The Parish of Tilehurst St Catherine and Calcot St Birinus
2016 - a review St Catherineâ€™s Church Cornwell Community Church
This booklet contains information and a review of church activities in the parish during 2016. Each Church holds an informal annual meeting to review the year and look forward. The formal Parish annual meeting is the APCM (Annual Parochial Church Meeting) which is at St Catherineâ€™s, 10.00 am on Sunday 23rd April. The APCM is open to those whose names appear on the church electoral roll.
Churchwardens’ report Looking back at last year’s report reminds us how much can happen in twelve months! This time last year the builders were still putting the 0inishing touches to the new buildings at St Catherine’s and we were preparing for the Bishop of Reading to visit on 29th April to of0icially open our new facilities.
We are grateful to him and Priscilla for their ministry in the parish over the previous 14 years and trust that God will continue to bless them both, and their family, in their new circumstances. For us as Churchwardens the resulting vacancy has been challenging – ‘unknown unknowns’ abound, with a few ‘known unknowns’ thrown in for good measure! Nevertheless, God has been faithful to His church over these last months, so that neither the numbers attending nor the range of activities we undertake have reduced signi0icantly.
Since then, the Café has been in operation for nearly a year and is running well. Although our 0irst Manager, Angela, has now moved onto a new job we are grateful to her for the effort and expertise she put into getting the Cafe ‘off the ground’. We are also very grateful to all the volunteers whose dedication has kept the Cafe running, especially since Angela’s departure.
We are grateful to God for those who have continued in their normal roles as well as helping out in other areas to share the load. While we were somewhat disappointed that February’s interview process did not result in us 0inding a new Vicar, we do sense that God is leading the church in new, and hopefully exciting, directions. The way will no doubt be steep and rocky at times, but the best and safest place to be is following our Shepherd to where He leads. Let’s pray that we might all keep our eyes on Him.
Our con0idence that this new facility would provide a friendly welcome to volunteers and visitors alike is being ful0illed and we are considering how we might bene0it the wider community and extend God’s Kingdom by putting the Church and Café space to greater use. In October we said farewell to Rev Denis Smith, who has moved on to work in the Diocesan Mediation Service.
Sonia Ludford & Richard Yates
Electoral roll After a year that has seen many changes in our Church the numbers on our Electoral Roll has not changed a great deal. At the time of writing this report our numbers are:
26 people on the Electoral Roll are nonresident in our parish. As we look forward to a new Church year and a new Vicar, we also look forward both hopefully and prayerfully to an increase in our numbers.
St. Catherine’s - 104 Cornwell Community Church - 42. Giving us a combined total of - 146.
Maureen Ward & Shirley Horsnell Electoral Roll Of0icers 3
Neighbourhood Centre Development Project Summary
LST Projects completed the building work as programmed so that the Bishop of Reading was able to formally open the new buildings on St Catherine’s Day 2016. It was a day of great celebration for all involved.
The new buildings have been in use for nearly a year now, and they enhance our activities. The café is busy on Thursdays and numbers are growing on Fridays. I said last year that the post-building phase of the Project would be unpredictable and that has certainly been the case, but much progress has been made.
There was some snagging work to be done, which, with the completion of the carpeting over the internal manholes in the narthex, was completed in March 2017.
The next step is to introduce more activities in church, to take advantage of the new facilities while the Pre-school is in the Hall.
LST were diligent in attending to the smallest details – we were blessed to have them as our builder, particularly our site manager, Ian Legg and our contracts manager, Shaun Tuf0in.
Richard Canning Project Treasurer
With our Project Manager, Robert Jackson, our architect, Gordon Shackell, and our heating consultant, Paul Cantwell, we had a strong and committed team and the fruits of their labour is all around us.
AllChurches Trust Ltd ASDA Foundation Awards for All (Big Lottery Fund) Baily Thomas Charitable Fund Beatrice Laing Trust Berkshire Churches Trust Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation Bishop of Reading’s Development Fund Building Communities Together (West Berkshire Council) Cyril H Lovegrove Engle0ield Charity Gar0ield Weston Foundation Greenham Common Trust Magdalen College Oxford Miss M F Wright Will Fund Oxford Diocesan Board of Finance Tilehurst Parish Council Waitrose West Berkshire Councillors’ Fund
Income / expenditure The 0inal cost of the whole project, including the play area and hall insulation, was just short of £700K, including some £556K on the main building work and the kitchen. This was covered mostly by the sale of the St Birinus building (£292K), awards (£195K) as listed below, and personal donations (£137K inc gift aid). The rest came from the Pre-school, fundraising events, interest and the PCC. Tea Dances (over £7K) and Friday Friends (over £2K) provided signi0icant regular income over the seven-year fundraising period. 4
Cornwell Community Church • We have been able to actively
Key Highlights of 2016
support our missionaries Haswell and Sharon through events such as sponsored 0lute recital and the Lent soup lunch.
• We have welcomed new families
into the congregation. • We continue to support Send-a-Cow
and Operation Christmas Child through initiatives such as craft sales, communal Christmas cards as well as generous donations. We have welcomed the congregation of St Catherine’s for a number of joint services. We have also had a joint service with the Journey with an inspirational talk from Ed Bolton who having nearly lost his sight ran 34 marathons in 34 days. We have witnessed in the local community through events such as litter picks, carol singing, Christain Aid collections, walking and talking with people in the area.. We have tried to encourage growth of God-given talents eg via the 'Friday Jam' music sessions and welcoming a number of our younger members to play on a Sunday morning and at Messy Church. We have had get togethers outside of our usual Sunday morning including a family walk from Goring to Pangbourne followed by a picnic.
• We have worked with St Catherine’s
to develop the parish pro0ile.
Hopes, desire and aspirations for 2017 • To welcome a new vicar and support
them in their vision for the church. • To know and do God’s will for
Cornwell Community Church. • To be able to play a part in bringing
more people to a living faith in Christ. • To consider the most appropriate
format to support the developing spiritual needs of our young people.
Practical help and prayers to help us achieve these goals • For there to be more availability of
Sunday school teachers. • To reach out to a wider group to be
able to share the love of Jesus. Helen Boyer Chair of Cornwell Leadership Team
Friday Friends During the last year we have welcomed new members and without the volunteer drivers and helpers who provide refreshments and help during the afternoon we would not be able to continue. We offer a varied programme of talks, games and other activities and
we have also welcomed residents from Shin0ield View Care Home at some of our meetings. Help with transport would be helpful because our members can only manage a front seat so only one person per car. Anne Soley 5
Buildings and Equipment This year we have reaped the bene0its of the Project building which was substantially completed in April 2016. We added an external light at the northern end of the narthex so that the new entrance is well-lit at all times, and we have replaced the projector screen in the hall.
taking shape. In June 2016, we allowed one of our neighbours in Eastbury Avenue to access his property via the rear car park, and the access was returfed when he had 0inished – many thanks to Alan Holbeche for managing that bit of work, and to Paddy Barrett, Jo Day and Shirley Horsnell for their tireless work on the lawns and 0lower beds. Thanks also to Peter Broom0ield who advises on electrical matters and Chris Addison who deals with everything else. Please speak to me or any of the people named above if you think something is wrong or can be improved – we actually like challenges and see it as part of our vocation to make the buildings and grounds well-equipped, ef0icient and attractive. Our 0ive-yearly inspection is imminent and I am con0ident that little remedial work will arise from it, other than that mentioned above. Richard Canning
The new gas central heating system has coped well during its 0irst winter, and gas usage is proving to be economic. There have been a few drain blockages, so we have made a special effort to clean out all our manholes and gulleys. We still have to clear the stormwater outfall by the east gate. Other jobs in hand are sealing the highlevel windows in the sanctuary, renovating the old kitchen, painting the lobby area and restoring the “wild garden” area. The grounds have recovered well – the southern lawn was reseeded as part of the Project and the new 0lower beds are
St Catherine's at Boxgrove House Our visits to Boxgrove House have continued on the 0irst Friday of each month throughout this last year. About 6 of us spend half an hour there, singing some very simple worship songs, mostly based on a bible story or the current church calendar. We are fortunate that Bill is often able to come and accompany us on his keyboard. Jo takes her keyboard so Martin can also “accompany” us some of the time! Martin is now helping with washing up every week in St Catherine’s café .
We know that our visits are much appreciated by the wonderful carers who work at Boxgrove. Their work is not easy and we do pray for them as well as the residents while we are there. We always leave feeling uplifted as we see that God is using our efforts, to bring blessing and peace to all who are there. Do come and join us if you feel you can, as a few more voices would be great. Contact Anne Soley or me. Jo Day ℡ 942 1481 6
Crafty Space We’ve had a busy year! At most of our meetings we have more folk joining us, regularly over 10. We’ve had many donations to our swap box and many treasures have found new homes. The crafts we all indulge in are many and varied – knitting, crochet, felt work, drawing, painting, decopatch, sewing, jewellery making, patchwork, embroidery, paper craft, card making, scrapbooking – to mention but a few!
Much cake, grapes, tea, hot chocolate and coffee have been enjoyed. We’ve met ten times over the year. We miss out December as everyone is busy with Christmas and August because many folk are on holiday! Our next meeting in April 29th from 1.30pm to 5.30pm. Come and join us! Val Poore & Caroline O’Sullivan
Tuesday Afternoon Lifegroup We have yet to make a 0irm decision but the Duchess of Kent has been suggested as once again they have provided valuable support in a time of need. The Christmas lunchtime get together was postponed due to personal situations but we hope to arrange this in the very near future. This year has been a time of much prayer support for some of our members. We have and still are, praying for those bereaved, those who have been ill and in hospital and those still undergoing tests and treatment. We give thanks for answered prayers and healing. The group concludes with prayers of personal need, for family, for friends, for our community and for the world. Also prayers of thanksgiving and 0inally The Grace. Our Life Group fellowship provides us, to name but a few, with a safe place to pray, study, discuss the bible and share our highs and our lows in con0idence. We look forward to another year of sharing, learning and supporting one another Lorraine Roberts
Over the past year, 11 of us have continued to meet fortnightly for fellowship and bible study at the home of Anne Soley. Once again we thank Anne for her warm welcome and leadership of our group. We concluded the course entitled 'Walking with the gospel women" and we all agreed it was an interesting and thought provoking study. Our next study course was produced jointly by The C of E and The Methodist Church. It is called 'Seasons of my Soul - Conversations in the second half of life'. We read a bible passage and then have a re0lective discussion on how perceptions change from our younger years. Unfortunately, due to unpredictable weather last summer we didn't spend any time under the grape vines but look forward to being able to sit outside this year. Birthdays are always celebrated with home made cake with refreshments and with 11 of us we don't go many weeks without any! We make a charity donation every study and have collected £71 over the past year. 7
Thursday Afternoon Tea Dance St Catherine’s Tea Dance continues to meet fortnightly on a Thursday, but at amended times 2.45 p.m. – 4.45 p.m. to accommodate the Pre-school. Numbers have been down since September, to a regular core of 12, due to various medical reasons. Unfortunately we have not been able to recruit any new members despite notices being displayed.
Barry and Lynda have continued to give us tuition for various dances and give a varied programme of dance and music. We have been asked to give a demonstration of dance to the Friday Friends group on 17th March, with an opportunity for them to join in with dancing or singing to well known tunes. Anita Holbeche
Bowls Club During the last year the bowls club has had its regular meetings from September to June when we have competitions and points are scored and trophies are given to the winners.
churches and the local community. During July and August we meet and try to improve our game but also it is an opportunity for anyone who might like to come and see what we do, because there is no scoring just playing. Anne Soley
It is also a time of fellowship and sharing with members from other
Communication Action Group The Communication Action Group has had far fewer meetings this year, largely due to the demands of the work required by the Vacancy.
input received from its members, in a variety of areas, was invaluable to guide the initial drafts of the Parish Pro0ile . Of course, Parish Communications via the website, RG31 and the Notice Sheets continue to run smoothly, so thanks as always to Stuart Poore, Tony Bartlett, Rosemary Cunningham and Jean Almond for their commitment throughout the year.
Much of the discussion we did have, related to advertising the Church, Centre and Café facilities, including advertising for volunteers and of course, customers for the Café ! In July, the group met largely to discuss how best to approach the writing of the Parish Pro0ile and to construct the Parish Questionnaire which was circulated to all Church groups and individuals to gather information and opinions.
This year we need to develop our vision for the use of the new buildings by other community users and this will certainly be an area in which the Communications Action Group will no doubt take a lead. Sonia Ludford
Although not directly the responsibility of the Communications group, help and 8
Prayer Ministry Team We have enjoyed using Garden Room for our meetings this year, with two led by Denis and the most recent led by Carol Charles.
welcome people and respond to their needs as appropriate, providing a listening ear or possibly prayer. In January we agreed on the need to be watchful to see where God is working and to follow His guidance in our prayer ministry. We looked for more ways to encourage people to experience God’s love in prayer ministry.
In May our bible study reminded us to be more aware of and sensitive to the needs of people who may be rather quiet and who tend to keep in the background. In September the focus was on what should be included in the Parish Pro0ile as the church wardens prepared to place the advertisement for a new vicar.
We have found that the Garden Room has an atmosphere of peace, very helpful for prayer ministry after the 9.30 service on Sundays and also at other times.
We were encouraged to use the opportunities provided by the café to
Messy Church Messy Church is a form of church which involves creativity, celebration and hospitality – or “Fun, Faith and Food” as we call it.
to be increasing recently. It is very rewarding to see multiple generations meeting, working and worshipping together.
It is for all ages and is primarily aimed at those who don’t or can’t normally attend church at a more traditional time.
Currently we have predominantly young families, but we’d love to see some unaccompanied adults ! Organisationally, it is quite labour intensive, as at each meeting we run three to 0ive craft activities in the hall where we explore the theme or bible story through craft.
It is a recognised “fresh expression” of church and is run by many different denominations all over the world. Our Messy Church at St Catherine’s had been running in one form or another for 8 years now. It has settled into the routine of meeting at 3.30 pm on the 0irst Saturday of each month, with occasional extra activities such as Easter and Christmas.
We also provide a hot meal afterwards. In between those times we have a short service in the church. Sonia Ludford, Helen Boyer and Stuart Poore take it in turns leading a session, and they are ably helped by Doreen Farmer, Joanne Freeman, Evelyn Bartlett and Valerie Poore, with Sue
Attendance varies widely, but we typically get about 20 children and 12 adults – although these numbers seem
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Burston in the kitchen and Bill Boyer, Jamie Boyer and Daisy Harrison providing the music. This seems a lot of helpers, but we have a lot to do. Indeed we can’t spend as much time chatting and sharing with our guests as we’d like. We’d love to
have more helpers, either in the kitchen, or sitting on a craft table helping and showing folks what to do. If you want to see St Catherine’s full of young families, please join us at our next Messy Church, on the 0irst Saturday of the month. Stuart Poore
St Catherine’s Pastoral care There are 27 contacts each looking after a varying number of people on the Electoral Roll. There are cards at the back of the Church for people, new to the Church to leave their details. This is an ideal way to get their details for future use, and by doing this they will feel that they have become a valued member of our Church family . Communications between our Church members is very good, but there will always be some things that get missed, as no system is foolproof, so we must all be aware of anything we feel needs attention by speaking to their Contact person or, in the absence of a Vicar, a Church Warden.
in life. At this time help from others may be very valuable. Family members are a vey important support, but sometimes the presence of a person who is not emotionally involved can be helpful and fruitful These are the 0ive key points for a church contact to follow when caring for a person on their list. • Keep in contact with people on your
list – minimum of once a month. • Regular attendees at church, groups
etc – if missing make contact after a couple of weeks. • Give contact details (preferably
phone) to people on you list. • Make sure the people on your list
I would like to thank the Contacts for the continuing care that they give to the people on their list.
know they can contact them if they are in dif0iculty. If you feel you cannot deal with any issues, pass on to the Vicar, Ministers, or Wardens as appropriate.
Remit for church contacts As we reach the end of another Church year I would like to thank you all for agreeing to take on this commitment. Pastoral care offers friendship in dif0icult and demanding times such as illness, bereavement, and other traumas
• Talk to new people in church, at
groups, events etc, see if they would like to leave details for someone to contact them. Keep up the good work.
St Catherine’s Mothers Union We continue to function without a leader but our dedicated committee work hard together to keep up our standards and to keep the branch running successfully. We always try to remember the aims and objectives of the Mothers Union and the Church in all our activities throughout the year. At this time we have 49 members. We have a prayer chain offering prayer for people in emergencies, regular monthly bible study and fellowship meetings which take place in one of our homes and our members also take on many jobs within the church. Baptism cards are delivered on the 0irst anniversary of Baptisms held at St Catherine’s and a card is given to couples having their banns read, on the third time of reading. We have also provided refreshments for funerals, made Mother’s Day posies and made up emergency toiletry bags and
baby blankets for the Royal Berkshire Hospital. Our monthly evening meetings have a varied program in addition to our ever popular Christmas meetings, Carols and Readings, and Christmas Flower Arranging. The Quiz evening in June and the meal at Toby Carvery in July were well attended and, in August, we again held an “Afternoon Tea” in aid of the M.U. Charity. In September we had our Anniversary Service and tea, to which we invited members from other local churches, and a well-attended Memorial Service was held in November when we invited all bereaved families in our parish to a short service followed by tea and cakes. In the coming year we hope to continue to 0ind a variety of speakers to entertain and inspire us at our monthly meetings and, with the help of new found resources, reach out further into the community. Stephanie Walklate
Prayer on the Streets Some members of the Church Healing Ministry Team meet once a month at the Link to offer a listening ear and prayer to anyone who wants it as we believe that Prayer Makes a Difference whatever the circumstances. Anne regularly puts up a poster there and at St Catherine’s to advertise our presence. Also, on 2 Monday evenings for preparation, we meet for study, prayer and renewing by the Holy Spirit. We are grateful to Pete Day for refurbishing our noticeboard and Pete
Broom0ield and Maureen Ward for providing hand-held crosses which are given when appropriate. The way people have accepted and welcomed our approach has encouraged us that God is blessing this outreach. At present we have a member from St Josephs and when available a member from St Mary Magdalen’s. We are informing and inviting members from other Christian churches to consider joining us as our numbers are dropping. Jo Day
Wednesday Evening Lifegroup • It’s good to have a small group with
Who we are and what we do:
whom one can share the joys and trials of life, and it’s encouraging when we hear of answers to prayers we’ve prayed for one another.
• Average attendance 6-8, comprising
both St Catherine’s and Cornwell members. • We have met together for Bible
study, prayer and conversation, usually fortnightly at Richard & Nici Canning’s house; occasionally we’ll meet purely socially. • The
meetings provide an opportunity to get to know a group of people on a deeper level than can normally be accomplished on a Sunday.
Hopes and aspirations for the next 12 months: • That more people might join us –
new members always welcome! • That we might 0ind more frequently
that what we’ve learnt in the group equips us to be ‘salt and light’ in the world around us, whether individually or together. Richard Yates
St Catherine’s Café The Café continues to open on Thursdays and Fridays and people seem to be enjoying the food and company, whichever day they visit. The Café Committee and volunteers are working hard to manage the café effectively, but more importantly make it a place with a warm welcome for all and provide a friendly, listening ear if needed. It is sometimes hard to remember that we have not been open a year yet and it has been hard work to ensure that procedures for Food Safety and Hygiene that were set up are maintained. Thanks should go to Angela for her hard work as Café Manager in setting up the café and since her resignation in February, a loyal band of volunteers have been working hard to run all aspects of the Café : shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, cake and soup making, not to forget rota organisers,
help with advertising and Joanne for managing the budget! Without volunteers, the café would not be able to operate and it is good to see that we are beginning to attract more volunteers who are willing to have a go, either as servers or kitchen helpers. We are trying to be more 0lexible with shift times, so if you can only manage an hour or two it would still be lovely to have you on the rota, at times to suit you! A volunteer from Purley Park Trust has been coming to work at the Café every Thursday- she is brought and collected by carers, but is enjoying working with the support of our own volunteers. She loves setting out the tables, serving customers and clearing away plates and cutlery too. “I really like coming to work here” and “I like everything about it” are just two of the comments she has
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made to me and the staff report that she can’t wait to get here on a Thursday! We would like to develop our outreach with other adults with additional needs and this is something on which we will continue to focus. The Café Committee and volunteers are looking at ways to build up a customer base especially on Fridays: ideas include advertising and lea0leting more widely, more regular special lunches,
“bistro nights”, a trial of Friday morning breakfasts and encouraging local groups to book the café space for activities and refreshments. We look to the future as we get used to managing the new spaces and opportunities created by the Building project but most of all we thank all of you for your continued support and prayers for this new venture as it develops. Sonia Ludford - Café Committee
Children & Youth Action Group Sunday School At Cornwell Community Church, we try to welcome children into the whole service. Not only is there normally an ‘All Age’ talk, we encourage them to be part of the whole service – so some younger members such as Daisy, Isaac and Joseph are members of our music group. While children are welcome to stay in the ‘main’ service, about half way through, most children go to their own group for teaching and fun. We call the children’s group “Sunday School”. While this is an old fashioned term, it is used because people, especially those without much regular church contact, understand what that name means and what to expect for their children. Attendance of Sunday School is normally very good, although very variable. We believe that one of the main reasons that a lot of young families worship with us on a Sunday is because their children enjoy Sunday School.
While our goal has been to try to run two children’s groups each Sunday, this has proved very hard to organise with our small team of volunteers. However they work very hard to provide at least one group virtually every Sunday. So our huge thanks go to the hard working team of Doreen, Emma, Hazel & Tamsin for running sessions with occasional help from Chris S. Also thanks to Val for organising it all. We would welcome more to join our team. Working with children is not only very rewarding, it can also help you develop your own faith as you try to communicate with the children. Come and chat to one of us for more details.
Holiday Club Over 60 primary school aged children attended our Summer Holiday Club “Seaside Rock”. As usual they were helped and supported by over 50 helpers, ranging in age from teenage to retirees. Each morning, in amongst the seaside themed fun, games, slapstick & song, they learnt about how Peter (the
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• We had a wonderful evening making
Seaside Rock – get it ?) took up the challenge to follow Jesus. It is generally felt that the Holiday Club is a success at many different levels. The club is a way of reaching families who have very little other contact with the church. It also draws in helpers from many neighbouring churches. Many families look forward to the club and immediately ask when next years is, so that they can plan their summer holidays around it. Finally - there are not many other environments where people are keen to come and hear about Jesus ! This year, we are again planning to reuse an old theme –“Showstoppers”. It’ll run from August 14th to 18th, 10am to 12 noon, with a special opening service on Sunday 13th. Several of our key leaders and organisers are unable to join us this year, so we’re keen for more helpers. There are all sorts of jobs, so no matter what your skills or how deeply you wish to get involved, we’d love you to join in. Please think and pray about whether you can help, and look out for the signup sheets at both St Catherine’s and Cornwell. Stuart Poore
wooden wheelbarrows under Peter’s skilful guidance. • We have had outings to bowling, badminton and local walks. • We have made and 0lipped pancakes, cupcakes and other craft activities.
St Catherine’s and Cornwell Youth Group Key Highlights of 2016 • We welcomed a number of new
younger members in September. • We had a very successful sleepover
in the hall in aid of Launchpad where we raised £700.
Hopes, desire and aspirations for 2017 • To be able to show God’s love to the
young people. • To be able to reintroduce a spiritual slot. • To have more young people join as a number will be leaving as they 0inish school and move on to further education and the world of work. • To have enthusiastic volunteers to run youth group.
Practical help and prayers to help us achieve these goals • Volunteers to help with youth group
on a biweekly basis. • Volunteers to do a 10-15 minute spiritual slot for the young people. Helen Boyer
Della Payne This report wouldn't be complete without expressing our heartfelt thanks to Della who started the Cornwell Youth Group some 15 years ago and has led the older groups at Holiday Club. Della will be moving away following her marriage in August and we wish her well as she establishes herself in a new church and community. She’ll be a hard act to follow hence the need for more volunteer helpers so that the Youth Group can continue. Tony Bartlett
Mission and Outreach Action Group Mission and Outreach are, hopefully, woven into the reasons why the church does anything - whether hall lettings, jumble sales, litter-picks, the Cafe, 0inancial and prayer support to missionaries, ‘Prayer on the Street’ or indeed our regular services at both St Catherine’s and Cornwell. While the Mission & Outreach Action Group hasn’t been ‘active’ over this last year, thankfully all of the activities mentioned above have continued to take place – so thank you to everyone who has played a part in making Jesus Christ visible in Tilehurst. The remainder of this report is devoted to the 0inancial support given to various missions and charities. Richard Yates
St Catherine’s Missions Giving Since the last AGM. and for the rest of 2016 our regular giving to Missions was suspended until the Building Project was completed. Now this is completed it is hoped we can resume our giving to missions from general funds. We plan to review our missions giving and if you are interested in joining a small group of people to discuss this please speak to Hilary or Paddy. I am very grateful to the congregation for their on- going support of all our missions through prayer and 0inancial support in response to special collections throughout the year. Through Compassion some members continue to Ashini in Sri Lanka and through Tearfund the” Children at Risk “projects. We also raised additional monies by collecting for Christian Aid week, FAITH
envelopes at Christmas, Leprosy mission envelopes, giving our harvest gifts to the Drop in Centre and 0illing shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. Our Messy Church Christingle service 2016 raised funds for The Children’s Society work with Young Runaways. We continue to collect food and other items throughout the year for CIRDIC and the Readi-Food Bank including seasonal items at Christmas and Easter. Lists of required items and the collection box are available at the 9.30 service. We continue to give our coffee money to Sharon Nordley of Wycliffe Bible translators and Helen and Douglas House, Oxford. As a church we support Fairtrade by serving Fairtrade tea and coffee. Look out for news of our missions on the notice board, in the intercessions or in the magazine. Thank you all for your on -going support helping to make a difference to the life of others. Hilary Smee. Chairman, St Catherine’s Church missions giving committee.
Cornwell Missions Giving Our charity for the year was again ‘Send a Cow’, this time we collected to buy sheep and goats at £30 each to go to Africa. When we totalled up at the end of the year we had £1020; enough for 17 sheep (an ideal gift for farmers in highland areas in Ethiopia) and 17 goats (ideal for those families who can’t manage bigger livestock).
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The bulk of the money raised was donated by Val Poore and Caroline O’Sullivan from the proceeds of their craft sales, a huge thank you to them! In addition we asked for Christmas donations from all Cornwell members and the money saved by having just one Christmas card printed for each church family. We kept in touch with Haswell Beni (Agape) working in Malawi and Sharon
Nordley (Wycliffe) working in Senegal and explained that we were unable to make our usual donation to support them. To compensate we are having a special Lent 2017 appeal to support them. Our food donations go to ReadiFood most of the year except Harvest and January/February when they go to CIRDIC (the Churches in Reading Drop In Centre). Tony Bartlett
St Catherine’s Music Group and Singers This is a composite report from the St at times other than joint services. Catherine’s Music Group and singers, We know about 338 songs – which is with the comments being from about 10% of those available in SoF individual members. books 1 to 6. I think this is suf0icient, “During the year we have lots to be but I welcome the opportunity to learn thankful for that we have been able to new songs. “Cornerstone” and “What worship through music, enjoy working kind of throne” are excellent additions together in this way, and that new to our repertoire. initiatives such as the JAM sessions I think the JAM sessions is the place to have started. learn new songs but it means that, as Looking forward it would be great if the 9.30 music group, we practice every links with those providing music at the other Friday and need to be organised Cornwell Centre and at St Catherine’s with two week’s music in advance.” grew, if the congregation came forward “We have rehearsed new songs from with ideas of what they would like to Books 4, 5 and 6 of SoF and these have sing or stop singing, and if more people been introduced into the services, and would like to join the ranks as player or we hope to learn more and so widen singer so that we can make a bigger our repertoire of worship songs.” noise to worship God!” “I think the congregation like having us “In general, I think the way we worship up in the front to lead the worship, at 9.30 is appropriate, meaningful and especially if it is not a familiar song. enjoyable and seems to work most of We could do with more musicians for the time. I think the choice of song is times when Bill Martin and Carol good and the number of songs per Charles cannot be there.” service about right. “We agreed with the last comments and I enjoy the Friday JAM sessions and it would be good if we could recruit a joint services – it is exciting to be part few more singers both men and ladies.” of a wider group of musicians and “I enjoy and value being part of the singers. I think we need to encourage group.” JAM people to help out at St Catherine’s 16 (Continued on page 17)
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“To be part of the Worship Group is a great experience. As we come to praise God, it lifts our hearts into a deep sense of being drawn close to Him. It is an outward expression of what we feel within ourselves; as a group we enjoy worshipping together.
Our Father delights to hear our worship and we delight in doing this; long may it continue for His glory. Psalm 34, vv1-3: “I will always thank the Lord; I will never stop praising Him; I will praise Him for what He has done”. Let us praise His name together.” St Catherine’s Music Group & Singers
Friday Jam ‘Friday Jam’ is not the preserve (sorry!) of those already playing in our churches’ music groups, but offers an opportunity for musicians of any degree of skill/experience to try playing together. The aims include (but are not limited to): • building con0idence for those who can play a musical instrument but don't feel con0ident about playing in public, even as part of a group; • improving our playing skills; • extending our repertoire of worship songs (and maybe some secular material too?); • having opportunity to work on 'arrangements' for music we play at church; ...hoping, thereby... • to extend the pool of musicians available for worship and... • to please and glorify God in making better use of our gifts and skills.
We started in June 2016, meeting in St Catherine's church on alternate Fridays at 7.30pm for a maximum of 90 minutes. Most sessions have seen +/10 musicians in attendance, ranging in age from 8 to 70+. Thus far we seem to be achieving our goals - as well as enjoying playing together. So however rusty your skills, or dusty your instrument, you are very welcome to come along. The sessions are informal and you’re under no obligation to play everything but are free to join in as and when you feel comfortable - “sight-reading” ability isn’t essential. Our aims for the next year remain the same. We’d be especially encouraged if any budding pianists/keyboard players would step forward, whether from St Catherine’s or Cornwell, so please consider prayerfully whether that might be you! Richard Yates
St Catherine’s Hall Our Hall is running much the same as last year with Pre-School using every morning and some afternoons. We now have Rock n Roll returning on a Monday evening and 2 new Yoga classes on Tuesday evenings.
With Pilates, Singers, Kumon, Tea Dance, M.U & W.I. Friday Friends, Youth Group, Brownies, Trefoil, Crafty Space, Messy Church and Bowls the Hall is well used and all seems to be running well. Sheila Drew
RG31 At the end of 2016 I completed four years as editor of the Parish Magazine; I’ve still a long way to go to match the length my predecessors Stuart Poore and Jack Smee reigned! Unlike them, I have more time during the week to put the magazine together and print it, so I have been able to put the deadline for copy back to a ‘normal’ 20th of the preceding month and frequently am able to stretch this considerable depending on where the 0irst Sunday (the day the magazine is due out) falls in the month. I aim to produce a 32 page edition every month but this does rely on contributions from others in addition to my regulars and I would encourage more people to send me something.
I normally print at least 210 copies but readership is much higher as it goes into Doctors, Dentists Hairdressers, & Vets waiting rooms. It is also available electronically through our website. With more articles being accompanied by colour photographs I am printing more of the magazine in colour, but this does add to the cost. Last year income from subscriptions was £741 and from advertisements £1,066 against the cost of production of £1,653. Please don’t be afraid to give away copies of the magazine to anyone who might be interested in what’s going on. I have a small team of proof readers who catch most of the mistakes, I am grateful to them and to all who contribute copy. Tony Bartlett
Reading Deanery Synod Resume of 2016 There have been 0ive meetings of Reading Deanery Synod during 2016 held at the following churches:- St Catherine of Siena; St Nicolas Church, Earley; Greyfriars, Friar Street; and St Mary Magdalen Church, Tilehurst.
Good News stories were heard from:- St Matthews, Southcote, on the development and success of work with children in that parish and the effects that door knocking and home visiting had had in this respect. St Agnes with St Paul & St Barnabas of the close working relationship that South Reading had built with Reading Borough Council (RBC), initially through an annual fun day which was a
free community event run by local churches. Such was the con0idence of RBC in the parish that it asked the parish to take over the running and management of the Whitley Wood Community Centre (WWCC). Also of a single man who had been channel hopping on his television when he stopped at the Trinity Broadcast channel, which led him to Jesus. The effects of the toddler group at New Hope Church not only on the toddlers but also on parents. Southlake and Woodley, St James and its street evangelism undertaken by working in the Woodley shopping (Continued on page 19)
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precinct. The good news of this is that around 20 young people have now attended their 0irst Alpha course. St James now has a sound proof and, more importantly, a waterproof roof. This now enables worshippers to really focus on God, rather than watching out for leaks. Additionally Emmanuel church, from its beginnings as an after school club followed by a period of inactivity it reopened with around 18-20 children, of whom only 3 or 4 attended church. There was a plan to raise money for orphans but one girl, Lily, pleaded for money in aid of her grandfather who had dementia and had entered a residential home. By making cakes and other events £50 was raised. ‘Back to Church Sunday’ had been turned around as a ‘Get out of Church Sunday’. Church members had been out and about in Woodley concentrating attendance at the Car Boot Sale to ask if people would like prayer and invite them to participate. There were activities of releasing helium balloons and a prayer tree for requests to be placed upon. In total 40-50 people, of various faiths or none, were reached that day.
A Deanery Mission Action Plan This has been a major piece of work during 2016. Progress continued to be made with an analysis of feedback from parishes. The analysis revealed past blessings, current and future aspirations, challenges and obstacles faced by parishes as stated in the 105 pages of feedback received.
Parishes had aspirations towards better and a more public use of resources, people. time and buildings whilst sharing theology. Synod members continued to have input to the development of the document through the three groups which worked intensely on it with the 0inal version being approved by Synod at its November meeting. This is a living document which will be amended as needs and conditions change and evolve during its implementation and operation over time.
Parish Share The Parish Share Committee reviewed the current scheme ensuring that everyone understood it. Other deaneries were consulted, but no valuable knowledge was gleaned. The next was calculating the strengths and weaknesses of the current scheme The cost of clergy was a 0ixed sum and Synod’s agreement regarding parishes with multiple churches. Questions arose as to the calculation and allocation of the deprivation allowance and the remainder, bearing in mind parishes overheads. Mission was considered to be a priority area and ways of building this into the calculation were considered. This deanery is in a better 0inancial position than many others and generally is well resourced. The big questions were how we raise money and how we spend it whilst aiming for mission orientated parishes. Synod reached an agreement on this although recognizing that more work needs to be done in the future.
Report from Deanery Synod secretary
Contact details and sources of further information Vicar vacancy
Licensed Lay Minister (St Catherine's) Mike Heather ℡ 0118 962 4852
Licensed Lay Minister (Cornwell Community Church) Tony Bartlett ℡ 0118 967 8659
Websites www.stcatherines-tilehurst.org.uk www.cornwellcommunitychurch.org.uk
Follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/Tilehurst.St.Catherine www.facebook.com/CornwellCommunityChurch
For information about children’s groups & holiday club Tony Bartlett ℡ 0118 967 8659
Parish magazine (RG31) editor Tony Bartlett ℡ 0118 967 8659
To book St Catherine’s Hall Sheila Drew ℡ 0118 972 7254
To book the Cornwell Centre Tilehurst Parish Council ℡ 0118 941 8833 email@example.com
A review of 2016, as presented at the 2017 Annual Parochial Church Meeting.