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

Tel: 01628 629538
Copy for the June 2017 issue of St. Michael's News to the Editor please, by Thursday 18 May 2017.
From the Registers
02 April
02 April
02 April
Connie Lucia Elizabeth Zabala
Myia Grace Francescia Hart
Oliver Clive Daniel Connell
17 March
08 April
08 April
Toby Charles Johncox and Emma Victoria Rose Baron
Harry Robert Palmer and Rosemary Higham
Matthew Ross-Brooks and Katie Hadley
08 March
08 March
Helen MacDougall Guest
Annie Alice Parriman
aged 67 years
aged 99 years

May 2017
Breaking News
The Vicar Writes
Christian Aid 2017
Easter Flowers
Parochial Church Council
Lest We Forget
Alexander Devine Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Holyport W.I.
Meetings and Events


Dear Friends,

Although we know a good deal about Jesus, what he said and what he did, what happened to him; the gospels are often silent, frustratingly so, about some of the things we would still like to know.

What did he look like, for example?  Not one of the 4 evangelists seems to think that their readers might like to have a physical description of their main character – very different from a modern biographer, who would be sure to include a pen portrait at least of their subject.  Was J tall or short, fat or thin, handsome or ugly?  We simply do not know, though that ignorance has not prevented artists from imagining what he might have looked like.

Some of their efforts at portraiture have a greater degree of probability than others.  For instance, given that he was a 1st century Mediterranean Jew, it is unlikely that Jesus possessed blond hair and blue eyes.
silent and there is no reference to his laughter, yet there are comic
Did he have a sense of humour?  Did he laugh?  The gospels remain touches in his parables and any great orator, capable as he was of holding large crowds spellbound for long periods, must have employed humour in his rhetoric, I believe.

The popular hymn calls him ‘Lord of the Dance’, but did he ever step out?  The sources do not mention it.

Did Jesus Sing?
Laughing and dancing – we do not know.  But what about singing?  Did Jesus raise his voice in song?

You might be hard pressed to point to any such reference in the gospels, but there is in fact one.  Just one, in Mark, who is followed by Matthew, who most scholars think used Mark when he wrote his own gospel.

That reference comes in the account of the Last Supper, in chapter 14. 

After Jesus has shared the bread and the wine and given these elements of the Passover meal a new interpretation in terms of his own body and blood, then we read verse 26:

“When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”

Jesus did sing then.  He and his companions joined their voices together to sing a hymn.  And moreover we can be virtually certain what hymn it was they sang.  For at the end of the Passover meal it was the custom to sing the Hallel, the sequence of psalms beginning at 113 through to 118.  Hallel as in hallelujah: the first verse of the sequence begins with ‘Praise the Lord!’

Although we know the exact words which would have been sung, we do not know quite how the psalms would have sounded, in a musical sense.  Most likely one of the group would have been the cantor, and would have chanted the text of the psalms, with the others responding with ‘Hallelujah’ after each half-verse.  Might Jesus himself have been the cantor, the lead singer?  Quite possibly, for he knew the Bible intimately and whoever sang would have done so from memory.

The hymn would have sounded strange to our ears, using ancient and unknown musical scales, but when
we look at the words then we see that these particular psalms are all prayers of thanksgiving.

The hymn that Jesus sang
They praise God who has brought his people Israel out of slavery; they call on all the other nations of the world to join in the praise; and they conclude with a prayer expressing thanksgiving:

“O give thanks unto the Lord for he is gracious; for his mercy endureth for ever.”

These were the very words in which Jesus prayed, and which he sang, and some of them are particularly appropriate to be found on his lips, at this time, immediately before his Passion.

“I love the Lord, because he heard my voice and my supplications.
Because he inclined his ear unto me when I called upon his name.
The cords of death compassed me round about, and the snares of the grave laid hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.
Then I called upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.”

Or these words:

“Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his faithful ones.
O Lord, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the child of your serving girl.”

When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Jesus went forth to face the agony in the garden, the betrayal and the trial, not with a cowed and tremulous spirit, but with a song on his lips to his heavenly Father.  It is a song that we can join in him in praying when we say or sing these psalms.
We can pray together with Jesus, in unison with him.

And although we have only this one brief reference to his singing, we can know that the Word Made Flesh became Music as well.

Love and prayers,


This year’s Christian Aid Week runs from 14th to 20th May, and we will be hoping for the usual positive response from the parish. The number of folk collecting house-to-house has continued to dwindle, and so in 2017 the use of this method will be quite limited. Some of our collectors have already turned to coffee mornings or similar as a way of raising funds.

We will be holding a coffee morning for all the parish in St Michael’s Hall on Saturday 13 May, from 10am to 12 noon, so please come along. Christian Aid envelopes will be available in church from Sunday 6th, and can be returned over the following two weekends. Do please complete the Gift Aid form if you can.


Many thanks to everyone who gave donations towards the cost of Easter flowers. Money was given in memory of Paul Riley; Emily, Marjorie and Fred; Trevor Jones; Rick Fontaine; Michael Cunningham; parents of Lynda Jones and relatives of Pam Robotham

Thanks to the flower team for decorating the church for Easter Sunday.


Inside your Parochial Church Council from Lesley Burch, Hon secretary to PCC

Members of the Parochial Church Council are elected by the parishioners at the Annual Parochial Church meeting in order to make decisions concerning the life of the church on your behalf. This is a summary of the business transacted at the March 2017. It is hoped that you will find the contents interesting, helpful and thought provoking.

Before the formal part of our meeting Catharine Morris, Parish Development Advisor for Berkshire, gave a talk on the procedures for replacement of the incumbent. There was the opportunity to ask questions and we were given some useful leaflets. We are grateful for her time as we now feel more confident that we understand our part in the process.

The Treasurer gave a report on the annual accounts to be published in our APCM (Annual Parochial Church Meeting) and both her report and the draft APCM papers were approved in preparation for printing for the meeting.

Jim Tucker gave a report on the imminent commencement of the Toilet Project. Approval for the permission for himself and Ian Murray to sign contracts with the building company was sought and given. The predicted start of the works is 24th April 2017, with some preliminary preparation to take part before commencement. The site will be fenced off and temporary toilets provided.

‘The Balfours’ whom we sponsor via CMS  had arrived in Guatamala to begin their work there. Church teas will again be taking place this Summer along with a raffle and ‘good as new’ clothes rail. Christian Aid week will take place from 14th to 20th May.   This year there will be a limited house to house collection and also a coffee morning on 13th May 2017 will be held to raise funds for this charity.


On 11 May we can observe the centenary of the death of Walter Stanley Mole, at the age of 32. His name appears on the village memorials in Bray and Holyport, and in the Touchen End book of remembrance, although it is not entirely clear why, as he had been brought up by his parents in Surrey. Perhaps he had been working in this area. Walter fought with the 44th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry, and seems to have lost his life in part of the famous Vimy Ridge conflict. With no known grave, he is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial.

WANTED Clothes Rails on Wheels

Following another very successful jumble sale in March where approx. £400 was raised, a selection of quality clothing was held back to sell at another event.

Once again St Michael’s will be holding Sunday teas this summer and it is hoped that a rail displaying clothing for sale, would be available in the hall at the same time. To keep things simple, it would be ideal to keep the rail ready stocked in the small hall, so that all the Team for the day would have to do, is wheel it through to the main room. Before we purchase one, does anyone have a good sturdy rail on wheels in their attic that they no longer use, and would be prepared to donate to the church? Please contact either Pam Woodruff (pamwoodruff@btinternet.com) or Jilly Rothwell.


Founded 10 years ago local couple Fiona and John Devine set up this charity, named after their son Alexander, who sadly died at the age of eight from a rare brain tumour.  During the four years that Alexander was ill they realised the desperate need for a local children’s hospice.

Now 10 years later, after exhaustive fund raising, their dreams are about to become a reality with the opening in the summer of a new children’s hospice, the only one in the whole of Berkshire.  The 6.8m building in Woodlands Park near Maidenhead will include a hydrotherapy pool, a sensory room, six child bedrooms, two adult suites and creative learning rooms.  There will be a large kitchen/dining room where families can socialise and eat together. It will be delivering much needed respite care for parents with a dedicated suite where they can spend precious time together with their child after they have died.  The home, set in idyllic farm land gifted by a local landowner will welcome children from across the county with life limiting and life threatening conditions, truly a very real home from home providing love, care and support for the whole family. 

The Alexander Care Team, funded by the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service, already run a community service in the home with Alexander nurses supporting over 90 families across the county providing respite, palliative care, including end of life care.
Completion of the building is only the end of the first chapter.  Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service is on the cusp of a new and exciting chapter in its development with the formal opening of the hospice in the summer, but fund raising support is still urgently needed.  The charity has been widely supported by the local community from children donating their pocket money and organising cake sales in schools, through to businesses, charitable trusts and foundations and simply by individual donations. 

With their generosity and enthusiasm led by the determination of Fiona and John Devine the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice charity is helping to make a difference to so many families in Berkshire bringing love, laughter and lasting memories into their lives at this most challenging of times. There is still much to do and many ways one can help with this incredible journey.   Further details of this worthy local charity can be found at  or by phone 01628 822777.


“Social Evening” took place on Thursday, 13th April. Holyport W.I A.’s April meeting commenced with Wendy welcoming us all plus four new visitors for the evening. Apologies for those absent were given and then Wendy presented New Members Packs to Jan P and Annette T, unfortunately Annette T could not be present at the meeting so her pack will be presented to her next month. Jan was thanked for the table flowers and Penny presented Jen and Pam with their birthday posies.

Janet gave an update on our last walk around Virginia Water and Valley Gardens, she said it had been a successful walk and the sun shone all the time we were there. Two of our members met us half way and then we all enjoyed a cup of tea or coffee before going home. Janet passed things over to Pam who read out our next walk around Ascot Racecourse in April, members will share cars to this venue. Outings to theatres etc are ongoing Penny and Shan are to share the organising of any trips.

Penny gave a brief report on The Spring Council Meeting this year held at Reading University. Penny expressed her concern that not a lot of our own members attended the County events arranged by Berkshire Federation and hoped we could attend more in the future. It was announced the Group Meeting will be held in Holyport Memorial Hall on Thursday, 18th May, Pauline had the tickets for anyone to purchase for this. Holyport W.I. will be running the ‘Bring and Buy”. The speaker will be Paul Baxter he will speak on the Building of the London Eye. Pam will read out the report for Holyport W.I.

A long discussion took place after Shirley gave us an update on our finances. Those present agreed to a small increase in our tea money every meeting and also an increase in visitors entrance fees. More fundraising was suggested, Ann M offered to hold a Garden Party in August for members, proceeds to go to out W.I funds. Janet, Barbara G and Jan OB voluteered to organise a Christmas social for our December meeting. After refreshements we were able to have a chat and look at some of the craft items our members had produced at the craft afternoons. On show there were some of our old Scrap books plus a new file itemising all our past walks covering the last three years. Wendy was pleased to tell us the Federation event “Strickly Sparkly” had raised £1800 this money is to go towards the Saving Denman Appeal. Holyport members had raised £70 in Betty Cohen’s memory, a cheque will be sent to the Save the Children Fund.




Thursday, 11th May at 7.45 p.m. in Holyport Memorial Hall.
Resolutions Meeting.

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

Music At Bray
Sunday May 14th at 4.00 p.m.

A programme for chamber ensemble featuring original music by Laurie.

Admission to the afternoon concert is free - retiring  collection
Tea is served in St Michael’s Hall after the concert

Maidenhead Heritage Centre
18 Park Street, Maidenhead.
Exhibition 3rd May - 30th September - Maidenhead in the 1950s.

Wednesday,17th May
Hanover Mead/Jesus Hospital 11.00 - 11.30 a.m.
Thursday,11th May
The Willows Riverside Park 11.50 - 12.35 p.m.
Brayfield Road 2.40 - 3.00 p.m.
Walker Road, Maidenhead
3.10 p.m. - 3.40 p.m.