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St Peter's and St Paul's

Shiplake ChurchOur church serves the worshipping needs of a thriving and friendly community, drawn from Shiplake and the surrounding areas. 

All newcomers and visitors are warmly welcome. 


All-Age Family Service
Choral Evensong
Sung Eucharist & Sunday School
Five o'Clock Slot
Family Eucharist
Lay-led Services

Shiplake Sunday Club
for Children

House groups
for small groups of about 8-10 people

Revd Robert S Thewsey
Shiplake and Dunsden with Harpsden cum Bolney
The Rectory, Church Lane, Shiplake, Oxfordshire – 0118 9403484

Times of services and other information are on the Church website

June Update from the Rectory


Summer is upon us!!!!!!

I am writing this article the week before the ‘Royal Wedding.’ Having a Royal event is a really special occasion and something that can bring communities together in celebration and enjoyment, and it is good and proper that many people will be celebrating the wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle and I along, with many others, wish them both God’s blessing and health and happiness. Their job must be incredibly hard, being constantly on show, never having a private moment, having your diary arranged for you, being recognised where ever you go, and always moving around from place to place. Megan will certainly have a life style change to contend with.

I can really sympathise with the Royal family over their loss of privacy as some of my role as a Vicar also comes with this – we are never ‘off duty’ even when we are supposed to be as you cannot just turn a switch and say that you are no longer the Vicar, or no longer the Queen, or Prince Harry etc. I get recognised more and more about the area and about I get recognised in all sorts of places, and therefore asked many questions even when I am supposed to be ‘off duty.’ I really, really, do not mind this at all, it is part of what/who I am, it is the role that I think that God has called me for. Several years ago when I was working in Cornwall we went on a family holiday in Wales and I was even recognised when my family and I were having a pub lunch and a local person was holidaying nearby as well.

For the Queen and the other key members of the Royal family this must be a real burden, a burden that becomes more each passing year as our technology develops and media/communication develops at a tremendous pace. In times past the Royals might just have been able to get out of London and have some real time off in some far flung part of the world as they would not have been heard of – or seen on the T.V. Now, I am sure that many, many more people would recognise them.

I just wonder what Jesus will do at the second coming?

How will the media circus be used to promote the Kingdom, to bring people to faith?

We all need to prepare for the second coming by living out our lives as Jesus has taught us in the Bible, but this is incredibly difficult, especially in the modern age where EVERYTHING that we do seems to be recorded by some sort of hidden camera!!!!

Would Jesus use social networking? e-mails? texting? multi-media presentations when illustrating a parable? – the list could go on and on, but what would Jesus Do???? I do not have the answer, but I must admit that I do sometimes wonder. I think that Jesus would use whatever was at hand at the time, whatever got the message out to as many people as possible, and that is why I think that the church itself always needs to be looking at what it is doing, constantly looking at what is available to use, so that we too can speak to as many people as possible about the Risen Lord, and become ourselves ‘true disciples of Christ’. So that we all can be recognised wherever we are as a follower of Christ.

Yours in Christ


Article created / last edited: 29 June 2018

Concert by Gratis Choir


Article created / last edited: 27 May 2018

A View from the Rectory Autumn/Fall 2017


Dear Friends

As I write this all three of the churches that I have the privilege of caring for are busily preparing for Harvest this coming Sunday, and I know that the displays in all the churches will be absolutely amazing. What a wealth of talents this beautiful part of the world nurtures. I wonder if it is the area that creates the talent, or are people with such talent drawn here because of the beauty? A real chicken and egg situation.

Last year at Dunsden they held a special festival to showcase the talents of local people and the church was filled with a wide variety of craft items.

November for me is a time of remembering, with All Souls Day, Remembrance Sunday and the general change in the weather forcing us to try and recall the all too brief Summer whilst our senses are assailed by the smells and chills of blustery Autumn days. But I also have to admit that, actually, Autumn is my favourite time of year and I also love the way Americans refer to it as ‘Fall’; to me this conjures up a far more romantic image of the seasons as it brings to my mind the russet reds, and burnt golds of the leaves of the trees. I am really just an old romantic.

I also know that many people do find this time of year a challenge; one of my friends suffers from SAD syndrome and at this time his ‘day light lamp’ comes into play for a few hours each day to boost his feeling of well-being, and I sympathise with his plight.

Remembrance  reminds me that we tend to forget the huge impact that any war has on a community and our annual act of remembrance should be something that we all take seriously, as war can very easily happen again if we forget our past. We only have to look at South Korea at the moment to see the possible conflict that might lie ahead.

Let us then all pray for peace as we remember those who have laid down their lives so that we might live in freedom. Let us remember their sacrifice so that we, in our turn, do all that we can to ensure that peace survives and that we learn to live alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ, remember that God created us all, and that ultimately it is to God that we return.

Autumn is a time for remembering, and that is why All Souls day is also so important to many people; the chance to remember a loved one, to have permission to once more grieve for their loss, to remember the happy times and rejoice, and to mourn what has been lost. I invite you all to share in this special service at Shiplake Church, 7.30pm on 2nd November, and if you would like the name of your loved one read out at that service then please pop into one of my churches where you will find information on how to make this happen.

With all God’s Blessings

Robert Thewsey

Article created / last edited: 4 October 2017

Welcome from New Rector Rev, Robert Thewsey


Can I first of all say a huge thank you for the warmth of your welcome to myself and my family. It has been a real joy to meet you and we have certainly been made to feel extremely welcome. Thank you. I very much look forward to meeting villagers, when I wander around the area, but please do bear with me as I try to start putting names to faces - do remember that you have only four new names to learn whereas we have over a hundred!

May I take this opportunity to ask you all to think about next year – already….and you have only been here a few weeks- I hear you say. I am trying to put together a benefice diary so that everybody within the benefice and our wider communities will know exactly what we are doing, where we are doing it and when we are doing it.

So please let me know by the end of October if you are planning any event during 2017 so that we can include it in the diary. ie when is your fete?, Patronal festival? Harvest Sunday? Remembrance Day events? Any concerts that you are planning, fundraising events etc. etc. This does not mean that we cannot have extra events slotted into the year later on, but then at least you would know if your planned event clashed with something else in the benefice calendar.

If you don’t let me know, then I cannot include it in the diary. I cannot promise to include all the local events - but I will try.

I always seem to struggle with this time of year. The Summer is over, but yet Winter is still not with us. We alternate between lovely sunny days and dull, dank autumnal days. We still can’t put away the summer clothes and switch over to the winter ones, as some days are so warm. A time of change is upon the world and change is never an easy thing to deal with. This is why many of you, I know, are feeling insecure about me coming here among you. – what will I introduce, what might I change?

Change is never easy, but it does give us the opportunity to try something new, and sometimes we can be pleasantly surprised, and other times confirmed in our doubt. However, if you have any ideas about what you would like to see happen around the three churches, then please, please, please let me know. We can then have a discussion and see where your ideas might lead us.

I/we will never be able to please everybody – that is simply impossible, but I will listen and try and hear what you are concerned about, and then try and come to a balance that will enable us to go forward, as we strive to undertake God’s work here in the benefice.

Yours in Christ,


Revd Robert S Thewsey
Shiplake and Dunsden with Harpsden cum Bolney

The Rectory, Church Lane, Shiplake, Oxfordshire – 0118 9403484

Article created / last edited: 16 October 2016