The Parish Magazine February 2021

Serving the communities of Charvil, Sonning and Sonning Eye continuously since 1869

Serving the communities of Charvil, Sonning and Sonning Eye continuously since 1869


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<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - January <strong>2021</strong> 1<br />

<strong>The</strong><br />

<strong>Parish</strong><br />

<strong>Magazine</strong><br />

<strong>The</strong> John King Trophy and Gold Award<br />

Best <strong>Magazine</strong> of the Year 2018<br />

National <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> Awards<br />

Best Overall <strong>Magazine</strong> 2020<br />

Best Editor 2019<br />

Best Print 2018<br />

Best Content 2016<br />

Best Overall <strong>Magazine</strong> 2015<br />

Serving the communities of Charvil, Sonning & Sonning Eye since 1869<br />

<strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> — Candlemas and Lent<br />

Church of St Andrew<br />

Serving Sonning, Charvil & Sonning Eye<br />

the church of st andrew, SERVING THE COMMUNITIES OF<br />


2 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

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Serving the communities of Charvil, Sonning & Sonning Eye since 1869<br />

Church of St Andrew<br />

Serving Sonning, Charvil & Sonning Eye<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - January <strong>2021</strong> 1<br />

<strong>The</strong> John King Trophy and Gold Award<br />

Best <strong>Magazine</strong> of the Year 2018<br />

National <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> Awards<br />

Best Overall <strong>Magazine</strong> 2020<br />

Best Editor 2019<br />

Best Print 2018<br />

Best Content 2016<br />

Best Overall <strong>Magazine</strong> 2015<br />

information — 1<br />

Contents <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />



— Sunday Club Nativity, 7<br />

— For your prayers, 7<br />

— Ash on Wednesday, 9<br />

— STAY, 10-11<br />

— Not being weary, 13<br />

— <strong>The</strong> Persecuted Church, 15<br />

features<br />

— Revaluing <strong>The</strong> Pound, 17<br />

— Rydal Summer holidays, 19-21<br />

— Light for the World, 22-23<br />

— St Valentine's Day, 24-25<br />

— Counting Climate Costs, 27<br />

around the villages<br />

— Music for the Community, 29<br />

— Santa at Hare Hatch, 31<br />

— Jenny Adams retires, 31<br />

— Pleasure on the Thames, 31<br />

This month's FRONT COVER<br />

<strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> — Candlemas and Lent<br />

<strong>The</strong><br />

<strong>Parish</strong><br />

<strong>Magazine</strong><br />

the church of st andrew, SERVING THE COMMUNITIES OF<br />

CHARVIL, SONNING and sonning eye SINCE THE 7 th CENTURY<br />

Candlemas (see page 22)<br />

Pictures: Peter Rennie/Tom Farncombe<br />


<strong>The</strong> editorial deadline for every issue<br />

of <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> is 12 noon on<br />

the sixth day of the month prior to the<br />

date of publication.<br />

<strong>The</strong> deadline for the March<br />

issue of <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> is:<br />

Saturday 6 <strong>February</strong> at 12 noon<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - January <strong>2021</strong> 3<br />

Services at<br />

St Andrew’s<br />

At the time this issue went to press a<br />

third national Covid-19 lockdown had<br />

started. For the latest information about<br />

services in St Andrew's Church please<br />

check the St Andrew's website at:<br />

http://www.sonningparish.org.uk<br />

Or call the<br />

<strong>Parish</strong> Office<br />

on:<br />

0118 969 3298<br />


— Birds in the garden, 33<br />

— Recipe of the Month, 33<br />

the sciences<br />

— Hope for <strong>2021</strong>, 33<br />

HEALTH<br />

— Dr Simon Ruffle writes, 35-36<br />

THE ARTS<br />

— Forty Days and Nights, 36<br />

— Storytelling Week, 36<br />

— Book Reviews, 37<br />

— Poetry Corner, 37<br />

PUZZLE PAGE, 39<br />

children's page, 41<br />

information<br />

— Church services, 3<br />

— From the registers, 3<br />

— <strong>Parish</strong> contacts, 42<br />

— Advertisers index, 42<br />


Since just before Christmas I<br />

have had an intermittent/zero<br />

email service caused by a serious<br />

failure of a server through which<br />

all my emails pass. By the time<br />

you read this I am hoping that all<br />

will be restored. I apologise for<br />

any unanswered emails that you<br />

may have sent to me during the<br />

Christmas and New Year season.<br />

Bob Peters, editor<br />

From the<br />

registers<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> online<br />

This issue can be viewed online at:<br />

http://www.theparishmagazine.co.uk<br />

Earlier issues from 1869 onwards are<br />

stored in a secure online archive. If you<br />

wish to view these archives contact the<br />

editor who will authorise<br />

access for you:<br />

editor@theparishmagazine.co.uk<br />

Weddings<br />

— Friday 11 December, Ben Marson and Francesca Knight<br />

— Saturday 19 December, Sean Lambert and Grace Whittingham<br />

— Saturday 19 December, Jonathan Henry Rich and Antonia Rowanne Barker<br />

Funerals<br />

— Tuesday 15 December, Rosalind Buchanan, St Andrew's Church<br />

— Wednesday 23 December, Rosaline Ivy Simpson, Easthampstead Park<br />

— Wednesday 6 January, Constance Faith Belsham, Easthampstead Park

4 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

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<strong>The</strong> vicar's letter<br />


<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 5<br />

Dear friends,<br />

I hope you are somehow managing during this latest lockdown. We at least<br />

had the consolation of fine weather during the first one last year, and I<br />

really worry, especially for those who live alone. <strong>The</strong> darkness of isolation<br />

can be all pervading, but of course loneliness is not merely the preserve of<br />

those who live alone. It is my own personal experience that you can feel<br />

lonely in a room full of people, although we can be very good at concealing<br />

this.<br />

<strong>The</strong> darkness of bereavement is something that I have experience of<br />

from an early age. I well recall the almost tangible darkness which seemed<br />

to surround me and only kept it at bay by trying to ignore it; a huge mistake<br />

as I was to learn. I heard somebody recently talking on tv about how he<br />

felt 'bereaved for his former life' because of Covid-19, and I must confess<br />

to thinking, 'well at least you still have your life', but, on reflection, while<br />

'bereaved' was perhaps not the best choice of word, I think I can see his<br />

point. We have all had to step back from many normal activities, including<br />

seeing family and friends, and yes, this does bring a sense of loss.<br />

As vicar, I feel regret that all the new ways of serving our community<br />

that we had launched and that were thriving, have had to be mothballed.<br />

A Sunday service without congregational singing is an experience we have<br />

learnt to get used to, but something is very clearly missing, and we all look<br />

forward to raising the roof again, especially with our new organ. I am also aware of the sadness and frustration of<br />

pupils and teachers alike who are missing out on all the activities of the school year.<br />

So yes, there is a sense of loss and a feeling that some of the light has gone out of our lives, but at least we can<br />

remind ourselves that the light of the vaccine is shining brighter and brighter each week and that better days are<br />

on the horizon.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is no doubt that some things will never be the same again. Sadly, some jobs will be lost forever, retail<br />

chains are being consigned to history and I am sure there will be churches that went to sleep at the start of this<br />

pandemic, and they will never wake up.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are also positive changes that I am witnessing. I see a more caring church family at St Andrew’s, more<br />

ready to reach out to those who are elderly or on their own. I see communities that are more ready to be likewise<br />

and I pay tribute to those in our parish who have organised these initiatives.<br />

I have been aware of a greater awareness of the important work of foodbanks and other charitable endeavours<br />

and I would remind everyone that there is a collection point for the Woodley foodbank in church. Donations to<br />

the Sonning Welfare Trust, of which I am chairman, would be warmly welcomed and can either be given online<br />

or by cheque sent to me at the church office. <strong>The</strong> communities the Trust includes are Charvil, Woodley, Earley,<br />

Sonning Eye, Dunsden, Playhatch and Sonning Common — the old parish of Sonning. <strong>The</strong>re are some very real<br />

cases of hardship out there at the moment, some enough to reduce me to tears in all honesty, and we only have a<br />

limited investment income so donations would enable us to bring light into some very dark situations.<br />


At the start of <strong>February</strong>, the church celebrates Candlemas, the occasion when the infant Jesus was presented<br />

in the temple. He was proclaimed by Simeon to be 'A light to bring the Gentiles from darkness; the glory of your people<br />

Israel.' We have traditionally held a Christingle service on this day where children place a candle in an orange to<br />

symbolise Jesus as the light of the world. [See the centre pages]. John’s gospel states that 'Light has come into the<br />

world, and people loved darkness rather than light ...'. And yet, the light of the world has come, and it is Jesus. Not<br />

just any light, but the light of the one who 'brings grace and truth.' He reveals the truth of who we are and who we<br />

are not. He also shines forth the grace of a God who gives life and rebirth. His truth is a light that exposes and<br />

reveals. But his grace is a light that renews as well as reveals, exposes, and yet also forgives. <strong>The</strong> light is more than<br />

a candle in the night. <strong>The</strong> light of the world is Jesus, our Saviour. It is a light that our world needs more than ever.<br />

'I am the light of the world,' says Jesus. 'Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life'.<br />

And the church affirms, '<strong>The</strong> light shines in the darkness, and no darkness shall overcome it'.<br />

With warm wishes.<br />


6 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

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<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 7<br />

Sunday Club could not perform the Nativity in Church on Christmas Eve as they usually do, so they divided the story among<br />

nine Sunday Club families and each one filmed their part. <strong>The</strong> clips were combined and Sunday Club watched their final<br />

production on Christmas Eve over Zoom, along with playing Christmas themed games!<br />

Throughout last year Sunday Club met virtually during<br />

lockdowns and looked at the Christian foundations of our<br />

faith and Christian character (Living like Jesus).<br />

Advent candles for the countdown to Christmas were<br />

sent to families to reflect and pray each day when lighting<br />

it. <strong>The</strong> Nativity video came together brilliantly, was good<br />

fun and a wonderful way to celebrate the Christmas story<br />

together.<br />

Sunday Club will continue via Zoom during the current<br />

lockdown — it will be on the second, fourth and fifth<br />

Sundays of the month at 9.30am. When lockdown ends it<br />

is hoped that children will be able to meet in <strong>The</strong> Ark on<br />

the same Sundays of the month.<br />

If you have primary school age children and are<br />

interested in joining Sunday Club you would be very<br />

welcome. Please contact Hilary at the church office for<br />

further details:<br />

office@sonningparish.org.uk<br />

For your prayers<br />

in <strong>February</strong><br />

— <strong>The</strong> work of the Children's Society<br />

— Her Majesty the Queen on the 68th<br />

anniversary of her Accession on 6 <strong>February</strong><br />

— For the work of local foodbanks<br />

—For the family of Olly Stephens (13 years)<br />

murdered in Emmer Green<br />

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8 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

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the parish noticeboard — 2<br />

From the desk<br />

of the editor<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 9<br />

editor@theparishmagazine.co.uk<br />

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday 17 <strong>February</strong>. But why<br />

'Ash' Wednesday? <strong>The</strong> reason has to do with getting things<br />

right between you and God, and the tradition goes back to<br />

the Israelites in the Old Testament.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Israelites, being human, often sinned. When they came<br />

to their senses, and saw their evil ways as God saw them,<br />

they could do nothing but repent in sorrow. <strong>The</strong>y mourned<br />

for the damage and evil they had done and to show their<br />

repentance they covered their heads with ashes. This, and<br />

rending their clothes, was an outward sign of their heart-felt<br />

repentance and acknowledgement of sin. (Genesis 18:27; 2<br />

Samuel 13:19; Job 2:8, 30:19; Isaiah 58:5; Jeremiah 6:26; Jonah 3:6)<br />

In the early Christian Church, the annual 'class' of<br />

penitents had ashes sprinkled over them at the beginning<br />

of Lent. <strong>The</strong>y were turning to God for the first time, and<br />

mourning their sins. But soon many other Christians wanted<br />

to take part in the custom, and to do so at the start of Lent.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y heeded Joel's call to 'rend your hearts and not your<br />

garments' (Joel 2:12-19). Ash Wednesday became known as<br />

either the 'beginning of the fast' or ‘the day of the ashes’.<br />

<strong>The</strong> collect for Ash Wednesday stresses the penitential<br />

character of the day. It encourages us with the reminder of<br />

the readiness of God to forgive us and to renew us.<br />


Ahna Ziegler, unsplash.com<br />

Why 'Ash' on Wednesday?<br />

<strong>The</strong> Bible readings set for the day are often Joel 2:1-2,<br />

12–18, Matthew 6: 1-6,16 – 21 and Paul’s moving catalogue of<br />

suffering, 'as having nothing and yet possessing everything.'<br />

(2 Corinthians 5:20b - 6:10)<br />

<strong>The</strong> custom of 'ashing' was abolished at the Reformation,<br />

though the old name for the day remained. Today,<br />

throughout the Church of England, receiving the mark of<br />

ashes on one’s forehead is optional. Certainly, the mark<br />

of ashes on the forehead reminds us of our mortality:<br />

'Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return...'<br />

(Genesis 3:19)<br />

<strong>The</strong> late medieval custom was to burn the branches used<br />

on Palm Sunday in the previous year in order to create the<br />

ashes for this year, which is how the ashes used on Ash<br />

Wednesday in St Andrew's Church are created.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Collect for Ash Wednesday is: Almighty and everlasting<br />

God, you hate nothing that you have made and forgive the<br />

sins of all those who are penitent: Create and make in us new<br />

and contrite hearts that we, worthily lamenting our sins and<br />

acknowledging our wretchedness, may receive from you, the God<br />

of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus<br />

Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the<br />

unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.<br />

A lesson to learn<br />

We all take things for granted in life but it is not until<br />

they are not there that we really appreciate them. I first<br />

used email in the 1970's to communicate with some of my<br />

team of writers who were based in distant offices. It was<br />

not always easy to use but the seeds for this revolution<br />

in communications were steadily being sown. Today, like<br />

most people of my generation, emailing is as natural as<br />

using the telephone, which itself, only became widespread<br />

in my youth. When I write in this column that something<br />

arrived on my desk, it is almost always in the form of an<br />

email. <strong>The</strong> second source is magazines and newspapers.<br />

Letters through the postal service are rare sources of<br />

information for this magazine.<br />

CATCH-22<br />

Just before Christmas, a computer used as an email<br />

server through which all my emails are routed failed and<br />

all the emails and files stored on it were lost. Although<br />

I have back up copies, it could not have failed at a worse<br />

time, with the world moving into the biggest holiday<br />

season of the year and Covid restrictions affecting every<br />

aspect of our daily lives.<br />

Added to this, the server affected was in the United<br />

States, and the engineers who manage my internet<br />

services, and have done so for more than 20 years, are<br />

based in Australia. To cut a long story short, the result was<br />

that my registered internet domain names used for my<br />

emails — and which are provided by another trustworthy<br />

company that I have also used for more than 20 years —<br />

were locked because their security monitoring system<br />

could not communicate with the server that had failed.<br />

<strong>The</strong> process of unlocking the domain names can only be<br />

achieved by email, and I could not email them because my<br />

email system was down! It was, and at the time of writing,<br />

still is, a Catch-22 situation! Hopefully, by the time you<br />

read this, it will be resolved and my preferred method for<br />

communications will be restored.<br />


<strong>The</strong> lesson to learn from this affair is not to take<br />

anything for granted in life, particularly when it involves<br />

technology. Whether it's old or new we need to be<br />

prepared for every eventuality and we should never rely<br />

completely on man-made things.<br />

In the midst of trying to re-establish my email<br />

communications with the world I was asked to take the<br />

funeral of a 95 year old lady whom I knew had been a<br />

faithful Christian throughout her life.<br />

This privilege reminded me that while we can never<br />

be certain about the reliability of our worldly things, we<br />

always have our unchanging, everlasting God on whom we<br />

can, and ought, to rely!

10 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

the parish noticeboard — 3<br />

STAY<br />

ST Andrew's Youth<br />

STAY in Schools<br />

This crucial work in schools continued until the<br />

schools broke up before Christmas. This includes:<br />

mentoring 20 pupils each week, and assemblies<br />

at all four local primary and secondary schools<br />

— the picture of me as an alien is so Rev Kate<br />

could explain Christmas to me! Could there<br />

have been more than three wise men? Why<br />

do we give and receive gifts? Why did God<br />

send Jesus to a dirty animal trough for us,<br />

and not to a five star hotel with a pool?<br />

Plus I have the privilege of the new Piggott<br />

lunch time hang out work and it’s been fun<br />

planning the advocacy group.<br />

STAY on Friday<br />

In December we had two Friday evenings at the<br />

youth club when we played games, listened to<br />

music, painted our nails, munched on tuck, toasted<br />

marshmallows and enjoyed one another’s company.<br />

Sadly we had to cancel the Christmas party night as<br />

we didn’t want to risk ruining anyone’s Christmas<br />

with a positive case of Covid-19.<br />

<strong>The</strong> families and young people who continued to<br />

be involved in the youth club in 2020 are a joy and a<br />

pleasure to work with. <strong>The</strong> STAY on Friday team love<br />

working with all the local young people! <strong>The</strong>y’re such<br />

a lovely and energetic bunch of young people that it<br />

makes our Friday nights such a blessing!<br />

STAY on Sunday<br />

We were able to meet for only one Sunday in<br />

December when we looked at ‘<strong>The</strong> Bible — how and<br />

why do we read it?’ <strong>The</strong> Alpha Youth series has really<br />

lent itself to being on Zoom and I pray this continues<br />

in <strong>2021</strong>. <strong>The</strong> young people chat and joke more, and the<br />

discussions go deeper than when meeting in person.<br />

STAY Christmas Gift Bags<br />

Throughout December I was able to gather a bunch<br />

of goodies to put into paper bags ready to deliver to<br />

all the STAY on Sunday youth! <strong>The</strong> gift bag included<br />

sweets, chocolate, a wristband with a Bible verse on,<br />

a card wishing them a merry Christmas as well as<br />

advertising a new summer camp hoping to start in<br />

<strong>2021</strong>, and a pin badge with an encouraging message<br />

that relates to a Bible verse. <strong>The</strong> bags were delivered<br />

on Christmas Eve. Here’s what some of the young<br />

people said about them:<br />

— 'I like the wristband because when I wear it, it reminds<br />

me of Jesus'<br />

— 'I really appreciated the gift bags and found them<br />

really helpful and uplifting especially given that I had no<br />

idea I was going to get one. <strong>The</strong>y had lots of lovely things<br />

inside for example a little pin badge which has a nice<br />

phrase on — mine says ‘FEAR LESS’ — accompanied<br />

by a wristband with a Bible quote on, a card and a few<br />

sweets. <strong>The</strong>y were a lovely surprise which I have really<br />

been encouraged by this Christmas'.<br />

— 'My favourite item was definitely the pin badge as<br />

it reminded me that God is always with us and we are<br />

unstoppable through Christ. <strong>The</strong> item I’ve used most also<br />

has to be the pin badge as it is on my school bag. It gives<br />

me motivation knowing I'm not alone. <strong>The</strong> pin badge also<br />

lets me think about his goodness and how we can look to<br />

him when we need him the most'<br />

STAY Advent Reflections<br />

On 1 December, I posted to 30 young people from<br />

STAY an Advent reflection. One of the parents wrote<br />

this to me, which sums it up beautifully!<br />

This year Westy and the STAY team put together a<br />

thoughtful Advent calendar for the youth club members.<br />

We received ours appropriately socially distanced<br />

through the post :). Inside were four envelopes dated<br />

each week of Advent in December. Charlie was excited<br />

to open the first envelope which related to Elizabeth and<br />

Zechariah. Inside was a reflection, an action, a Bible<br />

verse and a treat. <strong>The</strong> treat was consumed in short order,<br />

but while doing so we read through the reflection and<br />

Charlie really enjoyed spraying his room with a new<br />

scent. He decided to use Eucalyptus because it reminded<br />

him of outdoors and woods and Christmas trees<br />

strangely enough! <strong>The</strong>n Charlie asked if we could read<br />

the Bible passage listed in the Advent envelope. I was<br />

touched that Charlie wished to do this and it actually<br />

become a new bedtime activity. We would read a passage<br />

together and I was then asked a lot of searching and<br />

surprising questions about it. Surprising because I was<br />

amazed at the depth and thought Charlie had applied to

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 11<br />

the themes and topics. So much so that Charlie asked for<br />

his own personal copy of the Bible.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Advent seemed very relevant to the current times<br />

and the many issues people have been facing during the<br />

pandemic especially.<br />

For Charlie it linked to his participation in the Big Sleep<br />

Out at Home for Launchpad Reading and he wanted to<br />

do something more and asked if he could give practical<br />

help for a local homeless charity. Unfortunately, the Covid<br />

restrictions and the new tiers put paid to this but he<br />

suggested we put a remote version in place instead and we<br />

were able to do this safely.<br />

I was proud and touched that he was thinking of others<br />

and putting thought into practise and I thank Westy and<br />

the STAY team for the Advent calendar which sparked<br />

this energy.<br />

He looked forward to each weekly Advent envelope<br />

and tried each action enthusiastically (especially the<br />

Shepherds and Joseph). We both enjoyed standing<br />

barefoot in the garden and came back into the warmth of<br />

the house refreshed. Charlie mentioned those that don’t<br />

have the option to go back into warmth and it made us<br />

both reflect on that.<br />

His enthusiasm was catching and it made us all think<br />

about and consider things we could do. Those small<br />

actions and acts that add up to make a bigger difference<br />

and don’t seem so big as to appear impossible, like the<br />

shepherds at the manger. It was such a lovely way to<br />

remind us of the true spirit of Christmas and we again<br />

thank Westy and the STAY team for such a thoughtful<br />

Advent'.<br />

Another parent and their children also gave some<br />

useful feedback on the Advent reflections...<br />

'<strong>The</strong> reflections were a good prompt each week to read<br />

the Bible together over a meal. We found it useful to place<br />

ourselves in the shoes of the different characters in the<br />

story to better be able to empathise and understand how<br />

they felt. Although not all the actions were completed,<br />

directing us through the footsteps of the individuals<br />

was meaningful and a good way of journeying through<br />

Advent.”<br />

Lastly, one young person simply put it like this...<br />

'I think it was nice to know how Mary felt'.<br />

STAY & Sunday Club Shortbread Delivery<br />

My wife has many hair-brained ideas throughout a<br />

normal month, but this one was too good not to do!<br />

'Let’s get the youth and children to make shortbread for<br />

all the older people from church and hand deliver it to<br />

their doors!' OK I thought ... so we got recruiting and<br />

managed to bag some willing volunteers and off we<br />

went. We’ve had so much lovely feedback in phone<br />

calls, emails, texts and face to face at church (while<br />

staying 2m away of course!)<br />

Here’s a few lovely feedback emails (paraphrased)<br />

from those who received shortbread:<br />

'What a lovely surprise to see you the Wednesday<br />

before Christmas bearing gifts of beautifully wrapped<br />

homemade shortbread stars made by Phoebe and her<br />

One of the STAY Advent cards<br />

Grandma. Having not been able to get to church for the<br />

last four weeks due to Covid-19 it was lovely to chat to<br />

you from a distance. It gave us so much pleasure to see<br />

you all in what was to be a very quiet Christmas. <strong>The</strong><br />

shortbread was very much enjoyed on Christmas Day,<br />

thank you Phoebe and Grandma. Many thanks again for<br />

your support, which is very much appreciated. Keith and<br />

Daphne'<br />

'We would like to thank you both for the lovely idea of<br />

making and delivering shortbread to us 'oldies' of St<br />

Andrew’s from the Youth Group. We wish you both and<br />

Phoebe a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy<br />

<strong>2021</strong>. Rosemary and Gordon'<br />

'What a surprise! Thank you and STAY for the lovely<br />

cookies delivered yesterday. With love and best wishes to<br />

you all. Sonia'<br />

As we are set to STAY at Home for the start of <strong>2021</strong><br />

I’d like to say a prayer for all the young people and<br />

their families.<br />

Dear God. I pray that you would be close to each and every<br />

young person and their families at this time. I ask you<br />

Jesus for an abundance of patience, kindness and grace.<br />

Help us all by your Holy Spirit to be quick to say sorry and<br />

quick to forgive. Finally, I want to pray against the feelings<br />

of being angry, overwhelmed and lonely at this time.<br />

Amen.<br />

I am always here to chat or text me on 0794 622 4106<br />

or youthminister@sonningparish.org.uk<br />

Peace and Love! Westy!

12 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

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the parish noticeboard — 4<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 13<br />

'Let us not be weary in well doing' (Galatians 6:9 KJV)<br />

By Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, international director, Barnabas Aid<br />

Most Christians who have committed their lives wholeheartedly to the Lord's<br />

service know what it is to become dejected, listless and discouraged. We cease<br />

to feel much for the things that we used to be passionate about. We have<br />

little empathy for the suffering, or righteous anger about injustice. Prayer,<br />

worship and reading the Bible seem to be meaningless mechanical exercises.<br />

In modern times, an extreme version<br />

of this state is sometimes called by the<br />

exciting name of 'burn-out'. Long ago,<br />

however, the Greek word acedia was<br />

used, literally meaning 'not caring'.<br />

Such sluggishness of heart was greatly<br />

feared by the early Christians.<br />

Although the word does not occur<br />

in the Bible, acedia was considered one<br />

of the most dangerous sins into which<br />

a believer could fall.<br />


Even towering spiritual heroes<br />

can be overtaken by acedia, especially<br />

after a time of great stress, exertion<br />

or persecution. Elijah was afflicted so<br />

badly at one point that he begged to die:<br />

I have had enough, Lord. Take my life; I<br />

am no better than my ancestors.<br />

(1Kings 19:4)<br />

Jeremiah, worn down by mockery<br />

and opposition to his prophetic<br />

ministry, reached such a low that<br />

he cursed the day he had been born<br />

(Jeremiah 20:7-18).<br />

John the Baptist was apparently<br />

overwhelmed with doubts while in<br />

prison and needed assurance that his<br />

cousin Jesus was indeed the Messiah<br />

(Matthew 11:3).<br />


We have all come through a long<br />

hard year of Coronavirus. Even if not<br />

much affected ourselves, we were<br />

burdened by the knowledge of rising<br />

poverty, shrinking economies and<br />

growing inequality across the globe,<br />

with increasing anti-Christian violence<br />

in many places too. At the same time,<br />

our normal spiritual disciplines and<br />

input were probably disrupted by<br />

lockdown.<br />

Perhaps some of us feel the<br />

inertness of acedia creeping up on us?<br />

As a new year starts, our hearts sink<br />

and we struggle to find the energy to<br />

keep giving of ourselves. If so, the Bible<br />

has a message for us at the beginning<br />

of <strong>2021</strong>: Let us not become weary in doing<br />

good. (Galatians 6:9)<br />

<strong>The</strong>se words were written by Paul,<br />

who knew all about stress, danger and<br />

exhaustion. In the first chapter of 2<br />

Corinthians, he shares with us very<br />

frankly about a time when he hit rock<br />

bottom, when he became so extremely<br />

discouraged and his afflictions were<br />

so crushingly great that he despaired<br />

even of life itself. (2 Corinthians 1:8-9)<br />

But he goes on in the same letter to<br />

state, with determination that: we do<br />

not lose heart. (2 Corinthians 4:1,16)<br />

In fact, the Greek word that Paul<br />

uses to the Corinthians, enkakoumen,<br />

usually translated into English along<br />

the lines of 'not losing heart' or 'not<br />

being discouraged', is the same word<br />

that he uses to the Galatians, where it<br />

is most often translated along the lines<br />

of 'not becoming weary'.<br />

BE STILL<br />

What is clear is that we must strive<br />

to conquer inner discouragement,<br />

rather than yield to it. We must not<br />

give up seeking to walk closely with<br />

the Lord, to hear his voice and to do his<br />

will. We must continue to do good, in<br />

Christ's name.<br />

Paul goes on to clarify what he<br />

means about doing good: '<br />

As we have opportunity, let us do good to<br />

all people, especially to those who belong<br />

to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:10)<br />

So, we face a new year with courage,<br />

with faith, with trust in God and with<br />

a resolution that we will continue to<br />

serve him with our whole being.<br />

Be still, my soul: the hour is hast'ning on<br />

When we shall be forever with the Lord,<br />

When disappointment, grief,<br />

and fear are gone,<br />

Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.<br />

Be still, my soul:<br />

when change and tears are past,<br />

All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.<br />

(Katharina von Schlegel, translation, Jane<br />

Borthwick)<br />

This article, which first appeared in the<br />

Barnabas Aid journal, is republished here with<br />

permission.<br />

Praying for the<br />

Persecuted Church<br />

barnabasfund.org<br />

Travel the world<br />

in your Lenten<br />

prayers<br />

When Lent begins this month on<br />

Ash Wednesday 17 <strong>February</strong>, none<br />

of us know if it will be possible to<br />

meet in groups to explore the Bible<br />

and pray together, but there are lots<br />

of alternative ideas for individuals<br />

to have their own Lent activities<br />

at home — and here, as the saying<br />

goes, is something different!<br />

Barnabas Aid has published for Lent<br />

a free booklet called 'Praying for the<br />

Persecuted Church' that highlights<br />

the plight of millions of Christians<br />

around the world who are being<br />

persecuted for their faith.<br />


Each day throughout Lent there<br />

is a short, one page introduction<br />

to the persecuted church in a<br />

different country — or on some<br />

days it is about a particular topic<br />

such as 'women', 'children', 'refugees'<br />

'converts', 'pastors', or 'martyrs' —<br />

which ends with a brief suggestion<br />

for your prayers.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Lent prayer booklet shown<br />

above — and others —can be<br />

downloaded free from:<br />

https://barnabasfund.org/resources/<br />

<strong>The</strong> prayer booklets can be found<br />

towards the bottom of the page.

14 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

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the parish noticeboard — 5<br />

<strong>The</strong> persecuted church<br />

A round-up of news, features, and links by Colin Bailey: please read for<br />

awareness, and support through prayer and any further support —<br />

financial or otherwise. This month we look at the conflict in Nagorno-<br />

Karabakh, the Armenian populated enclave of Azerbaijan, and reflect<br />

on the Armenian genocide of 100 years earlier.<br />

Azerbaijan is a mostly Muslim country, while the majority<br />

of Armenia is Christian.<br />

Between September and November 2020, an armed conflict<br />

took place in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Open Doors<br />

reports that thousands were killed, including Christians:<br />

'many Christians in Azerbaijan from Muslim backgrounds have<br />

been killed in the recent fighting, including church leaders'.<br />

In Armenia, Orthodox and Protestant Christians have<br />

been killed, as have believers from Yezidi backgrounds.<br />

Several churches in the two countries have been bombed and<br />

seriously damaged, including properties where two small<br />

house groups met.<br />

<strong>The</strong> European Asylum Support Office (EASO) has<br />

provided a chronology of events. <strong>The</strong> region is within the<br />

borders of Azerbaijan and recognised under international<br />

law as a part of it. It is under de facto control by the Republic<br />

of Artsakh, which is supported by Armenia. This was<br />

established after a referendum and led to a war between 1992<br />

and 1994.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re had been a 'Four Day War' in 2016, resulting in some<br />

territorial gains by Azerbaijan. <strong>The</strong> clashes in 2020 started<br />

on 27 September and led to the announcement by Armenia,<br />

Azerbaijan and Russia of the signing of a ceasefire agreement<br />

on 10 November, 'according to which Azerbaijan would maintain<br />

its control over the territories it captured in Nagorno- Karabakh<br />

and adjacent areas, and gain the regions of Agdam and Lachin.'<br />


In recent articles, Barnabas Fund described how this<br />

conflict has echoes of the genocide of 100 years earlier,<br />

when an estimated 3.75 million Christians died. Not only<br />

Armenians but also Assyrian, Syriac and Greek Christians<br />

were targeted for their faith by the Ottoman authorities.<br />

Even today only 31 countries recognise the genocide.<br />

<strong>The</strong> United Kingdom is not among them, although the<br />

parliaments of Wales and Scotland have voted to do so.<br />

Turkey continues to deny the genocide.<br />

Barnabas outline how on the eve of the German<br />

invasion of Poland at the beginning of the Second World<br />

War, Hitler said to his generals 'Who, after all, speaks today<br />

of the annihilation of the Armenians?' <strong>The</strong>y describe how 'His<br />

directive was to kill every man, woman and child of the mainly<br />

Roman Catholic Polish population, just as the Nazis were soon to<br />

slaughter millions of Jews, and other ‘undesirables’, in Germany.'<br />

This 'chilling analysis' has proved to be correct, they<br />

say — not because no one knew what had happened to the<br />

Christians, but because countries’ own vested interests took<br />

priority.<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir argument is that Armenia today believes her<br />

existence is at risk, and that Armenians see the prospect<br />

of a new genocide before them. If the world 'stood on the<br />

sidelines' during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict then what<br />

of the fate of Christian minorities in other parts of the world<br />

– even if they were to be facing genocide?<br />

Armenian genocide demonstrators<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 15<br />

Maria Oswalt, unsplash.com<br />

In the preface to the 2015 edition of his book <strong>The</strong> Crossing<br />

Place, Philip Marsden also talks about how the Turkish state<br />

has denied that there was an organised campaign to kill<br />

Armenians, and this despite growing evidence since the<br />

events of a century earlier.<br />

In his memoir Surviving the Forgotten Armenian Genocide,<br />

Smpat Chorbadjian describes how wives and children of<br />

young Armenians in Turkey were killed in front of them.<br />

Turkey had run out of coal during the First World War. <strong>The</strong><br />

young men were working in the forests, cutting down trees to<br />

aid Turkey’s war effort. But after their efforts of labouring in<br />

the forests and building roads for the Turks, they were then<br />

sent 'to join their wives'.<br />

'One of the great forgotten catastrophes of the 20th century',<br />

is how film-maker Terry George described the Armenian<br />

Genocide. His 2016 film <strong>The</strong> Promise is a fascinating tale, set<br />

in the last days of the Ottoman Empire and the Armenian<br />

genocide, at the start of the First World War. Writer and<br />

director George said of it that he ' jumped at the opportunity' to<br />

make it. He admits that it is 'one of the most contentious subjects<br />

out there. Even now, they’re locking up journalists who speak up on<br />

the matter.'<br />

'<strong>The</strong> story of the Armenian Genocide has been suppressed by<br />

successive Turkish governments, and we were well aware of that,<br />

but we wanted to go after it anyway', George says. 'We never<br />

wanted to dictate perception, just tell the truth. He adds, '<strong>The</strong><br />

genocide is burned into the soul of the Armenian diaspora. And<br />

until they get some kind of recognition, it’s not going to go away'.<br />

References and further reading<br />

Open Doors Christians among thousands killed in fighting between<br />

Armenia and Azerbaijan; ceasefire agreed.<br />

https://tinyurl.com/y9k85fxb [2 Jan <strong>2021</strong>].<br />

European Asylum Support Office (EASO) COI Chronology: <strong>The</strong> course<br />

of the Nagorno-Karabakh armed conflict and its impact on the civilian<br />

population. https://tinyurl.com/yd87bxk9 [2 Jan <strong>2021</strong>].<br />

Barnabas Fund A blanket of shame covers the world’s continued denial<br />

of the Armenian Genocide. https://tinyurl.com/yc5v2lp4 [2 Jan <strong>2021</strong>].<br />

Barnabas Fund Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh: a forgotten genocide<br />

– a people in repeated peril. https://tinyurl.com/ya53nxyq [2 Jan <strong>2021</strong>]<br />

Terry George quotes on <strong>The</strong> Promise: IMDb (Internet Movie Database)<br />

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0313623/ [2 Jan <strong>2021</strong>].<br />

<strong>The</strong> Promise (2016) Directed by Terry George. Amazon Prime Video<br />

[Dec 2020].<br />

Philip Marsden (1993) <strong>The</strong> Crossing Place: a journey among the<br />

Armenians. London: William Collins.<br />

Vasily Grossman (2014) An Armenian Sketchbook. London: MacLehose<br />

Press.<br />

Smpat Chorbadjian (2015) Surviving the Forgotten Armenian Genocide:<br />

a moving personal story. McLean VA (USA): Isaac Publishing.

16 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

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feature — 1<br />

Revaluing <strong>The</strong> Pound<br />

By Prof Alastair Driver<br />

Sandwiched between King George’s Field car park and<br />

Pound Lane is a small area of enclosed woodland about 80<br />

by 10 metres. It is known as '<strong>The</strong> Pound', because, as the<br />

hugely informative 'Book of Sonning' by Angela Perkins tells<br />

us, it was, until the early part of the last century, a fencedin<br />

enclosure for straying livestock, that could be retrieved<br />

by their owners through payment of a fine.<br />

In 1938, the recreation ground, which had been purchased by<br />

Sonning <strong>Parish</strong> Council two years earlier, was designated as a<br />

King George’s Field for recreation, an amenity in perpetuity.<br />

At the same time, natural succession took over in <strong>The</strong><br />

Pound with nearby tree and shrub species self-seeding.<br />

A probable exception to this natural re-wilding was the<br />

planting of a couple of Scots Pines which are not native<br />

to this part of the country. Sadly they have gone. <strong>The</strong> last<br />

remaining specimen succumbing very rapidly to red needle<br />

blight last year which led to its felling for safety reasons.<br />

15 years ago, with the support of the <strong>Parish</strong> Council and<br />

some willing volunteers, I oversaw some clearance work in<br />

<strong>The</strong> Pound when we created a pathway through it, planted<br />

native snowdrop, bluebell and wild daffodil bulbs, and a few<br />

native trees and shrubs, to complement what had established<br />

naturally. For several years it looked great but it gradually<br />

became overgrown again so, about 5 years ago, I offered to<br />

repeat the exercise and enhance it. <strong>The</strong> offer was declined by<br />

the <strong>Parish</strong> Council until last year when they changed their<br />

minds. Bolstered by the fact that the Friends of Ali’s Pond<br />

now exceed 70 volunteers and that I was struggling to find<br />

enough work for them, I agreed to take on the task. And so it<br />

was that 20 volunteers put in a total of 60 man-hours in two<br />

work party sessions in late November 2020 and transformed<br />

<strong>The</strong> Pound to its former glory — and hopefully beyond.<br />


— Removal of brambles and ivy from the main pathway area and<br />

less densely covered areas of the sloping bank<br />

— Removal of ivy from selected trees<br />

— Raking leaves and woody debris to clear areas for wildflower<br />

seeding<br />

— Transfer of 12 ballast bags of debris to Reading waste tip<br />

— Creation of 3 habitat piles for great crested newts and other<br />

wildlife using remaining wood and leaf<br />

— Litter picking (app 3 bin bags full)<br />

— Creation of steps in the slope down from the car park<br />

— Restoration of clear pathway through the site<br />

— Planting of 1,025 native wildflower plants, bulbs and corms:<br />

300 snowdrops, 250 wild daffodils, 250 bluebells, 100 aconites,<br />

50 wild garlic, 50 wood anemone, and 25 primrose.<br />

— Sowing of a native woodland wildflower mix in the barer areas<br />

I would like to sincerely thank all the volunteers who<br />

worked hard to get the job done swiftly and who told me that<br />

they found it very enjoyable and a great way to exercise while<br />

'giving something back to the community' in difficult times.<br />

I also thank parish councillor Trefor Fisher for his positive<br />

support and the <strong>Parish</strong> Council for funding the purchase of<br />

the wildflower bulbs and seeds. Roll on the spring, by which<br />

time <strong>The</strong> Pound should be realising its true value once again!<br />

1 2<br />

6<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 17<br />

5<br />

1: Bluebells and snow in 2008; 2: Summer in 2004; 3: <strong>The</strong><br />

Pound after being cleared in 2005; 4: Greg Elphick crafting the<br />

new steps; 5: Jim (bramble basher) Reeve; 6&7: Volunteers<br />

clearing <strong>The</strong> Pound and below 8: the result of their hard work!<br />

Pictures: Ali Driver<br />

8<br />

3<br />

7<br />


18 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

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feature — 2<br />

A young man came out of his chalet<br />

in the dark and walked straight<br />

over a 20 foot high cliff, landing on<br />

his knees. Shaken, but otherwise<br />

unhurt he staggered into the<br />

kitchen and sat down for a rest.<br />

This is the time of year when<br />

holidays are planned and after<br />

the Covid restrictions they will be<br />

looked forward to.<br />

<strong>The</strong> first summer holiday I had<br />

was just after the Second World War<br />

ended. I was 12 years old.<br />

<strong>The</strong> holiday was in Exmouth<br />

where my cousin and I found a land<br />

mine in the sand on a remote part<br />

of the beach. Not thinking that it<br />

might not be a dud we picked it up<br />

and played with it.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re have been many holidays<br />

since then but none better than<br />

those spent at Rydal Hall, Ambleside<br />

in the Cumbrian Lake District.<br />

My youngest son Chris was a<br />

parish worker, living with a priest<br />

in a very rough part of Sunderland.<br />

<strong>The</strong> vicarage had a 10 foot high chain<br />

link fence with barbed wire all round<br />

it at the top and there were steel<br />

shutters over the windows at night.<br />


Barbara, my wife and I, stayed<br />

there overnight on one occasion<br />

and it was feared that there might<br />

not be any wheels on my car in the<br />

morning!<br />

While there, my son trained<br />

as a chef at a local college and<br />

then worked at St John's college<br />

in Durham. When working in the<br />

kitchen there he was told '<strong>The</strong>re's<br />

some bishop on the phone asking for<br />

you'.<br />

It was the Bishop of Carlisle<br />

asking him if he would be interested<br />

in a job at Rydal Hall.<br />

A former stately home built in<br />

1789, Rydal Hall is set in over 30<br />

acres of grounds and is a UNESCO<br />

World Heritage site.<br />

It is at the foot of Nab Scar, which<br />

is the peak at the western end of the<br />

ring of fells known as the Fairfield<br />

Horseshoe.<br />

It is also at the southern end of a<br />

rocky footpath known as the Coffin<br />

Trail because the remains of William<br />

Wordsworth were carried along it to<br />

his funeral at Grasmere in 1850.<br />

<strong>The</strong> hall was bought by the<br />

Diocese of Carlisle in 1970 for use as<br />

a retreat house and holiday venue. It<br />

accommodated about 50 guests when<br />

Chris went there in 1992.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re were about four or<br />

five permanent staff and a few<br />

Hungarians who came for the<br />

English experience. Each of them<br />

worked there for a year or so, making<br />

a community of about 10.<br />

<strong>The</strong> warden was Rev Peter Walker,<br />

a very nice man liked by everyone.<br />

Guests made their own beds and<br />

were expected to make their own<br />

bed with clean sheets before leaving.<br />

On the ground floor in the middle<br />

of the grand façade is a small chapel<br />

and to one side is the dining room<br />

and the other a large lounge.<br />


So it was in 1992 that Barbara<br />

and I started to stay there as paying<br />

guests of the community, twice,<br />

sometimes three times a year,<br />

and on one occasion to the lavish<br />

Christmas party. Barbara says that<br />

we never went on retreat. Only to<br />

the bar!<br />

It was when Chris was going<br />

to prepare the evening meal on<br />

Christmas Eve that he went over the<br />

cliff.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 19<br />

Happy summer holiday memories of Rydal<br />

By Claude Masters<br />

Claude and Barbara Masters in the Lake District<br />

Claude Masters<br />

In 1997 we organised a group of<br />

about 12, mostly elderly ladies, from<br />

St Luke's with St Bartholomew's<br />

Reading to go there for a holiday.<br />

Weekends were booked by local<br />

parishes so we went mid-week<br />

travelling on Sunday and returning<br />

Friday.<br />

Barbara arranged insurance for<br />

the group and the insurers needed<br />

to know the name, age and state of<br />

health of each individual and they<br />

would not cover one of the two very<br />

old ladies. We knew she was really<br />

looking forward to the holiday and<br />

we wanted her to go. So we said<br />

nothing to her, prayed, and took<br />

her along anyway. She died three<br />

months later.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se two ladies were too frail<br />

to travel by rail or clamber on a<br />

mini bus, so on the morning of<br />

departure I picked them up from<br />

their homes in my car and drove<br />

them to Cumbria — and then took<br />

them around in my car for the whole<br />

holiday.<br />

Chris took time off to drive a<br />

hired mini bus and met Barbara<br />

with the others when they arrived at<br />

Windermere railway station.<br />

We had been to Rydal Hall<br />

a month earlier and toured the<br />

Lake District to decide where to<br />

go, find where the car parks were<br />

turn to page 21

20 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

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feature — 3<br />

Rydal Hall dates from 1409 when<br />

Sir Thomas le Fleming and his family<br />

built the first Rydal Hall at St John's<br />

Knott. In 1600 William Fleming built<br />

a new hall on the present site. <strong>The</strong><br />

original house is adjacent to the tea<br />

shop and now is known as the 'Old<br />

Kitchen and Bar'.<br />

Rydal Hall was passed down<br />

through the Fleming family and in<br />

1757 the fourth baronet Sir Michael<br />

built the Georgian south wing which<br />

is the modern front of Rydal Hall in<br />

1789.<br />

After the death of the last Squire<br />

le Fleming, the Hall was let from the<br />

1940's and during the Second World<br />

War, it was used as a school. Later<br />

it became a hotel and then in 1963,<br />

it was let to the Diocese of Carlisle<br />

as a retreat house for 'hospitality,<br />

tranquillity and spirituality for all'.<br />

In 1970 the Diocese of Carlisle<br />

purchased Rydal Hall and 30 acres of<br />

the surrounding land.<br />

Today, Rydal Hall is still owned by<br />

the Diocese of Carlisle and continues<br />

to provide Christian hospitality<br />

regardless of faith. It now has enfrom<br />

page 19<br />

Rydal Hall<br />

and to make sure there were toilets<br />

available.<br />

During the four days we visited<br />

Beatrix Potter's home 'Hill Top' set in<br />

its beautiful gardens, and the nearby<br />

small lake Tarn Howes. We also had<br />

a boat trip on Lake Windermere and<br />

Ullswater, rode on 'Ratty' the narrow<br />

gauge railway from Ravenglass to<br />

Eskdale and saw most of the lakes<br />

as well as going over the treacherous<br />

Hardknot pass with its precipitous<br />

sharp bends.<br />

<strong>The</strong> hall kitchen provided each of<br />

us with a picnic lunch every day and<br />

we were fortunate indeed to have<br />

fine warm weather all the time — the<br />

locals say that the Lake District has<br />

its own micro climate rather than<br />

that it rains a lot!<br />

A party of 11 year old children and<br />

their teachers from Northern Ireland<br />

were staying at Rydal at the same<br />

time. <strong>The</strong> youngsters were very polite<br />

and helped we oldies whenever they<br />

could.<br />

What was particularly nice was<br />

that they sang grace before each<br />

meal.<br />

<strong>The</strong> only man in our group, other<br />

than me, was Dougie Ewers who was<br />

jovial and joking, and amused the<br />

children — once taking a chip off of<br />

one of the teachers plates when she<br />

wasn't looking.<br />

On the last evening we all<br />

got together in the lounge and<br />

Rydal Hall, a Christian holiday and retreat centre<br />

entertained each other. Some of the<br />

children did turns and Dougie's wife<br />

Eileen, who played the piano by ear,<br />

led a sing song and supported me<br />

when doing my party piece. It was an<br />

enjoyable evening for everyone.<br />

<strong>The</strong> next morning we made our<br />

beds and went home with happy<br />

memories.<br />


<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 21<br />

suite rooms and is run on a more<br />

commercial basis.<br />

<strong>The</strong> grounds are set at the foot of<br />

the valley formed by the horseshoe<br />

and around a stream with a 3m metre<br />

high waterfall. <strong>The</strong>re are a couple of<br />

self catering cottages, a camp site<br />

with eco pods, an adventure play<br />

ground and, next to the falls, there is<br />

a popular snack bar. Outside the site<br />

and further up into the valley there<br />

is a reservoir which supplies water<br />

for the complex and an even more<br />

impressive waterfall.<br />

For more about Rydal Hall see:<br />

https://rydalhall.org/<br />

Dreamstime.com<br />

<strong>The</strong> waterfall at Rydal Claude Masters Rydal Water Claude Masters

22 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

feature — 4<br />

While candles, electricity and LEDs light the c<br />

Peter Rennie<br />

<strong>The</strong> Christian festival of Candlemas, celebrated<br />

annually on 2 <strong>February</strong>, marks the ‘Presentation<br />

of Christ in the Temple’ (Luke 2:22-40), which is<br />

the official name for this feast day. It is an occasion<br />

that is considered almost as sacred as Easter and<br />

Christmas for millions of Christians around the<br />

world, writes Bob Peters.<br />

Ten years ago, when in Madeira, I witnessed an<br />

amazing celebration when hundreds of local people,<br />

carried lighted candles through the streets as they<br />

processed into a cathedral. <strong>The</strong>re were so many people<br />

that most of them had to stand outside, as I did, and<br />

listen to the service on loudspeakers.<br />

<strong>The</strong> name, ‘Candlemas’ evolved from a tradition<br />

that when churches celebrated the time that Mary<br />

and Joseph took the child Jesus to the temple in<br />

Jerusalem in order to present him to God according<br />

to the Jewish law, many churches would also bless the<br />

candles that they had bought for the coming year.<br />

According to the Gospel of Luke, when the family<br />

was in the temple they met an elderly man named<br />

Simeon who took Jesus in his arms and declared that<br />

this child was 'the light of the world'. He said:<br />

'Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now<br />

dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen<br />

your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all<br />

nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory<br />

of your people Israel.'<br />

Candles, of course, were the usual source of light<br />

in dark church buildings before the electric light<br />

became available in the early 1900’s. In our parish<br />

church of St Andrew's a single electric light bulb was<br />

installed in October 1934 to supplement the candles<br />

that had always been used. It was first light bulb in<br />

Sonning and caused a huge amount of interest. <strong>The</strong><br />

2014: Midnight Mass in St Andrew's begins in candlelight<br />

vicar, writing in this magazine, said: ‘At Evensong,<br />

when the congregation was even larger than usual,<br />

the church looked extraordinarily beautiful … and<br />

the combination of the electric light and the candles<br />

throughout the church being markedly effective.’<br />


Candles were not only one of the main sources<br />

of light at the time in churches but also in people’s<br />

homes and workplaces. Most villages, and certainly<br />

most towns and cities, had a candlestick maker. <strong>The</strong><br />

Sonning candlestick maker lived in the High Street.<br />

Candles, or the light they provided, were an<br />

essential commodity, hence the nursery rhyme,<br />

‘Rub a dub dub, three men in a tub, the butcher,<br />

the baker and the candlestick maker’.<br />

It is estimated that today in the UK we spend £1.9<br />

billion on candles every year but apart from the rare<br />

power cut, very few are used for lighting, although<br />

Holy Trinity Church York<br />

Leklek73, Dreamstime.com<br />

Holy Trinity Church in York<br />

electricity, still relies on c<br />

Despite a modern day L<br />

welcomes visitors to St And<br />

still used for all services. Be<br />

over 650 candles every year<br />

candlesticks and chandelie<br />

especially at weddings. Our<br />

use, and featured on the fro<br />


<strong>The</strong> chandelier was dona<br />

a member of a local family w<br />

several churches in Reading<br />

At sometime in its histo<br />

removed from the centre of<br />

Sonning Boys' School room<br />

'I must not forget the old b<br />

which hung in the centre of th<br />

Boys’ Schoolroom. On it is the<br />

'<strong>The</strong> gift of George Blagrave, o<br />

Some will no doubt remember<br />

lighting up of this chandelier f<br />

could remember, on Ash Wedn<br />

began to have a week-day eve<br />

<strong>The</strong> chandelier is not th<br />

that the Blagrave family lef<br />

monument in the St Andre<br />

that was found in the unde<br />

Victorian refurbishment.<br />

It was the Blagrave fami<br />

people that are thought to b<br />

three daughters of a Blagra<br />

James 1 who reigned 1603 –<br />

60 years before the chande

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 23<br />

hurch only 'God gives light to our eyes' (Ezra 9:8)<br />

Christingle at home<br />

It seems almost certain that there will not be a<br />

Christingle service in St Andrew's this year, but<br />

it should not stop you making one at home. You<br />

will need: A candle, an orange, four cocktail sticks,<br />

some fruit or sweets, red ribbon, and a small piece<br />

of aluminium foil to catch the drips from the<br />

candle. Make a hole in the orange and the foil to<br />

hold the candle. Push the cocktail sticks<br />

into the orange as shown in the diagram.<br />





which does not have<br />

andles.<br />

ED lighting system that<br />

rew's today, candles are<br />

fore Covid, we bought<br />

to replenish the 100+<br />

rs that are used regularly,<br />

oldest chandelier still in<br />

nt cover, dates from 1675.<br />


ted by George Blagrave,<br />

ho were benefactors of<br />

and the surrounding area.<br />

ry the chandelier was<br />

the nave and hung in a<br />

:<br />

rass chandelier, of 16 lights,<br />

e Nave, and is now in the<br />

following inscription:<br />

f Bulmarsh, Gent, 1675'.<br />

the interest excited by the<br />

or the first time that anyone<br />

esday, 1846, when we<br />

ning service in Lent.<br />

ought to be the only thing<br />

t us. <strong>The</strong>re is a curious<br />

w's Church side chapel<br />

rground crypt during the<br />

ly tomb and depicts six<br />

e the three sons and<br />

ve from the time of King<br />

1625, which is only 50 to<br />

lier was donated.<br />

Picture above: Keith Nichols<br />


FOIL<br />

Like some other churches, Candlemas has also<br />

become the time when St Andrew's celebrates<br />

Christingle. Many churches celebrate during the<br />

weeks immediately at Christmas but at St Andrew's<br />

we are usually extremely busy with carol services<br />

for the three schools in the parish, and other very<br />

popular celebrations, such as Nine Lessons and<br />

Carols, the Crib Service and Midnight Mass, that<br />

holding Christingle at Candlemas on the first Sunday<br />

of <strong>February</strong> has become a very popular family<br />

occasion amidst the dark days of <strong>February</strong>. And, of<br />

course, it fits perfectly with the Candlemas feast day.<br />

Sadly, like most of the Christmas services, it is<br />

highly unlikely that Christingle will take place in<br />

its usual way at St Andrew's this year because of the<br />

Covid restrictions. However, there is no reason why<br />

it can't be celebrated at home, hence the instructions<br />

on the right show you how easy it to make a<br />

Christingle.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Blagrave monument in St Andrew's<br />

Peter Rennie<br />












Finally, keep the Christingle in a safe place that<br />

can be seen and light the candle at Candlemas —<br />

Tuesday 2 <strong>February</strong> — and say this prayer:<br />

Father God, the orange represents the world. We<br />

pray for our world, that men and women, boys and<br />

girls can live together peacefully and that there will<br />

be no more wars. We pray for children who are sad<br />

and lonely, especially refugees in our country.<br />

<strong>The</strong> red ribbon reminds us that Jesus died at<br />

Easter time. We pray that people may be able to<br />

choose their religion and practice it freely. Comfort<br />

those who are sad because a relative or neighbour<br />

has died, and please look after children whose<br />

parents have died.<br />

<strong>The</strong> cocktail sticks remind us of the spring,<br />

summer, autumn and winter. Thank you for your<br />

world.<br />

<strong>The</strong> sweets or fruit remind us that the things we<br />

have come from God, who made the world. Thank<br />

you for the sun and the rain which make crops<br />

grow, we pray for children who are hungry because<br />

bad weather has spoiled the food their family were<br />

growing.<br />

<strong>The</strong> candle reminds us that Jesus Christ is the<br />

light of the world. We pray for those who have died<br />

and we have lit the candle to symbolise the light of<br />

Christ which shines to bring hope to our world.<br />


24 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

feature — 5<br />

St Valentine's Day — myths, love,<br />

On these two pages we take a look at some of the myths, legends, poetry and what the Bible tells us about love.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are some confusing things about 14 <strong>February</strong> being a day of romance, with anonymous love and<br />

cards strewn with lace, cupids and ribbon. <strong>The</strong>re seem to have been two different Valentines in the 4th<br />

century — one a priest martyred on the Flaminian Way, under the emperor Claudius, the other a bishop<br />

of Terni martyred at Rome. Neither seem to have any clear connection with lovers or courting couples.<br />

So why has Valentine become the patron saint of romantic love? By Chaucer’s time in the late 1300's the link<br />

was assumed to be because on the 14 <strong>February</strong> the birds are supposed to pair. Or perhaps the custom of<br />

seeking a partner on St Valentine’s Day is a surviving scrap of the old Roman Lupercalia festival, which took<br />

place in the middle of <strong>February</strong>.<br />

One of the Roman gods honoured during the festival was Pan, the god of nature. Another was Juno, the<br />

goddess of women and marriage. During the Lupercalia it was a popular custom for young men to draw the<br />

name of a young unmarried woman from a box. <strong>The</strong> two would then be partners or ‘sweethearts’ during the<br />

time of the celebrations. Even modern Valentine decorations bear an ancient symbol of love — Roman cupids<br />

with their bows and love-arrows.<br />

For better or for worse, to love and to cherish<br />

By Rev Peter Crumpler, a former communications director for the Church of England<br />

You do not see many Zimmer frames, wheelchairs or<br />

hearing aids on Valentine’s Day cards.<br />

Young love is wonderful and beautiful, full of<br />

optimism, and plans and hopes for the future. But<br />

love in later life is also precious. It is a love that has<br />

been forged through years of shared experiences<br />

and joy, maybe raising children together, perhaps<br />

enjoying grandchildren.<br />

It is a love that has stood the test of time,<br />

and deeper, much deeper, than any shop-bought<br />

Valentine’s Day card can describe.<br />

That long-term love can also be shown by the<br />

devoted wife or husband who visits their spouse in a<br />

care home each day, gently talking with them when<br />

they are, perhaps, deep into dementia. Or sitting for<br />

long hours by a hospital bed. Or dutifully caring for<br />

them at home. Love is a marathon, not a sprint. It<br />

starts with white lace and promises and grows over<br />

the years.<br />

Mature love is about the commitment that spans<br />

decades and is seldom shown on the cards on sale in<br />

the High Street this Valentine’s Day.<br />


As a priest, when I marry a couple and take them<br />

through their wedding vows, I hear them make their<br />

lifelong commitment 'for better, for worse, for richer,<br />

for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to<br />

cherish, till death us do part.'<br />

It is so wonderful to see the bride and groom<br />

smiling, and enjoying this precious moment, making<br />

vows that will, hopefully, span the rest of their lives.<br />

I love taking weddings — it’s an immense privilege to<br />

be part of a couple’s special day.<br />

And I find myself pondering what the future will<br />

hold for them. I wonder, as I pray a blessing on their<br />

marriage, what shape that lifelong commitment<br />

will take. How much wealth or poverty will come<br />

their way? Will it be sickness or health that will<br />

accompany them through the years? How will they<br />

support each other as the years go by?<br />

‘Love is patient. Love is kind.’ <strong>The</strong>se are familiar<br />

words from the popular wedding reading in Paul’s<br />

letter to the Corinthians. Patience and kindness are<br />

qualities that can develop over years of marriage.<br />

Just how much patience will be needed in the years<br />

ahead cannot usually be known on the wedding day.<br />

So, this year, as I look at the rows of red or pink<br />

Valentine’s Day cards on sale in the shops, I shall<br />

look out for cards that have a deeper message.<br />

I shall seek out cards that celebrate long-term<br />

love. Cards that say something about the joys and<br />

challenges of growing older together.<br />

Cards that go beyond hearts and roses to the<br />

deeper love that transcends love’s first blossoming. I<br />

just hope I can find some!<br />

Dying for love legend<br />

<strong>The</strong> Roman Emperor Claudius II needed soldiers.<br />

He suspected that marriage made men want to stay<br />

at home with their wives, instead of fighting wars,<br />

so he outlawed marriage.<br />

A kind-hearted young priest named Valentine felt<br />

sorry for all the couples who wanted to marry, s0<br />

secretly he married as many as he could until the<br />

Emperor found out and condemned him to death.<br />

While he was in prison awaiting execution,<br />

Valentine showed love and compassion to everyone<br />

around him, including his jailer. <strong>The</strong> jailer had<br />

a young daughter who was blind, but through<br />

Valentine’s prayers, she was healed. Just before<br />

his death in Rome on 14 <strong>February</strong>, he wrote her a<br />

farewell message signed ‘From your Valentine.’<br />

So, the first Valentine card was not between<br />

lovers, but between a priest about to die, and a little<br />

girl, healed through his prayers!<br />

Saint Valentine depicted in an 18t<br />

Metzinger<br />

Public<br />

Love takes many forms. Here a g<br />

his granddaughter share a mom

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 25<br />

cards, legends, lyrics and the Bible<br />

h Century painting by Valentin<br />

domain, Wikimedia Commons<br />

randfather out walking with<br />

ent of love.<br />

Jana Sabeth, unsplash.com<br />

Porcupines huddling together<br />

<strong>The</strong> prickly side of love<br />

By Canon Paul Hardingham<br />

Devoxer, dreamstime.com<br />

As we mark Valentine's Day on 14 <strong>February</strong>, it’s good to ask the question: what does real love look like?<br />

<strong>The</strong> Apostle Paul says: ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not<br />

dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil<br />

but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.’<br />

(1 Corinthians 13: 4-8).<br />

Love is unconditional<br />

At its heart, love is not just feelings but action! Paul<br />

talks here about unconditional love — the Greek<br />

word Paul used was agape, meaning 'brotherly love' —<br />

which is demonstrated in God’s love for us:<br />

‘We love, because he first loved us.’ (1 John 4:19).<br />

Love is forgiving<br />

According to the film Love Story, ‘Love means never<br />

having to say you’re sorry.’ This is rarely true of<br />

course! According to Paul, love is being ready to<br />

forgive others and ‘keeping no record of wrongs’<br />

(1 Corinthians 13: 5). We can only forgive others<br />

because we know God's forgiveness in our own lives.<br />

Love is sacrificial<br />

Paul says that agape is not selfish or self-seeking,<br />

but selfless and self-sacrificial, putting the needs of<br />

others first. This is modelled by Jesus giving his life<br />

for us on the cross. Take the words from<br />

1 Corinthians and instead of the word love, substitute<br />

your own name. Now substitute the word Jesus. This<br />

is the Jesus who is available to you to make your love<br />

for others grow and flourish.<br />

Love is prickly<br />

Someone once compared love to being like a group<br />

of porcupines huddling together on a cold night. <strong>The</strong><br />

closer they get, the more they jab and hurt each other.<br />

‘To love at all is to be vulnerable.’ (C S Lewis).<br />

Poetry of love<br />

St Valentine’s Day, many believe, was named<br />

after one or more Christian martyrs and was<br />

established by Pope Gelasius 1 in 496 AD.<br />

Valentine of Rome was martyred about 269, and<br />

this day usually ‘belongs’ to him.<br />

<strong>The</strong> first recorded association of Valentine's Day<br />

with romantic love (1382) is from Geoffrey Chaucer.<br />

He wrote, ‘For this was Saint Valentine’s Day, when<br />

every bird cometh there to choose his mate.’ This<br />

poem was in honour of the first anniversary of<br />

the engagement of King Richard II of England to<br />

Anne of Bohemia. Valentine's Day is referred to by<br />

Ophelia in Hamlet (1600-1601):<br />

To-morrow is St Valentine’s day<br />

All in the morning betime<br />

And I a maid at your window<br />

To be your Valentine.<br />

A more modern mention of Valentine’s Day can be<br />

found in a collection of English nursery rhymes<br />

(1784):<br />

<strong>The</strong> rose is red, the violet’s blue<br />

<strong>The</strong> honey’s sweet, and so are you.<br />

Thou are my love and I am thine<br />

I drew thee to my Valentine.

26 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> Please mention <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when responding to advertisements<br />



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feature — 6<br />

Counting the 2020 climate costs<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 27<br />

A huge cyclone thought to be the result of climate change brings increased rainfall<br />

A new report by Christian Aid,<br />

'Counting the cost 2020: a year of<br />

climate breakdown', has identified<br />

15 of the most destructive climate<br />

disasters of last year.<br />

Ten of the 2020 events cost $1.5 billion<br />

or more, with nine of them causing<br />

damage worth at least $5 billion.<br />

Most of these estimates are based<br />

on insured losses, meaning the true<br />

financial costs are likely to be higher.<br />

Among them is Storm Ciara<br />

which struck the UK, Ireland and<br />

other European countries in <strong>February</strong><br />

costing, $2.7 billion and killing 14. <strong>The</strong><br />

UK’s Environment Agency issued 251<br />

flood warnings.<br />


While the report focuses on<br />

financial costs, which are usually<br />

higher in richer countries because they<br />

have more valuable property, some<br />

extreme weather events in 2020 were<br />

devastating in poorer countries, even<br />

though the price tag was lower. South<br />

Sudan, for example, experienced one<br />

of its worst floods ever. It killed 138<br />

people and destroyed the year’s crops.<br />

Some of the disasters hit fast, like<br />

Cyclone Amphan, which struck the<br />

Bay of Bengal in May and caused losses<br />

valued at $13 billion in just a few days.<br />

Other events unfolded over months,<br />

like floods in China and India, which<br />

had an estimated cost of $32 billion<br />

and $10 billion respectively.<br />

Forest fires<br />

Toxic water<br />

Elantsey, dreamstime.com<br />

Motortion, dreamstime.com<br />

Floods Andril Biletskyi, dreamstime.com<br />

Six of the ten most costly events<br />

took place in Asia, five of them<br />

associated with an unusually rainy<br />

monsoon. And in Africa, huge locust<br />

swarms ravaged crops and vegetation<br />

across several countries, causing<br />

damages estimated at $8.5 billion.<br />

<strong>The</strong> outbreak has been linked to wet<br />

Karayuschij, dreamstime.com<br />

conditions brought about by unusual<br />

rains fuelled by climate change.<br />

But the impact of extreme weather<br />

was felt all over the world. In Europe,<br />

two extra-tropical cyclones, Ciara and<br />

Alex, had a combined cost of almost $6<br />

billion. <strong>The</strong> US suffered from a recordbreaking<br />

hurricane season and a<br />

record-breaking fire season adding up<br />

to more than $60 billion in damages.<br />


Less populated places also suffered<br />

the consequences of a warming world.<br />

In Siberia, a heat wave during the first<br />

half of the year set a record in the city<br />

of Verkhoyansk, with temperatures<br />

reaching 38°C. A few months later, on<br />

the other side of the world, heat and<br />

drought drove the fires in Bolivia,<br />

Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil.<br />

While there were no human casualties<br />

reported from these events, the<br />

destruction of these areas has a great<br />

impact on biodiversity and the planet’s<br />

capacity to respond to a warmer world.<br />

Christian Aid says that: '<strong>The</strong>se<br />

extreme events highlight the need<br />

for urgent climate action. <strong>The</strong> Paris<br />

Agreement, which set the goal of keeping<br />

temperature rise ‘well below’ 2°C, and<br />

ideally 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial<br />

levels, has just turned five years old. It<br />

is critical that countries commit to bold<br />

new targets ahead of the next climate<br />

conference, which will take place in<br />

Glasgow, in November <strong>2021</strong>.'<br />

Read the full report at: https://www.christianaid.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-12/Counting%20the%20cost%202020.pdf

28 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

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around the villages — 1<br />

LINKS<br />

http://www.gf.me/u/zdzs8g<br />

https://www.youtube.com/<br />

watch?v=o4O4o-Lgc3g<br />

He said: 'While Covid-19 has had a<br />

huge impact on almost every part<br />

of our daily lives, there are some<br />

workplace and entertainment sectors<br />

that have suffered the most —<br />

particularly the performing arts.<br />

'Never before has the performing<br />

community been forced to leave<br />

the stage, cancel events for months<br />

and not be able to offer their work<br />

to the eyes and ears of their bereft<br />

audiences.<br />

'In order to make music and the<br />

arts more widely available in the<br />

local community, some people have<br />

been developing the knowledge and<br />

technology to livestream and prerecord<br />

events to broadcast via the<br />

internet. However, a lot more needs<br />

to be done.'<br />


During the Christmas period,<br />

Nathan took a leading role in live<br />

streaming and pre-recording services<br />

for St Andrew's Church, including<br />

directing and managing the<br />

technical aspects of the Nine Lessons<br />

and Carols service that was livestreamed<br />

around the world. To-date,<br />

more than 500 viewings have been<br />

achieved making it a great success.<br />

(You can view the service using the<br />

youtube link on the left)<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 29<br />

Young musician of the year plans for<br />

more music in the local community<br />

Nathan May (left), St Andrew's organ scholar, and winner of Reading<br />

Symphony Orchestra's 2020 young musician of year competition, is hoping<br />

to share his love of music and the performing arts more widely in the local<br />

community.<br />

To undertake the task, Nathan<br />

was able to borrow equipment from<br />

Reading Blue Coat School, which<br />

fortunately was unusually available.<br />

To further his ambition to share<br />

music and the arts more widely<br />

in the community, Nathan needs<br />

to have access to the type of high<br />

technology equipment he was able<br />

to borrow from the local school. <strong>The</strong><br />

equipment is not usually available<br />

because it is in great demand during<br />

school time.<br />


Undaunted by the situation,<br />

Nathan started an online fundraiser<br />

project to raise the money he needs<br />

to buy the equipment needed for his<br />

community service plans.<br />

Nathan said: 'If you are able, I<br />

would be so grateful for any donation<br />

of any size.<br />

'You really would be helping me,<br />

not only in the first steps of beginning<br />

a career in the production industry,<br />

but also you will be doing your<br />

part to bring music back into the<br />

community.<br />

'Please also share the link (on the<br />

left) for the fundraiser with your<br />

social media friends and family. <strong>The</strong><br />

more people who hear about it, the<br />

better!'<br />

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/ch/1130763-0<br />

When shopping online with Amazon you can help raise<br />

funds for St Andrew's Church by logging in to Amazon<br />

using the link above. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon<br />

you know — except Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net<br />

purchase price (excluding VAT, returns and shipping<br />

fees) of eligible purchases to the<br />

Parochial Church Council<br />

of the Ecclesiastical <strong>Parish</strong> of Sonning.

30 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

Please mention <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when responding to advertisements<br />

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around the villages — 2<br />

Santa and his elves<br />

feed the community<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 31<br />

Jenny 'the hall' retires after 42 years<br />

Santa at Hare Hatch Sheeplands<br />

<strong>The</strong> Covid-safe Santa area at Hare<br />

Hatch Sheeplands Garden Centre<br />

was a resounding success in the run<br />

up to Christmas with all visits to<br />

Santa being fully booked. Sadly,<br />

however, the lockdown meant some<br />

families were disappointed.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Rotary and Inner Wheel Clubs of<br />

Reading Maiden Erlegh were hugely<br />

indebted to the generosity of Hare<br />

Hatch Sheeplands who continue to<br />

support them and donate food and<br />

funds towards their community work.<br />

Since March 2020, the clubs have<br />

supported Woodley Food Bank,<br />

CIRDIC, the Salvation Army and<br />

Wycliffe Baptist Church FoodShare<br />

scheme. Right up to Christmas Eve<br />

they were delivering funds and<br />

foodstuffs to support the many<br />

families who have been struggling<br />

since the first lockdown.<br />

<strong>The</strong> income from Christmas 2020<br />

will allow them to continue tackling<br />

food poverty in our community.<br />

<strong>The</strong> clubs also made donations<br />

to JAC (Just Around the Corner),<br />

Samaritans, Dingley’s Promise,<br />

Daisy’s Dream, Yeldall Manor, Arc<br />

Counselling, Launchpad and KidsOut.<br />


Rotary and Inner Wheel are ‘service<br />

clubs’, meeting on Zoom at present, for<br />

friendship, fun and forward planning.<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir focus is on improving the lives of<br />

others mainly through organisations<br />

carrying out great work in our locality.<br />

<strong>The</strong> clubs thanked all the readers of<br />

this magazine who have supported<br />

them. If you would like to become<br />

involved with their community work,<br />

contact them on Facebook or:<br />

http://www.innerwheelrme.org<br />

http://www.readingmaidenerlegh.org<br />

Ricture: Penny Adams<br />

<strong>The</strong>re cannot be many people who use the Pearson Hall who don’t know Jenny<br />

Adams. Jenny has been the caretaker since 1978, when she moved into the<br />

Pearson Hall Cottage with husband Arthur. At the time life was a lot simpler.<br />

Jenny gave birth to Penny and Richard in the early 1980's and the family spent<br />

many happy years together in the cottage until it became a little small for the<br />

couple and their growing children. Happily, they were able to move, along with<br />

their four cats and two dogs, to Little Glebe in 1993. However, the hall has always<br />

played an important part in Jenny’s life and this has continued up until now.<br />

Jenny recalls her worst moment during her period as caretaker when she<br />

returned home after shopping to find the fire brigade tackling a fire in the kitchen<br />

just after Arthur had finished its redecoration.<br />

Jenny has devoted a large part of her life to the hall and has taken part in, and<br />

enjoyed, many of the activities. During this time, she has also made many friends<br />

and Jenny will continue to enjoy using the hall after her retirement without the<br />

responsibility she has managed so ably over the last 42 years.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re have been many changes over the years and Jenny’s retirement will not<br />

be the last as the hall moves to a computerised system. It will however be quite<br />

different without Jenny’s involvement and she will be missed.<br />

Lesley Bates, chairman of Pearson Hall Trustees, said: 'On behalf of the current<br />

and past trustees of the hall and all users we wish Jenny a very happy retirement,<br />

which is well deserved after 42 years of sterling service.'<br />

In pursuit of pleasure<br />

On 12 March at 7.30pm in Pearson Hall, Sonning and Sonning Eye Society are<br />

hoping to host a talk by Simon Wenham, author of several books about pleasure<br />

boating on the Thames. His lecture, subject to Covid restrictions, will be entitled<br />

'<strong>The</strong> Pursuit of Pleasure: Victorian and Edwardian Leisure'. Our picture, dated<br />

1888 is one of the earliest 'boating' images from the Hoyle collection. Tickets may<br />

be strictly limited so book in advance with Penny Feathers on 0118 934 3193 or<br />


32 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

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Leave them alone<br />

<strong>The</strong> National Trust is urging the public<br />

to stay away from certain areas during<br />

breeding season this spring. It hopes to<br />

mimic the effects of lockdown last year,<br />

which helped more vulnerable species.<br />

<strong>The</strong> call follows the discovery last year that<br />

lockdown did our peregrine falcons, (Pictured<br />

left by Michael De Nysschen, dreamstime.com) grey<br />

partridges and other species a favour. <strong>The</strong><br />

tern colony at Blakeney Point in Norfolk<br />

had a bumper season, with more than 200 tern chicks<br />

fledged, the most in 25 years. <strong>The</strong> Peak District had more<br />

curlew, and the Llyn ˆ Peninsula saw more stoats, weasels<br />

and rabbits emerging from the woodlands of Plas yn<br />

Rhiw. Meanwhile, the ruins of Corfe Castle in Dorset<br />

became home to peregrine falcons, and a cuckoo arrived<br />

in Osterley, west London. Even Dartford warblers were on<br />

the move, some to as far as Shropshire.<br />

Some Charvil residents might be thinking that this<br />

might explain the appearance of a lone peregrine falcon<br />

that seems to have adopted our neighbourhood.<br />

And while talking about our neighbourhood, some of<br />

our local birds are short of nesting holes, because gardens,<br />

parks and woodland are much neater than they used to be,<br />

and modern homes offer few crannies for nest building. To<br />

help with this, National Nestbox Week, which is celebrated<br />

from 14 <strong>February</strong> each year, aims to encourage us to<br />

put up more nestboxes and to consider planting shrubs<br />

or trees with fruit that birds eat. <strong>The</strong>se can make a big<br />

difference to birds struggling to survive, especially blue<br />

tits, great tits, house sparrows, robins and starlings.<br />

<strong>The</strong> British Trust for Ornithologiy offers a variety of<br />

ideas for building and placing nestboxes at:<br />

https://www.nestboxweek.com<br />

Recipe of the month<br />

From Emma's Kitchen<br />

Spanish Turron de Chocolate<br />

'A nice simple recipe to use up the<br />

leftover chocolate!' says Emma!<br />

Ingredients<br />

— 250g of dark chocolate (70%)<br />

— 125 of hazelnut chocolate spread<br />

— 50g of Rice Krispies<br />

Method<br />

Melt chocolate either in the microwave<br />

or in a bowl over hot water until shiny and smooth.<br />

Add the chocolate spread and mix until fully combined.<br />

Add the rice krispies and fold gently until all combined.<br />

Pour into a lined rectangular tin.<br />

Cover with baking parchment and leave to set on the<br />

side (shouldn't need to go in the fridge but if you have a<br />

particularly warm house then you may need to)<br />

When set, turn out onto a chopping board and slice into<br />

any shape you like!<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 33<br />

the sciences<br />

Hope for now and the<br />

future creation<br />

By Dr Ruth M Bancewicz, Church engagement director at <strong>The</strong> Faraday<br />

Institute for Science and Religion in Cambridge<br />

Gabriella Clare Marino, unsplash.com<br />

I find watching buds swelling on trees and plants during<br />

the winter months gives me a tremendous sense of hope,<br />

and we all need some need extra hope for <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

When you read this a number of us may have been<br />

fortunate to receive a Covid vaccine, but we will all still be<br />

under various restrictions. After creation’s winter shutdown,<br />

the sight of tiny flowers poking out of brown earth<br />

may be more important than ever.<br />

Getting outdoors during daylight hours, enjoying<br />

green spaces and getting some fresh air and exercise are<br />

great ways to keep ourselves healthy at any time of year.<br />

A psychologist colleague wrote, 'Attending to the details<br />

of nature can also inspire awe, which has been linked to<br />

positive mood and increased life satisfaction.' I expect it<br />

is this sense of awe that makes it easier for many of us to<br />

connect with God outdoors.<br />


Helping ourselves and others to thrive is a good start<br />

to <strong>2021</strong>, but it is also vital to have hope for the future.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Covid-19 pandemic was caused by an animal virus<br />

jumping into the human population. Diseases like this are<br />

not ‘natural disasters’, but are almost certainly caused by<br />

environmental destruction and poor farming practices -<br />

either from greed or the desperation born of poverty. Part<br />

of the answer to the current crisis is for us to care for all<br />

of creation, human and everything else, with God’s help.<br />

Our ultimate hope is in God’s promise that he will<br />

bring about a new heaven and new earth. We can look<br />

forward to the day when creation will be fully redeemed<br />

and liberated from evil. <strong>The</strong> Greek word to describe the<br />

new creation is the same as that used to describe someone<br />

who becomes a Christian, whose humanity is restored and<br />

renewed. <strong>The</strong>re will be continuity between the old and<br />

new earth as it is cleansed and purified, surpassing and<br />

perfecting what has gone before. <strong>The</strong>re will also be some<br />

discontinuity, as there will be no more suffering or death.<br />

One source of hope for <strong>2021</strong> is that we can enjoy caring<br />

for, and meeting, God in creation. <strong>The</strong> parts of creation we<br />

find most beautiful, give us a sense of awe, and help us to<br />

worship, are also a reminder that there is something much<br />

better to come.

34 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

Please mention <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when responding to advertisements<br />

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Traditional Wedding?<br />

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discuss the possibility of<br />

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He will be pleased to help!<br />


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HEALTH — 1<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 35<br />

Dr Simon Ruffle writes . . . Communicating Covid-19<br />

So much scientific information is in the media at this time.<br />

As someone who grew up with a scientifically minded<br />

elder brother and a father who was a master welder and<br />

engineer, this is exciting. It seemed inevitable that I’d end<br />

up in a science based discipline.<br />

<strong>The</strong> ability to communicate, highly complex systems, in<br />

a way that anyone can understand, and enjoy, is difficult.<br />

This difficulty has been helped and hindered by social media,<br />

and by the reduction in teacher numbers in science and<br />

the growth of professional politicians. Mrs Thatcher was<br />

a chemist graduate, Mr Baldwin a metallurgist and Mrs<br />

May a geographer. Whatever you think of these politicians<br />

I would rather see them in cabinet jobs where the ability to<br />

understand and communicate ideas is vital. I’m not saying I<br />

could communicate better. For a cabinet of talents see Canada<br />

2015!1 You need to understand the fundamentals to educate,<br />

let alone accept evidence and form policy.<br />


Doctor comes from the Latin ‘to teach’ — docere. Good<br />

medical practice is the guiding document from the General<br />

Medical Council and part of it states: 'we as a profession have<br />

a duty to maintain a good standard of practice and care.' This<br />

statement is later clarified: 'You should be willing to contribute<br />

to the education of students or colleagues.'<br />

<strong>The</strong>refore, as a doctor, one of my duties is to teach and<br />

this comes in many forms:<br />

— Encouraging young people to explore the options to<br />

join the profession.<br />

— Teaching medical students.<br />

— Teaching and supervising junior doctors.<br />

— Clearly communicating with colleagues about patients<br />

and their care.<br />

— And the most important, the day-to-day, teaching of<br />

patients about their condition, what to do about it and<br />

what to watch out for. Let’s take an example:<br />

‘It is really important that if you get a pyrexia, rigours and<br />

diaphoresis that you contact me.' This means little or nothing<br />

to lots of people. <strong>The</strong>y are symptoms that sepsis might be<br />

developing from a pyelonephritis.<br />

Jargon: <strong>The</strong> previous sentences are gobble-de-gook. What<br />

they mean is if you feel hot, shake uncontrollably and sweat,<br />

a lot, your kidney infection may be spreading to your blood.<br />

STEM<br />

STEM2 is an organisation that support teaching and teachers<br />

in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. This<br />

work is massively important especially in deprived areas and<br />

those with teacher shortages. It is something I’d like to be<br />

involved in someday.<br />


In manufacturing a design is produced. <strong>The</strong> final product is<br />

made from many smaller parts being created. <strong>The</strong> blueprint<br />

is transcribed into smaller instructions. <strong>The</strong>se instructions<br />

then multiply the parts required and then those transcribed<br />

blueprints are no longer required.<br />

<strong>The</strong> parts made then go on to make the whole or is the<br />

final product.<br />

DNA<br />

What I have just described is the production of proteins<br />

that allow cells and, thus, the body to function. DNA is the<br />

blueprint, this is unpackaged and segments of it produce<br />

mRNA — Messenger RNA. This instructs (messages) the<br />

cells to make proteins. (Here comes the small print — the<br />

previous sections have been deliberately shortened, Ts+Cs apply.)<br />


Vaccine syringe, my surgery and a virus<br />

<strong>The</strong> Pfizer vaccine is mRNA surrounded by a lipid (fat)<br />

coating. Many of these particles are injected into muscle<br />

cells in the arm. <strong>The</strong>se delicate sections are taken up by<br />

our cells. Our cellular mechanisms are already producing<br />

proteins from our native DNA — via RNA — and they will<br />

do the same with the mRNA in the vaccine. Because there<br />

is only a small part of the blueprint, not the whole plan, the<br />

cells cannot create the virus, they create a small piece of<br />

the virus surface, known as the spike protein. <strong>The</strong> mRNA<br />

then disintegrates. Any mRNA not taken up into the cells<br />

degrades naturally, so never leaves the site of injection.<br />


Simon.Ruffle<br />

<strong>The</strong> spike protein, on the surface of the natural virus, is a<br />

key. It unlocks a door in human cells so the whole virus RNA<br />

can enter the cell. As the cell will recreate proteins, from the<br />

instructions delivered, it produces new viruses that then go<br />

on to infect other cells.<br />

Our body recognises these proteins and new viruses as<br />

foreign and produces antibodies. <strong>The</strong>se will attach to the key<br />

and stop them entering the lock. <strong>The</strong> door remains closed<br />

and the virus is then useless.<br />

As the vaccine has already produced the spike protein, via<br />

our own cells, our body gets busy producing the antibodies<br />

to block the spike key. If we then meet the natural virus key<br />

protein we are already to block its action. It does not mean<br />

you cannot catch the virus but it does mean you will respond<br />

to the virus quickly and prevent major illness.<br />

turn to page 36

36 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

HEALTH — 2<br />

from page 35<br />

One of the best ways to improve communication is<br />

to get feedback. When I taught Oxford students we<br />

had to receive anonymous feedback. I was told that<br />

the students had a lecture on how to give feedback<br />

and had to produce feedback on that lecture. I<br />

cannot possibly disclose the results but it is as<br />

ironic as you may think.<br />

If you can, please feedback to anyone who is<br />

explaining things to you; even better question<br />

it. If I cannot answer your question or cannot<br />

communicate it properly then I need to learn and<br />

grow.<br />

I hope my analogy of blueprints to protein<br />

synthesis (production) and the Covid vaccine is<br />

clear. If not I have failed and need feedback. Take<br />

this article as educational mRNA. If we have all<br />

understood my missive, we are all now teachers or<br />

doctors in the Latin sense.<br />

References<br />

Dr Simon Ruffle writes<br />

Our very own Sonning resident and magazine contributor,<br />

Robert Lobley, receiving his Covid vaccine. Simon Ruffle<br />


1. https://www.stem.org.uk/<br />

2. https://www.macleans.ca/politics/the-bestqualified-cabinet-since-all-the-other-ones/<br />


Please wait for a call to receive your Covid vaccine.<br />

Please accept your appointment.<br />

Please get vaccinated and allow those muscle cells<br />

in your arm to produce a little bit of magic<br />

— oops, science!<br />

THE ARTS<br />

Forty days and forty nights<br />

By Rev Michael Burgess<br />

This month we enter Lent: 40 days when we follow<br />

Jesus into the wilderness and prepare to celebrate<br />

his Easter victory. In the last century Stanley<br />

Spencer planned 40 paintings, each depicting a day<br />

in the wilderness. He completed nine, one of which is<br />

‘Christ in the Wilderness – Scorpions’ from 1938. It is<br />

currently held in a private collection.<br />

Stanley Spencer lived and worked in Cookham,<br />

Berkshire. Through the everyday life of local people he<br />

tried to glimpse and convey the transcendent. ‘Angels<br />

and dirt’ he called it: the divine seen in the ordinary.<br />

So, in a painting of Christ carrying his cross, Jesus<br />

has the face of the local grocer.<br />

Another villager modelled for this Jesus in the<br />

wilderness: a strong, hefty, broad figure. This is a<br />

great contrast to the Christ of stained-glass windows<br />

who often seems too good to be part of our world.<br />

Here is real life: a large man filling the canvas with<br />

his head, his hands and his feet. This figure of Jesus<br />

comes as a shock: a very human model, ordinary with<br />

nothing handsome or special about him, apart from<br />

his tunic which seems to sprawl and undulate like the<br />

hills around. Here is a Jesus born into this world and<br />

one with it.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are two focal points – the neat, little<br />

scorpion and the massive, unkempt head<br />

contemplating each other. One is life in all its hefty<br />

reality; the other a tiny creature able to squeeze that<br />

life out by one swift flick of its tail.<br />

Jesus is shown in the wilderness pondering the<br />

<strong>The</strong> Society for Storytelling was set up in 1995<br />

to promote the oldest art form in the world —<br />

storytelling.<br />

Storytelling is at the root of every art form: we<br />

think in story form, make sense of our world in<br />

narrative — from something we’ve seen, through<br />

last night’s television, to what family and folk<br />

stories we remember and retell.<br />

Storytelling can be a powerful experience, both<br />

entertaining and moving.<br />

From Biblical times it is the traditional medium<br />

of communication from generation to generation,<br />

a tool for education and therapy.<br />

National Storytelling Week began 20 years ago<br />

to increase public awareness of the art and is held<br />

during the first week of <strong>February</strong> every year. It<br />

coincides with Candlemas, on 2 <strong>February</strong>, when<br />

part of the ancient rituals for this festival included<br />

a blessing on the throat, a prime tool in the store<br />

of nearly all storytellers of every belief and culture.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Society for Storytelling provides advice on<br />

organising and publicising events, and possible<br />

life and ministry that will<br />

countryside into the town<br />

to his death on Good Frida<br />

strength and renewal to e<br />

during his time in the des<br />

follow Jesus, we seek to liv<br />

mean dying to all that sep<br />

He has a calling for each<br />

that calling this Lent, we m<br />

through the 40 days to life<br />

find it a journey that calls u<br />

our God.<br />

Are you sitting comfortab<br />


sources for funding inform<br />

Directory of Storytellers, wh<br />

information on over 150 s<br />

the UK.<br />

For more information<br />

Storytelli<br />


<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 37<br />

Book reviews<br />

Poetry corner<br />

WikiArt.org<br />

take him from the<br />

s and villages and also<br />

y. Will he find the<br />

mbrace that ministry<br />

ert? During Lent, as we<br />

e for God. That may<br />

arates us from God.<br />

of us. As we contemplate<br />

ay find that it leads us<br />

and Easter life – we may<br />

s to 'die to self' to find<br />

ly?<br />

ruary<br />

Ben, unsplash.com<br />

ation. It publishes <strong>The</strong><br />

ich provides detailed<br />

torytellers throughout<br />

about the society and<br />

ng Week:<br />

tional-storytelling-week<br />

<strong>The</strong> Bible: a story that makes sense of life<br />

By Andrew Ollerton, Bible Society, £14.99<br />

This book explores how the story of the Bible helps us<br />

understand our lives and gives a framework for making<br />

sense of life in general. Helpful diagrams and maps are<br />

integrated throughout.<br />

Holy Habits: following Jesus<br />

By Andrew Roberts, BRF, £6.99<br />

This book provides seven weeks of material for Lent.<br />

Although written before Covid-19, many of the<br />

applications, questions and take-home ideas are highly<br />

relevant to the pastoral needs, and challenges created<br />

by it. Andrew Roberts writes: ‘No one can know with<br />

any certainty the range and scope of challenges that<br />

will be present when you use this material, but I believe<br />

that whatever they are, the life and example of Jesus<br />

and the way he responded to the challenges he faced<br />

will always be of utmost value in shaping our lives as we<br />

seek to him.’<br />

Come and See – learning from the life of Peter<br />

By Stephen Cottrell, BRF, £7.99<br />

When we look at the life of Peter – fisherman, disciple,<br />

leader of the early Church – we find a man who<br />

responded wholeheartedly to the call to ‘come and<br />

see’. This book focuses on Peter, not because he is the<br />

best-known of Jesus’ friends, nor the most loyal, but<br />

because he shows us what being a disciple of Jesus is<br />

actually like. Like us, he takes a step of faith, flounders,<br />

and needs the saving hand of God.<br />

A London Sparrow – the inspiring and true story of<br />

Gladys Aylward By Phyllis Thompson, 10Publishing, £9.99<br />

A down-to-earth London girl, without prospects,<br />

Gladys Aylward became a Christian when she was<br />

18. She felt God’s call to go to China as a missionary,<br />

overcame great obstacles in order to obey. She is<br />

remembered for her ‘incredible journey’ during the<br />

Second World War, when the Japanese invaded China<br />

and she led hundreds of Chinese children to safety.<br />

Opening our Lives – devotional readings for Lent<br />

By Trystan Owain Hughes, BRF, £8.99<br />

<strong>The</strong> author offers six weeks of reflections to encourage<br />

and challenge readers to open their lives to God and<br />

the final reflection, for Easter Day, invites us to open<br />

our world to God’s hope. <strong>The</strong> book is imbued with the<br />

Welsh culture, language and landscape<br />

Stories from the Streets – an insight into the work<br />

of Street Pastors By Luke Randall & Sue Shaw, Instant<br />

Apostle, £9.99<br />

A celebration of the work of the formidable UK army<br />

of ‘Street Pastors’. Whether offering a listening ear<br />

to the vulnerable, mentoring a troubled teen, giving<br />

food to a homeless person or responding to a national<br />

emergency, Street Pastors have been credited with<br />

saving police and NHS time and money, reducing crime<br />

and improving neighbourhoods.<br />

If you enjoyed Jane Gascoine's book, 'Doggerel<br />

Days' or if you were disappointed that it did not<br />

include more of your favourite poems, then rest<br />

assured that her latest collection will probably<br />

satisfy your need!<br />

'More Doggerel Days' includes another 51 of Jane's<br />

often hilarious, thought provoking and candid<br />

view of life poetry.<br />

It is a handy sized, 72 page paperback that looks<br />

at every aspect of life from babies to old age, from<br />

work to pleasure and all the ups and downs of<br />

everyday life.<br />

Jane's book is now available in the Village<br />

Hamper, Sonning High Street, for £10 per copy<br />

and will be a great way to take your mind off Covid<br />

while eating one of the Village Hamper's cakes!<br />

Here's a few lines taken from To Life, one of<br />

Jane's poems based on the experience of her first<br />

92 years ...<br />

If you're old at 80,<br />

you were old at 18<br />

Its no good thinking of<br />

what might have been<br />

Life's for the living<br />

and all for the taking<br />

No matter how sad<br />

or even heartbreaking<br />

And I've still got a lot of living to do<br />

People to meet,<br />

places to see<br />

I'll try, on the way,<br />

to help others who<br />

Haven't been quite as lucky as me.

38 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> Please mention <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when responding to advertisements<br />

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Across<br />

1 Plant yield (4)<br />

3 Out of date (8)<br />

9 Concepts (7)<br />

10 Set of moral principles (5)<br />

11 Monotonous hum (5)<br />

12 Reindeer (7)<br />

13 Insurgents (6)<br />

15 Sacred phrase (6)<br />

17 Eg Mo Farah (7)<br />

18 Commerce (5)<br />

20 Where one finds Rome (5)<br />

21 Farewell remark (7)<br />

22 Gibberish (8)<br />

23 Run at a moderate pace (4)<br />

Down<br />

1 Dismay and amazement (13)<br />

2 Semiaquatic mammal (5)<br />

4 Split into two (6)<br />

5 Excessive response (12)<br />

6 Show (7)<br />

7 Expression of approval (13)<br />

8 Pungent gas preservative (12)<br />

14 Persian Gulf Sheikdom (7)<br />

16 Rules over (6)<br />

19 Natural yellow resin (5)<br />



1 2 3 4 5 6 7<br />

8<br />

9 10<br />

11 12<br />

13 14 15<br />

17 18 19<br />

16<br />

20 21<br />

22 23<br />

Across<br />

1 - Plant yield (4)<br />

3 - Out of date (8)<br />

9 - Concepts (7)<br />

10 - Set of moral principles (5)<br />

11 - Monotonous hum (5)<br />

12 - Reindeer (7)<br />

13 - Insurgents (6)<br />

15 - Sacred phrase (6)<br />

17 - Eg Mo Farah (7)<br />

18 - Commerce (5)<br />

20 - Where one finds Rome (5)<br />

21 - Farewell remark (7)<br />

22 - Gibberish (8)<br />

23 - Run at a moderate pace (4)<br />

10 2 10 13 21 16 10 9 1 12 13 21<br />

23 4 25 8 8 23<br />

22 7 12 16 10 19 12 17 16 20 7 10<br />

8 22 17 5 16 22<br />

16 10 20 8 17 16 10 22 9<br />

7 6 10 11 25 5 8 16 9 20<br />

22 11 25 8<br />

17 16 10 1 25 10 26 20 8 15<br />

17 7 6 10 25 18 5 16 8<br />

10 5 14 7 9 3<br />

16 17 12 8 22 13 20 6 22 20 24 12<br />

16 15 17 10 15 23<br />

10 7 6 5 7 6 22 25 7 5 22 23<br />

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z<br />


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13<br />

E<br />

Down<br />

1 - Dismay and amazement (13)<br />

2 - Semiaquatic mammal (5)<br />

4 - Split into two (6)<br />

5 - Excessive response (12)<br />

6 - Show (7)<br />

7 - Expression of approval (13)<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 39<br />

SUDOKU<br />

8 - Pungent gas used as a preservative (12)<br />

14 - Sheikdom in the Persian Gulf (7)<br />

16 - Rules over (6)<br />

19 - Natural yellow resin (5)<br />

Each of the nine blocks has to contain all the<br />

numbers 1-9 within its squares. Each number can<br />

only appear once in a row, column or box.<br />


In this month's Wordsearch grid above there are<br />

23 words, all of which are hidden below.<br />

<strong>February</strong> — the time for love<br />

<strong>February</strong> opens with Candlemas – the<br />

naming of Jesus in the temple. Simeon<br />

and Anna praised God to see the<br />

promised Messiah, sent by a loving<br />

God to save his people. <strong>February</strong> also<br />

celebrates the love between a man and<br />

woman: Valentine cards and romance<br />

abound. ‘Love’ as in social compassion is<br />

also remembered: Fair Trade fortnight,<br />

Holocaust Memorial Day, World Leprosy<br />

Day, and National Nest Box Week.... Love<br />

is truly needed by everyone!<br />

QUIZ<br />


14 15 16 17 18 A 19 R M 20 Y R21I V22U L 23 E T 24 S U25R G 26 E N T U N I Q U E<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>February</strong> G<br />

Quiz answers<br />

will be<br />

here<br />

next<br />

month!<br />


1 Who said 'Who will rid me of this base, turbulent priest?<br />

2 What notable event occurred on 25 October 1415?<br />

3 Which war began in 1455?<br />

4 What English battle victory occurred in 1588?<br />

5 Who was 'the wisest fool in Christendom’?<br />

6 What happened on 30 January 1649 in Whitehall?<br />

7 Who was the last British sovereign to be on a battlefield?<br />

8 Who said as he lay dying 'Thank God, I have done my duty'?<br />

R O L N N M E<br />

B E T W E E N F A B L E<br />

O I G L R M<br />

R E F R I G E R A T O R<br />

E T I T I M<br />

A P E I N G O T L E A<br />

L A M H E C<br />

B R E A K T H R O U G H<br />

I L T I P I<br />

N O I S E K I N G P I N<br />

C E L I G E E<br />

H U R R Y I N G A R T S<br />

R<br />

1<br />

2<br />

3<br />

4<br />

5<br />

6<br />

7<br />

8<br />

9<br />

10<br />

11<br />

12<br />

13<br />

E<br />

14<br />

15<br />

16<br />

17<br />

18<br />

19<br />

20<br />

21<br />

22<br />

23<br />

24<br />

25<br />

26<br />

G<br />

R<br />

N A O D E U R<br />

S A M U R A I A I A<br />

E B M S T R A T U S<br />

A X L E S P E E<br />

T I L S C A N S<br />

N K N E L T D<br />

D O G M A A J V<br />

E R S C R A Z E<br />

T I M P A N I O C R<br />

O A O N E W N E S S<br />

U N K G E N U<br />

R H Y M E D F R O T H S<br />

A<br />

B<br />

C<br />

D<br />

E<br />

F<br />

G<br />

H<br />

I<br />

J<br />

K<br />

L<br />

M<br />

N<br />

O<br />

P<br />

Q<br />

R<br />

S<br />

T<br />

U<br />

V<br />

W<br />

X<br />

Y<br />


40 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

Local Trades and Services<br />


Locks changed, fitted, repaired and opened<br />

Door and window locks fitted, UPVC door lock expert<br />

Checkatrade member - Which Trusted Trader<br />

Call Richard Homden: 0149 168 2050 / 0771 040 9216<br />

Please mention <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when responding to advertisements<br />


Linda Frewin HCPC member<br />

General foot care and treatment including home visits<br />

25 Ashtrees Road, Woodley RG5 4LP<br />

0118 969 6978 - 0790 022 4999<br />


Qualified Plumbing and Heating Engineers Gas Safe<br />

25 years experience - local family run company<br />

Office: 0118 961 8784 - Paul: 0776 887 4440<br />

paul@clarkbicknell.co.uk<br />


For jargon free help with your computer problems<br />

PC & laptop repairs, upgrades, installations, virus removal<br />

Free advice, reasonable rates<br />

0798 012 9364 help@computerfrustrations.co.uk<br />


Electrical Installation and Smart Home Automation<br />

intersmartuk@gmail.com<br />

Elliott — 0777 186 6696<br />

Nick — 0758 429 4986<br />


Reliable and affordable<br />

Small jobs a speciality!<br />

Call Andy on 0795 810 0128<br />

http://www.handyman-reading.co.uk<br />


Car Servicing, Repairs and MOT<br />

Mole Road, Sindlesham, RG41 5DJ<br />

0118 977 0831<br />

james_autos@hotmail.co.uk<br />


For all your aerial photos. Good for surveying,<br />

also for assessing conditions of roofs, etc<br />

Thames Street, Sonning<br />

0118 944 0000 http://www.arialphil.co.uk<br />


We are a family business with excellent references<br />

and we are fully insured<br />

All cleaning materials provided<br />

For free quote call: Maria 0779 902 7901<br />


0779 926 8123 0162 882 8130<br />

enquiries@thameschimneysweeps.co.uk<br />

http://www.thameschimneysweeps.co.uk<br />

Member of the Guild of Master Sweeps<br />


Thames Valley Will Service<br />

Also Lasting Powers of Attorney and Probate Service<br />

We are still working during the pandemic period<br />

0134 464 1885 tvwills@yahoo.co.uk<br />


Tiling, Slating and Flat Roofing specialists<br />

36 Chatteris Way, Lower Earley, RG6 4 JA<br />

0118 986 6035 0794 447 4070<br />

ajhroofingco.co.uk info@ajhroofingco.co.uk<br />


For local odd jobs please call Phil on<br />

0118 944 0000<br />

0797 950 3908<br />

Thames Street, Sonning<br />


Reliable and friendly service for all tree care<br />

NPTC qualified — Public Liability of £10million<br />

0118 937 1929 0786 172 4071<br />

bighearttreecare.co.uk info@bighearttreecare.co.uk<br />


Landscaping, garden construction,<br />

patios, lawns, fencing, decking etc<br />

0118 969 8989<br />

info@smallwoodcc.co.uk http://www.smallwoodcc.com<br />


All types of Carpentry, Kitchens, Renovations<br />

Built-in Cupboards & Wardrobes, Flooring & Doors<br />

78 Crockhamwell Road, Woodley 0776 276 6110<br />

http://www.beechwood-carpentry-construction.co.uk<br />


Experienced lady carer who is local to this area<br />

offers live-in support at competitive rates<br />

Excellent references provided — Contact Louise<br />

0784 226 2583 lasheppard61@gmail.com


?<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 41

42 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> Please mention <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when replying to advertisements<br />

information — 2<br />

<strong>Parish</strong> contacts<br />

Ministry Team<br />

— <strong>The</strong> Vicar: Revd Jamie Taylor*<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> Office, Thames Street, Sonning, RG4 6UR<br />

vicar@sonningparish.org.uk / 0118 969 3298<br />

*Day off Friday<br />

— Associate Vicar: Revd Kate Wakeman-Toogood<br />

revkate@sonningparish.org.uk / 0746 380 6735<br />

On duty Tuesday, Friday and Sunday<br />

— Youth Minister: Chris West (Westy)<br />

youthminister@sonningparish.org.uk / 0794 622 4106<br />

— Licensed Lay Minister: Bob Peters<br />

bob@sonningparish.org.uk / 0118 377 5887<br />

Children's Ministry<br />

— Alison Smyly office@sonningparish.org.uk / 0118 969 3298<br />

Churchwardens<br />

— Perry Mills perry@oaktreeoffice.com / 0786 035 5457<br />

— Stuart Bowman sdbowman73@aol.com / 0118 978 8414<br />

Deputy Churchwardens<br />

— Liz Nelson liz.nelson1@ntlworld.com / 0118 934 4837<br />

— Simon Darvall sdarvall@businessmoves.com 0793 928 2535<br />

— Sue Peters mail@susanjpeters.com / 0118 377 5887<br />

— Molly Woodley (deputy churchwarden emeritus)<br />

mollywoodley@live.co.uk / 0118 946 3667<br />

<strong>Parish</strong> Administrator<br />

— Hilary Rennie<br />

office@sonningparish.org.uk / 0118 969 3298<br />

Parochial Church Council<br />

— Secretary: Hilary Rennie 0118 969 3298<br />

— Treasurer: Richard Moore 0118 969 2588<br />

Director of Music, organist and choirmaster<br />

— Chris Goodwin MA (Cantab), ARCO (CHM), ARCM, LRAM<br />

music@sonningparish.org.uk<br />

Sacristan<br />

— Helen Goodwin 0134 462 7697<br />

<strong>Parish</strong> Website: http://www.sonningparish.org.uk<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong>: http://www.theparishmagazine.co.uk<br />

— Editor: Bob Peters<br />

editor@theparishmagazine.co.uk / 0118 377 5887<br />

— Advertising and Distribution: Gordon Nutbrown<br />

advertising@theparishmagazine.co.uk / 0118 969 3282<br />

— Treasurer: Pat Livesey<br />

pat.livesey@yahoo.co.uk / 0118 961 8017<br />

— <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> is produced by St Andrew’s PCC and delivered<br />

free of charge to every home in Charvil, Sonning and Sonning Eye.<br />

— <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> is printed in the United Kingdom by <strong>The</strong> Print<br />

Factory at Sarum Graphics Ltd, Old Sarum, Salisbury SP4 6QX<br />

— <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> is distributed by Abracadabra Leaflet<br />

Distribution Ltd, Reading RG7 1AW<br />

— <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> template was designed in 2012 by Roger<br />

Swindale rogerswindale@hotmail.co.uk and David Woodward<br />

david@designforprint.org<br />

Advertisers index<br />

ABD Construction 20<br />

ACG Services Locksmith 40<br />

ADD Plumbing 12<br />

Aerial Phil 40<br />

AJH Roofing 40<br />

All Waste Clearance 34<br />

Barn Store Henley 16<br />

Beechwood Carpentry and Construction 40<br />

Big Heart Tree Care 40<br />

Blandy & Blandy Solicitors 14<br />

Blinds Direct 26<br />

Blue Moose 8<br />

Bridge House 43<br />

Bridges Home Care 14<br />

Bright and Fresh Cleaning 26<br />

Bull Inn 8<br />

Carer Companion 40<br />

Chimney Sweep, Thames 40<br />

Chiropody, Linda Frewin 40<br />

Chris the Plumber 32<br />

Clark Bicknell 40<br />

Complete Pest Solutions 16<br />

Computer Frustrations 40<br />

Cruz Kitchens 34<br />

David Shailes Plumbing & Decorating 26<br />

Design for Print 28<br />

Freebody Boatbuilders 6<br />

Fields Pharmacy 32<br />

French Horn 44<br />

Gardiners Nursing 8<br />

Graham Blake Soft Furnishing 6<br />

Great House Sonning 26<br />

Handyman, Decorating 40<br />

Haslams Estate Agents 2<br />

Hicks Group 16<br />

Intersmart Electrical Installations 40<br />

James Autos 40<br />

Jones & Sheppard Stone Masons 16<br />

Just Brickwork 20<br />

Kingfisher Bathrooms 18<br />

MC Cleaning 40<br />

Mill at Sonning 4<br />

M & L Healthcare Solutions 12<br />

Mortgage Required 18<br />

Muck & Mulch 28<br />

Odd Jobs 40<br />

Pearson Hall Sonning 30<br />

Q1 Care 30<br />

Reading Blue Coat School 18<br />

Richfield Flooring 14<br />

Sabella Interiors 38<br />

Shiplake College 20<br />

Signature Cliveden Manor Care Home 28<br />

Sonning Golf Club 32<br />

Sonning Scouts Marquees 32<br />

Smallwood Garden Services 40<br />

Style by Julie 20<br />

Sunrise of Sonning Senior Living 34<br />

Thames Valley Water Softeners 20<br />

Thames Valley Wills Service 40<br />

Tomalin Funerals 30<br />

Velvaere Studio 6<br />

Village Hamper 20<br />

Walker Funerals 12<br />

Water Softener Salt 28<br />

Window Cleaner 30

Please mention <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when responding this advertisements<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 43<br />


of TWYFORD<br />

Because you deserve<br />

the very best<br />

Welcome to Bridge House Nursing Home<br />

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

include a beautiful, light-filled and airy purpose built nursing home.<br />

Our philosophy is built upon helping residents maintain their independence and dignity, whilst ensuring<br />

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

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

is fundamental in delivering and maintaining the required level of health and wellbeing.<br />

At Bridge House, our comprehensive facilities and care provision is designed to deliver skilled,<br />

professional and individually planned care in an unobtrusive manner.<br />

Call 0800 230 0206<br />

Visit www.bridgehouseoftwyford.co.uk<br />


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

44 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> Please mention <strong>2021</strong> <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when responding this advertisements<br />

<strong>The</strong> French Horn,<br />

Sonning. Quality.<br />

A continuing commitment to<br />

wonderful food and wine.<br />

0118 969 2204<br />


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