17th February – What’s on at Church

God’s Kingdom is Backwards

Have you ever stopped to wonder why anyone in their right mind would be a Christian?

Jesus regularly promises persecution for his disciples and yet still expects people to follow, love, and serve him. Such things are completely counter cultural. Why invest in a person who might make your life harder?

The answer really is because ‘easy’ and ‘better’ are rarely the same thing and in God’s backwards kingdom you have to give up a lot to gain even more. 

Why would we be part of something that encourages us to strive for less personal gain rather than more?

Wealth, control, and power are not gospel priorities, they aren’t on God’s agenda. Humility, mercy, and love are the top of God’s list.

This Sunday we are exploring Luke 6:17-26 in all of our services, exploring how God’s backwards way works better than anyone could ever imagine.

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This Sunday’s Services – 17th February

8.00am Holy Communion, All Saints’ Church
9.30am Contemporary Service, St Peter’s Parish Church
11.00am Sung Eucharist, St Peter’s Parish Church
4.00pm Evensong, St Paul’s Church

10th February – What’s on at Church

How has your week been?

Are you fed up? Have you given up? Are you running on empty?

This Sunday we are continuing to think about what it means to follow Jesus by stopping at the lake of Gennesaret where Jesus called his first disciples (Luke 5:1-11).

When he meets them they are coming to the end of a long night’s work – one that appears to have ended in complete failure.

At that moment, when they have given up, Jesus comes in and calls them to one last try. The results are beyond their wildest dreams.

May God meet you in your tiredness and frustration this weekend. May you find him where you have given up and discover that he can give you more than you can ask or imagine.

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This Sunday’s Services – 10th February

8.00am Holy Communion, All Saints’ Church
9.30am Contemporary Service, St Peter’s Parish Church
11.00am Sung Eucharist, St Peter’s Parish Church
3.00pm Tea and Hymns, Parish Church Hall
4.00pm Evensong, St Paul’s Church

 

3rd February – What’s on at Church

This Sunday we will encounter two great heroes of faith, Anna and Simeon, who waited faithfully for God to fulfil his promises to them (Luke 2:22-40).

Time and again the Bible God make promises which take time to be realised. Abraham, Moses, and David are among those who have to wait for God’s words to come true. In some instances these things don’t even come to pass in their lifetime.

However frustrated they are by their waiting the Bible commits itself to an unwavering truth – God never fails and he never lets us down.


OCCA Students
This Sunday in the 9:30am and 11am services at St Peter’s Church we will be joined by students from the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics who will be preaching to us from the lectionary.


Tunes from the Screen and Stage

With Esther and Dan King Smith. All Saints’ Church, Oval Way. Sunday 3rd February at 2.30pm. Tickets cost £10 and include tea and are available from Paddy Hague (01753 883384) or Anne Hatton (01753 882425).

 

This Sunday’s Services – 3rd January

8.00am Holy Communion, All Saints’ Church
9.30am Contemporary Service, St Peter’s Parish Church
11.00am Sung Eucharist, St Peter’s Parish Church
11.00am Sung Eucharist, All Saints’ Parish Church
4.00pm Evensong, St Paul’s Church

 

27th January – What’s on at Church

What is God saying to you?

Are you listening?

Good, then I’ll start…

So often I talk to people who say that they are surprised when God says something to them. We believe that God spoke to people in the Bible. We believe that God speaks to people now – sometimes. But do we believe that he’ll speak to us? How often do we take the time to listen?

Have you read your Bible this week? Have you spoken to God? Asked him a question? You might have told him what is upsetting you. Have you asked what’s upsetting him? You could have been talking to God in the time you have been reading this email.

Go ahead, try it.

This Sunday’s Services – 20th January

8.00am Holy Communion, All Saints’ Church
9.30am Contemporary Service, St Peter’s Parish Church
11.00am Sung Eucharist, St Peter’s Parish Church
4.00pm Holy Communion with Baptism of Maisie Young, St Paul’s Church
5:30pm Choral Evensong, All Saints’ Church

 

20th January – What’s on at Church

What’s your gift?

One of the beautiful truths of Christianity is that God has called us to be his partners in the Gospel.

With all his might and power he could have created us to be his minions – indeed that is what other ancient religions (such as the Babylonians) taught. They believed that they existed to do their gods’ bidding or feel their wrath, they were enslaved by powerful beings who were fickle and tempestuous.

That, fortunately, is not his way. He loves with unchanging, self-giving love. He wants relationship rather than servitude and when we are called upon to participate in his cause in the world it is as children helping out around the house, copying good and loving parents as they set about cleaning, tidying, and maintaining.

This week we are considering the gifts that God has given us to aid that work and the unity we should share as Christians working toward a common goal – God’s kingdom. As we do so we recognise that all of us bring a wide variety of gifts to the family and each gift is as important as another.

What is your gift? What has God enabled you to do that you can use for his Gospel, his kingdom, and his people? Are you using it right?

This Sunday’s Services – 20th January

8.00am Holy Communion, All Saints’ Church
9.30am Contemporary Service, St Peter’s Parish Church
11.00am Sung Eucharist, St Peter’s Parish Church
4.00pm Evensong, St Paul’s Church

 

13th January – What’s on at Church

Hanging around like a bad smell

My dad and I agree on a great many things but one thing we can’t see eye to eye on is kippers. They are one of his favourite things to have for breakfast, I cannot stand them.

It’s the smell that I can’t stand. It gets into everything. It’s unshakeable. Whenever Dad had kippers the house would smell and so would we. It would get into our clothes and hair, it would follow us around all day. Windows would be opened, candles lit, washing done, but still the smell would remain.

I think sin can feel a little bit like the smell of kippers. I suspect that the smell didn’t linger as long as I thought, likely my paranoia about smelling like kippers was worse than the reality. Even after we have dealt with sin, even after we have been forgiven, the guilt and worry can cling to us like a stench. We need to wash properly to get rid of it.

That’s part of the beauty of baptism. It’s proper washing. When we ask God to forgive us he does. Not partially, temporarily, or with caveats. We are fully forgiven and our sin is gone. God wants us to be free from sin and from the lingering of guilt too. If the guilt hangs around it stops us from being free and whole. Baptism is a reminder that we are truly clean.

This week as we remember Jesus’ baptism we remember that because of him we are clean and free. Our sin is gone and so is the guilt. The bad smell has been washed away.


On Wednesday 9th January at 8pm we are starting a new course called Reason for God. This course is an ideal first exploration of the Christian faith… and also ideal for those who did the ‘Talking Jesus’ course and would like to take it further. The course uses literature, philosophy, real-life conversations, and reasoning to explain how faith in a Christian God is a soundly rational belief, held by thoughtful people of intellectual integrity with a deep compassion for those who truly want to know the truth. Follow the link below to book your place 

This Sunday’s Services – 13th January

8.00am Holy Communion, All Saints’ Church
9.30am Contemporary Service, St Peter’s Parish Church
11.00am Sung Eucharist, St Peter’s Parish Church
3.00pm Tea & Hymns, St Peter’s Church Hall
4.00pm Evensong, St Paul’s Church

Reason for God

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6th January – What’s on at Church

I’ve had an Epiphany

Internationally renowned graffiti artist Banksy tells a story of the moment he realised he wanted to use stencils to speed up his painting. He returned home excited and told his girlfriend that he’d had an epiphany, she responded by telling him that he shouldn’t have taken one, “epiphanies are bad for your heart.”

The original Epiphany was equally as dangerous, wise people searching for God, taking a risk on a star, looking for a new king. They risked upsetting the balance of power in the region, creating religious turmoil, and most likely their own lives and reputations.

Fortunately for them, as dangerous as it was, it wasn’t bad for their hearts. They encountered God made man and worshipped him. They bowed before him and offered their gifts and their hearts to him.

It may feel like a risk to offer Jesus your heart this year but it’s well worth it. Have an epiphany and see what it does.


On Wednesday 9th January at 8pm we are starting a new course called Reason for God. This course is an ideal first exploration of the Christian faith… and also ideal for those who did the ‘Talking Jesus’ course and would like to take it further. The course uses literature, philosophy, real-life conversations, and reasoning to explain how faith in a Christian God is a soundly rational belief, held by thoughtful people of intellectual integrity with a deep compassion for those who truly want to know the truth. Follow the link below to book your place

This Sunday’s Services – 6th January

8.00am Holy Communion All Saints’ Church
9.30am Family Service St Peter’s Church
11.00am Sung Eucharist St Peter’s Church
11.00am Sung Eucharist All Saints’ Church
4.00pm Evensong St Paul’s Church

Reason for God

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23rd Dec – What’s on at Church

 

Merry Christmas

It’s here!

The last Sunday in Advent, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day all rolled up into a 3 day festive marathon!

Carols are rehearsed, readings are chosen, chestnuts are ordered, costumes are selected…

This weekend will be the easiest weekend of the year to evangelise so invite your friends and families to church to share in the joy of the gospel!

Whether you are here for Christmas or are travelling away, we wish you the very best and pray that you will know the story of God’s love afresh this week and into the new year.

Sunday, 23rd December

8.00am Holy Communion All Saints’ Church
9.30am Family Communion w/Carols St Peter’s Church
11.00am Sung Eucharist St Peter’s Church
4.00pm Lessons and Carols St Paul’s Church
6.30pm Nine Lessons & Carols All Saints’ Church

Christmas Eve
2.30pm Nativity Service St Peter’s Church
4.00pm Contemporary Carol Service St Peter’s Church
5.00pm Festive Celebration St Peter’s Church Hall
11.30pm Midnight Mass St Peter’s Church
11.30pm Midnight Mass All Saints’ Church

Christmas Day
9.00am Holy Communion St Paul’s Church
9.00am Family Communion w/carols All Saints’ Church
10.30am Family Communion w/Carols St Peter’s Church
5.00pm Carols by Candlelight St Peter’s Church

Find out details of our Christmas activities here!

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16th Dec – What’s on Church

Why Church?

It’s time to get Christmassy!

This Sunday we are turning to Luke 3:7-18 to hear the wirds of John the Baptist as he declares the coming of Jesus. He calls people to make changes to their lives and engage with God in a fresh way. He challenges them to stop resting on the laurels of their forebears and instead to meet with God for themselves.

The danger of a well-loved story is that it becomes all too familiar and so loses its power and impact. This Christmas we will have the opportunity his Christmas we will have the opportunity to hear the story of the incarnation anew.

As we do so let us hear the challenge of John to approach with open hearts and with wonder.


At 4pm at the Parish Church we will be celebrating Christingle with the Children’s Society. It’s the perfect opportunity to invite a friend to church!

6:30pm at the Parish Church will be our first Nine Lessons of the Christmas season, come and warm up your carol muscles!

Don’t forget to wear your Christmas jumpers to the 9:30 in order to get a chocolate coin!

Find out details of our Christmas activities here!
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This Sunday

8.00am Holy Communion, All Saints’ Church
9.30am Family Communion, St Peter’s Parish Church
11.00am Sung Eucharist, St Peter’s Parish Church
4.00pm Evensong, St Paul’s Church
4.00pm Christingle Service, St Peter’s Parish Church
6.30pm Nine Lessons & Carols, St Peter’s Parish Church

9th Dec – What’s on at Church

How to make the most of my life

One of the greatest complaints against millennials is their perceived laziness. Do any small amount of research and you will find articles full of complaints about the lack of resilience and drive found amongst many 18-35 year olds. There may be some truth to these claims, yet it is also true that many millennials are among the hardest workers when they have found their purpose.

Similarly research (most famously by Simon Sinek) has shown that organisations that understand the deeper purpose behind their business/product are more successful – Sinek refers to it as the ‘golden why’.

As Christians we find our purpose and meaning in Jesus, in his mission and heart for people. Jesus announced his mission statement in Luke 4 by reading from Isaiah 61. He gave his disciples a mission statement in Matthew 28 in the Great Commission.

In an age rhat searches for meaning in everything Christians have a clear identity and mission. We are those who Jesus has healed, set free, given sight to, and comforted. Our mission is to pursue his kingdom and live out his words.


Fun night is tonight! Don’t forget to pop to the St Nicholas fair and Christmas Tree Extravaganza between 6pm and 8:30pm.

Don’t forget to wear your Christmas jumpers to the 9:30 in order to get a chocolate coin!

Find out details of our Christmas activities here!


This Sunday

8.00am Holy Communion, All Saints’ Church
9.30am Family Communion, St Peter’s Parish Church
11.00am Sung Eucharist, St Peter’s Parish Church
3pm Tea and Carols, Parish Church Hall
4.00pm Evensong, St Paul’s Church
6.30pm The Vine, Parish Church Hall