2020 August 10 - Pew News


There are no services of worship in our church buildings presently. This applies to Sunday and midweek services, and to ‘occasional offices’ (weddings, funerals and baptisms). We continue to listen to national directions, as well as making judgments about our own local situation and the safeguards that we can practicably provide. Weather-permitting, we shall hold a first open-air service on the outer lawn of the rectory at 4pm next Sunday 16 August 2020 (more below).

We continue to open the Parish Church to allcomers for a limited period each week for private prayer. The opening times are Sundays 12 noon-3pm; and Thursdays 10am-3pm; until further notice. The Parish Hall is presently closed to general bookings, though may be re-opening to certain of our regular users in September 2020.

The local church continues to worship together through ‘Zoom’. The Rector will be delighted to add to those names already registered with us. Just send him an email.

The church is also effectively active pastorally, through the use of telephone, email, and by acts of care; together with face to face interaction where this is permitted. Please let the Rector know if you are aware of anyone who will benefit from contact from him or another church member presently.

Worship for 9 August 2020

At 09:30 we worshipped together virtually in ‘Worship for Everyone’, with hymns and address.
At 18:00 we have a virtual service of Holy Communion (traditional language), again via Zoom.

Those of you ‘present’ are always invited to sing along with them during a live broadcast act of worship, taking care to ‘mute’ your device’s microphone as you do so.

The presiding minister at our 09:30 Service was Revd Andrew Doye, with the assistance of Martin Brown. Our preacher was Andrew Doye; and the service was themed around the parable of The Prodigal Son (in Luke chapter 15).

The four readings in our morning service are drawn successively from Luke 15: 11-32.

The Rector writes

The so-called parable of the Prodigal Son offers a central element of Christian spirituality and doctrine. In narrative form, it offers us with a portrayal of the generous love of God. As such, it stands alongside the other ‘great parable’, the Good Samaritan - whose complementary message is that of human love and compassion. Together, these two interpret ‘love’ most colourfully.

The parable we hear today has three main players - and a few pigs, to dirty the way. The young son is usually seen as ungrateful and headstrong, a picture of disregard, and given to ‘dissolute living’. This is an understandable reading, though there is room to see in him something more familiar to all adolescence and the need to strike out and differentiate one’s life from that of the parental home. How many young people in every generation, in some way, are a little recognisable for wanting to express themselves in such a way! Words such as ‘stifling home environment’ and ‘passing phase’ may go some way to excuse or understand this youngster.

The older brother should know better: though, his lesson is a very powerful part of the narrative. His story reminds us not to be puffed up in our own pride and self-satisfaction at the cost of losing hold of kindness; nor to find ourselves keener to see another trip up and face the consequences, than we are to see healing, reconcilation and mended ways with joyful smiling and celebration.

First and foremost, though, the story is about God. The father in this tale, characterises the divine compassion. Here is one who looks out with Hope for the returning son; who responds with eager running, in Joy to greet the returner; who throws his arms wide in Love: for he who has been lost, is ‘found’.

Some prefer to call the story that of the ‘Lost Son’; and it fits for Luke alongside other stories of the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin, both of which (when found) provide occasions for unbridled celebration. This is the love that God holds for the wanderer, the lost one, who finds their way ‘home’.

Yet if we insist on the traditional term ‘Prodigal’, we should consider what it means. Its meaning is not that of journeyman, nor of one having disappeared without trace. The word ‘prodigal’ means lavishness, extravagance, wastefulness. But hear this: as such, it belongs less with the son in his misguided adventures; than with the father, whose Love exceeds all reason, all restraint, all meanness. This father, like God, is lavish, ‘prodigal’, in his celebration and his uninhibited forgiveness.

Put on a fine robe; be dressed for dinner; await the fatted calf. Your prodigal father-God is overjoyed when you return to him. Your homecoming is very best of Good News.
Andrew Doye, Rector

Worship for the week ahead 

(‘remote’ through the medium of ‘Zoom’)

Monday 10th, Tuesday 11th, Wednesday 12th, Thursday 13th, Friday 14th, Sunday 16th August 2020:
08.30am Morning Prayer
08.30am Holy Communion CLARE OF ASSISI
08.30am Morning Prayer
08.30am Morning Prayer JEREMY TAYLOR
08.30am Morning Prayer
09.30am Parish Communion, with hymns and address. 10th SUNDAY after TRINITY
4.00pm Service of the Word, the outer Rectory Garden (it is essential that, for details, you read below)

The Rector is off duty on Saturday this week.


Next Sunday afternoon at 4pm, an outdoor act of worship on the outer rectory lawn, away from the road. Everyone is welcome, but especially those who have been reluctant or unable to join our broadcast acts of worship via Zoom. However, there are a number of things to note regarding this service - please read the information in the long pew sheet sent by email. Pre-booking is needed. This is an important beginning in opening up possibilities for gathered worship. It requires, however, pre-planning and congregational goodwill. Please help us to help you.

The church clock is undergoing repairs, off-site - hence the disappearance of the hands from the clock face for the period ahead.

Please be aware we have concerns regarding the lychgate and the adjacent stretch of the churchyard wall. The lychgate has been secured with props, pending repair works, and is safe to pass through. Notices and cones ask drivers not to park alongside the section of the wall which requires a more complex and lengthy repair process.

Rectory Lawn - if anyone from the church would like to make use of this space for a family or recreational event (that complies with latest government guidance), please have a word with Andrew or Karen Doye.

The parish church will be open again this week for private prayer from 10am to 3pm on Thursday
 and from midday to 3pm on Sunday. There will be a single route in and out, and within the
 Church. If you come into the Church within these periods please take care to use the provided
 hand sanitiser at the entrance and the exit, and to observe social distancing. Books and other
 written materials have been removed from the parts of the Church that are accessible. Please be
 aware that the toilet facilities will not be in use.

Annual Parochial Church Meeting (‘APCM’) will take place at 11am on Sunday 25 October 2020.
 We do not know at this stage whether the meeting will be a physical gathering (in church or Hall)
 or will be primarily by electronic means; or indeed a mixture of the two.
 However, an important element of this meeting is to elect new members to the Church Council
 (‘PCC’) and the Deanery Synod. If you are interested to stand, please convey this to the Rector,
 the Wardens, or PCC Secretary; or, if you would like to know more as to what the roles involve,
 please have a word with one of these or any existing member of the PCC.

Pew sheet information can be emailed to the Rector by the end of Thursday, preferably elec

Update issued 11 August 2020

Sunday 16 August 2020
Our 09:30am Zoomed service will continue to take place on that morning.
An open air act of worship on Sunday 16 August 2020 at 4pm. It will be on the rectory lawn, at the further end away from the Westbourne Road. Thank you to those who have booked their involvement already.   A reminder that if there proves to be a need to move inside, which we would only do carefully and in limited numbers, face coverings would need to be used (so bring them if you foresee that possibility).
Please note: pre-booking required for this in line with public health measures.

Saturday 15 August 2020

The Deanery Prayer meeting comes to Woodmancote Church at 09:30am. Anybody is welcome to this small event which draws participation from our surrounding parishes. It will be outside. You may like to bring a chair.

Also that day, a nation marks the 75th anniversary of VJ Day, and all are encouraged to pause in a short silence at 11am in shared appreciation of the sacrifices of many in the so-called ‘forgotten war’ and in an expression of our commitment to peace going forward.

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