Benefice Newsletter


JULY 2019
You are the light of the world. (Matthew 5.14)

This month's reflection is upon


  Although the Benefice is at least an hour from the coast, many members have friends, family, or have served themselves in the Merchant Navy.  



 My hands were really bad

“You should knit friends said”

So instead of feeling sad

Make a hat instead.

The Daily Mission Prayers

Now just look at that

Could not believe my eyes

“knitters of each hat”.

Outside it's blowing hard

While I am warm inside

Know all those aboard

Fierce weathers must ride

Aspiring “Knit-wit”


Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either.”-Elizabeth Zimmermann

Around the world, The Mission to Seafarers provides help and support to the 1.5 million men and women who face danger every day to keep our global economy afloat. Over 90% of world trade is carried by sea.  It is one of the worlds most dangerous occupations. The rate of suicide for international seafarers is triple that of shore workers and they are 26 times more likely to be killed at work. Incidents of piracy may have hit an 18-year-low at the end of 2016, but an increase in kidnappings in parts of Asia and West Africa, and the return of activity in Somalia (over 40 seafarers have been kidnapped by Somali pirates have been held for three years) shows the risks should not be underestimated.

We work in over 200 ports in 50 countries caring for seafarers of all ranks, nationalities and beliefs. Through our global network of chaplains, staff and volunteers we offer practical, emotional and spiritual support to seafarers through ship visits, drop-in seafarers' centres and a range of welfare and emergency support services. You can help seafarers all over the world by joining our amazing group of knitters! Every day we receive warm woolly hats, scarves and gloves from our fabulous knitters that are then sent to our centres around the country. Seafarers can take what they need to help see them through the long, cold days and nights spent on the open seas. (For more information or to donate please contact Marian Grey 01488 658272)

“Oh hear us when we cry to thee for those in peril on the sea”



People will often ask about favourite passages from the Bible. A fair question, but to my mind, this will often change dependent upon what life is throwing our way at any one time. As I sit here and write, Zacchaeus is on my mind. Why? Well, just now I want to get a better view. A better view of what’s about in our natural world. Spring Watch has woken me up. Jane and I have recorded the series but are rather late in watching, so most of the birds have raised their broods by now. It has raised that desire to get out there and take more notice of my natural surroundings.

But it goes deeper than that, for I’m also wanting a better view of the people and places of Walbury Beacon. How it all fits together and where and how faith belongs within that view. The parts of the jigsaw are all out there, but it feels for me personally as though they are in a heap on my table and they need piecing together.

Jigsaws and I don’t really get along together very well. They take time and holidays have generally been the only serious jigsaw time available. Then again, perhaps we play at the jigsaw of life the whole time, trying to work out where we belong in the picture, sometimes feeling we have an exact fit, while at others times we can uncomfortably, try to get ourselves into places which aren’t quite right for us. It’s perhaps specially at these times we might benefit from the alternative viewpoint.

As a chief tax collector, with no shortage of money himself, life must have felt sweet to Zacchaeus. Then, along came Our Lord who changed everything for him. Suddenly, his place in the jigsaw of life wasn’t in the tax booth at all … with help, he saw the needs of others and his place was now among them.

We are very fortunate to live somewhere with beautiful trees to climb and I certainly can remember my tree climbing days. I now enjoy watching my young granddaughter as she looks for the next branch to dangle from, or step up to and of course the view for her widens as she climbs. For some of us, our sycamore tree climbing days are behind us, but we can encourage others to make the climb and wonder at the alternative view. Each new day is God’s gift to us. It provides the opportunity for us to help one another find the place God has shaped for us, within the wonderful jigsaw picture we rightly entitle, the wonder of creation.

With every blessing and very best wishes to you all….. Rev’d Tim

From Revd Sue Webster on leaving WBB

Dear Everyone,   Thank you all, so much, for your wonderful send-off on Sunday June 2nd and for your very kind monetary gift. It’s been a very special five years living and working among you. As some of you know I am being blessed with a 3 month sabbatical before I begin my new job in the Hermitage Team of Churches. As part of my time away, I am going ‘on pilgrimage’ to Italy (I have never been there before!) to visit all the major cities in 3 weeks. It may not be very relaxing (!) but I’m looking forward to making some fabulous new memories and your kind gift will help ensure that I do so. Robin and I will be moving to Hermitage in late August so I still might see some of you from time to time….May God bless you all.



The small church of St Swithun’s, Combe in the far south western corner of Berkshire was packed on Friday last with members and friends of the Walbury Beacon Benefice who had come to remember the part played here in the preparations for D Day, seventy five years ago. It was here in the valley between Combe and Inkpen that, in 1944, members of the 9th Battalion Parachute Regiment had rehearsed for their D Day assault on the German Coastal Artilliery Battery at Merville, France –an action which would contribute to the ultimate defeat of the enemy and bring an end to the Second World War. The service at St Swithun’s was led by the Revs Mark Wilson and Tim Wood. Harry Henderson read from the diary of his father, Johnny Henderson, who had been ADC to Field Marshall Montgomery and as such was present on the Normandy beaches on June 6th 1944.After the service  many of the congregation then proceeded to the memorial to the 9th Battalion Parachute Regiment on the Wayfarers' Walk near Combe Gibbet, high above the valley and looking towards Inkpen. Despite the heavy rain, this was a fitting place for the service to conclude. Tim then spoke about the significance of the location before concluding the service.


At Hamstead Marshall Jenny led a fantastic, fiery Pentecost at the All Age family service with children equipped with candles, shakers and prayers. All ready with their new found language skills for their exams in MFL. At Enborne Patrick Whitworth led the Pentecost Service which contained some traditional hymns accompanied by a Tape lent by Jenny played on Roger's recorder and an inspirational Sermon from Patrick. The numbers may have been small but the Pentecostal Spirit was certainly present! In Kintbury we reflected upon unity and coming together. Something badly needed in church and state in this 21st century.

(Note: This is a major Christian Festival once celebrated with great gusto. May we request that next year wardens and clergy plan a Family Benefice Service and we celebrate in style? Ed)


Thank you to those who were able to join Mark and myself for this special time of prayer for our Churches and especially for those who have not yet heard or responded to God in their lives. I know there were those who were unable to join us in Church, but shared in this prayer time at home. On the Saturday we also enjoyed breakfast together at Kintbury and we give thanks for the opportunities to both pray and join in fellowship together.

July is a month with many saints’ dedications. One in particular is dear to the Benefice: St Swithun. The weather saying associated with the saint may have evolved from pagan beliefs around the changing weather of the Midsummer period. This can be explained today by the patterns of the wind currents.  When the jet stream falls to the north of Britain, high pressure systems (usually associated with clear skies and calm weather) are able to move in. In contrast, when the jet stream lies over or beneath the British Isles, arctic air and low pressure weather systems are more common and bring cloudy, rainy and windy weather.

      (But of course it may be that Swithun is still a bit miffed at being brought inside)

For details ring Alison 686052/Lynda 657202                                                                                                                            

                 THURSDAY JULY 18TH 9AM ENBORNE SCHOOL SERVICE                    

A celebration of the end of the school year and the Departure of the Year 6th leavers all of whom have contributed much to the school.  The service in Enborne Church will be led by The Rev TIM WOOD, and focus on interesting contributions from all the classes. It provides the Church Community with an opportunity of thanking the school for continuing to provide an excellent education for the children

                                JULY 27th COFFEE MORNING IN THE BARN AT ENBORNE 10AM UNTIL NOON. 
These bi monthly Coffee mornings
provide an opportunity for the church community and anyone who wishes to come to meet, chat and buy  from the Bring and Buy Stall. Organisers Roger and Phil have been impressed with those which have been held thus far and are hoping for the sun to shine on the 27th                                                                                                                                                                                                      

                                                                   SUNDAY JULY 14th 2019 AT 11am                                                      
           THE RIVER KENNET HOME MADE EGG BOAT RACE AT HAMSTEAD MARSHALL                       Entry fee £5Rules: All vessels to be home made and must carry an egg in/on them from start to finish. The winning vessel will be the first to cross the line carrying its egg. Parking will be available in Hamstead Park, RG20 0JD. Hot dogs, cakes, snacks and drinks. Please let us know for catering purposes if you will be coming.  All proceeds to St Mary’s Church, Enborne and Stockcross Primary Schools. Contact: 07796 656340                                                                  


Even if you are on the right track,

you will get run over if you just sit there (Palm Tree bookmark)


Items please to:   Penny at ian_fletcher43@btinternet; or

Phil at