Seven Churches in South Oxfordshire

From the Rector: Tuesday 3rd October 2023

Harvest Joy

Dear friends,

Many thanks to all of you who supported our Harvest services last Sunday. At Checkendon, Steve and Frances Woolaway from Manor Farm, Peppard, returned with their produce stall supporting the Ways and Means Trust, and Robin Hart from the Woodhouse Farm Partnership, which farms at both Checkendon and Ipsden, shared some of the story of the farm over the last year. One of the easiest things that we can all do to help British Farming is to buy British food, and Robin urged us to support the NFU’s ongoing petition to require supermarkets to have a “buy British” option button on their online shopping platforms. Do click the link to find out more, and sign the petition yourself if you agree. Did you know that in this country we currently only produce about 60% of the food we need? When we buy British we not only reduce our own carbon footprint, but we also help to encourage food self sufficiency by creating and supporting the demand for locally grown produce.

Harvest thanks are also due to our wonderful team of flower arrangers. This year is the first time that our Harvest displays at Checkendon have been “oasis free” and have used predominantly locally grown and sourced flowers. The results are stunning, and will remain in church for the rest of this week, so please do pop in and reflect on the wonders of God’s creation that can be found right on your doorstep. I’ve added a couple of my own photos at the bottom, but they don’t do justice to the impact of the arrangements in the ancient building. Checkendon School’s Harvest service is on Wednesday (tomorrow) at 2.30pm in church – you are warmly invited to share in this service, which will give opportunity to share both in the worship and the displays at the same time.

Worship Services for Sunday 8th October

9.30am Morning Prayer at St John’s Stoke Row with Mr Brian Turner

11am Holy Communion at St Peter and Paul, Checkendon with Revd Romey Poston

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

Celebrations ahoy!

Next Sunday at Checkendon we welcome the family of infant Harry Downes for his baptism, with the music group to provide some classic hymns. Do come and share the celebration – baptisms are not private events, but a chance for the whole family of God to welcome and share in the love of God for us all in Jesus Christ.  And for your diary, October is a five Sunday month, which means that on Sunday 29th there will be a Team service at St Mary’s Ipsden at 1030am, led by the Area Dean, Canon John Blair, with a sermon from the Revd Dr James Leach. Again, this is a wonderful chance to meet together as a family of churches, and raise the roof with our praises in a way that is not normally possible.

In the Rectory garden, we’ve sadly said goodbye to our army of outdoor tomato plants, having been self sufficient in these since the beginning of July. Now pots are being emptied and scrubbed, and beds cleared away. Only “Nigel’s Outdoor Chillies” remain in their tubs, as we are leaving these to enjoy the unseasonal warmth so the last few fruits make the change from green to red. These have been a star performer this year, now we have learnt the secret, which is to start them off (from seed) very early indeed. They are a variety bred by an enthusiast who wondered if you could grow chillies without a greenhouse in the UK. Not too spicy, but a 7-9cm, medium heat, nicely fruity flavoured variety, which like all chillies, can be frozen for use as required. The season turns, leaves turn, the pages of our lives turn. God grant us the wisdom to use our days aright.

Your Rector,    Canon Kevin

Harvest flowers in Checkendon Porch catch the afternoon light
An oasis free harvest display in the nave. The camera flash was used to highlight colour and texture.


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