Wokingham, prepare to be loved!

Faces will be painted as part of a free family fun day in Wokingham on Saturday Phil Creighton

A special birthday is being celebrated in Wokingham tomorrow – but you’re the one that’s going to get the present.

St Paul’s Church in Reading Road is marking its 150th anniversary with a special Love Wokingham Day on Saturday, July 19, as part of its Big Foundation Weekend.

Members from the church will be gathering in Wokingham’s Market Place from 10am to 4pm to offer acts of love and kindness including face-painting, cakes, sweets, loom-band bracelets and prayer. In addition, there will be offers of free bag-packing in supermarkets, and picking litter in one of the parks.

Kate Harrison, event co-ordinator said, “This is the part of our anniversary celebrations where we open the doors of our church and go out into the parish instead of inviting the parish to us. And, we want to make as big a splash as possible to show that God’s love is shining brightly here in Wokingham!”

This year sees St Paul’s Church celebrating 150 years since its consecration. Various activities have been planned with the main events taking place over four big weekends. This weekend is its third – and it will include a number of other events taking place over the rest of the weekend.

There will be a concert at 7pm on Saturday, July 19. Called Love Divine: it will be a choral celebration with St Paul’s Choir singing Haydn’s Little Organ Mass, Vaughan Williams, Bairstow, Mozart and more with special guest soprano soloist, Sophie Albinson, and organist, Edward McCall, all under the musical direction of Louise Turner.

The Mayor of Wokingham Town, Cllr Martin Bishop will be attending. Tickets (on the door) cost £8 (£5 concessions) and children under 18yrs go FREE. All proceeds will go towards the Church Restoration Fund.

On Sunday, July 20, the Bishop of Oxford, the Right Revd John Pritchard, will be visiting to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the church’s foundation. This will be our opportunity to say a Big Wokingham Farewell to Bishop John as he shall be retiring at the end of October.

The Annual Parish barbecue will be from 12.30pm to 3.30pm, and the church’s rector, Father Richard Lamey will preach at the special 2014 Choral Evensong at 6.15pm.

For further details on plans for 2014 celebrations, log on to the website www.stpauls-wokingham.org.uk or call the Parish Office on 0118 979 2122.