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Shrove Tuesday, 16th February

You are invited to join the chaos and fun of our first ever Zoom Pancake Party at 6pm on Shrove Tuesday. It’s never been done before (in this parish) and we are not quite sure exactly how it will pan out, but we know it will be fun and there will be lots of laughter! There is a Pancake Trivia quiz, and the chance for you read out the poems you have found or written on Pancakes or Shrove Tuesday. When it comes to the pancakes themselves there is a simple recipe below and we will have three competition classes:

  • best tossed pancake (style and charisma, staying within camera range)
  • best decorated pancake
  • pancake decorated to look most like a member of the staff team

Zoom numbers are the same as zoom coffee. The party will last 45 minutes to an hour and is followed by a Celtic Eucharist for Shrove Tuesday at 7. 30pm on Facebook / web site as usual on Tuesday nights.  

Pancake recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 300ml milk
  • 1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil, plus a little extra for frying
  • Whatever your favourite toppings  / decorations are…..

Method:

  • Put 100g plain flour, 2 large eggs, 300ml milk, 1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil and a pinch of salt into a bowl or large jug, then whisk to a smooth batter.
  • Set aside for 30 mins to rest if you have time, or start cooking straight away.
  • Set a medium frying pan or crêpe pan over a medium heat and carefully wipe it with some oiled kitchen paper.
  • When hot, cook your pancakes for 1 min on each side until golden, keeping them warm in a low oven as you go.
  • Serve with lemon wedges and caster sugar, jam, chocolate, marshmallows, sprinkles, custard, asparagus, mushrooms or whatever takes your fancy.
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Kids Lent Bake

We’ve got a great selection of recipes for baking special Lent and Easter goodies: gingerbread men, chocolate truffles, shortbread rounds, pretzels, apple blondies, pancakes, rocky road, peanut butter cheerio clusters, hot cross cookies, easy souffle cheesecake, resurrection rolls and chocolate Easter nests. You can download the booklet here.

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Ash Wednesday, 17th February

We will be holding two services to mark Ash Wednesday on February 17th:

Pause for Prayer at 10am will be a Service of the Word with readings and liturgy, led by Felicity. There will be space to ash yourself during this service (see below about ashes). You can join this service at any time afterwards even if you can’t make 10am. Download the service sheet here.

The Eucharist with sermon and music will be at 8pm live on Zoom using the same numbers as Zoom coffee. This is a new way of doing liturgy for us. We will be able to see each other (unless you prefer to keep your camera turned off) so we will be more aware of worshipping together. We can sing together like we do in the sing-alongs. But we will not be doing a recording of it so you can’t join this service afterwards. (There are plusses and minuses). The order of service is available here.

You can collect a small brown envelope of ash from any of the churches from now on. Or you may like to make your own by burning your own palm cross, or lighting a match and using the residue, or even snuffing a candle wick out.

We also have a Prayer Walk for Ash Wednesday with readings, reflections, and simple activities. This is designed for Ash Wednesday but can be done at any time in Lent – so why not use it on your walk when the weather is kind? There are copies of the walk leaflet at the back of our churches or you can download it here.

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Valentine’s Sing-Along, 9th February

Valentine’s Day calls for some fun and celebration so we are hosting a Valentine’s Sing-along on zoom with a range of well known songs to lift the spirits. We had a little difficulty finding a free evening for this so we have settled for Tuesday 9th February at 6pm. These sing-a-longs are just for fun, and are not at all serious – Valentines costumes are encouraged so be creative if you like. If you know of friends / neighbours near and far who would like to join us please do invite them. The zoom numbers will be the same as zoom coffee – if you don’t know those then just ask.

The song sheet is available for download here.

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Candlemas

On Sunday 31st January we will celebrate Candlemas at 10am online. Think of Candlemas as the ultimate feast of All Age Worship: three generations together in the Temple with the wisdom and discernment of the older generation as they hold the baby and talk with the parents. Martin and Felicity have recorded interviews with some of our older generation (socially distanced) for the service and we are also looking forward to blessing baby William live in the online service – this will be a first! We will also bless candles for our use so please have a candle ready beside you if you are joining us online. Many of us do have candles at home – any colour, shape or size is good. But if you would like a church candle you are welcome to collect one from the lady chapel at St Johns, or the back of St Mary’s Kidlington or Hampton Poyle.

We are also trying something new for zoom coffee this week: please bring a symbol of something that has sustained you in your faith this year. It could be the cat, a hot water bottle, a flower, some soil, a bible……. And we will talk about them in our breakout groups.

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Coming Soon

Between now and the beginning of Lent we have three highlights planned:

The Sunday service for Candlemas on January 31st will be a rather special one with some thoughtful contributions from members of the parish and a little piece of drama performed by Dame Judi and Sir Kenneth (Oh no – they weren’t available but they sent their understudies, Rob and Liz Bruce!). We will also bless candles for our use so please have a candle ready beside you if you are joining us online. Many of us do have candles at home – any colour, shape or size is good. But if you would like a church candle you are welcome to collect one from the lady chapel at St Johns, or the back of St Mary’s Kidlington or Hampton Poyle.  We will also be trying something new for zoom coffee this week: please bring a symbol of something that has sustained you in your faith this year. It could be the cat, a hot water bottle, a flower, some soil, a bible……. And we will talk about them in our breakout groups.

Valentine’s Day calls for some fun and celebration so we are hosting a Zoom Valentine’s Sing-Along with a range of well known songs to lift the spirits. We had a little difficulty finding a free evening for this so we have settled for Tuesday 9th February at 6pm. These sing-alongs are just for fun, and are not at all serious – Valentines costumes are encouraged so be creative if you like. If you know of friends / neighbours near and far who would like to join us please do invite them. The zoom numbers will be the same as zoom coffee; contact us if you need to be reminded what they are.

Shrove Tuesday also calls for some fun with pancakes, so we will hold a Zoom Pancake Party at 6pm on Tuesday 16th February.  We will provide a recipe for pancake batter and you may, if you wish make pancakes live during the party. There will be several fun classes that you can enter:

  • best tossed pancake (style and charisma, staying within camera range)
  • best decorated pancake
  • pancake decorated to look most like a member of the staff team

You do not need to make pancakes in order to come to the party and be involved. Instead, you might like to take the ‘Pancake Poem  Challenge’ and write your own poem or find one that someone else has written. Bring your poem to the party and read it out or if you are shy one of us can read it for you. Poems can be about Pancake Day or can be more serious taking up a Shrove Tuesday line of thought – we don’t mind. 

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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

As usual, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will run from 18th to 25th January. But plans are, of course, slightly different this year.

We will be holding our usual noon-time prayers via Zoom on weekdays Monday 18th-Friday 22nd and Monday 25th. Instead of the usual delightful Fellowship Meal with speaker we have arranged a Zoom meeting on Climate Change for the evening of Tuesday 19th January. All of our churches have been exploring how we can be more environmentally conscious in our homes, in our community and in our churches and this talk is an opportunity to be encouraged in that quest, by two experienced and well-qualified speakers giving a Christian perspective.

For further details go to Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

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Bouncing Babies continues

Some good news today. We are, at present, allowed to continue our Bouncing Babies group for 0-6 months and parent/carer. We are reviewing the situation each week and are aware that this decision may change. There are a few dates on Eventbrite. Please do not purchase more than one ticket and do let us know if you are unable to attend when you have booked a ticket, so we can give the place to someone on our waiting list.

For more details see here or go to the Hub Facebook page

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Tea Talks

Yes, we were planning to have our traditional Winter Tea Talks at St Mary’s Kidlington in 2021 – the only thing missing being the tea! We had planned to hold the talks in the church as usual, with just a small audience, for social distancing reasons. We would also have broadcast them using Zoom, so people could join in by staying at home in comfort (and with a cup of tea).

However, given the latest COVID restrictions it’s not possible to have any “in person” audience so we have, regrettably, decided to cancel the January talk for this year. But do watch out for news of future events as we manage to arrange them.