St Michael and All Angels' Church, Park Road, Abingdon

Welcome!

line drawing of St Michael's Church

Team Vicar:
The Revd Paul Smith
Tel: 01235 534654

Service Times

There is a Mass each Sunday at 9.30 am. Booking is no longer necessary, but please see the 25 July pew leaflet for details of the revised arrangements. The Prayer and Worship Resources page contains links to further worship resources, including the service sheet for each Sunday.

Mass will also be said on Thursdays at 12.30 pm. Booking is not necessary for this service, but please be mindful that it is essential to sign-in on the list at the table by the North Door on arrival; sanitise your hands as usual; and sit in a designated seat. The service sheet can be downloaded from the Prayer and Worship Resources page.

The next Silent Reflections will be on Tuesday 31 August at 7.30 pm. Materials from previous Silent Reflections are available to download from the Prayer and Worship Resources page.

Parish Office The Parish office is normally open Mondays to Thursdays, 10am to 1pm. The Parish Administrator can be contacted by email administrator@sthelens-abingdon.org.uk, phone 01235 520144 or mobile: 07395 943957.

For Baptisms, Weddings or Funerals please contact the Parish Office.

Church address for correspondence:

St Michael's Church, Parish Office, St Helen's Court, Abingdon OX14 5BS
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From the Vicar:

Dear Friends

'I am the bread of life' is one of the famous 'I am' sayings of Jesus which we find in John's gospel and which concludes the gospel reading today. Each time we come to the Eucharist we do so to receive Jesus in the Sacrament who is Himself, the Bread of Life.

For Jesus to have referred to himself in this way, would have been quite shocking. But, this bread has not only come down from heaven, it must also be eaten by those who would live for ever. From earliest days Christians have read this as referring to the Eucharist. It is then not simply our spiritual food for the journey but our food for eternal life. This is why the Eucharist is central to our worship as a Christian community, and that receiving communion on Sundays is essential for us.

You will be aware that there is a second opportunity in the week for us to come aside from all we do and meet on Thursdays at 12.30pm to celebrate the Eucharist. I encourage you to do this when you are able. Last week, after two discussions at separate meetings, the DCC took the difficult decision not to re-instate a weekday evening Mass (which had been suspended - as had the Thursday celebration - during the pandemic). This is due to the fact that I cannot always guarantee being available due to other commitments and there remains a challenge of finding another priest to preside in my place. I regret this is the case, but want to assure you that the DCC agreed to review this decision in six months time.

On Sunday we sing at the offertory: Guide me O thou Great Redeemer. This reminds us that we are pilgrims in need of food. You may wish to give special prayerful attention when we sing the words: 'Bread of heaven - feed me till I want no more'.

With love and prayers

Fr Paul

A Candle in the Window

2021 issue 6 of the parish magazine is available to download. The next issue will be published in September.

Prayer and Worship Resources (Covid-19)

Links to resources for prayer and worship are available through the Parish Resources page A link to a recording of the Eucharistic Service at St Helen's Church each Sunday should be available on that page sometime that day. Our Prayer and Worship Resources page contains links to further worship resources, including the service booklet for this Sunday. Please check these pages regularly as there are frequent updates.

Please study this week's pew leaflet carefully.

Pathways the digital edition of the Diocesan magazine is available on-line.

News

Easyfundraising.org.uk Please bear in mind that if you shop online you could be raising money for our church. For more information, follow the link. The unique link to our charitable cause is https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/stmichaelsabingdon/, the Church of St Michael and All Angels Abingdon. Over 2400 well known retailers including M&S, Boden, Waitrose, House of Fraser, and many more will donate a percentage of what you spend to St Michael's when you shop with them, via fundraising website https://easyfundraising.org.uk.

The Abingdon Area Archaeological and Historical Society has created a web site that contains information about the most interesting historical buildings, streets and people in the town.

Introduction

St Michael and All Angels' Church is a Church of England church located in the west of the town, adjacent to Albert Park. The Church of England churches in Abingdon are organized into two Benefices, Abingdon-on-Thames and Abingdon North. Abingdon-on-Thames is a Team Ministry, to which St Michael's church brings a distinctive Anglo-Catholic tradition. Almost all the Christian churches in the town are members of a Local Ecumenical Project, called The Church in Abingdon. The Local Ecumenical Project recognizes a spirit of co-operation and ecumenism that has existed in Abingdon for many years; Christians of all denominations unite to work together whenever common action is possible and to share in and be enriched by each other's traditions of prayer and worship. St Michael's Church has very strong links with our neighbours at Trinity Church. Within the Anglican Parish our Team Vicar is also Team Vicar of St Nicolas'. St Helen's, St Michael's and St Nicolas' are the three Anglican churches in the the Benefice of Abingdon-on-Thames.

Brief History

The church was designed by the architect Sir G.G. Scott, and built in the period 1864-1867. It was consecrated on 25th January 1867. The interior was redecorated in January 1999. Pevsner in his famous books The Buildings of England describes St Michael's as 'a quiet, dignified design'; a phrase that might also be applied to our main act of worship, the Sung Mass at 9.30 am each Sunday.

A history of the church, 1867 - 1967, was written for the centenary of the consecration of the church by J.C. Norris. The centenary was celebrated with First Evensong on 24 January 1967, High Mass and Sermon on 25 January, and Sung Mass and Sermon (preacher: The Revd Canon D. Nicholson, Vicar of St. Mary, Bourne Street, London and Superior General of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament) followed by Evensong on the Sunday in the Octave of the Dedication Festival on Sunday 29 January.

The church was extensively re-ordered in 2008/9, prompted by the identification of a serious problem with the floor timbers. The rationale for the re-ordering and the creation of a new liturgical space is described by Canon Peter Doll (Team Vicar of St Michael's at the time) in an article entitled "The Temple of His Presence", in Pews, Benches and Chairs, Church seating in English parish churches from the fourteenth century to the present, edited by Trevor Cooper and Sarah Brown, published by the Ecclesiological Society, 2011.

The Nave Altar was designed and constructed by local furniture makers Bates and Lambourne of Thame. There are photographs of the altar on their web site. The altar was consecrated by the Rt Revd Colin Fletcher OBE, Bishop of Dorchester (and at the time Acting Bishop of Oxford), on the Feast of Luke the Evangelist, 2015.

Until 2017 two of the three church bells had been unused for many years and had become derelict. They were restored by Whites of Appleton and re-dedicated by Bishop Rowan Williams at a Sung Mass and Confirmation celebrating the end of the church's 150th Anniversary Year on the Feast of St Michael and All Angels 2017.

The Abingdon Area Archaeological and Historical Society maintains a web site that contains further information about St Michael's Church and other historic buildings in the town.

Tradition and Worship

The tradition at St Michael's is Anglo-Catholic, with an emphasis on community, corporate worship, meeting God in the sacraments, in the scriptures and in one another, and above all seeking to teach and live the Gospel through our own lives in the situations in which we find ourselves.

The main Sunday service is a Sung Mass at 9.30 am. The sermon is an important element of the Sung Mass. On the first Sunday of the month the 9.30 am service is a Family Mass.

During the week we have a Said Mass on Thursdays. For times, see the Calendar. There is a Said Mass at St Helen's Church on Wednesday.

On Festivals and other Holy Days we usually have a Sung Mass at 7.30 pm. See the Calendar for precise details. During Holy Week and Easter we celebrate the traditional liturgies for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil and Easter Day. The centre group of churches combine for the major act of worship on Trinity Sunday.

There are periodic quiet days and an annual pilgrimage to Walsingham.

The church has disabled access; large print service books are available and a hearing aid loop is installed.

For Young People

Young people and families with young children are important members of our congregation; they are in a real sense the messengers of our tradition.

Baptisms take place on Sundays, usually in the afternoon, but at other times by arrangement. We try hard to maintain contact with families after their children have been baptized. Our Carol Service on Christmas Eve is a wonderful magnet drawing families together to begin the celebration of Christmas.

Church Activities

St. Michael's Fellowship meets periodically. All members of the congregation and their friends are invited to meetings. The format is normally a talk followed by refreshments and discussion. Talks cover a very broad range of topics. Talks are frequently illustrated with slides and videos. The Fellowship is an important way in which a sense of community is nurtured, through sharing of background, interests and experiences of life.

Coffee and tea are served in the church after the main Sunday service. This is an important social meeting point for the congregation. Refreshments are served after evening Mass on major festivals. We have an annual Christmas lunch at a local restaurant, which is well-supported and family and friends are particularly welcome to come along.

The Church Room is used by various groups and enquiries about availability are welcomed.

Music

Music is important at St Michael's. We have a small but committed choir, which combines with those of St Nicolas' and St Helen's for occasional services. We appreciate the services of very able organists.

Church Twinning

Through The Church in Abingdon we are building links with churches in Abingdon's Twin Towns.

Mission

St Michael's is a popular venue being located next to Albert Park with easy access. We have an important ministry through baptisms, weddings and funerals.

We support the work of TARIRO - Hope for Youth in Zimbabwe, local charity The Abingdon Bridge (TAB) who support young people in Abingdon in challenging circumstances and the Church Mission Society.

At Harvest Festival, we support the homeless through the Steppin' Stone Centre in Oxford. We also support the Abingdon Emergency Food Bank, run through Christ Church, Abingdon. We hold an annual Mini-mart, which supports the work of St Michael's and other nominated charities.


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Page last modified 29th July 2021 by David Duce

St Michael's Church, Parish Office, St Helen's Court, Abingdon OX14 5BS