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The opening times of Café Alive are Wednesday afternoons from 3.00 – 4.30pm in termtime.

JUNE 2024

Thurs 27 th 7.30pm Elders’ Meeting

Sun 30 th 10.30am Morning Worship – Rev Robert Barthram

11.45am Church Meeting


JULY 2024

Thurs 4 th 2.30pm Grange Fellowship

Sun 7 th 10.30am Morning Worship – Rev Robert Barthram

5.00pm Summer Tea & Praise at Tilehurst Preacher: Rev Michael Hopkins

Sun 14 th 10.30am Morning Worship – Rev David Witts

5.00pm Southcote Alive Outdoor Worship

Sat 20 th 10.30am Coffee Morning

Sun 21 st 10.30am Morning Communion – Mr Scott Wheeler

Thurs 25 th 7.30pm Elders’ Meeting

Sun 28 th 10.30am Morning Worship – Mr Tony Pearcey



Our Summer Fair will be on Saturday, 22nd June. 

There will be a variety of stalls, some run by the church, some by friends from Thames Valley Animal Welfare, and also some from other charities, plus independent stallholders. The
church café will be open and there will be an outside BBQ selling hot dogs.


Dear Friends,
As we leave Pentecost behind in the month of May we move into June where our focus is on
more of a mix of activities like a coffee morning, Church Meetings, a Big Lunch, prayer
meetings, fellowship groups, Bible studies, a weekly café, a working party and a summer fayre
culminating or beginning each week with our Sunday worship which lies at the heart of all we
do. It seemed right a month ago for my letter to be something of a short sermon, fitting for
Pentecost but for this month, I think something a little different.
Some weeks ago, when doing some sorting out, I came across a story on a piece of paper
and I thought I must try and use that one Sunday but have so far failed to do so and it still sits
on my desk so I’ll share it with you now.
“The story is told of a time, many years ago, when a father and his daughter were walking
through the grass on the Canadian prairie. In the distance they saw a prairie fire, which would
soon engulf them. The father knew there was only one way of escape: they must quickly build a
fire right where they were and burn a large patch of grass. When the huge prairie fire drew near,
they could stand on the section that had already burned. When the flames did approach them,
the girl was terrified, but her father assured her, ‘The flames can’t get to us. We are standing
where the fire has already been.’ So, it is with the forgiven when they see the judgment of God
approaching. They are where the flames have already been and therefore are safe.”
The story is introduced in this way, ‘Some people try to punish themselves for their sins, as
opposed to standing on the promises of forgiveness.’ That reminds me of an old hymn, with part
of the chorus, ‘standing on the promises of God my Saviour, standing, standing, I’m standing of
the promises of God’ (MP 932). Sadly, not all believe this and feel they have to be ‘good
enough’ themselves and then inevitably fail to reach a self-imposed marker and so guilt can
follow. I recall one of my predecessors saying, how the Christian doesn’t have the option of
guilt. As the hymn says we should be, ‘standing on the promises that cannot fail.’ And just as
worship lies at the heart of what we do these promises underpin it.
As another hymn says there is, ‘amazing grace,’ someone else bore the judgment and
because we are united to him by faith, we with all our faults and failings are not judged. Easter
Sunday tells us Jesus won a victory on Good Friday, good for us to have that focus each year
but we have a reminder, every week when we meet on the day of the resurrection for our
worship and so we may come to that worship gratefully and confidently.
A big part of our worship is the singing and I find great similarity with hymns from some such
as Isaac Watts from the 17/18 th century and modern worship songs written for drum and guitar.
Issac Watts gives us words to sing such as, ‘Grace is a sweet, a charming theme; my thoughts
rejoice at Jesus name’ and ‘I shall be safe, for Christ displays superior power, and guardian-
grace’ (R&S 284 & 280). From 1990 we have the words, ‘Only by grace can we enter, only by
grace can we stand; not by our human endeavour, but by the blood of the Lamb’ (MP 914).
In His Name, Robert

Message from the Church Minister - Rev Robert Bartham


United Reformed Church, Reading

Minister: Rev Robert Barthram

Tel: 0118 941 5097


Chruch Tel (24hr answering machine): 0118 957 1318

Grange United Reformed Church

Circuit Lane, off Southcote Lane,



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