Newsletter for Easter Sunday 2021

Dear friends,

In Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan writes,

“Up this way therefore did burdened Christian run, but not without great difficulty, because of the load on his back. He ran thus till he came at a place somewhat ascending, and upon that place stood a Cross, and a little below in the bottom, a Sepulchre. So I saw in my Dream, that just as Christian came up with the Cross, his Burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do, till it came to the mouth of the Sepulchre, where it fell in, and I saw it no more. Then was Christian glad and lightsome. … It was very surprising to him that the sight of the Cross should thus ease him of his Burden. He looked therefore, and looked again, even till the springs that were in his head sent the waters down his cheeks. … “

Then Christian gave three leaps for joy, and went on singing:

“… Blest Cross! blest Sepulchre! blest rather be The Man that there was put to shame for me.”

Bunyan shows us a man whose burden of sin and shame is loosed by the cross but then consumed by the empty tomb. His final song of joy shows that what frees him is not just the sight of the cross and tomb but the knowledge of a man bearing the burden of our guilt and shame and then, having paid it himself, rising triumphant to give us forgiveness and the beginning of a new resurrection life that will continue forever.

This Easter, let’s rejoice together that Christ has loosed our burdens of sin and shame, by dying and rising again.

Yours with much love in Him,


Rev Jonathan Widdess. / 01865 863702

Here is this weeks news….

Online Tenebrae

The online Tenebrae service is now available at

This Service of Shadows is led by Eve with reflections on images, hymns and readings by members of the URC Church.

This Weekend – Easter Services

Good Friday – 10:30am

Join us at 10:30am on Friday morning in St Michael’s for Morning Worship. Chris Scruby will be preaching as we think together about Christ’s death and worship him together.

This service will also be live-streamed at

Readings and Collect

Mark 15:16-39, 42-47

Eternal God,
in the cross of Jesus
we see the cost of sin
and the depth of your love:
in humble hope and fear
may we place at his feet
all that we have and all that we are,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Easter Day

Readings and Collect

Mark 16:1-8

God of glory,
by the raising of your Son
you have broken the chains of death and hell:
fill your Church with faith and hope;
for a new day has dawned
and the way to life stands open
in our Saviour Jesus Christ.

8am St Michael’s, Holy Communion

Jonathan leads Common Worship Holy Communion with recorded Easter hymns sung by St Michael’s Choir. Capacity 40.

10am St Mary’s, Holy Communion

10am St Andrew’s, Easter Celebration

10:30am St Michael’s Churchyard

Join us to celebrate and sing!

Social distancing rules remain in force. There will be no seating available outside, but the service will be relayed inside the church using the big screen.

Wrap up warm! If you need to, bring a chair!

The churchyard service will be live-streamed at and later made available on our telephone worship line.

Sunday 11th April

10:30am in St Michael’s – Morning Worship led by Jessica Turner.

This service will also be live-streamed at

Readings and Collect

Acts 4:32-35

Almighty Father,
you have given your only Son to die for our sins and to rise again for our justification:
grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness
that we may always serve you
in pureness of living and truth;
through the merits of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Sunday 18th April

10:30am in St Michael’s – Morning Worship led by Eve Lockett.

This service will also be live-streamed at

Readings and Collect

Luke 24: 36b-48
Risen Christ,
you filled your disciples with boldness and fresh hope:
strengthen us to proclaim your risen life and fill us with your peace,
to the glory of God the Father.

Worship for Seniors

The Easter edition of our online series of Worship for Seniors is now available at William Cutting is speaking about “Life after death”.

Worship for Seniors is a new, monthly series of devotional videos for seniors and those in care homes. Each episode lasts about 15 minutes. Worship for Seniors is also available by phone on 01865 920993, and then choosing option 2 from the menu.

Taizé Service for April

The April Taizé service is now available. With readings, prayers and meditative sung worship, it’s the perfect way to find some peace and space in the stresses and strains of life.

Parish Office

The Parish Office will be closed on Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th April. It reopens as usual from Wednesday 7th. (The usual opening hours Monday-Friday 9am-1pm)

Zoom Weekly Prayer Meeting

The next prayer meeting on Monday 12th April.

Our weekly prayer meeting continues every Monday at 10am.

Join us as we gather together online to pray for one another, our families, friends and neighbours, our parish, our nation and the world.

For more details on how to connect, see this web page.

Foodbank Thanks

Thank you to everyone who gave so generously to the Lent Foodbank Collection! It’s been amazing to see the number of people who’ve brought donations to the Boxes. Everything given will make a massive difference to families in need at this time.

Please Continue To Pray For…

  • Everyone who has lost loved ones recently and especially the families of Bernard Pottle and Anne Davies
  • Staff, and pupils at Cumnor C.E. School and Matthew Arnold now on Easter holidays.
  • Our CMS mission partner Bia.
  • The St Andrew’s Rebuilding Project.
  • All those who are anxious for their jobs or their future.
  • All those who are continuing to struggle with the effects of lockdown.
  • Those who are homeless or struggling with food poverty.
  • People to find a living faith in Jesus.
  • Jonathan and family.