Seven Churches in South Oxfordshire

From the Rector: Tuesday 17th November 2020

Advent Hope

Dear friends

The liturgical season of preparation and waiting for Christmas begins on Sunday 29th November. This year it does feel like Advent has been extended backwards into November, as we enter week 3 of the second lockdown. We know that Christmas 2020 will be different. But it will be none the less real. Christ did come, did teach, was crucified, did rise and ascend. God was then, and is still “in the mix”. We’ve seen Him at work this year; in the compassionate caring; in the imaginative solutions; in the research; in the neighbours we’ve got to know; in the generosity and resolve; in the sacrificial service; in the comfort of music, and connection down the wires. One of the titles used of Jesus is “Emmanuel” which means “God with us”. It has been a dark and dreadful year, but I do not believe that God has been absent.

Your churches are working to finalize plans for Christmas services that will be small “in the flesh” events that you will need to book ahead to attend, with the services on the major days (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day) being online only, which means there won’t be any issues with capacity. More details in the coming weeks.

Services for 22nd November

Our main worship options on a Sunday are via Zoom. You may join the service hosted by your local minister, or another of your choosing. You will need the zoom app installed on your device (laptop, tablet, phone or PC) – download from  Just before the appointed time, run the app, click on “join meeting” and enter the meeting number and passcode below for the service you wish to attend.

A Eucharist with Revd John  10am        188 513 761 and 019797         We remember the death of Christ with bread and wine.

Morning Praise with Revd Linda   10am     810 1957 1283 and 033123     Begin the day with Praise, and a shared Agape (informal communion)

Holy Communion with Revd Kevin  11am   636 645 195  and 000162.     A service for the last Sunday before Advent.

Morning Service with Revd James 11am     Please email James to receive your invitation.

Family and friends are welcome to join us online. It is a great way to stay in touch.  There are also midweek online service options available on Wednesdays and Fridays in the evening. Do check out the worship pages on the Team Ministry website for full details. Live worship in all of our churches has been suspended for the current national lockdown. Should the Government or National Church make any further pronouncements that affect us – check the Team website first of all:

To help keep your church’s bills paid, please support Woodcote or Checkendon or Ipsden  or North Stoke churches via their dedicated and secure card donation pages. Just click on the church you wish to help. Please also Gift Aid your donation if you pay any income tax. Thank you !

Prayer Stations in Checkendon Church

Checkendon Church remains open for individual prayers on a Wednesday and a Sunday. We’ve put some interactive prayer stations in place around the church for you to engage with. Do visit and enjoy the chance for peaceful reflection in the stillness. We very much hope the interactive stations will help you to pray through the different activities they suggest.

A lesser spotted woodpecker has just discovered the nut hanger on the lilac tree outside my window. He is quite small, does not have much of a tail, nor is his red rump very bright, so I can tell that he is a “this year’s” model. No lockdown for him, although he is doing his own version of stocking up for Christmas. And out the back, on the sunflower seed hanger, a flurry of seven goldfinches show us that last year’s four have been busy in 2020. Life is going on.

Be careful if you are out and about. Pray for any healthcare workers you know. Fix your eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.

With every blessing

Revd Kevin


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