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MARCH 2012

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2 March 2012 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 01932 246408 v Be part of Heaven on Earth

News

Bob wants to tell you a story

A GROUP of Reading churches are planning a family-friendly weekend conference with the chance to camp – all without leaving the town. The Touching Heaven Changing Earth weekend will be held at Rivermead Leisure Centre and organisers are planning sessions for all ages. Hosted by Barnabas Fellowship of Churches, the event will also welcome speakers from Reading Vineyard, Lifespring and The Globe churches in Reading as well as a range of national organisations. It takes place from Friday, July 26 to Saturday, July 28 and aims to bring Heaven down to Earth. Booking is already open and campers must book by April 30. The conference costs £50 for adults, with reductions for children. Day visitor passes will also be available. For more details, log on to www.barnabasengland.org, or call the church on (0118) 941 5557.

Storyteller Bob Hartman will visit Reading later this month

YOUNG members of a Reading church are looking forward to an extra-special bedtime story later this month. For their story will be given by Bob Hartman, a performance storyteller for children. He uses his dynamic and interactive style to entertain audiences. Bob is a familiar face at major festivals across the UK as well as being the author of the Lion’s Storyteller Series and several picture books including The Wolf who Cried Boy. His programme combines traditional folk tales from around the world, retold in his fresh, inimitable style, with his own stories. And the pastor also loves to help children (and adults) create their own stories. “I love to retell stories from the Bible,” he said. “I find that crawling into a text, asking questions and then coming out the other side, is the best way to discover what it’s all about – to be surprised, challenged, moved and won over.” Bob will be leading the all-age storytelling performance at Greyfriars Church in Friar Street, Reading on Thursday, March 29. v The event starts at 6.45pm and tickets are now on sale. For more details, call (0118) 951 6703 or email bookshop@ greyfriars.org.uk.

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To advertise call 01932 246408 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | March 2012

15 new Street Pastors making Reading safer

Making a difference … the Street Pastors team has been expanded and new volunteers are now helping others at the weekends in Reading town centre Reading’s nighttime economy received a boost last month – a new team of Street Pastors was formally commissioned. A total of 15 new volunteers are now going out on the streets after completing their training and being dedicated at the Reading Street Pastors second anniversary service. Held on Saturday, February 11 at the Reading Central Salvation Army, the evening was an opportunity to look back over the work carried out thus far as well as looking ahead. Along with the testimonies and commissioning, people were able to pray for the team as they face the year ahead. Reading Street Pastors launched in February 2009 and sees volunteers from a range of churches across the area walk the streets of Reading on Friday and Saturday evening. The pastors meet with late night revellers coming out of pubs and clubs, offering appropriate help and support. This could be offering flip flops to help women walk home after dancing in their stilettoes all night, giving lollipops to help reduce the effects of alcohol or helping people who have been left in a vulnerable position or a distressed state.

v Sing for Her Majesty’s Jubilee

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TO CELEBRATE the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, a special Jubilee Chorus is being formed in Wokingham. A large-scale outdoor choral concert will be held on Saturday, June 2 at Elms Field in Wellington Road on a specially constructed stage. The programme comprises pieces all associated with previous coronations, including Handel’s Zadok the Priest, Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, Parry’s I was Glad and other favourites. Singers are required and whole choirs are welcome to apply. For further details, a rehearsal schedule and an online sign-up form, log on to www. wokinghamjubileechorus.co.uk.

v Faith in the workplace READING@WORK, a group that supports and encourages Christians to live out their faith in the workplace, held a special meeting last week. It welcomed the Revd Phil Jump, chair of the ICF – Faith On Monday Morning, to explore what it means to keep the faith in the workplace. The group meets on a monthly basis in the United Bible Societies’ offices in Reading Bridge House. For more details, log on to www.readingatwork.org.

The team are normally on the streets from 10pm to 3am on a Friday and Saturday night. “Reading town centre is a popular destination for party goers at the weekend, attracting thousands from all over the area,” says Matt Hearn, coordinator for Reading Street Pastors. “With many bars, pubs and late night venues, Reading becomes a very busy town especially during term time with its big university and influx of students. “The need for Street Pastors to be out and about the town centre late at night is big.” The extra volunteers, who have undergone a training programme, will help the pastors be more effective as they attempt to help Reading pubgoers.

“We’re delighted that these new volunteers have got involved,” said Matt. “They will make a real difference to our work. “We’re always after new volunteers though – if you’d like to help, please get in touch.” Reading Street Pastors works with the RBC Safer Reading Forum, the local Pubwatch group and Thames Valley Police. More than 25 churches from Reading are involved in Street Pastors. v For more details, or to find out more about volunteering, call Matt Hearn on 0753 3325 504 or email: reading@ streetpastors.org.uk. The group’s website is www.streetpastors.co.uk.

v Persecuted Church in focus THE PLIGHT of persecuted Christians around the world will be the focus of a special event taking place at a Caversham church this month. Stuart Windsor, who is the special ambassador for Christian Solidarity Worldwide, will lead Free To Believe on Wednesday, March 7. Taking place at St Andrew’s Church in Albert Road from 7.30pm, the event offers a chance to hear more about how you can support persecuted Christians across the globe. For more details, call the Revd Nigel Jones, on (0118) 947 2788.


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March 2012 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 01932 246408

News

– here to share our good news with each other

Xn editor Phil Creighton with Wokingham MP John Redwood, Cllr Bob Wyatt, deputy mayor of Wokingham Borough Council and Cllr Peter Lucey, the Town Mayor of Wokingham at the Wokingham Churches Together Unity Service Picture: Sharon Elliott The first issue of Xn was distributed at a special launch party in January. Held at Abbey Baptist Church in Reading’s town centre, the Mayor of Reading and the town’s two MPs cut the ribbon with editor Phil Creighton to declare the new publication officially open. They were watched by church leaders and members from across Reading, Wokingham and Bracknell. During the event, the Mayor – Cllr Deborah Edwards – gave New Year greetings, while Phil outlined his vision for Xn. “We have a mission to

v Thank you The Xn team would like to thank the Mayor of Reading, Cllr Deborah Edwards, and Reading MPs Alok Sharma and Rob Wilson for taking time out of their schedules to come along to the launch.

encourage, inspire and inform: to be the central point of information between churches, sharing good news and sharing testimonies from Christians living in the Thames Valley wanting to transform their communities for the sake of the Gospel,” he said. “There are more than 150 churches and church-run community groups across the region and we want to reach every one of them. Each one has stories to tell. “It might be something simple such as the launch of a craft club or it might be a major project, such as fundraising to build a church in Sierra Leone. “It doesn’t matter what their news is – Xn is here to share it with others.” Phil explained that Xn will be funded by advertising and encouraged churches to get behind the initiative. “Without advertising and sponsorship, Xn won’t exist,” he said. “The peril of being a free

newspaper is that you live or die on the advertising you attract.” The news magazine is designed to appeal to as wide an audience as possible – and 20,000 copies are being distributed each month across the Thames Valley. “We’re doing everything we can to make the magazine special: an inviting read, something that if it was left in a dentist’s waiting room it wouldn’t look out of place,” Phil said. To ensure Xn’s success - and to create a loyal readership – Phil urged churches to actively

give the magazine out to its congregations. “Xn is a central point of information for the good news from our churches: we need to get it in people’s hands,” he said. “Please, treat it as if it was something your church had produced.” v Xn was also present at the Wokingham Churches Together Unity service, held during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The event was also attended by the Town Mayor of Wokingham and Wokingham MP John Redwood.

v Two ways you can help Xn v Our ministry is funded by advertising. We are distributing 20,000 copies across the Thames Valley, making it a great way to reach thousands of people. If you think you can support us in this way, please call RoperPenberthy on 01932 246408. v We are looking for churches to act as distribution hubs. Once a month, we’d drop a number of copies with you and neighbouring churches will come and collect them. If you think you could help, please email judith@xnmedia.co.uk.

We’re now monthly! Look out for our next issue on Sunday, April 1


News

To advertise call 01932 246408 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | March 2012

Reading West MP Alok Sharma, the Mayor of Reading Cllr Deborah Edwards, Xn editor Phil Creighton and Reading East MP Rob Wilson declare Xn officially open at its launch event, held at Abbey Baptist Church in early January Pictures on this page: Judith Creighton

Above: Phil introduces Xn to church leaders Below: the first 20,000 copies!

Online at xnmedia.co.uk

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News

March 2012 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 01932 246408

Members of Parenthesis are looking forward to celebrating a milestone birthday with a special choral concert later this month

Sung mass will mark choir’s 20th anniversary A CHOIR formed by parents who were envious of their children’s musical abilities is celebrating its 20th birthday later this month. Parenthesis, which was launched with a concert in St Mary’s in Burghfield in April 1992, initially comprised parents dropping their children off to orchestral and choral

v Welcome to Mark-Aaron MEMBERS of St James Finchampstead will welcome a new priest later this month. The Revd Mark-Aaron Tisdale is joining the church, which serves the parish of Finchampstead and California, as its associate priest. For the past year Mark-Aaron has been Chaplain of St Edmund’s School, Canterbury, and before that was Rector of Clifton and Southill in the St Alban’s Diocese. He is married to Cigil (pronounced ‘Chill’) and they have an 11-year-old son Winston-James. It is anticipated that MarkAaron’s ministry at the church will begin during this month. “The Ministry Team are very much looking forward to his arrival,” says the Revd Julie Ramsbottom, the Rector of the Finchampstead and California Parish.

v Win Pam Rhodes Hearts & Hymns CDs See page 30

groups run by Berkshire Music Centre – now known as Berkshire Maestros. While they were waiting during the lessons, the parents started their own sessions and, under the aegis of conductor Gwyn Arch, formed the Central Berkshire Parents’ Choir, now known as Parenthesis. The anniversary concert will take place

on Saturday, March 10, at Wesley Methodist Church, Queen’s Road Reading. It includes Haydn’s Nelson Mass, which they sang at that first concert. v Tickets cost £10 and under 18s can get in free. It starts at 7.30pm. For details, call Liz Harrison on (0118) 954 6833, or email tickets@parenthesis.org.uk.

School seeks your help for solar panels A CHURCH primary school is hoping its latest appeal will end up sunny side up. New Christ Church Primary School in Milman Road, Reading is raising funds for some solar panels – but it only has until the end of March to raise £10,000. The school has raised £4,000 so far, but wants to reach its target and save on its energy bills in the process. It has taken a step of faith by installing the panels before the deadline for the superior feed-in tariff expires at the end of March. Now it’s looking to collect the rest of the much-needed money. “We have been working really hard to fundraise the money ourselves, by holding cake sales, parent donations, a Bollywood evening and much more,” said Joanna Laynesmith, chair of the school’s PTA and the coordinator for Reading Christian Ecology Link. The school is asking

individuals, churches and local businesses for donations in return for personalised panels on their virtual solar roof. A £5 donation buys a panel with a picture of your choice on (and your name attached), the larger the donation the larger the panel and for £100 this can be linked to your website. So far, St John and St Stephen’s, Greyfriars and New Hope churches have helped schools in the area with similar schemes. Every £1 donation should eventually be worth up to £3 to the school thanks to the feed-in tariff. Joanna says she is excited at the prospect of the school going green by getting the panels. “Thanks to Park URC’s very visible solar panels, Christians in Reading are already recognised by Borough Council members as leaders in the movement to cut Reading’s carbon emissions,” she said.

“Tearfund, Christian Aid and Cafod are among many development agencies urging us to do all we can to cut our carbon emissions and educate others to do the same for the sake of the world’s poorest people who are already suffering the consequences of climate change. “Perhaps you could consider a donation to New Christ Church as an opportunity to offset some of your church’s carbon emissions?” School Bursar Lynda Stokes said: “I think the children, parents and staff at NCC have been amazing. “I never imagined that they would be able to raise this amount of money towards the solar panels and I hope there are businesses out there that can help us reach our target.” v To help, or for details, log on to www.solarschools.org.uk/ newchristchurch.


News

7 v Grab The Bull by the horns

To advertise call 01932 246408 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | March 2012

Let us play!

A PUB in Wargrave is the venue for a Christianity Explored course. The Bull Inn, situated in the village’s High Street, has been holding the seven-session course on Wednesdays since the beginning of February. Aimed at answering some of life’s big questions, the course start at 8pm each week and will continue into March.

A CHURCH which converted one of its rooms into a soft play area has been delighted with the response. St Paul’s, in Whitley Wood Lane, Whitley, open the Play Barn in January and has already registered 99 families. “It’s more than we’d hoped for,” said the Revd Leon Collyer, the church’s associate minister. Currently open on Wednesday and Fridays, the Play Barn is a friendly space to bring underfives to play. Run by donations, the Barn is open

to everyone. Facilities include an unsupervised soft play area, a craft area, space for babies and a story zone. Sessions run from 9.30am to 2.30pm, and plans are afoot for a Monday opening. Leon added: “We are about to open on another morning; soon we will be hiring out for birthdays etc. The feedback has been universally positive but the real proof is in the atmosphere.” v For more details, search for St Paul’s Play Barn on Facebook.

Pharaoh musical will be picked up quickly Churches of Southcote are encouraging people who like to sing to come together and produce a musical in just one weekend. The Roger Jones musical From Pharaoh To Freedom will be presented at St Matthew’s Church, Southcote Lane on Sunday, March 18. The musical explores the relationship between the Jewish Passover festival and the Christian celebration of communion. The Sunday evening performance will be given by a choir that will have assembled for the first time only the day before. Anyone who likes to sing is invited to join the choir – all you have to do is turn up at the church in Southcote Lane from 9.30am on Saturday, March 17. During the day, which will end at 5.30pm, you will be taught the musical by Phil Parkin, a Birmingham-based maestro. Phil has spent many years

working with composer Roger Jones and is an expert in leading choirs in one-day workshops so that they can produce a musical within a short space of time. “It is a wonderful way of bringing communities together,” said the Revd Richard Becher, minister of Grange United Reformed Church, one of the churches behind the scheme. “Southcote Alive – formed by Grange United Reformed Church, St Matthew’s and Southcote Mission to reach out into their community together with the Christian message through activities and events – hopes that will happen with the musical.” There is no cost to participating in the choir, and partcipants should bring a lunch to share. Admission to the musical on the Sunday, which starts at 6pm, will also be free. “People don’t have to be from Southcote to join the choir but in sharing together on the Saturday and Sunday can produce a

v Fish ‘n’ quiz Quiz fans are invited to a quiz night with fish ‘n’ chips at Wokingham’s Bradbury Centre, to be held later this month. The evening will raise funds for Action For Children and take place on Saturday, March 10. Entry costs £10 and includes a meal. Children under 11 get in for £5. The centre is attached to Wokingham Methodist Church in Rose Street. For details, email office@ wokinghammethodist.org.uk.

v Art & craft fair

Mortimer West End Chapel in Padworth Common will hold its wonderful spirit which can help annual Spring Arts & Crafts Fair Southcote come alive,” Richard later this month. added. The event, which helps raise v For more details, email money for local charities, is an Richard on becherhouse@ opportunity to meet local artists. btinternet.com or call 07954 The fair takes place on 591366. There is no need to Saturday, March 17, from 10am book – just turn up at 9.30am to 4pm. Entry is free. on Saturday, March 17, or come Lunches will be served from noon to 2pm and there will also along on Sunday, March 18 at 6pm and enjoy the performance. be a facepainter for children.

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March 2012 | To advertise call 01932 246408

Advertiser’s announcement

It’s the Church, Actually

O

VER 30 years, Spring Harvest has become an important part of the UK’s Christian culture. Held during the Easter holidays, the event sees Christians join together at Butlins holiday camps in Skegness and Minehead and offer the very best in teaching, worship and relaxation too. Each year has a different theme, and sees top teachers unpack Scripture in a range of styles, offering something for everyone, from the analytical studious Christian to the soul-searching believer-to-be. For 2012, the focus is on Church Actually: six days of God’s brilliant idea. Each day will focus on a different facet of the Church, exploring its theology, history and what it’s like in reality. Spring Harvest says: “We’ll answer some of the big questions that get asked about the Church by exploring four of the pictures used in the New Testament to describe it – the People of God, the Community of the Spirit, the Body of Christ and the Bride of Christ. “We’ll look at the mission of the Church in our culture and our calling as God’s people.” The first theme is Shine Through Them, and looks at how God chooses to shine his light through human beings, with a focus on the connections between church and mission. The second theme is Give Them Power, exploring how God empowers us to shine for Him, through the Holy Spirit. Spring Harvest says that the focus will be on the New Testament description of the church as the Community of the Spirit, the very dwelling-place of God and explore the Holy Spirit as God’s gift to the church. The third theme is Help Them Love, and will give guests the chance to look at the example that Jesus set us to be servants. It includes an exploration of the church’s calling to be the Body of Christ and how we can continue His ministry in the world around us.

v This year’s dates • Minehead 1: S aturday 31 March – Thursday 5 April • Minehead 2: Thursday 5 – Tuesday 10 April • Minehead 3: Tuesday 10 – Sunday 15 April • Skegness 1: Tuesday 10 – Sunday 15 April

The final theme is Make Them One, rejoicing in the New Testament’s foreseeing of a Church that is multicultural, multi-national and multi-lingual. “The name given to this people in the Bible is the Bride of Christ – beautiful, sparkling and deeply loved by God,” Spring Harvest explains. “We will explore the joy of our diversity; embracing the call of God to reach every tribe and culture and escaping cultural captivity to express love for the ‘other’.”

v All ages can learn together A unique aspect of Spring Harvest’s programme is that its theme is worked out at every level from adults, through to young people, children and toddlers. Everybody will be looking at the same daily theme, whether young or old, which gives you great opportunities to discuss what you’ve learned, as a family, with friends or in your group.

Bible teachers this year include Gerard Kelly, co-founder of The Bless Network, Russell Rook, who works with Chapel Street, Andy Hickford, a senior minister of Maybridge Community Church in Worthing and Ness Wilson, leader of Open Heaven Church in Loughborough. As well as the excellent teaching, Spring Harvest provides space for Spirit-filled worship and is well-known for introducing the latest worship songs, teaching them over several days so you can then take them back to your fellowships and use them to worship God. This April, worship leaders include Spring Harvest favourites Geraldine Latty and Vicky Beeching. Also leading will be Pete James, who

v 18-30s Function At Skegness there is a special stream for those aged 18 to 30. Function offers a different style of teaching and worship, time and space to pray, chat with those you came with and meet with those you didn’t. It includes morning breakout sessions focusing on big issues and how you fit in with them, afternoon seminars and evening celebrations hosted by Rich Wilson and Kiera Singlehurst-Phyo.

is worship director at St Thomas Philadelphia in Sheffield, and Mark Beswick, a London-based worship leader, trainer and Bible teacher. As well as the teaching there will be plenty of opportunities for fun. Free leisure facilities on site, and included in the price, include a swimming pool with rapids and flumes, a fun fair, an indoor soft play area, a driving school for under sevens, tennis, darts and more. There are also a range of paid activities, including a day spa at Skegness, ten-pin bowling, snooker and a cinema. With something for everyone of for all ages and a chance to relax with the family of God, Spring Harvest really is Church Actually.

v Find out more Spring Harvest has a comprehensive website, offering just about everything you need to know for the event, including up to date accommodation availability. If you need more information, or to book, call 01825 769000 or log on to www.springharvest.org.


To advertise call 01932 246408 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | March 2012

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WORSHIP, LEARN & GROW

Steve Gaukroger

Wilson rooK, andy HicKford & ness ss ru ly, Kel rd ra Ge : ERS cH latty BIBLE TEA , marK BesWicK & Geraldine inG cH Bee Ky Vic es, Jam e Pet WORSHIP LEAdERS:

Christianity A4.indd 1

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News

March 2012 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 01932 246408

Council clarifies parking rules for faith groups READING Council has issued guidance to faith groups looking for parking after the issue was raised by Cllr Rob White. The Green Party councillor for Park Ward in Reading had asked for clarification on the issue as a result of problems with parking for the Cumberland Road mosque. “For several years individual churches,d mosques and the synagogue have raised parking problems with the council,” said the Revd Nigel Hardcastle, secretary of Reading Faith Forum. “We organised a meeting about this years ago and tried to support the search for reasonable solutions. Even the council cannot magic parking spaces out of the air.” If you are driving to your church and

v The cuppa that blesses A SIMPLE cup of coffee has helped a range of charities. Members of Wokingham Methodist Church in Rose Street hold monthly coffee mornings, with each one raising funds for a different charity. These have included Christian Aid, Red Nose Day and Children in Need. For its December event, the morning raised £252 for The Link Visiting Scheme, a Wokinghambased befriending organisation. At each morning, as well as teas, coffees and cakes for consumption, the church organises a sale of preserves and greetings cards. The church is continuing the coffee mornings throughout 2012 – they are held on the first Thursday of each month from 10am to noon. The March event was held in aid of Anthony Toby Homes, while the April event, held on April 5, will be in aid of the West Berkshire Citizen Advocacy Service.

v Wesley visit JOHN WESLEY made a special visit to a Camberley church earlier this month. The Methodist preacher was brought back to life in a one-man performance by Mark Topping, which was held on Saturday, March 3 at High Cross Church, Camberley.

intend to use on-street parking, you can, if the signs permit it, park for two hours for free or use a temporary visitor permit. Some streets are residents’ permits only and some have parking meters. “Visitor permits are scratch cards, each for half a day. They are issued in books of

20 permits and the books are at a cost of £20 each,” wrote Ian Thomas, Deputy Civil Enforcement Manager for the Council in his reply to Rob. Discretionary permits for faith organisations can also be issued, but on a case-by-case basis. Ian added: “Each applicant would need to make an application detailing their requirements and, subject to the information and proofs provided, permits may or may not be issued. In addition to this there may be a fee involved.” Nigel suggested: “If you have other particular needs then you can apply to the parking department and see what you can negotiate.”

Argyle’s bold step of faith for West Reading A WEST Reading church is building for the future with an exciting extension and refurbishment project. Argyle Community Church is planning to develop its buildings so it can be more useful to community groups and the church. The planned development to the church, which serves the busy community around West Reading Station, will provide a range of benefits, including a multi-use community room, an enlarged café area and a more user-friendly garden area. “New space at the front of our building will give us flexibility for attractive meeting rooms for use in a range of new community focused activities, a welcoming entrance foyer and much needed space for our crèche and Sunday school,” said Lynne Colman, Community Development Worker for the church. “The outside appearance has also been carefully designed to greatly enhance the look of our building and the local area.” Lynne continued: “The building is over 50 years old and has served us well, but it needs attention. For example, the kitchen facilities need modernising and the heating

Two views of what the rebuilt Argyle chapel will look like when it is completed. It is hoped that work will start next month

system and thermal efficiency of the building need to be brought up to 21st Century standards”. The church already runs a range of successful community initiatives, with something taking place on a daily basis. These include mother & toddlers, youth clubs, activities for the elderly, lunches for the disabled, a Thursday morning café serving free tea, coffee and cakes, English language classes and a monthly Saturday morning

family-focused café. Harald Holmgren, the pastor at Argyle Community Church, said: “This project is intended to improve the building and facilities in order to be more useful to the church and to support our vision of engagement with the community around us. So this is a bold ‘step of faith’ for us all.” JoyDavid Ltd, a Reading based firm, has been appointed to the project and work is planned to start in April. It should be finished in November. v To keep up to date on the exciting project, log on to www.argylecommunitychurch. com.


News

To advertise call 01932 246408 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | March 2012

Perfect 10 for New Hope

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A READING church celebrated its 10th anniversary in style. New Hope Community Church in York Road marked its milestone on Sunday, January 22, with a special service attended by the Rt Revd Andrew Proud, the bishop of Reading. After the service, a specially prepared birthday cake was cut by the Revd Catharine Morris, the church’s associate vicar. As well as the big cake, members of the church made cup cakes each decorated with a candle and little ‘10’ logos. The congregation also gathered outside so they could release balloons in to the local community. Each one contained a label which had been tagged with the church’s prayers for the local community. The church was built on the site of the old St Paul’s Church and aims to provide a resource to the local community as well as a home for a church within the community. After the service, there was a well-attended community lunch.

Pictures: Steve Hunt and Tony Newell


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March 2012 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 01932 246408

News focus

Churches prepare for Holy Week

Churches across the Thames Valley will mark the events of Holy Week in a variety of ways, including Good Friday walks of witness and sunrise services on Easter Day HOLY Week gets underway over the first week of April, and churches across the region will be joining together to remember the events that led to Christ’s death and Resurrection – and our sins being washed away by the Cross. Here, we round up some of the ways in which you can take part. We’ll have the very latest news about Easter events on our website, xnmedia.co.uk.

v TILEHURST ON GOOD FRIDAY, churches in Tilehurst will take part in a walk of witness that ends at Tilehurst Triangle. Each church will start from their own building, making their way to the Triangle for noon. The Revd Dennis Smith, minister of St Mary Magalden in Tilehurst will speak at the service. A sunrise Easter Day communion service, starting at 6am, will be held by Tilehurst Methodist on the top of Streatley Hill on Easter, whatever the weather. “Over the last few years this has attracted folk from a few other churches who have joined us and for the last few years we have met on the hill and shared worship with a group of Anglicans from Streatley,” says the Revd Andy Moffoot, Tilehurst Methodist’s minister.

v Caversham Churches in Caversham will give a public witness when they gather in St Martin’s shopping precinct on Saturday, April 7.

v Half Marathon sees Reading road closures The annual Reading Half Marathon will be winding its way across the town’s streets on Palm Sunday, April 1 – it’s no joke, some roads in the town will be closed making it harder to access churches by car. For more details, keep an eye on the Reading Post and log on to www. readinghalfmarathon.com. Meeting at 11am, they will sing hymns and are also planning some street theatre. “Worshippers from most churches in Caversham will form the core singers and we invite shoppers to join in ,” says John Madeley, from Churches Together in Caversham. “Worshippers from all churches in the area would of course be welcome.” There are more Holy Week events taking place in individual churches, including a Palm Sunday procession – complete with a real donkey – organised by St Andrew’s and Caversham Heights Methodist churches. It starts from Kelvedon Way at 9.30am on Sunday, April 1. St Andrew’s will also mark the end of Holy Week with a First Eucharist of Easter, which will be held on Saturday, April 8 from 9pm.

v Reading On Easter Sunday, churches in Reading are invited to gather for an Easter Day

service starting at 8am. Held in Forbury Gardens, the service has been organised by Churches Together In Reading. If wet, it will be held in nearby Abbey Baptist Church. Music will be provided by the Reading Central Salvation Army band and Michael Penny, chair of Churches Together Reading will lead the service. During Holy Week, churches will host a variety of special events. St Bart’s and St Luke’s churches will hold a Palm Sunday procession between the two churches starting at 10am and will, on Maundy Thursday, hold a mass with a watchnight service to midnight, from 7.30pm. St Luke’s will also host a children’s Good Friday workshop from 2pm.

v Wokingham Churches in Wokingham are hoping to build on last year’s Holy Week experience. To act as a witness to the town, it is hoping to hire an empty shop in Peach Street in the week leading up to Good Friday. The shop would be open from the Tuesday before Easter to Good Friday and would display Easter artwork by children from Wokingham schools, be a conduit for information about local community projects and offer craft activites for under fives. On Good Friday itself, there will be an open-air Passion play performed in Market Place, organised by the Stage Fright theatre company. We’ll be going behind the scenes of the play next issue.


News

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David Pawson to give Lent talks

St James explores aspects of faith The Revd John Edwards will give a Lent talk about the Common Book of Prayer at St James’ in Finchampstead later this month AN all-star line-up of speakers will be helping parishioners in Finchampstead as they undergo their Lenten journey. St James in Finchampstead launched its series of Lent talks on Tuesday, February 28, with a visit from the Rt Revd Andrew Proud, Bishop of Reading. He spoke about what we can learn from Africa. On Tuesday, March 6, the Revd John Edwards – priest in charge at the church – will talk about the 350th Anniversary of the Book of Common Prayer. On Tuesday, March 13, Andrew Fellows of the L’Abri Fellowship in Hampshire talks about Christians, Muslims, Atheists – the Struggle for the Heart of Europe. A planned visit by Channel 4 News newscaster Jon Snow, on the media, has been postponed. It would have been held on Friday, March 16. Martin Cooper, of interdenominational organisation

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Navigators, will be addressing the series on Tuesday, March 20. Martin is pioneering Second Half Living, a new ministry aimed at those in their 50s and 60s. His lecture is titled I’ve Started, So I’ll Finish – Living as a Christian Through Middle Age and Beyond. Martin Hughes, an Oxford Graduate in Ancient History and Theology, a former lecturer at Durham University and a member of St James, will give the final address on Tuesday, March 27. He will focus on Is the Bible True? – The Battle for Ancient Israel. v Doors open at 7.45pm for each lecture, with coffee served before the talk starts at 8pm. Each one finishes at 9.30pm and will be held in St James’ Church Centre, Church Lane, Finchampstead. For details, call the Parish Office on (0118) 973 0133 or e-mail office@stjames. finchampstead.co.uk.

A WORLD renowned preacher will be visiting south Reading during Holy Week for a series of teaching sessions. David Pawson, a former pastor of Gold Hill Baptist Church in Chalfont St Peter, will give seven sessions from Maundy Thursday to Easter Monday. Speaking at South of Reading Christian Fellowship over the course of the weekend, he will unwrap Seven Wonders of His Story, a series focusing on Jesus. All sessions will take place at the church in Three Mile Cross. On Thursday, April 5, from 7.30pm, he will focus on Christ’s conception and birth. The Crucifixion is the subject of two sessions on Good Friday at 10.30am and 6.30pm. On Saturday, April 7, he will speak about burial at 10.30am. Easter Sunday sees the preacher lead two sessions: Burial is the theme at a 10.30am

session and Ascension will be the topic of a 6.30pm session. The final talk takes place on Easter Monday at 7.30pm and is on Christ’s Return and Judgment. David now has an itinerant ministry across the world, through books, talks and videos. He is widely considered to be one of the world’s finest biblical expositors. v For more details, call the church on (0118) 988 4508 or log on to www.sorcf.co.uk.

Men get down to business Big Business met Christianity head-to-head in Sonning on Saturday, February 11, when Tony Lighterness, former deputy finance director of Rio Tinto, addressed a 70-strong breakfast meeting of the Reading Christian Men’s Group. Tony came to God unexpectedly, when working as an accountant in the then Rhodesia. And, though he rose to the top of the company, his faith retained its same immediacy and conviction. “Your work, like your life, is in God’s hands,” he said. “And He will never sack you! “Our work is merely the setting in which to frame our relationship with God; we are his ambassadors.” “Your belief and actions need to emerge from within you,” he went on, “otherwise they are not genuine. “Talk to God constantly; your prayers are always answered.”

The Reading Christian Men’s Group meets three times annually at the Blue Coat School. Its aim is to help men become aware of, and grow in understanding of, the Christian faith and its relevance to life and work.

v Olympics quiz evening On Saturday, May 19, the Group is organising an Olympicthemed quiz evening for family and friends – linking Christianity with sport on the day the Olympic torch starts its UK journey. The special guest will be Debbie Flood – Olympic silver medallist in Quadruple Sculls and hopefully going for gold this year. Anyone interested can obtain more details from John Ledger at john.ledger@tiscali.co.uk. v A longer version of this article appears on the Xn website, xnmedia.co.uk. CHRIS CARTER


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News

March 2012 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 01932 246408

Learn how to listen on counselling course

George mobilises Wycliffe WYCLIFFE Baptist Church has enjoyed a range of international guest speakers over the past few weeks. Its round-the-world tour was launched in January with a visit by George Verwer, the founder of Operation Mobilisation. He spoke at a Sunday morning service before answering questions over a bring and share lunch. Then, in early February, the church welcomed Slavko Hadzic. The Christian, who used to be in the Bosnian Mafia, shared his testimony to a packed audience in Wycliffe’s Warehouse congregation. The church then welcomed former Zimbabwean cricketer Henry Olonga for an evening of singing and testimony on Friday, February 17. The test cricketer had to flee his country after he criticised its president, Robert Mugabe. Wycliffe has another visitor planned – on Saturday, March 10, illusionist Steve Price will conjure up some fun. The church is also holding a daytime Alpha course from Monday, March 12. For more details, call (0118) 929 9911.

IF YOU want to help people but feel you don’t know where to start, a new course will help. The Phillipi Trust is launching a new Introduction To Counselling Course aimed at anyone who wants to learn more about how to listen and communicate effectively. The course runs over three weekends: April 27-

28, May 18-19 and June 29-30. Sessions run from 6pm to 10pm on Fridays and from 9am to 6pm on Saturdays. No previous experience is needed. It will be held at the Trust’s counselling centre, 229 Kings Road, Reading. v For further information call Jo White on: (0118) 966 7422, email reading@ philippitrust.freeserve. co.uk or log on to www. philippireading.org.uk.

Mum and daughter to build up a community A YOUNG girl from Easthampstead will have a tenth birthday to remember – she’ll be celebrating it while helping to build a house. Mai Morling will next month travel to the Dominican Republic with her Mother Katherine (34) along with volunteers from across the country – to help transform the lives of slum dwellers. The duo, who worship at Easthampstead Baptist Church, are travelling to the village of Esperanza with Mission Direct, a Christian charity that works in some of the poorest parts of the world. Volunteers on the trip will build housing for families currently living in shacks made out of wood, tin and whatever the people can gather together. Many of the families are refugees from neighbouring Haiti, fleeing poverty and disaster. At the end of their fortnight’s stay, the team will metaphorically hand over the keys of the new property to the allocated family, with a dedication service being held too. Volunteers will also get to work at a number of other local children’s and community projects including ‘village feeding’ with a local community, and showing the Jesus film one evening too. “I have had no building

Katherine and Mai Morling will be travelling to the Dominican Republic with Mission Direct experience, but I am looking forward to the challenge,” said Katherine. “I have always had a passion to do something to help in a practical way. Last June I went to Sierra Leone with members of EBC to see if it really was what I wanted to do. I enjoyed that experience so much that I wanted to share a similar experience with Mai. “If it is a positive trip for her and I together I would really like to do a longer one – 6-12 months maybe.” Katherine said that Mai’s birthday will be celebrated while they are there but the presents will have to wait until later. “Space is limited,” she explained. “We are taking items that are needed out there with us.” The mission is costing the pair £3,000 and they have been busy raising the funds in a variety of ways including a Caribbean

meal held at the church. “Eighty four people came to the meal and it was a bit surreal as it was snowing outside,” Katherine said. “We are nearly halfway there now. Mai is going to do a sponsored 1,000 metre swim and I’m holding a musical evening on March 31. “If we raise more than we need to cover the cost we can take it with us to buy extras for the families we meet, things like mattresses.” Mission Direct has sent 2,000 people on trips in 12 countries spread across four continents. v If you want to help Katherine and Mai on their trip, contact them via Easthamstead Baptist Church. For details, log on to www.ebc-bracknell.org or call (01344) 487744. v For more on Mission Direct, log on to www.missiondirect.org.

v Musical fun Katherine’s fundraising concert will take place on Saturday, March 31 at Finchampstead Baptist Church from 7.30pm. The varied programme includes classical and modern music. Tickets cost £5, and are available from the church office.


News v Fairtrade in the spotlight FAIRTRADE Fortnight is being marked in a number of ways across Reading. The events, all promoting a more ethical way to shop, are being organised by a range of groups and include a fair trade scrapbooking evening at Greyfriars Bookshop on Monday, March 5, as well as the chance to hear ethical expert Lucy Siegle. She will explain why she thinks it’s vital for youngsters to take action in the world around them in the conference that takes place at RISC in London Street, Reading on Thursday, March 8. University of Reading students will hold a fair trade fashion show at the Students’ Union from 7pm on Friday, March 9, while a tasting session will take place at the Oxfam bookshop in Market Palce on Saturday, March 10 from 10am to 3pm. On Wednesday, March 14, Chris Davis, director of producer partnerships at Fairtrade Foundation, talks about Fairtrade gold. His talk starts at 7.30pm and will be held at RISC. For more details, log on to www.readingfairtrade.org.uk.

v Virgo visit TERRY VIRGO, the founder of the New Frontiers International Movement will be speaking at Reading Family Church over two Sundays this month. He will visit the church, which meets at Reading Girls School, on March 18 and 25. Services start at 10am. For more details, log on to readingfamilychurch.org.uk.

v Messiah sung for Palm Sunday TWYFORD SINGERS will help mark the start of Holy Week with a Palm Sunday performance at St Mary’s Church, Twyford. The group will perform Handel’s Messiah Parts II and III, having previously performed Part I at Christmas. The evening of music starts at 7pm on Sunday, April 1. For more details, call (0118) 969 8326.

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Dan’s Songs of Praise Dan Head is interviewed by the Songs of Praise team for a piece transmitted late last month THE work of a local alcohol and drug rehabilitation centre was brought to the attention of millions late last month - thanks to an appearance on Songs of Praise. The BBC TV weekly programme spent part of its Sunday, February 19 edition recounting the testimony of Dan Head. He was on a Lenten edition of the programme to speak about how he was tempted by drug addiction and the accompanying crime and how God helped him to freedom through the ministry of Yeldall Manor, where he is now Resettlement Worker. “Dan was really nervous about the programme being seen by his friends and family, but we are all really excited and pray that many people will have been touched by the testimony of what God can do in people’s lives,” said Sue Hedger, Yeldall’s fundraising manager.

Dan is not the only one at Yeldall focusing on temptations this Lent. A number of volunteers are helping Yeldall Manor by taking part in its annual Give It Up challenge, giving up everything from Facebook to chocolate until Easter Sunday. Sponsored by friends and family and encouraged by regular emails of support from Yeldall, the campaign will raise much-needed funds. “These include five of our ex-residents, two of whom have pledged to give up smoking,” said Sue. And two staff, two residents and four supporters are running in either the Reading or the Richmond half-marathons in April and May. “Money raised will go towards beneficial leisure activities for the residents including, we hope, a short activity break,” said Sue. v You can support Yeldall’s work at www. justgiving.com/yeldallmanor.

Modern-day slavery highlighted by song A collection of UK Christian artists – including Grammynominated worship leader Matt Redman and urban music gurus LZ7 – have released 27 Million: a new single to raise awareness of the anti-human trafficking movement. It aims to offer worshippers a practical way of responding to injustice by introducing them to the A21 Campaign, which is working towards the abolition of modern day slavery – some of which is taking place under our noses. Speaking of the moment she was told about the problem of human trafficking, Beth Redman described being “at a conference

talking with Christine Caine [founder of the A21 Campagn]. “She told me that today an estimated 27 million people are trapped as modern day slaves, and how, of those millions, they think only 1 per cent to 2 per cent are rescued. I don’t know how I’d missed it, and I had no idea that it involved adults, teenagers, kids and even babies. “So the mum, the daughter, the sister in me said ‘that’s it – I’m going to do everything I can.’” Beth decided to gather friends to write a song that would inspire people to act. “Every movement needs an anthem,” explained Beth, “and my hope

is that this single will help people to pray, to give money or time. The ultimate dream is if everyone does something that figure of 27 million could be eradicated in our lifetime.” The single tells the true story of a girl trafficked from Eastern Europe into London’s sex trade. “Society is waking up to the fact that there are 27 million slaves on the earth today,” said Matt Redman of the single’s potential. “They are the voiceless, but we could be their voice.” v For more on the A21 Campaign visit thea21campaign.com


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March 2012 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 01932 246408

v Motoring Advertiser’s announcement

When you are happy, we are happy… Priory Automotive, the respected suppliers of motor cars to Clergy and the Church community, promise you the highest level of service, whilst also offering the very best value. Ethically run by a Christian team of industry managers they guarantee to take away all the worry and hassle usually associated with buying a used car. One call to them and you will be met with courtesy, respect and honesty as they begin to fully understand your needs and requirements. Only after a nationwide search and history check of the very best cars will they offer you a suitable option. Even then, every car is fully inspected and prepared to the highest possible standard, before a free of charge delivery to your door. There are no hidden costs, everything is included, Service, Warranty, Tax, MOT, and part exchange of your old car is welcome. There is no better way to buy your next car – many Church members have called Priory and been amazed just how easy it was to get a fantastic car, at a great price. With options to suit all budgets, take a look at their website. It is full of genuine customer feedback, or call them, for a friendly chat to see how they can assist you too. For more information call 0114 255 9696 or visit prioryautomotive.com

Faith at work

Helen’s han

IF THERE’S one thing that people expect to see in a church it’s a beautiful stained-glass window. Works of art created using a mosaic of carefully shaped coloured glass pieces, the windows are breathtaking for their ingenuity and widely appreciated for their devotional aspect. Over recent years, there has been a trend to bring the beauty of stained glass closer to home, and artisan craftspeople have set up shop creating everything from sun catchers and mirrors to pieces of art to hang on the wall. Greatly appreciated, each piece is unique and treasured by their owners. One such creator is artist Helen Banthorpe, owner of Earley-based Gladys Glass. Not only does the 43-year-old produce fine stained-glass gifts, but she’s also turned her skill for glass into something that she shares via workshops and children’s parties. However, had she not stepped out in faith, Helen, a member of Brookside Church, Earley-based glass artist Helen Banthorpe might not have been making mirrors Picture: Sharon Elliott a living with her passion for that step of faith to turn a hobby into a glass. She was working in a primary business was one of the best decisions she has ever made. school, helping children learn “I spent a couple of months every day with her art just a wondering what I’d done,” she admits. hobby. But she felt God’s calling “But turnover went up in three months. to her to make a living from “God had provided! her love for creating great glass “I really loved doing it too.” works. Helen received advice and support Naturally, this step of faith meant questions about whether from The Family Business, a Christianrun charity set up in 2009 to help people would buy her glass and how she would make ends potential businesses get off the ground as well as providing a space meet. Despite this, last year she took for businesses to meet and support themselves. the plunge. “It can be so lonely [working on “I felt I had no experience and your own],” Helen says. “It’s helpful I couldn’t call myself a business person,” she says. “I needed confidence. The only thing stopping me was me. It was a Helen will be just one of day will su bit of a crossroads: do I pluck up a number of artists who promote l my courage and go for it?” will take part in an art day Earley. She says that she was later this month. As well surprised that others were Held at Brookside painting st excited about her fledging Church in Earley on be artists s business too – but now looking Saturday, March 31, the their gifts back, trusting God and taking

v Arts day at Brooks


Faith at work

To advertise call 01932 246408 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | March 2012

nds make glass work

e produces fine stained-glass gifts as well as delightful sun catchers and to know that I’ve got support from people who understand.” And Helen’s faith has been just as important to her as she’s launched the business. “The one thing that has got me through this is God,” she says. “That’s what’s kept me going. “When I first started out in 2007, God told me to concentrate on what I was doing, to do the best with what I could do and the rest would follow… I felt I had to put my shoulders back and my head up and say I can do this.” And that’s what she’s done. Gladys Glass produces bespoke

stained glass panels to order that look stunning when the light shines through them. And, being aware of these heightened financial times, Helen also produces some unique gifts that will brighten any home, from window hangers and angel tea light holders to hand-painted glasses inscribed with children’s drawings. “This is a great way of keeping those precious early drawings in a practical and unique way. I can add the date or a short message if requested,” says the artist. Helen has also branched out by offering a range of glass painting

side will celebrate local artists’ creativity

upport and local artists in

l as Helen’s glass stall, there will showcasing at producing

books, celebration cakes, jewellery, cards, photographs. There will be opportunities to try some hands-on arts events and you can enjoy some

homemade cakes with a cuppa in the café area. The art day runs from 1pm to 4pm and entry is free. For more details, visit www.sixsixty.org.uk.

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One of Helen’s favourite creations is pictured above. Rebirth was a design that the artist says God gave her during a New Wine service a couple of years ago. It now hangs on the wall in Helen’s studio, offering inspiration to her every day workshops that are ideal for girlie nights in, parties or just for the fun of it. Children are also catered for, with birthday party packages for those aged seven or over. “You don’t need to have any experience or creative flair to have fun at a Gladys Glass party and you get to take home some great little pieces of art,” she says. “Until recently, I regularly worked at a primary school, so not only do I enjoy working with children but I have also been CRB checked,” she adds. Helen has been a Christian for 24 years after an encounter at a mission week at Reading University. Over the years her faith has deepened and she is an active member in her church. With business blossoming, Helen is delighted that she took that step of faith and launched Gladys Glass. “The most difficult thing was believing in myself,” she says. “But

now I’m a business woman and an artist! I love it.” v Helen has a range of Gladys Glass items that can be purchased via her website or directly from Arty Giraffe, 850 Oxford Road, Reading. For more details about Gladys Glass, call Helen on 07733 442958, email info@gladysglass. com or log on to her website, www.gladysglass.com.

v Meet Helen v Helen will be taking part in the Queen Anne’s Charity Fair on Saturday, March 17. Taking place from 10am to 2pm, the fair will give you a chance to meet Helen and see her stained glass, glass mosaic and hand painted glass gifts for yourself. It will be held at Queen Anne’s School, 6 Henley Road, Caversham.


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March 2012 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 01932 246408

v Workshop for Donald Gray ONE of Wokingham’s best-known farmers will be remembered with a brand-new workshop currently being established in Uganda. Donald Gray, who ran Gray’s Farm which specialises in pickyour-own fruit, died last year at the age of 90. A member of Crowthorne Baptist Church, Donald was a staunch supporter of the Baptist Men’s Movement and its auxiliary charity Tools With A Mission (TWAM), allowing his farm to be used as a collection point for tools. Now, his legacy includes the opening of a repair and training workshop in Kampala, where it will help service sewing and knitting machines as well as computers. It will also create jobs by refurbishing tools for reuse and will provide training to women for tailoring. “In the last few years the Ugandan government has increased its support for schools but unfortunately there are still those who are unable to pay the school fees, increasing the cases of theft, drug abuse and prostitution,” said a spokesperson for TWAM. “The TWAM workshop will take this idle time and use it to develop a skill and change lives. This knowledge and skill will influence positive behaviour change and poverty reduction.” And TWAM has high hopes for the memorial workshop. “It will become a place recognised for its involvement in the community and its care for young men and women,” the spokesperson added.

v Bacon & egg baps a speciality MEN from St Mark’s in Binfield will be looking forward to bacon and egg baps for its next men’s breakfast. Taking place on Saturday, March 24, the session will focus on the role of charities. Starting at 7.30am, the event is open to all. v For more details or to book call (01344) 421079 or email binfield.church@hotmail.co.uk.

News

Tasty supper collects tools for reuse abroad

Some of the tools and equipment collected by Crowthorne Baptist Church at a previous Tools Supper. The items were collected by Tools With A Mission and will be refurbished for reuse where they’re most needed Tools – and other potentially useful equipment for us to provide vital help for communities in desperate need,” said David Garrod, co-ordinator of and materials which could have ended the Thames Valley BMM. up in household waste – were brought to “This is very much Christianity in practice by Wokingham Baptist Church before being sent trying to provide people who are so much worse for refurbishment prior to being shipped abroad off than we are with the means to earn a living for to help needy people abroad. their families. This is an excellent way for churches The Thames Valley Baptist Men’s Movement to get involved in outreach and to show God’s (BMM) held its annual Tools Supper on Tuesday, love for all men, so it was good to see many local February 21. The event brought together more churches getting involved; ‘And the King will say, than 50 people from men’s groups from across ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the Berkshire and Oxfordshire for an evening of least of these my brothers and sisters, you were fellowship, food and competition – each church’s doing it to me!’ Matthew 25:40.” collection being judged by a Tools With A Mission v The Baptist Men’s Movement is holding its representative. Abingdon Baptist Church was annual conference at Market Bosworth later this awarded a Challenge Shield for the best collection. month. Using the theme Mission Impossible, the As well as the tools, more than £1,700 was weekend will offer inspiring, challenging and donated on the evening. impactful teaching as well as enjoyable fellowship Donated items were then collected by TWAM, to all men. a charity formed originally by the national Baptist Worship over the weekend will be led by Martyn Men’s Movement and largely staffed by volunteers. and Robert Strong from It refurbishes tools, Caversham Baptist Church laptops, sewing and – until last March – machines and craft Tools with a Mission enables people to earn a Xn’s editor Phil Creighton items, typewriters, living and to support themselves. was the Movement’s educational text books In many countries of the world people have national president. and even mountain few skills, little education and no means of This event at Bosworth bikes. earning a living. A switch from aid dependency Hall Hotel takes place over “It is amazing how to self sufficiency is impossible without help. the weekend of March so many tools and For more details on its work or to find out 23-25, and is full board. equipment get donated what tools and equipment it collects, log on to For more details, log on to which makes you www.twam.co.uk www.baptistmen.org.uk. realise the potential

v Right tools for the job


Special feature

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v Conference centres

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Advertisers’ announcement

Take time out in beautiful surroundings THEY say that the church that prays together stays together … but there’s another angle to that maxim: the church that plays together stays together too. With all the hustle and bustle of Sunday services, then rushing off to other activities, it can be hard to spend quality time together as a church family. This is where a church away day or retreat can be incredibly helpful. Being able to spend time together builds friendships, encourages discipleship and often allows you to find out more about each other. One of most important things for any church conference or retreat is ensuring that the meeting place is just right. This is something that Lane End Conference Centre in Buckinghamshire says it can help with. Not far away from Henley and Marlow, it’s close enough to be easy to get to, but it’s also far away enough to be perfect for a residential weekend, especially for young families. Lane End Conference Centre welcomed its first Christian retreat event just two years ago and since

Lane End Conference Centre is perfect for church weekends and retreats then word has spread fast among UK churches and religious groups. One conference organiser, Audrey Harrison, said: “Lane End Conference Centre has been the perfect choice for our annual retreat. “The size and duration of our event enabled the venue to make us an attractive offer and we were very grateful for the benefit of being able to use this venue exclusively. “We have found an exceptional new home for our annual conference.” Lane End Sales and Marketing Manager Heni Fourie said: “Demand for our facilities has increased so much among faith communities since

we hosted our first Christian retreat conference in 2009. “Lane End has since been host to four different religious groups, one of which has booked and confirmed the venue until 2013,” he added. The centre spreads out seven conference rooms across five on-site venues, with smaller rooms for seminars and small groups. There’s space for up to 150 guests, and the minimum booking number is for five people. With residential conferences, there is on-site accommodation – Lane End’s rooms include en-suite facilities, a desk, free wi-fi and tea and coffee facilities. Then there are the leisure activities: a popular part of any church weekend away. Lane End can offer a range of fun things to do, including a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, a gym, a fitness trail, a games room and a lounge bar. It can also organise fun events such as an It’s a Knockout tournament, archery or motorised action activities such as go-karting. “The benefits of using a residential conference centre go far beyond just

the accommodation and catering,” says Heni. “By choosing to use a residential venue such as a purpose built conference centre you give your guests the opportunity to focus on the task at hand whilst relaxing in a peaceful environment designed to enhance learning and development.” It’s not all hustle and bustle though. Lane End is set within 26 acres of peaceful Chilterns countryside, making it perfect for reflective prayer, gentle walks and times of silence. Just outside the centre is Holy Trinity Church, the village’s parish church. The church is used by both Anglican and Methodist congregations and dates back to 1830. Lane End also offers tailor-made menus for your groups and can help with food allergies, ensuring everything is correctly labelled. Lane End is proud of its facilities, its quality and what it can offer churches as a conference venue. v For more information contact Heni Fourie on 01494 887662 or visit the website at www.lane-endconferneces.co.uk/christian-retreats.

Perfect for church weekends & retreats

We’re designed with your successful conference and retreat in mind

• Set in 26 acres of Buckinghamshire countryside • Peaceful environment and state of the art conference facilities • 104 en-suite bedrooms with free wifi • 34 conference meeting rooms, with seating for up to 150 • Carefully prepared meals using the freshest ingredients • Coffee lounges and bars for time together • Ample leisure & sports facilities plus an indoor games room • Nine-hole golf course, walks & more

Call us to find out how we can create a perfect church weekend away for you

What our customers say

“You have a wonderful venue and so many people commented on how lovely it is” “Everything at Lane End was very well organised and the food were superb” “Everthing worked well and ran smoothly for such a large number of guests” “The venue was perfect for our activities … the staff were brilliant and very helpful” “The venue offers great value for money and I will definitely recommend it”

Lane End Conference Centre, Church Road, Lane End, Buckinghamshire HP14 3HH 0845 521 3013 www.lane-end-conferences.co.uk


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News focus

A cuppa, a slice of cake and a listening ear at the Prayer Café VISITORS to a Reading café soon find that there’s more than just coffee and cakes on the menu – there’s a healthy dose of prayer too. Since it was formed more than six years ago, a monthly Prayer Café at Greyfriars Church in Reading’s town centre, has been able to pray for an amazing 6,000 people, and served countless cups of coffee. It meets on a monthly basis on the second Saturday of the month. Visitors can enjoy a free cuppa, homemade cake and also a listening ear and the chance to be prayed for. On sunny days, the team erect a gazebo outside the church, making it even easier to meet people. A group of volunteers will go into the streets of Reading and invite people to come along or offer to pray for them if they’re in a hurry. Each month they can receive around 100 requests for prayer: it’s an astonishing ministry and it was born out of prayer itself. “About eight years ago, the vicar of Greyfriars church, Jonathan Wilmot was talking to me about healing services, and suggested I drew together a group of like minded people to seek God with

Greyfriars Church in Reading runs a monthly Prayer Café, offering refreshments and support to members of the public

regards the future development of such services,” explains Chris Ledger, one of the organisers of the café. “For 18 months a regular group of six met monthly to seek God’s heart for His vision with the occasional day of prayer and fasting together. At first they came up with a lot of bright ideas but, as they learned to listen to God, they kept hearing Gill Beard and Chris Ledger, who run the café

‘Wait – now is not the time’.” Just before Christmas 2005, Chris says that God spoke to the group with words from Joshua 3: “it’s time to get your feet wet”. And so Prayer Café was launched. “A small team of somewhat nervous individuals led by myself and Gill Beard took a small step into the unknown,” Chris explains. “What a journey of faith and excitement we have discovered!” Now, a team of volunteers is involved every month, from baking cakes to praying through the requests from visitors to the café. And such is the success, the church has set up Prayer Stop – “it’s a smaller form of

outreach” says Chris. “It involves people from five different churches, with three teams of two people, who offer prayer in the privacy of booths set up in the church hall,” she continues. “The response within the two hours it runs for is amazing. Up to 50 people are lovingly prayed with, either on the day or via their name and details being sent to our ongoing intercessors. “In general, these are not Christians, but ordinary folk bowed down by the cares of the world. We hope that they find a little oasis, at which they can drink in the love that Jesus has for them, and leave feeling refreshed, which – judging by their faces when they leave – many have experienced.” And the team aren’t resting on their laurels: they’ve got a big vision for the future, as Gill explains: “The leadership team have a dream for every church in the country to offer prayer to their neighbourhood, in this or a similar way.” And they’re humbled by the work they’ve set up. “It’s such a privilege to be allowed to offer a touch of God’s heart to people, both Christians and ‘not yet’ Christians,” she adds. “We would love to share our experiences with you and encourage other churches in Reading with seeing God transforming the lives of those in our community. “You would be more than welcome to come as an observer at a Prayer cafe or Prayer Stop.” v For more information email Chris or Gill: info@prayercafe.org.uk.


Special feature

To advertise call 01932 246408 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | March 2012

v Finance

21

Advertisers’ announcement

Helping you so that you can prosper Duncan Abbott explains why he’s set up Dunamis Accounting Solutions and how he can help you When we start up our own business, at some stage we will set about the task of looking for an accountant. But what sort of service are we looking for and how exactly do we expect that person to help us with our business? I can think of at least three ways this can be achieved. The first of these is saving time. When someone mentions the word ‘finance’ – what springs to mind? Bankers in smart pin-striped suits and bowler hats? Looking at it from another angle, how many people associate finance with time? Or to be more precise, saving time? Whether you’re in business as a painter and decorator or a photographer, or whether it’s just you and your family wondering how you’re going to pay the credit card bill that’s just dropped through the letter box - you would much rather be doing the things you enjoy doing rather than dealing with the tax man or wading through all those household bills. Would you agree with that? Dunamis Accounting Solutions started up in November last year to serve this purpose. To free up time for you to improve your own business skills, to spend quality time with your family, and to have the peace of mind that your finances are being looked after by an accountant with over 30 years’ experience in many different areas of finance. The second is to provide you with value for money. As a new business I’ll be looking to carve a niche in the market, and the only way to do that is to ensure that Dunamis Accounting Solutions offers fantastic value for money. If you came to me for advice our first meeting would be free of charge. My initial objective would be to ensure that your existing finances are in good working order. Some work may be required in

Duncan Abbott wants to save you time … and money too this area but that would be at very low cost to yourself – typically any fee over the first month would be capped and at a level you’re comfortable with – a bit like an MoT if you like. My main objective is to make sure your business grows and continues to prosper, so any work performed on your behalf will be done with this in mind. It will be in my best interests to go that extra mile on your behalf as it will enhance my reputation in the workplace and encourage more people to come to me for advice. At the same time it will help you as a client as you will be getting better value for money than you would anywhere else. The third is to provide you with expertise. It is a temptation especially in these hard financial times to cut back on services which require expertise. Some might cut back on car servicing, but when the engine blows a gasket or the cam belt breaks this will invariably cost the car owner a lot more money in the long term. It is the same with finance – not many of us are experts in this area and the chances are we might be spending more

money than we have to because of the poor choices we have made. Dunamis Accounting Solutions provide the expertise to ensure that you make the most use of your money, both for personal and business finances. Did you know that statistically 90% of us are paying too much tax? Through proper business planning or personal financial planning I can put you in control of your finances, reduce the ever-increasing tax burden and give you peace of mind in an area which has such a profound impact on our lives. I’m sure there are many other areas that Dunamis Accounting Solutions can help you with too. So why not call me on 07952 302737, or e-mail me on dungerabb@live.co.uk? Alternatively, visit my website www. dunamisaccsol.co.uk. It could be the best call you will make.

For all your accountancy needs

dunamis accounting solutions

Friendly, personal, professional advice to help you with your money Whatever your financial problems or requirements, please call us for the friendly help and advice you need • More than 30 years’ experience • Flexible approach to help you • Personal tax returns • Company accounts & much more!

Get in touch for more details. We’d love to help you 07952 302737 0118 961 4074

www.dunamisaccsol.co.uk


22

News

March 2012 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 01932 246408

v Women pray together Christians from across Wokingham gathered together at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Sturges Road for the annual Women’s World Day of Prayer Service. Held on Friday, March 2, the morning service used resources created by Malaysian Christians and took the theme Let Justice Prevail. Maureen Meatcher, a member of the Union of Catholic Mothers, led the service. For more on the day, log on to www.wwdp-natcomm.org. v Wesley Methodist Church was the venue for the Reading service. Also held on Friday, March 2, the guest speaker was Sue Winyard, the manager of Christians Against Poverty.

Married couples have been investing in their relationships at Woodley Baptist Church Picture: Sharon Elliott

Woodley couples give v Wembley rally their marriages an MoT TEENAGERS are invited to a special rally at Wembley Arena later this month. The Flame Congress, inspired by Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the UK in September 2010 and by the London Olympics in August 2012, is aimed at youngsters aged 14 upwards. Taking place on Saturday, March 24, Catholic churches across the region are arranging coaches to take people along. St Joseph’s and English Martyrs’ churches in Tilehurst and Reading are planing to travel at 8am, returning at 7.30pm. The day costs £20 and help will be available if you can’t afford the full amount. For more details call St Joseph’s on (0118) 942 8632.

v Saints alive A FUN fundraising evening will help celebrate patron saints through music and dancing. St Joseph’s church in Tilehurst is holding the event on Saturday, March 10. There will be a live band and the event will raise money for Cafod and The Divine Mercy Centre in Bamenda. It starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £5 or £2 for concessions. For more details call St Joseph’s on (0118) 942 8632.

A new course has recently started at Woodley Baptist Church aimed at any married couples wishing to invest time and energy into strengthening and assessing their relationships. The course, which launched in January, is based on Holy Trinity Brompton’s Marriage Course and Care For The Family’s 21st Century Marriage course. It aims to provide a way for couples to review strengths and weaknesses, identify potential areas of conflict as well as space to explore ways to improve the relationship. Issues covered in the course

include Making our marriage our priority, Facing Change And Understanding Our Differences, Love In The Tough Times, Making Time For Each Other, Handling Controversy And Conflict and Staying Faithful and Setting Goals. All the sessions are designed to be set within an informal and relaxed atmosphere. Following a challenge during December for all couples in the church to consider attending the course as an MoT for their relationship, 35 couples have been attending on a regular basis. The church’s pastor, the Revd David Barter, is leading the

sessions. He said: “There has been a very encouraging response to our challenge to engage with the course. “We have been pleased to see couples of all ages and lengths of married relationships attending and we are all able to learn from one another.” The course is being run on Sunday evenings once a month until June and is now full. Other churches or organisations interested in finding out more about the course can contact David by calling (0118) 969 9956. JEREMY SHARPE

v More marriage advice

v A golden celebration

A MARRIAGE Course is launching at New Hope Church later this month. Sessions will take place over seven Wednesday evenings from March 7. The course aims to give participants tools to help deal with the changes marriages go through and to build a marriage that lasts a lifetime. It costs £25 and includes light refreshments and takes place at the Reading-based church. For more details, email marriage@greyfriars.org. uk or call (0118) 951 6708.

CATHOLIC couples celebrating marriage milestones this year are being invited to make their happy celebrations extra special. The Diocsese of Portsmouth is organising a speical celebration Mass for couples marking their 25th, 40th, 50th, 60th or any wedding anniversary over 60 years during 2012. It will be held on Saturday, June 16 , at St Bede’s Church, Basingstoke. Attendance will be by invitation only and numbers are limited. To register, email bracknellrc@yahoo.co.uk.


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To advertise call 01932 246408 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | March 2012

v Funeral directors

23

Advertisers’ announcements

What is it really like to be an undertaker? Julian Walker from AB Walker & Son offers an insight into the life of a funeral director

T

ogether with doctors, nurses, social carers, the Coroner, mortuary staff, registrars, solicitors, religious and non-religious figures, the police, the ambulance service, cemetery and crematorium staff and all sorts of suppliers such as florists, funeral directors aim to create a seamless funeral experience for those who have lost a loved one. The reality of dealing with the bereaved and the deceased is nothing like the way it is portrayed on TV: people are nearly always experiencing extreme stress, prolonged lack of sleep, confusion and often deep shock. By living longer, we have all contributed to a diminishing death rate but surprisingly the number of funeral

directors is expected to increase significantly in the next five years – in the long term, resulting in rapidly increasing costs and aggressive marketing by big groups such as the Co-Op. British funeral directors broadly offer similar services but the public are advised to select carefully . Prices are highly variable and some unscrupulous operators can prey on the unwary bereaved. Perhaps the best advice would be to visit a funeral home, look into pre-paid funerals and get some peace of mind before it is too late.

About AB Walker & Son Founded in 1826, AB Walker & Son is one of the oldest family businesses in Berkshire. We have a hardearned, enviable reputation for service throughout Berkshire

and beyond and each generation of the Walker family has brought innovation and investment to its core funeral and monumental masonry service. Matthew and Julian Walker are the current family owners, joined by Melissa, Matthew’s wife. They derive strength and values from a family of longstanding Christian traditions while their team of 42 dedicated staff offer an empathic approach to practical issues, experienced by us all when a loved one dies. Key to their relationship with families is honesty and trust. AB Walker prides itself on its partnership with all churches in the area and values the effectiveness that faith-based pastoral care delivers. Its staff try very hard to bridge the gap between client expectation and reality when planning a funeral service. Funeral directors are not hardened to death, but simply able to use their role as advisor, custodian of the body and planner to create a way forward for those left behind and prepare them in turn to live on. We share the unbearably tragic and at AB Walker there is not a week without tears being spilt quietly, in a cupboard or garage, away from the families. Faith is our tool and our crutch in our daily working life. For the Walker family, the Bible is their staff handbook.

Fifth generation family funeral directors and monumental masons. Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ

24 Hour assistance 5 Offices with parking Competitively priced Flowers by telephone and on-line Stone memorials Pre-paid funeral plans

Reading head office 0118 957 3650

branches: Wokingham, Bracknell, Henley-on-Thames, Thatcham

www.abwalker.co.uk


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March 2012 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 01932 246408

v Harvesters leader speaks AN INTERNATIONALLY renowned speaker and recipient of a Papal Knighthood will be coming to Wokingham later this month. Charles Whitehead, who chairs the Catholic Evangelisation Services and the Harvesters Men’s Network, will be speaking at Corpus Christi Church on Sturges Road, on Friday, March 16. Starting at 7pm, the evening will give you a chance to find out more about Charles and his ministry. With his Anglican wife Sue they founded of the Celebrate Family Conferences, outreach events which are held in various towns across England. Tickets cost £5 or £4 in advance and can be reserved by calling Julie on (0118) 973 0528, Penny on (0118) 973 6536 or Ursula on (0118) 978 7749. Alternatively, email: ticketsforcw@gmail.com.

v On the march with Sally Army SALVATION ARMY members are putting on their walking boots – and they want you to join them. On Saturday, March 24, the Reading Central Salvation Army will be taking part in a walk that will be no more than four and a half miles, using good paths and avoiding long or steep climbs. The walk – which takes place on a monthly basis – usually takes a circular route and full information will be issued by March 14. For details, log on to www. readingcentral.org.uk/walking/ index.htm or call (0118) 958 3019.

v Soup lunch for Christian Aid Tilehurst Methodist Church is planning a soup lunch in aid of Christian Aid later this month. Taking place at noon on Saturday, March 24, the Super Soup lunch is open to all.

News

Vote for the best book & get into CRE for free The Ultimate Christian Library Book Awards this year will be presented by David Winter and will take place at the National CRE at Sandown Racecourse on Wednesday, May 9. Everyone is welcome to see the awards ceremony, starting at 11.30am in the Park View Suite and will receive a packed “goody bag” with vouchers and freebies worth up to £50. David Winter, a former Head of Religious Broadcasting at the BBC, a regular contributor to Thought for the Day and a columnist in the Church Times is himself an author of more than 40 books. His initial and best-selling book Hereafter was the first ever supported by the Speaking Volumes trustees (CBPT) and he is delighted to be asked to present the 2012 awards. “I feel a particular connection to the sponsors of this award,” he said. Meanwhile, public voting has started swiftly for both the adult and children’s category and all

books look like they will be hotly contested. Shortlisted books in the adult category include A Time to Care by Emily Ackerman, Resistance Fighter by Susie Howe both published by IVP, The Wrong Messiah by Nick Page published by Hodder Faith, Mugabe and the White African by Ben Freeth of Lion Publishing and Faith Under Fire by Andrew White published by Monarch. The children’s list includes A New Shape by Anna Payne published by CWR, The Lion Classic Bible by Andrea Skevington and My Look and Point Bible both by Lion, Babylon by Hannah MacFarlane and The Oncoming Storm by

Andrew R Guyatt both from Scripture Union. Emily Ackerman, author of A Time to Care, her first book, says: “I am really pleased to have been shortlisted – I set out to write a book about parent caring that would be useful for anybody and reveal the riches of the faith in a user-friendly way.” You can vote right up until Saturday, March 31. To register, log on to www. christianbookawards.org. Every person voting receives a free ticket to the National CRE show at Esher. Organisers say that David’s story shows how vital early support for Christian authors can be ­– your vote could make that difference.

Choirs prepare to sing sacred songs v READING’S Phoenix Choir will next give a concert on Saturday, March 17 at St John’s Church in Woodley. It will also sing at St Barnabas Church in Emmer Green on Saturday, April 28. The choir sings a wide range of styles including sacred pieces. For more details, log on to www.readingphoenix.org.uk. v HANDEL’S Messiah will be sung at a concert to be given by Reading Haydn Choir later this month. The group will be conducted by Mandy Kesel and accompanied by Ian Westley on the organ. The concert will be given at St John’s Parish Church in Mortimer Common from 7.30pm on Saturday, March 31 – just at the start of Holy Week.

Tickets cost £13, £10 for concessions and £5 for under 17s. They can be reserved by emailing tickets@haydnchoir. org.uk or logging to www. haydnchoir.org.uk. v CROWTHORNE Choral Society will sing Handel’s Israel in Egypt as part of its spring concert on Sunday, March 18. Taking place at Newsome Sports Hall in Wellington College, the evening will also include Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante. Tickets for the show cost £10 or £2 for students. For details, call (01344) 778185 or visit crowthornechoral.org.uk. v Thames Voyces will sing some unaccompanied Sacred choral music from Europe at its concert later this month. It includes cantatas by Bach and

Schutz and is held at the Church of Our Lady of Peace in Earley. The evening of music is held on Saturday, March 31 from 7.30pm. For tickets, call (0118) 967 7319 or email mailbox@ thamesvoyces.org.uk. v VESPERS of 1610 first performed in the Basilica of St Mark, Venice will be sung by Wokingham Choral Society on Saturday, March 31. Taking place in the University of Reading’s Great Hall, the evening recreates the glory of 17th century Venice through Monteverdi’s compositions. Tickets cost £16 or £10 for under 18s and can be reserved from www.wegottickets.com, from Bookends, Peach Street in Wokingham, or by logging on to its website www.wokinghamchoral-society.org.uk.


Special feature

To advertise call 01932 246408 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | March 2012

v Fairtrade

25

Advertisers’ announcements

Trading for a fairer world Easter eggs get Real Debbie Thompson, Greyfriars Bookshop Manager, explains why the store is supporting Fairtrade Greyfriars Bookshop is motivated to Take A Step In 2012 – this year’s strapline at the Fairtrade Foundation. It may take many steps to reach a fairer world, but fair trade excels at linking together the efforts and inspiration of people everywhere. This is my personal experience working with Esperanza, a group of women in north Peru who make greeting cards using colourful handmade paper. Living in Peru we saw everywhere the poverty of opportunity – people without gainful employment or working in mindnumbing conditions but living hand to mouth. Where people are given opportunities to work creatively, and producers are linked with markets that pay a fairer wage, lasting change becomes possible. After 28 years selling Christian resources, Greyfriars Bookshop now stocks fair trade products such as Divine Chocolate, Malawi rice, Created gifts, and Esperanza greeting cards. We promote the Rice Challenge: 90kg of Malawi rice sold enable a farmer to earn

Carmen making Esperanza cards which can be bought at Greyfriars Bookshop enough to send a child to secondary school for a year. The Esperanza team work from home, earning fairer wages while caring for their children. They are proud to produce high quality and develop business skills. Meanwhile we, the retailers and consumers, discover our connections with global producers and appreciate the impact of our choices. v www.greyfriarsbookshop.org.uk

Enjoy Fairtrade coffee from just 4p a cup With a selection of top branded filter equipment offered at cost, cleaning products, a wide range of filter coffees and no contracts, Kingdom Coffee is a great way of bringing great tasting Fairtrade coffee to your church. Kingdom Coffee is a Reading-based company that is making a real difference across the country. Founded in 1996 by Roland Norman, the vision was to create a sustainable company which would allow him to generate wealth to be re-distributed in God’s kingdom on earth. Through its ethical labelled coffee blends, Kingdom Coffee helps its charitable partner’s funds for social projects throughout the coffee growing regions of the world. And Kingdom Coffee understands the special needs of churches, offering the opportunity to buy all the equipment you need to make real coffee, with prices starting at just 4p a cup – and it’s all Fairtrade. With the launch of Kingdom Coffee’s new Pura-Vida Fairtrade PLUS Filter Coffee, every case you purchase will equate to your investing twice in the lives others through the Fairtrade Foundation and its investment of £2 to its chosen charity, Toybox. Offering support, clearning systems, filter coffees and no long-term contracts, Kingdom Coffee is a great way of bringing great tasting fair-trade coffee to your church. v For more details, log on to www.kingdomcoffee.co.uk or call (0118) 986 8786.

Launched last year, the Real Easter Egg – the only Easter Egg to mention the Easter story – proved hugely popular with churches, schools and the general public. Despite its obvious appeal, once again supermarkets have not placed enough orders to meet the likely demand. So, to make the Real Easter Egg campaign a success in 2012, organisers are asking individuals, churches and schools to place direct orders. There’s a free Easter story booklet which comes in each box and, when you open the lid, you will see ‘Happy Easter’ and, for the first time

ever on an Easter Egg, there is a quote from the bible - the resurrection text from Mark. As an added bonus, a donation from the sale of each egg goes to Traidcraft to support its vital overseas work with small-scale farmers and artisans. Orders are coming in and thousands of eggs have been sold.

v How to order

The eggs cost £3.99 each and you can order them in packs of six from Traidcraft at www. traidcraftshop. co.uk or in packs of 12 from www. realeasteregg. co.uk and you’ll also find posters, magazine articles and other resources.


26

Trades

March 2012 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 01932 246408

v Sharing talents God has given each of us unique gifts and skills. Xn’s talents directory is an opportunity to connect local people with local businesses. From next issue, at the end of every linage advert will be a unique weblink where you can find out more about the advertiser and offer your feedback on their services. We’re sure you’ll find these pages invaluable.

Build up your business with

To advertise call 01932 246408 v Funeral directors

Plumbers, electricians and gardeners

Painters, decorators, builders and more!

Music lessons and accompanying

A.B. Walker & Son – Berkshire’s leading family funeral and masonry service. www.abwalker.co.uk MILES & DAUGHTERS. The family funeral service. All areas covered. Owned and run by the Miles family. www.milesfunerals.com

v Resources Faith in the Community (Wokingham) – helping Christians work together to transform their local communities. Phone Sharon Elliott 07843 091950 CHURCH NEWSLETTER ARTICLES. Great selection, new every month. Specially written and drawn. www. thesheepdip.co.uk

v Piano tuition individual piano tuition. Lessons for all levels and ages from experienced Reading-based piano teacher. Judith Creighton www.judithcreighton.co.uk or 07957 193366.

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

Writers, advertising and Fitness trainers and marketing gurus aerobic tutors WE want to help build up your business, whatever it is. Xn is a unique opportunity to reach Christians attending churches in Reading, Wokingham and Bracknell … and, thanks to the internet, anywhere in the world for that matter. Our talents directory is your chance to share the good news

v Carpets callaghan carpets and flooring. Home pattern service from a reliable family company. Carpets, vinyls & commercial flooring 40 years’ experience. www. callaghanflooringandcarpets. co.uk or (0118) 962 8527.

about your business and the services it provides Take out a linage advert and you’ll be entitled to space on our website, xnmedia.co.uk, for the duration of your campaign. And, being the internet, you’ll have unlimited space to talk about the services you provide. You can add photos, videos and

v Pearlstringing/ jewellery Pearlstringer/Jeweller. Repairs and alterations to necklaces/jewellery. Orders taken. Visitors welcome to see workshpo etc. Tel: Anne Finnerty (0118) 958 8274.

Place your advert in and reach Christian buyers For details call 01932 246408

Private lessons and tuition testimonials to your page. And, to make it even more invaluable, readers who have used your company can add their own feedback to the page. It’s a brilliant way to boost business in the Thames Valley – and we want you to be part of it. For more details, call 01932 246408.

v Financial services Dunamis Accounting Solutions. Helping you to prosper in business and financial security. E-mail dungerabb@live.co.uk or phone 07952 302737.

v Communication COMMUNICATION services. Help and advice for press releases, corporate identities and more. Phil Creighton. phil@phildesign.co.uk.

v Computer repairs Computer/laptop repairs. £7 an hour plus parts. No fix, no fee. Cheaper for Christian missionaries/church workers. Telephone: James 07788 214616.

v Counselling Reading Counselling and Psychotherapy. Margaret Hutton www.asafeplace2talk.co.uk


Calendar

To advertise call 01932 246408 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | March 2012

v What’s on These are some special events taking place in churches over the next month. A full events calendar, complete with listings for special church services and local activities can be found at xnmedia.co.uk. You can also submit your own events by sending an email to editor@xnmedia.co.uk

Saturday, March 3 READING – St Andrew’s URC, London Road. Jumble sale. 1.30pm. READING – All Saints’ Church, Downshire Square. Afternoon table top sale. £10 per table. Details: (0118) 959 4273.

Monday, March 5 READING – The Warehouse, Cumberland Road. International Women’s Day celebration. Includes selfdefence class, information stands, Play Rangers for children. 10am-3pm. Free entry, lunch £2.50. Details: (0118) 929 9911. TILEHURST – English Martyrs Church, Liebenrood Road. Interfaith Dialogue: the work of the church, a talk by Archbishop Kevin McDonald. 7.30pm. All welcome.

Tuesday, March 6 FINCHAMPSTEAD – St James, Church Lane. Lent talks: 350th anniversary of the Common Book of Prayer. 7.45pm. Details: (0118) 973 0133.

Wednesday, March 7 CAVERSHAM – St Andrew’s Church, Albert Road. Visit by the Revd Stuart Windsor, Christian Solidarity Worldwide. 7.30pm. All welcome. READING – New Hope Community Church, York Road. Marriage Course launch. £25 for course including light refreshments, continues over next six weeks. Details: (0118) 951 6708 or email marriage@ greyfriars.org.uk.

Saturday, March 10 BINFIELD – Binfield CE Primary School, Benetfeld Road. Toddler group nearly new sale. 2.30pm-4pm.

BRACKNELL – Langley Hall, The Ring. Bracknell Team Ministry Women’s Group quiz night. £5, £4 concessions. In aid of roof fund. 7.15pm. Details: (01344) 867383. LOWER EARLEY – Baptist Church. Messy Church session. Free. All ages welcome. 3.30pm-5pm. READING – Kennet Room, Civic Centre. Springboard Reading first anniversary celebration. Free. All welcome. 9.30amnoon. Details: www. springboardreading.org.uk. READING – Wycliffe Baptist Church, Kings Road. Illusionist Steve Price visits. Details: (0118) 929 9911. TILEHURST – St Josephs, Berkshire Drive. Patron saints celebration evening wih live music. In aid of Cafod and The Divine Mercy Centre, Bameda. 7.30pm. £5, £2 concessions. Details: (0118) 9428632 WOKINGHAM – Bradbury Centre, Rose Street. Action For Children fish n chip quiz night. £10, including food. Under 11s £5. Details: office@ wokinghammethodist. org.uk.

Monday, March 12 READING – United Bible Societies, 6th Floor, Reading Bridge House. Reading @ Work prayer lunch. 1pm. Details: www. readingatwork.org. READING – Wycliffe Baptist Church, Kings Road. Launch of daytime Alpha course. Details: (0118) 929 9911.

Tuesday, March 13 FINCHAMPSTEAD – St James, Church Lane. Lent talks: Christians, Muslims and Atheist – The Struggle for the Heart of Euope. 7.45pm. Details: (0118) 973 0133.

Wednesday, March 14 BRACKELL – Methodist

Church, Shepherds Lane. Spring Festival service 2.30pm. Refreshments afterwards.

Friday, March 16 FINCHAMPSTEAD – St James, Church Lane. Lent talks: Jon Snow: The Media, Why The Worst May Be Over And The Best Is Yet To Come. 7.45pm. Details: (0118) 973 0133. WOKINGHAM – Corpus Christi Church, Sturges Road. An evening with Charles Whitehead. 7.30pm. £5, £4 in advance. Details: Julie (0118) 973 0528, or email: ticketsforcw@gmail. com

Saturday, March 17 SOUTHCOTE – St Matthew’s, Southcote Lane. Rehearsals for From Pharoah to Freedom The Musical. 9.30am-5.30pm. TILEHURST – English Martyrs Church, Liebenrood Road. Craft fair in aid of the Divine Mercy Mission, Bamenda. Details: (0118) 942 9245. PADWORTH COMMON – Mortimer West End Chapel, Chapel Lane. Spring art and crafts fair. 10am-4pm. Free entry. Lunches noon-2pm.

Sunday, March 18 SOUTHCOTE – St Matthew’s, Southcote Lane. Concert: From Pharoah To Freedom. 6.30pm. Free.

Tuesday, March 20 FINCHAMPSTEAD – St James, Church Lane. Lent talks: Living As A Christian In The Middle Age and Beyond. 7.45pm. Details: (0118) 973 0133.

Friday, March 23 CAVERSHAM – Our Lady and St Anne’s, South View Avenue. Race night in aid of Sue Ryder Hospice, Nettlebed. 7.30pm-10.30pm. £1. Details: Paul Freeman 07782 326697.

Saturday, March 24 BINFIELD – St Mark’s. Men’s breakfast. 7.30am. Details: (01344) 421079. CAVERSHAM – St Andrew’s, Albert Road. Spring Concert featuring Robert Vanryne, Sue Addison and Adrienne Black. A Flavour of The Last

Night of the Proms. 7.30pm. £12, £10 concessions, Under 16s free. Details: (0118) 948 4112. READING – Reading Central Salvation Army, Anstey Road. Walking group meets. Details: (0118) 958 3019. SANDHURST – Sandhurst and Yateley Methodist Church, Scotland Hill. Spring fair. Details: www. sandhurstmethodist.org.uk. TILEHURST – Methodist Church, Gosbrook Road. Christian Aid lunch. Noon.

Sunday, March 25 CAVERSHAM – St Andrew’s, Albert Road. Secret Film Club meets. All welcome. Donations accepted. 7.30pm.

Tuesday, March 27 FINCHAMPSTEAD – St James, Church Lane. Lent talks: Is The Bible True? The Battle For Ancient Israel with Martin Hughes. 7.45pm. Details: (0118) 973 0133.

Thursday, March 29 READING – Greyfriars Church, Friar St, Reading, RG1 1EH. All-age storytelling performance with Bob Hartman. 6.45pm Tickets and details: Greyfriars Bookshop (0118) 951 6703 or email bookshop@greyfriars.org.uk.

Saturday, March 31 CROWTHORNE – Methodist Church. Jumble sale with cakes in aid of kitchen fund. EARLEY – Brookside Church. Arts day featuring local artists. 1pm-4pm. Free entry. Details: www.sixsixty.org.uk.

Sunday, April 1 CAVERSHAM – Baptist Church. Hymn Café: enjoy favourite hymns, homemade cake and a cuppa. 3.45pm-5pm. Details: (0118) 954 5353. CAVERSHAM – From Kelvedon Way. Gosbrook Road Methodist Church and St Andrew’s churches. Palm Sunday procession. 9.30am. TWYFORD – St Mary’s. Twyford Singers Easter concert. 7pm Details: (0118) (0118) 969 8326.

Thursday, April 5 THREE MILE CROSS – South of Reading Christian Fellowship, Basingstoke

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Road. David Pawson: Christ’s conception and birth. 7.30pm. Details: (0118) 988 4508. WOKINGHAM – Methodist Church, Rose Street. Charity coffee morning in aid of West Berkshire Citizen Advocacy Service. 10amnoon.

Good Friday, April 6 CAVERSHAM – Baptist Church. Churches Together Caversham Good Friday morning service. Time TBC. CAVERSHAM – Gosbrook Road Methodist Church. Good Friday meditation with Deacon Becky Love. 7.30pm. THREE MILE CROSS – South of Reading Christian Fellowship, Basingstoke Road. David Pawson: the Crucifixion, a two-part talk. 10.30am & 6.30pm. Details: (0118) 988 4508. TILEHRUST – The Triangle. Churches Together Tilehurst walk of witness. Noon.

Saturday, April 7 CAVERSHAM – St Martin’s Shopping Precinct. Churches Together Caversham Easter witness: singing, street theatre and more. 11am. CAVERSHAM – St Andrew’s Church, Albert Road. The Easter Liturgy – The Fire, the Vigil and the First Eucharist of Easter. 9pm. THREE MILE CROSS – South of Reading Christian Fellowship, Basingstoke Road. David Pawson: Christ’s burial. 10.30am. Details: (0118) 988 4508.

Easter Sunday, April 8 READING – Forbury Gardens (if wet, Abbey Baptist Church). Churches Together Reading Easter celebration. 8am. THREE MILE CROSS – South of Reading Christian Fellowship, Basingstoke Road. David Pawson: Christ’s Resurrection. 10.30am. Ascension 6.30pm. Details: (0118) 988 4508. TILEHURST – Streatley Hill. Sunrise service, whatever the weather. All welcome. 6am.

Easter Monday THREE MILE CROSS – South of Reading Christian Fellowship, Basingstoke Road. David Pawson: Christ’s return and Judgment. 7.30pm. Details: (0118) 988 4508.


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March 2012 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 01932 246408

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experiencing the band live. The group have been together for seven years, playing a mixture of Skainjected rock-worship that has brought them critical acclaim and seen them dubbed as British festival favourites and a Greenbelt must by music journalists. And there’s a general acknowledgement that the band are best seen in the flesh rather than listening to a studio-based CD. “There’s really only one way to enjoy the joyous large sound of Reading’s Sounds Of Salvation – live and whilst skanking,” says Greg Sammons of Cross Rhythms. The new album is, according to band leader Michael Whiteman, the best way to experience this. “The band now bring this experience one step closer to home with the release of Nuking The Fridge LIVE!,” he says. It features 14 tracks from across the band’s discography, including a track

from its debut recording in 2006, Like It Is. There are also some Ska-inspired takes on favourite worship songs. “Nuking the Fridge LIVE! is a true to life reproduction of what the band does best; leading people in worship in a unique, lively, loud and fun way,” says Michael, who attends Lower Earley Baptist Church with his wife Becky along with fellow band members Hannah and Pete. Although the album is free to download, the band is giving you the opportunity to help contribute to the costs of the next studio album. “We wanted to give something back to all the people who have attended a live show over the years,” says Michael. The group’s next album, which is being produced by YFriday’s Dez Minto, will be released in the autumn. Dez is enjoying working with the band: “After my deliberate year’s break from Christian music, what a perfect way to come back by working with the SOS guys,” he says. “Great hooks, massive dynamic and a unique, unpredictable lyric often far removed from the standard we’ve all become used to. “It’s a real raw burst of energy that the UK and Europe are going to love.” v Nuking The Fridge LIVE! can be downloaded for free via Bandcamp. For details, log on to soundsofsalvation.bandcamp.com.


Announcements

To advertise call 01932 246408 | www.xnmedia.co.uk |March 2012

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LIFE is an amazing journey. From our very first breaths to our last, we are told to live it to the full. There are so many things we can celebrate and commemorate and sometimes telling everyone can be a tricky job. This is where Xn can help. Our Family Circle page is designed for you to share your news. It could be the birth of a new baby, an ordination or induction, a wedding, an anniversary,

a baptism service or even a first communion. Whatever the occasion, we’re here to help you share with the church family in Reading, Wokingham and Bracknell. Our skilled staff will help you choose the correct wording for your notice and you can be assured it will be read in churches across the region. We think this is an invaluable service you’ll really treasure.

Keep in touch with the wider church family Categories include: births, christenings & dedications, birthdays, confirmations, baptisms, ordinations, inductions, engagements, marriages, anniversaries, deaths, in memory. Please call 01932 246408 for more details.


30 March 2012 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | To advertise call 01932 246408

Puzzles Easy

9 7 3 7

Xn is published by Xn Media c/o Abbey Baptist Church, Abbey Square, Reading RG1 3BE www.xnmedia.co.uk Twitter: @xnmedia

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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.

Competition

Win Pam Rhodes’ Hearts & Hymns CD

© 2011 Syndicated Puzzles, Inc.

6

To complete Sudoku, fill the board by entering numbers 1 to 9 such that each row, column and 3x3 box contains every number uniquely.

5 3 2 2 1 1 5 4

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.

Steve Vaughan-Turner

www.drawingfromexperience.blogspot.com

PAM RHODES, one of the best-known Songs of Praise presenters, has released a brand-new CD. Hearts And Hymns, which shares the title of her Premier radio programme, features 30 tracks over two CDs, all chosen by Pam. Released by Kingsway on March 12, the first CD contains classics that inspired previous generations, such as Amazing Grace and Thine Be The Glory. The second CD features some modern songs, including In Christ Alone and Meekness and Majesty. It’s a compelling collection that will help you Yes, I have given up chocolate for Lent – worship God. We’ve teamed up with publishers Kingsway to all this is for afterwards! offer you the chance to win one of five copies of the new CD, worth £10.99 each. All you have to do is answer the following ANSWERS question: What is the name of Pam Rhodes’ show on Premier Christian Radio? Send your answer, along with your full postal address to: Hearts & Hymns CD Contest, Xn, c/o Abbey Baptist Church, Abbey Square, Reading RG1 3BE by Tuesday, April 24. Alternatively, email editor@xnmedia.co.uk.

Str8ts Solution

4 3 1 2 2 1

8 2 7 9 1 5 4 6 3

9 1 6 4 8 3 7 5 2

Sudoku Solution

3 5 4 2 7 6 1 9 8

7 6 3 1 5 4 8 2 9

1 4 2 3 9 8 5 7 6

5 9 8 6 2 7 3 1 4

The winners will be drawn at random from the editor’s hat. Only one entry per household and the editor’s decision is final. Usual rules apply.

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Xn conforms to the newspaper industry’s voluntary Code of Practice, administered by the Press Complaints Commission. If you feel we have made an error in a report, or have fallen below our usual high standards, please write in the first instance to: Phil Creighton, editor, Xn, c/o Abbey Baptist Church, Reading RG1 3BE. If the editor is unable to resolve your complaint, it will be passed to Xn’s independent Council of Reference for arbitration. The PCC code of practice, along with details of how to complain, is available from Halton House, 20/23 High Holborn, London EC1N 2JD, www.pcc.org.uk. Email complaints@ pcc.org.uk or telephone 020 7831 0022, helpline 0845 600 2757.

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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.

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Xn is published monthly by Xn Media. ISSN 2049-4971

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Printed by Newbury Weekly News

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Advertising Richard Roper, Roperpenberthy 01932 246408 advertising@xnmedia.co.uk

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Thanks to Michael Penny, Alan Magness, Louise Cole, Abbey Baptist Church, Paul Burnish, RCN, Richard Hughes, Sonia Ludford, Mary Brockington, David and Mary Garrod

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Tough

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Contributors Michael Penny, Jeremy Sharpe, Sharon Elliott, Chris Carter, Steve Vaughan-Turner

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Editor & publisher Phil Creighton editor@xnmedia.co.uk Distribution Judith Creighton judith@xnmedia.co.uk

Sudoko SUDOKU

© 2011 Syndicated Puzzles, Inc.

STR8TS Str8ts


Resources

v Xn shop Every month, we’ll put together a range of special offers and discounted books specially for you. Here’s our latest selection. Look out for another collection of great titles next issue! The Ultimate Bible Fact & Quiz Book With 4,500 Bible Quiz Questions and Facts, laid out in easy-to-use Quizzes, The Ultimate Bible Fact & Quiz Book is a must-have for youth groups, home groups and church socials. Test your minister to see if his Bible knowledge is up to scratch! RRP £8.99, Xn

price £6.74

Get A Life Author Tony Powell has had at least three, first as a policemen, then as a missioner for the Royal National Deep Sea Fishermen’s Mission and finally as Pastor for the Shaftesbury Society Mission in Battersea. His descriptions of encounters with characters from the seamier side of life and of the humorous and faith-filled way he dealt with them are an inspiration to anyone. RRP £8.99, Xn

price £6.74

The Fat of the Land Eaten too much over Christmas and the New Year? Time to lose a bit of weight? THROW AWAY THE SCALES! Author and Research Scientist Chris Grummitt debunks a lot of dieting myths and in his humorous way describes his own weight loss journey and the consequent improvements in his health RRP £7.99, Xn

price £5.99

To advertise call 01932 246408 | www.xnmedia.co.uk | March 2012

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Thy Kingdom Come: the past present and future of Evangelical Christianity Is your image of an evangelical that of a white, middle-class Republican voting Texan? Think again, she’s more likely to be a Nigerian widow living with AIDS. Tracing the growth of evangelicalism from its 18th century roots, Dr Catherwood shows how it has emerged as a global faith movement in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. RRP £8.99, Xn price £6.74

The Most Famous Book in the World, a Celebration of the King James Bible Twenty two well-known personalities; clergy, politicians, media and sports personalities, scientists and businessmen, from across the spectrum of churchmanship, reveal their favourite Bible passage. Which author chose ‘Jesus Wept’, the shortest verse in the Bible? RRP £4.99, Xn

price £3.74

Curious Cat’s Way Out Bunch Let Curious Cat take you on an adventure to discover the endangered animals of Planet Earth. Ten enchantingly illustrated books, with beautiful rhyming text, introduce children to some of the world’s rarest and most exotic animals. Suitable for 4-7 year olds. RRP £5.99, Xn

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To order, call 01932 246408 state code RXn001 To order your books and claim your discount telephone 01932 246408 and state code RXn001. Alternatively write with a cheque to RoperPenberthy Publishing Ltd, Springfield House, 23 Oatlands Drive, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 9LZ or email grace@roperpenberthy.co.uk. Post and packing £1.50 per book, orders over £10 post free.


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Xn issue 2  

Second issue of Xn, published for churches in Reading, Wokingham and Bracknell and availlable for March 2012

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