The Parish Magazine February 2024

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><br />

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

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

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

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

155<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> 1869 - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 1<br />

YEARS<br />

Serving Charvil, Sonning and Sonning Eye<br />

<strong>2024</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 Overall 2015, 2020, 2022, 2023<br />

Best Content 2016, 2021<br />

Best Editor 2019<br />

Best Print 2018<br />

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

<strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> — Candlemas with Christingle<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>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong><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>Magazine</strong><br />

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

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> 1869 - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 1<br />

<strong>2024</strong><br />

Serving Charvil, Sonning and Sonning Eye<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 Overall 2015, 2020, 2022, 2023<br />

Best Content 2016, 2021<br />

Best Editor 2019<br />

Best Print 2018<br />

information — 1<br />

Contents <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />



— I am a Christian, 7<br />

— <strong>February</strong> Prayers, 7<br />

— Transfiguration Sunday, 7<br />

— STAY, 8-9<br />

— Why am I a Christian, 11<br />

— Claude's view from the pew, 13<br />

— From the editor's desk, 13<br />

— Algerian persecutions, 15<br />

— India persecutions, 15<br />

— Saint Joseph, 17<br />

— From the Organ Bench, 19<br />

— War in Gaza, 19<br />


— Candlemas and Christingle, 20-21<br />

— Bears, hedgehogs and birds, 23<br />

—around the villages<br />

— Santa in Berkshire, 24<br />

— Monday Club, 24<br />

— Sonning Gardens, 24<br />

— Rotary bumper year, 24<br />

— Sonning School Nativities, 25<br />

— Scarecrows <strong>2024</strong>, 25<br />

— TRHA gardens, 25<br />

— Sonning floods, 27<br />

THE ARTS<br />

— Nunc Dimittis, 29<br />

— Poetry Corner, 30<br />


— St Valentine's Day, 31<br />


— Creation, 32<br />


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

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

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

<strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> — Candlemas with Christingle<br />

155<br />

Christingle<br />

Image: PowerofFlowers,<br />

dreamstime.com<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 March<br />

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

Tuesday 6 <strong>February</strong><br />

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<br />

are stored in a secure online archive.<br />

If you wish to view these archives<br />

contact the editor:<br />

editor@theparishmagazine.co.uk<br />

YEARS<br />

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

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

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 3<br />

Services at<br />

St Andrew’s<br />

Sunday 4 <strong>February</strong><br />

— 8.00am Holy Communion<br />

— 10.30am Family Candlemas<br />

Service with Christingles<br />

— 4.00pm Choral Evensong<br />

followed by tea in the Ark<br />

Sunday 11 <strong>February</strong><br />

— 8.00am Holy Communion<br />

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

STAY and Sunday Club<br />

Ash Wednesday 14 <strong>February</strong><br />

— 4.00pm Holy Communion with<br />

the optional imposition of ashes<br />

Sunday 18 <strong>February</strong><br />

— 8.00am Holy Communion<br />

— 10.30am Family Communion<br />

— 3.00pm Messy Church<br />

—Sunday 25 <strong>February</strong><br />

— 8.00am Holy Communion<br />

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

STAY and Sunday Club<br />

— 5.45pm Sunday at Six in <strong>The</strong> Ark<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 Sonning<br />

Gardens Care Home is held on<br />

the first Monday of each month at<br />

11.00am.<br />

history, 32<br />


PUZZLE PAGES, 34-35<br />

children's page, 37<br />

information<br />

— Church services, 3<br />

— From the registers, 3<br />

— Local Trades and Services, 36<br />

— <strong>Parish</strong> contacts, 38<br />

— Advertisers' index, 38<br />

From the Registers<br />

baptismS<br />

— Sunday 10 December: Bonnie-Mae Elsie Dovaston, Amy Nicole Salter,<br />

Leighton Connor Lee Saunders<br />


— Tuesday 19 December: Julie Digby, funeral service in St Andrew's Church

4 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> Please mention <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when responding to this advertisement<br />


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<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 5<br />

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

Dear Friends,<br />

I was a big fan of the American show ‘<strong>The</strong> A Team’ in the 1980s. <strong>The</strong> leading<br />

character ‘Hannibal’ had a catch phrase that has come back to me in recent<br />

months: 'I love it when a plan comes together'. For some years we have been<br />

planning the introduction of ‘choral scholars’ at St Andrew’s, and I am delighted<br />

to report that we now have three in place. <strong>The</strong>se are talented young singers who,<br />

in return for a yearly payment, commit to being part of our choir thus giving<br />

greater confidence to the voluntary choir and enabling the expanse of their<br />

repertoire.<br />

Our director of music, Richard Meehan, has brought about this new<br />

development and I must say that it has already made a big difference to our<br />

growing junior and adult choirs. <strong>The</strong> musical offering at Christmas, most<br />

notably at the Nine Lessons and Carols, complete with a phalanx of young brass<br />

players, was breathtaking. Indeed, it felt like a completed aspiration as I have<br />

always striven to expand our ministry of music to that level of excellence. I am<br />

grateful to Richard and his two predecessors, Hannah Towndrow and Chris<br />

Goodwin, who have led us to this point. We are blessed indeed with the high<br />

standard of music in our church. Thanks be to God!<br />

One recent remarkable development in the parish has been the instigation<br />

of the ‘Alpha Course’, an informal series of Zoom sessions where people can<br />

explore more about the Christian faith in a relaxed and totally non-judgmental<br />

way. We have had over 50 undertake Alpha in the last few years, both adults<br />

and teenagers. <strong>The</strong>y met together recently with the founder of Alpha, Rev<br />

Nicky Gumbel at <strong>The</strong> Ark and it has been wonderful to see how they have been<br />

encouraged and nurtured. At the time of writing another course is about to<br />

begin and I want to express my gratitude to all who have facilitated this.<br />


On Sunday 18 <strong>February</strong>, the first Sunday of Lent, I shall vacate the pulpit for<br />

five Sundays and instead I have asked five members of the congregation to speak<br />

to the subject 'Why I am a Christian'. <strong>The</strong>y are a varied group, at different stages<br />

of their Christian journey, and I believe this could be a helpful process for us<br />

all on our own journeys. We like to regard the 103rd Archbishop of Canterbury,<br />

Lord Carey, as a sort of honorary parishioner, so I have asked him to conclude<br />

the series on Easter Day.<br />

One ‘behind the scenes’, yet significant development, has been our<br />

contribution to the Piggott and other schools with our youth minister, Westy,<br />

mentoring young people who are facing particular challenges. He spends two<br />

days a week on this task and I know how much he is appreciated by the senior<br />

leadership teams. Now that our new ‘female youth and families worker’, Corinne<br />

Robertson, has begun her work, we shall be able to add to our provision in these<br />

schools.<br />

An aspiration of our church council back in 2008 when advertising for a new<br />

vicar was to develop a youth ministry and to increase the number of families<br />

and young people in our congregation. I am delighted to report therefore that<br />

the National CofE attendance statistics for 2022 show that St Andrew’s is now<br />

in the 95th percentile for child attendance on an average Sunday, and this is<br />

out of 16,000 churches. Indeed, in all 11 categories of church attendance for<br />

2022, including average Sunday attendance of all ages, weddings, Easter and<br />

Christmas attendance, baptisms and confirmations, St Andrew’s is in the 95th<br />

percentile of churches nationally. We take nothing for granted and must always<br />

prayerfully strive to do better, but nonetheless, I feel we should give thanks to<br />

God for this good news.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is so much bad and depressing news around, and the Church of<br />

England’s leaders sometimes seem to have a special gift for creating their fair<br />

share of it! I just felt it might be helpful in a gloomy <strong>February</strong> to suggest that,<br />

at least locally, there are good and positive things happening in your local<br />

manifestation of the good old CofE.<br />

Warm wishes, Jamie

6 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</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 />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 7<br />

Transfiguration Sunday 11 <strong>February</strong><br />

Nigel Beeton* writes: We have a window in St Mary’s Church, Bury St Edmunds which<br />

depicts <strong>The</strong> Transfiguration, and I always find it really inspiring. <strong>The</strong> Transfiguration<br />

was a breathtaking moment, and we can scarcely imagine the impact it had on the<br />

watching Peter, James, and John . . .<br />

1. Reveal Thyself to me,<br />

Transfigured shining Son!<br />

Thy holy radiance may I see<br />

God’s own anointed one.<br />

2. <strong>The</strong> prophets there with thee<br />

What stories do they tell?<br />

What holy words of mystery?<br />

What glories do they spell?<br />

3. <strong>The</strong>n, God’s own mighty voice<br />

Rolling through shrouding cloud;<br />

Must make the hardest heart rejoice<br />

To hear him clear and loud:<br />

4. This, my beloved Son!<br />

Listen to what he says<br />

Know that he is the chosen one<br />

And follow him all thy days!<br />

<strong>February</strong> prayers<br />

— All who undertaking our<br />

Alpha Course<br />

— Peace and justice in the<br />

Holy Land<br />

— <strong>The</strong> persecuted church in<br />

Nigeria and all those<br />

murdered recently by<br />

Islamists<br />

— All who use the Woodley<br />

Food Bank<br />

*Nigel Beeton was until his recent retirement an NHS radiographer working at the<br />

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds. He is also editor of ‘<strong>The</strong> View’, the parish<br />

magazine of St Mary with St Peter, Bury St Edmunds. To relax from these duties,<br />

he enjoys 'messing around with words', writing poetry ranging from the comic to the<br />

more reflective.<br />

Julia Sudnitskaya,dreamstime.com

8 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />

the parish noticeboard — 2<br />

St Andrew's Youth<br />

What a wonderful Christmas we had with the<br />

young people at St Andrew's in December. From<br />

the amazing music in the Christmas services and<br />

the STAY Christmas party, to the fun activities<br />

we had in the week leading up to Christmas Day.<br />

Here’s what we got up to in December…<br />

STAY for Christmas Activities<br />

During the first week of the school holidays<br />

Corinne, our new female youth and children's<br />

worker took on the task of organising a fun week<br />

of activities for the youth to enjoy. Needless to<br />

say, she did a fantastic job and the young people<br />

loved it! We took a group of us bowling, a group<br />

to Haahoos pottery painting in Twyford and a<br />

group met at the Ark to play a series of ‘A minute<br />

to win it’ games. <strong>The</strong>re were prizes galore and a ton<br />

of laughter was had. Although I wasn’t laughing<br />

when using my nose to roll a sweet potato (Corinne<br />

called it a Yam!) I got a nose bleed!<br />

STAY on Sunday<br />

We only had one STAY on Sunday session in<br />

December because of all the Christmas services.<br />

We finished our theme of water throughout<br />

scripture and enjoyed a review of all that the Bible<br />

has to say about it. From the Spirit of God hovering<br />

over the waters in the beginning, to Moses being<br />

drawn out of the water as a baby, to Jesus walking<br />

on water and in Revelation where there will be a<br />

river of life in the world to come. Each week we<br />

tried to make sense of what these passages might<br />

say to us. From God always being with us from<br />

beginning to end, God draws us out of the water<br />

to stop us from drowning and other times he is in<br />

the water with us, to knowing that often before a<br />

blessing we may face hardships.<br />

STAY on Monday<br />

STAY is not just about games,<br />

sport and adventure, we also<br />

have some great artistic and<br />

handicraft talent!<br />

STAY on Friday<br />

Our weekly youth club for secondary aged young people<br />

continued in December with the final party on the 15th<br />

when we had pizzas, loads of yummy food, drinks and a<br />

bunch of party games we all played together.<br />

<strong>The</strong> new basketball hoop is proving very popular, since we<br />

asked the young people what suggestions they had to improve the<br />

youth club.<br />

We also continue to make lots of use of the spikeball game, pool table,<br />

table tennis table, cookie making in the kitchen, the nail bar, Xbox and PS5<br />

rooms and the various board games we have.<br />

Timings on Friday night are 6.45pm-8.15pm for all secondary aged youth,<br />

with the addition of the fourth Friday opening up to year 6 to aid with their<br />

transition to year 7. <strong>The</strong> next few Fridays where year 6 are also welcome are;<br />

23 <strong>February</strong>, 22 March, 26 April, 24 May, 28 June and 19 July because the 4th<br />

Friday in July is in the summer holidays.<br />

STAY on Monday met twice in December — one<br />

session with the STIR cards and the final session of<br />

2023 watching the Christmas movie Elf.<br />

<strong>The</strong> STIR cards week was about connecting with<br />

God through Adam and Eve. What was life like for<br />

them? How connected to God were they? How has<br />

that connection changed over time to our lives<br />

now?<br />

Two hands from the very famous painting by<br />

Michelangelo were used to create an image of how<br />

that connection has been broken through sin,<br />

corruption and greed.<br />

We ended by thinking about how we can<br />

reconnect those hands and how that might look for<br />


<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 9<br />

STAY in Schools<br />

Throughout December we continued our regular<br />

schools' work through mentoring, assemblies,<br />

prayer meetings and various visits and carol<br />

services. We are hoping to grow<br />

the schools work with Corinne<br />

(right) joining the team and<br />

increasing our capacity to provide<br />

opportunities for people to<br />

connect with each other,<br />

with their school communities<br />

and with the Christian faith.<br />

Assemblies in December<br />

covered topics such as<br />

friendship linking to the<br />

theme of connecting,<br />

and Mary linking to<br />

the theme of women<br />

in the Bible.<br />

Reading Youth Workers<br />

Youth workers (above) across Reading meet every week to share<br />

ideas, support one another and pray. In December we went for a<br />

slap up breakfast to celebrate the year and as always there was a lot<br />

of love for each other as we looked forward to working hard over<br />

Christmas pointing young people to Jesus.<br />

email or text me for ideas, a chat or to<br />

encourage what we are doing<br />

Westy<br />

youthminister@sonningparish.org.uk<br />

0794 622 4106


www.salt-deliveries-online.com<br />

Tel 07785 772263 or 0118 959 1796<br />

10 Unit <strong>The</strong> 2, <strong>Parish</strong> 6 Portman <strong>Magazine</strong> Road - <strong>February</strong> Reading <strong>2024</strong> RG30 1EA<br />

*Prices are subject to change please check our website.<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 />

Church of St Andrew<br />

Serving Sonning, Charvil & Sonning Eye<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 />

St Andrew's Ark<br />

Third Sunday of the month (accept August)<br />

Third Sunday of 3pm the — month 4pm (except (accept August)<br />

Craft— Science 3pm — 4pm — Puzzles<br />

Stories — Craft— Games Science — Songs —— Puzzles Celebration<br />

Stories — Games Free — Food! Songs — Celebration<br />

Free Food!<br />

An afternoon of fun, fellowship and a free meal together<br />

An afternoon<br />

A<br />

of<br />

different<br />

fun, fellowship<br />

theme each<br />

and<br />

month<br />

a free meal together<br />

A different For more theme information: each month<br />

Church of St Andrew<br />

Serving Sonning, Charvil & Sonning Eye<br />

St Andrew's Ark<br />

<strong>Parish</strong> For Office: more information:<br />

0118 969 3298<br />

<strong>Parish</strong> Office: 0118 969 3298<br />

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


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

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

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


Church of St Andrew<br />

Serving Sonning, Charvil & Sonning Eye<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 Reserve Victorian chandeliers your and the seat use of our on: beautiful<br />

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

Church of St Andrew<br />

Serving Sonning, Charvil & Sonning Eye<br />

IN THE ARK<br />

Tuesday 13 <strong>February</strong><br />

Tuesday 27 <strong>February</strong><br />

at 12 noon<br />

Open to everyone of all ages<br />

for lunch<br />

and conversation<br />

0118 969 3298<br />

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

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

Please remember your<br />

Please donations remember for the your<br />

donations Woodley for the Food Woodley Bank Food<br />

Bank and inside place St them Andrew's in the box<br />

just inside Church St which Andrew's is open Church.<br />

10am Thank - 4pm you! every day

the parish noticeboard — 3<br />

Why am I a Christian in Lent?<br />

During Lent, which begins on Ash<br />

Wednesday 14 <strong>February</strong>, we are<br />

called to take ourselves out of the<br />

comfortable zones we live in and<br />

experience discomfort to enable us<br />

to grow closer to God.<br />

A good Biblical example can be found<br />

in the Book of Job, written 500-600<br />

years before Christ.<br />

Job enjoyed a very comfortable<br />

life for his time. He lived according<br />

to the ways of God and was<br />

subsequently blessed because of his<br />

righteousness.<br />

He enjoyed good health, had a<br />

large happy family, and was one of<br />

the wealthiest men on earth with<br />

lots of land, huge herds of different<br />

animals, plentiful crops, and many<br />

willing servants.<br />


However, suddenly, all this<br />

is taken away from him, and he<br />

experiences the most uncomfortable<br />

life imaginable.<br />

Job, then gets advice from his<br />

close friends who, like him, were<br />

God-fearing people. It’s not a<br />

comfortable story to read, which<br />

makes it ideal for Lent because it can<br />

take you out your comfort zone.<br />

His agony and lack of comforting<br />

words from his, at times, nonsympathetic<br />

friends, leads Job to<br />

seek help from God.<br />


Today, we are more fortunate than<br />

Job because we have an arbitrator<br />

to seek help from, to comfort us and<br />

guide us through life. In fact, we<br />

don’t have one, but two, Jesus and<br />

the Holy Spirit, who are one with<br />

God.<br />

But, even so, as followers of Jesus,<br />

we need to understand that our<br />

lives are not necessarily going to be<br />

comfortable all the time.<br />

Like Job we have to learn to take<br />

the rough with the smooth because it<br />

is through the bad times that we can<br />

recognise the joy of the good times.<br />


In his second letter to the<br />

Christians in Corinth, Paul tells<br />

us that we have to expect, as he<br />

did, to face hardships so that we<br />

can appreciate the joyful times –<br />

‘sorrowful, yet always rejoicing,<br />

poor yet making many rich,<br />

having nothing and yet possessing<br />

everything.’<br />

<strong>The</strong> possessions that Paul refers<br />

to are not the worldly possessions we<br />

associate with Job, but the heavenly<br />

possessions that we can read about<br />

in Matthew’s gospel:<br />

‘Do not store up for yourselves<br />

treasures on earth, where moths and<br />

vermin destroy, and where thieves break<br />

in and steal. But store up for yourselves<br />

treasures in heaven, where moths<br />

and vermin do not destroy, and where<br />

thieves do not break in and steal. For<br />

where your treasure is, there your heart<br />

will be also’.<br />

This Lent, try not to do only those<br />

things designed to comfort you<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 11<br />

Jorisvo, dreamstime.com<br />

personally, such as changing your<br />

diet or taking more exercise, but<br />

seek to store up treasure in heaven<br />

by doing some of those things that<br />

make you feel uncomfortable but<br />

that will bring joy to others.<br />


If you need help in choosing<br />

what your Lenten task might be,<br />

try reading those parts of the Bible,<br />

such as Job, that you avoid because<br />

you think they will make you<br />

feel uncomfortable, you might be<br />

surprised how comforting that can<br />

be in the long run.<br />

This year Lent begins on<br />

Wednesday 14 <strong>February</strong> and ends<br />

on Thursday 28 March. It does not<br />

include Sundays. This year at St<br />

Andrew's on a Sunday during the<br />

10.30am service different members<br />

of the congregation will speak on the<br />

subject: why I am a Christian.

12 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />

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Join us from 3:30pm every Sunday<br />

afternoon, and enjoy local live musicians<br />

playing at the bar.<br />

Simply pop along or book a table<br />

for dining.<br />

Head to our website to<br />

see what is happening<br />


the parish noticeboard — 4<br />

Claude's<br />

view<br />

from<br />

the<br />

pew<br />

<strong>February</strong> has always been a special month for me as both<br />

Barbara (my late wife) and I celebrated our birthdays just<br />

two weeks apart, so we would always spoil ourselves at this<br />

time with a special meal out with our family.<br />

This year, I reach my 90th birthday on 3rd <strong>February</strong> and<br />

arrangements are in place to continue these celebrations<br />

with all my Grandchildren visiting from around the country<br />

to join me.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se preparations brought back thoughts of celebrations<br />

from years gone by. However, growing up during the war<br />

meant that we didn't have much to celebrate and there seems<br />

to be a void in my memory of birthday parties during my<br />

childhood. I can only assume that children's parties did not<br />

happen due to the constraints of the war years. I do, however,<br />

remember having a cake with candles. I think the parties<br />

were saved up for Victory in Europe street parties, of which I<br />

have fond memories.<br />

Twenty first birthdays were more important than they<br />

are now and mine was celebrated with a few friends. As the<br />

following day found me being conscripted for my National<br />

Service, that would have been very much in my thoughts.<br />

I was posted to Hong Kong about seven months later,<br />

returning after about 15 months, when I was demobbed.<br />

Shortly after that, I do remember Barbara's 21st birthday<br />

party and dance being quite an affair. It was held in Reading<br />

Town Hall (the small hall known as Victoria Hall) and many<br />

people attended, including my parents. It was the same venue<br />

as our wedding reception would be the following year.<br />

Barbara and I hosted various parties in our home over the<br />

years and we always enjoyed celebrating with others.<br />

Claude and Barbara celebrating an anniversary with a glass of bubbly<br />

From the<br />

editor's desk<br />

editor@theparishmagazine.co.uk<br />

<strong>February</strong>?<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 13<br />

I usually write this column early on when working on the<br />

next issue of this magazine, but this month I overlooked it<br />

until I had almost finished it and discovered an oversight.<br />

While there are mentions of other features of <strong>February</strong><br />

this year, such as the start of Lent and so on, I had missed<br />

the 'leap' aspect.<br />

<strong>February</strong> is, of course, the shortest month of the year<br />

and unlike any other month. Every four years it starts and<br />

finishes on the same day of the week because of the extra<br />

'leap' day. This year is a good example, <strong>February</strong> starts on<br />

a Thursday and ends on a Thursday.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Earth takes approximately 365 and a quarter<br />

days to orbit the Sun. <strong>The</strong> quarter day, creates the need<br />

for a leap day every four years to correct the in-balance.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are alternative ways of adjusting the calendar, for<br />

example, the ancient Hebrew calendar incorporated a<br />

'leap' month every four years.<br />

While we all enjoy the extra day, leap years can have<br />

their problems for some people. When I was a child, I had<br />

a friend who was unfortunately born on 29 <strong>February</strong> and<br />

so only had a proper birthday party once every four years.<br />

She was not alone, however, as there are an estimated 5<br />

million people in the world who are 'leaplings' — that's<br />

the name for someone born on 29 <strong>February</strong>,<br />


This year Claude, who writes a regular column for us,<br />

will be 90 years old in <strong>February</strong>, and we thank him for his<br />

long support of our magazine and wish him a very happy<br />

birthday!<br />

Also this <strong>February</strong>, we begin the 40 days of Lent which<br />

follow Ash Wednesday, a day that is governed by the<br />

phases of the moon. This year it is on 14 <strong>February</strong>, which,<br />

of course, is also Valentine's Day when tradition expects<br />

us to tell the people we love that we love them.<br />

I have always thought this to be a strange requirement<br />

because love is not limited to a special day, love is about<br />

every moment of our lives and the only people who really<br />

benefit from Valentine's Day are the florists, chocolate<br />

manufacturers and card sellers! I believe that it is far<br />

better to tell the people you love that you love them every<br />

day, when possible, and to show your love for them every<br />

day in the way you treat them.<br />

Having said this, I am not saying we should ignore<br />

Valentine's Day, which is why on page 31 you will find<br />

Harriet's latest article about the fashionable clothes you<br />

might wear to enhance the romance of your day.<br />

And if you are wondering why we have a candle stuck<br />

in an orange on the front cover of this issue, then see the<br />

centre pages about Candlemas and the annual Christingle<br />

celebrations and fund-raising for charity that will be held<br />

in St Andrew's this month. Have a happy <strong>February</strong>!

14 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> Please mention <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when responding to advertisements<br />

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This month we look at the steadily<br />

worsening situation for Christians<br />

in Algeria.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are around 139,000 Christians<br />

in Algeria, which is about 0.3% of<br />

the country’s population of over 45<br />

million.<br />

Most Algerian Christians are<br />

converts from Islam and they can<br />

face pressure from their family<br />

and community to follow Islamic<br />

customs.<br />

Laws regulate non-Muslim<br />

worship and are sufficiently vague to<br />

be used to harass believers.<br />

Low status is given to women<br />

in Algeria and Christian women<br />

can experience additional intense<br />

hostility to their faith. Male converts<br />

can face ostracism, beatings and<br />

threats from family and community.<br />

It is getting harder to be a<br />

Christian in Algeria.<br />

In 2023, the country went up<br />

three places to number 19 in the<br />

World Watch List Top 50 countries<br />

where Christians are most at risk of<br />

persecution.<br />

In 2022, at least 10 Christians<br />

were sentenced for charges that<br />

included ‘shaking the faith of a<br />

Muslim’.<br />

<strong>The</strong> government has ordered<br />

churches to close and cease<br />

activities.<br />

A Spectator article in December<br />

reports that of the 47 churches of<br />

l’Église Protestante d’Algérie (the<br />

EPA), 43 have been issued orders to<br />

close.<br />

<strong>The</strong> law used to justify the<br />

closures is that churches should<br />

have permits to operate as places of<br />

worship.<br />

However, despite the EPA’s efforts<br />

to comply and submit applications<br />

for permits, none has been issued<br />

since the law was placed on the<br />

statute books in 2006.<br />

<strong>The</strong> vice president of the EPA,<br />

Pastor Youssef Ourahmane, is a dual<br />

national, with British citizenship.<br />

He oversees a number of<br />

congregations in the Kabilye region<br />

of Algeria and has been interrogated<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 15<br />

THE persecuted church by colin bailey<br />

It's getting harder to be a Christian in Algeria<br />



An Algerian church in the Sahara desert<br />

26 separate times by the Algerian<br />

authorities. Tried and sentenced<br />

without his prior knowledge, he now<br />

faces prison for the alleged crime of<br />

hosting an unauthorised religious<br />

assembly.<br />

As <strong>The</strong> Spectator writer, Miles<br />

Windsor, says, ‘[o]ne hopes that the<br />

Foreign Office is fighting for him in their<br />

diplomatic conversations.’<br />


Please pray for Christians in<br />

Algeria, that they may persevere and<br />

hold on to Jesus, and for their words<br />

and witness to lead others to him.<br />

Pray for softening of the hearts<br />

of those in authority so they may<br />

see the value and good intentions of<br />

Christians.<br />

Please also pray for Pastor Youssef<br />

and his family at this time.<br />

References and further<br />

reading<br />

— Open Doors World Watch List –<br />

Algeria - https://www.opendoorsuk.<br />

org/persecution/world-watch-list/<br />

algeria/<br />

— <strong>The</strong> Spectator article on Algerian<br />

Christians - https://www.spectator.<br />

co.uk/article/algerian-christians-willface-persecution-this-christmas/<br />

Sergey Strelkov, dreamstime.com<br />

Faith persecutions<br />

rising in India<br />

<strong>The</strong> recent anti-conversion laws<br />

in India have led to the arrest of<br />

hundreds of Christians, according to<br />

church sources.<br />

UK-based Release International,<br />

which raises the voice of persecuted<br />

Christians worldwide, warns: '<strong>The</strong><br />

persecution of Christians and other<br />

religious minorities in India increases<br />

dramatically with each passing month.'<br />

Twelve of India’s 28 states have<br />

now passed anti-conversion laws,<br />

and momentum is building to impose<br />

a national law across the whole of<br />

India. This would limit the freedom<br />

of religious minorities, including<br />

Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, and<br />

Sikhs, from sharing their faith.<br />

Police are arresting Christians<br />

under a law that is intended to<br />

prevent conversion by force, but in<br />

practise prevents any Christians<br />

from sharing their faith — even<br />

though their right to do so is<br />

enshrined in the Indian constitution.<br />

India is set to hold national<br />

elections in <strong>2024</strong>, raising the<br />

possibility of further gains for the<br />

Hindu nationalist BJP.

16 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />

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the parish noticeboard — 6<br />

Joseph, and why we<br />

should not be afraid<br />

to answer God's call<br />

During Christmastide we would have heard a great deal<br />

about the main characters involved in the story of the<br />

birth of Jesus: Mary, her cousin Elizabeth, John the<br />

Baptist, Gabriel and the angels, Herod the jealous king,<br />

the magi from the East, the shepherds, and even an<br />

innkeeper, but Joseph, the stepfather of Jesus, seems to<br />

be overlooked.<br />

Maybe, a main priority of the early church was to<br />

emphasise the virgin birth and by playing down the role<br />

of Joseph could make it easier for people to understand<br />

— it’s a standard journalistic and political technique to<br />

emphasise one side of any story more than another to<br />

make a point.<br />

But Joseph’s role is far greater than being the husband<br />

who remains in the background just to link Jesus to the<br />

house of David, which was an essential requirement for<br />

the expected Messiah. Joseph was not only of the house<br />

of David, his family tree takes him back to Abraham, the<br />

father of all nations. <strong>The</strong> Messiah being the saviour of ‘all<br />

nations’.<br />


Joseph is only mentioned in the Bible at the birth of<br />

Jesus and again a couple of times in the childhood of<br />

Jesus, of which there is very little detail.<br />

This led to the belief that Joseph died when Jesus was<br />

a boy, something that is confirmed when Jesus is dying on<br />

the cross and he entrusts his mother’s care to his faithful<br />

disciple, John.<br />

If Joseph had been alive, there would have been no<br />

reason to say this. This also led to the idea that Joseph<br />

was older than Mary, although some experts believe that<br />

when Joseph married Mary he was only 17 years old –<br />

Mary is thought to have been about 12, the usual age for a<br />

Jewish girl to marry.<br />

Just as Mary has a mature faith in God, so does Joseph<br />

who was a man of principle. In some Bible translations<br />

he is called just, or righteous, meaning he lived according<br />

to the laws God had given to Moses. Like Mary, Joseph is<br />

obedient to God.<br />


When Joseph is told that Mary is to have a child<br />

fathered by the Holy Spirit, the laws allowed him to<br />

divorce her – betrothal automatically applied all the rules<br />

of marriage except the woman had to remain a virgin.<br />

Divorce would mean humiliation for Mary. She would be<br />

outcast for life.<br />

But Joseph shows his love for her by not doing so,<br />

and then, following further instructions from God via a<br />

messenger, takes Mary and Jesus to Egypt, until it was<br />

safe for them to go to Galilee.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 17<br />

St Joseph with the Infant Jesus by Guido Reni c.1635.<br />

Wikimedia public domain<br />

<strong>The</strong> messenger’s first words to Joseph were, ‘do not be<br />

afraid’, thus identifying the messenger as being from God<br />

— often in the Bible when God speaks, either directly or<br />

through a messenger, he begins with the words: 'Do not be<br />

afraid’. This phrase, by the way, appears in the Bible 365<br />

times, making it something to remember every day of the<br />

year — unless, of course, it is 29 <strong>February</strong>!<br />

He said it to Abraham, Joseph’s distant forefather, to<br />

Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Elijah, Isaiah, and many others,<br />

just as Jesus said it many times to his disciples.<br />

Clearly Joseph is a righteous, kind, loving, caring and<br />

humble man, chosen by God to stand alongside Mary and<br />

support her in the miraculous event that was to change<br />

the world for ever.<br />

He could handle adversity and he was not only<br />

obedient to God but his trust and faith in God was<br />

reflected in all that he did.<br />

This didn’t mean great fame or wealth, he remained<br />

a carpenter and he was poor — we know this because<br />

when Mary and Joseph took Jesus, the firstborn child and<br />

presented him to God in the temple as the law prescribed,<br />

their sacrificial gift was that which only the poor were<br />

allowed to offer — two doves instead of a lamb.<br />


<strong>The</strong> story of Joseph, son of Abraham, son of David, two<br />

of the greatest and most powerful characters in the Bible,<br />

teaches us that whether we are male or female, we are not<br />

all called to be leaders.<br />

God values us if we place our trust in him and seek to<br />

live righteous, caring, loving, humble and faithful lives<br />

according to the way of Jesus our Saviour who, as Joseph<br />

named him, is Emmanuel — our God who is with us and<br />

of whom we should not be afraid to tell others about.

18 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />

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the parish noticeboard — 7<br />

An organ only makes music<br />

through the person playing it<br />

By Richard Meehan, director of music, St Andrew's Church Sonning<br />

When someone describing a pipe<br />

organ refers to its size, they would<br />

generally not be talking about the<br />

size of its console or casing, but<br />

about the number of stops it has.<br />

Most stops on an organ connect a<br />

set of pipes to either a keyboard or a<br />

pedal board.<br />

In larger organs, stops might<br />

be geographically separated. <strong>The</strong><br />

speaker positions in St Andrew’s<br />

Church represent this, with one set<br />

near the old pipes, two on the north<br />

and south transepts, and one in the<br />

nave so that the sound better reaches<br />

the singing congregation.<br />

<strong>The</strong> idea is that the organist<br />

playing a larger instrument has the<br />

power to create a complete nearorchestral<br />

effect which engulfs the<br />

listener.<br />

Each stop produces a different<br />

sound. About two thirds are flutelike<br />

designs and these include the<br />

whistle-shaped pipes generally on<br />

view.<br />

More strident sounds are created<br />

by vibrating metal reeds, and are<br />

referred to as such.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se can often be rather loud,<br />

and almost every organist can<br />

'<strong>The</strong> first thing Christians can do<br />

in response to war is to pray for<br />

peace and for those affected, says<br />

the Archbishops of Canterbury and<br />

York.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Archbishops are praying for<br />

'those mourning, those injured, and<br />

all those fearing for their safety,' and<br />

for 'restraint on all sides, and renewed<br />

efforts towards a just peace for all.'<br />

<strong>The</strong> Archbishops and Bishops<br />

are also encouraging Christians<br />

throughout the UK to join them in<br />

prayer, and to consider practical<br />

action, by supporting organisations<br />

'working to promote peace and human<br />

flourishing in the Middle East.'<br />

<strong>The</strong> following are posted on the<br />

Church of England website:<br />

— Christian Aid is the official<br />

ecumenical arm of Churches in<br />

recall with horror an occasion on<br />

which they, during a quiet passage<br />

accidentally let rip with the sound of<br />

doom.<br />

Stops for the great manual<br />

tend to be louder than the swell<br />

one, while the choir manual often<br />

comprises sounds of more distinctive<br />

characters.<br />

However, the most powerful<br />

aspect of the way they are ordered is<br />

their relative size.<br />


Stops marked 8' (eight foot pitch)<br />

sound at concert pitch, whereas ones<br />

marked 4' and 2' sound at one and<br />

two octaves above this respectively.<br />

Similarly 16' and 32' play one and<br />

two octaves lower than concert pitch,<br />

giving increased weight and body to<br />

the resulting sound.<br />

Other sizes of stops include some<br />

which are made deliberately slightly<br />

out of tune so that they create<br />

vibrato like beat-frequencies when<br />

played with the others.<br />

Some, such as the 2 2/3 stop plays<br />

a note an octave and a half above the<br />

main note, creating an emphasised<br />

second harmonic in the resulting<br />

Britain and Ireland and has been<br />

working with the poorest and most<br />

vulnerable people in the Middle<br />

East since the early 1950s, when<br />

it provided humanitarian relief to<br />

Palestinian refugees.<br />

— <strong>The</strong> Church Mission Society is<br />

a historic Anglican mission society<br />

which supports mission partners<br />

across the region.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Council of Christians and<br />

Jews — is a leading interfaith<br />

charity which works to help<br />

Jews and Christians to meet, to<br />

understand each other better and<br />

to create meaningful engagement<br />

between the communities.<br />

— Embrace the Middle East is<br />

an ecumenical Christian charity<br />

working to help marginalised and<br />

vulnerable communities.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 19<br />

From<br />

the<br />

organ<br />

bench<br />

sound and so, if played on its own,<br />

would in fact be playing the wrong<br />

notes.<br />

Learning to combine the stops<br />

to create expressive and pleasing<br />

sounds can be daunting for the<br />

beginner organist.<br />

It is one of those situations where<br />

there are in theory no wrong choices,<br />

but context can almost always make<br />

any combination unsatisfactory.<br />

I have always found it to be a<br />

joyful experience when organs<br />

thought to be pedestrian are brought<br />

to life in vivid sound colour by a<br />

good organist, reminding us that,<br />

for all its technical achievement, an<br />

organ only makes music through the<br />

person playing it.<br />

Gaza-Israel War: bishops urge us all to pray and to act<br />

— Friends of the Holy Land is a<br />

non-political Christian Charity whose<br />

mission it is to secure a resilient and<br />

enduring Christian community in the<br />

West Bank, Gaza, Israel and Jordan.<br />

— <strong>The</strong> Jerusalem Middle East<br />

Church Association has supported<br />

the life and work of the Anglican<br />

Church across Jerusalem, the Middle<br />

East and North Africa for more than<br />

120 years and in many other ways<br />

for individuals to get involved in<br />

supporting the Church in the Holy<br />

Land.<br />

— United Society Partners in<br />

the Gospel (USPG) is an historic<br />

Anglican mission agency having a<br />

long-standing partnership with the<br />

Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and<br />

the Middle East.

20 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />

feature — 1<br />


Candlemas, on the first Sunday of<br />

<strong>February</strong>, is also known as the ‘Feast<br />

of the Presentation of Christ in the<br />

Temple’ which recalls the events<br />

recorded in the Gospel of Luke 2.22-40.<br />

<strong>The</strong> ceremony complied with the<br />

ancient Jewish rite of purification<br />

when, following the birth of a child, the<br />

mother had to be ‘purified’ by offering<br />

a burnt offering in the Temple. This<br />

offering was specified as being a lamb,<br />

but for the poor, a young pigeon or<br />

dove was acceptable. Mary and Joseph<br />

offered doves.<br />

Traditionally, Candlemas around the<br />

world marked the end of Christmas<br />

and was the time decorations would be<br />

taken down. Today it is more generally<br />

recognised that <strong>The</strong> Epiphany, which<br />

marks the visit by the Magi and which is<br />

celebrated 12 days after Christmas Day,<br />

is the time to take down our Christmas<br />

decorations — the choice is yours!<br />

Candlemas is held 40 days after<br />

Christmas and complies with the length<br />

of time that is prescribed for most of<br />

the major seasons in the Christian<br />

calendar, for example the 40 days of<br />

Lent which this year begins on Ash<br />

Wednesday 14 <strong>February</strong> — and which is<br />

also St Valentine's Day — and what was<br />

originally, 40 days of Advent, although<br />

now it lasts between 3-4 weeks.<br />

Before electricity became the main<br />

source for lighting, churches such as St<br />

Andrew's relied solely on candlelight<br />

Zatletic, dreamstime.com<br />

and the annual stock of candles for the<br />

coming year would arrive at the end of<br />

January and would be dedicated and<br />

blessed on the first Sunday of <strong>February</strong>,<br />

hence 'Candlemas'.<br />

In recent times, at St Andrew’s, and<br />

many parish churches, we also celebrate<br />

Christingle at Candlemas, while some<br />

churches include it as part of their pre-<br />

Christmas celebrations.<br />


<strong>The</strong> Christingle originated in<br />

Germany — it means ‘Little Christ Child’<br />

and so you can see the connection with<br />

the Presentation of Christ in the Temple.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Christingle is made from an orange,<br />

which represents the world, and a candle<br />

representing Jesus, the light of the<br />

world.<br />

Around the candle are four sticks<br />

representing the people of the world<br />

and fruit or sweets are place on them to<br />

represent the ‘fruits of the earth'. Often,<br />

one of the sticks is left empty to remind<br />

us of the poor and hungry in our world.<br />

A cash collection, taken during the<br />

Christingle Candlemas service, raises<br />

money for the work of <strong>The</strong> Children’s<br />

Society.<br />

At St Andrew's we will celebrate<br />

Candlemas with Christingles on Sunday<br />

4 <strong>February</strong> at the 10.30am Family Service<br />

and hope you can join us.<br />

On the opposite page are instructions<br />

on how to make your Christingle.<br />

LUKE 2: 22-40<br />

When the time came for the purification rites<br />

required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary<br />

took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord<br />

(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, 'Every<br />

firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord',<br />

and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is<br />

said in the Law of the Lord: 'a pair of doves or two<br />

young pigeons.'<br />

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called<br />

Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was<br />

waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy<br />

Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by<br />

the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had<br />

seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he<br />

went into the temple courts. When the parents<br />

brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the<br />

custom of the Law required, Simeon took him<br />

in his arms and praised God, saying: 'Sovereign<br />

Lord, as you have promised, you may now<br />

dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have<br />

seen your salvation, which you have prepared in<br />

the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the<br />

Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> child’s father and mother marvelled at<br />

what was said about him. <strong>The</strong>n Simeon blessed<br />

them and said to Mary, his mother: 'This child is<br />

destined to cause the falling and rising of many<br />

in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken<br />

against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will<br />

be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own<br />

soul too.'<br />

<strong>The</strong>re was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter<br />

of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old;<br />

she had lived with her husband 7 years after her<br />

marriage, and then was a widow until she was<br />

84. She never left the temple but worshiped night<br />

and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them<br />

at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and<br />

spoke about the child to all who were looking<br />

forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.<br />

When Joseph and Mary had done everything<br />

required by the Law of the Lord, they returned<br />

to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the<br />

child grew and became strong; he was filled with<br />

wisdom, and the grace of God was on him

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 21<br />


How to make<br />

a Christingle<br />

You will need:<br />

— one orange<br />

— one candle<br />

— four cocktail sticks<br />

— enough red ribbon to wrap round<br />

the orange<br />

— dried fruit or sweets<br />

— a pin<br />

— a small piece of aluminium foil<br />

— scissors and an adult to help!<br />

Ask an adult to cut a thin slice off the bottom<br />

of the orange so that it stands firmly on a flat<br />

surface, and ask them to make a hole in the top<br />

of the orange large enough for the candle, but<br />

don’t push the candle in yet.<br />

Wrap the red ribbon around the middle of the orange and fix it in position<br />

with the pin.<br />

Cut the aluminium foil with the scissors to cover the top of the orange and<br />

press it into the candle hole in the centre.<br />

Push the candle into the top of the orange where the foil is and make sure<br />

it is held firmly in place. Put the dried fruit or sweets on three of the cocktail<br />

sticks, leaving the fourth one empty. Push the cocktail sticks into the orange<br />

so they are spaced equally around it — see the picture above.<br />

What does it mean?<br />

<strong>The</strong> orange represents the world that God created. <strong>The</strong> red ribbon indicates<br />

the love and blood of Christ. <strong>The</strong> dried fruits and sweets are symbols of the<br />

fruits of the earth created by God for all his people. <strong>The</strong> four sticks represent<br />

all the people of the world. <strong>The</strong> empty stick reminds us that not everyone has<br />

their fair share of the food provided by God. <strong>The</strong> lit candle symbolises Jesus,<br />

the light of the world that shines even in the darkest corners of our planet.<br />

Candlemas<br />

Communings<br />

By Steven Rolling<br /> Tune: Laos Deo- 'Bright the vison<br />

that delighted’ Luke 2: 25-32<br />

1. Lord, now let your servant depart<br />

In peace, desire of my heart<br />

I have seen in your child Jesus<br />

Born a Saviour unto us<br />

2. So said Simeon in Temple<br />

He did true hear the Lord’s call<br />

That He would not this earth leave till<br />

God did His promise did fulfil<br />

3. 'Twas that Simeon would see clear<br />

<strong>The</strong> Lord’s Christ, Anointed, dear<br />

Simeon took Him in his arms<br />

Gone now any doubts or qualms<br />

4. He said, My eyes they<br />

have now seen<br />

Your salvation, Lord, between<br />

You and man you have provided<br />

Salvation, as you have said<br />

5. You have your Son prepared before<br />

<strong>The</strong> face of all people, for<br />

He a light to Gentiles lighten<br />

Israel’s glory revealed then.

22 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />

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feature — 2<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 23<br />

What do<br />

polar bears,<br />

hedgehogs,<br />

hippos and<br />

birds share?<br />

Answer:<br />

<strong>The</strong>y are all<br />

celebrated in<br />

<strong>February</strong>!<br />

Images: Dreamstime<br />

Polar Bears, Iakov Filimonov<br />

Hedgehogs, Lana Langlois<br />

Hippos, Mikhail Blajenov<br />

Birds, Stef Bennett<br />

Hedgehog Day 2 <strong>February</strong>: <strong>The</strong> belief that hedgehogs can<br />

predict the coming of Spring dates from the Ancient Romans<br />

who relied on them to determine if Spring was coming soon.<br />

Later, Germans did a similar thing with local badgers, while in<br />

America groundhogs are thought to offer a similar prediction.<br />

Hedgehogs are definitely a gardener's friend, because they<br />

eat beetles, caterpillars, worms and other invertebrates you<br />

might not want and they help to keep crops and plants healthy.<br />

Nest Box Week 14-21 <strong>February</strong>: Organised by the British<br />

Trust for Ornithology, National Nest Box Week, encourages us<br />

to help the birds by putting up nest boxes.<br />

<strong>The</strong> main nesting season runs from March to August, but<br />

rather aptly, birds are traditionally thought to be paired up by<br />

St Valentine’s Day, hence Nest Box Week is in <strong>February</strong>.<br />

As well as feeding birds, the Trust says that it is important<br />

they have suitable shelter and a site for breeding. With trees<br />

and hedgerows being lost to development and the increase in<br />

urban housing, some garden birds can struggle to find a safe<br />

shelter to rear their young, hence providing a nest box in your<br />

garden can be a positive benefit.<br />

World Hippo Day 15 <strong>February</strong>: Unlike hedgehogs and birds<br />

who live in your garden, the hippopotamus, or ‘river horse,’<br />

lives by the rivers and lakes throughout sub-Saharan Africa.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y can weigh up to 3,600 kg and are the heaviest land<br />

animal after the elephant.<br />

Hippos seek refuge from the heat by living in water during<br />

the day, and going ashore at night to feed on short, soft grasses<br />

and fallen fruit. <strong>The</strong>ir eyes and ears on top of their head keep<br />

watch for enemies — mainly crocodiles — while in the water.<br />

However, like hedgehogs and garden birds, hippos are at risk<br />

from habitat loss, in fact, they are listed as being vulnerable<br />

because of this. World Hippo Day is designed to educate and<br />

encourage people to learn about the threat hippos face, and<br />

how we can all help protect the animals.<br />

World Polar Bear Day 17 <strong>February</strong>: This date coincides with<br />

polar bear mothers and cubs being snug in their dens, and this<br />

year the focus is on raising funds to help protect them and to<br />

give them the best possible chance of survival. Only about half<br />

of all cubs reach adulthood, with even lower survival rates in<br />

the most vulnerable populations.<br />

<strong>The</strong> WWF said: ‘While climate change remains the greatest threat<br />

to the polar bear’s survival, that is not all they are up against. <strong>The</strong> oil and<br />

gas industry is turning its eyes to the Arctic, so there is the potential risk<br />

of habitat destruction from oil exploration work. Oil spills can reduce the<br />

insulating effect of a bear’s fur which means they use more energy to get<br />

warm and it can poison them if eaten. Exposure to toxic chemicals such<br />

as pesticides through their prey, can affect a bear's biological functioning<br />

and ability to reproduce and melting ice from climate change has<br />

increased human-polar bear conflicts when hungry polar bears search<br />

for food in the summer. Fortunately, people are learning to adapt to the<br />

polar bear's presence and take preventative measures to reduce conflict.’

24 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />

around the villages — 1<br />

<strong>The</strong> day Santa came to Berkshire<br />

Monday Club<br />

Rotary Club, Hare Hatch Sheeplands<br />

Monday Club<br />

In December, Father Christmas<br />

arrived in Pearson Hall as members<br />

enjoyed a three course Christmas<br />

lunch that had begun with a<br />

welcoming mulled wine, thanks to<br />

support from Sonning Glebe WI.<br />

Naturally, Father Christmas made<br />

an appearance bringing everyone a<br />

goody bag!<br />

<strong>The</strong> club now returns to regular<br />

meetings in Pearson Hall on alternate<br />

Mondays 1.45pm until 3.30pm. If you<br />

would like a chat, a laugh, a cup of tea<br />

and some delicious cake why not go<br />

along and join them?<br />

In <strong>February</strong> meetings are on 12th<br />

and 26th.<br />

Sonning Gardens<br />

By the time Santa arrived at the<br />

Sonning Gardens care home his hair<br />

and beard had grown a lot thicker!<br />

He turned up at the care home's<br />

Christmas Fayre and helped the staff<br />

and residents to raise over £1,000<br />

towards research into dementia. <strong>The</strong><br />

fund raising continued throughout<br />

December.<br />

Sonning Gardens Care Home<br />

'Bumper' fund raising year for Rotary<br />

Last year proved to be 'bumper' year for the Rotary club of Reading Maiden<br />

Erlegh's fund raising which enabled them to donate over £30,000 to charities.<br />

Overseas, it provided support to victims of the earthquakes in Morocco and<br />

Turkey and continued to support the Rotary programme for the eradication of<br />

Polio.<br />

Locally, it continued with its community food aid programme supporting,<br />

local food banks and CIRDIC (Christians in Reading Drop In Centre), as well<br />

as providing 2,500 frozen meals through its partnership with Feeding the<br />

Community Charity.<br />

<strong>The</strong> cost of the meals was paid for by Rotary and their distribution was<br />

carried out by Rotarians through local Food share organisations with the meals<br />

cooked by Feeding Communities’ representatives at Leighton Park School.<br />

All these initiatives will continue throughout <strong>2024</strong>. Support was also<br />

provided to local charities such as JACs, Camp Mohawk, Yeldall Manor, Link<br />

Visiting and many more.<br />


<strong>The</strong> funds were raised locally mainly through three major events: a charity<br />

golf day at Sonning Golf Club, the Reading Charity Art and Craft Fair at<br />

Leighton Park School, and a Christmas appeal at various locations around the<br />

area. <strong>The</strong> appeal raised about £6,500, one of the best years ever.<br />

Collections by Rotarians were held at Henry Street, Winnersh Garden<br />

Centres and members helped Santa at Hare Hatch Sheeplands throughout<br />

December,<br />

Richard Nicholson, president of RCRME said, ‘<strong>The</strong> public and our partners<br />

have continued to be very generous in their support and the very high amount<br />

donated has enabled us to help a large number of local initiatives and overseas<br />

aid programmes. We are very grateful to everyone who has provided support.<br />

100% of all the money collected goes to charity’.

around the villages —2<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 25<br />

Sonning School kept their Christmas celebrations going well into the New<br />

Year by inviting me to take a full school assembly on 8 January, writes Bob<br />

Peters. <strong>The</strong> condition was that I took my collection of Nativity sets along<br />

with me and the children's response was as enthusiastic as always!<br />

Make a date for Sonning Scarecrows <strong>2024</strong><br />

Sunday/Monday 26 - 27 May<br />

It's two years since the last Sonning Scarecrow Trail, and the organisers are<br />

inviting you to start thinking about your scarecrow for this year's trail.<br />

As it is an Olympic year, a significant D-Day year and the 60 year anniversary<br />

of Sonning Glebe WI, there are plenty of ideas already buzzing around.<br />

If you have a garden on the route from Ligugé Way to the bottom of Pound<br />

Lane, Pearson Road, High Street, Thames Street or bottom of Charvil Lane<br />

where a scarecrow could be displayed, then the organisers would like to hear<br />

from you. <strong>The</strong>y would also like to hear from you if you are prepared to open<br />

your garden for visitors.<br />

To find out more go along to Pearson Hall on Monday 25 March at 7.45pm<br />

when you can register your scarecrow, volunteer to help in a number of ways<br />

and get yourself involved!<br />

For more information and booking contact:<br />

Barbara.carr71@hotmail.co.uk<br />

A new Repair Café has opened in Woodley on the first Sunday of the month<br />

from 2pm to 4pm at Christ Church on Crockhamwell Road. Volunteers will be<br />

on hand to help you fix a variety of household items. For more details:<br />

https://woodleyrepaircafe.godaddysites.com<br />

Gardening is<br />

good for you . . .<br />

TRHA, the Twyford and Ruscombe<br />

Horticultural Association, has been<br />

busy making plans for this year.<br />

<strong>The</strong>ir store in Loddon Hall Road,<br />

Twyford is now well stocked with<br />

horticultural goods, including seed<br />

potatoes, and will be open every<br />

Sunday morning from 4 <strong>February</strong>,<br />

9.30 — 11.00am.<br />

Members, old and new, are always<br />

welcome so why not go along to find<br />

out more about the organisation<br />

and get some helpful tips as well as<br />

meeting new friends.<br />

As well as giving pleasure,<br />

gardening is widely acknowledged<br />

as having health benefits and TRHA<br />

is committed to promoting this,<br />

particularly among younger people.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y have strong links with local<br />

junior schools.<br />

TRHA's Spring Show is on 23<br />

March in Loddon Hall, Twyford.<br />

Entry to the competition will be<br />

'open' to all comers again this year<br />

and the number of Classes has been<br />

increased.<br />

For more information, visit:<br />

https://www.trha.org.uk or go along<br />

on a Sunday morning, or email:<br />


26 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />

Please mention <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when replying to advertisements<br />

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

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

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around the villages —3<br />

<strong>2024</strong> Sonning floods recalls<br />

old memories of 1947 . . .<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 27<br />

Above: January <strong>2024</strong>, Peter Rennie took this photograph looking<br />

towards Shiplake from the top of the St Andrew's Church tower.<br />

Right: an aerial photograph from the 'Look and Learn' photographic<br />

library showing the Sonning floods of 1947.<br />


Saturday<br />

24 th <strong>February</strong> ‘24<br />

7pm for 1 st race<br />

@7.30pm<br />

Pearson Hall, Sonning<br />

on Thames<br />

Ticket price: £20 (for Race Night & Fish and Chip Supper)<br />

Venue: Pearson Hall, High Street, Sonning on Thames, RG4 6UL<br />

Email: Sally Wilson on mustangsallywilson41@gmail.com or<br />

Phone: Sally Wilson on 0118 9793328<br />

Opportunities are available to sponsor a Table (10 in total) or Race (6 in total)<br />

at the event. Email Sally for further information.<br />

This is a fundraising event to raise funds for the<br />

Vestry Wall at St. Andrew’s Church<br />

Charity No: 1101944<br />

From <strong>The</strong> Sonning <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> April 1947:<br />

Rev Sidney Groves, vicar of Sonning wrote:<br />

Sonning Vicarage, March 19, 1947.<br />

My dear People, We are all deeply concerned as to the<br />

sorry plight in which the Sonning Eye folk have been<br />

plunged by the floods and to a lesser degree by the gale,<br />

and can only hope that by the time these words reach<br />

your eyes the waters will have gone down and the houses<br />

be once more dry and clean, and habitable — but how<br />

many houses in Sonning Eye are really habitable? This<br />

disaster has shown up afresh the lack of decencies, not<br />

to say the amenities of life, from which our parishioners<br />

in the Eye suffer; it seems difficult to believe that either<br />

the local authority or the landlords have done their duty<br />

by these people; callous neglect stares one in the face<br />

on every side. Now that the war is over, such conditions<br />

must no longer be tolerated.

28 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> Please mention <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> when responding to advertisements<br />


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THE ARTS — 1<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 29<br />

Music helps us to see God's glorious salvation<br />

Rev Michael Burgess continues his<br />

series looking at great works of<br />

music. This month he writes about<br />

Nunc Dimittis — ‘Glorious the song<br />

when God’s the theme’<br />

St Luke tells us in his Gospel that<br />

the angels sang praises to God at the<br />

birth of Jesus, and he has given us<br />

three poems that have become part<br />

of Christian song: <strong>The</strong> Magnificat,<br />

Benedictus, and Nunc Dimittis.<br />


<strong>The</strong> first two are full of praise and<br />

rejoicing. <strong>The</strong> last comes as Mary and<br />

Joseph fulfil the Law of Moses and<br />

take the child Jesus to Jerusalem. In<br />

the Temple they meet Simeon, and<br />

Anna.<br />

Simeon represents each of us who<br />

can look back over life with gratitude<br />

in the face of death as he says:<br />

‘Lord, now lettest thou thy servant<br />

depart in peace.’<br />

It is a story that has inspired<br />

preachers and artists, and also<br />

composers.<br />

In the Christian Church the<br />

words of the Nunc Dimittis have<br />

become part of worship at the end of<br />

each day, not just the end of life.<br />

Cathedral and parish church<br />

choirs have sung settings of these<br />

words in that great tradition of<br />

Anglican choral music at Evensong.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y are settings that have<br />

captured the sense of quiet<br />

resignation, but also conveyed<br />

the glory of the light that is Jesus<br />

shining for all people.<br />


Rachmaninov’s setting is part of<br />

his Vespers, the night-long vigil sung<br />

in the Russian Orthodox Church on<br />

the eve of great feasts.<br />

Rachmaninov composed the work<br />

— which comprises of 15 pieces — at<br />

great speed, but even so, the Vespers<br />

are now seen as one of the great<br />

masterpieces of religious music.<br />

This was no more so than in his<br />

beautiful setting of the 5th canticle,<br />

the Nunc Dimittis.<br />

Just 36 bars long, it begins with<br />

a rocking, undulating figure in the<br />

upper voices. A solo tenor enters as<br />

the voice of Simeon, and it ends with<br />

the basses moving down to a low B<br />

flat: ‘a sigh of wonder and resignation<br />

Jesus Angels Painting Ceiling<br />

Interior Church Saint Nicholas<br />

Askold s Grave Kiev Ukraine.<br />

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church<br />

created 1810. Askold s Graveyard<br />

has many famous Ukrainians<br />

buried there.<br />

This 1810 ceiling painting of Jesus and the Angels is in Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church of St Nicholas Askod in Kyiv. Its graveyard has many famous<br />

Ukrainians buried there.<br />

William Perry, dreamstime.com<br />

on the threshold of eternal rest and<br />

peace,’ one critic has called it.<br />

Rachmaninov later recalled, 'After<br />

I played the passage at the end of<br />

the 5th canticle where the basses<br />

slowly descend to that low note, the<br />

conductor shook his head, saying,<br />

now where on earth will we find such<br />

basses?<br />

<strong>The</strong>y are as rare as asparagus at<br />

Christmas!’<br />

Nevertheless, he did find them. It<br />

was one of the composer’s favourite<br />

pieces, and he asked for it to be sung<br />

at his funeral in the hope that it<br />

would send his ‘ship of death gently<br />

towards the unknown region.'<br />

MOVING<br />

On 2 <strong>February</strong> we shall hear these<br />

words as part of the Gospel on the<br />

feast of Candlemas.<br />

Simeon prays them because his<br />

cup is now overflowing. He has<br />

looked on the salvation of God.<br />

Music allows us to look on<br />

that glory and salvation also, and<br />

Rachmaninov, in his moving setting,<br />

has captured the calm trust of that<br />

moment, which shines out like the<br />

brightness of the light of Jesus.

30 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />

THE ARTS — 2<br />

Poetry, Prayer and Pictures<br />

St Andrew's Church Sonning from <strong>The</strong> River Thames footpath<br />

Winter Now<br />

From a poem by Samuel Longfellow 1819-92<br />

‘Tis winter now; the fallen snow<br />

Has left the heavens all coldly clear;<br />

Through leafless boughs the sharp winds blow,<br />

And all the earth lies dead and drear.<br />

And yet God’s love is not withdrawn;<br />

His life within the keen air breathes;<br />

His beauty paints the crimson dawn,<br />

And clothes the boughs with glittering wreaths<br />

O God! Who giv’st the winter’s cold,<br />

As well as summer’s joyous rays,<br />

Us warmly in thy love enfold,<br />

And keep us through life’s wintry days.<br />

Robotic Poetry Concern<br />

A <strong>February</strong> Prayer<br />

By Daphne Kitching<br />

Nigel Beeton writes: I must be careful! You know that you can now call up ‘Chat<br />

GPT’ and say ‘Give me a poem about <strong>February</strong>!’ and it will push out dozens of<br />

suggestions for you to choose from, having soaked up the best work from the best<br />

poets all through the ages . . .<br />

I’ve been replaced by a robot -<br />

His name is ‘Chat GPT.’<br />

He is a poet of a robot –<br />

And that’s what troubles me.<br />

Tom Farncombe<br />

Father, in this coldest and shortest of months, this month when<br />

traditionally thoughts turn to love and the promise of Spring, help us<br />

to be thankful and steadfast and to see your bigger picture in what is<br />

sometimes a frightening world, a world where love between nations<br />

seems to be in short supply and the future uncertain.<br />

We pray for all those whose lives are in turmoil through a lack of love<br />

and justice. Help us to remember the great love you have for your world<br />

and your people, so great that you sent Jesus to show us how to live, how<br />

to love and how to overcome the troubles of the world.<br />

Thank you that your love is stronger than the forces of evil, stronger<br />

than death. Help us to put our trust in Jesus, to keep our focus on him,<br />

knowing he will never leave us or forsake us. Thank you that his love is<br />

stronger than the forces of evil, stronger than death.<br />

In his name, Amen.<br />

3. He has an acceptable metre;<br />

His work runs quite nicely to time,<br />

His work gets neater and neater!<br />

And he is quite good with a rhyme!<br />

Quantity Surveyor<br />

2. He can read in a moment<br />

Shakespeare, Keats, and Lear –<br />

More in that one single moment<br />

Than I can read in a year!<br />

4. In fact, so good is his manner<br />

<strong>The</strong> robot is quite hard to see:<br />

So, I’ll have to dumb down my grammar:<br />

'This poem, it woz writ by me!'<br />

Phil Mason


What will you<br />

be wearing for<br />

Valentine's Day?<br />

It's finally <strong>February</strong>, and Valentine's Day<br />

is fast approaching! This year the day falls<br />

on a Wednesday, and brands have already<br />

started preparing and stocking shelves<br />

with classic red and pink products to<br />

celebrate this special occasion.<br />

Shoppers everywhere will be<br />

persuaded to buy love-themed<br />

products and fashions that will be<br />

worn perhaps just once for a special<br />

Valentine's Day date or to stay at<br />

home and watch a favourite rom-com.<br />

Staying in is the new to going out;<br />

we all know that. Whether planning<br />

a date with Deliveroo or preparing<br />

a movie night with friends at home,<br />

staying in this year is OK and the<br />

new normal.<br />

Traditionally, Valentine's Day<br />

has meant nights out with friends<br />

or a partner; however, ever since the<br />

pandemic, people have become more<br />

comfortable staying at home and still<br />

having a great time.<br />

Whether you're going out or<br />

staying at home, here are a few<br />

Valentine's Day outfits and top picks<br />

that are predicted to be best sellers<br />

this <strong>February</strong>.<br />


Firstly, red and pink which<br />

have traditionally been the classic<br />

Valentine's Day colour scheme for<br />

most wardrobes worldwide.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se colours originated from the<br />

roses given out for centuries as a sign<br />

of love. <strong>The</strong>y have been associated<br />

with Valentine's Day since the<br />

Victorian era when the language of<br />

giving flowers first became popular<br />

in Britain.<br />

Fashion brands have always<br />

used these romantic colours within<br />

marketing and collections to draw<br />

attention to their new products.<br />

This year 'millennial pink' may<br />

be the year's top colour! Whereas<br />

bright pinks have been popular in<br />

recent years, this viral shade of light<br />

pink, which you may remember was<br />

popular in 2015, is now making a big<br />

come back. It has recently been at the<br />

forefront of many colour schemes.<br />

Just when you thought Gen Z —<br />

those born from the mid-1990s to<br />

the early 2010s in the Western world<br />

— was taking over, millennial pink<br />

has returned to take command of<br />

this year's fashions.<br />

If you decide to dress for the<br />

occasion and go somewhere special,<br />

you'll want the perfect dress.<br />

This year, the classic satin slip<br />

dress with a languid cardigan draped<br />

over the shoulders will bring a touch<br />

of femininity and sensuality to the<br />

romance.<br />


Alternatively, you could slip into<br />

a fabulous sequin party dress for a<br />

living room disco with friends.<br />

Zara has a number of sequin<br />

styles for every occasion to add some<br />

excitement to your wardrobe.<br />

For a more casual look this<br />

Valentine's Day, Gucci's cable-knit<br />

jumper will cover you if you want to<br />

follow the luxury route.<br />

Pairing this elegant jumper with<br />

Alexander McQueen's classic take on<br />

the knee-high walking boot and Levi<br />

jeans will transform the look while<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 31<br />

still being practical for the winter<br />

weather.<br />

For long-distance relationships,<br />

you can still spark the love interest<br />

from the waist up with some help<br />

from sparkles!<br />

With Zoom your partner will<br />

never know you're still in your<br />

tracksuit bottoms, if you look terrific<br />

in a sequin top to make you stand<br />

out on screen.<br />

MAKEUP<br />

Images: pexel.com<br />

Makeup is another way to make<br />

your outfit stand out. Whether<br />

getting a Valentine's Day manicure or<br />

creating the perfect makeup to stand<br />

out at night, Chanel's multi-effect,<br />

four-way pink eyeshadow pallette<br />

will create the ideal pink smokey<br />

eyes ready for the romantic season.<br />

You can always make your<br />

celebration a self-care evening by<br />

choosing a new set of silk pyjamas<br />

for a pampering and relaxing evening<br />

of self-love.<br />

Whatever your Valentine's Day<br />

plans are, be happy, stylish and<br />

romantic with these current fashion<br />

trends to get you into the mood!<br />

What style will you wear this year?

32 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />


<strong>The</strong> now and<br />

the future<br />

for Creation<br />

By Ruth Bancewicz,<br />

Church Engagement Director,<br />

<strong>The</strong> Faraday Institute for Science<br />

and Religion, Cambridge<br />

Aleksei Nikolaev, dreamstime.com<br />

I find that watching buds swelling on trees and plants<br />

during the winter months gives me a tremendous sense<br />

of hope. After Creation’s winter shutdown, the sight<br />

of tiny flowers poking out of brown earth may be more<br />

important than ever.<br />

Getting outdoors during daylight hours, enjoying green<br />

spaces and getting some fresh air and exercise are great<br />

ways to keep ourselves healthy at any time of year.<br />

A psychologist colleague wrote, 'Attending to the details<br />

of nature can also inspire awe, which has been linked to<br />

positive mood and increased life satisfaction.'<br />

I expect it is this sense of awe that makes it easier for<br />

many of us to connect with God outdoors.<br />

Helping ourselves and others to thrive is a good start<br />

to <strong>2024</strong>, but it is also vital to have hope for the future. In<br />

the face of climate change, we urgently need to care for all<br />

of Creation, both human and everything else, with God’s<br />

help.<br />


Our ultimate hope is in God’s promise that He will<br />

bring about a new heaven and a new earth. We can look<br />

forward to the day when Creation will be fully redeemed<br />

and liberated from evil. <strong>The</strong> Greek word used to describe<br />

the new creation is the same as that used to describe<br />

someone who becomes a Christian, whose humanity is<br />

restored and renewed. <strong>The</strong>re will be continuity between<br />

the old and new earth as it is cleansed and purified,<br />

surpassing and perfecting what has gone before. <strong>The</strong>re<br />

will also be some discontinuity, as there will be no more<br />

suffering or death.<br />

So, one source of hope for <strong>2024</strong> is that we can enjoy<br />

both caring for and meeting God in Creation. But the<br />

parts of Creation that we find most beautiful, giving<br />

us a sense of awe and helping us to worship, are also a<br />

reminder that there is something much better to come.<br />

Fish Paste!<br />

Phil Mason<br />

History<br />

Was it really? . . .<br />

Achim Baqué , dreamstime.com<br />

. . . 150 YEARS AGO on 15 <strong>February</strong> 1874 that Sir Ernest<br />

Shackleton was born. This Irish-born British polar<br />

explorer was one of the leading explorers during the<br />

Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. He led three British<br />

expeditions to the Antarctic.<br />

. . . 100 YEARS AGO on 5 <strong>February</strong> 1924 that BBC Radio<br />

broadcast the ‘six-pips’ Greenwich Time Signal for the<br />

first time.<br />

. . . ALSO 100 YEARS AGO on 12 <strong>February</strong> 1924 that<br />

George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue was performed for the<br />

first time, in New York.<br />

. . . 90 YEARS AGO on 23 <strong>February</strong> 1934 that Edward<br />

Elgar, the British composer, died.<br />

. . . 75 YEARS AGO on 22 <strong>February</strong> 1949 that Niki Lauda,<br />

Austrian racing driver was born. He was Formula One<br />

World Champion in 1975, 1977 and 1984 and was severely<br />

injured and burnt in a crash at the 1976 German Grand<br />

Prix. He died in 2019.<br />

. . . 70 YEARS AGO on 23 <strong>February</strong> 1954 that the first<br />

field test of the polio vaccine began in Pittsburgh. It<br />

grew into a year-long national trial involving 1.8 million<br />

children.<br />

. . . 65 YEARS AGO on 3 <strong>February</strong> 1959 that it became<br />

‘the day the music died’ when American rock-and-roll<br />

performers Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and <strong>The</strong> Big<br />

Bopper were killed in a plane crash in Iowa.<br />

. . . 60 YEARS AGO, on 7 <strong>February</strong> 1964 that the Beatles<br />

arrived in New York for their first US tour and were met<br />

by thousands of screaming fans.<br />

. . . 50 YEARS AGO on 7 <strong>February</strong> 1974 that Conservative<br />

Prime Minister Edward Heath called a snap general<br />

election following the miners’ strike and three-day week.<br />

It resulted in a hung parliament, and the Labour leader,<br />

Harold Wilson, became Prime Minister.<br />

. . . 40 YEARS AGO on 14 <strong>February</strong> 1984 that figure<br />

skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean won the gold<br />

medal in ice-skating at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y scored the first perfect 6.0 in Olympic history.


<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 33<br />

<strong>The</strong> Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book<br />

Tarry Awhile: Wisdom from Black<br />

Spirituality for People of Faith<br />

By Selina Stone, SPCK £11.99<br />

Tarrying is a Black Christian spiritual<br />

practice in which believers actively<br />

wait to experience the manifestation<br />

of God's presence. It answers yes to<br />

the question Jesus once asked his<br />

disciples: will you tarry here and watch<br />

with me? Whether in the vibrancy of<br />

music and singing, or in the hushed<br />

silence of the congregation, people of<br />

all ages anticipate an encounter with<br />

God that will transform what they<br />

know, feel and experience day to day.<br />

This book makes the wisdom<br />

of Black spiritualities and faith<br />

available for everyone. It focuses<br />

on: darkness as a place of encounter<br />

with the divine; the unity of all<br />

things; movement, belonging<br />

and migration; the Spirit as one<br />

who moves in unexpected ways;<br />

quiet contemplation as essential<br />

to spiritual growth; healing in<br />

community; and weeping that turns<br />

to joy. Tarry Awhile offers wisdom for<br />

all who hope to encounter God in the<br />

midst of wearying times.<br />

Lent and Easter for Everyone - from<br />

Wilderness to Glory by Tom Wright,<br />

SPCK, £10.79<br />

Join Tom Wright on a journey through<br />

the Gospels, as he explores the life<br />

and impact of Jesus. Offering seven<br />

weeks' worth of daily readings and<br />

reflections, it enables you to relive<br />

Christ's journey from his temptations<br />

in the wilderness to the darkness of<br />

the cross and beyond, into the glory of<br />

Easter.<br />

Holding Onto Hope: 40 days of God’s<br />

encouragement through art and<br />

reflections By Amy Boucher Pye and Leo<br />

Boucher, BRF, £12.99<br />

A 40-day journey explore the themes<br />

of hope and new life, through vivid<br />

biblical images. It starts with how all<br />

creation praises God, from the flowers<br />

of the field to the streams in the desert<br />

and the trees clapping their hands. It<br />

then explores the agricultural pattern<br />

of sowing, growing and harvesting,<br />

before moving to the gracious<br />

promises and invitations God makes<br />

to his people, such as how he writes<br />

eternity onto our hearts.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are compelling images<br />

of God who changes his people,<br />

clothes us, renews our minds and<br />

strengthens us as we focus on a new<br />

life in Christ through images such<br />

as new wineskins, the imperishable<br />

seed and the city to come.<br />

Our Radiant Redeemer - Lent<br />

Devotions on the Transfiguration<br />

of Jesus By Tim Chester, 10Publishing,<br />

£7.54<br />

This devotional looks at the<br />

transfiguration of Jesus in depth,<br />

giving readers a glorious lens through<br />

which to view Jesus during Lent and<br />

Easter. As we see Jesus in his glory, we<br />

are reminded of how marvellous he is<br />

and how brilliant our future with him<br />

will be. We will be moved to worship<br />

Jesus with our whole lives, giving<br />

thanks for all that He is and all that<br />

He has done. Each of the 40 devotions<br />

includes prompts to reflect and to pray.<br />

Lent with the Beloved Disciple - the<br />

<strong>2024</strong> Bloomsbury Lent Book by<br />

the Rt Revd Bishop Michael Marshall,<br />

Bloomsbury, £10.99<br />

<strong>The</strong> author invites us on a six-week<br />

journey in the company of the ‘beloved<br />

disciple’ found in the Gospel of John.<br />

As the only disciple to have stayed<br />

close to Jesus at every stage from<br />

the Last Supper to the Crucifixion at<br />

Calvary, John records subtle details<br />

and signs which indicate a deeper and<br />

far lasting significance.<br />

<strong>The</strong> book explores what these signs<br />

are and how, with prayerful reflection,<br />

they draw us deeply into the personal,<br />

eternal and cosmic significance and<br />

awareness of all that Christ achieved<br />

by his death and resurrection.<br />

Mapping Your Spiritual Journey - a<br />

companion and guide by Sally Welch,<br />

Canterbury Press, £12.99<br />

Mapping your spiritual journey is a<br />

technique that helps us recognise and<br />

interpret God’s presence in the highs<br />

and lows of our life experiences. This<br />

book offers creative ways to explore<br />

our own spiritual journey, helping to<br />

trace our relationship with God from<br />

the beginning, whether looking at<br />

our entire life or exploring significant<br />

moments. It can be done in drawing,<br />

collages, time-lines, maps, collections<br />

of objects or photographs, modelling,<br />

writing a journal, making a garden<br />

and more. <strong>The</strong> book offers suggestions<br />

for ways to reflect on your journey and<br />

to deepen your understanding of God’s<br />

presence in your life. This equips you<br />

to look forward and plan your future<br />

journey with God with confidence.<br />

On Mission with Jesus - Changing<br />

the Default Setting of the Church By<br />

Graham Cray, Canterbury Press, £18.99<br />

January <strong>2024</strong> marked the 20th<br />

anniversary of Fresh Expressions<br />

a movement which spread<br />

internationally and denominationally<br />

from its origins in the Church of<br />

England. Graham Cray was its first<br />

National Leader. Countless new forms<br />

of church have emerged and the book<br />

offers a theological understanding of<br />

the mission of the Church.<br />

Friend of God - the Inspiration of<br />

Abraham in an Age of Doubt By John<br />

C Lennox, IVP, £14.36<br />

Abraham is the only character in the<br />

Bible described as 'the friend of God'.<br />

This study by John Lennox explores<br />

why Abraham is one of the most<br />

outstanding and influential figures in<br />

history. He had no political or military<br />

achievements, and he left no literary<br />

remains, yet today more than half of<br />

the world's population call him their<br />

spiritual father and is a model of faith.<br />

Curious Contemplative - Daring to<br />

Discover New Depths with God<br />

by Chris Webb, SPCK, £11.99<br />

Many people would like to move<br />

beyond the superficialities of<br />

much of church life and explore<br />

the spiritual practices of silence,<br />

solitude, and stillness to cultivate<br />

a deeper relationship with God,<br />

others and ourselves. This book<br />

explores Christian contemplation by<br />

following the journey of Elijah, from<br />

attention seeking self-appointed<br />

leader to reflective and deep-rooted<br />

contemplative. It examines what we<br />

can learn and how we incorporate such<br />

spiritual disciplines into our own lives.

34 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />

PUZZLE PAGE — 1<br />


ACROSS<br />

1 Success or wealth (Deuteronomy 28:11) (10)<br />

7 Forbidden fruit for Nazirites (Numbers 6:3) (7)<br />

8 Concede (Job 27:5) (5)<br />

10 Look at (Psalm 48:13) (4)<br />

11 Much in evidence after weddings (8)<br />

13 Condense (Job 36:27) (6)<br />

15 Breakwater (6)<br />

17 Give a tan (anag.) (8)<br />

18 More usually now called Pentecost, — Sunday (4)<br />

21 After living for 365 years, it was said of him that ‘he walked<br />

with God’ (Genesis 5:23–24) (5)<br />

22 Trampled (Judges 9:27) (7)<br />

23 For example, Miriam, Deborah (Exodus 15:20; Judges 4:4) (10)<br />

DOWN<br />

1 Arrogance (Proverbs 8:13) (5)<br />

2 Roman poet from first century BC (4)<br />

3 So rapt (anag.) (6)<br />

4 Declare again (2 Corinthians 2:8) (8)<br />

5 Paul’s ‘fellow worker’, to whom he sent two epistles<br />

(Romans 16:21) (7)<br />

6 God’s foreseeing care and protection (Job 10:12) (10)<br />

9 Traditional form of Roman Catholic Mass (10)<br />

12 ‘<strong>The</strong> Lord... has given the — of Israel to David and his<br />

descendants for ever’ (2 Chronicles 13:5) (8)<br />

14 ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my —'<br />

(Luke 1:46–47) (7)<br />

16 <strong>The</strong> central element in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, identified<br />

and interpreted by Daniel (Daniel 2:31) (6)<br />

19 ‘On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of — will<br />

not overcome it’ (Matthew 16:18) (5)<br />

20 City where Paul was under house arrest for two years<br />

(Acts 28:16) (4)<br />

Crossword reproduced by kind permission of BRF and John Capon, originally<br />

published in Three Down, Nine Across, by John Capon (£6.99 BRF)<br />

World Leaders Verse Search by Ralph<br />

B<br />

R<br />

A<br />

Z<br />

Z<br />

E<br />

N<br />

D<br />

A<br />

H<br />

C<br />

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S<br />

L<br />

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Ralph's ‘word search’ grid above contains the names of 28<br />

world leaders. If you find all 28 you will also notice that<br />

the unused letters in the grid spell out a relevant verse<br />

from the Good News Bible. You might even manage to<br />

identify the verse. Good luck, and God Bless!<br />

Write your answers here . . .<br />



ALASKA<br />



IDAHO<br />

KANSAS<br />


MAINE<br />


C<br />

I<br />

I<br />

B<br />

H<br />

H<br />

P<br />

M<br />

H<br />

L<br />

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N<br />

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X<br />

O<br />

A<br />

A<br />

N<br />

N<br />

W<br />

K<br />

B<br />

V<br />

S<br />

N<br />

I<br />

A<br />

T<br />

T<br />

O<br />

T<br />

C<br />

E<br />

E<br />

N<br />

E<br />

E<br />

E<br />

R<br />

I<br />

H<br />

F<br />

E<br />

A<br />

R<br />

N<br />

V<br />

H<br />

A<br />

S<br />

S<br />

L<br />

A<br />

R<br />

N<br />

S<br />

P<br />

R<br />

A<br />

L<br />

O<br />

N<br />

T<br />

E<br />

O<br />

I<br />

M<br />

L<br />

Y<br />

T<br />

A<br />

U<br />

R<br />

A<br />

R<br />

I<br />

U<br />

I<br />

O<br />

V<br />

S<br />

E<br />

M<br />

C<br />

C<br />

W<br />





NEW YORK<br />


OHIO<br />



T<br />

A<br />

E<br />

N<br />

T<br />

N<br />

R<br />

S<br />

A<br />

B<br />

E<br />

R<br />

O<br />

A<br />

N<br />

I<br />

N<br />

H<br />

U<br />

C<br />

O<br />

F<br />

Y<br />

T<br />

L<br />

U<br />

L<br />

M<br />

S<br />

E<br />

N<br />

D<br />

E<br />

L<br />

E<br />

O<br />

T<br />

H<br />

O<br />

L<br />

S<br />

I<br />

T<br />

D<br />




TEXAS<br />

UTAH<br />




<strong>The</strong> hidden Bible verse was from 2 Peter 2:20<br />

(Good News Bible)<br />

Such people are in a worse state at the end<br />

C<br />

O<br />

N<br />

S<br />

T<br />

A<br />

N<br />

T<br />

I<br />

N<br />

E<br />

D<br />

H<br />

R<br />

I<br />

U<br />

E<br />

U<br />

O<br />

D<br />

I<br />

P<br />

M<br />

O<br />

P<br />

W<br />

Y<br />

N<br />

O<br />


PUZZLE PAGE — 2<br />


1 2 3 4 5 6 7<br />

9 10<br />

11 12<br />

13 14 15<br />

16<br />

17 18 19<br />

20 21<br />

22 23<br />

Across<br />

Across<br />

- humility (8)<br />

1 - Lacking humility (8)<br />

5 -- Fancy (4) (4)<br />

9 - - Leases Leases (5) (5)<br />

10 - Makes certain of (7)<br />

10 - Makes certain of (7)<br />

11 - Believe tentatively (7)<br />

11 - Believe tentatively (7)<br />

12 - Noble gas (5)<br />

12 13 -- Noble Groups gas (5) of eight (6)<br />

13<br />

14<br />

-- Groups<br />

Tempt<br />

of eight<br />

(6)<br />

(6)<br />

17 - Barely sufficient (5)<br />

14 - Tempt (6)<br />

19 - Diffusion of molecules<br />

17 - Barely<br />

through<br />

sufficient<br />

a<br />

(5)<br />

membrane (7)<br />

20 - Extinguish a candle (4,3)<br />

21 - Freight (5)<br />

20 - Extinguish a candle (4,3)<br />

22 - Flat and smooth (4)<br />

21 - Freight (5)<br />

23 - Researched in detail (8)<br />

19 - Diffusion of molecules through a membrane (7)<br />

22 - Flat and smooth (4)<br />

23 - Researched in detail (8)<br />


8<br />

Down<br />

Down<br />

1 - 1 - Untrustworthy (13)<br />

2 - Inclination 2 - Inclination (7) (7)<br />

3 - Long 3 essay - Long essay (12) (12)<br />

4 - Perfumes (6)<br />

4 - Perfumes (6)<br />

6 - Gave a job to (5)<br />

6 - Gave a job to (5)<br />

7 - Misinterpreted (13)<br />

8 - Extremely 7 - Misinterpreted large (12) (13)<br />

15 - Provider<br />

8 - Extremely<br />

of financial<br />

large (12)<br />

cover (7)<br />

16 - Outer layer of the<br />

cerebrum (6)<br />

18 - Positive 18 - Positive electrode (5)<br />

15 - Provider of financial cover (7)<br />

16 - Outer layer of the cerebrum (6)<br />

17 9 10 4 8 2 21 19 9 6 1 13<br />

2 20 20 8 9 15 1<br />

5 18 23 22 6 20 13 2 14 13 18 6<br />

14 16 2 9 21 14 2<br />

13 14 1 6 13 20 2 1 1 18 6 11<br />

1 13 11 14 23 16<br />

6 14 1 12 6 20 13 1 2 21 25 2<br />

20 23 13 26 2 13<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>February</strong> is the month of romance.<br />

Millions of Valentine cards will be<br />

sent in the next week or two, as we<br />

celebrate our romantic love for that<br />

special person in our lives.<br />

But there are other kinds of love<br />

to celebrate: and on Candlemas we<br />

remember Mary and Joseph taking<br />

their baby son to the temple to present<br />

him to God. Jesus’ whole life was a<br />

loving present to us from God.<br />

Through his death for us on the<br />

cross, and his resurrection, His love<br />

can now transform anyone’s life.<br />

Romances can die, but God’s love for us<br />

is always there. But it won’t do us much<br />

good – unless we accept it!<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 35<br />

answers in the next issue<br />

January<br />

Solutions<br />


P O D I A T R Y C H E F<br />

I E S E O A I<br />

P O S I T L O V A B L E<br />

S S R I E I N<br />

D E M O N S T R A T E D<br />

C R N H E I<br />

O U T L A Y A S I D E S<br />

N U A T E H<br />

F R O N T I S P I E C E<br />

U B I Y M I H<br />

S T O I C A L A M B L E<br />

E E S U T E R<br />

D O S E I M P E L L E D<br />


A W A R D B O U R B O N<br />

P Z I R A U<br />

O A S O K N O T S<br />

C H L O R I N E K E<br />

R E O C B L A R E<br />

Y E A R B O O K E I<br />

P S E J F D<br />

H B E F F U S I V E<br />

A S K E D A K F R<br />

T L O B J E C T E D<br />

Q U E U E R B E O<br />

D G I O E W<br />

D Y N A M I C X E N O N<br />

SUDOKU<br />



14 17 15 2 13 13 6 1 23 2 13 1<br />

2 14 17 6 14 21 21<br />

18 9 10 20 6 20 6 3 6 21 9 6<br />

18 2 21 6 6 6 13<br />

24 9 18 6 1 14 11 6 2 7 6 13<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 />

C H<br />

14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26<br />

F<br />


ROSE<br />


LOVE<br />



HEARTS<br />

KISS<br />

HUG<br />



FIANCÉ<br />



ANGELS<br />

BABY<br />

TEMPLE<br />

MARY<br />



36 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />

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

Trades & 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 />


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 />


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 />


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enquiries@thameschimneysweeps.co.uk<br />

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Member of the Guild of Master Sweeps<br />

studio dfp<br />

complete graphic<br />

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david@designforprint.org<br />

To Advertise your Service or Products<br />

in the UK's Best <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong><br />

and which is delivered free to every<br />

home in Charvil, Sonning and Sonning<br />

Eye, as well as to all members of<br />

St Andrew's Church who live outside<br />

the church parish, and the many<br />

visitors to the Church contact Harriet:<br />

advertising@theparishmagazine.co.uk<br />


Stump grinding and tree stump removal<br />

Latest narrow access machinery<br />

Contact: Mark<br />

0798 495 7334 http://www.berkshirestumpremoval<br />


Reliable and affordable<br />

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Call Andy on 0795 810 0128<br />

http://www.handyman-reading.co.uk<br />


For jargon free help with your computer problems<br />

PC & laptop repairs, upgrades, installations, virus removal<br />

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0798 012 9364 help@computerfrustrations.co.uk<br />


Reliable and friendly service for all tree care<br />

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Landscaping, garden construction,<br />

patios, lawns, fencing, decking etc<br />

0118 969 8989 https://www.smallwoodlandscaping.co.uk/<br />



<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 37

38 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</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 />

— 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 />

— Female Youth and Children's Worker, Corinne Robertson,<br />

0118 969 3298<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 />

— Ruth Jeffery, 0118 969 3298<br />

— Molly Woodley (deputy churchwarden emeritus)<br />

mollywoodley@live.co.uk / 0118 946 3667<br />

<strong>Parish</strong> Office Manager<br />

— Hilary Rennie<br />

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

Parochial Church Council<br />

— Secretary: Hilary Rennie 0118 969 3298<br />

— Treasurer: Jerry Wood 0118 969 3298<br />

Director of Music, organist and choirmaster<br />

— Richard Meehan MA ARCO<br />

music@sonningparish.org.uk<br />

Safeguarding Officer<br />

— Nicola Riley 0118 969 3298<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 />

Advertisers' index<br />

ABD Construction 6<br />

Abbeyfield Wey Valley Society 6<br />

ACG Services Locksmith 36<br />

Active Security 26<br />

AMS Water Softeners 14<br />

Barn Store Henley 6<br />

Berkshire Stump Removals 36<br />

Big Heart Tree Care 36<br />

Blandy & Blandy Solicitors 14<br />

Blue Moose 22<br />

Bridges Home Care 12<br />

Bridgehouse Care 39<br />

Bull Inn 28<br />

Clark Bignall Plumbing 36<br />

Computer Frustrations 36<br />

Crossfields School 28<br />

Design for Print 36<br />

Gardiners Home Care 28<br />

Great House Sonning 12<br />

Handyman and Decorating Services 36<br />

Haslams Estate Agents 2<br />

Hicks Group 18<br />

Home Stair Lifts 18<br />

Kingfisher Bathrooms 26<br />

MC Cleaning 36<br />

Mill at Sonning 4<br />

Muck & Mulch 18<br />

Reading Blue Coat School 14<br />

Richfield Flooring 16<br />

Rivers Idea Ramble 28<br />

Shiplake College 16<br />

Smallwood Landscaping 36<br />

Sonning Golf Club 16<br />

Sonning Scouts Marquees 36<br />

Thames Valley Water Softeners 6<br />

Thames Chimney Sweep 36<br />

Tomalin Funerals 14<br />

Walker Funerals 12<br />

Water Softener Salt 18<br />

Window Cleaner 18<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: Harriet Nelson / 0770 707 7773<br />

advertising@theparishmagazine.co.uk /<br />

— Print and Distribution: Gordon Nutbrown<br />

classified@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<br />

delivered free of charge to every home in Charvil, Sonning and<br />

Sonning Eye.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> is printed in the United Kingdom by Sarum<br />

Graphics Ltd, Old Sarum, Salisbury SP4 6QX<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> is distributed by Abracadabra<br />

Leaflet 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 />


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

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 39<br />

A shared passion for<br />

the finest care<br />

At Bridge House we care passionately about enabling our residents to live their best lives.<br />

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our new Care Home Manager Rachel Stoneman<br />

at enquiries@bridgehouseoftwyford.co.uk or<br />

01189 340777<br />

A shared passion for later living<br />


of Twyford

40 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>February</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />

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