Newsletter for Sunday 7th February 2021

Dear friends,

Have you ever stopped to think about the technology we’ve become so dependent on in our modern world? How is it that our increasingly automated, and always online world has not given us more time? Just more things to do in the same amount of time.

We can be connected 24-7, always available and so people have come to expect an instant response. The pace seems only to increase.

In a four-minute clip from a street scene from an old Orson Welles film and a similar clip from a more recent film, you will see an amazing difference. In the early film, the scene unfolds in ‘real time’ – people get out of their cars, walk across the street, wait for lights to change, speak to other people, enter a bank. In the more recent film, a similar sequence was reduced to a half a dozen quick cuts. The wasted time, the transition time was eliminated. People don’t have the patience to wait – even when we’re relaxing!

Modern life teaches us that “down time” is wasted. Time is money. So mobile phones, emails, etc, enable us to “waste” less time. The tempo of culture accelerates inexorably, the heartbeat of life races away arrhythmically, and our own body rhythms respond with adrenaline, cramped muscles and heart attacks.

To take time out for daily prayer, for a quiet walk that is not to the next meeting, for daydreaming or for Bible study, always life-giving has become life-saving. Following Christ, waiting on Him, is a countercultural act.

One of the loveliest biblical phrases is, “in the fullness of time, it came to pass”. This suggests four things: that time crests like a wave; that there is a right moment for things to happen; that it’s not ours to plan that moment, but to recognise it and receive it; and that we are not the primary agents of what happens in the world. I find that above all things a tremendous relief. It’s not all up to me!

Philip Melanchthon and Martin Luther were once deciding on the day’s agenda. The former was disciplined, intellectually gifted, serious, and goal-driven; the latter was equally intelligent but much more emotional, risky, even playful.

Melanchthon said, “Martin, this day we will discuss the governance of the universe.”

To which Luther responded, “Philip, this day you and I will go fishing and leave the governance of the universe to God.”

That’s wise advice! So, feel free to accept God’s offer of rest when you are weary; receive each moment of your life as a gift from God’s hand; ask him what he wants you to do with the time and opportunities he gives to you, and feel free to entrust everything else to God’s loving care.

Yours with much love in Christ,


Rev Jonathan Widdess / 01865 863702

Here is this weeks news….

This week’s service – Holy Communion – watch the live-stream

Join us at 10:30am on Sunday morning as we stream Holy Communion from St Michael’s. Eve Lockett will be preaching on John 1:1-14, the Prologue to John’s Gospel. 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 Sunday.

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.

Come and See

Here is this week’s e-card for Come and See. Why not share this image on Social Media or send it to friends who might be interested in Jesus? There’s also some great faith stories available to watch and share at

Taizé Service for February

The Taizé service for February is still available, why not give this relaxing and reflective form of worship a try? 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.


There will be an online service for Ash Wednesday available on Wednesday 17th February with Chris Scruby preaching – link next week. We are not running a parish Lent Course this year, but I (Jonathan) will be running The Bible Course after Easter using Zoom.

If you’re looking for a Lent book I would recommend “An Ocean of Grace: A Journey to Easter with Great Voices From the Past” by Tim Chester.

David Millard’s Funeral

We live-streamed David’s Funeral from St Michael’s on Friday 5th February. He will be greatly missed by everyone, not least Sheila and the family. Please keep them all in prayer. If you weren’t able to watch live or would like to watch it again it remains available at ral-friday-5th-february-at-1230pm/

Please Continue To Pray For…

  • The families and friends of David Millard and Ron Kerridge
  • Others who have lost loved ones recently.
  • Staff, pupils and parents at Cumnor C.E. School and Matthew Arnold.
  • Our CMS mission partner Bia.
  • The St Andrew’s Rebuilding Project.
  • People to Come and See!
  • 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.