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 Thursday 9 June 2022, 9.45 to 10.45 am; change to regular date due to Jubilee bank holiday on 2 June

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. The Prayer and Worship Resources page contains links to further worship resources.

Trinity Sunday 12 June There will be a Corporate Communion for the whole parish at St Michael's at the later-than-usual time of 10.00 am. There are no other services in the parish that day.

Mass will also be said on Thursdays at 12.30 pm. The service sheet can be downloaded from the Prayer and Worship Resources page.

The next Silent Reflections will be on Tuesday 31 May 2022. Materials for 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. However since 2 June is a bank holiday, the next session will be on Thursday 9 June and there will not be a regular circle dancing session on 2 June either. 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 Centre Office is normally open from Monday to Thursday, 10 am to 1 pm. The Parish Administrator can also 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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New Parish Web Site

The transition to a new parish web site, which will incorporate the three churches in the parish, St Helen's, St Michael's and St Nicolas' is in progress. The new site can be found here.

Prayer for Peace in Ukraine

We are encouraged by Fr Paul to light a candle by the reserved sacrament and pray the prayer for Ukraine from Archbishops Justin and Stephen which is on the pedestal and was been printed in previous pew leaflets.

The Diocese of Europe organised a prayer vigil on Tuesday 1 March, led by Bishop Robert Innes with the Revd Canon Malcolm Rogers, Chaplain of St Andrew's, Moscow and Area Dean of Russia and Ukraine and representatives of Christ Church, Kyiv. A recording is available on YouTube. For further information and suggestions for ways to provide financial support to the people of Ukraine, see the Diocese of Europe web page here. Also the Diocese of Oxford web page Make a difference in Ukraine.

From the Vicar: Ascensiontide

Dear Friends

On Thursday we celebrated Jesus' Ascension into heaven where he has returned to the right hand of the Father, and where he makes intercession for us all. In the days that lead to Pentecost (Whitsunday) next week, we are given an opportunity to wait expectantly for the gift of the Holy Spirit and are encouraged to pray earnestly for what Jesus promised: the Advocate or Comforter (John 15:26-27).

The Team Rector has produced a resource for us to use in the lead up to next Sunday: The Oil of Gladness: Thoughts and Prayers for Ascensiontide. The theme is on the Sacrament of Anointing, which happily coincides with remembering that Her Majesty, like every monarch, was anointed at her Coronation, as during this week the nation celebrates the Platinum Jubilee of the year she acceded to the throne. Copies of this resource have been made available electronically but hard copies are also available in church today for people to take away.

Resumption of the Common Cup

At the DCC meeting last Wednesday, I brought to the attention of the members the new guidance issued by the House of Bishop's Covid-19 Recovery Group on 3 May concerning returning to the administration of Holy Communion in both kinds. Members had also requested to discuss this. In the bishop's guidance the following is said:

Holy Communion should be administered in both kinds unless there is a clear and objective reason why there would be a significant risk in doing so, such as local public health warnings relating to coronavirus levels in your area. It is important that no pressure is placed on members of the congregation to receive the sacrament if they feel unable to do so If communicants do not wish to receive in both kinds, they may do so by receiving only the bread (communion in one kind). Intinction by the communicant is not recommended.

In order to make this transition I would like to stress the following:

Finally, I would like to assure people that in the unfortunate event of a severe increase or outbreak of new infections in our area that consideration would be given to a suspension of using the Common Cup as advised in the bishop's guidance outlined above.

With love and blessings.

Fr Paul

Annual District Church Meeting/ Annual Parochial Church Meeting

This year's Annual District Church Meeting took place on Monday 4 April at 7pm. The Annual Report for 2021 is available to download.

The Annual Parochial Church Meeting took place on Thursday 28 April at 7pm at St Helen's Church, in the South Aisle. The papers are now available to download.

A Candle in the Window

The current and previous issues can be downloaded from the new parish website,

Prayer and Worship Resources

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 and as a pdf file to download.

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