Rev'd Ainsley Swift
The Church of
St. Michael, Bray,
High Street, Bray,
Berks. SL6 2AB
Tel: 01628 633113
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Meet the Rev’d Ainsley Swift, our new Vicar

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places

The interregnum is over! A new Vicar has arrived and been Collated and Inducted and Installed on 12 July 2018!

So, what’s this new Vicar like and, perhaps more importantly, what are his plans for the church?!?

If you’ll indulge me, I will give you a bit of information about myself…

I was born in Penny Lane in Liverpool. I came from a Christian family, they belonged to a denomination known as Plymouth Brethren or just Brethren. The Christian faith became my own when I was about 16 or 17 as I attended a Brethren Communion Service. As bread and wine was blessed and broken, the penny dropped for me, this Christian life, which I thought was about trying to be really good (and usually failing) was actually about the unconditional love of God for everyone, even me! It was a gift to be received, as was this bread and wine, Christ himself present to be received freely.

I became an Anglican while at Teacher Training College and after college worked in community development (more about that another day) including a number of years with The Children’s Society.

The sense of calling to ordained ministry recurred from time to time and eventually I went to train for the Anglican Priesthood at theological college at Cuddesdon (where I met Richard and Maureen Cowles in the year above me). After college:

  • Curacy in Liverpool
  • Team Vicar in Windsor
  • Then eventually Rector of Windsor
  • 20 years in Windsor

My call to Bray began when I encouraged clergy friends to apply for this post. I was telling them what a wonderful opportunity it would be; large parish, one church (the Holy Grail of Anglican ministry!)… then I wondered: “if I am telling everyone else how wonderful Bray is perhaps I should have a go!” Bishop Andrew had asked to see me and I had thought “This must be about Bray” in fact Andrew asked if I would be Area Dean, I must have looked a little nonplussed “Bishop, I had imagined you wanted to talk to me about Bray!” After the confusion settled I was left with the question “If it’s not the Bishop prompting me about Bray, perhaps it’s Somebody else!”

For the interview here candidates were asked to make a presentation on: “Strategies for bringing those attending St Michael’s for School Services and Music events into the regular worshipping community.”

My answer in summary (you can see the full presentation elsewhere) was


Build expectation…

Build on our spiritual journey, everyone has one…

Build our relationships… in church AND wider community,

Build on what we are good at…

He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

Let us pray…


The website of St Michael’s – the ancient and historic church of Parish of Bray with Braywood. Made famous (or infamous!) in the popular ballad, the parish is widely known, because of the turncoat ways
of the Vicar of Bray.

The origins of the Parish Church can be traced back to the year 1293, though much has happened by way of restoration and repair, since. The boundaries of the parish have also altered over the years, no longer as widespread as once they were, parts of Windsor and Maidenhead are still within the bounds.

Worship in St Michael’s is based on a well-established pattern within the Anglican Communion. At the early morning Services of Holy Communion on Sundays we follow the Book of Common Prayer – as indeed happens at Evensong. Parish Communion at 10 o’clock on Sunday mornings is choral, the service being in the new Prayer Book, “Common Worship”, we use “Order One.

Bray Open Gardens and Concert

A big thank you to all those who supported these two events by coming to either view the Open Gardens or attend the concert in the evening.  The weather was beautiful and everyone enjoyed the opportunity to have a peek at other people’s gardens. The garden owners also thoroughly enjoyed chatting to you. The concert “Gardens in Words and Music” was delightful including the two madrigals by St Michael’s Choir.

Thank you also to the volunteers who helped at either or both events. We couldn’t have done it without you!  We raised over £4000 which will be distributed equally between The Friends of St Michael’s and Thames Hospice. An amazing amount which made all the hard work worthwhile. Thank you again.

Chris and Julie Graham

Served in the Church Hall on Sunday afternoons
3 until 5.00pm
July 1 until early September
Except July 29
Because of the ‘Jazz on the Vicarage Lawn’ event at 3pm
Tickets £10
on the gate

Included with the SUMMER TEAS is a
First prize is Lunch for 4 at
Caldesi in Campagn to the value of £200

All proceeds from the SUMMER TEAS and SUMMER RAFFLE are
to be shared equally between The Thames Valley Hospice and
the running costs of the Organ at St Michael’s Church‚ Bray

Social Commitee Announce Two Trips for 2018


Come and join us on short stay holiday in France. Our journey will begin as usual from Braywick Car Park Maidenhead at 8.00 am travelling via the Euro Shuttle to our Hotel in the beautiful town of Liseux in Normandy. We have booked the Grand Hotel deL’Esperance in Liseu which is situated in the centre of town.

Tuesday 18th September 2018 we visit Chateau de Vendeuvre and Garden (pictured above), one of the most beautiful Chateaux in Normandy. The Chateaux has beautifully decorated 18th Century interiors, original kitchens and also a Museum of Miniature Furniture. The remarkable gardens are also the star of the show.

Wednesday 19th September 2018 we begin to explore the stunning beauty of Normandy, where we can expect dramatic coastal landscapes, quaint pastoral villages and picturesque Ports. Our journey will also enable us to see the beaches of the 1944 D Day landings, before arriving at the port of Honfleur, where we can spend a short time to enjoy this Medieval port.

Thursday 20th September 2018 Morning free time in Liseux. Before our departure for Home.
The price for this short stay holiday is £375 per person sharing a twin/Double room. Single supplement is £114. (Based on 30 Passengers)

Price includes Bed breakfast and evening meal, porterage, admissions and gratuities,
Departure from Braywick Car Park is 8.00 a.m. Optional travel insurance £34,
Returning to Maidenhead around 7/8 p.m. on Thursday, 20th September 2018. To confirm your interest we need two post dated cheques, the first one for £100 deposit and insurance (£34) if required. This one by 1st February with a completed booking form.

The second cheque for the balance dated 1st June.  If you are travelling with somebody then you need cheques for each person. Both to be submitted with the booking for. For further details contact Ken or Roy Gardner or ‘phone 01628 773591/07979 693603


Those of you who attended last year’s show all agreed that it was truly spectacular and requested that we visit again, so we are pleased to announce that we have rebooked.

This will be the 42nd year of the Spectacular. The show has a £3M budget and is a three hour fast moving celebration of the festive season featuring seasonal music being sung alongside traditional carols. It is now generally recognised as being the largest show of its kind in the country, if not Europe. having a cast of 130 professional singers, dancers and musicians.

Thursford is in Norfolk so for our comfort, we are again having a ‘Sleepover ’at the Wensum Valley Hotel, which we found a good place to stay during our previous two visits.

Departure as usual is from Braywick Car Park, at 10.00 am, we will commence our journey to Norfolk, with a comfort stop on route. We plan to arrive at our Hotel mid-afternoon, allowing plenty time to unpack and prepare for Dinner. Friday morning we journey to Thursford where we will have ample time to view and enjoy to many exhibits and things of interest, perhaps have lunchbefore taking our seats in the theatre to see this wonderful show. The Christmas Spectacular show commences at 2 pm and finish at 5 pm at which time we will board our coach for the journey home.

A booking form with two post-dated cheques made payable to Roy Gardner will secure you’re your place on this visit. Cheque 1, £100 deposit per person, plus insurance if required before April 2018 Cheque 2 for the balance dated 1st September.

Price includes Coach, Hotel Dinner and Breakfast, The Show and Gratuities.
Please ensure that you have insurance cover for the visit. Motts coaches can provide this for £21.
If required.

Further details on all our trips may be obtained from Roy or me.


The Revd. Richard Cowles Rev'd Ainsley Swift