Helen Wilson writes

The Interregnum . . .

When my three sons were little their grandpa, my late father, used to come and stay for week-ends. He was the boys’ only surviving grandparent and took that role very seriously. He adored them.

He would always phone after he had arrived safely back to his home in Wales and he invariably said the same thing about his grandsons: ‘Weren’t they good?’ Now they had been many things: noisy, lively, argumentative to name but a few. They were and are wonderful but, when they were small, ‘good’ was not top of my list of adjectives to describe them.

My father meant it though and, in his eyes, they were indeed ‘good’. He exemplified what the Bible means by saying that ‘love covers a multitude of sins’. He loved them exactly as they were and they really were good in his eyes. Such was the love he unfailingly showed me too. In fact, according to him, I lived in sinless perfection as a child – the unfortunate thing is that I distinctly remember otherwise!

We have just celebrated Easter – the ultimate demonstration of God’s love for us. Through the cross of Christ, we experience forgiveness. As it says in Psalm 103:12, ‘As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.’ Christianity does not deal with guilty feelings; it deals with guilt itself.

The same Psalm goes on to say: ‘As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him’. We know that we get so much wrong but when we come to God and say sorry, we find complete and total forgiveness. This means that we can each imagine God, as my father did, looking at us and saying, ‘Aren’t they good?’ It is special to be reminded of that love, to thank God for it and to bask in the awesome wonder of His compassionate forgiveness.

Helen Wilson

Home group meetings in April

New members are always most welcome at all Home Groups – please contact the people listed below for more details.

Day and Dates Time Place Contact Subject
Monday 11th & 25th 7.45pm 28 The Pines 240 532 TBA
Monday 25th 7.45pm 1 Haynes Close 241 975 TBA
Tuesday 19th 2.30pm 2 Leamington Gate 615 009 Psalm 119  contd
Wednesday  13th & 27th 7.45pm 7 Badbury Close 241 860 TBA
Every Thursday 7.30pm 2 Ferndale Street 241 161 Revelation
Thursday    14th & 28th 8.00pm 10B Coxwell Street 242 753 TBA

Prayer calendar – April

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

Fri 1st Mission of the Month – African Children’s Fund.
Sat 2nd David & Liza Cooke, CMS Link Partners, flying back to the UK today.
Sun 3rd Saints Alive this morning.
Mon 4th For all involved in making the decision about our new Vicar.
Tues 5th Peace Group meeting tomorrow evening.
Wed 6th Psalms Course starting this evening.
Thurs 7th Community activities in Faringdon and Little Coxwell.
Fri 8th “Refugees Welcome” meeting this evening.
Sat 9th Ministry team: Paul, Max, Barbara, John, Helen & Graham.
Sun 10th United Service at the Friends Meeting House this evening.
Mon 11th Bell ringers practicing this evening.
Tues 12th The Music Group.
Wed 13th All who are ill, recently bereaved or in any other kind of need.
Thurs 14th Visit of “Open the Book” team to Faringdon primary schools today.
Fri 15th Barber Rooms Talk on Alpinism.
Sat 16th Magazine preparation this weekend.
Sun 17th Civic Service this morning.
Mon 18th The Wardens and PCCs during the Interregnum.
Tues 19th ‘God in our Lives’ this evening.
Wed 20th Earth and Faith talk on rubbish disposal this evening.
Thurs 21st Choir practice this evening.
Fri 22nd Planning for the Wave this summer.
Sat 23rd “Music for Springtime” Organ Recital this evening.
Sun 24th APCM today.
Mon 25th For the appointment of a new Bishop of Oxford.
Tues 26th Work of the Mustard Seed and Seekers Light.
Wed 27th Faringdon Family Centre AGM this evening at the Blessed Hugh.
Thurs 28th The Wisbeys as they actively look for a new house.
Fri 29th Allsorts this morning. The Flower Guild.
Sat 30th All who help in our Churches.

Meetings for prayer in April

All Saints’ seeks to have an active and regular prayer ministry with a number of informal meetings during the month to which all are very welcome.

Friday 1st 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)
Tuesday 5th 2.00-3.00pm Julian Meeting (18 Eastfield Court)
Tuesday 5th 7.15-8.15pm Mission for Faringdon (Barber Rooms)
Friday 8th 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)
Tuesday 12th 8.00-9.00pm Julian Meeting (Call 244 905 for venue)
Friday 15th 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)
Friday 15th 8.00pm Prayer for the World (Call 240 509 for venue)
Tuesday 19th 7.00-7.30pm Interregnum Prayers (Lower Asset Room)
Wednesday 20th 10.30-11.30am Prayer for CMS (8 Coach Lane)
Friday 22nd 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)
Tuesday 26th 8.00-9.00pm Julian Meeting (Call 244 905 for venue)
Friday 29th 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)


For further details contact:

Mission for Faringdon (1st Tuesday evening): 241 975

Julian Meeting (Tuesday afternoon): 01865 820 511

Julian Meeting (Tuesday evening): 244 905

CMS Prayer Group (3rd Wednesday morning): 243 388

Parish Prayers (Friday am) and Prayers for the World (Friday pm): 240 509

Interregnum Prayer (3rdTuesday evening): 358 394

Mission of the month for April – African Children’s Fund

International Women’s Day was held on 8th March.  This is an annual event to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, while also turning the spotlight on to campaigns to encourage gender equality and stopping issues that prevent this from happening around the world.  In our field of work, we see that girls are often disadvantaged when it comes to education for a whole host of reasons.

In Zimbabwe, the work of our local partner encourages education in families ravaged by HIV/AIDS.  Many of these families will be child-headed, meaning that the eldest sibling – or often the eldest female sibling – is expected to take on the role of ‘mother’ to bring up her siblings and maintain the house.  Mwana Trust’s team of support workers will ensure that these families are supported at home and that their school fees are paid so they can continue their education.

In Tanzania, our Youth Network Programme provides a vocational scheme to allow teenage girls to continue learning when low exam results mean this is not possible in mainstream schooling.  Our instructors teach the girls a range of sewing skills – as well as basic mathematics, English and more advice on social issues – so that they are able to earn an income of their own when they are ready to enter a working environment.

Missions news

News from Church Mission Society

Joan Plumptre

This is the month when David and Liza Cooke will be leaving Kenya to return to the UK.  They will be flying home on 2nd April.  Do pray for them as they cope with the packing, for a safe journey, and adjustment to the next stage of their life. It is always difficult to leave a country for another.  Their minds will be on those they have left behind, will they stand firm against corruption, will they manage to continue to work for reconciliation?  Will they continue to work with the charity that sends out the wheelchairs?

Back in the UK, it will be all about UK politics and the Referendum, very few, if any, will want to be concerned about the problems of Kenya.  This is where David and Liza will value the visits to their Link Churches where they can share their burdens for their friends in Kenya and know that people are praying.

With this in mind we ask you to pray for and support the Cookes’ visit to All Saints’ on Sunday, 29th May.  It will be their farewell, a time when we will hear about how God has used their time in Kenya and they will be thanking us for our prayers and financial support.  When they first went to Kenya, our PCC, on our behalf, promised financial support and the prayer support of the members of our congregation.  David and Liza will continue their connection with Kenya but will no longer be supported by CMS, they will become a CMS Associate, still a member of CMS but self supporting and free to work from this country.  David and Liza will speak at the 10.30am service and there will be a chance to chat with them at coffee after the service and at a Bring & Share lunch afterwards in the Barber Rooms.  Put the date in your diary and let me know, if you can help.

We live in exciting times.  New technology, such as smart phones, enable people to receive the Bible in their own language, contact  other Christians,  group worship through their phones, even though the government may forbid public worship by Christians.  The number of new Christians in countries across the world is growing so fast, God is working where people are searching.  We may feel a bit dispirited in this country but the Archbishop is calling for a week of prayer for this country over Pentecost, and we can all take part in this believing that when we pray, God does answer us.

New Link Mission Partner

We now have another Mission Partner to support. She is Lynn Treneary going to South Sudan later in the year. Lynn is visiting All Saints at the 10.30 am service on 17th April and she would like to meet people at coffee after the service. She hopes to return later in the summer when she will be able to speak at a service about the work she will be doing in South Sudan. Please remember Lynn in your prayers.