01344 761050 St Sebastian's Church Office office@stsebastians.org.uk

Dear Friends

Welcome to the summer months of August and September in the Parish of Wokingham Without.

Of August, John Todhunter (1839-1916) said: “Summer declines and roses have grown rare, but cottage crofts are gay with hollyhocks.   And in old garden walks you breathe an air – fragrant of pinks and August-smelling stocks”.  Of September, Mary Howitt (1799-1888) said: “There are flowers enough in the summertime, more flowers than I can remember.  But none with the purple, gold, and red that dye the flowers of September!”   What fond memories considering that these words are over 100 years old!

A favourite artist of mine, Rickie Lee Jones, said: “You never know when you’re making a memory”.   This is true as the pace of life is such that we fail to remember those precious moments in our lives.   They pass us by without a whim of significance and by the time they are remembered, the impact of responding to them has diminished.  This leads me to the question of what memories were missed or what steps are being taken to create new memories?

One of the greatest blessings that God has given us is the gift of memory.  Memory allows us to relive a moment that was so special to us.   Some memories are unforgettable, remaining ever vivid and heart-warming!  Memories are timeless treasures of our heart.  Sometimes we never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.  Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us. Memories are special moments that tell our story.

We find hope in our faith regarding memory.  “I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvellous things you have done”, Psalm 9.  “I remember to think about the many things you did in years gone by. Then I lift my hands in prayer, because my soul is a desert, thirsty for water from you”, Psalm 143.   We replay these memories daily as a constant reminder of God’s love, His faithfulness and His goodness.

Similarly, the Lord remembers the sacrificial things undertaken in secret for creating lovely memories.  A favourite song of mine, “I Will Remember” by Howard Smith, reminds us that nothing goes unnoticed before the Lord.  Howard wrote: “When it seems like the world has forgotten, your labour they don’t see, sometimes your name they can’t remember, but do Lord remember me.  He (the Lord) says, I will remember your labour is not in vain because I will remember, and your reward awaits in your name.”

Someone once said, “When was the last time you did something for the first time?”  When Leontien Reedijk (2017) read this question, she said:  “recognition drew a smile on her face”. “It seems such a light-hearted question”, she said, “but there was a nugget of hidden wisdom”.

We have an opportunity to create a unique memory for the first time.  What are we going to do?   Will you join us in doing something life affirming?  If there is something you have done and would like to share your experience with our Church community, please get in touch as I’d be keen to hear.


Stay blessed with love

Reverend Rickey Simpson-Gray
Parish of Wokingham St Sebastian’s


A Prayer for Memory

Heavenly Father
Thank you for the gift of memories
Precious moments, experiences and events
How lovely they have been