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

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!

Eco church and energy audits

Click the image to watch the film and visit to find out how your church can get involved.

Energy efficiency can enable our churches to provide attractive places of sanctuary, fellowship and communion – with a comfortable level of warmth and illumination – at a lower cost to the planet, and sometimes with financial savings as well. One significant barrier for churches, however, is knowing what positive actions they can undertake. PCCs can now obtain and begin to act on expert advice in this area with energy audits carried out by professionals with experience of historic places of worship. The energy audit looks at a range of energy uses in the church building, from lighting to heating, and recommends the energy and carbon reduction measures available. These can include simple changes that will cost nothing – such as setting adjustments and changing practices – as well as options for renewable technologies, better controls, or changes in equipment. This short film tells the story of how one church in Wokingham has benefited from this approach. To find out more, visit: