What's on in the Benefice

St Andrew's United Benefice Prayer Group

The St Andrew's United Benefice Prayer group usually meets on the first Tuesday of the month at Crossways in South Stoke from 2.30-3.30pm.

The group meets to pray together for matters of concern and thanksgiving. In particular, prayers are offered for the St Andrew's development appeal; for the local community and for those who are ill or in need. Prayers follow an established pattern but are informal in nature. Everyone is welcome to come to any of these meetings.


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Family services

Family Services at St Thomas' in Goring are held on the first Sunday of each month at 9:30am.

Family Services at St Andrew's in South Stoke are held on the first Sunday of each month at 11:15am.

There is no family service at St Mary's in Streatley so you are welcome to join in with St Andrew's or St Thomas' instead.

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Letter Writing Group for persecuted Christians

This group meets from 10.00 to 11.00am on the second Wednesday of every alternate month to write notes and cards to persecuted Christians around the world. Led by Judith Aguda, Licensed Lay Minister in this Benefice, the group follows the guidance of the charity, Open Doors UK.

Everyone is welcome. If you have any postcards or notelets, please bring them along. Do join in if you can. This is something practical we can all do and it does make a difference. Contact Judith for dates and venues.


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Stillness on Sunday Service

This monthly service is led by members of the church community. It takes place at St Mary's Church in Streatley every second Sunday in the month at 5.30pm. It lasts 30 minutes and offers the opportunity to enjoy a period of reflection, prayer and music for spiritual peace and tranquillity.

Everyone is welcome to the Stillness Services; they are an informal time of readings, prayer, sometimes music and silence: it is an opportunity to escape the pressures of normal life, to refresh yourself by resting in the calm, loving presence of the Lord.


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Good News services

Good News services are held in St Thomas of Canterbury Church in Goring. These services are more informal than the usual Eucharist services. There is no Communion to give more time to explore the New Testament Bible teachings. Everyone is welcome to come to this service. Refreshments are served afterwards.

Good News services usually begin at 9:30am, but check the calendar for any changes to the normal schedule.

Digital recordings of Good News themes that we have had in the past are available.


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Coffee morning at St Andrew's Church in South Stoke

This event happens every 3rd Wednesday of the month from 10.30am to noon.

This event is popular. There is always a choice of delicious mouth-watering cakes and a chance to catch up with friends in the village. Come and make new friends at St Andrew's Church. Everyone is welcome.

Check the calendar for dates.


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Coffee and cake at St Thomas of Canterbury Church in Goring

Coffee and Cake is held on the last Saturday of each month (except November and December) between 10.30am and 12.15pm in The Canterbury Room of St Thomas of Canterbury Church in Goring. Everyone is welcome. Delicious homemade cakes are served and there is a chance to browse through some second-hand books and other items for sale. Occasionally there are informal music recitals.

Check the calendar for dates.


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Pick-a-Flick is for retired people of Goring, Streatley and South Stoke. A filmshow and light lunch are provided every 3rd Thursday of the month (except August) from 10:30am to 2pm in The Canterbury Room at St Thomas' Church, Goring.


Whisky Galore (2016)
Thursday 15 February, 1 hr 38 mins
Based on the true story of a community of islanders on a remote Scottish island during WW2 coming together to relieve a sinking ship of its cargo of 50,000 cases of whisky.
Esio Trot
Thursday 15 March, 1hr 47 mins
Gentle Mr Hoppy lives alone with only his balcony garden for company. Hopelessly in love with Mrs Silver who lives downstairs but who is only interested in her tortoise, he decides to hatch a plan to win her heart.
Victoria and Abdul
Thursday 19 April, 1hr 51 mins
On arriving from India to participate in Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, Abdul Karim, a young clerk, finds favour with the Queen herself. The two form an unlikely and devoted alliance that her inner circle try to destroy. As their friendship deepens the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes.
Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont
Thursday 17 May, 1hr 43 mins
Newly widowed, Mrs Palfrey moves to London hoping to gain independence and see her grandson. Staying at a residential hotel for senior citizens she forms an unlikely friendship with an author which is bolstered by the residents believing he is her estranged grandson.

Next dates for your diary: 21 June, 19 July and 20 September.


If you would like to be invited to this event or you know of anyone who would appreciate an invitation, please contact Jenny Boyd via the United Benefice email. The cost is £3 per event including light lunch; extra donations are very welcome towards the United Benefice Church expenses. Unless you have signed in for always attending, please RSVP a few days before each event so we can cater correctly. It is not necessary to book in advance, but if you would like a lift to the church please contact Jenny Boyd 872109 or Billie Richards 873540. We look forward to welcoming you.


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Come on Board!

Members of the Scrabble group have decided that this monthly social gathering has "run its course" and so have, sadly, played their last tiles.


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Explore! Alpha Course

We live in a wonderful part of the country, with so many places to explore and discover, but I wonder where you go when you are working through life's big questions? No matter what questions you have, you can be sure that you are not alone in asking them!

Last year, the Anglican churches of Goring and Streatley with South Stoke ran an Alpha Course in which over 20 people each week explored life's big questions and the Christian faith, looking at what it has to say about the meaning of life. Each of the sessions looked at different issues around faith, followed by small group discussions at which no topics were off limits and much lively debate took place. Among the comments from participants on last year's course were: "Give it a go and you won't be disappointed." "Just come; you will be surprised how good it is!"

Alpha is run all around the globe, in cafes, churches, universities, prisons, homes, Bars. It is free, and everyone is welcome! No two Alphas look the same, but they generally have three key things in common: food, a talk and good conversation. It is free, and everyone is welcome! No two Alphas look the same, but they generally have three key things in common: food, a talk and good conversation. We too are undertaking another Alpha course, which will start on Thursday 25th January 2018 in the Canterbury Room at St Thomas' Church, Goring at 7:30pm.

Please do get in touch to offer help or if you have any questions or to book your place by e-mailing alpha@thomandmary.org.uk or phoning 873770.

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Come and Sing Evensong

All singers are welcome to join us for a "Come and Sing" Evensong Service on Sunday 4th February in St Thomas' Church, Goring.

There will be a practice starting at 2pm (arrive at 1.45pm latest to sort out music etc). After the practice, there will just be time for a cup of tea before the Evensong Service at 4pm. You are also welcome to join the choir for additional optional practices from 7.15pm to 8.00pm on Friday 19th January, Friday 26th January and Friday 2nd February.

Michael Howell is our Musical Director, and we will be singing Malcolm Archerís God be in my head for an introit, Stanford's Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in Bb, Sanders' responses, and Parry's anthem Blest Pair of Sirens.

If you would like more details contact Elizabeth Parkinson on 872020 or email parkinsonfamily1@btinternet.com

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Ecumenical Lent Groups


The Ecumenical Lent Groups begin on Monday 19th February and the lists for signing up are now open!

The course we will be following is "On the Third Day" by Bishop John Pitchard and the cost of the booklet is £5.00. Do come and join us on our journey through Lent towards Easter. Everyone is welcome.

The other dates are:

  • 2nd week:Monday 26th February
  • 3rd week: Monday 5th March
  • 4th week: Monday 12th March
  • 5th week: Monday 19th March

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Gary Jordan, Classical guitarist


Gary Jordan will be presenting a Classical Guitar concert in St Mary's on Saturday 24th February beginning at 7:30pm. The programme will be a variety of music from England, Spain and Latin America, including works for lute by John Dowland, John Rutter, Augustin Barrios and Isaac Albeniz.

Ticket prices are £10 full, £9 concessions, available on the door or for advance booking please email StMarysConcerts@hotmail.co.uk

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Oxford Welsh Male Voice Choir

This acclaimed choir will be making a return visit at 7.30pm to St Thomas' Church on Saturday 28th April so save the date!

More details nearer the time, but in the meantime there are some photos from their visit in 2016: http://www.oxfordwelshmvc.org.uk/2016photos/sttomgoring16.html

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