Churches Together in Windsor
Unity in diversity
Welcome to the first CTW newsletter for some considerable time. 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.
It never ceases to amaze me that God’s chosen means of showing the world his love is through the love that Christians show for each other (John 13:34-35). That creates a real urgency for maintaining good relationships, both within our own congregations and between our respective churches, by learning to value the strength of diversity whilst being faithful to God’s call on our own lives. In my experience that is often far easier said than done!
One of the ways, however, in which this value of unity can be shown is through the way that Christians from our various congregations work together, alongside the local community, on initiatives such as the Homeless Project, Street Angels and, more recently, Windsor Foodshare. These and other similar initiatives are genuine expressions of God’s love for the world which are made possible when people with different contributions to offer share common concerns and goals.
At this Easter time when we remember God’s ultimate expression of love for a broken world, I hope this newsletter will help you to see how you and your church have a part to play in working together to show God’s love for his world.
Rev Matthew Scott Chair, Churches Together in Windsor
• In November Windsor Baptist Church in Victoria Street opened a community / fair trade / family-friendly cafe which is open each weekday from 0930-1400. We have great coffee and a kids’ play area. If you are passing, please pop in and say ‘hi’!
• Windsor Parish Church Organ Appeal: Recent articles in the Windsor local press have highlighted the need to raise £300,000 to restore the organ in Windsor Parish Church, as part of an overall appeal leading up to the 200th anniversary of this landmark building in 2022 to make the building and grounds fit for purpose in the 21st century. These articles have also sought ‘foundation donations’ to the appeal of £2,000, £4,000, £8,000 or £16,000 by analogy with the lengths of the foundation stop organ pipes, 2 foot, 4 foot, 8 foot and 16 foot. It is good to be able to report that we have recently received donations of £8,000 and £2,000 from the Elton John Charitable Trust and the Shanly Foundation respectively, plus a pledge for £4,000 from a further source subject to our raising the remaining funds by mid-2016. The appeal is now being accelerated with many letters being written to trust funds.
• Windsor Churches make huge effort to support DEC Ebola Crisis Appeal and Christian Aid Christmas Appeal: People in churches throughout Windsor made very significant efforts over the Christmas period to raise nearly £2,000 for both the Disasters Emergency Committee Ebola Crisis Appeal and also Christian Aid’s Christmas Appeal for East Africa this year. Several churches took up a specific collection in their services to help those suffering as a result of the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, and other collections were made in Peascod Street, at a coffee morning at the URC, a concert held by the Wesley Guild, carol singing by the Voci choir, Carols on the Hill and a collection outside Tesco in January. The money raised for the CA Christmas Appeal in particular was part of a campaign where funds raised would be doubled by the UK government, therefore making even more of the money raised. The Christian Aid Committee is really grateful to all who got involved by giving their time and energy, those who volunteered to hold a collecting bucket, or organise an event, or by motivating their churches to give. But most of all we are grateful to all who responded generously with their money, to these important causes.
• The Carols on the Hill service was held on Friday 12th December last year and was very popular, featuring the Band of the Household Cavalry.
• A Christmas Day lunch was held from 12.30pm to 3.00pm in All Saint’s Hall, Frances Road for people who would otherwise have been alone on Christmas Day.
• The Annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was held in the third week of January and was well supported.
• A Women’s World Day of Prayer service was held on 6th March at the United Reformed Church in William Street. The service is written by women from a different country each year, and this year the service was from the Bahamas. This is a great way of meeting people from other churches and joining in prayer with others all around the world. A total of £250 was raised for Christian projects around the world.
“For your diary”:
• On Friday 20th March at 8pm Windsor Baptist Church will be hosting a concert with proceeds going to The Windsor Homeless Project. Church Minister Mark Richardson is a songwriter and will be performing alongside local poet Jonathan Dalton – the evening is called ‘An Evening of Words & Music’ (The return of the two blokes you’ve never heard of!). Tickets are available from Windsor Baptist Church on 01753 868060 for a suggested price of £5… but as the money goes to The Homeless Project… people can pay as much as they like!! Details for this event should be available in your church.
• Please join us for the annual Good Friday Witness on Friday 3rd April 12 noon – 1pm outside the Post Office, Peascod St. Windsor – all welcome!
• There will be a Procession of Witness on Good Friday in Old Windsor. We start at 10.30am at the foot of the Cross at the corner of St Luke’s Road and St Peter’s Road, proceed to the shops, down to the Methodist Church and finally on to St Luke’s where we will also have a short Service followed by tea/coffee and hot cross buns. You are very welcome to join us for all or part of the Walk. Information: Hazel Cooper 01753 867752
• Laurie Holloway Concert: There will be a fundraising concert in Windsor Parish Church by Laurie Holloway & Friends on Saturday, 18 April. Please do consider coming and inviting your friends to this concert which will feature the organ as well as Laurie Holloway’s trio and a starry cast of vocal soloists. Please get your tickets in advance, buying through the Windsor Tourist Centre box office 01753 743915 or before services at the Parish Church. If any reader would like to make a donation to the appeal, please contact Michael Bailey, Gift Aid Administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a Gift Aid form, or send a cheque payable to “PCC Windsor Parish Church with All Saints”, marked “Restricted Organ Fund”, to Hon. Treasurer, 84 Bolton Road, Windsor, SL4 3JJ.
• On Friday 24th April, at 8pm, we will be welcoming Christian Singer/Songwriter Cathy Burton to Windsor Baptist Church. Cathy played in Windsor last year and it was a wonderful evening. Tickets will be available from http://scruffysoul.com/2015/02/17/cathy-burton-in-concert-2015/
• The Ecumenical Prayer Group meets in the small chapel at Windsor Methodist Church Alma Road from 7-8pm every Tuesday to pray for Windsor and its churches – please join us if you can. Further details from Ann Hinton at email@example.com
• Christian Aid: Get sponsored to Walk the Country: Saturday 16 May 2015
This year, why not take part in our Walk the Country sponsored event? The annual day out is not only great fun, but also raises thousands of pounds to help us fight poverty around the world.
Come along and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the route, which lies nestled in the Oxfordshire countryside. The walk is open to walkers of all ages and participants can take on 5, 10 or 15 miles for the day. Our team of experienced volunteer stewards will be on hand to help along each route. If you took part last year, why not try and beat your distance this year?
Walk starts and finishes at Bix Village Hall, Bix RG9 6BS (Between Henley and Nettlebed)
Registration between 8.30am and 10am. Register in advance and collect sponsorship or donate a minimum of £10 on the day.
Ruth Norris from All Saints Church Dedworth is acting as the Windsor coordinator and would love to hear from anyone who is interested in joining in this walk: you can get sponsored, or just pay £10 to join in. Her contact number is 01753 869787. A number of people from the Windsor churches are already hoping to take part.
• Brendan the Navigator – A Call to Risky Living
Brendan’s story has fascinated and inspired countless generations since the monk first set off from Ireland with a group of his friends in the 6th century in exploration of a vision, in search of the Promised Land.
This community project invites singers, musicians, dancers, artists, photographers and craftspeople from across the area to take part in a presentation of work around the song cycle ‘Brendan the Navigator – A Call to Risky Living’, which has been written for the community choir of St Agnes’ Fountain, Windsor.
Rehearsals for singers and musicians start after Easter and culminate in a service on St Brendan’s day, Saturday 16 May 2015 at 2 pm in the Parish Church of St John the Baptist, in the heart of Windsor, followed by an opportunity to view the art and craft exhibition over refreshments. All are welcome.
For more information see stagnesfountain.org To take part, contact Sue Morgan at St Agnes’ Fountain Music and Faith Centre, Windsor on email firstname.lastname@example.org or tel 07752 479624
• On Monday May 18th at 8-9pm at Dedworth Green Baptist Church, there will be a prayer meeting to pray for the work of Christian Connections in Schools – please come and join us.
Magna Carta/LiberTea events:
There will be several events to mark the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta (see http://www.rbwm.gov.uk/web/museum_magna_carta.htm and www.thamesalive.org.uk/magnacarta), including:
13th May: Royal Windsor Horse Show jousting
Saturday 6th June: Barons of England archers hold an archery contest in the Home Park and then process through Central Windsor to attend Evensong in the castle.
Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th June: Wraysbury Flower Festival, St Andrew’s Church
8th June: Relay carrying Magna Carta around Slough, with a march through Slough in the afternoon focusing on the flags of the Commonwealth. A dinner will take place in the evening at the Copthorne Hotel.
Thursday 11th June: Wraysbury Players Magna Carta evening of words and music
12th-15th June: Medieval Fair and Re-enactment at Windsor racecourse. A race meeting which has a Magna Carta theme will take place on the evening of 15th.
Saturday 13th June: Baldwin Institute, Eton: Eton Community Association Magna Carta fete and LiberTea (charity fundraising event)
Saturday 13th June: Wraysbury Medieval Fair including manpowered floats, archery, falconry, Morris dancing and jousting on Shetland ponies.
13th June: Egham: Magna Carta Day and street festival
13th/14th June: Eton is to hold a medieval fair on the Brocas and a Liber Tea in the main street at 3.00pm.
Sunday 14th June: Wraysbury peal of bells 3pm, LiberTea at 4pm at The Grange, Songs of Praise at 5.30pm and exhibition of Magna Carta embroidery
There will be a river relay involving historical boats including the royal row barge Gloriana, travelling from Hurley to Runnymede, carrying a copy of the Magna Carta. Plays will be acted out along the route, on Saturday 13th June at Hurley Riverside 9am, Bisham Abbey 11.30am, Cookham Moorings 2pm, Cliveden House 3.30pm, Bridge Gardens 5.45pm. The flotilla arrives at Oakley Court Hotel at 8pm on the Saturday and leaves after a play at 9.30am on Sunday 14th June. Further plays will be performed on Sunday 14th June at Brocas Meadow at 11.30am and Runnymede Pleasure Ground at 2.45pm.
“For your prayers”
Please pray for activities in Windsor where the Christian churches work together, such as the ongoing work of Foodshare, the Street Angels and the Homeless Project.
Street Angels are volunteers who help people who need assistance on a night out. The scheme has been running for two years, covering the period from 9pm to 3am on Friday nights. They are seeking more volunteers so that the scheme can be extended to cover Saturdays too. Please contact PCSO Dave Bullock at email@example.com or 07816 848231.