Archive for the ‘General Notices’ Category

Invitation Drop – can you help please?

Would you be able to help drop off or post invitation leaflets for Come and See on your street? Please contact the parish office if so. Thank you very much.

Zoom Thursday Evening Prayer Meeting

The next meeting will be on 27th January at 8pm via Zoom. For more information and the Zoom link please contact Reverend Julian

Parish Vision Away Day – March 2022

Saturday 12 March 2022. Venue and time TBC. All are invited to join the PCC and other ministry leaders to set our course for the near and far future. The diocesan director of Mission, Andrew Anderson-Gear, and the Berkshire Parish Development Advisor, Rhodri Bowen, will be leading us on the day. Our goal is to determine our priorities as a parish, and to outline some of the steps we will need to take to achieve our objectives.
Due to COVID and other practical considerations spaces will be limited and allocated on a first come first served basis.

Confirmation with Bishop Olivia

Would anyone wishing to explore being confirmed (or their parent/guardian) please contact the Parish Office by the end of January so that preparation classes can be arranged.

The confirmation service will take place on 15th May.

‘Come and See’

Five Tuesdays during Lent (March 8 – April 5), beginning with a Cheese and Wine evening at 7pm on the 8th of March at St James’ Church Centre.

Opportunity to study and reflect on the Lord’s Prayer. Suitable for all levels of faith. Pray and think about who to bring along both to the evenings and to Sunday worship during the period.

There will be a number of venue options across the parish with both daytime and evening for the remaining sessions, beginning at 7.30pm.

Evening communion services

Would anyone be interested in having a weekday Holy Communion service in the evening? Maybe you work weekends and cannot get to the Sunday services or have other family commitments.

If you are interested, please contact Ashlyn Webster on

Creative Café on the Gorse Ride Estate

Creative Café is a form of Messy Church that is run for the children of the Gorse Ride Estate and the surrounding area every Monday during term time between 3.15pm and 4.45pm in St Mary and St John’s Parish Centre.

Included in the session is a small meal (usually a Bolognese or a cottage pie). We are able to provide the rice, bread and drinks but if you would like to make a pie or a Bolognese once a term, we would be very grateful.

Please contact Reverend Julian for more information. (Tel. 0118 973 5876)


If you or anyone in your household has any symptoms that could be Covid please do not attend church services.

We encourage you to consider carrying out a lateral flow test before attending church. 

Please continue to wear a face covering at all times during church services which includes when you are singing.

There will be hand gel available in church and we ask you to use this on arrival

Please respect those around you, maintaining adequate space wherever possible 


Patronal Festival – Thank You!

It was a huge pleasure to be part of the events marking this year’s St James’ Day over the weekend, and our first here as a family. It was a resounding success, especially so considering the challenging circumstances and the changeable weather. From the musical performances and the sing-along on Friday, to the fete on Saturday, there was plenty to savour.

Big congratulations to the team who made it all happen, both individually and collectively. Particular mention ought to be made of the social team, the choir and musicians, and the flower team. We also mustn’t forget the stall contributors and holders, as well as all the various logistical helpers. We can’t underestimate the work you’ve all put in over the months of planning and organising, and through the weekend. A huge thank you and congratulations to you all.

I must say that I was particularly impressed by the management of the weather; keeping the rain at bay, bringing out the sun at the right moments, and for just the right length of time. Very impressive indeed noting that the Rector was not as success-ful as you with the plans for an outdoor service on Sunday!

I would also like to thank everyone who participated and gave generously across the weekend. You know that without you the event would not be what it was and has been over the years. The teams were able to raise a good amount of money over the weekend. Thank you all very much.

With every blessing,

Results of our Giving Appeal taking account of the Covid pandemic

On behalf of the PCC may I very sincerely thank everyone who has made a one- off donation and/or increased their regular committed giving to church.

There was an excellent response in one off donations. We expect the total amount given will cover our losses in 2020 of £43,000 and contribute significantly to our estimate of ongoing losses during 2021.

There has also been a good response by increased regular giving, assisting our planning for this year and the future.

If you still wish to contribute, please do so by our Patronal weekend when our appeal will close.

Best wishes Robert Alder. Planned Giving Coordinator.