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

Tel: 01628 629538
Copy for the April issue of St. Michael's News to the Editor please, by Thursday 15 March.
From the Registers
04 February
Kai Steven Finn
Molly Daisy Thomas
Memorial Services
12 February Robyn Roux    aged 67 years
14 February Pamela Robotham    aged 89 years

March 2018
Breaking News
The Work of Thomas Bray and SPCK
Spring Claening Time
Holyport W.I.
Holyport Village Show
St Michael's Bellringers
from Kilvert's Diary 1870
from Country Calendar
Meetings and Events


On Thursday 15th February the life and work of Thomas Bray was celebrated. Thomas was the founder of SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge) and died in 1730.

In 1696 Thomas Bray, an English country parson, was commissioned to report on the condition of the Church in the colony of Maryland. He spent only ten weeks in the colony, but he radically re-organized and renewed the Church there, providing for the instruction of children and the systematic examination of candidates for pastoral positions. He founded thirty-nine lending libraries and numerous schools. Both in Maryland and upon his return to England, he wrote and preached in defence of the rights of enslaved Africans, and of American Indians deprived of their land. Back in England, he worked for the reform of prison conditions, and for the establishment of preaching missions to prisoners. He founded the Spck (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge), which is still active today.

The SPCK was founded to encourage Christian education and the production and distribution of Christian literature. SPCK has always sought to find ways to communicate the basic principles of the Christian faith to a wider audience, both in Britain and overseas. In its first two hundred years, the Society founded many charity schools for poor children in the 7 to 11 age group. It is from these schools that the modern concept of primary and secondary education has grown. It was also an early provider of teacher training.. Thomas Bray believed passionately in, the power of the printed word and from its earliest days SPCK commissioned tracts and pamphlets, making it the third oldest publishing house in England. SPCK has worked overseas since its foundation. The initial focus was the British colonies in the Americas. Libraries were established for the use of clergy and their parishioners, and frequent shipments of books were sent across the Atlantic throughout the eighteenth century. By 1709 SPCK was spreading further afield: a printing press and trained printer were sent out to East India to assist in the production of the first translation of the Bible into.

As the British Empire grew in the nineteenth century, so SPCK developed an important role in supporting the planting of new churches around the world. Funds were provided for church buildings, for schools, for theological training colleges, and to provide chaplains for the ships taking emigrants to their new homes.

Today, SPCK is working with a number of partner institutions across Africa to assist in funding and launching an African Theological Network Press, designed to facilitate the writing and distribution of contextual African theology.


Thinking of spring cleaning your wardrobe? Why not donate your unwanted quality clothing to the St Michael’s clothing rail. Come and browse the items on offer over a cup of coffee in St Michael’s Hall after Parish Communion. Further details please contact either Pam Woodruff or Jilly Rothwell.

Like a good read? come browse a selection of books at St Michael’s Church Hal, Bray on Saturday, 14th April 2018 2 – 4.30 p m Refreshments will be served and books purchased by donation

Any unwanted books very welcome! also dvds, cds, tapes and jigsaw puzzles. For further information contact Pam Woodruff on 01628 670500


The meeting of Holyport W.I. was held on Thursday, 8th February. After the singing of Jerusalem, Pam the President this month, welcomed all and asked Anne T to give the toast to our Institute's 62nd Birthday. Pauline J cut the cake. Pam thanked Pauline J for making the cake and Pat, although absent,for decorating the cake. Pam then signed the minutes of the last meeting.

Jen was then called upon to speak, she told us the total monies raised on behalf of her Mother, Shirley Razey, who had recently passed away, was £768.75p, this money will go to the British Heart Foundation. Jen also said a thank you to the ladies who helped with the refreshements at the funeral. Pam thanked Carole for embroidering the tablecloth with Shirley's name and also Barbara Lincoln's name, who had also recently passed away.

Pam reminded everyone that subscriptions are needed to be paid by the end of February. Pam called upon Janet to give an update on the walks. Janet said the walk around Marlow following clues to solve a mystery had been a great success. Mary agreed to organise another one in the Summer. Walk 37 will be to see the snowdrops at Ankerwycke followed by lunch at the George at Wraysbury. Pam volunteered to send in a report with a photograph to the Berkshire County Newsletter on our Marlow Walk.

Nomination papers were handed out to all present to form a new committee in April. Penny collected the money for our Fish and Chip supper in March.

Jackie Paling, one of our members, spoke on 'International Women's Day' to be held on Sunday, 11th March at Maidenhead Town Hall. Pam asked members approval to put an advert into this years Village Show's programme. Carole read out the Berkshire Newsletter.

Pam introduced the speaker for the evening Jennipher Marshall-Jenkinson her subject "The History of Gin." With the aid of slides Jennipher told us about the different ranges of Gin you could buy. She asked us if anybody had been to Menorca's famous Gin distillery in Mahon, several members had visited the place and had sampled that particular gin. Jennipher told us of the many ways in which you can serve Gin cocktails. Several of us had previously visited the Bombay Gin distillery, and had sampled the many different gin cocktails on offer. After more talk on the subject of Gin, Mary was called upon to give the vote of thanks to Jennipher for a very interesting talk.

Refreshments were served, Pam gave Ann Marshall her certificate for the Hazel Edwards Rose Bowl competition, this year a craft item, an A5 Book Cover. Pam thanked Jennipher for judging our competition.


The Spring Meeting of the Holyport Village Show will be held on Friday, 23rd March 2018 at 7.30pm in the Holyport War Memorial Hall, Moneyrow Green, SL6 2NA.

This year's speaker at the Spring meeting will be Dave Snowden who's talk is entitled 'Berkshire Cider Making.'

Local cider maker, Dave Snowden, will be talking about the history of cider making from the 1st Century AD to the present day. He will also talk about cider making in Berkshire and more specifically, how he sources his apples from the local area and produces his cider here in Holyport avoiding all unnecessary waste. You will also be able to sample Dave's ciders on the night (subject to you being 18 or over!).

As usual, there will be a chance to mingle afterwards with a free glass or two of wine and a lump or two of cheese. This is also the launch event for this year's Holyport Village Show Schedule. Come and see what this year's photography categories are and take a free copy of the Schedule home with you.
This is a free event - there is no admission charge!

Come along and be entertained!


Our AGM took place in the ringing chamber last month. In the absence of a Vicar to act as Chairman, Graham Firman was elected Chairman for the meeting. Officers were re-elected, accounts and minutes received, and various items, including recruitment, were discussed.

The first wedding of the year is not until May so we have some free Saturdays until then.


Easter Eve. I awoke at 4.30 and there was a glorious sight in the sky one of the grand spectacles of the Universe.  There was not a cloud in the deep wonderful blue of the heavens. Along the Eastern horizon there was a clear deep intense glow neither scarlet nor crimson but a mixture of both. This red glow was very narrow, almost like a riband and it suddenly shaded off into the deep blue. Opposite in the west the full moon shining in all its brilliance was setting upon the hill beyond the church steeple. Thus the glow in the east bathed the church in a warm rich tinted light, while the moon from the west was casting strong shadows. The moon dropped quickly down behind the hill bright to the last, till only her rim could be seen sparkling among the tops of the orchards on the hill.

from COUNTRY CALENDAR by A.G. Street

As a rule it is difficult to find a good word to say for March.  Generally he is such a blustering fellow that most of us are eager to see the back of him and to greet Spring and April hand in hand.  But this year March is good enough for me, for this year Spring has stolen a march on April.

Early or late, each year of my life I have welcomed Spring gladly, but to-day she has all my heart.  Never before in my memory has her coming been such a charming and delightful surprise.  It is true  that she flirted with me in characteristic fashion for just one day in February;  but the next day it rained, a few days later came frost, and soon afterwards March blustered in with his east wind, a wind so horrible that Spring fled from the countryside in terror.  For three barren, uncomfortable weeks that east wind ruled over both countryside and town, indoors and outdoors and in bed almost; for neither overcoats, fires, nor central heating seemed to be proof against it.

Then came the contrast. A few days ago Spring returned, suddenly and unexpectedly, but in such delightful fashion that I have dared to think she has come to stay.  She gave the east wind his marching orders, and gentled rough March into such a likeable fellow that I have forgiven him his past rudeness.




Thursday, 8th March at 2 p.m. in Holyport Memorial Hall.

Moneyrow Green
Monday, 26th March at 7.45 p.m. in Holyport Memorial Hall.

Music at Bray
Sunday, 18th March at 4.30 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. in St Michael's Church.


In collaboration with the Windsor Spring Festival, we present Richard Rodney Bennett’s
enchanting children’s opera, based on a true story from the English Civil War.

Tickets (£10/£5) on the door, or email: tickets@musicatbray.co.uk

Maidenhead Heritage Centre
18 Park Street, Maidenhead.

1st and 22nd March
The Willows 11.50 - 12.35
Brayfield Road 2.40 - 3.00
Walker Road 3.10 - 3.40