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The Parish of Tilehurst St Catherine and Calcot St Birinus

2019 - a review Our Parish purpose is to worship God and show that Jesus makes a difference in reaching, serving and caring. Our core values are healing, hope and hospitality.

St Catherine’s Church

Cornwell Community Church

This booklet contains information and a review of church activities in the parish during 2019. It begins with the report from the Vicar, the remaining reports follow in alphabetical order. The annual meeting is at St Catherine's, on Sunday 29th March and begins at 10.00 with a short service. The meeting follows and consists of two parts: The Annual Parish Meeting to elect Churchwardens to which anyone living in the parish is entitled to attend and vote. The APCM (Annual Parochial Church Meeting) to conduct other parish business only those on the Church electoral roll may vote.


Vicar Our 2019 strapline was “Deeper In and Further Out” (Ezekiel 47). The Prayer Course over Lent, and the SHAPE course in the autumn, has, I hope, helped us to go “deeper in”. Our PMC “experiment” in Calcot has been a step further out in a geographical sense, but I also do feel that as a Parish we are thinking a little differently about how we “do” church and reach out to those in our community. Thank you to everyone – and there are lots of you! - who work so hard to make a difference. The move of Cornwell Community Church to St Catherine’s has been a major consideration throughout 2019, <irstly – planning it, secondly – doing it, and thirdly – reviewing it. It hasn’t been easy. It is said that our greatest assumptions are also our greatest falls. One of the surprising dif<iculties was the impact the move made on fellowship times between services; and also integrating the CCC congregation into the St Catherine’s church building – we still need to help them make it feel like their space, rather than users of someone else’s space. The ever present challenge, for all of us, is to get closer to God so that we can be more effective in the ministry God has called us to –

whatever that might be – to go deeper in, so that we can go further out! There have been a lot of highlights in 2019 – you will have your own, these are mine: • the 24/7 Prayer as part of Thy

Kingdom Come, the Harvest Festival service aided by the Brownies, the Christmas services (especially the Bethlehem Boutique nativity, and Carols under the Old Oak Tree). • A couple of weddings – one of them particularly special for us as a church fellowship! • Developing closer relationships with hall users, especially Preschool, the Brownies, the evening WI, seeing Café Siena <lourish and meeting people from the community there. • Taking assemblies in local primary schools and welcoming students from Little Heath school to our church. • The Advent course led by Rev Phil Price, our “temporary” curate. Partnership for Missional Church (PMC) has been a bit of a struggle at times; I am so grateful to Sonia Ludford who has unstintingly given her all to implement the process, 3 and is now heading up progress (Continued on page 4)

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towards our “experiment” in Calcot, and to Caroline Heron, who has taken over as chair for the PMC Steering Team. Occasionally it has felt like we are walking in treacle, but it is also a hugely exciting endeavour to be involved in, because the whole process is helping us all to step into God’s promised and preferred future here in this place!

become more con<ident of our own faith – possibly through The Bible Course, or something similar.


<ind ways of welcoming and encouraging, in particular, families and young people in their faith.

I am mindful that we need to continue adopting good Safeguarding practice in every area of church life.

So what of our vision for 2020? Our core values of healing, hope and hospitality remain the same.

I am also aware that we need to develop a pastoral care policy to ensure good practice throughout the church, including care for the bereaved, and it would be good to appoint a team to take responsibility for it. Likewise, a team for baptism preparation and follow up.

Our priority surely has to be giving the PMC process our 100% support. We will do this through gradually familiarising ourselves with the six spiritual practices, and allowing them to pervade every aspect of church life; and by supporting and helping with the missional experiment.

So, there is lots to do! I am so grateful for the ways in which you give your time and talents in the service of God here – and hope that our vision this year will be realised 20/20!

2020 is also the year in which I hope we will: 1.


discover ways of encouraging others to come to faith – possibly through an enquirer’s course, so we have something to invite all our contacts to.

Why do we do what we do? Jesus, it's all for Jesus. Rev Gill Rowell


Book club Café Siena Book club is held in the church café once a month on Fridays at 11.30 am. We currently have about six members. The club started about a year ago. We began by sharing our own books and talking about what we thought of them. Later, we were able to join Reading Library scheme for Book clubs. That meant that we could borrow sets of books, so that our members could read the same book at the same time. After we had read the same book, we could talk about how we all got on with it. Members have different views about the enjoyment factor of particular books. We also can discuss the setting, plot and outline of the book.

We are often challenged by some of our books, but we enjoy discussing them. We can agree to differ and stay friends! The book we are reading currently is Cats Eye by Margaret Atwood. In the future we will read life of Pi, Life after Life, A very British murder, Longbourne, The Talented Mr Ripley, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Cold Comfort Farm and 1599; a year in the life of Shakespeare. If you fancy coming along to our meeting please speak to Jean Almond, Rosemary Cunningham, Joanne Freeman or me, you will be made very welcome. Hazel Newman

St Catherine's at Boxgrove House The carers appreciate our visits and join in singing the songs, some of which have actions and use basic sign language. It is uplifting for us to see God gently A small group of us have continued blessing each of the residents to visit for half an hour almost every according to their different needs and abilities. month this year. We sing simple worship songs, tell a bible story, We come away feeling greatly sometimes acted, and have a short blessed ourselves. We have reluctantly had to cancel our visits a time of prayer. few times when too few of us were We pray for each one of the residents able to attend, so we badly need a and all the carers, who show such few more people to join in this care and kindness in such a 5 worthwhile outreach to keep it demanding job. viable. Jo Day Boxgrove House is a residential care home for 11 adults with complex mental health needs, including sensory impairments and learning disabilities.

Café Siena Action Group Café Siena continues to be a place where everyone in the community is warmly welcomed and good food and good company is to be found. 2019 saw many new customers from outside the St Catherine’s congregations use the café and we have many returning and happy customers! Café Siena supports Fareshare, the UK’s largest charity <ighting hunger and food waste by redistributing fresh and in date surplus food from the food industry. For an agreed monthly fee, we receive high quality food (often from Tesco’s Finest range) with high cost items like fresh meat, tinned tuna, and cheese readily available. Using this scheme the café is often able to help out many of the other groups and events in the church by providing refreshments etc. Café Siena held its <irst bistro night in July for approximately 40 people. Everyone seemed to have a good time, and £464.00 was raised for church funds. Currently a date in April has provisionally been set aside for the next bistro evening. In September, the café trialled opening on a Wednesday morning, with the hope of attracting the mums from Preschool and Birch Copse.

One idea currently being discussed is to run craft workshop events but other suggestions are always welcome. Recently a decision was made to stay open until Easter and review the situation again then. The WI Christmas lunch and the café Christmas lunch in December were both very successful. Everyone enjoyed themselves and we had plenty of favourable comments about the food. These two events helped greatly towards café pro<its. The café made a pro<it of £350 in 2018, and £1150 in 2019. We give thanks to Karen and her willing band of volunteers who freely give of their time to Café Siena and without whom it would not be possible. We always need more volunteers so if anyone feels they could help in any way at all, please do have a word with Karen. Sonia Ludford

The Café aims to be: • a space of hope • a Christ-centred meeting place,

friendly, safe and welcoming It remains quiet, but through • full of opportunities publicity, including social media, we 6 • a bridge between the church and are promoting Wednesdays as much the community as possible.

The Calcot Taxi The taxi service from Calcot to St Catherine's on Sunday mornings is now into its second year of running. Most weeks there are at least two people who use it and sometimes three or four.

Thank you to Denise Lee who books the taxi each week and arranges who it will pick up. Thanks also to Wazz at Berkshire Cars (0118 9500 400) for both his reliability and <lexibility in providing this service for us each week. Richard Canning

Carpet Bowls Club We continue to meet on Saturday evenings, but during July and August we have open meetings so that anyone who might be interested in joining us can come and have a go.

We have also got a new trophy and competition in memory of Peter Howgego who was our Life President. Our evenings are full of friendly competition and fellowship. Anne Soley

Centre Action Group The group met six times to deal with the following issues relating to our buildings and their use.

Centre Hire The After School Club started up in September and meets four times a week, so there are only a few vacant Hall slots left. Tuesday Get Together started at the same time and meets in the church.

We are in the process of updating our Hire terms and conditions.

CafĂŠ Siena We bought a ninth table to cater for increased use, and in September started opening for three hours on Wednesday morning. The menu and prices have been adjusted slightly. Karen organises special events, manages the rota and recruits volunteers with her customary <lair.

Friday Flop was held in the garden to celebrate the summer holiday and the end of the week.

Buildings Management In an attempt to de-clutter the In October, we held a wine and narthex, we added a lea<let holder cheese evening for our hirers, to 7 and are rationalising the use of gather feedback and socialise.

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notice boards (more to be installed). We are reviewing overall storage requirements in the light of our continued expansion.

We have sorted out the <ire notices, and are adding discreet instruction notices for hirers and building users. We published lea<lets for newcomers, <inancial donors and potential hirers. Wendy celebrated her tenth year as our Hall cleaner, and Andrea is helping us with cafeĚ cleaning on Wednesdays.

Maintenance Safety is our guiding principle so replacing broken lamps in church has become expensive as we have to hire an access tower every time.

The big project has been refurbishing the Hall kitchen, <inally completed just after Christmas. It allows us to offer more space to our hirers for their kitchenware, and complies fully with modern environmental standards.

Summary We have had another successful year with progress made on using our spaces more effectively and working more closely with our hirers. There are many administrative chores and things in the pipeline that are not mentioned above, and none of it would have been possible without our dedicated team of volunteers. It is a lot of work for a small team and we are grateful to our outside suppliers and contractors for helping us out. We are <inalising the job description of our Centre Manager and pray for an announcement soon.

Most of the lamps are now LEDs, reducing power consumption and giving longer life. Fire-<ighting equipment and the <ire alarm system have been serviced, and the latter is tested weekly. The boilers are being serviced under an annual contract and we renewed our electricity supply for the next four years.

Richard Canning


Children & Youth Action Group The purpose of the Children & Youth Action Group is to monitor and support the many and various groups and individuals who interact with under 18’s as part of the Church’s work in the Parish. It is also a conduit between the PCC and that group.

It meets in the hall, providing a safe and friendly place on fortnightly Friday evenings. Cornwell 0-5s is well attended every Tuesday and Thursday morning in the Cornwell Centre. There are often as many as 30 Mums, Childminders and Carers each week.

Here are some all too brief headlines from those groups: - Sunday School now takes place at the 11am service. Attendance is variable and low, with most of our children now at Secondary School. Nevertheless, it is very popular with our young people. Messy Church serves a small but consistent congregation on the <irst Saturday of every month. Its future is currently under review as we consider how to better reach families with little other contact with the church.

Holiday Club was again well attended by nearly 80 children helped by near 50 adults and teenagers. The 2020 Holiday club will start Monday 10th August. Schools Work is done by Gill, Tony & Stuart. It varies from taking assembles (Birch Copse), helping in RE lessons (Little Heath), or singing songs with children with learning dif<iculties (Brook<ields). Other Organisations also have contact with St Catherine’s personnel. Gill regularly goes into St Catherine’s Pre-School to read.

Tots Praise regularly has about a dozen young children brought by Mums and Childminders each term time Friday morning. It meets in church and is run by a team of 6 helpers.

There has also been increased contact with local uniformed groups, with both Scouts and Brownies either running or attending services at St Catherine’s. Gill is also chaplain to the Sea Cadets.

Youth Group continues with a consistent group of about a dozen secondary school young adults.

Stuart Poore 9

Churchwardens The ‘of<icial’ job description of a Churchwarden states: - “They have a duty to represent the laity and co-operate with the incumbent. They are expected to lead the parishioners by setting a good example and encouraging unity and peace. They have a duty to maintain order and peace in the church and churchyard at all times, and especially during services.” Luckily, these duties are rarely called upon. Instead, your Church Wardens are normally seen rushing about, doing many different, more practical jobs - from arranging for the gas boiler to be <ixed to printing service sheets. We can normally be found on a Saturday morning, or just before or after a service, either moving, measuring, mending or managing many different things. Most of our tasks are done as part of the many Action Groups listed elsewhere in this report. We are very grateful for all the hard work done by our many volunteers through these groups. Our Parish life simply would not exist without them.

• Care for and support the parish

priest, and be people to whom the incumbent can turn to for advice and support • Try to ensure that the incumbent

is relieved of super&luous administrative, and other, tasks • Provide feedback, as a ‘critical

friend’, for the parish priest • Care for the congregation and

encourage people Christian faith



• Help

to resolve disputes or disagreements amongst the congregation or with the parish priest, or with the local community

In order to do all this, we meet with Gill most Friday mornings. Our discussions are wide ranging and often energetic. We cover everything from the gas boiler to service planning, from welcome lea<lets to <irst aid. We are most fortunate that we have a good personal relationship with Gill and each other. We are very blessed to have her in our Parish and to lead us, as we together strive to best ful<il all these tasks for the glory of God’s kingdom in this place.

As Churchwardens, we have also been assigned other less visible duties. These include: - 10

Stuart Poore & Richard Canning Churchwardens

Cornwell Charity Crafts In 2019 Cornwell Charity Crafts raised £694.32, this has kindly been increased by the missions giving committee to £1080 to purchase 8 Bicycles at £135 each. The money was raised by selling craft, cakes at local craft shows, fetes and a Bluebell walk afternoon at Cornwell copse.

We also had two open house craft sale and cake afternoons. A big thank you goes to Mair and Peter Mayers for hosting them. Also more thank yous to everyone involved in making, baking and buying! Val Poore

Cornwell Community Church In early January 2019, Cornwell Community Church celebrated its 25th anniversary of public meetings in the Cornwell Centre. As part of that celebration, the congregation were invited to a time of discernment and consultation over its future.

So, after meeting at the Cornwell Centre for over 25 years, on Pentecost (June 9th) the congregation of Cornwell Community Church moved to St Catherine’s to start a new venture at 11am on Sundays.

The issues faced were many and complex, with different members placing different emphasis on different things. As was discussed at last year’s APCM, three of the primary issues were: -

By September, the 11am service was called “AllSorts@11”

area around the Cornwell Centre • Falling attendance

The move has proved more dif<icult than many anticipated. There have been a number of opportunities for review and feedback and we are grateful to Gill for her care and guiding hand through this process as we continue to try and discern the future for the Allsorts@11 service.

We are also very grateful to all those who helped Cornwell throughout it’s and leadership 25 years. There are too many to A survey was taken of Cornwell mention them all, but special thanks members, and it was considered by must go to Tony & Evelyn for leading most that the location of the service 11 us for all those years. was not a particularly important Stuart Poore aspect of Cornwell. • Concern over future succession

Crafty Space We’ve been running for 12 years now and for the last couple of years we have met monthly, just missing out August. We again ran Crafty Space Extra on Friday morning sessions in the summer holidays when Café Siena provided us with refreshments. We have re-homed many craft supplies and equipment through our swap box. We enjoyed many homemade cakes and refreshments.

Between 10 and 20 crafters join us each Saturday afternoon; sharing our triumphs, answering each other’s questions and sharing every craft under the sun. Everyone, including accompanied children, is welcome. See the posters, magazine, or our facebook page for details of our afternoons! Val Poore

Reading Deanery Synod The synod met on 5 occasions during the year and to make it easier for churches to host, the onus on leading worship was split, so that Caversham Park LEP who would not have the opportunity to host (resources/ premises) were able to lead worship when we hosted the June meeting at St Catherine’s.

Greyfriars Church with funding of £300,000 from the Diocese to employ and house a minster for 5 years for deployment (probably in the large area of new housing south of the M4), the role of the Area Dean, Creation care, Reading Area Green Christians, funding for a clerk to the Reading Deanery (needed to sort out the Deanery At the meetings we have: website which is hopelessly out of • Dealt with Deanery Financial date and minutes and agendas are matters; mainly the method of always late). calculating and resulting • Been kept up-to-date with what is apportionment between parishes going on in the Deanery; of the Amount the Deanery has to retirements, appointments etc. pay to the Diocese (the ‘Parish I am the only Lay rep from St Share’) Catherine’s (we are allowed three) • Had presentations and small group and sometimes neither Gill nor I are discussions on a range of topics able to attend meetings so the Parish including: ‘First Stop’ at Reading misses out. It would be good for Minster, resourcing the Deanery others to volunteer as Synod reps and Action plan, establishment of a join us. ‘Resourcing hub’ based at 12 Tony Bartlett

Ecumenical Churches Together The service for the week of Prayer for Christian Unity on 20th January was at St Catherine’s and in Gill’s absence in Ethiopia, I arranged & led the service with material that had been prepared by Christians from Indonesia. Mike Penny, chair of Churches Together in Reading preached. The annual Good Friday Act of Witness at Tilehurst Triangle once again attracted a large number who had processed from their churches for 12.00 noon. The service was led by Fr Peter and Lay members of St Joseph’s church who read the whole account of the Passion. Rev Gill will be leading the 2020 service. Instead of a ‘Praise in the Park’ summer event, support for which had tailed off, Churches Together had a stall at the League of Friends Summer Fete on Saturday 8th June; interactive with sun<lower seeds to sow, leading to discussions about growing in the Christian Faith.

Election hustings were hosted at St Matthews Southcote. Ministers meet bi-monthly for Prayer and mutual support. Together with Lay reps meet twice a year to plan events and exchange information about events and other local ecumenical initiatives; school visits, REinspired etc. As treasurer of The Link Café , I reported that the accounts for year ending 31st August had shown takings had increased whilst costs had remained about the same. We were therefore able to donate £250 each to CIRDIC and the Women’s Centre, despite having paid out some £4,700 for replacement tables, chairs and a replacement dishwasher. Rev Liz Ratcliffe, rector of St Michael’s, agreed to take over the role of President of The Link from Rev Gill Rowell.

Now re-named ‘Transform Reading’ to be more inclusive and reach a wider area, the aim is exists to bless Reading and the surrounding communities through the life, love and power of Jesus Christ.

Carols at The Triangle took place on Monday 23rd December to work alongside th4 Pangbourne Rotary club Sleigh and Father Christmas, they paused at 12.00 noon and 4.00 pm for With building work commencing at our 30 minutes of Carol singing which Greyfriars Church, the Wednesday was very well supported and drew 8.00 am prayer meeting was moved to quite a crowd. It is hoped that in Abbey Baptist church for 2020. 2020 this can be repeated but on a Tony Bartlett Saturday. 13

Electoral roll This year we have 108 members on the Electoral Roll, 2 more than last year. Of these 108, 23 are not resident in the Parish, but worship regularly with us.

being long standing members whose forms did not arrive in time for last year’s completely refreshed roll.

Sadly, we have lost four members this year: - Sheila Ward, Valerie Brunsdon, Linda Childs and Pam Povey. May they rest in peace with the Lord.

As the new Electoral Roll Of<icer, I would like to thank Shirley Horsnell for handing the roll and associated paperwork over to me in such a good state - it has made my <irst few months as ERO much easier.

Of the 6 new names on the roll, 4 are new to our congregations, the other 2

Stuart Poore E.R.O.

Finance Action Group The Finance Action group exists to This year we have also talked about help and support the Treasurer with the attended card reader, procedures the <inancial running of the Church. for raising and chasing invoices, the The group met on three occasions in new electricity contract, the cost of 2019. After the opening prayer we the RG31 magazine for 2020, job start each of our meetings with descriptions for the Treasurer and an Dwelling in the Word. Assistant Treasurer and have At each meeting we discuss both the reviewed the internal <inancial current and the projected year end controls. bank balances. The Finance Action group is unable to During the year we also discuss the make decisions, it can only rates for both the hall rent and for recommend a course of action to the having adverts in the magazine, the PCC for implementation at their next content of the annual thank you letter meeting. that Steph sends out to those who give by planned giving, wage I would like to thank everyone who increases for the hall cleaner and the has helped on the Finance Action cafeĚ manager, the draft budget for the Group this year. following year, the contents of the Joanne Freeman Annual Financial Report and of course Treasurer to the PCC any unexpected/unplanned expenses. 14

Friday Friends There has been a steady increase of members thanks to the offer of transport from church members. Refreshments are available each week thanks to the many volunteers who provide lovely cakes. We have a varied programme and enjoy fellowship with each other.

Unfortunately we have lost two of our <irst members Sheila Ward and Val Brunsdon who brought much joy to our meetings. We do rely on transport for many members and give thanks to all who provide this valuable service. Anne Soley

Friday Jam According to a certain much-used online resource, to “jam" is “to improvise music without extensive preparation or prede&ined arrangements”, and “can be...simply...a social gathering and communal practice session”. This seems a pretty accurate description of what happens on alternate Fridays in the church from 7.30 pm to 9.00 pm. Friday Jam provides an opportunity for people from both 9.15 and 11.00 congregations - and some who don’t attend either service - to play music together, regardless of ability, age or experience.

Attendees are encouraged to bring along any music they’d like us to try, so that over the last year we have continued to extend our repertoire of popular music as well as learning songs for use in church. We are keen to attract more new members, particularly from outside the church, so if you know of anyone who might like to come along please put them in touch. It would also be good to extend the pool of musicians available for worship, so if you’ve ever played an instrument or wanted to - or if the SHAPE course prompted you to consider whether musical creativity might be your neglected gift – why not be prayerfully open to the possibility of coming along one Friday?

The sessions are intended both to build con<idence and to encourage creativity as we explore how different combinations of instruments might work well together. In the process we hope to please and glorify God in making better use of our gifts and 15 skills.

Richard Yates (

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) I have continued adding names to our database (password protected) from consent cards <illed in at Holiday Club Tots Praise and Cornwell 0-5s. Consents will state method(s) of contact permitted (post, phone/text or email) and whether speci<ic for the activity or more general. Emails can then be sent by Stuart Poore for a

speci<ic purpose and always with the opportunity to ‘unsubscribe’. Whilst church members who helped at holiday club are on the database, it does not yet include any other church members. A separate contacts list for emailing the weekly notice sheet is held for those who have consented. Tony Bartlett

Grounds Details of our activities this year have been recorded in our monthly article in RG31. Highlights include the beautiful planting of the tree stump on the corner of the top car park with pretty succulents, preparation and planting of a bed of herbs and aromatics behind Gill Howgego’s bench in the nearby corner of the north lawn, and the circular bed now has little paths going through it. This is all thanks to about 7 church members, together with the help of one kind neighbour who have worked hard this year to maintain and improve our grounds. We now have a green bin (of<icially

the second bin for the vicarage), which is emptied fortnightly by the local authority. It is kept close to the other waste bins, for small amounts of green waste. Larger amounts must still be taken to the recycling depot at Padworth. We are looking forward to Tilehurst Garden Festival in July, and would be glad of a few more volunteers, to share the work of bringing lawns, hedges, <lower beds, pathways and car parks into tidy and beautiful condition. We are still in need of adequate storage area to keep gardening equipment and garden furniture. Jo Day

Hall Our Hall is running reasonably There are a few available hours on smoothly with Pre-school in the Hall Tuesday evenings and the occasional every morning and most afternoons Wednesday evening otherwise the allowing once a month for W.I. and Hall is booked. We still have a few party bookings during the course of Friday Friends every week . After School Club are now in the Hall 16 the year. Vivace Voices Singers are after Pre-school Mon Tues Wed & regular users of the Church every (Continued on page 17) Thurs.

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Wednesday during Term Time. Other Groups are M.U. W.I. Yoga, Exercise Class, Brownies, Trefoil, Youth Club, Messy Church, Crafty Space and Short Mat Bowls . The Café area is being used for “Tuesday Get Together” & “Tots Praise on Friday” during the mornings

We now have a lovely BRIGHT , CLEAN & NEW Kitchen complete with a water heater and new equipment, also with new <looring. Many Thanks must go to Chris Addison, Richard Canning, Sonia & Sue for all their time and effort and hard work. Sheila Drew (Hall Bookings)

Leaders and Preachers Action Group LAPAG meets, approximately quarterly, primarily to discuss worship services in the Parish. In 2019 set the preaching and leading rota (i.e. who is doing what, when), consider our service patterns and plan for special services. We had hoped to regularly review preaching, but that has proved dif<icult, mostly for practical reasons. This year we addressed the detail of the move of the Cornwell congregation to St Catherine’s, which happened at Pentecost, prayerfully seeking to make the transition as smooth as possible, and to discuss any issues arising. Following a review of the 11.00 am service, and evaluation, small changes

LAPAG has also discussed, in the light of recommendations from the PMC Steering Group, how best to implement the Partnership for Missional Church 6 spiritual practices in our services. It is hoped that as more individuals take a lead in services, they could join LAPAG too. Those currently in the group are Tony Bartlett, Mike Heather, Stuart Poore, Richard Yates, Sonia Ludford, and myself. Richard Canning, as churchwarden, attends meetings when he can as he occasionally leads a mid-week service. We are grateful to Ella Canning for producing the Sunday service rota. Rev Gill Rowell

The Link After its refurbishment the Link laundering of aprons and tea towels continues to offer reasonably priced at home. teas, coffee, snacks, cakes and lunches Just ask for details at the Link. Also along with Christian books and young people are welcome to help on greetings cards. a Saturday towards their D. of E. There is always room for more 17 awards. volunteers to serve and prepare Sheila Bryant meals in the café as well as baking and

Missions Giving St Catherine’s Thank you to all the congregation for their on- going support of all our missions through prayer and <inancial support and for the response to special collections throughout the year. We currently give 6% of our income away to support various missions. This will increase to 7% and then hopefully continue to increase until it reaches 10%. The <irst six months allocation of missions money was given to CCA, Novimost, Duchess of Kent House and USPG. The second six months allocation was given to Prospects (Part of the Livability Group), Leprosy Mission, ReadiFood and Send-a-Cow. Through Compassion some members continue to support Ashini in Sri Lanka and through Tearfund the” Children at Risk “projects. We continue to give our coffee money to Sharon of Wycliffe Bible translators. We raised additional monies through the Leprosy mission envelopes, Christian Aid collections, the giving of our harvest gifts to the Drop in Centre and <illing shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.

envelopes at Christmas. We continue to collect food and other items throughout the year for CIRDIC and the ReadiFood Bank including seasonal items at Christmas and Easter. This was boosted greatly by our Reverse Advent collection. 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 lives of others. Hilary Smee On behalf of St Catherine’s Church Missions Giving

Cornwell Missions giving The allocation for the <irst 6 months of 2019 (our last as a separate congregation) was divided between ReadiFood £150, Sharon (£100) and Haswell Beni (£100). Haswell was introduced to us by David McMahon and we have supported his ministry with Agape for over 10 years, but told him that this gift would be our last following closure of Cornwell and departure of the McMahons.

Caroline and Val had already made a start on the Send-a-Cow 2019 fundraising and at the end of the year, the £694.32 they had raised from The annual Christingle service raised craft sales was made up to £1,080; extra funds for The Children’s Society 18 enough to send 8 Bicycles to Africa. work with Young Runaways, and we Tony Bartlett supported FAITH through donation

St Catherine’s Mothers Union The committee continues to work together to keep the branch running successfully and at this time we have 45 members. We have a prayer chain, regular monthly bible study and fellowship meetings and our members also take on many jobs within the church. We deliver 1st Anniversary Baptism cards to children christened at St Catherine’s and give cards to couples having their banns read, provide refreshments for funerals, make Mother’s Day posies and toiletry bags for the RBH. Our monthly meetings have included talks by Catherine Samson on Georgian Cookery, by Revd Gill Rowell, on her involvement with Novi

Most in Bosnia & Herzegovina and by a representative from Thrive, an organisation providing social and therapeutic horticulture for people with various mental or physical disability. The Quiz evening and afternoon tea raised £250 which has been donated to the Mother’s Union ‘Summer of Hope’ appeal. Other annual events include, a meal at Toby Carvery, the Afternoon Tea, our Anniversary Service, Memorial Service, Christmas Flower Arranging, Carols and Readings and a Beetle Drive. We are always looking for new members so if you would like to join us please talk to one of our committee members. Stephanie Walklate

St Catherine’s Music Group and Singers We are an enthusiastic group of singers and musicians who lead the music worship at the Sunday 9.15 services. We also support joint services, church celebrations and JAM where we discover new songs and styles to add to our repertoire. We practise every fortnight in preparation for the services which, in itself, is a relaxed and informal time of worship.

who now sings along with the congregation. Both Betty and Molly are excellent singers and we give thanks for the many years they have sung at St Catherine’s. We very much appreciate the addition of Lynn Stevens as a singer and David Stevens on the guitar, who has led us in the music at some services.

If you are a singer or musician who would like to join us, we would love to This year we have said our sad welcome you to our group - just goodbyes to Betty Want, who has 19 contact any one of us for details. moved to Cornwall, and Molly West Caroline Heron & Bill Martin

PCC (Parochial Church Council) “The PCC is responsible, together with the vicar, for the vision and mission of our church, pastoral, evangelistic and social. To do this we seek God’s will, ensure we operate within a legal framework, and are responsible for the &inancial stability of the church too, all under the authority of God.” Every PCC meeting begins with the Partnership for Missional Church (PMC) practice of Dwelling in the Word, and in 2019 we considered “where our attention has lingered” in Luke 10:1-12 and latterly 2 Corinthians 4:1-12. There were 7 PCC meetings, and one Away Day in April (which was shared with the PMC Steering team to consider what our missional innovation project might be). This year we approved Cornwell Community Church’s move to St Catherine’s, and considered the impact, approving the necessary change in service times, and subsequently, results of the review of the new 11.00 am service.

The PCC has received and discussed reports from various action groups (which are, in effect, sub committees of the PCC). Main contributors are the Centre Action Group and Childrens & Youth Action Group. We have authorised many spending initiatives, such as salaries for employees (Café manager and cleaners), mission giving (based on Mission Action Group recommendations) and building maintenance spending. This has included signage, lobby decoration, disabled parking signs, the children’s area in the café , the hall kitchen refurbishment, <irst aid training, and grounds. We have agreed hall hire rates, in line with Finance Action Group recommendations. We have approved new initiatives, such as Tuesday Get Together, The Prayer Course (for Lent), Thy Kingdom Come prayer, Friday Flop, the Happiness Project (which has been put on hold), the Shape Course, Wednesday morning Café opening, the Tilehurst Garden festival (4/5 July 2020).

At every meeting we consider PMC progress, some PCC members have joined the PMC Steering Team at the “Clusters” (training and feedback We have approved special services days) and approved Calcot Cuppa as and one off events, such as Cornwell a means of identifying our PMC Church 25th Anniversary, the Bistro mission innovation focus, and have Night, Holiday Club, Harvest Festival, also considered how we might and Easter and Christmas services. promote the PMC discipline of The PCC is grateful for the hundreds 20 hospitality within the church. of pounds raised through jumble (Continued on page 21)

(Continued from page 20)

sales over the years and the hard work of Anne Soley, and her team, in organising them. In the light of their discontinuation, the PCC is open to other suggestions for fundraising. We have commissioned and received an Eco-church audit and are working towards being acknowledged as such. We are considering whether a de<ibrillator on church premises is a worthwhile endeavour Our Health and Safety guidelines are being reviewed. In line with good practice, Safeguarding and General Data Practice Regulations (GDPR) are on every agenda. We have reviewed our safeguarding policy, and agreed it. We are aware that safeguarding awareness needs to permeate every church activity, and are grateful to Hazel Newman for her role as Safeguarding Of<icer, and the training she has given. Safeguarding is a work in progress and in 2020 we will aspire to ensure that every role within the church has a role description. We have received updates on Reading Deanery Synod, and Tilehurst Churches Together.

We are so grateful to Jean Almond, who takes minutes of meetings, and to Carol Charles and Rosemary Cunningham who have helped when she could not. We do need to appoint a permanent PCC Secretary for 2020. Many thanks to Shirley Horsnell (assisted by Maureen Ward) in their capacity as Electoral Roll of<icer and thanks to Stuart Poore who is taking the role on. The PCC must appoint a Health & Safety of<icer this year, and additional Deanery Synod representatives. We say goodbye to Val Poore and Jo Day who completed their time, and have served so faithfully, and look forward to welcoming new members on the PCC. I am hugely grateful to all those who serve on the PCC but must give particular thanks to Joanne Freeman for the conscientious and compassionate way she approaches her role as PCC Treasurer, and to Richard Canning and Stuart Poore in their roles as churchwardens, without which my life would be so much harder. They are highly committed, conscientious and pastoral in their roles.

But mostly, I give thanks to God for I am happy to report that Anna Jukes the privilege it is to serve Him is willing to act as shadow Treasurer alongside such life af<irming brothers to Joanne, and that Sonia Ludford and sisters in this Parish. was willing to take on the PCC Rev Gill Rowell Secretary role in a temporary 21 capacity this year.

PMC (Partners in Missional Church) This is our 2nd PMC year in which we continue to learn to listen to what God is up to and wanting us to join in with. From conversations with our neighbours and discussion and prayer at our PMC Awayday, Calcot emerged as our missional experiment. We started with the Calcot Cuppa, a weekly community get together at Calcot Centre, Highview, running until Easter when we will take stock of the next steps. It is our prayer that both church members and the community, working together with a shared purpose, will take equal ownership in the planning and direction of this venture. The way forward is not always clear – we are summed up by 2 Corinthians 4, this year’s Dwelling in the Word passage: ‘perplexed but not in despair’! We pray to be shown the way forward with this venture and other missional challenges.

started in our <irst PMC year continues, and has spread to a variety of church get-togethers. To this we are extending our existing spiritual practice of the gift of hospitality, encouraging each other to give and receive hospitality to extend God’s kingdom and grow ever deeper in our faith. We are all encouraged to listen to God at work in our community by a number of activities, including cards containing a checklist of daily questions to assist each of us to notice God at work. Our prayer is that PMC will add positively in our growth as a church and individually in the breadth and depth of our knowledge of God, and our response to his call here in St Catherine’s. Report provided by the PMC Committee: Chris Addison, Jo Day, Caroline Heron, Sonia Ludford, Val Poore, Richard Yates

We continue to develop our experience as a church of the spiritual practices. Dwelling in the Word as

Prayer at The Link On the second Saturday afternoon of the month we offer a cuppa, chat and prayer because we believe that ‘Prayer Makes a Difference’ whatever the problem or concern.

Christian churches though at present we are mainly from St. Catherine’s.

We have been much encouraged by people coming in and would welcome more volunteers from other churches Anyone can drop in and talk to a 22 as well as St. Catherine’s. trained listener from various Sheila Bryant

Prayer Ministry Team A loyal group of trained members are available after church services to listen and pray in con<idence with anyone with problems and concerns. We do not offer counselling, just a means of giving the problem to God for His healing.

Anyone wishing to join us in this rewarding service please speak to Gill. Sheila Bryant

RG31 l have now completed 7 years as editor and have no plans to step down (unless someone is keen to take over). In those 7 years the magazine has slowly evolved, the most noticeable change being more pages (up from 28 to 36) and a greater use of colour (up from 4 to 14 pages) as a result of, and resulting in, the number of photos that contributors are sending in to illustrate events and articles. Unfortunately, it costs ten times as much to print a colour page as a black and white one, so the cost of producing the magazine has increased substantially over the last 7 years. The cover price on the other hand had been kept at 50p per issue or £5 a year.

a donation and this enables us to give away some magazines free; to local businesses, Doctors, Dentists, Hairdressers & Vets Surgery waiting rooms where they gain a wide readership to tell of what we do as a parish. I would also encourage anyone to give a free magazine to visitors, people new to the church or a new neighbour, they then have the option of subscribing to, and paying for, future issues. I am very grateful to the contributors whose names you will see at the foot of articles every month, for those who proof read the magazine for me and Stuart who publishes the magazine on the internet where there is the possibility of an unlimited readership.

Advertising revenue and sales were barely covering production costs I believe that including a wide variety (which will undoubtedly increase) so of styles and contents makes for a for 2020 we increased the cover magazine in which everyone can <ind price to 60p or £6 for the year’s ten something of interest (and maybe issues. some things that don’t appeal – but 23 then we’re all different!) I am grateful to many subscribers who pay more than the cover price as Tony Bartlett

Safeguarding “Everybody who participates in the life of the Church has a responsibility for the care and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults involved in Church activities.” The PCC takes their safeguarding responsibility seriously and follow directions provided by the Diocese. In turn, the diocese regularly too re<ines their guidelines and guidance regarding safeguarding, as well as reworking the safeguarding courses they provide. We are grateful to our Parish Safeguarding Of<icer – Hazel Newman – who is helping us interpret and follow the guidelines. As you hopefully know, anyone involved in helping with any church activity is asked to take a short, basic, on-line safeguarding awareness course (known as a ‘C0’ course). Volunteers working with children or vulnerable adults are also asked to attend an additional ‘C1’ course. We are grateful to Hazel for running a local ‘C1’ course here at St Catherine’s in April.

Those who lead or manage those activities with children or vulnerable adults will be asked to take a newly revised ‘C2’ course over the coming year. Again, we are grateful to Hazel for organising this for us. Most people in these leadership or management roles, along with others, are also asked to obtain a DBS certi<icate. Stuart Poore is your primary point of contact for this. We acknowledge that few look forward to these training and checking aspects of their roles. However we feel one of the many bene<its of them is that it publicly acknowledges the importance of the ministry that our volunteers are performing in their many and varied ways, and the positive impact that it can have on our community around us. If you have any questions concerns about any aspect Safeguarding, don’t hesitate contact Hazel, Gill or either of Church Wardens.


or of to the

Stuart Poore Church Warden

Strategy Action Group StAG members are Tony Bartlett, Richard Canning, Sonia Ludford, Stuart Poore, Anne Soley, Richard Yates, Gill Rowell and Mike Heather. StAG was established as a sub-group of the PCC in 2018 to consider Sunday worship, strategic direction and outreach.

1. Because (almost!) the same people are on the Leaders and Preachers Action Group and there is some crossover in focus for Sunday worship;

Our last meeting was in April 2019 when we considered aspects of how best to implement Cornwell’s move to St Catherine’s.

2. More importantly the PMC Steering Team, which has members from the 9.15 and 11.00 congregations, are focussing on implementing PMC throughout the church, including the missional experiment in Calcot, and having a different leadership group with a slightly different emphasis is not necessary. There may be times ahead when the Strategy Action Group is called together for key discussions, but for now our strategic direction is being in<luenced by the PMC process.

We haven’t met since for two reasons:

Rev Gill Rowell

In 2019, our energies were focussed on Cornwell Community Church, which was struggling. Taking into account consultations with the congregation and recommendations from the Cornwell Leadership Team, we met to pray and consider options.

Tuesday Afternoon Life Group We took a break from studying the bible passages from the previous Sunday to undertake the thought provoking six week SHAPE course. On its conclusion Gill came and we all took Holy Communion which felt very special. Betty Want moved to Cornwall in We ended the year with a meal April and our dear friend Sheila Ward together at The Victoria and have now died in July. We’ve also had illness returned to bible passage discussions. and bereavements and so a few of us have missed quite a few meetings. We enjoy birthday celebrations and However, Sheila Latchford has joined support each other through prayer us which is a blessing. Valued during good times and otherwise. friendship and prayer support has 25 New members are very welcome to join us. been ongoing all year. Lorraine Roberts We are a well established group that meets once a fortnight from 2pm to 4pm at Anne Soley’s home, where we receive a warm welcome and refreshments. Last year we lost two valued members.

Tuesday Evening Life Group No, not a new group since last year’s APCM, but the erstwhile “Wednesday Evening Lifegroup”! We continue to meet mostly fortnightly and mostly at the home of Richard & Ella Canning. Numbers remain steady at 8-10, comprising members of both 9.15 and Allsorts congregations. Meetings usually begin with an informal time of chatting over refreshments before pausing to re<lect in prayer on some of the topics of conversation. Through much of the year we have then moved into a time of reading and responding to the Bible together, focusing either on the previous Sunday’s lectionary readings or those for the forthcoming Sunday. It has been good to use the ‘spiritual practice’ of Dwelling in the Word as a

method of approaching some of these passages. During the autumn we took part in the SHAPE course, which awakened (or re-awakened) a sense that God’s desire for each of us is that we live as the unique individuals He created us to be, and that in so doing we will represent Him more authentically to those we meet. My hope is that we will encourage one another to rise to the challenges this will entail, and that we will each <ind ourselves thinking differently and acting differently in our everyday lives. If you don’t currently belong to a lifegroup / housegroup but feel you might bene<it from doing so, please let Gill know. Richard Yates

Tuesday Get-Together Tuesday get Together started last September. It was inspired by a desire to provide our neighbours and community with a weekly meeting place in which to simply meet up and enjoy being together. We meet every Tuesday morning from 10.00 am to 12.00 noon with refreshments provided free of charge.

Year Raf<le. Due to the Centre being open we have also had other visitors that are passing by, calling in too. We have been very encouraged by the warm response we have received. It is great that no one is in a hurry to leave at the end of the morning! Our aim for the coming months is to continue to spread the word that we are open and willing to provide hospitality to all.

We have a regular core of around 20 attending with new people gradually joining us too. We had Christmas 26 festivities, singing with a group from Singing for the Brain and a free New

TgT Team, Lorraine, Vivien, Christine and Sheila


This report is a fantastic testament to all the various groups and activities that goes on in the life of the church as we seek to worship God, and show that Jesus makes a difference in reaching, serving and caring. Without so many people working, often quietly behind the scenes, much of what happens would grind to a halt. So this is an opportunity to thank all those who give their time in the service of Jesus Christ, week by week, sometimes unknown to many, but nevertheless appreciated and valued. So our thanks go to all who are or have been or will be: Administrators, action group leaders and members, accountants, activists, audio visual and technical helpers, banner makers, befrienders, best practice enhancers, buildings maintainers and improvers, CCL record keepers and reporters, CafeĚ volunteers, cake bakers, carpet cleaners, church and window cleaners, church wardens, coffee makers, communicators, cooks, craft makers and suppliers, decorators, deanery reps, eco warriors, electoral roll of<icers, evangelists, fete organisers and contributors, <irst aiders, <loor moppers, <lower arrangers, food producers, fundraisers, fun lovers, furniture movers, gardeners, gutter cleaners, group leaders, hall hire bookings contacts, helpers, heating operators, hospitality givers and receivers, hymn choosers, intercessors, launderers, lay leaders, lea<let deliverers, listeners, locker-uppers, minute takers, musicians, networkers, newsletter and pew sheet contributors and producers and distributors, organisers, photocopier overseers, pastoral visitors and carers, PCC members, publicity enhancers, prayer ministry team members, pray-ers, prayer card deliverers, preachers, prop makers, prophets, readers, recyclers, report writers and compilers, rota makers, Sacristans, safeguarders, secretaries, shoppers, sidespeople, singers, social media communicators, sound creators, stationery orderers, story tellers, strategists, supporters, teachers, thinkers, toilet cleaners, tidy uppers, treasurers, video editors, website developers and updaters, welcomers. If any group or individual has been forgotten, then we apologise. 27

Contact details and sources of further information Vicar Rev Gill Rowell ℡ 0118 942 7786

Licensed Lay Minister Mike Heather ℡ 0118 962 4852

Licensed Lay Minister Tony Bartlett ℡ 0118 967 8659


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For information about 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 28

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