Welcome! Do you have a door mat that says welcome? Hopefully if you do then it means – wipe your feet but also, you are welcome to our house. The word welcome is mentioned 5 times in todays gospel reading so it is clearly an important word to dwell on. Last Saturday we welcomed our 2020 wedding couples (3) into our garden for a social distance coffee and chat. It was good to have the time together to chat about their weddings, all the preparations made and postponed, to swap stories and exchange handy tips for seamstresses and caterers. There will be no weddings at St Andrews this year now, but all have managed to rearrange, get the dates and venues and all the trappings reorganised, what a task! There was much discussion about the pains/burdens and, also the blessings, e.g. the small people will be a year older and hopefully easier to manage!
Blessings and burdens!
In this weeks Church Times there are many articles reflecting on the blessings and burdens of the pandemic and the church. There are results of surveys coming in about percentages of people being more prayerful, more neighbourly, more anxious etc and percentages of the people who believe buildings to be central to the Church’s witness and also that this is a great time to rethink the Church’s future.
Did you know that this is the longest time that the church has been closed since ‘an interdict in the reign of King John, when Pope Innocent 3rd banned all services in England between March 1208 and May 1213’ (CT 26 June pg35). So technically that means St Andrews has been closed before, since it is that old! It is written in our history.
In times of national crisis, the church is the place that remains stead fast and open, a place of refuge, a house of prayer, peace and welcome. The result of the pandemic will make the Church of England rethink about the number of churches, the ways of mission and ministry, online, virtual or otherwise. And it is something we need to think about with our own faith, our community, our parish and our church, is it a blessing or a burden? Please don’t worry, I’ve no doubt that St Andrews will be here for many more years to come. But have you enjoyed online worship, tapping into all the variety, listening, reading or watching? Has the closure of our church doors been a burden or a blessing in this time of pandemic?
I can imagine it has felt like a burden, as the old building means so much to many of us in so many ways. It is not wrong to love an old church building. The history of St Andrews is phenomenal, I am never ceased to be inspired by the thought of the Holy Spirit moving in this place and the people who prayed and worshipped here over the centuries! And you may ask yourself ‘should the church doors have stayed open during this time of pandemic’? I think it was the right thing to do for the health of our nation. Some of you may have been in the percentage that said they didn’t need a church building to have a relationship with God, and actually we don’t because that would suggest that God is only associated with a place and not our hearts and homes.
A church is a special place, it is more that bricks and mortar or flint and limestone. It is a place that feels like home, God’s house, where all are welcome and where our relationship with God touches that ‘thin place’, a place between heaven and earth, that feeds us, nurtures us and refreshes our souls. It is a place where we are with each other in the presence of God, worshipping and praying, and yes, a place where we meet and enjoy a cuppa and chat! It is an important part of the community bringing people together, a place where all are welcome.
For me having the church closed has been a burden and a blessing. I’ve missed the sacramental worship together, our chats and the singing and glorious sound of the organ! And I have learnt to continue my role as parish priest as best I can in other ways, not easy ways sometimes, but good in others. Did you realise that the Bible Challenge team have continued to read together weekly over WhatsApp? – see the photo above of the last session reading in the churchyard this week, and the section about it lower down. During the Thy Kingdom Come season, between Ascension and Pentecost, we Zoomed evening prayer together at 5pm for 10 days, and we enjoyed it so much that we now say evening prayer together every Tuesday and Thursday at 5pm, all are welcome. That is a real blessing and something that we can continue to do into the future. Our Pews News has been emailed out to over 90 people every week and it is also forwarded on to others, Jane and Bosco in Switzerland send their thanks for the Pews News keeping them in touch with us all, a blessing! I hope we continue the Pews News like this so that even if we can’t make it to Church we can still read the Word and message.
Prayers and Bears happens every Friday via Zoom, families who have moved away have been able to join us again and we have a new family, who I have not physically met, but who join us every week from their front room, a real blessing! Weekly Zoom assembly for Clewer Green has meant I’ve been able to be in touch with the children and they have been sharing their prayers and pictures with me, a blessing!
We can find blessings in this strange new time when things will never be the same again. We can’t go back, we must find a new way forward, a way that won’t be a burden financially or otherwise. St Andrews is a place of past, present and future, and a place where time stands still as we offer our praise, a place where pilgrims on a journey come for refuge and peace, for those seeking more out of life, a place of justice and action, a place which is more than history.
And now we are able to open the doors again, slowly but surely our worship together will return. In the meantime we will be open for private prayer as the notice below gives more information. We are able to enter our place of prayer individually and respecting the latest guidance on distancing rules etc. Soon we will open for worship on Sundays once we have taken all the guidance into consideration as to how we can practically keep everyone safe. The PCC are working hard on your behalf to enable this to be a blessing not a burden and we will keep you updated.
In the gospel Jesus says…whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.
Consider your burdens but count your blessings and remember its ok to love an old church building and more importantly, all are welcome in the name of Jesus Christ who died for us so that we may truly live with unburdened hearts and receive the blessings of abundant love. We will meet again soon.
|Welcome in the name of Christ. God’s grace, mercy and peace be with you.|
and also with you.
Faithful one, whose word is life.
Come with saving power
to free our praise,
inspire our prayer
and shape our lives
for the kingdom of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
you have broken the tyranny of sin
and have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts whereby we call you Father:
give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service,
that we and all creation may be brought to the glorious liberty of the children of God;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
5 Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the Lord; 6 and the prophet Jeremiah said, ‘Amen! May the Lord do so; may the Lord fulfil the words that you have prophesied, and bring back to this place from Babylon the vessels of the house of the Lord, and all the exiles. 7 But listen now to this word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people. 8 The prophets who preceded you and me from ancient times prophesied war, famine, and pestilence against many countries and great kingdoms. 9 As for the prophet who prophesies peace, when the word of that prophet comes true, then it will be known that the Lord has truly sent the prophet.’
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Psalm 89.1-4, 15-18
1 My song shall be always of the loving-kindness of the Lord: •︎
with my mouth will I proclaim your faithfulness
throughout all generations.
2 I will declare that your love is established for ever; •︎
you have set your faithfulness as firm as the heavens.
3 For you said: ‘I have made a covenant with my chosen one; •︎
I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
4 ‘ “Your seed will I establish for ever •︎
and build up your throne for all generations.” ’
15 Happy are the people who know the shout of triumph: •︎
they walk, O Lord, in the light of your countenance.
16 In your name they rejoice all the day long •︎
and are exalted in your righteousness.
17 For you are the glory of their strength, •︎
and in your favour you lift up our heads.
18 Truly the Lord is our shield; •︎
the Holy One of Israel is our king.
12 Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. 13 No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
15 What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, 18 and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness for sanctification.
20 When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.
Glory to you, O Lord.
40 ‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.’
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.
PRAYERS – Trevor Morgan
We lift up our hearts and minds in prayer in the faith of God the Father who loves us and knows our every need; in the name of God the Son, our Advocate with the Father who ever lives to intercede for us; in the power of God the Holy Spirit who comes to the aid of our weakness and pleads within our hearts. Hear us in your mercy, O God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit for the honour and glory of your name.
Grant us grace, O God, to take your Son for our Redeemer, his life for our example, his word for our rule, his Spirit for our guide, his wounds for our healing and his cross for our salvation, that he may take possession of our hearts now and for ever, Amen.
A prayer for the unemployed remembering especially those who have recently lost their jobs.
O God, the Creator of all things, you have made us in your own image so that we may find joy in creative work. Have mercy on all those who are unemployed, especially commending to your love and protection all who have recently lost their positions. Help us all to look towards a society where all may have gainful and fulfilling work and find joy in doing it, for the good of our world and the glory of your name, Amen
Ever present God, be with us in our isolation, be close to us in our distancing, be healing in our sickness, be joy in our sadness, be light in our darkness, be wisdom in our confusion, be all that is familiar when all is unfamiliar, that when the doors reopen we may with the zeal of Pentecost inhabit our communities and speak of your goodness to an emerging world. Amen
Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy. Sustain and support the anxious, be with those who care for the sick and lift up all those who are brought low that we may find comfort, knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen
Heavenly Father, we commend to your loving care those from our community or otherwise known to us who are unwell, remembering especially Blake, Sam, Reuben, Margaret, David, Don, Karl, Hugh, Sarah, Elsie, Lesley, Refugees, Prisoners, the Homeless, and those who mourn.
We remember before God all who have died in recent days especially Alec Beasley, and Myrtle Kemp, and those the anniversaries of whose passing falls at this time. We remember especially Sarah Hartland-Swann.
Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord….and let light perpetual shine upon them
And finally, a prayer for ourselves
O Lord, grant that each person who has to do with us in the coming days may be the happier for it. Let it be given to us each hour what we shall say and grant us the wisdom of a loving heart that we may say the right thing rightly. Help us to enter into the mind of everyone who talks with us and keep us alive to the feelings of others. Give us a quick eye for little kindnesses, that we may be ready in doing them and gracious in receiving them. Give us quick perception of the feelings and needs of others and make us eager hearted in helping them, for Christ’s sake, Amen
Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen
Go forth into the world in peace,
be of good courage,
hold fast that which is good,
render to no one evil for evil,
strengthen the fainthearted,
support the weak, help the afflicted,
love and serve the Lord,
rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit,
and the blessing of God almighty, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit be with you always.
BCP evening prayer will continue this Sunday at 5pm via a Zoom link. We will send out the order of service, and the readings, later.
EP Readings (1st EP SS Peter & Paul)
SUNDAY COFFEE ZOOM
After you have watched or listened to this Sunday’s online service of your choice, we invite you to join us for a chat over coffee via Zoom at 11.30 for about half an hour.
We will resend the meeting details later.
EVENING PRAYER DURING THE WEEK
We are now holding Evening Prayer meetings every Tuesday and Thursday at 1700 (5.00pm).
The liturgy will be Common Worship in contemporary language.
The best way to follow along is using the Church of England’s Daily Prayer App.
It can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
We will resend the meeting details later.
|PARISH MAILING LIST|
If you know of anyone who would like to receive the Pews News by email, please ask them to email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list. We currently have 89 subscribers.
|OXFORD DIOCESE CHURCH AT HOME|
28June 10am – watch online or dial in
Our Church at Home service for the Third Sunday after Trinity. Revd Shemil Mathew, Chaplain to Oxford Brookes University, presides from his home and the address is given by the Rt Revd Colin Fletcher, Bishop of Dorchester. The service begins with a special prayer from the Rt Revd Olivia Graham, Bishop of Reading, to honour and mourn those who lost their lives in the terrorist attack in Reading last Saturday night. May we respond with grace and compassion to this terrible act, and may our elected officials and civil servants respond with courage and wisdom.
As ever, links to watch, listen or dial in to Church at Home will be published around an hour before the service starts. The order of service is available to download now and you might also like to listen to Bishop Olivia speaking about the community response to the terrorist attack in Reading. Download the order of service Listen to Bishop Olivia speaking about the three murders in Reading. Other ways to participate
Watch on YouTube
Watch on Facebook
Parishioners unable to access the internet can dial 01865 920930 to hear the service.
The services are also available to listen to on Soundcloud.
Reflections for a Church in Lockdown
Episodes are available to listen to now, or download it wherever you get your podcasts (search ‘My extraordinary family’)
WEST WINDSOR HUB
A PROVISION FOR THE LOCAL COMMUNITY – A SUPPORT HELP-LINE CONNECTING YOU TO RESOURCES AND ASSISTANCE OR A FRIENDLY CHAT OVER THE PHONE
If you have help from family or friends we encourage you to continue to accept help from them as usual. If any of your circumstances change and you need help from outside these support groups then please contact us to let us know. If you are having difficulties we advise you to call the HUB number above and we’ll arrange help for you.
|PLEASE PRAY FOR|
Community prayers: Clewer Green School, the head teacher Martin Tinsley and all the pupils, staff and governors. For all our Care Homes, for the safety of residents and staff. Also please pray for our wedding couples as they wait with anticipation and uncertainty at this this time.
Parish Cycle of Prayer: Please pray for all who live in Clarence Road, Trevelyan Estate, Helston Lane, Green Lane, Clewer Avenue, Clewer New Town, and Birchington Road.
Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Pray for the united Church of North India. Pray also for the Churches in North Dakota (The Episcopal Church), Athabasca (Canada), Juba (South Sudan), North East India (North India), Atlanta (The Episcopal Church), Kabba (Nigeria), North Eastern Caribbean & Aruba (West Indies), Attooch (South Sudan), North Karamoja (Uganda), Auckland (Aotearoa NZ & Polynesia), Magwi (South Sudan), North Kigezi (Uganda), Aweil (South Sudan), North Mbale (Uganda)
Awerial (South Sudan) and Kadugli & Nuba Mountains (Sudan).
Please continue to pray for and support your neighbours and families in any way you can whilst keeping yourself safe.
We are still waiting to hear from you and share your stories. Please email them to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Church Finances – message from Andrew
If you are filling your envelopes and have a stack at home, if you can, please bring them round to the Rectory and we can get your giving paid in. Thank you
In the light of this suspension of services you might like to consider continuing your regular giving by paying directly to our bank account, the details of which are:
HSBC Bank, High Street, Windsor
Sort Code: 40-47-37
Account number: 11373366 Account name: PCC St Andrews Church
Symbols of hope and happiness – I would like to set you all a creative challenge. How about knitting or crocheting symbols of hope and happiness, flowers, hearts, crosses, doves etc. Any colours and shape. Then when we are able to gather, we can join them all together to make an altar frontal or a banner, in celebration of faith, hope and love. Let me know if you’d like to join in. Revd Rosie
Pictures can be posted to the St Andrews Facebook Page
|Windsor Foodshare – are now putting boxes in various locations in the area for donations. They welcome all non-perishable foods. At the moment they are short of tinned fruit. Details on their Facebook page:|
|Windsor Homeless Project Sleepout – this took place on 26th June.|
In these uncertain times, we’ll be needed more than ever to enable homeless and vulnerable people to rebuild their lives.
Every penny you raise will go towards ensuring that the Windsor Homeless Project is able to be here, when we’re needed.
Sign up here: https://bit.ly/WHPRegister2020
Alternatively, you can donate at https://www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/sleepout2020
Tom Hinds has taken part in this, and has asked us to say that if you sponsor him, please would you send him a note or a cheque (payable to Windsor Christian Action), rather than donate online, because he can “tap matching funding for what I personally pay in”. Cheques may be left at 145 Maidenhead Road.
Robert, our organist, has sent us a link to a YouTube video of Psalms being sung by Guildford Cathedral Choir, directed by Barry Rose, during services at Guildford Cathedral and elsewhere, 1961-1974. It is many hours in length, and there is a key to which psalms are where in the recording in the first comment on the video. Click ‘Read more’ to expand the comment.
You might find that it helps to reflect and relax in these times. Thanks to Robert.
At the top of this message is a picture of the final session of the Bible Challenge – Read the Bible in a Year. The schedule of the Challenge is to read one session (three chapters of the Old Testament, a Psalm, and one chapter from the New Testament) every day, to finish in a year. Since we met once a week and read two sessions, and also paused in Advent and Lent, it has taken us almost exactly five years.
The Challenge’s method is a very approachable way of reading the whole Bible.
If anyone would like to try the Challenge for themselves, please let the Office know, and we will lend you the book.
The Parish Office is now closed.
Sharon (our administrator) is currently on furlough.
Out of hours office number: 07490 094261
Email: email@example.com – Stuart will pick up any emails
Revd Rosie Webb: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 01753 852334
Parish website: www.standrewsclewer.org
Churchwarden: Stuart Cockman
Pastoral helpline number: 07946 590223