Saying goodbye service, 20th may

saying goodbyeThere will be a special baby loss event taking place at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, on May 20th at 7pm. 
The Mariposa Trust is one of the UK’s leading charities, with its core objective being to support people who have lost babies at any stage of pregnancy, at birth, or in infancy. It was founded in 2012, by Zoe and Andy Clark-Coates, who saw a critical lack of support for people like them, who had gone through baby loss. With over 258,000 babies being lost yearly in the UK alone, the charity needed to be able to offer not only a comprehensive package of befriending and support, but also national baby loss remembrance services (called Saying Goodbye Services), for people to join together and remember the children they had lost. 4-years on over 80 services have taken place at Cathedrals and Minsters across the UK, US and France, and 2017 will see a further 20 take place.
 
So who is the service for?
 Anyone who has either personally lost a baby at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in early years, or who has been affected by a family members or friends loss.  Whether the loss was recent or 80 years ago, everyone is welcome to attend. We have also extended the services, and gladly welcome anyone who is grieving the fact that they haven't had children. This may be due to circumstance, infertility or for other reasons - but all are welcome. Babies and children are also invited to come with their family, as the Saying Goodbye service is truly a family event for all.
To read more on the charity, please see the Saying Goodbye website, which you can find at: www.sayinggoodbye.org. On the site you will also be able to see the fantastic set of Ambassadors and Advocates the charity have, including: The Archbishop of York, Lord Robert Winston, Nigella Lawson, Jools Oliver, Kym Marsh, Gabby Logan, J John, Mary Nightingale, Professor Lesley Regan, Julie Etchingham and more.
 The team can be contacted by email at office@sayinggoodbye.org if you have any questions.
 


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The Resurrection 

He is RisenHow do you make sense of the Resurrection? Dead men don’t rise, so why believe that this particular dead man did rise?

At the end of St Luke’s Gospel we read that: “they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement” (Luke 24.4). This is highly significant. The Gospels do not show us a group of disciples who were in a receptive frame of mind. After the crucifixion, they were in hiding, frightened and scattered. Then suddenly, they came out of hiding and were totally different; excited, joyful. By Pentecost they were confident, with one firm message: “You crucified Jesus, but God raised him up!”

How did they know this? Because of experience. Some of them had visited the tomb of Jesus: it was empty. Others claimed to have seen and touched the risen Lord. Were they hallucinating? People can hallucinate in groups – when taking drugs, for example. But of course each one will see a different hallucination. But the disciples all saw the same thing. Or rather, the same person. Jesus.

Were they lying? Jesus had died a humiliating death as a criminal. Perhaps they wanted to rescue His good name. So did they pretend they had seen Him?
This theory has a big problem. Their preaching led them into trouble with the authorities. They were beaten and imprisoned and some of them killed. People will die for ideas and causes which they believe in passionately. But not for things they have made up. We might suffer for our convictions, we will not suffer for our inventions.

Another reason for believing in the Resurrection is this: Jesus’ continuing impact. Thousands and soon millions of people in every generation since have shared an inescapable sense of being ‘accompanied’ through life. Though unseen, they identify this presence as the Risen Lord.

Sometimes this experience of meeting Jesus is gentle and fitful. Sometimes it is dramatic and life-changing. This reminds us that the resurrection of Jesus is not just an interesting historical puzzle. It is a vital present day reality. It brings wonderful comfort, assuring us of the central Christian truths: death is dead; Jesus is alive; God is love. Have a joyful – and a challenging – Easter.

Alpha is a great way to explore Christianity.  Check alpha.org for local courses.
 


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cap debt coach

CAPimage-300x300Part-time Debt Coach CAP Didcot and Wallingford Area.
Do you have a heart for taking the good news of Jesus into our local community, working with poor or disadvantaged people? If so, please prayerfully consider if God is calling you to join the Didcot and Wallingford Area CAP (Christians Against Poverty) Debt Centre as a part-time Debt Coach.
The post is for 12-16 hours a week for one year initially with the possibility of extension beyond that. Salary: £20k per annum pro rata. Click here for more information, including a detailed job description, or contact Sue Bright, Centre Manager suebright@capuk.org. Details can also be found on our church noticeboards. Closing date for applications is 30th April 2017.
 


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Great Western Park cafe 

coffeeWe seem to have more and more people coming to the Great Western Park Community Cafe each Thursday morning. This is proving to be a great way to get to know people living in this new development and to develop a sense of community. This growth has been matched by a decline in those able to come each week to serve and to help set-up and take-down. There is little real effort required, mainly being nice to people and serving them. The rewards are great and we seem to get much more out of it that the effort we put in.
So, we need more helpers to join us. The Community Cafe happens at the Great Western Park Northern Neighbourhood Community Centre, Dan Read Parade, OX11 6AS  each Thursday between 10-12noon during term time. People need to come 30 minutes before that to help set up. There is little training needed and all of it will be provided on the day. The commitment can be a regular, once a month is fine. It can also be as and when you are able to offer some time. Please contact Rebecca Kerry who manages the Cafe on rebecca.c.kerry@gmail.com.
With many thanks, Mark Bodeker, Community Minister, Great Western Park
Tel: 07970 111110; Email: markbodeker@gwpchurch.org.uk


 


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Harwell feast bbq 

barbequeHarwell Feast is on Monday 29 May.  Once again, St Matthew’s has agreed to find volunteers to staff the BBQ/Pig Roast stall.  We need a lot of volunteers as the stall is very busy and requires up to 8 people at any one time.  There are 3 roles: taking the money, cooking sausages/burgers, serving the food
If you can volunteer for 30-60 mins sometime between 10.30am & 3.30pm on 30 May, please contact Jane Woolley or Vicky Johnston.
We need all the help we can get, so please do not assume that someone else will do it – we need you!
 
 


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annual meetings 

newsBoth our churches will be holding their Annual Meeting towards the end of April, immediately after a shortened Sunday morning service, in the church.

 
  • All Saints’ Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday 23 April at 10.20am.

  • St Matthew’s Annual Meeting will be on Sunday 30 April at 11.50am.

 

There are three particular aspects of this meeting to which I would like to draw your attention:
 
1. Your chance to ask questions about any aspect of church life
Please do take the opportunity at the meeting to make any comments or suggestions or to ask any questions you have about any aspect of church life.   Feel free to submit a question to me in advance or simply raise any issue in person at the meeting.  To save time at the meeting, during Sunday services in the weeks preceding the Annual Meeting, there will be presentations about church finance (9 April) and about our church building (this was on 19 March).  Please be thinking of comments or questions when you are reading/listening to these.  There are also papers to read before the Annual Meeting – in particular the Annual Report – and again please think of any comments or questions arising from these and bring them to the meeting.
 
2. Your chance to hear and discuss key aspects of church life
At the Annual Meeting, I will be reviewing progress with the implementation of our church vision.  The PCC would really like to hear what other church members think about this, or any other aspects of church life, so please come along to make comments and ask questions at the meeting.
 
3. Election of Churchwardens, Deanery Synod members and PCC members
At the Annual Meeting we have to elect Churchwardens, Deanery Synod members, and other PCC members.

  • Our Churchwardens are responsible for our church buildings and their contents, and the smooth running of services.
  • The Deanery Synod is where representatives from other C of E churches in our local area meet to discuss common issues and to make decisions together. 
  • The PCC is a bit like the ‘School Governors’ or ‘Board Members’ for the church, and work with the Rector to ‘promote in the parish the whole mission of the Church’.  Being on the PCC is a great opportunity to contribute to decisions about our church and its work.

It is important that we have a healthy number of Deanery Synod and PCC members with a range of gifts and experience, so please think seriously about whether you could serve in this way, and/or if you can encourage others to do so.  If you are interested in this and feel that God might be calling you to get involved, please have a word with me or a PCC member.
To help you decide if you would like to be nominated, job descriptions can be found on the church website under About Us/Leadership.
 
Nomination forms for these vacancies are available in the church building and should be returned to me or your PCC Secretary, before the start of the Annual Meeting.   The All Saints’ PCC Secretary is Carol Pigott.  The St Matthew’s PCC Secretary is Jane Woolley.
 
In readiness for the annual meeting, electronic copies of the annual report, the minutes of last year’s meeting, the financial statements/accounts and the agenda are now available here. For those who need paper copies, these are available in the church building.
Please be thinking and praying about these meetings and about the nominations for these important roles.
 
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
 
 


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tree planting in Harwell cemetery 

tree
Stephanie Taylor, Harwell Parish Clerk has ordered some tree and hedge plants for the cemetery, at a total cost of about £300. These are 200 mixed hedging plants and 8 trees – holly, magnolia, Joseph Rock rowan, sweet gum, hawthorn, flowering cherry, mountain ash and Japanese maple.
If you would like to make a donation towards the cost of the trees, or assist with the actual planting, please contact Stephanie Taylor by emailing clerk@harwellparish.co.uk.


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Didcot Food Bank 

foodThe Didcot Food Bank urgently require more food donations especially tinned meat, tinned vegetables, whole UHT milk, biscuits, packet puddings, treats and sugar to help people around Didcot. The food donation plastic container is left at the back of St Matthew’s Church in the vestry every Sunday for donations. Donations can also be left at All Saints’ Church. Thank you for your support.
Mel & Margaret Gibson
 


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grand plant & book sale 

sale
GRAND  PLANT  AND  BOOK  SALE  AND  COFFEE  MORNING  FOR  CHRISTIAN  AID
This annual event will take place on Saturday 13th May at Chilton Village Hall from 10:00 am till 12 noon. Entry is free. We have an amazing range of good quality second-hand books , including a large number of children’s books .
We will also have a wide variety of plants - annuals , herbaceous plants , small shrubs , young vegetable plants and herbs . We warmly welcome any donations of plants .
There will be yummy home-made cakes and tarts and other home produce . Come and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and a home-made biscuit and meet up with your friends and neighbours .
We are hoping that the Gardening Club from Chilton School will be joining us , selling their own plants to raise funds for their club.
For all enquiries phone Judy Goodall on 01235 834503 . The Saturday morning Market stalls including Manshed and The Old Farm Shop will also be there in the Village Hall on this occasion .
Judy Goodall
 


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Equipping for life 

news
Equipping for Life: Learning for Discipleship and Ministry
Courses for April – July provided by the Diocese of Oxford as part of its Local Ministry Programme.  Interested learners can join a 10 week course for £40 by booking through the Eventbrite Website


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baptism & Confirmation 

baptismWould you like to be Baptised or Confirmed?
Baptism marks the beginning of the Christian life and Confirmation the point in the Christian journey at which you affirm for yourself the faith into which you have been baptised and your intention to live a life of committed discipleship. A number of people have expressed their desire to do this, and so we are planning to have a special service of Baptism and Confirmation, possibly in the late summer or autumn. The service would be led by a bishop and would be a great opportunity to invite family and friends to celebrate with us, as we ask God to give power through the Holy Spirit to enable the candidates to live in the way of Jesus. If you would like to find out more, please speak to Jonathan or Pam, or click here.

 
 


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psalm 32:8 

1486995241218image 


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john Lennox Cosmic Chemistry

We were privileged to welcome Professor John Lennox in November as the first keynote speaker in our Crossing the Gap series. His lecture, titled 'Cosmic Chemistry: Do Science and God mix?', opened up the idea that rather than a conflict between science and religion, there is a conflict between the world views of theism and atheism - there are excellent scientists with both world views. John gave us a really entertaining talk and I would encourage you to view the video of the lecture. In resizing the video some blur has been introduced, but please bear with it - the content is well worth hearing!


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prayer 2017

A Call to Prayer - Jesus Christ calls every person to follow him. As Christians it’s our duty and joy to share that invitation. That’s why the Archbishops of Canterbury and York are inviting every church in England to join a week of prayer from 25th May - 4th June to pray for every Christian to receive new confidence and joy in sharing this life-transforming faith. See www.thykingdomcome.global for more information and resources to help us pray.  There is also a place to pledge to pray for more people to know Jesus.


 

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be space

bespace
We are pleased that Harwell Primary School have invited us to take part in their special week focusing on Mindfulness, starting 19th June. The following week in All Saints' we'll be doing a Prayer Space event for the whole community. 
 


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Mark 9:37 

welcomes me 


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trip to the seaside! 

beach
Harwell and Chilton Churches are planning a day to the beach on September 16th! We will be asking for you to sign up nearer the time so that we can organise a coach or two to take us there.
 
 


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aston tirrold centre for reflection 

group
Aston Tirrold Centre for Reflection
runs regular events, one of which is a fortnightly Meditation Group -- 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month, 11.30am -- Affiliated to the World Community for Christian Meditation. We listen to a recording, meditate for 25 mins and then have a short discussion relating to the recording. They also have an art group and film club group.  See their website for more information.


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the bible project 

Bible project
Have you seen any of The Bible Project films? They’ve created 5-7 minute films for each book of the bible giving an overview of the key themes.  The images are line drawings done as the book is explained. You can watch them all for free online. See thebibleproject.com to find out more. Their desire is to show how the bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus.
 
 


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crossing the gap award

Carina Lobley recently attended an awards ceremony run by the Archbishop of York about Scientists in Congregation Scheme. You can view it below. Carina appears at 4.12 talking about our Science & Faith Project in Harwell and Chilton.

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holiday club 2017 

GroupshotFor those of you who plan your holidays early, keep the dates Mon 14th - Fri 18th August 2017 free. That week is earmarked for Holiday Club!
 


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homegroups   

homegroupsWe have a number of homegroups meeting throughout the week in Harwell and Chilton and we would love to see more people joining our groups.  Homegroups are small groups that meet together to read the bible, ask questions, learn from one another and pray.  
Morning groups: Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Afternoon groups: Wednesdays and Fridays
Evening groups: Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays   
Our groups are very happy to welcome new members.  Please contact Jean Barton if you would like to join a group, or have a question about homegroups. Even if none of the times above are suitable for you, please contact Jean and we'll try and make it happen!
We're also looking for someone to help look after children during our Tuesday morning group. Please contact Jean if you're able to help.


 


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running the race 

running raceDo you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24


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The Flowers of the field

ppjul16cover-flowersofthefield 


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prayer

A Call to Prayer—Jesus Christ calls every person to follow him. As Christians it’s our duty and joy to share that invitation. That’s why the Archbishops of Canterbury and York invited every church in England to join a week of prayer from 8-15 May - to pray for every Christian to receive new confidence and joy in sharing this life-transforming faith. See www.thykingdom.co.uk for more information.  There is also an excellent video calling us to pray for 5 of our friends or family to become Christians (see below). The video reminds us of D L Moody who prayed for 100 of his friends to become Christians. By the time he died, he’d ticked that 96 of them had become Christians. The other 4 became Christians at his funeral!


 

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Songs of Praise 2016

Songs of Praise returned to Harwell Recreation Ground on Sunday 29th May 2016. You can view a video of the event below or here.


  
 

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Didcot Food Bank 

foodThe Didcot Food Bank urgently require more food donations especially tinned meat, tinned vegetables, whole UHT milk, biscuits, packet puddings, treats and sugar to help people around Didcot. You can see the full list here. The food donation plastic container is left at the back of St Matthew's church in the vestry every Sunday for donations. Donations can also be left in All Saints' Church.  Thank you for your support. 
 
 

 


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Children and Families' Report Jan 2016 

Please click here for the report


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All Saints' New Path

That's Oxford TV have produced a news item about the new path at All Saints' Chilton. You can view it below or here.


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Responding to the refugee crisis 

refugee
1. Pray

It can be hard to know how to pray.  Christian Aid have suggested that we:
· Pray for those who have and are fleeing their homes into an uncertain future.
· Pray for those in authority to make wise, cooperative and compassionate decisions.
· Pray for change and a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Syria.
 
More prayer points can be found on their website.
 
2. Give
Tearfund have a Refugee Crisis Fund 2015 which St Matthew’s and All Saints’ will be supporting over the Harvest weekend.
 
3. Petition
Email or write to Ed Vaizey, our local MP. dicksonce@parliament.uk, or
Ed Vaizey MP Office, Vale and Downland Museum, Church Street, Wantage OX12 8BL

Sign a petition to ask the government to respond.

4. Support a grass roots group
https://oxford.cityofsanctuary.org/
http://www.asylum-welcome.org/
http://refugeeresource.org.uk/
http://positivenews.org.uk
 
5. Provide accommodation
· If you own a property that could be used for a refugee family, please contact Citizens UK  
· Home for Good are looking for foster families to take refugee children
· If you can offer a room please contact Refugees Welcome

 
‘For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ …
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ Matthew 25:35-36,40 (NLT)

 
 


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