April 2013 Prayer Calendar

Please continue to pray for the life and work of our parishes

Mon 1st Hope Prison Ministries—our Mission of the Month for April.
Tues 2nd Barber Rooms Appeal Prayers
Wed 3rd Africa Children’s Fund—our Mission of the Month for April
Thurs 4th The work of the Mustard Seed and Seekers Light.
Fri 5th For the work of the Flower Guild.
Sat 6th For the work of the Family Centre and the Children’s Centre.
Sun 7th Ministry team: Charles, Simon, Max, Paul, Barbara, John, Helen & Graham.
Mon 8th Witness at home, at work and in the community this week.
Tues 9th All who help run our Churches.
Wed 10th For all those recently bereaved.
Thurs 11th The Choir, Music Group and all who lead our worship.
Fri 12th For all we know who are ill or in any kind of need.
Sat 13th For vergers and welcomers, intercessors and readers.
Sun 14th Civic Service and United Service
Mon 15th Quest Two Group at the Vicarage this evening.
Tues 16th All Saints’ APCM
Wed 17th St Mary’s APCM
Thurs 18th Alpha Two Group meeting this evening.
Fri 19th Our newly-elected Wardens, Assistant Wardens & PCC members.
Sat 20th For magazine preparation this weekend.
Sun 21st For families bringing children for baptism today.
Mon 22nd David & Lisa Cooke—our CMS Link Partners in Kenya.
Tues 23rd Bell ringing celebrating St George’s Day
Wed 24th Our Bishops, Area Dean and Churches of the VWH Deanery.
Thurs 25th Alpha Two Group meeting
Fri 26th Allsorts at All Saints’
Sat 27th Induction Service for Stephen Martin at the Baptist Church.
Sun 28th Messy Church this afternoon at the United Church.
Mon 29th Quest Two Group at the Vicarage this evening.
Tues 30th For Churches Together in Faringdon.

 

All Saints’ Annual Parochial Church meeting

Tuesday 16th April
7.45pm
All Saints’ Church

Do join us for the election of new Churchwardens, PCC members and Deanery Synod representatives. We will also have our Annual Review, including Annual Accounts and Curate’s Report.

This year we will also be reporting on our Tenders for the Barber Rooms Building Project, which will have just come in.

Don’t miss out on an important and exciting moment in the life of our church!

 

Charles writes: April 2013

I’m writing this with snow on the ground and more snow falling. “When will Spring come?” we all keep saying! We all feel better when we finally leave winter behind and the new growth of Spring really gets going – it’s like a turning point in the year.

Easter Day is an even bigger turning point in the church’s year – as we move from the seriousness of Lent to the joy of the Easter season. From Easter onwards, we celebrate that Jesus is risen for always – and the risen Jesus is with us and will never leave us. Much to celebrate – whatever the weather!

This year April is also a vital turning point for our parish. In mid April tenders are due in from the builders for the Barber Rooms building project – just in time for our Annual Parochial Church Meeting on Tuesday 16th April. So it will be a special Annual Meeting this year! In the second half of April, we will be examining the tenders and preparing to make our response. If all goes well, we could be ready to sign a contract in early May.

In view of this we are setting aside Sunday 28th April as BARBER ROOMS SUNDAY. Do join us if you can at any of our services that day for a review of the project and a look at our way forward.

So April is crunch time for us at All Saints’! In view of that, it seems a good time for a quick review of what this project is all about.

On Mothering Sunday this year, we thought about the church being a family for us all – with God as our Father, and all of us brothers and sisters in Christ. We thought about Jesus’ call – to “Love one another as I have loved you.” As time goes on I realise how important this is – for all of us in the church to get to know each other, to build relationships with each other, and to care for one another.

But I’m also realising more and more how our buildings militate against this. Our beautiful ancient building is wonderful for worship, but not so well suited to meeting more informally. To get to know each other, and to share and learn together, we need a very different kind of place to meet.

We are already painfully aware of this – we desperately need a proper venue for Alpha Courses, training courses such as “Growing Leaders”, larger meetings such as “God in our lives”, meetings with groups of Baptism families and Wedding couples – as time goes on, it feels more and more of a struggle not having a suitable venue for any of these kinds of meetings. With groups of Baptism families and Wedding couples, it will be a particular advantage to have this facility next to the Church, so we can meet informally, but also take the opportunity to help them to familiarise themselves with the Church building as well.

And it is exciting to think of the many new opportunities the Barber Rooms will give us to meet together – regular bring and share lunches, coffee mornings, fellowship meetings for older members, informal prayer and fellowship evenings, and so on. We will have a real opportunity to build up the life of our church family, and to be a community where people feel far more involved and included.

Last, and far from least, we still have a desperate need for meeting rooms for our children. At the recent Licensing Service in Stanford, Bishop Andrew spoke eloquently about the vital importance of investing in our children and young people. In my new role as Area Dean, I’ve been learning more about the life of churches across the diocese, and it is sad to find out that many have very few children and young families. I am delighted that All Saints’ is different, and that we have many children and young families involved in the life of the church. And yet – the children’s work remains a struggle with only two meeting rooms – one very small, and the other without disabled access. If it’s right to maintain our large and costly Church building that is suited to the needs of adult worship, then it is surely also right to invest in a building that is much more suited to the needs of our children.

I firmly believe that the time will come when we wonder how we ever managed without the Barber Rooms! But our moment of decision is now. As Gandalf says to Frodo in “Lord of the Rings” – it is our generation that is called to meet this challenge! Once again I would like to thank all of you who have already shared generously in this project – through your pledges, through your gifts, and through your enthusiasm – including making all that wonderful marmalade! Do join us at our Annual Meeting, and on Sunday 28th April, so we can now move on and share in this moment of decision together.

Do join us also to pray – on Tuesday 2nd April, we will meet again for our monthly Appeal Prayers – meeting at Church from 8.00 – 9.00pm. We are still very much aware that we can only tackle this project in humble dependence on God, seeking to follow his leading, and depending on his provision and his blessing in all that we do.

The Easter message is a message of joy – joy in the victory of humble love over hatred and cruelty – joy in God’s generous love that reaches out to all with love and forgiveness – and joy in the new life and hope that the risen Jesus gives us. This is a joy we want to share – with each other, with those who we welcome from outside, and with our children and young people as they grow up in an uncertain world. May this whole project enable us better to share that joy, as the risen Jesus calls us to.

And a very happy Easter Season to you all!

Charles