Benefice Newsletter




Holy Week Compline in Hamstead Marshall posed an  interesting question: Judas and the owner of the upper room both wanted to serve but with dfferent expectations as to how that service should be rewarded. 'How often do we make our prayers conditional as Judas did'?

Maundy Thursday was observed by our local schools. Rain kept Enborne pupils in school for their service with families and friends. Kintbury pupils came to St. Mary’s to enact the Stations of the Cross and sing very movingly the spiritual, ‘Were you there...’.

Good Friday was marked by two Benefice Services. In the morning, in St Mary’s, Kintbury, the Stations of the Cross were observed with a reflection from members of the congregation at each station. This was followed by coffee and hot cross buns. In the afternoon  the traditional Hour of the Cross service was held in at St. Michael’s, Inkpen.

All Benefice Churches held Communion Services on Easter Sunday including Avington*

The children in Kintbury enjoyed an egg hunt through the churchyard.

  *Avington is a very ancient and delightful church which is privately owned. It is now only possible to visit when a service is being held there. The next occasion will be Pentecost.

Retirement of Reverend Matthew Cookson    

I would like to place on record my thanks to Matthew for all his work throughout the Benefice. He has built close relationships throughout the various parishes and with many organisations. His work in St. Mary’s School, Kintbury and in Notrees deserves particular mention. Matthew has concentrated his Ministry in the wider communities of the Benefice and built lasting relationships with many. I personally have got to know him since my appointment and will miss his contribution to the team and his dry sense of humour.

 On behalf of you all I wish Matthew and Clare well in their retirement and hope that we will continue to see both of them from time to time in the Benefice. Mark





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


 Matthew has been part of church life in Kintbury since he came as an LLM in 1996. During his ministry then and in the Benefice he has reached out into the community far beyond the congregation. He and Clare will be remembered with much affection for their work and support (Ed)



We thank God for the lives of those who have died 

  6th April     Mrs. Pamla Whittaker              Kintbury                Commital in June

  6th April     Mrs Ann Wiles                          Kintbury               Commital in June


The Interment of the ashes of Charles and Pauline Pakenham

 On Sunday April 15th in a moving ceremony the ASHES of Charles and Pauline were laid to rest in Enborne Churchyard. The day began with an inspirational Holy Communion Service led by the Rev Matthew Cookkson with the Ashes on the Altar. Though not without some sad moments Matthew incorporated some touches of humour into the Service to remind us of Charles' own sense of humour. Matthew and Charles had been members of the Benefice and friends for many years with Matthew recalling what a tremendous help Charles had been to him at the start of his Ministry. Following the Service friends of Charles and Pauline accompanied by the Enborne congregation went into the Churchyard to assist with the internment of Charles's and Pauline's Ashes in a spot overlooking the Hampshire Hills.  Matthew's morning ended with a large family Baptism  John  King.

Pamela Whittaker

Pamela became part of  St. Mary's Kintbury as soon as she arrived in the village in the 1980s. Having been in the Ballet Rambert, she helped coach the pantomime children in dance routines and ran keep fit classes for young mums.  A very generous benefactor of the church, the weather vane is a memorial to her husband Douglas, a well known Australian flautist. Pamela was also a brilliant photographer.

We welcomed into the Church through Baptism

  7th April     Camilla Jessica Ward                        Inkpen

  8th April     Gabriel Simon James Preston          West Woodhay

   5th April    Mavis Robertson                               Kintbury (in Amersham Hospital)

15th April     Archie Daniel Graham Barrett           Enborne

22nd April     Freddie John Adrian Cordery            Kintbury



“It does not represent his removal from earth but his constant presence everywhere on earth” (William Temple)


Many of us grew up calling this festival 'Whitsun'.The name came from the Anglo Saxon words meaning 'White Sunday'; so called because it was the time when Baptism was administered and white robes were worn. It is believed that in the early church only Easter and Pentecost were kept as festivals

There are are many observances in May and one is 8th May, Julian of Norwich in whom there has been a resurgance of interest in the last thirty years. In these uncertain times perhaps her words are of comfort? 'All shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well'


Kintbury’s Got Talent 2018

Following the success of last year’s competition,  Kintbury’s Got Talent will take place again on Saturday June 16th 6.30pm.  It is a chance for for local 5-16 year olds to showcase their musical and other talents on stage.Please encourage anyone you think might be interested to take part – entrants must either live in the Walbury Beacon Benefice, attend school in Kintbury, or have a connection with the village. For further information, rules and registration details see Tickets to watch are available on the door at £4 per adult (free for children), or in advance from Mildenhall and Bullock butchers or Kintbury St Mary’s primary school. Any questions please call Lyn Cattlin on 01488 658877.



Kennet Valley Filling Station

Speaker Rev’d Will Briggs (of St Nicolas Church, Newbury) spoke boldly and unreservedly at our April meeting, about a "holy discontent" and our inner yearning to experience more of God in our lives and in our churches. Using Mark 2:18-22, he drew on Jesus’ analogy of new wine not fitting into old wineskins, and how new movements often seem to "burst" in ways that can be ‘messy’. Certainly a challenging message, but also very encouraging as he referenced countless biblical examples (and many from recent history), where God inspired a new thing to enliven his people where they had got stuck in a rut or strayed. I.e. various old testament (or modern day) prophets and revival movements is where the challenge of God's heart is not only to speak, but to have that new wine "begin in them" first. Will was keen to point out that ‘old wineskins’ are not to be discounted - all movements mature and grow - there are depths to draw upon, but God applies the gospel afresh in each generation. God has endless new wine for us.                                                                                                          
Our next meeting is on Wed 9th May 7.30-9.15pm at Kintbury Coronation Hall. Local author and founder of ‘Heart for Truth’ ministry, Carolyn Bramhall, will be  sharing some of her dramatic story of God’s role in her recovery from severe childhood abuse. ‘Heart for Truth’ trains churches to care for those who are hurting, and she comes to us in May hot on the heels of a trip to Bulgaria where she will be involved in ministering to those who have suffered severe trauma. Come prepared to be challenged and inspired.



A very big thank you to all my friends and colleagues in the WWB for the very generous gift. It was a beautiful surprise which I shall put towards a water feature for our Italian Garden. With very best wishes Kay

Sunday 6th May 10.30am Benefice Service at St Mary Hamstead Marshall

Thursday 10th May Ascension Day

Holy Communion: 7.00pm: St. Mary, Kintbury

 Saturday, 12th May: 7.30pm

Belshazzar's Feast

St. Mary's Church, Kintbury: “Folk Duo known for their sense of humour as well as impressive musicianship” (The Guardian) As heard on Radio 2 &3. Tickets £14. Available  from The Corner Stores, Kintbury, or

Sunday, 20th May PENTECOST

8.00am Holy Communion at St.Luke & St. Mark, Avington

Services in all Benefice churches at usual times

West Woodhay Gardeners’ Fair 22nd to 24th June at West Woodhay House.
Silent Auction We have some great prizes but ask everyone who feels they can, to help provide some more. Contributions of cakes & bakes for the Tea Stall would be very welcome too.
If you can help in any way please contact Deborah in the Benefice Office.
Harry Henderson has kindly offered Benefice members an opportunity to buy tickets for the Fair at a discount price of £8. For details please see the Gardeners’ Fair website at and use the following code WBBWW18 to buy tickets.

Benefice Church Wardens  

Combe:                          Mrs. K Astor and Mr. D. Russell

Enborne:                        Mr. Julian Dickins and Mr. Roger Pope

Hamstead Marshall:       Mr. J. Stevenson and vacancy

Inkpen:                           Mr. Peter Bell and Mr. Gerald Atkinson

Kintbury:                        Mr. David Prout and vacancy

West Woodhay:             Mr. Harry Henderson and Mr. Andy Fox-Boudwjin


Communications Committee

The Beacon has been very well received as a Church Newsletter. However, recent events i.e. illness and computer breakdown meant that we were unable to produce a copy in March. We need one other editor to join us so that this does not happen again. It will mean editing a copy once in three months or if a similar circumstance arises. As Phil, Penny and Leila are all from Kintbury, we are looking for a volunteer from the rest of the Benefice. There are one or two meetings a year but mainly the work is done by email.

Items for The Beacon please to:   Penny at ian_fletcher43@btinternet;
or Phil at; (01488) 658767.
For copy via email: Leila at