Making God's Love Known In Windsor
We will be resuming worship in church from Sunday, 19 July. The first service will be Holy Communion in Windsor Parish Church at 10am which will be the first time we have been able to hold a Eucharistic service since March.
Although there will be organ music, there will not be hymns. It is not permitted to serve refreshments either before or after the service. There will be no serving teams. The Peace will be exchanged in a non-contact manner.
There will be one service of Holy Communion in one church in New Windsor each Sunday at 10 a.m.:
9th August All Saints, Frances Road
16th August Windsor Parish Church
23rd August Holy Trinity Garrison Church
30th August All Saints, Frances Road
6th September St Stephen & St Agnes
18th October Bereavement Service "In Loving Memory"
1st November Requiem Mass "Fauré"
Daily evening prayer 6 p.m. will be live streamed from our Facebook page
Sunday 12 noon. Parish Gathering (email us to request a Zoom invitation)
All public services are suspended until further notice.
On 11th July, Bishop Stephen Cottrell will be confirmed as the 98th Archbishop of York in a service broadcast virtually using the Zoom video conferencing app. An unusual procedure for unusual times! Bishop Stephen was Bishop of Reading from 2004 to 2010 before being made Bishop of Chelmsford. He is a prolific author and many of you will, like me, have copies of his books on your shelves.
His connection with this diocese and his accessibility through his writing means that many of us will feel we know him in a way that we may not have known his predecessor(s).
Bishop Stephen frequently tells people that he is an optimist and his enthusiasm and passion for the gospel is immediately apparent on meeting him. But he is also unafraid of speaking out and for “telling it as it is”. I was aware once again of this in reading of a speech he made recently about the future of the Church of England in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. Two comments stood out. Firstly, that the future of the church “depends on collaboration”, and secondly that we should not “look for a return to normal” because “C of E normal” is not up to the job! In other words, things will and must change if the C of E is to continue to be the Church of and for the people of England.
For our team of churches here in central Windsor, the last few months have been a testing time but they have also been a time of wonderful collaboration. Our Sunday Gatherings and other services online have been a splendid example of working together with one joint aim—to worship God in a strange land, the land of Zoom and Facebook. Differences in church tradition and our own personal likes and dislikes have been set aside in a common desire to keep worshipping and to continue to be a Christian presence for our local community despite the enforced closure of our buildings.
And what of the future? As the “soon to be” Archbishop of York acknowledges, we must not look to a return to normal. We cannot return to the place where we were, even if it seems tempting to try to do so. We must move forward, taking with us the best of these unprecedented times.
We will be worshipping again in our church buildings and that will be wonderful. I am hoping that this will be possible on a limited basis before the end of July. Exactly what this will look like is yet to be finalised because at the time of writing we await government and national church guidelines. For now, I hope that a simple service of Holy Communion once a week will be achievable and plans are in progress to enable this to happen. But there will be many people who
will remain unable to leave their homes to worship in church and for this reason our online worship will continue for as long as there is a sustainable need for it.
We will all need to exercise wisdom, patience and courage as we move forward into the new future. It may not have been the future we imagined at the beginning of the year but we can make it a good future if we keep our sights on the One who is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13. 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.