All posts by Peter Wells

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.


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.  
Book Promote in your community

Prayer Cycle for March

No.87 March 2020

This month our special focus is on Parish of St George’s Owlsmoor

  • Please pray for:
  • Vicar:                                                        The Revd Catherine Vaughan
  • Licensed Lay Minister:                        Penny Crane
  • Godly Play and Youth Leaders:   Linda & David Hewlett
  • Church Warden:                                     Brian Francis
  • PCC Sec:                                                      Bridget Crossley

Please pray for:

  • The project to renew the Church windows and all the administration tasks which need to be done before work can start.
  • For those in our congregation who are seriously unwell at the moment, especially those awaiting major surgery.
  • The recruitment of an organist for the 10am Sunday Eucharist.

Please give thanks for:

  • the generosity of people in the parish especially in our efforts to raise funds to renew our church windows

In the Deanery please pray:

  • St Michaels’ Sandhurst
    • For a deeper engagement with the Psalms as we explore them in a sermon series. For the Psalmathon on the 28 March. That people will experience the Psalms in a new way.
    • For our Choral Matins service on 29 March, that people will be come and experience a traditional form of service which may be new to them.
  • Woosehill
    • For continuing good progress as the Anglican and Methodist Ministers work more closely together
    • Continuing volunteer commitment for the various jobs around the church and the community
    • Give thanks for the positive results from the PMC.
    • For the ‘Learning to Pray’ Bible discussions and that lessons learnt will be implemented.
  • In the Deanery
    • For all the courses and special services during Lent – Ash Wednesday, Mothering Sunday and in Holy Week as we prepare for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Day.
    • For all ordained and lay, who are finding the pilgrim path a lonely and dispiriting journey at the moment; that during Lent and Holy Week they will meet with Jesus face to face and rejoice at the sight.
    • For all who have been hurt by the recent statements from the senior church officers and by the way other church members have behaved towards them, especially where positions of authority have been abused to inflict deep and lasting pain.
  • In the Berkshire Archdeaconry – for the team as it begins to work together – for Bishop Olivia and Archdeacon Stephen Pullin in their new roles and for the interview process to find a new, full-time Associate Archdeacon.

Resources from the Diocese

Count your blessings with Christian Aid this Lent

In a world that has you counting money, calories, kilos and steps, be a rebel and count your blessings! Order or download free resources

Mothering Sunday resources from the Children’s Society

Mothering Sunday is on 22 March. The Children’s Society provides suggestions for readings, talks, activities and prayers.

Lent blog: Women of the Old Testament

Revd Clare Hayns, College Chaplain, Christ Church will be posting a short blog about a different woman from the Old Testament each day of Lent. There will be stories of courage, intrigue and adventure. There will be tales of passion, jealousy and love. Reflections on the stories draw parallels with the experiences of women and men today.

Yellow Braces

Calling all 1118 year-olds

Are you ready for some gniyllub, malarkey and shenanigans? If so, then why not sign up to Yellow Braces, our annual youth camp? Download this flyer, print it, stick it up in church and give it to members of your youth group. With the DIY Olympics, worship, reflection time and water-balloon volleyball, Yellow Braces is always a weekend to remember. Find out more by reading this photo story from last year’s camp. Now you’re ready to book!