Harwell and Chilton Churches L   Church news - Sunday Sixth September
Dear Church member

Time flies! I can't believe that it is almost six weeks since I last emailed. The year rolls on, much is the same, but much has also changed.

Since last writing we have run a successful three weeks of Holiday Club at St Matthew's Church Hall for 45 children, delivered delicious cream teas to members of Generation Gold, continued to produce weekly online services, weekly 'gathered' Sunday Evening Services, and experimented with an outdoor family service; we've taken funerals, had socially-distanced meetings with wedding couples, kept in touch with Fledgelings families currently unable to meet in person, and completed a Zoom Alpha Course; we've had Zoom meetings of the SLT and PCCs, advanced plans for collaborative youth work, made arrangements to allow safe resumption of some Church Hall activities and use of our church buildings by home groups and others, and lots more besides!

There are three things coming up that I wish to highlight.

communityThe first is our annual church meetings, postponed from April. These will be Zoom-based meetings (login details to follow), with an option to attend in person at the relevant church. They will be at 7.30pm on Wednesday 7th October for St Matthew's and Thursday 8th October for All Saints'. In advance of these meetings we are revising the electoral roll, which is for those who wish to vote at the annual meetings and/or would consider standing to be PCC members. If you are already on the roll, you do not need to register again, but if you would like to be on it, forms can be downloaded from the website or found in our churches, and must be returned to the Electoral Roll Officers by Wednesday (9th September).

CEThe second is a Zoom-based course, Christianity Explored, that works through Mark's gospel, running on Tuesday evenings from 22nd September until the end of November. Like the recent Alpha Course, this is a great, video-based course that is accessible to everyone - to those enquiring about Christianity and established Christians alike. Please be in touch if you are interested.

Colin FletcherThe third is a farewell service for our local Bishop Colin, Bishop of Dorchester, who retires at the end of the month. This service of Evening Prayer by Zoom is scheduled for Wednesday 23rd September at 7.30pm. To join the service, please click here.

Moving into September feels like something of a gear change. But despite the changing circumstances and seasons, we need to keep our eyes fixed on that which is unchanging and eternal.

"The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever" (1 John 2:17)

I hope to see you in person or online soon!

Yours, in Christ,

Jonathan signature
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton


 
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Harwell and Chilton Churches L   Church news - into August...
Dear Church member,

"When you build a new house, make a parapet around your roof so that you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from the roof" (Deuteronomy 22:8)

You would be forgiven for thinking that the recent heat has gone to the Rector's head. Why is he talking about parapets? Who is building a house? What does this archaic Old Testament law have to do with me?

parapetI thought of this law as I was reflecting on the recent moves to enforce the wearing of face coverings in enclosed places where we are likely to meet people we do not often see, and this includes in church. The main point of face coverings during this pandemic is to protect others from an infection we may (unknowingly) be carrying. Whilst inconvenient and uncomfortable for us, it is a practical expression of the command to love our neighbour. It is out of concern for others that we comply. And it is why the multi-purpose flat roofs in the ancient near east needed parapets.

We continue with our online services, but it has been good to be able to start some small services on Sundays at 6pm alternating between our churches, this week in Harwell. It is helpful to indicate here if you are intending to come. And please cover your face if you are able to.


AmazonSmile in app UK WEB 300xThe practically-skilled among us will probably make their own face coverings. Others of us will be buying, quite possibly online. If you use Amazon, do please consider supporting St Matthew's at no extra cost to you by using Amazon Smile! Just search for 'Harwell Church' (Chilton Church is unfortunately not eligible).

It is now our intention that our church buildings are open every day, usually from 12 noon to 7pm. Special thanks to those who are looking after our buildings and keeping them clean.

Holiday Club is well underway, with week one of three done. Please pray for the teams, the children and their families, for them to understand and experience God's love, and for lasting fruit in their lives.

pathwaysIn other news, the Oxford Diocesan Pathways magazine is now available online here. It is worth taking a look.

Parapets do not guarantee to prevent people falling off a roof, but they make it less likely. Let's stay safe and - following the example of our Lord who is the true 'Good Samaritan' - love our neighbours with the love of Christ.

Yours, in Him,

Jonathan signature
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton


 
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Harwell and Chilton Churches L   Church news - services in church
Dear Church member

Just a brief email from me today!

CreamTea2014-6
In addition to our online services, we are delighted now to be able to have small services in church. From this Sunday, 19th July, we will be having a weekly Sunday service at 6pm, alternating between St Matthew's Harwell and All Saints' Chilton (this Sunday, 19th, at Harwell, the following Sunday, 26th, at Chilton, and so on). Due to current restrictions there is no singing allowed, and social distancing measures will be in place. Further information about what to expect here.

In order to manage these services, it is really helpful if people indicate whether they are planning to attend. You can do this via our church website or via the church office.

st matthews seAll Saints' and St Matthew's each continue to be open from 12 noon until 7pm two days a week (Tuesday and Saturday for All Saints', Wednesday and Sunday for St Matthew's), but we are hoping to open for more days soon. Any offers of help with cleaning in order to enable this to happen would be much appreciated.

We are excited to be able this year to run a reduced Holiday Club for 45 children (3 'bubbles' of 15 children on consecutive weeks from 27th July in St Matthew's Church Hall), and would very much value your prayers as we prepare for this.

Yours, in Christ,

Jonathan signature
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton

 

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Harwell and Chilton Churches L   Church news - Ember Day
Dear Church member

"Look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting"   John 4:35

Today is one of twelve Ember Days in the Church of England calendar that are occasions of fasting, prayer and reflection, with a focus on vocation and ministry. It is a good time to be asking how God might be calling us to serve him and the mission of his Church with our own unique gifts and opportunities.
hands
Part of the mission of the Church, and a strong theme in the Bible, is the care of the poor and vulnerable. In our online service this week (available from 9am on Sunday), as we continue our journey through Acts and its description of life and mission of the early Church, we hear of the shared life of the believers, and the generosity they showed towards those in need.

CAPimage-300x300One expression of that mission is the partnership that our churches have with six other local churches and the award-winning national charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) which helps local people find a practical, lasting solution to debt and poverty through debt counselling and community groups. In the five years the Debt Centre has been established, 40 clients and their families have been released from crippling financial debt and many have found new or strengthened faith in the process.

The need for CAP locally and nationally will only increase as we enter a difficult economic climate, and our support for its work all the more important. Other local organisations serving those in need are Chilton Mutual Aid Group, Harwell Helpers, and Didcot Emergency Foodbank. Do please consider whether God might be calling you at this time to support the poor and vulnerable through one of these organisations, practically or financially. Information about CAP, which I wholeheartedly recommend, can be found here.

A prayer of blessing for Embertide:

May the boldness of the Spirit transform you,
may the gentleness of the Spirit lead you,
may the gifts of the Spirit equip you
to serve and worship God.


Yours, in Christ,

Jonathan signature
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton


 
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P.S. We have been working on providing a facility for people to download past services. This would allow services to be shown to people who have no internet access. A service could be downloaded onto a tablet or laptop and then this given to or brought to someone. If you would like to make use of this facility could you email Allan Macarthur on the_macarthurs@yahoo.com and he can provide a link to a folder where individual services can be downloaded.

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Harwell and Chilton Churches L   Church news - the longest day
Dear Church member,

Joshuah Ordering the Sun to StThis weekend sees the longest day, the summer solstice, midsummer, the first day of summer... name it what you will. Solstice literally means "sun stand still" and reminds me of the story recorded in Joshua 10, which is about a time over 3000 years ago during a key battle soon after Joshua and the Israelites entered the Promised Land, when the sun is said to have 'stood still'. A plausible alternative translation with scientific credibility, though, is that the sun stopped shining, i.e. there was an eclipse. The Lord, through Joshua's prayer, helped his people in their battle against overwhelming odds. No foe is too strong for the Lord of the universe, the One who promises never to leave or forsake us, and who hears and responds to the prayers of his people.

Solar annular eclipse of JanuaThe time when the Earth’s poles are at their maximum tilt towards the sun marks a welcome milestone in our journey through this long season of lockdown. We are pleased from this weekend to be able to open St Matthew's and All Saints' to individuals and households for private prayer. In order to meet hygiene requirements, hours of opening are restricted, and are currently between midday and 7pm on the following days: All Saints’ Chilton: Saturdays & Tuesdays; St Matthew’s Harwell: Sundays & Wednesdays.

Do check our website for updates on opening hours and information about online services and other activities and support.

As lockdown is gradually eased, and more activities are becoming possible, we are wanting to develop the activities already being provided, and make plans for the medium to long term. To do so, it would be really helpful if as many people as possible were able to share their thoughts and ideas using this link to a short online survey. You can write as much or little as you like, and do so anonymously if you prefer. All feedback is most welcome!

sanhedrinThe link to this week's online service, which continues our exploration of the life of the early Church in Acts, and what it shows us about being Church today, will be available in the usual place from 9am on Sunday.

Yours, in Christ,

Jonathan signature
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton



P.S. Chilton parish owns a funeral bier (a wooden hand cart which was used to push coffins to funerals). It was presented to Chilton in 1931 by a Mrs Harris and has been stored in the village by kind residents for a number of years, but it is currently needing a new home. If you or someone you know might have a sheltered place to store this piece of parish history (2.08m long x 0.7m wide x 1m high), please be in touch.
 
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Harwell and Chilton Churches L   Church news - Pentecost
Dear Church member

wateringI hope you are able to enjoy the lovely sunny weather. As the sun shines, gardens are in particular need of watering. What is true physically for plants is true for us spiritually: to remain alive and vibrant we need the Water of Life that flows from Jesus. We can be refreshed in our individual time with the Lord as we read the Bible, pray, or simply rest in his presence, and when we gather together, both 'virtually' and in person.

dove-4191376 1280Our online service this Sunday (available from 9am) marks Pentecost, the beginning of the promised era when God's life-giving Spirit is poured out on all flesh.

Previously Jude and Jerry Burbage have hosted in their home a number of quiet days. Unable to do so at this time, Jude has kindly put together for us a resource 'A Quiet Day in Lockdown', to help us make time to be in God’s presence, to rest, to heal, to be refreshed in mind, body and spirit. Click here.

Alpha Word CloudA reminder that our Alpha Course begins next Thursday evening (4th June) - 8.15 to 9.30pm by Zoom. Do please consider investing an hour or so each week to do this really useful, well-produced and popular course, with engaging video input followed by an opportunity for discussion. It is good for believers and enquirers alike: everyone should do it at least once! I've been involved with several courses now, and enjoy and get something new from it each time. The first week is a 'taster' session. More info and/or log in details from me or Deborah.

'On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” ' (John 7:37-38)

Yours, in Christ,

Jonathan signature
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton


 
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Harwell and Chilton Churches L   Ascension Day and Thy Kingdom Come
Dear Church member

tkcI write this on Ascension Day, or - as is someone has put it - the day when Jesus starting working from home!

Between Ascension and Pentecost we mark Thy Kingdom Come - 11 days of prayer for people we know to open their hearts to Christ's transforming love. Please consider praying for five people during this time.

There are lots of great resources available. You may like to consider the following:
  • Praying The Lord's Prayer daily, e.g. at midday, and/or lighting a candle and placing it somewhere to remind you to pray
  • Downloading the Thy Kingdom Come prayer app (or here) for inspirational daily prayers, reflections, readings and videos
  • Using the special Daily Prayer resource for Morning, Evening, Day and Night Prayer from Ascension to Pentecost
  • Doing a prayer walk or walks around your neighbourhood, praying for those in the houses you pass, asking God to bless them; a good prayer walk resource here
  • Joining and/or inviting others to join in with our (postponed) online Alpha Course on Thursdays from 8.15 to 9.30pm, which will be starting in two weeks' time - Thursday 4th June - more information from me or the church office

Yours, in Christ,
Jonathan signature
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton


 
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Harwell and Chilton Churches L   Church news - Matthias the Apostle
Dear Church member

matthiasI write this on the Feast of St Matthias. Not to be confused with St Matthew, Matthias was chosen to replace Judas as one of the Twelve Apostles. Matthias comes out of the shadows - is brought on from the subs bench - during the time of waiting between the Ascension of Jesus and the 'harvest' Day of Pentecost. He served his apprenticeship as a disciple of Jesus and is commissioned just as the Church is about to spring into life and explosive growth when the Holy Spirit is poured out.

Even in the strange times in which we are living there are signs that something is afoot. In the last couple of months across the nation many people are turning to prayer (3 million new people according to one survey), many more than they were attending services in church buildings (almost 1:4) have 'attended' online church, sales of Bibles have increased, and public opinion and media reporting of Christianity is seemingly much more positive than it has been for some time. We could - please God! - be approaching a season in which we will need to be recruiting many more 'Matthiases' to help with God's harvest.

Alpha Word CloudSomething that will hopefully be of interest to a number of people (and do invite your friends!) is an online (Zoom) Alpha Course that we are planning to run on Thursday evenings from next week, 21st May (Ascension Day). Alpha is brilliant for both enquirers and believers, with a engaging video followed by discussion/questions (or to just to listen to others!), and it is free. Why not try out the first session? If you would like to register for the Zoom link (or find out more), please let me or Deborah know.

Something else that a number of folk might be interested in is taking part in Harwell and Chilton's very own virtual choir and orchestra, being organised by David Evans in time for our online service for Pentecost. Please contact David for instructions/music or further info; recordings need to be in by Friday 22nd May.

communionThis Sunday within our online service we will be including parts of our familiar Communion Service and an invitation to make 'spiritual communion' with God who comes to meet us wherever we are; more information about this attached (with thanks to Jan). Whilst unable to join together to share the one loaf and one cup, spiritual communion can provide comfort, and also encourage a godly desire for the time when we can be meeting and sharing together again.

There is much waiting at this time, but we can also be sharpening our tools for the coming harvest, and limbering up and honing some ball skills as we prepare to join the game! And as the other apostles prayed before choosing Matthias, so we should seek the Lord's face with expectation and faith, and pray for God's great harvest and our part in it. News and resources on 'Thy Kingdom Come' which begins next week to follow.

Yours, in Christ,

Jonathan signature
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton


 
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Harwell and Chilton Churches L   Church news - May 2020
Dear Church member

resurrection runAnd still it continues! We have for over six weeks been living life differently, being Church differently. Many things are uncertain: how much longer lockdown will continue, if/when a vaccine will be developed, who will catch the virus and when. But many things are certain: tomorrow will be Saturday, Earth continues to orbit the sun, and - as we continue to remember and celebrate in this Easter season and in our online services - Jesus is alive! And even though we cannot meet, the Church is alive and active, too.

guzman'The Church' will be the theme of our services and sermons as we begin to look together at the Book of Acts. The early Church did not have buildings to meet in (neither did it have Zoom!), but the Church both then and now is the Body of Christ, united and empowered by the Spirit of Christ to do the mission of Christ in the world. Do check out our online Sunday services as we explore and celebrate being God's Church even when we can't 'go to church'.

John 21 Lakeside BreakfastOn the subject of the online services (available via the website on Sundays from 9am), could I please ask for feedback (to me or Deborah in the office) on the services so far, and how we might build on what is working well and what could be done better? We are learning as we go, and it would be good to hear of people's ideas and experiences to date.

alphalogoTo supplement our online services, we are planning a live online weekday evening gathering. One option is the Alpha Course, which has video input and discussion. There are other options of courses that we could run. Please let me know if you might like to take part in something like this. Now is a good time to explore and go deeper into the Christian faith.

johnstonsDuring this time of physical separation, we thought it would be a good idea to be able to share some news and views via the church email bulletin/website. A 'starter for ten' is the lovely news of the arrival of Ruth Alice to Vicky and Phill Johnston, born at home on Wednesday 22nd April weighing 8lb 5oz, a sister to Mark and Toby. Do send any items you might like to share to Deborah.

veCommunity engagement and service continues with Chilton Mutual Support Group and Harwell Helpers, alongside other neighbourly acts and pastoral care. Do please make the most of VE day today (Friday 8th May) to engage with our village communities (as far as possible following 'social distancing' requirements) - one idea attached, links to creative activities here and here - and keep praying for friends, family, neighbours, key-workers, and government.

The Church exists to glorify Jesus and bless God's world; may this collaboration by 65 churches be an encouragement to you to continue to pray and work for the Kingdom of God during lockdown and beyond.

Yours, in Christ,

Jonathan signature
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton


 
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Harwell and Chilton Churches L   Church Update - First Day of British Summer Time!
Dear Church member

Our second (ever) online service should be available on the website from 9am on Sunday (29th March) - please join in if you can.


gettySadly we are required to close the doors of our church buildings at this time, but the Church of God continues to be active in many different ways. As well as online services, we intend to share other resources and encouragement in the coming weeks. This week alongside James' sermon on John 11 - the Raising of Lazarus - please check out Peter Barton's reflection on two of the other readings for this Sunday; more devotions and reflections in due course. Families may like to check out resources on the Children and Families Work pages, including Melanie leading "See and Know" as you've never seen or known it before!

More links to follow, but you might like to check out some of a growing series of home-grown devotionals including this heart-warming offering from the family of Keith and Kristyn Getty - slightly less polished than we usually see these professional musicians!

Lent and Coronavirus bring us face to face with our mortality and the reality of living in the shadow of death, but as we approach Easter and reflect on the resurrection of Christ pre-figured in the raising of Lazarus, let us focus on, celebrate and share with others the sure hope of resurrection and eternal life for all who put their trust in Jesus.

Yours, in Christ,

Jonathan signature
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton


 
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Harwell and Chilton Churches L   Easter Weekend
Dear Church member

For many people this strange time feels a bit like a dream, in which daily life has taken a surreal turn. For others it's more like a nightmare. Some people are busier than usual, especially those working in essential services, those struggling with home schooling, and those trying to get to grips with new technology and other novel ways of working. Others have much more time on their hands. But many of us are in a uncomfortable state of waiting – for the present danger to pass and for life to return to normal. Waiting to wake up...

waitingIt is a bit like how it was for the first Christians who lived through the first ‘Holy Saturday’ – the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Following an increasingly popular public ministry that peaked with his triumphant entry into Jerusalem on the first Sunday of Holy Week, in the space of just a few days Jesus is betrayed, sentenced and executed. Shocking events unfold around them, and the frightened group of disciples retreat from everyday life, and spend Holy Saturday hiding away, confused and fearful. Waiting. But waiting for what?

It is a humbling time in which it is obvious that the situation – of huge political and even cosmic significance – is way beyond their control. But it is not beyond the control of God. When the time is right, God brings the waiting to an end and begins a new thing. With the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, a whole new creation is begun. And seven weeks later, with the outpouring of the life-giving Holy Spirit, the Church is born, and has been active ever since.

At this time we may not be able to meet together in person, but we are together in spirit. The use of God’s gift of technology enables us to stay in touch and even increase our reach. The present crisis gives us opportunities to serve our neighbours including through Harwell Helpers and the Chilton Mutual Aid Group, emails and phone calls. Even whilst waiting, we can be active in prayer and preparation. God who brings life out of death will act with his own timing. It is for us to be patiently dependant on God’s loving control, and to seek to discern the leading of his voice as we wait.

More on Holy Saturday here
 

risenServices
Our online services continue with a reflective Good Friday service and an Easter Sunday Celebration. Both will be available on our website from 9am on the day. Previous services are also available.

The Diocese of Oxford is live streaming services over the next few days via http://oxford.anglican.org/livestream, including today, Maundy Thursday from 8.15pm, on Good Friday (a series of six short addresses from Bishop Steven with hymns and prayers), on Easter Eve for a Vigil at 8 pm, and on Easter Sunday at 10am.

In addition, Melanie and Sarah will be holding a live Zoom version of Pebbles Family Service at 10.30-11.10 on Sunday morning. If you'd like to join them for family friendly worship, chat and prayer, please contact Sarah Barrett for login details. It's not too late to take a look at our online Easter Trail! You can watch videos about the Easter story, sing a song and complete a craft or challenge each day. Please also see our CFW page for our weekly Fledgelings ‘See and Know’ singing time video and a short parent talk for encouragement. Also on the CFW page you can find a link to BeSpace who have created great prayer resources to do at home with your family including BeStill, BeCalm, BeClean!

Groups
A number of our home groups are keeping in touch with one another via Zoom, etc., but if anyone who is not part of a group would like at this time to be connected up with others somehow for fellowship and support, please contact me, Pam or Jean. Also, if you might like to take part in an online version of the Alpha Course, the Bible Course or similar, do let me know. It would be great to organise something after Easter.

Posters, crosses and gardens!
garden 1garden 2Finally, this evening there will be a poster that you can download, print out and display in your windows or on fences as an act of witness. You may also like to make your own posters and/or colour in one of the posters listed on the same page (linked here). Other ideas include displaying palm crosses if you have any, and making and displaying Easter gardens; it doesn’t have to be just children who make them! Do let me know if you are planning to do this (and where you live) and if there are a few, we will try to give publicity via the village Facebook pages to encourage people to look out for them.

This comes with warm Easter greetings.


Yours, in Christ,

Jonathan signature
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton


 
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Harwell and Chilton Churches L   Palm Sunday online service
palm sundayDear Church member

Just a brief email to remind you that our online Palm Sunday service should be available via the website from 9am tomorrow (Sunday 5th April).

I will be in touch shortly about resources and activities for Holy Week and Easter.

Yours, in Christ,

Jonathan signature
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton


 
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Harwell and Chilton Churches L   Mothering Sunday service
Dear Church member

Our online Mothering Day service will be published tomorrow - Sunday 22nd March - at 9am, to be accessed at any time from then, at your own pace.

The link for this and subsequent online services is: https://harwellandchiltonchurches.org.uk/services

The service contains all the usual Sunday elements (expect refreshments!), familiar faces/voices, and a Mothering Sunday video. The preacher is Vicky Macarthur, intercessions led by Peter Barclay-Watt, readings by Yvonne Sanderson, and the service led by me.

Do please pass this on to anyone you like. See you there!

Yours, in Christ,

Jonathan signature
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton


 
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Harwell and Chilton Churches L   Church Covid-19 update *important*
Dear Church member

We are living in unusual and challenging times that severely disrupt our usual way of life and relationships, and can shake the bedrock of our security. But whilst we might be reeling from the speed and scale of what is happening around us, our Lord is not. He is before and beyond all things, and not one sparrow will fall to the ground outside our heavenly Father's loving care. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Ps 46:1).

Highly appropriate for the present time, in coming days, could I urge us all to 
read, reflect on and pray together Psalm 91?

Following national guidance, we are as churches for a season radically changing the way we do things, but we will continue to pray, worship and serve one another and the wider community in a range of ways. We are not "shutting down" or “closing”. We will be continuing the work of building up the Church, helping care for God’s world, and caring for one another in the coming weeks and months.

Our church buildings will be open for prayer, but as of today we won't be meeting together on Sundays or midweek. There will be no Lent Central, Sunday services, Fledgelings, Homegroups, Evergreens, Kids Church, Pebbles, Youth Fellowship, CAP Money courses, or bell ringing until further notice. The APCMs will be postponed. We are still making plans for Holiday Club at the end of July, but will only be able to confirm that this is going ahead nearer the time.

We are currently planning to produce a regular 'online' version of our church gathering, and there will be other resources and online 'streamed' services available. News of our latest plans as they develop and on a range of resources will follow: please check our website and follow us on Facebook.

I would encourage everyone to join in with the National Day of Prayer on Sunday, 22nd March, and at 7pm light a candle in the windows of our homes as a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, our source and hope in prayer.

O God,
You know us all to be set
in the midst of so many and great dangers,
that by reason of the frailty of our nature
we cannot always stand upright:
grant us such strength and protection
as may support us in all dangers
and carry us through all temptations;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 
The Collect for the Fourth Sunday before Lent


Keep praying, keep caring - especially for neighbours in need (see for example Harwell Helpers and Chilton Mutual Support Group) - and keep in touch.

Yours, in Christ,

Jonathan signature
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton


 
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Harwell and Chilton Churches L   Church news - coronavirus update
Dear Church member

Sunday services and groups tomorrow (15th March) are continuing in Harwell and Chilton at the usual times, with a few modifications. Please see http://HCChurches.org/coronavirus for the latest on our response to the evolving situation. We are planning to keep this page - and the linked pages - updated.

I thought it would be good to share the following from Olivia Graham, Bishop of Reading

Each day, global concern about the COVID-19 virus increases – for good reason. We know that it is very contagious, that it is a new virus which we don’t have inbuilt immunity to, and that it can have very serious consequences for those who are elderly or physically vulnerable. We are sensibly planning for the worst, while working for the best. While thinking about what we should do (or not do), here are some thoughts about how we should be:
  • Calm: the opposite will lead us to do things which might impact seriously on others – like panic buying,
  • Caring: those who self-isolate (those in high-risk groups, or who have been in contact with the virus) need to know that we care about them. Phone calls, messages, letters, cards, food left on the doorstep are all signs that we care.
  • Considerate: let’s look out for one another, and act collectively to prevent the spread. It isn’t just about me, it’s about us.
  • And of course, Christ-like: let’s live hopefully, love generously and pray earnestly – and let’s bless each other by the way we behave.

Yours, in Christ,

Jonathan signature
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton


 
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Harwell and Chilton Churches L   Lent Central tonight - 7.15 for 7.30pm
Dear Friend

This evening, Thursday 5th March, is the second of six 'Lent Central' evening meetings at St Matthew’s Harwell studying the brilliant ‘Grace Course’, which combines video input with small group discussion, in a sociable, informal setting. Refreshments will be served from 7.15pm, for a 7.30pm start. Even if you didn't make the first session last week it is not too late to join in.


grace course“If you don't first know God's love for you in your heart - not just your head - it's impossible for your life to be motivated by love for Him. Instead you are likely to end up motivated more by guilt or shame or fear or pride. You may be doing all the "right" things, believing all the right things and saying all the right things but there will be precious little fruit and you won't experience the true rest that Jesus promised.”
“For the first time in the decades that I’ve been a Christian, I’m suddenly ‘getting’ grace – it is amazing and it is shocking!”


Yours, in Christ,

Jonathan signature
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton


 
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Harwell and Chilton Churches L   Church news - February 2020
Dear Church member

This is a quick update on the next two Sundays and a couple of events in between...

everday faithThis Sunday, 23rd February, we have a focus on 'Everyday Faith' and of finding and following God in whatever we are called to do. We are inviting everyone to bring to church an object that represents where they are called to serve God. So a shopkeeper might bring a stack of delivery crates; a tailor a mannequin; a jogger a digital exercise watch; a student their bag full of books; a retired person their very busy diary plus an object from their pastimes or buggy if they do childcare; a person who runs a youth football team as a volunteer a bag of footballs, etc. What might you bring?

CAPimage-300x300The following Sunday, 1st March, 10.30am at Didcot Civic Hall we will be celebrating all that God has been doing through our CAP Debt Centre and joining in worship with our CAP partner churches – Didcot Baptist Church, King’s Church and Ridgeway Church. We will have services at 9.30am in Chilton and 11am in Harwell as usual, but we are encouraging as many as possible to attend the CAP service. Please note that there won’t be any children’s groups during the 9.30am and 11am services, but a full children and youth programme at the CAP service.

lent beginsLent begins on Ash Wednesday (26th February) with a Service of Holy Communion at 7.45pm at All Saints' Chilton.

The next day, Thursday 27th February, we begin Lent Central; six evening meetings 7.30-9.30pm at St Matthew’s Harwell. We will be studying the brilliant ‘Grace Course’, which combines video input with small group discussion, in a sociable, informal setting. Do consider joining in.


grace course“If you don't first know God's love for you in your heart - not just your head - it's impossible for your life to be motivated by love for Him. Instead you are likely to end up motivated more by guilt or shame or fear or pride. You may be doing all the "right" things, believing all the right things and saying all the right things but there will be precious little fruit and you won't experience the true rest that Jesus promised.”
“For the first time in the decades that I’ve been a Christian, I’m suddenly ‘getting’ grace – it is amazing and it is shocking!”


Yours, in Christ,

Jonathan signature
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton


 
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Harwell and Chilton Churches L   Vision Evening - today!
Dear Church member

This is just a brief reminder that today (Thursday 30th January) we have our 20202020 Vision Evening meeting at St Matthew's, 7.30 for 7.45pm, to worship, and think and pray together about a vision for our churches for the coming year and decade. I am sure that it will be an encouraging time when we can take stock, give thanks for what God has been doing, and seek his guidance for the future. This will feed into the PCC/SLT Away Day on Saturday.

Do please come if you can.


Yours, in Christ,

Jonathan signature
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton


 
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Harwell and Chilton Churches L   Church news - Jan/Feb 2020
Dear Church member

Just 600 hours(!) into the new decade, I wanted to draw your attention to a few important and exciting things that are coming up.


2020On Thursday (30th January) everyone is invited to a 2020 Vision Evening meeting at St Matthew's, 7.30 for 7.45pm, to worship, think and pray together about a vision for our churches for the coming year and decade. It is a great time to take stock, give thanks for what God has been doing, and seek his guidance for the future. This will feed into the PCC/SLT Away Day next Saturday (1st Feb).


ChristingleThe popular, annual, family friendly Christingle Services return next weekend on Sunday 2nd February, 9.30am in Chilton and 11am in Harwell. Christingles will be made during the services and then available to take home or give away. Feel free to invite family, friends and neighbours!


BIG FIX 2020We have our next Repair Café at St Matthew’s Harwell on Saturday 15th February 2-5pm. A great community event, caring for God's creation, saving money and resources. Bring along broken items and a team of experts will do their best to fix them! Coffee and cake provided by Harwell Explorer Scouts.


Lent CentralFollowing a successful pilot last year, Lent Central returns this year for six Thursdays from 27th February, 7.30 for 7.45pm (parking available at the neighbouring farm). We will be running the really excellent 'Grace Course', with video-based teaching, discussion, worship and refreshments. Do please consider committing to six weeks of spiritual growth, encouragement and friendship during this important season.


adminpaWe are advertising for a maternity cover for Church Administrator and PA to the Rector from the end of March. Do please let anyone know who might be interested in this temporary, part-time position at the heart of church life, share our adverts, and pray about this important appointment. Closing date 3rd Feb http://hcchurches.org/adminpa


And a few other events coming up...
  • Pebbles Family Service with food, craft, music and fun, Sunday 9th February, 9 for 9.30am Chilton Village Hall
  • Ash Wednesday Communion Service to mark the beginning of Lent, 26th February, 7.45pm All Saints' Chilton
  • CAP Celebration Service with our partner churches, Sunday 1st March, 10.30am Didcot Civic Hall

With thanks for your friendship, support and partnership in the gospel.

Yours, in Christ,

Jonathan signature
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton


 
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