The Worshipping Community of St. Laurence
St. Laurence is a footprint parish within the Diocese of Oxford.
Our churchyard is behind the church building, with public access and a main thoroughfare through to the Forbury Gardens.
We worship together on a Sunday at 2pm. On a good day, refreshments are shared all together straight after the service. We usually share communion on a fortnightly basis. Easter Weekend is our busiest time of year (see our flyer here), and we usually have baptisms during our Easter Sunday Celebration which is all joy. At Christmas we have a full array of gatherings (see the 2016 flyer here).
We currently have approximately 95 adults, 25 young people and 40 children (aged 2-12) regularly attend our Sunday gathering.
During the week, our staff team and dedicated church adults interact with 60-70 young people through activities and clubs. We are incredibly blessed to have a volunteer base of around 60 adults who are involved in face to face youth work, which we realise is miraculous and fairly unusual.
Occasional offices - we usually have a small number of baptisms, weddings & funerals throughout the year.
Youth and children’s Activities: These are various, but at the moment consist of small groups (Mondays, 4:30-5:45pm) and Monday Club (6:30-7:45pm). Mentoring by church adults and staff occurs ad hoc throughout the month.
During school holidays, we run activities (cinema, go-karting, laser quest, faith-building activities, hosted meals in church member family households) and we run The Noise, weekends away (2 per year) and a trip to Soul Survivor.
Reading is the borough town of Berkshire, with a population of c.233,000 people (Trivia alert: it’s the largest UK settlement without city status - a sore point for some locals!) with a fairly mixed demographic. We have 2 MPs, one Conservative and one Labour, and a unitary authority with a Labour administration. There is a lot you might find interesting, but here are some random titbits of information: Jane Austen went to school here, Parliament was held in the Abbey in 1453, Oscar Wilde was imprisoned at Reading Gaol in 1895-97 and (!) Ricky Gervais and Kate Middleton were born (not at the same time) in Reading. John Sykes the rock guitarist (Whitesnake and Thin Lizzy) was born in Reading. We have his namesake, our very own John Sykes (Red Dragon), as a member of our community. A fact we are immensely proud of. Let's mosh.
Other Churches Locally:
Other Official Info
Giving & Money: a set of our audited accounts and details of organisations we have given to can be made available by contacting the office.
Parochial Church Council (PCC): The PCC usually meets on 6 occasions per year. In recent years there have also been some extraordinary meetings when an issue arises which needs addressing prior to the next meeting. The vicar, 2 churchwardens, secretary, treasurer and 7 elected lay members currently includes a full complement of 12 individuals.
The Standing Committee: This occurs approximately 3-4 times a year and is between the vicar, churchwardens and Treasurer. It meets between meetings of the PCC and on other occasions as needed.
Local Trusts: St Laurence Church Lands Trust (Ecclesiastical, Relief in Need).
Deanery Perspective: The Area Dean for Reading is the Revd Graham Fancourt. For more information about Reading Deanery, please click here.
Diocesan Perspective: St. Laurence sits within the Reading Episcopal area, which is part of the Oxford Diocese. The Oxford Diocese covers c.2,200 square miles (similar to Thames Valley Police) and has 815 churches within it. The Bishop of Reading is the Rt. Revd Andrew Proud, and our Archdeacon of Berkshire is the Venerable Olivia Graham. For more information about the Reading Area Team, please follow this link.