Benefice Newsletter

(Matthew 5:14: you are the light of the world)
October 2017

Mark Wilson, our new Priest in Charge writes
As this is my first article for the magazines and newsletter, I thought that I would try to lay out in simple terms how I see my ministry in Walbury Beacon Benefice. I have decided to do this by focusing on three words that I think will be helpful to us all at this time of transition.  

They are: Confidence, Compassion, Creativity

There is no doubt that over the past twenty or thirty years the Church has suffered a huge loss of confidence. This has been due to many factors perhaps most notably and most shamefully the whole area of clerical sexual abuse. The initial reaction to this in many churches was to batten down the hatches and carry on. There have been various efforts to restore faith in the Institutions but these have been less than effective. As I come to you as priest in charge I want us to try to build a new confidence not in the Institution but in the Gospel-the Good News of Jesus Christ. To ask not what would the Institution do but rather what would our Lord Jesus Christ do. In the Acts of the Apostles we are given a picture of the embryonic Church beginning to witness following the sending of the Spirit. The disciples went out with confidence and the results were plain to see. ‘The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved’. 

Compassion for me is at the very heart of the Gospel. My whole ministry has been centered on people and their needs. If you turn again to the Acts of the Apostles we are told that those looking in from outside the early church said this of them, ‘See these Christians how they love one another’. I want this sense of compassion, this sense of love and care to be part of the daily life of our parishes.

 Having been a Parish Priest for almost forty years I have chaired many PCCs and other church committees. The ones who did less well were those who settled for the status quo. Who wanted things to remain as they were and in their opinion as they had always been. All of us know from our own lives that at various stages along the way we have had to change and adapt depending on our personal circumstances. Most take this in their stride. The life of our beloved church also needs to adapt in changing and challenging times. I want this Benefice to be totally creative in the way we approach the issues which will inevitably come before us from time to time. I ask all of you to remain open to new possibilities and to be alive to the nudging of the Spirit of God in our lives.

 It is with great anticipation that I write these words and look forward to meeting you all following my Installation on the 27th.

Yours in His Service  Mark

Stop Press:
Mark is now installed as Priest-In-Charge of the Benefice

In the atmospheric setting of Kintbury church and in an inspiring special service on 27th September Mark Wilson was licensed and installed as Priest in Charge of the Benefice by Bishop Andrew, Bishop of Reading and Archdeacon Olivia Graham. The service took place in the presence of a large congregation, the ministry team, the Churchwardens of the Benefice and clergy from across Newbury Deanery.
Mark led the Intercession and chose the hymns which the congregation and choir sang with gusto. The hymns included “Come down O love Divine” and “Here I am Lord”. Walbury Beacon Benefice Choir sang John Rutter’s “The Lord Bless You and Keep You”.
The evening ended very sociably with refreshments (kindly prepared by Sue Oldfield) and the opportunity for everyone to meet Mark and other friends from across the Benefice.


The people of Kintbury and far beyond are greatly saddened at the death of Brother Gus, a member of the de la Salle Brothers resident in Wallingtons, Kintbury. Gus has been an essential figure of faith in our local community. He cared and prayed for us all. We are remembering the de la Salle community and all the young people whose lives Gus touched, in our prayers.  In the words of Sir Thomas More: Gus ‘pray for us as we pray for you, that merrily we may meet in heaven’. Amen

All Age Services at Hamstead Marshall and Kintbury looked at the Lord’s Prayer.  In Hamstead  the aisle filled with children and their props. Some lusty singing of cum ba ya was rounded off with Katie's oatcakes at the end. Likewise in Kintbury where  we grandparents renewed our acquaintance with the Caribbean ‘Our Father’ and percussion instruments. (How are your tambourine skills Mark?)

Please remember and pray for Canon Patrick Whitworth

from our Benefice who is leading a Team of five to All Saints Cathedral

Diocese Nairobi from 5/10-16/10  for a Mission on behalf of SOMA UK. They will be preaching in 10 churches in the city and taking a week long Conference entitled Your Kingdom Come for 130 clergy and lay leaders which the Archbishop will be opening. 

CALENDARS  Local scenes photgraphed by local people. £5.50 in aid of St. Mary’s Church, Kintbury:  Penny: at

We welcomed into the Church through Baptism

13 Aug                 Freddie Parkinson                                           Kintbury

13 Aug                 Alex Starr                                                        Kintbury

26 Aug                 Sophie Prior                                                    Kintbury

10 Sept                Louie-Fletcher Robert John Dury-Cook          Kintbury

We congratulate the following on their marriage:

4 Aug                   Gabriella Herrett & Paul Thorpe                     Combe

5 Aug                   Svetlana Siplatova & Richard Pickering         Kintbury

30 Aug                 Clair Green and Luke Roberts                        Kintbury

Blessing of Marriage

19 Aug                  Mandy Ann & Nigel Keene                             Inkpen

We thank God for the lives of those whose ashes were buried  or whose funerals were held 

26 July                 Graeme Dickins                       Enborne

28 July                 Audrey Harris                           Kintbury

 5 Sept                  Les Reeves                             Kintbury

 9  Sept                 Marian Stuart                          Kintbury

If you are aged 14-18 years with a solid foundation in piano, why not apply to the Walbury Beacon Organ Bursary?  In exchange for playing for a service per month at one of our local churches, you will receive lessons from a qualified organ teacher and developmental support from the Benefice music team. This represents an ideal opportunity for someone wishing to gain practical exposure to a different genre of music, perhaps in preparation for future study. For more information and to apply, please contact Andrew Cox, a.d.cox, 01488 658985.

October 4th is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi.
What comes to mind? Fluffy bunnies, larks, maybe a wolf, there is so much more to Francis. He was, when young, a medieval playboy who suddenly realised that this was not enough. He was a prisoner, a ‘hippy’, a rebel, he rowed with his father. Probably infuriating to live or work with yet charismatic!  Francis still has his followers today in The Third Order of St. Francis Their aim-to live responsibly, in love and harmony with all creation, to communicate the love of Christ (and yes, we probably are infuriating as well!). Penny and Marian TSSF

St. Luke’s, Avington Pauline Pettitt writes: On 3 September, St. Luke’s Church at Avington celebrated Harvest Festival, beautifully decorated for the occasion and filled with the lovely music of sung Evensong and Harvest hymns.  The first visit for some who trekked down the grassy path in the rain,  for others it is an annual treat.

Avington Church is in private ownership and now closed to ‘casual’ visitors, the five services held in the course of the year provide a rare opportunity to visit this little corner of the Benefice.  The next service is on Sunday 22 October, to celebrate the patronal festival of St. Luke.  The 9.45 Holy Communion service will be at Avington and not Kintbury, Do think of joining us, whether or not you’ve been there before.




Harvest Festivals

8th October, 11.15am: Hamstead Marshall; 11.15am: West Woodhay;
15th October, Kintbury,  9.45am; Enborne: 9.45am; 11.15am Combe


Friday, 13th October,  7.00pm- 11pm at Elm Farm

BARN DANCE with Licensed Bar

Tickets £10. In aid of St. Mary’s Church, Hamstead Marshall

 All welcome no dancing skill required


Saturday 14th October, 10.30am St. Mary’s Room, Kintbury

Coffee Morning 

Entry £2 in aid of the Organ Fund

28th October, 7.30pm, St. Mary’s Church. Kintbury

23rd Sir Gordon Richard’s Concert

International singer and raconteur, Jonathan Veira

Proceeds to Friends of St. Mary’s


7th October, Enborne Barn

Away Day for Kintbury PCC and congregation

Led by Andrew Anderson Geer, Diocesan Director of Mission

Bring and share Lunch

“The Black Legend”  screenings this month.

The local classic film “The Black Legend” produced by John Schlesinger with a cast including Robert Hardy will be shown in Inkpen Village Hall on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th October at 7.30pm. The showings will be a full performance including conversations between Robert Hardy, Jon Snow and Charles Lepper.
Tickets cost £6-50 each and available after 9th October only by ‘phoning (01488) 668375 or emailing Gerald Atkinson at

The Beacon has now been in existence for one year. Feedback is welcome. If anyone wishes to donate 10pence for printing we will be grateful.

Items please to: Penny at or
Phil at;(01488) 658767.

For an electronic copy please contact Leila at:

If possible could we receive items for the November 2017 issue of
The Beacon by Sunday 29th October 2017? Thank you.