Dear Church member
As we enter another lockdown, a national situation in which we all make sacrifices to our usual way of life and liberty for the common good, we approach a time of remembering the sacrifices made by others for our life and liberty, sacrifices that reflect the sacrifice made once for all by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
This Sunday (8th November) in Chilton we will be holding an Act of Remembrance in All Saints' Churchyard from 10.45am. In Harwell we are planning to livestream a service from the War Graves Cemetery from 10.50am; link here.
During lockdown services in church are not permitted, but online services will continue and Sunday groups will go back online. Our online service published at 9am (and previous weeks) can be found here. For information about services and groups for children and families, please contact Melanie or Sarah. Our churches will continue to be open for private prayer, usually between 10am and dusk. Please check our website for the latest information on what is happening.
Looking back to our recent focus on stewardship, I wanted to pass on thanks from Didcot Emergency Foodbank to those who kindly donated over harvest time: "Thank you, they were a great selection of items that we need... As anticipated, things are busier now that we are into the colder months, and especially last week during half term, when we issued food for 90 adults and children. Thankfully, with Harwell & Chilton's donation and all the others that are coming in at this time we are well placed to meet these needs."
I also want to thank those who have responded to our Gift Day appeal. To those who were meaning to do so but not had a chance, let me assure you that it is not too late! I plan to send a separate email about this shortly, but in essence, you can give to the general work of the churches, or make a 'restricted' gift such as towards Children and Families' Work, the upkeep and development of our iconic church buildings, or our support for the work of our local Christians Against Poverty Debt Centre. Gifts can be a one-off, or a pledge to give regularly.
It is also not too late to join a Zoom Connect group, which we anticipate to be especially valuable to stay connected with one another and with God as we go into this next lockdown. More news also to follow on staying connected in prayer...
And finally... the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have called the Church of England to make this month of lockdown a month of prayer. "During the first lockdown we cheered for the NHS every Thursday. During this second lockdown we invite you to fast in a way appropriate to you as well as pray for our nation every Thursday, for its leaders, its health and essential services and all those who suffer". You may this simple printable prayer booklet helpful, and also the following prayer, which has been written for week 1.
at this time of crisis
when so many are suffering,
we pray for our nation and our world.
Give our leaders wisdom,
our Health Service strength,
our people hope.
Lead us through these parched and difficult days
to the fresh springs of joy and comfort
that we find in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amidst the fear and uncertainty let's remember and fix our minds on the foundational things: God's love for us in Jesus, and our call to love one another with the love of God.
Yours, in Christ,
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton