The Parish Magazine May 2021

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

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The Parish Magazine - May 2021 1




The John King Trophy and Gold Award

Best Magazine of the Year 2018

National Parish Magazine Awards

Best Overall Magazine 2020

Best Editor 2019

Best Print 2018

Best Content 2016

Best Overall Magazine 2015

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

May 2021 — Pentecost

Church of St Andrew

Serving Sonning, Charvil & Sonning Eye

the church of st andrew, SERVING THE COMMUNITIES OF


2 The Parish Magazine - May 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 - May 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 May 2021



— A passion for prayer, part 2, 7

— For your prayers in May, 7

— On Reflection: Esther, 9

— From the editor's desk, 9

— David Duvall RIP, 10-11

— STAY, 13

— Easter Scavenge, 15


The month of the child? 17

— 100 years of the 'Legion', 19-21

— Pentecost, 22-23

— Claude met the Queen, 25

around the villages

— PACT seeks key workers, 27

— Pet picture offer, 27

— Sonning Show date, 27

— Charvil ladies to sing again, 27

— Pearson Hall AGM, 27


— Dr Simon Ruffle writes, 29-31

the sciences

— Sharing your feelings, 31


— Recipe of the Month, 33

— Bible Garden topia, 33


— From sun to Son, 35

— Fashionable music, 35

— Poetry Corner, 37

— George Webster, 37


This month's FRONT COVER

May 2021 — Pentecost




the church of st andrew, SERVING THE COMMUNITIES OF


The lighting of the new Paschal candle,

traditionally lit from the Easter fire after

sunset on the eve of Easter day, began

an emotional first Communion service

of Easter. The flames of the Easter fire

symbolise the Holy Spirit who, seven weeks

after the resurrection of Christ, came upon

the first Christians at Pentecost, a worldchanging

event that we celebrate this month

on Sunday 23 May — see pages 22-23

Picture: Indy Biddulph


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 June

issue of The Parish Magazine is:

Thursday 6 May at 12 noon

The Parish Magazine online

This issue can also be viewed online at:


Earlier issues from 1869 onwards are

stored in a secure online archive. If you

wish to view these archives contact the

editor who will authorise

access for you:


The Parish Magazine - May 2021 3

Services at

St Andrew’s


As we went to press in April the ministry

in-person worship had been resumed in

accordance with Church of England and

UK government guidance. It is planned

to hold the following services in May, but

please check the details on the website or

weekly sheets nearer the time.

Sunday 2 May

— 8.00am Holy Communion

— 10.30am Family Communion

Sunday 9 May

— 8.00am Holy Communion

— 10.30am Parish Eucharist with

Sunday Club and STAY

Ascension Sunday 16 May

— 8.00am Holy Communion

— 10.30am Family Communion

Pentecost Sunday 23 May

— 8.00am Holy Communion

— 10.30am Parish Eucharist with

Sunday Club and STAY

Sunday 30 May

— 8.00am Holy Communion

— 10.30am Parish Eucharist with

Sunday Club and STAY


Mid-week Communion in The Ark

will be held every Wednesday at


Morning Prayer in May will be in

Church at 9.30am every Tuesday and

once a month on a Friday — this

month it will be on 7 May.

Compline on Zoom will be sang

every Wednesday evening — full

details about how to login from Rev

Kate (contact details on page 42)

children's page, 41


— Church services, 3

— From the registers, 3

Parish contacts, 42

— Advertisers index, 42

From the registers


— Tuesday 16 March, Stephen Andrew Mark Bennett, burial in the churchyard

— Thursday 18 March, Simon Carl Indge, funeral service, Reading Crematorium

— Thursday 22 March, Alan Jeffrey Richards, funeral service, Easthampstead Park

4 The Parish Magazine - May 2021

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The vicar's letter

The Parish Magazine - May 2021 5

Dear friends,

The place of music within our parish life has been much on my mind

recently. In the build up to Easter we were playing something of a

guessing game in terms of planning services without knowing what might

or might not be allowed. This was followed by the sad news of our former

organist's sudden death. David Duvall served the parish in that voluntary

role for 37 years and he was a well-liked and respected presence who

contributed so much to our musical life.

We then learned of our current director of music's decision to retire

after 44 years of service at the organ, the last 6 years spent with us. Chris

Goodwin has done much to enhance the ministry of music here and we

will rightly honour that in August when he and Helen leave us.

We plan to advertise for his replacement this month and there is

no doubt that with the legacy of David and Chris, a new organ, choral

foundation, funded and ready to be launched with the goodwill and

full backing of the PCC, this will be an attractive post. It is quite an

exciting time to recruit for this role as Covid has changed so much of the

landscape for us at St Andrew's. The new director of music will have a

pivotal role in shaping what happens as we ease out of all the restrictions

and it is important that we appoint the right person. I ask all church

members to be praying about this.

Finally, what a joy it was to hear the adult choir and full organ on Easter Sunday and then to lead the whole

congregation out to the beautiful setting of The Ark garden where we all joined in singing, at the top of our

voices, 'Thine be the glory'. It was such a contrast to Easter 2020 with the miserable sight of a locked church and I

felt we were turning a corner. I pray that I am right!


All institutions have much to reflect on as they begin to look to the future after these difficult months.

Things that might have once seemed important are perhaps now seen in a different light. Last year our church

council was supposed to begin the process of establishing priorities for the next five years, something that

proved impossible during the pandemic. It is just as well as we would probably be ripping them up now as the

landscape has changed so much. One such area is in the field of pastoral care. A parish church like ours, which

serves three communities and has worshipping members from 20 other towns and villages week by week, faces

a challenge and it is one we take seriously. In light of this, the PCC has formed a subcommittee, chaired by Rev

Kate, to look at all aspects of our pastoral ministry and to see how we might improve on what we already offer.

The former Archdeacon of Berkshire, Norman Russell, once said in a sermon during the financial crisis

of 2008/9 'never waste a crisis'. I recall those words now as we look to the future. While the pandemic has

presented many challenges to the church both nationally and locally, we also need to be sensitive to how we

can creatively use this situation to become more like the church God wants us to be. We should not just seek

to restart everything and hope everything goes back to normal. Perhaps we are being called to assess our

priorities and we might be surprised as new ones emerge. Who knows?

One such priority which I believe has emerged in our home situations is the need for human contact. Those of

us blessed with loved ones at home have — mostly — greatly valued having them around during lockdown.

For those who live alone, the past year has no doubt been tough and because of the stringent rules, there has

not been a great deal we as a church have been able to do to alleviate this. Well, just as soon as we are able,

Rendezvous lunch club will restart, the Friday Youth Club has already made tentative steps to get back to

normality, and Messy Church will not be far behind. But I wonder what more we can do? Suffice to say, we take

this very seriously and commit to reaching out in new and imaginative ways in the time to come. We will keep

you posted!

Warm wishes,




6 The Parish Magazine - May 2021

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the parish noticeboard — 1

A passion for prayer — Part 2

By Rev Kate

Last month, I wrote about the importance of prayer in sustaining and nurturing our

relationship with God. As any relationship needs communication in order to grow,

it is no different when it comes to God. I wrote about the benefits of a rhythm

of prayer, and looked at how there are many different ways to pray. This

month I want to suggest different and more creative ways to pray, to address

some of the difficulties with prayer and what we can learn from the Bible.


There are many interactive and

creative ways to pray and I have a lot

of experience of introducing some of

these to young people. However, many

adults and children find it helpful to

pray in different and creative ways,

often using symbolic actions. While

these are some suggestions, there are

many more. Different ones appeal to

different people.

There are simple ideas such as

lighting a candle or hanging a prayer

on a prayer tree — I use many of these

ways at school. I have bought a prayer

tree for St Andrew’s which I will install

later this month and there will be leaves

to write prayers on and hang on the

tree — you are all welcome to do this

although due to restrictions we cannot

provide pens, so bring your own!

For saying sorry to God, some

people like to write their prayer with

their finger in sand and then smooth

over it to symbolise God’s forgiveness.

Another idea for saying sorry and

asking for forgiveness is to say the

prayer while holding a stone and then

hold the stone under running water.

A stone can also be used if we are

feeling burdened by worries — hold the

stone as we pray for the situation and

For your prayers

God of majesty, give rest to your

servant Philip who, having served

his Queen and country, has died full

of years yet strong in spirit. As we

give thanks for his life, as Prince and

husband, as consort and family man,

we pray that all that he has done may

continue to bear fruit in the lives of

individuals and the life of this nation,

to your honour and glory,

through Jesus Christ

our Lord. Amen.

Indy Biddulph

then place it at the foot of a cross to

symbolise handing your burden to God.

You may find your own creative way

of praying; as I have said many

times before, there is no right way

to pray that will work for everyone.

Trying things and seeing what feels

comfortable is the best way to start.


When I talk, or preach, about prayer,

I feel as though there is an elephant

in the room, the elephant being that

prayer can be a struggle. One reason

is that people do not know where to

begin. Another is that our prayer can

sometimes feel insignificant, perhaps

in light of bigger issues in our world.

For others, we can doubt that God is

listening or even doubt he is there at all.

One thing that can help when

prayer is a struggle is to look at what

the Bible tells us about it. There are

many Biblical examples of prayer and

I would like to look at a few which can

help. Obviously, there is the Lord’s

Prayer, which are the words that Jesus

gave to his disciples when they asked

him how they should pray. While being

a prayer in its own right, some people

use it as a pattern for their personal


When Jesus prayed he often

took himself away from others to be

alone. For many praying alone is their

preferred way to talk to God. But the

Bible also gives examples of the power

of praying with others — Jesus says

that when two or three are gathered

together in his name, he is there in the

midst of them. (Matthew 18:20)

If life feels tough, then a good place

to start in the Bible is the psalms. Not

only do they talk about prayer, they

remind us that life is full of ups and

downs. The psalms contain prayers of

thanksgiving, joy, anguish, doubt and

pain. They remind us that in prayer

God meets us as we are and is there

with us in the messiness of life.

A very famous passage about prayer

is in 1 Thessalonians where the writer

The Parish Magazine - May 2021 7

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says ‘Pray without ceasing, give thanks in

all circumstances.’ This passage is easy

to misunderstand. It doesn’t mean that

we should literally be in a constant

conversation with God. Neither does it

mean that life will always go smoothly

if we pray.

I see it as encouraging prayer to

be woven into our life; in the big and

small, in the ups and downs. One

way to think about this passage is to

imagine prayer as our every breath;

being aware of God’s presence with us

as we go about our daily lives.


Another help when prayer is a struggle,

is to talk to someone about it. Last

month I invited people to get in touch

if you would like a conversation about

prayer or faith in general, and I am

delighted that I had some response. I

would like to reiterate this invitation,

so please email me and it would be good

to meet with you.

For a starting point, there is

nowhere better to start than the words

Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father, who is in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come; thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses, as we

forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, the power

and the glory, for ever and ever.


New director of music

At the time of publication, the final

details are being worked on but the

post will fall vacant at the end of

August following Chris Goodwin’s

decision to retire. The post will

be advertised this month and full

details will appear on our website

and Facebook page, as well as being

advertised in the Church Times and

on other websites.

8 The Parish Magazine - May 2021

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On reflection . . . By Elizabeth Spiers

Esther: Being placed where and

when God wants us placed

When I was younger I visited Morocco. I hadn’t travelled

outside the UK before that, and it was a culture shock.

The clothes, the food, the language, the smells — they

were all different to anything I had known.

Esther, a young Jewish orphan living in Persia (now Iran)

was being raised by her older cousin Mordecai. Esther was

beautiful, and at that time, if a girl was a beautiful, young,

virgin, she could be snatched off the street and sent to

marinade in perfume and spices for a year before being

offered to the king.

The Bible doesn’t suggest that Esther protested when

this happened to her. It tells us that she won favour with

everyone, which suggests she accepted her fate, whatever she

thought of it. And King Xerxes was so pleased with her that

she went from being a nobody to being the Queen of Persia!

But another story was unfolding. Mordecai had refused

to bow down to Haman, the king’s most highly honoured

official. Esther Chapter 3 says: ‘Having learned who Mordecai’s

people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead,

Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the

Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes.’


Painting Mordecai and the Jewish people in a bad light,

Haman gained the king’s permission to destroy them

completely. On hearing about this, Mordecai sent a message

to Esther asking her to plead their case to the king. He was

literally asking her to risk her life because approaching the

king without invitation could easily mean death.

Esther was very naturally afraid. But Mordecai was

uncompromising in telling her that she shouldn’t think she

would survive just because she was queen. He told her, ‘And

who knows but that you have come to your royal position for

such a time as this?’

It’s easy to think that we are placed at random on the

planet. That our birth is a matter of chance. But the truth is

that God places us where and when he wants us. He allows

events that seem shocking or overwhelming at the time

because they shape us and make it possible for us to be at the

heart of what God is doing. And so, who knows but that we

have come to where we are for such a time as this?

From the desk

of the editor


Thinking about


The Parish Magazine - May 2021 9

Judging from much of the material that has crossed my

desk recently, the pandemic has given lots of people,

including some working on the front-line, the time to

think about almost every aspect of our lives. High on the

list is thinking about what life might be like when Covid is

under control and takes its place alongside other diseases

that have threatened, and still threaten, the world.

Where we do our thinking depends on our individual

lifestyle — most of mine has always been in the early

hours when lying awake in bed.

From what is arriving on my desk, one of the most

popular thoughts is about how we communicate and

how would we have coped without the technology that

certainly, for my generation, was science fiction in our

childhood. Like many of my generation, I often find myself

asking our grandchildren how to use modern technology,

and this is despite having studied electronic engineering

at the time when most of the world had never heard of the

silicon chip, and when a computer with less power than a

mobile phone would fill a huge building.

The fact that I ask our grandchildren for help is not

surprising really, even in those days I struggled with the

practical side of electronics, although I did discover that

I could write about the work of those who could. Hence I

became a journalist.


Throughout my career I met many amazing engineers

and scientists whose contributions to the communications

industry have been vital, yet their names have long

been forgotten. I suspect that many of those working to

defeat Covid will never be recognised in years to come.

But that is the way of the world, even if their names and

achievements have been well documented.

The evidence I use for this assumption is that the

greatest communications tool we have had since time

began is still not recognised by everyone, everywhere. This

is despite it being freely available to every person in the

world and, unlike anything our scientists and technologist

create, it never fails — although it may not always work

the way we want it to!

Technology, however advanced and well designed, can

never be relied on 100% of the time because accidents, as

Claude Masters reminded us in last month's magazine, do

happen however well protected we may be.

Hopefully you have worked out that this unique

communications tool that the world often chooses to

ignore, is prayer. It has been with us since the beginning

of time, and it is up to us to make sure that it will be used

until the end of time. As Rev Kate reminded us in last

month's magazine, 'Prayer is not optional for Christians.'

Please use God's free communications gift wisely!

10 The Parish Magazine - May 2021

the parish noticeboard — 3

Many local people will be saddened by the news that David Duvall died peacefully in his sleep in the early

hours of Wednesday 10 March, aged 72. He, and his wife, Ann, were well known in St Andrew's Church, and

throughout the Oxford diocese, the local community and schools. On the facing page, Richard Duvall, one of

their four children, all of whom were baptised in St Andrew's, has written an excellent summary of his father's

life, and below is a tribute based on the archives of this magazine to which David contributed regularly.

David Duvall — 'glorious, fresh,

enthusiastic and energetic'

There must be something about St Andrew's that inspires organists and choirs — and I am not just

saying this because our present vicar is an accomplished musician! Looking through 'The Parish

Magazine' archives, which go back to the first issue in 1869, it soon becomes apparent that music has

always been a fundamental part of our parish life, and that we have been blessed with some highly

respected musicians, including David Duvall who served the parish well for 37 years, writes Bob Peters.

The first time the name Duvall appears in the

magazine is May 1977 when the baptism of Ann and

David's first child, Christopher, was recorded. The

name, Duvall was soon to make regular appearances.

In December the previous year, Rev George Stokes,

the vicar of Sonning, had announced that after '25

years of devoted service' the St Andrew's organist,

Archibald Lusty, was retiring: 'He has been playing

church organs and coaxing choirs to sing for more than

64 years. He had a distinguished musical career in many

fields and has been a teacher of organ, piano and singing.'

Elsewhere, Archibald was a highly respected

church musician and was an honorary life member

of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, and the

Incorporated Association of Organists.


After Archibald's retirement, Tom Feak, the

village school's headmaster, with the help of one or

two other local musicians, volunteered to play the

organ while the search went on for a new organist

and choirmaster. One of these volunteers was David

who soon attracted the attention of the vicar who

wrote 6 months later: 'I have appointed David Duvall as

organist and choirmaster. He is young and enthusiastic

and we very much appreciate his expressed wish to give

his services to the Church!

In the July 1977 issue David wrote the first of what

would be a regular contribution to this magazine. It

was always written in his own frank and witty style:

Dear Editors, You may well think that I make quite

enough noise already at the organ on Sundays without

sounding off in The Parish Magazine as well. But perhaps

you’ll allow me a few column inches to say a few words

of thanks .... it was most gratifying to me as an amateur

musician, after taking over as acting organist while

the post was being advertised, to be asked to take it on

myself, I can but try to make up in enthusiasm what I

lack in formal qualifications: I’m qualified all right, but

as a chartered accountant rather than as a musician!

... a big thank you to the choir for all their support and

excellent team spirit—and I hope that this means they are

enjoying themselves as much as I am. I can tell you that it’s

marvellous to be looking after a choir which can boast all

four parts — a great improvement on my previous parish.

Before I was married and came to live in this area three

years ago, I was organist in a delightful little Hampshire

village where the choir consisted of 10 children of various

ages and various degrees of tone-deafness, plus one

ancient lady — 80 in the shade — who possessed a voice

like a circular saw trying to cut through sheet steel . . .

David was enthusiastically welcomed by the

congregation: In The Parish Magazine, November

1977, 'OW' wrote: What a glorious, fresh, enthusiastic

and energetic organist we have in David Duvall and how

infectious is his personal enjoyment as he literally bounds

around from organ seat to the front of the chancel steps to

conduct the choir in a particular anthem, or join in quietly

with them as he plays. It is all most refreshing and most

enjoyable. Since writing this we have heard the choir sing

a composition by him of Psalm 150 which was stirring and

attractive. It is also good to see so many recently joined

young choristers.

When I served with David on the PCC and the

Sonning Deanery Synod, it became clear how well

respected he was as a musician throughout the

Oxford Diocese. In 1990 he was appointed president

of the Berkshire Organists Association, a society that

was founded in April 1921 by none other than his

predecessor, Archibald Lusty!

David's enthusiasm for choral music never waned

throughout the 37 years he was at St Andrew's. He

often told me that he could teach anyone to sing,

even me — it is one of my regrets that I never took up

his generous offer.

His willingness to help others never waned either.

He was a school governor, a willing pair of hands at

many Sonning village events and parties, organised

fund-raising concerts and played piano at Churches

Together services in Twyford.

After David and Ann retired in July 2014 to

Dorset, St Andrew's went through the familiar

pattern of testing some professional musicians before

appointing Chris Goodwin as director of music, a

post he has held for the past 6 years, and during

which he continued to develop the choirs, especially

our young choristers.

Chris, however, has just announced his retirement

from church music, having been playing for 47 years,

so the search is on again for a new enthusiastic and

energetic musician to continue the St Andrew's

Church tradition for choral and church music!

David and Ann at their St Andrew

David Duvall at the organ benc

The Parish Magazine - May 2021 11

'Did I just hear that?'

By Richard Duvall


's farewell party

Olivia Duvall

David Woodward

From his organ bench David Duvall kept a close eye on the timing at weddings

David John Stewart Duvall was born in Farnham on

16 August 1948. He was a talented child, although

he didn't speak until he was nearly three years old

— when he started speaking in full sentences!

After primary education, David went to Cumnor

House Prep School before becoming a Queen's Scholar

at Westminster School in 1961. As a Queen's Scholar,

he was an usher at royal events in Westminster Abbey

such as the service of thanksgiving for the Abbey's

900th anniversary in January 1966. He was also

allowed to sit in the House of Commons gallery, and

remembered seeing Winston Churchill there.

He was awarded a classical scholarship at

Peterhouse, Cambridge where, after 4 years, he

gained a 2:1 in classics, and a masters degree. In 1969

he trained as a chartered accountant and worked for a

London company — he lived in a flat in Brook Street,

a couple of doors from Jimi Hendrix. David remained

an accountant throughout his working life, ultimately

settling at a company in Reading and teaching other

accountants how to spot fraud. This was how David

earned money. But it is not how David lived his life.


He was an incredibly kind and generous man,

giving up a huge amount of time for good causes,

ranging from doing the accounts for organisations to

holding a collection bucket outside a supermarket.

When at school, David had learned to play the

piano and organ and he was involved with numerous

choirs — I'm not sure there will ever be a definitive

answer as to how many — as a chorister, choir

master and/or organist. It was through one of these,

The Bach Choir, that he met Ann Scrivenor in 1973.

They married on 1 June 1974 and shared nearly 47

years together. They settled in Woodley and had

four children: Christopher, Olivia, Richard and

Camilla. They also joined the St Andrew's Church

choir, with David taking over as choirmaster more

or less immediately. It was a role he served entirely

voluntarily for the next 37 years.

Many guests at the hundreds of weddings he

played at will have witnessed what happened if the

bride was late! The background organ music would be

Chris Easton

interspersed with a few bars of other tunes. Guests not

expecting it might well have had a passing thought

of 'Did I just hear that?' For those who experienced it

many times, it was possible to hear portions of Why

Are We Waiting, Get Me To The Church On Time and

Abide With Me. You knew the bride was pushing her

luck when you heard The Day Thou Gavest, Lord Has

Ended played unashamedly in full!

David had an incredible musical talent. He had

perfect pitch, and could play more or less any tune by

ear. It was an utter pleasure to hear him play either

set pieces or his unique form of improvisation. He

performed in many different settings, for thousands

of people, and had nothing but encouragement for

those trying to get somewhere with music.


For his family, my Dad, was more than that. He

was kind, loving and supportive. He didn't always

understand and he didn't always approve. He did,

however, always allow us to choose our own course,

and when we fell down, he would always be there to

chat and have a pint with. He rarely drank to excess,

the only time I remember him being a few sheets to the

wind, was when he was celebrating after he had proudly

given his youngest daughter away at her wedding.

Another side to my Dad was that he was an

extremely loving and proud grandfather of Daisy,

Eddie, Ben, Max, Toby and Bella. He played with

them, read to them, and showed them the basics of

playing the piano — and they were amazed at his own

ability. They will undoubtedly remember, with most

fondness, the rides around the garden on his sit-on

lawn mower. He was their 'Papa' and he was utterly

devoted to them. Their devastation at his death is a

testament to their feelings for him.

Dad would hate to have been very old and infirm,

and he would have hated being a resident in a care

home. He never had to give up his independence: he

could still drive long distances, he could still play the

organ better than many people, and he could still

pick up his grandchildren. It is in this spirit that I am

grateful he died suddenly without pain. He will be

remembered and missed by many.

12 The Parish Magazine - May 2021

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The Parish Magazine - May 2021 13

the parish noticeboard — 4


St Andrew's Youth by Westy

STAY on Sunday

We completed the Alpha youth

video series and moved on to a

new series of topics chosen

by the young people. These

included: friendship,

money, mental health,

the LGBTQ+ community,

[Q stands for questioning],

football and technology.

It was suggested that we

send a weekly scripture to

our WhatsApp group that

relates to the Sunday's

topic. For example, here's

the friendship passage: Westy reliving his youth!

STAY in Schools

It makes such a difference

being back in schools in

person. However, it means

I’m having to test myself for

Covid twice a week, but this

only helps with empathising

with the young people also

having to test twice weekly.

My mentoring list of students

is now at 27 across both local

secondary schools each week.

I’ve also been able to deliver

some pre-recorded assemblies

on topics such as the parable

of the weeds and the parable

of yeast.

Step by step

Guide for

the STAY

Bird Box

STAY Bird Box Building Project

Local young people and their families have been given

the opportunity to build a bird box during Easter in

partnership with Sonning local hero, Ali Driver. We have

20 bird boxes being built and put up in the churchyard and

around the village.

STAY Detached Project

In partnership with Grace Church Caversham and Reach

Schools Work Trust, we have continued to offer detached

youth work in Emmer Green, Charvil and Sonning.

Each week we meet between 15 and 50 young people and

engage in positive conversations and we are sometimes

known to relive our youth and lark about on skateboards!

As always, please get in touch with any ideas, questions or

just to chat. Cheers, Westy!

0794 622 6735


The Persecuted Church

Open Doors is a well-known advocacy organisation whose

worldwide ministry in support of the persecuted church

began in 1955 with the visionary work of Brother Andrew.

This year Open Doors started the 'See.Change.' campaign

and explained that millions of Christian women around

the globe face a double persecution — for their faith

and gender. And the persecution is being exacerbated by

Covid-19 pandemic.

A film on the Open Doors website cites examples of

worrying cases of persecution — in Egypt, one woman’s

neighbour threatened her with rape for being a Christian,

then later led a mob that attacked her in the street.

In India a woman was imprisoned by her own family

because of her faith. Without action, the persecution

of women from religious minorities will continue to

increase, unacknowledged.

More stories are on http://www.opendoorsuk.org

including that of a woman in Syria who had become a

Round-up of news items, features, and links by Colin Bailey. Please read for

awareness, and support by prayer and any further support — financial or otherwise.

Christian and how this was considered deeply shameful

in her Muslim neighbourhood. Locals told her father that

she had disgraced him. Men who came to her family’s door

said she should be killed.

To help, please send a message to your MP. This will

ask them to sign a letter to the Minister of Women and

Equalities and the Foreign Secretary to ensure the double

vulnerability is recognised and effectively included.

14 The Parish Magazine - May 2021

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the parish noticeboard — 5

150 scavengers

found our eggs!

The Parish Magazine - May 2021 15

On Easter Saturday, 3 April, the St Andrew’s youth and children’s team

organised a parish Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt for the families of Charvil and

Sonning. Over 150 children and young people signed up, and with the help of

their families had a great, socially distanced, time.

'The buzz was amazing at both locations,' said St Andrew's youth minister,

Westy. 'There was a real sense of community and people coming together, while

remaining physically distanced, for a morning of utter fun and enjoyment.'

Gazebos and tables at both locations were set up with a wonderful display

of chocolate eggs, Easter flyers, Easter word searches and Easter colouring

activities. There were 15 clues to find and solve such as:

— What animal is on the Charvil Piggott school logo? (A lion)

— How high is the yellow banner? (6 feet)

— Which century was the parish of St Andrew founded? (7th)

— Name three activities you can do at STAY on Friday youth club? (donut wall, laser

tag, dodgeball, air hockey, pool, football or xbox)

Once the search was completed, and their clue sheets checked, the scavengers filled

their Easter bags with their favourite chocolate egg and mini chocolate treats.

Sonning pictures by

Indy Biddulph

Charvil pictures by


16 The Parish Magazine - May 2021

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feature — 1

May maybe a child’s special

month or May may not be . . .

The Parish Magazine - May 2021 17

A quick online search for children’s events in May will reveal that this

month could be renamed ‘The Month of the Child’. May has many special

educational, fun and fitness days aimed at recognising the importance of

caring for our children. It is also the month to remember missing children.

Caring for children is something that

Jesus made a point of teaching in an

age where it was hard to be a child,

their only value was to be an asset for

the future. Children were considered

to be insurance for your old age –

they would be there to work and care

for you.

Today, perhaps, some parents may

be too protective of their children,

while at the other end of the scale,

others need reminding that children

should be valued as Jesus valued


National Children's Day UK

(NCDUK) on Sunday 16 May is all

about the importance of a healthy

childhood and how we need to

protect the rights and freedoms of

children to ensure that they can grow

into happy, healthy adults.

Two special events this month

are linked with school: National

Bike to School Day on 5 May, and

Walk to School Week, 17-21 May.

Living Streets website which is linked

with the National Walking Month

campaign explains more about these.

For younger children there is

International Mother Goose Day on

1 May, and a National Baby Day is

being celebrated on social media on 2

May. Mother Goose Day was founded

in 1987 and aims to introduce young

children to reading literature by

starting with nursery rhymes. While

Baby Day aims to ‘celebrate the

smallest and newest members of our

species and reflect on all the wonders

and joys they will face as they grow up’.

While there is a lot of fun,

adventure and thanksgiving to

celebrate children in May, we must

not forget the teaching of Jesus who

cares for all children, especially the

abused and deprived.


There can be nothing sadder

for a family than children who go

missing. International Missing

Children’s Day on 25 May aims ‘to

place a spotlight on the issue of

child abduction, educate parents on

safeguarding measures to protect

their children, honour those who

have never been found and celebrate

those who have.’

There are some chilling facts about

missing children on the Perpetual

Paul Hutton on unsplash.com

Fostering website which says that

last year 68,944 reports were made

to the police in England and Wales

about missing children.

As we enjoy celebrating children

in May, please remember in your

prayers the families of their missing

young ones, and the children

themselves. If you need help with

this there are some prayers at

Ineedaword: Here’s one of them:

Dear God,

All the missing children are entrusted

to your capable hands. Defend them.

Return them to their family.

You are the Lord who rescues the

poor and the helpless.

Offer them the ability to appreciate

the complete and rich life that they

have for them.

Let them return home and have

normal existence, like other


Deform the Devil’s plots to cut their

lives short.

It is you alone who know their future

and you have positive dreams for

them. Amen. Amen!

Links for the events above named in BOLD text:









18 The Parish Magazine - May 2021

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feature — 2

May is a special month for the Royal British Legion. 100 years ago, on 15 May

1921, the British Legion was founded in the aftermath of the First World

War. It aimed to provide support to veterans of the British Armed Forces,

their families and dependents. 50 years later, on 29 May 1971, it was granted

full 'Royal' appellation. As well celebrating 100 years this month, the Royal

British Legion will also be leading the nation in remembering VE Day on

Saturday 8 May.

The Parish Magazine - May 2021 19

Celebrating 100 years of the Royal British Legion

The Legion was created when 2 million

people were unemployed and more

than 6 million had served in the war.

Of those who came home, 1.75 million

had some kind of disability, with half

of those disabled permanently.

Four organisations came together

at the instigation of Lancastrian

Lance Bombardier Tom Lister, who

was angered at the government’s

unwillingness to help, and Field

Marshal Earl Haig, who had been

commander in chief of the British

forces. The Legion campaigned for

fair treatment of those who had given

everything for their country, and it

continues this work today.


In 1922, the Legion’s poppy factory

opened in Old Kent Road, London,

with 40 disabled men making 1,000

poppies a week. The first Poppy Day

was held that year.

The Festival of Remembrance, for

which the Legion is best known today,

began in 1927.

In May 1971 it celebrated its golden

anniversary with the news that the

Royal patronage which it had enjoyed

since 1925, was now being recognised

with a 'Royal' title.

10 years later in 1981, the

membership was extended to all

serving members of Her Majesty's

Forces, as well as ex-service people.


Today, the Royal British Legion

welcomes everyone to join its 230,000

members, the minimum commitment

is to subscribe from £17 a year. This

annual subscription varies according

to the local branch. In our parish, the

Royal British Legion is known as the

'Sonning Branch'.

A century ago, the altruistic

original aim of the Legion had

affected the residents of Sonning and

on 4 February 1924 a public meeting

was attended by 28 people and the

Sonning Branch was born.

Colonel Anderson was the first

chairman and at the first meeting

on 21 February 1924 a membership

fee of 2s/6d was set — today that is

equivalent to about £8.

The meeting also agreed the first

function to be held on 5 March 1924

—a smoking concert!

Arrangements were made

later for Remembrance Sunday in

November, for which it was agreed

that all members would give 3d

towards the cost of the wreath. By

the year end, the branch had 41


The Remembrance Sunday service

remains the main focus of the year

for Sonning Branch. It is when St

Andrew's Church has it's largest

congregation with representatives

from the armed forces, police, the

Baden-Powell movement, local

schools, church members, and many

visitors from far and near.

Traditionally a parade, organised

by Sonning Branch, marches

through the village led by the

Reading Salvation Army band. The

parade assembles inside St Andrew's

where the focus is on remembering

the service personnel listed on the

2014: The 'Legion' parade for Remembrance

Tom Farncombe

Royal British Legion colours in St Andrew's

Tom Farncombe

parish war memorial. The proceeds

of the collection made during the

service go to the Poppy Appeal.


Fund raising through social

events became a feature of the

Branch's life from the beginning. The

first New Year's Eve dance set the

pattern for the future.

In 1938, with the threat of war,

Sonning Branch made plans about

serving the local communities in

the hard times ahead. High on the

list were air raid precautions, the

training of wardens, and the use

of gas masks that were stored in a

hut in Woodley that was owned by

Sonning Branch.

Hanging on the wall of Pearson

Hall today is a war-time planning

map that clearly shows the location

of the hut.

By October 1939, some members

of Sonning Branch had been recalled

and supporting them became

another high priority.


Following World War II, social

activities were again well supported

and relatively large donations were

raised for the national Poppy Appeal.

The amounts raised during the post

war years seem to have been lost in

time until the 1970's onwards when

it rose from about £1,000 per year to

a magnificent sum of over £15,000 in

2011 when Malcolm Geater was the

appeal co-ordinator.

turn to page 21

20 The Parish Magazine - May 2021

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feature — 3

100 Legion years

Up until the 1990's whist drives,

dances, and dinners were high on

the agenda for fund raising events,

as was the well being of local service

personnel. The November 1946 issue

of this magazine highlighted this:

A highly successful reunion dinner for

ex-service men and women of Sonning

took place at the White Hart Hotel

[now called the Great House] on Friday

evening, 4 October.

In the regretted absence through

indisposition of Bri-Gen E J Phipps-

Hornby, VC, Mr Clement Williams

presided and proposed the toast of the

evening — 'Welcome Home.'

General Sir Andrew Thorne replied

on behalf of the guests, and emphasised

the effect on the morale of the serving

soldier of the knowledge that his home

was a happy one and that his family were

being well looked after. He also made an

appeal to young returned service men

and women to join the British Legion.

Dinner was followed by an excellent

conjuring entertainment and community

singing, and the party dispersed to the

strains of 'Auld Lang Syne.'


In the 1970's, the Sonning Branch

began supporting Somerset Legion

House in Weston-Super-Mare by

funding the Sonning Room. This

meant local members of Sonning

Branch were able to make use of the

facilities offered by the Legion there.

In November 2019, the Royal British

Legion sold the property. A new

Legion House was bought. There is

not now a Sonning Room, although

a painting of Sonning is displayed

prominently in the new house.


Many of the social activities had

strong support from the ladies of the

parish, so much so, that a women's

section was formed in 1928. While the

ladies pursued different social and

craft activities from the men, they

did, however, have their own standard

bearers and paraded separately.

The women had a tradition that

their colours are always carried by the

same family — today it is carried by

the grandson of the first bearer.

Both Sonning sections continued

in harmony for nearly 70 years, but

the changing shape of society and of

Images from

the archives

the roles of men and women, slowly

changed. In March 1999 The Parish

Magazine reported:

The Royal British Legion - Women's

Section: Readers may be aware of the

regretted disbanding of the section after

70 years of service. Despite every effort,

no-one could be found willing to accept

administrative duties, so there was

no other course to follow. The monthly

meetings which were always enjoyed by

everyone will be greatly missed. However

it is hoped that those who participated

in this special role of the Legion's charity

work will continue to support it, especially

in the Poppy Appeal. Some members

have now joined the Sonning Branch -

incorrectly known as the 'Men's Branch',

and been gratefully accepted either in

ordinary or associate status. Out of this

adversity a new aspect of the Legion in

Sonning may emerge.

And it did. Today there is no

division between male and female

membership and all work together to

serve the continuing needs of exservice

men and women.


As memories of wartime faded,

it was natural that the combined

membership also slowly reduced

and in 2001, it became apparent that

Sonning Branch could no longer

sustain a viable committee to meet the

legal requirements of the Royal British

Legion's national charter. However,

a solution was found by becoming

a sub-group of Wargrave Branch.

The Parish Magazine - May 2021 21

This arrangement allowed Sonning

Branch members to meet, parade on

Remembrance Sunday with its own

colours, and to collect for the annual

Poppy Appeal in the name of Sonning.

Thus, for all intents and purposes

Sonning Branch continued to serve in

the local community and contribute

substantially to the important national

effort of the Royal British Legion.

However, the Branch is now fully

operative in its own right with a full

and active committee led by Mark

Green as chairman.


Today, organising the annual

Poppy Appeal is still the major

activity for Sonning Branch as, of

course, is the Remembrance Sunday

parade and service which remains

extremely well supported. The

Sonning branch has also been at the

forefront of all the other wartime

anniversary's particularly VE & VJ Day


Typical of these events was a service

of commemoration and celebration

held in St Andrew's Church in July

2005 to mark the 60th anniversary of

the VE and VJ Days combined with

the 10th anniversary of signing the

twinning accord with Ligugé, France.

This article is based on material held in the

archives of Sonning Branch and The Parish

Magazine, and our thanks go to Grp Capt

Colin Pierce, President of Sonning Branch,

for his help — editor.

22 The Parish Magazine - May 2021

feature — 4

There's much more to the number

seven than being lucky

It probably won't surprise you to hear that the number seven is the world's most popular lucky number but

the Bible reveals there is much more to this special numeral. It is clearly one of God's number's that are a

feature of his creation. This month we celebrate Pentecost, a feast day that has its roots in seven.

Seven is not only important for Christians, it is held

in high esteem in many religions and cultures, for

example there are the seven heavens of Judaism and

Islam, and the Chinese belief of the seven elements

of the world — water, fire, earth, wood, metal, yin

and yang. It's why the traditional Jewish menorah

has seven candle sticks — not to be confused with

the nine candlesticks of the Hanukkah — and why

Muslims walk seven times around the Holy Kaaba in



The Roman Catholic teaching of Pope Gregory I

in the 6th Century identified the seven deadly sins

which are now widely recognised as: pride, greed,

lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth.

There are many natural features of the world

where seven plays a part — surfers will tell you that

they surf in sets of seven waves, the seventh being

the largest. Others include the seven colours of the

rainbow, the seven continents of the world, and the

seven wonders of the world.

In the Bible, from the creation stories in Genesis,

to the end of time in Revelation, the number seven is

mentioned over 700 times — is this a coincidence? —

hence, it is often referred to as God's number.

God created the world in six days, and when

his work was complete, he rested on the seventh

day, thus seven is symbolised in the Bible as


A menorah depicted in a mosaic at the Israeli parliament

spiroview, dreamstime.com

In the Old Testament book of Isaiah (11.2) we

read about the seven spirits: the spirit of the Lord,

wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge,

and the fear of God.

In Deuteronomy 7 the Israelites are told: When the

Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering

to possess and drives out before you many nations — the

Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites,

Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger

than you.

But it is the New Testam

writings of John that seven

the Gospel of John we find

of Jesus. For the Jewish peo

name for God that they wer

write — in Hebrew YHWH

in Exodus 3:13-15. It is trans

such as 'I am who I am', 'I am

am and will be'.

When Jesus says: I am t

the Light of the world; I am

Shepherd; I am The Resurre

The Way, Truth and The Life

he is implying that he is the


In his gospel, John also

completeness demonstrated

seven miracles that he calls

changing water into wine, h

son, healing a paralytic, fee

on water, healing a man bor

Lazarus to life.

John's book of Revelatio

Christ writing to seven chu

and objects that appear sev

candlesticks, trumpets, pla

While seven is used to s

multiples of seven are used

even higher degrees of com

aim for. In Matthew 18:21, 2

came up and said to him, 'Lord

brother sin against me, and I

seven times?' Jesus said to him

times, but seventy times seve

Basically, Jesus is tellin

to the number of times we s

Muslims pilgrims walk around the Kaaba seven times in Mecca

Abdul Razak Abdul Latif, dreamstime.com


It is, however, generally

ultimate completeness is se

is, 49. Before his crucifixion

that God would send someo

namely, the Holy Spirit. Jes

before the Jewish Passover

from around the world visit

them would stay there for t

after which, on the 50th da

day of Shavuot which was a

first fruits of the wheat har

Pentecost by some Jews.

It was on this feast day t

promised by Jesus arrived a

with the wisdom and know

to join them in living the w

perfect timing. The thousan

Jerusalem became follower

The Parish Magazine - May 2021 23

ent, particularly in the

comes into its own. In

the seven 'I am' sayings

ple 'I am' was the sacred

e not allowed to say or

. God told Moses his name

lated in a variety of ways

that I am', or 'I am who I

he Bread of Life; I am

the Gate; I am The Good

ction And The Life; I am

; and I am the true Vine,

Son of God.


writes of Christ's

to the world through

the seven signs of Christ:

ealing a royal official's

ding the 5,000, walking

n blind, and raising

n, which begins with

rches is full of events

en times, for example,

gues and seals.

ymbolise completeness,

in the Bible to emphasise

pleteness that we should

2, we read: Then Peter

, how often shall my

forgive him? As many as

, 'I do not say to you seven


g us that there is no limit

hould forgive someone.


accepted that the

ven times seven, that

, Jesus told his disciples

ne to watch over them,

us was crucified just

festivities when Jews

ed Jerusalem. Most of

he next seven weeks,

y there would be the feast

thanksgiving for the

vest. It came to be called

hat the Holy Spirit,

nd filled the disciples

ledge to encourage others

ays of Jesus. It was

ds of people present in

s of the risen Christ and

gayatri-malhotra, unsplash.com

returned to their homelands with the good news of

salvation. New churches sprang up around the world.

The work of Jesus on earth was fully completed

49 days (seven times seven) after his crucifixion

and resurrection at Easter. Surely this must be the

ultimate example of why seven is much more than

a lucky number, it is God's number, a number that

demonstrates his completeness in all things physical

and spiritual.

Since it was launched on 1 March, thousands of

Christians from all denominations have registered

to say that they will be 'in one accord' as part of the

UK and Ireland's largest online Virtual Pentecost

Prayer Gathering taking place on Sunday 23 May.

The 'In One Accord' events will unite Christians

and churches in two virtual gatherings — a church

service in the morning and a national virtual

celebration style event in the afternoon. The call

this coming Pentecost Sunday is to unite the church

around praying for revival, unity and healing for our

communities as we emerge from the pandemic.

When the world

changed forever

Pentecost window in Bayeux

The first Pentecost took place on the Jewish festival

of Firstfruits, which was observed at the beginning

of the wheat harvest. It was seven weeks after Jesus

was crucified, or 50 days including Easter Sunday,

hence 'Pentecost' which is a name derived from the

Greek 'Pentēkostē' which means fiftieth.

A feast day to celebrate the country’s wheat harvest

does not sound exactly world-changing, but that year,

it became one of the most important days in history.

It was the day that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, the day

the Christian Church was born.

Jesus had told his disciples that something big

was going to happen, and that they were to wait for it

in Jerusalem, instead of returning to Galilee. He had

plans for his disciples, but knew they could not do the

work themselves. They needed God's help.


Jorisvo, dreamstime.com

They waited in Jerusalem, praying together with

his other followers, and then on that fateful morning

there was suddenly the sound of a mighty rushing

wind. Tongues of flame flickered on their heads, and

they began to praise God in many tongues, to the

astonishment of those who heard them. The curse of

Babel (Genesis 11: 1- 9) was dramatically reversed.

That morning the Holy Spirit came to indwell

the disciples and followers of Jesus. The Church was

born. The Christians were suddenly full of life and

power, utterly different from their former fearful

selves. The change in them was permanent.

Peter gave the first ever sermon of the Christian

Church that morning, proclaiming Jesus was the

Messiah. His boldness in the face of possible death

was in marked contrast to the man who had denied

Jesus 49 days before. 3,000 people were baptised.

It was not the first time the Holy Spirit had acted

in this world. Throughout the Old Testament there

are accounts of how God’s Spirit guided people and

strengthened them. But now, because of Christ’s

death and resurrection, He could indwell in them

giving every Christian have the confidence that Jesus

was with them constantly.

24 The Parish Magazine - May 2021

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feature — 5

The Parish Magazine - May 2021 25

The day Claude took off his muddy boots for the Queen!

Claude explains to the Queen why he was there

The first time I saw the Queen was

in the early 1950’s when she was a

princess, writes Claude Masters.

I was at a scouting rally in Windsor

Great Park and walking along a

footpath with my good friend, Tojoe,

we heard a vehicle approaching from

behind and moved to the side to see

a large black limousine with the two

princesses sitting high up in the open

topped back.

They were clearly meant to be seen

as they were heavily made up and

looked like two painted dolls. I suppose

we should have sprung to attention

and saluted but we just stood and

gawped. I did catch Princess Margaret’s

eye though.


The next time I saw Her Majesty

was in 1955 when, as a National Service

aircraftsman, I was one of those lining

the route she took when she visited


We had not long been issued with

brand new uniforms and for this

event they were individually bespoke

tailored, our new boots were re-heeled

and we wore white webbing. So with

peaked cap and rifle at 'Present Arms'

I was standing smartly to attention

when the Queen passed by this time.

Queen Elizabeth II was crowned

on 2 June 1953. A lot of effort was put

into making it a big day and festive

decorations were put up everywhere. I

was keen on photography and sought

out the best of them. Everyone was

looking forward to a warm June day

but it was a cold and wet one. However

that did not stop crowds gathering

Reading Railway Station decorated for the Queen

Heelas, one of Reading's best decorated shops

at nationwide bonfire beacons in the


In 1978 the Queen officially opened

the Hexagon theatre and the nearby

Civic Offices in Reading.

The hexagonal office block, now

demolished, was of unusual design

with a large open core which had four

lifts and stairs.


The offices were open planned and

the floors were set spirally around it

so you were able to walk from the staff

canteen at the top, down through each

level to the ground using short flights

of stairs without going through any

doors or using the core.

This is what the Queen did when

she visited the Hexagon. The plan was

that she would be welcomed by the

manager of each department but the

chief architect, who was expected to

greet her in our offices, had republican

tendencies and had taken the day off.

I had been nominated by my

colleagues to be in the office while

the Queen was visiting so I stood by

an empty desk near the steps waiting

for her arrival.


When the Queen came down

the steps and saw no one to greet

her she asked 'Where are we now?'

Surprisingly no one in her entourage

of councillors, officials and press men

knew and looked anxiously at one

another with open mouths.

After a moment of embarrassing

silence, I, having been told to speak

only if spoken to, said 'You are in the

architects department Ma’am'

Her Majesty then approached me

asked what I did so I told her how I

came to be there when I normally

worked on a muddy building site!

Fortunately, a photographer

recorded the meeting, but when one

of my granddaughters was shown the

photo she didn’t recognise either of us!

Reading's Victorian town hall

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



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around the villages

PACT seeks key worker adopters

The Parish Magazine - May 2021 27

Would you like a

picture of your pet?

Adoption charity Parents And

Children Together (PACT) is

appealing for people from key worker

professions to consider adoption.

The agency would like to hear from

key workers — nurses, teachers,

police officers, social workers,

doctors, ambulance staff, child

minders and care workers — because

their professional experience and

skills typically make them strong

adopters. They are also valued by local

authorities when looking for a good

home for children in care.

PACT began helping families over

100 years ago when Bishop Francis

Paget held a passion to address the

vulnerabilities of needy families

living in the Oxford Diocesan area in

1910. Today it is rated by Ofsted as

outstanding. Last year it placed 89

children with 66 families through its

adoption services.


Throughout the Covid pandemic,

children have continued to be placed in

care and the need for adoptive families

is increasing.

PACT is open to couples or single

people, those from the black and

minority ethnic communities and

LGBT+ who can consider adopting

children over four years old, sibling

groups of two or more, children with a

black or minority ethnic background

and children who may have physical or

learning disabilities.

PACT holds regular information

events where anyone considering

adoption can find out more about

what’s involved in the adoption

process and hear from an adopter

about their own experiences.

To book a place, call: 0300 456

4800. For more information about

PACT: http://www.pactcharity.org

Ben Wickes on unsplash.com

New project to start

for local female voices

From September there will be a new

choral venture for female voices

led by local music teacher and choir

director, Suzanne Newman. 'The

Project Singers' will undertake a

series of choral projects starting

with A Night at the Movies. This will

run from September to March 2022

and culminate in a concert at Norden

Farm Centre for the Arts on 26

March. Songs include: City of stars,

We have all the time in the world, Deep

in the meadow, God help the outcasts,

Hopelessly devoted to you and Fame.

There will be a junior group for

girls, 10-18 years, with rehearsals

on Sunday evenings, 6.15-7.45pm, in

Charvil Village Hall.

The senior ladies group will

rehearse in the hall on Mondays,


Auditions for both groups will be

held on Zoom in May and June. For

more details, contact Suzanne on

0118 934 0589 / suzanneynewman@


Sow for victory!

It's time to sow and plant this year's

prize winning vegetables — that's the

message from the Sonning Village

show organisers who are planning

this year's show on Saturday 11

September at Sonning CofE School.

Let's hope for good growing weather

and bumper crops. The show schedule

will be published in about two months.

Pearson Hall AGM

The Pearson Hall Annual General

Meeting will be in the committee

room on 30 June 2021, at 6.30pm for

a 6.45pm start. Everyone who uses

Pearson Hall is welcome to attend.

Janette Crouch has been using

lockdown to take up her paint

brushes again and has been painting

other people's special pets, some of

which are shown above. In return

the owners have made donations to

charity. Janette is now offering to do

the same for people who would like a

painting of their favourite pet. She

suggests a £30 minimum donation

for St Andrew's Church. You can

contact her on:


28 The Parish Magazine - May 2021

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As I write this, there is controversy across the UK and

Europe about the risk of thrombosis and the use of

Coronavirus vaccines, but there is sunshine ahead.

Thrombosis in humans is a very common cause of death.

1 in 4 people die from conditions related to blood clots.

60% of clots occur within 90 days of hospitalisation.

The NHS introduced surveillance and prevention

programmes in 2007 and deaths have reduced 20% since

this intervention. This is actually a remarkable, yet, under

reported success, but 'red tops' don’t sell on good news


The vaccine has been implicated in cases of Venous

Thromboembolism (VTE). These are clots in the veins

rather than arteries. Heart attacks are caused by clots and

blockages in the coronary arteries.

To understand this further we have to know what

the incidence of the disease is and not confuse this with

prevalence. The incidence of a disease is the number of

cases over a specified time, where as the prevalence is the

total number of patients with the disease, new or existing.

The incidence of VTE per year in the UK is 2 in 1,000 of

the population.

Clot in the deep veins of the leg (DVT) is the most

common form and problem from this is when ‘bits’ from

these clots break off and travel through the blood stream

to the heart where they get passed into the arterial system

of the lungs then block small arteries. The clotting system

— a balanced mechanism that protects us from bleeding

out or clotting our blood internally — now harms us as

further clots build up. This is Pulmonary Embolism (PE)

and the clot formation infarcts — blocks the blood supply

— to the lung. The lung tissue, ironically, cannot receive

oxygen from its blood supply and dies. Smaller clots can

pass through and can trigger stroke. The annual incidence

of PE is 7-8 in 10,000.

30 cases of VTE after vaccination with the Astra Zeneca/

Oxford (AZ/O) vaccine have been reported. On its own

this statistic is very concerning, however the subsection

title is less sensational and is more useful. There have

been 18 million doses of AZ/O given. Therefore, if we

blame the vaccine it causes one person in 600,000 people

receiving the vaccine to have VTE. The annual incidence

of VTE in 18 million people would be 36,000/year. As our

American colleagues would say, ‘do the math!'

31% of patients on intensive care units have VTE events1

in one study, overall the figure is 21%. Mortality of these

patients was 74% higher than non-VTE patients with


If we can skip any complicated mathematics or deep

understanding of epidemiology, the AZ/O vaccine is

recognised to be over 80% effective in preventing serious

The Parish Magazine - May 2021 29


Dr Simon Ruffle writes . . . about Thrombosis



30 : 18,000,000


There's sunshine ahead — spring magnolia

disease from Covid infection. Thus, a case for claiming

that being vaccinated will prevent and not cause cases of

VTE. I know the logic in this is stretching causation and

correlation but this does not diminish the fact that the

vaccination saves more lives.


We’ve been here before with vaccination. In 1998 cause

and correlation got confused with MMR vaccination,

bowel disease and autism. The graph below shows the

increase in diagnosis of autism and the rise in organic

food sales in the US. It is, of course, statistically correct!


Simon Ruffle

Humans desire certainty and avoid uncertainty. This need

to find cause in events is hard wired in us. Who can rest

when 2m tall grass is rustling in front of us? It’s either

food or the lions!

Would we blame the vaccine if we were unfortunate

enough to have an accident on the way home from having


There is no doubt that vaccinations, medicines and

surgery have unwanted side effects; some of these are

serious or fatal. This has to be balanced against the overall

outcomes. A bit of carriers advice — if you cannot live

with uncertainty do not go into medicine as a career. The

turn to page 31

30 The Parish Magazine - May 2021

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from page 29


early symptoms of deadly illness often mimics minor

illnesses and the classic patterns of progression can be far

from ‘classic.’ Looking at events after they have occurred

is often fraught with assumption and accusation.


DVT often starts with calf pain. This can feel like a

muscular strain; and calf strain is far more prevalent than

DVT. DVT will cause the leg to swell, so will a strain, but

less so. The calf may feel hot and tender, so can a strain.

Inflammation may cause the skin to be red, less likely

in a strain. If there is history of injury, the likelihood

of a strain increases. Recent surgery, active cancer or

immobilisation increases the chance of DVT.

A combination of these factors gives us a Well’s score.3

Blood tests and ultrasound will give us more certainty.

Prevention of DVT is via anticoagulation after surgery,

compression of the legs where mobility is reduced — flight

socks! — and being normal weight and having diabetes

and other medical conditions well controlled or absent.

Pulmonary embolism can present with minor

symptoms. Chest strain, cough and feeling a little short

of breath are symptoms of pleurisy or chest infection as

well as pulmonary embolism. Often, PE presents acutely

(ie suddenly). Awareness of the other precipitating factors,

the same as for DVT, is vital in being suspicious of the



This article has been a bit stodgy and gloomy. However the

success of the NHS prevention programme is a fantastic

result. The roll-out of the vaccine is also tremendous with

75% of all vaccinations being given in the community by

primary care/GP services.

When it is your turn, please have the vaccination. The

chances of being seriously ill from Covid will be with us

for years to come and the vaccination is safer than driving

to and from the centre where you get vaccinated.

There is sunshine ahead and if we continue to get the

jabs rolled out and continue Covid safe practices — hands

space, face and fresh air — we will all be able to get out

and enjoy a more normal life.


Twyford, Wargrave and the Woodley practices are

enormously grateful for their staff and their communities,

in Sonning, Charvil and surrounds, for the effort and

volunteering that has made it possible to deliver the

vaccination. You know who you are! Much love and

gratitude to you all.


1. BTS Guidance on Venous Thromboembolic Disease in patients with

COVID-19 V3.0 8 February 2021

2. www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(20)30383-7

3. patient.info/doctor/wells-criteria-for-dvt

the sciences

The Parish Magazine - May 2021 31

Sharing your feelings with God

Jay Mullings on unsplash.com

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

Institute for Science and Religion in Cambridge.

The question of suffering comes up regularly in

discussions about science and faith. I once visited a

school to speak to some of the older teenagers. One of the

pupils had sadly died from cancer a few weeks before and

his classmates asked, 'How God could let this happen?'

These young people’s questions about where God was in

this situation were important. But the chaplain also gently

reminded the class that their friend’s family were Christians,

and that they were finding that their experience of loss had

brought them even closer to God than before.

One way that grief can bring us near to God is when we

tell him exactly how we feel. The Biblical writers had no

scruples about expressing themselves to God, giving vent

to emotions we often hold back in a church context.

As my colleague, Roger Abbott, has written in his book

on 'Unanswered’ Prayer': Let us not confuse reverence with

spiritual prudishness. Perhaps honesty, the way it feels, is

precisely what God is waiting to hear from us.


About one third of the Psalms express some form of

grief. The book of Job is a series of responses to one man’s

suffering as he loses his children, property and health in

quick succession.

Lamentations is also one long outpouring of sadness at

what happened to Israel under the Babylonians. Some of

the prophets, especially Jeremiah, also express their pain

at these sorts of events — events which reflect something

of God’s own feelings at the suffering of his people.

Most of these Biblical authors would have had access to

scriptures that encouraged them to turn to God whatever

the circumstances. Emboldened by their knowledge of his

character and promises, these divinely inspired writers

even express their anger to God about the things he lets

happen, or complain that he seems to act unfairly or

ignore them in their plight.

Not only do these people let out all their feelings

without fear of reprisal, but they also clearly expect a

helpful answer. Some record a resolution to their troubles

— often simply because God speaks to and comforts

them, enabling them to keep going.

The Biblical writers demonstrated that God can handle

pretty much anything — anger, blame, bitterness — if

we are actively looking to him for help. As Pete Greig of

the 24-7 prayer movement has written: Pain that is not

expressed can never be transformed.

32 The Parish Magazine - May 2021

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Recipe of the month

Cheesy spinach bake

From BBC Good Food Guide


— 200g pack feta cheese

— 2 x 250g tubs ricotta

— 50g parmesan , grated

— 1 egg

— good grating nutmeg

— 100g breadcrumbs

— 2 tbsp olive oil

— 6 sheets filo pastry

— 3 x 100g bags baby spinach, chopped

— 1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced

*For an option add some ham.

Bible garden topiary

Like many people, gardeners or not, I have looked in

awe of some amazing topiary over the years and always

thought that I would like to try it. Topiary is an art form

that is believed to have started in ancient Rome. The name

‘topiary’ derives from a Latin word for an ornamental

landscape gardener, ‘topiaries’, someone who creates topia

or places.

The first written evidence of topiary is said to be from

44BC. It was through the Roman empire that the art form

spread around the world and became established in the UK,

especially in grand stately gardens.

It seems unlikely that topiary existed in Israel during

Biblical times, although it certainly can be found there now.

However, one of the best plants for topiary is the Box which

is mentioned in Isaiah 41:19, although any evergreen shrub

or tree can be used.


On this weak connection, I ambitiously decided to include

some topiary in my Bible garden by cultivating some existing

evergreen plants. I have also planted some small box plants

which are slowly becoming established.

By chance, and with a great deal of imagination — and

much mirth from my family — I decided that one established

plant would make a great camel, and three of the others

could become magi. I knew nothing about topiary and

know little more now! I have discovered that the experts

The topiary camel and (inset) a box moth hungry caterpillar

The Parish Magazine - May 2021 33


Heat oven to 180⁰C/160⁰C fan/gas 4.

Mash feta in a large mixing bowl, add the ricotta and

mash again to thoroughly mix. Stir in the spinach, spring

onions, Parmesan, egg, nutmeg and plenty of seasoning

with half the breadcrumbs.

Brush a 20 x 30cm tin with a little oil.

Layer in half the filo sheets, brushing each with oil before

adding the next. Scatter remaining breadcrumbs evenly

over the base. Spoon in the ricotta filling and gently

spread, so as not to dislodge the breadcrumbs. Cover with

remaining filo, brushing with oil as you go, then score into

portions. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden and crisp.

When cool, freeze in individual squares.

Defrost overnight in the fridge and eat cold, or warm in a


Work in progress: three magi are slowly taking shape

nowadays use computers and special cutting tools to create

their works of art. I used, and still do, a pair of garden shears,

a pair of secateurs and a great deal of trial and error. It is

probably about 7 years since I started this project, and there

is probably another 7 years to go, but they are now beginning

to take shape and I can honestly say that every Bible garden

needs topiary!

If you try your hand at topiary, give yourself plenty of

time and keep an eye out for box blight and the box moth

which can destroy what are normally hardy, strong plants.

I had been given a tip by a friend that should the box blight

strike the best treatment is to feed them regularly with

a strong solution of Miracle Gro. A few weeks later when

visiting a plant nursery, I saw the devastation box blight

can cause and so last year when some of my new box plants

showed signs of it, I got out the Miracle Gro and applied it

regularly. This spring the plants are looking much healthier.

While the box moth has not been a problem for me, it is

in the neighbourhood — it has been causing problems, or

rather, its caterpillars have, in a neighbour's garden.

Hopefully the small box plants will survive and one day

they will be large enough to create a topiary Nativity scene!

34 The Parish Magazine - May 2021

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From the sun to the Son

By Rev Michael Burgess

From time immemorial people have placed the sun at the

centre of life and worship. As Christianity spread, it took

over ceremonies and practices associated with that belief,

but moved the focus from the sun to the Son, Jesus.

In May we celebrate the goodness and fruitfulness of nature

brought by the sun with maypole dancing, the crowning of

the May Queen, and games and sports, just as the Romans

went dancing in the fields, rejoicing in the gifts of Flora, the

goddess of nature, and druids greet the sun on a high place.

That custom persisted for several centuries, particularly at

Magdalen College in Oxford. In 1840 Dr John Bloxam revived

it. Holman Hunt*, one of the group of artists known as the

Pre-Raphaelites, visited Oxford in 1851 and so enjoyed the

Christmas festivities that he decided to honour the college

life in one of his paintings. It took many years to reach the

canvas: his painting of May Morning on Magdalen Tower

(above) is one of his last complete works in 1890.

We can identify the choristers gathered to greet the

rising sun in music and song. Amid the clouds and blue sky,

the birds are flying and the floor where the choir stand is

bedecked with flowers. It is a glorious celebration of the

fruitfulness of May and summer: God’s creation bringing so

many gifts. The college president is the man with the dark

beard at the right, and Dr Bloxam is beside him.



But there is an unusual character there — a Parsee,

an ancient worshipper of the sun from Persia, perhaps

representing not only those who look to the light of the

sun, but are also searching for the light of truth. The young

chorister in the middle looking out at us holds a lily, the

symbol of Mary, the mother of God’s Son.

All creation is gathered to greet the dawn and the rising

sun of May with the birds above and people below, young and

old, Christian and non-Christian — all united to proclaim

the goodness and renewal promised by the sun.

Holman Hunt said that he wanted to represent ‘the spirit

of a beautiful, primitive and in a large sense eternal service.’

Here is a vivid reminder the faith we profess opens our eyes

to God’s goodness and glory symbolised in the rising sun, and

that he welcomes everyone to share in those gifts.

*William Holman Hunt (1827-1910), lived in Thames Street, Sonning,

during the last part of his life. His ashes are interred in St Paul's Cathedral.

The Parish Magazine - May 2021 35

From the organ


As a further tribute to David

Duvall — see pages 10-11 —

we republish his contribution

to our October 1992 issue . . .

Fashionable music?

Like many other things, poetry and music for the most

part come in and out of fashion. Some blessed souls

achieve permanent favour, such as Shakespeare and

Mozart: others appear briefly and are then forgotten.

Who remembers Alfred Austin and Zdenek Fibich? The

former succeeded Tennyson as Poet Laureate, the latter

was a Bohemian composer, a contemporary of Dvorak

and Smetana and in his day as famous as both.

But the popularity of most writers and composers

depends on what is and isn't in favour. At the recent

Royal British Legion re-dedication service we sang a

fine example of a hymn which is unpopular with many

modern churchmen because of its apparent unthinking

patriotism: I vow to thee, my country.


Sir Cecil Spring-Rice wrote these words in 1918 when

he was the British Ambassador to the USA.

They were a recasting of an earlier poem which

reflected on how we are citizens of two countries, our own

and the kingdom of heaven. In the earlier version he had

apparently glorified war, but in the final version Spring-

Rice makes his last line a quotation — actually with a

word altered — from the glorious passage from Proverbs 3,

about the wisdom of God:

'And her ways are ways of pleasantness

and all her paths are peace'

The third line of the poem, The love that asks no question,

is the one that many people object to, on the reasonable

grounds that love shouldn't be uncritical. It should be

especially if it is the love of one's country. To say that a

country, or government, is always right is jingoism.

But Spring-Rice meant that we should love our country

enough, whatever a government might or might not do,

to make a sacrifice for it — because this is what Christ did

for us. He said in a speech soon after finishing the poem:

The Cross is a sign of patience under suffering,

but not patience under wrong.

The Cross is the banner under which we fight...

different in form, in colour, in history,

but the same spirit, the spirit of sacrifice.

Unlike some composers whose music is used for hymns

without their knowledge, Gustav Holst was proud to set

the main theme from Jupiter, part of his planets suite,

to these words, and he called the tune Thaxted after the

village in Essex where he lived.

I vow to thee, my country is one of the finest matchings

of words and music that one could find, and is a favourite

hymn of a great many people, not least the Princess of

Wales who chose it for her wedding.

36 The Parish Magazine - May 2021

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the ARTS — 2

Poetry corner

Having read Rev Michael

Burgess' article about the

'Ecce Ancilla Domini' painting

(right) in our March 2021

issue — and the editor's

request for contributions —

Steven Rollings of Woodley

offered this poem/hymn that

he has written to the tune of

Woodlands (‘Tell out my soul’)

and is based Luke 1:26-38.

‘Ecce Ancilla Domini’, it be

‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord I be’

Said Mary, when the angel Gabriel

Came to her, and the announcement did tell

Would tell that she not fear, but has favour

With God, and would bear for us our Saviour

His name would be JESUS, He shall be great

Son of the Highest, of royal estate

The Lord God shall give unto Him the throne

Of His earthly ancestor, David, known

And He shall reign for ever and ever

His kingdom endless and ceases never

And here displayed in purity of white

Mary, a virgin, trembles at the sight

A small dove seen, the Holy Spirit, He

By His power the child’s Father would be

Here feet of flames of angel painted, see

And white flower offered to Mary be

A tapestry in foreground, Rossetti

A scene revealed, contemplativity

The Parish Magazine - May 2021 37

Local artists

say farewell

to president


Sonning Art Group

are sad to record the

the death of their long

serving president and

founder, George Webster

(pictured left).

A difference of opinion among a group of local artists in

the early part of this Millennium led to the Sonning Art

Group being formed as a separate body from the Sonning

Art Club, both of which met in The Pearson Hall. George,

a founder member of the Sonning Art Group, became

chairman and successfully guided them for the next 10

years with 'charm, humour and enthusiasm', said Magee


'Everyone,' continued Magee, 'was assured of a warm

welcome and was valued and encouraged, no matter

how great or small their experience and talent. He

got the whole group involved in his many ideas and

projects which included painting murals for a care home,

supporting the Sonning Show and the Scarecrow Trail'

In 2010, when George was 80 years old, Sue Bell,

became chair and George was elected president. He

continued to paint until recently.

Throughout his life, George was often among

the winners of local art competitions and he will be

remembered by many for his unique and colourful works

of art, such as the example below which was part of a

larger project for a care home.

So her response, behold, I the handmaid

Of the Lord, let the angel’s words be made

Steadfast, and so be it e’en as you say

I Him shall humbly trust, serve, and obey




With lockdown hopefully coming to an end and you or your

club, organisation or charity wants to tell every household in

Charvil, Sonning and Sonning Eye about your achievements

or plans for the future tell us and we will spread the word!

The deadline for your news and stories is always 12 noon on

the sixth day of the month before the publication date. For

example, the June issue deadline will be 12 noon on 6 May.

Send your stories and pictures to:


With the easing of lockdown restrictions and many

of the group now receiving their second vaccine, Sonning

Art Group is hoping to start meeting in Pearson Hall

again early in July. In the meantime, like most clubs and

associations throughout the parish and the country, they

continue to meet online to discuss and share their works

of art.

38 The Parish Magazine - May 2021




1 Chance concurrence of

events (11)

9 Swift (5)

10 Epoch (3)

11 Short choral composition (5)

12 Music with a recurrent

theme (5)

13 Device for spraying paint (8)

16 Morally compel (8)

18 Manner of writing (5)

21 Looked at open-mouthed (5)

22 Sort; kind (3)

23 Sculptured symbol (5)

24 Stargazers (11)


2 Public speakers (7)

3 Bring up (7)

4 Urges to act (6)

5 Senior figure in a tribe (5)

6 Sequence (5)

7 Camaraderie (11)

8 Endorsed (11)

14 Cotton fabric (7)

15 More cheerful (7)

17 Subatomic particle such as

a nucleon (6)

19 Bonds of union (5)

20 Keen (5)


1 2 3 4 5 6

7 8



18 19 20

22 23



1 - Chance concurrence of events (11)

9 - Swift (5)

10 - Epoch (3)

11 - Short choral composition (5)

12 - Music with a recurrent theme (5)

13 - Device for spraying paint (8)

16 - Morally compel (8)

18 - Manner of writing (5)

21 - Looked at open-mouthed (5)

22 - Sort; kind (3)

23 - Sculptured symbol (5)

24 - Stargazers (11)

9 10

16 17

14 10 20 3 22 22 3 17 26 10 6 6

10 10 19 10 10 25

2 10 19 17 20 22 15 16 14

2 10 19 19 10 26 3 13 18 3

22 10 22 22 9 16 14 11 1

13 1 6 15 17 3 26 6 10 26

3 15 6 22 12 3

13 6 10 20 3 24 23 3 13 18

10 19 3 5 6 1 24 13 22

26 16 20 1 14 3 13 10 10 17

21 22 3 26 6 14 8 18 5

3 19 10 10 22 4

7 13 3 15 15 10 20 20 10 17 11 23



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



14 15
















2 - Public speakers (7)

3 - Bring up (7)

5 - Senior figure in a tribe (5)

17 - Subatomic particle such as a nucleon (6)

19 - Bonds of union (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.




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


1 Battle Tof Hastings



2 King William II

3 King Richard I

4 Signing of the Magna Carta

5 King Edward II

6 The Black Death plague

7 William Caxton introduced

printing into England

8 King Henry VIII


1. When did the Queen open the Hexagon? 4 - Urges to act (6)

2. Where would you find the Holy Kaaba?

6 - Sequence (5)

3. When is the virtual Pentecost prayer meeting?

7 - Camaraderie (11)

4. What does a Parsee worship? 8 - Endorsed (11)

14 - Cotton fabric (7)

5. About how many Psalms are about grief?

15 - More cheerful (7)

6. Who was Haman?

7. What cat needed sleeping pills?

8. When is Missing Children's Day ? 20 - Keen (5)
































































Find 20 words from the text below

The first Sunday in May is Rogation Sunday. This is when

many parishes still ‘beat the bounds’. Rogation means

an asking of God for blessing on the seed and land.

The practice began with the Romans, who processed

around the cornfields each Spring, singing and dancing,

sacrificing animals, in order to get rid of evil. About 465AD

the Western world was suffering from earthquake and

storm. Mamertius, Bishop of Vienne, aware of the pagan

custom, ordered that prayers should be said in the ruined

or neglected fields. Thus ‘beating the bounds’ became

a Christian ceremonial. It arrived in England early in the

eighth century. Each Spring, led by the priest, a little party

from the parish would set out with a Cross to trace the

boundaries of the parish. They’d implore God to keep

their corn and roots and boughs in good health, and bring

them to harvest. In the days when maps were scarce,

‘beating the bounds’ helped remind everyone just where

the boundaries were. Do you know yours today?

The Parish Magazine - May 2021 39



1 Sense of right and wrong (1 Cor 8:7) (10)

7 Coming (John 11:17) (7)

8 All I have is — , (John 17:10) (5)

10 Smarten (Acts 9:34) (4)

11 Hold back (Job 9:13) (8)

13 Member of the Society of Friends (6)

15 At ague (anag) (6)

17 Citizen of the Greek capital (8)

18 So be it (Galatians 6:18) (4)

21 20th Century poet T S — (5)

22 Empowers (Philippians 3:21) (7)

23 Imposing (1 Samuel 9:2) (10)


1 Healed (Luke 7:21) (5)

2 Central space in a church (4)

3 Co-founder of Spring Harvest,

Clive — (6)

4 Moses killed one when he saw

him beating a Hebrew labourer

(Exodus 2:12) (8)

5 Bravery (Acts 4:13) (7)

6 It interrupted Paul and Silas

singing in jail (Acts 16:26) (10)

9 Transgression (Psalm 36:1) (10)

12 Dublin is in this Irish province (8)

14 Same hit (anag) (7)

16 The Spirit of God was hovering

over the — (Genesis 1:2) (6)

19 Author of the immortal stories

of Winnie the Pooh, A A — (5)

20 Cab (4)



Would you like to keep your

favourite copies of The Parish

Magazine in a binder that

holds 12 copies. We have a

small number available free

of charge on a strictly first

come, first served basis. To

request a binder, email your

name and address to:


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!


1. Good Friday

2. Easter Eggs

3. Palm Sunday

4. Crucifixion

5. Hot Cross Buns

6. Last Supper

7. Judas Iscariot

8. Crown of Thorns

9. He is Risen!


In addition to the stunning and historic location in Sonning,

we will work hard to provide you with a memorable and

moving occasion. We can provide a choir, organ, peal of

eight bells, beautiful flowers, over 100 lit candles set in

ornate Victorian chandeliers and the use of our beautiful

churchyard as a backdrop for your photographs.

the church of st andrew SERVING CHARVIL,

SONNING & sonning eye since the 7 th century

Church of St Andrew

Serving Sonning, Charvil & Sonning Eye

40 The Parish Magazine - May 2021

Local Trades and Services


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


Linda Frewin MInstChp, HCPC member

General foot care and treatments

25 Ashtrees Road, Woodley RG5 4LP

0118 969 6978 - 0790 022 4999


Qualified Plumbing and Heating Engineers Gas Safe

25 years experience - local family run company

Office: 0118 961 8784 - Paul: 0776 887 4440



For jargon free help with your computer problems

PC & laptop repairs, upgrades, installations, virus removal

Free advice, reasonable rates

0798 012 9364 help@computerfrustrations.co.uk


Electrical Installation and Smart Home Automation


Elliott — 0777 186 6696

Nick — 0758 429 4986


Reliable and affordable

Small jobs a speciality!

Call Andy on 0795 810 0128



Car Servicing, Repairs and MOT

Mole Road, Sindlesham, RG41 5DJ

0118 977 0831



A local business based in Sonning. TV - FM - DAB aerials etc.

Sky dishes. Communal premises IRS systems, TV points.

Free estimates - All work guaranteed

0118 944 0000


We are a family business with excellent references

and we are fully insured

All cleaning materials provided

For free quote call: Maria 0779 902 7901


0779 926 8123 0162 882 8130



Member of the Guild of Master Sweeps


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


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


For local odd jobs please call Phil on

0118 944 0000

0797 950 3908

Thames Street, Sonning


Reliable and friendly service for all tree care

NPTC qualified — Public Liability of £10million

0118 937 1929 0786 172 4071

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


Landscaping, garden construction,

patios, lawns, fencing, decking etc

0118 969 8989

info@smallwoodcc.co.uk http://www.smallwoodcc.com


All types of Carpentry, Kitchens, Renovations

Built-in Cupboards & Wardrobes, Flooring & Doors

78 Crockhamwell Road, Woodley 0776 276 6110



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


Roger McGrath has 25 years experience

Restoration painting work of any size undertaken

For a free quotation call

Roger 0742 332 1179


The Parish Magazine - May 2021 41

42 The Parish Magazine - May 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


— 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



— 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


Advertisers index

ABD Construction 24

ACG Services Locksmith 40

ADD Plumbing 12

AJH Roofing 40

All Aerials Sonning 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

DAC Mobility Services 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

Newgate Car Finance 20

Odd Jobs 40

Painter and Decorator 40

Pearson Hall Sonning 30

Pennymatters Finance Advice 24

Q1 Care 30

Reading Blue Coat School 18

Richfield Flooring 14

Sabella Interiors 36

Shiplake College 20

Signature Cliveden Manor Care Home 28

Sonning Golf Club 32

Sonning Scouts Marquees 32

Smallwood Garden Services 40

Style by Julie 24

Sunrise of Sonning Senior Living 34

Thames Valley Water Softeners 24

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 advertisement

The Parish Magazine - May 2021 43



Because you deserve

the very best

Welcome to Bridge House Nursing Home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

professional and individually planned care in an unobtrusive manner.

Call 0800 230 0206

Visit www.bridgehouseoftwyford.co.uk


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

44 The Parish Magazine - May Please 2021 mention The Parish Magazine when responding this advertisement

The French Horn,

Sonning. Quality.

A continuing commitment to

wonderful food and wine.

0118 969 2204


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