Inside the magazine this month

Inside the magazine this month. 2

Minister’s Letter 3

Church Family News 5

Lives of Christian Service... 6

Gladys Cooper 1915-2011. 6

Jack Salter 1923-2011. 7

From the Church Registers 7

Pilots BBQ.. 8

Bumper Book Sale. 8

Church Actually - God’s Brilliant Idea. 9

Annual Reading to Newbury Cycle Ride. 9

Christians and the Wider World. 10

Christian Aid Week 15th –21st May. 11

Coming Soon! - the Alpha Course. 12

Sunday Early Morning Prayers 12

Park Hall and Room Hire. 13

June Calendar 14

Drapes’ Next Production. 15

Pentecost 2011 at the O2 Arena. 15

Friendship Club - Secretary's Report 2011. 16

PARK 60+ Exercise - Free Taster Session! 17

ZUMBA party. 17

Church Contacts 18

Regular Activities at Park. 19













7 High Tree Drive,




0118 966 8647

Dear Friends,

In our Wednesday morning prayer group this week I was encouraged by this passage from the second of Paul’s letters to the church in Corinth:

 ‘The God who said, ‘Out of darkness the light shall shine!’ is the same God who made his light shine in our hearts, to bring us the knowledge of God’s glory shining in the face of Christ. Yet we who have this spiritual treasure are like common clay pots, in order to show that the supreme power belongs to God, not to us. We are often troubled, but not crushed; sometimes in doubt, but never in despair; there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend; and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.’  (2 Corinthians 4:7)

Do you find these words helpful or encouraging? When we face challenges, it is sometimes easy to cave in. When our plans meet with resistance, it is sometimes easy to run away. When we face setbacks, it is sometimes easy to give up. When we are troubled by fears or doubts, it is sometimes easy to forget God.

Paul’s words are saying that troubles in life are to be expected, but these troubles can be overcome.

Sometimes it is right to negotiate a compromise, to talk things through and understand all views.

Sometimes we need to stand firm, holding onto what we believe is right and true.

Our eco-projects to install solar panels and to install a biomass boiler have required us to stand firm and to hold onto our belief that these things are part of God’s plan for a sustainable future for God’s planet.

Our motivation is not to bring attention to ourselves, for we are like common clay pots, our motivation is to bring attention to God. In fact, all that we do should point to the God we worship. All of our preaching and teaching, all our caring and supporting, all our work and our home life should point to God.

Sometimes it can be hard for us to see how we point others to God, especially when we lack confidence. I meet many people who feel uncertain that they are good disciples, yet I can see how they inspire the people around them through simple words of encouragement or acts of kindness. Often it is not a big gesture that is required, simply noticing someone else and getting to know them is all that is required.

As a church it is important that we recognise we are simply a part of a much bigger family and a small part of God’s big plan, we are like common clay pots. But we should never lose sight of God’s awesome power, God’s awesome compassion; for God loves each one of us, God loves each congregation, God loves the whole church.

There will always be a range of different views in the church on all sorts of issues, for God has created each one of us to be different, each of us has different personalities and different experiences. God loves diversity and I’m convinced that God calls on us to love one another within and beyond the church.

As summer approaches we pray for all who those activities that we will be involved in – the church weekend camp near Watlington, the Synod fun day near Henley.

We pray especially for our young people who will be at the Wessex Synod Youth Camp, some of whom will be playing in the worship band and leading the worship.

We pray for those who will be busy with exams, those preparing to move on to university and those who are seeking employment, young and old.

May the God of all the seasons of life, bless us and strengthen us as we walk follow in the footsteps of Jesus!

Yours in Christ,



Lives of Christian Service...

We have to record the passing of two of our oldest members, after long lives of Christian dedication and service...

...and as we go to press, we have just heard the further sad news of the passing of Charles Kidby. There will be a full obituary for Charles next month.

Gladys was born in 1915, and lived all of her life in Reading. She was baptised at King’s Road (now Abbey) Baptist Church, but after her marriage to Jack, they were members of the Methodist Church, and she was an active member of women’s Christian organisations in Reading. They had two children, Sue and Richard.

Gladys and Jack began to worship at Park United Reformed Church when they moved to the James Butcher flats in Culver Lane in the 1980s.

Sadly, Jack died very suddenly not long after this, but Gladys made many friends and took part in many aspects of the life of the church: she was faithful in attendance on Sundays, at Wednesday morning prayers, and the Thursday Club.

A further great sadness was the loss of her son Richard not many years after this. Gladys’s faith sustained her through all her life, and in latter years, though in failing health, she appreciated visits, prayers, and worship through broadcasting, especially Songs of Praise.

When she was not well enough to remain at Sutton Court any longer, she moved first a to care home in Wokingham, and then to the Berkshire Nursing Home, where she was cared for until her final few days in the Royal Berkshire Hospital, where she died in the early hours of May 2nd.

We send our love and deepest sympathy to her daughter Sue, her grandson Stuart, and to all her family and her many friends.

We had not known Jack for nearly so long, but we soon became aware of his faith and commitment.

He moved to Reading from Wheatley, near Oxford, at the end of 2009, to live in Erleigh Court Gardens, to be near to his daughter Hazel.

He immediately began to attend Park, and asked for his membership to be transferred.

He was best known to the group meeting for prayers on Wednesday mornings, where he led us on one or two occasions, and was gradually becoming known to more of the congregation on Sunday mornings.

However in the middle of the year his health began to fail, and he moved into a nursing home in Alexandra Road.

He was unable to attend worship any more, but very much appreciated being the recipient of the first shawl from our Prayer Shawl ministry. He died on Saturday 14th May.

We send our sympathy to all his family, and also to the United Reformed Church at Wheatley, where he worshipped for many years.


23rd  May 2011  Gladys Gwendolen Cooper

1st   June 2011  Jack Salter (at Oxford Crematorium)





Pilots is celebrating its 75th Birthday this year and to mark the occasion we will be hosting a BBQ on Friday 8th July 2011 from 18:30 to 20:00 at Park URC.

We would be delighted if you could attend.

Please let me know if you would like to come along or if you want any further details – you can email me at timpl66@hotmail.com or just let me know if you see me about.

the date:     Friday 8th July 2011

the time:     18:30 to 20:00

the place:   Park URC

the who:     everyone!!! - Hope to see you there!

Tim Lancaster Pilots Captain

On Monday June 27 – Friday July 1 from 9.30 am – 7pm in the Ground Floor Main Library at the University of Reading, we will be selling books at bargain prices to raise much needed funds for the University library. Come and buy!

Children’s Fiction 4-14 years - a huge amount of ex-Bulmershe library stock.  50p each

Computer Books - 700 covering: IT Databases, Computer Security, Language Programming.  Superb condition.  £1.50p each

Politics - ex-Department library books covering: Britain, Europe, World-wide.     £1 each

Italian books, covering: History, Politics, Economics.   50p each

Enquiries: email Barbara Mathers: b.h.mathers@reading.ac.uk

Spring Harvest 2012 is from Saturday March 31st to Thursday April 5th 2012

If you would like to go to Spring Harvest 2012 please contact Roger Clark as soon as possible, as I need to know numbers by early June.

To keep the costs down we will continue to use Silver apartments. This will cost £297 per Adult (over 15) and £190 for under 15.

Also some people have requested a ‘self catering’ option, a sliver apartment for self catering will cost £644 for a 4 berth apartment or £1122 for a 6 berth apartment.    

I need numbers and a deposit by end of June (£35 per 15+ and £20 for 2-14, £60 for a self catering unit)

Full Payment will be required by end of January 2012 and I will accept staged payments if that will help.

Please contact the Church Secretary if you require any further details

Roger Clark

June 25th 2011 - a fundraising activity for the Churches in Reading Women’s Centre. From Wesley Methodist Church, Queens Road, Reading to Victoria Park, Newbury along the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath.

Arrive at Wesley Church to register between 9 and 10,30 am. All welcome, but children under 16 must be supervised.

For online registration and sponsor forms, email Norman.pitcher@hotmail.co.uk. A sponsorship pack is available.

Cost: £12 per person over 16, 12-16 £3, and children under 12 free. The route will be marshalled, and there will be refreshments along the way.

Life at Park is busy and there is plenty to do just to keep the services varied and meaningful for the growing number of people who come through our doors, as well as maintaining and improving the property and visiting the sick and elderly in our church family.

With all of this there is always the danger that we have not the time or inclination to look out at what is happening outside in this country or even beyond our shores. The news is often grim and there is no shortage of stories of famine or other forms of extreme hardship or injustice.

As individuals we often feel that there is little we can do in the face of such overwhelming problems; but there is and we have recently experienced Christian Aid Week. We can pray; and that is important and there is more. We can take an active interest in Fairtrade and it is good to know that Park Church is a Fairtrade Church and that Reading is a Fairtrade town. 

At Park we have a small but active group that will write to politicians and others who can make decisions, to express our concerns over the way that big issues such as the way unfair international trade affects the poorest people in the world, women’s rights and how this affects families in many countries, serious human rights abuses of people who dare to speak out against gross injustice in their country, the impact of climate change on the most vulnerable nations and many more.

This is backed by organisations such as Christian Aid, OXFAM, The World Development Movement and Amnesty International who provide the material for this sort of targeted approach. If you wish to join us contact me: chrisandyvette@talktalk.net

It is perhaps surprising to know that those to whom we write often respond and they are encouraged to follow up on these issues. Even if they don’t you will be joining a growing number of committed Christians who feel that they want to make their concerns heard.

We know that evil thrives when good people do nothing and there can be no international peace whilst there is serious injustice.  

There is also Commitment for Life which encourages all United Reformed and Local Ecumenical Partnership churches to take action, pray and give money for people across the world. It works with both Christian Aid and The World Development Movement.

Last year they raised over £600,000 (due to a substantial legacy) to help alleviate the root causes of poverty. It is the recommended way for all United Reformed Churches to give to Christian Aid.

Park Church has agreed to support this aspect of our Christian witness and a small number of people give regularly (once a quarter) what they feel they can afford. Again, if you wish to join us in this I will be pleased to tell you more.

As Christians we can also find out more about these important issues so that our concerns can be more informed. The internet is a wonderful resource; the big international humanitarian charities have excellent websites and if all else fails there is always the Commitment for Life notice board (on the left just before you go into the large hall). This is updated fairly regularly and gives information on many of the big issues.

Chris Gayford

Thank you very much to all the people who worked hard to deliver and collect envelopes in the house-to house collection. The total to date is over £1100.

Special recognition to the residents of Sutton Court, who returned 36 envelopes (from 45 flats), and collected a total of £88.35.

The final total will be reported in next month’s magazine.

Doreen Woods

Coming Soon! - the Alpha Course

The Alpha Course is a practical introduction to the Christian faith and is open to anyone. It runs as a series of weekly meetings that each involve an informal meal, a talk and small group discussions.

It is relaxed, non threatening, low key, friendly and fun. The course is for everyone, especially for those wanting to investigate Christianity, new Christians, newcomers to the church and those wanting to brush up on the basics.

“I've seen Alpha touch so many people over the years. I’ve seen it encourage people to find a very simple faith.”

Bear Grylls, TV Adventurer

“What Alpha offers, and what is attracting thousands of people, is permission, rare in secular culture, to discuss the big questions - life and death and their meaning.”

The Guardian, London

Park’s Alpha course will be run on Tuesday evenings, starting Tuesday 6th September.

Could this be for you or someone you know? If you want to know more, please contact Robert Weston, Roger Clark or Carrie King.

For the last six months, some of us have been meeting in the Upper Room on the first Sunday of the month at 9.30pm to pray for Park Church, all its members and all those who use the premises.

We would like to extend this now to every Sunday - same time, same place. So if you are free, just turn up and go to the Upper Room.

There may be only a few but For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them’.

The Church and Halls are available to all the community for hire:

·    Church (Seats 200)                                 £27.00 Per Hour

·    Large Hall (Seats 150)                             £27.00 Per Hour

·    David’s Hall (Seats 60)                           £16.50 Per Hour

·    Small Hall (Seats 30)                               £14.00 Per Hour

·    Lounge (Seats 20)                                  £14.00 Per Hour

·    Upper Room (Seats 25)                          £10.00 Per Hour

·    Creche/Prayer Room (Seats 10) £6.00 Per Hour

The hire charge for the Kitchen is either £5 or £10 depending on usage.

Use of the stage in the Large Hall is charged at £5 an hour.

Some of the terms and conditions are:

·    There is a minimum hire period of 2 hours after 8pm (refer to the conditions of hire for full details).

·    Private and Commercial Hire do not attract a discount.

·    Community Hire and Charitable/Not-for-profit Organisations attract a 40% discount.

·    Regular Bookings (25 bookings or more in 12 months) attract a 10% discount.

·    Block Room Booking (of 3 rooms or more) attracts a 10% discount.

·    Multiple discounts can apply.

·    Use of the stage lights is considered on an individual booking basis and is calculated depending on usage and duration.

·    Both sound & lighting support are chargeable extras.

All must be booked 14 days in advance with the Centre Manager.




No Morning Prayers



9.30 am

Prayers in the Upper Room




Morning Worship with Holy Communion

Led by Roger Clark and Alan Holmes



4.00 pm

Songs of Praise at Sutton Court



7.00 pm

Ignite! Evening worship




Installation of solar panels begins



9.30 am

Morning Prayers



7.30 pm

Finance and Strategy Group




Morning Worship for Pentecost Followed by lunch



7.00 pm

Ignite! worship



7.30 pm

SALT leaders meeting



7.30 pm

Elders Meeting



7.30 pm

Churches Together in Reading AGM at Wesley Methodist Church



11 am – 4.30 pm

URC ‘Steaming Ahead!’  Wessex Synod Day out at Henley




Morning Worship



7.00 pm

Ignite! worship



9.30 am

Morning Prayers




Morning Worship




DRAPES auditions for the next production, Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit”



7.00 pm

Ignite! worship




Last day for items for the next issue of the magazine



7.30 pm

FIZZANG Leaders planning meeting



9.30 am

Morning Prayers


Drapes next production is to be ‘Blithe Spirit’, written by Noël Coward, directed by Peter Ashton and performed 16th to 19th November.  

You may be familiar with the 1945 film starring Margaret Rutherford or with the recent West End revival starring Alison Steadman.  If not, I can give you a brief synopsis – but not here because I don’t want to give too much away!

Auditions will be held in David’s Hall on 26th June at 2.30pm. If you are interested in auditioning please let me know by 19th June when the audition pieces will be available.  In addition to actors we need a backstage crew, so please also let me know if you would be interested in helping with the set, props, wardrobe, make-up or front of house.

This is a great opportunity to challenge yourself, to make new friends and most of all to have fun, so please contact me (if you don’t see me on Sundays you can leave a note in the M pigeon hole) if you would like to know more about the play.

Carol McCarron

The finale event of the Festival, Pentecost 2011 will hosted by the Jesus House, Hillsong and Holy Trinity Brompton churches.

Last year’s event brought together five thousand Londoners for a night of celebration, worship and prayer – united in the vision of putting Pentecost firmly back on the calendar and in the hearts of the people of London. In order to make sure we can fit everyone in, this year we’re moving to London’s favourite venue, the O2 arena, for a night of joining together to celebrate “Life in the Spirit” as the body of Christ from all over London.

Worship will be lead by the Jesus House Choir, Hillsong’s Joel Houston and Pete Wilson, and HTB’s Tim Hughes; with prayers lead by the leaders of the host churches’ Pastor Agu Irukwu, Gary Clarke and Nicky Gumbel.

Well, we made it to the Diamond Anniversary. It has been quite a year with many special events. We had a Charity each term this year with Mercy Ships, King's Meadow swimming baths and Caversham Court Gardens. Smaller charities, but still needing vital funds to keep going. I'm sure charities are feeling the pinch whether large or small.

We all like holiday slides to take us away from our daily tasks and during the year we have been to New Zealand, Madeira and the Canaries, Portsmouth, up Kilimanjaro, Prague, Malta and Ethiopia, Our outings have been to Holme Grange Craft Centre, Wokingham for delicious cakes and drinks,. Christmas saw us shopping at Swindon Outlet Centre setting off in the first snow of winter, and to the Arborfield Garden Centre.

We were now into the birthday week and we thought back to where we were, and what we were doing 60 years ago and then it was party week with sandwiches, jelly and fruit and cake with candles and excellent entertainment by Sue Smith with her Gracie Fields mimes and how we waved our flags on Rule Britannia.

The Drama group put on a Diamond Drama and actually had a rehearsal which always helps. were entertained pinto-style by the Drama group. Prof. Ann Sheen really entertained us with her own journey through the N.H.S. and later Lionel Williams brought us the beginnings of the Royal Berks. Hospital and Museum on slides.

What better way to start our May term with our wedding memories and photos and many funny stories emerged. Martin Day came with an exciting talk and slides of Ethiopia. We were reminded by Alex Simmons of all those radio shows in the 40's and 50's which we'd nearly forgotten and it was good to remember and also to hear he doesn't generally talk to such a big club.

We still have a few weeks to go with Alan's favourite slides, members afternoon, "The Sixties" and ending with a Ritz style tea in Jill's lovely garden in Sonning. We now move into another era and hope that the future will be kind to us.

PARK 60+ Exercise in the Large Hall, Park Church

FREE Taster Session! on Friday 1st July at 11.15

Why not come along and enjoy a free session of fun exercise followed by refreshments and an opportunity to meet others from the group. Find out what we do and who we are. We look forward to welcoming you.

We’re also taking part in the East Reading Festival - Sunday, 3rd July, 12 noon - 4pm in Palmer Park. Come and say ‘hello’.

We'll be outside the main marquee where we will have space to show off some of our work. Come and meet us and either watch or join in one of our demonstrations during the event.

Further details from the Centre Manager

10th July at 5pm to around 6.30pm. This is where we dance to around 19 Zumba dances and get really hot and sweaty but boy do we have fun. (you can do as much or as little as you like).

Everyone welcome so please get your tickets in class. It is £6.00 in advance and £8.00 on the door. Sorry but I can't reserve tickets any more. Places limited so hurry.





Rev Robert Weston                                                          office:       0118 926 5003

                                                                                             e-mail:       minister@parkurc.org.uk

Church Secretary:

Roger Clark                                                                      e-mail:       churchsecretary@parkurc.org.uk

Centre Manager:

Julie Cameron                                                                phone:       0845 463 6426

                                                                                                                           e-mail:       centremanager@parkurc.org.uk

Magazine Editor:

Rod King                                                                                           e-mail:       editor@parkurc.org.uk

Church Website:                                     www.parkurc.org.uk




10.30 am




Young people’s groups & Crèche facilities



Holy Communion  (1st Sunday)


4.00 pm 

Worship at Sutton Court (1st Sunday of month)


6.30 pm

Ignite Coffee & Cakes (in term-time)


7:00 pm

Ignite Worship(in term-time)


10.00 am

Monkey Music


1.45 pm

Mayfield Singers


5.00 pm



6.45 pm

Cub Scouts          


7.30 pm



10:00 am

Park 60+ Exercise


10:00 am

Happy Feet Footcare (every 3 weeks)


2.15 pm

Friendship Club    


2:00 pm

Reading U3A Yoga (every 2 weeks)


4:00 pm

5.45 pm

Street Feet Dance

Santosha Yoga


7:30 pm

Earley Folk Dancing


8.00 pm

Aldbrickham Clog & Step Dancing


7.30 pm

Badminton Club (Sept – March)


7.30 pm



9:30 am

Embroiderers’ Guild (monthly)


12.00 pm

Reading Lunchtime Choir


2.00 pm

Reading Macular Society


7.30 pm

Mostly G&S Singers


8:00 pm

Arnica Parent Support Group (1st Weds of month)


11.45 am

Senior Citizens’ Lunch Club


2.00 pm

U3A Madrigal Society (every 2 weeks)


2.00 pm

Active Retirement Group


2:00 pm

Reading Abbey Trefoil Group (4th Thurs of month)


5:30 pm



6.00 pm



7.15 pm



7.30 pm



7.30 pm



9.45 am

Zumba Fitness Class





9.00 am

The Allenova Ballet School



Reading Seventh Day Adventist Community Group


10.30 am

Councillor Surgery(monthly)


7.30 pm

FIZZANG(Youth Club)


10.30 am




Young people’s groups & Crèche facilities