There’s lots of news from the cafe again this month and, sadly, not all of it is good.
For those of you who don’t know yet, and I’m sorry to tell you like this, Revd Maureen Devine sadly died recently, on May 18th. Maureen was a part of the benefice ministry team and a good friend to many. Maureen was a great supporter of the cafe and the benefice and will be fondly remembered. Our love and prayers go to Ron and the family.
Mick (as in Mick and Bunny) also died this month. Mick and Bunny have been visiting the cafe several times a week for years and have become such a big part of the family. As in all families, you learn people’s ways and Mick had his particular ways of wanting and doing things and we encouraged that! Bunny has been offered lifts here from several of the friends made at the cafe, so she won’t be a stranger. I’d like to thank the family for sharing both gatherings in Mick’s memory here at the cafe.
If the sad news I’ve shared has affected you in any way and you feel like you need to talk or just be with somebody, then you know you’re always welcome at the cafe. Also, just in case you don’t know, the benefice has a great pastoral support team who would be delighted to listen and support you. The clergy also offer pastoral support to anybody who needs it. All contact details are in the magazine (p75). Please don’t hesitate to contact the benefice office if you can’t find a number you’re looking for - Karen will always point you in the right direction. Alternatively, look on the benefice website (www.loddonreach.org.uk). So, please remember to look out for each other and find someone to talk to if you need to.
Now, on to happier things...
Some of you who have been around the cafe for many years, might remember Emily. Emily used to be a volunteer on a Saturday. Emily’s mum, Claire, came to see me, the day we had the community meetings in the cafe. Anyway, Emily has just finished her degree in (forgive me if I’ve got this wrong) ‘Corporate Hospitality and Events and Business Management.’ During this time, Emily has worked and lived in America. Well, Emily has just got an apprenticeship at the Dorchester Hotel in London. How fantastic is that! Congratulations Emily. We all wish you every success. Thank you Claire, for keeping me up-to-date over the years. I’ve loved hearing about Emily’s journey and I’m so excited for this next chapter.
Joan and Charlie had some exciting news to share. They have become great-grandparents for the first time - a great-granddaughter. Congratulations to all the family. I can’t wait to meet her - we love a baby in the cafe!
We have a lovely couple who have started to visit us in the cafe whilst looking after their mother (who hasn’t been very well recently.) Their mum lives in Shinfield and did end up in hospital recently. I have no idea of their names - which is often the case - but I wanted to thank them for their generous donations to our Christmas dinner. I also want to thank them for sharing that lovely Yorkshire accent. It’s lovely to listen to.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who came to look at or exhibited at the Art exhibition. What a fabulous day... Such a lot of hard work, commitment and dedication from Dawn Clark and the team of helpers. What a lot of local talent - we are truly blessed to be surrounded by such creative people. Some of them even come to the cafe! Such hidden talents. It’s fantastic for the community to have so many opportunities to get out and about and see each other. So, thank you to organisers across the benefice for all that you do to keep us, the villagers, busy and interested.
So that takes me to the next event on the church calendar… The Summer Fete, 21st July, here at St Michael’s. Sue Butler and the behind the scenes crew work and work and work on this and all church fairs and the auction all year. They really do. Anyway, this year Sue is looking for help - to set up, to run a stall, to tidy up, to help in the cafe etc. I know that if you’ve ever had the thought “I’d like to do something but I don’t know what” then please do try helping at the fair. Your help will be gratefully received and appreciated. Call in. Those of you who have been customers for years and who have been accosted by me over the past few weeks - thank you for giving in to my demands and putting your name down to help. I often say to people “ask a friend who you haven’t seen in a while to come with you - you can catch up whilst doing a great big good deed - and you’ll be having so much fun you won’t even notice - and who knows, you might do it again!” Come on, you know you want to!
As I’m writing this, I’m thinking of those of you I haven’t seen in a while. You know who you are. Please know that you’re thought about and cared for and missed. Come in. Let’s catch up.
I’m trying to think if there is anything else... Oh yes - summer salads are back on the menu. Fetta, olives, halloumi, humus to name but a few of the delicious extras you can add to any dish. Don’t forget that the weekly special is still going strong - but mainly on a Monday - £5.00 for two courses. Invite a friend. It really is good value for money, and all made with that secret ingredient - love!
Victor left me a message on his plate the other day - bless him. He crocheted me a top the other day too. I wore it – it fits perfectly and goes with my hair!
Good luck to Fiona in her new home. x
Thank you to all the volunteers for taking on extra shifts to help cover holidays. Volunteers are really urgently needed. We’ve had to close a few times lately because of holidays, illness, etc. I just haven’t been able to cover the shifts. So a huge thanks to Pat who joined us this month. Also, I am looking for a volunteer who likes shopping and would be prepared to either take me to Costco or do the shopping for us. Please call in and see me if this could be you.
Peter Ratcliffe is leaving after years and years of amazing commitment. Liz will be starting her new job as Rector of St Michael’s in Tilehurst in September. We wish the family well as they start this new chapter in their lives. More about that next month... I’m running out of space!
This month we will be hosting community week for Year 6 children from Lambs Lane School. More about that next month too!
Finally, just a reminder about evening prayer on a Monday at 7pm, followed by bible study and fellowship. All are welcome - wherever you are on your journey in Faith. You don’t have to know the bible inside out. x x
I had better stop there. Sorry if I have missed you out and I said I’d put you in. You know what I’m like...
Look after each other and please call in any time for a chat or a shoulder...
Debbie and the volunteers x x