Harwell and Chilton Churches L   Church News - Service and martyrdom
Dear Church member

Play the manIn the Church of England calendar, today we commemorate the death in Oxford in 1555 of Reformation Martyrs Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer.

The original meaning of the Greek word martyr is “a witness.” Throughout the history of the church - including the early church in the Roman empire, the European church during the Reformation, and the Church in many parts of the world today - men, women and children people have witnessed to their faith through suffering and death. In doing so, they have imitated the supreme martyr, their Lord and Master, Jesus. For many, the death of martyrs has served as an important confirmation of the Christian faith, proving the power of the gospel to forgive and transform believers willing to die for it.

AmessYesterday we heard of the murder of a much-loved MP, Sir David Amess, who over decades was motivated by his Christian faith to serve his local community and campaign for the protection of the vulnerable. The motive behind this horrific killing is unclear, but his public profile and presence in the community which he served made him vulnerable, and he paid the ultimate price for his public service. Our prayers are with his family, friends and community at this sad and shocking time.

oppositionWhilst most of us will not pay with our lives in this way, Christian service and witness is costly, and we are called to sacrifice all we are and have for the sake of the Kingdom of God; all Christians are called to 'take up their cross' and follow the way of Jesus. What that looks like will be different for each of us, but as with Jesus, who 'endured the cross for the sake of the joy before him', we can be confident that the gospel hope - for which generations of martyrs before us suffered and died - is worth living and dying for.

We continue to meet Sunday by Sunday and in our weekday groups to encourage one another in the Christian life and to follow in the steps of Jesus.

This Sunday (17th October) we celebrate Holy Communion at All Saints' at 9.30am and have Morning Worship at St Matthew's at 11.30am. At St Matthew's our Interactive Service at 10am and Evening Worship at 6pm (and the online service available from 9am) are on the theme of Christian service.

youthworkThe following Sunday (24th October) is Bible Sunday, when we get to meet our two local Christian youth workers, Joe and Hannah, who are employed by the Youthwork Trust recently set up by our two churches in partnership with four other local churches to reach out to the young people of our area with the love and good news of Jesus. They will visit the 9.30am (Chilton) and 11.30am (Harwell) services and be leading the 10am Interactive Service (at Harwell). Do please prioritise coming to one of these services if you are able, so that you can meet them and hear more about the exciting plans. Our 6pm service (Harwell) that evening will be Holy Communion.

This term we are running all our services in a trial pattern, and the PCCs are seeking feedback on services from everyone. To assist with this there are paper questionnaires available in church, and also online here; we are aiming to collate responses in early December. Do please let us know what you think!

Thank you to those who have expressed interest in helping the Afghan refugees who are now living in our area. An inter-church group has been established and we are investigating how we might best be involved in serving these families. More news on this in due course.

God, the giver of life,
whose Holy Spirit wells up within your Church:
by the Spirit’s gifts equip us to live the gospel of Christ
and make us eager to do your will,
that we may share with the whole creation
the joys of eternal life;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Yours, in Christ,

Jonathan signature
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton

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