Making God's Love Known In Windsor
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Forthcoming Services and Events
Shrove Tuesday, 25 February, 4 p.m. Pancake party! Tickets on the door: £5 adults, £2.50 children under 10. Unlimited pancakes! In aid of the Motor Neurone Association
ASH WEDNESDAY, 26 February, 7.30 p.m. Sung Eucharist with imposition of ashes.
Stations of the Cross Mondays in Lent at 7.15p.m.
Lent course, weekly from 2 March, 8 p.m. Studying the Ten Commandments using the Pilgrim course. Informal setting at the Bexley Arms.
Weekly worship at St Stephen & St Agnes
Sunday 10 a.m. Sung Eucharist. Common Worship (1 hour). Children are welcome at all our services but on the first Sunday of the month our service is especially designed for children and families
Tuesday 9:30 a.m. Eucharist. A short said service of Holy Communion lasting about 30 minutes
Unusually this year hardly any of the month of February will be in the season of Lent: Ash Wednesday being on February 26th. Easter Day is on April 12th when we all hope for a bright Spring day.
In this time between Epiphany and Lent our Sunday readings from Matthew’s Gospel focus on Jesus’ Ministry. For those of us in church Sunday by Sunday, we hear the Gospel proclaimed, listen to the sermon, and hope to increase our understanding of the message Jesus Christ came to bring and guide us in how we should live our lives.
During this Epiphany season readers might like to re-read at home, the Sunday readings (now facilitated by them being issued each Sunday), and maybe read on in each Bible book. Also, a good opportunity for those who don’t usually have the Old Testament reading to do so. It is easier for most of us to imagine ourselves in first century Palestine when we are sitting quietly with time to reflect.
I have a lovely little book entitled The Cultural World of Jesus (1) that explains Sunday by Sunday the particular customs and situations that the Gospel writers assume readers know. This often makes the story more accessible and understandable to modern day readers.
One of best examples of how human imagination can enhance our understanding of biblical characters is in David Kossoff’s, Book of Witnesses. Sadly, the book is no longer in print, but second-hand copies are available if you look online. I read Seth the shepherd’s story on Christmas morning at St. Stephen and St. Agnes and several people told me how much they enjoyed Seth’s eyewitness account of the shepherds’ visit to the new born Jesus.
His stories are told through the eyes of a fictitious eyewitness (hence the book title) and at the beginning of each one Kossoff pens a brief character-sketch of the storyteller.
An alternative approach found helpful by some is to read the New Testament stories in more than one ‘translation’. I have mentioned before, Good as New, subtitled ‘A radical Retelling of the Scriptures’. Archbishop Rowan Williams described it as ‘A presentation of extraordinary power’.
I think the most important point of dipping into a different approach is that you can sometimes find that a different translation will really make the story clearer for you. The most important message is that as followers of Christ we never forget the necessity to read the Bible.
As Lent approaches you might like to consider attending a Lent course. Keep an eye on the Pew Leaflet for details nearer the time. Please see the Rector’s separate article about Lent.
Many Christians find it helpful to combine their Bible reading with a short time of prayer. In this way on each and every day you are setting aside time for God and inviting His Holy Spirit to inspire and support you.
May your February be a month of personal reflection and deepening understanding.
1. John J. Pilch (1995). The Cultural World of Jesus: Sunday by Sunday (Cycle A). The Liturgical Press; Collegeville, Minnesota. ISBN 0-8146-2286-0
2. John Henson (2005). Good as New: A Radical Retelling of the Scriptures. John Hunt Publishing; Ropley, Hants. ISBN 1 90504711-8.
Come join us!
You are welcome to join us at St Stephen and St Agnes, regardless of race or gender or sexuality. We are part of the Church of England and our worship style is modern catholic: this means the service uses contemporary English, but still has ritual and incense (‘smells and bells’). Services finish with Fairtrade tea and coffee, or a glass of sherry if that is what you prefer. There is a Fairtrade stall selling a variety of goods from Traidcraft (chocolate, biscuits, tea, coffee, rice, Christmas cards later in the year, etc.)
There are areas in the church that make it easy for parents with prams or people in wheelchairs to join the worship. Our congregation age ranges from babies to 98-year-olds. On the first Sunday of the month, we have a family service with home-baked cakes. Study and discussion groups are available throughout the year with special courses run during Advent and Lent.
We are committed to safeguarding children, young people, and vulnerable adults. The parochial church council has adopted the Church of England’s policies and best practice on safeguarding which may be found on the Church of England’s website. Our Parish Safeguarding Representative is Laura Betteridge and she may be contacted at church or by email.