Just another summer .
I am writing this on a grey, cool, mid-August day – for September
publication. Perhaps we shall be enjoying an Indian summer as you
read this. Or perhaps not.
When I was writing the Ministry Letter for July, mid-June – it was
all to play for, all to strive for, in the football, Wimbledon, the
Olympics and various Test matches.
And now? There will be many post-mortems taking place in top level
sport for months to come. Scrutiny of film footage, review of
tactics, thoughts around training, team selection, track and
equipment technology etc. We’ve shared moments of hope, moments of
glory, moments of despair and anguish with our teams and sporting
representatives. And perhaps some moments of shame also, over what
we have seen on our news screens of crowd behaviour, online trolling
and abuse of individual players and athletes.
We’ve seen youngsters earning their places in the history books –
and best of all – in the words of Emma Raducanu, at 18 the youngest
British woman to reach the last 16 of The Championships, “having
such a blast, just being here . . . I feel like I’m on holiday.”
Before the tournament, her parents had said to her: “Aren’t you
packing too many sets of match kit?” Well, she wasn’t . . . “I think
I’m going to do some laundry tonight!”
Who didn’t warm to the combination of total rapt focus and sheer
exuberance on 13-year-old Sky Brown’s face on that final run? Her
dream? “I have so many dreams,” she says, “but my main one now is to
go to underprivileged places and teach kids to skate, because I feel
like skateboarding – and other sports – helps people who are
struggling.” We’ve seen Olympic officials making tough moral and
political decisions over the forced return of an athlete to a
We’ve seen high jumpers Tambero from Italy and Barshim from Qatar
reach a split-second, almost wordless decision to share gold rather
than continue a jump-off – with these heart-felt words from Barshim
afterwards: “Humanity solidarity, unity . . . it’s just like peace
coming all together. This is beyond sport, this is a true message.”
And all being played out against a background of record heatwaves
and temperatures across the world; some of the worst wildfires ever
seen; devasting floods, earthquakes and mudslides – all of which
have claimed lives, homes, livelihoods and whole communities. The
pandemic continues to wane and wax and evolve its own
vaccine-evading strategies in different areas around the globe –
sometimes making headlines, sometimes not – and always with
governments and scientists in hot pursuit.
And meantime, inexorably it seems, the Taliban continue to advance
in Afghanistan, stripping away the hard-won advances towards
democracy made in the last twenty years by the government there.**
** I paused my writing on that mid-August day – leaving it to be
completed in time for the deadline. And just over a week later,
coming back to finish it off – what can I say? What can I say? The
commentary on events in Afghanistan is pouring out on screen, in
print, in parliaments – and will continue to do so, until everything
has been said and re-said over and over again.
I met a neighbour – both out walking with our dogs – who said, “I
suppose you’re praying about Afghanistan?” Well, yes. What else, at
the moment, can we do?
Associate Priest: The Revd. Tim Wood – Tel. 01488 669261; Mob:
07927352847; Email: email@example.com.
Benefice Administrator: Alex King, part-time at the Benefice Office
– Tel. 01635 226 064; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inkpen: Gerald Atkinson (tel. 668375).
Combe: David Russell (tel. 668229), Katherine Astor (tel. 668284).
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.
NEWS FROM ST. MICHAEL'S
Plenty on this month as we return, at last, to near normal.
On Friday 17th we host the Newcomers Welcome Evening from 7pm
onwards. If you have come to the village over the last two years
or so you are most welcome to this very informal evening when,
with a welcome drink, you can meet and mingle both with others and
with leaders of some of the village activities. You will be given
a Welcome Pack containing contact details and then at 8.30pm we
see the film 'Black Legend' which is written up in more detail on
Page 5. We will also show the most delightful, entertaining and
unique conversation between Jon Snow and Robert Hardy who when he
was an undergraduate at Oxford in 1948 makes his first recorded
All in all, this offers the opportunity of a useful and
entertaining evening. We need to know how many intend to come and
we hope to have given personal invitations to those we know of by
13th September. But if you haven't heard from us by then or you
would like to book your place now please contact me at
email@example.com. There is no charge but if you decide to stay
on for the showing we ask for £5 for each ticket.
Then on Friday 24th September Christopher Sears, who is a Fellow
of the Royal College of Organists, will give a short demonstration
and recital on our recently refurbished and enhanced organ. This
is now a fine instrument for a village church the size of ours.
The informal evening which we are calling 'A Musical Aperitif'
starts at 6pm and will last for about an hour. There is no charge
but there will be a 'plate at the door'. All are very welcome.
Next, we are holding our Harvest Festival Service on the 26th at
9.45. This is very much for the whole family and includes the
moment when the children bring to the altar the gifts of produce
which are either brought to the Service or to the Church when it
is open for decoration from 10.30 on Saturday morning. Revd. Tim
Wood will lead the Service to which all are most welcome. The
produce is then taken to the Newbury Food Bank.
Finally, it is good to be able to report that from the 1st of the
month the Church returns to opening seven days a week from 9.30am
Gerald Atkinson. Churchwarden.
Sunday 5th : Traditional Holy Communion at 8.30am
Sunday 12th : Parish Communion at 9.45am
Sunday 19th : An Evening Service based on Compline but enhanced
with additional hymns, prayers and music at 4pm
Sunday 26th : Harvest Festival at 9.45am
Sunday 19th : Holy Communion at 11.15am
Other Services in the Benefice are on the Website which is
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 01488 668882 Mobile
07836 292976 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
A victorian view - now and then
The images of St. Michael's past and present are shown here