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

Welcome!

We are open: Sundays Said Mass 9.30 am Thursdays Said Mass 12.30 pm. Silent Reflections, last Tuesday except December, 7.30 pm

Taize circle dancing first thursday of the month, 9.45 to 10.45 am

Silent Reflections, last Tuesday of the month, 7.30 to 9.00 pm

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.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Regrettably due to the current levels of Covid-19, the Midday prayers which were to have taken place at St Nicolas' Church from Monday 17 January to Friday 21 January from 12 - 1 pm have been CANCELLED. Prayer sheets produced by the Church in Abingdon for Midday prayers are available to download.

There will be a Sung Mass for the Dedication Festival on Tuesday 25 January at 7 pm.

The next Silent Reflections 25th January 2022 will be 'at home' due to the date clash with the Dedication Festival. Materials for this and previous Silent Reflections are available to download from the Prayer and Worship Resources page.

Moving into Stillness: Taizé circle dancing with silent interludes. This will normally be held on the first Thursday of the month from 9.45 to 10.45 am, before the regular circle dancing session. Elizabeth Mitchell will be the teacher. All dances are demonstrated and then broken down into smaller stages for teaching. No prior experience/partner needed. Contact Sue Sheppy: (susan.sheppy@btinternet.com) for more details, or just come and see!

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. At this time, the Administrator will continue to work in the Office. However, please ring to book a time to come to the Office if you have business; casual walk-in visiting is strongly discouraged and casual visitors may not be admitted.

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

Today we welcome Canon Charles Masheder as our president and preacher and we look forward to his ministry among us. In today's gospel we find Jesus in the synagogue preaching the word of God from the words of the prophet Isaiah. Jesus spoke with power and gave a depth to what would have been a well-known text to his hearers. All this would have come as a surprise to his hearers since Jesus was a regular worshipper and people would not have expected such utterances from him.

We may not all be called to be preachers - though I commend to your prayers all those who have the responsibility of preaching today - but we have each been anointed to preach the good news to the poor. This may be done in a variety of ways. It need not be confined to the pulpit or lectern: instead it can be done with a word of care, gentleness, kindness or love, as well as sharing with others something of our own faith, however simply. We do not know what impact being bold enough to share something of our own story may have on another individual. In a society that has little time for the church and institutional religion, it is even more important that we find opportunities to speak to others about our relationship with God. Why not try fulfilling this during the coming week?

Next week we will celebrate the great feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, or Candlemass, when Mary and Joseph take their child to the temple as was the Jewish custom. The old man Simeon who has waited patiently for the fulfilment of the promise given him by the Spirit that he would not see death before this event took place, takes the Christ child in his arms and blesses him. He concludes with the words we have come to know as the Nunc Dimittis, which is the second of the two of the canticles offered as the church unites every evening in prayer. The Presentation of Christ in the Temple is a pivotal moment in our calendar when we turn from the crib, from the focus on the birth of Jesus, towards the cross, our keeping of Lent and the passion and death of Jesus. It points us to the reality and challenge of our daily discipleship that we are called to follow in the way of Jesus who invites us to 'take up the cross', to deny ourselves and suffer with him that we may share in God's gift of eternal life. I look forward to joining together with you in celebrating the Eucharist on this special day.

With love and blessings.

Fr Paul

Christian Aid New Year's Walk

Join the Christian Aid New Year Walk any time between 1 and 31 January. Solve the puzzle and make a donation towards the work of Christian Aid via the Just Giving web page.

Christ's Hospital of Abingdon - new Governor

Christ's Hospital is the oldest of Oxfordshire's charities and dates from 1553. It is controlled by The Master, twelve Governors and support staff managed by The Clerk to the Governors. The charity is seeking to appoint a new governor. For further details please follow this link. The closing date for applications is the end of February 2022.

A Candle in the Window

2021 issue 10 of the parish magazine is available to download. The next issue will be published in February 2022.

Prayer and Worship Resources

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 and study resources. Please check these pages regularly as there are frequent updates.

Please study this week's pew leaflet carefully.

The Church in Abingdon's magazine, Christian Focus, is available to download, 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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St Michael's Church, Parish Office, St Helen's Court, Abingdon OX14 5BS