An update about COVID-19 restrictions, services and events

Since last week’s parish messages, we have received initial guidance from the government and the Diocese about services and church related activities following the changes in law and regulations effective from 19 July. We have been strongly advised to take the necessary time to consider them in detail. The ministry team and representatives of the churchwardens have met this week for an initial discussion.

The current arrangements for church services will continue in the short term whilst we take time to carefully consider the new guidelines and how they might best be applied in our churches and buildings.

We will continue with our current online services and in person services, including opportunities to worship outside where practical. Meeting to celebrate our patronal festival outside will go ahead with appropriate precautions. Should the weather be limiting we hope to be able to proceed, but will communicate further if necessary.

The limit on numbers attending our services in church remains in force. In person services (except Family Services) should still be booked by using the Eventbrite link . Bookings can be made up until 4pm on Saturday. If you have any questions or problems to do with bookings please contact the parish office (0118 973 0133).

We will provide further information as soon as we can.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
Best wishes from your Ministry Team and Churchwardens.

St James’ Patronal Festival Weekend update – 24th/25th Jul

We are going ahead with the free choir concert on Saturday evening and we will use the hall if it’s raining. There will be tables so everyone can still bring their picnics and we hope the rain will hold off for long enough to allow us to have our singalong outside. Just come along at 6pm on Saturday.

On Sunday we also have alternative arrangements if it rains on our garden party. Cream teas and stalls will be in the church centre so please still come along from 2pm. Offers to Nicky: or Sue:

St James’ Patronal Festival – Sat 24th/Sun 25th Jul

There will be the opportunity to meet Rev Leonard and his family over the Patronal festival weekend on Saturday and Sunday 24/25th July.

Details of the patronal festival are as follows:

Saturday 24th July – Free Outdoor Choir Concert and “Sing-a-long”  

This is our own “Finch-Bourne” special.  Bring your own chairs/blankets and picnic, we will have some drinks available.  Starting at 6pm the concert will commence at 6.30pm.  Let Sue – 0118 973 2069 or Nicky – 0118 973 4904 know if you can come, everyone welcome.

Sunday 25th July (St James’ Day)

11am outdoor service at St James with Reverend Leonard

Reverend Leonard will be presiding at his first 11am parish communion service at St James. This will be an outside service.

2pm Garden Party

Join us for cream teas, some flower displays to admire in church, tombola, raffle, book and cake stalls, 100 squares board to win a meal at the newly refurbished Greyhound, walks around the grounds, and a chance to meet our new Rector Reverend Leonard.  

We would welcome your donations for the tombola, raffle, cakes, and book stalls.  Please drop them into the church centre any weekday morning between 10 and 12 or even bring them along on the day.   We are also looking for help, if you can spare even an hour we would love to hear from you.  Please give Nicky a ring. Do please join us if you can, we would love to see you. Fingers crossed we have good weather!

Prayer for Reverend Leonard and his family

Lord Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd of the sheep, we pray for those whom you have called to be shepherds of your flock especially Reverend Leonard.

Give him the grace he needs to fulfil your charge in Finchampstead.

Guide and govern him by the Holy Spirit and bless his family as they move into the parish.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

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.

In-Person Services at St. James and St. Eligius – July 2021

Finchampstead & California Mothers’ Union

Because of the continuing Covid restrictions, our AGM, planned for Thursday 8 July will now take place in September.

We still plan to celebrate our founder Mary Sumner’s birthday with a picnic at 1pm on Thursday 12 August, at St James’ Church Centre, using the centre’s tables and chairs but bring everything else for your picnic. It will be so nice to get together, albeit in a different format as it has been so long since we last met.

Your MU committee

Tech Help Urgently required

We are very blessed to be in a position to be able to live stream services form St Eligius fortnightly in the future. However, we really do need a team to help with this if it is to be sustainable.

Could you please pray and see if you feel you would like to join a small team to help with this vital ministry.

While some technical ability is an advantage the main training will cover all that you need to know. If you would like to join the team or require further information, then contact Tonia.

Dates for your diary

Sat 24/Sun 25 July – St James patronal festival celebrations and a chance to meet our new Rector

Postponed – Canon Julie’s retirement tea party and evensong

Manor Farm Strawberries

On sale to order in aid of the Parish of Finchampstead & California
– £2 a punnet.

Email me ( or text me (07779 724090) your order at least 2 days before wanted and your order will be available for collection from St James’ Church Centre each Tuesday 1pm – 3pm or Thursday 10am – noon.

More available on a first come, first served basis outside St Eligius’ Church, each Saturday morning from 10am.