All posts by Peter Wells

Prayer Cycle for October

No. 94 October 2020

EAB9YJ St Andrew’s Church, High Street, Sonning-On-Thames, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom

This month our special focus is on the Parish of Sonning, Charvil and Sonning Eye

Please pray for:

Vicar:                                      Rev’d Jamie Taylor
Associate Vicar:                   Revd Kate Wakeman Toogood
Youth Minister:                     Chris West
LLM:                                       Bob Peters
Church Wardens:                Perry Mills, Stuart Bowman
Deputy Wardens:                 Molly Woodly, Sue Peters, Mark Jordan
Administrator and Sec:    Hilary Rennie
Treasurer:                              Richard Moore

In the Parish please pray for:

  • The Sunday Services now at 930am and all who come to worship
  • The youth and children’s ministry leaders as we seek to restore and rebuild after the Covid lockdown
  • all the members of our pensioners’ lunch club ‘Rendezvous’, unable to meet together since March

In the Deanery please pray for:

  • All Churches as we have re-opened for public worship and private prayer
  • Those responsible for making our Churches safe places to worship
  • The ongoing safety and co-ordination of our socially distanced services in our church building.
  • Those unable to attend that they may still be able to connect with and feel a valued part of our congregation.
  • All children, young people and those working in schools, colleges and universities as lecturers, teachers and support staff that they will be protected.
  • For the children and families in the deanery, as our churches restart activities, and continue to make children welcome in new and different ways, and for wisdom and discernment as we work out the best way to support and encourage the faith of our young people.
  • For all who have being ordained deacon at this time in the Oxford Diocese, particularly for Cara Smart, ordained deacon on 26th September and for all at St Paul’s Wokingham, St Nicholas and Woosehill, where Cara will serve her curacy.
  • For Rev’d Soba Sinnathamby, welcomed as the new Methodist minister to the circuit and to Woosehill Church, and for our ongoing and close relationship with the Methodist Churches and the enrichment that brings to our faith.

Nationally, please pray for:

  • The government as they are forced to introduce stricter measures to bring the spread of the virus under control.

Prayer in as we travel on:

            Lord Jesus Christ, light of this world, thank you for the hope you have given us.
Help us to give our worries to you and, above all, to trust in your unfailing love.
For you have promised us “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.”
Almighty God, our protector, let us trust in you to carry us through this time of uncertainty.
Jesus, hear our cries as we mourn those who’ve lost.
Whatever tomorrow may bring, we will praise your name. 

Amen.

Prayer Cycle for September

No. 93 September 2020

This month we continue to pray for all the churches, schools, and communities in our deanery.

Please pray for:

  • The churches in our deanery, our Area Dean, all clergy, ministry teams and those responsible for making our churches safe for worship
  • The simpler form which our services now take and for those who mourn the loss of singing.
  • Those who find the wearing of face masks during worship difficult and uncomfortable.
  • Churches where the size and structure of the building makes it difficult to accommodate more than a small number of people for worship at a social distance, that solutions will be found.
  • Sides people and Welcome teams responsible for making sure that social distancing is observed in church and that we will courteously observe the rules.
  • Those responsible for cleaning the churches after services and other activities..
  • Business and social meetings which have to continue to be held on Zoom.
  • Our children and young people whose Sunday Schools and Youth Groups may have been disrupted during Lockdown.
  • Wisdom to discern ways in which we can continue to reach out to those outside our usual worshipping community who joined us in our video and live-streamed services,
  • Those still shielding and feeling sad because they feel so isolated.
  • All who still do not feel safe to return to church attendance, that they will still be able to access services streamed, videoed or recorded.
  • Those who are still ill or with the viral aftermath of Covid 19, facing long weeks of limitation and exhaustion.
  • Our schools as they reopen,
  • Head teachers with responsibility for making decisions to keep everyone feeling safe and secure.
  • Teachers who may feel anxious and vulnerable in the classroom
  • Pupils of all ages, that they will understand the need for social distancing and will observe the instructions they are given for their safety.
  • Pupils in years 10 – 13 as they prepare for exams and catch up on lessons missed during lockdown.
  • Young people as they prepare for work or to go to university.
  • Finchampstead and California in the continuing exercise to finalise the Parish Profile and start the appointment process for a new incumbent.

Please give thanks for:

  • The beauty of the natural world around us
  • The patience and understanding shown by so many people over the last months.

In the wider world please continue to pray for:

  • The world leaders, that the advice they receive may lead them to make the right decisions to bring the spread of the Corona virus under control.
  • Those in leadership in our country, the Government, all our MPs and local politicians and for the scientists and other advisors.
  • Those working to develop a reliable vaccine and those volunteering to test the vaccine.. 

An alternative Collect for the Tenth Sunday after Trinity in Daily Prayer SSF.

“Lord of heaven and earth,
as Jesus taught his disciples to be persistent in prayer,
give us patience and courage never to lose hope,
but always to bring our prayers before you;

though Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer Cycle for August

No. 92 August 2020

This month we continue to pray for all the churches and communities in our deanery as following the easing of restrictions we are able to re-open our Churches for public worship and are able to move around more freely.

Please pray for:

  • The individual churches in our deanery, our Area Dean, all clergy, ministry teams and PCCs.
  • The teams of people who have given many hours carrying out risk assessments in preparation for us to resume worship in church, so that everything can be done safely and reverently in these new circumstances.
  • Churches where the size and structure of the building makes it difficult to accommodate more than a small number of people for worship at a social distance, that solutions will be found.
  • Welcome teams responsible for making sure that social distancing is observed in church.
  • Those responsible for cleaning the churches after services.
  • Those who will not feel safe to return to church attendance and will miss services being streamed or videoed.
  • Business and social meetings which have to continue to be held on Zoom.
  • Our children and young people whose Sunday Schools and Youth Groups may have been disrupted during Lockdown.
  • Wisdom to discern ways in which we can continue to reach out to those outside our usual worshipping community who joined us in our video and live-streamed services,
  • A continuing sensitivity to the needs of all around us, particularly all carers and those living alone.
  • Those who are still ill or with the viral aftermath of Covid 19, facing long weeks of limitation and exhaustion.
  • Cara Smart and her family as they move to Emmbrook as she joins the staff team at St Paul’s Wokingham and for her preparation to be ordained deacon in September.
  • Julie and David Ramsbottom as they retire to Oxfordshire.
  • Our use this autumn of the document ‘EMERGING FROM CORONAVIRUS – A tool to aid reflection’.

Please give thanks:

  • That there can now be weddings and baptisms in Church once more – that those special days will be blessed and joyous.
  • For the patience and understanding shown by so many people over the last months.

In the wider world please continue to pray for:

  • The world leaders, that the advice they receive may lead them to make the right decisions to bring the spread of the Corona virus under control.
  • Those in leadership in our country, the Government, all our MPs and local politicians and for the scientists and other advisors.

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing be well. 
Julian of Norwich

Prayer Cycle for July

No. 91 July 2020

This month we continue to focus is on the world, the church, and our communities as we adjust to changes in our lives brought about by the Corona Pandemic 

Please pray for:

  • The world leaders, that the advice they receive may lead them to make the right decisions to bring the spread of the Corona virus under control.
  • Those in leadership in our country, the Government, all our MPs and local politicians and for the scientists and other advisors.
  • All those who are sick with the virus and those recovering especially those with serious post Covid fatigue, that they will regain their health and strength.
  • Those grieving, particularly for those who were not able to say goodbye to a loved one face to face and hand to hand
  • Medical and nursing staff continuing to work sacrificially, in hospitals, nursing and care homes and local surgeries.
  • Those looking for fresh ways of treating the virus to reduce its impact.
  • Scientists working on vaccines and for those involved in the testing for safety and effectiveness.
  • All key workers, pharmacists, home carers, teachers, childcare providers, shop workers, delivery drivers, and all involved in keeping those of us at home safe and supported. That they will be kept safe and well and that we show them our appreciation.
  • Those people who are still uncertain about going outside, and all those who long to go outside but are obliged to stay at home for their own safety and the safety of those they are shielding.
  • That in these difficult times we might be a people who are sensitive to needs of all around us, particularly all carers and those living alone, that as we serve our local community we will always be looking for ways to share with others the love we share in Jesus
  • The many who have lost their employment and business opportunities due to the virus and those who fear that they may do so in the coming weeks,
  • The Churches in our Deanery, Bishop: Olivia Graham, Area Dean: Richard Lamey. the ministry teams and congregations as our churches start to open up for private prayer and some public worship and for all working to make sure that all is done to ensure the safety of those attending.
  • That we will listen to the voice and will of God in this crisis and respond to the new things we have discovered in these last months with courage, compassion and prayer.
  • Give thanks for the expertise and creativity for all who are contributing to video and streamed of services and meetings and for those keeping us in touch through newsletters and e-mails.
  • That way will be found to continue to use the technology so that people who do not feel confident to return to worship in church because of age or health issues can still be included.
  • Wisdom to discern ways in which we can continue to reach out to those outside our usual worshipping community who have joined us in our video and live-streamed services,
  • For those members of our churches are not able to use technology, that they will still receive pastoral care and not be forgotten.
  • Schools as they re-open, pupils, teachers and support staff.
  • All young people who have been missing out on school for the past three months, especially those who should have taken exams this summer and those who will be working towards important exams next year.
  • Parents home schooling their children.
  • David Wails, James Furlong, Joe Richie Bennett – victims of the Forbury Gardens stabbing – may they rest in peace,
  • The Holt school and all staff, students and counsellors following the stabbing of the much respected and loved teacher James Furlong.  

Give thanks for:

  • The beauty of the world around us.
  • The freedom to spend time in our gardens and parks and the countryside on our walks.

Ever present God,
be with us in our isolation,
be close to us in our distancing,
be healing to us in our sickness,
be light in our darkness,
be wisdom in our confusion,
be all that is familiar when all is unfamiliar,
that when the doors reopen
we may with the zeal of Pentecost
inhabit our communities
and speak of your goodness
to an emerging world.
For Jesus’ sake. Amen

            Very Rev’d Andrew Nunn

Let Nothing Disturb You

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

St. Teresa of Avila

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing be well. 

                                                                                                Julian of Norwich

Prayer Cycle for May

No.89 May 2020

This month our focus is on the world and the church in the midst of the Corona virus pandemic.

Please pray for:

  • The world leaders, that the advice they receive may lead them to make the right decisions to bring the spread of the Corona virus under control
  • Those in leadership in our country, Boris Johnson, his cabinet, all our MPs and local politicians and those advising them.
  • All those sick with the virus, that they will receive the expert treatment and the equipment they need to help them recover.
  • Those who are dying and those who have died without the comfort of family around them.
  • Those caring directly for the sick; doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, all hospital staff and especially at this time those from our own communities and those known to us. That they will receive the protective clothing and masks necessary to keep them safe and know how much we value their sacrificial work.
  • Those in the nursing and care homes in our area that they will be kept free of the virus.
  • All key workers, pharmacists, home carers, teachers, childcare providers, shop workers, delivery drivers, and all those involved in keeping those of us at home safe and supported. That they will be kept safe and well and that as we see them going about their work we show them our appreciation.
  • Those in all parts of the world working to find a vaccine which will protect us all and particularly the vulnerable.
  • Volunteers offering help with shopping and collection of medication.
  • Those working from home
  • Those helping to home school their children. That they will have the resources they need and patience when things become difficult.
  • All finding social isolation difficult, especially those living alone. That we will not forget them but keep in contact with them by telephone and e-mail.
  • Families separated by distance and isolation, unable to offer the care and support they long to give each other.
  • All those in leadership in churches of all denominations and of all faiths, and in our Anglican Communion, Archbishop Justin, Bishop Steven of Oxford, and Bishop Olivia of Reading.
  • Our Clergy and Ministry teams as they learn new ways of delivering worship using the internet and those using their technical expertise to make these services available to us.
  • All those who lead the worship and those who watch from home.
  • Those who do not have access to the internet that we will not forget them and find ways to share something of the services with them.
  • Those in our Parish offices sending out information and helping us to remain in touch as community although we cannot meet with one another.

Let us give thanks for:

  • The time to appreciate afresh the breath-taking beauty of nature and rediscover a simplicity of life, dwell in the present moment, value each other and the world around us.
  • The time now in our isolation to meet Jesus as for the first time, alive and present to each one of us, full of grace and truth.

Prayer

Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord

Prayer Cycle for April

No. 88 April 2020

This month our special focus is on Parish of St Michael’s Sandhurst and prayers for the Church and for the world in the midst of the Corona virus pandemic.

Please pray for:

  • Rector:                                               Rev John Castle
  • Associate Minister:                          Rev John White
  • Associate Minister:                          Rev Jane Kraft
  • Family Worker:                                 Angela Harper
  • Youth Worker:                                   Mike Gower
  • Church Warden:                              Catherine Wilkins
  • Church Warden:                              Emma Hodge
  • PCC Secretary:                                 Dave Percival
  • Treasurer:                                          Jon Toohey
  • Church Office:                                  Sunita Mcintosh and Nicola Thompson

We at St Michael’s would like to forego our “turn” to lay our small needs before you in the cycle of prayer, and use it instead to call out to God across the Deanery, Diocese and nation for:

  • Those with a prophetic calling to lead the church in hearing what God wants to say to us through the current crisis;
  • That just as the people of Israel were stripped away from their place of worship, the Temple, when they went into exile, so we as the people of God having been stripped of our places of worship now would hear God’s call to his people to establish our homes and families as centres of worship, and to pray for our nation and our world (Jer 29:4-7).
  • For our keeping of Lent, Holy Week and Easter in a totally new way, both as individuals, through services on the radio and television and live streaming from our Churches and Cathedrals.
  • For the innovators and creators amongst us to rise up with new and imaginative ways to reach out beyond the confines of the church to speak Shalom to the anxious and frightened of our land;
  • For the pastors and carers reaching out to those who are isolated, struggling and alone;
  • For families separated by distance and isolation, unable to offer the care and support they long to give each other.
  • For the husbands and wives terrified at the thought of one or other being rushed off to intensive care; and for those grieving the loss of a dear partner or friend sometimes without the time or opportunity to say goodbye;
  • For the key workers in this land, already exhausted and stressed and knowing they have months of pressure to come, that they may know both God’s strength and his peace;
  • That as a nation God’s light will shine into all that we have done, both as a nation and as individuals by our selfishness and greed, and that we may cry out in repentance and turn once more to the Lordship of Christ;
  • For all those in leadership in churches of all denominations and of all faiths, and in our Anglican Communion, Archbishop Justin, Bishop Steven of Oxford, and Bishop Olivia of Reading.
  • For the clergy and leadership teams in our parishes that they may have great wisdom and fortitude as they lead us through this current storm;
  • For those in leadership in our country, Boris Johnson, his cabinet, all our MPs and local politicians and those advising them.
  • That we may all hear the voice of our Lord saying ”Quiet, Be still”, and may be amazed (Mark 4:39)

The Centre For Reflection

AddressSpring Ln, Aston Tirrold, Didcot OX11 9EJ

Phone01235 850423

Future  QUIET GARDEN TRUST dates which may be of interest to you – 6 June; 19 September; 28 November – 10 – 4pm.

SATURDAY 7 MARCH,  BREAD MAKING AND REFLECTIONS 10.30 – 3.30pm “Love is Come again like wheat that springs up green” Please join us for a day of bread making and reflections looking particularly at the Four Loves by C S Lewis. Materials supplied but please bring a mixing bowl and apron. Time for personal space. Bring and Share Lunch. Cost £15.

SATURDAY 14 MARCH DAY SEMINAR 10 – 4pm ST PATRICK: HIS LIFE AND LEGACY LED BY REV JOSIE MIDWINTER. There will be three sessions about St Patrick and there will be time for personal reflection and some group sharing. We will finish with a time of worship in the Celtic tradition. Cost: £15 including a light lunch.

THURSDAY 19 & 26 MARCH & 2 APRIL 10 – 1pm LENT COURSE LED BY REV RICHARD BITTLESTON – “When we know we’re helping; life is good” – Knowing how (and when) we can help is an art, regardless of what we can ‘do’. This short course explores both ancient and modern insights into being truly helpful, drawing freely from both religious and secular sources. Light lunch of soup at 12.30pm. Come to one or all mornings. Donation to the Centre for Reflection.

FRIDAY 1 MAY 7.30pm MOONRAKERS IN CONCERT (at the Church). It is very exciting to announce that these four Oxford based musicians will be making a return visit to Aston Tirrold. If you have not had the opportunity of seeing them perform live, this is your chance to enjoy their eclectic music, some from the classical and some from the folk tradition. Refreshments available. Tickets: £12 on the door or book through the Centre.

Please book any of the above events through the Centre for Reflection Email: ; Tel: 01235 850423

Festival of Prayer 2020

Festival of Prayer, Saturday 11 July
Ripon College, Cuddesdon

The Festival of Prayer, now in its tenth year, aims to enhance your spiritual life by offering different approaches to Christian prayer and spirituality. Featuring a keynote address from Gemma Simmonds CJ, thought-provoking workshops led by authors, speakers, teachers and clergy, one-to-one sessions on spiritual direction, as well as dedicated time and space for personal reflection.  
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