Seven Churches in South Oxfordshire

From the Rector: Tuesday 7th November 2023

We will remember them

Dear friends,

In a time when conflict appears daily in our news media, one can be forgiven for wondering why we remember earlier wars, when present day suffering elsewhere seems to demand all our attention, and pushes former horrors into the past. We do so, among other reasons, to remind ourselves that such failures of politics – whether at home or abroad – can and did happen here. The Nazi regime in 1930’s and 40’s Germany was a global threat. Appeasement failed, because the regime itself was violent, criminal and corrupt. The road to peace, on whose dividends we have been living for the last two generations, was hard, and costly in both lives and economies. Men from all our communities lost their lives in the services, and every church in the Team Ministry now sports a sign indicating the presence of Commonwealth War Graves.

In our services this Sunday, we’ll be remembering all who serve, and all who still suffer because of war.  At Checkendon I will be sharing something of the (recently re-discovered) history, and the puzzle of the Stirling MkIII bomber which crashed in 1943 between Checkendon and Ipsden, killing all seven crewmen. This was the largest single daily loss of life for our communities throughout the second world war, and it occurred right here in our midst! So why was it forgotten, until just last year? Do join us. There are poppies for sale at the back of Checkendon church and in Checkendon School.

Worship Services for Remembrance Sunday 12th November

9.30am Remembrance Service at St John’s, Stoke Row with Mr Peter Ferguson

10.55am Remembrance Service at St Peter and Paul, Checkendon with Canon Kevin Davies. With the parade of uniformed organisations, honour roll, last post and presentation of colours.

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

Other service options for elsewhere in the Team can be found on the Langtree Team Ministry Churches website. Don’t forget that you can support both Checkendon  and  Stoke Row churches via dedicated and secure online card donation pages. Just click on the link. It is very easy! Thank you for your support.

Diary Dates

In the garden, the recent deluges have made the autumn tidy up longer than it should be; even the determined dahlias have been battered into submission by the weather and now wait their turn to be cleared away. If you can leave a bed a little longer than usual, please do so, as the birds and insects love the shelter and the seeds. Bulb planting happens in dribs and drabs – the temptation when the sun does shine is to get out in it to enjoy the vibrant colours of the leaves, before the next gale strips the trees altogether. The changed clock and shortened afternoons leave even less daylight in which to be of use outside. Now is the time to cut back cultivated blackberries and similar, tying in the new growth on which next years fruit will form. So, already, one looks ahead, and works in faith that the world will turn and that God’s faithfulness in Creation can be relied upon. If you are lucky enough to be allowed a bonfire by your spouse, do check it for hedgehogs and other wildlife before setting the match.

On the theme of which, Checkendon School have their annual fireworks fundraiser this Friday at 6pm, (although the large bonfire that used to accompany this event is no more) and Checkendon Church and Churchyard Working Party is a week Saturday (18th) from 10am. Do come along then to St Peter and St Paul’s with some tools for our autumn clean up, inside and out.

Thank you for your support for your churches, and the faithful sharing that makes it all possible.

Every blessing

Revd Kevin Davies.


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