14th April – What’s on at Church

The Return of the King

Kingship is a funny concept for us these days. There are very few situations in the western world where the authority of a monarch truly comes to bear. So as we celebrate Palm Sunday this weekend and ready ourselves for the arrival of a new king I thought the video below might be a helpful and accessible primer for what the Triumphal Entry is all about.

As we begin our preparation for Easter please take the time to check our website and publicity for all the exciting services and events we have over the Easter holiday. Please consider who you might want to invite to an event, these are a fantastic opportunity to share your faith.

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This Sunday’s Services – 7th April

8.00am Holy Communion, All Saints’ Church
9.30am Family Service, St Peter’s Church
                                           11.00am Sung Eucharist, St Peter’s Church                                             3.00m Tea and Hymns, Parish Church Hall
4:00pm Evensong, St Paul’s Church

7th April – What’s on at Church

Giving Jesus Everything

This Sunday we will be exploring Jesus’ anointing at Bethany in John 12, a surprising and controversial event which serves as the precursor to his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. In the story a woman decides to give up finances, treasured possessions, and dignity in order to demonstrate her understanding of Jesus’ kingship. It is a challenging story which begs the question of us – “How valuable is Jesus to me?”

As we begin our preparation for Easter please take the time to check our website and publicity for all the exciting services and events we have over the Easter holiday. Please consider who you might want to invite to an event, these are a fantastic opportunity to share your faith.

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This Sunday’s Services – 7th April

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

31st March – What’s on at church

Mothering Sunday

Join us this Sunday as we lift up praise and prayers around motherhood.  We will show our love and appreciation for the mothers in our congregations through the traditional gift of posies.  This is an opportunity to give thanks for the blessing of motherhood, and also to lift up to God the challenges and struggles that go hand in hand with it.  It is a time to remember with thankful hearts our families, and the care of our mothers.  It is also a time to open our hearts to all those for whom motherhood is a painful subject: to those who face particular challenges in mothering their children; to those who face financial hardship in providing for their children; to those who have lost children; to those whose children are adopted and to those who have adopted the children of others; to those who have experienced a difficult or abusive relationship with their own mother; and to those for whom motherhood seems out of reach.

Above all, we thank God that we can come to him in relationship as child to parent, and while we are often used to approaching God as Our Father, the Bible also speaks to us of God as Mother. In Luke 13:34 Jesus tells us “I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings”, and in Isaiah 66:13 the Lord says “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you”.

The Church of England invites us on Mothering Sunday to pray the words of Anselm:

Jesus, like a mother you gather your people to you;
you are gentle with us as a mother with her children.

Despair turns to hope through your sweet goodness;
through your gentleness we find comfort in fear.

Your warmth gives life to the dead,
your touch makes sinners righteous.

Lord Jesus, in your mercy heal us;
in your love and tenderness remake us.

In your compassion bring grace and forgiveness,
for the beauty of heaven may your love prepare us

Anselm (1109)

This Sunday’s Services:
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 Holy Communion, St Paul’s Church

Good Friday Activity Trail 2019

Passover Supper

17th March – What’s on at Church

Have you prayed?

Several times in the gospels (including Luke 13:31-35 which is this Sunday’s reading) Jesus is approached by sects and groups attempting to draw him into making a political statement. Typically they are either trying to get him to agree with them or, alternatively, they are trying to get him in to trouble with the Romans.

Throughout Christian history people have tried to demonstrate how Jesus’ politics is aligned with their’s and sought to use his name to reinforce their authority.

Fortunately for us Jesus usually has a sly remark that allows him to bypass politics and cut to the heart of what really impacts those around him. He encourages people to call out to God on behalf of those who are weak. He exhorts us to reconciliation and peace.

As we approach a period of great political uncertainty may I encourage us to turn to God in prayer. Not seeking to ask him to bring to fruition our own specific politics but instead petitioning him for peace, wisdom, reconciliation, and seeking the protection of the weak and vulnerable. I am sure that you have talked about politics recently but have you prayed?

Ladies Group - Pizza

Mens Breakfast

This Sunday’s Services – 17th March

8.00am Holy Communion, All Saints’ Church
9.30am Family Service, St Peter’s Church
11.00am Sung Eucharist, St Peter’s Church
4:00pm Evensong, St Paul’s Church

10th March – What’s on at Church

Don’t Give Up!

This week marks the beginning of Lent, with Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday earlier this week. This Sunday we are therefore turning to the story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13).

Traditionally Lent is a time for self-denial, a time to give things up and put something to the side in order to focus more fully on God. This is a positive practice with allows us to reflect on Jesus’ experience of fasting and devotion.

That said it is important to note that despite giving things up that are needed to sustain him physically Jesus does not give up. He is sorely tested by the Devil and is challenged directly as to his identity and legitimacy, yet he does not give up. He holds fast to scripture, to the truth, to the knowledge that God is with him and on his side.

Lent is often a challenging time as we look forward to the Cross and the Resurrection and, what ever you may or may not give up in preparation for the celebration, don’t give up when things are hard. Lean on the word of God and the promises he has made to you. Rest in the assurance of Christ for everything.

Ladies Group - Pizza

Mens Breakfast

This Sunday’s Services – 10th March

8.00am Holy Communion, All Saints’ Church
9.30am Family Communion, St Peter’s Church
11.00am Sung Eucharist, St Peter’s Church
3.00pm Tea and Hymns, Parish Church Hall
4:00pm Evensong, St Paul’s Church

3rd March – What’s on at Church

Transfiguration

How exciting must it have been to be Peter, James, or John.

They are witnesses to some of the most amazing moments in human history, not least of all the transfiguration of Jesus (Luke 9:28-36), which is the focus of our services this Sunday.

In this incredible encounter they see Jesus chatting away with Moses and Elijah as if they are old friends (because, of course, they are). Peter gets understandably carried away and starts planning a permanent residence for Jesus, Moses and Elijah to keep this moment alive forever.

The parentheses here are fantastic. Peter begins his over-energised stream-of-consciousness speech and Luke (our narrator) adds in brackets “he did not know what he was saying.” (v33). How very much like Peter to not know what he was saying.

Of course he wanted to stay in an experience that he thought was good, but staying there would have prevented something that was even better (the Resurrection for one, Pentecost for another).

How often do we say to God that we want something to stay the same, not knowing that he has something better for us further down the line? This can happen in all sorts of aspects of our lives. Let us seek to be people who are always looking for God’s lead on what he is up to and keep moving into the blessing he has for us.

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This Sunday’s Services – 3rd March

8.00am Holy Communion, All Saints’ Church
9.30am Family Communion, 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

24th February – What’s on at Church

 

What can you offer?

There’s a beautiful scene in Revelation 4 where John stands in the throne room of God and witnesses worship in both song and action. The magnificent ‘living creatures’ he sees break out into song, declaring God’s glory, whilst the 24 elders humble themselves by throwing their crowns at God’s feet.

The imagery shows these worshipers giving their all to God in every way that they can – something that we are called to do as well.

This Sunday we will be considering that calling in each of our services, asking ourselves what we can give to God in worship of him. The Christian life is not one of half measures or partial commitment, but rather one of whole-heartedness. What can you offer to God in response to all that he has given to you?

Parenting Course

 

This Sunday’s Services – 24th February

8.00am Holy Communion, All Saints’ Church
9.30am Family Communion, St Peter’s Church
11.00am Sung Eucharist, St Peter’s Church
4.00pm Evensong, St Paul’s Church
5:30pm Choral Evensong, All Saints’ Church

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