Christians find it helpful during Good Friday to spend time reflecting on Jesus’ death on the cross: all that he suffered for us and what that means for our salvation. This recording is of bible readings and reflections for Good Friday. They were to be used at St John’s Milton but have been recorded so that you can listen to them at home.
Please click on the above link to download and listen to the passion recording.
Reading the account of Jesus' passion is a good way to start Holy Week, to reflect on Jesus' journey to the cross for us. A few of us have got together online to record Matthews version for you. We hope you find it helpful as we go through Holy Week together in spirit and in prayer, even though physically apart.
Jeremy Finch explained how the recording was made "in the absence of a walk of faith or a Palm Sunday service, we thought that if we can’t bring the people to the church, we could bring a little bit of church to the people. So, with the aid of Zoom – we managed to record a reading of the passion. As we were stepping into the unknown we came from as few houses as we could for this… and we ended up with a 15 minute recording."
So here are some ideas which I hope will help you find ways of keeping the flame of faith alive during these difficult times.
Even though our church building remains closed, let’s not forget that the church – all of us Christians – are still working with God in his world
It’s hard being isolated though, without the support of familiar things and our friends, and perhaps we can identify a bit more now with many Christians around the world who have always found it difficult to worship with others, for whatever reason. We need each other, to support and encourage each other, but we can still do that without meeting for a while.
St Mary’s Church has received a confirmed grant of £290,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its tower restoration project. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the project aims to make essential repairs to the historic church tower, which is on English Heritage’s ‘At Risk Register’, and preserve it as a focus of village life and a place of great beauty for future generations.
The contractor Stone Edge has started to rebuild the badly damaged eastern parapet, relead the parapet gutters, replace gargoyles, repair the belfry louvres, repair the carved frieze and redecorate the clock faces. An educational programme is running to coincide with the work including children from the nearby Christopher Rawlins Church of England Primary School designing replacement gargoyles and a village talk by the architect about the restoration work being done on the tower.
The £400,000 needed for restoration is largely funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Friends of St Mary’s Adderbury (FOSMA) is raising funds with Jazz in the Garden, Christmas Tree Festival, Chris Lesley concert and other community events. Those who were sponsored to take part in Ride and Stride also raised money for the tower restoration. Grants were also received from the Oxford Historic Church Trust, Church Care, Society of Antiquaries, Adderbury Parish Council, Adderbury Education and Banbury Charities.
The tower, with its distinctive clock faces and tall octagonal spire, has been a focal point for the village community since it was added as part of the 14th century rebuilding of the church and reaches 150 feet into the sky visible for miles around. The church has an active congregation that does much for the community and the building is used for services, weddings, christening, funerals, bell-ringing and choral activities as well as school and village events including concerts, markets and festivals benefiting the village and wider community. St. Mary’s is home to the Adderbury Ensemble.
Commenting on the award, the Vicar of St Mary’s Church Adderbury, Rev Stephen Fletcher said: “We are delighted that we have received this support thanks to National Lottery players. The tower with its spire has been a focal point for the community since it was built 700 years ago. The restoration work will ensure the tower is no longer at risk and preserved for generations to come.”
Stone Edge Operations Director, Keith Learoyd, said: “The team is delighted to be carrying out the works at this fascinating medieval church. It’s a privilege to be working in such a historic setting, surrounded by the wonderful carvings.”
Photograph copyright George Sainsbury.
"Come and Sing" afternoon on Sunday 26 February in the church 3.00pm-5.00pm. If you enjoy singing then come along. James and Holly, new members of our congregation, will be hosting this. So please encourage anyone you know who enjoys singing to come along. We will also be thinking about getting a choir back together.
Monday evenings in February - 7.30pm in Church House – Come along to ‘Meet a theologian’. Learn and share together what they thought.
We are starting a new initiative with our school of Cafe Church. This will alternate between taking place at the school and St Mary's. It will involve cake and coffee and tea and juice in a friendly atmosphere with time to reflect in the afternoon from 3.30pm to 4.15pm. The first Cafe Church is on Monday 30 January in the school. If this initiative is to reach its potential it is important that we all make an effort to attend, it should be a great time together.