Seven Churches in South Oxfordshire

From the Rector: Tuesday 18th May 2021

A series of milestones

Dear friends,

Yesterday saw a much heralded relaxation of the rules for gathering in public places, although the fish and chips of freedom came served with a good shake of the salt and vinegar of caution. These new regulations will not make much if any difference to our churches plans or practise; pretty much everything we can or can’t do remains tempered by the covid capacity of our buildings. A number of churches in the Team recommence weekly worship next Sunday, Stoke Row and Checkendon’s plans for a restart phased between June and September are unchanged, and if anything the rise in cases of the Indian variant once again reinforces the sagacity of careful scepticism. It remains the best advice to (i) accept your jab as soon as you are offered it (ii) be cautious about any internal venue, whether public or private.

The other milestone, less portentous but personally probably more significant, is that on Thursday I will (God willing) complete the 365th consecutive day of my circular walk of the lanes between Checkendon and Hook End. This has sometimes been hard; rain, ice, snow, very early, after injury, or family funerals far away. Its been helped by lockdown; working from home, no holidays away, being in charge of my daily schedule. I have worn out two pairs of trainers and have had to ask for sportswear for Christmas. Those of you who like numbers can do the maths: its 3.8 miles every day. It takes me 55-58 minutes at a brisk walking pace. Walking the same route every day has taught me to pay more attention; not just to the weather or the seasons. One learns to notice even the little things; a branch coming into leaf that was bare yesterday; a robin missing from his usual patch. It has been a journey of discovery on many levels. A daily dose of perspective is often the best medicine of all.

Worship for Pentecost Sunday 23rd May

9am Short “live” service of Morning Prayer in Checkendon Church. Fifteen minutes of prayer and reflection to start the day. No need to book.

11am Pentecost Holy Communion (via zoom) with Revd Kevin. 636 645 195 and passcode 000162.  We celebrate God’s presence with song, prayer and a communion to share.

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. It is absolutely OK to pass these details onto friends and family, who are very welcome to join us. Other online service options can be found on the Langtree Team Ministry Churches website.

You can support Checkendon church and  Stoke Row churches via dedicated and secure online card donation pages. Just click on the link. Please also Gift Aid your donation if you pay any income tax. Thank you !

Advance Notice:  Sunday 30th May is a TEAM SERVICE at 10.30am, hosted by Revd Linda on 227 415 0550. The speaker will be the Rector. Note the different time, and different number !

The weird party

No, not a new venture into politics, but a late arrival in the garden. You will recall I shared a few weeks back the rather eccentric fritillaria (yes, before Monty featured them on Gardener’s World…). Unknown to me, the tulip bulbs I planted with them in the same tubs were equally as nutty. Determined not to be outdone these “Texas Flame”  have shown up late for the party, perhaps wanting the limelight to themselves by making their own entrance, in their own time. All my other tulips are well on, or fading, now. These showy numbers however are facing off against the cold and wet, bringing a splash of vibrancy to their small corner of the world. “Come on sun!” they seem to be saying. “You can do it!”

Tulip “Texas Flame”

Thank you all for your support and care for one another, and for our churches. May God bring you joy, and hope, this Pentecost season.

Canon Kevin Davies



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