The Parish Magazine April 2022


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

The Parish Magazine - April 2022 1




The John King Trophy and Gold Award

Best Magazine of the Year 2018

National Parish Magazine Awards

Best Content 2021, 2016

Best Overall 2020, 2015

Best Editor 2019

Best Print 2018

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

April 2022 — Holy Week and Easter

Church of St Andrew

Serving Sonning, Charvil & Sonning Eye

the church of st andrew, SERVING THE COMMUNITIES OF


2 The Parish Magazine - April 2022

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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 - April 2022 1

The John King Trophy and Gold Award

Best Magazine of the Year 2018

National Parish Magazine Awards

Best Content 2021, 2016

Best Overall 2020, 2015

Best Editor 2019

Best Print 2018

information — 1

Contents April 2022



— Easter lilies, 7

— Easter services, 7

— Royal Maundy, 7

— Confirmation, 7

— For your prayers in April, 7

— Christian Basics Part 3, 9

— Christian Ukraine appeals, 9

— STAY, 10-11

— Claude on friendship, 11

— On Reflection: Leviticus, 13

— From the editor's desk, 13


— Easter in a nutshell, 15

April outings, 17

— A game for all ages, 19

— Platinum memories, 20-21

— All welcome at Easter, 22-23

— Acrostical Easter, 25

around the villages

— Toys and Teens smiles, 27

— FoStAC music evening, 27

— Chairman's Cup, 27

— Thames Crossing Talk, 27

— Village Rounders, 29

— Scarecrows are coming, 29

— Sanctuary Hosting, 29

— Charvil Brunch for Karun, 29

history, 31


— Dr Simon Ruffle, 33-35


April in the garden, 35

— Recipe of the month, 35


The Kiss of Judas, 37

— Book Reviews, 37

— Poetry Corner, 38

the sciences

— PCR tests, 38


children's page, 41


— Church services, 3

— From the registers, 3

Parish contacts, 42

— Advertisers index, 42


April 2022 — Holy Week and Easter




the church of st andrew, SERVING THE COMMUNITIES OF


The Easter Fun Day is back this year!

Picture: Indy Biddulph


The editorial deadline for every issue

of The Parish Magazine is 12 noon on

the sixth day of the month prior to the

date of publication.

The deadline for the May

issue of The Parish Magazine is:

Wednesday 6 April at 12 noon

The Parish Magazine online

The most recent issues can be viewed 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



— Sunday 13 February

Jacob David Knopp


— Thursday 10 February

Bridget Foley, Burial in churchyard

— Monday 14 February

Jean Collin, Funeral service in

church followed by cremation at

Reading Crematorium

— Tuesday 15 February

Ronald Mark Emmanuel, Funeral

service in church followed by

burial in churchyard

— Wednesday 23 February

Patricia Irene Prance, Interment

of ashes in churchyard

The Parish Magazine - April 2022 3

Services at

St Andrew’s

Sunday 3 April

— 8.00am Holy Communion

— 10.30am Family Service

— 4.00pm Choral Evensong

followed by tea in The Ark

Palm Sunday 10 April

— 8.00am Holy Communion

— 10.30am Parish Eucharist with

the Passion Reading

STAY and Sunday Club

Maundy Thursday 14 April

— 7.30pm Holy Communion with

the stripping of the Altar

Good Friday 15 April

— 2.00pm The Final Hour with

readings, prayer and silence

Easter Eve 16 April

— 8.15pm The First Communion

of Easter with the lighting of

the Easter fire

Easter Sunday 17 April

— 8.00am BCP Holy Communion

— 10.30am Parish Eucharist

Sunday 24 April

— 8.00am Holy Communion

— 10.30am Parish Eucharist

— 6.00pm Sunday at Six in The

Ark with refreshments served

on arrival from 5.50pm.


Morning Prayer is held in church

every Tuesday at 9.30am. During Lent

this will include a reflection on the

Lord's Prayer. Tea and coffee is served

in The Ark after the service.

Mid-week Communion in The Ark is

held every Wednesday at 10.00am. Tea

and coffee is available following the


Home Communion at Signature at

Sonning is held on the first Monday

of each month at 11.00am. Visitors

must comply with the care home's

Covid restrictions so please check with

Signature at least four days before.

4 The Parish Magazine - April 2022

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The Parish Magazine - April 2022 5

The vicar's letter


After the non-event of Easter 2020 and the tentative half celebration in

2021, we are now able to fully celebrate Easter again which is just as well

as it is so central to our faith. The writer, C S Lewis, referred to our faith

as one unashamedly based on miracles, and called the resurrection the

central miracle. His friend and fellow writer, J R R Tolkien, referred to

Easter as a 'eucatastrophe,' or good catastrophe, a radical and miraculous

turn in human history.

There's no way around the resurrection in Christianity. If it were not

true, it would be up to us to abandon Christianity and seek some other

way to serve God. If this central fact were not the core of our confession,

we would be wasting our time. The most incredible thing in the world

happened and people were willing to die horribly in the early years of

the faith to uphold that witness, and others, having seen the sincerity of

their deaths, were willing to die as well. That tradition continues today.

More Christians have been martyred the world over in the past century

than in all the Christian centuries before. Why, for a fairy-tale? I think



However, in order to celebrate Easter, we have to know about it.

Some people simply don't even know who Jesus is. Some people in the

world today have never heard the good news about Jesus Christ. They

don't know about the manger, about the baptism, the temptation, the

Sermon on the Mount, the triumphant entry, the upsetting of the money

changers, the contentions in the temple, and the breaking of the bread.

They know nothing of the plotting, the conniving, the betraying, the

arresting, the condemning, the torturing, the murdering, the burying

and then the resurrection. This is why the church must constantly strive

to teach the fundamentals of our faith, not just taking knowledge for


Our Alpha course was a great opportunity for this last year, and this

year, from September, we shall have two Confirmation groups for young

people and adults, both seeking to instruct and nurture. In addition,

Sunday Club and STAY on Sunday offer ongoing teaching, three times a

month, for children and young people and Messy Church does the same

for our littlest ones.


The resurrection is not just a trick or a wonder. It's an alteration to the

world, to society, to us. It's either the most important thing that has ever

happened, or it is time to be honest about things and do something else

on Sundays. Archbishop Michael Ramsey once said 'I see no escape from

the dilemma: either Jesus is fraudulent, or his claim is true: either we judge

him for being terribly amiss, or we let him judge us'.

For me, I am convinced the resurrection happened. The Bible tells

us that over 500 people witnessed the resurrected Jesus and they were

changed, emboldened to spread the news, even in the face of violence

and death. They knew that there was nowhere they couldn’t go, no place

they dare not go, to take this overwhelmingly important message. It was

not something to be kept to themselves. The church today needs to learn

from them. It is imperative that we get the word out, not just this Easter,

but every day of every year! Christ is risen!

Happy Easter! Warm wishes, Jamie

6 The Parish Magazine - April 2022 Please mention The Parish Magazine when responding to advertisements

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The Bishop of Oxford will lead our

parish Confirmation on 20 November.

Confirmation is the process of becoming

a full member of the Church of England.

Preparation groups begin for young

people and adults in September. If you

would like to find out more about what

is involved, please speak to a member of

the Ministry Team.

The Royal Maundy

Some months ago, I was asked by the

Bishop of Oxford to nominate a worthy

recipient of the Royal Maundy money at

Windsor Castle this Maundy Thursday.

This is the third time I have been asked

during my time in the ministry, the

first such service was at Canterbury

Cathedral in 2002, the second, at Oxford

Cathedral in 2013 and now Her Majesty

has decided to hold the service each year

at St George’s Chapel.

Without hesitation I nominated the

editor of this magazine, Bob Peters. I

was delighted to hear recently that he

had received a letter from Buckingham

Palace and so he and Sue will go to

Windsor for the special service later this


Bob has served as a Licensed Lay

Minister here for over 20 years and

also assisted the Diocese with training

new LLM’s, but my main reason for

nominating him was for his work these

past 10 years editing this multiple

national prize-winning magazine.

In this month which marks the

140th anniversary of the death of the

founder of the magazine, and its first

editor, Canon Hugh Pearson, I feel there

is something very appropriate about

this, not least because he was a Canon of

Windsor and he served Queen Victoria

as deputy Clerk to the Closet.

Many congratulations Bob and

thank you for your continued service.


Easter Lilies

For your prayers in April

Indy Biddulph

Each year we display lilies in the church

for Easter in memory of loved ones.

We ask for a donation of £5 per stem

and we will record names of those to be

remembered in the sanctuary. The lilies

will be displayed from Easter Saturday in


Please contact Hilary in the church

office by phone or email or place the

donation in an envelope in the office

letter box giving your name and the

name to be remembered.

If you prefer to pay by bank transfer

please mark your payment ‘Lilies’ with

your surname and make the payment to

Sonning PCC account number 00011793

sort code 40-52-40 and email Hilary the

relevant name to be included.

The closing date for names for the lily

display is Palm Sunday 10 April.

The Parish Magazine - April 2022 7

Palm Sunday 1o April, 10.30am

We meet at The Ark Garden before

processing via The Ark to Church

for a Parish Eucharist with the Passion


Maundy Thursday, 14 April, 7.30pm

Holy Communion which celebrates the

Last Supper. The service concludes with

the stripping of the altar, after which

there is silent reflection before the

congregation depart in silence.

Good Friday, 15 April, 2-3pm,

The Last Hour, a service of Bible

readings, prayers and silent reflection.

Easter Saturday Family Fun, 2pm

Meet inside the Church for a welcome

and short service before moving outside

for an Easter egg hunt, bouncy castle,

riverside walk, egg and spoon races, trips

up the tower, Messy Church activities in

the Church, and a free BBQ. Please book

with the Parish Office 0118 969 3298.

Easter Eve, 8.15pm

The First Communion of Easter. We meet

outside the Church north door where the

Easter fire will be lit. The congregation

will be given candles, which are lit from

the Easter fire. We then move into the

dark church carrying 'the Light of Christ'

to celebrate the first Holy Communion

of Easter. If you have been to this service

you will know that it one of the most

meaningful services of the year.

Easter Day

BCP Holy Communion at 8am

Parish Eucharist at 10.30am. Children

will make the Easter Garden in The Ark.

Please note: There will be not be an evening

service, or Messy Church on this day.

— For the people of Ukraine

— For the Karun School and Children's Home in South India

— For those planning special events to mark The Queen's Platinum Jubilee

— For all who are thinking about being confirmed into the Church of England

Ricardo Reitmeyer,

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the parish noticeboard — 2

Christian Basics — Part 3

Rev Paul Hardingham's series on the foundations of the Christian faith

The Parish Magazine - April 2022 9

Ukraine appeals for help

The Garden Tomb in Jerusalem


‘Easter is not primarily a comfort, but a challenge. Its

message is either the supreme fact in history or else a

gigantic hoax.’ (CS Lewis).

As we celebrate another Easter, what is the significance of

Jesus’ resurrection for us? As Paul writes, ‘if Christ has not

been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins’. (1 Cor


What does the New Testament affirm about the

resurrection? It affirms that Jesus’ death on the cross was

not a defeat but a victory over sin, death and Satan, in

which we share.

‘But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the

agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its

hold on him’ (Acts 2:24).


It points to our own bodily resurrection after

death, ‘The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised

imperishable’ (1 Cor 15: 42).


It guarantees the forgiveness of our sins, ‘if Christ has

not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your

sins’ (1 Cor 15:17).



It ensures that we can know the reality of his risen life

today, ‘just as Christ was raised from the dead through the

glory of the Father, we too may live a new life’ (Rom 6:4).

The story is told of Russia under the Communist

regime. A member of the Communist Party addressed

a packed audience at length, seeking to discredit the

resurrection of Christ. At the end an Orthodox priest rose

and asked if he might reply. He was warned that he only

had five minutes. ‘Five seconds is all I need!’ He turned

to the audience and gave the traditional Easter greeting:

‘Christ is risen!’ Back with a deafening roar came the

traditional reply: ‘He is risen indeed!’

23 Feb 2022: Residential building in Kyiv damaged by Russian aircraft.


In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Barnabas

Fund is sending funds, donated by its supporters, to

churches in the neighbouring countries of Ukraine as they

care for refugees, writes Colin Bailey.

At the time of writing over 2 million people have arrived in

the border regions of Ukraine’s neighbours. The majority

have fled to the 12 border crossings into Poland, and others

to Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova. The UN has

warned that more than 4.5 million refugees could follow.

Food is running short. One Moldovan pastor appealed to

Barnabas Fund for food, clothing and shoes, given that some

people had left their home without shoes or with only light

clothing. Barnabas Fund is appealing for:

— Tinned food that can be opened without a can opener,

cup-a-soup packets and energy bars

— Blankets

— Good quality winter clothes, particularly coats

Donated items should be taken to a collection point, see for nearest details.

Volunteers are also sought for supplying and/or driving

a van or lorry to the borders of Ukraine in Poland, Romania,

and Moldova. Call 0179 331 7778, or sign up at https://www.

Funds are also needed by Barnabas Fund’s partners in the

region, particularly for heating the church halls and other

buildings housing refugees. Donations may be made via

Thank you for any support — prayer, financial or

practical — that you can give in support of Ukraine.



Christian charities that are helping the people

of Ukraine would welcome your support:

Barnabas Fund:

Christian Aid:

Methodist Church UK:

Samaritan’s Purse:

Transform Europe: Network:

World Vision:

Operation Mobilisation:


10 The Parish Magazine - April 2022

the parish noticeboard — 3

STAY on Friday

We had a couple of fantastic youth

club sessions in February. We had the

usual games and fun, plus our final

thoughts on justice and fairness. The

main question was around; How is it

fair that we are born into a country

of affluence, free healthcare, free

education and access to plenty of

opportunities. Yet someone born

in another part of the world isn’t.

So what are we going to do to bless

others who have less?

STAY on Sunday

We have continued our theme on

relationships during February.

Previously covering topics like;

friendships, romantic relationships,

family, celebrities, the persecuted

church and toxic relationships.

Most recently we looked at our

relationships with the LGBTQ+

community and bullies. Each time we

think about the influence and impact

of these relationships plus the kind

of people we want to be.

February Half Term

STAY Detached Project

Our detached work continued

with serving over 40 hot chocolate

mountains to the young people of

Charvil on Thursdays after school.

This work builds hugely on the other

areas of the STAY youth work in

schools, at youth club and during the

school holidays.

STAY Schools Work

Our work in schools has been

wonderfully fruitful recently with

mentoring around 20 students each

week. Lots of pupils making positive

steps towards positive choices

and independence plus assemblies

continue to give us the opportunity

to tell young people about a God who

believes in them and loves them.

For youth related ideas, chats

or musings, email Westy on:

It was wonderful so many young people and parents were asking after February ha

families it is so important to have time away together. So I took my wife Gem and d

on a ski mission. We stayed for the week with Altitude Mission and the Ski Angels (

but on the slopes. We loved our time skiing and serving with the altitude team! Nee

information on the mission see — Westy

The Parish Magazine - April 2022 11

Friends for life

'Who needs a lift up to the church?'

called the farmer sitting in his four

wheel drive off road truck, writes

Claude Masters.

Although only about 100 metres away

the church was at the end of a muddy

farm track and up a steep hill. The

church, St Mary Frome St Quinton, is

part of a team benefice and only has

one service a month, but with such

difficult access there would not be

many in the congregation when the

weather is foul.

The service on this occasion

was the funeral of a friend who

had moved from Reading with her

husband to a delightful thatched

cottage in rural Dorset about 20

years ago.

It was a bittersweet occasion as it

was a joy to meet her family again.

Her son, who played the organ for

the service is a highly respected

musician in the city of Hull.

The music played before and

after the service was chosen by

him and some of it was a recording

of the choir he conducts. After the

coffin left the church none of the

congregation moved from their

seats but respectfully listened to

the music. It was a very touching


The friendship between them

and my family had developed many

years earlier in the choir vestry and

sacristy at St Bartholomew’s Church

in London Road, Reading.

Many of our friendships were

made in that church and my wife,

offspring, and I still meet up with

many of them occasionally even






though they now live in different

parts of the country.

These are lifelong friends

but many of our friends and

acquaintances change from one

decade to another as we progress

though our lives. We don’t fall out

with them, they just drift out of

our lives. It is often said we choose

our friends but are stuck with our

relatives and it is sadly the case that

we are more likely to fall out with

our relatives than we are with our


The church is a fine place to meet

and make friends, especially as we

now have The Ark to meet each other

after a service, and to be able to sit

in a comfortable and welcoming


Youngsters attending the family

services and other events at St

Andrew’s will be making life long

friendships and let us pray they will

also become regular worshippers in

God's family.

lf term activities. But as with all

aughter Phoebe to Meribel in France

pictured above). Think Street Pastors

ded a holiday on return! For more

The Parish Church of St Mary Frome St Quinton

Mike Searle

12 The Parish Magazine - April 2022

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the parish noticeboard — 5

On reflection . . .

Leviticus: Being holy

By Elizabeth Spiers

Romolo Tavani,

Have you tried to read from Genesis to Revelation?

If you have, I can imagine that when you arrived at

Leviticus, you found it dry and boring. What can this

book possibly have to say to us? It was written to

another culture thousands of years ago and focuses on

animal sacrifice. So why would God put it in the Bible?

You’ve heard the saying 'you can take the girl out of Liverpool

(or wherever) but you can’t take Liverpool out of the girl'. That’s a

picture of how it was for the Israelites. They had been slaves

in Egypt for so long that their Jewish heritage and their

understanding of God was highly compromised. God wanted

to remind them of who he was and more than that, of how

holy he is. He wanted them to know how to worship him.

Some of the laws given in Leviticus may have been for

health to protect the people but most were so that they

would be reminded of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

And of his faithfulness, holiness and power. God had made

an everlasting covenant, with Abraham and the Jewish

nation. As with any contract, there were benefits if you kept

to the agreement and sanctions if you didn’t. As humans

they were unable to keep their part of the agreement. They

kept sinning, just as we do. They needed a Saviour, as we do.


It wasn’t time for Jesus to come, so God introduced

animal sacrifice. This was his way for the people to repent of

their sins and appease his wrath. It may seem horrific to us

in our age of animal rights, but think of Jesus’ death.

That too was horrific. He was bloodied, broken, thorns

in his head, nails in his hands and feet, open back from the

lashes and he was naked as he hung on the cross. But he gave

his life to buy us back from a sinful world. Until then, God’s

wrath was appeased by the shedding of an innocent animal’s


In Leviticus 10, two of Aaron’s sons, who had been

ordained as priests, went to minister and got it wrong. Verse

2 tells us they offered profane or ‘unholy’ fire to God and as a

result they lost their lives.

God is holiness. It’s not an attribute, it is who he is. Sin

comes between us and God. And yet, he wants a relationship

with each of us.

That’s why we have Leviticus. It teaches us the lengths

God will go to be able to live with his chosen people and why

at the right time, he sent his Son so that the need for animal

sacrifice would be over.

We are precious, blood-bought children of God. Let us try,

as God asks us in Leviticus 11:44 to 'be holy, as he is holy'.

From the desk

of the editor

Sharing burdens is

good for you . . .

The Parish Magazine - April 2022 13

Sitting on my desk — or rather, there would be if

there was room! — is a pile of parish magazines from

churches around the UK. When I have sent this issue to

the printers my next job will be to read all the waiting

magazines and score them according to agreed criteria. I

will also be making suggestions about how each magazine

could be improved.

One of my roles outside St Andrew's Church is with the

Association for Church Editors (ACE). We have about 850

members, all of whom, edit their church magazine.

I joined ACE 5 years ago and, after winning its annual

award for the best church magazine in 2018, I was invited

to join its management committee, which currently has six

members. Each committee member will be reading the same

magazines in order to choose a winner.

Like me, the other committee members have experience

of the commercial world of publishing which is unlike the

majority of ACE members who previously had very little

editing or writing experience before taking the role of editor

of their church magazine. Thus, much of the committee's

time is taken up with encouraging members to develop and

improve their publications. Running an annual competition

is one way we try to do this.

Each month I also write a newsletter for the ACE

members which includes stories, and ideas for stories, that

the members can include in their own magazines., and it

offers tips on how to edit and design magazines.


Through the newsletter, we also encourage members to

share their editing and production problems with each other.

Knowing that someone else has been in a similar situation

and having someone to share experiences and solutions can

also reduce the stress — meeting deadlines, and finding

and writing stories can be stressful for all church editors.

Having a channel to share problems also helps to relieve the

loneliness that many editors experience.

Whether sharing our problems or helping others it

is, of course, not unique to church magazine editors, it is

something that can help us in all walks of life.

Sharing our burdens is a fundamental Christian

characteristic. When Paul wrote to the Galatians he said:

'Carry each other's burdens and so you will fulfil the law of Christ.'

The good news here is that no one need do anything alone.

You can help friends and family get through life's big and

small obstacles, and they can do the same for you.

There is great deal of wisdom in the proverbial saying: 'A

problem shared is a problem halved.'

If you have a problem, and no-one to share it with,

contact a member of the St Andrew's ministry team (details

on page 42) and if we can't help we will help you find someone

who can. It's good to share your burdens!

14 The Parish Magazine - April 2022

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feature — 1

The Easter message in a nutshell

The Parish Magazine - April 2022 15

By Rev Canon David Winter*

Part of the St Andrew's churchyard where local people have been buried since the 7th Century

'When you die, that’s it. Nothing.

Out like a light.' That’s what the

man in the pub said, and his mates

all nodded, though the one whose

mother had died the week before

wasn’t really quite so certain. Still,

it seemed to make sense.

After all, we know what ‘dead’ means:

dead leaves, dead batteries, dead fish,

dead pets . . . and dead people, to be


While we recognise that it’s all

too easy to go from alive to dead,

we’ve got serious doubts about the

possibility of any return journeys.


Which is why Christians have an

uphill task at Easter. Jesus was a great

man, and people want to remember

how he died. Fair enough.

But it starts getting complicated

when Christians insist that Jesus died

— but didn’t stay dead — in fact, that

he’s alive now. That ‘return journey’

has happened, they say.

That’s the problem about Easter,

Christians persisting in what sounds

like a ridiculous belief. If they just

dropped the resurrection bit and

concentrated on the wonderful

teaching of Jesus and his example of

generosity, compassion and love then

everybody would find Christianity

much more believable. Wouldn’t that

make sense? And wouldn’t that fill

the churches again?

Well it might (or, more likely,

it might not). But in any case,

the trouble is that it wouldn’t be

Christianity at all. The faith of

Christians actually depends on the

resurrection of Jesus, and always has

done, right from the earliest days.

After the crucifixion the body of

Jesus was taken down from the cross

by some of his friends and put in a

rock tomb with a heavy stone rolled

across the doorway.

Yet the following Sunday,

the third day after his death, his

followers claimed that they had met

him, seen him, talked with him.


So certain was their belief that

nothing could make them recant it.

Not ridicule, not torture, not even

death itself. They couldn’t deny his

resurrection, because they were

absolutely convinced that it had


Plenty of clever and powerful

people at the time had a vested

interest in proving them wrong. It

shouldn’t have been difficult to prove

Peter Rennie

that a dead man had stayed dead,

especially when you have at your

disposal the resources of the greatest

empire in history. Yet they didn’t do

it, because it couldn’t be done.

Still today millions of people all

over the world believe that Jesus

did in fact rise from the dead. They

include brilliant scientists and

philosophers as well as plenty of

‘ordinary’ men and women of all ages.

They believe it because they

respect the witness of those first

Christians, and because in many

cases their own lives have been

transformed by a relationship with

Jesus — a relationship that wouldn’t

make sense if he were dead!

Christians don’t put their faith

in a dead hero from the past, but in

someone who is alive and active in

their own lives and in the world.

That, in a nutshell, is the real

message of Easter.

*Rev Canon David Winter has worked

as a teacher, journalist, BBC radio & TV

producer, head of religious broadcasting

and as a parish priest. He lives in

Berkshire, has written 44 books and

writes a diary column for 'Church Times'.

He also contributed to Radio 4’s ‘Thought

for the Day’ for 20 years.

16 The Parish Magazine - April 2022

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feature — 2

The Parish Magazine - April 2022 17

What will you be doing this April?

While Holy Week and Easter dominate April this year, you can find lots of

other things — from unicorns to Shakespeare and Jazz — to keep you busy

during the other three weeks of the month. Here's a few for starters . . .


are not a


Because April

begins with All

Fools Day you may

be thinking that this is a ruse, but

it's true, 9 April is National Unicorn

day. It's a chance, we are told, for

fans of the mythical creatures

to celebrate by making rainbow

cupcakes and decorating them with

lots of sprinkles and glitter.

Stories of unicorns have, of

course, been around for thousands

of years and although none have

ever been seen we are told they can

be recognised by their single large,

pointed, spiralling horn which

projects from their forehead. But

let's not spoil the children's fun;

there is too much suffering in the

lives of many of them which is why

three days later on 12 April we have

the International Day for Street



First held in 2011, this special day

is a response to the desperate need

of hundreds of millions of children

world-wide who are forced to live

or work on the streets. We can only

wonder what will happen to the

thousands of children caught up in

in the invasion of Ukraine.

The United Nations admits that

although there are millions of street

children, official figures are virtually

non-existent. Tragically, these

children are virtually invisible, living

without rights and protection on

some of the most dangerous streets

in the world. Record levels of

inequality, violence, migration, war

and natural disasters have caused the

problem. The children often run away

to escape abusive, dysfunctional

homes and end up on the streets

after being displaced or trafficked.

Among those trying to help the

street children is Toybox, a Christian

charity which has worked with street

children, first in Latin America and

now in Asia and Africa, for more

than 25 years.

'We want to help children

marginalised and abused by those who

should be protecting them,' the charity


Toybox grew out of a Christian

couple’s compassion for the children

they saw suffering on the streets of

Latin America. 'Today, we continue to

act, motivated by that same Christian

faith, to see a world in which no child is

forced to live or work on the streets.'

To support Toybox:


April is also National Pet Month, at

the centre of which, is an educational

campaign that brings together

animal welfare charities, professional

bodies, pet business, schools, youth

groups and pet lovers.

The campaign is coordinated by

the National Office of Animal Health

and the Pet Food Manufacturers’

Association and it aims to raise

awareness of responsible pet

ownership throughout the United




The Boat Race, probably the most

famous amateur sporting event, takes

to the Thames on 3 April. The Women's

Boat Race starts at 2.23pm and the

Men's Boat Race begins at 3.23pm.

First raced in 1829 by crews from

Oxford and Cambridge Universities, it

is considered the epitome of amateur

sport, and each year attracts more than

250,000 spectators to the banks of the

Thames, as well as many millions more

on television.

It is raced over the Championship

Course, which is over 4.25 miles of tidal

Thames between Putney and Mortlake.

This year will see the 167th Men’s Boat

Race and the 76th Women’s Boat Race.


World Earth Day on 22 April started

50 years ago with the mission to invest

in the future by taking action, not

because we care about the natural

world, but because we all live on it.

World Earth Day’s message is that

every one of us needs a healthy Earth

to support our jobs, livelihoods,

personal health, survival, and

happiness. ‘A healthy planet is not an

option — it is a necessity’. Our local

event is being organised by Imperial

College, London who are raising

money for the Berks, Bucks and Oxon

Wildlife Trust. More at:



2 April: World Autism Awareness Day

18 April: World Heritage Day

22 April: National Shakespeare Day

23 April: St George’s Day

30 April: International Jazz Day

18 The Parish Magazine - April 2022

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feature — 1


A game for

all the ages

The Parish Magazine - April 2022 19

Inara Prusakova,

Although it has been suggested that the ancient game of Chess was invented by King Solomon (c990-c930 BC), who

was known as the wisest of all the wise people of his time, there is evidence that it was played about 250 years before

he was born. In this brief history of chess, Vic Ballard, a Rendezvous Club member and President of the Reading Chess

Club, suggests that chess, which is still enjoyed by the young and old alike, goes even further back in time. It is truly a

game for all ages and the ages — young and old, ancient and modern!


To be a fact there must be proof. Is it

fair to assume the chess as we know

it today evolved over the centuries

from a variety of war games played by

moving pieces over a chequered board?

Here are a few facts:

In Kannak, on the tomb of Queen

Nefertari of Egypt, is a fresco depicting

the Queen sitting at a board game in

which figures resembling castles are

used. This is dated 1250 BC.

There is evidence of early war

games played on a chequered board

displaying a variety of different styles

of game.

Some of the early Egyptian games

were played on boards with 144

squares and 48 pieces. The Egyptians

also played on a board of 30 squares

with 12 pieces. Today we play with 64

squares and 32 pieces.

In the 5th Century AD, in Persia

there is evidence that a war game,

known as 'elephant chess' was played

on an 8x9 board with flat pieces —

one of the pieces was marked with an

elephant to denote a general.

There is also historical proof that

elephant chess was played in India in

the 4th Century.


Chess is a living game that has

evolved over the centuries. It spread

to many parts of the world long before

easy communications could have

taken place. As travel became possible,

so the game adjusted to merge the

finer details of the different cultures of

the world.

From 500 AD, the old Sanskrit

name for chess is 'tesch aturanga',

meaning 'four sides'. This indicates

that the pieces could move in all

directions on the board.

The old Persian word 'shah-mat'

meaning 'the King is dead' evolved

into 'checkmate'.

In Indian elephant chess, the

elephant was the forerunner of the

bishop. The rook was a chariot of war

and pawns were soldiers.


When asked on the old radio

programme, The Brain Trust, the

question: 'How do you define the skill

levels of one game compared to another

such as chess and draughts? an eminent

professor answered: 'By the amount of

literature that is written on the subject'.

Compare the number of books written

on chess with any other board game.

Some estimates for chess books are

about 100,000! The earliest books

were by Arabs who had learnt the

game from early Persia in the 8th

Century. The elephant was retained,

while the knight replaced the rook,

and the castle appeared.

An antique chess set including Julius Caesar (centre)


It was during this period that the

earliest masters of chess emerged. The

greatest player being an Arab, Ar-Razi

in 850 AD. He wrote a book wth the

descriptive title, 'Playing with Elegance'.

In the 8th Century when the Arab

world spread into Europe, chess was

introduced to Sicily and Spain.

The oldest written reference with

the name 'chess' is dated 1008. It is a

bequest made on a battlefield in Spain

by Count Er-Mengaud of Urgel who

stipulated that his rock crystal chess

set should be given to the Cloister St


The first western European chess

book was published in Spain in 1283.

It linked innovations to the Arab rules

of play.

The first chess book printed in

English was published in the 14th

Century by William Caxton. Today,

there are enough chess books to fill the

Louvre in Paris, yet still the demand


Final fact: chess has taken the

computer in its stride and confirms

that it is still the game for all the ages!


20 The Parish Magazine - April 2022


Proud to be part of a very

memorable (but very wet)

worldwide celebration

London 1953: The Queen Mother and Princess Margaret pass through Parliament Square during the Coronation parade where Tony Whitwam (above) was part of

the guard of honour, and for which he received the Coronation Medal

Parliament Square picture: Alamy

It rained that day, quite hard and I stood

out in the rain all day. About eight and

a half hours. It was Tuesday 2 June 1953

and I was lining the route for the Queen’s

Coronation, writes Tony Whitwam, a

member of the Rendezvous in The Ark


I was a cadet at the Royal Air Force College

Cranwell and all three service cadet

colleges, the others being Sandhurst (Army)

and Dartmouth (Navy) had gathered at

Sandhurst for training together and to be

near London.

We got up early and went by train to

Waterloo. I can’t remember whether we

marched to Parliament Square or not but

that was our patch. I don’t think it rained

when we arrived on site but it soon did —

and we were in our best uniforms and kit.

I was on the inside of the square and

that side had no people behind us. Our

colleagues, on the other side of the road,

had the public right behind them. Before

the ceremony the road in front of us was

crowded with very grand cars with earls

and other grandees and their ladies

in their robes with crowns of various

patterns. You can tell the rank of the

wearer by the pattern of the crown that

they wear.

I particularly remember seeing a

small 1928 Austin Seven among all

the grand cars. It held four people

without robes and had a big sign in the

windscreen saying 'CHOIR'.

The road was crowded for hours. I

think the people attending had been

given special times to arrive so that they

could gradually fill the Abbey in order

and allow the cars to be driven away.

At lunch time we were allowed

to leave our position one or two at a

time and to eat a packed lunch for a

few minutes then return to our kerb

side place. I don’t remember any toilet

facilities being available.

In the afternoon the troops formed

up in the road ready to be part of the

procession that followed the Queen after

the ceremony. They were as wet as we

were; the whole parade was steaming.

Eventually our duties finished and we

returned to Waterloo station and went

back to Camberley by train.

We thought we had finished for the

day but we were wrong: the kind citizens

of Camberley had granted all three cadet

colleges permission to march through

Camberley with 'bayonets fixed and

colours flying'. It was a great privilege

which we didn’t appreciate at the time,

but I am sure we gave the citizens a good


My friend who had stood opposite

me with the public behind him even

managed to get back to London for a

date with a girl who was behind him

most of the day. Some people have all

the luck!

It was a very memorable day and I'm

proud to have received one of the 129,051

Coronation medals that were presented.

The Parish Magazine - April 2022 21

2.5 billion people will be flying their flags for

Her Majesty The Queen's Platinum Jubilee

Photo 48135706 © Steve Allen |

It's not just the 67 million population of the

United Kingdom that are celebrating The

Queen's Platinum Jubilee. Around the world

2.5 billion people in the Commonwealth of

Nations also call her Queen.

In February 1952 when Elizabeth II

acceded to the throne following the death

of her father, George V, she also became

Head of the Commonwealth. Although

it is not hereditary, Prince Charles was

appointed her designated successor at the

Commonwealth Heads of Government

Meeting in 2018.

In 1952 the Commonwealth was a body

of eight states, including Canada, Australia,

India, and Pakistan, which had been empire

territories. The organisation now has a

membership of 54 countries, with nearly a

third of the world’s population. Only two

members — Rwanda and Mozambique

— were not formerly part of the British

empire. In addition to the UK, the Queen

is Head of State of 14 other countries

which are often referred to as ‘Realms’.

Here the constitutional functions of the

Crown are exercised on the advice of

local representatives known variously

as Governors-General, Governors and

Lieutenant-Governors. The Realms are:

— Antigua and Barbuda

— Australia

— Bahamas

— Belize

— Canada

— Grenada

— Jamaica

— New Zealand

— Papua New Guinea

— Saint Kitts and Nevis

— Saint Lucia

— Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

— Solomon Islands

— Tuvalu

Steve Allen,



We meet every

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0118 969 3298


feature — 4



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10 April at 10.30am

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16 April from 2 pm

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16 April at 8.15 pm




For more details

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feature — 5

Acrostical Easter

In this issue we have looked at Easter in words and

images, but here is an unusual approach — acrostics. An

acrostic uses the first letter of each line to spell a word

or phrase which relates to the text itself. They are often

written as poetry. Our special thanks goes to Harry

Hunter — — for his kind

permission to print his Easter acrostics.


People pack the streets to hail their Messiah

Adversaries keep their distance, out of the way,

Lying in the wings they plot and conspire,

Mobs are fickle, not too difficult to sway.

Scattered with palms, the way is strewed,

Upon the colt of an ass, Jesus prays yet grieves.

Now Israel divides, leaders collude,

Daringly, Joseph of Arimathea believes.

Ajudgement awaits you, you vipers’ brood,

You who made the temple a den of thieves.


Meeting for Passover one final time,

A sacrifice awaiting a traitor’s crime,

Upstairs, far from the madding crowd,

Night wrapped you tight in its ink black shroud.

Dipping your matzah in the blood red wine

You became quick branches in the Saviour’s vine.

Take, eat of my body, drink of my blood

He commanded. How little you understood;

Uneasily, you let him wash your feet.

Remembrance, from now, would be bittersweet –

Suffering in joy, receiving in giving,

Death to self as a new way of living.

A final command, ever old and ever new –

You were to love one another as He had loved you.


Golgotha was a wretched place that day.

One passer-by had helped him bear the cross,

Others had succoured him on the way,

Despairing their victory had turned to loss.

Flogged, mocked, spat upon, betrayed

Rejected, stripped, despised, disowned thrice –

In between thieves he hung. One, unafraid,

Deprecated Him for his futile sacrifice,

And the other, penitent, with whom Jesus prayed –

You shall be with me this day in Paradise.

On the road to Emmaus

The Parish Magazine - April 2022 25

Pavel Kusmartsev,


Even though the cross had staunched his breath,

And the tomb had set its seal on brutal death,

Sins of men yet stung in wounds still fresh,

The word no longer dwelt with us as flesh –

Even these could not prolong that darkest night.

Resurrected life kindled the world alight.


Didymus, the twin, was not in the room

On the Sunday of the empty tomb.

Unless he witnessed flank and limb

Believing wasn’t an option for him.

Then the Lord returned, dispelling doubt:

In front of all, he pointed out

Nailmarks and the spear’s

Gash, recalling God-forsaken tears.

Thomas rarely grasped things first time round –

His doubt was real, his faith profound.

Overwhelmed, humbled he confessed

My Lord and My God – and then was blessed.

And the twin became a saint of steel:

Sincere doubts oft make faith more real.


Every Sabbath they’d heard the age-old story

Many times the rabbi had read from Isaiah

Maybe this year, with great pomp and furore

Armies would arise, led by the Messiah.

Unwary, on the road, they encountered dirty glory

Suddenly the travellers’ hearts were afire.

Religious routine rarely reaps reward,

Only through relationship can our walk begin

And when you first encountered the risen Lord

Didn’t your heart strangely burn within?

26 The Parish Magazine - April 2022

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around the villages — 1

Toys and Teens means

2,558 smiling faces!

The Parish Magazine - April 2022 27

Chairman's Cup challenge still

going strong after 14 years

The 2021 Toys and Teens Appeal that St Andrew's Church

supported by collecting gifts during the December Family

Service, put 2,558 smiles on deprived children’s faces!

The Toys and Teens cash appeal raised over £15,000 and

hundreds of toys to help 2,558 children enjoy Christmas. The

campaign began in October and over the next few months

involved pop-up donation points, fundraising and donations

by local businesses, schools and places of worship, gift

sorting, online purchases, and last but definitely not least,

the distribution of packed toy sacks.

The organisers said that so many people — from those

who donated to sponsors and volunteers — went out of their

way to put smiles on children’s faces on Christmas morning.

You can read more about the campaign at: https://www.

Friends of St Andrew’s Church Sonning

Musical Evening


Ascot Brass Band

Bulmershe School Choirs

Church Junior Choir

Soloist – Celeste Hexter

Saturday 30 April


St Andrew’s Church Sonning

Tickets: Adults £10, Children free (with accompanied adult)

Bob Hine 0118 969 8653

Keith Nichols 0118 969 4628

Proceeds in aid of FoStAC seeking to ensure sufficient funds

are available for any future emergency repairs.

Charity No: 1101944


2,000 years of crossing the Thames

Tony Weston is the Sonning and Sonning Eye guest speaker

in Pearson Hall on 22 April at 7.30pm. His chosen subject is

'From a Ford to a Flight — over, under and above 2,000 years of

getting across the Thames'. Tickets are £4 members, £5 guests.

They are available on or from Penny

Feathers 0118 934 3193 or

After a Covid enforced gap of over 2 years, the Sonning Art

Group Chairman's Challenge Cup has been awarded once

again. The much treasured cup dates back to 2006 when it

was introduced by the, then chairman, George Webster.

The cup was first mentioned in The Parish Magazine in

December 2005: 'A new feature for 2006 is the introduction

of the Chairman's Challenge Cup to be awarded quarterly for

'Best Picture' on a chosen subject. The first subject picked for

this new initiative is 'A Local Scene'. The cup will be awarded

on 13 January at the start of the new season.

The idea behind the cup is to encourage local artists to

experiment with different subjects and mediums, and to

display work that is ready for exhibitions. Accordingly this

time the theme was the Natural World which produced

excellent entries from sea horses to snow leopards. The

winner voted for by the members was Lynda Tolworthy

(pictured above holding her painting) who produced a forest

scene in mixed media using ink and watercolour.

Some of the pictures in the competition, along with

others produced by members, will be displayed in Pearson

Hall in June as part of the Scarecrow trail.




28 The Parish Magazine - April 2022

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Planning Your

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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

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The Parish Magazine - April 2022 29

Scarecrows are

coming . . .

One of Karun's teachers visits a local village

to provide essential supplies during the covid

outbreak in South India

The Inner Wheel Club of Reading

Maiden Erlegh is holding a charity

brunch on Saturday 14 May at

Charvil Village Hall in aid of Karun

school and children's home in South

India. It is gradually recovering

from the covid pandemic that swept

across the entire country.

Karun will be well known to many

readers through the support that

St Andrew's Church and the local

Rotary Clubs have given them for

several years.

While the school was closed

during the pandemic, the teachers

continued to come to school daily

and provide support to the local

communities. This included some

teachers travelling to surrounding

villages to visit children in their

homes for one to one coaching on the

core subjects, providing text books,

and food.


Karun's trustees continue to work

closely with the staff of the school

and we hope to bring you a full

update on the situation in the next

issue of The Parish Magazine.

In the mean time, you can help

them by booking an English brunch,

cooked and served by the Inner

Wheel in Charvil Village Hall on

Saturday 14 May at 10.15am. Tickets

are £15 from 0118 934 2883

Katarzyna Bialasiewicz,

Sanctuary Hosting is looking for

new hosts and volunteer support

workers in the Reading area.

Sanctuary Hosting is a scheme

that started in July 2015 to provide

temporary accommodation in

Reading and across Berkshire. Todate

it has provided over 25,000

nights of accommodation.

Sanctuary Hosting matches

refugees, asylum seekers and

vulnerable migrants with kindhearted

hosts who offer a free bed,

a warm welcome and a chance

to tackle the causes of their

homelessness from a place of safety

and security.

Every host and guest is in turn

supported by a team of dedicated


If you would like to join the

volunteer team, contact:

For more information about the

scheme, visit:

Village rounders is

up and running!

King George's

Playing Field

5.30pm, 17 June


The annual Sonning Village rounders

match for teams from local organisations

is returning this year on Friday 17 June

at 5.30pm on King George’s Playing Field.

Sonning Cricket Club will be opening its

bar and Sonning Primary School PTA will

be cooking a BBQ so don't have tea before

arriving at 5.30pm!

2018: Trumpty Dumpty! What scarecrows

will be popular this year? Sue Peters

Entries for the Jubilee Scarecrow

Trail — Thursday 2 and Friday 3 June

— around Sonning are already being

registered. If you have not registered

yours yet, now is the time to do so.

You can register as an individual,

group or organisation.

And, if you can help on the day —

make a cake, serve refreshments, man

a garden, sell trail maps or offer your

garden to display a scarecrow — the

organisers would welcome your offer


The trail is from Ligugé Way, along

Pound Lane, to Pearson Road, High

Street, Thames Street and the village

end of Charvil Lane. If you don’t live

on the route, the organisers will find a

home for your scarecrow on the trail.

30 The Parish Magazine - April 2022 Please mention The Parish Magazine when responding to advertisements

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Was it really . . . ?

. . . 150 YEARS AGO on 2 April

1872 that Samuel Morse died. This

American artist and inventor helped

develop commercial single-wire

telegraph systems and co-developed

Morse code.

The Parish Magazine - April 2022 31

. . . 125 YEARS AGO on 3 April 1897

that Johannes Brahms, German

composer, piano virtuoso and

conductor, died.

. . . 1oo YEARS AGO on 3 April 1922

that Joseph Stalin became leader of

the Soviet Union, in succession to

Vladimir Lenin.

Sir Patrick Moore


. . . 90 YEARS AGO on 23 April 1932

that the Royal Shakespeare Theatre

opened in Stratford-upon-Avon,

replacing one burnt down in 1926.

. . . 75 YEARS AGO on 1 April 1947

that the school leaving age in the UK

was raised to 15 years.

. . . 75 YEARS AGO on 16 April 1947

that the term ‘Cold War’ was first

used when American financier and

presidential adviser Bernard Baruch

described the relationship between

the USA and the Soviet Union.

. . . 65 YEARS AGO on 24 April 1957

that the first episode of the British

astronomy series The Sky at Night

was broadcast on BBC TV. It became

the world’s longest-running TV series

with the same presenter — Patrick

Moore (above) — until his death in

December 2012.

. . . 50 YEARS AGO on 11 April 1972

that the first episode of the radio

comedy panel game show ‘I’m Sorry I

Haven’t a Clue’ was broadcast on BBC

Radio 4. It is still running.

. . . 40 YEARS AGO on 2 April 1982,

that the Falklands War began when

Argentina invaded the Falkland

Islands. Argentina continues to claim


. . . 30 YEARS AGO on 27 April 1992

that Betty Boothroyd became the

first female Speaker of the House of


. . . 25 YEARS AGO on 5 April 1997

that the Grand National steeplechase

was disrupted after the IRA sent

coded bomb warnings. 60,000 people

were evacuated from the Aintree

course and the race was postponed

until Monday 7 April.

. . . 20 YEARS AGO on 1 April 2002

that the Netherlands became the first

country to legalise euthanasia.

32 The Parish Magazine - April 2022

Please mention The Parish Magazine when responding to advertisements

For a helpful professional service


Wide range of health advice provided

including private consultation area

01491 574 644

36 Reading Road, Henley-on-Thames RG9 1AG


Telephone: 0118 934 1222

Fax: 0118 932 0372


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33 Bedford Road, Reading, RG1 7EX

Established in 1858

A.F. Jones



CHRIS the plumber

I offer the same friendly, reliable service as

always but in addition to general plumbing

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Emergency call out available

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0785 095 6354


57732 AF Jones Parish Magazine Advert.indd 1 19/11/2014 10:43


Dr Simon Ruffle writes . . . Big Yellow Taxi

I’m breaking from my monthly

themed article, I apologise. The song

mentioned in the title written in the

60’s is very pertinent to today’s world.

Taking areas of nature, sustainability

and loved institutions and turning

them derelict — ‘they paved paradise

and put up a parking lot.’

I write as a GP who has had the

privilege of working for the people of

Twyford and the surrounding areas,

including Charvil and Sonning, for

the last 25 years — from a trainee

at the practice to a contract holding


I am not a Berkshire native and,

honestly, had never expected to live

and work here until fate intervened.

I now cannot imagine working

anywhere else, having come to know

many of you and your families. It

may not always be obvious, and we

may not always get everything right,

but the concern I and my fellow GPs

share for your lives and health is deep

seated. The effort we put in to ensure

high quality care at the practice is



I'll add at this point that in the

UK, full time working constitutes

37.5 hours, legally. I regularly work

at the practice for more than 50

hours a week, in addition to time

spent working out of hours doing

administrative work at home and my

role representing local GPs at the Local

Medical Committee and the BMA.

My 'part-time' colleagues often do

more than 30 hours. We also advocate

tirelessly for better services in hospital

and elsewhere for you.

Why? because we want things to

work — if they don't, you suffer.

It is therefore with great concern

that I read of the proposal by a

Conservative linked think tank, The

Policy Exchange, with a foreword

by Sajid Javid, secretary of state for

health, to end the ability of GPs to

work as independent contractors and

to make them employees of larger

organisations, including tax avoiding

overseas firms. 1,3

I think many local MPs of every

‘colour’ will see that the existential

threat to family practices with these

proposals is wrong as a wholesale

policy 2 and will lead to higher costs and

a poorer service.

I fear this not for my own income,

or, even that I am a patient of the NHS,

but because this threatens to destroy

the long term link between GPs and

their patients.

The proposal refers to GPs in

Birmingham managing patients in

Essex, digitally, and GPs working

in other countries consulting with

English patients. For example, the

future envisaged is you, speaking to a

GP in Australia, who you have never

met and never will.

Please think about this. Decide if

this is what you want for you? For your

elderly parent? For your child?


The value of knowing your area and

patients is immeasurable but I know

what it is like to consult a patient when

you have no idea what their area is like

or their family circumstances. I risk

25 years of gained knowledge being

thrown away.

Imagine our church being run by a

minister in New Zealand and having

different clergy taking services each

week in person or by video link.

Hospital and secondary care

services are expensive, so moving

these costs into a primary care sector

could be seen as value for money.

However, the Covid pandemic has

seen many issues that the Hospital

would normally deal with sent out

The Parish Magazine - April 2022 33

Derelict, Simon Ruffle

into primary care. We have not been

able to effectively soak up this work as

there has been no additional funding

for us to do this. I suspect you have

seen the results of this in the fact

that it is even more difficult to get an

appointment with us than it was before

the pandemic.


The changes proposed will see

hospital trusts essentially being our

contract providers and primary care

being at the beck and call of secondary

care for following up work that they

have started, investigating things that

they wish to be done that is outside the

expertise of a general practitioner.

We are expert in community care

and a jack of all trades which is highly

cost effective for the health service. We

will be unable to do the vital work we

do should secondary care bodies, that

have no idea how to run primary care

services, suddenly take over.

They seem to ignore the fact that

90% of all NHS contacts are made in

primary care already. We cannot do

more without extensive resources being

shifted into our service.

I know some people don’t like

me or my style of medicine, but we

are a diverse group at Twyford, who

support each other in learning about

our patients, their circumstances, and

medical conditions. How I do that with

a colleague in Birmingham, let alone in

Australia effectively is beyond me.

turn to page 35

34 The Parish Magazine - April 2022 Please mention The Parish Magazine when responding to advertisements

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from page 33


Dr Simon Ruffle

So far, these proposals and the

proposals to integrate primary

care into integrated care service

organisations have not been open to

public consultation. Some of these

will go ahead in April 2022. I am

sure that the sunny uplands of what

they propose will be what they will

tell you; they have a much bigger

communications budget than your

general practitioner and the BMA


I fully appreciate online and remote

consultation for simple medical

conditions, and, indeed, most of these

that we see could be dealt with by good

patient education/information and

well-trained pharmacists. But we are

struggling to cope with the complex

needs of our community as it is.


I urge you to consider the above

and make your feelings known. Write

to Mr Javid. Write to your MP. Tweet.

Tell your friends.

Think about how much or how

little you want you and your relatives

to be looked after by a rotating army

of strangers, largely over the internet,

and rage against this proposal.

In the words of Joni Mitchell you

don’t know what you have got until it

is gone.

Dr Simon Ruffle MB.BS (London 1992)

DRCOG MRCGP (1998) DOccMed

GP Partner Twyford

With thanks to Dr Paul Evans,

(Gateshead LMC) for the idea.










In the garden in April . . .

Olesia Bilkei,

C Bridgwater,

Recipe of the month for Easter

The Parish Magazine - April 2022 35




April is a busy time for gardeners. It's time to finish tidying up after winter and to

prepare for the new season. Weeding is one of the first jobs to get in hand — there's

an old saying: 'A season’s seeding means 7 years of weeding!' Beware of late frosts.

It is not unknown to have snow in April, so keep vulnerable plants and new shoots

protected at night if necessary. Delay planting tender bedding until later in the

month, and be prepared to cover them if necessary. As well as frost, keep an eye out

for slugs and snails and deal with them before they become established. Then it's time

to start sowing seeds and planting out. First early potatoes can be planted by the

first week of April, followed by second earlies, and maincrop, towards the end of the

month. Finally check your garden furniture by having a well earned rest!

If you gave up chocolate for Lent here is an indulgent recipe from BBC Good Food:


— 150g unsalted butter

— 50g golden syrup

— 1 tsp vanilla extract

— 400g dark chocolate, finely chopped

— 60g Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate

— 60g extra dark or milk chocolate

— 150g salted pretzel sticks, broken

into small pieces

— 100g shredded wheat, crushed

— 100g chocolate-covered raisin

—100g salted peanut

— chocolate eggs, to serve


Line a 20cm round cake tin with a

large paper cake tin liner, or cling

film. Heat the butter and golden

syrup in a large heavy-based

saucepan over a gentle heat. Once

melted, add the vanilla extract and

all the chocolate. Continue heating

gently until the chocolate has

melted, stirring every now and then

to combine.

Remove the pan from the heat and

mix through the pretzel sticks,

shredded wheat, chocolate-covered

raisins and peanuts. Transfer to the

prepared tin, pressing in and around

its sides, creating a dip in the centre

to produce a nest shape. Chill for 1 hr

or until set. To serve, remove from

tin, scatter with extra pretzels and

fill with an assortment of chocolate

eggs. It should keep in an airtight

container for up to 5 days.

36 The Parish Magazine - April 2022 Please mention The Parish Magazine when responding this advertisement


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0118 338 2986

The ARTS — 1

‘In a grove lit only by a kiss’

Holy Week, as its name tells us, is the most important,

holiest week in the Church’s year, when we follow

Jesus from his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, to

the Upper Room, to Calvary and to the garden of the

tomb. As we make that journey each year, we are not

just remembering past events. We are celebrating how

eternity touched Jerusalem in that first Holy Week and

how eternity can touch our lives now.

To create that impact and that realisation, the week is

brim full of colour and variety in its worship, full of action

and movement, full of processions and music. But we

might think it is a week with very little silence.

Yet the silences are there if we look at the Gospels

closely. We enter an upper room and catch our breath

when Jesus announces a betrayer. Peter denies our Lord, a

cock crows, and a bleak stillness falls on that scene. In the

palace Jesus stands accused, no words are spoken, and the

governor wonders in the silence. And there is silence by

the cross until the ninth hour.


The silence does fall during Holy Week, punctuating

the crises of these tense days. It is conveyed with dramatic

force in this Gethsemane scene: Peter Firth’s poem

describes it as ‘a grove lit only by a kiss.’ The painting is by

Giotto, ‘The Kiss of Judas’ and is part of an amazing series

of frescoes he painted for the Arena Chapel in Padua from


At first glance it is a scene of frenzied activity: burning

torches wave in the sky, weapons are wielded, and a ram’s

horn blown. The cohort of soldiers advance on Jesus, and

Peter tries to defend him by cutting off a soldier’s ear in

his anger. One of the religious leaders points to Jesus in

the centre of the painting.

Book Reviews

The Easter Story

By Karen Williamson, illustrated by

Marie Allen, Candle Books, £6.99

A book for sharing with toddlers

and young children, leading up to

Easter. It is written as a continuous

journey, from ‘A noisy entry’ where

Jesus is walking to Jerusalem, ‘A

meal to remember’ where Jesus ate with 12 special friends,

through to him appearing to his friends and his ascension.

The Print of the Nails – the Church

Times Holy Week and Easter


By Hugh Hillyard-Parker, Paula Gooder,

Sam Wells, et al, Canterbury Press, £16.99

Reading and resources for the build-up

to Easter, including: meditations on

the Stations of the Cross; a short story

set in Gethsemane; Pilate; the art of

Good Friday; Judas; starting Easter

The Parish Magazine - April 2022 37

By Rev Michael Burgess

Reprinted by kind permission of the Arena Chapel, Padua

And it is there that the tragic stillness falls as our eyes

focus on the eyes of Jesus: that steady, discomforting gaze

into the eyes of Judas the betrayer. Judas’ cloak seems to

engulf Jesus, but it cannot blot out the look of our Lord.

The face of Judas is troubled, and the look of Jesus

seems to burrow deep into that anxiety, beneath the

surface into his heart.

In Holy Week they are eyes that look out to us. The face

of Jesus is turned in our direction, saying, ‘Yes, you may

follow Me in the heady excitement of Palm Sunday. But will

you also follow Me into this garden, on the way of my cross to

the foot of Calvary, and beyond to the empty tomb of Easter


celebrations in the dark; Easter carols; poetry of the cross;

and on why the Resurrection is central to faith.

All royalties will go to the Church Homeless Trust.

On Earth as in Heaven – Through the

Year with Tom Wright

By Tom Wright, SPCK, £19.99

Christians of all traditions regard the

writings of Tom Wright as a rich source

of guidance for living faithfully in

today's world. His bestselling books,

including Simply Christian, Simply Jesus,

and Surprised by Hope, have encouraged

millions worldwide. Now, you can enjoy

their wisdom each day with this thoughtful selection of

365 daily meditations from his classic works. The devotions

begin on Easter Day, the first day of new creation, and follow

the seasons of the Christian year to end with a second Easter

and the invitation to begin again.

Reflecting on the biblical themes of beauty, power,

spirituality, justice, truth, freedom and love, these daily

meditations will invigorate and sustain you as you cultivate

a Christ-like life on earth as in heaven.

38 The Parish Magazine - April 2022


Poetry Corner


The wonder and the

sorrow of PCR tests

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

Institute for Science and Religion in Cambridge

Iago Lopez,

Occasions For Oils

A poem by Steven Rolling based on ‘Blessing of the Oils’, a Holy

Week ritual found in some service books for Maundy Thursday.

Tune: St Peter – How sweet the name of Jesus sounds

Lord, bless the oils of anointing

That they peace, comfort bring

As channels of your Spirit pure

May they bring healing sure

Oils as symbol of your Spirit

Flow, be outpoured, each whit

To meet the depths of human need

Each from their sins be freed

God the Father he did anoint

His Son, and did appoint

Him with the Spirit, he did go

The power of God did show

He did do good and went about

Bringing haling no doubt

To those by the devil oppressed

They were set free and blessed

Work how you will, heal, sanctify

The healing oils apply

‘Tis all by your grace, mercy, love

Your Spirit, holy dove

Oscar C Williams,

PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests are a fact of life for

us. As a biologist who was doing this procedure long before

most people had heard of it, I take secret delight in people’s

use of the acronym. Let me open the laboratory door and

share the wonders it conceals.

The swab from your throat and nose goes into a tube

containing a little liquid. The liquid is heated or mixed with a

chemical to kill any live virus particles, and then purified to

remove every part of the virus except ribonucleic acid (RNA).

This test is called RT-PCR. Reverse Transcription (RT) by an

enzyme converts RNA into DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid).

Multiple copies of the DNA are then made using Polymerase

Chain Reaction (PCR). Reverse transcription produces one

half of a DNA helix, like one side of an unzipped zip.

The enzyme DNA polymerase is a little like the zipper

except as well as zipping up it also manufactures the other

half of the zip using DNA subunits that have been added to

the tube. Like a zip, the two sides of the DNA helix are mirror

images of each other. If that new helix is unzipped, DNA

polymerase can then make a new strand on both sides.


The beauty of PCR is its simplicity. Multiple rounds of

heating, which melts the DNA helix strands apart, and

cooling, which allows the enzyme to make new DNA,

produce more and more mirror image DNA strands.

Scientists often tell stories about the wonders they study,

or make use of, in the lab. Sadly, if this particular process

works it means that there was probably Covid-19 in the

sample, and someone may become ill.

Do you live with similar tensions in your own life?

Perhaps you sell a fantastic product that most people in the

world can’t afford, or you love taking care of people, but your

role only exists because others live with great physical or

mental challenges. For the Psalmists, a relationship with God

was forged in the confusing space where the struggles of life

mingled with praise for creation and trust in him. How can

we learn from these ancient writers, celebrating the wonders

we experience in our lives while also lamenting the world’s

brokenness, praying for healing and justice?

This article is produced, with permission, from


1 2 3 4 5 6

7 8



18 19 20

22 23


9 10

16 17



- (11)

1 Politely (11)

- (5)

9 Take illegally (5)


- Polite



for a man



a man (3)

11 - Undertaking something something (5) (5)

12 - Courage; boldness boldness (5) (5)

13 - Talk with with (8) (8)

16 Particle with negligible mass (8)

16 - Neutral particle with negligible mass (8)

18 Unwarranted (5)

18 - Unwarranted (5)

21 Greek architecture (5)

21 - Style of Greek architecture (5)

22 Auction item (3)

22 - Auction item (3)

23 Angry (5)

23 24 - Angry Type (5) of artist (11)

24 - Type of artist (11)



14 15




2 - Choices (7)

2 Choices (7)

3 - Coarsen (7)

3 Coarsen (7)

4 Discharges

4 - (6)

5 Unfasten 5 - Unfasten a garment a (5) (5)

6 Not 6 a - winner Not a (5)

7 Boldly 7 - Boldly (11) (11)

8 The military (5,6)

8 - The military (5,6)

14 Learner (7)

14 - Learner (7)

15 Female big cat (7)

15 - Female big cat (7)

17 Printed mistakes (6)

19 Mark of repetition (5)

20 Be 19 alive; - Mark of be repetition real (5)

17 - Mistakes in printed matter (6)

20 - Be alive; be real (5)

3 23 19 7 23 26 11 7 14 23 14 9

9 3 15 3 24 3 6

14 7 24 17 23 20 10 21 9 3 9 14

3 1 26 20 13 23 3

11 1 1 9 3 23 20 9 3 10 15 23

7 10 12 15 19 22

26 3 9 23 15 4 7 14 23 17 8 23

9 23 10 7 10 19

15 11 3 3 11 16 9 22 11 16 25 23

14 12 24 18 10 5 17

10 16 11 12 7 24 26 7 5 9 26 14

22 21 12 10 20 12 12

9 22 9 3 2 11 17 9 23 12 12 2


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.


On the night before he died, Jesus ate his last

Passover meal with his disciples. He then

transformed the Passover into the Lord’s

Supper, saying of the bread and wine that,

‘this is my body’ and ‘this is my blood’. Jesus,

the Lamb of God, was preparing to die for the

sins of the whole world. John’s gospel makes

it clear that the Last Supper took place the

evening before the regular Passover meal,

and that later Jesus died at the same time

that the Passover lambs were killed.

Jesus then astonished the disciples by

washing their feet. He said: 'A new command I

give you: love one another. As I have loved you,

so you must love one another.' His disciples

were to love through service, not domination,

of one another. In Latin, the opening phrase of

this sentence is ‘mandatum novum do vobis’.

The word ‘maundy’ is thus a corruption of the

Latin ‘mandatum’ (or command).

The Parish Magazine - April 2022 39

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















1. Why do we have Easter eggs on Easter Sunday?

2. Approximately how many Easter eggs are eaten in the UK every year?

3. Who made the first Easter egg in the UK?

4. Who delivers Easter eggs in the UK?

5. Who delivers Easter eggs in Switzerland?

6. What country started the tradition of dyeing Easter eggs?















































1. Haslams

2. Gardiners Homecare

3. Peter Freebody & Co

4. Seniors Helping Seniors

5. Signature Care Homes

6. St Andrew's Church

Romolo Tavani,

40 The Parish Magazine - April 2022

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

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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

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Thames Valley Will Service

Also Lasting Powers of Attorney and Probate Service

We are still working during the pandemic period

0134 464 1885


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Reliable and friendly service for all tree care

NPTC qualified — Public Liability of £10million

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Landscaping, garden construction,

patios, lawns, fencing, decking etc

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Licensed waste carriers, no job too small or large

Contact: John

0771 021 2056


Stump grinding and tree stump removal

Latest narrow access machinery

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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 - April 2022 41

42 The Parish Magazine - April 2022 Please mention The Parish Magazine when replying to advertisements

information — 2

Parish contacts

Ministry Team

The Vicar: Revd Jamie Taylor (Day off Friday)

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

— 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


— Stuart Bowman / 0118 978 8414

— Liz Nelson / 0779 194 4270

Deputy Churchwardens

— 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

— Hannah Towndrow BA (Oxon)

Sonning Bell Ringers

— Tower Captain: Pam Elliston / 0118 969 5967

— Deputy Tower Captain: Rod Needham / 0118 926 7724

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 6

ACG Services Locksmith 40

Active Domestic Appliances 16

Active Security 30

ADD Plumbing 12

All Aerials 40

All Waste Clearance 40

Barn Store Henley 16

Berkshire Stump Removals 40

Big Heart Tree Care 40

Blandy & Blandy Solicitors 14

Blinds Direct 26

Blue Moose 8

Bridge House 43

Bridges Home Care 26

Bull Inn 8

Callaghan Carpets & Flooring 40

Chimney Sweep, Thames 40

Chiropody, Linda Frewin 40

Chris the Plumber 32

Clark Bicknell 40

Complete Pest Solutions 40

Computer Frustrations 40

Cruz Kitchens 28

Design for Print 28

EMDR Hypnotherapist 30

Freebody Boatbuilders 6

Fields Pharmacy 32

French Horn 44

Gardiners Nursing 8

Great House Sonning 24

Handyman and Decorating Services 40

Haslams Estate Agents 2

Hicks Group 16

Intersmart Electrical Installations 40

James Autos 40

Jones & Sheppard Stone Masons 32

Kingfisher Bathrooms 26

MC Cleaning 40

Mill at Sonning 4

M & L Healthcare Solutions 12

Mortgage Required 18

Muck & Mulch 28

Odd Jobs 40

Painter and Decorator 40

Pearson Hall Sonning 24

Reading Blue Coat School 26

Richfield Flooring 14

Sabella Interiors 34

Seniors Helping Seniors 12

Shiplake College 14

Signature Care Homes 36

Sonning Golf Club 32

Sonning Scouts Marquees 30

Smallwood Garden Services 40

Style by Julie 6

Thames Valley Water Softeners 6

Thames Valley Wills Service 40

Tomalin Funerals 24

Walker Funerals 12

Water Softener Salt 28

Window Cleaner 16

Please mention The Parish Magazine when responding this advertisement

The Parish Magazine - April 2022 43



Because you deserve

the very best

Welcome to Bridge House Nursing Home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

professional and individually planned care in an unobtrusive manner.

Call 0800 230 0206



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

44 The Parish Magazine - April Please 2022 mention The Parish Magazine when responding this advertisement

The French Horn,

Sonning. Quality.

A continuing commitment to

wonderful food and wine.

0118 969 2204

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