Seven Churches in South Oxfordshire

From the Rector: Tuesday 28th November 2023

Made for sharing

Bring a friend to the coffee and mince pie morning on Saturday 9th Dec from 10.30am in Checkendon Village Hall. It is a great chance to catch up with your neighbours and enjoy a chat before the holiday season gets under way. There’s a book exchange, a model railway and a craft table for children too. This event for the whole community is provided free of charge by Checkendon Church. I can’t run to a video advert for this event, but If I could, it would be something like this one.

Lovers of Carols and Christmas music should note that there are Carols Round the Well at Stoke Row (opposite the village hall) from 6pm on Friday 15th Dec, with Carol Services at St Johns (4pm) and St Peter and St Pauls (6pm) on Sunday 17th. Full details of all services in the Team Ministry throughout December are now live on a dedicated web page. Again, bring a friend. If you have family staying, bring them too. Its going to be great.

Worship Services for Advent Sunday 3rd December

9.30am Informal Service at St John’s, Stoke Row with Canon Kevin Davies

11am Morning Prayer at St Peter and Paul, Checkendon with Mr Peter Ferguson

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

The Heart of the Matter

In an exclusive for this blog, the Rector answers the crucial question we are all asking at this time of the year. Transcript from an interview with the BCP Good Food magazine:

Rector, I understand that this might be difficult for you to answer, but do you believe in Father Christmas?

I never used to, until I was a curate. Then, coming home at 1.30am on Christmas morning after a huge midnight communion service, I’d regularly find that a glass of sherry and a mince pie had been left out for me on the kitchen table. When I asked my wife about it, she always said Father Christmas had left it for me.”

Tell me about the mince pie. Was it home made or shop bought?

I can’t believe that is a serious question. It was always home made. Although, in times of domestic emergency or national crisis I suppose shop bought would be endured. But it is not the same.

What do you think of flaky pastry?

For a mince pie? No, no, no. A crisp, almost melt in your mouth short crust is the best for a great mince pie. Flaky pastry can be a little too greasy in that context.”

Would you say the best mince pie was covered, or open?

It isn’t a pie without being covered, is it? I mean, if it were open it would be called a tart. And how could I publicise that for church events? Although in these days sometimes folk can be a bit risque and put a pastry star in place of a lid.”

What about the mincemeat?

Once you’ve tasted genuine home made mincemeat, there is no way back. You’re hooked for life. Even the best shop bought mincemeats have preservatives and humectants in them, which can give a cloying feel in your mouth. No compromises.”

Do you have any tips for making good mincemeat at home?

Its not at all difficult. But make sure your oranges and lemons are well scrubbed before you pare them for rind – you don’t know what they’ve been sprayed with – and if you can, buy the unwaxed ones. Oh, and don’t be ashamed to use the brandy Dad’s been saving for a special occasion. If he expostulates, tell him that Christmas is the special occasion.”

Would you say you were a mince pie fundamentalist, then?

Ha! No, I’m just very grateful that we have Christmas to celebrate, and special people who love us enough to make mince pies to share.”

Stir up, O Lord,
the wills of your faithful people;
that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works,
may by you be plenteously rewarded;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.   (Post communion prayer for the Sunday before Advent)

May the Lord bless you all. (and especially if you are baking)

Revd Kevin.




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