Churches Together in Windsor: Newsletter: Spring 2018
Message from the Chair
‘May they be one…’
Welcome to the latest CTW newsletter. We hope you find it informative and helpful in letting you know about the various joint initiatives that Christians and churches across Windsor are working on together in the coming months.
During the autumn, my wife Pauline and I enjoyed a three-month period of sabbatical leave. As well as taking the opportunity to enjoy life at a slower pace, we spent time reflecting on the theme of ‘Gospel partnerships’, by learning about some of the many movements of Christian unity that God has been prompting to bless towns and cities across the UK and around the world in recent years.
Meanwhile, we were also privileged to witness the amazing autumn spectacle of starling murmurations on no fewer than five occasions – something that we had never seen before. It got me thinking… if thousands upon thousands of starlings can create a display of beauty without knocking each other out of the sky, why, so to speak, can’t Christians, or the Church, or the human race in general?
Before giving his life for us on that first Good Friday, Jesus prayed for us, ‘that they may be one, Father, just as you and I are one’ (John 17:21). It was a prayer for the unity of the Church in all its rich diversity. For me, the answer to that prayer is pictured in the sight of thousands of starlings from dozens of flocks all acting as one, each flock retaining its own identity while working well with the others, and each bird so sensitive to those around it that none of them is harmed and all are protected.
There are already a number of great examples of Christians and churches working together with each other and with the local authorities to bless Windsor. As we continue to share in the various initiatives described in this newsletter, I would encourage you to join in praying Jesus’ prayer ‘that they may be one’; and to join in being part of the answer to that prayer. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a watching world in our town was so amazed at the beauty of what they saw that they wanted to join in?
Rev Matthew Scott
Chair, Churches Together in Windsor
The Churches Together in Windsor Annual Assembly was held on Thursday 23rd November at the Methodist Church, Alma Rd, Windsor, SL4 3HH. The short business meeting was followed by a very interesting talk by Rachael Spender from the Bible Society.
Carols on the Hill was held on Friday 15th December by Queen Victoria’s statue in front of Windsor Castle. The collection raised around £850 which was divided equally between Thames Valley Cruse Bereavement Care and the Mission to Seafarers.
“For your diary”:
The Windsor Homeless Project will be holding a Sleep out from Friday 16th March 8pm to Saturday 17th March 7am to raise awareness of the homeless and raise funds. In the last 8 years, they have helped 58 men and women into accommodation, and around 40 people come for a meal two or three times every week. Donations can be made via the Windsor Baptist Church, Victoria Street or via the website at www.windsorhomelessproject.org
Upcoming events at Windsor Parish Church of St John the Baptist, High Street:
- 6.30pm on Sunday 18th March. Devotional performance of Stainer’s Crucifixion and ‘Greater love’ (Ireland) with Reflection by Canon Dr Edmund Newell; Brian Henry (Conductor), John Halsey (Organ), Ben Alden (Tenor), Bruce Russell (Bass). FREE, with retiring collection split between RSCM Berkshire and the Parish Church Organ Appeal. Those wishing to sing, please contact [email protected]
- 7.30pm on Friday 23rd March. Illustrated talk by Hugo Vickers, DL “101 Years of the Royal House of Windsor”. Admission £10 including glass of wine. Proceeds to Parish Church Organ Appeal.
Following its five-star Edinburgh Fringe Festival run, critically acclaimed theatre company are thrilled to announce “Cathy” will be coming to The Old Court, Windsor on 22 – 23 March, alongside other UK dates this spring. We are very happy to announce that we have an allocation of £1 tickets for anyone who has experience or is at risk of homelessness. This includes people who are street homeless, in supported accommodation, NEET young people, those who are engaged in drug and alcohol support services or have experience of the criminal justice system. To find out more information about how to access this offer please email [email protected] or call Vicky on 020 7377 8948. We have a very limited number of £1 tickets so please to contact us as soon as possible. About Cathy: Inspired by Ken Loach and Jeremy Sandford’s ground-breaking film Cathy Come Home, Cathy continues Cardboard Citizens’ exploration of the state of housing and homelessness. This powerful and emotive play is written by award-winning playwright Ali Taylor and directed by Cardboard Citizens’ Artistic Director Adrian Jackson MBE, imagining a Cathy for the modern age. Based on true stories, the timely drama explores the impact of spiralling social housing costs, gentrification and the challenges of forced relocation through the compelling story of one family. Its story has proved so pertinent, the production was invited to play at both the House of Lords and as part of the Labour Party Conference during 2017.
Please come along to support the ecumenical Good Friday Witness at 12 noon on 30th March at the Post Office on Peascod Street. A brief open-air service will be held including readings, well-known hymns and a short play. This is a great opportunity for Christians to be a visible presence in the town to mark Good Friday. Meanwhile, Dedworth churches will be holding a joint service at Dedworth Green Baptist Church at 10.30am, followed by a prayer walk of the Dedworth community.
SASRA Windsor prayer group: Please come and support the next prayer meeting. This will take the form of a presentation on SASRA in general, outreach work with soldiers and families in Windsor and prayer in groups. 1830 – 1930 on Sunday 8 April 2018 at All Saints Church, Dedworth, Dedworth Road, Windsor, SL4 4JW. Parking: There is a small car park and parking in nearby streets. Please support the vital, urgent and growing work of the association. Check the web site for more details: www.sasra.org.uk Please confirm your participation to [email protected] or 07818 554 579.
‘God’s Kingdom is Stronger than Storms’: Every year people from the Windsor Churches work together to raise funds for Christian Aid. ‘God’s Kingdom is Stronger than Storms’ is the theme for this year’s Christian Aid week from 13-19 May, focussing on support for building homes in Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world. Relentlessly hit by earthquakes, hurricanes and storms, Christian Aid has funded a house building programme which has provided some of the strongest houses in the country, which are still standing when many others were destroyed by Hurricane Matthew. The Windsor Christian Aid Group is busy planning activities in many of the Windsor churches during Christian Aid week. Look out for ‘Big Brekkies’, house to house collections, quiz nights, sponsored runs, coffee mornings, plant sales and the annual ‘Walk the Country’ a wonderful walk through the Chilterns on Saturday 19 May – perhaps an alternative to watching the Royal Wedding? Archbishop Justin Welby writes ‘We’re stepping out together in God’s mission for the world’s poorest people, raising funds to help those in the greatest need live life more abundantly, because we believe in life before death’. Please consider how you might get involved, and contact your church representative, or Tracy Tickle on [email protected] or Sarah Gardner on [email protected].
If you would like to get active before then, there is a Sponsored Knit taking place organised on Saturday 24 March: if you are an enthusiastic knitter please contact Mary Brown on [email protected] for more details.
“Thy Kingdom Come” is an ecumenical prayer initiative in the week leading up to Pentecost, which this year falls on Sunday 20th May – look out for various services taking place in different churches during the previous week, which will be advertised later. We will be starting with the Women’s World Day of Prayer service on Friday 11th May at Dedworth Green Baptist Church, Smiths Lane at 7pm (which had to be postponed from its usual data in March due to the bad weather). All are welcome to come along – the theme this year is “All God’s creation is very good!”
Windsor Methodist Church are hosting a choir: “The Ladies of First Methodist Prattville” on Thursday 5th July at 7.30pm. The choir is The Chancel Choir of First United Methodist Church in Prattville, Alabama is a non-auditioned group made up of singers from varying musical and professional backgrounds. Our choir loft is filled with college students, teachers, doctors, pastors, & retirees who come together to share the love of God through song. This hard-working ensemble meets once a week for 90 minutes to prepare for its many worship responsibilities. Most importantly, serving as the service choir for our 8:30am & 11:00am traditional worship services. The Chancel Choir also prepares a Service of Lessons and Carols each Advent season as well as a modern major work each Spring. Described as eclectic, this group performs pieces from classical to contemporary; by such prolific composers as Handel, Mozart, Rutter, Todd, Hogan, and Wilburg. Recently, the Prattville FUMC Chancel Choir received invitations to sing at the Alabama Governor’s Mansion Candlelight Christmas Tour and to serve as Grand Marshals of the Prattville Community Christmas Parade. Tickets will be on sale from May.
Dedworth Green Baptist Church, Smiths Lane holds a fortnightly Games afternoon between 2.00 – 4.00pm on Saturday afternoons. Games suitable for all generations from table tennis, snooker, skittles, a variety of board games etc. – details can be found on our website www.dgbc.org.uk
Also the local Carers Support Group meets at Dedworth Green Baptist Church on the 2nd Monday of the month 10.30am – 12.00 noon. The group is supported by the Signal Organisation and is open to anyone who is in a caring role.
As discussed at the Churches Together Annual Assembly, “Allsorts” is a monthly group for adults with learning disabilities – similar to “Messy church” – including a Bible story, snacks and an activity related to the Bible theme. This has been running for some time in Maidenhead and we are setting up a group in Windsor, hosted by the Oakbridge centre, on a Tuesday evening. We have a small but good group of people interested in running it. We still need some more involvement from other volunteers though, especially people who can take a leadership role in turn with others. Anyone interested, please contact Revd. Kat Bracewell on [email protected] or Revd. Kate Harrison on [email protected]