The Parish Magazine February 2021

Editor.Bob.Peters

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

The Parish Magazine - January 2021 1

The

Parish

Magazine

The John King Trophy and Gold Award

Best Magazine of the Year 2018

National Parish Magazine Awards

Best Overall Magazine 2020

Best Editor 2019

Best Print 2018

Best Content 2016

Best Overall Magazine 2015

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

February 2021 — Candlemas and Lent

Church of St Andrew

Serving Sonning, Charvil & Sonning Eye

the church of st andrew, SERVING THE COMMUNITIES OF

CHARVIL, SONNING and sonning eye SINCE THE 7 th CENTURY


2 The Parish Magazine - February 2021

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

Church of St Andrew

Serving Sonning, Charvil & Sonning Eye

The Parish Magazine - January 2021 1

The John King Trophy and Gold Award

Best Magazine of the Year 2018

National Parish Magazine Awards

Best Overall Magazine 2020

Best Editor 2019

Best Print 2018

Best Content 2016

Best Overall Magazine 2015

information — 1

Contents February 2021

THE VICAR'S LETTER, 5

THE PARISH NOTICEBOARD

— Sunday Club Nativity, 7

— For your prayers, 7

— Ash on Wednesday, 9

— STAY, 10-11

— Not being weary, 13

The Persecuted Church, 15

features

— Revaluing The Pound, 17

— Rydal Summer holidays, 19-21

— Light for the World, 22-23

— St Valentine's Day, 24-25

— Counting Climate Costs, 27

around the villages

— Music for the Community, 29

— Santa at Hare Hatch, 31

— Jenny Adams retires, 31

— Pleasure on the Thames, 31

This month's FRONT COVER

February 2021 — Candlemas and Lent

The

Parish

Magazine

the church of st andrew, SERVING THE COMMUNITIES OF

CHARVIL, SONNING and sonning eye SINCE THE 7 th CENTURY

Candlemas (see page 22)

Pictures: Peter Rennie/Tom Farncombe

EDITORIAL DEADLINE

The editorial deadline for every issue

of The Parish Magazine is 12 noon on

the sixth day of the month prior to the

date of publication.

The deadline for the March

issue of The Parish Magazine is:

Saturday 6 February at 12 noon

The Parish Magazine - January 2021 3

Services at

St Andrew’s

At the time this issue went to press a

third national Covid-19 lockdown had

started. For the latest information about

services in St Andrew's Church please

check the St Andrew's website at:

http://www.sonningparish.org.uk

Or call the

Parish Office

on:

0118 969 3298

HOME & GARDEN

— Birds in the garden, 33

— Recipe of the Month, 33

the sciences

— Hope for 2021, 33

HEALTH

— Dr Simon Ruffle writes, 35-36

THE ARTS

— Forty Days and Nights, 36

— Storytelling Week, 36

— Book Reviews, 37

— Poetry Corner, 37

PUZZLE PAGE, 39

children's page, 41

information

— Church services, 3

— From the registers, 3

Parish contacts, 42

— Advertisers index, 42

AN APOLOGY

Since just before Christmas I

have had an intermittent/zero

email service caused by a serious

failure of a server through which

all my emails pass. By the time

you read this I am hoping that all

will be restored. I apologise for

any unanswered emails that you

may have sent to me during the

Christmas and New Year season.

Bob Peters, editor

From the

registers

The Parish Magazine online

This issue can be viewed online at:

http://www.theparishmagazine.co.uk

Earlier issues from 1869 onwards are

stored in a secure online archive. If you

wish to view these archives contact the

editor who will authorise

access for you:

editor@theparishmagazine.co.uk

Weddings

— Friday 11 December, Ben Marson and Francesca Knight

— Saturday 19 December, Sean Lambert and Grace Whittingham

— Saturday 19 December, Jonathan Henry Rich and Antonia Rowanne Barker

Funerals

— Tuesday 15 December, Rosalind Buchanan, St Andrew's Church

— Wednesday 23 December, Rosaline Ivy Simpson, Easthampstead Park

— Wednesday 6 January, Constance Faith Belsham, Easthampstead Park


4 The Parish Magazine - February 2021

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The vicar's letter

POSITIVE CHANGES

The Parish Magazine - February 2021 5

Dear friends,

I hope you are somehow managing during this latest lockdown. We at least

had the consolation of fine weather during the first one last year, and I

really worry, especially for those who live alone. The darkness of isolation

can be all pervading, but of course loneliness is not merely the preserve of

those who live alone. It is my own personal experience that you can feel

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

this.

The darkness of bereavement is something that I have experience of

from an early age. I well recall the almost tangible darkness which seemed

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

as I was to learn. I heard somebody recently talking on tv about how he

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

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

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

point. We have all had to step back from many normal activities, including

seeing family and friends, and yes, this does bring a sense of loss.

As vicar, I feel regret that all the new ways of serving our community

that we had launched and that were thriving, have had to be mothballed.

A Sunday service without congregational singing is an experience we have

learnt to get used to, but something is very clearly missing, and we all look

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

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

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

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

on the horizon.

There is no doubt that some things will never be the same again. Sadly, some jobs will be lost forever, retail

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

pandemic, and they will never wake up.

There are also positive changes that I am witnessing. I see a more caring church family at St Andrew’s, more

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

and I pay tribute to those in our parish who have organised these initiatives.

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

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

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

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

Sonning Eye, Dunsden, Playhatch and Sonning Common — the old parish of Sonning. There are some very real

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

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

THE LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS

At the start of February, the church celebrates Candlemas, the occasion when the infant Jesus was presented

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the church affirms, 'The light shines in the darkness, and no darkness shall overcome it'.

With warm wishes.

Jamie


6 The Parish Magazine - February 2021

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The Parish Magazine - February 2021 7

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

nine Sunday Club families and each one filmed their part. The clips were combined and Sunday Club watched their final

production on Christmas Eve over Zoom, along with playing Christmas themed games!

Throughout last year Sunday Club met virtually during

lockdowns and looked at the Christian foundations of our

faith and Christian character (Living like Jesus).

Advent candles for the countdown to Christmas were

sent to families to reflect and pray each day when lighting

it. The Nativity video came together brilliantly, was good

fun and a wonderful way to celebrate the Christmas story

together.

Sunday Club will continue via Zoom during the current

lockdown — it will be on the second, fourth and fifth

Sundays of the month at 9.30am. When lockdown ends it

is hoped that children will be able to meet in The Ark on

the same Sundays of the month.

If you have primary school age children and are

interested in joining Sunday Club you would be very

welcome. Please contact Hilary at the church office for

further details:

office@sonningparish.org.uk

For your prayers

in February

The work of the Children's Society

— Her Majesty the Queen on the 68th

anniversary of her Accession on 6 February

— For the work of local foodbanks

—For the family of Olly Stephens (13 years)

murdered in Emmer Green

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From the desk

of the editor

The Parish Magazine - February 2021 9

editor@theparishmagazine.co.uk

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday 17 February. But why

'Ash' Wednesday? The reason has to do with getting things

right between you and God, and the tradition goes back to

the Israelites in the Old Testament.

The Israelites, being human, often sinned. When they came

to their senses, and saw their evil ways as God saw them,

they could do nothing but repent in sorrow. They mourned

for the damage and evil they had done and to show their

repentance they covered their heads with ashes. This, and

rending their clothes, was an outward sign of their heart-felt

repentance and acknowledgement of sin. (Genesis 18:27; 2

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

In the early Christian Church, the annual 'class' of

penitents had ashes sprinkled over them at the beginning

of Lent. They were turning to God for the first time, and

mourning their sins. But soon many other Christians wanted

to take part in the custom, and to do so at the start of Lent.

They heeded Joel's call to 'rend your hearts and not your

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

either the 'beginning of the fast' or ‘the day of the ashes’.

The collect for Ash Wednesday stresses the penitential

character of the day. It encourages us with the reminder of

the readiness of God to forgive us and to renew us.

MORTALITY

Ahna Ziegler, unsplash.com

Why 'Ash' on Wednesday?

The Bible readings set for the day are often Joel 2:1-2,

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

suffering, 'as having nothing and yet possessing everything.'

(2 Corinthians 5:20b - 6:10)

The custom of 'ashing' was abolished at the Reformation,

though the old name for the day remained. Today,

throughout the Church of England, receiving the mark of

ashes on one’s forehead is optional. Certainly, the mark

of ashes on the forehead reminds us of our mortality:

'Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return...'

(Genesis 3:19)

The late medieval custom was to burn the branches used

on Palm Sunday in the previous year in order to create the

ashes for this year, which is how the ashes used on Ash

Wednesday in St Andrew's Church are created.

The Collect for Ash Wednesday is: Almighty and everlasting

God, you hate nothing that you have made and forgive the

sins of all those who are penitent: Create and make in us new

and contrite hearts that we, worthily lamenting our sins and

acknowledging our wretchedness, may receive from you, the God

of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus

Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the

unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

A lesson to learn

We all take things for granted in life but it is not until

they are not there that we really appreciate them. I first

used email in the 1970's to communicate with some of my

team of writers who were based in distant offices. It was

not always easy to use but the seeds for this revolution

in communications were steadily being sown. Today, like

most people of my generation, emailing is as natural as

using the telephone, which itself, only became widespread

in my youth. When I write in this column that something

arrived on my desk, it is almost always in the form of an

email. The second source is magazines and newspapers.

Letters through the postal service are rare sources of

information for this magazine.

CATCH-22

Just before Christmas, a computer used as an email

server through which all my emails are routed failed and

all the emails and files stored on it were lost. Although

I have back up copies, it could not have failed at a worse

time, with the world moving into the biggest holiday

season of the year and Covid restrictions affecting every

aspect of our daily lives.

Added to this, the server affected was in the United

States, and the engineers who manage my internet

services, and have done so for more than 20 years, are

based in Australia. To cut a long story short, the result was

that my registered internet domain names used for my

emails — and which are provided by another trustworthy

company that I have also used for more than 20 years —

were locked because their security monitoring system

could not communicate with the server that had failed.

The process of unlocking the domain names can only be

achieved by email, and I could not email them because my

email system was down! It was, and at the time of writing,

still is, a Catch-22 situation! Hopefully, by the time you

read this, it will be resolved and my preferred method for

communications will be restored.

ONLY ONE CERTAINTY

The lesson to learn from this affair is not to take

anything for granted in life, particularly when it involves

technology. Whether it's old or new we need to be

prepared for every eventuality and we should never rely

completely on man-made things.

In the midst of trying to re-establish my email

communications with the world I was asked to take the

funeral of a 95 year old lady whom I knew had been a

faithful Christian throughout her life.

This privilege reminded me that while we can never

be certain about the reliability of our worldly things, we

always have our unchanging, everlasting God on whom we

can, and ought, to rely!


10 The Parish Magazine - February 2021

the parish noticeboard — 3

STAY

ST Andrew's Youth

STAY in Schools

This crucial work in schools continued until the

schools broke up before Christmas. This includes:

mentoring 20 pupils each week, and assemblies

at all four local primary and secondary schools

— the picture of me as an alien is so Rev Kate

could explain Christmas to me! Could there

have been more than three wise men? Why

do we give and receive gifts? Why did God

send Jesus to a dirty animal trough for us,

and not to a five star hotel with a pool?

Plus I have the privilege of the new Piggott

lunch time hang out work and it’s been fun

planning the advocacy group.

STAY on Friday

In December we had two Friday evenings at the

youth club when we played games, listened to

music, painted our nails, munched on tuck, toasted

marshmallows and enjoyed one another’s company.

Sadly we had to cancel the Christmas party night as

we didn’t want to risk ruining anyone’s Christmas

with a positive case of Covid-19.

The families and young people who continued to

be involved in the youth club in 2020 are a joy and a

pleasure to work with. The STAY on Friday team love

working with all the local young people! They’re such

a lovely and energetic bunch of young people that it

makes our Friday nights such a blessing!

STAY on Sunday

We were able to meet for only one Sunday in

December when we looked at ‘The Bible — how and

why do we read it?’ The Alpha Youth series has really

lent itself to being on Zoom and I pray this continues

in 2021. The young people chat and joke more, and the

discussions go deeper than when meeting in person.

STAY Christmas Gift Bags

Throughout December I was able to gather a bunch

of goodies to put into paper bags ready to deliver to

all the STAY on Sunday youth! The gift bag included

sweets, chocolate, a wristband with a Bible verse on,

a card wishing them a merry Christmas as well as

advertising a new summer camp hoping to start in

2021, and a pin badge with an encouraging message

that relates to a Bible verse. The bags were delivered

on Christmas Eve. Here’s what some of the young

people said about them:

— 'I like the wristband because when I wear it, it reminds

me of Jesus'

— 'I really appreciated the gift bags and found them

really helpful and uplifting especially given that I had no

idea I was going to get one. They had lots of lovely things

inside for example a little pin badge which has a nice

phrase on — mine says ‘FEAR LESS’ — accompanied

by a wristband with a Bible quote on, a card and a few

sweets. They were a lovely surprise which I have really

been encouraged by this Christmas'.

— 'My favourite item was definitely the pin badge as

it reminded me that God is always with us and we are

unstoppable through Christ. The item I’ve used most also

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

me motivation knowing I'm not alone. The pin badge also

lets me think about his goodness and how we can look to

him when we need him the most'

STAY Advent Reflections

On 1 December, I posted to 30 young people from

STAY an Advent reflection. One of the parents wrote

this to me, which sums it up beautifully!

This year Westy and the STAY team put together a

thoughtful Advent calendar for the youth club members.

We received ours appropriately socially distanced

through the post :). Inside were four envelopes dated

each week of Advent in December. Charlie was excited

to open the first envelope which related to Elizabeth and

Zechariah. Inside was a reflection, an action, a Bible

verse and a treat. The treat was consumed in short order,

but while doing so we read through the reflection and

Charlie really enjoyed spraying his room with a new

scent. He decided to use Eucalyptus because it reminded

him of outdoors and woods and Christmas trees

strangely enough! Then Charlie asked if we could read

the Bible passage listed in the Advent envelope. I was

touched that Charlie wished to do this and it actually

become a new bedtime activity. We would read a passage

together and I was then asked a lot of searching and

surprising questions about it. Surprising because I was

amazed at the depth and thought Charlie had applied to


The Parish Magazine - February 2021 11

the themes and topics. So much so that Charlie asked for

his own personal copy of the Bible.

The Advent seemed very relevant to the current times

and the many issues people have been facing during the

pandemic especially.

For Charlie it linked to his participation in the Big Sleep

Out at Home for Launchpad Reading and he wanted to

do something more and asked if he could give practical

help for a local homeless charity. Unfortunately, the Covid

restrictions and the new tiers put paid to this but he

suggested we put a remote version in place instead and we

were able to do this safely.

I was proud and touched that he was thinking of others

and putting thought into practise and I thank Westy and

the STAY team for the Advent calendar which sparked

this energy.

He looked forward to each weekly Advent envelope

and tried each action enthusiastically (especially the

Shepherds and Joseph). We both enjoyed standing

barefoot in the garden and came back into the warmth of

the house refreshed. Charlie mentioned those that don’t

have the option to go back into warmth and it made us

both reflect on that.

His enthusiasm was catching and it made us all think

about and consider things we could do. Those small

actions and acts that add up to make a bigger difference

and don’t seem so big as to appear impossible, like the

shepherds at the manger. It was such a lovely way to

remind us of the true spirit of Christmas and we again

thank Westy and the STAY team for such a thoughtful

Advent'.

Another parent and their children also gave some

useful feedback on the Advent reflections...

'The reflections were a good prompt each week to read

the Bible together over a meal. We found it useful to place

ourselves in the shoes of the different characters in the

story to better be able to empathise and understand how

they felt. Although not all the actions were completed,

directing us through the footsteps of the individuals

was meaningful and a good way of journeying through

Advent.”

Lastly, one young person simply put it like this...

'I think it was nice to know how Mary felt'.

STAY & Sunday Club Shortbread Delivery

My wife has many hair-brained ideas throughout a

normal month, but this one was too good not to do!

'Let’s get the youth and children to make shortbread for

all the older people from church and hand deliver it to

their doors!' OK I thought ... so we got recruiting and

managed to bag some willing volunteers and off we

went. We’ve had so much lovely feedback in phone

calls, emails, texts and face to face at church (while

staying 2m away of course!)

Here’s a few lovely feedback emails (paraphrased)

from those who received shortbread:

'What a lovely surprise to see you the Wednesday

before Christmas bearing gifts of beautifully wrapped

homemade shortbread stars made by Phoebe and her

One of the STAY Advent cards

Grandma. Having not been able to get to church for the

last four weeks due to Covid-19 it was lovely to chat to

you from a distance. It gave us so much pleasure to see

you all in what was to be a very quiet Christmas. The

shortbread was very much enjoyed on Christmas Day,

thank you Phoebe and Grandma. Many thanks again for

your support, which is very much appreciated. Keith and

Daphne'

'We would like to thank you both for the lovely idea of

making and delivering shortbread to us 'oldies' of St

Andrew’s from the Youth Group. We wish you both and

Phoebe a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy

2021. Rosemary and Gordon'

'What a surprise! Thank you and STAY for the lovely

cookies delivered yesterday. With love and best wishes to

you all. Sonia'

As we are set to STAY at Home for the start of 2021

I’d like to say a prayer for all the young people and

their families.

Dear God. I pray that you would be close to each and every

young person and their families at this time. I ask you

Jesus for an abundance of patience, kindness and grace.

Help us all by your Holy Spirit to be quick to say sorry and

quick to forgive. Finally, I want to pray against the feelings

of being angry, overwhelmed and lonely at this time.

Amen.

I am always here to chat or text me on 0794 622 4106

or youthminister@sonningparish.org.uk

Peace and Love! Westy!


12 The Parish Magazine - February 2021

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the parish noticeboard — 4

The Parish Magazine - February 2021 13

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

By Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, international director, Barnabas Aid

Most Christians who have committed their lives wholeheartedly to the Lord's

service know what it is to become dejected, listless and discouraged. We cease

to feel much for the things that we used to be passionate about. We have

little empathy for the suffering, or righteous anger about injustice. Prayer,

worship and reading the Bible seem to be meaningless mechanical exercises.

In modern times, an extreme version

of this state is sometimes called by the

exciting name of 'burn-out'. Long ago,

however, the Greek word acedia was

used, literally meaning 'not caring'.

Such sluggishness of heart was greatly

feared by the early Christians.

Although the word does not occur

in the Bible, acedia was considered one

of the most dangerous sins into which

a believer could fall.

OVERWHELMED

Even towering spiritual heroes

can be overtaken by acedia, especially

after a time of great stress, exertion

or persecution. Elijah was afflicted so

badly at one point that he begged to die:

I have had enough, Lord. Take my life; I

am no better than my ancestors.

(1Kings 19:4)

Jeremiah, worn down by mockery

and opposition to his prophetic

ministry, reached such a low that

he cursed the day he had been born

(Jeremiah 20:7-18).

John the Baptist was apparently

overwhelmed with doubts while in

prison and needed assurance that his

cousin Jesus was indeed the Messiah

(Matthew 11:3).

BIBLICAL MESSAGE

We have all come through a long

hard year of Coronavirus. Even if not

much affected ourselves, we were

burdened by the knowledge of rising

poverty, shrinking economies and

growing inequality across the globe,

with increasing anti-Christian violence

in many places too. At the same time,

our normal spiritual disciplines and

input were probably disrupted by

lockdown.

Perhaps some of us feel the

inertness of acedia creeping up on us?

As a new year starts, our hearts sink

and we struggle to find the energy to

keep giving of ourselves. If so, the Bible

has a message for us at the beginning

of 2021: Let us not become weary in doing

good. (Galatians 6:9)

These words were written by Paul,

who knew all about stress, danger and

exhaustion. In the first chapter of 2

Corinthians, he shares with us very

frankly about a time when he hit rock

bottom, when he became so extremely

discouraged and his afflictions were

so crushingly great that he despaired

even of life itself. (2 Corinthians 1:8-9)

But he goes on in the same letter to

state, with determination that: we do

not lose heart. (2 Corinthians 4:1,16)

In fact, the Greek word that Paul

uses to the Corinthians, enkakoumen,

usually translated into English along

the lines of 'not losing heart' or 'not

being discouraged', is the same word

that he uses to the Galatians, where it

is most often translated along the lines

of 'not becoming weary'.

BE STILL

What is clear is that we must strive

to conquer inner discouragement,

rather than yield to it. We must not

give up seeking to walk closely with

the Lord, to hear his voice and to do his

will. We must continue to do good, in

Christ's name.

Paul goes on to clarify what he

means about doing good: '

As we have opportunity, let us do good to

all people, especially to those who belong

to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:10)

So, we face a new year with courage,

with faith, with trust in God and with

a resolution that we will continue to

serve him with our whole being.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hast'ning on

When we shall be forever with the Lord,

When disappointment, grief,

and fear are gone,

Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.

Be still, my soul:

when change and tears are past,

All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

(Katharina von Schlegel, translation, Jane

Borthwick)

This article, which first appeared in the

Barnabas Aid journal, is republished here with

permission.

Praying for the

Persecuted Church

barnabasfund.org

Travel the world

in your Lenten

prayers

When Lent begins this month on

Ash Wednesday 17 February, none

of us know if it will be possible to

meet in groups to explore the Bible

and pray together, but there are lots

of alternative ideas for individuals

to have their own Lent activities

at home — and here, as the saying

goes, is something different!

Barnabas Aid has published for Lent

a free booklet called 'Praying for the

Persecuted Church' that highlights

the plight of millions of Christians

around the world who are being

persecuted for their faith.

FREE BOOKLET

Each day throughout Lent there

is a short, one page introduction

to the persecuted church in a

different country — or on some

days it is about a particular topic

such as 'women', 'children', 'refugees'

'converts', 'pastors', or 'martyrs' —

which ends with a brief suggestion

for your prayers.

The Lent prayer booklet shown

above — and others —can be

downloaded free from:

https://barnabasfund.org/resources/

The prayer booklets can be found

towards the bottom of the page.


14 The Parish Magazine - February 2021

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the parish noticeboard — 5

The persecuted church

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

awareness, and support through prayer and any further support —

financial or otherwise. This month we look at the conflict in Nagorno-

Karabakh, the Armenian populated enclave of Azerbaijan, and reflect

on the Armenian genocide of 100 years earlier.

Azerbaijan is a mostly Muslim country, while the majority

of Armenia is Christian.

Between September and November 2020, an armed conflict

took place in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Open Doors

reports that thousands were killed, including Christians:

'many Christians in Azerbaijan from Muslim backgrounds have

been killed in the recent fighting, including church leaders'.

In Armenia, Orthodox and Protestant Christians have

been killed, as have believers from Yezidi backgrounds.

Several churches in the two countries have been bombed and

seriously damaged, including properties where two small

house groups met.

The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) has

provided a chronology of events. The region is within the

borders of Azerbaijan and recognised under international

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

of Artsakh, which is supported by Armenia. This was

established after a referendum and led to a war between 1992

and 1994.

There had been a 'Four Day War' in 2016, resulting in some

territorial gains by Azerbaijan. The clashes in 2020 started

on 27 September and led to the announcement by Armenia,

Azerbaijan and Russia of the signing of a ceasefire agreement

on 10 November, 'according to which Azerbaijan would maintain

its control over the territories it captured in Nagorno- Karabakh

and adjacent areas, and gain the regions of Agdam and Lachin.'

CHRISTIANS TARGETED

In recent articles, Barnabas Fund described how this

conflict has echoes of the genocide of 100 years earlier,

when an estimated 3.75 million Christians died. Not only

Armenians but also Assyrian, Syriac and Greek Christians

were targeted for their faith by the Ottoman authorities.

Even today only 31 countries recognise the genocide.

The United Kingdom is not among them, although the

parliaments of Wales and Scotland have voted to do so.

Turkey continues to deny the genocide.

Barnabas outline how on the eve of the German

invasion of Poland at the beginning of the Second World

War, Hitler said to his generals 'Who, after all, speaks today

of the annihilation of the Armenians?' They describe how 'His

directive was to kill every man, woman and child of the mainly

Roman Catholic Polish population, just as the Nazis were soon to

slaughter millions of Jews, and other ‘undesirables’, in Germany.'

This 'chilling analysis' has proved to be correct, they

say — not because no one knew what had happened to the

Christians, but because countries’ own vested interests took

priority.

Their argument is that Armenia today believes her

existence is at risk, and that Armenians see the prospect

of a new genocide before them. If the world 'stood on the

sidelines' during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict then what

of the fate of Christian minorities in other parts of the world

– even if they were to be facing genocide?

Armenian genocide demonstrators

The Parish Magazine - February 2021 15

Maria Oswalt, unsplash.com

In the preface to the 2015 edition of his book The Crossing

Place, Philip Marsden also talks about how the Turkish state

has denied that there was an organised campaign to kill

Armenians, and this despite growing evidence since the

events of a century earlier.

In his memoir Surviving the Forgotten Armenian Genocide,

Smpat Chorbadjian describes how wives and children of

young Armenians in Turkey were killed in front of them.

Turkey had run out of coal during the First World War. The

young men were working in the forests, cutting down trees to

aid Turkey’s war effort. But after their efforts of labouring in

the forests and building roads for the Turks, they were then

sent 'to join their wives'.

'One of the great forgotten catastrophes of the 20th century',

is how film-maker Terry George described the Armenian

Genocide. His 2016 film The Promise is a fascinating tale, set

in the last days of the Ottoman Empire and the Armenian

genocide, at the start of the First World War. Writer and

director George said of it that he ' jumped at the opportunity' to

make it. He admits that it is 'one of the most contentious subjects

out there. Even now, they’re locking up journalists who speak up on

the matter.'

'The story of the Armenian Genocide has been suppressed by

successive Turkish governments, and we were well aware of that,

but we wanted to go after it anyway', George says. 'We never

wanted to dictate perception, just tell the truth. He adds, 'The

genocide is burned into the soul of the Armenian diaspora. And

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

References and further reading

Open Doors Christians among thousands killed in fighting between

Armenia and Azerbaijan; ceasefire agreed.

https://tinyurl.com/y9k85fxb [2 Jan 2021].

European Asylum Support Office (EASO) COI Chronology: The course

of the Nagorno-Karabakh armed conflict and its impact on the civilian

population. https://tinyurl.com/yd87bxk9 [2 Jan 2021].

Barnabas Fund A blanket of shame covers the world’s continued denial

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

Barnabas Fund Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh: a forgotten genocide

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

Terry George quotes on The Promise: IMDb (Internet Movie Database)

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0313623/ [2 Jan 2021].

The Promise (2016) Directed by Terry George. Amazon Prime Video

[Dec 2020].

Philip Marsden (1993) The Crossing Place: a journey among the

Armenians. London: William Collins.

Vasily Grossman (2014) An Armenian Sketchbook. London: MacLehose

Press.

Smpat Chorbadjian (2015) Surviving the Forgotten Armenian Genocide:

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


16 The Parish Magazine - February 2021

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feature — 1

Revaluing The Pound

By Prof Alastair Driver

Sandwiched between King George’s Field car park and

Pound Lane is a small area of enclosed woodland about 80

by 10 metres. It is known as 'The Pound', because, as the

hugely informative 'Book of Sonning' by Angela Perkins tells

us, it was, until the early part of the last century, a fencedin

enclosure for straying livestock, that could be retrieved

by their owners through payment of a fine.

In 1938, the recreation ground, which had been purchased by

Sonning Parish Council two years earlier, was designated as a

King George’s Field for recreation, an amenity in perpetuity.

At the same time, natural succession took over in The

Pound with nearby tree and shrub species self-seeding.

A probable exception to this natural re-wilding was the

planting of a couple of Scots Pines which are not native

to this part of the country. Sadly they have gone. The last

remaining specimen succumbing very rapidly to red needle

blight last year which led to its felling for safety reasons.

15 years ago, with the support of the Parish Council and

some willing volunteers, I oversaw some clearance work in

The Pound when we created a pathway through it, planted

native snowdrop, bluebell and wild daffodil bulbs, and a few

native trees and shrubs, to complement what had established

naturally. For several years it looked great but it gradually

became overgrown again so, about 5 years ago, I offered to

repeat the exercise and enhance it. The offer was declined by

the Parish Council until last year when they changed their

minds. Bolstered by the fact that the Friends of Ali’s Pond

now exceed 70 volunteers and that I was struggling to find

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

was that 20 volunteers put in a total of 60 man-hours in two

work party sessions in late November 2020 and transformed

The Pound to its former glory — and hopefully beyond.

TASK THANKS

— Removal of brambles and ivy from the main pathway area and

less densely covered areas of the sloping bank

— Removal of ivy from selected trees

— Raking leaves and woody debris to clear areas for wildflower

seeding

— Transfer of 12 ballast bags of debris to Reading waste tip

— Creation of 3 habitat piles for great crested newts and other

wildlife using remaining wood and leaf

— Litter picking (app 3 bin bags full)

— Creation of steps in the slope down from the car park

— Restoration of clear pathway through the site

— Planting of 1,025 native wildflower plants, bulbs and corms:

300 snowdrops, 250 wild daffodils, 250 bluebells, 100 aconites,

50 wild garlic, 50 wood anemone, and 25 primrose.

— Sowing of a native woodland wildflower mix in the barer areas

I would like to sincerely thank all the volunteers who

worked hard to get the job done swiftly and who told me that

they found it very enjoyable and a great way to exercise while

'giving something back to the community' in difficult times.

I also thank parish councillor Trefor Fisher for his positive

support and the Parish Council for funding the purchase of

the wildflower bulbs and seeds. Roll on the spring, by which

time The Pound should be realising its true value once again!

1 2

6

The Parish Magazine - February 2021 17

5

1: Bluebells and snow in 2008; 2: Summer in 2004; 3: The

Pound after being cleared in 2005; 4: Greg Elphick crafting the

new steps; 5: Jim (bramble basher) Reeve; 6&7: Volunteers

clearing The Pound and below 8: the result of their hard work!

Pictures: Ali Driver

8

3

7

4


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feature — 2

A young man came out of his chalet

in the dark and walked straight

over a 20 foot high cliff, landing on

his knees. Shaken, but otherwise

unhurt he staggered into the

kitchen and sat down for a rest.

This is the time of year when

holidays are planned and after

the Covid restrictions they will be

looked forward to.

The first summer holiday I had

was just after the Second World War

ended. I was 12 years old.

The holiday was in Exmouth

where my cousin and I found a land

mine in the sand on a remote part

of the beach. Not thinking that it

might not be a dud we picked it up

and played with it.

There have been many holidays

since then but none better than

those spent at Rydal Hall, Ambleside

in the Cumbrian Lake District.

My youngest son Chris was a

parish worker, living with a priest

in a very rough part of Sunderland.

The vicarage had a 10 foot high chain

link fence with barbed wire all round

it at the top and there were steel

shutters over the windows at night.

THE BISHOP CALLS

Barbara, my wife and I, stayed

there overnight on one occasion

and it was feared that there might

not be any wheels on my car in the

morning!

While there, my son trained

as a chef at a local college and

then worked at St John's college

in Durham. When working in the

kitchen there he was told 'There's

some bishop on the phone asking for

you'.

It was the Bishop of Carlisle

asking him if he would be interested

in a job at Rydal Hall.

A former stately home built in

1789, Rydal Hall is set in over 30

acres of grounds and is a UNESCO

World Heritage site.

It is at the foot of Nab Scar, which

is the peak at the western end of the

ring of fells known as the Fairfield

Horseshoe.

It is also at the southern end of a

rocky footpath known as the Coffin

Trail because the remains of William

Wordsworth were carried along it to

his funeral at Grasmere in 1850.

The hall was bought by the

Diocese of Carlisle in 1970 for use as

a retreat house and holiday venue. It

accommodated about 50 guests when

Chris went there in 1992.

There were about four or

five permanent staff and a few

Hungarians who came for the

English experience. Each of them

worked there for a year or so, making

a community of about 10.

The warden was Rev Peter Walker,

a very nice man liked by everyone.

Guests made their own beds and

were expected to make their own

bed with clean sheets before leaving.

On the ground floor in the middle

of the grand façade is a small chapel

and to one side is the dining room

and the other a large lounge.

OVER THE CLIFF

So it was in 1992 that Barbara

and I started to stay there as paying

guests of the community, twice,

sometimes three times a year,

and on one occasion to the lavish

Christmas party. Barbara says that

we never went on retreat. Only to

the bar!

It was when Chris was going

to prepare the evening meal on

Christmas Eve that he went over the

cliff.

The Parish Magazine - February 2021 19

Happy summer holiday memories of Rydal

By Claude Masters

Claude and Barbara Masters in the Lake District

Claude Masters

In 1997 we organised a group of

about 12, mostly elderly ladies, from

St Luke's with St Bartholomew's

Reading to go there for a holiday.

Weekends were booked by local

parishes so we went mid-week

travelling on Sunday and returning

Friday.

Barbara arranged insurance for

the group and the insurers needed

to know the name, age and state of

health of each individual and they

would not cover one of the two very

old ladies. We knew she was really

looking forward to the holiday and

we wanted her to go. So we said

nothing to her, prayed, and took

her along anyway. She died three

months later.

These two ladies were too frail

to travel by rail or clamber on a

mini bus, so on the morning of

departure I picked them up from

their homes in my car and drove

them to Cumbria — and then took

them around in my car for the whole

holiday.

Chris took time off to drive a

hired mini bus and met Barbara

with the others when they arrived at

Windermere railway station.

We had been to Rydal Hall

a month earlier and toured the

Lake District to decide where to

go, find where the car parks were

turn to page 21


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feature — 3

Rydal Hall dates from 1409 when

Sir Thomas le Fleming and his family

built the first Rydal Hall at St John's

Knott. In 1600 William Fleming built

a new hall on the present site. The

original house is adjacent to the tea

shop and now is known as the 'Old

Kitchen and Bar'.

Rydal Hall was passed down

through the Fleming family and in

1757 the fourth baronet Sir Michael

built the Georgian south wing which

is the modern front of Rydal Hall in

1789.

After the death of the last Squire

le Fleming, the Hall was let from the

1940's and during the Second World

War, it was used as a school. Later

it became a hotel and then in 1963,

it was let to the Diocese of Carlisle

as a retreat house for 'hospitality,

tranquillity and spirituality for all'.

In 1970 the Diocese of Carlisle

purchased Rydal Hall and 30 acres of

the surrounding land.

Today, Rydal Hall is still owned by

the Diocese of Carlisle and continues

to provide Christian hospitality

regardless of faith. It now has enfrom

page 19

Rydal Hall

and to make sure there were toilets

available.

During the four days we visited

Beatrix Potter's home 'Hill Top' set in

its beautiful gardens, and the nearby

small lake Tarn Howes. We also had

a boat trip on Lake Windermere and

Ullswater, rode on 'Ratty' the narrow

gauge railway from Ravenglass to

Eskdale and saw most of the lakes

as well as going over the treacherous

Hardknot pass with its precipitous

sharp bends.

The hall kitchen provided each of

us with a picnic lunch every day and

we were fortunate indeed to have

fine warm weather all the time — the

locals say that the Lake District has

its own micro climate rather than

that it rains a lot!

A party of 11 year old children and

their teachers from Northern Ireland

were staying at Rydal at the same

time. The youngsters were very polite

and helped we oldies whenever they

could.

What was particularly nice was

that they sang grace before each

meal.

The only man in our group, other

than me, was Dougie Ewers who was

jovial and joking, and amused the

children — once taking a chip off of

one of the teachers plates when she

wasn't looking.

On the last evening we all

got together in the lounge and

Rydal Hall, a Christian holiday and retreat centre

entertained each other. Some of the

children did turns and Dougie's wife

Eileen, who played the piano by ear,

led a sing song and supported me

when doing my party piece. It was an

enjoyable evening for everyone.

The next morning we made our

beds and went home with happy

memories.

RYDAL HISTORY

The Parish Magazine - February 2021 21

suite rooms and is run on a more

commercial basis.

The grounds are set at the foot of

the valley formed by the horseshoe

and around a stream with a 3m metre

high waterfall. There are a couple of

self catering cottages, a camp site

with eco pods, an adventure play

ground and, next to the falls, there is

a popular snack bar. Outside the site

and further up into the valley there

is a reservoir which supplies water

for the complex and an even more

impressive waterfall.

For more about Rydal Hall see:

https://rydalhall.org/

Dreamstime.com

The waterfall at Rydal Claude Masters Rydal Water Claude Masters


22 The Parish Magazine - February 2021

feature — 4

While candles, electricity and LEDs light the c

Peter Rennie

The Christian festival of Candlemas, celebrated

annually on 2 February, marks the ‘Presentation

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

the official name for this feast day. It is an occasion

that is considered almost as sacred as Easter and

Christmas for millions of Christians around the

world, writes Bob Peters.

Ten years ago, when in Madeira, I witnessed an

amazing celebration when hundreds of local people,

carried lighted candles through the streets as they

processed into a cathedral. There were so many people

that most of them had to stand outside, as I did, and

listen to the service on loudspeakers.

The name, ‘Candlemas’ evolved from a tradition

that when churches celebrated the time that Mary

and Joseph took the child Jesus to the temple in

Jerusalem in order to present him to God according

to the Jewish law, many churches would also bless the

candles that they had bought for the coming year.

According to the Gospel of Luke, when the family

was in the temple they met an elderly man named

Simeon who took Jesus in his arms and declared that

this child was 'the light of the world'. He said:

'Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now

dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen

your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all

nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory

of your people Israel.'

Candles, of course, were the usual source of light

in dark church buildings before the electric light

became available in the early 1900’s. In our parish

church of St Andrew's a single electric light bulb was

installed in October 1934 to supplement the candles

that had always been used. It was first light bulb in

Sonning and caused a huge amount of interest. The

2014: Midnight Mass in St Andrew's begins in candlelight

vicar, writing in this magazine, said: ‘At Evensong,

when the congregation was even larger than usual,

the church looked extraordinarily beautiful … and

the combination of the electric light and the candles

throughout the church being markedly effective.’

ESSENTIAL COMMODITY

Candles were not only one of the main sources

of light at the time in churches but also in people’s

homes and workplaces. Most villages, and certainly

most towns and cities, had a candlestick maker. The

Sonning candlestick maker lived in the High Street.

Candles, or the light they provided, were an

essential commodity, hence the nursery rhyme,

‘Rub a dub dub, three men in a tub, the butcher,

the baker and the candlestick maker’.

It is estimated that today in the UK we spend £1.9

billion on candles every year but apart from the rare

power cut, very few are used for lighting, although

Holy Trinity Church York

Leklek73, Dreamstime.com

Holy Trinity Church in York

electricity, still relies on c

Despite a modern day L

welcomes visitors to St And

still used for all services. Be

over 650 candles every year

candlesticks and chandelie

especially at weddings. Our

use, and featured on the fro

CURIOUS M

The chandelier was dona

a member of a local family w

several churches in Reading

At sometime in its histo

removed from the centre of

Sonning Boys' School room

'I must not forget the old b

which hung in the centre of th

Boys’ Schoolroom. On it is the

'The gift of George Blagrave, o

Some will no doubt remember

lighting up of this chandelier f

could remember, on Ash Wedn

began to have a week-day eve

The chandelier is not th

that the Blagrave family lef

monument in the St Andre

that was found in the unde

Victorian refurbishment.

It was the Blagrave fami

people that are thought to b

three daughters of a Blagra

James 1 who reigned 1603 –

60 years before the chande


The Parish Magazine - February 2021 23

hurch only 'God gives light to our eyes' (Ezra 9:8)

Christingle at home

It seems almost certain that there will not be a

Christingle service in St Andrew's this year, but

it should not stop you making one at home. You

will need: A candle, an orange, four cocktail sticks,

some fruit or sweets, red ribbon, and a small piece

of aluminium foil to catch the drips from the

candle. Make a hole in the orange and the foil to

hold the candle. Push the cocktail sticks

into the orange as shown in the diagram.

LEAVE ONE OF THE COCKTAIL

STICKS EMPTY TO REMIND US OF

THE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO

ARE HUNGRY

which does not have

andles.

ED lighting system that

rew's today, candles are

fore Covid, we bought

to replenish the 100+

rs that are used regularly,

oldest chandelier still in

nt cover, dates from 1675.

ONUMENT

ted by George Blagrave,

ho were benefactors of

and the surrounding area.

ry the chandelier was

the nave and hung in a

:

rass chandelier, of 16 lights,

e Nave, and is now in the

following inscription:

f Bulmarsh, Gent, 1675'.

the interest excited by the

or the first time that anyone

esday, 1846, when we

ning service in Lent.

ought to be the only thing

t us. There is a curious

w's Church side chapel

rground crypt during the

ly tomb and depicts six

e the three sons and

ve from the time of King

1625, which is only 50 to

lier was donated.

Picture above: Keith Nichols

CANDLEMAS

FOIL

Like some other churches, Candlemas has also

become the time when St Andrew's celebrates

Christingle. Many churches celebrate during the

weeks immediately at Christmas but at St Andrew's

we are usually extremely busy with carol services

for the three schools in the parish, and other very

popular celebrations, such as Nine Lessons and

Carols, the Crib Service and Midnight Mass, that

holding Christingle at Candlemas on the first Sunday

of February has become a very popular family

occasion amidst the dark days of February. And, of

course, it fits perfectly with the Candlemas feast day.

Sadly, like most of the Christmas services, it is

highly unlikely that Christingle will take place in

its usual way at St Andrew's this year because of the

Covid restrictions. However, there is no reason why

it can't be celebrated at home, hence the instructions

on the right show you how easy it to make a

Christingle.

The Blagrave monument in St Andrew's

Peter Rennie

PUT THE FRUIT OR SWEETS ON

THE STICKS TO SYMBOLISE THE

'FRUITS OF THE WORLD'

TIE THE RED RIBBON AROUND

THE ORANGE TO SYMBOLISE THE

BLOOD OF CHRIST SHED FOR

EVERYONE IN THE WORLD

TIP: BEFORE MAKING YOUR

CHRISTINGLE CUT OFF A PIECE OF

THE ORANGE SO THAT IT STANDS

UP SAFELY

Finally, keep the Christingle in a safe place that

can be seen and light the candle at Candlemas —

Tuesday 2 February — and say this prayer:

Father God, the orange represents the world. We

pray for our world, that men and women, boys and

girls can live together peacefully and that there will

be no more wars. We pray for children who are sad

and lonely, especially refugees in our country.

The red ribbon reminds us that Jesus died at

Easter time. We pray that people may be able to

choose their religion and practice it freely. Comfort

those who are sad because a relative or neighbour

has died, and please look after children whose

parents have died.

The cocktail sticks remind us of the spring,

summer, autumn and winter. Thank you for your

world.

The sweets or fruit remind us that the things we

have come from God, who made the world. Thank

you for the sun and the rain which make crops

grow, we pray for children who are hungry because

bad weather has spoiled the food their family were

growing.

The candle reminds us that Jesus Christ is the

light of the world. We pray for those who have died

and we have lit the candle to symbolise the light of

Christ which shines to bring hope to our world.

Amen.


24 The Parish Magazine - February 2021

feature — 5

St Valentine's Day — myths, love,

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

There are some confusing things about 14 February being a day of romance, with anonymous love and

cards strewn with lace, cupids and ribbon. There seem to have been two different Valentines in the 4th

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

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

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

was assumed to be because on the 14 February the birds are supposed to pair. Or perhaps the custom of

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

place in the middle of February.

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

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

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

time of the celebrations. Even modern Valentine decorations bear an ancient symbol of love — Roman cupids

with their bows and love-arrows.

For better or for worse, to love and to cherish

By Rev Peter Crumpler, a former communications director for the Church of England

You do not see many Zimmer frames, wheelchairs or

hearing aids on Valentine’s Day cards.

Young love is wonderful and beautiful, full of

optimism, and plans and hopes for the future. But

love in later life is also precious. It is a love that has

been forged through years of shared experiences

and joy, maybe raising children together, perhaps

enjoying grandchildren.

It is a love that has stood the test of time,

and deeper, much deeper, than any shop-bought

Valentine’s Day card can describe.

That long-term love can also be shown by the

devoted wife or husband who visits their spouse in a

care home each day, gently talking with them when

they are, perhaps, deep into dementia. Or sitting for

long hours by a hospital bed. Or dutifully caring for

them at home. Love is a marathon, not a sprint. It

starts with white lace and promises and grows over

the years.

Mature love is about the commitment that spans

decades and is seldom shown on the cards on sale in

the High Street this Valentine’s Day.

LOVE AND MARRIAGE

As a priest, when I marry a couple and take them

through their wedding vows, I hear them make their

lifelong commitment 'for better, for worse, for richer,

for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to

cherish, till death us do part.'

It is so wonderful to see the bride and groom

smiling, and enjoying this precious moment, making

vows that will, hopefully, span the rest of their lives.

I love taking weddings — it’s an immense privilege to

be part of a couple’s special day.

And I find myself pondering what the future will

hold for them. I wonder, as I pray a blessing on their

marriage, what shape that lifelong commitment

will take. How much wealth or poverty will come

their way? Will it be sickness or health that will

accompany them through the years? How will they

support each other as the years go by?

‘Love is patient. Love is kind.’ These are familiar

words from the popular wedding reading in Paul’s

letter to the Corinthians. Patience and kindness are

qualities that can develop over years of marriage.

Just how much patience will be needed in the years

ahead cannot usually be known on the wedding day.

So, this year, as I look at the rows of red or pink

Valentine’s Day cards on sale in the shops, I shall

look out for cards that have a deeper message.

I shall seek out cards that celebrate long-term

love. Cards that say something about the joys and

challenges of growing older together.

Cards that go beyond hearts and roses to the

deeper love that transcends love’s first blossoming. I

just hope I can find some!

Dying for love legend

The Roman Emperor Claudius II needed soldiers.

He suspected that marriage made men want to stay

at home with their wives, instead of fighting wars,

so he outlawed marriage.

A kind-hearted young priest named Valentine felt

sorry for all the couples who wanted to marry, s0

secretly he married as many as he could until the

Emperor found out and condemned him to death.

While he was in prison awaiting execution,

Valentine showed love and compassion to everyone

around him, including his jailer. The jailer had

a young daughter who was blind, but through

Valentine’s prayers, she was healed. Just before

his death in Rome on 14 February, he wrote her a

farewell message signed ‘From your Valentine.’

So, the first Valentine card was not between

lovers, but between a priest about to die, and a little

girl, healed through his prayers!

Saint Valentine depicted in an 18t

Metzinger

Public

Love takes many forms. Here a g

his granddaughter share a mom


The Parish Magazine - February 2021 25

cards, legends, lyrics and the Bible

h Century painting by Valentin

domain, Wikimedia Commons

randfather out walking with

ent of love.

Jana Sabeth, unsplash.com

Porcupines huddling together

The prickly side of love

By Canon Paul Hardingham

Devoxer, dreamstime.com

As we mark Valentine's Day on 14 February, it’s good to ask the question: what does real love look like?

The Apostle Paul says: ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not

dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil

but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.’

(1 Corinthians 13: 4-8).

Love is unconditional

At its heart, love is not just feelings but action! Paul

talks here about unconditional love — the Greek

word Paul used was agape, meaning 'brotherly love' —

which is demonstrated in God’s love for us:

‘We love, because he first loved us.’ (1 John 4:19).

Love is forgiving

According to the film Love Story, ‘Love means never

having to say you’re sorry.’ This is rarely true of

course! According to Paul, love is being ready to

forgive others and ‘keeping no record of wrongs’

(1 Corinthians 13: 5). We can only forgive others

because we know God's forgiveness in our own lives.

Love is sacrificial

Paul says that agape is not selfish or self-seeking,

but selfless and self-sacrificial, putting the needs of

others first. This is modelled by Jesus giving his life

for us on the cross. Take the words from

1 Corinthians and instead of the word love, substitute

your own name. Now substitute the word Jesus. This

is the Jesus who is available to you to make your love

for others grow and flourish.

Love is prickly

Someone once compared love to being like a group

of porcupines huddling together on a cold night. The

closer they get, the more they jab and hurt each other.

‘To love at all is to be vulnerable.’ (C S Lewis).

Poetry of love

St Valentine’s Day, many believe, was named

after one or more Christian martyrs and was

established by Pope Gelasius 1 in 496 AD.

Valentine of Rome was martyred about 269, and

this day usually ‘belongs’ to him.

The first recorded association of Valentine's Day

with romantic love (1382) is from Geoffrey Chaucer.

He wrote, ‘For this was Saint Valentine’s Day, when

every bird cometh there to choose his mate.’ This

poem was in honour of the first anniversary of

the engagement of King Richard II of England to

Anne of Bohemia. Valentine's Day is referred to by

Ophelia in Hamlet (1600-1601):

To-morrow is St Valentine’s day

All in the morning betime

And I a maid at your window

To be your Valentine.

A more modern mention of Valentine’s Day can be

found in a collection of English nursery rhymes

(1784):

The rose is red, the violet’s blue

The honey’s sweet, and so are you.

Thou are my love and I am thine

I drew thee to my Valentine.


26 The Parish Magazine - February 2021 Please mention The Parish Magazine when responding to advertisements

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feature — 6

Counting the 2020 climate costs

The Parish Magazine - February 2021 27

A huge cyclone thought to be the result of climate change brings increased rainfall

A new report by Christian Aid,

'Counting the cost 2020: a year of

climate breakdown', has identified

15 of the most destructive climate

disasters of last year.

Ten of the 2020 events cost $1.5 billion

or more, with nine of them causing

damage worth at least $5 billion.

Most of these estimates are based

on insured losses, meaning the true

financial costs are likely to be higher.

Among them is Storm Ciara

which struck the UK, Ireland and

other European countries in February

costing, $2.7 billion and killing 14. The

UK’s Environment Agency issued 251

flood warnings.

WORST FLOODS EVER

While the report focuses on

financial costs, which are usually

higher in richer countries because they

have more valuable property, some

extreme weather events in 2020 were

devastating in poorer countries, even

though the price tag was lower. South

Sudan, for example, experienced one

of its worst floods ever. It killed 138

people and destroyed the year’s crops.

Some of the disasters hit fast, like

Cyclone Amphan, which struck the

Bay of Bengal in May and caused losses

valued at $13 billion in just a few days.

Other events unfolded over months,

like floods in China and India, which

had an estimated cost of $32 billion

and $10 billion respectively.

Forest fires

Toxic water

Elantsey, dreamstime.com

Motortion, dreamstime.com

Floods Andril Biletskyi, dreamstime.com

Six of the ten most costly events

took place in Asia, five of them

associated with an unusually rainy

monsoon. And in Africa, huge locust

swarms ravaged crops and vegetation

across several countries, causing

damages estimated at $8.5 billion.

The outbreak has been linked to wet

Karayuschij, dreamstime.com

conditions brought about by unusual

rains fuelled by climate change.

But the impact of extreme weather

was felt all over the world. In Europe,

two extra-tropical cyclones, Ciara and

Alex, had a combined cost of almost $6

billion. The US suffered from a recordbreaking

hurricane season and a

record-breaking fire season adding up

to more than $60 billion in damages.

URGENT ACTION

Less populated places also suffered

the consequences of a warming world.

In Siberia, a heat wave during the first

half of the year set a record in the city

of Verkhoyansk, with temperatures

reaching 38°C. A few months later, on

the other side of the world, heat and

drought drove the fires in Bolivia,

Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil.

While there were no human casualties

reported from these events, the

destruction of these areas has a great

impact on biodiversity and the planet’s

capacity to respond to a warmer world.

Christian Aid says that: 'These

extreme events highlight the need

for urgent climate action. The Paris

Agreement, which set the goal of keeping

temperature rise ‘well below’ 2°C, and

ideally 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial

levels, has just turned five years old. It

is critical that countries commit to bold

new targets ahead of the next climate

conference, which will take place in

Glasgow, in November 2021.'

Read the full report at: https://www.christianaid.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-12/Counting%20the%20cost%202020.pdf


28 The Parish Magazine - February 2021

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around the villages — 1

LINKS

http://www.gf.me/u/zdzs8g

https://www.youtube.com/

watch?v=o4O4o-Lgc3g

He said: 'While Covid-19 has had a

huge impact on almost every part

of our daily lives, there are some

workplace and entertainment sectors

that have suffered the most —

particularly the performing arts.

'Never before has the performing

community been forced to leave

the stage, cancel events for months

and not be able to offer their work

to the eyes and ears of their bereft

audiences.

'In order to make music and the

arts more widely available in the

local community, some people have

been developing the knowledge and

technology to livestream and prerecord

events to broadcast via the

internet. However, a lot more needs

to be done.'

LEADING ROLE

During the Christmas period,

Nathan took a leading role in live

streaming and pre-recording services

for St Andrew's Church, including

directing and managing the

technical aspects of the Nine Lessons

and Carols service that was livestreamed

around the world. To-date,

more than 500 viewings have been

achieved making it a great success.

(You can view the service using the

youtube link on the left)

The Parish Magazine - February 2021 29

Young musician of the year plans for

more music in the local community

Nathan May (left), St Andrew's organ scholar, and winner of Reading

Symphony Orchestra's 2020 young musician of year competition, is hoping

to share his love of music and the performing arts more widely in the local

community.

To undertake the task, Nathan

was able to borrow equipment from

Reading Blue Coat School, which

fortunately was unusually available.

To further his ambition to share

music and the arts more widely

in the community, Nathan needs

to have access to the type of high

technology equipment he was able

to borrow from the local school. The

equipment is not usually available

because it is in great demand during

school time.

GRATEFUL

Undaunted by the situation,

Nathan started an online fundraiser

project to raise the money he needs

to buy the equipment needed for his

community service plans.

Nathan said: 'If you are able, I

would be so grateful for any donation

of any size.

'You really would be helping me,

not only in the first steps of beginning

a career in the production industry,

but also you will be doing your

part to bring music back into the

community.

'Please also share the link (on the

left) for the fundraiser with your

social media friends and family. The

more people who hear about it, the

better!'

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/ch/1130763-0

When shopping online with Amazon you can help raise

funds for St Andrew's Church by logging in to Amazon

using the link above. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon

you know — except Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net

purchase price (excluding VAT, returns and shipping

fees) of eligible purchases to the

Parochial Church Council

of the Ecclesiastical Parish of Sonning.


30 The Parish Magazine - February 2021

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around the villages — 2

Santa and his elves

feed the community

The Parish Magazine - February 2021 31

Jenny 'the hall' retires after 42 years

Santa at Hare Hatch Sheeplands

The Covid-safe Santa area at Hare

Hatch Sheeplands Garden Centre

was a resounding success in the run

up to Christmas with all visits to

Santa being fully booked. Sadly,

however, the lockdown meant some

families were disappointed.

The Rotary and Inner Wheel Clubs of

Reading Maiden Erlegh were hugely

indebted to the generosity of Hare

Hatch Sheeplands who continue to

support them and donate food and

funds towards their community work.

Since March 2020, the clubs have

supported Woodley Food Bank,

CIRDIC, the Salvation Army and

Wycliffe Baptist Church FoodShare

scheme. Right up to Christmas Eve

they were delivering funds and

foodstuffs to support the many

families who have been struggling

since the first lockdown.

The income from Christmas 2020

will allow them to continue tackling

food poverty in our community.

The clubs also made donations

to JAC (Just Around the Corner),

Samaritans, Dingley’s Promise,

Daisy’s Dream, Yeldall Manor, Arc

Counselling, Launchpad and KidsOut.

LIKE TO HELP?

Rotary and Inner Wheel are ‘service

clubs’, meeting on Zoom at present, for

friendship, fun and forward planning.

Their focus is on improving the lives of

others mainly through organisations

carrying out great work in our locality.

The clubs thanked all the readers of

this magazine who have supported

them. If you would like to become

involved with their community work,

contact them on Facebook or:

http://www.innerwheelrme.org

http://www.readingmaidenerlegh.org

Ricture: Penny Adams

There cannot be many people who use the Pearson Hall who don’t know Jenny

Adams. Jenny has been the caretaker since 1978, when she moved into the

Pearson Hall Cottage with husband Arthur. At the time life was a lot simpler.

Jenny gave birth to Penny and Richard in the early 1980's and the family spent

many happy years together in the cottage until it became a little small for the

couple and their growing children. Happily, they were able to move, along with

their four cats and two dogs, to Little Glebe in 1993. However, the hall has always

played an important part in Jenny’s life and this has continued up until now.

Jenny recalls her worst moment during her period as caretaker when she

returned home after shopping to find the fire brigade tackling a fire in the kitchen

just after Arthur had finished its redecoration.

Jenny has devoted a large part of her life to the hall and has taken part in, and

enjoyed, many of the activities. During this time, she has also made many friends

and Jenny will continue to enjoy using the hall after her retirement without the

responsibility she has managed so ably over the last 42 years.

There have been many changes over the years and Jenny’s retirement will not

be the last as the hall moves to a computerised system. It will however be quite

different without Jenny’s involvement and she will be missed.

Lesley Bates, chairman of Pearson Hall Trustees, said: 'On behalf of the current

and past trustees of the hall and all users we wish Jenny a very happy retirement,

which is well deserved after 42 years of sterling service.'

In pursuit of pleasure

On 12 March at 7.30pm in Pearson Hall, Sonning and Sonning Eye Society are

hoping to host a talk by Simon Wenham, author of several books about pleasure

boating on the Thames. His lecture, subject to Covid restrictions, will be entitled

'The Pursuit of Pleasure: Victorian and Edwardian Leisure'. Our picture, dated

1888 is one of the earliest 'boating' images from the Hoyle collection. Tickets may

be strictly limited so book in advance with Penny Feathers on 0118 934 3193 or

penny.feathers@btinternet.com


32 The Parish Magazine - February 2021

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HOME AND GARDEN

Leave them alone

The National Trust is urging the public

to stay away from certain areas during

breeding season this spring. It hopes to

mimic the effects of lockdown last year,

which helped more vulnerable species.

The call follows the discovery last year that

lockdown did our peregrine falcons, (Pictured

left by Michael De Nysschen, dreamstime.com) grey

partridges and other species a favour. The

tern colony at Blakeney Point in Norfolk

had a bumper season, with more than 200 tern chicks

fledged, the most in 25 years. The Peak District had more

curlew, and the Llyn ˆ Peninsula saw more stoats, weasels

and rabbits emerging from the woodlands of Plas yn

Rhiw. Meanwhile, the ruins of Corfe Castle in Dorset

became home to peregrine falcons, and a cuckoo arrived

in Osterley, west London. Even Dartford warblers were on

the move, some to as far as Shropshire.

Some Charvil residents might be thinking that this

might explain the appearance of a lone peregrine falcon

that seems to have adopted our neighbourhood.

And while talking about our neighbourhood, some of

our local birds are short of nesting holes, because gardens,

parks and woodland are much neater than they used to be,

and modern homes offer few crannies for nest building. To

help with this, National Nestbox Week, which is celebrated

from 14 February each year, aims to encourage us to

put up more nestboxes and to consider planting shrubs

or trees with fruit that birds eat. These can make a big

difference to birds struggling to survive, especially blue

tits, great tits, house sparrows, robins and starlings.

The British Trust for Ornithologiy offers a variety of

ideas for building and placing nestboxes at:

https://www.nestboxweek.com

Recipe of the month

From Emma's Kitchen

Spanish Turron de Chocolate

'A nice simple recipe to use up the

leftover chocolate!' says Emma!

Ingredients

— 250g of dark chocolate (70%)

— 125 of hazelnut chocolate spread

— 50g of Rice Krispies

Method

Melt chocolate either in the microwave

or in a bowl over hot water until shiny and smooth.

Add the chocolate spread and mix until fully combined.

Add the rice krispies and fold gently until all combined.

Pour into a lined rectangular tin.

Cover with baking parchment and leave to set on the

side (shouldn't need to go in the fridge but if you have a

particularly warm house then you may need to)

When set, turn out onto a chopping board and slice into

any shape you like!

The Parish Magazine - February 2021 33

the sciences

Hope for now and the

future creation

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

Institute for Science and Religion in Cambridge

Gabriella Clare Marino, unsplash.com

I find watching buds swelling on trees and plants during

the winter months gives me a tremendous sense of hope,

and we all need some need extra hope for 2021.

When you read this a number of us may have been

fortunate to receive a Covid vaccine, but we will all still be

under various restrictions. After creation’s winter shutdown,

the sight of tiny flowers poking out of brown earth

may be more important than ever.

Getting outdoors during daylight hours, enjoying

green spaces and getting some fresh air and exercise are

great ways to keep ourselves healthy at any time of year.

A psychologist colleague wrote, 'Attending to the details

of nature can also inspire awe, which has been linked to

positive mood and increased life satisfaction.' I expect it

is this sense of awe that makes it easier for many of us to

connect with God outdoors.

ULTIMATE HOPE

Helping ourselves and others to thrive is a good start

to 2021, but it is also vital to have hope for the future.

The Covid-19 pandemic was caused by an animal virus

jumping into the human population. Diseases like this are

not ‘natural disasters’, but are almost certainly caused by

environmental destruction and poor farming practices -

either from greed or the desperation born of poverty. Part

of the answer to the current crisis is for us to care for all

of creation, human and everything else, with God’s help.

Our ultimate hope is in God’s promise that he will

bring about a new heaven and new earth. We can look

forward to the day when creation will be fully redeemed

and liberated from evil. The Greek word to describe the

new creation is the same as that used to describe someone

who becomes a Christian, whose humanity is restored and

renewed. There will be continuity between the old and

new earth as it is cleansed and purified, surpassing and

perfecting what has gone before. There will also be some

discontinuity, as there will be no more suffering or death.

One source of hope for 2021 is that we can enjoy caring

for, and meeting, God in creation. The parts of creation we

find most beautiful, give us a sense of awe, and help us to

worship, are also a reminder that there is something much

better to come.


34 The Parish Magazine - February 2021

Please mention The Parish Magazine when responding to advertisements

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Planning Your

Traditional Wedding?

Then you might like to

discuss the possibility of

marriage in our ancient and

beautiful parish church.

If so, call the vicar, Jamie

0118 969 3298

He will be pleased to help!

ALL WASTE CLEARANCE

John and his team can clear all waste and

rubbish from your office, house, garden or loft.

He can deal with property clearance for probate

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As well as offering excellent nursing care in a warm, friendly

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Residential,

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HEALTH — 1

The Parish Magazine - February 2021 35

Dr Simon Ruffle writes . . . Communicating Covid-19

So much scientific information is in the media at this time.

As someone who grew up with a scientifically minded

elder brother and a father who was a master welder and

engineer, this is exciting. It seemed inevitable that I’d end

up in a science based discipline.

The ability to communicate, highly complex systems, in

a way that anyone can understand, and enjoy, is difficult.

This difficulty has been helped and hindered by social media,

and by the reduction in teacher numbers in science and

the growth of professional politicians. Mrs Thatcher was

a chemist graduate, Mr Baldwin a metallurgist and Mrs

May a geographer. Whatever you think of these politicians

I would rather see them in cabinet jobs where the ability to

understand and communicate ideas is vital. I’m not saying I

could communicate better. For a cabinet of talents see Canada

2015!1 You need to understand the fundamentals to educate,

let alone accept evidence and form policy.

TEACHER

Doctor comes from the Latin ‘to teach’ — docere. Good

medical practice is the guiding document from the General

Medical Council and part of it states: 'we as a profession have

a duty to maintain a good standard of practice and care.' This

statement is later clarified: 'You should be willing to contribute

to the education of students or colleagues.'

Therefore, as a doctor, one of my duties is to teach and

this comes in many forms:

— Encouraging young people to explore the options to

join the profession.

— Teaching medical students.

— Teaching and supervising junior doctors.

— Clearly communicating with colleagues about patients

and their care.

— And the most important, the day-to-day, teaching of

patients about their condition, what to do about it and

what to watch out for. Let’s take an example:

‘It is really important that if you get a pyrexia, rigours and

diaphoresis that you contact me.' This means little or nothing

to lots of people. They are symptoms that sepsis might be

developing from a pyelonephritis.

Jargon: The previous sentences are gobble-de-gook. What

they mean is if you feel hot, shake uncontrollably and sweat,

a lot, your kidney infection may be spreading to your blood.

STEM

STEM2 is an organisation that support teaching and teachers

in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. This

work is massively important especially in deprived areas and

those with teacher shortages. It is something I’d like to be

involved in someday.

BLUEPRINTS

In manufacturing a design is produced. The final product is

made from many smaller parts being created. The blueprint

is transcribed into smaller instructions. These instructions

then multiply the parts required and then those transcribed

blueprints are no longer required.

The parts made then go on to make the whole or is the

final product.

DNA

What I have just described is the production of proteins

that allow cells and, thus, the body to function. DNA is the

blueprint, this is unpackaged and segments of it produce

mRNA — Messenger RNA. This instructs (messages) the

cells to make proteins. (Here comes the small print — the

previous sections have been deliberately shortened, Ts+Cs apply.)

COVID VACCINE

Vaccine syringe, my surgery and a virus

The Pfizer vaccine is mRNA surrounded by a lipid (fat)

coating. Many of these particles are injected into muscle

cells in the arm. These delicate sections are taken up by

our cells. Our cellular mechanisms are already producing

proteins from our native DNA — via RNA — and they will

do the same with the mRNA in the vaccine. Because there

is only a small part of the blueprint, not the whole plan, the

cells cannot create the virus, they create a small piece of

the virus surface, known as the spike protein. The mRNA

then disintegrates. Any mRNA not taken up into the cells

degrades naturally, so never leaves the site of injection.

LOCK AND KEY

Simon.Ruffle

The spike protein, on the surface of the natural virus, is a

key. It unlocks a door in human cells so the whole virus RNA

can enter the cell. As the cell will recreate proteins, from the

instructions delivered, it produces new viruses that then go

on to infect other cells.

Our body recognises these proteins and new viruses as

foreign and produces antibodies. These will attach to the key

and stop them entering the lock. The door remains closed

and the virus is then useless.

As the vaccine has already produced the spike protein, via

our own cells, our body gets busy producing the antibodies

to block the spike key. If we then meet the natural virus key

protein we are already to block its action. It does not mean

you cannot catch the virus but it does mean you will respond

to the virus quickly and prevent major illness.

turn to page 36


36 The Parish Magazine - February 2021

HEALTH — 2

from page 35

One of the best ways to improve communication is

to get feedback. When I taught Oxford students we

had to receive anonymous feedback. I was told that

the students had a lecture on how to give feedback

and had to produce feedback on that lecture. I

cannot possibly disclose the results but it is as

ironic as you may think.

If you can, please feedback to anyone who is

explaining things to you; even better question

it. If I cannot answer your question or cannot

communicate it properly then I need to learn and

grow.

I hope my analogy of blueprints to protein

synthesis (production) and the Covid vaccine is

clear. If not I have failed and need feedback. Take

this article as educational mRNA. If we have all

understood my missive, we are all now teachers or

doctors in the Latin sense.

References

Dr Simon Ruffle writes

Our very own Sonning resident and magazine contributor,

Robert Lobley, receiving his Covid vaccine. Simon Ruffle

FEEDBACK

1. https://www.stem.org.uk/

2. https://www.macleans.ca/politics/the-bestqualified-cabinet-since-all-the-other-ones/

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!

Please wait for a call to receive your Covid vaccine.

Please accept your appointment.

Please get vaccinated and allow those muscle cells

in your arm to produce a little bit of magic

— oops, science!

THE ARTS

Forty days and forty nights

By Rev Michael Burgess

This month we enter Lent: 40 days when we follow

Jesus into the wilderness and prepare to celebrate

his Easter victory. In the last century Stanley

Spencer planned 40 paintings, each depicting a day

in the wilderness. He completed nine, one of which is

‘Christ in the Wilderness – Scorpions’ from 1938. It is

currently held in a private collection.

Stanley Spencer lived and worked in Cookham,

Berkshire. Through the everyday life of local people he

tried to glimpse and convey the transcendent. ‘Angels

and dirt’ he called it: the divine seen in the ordinary.

So, in a painting of Christ carrying his cross, Jesus

has the face of the local grocer.

Another villager modelled for this Jesus in the

wilderness: a strong, hefty, broad figure. This is a

great contrast to the Christ of stained-glass windows

who often seems too good to be part of our world.

Here is real life: a large man filling the canvas with

his head, his hands and his feet. This figure of Jesus

comes as a shock: a very human model, ordinary with

nothing handsome or special about him, apart from

his tunic which seems to sprawl and undulate like the

hills around. Here is a Jesus born into this world and

one with it.

There are two focal points – the neat, little

scorpion and the massive, unkempt head

contemplating each other. One is life in all its hefty

reality; the other a tiny creature able to squeeze that

life out by one swift flick of its tail.

Jesus is shown in the wilderness pondering the

The Society for Storytelling was set up in 1995

to promote the oldest art form in the world —

storytelling.

Storytelling is at the root of every art form: we

think in story form, make sense of our world in

narrative — from something we’ve seen, through

last night’s television, to what family and folk

stories we remember and retell.

Storytelling can be a powerful experience, both

entertaining and moving.

From Biblical times it is the traditional medium

of communication from generation to generation,

a tool for education and therapy.

National Storytelling Week began 20 years ago

to increase public awareness of the art and is held

during the first week of February every year. It

coincides with Candlemas, on 2 February, when

part of the ancient rituals for this festival included

a blessing on the throat, a prime tool in the store

of nearly all storytellers of every belief and culture.

The Society for Storytelling provides advice on

organising and publicising events, and possible

life and ministry that will

countryside into the town

to his death on Good Frida

strength and renewal to e

during his time in the des

follow Jesus, we seek to liv

mean dying to all that sep

He has a calling for each

that calling this Lent, we m

through the 40 days to life

find it a journey that calls u

our God.

Are you sitting comfortab

NATIONAL STORYTELLING WEEK 30 January — 6 Feb

sources for funding inform

Directory of Storytellers, wh

information on over 150 s

the UK.

For more information

Storytelli

https://www.sfs.org.uk/na


The Parish Magazine - February 2021 37

Book reviews

Poetry corner

WikiArt.org

take him from the

s and villages and also

y. Will he find the

mbrace that ministry

ert? During Lent, as we

e for God. That may

arates us from God.

of us. As we contemplate

ay find that it leads us

and Easter life – we may

s to 'die to self' to find

ly?

ruary

Ben, unsplash.com

ation. It publishes The

ich provides detailed

torytellers throughout

about the society and

ng Week:

tional-storytelling-week

The Bible: a story that makes sense of life

By Andrew Ollerton, Bible Society, £14.99

This book explores how the story of the Bible helps us

understand our lives and gives a framework for making

sense of life in general. Helpful diagrams and maps are

integrated throughout.

Holy Habits: following Jesus

By Andrew Roberts, BRF, £6.99

This book provides seven weeks of material for Lent.

Although written before Covid-19, many of the

applications, questions and take-home ideas are highly

relevant to the pastoral needs, and challenges created

by it. Andrew Roberts writes: ‘No one can know with

any certainty the range and scope of challenges that

will be present when you use this material, but I believe

that whatever they are, the life and example of Jesus

and the way he responded to the challenges he faced

will always be of utmost value in shaping our lives as we

seek to him.’

Come and See – learning from the life of Peter

By Stephen Cottrell, BRF, £7.99

When we look at the life of Peter – fisherman, disciple,

leader of the early Church – we find a man who

responded wholeheartedly to the call to ‘come and

see’. This book focuses on Peter, not because he is the

best-known of Jesus’ friends, nor the most loyal, but

because he shows us what being a disciple of Jesus is

actually like. Like us, he takes a step of faith, flounders,

and needs the saving hand of God.

A London Sparrow – the inspiring and true story of

Gladys Aylward By Phyllis Thompson, 10Publishing, £9.99

A down-to-earth London girl, without prospects,

Gladys Aylward became a Christian when she was

18. She felt God’s call to go to China as a missionary,

overcame great obstacles in order to obey. She is

remembered for her ‘incredible journey’ during the

Second World War, when the Japanese invaded China

and she led hundreds of Chinese children to safety.

Opening our Lives – devotional readings for Lent

By Trystan Owain Hughes, BRF, £8.99

The author offers six weeks of reflections to encourage

and challenge readers to open their lives to God and

the final reflection, for Easter Day, invites us to open

our world to God’s hope. The book is imbued with the

Welsh culture, language and landscape

Stories from the Streets – an insight into the work

of Street Pastors By Luke Randall & Sue Shaw, Instant

Apostle, £9.99

A celebration of the work of the formidable UK army

of ‘Street Pastors’. Whether offering a listening ear

to the vulnerable, mentoring a troubled teen, giving

food to a homeless person or responding to a national

emergency, Street Pastors have been credited with

saving police and NHS time and money, reducing crime

and improving neighbourhoods.

If you enjoyed Jane Gascoine's book, 'Doggerel

Days' or if you were disappointed that it did not

include more of your favourite poems, then rest

assured that her latest collection will probably

satisfy your need!

'More Doggerel Days' includes another 51 of Jane's

often hilarious, thought provoking and candid

view of life poetry.

It is a handy sized, 72 page paperback that looks

at every aspect of life from babies to old age, from

work to pleasure and all the ups and downs of

everyday life.

Jane's book is now available in the Village

Hamper, Sonning High Street, for £10 per copy

and will be a great way to take your mind off Covid

while eating one of the Village Hamper's cakes!

Here's a few lines taken from To Life, one of

Jane's poems based on the experience of her first

92 years ...

If you're old at 80,

you were old at 18

Its no good thinking of

what might have been

Life's for the living

and all for the taking

No matter how sad

or even heartbreaking

And I've still got a lot of living to do

People to meet,

places to see

I'll try, on the way,

to help others who

Haven't been quite as lucky as me.


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

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PUZZLE PAGE

CROSSWORD

Across

1 Plant yield (4)

3 Out of date (8)

9 Concepts (7)

10 Set of moral principles (5)

11 Monotonous hum (5)

12 Reindeer (7)

13 Insurgents (6)

15 Sacred phrase (6)

17 Eg Mo Farah (7)

18 Commerce (5)

20 Where one finds Rome (5)

21 Farewell remark (7)

22 Gibberish (8)

23 Run at a moderate pace (4)

Down

1 Dismay and amazement (13)

2 Semiaquatic mammal (5)

4 Split into two (6)

5 Excessive response (12)

6 Show (7)

7 Expression of approval (13)

8 Pungent gas preservative (12)

14 Persian Gulf Sheikdom (7)

16 Rules over (6)

19 Natural yellow resin (5)

CODEWORD

ANSWERS IN THE NEXT ISSUE

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

8

9 10

11 12

13 14 15

17 18 19

16

20 21

22 23

Across

1 - Plant yield (4)

3 - Out of date (8)

9 - Concepts (7)

10 - Set of moral principles (5)

11 - Monotonous hum (5)

12 - Reindeer (7)

13 - Insurgents (6)

15 - Sacred phrase (6)

17 - Eg Mo Farah (7)

18 - Commerce (5)

20 - Where one finds Rome (5)

21 - Farewell remark (7)

22 - Gibberish (8)

23 - Run at a moderate pace (4)

10 2 10 13 21 16 10 9 1 12 13 21

23 4 25 8 8 23

22 7 12 16 10 19 12 17 16 20 7 10

8 22 17 5 16 22

16 10 20 8 17 16 10 22 9

7 6 10 11 25 5 8 16 9 20

22 11 25 8

17 16 10 1 25 10 26 20 8 15

17 7 6 10 25 18 5 16 8

10 5 14 7 9 3

16 17 12 8 22 13 20 6 22 20 24 12

16 15 17 10 15 23

10 7 6 5 7 6 22 25 7 5 22 23

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

SOLUTIONS FOR THE JANUARY PUZZLES

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

E

Down

1 - Dismay and amazement (13)

2 - Semiaquatic mammal (5)

4 - Split into two (6)

5 - Excessive response (12)

6 - Show (7)

7 - Expression of approval (13)

The Parish Magazine - February 2021 39

SUDOKU

8 - Pungent gas used as a preservative (12)

14 - Sheikdom in the Persian Gulf (7)

16 - Rules over (6)

19 - Natural yellow resin (5)

Each of the nine blocks has to contain all the

numbers 1-9 within its squares. Each number can

only appear once in a row, column or box.

WORDSEARCH FOR FEBRUARY

In this month's Wordsearch grid above there are

23 words, all of which are hidden below.

February — the time for love

February opens with Candlemas – the

naming of Jesus in the temple. Simeon

and Anna praised God to see the

promised Messiah, sent by a loving

God to save his people. February also

celebrates the love between a man and

woman: Valentine cards and romance

abound. ‘Love’ as in social compassion is

also remembered: Fair Trade fortnight,

Holocaust Memorial Day, World Leprosy

Day, and National Nest Box Week.... Love

is truly needed by everyone!

QUIZ

CROSSWORD CODEWORD SUDOKU WORDSEARCH

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

The February G

Quiz answers

will be

here

next

month!

THE FEBRUARY QUIZ

1 Who said 'Who will rid me of this base, turbulent priest?

2 What notable event occurred on 25 October 1415?

3 Which war began in 1455?

4 What English battle victory occurred in 1588?

5 Who was 'the wisest fool in Christendom’?

6 What happened on 30 January 1649 in Whitehall?

7 Who was the last British sovereign to be on a battlefield?

8 Who said as he lay dying 'Thank God, I have done my duty'?

R O L N N M E

B E T W E E N F A B L E

O I G L R M

R E F R I G E R A T O R

E T I T I M

A P E I N G O T L E A

L A M H E C

B R E A K T H R O U G H

I L T I P I

N O I S E K I N G P I N

C E L I G E E

H U R R Y I N G A R T S

R

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

E

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

G

R

N A O D E U R

S A M U R A I A I A

E B M S T R A T U S

A X L E S P E E

T I L S C A N S

N K N E L T D

D O G M A A J V

E R S C R A Z E

T I M P A N I O C R

O A O N E W N E S S

U N K G E N U

R H Y M E D F R O T H S

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


40 The Parish Magazine - February 2021

Local Trades and Services

ACG SERVICES - LOCKSMITH

Locks changed, fitted, repaired and opened

Door and window locks fitted, UPVC door lock expert

Checkatrade member - Which Trusted Trader

Call Richard Homden: 0149 168 2050 / 0771 040 9216

Please mention The Parish Magazine when responding to advertisements

CHIROPODY AND PODIATRY

Linda Frewin HCPC member

General foot care and treatment including home visits

25 Ashtrees Road, Woodley RG5 4LP

0118 969 6978 - 0790 022 4999

CLARK BICKNELL LTD - PLUMBING & HEATING

Qualified Plumbing and Heating Engineers Gas Safe

25 years experience - local family run company

Office: 0118 961 8784 - Paul: 0776 887 4440

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For jargon free help with your computer problems

PC & laptop repairs, upgrades, installations, virus removal

Free advice, reasonable rates

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INTERSMART LIMITED

Electrical Installation and Smart Home Automation

intersmartuk@gmail.com

Elliott — 0777 186 6696

Nick — 0758 429 4986

HANDYMAN & DECORATING SERVICES

Reliable and affordable

Small jobs a speciality!

Call Andy on 0795 810 0128

http://www.handyman-reading.co.uk

JAMES AUTOS

Car Servicing, Repairs and MOT

Mole Road, Sindlesham, RG41 5DJ

0118 977 0831

james_autos@hotmail.co.uk

AERIALPHIL.CO.UK

For all your aerial photos. Good for surveying,

also for assessing conditions of roofs, etc

Thames Street, Sonning

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MC CLEANING

We are a family business with excellent references

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All cleaning materials provided

For free quote call: Maria 0779 902 7901

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enquiries@thameschimneysweeps.co.uk

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Member of the Guild of Master Sweeps

PROFESSIONAL HOME VISIT WILL SERVICE

Thames Valley Will Service

Also Lasting Powers of Attorney and Probate Service

We are still working during the pandemic period

0134 464 1885 tvwills@yahoo.co.uk

AJH ROOFING Co (READING) Ltd

Tiling, Slating and Flat Roofing specialists

36 Chatteris Way, Lower Earley, RG6 4 JA

0118 986 6035 0794 447 4070

ajhroofingco.co.uk info@ajhroofingco.co.uk

WANT HELP WITH AN ‘ODD JOB’?

For local odd jobs please call Phil on

0118 944 0000

0797 950 3908

Thames Street, Sonning

BIG HEART TREE CARE

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0118 937 1929 0786 172 4071

bighearttreecare.co.uk info@bighearttreecare.co.uk

SMALLWOOD

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BEECHWOOD CARPENTRY & CONSTRUCTION SERVICES LTD

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Built-in Cupboards & Wardrobes, Flooring & Doors

78 Crockhamwell Road, Woodley 0776 276 6110

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CARER — COMPANION

Experienced lady carer who is local to this area

offers live-in support at competitive rates

Excellent references provided — Contact Louise

0784 226 2583 lasheppard61@gmail.com


CHILDREN'S PAGE

?

The Parish Magazine - February 2021 41


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

information — 2

Parish contacts

Ministry Team

The Vicar: Revd Jamie Taylor*

The Parish Office, Thames Street, Sonning, RG4 6UR

vicar@sonningparish.org.uk / 0118 969 3298

*Day off Friday

— Associate Vicar: Revd Kate Wakeman-Toogood

revkate@sonningparish.org.uk / 0746 380 6735

On duty Tuesday, Friday and Sunday

— Youth Minister: Chris West (Westy)

youthminister@sonningparish.org.uk / 0794 622 4106

— Licensed Lay Minister: Bob Peters

bob@sonningparish.org.uk / 0118 377 5887

Children's Ministry

— Alison Smyly office@sonningparish.org.uk / 0118 969 3298

Churchwardens

— Perry Mills perry@oaktreeoffice.com / 0786 035 5457

— Stuart Bowman sdbowman73@aol.com / 0118 978 8414

Deputy Churchwardens

— Liz Nelson liz.nelson1@ntlworld.com / 0118 934 4837

— Simon Darvall sdarvall@businessmoves.com 0793 928 2535

— Sue Peters mail@susanjpeters.com / 0118 377 5887

— Molly Woodley (deputy churchwarden emeritus)

mollywoodley@live.co.uk / 0118 946 3667

Parish Administrator

— Hilary Rennie

office@sonningparish.org.uk / 0118 969 3298

Parochial Church Council

— Secretary: Hilary Rennie 0118 969 3298

— Treasurer: Richard Moore 0118 969 2588

Director of Music, organist and choirmaster

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

music@sonningparish.org.uk

Sacristan

— Helen Goodwin 0134 462 7697

Parish Website: http://www.sonningparish.org.uk

The Parish Magazine: http://www.theparishmagazine.co.uk

— Editor: Bob Peters

editor@theparishmagazine.co.uk / 0118 377 5887

— Advertising and Distribution: Gordon Nutbrown

advertising@theparishmagazine.co.uk / 0118 969 3282

— Treasurer: Pat Livesey

pat.livesey@yahoo.co.uk / 0118 961 8017

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

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

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

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

The Parish Magazine is distributed by Abracadabra Leaflet

Distribution Ltd, Reading RG7 1AW

The Parish Magazine template was designed in 2012 by Roger

Swindale rogerswindale@hotmail.co.uk and David Woodward

david@designforprint.org

Advertisers index

ABD Construction 20

ACG Services Locksmith 40

ADD Plumbing 12

Aerial Phil 40

AJH Roofing 40

All Waste Clearance 34

Barn Store Henley 16

Beechwood Carpentry and Construction 40

Big Heart Tree Care 40

Blandy & Blandy Solicitors 14

Blinds Direct 26

Blue Moose 8

Bridge House 43

Bridges Home Care 14

Bright and Fresh Cleaning 26

Bull Inn 8

Carer Companion 40

Chimney Sweep, Thames 40

Chiropody, Linda Frewin 40

Chris the Plumber 32

Clark Bicknell 40

Complete Pest Solutions 16

Computer Frustrations 40

Cruz Kitchens 34

David Shailes Plumbing & Decorating 26

Design for Print 28

Freebody Boatbuilders 6

Fields Pharmacy 32

French Horn 44

Gardiners Nursing 8

Graham Blake Soft Furnishing 6

Great House Sonning 26

Handyman, Decorating 40

Haslams Estate Agents 2

Hicks Group 16

Intersmart Electrical Installations 40

James Autos 40

Jones & Sheppard Stone Masons 16

Just Brickwork 20

Kingfisher Bathrooms 18

MC Cleaning 40

Mill at Sonning 4

M & L Healthcare Solutions 12

Mortgage Required 18

Muck & Mulch 28

Odd Jobs 40

Pearson Hall Sonning 30

Q1 Care 30

Reading Blue Coat School 18

Richfield Flooring 14

Sabella Interiors 38

Shiplake College 20

Signature Cliveden Manor Care Home 28

Sonning Golf Club 32

Sonning Scouts Marquees 32

Smallwood Garden Services 40

Style by Julie 20

Sunrise of Sonning Senior Living 34

Thames Valley Water Softeners 20

Thames Valley Wills Service 40

Tomalin Funerals 30

Velvaere Studio 6

Village Hamper 20

Walker Funerals 12

Water Softener Salt 28

Window Cleaner 30


Please mention The Parish Magazine when responding this advertisements

The Parish Magazine - February 2021 43

BRIDGE HOUSE

of TWYFORD

Because you deserve

the very best

Welcome to Bridge House Nursing Home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

professional and individually planned care in an unobtrusive manner.

Call 0800 230 0206

Visit www.bridgehouseoftwyford.co.uk

INDEPENDENT LIVING • ASSISTED LIVING • NURSING HOME

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


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

The French Horn,

Sonning. Quality.

A continuing commitment to

wonderful food and wine.

0118 969 2204

www.thefrenchhorn.co.uk

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