Sunday Services

Please join us.

Sunday 11th April

9.30  Service of the Word at St Peter and St Paul, Stokenchurch – Revd Mark Ackford and Revd Philip Smith

11.00    Morning Prayer and Reflection at St Mary le Moor, Cadmore End – Lay Led

After-Easter Thoughts

I have been reflecting on how the two Marys may have felt that first Easter morning when they went to the tomb where Jesus had been laid. They would have expected a stillness, a tomb with the stone firmly in place in front of it. But what they saw startled and scared them.  You may like to look at the verses, Matthew 28 v 1-8.

Do not be afraid, the angel said. (v 5)

Mary and her companion had every reason to be afraid: there was a great earthquake for a start. I experienced quite a lot of earthquakes when I lived in Papua New Guinea, and I felt a total loss of control, panic, and nowhere safe to run to. Added to that, there was an angel looking rather like a flash of lightening sitting on the tombstone. And the tomb was unexpectedly empty, no body in it. None of this could have been anticipated.  Had Jesus’ body been stolen? Whatever had happened?

And yet, even with this extraordinary happening, she and the other Mary were reassured by the angel that there was nothing to be afraid of, they would see Jesus again, alive.

When Jesus is a part of our lives, we can hand our concerns and fears to Him and He will help us through. His presence gives us another, better perspective. When they left the tomb, alongside the natural fear and questions, they found they were filled with joy, the joy that Jesus can give.

I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified (v 5)

If we seek Jesus, we will always find Him. God promises that when we come near to him, He will come near to us. (James 4 v 8).  Through reading the Scriptures, through prayer,  through seeing Him at work in the lives of others, even through dreams people have found out about Jesus. He is close by and always ready for us to come to Him.

 He is not here; for He has risen, as he said. (v 6)

Although the disciples did not understand events at this time, when they looked back on what Jesus had repeatedly told them, they knew that His resurrection was exactly what He had promised would happen. He keeps His promises, He is dependable, and this can be a great comfort and reassurance to us when many things around us seem so uncertain, and life now so very unpredictable.

Come and see the place where he lay. (v 6)

The angel invited Mary to come and see the evidence that Jesus had risen and was no longer dead. Many of us have just completed the Lent reflections  ‘Come and See’, and on day 40, Bishop Steven comments :

“ ‘There will be days and seasons in our lives when we are able to hold in our minds the whole breadth and depth of our salvation and the wideness of God’s mercy. But there will be days and seasons in our lives when only one thing matters. When those days come, let this be what you remember: ‘This is my Son, the Beloved … Listen to him.’ “

May we too come to Him. He can be our focus, the one who gets us back on track again. The resurrection is a sign of God’s almighty power. Nothing is too great for God to achieve, and this is comforting and encouraging for us when we struggle with life.

“Then go quickly and tell his disciples” (v 7)

 May we be quick to share with others what we know and experience of Jesus in our lives, that others may know Him too.

Amen.

Easter Sunday Services

Please join us to celebrate Easter Day.

9.15                    Holy Communion at Holy Trinity Church Lane End

9.30                    Holy Communion at St Peter and St Paul, Stokenchurch

11.00                  Holy Communion at St Mary le Moor, Cadmore End

11.00                  Holy Communion at St Nicholas, Ibstone

Services Today

The Hambledon Valley Group of Churches invites you to a special service on Zoom at 18.00 called Reflections on the Cross. 

‘Three speakers will be joining  us, each reflecting on a cross that they have created, whether painted, collaged or crafted in some way. There will also be two hymns, readings and prayers during this time.  Anyone who would like to join is warmly welcome and is invited – if they wish – to have in front of them for this special time of reflection, their own favourite cross, or a photo, drawing or carving of a cross or perhaps something they may have created themselves.’

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89790696137?pwd=NURObGY4QS96UHNwazZ6ZmRHL0xBUT09

Meeting ID: 897 9069 6137

Passcode: 472869

At 19.30 please join us for Compline on Zoom

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84759534035?pwd=L2dHcFlDYmhnSDRxdmltQmVVaHo0dz09

Meeting ID: 847 5953 4035

Passcode: 413410

The Licensing of the Revd Philip Smith

Our new member of the Ministry Team the Revd Philip Smith will be licensed as our Missional Team Vicar (House for Duty) on Palm Sunday 28th March at 3pm via Zoom. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his wife Lucy as he begins his ministry here in the Team Ministry. The link to join the service is below:

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/91437862587?pwd=R0ZRRkhvUll3SHJNR0lJcDQ5MVZXdz09

Meeting ID: 914 3786 2587

Passcode: 187521

To join Zoom by phone only, your local number can be found here: 

https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kmRgKVG21

The order of service can be downloaded below: