On Sunday 27th May, I celebrated Pentecost in St Mary’s church, Burghfield, near Reading, where I had been celebrating my beloved niece’s Silver Wedding anniversary, with my lovely in-laws, the day before.
Rob, my husband, and I had shared the wonderful hospitality overnight of our niece’s friends from the church, Linda and Michael Wood and their daughters. I travelled to church early, with Linda and Michael, as they have responsibilities there before worship begins, which gave me the opportunity to soak up the warm, welcoming atmosphere and take in the beauty of the church in which my great-nephew, Simon, will be married later this year, whilst singing along to the familiar hymn tunes being played by the talented music group, most of whom come from the same family!
We enjoyed a particularly special Pentecost service, as we witnessed the baptism of a delightful young girl, Francesca. She had wished to have had a full immersion baptism but the hose pipe ban in the area prevented this. However, she still got fairly wet! Thankfully, it was an extremely hot day, so she dried off pretty quickly! Along with Francesca, a number of other children were participating in their first Eucharist. It was a very moving experience. I felt so welcome at the church and very privileged to bear witness to a very special commitment by all the children involved.
I am looking forward to my next visit there, which will be for my great-nephew’s wedding.
If you’d like to learn more of St Mary’s, visit their website. Gill, their vicar, was born in Wales! She describes herself as a ‘Disciple under Construction’.
Contributed by Claire Hughes