Seven Churches in South Oxfordshire

From the Rector: Tueday 17th January 2023

Sleeping garden

Dear friends,

Sleep is good and necessary for us, and cycles of rest are also essential in the garden. Although, just as our bodies use the oppportunity of sleep to “service” various organs and systems, the same is true outdoors. Winter is important. The garden may look quiet, and almost dead, but there is a lot going on under the surface. Root systems are recovering from the activity of the growing season, while the upper portion of plants and shrubs are dormant, and insects and bacteria under the soil are gently re-setting the balances of chemical and biological processes. We have a patch of fallow earth on our vegetable bed where we have for over a year been faithfully depositing tea leaves and coffee grounds after use. But it is fallow no more. Turning the area lightly the other day revealed a bustling and thriving community of earthworms, attracted to and feeding on the fine organic matter. Possibly they too enjoy the caffeine boost? Be that as it may, the once clay bound and useless soil is now a fine crumbly tilth, thanks to their efforts, and I look forward to putting a wigwam of climbing beans on the area in the late spring. “There is a time for everything,” says the Preacher. Cycles of recuperation and planning are just as important for us as the frantic seasons of activity.

Worship Services for Sunday  22nd January

9.30am Holy Communion at St John’s, Stoke Row with Revd Angela Linton

11am Holy Communion at St Peter and Paul, Checkendon with Canon Kevin Davies

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

Sunday 29th July. Team service at St Peter and St Paul, Checkendon, 10.30am

Bustling Church

In stark counterpoint to the life of the garden, winter is (surprisingly) one of the busiest times of the church year. After all the excitement of Christmas, January is normally very full indeed, with parish and team councils all turning pages and looking at budgets. For parishes with church schools, weekly school worship and termly governance meetings also appear. Funerals sadly feature highly in the winter months, but also happier meetings, as couples plan summer weddings, and baptism enquiries seek a spring christening service. Sundays fly by, and before you know it, February is here. There is hardly time to pause for breath before Lent is upon us, but one thing that must be done is this year’s seeds need to be purchased or ordered if there is to be any kind of harvest later on. May the Lord bless you in all your January plans, whether they are for beans, or greater things.

Revd Canon Kevin Davies

PS Fancy some hilarity to beat the winter blues? Head out to Ipsden where the St Mary’s Players are storming to a triumphant post pandemic return. Search “Ipsden Panto” for full details and booking info.


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