Newsletter for May 16th 2021

Dear friends,

This past week has been designated as Mental Health Awareness week, and TV and Radio has been full of stories and advice on this very important topic. The message has been that everyone struggles with this from time to time, and when we do it’s important to get the help we need. Something that’s come out again and again is the value of non-judgemental and careful listening in helping each other grow in wholeness. In Cumnor we are blessed to have a number of people who are gifted in this kind of pastoral care, so if you ever need someone to talk to then do get in touch with one of us directly or contact the Parish Office. (861451)

I heard about a father who was helping his son into his car seat in the back of the car, when he accidentally banged his head. The boy started to cry. ‘Come on, be brave,’ the father said.

‘But I don’t want to be brave,’ he objected.

I suppose that we all know that feeling. Sometimes life is hard, and we know we have a need for courage, but somehow, we just don’t want to be brave. We would rather give in, surrender to the difficulties, and wallow in self-pity.

The Bible frequently exhorts us to fear not, to be brave, to be strong, to take heart, to be courageous. And life during a pandemic certainly calls for us to make a courageous response. But there are times when fatigue and anxiety get the upper hand and then we may feel overwhelmed and ready to give in or give up.

Perhaps you are reading this at just such a moment. Maybe this comes as a message to you from God so that you do not lose heart. He knows you, and He sees your situation. And He speaks to encourage you, as He did to the church at Philadelphia: “I know that you have little strength” (Revelation 3:8).

He is the compassionate and understanding God who draws alongside us, to give strength to the weary and power to the weak (Isaiah 40:29). You don’t have to do anything, simply turn to Him in your need and ask for help.

You will discover, as the apostle Paul did, that He is strong in our weakness, and that leaning on his everlasting arms He gives us the strength we need for today.

Yours with much love in Him,


Rev Jonathan Widdess. / 01865 863702

Here is this weeks news….

This Sunday @ St Michael’s


Jonathan leads Holy Communion using the beautiful service from the Book of Common Prayer. Capacity 40.


Come and Sing together at 10:30am on Sunday morning in St Michael’s churchyard as we meet for Church Outdoors.

Jonathan will be leading and David Wenham preaching on Acts 1: 15-end.

This service will also be live-streamed at

The service will be available via telephone by Sunday lunchtime, on our parish worship line – 01865 920993

Reading and Collect for 16th May

Acts 1: 15-end

15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) 16 and said, “Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus. 17 He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.” 18 (With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For,” said Peter, “it is written in the Book of Psalms: “ ‘May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,’and, “ ‘May another take his place of leadership.’ 21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, 22 beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.” 23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.

Collect for Easter 7

O God the King of glory,
you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ
with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven:
we beseech you, leave us not comfortless,
but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us
and exalt us to the place where our Saviour Christ is gone before,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

The Bible Course

Big, complex, old … just some of the words people use to describe the Bible. Sound familiar? That’s where The Bible Course comes in. The course will increase your confidence, equip you to read the Bible better and help you to see its relevance to daily life. The course provides a birds-eye view of the world’s bestselling book.
Running on Zoom, over eight interactive sessions, it combines video teaching, group discussion, personal reflection and daily readings.

The course is free and open to everyone, whether you’re just beginning to explore the Christian faith or want to take the next step in growing as a follower of Jesus.

Join Jonathan, at 1:30pm on Thursdays as we explore the Bible together.

The zoom link is:

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.

Faith and Art

The latest in David Lockett’s superb series of reflections on Faith and Art, in which he explores the Ravenna mosaic, “The Transfiguration”, is now available online. You can watch it at:

The previous episodes are still available at

Parish Vision Consultation

On Wednesday 19th May at 7:30pm, you are invited to a meeting for everyone who cares about the future of our parish. We want to hear what you think about the way forward through the next few years as we emerge from the pandemic.

To prepare for the meeting please would you prayerfully reflect on these questions:

  1. What is God calling you to do?
    1. What is our parish for?
    2. What do we want our church community to be like in 5 years time?
    The zoom link for the meeting is:

If you can’t make the session, please send me your thoughts anyway. You can contact me on or by letter to the Vicarage. Thanks, Jonathan.

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.

Worship Services in May

St Andrew’s

23/5 – 10am – Morning Worship

St Michael’s

16/5 @ 8am Holy Communion (1662)

16/5 @ 10:30am Worship Outdoors in Churchyard

23/5 @ 10:30am Big Story Sunday

30/5 @ 10:30am Morning Worship with speaker from Tearfund


Continue to open for private prayer on Monday’s and Friday’s.


Recommencing from 23rd May. Bell ringing practice to resume at 8pm on Wednesday 19th May.


We will live-stream the service from St Michael’s each week and you can access this on our YouTube channel or the parish website,
The service will be available via Telephone from lunchtime on 01865 920993.

Apple Pies for St Andrew Rebuilding

Margaret Scruby still has some frozen apple pies and crumbles for sale at £3.00 in aid of the St Andrew’s rebuild. Please e-mail her at to purchase and arrange collection!

Taizé Service for May

The May 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. 

Worship for Seniors

The Easter edition of our online series of Worship for Seniors is still 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.

Can you help Jean get mobile?

Jean Pryce-Williams is looking for a second-hand automatic car (she can not afford a new one) to keep her ministry mobile. Her beloved 20 year old car has said ‘enough is enough’! If you know of anyone who is about to part with a reliable automatic (for up to £5,000), please contact Jean on 07927 236961. Thank you.

Donating to help fight Covid around the world

Most if not all of you will have been vaccinated by now, which is brilliant news, but those in other parts of the world are not as fortunate as we are, lacking access to vaccines and a free, modern healthcare system. We can make a difference to the lives of others during the ongoing pandemic by donating the cost of our vaccine to help them. See for one way to help.

Please Continue To Pray For…

  • Staff, and pupils at Cumnor C.E. School and Matthew Arnold as the Summer Term continues.
  • The families of Maureen Moore, Pam Gee and Madeleine Lund in their grief and loss.
  • For David Henderson Slater and his family as he undergoes radiotherapy for prostrate cancer.
  • Our CMS mission partner Bia.
  • The St Andrew’s Rebuilding Project.
  • All those who remain 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.
  • Everyone who leads worship, preaches or teaches in our parish.