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


line drawing of St Michael's Church

Team Vicar:
The Revd Paul Smith
Tel: 01235 534654

Corona Virus - Services put on hold

Following the announcement from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York on 17 March that "public worship will have to stop for a season. Our usual pattern of Sunday services and other mid-week gatherings must be put on hold" our Sunday and weekday Masses are suspended until further notice. See below for details of times at which churches in the Parish will be open for Private Prayer.

The Archbishops' letter makes it plain that the church has not "shut up shop" and we will need to find new ways of serving people in these highly unusual times. There are churches in some areas that have the ability to video-stream services over the internet. This page will contain other resources in due course. Links to resources for prayer and worship are available through the Parish Resources page. Our Prayer and Worship (Corona Virus) page contains links to further worship resources. Please check these pages regularly as there are frequent updates.

Please study this week's pew leaflet carefully.

Material that would have been used at Silent Reflections on Tuesday 30th June, is available to download from our Prayer and Worship page to use at home.

The sixth issue of A Candle in the Window, should available to download by Sunday 12th July. The Summer 2020 issue of the Church in Abingdon's magazine, Christian Focus, is also available to download.

The Parish office is closed to visitors. The Parish Administrator can be contacted as usual on, leave a message on the office phone 01235 520144 or use the new office mobile: 07395 943957.

Churches in the Parish Open for Private Prayer

St Nicolas Church is open each Monday between 10 am and 1 pm for private prayer. The strict guidelines for cleaning and social-distancing must be observed in the sacred space. This very limited opening schedule is experimental but will, we hope, expand as the weeks go by. The church is taking a step-by-step approach.

St Helen's Church will be open on Wednesdays and Saturdays for private prayer, 11am - 1 pm. Guidelines for sanitising and social distancing must be observed. The Lady Aisle and Chapel will be accessible.

St Michaels's Church: we plan to open for the first time on Thursday 16th July between 11am - 1pm.

In all churches hand-sanitisation, social distancing and other protective measures will be in place.

Public Worship in our Parish

As yet we have no fixed date for the resumption of public worship in our Parish. There are issues either shared by us all, or particular to each congregation, which await resolution before we are able to make a reliable and sustainable decision. Please be assured that clergy, wardens and others involved with the conduct of public worship are working together to enable us to embrace the opportunity to gather once again in our churches for common prayer, praise and thanksgiving. Online worship resources continue to be available.

Charles Miller, Team Rector

Pastoral Letter: What shall we sow?

Dear Friends

I am delighted to say that from this coming Thursday 16 July between 11am - 1pm we will be opening the church for private prayer. People will be here to steward and all visitors will be required to sanitize their hands and observe social distancing of 2 metres at all times. One area of the church will be set up to enable this, and chairs will therefore be placed at the required distance around the labyrinth. I would like us to observe silence as much as possible as we begin to pray together once more. It will be a wonderful opportunity for those who are able to participate in this. If you are able to offer to steward on future Thursdays, and it is safe for you to do so, please do speak to Joyce Kelly.

Today we hear the famous Parable of the Sower as it is found in Matthew's gospel. Prof Keith Ward has written a series: 'Perspectives on the Parables' which some of you may have followed on the website during Lockdown. He reminds us they are key to Jesus' teaching on the kingdom of God. Prof Ward reminds us of the meaning of the kingdom of God and helpfully says this: 'It becomes plain that hope for the coming of God's kingdom is not just a sort of relatively passive expectation that, one day soon, things will get a lot better. It involves positive action to bring about good... It is letting the Spirit of self-giving love rule in one's life. It is living by the Spirit, sown and cultivated by Jesus in the heart, and issuing in acts of justice, mercy, compassion, and joy'. May that be true of us all.

With love and prayers, Father Paul

Times of Main Services - As They Would be in Normal Times

Sundays: 9.30 am Sung Mass.
9.30 am Family Mass (first Sunday of the month).
(There is an 8 am Mass at either St Helen's or St Nicolas' each Sunday. See the Calendar for details.)
Tuesday Silent Reflections last Tuesday in the month at 7.30 pm.
No Evening Mass during Lent.
Wednesdays 10.30 am at St Helen's.
Thursdays 12.30 pm followed by a light lunch.

For Baptisms, Weddings, Funerals please leave a message on the Parish Office phone 01235 520144 or use the new office mobile: 07395 943957.

Church address for correspondence:

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

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 11th July 2020 by David Duce

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