Benefice Newsletter


MARCH 2018
You are the light of the world. (Matthew 5.14)


Rev’d Tim Wood – an introduction

It’s never easy to know where to start with these things, but I think the first thing to say is how pleased my wife Jane and I are to be here in lovely West Woodhay.

We’ve swapped the seaside (Hayling Island) with the country, where for the first seven years, I was a Self-supporting minister, working with NHS Direct and then half time Stipendiary Associate Priest, for the last 3 Years. 

Jane and I both grew up in Kent not far from Maidstone.  I joined the local Council when I left school, where Jane and I met at a works Cricket match. We have a Son and a Daughter and two lovely Granddaughters all of whom are about 45 minutes away from here.

I remained in Local Government until 2007, ending up as Local Taxation Manager with Canterbury City Council.

In between work and family was Sunday School teaching at our local Church. Then PCC and Churchwarden which all led to my training for Ordained ministry in the Canterbury Diocese, together with Christchurch Canterbury University and University of Kent. I was at Christchurch at the same time my daughter was training for nursing, which caused some amusement. I learnt not to cramp her style and our paths mainly crossed when there was some problem at student accommodation or trouble with the car!

I was made Deacon and Priested at Canterbury Cathedral by Archbishop George Carey and then Archbishop Rowan Williams. These were very special times

I went on to spend several years nurturing work place ministry at Canterbury and was Chaplain to Canterbury City Council. At the same time, I was Self Supporting minister with a Church in Maidstone.

Our Son and Daughter made it down to Hampshire and settled there and Jane and I followed in 2007 when we moved to Hayling.

Spare time over the years has seen me enjoying Cub Scouting, village cricket, cycling and dinghy sailing, but top of any list will be time with the family and now helping as best we can with our two little Grandchildren.

Something of a whistle stop tour through the past 45 years or so. Do ask me to expand on any of these things and share your story with me too.  Jane and I look forward to meeting you as the weeks go by and to sharing in ministry at Walbury Beacon.

With very best wishes to you all,  Rev’d Tim

Welcome to our community Tim and Jane


7.00pm Benefice Service: St. Mary's chapel Kintbury  
Rev T Wood & Rev S Webster


Lent. I feel a heaviness descend which I know I shouldn't feel. I certainly shouldn't be sharing it with the Benefice and instead projecting an energetic zest for this time of drawing close to God. The heaviness first dawned on me as I attempted to explain fasting in the Islamic tradition to my year 9 class. Sawm (not swam as my predictive spelling keeps wanting me to write) is one of Islam's 5 pillars and largely consists of the fasting month of Ramadan when for 30 days all adult Muslims (bar the sick, pregnant etc) will abstain from food and drink from dawn till dusk. The physical and communal journey helps prompt a spiritual journey and at the end there's a big knees up, sharing of food and giving of charitable donations. As I delivered this message to the class (one or two of whom were, to my recollection, still conscious) I was struck by this joining together in worship and purpose, in struggle and in joy. A communal offering and delight in knowing God. My heart lightened. Maybe a leaf to be taken out of our Abrahamic siblings’ book? (Hallam Goad)

Details of LENT LUNCHES to follow via email. (Deborah)


Berkshire has the honour of having received the doctrines of the Reformation as early as any part of England, and Fuller says, "Let other places give the honour to the town of Newbury, because it started first in the race of the reformed religion."

(Berkshire History: David Nash Ford: Fuller- C17th historian)

So let us study............

The Fourth Gospel

Many people say John’s Gospel is their favourite; it is very different in many ways from the other three which are known as “synoptic”, because they tell the story of Jesus from very similar perspectives.

For the past three years, during Lent, the Faith Group has been joined by other members of the Benefice to read one of the Gospel accounts of the Passion Narrative – Jesus’ arrest, trial and Crucifixion.  This year it is John’s turn.

We are meeting this term on Monday evenings, instead of our normal Tuesday slot, and will read, discuss, ponder and pray our way through the Gospel According to St John: Chapters 18 & 19.  It is, we find, a good way to prepare ourselves for Holy Week.

Faith Group Lent sessions – open to all; the readings are continuous, but with each evening designed to be self-contained, as people are not always able to attend every time.

Mondays: 11/03; NOT 18/03; 25/03; 01/04; 08/04
7:30 – 9:00pm;  St Mary’s Room                                    Contact:



This is a monthly meeting for Pre schoolers and their Carers..We meet in St Mary's Chapel and then St Mary's Room for craft and a social time. There is no charge for this event. Further details from. Alison 686052, Lynda 657202 or Gill 657169


 Coming dates and themes:: 7th March: Mothering Sunday; 4th April: Easter; 9th May:Noah

 6th June: Listening to God -Samuel;11th July: A picnic;  August:holidays



Wednesday, March 27th 2019, 7.30pm.Robin Barrett ‘Postcards from Abroad’.

Venue: St Mary's Church, Hamstead Marshall. Parking: By the church. Cost: £5 (which includes a glass of wine, soft drink and nibbles) Please email if you would like more details and information of the series.


Regrettably the Benefice Service had to be cancelled due to the snow and ice. A said Holy Communion was held with 4 people present one of whom had walked over a mile to attend reminding us of what our Grandparents used to do quite frequently. The Bimonthly Coffee Mornings in the BARN continue to grow in popularity. THE MARCH MEETING will take place on SATURDAY March, 23rd from 10am to noon. A BRING and Buy of Spring Plants will be held. ALL are WELCOME.

March is a month with many commemorations. The most important is the the Annunciation known as Lady Day on 25th. The 19th is the day to give thanks for St.Joseph and perhaps for all loving fathers. The 20th is the feast of a once much loved English Saint, St. Cuthbert.

Have faith and wholeheartedly trust God Who will never abandon those who Love Him”—these words belong to St. Cuthbert, “the wonderworker of the English land” who lived more than 1300 years ago.   St. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne is the most beloved and venerated English saint throughout the history of the country. Often known as the English St Francis, it has been suggested  he was the first man in history to speak for creation in all its forms. Especially eider ducks. Maybe this is just a legend, but it is certain that he took care of these birds during his life and they still nest on Inner Farne in masses, as if in memory of the great saint. Northumbrians call these eider ducks “Cuddy ducks'  after St. Cuthbert. According to Bede, when Cuthbert first sowed seeds of barley on Inner Farne, birds started pecking them. The saint reproached them for that and they did not do it again. Two ravens used to steal straw from the small guesthouse near the saint’s cell. Cuthbert ordered them to leave the isle for such behaviour. But the ravens soon returned with their wings prostrated and the heads lifted low as a sign of their remorse. More than that, they brought him lard to atone for their guilt. The saint forgave them, allowed them to stay on the isle and used the lard to waterproof his shoes. He often remembered that story in conversations with the faithful, pointing out that if even birds hurry to repent, then our duty is to give full repentance and cleanse ourselves from our sins. Perhaps a patron saint for British environmentalists? Saints days serve to remind us that we can still learn from their teaching.

Question: which bird did Noah send out that can be seen on Walbury Beacon?



Launch of the new Inspirational Service Sheet in the chapel, St. Mary's, Kintbury.

Sue will lead a short service and this will be followed by a shared breakfast in St. Mary's Room.  All are welcome. One of the most precious gifts our parish churches give us is the space and quiet to take time to reflect and pray. The chapel provides a lovely, intimate, quiet space for anyone to come to. Open all day, it is a daily resource for many who seek a little solitude and peace.


Coffee, bring and buy at Enborne 10.00am-12.noon


Speakers Corner at Hamstead Marshall: 7.30PM


Contacts: Benefice: Priest-in-charge: Rev Mark Wilson,
'phone: (01488) 491105 or .
Office: email Deborah at for the Beacon by email.
Items for The Beacon to Penny at ian_fletcher43@btinternet;or Phil at or ‘phone (01488) 658767.


A word and a stone let go, cannot be called back

(1884 Sunday Book for children)