Seven Churches in South Oxfordshire

From the Rector: Tuesday 12th March 2024

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Dear friends,

I love it when the online paper publishes something guaranteed to enrage and then waits until you have read to the end to clamp the lid back on, by turning off the option for public comment on the piece. As if they don’t already know that this is not the way the internet works. Froth and bubble will find its way to the surface – just not at this point on our platform, thank you. News has become an exercise in image management. The particular truth reported is something perhaps too uncomfortable for sensitive souls or the politically correct, so an editor somewhere decides to limit the public discourse around it. We perhaps should be grateful that we live in a country where, for the most part, the media still feels some kind of obligation to veracity, and the government, or sponsors, generally do not exercise censorship. Although there is this thing called “spin”….

Occasionally however, froth and bubble has something very concrete underneath it. The Oscars are a case in point; hidden among the glitzy award winners was the “best documentary”, which this year went to a Ukrainian news team for their film “20 days in Mariupol”. This is not a movie or a drama, but an account of the siege of Mariupol, told by a news crew who were trapped in the city during the Russian attack in 2022. Their cameras do not lie. Nothing was staged or “acted”. This film should be required viewing for all of us, to remind us of what war really looks like, what it means to have one’s country invaded, and what is still happening to Ukraine, two years on. This is a European war, and we are in danger of taking our eyes off the ball. The film was aired on Channel 4 last night, and you can find it here online. (Warning: there is graphic content) Unless we support Ukraine, now, with serious intent, this conflict will only move in one direction: westwards.

Worship Services for Sunday 17th March

9.30am Informal Worship at St John’s Stoke Row with Mr Brian Turner

11am Family Service at St Peter and Paul, Checkendon with Canon Kevin Davies. An informal service, with the music group, and coffee from 10.45am

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

Working Party – volunteers needed.

Please come along for a stint on Saturday 23rd March, anytime between 10am and 12noon, to help with our spring clean up at Checkendon Church. Bring what you might need to help either inside or out, so we can get the church ready for Easter. All ages welcome!

Easter Services can be found here. Please make special note of our gathering on Good Friday morning (29th March), 10.30am, in Checkendon School Hall. There will be a great choice of Easter activities suitable for all ages – video, craft, colouring, music and hot cross buns. Everyone is very welcome to this relaxed and informal session exploring the Easter story.

Next Sunday is the fifth Sunday of Lent. If you enjoyed my recent “Lenten triptych” of reflections on contemporary art, I have one final “surprise” piece to share – do come along to the family service to see it. Coffee will be served from 10.45am, too.

“Show us the path of life, O Lord, do not abandon us to the grave. May we know the joy of your presence, and the blessings of your love, forever.” (cf Ps16:10-11)

Your Rector, Canon Kevin.


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