Derek Fowles
10 Lynden Close, Holyport, Berks, SL6 2LB

Tel: 01628 629538
From the Registers
14 June
Thomas Norgate and  Emmeline Clucas
July 2019
Parish News
From the Vicar
From the Editor's Desk
Race for Life
From the 'News' Dec. '93
From the 'News' Jan. '92
Meetings and Events
From the Vicar

I am sure you will all join with me in thanking Derek and Wenda Fowles for the production of St. Michael’s News over the last 28 years as they now look to a well earned retirement from the role.

They have worked hard to produce the magazine – gathering articles, editing and printing/collating the copies ready for distribution and without their help and dedication we would not have been able to provide this Welcome and Insight into our Parish activities. 

With the help of a small team, and with approval from the PCC, I am looking at how we can carry on this important communications medium in the future.  In the meantime, if you have anything that you would like to be shared with the Parish then please email our Parish Administrator Richard Severn: richarddb7@outlook.com


From the Editor’s Desk

In  August 1991 following the death of the long standing Editor Tony Pickford the then Vicar the Reverend George  Repath  made his weekly visit to deliver the copy for the Sunday Service Sheet and over a cup of tea asked me if I would take on the Editorship of St Michael’s News.

At that time computers were in their infancy and St Michael’s News was a doublesided sheet printed by Riverside Press in Reading from our type written copy which was then returned to us for proof reading. We were told by our son that what we needed was a PC and despite opposition from the typist we moved into the computer age and the copy went to the printer on a floppy disc thus reducing the proof reading to almost nil.

At that time the Sunday Service sheet was produced on a Gestetner duplicator which was beginning to feel its age and we persuaded the P.C.C to purchase a printer which would enable us to move into the present century. Not only were we able to produce something that looked like a magazine in house but something that paid for itself. Thus in September 2001 the present magazine was born.

When we were planning it the then Vicar received a letter from Jane Rice-Oxley who was raising money for her Parish Church by producing and selling crosswords for use in church magazines; we decided to give it try and I know that it has proved quite popular with some of our readers.

During the twenty eight years that Wenda and I have produced St Michael’s News we  have had help in many ways, those who write articles. the collators who help put it together each month, the Distributors who collect their bundles from the Church and deliver them around the parish.  However I feel the time has come for the Fowles duo to retire and so this will be our last issue.

The new Editor is Richard Severn and I hope you will all support him as you have me. There are some areas in which he will need some help and this will be readable available hopefully for few more years.
Richard’s email addres is richarddb7@outlook.com.

Windsor Racecourse 2 June 2019

We would like to say a big thank you to everybody that sponsored us. Our team name was called the four candles. NO not the Two Ronnie’s but as instructed by my granddaughters, the candle it represents the light of the world.

Our team consisted of myself – my daughter Michelle and two granddaughters Isabelle and Amelia.
Thanks to your generosity we raised £765.

Brenda Gardner

From St Michael’s News, December 1993
JULIAN OF NORWICH 1342 - c1423

Julian of Norwich was the first woman to write a book in English.  She was born in 1342 and as a child lived through the Black Death which began in Dorset in August 1348, reaching Norwich in January 1349.  It is possible that she was educated by nuns at Carrow, a Benedictine Priory, although there is no firm evidence to support this hypothesis.  On May 8th, 1373, during a severe illness in which she almost died, she received a series of sixteen ‘showings’ or revelations of God’s love, which focussed upon the passion of Christ.  It is likely that as a result of these visions Julian became an anchoress (a hermit who lived in solitude in a cell or small room) attached to St. Julian’s Church in Norwich.  It was quite normal for people to live like this in Julian’s day.  Some were monks or nuns, but others were ordinary men and women who took vows to live a solitary life of prayer and contemplation.  Their cells had two windows, one which allowed a view of the altar to emphasise the life of devotion, and the other which faced the street, so that people could come for comfort and advice.

Julian’s record of her visions is recorded in two versions.  The ‘short text’ is a narration of the contents of each vision and her immediate response, but the ‘long text’ is the result of almost twenty years pondering and theological reflection upon them.  Today her work is recognised as a spiritual classic throughout the world.

One person who came to the window of Julian’s cell was Margery Kempe, the first woman to write an autobiography in English.  She called Julian an expert in spiritual matters and skilled in the art of giving counsel.  Indeed Julian is still able, through her ‘showings’, to give help and inspiration to those who in our own time seek to know and love God.

The passage read at Parish Communion on Sunday, 24th October when the theme for the day was ‘The Creation’ is to be found in Julian of Norwich Showings London, SPCK 1978 (The Classics of Western Spirituality series), and is as follows:

…our Lord showed me a spiritual sight of his familiar love.  I saw that he is to us everything which is good and comforting for our help  He is our clothing, for he is that love which wraps and enfolds us, embraces us and guides us, surrounds us, surrounds us for his love, which is so tender that he may never desert us.  And so in this sight I saw truly that he is everything which is good, as I understand.

And in this he showed me something small, no bigger than a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand, and I perceived that it was as round as any ball.  I looked at it and thought:  What can this be?  And I was given this general answer:  It is everything which is made.  I was amazed that it could last, for I thought  that it was so little that it could suddenly fall into nothing.  And I was answered in my understanding;  It lasts and always will , because God loves it;  and thus everything has being through the love of God.

In this little thing I saw three properties.  The first is that God made it, the second is that he loves it, the third is that God preserves it.  But what is that to me?  It is that God is the Creator and the lover and the protector.  For until I am substantially united to him, I can never have love or rest of true happiness;  until, that is, I am so attached to him that there can be no  created thing between my God and me.  And who will do this deed?  Truly, he himself, by his mercy and his grace, for he has made me for this and has blessedly restored me.

From St Michael’s News, January 1992

The freezing over of London’s river meant the immobility of all shipping, the loss of perishable cargoes, delay, and frustration, a dearth of coal usually brought by water from Newcastle and, to the watermen, loss of their livelihood.  To the citizens at large, however, it was a time of amusement and delight; opportunist showmen, pie-men, and enterprising barbers had a glorious time.  Taverns were erected on the ice, so that people could afterwards claim that they had dined upon the Thames;  others had their hair cut, and some bold spirits played football.  The most famous of all frosts was that of January 1608, but there were other notable occasions when the Thames was completely frozen and people were able to walk from Southwark to London.  In 1683-4 John Evelyn described the booths set out in miniature streets upon the ice, and shops ‘full of commodities’;  there was even a printing-press which issued slips on which were people’s names, the year, the date, and the imprint ‘The Thames’, at sixpence a time.  Evelyn thought that the printer would make £5 a day at this business.  He himself, 9th January 1684,walked over the ice from Westminster to Lambeth to dine with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The river has frequently been frozen over, but seldom to such a depth as would allow a coach-and-six to be driven upon it, as happened in 1698.  The last of the traditional frost fairs was held in the winter of 1813-14, for some twelve years later old London Bridge was pulled down and a much freer flow of water resulted.  As late as 1820 the water was frozen to a depth of five feet in mid-January, and we hear that ‘folk were walking on the Thames’, but the great days of the frost fairs were by then only a memory.

An extract from ‘A History of London Life’ published by Pelican.

Meetings and Events for July

Womens’s Institutes

Thursday, 4th July and Thursday, 1st August at 7.45 p.m. in Holyport Memorial Hall.

Moneyrow Green
Monday, 22nd July at 2.00 p.m. in Holyport Memorial Hall.

Music at Bray
Sunday, 21st July at 3 p.m.

The DAVIES QUARTET return for one of our most popular events of the season – live jazz, tea and cakes and a glorious riverside setting. Be sure to be early for this eagerly anticipated event. 


Maidenhead Heritage Centre
18 Park Street, Maidenhead.

Mobile Library

Monday, 1st and 22nd July
Holyport Lodge 11.00 a.m. - 12.15 p.m.
Wednesday, 3rd and 24th July
Hanover Mead and Jesus Hospital 11 a.m. - 11.30 a.m.
Thursday, 18th July
Brayfield Road 2.40 - 3.00 p.m.
Walker Road 3.10 - 3.40  p.m.