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Jan/FEB 2013

ISSN 2049-4971


Good news from across the Thames Valley

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For you, your community, your life


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Three-page focus on education


Magic, music and fun in our what’s on guide

Jody’s celebrating his musical adventure

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Editor’s letter


January 2013 | | To advertise call 01932 888417

Deadline for March issue Friday, December 15

Brave new vision for Bracknell

Phil Creighton HAPPY New Year! Welcome to the first issue of Xn for 2013. One of the quirks of working in publishing means that you’re always out of tune with the seasons. While you were enjoying your Christmas dinners and carol concerts, we’ve been busy working on Burns Night and looking ahead to Easter. And on Christmas Eve, I received not a Christmas greeting from a shop, but news about what they’re doing for Valentine’s Day. It’s always good to be looking forward, but sometimes you also need a moment to stop and catch your breath. And that’s exactly what we’re doing next month. This issue of Xn covers two months – January and February – so that we can have a brief chance to pause before pressing on with our very exciting plans for 2013. As part of this, we’ve also delayed our plans to switch the page size to A4. This issue is also the last, for now, to feature articles by Steve Curtis. Steve has spent three months with us as an intern and he’s been brilliant. For now though, Xn is back to being just myself. Although there’s no issue next month, we’ll still be updating the website regularly – log on to and have a look! If you want to support Xn, I’d encourage you to take out a subscription or consider advertising. We’re able to report on news from across the community due to financial support from businesses – and we’re delighted that many advertisers are reporting increased business as a result.

We want to hear from you! Contact us with your stories, letters and comments. It’s really easy! If you have something to send us, you can email it to:, or you can write to Xn Media, c/o Abbey Baptist Church, Abbey Square, Reading RG1 3BE. We look forward to hearing from you!

v There’s more on our website!

EVERY month Xn brings you pages of Good News from across the Thames Valley – but there’s more! So much more that we can’t fit all the news into our pages. Log on to for the very latest news and you can have your say on our stories.

Xn is published by Xn Media. ISSN 2049-4971 c/o Abbey Baptist Church, Abbey Square, Reading RG1 3BE Twitter: @xnmedia Editor & publisher Phil Creighton Reporter Steve Curtis Distribution Judith Creighton Contributors Lynda Bowyer, Michael Penny, Steve Vaughan-Turner, Sally Hamblin, Steve Prince, James Hern, Chris Carter, Laura Bigoni, Jenny Owen, Jessica Hall Thanks to Michael Penny, Alan Magness, Louise Cole, Mary Brockington, Sharon Elliott, Paul Burnish, Jackie Curtis, Norman New

Advertising Hinton Media Services Ltd 01932 888417 Printed by Trinity Mirror Reading Xn is an independent community publication that aims to reflect church life across all denominations without bias. The views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers. Every care is taken to ensure that the contents of the magazine are accurate but the publishers cannot accept responsibility for errors. While reasonable care is taken when accepting advertisements, the publishers cannot accept any responsibility for any resulting unsatisfactory transactions. They will, however, investigate any written complaints.

An artist’s impression of what the new Bracknell Methodist Church will look like, compared to the current building (pictured below) AFTER three years of planning and discussing, a Bracknell church is finally under way with its refurbishment. After encountering financial hiccups in July 2011, the refurbishment plans for Bracknell Methodist Church were postponed until last autumn. A new planning application was approved and, as of September 26, 2012, the church was given the go-ahead to start work with its chosen contractor. Mike Bush, a member of the church’s Property Committee, said the Shepherd’s Lane fellowship was “rebuilding about half of the place”. Work will include enhancing the kitchen, toilets and foyer to make the church a more welcoming place. It will also extend the building. There will also be a new meeting room on the second floor, but the worship and main hall rooms will be left untouched. Bracknell Methodist Church is hoping to improve its facilities and be a real hub for its local community.

The church is a busy one, and community activities include hosting meetings for the University of The Third Age (U3A). Mike says that the re-development will enable the church to “accommodate more of that”. Bracknell Forest Council is also interested in introducing reconciliation sessions for divorced couples or for children that need help. v For more information about The Vision project, log on to uk/vision.htm. STEVE CURTIS

Unity week to focus on walking humbly THE ANNUAL international week of prayer for Christian Unity returns for its 105th year this month. Originally devised by American Episcopalian clergyman Paul Wattson in 1908, the week brings together Christians from across the world to pray together and encourage unity across denominations. Local Churches Together groups are organising special services to mark the week which runs from January 18-25. This year’s theme is to explore in ecumenical fellowship what it means to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God, as according to Micah 6:8. Sandhurst churches already meet on a regular basis, holding a unity service in Sandhurst Baptist Church on the second Sunday of the month from 6.30pm.

St Michael’s Church in Lower Church Road is also hosting a monthly series of talks. On Tuesday, January 15, it will welcome the Bishop of Reading, the Rt Revd Andrew Proud to talk about life in the Image of God. On Tuesday, February 19, it will host the Revd Keith Lowder, who will explore the New Testament, asking if it is a reliable witness. Talks start at 8pm. For details, call Karen Glossop on (01344) 762407 or email her on For Reading churches, there will be an event at All Saints’ Church, Downshire Square. Starting at 6.30pm on Sunday, January 20, the service will be led by the chair of Churches Together in Reading, Michael Penny. For more details, phone 01491 671 357.

Churches in Crowthorne will gather together at Crowthorne Baptist Church from 6.30pm. The service is organised by Churches Together in Crowthorne. Wokingham churches are invited to join in a Unity service on Sunday, January 27. Starting at 6.30pm, it will be held at the Methodist church in Rose Street and include updates on the work of Churches Together in Wokingham and local community groups. Churches in Goring, Streatley and South Stoke are holding daily prayer meetings in churches across the benefice. They will start at noon and run from January 21-26. For details, visit www. v For more information, on the week, visit STEVE CURTIS


To advertise call 01932 888417 | | January 2013

ReadiFood stocks up thanks to Waitrose shoppers & the Royals Reading’S food bank linked up with local Waitrose stores and Reading FC to ensure a bumper Christmas collection of 16,000 items of food to help families feed this winter. ReadiFood were able to hold special collection points at Waitrose stores in Reading, Caversham, Woodley and Twyford for two weekends during December. It also held a collection at the Madjeski Stadium on Monday, December 17, ahead of the Royals game against Arsenal. The collections have been so successful, resulting in large quantities of donated food that ReadiFood is planning on repeating them. ReadiFood estimates that from the Waitrose collections, people donated almost £15,000 worth of food for people in need – more than 16,000 items of food. Malcolm Pierce, director of Faith Christian Group which runs the bank, explained: “Both weekends went extremely well, despite anxious moments when we wondered whether we would have enough volunteers coming out to fill the rotas it all came good.” ReadiFood, like a lot of food banks across the country, is

ReadiFood collections from Waitrose stores across the Thames Valley mean that it can help more families who need some help with stoocking up their food cupboards this winter seeing an increase in demand for its help. The charity has also been helped by a significant financial gift through the Community Matters scheme run by Waitrose. This will help towards its running costs, such as the recent purchase of a delivery van. Malcolm added: “I find that

people often overlook the fact that a charity doesn’t rely solely on volunteer help. “We have to pay for staff, premises and utilities. As we expand operations, so the need for finance expands.” ReadiFood was also given a boost by listeners from BBC Radio Berkshire. The radio station held a

collection at its annual carol service, which was recorded at Reading Minster Church of St Mary the Virgin in midDecember. v If you are able to give financially or offer your time as a volunteer log on to its website or call (0118) 987 2672. STEVE CURTIS

of respondents said they were Christians, compared to 50% of Reading people. In the Bracknell Forest area, 60.5% are Christians, 62.3% are Christians in Windsor and Maidenhead and 59.5% are Christians in Wokingham,. Reading has the highest number of Muslims, with 7.1% of the population. The smallest religious grouping in the Thames

Valley are Jews. They make up 0.3% of the population in the Wokingham and Windsor areas, but just 0.1% of the West Berkshire population. There are more Buddhists and Hindus in Reading than other areas. In each authority, around a quarter of people professed to having no faith, and around 7% didn’t declare their status. The highest percentage of no

faith (29.5%) was in Reading, with Bracknell Forest (28.4%) close behind. In Windsor and Maidenhead, just 21.7% said they had no religion. In 2001, 62.6% of Reading people were Christians, while 22% had no religion.In Bracknell, 72% of people said they were Christians, 18% said they had no religion. vMore at PHIL CREIGHTON

Census reveals what Thames Valley believes OF THE 721,995 people who live across five unitary authorities in the Thames Valley, more than half of them (59%) are Christians according to the 2011 Census. Data released by the Office of National Statistics in December revealed that faith remains an important part of life within the region. The most Christians live in the West Bekshire area – 63.6%


v New year honours for local heroes READING EAST MP Rob Wilson has praised the local Olympians who feature in the New Year Honours list. “Congratulations to Olympians Katherine Grainger CBE, Anna Watkins MBE, Helen Glover MBE & Heather Stanning MBE given for services to rowing,” he tweeted when the awards were announced on December 29. Helen and Heather won Team GB’s first Gold medals in the London 2012 games, when they stormed home at Eton Dorney in the women’s pairs race. Katherine and Anna won gold for the women’s double sculls. The rowers weren’t the only local heroes to be featured in the New Year Honours list. A newsagent from Reading along with a former Wokingham mayor have received gongs. Reading-based Richard Brighton, who established the familar newsagents chain in 1984, has been given an MBE for his work in the news trade. The 72-year-old told BBC Berkshire: “I‘m amazed, surprised and humbled.” Cllr Annette Drake from Wokingham has received a British Empire Medal (BEM) to recognise her public and voluntary service to the community. Also receiving a BEM is Sandhurst’s Anthony Hopkins for services to nursing. He is an associate director of day care services at Broadmoor Hospital. A Royal Victorian Order has been awarded to Margaret Haines, who manages the office of Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire Mary Bayliss.

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January 2013 | | To advertise call 01932 888417

v Christmas cheer Hundreds of people took to the streets of central Reading on Sunday, December 23, to walk through the Christmas story. Members of Wesley Methodist Church and St Andrew’s URC teamed up to present a Living Nativity, which retold the Christmas story with live animals, carols and moments of reflection. Stops included a doctor’s surgery and the Royal Berkshire Hospital. A spokesperson said: “We met at Wesley Methodist car park to meet the animals; a donkey, goats and sheep and a little Shetland pony and then travelled with Joseph and Mary on their special journey, as they met Shepherds and Wise Men and heard again the special Christmas story but perhaps in a different way. PICTURES: Phil Creighton

Church brings Christmas story to life

Members of Newbold Church in Binfield opened their gates to hold a Living Nativity on Sunday, December 9. Featuring members of the church in key roles, the Christmas story was retold in a series of tableaus presented across the church and college’s grounds. Live animals including donkeys and goats also formed part of the event. Afterwards, guests could enjoy some refreshments and make a donation to Sebasatian’s Action Trust which provides respite holidays and pracical support for seriously-ill children and their families PICTURE: Victor Hulbert

Forget tree branches, let’s saw a lady in half! AN ILLUSIONIST sawed a beauty in half at a Christmas Tree Festival last month – and it wasn’t a tree he sliced. Steve Price sawed a visitor in half during his act at St Mary’s Church in Twyford, and put her back again in front of a speechless audience. “The remarkable thing is that even afterwards she still didn’t know how he did it,” said Paul Bromley, who organised the event together with his wife Pam. “Steve enthralled an audience of 160 people and involved many of them in his magic tricks.” The trick was just one part of a fourday festive festival that took place at the Station Road church from Thursday, December 6 until Sunday, December 9. Waltham St Lawrence silver band

provided entertainment on Thursday and were asked to give several encores. High Voltage singers also performed and, on the Sunday, the church organised a Christmas tea. Paul said: “It was a good old-fashioned tea, the sort that mum used to make, with the addition of paper hats, crackers and mottos.” Local schools, groups and businesses provided the 67 trees that filled St Mary’s with organisers having to call a halt when it was realised the church was full. One of the key objectives of the festival was to encourage the local community into the church. “I think we can safely say we achieved that,” said Paul. STEVE CURTIS

Tree festival a huge success COMMUNITY groups descended on a Wokingham church to see who is top of the tree. Fifty community groups, including JAC, NSPCC, Brownies and Wokingham Flower Club, decorated Christmas Trees for a special festival which took place at Wokingham Methodist Church in Wokingham over the weekend of Friday, December 7 to Sunday, December 9. Visitors were able to explore the carefully decorated trees, all themed around the groups that had decorated them, and vote for their favourites. As well as the trees, the church offered a range of musical entertainment including a performance by the Black Swan Handbell Ringers, the Sing Healthy Community Choir and the South East

Wokingham Town Mayor Peter Lucey with festival organiser Dilys Corlett and Wokingham Methodist minister the Revd Nick Thompson Berkshire Singers. The event raised funds for the church’s Youth Outreach Work and Motivation, an international disability charity that works to enhance the quality of life of disabled people in developing countries. PHIL CREIGHTON

v There’s more Christmas stories on our website, log on to and take a look!


To advertise call 01932 888417 | | January 2013

v Christmas cheer

Take Picture this! care! WOKINGHAM residents were invited to choose where they wanted to be in the Christmas story thanks to an impressive photo board. Members of Wokingham Baptist Church took the boards, created by Mark Hawkins, to the Winter Carnival and in the town’s Market Place in the run-up to Christmas. As well as the chance to take pictures, people could enjoy refreshments served by the church’s Re:Gen youth group.

Wokingham Town Mayor, Peter Lucey with Barbara Howarth and Peggy Sherwood enjoying the Christmas Day lunch

Hotel’s meal makes it a very Happy Christmas More than 60 people who would have faced Christmas Day by themselves were given Christmas lunch at the Cantley Lodge Hotel in Wokingham. The hotel’s general manager, Julie Carey, opened up the hotel to repeat the Christmas Day lunch, which was first held in 2011. “I knew that I could do something to make a difference to people’s lives on Christmas Day, if they were struggling to feed their family or if they were going to be alone,” she said. “Some staff volunteered to help on the day, Makro donated the turkeys and Fletchers donated the vegetables. It was a team effort with volunteers including my children, friends, and people from across the Borough all helping to make the day a great success.”

Peggy Sherwood, 95, who recently had surgery wasn’t well enough to travel to family in Brighton. She came to the lunch with three neighbours, and they agreed that the meal was perfect for older people. “The day gave such a lot of pleasure to so many people,” Peggy said. Marjie Walker and Heather Woods from The Link Visiting Scheme, Sharon Elliott from Faith in the Community and Community Development Worker, Katie James from the Earley Charity worked together to make sure the day went smoothly. Volunteers from across the Borough offered to drive people to and from the Christmas Day lunch and to make sure they all had somebody to chat to. v CHRISTMAS Day lunches were held across the Thames Valley, including ones organised by the Reading West Salvation Army at its Oxford Road base. Pictured left are scenes from Wycliffe Baptist Church’s lunch. Organised by Debbie Lambie (far left). The event was hugely popular, with families and friends enjoying a fun afternoon.

Make the most of life with Philip Keohane

A new start for a New Year Currently in the UK there are 10.5 million people aged over 65. By 2030, this number will have grown to 15 million and 20 years on from then, the number of OAPs is expected to grow to a whopping 19 million. The Government Actuaries Department predicts that in 20 years’ time, there will be four times more centenarians alive in the UK than there are now. These are staggering statistics. Our society will inevitably have to change to accommodate this demographic shift. Importantly, the number of people within our communities that are employed in providing help to this expanding aging sector will have to grow rapidly. However, many organisations that provide care for the elderly struggle to recruit and retain high calibre individuals. This is not so surprising. It is not seen by many younger people as an exciting career option. Most of the people that work alongside me have become more aware of the satisfaction that can be gained from this type of work from experiences of helping others within their own families. Organisations such as Home Instead and others that work with the elderly can offer really meaningful and satisfying employment to those looking for some additional or part time work. We are driven by our clients’ needs so working hours can be quite flexible to fit around other non-work commitments. Also, within this sector age is no barrier to recruitment. I have staff in their late 60s working alongside others in their early 20s. All of them have something in their DNA which means they derive immense satisfaction from helping others. It may not be everyone’s idea of a New Year’s resolution but I am sure that for some, considering this type of work may be the gateway to a richly rewarding future career in 2013. Philip Keohane is owner & director of Home Instead Senior Care in Reading




January 2013 | | To advertise call 01932 888417

v Christmas cheer

v Pies are a winner PEOPLE of Reading proved that they could cook mince pies as good as Santa’s elves as a local church held a bake-off contest. Alok Sharma, MP for Reading West, on Saturday, December 15, and Cllr Chris Maskell judged the great mince pie bakeoff, at the annual Argyle Community Church Christmas Fayre. The competition was fierce with 11 people taking part. Each entrant was required to submit six home-made mince pies. They were marked on appearance, texture and taste and extra points could be awarded for imagination and creativity. The winners were: First Place: Margaret Phillips, Fords Farm Second Place: Frances Forshaw, Tilehurst Third Place: Elaine Alderson, Purley Last place: Scotch Bonnet Chill Mince Pies made by Sam Colman, Burghfield Common

Due to building works at the church, some of the fayre was held in the Rose and Thistle pub on Argyle Road, where Father Christmas made an appearance and mulled wine was served. Alok Sharma said: “Many congratulations to the winners. Although it was not a winning entry, the most imaginative use of ingredients came from the chilli pies entry, which certainly left a unique ‘Christmas’ taste in the mouth!” Lynne Colman, Community Development Worker at Argyle, said: “Our joint Christmas Fayre with the Rose and Thistle was great fun!”

Mall carols event a festive treat THE first Carols In The Mall was a hailed as a huge success as hundreds turned out to celebrate Christmas. Held on Christmas Eve in Broad Street Mall, the event – organised by Xn – saw members of Reading Minster Church’s Boys Choir team up with members of the Reading Central Salvation Army band to sing carols and get into the Christmas spirit. Compered by Xn editor Phil Creighton, the event concluded with a blessing by Canon Brian Shenton, Dean of Reading Minster Church. Carols included old favourites such as Away In A Manger and O Come All Ye Faithful – which, Phil revealed, had originally been written by John of Reading in the 13th century. There was also a special Reading carol, written by Caversham-based hymnwriter Colin Ferguson. How Calm The Night looked at the Christmas story from the point of view of the shepherds and was sung to the tune of the hymn For All The Saints. Ethan Cooke, from the boys choir, opened the event by singing a solo verse of Once In Royal David’s City. Towards the end of the singalong, Phil gave some insights into Christmas. “Among all the gifts, the food, the

Reading’s Broad Street Mall was the venue for the first Carols In The Mall, held on Christmas Eve

wrappings, the Christmas cracker jokes and the telly watching, the games and the family catch-ups, remember that you’ve been busy preparing for this day,” he said. “It’s a day about a baby, a baby born to be king. Born in a manger, born in Bethlehem and visited by shepherds and kings ... because he was special. He was worth all the fuss and, despite it being 2,000 years since his birth, we still think he’s worth all the fuss today.” Canon Brian’s blessing included a prayer for the families affected by the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

Xn editor Phil Creighton was delighted the way the the event went. “We are thrilled at seeing so many people come along to Broad Street Mall on Christmas Eve to celebrate Christmas. “Families turned out in force, the choir and the band were brilliant and it was a joy to sing carols in the Mall. “There were people on the balcony recording the event on their phones to show others and others still stopped and joined in for a while.” It is hoped to make this an annual event and plans are already being made for 2013.

Xn needs your help … NOW!

This month, we celebrate our first anniversary. Each month we’re distributing 16,000 copies – not bad from a standing start 12 months ago! But we need your help, now! Each issue costs £5,100 to produce – a start-up grant has been a big help as we work towards self-sustainability through advertising; it’s taking a little longer than expected, but with your help, we can get there.

Can you help Xn in one or more of these ways?

Our vision is wider than the Thames Valley and bigger than the paper in your hands. Will you be a part of the success?

Advertise in Xn

Sponsor Xn or give a gift

Xn is free because we are funded by advertising: advertisers are reporting great results – and we have been inspired by their increasing support of our mission. Every month, at least 16,000 copies are printed locally and distributed by volunteers.

Xn is committed to bringing you the latest news from across the Thames Valley. We have a vision of offering more than just a monthly magazine: we want to help the community share its great stories. To do this we need to invest in people and in equipment and to continue building strong community relations.

Advertising is booked through Hinton Media Services who are committed to helping Xn by offering a first class service. They’re happy to answer any questions and offer advice. So why not get in touch today? Call 01932 888417 and speak to Fiona or Jono.

‘Join me in this journey as we share our Good News with the community,’ says Xn founder and editor Phil Creighton You can make a gift to Xn Media online: A/c: 35879203 Sort code: 09-01-28

Thank you!

Why not help Xn and sponsor a monthly edition (and get free profile or advertising in that edition) or a gift toward getting Xn into the community? For more info or to chat with us please email Founder and Director Phil Creighton: You can send gifts (payable to Xn Media) to: Xn, c/o Abbey Baptist Church, Abbey Square, Reading RG1 3BE. Thank you.

Be a Friend of Xn & get it delivered Adopt Xn as your community newspaper. By subscribing, you’ll never miss an issue. We’ll post you a copy each month hot off the press. Your support of £10 for six issues will help Xn report your community news Yes, I’d love to support Xn by taking out a six-month subscription. I enclose a payment by cheque, payable to Xn Media Ltd, for (please tick) £10 Other (please write amount, min £10) Name ....................................................................................................... Address ................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................... ........................................................... Postcode ..................................... Email ........................................................................................................ We will enter your details into a database and may contact you from time to time about Xn, but we will never share or sell your details to any third parties. Please tick this box if you wish to decline this communication.

Send your completed form with a cheque payable to Xn Media to: Xn Subscriptions, c/o Abbey Baptist Church, Abbey Square, Reading RG1 3BE

Education focus

To advertise call 01932 888417 | | January 2013



Luckley Oakfield School: Developing ‘Women of Character’ Jane Tudor, headmistress of Luckley Oakfield School writes:


have never met an adult who was not educated at school. So, we can all say that we know what school is like, and we all think we know what a good school looks like. We think of happy pupils, lots of exciting things happening, and, of course, excellent exam results! As parents, we will find ourselves choosing a school for each of our children. Gone are the days when this choice seemed straightforward, and perhaps those days never existed! Contrary to what we read in the newspapers, our children are well educated in good schools. Parents are faced with what seems like an impossible choice. How do they make the right choice for their child? On the whole, all schools teach children the curriculum and most do so very well. However, it is important to remember that education is much more than the certificate at the end. As Headmistress of Luckley-Oakfield School, I try to remind myself of that fact when preparing the girls for examinations, and then again, amidst the frantic statistical analysis in August when the results are published. At our Speech Day in November, Major General Tim Cross CBE stated that the result of education is character. So the question is: What sort of school environment will nurture young people so that they develop good character? What do we mean by good character? He went on to say: “Character is difficult to define; it can’t be legislated or bought. It is what defines great individuals, great wines or great periods of history”. Character has to have a firm foundation. As a Christian, I believe that this is not gained through academic qualification. All the great characters of the Bible displayed this in plenty and those who faced life and death realities did what was right. At Luckley-Oakfield School we have a core purpose that


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Are you looking for a Christian senior school for your daughter? Come to an Open Morning and find out what makes Luckley-Oakfield the perfect choice Tuesday 19th March Wednesday 1st May 9.30am to 12 noon

Tel: 0118 978 4175

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In other words, we aim to equip our pupils to become women of character. While academic qualifications remain important and we must aim for excellence, it is the character of each individual that will define their lives, and by extension, our society. v For more details, log on to or call the school on (0118) 978 4175.

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tries to define who we are and what we aim to enable our pupils to become. “Luckley-Oakfield School is built on the Christian foundations of love and service. We enable our students to thrive in a secure and encouraging environment, thereby equipping each girl to be resourceful and resilient, ready to take on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

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Trinity Christian School


A new Christian school opening in September “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 Trinity Christian School aims to educate children in God’s ways about his world A Christian school can give a consistent message alongside a Christian home of how we understand the world and what our values should be. It can encourage and support parents in the task of raising their children.

Come and see for yourself Open morning Saturday, January 26 10am-noon

• Meet the team behind Trinity Christian School • Talk with other interested parents • Join in activities for children • See the school’s premises • Learn more about the plans and curriculum Held at ARCADE, 11 Glebe Road, Reading RG2 7AG

An enhanced curriculum

Trinity Christian School is committed to promoting an understanding of the natural world and society from a biblical perspective and to giving pupils that ‘added dimension of the realisation of God in all of life’. God gave us our minds and we encourage our pupils to think for themselves and not accept uncritically everything they hear or read.

Small class sizes in a beautiful setting

Initially places will be limited to just eight pupils aged 5-7. Lessons will be given by Jean Dandy, an experienced and fully qualified teacher and full classroom support will be available. The school will meet in the secure and beautiful location of ARCADE in Glebe Road, Reading.

Trinity Christian School

c/o 35 Galsworthy Drive, Caversham RG4 6PE Tel 0118 947 0366

Education focus

Trinity to hold open morning A NEW YEAR is hoping to bring a new school with it, as Trinity Christian School plans to open in September. The new school promises to offer a Christian education. Jean Dandy, chair of the school’s governors, said: “During my 20 years teaching in secular schools I became increasingly saddened to see God left out of children’s education and the replacement of Christian values with secular ones. “I then had the privilege of working for 10 years in a Christian primary school in Oxford and saw the many benefits of a Christ-centred education.” Jean explained the difference that Trinity feels it can offer the community. She said: “Successive governments have replaced biblical morality and accountability with ways of thinking that are humanist and atheist. “Trinity Christian School will be an independent Christian Primary School, so it will not be restricted to the National Curriculum. “This means it will have the freedom to teach about the Lord Jesus Christ and apply biblical truths to all areas of the curriculum. “This is such a wonderful opportunity to resist the tide of secularism and to excite children about the greatness of God and the amazing world he has made.” Jean is hoping that parents will be bold and have trust in the school and God. She said: “We need to understand what is at stake and what values the secular schools – both state and independent – are teaching children. A child’s greatest need is to know God and His salvation. “Schools like Trinity have the incredible advantage that the pupils have teachers who are praying for them and nurturing them

spiritually as well as academically.” The school originally intended to open in September 2012, but the registration process was delayed. This year, the school has reached the Department for Education’s criteria and is planning to open for the start of the new school year in September. The school has linked up with ARCADE after advertising through Reading Christian Network. Director of ARCADE, Kevin Woods, offered Trinity the chance to rent some rooms in their building on Glebe Road. As Trinity Christian School is opening this year the aim is to start small and build up. Jean said: “Initially there will be one class of pupils aged five to seven and I will be the teacher. “We will also have at least one volunteer in school at any time who will support in the classroom and with administrative work. “Our first class will be eight pupils, so it is important that families apply early if they want their child to come to the school. “In September 2014 we plan to extend to two classes, Infants and Juniors, so we will need a second teacher. “Ultimately we aim for the school to cover the full age range from five to 16.” The school will hold an open morning on Saturday, January 26 from 10am-noon. It will be an opportunity to meet Jean and the school’s governers, as well as other families who are interested in signing up. It will be held at the school’s base in ARCADE’s building in Glebe Road, Reading. v For more information about the school, visit STEVE CURTIS

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Inspiring keynote sessions with Steve Chalke MBE

A day conference to inspire, equip & connect Christians in schools across the south east £20 including lunch

Book at or call us on 0118 9663929 An initiative of

the Reading-based charity helping

bring RE to life in schools across the country. Churches Together in Earley and East Reading Schools Project Registered Charity No 1109291

Education focus


To advertise call 01932 888417 | | January 2013


Building confidence for beyond the classroom

DUCATION at St Joseph’s College is more than just the classroom – it’s about nurturing and encouraging children so they can go into the world with confidence. That’s the message from the Reading-based independent school’s new Headmaster, Andrew Colpus (pictured inset). Working with boys and girls from the age of three to 18, the school is passionate about providing an education that prepares its pupils to play leading roles in today’s challenging world. “Some children join us at the age of three and it’s an enormous privilege to educate them for 15 years,” says Andrew. “What a responsibility it is!” With small class sizes and an emphasis on an education that is more than just academic study, the College fosters a welcoming environment. Andrew says: “I believe we have a really caring community.” He is no aloof headmaster, saying that pupils enjoy talking to him as he tours the school. “I don’t want to be scary,” he says. “I want children to love and enjoy education – get that correct and the other bits will fit into place.” Andrew became the school’s Headmaster

St Joseph’s College in Reading wants the best for every child that passes through its doors

v Catch the bus St Joseph’s offers special school bus services to make it as easy as possible to get to the College. It includes routes from Maidenhead, Henley, Eversley and Thatcham, with stops in between, as well as a pick-up from Reading Station. “It’s increasingly popular with parents who therefore don’t have to drive their children to the College,” Andrew says. “It also encourages the children to become independent.” in September 2012, having previously been Second Master at Reading Blue Coat School in Sonning. A father of two, he has an instinctive understanding of how to help children learn. “I love my job,” he says.

“I have always enjoyed teaching. It’s the best job out there.” The independent co-educational college is based in Upper Redlands Road, Reading and is determined to ensure that it offers pupils the best possible education. As part of this, it has an ongoing programme of development. Recently, it has refurbished the Maths and English departments and renovated the theatre. It was with some pride that the College held a production of Willy Russell’s Our Day Out last November. Having an environment to be proud of is important for Andrew. The school’s vision is for modern learning facilities. “If you want people to take pride in their work, you do need the right environment.” he says. “What we want to do is continually develop our facilities to make sure they’re as good as possible for teaching and learning.”

This month, the school’s new Early Years centre opens and is purpose built for boys and girls aged three to five. With its own gardens and outdoor play area (complete with a pirate ship) it promises to be a great environment for the start of the learning journey. “The emphasis of Early Years teaching is on active learning and play, introducing children to exciting opportunities that encourage them to work and play together as they are gently incorporated into school life.” The school has been fully coeducational since 2010 and the policy is proving popular. It also has a strong Christian ethos – as a Catholic College, it has a close relationship with Canon John O’Shea of St James Church in Reading’s town centre and Andrew is keen to ensure that St Joseph’s helps its pupils explore faith meaningfully.

“Spiritual development is very important,” he explains. “It’s at the heart of what we do. We demonstrate God’s love for us and use Gospel values in a pro-active way.” One of the ways in which the school shows this is by offering bursaries. There are four available for Catholic children who are starting Year 7 in September 2013, offering a reduction of up to 75%. The College also can offer 25% bursaries depending on need. “The bursaries enable people who otherwise couldn’t otherwise afford independent education to benefit from it,” Andrew says. The school aims to make independent education as affordable as possible. “For some parents, this really makes a difference,” Andrew says.

v See for yourself at special open days St Joseph’s will welcome visitors to the school for its next open morning on Tuesday, January 22. There is also an open afternoon on Thursday, March 14. Visitors can explore the environment, meet pupils and staff. “You can hear a presentation from myself,” Headmaster Andrew says. “And feel free to ask any questions. “A lot of people say the thing they enjoy most about our open days is meeting our pupils. They are overwhelmed by the whole ethos and the sense of care and community at St Joseph’s.” The College welcomes prospective parents at any time, as Andrew explains: “Visitors are always welcome to tour the school and meet me.” For more details, call Michele Gravenor, the school’s registrar, on (0118) 966 1000 or log on to


Reg. Charity no. 277077


Preparatory School

St Joseph’s College

Tuesday 22 January, 9.15am - 12.15pm Tuesday 22 January, 9.15am - 12.15pm Thursday 7 March, 9.15am - 12.15pm Thursday 14 March, 2.00pm - 4.00pm

New Early Years Centre opened January 2013 Call 0118 966 1000 or email to reserve a place.



January 2013 | | To advertise call 01932 888417

v Can you help tackle food and hunger? This year will see more than 50 organisations come together to campaign about food and the reasons why nearly 900 million people in our world go to bed hungry every day. Organisers promise that it will be a big campaign – and to make it happen, it wants to work k in partnership with individual churches. A spokesperson for the campaign, which includes Christian Aid among its backers, said: “Would your church like to be the place that launches the campaign within your local community? “Could we hold an event together to inspire and involve people in the campaign? “We provide the content and resources – you provide the venue and audience!” v For more details, or to get n touch, contact the Christian Aid regional office in Oxford by emailing oxford@christian-aid. org or calling 01865 246818.

v Youth Alpha A CHURCH in Lower Earley wants to help youngsters ask questions about Christianity. Trinity Church is running a Youth Alpha course over the next few weeks which will give participants the chance to talk about the Bible. Pupils in years 11-13, can attend from Sunday, January 13, from 12.30pm-2.30pm. For children in school years 7-10, the event will be held at the church from Wednesday, January 16, from 7.15-8.45pm. v For more information or to book a place, email

A Seriously Funny night out

AN evening of honesty, laughter and music was on the menu at a Reading church last year. Two well-known and much-loved speakers teamed up for a night dubbed Seriously Funny. Jeff Lucas and Adrian Plass shared amusing stories from their years in the ministry, as well as touching, challenging

excerpts from their books. Topics raised at the night, held at Greyfriars Church on November 29, included Alzheimers and bereavement. Accompanying them was singer/songwriter Nikki Rodgers (pictured left), who performed her latest single. The event was sold out and plans are in place for a new tour later this year.

Church plans a bonnie night out for the Bard IT HAS been less than a month since we all joined hands and sang Auld Lang Syne, but preparations to celebrate the famous writer of that famous song are well under way. Burns Night is held annually, in recognition of the Scottish Bard’s work – and a church in Reading is joining in the fun. St Andrew’s URC – home to the Reading Scottish Pipe Band – will hold its Burns’ Supper on Saturday, January 26 from 7pm. The evening will feature many of the traditional events that make up a Burns supper, including a haggis being piped in, addressed with a poetry recital and much merriment. Robert Burns managed a good education, even

Park United Reformed Church and Community Centre Palmer Park Avenue, RG6 1DN

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though his mother could not read and his father was a farmer. Left bankrupt after his father’s death, it gave him inspiration for his poetry. His life was transformed when his first collection of poetry was published in 1786, titled Poems, Chiefly In The Scottish Dialect. Robert Burns died at the age of 37 on July 21 1796, the same day that his wife gave birth to their only son, Maxwell. In 1801, the Burns Supper tradition began. v For more details on St Andrew’s supper, log on to v Reading Scottish Pipe Band will also perform at other suppers across the region. STEVE CURTIS

v Evensong views sought A CAVERSHAM church is asking for input into a choral evensong project that aims to explore questions of faith. St Peter’s Church wants your suggestions for topics to preach on at its choral evensongs. The Revd Dan Tyndall, the church’s rector, said: “There are certain times and places where we can enter more deeply into the mystery of creation and re-creation. “Sometimes we’ll discover these in quiet, secluded holiday destinations. Or else while staring at the sunset.” The project will be called Enhancing Evensong and has just got underway. It takes place on Sundays from 6.30pm and includes refreshments. v If you have a topic to suggest, contact the church office by emailing

v Disciples sought at Kerith MEMBERS of a Bracknell church will be learning how to make disciples in the 21st Century culture early next month. Kerith Community Church is hosting a Willow Creek Conference called iDisciple, and will welcome Gordon MacDonald and James Emery White to speak. Mindy Caliguire will also speak at the conference, which will run for two days from 9am5pm on February 4-5. The sessions will include teaching, training, and time for interaction and process. Key insights from Willow Creek’s REVEAL Survey for Churches will also be included. The conference will be aimed at ministry teams and focus on worship, reflection, group teaching and forward planning. Single day tickets cost £50, with the full two-day ticket costing £87 for non-members. v For details. log on to www.

v Journeying THOSE wanting to explore the Christian faith can join in a new Emmaus course. St Michael’s Church in Tilehurst is planning to run sessions later this month and is aimed at both people wanting to learn more and those seeking a refresher course. For more details, contact the church office by calling (0118) 942 7331 or emailing office@

v Big birthday A WOODLEY church is getting ready to celebrate its 140th anniversary. St John The Evangelist will mark the milestone with a special weekend of events from March 8-10. Look out for more details on our website,

v In the silence A MEETING that explores prayer will be held in two churches over the coming weeks. Julian Meetings – offering an opportunity to foster contemplative prayer – will meet at Abbey Baptist Church, Reading, on Thursday, January 24 at 10am and at All Saints Church, Binfield on Monday, January 28 at 8pm.

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People v

AN OLYMPIC hero from Reading has been named the first ever female captain of a rowing club in Oxfordshire. Double Olympic silver medallist Debbie Flood, a member of Greyfriars Church, took over the position from Rick Egington on January 1. The Leander Club only opened to female membership in 1998 and boast members such as multiple gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave. Debbie, who is coached by Ade Roberts, will also return to her prison officer job this year. She said: “Leander is my home, it’s where I came of age in rowing, and I’ve carried out my entire senior career within the club. “I just want to get involved in the heart of the club, to be a good role model and to keep the club progressing.” She added how she wants to continue developing the club and introducing more measures to increase


STAYING with rowing, a member of a Reading church has seen his rowing club rake in more than 80 medals during his two years as head coach. Peter Wagner, a member of Wycliffe Baptist Church, joined Reading Rowing Club three years ago, and took over as head coach of the junior squad two years ago. To mark his achievements, he was presented with a special award in the Reading Post organised Reading Sports Personality of the Year awards.



January 2013 | | To advertise call 01932 888417

A PRESTIGIOUS choir will be in Reading to perform their sweet songs to eager listeners. The Salvation Army’s International Staff Songsters has been established for 32 years and each month the group travels to all corners of the UK to perform, and have travelled abroad to share their harmonious sound. And taking part requires dedication: each week they rehearse in London, with the majority having to travel more than two hours to attend. Their Reading concert will be held on Saturday, January

their competitiveness. “I want to continue to integrate the whole group of internationals and development athletes, so that the younger ones can aspire to the achievements of GB team and feel that if they’ve got what it takes to get into Leander then they’ve got a path forward to achieve,” she said. Throughout her career her faith has underpinned much of what she has achieved in rowing and her working life outside the sport. She explained: “God has given me these abilities and let me use them, and it’s my responsibility to try and inspire others to achieve and act as a role model in schools and churches.”. Sir Steve Redgrave also congratulated her: “She has had a hugely successful international career and she will be a great asset to the club in this position.” Along with Adrian Riley, Peter was named Coach of the Year at the special ceremony, held in Reading’s Hilton Hotel on Sunday, December 9. Peter has coached two girls who went on to compete in the Junior World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria last summer. Peter was also influential in the decision to base a World Class Start full-time coach at the rowing club. To find out more about the rowing club, log on to www.

19, at All Saints Church in Downshire Square, Reading – where the Reading Central corps are meeting while their building is refurbished. Singers have undertaken several overseas campaigns including Canada, Sweden, France, Australia and Zimbabwe. The group are composed of a huge variety of people drawn from all sorts of educational, professional and commercial backgrounds. v For details call Valerie Gardiner (0118) 954 3707 or email valeriegardiner335@

Jody’s ready to rule th He says he’s just a simple man, but he’s more than that. STEVE CURTIS finds out more about talented musician Jody Rule

A simple man with a complicated history and a passion for music, Jody Rule is hoping this year is his year. Jody, a member of Ascot Baptist Church, has been trying to crack the music industry for the past two years while also battling with personal demons and health difficulties. “I’m a simple man”, he explained. There’s a long history behind this talented man, though. “Dyslexia, ADHD, I was a problem child.,” he admits. “Back in the day they didn’t have such a thing as mental health or learning difficulties – you were just a problem.” From an early age, performing arts has been Jody’s rock, his go-to thing in times of need. He explains: “Whether it be acting or music, singing, playing an instrument like a kid would play, it was the only thing that would calm me.” He admits to breaking into his parent’s special lounge – kept locked except for special occasions – so he could listen to his Dad’s music collection. Despite this early influence, becoming an artist himself was never a thought he entertained. When he was 14, Jody started studying drama at the world-famous performing arts BRIT school. Its alumni include familiar names such as Adele, Jessie J, Rizzle Kicks. “I was a character. When I was in a bad place, they would give me tasks that tested me to the core of my character,” he says. From that point on, though, Jody “got wrapped up in the wrong things and went off the rails completely”. Struggling through his second year at the school, the lively musician recalls: “The only person that really ever got me, or it felt like they got me, was my music teacher, Tudor Morris”. He left the school in 1995, got a job at Tesco before moving to America with his with his Uncle Ivor and three cousins, who offered him the chance to start again. It was quite an eventful time: the drama student became a qualified tree surgeon and joined a church, where he got baptised. Looking back, Jody says that this time was a real blessing to him. He explains: “[I] went from being an aggressive spotty oik, I suppose. I had all these problems that I didn’t know about and they taught me what responsibility was. They showed me how to man up.” After a couple of years, Jody stumbled into trouble. Finding it difficult to cope with the church’s ideals, he left it and the States, returning to England in 1999 and turned his hand to security. He left that job in 2004 to work at a

Ascot-based musician Jody Rule cites a performance at an open mic n encourage those feeling down by encouraging them with his music. PI furniture store, as well as joining the pub industry for a while. Two years later Jody was struck down with an illness. A unknown hernia turned septic, and his health spiralled out of control. He became depressed, was suspected to be bipolar and his weight leapt up the scale to a point where he weighed in at 21.5 stone. It should come as no surprise that he was struggling. He recalls: “I was being promised that I was going to get help. Nothing came, no one came.” At his lowest point, Jody sought a way out. He says: “I tried to kill myself. The bizarre bit of the story in me trying to kill myself is I’ve got two tattoos.” The tattoos inked across his arms quote Scripture: Luke 6:37 and Galatians 6:7. “I didn’t want to deface what my faith was,” he says. “So although I was in this bad place the only thing I was clinging on to was that I believed in God. “I didn’t want to let my God down.” But there was hope: at the start of 2010, Jody took to music and wrote his first song, Reflection. It was written about his best female friend Lizzy Tomlinson, who at the time was a great help to the emerging artist. February 13 that year is a stand-out date

for Jody – it’s the d musician. Singing at an op Aldershot, the rece his life. He sa from sin got from hard wo learn on the feel testoste naturall help fro “It wa “So I microphone, ‘From going to do nothin that I just got from going to make it. I’

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Jody has a web learn more abou His main web, which co his music. Visit soundclo to hear him. Jody is a regu Station Road, As visit www.jagz.c


To advertise call 01932 888417 | | January 2013

he musical roost in 2013

night as the moment he realised that he enjoys performing. Now, he writes his own songs and attempts to PICTURES: DAVID SELL/

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me, this is my life now’. “I put everything into the one thing that kept me balanced, kept me [alive], which was music.” Jody isn’t shy. As we talk, he says hello to people he knows as they pass by the café. He also doesn’t hold back about his confidence in his talent. “Having bipolar is brilliant because I honestly think that there’s no one that can write as well as me,” Jody says. “What I write when you read it, the potential behind every single lyric – considering I have no experience in singing, in guitars, in writing songs, in anything – as a pure natural raw talent, I think there is no one that’s better. “And that’s the only confidence I’ve got in myself. “My singing? I’ll let you decide. In my playing? I’ll let you decide. In my production and the way I put something together in music? I’ll let you decide – but my writing I know there is no-one better. “If I had the right people around me, I’m better than most people in the charts.”

Being a newcomer to the tough music industry is hard enough, but Jody has to battle his illness too. He admits: “I’m trying to write music and struggling with day-to-day health issues, and it’s not much to anybody else but even to the point where I’m sitting down and someone tells me something and I don’t like it I’ve got to control myself not to say what my bipolar wants to say. “I’ve got to remember that I’m a Christian at the end of the day.” What does Jody hope 2013 will bring? “I’d like to be recognised for writing music,” he says. “I’ve written my own music, I’ve got my own genre which I call life acoustics, and it helps me.” He’s already got some recognition from Twitter. He browses the site and, if he sees someone feeling down, he’ll send them one of his songs to listen to. “I want people to get something out of the music. I’m not going to send you a song about happiness if you’re not in a happy place,” he explained. He adds: “We all have mental health problems, even if we don’t admit it.” Jagz has helped out Jody a lot, as he explained: “They are the hub of Ascot for music. They’ve given me opportunities,” and added: “If it wasn’t for [owner] Graham and Jagz, I wouldn’t be doing as well for myself.” It’s not just music that has kept Jody alive, but his faith. When he first moved to Ascot, he lived with his friend’s mum, Denise McDonald. Jody calls her “my saviour” at that time in his life. The relationship between the pair was special. “She’d treat me like I was normal, which I needed,” he says. “She’d been a rock to me, she’d been the most amazing woman, like a second mum to me at that time. She was the help that I didn’t get from doctors.” During that time Jody hit a blip, he got caught up in the wrong things for a few days and tried to commit suicide again. He ran in to the church he attended as a youngster. He sat in a corner, playing his guitar. He recalls: “I don’t deserve the faith I have. I don’t deserve a God that’s understanding... He’s not a nice God, he’s a fair God. “It’s fair because of consequences. We have consequences. Not always your own consequences. My faith has developed and got stronger, and kept me alive, it kept me going. “Without God in my life, and without music in my life I’d be nothing. Full stop.” Jody has had a difficult life with many burnt bridges and disappointments, but he has sage words of advice that he’s learnt through the tough times: “Your mindset and your faith is what can help you build bridges.” He’s certainly worth tuning in for.


v Laughter at Lower Earley EXPECT plenty of tricks and a barrel of laughs early next month as two top entertainers come to town. Tony Vino and Steve Legg will visit Lower Earley Baptist church on Saturday, February 2 as they bring a unique mix of comedy and magic. The Tricks ‘N’ Laughs night begins at 7.30pm and everyone is welcome. Tickets cost £7.50 for individuals in advance. Special family tickets (two adults and up to three aged under 14) cost £15. v To book, call (0118) 935 3598 or

v Concert aids Kent House A LOCAL band helped raise money for the Duchess of Kent House, and has been given a certificate to thank them for their help. Trinity Concert Band performed at the ASDA store in Lower Earley on Thursday, December 20 with members of the charity there to collect. The event raised £547.73 for the Duchess of Kent House charity, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. v

v Hart opens a foodbank A new outlet for the Hart Foodbank opened at St Barnabas Church, Darby Green, last month just in time for Christmas. County Councillor, Adrian Collett and Mayor of Yateley, Andy Whitaker cut the ribbon as local volunteers watched. The project has been set up by St Barnabas Church, Darby Green nearly Yateley. Rector, Mike Saunders said: “We have been working closely with churches from Yateley and the surrounding area for the last few months, to pull the project together. “They have provided food and volunteers to make this possible and we are pleased to provide a home for it here at St Barnabas Church.” The scheme works on a voucher system. The Foodbank opens Tuesdays to Thursdays and donations of non-perishable food are welcome.


News focus

January 2013 | | To advertise call 01932 888417

If your resolution is to get fit, here’s a fish Have you vowed to turn over a new leaf this New Year? You need help! STEVE CURTIS finds out how one woman can do just that


The energetic homepage to Fitfish’s website sets the scene for a company that aims to help you get fit mind, body and soul The company was founded in October 2010, with the website launched in February 2011 and the first fitness retreat held over Easter 2011. Gaynor had the confirmation she needed to set up Fitfish when she was given money to set up the company and sacked from her job over the same weekend. “I’ve never had a doubt it was the right thing,” she explains, adding: “it’s really scary financially” as Fitfish tries to crack the market and make steady profit. The company now holds weekly Fitfish ‘praise-aerobics’ classes at Greyfriars church on Thursday evenings. “We have people from lots of

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6 5

3 3 4 6

7 7 2


4 5

5 3 2 2 1 1 5 4

Steve Vaughan-Turner



5 7

different churches come,” she explained. The sessions involve traditional and contemporary songs, exercise and words from God. It’s not just exercise that concerns Gaynor, though. It’s nutrition that is also something that she feels needs to be changed. “If you’re going to see an 18 film in a cinema you’d probably find out what it was about before you went to see it; and you wouldn’t just pick a magazine off the top shelf at the newsagent – yet with food and exercise and stuff we just happily go along with the world and what’s put on our plate, literally, and a lot of man-made stuff which God never intended for us to eat.”


© 2011 Syndicated Puzzles, Inc.

TRADITIONAL New Year’s Resolution is to promise yourself you will shape up – and a local fitness company promises to help you do just that – and at your own pace. Fitfish, which was founded by Gaynor Burton, provides fitness classes and retreats for those who want to be physically, emotionally and spiritually fit. Gaynor has spent more than 10 years working with large charities, councils and sports professionals and has worked hard to inspire people to engage in physical activity for their own health and to raise money for charity. She is, as well as being Director of Fitfish, a personal trainer and nutritional adviser, and has lost three stone herself. She explained: “I’d always been fairly sporty but not massively into fitness. I was quite overweight as a child and a teenager, in my 20s I went travelling and I put on a lot of weight and reached a point where I just knew I had to do something about it. “Gradually over the years I got fitter and lost weight but initially I lost weight in a worldly way. I did a slimming club. I got a bit obsessed with it and lost a bit too much weight. “God wasn’t in the centre of it and ended up putting on a bit of weight again. The next time I gave it over to God a bit more.”

“We shouldn’t be just following the world. 2% of people were obese in 1972 and now 25% of people are obese and its something as Christians we need to be going the other way we shouldn’t just be following the world so I’m passionate about helping people who struggle with weight and no condemnation at all, I just want to give them the space and opportunity.” Fitfish member work together as a team, battling the worldly eating patterns and are travelling on their journey together. As part of the journey, the organisation has launched a new feature called Plate of Plenty, a personalised daily food planner based on your individual requirements. The online form will need personal information like height, weight, and a target, among other things, and will use the information in a formula to produce an individual food plan for a charge. “I’ve got lots of formulas and lots of knowledge and experience that goes into a spreadsheet and then comes out with how much of each type of food that person should eat,” explained Gaynor. Part of the Fitfish attraction is the special fitness retreats that are on offer, with trips across the UK as well as journeys to Turkey, Greece and Austria. There’s one Winter retreat being held from January 26 in Austria. The company is also offering a directory on their website called ‘localFit’, which contains Christian fitness services which are available across the UK. v For more information about Fitfish, log on to

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They keep changing the order of service, so to be on the safe side, I stay kneeling throughout!


To advertise call 01932 888417 | | January 2013

v Church prays on A BRACKNELL church has begin 40 days of prayer this month as it seeks to live by a Bible verse. Kerith Community Church is participating in 40 days of prayer in order to “pray continually”, as 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says. Church leader Simon Benham wrote on his blog: “One of my goals for 2013 is to help every one of us to get closer to God in prayer. “One way we’re doing that is by beginning the year with 40 days of prayer and fasting.” The challenge started on January 9 and runs until February 13.

v Friendly pies A PIE, a few pints and a chat are on the menu for retired people in the Wokingham Borough. The Link Visiting scheme has set up a Pie and Pint Club which brings together retired men and women for a relaxing lunch. The lunches start at noon and there are three groups that meet across the Wokingham Borough. v If you want to be a part of the club, give your name, address and telephone number to Mike at The Link Visiting office. Contact (0118) 979 8019 or email


Building up Sierra Leone pupils A BRACKNELL-based church is helping a church in Sierra Leone – by raising funds to renovate its own premises. Easthampstead Baptist Church are in the process of fund-raising to redevelop parts of its complex, and have pledged to give 10% of the money raised to the Dorothy Springer Trust. The Trust was set up by Dr Abs Dumbuya, a Sierra Leone native who came to England to study. Abs had polio in Sierra Leone at the age of 5, and had both legs amputated. He joined Easthampstead Baptist Church while on his studies, and discovered that a woman from his homeland, Dorothy Springer, had been funding his education since the move.

She died, and EBC’s senior minister Chris Porter explained: “Abs then felt God calling him to go back to Sierra Leone to be used to provide for young people in Sierra Leone what he had here.” Abs’ return saw the birth of the Dorothy Springer Trust which works with disabled children out in the African country. The Trust provides scholarships for education in IT, which leads to jobs for the young people it supports with the help of the church. Easthampstead Baptist Church has supported the Trust fin the past, by supplying items including book bags, school equipment, benches, and even desks. The church has also sent out members of

its congregation to visit Abs and see what their money is doing for the Newtown area. Easthampstead Baptist Church is continuning to refurbish its buildings and its latest project is estimated to cost £20,000. As part of its fundraising, the church will donate 10% of its income to the Trust, blessing others in the process. And, as Chris explained, the support won’t end when the refurbishment has finished. Chris explained: “We will continue to support Abs and the Trust.” Abs is currently a member of Regent Road Baptist Church, which is the oldest Baptist Church in Africa. v STEVE CURTIS

Youth group know whodunit MEMBERS of Finchampstead’s Contrast Youth Group provided festive entertainment with a difference for local folk in the village’s Memorial Hall. Taking place on Saturday, December 8, the young people demonstrated their versatility in song and dance including a performance by Hotwire, and also drama with a modern-day nativity and a Cluedo-style whodunit. Youth leader Cathy Clayton watched the action from the wings, and during the interval hot food was provided

courtesy of youth-group helper Elisabeth Tracey. The Revd Julie Ramsbottom, rector for the Parish of Finchampstead & California, praised the hard work of the Youth Group, their leader and helpers. “It was a lovely evening out, with superb entertainment and fantastic food,” she said. Entry was free, but £230 was raised on the night and went towards youth group projects and the sponsorship of a child in Thailand’s Mercy Centre.

A scene from the Contrast Youth Group’s Christmas whodunit, part of a night that helped raise money to sponsor a child in Thailand

ALL-DAY BIBLE CONFERENCE Saturday, 9 March 2013

09:30 to 17:00 (registration from 08:30)

HEARING THE PROPHETIC VOICE! Conference rate: £75 Early bird rate: £50 (until 16 February 2013) INCLUDES: ◊ complimentary copy of NRSV Bible ◊ lunch ◊ supper ◊ refreshments

To register, or for more information, visit:



Family circle

January 2013 | | To advertise 01932 888417 vertise email | | Octobercall 2012

v Family Circle pedition aims to tter future for all Prayer Café celebrates birthday


v Ministry

“You can’t get a picture unless A central Reading café has you try it out,” she said. “It speaks marked its seventh birthday and for itself once you come along.” wants to continue to reach out. Over the years, thousands The monthly Prayer Café at of prayer requests have been Greyfriars Church has been able received, and the hope for the to pray for thousands and served café is to spread out across the thousands of free cups of coffee. country. All are welcomed into the In fact, the Café has been so church for free refreshments successful that River Church, including homemade cakes. Maidenhead and Englefield Its slogan is “come in for a Green, have adopted the idea prayer or a listening ear”. and are now running their own A monthly Prayer Stop then cafés. takes place the week Friday after “It’s the best way of worship the café, with the team inviting I’ve ever found,” said Gill. visitors into Friar Street church etcetera, but like buying vjust For small more things information about so they can see it for themselves. through Easyfundraising and nominating the Café visit www.greyfriars. Gill Beard, café leader, said futures can have real orimpact email that the events welcomesCreating Better – and we can all do that.” everyone, and encourages other Creating Better futures’ direct link to the STEVE CURTIS groups to see the café in action. African country is through four volunteers, v Church closure the leader of whom is mother of a member of Reading family Church. Beverley runs the trust from abroad. Theaorganisation is currently AFTER 120 years of worship, held a final service looking at St John’s mbers of the Creating Better Futures team for personalFarley one-to-one sponsorship congregation has bid farewell Hill chapel.The Loddon (top) some of the children they have helped of children, Reach at a cost of £15 per month. to its chapel. Benefice service marked of this provide theamoney The trip was funded themselves, at aDecember travel Sponsorship On Sunday, 30, the endwill of more than for the childcentury to stay in have supplies t of £1,500 each. Thethe team is planning to Reach church at Loddon ofschool, worship at the site. and live comfortably. vel again in 2014. vwill Installation Currently, the group is looking after The next biggest event be sponsored ticipation in the Reading half marathon, in 79 orphans, but there are a further 83 orphans seeking help. rch 2013. church or being organisation is Becca said: “There areAlots of little things well as rector of NEW rector has been v If you, your As interested inStsponsoring a child, can do individually and as groups to help Paul’s, he will also or look after installed to St Paul’s Church in getting involved in the Creating e funds, awareness and better children’s St Nicholas Church in Emmbook Wokingham. Better Futures charity, chris@ s. Village Hallemail and Woosehill Father Richard Lamey took up or visit Many people in the uK don’t want to Community Church, an LEP the post at a special service held mmit to big things due time, finance, with the Methodist Church. onto November 28.


k of self-penned

rch, Caversham, st 40 years for

n side of faith.


re this is the reat weekend?

St John’s Farley Hill bows out

St Paul’s welcomes Father Richard

v Anniversary

Refurbishment for 175th anniversary

A moment of worship from the recent Mass of Thanksgiving for a successful refurbishment of St James Church in Reading A celebratory anniversary mass at St James Church in Reading was held last month as the congregation witnessed the laying of the foundation stone. The building’s designer, Augustus Welby Pugin, was commissioned when he was just 25, and he also designed St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham and, most notably, the Palace of Westminster and the tower that houses Big Ben. The site was bought and donated to the church by James Wheble of Woodley. 175 years later and the church has undergone a massive restoration of its building, keeping, to Augustus Welby Pugin’s vision. To commemorate the end of the refurbishment, parishioners from St James’ were joined by the newly Appointed Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Revd Philip Egan, priests from throughout the diocese, and ministers of other Christian churches, for a joyful Mass of Thanksgiving, held on Friday, December 14. In his sermon the Bishop spoke of “175 years of sacramental miracles and signs” in the church, which he described as an “oasis of peace” in Reading’s bustling town centre. He contrasted the religious landscape of Victorian England, when the vast majority of the population were practising Christians, with the recent Census figures showing that faith has declined markedly in the last decade.

Following his sermon the Bishop blessed the new Ambry (a cabinet for the sacred oils), new artwork in the Lady Chapel and the magnificent new hanging Crucifix above the altar. This, like the artwork, was designed by Guilherme Marques, a Brazilian artist who was living in the parish when the restoration was being planned. The Bishop also thanked the architect John Radice who has overseen the restoration, the Diocesan Surveyor Sean Hayes and Robert Bottomley, the managing director of the main contractor, Claude Fenton. Following the Mass the congregation were invited to a reception held at nearby St Laurence’s, one of Reading’s oldest churches, where the Bishop talked to parishioners informally and all had the chance to meet old and new friends at the end of a memorable evening. v To see the newly restored church in all its glory, visitors are welcome every day between 9am and 4pm. v You can find out more about the history of St James’, and the Catholic revival in Reading, in the new book Reformation, Revolution and Rebirth, by John and Lindsay Mullaney, which is available in Waterstone’s, Reading Museum and WordPlay book and toy shop in Caversham. Lindsay Mullaney

v Moving on

Rector Dan makes Easter move A RECTOR will be starting afresh this coming Easter as he moves on. The Revd Dan Tyndall will be taking up the post of Vicar of St Mary Redcliffe in the Diocese of Bristol in April and will lead his final service in Caversham on Easter Sunday, March 31. He has held his current post at the Parish of Caversham Thameside and Mapledurham for four years and was previously vicar at St Nicolas Earley.

He was approached over the summer and asked if he would consider applying for the role. Before applying, he spoke to senior figures of the Church of England to gauge their reactions. With their support he made a successful application. As most parishes expect a typical service of more than 15 years, the Bishop of Bristol has agreed to a five-month notice period rather than three. The Bishop of Reading, the Rt Revd Andrew Proud,

is helping lead the search for Dan’s successor so they can be appointed swiftly. A statement on the parish’s website says: “Please pray for [Dan] and his family as they begin to think about moving, for the parish of St Mary Redcliffe and for this parish as we absorb this news and begin to take stock of what it means for us.” Dan’s installation as Vicar of St Mary Redcliffe will be on Saturday, April 20 at 4.30 pm. STEVE CURTIS


To advertise call 01932 888417 | | January 2013

Breakfast talk for Ark Royal commander The aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal has always had a special place in the hearts of those interested in British naval history. For some, its decommissioning and the decision to sell it for scrap marked a moment of national mourning. On Saturday, February 16, there will be a chance to hear what life was like on board, when its former Captain speaks at the Reading Churches Men’s Group (RCMG) breakfast in Sonning. Commodore Adrian Nance retired from the Royal Navy in 2006, after a 33-year career which spanned service in four war zones, the command of seven warships and several senior positions at the Ministry of Defence. Today, as Chairman and CEO of Wings Like Eagles, he

provides responsive helicopter and logistics services to those affected by natural disasters in southern Africa. Under the title Life on the Ark, Adrian’s talk to the RCMG group will emphasise the importance of integrity, duty and teamwork in our lives. These attributes, he argues, are as essential to our responsibilities to our fellow human beings as it is to professionalism in our career. The breakfast event starts at 8.30am and will be held at the Reading Blue Coat School in Sonning Lane. The cost is £7.50 a head, with cheques made payable to “Reading Churches Men’s Group”. Bookings should be made by contacting John Broady at 45 Kings Road, Caversham, Reading RG4 8DS, or by calling John on (0118) 954 3879. CHRIS CARTER


CRE goes to Bath

A lively Sunday night special PEOPLE of all ages turned up to enjoy a Christmas coffee and a cake and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere at Starbucks in Reading’s Coffee Corner. Singer Naomi Walker opened up the Sunday Night Live event held on December 9, singing a mix of traditional Christmas songs with some contemporary ones thrown in. The event returns on Sunday, January 13. The guest singer will be Matt Dixey and the fun starts at 7.30pm. For details, visit WORDS & PICTURE: STEVE CURTIS

AN EVENT dubbed the Ideal Homes Show for churches has gone west for the New Year. CRE West – the Christian Resources Exhibition – is opening at the University of West England in Bath on Wednesday, January 23 and Thursday, January 24. At the two-day show, visitors can explore 150 exhibitors, with everything on offer from puppet suppliers to clericial vestments, with church furniture, books, and sound systems also on offer. CRE is more than just an exhibition; it’s an event with seminars and workshops led by gifted communicators. There is also an opportunity for you to enjoy performances from theatre companies, worship leaders, comedians and many more. Organisers say that a day visiting CRE is time well invested. Make the most of your day at CRE by soaking up music, theatre and entertainment. Browse in the exhibition bookshop and relax and meet friends in the Toybox Café. And if you can’t make the Bath event, then pencil in Tuesday, May 14-Friday, May 17 for the 2013 CRE exhibition at Esher in Surrey. v For more details, log on to www.


Europe’s Leading Christian Resources Exhibition returns to Bristol UWE 23th & 24th January 2013 • The best in Christian resources • A comprehensive programme of seminars • The latest multimedia equipment

• Entertaining Christian theatre and music • An extensive book and resource store • Premier of new Christian Films

For continually updated information and to buy tickets go to



January 2013 | | To advertise call 01932 888417

How Hewetts can help you


or nearly 120 years, people have been turning to Hewetts Solicitors when they have needed help and advice. The Reading-based company aims to provide expert legal advice in specialist areas as well as providing value for money. Efficient, friendly and helpful, Hewetts can help you whether you are an individual or representing a business. Hewetts understands that it can be difficult to find a solicitor that you can trust – so it is proud that 80% of its business comes from existing clients and referrals. Every client is offered a confidential service from a range of lawyers who have the experience, expertise and commitment to help with complex business transactions and simple legal issues. Advice for individuals includes a will writing service, full probate services, help with arranging legal care for the elderly, and other family issues. It can also help with boundary disputes, bankruptcy, road traffic offences and employment issues. For charities and churches, Hewetts have experts who can help with charity law and church law, including employment matters and trustee obligations. It can also help with acquisition and disposal of

land, compliance issues and religious discrimination issues. Hewetts has also acted in Anglican Ecclesiastical property law transactions and have assisted Parochial Church Councils where property needs to be vested in the Diocesan authority as custodian Trustee. Businesses also benefit from Hewetts comprehensive range of services: it is experts in employment law, company law and directors’ service contracts, as well as helping business with specialist areas such as franchise agreements, copyright and trade marking, company and partnership disputes and commercial property. Hewetts is a name you can trust and it is a member of the Association of Christian Law Firms. It is also active in the local community, sponsors of various charities, including Christian Community Action and Empower, a free service to the community providing financial support for community projects including advice on counselling relationship breakdown, bereavement and other similar life changing issues. If you want more information, or would like some help on a legal matter, you can contact Hewetts by logging on to, calling the company on (0118) 957 5337 or visiting its offices at 55-57 London Street, Reading. It offers free initial advice in most areas.

The Royals’ Prince At Reading FC with Steve Prince

Keeping the faith and staying strong together


012 was a year of remarkable success for the Royals. Only for the second time in our long history we won promotion into the Premier League after one of the most amazing winning runs ever seen in the Championship. Our start to Premier League life has been tough and harsh. The last-minute goal for Manchester City by Gareth Barry – where he scored after jumping on Nicky Shorey’s shoulders – kind of summed up how close the boys have come to success, only to be robbed of what they have deserved. We can complain endlessly about what we deserve in life and the unjust decisions that appear to always go against us, OR we can re-group and stand to fight another day. I often refer to the philosophy behind what is being built at Reading FC and a substantial part of this is quickly putting the past behind and moving on to the next game. As the old saying in football goes, you are only as good as your last game. WINDOW We have entered a New Year and with it the transfer window opens. The pressure is on to find those footballers who may hold the key ingredient to sustaining our Premier League future. When a football club gets a new owner and there are stories of potential extra funding it must be a nightmare dealing with agents who are looking to exploit any windfall that might come their way. Once again philosophy and values are very important to Reading. Any incoming player must fit the mentality and values long since established around the club. It must be tough to find people who are the ‘right fit’. So, it seems patience and a long-term view are important. Surely this is important for all of us as we face a world with such deep, ongoing uncertainty. The biblical principle of building our lives and relationships on good foundations remains as wise and sensible as when it was spoken by Jesus. The last two home games have brought four points and a slight change in formation and game plan is bringing the results we need. As Xn went to press, we have already signed one new player, Daniel Carrico. He has joined from Sporting Lisbon and so the minirevolution is under way. The are rumours of other signings and so as the media bandwagon speculates, we can only wait and see, watching developments as they unfold and waiting to see what is confirmed by the club. For us supporters it’s going to be a crucial few months for us to stand behind the team and vocalise our support. We can be like a new signing ourselves as we keep the faith and stay strong together! Come on URZ!! Steve Prince is Reading FC Chaplain AND THE Pastor of Brookside Church


To advertise call 01932 888417 | | January 2013


v Thames Valley Churches Football League For the latest on the league, log on to

High scoring games keep title race wide open v November 3 With the majority of teams taking a week off, Brookside Saint Laurence had an opportunity to gain ground on the league leaders Bethel United, but faced a tough game against fellow title rivals Kerith Community Church. Buoyed by their successful start to the season, Brookside started brightly and took an early lead through Ben Sheppard. Oli Chambers beat the offside trap soon after to make it 2-0. Ben Sheppard managed to make it 3-2 with the last kick of the first half; the Kerith defence hesitated slightly when dealing with a hopeful through ball allowing Sheppard to race through for his second of the game. In the second half, a cool Lee Berry finish gave Kerith a surprise 4-3 lead, one which looked to have secured all three points. However, Brookside showed their resolve and secured a 5-4 victory in a pulsating match. With no other league games taking place, a selection of Greyfriars FC players took part in a charity tournament at the Madejski Dome, to raise money for an orphanage in Kenya; in fact the team were defending the trophy they won in May. After three league games, the Greyfriars had secured 1-0 and 4-0 victories and, although they suffered a 1-0 defeat in the third, qualified easily for the semi-finals. Fate dictated that the team must face their vanquishers in the semifinal but they turned the tables, holding out for a well-earned 0-0 draw before winning 2-1 on penalties to seal a final spot. Against arguably more talented individual players, Greyfriars approached the final in a disciplined and organised manner, and breaking sharply and swiftly, ran in 2-0 winners to scoop the cup. v November 10 Jamie Carstairs got a hat-trick as his West Reading CFC side beat Finchampstead Baptist Church 4-1 and reclaimed second place in the table.

West Reading Reserves secured their first win of the season over an out-of-sorts Greyfriars FC. The Reserves took the lead midway through the first half. Despite Greyfriars continual efforts to score an equaliser, the game was finished off with 10 minutes to go; an incisive counterattack found Gareth Turk again taking advantage of a high defensive line to break through and score his second goal of the game and leave the final score 3-1. Reigning champions Tilehurst Albion took advantage of rivals drawing by thrashing Reading Saints 9-0. Both Steve Hannah and Danny Lawrence hit hat-tricks. Leaders Bethel United faced a tough test against third placed Kerith Community Church, and the game ended all square at 1-1. Brookside Saint Laurence visited a tough Wycliffe Wanderers team determined to remain unbeaten. Kieran Knight and Ben Sheppard scored for Brookside but Wycliffe’s Michael Roberts and Neil Healy ensured they earned a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw. v December 1 Wycliffe Wanderers potentially ended Kerith Community Church’s search for their first league title with a 6-4 victory. With Kerith again dropping points, other teams took their opportunities and kept the status-quo at the top of the table. A Fernando Li hat-trick and John Hewett goal gave leaders Bethel United a convincing 4-0 victory over Finchampstead.

FIXTURES KICK OFF 10.30am on Saturdays v January 19

W Rdg Reserves v Finchamp’ Baptist Wycliffe Wanderers v Norreys Tilehurst Albion v West Reading Greyfriars FC v Bethel United Kerith Community v B’side St Laurence

v February 2 Reading Saints West Reading Bethel United B’side St Laurence Kerith


v Wycliffe Wanderers v Norreys v Tilehurst Albion v Finchamp’ Baptist v Greyfriars FC

v February 9 W Rdg Reserves Wycliffe Norreys Tilehurst Albion Finchamp’ Baptist

v Reading Saints v West Reading v Bethel United v Kerith v Greyfriars FC

v February 16

W’ Rdg Reserves v Wycliffe Wanderers Bethel United v West Reading B’side St Laurence v Reading Saints Kerith v Norreys Finchamp’ Baptist v Tilehurst Albion

Brookside Saint Laurence taught Greyfriars an important lesson about taking chances. Despite starting as the brighter team, Greyfriars failed to convert several decent chances before four quick goals from Brookside Saint Laurence took the game away from them with goals from Oli Chambers, Steve Magness and Ben Sheppard and a Courtney Isaacs penalty.The game ended 6-1. Tilehurst Albion kept themselves in the hunt to defend their title with a 9-0 victory over West Reading Reserves. Steve Hannah excelled scoring four goals with others coming from Lewis Wigginton, Ben Wheeler, Danny Lawrence and Josh Baines (2). Reading Saints continued their successful start to the season with a 4-0 victory over basement side Norreys. v December 8 Bethel United took advantage of hosting one of the two games to be played on the first Saturday in December by beating both the frost and West Reading CFC Reserves. In the process they extended their lead at the top of the table to six points, but it was was not as comfortable a victory as the two sides’ league positions would have suggested. The Reserves pressed for an equaliser in what turned out to be a great game of football but were finally beaten late on when man-of-the-match Hewett grabbed his second to leave the final score 3-1. Wycliffe Wanderers’ fine recent run of results continued and they moved up to third in the table as they ran out 5-1 winners over Greyfriars FC, but the match was not as onesided as the scoreline suggests. Greyfriars’ goalkeeper Rob Tebby, returning after injury, made some crucial saves to keep his side in it at the interval, including a penalty save from Neil Healy. v Get the latest reports and league tables from

league TABLE

PHILMAR CUP TABLE After three matches, the top two clubs in each group qualify for Philmar Cup and the bottom two go on to compete for the Colin Lowery Trophy. GROUP 1 P W D L F A Pts 1 Tilehurst Albion 3 2 1 0 14 2 7 2

St. Pauls 3 2 1 0 10 3 7


Reading Saints 3 1 0 2 3 9 3


West Reading Reserves 3 0 0 3 1 14 0

Group 2 P W D L F A Pts 1 Wycliffe Wanderers 2 1 1 0 5 1 4 2

Bethel United 2 1 1 0 3 2 4


South Ealing 2 1 0 1 6 3 3


Finchampstead 2 0 0 2 1 9 0

Group 3 P W D L F A Pts 1 West Reading CFC 3 2 0 1 23 6 6 2 Kerith Community Church 3 2 0 1 19 7 6 3

St Andrews 3 1 1 1 9 11 4


Norreys 3 0 1 2 9 36 1

Group 4 P W D L F A Pts 1 Brookside St Laurence 3 3 0 0 14 6 9 2

Carrey Corinthians 2 1 0 1 7 8 3

3 Rdg Community Church 3 1 0 2 9 11 3 4

Greyfriars 2 0 0 2 4 9 0

v December 22 results

Carey Corinthians

- Greyfriars FC

v December 15 results

Bethel United

- Finchampstead Baptist

v November 24 results S’ Ealing & Brentford OFF Wycliffe Wanderers St Andrews 3 - 0 Kerith Community Tilehurst Albion 7 - 0 West Reading Reserves Brookside St Laurence 4 - 2 Rdg Community Church West Reading 15 - 2 Norreys St Pauls, Ealing 3 - 1 Reading Saints

v October 27 results S’ Ealing & Brentford Carey Corinthians W Reading Reserves St Andrews Wycliffe Wanderers Greyfriars FC Kerith Community Tilehurst Albion

5 - 1 Finchampstead Baptist 4 - 3 Rdg Community Church 0 - 5 St Pauls, Ealing 4 - 4 Norreys 1 - 1 Bethel United 1 - 5 Brookside St Laurence 2 - 1 West Reading 5 - 0 Reading Saints



Jamie Carstairs West Reading

1 Bethel United 10 4 1 0 13 6 4 1 0 14 6 15 26

Ben Findlay Kerith Community Church 15


2 Brookside St Laurence FC 8 3 1 0 17 8 3 1 0 18 5 22 20

Neil Healy Wycliffe Wanderers



Wycliffe Wanderers 9 4 1 0 22 12 2 0 2 14 11 13 19

Steve Hannah Tilehurst Albion



West Reading 8 4 0 1 20 6 2 0 1 9 5 18 18


Tilehurst Albion 7 3 0 1 24 5 2 0 1 13 4 28 15


Kerith Community 8 1 0 1 10 4 3 1 2 30 15 21 13


Reading Saints 9 0 1 4 9 28 3 0 1 13 8 -14 10

Ben Sheppard Brookside St Laurence FC 9 Fernando Ii Bethel United


Matt Blake Reading Saints


Courtenay Isaacs Brookside St Laurence FC 7


Greyfriars FC 9 2 0 4 21 14 0 0 3 3 10 0 6

Ross Thompson Wycliffe Wanderers



Finchampstead Baptist 9 2 0 4 11 20 0 0 3 1 22 -30 6

Jeff Hallett Greyfriars FC



West Reading Reserves 9 1 0 0 3 1 0 1 7 8 46 -36 4

Gary Woodward West Reading



Norreys 8 0 0 4 2 25 0 0 4 6 20 -37 0

barts grill & restaurant

Reading’s newest and most exciting Mediterranean restaurant is an ideal choice for your Christmas party or corporate event

Matthew Whittle Kerith Community Church 5

2-for-1 dining offer

Until January 31. See for details and menus

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20 January 2013 | | To advertise call 01932 888417

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

Wednesday, January 9 GORING – Canterbury Room of St Thomas’ Church. Letter writing for persecuted Christians. Led by Judith Aguda, the group follows advice of Open Doors UK. 11am.

Thursday, January 10 CROWTHORNE – St James’ Church Centre. Mothers’ Union Meeting, Speaker: Sister Jenny Colby on Church Army projects. Afternoon tea follows the talk. 2pm. Details: (0118) 973 3111

Saturday, January 12 READING – RISC, London Street. Free Training: Creating Impact through Campaigns. Event to raise awareness and create change for organisations. 10am-3pm. Details: rachel.miller@rva.

Sunday, January 13 LOWER EARLEY – Address from church. Youth Alpha course by Trinity Church, for school years 11-13. 12.30-2.30pm. Runs weekly. Details: Suz Powell suz. READING – Starbucks, Buttermarket. Sunday Night Live with special guest singer Matt Dixley. 7.30pm. Details: (0118) 950 5661. READING – St Bartholomew’s Church, St Bartholomew’s Road. Prayer Cafe. 4pm. All welcome.

Tuesday, January 15 SANDHURST – St Michael’s Church, Lower Church Road. Building up our Christian Faith: a series of talks. The Bishop of Reading, the Rt Revd Andrew Proud, presents: Fully Alive – In The Image of God. 8pm.

Wednesday, January 16 LOWER EARLEY – Trinity Church, Chalfont Close. Youth Alpha course, for school years 7-10. Runs weekly. Details: Suz Powell READING – Town Hall. Winter Watch Workshop. Part of Warm Homes Healthy People

project. Held reduce levels of people suffering from health problems during cold winter months. 10am-12pm. Details: (0118) 939 0900 or www. READING – Henley Business School, University of Reading, Whiteknights Campus. New Year Lecture: Christianity, capitalism and the poor – where’s the good news? Given by Loretta Minghella, Director of Christian Aid. Free entry. 7pm. Booking essential. Details:

the service. 6.30pm. HENLEY-ON-THAMES – St Michael’s. Service for Christian Unity. 6.30pm.

Monday, January 21 SOUTHCOTE – Southcote Mission, Southcote Lane. Reading Aglow meetings: Who Will You Be When Life Happens? by Jo-anne Elliott. Light refreshments served. All welcome. £3 on the door. 7.30pm. Details: or jo-anne.elliott@readingaglow. READING – Reading Central Salvation Army, venue TBC. Freedom In Christ course launch (continues for 14 weeks). Details: www.

Tuesday, January 22

READING – Bridge Hall, Oxford Road. Oasis Community Cafe: refreshments, books, toys and colouring for children. 10.30am-12.30pm. Free. Details: 07881 487163.

CROWTHORNE – St Mary & St John’s Parish Centre, Billing Avenue. Tea and Chat. Pop in, relax with a cup of tea and cake, and a friendly chat. 2-3.30pm Details: (0118) 973 0133. READING – Bill’s Restaurant. Foundations course hosted by Reading Family Church. Covers repentance, spiritual warfare, being active in church and more. Details: (0118) 933 7961

Friday, January 18

Wednesday, January 23

Thursday, January 17

READING – Outside Marks & Spencer, Broad Street. Salvation Army Retired Band playing. 11am-12.30pm.

READING – St Barnabas, Elm Road. Table top sale for Creating Better Futures. 10am-2pm.

Saturday, January 19

Thursday, January 24

READING – All Saints Church, Downshire Square. Reading Central Salvation Army presents a concert by the International Staff Songsters. 7pm. £10, £7 concessions. Details: (0118) 954 3707 WOKINGHAM – The Cornerstone, Norreys Avenue. All Saints presents a quiz night with fish and chip supper. 7pm. £11, includes first drink. Prizes for best and worst team. In aid of The Children’s Society. Details: (0118) 978 1044.

READING – Bridge Hall, Oxford Road. Oasis Community Cafe: refreshments, books, toys and colouring for children. 10.30am-12.30pm. Free. Details: 07881 487163. WOKINGHAM – Wokingham Library. Walking the Ancient landscape. Local authors Harriet Vered and Mick Harper demonstrate how Ancient Britons navigated their environment. £2 charge. 6.30pm.

Sunday, January 20

Friday, January 25

FINCHAMPSTEAD – St James’ Church Centre. Bring and Buy Sale following both 9.30 and 11am Services unwanted gifts, toiletries, cakes, books etc. Proceeds to the Church Flower Fund. Details: (0118) 973 2069. CROWTHORNE –Baptist Church, High Street. Service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. 6.30pm. READING – All Saints’ Church, Downshire Square. Service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Service led by Michael Penny. Refreshments and fellowship enjoyed after

TILEHURST – Methodist Church Hall, School Road. Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime by Triangle Players. 7.45pm. Tickets: £6 adults, £5 children/OAPs. Ffrom C&G Newsagents or (0118) 942 7431.

Saturday, January 26 CAVERSHAM – St Peter Caversham. In returning and rest. Learn simple tools and techniques to help relax, pray and be peaceful. 2.45pm. Future dates

Calendar February 23 and March 30. EASTHAMPSTEAD – Easthampstead Baptist Church. Unlocking the Growth conference with Michael Harvey. Suitable for any who want to see their church grow. £15 per person, includes lunch and refreshments. 9.30am3.30pm. Details: 01344 487744 or READING – ARCADE House, 11 Glebe Road. Open Morning for Trinity Christian School. Opportunity to see the school, meet the teacher and other families involved. 10am-noon. Details: (0118) 947 0366. TILEHURST – Methodist Church Hall, School Road. Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime by Triangle Players. 3pm & 7pm. Tickets: £6, £5 children/OAPs. From C&G Newsagents or (0118) 942 7431. WOKINGHAM – Wokingham Library. A talk by the RSPB on Garden Birds. Free of charge. 10.30am.

Sunday, January 27 WOKINGHAM – Methodist Church, Rose Street. Churches Together Wokingham service to mark the week of prayer for Christian Unity. 6.30pm.

Monday, January 28 READING – Argyle Community Church, Argyle Road. Bridges: English Conversation classes. £2. Evening. Details: 07881 487163.

Thursday, January 31 READING – Bridge Hall, Oxford Road. Oasis Community Cafe. 10.30am12.30pm. Free. Details: 07881 487163.

Friday, February 1 TILEHURST – Methodist Church Hall, School Road. Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime by Triangle Players. 7.45pm. Tickets: £6 adults, £5 children/OAPs. From C&G Newsagents or (0118) 942 7431. .

Saturday, February 2 CROWTHORNE – Parish Church of St John the Baptist. Children’s Chocolate Bingo: play bingo and enjoy some chocolate treats. 2.30pm4pm. £2. Details: www. crowthorneparishchurch. or (01344) 761521. LOWER EARLEY – Lower Earley Baptist Church. Tony Vino and Steve Legg. Two of the UKs top Christian entertainers join

forces to bring a unique mix of comedy and magic for all. 7.30pm. Tickets £7.50 advance. Family tickets £15. Details: (0118) 935 3598 or READING – Argyle Community Church, Argyle Road. SatCaf: Saturday morning fun for families, including games for children, papers to read and food. Free, donationswelcomed. 10.30am-12.30pm. Details: 07881 487163. READING – St Luke’s Church, Erleigh Road. Book and cake sale. 11am-noon. READING – Greyfriars Church, Friar Street. Band of the Honourable Artillery Company Charity Concert. 7pm. £8, concessions £5. Details: (0118) 951 6701 or TILEHURST – Methodist Church Hall, School Road. Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime by Triangle Players. Tickets: £6 adults, £5 children/OAPs. Available from C&G Newsagents or (0118) 942 7431. 3pm & 7pm. WHITCHURCH – Hardwick House, Whitchurchon-Thames. The Hardwick Lecture: The Transformation of Government: Julian Rose tackles dilemma exploring potential of creating breakaway self-governing communities. 6.45pm. £10. Details: (0118) 984 2955.

Monday, February 4 WOODLEY – Woodley Library. Write Out Loud. Open floor event where local poets and writers are invited to read their work aloud. 7.30pm.

Thursday, February 7 READING – Bridge Hall, Oxford Road. Oasis Community Cafe: refreshments, books, toys and colouring for children. 10.30am-12.30pm. Free. Details: 07881 487163.

Saturday, February 9 READING – Argyle Community Church, Argyle Road. Jonathan Veira: the Larger Than Life tour. An evening of music from the baritone. 7.30pm. £10. Details: 07881 487163.

Sunday, February 10 READING – Starbucks, Buttermarket. Sunday Night Live with special guest singer TBC. 7.30pm. Details: (0118) 950 5661.

Wednesday, February 13 Ash Wednesday. A number of churches will hold special

v There’s more what’s on dates on our website! Log on to

services today to mark the start of Lent. Others will also be holding Lent talks. Details:

Thursday, February 14 READING – Bridge Hall, Oxford Road. Oasis Community Cafe: refreshments, books, toys and colouring for children. 10.30am-12.30pm. Free. Details: 07881 487163.

Saturday, February 16 UPPER WOOLHAMPTON – Douai Abbey. Reading Bach Choir present J.S.Bach’s St John Passion. 7.45pm. £16, concessions £14, students £8, under 16s £5. Details: 0118 947 8097 or tickets@ SONNING – Reading Blue Coat School. Reading Churches Men’s Group presents a men’s breakfast with guest speaker Commodore Adrian Nance, who served on the HMS Ark Royal. 8.30am. £7.50. Booking essential. Details: (0118) 954 3879.

Monday, February 18 SOUTHCOTE – Southcote Mission, Southcote Lane. Reading Aglow meeting with guest speaker Nusrat Sultan. All welcome. £3 on the door. 7.30pm. Details: or jo-anne.elliott@readingaglow.

Thursday, February 21 READING – Bridge Hall, Oxford Road. Oasis Community Cafe: refreshments, books, toys and colouring for children. 10.30am-12.30pm. Free. Details: 07881 487163.

Saturday, February 23 CROWTHORNE – Wellington College. St John the Baptist Church presents a Moonlight Sonata Ball. From 7.30pm. Details: or call (01344) 751353.

From Monday, February 25 Fairtrade Fortnight. Until March 10. A range of special offers and events will be run during the fortnight. Details: www.

Thursday, February 28 READING – Bridge Hall, Oxford Road. Oasis Community Cafe: refreshments, books, toys and colouring for children. 10.30am-12.30pm. Free. Details: 07881 487163.


To advertise call 01932 888417 | | January 2013

v Local services directory Xn’s services directory is an opportunity to connect local people with local businesses. We’re sure you’ll find these pages invaluable.

To advertise call Fiona on 01932 888417 or email v Driving lessons Driving Tuition. Lessons for beginners or those who are test ready. Pay as you go or get discount for block booking. Over 4 years experience. Contact Robin Gowers by txt on 07973730990 or email: robin.


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

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

v Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning Professional Carpet, Upholstery and Leather Cleaning. Trained and fully insured. Free, no obligation estimates. Call A.G Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning on (0118) 3779149 or visit www.

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

Relaxation and Meditation sessions in Reading. Monthly groups, one to one sessions, schools, business & private. Tel: 07970052844.

v Counselling Reading Counselling and Psychotherapy. Margaret Hutton Loddon Counselling & Psychology Service. Accredited counsellors, supervisors, trainers. Over 20 years experience NHS and other settings. CBT available. 07092 022294

v Maths tuition MATHS TUITION. Experienced, friendly tutor available for students in KS2-4. Boost your child’s confidence in the comfort of your own home! Contact: Liz Sawyer on 07721 090994.

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

6 MONTHS JUST £75! Every month, Xn gives you the chance to reach thousands of potential customers. Whatever service you provide, Xn has a space for you. Our service directory is your chance to reach our readers with your business. Book for 6 months for just £75 –that’s just £12.50 per month for up to 30 words, plus an insertion on our website. For details, call Fiona on 01932 888417 or email

v Construction Kingsmen Limited. Construction services, extensions, renovations, new builds, electrical, plumbing. (0118) 958 5777.

v Photography

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

v Marketing Creative thinker inspires results. • Award winning copywriting • Business development • Creative network • Mentoring Contact Hyperbole. 0118 966 6600.

v Resources

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January 2013 | | To advertise call 01932 888417

v Cinema

vForthcoming concerts

Jonathan Viera to sing

v A BASS baritone who has performed in some of the world’s best opera houses is coming to Reading next month. Jonathan Veira, who recently performed at Glyndebourne as the wicked stepfather Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola by Rossini, will switch to the slighter more intimate venue of Argyle Community Church for his visit on Saturday, February 9. This will be Argyle’s first major event with the new building (almost) complete and everyone is invited. “It’s wonderful to be able to incorporate the wide variety of music that I love to perform from Verdi and Mozart to Billy Joel, Elton John and even some Country and Western,” says Jonathan. “I love having the freedom to tell the stories of my life and faith in an open, honest – and mostly funny – way! I believe

that all this together makes my show unique.” Starting at 7.30pm, tickets are selling fast and cost £10. For more details, or to reserve yours, log on to www.

v Greyfriars Church in Reading will be hosting the Band of the Honourable Artillery Company, the Territorial Army’s premier band, for a charity concert on Saturday, February 2. The band plays an integral role in ceremonial events within the City of London and across the capital in support of the Royal Family and state visits. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to the chosen charity of the HAC Band. Tickets cost £8 or £5 for concessions and are available from Greyfriars Bookshop, by calling (0118) 951 6701, or emailing

From The Office to Middle Earth v The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (12a) Stars: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis


hat a superb film! Based on Tolkein’s novel, it describes the first part of Bilbo Baggins’ (Martin Freeman) adventure with a band of dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on a quest to reclaim their home, under the mountain of Erebor, from the dragon Smaug. Along the way we are treated to some wonderfully comical episodes, including the arrival of the dwarves at Bilbo’s house, a scene with the Trolls and Bilbo’s encounter with Gollum. There are some great action scenes (fighting the Goblins and the Orcs), add in a rousing and dramatic score and, of course, the consistently awesomely beautiful scenery of Middle Earth (aka New Zealand) and you have a hit. Unexpected Journey is set before the Lord of The Rings and is much lighter although, through the stunning use of CGI and special effects, we are introduced to Underground kingdoms, Rock Giants, Goblins, Orcs, Wargs and a strange figure called “the Necromancer”. Sir Ian Mckellen returns as Gandalf, once again the originator and organiser of the Quest. We also see Saruman (Christopher Lee) as a goodie, and are reintroduced to Galadriel (Cate Blanchett, who simply has to stand around and look serene and beautiful, which she does so well).

Moviewatch Cinema with Martin Ceaser Also making an appearance is Gollum (Andy Serkis), manic and paranoid as usual. New characters include the wizard Rhadaghast the Brown (Sylvester McCoy), the Goblin King (voiced by Barrie Humphries) and the scary Orc leader Azog (Manu Bennett). Martin Freeman is superb as Bilbo Baggins, who begins as a kind of intellectual misfit but grows through his adventures to become an accepted member of the Quest. This is only the first film in a three-part epic. The stand out quotes for me come from Bilbo “ I don’t like adventures, they make you miss dinner” and Gandalf – “I found it is the small things, everyday deeds of ordinary folk, that keeps the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps it is because I’m afraid, and he gives me courage.” This is a film about adventure, of the fight between good and evil, about self-discovery and transformation in the face of challenges and obstacles, and it’s a film about finding your way home, a theme that will continue in the next two instalments I’m sure. Tolkein fans will complain that Jackson has added, changed and lengthened the story, but the 169 minutes of this film actually passed rather quickly. Personally I can’t wait to see it again. I might even read the book.

What do you think? Have your say on our Facebook page or tweet us @xnmedia

v Pantomime

Beanstalk growing in Tilehurst MAGICAL seeds are being sown as the Triangle Players prepare to perform their annual pantomime. Based in Tilehurst, the Players are this year presenting Jack and the Beanstalk later this month. It needs little introduction: poor Jack sells his cow for some magic beans, which grow into a towering beanstalk. At the top of the giant plant lies danger … and fortune. The traditional pantomime will be packed with fun, laughter, songs and dancing and will delight families of all ages.

The group, which was established more than 65 years ago, will perform the show at Tilehurst Methodist Church’s hall, in School Road. You can can catch the show over two weekends. Curtain up is at 7.45pm on Fridays January 25 and February 1. On Saturdays January 26 and February 2, there are two shows, at 3pm and 7pm. Doors for the panto open 30 minutes before the curtain is raised. v Tickets cost £6 for adults and £5 for children/OAPs, and are available from C&G Newsagents on School Road or over the phone on (0118) 942 7431. STEVE CURTIS


To advertise call 01932 888417 | | January 2013

v Books

v Concerts

If you had to pen words of widsom about life, what would you say? STEVE CURTIS finds out just what one Reading man wrote

A PERFORMANCE of Bach’s St John Passion will help focus thoughts on Lent next month. Members of Reading Bach Choir will sing the famous choral work at Douai Abbey on Saturday, February 16. Situated in Upper Woolhampton, the Abbey is a perfect setting for the choir,

not challenging for the sake of being challenging.” Christopher argues that Ten Letters is not a morbid book, but more a book that appreciates life and tries to tackle the aspects of faith, worship, sin, suffering, identity and Church. The 10 letters in the book are written to people he knows and cares about. His sister, Anthonia, knew that a chapter was going to be written to her but didn’t read it until she had the book in her hand, sat next to Chris. “The Gospel is always addressed to real lives,” he said. “We need to get to the bottom of what faith is.” Written in the form of letters, it is similar to the Seriously Funny books by Jeff Lucas and Adrian Plass. “I wonder whether, as humans, we’re drawn to listening into the things of God impacting peoples lives,” he explained. “We love stories, we share each others lives.” He laughed: “I don’t really write 15 page letters to people that regularly. “Letter writing is a tool which you can illustrate the impact in real life.” Central to his book is that the Gospel is intended for real lives, and to be aimed at each individual person in their daily struggles. v Ten Letters is published by Darton, Longman & Todd, £10.99. ISBN: 978-0232529210. Both Quench and Greyfriars bookshops will be able to order copies for you.

New book from Churches Together chair conjuction with William Henry, an education consultant, and it aims to answer the question, “What would God have me to do?” It also pays attention to what the New Testament says about

v CDs & DVDs quench


Chris Tomlin

Live from New York Jesus Culture

10,000 Reasons Matt Redman

October Baby (DVD)

Miracle Third Day

The Loft Sessions Bethel Music

Tim Hughes Ultimate Collection Stuart Townend Ultimate Collection

Sing Like Never Before Matt Redman

Kingdom Come: Soul Survivor 2012

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Burning Lights


the Will of God for Jewish and for Gentile Christians. In many cases it is the same, but there are some interesting differences. v It costs £8.75 and copies are available in Greyfriars Book Shop and from

the thirst for truth… quench vSatisfy Top reads


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Cross Roads Serving the Church & Communities Wm.Christian Paul YoungResources in Berkshire with Maidenhead | Reading | Slough | Wokingham A Pale Horse • Bibles & Christian Wendy Books •Alec CDs & DVDs The Reason • Gifts & Cards • Discipleship Course Material • Church Candles William Sirls • Communion WafersMultiply & Wine • Confirmation, Christening Baptism Certificates Francis&Chan • Bible Reading Notes & Study Guides Every Good • Sunday School & Teaching Material Endeavour • Children & Youth Work Keller Resources Timothy • and much, much more Trusting God Day Pop into your local store Monday-Saturday by Day Or visit us online at Joyce Meyer hours are on-line Store addresses & opening NIV Maidenhead 01628 621985 Life Reading 0118 957 6078 Study Slough 01753 538999Application Wokingham 0118 977 6715

Bible God on Mute Pete Grieg

Who is this Man? John Ortberg

Grace Max Lucado


THE chair of Churches Together in Reading has written a new book,. The Will of God: Past and Present is by Michael Penny, and has been published by the Open Bible Trust. He wrote it in

which will be conducted by Matthew Hamilton. The evening of music starts at 7.45pm and tickets cost £16, £14 for concessions, £8 for students and £5 for under 16s. For more details, call the box office on (0118) 947 8097, email or visit

Str8ts Solution

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

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Woman to Woman Compiled and edited by Sylvia Penny Sixty articles by women and for women, covering such subjects as:         

Old Testament Women, New Testament Women Roman and Greek Women Jesus and Women Paul and Women Husbands & Wives Raising Children. Christian Living Modern Day Issues

£8.50 from The Open Bible Trust, Fordland Mount, Upper Basildon, Reading,RG8 8LU Cheques payable to ‘The Open Bible Trust’

Also available from A great book for women’s ministry

Satisfy the thirst for= truth…

quench Serving the Church & Communities quench

Satisfy the thirst for truth…

in Berkshire with Christian Resources Serving the Church & Communities Maidenhead | Reading | Slough | Wokingham

with Christian Resources • Bibles & Christian Books •in CDsBerkshire & DVDs Maidenhead | Reading | Slough | Wokingham • Gifts & Cards • Discipleship Course Material • Church Candles • Bibles & Christian Books • CDs & DVDs • Communion Wafers & Wine • Confirmation, Christening &• Baptism Gifts &Certificates Cards • Discipleship Course Material • Bible Reading Notes & Study Guides • Church Candles • Sunday School & Teaching Material • Communion Wafers & Wine • Children & Youth Work Resources • and much, much more • Confirmation, Christening & Baptism Certificates Pop into your local store•Monday-Saturday Bible Reading Notes & Study Guides Or visit us online at Store addresses & opening• Sunday hours are School on-line & Teaching Material • Children Youth Work Resources Maidenhead 01628 621985 Reading 0118 957&6078 Slough 01753 538999 Wokingham 977 6715 • and0118 much, much more

A HARD-hitting and insightful book of letters was released a couple of months ago, and its author, Chris Russell, is from Reading. Ten Letters: To Be Delivered In The Event Of My Death is a book composed of letters that the associate vicar of the Minster Church of St Mary the Virgin would like to send to his friends and family in the event of his death. While this may sound morbid, the book is a challenging look on the aspects of Christianity that people struggle with every day. In the book, he touches on everything from celebrity to suffering, with sexuality, money, politics and other hot potatoes being given his unique treatment along the way. One on-line reviewer says Christopher is tackling everything that you shouldn’t talk about at a dinner party – in short, lots of taboos are up for discussion. And it’s something that the author, who is a Spring Harvest speaker, is pleased with. “Life’s too short to stroke people,” he said.“It’s


Ten letters, straight from the heart


Pop into your local store Monday-Saturday Or visit us online at Store addresses & opening hours are on-line Maidenhead 01628 621985 Reading 0118 957 6078 Slough 01753 538999 Wokingham 0118 977 6715

With SMC Solar the outlook is sunny!


ITH energy bills soaring, the need for greener technology becoming more apparent with each passing month and with the dramatic reduction in cost for installating solar panels there has never been a better time to harness the power of the sun. Fitting solar panels to your home, church or office can make a real difference – to your wallet and also to the planet. SMC Solar is an approved independent supplier and installer of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels to domestic and commercial clients throughout the Midlands and the Southern Counties. Every system it installs is tailored to maximum efficiency to ensure you get the maximum return on your investment. By using natural energy you are helping to save the planet while also saving money. There is misconception that it is no longer worth investing in Solar PV panels as the Government generation Feed-in-tariff (FITS) has been cut back. But Anthony Simpson, Project Manager at SMC Solar Ltd, says that Solar PV is now more accessible than ever. “It is true that the feed in tariff has been reduced, however the impact of this is only relevant when you compare to the cost of the installation in the first place … and the outlay has more than halved in the past 18 months,” says Anthony. The Government is simply reducing the incentive to ensure the rate of return remains attractive, while not being an excessive burden on the taxpayer. For this reason the Government continues to review the FITS rates every quarter for new installations. So broadly speaking, the financial rate of return (typically 10-17%) is unchanged, however PV is now accessible to even more people as the capital outlay is at an all-time low. Solar panels fitted by SMC Solar can be installed either on-roof, in-roof or ground mounted and can suit everything from a system to power the family home to a high-tech system

that would suit commercial clients. SMC Solar has carried installation across the Thames Valley for a range of customers, including households, farms, churches, schools and the commercial sector. Mr Ireland of Reading chose SMC Solar to design and complete the installation of a 3.5kWp system. He says: “SMC Solar proposed the most cost-effective system for my roof configuration and I was attracted by their level of expertise and personable style. “Since my installation in October I’ve started to see my electricity savings and money being generated.”

The company says that it prides itself on listening to its customers to provide the best technical advice and fitting optimal installations and all at a fair and competitive price. SMC Solar is an organisation with strong family values and will give you with excellence at all stages of your installation – it serves its customers the way in which it would wish to be treated itself. The company will avoid bombarding you with jargon, instead giving concise and easy-to-understand information and it will always come at affordable, realistic prices. The company works with some of the leading UK manufacturers and can offer a 25-year performance guarantee and installations have an insurance backed warranty of 10 years. For peace of mind, SMC Solar is approved by Oxfordshire Trading Standards, means you can Buy with Confidence and is a member of MCS, NICEIC and REAL (the Renewable Energy Assurance Scheme). Buying solar panels is a big decision – but with SMC Solar’s help, it will be a real ray of sunshine for you. To learn how much your roof would generate call SMC Solar for free advice on 01367 718833, email or log on to

Solar panels given blessing by Bishop of Oxford The Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul in Deddington, Oxfordshire, has had its solar panels, which were installed by SMC Solar, blessed by the Bishop of Oxford. SMC Solar installed 42 photovoltaic panels on the church. With a large south facing roof, solar power was an obvious option which came with the added incentive of reducing the

church’s electricity bills. The nature of the roof and the design meant that the array was not visible from the ground. The installation was completed in just two days. Dan Inman, curate of the church said: “The panels were installed using money raised by the local community as part of our desire to reduce our

Invest in solar Generate panels and an generate a return income from on investment of your roof between 10-17% 20 years guaranteed tax-free income from Feed-in-Tariffs (FITs)

electricityReturn costs UpReduce to your 12% on your Investment

carbon footprint and as a long term means of raising funds for the church.” The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, said: “There’s never been a more urgent time to take green approaches to the generation of energy, and every scheme helps a little.” Martin Trinder, SMC Solar Site Manager attended the blessing.



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20 years guaranteed income from Feed-in-Tariffs Approved installers, SMC Solar have completed over 200(FITs) Earn up to pence for every unitfarms, you produce whether you use it or not installations for18 households, schools, barns and churches. your energy costs use what produce OurReduce expert in-house team will-design andyou install the most Sell back energy use cost-effective systemyou for don’t your roof. Reduce your carbon To learn how much yourfootprint roof would generate running costs callZero us for free advice 01367 718833 21-23 High St, Stanford in the Vale, Faringdon SN7 8LH

Contact us today for a free quote. Tel: 01367 718 833 Email:


Xn January/February 2013  

Xn, published for churches in Reading, Wokingham and Bracknell and availlable for January/February 2013

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