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Care of Our Souls - reading, prayer, resources

There is a wealth of resources which we can use to enrich our spiritual journey:  
  • Bible reading
  • Prayer at home
  • Spiritual reading
  • Places to visit for quiet days and Retreats
We have tried to gather here some recommendations...


Daily Bible readings (Week beginning 18 March)

Mon: Jeremiah 7:21-end; John 6:41-51

Tues: Jeremiah 8:1-15; John 6:52-59

Wed: Jeremiah 8:18-9:11; John 6:60-end

Thurs: Jeremiah 9:12-24; John 7:1-13

Fri: Jeremiah 10:1-16; John 7:14-24

Sat: Jeremiah 10:17-24; John 7:25-36

Daily Bible readings (Week beginning 25 March)

Mon: Jeremiah 11:1-17; John 7:37-52

Tues: Jeremiah 11:18-12:6; John 7:53-8:11

Wed: Jeremiah 13:1-11; John 8:12-30

Thurs: Jeremiah 14; John 8:31-47

Fri: Jeremiah 15:10-end; John 8:48-end

Sat: Jeremiah 16:10-17:4; John 9:1-17


  Deanery Prayer Cycle (Week beginning 17 March)

Please pray for the people of the parishes of Walbury Beacon, and their priests: Mark Wilson, Sue Webster and Tim Wood.

 Deanery Prayer Cycle (Week beginning 24 March)

Please pray for Hungerford with Denford; the people and their priests Mike Saunders, LLM Michael Morecroft and Alison Saunders.



Lent Groups 2019 - Why Pray?

 As part of our Lent observance this year we will once again be running Lent Groups. These will - with one exception - take place on Tuesdays at Bussock Hill House - 8.00pm  for 8.15 start.


 Do you want to pray? This may seem an odd question but it lies at the root of the matter. If we do not really want to pray, then it becomes a habitual chore and perhaps in the end a bore as well. Christian prayer springs from a free and loving relationship with God: it is a matter of choice, of our will. Do we wish to spend time in the presence of God who made the world? Do we wish to develop a deep and growing relationship with Jesus Christ, who came into the world to show us what God is like? Do we desire that the Holy Spirit, within us since our baptism, should be able to make His presence felt and to transform our lives?


 The expression of our will in this matter will find expression in the time that we give to our prayers. Could we double the time we presently allocate, and would we know what to do with it? We all know that no relationship can flourish unless both parties give prime time to communicating with each other; many problems arise when communication fails. But communication does not occur when one person does all the talking without listening too.


The psalmist says: ‘O God, you are my God: early and eagerly do I seek you: my soul thirsts for you as in a dry and desert land.’ Can we make this our prayer each morning as we wake up?


 We need to pray, for a number of reasons. Firstly because we are designed by God to do so and, as St Augustine says, our hearts are restless and empty until they find their rest in Him. To neglect our spiritual life and the well-being of our soul is as serious as neglecting our physical health and nutrition. Such neglect is the root of much unhappiness in modern society.

 We need to pray also for others if we are to fulfil God’s command to love our neighbour as ourselves. Jesus commanded his disciples to pray and taught them to do so, and the Bible is a great record of human prayer to God. Such prayer is an expression of our compassion, our reaching out in love to others, even if we do not know them: for as St Gregory the Great said, ‘your prayers reach where you cannot be.’ Prayer for others also enlarges our hearts, deepens our empathy and extends our sympathy. It affects profoundly how we perceive others. Can we see people with the eyes of Christ?


It is on these foundations that the obligation to pray in Christianity is built. We are commanded to pray – this is evident throughout the Bible and notably in the New Testament. The question is whether our prayer can truly become ‘our duty and our joy.’



The sessions are as follows:


Session One - March 12th

Do you want to pray?


No meeting on March 19th - see below


Session Two - March 26th

Finding time to pray


Session Three - April 2nd

Why we need to pray


Session Four - April 9th

Why we ought to pray

This meeting to take place at the Glebe House, Peasemore


Our generous God

 As you will know, the Bishop of Reading is to retire in May this year. From the 19th to the 21st  March he is coming to the Newbury Deanery to say goodbye, and on Tuesday 19 March 2019 he will be leading a Quiet Evening of guided reflection and prayer at St John’s Church, Newbury from 7.30pm – 9.00pm.

 Parishioners from across the Deanery are invited to this event , and in order to enable as many of us as possible to attend there will not be a Lent Course session on the 19th March. 


Prayers for Mission

For the Buildings group 

 Loving God, your Son taught that all we have is held in trust from you: help us to be faithful stewards of the gifts we have received and especially the buildings in which we gather to work and worship. Grant that we may preserve and improve them for future generations, and strive to use all we have for the work and mission of your Kingdom in this benefice, to your praise and glory. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 For the Community group

O Lord, let the Church be truly your body in the world, the Christ-community directed by you, its head, infused with your Spirit, loving and serving all as you did when you lived our human life. Help us to give ourselves for the world, so that all may have the priceless treasure of your grace and love. Amen.

For the Youth and Children’s group.

Loving God, your Son told his disciples that they should become like little children. Lead us to work for the faith, welfare and protection of all young people. May we respect their dignity that they may flourish in life, following the example of the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 Our Mission Prayer God of new beginnings, we pray that you will transform your church as you renew us by your love. Give us vision for the journey that we may travel light and live increasingly by faith. Inspire, enliven and empower us, so that along the Way we may be sustained by the life of Christ in ourselves, in one another and in the world. Amen.



Tokens of Trust - Rowan Williams ISBN 1853118036

Joy of Heaven - Springs of Christian Spirituality - Benedicta Ward: ISBN 0281054967

Praying the Eucharist - Charles Miller: ISBN 0281048487

Love alone is credible - Hans Urs von Balthasar: ISBN 089708818

The Prayers & Meditations of St Anselm - Benedicta Ward [Penguin classic] ISBN 0140442782

Be Still & Know - Michael Ramsey 

In Company with Christ - Benedicta Ward ISBN 0281057249

Images of Hope - Joseph Ratzinger [Pope Benedict XVI] ISBN 0898709643

The Imitation of Christ - Thomas a Kempis

Rhythm of Life - David Adam: ISBN 0281048932

Mere Christianity - C. S. Lewis

St Bonaventura - the Journey of the Mind to God

St Augustine - Confessions [Penguin classic]

Christ the Golden Blossom - Douglas Dales: ISBN 185311376X

Glory Descending - the spiritual theology of Michael Ramsey - ed. Douglas Dales: ISBN 9781853116300

A mind intent on God [Alcuin] - tr. Douglas Dales: ISBN 9781853115707

Quiet Places:
  • Douai Abbey www.douaiabbey.org.uk  
  • others to be added...