The Parish Magazine December 2022

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

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


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<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 1<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Content 2021, 2016<br />

Best Overall 2020, 2015<br />

Best Editor 2019<br />

Best Print 2018<br />

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

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> — Christmas<br />

Church of St Andrew<br />

Serving Sonning, Charvil & Sonning Eye<br />

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


2 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

Please mention <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when responding to this advertisement<br />

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

Church of St Andrew<br />

Serving Sonning, Charvil & Sonning Eye<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - November <strong>2022</strong> 1<br />

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

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

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

Best Content 2021, 2016<br />

Best Overall 2020, 2015<br />

Best Editor 2019<br />

Best Print 2018<br />

information — 1<br />

Contents <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />



— River Baptisms, 7<br />

— Christmas Services, 9<br />

— Old New Year, 9<br />

— For your prayers, 9<br />

— My favourite carol, 11<br />

— Following the cross, 13<br />

— <strong>The</strong> Persecuted Church, 13<br />

— STAY, 15<br />

— Christian basics, 17<br />

— From the desk of the editor, 17<br />


— <strong>The</strong> perfect Christmas present, 19<br />

— Chains of slavery, 21<br />

— Crisis at Christmas, 21<br />

— Christmas parish events, 22-23<br />

— <strong>The</strong> King's Christmas message, 25<br />

— A winter ramble, 25<br />

—around the villages<br />

— Sonning School welcome, 27<br />

— Link Visiting, 29<br />

— FoSTAC cleaning, 29<br />

— Macmillan Coffee Morning, 29<br />

— Sonning Art Group, 29<br />

health<br />

— Dr Simon Ruffle, 31-33<br />

HOME & GARDEn<br />

— In the garden, 33<br />

THE ARTS<br />

— Raphael's joy, 35<br />

— Poetry Corner, 35<br />

— Children's Book Reviews, 35<br />

history, 37<br />


— <strong>The</strong> Incarnation, 37<br />

PUZZLE PAGE, 39<br />

children's page, 41<br />


Drecember <strong>2022</strong> — Christmas<br />

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

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

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

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

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

Picture: Bob Peters<br />


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

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

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

date of publication.<br />

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

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

Tuesday 6 <strong>December</strong> at 12 noon<br />

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

<strong>The</strong> most recent issues can be viewed at:<br />

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

Earlier issues from 1869 onwards are<br />

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

wish to view these archives contact the<br />

editor who will authorise access for you:<br />

editor@theparishmagazine.co.uk<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 3<br />

Services at<br />

St Andrew’s<br />

Sunday 4 <strong>December</strong><br />

— 8.00am Holy Communion<br />

— 10.30am Family Toy Service,<br />

lighting of Christmas tree by<br />

St Nicholas<br />

— 4.00pm Advent Evensong<br />

Sunday 11 <strong>December</strong><br />

— 8.00am Holy Communion<br />

— 10.30am <strong>Parish</strong> Eucharist with<br />

STAY and Sunday Club<br />

Saturday 17 <strong>December</strong><br />

— 3.00pm Messy Church in <strong>The</strong> Ark<br />

Sunday 18 <strong>December</strong><br />

— 8.00am Holy Communion<br />

— 10.30am <strong>Parish</strong> Eucharist<br />

— 5.00pm Traditional Candlelit<br />

Service of Nine Lessons & Carols<br />

Christmas Eve<br />

— 4.00pm Crib Service<br />

— 11.00pm Midnight Mass<br />

Christmas Day<br />

— 10.30am Christmas <strong>Parish</strong><br />

Communion<br />


Morning Prayer is held in church<br />

every Tuesday at 9.30am.<br />

Mid-week Communion in <strong>The</strong> Ark is<br />

held every Wednesday at 10.00am. Tea<br />

and coffee follows the service.<br />

Home Communion at Signature at<br />

Sonning is held on the first Monday of<br />

each month at 11.00am.<br />

From the Registers<br />

baptisms<br />

— Sunday 9 October, Sophie Rebecca Galuszka-Mills<br />

— Sunday 6 November: In the River Thames, Fynn Alexander Riley; Samuel<br />

Benjamin Riley; Milo John Colin Astrup; Nancy Eleanor Faye Jeffery, and<br />

Isabelle Rose Lucie Jeffery<br />

weddings<br />

— Saturday 15 October, David William Fletcher and Jade Francesca Taylor<br />

information<br />

— Church services, 3<br />

— From the registers, 3<br />

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

— Advertisers' index, 42<br />

funerals<br />

— Saturday 8 October, Barbara Mary Masters, interment of ashes in churchyard<br />

— Tuesday 11 October, Marjorie Doreen Turner, funeral service in church<br />

followed by cremation at Reading Crematorium<br />

— Saturday 22 October, William Charles Albert Whitbourn, memorial service in<br />

church followed by interment of ashes in churchyard<br />

— Wednesday 26 October, Gwendoline Iris Clark, interment of ashes in churchyard

4 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

Please mention <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when responding to this advertisement<br />



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

Dear friends,<br />

How often all our feverishness and scurrying about before Christmas<br />

simply serves to keep us apart rather than truly bringing us together.<br />

I recall the story of a family home where on a hectic night-before-<br />

Christmas the father was busy with preparations and upset over<br />

the bills. Mother's nerves were frayed, and their little daughter was<br />

constantly in the way, no matter what she did. Finally, she was sent off<br />

to bed with some harsh words and a hasty 'Good Night.' As she prayed<br />

the Lord's Prayer alone before going to sleep, the high-pitched tension of<br />

the day took its toll; her mind was a little mixed up when she came to the<br />

middle of the prayer and said, 'And forgive us our Christmases, as we forgive<br />

those who Christmas against us.'<br />

'Forgive us our Christmases!' How many of us need to pray that<br />

prayer! For all too often we let the madness we inject into Christmas<br />

drive us further apart instead of letting the peace of Christmas draw us<br />

together in a whole new way. Christmas togetherness is not something<br />

we manufacture within ourselves. It is God's wondrous gift that turns<br />

our hearts outward toward one another. It is God who breaks down<br />

all that divides us from one another — even our crazy Christmas<br />

celebrations — and finally brings us the true joy of the Lord's grace and<br />

mercy and love.<br />


<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 5<br />

When I think of the power of Christmas to bring us together, I remember a true story told by actor David<br />

Niven of his experience on Christmas Eve 1939. He had just arrived in England from Hollywood to volunteer for<br />

the British Army. Having had previous military experience, Niven was commissioned a second lieutenant and<br />

given a command of a platoon. <strong>The</strong> group was sent to France and no one was very happy about what was then<br />

called 'the phoney war' or having to be away from friends and family at Christmas. Even worse for the men of<br />

this unit was the irritating fact that they were commanded by a Hollywood actor!<br />

As David Niven wrote, 'the men were not mutinous — but they were certainly 40 of the least well-disposed<br />

characters I ever have been associated with, let alone been in command of.' No leave was permitted on Christmas Eve<br />

because the unit might well see action the next day and the entire platoon was billeted in the shabby stables of<br />

a country farm.<br />


Now it so happened that David Niven every night of his life took the moment before going to bed to kneel<br />

down and offer a simple prayer to God but that night he was faced with a difficult decision. If he suddenly knelt<br />

down in prayer in front of an already hostile group of men, wouldn't those already disgruntled soldiers see that<br />

as just one more act of Hollywood flamboyance? On the other hand, Niven had been thinking all day about<br />

Christ's coming into the world, and his heart simply would not let him go to bed without thanking God for that<br />

wondrous gift. So, he summoned up his courage, knelt down there in the barn and began to pray quietly. <strong>The</strong>re<br />

was some sniggering at first, but it soon died away and when he finished, Niven lay down on the straw and<br />

looked rather sheepishly around the stable where he saw every man in the unit on his knees in prayer. It was<br />

not the first time that God entered a stable — and touched the hearts of people with peace and togetherness.<br />


That is the reality that the prophet Isaiah could see in the coming of the Messiah, hundreds of years before<br />

Christ’s birth: Christmas togetherness. As you prepare once more for the Lord's coming, be sure you make time<br />

for the realities in Christ-mas that can change your life now and for eternity.<br />

Warm wishes,<br />


6 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> Please mention <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when responding to advertisements<br />

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the parish noticeboard — 1<br />

Historic River<br />

Thames Baptisms<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 7<br />

Pictures by Indy Biddulph<br />

While it may be possible that when St Andrew's Church was founded in the 7th<br />

Century the first Christians were baptised in the River Thames, but we have no<br />

record of it happening in modern times, so Sunday 6 November was an historic<br />

day as five of this year's confirmation candidates — Milo Astrup, Isabelle<br />

Jeffery, Nancy Jeffery, Fynn Riley and Samuel Riley — decided to follow Jesus<br />

into a river to be baptised. It was a very special, joyful occasion that is likely to<br />

be the first of more in the future!

8 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> Please mention <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when responding to advertisements<br />


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the parish noticeboard — 2<br />

Christmas Services<br />

Time to arrive? As a general rule for Christmas services at St Andrew's, it advisable<br />

to give yourself plenty of time to arrive in church before a service starts, especially if you are<br />

parking a car, but don't let this stop you from coming, we have room inside for everyone!<br />

Family Toy and Gift Service Sunday 4 <strong>December</strong> at 10.30am<br />

<strong>December</strong>'s Family Service begins with the lighting of the second Advent Candle and<br />

includes a s visit by Saint Nicholas who will witness the lighting of the Christmas<br />

tree and receive toys and gifts for the Reading Family Aid Christmas Appeal. <strong>The</strong>re<br />

will also be a cash collection for the Appeal to purchase more toys. Last year, Reading<br />

Family Aid delivered 1,401 toys and gifts to disadvantaged children in the Reading<br />

area — this year they have a list of over 2,500 needy children.<br />

Advent Evensong<br />

Sunday 4 <strong>December</strong> at 4pm<br />

Traditional Evensong service with an Advent theme followed by tea in <strong>The</strong> Ark.<br />

Rendezvous in <strong>The</strong> Ark Party Tuesday 13 <strong>December</strong> in <strong>The</strong> Ark, 12noon<br />

<strong>The</strong> annual Christmas lunch for Rendezvous in <strong>The</strong> Ark is always the busiest one of<br />

the year so if you are planning on being there for a delicious traditional Christmas<br />

lunch served up by Emma — from Emma's Kitchen — and her team and join in<br />

traditional Christmas entertainment, then book your seat as early as possible by<br />

contacting: office@sonningparish.org.uk or 0118 969 3298<br />

Messy Church Christmas Party Saturday 17 <strong>December</strong> in <strong>The</strong> Ark, 3-4.30pm<br />

Family fun for all ages with party food, Christmas craft activities, Christmas<br />

crackers, Carol singing and a visit from St Nicholas.<br />

Nine Lessons and Carols<br />

Sunday 18 <strong>December</strong> at 5pm<br />

<strong>The</strong> first Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was held at King's College, Cambridge on<br />

Christmas Eve in 1918. Today it is a 'traditional' Christmas service.<br />

At St Andrew's we worship in candlelight with the original King James Bible<br />

readings. In keeping with the spirit of the original idea of it being 'more imaginative<br />

worship' the choir often sings a modern carol or two. As the title of the service<br />

suggests, the story of Christmas is told from the Creation to the birth of Christ.<br />

Christmas Crib Service<br />

Christmas Eve 24 <strong>December</strong> at 4pm<br />

In previous years this wonderful service has been the most popular of all our<br />

Christmastide acts of worship at St Andrew's, so give yourself plenty of time to<br />

get there, park and to be seated. <strong>The</strong> service revolves around children telling the<br />

Christmas story. All children are invited to come dressed as shepherds, angels, wise<br />

men, sheep, donkeys, and so on, to help make it a memorable and spectacular event.<br />

Midnight Mass<br />

Christmas Eve 24 <strong>December</strong> at 11pm<br />

Please note: Our first Holy Communion service for Christmas begins at 11pm.<br />

Christmas Day<br />

Sunday 25 <strong>December</strong> at 10.30 pm<br />

<strong>Parish</strong> Eucharist Service for Christmas Day. Children are invited to bring with<br />

them a Christmas toy or game to show the vicar.<br />

For your prayers in <strong>December</strong><br />

— Crisis at Christmas<br />

— Ukrainian refugees away from families and home<br />

— Members of the armed forces serving abroad<br />

— <strong>The</strong> Salvation Army's work with the homeless<br />

Ristinose. dreamstime.com<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 9<br />

Looking forward to<br />

the Old New Year?<br />

For many people, New Year's Day<br />

heralds the end of their Christmas<br />

celebrations which seem to begin<br />

earlier and earlier every year —<br />

Christmas goods have been on sale<br />

since July, and there are some shops<br />

that sell them all year round!<br />

For Christians the last or 12th day<br />

of Christmas is <strong>The</strong> Epiphany on 6<br />

January and the Church's 'New Year's<br />

Day' is four weeks before Christmas<br />

on Advent Sunday. This year, Advent<br />

Sunday fell on Sunday 27 November,<br />

so we are already well into the<br />

Church New Year!<br />

Today, all countries in the world,<br />

except Iran, recognise New Year's<br />

Day on 1 January as being a public<br />

holiday when we recover from the<br />

New Year's Eve celebrations. China,<br />

as well as having a public holiday<br />

on 1 January also celebrates the<br />

'Chinese New Year' — in 2023 it is on<br />

22 January.<br />

So, you may be thinking, is Iran,<br />

where the official state religion is<br />

Twelver Ja'afari Shia Islam, just<br />

being difficult? But strangely the<br />

answer is 'not really'. <strong>The</strong> Iranians<br />

have chosen to stick with the world's<br />

traditional New Year which predates<br />

the modern calendar and celebrate it<br />

on 25 March, which is known today<br />

as 'Old New Year's Day' and which<br />

was originally a religious celebration.<br />

IRONIC?<br />

<strong>The</strong> confusion stems from the<br />

Gregorian calendar of 1582. Before<br />

this was introduced, March was<br />

the first month of the year and the<br />

vernal equinox, around 25 March,<br />

was the first day of the 'Old New<br />

Year'. This had been celebrated in<br />

Mesopotamia for 2,000 years.<br />

Several countries did not<br />

recognise the Gregorian calendar for<br />

hundreds of years and chose to keep<br />

to the traditional New Year's date of<br />

25 March.<br />

This is also the date of the<br />

Annunciation Feast that celebrates<br />

the day that Jesus was conceived,<br />

nine months before Christmas Day.<br />

It seems ironic that the Islamic<br />

State of Iran is the only country that<br />

chooses to keep to this Christian<br />

tradition – or perhaps it's not?

10 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> Please mention <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when responding to advertisements<br />

Planning Your<br />

Traditional Wedding?<br />

<strong>The</strong>n you might like to<br />

discuss the possibility of<br />

marriage in our ancient and<br />

beautiful parish church.<br />

If so, call the vicar, Jamie<br />

0118 969 3298<br />

He will be pleased to help!<br />

In addition to the stunning and historic location in Sonning,<br />

we will work hard to provide you with a memorable and<br />

moving occasion. We can provide a choir, organ, peal of<br />

eight bells, beautiful flowers, over 100 lit candles set in<br />

ornate Victorian chandeliers and the use of our beautiful<br />

churchyard as a backdrop for your photographs.<br />

Church of St Andrew<br />

Serving Sonning, Charvil & Sonning Eye<br />

the church of st andrew SERVING CHARVIL,<br />

SONNING & sonning eye since the 7 th century<br />

With Churches Together in Reading<br />

& the Reading Central Salvation Army Band<br />

Saturday 10th <strong>December</strong> at<br />

11.30, 12.30, 1.30 and 2.30<br />

(If wet on 10th <strong>December</strong>, we shall sing on 17th instead)<br />

Join us outside M&S in Broad St<br />

to kick off the Festive Season!<br />

All Welcome<br />

If you would like your church, choir or youth group to come and<br />

support the singing in one of the slots, that would be great. Please<br />

phone Michael Penny on 01491 671357 for further information<br />

IN THE ARK<br />

Saturday 17 <strong>December</strong><br />

3pm — 4.30pm<br />


In<br />

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

Party food, Christmas<br />

craft activities, Christmas<br />

crackers, Carol singing and<br />

a visit from St Nicholas!<br />


the parish noticeboard — 3<br />

My favourite . . .<br />

Christmas Carol<br />

By Bob Peters<br />

What's your favourite Christmas<br />

Carol? This is something I have<br />

been asking people with very mixed<br />

results. It is fully understandable<br />

when the choice is so large — it<br />

is thought that there are about<br />

10,000 songs that can be classed as<br />

'Christmas Carols' although most<br />

people's choice is much more limited,<br />

and they often struggle to name<br />

more than a handful until they hear<br />

it being sung when, subconsciously,<br />

they know all the words.<br />

Add to this Christmas hymns and<br />

the choice is even more complicated.<br />

Most church historians agree that<br />

the oldest Christmas hymn we still<br />

sing regularly in church has its roots<br />

in <strong>The</strong> Gloria that was first sung by<br />

the angels in heaven on the night<br />

that Jesus was born in Bethlehem.<br />

<strong>The</strong> words and tune used today have<br />

been traced back to the 3rd Century.<br />


A contender for the oldest 'carol'<br />

is <strong>The</strong> Friendly Beasts which is<br />

believed to have originated in France<br />

in the 12th Century. <strong>The</strong> words are<br />

about some of the animals that today<br />

are often seen in a Nativity set — a<br />

donkey, cow, sheep, camel, and a<br />

dove.<br />

Modern sets also often include<br />

goats, which were certainly common<br />

in Biblical times and are mentioned<br />

in both the Old and New Testaments<br />

where it symbolises 'faith'.<br />

A Peruvian Nativity where the donkey is a llama.<br />

In South American Nativities you<br />

will find that the goat or the donkey<br />

is replaced with a llama that reflects<br />

their local culture.<br />


According to Wikipedia, the<br />

English language words to <strong>The</strong><br />

Friendly Beasts (see panel on the<br />

right) were written in the 1920s by<br />

Robert Davis and they were used in<br />

<strong>The</strong> Coming of the Prince of Peace: A<br />

Nativity Play with Ancient Christmas<br />

Carols.<br />


It is generally agreed that the<br />

term, 'Christmas Carol', became<br />

popular worldwide in Victorian<br />

times after Charles Dickens wrote<br />

A Christmas Carol, a title he is said<br />

to have chosen because he expected<br />

his story to be retold and in doing so<br />

bring people together just as singing<br />

Christmas Carols bring people<br />

together to celebrate the birth of<br />

Christ.<br />

In recent years, a number of<br />

'favourite carol' polls, for example<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 11<br />

<strong>The</strong> Persecuted Church by Colin Bailey<br />

Angela Ostafichuk, dreamstime.com<br />

<strong>The</strong> Friendly Beasts<br />

By Robert Davis<br />

Based on a 12th Century French song<br />

Jesus our brother, strong and good,<br />

Was humbly born in a stable rude,<br />

And the friendly beasts around Him stood,<br />

Jesus our brother, strong and good.<br />

I, said the donkey shaggy and brown,<br />

I carried His mother up hill and down<br />

I carried her safely to Bethlehem town;<br />

I, said the donkey shaggy and brown.<br />

I, said the cow all white and red,<br />

I gave Him my manger for His bed,<br />

I gave Him my hay to pillow His head;<br />

I, said the cow all white and red.<br />

I, said the sheep with curly horn,<br />

I gave Him my wool for His blanket warm,<br />

He wore my coat on Christmas morn;<br />

I, said the sheep with curly horn.<br />

I, said the dove, from the rafters high,<br />

Cooed Him to sleep that He should not cry.<br />

We cooed Him to sleep, my mate and I;<br />

I, said the dove, from the rafters high.<br />

And every beast, by some good spell,<br />

In the stable dark was glad to tell<br />

Of the gift he gave Emmanuel;<br />

<strong>The</strong> gift he gave Emmanuel.<br />

the BBC's Songs of Praise poll, has<br />

named O Holy Night as the nation's<br />

first choice. However, from my<br />

own, very unscientific, survey, the<br />

favourite seems to be Silent Night.<br />


My personal favourite choice,<br />

however, is Away in a Manger. <strong>The</strong><br />

reason being that during Advent for<br />

several years before covid I would<br />

take my collection of 170 Nativity<br />

sets into local schools and talk to<br />

the children about their history, and<br />

their meaning, and why every home<br />

should have one.<br />

<strong>The</strong> talk always ended with the<br />

children gathering around the<br />

collection of Nativities, dimming<br />

the lights because some of the sets<br />

include lights and candles, and<br />

singing Away in a Manger.<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir obvious joy and wonder<br />

reflected in their singing always<br />

moved me and made it a very special,<br />

favourite, and memorable Christmas<br />


12 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

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the parish noticeboard — 4<br />

Following<br />

the cross<br />

or or the the<br />

Bible?<br />

By Rev Dr Jo White<br />

A recent web article asks if Christians<br />

actually need a ‘cross’ in a church and<br />

if they are unhelpful in worship? <strong>The</strong><br />

argument against having one was that<br />

it could become the focus of worship,<br />

and it is not okay to worship idols.<br />

To me this argument is nonsensical.<br />

<strong>The</strong> cross is a graphic reminder of what<br />

Jesus Christ has done for us in his<br />

death. No one in their senses would<br />

dream of worshipping a cross itself, as it<br />

was the most humiliating and debasing<br />

form of capital punishment — it was a<br />

means of gruesome execution.<br />

Christians use crosses in churches<br />

to remind us of just how far Jesus was<br />

prepared to go to rescue us from what<br />

St Paul called ‘the dominion of darkness’.<br />

Have a look around your local<br />

church, and count how many crosses<br />

there are. <strong>The</strong>re might be ‘hidden’<br />

crosses where the building was<br />

consecrated, and also under the altar.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re might also be paperwork, service<br />

books, sheets and hymnals with the<br />

sign of the cross on their covers.<br />

Perhaps there are candle holders<br />

with crosses sculptured into them. And<br />

in most Protestant churches you will<br />

see a cross on or above the altar table.<br />


Many processions of choir and clergy<br />

are led by a raised cross bearer. In some<br />

churches a cross is also carried when<br />

the Bible is processed into the nave for<br />

reading. People sometimes turn to face<br />

these processions as they travel without<br />

necessarily understanding which part<br />

they are facing: the Cross, the Bible or<br />

the person?<br />

We follow the Word of God — the<br />

Bible — not the cross. <strong>The</strong> same is true<br />

in any procession. We stand to honour<br />

the clergy in their role as Christ’s<br />

servants, not the cross which may be<br />

held aloft before them.<br />

How do crosses aid you in your<br />

worship and how much do they reflect<br />

your faith?<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 13<br />

<strong>The</strong> Persecuted Church<br />

A real calling to everyday<br />

obedience By Colin Bailey<br />

<strong>The</strong> founder of Open Doors, Brother Andrew, died on<br />

27 September, aged 94. He believed that ‘with God<br />

all things are possible’ (Matthew 19:26). As Brother<br />

Andrew said, and as his life is a witness to, ‘<strong>The</strong> Bible<br />

is full of ordinary people who went to impossible<br />

places and did wondrous things, simply because they<br />

decided to obey God.’<br />

Andrew (‘Anne’) van der Bijl was born on 11 May 1928 in<br />

Sint Pancras, <strong>The</strong> Netherlands. Open Doors says, ‘His life<br />

is a testimony to the power of prayer’. He was a fervent<br />

believer in that power: ‘God invites us to influence our<br />

community, our nation, the world – to literally direct history while we’re on our knees.’<br />

As a young Dutch missionary, he went, in 1955, to a Communist youth congress<br />

in Poland when it was in the Soviet bloc. His suitcase included hundreds of copies<br />

of a tract called <strong>The</strong> Way of Salvation which he intended to give away.<br />

Behind the Iron Curtain, he discovered churches desperately in need of Bibles,<br />

support and prayer. He found a group of Christians feeling isolated and who<br />

thought that the rest of the world had forgotten them. In that first visit, he spoke<br />

at a church in Warsaw and after the talk the pastor said ‘We want to thank you for<br />

being here. Even if you had not said a word, just seeing you would have meant so much.<br />

We feel at times as if we are all alone on our struggle’. After praying about what God<br />

wanted him to do, he was led to the verse which he came to see as his mission ‘Wake<br />

Up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die’ (Revelation 3:2).<br />


Brother Andrew<br />

1928-<strong>2022</strong><br />

Image: Wikipedia<br />

Open Doors relates how he smuggled Bibles behind the Iron Curtain in his<br />

iconic VW Beetle. <strong>The</strong> first time he smuggled Bibles — with them in full view in<br />

the car — he prayed, ‘Lord, in my luggage I have scripture that I want to take to your<br />

children across the border. When you were on earth you made blind eyes see. Now I pray<br />

you make seeing eyes blind.’ That Beetle became known as the miracle car due to its<br />

ability to miraculously keep going!<br />

He founded Open Doors in 1955 — always daring to go where following Jesus<br />

costs the most. He met with the underground church in communist China. Open<br />

Doors still distributes hundreds of thousands of Christian books and literature<br />

every year. Other needs emerged, seminary training for pastors, for example. Open<br />

Doors provided them with training. Small loans for starting businesses were given<br />

to help Christians who were subject to discrimination and denied education and<br />

job opportunities.<br />

Now the main threat to Christians is not from Communism but from radical<br />

Islam. Brother Andrew evangelised to leaders of Islamic extremist groups. He<br />

believed every door was open to the gospel and said: ‘You can get in anywhere if you<br />

go to serve.’ He became one of the few Western leaders to go as an Ambassador of<br />

Christ to meet Yasser Arafat, as well as leaders of groups such as Hamas, Islamic<br />

Jihad, the Taliban, and Hezbollah. During his visits he illustrated God’s love for the<br />

people of the Middle East<br />

‘<strong>The</strong> real calling’, he said, ‘is not a certain place or career but to everyday obedience.<br />

And that call is extended to every Christian, not just a select few.’<br />

‘Whenever, wherever, however you want me, I’ll go. Lord, as I stand up from this<br />

place, and as I take my first step forward, will you consider this as a step toward complete<br />

obedience to you? I’ll call it the step of yes.’<br />

As Open Doors has put it, ‘His life of risk, adventure, courage and faith has inspired<br />

so many to love Jesus more and share Jesus no matter the cost.’<br />

Read more on Opendoorsuk.org and sign up to get a free copy of God’s Smuggler<br />

(Brother Andrew’s book, first published in 1967).<br />

‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith’ (2 Timothy 4:7).

14 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

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the parish noticeboard — 5<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 15<br />

St Andrew's Youth<br />

STAY October Half Term Activities<br />

October saw three super fun activities: glow stick wide games,<br />

a movie and sports at Charvil's Multi-Use Games Area. About<br />

50 young people attended the activities and one commented<br />

on how much fun they had! Always nice to be told that!<br />

STAY Confirmation Class<br />

Our STAY confirmation classes continued with all 16 young<br />

people meeting each week in different young people's homes.<br />

We met each Monday evening to play games, eat pizza, watch a<br />

youth alpha video and discuss what it means to be a Christian,<br />

while allowing them space to ask questions, share stories and<br />

deepen their friendships and faith.<br />

STAY on Sunday<br />

We kicked off the new term with a new theme, Jesus’ parables.<br />

We looked at ‘<strong>The</strong> wise and foolish builders’ in Luke 6 and ‘the<br />

money lender forgiving unequal debts’ in Luke 7. We thought<br />

about the foundations on which we’ve built our own life and<br />

how Jesus forgives our sins no matter how big! <strong>The</strong> key is<br />

simply to come to him with a repentant heart. On one week<br />

there were so few that we decided to treat those there to hot<br />

chocolates and cakes at the Village Hamper, yum!<br />

STAY on Friday<br />

Our weekly youth club continues to be popular with local<br />

young people. We often have new faces, people bringing their<br />

friends and special nights to keep them active, such as our<br />

classic favourite dodgeball tournament!!<br />

STAY Schools Work<br />

Our work in schools is looking to grow with new clubs<br />

coming soon. In the meantime we have continued in the four<br />

local schools — Sonning Primary, Charvil Piggott Primary,<br />

Wargrave Piggott Secondary and Blue Coat School — with<br />

our usual assemblies, mentoring and staff prayer meetings.<br />

STAY Detached Project<br />

October is the last month of this project for a while. We<br />

need to regroup and find some new volunteers. It’s been<br />

fabulous to be on the streets with young people for the past<br />

18 months. I’m sure they’ll miss the amazing hot chocolate<br />

mountains throughout the winter months, however it<br />

needs at least two adult volunteers so watch this space for a<br />

relaunch!<br />

October Pictures (from top to bottom)<br />

— Glow stick wide game during half term<br />

— (left) Hot chocolate at STAY on Friday<br />

— (right) Dodgeball in <strong>The</strong> Ark<br />

— Detached on the streets in Charvil<br />

— Our confirmation group take a break<br />

— STAY on Sunday adjourn to the Village Hamper<br />

As always, to get in touch with me, Westy, email on<br />


16 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

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the parish noticeboard — 6<br />

Christian Basics — Part 10<br />

By Rev Paul Hardingham<br />

Resisting evil<br />

Kittipong Jirasukhanont, dreamstime.com<br />

We shouldn’t forget that Satan’s existence is assumed<br />

throughout the Bible and Jesus prayed ‘deliver us from<br />

the evil one’ (<strong>The</strong> Lord’s Prayer).<br />

Paul adds: ‘For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,<br />

but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the<br />

powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces<br />

of evil in the heavenly realms’ (Ephesians 6:12).<br />


<strong>The</strong> spiritual world directly affects the physical, when<br />

evil powers oppose God’s work. However, God is sovereign<br />

and evil can only operate as he permits. We cannot blame<br />

Satan for our own wrong choices!<br />

‘<strong>The</strong>re are two equal and opposite errors into which our race<br />

can fall into about devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence.<br />

<strong>The</strong> other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy<br />

interest in them.’ (CS Lewis).<br />


How does Satan operate in our lives?<br />

— By spoiling God’s work in us (John 10:10)<br />

— By hindering our spiritual understanding<br />

(2 Corinthians 4:4)<br />

— By sowing doubts into our minds (Matthew 4:3,6)<br />

— By tempting us to break God’s law (Genesis 3:6)<br />


On the cross Jesus secured victory over Satan, ‘And<br />

having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a<br />

public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross’<br />

(Colossians 2:15).<br />

Although Satan is still active today, his power is<br />

broken and he will be destroyed when Jesus returns. In<br />

the present we should put God first in our lives: ‘Submit<br />

yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from<br />

you’ (James 4:7).<br />

Making Jesus our Lord, gets Satan on the run!!<br />

‘<strong>The</strong>re is no neutral ground in the universe:<br />

every square inch, every split second,<br />

is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan’ (CS Lewis).<br />

From the<br />

editor's desk<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 17<br />

editor@theparishmagazine.co.uk<br />

Move along inside . . .<br />

As I sit pondering about what to write for this month's 'from<br />

the desk' I found myself gazing at the bookshelf where I keep<br />

the back issues in one folder per year. It's almost time for me<br />

to make room for another folder, which will be the eleventh.<br />

It's hard to believe that 10 years have passed since I became<br />

editor and we launched the 'new' format for this magazine<br />

which has slowly evolved with more pages and full colour<br />

throughout.<br />

I also like to think that the magazine has returned to the<br />

original objectives that Canon Pearson had in mind when<br />

he launched it in January 1869. As well as informing local<br />

people about the life of their parish church, he wanted to<br />

provide news about the wider church, the country and the<br />

world, and he wanted readers to be entertained.<br />

While the world has changed beyond recognition<br />

during the past 153 years those original objectives of being<br />

informative and entertaining are still, I hope, being achieved.<br />

I am always happy to hear from you if you think we are not<br />

achieving this objective.<br />

Each month I start afresh with 20 pages to fill and each<br />

month I think, how is this going to happen? But every month<br />

it gradually fills up and by the final deadline it becomes a<br />

question of squeezing stories in.<br />

I can't help being reminded of the year I worked on<br />

the buses in Southend-on-sea in Essex before I went to<br />

university. Every morning I would leave the depot in a double<br />

decker full of empty seats and lots of standing room but it<br />

would not be long before I was yelling, move along inside<br />

please, before ringing the bell!<br />

Thankfully, like many of my regular passengers on the<br />

bus who arrived early, most of my regular contributors to the<br />

magazine email me their stories in good time. Like the early<br />

bus passengers who got the best seats, the early magazine<br />

contributors are more likely to get better coverage!<br />


While I am very happy to continue editing this magazine,<br />

I am fully aware that I am also 10 years older and at 76 I<br />

need to think more seriously about its long term future. If<br />

you think you could help, either with the editorial or the<br />

advertising — my advertising colleague is slightly older than<br />

me and would like some help now — let me know.<br />

Many churches these days are focussing on websites,<br />

which are very valuable sources of information and are easier<br />

to produce than a monthly printed magazine. Websites are<br />

ideal for finding information quickly especially if they are<br />

kept up-to-date — which many are not. Printed magazines,<br />

on the other hand, are without doubt a better source of<br />

entertainment and relaxation. Health experts recommend<br />

that you stop looking at screens at least 30 minutes, ideally<br />

more, before you go to bed. Instead, they suggest relaxing by<br />

reading a book or a magazine. I rest my case!

18 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

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<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 19<br />

feature — 1<br />

Looking for the Christmas present that<br />

will be perfect for every day of the year?<br />

Here is a great Christmas present idea that comes in a huge variety of<br />

options, colours, and sizes that will suit your budget however large or small.<br />

Indeed, it can cost as little as nothing, or up to tens of thousands of pounds –<br />

I recently found a single piece of a large set on sale for £11,699.99, needless to<br />

say, I did not buy it, writes Bob Peters.<br />

This present comes in a huge range of<br />

different materials to suit any décor<br />

or lifestyle — paper, cardboard,<br />

plaster of Paris, all types of wood,<br />

plastic, glass, almost every type of<br />

metal from aluminium and steel to<br />

silver and gold, pottery, china and<br />

porcelain, and you can even find<br />

them made of flour, stones, rocks,<br />

volcanic lava, seashells, knitted in<br />

wool, and made out of Lego, pizza<br />

and shortbread. And there are also<br />

outdoor versions to adorn your<br />

garden.<br />


Typically, they have from one<br />

to 21 pieces although you can find<br />

some with many more. This means<br />

you can give your loved one one or<br />

more pieces at a time and so build<br />

it up over time — it's a good way of<br />

easing the stress in the years to come<br />

of having to think of Christmas,<br />

birthday, and anniversary gifts!<br />

And, if you can't think of anyone<br />

to give this special present to, then<br />

give it to yourself, which is how I<br />

discovered it. But, beware, they can<br />

become addictive! Since I bought my<br />

first one about 20 years ago, I now<br />

have over 170 which, during Advent,<br />

I take into schools, local clubs, and<br />

churches, to illustrate a talk about<br />

my addiction.<br />


<strong>The</strong> world's largest collection,<br />

according to the Guinness Book of<br />

Records, has over 2,150 so I have<br />

some way to go yet! My talk explains<br />

how they vary around the world and<br />

how they reflect the culture of the<br />

country from which they come.<br />

I also get them all out of storage<br />

to display them in every room of my<br />

house at Christmas. My wife likes to<br />

tell people we are the only house in<br />

the neighbourhood that has five of<br />

them in the downstairs loo!<br />

I rarely buy them these days as<br />

friends and family who know about<br />

this unusual addiction give them<br />

to me, often as souvenirs of their<br />

holidays abroad – and my wife also<br />

thinks that I have more than enough!<br />

This ideal Christmas present<br />

comes in a many different sizes — I<br />

have one that fits in a match box and<br />

another which stands 75cms high.<br />

<strong>The</strong> most important aspect is that<br />

you can also use it all the year round.<br />

I have about a dozen of them that I<br />

keep on permanent display around<br />

the house.<br />

You have probably worked out<br />

by now what my ideal Christmas,<br />

birthday or anniversary present is<br />

from the picture above. Yes, it is the<br />

Nativity set, but, as I said previously,<br />

it is not just for Christmas. Jesus was<br />

born for every moment of our lives,<br />

hence it's why I keep some on show<br />

all year round.<br />


Whether your Nativity costs tens<br />

of thousands of pounds, or you made<br />

it for free, having one on show in<br />

your home in a prominent position<br />

all the year round is a permanent<br />

reminder of God's greatest gift to us,<br />

and catching a glimpse of it during<br />

the busyness of Christmas and<br />

everyday life is a reassuring reminder<br />

that he is always with us. Every home<br />

should have at least one!<br />

And, if you decide to build your<br />

own collection, the other necessity is<br />

an extremely tolerant wife, husband,<br />

partner or family who will not object<br />

to you filling the house with them!

20 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

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feature — 2<br />

Breaking<br />

the chains<br />

of slavery<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 21<br />



Vchalup, dreamstime.com<br />

Slavery has been part of the world for thousands of years but in recent<br />

centuries it has taken on an increasingly inhuman and sinister nature that<br />

the United Nations calls 'modern slavery'. This prompted the UN to create,<br />

in 1949, an 'International Day for the Abolition of Slavery' which is held each<br />

year on 2 <strong>December</strong> to stimulate awareness of the need to break its chains.<br />

In Biblical times (picture right) there<br />

were two common ways someone<br />

became a slave — they were either<br />

taken into captivity as prisoners<br />

of war, or people could choose to<br />

become one, usually by selling<br />

themselves to a wealthy person in<br />

exchange for shelter and food.<br />

Such slaves could be likened to<br />

live-in servants in more modern<br />

times, although this does not mean<br />

that the slaves were always treated<br />

fairly.<br />

In the 1600s, slavery took a<br />

serious downturn with traders<br />

transporting an estimated 12.5<br />

million Africans to the Americas in<br />

such dreadful, inhumane, conditions<br />

that only 10.7 million survived the<br />

journey.<br />

It took about 50 years to bring the<br />

trade to an end during the 1800s and<br />

the repercussions are still rumbling<br />

on today.<br />

'Modern Slavery' as recognised<br />

by the United Nations in <strong>December</strong><br />

1949 is a different, and in many ways,<br />

an even more serious issue, and it<br />

was this that prompted the founding<br />

of the International Day for the<br />

Abolition of Slavery with its focus on<br />

eradicating contemporary forms of<br />

slavery, such as trafficking people,<br />

sexual exploitation, the worst forms<br />

of child labour, forced marriage, and<br />

the forced recruitment of children<br />

for use in armed conflict.<br />


It is estimated that 40.3 million<br />

people are modern slaves, including<br />

24.9 in forced labour and 15.4 million<br />

in forced marriages.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are 5.4 victims of modern<br />

slavery for every 1,000 people in<br />

the world with one in four being<br />

children. Some 16 million people<br />

are exploited in the private sector<br />

Could you help people in Crisis<br />

https://www.crisis.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer/volunteer-for-crisis-at-christmas/<br />

Pavel Kusmartsev, dreamstime.com<br />

such as domestic work, construction,<br />

or agriculture; 4.8 million people<br />

in forced sexual exploitation, and<br />

4 million people in forced labour<br />

imposed by state authorities. Women<br />

and girls are disproportionately<br />

affected by forced labour, accounting<br />

for 99% of victims in the commercial<br />

sex industry, and 58% in other<br />

sectors.<br />

According to the UN, the<br />

international day on 2 <strong>December</strong><br />

'seeks to educate the public on issues<br />

of concern, to mobilise political<br />

will and resources to address global<br />

problems, and to celebrate and<br />

reinforce achievements of humanity'.<br />

this Christmas?<br />

After fire destroyed her home, Sammy needed somewhere to live. She was living with her grandfather when their home<br />

was burnt down. Sammy was sent to a hostel and her grandfather went into dementia care where he still is.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y lost everything in the fire. At the hostel Sammy education, employment, housing and well-being services,<br />

found out about Crisis, a charity formed in 1967 to help and they lobby Government for greater protection for<br />

homeless people, and she moved into a Crisis hotel in the homeless. It was Crisis campaigning that led to the<br />

<strong>December</strong> for a month where she was looked after by the 1977 Housing (Homeless Persons) Act, which included the<br />

volunteers working there.<br />

first legal definition of homelessness. <strong>The</strong> UK is the only<br />

Crisis volunteers arranged specialist medical help and country where homeless people have a legal entitlement to<br />

a coach to help her find more permanent accommodation settled housing enforced by the courts.<br />

in a women's home where she now lives in safety and<br />

Christmas is always extremely busy for Crisis<br />

where she can stay as long as she needs.<br />

volunteers throughout the country as they seek to help<br />

This is just one of many examples of the help that<br />

homeless people living on the streets by offering them<br />

Crisis provides for homeless people through its Crisis food, shelter and Christmas cheer at Crisis centres. As<br />

Skylight Centres in East London, Newcastle, Oxford,<br />

well as donations to help them through the Christmas<br />

Edinburgh, South Yorkshire, South Wales, Croydon, Brent period, Crisis also needs volunteers. Could you help this<br />

and Merseyside. <strong>The</strong> registered charity offers year-round Christmas? To find out more, or to make a donation, go to:


22 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />



12.oo noon<br />



Book your seat early for<br />

lunch, conversation<br />

and Christmas<br />

Carol singing<br />


4.00pm<br />


7.00pm<br />




Entry by<br />

invitation only<br />

FRIDAY 16<br />

6.45<br />

STA<br />

CHRIST<br />

PAR<br />

Fun, games<br />

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

until 8.<br />


Followed by tea, coffee,<br />

cakes and conversation<br />

in <strong>The</strong> Ark<br />


6.30pm<br />


SCHOOL<br />


Entry by<br />

invitation only<br />


10.30am<br />


Gifts and toys collected<br />

for the Reading Family Aid<br />

Christmas Appeal<br />

Christmas Tree<br />

lights switched on<br />

by St Nicholas<br />

F<br />

F<br />

CHRIS<br />

PAR<br />

Children b<br />

presen<br />

Further details


<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 23<br />



pm<br />

Y<br />

MAS<br />

TY<br />

and food<br />

Ark<br />

15pm<br />

3.00pm<br />



PARTY<br />

5.00pm<br />




Traditional, candlelit<br />

service followed by mince<br />

pies and a glass of<br />

wine. Arrive in<br />

good time.<br />

4.00pm<br />




Children come dressed<br />

as shepherds, kings<br />

donkeys, sheep,<br />

cows, goats etc.<br />

TMAS DAY<br />

10.30am<br />


ring one of your Christmas<br />

ts to show the vicar!<br />

11.00pm 11.00pm<br />




MASS<br />

of the <strong>December</strong> services on page 9

24 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> Please mention <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when responding to advertisements<br />

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feature — 4<br />

90 years of Royal Christmas messages<br />

By Tim Lenton<br />

This year we shall have our first<br />

Royal Christmas Message from King<br />

Charles III. He follows in a tradition<br />

that spans three generations.<br />

It was 90 years ago, on 25 <strong>December</strong><br />

1932, that the first Royal Christmas<br />

Message was broadcast on radio.<br />

King George V addressed the nation<br />

live from Sandringham.<br />

A quarter of a century later, on<br />

25 <strong>December</strong> 1957, the Christmas<br />

message by Queen Elizabeth II was<br />

televised for the first time.<br />

King George V had been asked<br />

to broadcast a Christmas message<br />

in 1922, but at the time he felt that<br />

radio was for entertainment, and<br />

therefore not suitable.<br />

Ten years later, after a visit to the<br />

BBC, he was persuaded otherwise,<br />

and agreed to do it as part of the<br />

inauguration of the new Empire<br />

Service (now the World Service).<br />

<strong>The</strong> time chosen was 3pm because<br />

it was the best time for reaching<br />

most countries in the Empire. In<br />

fact the first message started five<br />

minutes late and lasted only two and<br />

a half minutes, but it made a massive<br />

impact and established itself as a<br />

regular Christmas Day event.<br />

Edward VIII never delivered<br />

a Christmas broadcast, but King<br />

George VI continued the tradition,<br />

using it to encourage people during<br />

the Second World War.<br />

Queen Elizabeth II broadcast<br />

her first Christmas message in 1952,<br />

again from a room at Sandringham,<br />

and five years later agreed that<br />


King Charles III<br />

her Christmas message could be<br />

televised live. She proved to be a<br />

natural broadcaster.<br />

But times changed, and in<br />

1960 the message was prerecorded<br />

from Buckingham Palace, which<br />

meant that it could be sent to<br />

Commonwealth countries for<br />

broadcast at a convenient time.<br />

However, the 3pm UK broadcast<br />

continued every year — except<br />

1969, when the Queen wrote a<br />

message instead, believing that the<br />

Royal Family had received enough<br />

exposure with the TV documentary<br />

Royal Family, which had aired in the<br />

summer.<br />

But the tradition was resumed<br />

the following year. <strong>The</strong> Christmas<br />

message is now also available each<br />

year as a podcast and can be seen<br />

through Facebook and YouTube. King<br />

Charles III is expected to give his<br />

first Christmas message this year.<br />

King George V making his annual Christmas Broadcast to the nation, 1934<br />

wikimedia commons<br />

Public domain<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 25<br />

Monkey Business Images, dreamstime.com<br />

Getting out<br />

for a winter<br />

festival ramble<br />

During the covid lockdown many<br />

people rediscovered the joy of<br />

walking for pleasure, but how many<br />

of these have returned to their<br />

armchairs as we have returned to<br />

our previously 'normal' lives?<br />

If you are one these, or if you are<br />

looking for new walks, then the<br />

Festival of Winter Walks organised<br />

by <strong>The</strong> Ramblers could get you<br />

walking again.<br />

<strong>The</strong> festival has been running<br />

for over 30 years and is designed 'to<br />

provide an opportunity to get more<br />

people walking'. This year, it runs<br />

from Tuesday 20 <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> to<br />

Thursday 5 January 2023.<br />


<strong>The</strong> Ramblers is a charitable<br />

organization that aims to protect the<br />

ability of people to enjoy 'a sense of<br />

freedom and the benefits that come<br />

from being outdoors on foot.' Its<br />

initial objective was to ensure access<br />

to the countryside for the general<br />

public.<br />

By law, <strong>The</strong> Ramblers in England<br />

and Wales needs to be consulted<br />

before there are any changes to<br />

walking paths. <strong>The</strong>y have hundreds<br />

of volunteers looking after<br />

thousands of miles of walking paths.<br />

<strong>The</strong> festival walks are being held<br />

throughout the UK — to find one<br />

near you search online for Festival of<br />

Winter Walks <strong>2022</strong>.

26 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

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around the villages — 1<br />

Welcome from<br />

Sonning CofE<br />

Primary School!<br />

From Phil Sherwood<br />

I would like to introduce myself as the<br />

new headteacher at Sonning Church<br />

of England Primary School. Our<br />

vision is to build strong foundations<br />

for the years ahead (Matthew 7:24-<br />

25), and we are keen to build strong<br />

foundations in our community by<br />

developing our relationships with<br />

local businesses and organisations.<br />

We would like to help support the<br />

community, but also for them to<br />

support our pupils where possible.<br />

<strong>The</strong> community of Sonning and the<br />

surrounding area is diverse, caring and<br />

supportive, and we would love to hear<br />

from local community organisations<br />

who would like to connect with us.<br />

For example, the relationships<br />

we build could lead to donating<br />

time or financial support to the<br />

school, sharing information between<br />

both parties, visiting each other or<br />

advertising local services that could<br />

help our families.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> is a wonderful<br />

way to connect with the residents<br />

and organisations in the local area,<br />

Phil Sherwood<br />

and we look forward to working with<br />

our community even more than we<br />

do currently! If you would like to<br />

connect, please contact our school<br />

office via phone 0118 969 3399 or email<br />

spsadmin@sonning.wokingham.sch.uk.<br />

Since the start of this academic<br />

year, our school has been involved<br />

in a number of community events,<br />

including <strong>The</strong> Sonning Village Show,<br />

and we have also engaged with St.<br />

Andrew’s Church (who we have strong<br />

bonds with), Sonning Farm and<br />

Signature at Sonning.<br />

On the right is a report by our<br />

eldest School Council representatives,<br />

Eshwar and Maya, about our recent<br />

visit to Signature at Sonning (below):<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 27<br />

Love, respect<br />

and curiosity<br />

By Maya and Eshwar<br />

We are two of the School Council<br />

representatives, and we are an<br />

important part of the school<br />

development team. We have earned<br />

a leadership role to take our peers’<br />

ideas and aspirations for the school<br />

and turn them into reality.<br />

Before the half term, we made<br />

speeches in an election for this role<br />

and all our class got to vote. We were<br />

the two fortunate candidates who<br />

were elected, along with two pupils<br />

from the other classes in the school.<br />

Recently, we went on a trip to<br />

Signature at Sonning and helped<br />

out the residents by participating in<br />

activities with them.<br />


We were able to show our school<br />

values of love, respect and curiosity<br />

in particular during the visit.<br />

We wanted to focus on showing<br />

everyone kindness and support.<br />

We made biscuits, autumn cards<br />

and leaf collages with the other<br />

school council representatives from<br />

the younger years and interacted<br />

with the people in the home.<br />

It was wonderful to be able to<br />

support others in our community<br />

and hear about their early<br />

experiences.<br />


<strong>The</strong> carers at Signature at Sonning<br />

went out and collected vibrant leaves<br />

and conkers to use in our collages.<br />

<strong>The</strong> residents were extremely<br />

thankful for our visit and, in<br />

exchange for coming, they kindly<br />

gave us refreshments.<br />

It was an incredible experience<br />

for us and we would love to go<br />

again, and thank you to the Sonning<br />

Community who organised the trip.<br />

We, as students, enjoyed our<br />

experience at Signature at Sonning<br />

and would love to work with more<br />

organisations and people within<br />

the community. If you would like<br />

to connect with us, please email<br />

our school at spsadmin@sonning.<br />

wokingham.sch.uk for the attention of<br />

our headteacher, Mr Sherwood.

28 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

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around the villages — 2<br />

Giving the gift<br />

of friendship<br />

this Christmas<br />

For many, Christmas Day is a day<br />

for family, for getting together and<br />

celebrating with loved ones. Sadly,<br />

however, for some people without<br />

family or close friends, it is the<br />

loneliest day of the year. A time<br />

when isolation, loss and grief are<br />

even more keenly felt.<br />

For the 11th year running, the Link<br />

Visiting Scheme is planning to bring<br />

festive cheer to those who are alone<br />

and who would love some extra<br />

company. This includes having a<br />

friend to talk to, a delicious meal on<br />

the day plus a gift of treats.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Link Visiting Scheme is an<br />

award-winning charity dedicated<br />

to reducing loneliness in the<br />

Wokingham Borough. For over<br />

20 years, it has provided social<br />

connections for older people through<br />

regular visits and local community<br />

activities.<br />

With the support of over 400<br />

volunteers, the scheme currently<br />

helps around 500 people feel valued<br />

and connected.<br />

If you are on your own, please get<br />

in touch with them to find out how<br />

they can help.<br />

<strong>The</strong> scheme relies on donations<br />

and always welcome support. For<br />

more information see:<br />

https://www.linkvisiting.org/<br />

or call: 0118 979 8019<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 29<br />

Sparkling bright and ready to welcome you<br />

to St Andrew’s Church this Christmastide<br />

Liz Nelson / Tina Hawkins<br />

Some of the Friends of St Andrew’s Church (FoStAC) who spent a Saturday<br />

morning giving the Church an extra ‘spring’ clean before the busy seasons of<br />

Advent and Christmas.<br />

Macmillan Coffee Morning in <strong>The</strong> Ark<br />

A Macmillan fund raising coffee morning will follow the mid-week Communion<br />

Service in <strong>The</strong> Ark on Wednesday 11 January, and to which everyone is invited.<br />

It will be from about 10.30am — the service starts at 10am and you are<br />

welcome to join that as well.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re will be coffee and cake, a bring and buy table, some table games, and<br />

paintings and cards depicting local views.<br />

For more information speak to Janet Robson on 0118 969 2253.<br />

Sonning Art Club continues to paint high quality pictures each Friday in Pearson Hall. Here are three examples, a<br />

beautiful kingfisher by Kay Mottram, a mother and baby by Sue Dobson, and a pony by Phil Simpson.

30 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> Please mention <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when responding to advertisements<br />

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HEALTH —1<br />

Dr Simon Ruffle writes . . . New York<br />

Nearly three years ago Mrs R and our best friends planned<br />

a trip to New York. We were celebrating our 25th wedding<br />

anniversaries. We married four days apart (the couples not<br />

Dr and Mrs R!) but Covid prevented the trip until this year.<br />

Our trip included the 7 day transatlantic crossing on the<br />

Queen Mary 2, following the path of the Titanic known as<br />

the North Atlantic Grand Circle. Over 110 years on from<br />

the tragic events in 1912, the Great Circle navigation<br />

still plots the shortest route between ports; which isn’t a<br />

straight line. Look up the equation, it’s mind boggling.<br />

Travellers on ocean going liners entering the US dock at<br />

Brooklyn are ‘processed’ into the States in a large shed; far<br />

less beautiful than the Ellis Island facility that welcomed<br />

immigrants from 1892 to the mid 20th century.<br />

In this large shed there are thermal scanners looking for<br />

active high temperatures, the usual passport control and<br />

many CCTV and face ID cameras spying on us. Once we have<br />

passed these checks we are shepherded to our bus, train or<br />

taxi for onward transit.<br />

Interestingly, the system used over a century ago was not<br />

that dissimilar. 22 million people entered the USA while Ellis<br />

Island operated, with about 18 million through the island.<br />

On arrival the immigrants were observed finding their<br />

luggage and then required to walk through the lower hall<br />

and up the stairs to the main hall. Anyone struggling or<br />

acting oddly was separated immediately for more extensive<br />

examination and processing. If found ‘wanting’ they would<br />

be sent back to the charge of the ocean liner company that<br />

brought them.<br />

Ellis Island Immigration Hall<br />

Simon Ruffle<br />

33rd and Park Avenue<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 31<br />

In one sad story, highlighted at the museum, a<br />

grandmother was sent home to Italy while her family were<br />

accepted. <strong>The</strong> elderly granddaughter, recalling the story, was<br />

in tears 80 years on from the event.<br />

Further on the people were then subjected to more<br />

questioning and examination. Just being suspected of<br />

mental illness would see you back on the gangplank.<br />

RED EYES<br />

A button hook was used to lower the eyelid to look for<br />

trachoma. Trachoma was rife in Europe, especially southern,<br />

and Africa. Caused by Chlamydia it causes roughening of the<br />

eyelids which leads to cornea damage and blindness. Until<br />

the late 1930s there was no treatment and the US did not<br />

want to take on people who would be dependent on the State.<br />

Seeing the instruments used I wonder how many people<br />

were infected by the screening process, but symptoms would<br />

not present for weeks. By this time 60% or more will have<br />

been dispersed across the continent.<br />

<strong>The</strong>odore Roosevelt in 1906: 'the doctors made the<br />

examination with dirty hands and no pretence to clean<br />

their instruments.' Things changed. Trachoma still causes<br />

many cases of blindness, but is treated by a simple course of<br />

eyedrops. https://www.sightsavers.org/trachoma-charity/<br />


Simon Ruffle<br />

Since covid started we seem to get jumpy on the<br />

underground or train if someone coughs or we try to<br />

suppress our own.<br />

On Ellis Island that could land you in a heap of trouble or<br />

back on a ship with very few people, a lot of cargo and a crew<br />

that don’t want you there and are compelled to deport you to<br />

your original port of embarkation.<br />

Tuberculosis (TB) was a common disease. Being cooped up<br />

on a ship may have caused many cases of TB spread but only<br />

active cases showed symptoms.<br />

Before X-Ray screening, people would be quarantined and<br />

should they not recover would be sent home again or would<br />

die in the Island’s medical facility.<br />

Treatment of TB at the turn of the 20th century was to<br />

collapse the diseased lung.<br />

turn to page 33

32 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

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from page 31<br />

HEALTH —2<br />

Times Square<br />

New York<br />


Simon Ruffle<br />

Diphtheria was also rife in<br />

immigrants. Throats were inspected.<br />

This illness causes a swollen neck,<br />

sore throat with pus and can lead to a<br />

closed airway and death. Vaccination<br />

and antibiotics has seen the worldwide<br />

cases fall to 4,000 or so, compared<br />

with over 200,000 cases and 20,000<br />

deaths in the '20s in the States alone.<br />


Today many Americans can trace<br />

their families to immigration, forced<br />

or voluntary. With tourists they<br />

gather in numbers, over a million, to<br />

celebrate the liberty and opportunity<br />

America has given in Times Square on<br />

Manhattan Island at one of the biggest<br />

New Year celebrations in the world.<br />

Despite the tough circumstances<br />

many were welcomed and they built<br />

America.<br />

Having travelled the route and<br />

spending a day on Ellis Island it makes<br />

me appreciate the Western world we<br />

live in today; the farsighted attitude<br />

of America in the early 20th century<br />

and the UK's post WWII approach to<br />

immigration, and the fact that we have<br />

nothing to flee from in the UK.<br />

During Christmas and New Year we<br />

can thank those people brave enough<br />

to leave home and those wise enough<br />

to welcome them which is the human,<br />

Christian, kind and right thing to do.<br />

From Bedside Manor, have a Happy<br />

Christmas and a wonderful New Year!<br />


In the Garden<br />

Patience brings<br />

a reward<br />

By Bob Peters<br />

One thing that gardening — which I<br />

became interested in at the age of 10<br />

when my parents gave me a small patch<br />

of garden that was a wilderness — has<br />

taught me is patience. According to the<br />

Cambridge Dictionary patience is 'the<br />

ability to wait, or to continue doing<br />

something despite difficulties, or to<br />

suffer without complaining or becoming<br />

annoyed'.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 33<br />

<strong>The</strong> picture (right) may not look like a<br />

particular attractive flower, it is small<br />

a little hairy, and has a pungent odour,<br />

although for this time of year, it is very<br />

colourful. To me, it is the reward for more<br />

than four years of patience, and much<br />

trial and error.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are some people who believe<br />

that it can't be grown in the UK which<br />

makes it even more of a challenge,<br />

even though there a quite number of people who do grow it. If you have not<br />

recognised it, it's an ancient plant called a mandrake.<br />

Mandrakes have a lot of mystery and sinister superstitions attached to<br />

them, not so much with their flowers but their tuberous roots that take on<br />

strange entangled shapes. <strong>The</strong>y are mentioned in Genesis, the first book of the<br />

Bible and also in Solomon's Song of Songs which is a collection of Hebrew love<br />

poetry that depicts the beauty and mystery of sexual love within marriage, one<br />

of God's gifts to humanity.<br />

Mandrakes are mentioned in the Song of Songs just after another plant that<br />

is still testing my patience — pomegranate — but that is a different story.<br />

When I obtained a mandrake root from a grower in the UK it came with a<br />

booklet that explained how to nurture it. Nothing happened much the first<br />

year and I contacted the supplier who advised 'patience'. <strong>The</strong> next year a few<br />

small leaves appeared but they withered and died, <strong>The</strong>n came covid, after which<br />

I had no energy and my Bible garden was left to fend for itself.<br />

This year I began to slowly try to restore the garden having lost many of the<br />

unestablished plants. When it came to the mandrake there was no sign of life<br />

except that the deep pot in which it was meant to be growing had become a massive<br />

colony of ants. I retrieved the mandrake root and left it my shed for couple of<br />

months before replanting it in clean soil. A few weeks ago it began to send up leaves<br />

again, this time they looked healthy and strong, the down side being that they are<br />

also popular with slugs which like the ants had to be dealt with!<br />

<strong>The</strong>n, on 6 November, much to my surprise, a flower appeared along with<br />

four or five other flower buds! This is the joy of gardening, trial and error, and<br />

lots of patience!<br />

Don't forget your donation<br />

for the Woodley Food Bank<br />

bin in St Andrew's Church<br />

during Christmastide . . . . . .

34 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> Please mention <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when responding to advertisements<br />

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THE ARTS<br />

Raphael's sign of joy and love<br />

When painted, this month’s drawing became known as '<strong>The</strong><br />

Mackintosh Madonna', after its last owner. '<strong>The</strong> Virgin and<br />

Child' drawing is by Raphael (1483-1520). He was a talented<br />

artist from a very early age, although this drawing was made<br />

when he was in Rome from 1510-12.<br />

It was the first stage in creating the Mackintosh Madonna: it is<br />

in black chalk with heightening marks of white. When an artist<br />

made such an initial drawing, he would prick it with holes and<br />

sprinkle charcoal powder over it to reproduce the design on the<br />

canvas below. <strong>The</strong> pinholes are still clearly visible.<br />

Sadly the final painting has been damaged through time,<br />

but here in the drawing we see that first stage: a sensitive and<br />

balanced picture of mother and child: Mary warm and caring,<br />

Jesus laughing and alive.<br />

During Advent we think of the preparations God made for<br />

the birth of the Saviour. We celebrate God’s work of creation<br />

and how he chose a people for his own. He looked for a holy<br />

remnant and then finally a loving heart in the assent of Mary<br />

to be the mother of our Lord. <strong>The</strong>se preparatory steps were as<br />

vital for our salvation as the artist moving from idea to sketch<br />

to the finished work.<br />

Vasari wrote of Raphael that in his paintings ‘the flesh<br />

palpitates, the breath comes and goes, every organ lives, and life<br />

pulsates everywhere.’ It is a life we celebrate at Christmas in the<br />

birth of a child who turns to us, as he does in this work, as a<br />

sign of joy and love.<br />

Children's Christmas Book Reviews<br />

<strong>The</strong> Christmas Star, by Hilary Robinson, SPCK, £7.99<br />

This is a fresh, heart-warming retelling of the story<br />

of Christmas for 3-5-year-olds. Children will love<br />

the story of the small, plucky star that becomes the<br />

Christmas star, and will learn that everyone can play<br />

a part in God’s story, no matter how small they are,<br />

and that everyone should be given a chance to shine.<br />

<strong>The</strong> clear, simple text is perfect for children just<br />

starting to read, and for adults to read aloud to them.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Christmas Bible Storybook<br />

Board book<br />

by Maggie Barfield, SPCK, £5.99<br />

Get your young children off to a good start in<br />

learning the Christmas story. Your under-5s will<br />

enjoy this full-coloured board book which opens to<br />

show them Mary and Joseph, angels and shepherds,<br />

wise men and, most of all, Jesus!<br />

<strong>The</strong> Hoity-Toity Angel – a Christmas story<br />

by Caroline Hoile, SPCK, £6.99<br />

A fun re-telling of the Christmas story for children<br />

aged 3-6. A beautiful angel with gleaming hair, and<br />

sparkling wings, was the most elegant angel that<br />

you could ever see. But she was very, very proud. She<br />

thought that she was the best! When Gabriel appears<br />

to Mary, the Hoity-Toity Angel is not impressed. Mary<br />

is not even a princess! And how can a king be born in a<br />

scruffy, smelly stable? Follow the Hoity-Toity Angel as<br />

she discovers that it's what's on the inside that counts.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 35<br />

By Rev Michael Burgess<br />

Poetry Corner<br />

Emmanuel Expresses<br />

By Steven Rolling<br />

Matthew 1: 18-25 parts<br />

Tune: Stille Nacht – ‘Silent Night’<br />

<strong>The</strong> Son of God, here appears<br />

On earth now, each revered<br />

Him, the Lord God, He breaks into<br />

Human history, lowly and true<br />

Jesus of virgin born<br />

Jesus of virgin born<br />

Born of the Spirit, Mary<br />

His humble mother be<br />

Joseph as His father earthly<br />

Yet sinless nature Jesus has, see<br />

His Father, God above<br />

His Father, God above<br />

And His name Emmanuel<br />

God with us, let all tell<br />

Mary bore the child, He Jesus<br />

He comes to earth, a Saviour for us<br />

Saves us from all our sins<br />

Saves us from all our sins<br />

Leaving heaven for earth<br />

Lo, He comes, here new birth<br />

All creation it joins to praise<br />

And all heaven, worshipful arrays<br />

Light of the world shine bright<br />

Light of the world shine bright

36 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> Please mention <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when responding this advertisement<br />

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History<br />

Was it really . . . ?<br />

. . . 200 YEARS AGO, on 27<br />

<strong>December</strong> 1822 that Louis<br />

Pasteur, French biologist,<br />

microbiologist, and chemist<br />

was born. One of the fathers<br />

of germ theory, he is<br />

best known for the<br />

pasteurisation<br />

process, named<br />

in his honour.<br />

Polodymyr Polotovskyi, dreamstime.com<br />

. . . 100 YEARS AGO, on 14 <strong>December</strong> 1922 that Lord John<br />

Reith was appointed general manager of the BBC.<br />

. . 100 YEARS AGO, on 30 <strong>December</strong> 1922 that the Soviet<br />

Union was founded. Officially known as the Union of Soviet<br />

Socialist Republics (USSR), it was dissolved in 1991.<br />

. . . 90 YEARS AGO, on 25 <strong>December</strong> 1932 that the first Royal<br />

Christmas Message was broadcast on radio. King George V<br />

addressed the nation live from Sandringham.<br />

. . . 80 YEARS AGO, on 1 <strong>December</strong> 1942 that the British<br />

Government published the Beveridge Report, which formed<br />

the basis of the welfare state.<br />

. . . 80 YEARS AGO,, on 17 <strong>December</strong> 1942 that British<br />

Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden told the House of Commons<br />

about the mass executions of Jews by the Nazis in occupied<br />

Europe. Ministers and Members of Parliament condemned<br />

the massacres and held a minute’s silence as a mark of respect<br />

for the victims.<br />

. . . 65 YEARS AGO, on 25 <strong>December</strong> 1957 that for the first<br />

time Queen Elizabeth II’s Christmas message was televised.<br />

. . . 50 YEARS AGO, on 22 <strong>December</strong> 1972 that 14 people were<br />

found alive in the Andes more than 2 months after their plane<br />

crashed. <strong>The</strong>y survived by eating dead passengers.<br />

. . .40 YEARS AGO, on 12 <strong>December</strong> 1982 that 30,000 women<br />

joined hands around the Greenham Common RAF base to<br />

protest against the US Cruise missiles there.<br />

. . . 25 YEARS AGO, on 11 <strong>December</strong> 1997 that Sinn Fein<br />

president Gerry Adams met Prime Minister Tony Blair at 10<br />

Downing Street — the first Irish Republican leader to do so<br />

since Michael Collins in 1921.<br />

. . . 25 YEARS AGO, on 11 <strong>December</strong> 1997 that the Kyoto<br />

Protocol, aimed at reducing greenhouse gases and combating<br />

global warming, was adopted at a conference in Japan. More<br />

than 190 countries have signed the agreement, which came<br />

into effect in February 2005.<br />

. . . 20 YEARS AGO, on 7 <strong>December</strong> 2002 that Iraq<br />

submitted a weapons declaration to the United Nations in<br />

which it said it had no weapons of mass destruction. This<br />

was a prelude to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 37<br />

the sciences<br />

<strong>The</strong> Incarnation: fearfully<br />

and wonderfully made<br />

By Dr Ruth Bancewicz,<br />

<strong>The</strong> Faraday Institute for Science<br />

and Religion in Cambridge.<br />

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret<br />

place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your<br />

eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were<br />

written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:15-16)<br />

You began life as a single cell. For a few hours you were a<br />

miniscule but highly complex blob of jelly, until it began<br />

to divide: two cells, four, eight, 16, a ball, a hollow ball,<br />

and then something more recognisably such as a living<br />

organism. You were still tiny, but developing a nervous<br />

system, a head, a body, arms and legs.<br />

Until recently I hadn’t thought much about Jesus<br />

being an embryo. Somehow, I find that thought even more<br />

shocking than his birth. How could God, who made the<br />

universe, have become something so completely and utterly<br />

vulnerable? Maybe in the past, when the development of a<br />

child happened in ‘secret’, it was possible just to let that part<br />

of the Christmas story go untold.<br />

Today, when we see images of a developing child, or even<br />

embryos outside the womb, it is harder to ignore the process<br />

of Jesus developing into a baby. <strong>The</strong> incarnation meant<br />

that God’s son went through all the stages in the diagram<br />

in my developmental biology textbook: ‘zygote’, ‘morula’,<br />

‘blastocyst’, 'implantation', and so on.<br />

ONE OF US<br />

Nomadsoul1, dreamstime.com<br />

Jesus was there in the beginning, and all life owes its<br />

existence to him. But instead of remaining aloof, he chose to<br />

become one of us. <strong>The</strong> Son of God shared the same kind of<br />

DNA as every other organism on the planet. He knows what<br />

it feels like to have a body, to feel hungry and thirsty, pain<br />

and pleasure, dark and light.<br />

In Psalm 139, the writer is meditating on God’s intimate<br />

knowledge of him, which began when he was an embryo.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is nothing God doesn’t know about him, and even<br />

darkness cannot obscure him from God’s sight. <strong>The</strong><br />

incarnation means that God’s intimacy with us now extends<br />

even further. He became one of us, lived alongside us, and<br />

shared our very fragile material nature.<br />

<strong>The</strong> transcendent God is also immanent, longing for<br />

us to relate to him as Father. He became as fragile as we<br />

are so he could rescue us from the messes we so often find<br />

ourselves in. With his help, we can remember what it means<br />

to be fearfully and wonderfully made.<br />

Reproduced by permission from Merry Christmas Everyone: A<br />

festive feast of stories, poems and reflection, Edited by Wendy H<br />

Jones, Amy Robinson & Jane Clamp (Association of Christian<br />

Writers, 2018)

38 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7<br />

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9 10<br />

11 12<br />

13 14 15<br />

17 18 19<br />

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1 - (4)<br />

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3 - utter (8)<br />

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10. - Number after seven after (5) seven (5)<br />

11. Eg copper or calcium (5)<br />

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12. Japanese flower arranging (7)<br />

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13. Late time of life (3,3)<br />

13 - Late time of life (3,3)<br />

15. Greek goddess of wisdom (6)<br />

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6. Improve equipment (7)<br />

7. Wastefully; lavishly (13)<br />

8. Binoculars (5,7)<br />

14. Get rid of (7)<br />

16. Heavy (6)<br />

19. Looking tired (5)<br />


1 - Easy to deal with (13)<br />

2 - Early version of a document (5)<br />

4 - Important person (6)<br />

5 - Make a guess that is too high (12)<br />

6 - Improve equipment (7)<br />

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19 - Looking tired (5)<br />

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15 16 14 15 16 1 8 7 13 21 5 10<br />

8 12 18 16 23 5 1<br />

9 1 7 19 16 25 1 6 13 9 12 7<br />

7 13 25 1 1 26 19<br />

15 16 21 7 1 25 16 15 4 16 15 16<br />

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z<br />

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13<br />

S<br />

L<br />

14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26<br />

O<br />

SUDOKU<br />

Each of the nine blocks has to contain all the<br />

numbers 1-9 within its squares. Each number<br />

can only appear once in a row, column or box.<br />


<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 39<br />

PUZZLE PAGE — the answers will be published in the next issue<br />

Christmas is nearly here! Two thousand<br />

years ago the Jews were longing for<br />

the coming of their Messiah. <strong>The</strong> Old<br />

Testament had promised that when he<br />

came, he would preach good news to<br />

the poor, bind up the broken hearted,<br />

proclaim freedom for the captives and<br />

release from darkness for the prisoners,<br />

proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour,<br />

comfort all who mourn and to bestow<br />

on his people a crown of beauty instead<br />

of ashes. Jesus did all those things. He<br />

was and is the Son of God, and whoever<br />

has seen him has seen the Father.<br />

Whoever believes in him will have the<br />

best gift of all – his Spirit within them,<br />

which gives them eternal life.<br />


BROKEN<br />

HEART<br />



FAVOUR<br />



MOURN<br />

BESTOW<br />

CROWN<br />

BEAUTY<br />

ASHES<br />

SON<br />

GOD<br />

JESUS<br />

SEEN<br />

FATHER<br />




November<br />

Solutions<br />


D E S T I N A T I O N<br />

R A E E H S A<br />

O R S U E D E C U P<br />

C A D E T D M A H<br />

K R I L E R R O R<br />

T R U F F L E S O<br />

H M Y C M D<br />

E C A L A M A R I<br />

B I L L S N P T S<br />

O U L G A L I B I<br />

A I M A D L I B N A<br />

T E S E L E C<br />

U N C H A R T E R E D<br />


A R C H D I S P E N S E<br />

G H F C R E X<br />

R H I Z O M E E Q U I P<br />

I N R B R T A<br />

C H A R M O V E R R A N<br />

U A X Q A S<br />

L I A B L E N U C L E I<br />

T M D E I V<br />

U M P T E E N S W I P E<br />

R H H J I M N<br />

I R O N Y O A T C A K E<br />

S R D Y E G S<br />

T R A V E R S E K E G S<br />

SUDOKU<br />




40 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

Local Trades and Services<br />


Locks changed, fitted, repaired and opened<br />

Door and window locks fitted, UPVC door lock expert<br />

Checkatrade member - Which Trusted Trader<br />

Call Richard Homden: 0149 168 2050 / 0771 040 9216<br />

Please mention <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when responding to advertisements<br />


Linda Frewin MInstChp, HCPC member<br />

General foot care and treatments<br />

25 Ashtrees Road, Woodley RG5 4LP<br />

0118 969 6978 - 0790 022 4999<br />


Qualified Plumbing and Heating Engineers Gas Safe<br />

25 years experience - local family run company<br />

Office: 0118 961 8784 - Paul: 0776 887 4440<br />

paul@clarkbicknell.co.uk<br />


For jargon free help with your computer problems<br />

PC & laptop repairs, upgrades, installations, virus removal<br />

Free advice, reasonable rates<br />

0798 012 9364 help@computerfrustrations.co.uk<br />


Electrical Installation and Smart Home Automation<br />

intersmartuk@gmail.com<br />

Elliott — 0777 186 6696<br />

Nick — 0758 429 4986<br />


Reliable and affordable<br />

Small jobs a speciality!<br />

Call Andy on 0795 810 0128<br />

http://www.handyman-reading.co.uk<br />


Car Servicing, Repairs and MOT<br />

Mole Road, Sindlesham, RG41 5DJ<br />

0118 977 0831<br />

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


A local business based in Sonning. TV - FM - DAB aerials etc.<br />

Sky dishes. Communal premises IRS systems, TV points.<br />

Free estimates - All work guaranteed<br />

0118 944 0000<br />


We are a family business with excellent references<br />

and we are fully insured<br />

All cleaning materials provided<br />

For free quote call: Maria 0779 902 7901<br />


Thames Valley Will Service<br />

Also Lasting Powers of Attorney and Probate Service<br />

We are still working during the pandemic period<br />

0134 464 1885 tvwills@yahoo.co.uk<br />


0779 926 8123 0162 882 8130<br />

enquiries@thameschimneysweeps.co.uk<br />

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

Member of the Guild of Master Sweeps<br />


Thirty-six years local experience<br />

Family run company<br />

0118 962 8527 0779 223 9474<br />

callaghancarpets@btinternet.com<br />


For local odd jobs please call Phil on<br />

0118 944 0000<br />

0797 950 3908<br />

Thames Street, Sonning<br />


Reliable and friendly service for all tree care<br />

NPTC qualified — Public Liability of £10million<br />

0118 937 1929 0786 172 4071<br />

bighearttreecare.co.uk info@bighearttreecare.co.uk<br />


Landscaping, garden construction,<br />

patios, lawns, fencing, decking etc<br />

0118 969 8989 https://www.smallwoodlandscaping.co.uk/<br />

office@smallwoodlandscaping.co.uk<br />


Waste clearance from office, house, garden, loft<br />

Licensed waste carriers, no job too small or large<br />

Contact: John<br />

0771 021 2056 j.garmston@ntlworld.com<br />


Stump grinding and tree stump removal<br />

Latest narrow access machinery<br />

Contact: Mark<br />

0798 495 7334 http://www.berkshirestumpremoval<br />


Roger McGrath has 25 years experience<br />

Restoration painting work of any size undertaken<br />

For a free quotation call<br />

Roger 0742 332 1179


<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 41

42 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> Please mention <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when replying to advertisements<br />

information — 2<br />

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

Ministry Team<br />

— <strong>The</strong> Vicar: Revd Jamie Taylor (Day off Friday)<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> Office, Thames Street, Sonning, RG4 6UR<br />

vicar@sonningparish.org.uk / 0118 969 3298<br />

— Associate Vicar: Revd Kate Wakeman-Toogood<br />

revkate@sonningparish.org.uk / 0744 747 8048<br />

On duty Tuesday, Friday and Sunday<br />

— Youth Minister: Chris West (Westy)<br />

youthminister@sonningparish.org.uk / 0794 622 4106<br />

— Licensed Lay Minister: Bob Peters<br />

bob@sonningparish.org.uk / 0118 377 5887<br />

Children's Ministry<br />

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

Churchwardens<br />

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

— Liz Nelson liz.nelson1@ntlworld.com / 0779 194 4270<br />

Deputy Churchwardens<br />

— Simon Darvall sdarvall@businessmoves.com / 0793 928 2535<br />

— Terry Hunt terencehunt@me.com / 0773 470 7368<br />

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

— Molly Woodley (deputy churchwarden emeritus)<br />

mollywoodley@live.co.uk / 0118 946 3667<br />

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

— Hilary Rennie<br />

office@sonningparish.org.uk / 0118 969 3298<br />

Parochial Church Council<br />

— Secretary: Hilary Rennie 0118 969 3298<br />

— Treasurer: Richard Moore 0118 969 3298<br />

Director of Music, organist and choirmaster<br />

— Hannah Towndrow BA(Oxon), MA(RAM), LRAM<br />

music@sonningparish.org.uk<br />

Sonning Bell Ringers<br />

— Tower Captain: Pam Elliston<br />

pam.elliston@talktalk.net / 0118 969 5967<br />

— Deputy Tower Captain: Rob Needham<br />

r06needham@gmail.com / 0118 926 7724<br />

<strong>Parish</strong> Website: http://www.sonningparish.org.uk<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong>: http://www.theparishmagazine.co.uk<br />

— Editor: Bob Peters<br />

editor@theparishmagazine.co.uk / 0118 377 5887<br />

— Advertising and Distribution: Gordon Nutbrown<br />

advertising@theparishmagazine.co.uk / 0118 969 3282<br />

— Treasurer: Pat Livesey pat.livesey@yahoo.co.uk / 0118 961 8017<br />

— <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> is produced by St Andrew’s PCC and delivered<br />

free of charge to every home in Charvil, Sonning and Sonning Eye.<br />

— <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> is printed in the United Kingdom by <strong>The</strong> Print<br />

Factory at Sarum Graphics Ltd, Old Sarum, Salisbury SP4 6QX<br />

— <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> is distributed by Abracadabra Leaflet<br />

Distribution Ltd, Reading RG7 1AW<br />

— <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> template was designed in 2012 by Roger<br />

Swindale rogerswindale@hotmail.co.uk and David Woodward<br />

david@designforprint.org<br />

Advertisers' index<br />

ABD Construction 6<br />

Abbey School 38<br />

Abbeyfield Wey Valley Society 20<br />

ACG Services Locksmith 40<br />

Active Domestic Appliances 16<br />

Active Security 30<br />

ADD Plumbing 12<br />

All Aerials 40<br />

All Waste Clearance 40<br />

Barn Store Henley 16<br />

Berkshire Stump Removals 40<br />

Big Heart Tree Care 40<br />

Blandy & Blandy Solicitors 14<br />

Blinds Direct 26<br />

Blue Moose 8<br />

Bridge House 43<br />

Bridges Home Care 26<br />

Bull Inn 8<br />

Callaghan Carpets & Flooring 40<br />

Chimney Sweep, Thames 40<br />

Chiropody, Linda Frewin 40<br />

Chris the Plumber 32<br />

Clark Bicknell 40<br />

Comfort in Care 10<br />

Complete Pest Solutions 24<br />

Computer Frustrations 40<br />

CPS Fuels 28<br />

Cruz Kitchens 28<br />

Design for Print 28<br />

EMDR Hypnotherapist 30<br />

Freebody Boatbuilders 6<br />

Fields Pharmacy 32<br />

French Horn 44<br />

Gardiner’s Homecare 8<br />

Great House Sonning 24<br />

Handyman and Decorating Services 40<br />

Haslams Estate Agents 2<br />

Hicks Group 16<br />

Intersmart Electrical Installations 40<br />

James Autos 40<br />

Jones & Sheppard Stone Masons 32<br />

Kingfisher Bathrooms 26<br />

MC Cleaning 40<br />

Mill at Sonning 4<br />

M & L Healthcare Solutions 12<br />

Mortgage Required 18<br />

Muck & Mulch 28<br />

Nutrition & Health Consultant 38<br />

Odd Jobs 40<br />

Painter and Decorator 40<br />

Pearson Hall Sonning 24<br />

Reading Blue Coat School 26<br />

Richfield Flooring 14<br />

Sabella Interiors 34<br />

SecureHeat 20<br />

Seniors Helping Seniors 12<br />

Shiplake College 14<br />

Signature Care Homes 36<br />

Sonning Golf Club 32<br />

Sonning Scouts Marquees 30<br />

Smallwood Garden Services 40<br />

Style by Julie 6<br />

Thames Valley Water Softeners 6<br />

Thames Valley Wills Service 40<br />

<strong>The</strong> 50 Plus Home Repairs 28<br />

Tomalin Funerals 24<br />

Walker Funerals 12<br />

Water Softener Salt 28<br />

Window Cleaner 16

Please mention <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when responding this advertisement<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 43<br />


of TWYFORD<br />

Because you deserve<br />

the very best<br />

Welcome to Bridge House Nursing Home<br />

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

include a beautiful, light-filled and airy purpose built nursing home.<br />

Our philosophy is built upon helping residents maintain their independence and dignity, whilst ensuring<br />

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

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

is fundamental in delivering and maintaining the required level of health and wellbeing.<br />

At Bridge House, our comprehensive facilities and care provision is designed to deliver skilled,<br />

professional and individually planned care in an unobtrusive manner.<br />

Call 0800 230 0206<br />

Visit www.bridgehouseoftwyford.co.uk<br />


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

44 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>December</strong> Please mention <strong>2022</strong><strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when responding this advertisement<br />

<strong>The</strong> French Horn,<br />

Sonning. Quality.<br />

A continuing commitment to<br />

wonderful food and wine.<br />

0118 969 2204<br />


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