Local Churches

The latest church and benefice news.

church letter

June 2022. As I type that document name – some two weeks before you will be reading this – I find myself thinking: So, what on earth can I write about June 2022 that won’t be said hundreds of times, in hundreds of articles, by hundreds of people? And probably in many cases far better than I am likely to put it.

I’m sure I shan’t find anything new to say about it, and yet it feels impossible to produce a Ministry Team letter for June 2022, without focusing on it. It? Well, obviously – the Platinum Jubilee. It is such an extraordinary event, in a time when we are becoming accustomed to extraordinary events, and a time also when records in every area seem regularly to be broken. But . . . 70 years . . . doing one job, and not even a job of choice. When Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne, there were not as many career options available to young women as there are now. There were choices open for ordinary women, but not for the young Elizabeth.

The job she inherited, unchosen, encompasses many different formal roles, including that of head of the Church of England, thanks to Henry VIII’s stand-off with the Catholic Church. Prayers for the Monarch from the Book of Common Prayer (1662) – one of the eventual outcomes of the split from Catholicism – ask: “that she may always incline to thy will and walk in thy way;” and “study to preserve thy people committed to her charge, in wealth, peace, and godliness.”

If you look at a coin in your purse or pocket, (unless you have gone entirely plastic or digital) you will see the letters F.D. (or FID DEF) stamped around the edge of the obverse – the side we call “heads” when tossing a coin because it shows the head of the reigning monarch at the time of minting. Those letters stand for “Fidei Defensor” and form part of the full Latin inscription: “Elizabeth II Dei Gratia Regina Fidei Defender” – Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith.

“The” faith, of course, being Christianity. So, these comprise a job description of sorts, I suppose. Interestingly, ironically perhaps, the title “Defender of the Faith” was bestowed on Henry VIII by Pope Leo X in 1521 before the English Church split from Roman Catholicism, and Henry, ever the opportunist, hung on to it in his new role as head of a new national Church. Our current Queen, in fact, elaborated on this aspect of the job in a speech at Lambeth Palace on the last Jubilee, in 2012:

“The role [of our established Church] is not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions. Instead, the Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country. . . . gently and assuredly, the Church of England has created an environment for other faith communities and indeed people of no faith to live freely. Woven into the fabric of this country, the Church has helped to build a better society... “

Your Majesty, Ma’am, I hope – I do hope – that in June 2022, that is all still true, for all of us.
Jenny - Licensed Lay Minister

Walbury Beacon Benefice Prayer for Ukraine
written for us by Patrick Whitworth

Heavenly Father, Ruler of the Nations, look with compassion on the people of Ukraine.
Give wisdom and courage to its leaders.
Protect women and children as they shelter from or flee the fighting.
Give support and care to the refugees and to the countries helping them.
Draw close to the young men and soldiers suddenly finding themselves in combat.
Comfort the bereaved.
And finally bring peace with dignity, freedom and hope for the future of Ukraine.
Amen .

Church Contacts

Benefice Administrator: Alex King, part-time at the Benefice Office – Tel. 01635 226 064; Email: wbboffice@gmail.com.
Inkpen: Charlotte Bampfylde (tel. 668285).
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.


Following the Lighting of the Beacon and the Inkpen Big Jubilee Saturday and Party in the Park, the village celebrations continue in the Church with our Tribute to the Queen at 9.45am on 5th June. We will sing some of the hymns, listen to some of the readings and join in some of the prayers that we know have meant so much to Her Majesty. And we will hear again in some of her own words of how her Christian faith has been both the bedrock and inspiration of her life. All are invited to come and do her proud in what will be a joyful Tribute to the one who has for seventy years been the true Leader of our Country.

An update now on the appointment of clergy to the Benefice. By the time you read this, the interview of a candidate for the post based in Kintbury will have taken place. So, we will have to see how this works out. As far as the post which is mainly for ourselves, Combe and West Woodhay is concerned, it has been decided that this will be advertised again when that for Kintbury has been filled. This makes sense because the Kintbury post is the senior one. But it does mean a longer wait for us with the burden of continuity falling on the shoulders of our Churchwarden, Charlotte Bampfylde and her two Associate Wardens, Nick Freeman and Andy MacInnes. As far as Charlotte is concerned, many apologies all round for the error of her phone number in last month's Bulletin: it is 01488 669285 and not 668285 as I wrote it.

Finally, services for June follow the established pattern. After the Tribute to 'The Queen' on the 5th we have Parish Communion at 9.45 on the 12th and Compline at 6pm on the 19th.

church services

At the time of going to print the below services were not confirmed but follow May’s format. Please therefore check - https://www.walburybeaconbenefice.org.uk/services/ for confirmation.

Sunday - 12th June - 9.45am - Holy Communion
Sunday - 19th June - 6.00pm - Service of Compline

Sunday - 19th June 11.15am – Holy Communion

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 (incl Easter) 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


George Taylor 26 April 1926 to 4 April 2022.

I was asked if I would like to write an article for the Inkpen Bulletin in celebration of the life of my wonderful Grandad, George Taylor, who died on 4 April 2022 at the age of 95. He lived in the Inkpen/Kintbury area all his life and was well known around the village.

He met my Gran, Peggy, whilst still at school and, despite the intervention of WWII, they married in December 1950 at St Mary’s Church, Kintbury. Once married, they moved to Inkpen and built their bungalow, ‘Maytime’, on Wergs Rd.

Grandad was a kind and generous man, with a big heart. For many years he helped maintain Inkpen cemetery and could often be seen pushing his wheelbarrow between there and ‘Maytime’. He loved gardening and his garden was always beautiful, ablaze with colour throughout the summer, as well as an abundance of fruit and vegetables. He was also very creative, turning his hand to many different projects, such as bird tables, wooden garden ornaments, and various small figures that often incorporated his homegrown dried flowers.

In his role of Grandad and Great Grandad he was patient and very generous with his time, happily playing badminton, croquet, or football with us, or letting us help him in the garden. My brother, sister and I have fond memories of caravan holidays in the New Forest with our Grandparents - burying Grandad in the sand on Mudeford beach, playing crazy golf, and visiting the ‘witches’ shop’ in Burley.

So, it is with full hearts and many wonderful memories that my family and I bid farewell to a wonderful man, handing him back into the care of his lovely wife Peggy; married for 63 years and reunited once again.
Felicity Hornby

A victorian view - now and then

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

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