Seven Churches in South Oxfordshire

From the Rector: Tuesday 7th May 2023

Long live the King!

Dear friends,

One of the questions of life we find ourselves asking is “how do we do this?” Especially, particularly, at the difficult times, when things are changing, when something new is happening. So it is with a “coronation”. Most of us have never experienced one of these before, and we are wondering what changes if any this great affair of state will make to our lives and our churches. The church, in its wisdom and experience, finds that one way of dealing with change is to “have a service for it.” We put together words, prayers, music, and ritual to hold the change before the face of Almighty God, praying that the structure of “the liturgy” will help us to move through the change in a way that brings not only comfort, but also hope. We remind ourselves that the whole of life is in God’s hands, even the unfamiliar and the new. We ask that God will be with us, and that he will strengthen us, as we face the future, and that he will give us the imagination and the grace to live faithfully in the new pattern of our days.

Our “Coronation” service at Checkendon on Sunday is one of prayers, readings, and well loved hymns, using one of the specially prepared “liturgies” for the Coronation weekend. We are going to welcome King Charles III to the throne with songs of joy and thanksgiving, praying for one another, and for our new King, that he may know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit every single day. Do join us on this landmark occasion.

Worship Services for Coronation weekend. Sunday 7th May

9.30am Family Worship at St John’s, Stoke Row with Mr Peter Ferguson

11am Coronation Songs of Praise Service at St Peter and Paul, Checkendon with Revd Canon Kevin Davies. Stay on for the village picnic, tea and cake on the green from noon.

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

Nature Notes (…by royal appointment*)

The robin’s nest in the Rectory “stable” is most inconveniently placed on top of the stack of garden chairs. It is as well the weather is cool and overcast, as, although the chicks have hatched, it will be a few more weeks until I can safely remove the nest and get the furniture into the garden. A pied wagtail has been a recent visitor to the raised beds, not seen for a few years in this location. The tulips are looking splendid, the cool weather being ideal to prolong their blooms. Beetroot, carrot, parsnip, chard and spinach have all been sown; the early rhubarb is fully out demanding harvest, and the outdoor tomatoes and chillies have now been potted on and are hardening off under the old double glazing panels leaning against our back wall. Recently I took great pride in “self-servicing” my twenty year old lawn mower – air filter, spark plug and oil change, and a clean and lubricate underneath. Total cost for the parts was about £20; the oil was free as I’d picked up some from my aunt’s garage when clearing that out a few years ago. Of course the real challenge was to make the time to do the job. After an hour or so in the sun (yes, it was a week or so ago) to warm the engine casing the old thing started first pull, much to my delight and my shoulder’s relief. The spotted woodpecker on the bird nut feeder is in his full spring colour; vibrant red rump setting off his black and white formal attire. The wood pigeon nesting nearby knows that when he is feeding, she can waddle about underneath hoovering up the crumbs. She looks, unsurprisingly, a little overweight. But can you tell me who made Jesus laugh (and had her plea heard) by her cheeky reference to crumbs?

With every blessing for the new reign.

Your Rector, Revd Canon Kevin Davies

*Clergy are required by law to take a public oath of allegiance to the Crown at every new appointment. The form of wording includes “heirs and successors”. So, myself and all the Team clergy have previously made this declaration of assent, and The Revd David Benskin will do so afresh when he is licensed to the Team in July.



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