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 take place on:

St Thomas' Church, Goring: The 1st Sunday of each month.

St Mary's Church, Streatley: For the time being, families from Streatley join others for the Benefice's monthly Family Service at St Thomas' on the first Sunday of every month. We've had some good services recently so don't miss the next one!

St Andrew's Church, South Stoke: Quarterly.
St Andrew's Church in South Stoke holds four special family services each year, commencing at 10.30am. Refreshments are served afterwards. For more information go to the family service programme.


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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 and St Andrew's Church in South Stoke. 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 at St Thomas' Church in Goring begin at 9.30am. For more information on upcoming services see the Good News programme; to listen to past sermons go to Good News sermons.

Good News services at St Andrew's Church in South Stoke take place on the fourth Sunday of each month at 10.30am. Preaching is given by members of the local ministry team.

For both churches, check for any change to the normal schedule on the calendar.


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Parenting Children Course *POSTPONED*

17th September 2017: This course was due to be run from September, but has now been postponed.

As we all know, children do not arrive with an instruction manual and yet no role we undertake is more important. Family life is under great pressure today and parents face bewildering choices and often conflicting advice about how to parent effectively. Being reminded that we are not alone in the challenges we face and picking up ideas from other parents can make a huge difference.

The Parenting Course is based on a course devised by the National Parenting Initiative and is for any parent with children in primary education. While the course is based on Christian principles, it is relevant and helpful for any parent with or without a Christian faith or church background.

We would love both parents to attend the course, but we recognise that this can be challenging for those with young children and so we are hoping to offer babysitters, if you find it difficult to find someone. Topics covered in the course include:

  • Laying strong foundations
  • Love in action
  • Setting boundaries and managing behaviour
  • Building character
  • Growing a confident child

Each evening will start with desserts and refreshments which will be followed by a talk and then discussion in small groups. Where the course has been run previously, there has been good feedback; one participant said: I'm feeling much more positive, more determined to have fun as a parent. And another: I feel much encouraged and inspired by ideas for family time and have realised the importance of fun and security and of family life itself.

To let us know you are planning to come, or to request a possible babysitter please contact Steve Johnson, Assistant Curate via stthomasmaryandrew@gmail.com


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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.


Jungle Book (2016)
Thursday 21 December, 1 hr 51 mins
Raised by a family of wolves since birth, Mowgli must leave the only home he's ever known. Along the way he meets an array of jungle animals and learns valuable life lessons as his epic journey of self-discovery leads to fun and adventure.
Churchill (2017)
Thursday 18 January, 1 hr 50 mins
Tensions mount for beleaguered Prime Minister Churchill as D-Day nears in June 1944. Churchill is reluctant to embark on the large scale campaign that the entire war effort hinges on. Clashing with political opponents, unwavering support from his devoted wife Clementine inspires him to achieve greatness.
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.

Next dates for your diary: 15 March, 19 April and 17 May 2018.


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!

The light and airy setting of The Canterbury Room provides a Mecca for keen scrabblers of the Goring Gap. It is held on the fourth Friday of every month from 3-5pm. A lively mix of young and old, experienced and novice, arrive to find tables laid out for tea, with bright chequered table cloths and scrumptious homemade cakes.

While occasional recourse is made to a selection of dictionaries, much hilarity is generated in the interpretation, or complete disregard, of any rules.

All are welcome to join the fun; there is no need to book. This is a United Benefice initiative. Cost: £2.50. Transport can be arranged if needed. Check the calendar for changes to the normal schedule or, for any other queries, contact Antoinette Jackson here via the web editor.


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St Thomas' Christmas Fair

The Christmas Fair is to be held in St Thomas' Church again this year on Saturday 25th November from 11am to 2pm. Make a note in your diary! There will be an opportunity to browse books, plants, preserves and cakes, and of course the usual delicious lunches will be served.

The toy stall is a chance to "recycle" those good quality toys that have been grown out of and replace with something else. Phoenix cards will have the usual selection available; there will be a children's colouring competition, and naturally, Father Christmas will be making an appearance. We need donations for some of the stalls for the Christmas fair. In particular we require CDs, DVDs, prizes suitable for the raffle, bottles for the tombola, good quality books, nearly new children's books and good quality toys, bric-a-brac, cakes, preserves, toiletries and plants. If you need items to be collected contact Chris Tassell on 873280, or they can be brought to Church before 11.00am on the 25th November, or between 4pm and 6pm the evening before (24th November).

Proceeds from this year’s fair will be shared between church funds and our Mission Partner, Steve Poulson, who is working with street children in Honduras. Do come along and join us for a day of festive fun and fellowship.

We also need a few volunteers at 4pm on the 24th November to help move the chairs and put up the tables.

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Advent Carol Service

How are you preparing for Christmas? Maybe you are ready -- ordered plenty of food, booked a delivery and all the presents sorted well ahead. Maybe you usually leave everything to the last minute. For most of us it is a bit of both...

In the run up to Christmas, the Church marks a four-week period of preparation known as Advent, meaning "to come" and also "to arrive." Advent anticipates and celebrates the coming of Christ in three ways:

  1. Christ who came as a baby;
  2. Christ who comes now and waits to be asked into our lives and hearts;
  3. Christ who will come at the end of time.

On the first day of Advent, Sunday 3rd December at 4pm there will be a special Carol Service at St Thomas' Church with readings, hymns and choral pieces to mark the start of this season. The music will include works by Mendelssohn, Stanford and Handel. Do come along -- everyone is welcome!

There will also be a traditional Christmas Carol service at St Thomas' on Sunday 17th December at 4pm.

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Goring Chamber Choir presents "A Shining Star"

Sunday 10th December 2017 at 3:00 pm in St Thomas' Church, Goring.

Our Advent concert of Christmas carols is filled with radiant light. Sparkling stars shine over the Christmas scenes: the shepherds, the child in the manger, the three kings. The beautiful songs may come from Spain or Sweden, but are all bright with stars, and are mixed with seasonal poems to lift the spirit. Familiar congregational carols complete the programme. Accompanied by Steve Bowie.

Tickets £12 and £10 from Inspiration in Goring, from a choir member, or on the door. http://www.goringchamberchoir.org.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 2018 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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