You are here: Home All Saints' Church From the Vicar - February 2018

Cuddesdon and Denton Community Website

From the Vicar - February 2018

E-mail Print

Christmas seems far behind us now but as we begin this month of February you may be surprised to learn that it is only on the 28th January that we finally end our Christmas celebrations and turn from the crib to the cross.

I would like to thank everyone who contributed to making Christmas so special this last year; to Mark, the church sacristans, welcomers, readers, intercessors and everyone who arrangers the flowers and transform our ancient building into a riot of colour and scent.  We recently received a letter from Christian Aid thanking us for or donations over Christmas and were informed that the UK government have doubled our gift which means that from this Benefice £1050.72 has gone to ensure that the world’s poorest have enough food.  Thank you to everyone who gave so generously.

Unfortunately on Ash Wednesday we once again must strip the church of all flowers and decorations to enter the season of Lent, that period of forty days preparation for the great feast of Easter.  Lent begins on 14th February (St Valentine’s Day) with an Ash Wednesday service in St Mary’s church at 10.30 am and the College service in All Saints’ at 5.15pm.  At this service we use the ash from some burnt palm crosses to make the sign of the cross on the forehead.  This is part of a service which gives us all an opportunity to ‘wipe the slate clean’, so to speak, and hold before God all those things we are sorry for.  Just as Shrove Tuesday was a clearing out of the larder ready to live a simpler life, so Ash Wednesday helps us to have a spiritual clear out.  For Lent there are a number of things happening across the Benefice: Horspath meets each week to follow the York Course, this time being convened by Chris Drew.  The Book Group are reading Say it to God - Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book for 2018 by Luigi Gioia which is all about prayer and meet to discuss in on 28th March at Christa’s house, 97 Southend in Garsington.  Finally there is a series of Lent talks on Thursdays at 8 pm in All Saints’ where different speakers will be reflecting on the cross through the writings of leading theologians in history.  There is also an opportunity to have some space on the 10th February when Sr. Mary Stephen will be leading a Quiet Day from 10 to 4 pm at Ripon College Cuddesdon that will help you reflect on how you can use this sacred time.

For those of you who may not know, recently Bishop Colin asked if I would take on the role of Area Dean.  This involves a number of very specific tasks, including: looking after the clergy in the Deanery, caring for parishes when the priest is sick or the benefice vacant, visiting parishes to build them up, convening and sharing the chair of the Deanery synod and liaising between the Bishop and the parishes. On Monday 22nd January at All Saints’ Cuddesdon, I was licensed to this role by the Archdeacon Judy French and it was a very special occasion.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who contributed: to Bishop Humphrey for preaching and to the choir for their anthem.  Thank you to Robert for leading the intercessions and Mark for standing in for Alan, to Richard for doing the drinks and all of those who brought food.  Finally, thank you to you for your continued love, support and prayers. 

Each year we hold a special service for all those who are bereaved and pray for their loved ones at the Service of Light.  On the 11th February at 3.30 pm in St Giles’ we will be holding a similar outreach service to build our relationship with those who come to our churches at significant moments in their lives.  We warmly welcome back everyone who has been married across the Benefice in the last five years to celebrate their relationship with us and the special place St Giles’, St Mary’s and All Saints’ has in their lives.  Even if you have not been married in our churches recently, do come along as we seek to build up our family of the wider church.