A contemplative, compassionate and courageous Holy Week


In Thatcham, Berkshire, the team have incorporated the ‘three Cs’ from our Common Vision for a contemplative, compassionate and courageous Holy Week. The Revd Mark Bennet, the Rector of St Mary’s, describes how.

Read more

Our link with the ‘Real Easter Egg’ campaign


Ten years ago churches and schools from the Oxford Diocese helped establish a mission project which has reached millions of people, crosses all denominations and offers individuals a simple way to share the Easter story while supporting Fairtrade and charitable projects.

Distribution of food bank Real Easter Eggs begins


MORE than 700 Easter Eggs made in Oxfordshire have been donated to food banks by churches from across the UK. The donation scheme, run by The Meaningful Chocolate Company, allows donors to purchase a discounted Real Easter Egg online for delivery to food banks, including Trussell Trust distribution centres. Distribution of the eggs began in early April.

The Real Easter Egg is the first and only Fairtrade chocolate Easter egg with a copy of the Easter story in the box. Launched in 2010, following a trial involving the Oxford Diocese, more than a million Real Easter Eggs have been sold with 750,000 of these sent through the post directly to churches and schools. The popularity of the eggs meant that such a large volume of chocolate was needed that in 2016 production moved to the Barry Callebaut factory in Banbury, Oxfordshire. The Bishop of Dorchester, the Rt Revd Colin Fletcher, visited the factory to see how chocolate is made.

David McDonald, manager of a Trussell foodbank which received some of the eggs, said: “The Trussell Trust is a Christian organisation and at the most special time in the Christian calendar we are delighted to be able to carry the Easter message in such a tasty way to the people who need our help. Our visitors come from every walk of life and all faiths and none, but everyone loves chocolate eggs.  One third of the food we give out is for children and we feel that it is important that struggling parents are able to give their youngsters a treat.”

To donate an egg to a food bank click here. The eggs can also be purchased in Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose and ASDA.

Picture by Chris Bull for The Meaningful Chocolate Company
Distribution of Food bank Real Easter Eggs begins
More than 700 Easter Eggs have been donated to food banks by churches from across the UK. The donation scheme, run by The Meaningful Chocolate Company, allows donors to purchase a discounted Real Easter Egg online for delivery to food banks including Trussell Trust distribution centres. To donate an egg visit
Present: Bishop of Warrington, Bishop Beverley Mason and Manager of the Warrington Trussell Trust Food bank, David McDonald.
Further info from –
David Marshall
The Meaningful Chocolate Company Ltd.
Office: 0845 122 2882 Mobile: 07834 320120

Visit the historical Easter eggstravaganza at Reading Minster


TWO Easter eggs thought to be the oldest in the world are on display at Reading Minster. The Piet Van Klinkenberg and the Sallie Maxwell Benett eggs are eggstra special as they are both dated. The Klinkenberg egg is engraved with the date 1912 and the Bennett egg has the inscription ‘Easter Greetings 1899’.

Read more

Watch the crafty Kidlington Christians in action


IN case you missed it, you can read all about St Mary’s Kidlington’s creative response to Lent and Easter here. Now watch a short video of the group in action.

Read more

A Lent reflection with a difference


THE Revd David Meara reflects on the creative way Kidlington Christians have creatively used Lent as a time of preparing for the mystery of Good Friday and Easter.

Christ’s seamless robe. Photo: Kidlington Church

Read more

Learning about Easter in Amersham

CHILDREN at St George’s School in Amersham held their annual Easter Parade this week. Pupils aged four to seven worked at home to create Easter bonnets, gardens, decorated crosses and eggs for the competition. The 180 entries were judged by Chairman of Governors David Kirchheimer, Revd David Allsop from the Chenies Benefice and Headteacher Toby Long.

Toby said: “the children excelled in their creative skills to make some truly wonderful entries. The judges had a very hard job to pick the outstanding entries. Children across the school had a wonderful time in preparation for the Easter celebrations and learnt much about the true meaning of Easter.”

Natalia, Ayooluwa, Jack and Molly (all aged 5) wearing their Easter Bonnets.

All the winners received a chocolate Easter egg.



Easter: Three days that changed the world

Rector Mike Smith views the banner outside St Peter’s.

Rector Mike Smith views the banner outside St Peter’s.

The events of Holy Week and Easter are three Days that changed the world. Churches are reminding their communities of this story at the heart of the Christian faith this Lent.

A poster and banner campaign in Caversham and Mapledurham highlights the realities of the Easter story: the violence of Jesus’ beatings and crucifixion; the blood that stained the wooden cross; the shining transformation of the Resurrection.

“Easter is the most central focus of our Church year and we wanted everyone in our community to have the chance to learn more and share in our services and celebration of Easter,” says Revd Mike Smith, Rector of Caversham Thameside and Mapledurham Parish. “It’s a story of love, betrayal, sacrifice and the promise of new hope: so no apologies for the striking image of our campaign. We’re hoping people are struck by the starkness of images, and encouraged to find out more at one or other of our churches.”

The story of those 3 Days is retold at or follow the QR code on posters.

Banners can be seen on Church House in Caversham and on St Peter’s Hill outside St Peter’s Church. Posters will be displayed at St Margaret’s, Mapledurham, and St John the Baptist on Gosbrook Road, Caversham, as well St Peter’s.

There are opportunities to join churches marking those 3 Days on Maundy Thursday, April 2, remembering Jesus’ Last Supper; Good Friday, April 3, living through the events of the Crucifixion; Holy Saturday, April 4, with a musical retelling of the story; and Easter Day, April 5, joining in the joy and promise of the Resurrection.


Notes for Editors


Picture caption

Rector Mike Smith views the banner outside St Peter’s.


Easter Services at Caversham Thameside & Mapledurham Parish

(for full details see


St Peter’s Church, The Warren


Palm Sunday 29 March, 9.45am – Palm cross procession with Holy Communion, starting in Caversham Court

Monday 30 March-Wednesday 1 April, 8.00pm – Compline

Maundy Thursday 2 April, 8.00pm – Sung Eucharist with foot washing and Watch until midnight

Good Friday 3 April, Midday – Three-hour devotional service ‘at the foot of the Cross’

Easter Day 5 April, 6.00am – The Easter Liturgy:  celebrating the resurrection at dawn, starting in Caversham Court

Easter Day 5 April, 9.45am – Holy Communion for all the family


St Margaret’s Church, Mapledurham


Palm Sunday 29 March, 11.00am – Palm Sunday Holy Communion

Maundy Thursday 2 April, 7.30pm – Agape supper and Eucharist in Trench Green Hall

Good Friday 3 April, 10.30am – Stations of the cross: walk with Jesus the way of the cross

Easter Day 5 April, 11.00am – Holy Communion for all the family


St John the Baptist Church, Gosbrook Road


Palm Sunday 29 March, 11.00am – Palm Sunday procession with Holy Communion

Good Friday 3 April, 10.30am – Good Friday All Age service

Holy Saturday 4 April, 4.00pm – Once Upon a Tree: a musical telling of the story of the crucifixion

Easter Day 5 April, 10.00am – Holy Communion for all the family



For more information:


Steve Jenkins    tel 07768 764783 or email .