Mothers’ Union Cake Sale Result

The Mothers’ Union Cake Sale last Sunday raised £73 for Away From It All towards a holiday break for a disadvantaged family. Many thanks for your generosity.

Neighbourhood Return – volunteers requested

Love and Return thy Neighbour.  That’s the aim of the new Neighbourhood Return scheme, which aims to act quickly to find people with memory problems, such as dementia, who have got lost.   Can you help us?  We are looking for volunteers to join searches in their immediate area, who have a mobile phone which is regularly charged and has credit on it, and who can use text messaging.   

We know everyone isn’t available all the time, so the scheme aims to sign up as many volunteers as possible.   If you aren’t available or in the area when we alert you that someone has gone missing, just text back ‘no’.   If you are free to help, our care centre will send you a description of the person and let you know where to search.   When you reach the destination, you let them know and they will provide further instructions on where to look next.  Our safe searching guide helps to give you guidance about searching and how to gently approach the person who is lost, should you find them.  Searches are conducted for up to two-and-a-half hours by volunteers, who can join or leave the search at any point during this time, if the person isn’t found by then, the search is then handed over to the police.

You can sign up to the scheme at or by phoning 0116 229 3118.  This isn’t a huge commitment. You will rarely or may never be called to help, but by registering, not only will you help carers to feel supported by their local community, but should someone in your local area go missing you could help save a life.  

If you are a carer of someone with memory problems, you can register them using the contacts above. It’s absolutely free.  Once your loved one is registered, we will send you a fridge magnet with the helpline number on, so you can easily find it, should you ever need it.   If you pre-register someone memory problems, we can get volunteers mobilised in 3-5 minutes.  You can still use the scheme in an emergency without pre-registration, it just takes 15-20 minutes to get all the details we need to start the search.  The call centre keep in touch with both the carer and Thames Valley Police at regular intervals to let them know how the search is progressing.  

Thank you very much for helping to increase our volunteers in Berkshire.

Deborah Ginns
Service Manager
Neighbourhood Return

Traidcraft stall thanks

Thank you very much to all who supported Traidcraft recently.  At MU on Feb.14th sales were £210 and at SMSJ on Feb.17th sales and orders were £154.06.

There will be a Traidcraft stall at St James on March 3rd.  The next stall at SMSJ is on May 19th (not March 17th as in the church calendar).

Old Time Music Hall concert thanks

The Old Time Music Hall on Saturday 2nd Feb was a brilliant evening, much enjoyed by all who either trod the boards or sat in the audience, it just goes to show what talent we have lurking in our congregation, choir, and not to mention our clergy !!! 
A profit of just over £400 was raised for church funds and a further £150 for our church flower fund.  Many thanks from St. James Social Committee to everyone who supported the evening.

Parish Barn Dance success

60 Members of the congregations of both churches and their friends danced to Saxon Drain with the help of their caller on Saturday 9th Feb in California Hall.
A fish and chip supper at half time allowed us to get our breath back.
The band have been playing for this social event for many years and always remark that the enthusiasm and energy put into the dancing makes the event enjoyable for the band as well as all the dancers!    Look out for next year’s Barn Dance!

Saxon Drain Parish Barn Dance Raffle Parish Barn Dance

One Card on the Tree thanks

 One Card on the Tree: raised £490 for Christian Aid. Many thanks to all.

Bring & Buy Thanks

A massive thank you to all those who organised, assisted and supported last Sunday’s Bring & Buy sale.  £133 of well needed funds were raised for flowers at St James’.

Brass for Africa thanks

BRASS FOR AFRICA event in December  raised a fantastic £129.82.  Thank you very much to all who attended and for donations of instruments and other items.

Congratulations to John Edwards on being made Honorary Canon

On Saturday 26 January, at the 6pm Service of Evensong in Oxford’s Christ Church Cathedral, Rev John was installed as Honorary Canon in recognition of his work in the Deanery and also at Diocesan level.  A well-deserved honour!

Many congratulations to John from all of us – it’s a richly deserved honour in recognition of his service both to this parish and the Diocese as a whole.

He will continue to be Associate Priest at Finchampstead and California.

Epiphany Party photos

A social gathering to celebrate the feast of Epiphany was held in the Billing Avenue Parish Centre on the evening of  Saturday 5th January. 

Pictured here are regular SMSJ congregation members plus their friends and families joining in with Famous Faces and other mind boggling quizzes arranged by the SMSJ social group for the entire Parish.

EpiphanyParty2 EpiphanyParty1 EpiphanyParty3

With drinks and nibbles available too, this annual event was once again very successful and most enjoyable for all who attended.