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Church News Archive


All Saints Church – article in April 2018 Village Views

We celebrated a very happy Mothering Sunday service on 11th March with several children reading prayers and two of our Mums reading from the Old and New Testament. The West Berkshire Strings, under the baton of Pat Glover, made a welcome return and played as the congregation took their seats, accompanied the singing of the first hymn and then played “Cradle Song” by Franz Schubert. Dr Stephen Holmes, our organist for the service, played “Berceuse” by Louis Vierne while the WBS safely parked their instruments and then he accompanied us for the remaining hymns. At the end of the service, the mothers in the congregation received from the children very pretty posies of spring flowers. Thanks to all those who participated in preparing the posies.

On Palm Sunday, 25th March, the benefice will hold a rolling service of Holy Communion starting in East Garston at 9.00 am for the ministry of the Word and walk (weather permitting) along the Lambourn Valley Way or drive to Eastbury for the ministry of the sacrament from 11.00am.  In Holy Week there will be Holy Communion at East Garston at 7.30 pm on Wednesday evening, 28th March.  On Easter Day, 1st April, our Family Communion service will be at the normal time of 9.00 am. 

Our Annual Parochial Church Meeting will be held on Monday 23rd April at 7.30 pm in the Friends’ Meeting House.  It will be preceded by the Annual Meeting of Parishioners for the Election of Churchwardens starting at 7.15 pm.

In the afternoon of the Early May Bank Holiday, Monday 7th May, there will be a Bluebell Walk at Fairchilds Farm, Goodings Lane, East Garston to raise money mainly for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance with a smaller proportion going to the East Garston Amenities Fund. The church will also be raising money for church funds by providing tea and cakes so please come and enjoy a stroll in the country in the bluebell season and support all of these worthy causes. Donations of cakes will be very welcome.

We are currently in the early stages of planning this year’s Safari Supper so please make a note of the date, Saturday 16th June. If you would like to volunteer to act as one of the hosts please contact Karen Sperrey on 01488 648365 or 07860 693309.

Bob Briant

Churchwarden


All Saints Church – article in March 2018 Village Views

Last month I reported that the Gift Appeal had, at the time of writing, only raised just over £1100, with another £250 in Gift Aid. I am pleased to say that the total has now doubled to £2215, with another £484 in Gift Aid. A very big “Thank you” to all who have contributed so far. We still need another £2000 if we are to reach last year’s figure, so for those that have not yet handed in your donation, please give it to Dawn Tonge or myself and help us to keep your church available for you when you need it.

We are pleased that the West Berkshire Strings, under the baton of Pat Glover, will be joining us once again for our Mothering Sunday service at 12 o’clock on 11th March.

On Palm Sunday, 25th March, the benefice will hold a rolling service of Holy Communion starting in East Garston and ending in Eastbury. Weather permitting, we will walk between the two churches along the Lambourn Valley Way.  In Holy Week there will be Holy Communion at East Garston at 7.30 pm on Wednesday evening, 28th March.  On Easter Day, 1st April, our Family Communion service will be at the normal time of 9.00 am. 

Our Annual Parochial Church Meeting will be held on Monday 23rd April at 7.30 pm.  It will be preceded by the Annual Meeting of Parishioners for the Election of Churchwardens starting at 7.15 pm.  At the time of writing, the venue is undecided.

In the afternoon of the Early May Bank Holiday, Monday 7th May, there will be a Bluebell Walk at Fairchilds Farm, Goodings Lane, East Garston to raise money mainly for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance with a smaller proportion going to the East Garston Amenities Fund. The church will also be raising money for church funds by providing tea and cakes so please come and enjoy a stroll in the country in the bluebell season and support all of these worthy causes. Donations of cakes will be very welcome.

We are currently in the early stages of planning this year’s Safari Supper so please make a note of the date, Saturday 16th June. If you would like to volunteer to act as one of the hosts please contact Karen Sperrey on 01488 648365 or 07860 693309.

Bob Briant

Churchwarden


All Saints Church – article in February 2018 Village Views

I need to start with a rather disappointing message. At the time of writing, the Gift Appeal has only raised just over £1100, with another £250 in Gift Aid. A very big “Thank you” to all who have contributed so far. For those that have not yet handed in your donation, there is no deadline date so if you can still find the appeal envelope on the mantelpiece or sideboard please give your donation to Dawn Tonge or myself. If you are unable to find the envelope, please don’t let that deter you but just let one of us know and we will happily give you a replacement. We have a long way to go to match last year’s total including Gift Aid of almost £4600. Please help us with your donation to keep your church available for you when you need it .

The attendance at our traditional candlelit carol service on 10th December was very good.  This was the first Sunday that we had been able to demonstrate our new under pew heating and I think that it was felt (excuse the pun) to be an improvement. We are grateful once again to the Lambourn choir and their Organist and Choir Master, Stephen Holmes, for their support with the singing of the carols and for their solo items.  After the service we enjoyed mulled wine and hot mince pies. 

On the 18th December, after a splendid display by the Garston Gallopers in the car park, our “choir” led the singing of carols in a packed Queens Arms.  Thanks to Sue and Freddie Tulloch for hosting the evening and to Stephen Holmes and some of the Lambourn choir for helping to enhance the singing.  A collection raised just over £300 for church funds.

The church was packed again for the Christmas morning communion service when we used our antique silver chalices withdrawn from the Treasury at Christ Church for this special occasion. Our home-grown violin and cello ensemble of David, Hannah and Rachel Glover, Sophie and Jonathan Pannett-Smith and Hetty Hack played “Do you hear what I hear?”. Kate Brooks (as Mary carrying baby Jesus) and several other children processed around the church during the singing of “Away in a manger”.

We have made donations to Christian Aid and the Children’s Society from the Christmas collections.

Bob Briant

Churchwarden


All Saints Church – article in January 2018 Village Views

Last month I indicated that I hoped that this month I would be able to report that the contractor had carried out the installation of the under pew heating successfully. I am pleased to say that this is the case, although it took place a few days later than was scheduled. At the time of writing we have not had a service at which we could fully test out the benefit but from the few of us that have tested it, it does seem to be a great improvement on the old overhead infra red heaters. I would like to take this opportunity to record my thanks to Martyn Wright, Trevor Butcher and James Pryer for their efforts and great support to achieve this long-awaited result.

There has been a church in the village for hundreds of years and many of us, some more than others, perhaps, take the church for granted and expect it to be there when and if we need it! Sadly, it will not go on for ever unless we as a community pay for it. There is a popular misconception that the Church Commissioners are very rich and can afford to fully meet the costs but actually the Commissioners only provide about 15%, or 15p in the £, of the Church of England’s expenditure. Next year our expenditure in East Garston will be close to £22,200, of which nearly £11,340 will be our contribution towards the cost of keeping a priest in the benefice – salary, housing, pension contributions, etc – and £10,860 will be the cost of keeping the building in use – insurance, electricity, heating and some very basic maintenance. With the contributions of a few regular church-goers, collections, donations and fund-raising our income has usually been just sufficient to cover costs but this year the forecast is that it will not. This is the time of year when we think about giving and so we hold our annual Gift Appeal. We hope that the community will give its church the financial support that it needs by giving as generously as possible.

The East Garston Churchwardens and PCC wish all readers of Village Views peace and happiness as we celebrate the joyous occasion of the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ and make our resolutions to lead better lives in the coming year.

Bob Briant

Churchwarden


All Saints Church – article in December 2017 Village Views

We were blessed with good weather for our annual churchyard maintenance day on 14th October.  There was a very good turnout of volunteers this year and as a result we achieved a great deal of tidying which there is not time to do when the grass needs to be mown.  Some of the ladies were also able to accomplish some tidying and cleaning inside the church.  We all enjoyed a picnic lunch.  My thanks to all those who helped both before, during and after the day and for those that prepared the snacks and lunch.

Over 50 people from all three parishes of the benefice gathered to celebrate our Patronal Festival on 29th October and to hear the excellent sermon preached by The Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford. The choir from St Michael’s with Dr Stephen Holmes at the organ led our singing and, conducted by Susan Holmes, gave a rendition of John Stainer’s “What are these arrayed in white clothes” for the anthem. During the service, the congregation placed lighted candles in the Sanctuary in memory of their loved ones that had passed away. It was also one of the services at which we use our 14th and 15th Century chalices which were withdrawn from the Christ Church Treasury for the occasion. The church was beautifully decorated with flowers, so thanks to all the flower arrangers for their hard work. Many of the congregation stayed on after the service for a chat with Pro. Percy over a cup of coffee or tea and biscuits.

Many thanks to all those who sponsored my walk in September in aid of the Berkshire Churches Trust. The sum donated was £227 and the trust will be able to reclaim tax of a further £40 under the Gift Aid scheme. All Saints Church will receive £113.50 from the trust which is our share of the sponsored amount.

The Chancellor has granted the faculty for the installation of under pew heaters. Due to the capacity of the single phase electricity supply, it has only been possible to fit these to the front seven of the eleven rows of pews on either side of the nave plus one heater behind the priest’s chair. The contractor has scheduled the installation for 23/24 November so I hope that next month I will be able to report that this was carried out successfully.

Bob Briant

Churchwarden



 


















 




 


All Saints Church - article in November 2015 Village Views

Thanks to the team of men and women who turned out for our Churchyard Maintenance Day on 10th October. We were very pleased to welcome several new, younger and stronger members to the team. The weather was very kind to us and we were able to achieve a lot but it seems like a never ending task and so we will need at least another day before we can relax a little (the date will be announced shortly). Thanks once again to the loyal band of labourers.

Seventy people of all ages attended our Harvest Festival on 11th October. The church had been beautifully decorated by some of the children and our team of flower arrangers. There were also displays of garden produce, vintage garden tools and the story of grain production and the uses to which it is put. Children assisted in the service by "meeting and greeting", reading some of the prayers and taking the offertory. We were joined by West Berkshire Strings who played the introduction to the first hymn and later performed Largo from Dvorak' New World Symphony. The Vicar dedicated some new chairs which had been donated to provide seating for the Strings. After the service, many of the congregation shared a wonderful Harvest Lunch in the Village Hall. Thanks to all who helped to make both occasions successful. Part of the offertory of almost £320 will be donated to the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.

The Vicar also read a short report on the Foodbank from Trevor Butcher:

This Harvest Festival is the 3rd Anniversary of the start of East Garston Food Bank. Over the past 12 months the people of our village have contributed 669lbs / 305 Kgs of food. Thank you so much for this food which will be gratefully received by people in the area who need a little short term help to get them through a difficult period in their lives.

Short term helps means that the food bank will supply only 3 days food per week for 3 weeks in a period of 6 months. It is not used as a long term option. Thank you once again for all your contributions and please keep giving if you can.

Thanks to Trevor and Janet for their hard work as coordinators in keeping the scheme alive in East Garston.

Bob Bryant

Churchwarden


All Saints Church - article in October 2015 Village Views

I am pleased to be able to report that, with the help of Martyn Wright and the hire of a stump grinder, we have been able to remove the stumps of the trees that were felled last year as well as some old stumps that were left over from previous years.  The holes will be filled and grass seed sown. This will make the grass mowing easier next year and improve the general appearance of the churchyard.  Please come and join the working party for our churchyard maintenance day on Saturday 10th October from 10 am onwards when we will be tackling some of the other tasks that are essential before the onset of winter. 

I stated last month that there would also be church cleaning on the maintenance day but this has been postponed because the church will be being decorated for the Harvest Festival which will take place at noon on Sunday 11th October.  Vikki Brooks will be organising the children’s decorations and Ann Phillips will be coordinating the floral and other decorations.  Please let them know if you are able to help.  The service will be followed by a Harvest Lunch details of which will be circulated.

We started September on Thursday 10th with the funeral and burial of Margaret Keneally (nee Weir) who had spent all her working life serving the valley community in the Lambourn pharmacy.  The service was attended by over 70 family and friends.

On Saturday 12th September, I walked 13 miles and visited 10 churches with some of my family and my dog for Ride & Stride in aid of the Berkshire Churches Trust.  The trust provides grants to churches to assist with restoration and other projects such as the current building work at St James, Eastbury.  We will be applying for a grant from the trust when we start on our own heating project.  Please let me know if you would be willing to sponsor me as apart from any grant that may be awarded, 50% of any money raised by participants comes back to their nominated church.

On Sunday 13th September, in addition to our normal service, there was another happy occasion as Amelia Mary Chapman was welcomed into the church at her baptism. Amelia is the daughter of Thomas and Nicola who live in The Waldrons.

Bob Briant

Churchwarden