Newsletter for July 4th 2021

Dear friends,

One fine evening a man walked into a fast-food restaurant to buy a nine-piece bucket of chicken. He took his chicken to the park for a romantic picnic under the moonlight. When he reached into the bucket, however, he received a surprise. Instead of the chicken he was expecting he discovered the restaurant’s night deposit—nine thousand dollars. The young man took the bucket back to the store, handed back the money and politely asked for his chicken.

The manager, was in awe of the young man’s honesty, and asked for his name. He told him that he wanted to call the local TV news. He would become a local hero, an example of honesty and morality that would inspire others!

The hungry man shrugged it off. “I don’t want any fuss, my date’s waiting. I just want my chicken.” The young man’s humility nearly overwhelmed the manager. He begged to be allowed to tell the story on the news, and at this the man angrily demanded his chicken.

The young man’s humility nearly overwhelmed the manager. He begged to be allowed to tell the story on the news, and at this the man angrily demanded his chicken.

“I don’t understand,” the manager responded. “You are an honest man in a dishonest world! This is a perfect opportunity to show the world that there are honest people still willing to take a stand for what is right. Please, give me your name and also the woman’s name. Is she your wife?”

“That’s the problem,” said the young man. “My wife is at home. The woman in the car is my girlfriend. Now let me have my chicken so I can get out of here.”

It’s easy to look good when people don’t really know you. Many of us may do a good deed here and there, go to church, say the right words, and let everyone think we’re something that we’re not. But God sees your heart (1 Samuel 16:7). It really doesn’t matter how much you do or what other people think of you. What matters is what’s on the inside, and the only way to change what’s on the inside is to be filled with the love of God as the Holy Spirit is poured into our hearts. Join me in praying the prayer, “Come, Holy Spirit!”, every day and let’s let him change us from the inside out.

Yours with much love in Christ,


Rev Jonathan Widdess. / 01865 863702

Here is this weeks news….

This Sunday @ St Michael’s


Join us at 10:30am on Sunday morning in St Michael’s for Holy Communion. Jonathan will be leading and Jessica Turner will be preaching on Galatians 2: 11-21. This service will also be live-streamed at

This Sunday @ St Andrew’s


Join us at 10am in St Andrew’s for Morning Worship. David Wenham will be leading and Eve Lockett will be preaching on Mark 5:21-end.

Reading and Collect

Galatians 2: 11-21

11 When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray. 14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs? 15 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified. 17 “But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesn’t that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker. 19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

Collect for the Fifth Sunday after Trinity

Grant, O Lord, we beseech you,
that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by your governance,
that your Church may joyfully serve you in all godly quietness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Online Worship Survey

The online worship survey has now finished. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to answer, it’s been so helpful to hear your views on where we are doing well and where we still have some work to do!

Online worship will continue to be an important part of our weekly services as we move forwards. When you can’t make it to church you can join us online or catch up later. The sermon and reading will be available separately on the website so you can keep up with just the sermon series.

Worship for Seniors

The June edition of our online series of Worship for Seniors is now available at William Cutting’s theme this month is “Keep moving!”.

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

The online Taizé service for July will be available for the weekend. 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. 

Zoom Weekly Prayer Meeting

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.

Upcoming Worship Services

St Andrew’s @ 10am

11/7 Holy Communion (Galatians 2:11-21)

18/7 No Service, united Church Outdoors at St Michael’s

25/7 Morning Worship (Galatians 3:1-14)

1/8 Morning Worship (John 6:1-21)

St Michael’s @ 8am

18/7 Holy Communion (1662) (Galatians 3:15-25)

St Michael’s @ 10.30am

11/7 Morning Worship (Galatians 3:1-14)

18/7 Church Outdoors followed by APCM and Churchyard Picnic (Galatians 3: 15-25)

25/7 Big Story Sunday (John 6:1-21)

1/8 Holy Communion (Galatians 3:26-4:7)

During the pandemic St Michael’s remains open for private prayer every Monday and Friday, 9am-5pm.

Church Electoral Roll

The revised Electoral Roll is now available for review from Monday 28th June until Sunday 11th July. if you note any errors, please let me know no later than 17th July.

Jan Harris.  (01865 864169)

Future uses of St Andrew’s Church building – ideas please!

With plans for the rebuilding of St Andrew’s Church progressing slowly we are increasingly focusing beyond the building project itself and talking about ways we might use the building to serve the local community, to reach out to those around with the good news of Jesus Christ, and to further his kingdom. A lot to think and pray about!

Please would you let the St Andrew’s Rebuilding Group know of any ideas you have? At the moment we are collecting all ideas, precise or vague, without worrying about things like who would run a suggested activity, for instance – the time for practicalities like that will come in due course but first we would value all your ideas. (In particular if you suggest an activity we will NOT be expecting you necessarily to run it! – so please, be as creative as you would like to be.)

Also, we had earlier thought we might arrange meetings to share ideas but with restrictions as they are we are aiming to talk individually with St Andrew’s people, and everyone else who would like to be included. So if you are able to help with the individual chats and encourage people to bring their ideas forward we would love to hear from you in that case too – do please get in touch. Thank you.

Sue Allwright (01865 864991, 07731 858714,

APCM Vacancies

At the APCM on July 18th, we will have vacancies for Treasurer, Churchwarden, Deanery Synod, and the PCC. Please will you pray about these very important roles and whether God is calling you or someone you know to serve the Parish in these ministries?

The diocese have produced an information leaflet detailing these roles and giving some sense of what they involve. The leaflet can be downloaded from the website here. You might also want to look at the longer leaflet written for churchwardens.


This years APCM will be held in St Michael’s Church, after Church Outdoors on Sunday 18th July at 10:30am. We hope to also allow people to join the meeting via Zoom. More details next week.
Afterwards we will have a Parish Picnic in the churchyard. Bring your own food, picnic blankets and chairs.

Please Pray For…

  • The family of Motunrayo Ajibade whose funeral is on Friday 2nd July at St Michael’s.
  • James Wyatt and Georgina Rowe who are getting married on Saturday 3rd July in St Michael’s.
  • A new Parish treasurer and Churchwarden.
  • Our CMS mission partner Bia.
  • The St Andrew’s Rebuilding Project.
  • All those who remain anxious for their jobs or their future.
  • Those who are homeless or struggling with food poverty.
  • People to find a living faith in Jesus.
  • Everyone who leads worship, preaches or teaches in our parish.


Sarah Evans
Parish Administrator

St Michael’s Parish Office
1, Abingdon Road,

01865 861541

Parish Office Hours: Mon-Thurs, 9am-1pm

Jonathan Widdess

The Vicarage,
1, Abingdon Road

01865 861541

Usual day off: Tuesday

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