Newsletter for Sunday 21st March 2021

Dear friends,

‘You’re still on mute!’ If you’ve used Zoom over the past year, you’ll be familiar with this cry! After a day on Zoom, the last thing we often want to do is using it for a chat with friends or a church meeting! Now this reveals a wider problem that we face. We know that staying connected in the pandemic is hard. When we’re tired and busy, it’s easy to stop connecting with others, which would encourage our faith or wellbeing. This might also include not sending a text, Facebook comment or phoning somebody up.

Remember what Paul says: ‘For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.’ (Romans 7:15). It’s often easier to avoid connecting with God and others, when this would be good for our sense of value, purpose and identity. Certain patterns of behaviour can make us feel safer, but in reality they prevent us from living our lives fully as God intends.

Paul adds: ‘What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!’ (Romans 7:24,25). Through the death and resurrection of Jesus we have the freedom to act differently. Lent is an ideal time to develop new habits, especially when we are tired or anxious. It may involve spending less time on Facebook, turning the TV off to call a friend who we need to catch up with, or getting up a bit earlier to spend time in Bible reading and prayer. It may also involve prioritising joining with others in church to worship together. See below the news about our regathering from Sunday 28th!

Let’s keep reminding ourselves that ‘God is bigger than Zoom’ and make sure that we don’t get disconnected! Let’s be committed to doing the right thing, rather than simply the easier thing.

Yours with much love in Christ,


Rev Jonathan Widdess. / 01865 863702

Here is this weeks news….

This week’s online service – Morning Worship

Join us at 10:30am on Sunday morning as we stream Morning Worship from St Michael’s. This week Eve is leading and Jonathan is preaching. Our theme is “We want to see Jesus” and the reading is John 12:20-33.

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.

Next Week – Regathering in St Michael’s at 10:30am

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. Of course, online worship will continue, but it’s not the same as meeting to worship God together with other Christians!

National Day of Reflection – Tuesday 23rd March

To mark the anniversary of the first lockdown and to stand in prayer with all those of us who are walking the difficult road of bereavement this year, we are joining in the National Day of Reflection this Tuesday. St Michael’s will be open for prayer all day and there will be a short online Service of Prayer and Reflection led by Jonathan. This will be available at 12pm but as usual you can join in with this later if that’s more convenient. Watch it here:

Messy Easter Bags

Packed with resources and crafts to help you explore the meaning of Easter. There will be a chocolate egg, recipes and craft ideas for families to do together. These will be free and we expect demand to be high. To avoid disappointment please preorder by email to or text / whatsapp 07595 996534

The packs will be available to collect from the Parish Centre (opposite the church steps) on Saturday 27th March between 10am-11am and Monday 29th March between 9am and 10am.

Lent Foodbank Collection – Extra Week

Foodbanks continue to be in greater demand than ever before so we’re asking everyone to help meet the need during Lent, and to give you all an opportunity to give we’re putting the boxes out for an extra week.

From 15th-27th 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. Thank you!

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 still 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.

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 and especially the families of Bernard Pottle and Anne Davies
  • 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.