We are now opening back up with communion being offered on Sundays at 10:00 a.m. each week.
We hope to see you soon.
During our North Porch building project, we remain open for Sunday services starting at 10:00 a.m. Entrance to the building is found through the vestry door located near to Rodway Road - signage and directions are in situ to help guide our visitors.
Revd. Dr. Adam Carlill
tel: 0775 341 1989
1 March 2022
We continue to live in turbulent times. The run up to Christmas was disrupted by staff members contracting Covid and others testing for it just in case. However, I want to thank you all for your kindness, patience and resilience over the festive period when it was hard to know what was coming next.
With that in mind, please can I express my sincere thanks to all who stepped up to the plate after the arson attack at Rowe Court. I was alerted by the Reading Street Pastors that a major incident was unfolding and that the emergency services needed somewhere to base themselves. Within minutes the people of St George’s and St Mary Magdalen’s had organised a rota of people to provide food and drinks and a warm welcome in St George’s. We received much practical help from English Martyrs who were looking after the residents of Rowe Court in the initial stages of the tragedy, working closely with Pangbourne Rotary Club and Reading Borough Council. Please see the letters of thanks below that I received from Thames Valley Police and the police chaplaincy.
I am grateful to the Bishop of Reading and the communications department of the Diocese of Oxford for their swift and practical advice which enabled us to build up good relationships with all these organisations. On the back of that, please see the poster on the back page of this Benefice News about the coffee morning which is to be held at St George’s on Saturday 26th February, 10.30am-12noon, to raise money for the victims of the arson attack. (Any excess funds will be given to other local charitable causes.)
I am hoping that the Benefice will be able to host a confirmation service later this year. If you wish to be confirmed there will be a meeting in St George’s on Friday 18th March at 5pm. Please just turn up and Polly and I will explain what needs to happen.
The Platinum Jubilee
This summer there will be many Platinum Jubilee celebrations going on around the country. St Mary Magdalen’s is in negotiation with local residents about what we might do to celebrate together. I hope the new building work will be finished by then (see below), and we will be able to have a good time. More details to follow in the next edition of Benefice News along with any plans for celebrations at St George’s.
At the time of writing we are one week away from all legal restrictions relating to Covid being lifted. I know many people are looking forward to being able to interact in a more relaxed manner, while others are very nervous about what this could mean for the health of vulnerable people. For the time being we will continue not to offer the common chalice, although I long to do so and await Bishops’ advice with baited breath. Also, I will continue to advise the use of face coverings, social distancing and hand gel for the time being, especially when meeting in church with large numbers of people.
Building Work at St Mary Magdalen’s
The building work at St Mary Magdalen’s is progressing well, although there have been delays because of Covid-related supply chain issues. Our current estimate for completion is the end of May. However, we have made the most of the delays by getting some extra work done while the scaffolding and contractors are on site. We have repaired other parts of the roof which have been leaking, and we have extended the organ loft right across the church so as to provide an impressive and balanced upstairs area that can be used for all sorts of audio-visual control systems, something that will enhance the worship at St Mary Magdalen’s and provide a wide range of multipurpose facilities for groups and organisations that may wish to use the church. I am grateful for your patience during the construction, and look forward to the completion immensely. On that note, the Bishop of Reading will come to dedicate the new porch at 10am on Sunday 11th September, so please put this date in your diary now. I hope we can have a bit of a celebration!
Assistant Sacristan for St George’s
Finally, I am looking to appoint a new assistant sacristan at St George’s to assist me with preparing the services there. A basic DBS check will be required. Please contact me for an application pack if you are interested.