The Parish Magazine July and August 2021


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

The Parish Magazine - July/August 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

July/August 2021 — Summer Days and Nights

Church of St Andrew

Serving Sonning, Charvil & Sonning Eye

the church of st andrew, SERVING THE COMMUNITIES OF


2 The Parish Magazine - July/August 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 - June 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 July/August 2021



— Songs of Praise, 7

— Messy Church, 7

— Rendezvous Club, 7

— Regular Services, 7

— For your prayers in May, 7

— STAY, 7-9

— On Reflection: Zechariah, 11

— From the editor's desk, 11

The Persecuted Church, 13


— St Sarik, 15

— Samaritans, 17

— Sonning Show, 19

— Write us a story, 21

— Summer Days & Nights, 22- 25

around the villages

— Reading Blue Coat Head, 27

— Reading Family Aid Award, 27

— S&SES Garden Party, 27

— FoSTAC Garden Party, 27

— Dunsden Hall Trustee, 29


— Dr Simon Ruffle, 31


— In the Garden, 33

— Recipe of the Month, 33


— Comedians of faith, 35

— Edward Hicks, 37

— Book Reviews, 37

— Poetry Corner, 38

the sciences

— Big Questions, 38


children's page, 41


— Church services, 3

— From the registers, 3

Parish contacts, 42

— Advertisers index, 42


July/August 2021 — Summer Days and Nights




the church of st andrew, SERVING THE COMMUNITIES OF


Summer Days means cricket

in the park

(see centre pages)

Picture: Peter Rennie


The editorial deadline for every issue

of The Parish Magazine is 12 noon on

the sixth day of the month prior to the

date of publication.

The deadline for the September

issue of The Parish Magazine is:

Friday 6 August 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:

From the



— Thursday 13 May, Barbara Joyce

Vincent, Interment of Ashes in

St Andrew's churchyard

— Thursday 27 May, Pamela Raie

Bridgeman, Funeral service at,

Easthampstead Crematorium

The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021 3

Services at

St Andrew’s


Services will continue with the Covid

social distance, masks and hand

sanitising restrictions in church until

government restrictions are lifted. At the

time of printing the following services

are planned.

Sunday 4 July

— 8.00am Holy Communion

— 10.30am Family Communion

Sunday 11 July

— 8.00am Holy Communion

— 10.30am Parish Eucharist with

Sunday Club and STAY

Sunday 18 July

— 8.00am Holy Communion

— 10.30am Family Communion

Sunday 25 July

— 8.00am Holy Communion

— 10.30am Parish Eucharist

Sunday 1 August

— 8.00am Holy Communion

— 10.30am Family Communion

Sunday 8 August

— 8.00am Holy Communion

— 10.30am Parish Eucharist

Sunday 15 August

— 8.00am Holy Communion

— 10.30am Family Communion

Sunday 22 August

— 8.00am Holy Communion

— 10.30am Parish Eucharist

Sunday 29 August

— 8.00am Holy Communion

— 10.30am Parish Eucharist


Mid-week Communion in The Ark

will be held every Wednesday at


Morning Prayer will be in Church

at 9.30am every Tuesday and once a

month on a Friday — 2 July and 6


Compline on Zoom will be sang

every Wednesday evening — full

details about how to login from Rev

Kate (contact details on page 42)

4 The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021

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The vicar's letter

The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021 5

Dear friends,

President John F Kennedy’s hero was his grandfather, and he loved to hear stories

about his grandfather’s boyhood in Ireland. One of these stories concerned how

Grandfather Fitzgerald used to walk home from school each day with a group of

friends. Sometimes these boys would challenge each other to climb over the stone

walls along the lanes of the countryside. However, there were times when young

Fitzgerald and the other boys were sometimes hesitant to dare the hazardous

climbs. So they devised a way to motivate themselves to take the risk involved: they

would toss their caps over the wall. You see, they knew that they dare not go home

without their caps, so then they had to climb over the walls to get them.

There are times when all of us long to toss our caps over the wall. There are times

when we hunger in our own way for the heroic, whether we want to change our

lifestyles, jobs, start our own business, go back to university, or whatever. We just

feel we need to make a change.

I know of one young man in particular who decided to make such a change. He

was 30 years old at the time and he owned a successful small business which had

been left to him by his father. He was secure, he was liked and respected by his

friends and neighbours, and he was meeting his responsibilities. But he knew that

this was not where he belonged. He felt called to a ministry, a ministry of teaching

and preaching and healing. So, he threw his cap over the wall. At first he met with

spectacular success, and his reputation spread with amazing speed. But as his

popularity increased, so did the number of his critics, especially in his home village. Some of his closest friends tried to

dissuade him from his insanity, and his family was also concerned for him. But he persevered in his new calling for three

years, only to die an untimely death. As he hung on a tree between two thieves dying a cruel and unjust death, feeling

forsaken by both God and man no one would have judged his life to be a success. But it was. It was the most successful life

ever lived. Jesus tossed his cap over the wall. He modelled for us what the life of adventure should truly be.


Of course, no one has ever accomplished anything of note without critics. If your cap goes over the wall you learn

very quickly who your true friends are. Certainly Jesus had his critics. That is the way life is. Start to make waves and

somebody will try to wrest the oars out of your hands by belittling your work. One author has called this the 'Salk Theory.'

Jonas Salk, that great Doctor of Medicine who pioneered polio research and discovered the polio vaccine, had a legion of

critics he dealt with over the years. At one point he made an interesting observation about the nature of criticism, which

seems to hold true for any person who is successfully innovative. 'First,' he said, 'people will tell you that you are wrong.

Then they will tell you that you are right, but what you are doing really isn’t important. Finally, they will admit that you

are right and that what you are doing is very important; but after all, they knew it all the time.'

We all have our critics and perhaps the best way to answer them is to do as the builder of the Panama Canal did. He

had to endure carping criticisms from countless busybodies back home who predicted that he would never complete his

great task. However, the resolute builder pressed steadily forward in his work and said nothing. One of his subordinates,

irritated by the flak they were receiving, asked the great engineer if he was ever going to answer his critics. 'In time,' he

said, 'when the canal is finished.'

There comes a time when we toss our caps over the wall in spite of everything the critics have to say. Nothing is ever

accomplished by people who value comfort and safety and acceptance above all else. There comes a time for what is often

called a leap of faith.

Of course, the greatest adventure that one can start out on, the most spectacular, and often the most courageous

change that can be made in a life is that of becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ. Now it is unfortunate that, for the

most part, that statement will fall on deaf ears. All too often we confuse discipleship with membership in the church.

Or we confuse discipleship with respectability. But there is certainly no particular risk involved in being respectable

or belonging to a church. However, to become a disciple of Jesus Christ, to move from a nominal belief to a radical

conviction, to move from a nodding acquaintance with God to a complete commitment of one’s life, that is more of a

challenge for the human creature than digging a canal or finding a cure for polio.

Isn’t it time for some of us to toss our caps over the wall? A certain high jumper was referring to a world record he set

in his sport. He said he threw his heart over the bar and the rest of him followed. Perhaps all of us who consider ourselves

to be Christians need to throw our hearts over the altar, so that we may follow. Jesus had his critics, of course. But he

never let them detract him from his call. His life is a challenge to our lives. Perhaps he is telling you that it is time for you

to toss your cap over the wall as well.

Warm wishes,


6 The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021

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Hold the front page!

As we put the final touches to this issue of The Parish Magazine for July and

August, there was increasing speculation that the end of the Covid lockdown

planned for 21 June was to be delayed because the threat of the Delta variant

of the virus was increasing. There were also concerns about the early signs

of infection rates in the Wokingham area increasing. Because of this the

Churchwardens and the Ministry Team have had to delay the plans to restart

normal services and other regular events. The latest thinking is outlined

below, but as always please check on the parish website, the weekly service

newsletter, or the parish office for the latest information.

Songs of Praise

The celebration Songs of Praise

planned for Sunday 4 July is postponed

until Sunday 12 September at 5pm,

subject, of course, to any further Covid


Regular Worship Services

It is hoped that the regular pattern of

worship listed on page 3 of this issue

will continue to be possible but please

always check on the parish website or

with parish office for the very latest

information. Services that are currently

broadcast online will continue as

planned until further notice.

Messy Church

After a long break due to Covid-19,

Messy Church at St Andrew's will relaunch

this September.

The first session will be on Sunday 19

September from 3 - 4.30pm in The Ark

when the theme will be 'Hope'. Messy

Church will then run every third

Sunday of the month.

Rev Kate said, 'The Messy Church

team is very excited about restarting

and we can't wait for us all to be back

together again. More details will follow

in September's edition of The Parish

Magazine and all plans are subject to

Covid restrictions.'

Thursday at Eight on Zoom

The Thursday 8pm Zoom fellowship

and prayer meeting restarts on Zoom

on 22 July. More details from Westy.

Rendezvous Lunch Club

The plans to restart Rendezvous in

the Ark for senior members of the

community remains the second

Tuesday of July at 12pm. This assumes

that any extension of the end of

the Covid lockdown will end before

that date. Please check on the parish

website or with the parish office to

confirm nearer the time that we will

be able to hold this popular fortnightly

event once again.

For your prayers in

July and August

— For our Churchwardens

and Ministry Team as they

seek to appoint a new

director of music

— For all people around the

world whose lives are still

seriously affected by Covid

— For all those who are

unable to take a holiday this


— For the work of Samaritans

and all in need of their

listening service

The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021 7


St Andrew's Youth

By Westy

Everyone who answers a question gets a

stress ball to stay calm and carry on.

STAY in Schools

There have been quite a few recent

assemblies delivered at the four local

schools: Wargrave Piggott, Reading

Blue Coat School, Charvil Piggott and

Sonning Primary. The most exciting

news was that we have returned to

‘in person’ assemblies.

We have been able to cover

some amazing topics, including the

generosity of God and when Jesus

meets the wedding guests at Cana in

Galilee. In God's economy we are all

welcome, he gives us what we need

and he never embarrasses us.

We have also worked successfully

with the Piggott ‘advocacy group’

looking at kitting out and advertising

the school's reflection room which

is a quiet space for pupils to sit, pray

and find space during the business of

a school day.

We have also continued

mentoring over 25 boys a week

in both senior schools and offer

support, someone to chat to, advice

in how to deal with tough situations

and we’ve been handing out infinity

loop sensory toys to help with

concentration in lessons.

Summer sunset at Mudeford, Christchurch

Nick Fewings on

Infinity loop sensory toys.

turn to page 9

8 The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021

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the parish noticeboard — 2


St Andrew's Youth

from page 7

STAY on Friday

To end the half term in the last week

of May we hired a super fun bouncy

castle. We also had the donut wall

stocked to the max and provided

some fun indoor activities such as

temporary tattoos, coloured hair

sprays and a nail bar.

STAY in Summer

We are planning a few summer

activities, including but not limited to:

— Aqua Park

— Paddleboarding

— Canoeing

— Rounders

— Football

— Frisbee

— Wide games/hide and seek games

— Footgolf

— Cinema

— Coral Reef/inflatables in a pool

— Bowling

— Go Ape

— Escape room

— Open bus tour

— London museums

— Beach trip

Please email me, Westy, on:

for more details as these will be

confirmed in the coming weeks.

The question cards ask about mental health,

emotional wellbeing and how to deal with hard


STAY on Sunday

Being back 'in person' makes all the

difference to our faith deepening. We

have had fun watching Kleer Series

videos from Urban Saints Energize

Resource. We have looked at questions


— Is Jesus real and what’s the

evidence for his existence?

— Is Jesus still relevant today even

though his teaching is 2000 years old?

— What is prayer and does it change


— Why did Jesus teach his disciples

the Lord’s Prayer?

STAY Detached Project

Having continued our Wednesdays in

Emmer Green and Fridays in Sonning

and Charvil we have seen an increase

in numbers of young people about.

This has created great opportunities

to check how they are doing, what

pressures they are currently under

and what they hope for in the future.

We use packs of question cards from

the Luton based youth charity and

give out stress balls, sensory fidget

toys and sweets as prizes.



The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021 9

The boys love the nail bar, and roped me into it!

Alex painting my nails a deep purple! Went

great with my eyes!

Year 6 girls use the new hair sprays and mirrors

A moment of reflection…

Utilising what was around us, the final thought was

all about a story of when I was a donut at school but

bounced back by changing my ways.

Jaiden following in his mum's

hairdressing footsteps by spraying

Oscar's hair multi coloured!

The bouncy castle proved to be a

hit for all the young people.

10 The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021

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On reflection . . .

By Elizabeth Spiers

Zechariah: God encourages

us through his Word

The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021 11

From the desk

of the editor

Share a story with us

Zechariah was a prophet living in Jerusalem almost

70 years after the nation of Israel had been enslaved in

Babylon. He was among the first of his people returning

to their desolate homeland. The Jewish people who had

survived were returning in small numbers. Their temple lay

in ruins and things looked bleak. They didn’t have much of

anything and were especially short of hope. It is into this

situation that Zechariah speaks.

God gave him a series of messages to help motivate and

encourage the people to both rebuild the temple and look for

the fulfilment of God’s promises.

Zechariah points to the coming of Jesus. The Messiah

will come, says Zechariah, as Saviour, Judge, and

ultimately, as the righteous King ruling his people from

Jerusalem. He will punish the people for their sins, yes,

but afterwards he will come to them if they are obedient.


Zechariah’s book brims over with the hope — meaning

the certainty — that God would remember his promises

to his people, even after all the time they spent in

captivity. Things may look hopeless now, Zechariah said

— in a nutshell — but God is faithful and he will bring

things right in the end.

Although they had been scattered, God had not

forgotten his promises and was still willing to help them if

they were willing to obey him. Deuteronomy 7 says:

‘Know therefore that the Lord your God is God,

the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love

with those who love him and keep his commandments,

to a thousand generations’.

Through his word God continually encourages us

and he is utterly faithful. The God who never changes

always keeps his promises. No matter what we do or how

unfaithful we may be, he is true. We can trust the one

who sees all but still loves us unconditionally. Just as

he encouraged the people of Israel through Zechariah’s

messages, so God encourages us today through his Word.

Have you read it lately?

One of the good things to emerge from the lockdowns

is that I heard some young people say they grew tired of

looking at a screen for almost everything they did so they

started doing some of the more traditional things that the

older generation often occupy their time with — things

such as playing a musical instrument, board games,

painting, handicrafts, cooking and even writing their own

stories. The fun thing about these types of activities is

that they are shared with friends and families, although

story writing can be more difficult to share.

As a magazine editor, of course, I get lots of stories

coming across my desk which I can share, and I have a

ready made outlet for my own stories that I enjoy writing.

For young people, however, sharing their stories is not so

easy so I have had in mind for a while about offering space

in this magazine for young people to be able to share their

stories in print.


One of my grandchildren asked if she could write me

a story, which of course, I was delighted about. She often

writes stories but apart from giving them to her parents

or grandparents to read she has few other opportunities

to share them. Stories are for sharing and there must be

many other young story writers who would like to share

their stories more widely. This is why, on page 21, you

will see that I am offering space in The Parish Magazine to

publish stories written by school children of all ages.

My problem as an editor, as well as a journalist, is that

I can't resist editing almost every item in this magazine

but doing this with stories by young writers can be very

discouraging for them so, apart from correcting spelling,

the odd grammatical error, and the use of words which in

my younger days meant something different, I will try not

to rewrite their stories too much!

If you know any young people who enjoy writing

stories — fiction or nonfiction — then suggest they

send them to me and together we can encourage them to

develop the ancient skill of story telling which dates back

30,000 years when stories were first painted in caves.


There are lots of reasons why story telling is

important, here's one I came across on the internet:

Stories can increase our empathy and often help reinforce our

highest ideals such as compassion and kindness.

The greatest example of compassion and kindness

reinforcing stories can be found in the world's oldest, best

selling collection of stories that has been translated into

more languages than any other — the Bible! So if you are

short of ideas for your own stories, try reading it first!

12 The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021

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the parish noticeboard — 5

The Persecuted Church

Christians in Nigeria are often

targeted for abduction, whether by

Islamist militants or by bandits.

Eight Christians were abducted

from a church minibus in March,

and in April one Christian was killed

and four abducted on the Kaduna-

Kachia road. Kaduna State is in the

Middle Belt of Nigeria, where at least

240 Christians have been killed in

Islamist attacks since the beginning

of July 2020.1

The eight Christians abducted in

March were subsequently released.

They had been travelling for an

evangelistic mission.2

A further eight Christians were

killed in an attack by armed bandits,

again in Kaduna State, on 19 May.

The attackers also burned down a

church building and several homes.3

Later in May, in Katsina State,

a church minister was killed and

another was abducted by gunmen in

a targeted attack on a church.4

The United States Commission

on International Religious Freedom

(USCIRF) produced a study in

February 2019 which found that

some Nigerians consider current

religious divides in the country to be

'the worst they have ever been.'5

The USICRF’s website state their

mission is to 'advance international

freedom of religion or belief, by

independently assessing and

unflinchingly confronting threats to

this fundamental right.'

They list Nigeria as a 'country of

particular concern (CPC)' and point

out in their most recent annual

report that religious freedom

conditions in the country have


To quote from their key findings,

'Despite Nigeria’s constitution

protecting freedom of religion

and belief, Nigerian citizens faced

violence by militant Islamists and

other nonstate armed actors, as

well as discrimination, arbitrary

detentions, and capital blasphemy

sentences by state authorities.'

They report how elements from

Boko Haram and from the Islamic

The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021 13

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.

Nigerian risk of genocide say UK parliamentarians


Worshippers inside a Nigerian Church

State in West Africa Province

(ISWAP) abducted and executed

several individuals based on their

religious beliefs.

Nigeria is, according to their

data, estimated as 53.5% identifying

as Muslim and 45.9% identifying as


One of the commissioners has

said in the report that 'the status quo

is unsustainable', with the 'perilous

situation…now spreading more and

more to other countries'.

The commissioner described the

the situation as a 'tinderbox' and said

that 'the world must do more.'5

According to the data company,, Nigeria ranks number

six in the world at risk for genocide,

while 'the risk percentage of mass

killing stands at 7.3%, about seven

times higher than the global average.' 6


Last year, a report by the All Party

Parliamentary Group on Freedom

of Religion and Belief, Nigeria:

Unfolding Genocide? was published.

It was the result of an investigation

by 100 UK parliamentarians from

a wide range of political parties.

The report warned of the risk of an

unfolding genocide and called for UK

aid to be linked to efforts to protect

Nigerian villagers from attacks by

Islamist extremists.7

Sources and further reading

1 Barnabas Fund

2 Barnabas Fund

3 Barnabas Fund

4 Barnabas Fund

5 USCIRF website


7 Anglican Ink

14 The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021

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feature — 1

Even though there are more than

10,000 officially named saints there

are few that are not shared, for

example, there are more than 600

churches in England named after St

Andrew. It is rare for any church or

parish to claim a unique saint, but we

can for our ecclesiastical parish that

serves Charvil, Sonning and Sonning

Eye. Our unique saint is St Sarik!

St Who? is a common response to

strangers hearing his name, assuming,

of course, that he was male, after all,

there are 2,368 churches dedicated to

St Mary in the Church of England.

The Parish Magazine archives only

give a little background as to who

Sarik may have been and why he was

associated with our parish church, but

then the archives only go back to 1869!

However, Canon Chris Clark,

vicar of Sonning from 1999 - 2008,

announced in the December 1999 issue

of The Parish Magazine why the PCC

had decided to dedicate a new meeting

room to St Sarik.

Quoting from the 16th Century

historian John Leland's Itinerary,

Canon Clark wrote: 'Thens a mile and

half to Sonning, an uplandish Toune, but

set on a fair and commodius Grounde ...

there is an old Chapelle at the Est ende of

the Chirche of S. Sarik, whither of late tyme

resorted in Pilgrimage many folkes for the

Disease of Madness.'

The new St Sarik meeting room was

created by rebuilding part of what was

in Victorian times a morgue — the

nearby Sonning lock was a natural

stopping place for the unfortunate

bodies that entered the River Thames

upstream at Reading.

Canon Pearson, founder of this

magazine in 1869 also researched the

subject of St Sarik and concluded that

a chapel dedicated to him certainly

existed. The biggest uncertainty seems

to have been the saint's name which

could be Sarik, Sarac, Siric or Cyricus.


Cyricus, with his mother Julitta,

were two of the earliest martyrs

venerated by the Catholic Church.

They were put to death in 304 AD and

in the Eastern Orthodox Church and

Oriental Orthodox Church their feast

day is this month on 15 July.

Another character in the St Sarik

mystery is Sigeric the Serious who

from 985-992 was in residence here as

the Bishop of Ramsbury and Sonning.

He went on to become, Archbishop of

Canterbury and died in 994.

The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021 15

Saint who? St Sarik, our unique parish saint!

A statue of Sigeric the Serious in Glastonbury

The St Andrew's choir emerge from the St Sarik Room


Tom Farncombe

Sigeric's name is engraved in a

bronze plaque in St Andrew's which

lists the 'Bishops of Sunning' and it has

been suggested that he buried some

of St Cyricus's relics in the church.

Burying a saint's relics in a holy place

was a common thing to do in those

days because it would encourage

pilgrims from distant places to visit

the burial site which, in turn, became a

lucrative tourist attraction!

Often the pilgrims were attracted

because they believed that they would

receive some kind of spiritual or

physical healing from being close to

the relics.

Any evidence of the relics being

buried has long been lost in time but

one of the interesting aspects of John

Leland's quotation above is this hope

that pilgrims had of a cure for 'the

Disease of Madness'.

While there is no documented

evidence of pilgrims being cured of

mental health illnesses, there has

been a suggestion from the work of

archaeologists in the church grounds

in 2001 that some of the Saxon

remains buried there could have been

from people suffering from physical

ailments and that they may have come

to Sonning for healing by St Sarik.

The remains were found in

the garden of The Bull during a

construction project and were clearly

the result of an ancient Christian

burial alongside what is believed to

have been the original site of the first

wooden Saxon church.

The Saxon remains found by The

Bull are now buried in a 'mass' grave in

the churchyard and the St Sarik Room

is used as a choir vestry.

16 The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021

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feature — 2

It began with a vicar who was

willing to listen on his

telephone — now there

are 20,000 listeners!

'In an emergency the citizen turns to the telephone

and dials 999. There ought to be an emergency number

for suicidal people, I thought.' So said Chad Varah in

the summer of 1953. His thought led to the founding

of Samaritans, the crisis telephone service for anyone

contemplating suicide.

Chad's lowly stipend was barely enough to pay his

secretary, so this meant he had to subsidise his income

by sitting up into the early hours of the morning drawing

cartoons and writing scripts. Then he was offered the

incumbency of St Stephen's Church in the City of London.

Now he could spend the early hours doing something about

his idea for an emergency number for people considering

suicide. On 2 November 1953 he took his first call and

Samaritans was born!

Like many of today's social services, hospitals, schools

and adoption agencies, that were originally started by

Christians, Samaritans has become an integral part of daily

life, not just for Christians, but for everyone whatever their

faith — or none. They are always there, if you need them.

116 123

Although Chad was a little sceptical about passing his

listening ear on to volunteers, he soon discovered they

were often better equipped than him to help. Today there

are over 20,000 listening volunteers in 201 branches in the

UK and the Republic of Ireland. Every day, they respond to

about 10,000 calls for help.

Chad died in Basingstoke in 2007 and left behind him a

charitable organisation that today still plays a vital role in

helping suicidal people who can contact volunteer listeners,

anonymously, and free of charge from any landline or

mobile phone. The Samaritans' number, 116 123, will not

appear on the caller's phone bill.

According to Felicity Varah, Chad's daughter: 'The

challenge now is to look to the future. As the way

people choose to communicate changes over time, we

need to continue to evolve, combining technology with

compassion, to reach people who still so desperately need

our help.'

To enable this, Samaritans is investing in new

communications technology such as an instant messaging

service, all of which, of course, needs to be financed from



To raise awareness of Samaritans and the work they

do, each year they run a month long campaign in July.

This year the theme is 'Talk to Us. They are asking people

to give their time for 60 seconds, creating the UK’s largest

conversation. Samaritans’ branches up and down the

The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021 17

Chad Varah who founded Samaritans in 1953

country will be popping up in local towns and cities to

let people know that they are there, round the clock and

that they provide a safe space for them to talk and be


Throughout July, Samaritans is running several social

media campaigns encouraging support for the work they

do. People up and down the country can get involved by

simply texting ‘SUPPORT’ to 70080 to make a £4 donation

which is the cost to the charity of answering one call for


A focus for the awareness month will be the 'Big Listen

Day' on 24 July which aims to encourage us all to become

better listeners.


The nearest Samaritans' branch to our parish is in

Reading where there are 150 dedicated volunteers who

all play a vital part in supporting callers — whether

by phone, text, email, in person at a local branch or at

community events across Berkshire.

Last year Reading Samaritans answered more than

40,000 calls. If you think you can help them to continue

Chad's dream of being there for others in a crisis, a good

starting place is to visit their website at:

Anyone can contact Samaritans FREE any time

from any phone on 116 123,

even a mobile without credit.

This number won’t show up on your phone bill.

Or email:

Or visit

18 The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021

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feature — 3

classes. For the full details and rules see the show's schedule published by the organisers.



Handmade Card

Pot of Marmalade

Unfinished Projects - Any item started but

Pot of Jam

not finished!

Pot of Lemon Curd

Article of any other Craft

Jar of Chutney


Victoria Sandwich – three egg mixture

Rachel’s Raspberry & White Chocolate Loaf

See recipe right

Gingerbread – show three pieces

Scones – show three

Chocolate Shortbread Biscuits - see recipe

right, show three

Favourite Cake – judged on taste and

texture - please supply recipe – winners

recipe will be a class for next year


Brownies show five pieces - recipe right


Nine Runner Beans

Three Carrots

Four Onions

Two Vegetable Marrows

Four Potatoes

A Truss of Tomatoes

Six Tomatoes

The Heaviest Marrow

The Longest Runner Bean

Any Other Vegetable (at least three)

Collection of Four kinds of vegetables (at

least three of each)

Heaviest Pumpkin


Four Dessert Apples

Four Cooking Apples

Four Pears

Any other fruit


Three Large Dahlias - 6" diameter or greater

Three Small Dahlias - Less than 6" diameter

Hanging Basket

Three Roses

One Specimen Rose

Vase of Annuals - max 10 stems (mixed or

one variety)

Vase of Perennials - max 10 stems (mixed or

one variety)

Pot Plant - Foliage

Pot Plant – Flowering

Largest Sunflower Head (dead or alive)



Flower Arrangement of your choice. Any

size from pedestals to table centre pieces. To

be viewed all round or front facing.

CHILDRENS CLASS 5 - 12 years

A Small Flower Arrangement in a container

of your choice.


Colour print, Weather, 3½" x 3½" min

Colour print, Flowers or Trees, 10”x 8” max

Black & White or Sepia Print – any subject


Knitted, Crochet or Woven item

Any item, Embroidery, Tapestry or Stitchwork


Drawing - Pen and Ink

Drawing - Pencil

Drawing - Pastels

Painting in Oils

Painting in Water Colours

Painting in Acrylics

Painting in any other medium


Exhibits will be judged for interest and rarity.

A small card giving a short description of

any knowledge you have of your entry should

accompany them. The organisers cannot be

responsible for loss or damage of valuable items.

Favourite object connected with Sonning


Something made by a family member a long

time ago

Guess the purpose of this historic object

Technology from the past


The White Hart Cup will be awarded to the

child gaining the most points


Iced Fairy Cakes – show three

Jam Tarts – show three

My Favourite Sandwich - list ingredients


An arrangement in a teacup

Largest Sunflower head (dead or alive)

Heaviest Pumpkin


Any subject size from 90mm x 90mm to

250mm x 200mm


Handwriting – Maximum 15 lines

Hand Drawn Picture of an Olympic event

Design a Birthday Card

A Garden using Plasticine or equivalent

Fruit and/or Vegetable Sculpting


A special prize of £10 will be given to the infant

gaining most points. Age is taken into account.

For 6-7 year olds:

A Picture of Yourself

A Decorated Crown

Largest Sunflower Head (dead or alive)

Heaviest Pumpkin

Iced Fairy Cakes – show 3

The Seaside on a Plate

Dressed Lolly Stick or Wooden Spoon person

For 5 years old and under

Hand Drawn Picture of an animal

A Decorated Crown

Largest Sunflower Head (dead or alive)

Heaviest Pumpkin

Decorated Gingerbread People – show three

A plate of your favourite food made from

Plasticine or equivalent

Make a Junk Model

The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021 19

It's time to start planning your Sonning Show entries!

To help you plan your entries for the Sonning Village Show on Saturday 11 September here is summary of all the


Times and temperatures are for guidance only

Rachel’s Raspberry & White Chocolate Loaf

125 g butter

125 g caster sugar

3 eggs

175 g selfraising flour

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 tblsp milk

125 g raspberries (keep some for decoration)

150 g white chocolate chips

Freeze dried raspberries

Cake: Whisk together butter, sugar, eggs,

flour, baking powder, vanilla extract

and milk until light and fluffy. Fold in

raspberries and half of the chocolate

chips. Put in greased loaf tin. Cover loosely

with foil. Bake for 40 minutes - Oven

Temperature 170 ˚C. Remove foil and cook

for another 20 – 30 minutes. Put on a

cooling rack.

Topping: Put remaining white chocolate

chips in a food bag and place in a jug of

lukewarm water to melt chocolate slowly.

When melted snip corner of bag and drizzle

over the cake. Place remaining raspberries

down the centre of the cake then sprinkle

over dried raspberries.

Chocolate Shortbread Biscuits

75 g plain flour

A pinch of salt

125 g softened butter

40g caster sugar

40g chocolate chips

Extra sugar for sprinkling

Oven 170˚C/ 150˚C fan / Gas Mark 3

Rub butter into flour and salt, add sugar

and chocolate chips and make into a ball.

Turn onto lightly floured board and roll out

to about 1 cm thick. Cut into rounds and

place on baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with

sugar. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Chocolate Brownies

375g plain chocolate, broken into pieces

250g margarine

2 tsp instant coffee

2 tbsp hot water

2 eggs

250g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

90g self-raising flour

175g walnut pieces

250g plain chocolate chips

Grease a 30 x 23cm (12" x 9") roasting tin,

line the base with greaseproof paper, and

grease the paper. Put the chocolate and

margarine in a bowl and sit the bowl on top

of a small saucepan of gently simmering

water. Melt the chocolate slowly, then

remove the bowl from the pan and let the

chocolate cool.

Put the coffee in another bowl, pour in the

hot water, and stir to dissolve. Add the eggs,

sugar, and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in

the chocolate mixture. Fold in the flour and

walnuts, then the chocolate chips.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and

bake in a preheated oven at 190°C (170°C

fan, Gas 5) for about 40–45 minutes or

until firm to the touch. Don’t overcook –

the crust should be dull and crisp, but the

middle should still be gooey. Leave to cool

in the tin, then cut into 24 pieces.

20 The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021

Please mention The Parish Magazine when responding to advertisements

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feature — 4

The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021 21

WRITE US A STORY! If you are at school and love to write your own stories then send one to us and we will try to

publish it here so you can share it with all our readers. You must have your parent's or guardian's permission. Send

your stories with your name and age to Your story can be up to 750 words long and

the editor reserves the right to edit it.

Lexi’s surprise

By Angel Young age 12 years

It was one long summer term and

Lexi had worked hard in school to

go on her annual summer holiday

trip to a surprise location. Her

parents were telling her that it was

somewhere they had never been

before and with an airline that was

not known to them.

She went on and on to her friends

that she was going away to a

beautiful white beach with a

turquoise sea that stretches for miles

along side the white fluffy sand that

had tall shading palm trees that had

some private hammocks.

The only issue was that there had

been a huge lockdown with a big

pandemic and there was a risk of

another lockdown happening at the

time of the holiday.

Lexi — who is 10 — has beautiful

long curly blonde hair, and she likes

to wear beautiful white and pink

dresses. Her favourite thing is to

explore and go for long walks in new

different places.

After a long week, her parents

finally revealed that they were going

to holiday in a famous Dubai hotel.

The plane ride was OK. It had a

bit of bad turbulence but when they

arrived they had a great welcome.

They had been greeted by staff and

had their bags carried to their room

by a butler. The suite was a surprise

for Lexi. It was kept quiet until they

opened the room's door.

They had a great big two bedroom

suite and the first thing Lexi saw

when she opened the door was a

great big curved sofa that was on

an electric board that rotated and

a big 72 inch TV in front of the

sofa. Across the room was a small

kitchen with its own mini bar. The

decoration of the suite was beautiful.

It had gold and white patterned

wallpaper and was filled with flowers

and elephant statues. Behind the

massive curtains that covered one

wall of the living room was a balcony

with the most incredible view.

For the next day they had booked

to go on a tourist walk with a tour

guide to see all the sights in Dubai.

They woke up the next morning

and were told the tourist walk was

cancelled and the resort beach was

closed, but there was no reason why.


Lexi came up with the bright

idea of going on their own walk and

exploring the scenery. So, they left

the hotel and snuck onto the closed

beach but suddenly the security

guard walked round the corner, so

they ran down an alley way that led

them into a forest.

They could hear a noise coming

from behind them, so they went

further into the forest until there

was no one in sight. They stopped

running, but the noise continued.

It sounded like someone grunting.

It was a frighting sound in the dark


A few minutes passed when Lexi

and her parents had established

that they had messed up as they

had realised they did not know the

area or the way back to the resort.

Suddenly, they heard footsteps —

but not human footsteps. It came

round the corner. It was something

terrifying. It was a bear! They ran!

It got so late the sky was pitch

black, but they had to try and find

a way to camp in the forest for the

night as they could not see an exit.

The next morning, they were

awoken by the sound of footsteps

again. They jumped up to run but

as it came round the corner, they

realised it was one of the hotel staff

that had seen the CCTV footage and

came in search of them.

When they returned to the hotel

they bathed

and slept all

day and for the

rest of the

holiday they

stayed on the


When they


home, they

found out

why the

beach had


closed for

the day. It

was because

it had been


and was being

cleaned. They

soon realised

they were also

lucky to be

home as the

world had

returned to


22 The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021

feature — 5

July: Sweet Food for Thought!

Now is the time to dig out the picnic hampers and

clean the BBQs! July is officially National Picnic

Month, and on 2 July BBQ week begins – if taking

a BBQ on a picnic beware, many picnic locations

ban fires and BBQs for safety reasons. And while

planning your picnic remember that July is also

the World Plastics Free Month so avoid using

plastic wrappers, utensils, etc. There are lots of

ideas about how you can support this worldwide

effort — including plastic free picnic ideas — on:

By 7 July you may fancy a sweet break because

it is World Chocolate Day! It was on this day in

1550 that chocolate was first brought to Europe.

The cocoa bean, from which chocolate was first

made in Mexico about 4,000 years ago, was said by

the Aztecs to be a gift of the god who gave them

light and drink – it came in the form of chocolate!

Christians will know that they were correct in

chocolate being a gift from god, only they would

question who the true God is!


After spending a whole day of eating chocolate

without feeling guilty you can then take a break

for three days as you prepare to enjoy National

Doughnut Week from 10-18 July. By the end of

doughnut week, you will be able to take a slightly

longer break to recover before celebrating Vanilla

Ice Cream Day on 23 July.

By coincidence, vanilla, like the cocoa bean,

originally came from Mexico and it is said to be

the second most expensive spice after saffron.

Also, like chocolate, the best way to celebrate

Vanilla Ice Cream Day, is to eat it either on its own

or with one or more of your favourite foods – food

maybe you could add a chocolate flake!

To round off a glorious month for food lovers,

30 July is National Cheesecake Day. Cheesecake is

believed to have originated in Ancient Greece, and

the earliest evidence is in a book by the Greek

physician Aegimus (5th Century BCE), who wrote

a book on the art of making cheesecakes.

By the first century BCE it was established in

Rome as evidenced by the oldest known Roman

cheesecake recipe credited to a politician, Marcus


There are hundreds of cheesecakes recipes

online, a good starting place is:


August: Great and Small!

With fewer opportunities for overseas holidays

this year, many of us will be visiting the UK’s

beaches and shorelines and so what better time

could The Wildlife Trust choose than to have its

annual National Marine Week from 25 July to 9


Despite its name, it lasts for 15 days to allow for

variations in tide times around the country, so

you need to bear that in mind when planning your


There is a lot of information to help you


campaign/national-marine-week where the trust

says they are particularly interested in sightings

of Pacific oyster, wireweed, slipper limpet, Chinese

mitten crab, oarweed, snakelock anemone,

stalked jellyfish, shore crab, beadlet anemone

and common limpet, but feel free to report all

The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021 23

Image credits

Mountain picnic table: Lina1984malina on

Elephants: Jonathan Pledger on

Lions: Ciolca on

Owls: Pedro Turrini Neto on

Seaside: Three Cliffs Bay, Eutuxia Ntzereme on

Bats in the night sky: Amy Smith on

other sightings as well. August is also a month to

celebrate several other creatures, great and small.

The 4 August should be a hoot as the International

Owl Awareness Day is being celebrated around the

UK at bird sanctuaries, wildlife parks and even by

book sellers who are suggesting you spend the day

reading a wide selection of owl-centred stories!

Four days later cats take centre stage while on

the 24th dogs get their turn. If larger animals are

your love, then look out for lions on 10 August,

elephants on the 17th and orangutans on the 19th!


For most animals lovers, however, 22 August

is perhaps the most important day of the month

because it is when The International Society for

Animal Rights is holding its annual ‘Homeless

Animals Day’. This special day was introduced to

spread awareness about pet overpopulation and

the society’s meaningful work which includes

saving the lives of millions of animals.


To round off a month of animal celebrations

the ‘night owls’ among us can sit up all night long

on 28-29 August and take part in the International

Bat Night. This annual night out started in 1997

and if you want get involved visit:

. . . and fresh

air memories

of UK holidays!

Camping and caravanning holidays have been

around for many years and for obvious reasons

seem to be increasingly popular this year, so on

this, and the following pages we share some past

experiences of this traditional pastime ...

How did we ever find

time for church . . .

By Paul Masters, son of Claude a regular contributor

My memories are from our early caravanning days and

membership of the Berkshire branch of the Caravan

Club which seemed to meet every weekend ... how we

ever found time for church, I don't remember!

However, I remember well the first Sprite caravan.

It was towed by what I would now think a most

inappropriate vehicle — a 1500cc automatic Hillman

Avenger. Dad had to buy a special oil cooler to stop

the automatic gearbox overheating!

I remember that Dad converted a drop down

double bed from a wall into a bunk bed made from

a steel tube and a canvas sheet — a typical make

do and mend, but it worked well for many years,

although I never got to use it. Being a male offspring,

I was banished forever to sleep in the awning with

whatever animals we took with us.

The rally weekends seemed to be a lot of people

showing off their latest asset and that the bigger

units always belonged to the smallest family with the

very best rigs reserved for retired folk.


The highlight was always to claim the souvenir

badge for the weekend which would be proudly stuck

with the smallest piece of Blu Tack possible to the

most visible part inside the caravan.

I remember the water being delivered to the sink

via an awkward hand pump and it felt very posh

when the next caravan upgrade sported a foot pump!

Our last caravan had hot and cold running water!

Toilets were another nightmare. Our first van had

nothing more that a bucket and a small pack of 'Elsan

Blue' to keep the unpleasant smells at bay. No doubt

that the job of emptying it would not have been

Dad's favourite job of the weekend.

All in all, I have many pleasant memories of those

weekends away, but most of all I remember watching

the adults getting increasingly more inebriated as

it went on. They sobered up just in time for the haul

back home late on Sunday evening, knowing that the

working week ahead would end with the preparations

for yet another weekend away!

24 The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021

feature — 7

Making friends, overcoming

dangers, and drinking wine!

By Claude Masters

When waiting in a traffic queue with a caravan hitched up, the

driver of the car behind got out and came to tell me that when my car

was indicating to go one way the caravan was indicating the other.

On arrival at the previous site, I had unhitched the car and driven it

clear without removing a 7 pin plug that connected the car light to

those of the van. All the wires were ripped out and I had the tedious

task of reconnecting them — erroneously as it turned out.

The first caravan my wife, Barbara, and I owned was second hand. It cost

£240 in 1975 and was very basic. It was the very opposite to the latest

ones equipped with central heating, dishwashers and microwave ovens.

Called a ‘Sprite’, it had glass windows, including a large one at the front

which one of my sons tried to open with his head. It shattered!

There were no electrics except the rear lights and

indicators. The lighting was two gas mantles and the

only way to heat it was via the gas rings on the hob.

The toilet was ‘bucket and chuck it’! It was kept in a

recess by the door which meant no one could get in or

out when it was in use. Water was stored outside in

a container and it was drawn into the sink by a hand

pump on the tap.

The most dangerous feature was its lack of

ventilation. One cool evening five of us were sitting in

it with gas lights and two hobs burning when it slowly

got darker and darker. Fortunately, I realised what

was happening. That the oxygen in the air was being

replaced by carbon monoxoide. I threw a window

open and the lights came up instantly.


The first trip in our van was to holiday in

Tewkesbury and my inexperience as a caravanner

soon became apparent. The van was loaded with toys

and games for the youngsters, a library of books and

anything else we thought might be useful or needed.

Not knowing what the site facilities might be like, we

took a 5 gallon container of water and a spare cylinder

of Calor gas.

I knew that a towing vehicle needed to be heavier

than that being towed so that was loaded too.

Subsequently the best speed I could do along the

M4 was 35mph! However, this was the first of many

happy caravan holidays over the years.

The Caravan Club published a manual each year

listing the location and map reference of hundreds

of small sites around the country and, when we had

decided where to go, I bought an ordnance survey

map to find the precise position of the site so that we

knew what to expect in that vicinity. The back garden

of a pub was my favourite!

Sometimes we would take Candy and Floss our

pet cat and dog. At the site the van's spare wheel was

put on the grass and the dog tied to it with a couple

of metres of rope so that it couldn’t wander off and be

a nuisance. The cat was free to pester the birds in the

Dunkery Beacon, the highest point on Exmoor

trees. It knew where it’s food was and always ready to

go when we left. On the journeys it sat contentedly

on my lap as I drove.

Initially we went on rallies and holidays with the

Caravan Club but as friends from St Bartholomew's

Church began to get vans the days away became

even more enjoyable.

At Whitsuntide and Easter the choir and

congregation would be sadly diminished but we

would all go to the local church on Sunday, or

Salisbury Cathedral if we were in the New Forest.

These were the happiest of times with all

our friends from church. John and Peggy Lot,

remembered by many at St Andrew's, were among



Our favourite site was Burrowhayes Farm near

Porlock in Exmoor. It was a large, well equipped,

National Trust site with toilet blocks, a well stocked

shop, and a laundrette, At the foot of the Horner

Valley it is ideally placed for walks around the

adjacent hills and it was a couple of hours walk from

Dunkery Beacon the highest point on Exmoor hills.

One pool, formed in an adjacent stream, was big

enough to swim in but the water was too cold for me.

There were four or five families there for a week

or fortnight and about equal numbers of adults and

youngsters. Each did their own thing in the day —

visiting Minehead or Porlock, maybe going up the

notoriously steep hill and driving into Lynton or


In the evenings there might be a communal BBQ

but certainly we would gather in two of the vans,

the adults in one and youngsters in another. On one

occasion a nearby caravanner complained about the

noise from the kids van and to the site manager's

embarrassment one of the kids was his son! The lad

and his wife now run the site.

Homemade wine was popular. The men would delve

into each other’s car boots to see what they could find

and an enjoyable time was had by one and all.

One of my wife’s relative

Colne in Essex and we had s

there when I spent most of

in the harvest.

The caravan was parked

field and one year it was nex

roosting there tried to scare

wonderfully displaying its t

My son and daughter wa

sleeping on the hay in the b

of the bales to make a safe r

did not welcome their intru

had settled down it started

a hell of a noise so they soon

ladder back to the van. Geo

scruffy and used a length of

one occasion when waiting

pulled up and the driver gav

At the end of our fortnig

BBQ for George and his fam

to the funfair at Clacton-on

George gave the youngsters

The Masters' family rig


The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021 25

elen Hotson,

s owned a farm near Earls

everal summer holidays

my time helping to gather

in the most convenient

t to a barn. A barn owl

us off by diving at us,

hree foot wing span.

nted a bit of adventure

arn so I rearranged some

ecess. However, the owl

sion and soon after they

screeching and making

scrambled down the

rge the farmer was always

string for a belt and on

at the side of the road a car

e him some money!

ht there we would host a

ily and on the last day go

-sea to spend the money


Gatherings for social events and times of worship are a feature of a CCCF rally

. . . and how did we find time for caravanning?

By Bob Peters

So, where are you going for your summer holiday

this year? Are you looking for somewhere in the

UK with a low risk of Covid infections that is safe

for young and old alike? Somewhere with plenty

of clean, fresh air that the scientists say is good

for us, and somewhere with like-minded people?

Have you thought of camping or caravanning?

Have you heard of CCCF? If you have, you will

know that a CCCF holiday is an ideal solution for

such a holiday!

CCCF stands for Christian Caravanning and

Camping Fellowship, a title that sums up the

organisation well.

It is a nationwide, nondenominational Christian

nonprofit making organisation run by volunteers

since 1969. It aims to encourage like-minded

Christians to meet for fellowship in a relaxed

caravanning and camping holiday environment

– you need to provide your own tent, caravan or

motorhome of course. In my experience, the best

way to find out what makes it such a great way

to caravan, or camp, is to book into one of their

weekend rallies which are held all around the

country on farms, camping sites and schools.


You will be assured of a warm welcome and

you will soon make life-long friends with other

Christians from different churches to your own,

and you will want to book one of its holiday rallies

that last for a week or longer. It does not matter if

you are a family with young children, or teenagers,

or more elderly, or disabled. Everyone is welcome

in the CCCF family.

Typically, each day begins with a short meeting

with prayer, a hymn and a brief ‘Thought for the

Day’ by one of the members. At the longer rallies

there are usually evening events with speakers

and live music, and sometimes guest entertainers.

For children there are on-site clubs and organised

games, all supervised by volunteer members.

More than 25 years ago, after some persuasion,

I nervously stood up and gave a ‘thought for a day’

at a weekend rally. It was a turning point in my

life. Unfortunately, because I am now so busy as a

lay minister at St Andrew's I no longer have time

to be a member of CCCF.

There are, of course, Covid restrictions in

force at the time of writing, but these are being

relaxed all the time. Take a look at the CCCF

website on and ignore any

preconceived ideas you might have.

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!

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.

Church of St Andrew

Serving Sonning, Charvil & Sonning Eye

the church of st andrew SERVING CHARVIL,

SONNING & sonning eye since the 7 th century

26 The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021 Please mention The Parish Magazine when responding to advertisements




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around the villages — 1

A letter from Reading Blue Coat's 'new' head . . .

Dear neighbours June 2021

It has been described as ‘a year like no other’, and the past months have

certainly brought challenges for everyone. As I write, the forecast is promising

improvements, athletes and rowers are training hard, the term is in full swing

and the Government’s road map heralds a welcome relaxation of restrictions

over the weeks ahead. We all hope for a rather different year to come!

My purpose in writing is two-fold. Firstly, I wanted to introduce myself as

your relatively new neighbour. My family and I moved into the Headmaster’s

house last August, having taken the reins from Jesse Elzinga who is now in

Sevenoaks. Busy terms and lockdown are not the ideal means to get to know

others living close by, but I look forward to meeting many of you in the weeks

and months ahead.

To be honest, any of you who are on Sonning Buzz might already be

aware of our slightly adventurous black lab, Arthur, who has been known to

wander to the far corners of the village with members of the Thomas family

in hot pursuit, thanks to Sonning Buzz leads. If you have provided particular

sightings, thank you!


Andrew Wilbey

I also wanted to flag up our planned end of year celebrations for the last

week of term. As you might know, the School’s Prize Giving moved online last

summer, so we are delighted that as restrictions ease we will be able to increase

the number of people who can safely gather on the school site for events.

Two of note in our final week are: ‘Swing into Summertime’ on Tuesday 29

June, which is an evening of music with various groups and styles represented.

This will be held on Way Hall Field in front of the main School House until

about 10pm. I very much hope that any sound that you hear will be pleasant!

The second event is on Saturday 3 July when we will have various leavers’

celebrations during the day, culminating in a leaver's party beginning at

7.30pm, to be held on Back Lawn. In previous years this has been the ‘Summer

Ball’, but restrictions at the time of planning (and committing resources!)

means this is not possible. What we are able to do is have some music and

we have arranged for a band to perform a number of cover songs during the

evening. They have been superb in previous years but I am sure that they will

also be audible to our near neighbours who, I appreciate, might not necessarily

agree! The evening is due to conclude with a 5 minute fireworks display starting

at approximately 10.15pm, and all guests should have left the school site by


I very much hope that any disruption to the evenings of 29 June and 3 July

will be minimal for you, but also that any sound might also be quite enjoyable

and a hopeful reminder that we are starting to breathe again!

If you have any questions, please get in touch on and I look

forward to meeting you in due course.


Pete Thomas

The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021 27

Toys and Teens

charity wins

Queen's Award

Reading Family Aid has won the

highest award a voluntary group

can receive in the UK — The Queen’s

Award for Voluntary Service.

The award was created in 2002 to

celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee

and recognises the outstanding work

done by volunteer groups for the

benefit of their local communities.

Reading Family Aid started

in the 1950's when they helped a

handful of families. The first outing

recorded costs of just £10. It became

a registered charity in 1993 and

recently has been helping up to 1,000

families each year.

Despite the challenges of Covid,

Reading Family Aid was still able

to provide over 1,400 children with

gifts at Christmas and the charity's

generous supporters helped raise

over £33,000.

Garden party talks

Details of Sonning and Sonning Eye

Society's summer garden party being

held on 8 August can be found on its


Following Simon Wenham's talk

on 25 June in Pearson Hall about the

pursuit of pleasure on the Thames,

the society will be holding two more

in the coming months: Owen Green

the map maker on 10 September and

John Painter, Reading Abbey, on 5


For tickets or reservations contact

Penny Feathers on 0118 934 3193 or

FoStAC garden party

Friends of St Andrew’s Church

Sonning (FoStAC) invites readers

to its garden party on Monday 30

August from 3-5.30pm in Allan and

Wendy Williams' garden at 8 West

Drive, Sonning.

Entrance is by ticket which can be

obtained at £15 from Bob Hine 0118

969 8653, Sally Wilson 0118 979 3328,

or Keith Nichols 0118 969 4628.

28 The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021

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The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021 29

around the villages — 2

Dunsden Village Hall seeks another part-time trustee

The Dunsden Village Hall Board of Trustees is seeking a new voluntary

member to help manage the historic Victorian building that originally served

as the village school. The hall is close to the village green and community

orchard and consists of two bright halls, a garden with a terrace and a field

for outdoor events. The centre is a registered charity run by two paid parttime

staff under the direction of the voluntary trustees.

Dunsden Village Hall has it roots in

a long history of local community

service which began in 1829 when

Dunsden’s first school, which was part

of Sonning School, opened in a cottage

in Tagg Lane. It had 30 pupils.

When All Saints Church, Dunsden

was consecrated in 1843, it became

obvious that there was a need to

provide proper education facilities in

the parish, hence the school building

which today is used as the village hall.


Much of the funding was provided

by the Palmer family of Holme Park,

Sonning — part of the building today

is called the Palmer Room which was

first used as a Sunday School on 20

December 1846.

By 1869 the school had grown and

the main hall, was added.

After a chequered history recorded

in A short history of Eye & Dunsden

Village Hall and which is based on Brian

Law’s Eye & Dunsden Two Centuries of

Change, published in 2001, the school

was closed in 1977.

Subsequently, Eye & Dunsden

Parish Council bought it for £8,000

and refurbished the near derelict hall

at a cost of £30,000.


A separate charitable trust was

set up with the objectives of being:

‘for the use of the inhabitants within the

present boundaries of the said Parish of

Eye and Dunsden in the County of Oxford

without distinction of political religious or

other opinions including use for meetings

lectures and classes and for other forms

of recreation and leisure time occupation

with the object of improving the

conditions of life for the said inhabitants’

The community contributed

generously to a fundraising campaign,

many of them by buying tiles for

the new roof which still bear their

signatures. After much refurbishment

the Parish of Eye & Dunsden proudly

opened its first Village Hall in 1980.


In 1987 the Robert Phillimore

family generously gave to the parish

council a field by the hall which is used

for village fetes and outdoor events.

Today the hall is used regularly

by clubs and groups and the entire

building and grounds are popular for

weddings and community functions,

live music and entertainment.

Anyone with commitment and

enthusiasm is welcome to apply for the

voluntary trustee post, especially if

you have experience of:

— Events promotion and management

— Fundraising and grant applications

— Personnel management and

compliance issues

— Property and asset management

— Online promotion including

websites and social media


If you would like an informal

chat about the roles available, how

to apply for the trustees position,

or for more information about

Dunsden Village Hall, contact David


30 The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021

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The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021 31


Dr Simon Ruffle grasps the nettle . . . of dying

One of the most controversial subjects to discuss in any

community is how people die. It is the inevitable and an

unescapable end of life, as much as birth is the beginning.

Too long, as a nation, we have filed the discussion in the ‘to

do’ cabinet.

Rarely in discussing other issues do we ignore the full scope

of an argument. 60% of people in the UK have no will when

they die.1

Compare our attitude to South America. Día de Muertos

(day of the dead) is celebrated. Anyone watching James

Bond Spectre (2015)2 could not fail to see the scale of the

celebrations of the dead that coincides with All Saints and All

Souls days — the first two days of November.

Depending on which surveys you read between 70%

and 80% of the public are in favour of assisted dying, yet

parliament allows a free vote on this subject, leaving it to

the individual MP. This is not an easy decision for anyone

to contemplate making; and I doubt any MP wishes to go

against their constituents' wishes. Strangely, we can have a

referendum to decide to choose our European status but not

on our own choices about our lives.

The issue is so personal to everyone and many different

influencing factors lead a person to their own decision. I

doubt I could list everything but personal experience, legal,

professional, religious and societal factors are some of these.


However, I am not certain that everyone is aware of the

terminology used. While researching this topic, I found that

the House of Lords voted against changing the Assisted

Dying Bill to have the title Assisted Suicide.

Wanting to die and wanting to determine your death are

two totally different issues. Choosing a method to die when

your life expectancy is determined does not mean someone

is actively suicidal. The definition of suicide does not help.

Intentionally taking action to end your life is suicide. A lot of

suicidal attempts are not intentional. The person often lacks

the capacity to make a rational decision due to the

effects of drugs, alcohol, financial issues and mental

health problems. This problem gets projected onto

someone who wishes to choose when and how to die

when they have been given a terminal diagnosis, even

if not a totally determinable time to live.

Euthanasia is a step beyond this. This is someone

else ending your life.

In some countries and USA states, notably

Oregon, the term favoured is physician assisted

suicide. Only 0.4% of deaths in Oregon, USA are

from assisted dying. It was legalised and since

then hospice use has increased and the numbers

using the legislation remains small, but the

fear, anxiety and pain scores associated

with dying have decreased.

The figures from Oregon also show that the

slippery slope and exploitation arguments are not

valid. Louis Theroux made a hard watching but

sympathetic documentary on this.4

The religious argument is out of my remit as are the

legal aspects and the argument that we have to extend the

protection of the law to those who are dying is irrefutable,

but it is parliament that chooses legislation.

Among the medical profession surveyed in 2020,3 50%

believed there should be a change in the law. 39% were

opposed to physician assisted dying but only 36% of doctors

were prepared to be involved, 45% would not participate and

11% were undecided. This poses really thorny questions —

Who is going to prescribe medicines to take a life? Who is

capable of deciding whether a terminal illness is correct, or

the patient has capacity and is not being coerced?

When I was at medical school palliative care education

was pretty pathetic, fuelling the belief that if something can

be done it must be done. Palliative care services were seen as

a Cinderella service — neglected, underfunded, and poor.


In the last few years palliative care services have

improved. This is mainly through the use of the third sectorcharity.

Research into palliation has increased.

Receiving palliative care is not an immediate sentence of

death. It is an acknowledgment that the disease process has

a life limiting aspect to it, but it doesn’t just mean length of

life. Palliation is the treatment of symptoms that remove

quality of life.

It is time that this Cinderella service got it’s happy ending

(no pun intended) and is elevated to its rightful position and


Patient choice has been high on the health services

agenda for many years now but sometimes it’s a choice

between a kilo of mud and 2.2lb of mud, no real choice. I

mention this because a huge question for me is if palliative

care services were of ‘gold standard’ would people want to

choose differently?

At the moment we have the unacceptable legal/moral

position of ‘turning a blind eye’ to those who assist

someone to travel to a foreign country with the sole

purpose of dying. It is a criminal act whereas

suicide was decriminalised in 1961. Doctors in our

country are not allowed to aid dying or provide

material or information that may lead to it. They

face prison and their licence to practice to be

removed. We cannot provide an opinion on whether

someone is capable of making the decision.

People in their most needed time of life are faced with so

many decisions. Palliative care and assisted dying

are not binary choices and correctly used,

together, could offer peace at the end of life; a


Even with the best care and the support

and love of family, friends and the community

around them, some people suffer in their final

days and there are alternatives to being rendered

confused and sedated, which just prolongs the

inevitable decline and death.

I hope I haven’t offended or hurt anyone by

discussing this topic and indeed hope that some

may take comfort in knowing that with correct help

the end of life can be well managed; but that needs

not only the medical profession but all of society,

turn to page 33

32 The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021

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In the garden

The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021 33

Recipe of the month

Basil Pesto and Fig Tart

Ivy on your house is not

really bad after all — RHS

In an effort to restore ivy's reputation, the Royal

Horticultural Society (RHS) is showcasing the species

at its flagship garden in Wisley, Surrey. It hopes to set

a new trend, and to get people to stop seeing ivy as ‘the


RHS experts from Reading University and Wisley have

concluded that ivy is not such a bad thing for growing up

verticals walls as previously thought. They say that ivy is

a ‘super plant’ that not only has insulating benefits, but is

good for the environment, offering habitats for a variety

of wildlife, as well as being a food source for birds and

pollinators during months of the year when there is very

little else for them to eat.



In its new Centre for Horticultural Science and

Learning at its flagship RHS Garden Wisley, you can now

see 390 varieties of ivy, with a vast array of leaf shapes,

sizes and colours. 'We want people to see that ivy can

be an attractive and even eco-friendly addition to your

home.' RHS said.

The study looked at the impact of three plant species

(Hedera helix – common ivy, Parthenocissus tricuspidata

– Boston ivy, and Pileostegia viburnoides – climbing

hydrangea) on temperature and humidity when grown as

building cover in the summer and winter.

All the plants reduced the air temperature internally

and externally during the summer daytime by at least

1o⁰C compared to bare ‘buildings’.


The evidence showed that the best plant for summer

cooling was provided by ivy. It was able to reduce the

internal and external wall temperature by 7.2⁰C and 5.7⁰C

respectively. Not only did ivy provide the best summer

cooling for buildings, but it also demonstrated the

greatest summer reduction in daily variation of relative

humidity (RH).

During warm winter afternoons, RH was 5.7% lower

inside ivy-covered compared to bare ‘buildings’. This

means that ivy covered walls would keep buildings less

humid in winter months.

For more information visit:

With early figs in season this is a delicious recipe from the Good

Housekeeping Cookery Team which can be served hot or cold,

making it ideal for Picnic Month (see page 22)

Ingredients (Four Servings)

— 320g sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry

— 4 tbsp basil pesto

— 3 fresh figs, each cut into six wedges (we defrosted some

frozen figs from last year's autumn harvest and they

worked well)

— 75g (3oz) of Stilton cheese (or blue cheese)

— Handful of rocket, or other dark green salad leaf, plus

extra to serve


Preheat oven to 200⁰C (180⁰C fan) gas mark 6.

Unroll the pastry onto a baking sheet and score a border one

inch in from the edge with a knife — don't cut right through

the pastry. Prick the pastry well with a fork inside the

border. Spread the pesto in an even layer inside the border,

then scatter over the figs. Crumble the Stilton or blue cheese

over the figs. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is risen

and golden. Scatter rocket over and serve in quarters with

extra rocket.


from page 31

Dr Simon Ruffle . . .

religious and secular to be open and discuss this issue

dispassionately and use the evidence that other nations

have collected. Considering the decisions the government

and parliament make everyday; inter alia go to war, tell the

nation difficult facts, hide them, re-new nuclear weapons,

fund or de-fund services, what to teach our young, I do not

think we have ever been offered, via manifestos or otherwise

a balanced, reasoned argument to discuss end of life matters.

The death penalty however was legal for a few causes until

1998 and debated in parliament every year until 1997 since

the abolition of the penalty for murder in 1969.

To explore this further from a doctor and son of a

terminally ill person I recommend: Being Mortal, Illness

medicine and what matters in the end by Atul Gawande. It is an

uplifting read despite the subject material.





4 Altered States

34 The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021

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Truth can come from a range of places. In Shakespeare, it’s the fool who often

has the insight that the main characters lack. In the Old Testament, it’s the

prophets that proclaim the truth from God’s perspective.

Maybe today, we should be listening

more to the comedians — to the

people who stand back from our dayto-day

happenings and see the world

from different angles. They can make

us laugh, but they can also teach us

truths about ourselves that can be

distinctly uncomfortable.

Take the new book by comedian,

and Catholic, Frank Skinner. It’s

called A Comedian’s Prayer Book and is

published by Hodder & Stoughton.

The book runs to just over a 100

pages, yet in this thin volume, Frank

Skinner — who is very open about

his devout Christian faith — poses

serious questions for both believers

and atheists.

It’s far from being a comfortable

read, though it never ceases to be

amusing and thoughtful.

Setting the scene for the book,

Frank Skinner, an award-winning

comedian, television and radio host,


'Imagine someone on a pilgrimage,

stopping at churches, martyr-related

tourist spots and sacred wells, while

dressed in a medieval jester outfit.

'The intention is serious and

completely devout, but the pilgrim just

feels more at home in the motley than in

The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021 35

Comedy — the gift of seeing the world in another way

By Rev Peter Crumpler, a Church of England priest in St Albans, Herts, and a former

communications director for the CofE


sackcloth and ashes. He feels jest is an

integral part of who he is, and it seems

wrong to deny that part.'

Frank Skinner sees his role as

a comic as integral to this faith,

although some ‘fellow pilgrims’ may

be uncomfortable with someone who

seems to see humour all around him

and can easily make others laugh.

Yet he raises deep issues in

the chapters of this slim volume,

including questions that will

connect with people both within the

Christian faith, and those standing


He describes his prayer life as

'a telepathic dip into a long, ongoing

conversation with thousands of tabs left

open and no helpful ‘new readers start

here’ summaries or simplifications for

the neutral observer.'


His ‘prayer book’ is on my

bookshelf alongside '10 Second

Sermons,’ (Darton, Longman &

Todd) written by fellow comedian

Milton Jones in 2011.

Again, the comedian’s quirky

view on life brings fresh insights and


Milton Jones, a master of oneline

jokes, describes gossip as

'bullying people who are not there', lust

Frank Skinner

Milton Jones

as 'rehearsing for a play in which you

shouldn’t have a part' and salvation

as 'like being returned to the factory

settings — but you have to admit there

is a factory, and that there could be

some settings.'

One of my favourites is Milton

Jones’s description of the Holy Spirit

as 'a real person you can invite in. But

watch out – in time He will go over, pull

the fridge from the wall and say ‘What’s

all this mess under here?’ But at least

He helps clear up.'

Both Milton Jones and Frank

Skinner are comedians of faith —

comedic commentators with a gift of

making us see the world with fresh

insight. And, as importantly, making

us laugh.

36 The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021 Please mention The Parish Magazine when responding to this advertisement


Promise and fulfilment in

the Peaceable Kingdom

By Rev Michael Burgess

When St Peter preached his first sermon on the day

of Pentecost, he showed how the life, death and

resurrection of Jesus had to be understood in the light of

the Old Testament.

The promise of the Old was granted fulfilment in

the New. This is how we understand the unity of the

two Testaments: the messianic hope in one finds full

expression in the other. We read of the Suffering Servant

in Isaiah and look to the life-giving sacrifice of Jesus.

Earlier in that prophet we read of a wondrous Child

who is granted the spirit of the Lord to bring Paradise

once more to the world:

The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down

with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together,

and a little child shall lead them…..

They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain:

for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord

as the waters cover the sea.(Isaiah 11:6,9)

That vision of peace and harmony inspired this

month’s painting, The Peaceable Kingdom by Edward



Edward Hicks was born in Pennsylvania in 1780 and

worked as a carriage and sign maker. After a rebellious

adolescence, he became a Quaker, living as a preacher and

minister before taking up his brushes.

His fellow Quakers were uneasy with this pursuit of

such a worldly profession, and so Edward Hicks tried his

hand at farming. His efforts proved unsuccessful, and he

returned to painting, creating a whole series of canvases

on this single theme. He painted almost a hundred

versions of the Peaceable Kingdom of which over 60 still

exist. The one illustrated above is from 1834.

The foreground is occupied by not just one child, but

several. They are innocent and free, playing with the

animals around — lion, tiger, leopard, bear, wolf, cow and



There is no sign of ‘nature red in tooth and claw’ here

for all is peace and tranquillity. The bear and cow nudge

each other in the bottom corner with no fear and no

assertion of strength.

That vision of peace is being realised in the distant

scene, where we see William Penn and his fellow Quakers

working on a treaty of co-existence with the Indians. The

animals in the foreground symbolise the human traits we

see at work in the background: leadership and strength,

sensitivity and gentleness.

As he worked on later versions of this painting, Edward

Hicks knew that such peace was not an easy and simple

achievement. Arguments and misunderstandings divided

his own flock, and as a result the animals he painted look

tired and anxious with sad eyes and white whiskers.

The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021 37

But here in 1834 there is a freshness and a promise

of paradise restored. The cow and the calf, the bear and

the bear cub, and the other animals are at one with the

children playing.

That harmony can be realised in human affairs also,

the artist is saying. ‘Follow the Inner Light’ and Isaiah’s

prophecy can be fulfilled in our world. It needs both

the innocence and strength we see here; it needs action

and waiting, it needs wisdom and gentleness as we take

counsel one with another.

Follow those qualities to be channels of God’s peace to

make this world the Peaceable Kingdom.

Book Reviews

The Treasures of English History — witnesses to the

history of a nation

By Matthew Byrne, Shire Publications,

supported by National Churches Trust,


This will be a sheer delight for

anyone who enjoys the magnificent

artefacts to be found in metropolitan

cathedrals and remote parish

churches. The wide range of stunning

photographs include 16th century

carvings on the choir seats of a village church to iridescent

stained glass windows commemorating the Second World

War, to ultra-modern art in Liverpool cathedral. These

artistic treasures trace the changing attitudes towards

theology, politics and social life of Britain.

The Lion Storyteller Book of Family Values

By Bob Hartman and Krisztina Kallai Nagy, Lion Children’s

Books, £14.99

Here is a practical way of considering

the moral, spiritual, and cultural

values that shape our lives and society.

It would be helpful for use within

children’s church groups and schools.

The book uses a number of engaging

stories to encourage children to think

and make connections within their

own lives.

38 The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021

the ARTS — 3

Poetry Corner

the sciences

Exploring big questions

Sunlight on St Patrick's Stream

Rambling Reflections

By Steven Rolling

Tune: Lasst Uns Erfreuen – ‘All creatures of our God and King’

Saint Patrick’s Stream your waters gleam

Reflecting of the sun’s bright beam

Alleluia, Alleluia!

And River Thames here flowing by

Your peaceful waters they are nigh

Drink Water of Life and ne’er die

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Farmlands surround, you cows and sheep

Farmers them diligently keep

Geese come to join, fly down from sky

Or travel from water-side nigh

Resting in green pastures you lie

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

On through permitted paths we tread

Following signposts we are led

Alleluia, Alleluia!

Not to trespass on private ground

For there no rambles should be found

Nor the tread of runners feet sound

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

O’er open countryside we roam

Till making our way back to home

Alleluia, Alleluia!

If haply we enjoy bright days

As we progress along our ways

God has made us, creation says

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

You crows, magpies, swans, birds many

Fields for you where you may come, see

Alleluia, Alleluia!

Or perching on telegraph wires

Your flight wish for freedom inspire

In us, in our human desires

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Stop for moments, see hill and dale

Gather memory of country tale

Alleluia, Alleluia!

Back to town, roads we may need go

Everyday life makes it so

Yet times of leisure too we know

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Andrew Smith, wikimedia

parish pump/pixabay

By Dr Ruth M Bancewicz, church engagement director at The

Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, Cambridge.

It is important to have debates about science and Christian

faith and to dig into the hot topics, but we can’t exist solely

on a diet of controversy. I find it helpful, at times, to simply

enjoy the wonders revealed by science and the big questions

they raise about meaning and purpose.

What’s the universe for? What do you do with your feelings

of awe and wonder? Where do we get our sense of the value

of the living world from?

I had the privilege of meeting a group of Christian

scientists and theologians who shared thoughts about

these big questions, and will share some of their thoughts


The Oxford-based theologian Alister McGrath shared

that 'science is wonderful at asking questions. Some of those

questions can be answered, but very often when you answer

them, they simply open up yet more questions. But of course,

there are some more fundamental questions I think science

simply cannot answer … questions like, Why am I here?'


Rhoda Hawkins, a physicist at Sheffield University, has

had a similar experience. “I never cease to be amazed at

quite how impressive the world is, and how impressive the

mechanisms are for how things work ... It really is beautiful

in many ways, and it leads me to think about God. I’m not

saying that I have any proof, but I’m saying that by looking at

the world around me, it tells me more about God and it leads

me to worship him.”

Another scientist who appreciates beauty is Jeff Hardin,

who explained that 'studying the wonders of the living world

is an exercise in art appreciation. For me, God is the creator

of everything … so the joy of discovery is also the joy of

appreciating the world that God has made…and leads me to

thank God for the amazing world that we have to enjoy and

to explore.'

I will close with some words from Jeff Schloss, who – like

the others quoted above – finds that Christian faith makes

science more satisfying for him. 'Once I became a Christian

… I had the sense that I was studying the marvels of the

natural world, which are marvellous in their own right but

become more profoundly engaging and enticing when one

thinks that you’re studying the works of God.'

Perhaps if we can spend more time listening to people

like this, our discussions about science and faith will also be

richer and deeper.

Video quotes on:


1 2 3 4 5 6



9 10

11 12 13


15 16 17 18 19

21 22




1 Spout (6)

7 Bogs or marshes (8)

8 Annoy constantly (3)

9 Group of 12 constellations (6)

10 Capture a piece in chess (4)

11 Church instrument (5)

13 Highest singing voice (7)

15 Confused struggle (7)

17 Skin on top of the head (5)

21 List of food items available (4)

22 Tithes (anag) (6)

23 Very cold; slippery (3)

24 People who consume

a particular beverage (8)

25 Gained deservedly (6)

1 - Spout (6)

7 - Bogs or marshes (8)

8 - Annoy constantly (3)

9 - Group of 12 constellations (6)

10 - Capture a piece in chess (4)

11 - Church instrument (5)

13 - Highest singing voice (7)

15 - Confused struggle (7)

17 - Skin on top of the head (5)

21 - List of food items available (4)

22 - Tithes (anag) (6)

23 - Very cold; slippery (3)

24 - People who consume a particular beverage (8)


25 - Gained deservedly (6)

1 21 11 20 23 14 26 8 7 14 23




2 - Move with short sharp turns (6)

19 Made a victim

16 - Happy




18 - Something done (6)

19 - Made a victim of (6)

20 - Compact (5)

3 8 7 2 1 2 3

2 15 5 8 18 12 23 16 8 1

23 16 2 18 8 10 8 1 18

4 24 1 20 23 4 6 8 21

22 2 15 8 18 7 8 21 4

7 8 21 18 12 2

1 2 19 19 8 18 4 7 22

14 9 4 18 24 24 4 15 18

2 26 4 8 23 14 2 26 1

18 4 1 7 8 17 20 23 20 16

13 22 25 8 20 1 5

3 2 7 23 4 23 14 8 7 3 13


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

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



Each of the nine blocks has to contain all the

numbers 1-9 within its squares. Each number

can only appear once in a row, column or box.


The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021 39

PUZZLE PAGE — the answers will be published in the next issue



1 - Papal (6)

1 Papal representative (6)

2 Move with short sharp turns (6)

3 Electronic 3 - Electronic message message (5) (5)

4 Farm vehicle (7)

4 - Farm vehicle (7)

5 Recondite (8)

6 Calculate

5 -(6)

Recondite (8)

12 Wealthy 6 (8) - Calculate (6)

14 Rattling



- Wealthy



16 Happy (6)

14 - Rattling noise (7)

18 Something done (6)

20 Compact (5)

Search for 25 words hidden in the grid above

that are from the story below ...

Doubting Thomas

If you have ever doubted aspects of your

Christian faith, St Thomas is the saint for you.

His feast day is on 3rd July. Thomas, one of

Jesus’ 12 disciples, was deeply devoted, but also

very honest whenever he got confused. When

Jesus spoke of going to his Father (John 14),

Thomas was not afraid to ask Him where His

Father was. As for the Resurrection, that really

baffled Thomas. He demanded to see the risen

Jesus for himself - and touch the wounds in His

hands and feet. When Jesus appeared, Thomas’

immediate response was one of worship: 'My

Lord and my God' (John 20). Thus, Doubting

Thomas’ honest doubts, turned to honest faith,

have become a reassurance for thousands of

us down the centuries who also sometimes

doubt Jesus. In Doubting Thomas’ complete

affirmation of faith, after meeting the risen,

crucified Christ, we can find support for our own

faith in Him.


1. Which village do you associate with 'Moley and Ratty'?

2. Which village do you associate with 'Tom Brown'?

3. In which village within 4 miles of Sonning was there once a silk mill?

4. Which village is reputed to be haunted by a 'White Dog of Teens'?

5. Which village church was burnt down on Whit Sunday?

6. Which village do you associate with the picture of The Last Supper?

7. Which village during the Civil War had its castle besieged by General Daldier?

8. Which village do you associate with the red cottage of the lieutenant?

Last Month's

































1. The Vicar of Bray

2. Conway Bridge on the

Wargrave to Henley road

3. In 1822 at 72 London

Road, Reading

4. A hurricane swept through

southern England

5. Finchampstead Ridges or

Dogmersfield, Hants

6. Calcot

7. Summer is a-coming in

8. Pennsylvania - the

Quaker founder, William

Penn lived in Ruscombe

40 The Parish Magazine - July/August 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


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


Tiling, Slating and Flat Roofing specialists

36 Chatteris Way, Lower Earley, RG6 4 JA

0118 986 6035 0794 447 4070


For local odd jobs please call Phil on

0118 944 0000

0797 950 3908

Thames Street, Sonning


Reliable and friendly service for all tree care

NPTC qualified — Public Liability of £10million

0118 937 1929 0786 172 4071


Landscaping, garden construction,

patios, lawns, fencing, decking etc

0118 969 8989


All types of Carpentry, Kitchens, Renovations

Built-in Cupboards & Wardrobes, Flooring & Doors

78 Crockhamwell Road, Woodley 0776 276 6110


Experienced lady carer who is local to this area

offers live-in support at competitive rates

Excellent references provided — Contact Louise

0784 226 2583


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 - July/August 2021 41

42 The Parish Magazine - July/August 2021 Please mention The Parish Magazine when replying to advertisements

information — 2

Parish contacts

Ministry Team

The Vicar: Revd Jamie Taylor*

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

*Day off Friday

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

On duty Tuesday, Friday and Sunday

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

— Licensed Lay Minister: Bob Peters / 0118 377 5887

Children's Ministry

— Alison Smyly / 0118 969 3298


— Perry Mills / 0786 035 5457

— Stuart Bowman / 0118 978 8414

Deputy Churchwardens

— Liz Nelson / 0118 934 4837

— Simon Darvall 0793 928 2535

— Sue Peters / 0118 377 5887

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

Parish Administrator

— Hilary Rennie / 0118 969 3298

Parochial Church Council

— Secretary: Hilary Rennie 0118 969 3298

— Treasurer: Richard Moore 0118 969 2588

Director of Music, organist and choirmaster

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


— Helen Goodwin 0134 462 7697

Parish Website:

The Parish Magazine:

— Editor: Bob Peters / 0118 377 5887

— Advertising and Distribution: Gordon Nutbrown / 0118 969 3282

— Treasurer: Pat Livesey / 0118 961 8017

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

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

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

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

The Parish Magazine is distributed by Abracadabra Leaflet

Distribution Ltd, Reading RG7 1AW

The Parish Magazine template was designed in 2012 by Roger

Swindale and David Woodward

Advertisers index

ABD Construction 10

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 10

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 10

Sunrise of Sonning Senior Living 34

Thames Valley Water Softeners 10

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 - July/August 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

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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,

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Call 0800 230 0206



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

44 The Parish Magazine - July/August Please mention 2021 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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