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August News

New Children's Activity: Little Fishes Play Café

Slideshow and report: Holiday Club 2019 - Backpackers

July News

Mosaic Sculpture unveiled

June News

New worship opportunity: Creative Spirit

Sunday Worship

Sunday 26 January
10.30 am Morning Worship Mr Peter Whalley
 6.00 pm Holy Communion Revd Catherine Bowstead

Forthcoming Events

Saturday 28 March

Concert: British Airways Band

Pastoral Letter - February 2020

From Revd Catherine Bowstead

Dear Friends,

One of the things that I enjoy in the lead-up to Christmas is receiving Christmas cards and especially if they contain a letter with family news.  I know that some people mock these “round robin” Christmas newsletters, but I love receiving them and learning the news from friends who we’ve probably not seen for a while.

In our Advent Book “Lighted Windows”, Margaret Silf writes of her “childlike delight” in waiting for the post to arrive.

“Many a morning I listen for the sound of the postman’s footsteps crunching down the path, the clatter of the letter box and the plop of the mail on to the hall floor.  Then comes the ritual of discovery.  The size and colour of the envelope, the postmark, the handwriting all add their own clues about the nature of what has been sent to me.  Sometimes the crop yields nothing but bills and circulars, and I retreat to my desk, vaguely disappointed.  On other mornings there is real writing on the envelopes, and I know that I have been sent a personal communication. I make myself a coffee and sit down to savour the contents.”

Margaret Silf links this with St Paul’s description of our lives as being like a “letter from Christ”:

You are a letter of Christ … written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (2 Corinthians 3:3)

She ponders what sort of letter we might be each day. Will our presence in other people lives be irksome, like a bill, or irritating like a circular, will it be demanding, like a tax return – will the recipient feel diminished and sad by our “letter” to them?  Or will our arrival in someone else’s life be enlightening and encouraging, telling them some good news or something that they are longing to hear. Will it bring them joy and be life affirming?

February can seem to be a very dreary month and the days can seem long and dark. But think about how you can be “Letter from Christ” by the way that you interact with others with joy and kindness.  Perhaps you could write a letter of encouragement to someone or even a card to cheer up their day.

With every blessing,
Catherine

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Pastoral Letter - December 2019 / January 2020

From Revd Catherine Bowstead

Dear Friends,

Advent is almost upon us.  Advent, a time of preparation and waiting, an opportunity to find time to think about our faith and prepare ourselves to meet the Christ Child and celebrate Christmas.  Whilst the world seems determined to celebrate Christmas as soon as December begins, it’s becoming more and more difficult to find the time and space to mark Advent.  In addition, this year, we have a General election to consider too, and so our Advent time of waiting and preparation is interrupted by politics. 

I wonder how we can take the themes of Advent with us into the polling booth.  Themes such as peace, justice, patience, truth and hope, and how do these affect how we decide to cast our vote?  Jesus’ example was to care for the poor, the outcast and marginalised; he saw a society that had become unjust, selfish and uncaring.  Can we follow his example to care for the whole of society and especially the poor, the marginalised and the refugee?  Please do vote and use the themes of Advent to help you to use your vote wisely.

And then it will be Christmas, and in all the festive busyness, do find time to pause and treasure the gift of Christmas.  The gift of God becoming human in order to reveal perfectly God’s truth and love.  The gift of Jesus, who died and rose again to life for our salvation and who established a community of faith to continue his presence and work.

Early in the New Year we have a very practical opportunity to be engaged in Christ’s work as we are taking our turn in hosting the Wokingham Night Shelter.  Elsewhere in Greetings you will find further details of how you can be involved.

Also in January, we will be holding the first of our conversations about the Methodist Report on Marriage and Relationships: “God in love unites us”.  This will be on Sunday 19th January, 6-7pm with further sessions on 16th February and 15th March. 

May you have a considered and prayerful Advent, a Happy Christmas and a Blessed New Year.

With every blessing,
Catherine

The November 2019 Pastoral Letter is still available here.