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Henley, Reading & Wokingham districts

JUNE 2014

ISSN 2049-4971

EXCELLENT NEWS

WALK ON BY

Torrential rain fails to stop fundraising hikers

summer of fun Get ready for fantastic fairs taking place near you

horse power

Head to Hurst and enjoy a fun-filled family weekend

remembrance

Floral tribute planned for First World War commemoration

20 sizzling years

A beanfeast to mark two decades of Reading’s biggest breakfast

zara rides in

Royal welcome for the Queen’s granddaughter

GREAT NEWS!

Xn’s editor up for an award


Family business expands

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B Walker & Son, one of the area’s oldest family businesses has opened a new office in Caversham on the site of the old Thomas Turner gun shop. The branch was formerly opened by the Hon Mary Bayliss, the Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire in the presence of Cllr Marian Livingston, Mayor of Reading, the presidents of the two funeral trade associations and other special guests including Mary and Peter Stratton, who ran the gun shop for many years. Prayers of dedication were offered by

the Revd Jeremy Tear, Caversham’s community priest. AB Walker & Son was established in 1826 and is now run by members of the fifth generation of the Walker family, brothers Julian and Matthew. They are delighted to have opened a branch in the heart of the community in which they spent much of their childhood with their grandparents Win and Major Whiteway who live a stone’s throw away in King’s Road. Matthew and his wife Melissa, also in the business, live in Caversham to this day. Chris Walton, Chairman of Caversham

Celebrating the formal opening of their new facilities (above, from left): Matthew Walker, Cllr Marian Livingston, Hon Mary Bayliss, Lord Lieutenant, Julian Walker and Rev Jeremy Tear. Main picture: Matthew and Melissa Walker, Hayley Johnson, Rachel Goode and Julian Walker outside the new store Traders Association, said: “On behalf of Caversham Traders Association we would like to welcome A B Walker & Son to our thriving community and it is nice to [see] the shop being used.”

Julian Walker added: “The branch will be staffed by two experienced ladies; Hayley and Rachel who we have every confidence in serving the people north of the river and beyond with compassion and care.”


This month

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This is your magazine Contact us with your stories, email editor@xnmedia.co.uk write to Xn Media, Crown House, 231 King’s Road, Reading RG1 4LS. We look forward to hearing from you!

To advertise:

Richard McCoull 0118 328 3108 richard@xnmedia.co.uk Xn is published by Xn Media. ISSN 2049-4971 c/o Crown House, 231 King’s Road, Reading RG1 4LS 0118 327 2662 www.xnmedia.co.uk Twitter: @xnmedia Editor & publisher Phil Creighton editor@xnmedia.co.uk

Great bakes 13

Get the bug 9

Journalist Vivienne Johnson vivienne@xnmedia.co.uk Photography Lynda Bowyer lynda@xnmedia.co.uk Website Peter Bowyer peter@xnmedia.co.uk Distribution Judith Creighton judith@xnmedia.co.uk Contributors Michael Penny, Steve Prince, James Hern, Martin Ceaser, Chris Carter, June Hardcastle, Colin Powell, John Ledger, Steve Jenkins Thanks to Alan Magness, Louise Cole, Mary Brockington, Nick Crowder, Andrew Taylor, Steve Curtis, Glenis Kerr-Elliott, David McLeod, Richard Lamey, Jane van Es, Nikki Payler, JAC, Zara Tindall Cover picture Lynda Bowyer Printed by Polestar Xn is an independent publication that aims to reflect community and Church life without bias. The views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers. Every care is taken to ensure that the contents of the magazine are accurate but the publishers cannot accept responsibility for errors. While reasonable care is taken when accepting advertisements, the publishers cannot accept any responsibility for any resulting unsatisfactory transactions. They will, however, investigate any written complaints. © Xn Media Ltd, 2014

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May fun 14

Downing St 10

From the editor

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Y SIX-year-old daughter loves princesses. So she was very excited when she learnt she could meet Zara Tindall. The daughter of the HRH Princess Royal made a special trip to open the Just Around The Corner (JAC) equine assisted learning centre in Wokingham – what a visit it was. She took a keen interest in everything Phil Creighton that the wonderful team at JAC are doing and made time to stop and chat with everyone. Zara was an excellent guest. Covering the visit was a privilege. In fact, my entire job is a pleasure. It’s a great feeling being able to cover our excellent news. It’s not normally about me, but this month I’ve made the news! It’s an honour to be nominated for the Pride of Reading Awards 2014. You can read all about it on page 7. This month, we’ve introduced a letters column. Do send in your thoughts and views – we love hearing from you. editor@xnmedia.co.uk

Freedom walk 6 Contents 4 The Main Event Special focus on the cup finals 6 News 14 May fairs Round-up of some of the fun fairs 16 News focus 20 years of men’s breakfasts 18 Royal special Zara Tindall opens JAC’s new home 20 Family Circle 22 Classified 26 Readers letters 27 Sport 28 Puzzles 30 What’s on Two pages of community events 32 Arts

Get in touch! email stories to editor@xnmedia.co.uk Deadline for July issue Friday, June 20


the main event

Who’s up The Thames Valley Churches Football season came to thrilling climax with two cup finals. JAMES HERN follows the games while LYNDA BOWYER caught the action on camera

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n a dramatic end to both TVCFL cup competitions, Tilehurst Albion and South Ealing overcame stern tests to secure victories in the Philmar Cup and Colin Lowery Trophy Finals on Saturday, May 10.

Lowery Cup Final Bethel United 1 South Ealing 2 Although currently playing in the Ealing Churches Football League, South Ealing & Brentford were invited to enter the cups last season as part of the league’s 25th anniversary celebrations – the club was one of the League’s founding members in 1988. Having beaten Reading Saints 1-0 to win the Colin Lowery Trophy last year, they readily accepted the challenge to defend their title this season. Due to the growth of their squad, this season the club had split into two teams: Brentford and South Ealing. Both sides accepted an invitation to join the cup, with South Ealing defeating Brentford in the Quarter-finals. South Ealing faced a strong Bethel United side who were determined to end a run of five seasons without winning a trophy, having again narrowly lost out on the league title. The final itself was a tight affair, and one that seemed to match the changing weather conditions. The match burst to life in the opening minutes as a neat throughball ran into the path of Phil Waters who coolly slotted past the onrushing Bethel keeper to give South Ealing an early lead. Despite this setback, Bethel regrouped and as dark rainclouds and driving rain descended upon Binfield, they started to take the

initiative and began probing the South Ealing defence. With half an hour gone, Bethel captain Stu Newton struck the equaliser after South Ealing failed to clear a corner: 1-1. Bethel continued to dominate but failed to create any further clear-cut chances in first half, with South Ealing unable to launch any further attacks on the Bethel goal. While everyone dried themselves off at half-time, South Ealing regrouped and, with the sun now shining, they started to play more positively and ask their own questions of the Bethel defence. With few clear chances being created by either side the game seemed to be destined for extratime, but, with only 15 minutes to play, Bethel were unable to clear a dangerous cross. The ball eventually fell again to Phil Waters who thundered a shot from short range in off the crossbar to secure victory and ensure that the Colin Lowery Trophy would be heading to Ealing for the second year in a row.

Philmar Cup Final Tilehurst Albion 4 Brookside St Laurence 2 Kerith FC have been cup specialists of late, winning the Philmar Cup three times and finishing runnersup once in the past four seasons. But, having been knocked out by West Reading CFC in the quarterfinals, it provided an opportunity for either Tilehurst Albion or Brookside Saint Laurence to win the Philmar Cup for the first time. With Brookside Saint Laurence being a dominant force in the League for the past six seasons and Tilehurst Albion the past three, it

was a surprise that neither side had won the Philmar Cup before; something that added some extra spice to a game that didn’t need any extra seasoning. With both teams battling it out to be crowned league champions this season, the cup final was eagerly anticipated by everyone associated with the TVCFL. After the initial stages of the game there was concern from the neutrals that the game would be a one-sided affair and not the classic final that had been hoped for. Having altered their formation in an attempt to deal with Albion’s formidable attacking line-up, Brookside Saint Laurence found themselves unable to cope as Adam Fay scored two well struck goals inside 20 minutes. Brookside’s manager Ben Morrison took decisive action, making an early substitution and changing the team’s shape. This enabled BSL to start putting pressure on Albion and they dragged themselves back into the match just before half-time as Steve Magness beat Albion’s keeper with a firm half-volley

after a swift counter-attack. And it was BSL who started the second-half the brightest and within 10 minutes they found themselves level as Simon Miles scored from close range. With their backs now against the wall, the equaliser spurred Albion back into action and, within five minutes, they had taken the lead again – this time from the boot of Josh Drew who latched onto a clever pass that spilt the BSL defence. The goal deflated BSL, who had expelled most of their energy pulling themselves back into the game on the wide expansive Binfield FC pitch. Having let two goals slip, Albion were determined to hang on to this lead and continued to cause BSL problems, with substitute Charlie Baines hitting both the crossbar and post within a five-minute spell. But it was Josh Drew who settled the match with only minutes left, turning in a cross into an empty goal to enable Albion’s playermanager Michael Herbert to lift the Philmar Cup for the first time. v More football on page 27


the main event

for the cup?

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June 2014 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 0118 328 3108

v Explore five dimensions FUNDAMENTALISM in five dimensions will be explored later this month. The subject for the latest Café Theologique meeting is Fundamentalism in Five Dimensions: Flight, Fight, Fright, Faith and Funny and aims to offer guests the chance to debate, discuss and explore the latest ideas in theology. The guest speaker is the Revd Canon Prof Martyn Percy. The free event takes place at Zero Degrees, 9 Bridge Street, Reading on Monday, June 16 at 7.30pm. v For more details, chaplaincy@ reading.ac.uk; 0118 378 8797. 

v Pupils help hospital with sale Enterprising Year 6 pupils from Earley St Peters School, Reading ran a bracelet sale last month. Their efforts raised an impressive £75 in under 15 minutes, with the money being donated to the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

v Golden oldies A Zumba Gold Party will be held at Park United Reformed Church, Wokingham Road, Reading on Thursday, June 26, and at the Baptist Church in Newbury at on Wednesday, June 18. The event is aimed at people with limited mobility and will give participants the chance to try Zumba Gold, a low-impact form of Zumba. v For more details, call Des Hapeshis on 07999 488981.

v Two for one Easthampstead Baptist Church is joining forces with Finchampstead Baptist Church for a summer celebration. Taking place on Sunday June 8, the event starts at 10.30am, followed by a barbecue lunch. There will be activities for children and young people. Guests should bring picnic blankets and chairs. The event is being held at the FBC Centre in Finchampstead.

v Get walking The Berkshire Surrey Borders Methodist Circuit is organising a sponsored walk, in aid of Action for Children, around Virginia Water on Saturday June 7. It is an easy, flat walk of about five miles, suitable for all ages including children. v For more details, call Kathy Hanna on 01344 774715.

Foodbank resources to help you get behind the breadline BY PHIL CREIGHJTON A NEW report has been launched that aims to separate fact and fiction about foodbank usage. Faith In Foodbanks is a national resource that explores why foodbanks are increasing and suggest ways in which action can be taken to tackle the underlying causes. In the last five years the need for foodbanks in the UK has grown dramatically. Thousands of Churches have responded by starting or supporting foodbanks within their communities. Last year Trussell Trust, which helps four in 10 of the UK’s foodbanks, fed more than 900,000 people including more than 300,000 children. The entire foodbank movement will now feed well more than a million people in a year. It is estimated that 13 million people in the UK live in poverty, including 3.5 million children – and that figure is expected to rise to 4.6million by 2020. Produced by The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church, the United Reformed

Church (URC) and Church Action on Poverty, the report comes in three parts. The first explores issues relating to foodbanks and food poverty, with an aim of getting churches involved. The second features six Bible studies to explore the ministry of foodbanks. The final part is a selection of worship ideas including prayers, sermons and reflections. It is free to download. A number of resources are also available to download and use including facts and figures relating to the increase of food poverty, a letter that can be

personalised and sent to your MP, as well as posters, fact sheets, press releases and background reading. The Revd Dr Michael Jagessar, Moderator of the General Assembly of the URC, said: “The rising cost of essentials such as food, fuel and housing coinciding with static low incomes, people not being able to find enough work and continued austerity measures, has left many families with no alternative but to turn to foodbanks for help.” The Revd Ruth Gee, President of the Methodist Conference, added: “We also need to recognise that the need will continue to increase unless we tackle the underlying causes of food poverty.” The Revd Dr Chris Ellis, President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, said: “The Bible calls us to put our faith into action. Churches involved with foodbanks and asking the deeper questions about food poverty are doing just that.” v The report can be accessed by logging on to www.jointpublicissues. org.uk/faithinfoodbanks and followed on Twitter with the hashtag #faithinfoodbanks

Walkers raise thousands for rehab centre The weather may have made it wet, wet, wet, but a gallant band of walkers got by with more than a little help from their friends. On Saturday, May 10, 33 volunteers walked 27 miles along the Thames Path in aid of Hare Hatch-based addiction rehabilitation centre Yeldall Manor. Starting from Windsor, they were joined by an additional 30 walkers from Marlow. Although the trek started in light drizzle which gave way to sunshine, in the afternoon they had to endure heavy showers as they made their way back to Hare Hatch. Yeldall’s supporer relations manager Sue Hedger said: “Walkers ranged in age from 16 to 72, included former residents, three clergy, a doctor and supporters from many local churches. “After crossing the river at Shiplake by boat or a minibus, everyone arrived safely back at

Yeldall Manor for medals and a welcome bowl of warming soup.” The Walk For Freedom aims to raise £30,000 and, at the time of going to press, it had raised more than £22,000. Sue explained: “The money raised will go to help potential residents who cannot otherwise afford to access rehab.” After the success of this year’s walk, plans are now in place for next year. Sue added: “To support their efforts, or put your name down for next year’s walk, please contact me suehedger@yeldall.org.uk.” v The charity is also making plans for its annual open day on Saturday, July 12. Taking place in the grounds of the Hare Hatch rehab centre, it will include a range of stalls, traditional games and an annual celebration service.

Above: Walkers press on despite a deluge Below: John Stone and Robert McMaster at the finish line Pictures: Yeldall Manor


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Be proud of

| www.xnmedia.co.uk | June 2014

editor Phil

BY JOHN WAKEFIELD the editor of your favourite monthly magazine has been nominated FIVE times for TWO Pride of Reading awards. Phil Creighton, who launched Xn in January 2012, has been put forward for the Community Champion award, sponsored by Broad Street Mall, and the Chris Tarrant award, sponsored by The Oracle. The latter award is given to someone who deserves special recognition for what they do for the town, while the community champion award is given to someone who works tirelessly in their community. The awards help recognise the unsung heroes in our town and the businesses and organisations which help make Reading a better place to live and work. Categories include Charity of the Year, Cultural Contribution, Child of Courage and Carer of the Year. Nominations are made via an online voting form found on the

Reading Post’s website, getreading. co.uk. Phil is delighted and flattered to be nominated. He said: “Being nominated for two categories was an unexpected honour and I’m grateful for the support. “I love telling our story and sharing excellent news in the community – I’m only doing my job! “Being nominated is a huge honour and I am delighted. It’s a big vote of confidence in Xn.” The winners of the Pride of Reading Awards will be announced later in the year.

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v Buy a brick and build a community AN APPEAL has gone out for people to buy a brick for a new community centre. The New Heart project in Crowthorne is asking people to purchase the much-needed items to help with the building’s construction. The appeal starts at £5 for a single brick, £50 for a hod of bricks and goes up to £500 which will buy a pallet. The New Heart centre will be built on the site of Crowthorne’s Baptist Church in the village High Street and be a lively resource for the community. v For more details or to offer help, log on to www.crowthornebaptist. org.uk or call the church office on 01344 774085.

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June 2014 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 0118 328 3108

v Training for your toddler groups A TRAINING day aimed at churches running toddler groups is coming to Lower Earley later this month. Toddler Rocks! will equip, inspire and encourage toddler group and church leaders through a series of speakers, sessions and networking opportunities. Held at Lower Earley Baptist Church in Maiden Place on Saturday, June 28, there will be ideas on producing interesting craft sessions, attracting volunteers and having a great group. Speakers are Fiona Burt, Richard Hardy and Sue Greene, all of whom have years of experience in working with toddlers. The day costs £25, which includes lunch, and groups of four can attend for £80. v Places need to be booked by June 20, via the Entheos Trust website, www.theentheostrust.org. For details, call 029 2031 0171.

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v Fast ferrets at Newbold’s fete Ferret racing is one of the attractions at a school fete later this month. Newbold School in Popeswood Lane, Binfield will welcome the furry creatures for its fun day on Sunday, June 8. Other attractions include a talent show, international food stalls, face painting, a traditional coconut shy and a football shootout. The fun starts at 11.30am and ends at 2.30pm.

v See red and vote for calendar pictures YOU’LL be seeing red if you attend a garden party in Aldermaston this month. Aldermaston and Wasing’s parish council is organising a special red themed event, taking place in the The Red House, the Street on Saturday, June 14. Starting at 2pm, there will be a fancy dress contest, in which you’re invited to wear something red. There will be music from the Tadley Concert Band, lawn games, a tombola and the chance to vote on the photos to go into a 2015 parish calendar.

Choir sings Happy Birthday to itself

A GROUP that meets to socialise through singing has celebrated its first birthday. Age UK’s Singing Group attracts more than 50 people on Thursday mornings between 11am and noon. It meets at Tilehurst Methodist Church and the emphasis is on making music in a supportive environment. “I’ve been coming for the last nine months,” said member Joan Andrews. “It makes you feel happy – well, you need music in your life, don’t you?” The anniversary, on May 8, was marked with a special cake. v For more details, log on to www.ageuk.org.uk/berkshire. v A longer version of this story is on our website, xnmedia.co.uk WORDS & PICTURES: LYNDA BOWYER

Have a heart and join the fun BY PETER BOWYER Planning is well under way for the second annual Reading Family Fun Day taking place next month. After the success of the inaugral event last year, which saw more than £1,000 was raised for the British Heart Foundation (BHF), the family fun day is set to take place again at Prospect Park on Sunday, July 27 from 11am to 5pm. Last year the fun day attracted an estimated 2,000 visitors. “I hope even more people will come along and support the eevnt in its second year,” said organiser Amy White. Once again the event promises lots of family fun activities and plenty of stalls to browse including ferret racing, face painting, Quirks’ Animal Roadshow, a raffle and more. Amy said: “Last year’s event was a massive success and we were delighted with the amount we

managed to raise. “This year I really hope that we will get an even bigger attendance and we can raise a whole lot more for this fantastic charity.” BHF’s lifesaving work can only continue thanks to vital

donations. The charity says it urgently needs the support of more people like you and there are lots of ways to get involved. v To volunteer or to make a donation to the raffle contact Amy on readingfamilyfunday@live.co.uk or call 07591 500513. v For more on the day, log on to www.readingfamilyfunday.co.uk

South Reading gets ready to party Summer will be celebrated with an afternoon of fun, games, magic and food. The annual South Reading Churches Fun Day will be held on Saturday, July 12 at Rabson’s Recreation Ground, next to South Reading Leisure Centre. The free afternoon attracts thousands of people for a wide range of activities. Events planned include donkey rides, bouncy castles, penalty

shoot-outs, barbecues, face painting and tug o’war. Organisers have also arranged for the return of the Human tabletop football and demolition rides. Entertainment will include live music and an appearance from illusionist John Beales. It starts at noon and runs until 3pm and everything is free. We’ll have more details in the next issue. v www.facebook.com/ SouthReadingChurches


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Get the bug for fostering v Adoption group seeks your help

BY PHIL CREIGHTON POP IDOL singer Gareth Gates has added his backing to a campaign to recruit more foster carers. His support for Foster Care Fortnight was matched by Reading Borough Council’s Fostering Team. They took to the streets to encourage people to consider becoming foster carers. The fortnight ran from May 10-25 and is the UK’s biggest foster carer recruitment campaign. The Reading launch was made by Cllr Jan Gavin, who serves as Reading Borough Council’s Lead Councillor for Children’s Services and Families. She said: “Foster carers come from all backgrounds, as do the children who need new families. Anyone over the age of 21 and with a spare room can apply and change a child’s life.”

Gareth Gates is the son of a foster carer. “Fostering has always been a part of my life,” he said. “My parents have fostered over 50 children since I was a small boy. I have three sisters, but have had many, many more foster brothers and sisters. “My parents provided love and stability to many less fortunate children. It may not have always been easy but is something I would never change.” v For more, call 0118 937 3740, visit www.reading.gov.uk/fostering or www. facebook.com/FosterAdoptRdg

An organisation that helps promote fostering and adoption is looking forward to launching out on its own. Home For Good aims to help find 9,000 foster families across the UK and help the 6,000 children waiting to be adopted. It is appealing for £20,000 to enable it to become a standalone charity. The money raised would help it work across the country to help vulnerable children find loving homes. Dr Krish Kandiah, founder of Home for Good, said: “I am asking if you will help make it possible for us to take Home for Good to the next level.” Donations can be given through the charity’s Stewardship account, https://my.give.net/h4g. v For more details contact Phil Green by emailing p.green@eauk.org or call him on 020 7520 3837.

 ind out more about fostering with our online f video news report at xnmedia.co.uk

| www.xnmedia.co.uk | June 2014

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v Music for all as Theale sings up THEALE will be alive with the sound of music when it hosts a day devoted to singing. Holy Trinity Church is the venue for Theale Sings!, a free community event on Saturday, June 14. The day includes fun action songs for children, a seniors group that requires no previous experience and a community singing session where songs from days gone by will be on the menu. A Tea and Hympathy event will give visitors the chance to nominate their favourite hymns and enjoy tea while singing them. Musical lovers will be able to take part in a music theatre workshop, while a masterclass will give more experienced singers an aural workout. All events take place between 10am and 5pm in the church, which is in Church Street. The day’s events end with a gala concert which starts at 7.30pm. v For more details, log on to www. holytrinitytheale.org.uk

Larry’s ready to clean up A local outdoor enthusiast is all set to clean up in Bracknell, Wokingham and surrounding areas. Larry Lasenby is launching his own Oven Cleaning Business as part of the Oven Wizards Franchise. Larry has lived in the local area for more than 40 years, and, as he knows the area really well, he believes there will be a strong demand for his services. Larry says: “I was looking for a business that would be something I would enjoy doing and would provide a great service. “I came across the idea of an oven cleaning business and then started to research the market. “I soon realised that becoming an Oven Wizard offered me a great opportunity, particularly with the support of a successful Franchise Brand.” John Graham, owner of the Oven Wizards business, said: “From the first time we met Larry and his wife Pat, we knew they would make a great success of running an Oven Wizards Franchise, particularly because of their great passion for customer service.”

John added: “There is a growing demand from people who want to have their ovens professionally cleaned because it is probably the hardest and most hated job in most households.” Oven Wizards have provided Larry with comprehensive training which will enable him to professionally clean all sorts of makes and models of ovens. As well as Bracknell and Wokingham, Larry also covers Bagshot, Lightwater, Sunningdale, Ascot and Windsor. A recent survey carried out in 2013 indicates that oven cleaning is one of the most hated chores in the home. Taking into account the fact that there are more than 26 million households in the UK and that nearly each one has at least one oven and a hob, the growing domestic cleaning market therefore provides unlimited opportunities to delight our customers. v You can contact Larry by calling him on 01344 485234 and 07851 794830 or log on to his website www.ovenwizards.com.

Call today to have your oven, hob, extractor or Aga professionally cleaned For details, call Larry Lasenby on 01344 485234 Mobile: 07851 794830

www.ovenwizards.com


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June 2014 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 0118 328 3108

Rita’s poverty protest at Number 10

v Historian recalls Bracknell’s War

BY PHIL CREIGHTON

IT WAS dubbed the war to end all wars – but it ended up being a carnage that affected every town, village and community in countless countries. As we prepare to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War, a historian from Bracknell has been researching the cost to the town. Over the past four years Andrew Radgick, historian for the Bracknell Forest Society, has been working on a project to document the local men who fell in the conflict. He has tracked down every man listed on the borough’s war memorials to produce an extensive three-volume series of books devoted to their lives and war experiences. To coincide with their publication, Andrew will giveing a series of talks during the autumn. The first will take place at Holy Trinity Church from 7.30pm on Thursday, September 18, where the focus will be on men listed in the church. Copies of Andrew’s book, costing £20, will be available to buy.

T: 0118 942 9889

A WOODLEY campaigner went to Downing Street to urge the Prime Minister to end world hunger. Rita Belletty, from St John Bosco Church, joined other Cafod campaigners as part of the charity’s Hungry For Change campaign. Rita helped hand-deliver more than 60,000 demands from campaigners for more targeted aid for small-scale farmers and greater checks on the power and activities of global food companies. Rita said: “To be here with over 60,000 calls for action on world hunger is amazing. Throughout Cafod’s campaign I organised many card signings because this is an issue that matters deeply to me and thousands of others like me. “I know there’s still more to do in tackling hunger, but seeing the changes we’ve helped bring about so far is truly inspiring.” She added: “To keep the Hungry For Change message alive, I will make a point of choosing fairly traded products, try to minimise

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Rita Belletty handed over a poverty petition to 10 Downing Street wastage, recognise the difference between needs and wants and keep praying for the determination to be consistent.” The Hungry For Change campaign aims to lead to reforms of European law, requiring large companies across Europe – including major global food giants – to publish information on the impact their activities are having on the environment and on the rights of local people in the poor countries where they operate.

Cafod’s Head of Campaigns, Sophie Dodgeon, said: “Our Hungry For Change campaign has drawn to a close, but this is not the end of our work to try and end world hunger. The important progress made to tackle the food crisis is being threatened by the impacts of climate change. “We hope people will unite with us as we launch our new campaign to call for decisive action on climate change.” v www.caford.org.uk

helps ring the changes A CHARITY that helps people is ringing the changes, thanks to a little help from Xn. In last month’s magazine, east Reading-based charity CommuniCare explained how every little gift can make a difference and that it would welcome support, no matter how big or small. CommuniCare offers a range of advice services including a form filling service to support with finances, divorce and legal issues. Francesca Yates, CommuniCare’s manager, highlighted some of the very practical ways that donations could help, such as an extra phone line in to the advice centre. This article was read by Malcolm Peirce from FAITH and he and his trustees wanted to help. FAITH and CommuniCare work closely together and it seemed a perfect opportunity for one Christian organisation to help another.

“I was delighted when Malcolm contacted me,” explained Francesca. “I outlined our plight to Malcolm in having six phones and three advice rooms and yet only two phone lines. “Within 24 hours of that call FAITH had given us the funds to install a third telephone line and to cover six months funding for it.” The line was installed as Xn went to press, meaning that CommuniCare’s volunteers working in all three advice rooms can access the phone at the same time. “Now we just need a fourth line to that that can take incoming calls into the office at the same time,” Francesca added. “If anyone is interested in sponsoring a fourth line please get in touch.” v The group has launched a new Facebook page, giving updates on its day-to-day life. To join,search for CommuniCare on Facebook.


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v Viva Espania! GET ready to celebrate the very best in Spanish music. All Saints’ Church in Rotherfield Peppard is hosting an evening devoted to music from the European country and Latin America in aid of the Rotherfield Peppard Educational Trust. Taking place on Friday, June 13 from 8pm, entry is free.

vHanging around

Pictures: Lynda Bowyer

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IF YOU’VE ever wondered about how to create the perfect hanging basket then a gardening demonstration will be perfect. Rosemary Brown will be sharing her tips and advice for budding greenfingered people at St Agnes Church in Northumberland Avenue, Whitley on Saturday, June 7 from 2pm. All are welcome.

v Flowers on show St Peter’s Church in Caversham will hold a flower festival from June 27-29. It will be open from 10am to 5.30pm on Friday and Saturday and noon to 3pm on Sunday. Entry is £2, with proceeds going to the church’s organ fund.

BAKE WITH THE MASTERS Our Masterclasses have been developed for individuals to experience a truly hands on approach to baking.

Poppies planted for anniversary A church in Reading has gone to ground as it started its preparations to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War. St Andrew’s United Reformed Church in London Road, Reading, planted poppies of peace and remembrance on the first Sunday in May so they will bloom on or around Saturday, August 4 – the 100 year commemoration of the declaration of the First World War. The Revd Robert Barthram,

minister of St Andrew’s, said, “The planting of both white and red poppy seeds offer an opportunity for members of the congregation to join together to actively remember those who lost their lives during the First World War. “It was an occasion of prayer, reflection and planting that ended with a message of hope – that there may come a time when the peace of Christ prevails and there is no more war.” v A longer version of this story can be found on our website, xnmedia.co.uk

During these fun & lively sessions our bakers impart their experience and knowledge to you throughout the experience, showcasing skills and techniques we have used for generations. All our Masterclasses are £99 and include Masterclass of your choice Warings family Master Bakers Embroidered Masterclass Apron Recipe cards & Afternoon Tea Plus all the product you make Call 0118 945 6688 www.waringsbakery.co.uk


SOFT FRUIT

GRAYS FARM

VEGETABLES

PICK YOUR OWN & FARM SHOP

NATIONAL PYO FARM OF THE YEAR WINNER 2013 Fresh – Local – Help to preserve the countryside.  Healthy & easy to pick, in the open air. Enjoy the summer. Children enjoy doing it!  Varieties selected for flavour, not shelf life.  7 varieties of Strawberries & 6 of Raspberries, for choice & a longer season. very convenient for desserts, BBQ’s, fetes, parties etc. all summer long.  Strawberries, Rhubarb, Broad Beans, Spinach and Cabbage currently in season.  Runner Beans - Delicious, convenient, no wastage.  Option to drive round the fields.  Ready picked Strawberries & Raspberries available, please order by phone.  Special rates for schools, churches, & registered charities by prior arrangement (two weeks notice please).  School visits welcome – by arrangement.  Farm trail – about a mile. Allow an hour.  Well stocked farm shop if you prefer us to do the picking.

PYO etiquette – Please taste the fruit to judge the quality & flavour, but do not feast before paying – that is our livelihood! Lost? Tel 0118 978 5386 We hope you enjoy your time at the farm & will be frequent visitors – we plan & hope for bountiful crops – especially strawberries & raspberries

For more details, log on to www.graysfarm.co.uk or call (0118) 978 5386.

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Impatient for change BY VIVIENNE JOHNSON It is estimated that 40 per cent of the world’s population live on less than £1.50 a day and one billion people lack access to clean water. Two years ago a small group of people started to came together to set up a branch of the World Development Movement (WDM) in Reading.  WDM acts in solidarity with activists, civil society organisations and social movements in the global south. It says it has a history of campaigning with them on a range of issues, from opposing water privatisation to demanding a just solution to the climate crisis. It says that it aims to put pressure on decision-makers, organises public opposition to harmful policies, and says it produces robust research which it suggests as alternatives to what it claims is corporate-led globalisation. Jackie Oversby, co-ordinator of the group, said: “The reason

extreme poverty still exists in the 21st century is no accident. It exists because of the actions of powerful governments, corporations and financial institutions. “To end poverty we need to change the rules that govern the global economy. I joined the WDM because that is what it is working for.” This summer, Reading WDM will focus on Stop the Corporate Takeover of Africa’s Food. The campaign launches with a meeting at 7.30pm on Wednesday, June 11 at RISC, in London Street, Reading. It will also exhibit at Waterfest on June 14 and at Earley Green Fair on August 2. Jackie said: “We know that hundreds of thousands of people in the UK share our vision of a fairer world. WDM is made up of such people. If you believe that people should come before profit, why not join us?” v To find out more about the local WDM group, log on to www.groups. wdm.org.uk/reading or call Jackie Oversby on 0118 987 3623.

825 candles on the cake!

Strawberries, raspberries, beans, broccoli, rhubarb, spinach and, towards the end of the season, sweetcorn and tomatoes For more than 30 years, Grays Farm has been helping people cut their food miles to almost zero, while supplying the very best local produce.

Look out for the giant strawberry on Heathlands Road, just opposite Holme Grange craft village. The farm has celebrated after winning the National Pick Your Own Farm of the Year award for 2013 and these awards now recognise their excellence as retailers, farmers and producers. It’s an achievement of which they can all be very proud.” It was given by FARMA (The National Farmers’ Retail and Markets’ Association) – owner Peter is pictured with his award.

The Gray family take good care of their farm and to help show it off, they have devised a special trail that takes about an hour and snakes round the farm. A children’s play area, toilets and picnic area are available too. School groups are very welcome – really helping children to understand more about the food on their plate.

GRAYS FARM

is open from 9am to 6pm from Monday to Saturday. The range available depends on what’s in season. Members of Crowthorne Baptist Church, the family are also keen supporters of Book Aid and Tools With A Mission (TWAM), acting as a collecting depot for both. The Gray’s support for TWAM includes a repair and training works HEATHLANDS ROAD, WOKINGHAM RG40 3AN

Tel. 0118 978 5386

A church that dates back to the 12th century is looking forward to putting 825 candles on a very large birthday cake this summer. St Michael’s in Tilehurst was founded as a chapel of ease for Reading Abbey back in 1189, and will mark the 825th anniversary with a series of special events. The anniversary celebrations began with a medieval fair, held in the church’s ground on Saturday, May 17. Visitors could also try their hand at bell-ringing and there were cream teas and a raffle to enjoy. On Thursday, May 29, the church marked Ascension Day with a special evening service, while

Sunday, June 1 is a special summer service for all ages from 9.30am. Glenis Kerr Elliott from the church said: “We are promised icecreams in the cloister afterwards.” Future events include a quiz night on Sunday, June 29 from 7pm, held in the church hall. In the Autumn, it is planning its annual Last Night of the Proms and picnic, while a patronal festival will run from September 26-28. The celebrations will include av flower festival and a recital. “Our services on September 28 will celebrate all that we have to be grateful for in another year in the history of our ancient church,” Glenis added.

New hours at the Play Barn A popular soft play area for under fives is changing its opening times for the summer. St Paul's Play Barn in Whitley Wood Lane, Whitley, is now open from 9.30am-noon on Mondays, 9.30am-1pm on Wednesdays, 10am-noon for Messy Play on Thursdays and 9.30am-1pm on Fridays. A Dads' club runs on the third

Saturday of the month from 9.30am-11am. The centre, which is staffed by volunteers, will open on Mondays during the school holiday – at the same time, Reading Borough Council's Play Rangers will be running outdoor play sessions. v For more details, call Leon Collyer on 07714 986462 or log on to www. facebook.com/groups/playbarn


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HomeStart steps in the gap BY VIVIENNE JOHNSON Sometimes life can deal you a blow, whether it’s illness, bereavement, financial problems or loneliness. If those problems coincide with the pressures that go with having a young family, that’s the time you need a good friend’s help. “This is where HomeStart come in by offering support, friendship and practical help to families who have a child under five and some sort of need,” explains Jackie Oversby, Trustee and Home Visiting volunteer at HomeStart. “Families are referred to HomeStart by health visitors, someone who knows them or they can refer themselves,” said Marion Mortimer, Home Visiting Co-ordinator of HomeStart. The family then get regular visits from a volunteer who will come alongside the family and help out. Ngozi Dike is mum to 18 month old triplets. “Without Rachel from HomeStart I wouldn’t have been able to manage.”’ she said. Small things can make a big difference: “[Rachel] will go out with the kids so that I can go and lie down.”

Ngozi Dike with her triplets and HomeStart volunteer Rachel Picture: Vivienne Johnson

There are two sides to the charity; home visits helping children in their own home and group support. There are two groups running in Reading; one on the Dee Estate and one in Whitley. HomeStart currently has around 40 volunteer visitors but more are always needed. “Because of the waiting list we are now running our volunteer preparation training course twice a year,” said Marion. The next will run in East Reading starting on September 9. “Volunteers may be a parent, a

nursery nurse or a hands on aunt or uncle,” said Jackie. “We have male and female volunteers.” Marion adds: “One of the great experiences of being a volunteer is meeting so many different people and becoming part of their lives for however long. “It’s a real privilege. A volunteer receives so much, it is very rewarding.” v For more details, call Marion on 0118 956 0050 or log on to home-start-reading.org.uk. v HomeStart groups also meet in Wokingham, Slough, Newbury and Oxfordshire.

| www.xnmedia.co.uk | June 2014

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v Footie fever WITH the World Cup just days away, teams are limbering up for a seven-a-side tournament. Held on Saturday, June 14, the day features three contests: for ages seven to 10, 11-14 and 15 upwards, including adults. It runs from noon to 6pm at the Trinity School astro-turf pitch, Love Lane, Shaw, Newbury RG14 2DU and has been organised by Churches Together in the Newbury Area. A barbecue will run throughout the afternoon. v To enter a team in the tournament call James McMahon on 07825 779 456.

vA feast of summer music A CHARITY concert will get you in the mood for the summer. Christ Church URC in Reading Road, Henley, is to be the venue for The Rhythm of Life on Saturday, June 7. Starting at 7.30pm, the evening features the Shiplake Community Choir and Pangbourne and District Silver Band and will raise funds for Headway Thames Valley. Music will include Abba, Queen and film and show tunes. Tickets cost £8 or £5 for children. v For details, call Sue Arpino on 0118 970 4854 or email sarpino@ shiplake.org.uk.

Emmaline O’Toole with one of her tasty creations Picture: LYNDA BOWYER

v Emmaline bakes off for local hospice A trainee chef is putting her baking skills to good use. Emmaline O’Toole, 18 from Emmer Green, who is learning her trade at Reading College, makes delicious cakes and tasty snacks. Her brother, Daniel buys all the ingredients and packaging, and the pair donate the dough raised to Helen & Douglas House. The charity provides palliative care for children and young adults and respite, end-of-life and bereavement care to life-limited children and young

adults, and their families. Emmaline became involved with Helen & Douglas House when she volunteered to work in the Henley-based hospice as part of the requirements for her Duke of Edinburgh Award. Even though she now has her Award Emmaline continues to help out, not only by baking mouth-watering cakes but volunteering in one of Helen and Douglas House’s charity shops. v For more on the charity, log on to www. helenanddouglas.org.uk

Still the Hunger We provide a non-residential programme, and support groups and individual sessions for those needing less intensive support 07733 300 705 | info@stillthehunger.co.uk www.stillthehunger.co.uk


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June 2014 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 0118 328 3108

Wokingham’s cake-off!

v Fun in the sun Folk of all ages enjoyed the sunshine and the variety of stalls at the St George’s Tilehurst May Fayre held on Saturday, May 17. There were table top sales, games, a bouncy castle, cakes and an array of refreshments including a barbecue. At the same time, people from the local community could wander around the church and chat with some of the regular parishioners. The church’s recently formed Toddler Group played a lead in the organisation of this successful event and new members will be welcomed on Tuesday mornings in the church.

Members of the 1st Wokingham Scout Troop with some of the cakes they made THE streets of Wokingham were packed on May Day Holiday Monday, as thousands of people turned out to enjoy the annual street fair. Organised by Wokingham Lions, the charity fun day was blessed with brilliant weather and saw the town raise thousands of pounds for brilliant local causes. The May Fayre is believed to be the largest street fair in the south of England and with more than 20,000 people attending. Market Place, Denmark Street and The Plaza featured a range of stalls from local charities,

The Link Visiting Scheme exhibited some crocheted flowers

v Spring into homemade cakes DECORATIVE flags were out with the sunshine for the St Mary Magdalen, Tilehurst, Spring Fayre, held on Saturday, May 17. People from the local community were welcomed by delicious homemade cakes, plants provided by green-fingered parishioners, a fascinating array of bric a brac, games, ice creams and other refreshments. Organisers say that it was more than a fund raising opportunity, as it was a chance for a ‘get to know you’ chat with its neighbours. The fair helped raise funds for Christian Aid Week.

including the Link Visiting Scheme, Wokingham Foodbank and the Wokingham Salvation Army. Members of 1st Wokingham Scout Troop, attached to St Paul’s Church in Reading Road, were serving homemade cakes and cooking pancakes, while the 1st Wokingham Girls’ Brigade, attached to Wokingham Baptist Church, offered face painting and temporary tattoos to happy youngsters, as well as running a popular hook-a-duck stall. v A longer version of this report is at xnmedia.co.uk

More Arts demonstrated a range of traditional arts and crafts

Sue Chapman, a resident of Alexandra Place in Woodley, ran a bric-a-brac stall

v Samosas star THE sun shone on Woodley as the community around Southlake Crescent celebrated May with a fair. Held on Saturday, May 3, the funfilled event included dog and dance displays, puppet shows to homemade food as well as bouncy castles, sumo suits and footballing fun. There were stalls selling handcrafted jewellery, books, plants, bric-abrac and children’s toys. Refreshments came in the form of a barbecue, freshly made samosas and cakes made by residents of Alexandra Place, a residential home in Southlake Crescent. The Revd Sean Riordan, vicar of Emmanuel, said of the fun-packed day: “It’s really just an event to try and bring people together. It’s great and it’s what we want to do more and more of.” Hilary Lucas, from Alexandra Place, said: “It’s a community day, the community coming together raising funds for Alexandra Place and the church as well. v A longer version of this report is at xnmedia.co.uk

SEE THE MAY FAIR FUN from Woodley & Wokingham WITH OUR BRILLIANT video reports at xnmedia.co.uk

Crowthorne celebrates May Day

It was all the fun of the May Fair as Crowthorne came together to celebrate the spring sunshine. The annual Fair is organised by St John’s Church and was held in the Morgan Recreation Ground. A spokesperson for the May Fair Committee said: “The event provided a wonderful boost for the local community it also assisted St John’s raise essential funds for the work of the church and its supported missions.” v A longer version of this report can be found on Xn’s website


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Bishop joins the Friday night party READING’S team of Street Pastors welcomed a special guest last month as the Bishop of Reading joined the team. The volunteers provide help and assistance to clubbers in Reading’s town centre on Friday and Saturday nights. Bishop Andrew joined them on Friday, May 2, to see what happens. He said: “It was a quiet night, apparently, only 10,000 people out in the town dancing, drinking and meeting friends. “We still had plenty of opportunity to talk with people, who stopped us because the Street

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Make the most of life with Philip Keohane

Fancy a drink?

Bishop Andrew helps clear up bottles by Reading’s railway station Pastors are so well known and trusted. “The love, commitment and prayer that goes into their ministry is deeply impressive. We met Police, door staff, revellers and the team cleaning Reading Station by night. “We laughed a lot together and were able to help several people who had got into difficulty. “The thing I loved about this ministry is that it is ecumenical, practical, loving, fun-filled and meets a real need. I would love to go out with them again.” v www.reading.streetpastors.org.uk

Thanks for your help! Hundreds helped raise thousands of pounds during Christian Aid Week. Here, JESSICA HALL says thank you

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huge thank you to everyone that helped make Christian Aid Week 2014 a success. Hundreds of people from Berkshire got involved in the UK’s longest running fundraising week which meant that thousands of people had the opportunity to give to Christian Aid and tackle poverty all over the world. This year volunteers took part in the annual house-to-house collection, as well as a host of other fundraising activities such as the summer fair in Tilehurst, a barn dance in Bracknell, and the annual Walk the Country event organised by volunteers in Reading. Walk the Country saw more than 100 people walking to give poverty the boot in and around the beautiful countryside of Bix. It was a fantastic

Take care!

sunny day giving all the walkers rosy cheeks and stunning views. There was a tasty barbecue sponsored by The Good Little Company to finish the walk off –a welcome sight to hungry walkers and a boost to the fundraising total. Walk organiser John Russell of Winnersh said he hopes everyone enjoyed their day and looks forward to seeing them all again next year. Every year I am awed by the support Christian Aid Week receives from churches across Berkshire as well as the general public. We are so grateful to every person that took to the streets delivering and collecting envelopes, getting involved in fundraising events and taking action. Thank you to everyone in Berkshire that responded and gave something this year, you are helping poor communities across the globe to live free from poverty. Jessica Hall is the regional co-ordinator for Christian Aid in Berkshire

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bout two years ago, when I first started contributing to Xn, I wrote about the importance of keeping fully hydrated. As the warmer weather arrives, I make no apologies referring to this again as it is so important for our all-round health. Water is among the most important elements for the maintenance of life. It is used in the body for transporting nutrients and wastes, regulating temperature, maintaining the structure of tissues, and supporting cell functions (including brain function). Water is vital for digestion, regulation of body temperature, elimination of waste products and lubrication of joints and eyes. Generally, healthy adults are advised to consume between 2 and 3 litres of water per day in order to maintain good levels of hydration, counteracting fluid loss through perspiration and body waste. One of the key triggers for most people to prompt the need for a drink is simply that they feel thirsty. As we age, these thirst triggers begin to diminish so we don’t always feel thirsty even though our body may be running low on fluids. People living with dementia are at an increased risk here as thirst (and hunger) is triggered by brain function which can be damaged in some people. We take in water through drinks but also in the food that we eat. Therefore, as we age and our appetite starts to reduce, our ability to take on board liquids through our meals also reduces. Additionally, some of the medication prescribed to elderly people can have a diuretic impact on those who take them, leading to further potential fluid loss. The effects of dehydration can be severe. Dehydration has been identified as one of the risk factors for falls in the elderly. It can lead to deterioration in mental state resulting in dizziness and fainting. It can be a major factor in accelerating the deterioration in a person’s health when they have bouts of sickness which cause high levels of fluid loss. Please take the trouble to ensure that there are always plenty of fluids readily to hand, particularly for the vulnerable, the very young and the very old. Increasing quantities of fresh fruit and vegetables in the daily diet also helps increase fluid intake as these items typically have over 70% water in them (tomatoes and water melon contain over 90% water). Encourage those taking medication to drink a full glass of water with their tablets or medicine and remember, milk shakes, soup, iced lollies and sorbets are also fluids so you can be imaginative in finding ways to increase your fluid intake. As the temperatures rise, we all lose more fluids through perspiration so having the means to top up our tanks regularly throughout the day is really important.

Philip Keohane is owner & director of Home Instead Senior Care in Reading


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Caversham’s cafe culture

Major General Ian Durie, director of the Royal Artillery, speaking at the very first men’s breakfast held in June 1994

THE Mayor of Reading opened the new 3C’s Café at St John’s church, Gosbrook Road, Caversham on Tuesday, May 6. “This is the second café that I’ve opened within a church in the last two months,” said Cllr Marian Livingston. “I welcome it as something absolutely fantastic.” The Lower Caversham Community Partnership (LCCP) was formed by Newbridge Nursery, Caversham Hall, St John’s Church and Caversham Methodist Church. The group first met to consider the possibility of working more closely together and using their collective resources to meet the needs of the people in Caversham. The 3C’s café was born out of that meeting. Richard Purkis, of LCCP, said:

“Thanks to grants from Reading Springboard, The Big Lottery Fund and Church House, Caversham, we have been able to get the toilet adapted, make changes to the kitchen and have a special café counter built.” The coffee making equipment and all the teas and coffee are sourced from Reading’s own Kingdom Coffee. The volunteer manager and all the staff were trained by Kingdom Coffee on how to make barista-style coffee. 3C’s café is open on Tuesdays from 9.30am to 2.30pm and can be found in St John’s Church in St John’s Road, Caversham. As it grows, the opening hours will be extended. v A longer version of this article can be found at xnmedia.co.uk

Quizzers help Christian Aid

A CHARITY quiz night helped raise much needed funds for Christian Aid. St James’ Church in Finchampstead held a Quizaid event on Saturday, May 10, adding £250.20 to its Christian Aid Week collection.

The teams pitted their wits against each other for six rounds of questions and then had Ploughman’s Suppers before completing another six rounds of questions, all asked by Shirley Moore. The winning team were The Late-comers.

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his month marks an important anniversary for the Reading Churches Men’s Group (RCMG). For 20 years, it has been helping men in the area grow in an understanding of the Christian faith and its relevance to their life and work. Its main events take the form of thrice-yearly Saturday morning breakfast talks, at which an invited guest speaker talks about how Christian values have informed their judgements and shaped their lives. Back in June 1994, the inaugural speaker was Major-General Ian Durie, who recounted his experiences of leading men in the first Iraq War. Since then, a further 65 speakers – from the Archbishop of Canterbury to a member of the Kray gang – have stood up to share their personal stories. The idea was the brainchild of John Ledger, a lay minister at Greyfriars Church. The catalysts were the Thames Valley Alive mission to Reading in 1994 and a personal challenge made to John by Archbishop George Carey the previous year to reach out to specific communities beyond the traditional confines of the Church. John decided to focus on men in society, and set up the RCMG. “I was concerned,” says John, “that in many churches there were groups for women of all ages, but none specifically for men. “There is a whole range of issues which men feel more comfortable discussing with other men. This can range from work and status problems, through to emotional and moral issues, and how to find a balance with family responsibilities. “Also, men who do not attend church may not feel comfortable

going to a meeting on a church site. The RCMG tries to address this by creating a ‘safe place’ where they can air their thoughts and concerns in a neutral venue.” The speakers invited to address the Group are chosen from as wide a range of background and experience as possible. At one end, there are those who provide direct guidance on how working and family life can be better navigated when following the example of Jesus. At the other, there are the inspirational speakers – men from challenging backgrounds or with cynical dispositions – whose minds were turned to God as a result of often alarming and life-threatening, revelatory experiences. What unites them all however has been a clear-eyed, unswerving commitment to God – and an authority to speak which is the more powerful because of the diversity. The men’s background and stories are many and varied – company executives, church and military leaders, aid workers, gambling addicts, criminals, hurricane survivors and bomb victims. Some are charismatic speakers who pace the floor with a microphone and demand questions – some are quiet, modest men who shine with an inner calm. Yet, despite its maleness, the RCMG is not a closed shop. At regular intervals, senior women from public life are invited to speak. In 2007, Baroness Caroline Cox addressed a mixed audience about Christians persecuted in their own countries. Then two years later, Jackie Pullinger – famous for her


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sizzling years! This month an initiative to bring men together celebrates a major birthday. CHRIS CARTER looks back at two decades of the Reading Churches Mens’ Group breakfasts – and invites you to the breakfast beano work with drug addicts in Hong Kong – stunned a 350-strong audience with her courage in spreading Christian beliefs in such intimidating surroundings. And it was a local girl – Olympic silver medallist Debbie Flood – who was the guest of honour at a quiz and supper evening to mark the 2012 London Olympic Games.

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o celebrate the 20th anniversary this year, there will be a male and female speaker at the special breakfast meeting in Greyfriars Church on Saturday, June 14. Lyndon and Celia Bowring, the leaders of Christian Action, Research and Education (CARE) will address the overriding issue of the day – the role and purpose of Christianity in a collapsing culture. With representation in Parliament, the EU and UN, CARE helps bring Christian insight and experience to matters of public policy and practical caring initiatives in areas such as family, marriage and human trafficking. In an increasingly secular world, the divisiveness and confusion inherent in recent legislation and

the mounting numbers of attacks on Christians in the Middle East and Africa, CARE’s mission to demonstrate Christ’s compassion in society is more important than ever. Christians have a critical role to play in bringing their intelligence to bear on countering these threats. The RCMG members – mainly middle-aged and retired men – bring a unique experience and intelligence to the debate. Yet, they recognise that it is equally critical that younger men, more attuned with the dynamics and vocabulary of a modern,

fast-changing world, should be encouraged to help point the way. In its anniversary year, the RCMG is not simply celebrating past achievements. It remains open to the need to refresh and revitalise its efforts – consolidating its wisdom and focus, and seeking ways to adapt the central Christian message so Michael Green speaking in 1994 as to inspire the young men who will become the public figures and decision-makers of the future. As such, it is remaining consistent with John Ledger’s original vision in 1994 – to reach out to men both within and outside the church.

v Join the anniversary breakfast THE 20th anniversary breakfast is held at Greyfriars Church in Reading’s town centre on Saturday, June 14. Starting at 8.15am, the breakfast will welcome guest speakers Lyndon and Celia Bowring, the leaders of Christian Action, Research and Education (CARE). They will address the overriding issue of the day – the role and purpose of Christianity in a collapsing culture.

The tasty breakfast will cost £6 per person, but the number of places available are limited. Bookings can be made by contacting John Broady at 45 Kings Road, Caversham RG4 8DS, or calling him on (0118) 954 3879 or by calling John Ledger on 0118 986 1917, no later than Tuesday, June 10. Cheques should be made to Reading Churches Men’s Group (“RCMG”).

Some of the men at an early breakfast

Organiser John Ledger with a typical breakfast


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royal special

June 2014 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 0118 328 3108

Zara gets horse Who better to open JAC’s new equine assisted learning centre than an Olympic hero? The Wokingham-based charity welcomed Royal visitor Zara Tindall last month and we were there. Words: PHIL CREIGHTON Pictures: LYNDA BOWYER

A Welcome to Our House WORDS & PICTURES: LYNDA BOWYER The Earl and Countess of Wessex officially opened Our House in Wokingham last month. The newly-developed specialist community, therapy and outreach centre has been designed for disabled children and their parents. A 45-minute tour was given to the Royal couple, where they chatted with the building designers, developers, specialist healthcare professionals and therapists, as well as the all-important parents and children themselves. Building For The Future Of Disabled Kids, the over-arching charity which built Our House wants every child to be valued and recognised as important, despite any challenges they may face. The facility comprises sensory areas, soft play provision, therapy and play areas as well social and ‘break-out’ areas for families and children to gather together. Chief Executive Officer Jane Holmes – herself the parent of a disabled child – had the idea of starting up the much-needed community centre back in 2007. Jane said: “What we want to do is

to slowly build up our services. We’re going to have a consultation process with parents and families and see what they want to get out of this provision. Fundraising will always be important as there’s always going be bills to pay, but we hope to be fully ‘up and running’ by the school summer holidays.” The charity’s chairman Mark Ashwell, who runs TradeMark Windows, said of the Royal visit: “It’s good recognition for what we are and what we want to achieve. The Lord Lieutenant’s Office contacted us, which we think is a real privilege, and it set in motion the visit we have today. A lot of companies have clubbed together and offered resources and materials to us.” Unveiling the plaque alongside his wife, His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex said: “It gives me great pleasure to open this building, and I hope it is a wonderful place for children and families to be together.” v For more information about Our House, log on to bftf.org.uk, follow @BFTF_Wokingham or join the Facebook group. v A longer version of this story with more pictures can be found at xnmedia.co.uk

centre that works with young people welcomed a very special guest for its opening ceremony – Zara Tindall. The daughter of the Princess Royal officially opened Rehoboth, a new equestrian centre run by Just Around The Corner (JAC) and based in Forest Road, Wokingham. The packed ceremony took place on Tuesday, May 13. Zara was the perfect guest for JAC to invite: a keen horsewoman, she is a member of the Great Britain Eventing Team and won a Silver Medal at the London 2012 Olympics. During her visit Zara explored the stables, met the horses and toured the facilities which includes an arts and crafts room, a games room and a teaching and learning zone. A gymkhana demonstration was commentated on by horse racing expert Richard Pitman. He also acted as master of ceremonies as Zara unveiled a plaque to mark her visit. The royal visitor also teamed up with JAC’s Sam Milligan to plant a tree in the grounds. Zara wasn’t the only special guest. The ceremony was attended by several mayors: Wokingham Town Mayor Cllr Martin Bishop, Wokingham Borough Mayor Cllr UllaKarin Clark and the then Woodley Town Mayor Cllr Bill Sloane. Bill said: “We are delighted that JAC’s vision and hard work has resulted in the new Rehoboth Centre, which will be a wonderful resource for their continued work.” Cllr Martin Bishop, Wokingham’s Town Mayor, said: “I’m very pleased to be here today. JAC helps young people to build their confidence and it’s a very simple and a very great idea.” Local businesses which have contributed to the centre, including Mark Ashwell from TradeMark Windows, and

church leaders also joined the celebrations. Mark donated windows to Rehoboth’s buildings. He said: “I’ve been involved since the concept really. I promised when they built this they could have the windows. They rung up and said ‘we’re building it, can we have the windows?’ I’m very proud to be part of this project.” The Rehoboth Centre will provide a focal point for JAC’s work with young people in the area. It will enable youngsters to take part in an equine assisted learning programme that will boost skills and self-confidence through working with horses. Other facilities on site include a games room offering table tennis and table football, as well as an arts and crafts centre. JAC also hopes to welcome corporate team building events which will help fund the new venture. Building Rehoboth has been a massive undertaking, both financially and with volunteer manpower. JAC’s director Sam Milligan revealed that the charity is looking for donations so that the charity’s work among young people can continue. “We’ve taken money out of the reserves which we have to give back. We’re probably looking at [needing] £25,000-£30,000 but we’re confident that we will get there and push on.” Sam welcomes your donations, “on a regular basis or a monthly basis or a one-off basis”. You can now donate by texting JATC11 followed by the amount you wish to donate then sending your text to 70070 (Maximum donation of £10 per text and up to £30 a month). All texts are free of charge and every penny of your donation goes to JAC. v For more details, log on to jacoutreach.org, search for JAC Stables on Facebook or call 0118 944 1444.


royal special

To advertise call 0118 328 3108

| www.xnmedia.co.uk | June 2014

centre off to a flying start

watch not one but two BRILLIANT video reports from the day at xnmedia.co.uk

twitter: @ellbphotography tel: 0118 384 2129 web: www.lyndabowyerphotography.com

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20

news

June 2014 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 0118 328 3108

Vineyard is ready to grow into new home BY VIVIENNE JOHNSON MEMBERS of a Reading church have waited a long time to hold a meeting in their own building. Network Vineyard Church, Reading (NVC) started in 1994 when the Revds Rob and Sarah Gardiner moved to Reading from London. It is a multisite church with congregations in Reading and Bracknell and is affiliated to the Vineyard movement of churches. It has met in many locations over the years, the last one being a sports hall in Woodley. Now it has its own base. The move to Woodley Hill House was described by Pastor Rob Gardiner as “an absolute gift from God”. “We’ve been on this journey looking for a building for quite a few years,” he explained. “When you do that you realise there just aren’t that many suitable buildings around, particularly in Reading. “The three big things that you want are parking, planning and

Woodley Hill House in Earley is the new home for Network Vineyard Church –its first permanent base since it came to Reading in 1994 PICTURES: Vivienne Johnson

location and they are really hard to get all in one venue. It just so happens that Woodley Hill House has all of those. “It’s already D1 as it’s an educational establishment. It has parking and it’s smack bang in the middle of the area that we have been meeting as a church

for the last three years.” NVC was able to buy such a beautiful building thanks to kind-hearted giving by its church members. “We haven’t had any outside funding at all,” said Rob. “It’s people digging deep, going without holidays, selling stuff, being sacrificial in their giving. Sowing into the vision of what a building could unleash in extra ministry.’ Network Vineyard has a large vision for their new building. It already houses the church offices but the intention is that it will be used all the time. “The idea is to work in tandem with church use,” said Rob. “We will then be using the building as a community building throughout the week for the

benefit of the community.” If you are interested in having a first-hand look at Woodley Hill House you will be made welcome. “Dress is always casual,” said Rob of their Sunday meetings. “We play a contemporary style of music and there is a large degree of informality. We try to break down barriers, you don’t have to dress up specially and you can have a coffee and a doughnut.” v Network Vineyard Church Reading is now found at Woodley Hill House, Eastcourt Avenue, Earley, Reading, RG6 1HH. Meetings take place at 9.30am and 11.30am on Sundays. For more details, call 0118 966 2007, email info@readingvineyard. org.uk or log on to its website, www.networkvineyard.org.uk.

Sean to ride into Sindlesham

A BIKER is looking forward to riding into Sindlesham later this month. The village Baptist Church will welcome Sean Stillman (pictured) for a special evening with the famous motorcyle rider. Sean is a regular at the Reading Bikers’ Toy Run in December and has appeared on TV. He will visit Sindlesham on Monday, June 23. Then on Saturday, June 28, the church will host a special World Cup family afternoon. The church’s pastor, the Revd Calvin Julian-Jones, said: “In July we are running a photography competition with an awards event on Sunday July 20.

“We are hosting a Golf tournament at Dinton Pastures followed by a prize giving event and tea on Saturday, August 30.” Everyone is welcome. Calvin added: “We’re inviting folk along to a special weekend in September when we have Eric Delve speaking at a guest service at 10.30am on Sunday, September 14. “We are also having a dinner at a local restaurant on the Saturday when Eric will be the after dinner speaker.” v For more details, visit sindleshambaptistchurch.com


news

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FAMILY CIRCLE

| www.xnmedia.co.uk | June 2014

21

Keeping you in touch with each other

Baker, milkman & minister BY PHIL CREIGHTON A Baker who was once a milkman is now a minister. Woodley Baptist church welcomed the Revd Andy Baker as its new minister at a special service held on the afternoon of Saturday May 17. A packed church heard how Mr Baker had been called by the leadership team to the town. He was previously minister of Downton Baptist Church near Salisbury, a post he held for 23 years. The service was introduced by church elder Jez Cooper and featured greetings and welcomes from Woodley’s new town mayor Cllr Brian Franklin, who had only just been installed on Thursday evening. The Revd Sean Riordan from Emmanuel

v Singing praises

Church in Southlake Crescent led welcomes from local churches, emphasising a desire from them to continue working together. Greetings from neighbouring Baptist Churches were given by the Revd Judith Wheatley, from Anderson Baptist Church in Earley.

There were also greetings from a member of Downton Baptist and Carol Runnalls, representing Emanuel Baptist Church in Romania. Before becoming a minister, Andy worked in retail management and as a milkman.

watch our video news report & learn more about the vision for woodley baptist at xnmedia.co.uk

A Songs of Praise service held at St George’s Church, Tilehurst on May 18 was much enjoyed. June Hardcastle, LLM from the church, said: “We sang hymns old and new. Adam, our vicar, enhanced the occasion with his interesting commentary on the hymns, helping us to understand the background to words and tunes. “Paul, our fabulous organist, uplifted us with his skilful playing. “Afterwards, homemade cakes and chat rounded off a memorable afternoon.”

v Singing together Churches Together in Tilehurst and West Reading are planning an open air Songs of Praise in Victoria Park (on the corner of Kentwood Hill and Armour Road) on Sunday June 22 at 5pm. It will be led by Michael Penny, Chair of Churches Together in Reading with music by Reading West Salvation Army Band. If wet, it will the event will be held at Tilehurst United Reformed Church in Armour Road. Guests should bring a blanket or chair to sit on.

v

Christians from churches across Wokingham gathered together to celebrate their unity at a special service. St Paul’s in Reading Road, Wokingham, was the venue for the service on Sunday, May 11, which also focused on the work of Christian Aid Week. The address was given by the

Revd Richard Lamey, priestin-charge of St Paul’s. He said: “Churches Together in Wokingham are called to be active groups of people who make a difference and bring a sense of unity, cohesiveness and togetherness.” Afterwards, refreshments were served and an AGM for Churches Together Wokingham followed.

 ee highlights s at xnmedia.co.uk

v

BELL ringers from Tilehurst marked a centurion with a special performance. Jo Druce, the Tower Captain of St Michael’s Church, marked her 100th peal with a rendition of the 5088 Tilehurst Surprise Major. Over the years Jo has rung peals in many towers, 22 of which have been rung at Tilehurst with her first on 30 September 1975. As this was to be her

100th she wanted it to be rung at Tilehurst. The Tilehurst Surprise Major was performed from 3pm on Sunday, May 11. Rosa Bardwell, from St Michael’s, said: “It’s quite an achievement in itself on the Tilehurst bells as they are not the easiest to ring, especially for a long time.” Jo has been Tower Captain for 26 years and dedicated the peal to all Tilehurst Ringers, past and present.

v Chaplain moves on Tonia Gillett is moving on from her role as Chaplain to Reading’s House of Fraser store.

v All change at Newbold College Dr John Baildam will become the new principal of Newbold College of Higher Education in Binfield this month, taking over from Dr Philip Brown. He was previously Director of Academic Affairs and Deputy Principal.


22

classified

June 2014 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 0118 328 3108

Trades directory

House & home

BRINGING COMMUNIT Y TOGETHER To advertise call 0118 328 3108

All Trade Directory adverts receive a FREE advert on the Xn website.

v Electrical

BURDEN Electrical

Domestic & Commercial & Maintenance

• Full/Part Rewires • Security Lights • Fuse Board Upgrades • Maintenance Contracts • Landlords Certificates

Reading based reliable and friendly service for all your electrical needs. FREE estimates, no Job too small!

• Refurbishments • Test & Inspections • New Builds • Alterations • Extensions

For more information or a quote call Lee NOW on Mob: 0788 411 5707 or Tel: 0118 941 3187 www.burdenelectrical.co.uk enquiries@burdenelectrical.co.uk

v Fitted bedrooms Andrew Laker – The Cabinetmaker. We specialise in made to measure wardrobes. Choice of many different designs and finishes. We are cheaper than larger bedroom installers. www. andrewlaker.co.uk 0118 948 2021

v Gardens New Leaf Gardening. Looking for a gardener? 25 years Horticultural Experience, Hedge Cutting, Lawn Care, Fencing, Planting, Pruning, Gutters Cleared, Odd Jobs Considered, No job too small. Fully Insured, Call Mark on 07944 290837

v Painting & decorating Superior Decor. Interior and exterior decorating. “A professional job at a realistic price”. For a free quote call Mick on freephone 0800 084 2501. Reading and South East covered. www.fine-painters-and-decorators.co.uk Email: info@fine-painters-anddecorators.co.uk

v Plumbing Patterson Plumbers. Bathroom installations, heating installations, plumbing repairs, free quotes, no job too small, over 60’s discount. Professional, reliable & honest. www.pattersonplumbers. co.uk 07921 572652 info@ pattersonplumbers.co.uk.

To advertise email richard@xnmedia.co.uk

Remember! Tell advertisers that you saw their ad in Xn v Alarms

BERKSHIRE HOME ALARMS

Colman and Co. Building Solutions. All aspects of building work undertaken: • Kitchens / Bathrooms • Loft Conversions / Extensions • Free Estimates and Planning www.colmanandco.com Telephone Darren on 07799 613892.

v Property services Chambers Property Services. Offering a wide range of building services including electrics, decorating, general repairs and renovations. Quality work, professional & value for money. Free quotes. www.chamberselectricalservices.co.uk 07760122129 chambersrg10@gmail. com

Advertise in our trade directory We’re a brilliant way to promote your business to thousands of readers every month. To advertise, call Richard on 0118 328 3108 email richard@xnmedia.co.uk

M & J Plastering. 25 years experience. All types of plastering undertaken. Repairs & Re-skim Experts. No job too small. For free advice and quote call Mark on 0777 550 9955 or 0777 082 9683 Mention Xn & 5% of total order goes to YeLDALl manor

v Window cleaning

domestic alarm specialist

repairs-upgrades-servicing-Advice

v Building solutions

v Plastering

Just good old fashioned personal service

0118 9507213

12 gordon place, reading

STANDARD AND BAPTIST WINDOW CLEANING. Windows, Frames, uPVC, Solar Panels, Conservatories, Conservatory Rooves. A one off or regular, town and country service for 20 Miles around Reading. (0118) 954 7238 paul@standardandbaptist.co.uk

v Carpets callaghan carpets and flooring. Home pattern service from a reliable family company. Carpets, vinyls & commercial flooring 40 years’ experience. www. callaghanflooringandcarpets.co.uk or (0118) 962 8527. Mention Xn & 5% of total order goes to YeLDALl manor

v Carpet cleaning Professional Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning. Trained and fully insured. Free, no obligation estimates. A.G Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning (0118) 3779149 or visit www.agcarpetandupholstery.co.uk Member of Trading Standards Buy with Confidence scheme www. buywithconfidence.gov.uk Mention Xn and 5% of total order goes to GREAT ORMOND STREET HOSPITAL

Creative & craft v Marketing Creative thinker inspires results. • Award winning copywriting • Business development • Creative network • Mentoring Contact Hyperbole. 0118 966 6600. john@hyperbole.co.uk

v Resources Faith in the Community (Wokingham) – helping Christians work together to transform their local communities. Phone Sharon Elliott 07843 091950


classified

To advertise call 0118 328 3108

Services

Financial

Life events

v Picture framing

v Chartered Accountants

v Funeral directors A.B. Walker & Son – Berkshire’s leading family funeral and masonry service. www.abwalker.co.uk

frame direct ltd • Picture framing • Canvas stretching • Memorabilia framed – medals, handbags, football shirts etc • Extensive range of more than 1000 top quality mouldings to choose from • 10% discount if you quote Xn at time of ordering framing 25 High Street, Theale, RG7 5AH Email: phil@framedirect.co.uk Tel: 0118 930 2100 www.framedirect.co.uk

v Computer services Super IT. Computer repairs and maintenance. IT support for the home and office. Days, evenings, weekends. Reading and surrounding areas. Call Jason 07879 476 399 or 0118 967 7378. www.computer-repair-in-reading.com Email: support@computer-repair-inreading.com

Accountancy and tax for • Businesses, partnerships and companies • Individuals • Charities (Independent Examiner), • Ministers of Religion Please contact Simon Porter, Chartered Accountant, on simon@porter-co.com or 0118 9478158. www.porter-co.com

| www.xnmedia.co.uk | June 2014

v Counselling Philippi Trust Counselling and Training. Level 2 Introduction to Counselling courses. Starting dates June 2014Contact 0118 966 7422 or reading@philippi.co.uk

Advertising works!

“Our recent advert has been of great help over the last six months and therefore I’d like to renew for 2014 – We have been blessed with a church project, installing a corner kitchen area for a café project in Southcote.” Colman & Co – Trade Directory advertisers

Advertise in our trade directory We’re a brilliant way to promote your business to thousands of readers every month. To advertise in our trade directory, call Richard on 0118 328 3108 email richard@xnmedia.co.uk, or use this form

Trade directory Write your advert in the box below, one word per box. Use another sheet if necessary.

Music v Help wanted Guitarist seeks female vocalist for acoustic duo. Should have dedication and be willing to sing old jazz, pop and original songs. Please contact Andy, telephone 0118 947 1413.

v Piano tuning Piano Tuning Specialist. Member of Pianoforte Tuners Association, City & Guilds Part 1 & 2, Family trade for over 110 years. Contact: Mr S Benham, 0118 969 3729

v Piano accompaniment EXPERIENCED PIANO ACCOMPANIST available for music exams and recitals. Judith Creighton www.judithcreighton. co.uk or 07957 193366.

6 MONTHS for just £75! To advertise call 0118 328 3108

23

Category for advert: Your name: Phone number: Address:

Email:

Send your completed form, along with a cheque for £75 payable to Xn Media Ltd to: Trades Directory, Xn Media, Crown House, 231 King’s Road, Reading RG1 4LS Adverts will appear for 6 months. Standard terms apply. No firearms or pets.


24

puzzles

June 2014 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 0118 328 3108

BREAK TIME

Pit your wits against our brainteasers

Codeword

Kakuro

Numbers are substituted for letters in the crossword grid. Below is the key with two letters solved. Try to complete the first few words to give you more letters, or look for a frequent number that might reveal a common letter. As you find letters, enter them in the key and into the grid. Cross off the letters in the A to Z list.

Place 1 to 9 in each white cell. To choose the right number you need to work from the clues in around the edge. The numbers below the diagonal lines are the sums of the solutions in the white cells immediately beneath. The numbers above the divide are the sums of the solutions immediately to the right. Rows and columns do NOT have to be unique. Thus, if a 3 is shown as a clue there will be two cells waiting for you to put the digits 1 and 2 in them – the only possible sum that will equal 3. The final rule is that no number may be repeated in any block. For example, if the clue is 4, the only possible solution will be 1 and 3 (or 3 and 1), never 2 and 2.

Are you stuck?

STR8TS

Sudoku

Medium

9

7

1

8

5 5

7 9

6 5 1 3 2 3

7 6

6

3 2 9 6 4

How to beat Str8ts – Like Sudoku, no single number 1 to 9 can repeat in any row or column. But... rows and columns are divided by black squares into compartments. 2 1 4 Each compartment must form a straight 6 4 5 a set of numbers with no gaps but it can be 4 5 in any order, eg [7,6,9,8]. Clues in black cells 4 3 6 2 remove that number as an option in that row and column, and are not part of any straight. 3 5 2 1 Glance at the solution to see how ‘straights’ 2 1 3 are formed.

© 2011 Syndicated Puzzles, Inc.

9

Medium

2 8 4 8 1 9 5 4 3 5 6 2 4 5 1 2 7 9 5 1 4 3 1 5 3 2 2 1 1 5 4

© 2011 Syndicated Puzzles, Inc.

Str8ts

SUDOKU

The answers are on p34

To complete Sudoku, fill the board by entering numbers 1 to 9 such that each row, column and 3x3 box contains every number uniquely. For many strategies, hints and tips, visit www.sudokuwiki.org for Sudoku and www.str8ts.com for Str8ts. If you like Str8ts and other puzzles, check out our books, iPhone/iPad Apps and much more on our store.

en “Xn Magazine has be ers a real hit with custom rtise & staff alike. To adve in a publication that rt writes for and is a pa a of the community is our great ethos and fit to business.” Daniel Carr rs Warings Master Bake

hard To advertise call Ric or email : on 0118 328 3108 .uk richard@xnmedia .co


recruitment

To advertise call 0118 328 3108

25

| www.xnmedia.co.uk | June 2014

Situations vacant Be part of the Xn story Deliveries: central Reading, Oxford Road, Henley

Youth Worker Intern Position 20 to 37 hours a week (part-time or full -time) (to include some evening & weekend work) Accommodation, food and allowance provided

Volunteers needed to help us share our Good News

Every month, Xn strives to bring the Thames Valley an inspiring and encouraging mix of news and information. We need your help to get the magazine into the community

Are you interested in Youth Work within a Christian environment? Anderson Baptist Church have an exciting opportunity for the right person to explore their calling, develop their skills and put their faith into action. The position of Intern at Anderson Baptist Church would include:

If you could spare a couple of hours once a month to help us deliver copies to a small cluster of venues it will help us to tell even more good news stories.

For details, email judith@xnmedia.co.uk

Correspondents needed We want to expand our good news – but we need your help. Help us to share news from your church, community group, club or choir. We are looking for volunteers to help us source interesting and inspiring stories for our magazine and website. No experience necessary: just enthusiasm.

• 11 months to grow, be challenged and equipped • Training with Oxford CYM (Centre for Youth Ministry) • Church youth work • Scouting, camps & outreach. The person we are looking for will have: • Faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. • Have a passion for young people • Experience of helping young people explore Christian faith. • Experience of organising youth activities. • Be able to work both independently and within a team

For details, email editor@xnmedia.co.uk

If you would like further information about the role or for an application pack please contact Judith Wheatley on 0118 3761079 email: judith.wheatley1@gmail.com Closing date: Friday 28th June 2014 Interviews: Saturday 5th July 2014

AndersonBaptist.indd 1

20/05/2014 10:53:27

Information event for unpaid carers Thursday June 12 @ 10am - 4pm St Laurence’s Church, Friar Street, Reading, RG1 1DA Find out about Benefits, Carers’ Assessments, Healthy Eating and Assistive Technology. Get a free health check and browse information stands. Lunch and refreshments provided. Programme: 10.45am DWP offer to carers 11.05am Working Together for Better Health and Care Services 1pm Are You Getting your Five a Day? 1.25pm How Technology Can Help Around the Home

Call 0800 988 5462 for further information or to book www.berkshirecarers.org Berkshire Carers Service.indd 1

23/05/2014 16:41:11


26

LETTERS/news

June 2014 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 0118 328 3108

YOUR SAY

v You’re invited to Shakespeare’s party

Send your letters to editor@xnmedia.co.uk

v Foodbank usage figures are a nonsense

v

I read with considerable dismay the article by John Howell MP, (Xn, May 2014). It is always unhelpful when politicians make unsubstantiated or erroneous statements which could mislead the public. Let’s start with his statement that “It is worth recalling that the use of foodbanks increased tenfold under the last Labour Government” Now, it may be that Mr Howell genuinely believes this. Perhaps his advisors have misinformed him. But how can one recall something that isn’t true? Where does he get his figures from? As Director of ReadiFood, Reading’s Food Bank I can assure your readers that as far as Reading is concerned that is nonsense and a complete fantasy. When I became Director back in 2006 we were doing less than 10 parcels per week. By 2010 we had still only reached the heady heights of 17 parcels per week. In the course of 2012, under the Conservative Government, we shot from 35 to just under 100 per week. We see this as having been

primarily caused by the ending of the Crisis Loan. Then we come to the classic politician’s re-interpretation of reality. Mr Howell states, “It was this Government after all which freed up Job Centre Plus to refer people to foodbanks in the first place.” They weren’t “freed up” at all. The Government put an end to Crisis Loans which meant that Job Centres, Social Services and Children’s Services had nowhere else to turn but to food banks. They therefore started referring people to us of their own accord. The so-called “freeing up” was actually a caving in to the inevitable so as not quite to look so much like the bad guys! There is much to be applauded in the Benefits changes, but as ever it is the poor and marginalised who get hit hardest. We will continue to support those in need and partner with the local authority and local agencies in trying to support a failing system. Malcolm Peirce Director, ReadiFood

After a sold-out spring concert, a dynamic young music director is gearing up to present a special birthday party later this month,. Benjamin Goodson will direct the Henley Choral Society for its Shakespeare & Summer Songs concert, which celebrates the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s baptism and probable birth. It will be held on Saturday, June 14 at Christ Church URC, Reading Road in Henley on Thames. Starting at 7.30pm, the concert includes Vaughan

Williams’s Serenade to Music, Finzi Shakespeare songs, George Shearing’s Shakespeare songs, part songs and madrigals. The concert also provides the opportunity to experience the exceptional talent of Henley Choral Society’s regular accompanist, David Smith. Tickets cost £15, or £10 for under 18s and can be bought by calling Jan French on 01491 572795 or visiting Gorvett & Stone, 21 Duke Street, Henley. v For more information see www. henleychoralsociety.org.uk.

Philippa wants you to get Real

Join the conversation Follow us online for the latest news

SINGER-songwriter Philippa Hanna is preparing to visit Bracknell for a women’s conference. The popular artist will be sharing her music and her story at REAL, which comes to the Kerith Centre from Friday, June 27 to Saturday, June 28. Also speaking will be Shauna Niequist from Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago and

Facebook: Xnmedia Twitter: @Xnmedia

v

On May 13, on our Facebook page we posted a picture of Zara Tindall holding a copy of Xn. Amanda Bayley said: “As read by royalty. Nice!” On Sunday, May 17, as editor Phil prepared for his BBC Radio Berkshire slot, he saw The Sooty Show. He tweeted: “@ThePaulDaniels @ thedebbiemcgee we saw you getting clocked by a flying pizza this morning! Made us giggle, Sooty always does.” Debbie said: “It was good fun”. Paul said: “Blimey, that was a long time ago.” We made a video news report for the start of Fostering Fortnight with Cllr Jan Gavin @cllrJanGavin. She tweeted: “thanx for supporting our campaign to recruit more foster carers.” News that Phil was nominated for a Pride of Reading award was broken by @hilarymscott: “Popular nomination! Give him a sausage! @phil_creighton @xnmedia ed nominated by many for community champ in #PORawards #rdg”

v

v v

Kerith’s Catrina Benham. It starts at 6.30pm on the Friday and continues all day on Saturday. Tickets cost £32 with concessions available. Last year more than 400 women came along and this year organisers are hoping for more. v For more details, log on to www. kerith.co.uk.

v Maestros and Morris dancers at fun fair v Five star clover ONE of Xn’s younger readers made an usual discovery during May – a five leaf clover. Philip Zischa wrote: “I have found a five leaf clover (one of them is behind a leaf). I think it would be really cool if it was in your mag. “We found it in my mum’s home town in Wiltshire.” Have any of you found a six-leaf clover or anything else? Do write in and let us know.

CAVERSHAM Court Gardens will be full of the sounds of summer as a traditional English fete returns. Taking place on Saturday, July 12, the event will feature a range of fun activities including performances by the Berkshire Maestros, Hurst Morris People and favourite stalls including Hook A Duck, Hoopla and a coconut shy. It is organised by members of St Peter’s Church in Caversham and St Margaret’s Church in Mapledurham. Steve Jenkins, spokesperson for the churches, said: “We can

guarantee you a wonderful afternoon exploring many side stalls or trying your skill at traditional sideshows. “Why not buy a ticket for the Grand Draw? The top prizes include a Kindle Fire, a Barrett Photography portrait pack and four rounds of golf at Caversham Heath Golf Club.” “It all starts at 1.45pm with the ringing of St Peter’s bells and we hope you will have lots of fun while helping us to raise money to support our Parish’s work both at home and abroad.”


sport

Churches Football League

Log on to tvcfl.footify.com or Twitter @TVCFL

One game will decide league title Leading 2-0 at half time, Albion blew Finchampstead away in the second half, scoring six further n an extraordinary goals. demonstration of TVCFL However, wanting to win values, May saw Tilehurst the league outright in the right Albion turn down the manner, Albion rescheduled their opportunity to become 2013/14 fixture against Kerith FC which league champions and by doing meant the rearranged fixture so giving a lifeline to rivals against Brookside Saint Laurence Brookside Saint Laurence. carried as much importance as the Both sides had been due to play cup final itself. each other at the end of April It was played on Saturday, May in what was shaping up to be a 17, a week after Albion beat them championship decider, but after in the Philmar Cup Final. weeks of dry weather, a relentless Having learnt from their downpour on the Friday before the mistakes the week before, match saw the pitch waterlogged BSL dominated the first half and the game postponed. and went into half time with a Albion then picked up 1-0 lead thanks to a Jonny Hare maximum points against West header. Reading Reserves and Kerith FC Albion, only needing a draw when both teams had to forfeit to win the league, came out with their fixtures. more purpose and determination And when Bethel United in the second half but found and Brookside Saint Laurence themselves up against an inspired (BSL) drew 3-3 in a pulsating David Phillips in goal for BSL who game in early May, Albion only pulled off a series of spectacular had to secure a victory against saves. Finchampstead to win the league. BSL continued to cause a threat on the counter-attack and found themselves 2-0 up as Ben William Day Kerith FC 26 Blackledge rose above the Albion Jamie Carstairs West Reading 24 defence to score a firm header. Jake Nicholls Tilehurst Albion 18 Albion continued to press James Hern Greyfriars FC 17 forward and were rewarded after Courtenay Isaacs B’side St Laurence 16 Adam Fay was fouled in George Weeks Norreys 16 the penalty box and player Neil Healy Wycliffe Wanderers 15 manager Michael Herbert pulled James Murdoch West Reading 12 a goal back. However, BSL held Matt Blake Reading Saints 12 on to inflict a first defeat of the Ben Sheppard B’side St Laurence 12 season on Albion. Ian Golbourne Tilehurst Albion 10 Tilehurst Albion now have a Ben Blackledge B’side St Laurence 10 second chance to secure the league title; they must win their last game against P W D L F A W D L F A GD PTS Kerith FC on B’side St Laurence 20 8 0 2 36 17 8 1 1 42 20 41 49 Saturday, May Tilehurst Albion 19 6 2 1 39 8 9 1 0 42 5 68 48 24 – just after this Bethel United 19 6 2 1 21 10 7 0 3 27 15 23 41 issue of Xn has Wycliffe Wanderers 20 7 0 3 27 22 6 2 2 27 12 20 41 gone to press. We’ll have an West Reading 20 6 2 2 34 19 4 1 5 27 28 14 33 Kerith FC 19 5 1 4 27 22 3 2 4 32 22 15 27 update on the Norreys 19 3 1 5 13 19 5 0 5 31 29 -4 25 website as soon Greyfriars FC 20 2 3 5 25 33 4 3 3 18 13 -3 24 as we can. Look out for Reading Saints 19 3 0 7 20 31 2 1 6 16 22 -17 16 Finchampstead Bap’ 20 1 0 9 10 42 1 0 9 12 45 -65 6 a match report W Reading Reserves 19 0 0 10 11 58 0 0 9 7 52 -92 0 in the July Table correct as of May 23, 2014 issue.

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27

The Royals’ Prince

At Reading FC with Steve Prince

Highs & lows

BY JAMES HERN & Chris Barltrop

I

top SCORERS

league TABLE

T

he last Saturday of the Championship football season had all the usual twists and turns but this time it was the Royals who finally lost out in the race for the play-offs. A last-minute goal for Brighton at Nottingham Forest means another season in the Championship for Nigel Adkins team. Although we seemed to be hitting momentum and form at exactly the right time, an earlier sequence of poor home results finally caught up with us. Even Brighton’s euphoria soon evaporated as they lost to Derby in the play-off semi-final. We say goodbye to some great servants of Reading Football Club. Jobi McAnuff, Mikele Leigertwood, Kaspars Gorkss and Stuart Taylor are all leaving and there is the usual media speculation about other players. Nigel will finally establish his own team and it’s likely that several of our younger players will break through into the first team squad. As I have mentioned before, our U21 and Academy teams have had outstanding seasons and the future looks bright with so many great young players being nurtured at the club. It’s non-stop football this summer with the World Cup in Brazil not far away. It could be that without the usual unrealistic expectations on them, the England team may just have a better tournament than many think.

Exciting & excellent I went along to watch my church team play in the Thames Valley Churches League Cup Final in Binfield. Brookside St Lawrence lost to a Tilehurst Albion team who were playing with some very good players. It was an exciting game and the quality of football was excellent. Congratulations to Tilehurst on a hard fought win! Football fans deal with very sudden changes of fortunes and circumstances. Imagine the exhilaration of the Hull City fans to find themselves 2-0 up in the FA Cup Final, only to eventually lose 3-2. What about Brighton fans? One minute celebrating getting into the play-offs and just over a week later to tasting defeat and the loss of their manager? Life can be exactly like this roller coaster with its highs and lows. While we live for the successes and the highs, the reality is that most of life throws up its challenges, pressures and pain. This is why it’s so important to discover what contributes to on-going security and inner peace. Everything else is then a pleasant bonus. For me relationships with friends who love and accept me (especially in times of trouble!) are important. They help me keep a sense of perspective and remind me that God’s promises to me are ultimately reliable and provide a real foundation for me to live from. Football isn’t the best way to discover an inner calmness but it does help bring some excitement and fun – through the highs and lows, even though they can change so quickly!

Come on URZ!!

Steve Prince is Reading FC Chaplain AND THE Pastor of Brookside Church


28

food

June 2014 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 0118 328 3108

ADVANCE NUTRITION

 ptimising health , vitality & wellness with Christine Bailey, O nutritionist, chef and food/health consultant

v Nourishing the sick: transforming hospital café food Nutritionist Christine Bailey explains how individuals can support a project to revolutionise hospital café food through the launch of the first healthy, Gluten Free, Paleo Friendly Café

O

besity is a publichealth crisis crippling the NHS. Despite this, every day, in hospitals across the country, trolley rounds, High Street fastfood franchises, canteens and vending machines offer a dazzling array of junk food, sweet drinks and sugary snacks for patients, staff and visitors to gorge on. We are all aware that the NHS is facing a funding crisis and that this is compounded by a growth in chronic conditions including obesity, diabetes and dementia. It is predicted that 55% of adults will be obese by 2020. Obesity and overweight already cost the NHS £5 billion every year.

Surely hospitals should be setting an educational example promoting healthy eating and positive behaviours to patients and staff? How can it be that a patient recovering from heart surgery can buy a double burger with cheese and French fries on their way to a cardiology appointment? It’s not just the patients that are affected. It’s worth noting that 50 per cent of NHS staff are overweight – not surprising if they are surrounded by fast food cafés on site. The working environment for staff is particularly unhealthy, with many working longer than their allotted hours under stressful circumstances with little support in terms

v Avocado and Coconut Mint Ice Cream A delicious dairy free ice cream that’s ideal for the summer weather. 2 cans full-fat coconut milk Handful of fresh mint leaves 100g honey or coconut syrup 2 ripe avocados ½ tsp green superfood powder, optional 60g unsweetened cacao nibs or dairy free chocolate chips Place the coconut milk, mint leaves, honey, avocados and superfood powder in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Churn and freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately or store in the freezer in a plastic container. Will keep for 3 months in the freezer. of physical and mental health. This would make it even more crucial they can access healthy, nourishing food to keep them focused and energised through their shifts. Hospitals have a unique opportunity to promote

How do you plan to stay healthy as you age? Everyone feels the effects of ageing and many of us worry about age-related diseases common in our families, but studies show that the way you age is determined by your diet and lifestyle far more than the genes you have inherited. In their new book Eat to GEt YounGEr, award-winning nutritionists Lorraine Nicolle and Christine Bailey lift the lid on the drug-free secrets to staying strong, slim, happy, energised, and pain-free into your middle- and later-years. Featuring more than 100 recipes designed to reduce pain, lower cholesterol, ease the menopause, lose weight, improve your skin, and reduce the risk of age-related conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

“It’s great to find a book packed full of sensible advice” Janey Lee Grace Eat to GEt YounGEr by Lorraine Nicolle and Christine Bailey Published by Singing Dragon, £14.99, ISBN: 9781848191792

v You can find similar recipes in Christine’s new book Eat to Get Younger. It can be ordered from local bookshops, Amazon or her website www.advancenutrition.co.uk

healthy eating to those most in need. They often have a small window available when they have patients in their care. This is the time to nourish them with healing healthy food and in addition cater for the many people with allergies or special diets. The Royal College of Physicians and The Department of Health recommend increasing the availability of healthy food in the workplace – yet hospitals continue to serve junk food. Efforts to resolve this are now underway but support by individuals is desperately needed. A team of Doctors headed by Dr Tom Kelley and myself are proposing to open the first ever Healthy Eating Gluten Free, Paleo Friendly Café in an NHS Hospital. I met Tom through a healthy hospital initiative at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and a partnership to make a lasting change to hospital food was born. Offering an array of performance focused drinks and foods the aim is to raise

sufficient money to open in an NHS Hospital later in 2014. This unique business venture known as The Health Kitchen is raising money via KICKSTARTER (www.kickstarter.com) and is asking as many people as possible to contribute funds to make this a reality. Only through individuals supporting this project will this venture turn into a reality. The food served will be available to staff, patients and visitors and will include delicious healthy options – all will be gluten free with many paleo options available. Whether you fancy an anti-inflammatory smoothie, paleo muffin, kale crisps or something more substantial such as Mediterranean chicken bowl, Superfood kale salad or Teriyaki Salmon this food will be designed to nourish and energise your body. v Visit www.kickstarter.com or contact Christine via www. advancenutrition.co.uk for further information. v Twitter: @ukhealthkitchen


leisure

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| www.xnmedia.co.uk | June 2014

29

grooming

A barber fit for a King King’s Road in Reading welcomed a new business last month when 58 Barber Shop opened at – you guessed it – 58 King’s Road. Barber Chris Hornby, 32, is a Reading man born and bred and was an on-location stylist in the highly acclaimed film The King’s Speech. Now he’s in King’s Road, ready to welcome you. 58 Barber Shop is something different; something unique, with services ranging from a straightforward buzz cut to a beard shape, a shampoo and haircut right up to the “full works” – a haircut and shave. Facial treatments are also on offer and Chris prides himself on offering an extra special wedding service for the Groom and up to five of his friends which includes a haircut, hot towel shave or a hot towel facial – plus a champagne breakfast. v For more details, log on to www.58barbershop. co.uk, visit www.facebook.com/58barbershop or find the company on Twitter at @58barbershop. v A longer version of this article is on our website WORDS & PICTURES: LYNDA BOWYER

beauty

Get the high class look without the price tag BY VIVIENNE JOHNSON PICTURES: LYNDA BOWYER An award-winning hairdressing company has partnered with Reading College’s Hairdressing and Beauty Department to create Francesco’s the Graduate Salon. It has the look and feel of a high class, high street salon with its big, modern space. Situated in Reading College on King’s Road, Reading, members of the public can book an appointment and take advantage of full hairdressing and beauty treatments. “The Graduate Salon is the commercial part of the training salons,” said Alison Smith, Salon Manager at the College. “All of our students are trained in the Francesco Group cutting methodology,” she said. “Francesco Group are the fifth largest franchise hairdressing organisation in the UK. They’re winning all kinds of awards in the industry at the moment. “Basically there isn’t anything that a commercial salon would offer that we don’t.” Level Three student Anna Szlagor is studying Beauty Therapy. “My favourite bit is the facials,” she said. “In the future we hope to do microdermabrasion and electro

facials. That would be great. Microdermabrasion is really popular.” Receptionist and model co-ordinator Janine McCoull said, “Hairdressing and beauty is a passion, it’s not just a job.” Janine is keen to see the Graduate Salon become more widely known around the Reading area. “It’s somewhere people can come not for cheap cuts and colours but for quality haircuts. We do have the knowledge here as part of the Francesco Group partnering with the college.” Enjoying a pedicure was client Shireena Moodley. “I’m enjoying a bit of luxury and will be back for more,” she said. Janine added: “It’s less than half the price of a normal salon and the quality is just as good.” The salon operates a three-tier price system, starting at level one and two then level three and finally graduate level. You can choose if you want a student or a qualified stylist and pay accordingly. It is open five days a week, Tuesday to Saturday with two late nights. v For details, visit the website at www.reading-college.ac.uk/thesalon. v A longer version of this article can be found on our website, xnmedia. co.uk.

Students at the Graduate Salon in Reading College get a grounding in all aspects of running a beauty salon


30

calendar

June 2014 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 0118 328 3108

WHAT’S ON

Keeping you in touch with each other

Submit your events to editor@xnmedia.co.uk

there’s much, much more online!

We’re best for local events

We can’t fit everything into the print edition, so log on to xnmedia.co.uk for more events Tuesday, June 3 EARLEY – St Nicolas Church, Sutcliffe Avenue RG6 7JN. Maintaining Our Mental Wellbeing an evening of talks, resources and tips for those times when we’re feeling stressed, anxious or in a low mood. 7.30pm-9.30pm. Speakers include Trudie Inge from Wokingham Community Mental Health Team and Rachel Wadey, Chaplain at Prospect Park Hospital, Reading. Refreshments provided. Details: 0118 966 9080, office@stnicolas.org.uk FINCHAMPSTEAD – FBC Centre, Gorse Ride North RG40 4ES. Watoto Children’s Choir in concert. Free entry, retiring collection. 7pm. Details: 0118 908 8155 or email: admin@ finchampstead.com.

Wednesday, June 4 FINCHAMPSTEAD – FBC Centre, Gorse Ride North RG40 4ES. Watoto Children’s Choir in concert. Free entry, retiring collection. 7pm. Details: 0118 908 8155 or email: admin@ finchampstead.com. WOKINGHAM – All Saints Church, Wiltshire Road RG40 1UE. Pentecost Festival: Antonio Vivaldi, The Four Seasons. 8pm. £12.50, under 18s £5. Details: www. allsaintschoirwokingham.org.uk. TWYFORD – Loddon Hall. Twyford Folk Music Workshop, 8pm. If you play an acoustic instrument and can read music, call Colin 0118 934 0300.

Thursday, June 5 HENLEY – Badgemore Golf Club. The Filling Station: networking, coffee and cake followed by a guest speaker. 7.30pm-9.30pm. Guest: Father John Chadwick. Details: 07875 203409 or www.fillingstation.org.uk. WOKINGHAM – Market Place. Farmers’ market. 9am-2pm. Details: bgo@ wokingham-tc.gov.uk. WOKINGHAM – All Saints Church, Wiltshire Road RG40 1UE. Pentecost Festival: Lunchtime organ recital. Time TBC. Indian Classical music by Prabhat Rao and friends. 7.30pm. £8, under 18s free. Details: www. allsaintschoirwokingham.org.uk. READING – Bill’s Restaurant, Chain Street. Reading@Work presents: How The Church Can Support Those In The Workplace, a talk by the Rt Revd Andrew Proud, Bishop of Reading. 7.45pm. Free (charge for food and drinks). Details or to book: dave@ readingatwork.org.

Friday, June 6 MIDGHAM – Village Hall. Quiz night with fish n chip supper. £10 per person, teams of six. 7.30pm. Details: 0118 971 3710.

WOKINGHAM – All Saints Church, Wiltshire Road RG40 1UE. Pentecost Festival: Louise Turner in concert. £6. 1.10pm. Martin Simpson with Ace of Saints. 7.30pm. £12, under 18s £6. Details: www. allsaintschoirwokingham.org.uk. Crowthorne – Vineyard Church Centre, 25 Wellington Business Park, Dukes Ride, RG45 6LS. Ladies Coffee Morning at the Vineyard Centre from 10am for coffee and cake. Details: 01344 780087.

Saturday, June 7 BRACKNELL – Kerith Centre, Church Road. K4 charity shop pop-up shop in aid of Kerith’s social justice projects. £1, 50p children. Entertainment and refreshments available. 2pm. Details: www.kerith.co.uk. SANDHURST – Sandhurst & Yateley Methodist Church, Scotland Hill. Plant sale, plus garden advice. 10am-noon. HENLEY – Mill Meadow Bandstand. Music by the river, time TBC READING – St Luke’s, Erleigh Road. Coffee morning with book sale. 11am. Details: www.lukeandbart.org.uk. READING – All Saints Infant School, Downshire Square. Summer fair. 11am-2pm. WHITLEY – St Agnes Church Hall, Northumberland Avenue RG2 8DD. Gardening demonstration: Rosemary Brown’s top tips and plants for baskets, pots. 2pm. WOKINGHAM – All Saints Church, Wiltshire Road RG40 1UE. Pentecost Festival: children’s concert 12.30pm, free entry. Choral Evensong 4pm. Gala Festival concert 7.30pm. £15, under 18s £7. Details: www. allsaintschoirwokingham.org.uk. WOODLEY – Christ Church, Crockhamwell Road. Church ramble, meet in car park 10am. Details: www.christ-churchwoodley.org.uk.

Sunday, June 8 BINFIELD – Newbold School, Popeswood

Road. School fete: talent show, international food, face painting and more. 11.30am-2.30pm. FINCHAMPSTEAD – FBC Centre, Gorse Ride North RG40 4ES. Unity service between Easthampstead and Finchampstead Baptist Churches followed by family barbecue. Bring drinks. From 10.30am. Booking and details: 01344 487744. HENLEY – Mill Meadow Bandstand. Waltham St Lawrence Silver Band, 2pm-4pm. Details: 01491 576982 READING – Forbury Gardens. South Berks Concert Band, 3pm-4.30pm. Details: 0118 937 2771. WOKINGHAM – All Saints Church, Wiltshire Road RG40 1UE. Pentecost Festival: Ace ofSaints lead parish communion. 9.30am. The Rotherhurst String Quartet. 2.30pm, £8, under 18s free. Choral Eucharist with Schubert: Mass In G. 6.30pm. Details: www. allsaintschoirwokingham.org.uk. WOKINGHAM – St Paul’s, Reading Road. Civic service for installation of new Town Mayor. 3pm. Wokingham WITHOUT – St Sebastian’s Church, Nine Mile Ride. 150th Anniversary Celebration service with Bishop Andrew speaking at a special service at 10am. Details: 01344 761050, email: office@stsebastians. org.uk or www.stsebastians.org.uk

Tuesday, June 10 WOKINGHAM – Norreys Church, Norreys Avenue RG40 1UU. 50+ Group meets: Wokingham’s future by Keith Baker. Admission free, refreshments provided. 2.15pm. Details: 0118 977 2457 or www.norreyschurch.org.uk.

Friday June 13 READING – Broad Street. Reading Central Salvation Army Veterans Band. 11am12.30pm. ROTHERFIELD PEPPARD – All Saints’ Church. An evening of Spanish and Latin American inspired music in aid of the Rotherfield Peppard Educational

tune in ON sundayS!

Trust. Free admission. 8pm. WOKINGHAM – 5 Chetwode Close, RG40 2LL. Wokingham Methodist Church presents Traidcraft sale of fairly traded products. Everyone welcome – drop in any time. Coffee and cake on the go all day. Anytime between 9am-9pm. Details: Pam Thompson 0118 978 1756.

Saturday, June 14 ALDERMASTON – The Red House, The Street. Red Garden Party: fancy dress competition (wear red), raffle, lawn games, live music from the Tadley Concert Brass and more. 2pm-5pm. CROWTHORNE – Vineyard Church Centre, 25 Wellington Business Park, Dukes Ride RG45 6LS. Out to Tea, a tea party for the older members of the community. Details: 01344 780087. READING – Greyfriars Church, Friar Street. Christianity in a Collapsing Culture – 20th Anniversary Breakfast of Reading Churches Men’s Group to which everyone is invited. 8.15am. Speakers: Lyndon and Celia Bowring, leaders of CARE (Christian Action, Research & Education). £6. Details and booking: John Ledger, 0118 986 1917 or johnledger@tiscali.co.uk. SWALLOWFIELD – Mead House. Church Fete: miniature railway, Punch and Judy, Magic and more. 2pm-5.15pm. THEALE – Holy Trinity Church. Theale Sings! A day of singing for all ages including music theatre workshop, a masterclass for choristers and more. 10am-5pm, Concert 7.30-9.30pm Details: www.holytrinitytheale.org.uk.

Sunday, June 15

Hear Xn editor Phil Creighton at 8.25am every Sunday on BBC Radio Berkshire Find out what’s happening in the week ahead by switching on Paul Coia’s show on BBC Radio Berkshire every Sunday morning from 7am. Phil presents his pick of the week around 8.25am.

HENLEY – Mill Meadow Bandstand. Roke and Benson Brass Band, 2pm-4pm. Details: 01491 576982. READING – Forbury Gardens. Reading Central Band of the Salvation Army, 3pm – 4.30pm, 0118 937 2771. RUSCOMBE – St James’ Church. Berkshire Recorder Consort 35th Anniversary Concert Sunday. Tickets on the door £6 per adult, £4 concessions. 3pm. Details: www.recorderconsort.co.uk.

Monday, June 16 READING – Zerodegrees, Gun Street. Fundamentalism in Five Dimensions, a talk presented by Prof Martyn Percy, Principal of Ripon College Cuddesdon and recently appointed Dean of Christ Church, Oxford. 7.30pm. Free. All welcome. Details: chaplaincy@reading. ac.uk or 0118 378 8797.

Friday, June 20 HENLEY – Temple Island Meadows. Henley Woman’s Regatta. Continues until Sunday. www.hwr.org.uk EMMBROOK– Emmbrook Sports & Social Club, Lowther Road RG41 1JB. Wokingham Music Club: Blue Touch £7/£10 on the door. Details: Stan Hetherington 07831 130610.

Saturday, June 21 HENLEY – Gillotts School. Henley Kids Fun Triathlon. Details: www.uktriathlon. co.uk/events/henley-kids-triathlon/ HENLEY – Mill Meadow bandstand. Henley Suzuki Violin, 2pm-4pm. Details: 01491 576982. NEWBURY – Methodist Church, Northbrook Street RG14 1AN. Insight Into Navigating The Teenage Years with Ken Shorey from Positive Parenting. 9.30am-12.30pm. Details: colin.glendale@gmail.com or calling 01635 524730. READING – All Saints Church, Downshire Square. Summer fair. 11.30am-2pm. READING – St Laurence Church, Friar Street RG1 1DA. Tamesis Chamber Choir concert: Sumer is icumen in. 7.30pm. £12, £8 concessions. Details: www.tamesischamberchoir.co.uk. SHINFIELD – St Mary’s Church. Organ concert. Time tbc. WOKINGHAM – Billingbear Park Golf Course, The Straight Mile RG40 5SJ. Crowthorne Baptist Church presents the Bill Adams Golf Day: CBCs Annual golf competition. Bacon butty start, nine holes on the Old Course, then lunch and 9 holes on the Short Course. Booking & details: 07794 65215.


CALENDAR WOODLEY – Baptist Church, Hurricane Way, RG5 4UX. 7pm. Charity Summer Concert featuring Woodley Convert Band. Profits to Woodley Pilot Light Trust and Woodley Foodbank, Tickets £5 / £3 under 16s. Details: 0118 969 9956. WOODLEY – Emmanuel Church, Southlake Crescent, RG5 3QW. Kingdom Seekers youth celebration. All welcome. 6.30pm. Details: www. kingdomseekers.co.uk.

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EVERY ISSUE WE PRINT & DISTRIBUTE 16,000 COPIES Xn is a fantastic vehicle to promote any special events, concerts, gatherings or parties you are holding – and with adverts starting at just £25 for local, community groups and charities, it’s great value. For details email advertising@xnmedia. co.uk today

Sunday, June 22 HENLEY – Gillotts School. Henley on Thames triathlon. Details: www. uktriathlon.co.uk/henley HENLEY – Mill Meadow Bandstand. Roy Bailey Band, 2pm- 4pm. READING – Forbury Gardens. Beatroots Batia, 3pm-4.30pm, 0118 937 2771 TILEHURST – Victoria Park, Kentwood Hill and Armour Road. Churches Together in Tilehurst and West Reading open-air Songs of Praise. 5pm. If wet, in Tilehurst United Reformed Church. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on.

Monday, June 23 SINDLESHAM – Sindlesham Baptist Church, Junction of King Street Lane and Bearwood Road, opposite Sindlesham Green. Talk by Sean Stillman. 8pm.

Tuesday, June 24 HENLEY – Christ Church Centre, Reading Road RG9 1AG. Teddy Praise: story and singalong for little ones followed by fish finger sandwiches. Bring a teddy. Free, donations welcomed. 11.30am. Details: www. christchurchhenley.org.uk.

Thursday, June 26 WOODLEY – Christ Church, Crockhamwell Road. Monthly quiz. 2pm. Details: www.christ-church-woodley.org.uk

Wednesday, June 25 EASTHAMPSTEAD – Baptist Church, South Hill Road, RG12 7NS. Messy Church: drinks, snacks, messy fun and a cooked dinner. 3.30pm-6pm. Details: 01344 487744 or ebc-bracknell.org.

Thursday, June 26

HENLEY – Market Place. Farmer’s Market, 8.30am-2pm. Details: 07860 129508. READING – Abbey Baptist Church, Abbey Square (behind Central Library). The Julian Meetings: a time for silent, contemplative prayer. 10am-10.45am. Followed by coffee. All welcome.

Friday, June 27 BRACKNELL – Kerith Centre, Church Road. Real Women’s Conference with guest speakers Shauna Niequist from Willow Creek Community, Chicago and Catrina Benham. Also appearing is singer song-writer Philippa Hanna. Continues Saturday. Details: kerith. co.uk. CAVERSHAM – St Peter’s Church, The Warren, RG4 7AQ. Flower festival. 10am-5.30pm. In aid of church organ appeal. Entry by programme, £2. Details: www.stpetercaversham. org.uk.

Saturday, June 28 BRIMPTON – Village Hall. Family picnic with games. 5pm-8pm. £10 per family, bring your own picnic. BRACKNELL – Kerith Centre, Church Road. Real Women’s Conference with guest speakers Shauna Niequist from Willow Creek Community, Chicago will be joining our very own Catrina Benham. A new speaker to us this year, singer song-writer Philippa Hanna. Details: kerith.co.uk. CAVERSHAM – St Andrew’s Church, Albert Road. Concerts In Caversham presents Summer Baroque with the Caversham Ensemble. £19, £17 concessions, under 16s free. Details: www.concertsincaversham.co.uk or 0118 948 4112. EARLEY – St Peter’s Church. Men’s

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‘Thank you for the excellent publicity you gave the concert in the last edition of Xn. Quite a few people noticed it and came along as a result.’ EVERY ISSUE WE PRINT & DISTRIBUTE 15,000 COPIES Xn is a brilliant way to promote your special events – and with adverts starting at just £25 for local, community groups and charities, it’s great value. For details email advertising@xnmedia.co.uk today

breakfast with guest speaker Jon Newman. 7.45am. Details: 0118 966 8575. EMMER GREEN – St Barnabas Church, St Barnabas Road. Garden party: homemade strawberry cream teas, plant stall and more. 2pm-4pm. LOWER EARLEY – Baptist Church RG6 3HE. Toddler Rocks: A day to encourage and equip toddler group and church leaders to integrate their group into the church’s strategy for mission. 10am-4pm. £25 per person, £80 for four. Details: www. theentheostrust.org READING – Forbury Gardens. Armed Forces Day. Details: 0118 937 2771 or www.reading.gov.uk. READING – Reading Central Salvation Army, Anstey Road. Walking Fellowship. 10am. Walk of no more than 4.5miles. Details: www. readingcentral.org.uk. READING – St Mark’s Church, Cranbury Road. Summer fair. 2pm. READING – Wesley Methodist Church, Queens Road RG1 4BW. Reading Festival Chorus presents an afternoon of British music including Elgar: The Music Makers, Chilcott: Aesop’s Fables. Followed by a picnic at Prudential Gardens, bring your blanket and your favourite al fresco food/tipple. Tickets: £12 Adults £2 Under 16s. Details: 0118 983 4523 or tickets@readingfestivalchorus.org.uk. TWYFORD – Loddon Hall. Twyford Singers summer concert. 7.30pm. Details: www.twyford-singers.org.uk. HENLEY – Mill Meadow Bandstand. Bracknell and Wokingham Community Band. 2pm-4pm. 01491 576982. SHINFIELD – St Mary’s Infant School. Church fete: cakes, cream teas, fun fair, entertainer & more. Noon-3.30pm.

| www.xnmedia.co.uk | June 2014

WARGRAVE – Woodleclyffe Hall. Breaking News with ITN’s Norman Rees. £15, includes supper. 7.30pm. Details: austenrobert@ hotmail.com WOKINGHAM – The Cornerstone, Norreys Avenue RG40 1UE. Barn dance to celebrate 10 years of The Cornerstone. 6pm-10pm, bring and share supper. Music by Random Jig. £10, children £2. Details: 0118 979 2797. SINDLESHAM – Sindlesham Baptist Church, junction of King Street Lane and Bearwood Road. World Cup Family Fun Day from 4pm.

Sunday, June 29 CAVERSHAM – Caversham Heights Methodist Church, Highmoor Road. Pet blessing service. 3pm. READING – Reading Buses depot, Great Knollys Street. Reading Buses open day. 11am-4pm. HENLEY – Market Place, Farmer’s Market, 8-30am to 2pm, 07860 129508 HENLEY – Regatta Course. Henley Classic Swim, 4am, www.henleyswim.com READING – Forbury Gardens. Reading Spring Gardens Band, 3pm – 4.30pm, 0118 937 2771 WOODLEY – Christ Church, Crockhamwell Road. Monthly games afternoon, from after the morning service until 5pm. Bring a packed lunch. Details: www. christ-church-woodley.org.uk

Wednesday, July 2

HENLEY – Regatta Meadows. Henley Royal Regatta, 8am to 7pm. Continues to Sunday. Details: www.hrr.co.uk

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Thursday, July 3 WOKINGHAM – Market Place. Farmers’ market. 9am-2pm. Details: bgo@ wokingham-tc.gov.uk.

Saturday, July 5 CAVERSHAM – St John’s Church, Gosbrook Road RG4 8EB. The MillsTones Dance Band perform the music of the Glenn Miller, Count Basie and Duke Ellington Big Band era. 7.30pm. £10. Dance practice 6pm. Details: 0118 947 5120. CROWTHORNE – Across village. Carnival. HENLEY – Mill Meadows Bandstand. Michelle B, 2pm-4pm. Details: 01491 576982

Sunday, July 6 CAVERSHAM PARK – Milestone Centre. Hymz and Cakes: an hour of favourite hymns with refreshments. Requests welcome. 3.30pm. All welcome. Details: 0118 947 5152. READING – Reading Minster Church, St Mary’s Butts. Commemoration Service for the First World War, organised by the Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire. Time TBC. Details: 0118 937 2281. READING – Reading Deaf Centre, Cardiff Road. Reading Deaf Church meeting. 10.30am. Details: www. readingdeafcentre.org.uk. HENLEY – Mill Meadows Bandstand. Chinnor Silver Band, 2pm to 4pm. Details: 01491 576982 READING – Forbury Gardens. Watership Brass, 3pm- 4.30pm. Details: 0118 937 2771.

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June 2014 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 0118 328 3108

ARTS & LEISURE v Choir are singing for their supper Reading Festival Chorus will be singing for their supper at their summer concert. The family-friendly programme includes Elgar’s The Music Makers and Aesop’s Fables by Chilcott. The Chorus will be conducted by Edward-Rhys Harry, and will welcome Harriet Kirk as mezzosoprano and Martin Jones on the piano. It will be held on Saturday June 28 at Wesley Methodist Church, Queens Road, Reading, RG1 4BW starting at 4.30pm. The concert will be followed by a picnic at Prudential Gardens, so bring your picnic blanket and food. Tickets cost £12 for adults and £2 for Under 16s. v For details, call 0118 983 4523 or email tickets@ readingfestivalchorus.org.uk.

Music, drama, comedy with a local perspective

days out

It’s our own horse of the year show

v Children’s choir to visit Finchampstead A POPULAR children’s choir will be bringing the sound of traditional African music to Finchampstead early this month. The Watoto Children’s Choir will visit Finchampstead Baptist Church (FBC) June 3 and 4. Both performances start at 7pm. There is no entry fee but donations will be welcomed to help the Watoto’s Rescue a Child, Raise a Leader and Build a Nation fund. v For more details, call the church on 0118 908 8155 or email: admin@ finchampstead.com v For more information about Watoto Children’s Choir, see www. watoto.com

v Pilot concert Woodley Concert Band will celebrate its 40th birthday at Woodley Baptist Church by playing music from films and theatre. The concert is in aid of the Woodley Pilot Light Trust, a charity that provides various services for the community in the Woodley area. The concert is held on Saturday, June 21 at 7pm at Woodley Baptist Church, Hurricane Way, Woodley RG5 4UX. Tickets are £5 or £3 for under 16’s. v To book, call 0118 969 9956 on weekdays between 9am and 12.30pm (or leave a message outside those hours).

Scenes of fun: there’s something for everyone at the Hurst Horse Show, which takes place in the village at the end of month

H

undreds of villagers are working together to produce a weekend of family fun which draws visitors from across the county. Hurst Show and Country Fair, this month on June 28 and 29, raised thousands for local charities and good causes last year. Brand new attractions this year will be a classic car and motorbike show, a dog show, a food fair and Hurst’s own Magic Circle magician, Clive Winterton. Show chair Sue Payne explained the formula: “This is a real community event. A large group has been planning it since November. “Almost everyone in the village, and many others are involved. It is a countryside show, aiming to be friendly and non-commercial. Last year visitors said it was the best yet. “Families like the hands-on activities. Everyone can take part in giant tugs of war, ferret racing, stroking farm animals, holding owls, splatting their dad, penalty shoot outs, morris dancing and riding in swing boats.” The show raises valuable funds for St Nicholas CE Primary School, Hurst, Wokingham Red Diamonds sports for the disabled, the village

halls, St Nicholas Pre-School, the village Scouting and Guiding groups and many other good causes. But the event creates much more than just funds. School PTA chair Martin Hodgkins said: “What the show brings in terms of good feeling and unity is immeasurable and something quite special.” The two village churches are stalwart supporters. Hurst Gospel Hall is remembering the outbreak of the First World War. They will give away replica copies of the St John’s Gospel, presented to soldiers to

bring them “peace, strength and comfort.” The Gospel Hall’s stall will also include children’s activities. St Nicholas Church will hold a Songs of Praise service at 10am on Sunday, June 29 at St Nicholas School. “We did this for the first time last year and everyone thought it was brilliant,” said parishioner Pat Tidy. The church is also running a second hand book stall. There’s a packed programme of arena events including a musical ride with horses and riders in costume, search and rescue dogs, falconry displays and maypole dancing. Reading and District Bantam Society is staging its summer show of fabulously coloured and patterned bantams (small chickens). Country crafts, plants and produce will be on sale. Ancient rural craft skills will be demonstrated. There will be beer, barbecue and tea tents and an art show in the village hall. The show in School Road, Hurst, RG10 0DR, is off the A321 Wokingham to Twyford Road. It is open 10am-5pm each day. Children and seniors are free, adults £3, teens £1. v Details: www.HurstShow.org.uk


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outdoors

Fun is good at Dinton Pastures Dinton Pastures Playground, Hurst

‘W

ow! Let’s go! Let’s go on that! ... No wait, lets go on that! ... No wait – that!’ This was our reaction when we first saw the new play area at Dinton Pastures in Hurst. After lots of months of planning and building, it was officially opened on Saturday, May 3. We were asked to give a child’s-eye report for Xn. When we got into the play area, it was ginormous! It went on forever. There were all sorts of exciting pieces of equipment for children of all ages to enjoy. There was a double zip wire, tunnels, climbing frames, large magnifying glasses for looking at

plants or animals. We enjoyed playing in a sandpit, on swings and on a slide for two. Most things are made of wood or other natural material. When we went, there were probably more than Our young duo in action at Dinton Pastures a hundred people there! ... testing everything so they can approve it There were adults and children of all ages from babies to grandparents. Our top three favourite pieces of equipment were the climbing frame with two tunnels, double slide and the zip wires. At the entrance was a poem by Dr Seuss written onto a piece of rock saying ‘If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good’. We think this new facility is fun for children and for the whole family. See you there!! Benjamin and Simeon Sharpe

preview

v A festival for Pentecost TO MARK the festival of Pentecost, a church will be alive with the sound of music. All Saints Parish Church in Wiltshire Road, Wokingham is organising a packed schedule of concerts over five days and there is something for all ages. It opens on Wednesday, June 4 with a performance of the Four Seasons by baroque violinist Eleanor Harrison, the Gandolpho Players and fellow Royal Academy prizewinner Beatrice Scaldini. It starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £12.50 or £5 for under 18s. The following day sees a lunchtime organ recital, with free admission but donations welcomed. In the evening, there will be a performance of Indian classical music from vocalist Prabhat Rao. He specialises in the North Indian “Khyal” style and will be performing Hindustani Classical music at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £8, while under 18s can get in for free. On Friday, June 6, Louise Turner,

a soprano, will give a lunchtime recital starting at 1.10pm. Tickets cost £6. In the evening, there will be a performance by Martin Simpson on the acoustic and slide guitar, supported by the Ace of Saints. It starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £12 or £6 for under 18s. On Saturday, June 7, there will be three events: a children’s concert from 12.30pm, a choral evensong at 4pm and a Gala Festival Concert in the evening. All Saints’ director of music Richard Smith will conduct John Rutter’s Requiem from 7.30pm. Tickets cost £15, under 18s £7. The following day, the Festival comes to an end with a parish communion led by the Ace of Saints from 9.30am, a performance by the Rotherhurst String Quartet from 2.30pm and a choral eucharist featuring Schubert’s Mass in G from 6.30pm. v A season pass is available for £45. For full details, log on to www. allsaintschoirwokingham.org.uk. VIVIENNE JOHNSON

| www.xnmedia.co.uk | June 2014

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v 500 years of music Erleigh Cantors St Peter’s Church, Earley Saturday, May 17 The Erleigh Cantors’ annual charity concert, this year in aid of Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice, took the audience on a journey through spiritual music from 1550 to the present day. Under the expert direction of Ian Westley, the choir of just 26 voices presented a variety of challenging choral works from a seven-part motet by Weelkes to a Magnificat for double choir by Schütz, sensitively accompanied on the organ by Simon Dinsdale. Other highlights included Holst’s This Have I Done for My True Love, an intricate work for a cappella voices executed flawlessly, and Tavener’s Annunciation which featured a quartet of singers standing outside at the back of the church, creating the effect of the angels returning to heaven. From the start the choir produced a clear, bright sound, full of crisp rhythms and contrasting dynamics. Whether singing in polyphony or tight harmony the singers fully engaged the audience and delighted with their range of moods and textures. The evening was further enhanced by some thoughtfully chosen and beautifully recited poetry by Merry Evans, providing an opportunity for reflection. The Erleigh Cantors perform to a consistently high standard and their concerts are always a pleasure to attend. JUDITH CREIGHTON


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Cinema with Martin Ceaser

Codewords

SOLUTIONS

7 5 2 9 4 1 3 8 6 6 9 8 3 5 7 1 2 4 8 1 4 2 3 5 6 7 9 2 6 5 7 8 9 4 1 3 3 7 9 6 1 4 2 5 8 8 7 2 9 6 1 5 7 3 4 4 3 4 3 2 3 2 8 5 6 9 1 4 8 7 2 7 6 9 6 8 4 7 9 6 8 8 9 6 7 4 5 1 3 2 4 5 3 2 3

Str8ts Str8ts Solution

1 2 3 5 2 6 8 9 9 7 7 8 6 4

Suduku Sudoku Solution

1 4 3 8 6 2 7 9 5

4 3 7 5 2 8 9 6 1

5 2 6 1 9 3 8 4 7

9 8 1 4 7 6 5 3 2

Kakuro

Moviewatch

If only you could turn back time Michael Fassbender helps manipulate the laws of time in the new X-Men film Picture: 20th Century Fox

v X-Men: Days of Future Past (12a) Stars Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy

‘N

ow, please pay attention or you will miss something.” They should have put that up at the start of the film.

It’s a bit confusing. Basically the film is set in both 1973 and 2023, and what has happened or will happen in 1973 has a huge bearing on what happens in 2023, literally the difference between life and death for our mutant heroes. So the current state of play is that, 11 years after the adventures in X-Men:First Class (excellent film), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) has gone rogue (pun there for those in the know) and murdered scientist Dr Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage from Game of Thrones) who has been using mutants for experiments in his Sentinel Programme designed to guard and protect normal humans from those nasty mutants. Still with me? She is then captured, and her unique DNA is fed into the Sentinel Programme so that they are virtually indestructible. The protectors then become the predators as the Sentinels not only seek out mutants but anyone who carries the gene that might produce mutants, and anyone else who helps mutants – basically everyone. Fast forward to 2023 and Professor Xavier, Magneto, Wolverine and Storm are preparing, with a few others, for a final stand against the enemy. Amazingly, one of the few surviving mutants has the ability to send others (or at least, their consciousness,) back in time. So all they have to do is send someone back to 1973, stop Mystique killing Trask, and everything will be fine. Only problem is, the one who

can send others back has never managed more than a few days. But, wonder of wonders, she manages to send Wolverine back the whole 50 years! Cue the search for Mystique, the redemption of Xavier, more dastardly deeds by Magneto (Michael Fassbender plays him so much better than Sir Ian Mckellen), until finally... well, you’ll have to watch the film to find out. In the midst of the suspension of belief, and the apparent cynical reworking of X-Men history so the franchise can churn out more films (just like Star Trek: Into Darkness) there are some interesting and thought provoking moments. Is history/life fixed, predetermined if you like, or do we have the freedom to shape it? Why does fear of what/who we do not understand or know lead us to conclude they must be a danger? Who hasn’t wished they could go back in time and do something differently? How often do we think ahead to the possible consequences of what we do now? Can a person (or mutant) change? How? What is the true nature of loyalty, friendship, and hope? Is there redemption even for someone like Magneto? There’s a book I read that has the answers to all these questions, and more. It’s called the Bible. I commend it to you if you’re looking for answers to the questions raised in a film like this. And I think it’s truth, not fiction...

The Revd Martin Ceaser is minister of Crowthorne Baptist Church


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