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


line drawing of St Michael's Church

closed for now: Sunday worship online through Zoom from 17 January 2021 see pew leaflet for more information

Team Vicar:
The Revd Paul Smith
Tel: 01235 534654

Service Times

St Michael's Church is closed for public worship and private prayer until further notice. From 17 January the 9.30 am Mass on Sundays will be celebrated on-line via Zoom. The Prayer and Worship Resources page contains links to further worship resources, including the service booklet for each Sunday.

St Michael's would normally offer the devotion, Stations of the Cross, during Lent. This is not possible this year, instead our Prayer and Worship Resources page contains a link to a form of Stations of the Cross that may be used at home.

Parish Office During January the Parish Administrator can be contacted by email or phone from Monday to Thursday. Please phone to arrange access to the office on Mondays or Thursdays; observe COVID protocols by signing in if you visit. The Administrator will be working from home on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The Parish Administrator can be contacted by email, 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

Electoral Roll Revision 2021

The date of the Annual Parochial Church Meeting has been provisionally set as 29 April 2021. (The provisional date for our own Annual Church Meeting is Sunday 18 April.) On this basis, the Electoral Roll is being revised in the period Friday 12 March to Friday 2 April, see the official notice announcing the revision. Further details of the revision process will be available in the pew leaflet for Sunday 28 February.

An open letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued a call to the nation to pause and reflect to remember the more than 100,000 people across the UK who have died after contracting Covid-19, and all those who know and love them. In an open letter, Archbishops Justin Welby and Stephen Cottrell invite everyone across England - whether they have faith or not - to pause, reflect on the "enormity of this pandemic" and to pray. Starting on 1 February the archbishops invite us to set aside time every evening to pray, particularly at 6pm each day. More than ever, this is a time when we need to love each other. Prayer is an expression of love.

Prayer resources, Prayer for the Nation are available on the Church of England web site.

From the Vicar: Coming back to Church for Holy Week and Easter

Dear Friends

I am pleased to announce that the Team Clergy and Wardens of the parish met early last week and decided to re-open our churches in time for Holy Week and Easter. So, the Mass will be celebrated in church on Palm Sunday, 28 March, at the usual time of 9.30am. There will be no Said Masses during Holy Week, but we shall keep the Triduum and celebrate Easter with great joy with its promise of new life on Easter Day.

Particular attention to preparation will need to be made with care, not least in the cleaning of the church for which we will again enlist outside help. The measures relating to strict social distancing, and hand sanitising, will remain and new Risk Assessments will need to be written. At the time of writing, we await any further information from the diocese that the Church of England may advise which relate specifically to the celebration of Holy Week and Easter liturgies. This will require careful preparation too. There will be things that we cannot do this year, notably the Footwashing on Maundy Thursday, but there will other things that need to be done differently too and information will be shared in due course.

As we move further into Lent, into Passiontide and ultimately Good Friday, the Cross of Christ becomes 'centre stage'. Last week we heard Jesus' mandate to his disciples to 'take up your cross'. In today's New Testament reading St Paul unfolds the reality of the cross as revealing tragic weakness. That being said, Paul's preaching on the cross revealed that God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom and his weakness stronger than human strength (1 Corinthians 1.25). Listening carefully to Paul shows that the cross inspires a powerful revolution of love and transformation, and the grace of forgiveness and reconciliation. In these days of Lent, we are called to find the strength and wisdom to not simply take up the cross but to stand up for Christ and his cross in a world which needs its message more than ever.

With love and blessings.

Fr Paul

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.

2021 issue 1 of A Candle in the Window is available to download. Issue 2 should be available from the same location by Sunday 7 March. The Summer 2020 issue of the Church in Abingdon's magazine, Christian Focus, is also available to download, Pathways the digital edition of the Diocesan magazine is available on-line.

Forthcoming Events

Our regular events are suspended until further notice.

News 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, 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

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.


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. and Evening Prayer at 4.00 pm. 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 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.


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 4th March 2021 by David Duce

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