern. Here the artist

The Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book for 2021

Living His Story – revealing

the extraordinary love of God

in ordinary ways

By Hannah Steele, SPCK, £7.99

The Archbishop

of Canterbury

has chosen

Living His Story

as his Lent Book

for 2021.

It explores

evangelism as a

way of sharing

God’s love with


Lent 2021 begins next month

on Wednesday 17 February — Palm

Sunday is on 28 March and Easter

Day is Sunday 4 April.

Hannah Steele's Lent book asks

how can we convey the love of God to

our neighbours in a post-Christian

world that has largely forgotten the

gospel of Jesus Christ?

She then uncovers liberating and

practical ways of sharing the gospel

story afresh.

With warmth and encouragement,

she shows us how we can live Jesus’

story in our own lives simply by

The Parish Magazine - January 2021 33

A faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public

domain work of art.


shows the candlelight illuminating the face of the child

Jesus who will grow up to be the 'Light of the world'.

As this New Year begins, we can think back to the light

from the Bethlehem manger we celebrated at Christmas.

We can look ahead to the light shining from the adult

Jesus through his teaching and healing.

Here in these hidden years, we can celebrate the light

of wisdom and divine favour, as Luke calls them, shining

on the face of the child Jesus.

We pray for that light to guide us through this new

year. When the way ahead may look dark and uncertain,

let us pray that God’s light will make clear the path ahead.

being the people God made us and

allowing people to be drawn to him

through our natural gifts.

This Lent devotional may change

the way you think about evangelism,

and give you confidence in sharing

God’s love with the people around


Set out in six sessions to take

you through Lent, it can be used as

a single study for individuals or by

small groups to prepare for Easter.

Revd Dr Hannah Steele is director of

St Mellitus College, London.

34 The Parish Magazine - January 2021

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Dr Simon Ruffle writes about . . . plants

So, here we are in 2021. Predictions, resolutions and hopes for 2020 were roundly

beaten by a virus and its devastating effects. I sincerely hope that by the end of

this year we are all celebrating the end of 2021 as a year of recovery and hope for

all of our futures; and to give us some time to reflect on the past and not let the

sacrifices of many go to waste.

Like most years, it starts with 1 January.

History suggests that January was

added as a month in 450BC but it wasn’t

initially the first month of the year, that

was March. It seems to have changed

when the two consuls of Rome — while

it was a republic — started their year of

office on 1 January

January’s flower is the carnation. It

gets its name from the original, deep

red version reflecting the incarnation

of God into the flesh and blood of

Jesus. Carnations have long been used

in medicine and modern research

shows that there are highly potent

chemicals in carnations that may be

anti-cancer or antiviral.

The above trip into the rabbit hole

that is the internet leads me to writing

a few words on the use of botanicals in



Before analytical chemistry, trial,

error and vertical transmission of

knowledge was the way healers,

shaman, witch doctors and quacks

gained their knowledge. Like the

infinite monkey cage being able to

produce the works of Shakespeare,

they got it right — sometimes. Thus,

herbal treatments were better than

nothing, mostly.

Herbalism became more scientific

from the 10th Century onwards and

was given a massive boost by the

crusades bringing home teachings

from the east. Often, it was royalty and

the knight’s priests and monks that

were tasked with this work and this

was taken forward in monasteries.

Edith Pargeter (1913–1995) wrote

the wonderful Cadfael series under

the name 'Ellis Peters'. While fiction,

the work is based on a lot of facts and

the fable of a crusading knight who

turns to the healing arts and becomes

a monk on his return.

So what plants give us medicines?

Three of the most famous are poppies,

willow and foxglove; giving us opium,

‘aspirin’ and digitalis.

The best way to have a look at this

subject is to look at the chemicals

that the plants yield as the effect on

Poppy Victoria Tronina,

the body are similar despite different

plants producing the substances —

‘class effect.’

However, very slight changes to

the structure of the chemicals can also

have a very slight or enormous effect

on how the body reacts.

Alkaloids are found worldwide and

it is very likely that you have ingested

alkaloids today — if you are reading

this years ahead I bet I’m still correct!

Caffeine, nicotine, quinine and

turmeric are all alkaloids. Mostly weak

but have effects such as increasing gut

motility and mild euphoric effects.

Turmeric would need to be consumed

in huge quantities to produce an effect

and like most berberine (Berbaris)

derived chemicals are best used as dye.

Potent alkaloids are found in

poppies and deadly nightshade or the

inaptly named 'belladonna'.

Morphine, codeine, cocaine are

commonly used painkillers from

poppies and atropine hyoceine and

scopolamine are from belladonna and

used to dry recreations and stop some

muscle spasm, but will cause cardiac


Elisa Way,

The Parish Magazine - January 2021 35

Carnations Le Thuy Do,

rhythm problems and arrest if used


Opium has been used since 3,400BC.

The flower was known to the Sumerians

as 'hul gil', the joy flower.

Salicylates are produced from willow

and wintergreens. Aspirin was produced

in Germany in the late 19th and early

20th Century, however its use in fever

and pain is reckoned to be thousands of

years old. Aspirin is also vital in stopping

clots forming in the blood in people who

have had strokes or heart attacks.


The most common glycoside is

from the foxglove. Foxglove extract

has been used for many centuries to

poison people. It changes the way the

electrical pathways work in the heart.

It is used in a common, but potentially

deadly, condition where the top part

of the heart contracts wildly out of

control. This causes that bottom part

of the heart to beat so fast that it

will cause a fall in blood pressure and

collapse. Digoxin stops the electrical

signal from passing from the top to the

bottom thus regulating the heart beat.

Other glycosides include senna,

which effects are well known but has

no effect on the heart.

The diversity of the plant world and

the vast difference in effects on the

body, shown by just a few examples,

suggests we have a large untapped

reserve of medicines in nature.

The fact that many common

herbs and spices have not been

thoroughly researched and we still

rely on anecdote as an antidote for

our ills means we need to protect the

environment and the wisdom of the

ancients too.

36 The Parish Magazine - January 2021




1 Military force (4)

3 Small streams (8)

9 Among (7)

10 Legend (5)

11 Cooling device (12)

14 Large primate (3)

16 Gold block (5)

17 Grassland (3)

18 Productive insight (12)

21 Sound (5)

22 Central bolt (7)

23 Moving at speed (8)

24 Creative disciplines (4)


1 Relating to trees (8)

2 Dominant theme (5)

4 Pub (3)

5 Uncomplimentary (12)

6 Entangle (7)

7 Appear to be (4)

8 Lawfully (12)

12 Number after seven (5)

13 Automata (8)

15 Prior (7)

19 Opposite of lower (5)

20 Unit linear measure (4)

22 Relations (3)



1 2 3 4 5 6 7


9 10

11 12

14 15 16 17


18 19

21 22

23 24


1 - Military force (4)

3 - Small streams (8)

9 - Among (7)

10 - Legend (5)

11 - Cooling device (12)

14 - Large primate (3)

16 - Gold block (5)



1 - Relating to trees (8)

2 - Dominant theme (5)

4 - Pub (3)

5 - Uncomplimentary (12)

6 - Entangle (7)

7 - Appear to be (4)

8 - Lawfully (12)

26 20 12 11 19 2 17 - Grassland 26 (3) 19 22 23 26 11

1 12 - Number 14 after seven A (5)



19 7 9


18 - Productive insight (12)

13 - Automata (8)

5 11 26 20

2 15 C

21 - Sound (5)

T15 - Prior (7) D

21 7 1 26 20 7 22- Central bolt (7) 7 22 7


19 - Opposite


of lower E(5)


11 6 1

23 - Moving at speed (8)

4 20 - Unit of linear measure (4)

21 2 20 7 2 26 21

17 G


24 - Creative disciplines (4)

22 - Relations (3) H

7 16 18 11 21 24 11 11

5 18 I


2 22 18 21 13 7 19 21

6 19 K


19 25 19 11 18 2 5

7 20 M


5 9 12 1 7 7 10 4

8 21 O


11 20 21 13 20 7 17 11

9 22 Q


2 22 1 24 7 19 22 9 13 20

10 23



9 7 9 19 11 8 19 11 21 21

11 24



12 25

26 19 25 12 11 19 26



13 26

20 3 15 1 11 5 14 20 9 2 3 21




1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13


14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26






Each of the nine blocks has to contain all the

numbers 1-9 within its squares. Each number can

only appear once in a row, column or box.

Sudoku solution

for December

2020 issue


In this month's Wordsearch grid above there are 19

words, all of which are hidden below.


The Christmas story carries on into the

New Year, with Epiphany and the arrival of

the Wise Men, led by the Star in the East.

Through the eyes of faith, they saw Messiah

in that small baby, and worshipped him,

giving gifts that foresaw his life and work.

New Year is also a time of new beginnings

for us — resolutions about diets and paying

the bills and doing better at work — Happy

New Year!

The Parish Magazine - January 2021 37

the sciences HOME & GARDEN — 1

A US scientist’s letter to

the Church in the UK

The year misletoe was

left up on high By Kirsty Steele

Romain Dancre,

By Dr Ruth M Bancewicz, church engagement director at The Faraday

Institute for Science and Religion in Cambridge

I want to share a message of hope that Christians in the

sciences can bring to the church. Dr Francis Collins, who

leads medical research in the US, wrote earlier in the

pandemic about his faith and his hope in God to help us.

He expressed the grief of many, described an intensity of

scientific work he has never experienced before, and shared

his conviction that he is in the right place — serving God

with science. He is holding on tight to the words of Paul in

2 Timothy 1:7, ‘for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of

power and love and self-control.’

POWER: In 2 Timothy the apostle Paul encourages his friend

to ‘fan into flame the gift of God’ that is in him. I am thankful

that scientists, like Francis, are using their own particular

talents to understand Covid-19, and to help prevent or treat

infection. Their discoveries are not only useful, but they can

also display the beauty and wonder of God’s creation.

LOVE: A scientist shows their love for God, for people and all

of creation through their work in the lab. One described his

experiences to me: 'I study God’s fingerprints in his creation to

learn more of him and the world he placed us in and to learn how

we should take care of it and each other…I pray for inspiration

and insight into how his creation works…and that he provides the

opportunities to give the glory to him.'

SELF CONTROL: It is largely our own and others’ selfish

actions that can turn one animal’s friendly virus into our

own personal nightmare. Thankfully Jesus’ suffering, death

and resurrection are the solution to evil. Our ultimate and

certain hope is that one day all Creation will be renewed. We

can also have hope for God is with us in our suffering. When

we respond in positive ways to painful events, it is evidence

that Jesus is alive and working in our lives.

Science will not solve all our problems, but with God’s

help and wisdom we can use the tools of science to serve him

and love others. Let’s pray together for the strength to cope,

and for an end to this pandemic.

Bertold Werkmann,

The demand for mistletoe this past Christmas should not

have been as great as usual because kissing strangers

under it was strictly taboo. It remains, however a

tradition. Adherents use holly, ivy and mistletoe. While

holly and ivy are to be found in gardens and hedgerows,

mistletoe usually only appears in greengrocers' shops, or

high up in a trees well out of reach. [Examples of this can be

seen in St Andrew's churchyard]

Mistletoe is hemiparasitic, meaning that although its leaves

enable it to feed itself through photosynthesis, its roots

invade the host tree or shrub to extract water and other

nutrients. Its favourite host trees are apple, lime, hawthorn,

poplar or oak and it normally hangs as a large globe,

tantalisingly high and totally visible once winter arrives and

it is the only green left on the tree.

There are some spectacular examples in Windsor Great

Park, clearly visible from the path on the opposite side of the

River Thames.


We all know about the almost translucent white berries,

fleshy and sticky, which form in the forks of mistletoe's many

branches. While they are toxic to humans, they are attractive

to birds. When birds have enjoyed the juicy flesh, they wipe

the remaining seeds off their beaks onto the nearest branch

(somewhat like small children wiping sticky hands on any

surface close by – mummy's face or clothes?). With luck

the seed remains stuck to the bark and solves mistletoe's

problem of reproduction.

In Greek mythology, mistletoe gave access to the

underworld. Romans thought it represented peace, love and

understanding and perhaps that is how it has sidled into our

Christmas celebrations. The earliest documentary evidence

for kissing under mistletoe dates from the 16th Century.

Some people think a berry should be removed after each kiss.

Given the small size of pieces generally available these days,

perhaps that is a practice not to be pursued!

38 The Parish Magazine - January 2021 Please mention The Parish Magazine when responding to advertisements





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none service including a full architectural experience. Our in-house experts can offer you full layout

schemes, sections & elevations and lighting & electrical plans for your interiors.

Furniture layouts are currently priced at £100 a room.

We wish you a very happy and safe New Year!

Call us for an informal chat or visit The Studio (by appointment only) | 07780836747 | 01189449629 |


In the 'front' garden

The Parish Magazine - January 2021 39

Recipe of the month

Grant Durr,

What’s in your front garden? If it is sparse, why not

consider adding some plants this year?

Apparently, the presence of greenery can lower your stress

levels as much as two months of mindfulness sessions.

Plants can also help you to feel happier.

A recent trial study by the Royal Horticultural Society

found that people who introduced ornamental plants such

as juniper, azalea, clematis, lavender, daffodil bulbs and

petunias had a significant lowering of the stress hormone,

cortisol, and many reported that they felt ‘happier’.

We are always pleased to receive pictures of your front -

or back - garden to share with our readers!

Beware what’s lurking in the river

Hot Chocolate Pudding

From Emma's Kitchen

Christopher Elwell,

Ingredients — Serves 8 . . . apparently!

— 175g unsalted butter (plus extra for greasing)

— 225g soft brown sugar

— 3 large eggs - beaten

— 1tsp vanilla

— 175g plain flour

— 40g cocoa powder

— 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

— Pinch of salt

— 3 tbsp milk

For the sauce

— 75g soft brown sugar

— 2 tbsp cocoa powder

— 3/4 pint of boiling water

Peter Rennie

Every river in England has chemicals in them.

A recent waterways survey has found that agricultural,

industrial and household pollutants now contaminate,

to some extent, all of our surface water. It is a huge

turnaround since 2016, when 97 per cent of our surface

water was deemed to be free from chemicals.

Using new Environment Agency sampling methods,

which include looking at the flesh of fish, it was found that

there are PFAS chemicals (from cosmetic and cleaning

products) and mercury (from burning waste and fuel) in

all of England’s waterways. Overall, just 14 per cent of our

rivers merit ecologically ‘good’.

That proportion of waters being in good health is one

of the worst in Europe, with a European average of 40 per

cent of surface waters being rated as ‘good’.

Wildlife charities warn that the Government’s 25-year

environment plan target for 75 per cent of our water bodies

to be in good condition is now ‘all but unachieveable.’


Set oven 170°C/Gas mark 3

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

Slowly add the beaten egg until mixed in.

Sift flour, salt, bicarb and cocoa into the bowl and mix

until just incorporated.

Add milk and mix until smooth.

Add to greased 9 inch dish and smooth over.

Add the remaining sugar, cocoa with the boiling water and

carefully pour over the top of the batter. Do not mix in.

Cover with foil and bake for 35 mins or until the end of

a skewer comes out clean (do not go too deep as you will

encounter the sauce which is the main point about this


Rest for 10-15 minutes

Serve with your choice of cream, ice cream or custard


40 The Parish Magazine - January 2021

Local Trades and Services

Please mention The Parish Magazine when responding to advertisements


Locks changed, fitted, repaired and opened

Door and window locks fitted, UPVC door lock expert

Checkatrade member - Which Trusted Trader

Call Richard Homden: 0149 168 2050 / 0771 040 9216


Linda Frewin HCPC member

General foot care and treatment including home visits

25 Ashtrees Road, Woodley RG5 4LP

0118 969 6978 - 0790 022 4999


Qualified Plumbing and Heating Engineers Gas Safe

25 years experience - local family run company

Office: 0118 961 8784 - Paul: 0776 887 4440


For jargon free help with your computer problems

PC & laptop repairs, upgrades, installations, virus removal

Free advice, reasonable rates

0798 012 9364


Electrical Installation and Smart Home Automation

Elliott — 0777 186 6696

Nick — 0758 429 4986


Reliable and affordable

Small jobs a speciality!

Call Andy on 0795 810 0128


Car Servicing, Repairs and MOT

Mole Road, Sindlesham, RG41 5DJ

0118 977 0831


For all your aerial photos. Good for surveying,

also for assessing conditions of roofs, etc

Thames Street, Sonning

0118 944 0000


We are a family business with excellent references

and we are fully insured

All cleaning materials provided

For free quote call: Maria 0779 902 7901


Thames Valley Will Service

Also Lasting Powers of Attorney and Probate Service

We are still working during the pandemic period

0134 464 1885


0779 926 8123 0162 882 8130

Member of the Guild of Master Sweeps


Tiling, Slating and Flat Roofing specialists

36 Chatteris Way, Lower Earley, RG6 4 JA

0118 986 6035 0794 447 4070


For local odd jobs please call Phil on

0118 944 0000

0797 950 3908

Thames Street, Sonning


Reliable and friendly service for all tree care

NPTC qualified — Public Liability of £10million

0118 937 1929 0786 172 4071


Landscaping, garden construction,

patios, lawns, fencing, decking etc

0118 969 8989


All types of Carpentry, Kitchens, Renovations

Built-in Cupboards & Wardrobes, Flooring & Doors

78 Crockhamwell Road, Woodley 0776 276 6110


The Parish Magazine - January 2021 41

42 The Parish Magazine - January 2021 Please mention The Parish Magazine when replying to advertisements

information — 2

Parish contacts

Ministry Team

— The Vicar: Revd Jamie Taylor*

The Parish Office, Thames Street, Sonning, RG4 6UR / 0118 969 3298

*Day off Friday

— Associate Vicar: Revd Kate Wakeman-Toogood / 0746 380 6735

On duty Tuesday, Friday and Sunday

— Youth Minister: Chris West (Westy) / 0794 622 4106

— Licensed Lay Minister: Bob Peters / 0118 377 5887

Children's Ministry

— Alison Smyly / 0118 969 3298


— Perry Mills / 0786 035 5457

— Stuart Bowman / 0118 978 8414

Deputy Churchwardens

— Liz Nelson / 0118 934 4837

— Simon Darvall 0793 928 2535

— Sue Peters / 0118 377 5887

— Molly Woodley (deputy churchwarden emeritus) / 0118 946 3667

Parish Administrator

— Hilary Rennie / 0118 969 3298

Parochial Church Council

— Secretary: Hilary Rennie 0118 969 3298

— Treasurer: Richard Moore 0118 969 2588

Director of Music, organist and choirmaster

— Chris Goodwin MA (Cantab), ARCO (CHM), ARCM, LRAM


— Helen Goodwin 0134 462 7697

Parish Website:

The Parish Magazine:

— Editor: Bob Peters / 0118 377 5887

— Advertising and Distribution: Gordon Nutbrown / 0118 969 3282

— Treasurer: Pat Livesey / 0118 961 8017

— The Parish Magazine is produced by St Andrew’s PCC and delivered

free of charge to every home in Charvil, Sonning and Sonning Eye.

— The Parish Magazine is printed in the United Kingdom by The Print

Factory at Sarum Graphics Ltd, Old Sarum, Salisbury SP4 6QX

— The Parish Magazine is distributed by Abracadabra Leaflet

Distribution Ltd, Reading RG7 1AW

— The Parish Magazine template was designed in 2012 by Roger

Swindale and David Woodward

Advertisers index

ABD Construction 20

ACG Services Locksmith 40

ADD Plumbing 12

Aerial Phil 40

AJH Roofing 40

All Waste Clearance 34

Barn Store Henley 16

Beechwood Carpentry and Construction 40

Big Heart Tree Care 40

Blandy & Blandy Solicitors 14

Blinds Direct 26

Blue Moose 8

Bridge House 43

Bridges Home Care 14

Bright and Fresh Cleaning 26

Bull Inn 8

Chimney Sweep, Thames 40

Chiropody, Linda Frewin 40

Chris the Plumber 32

Clark Bicknell 40

Complete Pest Solutions 16

Computer Frustrations 40

Cruz Kitchens 34

David Shailes Plumbing & Decorating 26

Design for Print 28

Freebody Boatbuilders 6

Fields Pharmacy 32

French Horn 44

Gardiners Nursing 8

Graham Blake Soft Furnishing 6

Great House Sonning 26

Handyman, Decorating 40

Haslams Estate Agents 2

Hicks Group 16

Intersmart Electrical Installations 40

James Autos 40

Jones & Sheppard Stone Masons 16

Just Brickwork 20

Kingfisher Bathrooms 18

MC Cleaning 40

Mill at Sonning 4

M & L Healthcare Solutions 12

Mortgage Required 18

Muck & Mulch 28

Odd Jobs 40

Pearson Hall Sonning 30

Q1 Care 30

Reading Blue Coat School 18

Richfield Flooring 14

Sabella Interiors 38

Shiplake College 20

Signature Cliveden Manor Care Home 28

Sonning Golf Club 32

Sonning Scouts Marquees 32

Smallwood Garden Services 40

Style by Julie 20

Sunrise of Sonning Senior Living 34

Thames Valley Water Softeners 20

Thames Valley Wills Service 40

Tomalin Funerals 30

Velvaere Studio 6

Village Hamper 20

Walker Funerals 12

Water Softener Salt 28

Window Cleaner 30

Please mention The Parish Magazine when responding this advertisements

The Parish Magazine - January 2021 43



Because you deserve

the very best

Welcome to Bridge House Nursing Home

Established for 35 years, the elegant Georgian Grade II listed Bridge House has extended its facilities to

include a beautiful, light-filled and airy purpose built nursing home.

Our philosophy is built upon helping residents maintain their independence and dignity, whilst ensuring

their needs and expectations are fully met. We believe that being independent means having the freedom

of choice and flexibility over how the day is spent. Working closely with families and professionals

is fundamental in delivering and maintaining the required level of health and wellbeing.

At Bridge House, our comprehensive facilities and care provision is designed to deliver skilled,

professional and individually planned care in an unobtrusive manner.

Call 0800 230 0206



190821 - Bridge House Ad Parish Mag v01.indd 1 21/08/2019 18:06

44 The Parish Magazine - January Please mention 2021 The Parish Magazine when responding this advertisements

The French Horn,

Sonning. Quality.

A continuing commitment to

wonderful food and wine.

0118 969 2204

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