Making God's Love Known In Windsor
Daily evening prayer 6 p.m. will be live streamed from our Facebook page
Sunday 10 a.m. Diocesan Eucharist (Oxford Diocese livestream)
Sunday 12 noon. Parish Gathering (email us to request a Zoom invitation)
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 23rd March 2020, we regret that it is no longer possible to keep the church open. Therefore, with heavy heart, we are closing our doors with immediate effect. The only services permitted under the new government restrictions are funerals.
If you are worried, have questions, or need any support from us with shopping or other daily requirements, please let us know and we will make every effort to assist.
All public services are suspended until further notice.
Most of us like to have some structure in our lives, some sense of knowing what happens next. We divide time into years and break years up into months and weeks and days. We plan for next year, next month, next week. Holidays, weddings, special celebrations are all joyfully put into our diaries and written on the kitchen calendar. As are meals with friends, family gatherings, dentist and hair appointments, sporting events, school trips. Some of us like to have year planners on our walls, others like to use online diaries and other tools to manage work and leisure commitments. We like to know where our life is going, and we like to have things to look forward to. Studies show that one of the biggest psychological challenges faced by long term prisoners is not having a future to plan for. We like structure and even those of us who like or even relish change appreciate the need for a framework and some degree of certainty in daily life.
This structure has been thrown up in the air for the last few weeks. We talk to each other about what we are going to do “when this is all over” but we can’t make any plans at all. We have little sense of any timescale. As days run into weeks and weeks run into months, it becomes increasingly hard to plan for anything at all. We are left with a sense of discomfort which is confusing, disconcerting and upsetting. A wilderness.
Words translated as “wilderness” appear around 300 times in the bible. The Hebrew people spent their formative years wandering in the wilderness searching for the promised land, both physically and metaphorically. Isaiah’s wonderful vision of the future in chapter 35 begins: “The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom”. Elijah encountered the “still, small voice of God” in the wilderness. Moses met God in the wilderness of the barren slopes of Mount Sinai. And the wilderness figures in various defining moments in the life of Jesus.
In the Bible, the wilderness is where God prepares his people for the next step in their calling. It is not a comfortable place to be but it is temporary. It is a place of planning and preparation, praying, contemplation and even hope. It has been said that the wilderness, as much as we would want to resist it, is where God does some of his best work.
The unprecedented global crisis through which we are living will pass. It is a short-term wilderness. We can use it for good. There will be silver linings amongst the black clouds. We may not see them now but they will become apparent as time goes on. Living quietly, keeping still, trusting in a future we cannot control are not easy things to do but we can do them and, “when this is all over”, we will reap the benefits for ourselves and for society.
God bless you all,
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.