Newsletter for Sunday 14th March 2021

Dear friends,

It was just over a year ago that the WHO discussed the coronavirus that was starting to spread around the world. None of us could have foreseen the devastating effect on our world, with over 80 million people infected and nearly two million deaths. How has the pandemic challenged our faith, as we look back over the last year?

Firstly, it has forced us to face up to the reality of our situation. We cannot underestimate the health, social and economic effects of the virus on our lives, churches and communities. We have learned how to do church online, but the future shape of church life is uncertain!

As the apostle Paul writes: ‘We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus’ (2 Cor 4:8-10).

The pandemic has challenged so much of what we take for granted, but also demonstrated that God is alongside to help us in these circumstances.

Secondly, alongside the fear and uncertainty of this year, we have also learned to find new faith and hope in Jesus. The experience of Jesus’ death and His resurrection provides a pattern for us in facing the future: “so that His life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” (2 Cor 4:10-12).

During this season of Lent, as we anticipate the events at Easter, it’s good to focus on the promise of sharing in the death and resurrection of Jesus. As we consider our present struggles, are we ready to surrender them to Jesus?

May the hope of Easter take us forward through this year and every year to come.

Yours with much love in Christ,


Rev Jonathan Widdess. / 01865 863702

Here is this weeks news….

This week’s online service – Mothering Sunday

From 10:30am on Sunday morning we celebrate Mothering Sunday with a service streamed from St Michael’s. Mothering Sunday is a day of mixed emotions, joy mingled with grief, sorrow and regret. Not least this year. Join us as we bring our both our thanks and our pain to God asking for his comfort.

Jonathan is leading and Jessica Turner is our preacher.

To join in with the service online, visit

The service will remain available afterwards to watch on demand via our website.

You can also phone on 01865 920993, and then choose option 1 from the menu. The service will remain available by telephone until the following Friday.

Mothering Sunday photos

A massive thank you to everyone who sent in photos of Mums and Mothering! You can see the resulting video during the last hymn towards the end of Sunday’s service.

Lent Foodbank Collection

Foodbanks continue to be in greater demand than ever before so we’re asking everyone to help meet the need during Lent.

From 15th-20th March there will again be a collection box outside the Vicarage and also 66, Pinnocks Way. Please give what you can to support the Oxford Emergency Foodbank.

The following items are needed for the foodbank:

  • Tins of meat
  • Tins of vegetables
  • Coffee, tea and chocolate drink
  • Tins of puddings
  • Tins of fruit
  • Jams and other spreads (honey, Marmite, peanut butter)
  • Sugar (especially small 500 gm packets)
  • Long life fruit juice
  • Long life milk (full fat or semi-skimmed)
  • Pasta sauces
  • Practical toiletries (toilet rolls, soap, shower gel, toothpaste, etc.)
  • Practical cleaning products
  • Nappies (all sizes)

Please ensure that items are well within their sell by date.

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 for Seniors

The latest in our online series of Worship for Seniors is now available to watch at William Cutting is speaking about “Smiles”. 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.

Regathering for Worship

On Palm Sunday, 28th March, we will hold the first post-lockdown service in St Michael’s. Capacity will be limited and social distancing measures are expected to need to remain in place until at least Summer, but it will be fantastic to worship together again. On Easter Day there will be live services at both St Michael’s and St Andrew’s. Online worship will continue too.

Taizé Service for March

The March Taizé service is still 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 lockdown.

Easter Cards and Gifts from St Andrew’s Bookshop

A reminder from St Andrew’s Bookshop that they have a wide range of Easter Cards and Books for both Adults and Children available via their website.

They are also offering click-and-collect service to their shop in Witney.

Have you got your census letter?

The census is coming, and it’s about you. Without the information you share, it’d be more difficult to understand your community’s needs and to plan and fund public services.

By taking part and encouraging your congregation to do the same, you will help inform decisions about the services you and your community need, like doctors’ surgeries and new schools.

Census day is on March 21, but households will now be receiving letters with online codes explaining how they can complete their forms. If you don’t get one in the next couple of weeks, please get in touch with the census contact centre. You can also request a paper questionnaire if you’d prefer to complete your census that way.

There is lots of support available such as a help area on the census website and a contact centre that can give you help over the phone and guidance in a range of languages and accessible formats, including paper questionnaires and large print. You can also use your postcode to find local census support centres on the census website.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) runs the census in England and Wales and is independent from the government. All information is held securely for 100 years. Statistics are only compiled based on anonymised data and personal information is not shared with any organisation and is never sold.

For more information, and to find out how to get help, visit or call the contact centre on 0800 141 2021.

Please Continue To Pray For…

  • Everyone who has lost loved ones recently.
  • Staff, and pupils at Cumnor C.E. School and Matthew Arnold.
  • 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.