Confirmation service

The Confirmation service was held at St Mary’s, Weston on the Green, on 22 April, when the Bishop of Dorchester presided.

It was a very happy day.

Congratulations to Becca Jones who was baptised and confirmed, and to Joe Charlesworth who was confirmed.   

Ascension day

We have had a great Ascension Day service at the beautiful church of Weston on the Green, where a good number of people were present.

We  had the pleasure of welcoming the Sub-Dean of Christ Church, Canon Edmund Newey, as our preacher.

Please see below some pictures of the evening.

 

If you weren’t able to attend the service there is an opportunity to catch up and listen to a resume on the link below.

 

 

If you would like to know more details about this service, please contact The Rev’d Gareth Miller on 01869 350224 or akemanbenefice@gmail.com.

 

From The Rev’d Brian Wood

Brian Wood

We may crave restfulness and peace of mind, and one day we will all be at peace. Meantime we may agitate about this and/or that while giving thanks that we are quietly and Godly governed. Can you imagine living in Syria? Or Saudi Arabia, or … (better stop there, it could be a long list …)? Or you wish to live in some earthly paradise or another? Well, friends, we do! As I write this on the day after Mother’s Day/ Mothering Sunday (call it what you will), I hear my mother ‘Count your blessings; there’s worse things happen at sea.’ My mum came from Scarborough and they did. People would go out to catch fish and not come back – something to contemplate perhaps in relation to Brexit and the hoped-for return of fishing waters (Sea Sunday comes up on 8th July).

 

Meanwhile, Easter, 1 April- surely some joke? Jesus, the ultimate April Fool. As I write this on the day it is announced that the great comedian Ken Dodd has died we may think of the tears and happinesses brought to us by those whom we love and have loved us; Jesus who died that we might live, and live life to the full. Jesus’s story, echoed by Ken Dodd, tells us that death is not the end; memories and more linger on. We have stories, including jokes, handed down to us through the generations; and we have genetic and behavioural inheritances too. So, a good time to think of our mothers and fathers and theirs, our brothers and sisters, children, friends and neighbours – don’t you just love ’em? … 😉 and give thanks.

A time when impatiently we can look forward to Spring heading into Summer. Don’t wish time away. Make the most of today, and every day (for one day it will be the last and too late – and sure as night follows day, autumn and winter come round soon enough again). I have just returned from a ‘retreat’- a few days away in the mid-Devon countryside to think, and not think. I come back ‘advanced’- refocused on ‘what’s important round here?’ I am Brian and I must be and do the things that only I can be or do. God in collaboration with humans made each one of us- we are wonderfully made; what accidents of design and/or manufacture. Be yourself. I am replaying in my mind words of Bishop Colin at a retreat: God made and called you; not the person you think you should be; not the person you think someone else thinks you should be; you; the whole imperfect you.

 

Re-treat your self; have a wonderful and glorious Easter and the rest of your life.

 

Brian Wood

 

Lent Lectures on Prayer

A series of addresses, with time for discussion and reflection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please click below to listen the first of a series of addresses, with time for discussion and reflection.

 


21st February – 19:30 pm. – Kirtlington

PRAYING with THE PSALMS

The Rev’d Dr Megan Daffern

Chaplain, Jesus College, Oxford

Author, “Songs of the Spirit”

 

 

Please click here to see some pictures of the evening.

 


28th February – 19:30 pm. – Kirtlington

PRAYING with ART

The Rev’d Georgie Simpson

Director, The Oxford Centre for Spiritual Growth

Priest and Spiritual Director

 

 

Below some pictures of the evening.

 


7th March – 19:30 pm. – Bletchingdon

PRAYING with SILENCE

Father John Farrell OP

Blackfriars, Oxford; formerly Prior Provincial

Dominican preacher and teacher

 

 

Please click here to see some pictures of the evening.

 


14th March – 19:30 pm. – Kirtlington

PRAYING with MUSIC

The Rev’d Dr Jonathan Arnold

Dean of Divinity, Magdalen  College, Oxford

Author, “Sacred Music in Secular Society”

 

 

Below some pictures of the evening.

 


21st March – 19:30 pm. – Kirtlington

PRAYING with PILGRIMAGE

The Rev’d Dr Sally Welch

Vicar of Charlbury and Area Dean of Chipping Norton

Author, “Pilgrim Journeys”

 

Below some pictures of the evening.

 

Visit to New College, Oxford

Over twenty people from our benefice enjoyed a visit to New College, Oxford, recently to see the archive relating to its connection to Chesterton.  We also had a very nice tea and attended Evensong.  We are very grateful to the college archivist and to the Chaplain, The Rev’d Erica Longfellow, for making this possible.

 

Prayer Spaces

Prayer Spaces in Bletchingdon School this term will be on an Easter theme, and we will be following through the events of that week, in the garden of Gesthemane, at the foot of the cross, then thinking about the implications of the resurrection, and the great commission to go out and tell the good news… in Bletchingdon. It will be during Holy Week itself, on 27th and 28th March.

Prayer Spaces are wonderful to be part of, for the helpers as well as the children. Do find out about it, if you haven’t helped before, by emailing Joanna on paulandjoannac@gmail.com.

To give you inspiration, here is a description of the last Prayer Spaces, in Kirtlington, during Advent…

The children were all invited to think afresh about the story of the first Christmas.

At the scene of the Annunciation, we thought about Gabriel’s statement that “Nothing is impossible with God”, and reflected on the apparently insoluble problems across the world, by writing them on a ‘feather’ and attaching it to Gabriel’s wing.

In the stable of the nativity we were reminded that Joseph and Mary were turned away from places and thought about times when we have rejected other people by not playing with them or being kind. This was a place to say sorry and think about God’s forgiveness and new start.

On the dark hillside, (inside an exciting black tent with fairy lights) the sky shone with the angels appearing to the shepherds, sending them to the stable, so we thought about how God guides and leads us. We prayed ‘please’ prayers for his help for us, by decorating a star.

The gifts brought by the wise men were our last theme: a time to thank God for gifts he gives to each of us, by modelling in playdo.

A few comments from the children:
“I like the feathers because you can talk about what you are upset about in the world without actually talking”
“I liked it because it was a time to say sorry and to think about countries that aren’t as lucky as us”
“I liked the sand because it helped me to remember not to be worried”
“I liked the stable especially because it helped you get things off your chest”

Please click below to see children comments…

Kirtlington prayer spaces 2017 comments 1

Kirtlington Prayer Spaces 2017 comments 2

Jerusalem Joy is a lively children’s Easter musical…

Jerusalem Joy is a lively children’s Easter musical which we are putting on, on March  24th.

We are looking for lots of children aged 7 up; there will be just a few rehearsals in advance, the songs are easy to learn and it will be wonderful to be part of, or to come and see. See the poster for details.

 

From The Rev’d Gareth Miller – February 2018

Brian Wood

The Rev’d Gareth Miller

Dear friends,

To pray or not to pray? Or “how to pray?” That’s the question we’ll be thinking about in our series of Lenten addresses beginning on 21 February.

Praying is something I find hard, and I guess that is not an uncommon experience. As a priest I promise to say Morning and Evening Prayer each day (known as “the daily office”). Monks and nuns can have up to seven offices a day. I must say I find it hard enough to squeeze in two! The mornings are easier – I am an early riser and I like to spend some time in silence and finish that with Morning Prayer. The evenings are more difficult – I try to say Evening Prayer at 5pm, but, you know, the meeting goes on longer than expected, there are 99 emails to answer, someone comes to the door… Yes, sometimes it gets missed, though I do try to catch up later if I haven’t fallen asleep.

Prayer, like life, is about relationship – mine with God, his with me, mine with others. If I close myself off from spending time with God (or with my partner, my children, my friends) I am saying “I am self-sufficient. I don’t need you. I don’t need to change or learn or grow.” It is so easy to put all kinds of blocks and excuses in the way of going deeper and allowing ourselves to be challenged.

Prayer, like relationships, is hard work. But, as with relationships, there isn’t a blueprint for how to do it. There are all kinds of ways of being open to God and of learning to be receptive and attentive – silence, contemplation, using art, singing, walking; Catholic, Evangelical, Quaker, Celtic, and so on. Other faiths also have much to teach. That’s why we’ve organised a series of Lent Lectures on this topic on Wednesday evenings. Don’t be put off by the title – to be honest I chose it because I like the alliteration! Each evening will begin with a talk by a guest speaker, lasting about twenty minutes. There will then be a chance for questions and reflection, and this will be followed by an opportunity to experience a time of prayer using the idiom described. Please see the notice elsewhere in this magazine for full details. I hope many of you will come along, whatever your beliefs or faith tradition.

It is said that the Curé d’Ars, a French saint of the 18th century, once asked an old peasant what he was doing sitting for hours in church, seemingly not even praying. The man answered, “I look at him and he looks at me and we are happy together.” Another ‘saint’, the 20th century Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple, once said, “When I pray coincidences happen.”

Warmest good wishes

Gareth
akemanbenefice@gmail.com

01869 350224

Remembrance day 2017

Kirtlington

11th November 2017, the Rector, accompanied by parishioners, walked to the Kirtlington war memorial in a parade in memory of the men of the village who gave their lives in the two world wars.

 

Wendlebury

On 11 November the Rector, accompanied by parishioners, dedicated a very handsome memorial bench in Wendlebury in memory of the men of the village who gave their lives in the two world wars.

Harvest Sunday

Harvest Sunday at St Mary’s Church, Kirtlington.


On Sunday 1st October we had a double baptism at the Harvest service.

The church was full with lots of children about…

 


Also we had a lovely lunch in the village hall.