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  1. Three groups are now running each month taking a deeper look at Karen Armstrong’s thoughts on how we embed compassion in our daily living. Each month we study a chapter and then commit ourselves to practicing an activity in keeping with the theme. If you’re interested in this but haven’t yet joined a group, do say, as we can start another group when we have sufficient numbers - have a word with Liz or Dilly.

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    During May, we asked if you might consider joining the Planned Giving scheme to help raise regular funds for the continued maintenance and mission of St. Mary's. We are pleased to report that the response was very positive and by your generosity and commitment to the work of St Mary's and our beautiful church building we currently have a promised increase of £5,736 for 2016 - exceeding the £5k target!

    The Planned Giving group, on behalf of the PCC, would like to add an extra thank you for bearing with us throughout the campaign and beyond, so please join us for cake on Sunday 19th July - no need to move because we'll be coming to you!

    See you at Matins, the All Age service or the Sung Eucharist!

  3. Six intrepid walkers from St Mary's covered 13 miles or so Saturday 20th June as they walked from Bayford in Hertfordshire all the way to St Albans for the annual pilgrimage. With three stops to reflect and read a set of prayers at 'stations' along the way and a slight diversion around Hatfield they eventually made it in time for tea and Evensong at the Cathedral. 

    Everyone is welcome to join future walks: listen out for details in months to come.

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    This time last year the Pink Peace Scarf knitting project - officially known as Wool Against Weapons - had begun. By 9th August our community had produced 120 sections to join, with hundreds of others from across the nation, at Aldermaston to complete the 7 miles Pink Peace Scarf linking the Trident warhead production sites Burghfield with Aldermaston. 

    In the spirit of spreading hope we have re-formed the scarf pieces into baby blankets. Acting in partnership with the charity, Rescue4Children, these pink blankets will be sent for the refugee babies of displaced families in Kurdistan-Iraq. It has taken three months, countless hours of stitching and crocheting and 12 individuals – all women – to achieve two shawls for wrapping mother and new baby, a poncho, two large blankets and 31 baby blankets.

    The honour role of blanket creators: Betty Manning, Laura Dove, Dorothy Anderson, Mary Wallen (visiting from Derbyshire), Elizabeth Grande, Millie Fitzgerald, Eve Adams, Morlean Jaysundra, Julie Farley, Penny Macgeoch, Karen Swift, Sarah Wall.

    It has been a great privilege to work with these wonderful people. On behalf of all who seek peace I take this opportunity to thank them for their part in working for peace.

    Sherry White