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In a joint letter, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Justin Welby and John Sentamu wrote:
'Being a part of the Church of England is going to look very different in the days ahead’.
'We may not be able to pray with people in the ways that we are used to, but we can certainly pray for people. And we can certainly offer practical care and support.’
 

Unable to come to church?

You may wish to find a space for worship and prayer in front of a cross, a candle, or in a special place. We’ve prepared this week’s lessons and intercessions for you to use in spiritual communion with other members of St Peter's - download here

'In our communion services, we include Intercessions: prayers which we offer as a congregation, around a number of themes. Although we cannot for the moment physically meet as a congregation, our prayers are needed as much as ever – perhaps more so – so here are some themes that people may wish to concentrate on in their own private prayer.' Viv Bridges
 
Tony Lemon has prepared a sermon entitled ‘Getting the picture in focus’. It's based on this Sunday’s reading from the Gospel according to John 9, 24-41 which describes how the Pharisees reacted to Jesus’ healing the blind man on the Sabbath. Click here to read.
 

Mothering Sunday

Although our world feels very different, some things are reassuringly familiar. This Sunday, as every year, we celebrate Mothering Sunday. Charles has the written the following talk for our children and families.

Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’ (John 8 v12)

There are many different kinds of light. Many of us like to have a night light on while we sleep, so we are not in complete darkness. You can’t see much by its light, but it’s there to comfort and reassure us. Perhaps the first kind of love we experience as very young children is the reassuring comforting love of our mother or father. But even if we learn not to be afraid of the dark, we all still need comfort and reassurance, especially at times like now when we are all a bit anxious. The Light of Christ, like a night light, gives us that comfort and reassurance, when we are going through dark times.

 

Another kind of light that helps us in the dark, is the light of a torch. We use it to find our way in the dark. It guides us, and shows us where there is a safe path to follow. When we are young, our mothers and fathers guide us on our way, and help us to find our pathway through life. But we all need light to guide us, when we’re not sure of the way ahead. A torch doesn’t shine very far ahead – it doesn’t show us the whole way. But it always shows us the next few steps in front of us, which is what we really need. The Light of Christ, like a torch, guides us on our way. He doesn’t show us the whole journey, but if we ask him to guide us, he will always show us the next few steps on our way, so that we don’t get lost.

 

One kind of light we all enjoy is candle light. We use candles to celebrate birthdays or maybe to make our meals more special.

We love to use candles in church to celebrate the Light of Christ. For me, a candle in church is a sign of hope. When we are young, and we’re really upset about something that has gone wrong, and we feel like it’s the end of the world, it’s sometimes a mother or father that can help us take a long view, and to keep our hope in the future, as well as reassuring us of their unchanging love for us.

 

The Light of Christ gives us hope when we feel despair. He reassures us that his love for us is steady and unchanging, and that the future is in his hands, and that he will always be with us, not just now but forever. That we can entrust our future into his hands.

Night light, torch and candle... Comfort and reassurance, guidance on our path, and hope for the future. All things we need in anxious times. And with his help, perhaps we can offer comfort and reassurance, guidance and hope to others around us. This is what the Light of Christ gives us.
 
‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness
but will have the light of life.’


Archbishop of Canterbury to lead first national virtual Church of England service

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is to lead a national broadcast this Sunday as the Church of England responds to the challenge of becoming a 'different sort of church' in the face of the COVID-19 challenge.
The service, including prayers, hymns and a short sermon, will be broadcast  on BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Worship at 08:10 and all local radio stations in England at 08:00.

In his address the Archbishop will say: 'In all of the current troubles, and they are very serious troubles, looking inwards will only reveal the limits of our own resources, and lead to deeper fear and selfishness.'

'Acting in love found from God in Jesus Christ will do the exact reverse. As we look out from ourselves in love, we can enable people to find the place of their nurture, not their historic place but a new place where they meet God and find his consolation.'

'As we share our consolation the mother love of God will enfold them. As we love the poor, go and give to a food bank, call on someone who is isolated, do their shopping, pray with and for them from a distance, we will find that we are deeply consoled by our own gift of consolation.'

Churches of all major denominations will also be marking a national day of prayer and action this Sunday – Mothering Sunday - particularly remembering those who are sick or anxious and all involved in health and emergency services. To show solidarity with friends and neighbours, put a lighted candle in your window at 7:00pm to remind ourselves of God's light shining as darkness falls.


Diocesan live streams


Bishtop Steven will preside at the Eucharist this Sunday and offer a brief reflection to the whole Diocese from Christ Church at 10:00am. In keeping with the restrictions, only a handful of people will be able to be present.

Prayer requests
Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for all prayer requests. Anything sent before Sunday morning will be included in Sunday prayers or prayed for at the Cathedral during the week.


Order of service
Please download and use this order of service

Live stream link
The live stream link will be published here https://www.oxford.anglican.org/coronavirus-covid-19/livestream/ on Sunday. If you can’t see a link, please force refresh your browser page (Ctrl+F5).

 

"And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently. And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal. And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed”.    Kitty O’Meara


Other news...

The Flying Goose
Distributors are asked to collect their bundles of the new Flying Goose from St Peter's this Sunday 09:45-10:45 or  weekday mornings 09:00-09:30. Please contact Diana Edwards  (01865 451206 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if you are unable to deliver your usual round, or if you're willing to help out taking an additional round.

And finally...
Thank you for the many kind and positive responses to our newsletter. Please continue to let us know what information you'd like to receive, or suggest how we might better meet your need for support through the e-newsletter. Send us stories, poems and photographs - things you're doing to get though this crisis, thanks for acts of kindness, ideas for community action. This is a resource for everyone. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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