Around the Deaneries: Bracknell

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THE REVD DAVID Uffindell (right) has been vicar of Holy Trinity, Sunningdale, for 16 years. David, who is also the Bracknell Area Dean, says: “The church has changed hugely over the years in lots of different ways, not least in how we are using the building.”

The Revd David Uffindell, vicar of Holy Trinity, Sunningdale and Bracknell Area Dean.

The Revd David Uffindell, vicar of Holy Trinity, Sunningdale and Bracknell Area Dean.

As a lease with St John’s College, Cambridge on a building across the road came to an end, the church moved some of its groups into the church building. These included Music with Mummy, some of its administrative roles and its community café. All this has made the church think about more creative use of the building for the future.

The church strapline is Holy Trinity Sunningdale, Church and Community. There are plans for an extension of the building, to provide a commercial kitchen, moving the organ and removing the pews. The plans are currently out to consultation with the borough council, the Diocesan Advisory Committee, and the Victorian Society.

They don’t yet know how much the project will cost as it will depend on the finer details of making changes inside the historic building. But a consultation with the community got 99 per cent positive feedback. “People were saying ‘This is what Church is supposed to be about, isn’t it?’ “The feedback has just been amazing,” said David. Holy Trinity employs a Children’s Worker and a Youth Worker who regularly go into local schools for assemblies and mentoring. The Youth Worker is a Time for God volunteer who regularly runs assemblies and the Christian Union at Sunningdale’s secondary school. Although this is not an Anglican school, he is welcomed there with open arms.

And what about the wider Bracknell Deanery? David says: “It’s sociologically mixed and that’s what marks it out.” The area has the more urban centres of Bracknell and Ascot, and then plenty of “leafy parishes”. David says the sociological differences are that many people in the villages are people who can afford to live there, possibly those with investment incomes and second or third homes in different parts of the country or the world.

By contrast, Bracknell reflects more ordinary life. “It’s much more like the estate I served when I was in a parish in London, which had 1930s council housing and more people struggling to make ends meet,” says David.

 

 

A town transformed

By Nick Parish    The Broadway in Bracknell before demolition work began. Photo: Bracknell Town Council.

BRACKNELL Town Centre has had its northern half demolished! It will be replaced by a new retail development incorporating a new cinema, restaurants, and major retailers.The rest of the town centre is also being renewed, with smaller scale development adding new shops, community space and accommodation. This should all happen over the next three years. Alongside this, other changes will mean new road layouts, renewed public amenities and overall a much more attractive and busy town centre.

 

The Anglican presence is Holy Trinity, the Parish Church, and Mosaic Bracknell, a Fresh Expression of Church meeting in the Royal British Legion building. We are planning our strategy for Mission and Ministry in this emerging community. We are offering practical ministry through regular  ‘drinks giveaways’ at Mosaic, a soon to begin drop-in for young people after school and partnership with a credit union,  together with engaging with the developers, local authority and other community groups to discern how the Church can play a part in developing the spiritual life of the community in this exciting new environment.

We very much hope to work with our colleagues at the Roman Catholic and Family Churches (the Kerith Centre) who are also located in the town centre. Please pray for us as we seek God’s guidance in our planning.

The Revd Nick Parish is Priest in Charge of the Bracknell Benefice.

Adult baptisms and thriving youth work

Adult baptisms and thriving youth work

By Mark Griffiths

Pictured right are some of the adult baptism candidates at Warfield’s outreach congregation at Bullbruck in North Bracknell. They are enjoying a celebratory cake after they dried off after the service. Meanwhile, at St Michael’s Warfield, a newly re-ordered church building, now allows us the chance to engage even further with the community.Baptised

More than 100 primary school children and 40 volunteers have turned up every Friday evening from October to be part of ALL STARZ, our community kids club with games, activities, songs and Bible teaching. This is followed by our already thriving youth work. The re-ordering has offered a huge amount of new opportunities to us in Warfield.

Mark Griffiths is Priest in Charge of the Warfield Benefice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marriage prep with a difference

IN WINKFIELD and Cranbourne the Revd Catherine Blundell runs a crazy Wedding Preparation course for couples who are getting ready to tie the knot. No, she doesn’t issue the advice: “You’re crazy, don’t do it,” but the chance to visit eight tables in the church, each with an activity to explore creatively the meaning of one of the wedding vows.couple

These include coming up with a new word for cherish to match “to love and to cherish”, to putting on a pair of paper glasses, with love hearts before their eyes, and then taking them off to come back to reality and think about one thing that really irritates them about their partner and another that they really appreciate.

They make friendship bracelets of three cords, while thinking of the idea that a cord of three strands cannot be broken, sometimes ceremoniously removing them on their wedding day to signify becoming more than friends.  “The last thing couples want these days is a lecture from the vicar,” said Catherine. “Instead we take a more creative approach, exploring what it means to ‘have and to hold’ and in ‘sickness and in health’.”

 

 

 

 

 

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