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November 2014

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Recently my husband John and I took a trip up The Shard, London’s newest landmark and the Western Europe’s tallest building.  In literally seconds we were whizzed up to the 68th floor to the viewing platform.  From there the city of London in all its immensity spread out below and around us; cars like little ants, trains like worms sliding along, little church spires almost hidden among the taller modern buildings and, of course, the well-known London landmarks.  Truly an awe-inspiring sight - as long as you have a head for heights!

From the Shard we could also see below us the Tower of London, surrounded at present by thousands of poppies which, from that height, looked like a red river streaming around the building.  Later we decided to go and take a closer look.  The ceramic poppies are being placed around the grounds of the Tower of London to represent the 866,246 British lives lost during World War 1 and will stay there until after Remembrance Day.  The sheer size of this river of red poppies is staggering, and all the more moving to see, when you realise its true significance - of all the blood that was shed during that conflict.

Just as the things we look at can sometimes seem overwhelming, the sheer immensity of distressing situations in the world today can also seem overwhelming.  It is often difficult to believe that we can ever bring about change.  Most of us haven’t got millions of pounds to give to worthy causes and very few of us are the “movers and shakers” of this world.  We can only start from the place where we are and try and make a difference in a small way.  Who knows? - a small donation to charity, a good turn done for a friend, neighbour or even a stranger, a smile to someone in the street, a courteous act, a word of comfort or encouragement, a prayer for a person who is ill – any of these things may make the world of difference to someone today!

Jesus said “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Matthew Ch.22 v.39)
Celia Miller, URC Elder



Dear Friends,

November certainly seems to be a month of Remembering.  First there’s All Saints Day on 1st November.  Originally set up in the 4th Century as a day to remember those who were martyred for their faith, it later became a day to remember all the saints.
            Then there’s Bonfire night, and most of us will know the familiar ditty that goes with this time of the year: ‘Remember, remember, the 5th of November, with gunpowder treason and plot’.  It reminds us of Guy Fawkes and his friends who tried to blow up the House of Parliament in an attempt to get rid of King James 1 and make Protestant England into a Catholic nation once more.  When the plot failed they all met with a gruesome and grizzly fate.
Next comes Armistice Day, when, on 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month the First World War officially ended and the guns fell silent.  Nowadays we call it Remembrance Day, and we usually have a 2 minute silence at 11am on 11th November to remember all those who have given their lives their lives in all conflicts.  At St Giles’ we’ll have a short ‘Act of Remembrance’ at 10.55am outside the church, observing the 2 minute silence as we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for us.
Of course, there is another ‘Remembrance’ that we observe at St Giles’ each time we gather together around the Communion table.  Jesus told His disciples to share bread and wine ‘in remembrance’ of Him.  We remember that He willingly died a terrible death on the cross to reconcile us to God, and then rose again to show that His followers can live with the sure and certain hope of heaven.  We’ll be thinking about all sorts of Remembering on Sunday 2nd November: 9.45am will be an all-age, fast-moving, friendly service, and we hope you’ll be able to join us.

With love,




On 3rd September the Revd Felicity Davies was inducted as Rector of the parish of St Giles’.  But people often ask “What’s the difference between a Rector and a Vicar?”  Maybe you’re one of them? 

Today, as they are both Priests, there’s no real difference, except that one lives in a Rectory and the other in a Vicarage!  However, historically, the Rector had the right to “the living” – the income from the church and its land.  As a result, some Rectors became so wealthy that they employed other men to do some or all of their work.  Thus the Rector was doing his duties vicariously through the other men and so they became known as Vicars!



Baptisms at St Giles’
September 14th           Bobby Iain Jeffrey Graham
                                    Martha Grace Alsop
                                    Samuel Joseph Watson


September 20th           Gemma Cox and Richard Burgess

Cremations at Breakspear Crematorium

September 16th           Marjorie Mason, aged 90
September 19th           Charles "Tom" Sawyer, aged 90
September 29th           Doreen Lane, aged 78
September 30th           Christopher Lawrence Penn, aged 85,
                                    following a service in St Giles'



Each week in St. Giles’ 8am and 9:45am Sunday services, we pray for the people who live or work in the following roads in the Parish:

November         2nd    Milverton Rd
November         9th     Milverton Drive
November       16th     Narborough Close
November       23rd     Neela Close
November       30th     Nettleton Rd
Please join us if you live in one of these roads.  You would be most welcome.


DROP-IN FOR THE BEREAVED - St Giles' Church Back Hall, 2pm to 3.30pm
Come for a friendly and informal chat over a cup of tea with other bereaved people and bereavement visitors.  Just come along or, if you would like to speak to someone first, please ring 01895 622970. 
The next meeting is on Monday 17th November (then Monday 15th December).


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