Local Churches

The latest church and benefice news.

church letter

Dear Friends,

We are now a whole month into 2024 and although the weather may not be getting any warmer just yet, we can at least expect lighter mornings and evenings. I always find February a hard month to get through. All the excitement of a new start in January has worn away, and yet the warmth and anticipation of spring can still seem far off. But we can embrace winter's darkness and take the opportunity to gather our thoughts and hearts.

On 14th February this year, it is Valentine’s Day but also Ash Wednesday when the Church community embarks on their sacred journey of Lent. It marks a period of reflection, when we traverse the quiet landscapes of our souls, seeking the light that will hopefully lead to transformation.

Lent is an opportunity to cast aside the burdens that weigh us down and turn our faces toward the dawn of renewal and intentional change, when we lay bare our vulnerabilities, trusting that the light of grace will guide us through the shadows.

So, some ideas about how to begin that makeover.
1. Embrace Stillness: We live in a world that constantly clamours for our attention. In contrast, Lent calls us to embrace stillness. It is in the quiet moments of prayer and contemplation that we hear the whispers of our deepest selves and connect with the Divine. People share how they feel close to God and spiritually rested as they walk in the countryside, or who find peace by sitting in an empty church. Factor in some times of quietness to stop, look and listen.
2. Winter's Rest, Spring's Promise: Currently in many ways the earth is resting. This period of dormancy is not stagnation but a prelude to new life. Likewise, we should view our Lenten journey as a sacred pause, preparing us for the blossoming of our souls.
3. Acts of Kindness as lights: We can illuminate the lives of others through acts of kindness and compassion. Each small gesture, like a candle in the dark, has the power to dispel the shadows of despair and bring warmth to those in need.
4. A Beacon of Hope: Our collective journey through Lent is a reminder that we are not alone. When we meet as a family or as a community, we can become a beacon of hope, lighting the way for one another as we navigate the twists and turns of our spiritual paths.
5. Gratitude as a Guiding Star: Amidst the challenges, let thankfulness be our guiding star. Taking a moment to notice and acknowledge the things we're grateful for each day can brighten our outlook, boost our mood, and help us feel more positive in the face of challenges. It can pierce even the darkest of nights.

May this Lenten season be a time of growth and renewal. May we support one another in our quests for light and transformation. When we emerge from the winter darkness, may our souls radiate with the warmth of newfound grace. In the spirit of hope and joy Rev 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.


In British History Online the general effect of our Church is described as being "exceedingly good, giving at once an impression of simplicity and richness". And indeed over Christmas it was looking its very best. As always it was beautifully decorated, the Christmas tree looked amazing and using the side aisle altar for the Wise Men meant that we could view our lovely Nativity figures in full. Overall, the effect was stunning and many thanks to all concerned.

'Stunning' could also be said of the way the village supported our Christmas services. All in all for the Christingle, Nativity Play, Carol and Christmas Day services the total number coming neared 350 with over 150 coming on Christmas Day. The Bishop of Reading who took the service to help the Benefice was more than impressed! But it wasn't just the numbers that made the occasion so memorable but the wonderful atmosphere that was present. Again, thanks to all.

And as far as our Services in February are concerned, we have Parish Communion at 9.45 on the 4th, Communion using the Book of Common Prayer on the 11th and Compline at 6pm on the 18th.

People from time to time ask us how the Church is financed, often thinking that since it is a listed building it will get funding from Historic England or whatever and since the Church of England is the Established Church, the Government contributes. Nothing could be further from the truth and all costs are met by church collections or by other charitable giving such as our annual Gift Week which will take place in the second half of March - more details in the next Bulletin.

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 4th February – Holy Communion at 9.45am
Sunday 11th February – Holy Communion at 8.30am
Sunday 18th February – Holy Communion at 6.00pm

Please note that there are no Combe services in February.

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 on regular service as well as and memorials contact Paul Burrough Tel: 01488 668882, Mobile: 07836 292976, Email: paul.burrough43@gmail.com

OBITUARIES - Chris Keene

Obituary not yet available.

A victorian view - now and then

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

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