Seven Churches in South Oxfordshire

From the Rector: Tuesday 19th May 2020

Try Try Again.

Dear friends,

Are we going to let a little something like the internet melting on a Sunday morning defeat us? No, we are not. Does your dog give up on his daily walk routine? Of course not. You’d never hear the end of it. Will your cat forget when it is her tea time? Never ! She will find you out (hunt you down) and pester pester pester until you give in. We are going to do likewise. There will be church this Sunday, online, so we can pray, give thanks, lift our eyes and our hearts, and also share something of the joy that God sends to us even in the midst of trouble. The service choices for you all this week are below. As before, friends and family are very welcome – wherever they are.

Prayers and pets

Please do bring your pet with you to the 11am service; we have a wonderful service for you, with input from the music group – lots of home recording- and Debi has a brilliant animal themed craft activity for you to try at home. The zoom numbers for our Sunday services across the team are as follows:

10am Service of the Word led by Revd John     Meeting ID: 188 513 761     Passcode  019797  A Service with prayers and readings.
10am Morning Worship led by Revd Linda    Meeting ID: 811 0229 7851 Passcode: 684517   A chance to reflect and pray at the start of the day.
11am  Pet Service led by Revd Kevin       Meeting ID: 636 645 195        Passcode 000162     A family friendly service – four legged members especially welcome….

(To use the Zoom app on your PC or tablet you will need to download and install the app beforehand from )

All services will be child-friendly. Its a great way to stay in touch. The 11am service will “open” from 10.50am for those who wish to come early and chat. Do bring your coffee!

Soul Health

We’ve heard a lot in recent weeks about mental health and rightly so. Enforced isolation and the removal of established patterns of living can be extremely stressful. In these circumstances “soul health” is also something to consider. This is more than my own physical and mental well being. Think of “soul health” as a much larger jigsaw, making up the totality of the person that you are, in the context that you are set. So all your relationships are part of the picture, along with the community in which you live, and the wider environment on which you depend for your every need. Soul health has a time related dimension too, reaching back into our past and forward into the future that looms or beckons. Soul health is about being “right” – in the sense of being OK with – myself (that’s the mental health bit) – the world around me (that’s my physical health) – and crucially with God (that’s where prayer and worship play their part).  Being “religious” is not so much about “being good” but more to do with acknowledging the mysterious joy that comes when we notice the relatedness at the heart of everything, and trying then to live life in that direction.

So, a “soul health” approach might not begin with a question about you or your feelings.  There might simply be a short text or Bible passage to read and reflect on for a few minutes, and then return to again at the end of the day. By asking questions of the text and allowing it to question you in return (“what does this mean?” “how do I then live?”) we find an anchor to hold on to, a light to guide us, and maybe a hope to live by. For example, this week I have been struck by the last line of Psalm 23: “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”  In times of security and comfort this might be seen as a statement of the obvious. But in times of uncertainty and alienation this reads as a wonderful promise to hold on to. There are better times ahead.

Revd Kevin.

White Lilac on a spring day




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