The Parish of Burchetts Green

  • St John the Evangelist, Littlewick Green
We warmly welcome you to join us at any of our services - One Parish Three Churches
 
ABOUT US
We warmly welcome you to join us.
ONE PARISH THREE CHURCHES

The Parish of Burchetts Green is a group of local churches:

Each church has its own worshipping and social life but we join together for worship monthly,
for a wide variety of social, practical and learning groups and for administrative purposes.

We welcome all newcomers and visitors.

MISSION STATEMENT
Seeking to know Jesus, to share his love
and make him known in word and action.
NEWSLETTER FROM REV JOHN AINSLIE

Second Sunday of Epiphany

A
very warm welcome to all our friends and neighbours in the Parish of Burchetts Green.

I do hope you are managing to keep as well as can be in these difficult times. We are all friends and neighbours together, so if there is anything you need (or you just want to have a chat with someone) do keep in contact with one another, or with myself or anyone else from the Church.

In these trying times, I invite you to join us in two exciting new ventures:

You will find a recorded Eucharist for this Sunday available on the parish website This Common Worship service was recorded in St James-the-Less Stubbings and has been deliberately kept to 30 minutes for ease of viewing. Expect to see other Sunday Services (including BCP Holy Communion) in future weeks. The readings are as per the attached Readings sheet.

I also invite you to join me in a half hour zoom session of fellowship and prayer at 5pm this Tuesday 19th January. There will be the opportunity to chat together followed by a simple evening office of prayer and a bible reading. Just email me for the log-in details.

No service book is required (the words will appear by magic on your screen) and no previous experience is needed – all are welcome, whether we are used to seeing you in church or not. A chance to catch up with your neighbours and to listen-in as we pray for our community. We hope to make this a regular feature during lockdown.

Our churches are open for private prayer every day as follows:

St John’s Littlewick Green
– open every day 11am – 4pm, with lights on and music playing
St Mary the Virgin Hurley – open every day 8am – 3.30pm

The Gospel reading for this week (John 1: 4-end, which you can find on the Readings Sheet) is an account of Jesus calling two of the first disciples, Philip and Nathaniel. You can find similar stories of the calling of the brothers Andrew and Simon Peter, and James and John (also brothers – and all four of them fishermen) in the first chapter of Mark’s Gospel. The calling of the first disciples reminds us that being a Christian is not a solitary occupation – as we are called to follow Jesus, we are called into new relationship with Him and with each other. This is perhaps seen most tenderly in the account of the Last Supper, when the disciples met together with Jesus on the night before he died for a special meal, which we remember in the Eucharist week by week, but they also lived with and learned from Jesus as they travelled with him through his three years of public ministry, teaching and healing. Those early disciples grew into a great crowd of followers of Jesus during his ministry, and after His resurrection the disciples grew into the early Church as the message of Jesus spread out from Jerusalem across the world. Those first disciples never forgot their need to remain in fellowship with Jesus and with each other, seen supremely in being united together in the Eucharist, teaching and prayer (Acts 2:42). As the church grew, these fundamental basics of the Christian life united all Christians wherever they were, meeting as local churches in people’s houses but united together spiritually in the whole Body of Christ, His Church. And so it is today – we have fellowship with one another, and even when we can’t meet physically we are called to be united in prayer and service, knowing that we all support one another and share in the life of God together, life bestowed on us by the Holy Spirit through Jesus the Son.

News from the Parish

I am sorry to have to inform you of the death of Jacquie Telfer, who was known at all three of our churches and who had a very strong faith. Jacquie died at Wexham Park hospital last weekend, and I’m pleased to say that in this case the close family were able to be with her at the hospital. We pray for the repose of her soul, and for Jim and the family in their grief. 

This week also saw the interment of the ashes of Barbara Macmillan, lately of Old Windsor but previously with strong connections to Stubbings Church – possibly around the same time as Betty Bampton whose funeral took place recently. These are continual reminders of how our churches have played such a strong part in the lives of so many people in the past, as they still do today. Most families I come into contact with tell me of the importance to them of having been married in one of our churches, baptised there, having sung in a choir or attended Sunday School, or of having a loved one buried in the churchyard – and frequently they mention all of these. These life events are of deep significance, and create an almost tangible link between families and our church buildings and the worship we offer there. Everyone who lives or works in Burchetts Green Parish can be assured of the prayers of the Church day-by-day and week-by-week.

I can be contacted on revjohnainslie@gmail.com

do leave a message on the confidential answering machine if I don’t answer). Emails to our Parish Office office@burchettsgreenparish.org are being monitored and responded to.

For our prayers

We pray for peace with justice within and between the nations of the world, including at this time the people of the United States of America. We pray for countries struggling with debt, poor health and education, or political instability.

We pray for a speedy deliverance from the coronavirus pandemic. We give thanks for the successful work of those developing vaccines and for those who are working hard to vaccinate the elderly and vulnerable as quickly as possible.

We pray for God’s blessing on our local NHS and social care services, and especially for exhausted doctors and nurses called upon to continue working hard with little respite.

We pray for those in any kind of sickness, need, anxiety or other adversity, and particularly those suffering the effects of Covid-19. We pray that they would be comforted and supported by God’s loving presence and healing power.

We pray for the recently departed and especially for the repose of Jacquie Telfer and Joyce Bennett, whose funerals will take place in coming days. We pray for their families, and all who mourn the loss of a loved one at this time.

Heavenly Father,
Pour out your blessings upon us,
And upon those for whom we pray,
That we may be comforted and strengthened
By your almighty power to protect and heal.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ,
Our Lord and Saviour,
Amen.

The Oxford Diocesan online Sunday Eucharist can be found at its usual 10am Sunday slot at  https:
//www.oxford.anglican.org/coronavirus-covid-19-2/livestream/  I also recommend the daily and Sunday services from Canterbury Cathedral.

I continue to hear how much people value the dial-in hymns, prayers and reflections available free by telephone. Many find great comfort in listening last thing at night. This can be found at: telephone: 0800 804 8044

Keep safe, be gentle on yourself, and remember that with God by your side you need never be alone.

With love and prayers,
Fr John Ainslie

Posted on Friday, January 15, 2021

News and Greetings from the Revd John Ainslie

A very warm welcome to this email Newsletter to all our friends and neighbours in the Parish of Burchetts Green.

This Sunday, the Church LEAPS ON 30 YEARS !!  Last week, we celebrated the visit of the Wise men to the infant Jesus at Bethlehem – this Sunday, Jesus is now aged about 30, and we celebrate his baptism in the River Jordan by John the Baptist. The story is told in our Readings for the week (link below).

We are not able to meet together for worship in our church buildings this Sunday, as we have taken the decision to suspend public worship during January in response to the Governments instruction to reduce occasions for gathering together. Online services will be available from the Diocese and elsewhere (see below for links) - and our churches are open for private prayer every day as follows:

St John’s Littlewick Green –
open every day 11am – 4pm, with lights on and music playing
St Mary the Virgin Hurley – open every day 8am – 3.30pm

We know that many have found great value in spending a few moments in quiet reflection in our church buildings, and we welcome anyone and everyone to use our churches in this way.

I can be contacted on
revjohnainslie@gmail.com and 01628 629827 (do leave a message on the confidential answering machine if I don’t answer). Emails to our Parish Office  office@burchettsgreenparish.org are being monitored and responded to.

The extraordinary events in America this week have shown what can happen when people play fast-and-loose with the truth; no matter how often Donald Trump claims he won the election, merely saying so doesn’t make it true – but asserting that black is white can lead to very unhelpful and destructive behaviours. After a time when post-modern thinking - “truth is whatever is true for you” and a distrust of “experts” - has been in the ascendency, perhaps we might move back towards a more balanced approach recognising that there are universal truths and standards after all. In this country, the work of scientists in developing vaccines against Covid is rightly applauded (so experts with access to hard facts can be useful, after all) but some have detected that a tendency towards ‘over-promising and under-performing’ in our politics (which has actually driven elections for a long time now) has eroded the trust on which our politics relies. Truth matters.

If Trump politics tells us anything, it is that truth and integrity do actually matter, and that “doing right by your own in-group” isn’t enough. The Black Lives campaign in 2020 has shown that truth and integrity need to extend beyond what seems right to us, to embrace what is right for others, too. Perhaps you are a fan of The Archers on BBC R4 ? They are currently running a story around modern day slavery – another example of how we need to “do right by” the poor and the vulnerable, and not just those in control or who have access to twitter and facebook. We don’t want to think that the tradesmen we use might be employing slave labour – but doesn’t that principle also extend to child labour in overseas countries? Does that question cross your mind when you notice how cheap a t-shirt is in the shop? Truth matters, and as Jesus said “The truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Hopefully we are as a civilisation on a journey towards greater truth and justice, but the erosion of trust and the lie that any truth will do if it serves your purpose are pushing in the opposite direction.

The same applies to inter-generational truth and justice, and no more so than with climate change – something which is already damaging the life chances of people in vulnerable parts of the world, and which through our profligacy risks the future of our children and grandchildren, indeed of the whole planet. Intergenerational truth and justice matter too. We are all neighbours, now – including the generations that will follow us onto this earth.

Maybe against that background society and politics might look again at the idea of truth and justice as we find it in the bible – truth and justice seen not just from “my” perspective, not just from “our” perspective – but truth and justice seen from the perspective of the one who created this world, and loves and cares for it deeply. Perhaps our narrow vision needs to be broadened out, to be as big as God’s vision for the whole of creation. Truth matters, and justice matters – both for those with whom we share this planet now, and for future generations.

For our prayers.

We pray for the people of the United States of America, and for their politicians and media. We pray for those whose task it is to ensure that social media plays a creative role in our civil society across the world.

We pray for our Queen and those who serve under her, especially for our Government and the high court of Parliament. We pray that politicians of all persuasions will serve honourably and defend the cause of truth and justice.

We pray for those of our Parish in any kind of sickness, need, anxiety or other adversity at this time, praying by name for Jacqueline Telfer, undergoing treatment at this time, and praying for those who mourn the loss of a loved one, especially the families of Betty Bampton and Sheila Fitzgerald who have recently died.

We pray for those who seek to defend the cause of the vulnerable and to work for justice, especially those concerned with homelessness, poverty, the resourcing and working of our criminal justice system, and the rehabilitation of offenders.

We continue to pray for our local NHS and social care services, and especially for exhausted doctors and nurses called upon to continue working hard with little respite, and for all those suffering the effects of covid.

Heavenly Father,
have mercy upon all who suffer
and bring them your peace in their hearts.
Grant that we may seek your kingdom of truth and justice
by protecting the poor and the vulnerable
and upholding what is right and true.
Through Jesus Christ,
Amen.

The Oxford Diocesan online Sunday Eucharist can be found at its usual 10am Sunday slot at  ht
tps://www.oxford.anglican.org/coronavirus-covid-19-2/livestream/  I continue to also recommend the daily and Sunday services from Canterbury Cathedral.
 

Keep safe, be gentle on yourself, and remember that with God by your side you need never be alone.

With love and prayers,
Fr John Ainslie

Posted on Friday, January 08, 2021

A very Happy New Year to all our friends in Burchetts Green Parish.

Welcome to 2021 – we all pray that it will be a year in which we may once again give our loved ones a BIG HUG and spend time with family and friends; and that those who face an uncertain future for whatever reason will once again find themselves on solid ground.

More immediately, and with much regret, the Churchwardens and myself have taken the decision to suspend all public worship services in our churches during the month of January. We have not taken this decision lightly, but our top priority is the safety of everyone in our congregations and our communities. We have based this on the rapidly increasing rate of Covid infections in our area, the need to give our precious health services all the relief we can, and the most recent guidance from Oxford Diocese. We much regret having to do this, but we believe this is the most responsible decision we can make in the circumstances. We will review the decision at the end of January.

But our churches are NOT closed !!

Firstly, our churches remain open for private prayer as follows:

St John’s Littlewick Green – open every day 11am – 4pm, with lights on and music playing

St Mary the Virgin Hurley – open every day 8am – 3.30pm

We have had many messages of thanks for keeping our churches open in this way, and many of you appreciate the ability to find peace and solace in the sacred spaces of our churches. Many have enjoyed the Christmas music playing in St John’s, so we will be continuing with Elizabethan church music through January.

Secondly, we ourselves are the Church, the People of God, and we can continue the work of worship and prayer in our own homes. Some find lighting a candle, holding a cross or just using a favourite old prayer book help centre ourselves in this. If I can help by suggesting bible readings or prayers don’t hesitate to ask. The weekly Oasis Prayer Sheet is available via the website (burchettsgreenparish.org). And remember - what matters is not the many times you could have prayed but didn’t, but the once or twice that you did pray. For that, God and his angels truly rejoice.

Thirdly, the work of the church in our community goes on as we love, care for and pray for one another day by day, looking out for those who are in particular need, and maintaining contact with those who might otherwise be alone. This is a difficult time for many people, and not just those who live by themselves. If there is ANYTHING we as the Church community can do to help, or if you would like to be included in my own personal prayers day by day, do not hesitate to let us know and we will do whatever we can. I can be contacted on
HYPERLINK "mailto:revjohnainslie@gmail.com" revjohnainslie@gmail.com and 01628 629827 (do leave a message on the confidential answering machine if I don’t answer).

This Sunday is the Feast of the Epiphany – when we think of the visit of the three wise men (or were they kings?) to the Holy Family in Bethlehem, where they knelt down and worshipped the Christ-child. You can find the story as St Matthew tells it (Matt 2: 1-12) on the attached Readings Sheet.

The wise men found Jesus in an ordinary stable in a small and insignificant town, not in the splendour of a palace or in the fantastic Temple built in Jerusalem to honour God. So we are reminded that we, too, can find and worship Jesus not just in church, but in ordinary places, and in our ordinary lives.  And he will be there, in the grime and uncertainty of ordinary life, if we just seek him. As the wise men did.

And what is worship but giving to God the glory and honour due to the one who created all things and loves and sustains all people. Worship puts us into a relationship of thanksgiving and trust in the one who is so completely trustworthy, so much more caring and loving and forgiving than we can imagine, and who has the power to hold us safe even through the dark waters of death.

The Oxford Diocesan online Sunday Eucharist for Epiphany Sunday can be found at its usual 10am Sunday slot at  https://www.oxford.anglican.org/coronavirus-covid-19-2/livestream/  I continue to also recommend the daily and Sunday services from Canterbury Cathedral.

For our prayers.

We pray for Jacqueline Telfer, undergoing treatment at this time, and we remember in our prayers Betty Bampton and Sheila Fitzgerald who have recently died. Some of you will remember Betty as a much-loved member of the church at Stubbings.

We pray for any in our community who are suffering or in need at this time, including those who are ill with Covid, those who are anxious for the future, and those who mourn the loss of a loved one at this time. We pray for Maidenhead Foodshare and all who help the poorest and most marginalised of our society.

We pray for our local NHS and social care services, and especially for exhausted doctors and nurses called upon to continue working hard with little respite.

We pray that the roll-out of the vaccines will be smooth, rapid and successful.

We remember that other countries, too, are suffering the effects of Covid, and pray for their health services and political leaders as they work to keep their people safe.

In this Christmas season, we continue to pray for the peace that Christ came to bring – peace between nations, peace within communities and families, and peace in our hearts.

Almighty God,
pour out your healing grace upon us,
hold us safe in your loving arms,
and bring us at the last to the peace and joy of your kingdom.
Through Jesus Christ, 
Amen.

Keep safe, be gentle on yourself, and remember that with God by your side you need never be alone.

With love and prayers,
Fr John Ainslie

Posted on Friday, January 01, 2021

News and Greetings from Revd John Ainslie

A very Happy Christmas to all our friends in
Burchetts Green Parish.


It is wonderful to once again celebrate the great festival of Christmas, even if we must do it in a different way this year. The essential truth behind the celebration of Christmas remains – that God so loved that the world that he himself entered into it as a child, Jesus, to teach us the ways of love, hope and joy. He suffered alongside us the deprivations and anxieties, the pain as well as the beauty, of living together in this world. He showed us the way of love, compassion and truth – and even more importantly, gives us access to the love and grace of God to help us live this way day by day for the rest of our lives.
 
Challenging though these times are, I invite you this Christmastide to put the pandemic in its place and see things from the bigger perspective of God’s eternal and undying love for each and every one of us.
 
Happy Christmas indeed !!
 
In Church this Christmas
 
Christmas Eve:  Come and Visit the Christmas Crib
Hurley Church 3pm – 5pm
come when you want, families especially welcome Walk through the candlelit church to see the Crib and Christmas tree. Listen to Christmas Carols as you walk around. Join Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and angels at the Crib and reflect on the meaning of Christmas Make your own prayer before the Christ-child.
 
Christmas Eve:  Midnight Mass, Hurley Church 11.30pm
More quiet and contemplative this year, a perfect way of celebrating Christmas It is helpful for us to know if you intend coming to the Midnight Mass – see below.
 
Christmas Day:  Family Christmas Communion
Littlewick Green, 9.15am
 
Christmas Day:  Traditional Christmas Morning Communion (BCP)
Stubbings Church 11am
 
If you are intending to come to the Midnight Mass at Hurley, could you please contact David Burfitt (01628 823503 /davidrburfitt@gmail.com)with a note of how many will be in your family group so we can prepare the church accordingly.
 
Note there will be no services on Sunday 27th December.
 
If you are unable to attend church, or feel uncomfortable doing so in these times, Christ Church Cathedral are livestreaming a Choral Eucharist at 11.30pm on Christmas Eve, and the Bishop of Oxford is presiding and preaching at an online service on Christmas morning at 10am – both will be available at https://www.oxford.anglican.org/coronavirus-covid-19-2/livestream/  There are also church services  on radio and TV.
 
Hurley Church will be open every day for private prayer between Christmas and New Year from 8am to 3.30pm.
 
There will be much sadness mixed with our celebrations this Christmas, as festivities are curtailed and long-awaited family reunions cancelled. Many will also feel particularly keenly the absence of loved ones who have died, whether recently or long ago. So we pray for one another and support one another. If you know someone who will be alone this Christmas, do think of phoning.
 
Among the sick we pray by name for Jacqueline Telfer, and we remember in our prayers Betty Bampton and Sheila Fitzgerald who have recently died. Some of you will remember Betty as a much-loved member of the church at Stubbings.
 
I will be available over the Christmas and New Year period if you need me, on 01628-629827 revjohnainslie@gmail.com.


Christ, who by his incarnation gathered into one things earthly and heavenly,
fill you with peace and goodwill and make you partakers of the divine nature;
and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be with you, your family and friends this Christmastide
and remain with you for ever. Amen.
 
  
Keep safe, be gentle on yourself, and remember that with God by your side you need never be alone.
 
With love and prayers,
Fr John Ainslie





Posted on Wednesday, December 23, 2020

News and Greetings from the Revd John Ainslie.
The Sunday before Christmas


A warm welcome to this email Newsletter to all our friends and neighbours in the Parish of Burchetts Green.

The excitement is mounting as we approach Christmas, even in the face of covid difficulties. There is nothing quite like celebrating the joy and hope of Christmas Day. Despite Tier 3 restrictions, we are still able to hold services in church and to keep our churches open for private prayer. We welcome you to use our churches in this way, and I am continually encouraged and humbled by hearing of how many people are popping into the quiet sacred space of our churches for personal reflection and prayer in these strange times.

This Sunday we focus on the role of Mary as the mother of Jesus, an adventure which began when the angel Gabriel came to say that God intended she should bear God’s Son. The ‘Stations of Christmas’ – a sequence of images, bible verses and prayers has been posted around the Churchyard at Stubbings by Teresa Kennard. If you haven’t seen them yet, do take a walk round the churchyard (choose a sunny day if you can) and use these Stations of Christmas to reflect on the Christmas story..

Then Mary said to the angel, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.     (Luke’s gospel, chapter 1, verses 26-31, 38)
                                                             
Heavenly Father, as we recall the miracle of Jesus’ nativity, free our minds from the day’s concerns and fill us with the peace and hope of Advent.  Just as Mary accepted your call, help us to be open to your purposes and have the courage to accept. Amen


This is one of the ways in which we are taking the message of Christmas outside of our church buildings – another is the beautifully decorated and illuminated ‘Lychgate Challenge’ Nativity Scene at the lychgate of Littlewick Green church, where children (and adults) are welcome to populate the stable with their own crib figures.


As we prepare ourselves to hear again the story of the first Christmas, our services this Sunday are:

St James-the-less Stubbings: 5pm A Service of Carols and Readings
St Mary’s Hurley: 10.30am A service of Carols and Readings
St John’s Littlewick Green: 9.15am Family Eucharist

Between now and Christmas Eve, we have churches open every day for private prayer:

St John’s church Littlewick Green is open  every day 11am to 4pm;
St Mary the Virgin church Hurley is open every day 8am to 3.30pm.

Christmas Services in our Parish

We are delighted to be able hold Christmas services in each of our churches, as follows:

Christmas Eve 24th
3pm – 5pm An opportunity to visit the crib at Hurley Church
Come when you want and move (socially distanced) through a candlelit church with Christmas music to come before Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the Shepherds. Make your own silent prayer at the crib this Christmas.
11.30pm Traditional Midnight Mass service at Hurley Church
(see note below about reserving a seat)

Christmas Day 25th
9.15amFamily Christmas Communion service at Littlewick Green
11 amTraditional Christmas Day Communion Service
from the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) with carols at Stubbings

We believe we will have enough space in Hurley Church for our Midnight Mass, even with social distancing, but if you would like to attend we suggest you reserve a seat by contacting David Burfitt (on 01628 823503 or
davidrburfitt@gmail.com ) with your name and how many people you will be bringing in your ‘bubble’. That way you can be sure of getting a place.
If you are not able, or don’t feel comfortable, joining us in church to celebrate Christmas, the Diocese of Oxford will be providing online services for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning at   https://www.oxford.anglican.org/coronavirus-covid-19-2/livestream/ Or just go to the Diocesan website and follow the links.


For our prayers:


For peace between peoples and nations, especially in the Holy Land.

For the poor and the homeless this Christmas. For those who feel the absence of a loved one particularly at this time. For those away from home this Christmastide – especially in hospital, care home or prison – and those in hostels, night shelters and temporary accommodation.

For families under stress, and for those suffering domestic violence.

For children, that they may experience the joy of Christmas.

For each one of us, that we may know the joy, hope and peace of the Christ-child.

For those who are ill, anxious or in any kind of need. Amongst those suffering from covid we pray for Kitty Holmes, that she will make a rapid recovery from her mild symptoms. Amongst those who are sick we pray for Jacqueline Telfer undergoing tests and treatment.

For those who have died, including Sheila Fitzgerald whose funeral is later this month.

Almighty God, whose goodness loved us into life and whose mercies never fail:
We commend to thee any who are in sickness, anxiety or any other difficulty.
Keep them both outwardly in their bodies and inwardly in their souls, and pour upon them the dew of thy blessing;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.


Implications of Lockdown. This is a difficult time for many people, especially those living by themselves, those in isolation, and those anxious about friends and loved ones. If there is ANYTHING we as the Church community can do to help, or if you would like to be included in my own personal prayers day by day, do not hesitate to let us know and we will do whatever we can. I can be contacted on
revjohnainslie@gmail.com and 01628 629827 (do leave a message on the confidential answering machine if I don’t answer).

The Parish office is currently closed to visitors, but open for contact by telephone and email - Gilly will be picking up and responding to telephone messages and emails. Note that we have a new email address for the Parish Office:
office@burchettsgreenparish.org  I remain available on   revjohnainslie@gmail.com and 01628 629827 Sunday to Wednesday, and other times for urgent matters.


The Weekly Prayer Sheet from the Hurley Oasis Group is available via a Link on the Home page of this website and there is also a link to sign-up to receive this weekly email Newsletter, for anyone you know who might like to receive it regularly.
The Oxford Diocesan online Sunday Eucharist can be found at its usual 10am Sunday slot on  https://www.oxford.anglican.org/coronavirus-covid-19-2/livestream/  I continue to also recommend the daily and Sunday services from Canterbury Cathedral.

Keep safe, be gentle on yourself, and remember that with God by your side you need never be alone.
With love and prayers,
Fr John Ainslie

Posted on Friday, December 18, 2020

Third Sunday of Advent

A warm welcome to this email Newsletter to all our friends and neighbours in the Parish of Burchetts Green.
Since my last Newsletter, I have been receiving enthusiastic comments about the simple cut-out-and-colour Christmas Nativity scene at http://madebyjoel.com/2013/12/paper-city-nativity-scene-joyfully-expanded.html that I mentioned last week (there is a larger version on the same website). It is a  wonderful and easy resource for families and children - all you need is a printer and paper!

Speaking of Nativity Scenes, this Sunday 13th sees our All Age service at Littlewick Green at 4pm, when we will be coming before the crib and thinking about the various people – and animals! – that we see at the crib. A wonderful, easy 30 minute time for reflection and joy in church as preparation for Christmas.

Our services this Sunday
are:
St James-the-less Stubbings: 8am BCP Holy Communion
St Mary’s Hurley: 10.30am Eucharist
St John’s Littlewick Green: 4pm All Age Service

You would be most welcome to join us at any of these services, but remember that to keep everyone safe we are required to wear face coverings in church, to maintain social distancing between household bubbles, and we are still not allowed to sing in church. Please do not enter the church buildings if you have Covid symptoms or are self-isolating.

Between now and Christmas Eve, we have churches open every day for private prayer:
St John’s church Littlewick Green is open  every day 11am to 4pm;
St Mary the Virgin church Hurley is open every day 8am to 3.30pm.

Next Sunday 20th December
is the last Sunday before Christmas Day itself, and the services in the Parish will be as follows:
St James-the-less Stubbings: 5pm A Service of Carols and Readings
St Mary’s Hurley: 10.30am A service of Carols and Readings
St John’s Littlewick Green: 9.15am Family Eucharist

There will be a full listing of our Christmas services in my Newsletter next week.

This week’s Gospel reading continues the story of John the Baptist’s teaching as he baptised in the River Jordan. John is clear – whilst he is called to ‘prepare the way of the Lord’, there is someone standing in their midst (Jesus) who is so much greater than he is. Jesus is the one whom he, John, is calling the people to be ready for. My prayer for you is that you will find some time as we near the end of Advent to prepare yourselves, to ‘be ready’ to receive afresh the one who comes among us: Jesus, who came in his birth at Bethlehem, who comes to us day-by-day as we prepare our hearts to hear his gentle voice, and who will be there to meet us when our time in this life is over. When that time comes, will we be able to greet Jesus as a much-loved friend (as well as our God) or will he be as a stranger to us?

The five Churchwardens for our Parish have now been officially sworn into office by the Area Dean at a short but moving legal ceremony in Littlewick Green church. The five are Mary Cooper, Sue Harrington-Hill, Richard Moores, Jenny Robinson and Jane Smith. They all serve as Churchwardens for the whole Parish. We thank them for their service to the church and our community in this particular way, and we pray for their work.

Food for thought. Have you seen the very moving BBC footage of the situations facing Vicars and Pastors working amongst the poorest and most vulnerable vulnerable people in the town of Burnley? Just Google ‘Vicars in Burnley’. Is there anything that this inspires you to pray for or to do – or think we should be doing as a Church – as a consequence?

Covid. As we hear of new cases of Covid in our area, do please continue to be super-careful to protect yourself and your friends and neighbours. Rest assured that we at church are doing all that we can do to ensure our church buildings are safe for you to enter, whether for a service or for private prayer. We pray for all those who have caught the virus, and especially those of our local community, and for our health and social care services.

Food banks. I have been reminded that there is a Maidenhead Foodshare box at Stubbings Church as well as in the porch at Littlewick Green church, and local collection points in various places including Shepherds Close Hurley and the telephone box in Burchetts Green. Financial contributions to Foodshare (easy to arrange via the website) are especially valuable because they enable the organisers to purchase not just food but also sanitary products and other necessities of everyday life.

For our prayers:

For those suffering the effects of the Covid virus especially amongst our local communities; for those worried about loved ones; for the lonely and isolated; and for our health and social care services and those who work for them.

For the Brexit negotiations, that the outcome would be according to God’s will and will enable all people to flourish in the UK and across the EU; that cooperation and mutual support between the nations of Europe would not be weakened by Brexit, but that the new ways of working will lead to stronger and positive relationships. For industries and businesses as they try to prepare for new trade relationships between UK and EU.

For all who are facing an uncertain future as a result of Covid or Brexit. For a compassionate ordering of our society that protects and supports the poor, the weak and the vulnerable. For all who work in debt crisis services and those who argue for improvements in our benefits system.

For the work of churches, priests and pastors amongst the poorest and most desperate people of our nation, including in Burnley.

For the work of our churchwardens, with thanksgiving and with prayer that they will find fulfilment and joy in serving God and the people of the parish of Burchetts Green in this way.

For those of our own community who are ill, anxious, or otherwise in need, praying by name for Jacqueline Telfer who is unwell at this time.

We pray for the recently departed, and for all who mourn the loss of a loved one at this time.

Lord Jesus Christ,
you taught us to love our neighbour,
and to care for those in need as if were caring for you.
In this time of anxiety,
give us strength to comfort the fearful,
to tend the sick, and to assure the isolated of your love,
for your name’s sake.
Amen.


Implications of Lockdown. This is a difficult time for many people, especially those living by themselves, those in isolation, and those anxious about friends and loved ones. If there is ANYTHING we as the Church community can do to help, or if you would like to be included in my own personal prayers day by day, do not hesitate to let us know and we will do whatever we can. I can be contacted on
revjohnainslie@gmail.com and 01628 629827 (do leave a message on the confidential answering machine if I don’t answer).

The Parish office is currently closed to visitors, but open for contact by telephone and email - Gilly will be picking up and responding to telephone messages and emails. Note that we have a new email address for the Parish Office:
  office@burchettsgreenparish.org  I remain available on   revjohnainslie@gmail.com and 01628 629827 Sunday to Wednesday, and other times for urgent matters.


The Weekly Prayer Sheet from the Hurley Oasis Group is available via a Link on the Parish Website (www.burchettsgreenparish.org), and there is also a link to sign-up to receive this weekly email Newsletter, for anyone you know who might like to receive it regularly.
The Oxford Diocesan online Sunday Eucharist can be found at its usual 10am Sunday slot on  https://www.oxford.anglican.org/coronavirus-covid-19-2/livestream/  I continue to also recommend the daily and Sunday services from Canterbury Cathedral.

Keep safe, be gentle on yourself, and remember that with God by your side you need never be alone.
With love and prayers,
Fr John Ainslie

Posted on Saturday, December 12, 2020

READINGS FOR SUNDAY here>>
PAROCHIAL CHURCH COUNCIL

At the last Annual Church Meeting on 18th October, five Churchwardens were elected to serve for the coming year: Mary Cooper, Sue Harrington-Hill, Richard Moores, Jenny Robinson and Jane Smith. Congratulations to them all; we thank them for their time and commitment and pray for them and their work, and we also give thanks for the continuing work of Sue Wilkins as Assistant Warden at Stubbings. There were also elections to the Parochial church Council (PCC) and we welcome Tim Bowler, John Johnson and Maria Quantrill onto the PCC as newly-elected members. Sally Gray and Elaine Mordaunt are coming off the PCC, and we thank them for their valued contributions over recent years.

The Deanery Synod brings together clergy and lay people from Anglican churches across Maidenhead and Windsor and, in normal times, the Synod meets 4 or 5 times a year. It is continuing to meet via zoom, and as an example the next meeting has the Bishop of Reading, Bishop Olivia, as guest speaker outlining her vision for the church in Berkshire over the next few years. The sharing of best practice and good ideas, and discovering that all parishes share similar challenges, is perhaps the most important aspect of participating in the Deanery Synod.

The meeting elected:

Churchwardens: Mary Cooper, Susan Harrington-Hill, Richard Moores, Jenny Robinson and Jane Smith.

Parochial Church Council members: Rosalind Bentley, Fiona Fieldhouse, Joleen Newton, Teresa Kennard, Hazel O'Connor, Jane Smith Tim Bowler, John Johnson and Maria Quantrill .

The churchwardens, Vicar, Revd Tina Molyneux and Deanery Synod representatives Tom Dobinson, are also ex-officio members of the PCC.

PCC secretary is Hazel O'Connor and Colin Evans is our independent examiner.

Parish Treasurer is Tom Dobinson

Our ministry team, (Parish is currently in an interregnum) Revd Dilys Woodmore, Teresa Kennard.

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Email: office@burchettsgreenparish.org

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Burchetts Green Parish Office,  Soltau Centre, Stubbings,
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