Parish Jottings

Parish Jottings - January 2018

Day of Remembrance

In The Great War (1914-18), now known as World War One, so many brave servicemen died fighting for freedom from tyranny. After America had joined the Allies in April 1918, Germany, realising that it could never win the war, in October 1918, asked the Allies for an armistice. The Allies agreed to this, subject to the Treaty of Versailles being executed, although it was then yet to be formulated. On 28th June 1919, the treaty was signed, and the war was officially over. However, the fighting officially ended on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month 1918, on what was called Armistice Day. The first Remembrance Day, originally called Armistice Day, was observed in 1919, to remember and honour our fallen servicemen.

On Sunday 12th November, we held our 99th Service of Remembrance. The names of the fallen servicemen listed on our church war memorial were read out, followed by a two-minute silence in their memory.

This year, Mike Willoughby held his fifth Exhibition of Remembrance at Holy Trinity church. Since the last occasion the exhibition was held, two years ago, many new items have been added to the range of exhibits; these included a trench telephone and a Morse code transmitting kit; in those days, this was new technology, allowing the soldiers located on different parts of the battlefield to communicate with each other, providing the connecting wires remained intact.

Looking at the exhibits and reading the various memorabilia displayed, one could not avoid being conscious of the ordeal that the servicemen in the trenches had to endure. The war was one of attrition. In the trenches, thousands of soldiers on opposing sides were positioned in trenches, trying to shell each other into submission. It was a war of obliteration, fuelled by men and ammunition, and supplemented by few tactical or strategic alternatives.

One may ask why this devastating war ever had to happen. The answer is a long and complicated story, but basically, the war took place at a time when Europe was full of developing countries, some held within empires, all trying to better their own fortunes, and watching their neighbours opportunistically. In contrast, the United Kingdom, being offshore from Europe, remained mainly isolated from European conflicts, but it did have a long-standing treaty with Belgium to uphold its neutrality, and which we were obliged to honour. Therefore, when German troops marched into Belgium in 1914, we sent our army to oppose the invasion, and, consequently, stayed there fighting for the following four years until the war had ended.

A WW1 soldier standing at ease
A WW1 soldier standing at ease

Living Advent Calendar

Living Advent Calendar

One of Henley’s twenty-four 2017 ‘Living Advent Calendar’ surprise performances took place at 6:15 p.m. on Monday 18th December in the festively decorated surroundings of Holy Trinity church. On this evening, the entertainment was given by the Trinity School Choir, who sang a selection of Christmas songs. The young choristers gave a delightful performance, and the large audience was encouraged to join in the singing of the carols. Participating in this jovial gathering, the audience was particularly captivated by the children’s singing of the song ‘Nazareth’, from the 2009 musical film ‘Nazareth!’, and demanded an encore.

The Mayor of Henley, Kellie Hinton, presided at the event, Peter Moody, a Trinity School teacher conducted the choir, and the Reverend Duncan Carter officiated for the Raffle Draw. A collection was made for local charities.

Church Christmas Sale

A Christmas sale took place after the Sunday Morning service on 17th December, in aid of the Church Flower Fund. A collection of sundry items suitable for Christmas gifts was on sale. The sale was organised by Valerie Morgan and Barbara Williams. A sum of £51 was raised for the Flower Fund.

Christmas At Holy Trinity

Christmas At Holy Trinity

The colourfully decorated Christmas tree, supplied once again by the courtesy of Toad Hall, radiated its seasonal glow, and complimented the varied displays of flowers arranged around the church, created by our flower ladies, Mary Burton and Maureen George. The life-like models of the three wise men standing in the entrance lobby to greet incomers were provided by Valerie Morgan.

The resulting warm and inviting Christmas atmosphere of the church set the scene for the Christmastide events that were to take place. In addition to the regular church services, we had the church Carol Service, Trinity School’s Nativity presentation, Trinity School’s Christmas Service, the popular Christingle Service, and the Midnight Communion on Christmas Eve.

This year, the snow came and went too early in December for us to have a white Christmas. On Sunday 10th December, the snow prevented some church members from attending the morning services due to the hazardous road conditions.

The new shorter Sunday services will commence in the New Year
The new shorter Sunday services will
commence in the New Year

Holy Trinity church in the snow during Advent 2017
Holy Trinity church in the snow during Advent 2017


Rev Duncan Carter
Vicarage, 16 Church St, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 1SE (574822)

Licensed Lay Minister:
Michael Forsdike (612161)

Barbara Williams
Michael Forsdike


Welcome to Holy Trinity C of E Church.

Whether you have come to a service of worship, for private prayer, or just to enjoy a few moments of peace and tranquillity, we offer you our friendship and hospitality. This website gives some general information about the church and our fellowship.

Duncan Carter, Vicar.