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Sunday 3 December - Advent

10.30am Holy Communion - Revd Catherine Bowstead

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Saturday 9 December

Forest Singers "Carols for Christmas"

Weekly Pastoral Letter - 24 November 2023

A Reflection from Rosi MorganBarry

Bad News, Good News

‘Good morning, Good evening, here is the 10 o'clock, 6 o'clock News’ …

We can pick up The News on radio, or television at particular times of day.  Or we can read the news in papers, on our mobile phones at any time.  Many of us do.  For many people it’s an important part of our day to watch or hear the news; to catch up with what's going on in the world, in our own country, or our own town.

It’s always Bad News.  The first things reported are disasters: earthquakes, fires, wars and conflicts, traffic accidents, people hurt, losing lives, homes livelihoods …etc. etc.  How do we react to all this?  Doesn’t it leave us with a sense of helplessness?  What can we do about it?

Just occasionally, The News ends with a piece of Good News: someone rescued from a fire; an animal saved from drowning; a call for peace talks; aid agencies rushing out to help in a disaster zone …  But not always.  More often than not we are left with either a sense of wanting to switch off, not wanting to know, or – as noted above – that sense of helplessness.

Yes, we can increase our giving to charities and agencies who aim to provide help where needed; we can work to promote awareness of the need for such aid; we can help with special collections in our town and country.  Few of us have the time, the skills, the energy to actually go out to disaster situations and offer practical help.

But there are things we can all do.  We can remember that Jesus came to bring us Good News.  We can pray.

Pray for those hurting; pray for those needing healing; pray for the lost, the helpless, the homeless, wherever they may be.  Pray for those with the courage to go and offer aid.

Pray especially for those causing the wars, the conflicts, the hurt.  If we do not pray for these, how will they ever come to a sense of needing God’s forgiveness?

Rosi MorganBarry

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Weekly Pastoral Letter - 17 November 2023

from Revd Catherine Bowstead

Dear Friends,

I was pleased to be able to represent Churches Together in Wokingham at our Civic Service for Remembrance at All Saints Church last Sunday.  The congregation included various civic dignitaries including our Town and Borough Mayors, the Members of our Town Council, our MP and a large number of young people from various uninformed organisations.  My role was to lead the congregation in a commitment to peace.

On Wednesday our Open the Book team at Westende School, told the final part of our series about Joseph.  We recalled how Joseph was reunited with his brothers, how he decided to forgive them for his mistreatment of him and so be reconciled to them.  The children told us that this week is “Anti – bullying week” and that the challenge that they had been set for the day was to “be kind”.  We reflected together on the importance of forgiveness and being kind.

How good it would be if our national and international leaders could reflect on that simple message to forgive and be kind.  How much better our world would be if we could have the courage to be reconciled with each other.

As we approach the beginning of Advent, our lectionary readings give us an increasing sense of urgency about the need for us to be ready for when Jesus returns.  We have an interesting mix in the lectionary this week; our readings are from Judges 4: 1-7 (some tribal warfare and the story of Deborah) and from Matthew 25: 14-30, the Parable of the Talents.  Kim Tame is leading our worship and is using the readings to help us reflect about the different occasions when the question might be put, “And that’s the best you could do?”

I hope that you have a good week,

With every blessing


Some previous Pastoral Letters are available here.