All posts by Peter Wells

Bishop Olivia

Our new Bishop of Reading

St Paul’s Cathedral
Inside the Dome
The new Bishop Olivia otside St Paul’s

On Tuesday 19th November, Olivia was consecrated as bishop in a service held in St Paul’s Cathedral, London

She was then welcomed and officially installed as the 10th Bishop of Reading at an afternoon service on 23rd November at the Reading Minster of St Mary the Virgin.

Before the service at The Minster
The new Bishop of Reading

Olivia was born and educated in Kent and went to work in Kenya as a teacher aged 18 for a year, which turned into 6. She then took a degree in Development Studies at UEA, Norwich before returning to work in Africa for another 7 years, in Djibouti, Somalia and Senegal. Towards the end of this period she married Keith, and their first child Robert was born. When the vote on the ordination of women as priests was carried by Synod in 1992 she returned to England to begin the process of exploring ordination. Their second child Philip was born six months before she started training on the St Albans and Oxford Ministry Course and she was ordained deacon in 1997, a few weeks after their third child, Sophie was born. During her curacy she trained as an Ignatian spiritual director. Olivia has served her whole ministry in Oxford Diocese, with 10 years in parish ministry before roles as parish development adviser and archdeacon. She has chaired the Diocesan link with Kimberley and Kuruman Diocese, delighting in the opportunity to keep up links with Africa. She has also led on the discipleship and clergy wellbeing work for the Diocese, and has a keen interest in environmental and social justice issues.

Prayer Cycle for December

No. 84                                          December 2019

This month our special focus is on Christmas in our Churches.

 Please pray:

  • That we shall be able to welcome many to our services this year both regular worshippers and visitors and that they may they know not just our welcome but also that of our Lord Jesus in this special season and that the services will be meaningful and challenging to all.
  • That those who already know the love of God will be re-inspired by news of this birth, as heaven bends to touch earthcome face to face with Emmanuel, God with us.
  • That those who find Christmas a time of loneliness and disappointment will find comfort and peace in the face of the Christ-child. come face to face with Emmanuel, God with us.

  Please pray for:

  • All Christmas Services in all our Churches
  • Midnight Mass
  • All Age Christmas Day Services
  • Carol Services
  • Nine Lessons and Carols
  • Crib Services and Nativity Plays
  • Churches Together in Crowthorne witness on Crowthorne High Street in the lead up to Christmas:
    • The (first ever!) official switch on of Christmas Lights, Sunday 24th November 6pm
    • Late Night Shopping on Crowthorne High Street, Friday 6th December
    • Angel Bombing and Carol Singing on the High Street, 14th December
  • St John the Baptist Crowthorne: 1st December Advent Fair and Advent Taizé worship
  • St George’s Owlsmoor: visits from both our local Primary Schools during December and the special services: 1st December Christingle, Saturday 14th December, Evening of Festive Music, Carol and Nativity Service
  • St Mary the Virgin Winnersh, 8th December 4.00 p.m. Messy Christingle, 24th December 4.30 p.m. Crib Service, 25th December,10.00 a.m. Christmas Day Family Eucharist
  • St.Catherine’s. Bearwood, 15th  December,  6.30 p.m. Candlelit Carol Service 24th December, 4.30 p.m. Crib Service, 11.00 p.m.  Midnight Mass
  • St Sebastian Messy Church 13th December
  • St Mary’s Wargrave Messy Church 15th December
  •  Woosehill Church for the response to the message of Christ from the Woosehill Community they are invited to the various Christmas services including carols at the Ye Olde Leathern Bottel pub on Monday 9th December from 7.30 pm.
  • The Stationng process as Woosehill Church and the Methodist circuit seek out a new minister to take them forward for the next three years.
  • All Saints Wokingham, 3 Session Advent Course – Alive in Christ

Prayer Cycle for November

No. 83 November 2019

This month our special focus is on Sonning Deanery Synod

 Please pray for:

  • Area Dean: Rev’d Richard Lamey
  • Lay Chair: John Smith
  • Associate Area Dean:  Rev’d Jane Kraft
  • Secretary: Bridget Crossley            
  • Treasurer: Vacant
  • Quinquennial Inspection Secretary: Michael Byrne
  • Ecumenical Representative: David Hare
  • Standing Committee: Rev’d Richard Lamey, John Smith, Rev’d Jane Kraft, Bridget Crossley, Pauline Humphreys, Judith Scott, Rev’d Catherine Vaughan
  • Representatives on Diocesan Synod: Rev’d Richard Lamey, Rev’d Hugh Barne, Martin Hughes, Judith Scott, John Smith, Peter Barrett
  • In Synod please pray:
  • For the Deanery Plan, that we will continue to listen to God as we listen to each other and try to enact our plan for the local Churches in four groups:
  • encouraging lay discipleship,
  • reaching out to the new housing estates being built locally,
  • setting up the right training courses to deepen our faith
  • building stronger relationships within the Deanery.
  • Praying for all those involved in these groups as they start working in these areas, so that we might become a stronger Deanery, becoming better at supporting the ministry of each parish and its people.

In the Deanery please pray for:

  • The Environment Impact Conference at Beech Hill Memorial Hall 7th November
  • The evening entitled “Christians Together on Climate” on 23rd November, 6:30 for 7 till 9 at St Lawrence’s Reading as they consider the responses from the local churches and diocesan funding
  • St Mary’s, Winnersh holding fund raising events in November, a Hand Bell Concert and a Pamper Evening to raise the £10.000 needed for a new boiler
  • Give thanks for the appointment of a new Parish Administrator for Winnersh Parish, that there will be a strengthening of the good links with the public, local schools, residential homes, funeral directors, and enhance communication with the Diocese and Deanery. 
  • St. Catherine’s Church Bearwood celebrating its Patronal Festival on the Feast of Christ the King (24th November) with a Joint Eucharist with St. Mary’s Winnersh at 11.00am that the Holy Spirit will lead us into God’s preferred and promised future for the parish.
  • The Quench, the Christian Bookshop, at Holme Grange, Wokingham, experiencing difficulty with team personal health and family issues and reduction in sales.

Surviving the Break Up


The Adult Experience of Divorce.
The evening covers some of the feelings experienced by people – anger, sorrow, low esteem and helplessness. Some ways of dealing with these feelings are also explored.
The Effect of Divorce on the Children.
This session looks at how children react to separation and divorce, with suggestions for making this period as easy as possible for them.
Legal Aspects of Divorce.
A local solicitor gives advice and information on the financial and legal aspects of divorce.
Happiness, Confidence & Independence.
An opportunity to explore who we are, who we can be and how to move forward towards our own happiness.
Quotes From Former Participants.
‘… it was good to be with other people who knew how I was feeling, because they were feeling it too.’
‘… the solicitor helped us to see what questions we needed to ask and which practical issues needed to be faced.’
‘… the specialists helped us to understand what was happening and were a springboard for the discussions that followed.’
‘… the course took me forward.’

This is a 4-session course designed for anyone who is at any stage of separation, break up or divorce. It has been created to help people understand the process involved in splitting up. There is an opportunity to meet and gain support from other people in a similar situation.
Each evening consists of a short talk, followed by the chance to discuss experiences in small groups.
Dates: Wednesday evenings at 8:00pm
6th, 13th, 20th and 27th November 2019
Venue: St Sebastian’s Parish Centre,
Nine Mile Ride, Wokingham.
Cost: There is a small fee of £10.00 to cover refreshments, administration costs, etc. However, please do ask if this proves difficult as fees can be reduced or waived.
Please Contact: St Sebastian’s Parish Centre, Nine Mile Ride,
Wokingham, RG40 3AT
Telephone: 01344 761050
(9:00am – 3:00pm Monday-Friday)

Prayer Cycle for October

No. 82                                          October 2019

This month our special focus is on St John the Baptist Church Crowthorne

 Please pray for:

  • Vicar:  Rev’d Dr. Lisa Cornwell
  • Associate Priest:  Rev’d David Ramsbottom
  • LLMs:             Gillian Gyenes, Hazel Berry, Julia Norton, Dr Lewis Simmons
  • Church Wardens:   Leslie Richardson, Leigh Welham
  • PCC Secretary:        Mary Harwood
  • Treasurer:                  Rebecca Al-Jadir
  • Assistant Treasurer: Julie Sharpe
  • Choir Director:       Katherine Bond Smith

In the Parish please pray for:

  • Our clergy and all those who lead services and preach, intercessors and those who read the lessons
  • Carol Frost in her training as an LLM.
  • Our PCC
  • The Choir and the visiting organists who play for our services
  • The Net (our Sunday School): for the teachers, children and parent helpers.
  • Pathfinders, the leaders and the young people attending
  • Minus 5s, those who lead, singing, pray and tell stories to the children and their parents.
  • More leaders for all the children and young people’s work
  • The Church yard team and those who will cut and strim the hedges ready for winter.
  • Our continuing Christian Spirituality Course, October 7the Formed Spirituality/ John Calvin, October 14 The Spirituality of Compassion/ Jean Vanier, Oct 21 Spirituality of Cynthia Bourgeault/ Centering Prayer
  • Our annual ‘Tea and Favourite Hymns’ on 20 October
  • The All Souls and All Saints services
  • Our Mindfulness Quiet Day in November lead by Tim Stead.
  • All the groups who use our hall during the week

In the Deanery please pray for:

  • St George’s Church in Owlsmoor, someone to please come forward to become Treasurer
  • The Church Urban Fund event at the Exeter Hall in Kidlington, on October 7th when there will be an afternoon of discussion around church growth, discipleship and social action, to which all will be welcome.
  • All the many new communities in our Deanery
  • All young people going away to University and College.
  • All the work done by C.R.O.W. – ‘Crowthorne reduce our waste’

Hazel Berry: