Lent and Easter 2022

We are now in the season of Lent, beginning with our Ash Wednesday services on 2nd March. You can still join the beautiful choral service held at St Mary’s Kidlington by visiting our Facebook Live page. And our Lent courses started on Monday 7th March. See below for further details.

At the All Together service in St John’s on the first Sunday of Lent the theme was “living Lent by pointing the way to Jesus”. May this prayer, written by one of the children, guide you this season.

Help us be kind and truthful, 
help us realise that by doing this we are pointing the way to Jesus.

Help us to love and share with people in need,
help us realise that by doing this we are pointing the way to Jesus.

Help us be aware of what is happening in the world,
help us realise that by doing this we are pointing the way to Jesus.

Amen

On Wednesday 2nd March there were said services with ashing at 11am at St Mary’s Kidlington and St John’s.  At 8pm in St Mary’s Kidlington we had a sung service with ashing, short sermon, and the full choir and choristers singing Allegri’s Miserere and Byrd’s 4-part mass. This service was livestreamed for those unable to attend in person, and you can still share the worship on our Facebook page.

Order of Service for Ash Wednesday

During Lent we will be running the national course, ‘Living in Love and Faith’. We will use resources prepared for all sectors of the Church of England addressing questions of identity, relationships, sexuality, gender, and marriage. 

This is an important national conversation and we hope that as many people as possible would get involved in these groups and so be able to feed back your views to General Synod before the national deadline (30th April). Currently two groups have been organised but more can be set up if needed. There are five sessions and you can choose between

  • in-person on Monday evenings from 8pm to 9.30pm in St Mary’s Refectory, starting March 7th
  • online on Tuesday afternoons from 1.30pm to 3pm, starting March 8th.

The Making Group will also be reflecting on this theme to produce hangings for display in St Mary’s Kidlington. They are inviting everyone who participates in the course to send in a word or phrase which sums up the material for them. If you would like to join that group or feed into their reflections just email webmaster and we can put you in touch.

The CofE website gives more detail about the LLF project, see  https://llf.churchofengland.org/

Here is a prayer for Living in Love and Faith.

God, whose name is Love,
Whose gift is life,
Whose word holds all in being;
Bless Living in Love and Faith to your church
As we seek to grow together
Into the truth of our humanity and longings,
Into communities where all find welcome,
Into the fullness that is your image in us;
Through the Word made flesh,
Our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen

The hope is for people in Church of England churches across the country to use the LLF resources to study and pray together. The resources are designed to encourage and enable engagement and learning in a variety of settings. This church-wide learning together, listening to one another, and listening to God is part of discerning a way forward for the Church of England.  The purpose of the resources is to enable the Church of England churches across the country to participate in a process of learning and praying together as part of discerning a way forward in relation to matters of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.

The Church of England is keenly aware that issues of gender and sexuality are intrinsic to people’s experience; their sense of identity; their lives and the loving relationships that shape and sustain them. We also know that the life and mission of our Church – and of the worldwide Anglican Communion – are affected by the deep, and sometimes painful, disagreements among us which have been debated and discussed on many occasions over the years.

These divisions have come into sharper focus because of society’s changing perspectives and practices, especially in relation to lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and intersex people. The Church wants to understand what it means to follow Christ in love and faith given the questions about human identity and the variety of patterns of relationship emerging in our society, including marriage, civil partnership, cohabitation, celibacy and friendship.

The LLF resources explore these matters by studying what the Bible, theology, history and the social and biological sciences have to say, and by telling the real-life stories of followers of Christ with diverse experiences and convictions

We hope that people in worshipping communities across the country will get involved and use the resources to learn together. We believe that the Holy Spirit will be active among us as we pray, study and deliberate together to discover Christ’s call to the Church today. We do this with a deep sense of hopefulness for a future in which Christians can follow Christ together joyfully, fruitfully and with integrity.

The Making Group meets on Tuesday 5th April at 7:30pm in St Mary’s Kidlington to begin crafting our response to the “Living in Love and Faith” process. Please let Rosemary know if you would like to come along via webmaster as soon as possible. We shall be making decorative hangings incorporating some of the thoughts from the Lent Study Groups.  All are welcome, and no great technical skills required!

During Lent there will be a service of Compline every Sunday and Monday to Wednesday of Holy Week at 9pm in the Chancel at St Mary’s Kidlington. Each of these will be preceded by a talk at 8.45pm and this year our theme is the six ‘Pastoral Principles’ for living and working together in any context as healthy communities. For those not able to attend in person the talks will be available to download as the weeks progress. The topics are:

Unfortunately, not all talks have taken place because of COVID, but we are including those that we can.

These services on Palm Sunday, 10th April, will lead us into Holy Week:

  • St Mary’s Kidlington, 8am and 10am, Holy Communion
  • St John’s Kidlington, 10am, Holy Communion
  • St Mary’s Hampton Poyle, 10am, Liturgy of the Palms
  • St Mary’s Kidlington, 8.45pm, Talk followed by Compline at 9pm

For the 10am service at St Mary’s Kidlington please bring a tree branch or some greenery to wave and lay on the ground. We will be in the churchyard for the procession of palms. After this procession we move inside for the dramatised reading of the passion gospel. If you would like to take part please let Scott know by emailing to webmaster.

Please do join us for any service of preparation during this Holy Week:

Monday 11th April

  • St John’s, 7.30pm, BCP Evening Prayer & Litany
  • St Mary’s Kidlington, 8.45pm, Talk followed by Compline at 9pm

Tuesday 12th April

  • St John’s, 7.30pm, Holy Communion using an Iona-style liturgy
  • St Mary’s Kidlington, 8.45pm, Talk followed by Compline at 9pm

Wednesday 13th April

  • St Mary’s Kidlington, 11am, Holy Communion
  • St John’s, 7.30pm, Stations of the Cross
  • St Mary’s Kidlington, 8.45pm, Talk followed by Compline at 9pm

Maundy Thursday 14th April

  • St Mary’s Kidlington, 7.30pm, Simple Agape Meal leading into Vigil until midnight (see below)
  • St John’s, 8pm, Holy Communion with Washing of Feet, followed by Stripping of the Altar and Vigil until midnight

In St Mary’s Kidlington, the Maundy Thursday liturgy started with a simple meal (pitta, hummus, cheese etc) and this was followed by a Vigil until midnight. At St John’s we held our traditional service commemorating the Last Supper. This included the acceptance of the oils blessed by Bishop Steven early in the day and the Washing of Feet. The Reserved Sacrament was then taken to the Lady Chapel and placed on the Altar of Repose. After the Stripping of the Altar the Vigil continued in the Lady Chapel until midnight.

Good Friday 15th April

  • St Mary’s Kidlington, 12noon to 3pm, Reflections at the Cross
  • St John’s, 2pm, Reflections at the Cross
  • St John’s, 4pm, All Together on Good Friday

Churches Together in Kidlington will be holding their usual Good Friday Walk of Witness, starting from St John’s at 9.45am.

Our Online Pause for Prayer will be held at 10am, Monday to Thursday (but not Good Friday or Easter Monday).

Please do join us for any of our celebration services on this day, 17th April:

  • St Mary’s Kidlington, 5.30am, Dawn Mass
  • St Mary’s Kidlington, 10am, Celebration Eucharist – this will also be livestreamed
  • St Johns, 10am, Lighting of the Fire, Celebration Eucharist and Baptism of William Timms
  • St Mary’s Hampton Poyle, 10am, Celebration Eucharist
  • St Mary’s Kidlington, 5.30pm, Choral Evensong – the music in this service is sung by the choir offering praise to God on behalf of those gathered here and around the world; the people join silently in prayer alongside them and in speaking together the Confession, the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed and in singing the hymns.

We will once again gather for breakfast after the Easter Sunday Dawn service. Breakfast will be about 6.45am in the Refectory (attendance at the service not obligatory to attend breakfast!). Please email Meghann via webmaster if you would like to attend so we can have numbers for catering purposes.

The Diocese is offering a new series under the name “Come and See”. This is for anyone enquiring about faith, returning to faith after many years or moving to a new place in their faith in the disorientation of the pandemic. It’s something for the local church and the whole community… including children and young people, families and schools. It’s completely free and all are welcome. You can join in as an individual, a small group or a family.

Small groups and individuals

You will be sent a short email each day, Monday to Saturday. On Sundays during Lent you’ll receive a short video from Bishop Steven exploring the theme in a bit more detail. Each email begins with a short passage of text from the Bible. If you’ve never opened a Bible before, please don’t worry, just go with the flow over the next few days.

Children and families

You will be sent a short email each Sunday with a short video from Bishop Steven and some resources to use as a family during the week ahead. 

To find out more and to sign up go to the Diocesan website “Come and See” page