The Parish Magazine May 2024

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

Serving the communities of Charvil, Sonning & 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> 1869 <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>May</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>May</strong> <strong>2024</strong> — Rogation — Ascension — Pentecost — Trinity Sunday<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>May</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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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> 1869 <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>May</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>May</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />



— Easter Saturday, 7<br />

— STAY, 8-9<br />

— Why I am a Christian, 10-11<br />

— Intrepid Voices, 11<br />

— For your prayers in <strong>May</strong>, 11<br />

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

— From the editor's desk, 13<br />


— Christianity is for me, 15-17<br />

— April celebrations, 17<br />

— Looking for a Bible? 17<br />

— Why <strong>May</strong> is important, 19<br />

— Claude wonders about Radium, 20<br />

— RNLI 200 years, 20<br />

— Gaza aid, 21<br />

— Three in one, 21<br />

— Holy Week and Easter, 22-23<br />

—around the villages<br />

— Intrepid Voices, 24<br />

— Horticultural confidence, 24<br />

— Summer gigs for female voices, 24<br />

— School Easter bonnets, 25<br />

— Inner Wheel, 27<br />

— Scarecrow Weekend, 27<br />

— Healthier Lifestyle, 27<br />

HEALTH<br />

— Dr Simon Ruffle writes, 28-29<br />


— <strong>The</strong> glory of <strong>May</strong>, 29<br />


— High Street dreams, 31<br />

THE ARTS<br />

— <strong>The</strong> Stabat Mater, 33<br />

— Book Reviews, 35<br />

— Poetry Corner, 35<br />


<strong>The</strong> pain of suffering, 37<br />

Nature and science meet, 37<br />

PUZZLE PAGES, 38-39<br />

children's page, 41<br />


Picture: Corinne Robertson<br />

Open day in the Bell<br />

Ringing Chamber<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 June<br />

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

Monday 6 <strong>May</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 />

From the Registers<br />


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

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

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

<strong>May</strong> <strong>2024</strong> — Rogation — Ascension — Pentecost — Trinity Sunday<br />

155<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>May</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 3<br />

Services at<br />

St Andrew’s<br />

6th Sunday of Easter 5 <strong>May</strong><br />

— 8.00am Holy Communion<br />

— 10.30am Family Service<br />

— 4.00pm Choral Evensong<br />

followed by Tea in <strong>The</strong> Ark<br />

7th Sunday of Easter 12 <strong>May</strong><br />

(Sunday after Ascension Day)<br />

— 8.00am Holy Communion<br />

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

STAY and Sunday Club<br />

Pentecost 19 <strong>May</strong><br />

— 8.00am Holy Communion<br />

— 10.30am Family Communion<br />

— 3.00pm Messy Church<br />

Trinity Sunday 26 <strong>May</strong><br />

— 8.00am Holy Communion<br />

— 10. 30am <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 />

— Sunday 31 March, Rufus James Handley Plumb, in the River Thames<br />

— Sunday 31 March, Oliver James Preston, in the River Thames<br />

— Sunday 31 March, Panyaporn (Penny) Pruksakit, in the River Thames<br />

— Sunday 31 March, Elspeth Christine Young, in the River Thames<br />

information<br />

— Church services, 3<br />

— From the registers, 3<br />

— Local Trades and Services, 40<br />

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

— Advertisers' index, 42<br />


— Friday 16 March, Anthony Ercole Farnese, funeral service in St Andrew's<br />

Church followed by burial in the churchyard<br />

— Monday 18 March, Diane Stares, interment of ashes in the churchyard<br />

— Wednesday 27 March, Charles Morley, memorial service in St Andrew's Church<br />

— Wednesday 3 April, Sylvia Woodford, funeral service in St Andrew's Church

4 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>May</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>May</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 5<br />

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

Dear Friends,<br />

As someone who has no interest in football, I have nonetheless been<br />

aware of a recent fuss surrounding the matter of the England team’s<br />

shirts. Apparently the cross of St George has been subjected to 'a playful<br />

update' by Nike, rendering it unrecognisable to me and looking rather<br />

like another flag that seems to be ubiquitous these days.<br />

In the general scheme of things, I suppose this is of little importance,<br />

but nonetheless, I can’t help but wonder if this 'update' is rather less<br />

than 'playful' and indicative of an erosion of the Christian heritage of<br />

our country. If this were an isolated news story I could be considered<br />

paranoid, but, coupled with so much else for those with eyes to see, one<br />

wonders.<br />

This month marks the first anniversary of His Majesty’s Coronation,<br />

and we look back on an extraordinary service in Westminster Abbey,<br />

utterly rooted in our Judeo-Christian heritage. Perhaps, to some, it<br />

seemed anachronistic, even faintly ridiculous, but the oaths, symbols,<br />

prayers and anointing all provided a bridge to both the Old and New<br />

Testaments and highlighted just how central the Christian faith has<br />

been for over 1,000 years in this Kingdom. I have long said in response<br />

to those who have called for us to leave all this in the past and adapt to<br />

becoming a secular state, with no established church, that the inevitable<br />

void this would create will not remain unfilled.<br />

To the passionate secularists I would warn that they should be very<br />

careful what they wish for. <strong>The</strong> Christian church, for all its human<br />

faults, has been a tremendous force for good since its birth, and while<br />

this is so often forgotten, the foundation of so many hospitals, hospices,<br />

adoption agencies, care homes, schools, universities, international relief<br />

charities and much else besides, came from the desire of Christians to<br />

improve their societies and to care for those in need.<br />


In a small, yet significant way, our own church continues in this<br />

tradition with our flourishing work with young people and children. It is<br />

a good news story and one that should both encourage and inspire. <strong>The</strong>re<br />

were 76 teenagers at a recent STAY on Friday youth group in <strong>The</strong> Ark and<br />

so many others have been helped by Westy and Corinne in schools and<br />

elsewhere. If St Andrew’s had not invested in the creation of these posts<br />

and in housing, who else would be providing such a service to our local<br />

communities? Indeed, I venture to suggest that we are seeing young lives<br />

changed for the better, and what a privilege it was for me to baptise in<br />

the river on Easter Day, three teenagers and a young mother.<br />


<strong>The</strong> great church feast of Pentecost is approaching later this month,<br />

and we shall celebrate with Christians around the world the coming<br />

of the Holy Spirit upon the infant church. <strong>The</strong>y were a frightened and<br />

persecuted group of men and women and yet through the infusion of the<br />

power of God’s Spirit, they went out and boldly spoke of the resurrected<br />

Christ and of his life changing message. <strong>The</strong> world has never been the<br />

same since and I believe, more than at any time during my 26 year<br />

ministry, that the local church is being called to refocus itself on mission<br />

and outreach, to overcome bureaucracy, complacency or even defeatism,<br />

and tap back into that power which brought our church to life 2,000<br />

years ago.<br />

Come Holy Spirit!<br />

Warm wishes,<br />


6 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>May</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 />

Easter Saturday Free for All<br />

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

Pictures: Westy and Corinne

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

the parish noticeboard — 2<br />

St Andrew's Youth<br />

email or text me, Westy,<br />

for ideas, a chat or to<br />

encourage what we are doing<br />

youthminister@sonningparish.org.uk<br />

0794 622 4106<br />

Reading Youth Night<br />

<strong>The</strong> youth workers across the town held another<br />

Reading Youth Night where we welcomed the<br />

different church youth groups to gather for<br />

worship, Biblical teaching on Barabbas and how<br />

we are him in that story. We’ve been set free while<br />

Jesus was condemned. <strong>The</strong> night ended with space<br />

to respond in prayer.<br />

STAY Easter Activities<br />

During the Easter Holidays we had a great time. We<br />

went to Wokingham for a couple of games of Laser<br />

Quest! My favourite moment was when a young<br />

person named themselves God and won the game.<br />

After finishing the game they claimed — God<br />

always wins! We also took groups of STAY youth to<br />

Chessington World of Adventures and Planet Ice<br />

Skating in Basingstoke.<br />

STAY Baptisms<br />

Another three young people, and one adult, were<br />

baptised on Easter Sunday. We had another superb<br />

time welcoming new people into the church and<br />

Christian faith. (See page 23)<br />

STAY on Sunday<br />

We had three STAY on Sunday sessions on 10, 24<br />

and 31 March. On Mothering Sunday we looked<br />

at Colossians 3:12-17 and thought about how<br />

our mums are so often kind, compassionate and<br />

caring towards us. On Palm Sunday, we looked<br />

at Mark 11:1-11 and thought about Jesus riding<br />

into Jerusalem on a donkey, only to be crucified<br />

that week by the very same people who had called<br />

hosanna a week earlier. <strong>The</strong>n on Easter Sunday we<br />

thought about all the things we need forgiveness<br />

for. We held a piece of red ribbon, then took a nail,<br />

a hammer and nailed the red ribbon to a wooden<br />

cross, symbolising our part in Jesus’s death and<br />

how his blood has made us clean.<br />

STAY on Friday<br />

Our weekly Friday night youth club met on 8 and<br />

15 March, as we had the Reading Youth Night<br />

on 22 March, Good Friday on 29 March and the<br />

Easter Holidays on 5 April. Still, we had lots of fun<br />

and games with the Xbox, ps5, basketball, board<br />

games, pool table, table tennis, foosball and cookie<br />

making. <strong>The</strong> sweetest thing happened when one<br />

of the lads friends decided to sit in chairs to play<br />

table tennis because he recently had to use a wheel<br />

chair.<br />

<strong>The</strong> other highlight for all the leaders was the<br />

initiation of three young leaders. <strong>The</strong>se lads have<br />

been volunteering as part of their DofE awards<br />

and to initiate them into being full young leaders<br />

we gave them a memorable welcome, which<br />

involved kind words of affirmation and cream pies.<br />

STAY on Monday<br />

Our fortnightly Monday night group met just<br />

the once on 18 March and we looked at how we<br />

connect with God through our soul. We heard a<br />

speech from the Hollywood actor, Chris Pratt,<br />

who talked about praying and staying connected<br />

with God through our soul, these being the most<br />

important things in life, he said. We also played<br />

some hilarious games with balloons and talked<br />

about what fills our spiritual buckets by writing on<br />

a pre drawn picture of a spiritual bucket.<br />

STAY in Schools<br />

Our work in schools continued in March with<br />

assemblies, one to one mentoring sessions, prayer<br />

meetings and a day of answering key questions<br />

in Sonning school as part of the pupils RE Easter<br />

curriculum.<br />

My favourite part of the schools work was<br />

seeing two lads from one of the schools we go<br />

into getting baptised. <strong>The</strong>y said, after all those<br />

'God loves you assemblies' it finally sank in and<br />

we decided to become Christians! A real wow<br />

moment!<br />

As always, get in touch for a chat. Westy

Corinne's<br />

column<br />

<strong>The</strong> Lord has risen indeed, and<br />

we have rejoiced in his spirit<br />

here at St Andrew's this month!<br />

I’ve felt very lucky to have<br />

celebrated Messy Church with<br />

so many of our young people<br />

and families, and learning<br />

about St Patrick.<br />

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

We talked about how St Patrick used a shamrock to<br />

explain the Holy Trinity to the people of Ireland, how<br />

he banished all the snakes (sin), and we even created<br />

some shepherd hooks to represent his time as a slave<br />

when he tended the animals.<br />


At Sunday Club we had the pleasure of being<br />

together on Mothering Sunday and to talk about<br />

how blessed a relationship between parent and<br />

child can be.<br />

We took a deep dive into John 3:16: 'For God so<br />

loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,<br />

that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have<br />

eternal life.' We also created some lavender scent bags<br />

to give to the Mothers.<br />


On Palm Sunday's Sunday Club, which was a<br />

gloriously sunny morning, we did just as the Bible<br />

told us people did — we took Jesus into our lives and<br />

had our own little celebration and parade.<br />

We took turns pretending our cuddly toys were<br />

Jesus and cheered them on by shouting 'Hosanna!'<br />

and 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!'<br />

<strong>The</strong> next week we celebrated Easter and Jesus’s<br />

resurrection by creating the traditional Easter garden<br />

that was blessed and put on display in the church.<br />

We also played a game of musical statues, which<br />

I know as freeze dance! This caused a bit of lighthearted<br />

confusion at first.<br />


<strong>The</strong> Easter Saturday celebrations were enjoyed by<br />

all ages on a beautifully sunny day when there were<br />

egg and spoon races, bouncy castles, egg decorating,<br />

biscuit decorating, egg hunts, and free BBQ food!<br />


School’s work is going well. A highlight at Sonning<br />

Primary was when I had the privilege to go into the<br />

school to discuss some of their big essential questions<br />

for religious education including 'should Christian’s<br />

always forgive?' and 'how significant is it for<br />

Christian’s to believe that God intended Jesus to die?'<br />

We had some great philosophical and religious<br />

discussions and I encouraged the pupils to stay<br />


10 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>May</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />


During Lent, members of the congregation replaced the sermon at the 10.30am Sunday services<br />

with a personal talk about why they are a Christian. Last month we published the first of these<br />

talks, here is the next in our series . . .<br />

Why am I a Christian?<br />

By Heather Hexter, a member of St Andrew's Church<br />

Parochial Church Council and the choir<br />

I am incredibly humbled to be asked to<br />

do this. When I started preparing my<br />

talk this poem by Vernon Thomas* came<br />

to mind:<br />

I carry a cross in my pocket,<br />

A simple reminder to me,<br />

Of the fact that I am a Christian<br />

No matter where I may be.<br />

This little cross is not magic<br />

Nor is it a good luck charm;<br />

It isn't meant to protect me<br />

From every physical harm.<br />

It is not for identification<br />

For all the world to see.<br />

It's simply an understanding<br />

Between my Saviour and me.<br />

When I put my hand in my pocket<br />

To bring out a coin or a key,<br />

<strong>The</strong> cross is there to remind me<br />

Of the price He paid for me.<br />

It reminds me too, to be thankful<br />

For my blessings day by day,<br />

And to strive to serve Him better<br />

In all that I do or say.<br />

It's also a daily reminder<br />

Of the peace and comfort I share<br />

With all who know my Master<br />

And give themselves to His care.<br />

So I carry a cross in my pocket<br />

Reminding no one but me<br />

That Jesus Christ is the Lord of my life<br />

If only I'll let Him be.<br />

*Vernon Thomas<br />

© Permission Granted by Agoro, Inc. All Rights Reserved<br />

This simple poem is why I am a Christian:<br />

and it boils down to three things which<br />

are fundamental to my faith — love,<br />

grace and prayerful worship.<br />

LOVE<br />

God loves me. It doesn’t matter what I<br />

have done or not done or what my family<br />

background is. He loves me.<br />

I have been lucky. I was brought up in a<br />

loving household. I have wonderful parents<br />

who have always been encouraging and<br />

supportive. We were not rich, but my parents<br />

Charity Jumper: Heather during a fund raising<br />

event last year.<br />

goskydive.com<br />

gave me everything. <strong>The</strong>y pushed me to do<br />

better every day, so much so, that I was the<br />

first in my family to go to university.<br />

I have been surrounded by love and know<br />

how important being told you are loved<br />

every day means. It’s what I have tried to<br />

give my kids and also those who I supported<br />

in Sunday club .<br />

It’s what, I know, that on Mothering<br />

Sunday all mums, or those who have the joy<br />

of caring for children in whatever capacity<br />

do. <strong>The</strong>y love.<br />

Love is so precious. I believe that when<br />

you find love and understand love you hold<br />

on to it, you nurture it and work hard to<br />

ensure that the love grows.<br />

As a Christian, understanding that love<br />

is precious is at the core of my faith. It is why<br />

God made the wonderful world we live in<br />

and why God gave his only son to the world.<br />

Sometimes, with what I think or don’t<br />

think or do or don’t do each day, I find it<br />

hard to still believe that he can love me —<br />

however, every day God is there, loving me.<br />

I try to remind friends and colleagues<br />

that they are loved and awesome too, that’s<br />

what God wants me to do to show his love<br />

through me. God loves me so I can love<br />

others<br />

I was christened at 6 weeks old and<br />

church was always part of my life.<br />

My mum took me to Sunday school from<br />

an early age, firstly at St Bartholomew's,<br />

then a Methodist church and finally at St<br />

Thomas, Kidsgrove. I was confirmed with<br />

my mum in 1989.<br />

GRACE<br />

Although I was confirmed and was<br />

active in my local church, I never really<br />

understood what 'grace' meant.<br />

Sometimes there is just one sermon<br />

that stands out as a turning point and for<br />

me that sermon was delivered by Rev John<br />

Tompkins at St Thomas in Kidsgrove in<br />

about 1991. It was about grace.<br />

Five words transformed my faith when<br />

he explained what the five letters which<br />

made up the word grace stand for:<br />

God's Riches At Christ's Expense.<br />

I know that I am only here because of<br />

that love God has for me that he gave his<br />

only son, and his son came and died for me.<br />

I have many blessings and I am forgiven<br />

because of that ultimate sacrifice<br />

It is so simple, grace is God's riches at<br />

Christ's expense. It is the bedrock of my<br />

faith .<br />

That is why grace is one of the middle<br />

names of my daughter, Celeste. She is a<br />

constant reminder I am only here through<br />

God's grace.<br />

It’s grace which has allowed me to see<br />

life simply and know that I am blessed.<br />

Sometimes this is in ordinary ways, perhaps<br />

food on the table or a bed to sleep on.<br />

Knowing that is important. In good<br />

times and in bad, God’s grace gives me that<br />

perspective.<br />

PRAYING . . .<br />

My faith is sustained by my third word,<br />

prayer. <strong>The</strong> prayer groups and fellowship<br />

with others in my teenage years, is now<br />

sustained in our church family at St<br />

Andrew's in this parish.<br />

When Celeste was recently poorly I<br />

can not tell you how supported she and<br />

our family felt knowing that there were<br />

churches up and down the country praying<br />

for her recovery.<br />

Once you know that God loves you, you<br />

recognise your sin and are forgiven and<br />

loved through grace and, with the help of<br />

the Holy Spirit, God asks you to share that.<br />

. . . AND MUSIC<br />

One of the ways I share my faith is<br />

through prayer and praise. When I attended<br />

Sunday School I had, from a very early age,<br />

praise and music in my life,<br />

One of my favourite Sunday school<br />

songs was God is good to me, which has<br />

the great lines:

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

He gave me eyes to see the skies or gave me<br />

lips so I can eat fish and chips.<br />

Sometimes simplicity in faith is what you<br />

need! As a teenager, because I could play<br />

piano and sing, I was a leader in my church's<br />

worship group<br />

It was there that I learned that singing<br />

was one of the ways I could pray to God. It<br />

supports my relationship with God and has<br />

been a constant in my life .<br />


Now, as a member of St Andrew's Sonning<br />

choir, <strong>The</strong> Choristers Prayer is real:<br />

Bless, O Lord, us thy servants who minister in<br />

thy temple; Grant that what we sing with our lips,<br />

we may believe in our hearts, and what we believe<br />

in our hearts we may show forth in our lives;<br />

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.<br />

<strong>The</strong> words, 'I sing with my lips I believe in my<br />

heart and I show in my life' is why I can't help<br />

but smile when we sing Shine Jesus Shine<br />

It's why there are some lines in hymns<br />

which I simply cannot sing because the words<br />

mean so much:<br />

— Servant King v3: Hands that flung stars<br />

into space to cruel nails surrendered.<br />

— In Christ alone: And as he stands in<br />

victory, sin's curse has lost its grip on me<br />

for I am his and he is mine, bought with the<br />

precious blood of Christ.<br />

<strong>The</strong> music is a vehicle to send my praise<br />

and prayer to God and the words are elevated<br />

by the music.<br />

I want to tell God how much I love him<br />

and how I will try harder.<br />

Its an absolute privilege to be able to<br />

look out from the choir and see a full church<br />

singing their praises to God.<br />


So why am I a Christian? It's because I<br />

have searched my heart through my life and<br />

always come back to God. In the good times<br />

and in the difficult times when I have asked<br />

for help God has been there and answered my<br />

prayers. I have been carried.<br />

My faith is simple: I believe in love, and I<br />

I have a relationship with God through grace<br />

which I share through praise and prayer.<br />

It seems fitting to end on the words to<br />

a worship song which I first heard at Spring<br />

Harvest in 1992 and is why I am, and why I<br />

remain, a Christian<br />

I believe in Jesus.<br />

I believe he is the Son of God<br />

I believe that he died and rose again<br />

and he paid for us all.<br />

I believe that he is here now.<br />

Standing in our midst — with the power<br />

to heal and the grace to forgive.<br />

New 'Intrepid'<br />

choral singing<br />

opportunity<br />

for children<br />

By Richard Meehan MA ARCO, director<br />

of music, St Andrew's Church Sonning<br />

When I look back on my own music education, it seems to me that its greatest<br />

success was in its breadth.<br />

Learning to recognise the commonalities from the most diverse styles and<br />

the different approaches to musical learning ultimately led to something of a<br />

personal epiphany in my early 20s.<br />

However, if I was to single out one individual element that had the greatest<br />

impact on my musicianship, I can think of no other candidate that that of<br />

choral singing.<br />

This is an opportunity to learn joyfully using the primacy of the human<br />

voice to connect and commune with others present and speaking to us through<br />

music history. So we can continue to make sure that children and young people<br />

continue to benefit from this most special of opportunities, St Andrew’s will be<br />

launching a new initiative, Intrepid Voices which starts in early <strong>May</strong>.<br />

Intrepid Voices is an 8-week singing course run by St Andrew’s Church<br />

Sonning and is open to young people keen to learn about choral singing. It is<br />

designed for children in school years 5-7, although we would also accept some<br />

singers outside this range in consultation with their parents.<br />

I will be running the course, which also includes short individual singing<br />

lessons provided free of charge as part of the course by Tania Pratt, a highly<br />

experienced singing teacher in the Reading area.<br />

Rehearsals will take place in <strong>The</strong> Ark, St Andrew’s wonderful multi-purpose<br />

hall, on Thursdays from 5pm to 6pm. <strong>The</strong> course works towards a service of<br />

Choral Evensong in the historic St Andrew’s Church on Sunday 2 July at 4pm.<br />

As well as the Evensong performance, singers will also work towards<br />

achieving their Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) Voice for Life White<br />

Award, which will be presented at the service.<br />

If you know of anyone in this age range who would be interested in joining<br />

this opportunity, please contact me, music@sonningparish.org.uk for full<br />

details and an enrolment form.<br />

For your prayers in <strong>May</strong> . . .<br />

— <strong>The</strong> newly baptised<br />

— His Majesty <strong>The</strong> King<br />

— Her Royal Highness <strong>The</strong> Princess of Wales<br />

— Those taking school examinations<br />

— <strong>The</strong> work of Reading Salvation Army<br />

From<br />

the<br />

organ<br />

bench<br />


Anna Denisova, dreamstime.com

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

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

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parish noticeboard —4 THE PERSECUTED CHURCH<br />

Bonded labour continues<br />

This month we focus on the plight of<br />

brick kiln workers in Pakistan, the<br />

third largest producer of bricks in<br />

South Asia, writes Colin Bailey.<br />

Pakistan's brick sector employs 4.5<br />

million people producing 45 billion<br />

bricks per year in 20,000 brick kilns<br />

(data from a 2021 report).<br />

Bonded labour was outlawed in<br />

Pakistan decades ago but the practice<br />

has continued.<br />

This form of forced labour is<br />

considered to be modern slavery.<br />

Vulnerable workers become<br />

bonded labourers by taking loans<br />

from their employer and being forced<br />

to work to repay the debt. Any crisis<br />

such as an injury or health issue can<br />

contribute to a vicious cycle of debt.<br />


When his wife needed urgent<br />

medical attention, Majeed — an<br />

impoverished Christian brick kiln<br />

worker — had no choice but to take<br />

out a loan from his employer to pay<br />

for her care.<br />

'<strong>The</strong> brick kiln owner started<br />

deducting money from my wages against<br />

my loan, leaving me disheartened and<br />

feeling hopeless due to the burden of<br />

debt,' said Majeed.<br />

This is the reality for thousands of<br />

low-paid Christian brick kiln workers<br />

in Pakistan.<br />

When faced with an emergency or<br />

illness, their only option is to take a<br />

loan from the brick kiln owner. <strong>The</strong>se<br />

debts then keep them bonded to the<br />

brick kiln until the debt is repaid.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y become trapped and cannot<br />

seek another job. Money is deducted<br />

from their wages to pay the interest.<br />

It becomes impossible for them to<br />

pay off the loan in full.<br />

FREE<br />

Thanks to Barnabas Aid — an<br />

international, interdenominational<br />

Christian aid agency based in<br />

Coventry, in the West Midlands,<br />

that supports Christians who face<br />

discrimination or persecution as a<br />

consequence of their faith — Majeed<br />

received funds to pay off his debt<br />

and set him and his family free.<br />

'Gratefully', says Majeed, 'thanks to<br />

Barnabas Aid, I am now released from<br />

the weight of this loan.'<br />

Katkari children work in brick kilns.<br />

Daniel Buckles, Wikipedia Commons<br />

Rafique has worked in a brick kiln<br />

for 30 years, and his two sons work<br />

with him. He says he has struggled<br />

with debt for a long time, a legacy<br />

from his father.<br />

Debts are passed on to the next<br />

generation. Rafique’s sons also had to<br />

work to help pay it off. <strong>The</strong>ir debt has<br />

also been repaid through Barnabas’s<br />

help. Rafique says, 'We found solace in<br />

Barnabas Aid. <strong>The</strong>y have helped me to<br />

finally be curse-free.'<br />

Barnabas Aid has freed a total of<br />

2,023 brick kiln workers since 2017<br />

but long to do more. In the next<br />

phases, they hope to free another 200<br />

Christian families whose debts range<br />

from £300 to £1,000.<br />

References and further reading<br />

Human Trafficking Search article<br />

‘Ending Bonded Labor in Pakistan Brick<br />

Kilns’: https://humantraffickingsearch.org/<br />

resource/ending-bonded-labor-in-pakistanbrick-kilns/<br />

Reuters article ‘From sex trafficking<br />

to forced labour, what is modern<br />

slavery?’ https://www.reuters.com/article/<br />

us-slavery-index/from-sex-traffickingto-forced-labor-what-is-modern-slaveryidUSKCN0YM1ZJ/<br />

Barnabas Aid Appeal – Free Christian<br />

families from brick kilns in Pakistan:<br />

https://www.barnabasaid.org/gb/latestneeds/free-christian-families-from-brickkilns-in-pakistan/<br />

To donate to Pakistani brick kiln<br />

workers please phone Barnabas<br />

Aid on 0179 374 4557, and mention<br />

project 41-1356, or visit: https://www.<br />

barnabasaid.org/gb/donate/?project=41-<br />

1356&utm_medium=barnabas-aid&utm_<br />

campaign=AP240405<br />

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

From<br />

the<br />

editor's<br />

desk<br />

<strong>The</strong> poetry of my life<br />

During my school days and throughout<br />

most of my life, poetry was never of<br />

much interest to me. This came to<br />

mind while putting this issue of the<br />

magazine together which, like many<br />

previous issues, includes poems which I<br />

hope you will enjoy.<br />

In fact, I had little interest in the<br />

study of the English language as a<br />

child, or indeed in my teens. I did,<br />

however, enjoy books, and always<br />

enjoyed visiting an uncle who had a<br />

large library of books that lined the<br />

four walls of his front room.<br />

When I was about 12 years old I<br />

bought my first book at a jumble sale, a<br />

leather bound King James Bible. I still<br />

have it today, along with nearly 150<br />

other Bibles that I have collected since!<br />

No, at school, I planned to be an<br />

engineer and work behind the scenes so<br />

science was my priority. <strong>The</strong> only arts<br />

subject I had much interest was music,<br />

not that I could sing — my music<br />

teacher threw me out of the class one<br />

day because I never sang in tune. It was<br />

an embarrassing incident that I still<br />

vividly remember and I still don't enjoy<br />

singing in public.<br />

I was also afraid of speaking in<br />

public and went out of my way not to<br />

take part in anything that required<br />

doing so. No, I was going to be an<br />

engineer working behind the scenes,<br />

although doing what, I had no idea.<br />

This is also why, in my early teens, I<br />

jumped at an opportunity to learn to<br />

play the drums — drummers are not<br />

expected to sing or speak. <strong>The</strong>y just get<br />

on with their job sat at the back!<br />

So, how, 24 years ago, did I manage<br />

to become a licensed lay minister in the<br />

Church of England to lead worship and<br />

conduct funerals, and be a journalist<br />

and editor for the past 53 years?<br />

Answer: I put my trust in God. I like<br />

to think it has worked for me, so I am<br />

certain it will work for you!

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

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feature — 1<br />


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

Christianity is for someone like me!<br />

JMWilson<br />

Penny receives the sign of the cross<br />

Penny is baptised<br />

Penny Pruksakit, a new Christian<br />

Peter Rennie<br />

Westy<br />

By Penny Pruksakit<br />

I remember feeling nervous the first time I walked into St Andrew's with my<br />

10-month old, Dylan, strapped to my chest in the baby carrier. It was first<br />

weekend of January <strong>2024</strong> and the first time I had ever attended a church service,<br />

other than a handful of Christmas carol services. I was conscious of feeling like<br />

an interloper, saying or doing the wrong thing, or inadvertently causing offence<br />

through my complete lack of knowledge of the formalities of a church service. But<br />

the welcome from the churchwardens was warm, and the beauty and serenity of<br />

the church itself was undeniable.<br />

I signed up to the Alpha course,<br />

and St Andrew's had come up as my<br />

nearest church where it was being<br />

held via Zoom.<br />

With two children aged three<br />

and under, I could not commit to<br />

attending in-person a course which<br />

would run at the children’s bedtime,<br />

so the online course at St Andrew's<br />

was perfect.<br />

With the start of the Alpha course<br />

looming, I thought I had better pluck<br />

up the courage to attend a church<br />

service in person.<br />

Anyone who knows me well,<br />

knows that I am a resolute introvert<br />

and suffer from some social anxiety<br />

— something I am trying to improve<br />

upon! — and would not volunteer to<br />

meet a new group of people, especially<br />

without the security blanket of a close<br />

friend or family member in tow. But I<br />

felt compelled to attend and am now of<br />

course very glad that I did manage to<br />

muster up the courage to walk through<br />

those church doors that cold, frosty<br />

January morning.<br />

My 'journey' had started a<br />

few months earlier, when I began<br />

tentatively exploring Christianity<br />

via my personal favourite medium<br />

— books. I had started reading '<strong>The</strong><br />

Bible in One Year' by Nicky Gumble,<br />

the Alpha set of books, and CS Lewis’<br />

books on Christianity.<br />

I’ve lived in the UK for roughly two<br />

decades. As to why it has taken me<br />

so long to explore Christianity, I’m<br />

not entirely sure, except that perhaps<br />

the timing had just never seemed<br />

quite right, and perhaps because<br />

of a lingering feeling of 'otherness'<br />

and that Christianity was simply<br />

not for 'someone like me', with my<br />

particular cultural background. I’m<br />

originally from Thailand, and grew<br />

up in South-East Asia. Thailand is,<br />

by recent estimates, approximately<br />

92% Buddhist, 6% Muslim and<br />

1% Christian. <strong>The</strong> remaining 1%<br />

comprises of a mix of other religions<br />

and atheists.<br />


My family has a mixed religious<br />

heritage: my father’s family is<br />

Buddhist and my mother’s Muslim.<br />

When they married, they both, to<br />

a large extent, left their religions<br />

behind, due to the somewhat divisive<br />

nature of their union in a political<br />

backdrop of 1970's.<br />

Thailand was contending not<br />

only with some religious strife in the<br />

Southern provinces, but also with<br />

the spread of communism which saw<br />

all religions as the enemy, during the<br />

Vietnam war.<br />

To this day, there continues to<br />

be a problem of religious separatist<br />

insurgency in the Southern provinces<br />

of Thailand.<br />

<strong>The</strong> little thought I had given to<br />

religion growing up therefore was<br />

mainly as something which pulled<br />

people apart, rather than as a unifying<br />

force.<br />


Fast forwarding to my 30's, I was<br />

now living and working in the UK and<br />

married to an Englishman who would<br />

say that he falls somewhere between<br />

being an agnostic and a non-practising<br />

Christian.<br />

However, after the birth of our<br />

first child in 2020, he confessed that,<br />

despite being in the medical field, he<br />

could not believe that the miracle of<br />

children could be possible without the<br />

existence of some form of divinity.<br />

His mother had been baptised into<br />

the Anglican faith by her own mother,<br />

who had grown up in strict Irish<br />

Catholic household and rebelled<br />


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

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feature — 2<br />

FROM PAGE 15<br />

Someone like me<br />

against this upbringing, although<br />

she later came back to faith through<br />

the Church of England, and had<br />

encouraged us to do the same.<br />


I had explored Buddhism, and<br />

although I saw great wisdom and merit<br />

in a number of the teachings, I did not<br />

feel personally connected or touched<br />

by what I discovered.<br />

I had felt for some years that a<br />

piece of the puzzle was 'missing',<br />

and, despite the great joy and love of<br />

becoming a parent, this feeling was<br />

somehow compounded by the birth of<br />

my first son.<br />

My search to satiate what I can now<br />

describe in hindsight as a 'spiritual<br />

hunger' was put on the back-burner<br />

with the shock of the global pandemic,<br />

lockdown, being a first-time parent,<br />

and then juggling being a working<br />

parent in a demanding job, along with<br />

managing a house move while heavily<br />

pregnant with our second child.<br />


Somewhere in between the nightfeeds,<br />

the chaos of having two little<br />

ones under three and the end of my<br />

maternity leave fast approaching, I felt<br />

extraordinarily compelled to explore<br />

Christianity as an answer to that as<br />

yet unresolved spiritual hunger that<br />

had started gnawing away at me some<br />

years earlier.<br />

ALPHA<br />

<strong>The</strong> above is a condensed version of<br />

what first brought me to St Andrew's<br />

and to Alpha, where I found a great<br />

offering for families with the Sunday<br />

Club, the family services, Messy<br />

Church and above all, the incredibly<br />

warm welcome.<br />

I found on Alpha a group of people<br />

who were incredibly candid and honest<br />

about their own journeys and struggles<br />

with faith.<br />

I found people who had grown up<br />

in the church, left and then returned<br />

as adults on their own terms, those<br />

who had discovered Christianity as<br />

adults for the first time, and those<br />

whose faith had waxed and waned over<br />

the years, and who are still struggling<br />

to define what it means to them<br />

to believe in Jesus Christ and be a<br />

member of the Christian community.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Alpha sessions provided a<br />

welcome reprieve from the frenetic<br />

pace of the modern world— a place for<br />

religious and philosophical discussion<br />

and exploration.<br />


Besides being an incredible<br />

learning experience, Alpha has<br />

sparked an even greater curiosity in<br />

me, and I turned back to my favourite<br />

medium, books.<br />

<strong>The</strong> book '<strong>The</strong> Case for Christ' by<br />

Lee Strobel and other apologetics<br />

examining the historical evidence<br />

for the New Testament and Jesus’<br />

resurrection have been compelling and<br />

eye-opening.<br />

Previously I had only been aware<br />

of exclusivist and pluralist schools<br />

of thought regarding other religions.<br />

However, through the literature, I<br />

have explored the different inclusivist<br />

theories, which for me, begin to<br />

address the very personal — given my<br />

family's religious background — issue<br />

of other religions and those who have<br />

not heard the Gospel message.<br />

Through attending Alpha and the<br />

services at St Andrew's, I’ve discovered<br />

a well-founded belief in Jesus Christ,<br />

but have also discovered that to<br />

have faith, we don’t need to have<br />

the answers to every single question<br />

beyond a shred of doubt, even if the<br />

latter causes the lawyer in me to<br />

despair a bit!<br />

I also found a vicar with a warm,<br />

empathetic and self-deprecating<br />

manner, unexpectedly admitting to<br />

me that, like my husband, he too,<br />

was somewhat sceptical of organised<br />

religion.<br />

All in all, I am immensely thankful<br />

for the opportunity to be baptised<br />

into Christ on Easter Day, and to be<br />

a burgeoning member of the warm<br />

St Andrew's community where the<br />

presence of the Holy Spirit is so strong.<br />

Through the St Andrew's<br />

community, the Holy Spirit and the<br />

Bible — in particular the passage<br />

from Revelation 7:9 — I’ve come to<br />

believe that Christianity is, in fact, for<br />

'someone like me'!<br />

<strong>The</strong>re before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe,<br />

people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb… Revelation 7:9<br />

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

A small selection of Bibles printed in (left<br />

to right) Arabic, German, Chinese, Czech,<br />

Danish, Dutch and French languages.<br />

Timawe, dreamstime.com<br />

Looking for<br />

a Bible that's<br />

ideal for you?<br />

By Bob Peters<br />

It is estimated that there are more<br />

than 80,000 different versions of<br />

the Bible published in over 3,000<br />

different languages. This means you<br />

have very little excuse not to find<br />

one that suits your needs.<br />

It is also estimated that more than<br />

six Bibles are sold every 10 seconds,<br />

so it is not surprising that the<br />

Guinness Book of World Records says it<br />

the best-selling book in the world.<br />

<strong>The</strong> British and Foreign Bible<br />

Society suggests the total number of<br />

Bibles printed is most likely between<br />

5 and 7 billion copies.<br />

And, of course, they are widely<br />

available online digitally. For<br />

example, there are currently<br />

over 3,030 versions in over 2,011<br />

languages available on:<br />

https://bible.com<br />

A good place to start your search<br />

for a Bible that suits your needs is<br />

https://www.eden.co.uk/bible-finder.<br />

At the time of writing, they offered<br />

9,746 choices! <strong>The</strong>rea re other online<br />

suppliers.<br />

I am hoping that my wife reads this<br />

because it makes my collection of about<br />

150 different Bibles quite insignificant!<br />

— Editor<br />

Believed to be the World's smallest printed<br />

New Testament is in the Reed Rare Books<br />

Collection in Dunedin, New Zealand.<br />

Awcnz62, dreamstime.com

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

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feature — 3<br />

Why <strong>May</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />

is important<br />

for Christians<br />

For all Christians around the world,<br />

<strong>May</strong> is the most important month<br />

of <strong>2024</strong> because of four feast days<br />

that focus on the Holy Trinity of<br />

God the Father, God the Son, and<br />

God the Holy Spirit.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>May</strong> feast days this year are:<br />

Sunday 5 <strong>May</strong>, Rogation Sunday<br />

Thursday 9 <strong>May</strong>, Ascension Day<br />

Sunday 19 <strong>May</strong>, Pentecost<br />

Sunday 26 <strong>May</strong>, Trinity Sunday<br />

In the Anglican Church, Rogation<br />

is celebrated on the 5th Sunday after<br />

Easter. It is about asking God for his<br />

blessing on the seed and land for the<br />

year ahead.<br />

<strong>The</strong> practice began with the<br />

Romans, who invoked the help of<br />

their pagan gods Terminus and<br />

Ambarvalia. A crowd would move<br />

in procession around the cornfields,<br />

singing and dancing, sacrificing<br />

animals, and driving away winter<br />

with sticks. <strong>The</strong>y wanted to rid the<br />

cornfields of evil.<br />


In about 465 the Western world<br />

was suffering from earthquake,<br />

storm and epidemic — perhaps it<br />

sounds familiar to our world today?<br />

Mamertius, Bishop of Vienne,<br />

who was aware of the popular pagan<br />

custom, ordered that prayers should<br />

be said in the ruined or neglected<br />

fields on the days leading up to<br />

Ascension Day.<br />


Rogationtide in England early in<br />

the 8th Century became a fixed and<br />

perennial time for asking God for his<br />

help.<br />

A party, led by a bishop or a<br />

priest, together with a cross bearer,<br />

would lead the people, many of<br />

whom carried wands of willow,<br />

around the boundaries of the parish.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> records confirm<br />

that it happened here.<br />

At certain points along the route<br />

such as a bridge, stile or ancient<br />

tree, the party halted and a litany,<br />

or rogation, was said, imploring God<br />

to send seasonable wealth, keep the<br />

Ascension Day tapestry, Vatican Museums, Rome<br />

corn and roots and boughs in good<br />

health, and bring them an ample<br />

harvest. At some point beer and<br />

cheese would be consumed!<br />

'Beating the bounds' was still<br />

very common as late as the reign of<br />

Queen Victoria.<br />

<strong>The</strong> season of Rogation lasts<br />

five days from Sunday to Thursday.<br />

On Thursday the Anglican Church<br />

celebrates Ascension Day, the day<br />

when Jesus returned to heaven after<br />

his resurrection on Easter Sunday.<br />


Before Jesus left his disciples he<br />

promised that God the father would<br />

give them an advocate to help them<br />

and be with them forever. According<br />

to the Gospel of John, he called<br />

this advocate, '<strong>The</strong> Spirit of Truth'.<br />

Today, the advocate is better known<br />

as '<strong>The</strong> Holy Spirit' who arrived 50<br />

days after the crucifixion, hence the<br />

feast day we call Pentecost — 'pente'<br />

being Greek for 50.<br />

Many elderly folk will remember<br />

that we used to call Pentecost,<br />

Whitsun, meaning ‘White Sunday’,<br />

which took its name from when<br />

children marched to church in white<br />

on that day.<br />


<strong>The</strong> year Jesus was crucified his<br />

followers were together in an upper<br />

room in Jerusalem.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y were afraid to show their<br />

faces in case the authorities arrested<br />

them. But on the day of Passover,<br />

they had an amazing collective<br />

experience. <strong>The</strong>y described it in<br />

terms of wind and fire, a great surge<br />

of spiritual energy and confidence.<br />

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

Preisler Dreamstime.com<br />

Afraid no longer, they burst out on<br />

to the streets where crowds were<br />

gathering for a Jewish festival, and,<br />

led by Peter, they began to tell them<br />

about Jesus and his resurrection.<br />

Although many of the people in<br />

the crowd were foreigners who spoke<br />

other languages, everyone heard<br />

them in their own tongue.<br />

Peter told them that what they<br />

were seeing was the fulfilment of an<br />

old prophecy when God would pour<br />

out his Spirit on the human race,<br />

men and women, young and old.<br />

As a result 3,000 people believed<br />

and were baptised in the name of<br />

Jesus. <strong>The</strong>y became the nucleus of<br />

what, within 100 years would be<br />

a Church that would turn history<br />

upside down.<br />

For Christians, Pentecost is thus<br />

the birthday of their Church.<br />


Many people find the idea of the<br />

Holy Spirit mysterious and elusive,<br />

and this thought was not helped by<br />

the earlier title of ‘Holy Ghost’.<br />

Today we recognise this and use<br />

the term 'Holy Spirit' because the<br />

Spirit is not spiritually a ‘ghost’ but a<br />

precious gift from God, the father of<br />

Jesus Christ.<br />

This three-in-one relationship<br />

between Father, Son and Holy Spirit<br />

is always celebrated on the next<br />

Sunday after Pentecost, and is known<br />

as 'Trinity Sunday'. This year it falls<br />

on Sunday 26 <strong>May</strong>, making <strong>May</strong> the<br />

most important month of <strong>2024</strong> for<br />

an estimated 2.38 billion Christians<br />

who form the world's largest religion<br />

among the total population of about<br />

8 billion people.

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

feature — 4<br />

Claude wonders about things<br />

he should not know . . .<br />

One of my greatest pleasures is<br />

listening to audio books from my<br />

local library. Recently, I have listened<br />

to a book which was particularly<br />

interesting - '<strong>The</strong> Radium Girls' by<br />

Kate Moore.<br />

It is based on a true story which<br />

concerned young women in America<br />

who used to paint dials on watches to<br />

make them luminous.<br />

Radium was an exciting discovery<br />

which was used to make watches and<br />

navigational instruments luminous.<br />

Not much was known at the time<br />

about the devastating impact this was<br />

to have on their lives.<br />

<strong>The</strong> job of ‘dial painter’ was a<br />

lucrative one as the these young<br />

women could earn far more than<br />

their counterparts in other factories<br />

and it was a job that they enjoyed<br />

immensely.<br />

Eventually it became apparent that<br />

the work was causing serious medical<br />

problems, they suffered disease and<br />

unusual ailments; this included the<br />

loss of limbs such as fingers falling<br />

off. <strong>The</strong>y all died young with many of<br />

them never reaching the age of 30.<br />


Although it was obvious that<br />

radium was to blame, their employers<br />

were making so much money, and<br />

there was so much demand for this<br />

work, that it was unthinkable to them<br />

that this could be the case.<br />

<strong>The</strong> authorities tried to prove<br />

it was safe and it even went to the<br />

highest court in the US. <strong>The</strong> argument<br />

was that it was harmless and even<br />

that radium was beneficial!<br />

Eventually, there was enough<br />

evidence to outlaw it but sadly not in<br />

time for many of these girls.<br />

It reminded me of similar<br />

radioactivity that killed my dad. When<br />

I was on my National Service, he got<br />

a job at Aldermaston AWE. He was a<br />

metal turner making the casings for<br />

atom bombs.<br />

I remember that he brought home<br />

a little bit of uranium. It was about the<br />

size of an acorn and twice the density<br />

of lead. He put it in my hand and I was<br />

surprised of the unexpected weight of<br />

it. He told me that if you put a Geiger<br />

counter on it, it would go berserk! I<br />

didn’t live with him at the time but it<br />

was left in the lounge, on the mantel<br />

piece and he never took it back to work.<br />

<strong>May</strong>be his employers didn’t realise, but<br />

there couldn’t have been much security<br />

back then.<br />

When, in the 1960s, it became<br />

apparent in the news what was<br />

happening at Aldermaston, a<br />

newspaper columnist from <strong>The</strong> Evening<br />

Post asked if people could ring up<br />

if they knew anything about it. I<br />

rang and told them about my father,<br />

who although he had already died<br />

was involved with radioactivity. <strong>The</strong><br />

reporter wanted to know any details<br />

about his work, including his death<br />

— which I am sure was due to the<br />

proximity of uranium.<br />

<strong>The</strong> reporter never rang me back<br />

for this information the next day, and<br />

I wonder whether there was a press<br />

embargo from the government to<br />

prevent any information becoming<br />

public.<br />

It makes me wonder how many<br />

press embargoes there are that the<br />

government and authorities don’t want<br />

us to know about. How often does it<br />

happen?<br />

I do wonder.<br />

RNLI celebrates<br />

bicentennial<br />

<strong>The</strong> Royal National Lifeboat<br />

Institution (RNLI) has been<br />

saving lives at sea around the UK<br />

and Ireland for 200 years. Since<br />

the charity was founded in 1824,<br />

its volunteer lifeboat crews and<br />

lifeguards have saved an incredible<br />

146,277 lives.<br />

To mark the significant milestone<br />

a Service of Thanksgiving was held<br />

on 4 March at Westminster Abbey<br />

during which the Archbishop of<br />

Canterbury, Justin Welby, gave the<br />

sermon.<br />

His Royal Highness <strong>The</strong> Duke of<br />

Kent as President of the RNLI was<br />

present and the service was attended<br />

by representatives from every RNLI<br />

lifesaving community around the UK<br />

and Ireland.<br />

<strong>The</strong> service took place at the same<br />

time the RNLI founding papers were<br />

signed in 1824.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re were also a number of<br />

events in areas where the RNLI<br />

operates and means so much to the<br />

communities it serves. Flotillas took<br />

place during the day and lifeboats<br />

were paraded through their town<br />

centres to remember past volunteers<br />

and to symbolise a time when<br />

lifeboats were hauled by horses.<br />


Two special stamps from An Post,<br />

which depict the charity’s lifesaving<br />

work in Ireland, were unveiled.<br />

Dublin based artist David Rooney<br />

has created two images which show<br />

the moment of rescue between the<br />

lifeboat crew member and the person<br />

in the water.<br />

In appreciation of the RNLI and<br />

its brave volunteers across the coast,<br />

national monuments and historical<br />

buildings were lit up in yellow on<br />

the evening of Monday 4 March<br />

<strong>2024</strong>. This included the London<br />

Eye, Dover Castle, the Millennium<br />

Bridge in Newcastle and Broughty<br />

Ferry lifeboat station in Scotland.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re was a special birthday message<br />

displayed across the BT Tower.<br />

More events around the country<br />

are being planned throughout the<br />

year: https://www.rnli.org

feature — 5<br />

Maiden Erlegh Rotary Club<br />

provides urgent aid for<br />

mothers and children in Gaza<br />

<strong>The</strong> Rotary Club of Reading Maiden Erlegh has stepped forward to extend<br />

assistance towards alleviating the dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza.<br />

Recognizing the pressing need to aid vulnerable populations, Rotary, as a<br />

non-political organization, has committed resources to support its mission of<br />

‘Saving mothers and children’, one of its core aims, writes Tony Cornell.<br />

Amid the ongoing crisis in Gaza, where up to 1.9 million people, comprising<br />

85% of the population, are displaced, the Rotary Club of Reading Maiden Erlegh<br />

has prioritised the well-being of mothers and children, who form the majority<br />

of those affected.<br />

With many forced to seek refuge in community buildings, makeshift<br />

shelters, or even open spaces, the situation demands urgent intervention.<br />

To address this critical need, Reading Maiden Erlegh is collaborating with<br />

Shelterbox, a renowned charity founded by Rotarians in Cornwall in 2000.<br />

Shelterbox, now an independent partner to Rotary, responds to humanitarian<br />

crises worldwide, providing emergency shelter and essential aid. Gaza,<br />

undoubtedly, stands among the areas with the highest need for immediate<br />

assistance.<br />


Nesbeer, dreamstime.com<br />

Through this partnership, vital aid will be delivered to Gaza, facilitated by<br />

locally based Shelterbox employees in conjunction with the UK charity MAP<br />

(Medical Aid for Palestinians).<br />

<strong>The</strong> aid package includes emergency items such as tarpaulins and ropes to<br />

weatherproof damaged structures, blankets, mattresses, pillows, and floor mats<br />

to ensure warmth and comfort, as well as sanitary items to uphold cleanliness<br />

and hygiene standards.<br />

Richard Nicholson, president of the Rotary Club of Reading Maiden Erlegh,<br />

expressed the club's commitment to humanitarian efforts, stating, 'In the<br />

last 12 months, we have financed aid missions to Ukraine, Turkey, and Morocco. We<br />

endeavour to extend assistance wherever possible and felt compelled to act in Gaza.<br />

With our longstanding partnership with Shelterbox spanning over 20 years, we are<br />

confident that aid will reach those who truly need it'.<br />

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

Three in one<br />

How many colours does your TV use?<br />

Answer: three ‐ red, green and blue.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se are TV’s three primary colours<br />

which, when their luminescence is<br />

fired at your eyes, give all the colours<br />

of the visible spectrum.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y are ‘additive’ colours. Mix<br />

the three together in different<br />

proportions, and your screen can offer<br />

you 16 million colours.<br />

For painted and printed colours,<br />

the sequence is: red, yellow, blue.<br />

A TV gives out light in three<br />

colours, whereas paint daubed on<br />

paper absorbs and removes some<br />

colours and so reflects a small part of<br />

the light — the colour you see.<br />


TV's three colours illustrate the<br />

Holy Trinity. <strong>The</strong>re are three distinct<br />

persons — Father, Son and Holy Spirit<br />

Take away any member of the<br />

Trinity, and you slip into theological<br />

error; take away any of the three TV<br />

colours and you need a repair engineer!<br />

It does matter that God is our<br />

Creator and Father — otherwise our<br />

whole life is a meaningless illusion.<br />

It does matter that Jesus is God<br />

the Son, otherwise his death is simply<br />

a human tragedy, with no promise of<br />

salvation or eternal life.<br />

It does matter that the Holy Spirit<br />

is with us here and now, otherwise we<br />

are disconnected from God.<br />


<strong>The</strong> walk is on 17 <strong>May</strong> and<br />

led by Pam Szadowski from<br />

U3A. It starts at 10.00am<br />

and will incorporate places<br />

of historical interest, the<br />

Church, Mill and various<br />

houses of well known<br />

people. It is limited to 20<br />

people and there will be no<br />

charge but you will need to<br />

reserve your place by text<br />

to Heather Kay on<br />

0785 177 5467

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

feature — 6<br />





During the 8 days of Holy Week, which began of Palm Sunday, to Easter Sunday the<br />

St Andrew's Church Sonning attendance figures totalled over 900 this year. Our,<br />

now traditional, Easter Saturday Fun Day (see page 7 of this issue) was as popular<br />

as ever, as was our main Easter Sunday service during which the Rt Rev Rt Hon<br />

Lord Carey, who was the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1991 to 2002, presided and<br />


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

Pictured (left to right) after the Baptism in the<br />

River Thames are: Rufus James Handley Plumb;<br />

Westy, youth minister; Oliver James Preston; Lord<br />

Carey; Elspeth Christine Young; Panyaporn (Penny)<br />

Pruksakit; and Rev Jamie Taylor, vicar of Sonning<br />

Images by Peter Rennie, Will Jeffery and Martha Wilson

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

around the villages — 1<br />

Horticultural confidence has returned<br />

So, says the Twyford and Ruscombe<br />

Horticultural Association (TRHA)<br />

which reports that they are seeing<br />

an increase in both exhibitors and<br />

visitors to their shows.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Spring Show in March confirmed<br />

this trend and was a great success.<br />

Visitors and exhibitors were<br />

impressed by the number, and<br />

standard, of the exhibits especially<br />

in the arts, craft and floral art<br />

classes.<br />

Encouraged by the success of the<br />

Shows in 2023, TRHA has decided on<br />

a new look for <strong>2024</strong>.<br />

New table coverings, signs, and<br />

niches for the Floral Art displays,<br />

have been were purchased with<br />

dark colours chosen to set off the<br />

colourful blooms.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Association is now preparing<br />

for the Summer Show on 15 June in<br />

Loddon Hall. Visitors are welcome<br />

to enjoy the displays and have tea<br />

and home made cakes from 2pm.<br />


While exhibiting at the shows<br />

is open to all comers, membership<br />

of TRHA brings other benefits such<br />

as the opportunity to purchase<br />

horticultural goods at the store in<br />

Loddon Hall Road at competitive<br />

prices. Prospective show entrants<br />

can see the exhibition classes on:<br />

https://www.trha.org.uk<br />

St Andrew’s Church Sonning is proud to announce…<br />


An exciting new course for anyone in<br />

School Years 5-7 who would like to take<br />

their choir singing to the next level.<br />

<strong>The</strong> course will run during <strong>May</strong> and June <strong>2024</strong> on<br />

Thursdays, from 5 — 6pm. It will be held in <strong>The</strong> Ark at<br />

St Andrew’s Church Sonning, and will finish with<br />

a joyful service of Choral Evensong in the Church<br />

at 4pm on Sunday 7July.<br />

This FREE course will be run by Richard Meehan MA,<br />

ARCO, our highly experienced Director of Music. It will<br />

also include individual singing lessons given by Tania<br />

Pratt an experienced professional singing teacher.<br />

For more details, including our safeguarding policy,<br />

and enrolment forms, please contact:<br />

music@sonningparish.org.uk<br />

A Bring and Buy plant sale is also<br />

planned for Sunday 2 June. It will<br />

be in the TRHA Store, Loddon Hall<br />

Road, Twyford, RG10 9JA during the<br />

opening hours 9.30am - 11.00am.<br />

Donations, especially of unusual<br />

plants, will be very welcome.<br />

Any surplus plants will be sold at<br />

the Summer Show on 15 June.<br />

Meanwhile, TRHA is organising<br />

a quiz evening on 10 <strong>May</strong> <strong>2024</strong> in<br />

Charvil Village Hall.<br />

<strong>The</strong> proceeds will go to local<br />

horticultural charities.<br />

For more details about TRHA<br />

contact Jenny Wager:<br />

trhamembership@gmail.com<br />

Summer gigs for<br />

female voices<br />

On Saturday 8 June from 2-4 pm<br />

in Charvil Village Hall, Suzanne<br />

Newman, a local music teacher and<br />

choir director, will be running 'Love,<br />

laughter & legends —the music of the<br />

Beatles.<br />

It will include a selection of songs<br />

by the Beatles arranged for two-part<br />

female voice choir such as:<br />

Can't buy me love, Penny Lane, Yellow<br />

submarine, Let it be and Hey Jude.<br />

A fee of £12 includes music and<br />

refreshments<br />


And then on Monday 15 & 22<br />

July from 8-9.30pm in Charvil Hall,<br />

Suzanne Newman will lead Abba<br />

Smash Hits!<br />

Songs will include: Thank you for<br />

the music, Fernando and Waterloo<br />

arranged for two-part female voice<br />

choir. <strong>The</strong>se sessions, which cost £20,<br />

will also include some work on vocal<br />

technique and the music.<br />

For more details and to book a<br />

place, contact: suzanneynewman@<br />

btinternet.com / 0118 934 0589<br />

Church of St Andrew<br />

Serving Sonning, Charvil & Sonning Eye<br />

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

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

Like two peas in a pod by Phil Mason

around the villages — 12<br />

Where did you get that Easter bonnet?<br />

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

Phil Sherwood, head teacher of<br />

Sonning Primary School, writes:<br />

As a Church of England school,<br />

Easter is an important time of year.<br />

As well as engaging in the fun<br />

and more child-focused aspects<br />

of Easter, such as egg hunts, we<br />

also focus throughout the term<br />

on the events leading up to Holy<br />

Week. Throughout our collective<br />

worship each week since January,<br />

we have learned about and discussed<br />

different parts of the Easter story,<br />

culminating in our Easter service.<br />

As part of our strong links with<br />

St Andrew’s Church, we all visited<br />

the church for a special Easter<br />

service, led by our pupils and Rev<br />

Jamie.<br />

Rev Jamie spoke about reflection<br />

and preparation at this time of year,<br />

which resonated with all of us.<br />

This term, as well as Lent and<br />

Easter, also features Ramadan, and<br />

we have enjoyed understanding<br />

more about these important events<br />

in Islam. With many Muslim<br />

pupils in the school, it has been a<br />

wonderful way to show our respect<br />

and curiosity — two of our school<br />

values — for other religions and<br />

faiths.<br />

As part of Easter and spring,<br />

we also had a farm visit us. <strong>The</strong><br />

pupils loved seeing the animals and<br />

learning about them.<br />

Finally, as a key part of our<br />

celebrations around Easter, we<br />

finished the term with our annual<br />

Easter Hat Parade, which featured<br />

a range of very creative hats! <strong>The</strong><br />

children and staff all walked our<br />

‘cat walk’ and showed off their hats<br />

to the rest of the school by dancing,<br />

strutting, bouncing and sliding down<br />

the cat walk to music! It certainly was<br />

a feel-good end to the term.<br />

We hope everyone reading this<br />

also enjoyed a relaxing and familyfilled<br />


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

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around the villages— — 31<br />

Inner Wheel raises funds for<br />

<strong>The</strong> Book Bus and Cowshed<br />

<strong>The</strong> Inner Wheel Club of Reading Maiden Erlegh has been<br />

raising more funds for <strong>The</strong> Book Bus and <strong>The</strong> Cowshed.<br />

On International Women’s Day, 8 March, the club<br />

members celebrated with a soup lunch held at a member’s<br />

home. <strong>The</strong> proceeds — £205 — from voluntary donations<br />

will go to the Club’s international charity ‘<strong>The</strong> Book Bus’<br />

which operates reading schemes in Malawi and Ecuador.<br />

After lunch they gathered in the sunshine with 100<br />

tote bags (pictured below) made by them for <strong>The</strong> Cowshed,<br />

a local charity which provides support to people and<br />

children of all backgrounds in times of crisis.<br />

<strong>The</strong> bags will be filled with clothing and other items,<br />

but why 100 bags? Because ‘100 for 100’ is an initiative the<br />

club's centenary year which began in the UK in 1924 and is<br />

now one of the largest organisations for women with over<br />

100,000 members in more than 103 countries.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Inner Wheel Club of Reading Maiden Erlegh meets<br />

at Sonning Golf Club on the third Thursday evening of<br />

every month and welcomes new members to join in the<br />

fun, take part in activities, raise funds for charity and<br />

support the local community. https://www.innerwheelrme.org<br />

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

Butterflies and scarecrows<br />

invade Sonning . . .<br />

But don't panic! <strong>The</strong> butterflies are made from a clay-like<br />

material, and the scarecrows come in a huge variety of shapes,<br />

sizes, and materials!<br />

Sonning Art Club has been preparing for this year's Scarecrow<br />

Trail on 26 - 27 <strong>May</strong> by learning to make butterflies to enhance<br />

their scarecrow which will form part the group's<br />

popular exhibition held in the Committee Room<br />

of Pearson Hall during the Bank Holiday weekend.<br />

Jill Watkins, one of the club's members, taught the<br />

other members how to make butterflies and<br />

flowers from 'Fimo', a clay like substance which can be<br />

baked in a domestic oven for just 30 minutes.<br />

Barbara Carr, the Scarecrow Trail organiser, has asked<br />

us to pass on a big thank you to those who are opening<br />

their gardens, but she says they could do with some more.<br />

If you are willing to open your garden or help in any way<br />

please contact her at the address below.<br />

Barbara also thanks all those who recently filled<br />

Sonning Club to register their scarecrows and to offer<br />

help! However, there is still time to enter a Scarecrow if<br />

you get in touch with Barbara by Tuesday 7 <strong>May</strong>!<br />

If you have not registered your scarecrow it will not<br />

be listed in Scarecrow trail map! To register your entry<br />

or find out more contact: Barbara.carr71@hotmail.co.uk<br />

contact@sonningscarecrows.com or o118 934 5886<br />

Healthier lifestyle for everyone<br />

at Sonning Tennis Club<br />

Sonning Tennis Club is supporting a 'healthier lifestyle'<br />

for everyone. <strong>The</strong> local tennis club is introducing new<br />

fitness options that are open to non members, and to<br />

people of all levels of fitness.<br />

Walking Tennis, for example, is aimed at people who<br />

would like to stay active, but don't feel that they can<br />

cover a whole tennis court. It is tennis without running<br />

or jumping and is on a smaller court. <strong>The</strong> ball can bounce<br />

twice. It runs every Tuesday from 10.30am - 12noon, with<br />

tea ⁄coffee available. A small charge applies.<br />

One Sunday each month, the club is inviting anyone to<br />

try tennis. Sessions are free and allow everyone to simply<br />

have a go!<br />

Another choice is Cardio Tennis. <strong>The</strong>se are sessions<br />

designed for anyone to have a fun fitness class to music,<br />

based on tennis. No tennis skills are required and they are<br />

open to non members. <strong>The</strong>se sessions run from 9.30am<br />

- 10.30am Tuesdays, and 7pm Thursdays. A small charge<br />

applies.<br />

Further information can be found on the Sonning<br />

Tennis Club website:<br />

https://clubspark.lta.org.uk/SonningLawnTennisClub<br />

or for more information email:<br />


28 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>May</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />

HEALTH — 1<br />

Dr Simon Ruffle writes . . . Comparisons<br />

Recently I wrote about comparing the<br />

NHS to other healthcare services.<br />

While researching that article I<br />

fell down the USA rabbit hole of<br />

healthcare. I had some vague notions<br />

of USA healthcare but this was skewed<br />

by the bankruptcy issues caused by<br />

medical bills.<br />

Recent American Journal of Public<br />

Health figures for 2019 estimated that<br />

medical problems contributed to 66.5%<br />

of bankruptcies in the United States.<br />

I thought that the Affordable Care<br />

Act, (ACA) colloquially known as<br />

Obamacare, addressed this problem in<br />

2010. Obviously it hasn’t.<br />

ACA was introduced to cover people<br />

who couldn’t afford or weren’t given<br />

insurance as part of their employment.<br />

Opposition to the Act includes similar<br />

arguments against the NHS, although<br />

not being constitutional is not one.<br />

Stifling innovation and choice, it<br />

is overly bureaucratic and costs the<br />

consumer and tax payer as it attracts<br />

tax payment. NHS has the same<br />

finance issues.<br />

It also leaves some uncovered,<br />

which, cannot happen in the UK but<br />

variability in quality and accessibility<br />

remain in both systems, and affect<br />

deprived areas the most.<br />


Most Americans are covered by<br />

insurance schemes. Some are provided<br />

by employers, others by the federal<br />

government such as Medicare. This<br />

covers over 65s and disabled peopledepending<br />

on disability.<br />

Medicaid is another scheme<br />

designed to help those with low<br />

incomes and there is a Children’s<br />

program called CHIP.<br />

This is essentially gap insurance<br />

for children of those who cannot<br />

afford insurance but do not qualify for<br />

Medicaid; what about the parents?<br />

Most of these insurance policies do<br />

not allow the American — home of the<br />

free — to choose their hospital.<br />

Health Management Organisations<br />

(HMO) that provide the policies have<br />

their own network of doctors, hospitals<br />

and allied services.<br />

Similar to the NHS the patient must<br />

see their primary care physician (PCP)<br />

to obtain a referral. Again these GP-like<br />

doctors are within the HMO’s network;<br />

step out of that network and you will<br />

receive an out of pocket expense, more<br />

on that later.<br />

UK GPs, unlike USA PCPs, have<br />

their own specialist pathway for<br />

training which is more extensive and<br />

thus provide a more comprehensive<br />

service that reduces the number of<br />

referrals to secondary care. Many<br />

HMOs look to the UK model and more<br />

and more North American systems are<br />

aggressively recruiting UK GPs.<br />


Hospitals in the States can be<br />

public, private, for profit and not for<br />

profit organisations but receive their<br />

funding from payments for activity.<br />

<strong>The</strong> drive to reduce costs is huge.<br />

Some payments are from private<br />

people and companies ‘supporting’<br />

the hospitals and there are church and<br />

charity funds. This still doesn’t create a<br />

universally covered system.<br />

Despite insurance other out-ofpocket<br />

expenses are often required.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se cause untold problems. As<br />

mentioned, out of network services<br />

occur. For example, if you need<br />

treatment or elect to have treatment<br />

in a hospital or clinic that isn’t in ‘your’<br />

network, you are liable for the cost out<br />

of your pocket.<br />

Co-insurance for some people may<br />

be part of their insurance. Essentially,<br />

the patient is gambling on not getting<br />

sick to the tune of a percentage of the<br />

cost of treatment, not dissimilar to<br />

choosing a cheaper insurance policy<br />

and a higher excess instead.<br />

Co-payments can be part of your<br />

insurance. For example a fee every<br />

time you use your policy; essentially<br />

encouraging you not to seek help.<br />

<strong>The</strong>n we come to deductables. This<br />

is the amount of payment you have to<br />

pay before your cover kicks in, again.<br />

It's a like our excess policies on car<br />

insurance. <strong>The</strong>se are often contentious<br />

as the condition and onward costs may<br />

not be covered either, as described.<br />

Like the UK there is a prescription<br />

cost to a certain percentage of the<br />

drug costs. However, in the UK this is<br />

a fixed costs per item and not a fixed<br />

percentage of the cost.<br />

In general in the UK, the patient is<br />

in a better position having a mixed cost<br />

but if you receive more than 13 monthly<br />

prescriptions a year there are schemes<br />

to pre-pay this and there is a list of<br />

conditions that exclude any payment<br />

at all: children, those in permanent<br />

education and over 60s also pay no<br />

prescription charge.<br />


<strong>The</strong> charges go straight to the<br />

treasury so are a tax and not as a lot of<br />

people think that they are paying for<br />

their medication. Often the medication<br />

cost is way above the prescription fee.<br />

In the USA Annals of Internal<br />

Medicine in 2017, 'nearly 20% of new<br />

prescriptions are never filled, and<br />

approximately 50% of medications<br />


FROM PAGE 28<br />

HEALTH — 2<br />

Comparisons<br />

for chronic conditions are not taken as<br />

prescribed.'<br />

Finally, the HMO has the last way<br />

in if the treatment is covered, or they<br />

could cover one treatment rather than<br />

another.<br />

<strong>The</strong> UK also has a system to regulate<br />

this via NICE, but this doesn’t have<br />

shareholders. Although there is no<br />

specific law in the USA that forces<br />

shareholder primacy there are laws that<br />

protect investors in publicly floated<br />

companies, such as the Securities<br />

Exchange Act of 1934 which aims to<br />

protect investors and the integrity of<br />

the securities markets.<br />

Many laws applied to these<br />

companies do not protect them trading<br />

overseas.<br />

So, while the USA and the UK have<br />

different systems of funding healthcare<br />

we face the same problems of cost,<br />

accessibility, choice, fairness and<br />

political interference.<br />

Both nations need to have a grown<br />

up apolitical discussion on their<br />

futures.<br />

This is likely to be more difficult in<br />

the USA as the corporate involvement<br />

is higher than the UK, but this is<br />

changing. Our outcomes are not<br />

dissimilar but the costs to the tax payer<br />

are as follows:<br />

Per Capita:<br />

UK 2020: $4300<br />

Bankruptcy: 0% of cases<br />

USA 2020: $11582<br />

Bankruptcy: 66.5% of cases<br />

While there is no one perfect system<br />

the principles of ‘do no harm’<br />

must surely extend away from the<br />

medical issue at hand to the societal<br />

responsibilities of those in charge or<br />

those having the most influence on how<br />

the systems are run.<br />

Phil Mason<br />

HOME AND Garden<br />

<strong>The</strong> glory of <strong>May</strong><br />

Maia, Greek goddess<br />

Pinterest.co.uk<br />

with Roman numbers.<br />

Traditionally, Wisteria is one of<br />

<strong>May</strong>'s floral glories. I once spent four<br />

years coaxing a 10-year-old wisteria<br />

into flower only to be asked if I could<br />

remove half the flowers as it was too<br />

gaudy for a Cambridge university<br />

professor!<br />

Many plants have juvenile and<br />

adult growth — Ivy is a classic<br />

example — and wisteria flowers on<br />

‘adult’ spurs.<br />

To promote spurs regular pruning<br />

is required. Train main branches<br />

horizontally and tip when they reach<br />

the correct size, this will generate a<br />

flush of side shoots. Prune these side<br />

shoots back to 3/4 buds to encourage<br />

spurs and repeat annually and after<br />

flowering.<br />

Japanese wisterias (floribunda)<br />

have shorted broader racemes, and<br />

twine in a clockwise direction. <strong>The</strong>y<br />

more readily have a second flush of<br />

flowers.<br />

Chinese wisterias twine in an<br />

anticlockwise direction and have<br />

narrower longer flowers.<br />

How to control greenfly (aphids)<br />

is another question that regularly<br />

pops up in <strong>May</strong>. <strong>The</strong>y are an<br />

important food source for smaller<br />

nestlings, especially sparrows and<br />

tits. Instead of using insecticides<br />

I recommend leaving them and<br />

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

By Ray Puddefoot<br />

Wisteria tree<br />

Valeria Sangiovanni, dreamstime.com<br />

<strong>The</strong> first 6 months' names are associated with Roman gods except <strong>May</strong>, which<br />

is named after Maia the Greek goddess of growth and fertility. Followed by<br />

two months named after Roman emperors and four vacant waiting months<br />


accepting a few distorted flowers.<br />

Alternatively, washing them off with<br />

a soapy water or a hose with the<br />

nozzle on a jet setting.<br />

MAY TIPS<br />

— Prune early flowering shrubs like<br />

forsythia, ribes and Japanese quince.<br />

— Remove seed heads from<br />

hellebores, stake perennials and tie<br />

in climbers as required.<br />

— Apply liquid feed around spring<br />

bulbs and top dress your borders and<br />

roses with granular fertilizer.<br />

— Prepare and plant up your<br />

summer pots with summer bedding.<br />

— Always use fresh compost ideally<br />

one designed specifically for summer<br />

pots incorporating a wetting agent<br />

and water retentive granules.<br />

— Check hose pipes and fittings for<br />

leaks and if necessary, replace the<br />

washers, it is far cheaper than buying<br />

new connectors.

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

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A girl can dream, can't she?<br />

<strong>The</strong> issue of sustainable fashion is slowly filtering down from the top fashion<br />

houses to high street shops. Global warming has increased significantly, and the<br />

fast fashion industry is currently the third largest polluter after the oil industry.<br />

Luxury Brands are facing the issue<br />

of creating fashion that isn't just<br />

made for the runway, worn once, and<br />

thrown away. <strong>The</strong>y are now turning to<br />

sustainable materials and products to<br />

reduce their environmental impact.<br />

Sales within sustainable brands<br />

and products have risen dramatically,<br />

and a great example of a fashion<br />

luxury brand addressing this issue<br />

is Stella McCartney. She is working<br />

on many sustainable collections<br />

using organic materials and is known<br />

worldwide for her sustainable work.<br />


Stella grew up vegan within her<br />

famous family and she naturally looked<br />

at the fashion world slightly differently<br />

from her peers. It was no surprise<br />

that she has never used animal or<br />

unsustainable materials in her designs<br />

and has continued to grow her business<br />

with sustainability at its heart.<br />

Her designs use organic cotton,<br />

vegetarian leather, recycled cashmere,<br />

and recycled nylon and polyester.<br />

I had a fantastic opportunity last<br />

year to tour the Stella McCartney store<br />

in London and received good answers<br />

to my questions. It was fascinating<br />

that Stella's clothes were not the only<br />

sustainable aspect. <strong>The</strong> shop was<br />

also constructed sustainably with<br />

collections displayed artfully using<br />

recycled materials.<br />

<strong>The</strong> walls, for example, were made<br />

from recycled materials and paper<br />

from the brand's head offices. Looking<br />

closer at the wall, I saw many different<br />

types of papers layered to create unique<br />

elements and textures within the walls,<br />

I was amazed and inspired.<br />


McCartney has displayed all her<br />

products on sustainable furniture.<br />

Upstairs, there was a beautiful, upcycled<br />

piece of wood displaying the<br />

bags, which were made in Venice.<br />

Some sustainable high heel shoes<br />

were displayed on a red silicone<br />

material produced using sustainable<br />

silicon. It was a unique material to use<br />

to display shoes, and looked amazing.<br />

My favourite areas were the lifts and<br />

dressing rooms. Each dressing room,<br />

designed personally by Stella, was<br />

unique with a different sustainable<br />

theme. One was embroidered with<br />

brown sustainable thread with beads in<br />

the shapes of hands.<br />


<strong>The</strong>re were speakers in the lifts<br />

telling you about Stella's inspiration for<br />

the collections and, as you went to try<br />

on the clothing, they told you about the<br />

sustainable materials used.<br />

Inside another dressing room was<br />

a wide mirror with quotes: 'If I can,<br />

then there is no reason not to.' - Stella<br />

McCartney.<br />

A main feature downstairs was a<br />

collection of Stella's designer shoes<br />

displayed on the wall. What stood out<br />

to me was the colourful barcode on<br />

most of them.<br />

I scanned one of the shoes, and was<br />

directed to her website which showed<br />

a page about her S-wave trainers —<br />

Stella's most sustainable sneakers.<br />

Most of the garments were from<br />

her spring and summer collections.<br />

Each part of the store had a different<br />

collection with wild and unique colours<br />

for spring.<br />

Upstairs, for example, displayed<br />

a room full of the sportswear, and<br />

downstairs showcased Stella's most<br />

popular garments that were seen on the<br />

runway and ready to wear collections.<br />


At the back of the store was a<br />

display of her sustainable skincare<br />

products. I use these and love them.<br />

I have her Essential Travel Set, which<br />

includes a Reset Cleanser (50ml), Alter-<br />

Care Serum (20ml) and Restore Cream<br />

(20ml), packaged in an eco-designed<br />

travel bag made from recycled nylon.<br />

All these products are perfect for<br />

fulfilling a sustainable beauty routine<br />

for your holiday, or at home.<br />

As you can guess, I’m a huge fan of<br />

Stella McCartney’s brand and love her<br />

commitment to reducing waste and<br />

pollution. At the moment my budget<br />

doesn’t run to buying clothes from her<br />

beautiful Bond Street store, but a girl<br />

can dream, can’t she?<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>May</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 31

32 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>May</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> Stabat Mater<br />

Rev Michael Burgess continues a series on great works of music.<br />

<strong>May</strong> is traditionally the month of Mary, the mother of<br />

Jesus. When we read of Mary in the Gospels, we sense the<br />

heartache and trial of much of her life: a teenage mother<br />

giving birth in a stable, fleeing with her new-born baby and<br />

Joseph to Egypt, losing the child Jesus while on pilgrimage<br />

to Jerusalem, following her son on his ministry but always<br />

in the background, and there at the foot of the cross as he<br />

is crucified. It is then Mary must have thought back to that<br />

occasion in the temple when Simeon took her child and told<br />

her that a sword would pierce her own soul.<br />

That sense of heartache and the sorrow it brings is poignantly<br />

expressed in a beautiful poem of the Middle Ages called Stabat<br />

Mater, which pictures Mary at Calvary and that sword of<br />

desolation and sadness that pierces her soul.<br />

We are not sure who wrote this poem. It is ascribed to<br />

Jacopone da Todi, who became a Franciscan friar on the<br />

death of his wife in the 13th Century. <strong>The</strong> contemplation<br />

of Mary’s sorrows in the Stabat Mater has inspired many<br />

composers, and there are wonderful settings by Palestrina,<br />

Rossini, Dvorak, Verdi and Poulenc.<br />


This month we focus on a very simple setting, but one<br />

that captures those searing pangs of sorrow at the heart of<br />

the poem. It is by Antonio Vivaldi, who was born in Venice in<br />

1678. In 1703 he was ordained a priest, but by then he had made<br />

his name as a skilled violinist and composer. He continued to<br />

compose throughout his life: a vast amount that includes some<br />

40 operas — though only 18 survive with 400 concertos — and<br />

over 100 choral works.<br />

In 1730 Charles de Brosses described him as ‘an old man with<br />

a prodigious fury for composition.’ For much of his life Vivaldi<br />

was music director of the Ospidale della Pieta, a music school<br />

for girls. <strong>The</strong>n, in 1740, he left Venice hoping for preferment in<br />

Vienna. That was not to be, and his final days were marked by<br />

poverty and neglect. In 1741 he ws buried in a pauper’s grave.<br />


Vivaldi is well known for the brilliance and colour of ‘<strong>The</strong><br />

Four Seasons’ and his setting of '<strong>The</strong> Gloria'. <strong>The</strong> tone is more<br />

restrained in his setting of the 'Stabat Mater'. <strong>The</strong>re is a very<br />

fine CD recording entitled ‘Vespers of Sorrow’ where the work is<br />

linked to a sonata, a psalm setting and the Magnificat for an<br />

imagined celebration of our Lady’s feast.<br />

'Stabat Mater' is a long poem and Vivaldi restricted himself<br />

to setting eight verses for contralto and strings: the solo voice<br />

standing for Mary as she sings of the despair and agony as the<br />

mother of Jesus.<br />

<strong>The</strong> opening verse, ‘At the cross her station keeping’ captures<br />

the intensity of emotion with the throbbing rhythms of the<br />

accompaniment. a mood that recurs throughout the work.<br />

And then with the verse, ‘Eja Mater, fons amoris’ (O thou<br />

Mother! Fount of love!) the violins and viola accompany without<br />

any bass instruments. It is a pivotal point in the work as the<br />

solo voice cries out ‘Mater’ across the heights and depths of the<br />

music, leading into the prayer that the love of Mary will touch<br />

all human hearts. <strong>The</strong> final verse set by Vivaldi begins ‘Make<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>May</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 33<br />

me feel as thou hast felt,’ and so Mary stands for all mothers<br />

who have lost loved ones: perhaps sons killed in Afghanistan,<br />

perhaps daughters dying through disease.<br />

Mary’s love for Jesus, her son, touches the hearts of them<br />

and of all parents. Hers was a protective, sacrificial love that<br />

led her to the foot of the cross, where Jesus gave his mother<br />

and John, the beloved disciple, into the care of each other. <strong>The</strong><br />

sacrificial love of a mother mirrored in the sacrificial offering of<br />

her son in death.<br />


Wikipedia commons<br />

Julian of Norwich meditated on this motherly love in her<br />

Revelations. In chapter 60 she wrote, ‘A mother’s caring is the<br />

closest, nearest and surest for it is the truest…As we know, our own<br />

mother bore us only into pain and dying. But our true mother Jesus,<br />

who is all love, bears us into joy and endless living. Blessed may he<br />

be!’<br />

So the protective care of mother Mary cries out to us in<br />

Vivaldi’s setting of 'Stabat Mater'. <strong>The</strong> closing lines of that poem<br />

look to Christ’s maternal love like Mother Julian:<br />

‘Christ when <strong>The</strong>e shall call me hence,<br />

Be my mother, my defence,<br />

Be thy Cross of victory.’

ella Interiors <strong>Parish</strong> ad.qxp_Layout 1 28/02/2023 14:48 Page 1<br />

34 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>May</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />

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THE ARTS — 2<br />

Book Reviews<br />

Jesus and the Powers: Christian Political Witness<br />

in an Age of Totalitarian, Terror and Dysfunctional<br />

Democracies, by Tom Wright, SPCK, £12.99<br />

Tom Wright and Michael F Bird join forces to ask: How<br />

can Christians engage with the turbulent politics of our<br />

times while remaining true to the teaching of Jesus? <strong>The</strong>y<br />

argue that Christians can embody a counter-cultural witness<br />

that upholds the Biblical ideals of justice, mercy and truth<br />

and challenge believers to take a stand against tyrannical<br />

forces wherever they may appear.<br />

No Ceiling to Hope: Stories of grace from the world’s most<br />

dangerous places, by Patrick Regan and Liza Hoeksma,<br />

SPCK, £10.99<br />

Real-life stories from around the world show how<br />

Christians are helping the most vulnerable in society with<br />

God's love. In Bolivia, Christians are backing education<br />

projects to help families to find a way out of poverty. In<br />

London, XLP is mentoring young people to turn aside from<br />

violence. In Los Angeles, a new future is being offered to<br />

gang girls. In high security prisons in the UK and US, the<br />

Spirit is turning lives around. In Belfast's Shankill Road area,<br />

a group of elderly ladies is cooking meals for men who sit all<br />

day in local pubs . . . <strong>The</strong> list is extensive, and inspiring. In all<br />

circumstances, Christ is offering hope.<br />

Grandparenting for Faith: Sharing God with the children<br />

you love the most By Becky Sedgwick, BRF, £9.99<br />

Part of the joy of being a grandparent is to help your<br />

grandchildren learn to have confidence in God’s love for<br />

them. This book encourages grandparents to be a unique<br />

voice, speaking into their grandchildren’s lives, and helping<br />

to nurture them into the reality of a relationship with the<br />

God who loves them.<br />

Spiritual Growth in a Time of Change: Following God in<br />

midlife By Tony Horsfall, BRF, £9.99<br />

Our 40s and 50s are often times of personal change and<br />

emotional transition for our families, but they can also<br />

be important years for our spiritual lives. Tony Horsfall<br />

addresses a number of ‘midlife’ issues from facing up to the<br />

past, to renegotiating relationships, and how to navigate a<br />

spiritual journey, leading to deeper faith.<br />

Finding Flourishing: Time and pace for your work-life<br />

wellbeing by Naomi Aidoo, BRF, £9.99<br />

Wellbeing should be an accessible pursuit, even for the<br />

busiest of us. Naomi Aidoo presents a practical approach to<br />

helping achieve wellbeing that doesn’t require adding yet<br />

another technique to your busy schedule. It shows how to<br />

enhance mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.<br />

Neighbourhoods Reimagined – How the Beatitudes<br />

Inspire our Call to be Good Neighbours by Chris<br />

McKinney and Elizabeth McKinney, 10Publishing, £8.99<br />

Many of us drift away from our next-door neighbours,<br />

and now we’re not sure we can get back again. We are unsure<br />

of how to befriend them and how to spot opportunities of<br />

sharing God’s love with them. How can the counter-cultural<br />

values of Christianity affect them, and our neighbourhood?<br />

Poetry Corner<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>May</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 35<br />

Promised<br />

Pentecost<br />

By Steven Rolling<br />

Acts 2: 16-21 parts<br />

Tune: Down Ampney - ‘Come down, O love divine’<br />

1. Pentecost, your Spirit<br />

You promised, Lord, lives lit<br />

With your living presence, we here now you sense<br />

He comes to us empower<br />

Us daily, each hour<br />

And in human hearts pleased to make residence<br />

2. This is that prophesied<br />

By Joel, ‘Tis none beside<br />

Than Scripture’s fulfilment, the Spirit you sent<br />

Tongues, dreams, and prophecy<br />

<strong>The</strong>s things now sure shall be<br />

To show God’s glory, he works his good intent<br />

3. And too wonder above<br />

<strong>The</strong> Spirit, holy dove<br />

And signs beneath, blood, fire, and vapour of smoke<br />

Sun shall be turned to dark<br />

Moon be turned to blood, hark<br />

Before great day of the Lord come, no revoke<br />

4. It shall come to pass so<br />

That they the Lord shall know<br />

Whosoever calls on His name shall saved be<br />

Trusting your life within<br />

Us, cleanse us here from sin<br />

To go witness, that all the Saviour shall see<br />

Dove image: Kostya Pazyuk, dreamstime.com

36 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>May</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />


IN THE ARK<br />

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at 12 noon<br />

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messy church poster A0 Feb <strong>2024</strong>.indd 1 15/01/<strong>2024</strong> 14:44:57


'Pain that is<br />

not expressed<br />

can never be<br />

transformed'<br />

By Dr Ruth M Bancewicz, church<br />

engagement director at <strong>The</strong><br />

Faraday Institute for Science and<br />

Religion, Cambridge<br />

<strong>The</strong> question of suffering comes<br />

up regularly in discussions about<br />

science and faith. When I visited a<br />

school to speak to some of the older<br />

teenagers, one had sadly died from<br />

cancer a few weeks before and his<br />

classmates asked, 'How could God let<br />

this happen?'<br />

While questions about where God was<br />

in this situation were important, the<br />

school's chaplain gently reminded the<br />

class that their friend’s family were<br />

Christians and they were finding their<br />

experience of loss had brought them<br />

even closer to God than before.<br />

One way that grief can bring us<br />

near to God is when we share it with<br />

him by telling him exactly how we<br />

feel.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Biblical writers had no<br />

scruples about expressing themselves<br />

to God, giving vent to emotions we<br />

often hold back in a church context.<br />

As my colleague Roger Abbott,<br />

wrote in his book about unanswered<br />

prayer: 'Let us not confuse reverence<br />

with spiritual prudishness. Perhaps<br />

honesty, the way it feels, is precisely<br />

what God is waiting to hear from us.'<br />

Please remember your<br />

donations for the<br />

Woodley Food Bank<br />

Please inside remember St Andrew's your<br />

Church which is open<br />

10am - 4pm every day<br />

donations for the Woodley Food<br />

Bank and place them in the box<br />

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

Thank you!<br />

Jorisvo | Dreamstime.com<br />

About one third of the Psalms<br />

express some form of grief.<br />

Job is a series of responses to<br />

one man’s suffering as he loses his<br />

children, property and health in quick<br />

succession.<br />

Lamentations is also one long<br />

outpouring of sadness at what<br />

happened to Israel under the<br />

Babylonians.<br />

Some of the prophets, especially<br />

Jeremiah, express their pain at these<br />

sort of events which reflect something<br />

of God’s own feelings at the suffering<br />

of his people.<br />

Most of these Biblical authors<br />

would have had access to scriptures<br />

that encouraged them to turn to<br />

God whatever the circumstances.<br />

Emboldened by their knowledge of<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>May</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 37<br />

A stained glass window in the Cathedral of Brussels, Belgium depicts the prophet Jeremiah<br />

lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem. <strong>The</strong> Lamentations of Jeremiah in the Bible consists<br />

of five poems in the form of laments for Judah and Jerusalem when they were invaded and<br />

devastated by the Babylonians in 586 BCE for the sufferings of the population, and for the poet<br />

himself during and after the catastrophe.<br />

Jorisvo, Dreamstime.com<br />


his character and promises, these<br />

divinely inspired writers even express<br />

their anger to God about the things<br />

he lets happen, or complain that he<br />

seems to act unfairly or ignore them<br />

in their plight.<br />

Not only do these people let out all<br />

their feelings without fear of reprisal,<br />

but they also clearly expect a helpful<br />

answer.<br />

Some record a resolution to their<br />

troubles, often simply because God<br />

speaks to and comforts them. He<br />

enables them to keep going.<br />

<strong>The</strong> biblical writers demonstrated<br />

that God can handle pretty much<br />

anything — anger, blame, bitterness<br />

— if we are actively looking to him for<br />

help.<br />

As Pete Greig of the 24-7 prayer<br />

movement has written, 'pain that is<br />

not expressed can never be transformed'.<br />

Nature and science meet faith in films<br />

'God Saw That It Was Good' is a four-part film series that aims to reconnect<br />

people with the wonder of the natural world and a sense of the divine within<br />

it while inspiring a renewed vision of creation care.<br />

<strong>The</strong> short films focus on environmental issues around themes of coasts, sky,<br />

trees, and life. <strong>The</strong>y are written and presented by Rev Dr Dave Gregory, a<br />

Baptist minister and former meteorologist and climate scientist at the Met<br />

Office and European Weather Centre.<br />

He says, “In our visual age, people are captivated by stunning images of our world and<br />

cosmos seen in nature and science programmes streamed to our TVs and phones. <strong>The</strong>y are<br />

entranced by the wonder they see, yet often left with a sense of mystery and asking is there<br />

more to know?<br />

“<strong>The</strong> God Saw That It Was Good films take people deeper in the wonder and mystery of<br />

the world. <strong>The</strong>y enable viewers to encounter the wonder, playfulness, and connections in<br />

creation that science reveals, and through which God may be encountered.”

38 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>May</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />

PUZZLE PAGE — 1<br />


Across<br />

1 One who owes money, goods or services (Isaiah 24:2) (6)<br />

4 ‘A good measure, pressed down — together running over’ (Luke 6:38) (6)<br />

7 Continuous dull pain (Proverbs 14:13) (4)<br />

8 This bread contains yeast (Amos 4:5) (8)<br />

9 ‘But take heart! I have — the world’ (John 16:33) (8)<br />

13 And the rest (abbrev.) (3)<br />

16 What Paul was accused of by Tertullus, the high priest’s lawyer, in his<br />

trial before Felix (Acts 24:5) (13)<br />

17 Rap (anag.) (3)<br />

19 Founder of the Jesuits in 1534 (8)<br />

24 ‘For where your — is, there your heart will be also’ (Luke 12:34) (8)<br />

25 <strong>The</strong> first word written on the wall during King Belshazzar’s great<br />

banquet (Daniel 5:25) (4)<br />

26 ‘We all, like sheep, have gone — ’ (Isaiah 53:6) (6)<br />

27 One was given in honour of Jesus in Bethany (John 12:2) (6)<br />

Down<br />

1 ‘<strong>The</strong> blind receive sight, the lame walk, the — hear, the dead are raised’<br />

(Luke 7:22) (4)<br />

2 Conduct (Colossians 1:21) (9)<br />

3 In the Catholic and Orthodox traditions, the body of a saint or his<br />

belongings, venerated as holy (5)<br />

4 ‘Like a — of locusts men pounce on it’ (Isaiah 33:4) (5)<br />

5 Very old (Genesis 44:20) (4)<br />

6 In Calvinist theology one who is predestined to receive salvation (5)<br />

10 How Nicodemus addressed Jesus (John 3:2) (5)<br />

11 Sea (Psalm 148:7) (5)<br />

12 ‘I will — you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever’<br />

(Psalm 145:1) (5)<br />

13 One of the groups of philosophers that Paul met in Athens, who<br />

disagreed with his teaching about the resurrection (Acts 17:18) (9)<br />

14 Barred enclosure (Ezekiel 19:9) (4)<br />

15 ‘Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in — with the Spirit’ (Gal 5:25) (4)<br />

18 Cares (anag.) (5)<br />

20 Garish (Ezekiel 16:16) (5)<br />

21 ‘So God said to Noah, “I am going to put —to all people”’ (Gen 6:13) (2,3)<br />

22 Just (2 Corinthians 6:13) (4)<br />

23 ‘<strong>The</strong> — of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge’ (Proverbs 1:7) (4)<br />

<strong>The</strong>y Missed <strong>The</strong> Boat Verse Search by Ralph<br />

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Ralph's ‘verse search’ grid above contains the names of<br />

26 animals — including extinct and mystical creatures —<br />

whose names begin: A; 4B; C; E; F. G; I; K; L; 2M; 2P; R; 3S;<br />

2T; U; V; W; Z. If you find all 26 you will also notice that the<br />

unused letters in the grid spell out a relevant verse from<br />

the Good News Bible. You might even manage to identify<br />

the verse. Good luck, and God Bless!<br />

Write your answers here . . .<br />










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<strong>The</strong> hidden Bible verse was from Joshua 6:27<br />

(Good News Bible)<br />



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MONET<br />


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RAVEL<br />


PUZZLE PAGE — 2<br />


1 2 3 4 5 6 7<br />

8<br />

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13<br />

14 15 16 17<br />

SUDOKU<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>May</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 39<br />

answers in the next issue<br />

April<br />

Solutions<br />


C O D E E M B A R K E D<br />

A U M O N I U<br />

P R O T E I N T O N G S<br />

T M T T H G K<br />

A R O M A T H E R A P Y<br />

I P S O I R<br />

N Y M P H S S P O N G E<br />

S I Y T O V<br />

U N A S S A I L A B L E<br />

I I I U O R R<br />

M I M I C R A G T I M E<br />

P U A U Y D N<br />

S I M P L E S T T E X T<br />

20<br />

18 19<br />

21 22<br />

23 24<br />

Across<br />

1 - Break<br />

or burst<br />

or<br />

(4)<br />

burst (4)<br />

3<br />

-- Burns<br />

slightly<br />

slightly<br />

or chars (8)<br />

or chars (8)<br />

9<br />

-- Perennial<br />

plant with<br />

fleshy<br />

fleshy<br />

roots (7)<br />

roots (7)<br />

10<br />

-<br />

-<br />

Loop<br />

Loop<br />

with a<br />

with<br />

running<br />

a<br />

knot<br />

running<br />

(5)<br />

knot (5)<br />

11 - Completely<br />

unaware<br />

unaware<br />

of (12)<br />

of (12)<br />

14<br />

-- Acquire;<br />

obtain<br />

obtain<br />

(3)<br />

(3)<br />

16<br />

-- Show<br />

off (5)<br />

off (5)<br />

17<br />

-- Measure<br />

of length<br />

of<br />

(3)<br />

length (3)<br />

18<br />

-- Give<br />

a false<br />

a false<br />

account<br />

account<br />

of (12)<br />

of (12)<br />

21<br />

-- Place<br />

of refuge<br />

of refuge<br />

(5)<br />

(5)<br />

22<br />

- Due<br />

- Due<br />

to the<br />

to<br />

fact<br />

the<br />

that<br />

fact<br />

(7)<br />

that (7)<br />

23<br />

- - Tanks<br />

for storing<br />

for storing<br />

water (8)<br />

water (8)<br />

24<br />

- - Associate<br />

(4)<br />

(4)<br />


Down Down<br />

1 - Be envious of (8)<br />

1 - Be envious of (8)<br />

2 - Transmits 2 - Transmits (5) (5)<br />

4 - Fall behind 4 - Fall behind (3) (3)<br />

5 - Body of voters in a<br />

given 6 - area Enunciate (12) (7)<br />

6 - Enunciate 7 - Look for (7) (4)<br />

7 - Look for (4)<br />

8 - Persistence (12)<br />

8 - Persistence (12)<br />

12 - Furnish or supply (5)<br />

12 - Furnish or supply (5)<br />

13 - Shiny; sparkly (8)<br />

13 - Shiny; sparkly (8)<br />

15 - Robbers (7)<br />

15 - Robbers (7)<br />

19 - Be the same as 19 - Be the same as (5)<br />

20 - Stylish (4)<br />

20 - Stylish (4)<br />

22 - Round 22 - Round bread bread roll (3)<br />

2 5 6 6 25 9 22 1 13<br />

5 - Body of voters in a given area (12)<br />

14 4 15 2 4 6 14 7 9 6<br />

12 4 17 15 26 17 13<br />

12 23 4 26 4 8 9 4 11 5 4<br />

9 9 24 17 26 17<br />

26 16 6 9 26 15 12 4 23 18 9 6<br />

19 2 15 2<br />

1 4 17 4 10 9 26 22 24 25 14 17<br />

1 23 21 10 16 14<br />

3 9 20 5 4 12 26 16 5 1 12<br />

17 4 10 4 22 2 16<br />

9 6 16 12 16 14 17 15 9 8<br />

15 9 17 22 14 9 12 26 24<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 />

D<br />

14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26<br />

V X<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 />


Rogation Sunday is on 5 <strong>May</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />

<strong>The</strong> first Sunday in <strong>May</strong> is Rogation Sunday.<br />

This is when many parishes still ‘beat<br />

the bounds’. Rogation means an asking<br />

of God for blessing on the seed and land.<br />

<strong>The</strong> practice began with the Romans, who<br />

processed around the cornfields each<br />

Spring, singing and dancing, sacrificing<br />

animals, in order to get rid of evil. About<br />

465 AD the Western world was suffering<br />

from earthquake and storm. Mamertius,<br />

Bishop of Vienne, aware of the pagan<br />

custom, ordered that prayers should be<br />

said in the ruined or neglected fields. Thus<br />

‘beating the bounds’ became a Christian<br />

ceremonial. It arrived in England early in<br />

the eighth century. Each Spring, led by the<br />

priest, a little party from the parish would<br />

set out with a Cross to trace the boundaries<br />

of the parish. <strong>The</strong>y’d implore God to keep<br />

their corn and roots and boughs in good<br />

health, and bring them to harvest. In the<br />

days when maps were scarce, ‘beating<br />

the bounds’ helped remind everyone just<br />

where the boundaries were. Do you know<br />

yours today?<br />

SUNDAY<br />

MAY<br />


BEAT<br />

BOUNDS<br />

ASKING<br />


SEED<br />

LAND<br />

ROMANS<br />



SPRING<br />


STORM<br />

PRAYER<br />

CROSS<br />


CROPS<br />


MAPS<br />


A X L E F R A G R A N T<br />

M A U E U P R<br />

B O T A N I C A L P H A<br />

I E Q K R R N<br />

T U X U O D R O P S<br />

I E N N U I V C<br />

O R S A E R<br />

U O T W A I N I<br />

S U S H I D S C O P<br />

N E O J H R T<br />

E A T E N O R I G A M I<br />

S T E I P Z O<br />

S P E N D I N G C Y A N<br />

SUDOKU<br />



40 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>May</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />

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

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Classified Trades & Services<br />


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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 />

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enquiries@thameschimneysweeps.co.uk<br />

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

Member of the Guild of Master Sweeps<br />


Stump grinding and tree stump removal<br />

Latest narrow access machinery<br />

Contact: Mark<br />

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Reliable and affordable<br />

Small jobs a speciality!<br />

Call Andy on 0795 810 0128<br />

http://www.handyman-reading.co.uk<br />


Surveys on houses with a drone<br />

Most jobs undertaken<br />

Please call Phil on:<br />

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For jargon free help with your computer problems<br />

PC & laptop repairs, upgrades, installations, virus removal<br />

Free advice, reasonable rates<br />

0798 012 9364 help@computerfrustrations.co.uk<br />


Reliable and friendly service for all tree care<br />

NPTC qualified — Public Liability of £10million<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>May</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 41

42 <strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> - <strong>May</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 />

corinne@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, ruth@jefferyfamily.net / 0797 101 8730<br />

<strong>Parish</strong> Office Manager<br />

— Hilary Rennie, 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: nic.nige@sky.com / 0742 517 3359<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 40<br />

Active Security 30<br />

AMS Water Softeners 14<br />

Barn Store Henley 6<br />

Berkshire Stump Removals 40<br />

BHR Maintenance 40<br />

Big Heart Tree Care 40<br />

Blandy & Blandy Solicitors 40<br />

Blue Moose 14<br />

Bridges Homecare Meals on Wheels 12<br />

Bull Inn 32<br />

Canon Tree Care 30<br />

Chole Lefroy Counselling 40<br />

Clark Bignall Plumbing 40<br />

Computer Frustrations 40<br />

Crosfields School 32<br />

French Horn 4<br />

Gardiners Home Care 32<br />

Good Oaks Home Care 26<br />

Great House Sonning 12<br />

Handyman and Decorating Services 40<br />

Handyman and Satellite TV repairs 40<br />

Haslams Estate Agents 2<br />

Hicks Group 18<br />

Home Stair Lifts 18<br />

Kingfisher Bathrooms 30<br />

MC Cleaning 40<br />

Mill at Sonning 44<br />

Muck & Mulch 18<br />

Reading Blue Coat School 14<br />

Richfield Flooring 16<br />

Sabella Home Furnishing 34<br />

Shiplake College 16<br />

Smallwood Landscaping 40<br />

Sonning Golf Club 16<br />

Sonning Scouts 32<br />

Studio DFP 40<br />

Thames Valley Water Softeners 40<br />

Thames Chimney Sweep 40<br />

<strong>The</strong> Abbey Nursery 43<br />

Tomalin Funerals 14<br />

Walker Funerals 12<br />

Water Softener Salt 18<br />

Window Cleaner 18<br />

St Andrew's Church <strong>Parish</strong> Website<br />

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<br />

advertising@theparishmagazine.co.uk / 0770 707 7773<br />

— Print and Distribution: Gordon Nutbrown<br />

classified@theparishmagazine.co.uk / 0118 969 3282<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> is produced by St Andrew’s PCC and delivered<br />

free of charge to every home in Charvil, Sonning and Sonning Eye.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> is printed in the United Kingdom by<br />

Sarum Graphics Ltd, Old Sarum, Salisbury SP4 6QX<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> is distributed by<br />

Abracadabra Leaflet Distribution Ltd, Reading RG7 1AW<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Parish</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> template was designed in 2012 by<br />

Roger Swindale rogerswindale@hotmail.co.uk<br />

and David Woodward david@designforprint.org

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>May</strong> <strong>2024</strong> 43<br />

AB0049_<strong>The</strong>_Abbey_Little_Knellies_Ad_175x255.indd 1 06/03/<strong>2024</strong> 09:32

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


11 APRIL- 1 JUNE <strong>2024</strong><br />

6 JUNE- 13 JULY <strong>2024</strong><br />



Open Tuesday - Sunday 11am - 5pm for Hot Bar<br />

Food, Homemade Cakes & Artisan Coffee. Come<br />

and treat yourself to a scrumptious lunch in the<br />

most beautiful setting.<br />


On Wednesday Mornings, enjoy a magical<br />

experience as pre-school children are treated to<br />

a story and singing in the theatre, followed by<br />

dressing up and colouring in activities in the<br />

Waterwheel Bar. £6, book at Box Office.<br />

B O X O F F I C E : ( 0 1 1 8 ) 9 6 9 8 0 0 0<br />


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