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Reading, Wokingham & SURROUNdING AREAS

LOCAL NEWS what’s On

Still in print and packed with community news

Arts, shows, talks and much more

EXCELLENT NEWS

INSIDE:

INTERVIEWS PEOPLE SPORT ARTS PUZZLES FOOD FILM WHAT’S ON & MORE! EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

Love your Neighbour

Why Fusion has moved into South Reading

MARCH 2015 ISSN 2049-4971


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From the heart: The Revd Stephen Pullin, Area Dean of Reading

‘Bereavement creates a moment of clarity’ Funeral Directors A.B. Walker & Son are at the heart of their local community. In a series of interviews, they ask key people within their community about their lives and their beliefs

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here is a place for tears and laughter at a funeral, says the Revd Stephen Pullin, the priest-in-charge of Reading Minster of St Mary the Virgin. Both tears and laughter help us to remember our loved ones well, he says, adding that he also believes that funerals are a time for personal reflection. “There is nothing like the experience of bereavement to strip away all the things we thought were important,” he says. “It creates a moment of clarity where the real questions of life demand our attention even if at most other times we keep them at arm’s length. “They are fundamental questions: ‘Why am I here? For what purpose do I exist? What truly is of value in life?’ ” Stephen, who is also Area Dean of Reading, believes the Church has an important role in helping the bereaved. “One of the first things you do is name the reality of the moment and sometimes even help people articulate better how angry they are

The Revd Stephen Pullin, with his wife and associate priest, the Revd Sarah, outside Reading Minster Church of St Mary The Virgin in Reading’s town centre with God, and at the same time to bring some reassurance that God is mindful of their situation. “God is not unmoved by the pain of loss and separation and shares those feelings with us.” Stephen was installed at the Minster in September 2014, at a service conducted by the Bishop of Reading, the Rt Revd Andrew Proud,

and the Archdeacon of Berkshire, the Ven Olivia Graham. He was ordained 10 years ago and has taken scores of funerals since then. “You are always struck when people speak from the heart about people they have loved and lost,” he says. One of the services that stands

out for him was a funeral service he did for a Grenadier Guardsman who was shot and killed in an ambush in Afghanistan. He says that whilst there has been a growth in secular funerals, clergy and other church ministers still have a great depth of experience to offer to people grieving the loss of a loved one. At the funeral itself the congregation may not be familiar with the Christian story. Stephen says: “It needs careful reflection and thought, appropriate use of language, to meet people where they are at which is in an increasingly distant place from the understanding of church and the Christian story. I think one has to work a little harder to express things in the language that people will understand. “One of the things I hope we contribute is to articulate and demonstrate a real and profound message of hope.” Stephen says that when he gets to the end of his own life he wants to know he did the things that matter. “I don’t want to get to the end and say I didn’t get around to things that ultimately mattered because I realised too late. “The thing about death is that it really encourages us to live life well and that means attending to the things that truly matter and which have eternal significance.”


This month

From the editor

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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!

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Richard McCoull 0118 328 3108 07916 588 390 richard@xnmedia.co.uk Xn is published by Xn Media. ISSN 2049-4971 c/o Crown House, 231 King’s Road, Reading RG1 4LS www.xnmedia.co.uk Twitter: @xnmedia Editor & publisher Phil Creighton editor@xnmedia.co.uk

Crafty fun 13

Journalist Vivienne Johnson vivienne@xnmedia.co.uk Website Peter Bowyer peter@xnmedia.co.uk Distribution Judith Creighton judith@xnmedia.co.uk Contributors Michael Penny, James Hern, Jacob Potter, Martin Ceaser, Chris Carter, Trevor Howell, Steve Prince, Paul King, Heather Bull, Beryl Wootton, Francesa Yates, David Hodgson Thanks to Alan Magness, Louise Cole, Mary Brockington, Andrew Taylor, Steve Curtis, Barry Kirk, Jeremy Sharpe, Sharon Elliott, Wendy Neale, Paul Anderson, Kevin Haw, Troubador Publishing Cover picture Vivienne Johnson Printed by Warners, Midlands 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, 2015

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Saints 16

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HAT issues will matter to you in this General Election? It’s said to be one of the closest in recent history, so it’s even more important that on May 7 you get out and vote. Xn has a strict policy of impartiality. We will never tell you Phil Creighton which way you should vote – but we do want you to be informed. Last year, we set up a mini-website – xnmedia.co.uk/election – for Reading Borough Council candidates. This year we’re extending it to Wokingham Borough and General Election candidates. Log on to xnmedia.co.uk/election enter your postcode and up will pop details of your Parliamentary and Council candidates. Each one has been invited to write a short statement with a local perspective about why you should vote for them. And when polling day comes round, we’ll be up all night working round the clock to ensure that you have the best coverage and analysis of the results in the Thames Valley. We’re really excited to be offering you this free service, which comes from our desire to keep connecting communities. Do email and let us know what issues matter to you in these elections. We’ll print a selection next issue. The April Xn will be available from Easter Sunday, April 5. Look out for it! Phil Creighton editor@xnmedia.co.uk

This issue

Thieves! 32

Visit 6

Pancakes 18

4 Silver CIRDIC Celebrating 25 years of a drop-in centre 6 Excellent news 14 Easter previews 17 Loving Whitley Why a UK charity has moved into South Reading 18 Pancake racing 20 Classified 22 Family Circle 23 Recruitment 24 What’s on Three pages of community events 27 Puzzles 28 Sport 30 Lifestyle Our brilliant leisure guide

Get in touch! email stories to editor@xnmedia.co.uk Deadline for April issue Friday, March 13


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More than 90 volunteers help make Cirdic a welcoming place, providing hot meals, clean baths, new clothes and a safe space

Offering a helping hand

A centre that helps some of the most disadvantaged people in the Reading area celebrates its silver anniversary this year. VIVIENNE JOHNSON found out more about the bright, warm welcome you’ll find at CIRDIC

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main event

HE Churches in Reading Drop-in Centre (CIRDIC), opened its doors in 1990 and has been giving a helping hand to some of the most disadvantaged people in the Reading area ever since. The charity provide basic services for people who are either homeless or do have a roof over their heads but have so little money they can’t afford to buy food or other basic services and is based in Berkeley Avenue, just off the Bath Road.

CIRDIC is a lovely place; warm and welcoming, bright and cheerful. The heart of the building is the huge kitchen and as you walk in the front door you are welcomed by the wonderful smell of home cooking. CIRDIC volunteer Diana Russell said: “Food is given to us by a variety of places: allotments, Costco, Nando’s chicken. Schools and churches give us food at harvest festivals and of course, members of the public.” Martin Hopkins and Tony Bircher are volunteers who organise the food donations. Tony said: “We are very, very grateful for all the food. I just sort it, the people who do the real work are in the kitchen.” An average of 60 people visit CIRDIC each day and more than 90 are on the volunteer rota. Some of the visitors come to enjoy the homemade food, some to sit and talk over a cup of tea or play board games, others to use of the internet or a telephone.

A bath and clean clothes are also available, clothing and hygiene is managed by Mark Dunford. The clothing store was decorated earlier this year by National Citizens Service – a group of 16- and 17-year-olds who offer their help. “They gave about 30 hours of their time,” said Mark. “It was brilliant.” There is also a new Quiet Room where you can sit on a comfy seat, enjoy the peace and your own thoughts. The art table is always popular and visitors can paint and get creative with free art supplies which includes painting furniture and pictures. One of the visitors who was making a mosaic said: “When concentrating on art it’s a release from all the thoughts going round my head.” CIRDIC offers so much more than a hot meal and a bath: it’s a welcome that’s very welcome to its clients. v To find out more about the centre, to volunteer or to offer help, log on www.cirdic.org.uk. Pictured left: CIRDIC manager Mabel Boyd


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Mark Dunford is responsible for the clothes store and guest hygiene

for 25 years Volunteer Tony Bircher helping to sort food for the kitchen to use

Cirdic’s visitors are given the opportunity to explore their artistic talents, as seen above. On the left: a guest has been decorating a small table using chalk paint

Martin Hopkins manages the food donations CIRDIC’s quiet room offers visitors a chance to take time out and relax


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March 2015 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 0118 328 3108

v Revd skips church to go on the run TILEHURST – A Methodist minister is preparing to skip church one Sunday next month, all in a good cause. The Revd Andy Moffoot from Tilehurst Methodist Church is in training for The London Marathon, which takes place on Sunday, April 26. He is raising money for Methodist Homes for the Aged (MHA). He said: “In 2015 I take on the challenge of running the London Marathon, ticking off one of the things on my “Bucket List” and raising money for MHA.” MHA was recently named as the UK’s most trusted charity by the Third Sector’s Charity Brand Index and works with the elderly. v To sponsor Andy visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/ AndrewMoffoot.

Timms listens to local groups BY PHIL CREIGHTON Foodbanks feeding a million people shows David Cameron’s Big Society in action – but also highlights the effect of the coalition Government’s policies. That was the claim made by a Labour frontbencher when he visited Reading on Saturday, January 10. Social action leaders from across the area met Stephen Timms MP at a special summit held to explore how faith and community groups’ projects are making a difference in the area – and how they can make more of an impact in the future. The East Ham MP is Labour’s employment spokesperson and came to Reading Community Church in Tilehurst for the event, which saw leaders from local businesses, foodbanks, education initiatives and other social action groups share their experiences of working across the Thames Valley. It was chaired and organised by Victoria Groulef, Labour’s candidate for the Reading West seat in this year’s General Election.

Stephen Timms (centre) listens to a point made by ReadiFood’s Malcolm Peirce, watched by Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Reading West, Victoria Groulef Poverty, youth work, Street Pastors, homeless shelters – there’s a whole raft of things going on. It’s a very important social movement and I don’t think we’ve really properly recognised what’s going on. “It’s a real grassroots movement, all led and organised locally. Churches are reaching into communities. They are able to deliver and they give hope to communities.” Victoria Groulef also picked up on the need for political parties to acknowledge the role that faith groups play in helping the community and said that the event was a chance for the groups to express their views. She said: “I want to hear what you’ve got to say.” As well as being the MP for East Ham, Stephen is chair of Christians On The Left. He said: “[Christians On The Left] exists to draw attention to the contribution that faith-based organisations are making to the community.”

Wycliffe Baptist Church 233 Kings Road Reading RG1 4LS 7pm

In a short speech, Stephen praised the way in which churches have responded to the problem of food poverty. “Churches uniquely provided the capacity to take on foodbanks and provide food for a million people over the past year. “We couldn’t have predicted that it was the churches [that would help]. It’s not surprising that churches have the motivation, but it is surprising that it had the practical capacity to do it.” He added that, in his opinion, it delivered a damning indictment of the coalition Government’s policies, particularly in welfare reform. “It is a fantastic example of David Cameron’s Big Society, but it highlights what this Government is doing,” he said. Stephen is aware that there is more that faithbased groups are doing to make a difference in their communities. He added: “It isn’t just foodbanks – Christians Against

£15, £13 concessions, £7.50 balcony Box office: 0118 929 9919

Political guests for Together AGM

v Charity collection READING – A concert given by the Reading Phoenix Choir at All Saints Church in Downshire Square in February raised £925 for the church’s restoration project. This year is the 150th anniversary of the consecration of the church.

www.wycliffe-church.org.uk | hello@wycliffe-church.org.uk www.facebook.com/WycliffeBaptist | @wycliffechurch

Plans are being made for the Churches Together in Berkshire (CTB) annual general meeting, which will be held later this month. Taking place at Wokingham Methodist Church, the evening will have one eye of this year’s General Election. The special guest speaker will be Colin Bloom, director of Christians in Politics. The cross-party group aims to be

a non-denominational platform for Christians involved, or seeking to get involved, in politics and public life. Colin will share insights and tips about engaging with the issues relating to the May 7 vote. The event starts with refreshments at 7pm on Monday, March 16 and every one is welcome. v For details, visit www.together. ourchurchweb.org.uk/berkshire/


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Tour de force to honour Dad BY JOHN WAKEFIELD A Reading cyclist is to honour the memory of her father by taking part in a once-in-alifetime recreation of the Tour de France while raising thousands for blood cancer charities. Nicki Aitken is to join former England international footballer and blood cancer survivor, Geoff Thomas, on his Le Tour – One Day Ahead challenge. The ride has 21 stages and is 3,300km. It will take place in July and see Nicki complete the Tour de France 2015 route a day ahead of the professional peloton. Having seen her father and grandmother die from blood cancer, she is looking forward to honour them by riding. Alliance manager for Ultima Business Solutions, Nicki said: “I’ve always been active, whether competing in athletics, triathlon or duathlon so I’m used to pushing myself hard. “When I head about Geoff’s challenge I knew this was a oncein-a-lifetime opportunity that I

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v Celebrate VE Day SONNING – A concert to celebrate 70 years since VE Day will be held in Sonning on Friday, May 8. It will feature music from Reading Blue Coat School pupils and a finale that takes the Last Night of the Proms as its cue. All money raised will go towards the New Community Hall Fund organised by St Andrew’s Church.

v Make a date

Nicki Aitken (centre) is riding the Tour de France route for blood cancer charities had to be part of – it would help drive a cure for an illness that had affected my family directly. “I know it will be a tough challenge. I’m less daunted by the physical aspect than the financial challenge of raising £50,000. “Every pound donated will make a huge impact to finding a cure for blood cancer.” The 2015 Tour de France marks the tenth anniversary that former England footballer Geoff

Thomas first completed the Tour de France route. This year, he’s hoping to raise £1 million for Cure Leukaemia. Geoff said: “I’m delighted that Nicki has committed to cycling Le Tour – One Day Ahead with me. It’s going to be a tough challenge. v To help Nicki raise £50,000 target for Cure Leukaemia log on to www.justgiving.com/Nicki-Aitken1 v For more on the challenge, visit www.beforethetour.com.

WHITLEY – The date for this year’s South Reading Churches Fun Day has been announced. The event takes places on Rabson’s Recreation Ground on Northumberlnd Avenue. It starts at noon on Saturday, June 27 and around 6,000 people are expected to take part.

v Poppy appealing ALDERMASTON – Generous pepople in Aldermaston, Wasing and Brimpton raised £4,644 for the annual Poppy Appeal, the highest it has ever been. Clive Vare, the local organiser, wrote in the parish magazine: “Thank you all very much for your wonderful efforts.”

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March 2015 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 0118 328 3108

Calcot charity makes it a sweet 16 with MP’s visit A charity that helps young people who have been in care make the transition to an independent adult lifestyle recently welcomed Reading West MP Alok Sharma. The MP visited Calcot Services for Children (CSfC) to find out more about its new post-16 services and accommodation and to follow up on a visit he made to the charity three years ago. Last year, CSfC launched a new post-16 supported living service which aims to reduce the number of young people not in education, employment or training. The charity has five new one-bedroom properties across Reading and West Berkshire, to see the kind of

support being offered to young people. Alongside accommodation, young people are offered care packages which include access to AQA accredited learning, assistance in budgeting and support in accessing employment, education and training. Alok Sharma said: “I was really encouraged to hear that many of the young people CSfC have supported have gone into further education or work and are now living independently.” Sarah Walton, Registered Manager for Calcot Services for Children’s 16+ Supported Living Service said: “We are pleased to

Alok Sharma (second left) with team members of Calcot Services for Children

now be able to support young people into young adulthood and into maintaining their own accommodation and to achieving

further great success with this resident group.” v For more details, log on to www. csfc.co.uk

CommuniCaring with Nepalese passports BY JOHN WAKEFIELD A READING advice centre helped the area’s Nepalese community apply for new passports, so they comply with a new law coming into force this November. CommuniCare, based at Cemetery Junction, teamed up with the Greater Reading Nepalese Community Association (GRNCA) for a Nepalese Passport Camp on Saturday, January 10. The Nepalese Government has introduced a new passport and all Nepalese must have this by November 2015. The GRNCA and CommuniCare work closely to support the Nepalese community. The change in regulations caused concern to the GRNCA as they knew that many of the Nepalese in the local community were unaware of this. Also the age and the health of many of them meant they would

Another successful application … members of the Greater Reading Nepalese Community Association teamed up with CommuniCare to help more than 500 local residents apply for the new Nepal passports be unable to travel to London to make these changes at the Nepalese passport office. Working with CommuniCare the GRNCA organised a day for the Nepalese to apply for their new passport. The day was supported by the Nepalese Ambassador

Would you like to volunteer with a friend Would you to volunteer withfeels a friend to visit anlike older person who lonely? to visit an older person who feels lonely? For more information visit: www.linkvisiting.org

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and officials from the Nepalese Passport Office, all of whom travelled from London to spend the day at CommuniCare. The camp was hailed a success as the volunteers helped more than 500 Nepalese apply for their new passport.

Francesca Yates, manager of CommuniCare, said: “We have worked with the GRNCA over the past two years supporting the Nepalese community in Reading. “I feel privileged to be part of a day like today and it is wonderful to see how the GRNCA and their volunteers have pulled together to support their community.” Sanjay Rajdaha, secretary of the GRNCA said: “It is so hard for many of the Nepalese to change their passport as they cannot travel to London and many cannot read or write. We had to help them. “We work with CommuniCare at the Advice centre to support the Nepalese and we are so pleased that they were able to help us with this passport camp. “It is also good that the Nepalese Ambassador and the officials from the Nepalese passport office have come to help us with today.” v www.communicare.org.uk

Get cooking for a fun bake-off Budding cake makers of all ages are being invited to take part in Lower Earley’s first ever Bake Off. Taking place at the Baptist Church in Maiden Place on Saturday, March 28, there are categories for children, teenagers and adults. Entries should be baked at home and then brought in between 9.30am to 10.30am for judging at 11am. The winners will be announced at noon. Children are invited to bake six identical cookies or biscuits, will minimal assistance from

adults. Teenagers should make 12 identical small cakes, while adults are asked to bake a showstopper cake. To register, follow the link on Lower Earley Baptist Church’s website. The church runs a café on Saturday mornings from 10am to 12.30pm, and entrants can enjoy an all-day breakfast, fish finger butties and Danish pastries while waiting for the results to be announced. v For more details, log on to www. lowerearleybaptistchurch.org.uk.


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Get a wiggle on!

Wriggly under fives are being asked to wiggle in the Very Hungry Caterpillar’s footsteps to help Action For Children Picture: Theodore Wood BY PHIL CREIGHTON A charity that helps children is asking under fives to get wiggly! Action For Children has teamed up with The Very Hungry Caterpillar for the Giant Wiggle, which takes place on Thursday, March 19. Participating children’s centres, nurseries and groups for under fives to wiggle along in giant caterpillar conga lines, encouraging them to help others, and open up their imaginations through storytelling and creative activities. Partnership fundraising manager at Action for Children, Katie Frisby, said: “We want to celebrate Eric Carle’s beloved book by encouraging Berkshire children

to get active and have fun. “By hosting a sponsored Giant Wiggle you will help us to support vulnerable children, young people and families in the heart of our communities, and across the UK.” Action for Children provides early years child development, learning and childcare services to thousands of tots throughout the country, through its children and family centres. In March 2014, more than 32,000 children from nearly 800 schools and nurseries took part in The Giant Wiggle, raising £80,000 for Action for Children. v For more information on how to organise your own Giant Wiggle at your nursery or children’s centre visit www.actionforchildren.org.uk/ giantwiggle

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v Social clubs open SOUTHCOTE & WHITLEY WOOD – A new social club aimed at older people has openeded in Southcote Community Centre. Running on Monday afternoons from 1pm to 4pm, the club is for people aged 50 or over and is run by Reading Borough Council. Another Over 50s club runs from 11am to 4pm on Wednesdays at Whitley Wood Community Centre, located on the Reading Buses routes 6 and 9m with the nearest stop being Engineer’s Court. Guests can play games, make friends and enjoy lunches and drinks. Cllr Rachel Eden, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Councillor for Adult Social Care said: “I am very excited to see another older people’s social club opening in Reading. “At a time when funding is down but demand is rising, the Council is working closely with residents to continue to provide the services that are needed and which enable older people to live fulfilling, independent lives in their own community.” v For information on services and activities for older people visit servicesguide.reading.gov.uk or call Michelle Brown on 07834 335103.

New starters for Home Start

BY JOHN WAKEFIELD

A CHARITY that supports families is hoping that some new volunteers will support it. Home-Start Reading is running a new training course from Tuesday, March 3. Sessions run from 10am until 1pm in Whitley. Anyone who has hands-on experience of coping with children and may be interested in volunteering with young families in the future is invited to join in. Volunteers can choose to do an accredited version of the training course. They can study at a level 1 or level 2 qualification standard and the credits received can be used towards accessing higher education or a qualification that relates to the Children’s Workforce Strategy, such as a teacher’s assistant or a family support worker. Home-Start Reading says it offers a fun and interactive training course. Volunteers are never placed with a family unless they feel happy, confident and ready. In 2013-14, Home-Start Reading

125th anniversary celebration weekend READING WEST CORPS

522 Oxford Road, Reading, RG30 1EG

Exhibition and Buffet Tea at the Corps Saturday 2pm March 28th

Celebration Concert

Central Southern Fellowship Band & Reading Community Gospel Choir, Special Guest - Major James Williams. Free admission, retiring collection

Saturday 6.30pm March 28th

At Emmanuel Methodist Church, 448 Oxford Road RG30 1EE (next to Battle Library).

Sunday March 29th at the Corps 10.45am: Morning Worship 3.00pm: Praise Meeting Leaders for the day: Majors Darrell & Katrina Thomas. Further details, if required from Lt Kenneth Guest. Email: Kenneth.guest@salvationarmy.org.uk Mobile: 07944709916 Quarters Tel: 0118 957 6003

Support net – Home-Start provides help and advice to families who need it supported 94 families including 231 children. Rachel Paton who lives in Caversham has been a volunteer for three years; she has visited many families and at present is involved with a family with triplets helping their parents to play, feed and get out of the house

with the three active toddlers. She said: “I have enjoyed seeing the triplets develop and grow and feel honoured that I have been able to have this experience.” v To volunteer or for more experience, log on to www.homestart-reading.org.uk or call 0118 956 0050.

Have a ball and help Albania BY VIVIENNE JOHNSON A Sonning-based charity that helps disabled children in Albania is hoping you’ll have a ball while raising vital funds. Hope to Albania is raising funds to help disabled children in one of Europe’s poorest countries. “We have a particular focus on children with special needs,” said Ruth Courtney, trustee at Hope to Albania. “Our most recent projects have been to assist in the purchase of a day care centre building for these children, sending equipment, providing training for therapists and we are hoping that we will soon be able to send out a vehicle equipped for wheelchairs.” Hope to Albania is holding a charity ball at the Reading Holiday Inn on Saturday, March 14, to raise £5,000 to send a vehicle out there suitable for transporting disabled children.

“Please can we ask for your help by providing an auction or raffle item that can be sold on the night of the ball?” asked Ruth. “We are expecting 100+ guests, most of whom will be happy to purchase from our auction and raffle. “We would really appreciate your help which will be acknowledged on the evening of the Ball.” Supporters of Hope to Albania have already been generous. “Our garage is bursting at the gunnels with clothing, shoes, medical equipment and toys but we are struggling to find a means of getting it there.” said Ruth. Tickets cost £39.50 and can be ordered online. v To help with raffle or auction items, or to attend the charity ball at the Holiday Inn or donate money contact Ruth Courtney on 07789174175 or ruthcourtney@me.com v www.hopetoalbania.com

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Making a home in Wokingham BY PHIL CREIGHTON A campaign to encourage people to give a child a home has been so successful that it has expanded into Wokingham. Home For Good Wokingham aims to find 20 foster families who can care for sibling groups, teenagers and children aged five or over who have additional and complex needs as a result of their early childhood experiences. The project will also be looking to run champions groups, to provide support for those who are foster carers or adoptive parents. Heather Bull, project social worker for Home For Good Reading, will be helping out, visiting Wokingham Borough churches to explain how they can help and get involved. At the end of February, an information event was held at St Sebastian’s Church in Wokingham Without, in partnership with the Borough Council. June McKenzie, service manager for corporate parenting & LDD for the Borough Council, said: “We are delighted to be working

together with Home for Good to raise awareness in our local church community of the need for Wokingham foster families.” Heather added: “Since our launch on Adoption Sunday in November, Home for Good Reading has received 30 enquiries from people interested in fostering or adoption.

v

On the right tracks! The Kenavon Railway Society held a model railway exhibition at The Warehouse in east Reading on Saturday, February 23. Profits went to the Cholsey and Wallingford Railway.

John Bell to tackle big issues An international Christian speaker and musician is planning a visit Wokingham in May to explore issues relating to sexuality and the Church. Renowned hymn-writer and theologian John Bell will speak at All Saints Church on Wednesday, May 20, from 7.30pm. The questions he will look at include: What does the Bible actually teach about homosexuality? How can the church move away from its homophobic image? What are the key issues for

the church around same-sex marriage? Can we view gayness as a gift, rather than an issue? Entry to his lecture is free by ticket or at the door, although the church invites a suggested donation of £3. Rector of All Saints, Canon David Hodgson, said: “We want to explore key issues for the Church and society and we invite everyone – whether church-goer or not – to these sessions.” v For more details, log on to www.allsaintswokingham.org.uk

Abbey’s comeback kids

ONE of the oldest Baptist churches in the country will welcome back its daughter and grand-daughter churches this Mothering Sunday. Abbey Baptist Church, Reading (formerly Kings Road Baptist Church) is 375 this year and it’s thought there are some 21 churches planted as a direct result of the work of the church. To celebrate, on Sunday, March 15, the church is inviting its family to get together for a celebratory

“It has been fantastic to share the vision of Home for Good and to encourage people to see how everyone can make a difference by supporting those who are in a position to offer a home to vulnerable children.” v For more information about Home for Good email: heather@ homeforgood.uk

event. Tea will be at 5pm followed by a service of thanksgiving at 6.30pm. To help with catering, places should be booked and everyone is welcome to the service, be they a member of a daughter church or just wanting to join in the celebrations. v For more details, call the church office on 0118 957 2197 or mail mail@abbeybaptistchurch.org.uk by Monday, March 9.

| www.xnmedia.co.uk | March 15

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Happy birthday Evelyn!

v Mum’s the word to help PACT

Sunday, February 15 was a very special day for the friends and families who attend Christ Church, Reading, writes Vivienne Johnson. Not only was it the installation of Father Peter Day as Vicar (see page 22) but it was the 103rd birthday of Evelyn Margaret Turner. Evelyn was born in 1912 and has been attending Christ

BRIMPTON – To mark Mothering Sunday, St Peter’s Church will be holding a special family service. Starting at 10am on Sunday, March 15, there will be posies for Mums, refreshments after the service and the chance to donate to the work of Reading-based adoption charity PACT. v For more details on the charity’s work, visit www.pactcharity.org.

v Sun shines on Trinity’s solar plan LOWER EARLEY – Trinity Church in Chalfont Close has announced plans to install solar panels. Organisers expect to generate enough electricity to power the church and its many activities through the week. It is expected to cost £32,000 and the church is asking people to sponsor the panels to help fund the project. v Details: www.trinityearley.co.uk.

v Orphans helped TILEHURST – Members of St Mary Magdelene raised £1,620 last year for its charity of the year, the Joshua Orphan and Community Centre, Malawi. This year, the church will be raising funds for Reading Street Pastors and the group’s co-ordinator, Sally Leonard, spoke at its service on February 13. v For more on the orphanage, visit www.joshuainmalawi.org.uk. v For more on Street Pastors, visit www.streetpastors.org.

v Target reached EMMER GREEN – An appeal to raise funds to refurbish a church organ has been successful. Members of St Barnabas Church can now look forward to the church organ being restored and enhanced as a result.

Church since a child. “I’ve been coming all my life,” she said. “I was a Sunday School teacher for many years and also started the Girl Guides here many years ago.” At the end of the service a ‘special notice’ was given wishing Evelyn a happy birthday, she was given a bouquet and the congregation sang Happy Birthday.

Pies right for Mortimer men BY VIVIENNE JOHNSON The men of the Pies and Pints club, Mortimer are looking forward to celebrating its first anniversary. Run by 79-year-old George Bolland it was started as a place for the gents of the village to have a get together and a chat. George said: “I started Pies and Pints because there was nowhere for older men to go to talk. He added, with a twinkle in his eye: “There are other lunch clubs, but I didn’t want to go to them as there were a lot of women there.” Pies and Pints meet up on a Wednesday lunchtime once a month in the popular Horse and Groom Pub. It is organised by Together In Mission, an initiative of local churches in the West Berks and North Hampshire villages of Burghfield, Mortimer, Sulhamstead, Padworth and surrounding areas. Craig Lawson, publican of the Horse and Groom said: “Pie and Pint club is for the elder gent so they can get out of the house and meet up.” The youngest member of Pies and Pints is 70 and the group is mainly made up of men who find

Mortimer men can enjoy a Pie, a pint and friendship at the Horse and Groom’s regular Pie and Pints club Picture: Vivienne Johnson themselves living on their own. “We have a laugh and talk about whatever crops up in conversation,” said George. “I always have my book of jokes with me.” “I love it when they come along,” said Craig. “I always stop and listen. They have wonderful stories and a lifetime of experiences I hope to live up to.” Craig is delighted that his pub is at the heart of the Mortimer community. He said: “As well as Pies and Pints we have lots of other

clubs meeting here: the tennis club, the PTA, a reading group and a club where they chat and knit.” Pies and Pints meets once a month on a Wednesday lunchtime in the Horse and Groom pub, The Street, Mortimer, RG7 3RD. The cost of a pie and a pint is just £5. v If you would like to find out more about Pies and Pints or to join the men’s meeting, email Bev French on bevfrench6@gmail.com v The Horse and Groom’s website www.horseandgroompub.com shows the pub’s full menu and drinks lists.

Gift of mercy Members of Christ Church in Woodley recently presented a cheque to Mercy Ships’ representative Dr Alan Budd, who served as a ships’ doctor. The charity was the church’s project for 2014, and the congregation raised just over £6,200. The money was raised with a variety of events held during last year including a Pancakes evening, a May Fair, and the production of Easter play To Jerusalem. Other donations were made during the year. Beryl Wootton, from the church, said: “This year our project is Christians Against Poverty; helping people out of debt and poverty.”


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A new Oasis for single parents BY VIVIENNE JOHNSON A new monthly group aimed at single parents has launched in Reading and it’s welcoming new members. Meeting on Saturday mornings, the group promises crafts and games for children, refreshments and the chance to chat for the parents. It is held at The Oasis community centre, run by Carey Baptist Church, in Baker Street, Reading and entry is free. The next club meets from 10am to noon on Saturday, March 7, with an April date set for April 11. “It started as an experiment last autumn,” said Peter Ward, one of the helpers at the group. “We wanted to see how we got on. “It has been very successful. People are finding friends here, there is also always a listening ear.” Friends Jarka Boyd, Diane Ricketts and Atia Ward have been going to the group from the start. “I love it because it’s somewhere for single parents to meet up,” said Diane. “Everyone is so friendly they make you feel welcome. You can share issues and people understand. “What I really love the most

Hannah Ward, Jarka Boyd, Diane Ricketts and Holly Baker at The Oasis

Sessions always include sharing food though is sitting down and eating together.” v For more details, log on to www.oasisreading.co.uk.

The Catholic churches in the Reading Pastoral Area are running a series of Lent talks. This year’s theme is Marriage and the Family. With 42% of UK marriages now ending in divorce, and more than a million children having no contact with a father, the Reading Pastoral Area churches say that the time has never been more right to tackle what is generally seen as a crisis in our midst. The sessions feature a guest speaker, followed by group discussion and a period of reflection. They are held on consecutive Wednesday evenings. On Wednesday, March 4 at Our Lady of Peace in Earley – the speaker will be Elizabeth Davies, Marriage & Family Life Project Officer for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales. Elizabeth will consider the outcome of last year’s Bishops’

v Mind the gap READING – A campaign to end educational inequality and halve the attainment gap in the UK by 2020 was recently launched in the Houses of Parliament. Led by Reading based social enterprise Gap Education, it focuses on school-home engagement and partnership as the key strategies to achieving this ambitious aim. Gap Education is a social enterprise based in Reading but working across the country with schools to close the gap by supporting parental engagement, helping tackle the root causes of educational inequality. Speaking at Portcullis House Gap Educations’ executive director, Quentin Gunderson said: “The key is to provide schools with the training, resources and approach to re-build bridges of trust with parents who avoid contact with school, often because of their own negative experiences. “We can make a big difference to the children who really need it.” v To learn more about Gap Education’s campaign, log on to www.narrowthegap.net

Emmy-Mae enjoying the craft session

Family life explored in talks BY CHRIS CARTER

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Synod on the Vocation and Mission of the Family, and look at the developing themes which will be covered in the second Synod, due to convene in the autumn of 2015. The final session takes place on Wednesday, March 11 at Christ the King in Whitley, when Keith and Maeve Chappell of St John Bosco in Woodley will focus on the spirituality of marriage and family life, with a focus on Holy Week. They will explore how the events of this time of year resonate in the daily experience of married couples and families of all types. The group will look at how the Scriptures portray marriage and the family, and consider how people can build spirituality into the daily life of their families. All are welcome to the talks, which start at 7.30pm and finish by 9pm. Drinks will be available, and no booking is necessary. v For further details, contact the Church Secretary at St John Bosco on 0118 969 3423.

… first Y9 admitted September 2015

Open Morning Friday 8th May 09:30-12:00

Heathlands Road, Wokingham RG40 3AL 0118 978 1566 office@holmegrange.org www.holmegrange.org


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Churches plan Holy Week events

v Una’s life brought to book at talk READING – A woman who flew to England on her 17th birthday with nothing in her pocket but £2 will be sharing about her amazing life later this month. Una Chandler, who grew up in rural Barbados and was the eldest of 10 children, has written her autobiography which has just been published. A Long Way From Home tells of her experiences, which include being widowed when she was just 38. Afterwards, she returned to education, studying to become a Methodist Local Preacher. After being inducted, she was, for 18 years, the only female West Indian Lay Preacher on the Methodist Church Circuit for Reading and Silchester. She has also been chaplain to Reading Borough Council for 12 years. Una will be talking about her life, reading from her book and signing copies on March 16 at 7pm at the Reading Central Library. This is a free event, no tickets are required. v A Long Way From Home by Una Chandler is published by Troubador, £7.99. ISBN: 9781784621711

A community play for Good Friday will be held in Wokingham’s Market Place. It starts with a procession led by town leaders

BY PHIL CREIGHTON Churches across the Thames Valley are busy making plans to celebrate Easter, with everything from Easter egg hunts to openair theatre, walks of witness and sunrise services. Holy Week runs from Palm Sunday, March 29, to Easter Sunday, April 5. St Andrew’s Church in Caversham will be one of many that will hold a Palm Sunday procession with a real donkey heading up the walk. It starts at 9.30am from Copperfields. St Peter’s Church in Brimpton is holding a Holy Week exhibition, and invites visitors to explore

tableaus that recreate the week before Jesus’ resurrection. The church is open from 10am to 6pm. St Bartholomew’s Church in Nettlebed is also hosting an exhibition, called the Tree of Life, with the church open during Holy Week from 11am to 4pm. Foot washing and stripping of the altar services take place on Maundy Thursday, those taking part include St Mary’s Burghfield and Greyfriars in Reading. On Good Friday, churches in Wokingham will gather for the annual community play, conducted in Market Place around 11am. There are walks of witness too, including a walk from St

v

Don’t stay at home feeling lonely

All together – churches in the Crowthorne area joined hands at their annual service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, held at St James, Finchampstead

Join us at The Hibernian Society, Chatham Street, Reading

Make New Friends & join in the activities

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Zumba Gold every Monday Chiropodist once a month Hairdresser every two weeks Monthly Tea Dance For more information, please contact Anne on 0788 899 7293 or email nansheen@btinternet.com The Hibernian Society, Reading Irish Centre, Chatham Street, Reading www.thehiberniansociety.co.uk

Andrew’s URC at 10am. Churches in Tilehurst will walk to The Triangle for an outdoor service at noon. On Holy Saturday – the day before Easter Sunday – St John’s in Caversham will hold Once Upon a Tree, an Easter concert, while St Giles in Reading and St Michael’s in Sonning Common will be hold Easter vigils in the evening. Easter Sunday services start at 5.30am for St Michael and St Mary Magdalene in Easthampstead, at 6.30am for St Mary’s Burghfield, and a more civilised 8am for Churches Together in Reading’s service, held in Forbury Gardens. v For more Easter events, see p26

Women invited to pray The annual Women’s World Day of Prayer will take place on Friday, March 6 and Thames Valley churches are joining in. This year’s service materials have been prepared by women from the Bahamas and takes the theme “Jesus said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you?’” A total of 170 countries are expected to take part, with 5,000 services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Services in the region are listed on page 24 and include 10.30am

services at Abbey Baptist Church, Reading, St James’ in Woodley and St Peter’s in Yateley. Our Lady and St John in Goring holds a service at 1.30pm, while Stoke Row Chapel will hold its service at 2pm, the same time as Wokingham women gather at Wokingham Methodist Church. St John’s Church in Caversham holds its service at 8pm in the evening. Although the event is aimed at women, men are welcome too. v For more details, log on to www. wwdp.org.uk.


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Free course brings comfort to bereaved BY JOHN WAKEFIELD Berkshire people who have been bereaved can benefit from a special course run by a funeral directors A.B. Walker & Son, a family business based in Reading, has set up the Link Bereavement Care Group and has already provided a bereavement course for scores of its clients who have lost loved ones. The courses have proved so successful that the service is now being opened up to the wider community. Anyone in Berkshire who has been bereaved in the past year, and feels they can benefit, can apply to go on the six-week course. A.B. Walker’s head of bereavement care, Melissa Walker, said: “We know for many people the funeral is just the beginning of the emotional journey. Grieving is a natural part of recovering from bereavement and losing a loved one can be one of life’s most difficult experiences. “Everyone’s experience of grief is unique but many people feel

Melissa Walker from A.B. Walker with Jackie Cassini Mellor who set up the Link Up social group after she attending the first bereavement course sadness, shock, anger, anxiety and despair. “Although we recognise there that the course would not necessarily suit everyone, we feel there are huge benefits in sharing experiences of loss and that’s why we set up the group. “We are determined to provide the best possible care for those who have lost a loved one.” The group was set up in

partnership with the charity Cruse Bereavement Care. Each session is a mixture of learning and group interaction, managed by trained group bereavement facilitators. The programme is held at A.B. Walker & Son’s Reading office and is free. “We see a change in the people who come along,” said Melissa. “We see them growing in confidence.”

The courses have been emotional, with tears shed and special friendships formed. “People like to share their stories,” said Melissa. “They can feel they are not alone, and that their feelings are normal, which has resulted in close bonds forming in the groups.” Already 14 A.B. Walker & Son staff have volunteered and gone on a four-day training course to be facilitators. They include pall bearers and funeral arrangers. “They are naturally caring and all have huge amounts of experience to offer,” said Melissa. After the course the bereaved are invited to stay in touch and join a Link Up social group which meets once a month. A.B. Walker & Son is one of Berkshire’s oldest family businesses. It was established in 1826 and is now run by the fifth generation of the family. v If you have been bereaved in the last year and feels you would benefit from The Link Bereavement Care Group email Melissa Walker: melissa@abwalker.co.uk.

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WELCOMING BOYS FROM SEPTEMBER 2015


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v Write on CAVERSHAM – A support group for Christians who write is looking for new members. Pilgrim Pens has been aiding Christians in the Thames Valley for some years. It meets two or three times a year. It meets in the home of Colin Ferguson in Caversham. The next meeting will be from 10.15am to 3pm on Saturday, March 7. Guests should bring sandwiches, while soup will be available. v To join, call 0118 948 2557 or email colindf@btinternet.com.

v Valuation time WINNERSH – A chance to value your valuables will help people in south India. Held at St Mary’s Church in Winnersh on Saturday, March 21 from 2pm to 6pm, the day sees experts from Martin & Pole value up to two items per person. Money raised will go to SalGO Assist, a charity supporting an orphanage, boys’ hostel, three schools and other projects in Andhra Pradesh, south India.

Celebrating St John Bosco BY CHRIS CARTER On Saturday, January 31, St John Bosco Church in Woodley celebrated the bicentenary of its patron saint in a special feast day service conducted to a packed congregation. Don Bosco, as he was known before his canonisation in 1934, was a pioneer educationalist and social worker among the dispossessed street children of Turin. As a 10-year-old in 1825, he was called in a dream to befriend unruly and blaspheming children, not with punishment but with love. The Preventive System of Education he went on to develop as a priest was based on the three pillars of reason, religion and kindness. Education, he maintained, was a “matter of the heart”. In his feast day sermon, Father Bonaventure Ndong called parishioners to follow the example of St John Bosco when speaking of the huge responsibility shouldered

Don’t miss an issue!

The anniversary cake is cut at St John Bosco, Woodley while, below, parishioners present gifts symbolising the church’s ministries by those responsible for raising and guiding children. "The words we choose,” he said, “the tone of voice we use to speak to them, and the actions our children see us take, relate to them the authority Jesus has over us.” As a relic of the saint was placed on the altar for veneration, a line of people proceeded up the aisle with gifts symbolising all the church ministries – from altar servers, choir and Eucharistic

ministers through to the Parish Council committees to cleaners, flower arrangers and caterers. One of St John Bosco’s protégés – also to become a saint – was a boy named Dominic Savio. It is no coincidence then that his name was chosen for the primary school which lies adjacent to the church. Dead at the age of only 14, St Dominic is the youngest non-martyr to be canonised in the Catholic Church.

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Wooden Spoon funds sensory room A NEW sensory room for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been opening at Christ the King Catholic Primary School in Whitley. The sensory room has been funded by a grant from rugby charity Wooden Spoon, and international rugby star Luke Narraway of Gloucester, Perpignan, London Irish and England opened the new space in the school’s ASD Resource Centre on Thursday January 22. He was joined by the Mayor of Reading, Cllr Tony Jones, and staff and pupils from the school. The new facility has a bubble wall, bubble tube, fibre optic lights and a white screen and projector. Special pens allow the children to write light

images on the screen and music can be played while the lights change. There are 21 pupils at Christ the King Primary with ASD and use the Resource Centre on a daily basis. Christ the King’s Catholic Primary School’s Headteacher, Mr John Cosgrove said: “We are privileged to host Reading’s Resource Centre for primary aged children with ASD, and we are very grateful to Wooden Spoon for funding the new sensory room, a fantastic new facility for our school. “We work hard to give all our children productive routines and to help them to enjoy success, and the sensory room will help us to achieve these goals.”


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A real Fusion of love to Whitley A charity that helps youth and community loves South Reading so much it’s moved in. VIVIENNE JOHNSON finds out why

A

doctor, a minister, a youth worker and an interior designer have joined forces to help people living in Reading’s most deprived community. Last month, as part of its exciting plan to move its national base into Whitely, Fusion Youth & Community UK presented a comprehensive report detailing the needs of people who live in the Whitley area to a group of VIPs. They included the deputy mayor of Reading, Cllr Sarah-Jane Hacker and Inspector Zahid Aziz, Thames Valley Police Neighbourhood Inspector South and East Reading. Skye Leon, full-time staff worker at Fusion, said: “As we established ourselves here in South Reading we were constantly meeting people who would ask ‘Why Whitley?’, as if we were masochists. It made me really want to know what was behind that attitude.” The team interviewed 32 different community leaders and service providers and ran two student workshops with students at John Madejski Academy and Reading Girls School. Other data was gathered from community surveys, student surveys and the deciphering of data from the Office of National Statistics, Reading Borough Council and Public Health England. The report include findings and recommendations based on the community’s perceived and real needs and current service provision. It also identifies opportunities to better bridge the two. “While it’s clear that South Reading suffers from social deprivation, there are strengths to celebrate and changes to advocate for, if we want to see this community’s aspirations and expectation’s in life raised,” says Skye. “Our report is definitely a part of that process.” Fusion's arrival in Whitley is not a new thing – it has been working in the area, mainly through local churches, for the best part of a decade. It has also been instrumental in helping the South Reading Churches establish the annual Fun Day and supported them with training and guidance. And its decision to be an active part of the Whitely community has been welcomed by local leaders. “I think it’s important to support local communities,” says Sarah-Jane,

The Revd Anika Parker, Dr Clare Bankole, Cllr Sarah-Jane Hacker, Kim Anderson and Skye Leon at the launch of Fusion’s report into Whitley needs. Skye is also pictured below Pictures: Vivienne Johnson

Ready to help: Inspector Zahid Aziz attended the launch of Fusion’s report who is a councillor for Reading's Battle ward. “I want to help Whitley fulfil its full potential.” The Revd Vernon Orr, vicar of St Agnes, St Paul and St Barnabas churches, which serve the Whitley area, says: “When I heard that Fusion wanted to base their UK headquarters in Whitley I was absolutely thrilled to bits. “We’ve been working with Fusion for 10 years and so admire their professionalism and servant heart. “They are world beaters when it comes to festivals and celebrations, so the thought that we’d work with them and see more of them and they’d be able to help us more is thrilling.” The research team are Dr Claire Bankole, the Revd Anika Parker, Skye Leon and Kim

Anderson – a Brit, two Aussies and an American, most with extensive youth and community work credentials. They currently work for Fusion Youth and Community as full-time volunteers. Their research project isn't a box-ticking exercise. The results will shape the way the team will work in the area over the coming months. Skye says that the report was a chance to find out what life was like from the perspective of people living in the area. It then identifies 42 recommendations: “We will be tackling the top six,” says Dr Claire Bankole, Fusion National Co-ordinator and Whitley team Leader. The half-a-dozen areas Fusion will be focusing on are: family, parenting, relationships, youth and young adults, health and well-being and community building. The next step will be to go to the churches in the area and work out a way that Fusion can help. The Revd Anika Parker, full-time staff worker with Fusion, admits that there are challenges associated with living in the Whitley area. For example, life expectancy is nine years lower than the rest of Reading. Anika says: “Teenagers and young people aren’t given the opportunities they need because of the postcode they live at.” Despite this, the Fusion team are upbeat and determined to make a difference in Whitley as Anika explains: “There’s a strong sense of community in Whitley. “Fusion don’t just want to work in the community but want to become part of it and see good things for Whitley. Whatever we do we want our contribution to be beneficial and welcome.” v You can find out more about Fusion and download its Whitley report at its website, www.fusionyac.org


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v Holocaust remembered READING – Reading Borough Council held a service of reflection to rememeber victims of the Holocaust. It took place at Reading Town Hall on Tuesday, January 20. The event commemorated the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia. The guest speaker was Dr John Fieldsend. He is a survivor of the Kindertransport which evacuated Jewish children from Nazi controlled areas in Europe just before the outbreak of the Second World War. He left Czechoslovakia in 1939 as one of the 669 children rescued through the work of Sir Nicholas Winton, and was fostered into an English family. Now 81, he is a retired clergyman living in the Home Counties.

InterServe batter the

v Buses support

v Easter fayre SOUTHCOTE – An Easter fayre will take place at Grange URC in Ciruit Lane on Saturday, March 14. There will be a range of stalls for all to enjoy as well as refrshments. It runs from 10am to noon and entry is free.

PICTURES: PAUL KING

I

t’s flipping marvellous! Reading’s Broad Street was packed with pancakes for the annual Shrove Tuesday contest. Teams of four took part in the traditional contest, flipping pancakes in frying pans as they ran a short course set up outside shops such as Clas Ohlson and Superdrug.

Treasures to Explore 7PM, SATURDAY 18TH APRIL Caversham Methodist Church, Gosbrook Road RG4 8EB Tickets £5, including interval refreshments To book, call 0118 947 8607 or 0118 947 2404

on in the chilly winter sunshine. This year’s winners were a team from Interserve, who beat Gleeson Recruitment Group. A team from Specsavers came third. Other teams taking part included Blandy and Blandy, Sainsbury’s and Davis Tate. As well as the race, there was another award: Charles Hunter Associates had the best costume, coming dressed as characters from The Wizard of Oz.

Xntricity

The power to connect communtities

)

A concert where the Revd David Jenkins will play the piano, sing & tell jokes for UNICEF

Each pancake had to be flipped at least four times during each leg of the relay race. It was all in a good cause – the event raised cash for Launchpad, which works to help vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the Reading area to turn things around. Twenty nine teams lined up for the race, which was overseen by Reading mayor, Cllr Tony Jones. Crowds gathered to cheer people

)

READING – In its most successfulever charity partnership, Reading Buses raised more than £9,000 for Launchpad last year. A cheque for £9,476.76 was handed over to Launchpad at Reading Buses Great Knollys Street depot on Thursday, January 15 to mark the end of the year-long relationship. Reading Buses HR director Caroline Anscombe said: “We have been thrilled by the way in which the year has gone for both ourselves and Launchpad.”

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Take care! Make the most of life with Philip Keohane

Just five minutes?

‘S

hock toll of five-minute care visits: Hundreds of thousands of elderly suffer “drive-bys” as stretched councils tell staff not to waste time making conversation.’ This story has been picked up by both print and TV news over the last few weeks as the UK awaits the implementation of the new Care Act which is due to come into force next month. The Act is being promoted as a vehicle to improve access to care in the home and to give people greater empowerment in deciding how they would like to be looked after while staying in their own homes surrounded by their lives possessions and memories. Central government grant cuts have seen spending on social care for the elderly at a local level fall from £9.95bn in 2011 to £8.85bn last year. These cash pressures are likely to increase further the number of very short pop-in visits where carers barely have time to make their client a cup of tea. I truly despair of this attitude. Yes there is some requirement for carers to perform purely task based visits where they go into the client’s homes to help with washing, bathing and dressing etc. This approach totally ignores the necessity to look at people in their entirety, administering to their emotional needs as well as the physical ones. Many of our clients see no one else but our carers during a day. We are therefore their window to the outside world and their one chance to have some human contact during their day. How could we even begin to demonstrate dignity and respect to these clients in the space of five to 15 minutes? Liberal Democrat care minister Norman Lamb has described the situation as “totally inappropriate and unacceptable”. He added: “It is just fanciful to think that elderly people can be provided with compassionate and kind care in this sort of time slot.” Despite repeatedly condemning short 15-minute visits, the Government has stopped short of banning them. Instead, ministers have promised a crackdown by ordering the Care Quality Commission watchdog to investigate their use. What is evolving therefore is a true dichotomy of words against actions. The Social Care Charter and new Care Act are seeking to drive up standards, provide a living wage for people working in social care and encourage care providers to look after their employees. Government spending on social care is following a contradictory agenda. At Home Instead, we will continue to champion the case for nearly all care visits to be of an hour or more, giving us the time to spend talking with our clients, building a developing relationship with them and supporting them to broaden their horizons. That’s exactly what I would have wanted for my Mum and Dad. Philip Keohane is owner & director of Home Instead Senior Care in Reading


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Trades directory

House & home 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

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.

v Carpets

Financial v Chartered Accountants

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

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

Tell advertisers you saw their ad in Xn

We’re the perfect place to advertise your business has “Our recent advert been of great help – We have been blessed ct, with a church proje installing a corner fé kitchen area for a ca .” project in Southcote

BRINGING COMMUNIT Y TOGETHER To advertise call 0118 328 3108 v Carpentry & Property Maintenance Available for all your Carpentry, Kitchen and Property Maintenance requirements. Photos, previous work and price guide available online. Excellent quality at a reasonable price. 07903 254958 MichaelJFisher123@yahoo.com MichaelJFisher123.co.uk

v Alarms

BERKSHIRE HOME ALARMS

domestic alarm specialist

repairs-upgrades-servicing-Advice Just good old fashioned personal service

0118 9507213

12 gordon place, reading

v Building solutions 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

v Plastering 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 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 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 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

Photography

e Colman & Co – Trad s Directory advertiser

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

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


classifieds

To advertise call 0118 328 3108

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

Services v CV & Job Search Support Listening and coaching you to grasp your need for gainful and joyful employment! Corporate and personal referrals welcome Contact Gloria May 07939577266 nurturing.hope@yahoo.com We'd love to hear from you!

v Picture framing

v Marketing

Creative communications

What a good idea Hyperbole

0118 966 6600

www.hyperbole.co.uk

| www.xnmedia.co.uk | March 2015

Music

Life events

v Piano tuning

v Funeral directors

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.

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

v Counselling Philippi Trust Counselling and Training. Counselling offered for a variety of issues. Also Level 2 Introduction to Counselling courses starting in the Spring and Autumn. Contact 0118 966 7422 or email reading@philippi.co.uk

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 frame direct ltd

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

• 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

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

MAKE SURE YOU Tell advertisers you saw their ad in Xn

21

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.


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FAMILY CIRCLE v

ALDERMASTON & WASING – The Revd Derek Spears, who last year retired from St Peter’s Church in Earley, has joined the parish.

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BASINGSTOKE – The Basingstoke and Reading Methodist Circuit will be hosting the District Synod on Saturday, April 25 at Trinity Methodist Church. The Circuit is looking for volunteers to help with everything from setting up the venue the day before to car parking stewards, providing transport to and from the railway station, stewarding and refreshments. v To offer help, email Sarah on circuitadmin@basingstokecircuit.net.

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BEECH HILL – The Baptist Chapel will mark its 291st anniversary with a special service on Good Friday. The guest speaker will be Peter Atwill, chaplain to the waterways, working with Canal Ministries and he lives on a narrow boat. Peter will also speak at the church’s Easter Sunday meetings at 10.30am and 6.30pm and all are welcome.

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BRIMPTON – To mark Holy Week, St Peter’s is inviting people to visit and explore the Easter story. The church will be open from 10am to 6pm from March 30 to Good Friday, April 3, so visitors can see scenes and artefacts that capture key moments of the Passion. There will also be a short guided reflection on Monday, March 30 at 7pm.

v

news

March 2015 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 0118 328 3108

CATHOLIC CHURCHES – Pope Francis has asked all Catholic parishes worldwide to hold a period of 24 hours of prayer from Friday,

Keeping you in touch with each other Email your news to editor@xnmedia.co.uk

Beautiful welcome for Christ Church’s new vicar

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READING – In a beautiful service full of joy, symbolism and music, Father Peter Day (SCP) was installed as Vicar of Christ Church on Sunday February 15. The church was full with people of all ages and nationalities for a choral Eucharist (using Hymns Old and New). The Venerable Olivia Graham, Archdeacon of Berkshire who conducted the service said: “This is an important moment in the life of Peter. So far he has been a priest-in-charge, he is now a vicar.” In a symbolic act during the installation service, Peter was led to the door of the church by the Archdeacon and church wardens. The Archdeacon then laid his hand on the handle of the church door so Father Peter could be given possession of the church building. In his sermon Father Peter spoke about the transfiguration of Jesus, when Jesus takes His disciples up a mountain to pray. At this moment, he said, Jesus was covered in God’s glory

March 13 and Saturday, March 14. Four churches from the Reading Pastoral Area will remain open throughout the night – St James Church, English Martyrs Church, St Anne’s, Caversham and St John Bosco in Woodley. Plans are still being made as we went to press, but there will be a range of devotions and reflections for people to participate in.

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CAVERSHAM – Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali will spend Sunday, March 1 with members of Grace Church Caversham. His visit starts with the 10.30am morning service and is followed

Antiques Valuation

by Martin & Pole of Wokingham To be held at St Mary’s Church, Robinhood Lane, Winnersh, RG41 5NA on Saturday March 21st from 2pm–6pm Experts from Martin & Pole will make valuations. Admission £2 per item (max 2 items). Refreshments available. In aid of SalGO Assist (regd. Charity No. 1101811) supporting an orphanage, boys’ hostel, three schools and other projects among the poor of Andhra Pradesh, south India. For more details, visit www.salgoassist.org

and the disciples were able to see His true nature. “There are times when we can catch a glimpse of God’s glory,” Father Peter said. “Such as in prayer, during Eucharist or when we witness acts of kindness.” During the service Father Peter reflected on Lent and encouraged the

congregation to spend time praying. After the service the congregation stayed to enjoy refreshments. “He’s been really good for the church.” said Peter Lessey, a member of the congregation. “Father Peter is always there for me.” he said. “He really deserves to be a vicar.” VIVIENNE JOHNSON

by a lunch at 12.30pm. In the afternoon, he will lead a seminar from 2.30pm. Entitled The Little People And Events In The MIddle East, the session will see the Bishop share his insights into the situation in the Middle East and how it affects ordinary people living there. v gracechurchcaversham.org.uk.

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EARLEY – Network Vineyard church will welcome Ian McCormack for a special evening event just before Easter. He will reflecting on A Glimpse of Eternity at the event, which will take place on Maundy Thursday, April 2, from 8pm. The church can be found at Woodley Hill House in Eastcourt Avenue. v For more on Ian’s ministry visit www.aglimpseofeternity.org.

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READING – Renovation work to the church of St William of York started on Monday, February 16. The church, in Upper Redlands Road, is extending the platform in front of the altar and replacing stained tiles.

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TWYFORD – The Revd Michael Wallace will be inducted at Newcastle-under-Lyme on Saturday, March 7. The URC church will be sending greetings as he starts his ministry.

WOKINGHAM – The Revd Nick Thompson has been appointed as Superintendent of the High Wycombe Methodist Circuit and will leave Wokingham Methodist Church in the summer. Along with his wife Pam, they will be moving to Marlow. Pam has been Wokingham’s Traidcraft supplier during the time she has lived here and their contribution will be much missed.

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SANDHURST – St Michael’s and All Angels Church is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year with a series of special events including, on June 6, a celebration of thanksgiving for marriage. This will include a display of wedding dresses from the 1950s to the present day. v www.stmichaels-sandhurst.org.uk

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WOKINGHAM WITHOUT – St Sebastian’s Church is celebrating after its vicar was installed as an honorary canon of Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford. Members of the church visited the cathedral for a special service, held on Saturday, January 31. The Revd Canon Andrew Marsden was installed in recognition for his work in the diocese of Oxford, to which St Sebastian’s belongs.


classified

To advertise call 0118 328 3108

| www.xnmedia.co.uk | March 2015

23

Situations vacant

Anderson Baptist Church Anderson Baptist Church st 71st Reading (Anderson) Scouts Reading (Anderson) 71st71 Reading (Anderson) Scouts Amherst Road, Reading, Berkshire

S

Amherst Amherst Road, Reading,Road, BerkshireReading, Berkshir

Volunteer Beaver Leader Needed

Volunteerduring Beaver Leader Needed– 6.15pm Monday Evenings term time 5.00pm Monday Evenings during term time 5.00pm – 6.15pm at Anderson Baptist Church, Amherst Road, RG6 1NU.Needed . at Anderson Baptist Church,Beaver Amherst Road, RG6 1NU Volunteer Leader

St John the Evangelist, Woodley

Youth Worker

Monday Evenings during termoftime 5.00pm – 6.15pm • 71st Reading (Anderson) are a section vibrantofand group  Beaver Scouts areScouts the youngest the active Scouting family. young people Anderson Baptist Church, Amherst Our Beaver colony currently has 22ofboys girls aged 6 to 8 years old Road, RG6 1NU . • BeaverScouts areat the youngest section the and Scouting family.  Our Beaver meetings are designed around the Beaver motto of ‘Fun and Friends’ • Our Beaver colony currently has 22 boys and girls aged 6 to 8 years old aim to help (Anderson) the children develop physically,are socially, emotionallyand and spiritually.  71 st We Reading Scouts a vibrant active group of young • Our Beaver meetings designed around the handwork Beaver motto of small ‘Fun group and Friends’  Each meetingare generally contains games, or other activities.  Beaver Scouts are the youngest section of the Scouting  We have an active rota of parent helpers each week. • We aim to help the children develop physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually. family. Our Beaver colony has 22 boyssmall andgroup girlsactivities. aged 6 to 8 years old position of Volunteer Beavercurrently Leader would include: • EachThe meeting generally contains games, handwork or other • We have an active rota of parent helpers each week. Our Beaver meetings are designed around the Beaver motto of ‘Fun and  Planning & leading the weekly meetings each Monday (during term time) 

New part-time post at St John’s, Woodley: 10hours per week post, £6.80–£11.55 per hour

Looking for an energetic self-starter to build on contacts through St John’s, to lead & develop the work amongst young people (7-16) in the parish and wider community, making disciples of Jesus. Interested? We’d love you to contact Eddie: vicar@stjohn-woodley.com Further information and application: info@stjohn-woodley.com

71st Reading (Anderson) Scouts are a vibrant and active group of young people

 Planning termlythe programme, along develop with the young leaders & parent helpers. emotionally and We aim tothehelp children physically, socially,

Planning theof termly programme, along with the young leaders & parent  The support the 71 Reading Scout Executive

 Working with & Beaver encouraging the participation of the parents. The position of Volunteer Leader would include:  Each meeting generally contains games,  Developing the skills and confidence of the young people. handwork or other small group • Planning & leading the weekly meetings each Monday (during term time)  Participation in our very popular annual family camp.  We have an active rota of parent helpers • Planning termly programme, alongofwith the young leaders each & parentweek. helpers.  the Maintaining the Christian ethos the group. • Working with & encouraging the participation of the parents. You will get: The position of Volunteer Beaver Leader would include: • Developing the skills and confidence of the young people.  Full Scout adult training. • Participation in ourmentor very popular annual family camp. process.  A training& to help the you through the training  Planning leading weekly meetings each Monday (during term time • Maintaining theadult Christian ethosleader of thewarrant. group.  A full Scout adult st

 The support of Anderson Baptist Churchthe leadership team.  willWorking with & encouraging participation of the parents. You get: • Full Scout adult training. Developing the skills and ofchat, theplease young people. For further information about the confidence role or for a general contact Francesca 07948 336376 email: francesca.yates.mail@gmail.com • A training mentor toYates help you through the training process. family camp. Participation inon our very popular annual • A fullMaintaining adult Scout adultthe leader warrant. ethos of the group. Christian • The support of the 71st Reading Scout Executive • The support of Anderson Baptist Church leadership team.

Applications by 25th April 2015 Interview Friday 8th May 2015 Start date: early June 2015

You will get:

An Occupational Requirement exists for the post-holder to be a Christian in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. Offer will be subject to satisfactory references and checks, including an enhanced DBS disclosure

further information about the role or for a general chat,  For Full Scout adult training. please contact Francesca Yates on 07948 336376  A training mentor to help you through the training process. email: francesca.yates.mail@gmail.com  A full adult Scout adult leader warrant.  The support of the 71st Reading Scout Executive  The support of Anderson Baptist Church leadership team.

Xn Media Ltd is expanding – we’ll soon be launching The Wokingham

St Johns Woodleyt.indd 1

20/02/2015 12:08:56 Paper, a brand-new newspaper for the Wokingham Borough.

YOU CAN MAKE THE NEWS! Advertising sales staff required The Wokingham Paper is coming – we need the right people to make this a success story

For further information about the role or for a general chat, please con

Francesca Yates on 07948 336376 email: We’re looking for amazing people who can help make Thefrancesca.yates.mail@gmail Wokingham Paper a hit from the first issue. We’re need amazing advertising sales staff to meet with advertisers and introduce them to this brilliant new community newspaper.

Are you a self-starter? Do you enjoy meeting people? Are you looking for a flexible job you can fit around your family? Flexible hours & packages.

Send your CV to Phil Creighton: editor@xnmedia.co.uk


24

calendar

March 2015 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 0118 328 3108

WHAT’S ON

Keeping you in touch with each other

THERE’S MORE ONLINE! We can’t fit everything into the print edition, so log on to xnmedia.co.uk for more events Saturday, Feb 28 ALDERMASTON – Parish Hall. Aldermaston Players present dinner and theatre nights: The Shakespeare Revue. 7pm for 7.30pm. £22.50. Details: www.aldermastonplayers. co.uk or 0118 981 5815. BRACKNELL – Holy Trinity Church Hall, The Ring. Quiz night. £5 adults, £2 children. 7.30pm. Details: btmadmin@tiscali.co.uk or 01344 867383. CAVERSHAM – Caversham Methodist Church, Gosbrook Road. Quiz night. Details: www.cavhmc.org.uk. EARLEY – Woodley Hill House, Eastcourt Avenue. By My Spirit, training day run by Network Vineyard’s School of Supernatural Evangelism. 9.30am-5pm. Details: www. schoolofsupernaturalevangelism. com/2014/12/20/by-my-spirit/ FINCHAMPSTEAD – Memorial Hall. St James Church musical concert: All At Sea. 7.30pm. £12, includes fish ‘n’ chips. Details: 0118 973 0133 or parish.finchampstead.co.uk. LOWER EARLEY – Trinity Church, Chalfont Way. Reading Phoenix Choir and the Jewel Tones in concert. £10, £5 under 16. Details: www. trinityearley.co.uk. READING – All Saints Church Hall, Downshire Sq. Quiz night. 7.30pm. READING – Park URC, Palmer Park Ave. St David’s quiz and evening. 6.30pm. Details: www.parkurc.org.uk. READING – St John’s School, Orts Road. Cabaret night. Time TBC. Details: www.stjohnandstephen.co.uk. READING – The Warehouse, Cumberland Road RG1 3LB. Ladies Night including a three-course meal, raffle and auctions. Dress code: Bollywood. £10. Over 15s and women only. Details: Saika Chaudhry 07400 416141. WOKINGHAM – All Saints Church, Wiltshire Road RG40 1UE. THE F WORD: stories of forgiveness, an exhibition of words and photographs. 10am-5pm. Free entry. Details: www. allsaintswokingham.org.uk. WOODLEY – St James’ Church, Kingfisher Way. Caribbean Evening: food, limbo dancing, tombola, quizzes, choir and more. 6pm. Details: 0118 966 2568. YATELEY – St Peter’s Church. Vox Angelica in concert in aid of church building project. £10. 7.30pm. Details: 01252 873647.

Sunday, March 1 BRADFIELD – Bradfield College Chapel. Free concert by Enharmonic Choir, donations to Saints’ Project Trust. 6.30pm. Suitable for all ages. Details: www.thesaintsprojectstrust.org. CAVERSHAM – St Andrew’s Church, Albert Road. Talk by the Revd Stuart Windsor of Christian Solidarity Worldwide with tea and cakes. 4.30pm. Details: www. standrewscaversham.org.

CAVERSHAM – St John’s, St John’s Road RG4 8EB. Service for fairtrade fortnight. 10am. Details: www. stjohnthebaptistcaversham.org.uk. CAVERSHAM – Grace Church. A day with Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali: 10.30am morning service, 12.30pm lunch, 2.30pm Seminar: The Little People & Events In The Middle East. Details: gracechurchcaversham.org.uk. CROWTHORNE – St John’s Church, Waterloo Road. Lent lunch in aid of relief work in Syria. 12.30pm-2pm. Suggested donation £5. Details: www. crowthorneparishchurch.org.uk. EARLEY – St Nicolas, Sutcliffe Avenue. People, prayer and potatoes Messy Church. Details: 0118 966 9080, office@stnicolas.org.uk. READING – Park URC, Palmer Park Ave RG6 1DN. Messy Church. 3pm-5pm. Details: www.parkurc.org.uk. SHINFIELD – Baptist Church, Hollow Lane. Messy Church. 4pm-6pm. Details: 0118 327 3180 or www. shinfieldbaptist.org.uk. WOKINGHAM – All Saints Church, Wiltshire Road RG40 1UE. THE F WORD exhibition. 2pm-5pm. Details: www.allsaintswokingham.org.uk.

Monday, March 2 LOWER EARLEY – Trinity Church, Chalfont Way. Lent Course: Fruitfulness on the Frontline. 7.45pm-9.30pm. Details: www.trinityearley.co.uk. READING – Bill’s Restaurant, Chain Street. Reading at Work and Christians in Science present Can a Christian be a Scientist? a talk by Professor Keith Fox. 7.45pm. Details or booking: dave@readingatwork.org. WOKINGHAM – All Saints Church, Wiltshire Road RG40 1UE. THE F WORD exhibition. 10am-5pm. Details: www.allsaintswokingham.org.uk.

Tuesday, March 3 FINCHAMPSTEAD – St James’ Church Centre. Lent Lectures. Time TBC. Details: 0118 973 0133 or parish. finchampstead.co.uk. TILEHURST – St Michael’s Church, Routh Lane. Lent lunches: soup, bread, cheese. £3.50. Cake 60p. In aid of Launchpad. Noon-1.30pm. Details: 0118 942 7331 or www. stmichaeltilehurst.org.uk. WHITCHURCH – The Old Stables, High Street. Community coffee morning from 10.30am. Followed by lent lunches from 12.15pm-2pm. Details: 0118 984 5702. WOKINGHAM – All Saints Church, Wiltshire Road RG40 1UE. THE F WORD exhibition. 10am-5pm. Details: www.allsaintswokingham.org.uk.

Wed, March 4 ALDERMASTON – Shalford Farm House, opposite the T junction at the west end of Wasing Lane. Lent lunch:

home-made soup, bread and cheese. 12.30pm. Donations for Consortium for Street Children, www.streetchildren. org.uk. ALDERMASTON – Rectory. Lent group. 7.30pm. Details: www.awb.org.uk. EARLEY – Our Lady of Peace, Wokingham Road. Marriage and the Family: a Lenten open session featuring a talk and an open discussion. Elizabeth Davies, Marriage Family Life project Office: key outcomes of the 2014 Synod on Mission and the Family. 7.30pm-9pm. Free entry, no booking necessary. EARLEY – Brookside Church, Brookside Close RG6 7HG. The Grace Course with Andy Morris and Terse Sturdy. 7.30pm. Details: www.brooksidechurch.org.uk. SONNING COMMON – Christ The King Church. Lent study group. 2pm. TILEHURST – Cornwell Centre, Home Croft, off Clements Mead. Blood donor sessions. Details: 0300 123 2323. TILEHURST – St Mary Magdalen Church, Rodway Road. Reading Concert Singers spring concert: Mozart’s Spatzen-Messe (Sparrows Mass) KV220, together with works by John Rutter, Howard Goodall, Bob Chilcott and Musical Director Tim Munday. In aid of Berkshire MS Therapy Centre. £8, under 16s £4. 7.30pm. Tickets on door or 0118 942 5290. TWYFORD – St Mary’s Church Centre. Lent course: The Lamb Wins. 8pm-9.45pm. Details: www.thru-christ.org.uk. WHITCHURCH – The Old Stables, High Street. Lent group: Lord, teach us how to pray. 8pm. Details: 0118 984 5702. WOKINGHAM – All Saints Church, Wiltshire Road RG40 1UE. THE F WORD exhibition. Noon-5pm. Free entry. Details: www. allsaintswokingham.org.uk.

Thursday, March 5 BRACKNELL – Kerith Community Church. Jason Upton in concert, hosted by Big Church Night In. 6.30pm. £12.50. Details: www.bigchurchnightin.com. MIDGHAM – Vicarage. Lent group. 7.30pm. Details: www.awb.org.uk. WARGRAVE – St Mary’s. Lent Bible study. 7.45pm. Details: wargravechurch.org.uk. WOKINGHAM – All Saints Church, Wiltshire Road RG40 1UE. THE F WORD exhibition. 10am-5pm. Free entry. Details: www. allsaintswokingham.org.uk.

Friday, March 6 BRACKNELL – St Paul’s URC, Harman’s Water. Friday night fish and chips with Christian Aid. £6.50. Booking essential. Details: Jessica Hall on 01865246818 or email jhall@christian–aid.org. CAVERSHAM – St John’s Church, Gosbrook Road. Women’s World Day of Prayer service: Do You Know What I Have Done For You? 8pm. All welcome. EARLEY – Earley St Peter’s, Church Road. Lent lunches: a short talk and a simple soup lunch in aid of REInspired and church funds with Maureen Devine. 12.30pm. Details: 0118 966 8575.

EARLEY – St Nicolas, Sutcliffe Avenue. Quiz night in aid of Amos Trust housebuilding trust in Palestine. £10, including Palestinian snacks and fish ‘n’ chip supper. Bring your own drinks. Details: 0118 966 9080. GORING – Our Lady & St John, Ferry Lane. Women’s World Day of Prayer service. 1.30pm. READING – Abbey Baptist Church, Abbey Square. Women’s World Day of prayer service. 10.30am. STOKE ROW – Stoke Row Chapel. Women’s World Day of Prayer service. 2pm. WOKINGHAM – Methodist Church, Rose Street. Women’s World Day of Prayer service, all welcome. 2pm. WOODLEY – St James’, Kingfisher Drive. Women’s World Day of Prayer service. 10.30am. WOOLHAMPTON – Contact church for address. Lent group. 2.30pm. Details: www.awb.org.uk. YATELEY – St Peter’s Church, Reading Road. Women’s World Day of Prayer service, all welcome. 10.30am. Details: www.stpetersyateley.co.uk.

Saturday, March 7 BRACKNELL – Kerith Community Church, Church Road. Free To Be Women’s event with Helen Cottee. 7pm-9pm. Free, bring drinks, snacks and a friend. Details: www.kerith.co.uk. CAVERSHAM – St Andrew’s, Albert Road. Mothers Union baby and children sale. 9.30am. Details: www. standrewscaversham.org. CHARVIL – Pearson Hall. 1st Sonning Scout Group quiz night. 6.30pm. £6, includes food. Bar available. Teams of 4-6. Details/tickets: quiz@ sonningscouts.co.uk. GORING – St Thomas of Canterbury RG8 9AD. Reading Bach Choir concert: Mass by Poulenc and a Requiem by Pizzetti. £12, Concessions £10, Students and 16-18 £8, under 16 £5. Details: tickets@readingbachchoir. org.uk or 0118 947 8097. NEWBURY – St John The Evangelist Church, St John’s Road RG14 7PY. Mental Health Wellbeing conference with Suzanna Morris, founder of Churches Mental Health Consultancy. 9.30am-12.30pm. Free. Details: Colin Powelll: colin.glendale@gmail.com. READING – All Saints Church Hall, Downshire Sq. Jumble Sale. 1.30pm. READING – The Oasis, Baker Sreet. Women’s breakfast with guest speaker Natalie Brand. 9.30am-11.30am. Details: careybaptistchurch.org.uk.

READING – The Warehouse, Cumberland Road RG1 3LB. Barn Dance in aid of Amnesty International. Music by the Scamping Rogues. 7pm. Details: amnesty.reading@googlemail.com. SANDHURST – St Michael’s Church, Lower Church Road. Quiz night. 7.30pm. Details: 01252 873030 or www.stmichaels-sandhurst.org.uk. THREE MILE CROSS – South of Reading Christian Fellowship. Basingstoke Road RG7 1AT. PWMI (Prophetic Witness Movement International) Meeting: How God Will Save Egypt In The Last Days, a talk by Pastor Jon Ikin. 7.30pm. Details: www.sorcf.co.uk or 0118 988 4508. WINNERSH – St Mary’s Church Hall. Quiz night, teams of up to six. £10, includes a meal. Details: 0118 979 3898. WOKINGHAM – Methodist Church, Rose Street. Action for Children Circuit Quiz and fish ‘n’ chip supper (chicken or vegetarian). Teams of up to 8. 7pm.

Sunday, March 8 WOKINGHAM WITHOUT – St Sebastian’s, Nine Mile Ride RG40 3AT. The Big Issues: What Is Marriage? 9.30am and 11.15am. Details: www.stsebschurch. org.uk.

Monday, March 9 LOWER EARLEY – Trinity Church, Chalfont Way. Lent Course: Fruitfulness on the Frontline. 7.45pm9.30pm. Details: trinityearley.co.uk. READING – Zerodegrees, Gun Street. Café Theologique, organised by University of Reading Chaplaincy. Prof Gavin Flood, professor of Hindu Studies and Comparative Religion, University of Oxford. The Truth Within: Inwardness in Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism. 7.30pm. Free entry. WOODLEY – Christ Church, Crockhamwell Road. Network Fellowship and Wesley Guild meeting: The Mayfield Singers. 2pm. Details: www.christ-churchwoodley.org.uk.

Tuesday, March 10 EARLEY – St Nicolas, Sutcliffe Avenue. Mothers’ Union Lent service. 2.15pm. Details: 0118 966 9080, office@ stnicolas.org.uk. FINCHAMPSTEAD – St James’ Church Centre. Lent Lectures. Time TBC. Details: 0118 973 0133 or parish. finchampstead.co.uk. TILEHURST – St Michael’s Church, Routh Lane. Lent lunches: soup, bread, cheese. £3.50. Cake 60p. In

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Hear Xn editor Phil Creighton at 8.20am 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 8.20am.


calendar aid of Launchpad. Noon-1.30pm. Details: 0118 942 7331 or www. stmichaeltilehurst.org.uk. WHITCHURCH – The Old Stables, High Street. Community coffee morning from 10.30am. Followed by lent lunches from 12.15pm-2pm. Details: 0118 984 5702.

Wed, March 11 ALDERMASTON – Rectory. Lent group. 7.30pm. Details: www.awb.org.uk. EARLEY – Brookside Church, Brookside Close RG6 7HG. The Grace Course. 7.30pm-9.30pm. Details: www. brooksidechurch.org.uk. SHINFIELD – Baptist Church, Hollow Lane. Senior Citizens’ Tea party. 3pm4.30pm. Details: 0118 327 3180 or www.shinfieldbaptist.org.uk. SONNING COMMON – Christ The King Church. Lent study group. 2pm. TWYFORD – St Mary’s Church Centre. Lent course: The Lamb Wins. 8pm. Details: www.thru-christ.org.uk. WHITLEY – St Agnes Church, Northumberland Avenue. Reading Concert Singers: Mozart’s SpatzenMesse, works by John Rutter, Howard Goodall, Bob Chilcott and Tim Munday. In aid of Berkshire MS Therapy Centre. 7.30pm. £8, under 16s £4. Tickets: 0118 942 5290. WHITCHURCH – The Old Stables, High Street. Lent group: Lord, teach us how to pray. 8pm. Details: 0118 984 5702. WHITLEY – Christ The King Church, Northumberland Avenue. Marriage and the Family: a Lenten open session featuring a talk and an open discussion. Spirituality of marriage and family life. 7.30pm-9pm. Free entry, no booking necessary. WOKINGHAM – Keenan Rooms, Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church, Sturges Road RG40 2HE. Sing A New Song To The Lord: ecumenical praise evening. 7.45pm. All welcome.

Thursday, March 12 MIDGHAM – Vicarage. Lent group. 7.30pm. Details: www.awb.org.uk. WARGRAVE – St Mary’s. Lent Bible study. 7.45pm. Details: wargravechurch. org.uk. WOKINGHAM – Kings Church, Station Road RG40 2AD. Wokingham Cake Club: share your love for baking. No muffins, cupcakes, cookies, biscuits or pies. 7.30pm. Details: 0118 961 6876 or admin@kingschurch.org.uk.

Friday, March 13 EARLEY – Earley St Peter’s, Church Road. Lent lunches: a short talk and a simple soup lunch in aid of REinspired and church funds: The thief on the cross with Judith Wheatley. 12.30pm. Details: 0118 966 8575. WOOLHAMPTON – Contact church for address. Lent group. 2.30pm. Details: www.awb.org.uk.

Saturday, March 14 CAVERSHAM – St Andrew’s, Albert Road. Concerts in Caversham presents Mostly Mozart with The Caversham Ensemble. 7.30pm. £13/£15 in advance, £15/£17 on the door. Details: www.concertsincaversham.co.uk. CROWTHORNE – Our Lady’s School. Social Evening with Ploughman’s Supper and Race Night. Bring your own bottle & glass. £4. 7.30pm. Booking essential. Details: crowsand@ portsmouthdiocese.org.uk.

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CROWTHORNE – Woodmancote, Pinewood Avenue RG45 6RQ. Out To Tea: for older members of the community. 2.30pm-4.30pm. Transport available. Details: 01344 780087 or www.wokinghamvineyard.org. EASTHAMPSTEAD – Easthampstead Baptist Church, South Hill Road RG12 7NS. Movie night for families. 4pm. Details: 01344 487744 or www.ebcbracknell.org. EARLEY – St Nicolas, Sutcliffe Avenue. Mothering Sunday service. 10am. Details: 0118 966 9080, office@ stnicolas.org.uk. FINCHAMPSTEAD – California Ratepayers Hall. Jumble sale. 2pm. Details: 0118 973 0133. FINCHAMPSTEAD – FBC Centre. Precious presents Masterpiece: a girls’ event to be creative, inspired and have fun. School years 3-5 1pm-3.30pm, school years 6-11 4.30pm-7pm. Details: www. preciousministries.com. GRAZELEY – Village Hall. RoadRunner in concert. £15, includes supper. Bring your own drinks. Details: 0118 988 4762. GRINGER HILL – St Piran’s School SL6 7LZ. Come and Sing: a fun afternoon of singing including Dear Lord and Father of Mankind, Look at the World, Ave Verum Corpus, Love Devine and Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus. £10 with tea and cake. Performance 6pm. In aid of Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service. Details: Pat Trotter 01628 524332 or pattrotter@talktalk.net. NEWBURY – Newbury Methodist Church. CTNA presents a training day for people working with those with additional needs. Details: Maree Farrimond, minister@ newburymethodistchurch.org.uk. READING – University of Reading 3G Pitches, Whiteknights campus. Five-a-side football tournament organised by Reading Family Church. 2pm-4pm. Details, book places: andy@ readingfamilychurch.org.uk SANDHURST – St Michael’s Church, Lower Church Road. Choral concert: Vivaldi Gloria, performed by church choir. 7.30pm. Details: 01252 873030 or www.stmichaels-sandhurst.org.uk. SOUTHCOTE – Grange United Reformed Church, Circuit Lane. Easter Mini Market. 10.30am-noon. Free entry. WOODLEY – Christ Church, Crockhamwell Road. Church ramble. Come dressed for the weather. 10am. Meet in car park. Details: www.christ-churchwoodley.org.uk.

Scotland Hill. Sunday soup kitchen, after morning service. Free. Details: www.sandhurstmethodist.org.uk. WOODLEY – St John The Evangelist, Church Road RG5 4QJ. Mothering Sunday service. 10am. Details: 0118 969 7956 or www.stjohn-woodley.com.

Sunday, March 15

ALDERMASTON – Rectory. Lent group. 7.30pm. Details: www.awb.org.uk. EARLEY – Brookside Church, Brookside Close RG6 7HG. The Grace Course. 7.30pm-9.30pm. Details: www. brooksidechurch.org.uk. SANDHURST – St Michael’s Church, Lower Church Road. Winter Talks: The

READING – Abbey Baptist Church, Abbey Square. Mothering Sunday service to celebrate its 375th anniversary. Tea 5pm, service 6.30pm. Details: abbeybaptistchurch.org.uk. SANDHURST – Methodist Church,

Monday, March 16 LOWER EARLEY – Trinity Church, Chalfont Way. Lent Course: Fruitfulness on the Frontline. 7.45pm-9.30pm. Details: www.trinityearley.co.uk. SOUTHCOTE – Southcote Christian Mission, RG30 3BL. Reading Aglow presents a talk by Steve Prince, chaplain to Reading FC and pastor of Brookside Church. £5. 7.30pm. Details: Karen on 07747 636832 or www. facebook.com/readingaglow READING – Reading Family Church, London Street. Bible school: Starting out – How Genesis 1-4 sets the scene for everything that follows. 7pm. Includes pizza. £70 for year, bursaries available. Details: rfcbibleschool.eventbrite.com READING – Central Library, Abbey Square. A Long Way From Home a talk by Una Chandler, eldest of 10 children in Barbados, and left to get married and start a new life in England in 1961. 7pm. Free. Details: libraryevents@ reading.gov.uk or 0118 901 5950. WOKINGHAM – Methodist Church, Rose Street RG40 1XS. Churches Together Berkshire AGM with Andy Flanagan and Colin Bloom, directors of Christians On The Left.7.30pm. All welcome.

Tuesday, March 17 BRACKNELL – Kerith Community Church, Church Rd. Home For Good fostering & adoption information evening. 7.30pm. Details: www.kerith.co.uk. FINCHAMPSTEAD – St James’ Church Centre. Lent Lectures. Time TBC. Details: 0118 973 0133 or parish. finchampstead.co.uk. TILEHURST – St Michael’s Church, Routh Lane. Lent lunches: soup, bread, cheese. £3.50. Cake 60p. In aid of Launchpad. Noon-1.30pm. Details: 0118 942 7331 or www. stmichaeltilehurst.org.uk. WHITCHURCH – The Old Stables, High Street. Community coffee morning from 10.30am. Lent lunches from 12.15pm-2pm. Details: 0118 984 5702.

Wed, March 18

| www.xnmedia.co.uk | March 2015

Venerable Olivia Graham: God in the life of an Archdeacon. 8pm. Details: 01252 873030 or www.stmichaelssandhurst.org.uk. SONNING COMMON – Christ The King Church. Lent study group. 2pm. TWYFORD – St Mary’s Church Centre. Lent course. 8pm-9.45pm. Details: www.thru-christ.org.uk. WHITCHURCH – The Old Stables, High Street. Lent group: Lord, teach us how to pray. 8pm. Details: 0118 984 5702.

Thursday, March 19 MIDGHAM – Vicarage. Lent group. 7.30pm. Details: www.awb.org.uk. BRACKNELL – Kerith Community Church, Church Road. Church And Culture conference with James Emery White, the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. 9.30am. Details: www.kerith.co.uk. GORING – St Thomas of Canterbury Church. Pick-A-Flick club presents Bertie and Elizabeth. Aimed at retired people and includes a light lunch. 10.30am-2pm. Transport available. Details: www.thomasandmary.org.uk. WARGRAVE – St Mary’s. Lent Bible study. 7.45pm. Details: www. wargravechurch.org.uk. WOODLEY – Christ Church, Crockhamwell Road. Quiz afternoon. 2pm. Details: www.christ-church-woodley.org.uk.

Friday, March 20 UPPER BUCKLEBURY – Village Hall. Bucklebury & Marlston Horticultural Society: Nepalese adventure on Lillies, Lama and Leeches with Chris Chadwell. Evening. Details: 01635 863429. EARLEY – Earley St Peter’s, Church Road. Lent lunches: a short talk and a simple soup lunch in aid of REinspired and church funds: Mary Magdalene with Colin Bass. 12.30pm. Details: 0118 966 8575. READING – The Great Hall, University of Reading, London Road. Bracknell Choral Society presents Mendelssohn: Elijah performed with the London Youth Chamber Choir and the Senesino Players. 7.30pm. £15, students £3, under 18s free. Details: 01344 772962 or ceri.prine2@ btinternet.com WOOLHAMPTON – Contact church for address. Lent group. 2.30pm. Details: www.awb.org.uk.

Saturday, March 21 CAVERSHAM – St Andrew’s Church, Albert Road. Reading Festival Chorus: Mass in a Time of War by Haydn and Songs of Farewell by Parry. 7.30pm. £13, Under 16s free. Details: 0118 983 4523 or tickets@ readingfestivalchorus.org.uk. CAVERSHAM – Caversham Heights Methodist Church. Safeguarding Course (foundation level). 10am. Details: Marion, 0118 958 1505. CAVERSHAM – Methodist Church. Reading Youth Orchestra Concert. Details TBC. Details: www.cavhmc. org.uk. EARLEY – St Nicolas, Sutcliffe Avenue. Quiz in aid of Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Services. £6, includes cheese platter. Bring own drinks and glasses. 7pm. Details: 0118 966 9080, office@stnicolas.org.uk. SANDHURST – Methodist Church, Scotland Hill. Fundraising fair. Time tbc. Details: sandhurstmethodist.org.uk.

25

WINNERSH – St Mary’s Church RG41 5NA. Antiques Valuation event in aid of SalGO Assist in India. £2 per valuation by experts from Martin & Pole, refreshments available. 2pm-6pm.

Sunday, March 22 ASCOT – Priory Church of Jesus Christ. Stainer’s Crucifixion. 6.30pm. Details: Paul Jackson on 01344 893685 READING – The Great Hall, University of Reading, London Road. West Forest Sinfonia in concert: Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, Mozart’s Piano Concerto k.466 in D minor, Fauré’s Pelléas & Mélisande, Schubert’s Symphony No. 5. 4.30pm. £15, £13 concessions, £1 students, under 18s. Details: tickets@westforestsinfonia. org or 0118 978 6189. READING – Across town. Reading Half Marathon. SANDHURST – Methodist Church, Scotland Hill. Film night. 6.30pm. Details: www.sandhurstmethodist. org.uk. WOKINGHAM – St Paul’s Church, Reading Road. Brass For Africa concert. 2.30pm. £7, under 18s free. Details: info@brassforafrica.com or 07503 197064.

Monday, March 23 GORING – 18 Wallingford Road. St Thomas of Canterbury Church presents Mum’s Out Tonight: for mums with young children. Persecuted Church evening with Judith Aguda. 8pm-9.30pm. Details: www. thomasandmary.org.uk. LOWER EARLEY – Trinity Church, Chalfont Way. Lent Course: Fruitfulness on the Frontline. 7.45pm-9.30pm. Details: www.trinityearley.co.uk. WOODLEY – Christ Church, Crockhamwell Road. Network fellowship group with the Revd Martyn Neads. 2pm. Details: www.christ-church-woodley.org.uk. WOODLEY – Baptist Church, Hurricane Way. The F-Word exhibition: Images of Forgiveness. Details: 0118 969 9956 or email office@woodleybc.org.

Tuesday, March 24 FINCHAMPSTEAD – St James’ Church Centre. Lent Lectures. Time TBC. Details: 0118 973 0133 or parish. finchampstead.co.uk. TILEHURST – St Michael’s Church, Routh Lane. Lent lunches: soup, bread, cheese. £3.50. Cake 60p. In aid of Launchpad. Noon-1.30pm. Details: 0118 942 7331 or www. stmichaeltilehurst.org.uk. WHITCHURCH – The Old Stables, High Street. Community coffee morning from 10.30am. Followed by lent lunches from 12.15pm-2pm. Details: 0118 984 5702. WOODLEY – Baptist Church, Hurricane Way. The F-Word exhibition: Images of Forgiveness. Details: 0118 969 9956 or email office@woodleybc.org.

Wed, March 25 ALDERMASTON – Rectory. Lent group. 7.30pm. Details: www.awb.org.uk. EARLEY – Brookside Church, Brookside Close RG6 7HG. The Grace Course with Andy Morris and Terse Sturdy. 7.30pm-9.30pm. Details: www. brooksidechurch.org.uk. MIDGHAM – Village Hall. Coffee morning. 10am-noon. Details: 0118 971 3710.

CONTINUES OVERLEAF


26

CALENDAR

March 2015 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 0118 328 3108

From previous page SONNING COMMON – Christ The King Church. Lent study group. 2pm. TWYFORD – St Mary’s Church Centre. Lent course: The Lamb Wins. 8pm9.45pm. Details: thru-christ.org.uk. WHITCHURCH – The Old Stables, High Street. Lent group: Lord, teach us how to pray. 8pm. Details: 0118 984 5702. WOKINGHAM – All Saints Church, Wiltshire Road. Baroque Concerts presents Shakespeare’s Musick. Lynda Sayce – lute. 8pm. £12.50 advance, £14 on door. Tickets from The Cornerstone or on the door. Details: www.allsaintsmusic.org.uk. WOODLEY – Baptist Church, Hurricane Way. The F-Word exhibition: Images of Forgiveness. Details: 0118 969 9956 or email office@woodleybc.org.

Thurs, March 26 MIDGHAM – Vicarage. Lent group. 7.30pm. Details: www.awb.org.uk. WOODLEY – Baptist Church, Hurricane Way. The F-Word exhibition. Details: 0118 969 9956.

Friday, March 27 EARLEY – Earley St Peter’s, Church Road. Lent lunches: a short talk and a simple soup lunch. 12.30pm. Details: 0118 966 8575. READING – Wesley Methodist Church, Queens Road. Witt Morgan Productions presents The Voyage of the Pelican. 7.30pm. £14/£11 advance, £18/£15 on door. Details: 0333 666 3366. WOODLEY – Baptist Church, Hurricane Way. The F-Word exhibition. Details: 0118 969 9956. WOOLHAMPTON – Contact church for address. Lent group. 2.30pm. Details: www.awb.org.uk.

Saturday, March 28 ASCOT – Rose Theatre, St Mary’s School, St Mary’s Road SL5 9JF. New Egham Singers charity concert in aid of Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service. £9, under 15s £2. Details: 07884 331195 or boxoffice@ neweghamsingers.org. FINCHAMPSTEAD – St James’ Church Centre. Ladies’ Breakfast. 9am-10am. Details: 0118 973 0133 or parish. finchampstead.co.uk. LOWER EARLEY – Baptist Church, Maiden Place RG6 3HE. Bake Off contest: children, teenagers and adults. Bake at home, bring for judging. 9.30amnoon. Details: 0118 935 3598 or www. lowerearleybaptistchurch.org.uk READING – St Mark’s Church, Cranbury Road. Jumble sale. 2pm. READING – St Andrew’s URC, London Road RG1 5BD. Time For Jesus: The Easter Musical. 6.30pm. Free entry. Details: imchoir.org or 0118 941 5097. READING – Wycliffe Baptist Church, Kings Road. Merry Opera Company: Handel’s Messiah. 7pm. Details: www. wycliffe-church.uk.

Palm Sunday BURGHFIELD – St Mary’s Church, Church Lane RG30 3TG. Holy Communion. 9am, 10.30am. Meeting point. 10am. Details: 0118 983 4433 or www. stmarysburghfield.org. CAVERSHAM – St Andrew’s, Albert Road. Palm Sunday procession with a donkey departing from Copperfields. 9.30am. Details: www. standrewscaversham.org.

EASTHAMPSTEAD – St Michael & St Mary Magdalene, Crowthorne Road RG12 7ER. Passover meal. Ticket only. 6pm. Details: 01344 425205 or www. stmichaelseasthampstead.org.uk. NETTLEBED – St Bartholomew’s Church, High Street. Tree of Life: interactive installations for all the family and art exhibition. 11am-4pm. Workshops during the week plus meditations at noon. Details: Lynda Hopkins 01491 576108 or Andrea Williams 01491 628297. SANDHURST – St Michael’s Church, Lower Church Road. Bring and share lunch followed by Messy Church. Details: 01252 873030 or www. stmichaels-sandhurst.org.uk. WOODLEY – Christ Church, Crockhamwell Road. Monthly games afternoon. Details: christ-church-woodley.org.uk.

BRIMPTON – St Peter’s. Holy Week exhibition. 10am-6pm. BURGHFIELD – St Mary’s Church, Church Lane RG30 3TG. Holy Week worship. 8pm. Details: 0118 983 4433. EARLEY – St Nicolas, Sutcliffe Avenue. Holy Week reflection 8pm. EASTHAMPSTEAD – St Michael & St Mary Magdalene, Crowthorne Road RG12 7ER. Stations of the Cross and Eucharist. 8pm. NETTLEBED – St Bartholomew’s Church, High Street. Tree of Life exhibition. 11am-4pm. Details as Sunday. SHINFIELD – St Mary’s. Evening devotion for Holy Week. 8pm. TILEHURST – St Mary Magdalene, Rodway Road. Easter Cantata. 7.30pm.

Monday, March 30

BEECH HILL – St Mary. Maundy Thursday reflection. 8pm. BRIMPTON – St Peter’s. Holy Week exhibition. 10am-6pm. BURGHFIELD – St Mary’s Church, Church Lane RG30 3TG. Eucharist, followed by stripping of the altar. 8pm. Details: 0118 983 4433. CAVERSHAM – New Testament Church of God, Church St. Washing of the feet. Time TBC. Details: ntcgreading.org.uk. CAVERSHAM – St Andrew’s, Albert Road. Last supper meal, eucharist and vigil. Booking essential. 7.30pm. Details: www.standrewscaversham.org. EARLEY – St Nicolas, Sutcliffe Avenue. Holy Communion of the Last Supper and watch until Midnight. 8pm. EARLEY – Network Vineyard, Woodley Hill House, Eastcourt Avenue RG6 1HH. Ian McCormack: A Glimpse of Eternity. 8pm-10pm. Details: www. networkvineyard.org.uk. EASTHAMPSTEAD – Easthampstead Baptist Church, South Hill Road RG12 7NS. Agape meal. 7.45pm. EASTHAMPSTEAD – St Michael & St Mary Magdalene, Crowthorne Road RG12 7ER. Sung Eucharist with foot washing. 8pm. Gethsemane Watch until midnight. MIDGHAM – St Matthew’s. Communion for Maundy Thursday. 7.30pm. NETTLEBED – St Bartholomew’s Church, High Street. Tree of Life exhibition. 11am-4pm. Details as Sunday. READING – Greyfriars, Friar Street. Maundy Thursday holy communion. 8pm. Details: www.greyfriars.org.uk. SONNING COMMON – St Michael’s Church, Peppard Rd. Mass of the Lord’s Supper. 7pm. Details: 0118 972 3148. WOODLEY – St John The Evangelist, Church Road RG5 4QJ. Maundy Thursday service. 8pm.

BRIMPTON – St Peter’s. Holy Week exhibition: step into the story of the Passion. 10am-6pm. A Walk Through Holy Week, a guided reflection. 7pm. Holy Week evening prayer. 7.30pm. Details: www.awb.org.uk. BURGHFIELD – St Mary’s Church, Church Lane RG30 3TG. Holy Week worship. 8pm. Details: 0118 983 4433 or www. stmarysburghfield.org. CROWTHORNE – Methodist Church, Duke’s Ride. Seder celebration. EARLEY – St Nicolas, Sutcliffe Avenue. Holy Week reflections. 8pm. Details: 0118 966 9080, office@stnicolas. org.uk. EASTHAMPSTEAD – St Michael & St Mary Magdalene, Crowthorne Road RG12 7ER. Stations of the Cross and Eucharist. 8pm. Details: 01344 425205 or www.stmichaelseasthampstead. org.uk. LOWER EARLEY – Trinity Church, Chalfont Way. Lent Course: Fruitfulness on the Frontline. 7.45pm-9.30pm. Details: www.trinityearley.co.uk. NETTLEBED – St Bartholomew’s Church, High Street. Tree of Life: interactive installations for all the family and art exhibition. 11am-4pm. Meditations at noon. Details as Sunday. SPENCERS WOOD – St Michael and All Angels. Evening devotion for Holy Week. 8pm. Details: www. loddonreach.org.uk.

Tuesday, March 31 BRIMPTON – St Peter’s. Holy Week exhibition. 10am-6pm. BURGHFIELD – St Mary’s Church, Church Lane RG30 3TG. Holy Week worship. 8pm. Details: 0118 983 4433. EARLEY – St Nicolas, Sutcliffe Avenue. Holy Week reflection. 8pm. Details: 0118 966 9080. EASTHAMPSTEAD – St Michael & St Mary Magdalene, Crowthorne Rd RG12 7ER. Stations of the Cross & Eucharist. 8pm. Details: 01344 425205. NETTLEBED – St Bartholomew’s Church, High Street. Tree of Life. 11am-4pm. Details as Sunday. SWALLOWFIELD – All Saints. Evening devotion for Holy Week. 8pm. Details: www.loddonreach.org.uk. SANDHURST – St Michael’s Church, Lower Church Road. Passover meal. 7pm. Details: 01252 873030. WOOLHAMPTON – St Peter’s. Holy Week prayer. 7.30pm. Details: awb.org.uk.

Wednesday, April 1 ALDERMASTON – St Mary’s. Holy Week prayer. 7.30pm. Details: awb.org.uk.

Maundy Thursday

Good Friday BEECH HILL – Baptist Chapel. 291st church anniversary and Good Friday service. Details: www.bhbc.gb.com. BEENHAM – St Mary’s. The Last Hour: a Good Friday reflection. 2pm. BURGHFIELD – St Mary’s Church, Church Lane RG30 3TG. At the Cross. 2pm. CAVERSHAM – New Testament Church of God, Church Street. Good Friday service. Details: ntcgreading.org.uk. CAVERSHAM – St Andrew’s, Albert Road. Hour of the Cross. 2pm. CROWTHORNE – High Street. Churches Together Crowthorne walk of Witness. EARLEY – St Nicolas, Sutcliffe Avenue. People Prayer and Potatoes Messy Church. 10am. Good Friday Liturgy. Noon. Details: 0118 966 9080. EARLEY – St Peter’s Church, Church

Road. Communion. 9am. Children’s activities during morning. Devotional service. 2pm. EARLEY – Network Vineyard, Woodley Hill House, Eastcourt Avenue RG6 1HH. Good Friday Reflection. 7.30pm-9pm. Details: networkvineyard.org.uk. EASTHAMPSTEAD – Easthampstead Baptist Church, South Hill Road RG12 7NS. Good Friday service. 9.30am. EASTHAMPSTEAD – St Michael & St Mary Magdalene, Crowthorne Road RG12 7ER. Walking With Jesus: for younger people. 10am. Liturgy of the Cross, the Burial of Christ and the Vigil at the Tomb. 2pm. Details: 01344 425205 or www. stmichaelseasthampstead.org.uk. GORING – Free Church, High Street RG8 9AT. Good Friday Communion. 10.30am. NETTLEBED – St Bartholomew’s Church, High Street. Tree of Life exhibition. 11am-4pm. Details as Sunday. READING – Emmanuel Methodist Church, Oxford Rd. Churches Together Oxford Road walk of witness. 11.45am. Followed by short service at Tesco with Salvation Army band. READING – St Andrew’s URC, London Road. Good Friday service. 3pm. READING – From St Andrew’s URC, London Road. Walk of witness to Our Lady of Peace. 10am. SANDHURST – Memorial Park. Easter Witness. Time tbc. SHINFIELD – St Mary’s. Stations of the Cross. 10am. SONNING COMMON – St Michael’s Church, Peppard Road. The Passion of the Lord. 3pm. SPENCERS WOOD – St Michael and All Angels. Quiet hour. 2pm. SOUTHCOTE – St Matthew’s Church. Churches Together in Southcote Walk of Witness. 10.30am. SWALLOWFIELD – All Saints. Musical Devotion for Good Friday. 7.30pm. . TILEHURST – The Triangle. Churches Together in Tilehurst Good Friday service. Noon. WOODLEY – The Precinct. Churches Together Woodley open air Easter service. 11am. WOODLEY – St John The Evangelist, Church Road RG5 4QJ. An Hour At The Cross. 2pm. Details: 0118 969 7956 or www.stjohn-woodley.com. WOOLHAMPTON – Woolhampton CE Primary School. Messy Church. 11am.

Holy Saturday ALDERMASTON – St Mary’s. Taize Service: From Darkness To Light. 5pm. Details: www.awb.org.uk. BURGHFIELD – St Mary’s Church, Church Lane RG30 3TG. Messy Church. 3.30pm. Details: 0118 983 4433 or www.stmarysburghfield.org. CAVERSHAM – St Andrew’s, Albert Road. The fire, the vigil and the First Eucharist of Easter. 8.15pm. Details: www.standrewscaversham.org. CAVERSHAM – St John’s, St John’s Road RG4 8EB. Once Upon A Tree: a Holy Wek concert. Free entry. 4pm. Details: www.stjohnthebaptistcaversham. org.uk. EARLEY – St Nicolas, Sutcliffe Avenue. Great Easter Liturgy. 8.30pm. Details: 0118 966 9080, office@stnicolas. org.uk. NETTLEBED – St Bartholomew Church, High Street. Tree of Life: interactive installations for all the family and art exhibition. 11am-4pm. Workshops plus meditations at noon. Details: Lynda Hopkins 01491 576108 or

Andrea Williams 01491 628297. SONNING COMMON – St Michael’s Church, Peppard Road.Easter vigil. 9pm. Details: 0118 972 3148 or www. saintmichaelsonningcommon.org.uk.

Easter Sunday BALDERMASTON – St Mary’s. Holy Communion for Easter Sunday. 8am (BCP), 10.45am. Details: www. awb.org.uk. BEENHAM – St Mary’s. Easter Sunday Communion. 9.15am. Details: www. awb.org.uk. BRIMPTON – St Peter’s. Family communion for Easter. 9.15am. Details: www.awb.org.uk. BURGHFIELD – St Mary’s Church, Church Lane RG30 3TG. Easter vigil. 6.30am. Lighting of the Easter fire followed by first Communion of Easter. 7am. Family celebration of Easter. 10am. Details: 0118 983 4433 or www. stmarysburghfield.org. CAVERSHAM – St Andrew’s, Albert Road. Easter Sunday all-age Eucharist. 10am. Details: www. standrewscaversham.org. EARLEY – St Nicolas, Sutcliffe Avenue. Easter Festival communion followed by Easter Egg hunt. 10am. Details: 0118 966 9080, office@ stnicolas.org.uk. EASTHAMPSTEAD – St Michael & St Mary Magdalene, Crowthorne Road RG12 7ER. Dawn Vigil Eucharist followed by Easter breakfast. 5.30am. Festal Eucharist. 9.30am. Details: 01344 425205 or www. stmichaelseasthampstead.org.uk. GORING – Free Church, High Street RG8 9AT. Easter Celebration. 10.30am. Details:www.goringfreechurch.org.uk. READING – Forbury Gardens. Churches Together in Reading Easter Sunday celebration. 8am-8.30am. Followed by refreshments in Abbey Baptist Church. If wet in Abbey Baptist Church. MIDGHAM – St Matthew’s. Easter Communion. 9.15am. Details: www. awb.org.uk. SONNING COMMON – St Michael’s Church, Peppard Road. Easter Sunday masses. 9am, 10.30am. Details: 0118 972 3148 or www. saintmichaelsonningcommon.org.uk. WOODLEY – St John The Evangelist, Church Road RG5 4QJ. Easter Communion. 10am. Details: 0118 969 7956 or www.stjohn-woodley.com. WOOLHAMPTON – St Peter’s. Family Communion for Easter. 11am. Details: www.awb.org.uk.

Easter Monday CAVERSHAM – St Andrew’s, Albert Road. Walk to Mapledurham. Details TBC. Details: standrewscaversham.org.

Saturday, April 11 CROWTHORNE – Woodmancote, Pinewood Avenue RG45 6RQ. Out To Tea: a tea party for older members of the community. 2.30pm-4.30pm. Transport available. Details: 01344 780087 or www. wokinghamvineyard.org. WOODLEY – Christ Church, Crockhamwell Road. Countdown Tournament. 11am. Details: www.christ-church-woodley. org.uk.

Sunday, April 12 READING – Park URC, Palmer Park Avenue RG6 1DN. Messy Church. 3pm-5pm. Details: www.parkurc. org.uk.


PUZZLES

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BREAK TIME

Pit your wits against our brainteasers

Codeword

Kakuro

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.

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.

STR8TS

Str8ts

Sudoku

6 1

6 4

6

8 9

9 1 2 4

7

7 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.

5

Codeword

Kakuro

Str8ts Str8ts Solution

Suduku Sudoku Solution

8

7 4

4 2 5 4

9 3

7 1 6 9 8

5 3

6 5

2 5

6 9 5 3 2 2 1 1 5 4

© 2011 Syndicated Puzzles, Inc.

1 4

LAST MONTH’S ANSWERS

Tough

3

2 6

Are you stuck?

We’ll print the answers next month

SUDOKU

Easy

9

9

27

| www.xnmedia.co.uk | March 2015

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.

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

3 7 5 4 6 9 1 2

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

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

2 6 3 5 7 9 8 1 4

4 7 9 8 3 1 5 2 6

1 8 5 6 4 2 3 9 7

6 4 1 2 9 8 7 3 5

3 5 2 1 6 7 4 8 9

8 9 7 4 5 3 1 6 2

7 3 4 9 8 6 2 5 1

5 2 6 3 1 4 9 7 8

9 1 8 7 2 5 6 4 3


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SPORT

March 2015 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 0118 328 3108

Thames Valley Churches Football League

For more on the league, log on to tvcfl.footify.com or Twitter @TVCFL

Bethel, Kerith & Albion battle to be top By James Hern & JACOB POTTER

W

ill 2015 be the year that either Bethel United or Kerith FC can hold their nerves to secure their first ever TVCFL title win? To do so, they must dash the hopes of a strong Tilehurst Albion who themselves are looking to win the league for a third time in four seasons. Bethel United’s recent seasons have followed a familiar pattern. A strong start will see them near the top of the league at Christmas, only for their title challenge to falter in the New Year as they drop points against the teams around them. New player-manager Stu Newton appears to have installed a new belief into his squad. Firstly, they produced the performance of the season to beat Albion 4-0, in December – their first-ever victory against the Tilehurst based team. In early February they showed that they have the ability to turn things around when the going gets tough. Having initially led 3-1 in the Philmar Cup quarter-finals against a strong South Ealing side, they found themselves 4-3 and then 5-4 down. Showing extraordinary resolve, Bethel’s players scored two late goals to snatch a 6-5 victory. Kerith FC have been rebuilding their team over the past few seasons and have been going about their business quietly but efficiently this year. They currently sit one point behind leaders Bethel. After a 4-1 loss to Wycliffe Wanderers in October, Kerith went on a eight match unbeaten run, only dropping points against West Reading Reserves in a 3-3 draw. Both sides still have to play Tilehurst Albion and it will be these matches that will ultimately decide who claims the 27th TVCFL season title. The weather has caused its customary havoc to fixtures in January and February. New TVCFL reporter Jacob Potter rounds-up the pick of the action that did take place.

Saturday, January 10

Wycliffe Wanderers were convincing 5-1 winners against West Reading CFC with Ross Thompson, Fraser Carter, Andy Malliff, Neil

FIXTURES v March 7 Philmar Cup Tilehurst Albion v B’side St Laurence Colin Lowery Trophy Kerith FC v TBC or BYE TBC or BYE v TBC or BYE

v March 14 Reading Saints v Newbury YMCA Bethel United v Wycliffe Wanderers Greyfriars FC v W Rdg Reserves B’side St Laurence FC v W Reading Norreys FC v Tilehurst Albion

Tilehurst Albion score from a corner in the Philmar Cup quarter final on February 7, against West Reading CFC Healy and Dean Williams all finding the net; Ethan Jerome grabbed a late consolation goal. Norreys and Brookside Saint Laurence met in a fiery encounter which ended in a 3-3 draw. West Reading Reserves fell to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Newbury YMCA.

Saturday, January 17

Greyfriars FC secured their first win of the season against Norreys with a 2-0 victory. After a goalless first half, Tom Barltrop broke the deadlock; Jack Bradbook scored the second. West Reading CFC beat their West Reading Reserves in a thrilling match that produced 14 goals – the final score was 9-5. Brookside St Laurence won 2-1 away to Newbury YMCA.

Saturday, January 24

Norreys bounced back from the previous week’s defeat to beat Wycliffe Wanderers 4-3 in a thrilling match. Toby Frodsham scored two for Norreys, but the main talking point was the side’s manager, Dean Potter, scoring twice; his first goals for them since 1998. Bethel United won their fourth league game in a row – 5-2 over Greyfriars FC, while Tilehurst Albion kept top spot with an emphatic 6-1 win over Newbury YMCA. Kerith FC earned a vital three points with a 3-1 win over West Reading CFC with Ben Findley, William Day and Tom Skidmore among the goal scorers for Kerith. Brookside St Laurence kept up their form

KICK OFF 10.30am on Saturdays

v March 21 Newbury YMCA v Bethel United Reading Saints v Greyfriars FC Wycliffe Wanderers v B’side St Laurence West Reading Reserves v Norreys FC Kerith FC v Tilehurst Albion

v March 28 Greyfriars FC v Newbury YMCA B’side St Laurence FC v Bethel United Kerith FC v West Reading Reserves Tilehurst Albion v West Reading CFC Reading Saints v Norreys FC

with a 6-1 demolition of Reading Saints. A brace from Steve Magness and their top goal scorer Jack Perrett set them on their way to a second victory in a row before an own goal and James Grinstead sealed the win.

Saturday, January 31

West Reading CFC and Greyfriars FC managers dug out their brooms and shovels to clear away snow off their pitches in Woodley to ensure their games against Newbury YMCA and Brookside St Laurence could be played. Greyfriars may have wished they had stayed in bed as Brookside St Laurence got off to a flying start with three goals in 20 minutes. A fourth goal came early in the second half. Runaway top goal scorer Jamie Carstairs netted a superb hat trick as West Reading CFC thumped Newbury YMCA 6-0 to maintain their unbeaten home record. Top of the table Bethel United maintained their position with a thrilling 8-4 win over Norreys.

Saturday, February 7

Brookside St Laurence ran out winners on penalties against Newbury YMCA in a pulsating Philmar Cup Quarter Final. Tilehurst Albion faced a potentially tricky quarter final tie against West Reading CFC, a team they had yet to beat – but their 5-0 win means Albion will face Brookside St Laurence in the semis, a repeat of last year’s final.

league TABLE

top SCORERS

P W D L F A W D L F A GD PTS Bethel United 12 7 0 0 29 6 3 0 2 20 13 30 30 Kerith FC 12 5 0 1 24 9 4 2 0 17 6 26 29 West Reading CFC 14 6 2 0 32 12 3 0 3 19 19 20 29 Tilehurst Albion 10 2 0 0 7 1 6 1 1 28 16 18 25 B’side St Laurence 13 4 0 2 19 16 4 1 2 25 17 11 25 Wycliffe Wanderers 12 3 0 4 19 15 3 0 2 18 13 9 18 Norreys FC 13 3 1 4 21 24 1 0 4 8 17 -12 13 Newbury YMCA 13 2 0 3 16 18 2 0 6 11 36 -27 12 Reading Saints 11 0 1 4 6 20 2 0 4 10 14 -18 7 W Rdg Reserves 13 0 2 5 20 33 1 1 4 9 26 -30 6 Greyfriars FC 13 1 0 6 9 25 0 1 5 14 25 -27 4 Table correct as of February 20, 2015

Jamie Carstairs West Reading CFC 26 Neil Healy Wycliffe Wanderers 11 Paul Hirst Newbury YMCA 10 Alex Ray W Reading Reserves 9 Shane Newton Bethel United 8 Courtenay Isaacs B’side St Laurence 8 Toby Briggs Tilehurst Albion 7 Daniel Priest Bethel United 7 Jack Perrett B’side St Laurence 7 Tom Wilson Kerith FC 7 Six goals: Dean Williams, Wycliffe Wanderers; Paul “Torres” Alexander, Bethel United; Kingsley Goodridge, Bethel United; Ben Findlay, Kerith FC; Dan Hare, Reading Saints; Adam Toft, Norreys FC


SPORT

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The Royals’ Prince

At Reading FC with Steve Prince

It’s a funny old game!

M

any years ago I loved watching ITV’s Saint and Greavsie. It was a humorous, tongue-in-cheek commentary about the previous week’s football. Jimmy Greaves coined the phrase, “It’s a funny old game!” It surely has been watching the Royals this season. Having played all our FA Cup games away from home, we find ourselves in the quarter-finals of the contest – away again. Not only this, we are up against Bradford, a team managed by former Royals player and club legend, Phil Parkinson. If we can successfully negotiate a team with a recent history of cup giantkilling as well as possibly the worst pitch in the football league, we’ll be at Wembley playing an FA Cup semi-final. Whatever our current season difficulties and unpredictabilities, watching Reading during the last 10 years has usually been exciting right up to the end of the season. Indeed, it’s a funny old game. We have reached the last eight with the help of experienced striker Yakubu. Having welcomed the ‘Yak’ during the transfer window, we have a player with a reputation for scoring goals and so all should be well in securing our Championship status.

Meetings and growth During the last month, with the generous help of the football club, I was able to host a regional meeting of Sports Chaplaincy UK (SCUK). It is the sports charity most chaplains are affiliated to and they provide training and support as well as accreditation for chaplains. Three or four times ayear there are regional meetings for football chaplains to gather for training and sharing stories of what might be working well at their club. In the last three years, SCUK has doubled in membership size, demonstrating the growth in sports chaplaincy across the UK. It’s exciting to hear how clubs are appreciating and benefitting from the support and input of chaplains. While mentioning chaplaincy, I am pleased to say we have appointed Angy King to the role of chaplain of the Reading Royals Ladies Team. It’s really exciting to have a small chaplaincy team, showing how progressive Reading FC is in respect of chaplaincy and pastoral support to players and staff. People sometimes ask me what possible needs footballers might require the support of a chaplain for – especially when they are perceived to have an abundance of money. I was asked this question by a BBC interviewer once! The recent Sky TV deal only adds to such a perspective. The reality is that players at the top of the Premier League are the real beneficiaries of such a phenomenal amount of money. Although having money undoubtedly helps us in life, it cannot provide the answer to the inner human needs of love and acceptance, and the pressures around sustaining quality relationships. We each have needs that are not met by money or anything that is ‘external.’ Part of the role of a chaplain is to help signpost people towards a God who loves unconditionally and so wants restoration of relationship with people everywhere – even among those who are involved in the funny old game, in whatever capacity.

Come on URZ!!

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

| www.xnmedia.co.uk | March 2015

29

Tudor takes on Europe in early February a year five pupil from Holme Grange School in Wokingham took on some of the top football clubs in Europe. Tudor Mendel-Idowu flew to Switzerland with the Chelsea U10 team to play in the 2015 Indoor and Outdoor European Fussball Cup. The tournament involves many top European football clubs including Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Olympique Marseille and FC Basel. The indoor tournament was played at Lorrach in Germany on Saturday, February 7 and Tudor’s team played against seven other teams. They won five, drew one and lost 4-3 in the semi-final to FC Basel, finishing third out of 16. Tudor, who recently turned 10, was recognised for his brilliant performances and was awarded the Player of the Tournament. This placed him in the U10 European Fussball Dream-Team 2015 with five other boys from the top six finishing teams. Tudor then went on to play at the outdoor tournament on Sunday in Kembs, France. The weather was horrendous – snow, blizzards and a gale.

The challenging conditions were no problem for the team, finishing second in their group, but seventh overall – ahead of Bayer 04 Leverkusen, FC Basel and Red Bulls Salzburg. Tudor said: “I am very proud of my teammates as they continually showed resilience and determination. On the whole, it was a challenging but very successful weekend.” Tudor’s achievements were highly commended by his coaches, who were proud of his efforts being recognised internationally.

in brief

v

A golfing day in April will help raise funds for a new parish hall in the village. St Andrew’s Church is organising the contest at Sonning Golf Club on Friday, April 17. The contest is for teams of four and the team entry fee of £225 includes bacon butties, coffee and a threecourse meal. Additional dinner tickets cost £26.50. The event starts at 1.30pm and there is a chance to win a car. v For more details, or to book your place, call Martin Boyles on 0118 969 2428.

v

LODDON Vale Rotary Club is hosting a charity golf day at Sonning Golf Club on Monday, April 27. This will be in aid of Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service and Rotary’s End Polio Now Campaign. Registration starts at noon and includes bacon rolls on arrival. Teams comprise four players and is open to any combination of golfers. A threecourse dinner will served at 7.30pm. Team entry fee is £200 (4 x £50) and, for non-players, the dinner is £21. v For details email davidweversham@ talktalk.net

v The owner of a new Today’s Express store in Dee Park, Tilehurst donated £125 to Bethel United football club as part of its commitment to the community. Bethel play in the Thames Valley Churches Football League


30

March 2015 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 0118 328 3108

FREETIME

leisure

Arts, leisure and hobbies – with a local perspective

exhibition

food

The lives shattered by violence ... but ready to forgive BY JOHN WAKEFIELD

A

powerful photographic exhibition exploring the idea of forgiveness in the face of atrocity and telling the stories of victims as well as perpetrators, is coming to two churches in the Thames Valley. THE F WORD: stories of forgiveness is the brainchild of journalist Marina Cantacuzino and photographer Brian Moody. The pair had a new year’s revelation 11 years ago – tired of a climate where revenge and retaliation dominated the headlines, they resolved to present the public with an alternative view. To create the exhibition, they travelled the globe, including the United States, South Africa, Northern Ireland, Romania, Rwanda, Israel and Palestine, as well as the UK, to collect stories of 26 people whose lives had been shattered by violence, tragedy and injustice – and had chosen to take the challenging and often painful journey towards forgiveness. The result is The F Word, which is currently on display at All Saints Church in Wokingham – until March 5 – before opening in Woodley Baptist Church from Monday, March 23.

Subjects The exhibition’s subjects include Berthe and Francis Climbié, parents of seven-year-old Victoria Climbié who was abused and murdered by her aunt; Marian Partington, whose sister was murdered by Frederick and Rosemary West and Pat Magee, the man behind the IRA Brighton bomb. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who himself features in the exhibition and is a patron of The Forgiveness Project, describes forgiveness as a journey out of victimhood. He says: “Forgiveness does not mean condoning what has been done. It means taking what has happened seriously and not minimising it; drawing out the sting in the memory that threatens to poison our entire existence. In these forgiveness stories there is real healing.” The exhibition is produced by The Forgiveness Project, a charitable organisation working at local, national and international level to help build a future free of conflict and violence by healing the wounds of the past. v The exhibition is at All Saints Church in Wokingham until March 5 and is open daily from 10am to 5pm. From March 23, it will exhibit at Woodley Baptist Church, Hurricane Way, Woodley, RG5 4UX. It will be open from 1.30pm-5.30pm and 7pm-9pm from March 23-27 and from 10am to noon on Saturday, March 28. Entry is free to both venues. v For more details, log on to www. theforgivenessproject.com

The team at Deliciously French in Cookham with their Gallic goods Picture: Vivienne Johnson

Vive la Cookham! A French feast awaits in Berkshire Food from across the Channel is available in Berkshire. VIVIENNE JOHNSON visits to find out more

N

oel Stopien has turned his passion for French food and wine into a successful delicatessen which he runs with his son Nicholas. Deliciously French is situated on Station Hill in Cookham where you can find treats from across the English Channel, including cheese, wine and charcuterie goods. “French food is my passion,” says Noel. “I’m half-French, half-English and I spent a long time in France. When I came back I couldn’t find the food I wanted. I like food and wine, I had made lots of contacts out in France and I decided back in 1999 to open my shop.” Noel visits France regularly where he searches out the finest food and drink our neighbour has to offer. He explains: “I only work with people who know what they’re doing. A lot of our products are found in top restaurants. [The job] just thrills me. You meet great people and discover new products, new ways of eating food. “All the produce comes directly from France. We don’t go to the wholesalers, I buy directly. That way we can be competitive – our customers are counting their pennies in this recession. We are busy enough that we can buy direct. We have big, big deliveries. Our last two deliveries had three-quarters of a tonne of cheese on each one.

Noel continues: “I believe that today you have to specialise in whatever you do. People will come to the shop because it’s French; if they didn’t like French [goods] they wouldn’t come here. If they don’t find what they are looking for I can get it; customers can order specific products that we don’t stock here but we can bring over. If you don’t have the opportunity to visit Deiciously French in Cookham, you will find Noel and Nicholas at Reading’s Bastille Day celebrations this year, which is returning to Forbury Gardens over the weekend of July 11 and 12. Plans include a market that showcases both the best of British and French cuisine. Noel says: “We supported the Bastille Day market last year and we’ll be doing it again. It’s a great way of meeting our customers and the weekend is just great fun.” v You can visit Deliciously French at 47 Station Parade, Station Hill, Cookham, near Maidenhead SL6 9BR, call 01628 819114 or log on to its website, which includes an online store.


leisure

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| www.xnmedia.co.uk | March 2015

31

holy week

Free musical to focus on the events leading up to Easter

A

s Lent continues, thoughts are starting to turn towards the end of the journey and the events of Holy Week – a time when Christians remember Jesus’ final days before he was crucified. A new musical coming to Reading later this month will help unpack what happened, from Jesus entering into Jerusalem riding on the back of a donkey, to the empty tomb on Easter Sunday. Time for Jesus is a moving musical passion

highlanders

Isla St Clair to celebrate Scotland Organisers of a highland gathering in Reading are hoping you’ll say ‘Open that door!’ and come along to hear former Generation Game hostess Isla St Clair. The talented singer, songwriter and presenter is to be the special guest at Reading Scottish Pipe Band’s event this April. It will be held at Reading’s Rivermead Leisure Centre on Sunday, April 19 from 3pm to 5.30pm. As well as Isla, there will be guest performances from Wantage Silver Band, O’Gara Irish Dancers and folk duo Davaar. Reading Scottish Pipe Band, which meets at St Andrew’s URC in London Road, Reading, have performed all over the world, including the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games. Isla St Clair is fondly remembered for being the cohost of the BBC’s hugely popular gameshow The Generation Game. She starred alongside Larry Grayson from 1978-81, regularly attracting more than 19 million viewers. Since leaving the show, she has appeared as Maria in The Sound of Music and released many albums devoted to Scottish music. She made her stage debut when she was three – performing at her Mother’s Brownie concerts and with the Salvation Army. v Tickets cost £16, £14 concessions and £9.50 for under 16s. To book, visit www.readingscottish.org or calling 07785 927380. v We’ll have an exclusive interview with Isla St Clair next month.

play performed by The Life and Mission Choir. It tells the story of the last week of Jesus’ life from the point of view of the apostle, Mark. It aims to be full of excitement and emotion as it takes you on a journey from Palm Sunday to the Resurrection and highlights the importance of the events of just one week – a week that has influenced the following 2,000 years. The Life and Mission Choir was formed in 1999 and meets in North London. It is open to anyone with a joy of singing and praise.

This is emphasised in Time For Jesus as the musical takes in traditional choral styles as well as barbershop, gospel and even some Latin American influences – all mixed together to create a dramatic and moving version of the Easter Story. The musical will be performed at St Andrew’s URC in London Road, Reading on Saturday, March 28 from 6.30pm. Entry is free. v For more details, call 0118 941 5097 or log on to standrewsurcreading.org.uk. v For more on the choir, lifeandmissionchoir.com

From the writer and performers of the musical Light of Bethlehem comes

Music and Lyrics PAUL WARDROP-DAY

Script JOHN COX

THE EASTER MUSICAL “The most moving and emotional musical passion play...” “...vibrant music and lyrics...” “... the emotion generated by the words and music was quite tangible throughout the church, in both the audience and performers.”

Presented by THE LIFE AND MISSION CHOIR

Saturday 28th March 2015 6.30pm

St Andrew’s United Reformed Church, London Road, Reading, RG1 5BD

Admission is FREE For more information visit

lmchoir.org

or call 0118 9415097


32

LEISURE

March 2015 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 0118 328 3108

v Jason’s Night In BRACKNELL – A singer who’s big over the pond is coming to Bracknell for a night of music at the Kerith Centre. Jason Upton, whose first album featured a mixture of unrehearsed and spontaneous songs, is teaming up with the Big Church Night In for the In Your Presence tour, which includes Bracknell as a destination. The night of Christian music, which will be held on Thursday, March 5. Doors open at 6.30pm. v Tickets cost £12.50. Groups of 12 get one ticket free. For more details, visit www.bigchurchnightin.com.

v Vivace’s on song BURGHFIELD – Vivace Voice’s Upper Voice Choir will perform a spring concert at St Mary’s Church on Wednesday, March 25 from 2.30pm. The programme includes songs, old and new, readings and an instrumental piece. Entry is £3, which includes a programme and savouries, cakes and tea. All proceeds to the Royal Berkshire Hospital’s Linear Accelerator Machine Appeal. v www.vivacevoices.org.uk.

live music

Brass charity’s link-up with orphanage

Brass For Africa is preparing for another fundraising concert, taking place later this month. The band, comprising professional and amateur musicians, will be at St Paul’s Church in Wokingham on Sunday, March 22 for a concert that starts at the early time of 2.30pm. They will be joined by a number of very special guests: renowned composer/arranger Alan Fernie will be in St Paul’s, while – technology permitting – the concert will be linked live to the children at the MLISADA orphanage in Uganda, so the audience can see the children who directly benefit from Brass For Africa’s work. v Entry to the concert is £7, while accompanied under 18s can get in for free. For tickets, email info@ brassforafrica.com or calling Pamela on 07503 197064 or Gill on 01344 354220. v In January, the Chiltern Brass Qunitet performed at Earley St Peter’s Church and raised £980 which is shared between Brass for Africa and the Church.

THEATRE

A theatrical theft by Colin Cairns and Gordon Cooper formed the basis for a new play by the Act Now drama group at St Michael’s in Tilehurst

Thieves find rich pickings in Tilehurst The latest production from the Act Now drama group was a spellbinding thriller that had the congregation of St Michael’s Tilehurst on the edge of its pews on Sunday, February 15. Break-in At St Michael’s told the story of two veteran burglars who, on breaking in to the church, find themselves surrounded by objects and treasures beyond their wildest dreams. The plot thickens as disembodied messengers reveal that the true meaning behind each object speaks of a power beyond

this world. The messengers – who spoke via iPads – all come together to join their electronic gadgets to form one large image, the impact of which chases the burglars out. John Talbot, from Act Now, said: “It was a good example of Hitchcock meets Ealing comedy. “Colin Cairns and Gordon Cooper did a splendid job as the two burglars. The eight messengers made a technical first with their theatrical use of iPads, and the choir, led by Giles Winter added musical support.”

CONCERT

David’s music night for Unicef BY Peter Anderson A minister is gearing up to swap the pulpit for the piano stool for a special fundraising concert next month. The Revd David Jenkins will be presenting Treasures To Explore, an evening of stories, songs, jokes and music, in aid of Unicef. As well as performing a wide variety of music from classical, through stage musicals to contemporary music, there will be some compositions that David has written himself. The concert will be held on Saturday, April 18, starting at 7pm and takes place at Caversham Methodist Church in Gosbrook Road, Caversham. David wants to raise awareness of the work that Unicef does across the world.

The charity helps children in danger and says that every five minutes a child is killed as a result of violence: in places such as the classroom or sleeping in beds. They have also been orphaned, kidnapped, tortured, recruited in military organisations, raped and sold as slaves. David said: “I’m a supporter of Unicef and the needs of children from Syrian refugees to schoolchildren in Northern Nigeria are considerable at present. “The concert will feature wellknown songs and plenty of fun and some of my own works, which have been performed at The Hexagon and the Concert Hall in Reading and at the Salisbury international Arts Festival.” v Tickets cost £5 and call be ordered by calling 0118 947 8607 or 0118 947 2404.


LEISURE

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| www.xnmedia.co.uk | March 2015

concert

Good ship Pelican prepares to set sail BY PHIL CREIGHTON A LOST ship will soon be sailing into the most unlikely of venues – a landlocked town centre church. The Witt Morgan Musicventures team are busy preparing The Voyage of the Pelican, a brand-new musical theatre show that comes to Reading’s Wesley Methodist Church at the end of the month. Using beautiful paintings fused with silhouette animation, thrilling performances, singing and orchestral music, a cast of 100 will tell the story of the brave ship The Pelican and her crew who lose their way on the high seas. Their perilous voyage home sees them discover new lands, new friends, and ultimately, themselves. There is a myth that the Pelican will give her own blood to feed her young if food is scarce.

The Voyage of The Pelican explores Easter themes using popular and classic song, including works by Madness and Vaughan Williams The co-creators of this Easter show, Anthony Witt and Louise Morgan, chose to call the ship The Pelican because in the end she sacrifices herself to save the crew. Anthony said: “In writing this show we wanted to explore key themes such as forgiveness, hope and selfless love.” Louise added: “We also wanted to show how ordinary people can learn and grow from mistakes,

trials and tough times. “We are also delighted to be promoting the RNLI – the charity that saves lives at sea.” v You can join the crew by docking at Wesley Methodist Church on Friday, March 27. The voyage sets sail at 7.30pm. Advance tickets are £14 and £11 concessions, on the door they are £18, £15 concessions. v To book, call 0333 666 3366 or visit www.voyageofthepelican.com.

anniversary

singing

Saying it with flowers

Quadruple bill for choir

A chapel is preparing to celebrate its bi-centenary with a celebratory weekend in June. Events will include a flower festival and a children’s art competition, a village picnic and a Songs of Praisetype service. Stoke Row chapel is now inviting groups to join in the floral tributes for the weekend, which will take place over June 20-21. David and Sonia Jackson, who are the Chapel’s ministers, said: “The Chapel and its congregation have made a remarkable contribution to the life and heritage of the village over these many years and, indeed, continue to do so. “We invite you and others from Stoke Row to join with us by preparing a flower arrangement, or a planted box, and displaying it in the Chapel or in the garden. Each arrangement is to represent a hymn or spiritual song.” v For more details, log on to www.stokerowchapel.org.uk.

Reading Concert Singers will present their Spring Concert on Wednesday, March 4 at St Mary Magdalen Church, Tilehurst and on Wednesday, March 11 at St Agnes Church, Lower Whitley, both at 7.30pm. The programme will feature Mozart’s Spatzen-Messe (Sparrows Mass) KV220, together with works by John Rutter, Howard Goodall, Bob Chilcott and musical director Tim Munday. Admission is £8 (£4 under 16) at the door or from 0118 942 5290, in aid of Berkshire MS Therapy Centre. The Singers will join with church choirs to sing Maunder’s Olivet To Calvary during Holy Week. On Wednesday, April 1, they will be at St Mary Magdalen Church, Tilehurst on then at St Agnes on Good Friday, both at 7.30pm. Entry is free, but donations will go to Heartbeats, the West Berkshire Heart Support Group. v For more details on the choir, log on to www.readingconcertsingers.org.uk

33

v Spring concerts READING – Just in time for the start of Holy Week, Handel’s Messiah is returning to Reading. The Merry Opera Company will once again perform the famous choral work at Wycliffe Baptist Church on Satruday, March 28 the day before Palm Sunday. The performance starts at 7pm. v For more details, call 0118 929 9911 or visit wycliffe-church.uk. CAVERSHAM – Reading Festival Chorus will perform Hadyn’s Mass in a Time of War and Parry’s Songs of Farewell on Saturday, March 21 at 7.30pm. The concert will take place at St Andrew’s Church in Albert Road, Caversham. Tickets cost £13, while under 16s can get in free. v To buy, call 0118 983 4523 or email tickets@ readingfestivalchorus.org.uk ASCOT – The New Egham Singers will give a charity concert in aid of Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service on Saturday, March 28. It takes place at the Rose Theatre, in St Mary’s School, St Mary’s Road SL5 9JF. Tickets £9, under 15s £2. v To book: 07884 331195 or boxoffice@neweghamsingers.org. WOKINGHAM – Without planning permission the roof of Wokingham Methodist Church is expected to be raised on Saturday, March 14 at 7.30pm. It’s all due to The Reading Male Voice Choir and soloist Tingay Weber. Tickets cost £10, and are available from the Bradbury Centre, or calling 0118 978 5185. v wokinghammethodist.org.uk CAVERSHAM – Holy Week musical Once Upon a Tree will be performed by the St John’s Church in Caversham on Saturday, April 4, at 4pm. Free entry, retiring collection.

Take time out and enjoy a cuppa and a chat or soup and a roll! Coffee & Chat Wednesdays 10-11.30am

You can’t beat a good cup of coffee and a chance to chat – and that’s what you can enjoy at Coffee & Chat, a brilliant new coffee morning in Reading’s town centre! • Meet old friends and make new ones • Everyone is welcome • Tea, coffee, cakes and biscuits • Delicious home-made soups • Every Wednesday • Coffee: 10am-11.30am Soup: 12.30pm-2pm Abbey Baptist Church Abbey Square, Reading (behind Reading Central Library) (0118) 957 2197 www.abbeybaptistchurch.org.uk

New friendship group CAMEO meets on the 1st Wednesday of the month at 2.15pm

Soup & a Roll Wednesdays 12.30pm-2pm


34

reviews

March 2015 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 0118 328 3108

Moviewatch

Cinema with Martin Ceaser

50 years on, are we living the dream? v Selma (12a) Stars David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Wilkinson, Tim Roth

Selma explores how Martin Luther King Jr made an historic stand against racism in the United States – but what lessons can we learn from it today?

D

irected by Ava Duvernay, who cut her teeth on documentaries, Selma at times feels like a featurelength documentary on the events in Alabama in the mid 1960s. It moves quite slowly through Martin Luther King Jr’s historic campaign to secure equal voting rights for black Americans. The American Declaration of Independence declares the equality of all men, and their rights to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” – yet these things were denied to black Americans, especially in the Southern States. King’s campaign of non-violent resistance was key in putting pressure on State and Federal Government by exposing the deeply held racism of people at all levels of society. Although it begins with King (Oyewolo) being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, it very quickly moves on to four young black girls blown up in an explosion. We then see a black woman being denied the vote because she can’t name more than 60 judges; white people spitting and swearing at black people; while local police and state troopers are seen assaulting black protesters. The governor of Alabama (Tim Roth), is shown to be a deeply unpleasant racist set on preventing any improvement to the conditions of the black people in Alabama; and, while we are shown Dr King and his colleagues as real, threedimensional people, the white people often come across as one

dimensional, stereotypical racists – except for those who joined King’s campaign. Selma raises some important questions for us today. First, can a protest ever truly be non-violent? King’s intention was that his protests caused violence from those in authority in order to get public support. The town of Selma was chosen because he knew that would happen. The question is even asked in the film. Second, we come face-to-face with issues of justice and equality for all, themes raised by the Old Testament prophets, reinforced by the teachings of Jesus, and issues that Christians are still called to deal with today. Third is the issue of commitment to a cause. Whatever else we might say, Martin Luther King Jr was committed to his faith, and committed to living it out by seeking justice, liberty and equality for those denied them. One of his most powerful quotes is: “Our lives are not fully lived if

v Martin’s pick of the flicks Cake (15)

Jennifer Aniston in her most serious and unglamorous role yet – a chronically ill woman fascinated by the suicide of a friend.

The Second Best Marigold Hotel (PG) A sequel to the much-loved Best Marigold Hotel. Sonny

(Dev Patel) expands his business and runs into problems trying to organise a wedding.

Shaun the Sheep (U) It’s not just for the kids.

we’re not willing to die for those we love, for what we believe,” following the example of Jesus, who did just that. Fourth, and something I wish the film could have addressed, is how racism is so deeply ingrained in some people. Finally, we can reflect on the success or failure of what Martin Luther King Jr did. Yes, the President gave in and passed a

law granting the vote to all; yet in America, and all around the world, 50 years on from Selma, racism persists. Maybe what we need is more Martin Luther King Jrs – people ready, willing and able to carry on what he began, seeking to remove racism, hatred and injustice in our lives, and our communities, today.

The Revd Martin Ceaser is minister of Crowthorne Baptist Church


reviews

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35

theatre

Much Ado creates much ado, as it’s #MadeInReading Much Ado About Nothing Performed by Reading Between The Lines theatre company St James Church, Reading February 1-14 #MadeInReading is an epithet to be proud of and Reading Between the Lines Theatre Company have impressed again with their outstanding interpretation of Much Ado About Nothing, bringing West End calibre acting to Reading. The play takes place in St James’ Church, Reading; a stunning location for this production. As the audience takes its seats a fog descends and we discover we are in the midst of the smoke of a battlefield in Afghanistan. Spot lights and army camouflage set the scene. Far away the sounds of battle and helicopters echo off the stone walls. The stage is set out as a theatre in the round with a small raised platform in the centre. The sets are minimalist; a square stage, camp beds, black cubes. The actors walk around and through the audience and you are a spectator in the thick of the action. We are soon transported to the garrison town of Messina-UponThames, Berkshire in the present day. This interpretation of Much Ado takes us back to our basic emotions. The minimalist stage and modern setting strip away any barriers between the audience and the actors. By wearing camo and carrying rifles rather than velvet and swords the story is immediately accessible. Much Ado About Nothing is a famous tale of hidden and mistaken identity. Shakespeare’s language is full of wit and teasing but director Hal Chambers brings out the dark side of the story. There is much lying, cheating, hiding and pretending in this play but all this dishonesty has a consequence and the innocent Hero (played by Lucy Grattan) pays the price. Hero is one of the few characters not to wear some sort of uniform in the production and Grattan makes her feel very fragile in the to-ing and fro-ing of the plot. By contrast, Dani McCallum gives a modern feminist twist to Beatrice as a hard-as-nails, modern woman serving in the British army. From the soldier in uniform,

Beatrice (Dani McCallum) & Hero (Lucy Grattan) in Much Ado About Nothing

holding her own among the men to the grieving friend McCallum gives a female role worth shouting for. “Reimagining Much Ado About Nothing within the ranks of the British army only serves to lend power to the play’s already piercing banter, sexist sparring and status power struggles,” says director Hal. Much Ado About Nothing is

often purported to be one of Shakespeare’s comedies and the razor-sharp dialogue is delivered with energy and dynamism from the cast. There are comedic moments such as the fancy dress party with characters dressed as superheroes and in animal onesies. Overall though, this is a mature, hard-hitting Much Ado. VIVIENNE JOHNSON

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Xn March 2015  

Community magazine for Thames Valley region including Reading, Henley, Wokingham packed with excellent news and brilliant ideas to make the...

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