November 2023


Thought for the Month from Dr Elaine Watts, Lay Minister



These last few months of the year bring the shortest and darkest days. The trees first put on their rich array of beautiful colours – the reds, yellows and browns – but then as they lose their leaves they stand out in the watery sun like gaunt bare skeletons. Some animals store up food supplies here and there, before they hibernate, the days are often dark and wet, there’s mist and fog and the damp and cold spreads. It all points to the austere signs of the winter to come.


It is at this time of the year that we observe two important remembrances. The first is All Souls’ Day on 2nd November, also known as the Commemoration of The Faithful Departed, when we remember those we have known and loved who have died. Here at St Peter’s church we will have a service in the afternoon of 5th November (at 3pm) when people who have lost loved ones are invited to come to a special service to remember them. The names of those who have died in the past two years are read out along with the names of others who have died in past years who people have requested to be included for remembrance. There is always grief and pain when a loved one dies but although we see them no more the people who we knew and loved live on in our hearts and we trust that they have entered a new life with God. After the service there will be tea in the hall where people can chat and remember their loved ones.


A week later (12th November) is Remembrance Sunday when we all gather round the War Memorial in the churchyard to remember and give thanks for all the people who gave their lives for our country in the two World Wars and other wars, fighting against violence and oppression so that we might live in freedom and peace. We give thanks for all the members of the armed forces and others who fought in the wars and who were killed or injured. We remember the many families who suffered the loss or catastrophic injury of loved ones and the injured living with such dreadful memories in such senseless acts of aggression.


There have been many conflicts in the past decades including the most recent one in the Middle East, perhaps even sadder as it is the land where Jesus was born. It is sad that many people feel such hatred towards others that they want to kill them. Anger at a situation can be dealt with by thinking it through but rage is a different matter – the red mist descends and all reasoning goes out of the window. No-one should want to annihilate anyone whose beliefs are different to their own, and we pray that all people should respect each other, their way of life and their faith if they have one and live and work in peace with each other, as many communities have done over the centuries. We should also remember the people of Ukraine who are fighting the war that the Russians are waging against them. It is a sad time for many people and the cold dark days add to the despair.


On the first Sunday in December (3rd) we celebrate Advent Sunday, the beginning of a new church year. We prepare for the Incarnation of Christ at Christmas and pray that people will respect each other and live and work with each other in peace.



Prayer points:


  • For peace in this world.
  • We give thanks for those who have fought in all the wars to give us freedom and peace.
  • For an end to all wars especially those in Ukraine and the Middle East.
  • For people to respect each other and their way of life and live and work with each other on peace.
  • For our Government, that our leaders may rule wisely, create a stable economy and help people in times of crisis.
  • For our world, that we may thank God for all he has created and that we may use its resources wisely.
  • For people who are homeless and those who live rough on our streets.
  • The people who are ill, those in hospital and in care homes.
  • For those who have died, and for their family and friends who mourn their loss.
  • We give thanks for all who come to minister to us during our vacancy.



Lord God, grant that we do not lose sight of things eternal as we live our daily lives.

Help us to remember your abiding presence and love.

Lord, may we always be ready to do your will in caring for this world and each other.




Services and Events in November


Morning prayer on Zoom every week day at 9am. To join, contact [email protected]


Sunday 5th November

8am           Holy Communion

Readings: Revelation 7.9-end; Matthew 5.1-12

10am         Parish Communion

Readings: Revelation 7.9-end; Matthew 5.1-12

3pm           All Souls’ Service


Wednesday 8th November

10.15am     Tots & Teddies


Thursday 9th November

10am         Thursday@10: ‘Life and Times of Samuel Pepys’ – Geraint    Thomas


Friday 10th November

9.30am       Church cleaning


Sunday 12th November

9.30am       Parish Communion

Readings: 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18; Matthew 25.1-13

10am         Children’s Church

10.50am     Remembrance Service (with Senior Song School)

6.30pm       Evensong

Readings: Judges 7.2-22; John 15.9-17


Wednesday 15th November

10.15am      Tots & Teddies

2pm           Coffee, Cake and Chat


Saturday 18th November

8am           Men’s breakfast (see below)

1pm           Wedding of Hannah Trout and Michael Parker



Sunday 19th November

10am         Parish Communion

Readings: Zephaniah 1.7, 12-18; Matthew 25.14-30

Children’s Church

Inspiration Group

6.30pm       Reflective Communion


Monday 20th November

7.30pm       PCC meeting


Wednesday 22nd November

10.15am     Tots & Teddies


Thursday 23rd November

10am         Thursday@10: ‘The First King over Egypt’ – Richard Miller


Sunday 26th November

10am         Parish Communion

Readings: Ezekiel 34.11-16, 20-24; Matthew 25.31-46

Children’s Church

6.30pm       Evensong

Readings: 2 Samuel 23.1-7; Matthew 28.16-20

Please bring a bottle on this Sunday if you are able (see below)


Men’s breakfast: 18th November, 8am in the church hall. Geraint Thomas will speak on ‘The Life and Times of Dylan Thomas’. Please sign up on the list at the back of church or contact [email protected]


Donations: The new sets of envelopes have been available at the back of the church for a few weeks, but several remain. Please ensure you pick yours up, or let Ann Munday know if you no longer wish to use them. The new weekly envelopes are white, and start from 6th November – please do not hand in any pink envelopes after this date. Those using the blue Monthly envelopes have different numbers on their new sets, and it is therefore equally important that envelopes using the previous number are not handed in after the end of October. Finally, if you give through your Bank on a Standing Order and change the amount you are giving, please let Ann Munday know. A new Standing Order form can be provided for you.

Ann Munday, Stewardship Secretary, [email protected] or 07899992305


Institution of the Revd Kate Toogood on Wednesday 3rd January at 7pm: We hope this date is firmly in everyone’s diaries for the New Year.  We thought that this time, rather than buying in refreshments (in the light of Colin Bass’s thought-provoking sermon a few weeks ago!), we’d lay on a ‘bring and share’ drinks and nibbles event. To this end, we’re going to have a ‘Bring a Bottle Sunday’ on Sunday 26th November and invite congregation members to bring a nice bottle of red or white wine, long-life fruit juice, Coke/Diet Coke or fizzy water as a contribution. The idea is that we can get this element of the event organised and out of the way before things hot up for Christmas!  There will be a sign-up list of the drinks we need at the back of church a week or two beforehand, so do look out for this.  It’s likely that the church will be pretty full on 3rd January, so it would be nice to do our new Vicar proud. Thank you in advance for your contributions.

Maggie Nunn (on behalf of the Churchwardens).


Reading Concert Band concert: Thanks to all who supported the concert in church by Reading Concert Band on 18th October.  Despite the inclement weather, we raised a goodly sum on the door and from the raffle and, after expenses, were able to give £142.86 each to Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice and St Peter’s church.  The preserves sale provided an additional £100 or so for the hospice. Thanks to the many people who helped on the day.


Pastoral support: Our pastoral team will be happy to hear if you, or anybody you know, would welcome a phone call or visit. Please contact the parish office (0118 9668575), Elaine Watts (07773 182 483) or Mary Brooke (0118 926 2153)


Food Bank donations: Thank you to everyone who generously donated items for our local food bank www.woodleyfoodbank.org at the Harvest Festival service. We delivered four large crates of jars, tins and packets and they asked us to pass on a massive thank you. The need for store cupboard goods, with a long shelf life, continues and whatever we are able to give will, as always, be gratefully received.


Appeal by Friends of Amani Tanzania: We are asked to consider supporting, if we are able, an appeal by Friends of Amani Tanzania to raise £740 by Christmas to fund a medical review and a new leg calliper for 13-year-old Nikolaus. Read more information here and click here to donate: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/nikolaus