Seven Churches in South Oxfordshire

From the Rector: Tuesday 16th May 2023

Nil by mouth

Dear friends,

It has been an unusual week of “firsts” for me; some new experiences of pain, a night sat in A&E (while various tests were underway), anasthaesia, surgery, some different pain, and the strange gift  of convalescense. Hats off to the staff at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, who treated me, and my appendix, with humanity and compassion. The appendix, you might be relieved to hear, is no longer with me, it being decided that it would be better all round if we parted. The story of my adventures last Tuesday night and through Wednesday is too long to recount here, but I will reflect on the three words above that appeared at the end of my bed prior to the surgeon’s endeavour: “Nil by mouth”.  One of those indicators which mean “work in progress” – those who know things have made an assessment, and action is imminent. A bit like the “Police Aware” sticker you sometimes see on a broken down vehicle.

And, a few hours later, not all of them conscious, there was I, a “recumbent incumbent”, propped up in the Emergency Surgery Ward, with a few extra holes in my abdomen. A kind lady came round with something that looked like a football pools list but which was in fact the choices for some lunch. “Would you like some food?” she asked. It dawned on me that I’d not eaten for almost seventeen hours and was actually quite hungry. “Can I eat now?” I asked, almost in disbelief, remembering the prohibition slapped on the end of my bed not five hours hours earlier.  But all my labels had gone. It was like I was being given permission to begin again. “You can have what you like,” she said. Never have I been so glad of the sight of a piece of quiche. Leek and spinach, a great variant of the Coronation recipe.

Worship Services for Sunday 21st May

9.30am Informal Worship at St John’s, Stoke Row with Revd Angela Linton

11am Family worship at St Peter and Paul, Checkendon with Revd Romey Poston. A family friendly service with the music group, and refreshments.

Midweek zoom service: Wednesday Evensong at 5.00pm  410 935 129

Midweek service at Checkendon Church : Wednesday 24th at 1.30pm. Checkendon Primary School pupils share in a service of prayers and readings for Pentecost. All welcome!

Come, Holy Spirit.

The Archbishop’s annual prayer initiative, Thy Kingdom Come is running from Ascension Day  until Pentecost (18-28th May). This is a simple encouragement to the whole church to pray for the gifts and blessing of the Holy Spirit for us all. There are some lovely daily prayer resouces available on the website, and you can also for the first time this year download a little app for your mobile phone, which will give you a short reading and a prayer for each day of the nine. Go to your app store and search “Thy Kingdom Come” to find it.

For many, the blend of words and music is a profound gateway to prayer. King David knew it, and left us his Psalms; hymns across the centuries inspire us, and music anchors the words in memory.

“Dear Lord and Father of mankind, forgive our foolish ways. Reclothe us in our rightful mind, in purer lives thy service find, in deeper reverence, praise.”  (Can you remember any of the other verses? Test yourself before you click the link!)

Thank you all for your support for your churches.

Revd Canon Kevin Davies


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