Friends of St Mary's logo

Corona page
Friends of St Mary's Winkfield

Registered Charity 1162342

To refresh this page, please press the F5 button.

To keep spirits up, we will post a beautiful photo each day - press the [Picture of the day] button above. Galapagos frigate bird with chick (2004). Do email your own photos, which must be appropriate for the purpose for consideration to - please use 'POTD' (Picture of the day) in the Subject.


To return to the regular FOSMW pages, press the [Home] button above. For FAQS press HERE and watch for new FAQs.

Holy Week service information 8/4/20

Wednesday of Holy Week - for a downloadable order-of-service please click on Compline for Wednesday 8th April.

Maundy Thursday - for a downloadable order-of-service for communion, please click on Maundy Thursday communion.

Good Friday - a special service: an Hour at the Cross - click HERE

Local cases

The reported numbers are almost unchanged from yesterday 8/4/20

There is only a small change in the locally reported numbers, which seems good - quite a fall in the total of new cases (but that would need to be taken with a pinch of salt). For the country as a whole, there has been a surge in new cases.

The chart to the right is created from local information on the dashboard.

We MUST not relax on our precautions, or stop isolation. One suggestion is that we need within our homes to isolate from each other to the extent practical. There is also a suggestion that face masks could be used at home, but we wait and see - they are unavailable just now anyway!

It is increasingly clear that testing is becoming more and more urgent. There are many people who have now recovered from mild - or not so mild - coronavirus, but when can they reenter normal life? Increasing stresses are falling on workers in critical industries, and the possibility of major powercuts looms as electricity supplies are endangered. Our entire hi-tech industry, services, government and domestic life are threatened, as is domestic frozen food storage. Getting isolated people who are not ill back to critical work is really important.

Sainsbury's delivery slots 7/4/20

We were advised by a Sainsbury message on Facebook that (for us elderlies) online delivery slots were periodically made available. Sitting on their Delivery Slot page and pressing F5 several times a minute (this refreshes the web-page), a set of slots were soon made available, but disappeared too quickly to grab one. After two more hours plus, more slots were posted by Sainsbury's and this time we were able to grab one, so that is taken care of for a week. Persistence and patience does pay, we learn!

Her Majesty's speech 5/4/20

Her Majesty made a speech to the nation which was broadcast at 8pm on Sunday 5/4/20, which thanked the NHS and all those working for a better outcome to a unique world situation, including those confined to home. She also expressed the belief that the spirit of the British people would shine through and be an example to future generations. The full text of Her Majesty's moving spech is HERE.

This came on a day when the Prime Minister was admitted to hospital, where he remains today 6/4/20, reminding us that the disease is no respecter of persons. We wish Boris a speedy and secure recovery.

Palm Sunday special 5/4/20

Some of the St Mary's children read a playlet about Palm Sunday, which was Sunday, 5/4/20. The Youtube link to it is HERE! Enjoy!!

Fraudulent email apparently from SE Water 3/4/20

We have received an email suggesting that people 'register for emergency services' by pressing a link. This link appears to be NOT part of the South East Water website.


Contact South East Water if you wish, but ONLY using web addresses, emails and telephone numbers that they supplied you in bills etc.

TSC (Telephone Support Club) 2/4/20

The Friends' TSC (Telephone Support Club) started operations yesterday. Some people were uneasy about being 'offered help' by the TSC, as their own arrangements are fine. They should not be uneasy, as the main purpose pf the TSC is, not to help directly, but to support the people in the isolation that they may well be feeling, and to create stronger bonds within our community.

The fact is that the TSC (with many elderly members) has very limited resources for physical help such as shopping, and could not possibly offer such things except in cases of emergency.

So please just join in and enjoy chatting between yourselves, whether or not you need assistance. So far, everybody has set themselves up sensibly to cope with things like shopping.

Scam emails threatening fines 1/4/20

Which News advise: "Don’t believe bogus text messages saying you’ve been fined for stepping outside during the coronavirus lockdown. It is the latest in a series of scams related to the virus that claims to be from the UK Government."

"This sinister scam claims that your movements have been monitored through your phone, and that you must pay a fine or face a more severe penalty."

You must ignore such messages. Read more HERE.

Vital Covid-19 advice 1/4/20

We have just reviewed and reissued our article on THIS LINK. Please refresh the versionif necessary by pressing F5. It is VITAL READING FOR ALL - PLEASE DOWNLOAD IT AND PASS IT ON!

Other tips:

* Delivered goods, and goods off shop shelves etc could be carriers of corona-virus for 24 hours: wash hands immediately after handling them, and try not to use them for a day.

* In any case, wash hands at least every two hours.

Our Sermon for Sunday 29/3/20

The Revd Roy Burgess sent us a sermon for Sunday 29th March 2020, with a covering letter. Click HERE. It gives some relief from Covid-19.

Scam emails pretending to be from 'HMRC' 26/3/20

HMRC have sent an email to the self-employed announcing measures to help self-employer. They also warn of "an increase in scam emails, calls and texts." They say "If someone gets in touch claiming to be from HMRC, saying that financial help can be claimed or that a tax refund is owed, and asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, please do not respond." They add: "HMRC will never contact you out of the blue to ask for these details."

We all need to be wary of these things - do not automatically trust any email or text just because it says it is from a reputable source!!

For example we just received a message from 'Gas and Electricity' with subject 'What if you could save on your bill?' Is it junk? - no way of finding out, so into the bin it goes!!

Do not trust websites or sellers offering you scarce things like face-masks or hand-wash, etc. This is a scam that really is being applied by unscrupulous people, according to 'Action Fraud'.

Applause for the tireless work of the NHS on 25/3/20

We heartily endorse, and join in with, the praise for and appreciation of hard-pressed NHS workers all over the UK yesterday evening. They know how tough it will become in the next few weeks, and their courage in facing up to this is amazing.

Chief Constable' statement 25/3/20

John Campbell, Thames Valley Police Chief Constable. this evening spoke on YouTube - press the link - emphasising his force's determination to protect the public as they isolate themselves at home for the benefit of themselves, the NHS, and public safety. Enforcement will be by appeal to common sense, by pursuasion if at all possible.

All churches closed 25/3/20

The Prime Minister announced today that all churches will be closed until further notice.

Credit card scam

We encountered a scam hitting worried people today. A person knowing your name announced in a telephone call: "There is a dubious transaction on your Barclaycard account - ring this number to discuss". The number was NOT the helpline number on the card, and the scammer will try to persuade anybody ringing the number to secure their funds in some way - and will then steal them. Only ever ring the official help-line number or you can check your account online.

New curbs announced 24/3/20

The Prime Minister announces sweeping new curbs on life. Stay at home except for essential reasons. All non-essential shops will be closed - there is a list of shops that will continue to support daily life. Gatherings of more than two people, not counting those living together, will cease. The police will have new power to enforce the rules.

With these restrictions, the rate of spread of the corona-virus will be curbed dramatically. Without them, the rate of spread of contagion will be a lot worse. Let's do it!

Tip of the week

Nicky Gumbel: "Say the Lord's Prayer while you are (frequently) washing your hands!"

Choose Faith not Fear

This Youtube message from Nicky Gumbel gives a simple message yet clear and cogent. Click on Choose Faith Not Fear

Enjoyable adult education

Reprinted from the April/May Parish Magazine

Many of us will spend most of our time housebound over the next few weeks. Here is a splendid way of taking advantage of it!

Gresham College was established as a result of the will of the great Elizabethan financier, Sir Thomas Gresham, to give free public lectures to Londoners.

This amazing organisation is still going, with Gresham Professors who are the top of the class giving stimulating lectures that lay people can engage with. All lectures are streamed on Youtube, and all you need to do is visit the College website and select as many lectures as you like – and enjoy them for free!

Of particular interest are the lectures of Chris Whitty, the UK’s chief medical officer, and also Gresham Professor of Physic (medicine and biology).

However, you can be entertained and educated on a broad range of topics, from Astronomy to Law, and you do not have to be knowledgeable in any particular subject to become absorbed in the lecture.

The Queen's speech on 19/3/20

Her Majesty made a speech to the whole nation yesterday about its duty to pull together to defeat corona-virus, and particularly thanking all the people who most active in combating the crisis; scientists. medics and other people in vital public services. She said:

"As Philip and I arrive at Windsor today, we know that many individuals and families across the United Kingdom, and around the world, are entering a period of great concern and uncertainty.

"We are all being advised to change our normal routines and regular patterns of life for the greater good of the communities we live in and, in particular, to protect the most vulnerable within them.

"At times such as these, I am reminded that our nation’s history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts with a focus on the common goal.

"We are enormously thankful for the expertise and commitment of our scientists, medical practitioners and emergency and public services; but now more than any time in our recent past, we all have a vitally important part to play as individuals - today and in the coming days, weeks and months,

"Many of us will need to find new ways of staying in touch with each other and making sure that loved ones are safe. I am certain we are up to that challenge. You can be assured that my family and I stand ready to play our part."

Her statement comes after Prince William released a video stating that people in the UK "have a unique ability to pull together".

He explained the role of the The National Emergencies Trust and said it collaborates with charities to raise and distribute money to support victims during a domestic disaster.

Delivery and takeaway services 20/3/20

The heading is a link to news of local pubs and restaurants that are providing delivery and takeaway services that may be of interest to self=isolaters.

Social distancing

The heading above is a link that gives access to detailed Government guidelines on social distancing for the elderly and vulnerable.

Panic buying and the supermarkets

There are many empty shelves in our supermarkets as a result of panic buying, and this creates a real problem for shoppers, particularly elderly ones.

A letter from Sainsbury's Chief Executive Mike Coupe received this morning (18/3/20) contains the following statements:

... We will set aside the first hour in every supermarket this Thursday 19th March, for elderly and vulnerable customers. I hope that you can respect this decision and will work with us as we try our best to help those that need it the most. If you or an elderly family member, friend or neighbour would like to shop during this hour, please check online for your local supermarket opening hours.

... We will also help elderly and vulnerable customers access food online. From Monday 23rd March, our online customers who are over 70 years of age or have a disability will have priority access to online delivery slots. We will contact these customers in the coming days with more details.

... Following feedback from our customers and from our store colleagues, we have decided to put restrictions on a larger number of products. From tomorrow, Wednesday 18th March, customers will be able to buy a maximum of three of any grocery product and a maximum of two on the most popular products including toilet paper, soap and UHT milk. We have enough food coming into the system, but are limiting sales so that it stays on shelves for longer and can be bought by a larger numbers of customers.

On 19/03/20, Tesco's advertised similarly:

From today we will start to implement the following changes:

  • To ensure more people have access to everyday essentials, we are introducing a storewide restriction of only 3 items per customer on every product line, and removing multi-buy promotions. In order to allow Tesco colleagues to focus on stocking shelves, helping to provide the essential groceries you are looking for and to avoid waste, we will close all meat, fish, deli counters and salad bars.
  • To be able to ensure our stores are clean, that we can replenish stock, and allow our colleagues to rest, we will change our trading hours with all stores closing at 10pm.
  • To ensure we are doing everything possible to reduce the risk of infection for both our customers and colleagues, we will be introducing some distancing measures at the checkout and, to make it swifter, invite customers who can, to pay by card
  • To help free up slots for the more vulnerable, such as our elderly customers and those who are self-isolating, we are encouraging customers who shop online or choose Click+Collect for their grocery home shopping, to prioritise Shopping in-store where possible.
  • To ensure our more vulnerable and elderly customers can shop in-store, we will prioritise one hour every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning between 9-10am (except in our Express stores) and ask that you respect this.
  • Tesco store colleagues can't work from home and a good number of them will need to respond to personal or family challenges connected with dealing with COVID-19. So we would please ask that you. understand the challenging environment in which we are all working. If you do go in-store and want to say thank you, then I'm sure they'd appreciate it.

So, if you could help us by limiting demand of essential items and allowing us to focus on the core needs of our customers - we are confident that we can continue to feed the nation. We are delivering food daily to our stores, but this is a very challenging time and we will only get through this if we work together. .

Thank YOU for your support.

Other supermarkets will clearly put in similar measures.

Concerns that supermarket staff are increasingly exposed to the virus from shoppers, as well as enabling people to maintain stricter isolation, will result in increasing pressure for people to use online shopping. We should all consider online shopping as part of our personal plans to help keep our community safe, as infected supermarket staff will endanger everybody even if they display no symptoms.

Always wash hands after visiting a supermarket.

Lockdown by Brother Richard:

Brother Richard Hendrick, a Capuchin Franciscan living in Ireland, has penned a touching poem about coronavirus ...

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.

They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.

So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,

Temper fear with reason

This advice from an infectious-diseases specialist doctor is well worth reading and digesting!

I'm a doctor and an Infectious Diseases Specialist. I've been at this for more than 20 years seeing sick patients on a daily basis. I have worked in inner city hospitals and in the poorest slums of Africa. HIV-AIDS, Hepatitis,TB, SARS, Measles, Shingles, Whooping cough, Diphtheria...there is little I haven't been exposed to in my profession. And with notable exception of SARS, very little has left me feeling vulnerable, overwhelmed or downright scared.

I am not scared of Covid-19. I am concerned about the implications of a novel infectious agent that has spread the world over and continues to find new footholds in different soil. I am rightly concerned for the welfare of those who are elderly, in frail health or disenfranchised who stand to suffer mostly, and disproportionately, at the hands of this new scourge. But I am not scared of Covid-19.

What I am scared about is the loss of reason and wave of fear that has induced the masses of society into a spellbinding spiral of panic, stockpiling obscene quantities of anything that could fill a bomb shelter adequately in a post-apocalyptic world. I am scared of the N95 masks that are stolen from hospitals and urgent care clinics where they are actually needed for front line healthcare providers and instead are being donned in airports, malls, and coffee lounges, perpetuating even more fear and suspicion of others. I am scared that our hospitals will be overwhelmed with anyone who thinks they probably don't have it but may as well get checked out no matter what because you just never know... and those with heart failure, emphysema, pneumonia and strokes will pay the price for overfilled ER waiting rooms with only so many doctors and nurses to assess.

I am scared that travel restrictions will become so far reaching that weddings will be canceled, graduations missed and family reunions will not materialize. And well, even that big party called the Olympic Games...that could be kyboshed too. Can you even imagone?

I'm scared those same epidemic fears will limit trade, harm partnerships in multiple sectors, business and otherwise and ultimately culminate in a global recession.

But mostly, I'm scared about what message we are telling our kids when faced with a threat. Instead of reason, rationality, openmindedness and altruism, we are telling them to panic, be fearful, suspicious, reactionary and self-interested.

Covid-19 is nowhere near over. It will be coming to a city, a hospital, a friend, even a family member near you at some point. Expect it. Stop waiting to be surprised further. The fact is the virus itself will not likely do much harm when it arrives. But our own behaviors and "fight for yourself above all else" attitude could prove disastrous.

I implore you all. Temper fear with reason, panic with patience and uncertainty with education. We have an opportunity to learn a great deal about health hygiene and limiting the spread of innumerable transmissible diseases in our society. Let's meet this challenge together in the best spirit of compassion for others, patience, and above all, an unfailing effort to seek truth, facts and knowledge as opposed to conjecture, speculation and catastrophizing.

Facts not fear. Clean hands. Open hearts.

Our children will thank us for it.

Abdu Sharkawy


My computer fails to complete payment with Sainsbury's online shopping

Can you sterilise facemasks?

Elderly & Vulnerable Priority Time - Tesco North, Bracknell

Elderly & Vulnerable Priority Time - Sainsbury's, Bagshot Road

When will the April/May parish mag be published?

My computer fails to complete payment with Sainsbury's online shopping

We have encountered an unexplained system failure to complete payment to Sainsbury's online shopping from our computer.

However, using our mobile phone to access Sainsbury's website and to complete the payment worked fine.

Can you sterilise facemasks?

There is no approved way of sterilising facemasks (FFRs - Filtering Facepiece Respirators) according to Centers for Disease Control an Prevention in a comprehensive article. FFRs are designed for single use.

However, if there is no option but to re-use, you can recycle (have five masks used one a day and carefully set aside a used mask as temporarily infected for four days) or you can sterilise in steam produced by boiling a cup of water in a microwave for a few minutes. Some masks will spark with their metal parts, and then this method should not be used. Other masks will degrade their seals and should be inspected after treatment. Try it as it is better than nothing. See the caveats in the article quoted.

Elderly & Vulnerable Priority Time - Tesco North, Bracknell

Sunday 22 March: Closed
Monday 23 March: 9am - 10am
Tuesday 24 Mar: Closed
Wednesday 25 March: 9am - 10am
Thursday 26 March: Closed
Friday 27 March: 9am - 10am

Tesco's opening times are 7am to 10pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sundays.

Elderly & Vulnerable Priority Time - Sainsbury's, Bagshot Road

Sainsbury's announced that from Thursday, March 19, stores including Bagshot Road in Bracknell, will set aside the first hour in every supermarket for elderly and vulnerable customers.

Sainsbury's opening times are 7am to 10pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sundays.

Sainsbury's have allocated a dedicated helpline for vulnerable customers: 0800 052 5500 opening at 9am.

When will the April/May parish mag be published??

The parish mag for April/May cannot be published and distributed in the same way as usual due to Covid-19 restrictions.We will print a small number of magazines for use by those who really need printed copies and to leave in our churches. The online editorial for April/May is already published on the Parish Mag website and has its own button at the top. We will shortly have a publication for the advertisers. We will review the situation as the Covid-19 situation develops.

Contact us by email at 'INFO' (
CAFDonate to Friends Electrics appeal

Generated 08-Apr-2020 18:29:33