Thoughts from the Vicarage 157

Thoughts from The Vicarage with an Empty Chair, Hope4Creation & support

Greetings on this beautiful sunny morning and what a change from yesterday! Mercifully, the weather was kind to those who attended the late Henry Ponsonby’s memorial on Thursday. For those unable to attend there is a super write up with reactions and quotes in this week’s Racing Post (p10). Thanks to Mick who bought that to my attention – not being a regular reader of the Racing Post!

Please find attached Pews News.

The Empty Chair is once again in St Michael & All Angels for all those who would like to remember a loved one as we move towards All Souls. Our service of remembering those whom we love yet see no more is on Saturday October 29th at 3pm in St Michael & All Angels and all are welcome. There will be an opportunity to light candles, pray and reflect. If you would like the name of your loved one read out please do add it to the list next to the chair. Many of you will already have seen the poster on the railings in Lambourn – please do let others know.

I’d really encourage you to take a look at the super new pocket-sized prayer cards in each church. Each offers a short bible verse, using the psalms, along with a short prayer that you can make your own. There are twelve in total each addressing different feelings which we all from time to time experience – speaking for myself! Why not give it a go and share that source of help with others. They are free to take away and use at home or wherever. Should you be feeling that you would like a chat or some support please don’t hesitate to ask.

With environmental concerns very much still in mind, especially after our Harvest services, some may be interested in looking into the WHY of creation care for Christians. To help answer that question Charlotte Banister-Parker is running a Hope4Creation course in November that will make a good introduction to the “Why?” of creation care for Christians. The course will consist of two evenings online (Thurs 10 Nov and Thurs 17 Nov) with Sat 12 Nov spent together in Oxford. Please let me know if you are interested.

A reminder that the next Dementia café will be on the Wednesday 26th October and will run from 10:30 – 12:00 at Lambourn Memorial Hall, Oxford Street, Lambourn. The café will always run on the 4th Wednesday of each month and all are welcome.

Good news from Age UK Berkshire who have some funding to be given to West Berkshire residents over the winter period. It is specifically for those age 65+, resident in West Berkshire and to support those most in need. There is no set criteria – you do not have to be in receipt of benefits etc.  The funding can support with essentials including energy, water and food. It can be used for the provision of essentials linked to energy and water (such as soaps/ toiletries, warm clothing, blankets, boiler service/ repair and purchases of equipment including fridges, freezers, ovens etc).  It may also be used for support with wider essentials such as other bills including broadband or phone bills, clothing and essential transport related costs e.g. repairing a car, buying a bicycle or paying for fuel. If you would like to discuss this further then please contact Viki Rowland or email/telephone. 07760 995475

With costs of living increasing and worries beginning to surface about how to budget for the winter, I thought it would also be helpful to share some resources that you may wish to either use yourselves or share with others in need. These are a mixture of links and contacts that may be helpful and are designed to be accessible to anyone.
Age UK online benefits checker;

Information sheet on how to check your benefits entitlement;

Summary of recently announced cost-of-living grants;

Age UK information booklets on topics including benefits and support;

Advice and support on heating your home, insulation and grants for new boilers (including home visits where needed) from Better Housing, Better Health

Advice for people of working age is available from Citizen’s Advice – West Berkshire 01635 546605

Advice for people over retirement age from Age UK Berkshire 0118 959 4242 or

Finally, thank you for all your good wishes – I was eventually covid free on Tuesday morning which was good news! Many thanks to all those who took the helm in the meantime. Looking forward to being more out and about as we move into the season of remembrance.

God bless


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