Seven Churches in South Oxfordshire

From the Rector: Tuesday 25th April 2023

The arms of mercy

Dear friends,

In the last week, as well as completing all the church legal business required for the annual meeting, there has been shock and sadness around the team at the news of the death of Heather Llewellyn, of Ipsden. Heather was a “mother to us all” not only in Ipsden, but as Lay Chair of the Team Council, and also Henley Deanery, for many years. She was a fount of care, wisdom and kindness, who was known and loved way beyond Ipsden parish and the Langtree team. Our thoughts and prayers are with Trefor, Catrin, and Elinor at this sad time. Heather’s funeral will be hald at St Mary’s Ipsden on Wednesday 3rd May at 11.30am. May she rest in the loving arms of mercy, and rise in the glory of our Redeemer.

This coming Sunday (where has April gone?) is our chance to gather together as a team as we are welcomed for worship by the congregation of St Leonard’s, Woodcote. The exciting news to temper our sorrows is that the date of the licensing of the Revd David Benskin has now been fixed as Thursday 6th July. David, Alice, and his family will thus be in post before the start of the summer recess, and we look forward to welcoming them all to our Langtree church family. Do join us this Sunday for our worship and prayers.

Worship Services for Sunday  30th April 2023

10.30am Team Service of Holy Communion at St Leonard’s Woodcote, with Revd Romey Poston and Mr Brian Turner

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

Coming up: Sunday 7th May; 9.30am Family Worship at Stoke Row; 11am Coronation Praise at Checkendon, and village picnic on the green.

Comfort my people

Where do you turn when you are hurting? There is solace to be found in Scripture. The words of the prophet Isaiah, the Psalms, and the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew’s gospel are all rich veins of support and care. Sometimes it can be difficult to pray “by ourselves”, and on those occasions, words from prayer books (whether the Book of Common Prayer or the more recent Common Worship) can guide us. Our church fellowships are also “safe places”, in that one does not have to put on a front – most of our buildings are open daily for quiet prayer, and our Sunday worship does not set a bar of happiness which you have to jump before entry. There are people who will listen, without judgement. This is treasure, all of it.

Lastly, my thanks to all of you who came last weekend to tend to church and churchyard at Checkendon. Everything is now set for the summer of weddings, but, of course, before that, we can now say that we are fit for the King!

It is fitting to tie all things together in this week’s memo with a quip from the late great Barry Humphries, who, as Dame Edna Everage, enters the Royal Box to find HRH Prince Charles and Camilla duchess of Cornwall, already in their seats at the Royal Variety Performance of 2013. With impeccable manners, Dame Edna sits down, politely acknowledging the royalty, and supressing any surprise. Charles and Camilla are bemused, and amused. A security man comes into the box, and has a quiet word with a concerned Dame Edna, shows her a ticket and points something out. Dame Edna turns to Charles and Camilla and says “I’m so sorry,…..but they’ve found me a better seat.”

A hilarious poke a royal pomp, of course, but, in my mind, not a bad metaphor for death and dying.

Your Rector, Revd Kevin.


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