Newsletter for June 6th 2021

Dear friends,

One thing that we’ve probably missed over the past year is parties. Well, we’re all hoping that this month we’ll be able to begin to party once more!

Lots of Jesus’ parables focus on parties, as they are a picture of the joy, hope and life of the kingdom of God. In particular, the parable of the Great Banquet (Luke 14: 15-24) challenges us not to miss out on this.

In Jesus’ day, when people accepted an invitation to a banquet, they were only told the actual time on the day: ‘Come, for everything is now ready’ (17). Jesus’ invites each one of us to share in the life of His kingdom.

However, the guests made excuses for not coming. At the time, this would have been extremely insulting to the host. They said: ‘I have just bought a field; I must try out my new team of oxen; I have just got married’ (18-20). These are all good things in themselves, however they reveal their priorities were elsewhere.

We too can be pre-occupied with our own routines of work, family, retirement, holidays, friends, home, social media, that we forget God’s priorities for our lives. Jesus calls for total commitment from His disciples. We can always find time for what is truly important to us. What priority in my life is holding me back from accepting His invitation?

How did the host respond? He ordered His servants to ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ (21). He invited the unexpected and unacceptable people to His banquet. Jesus makes the point that God’s kingdom is open to all! Thinking about our family, friends, colleagues and neighbours, even if they’re not like us or show little interest in God: Are we willing to offer them God’s invitation to share His love and life?

Yours with much love in Him,


Rev Jonathan Widdess. / 01865 863702

P.S. I’ve been writing these weekly columns in our parish newsletter for over a year now. I began them as a way of providing you with spiritual input or a devotional thought from me at a time when we were unable to meet together in person for worship and a number of you were finding it hard to connect with God via online worship. I have enjoyed being in touch with you in this way, and value the conversations with you that my writing has often begun.

Now that restrictions are easing, and we have weekly services again in both St Michael’s and St Andrew’s, Dean Court, with a live-stream broadcast of the service and a worship phone line too, I think the time has come for a rethink.

I intend to continue writing here, however from now on it will be each month rather than weekly. So, this newsletter will continue to come out each week, and once a month it will include a brief word from me.

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 preaching.

This service will also be live-streamed at

This Sunday @ St Andrew’s

10am Celebrating Creation

On 6th June at 10am we’ll have our special ‘Celebrating Creation’ service to celebrate World Environment Day. We hope to be in the church garden. Jessica Turner and Neil Clark will be leading it. We’re asking people to bring their own refreshments. Please invite anyone who might like to come.

Reading and Collect

Galatians 1: 1-9

1 Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers and sisters with me, To the churches in Galatia: 3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

Collect for the First Sunday after Trinity

O God,
the strength of all those who put their trust in you,
mercifully accept our prayers
and, because through the weakness of our mortal nature
we can do no good thing without you,
grant us the help of your grace,
that in the keeping of your commandments
we may please you both in will and deed;
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.

Taizé Service

The online Taizé service for June 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. 

Worship for Seniors

The May edition of our online series of Worship for Seniors is now available at William Cutting is speaking about “Basic Beliefs that keep you going”.

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.

Free book

On Easter Day, Jonathan mentioned “Amazed by Jesus”, the brilliant new book by Simon Ponsonby. We now have 10 free copies to give away to anyone who will read them and pass them on to friends if you find them helpful. Please email or ring 01865 863702 if interested and we will arrange delivery.

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

6/6 Celebrating Creation

13/6 Holy Communion
(Galatians 1:1-9)

20/6 Morning Worship
(Galatians 1:10-24)

27/6 Morning Worship
(Galatians 2:1-10)

St Michael’s @ 8am

20/6 BCP Communion
(Galatians 2:1-10)

St Michael’s @ 10.30am

6/6 Holy Communion
(Galatians 1:1-9)

13/6 Morning Worship
(Galatians 1:10-24)

20/6 Church Outdoors
(Galatians 2:1-10)

27/6 Big Story Sunday
(Mark 5:21-end)

St Michael’s remains open for private prayer on Monday’s and Friday’s, 9am-5pm.

Church Electoral Roll

In accordance with the Church Representation Rules, the Church Electoral Roll must be revised each year.  If you are not already on the roll and would like to, apply now. Please complete a form (to be found at the back of the Church or downloaded from and return to me or put the form in the box (marked Electoral Roll Forms) before Friday 25th June.  

If you are unable to come to church, then please contact Sarah in the Parish Office, who will have forms. You can return your form there as well. Similarly, if you have changed your address, in the past year please complete a new form as well.
Jan Harris.  (01865 864169)

APCM Vacancies

At the APCM on July 18th, we have vacancies for Treasurer, Churchwarden, Deanery Synod, and 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.

Please Pray For…

  • Staff, and pupils at Cumnor C.E. School and Matthew Arnold as they return from their half term break.
  • For David Henderson Slater and his family as he continues to undergo radiotherapy for prostate cancer.
  • 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.