Seven Churches in South Oxfordshire

From the Rector: Tuesday 8th March 2022

Pray, and prepare

Dear friends,

It appears that Covid was just the rehearsal. Lessons we learnt during the last few years now need to be applied as the convulsions and violence in Eastern Europe send shock waves through the economy, and the infrastructure of the world order as it has been. Everything continues to change. We have learnt the priority of prayer, but it can be hard to know where to begin once we have gone beyond the anguished cry of our hearts at what we are seeing. The relief and development charity Tear Fund have put together a very helpful guide with pointers and different ways to pray. We also learnt to limit our exposure to constant bad news, and to focus on the small things that we can do in our own neighbourhood. At the moment, this must include consideration of how we may be able to help the many thousands of Ukrainian refugees who will be coming to our shores before very long, all in need of shelter, provision, and hope. There are local possibilities; some very large houses stand unoccupied in our communities and could be requisitioned by the State; both our Primary schools have places available; our pubs are practised in the skills needed to feed and supply; and our communities have “history” in this department. The tumbledown huts in the woods around Cox’s woodyard are the remains of the “Polish camp” – made necessary after the second world war somewhat ironically by the actions of the Soviet Union, when Poles who had fought in our services and their families were made persona non grata by Stalin and could not then return to their homeland.

Worship Services for Sunday 13th March

9.30am Morning Prayer at St John’s Stoke Row with Revd Kevin Davies

11am Holy Communion at Checkendon Church with Revd Kevin Davies. With hymns, a short sermon and coffee.

Other service options for elsewhere in the Team can be found on the Langtree Team Ministry Churches website. There’s no Sunday evening online service during Lent, as our daily reflections have begun:

The online Lent Journey: 8.30-8.40pm daily on zoom: 842 3891 2144 and 123165

“Forty Words” is our ten minute daily online reflection for Lent 2022, hosted by Revd Kevin and Revd John. A word from Scripture, a reflection, music and prayer between 8.30-8.40pm every day. You can join the pilgrimage using zoom numbers 842 3891 2144 and 123165.  Do make a note of them in your diary. Everyone is welcome, wherever you are Come every day, or drop in when you can.

Church Update

At Checkendon and Stoke Row all Covid related restrictions have been lifted. The only exception to this is that we are not yet sharing the communion cup; this is kept under constant review. If you wish to continue to wear a face covering you are welcome to do so, and your implicit request for space will be respected. So, welcome back to church! It is lovely to be able to catch up with our shared stories over coffee, and through our worship. Join us as we continue through the penitential season of Lent. Mothering Sunday marks the half way point, on 27th March, and there will be special services at both Checkendon and Stoke Row. Do come.

“Have no anxiety about anything, but in all things, with prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known unto God, with thanksgiving. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7)

Your Rector, Kevin Davies

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