You are here: Home All Saints' Church From the Vicar - February 2023

Cuddesdon and Denton Community Website

From the Vicar - February 2023

E-mail Print

I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas and New Year.

I know, for many people, Christmas will seem a very long time ago.  Many people take their decorations down on Boxing Day, or soon afterwards, and for most people the celebrations will now be well and truly over.  But, in the Church, as I write this on 22nd January, we are still celebrating Christmas or, at least, Epiphany.  In many churches, including All Saints, the Crib stays up until after the celebration of Candlemas, and in some churches the Christmas tree stays up until then, too.  In my home, the tree is still up (though many of the baubles have fallen off), and I love seeing the lights on the tree.

Christmas can be a difficult time for many of us, with bereavements, illness, family quarrels or relationship breakdowns, and this year I’m sure money- worries and the cost-of- living crisis will have caused anxiety too.  January can be a difficult month, too, so I – and many Christians – enjoy the opportunity to prolong our celebrations and keep our crib, tree and lights up through the dark days of January, until we have celebrated the festival of Candlemas, or the Presentation in the Temple – when Mary and Joseph brought the baby Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem.  There, the baby Jesus was greeted by Simeon and Anna, and recognised as “a light to lighten the nations (Gentiles), and to be the glory of God’s people, Israel” – words sung in many Cathedrals and Churches across the land at choral Evensong most weeks.

At Candlemas, we turn our gaze away from the crib, or stable, and begin looking towards the cross, with Simeon’s prophetic words to Mary, “and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”  This year, Ash Wednesday falls on 22nd February, marking the beginning of Lent.  

On Ash Wednesday, we will be launching our new “Tea-time Church” gathering in St Mary’s, Garsington, with tea, cake, squash and, perhaps, hot-dogs for our first session.  There’ll also be a short Bible story, an activity and some prayers, and the chance to talk a little about Lent.  All are very welcome to attend “Tea-time Church,” and I’m hoping that it will provide an opportunity for school children, parents, and others (all ages), to gather together for cake (and, sometimes, sandwiches, and fruit), and to hear and discuss a short Bible story.  Please contact me if you would like more information, or if you can support this new gathering by providing cakes, fruit shoot drinks or similar for children, and some healthy snacks.  Help serving refreshments would also be much appreciated.  Thank you. (Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Tel: 01865 361 146).

As we turn away from the Crib, towards the Cross, I’d like to close with a poem by Howard Thurman:

When the song of the angels is stilled, 

When the star in the sky is gone, 

When the kings and princes are home, 

When the shepherds are back with their flock, 

The work of Christmas begins:

To find the lost,

To heal the broken,

To feed the hungry,

To release the prisoner,

To rebuild the nations,

To bring peace among others,

To make music in the heart. 


I wonder, how will you “make music in the heart,” in 2023?  

How will you make a difference?  


With my prayers and very best wishes for a happy, healthy and holy 2023.

Revd Karen x