Seven Churches in South Oxfordshire

From the Rector: Tuesday 2nd July 2024

Spiritual Strength.

Dear friends,

Have you wondered why it is that some churches, some places, and occasionally some people, seem to attract others? People visit – sometimes on a deliberate pilgrimage, or sometimes they “just have to go,” but can’t really articulate any reason. There is a great sense of peace, comfort, security, and “homecoming”. We are, I believe, intuiting the often manifest sense of spiritual strength that these places have, and find ourselves drawn to it.

At Aylesford Priory, in Kent, a Carmelite monastery was re-established on its ancient site in the late 1940’s after a hiatus of almost half a millennium. (The first Abbey had been dissolved by Henry VIII). It is just off the Pilgrim’s Way and is today a thriving Catholic visitor centre and shrine, right next to the river Medway, which curls widely around the monastery buildings on its way to the Thames estuary beyond Rochester. The power of the place is in many ways similar to that of the river – deep, slow moving, but unstoppable, in the way that the monk’s daily prayers are constant, ongoing, and happen come rain or shine. The great work of worship, albeit small and human, is nevertheless locked into the ancient stones, in a way that brings heaven to earth, regardless of the tribulations of the world.

It doesn’t always need to be the large, impressive, and ancient sites that hold great spiritual power, however. Sometimes the small places can act in this way, and that is true right across the Langtree Team ministry. All of our churches receive a  constant trickle of visitors, many of them intentional rather than just casual. Some will write the reason for their visit in the visitor book. Many will offer a prayer or blessing there. So remember the spiritual strength that your church holds and pause for a moment on your next visit to rest a while in it.

Worship Services for Sunday 7th July

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

11am Morning Prayer at St Peter and Paul, Checkendon with Revd Romey Poston

4pm Episcopal Visitation Service at Dorchester Abbey. Do support your churchwardens as they are sworn in – everyone welcome.

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

Prayer for the election.

Lord, help us not to be deceived. There are many dangers to our democratic processes – AI deepfakes, malign powers flooding social media, and those who would seek power for their own ends. Protect our country from those who would do us harm. Help us to be a nation where truth, grace and fairness are upheld and treasured. Amen.

“An honest witness tells the truth, but a false witness tells lies. The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:17,18.

Don’t forget to vote on Thursday!

Your Rector, Canon Kevin.

The Great Courtyard at Aylesford Priory.


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