Newsletter for Sunday 28th March 2021

Dear friends,

As the Nicene Creed puts it, “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom will have no end.” This phrase echoes numerous passages in the Bible. Here’s one: “I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.” We get one go at this.

I’m told that in the British legal system, there is an unusual provision for the Court itself to appoint a Counsel to represent a defendant who doesn’t have one and is facing serious charges.

Something like that is implied in some of the biblical descriptions of Christ’s intervention on behalf of humanity: Jesus Himself is described as our Advocate: “But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”

The late Lord Hailsham, a distinguished lawyer who became Lord Chancellor, was asked how he would face God when he died. “I will throw myself on the mercy of the Court,” he said.

On Good Friday, when God’s justice and mercy are intertwined, we can take heart for ourselves and the whole human race by meditating on this text: “There is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all people”. 1 Timothy 2

On Easter Day when we rightly celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from death, we do not forget the immense cost of God’s perseverance with us, for Christ’s body continues to bear the scars of Crucifixion.

Having paid such a price to make us his own, He can and will never give up on us. That’s such good news!

Yours with much love in Christ,


Rev Jonathan Widdess. / 01865 863702

Here is this weeks news….

This Week – Big Story Sunday in St Michael’s at 10:30am

This Sunday, 28th March, at 10:30am we will hold the first post-lockdown service in St Michael’s.

Capacity will be limited to 40 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.

Our theme is Palm Sunday, and Palm Crosses will be available. Jonathan is leading and we will be exploring Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem using songs, readings, drama, film and prayers.

To join in with the service online, visit

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

You can also listen to this service by phoning 01865 920993 – the service will be available by telephone from about 12:30pm on Sunday.

Easter Services

The big news is that as restrictions begin to ease we will be permitted to sing outside from Easter Sunday. So on Easter Sunday at 10:30am there will be an Easter Praise service in St Michael’s Churchyard with congregational hymn singing accompanied by our brilliant organist Andrew on the keyboard! Social distancing rules remain in force. There will be no seating available outside, but the service will be relayed inside the church using the big screen.

The churchyard service will be live-streamed and later made available on our telephone worship line.

Online Tenebrae

There will be an online Tenebrae service released at 6:30pm on Thursday 1st April. This is led by Eve with reflections on images, hymns and readings by members of the URC Church. You will be able to watch it here:

Bernard Pottle’s Funeral

31st March, 1pm at St Michael’s

Janet and her family would like to thank the many friends who have sent them such lovely tributes to Bernard following his death. We would like anyone who would like to, to bring one or two flowers from their garden to Janet’s house on Tuesday 30th March so these can be incorporated into a “friends and family wreath” which will be put on Bernard’s coffin. He loved garden flowers, blossom and greenery.

Donations in Bernard’s memory will be divided between the Cedar Community Club in Hinton Waldrist and Kennington Memory Club, the two day centres which gave him social stimulation and love and enabled Janet to have a few hours twice a week free from her caring role. Memorial Fund on JustGiving for Bernard; Crowdfunding to Bernard Wilfred Pottle – Memorial fund on JustGiving

The funeral will be live-streamed 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

Thank you to everyone who has given so generously to the Lent Foodbank Collection! It’s been amazing to see the number of people who’ve brought donations to the Boxes. Everything given will make a massive difference to families in need at this time.

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.

There will be no prayer meeting on Monday 5th April.

For more details on how to connect, see this web page.

Worship for Seniors

The Easter edition of our online series of Worship for Seniors will be released on Monday 29th 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.

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.

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 as term ends this week.
  • 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.