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church letter

The start of November brings remembrance in several ways. In Church on All Saints, we remember the saints - all God’s people - who have served and witnessed and, in many cases, lost their lives or at least their freedom, rather than renounce their trust in Jesus. Then, on Remembrance Sunday we remember those who lost their lives defending our and others’ freedom in two World Wars, Korea, the Falklands, Northern Ireland, Ukraine, and elsewhere. Then at All Souls, we remember those whom we’ve personally said our farewell to and miss.

I do not know how recently you have experienced a loss, or if you’re still feeling the shock, the emptiness, perhaps the anger as well as the grief; but I hope you can hold on to the good things, the things you’re proud of in someone you cared about and can remember them with thankfulness. A wise man once told me that sometimes it is worth sorting the photos and writing down the stories before there is any possibility of the memories fading.

But do we ever see our loved ones again? Churchgoers will be familiar with the Apostles’ Creed, the statements of our beliefs. Towards the end, it says: “I believe in the communion of saints”. Saints are just all the people who love God, follow Jesus, and know his Spirit is in them. There are promises in the Bible about our destiny in God’s presence for ever, in a transformed creation.

Remembering has its other side, however. So many people die unexpectedly – whether naturally, through a disease, by accident, or by violence, and we are unable to say goodbye. It is even worse if our last word to someone we loved was in anger, or irritation, or sarcasm. We couldn’t know it would be our last word, our last meeting: “I wish I hadn’t said that” - “I wish we’d sorted that business out” - “I wish I’d spent more time, visited more often, talked about this or that ...” - “If only ...”

One of my mature Psychology students when I was teaching about bereavement shared how she was so grateful to have 'made up' with her 12-year-old son after a silly argument before he cycled off to school; a journey that ended when was knocked down and killed. The memory of his smile and hug of reconciliation, before he left, helped her to survive the pain she endured.

The Apostles’ Creed continues: “I believe in the forgiveness of sins”. Jesus often underlined how important forgiveness is, both to receive and to offer. Through his death on the cross, he made it possible for us to be forgiven by God; and by his Spirit living in us, makes it possible for us to offer forgiveness, even to someone who has hurt us deeply and is no longer here to hear it.

The Creed goes on: “I believe in the resurrection of the dead”. Christians believe in the resurrection of the body - that we shall be raised as Jesus was, a whole person. After his resurrection, Jesus was recognised; somehow different, but clearly the same Jesus. Likewise, for those who are his; we will still ourselves, but more gloriously so. ‘He will transform our frail bodies so that they will be like his glorious body’. That means identity and recognition.

Finally, “I believe in the life everlasting”. God’s plan has always been that we should live in a wonderful fellowship with one another and with God himself. He “will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief, crying or pain.” “I am making everything new,” he says (Revelation 21.5)

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2.9).

Thanks be to God. Revd Annette

Church Contacts

Benefice Administrator: Tamara Laing, part-time at the Benefice Office Email: wbboffice@gmail.com 07359 327072.

Inkpen: Charlotte Bampfylde (tel. 669285).
Combe: Tina Fiertz (tel. 668529), Katherine Astor (katherine@kirby-house.co.uk).

Inkpen graveyards on-line

For anyone wishing to view the details of Inkpen's graveyards, including burial details, grave stone inscriptions and the location of the graves, please click here.  Inkpen Burial, Marriage, Baptism and Birth records covering the period 1607 to 1837 can be found on the Inkpen history website, here.


Having read about Revd. William McDowell in his letter in the last Bulletin we much look forward to meeting him at the Service which Licenses him for his ministry among us. This is in St. Michael's Church, Inkpen at 7pm on Wednesday 8th November. All are welcome. As far as parking is concerned, if the weather has been fine for two days before the service and on the night, it is in the field below the Church. If not, it will be in the lane leading down to the Church. Park on the left pointing down the hill and, on that side, only - and remember to bring a torch.

The other main service of the month is that of Remembrance which is at 9.45 on 12th November and will be led by Revd. William. The dogs of war are awake once more and the world is not a happy place. So please come and remember the fallen of our own parish and nation and give thanks for the sacrifice that none of them wished to make. Also to remember all those who have been and are now affected by the terrors and atrocities of war. As always, the full collection will be given to the Royal British Legion.

Finally, looking forward to happier things our Services at Christmas are Christingle at 4pm on the 10th December, a Crib and Nativity Service at 4pm on the 15th, our Candlelit Carol Service at 6.30pm on the 17th and of course our Family Service at 9.45 followed by one of Holy Communion on Christmas Day. There is a certain magic in the air for them all.

As a Special Extra we are hoping that for the Carol Service we will once again be led by a Christmas Choir. Christopher Sears who will lead it writes: " It would be great if we could assemble an informal group of parishioners and friends to lead the singing as happened prior to the pandemic. No experience is required - just enthusiasm! If you would be interested in taking part, please contact Christopher Sears – treasurer.inkpenchurch@outlook.com"

He will then take it from there.

1. Which angel appeared to Mary announcing the birth of the Christ child by her?
2. Whose face shone like an angel?
3. Which prophet was brought food by an angel, and where?
4. Which Apostle was freed from prison by an angel?
5. Where is the Angel of the North?
6. Which angel did battle with the dragon in heaven?
7. Who wrote the hymn, “Angels from the realms of glory”?
8. What did the angels sing to the shepherds at Bethlehem?
9. Who wrote the hymn “Ye holy angels bright”, and what did he do?
10. Which popstar wrote “Angels”?
11. Where might you find an Angel in London?
12. What food might an angel eat?
13. Which Bible author wrote “some people have entertained angels unawares.”
14. What did the angel who “appeared like lightning and whose clothes were as white as snow” do?
15. Which book of the Bible records the greatest number of angelic appearances?
16. Who met an angel who set fire to meat, unleavened bread and broth?
17. Why did an angel appear to Manoah’s wife?
18. The Angel of the Lord stood in the way of whose donkey?
19. Whose angels always behold the face of the Father?
20. Do angels appear to people today?

1. Gabriel (Luke 1:26-28)
2. Stephen (Acts 6:15)
3. Elijah and under a broom tree (1 Kings 19: 3-9)
4. Peter (Acts 12: 7-10)
5. Gateshead
6. Michael (Revelation 12:7ff)
7. James Montgomery in 1816
8. “Glory to God in the Highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests” (or a different translation) Luke 2:14
9. Richard Baxter a clergyman/minister in the 17th Century
10. Robbie Williams
11. Islington
12. Angels Delight
13. The Writer to the Hebrews (Hebrews 13:2)
14. Rolled the stone away from Christ’s tomb and sat on it (Matthew 28:2,3)
15. Revelation of St John
16. Gideon (Judges 6:21)
17. To tell her she would have a child named Samson (Judges 13)
18. Balaam’s Donkey (Numbers 22: 21-35)
19. Children (Matthew 18:10)
20. Yes – anyone got a story?

We are again appealing to the many people who have given generously in the past and to others who would like to support the upkeep of our church. If you would like to donate to St. Michael's Church Inkpen, please do so using the secure website www.parishgiving.org.uk.

Your donations are vital to the upkeep of our beautiful church which so many rely on for weddings, baptisms, funerals and memorials as well as regular services. Thank you.

church services FOR INKPEN AND COMBE

Sunday 5th November – Holy Communion at 9.45am
Sunday 12th November – Remembrance Sunday at 9.45am
Sunday 19th November – Holy Communion at 9.45am
Sunday 26th November – Holy Communion at 9.45am

Sunday 12th November – Remembrance Service at 11.15am

Other Services in the Benefice are on the Website which is www.walburybeaconbenefice.org.uk

catholic services

Our Lady of Lourdes, Priory Road, Hungerford RG17 0AF Parish Priest - Fr Zbigniew Budyn 01635 40332

Sunday Mass - every Sunday at 9.00am
Weekday Mass - every Wednesday at 10.00am

For further information contact Paul Burrough Tel: 01488 668882, Mobile: 07836 292976, Email: paul.burrough43@gmail.com

OBITUARIES - bob may

Bob was a real character in Inkpen. Inkpen was foremost in Bob’s thoughts, always trying to make things better. Bob was also very keen on conifers, yes conifers, and he was happy to plant them in odd and empty places. You have to look but they are around. He would donate some to village events such as fêtes, ever keen to encourage others to get the conifer bug.

He planted daffodils in verges, triangles and at the playing field, something to fill an empty spot and brighten the village. He scattered foxglove seeds and spent hours at Lower Green making places for wild flowers. In that, Bob was ahead of his time, way ahead. To some, it’s a patch of weeds, to others a reminder that wild things are both beautiful and useful, part of the wildlife food chain. It’s taken until now for the Chelsea Flower Show to catch up. Bob also loved sport. That’s what his TV was for - sport. He would often drive to Southampton to watch key players and in more recent times he did the same at Swindon. He encouraged and donated to sport in Inkpen and was a great supporter of the project to renovate the sports pavilion, making several donations.

Bob also made donations to the church and separately to the bulletin. He seemed to have saved every bulletin copy for the past decade or two. He made donations to the village hall and to the village school, where he spent his early years. I don’t know that Bob particularly disliked school but he certainly had a fondness for extracurricular activities. He was a man of humble beginnings but like many born in the aftermath of WW2 he had an appetite for business, entrepreneurship and work. He did well and was happy to share it. A lesson to us all.

In so many ways Bob sowed seeds, both actually and metaphorically. Some grew and some didn’t but it wasn’t for the lack of trying. I think Bob was always sorry not to have done better at school, but the way Bob lived is surely a lesson for us all.

A victorian view - now and then

The images of St. Michael's past and present are shown here

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