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The summer newsletter from West Berkshire Countryside Society is available to download here:
Sunday Services in the West Downland Benefice
Services in bold print have activities for children
3rd June 8am BCP Holy Communion Chaddleworth
10am Together@Ten Great Shefford
10am Holy Communion Fawley
11am All Age Communion Wickham
8am BCP Holy Communion Brightwalton
9.30am Holy Communion Great Shefford
10am Holy Communion Leckhampstead
11am BCP Holy Communion Wickham
8am BCP Holy Communion Fawley
10am Café Church Great Shefford
10am Holy Communion Chaddleworth
11am Matins Welford
8am BCP Holy Communion Leckhampstead
9.30am Holy Communion Shefford Woodlands
10am Holy Communion Brightwalton
Revd Miri Keen writes
I’ve been enjoying the sort of simply glorious summer afternoon that vicars in books always seem to have! We have been drinking tea in the shade of an apple tree while the sun shines in a cloudless blue sky. The birds are singing at the tops of their voices and the breeze is scented with lilac. The garden is lush, green and bursting with new growth. The beauty of the day and the sense of well-being that I feel remind me of one of God’s promises:
“If you do away with the yolk of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
and if you spend yourself on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed ...
The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.”
Isaiah 58: 10&11
How wonderful it is to know that we can be confident that our individual life and the life of our community can be as fruitful and inspiring as the most lush and well-tended garden because God has promised that he will care for us and help us to grow if we care for one another and seek justice and goodness.
Songs of Praise at Shefford Woodlands: Sunday 1st July at 6pm
Followed by refreshments by kind invitation of Mrs Anne Hewson
Do you have a favourite hymn or song that brings back previous memories or has helped you through difficulties and challenges? Would you be willing to write a few lines to tell others why it is so special, or even share a few words at our Songs of Praise? Please contact Miri
01488 6499927 firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about our services and events please contact our Administrator Lindsay Hardy email@example.com
or follow our new Facebook page West Downland Churches
Your May edition of the Brickleton News will soon be dropping through your door... for those that can't wait.
The Downland Benefice Pew Sheet for the 13th May can be downloaded here:
Brightwalton Parish Council
Annual Parish Meeting
Brightwalton Parish Council would like to invite you to the Annual Parish Meeting at the Village Hall on
Monday 14th May 2018 at 7.30pm
The Annual Parish Meeting is a meeting of the Parish Electors.
All Electors are welcome to contribute towards the agenda and are invited to do so.
Welcome & Introduction from Chairman
Representatives from the following groups have been invited:
The objective of the Parish Meeting this year is to discuss ideas on how we can build a wider
community spirit in Brightwalton, for the mutual benefit of everyone in the village.
As a Parish Council, we are very conscious of the importance of finding ways to build greater
levels of engagement and interaction from as many people as possible in the village (all of
which was supported in the recent village survey).
The ASPIRE project is the single biggest village project at the moment and if executed well
has the potential to positively impact a very large number of people from around the village
and through the school to an even larger group of people.
Come and join us for a glass of wine and a lively discussion on how we can get more people
engaged in Brightwalton
Comments / Questions from Parishioners
Any Other Business
The Safari Supper is coming back to Brightwalton - following the success of the last one, which was several years ago.
Hosts are beginning to prepare for the evening, where we can get together for drinks and canapes, followed by going to a local 'host' who will be providing a main dish. We will then reconvene at the village hall, for puddings and coffee.
Attached are all of the details for the evening.
We very much hope you are around and look forward to hearing from you.
The ASPIRE team
The Pew Sheet for the 15th April can be downloaded here:
Please note a correction to the time of Café Church at Great Shefford given in the Pew Sheet and on the printed sheets on church noticeboards. This service is at 10.00 and not 9.30 as stated.
Below is the Pew Sheet for Sunday 25th March
Services in the West Downland Benefice this Sunday will be at:
8.00am Holy Communion (BCP) at Leckhampstead
9.30am Holy Communion at Shefford Woodlands
10.00am Holy Communion at Brightwalton
Don’t forget that the clocks go forward this Sunday!
Reverend Miri Keen
Press Release Date: 20 March 2018
West Berkshire to hold largest ever volunteering event
More than 80 organisations will be coming together next week (Thursday 29th March) to raise awareness of volunteering in the largest-ever event of its kind in West Berkshire.
The event aims both to promote the value of volunteering and highlight the help and support available to residents from community and voluntary sector organisations across the district. It’s a great opportunity for:
The event has been organised by the Volunteer Centre West Berkshire in partnership with West Berkshire Council, the Health and Wellbeing Board and Awards for All. It takes place on Thursday 29th March, 2018 between 9.30am and 4.30pm at Newbury Racecourse.
The event will be formally opened by the Chairman of West Berkshire Council, Councillor Quentin Webb, at 11am.
Free return travel is available from Newbury town centre to the event, on local buses 9 and 123. Hail either these services from Cheap Street (outside the Kennet Centre) and travel to the Rondetto Avenue stop at Newbury Racecourse.
Speaking ahead of the event Gary Poulson, Director at the Volunteer Centre West Berkshire said: “In West Berkshire we have a thriving voluntary and community sector making a real difference in communities across the district. Through this event we want to raise awareness of the help and support all these groups are providing so that they can work more closely together and become an even more effective network of support for local people.
“This will be one of the largest volunteering events in the south of England in recent years with plenty of help and support on offer. I look forward to seeing everyone at the event next week.”
West Berkshire Council is among the organisations supporting the event. Chief Executive Nick Carter, from West Berkshire Council, added: “At the council we benefit directly from the energy, enthusiasm and hard work of volunteers in our libraries, supporting our countryside team and in many other different ways. We also recognise the value of the support of voluntary groups in supporting our residents so they don’t need to rely on council services. The work they do is very worthwhile and so we have been very happy to support this event and the voluntary sector in the district.”
To find out more about the Volunteer Centre West Berkshire visit www.volunteerwestberks.org.uk
Police helmets, Salisbury attack, policing for the Royal Wedding and more...
The March update from Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner, Matthew Barber can be found here:
Press Release from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trusts
Community conservation award launched for 2018
Community groups with projects aimed to improve their local area for both people and wildlife have the chance to win cash to help them succeed with their vision.
The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust are calling on all local community projects which are beneficial to local people and wildlife to apply for the bi-annual Dorothy Morley Conservation Award 2018. Applicants will have the chance to win the award with £1000 to go towards the winning project. One runner up will also receive £500.
The award scheme which has been running since 2000 is a tribute to the memory of the dedicated conservationist Dorothy Morley. The continuation of the award scheme has been made possible through the outstanding generosity of the Morley family.
Daniel Akam, Berkshire Community Wildlife Officer explains: “This is a great award scheme aimed at highlighting all the great work done by volunteers for the benefit of their local community and wildlife a lot of which many off us don’t even know is going on”
“We want any group involved in such projects to apply, no matter how big or small or where they are located within Berkshire, the key element is that it must be in a publicly accessible place. Over the years we have had some great winners which have had a really positive effect on their local green spaces and for the communities which use them”
2016 winners were the St Paul’s Churchyard Tree Succession Project in Wokingham: Andy Clark from the project commented “We are all absolutely delighted with this award. It has been a great pleasure to be involved in a real team effort, with everyone contributing their different interest and expertise.
“In securing the future of the trees in the churchyard we have a growing appreciation that not only was the site home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, but also that this existing biodiversity could be greatly enhanced with careful planning and action.”
Full details about the Dorothy Morley Conservation Awards are on the Wildlife Trust’s website www.bbowt.org.uk/dorothymorley Application packs are also available from the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust, Woolley Firs, Cherry Garden Lane, Maidenhead, SL6 3LJ.
Interested groups have 4 months to apply with the closing date for applications on 29th June, with the winners being announced in late August.
For more information: Daniel Akam, Community Wildlife Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org 01628 829574 Ext. 202
It is that time of year for pot holes everywhere. Please report problem pot holes directly to West Berkshire Council via the website
Follow the 'Report A Problem' link.
Thank you - Brightwalton Parish Council
Services in the West Downland Benefice this Sunday will be:
8.00am Holy Communion (BCP) at Fawley
10.00am Café Church at Great Shefford
10.00am Holy Communion at Chaddleworth
11.00am Matins at Welford
The pew sheet can be found here
News, events and articles from the West Berkshire Countryside Society - Spring Newsletter
Just a quick reminder that we are meeting at 7.30 at the village hall for half an hour on Monday, before the Parish Council meeting begins at 8.00 pm.
The slogan is JODITY (just one day in the year) ! Spring weather is in the air, so let's get enthused. Plenty of ideas and suggestions, please.
Date: 08 March 2018
West Berkshire Council 2018/19 budget
West Berkshire Council passed its 2018/19 budget at its full council meeting on 1March.
This year’s budget sees investment in a number of areas including highways, education and infrastructure as well a Council Tax increase of 2.99% from West Berkshire Council, with a 3% Adult Social Care precept. The Council Tax increase will raise £2.7m and the precept will raise a further £2.7m, which will be ring-fenced to meet growing demand adult social care.
Graham Jones, Leader of West Berkshire Council, said: “To put this budget into context, over the past five years we have faced increasing demands on our core services, coupled with reduced funding. In 13/14 our grant from central government was almost £24m. That grant is now virtually zero. Taking inflation into account there has been a real terms reduction in our spending of £10.5m each year compared to 2013/14.
“Our budgets are particularly under strain as a result of the spiralling cost of adult social care, which represents almost 40% of the council’s budget. It is estimated that within 20 years there will be two adults of working age for every one retired. We must address this as caring for our most vulnerable is the most important thing we do as a council.”
Over the last few weeks I’ve enjoyed ‘window shopping’ for Easter eggs for those I love. There’s a huge range available in the supermarket and so I’ve been comparing the relative merits of an egg that comes with a mug with an egg in magnificent packaging and full of chocolates, or of small eggs covered in a variety of colours of foil that can be unpeeled one by one and savoured whilst smoothing the foil into shining squares. I want to choose something that’s ‘just right’ for each person; something that clearly says ‘I love you’.
God said ‘I love you’ to each and every one of us throughout that first ‘Easter weekend’. He didn’t choose to tell us with chocolate eggs, he chose to show us his love despite betrayal and through the anguish and death of his son Jesus. He showed his love by turning tragedy upside down and raising Jesus from the dead.
The Bible puts it like this
“For this is the way God loved the world: he gave his one and only Son that everyone who believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3: 16
God showed his love by giving a priceless gift, his unique, one-of-a-kind son Jesus. But he achieved much more than a declaration of his love. He changed our potential life experience. He gave us the opportunity to live life in all its richness or ‘fullness’, to experience his kingdom on earth and to live ‘a little bit of heaven’.
When I give my family their Easter eggs, I’ll be watching carefully to see if my choice of egg was the right one. I’m hoping that they’ll be delighted and accept the gift joyfully. It’s the same whenever we say or do something that shows someone else that we love them. We eagerly await a response and hope that our love is accepted. At Easter Jesus doesn’t offer us chocolate eggs, he offers us all that he achieved by dying on the cross so that we could know God’s love for us. He’s eagerly waiting to see how we will each respond to his ‘I love you.’
The Pew Sheet with details of all the West Downland Benefice Services for the w/c 4th March and 11th March can be found here:
Dear parish and town councils,
Sat 3rd March: Scout Association Winter Challenge event on Ridgeway
We will email you the Ridgeway events calendar for 2018 soon but, in the meantime, please note that there is a Scout Association event involving around a thousand youngsters taking place this Saturday – they will be walking along The Ridgeway from Foxhill to West Ilsley. This event takes place every year so you may be aware of it already.
I am informing local people of events on the Ridgeway so that people can plan any visits to the Trail accordingly. Events should not prevent others from using the Trail but those seeking peace and solitude may want to avoid locations and dates of big events.
I welcome feedback about any event on The Ridgeway so that I can work with event organisers to ensure the Trail is a great place for everyone. (In case of emergencies or accidents or safety hazards relating to the event, please contact the event organiser directly and urgently.)
Sorry that I did not inform you of this event sooner but hopefully the event organiser spread the word earlier.
The Ridgeway National Trail Project Officer
On behalf of the Village Hall Committee, I would like to remind you that our village fete will take place on Sunday 6 May. We hope you will be able to support us in the same way as in previous years. Our Village is fantastic at coming together on this ' one day a year', providing an opportunity for villagers and friends to get together. At the same time we are raising funds to keep our lovely village hall in good condition.
The fete consideration meeting will be held on Monday 12 March at 7.30 pm to which everyone is invited. If you can't make this meeting, please get in touch with Mike Ananin with all your thoughts and ideas.
Please spread the word around the village!
Thanking you in anticipation.
The Downland Practice has asked all Parishes to share the details for this free information event being held on Thursday 29th March.
Press Release Date: 12 February 2018
Budget Proposals 2018/19
West Berkshire Council's Executive are being asked to recommend to Council their budget proposal for council services for 2018/19. The budget is due to be considered at the meeting of Full Council on 1 March.
The Revenue Budget proposes a Council Tax increase of 2.99% from West Berkshire Council this year, with a 3% Adult Social Care precept. The Council Tax increase will raise £2.7m and the precept will raise a further £2.7m ring-fenced for adult social care.
Adult Social Care makes up over a third of the Council’s net revenue budget. The precept will go towards funding the mounting pressures faced in the areas of learning disability, demographic increases and increased costs.
In order to arrive at a balanced budget for 2018/19, £5.2m of savings and income generation proposals have been recommended.
The £125m revenue budget is funded 75% from council tax, 18% from retained business rates and 7% from government grants and other funding such as the Better Care Fund. The Revenue Support Grant has been reduced by £24 million since 2013/14 and we will receive only £120 thousand in 2018/19.
The £191m five year capital programme helps deliver the key priorities for improvement in the Council Strategy 2015-2019 by proposing investment over the next five years in the following key areas.
£69.8 million for new school places and improvements to school buildings; £55.5m for maintenance and improvement of the district’s roads; £3.7m for maintenance and improvement of parks, open spaces sporting and cultural facilities and £0.5m for grants to support community projects.
A further £15.7m has been allocated for occupational health equipment, home adaptations and supported living for vulnerable adults and looked after children and to improve the supply of temporary accommodation for people at risk of becoming homeless.
£4 million has been earmarked to complete the delivery of superfast broadband across West Berkshire and £30m for investment in commercial property in order to generate revenue income to help meet the running costs of Council services.
Councillor Anthony Chadley, West Berkshire’s Executive Member for Finance said: “West Berkshire is facing huge financial constraints, as are all councils. This means that unless changes are made to the way we deliver services and income generated from sources apart from the Government Grant, more services will be impacted.
"Your council is adapting during the current financial challenges to help ensure that West Berkshire continues to be a great place in which to live and work.”
View the proposals.
This is written by the Parish Clerk with input from the village.
Click here to find out more about the planning process and to view all the current planning applications in Brightwalton.
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