Dear Friends

“Thank You” and “Sorry”

I was brought up to believe that it’s never too late to say “Thank you” and always right to say “Sorry”. So, to those who have let me know that these letters are appreciated, can I say a most heartfelt “Thank you”; and to those who have reminded me that I said I would try to write them monthly, can I say an equally heartfelt “Sorry”!! I’d like to list a string of valid and wonderful reasons why I have been prevented from putting pen to paper, but I have none! It all comes down to those time honoured words … could do better !!

Ash Wednesday

Lent starts on Wednesday 9 March and we are having three services in the parish that day:

St Peter
9.30 am Communion (said) following the regular format

St John
10.00 am Communion (said) with Ashing

St Peter
8.00 pm Sung Eucharist with Ashing and Incense

I am assured that the incense is high quality and burned in such a way that it does not cause coughing. “Ashing” is an opportunity to receive, on our forehead in ash, the mark of the cross. It is a sign of our mortality and a symbol of our desire to keep a holy Lent. As with communion, people are invited to participate but are welcome to attend without receiving.

Opportunities in Lent

Not only are we are running three courses this year but we are also inviting you to spend an hour in conversation with a priest about your faith or spiritual journey, about how to pray or read the bible … or indeed anything that will help you deepen your understanding of your relationship with God. There are leaflets in the churches with more information about the courses and this rather different (and some may think slightly scarey) opportunity this Lent.

Lent Lunches

After last year’s lunches when we raised money for Christian Aid, this year we are having lunches in various venues throughout Lent raising money for Reading Street Pastors. These men and women spend their Friday nights (10.30pm to 3.30am) in the town centre helping those who find themselves in need of help at the end of a night out! More information will be available at the lunches. Lent Lunch dates & venues will be on the church notice sheets.

Annual Parish Meeting : Tuesday 19 April

I am sorry that this falls in Holy Week but we found it hard to find a date for our necessary and important APCM. This year the meeting will be at St John’s Church starting at 7.30pm with Communion. Please do come to elect Wardens and members of the PCC, to hear about the year that’s gone and our plans for the years ahead.

With my very best wishes,