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

The Second Sunday of Lent.

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

Our service for the Parish this week comes from St Mary’s Hurley, and you won’t need to listen too hard to hear the clock chiming during the service. In fact, it chimed at just that point in the service when the bread and the wine are being consecrated – made holy – by the power of the Holy Spirit in response to the prayers of Priest and people. This was completely unplanned by us as we proceeded to record the Eucharist in Hurley, but if you go to a ‘bells and smells’ High Church that is the point in the service when bells would be rung to celebrate the consecration. We felt very blessed by this coincidence (if that’s what it was….) of timing.

It reminds us of just how special the service of Eucharist or Holy Communion is, and how through it God draws close to us in word and sacrament. If, as you watch the service in your own home, you too pray that God would draw close to you through the scripture readings, and if you make the prayers your own, especially the Eucharistic Prayer of thanksgiving, then I am sure that God will indeed bless you through this Eucharist, as through every Eucharist – maybe with his comfort, maybe with his challenge, but always with his love and his healing and his strength.

Worship is about making space for an encounter with God. We make physical space, in church or in a quiet place in our own home; we make space in the busy-ness of our daily lives, as we intentionally set aside time for worship; and we make space in our hearts by being open and expectant. And into that space we invite God, and trust that God will come and bless us, whether we hear his voice clearly or not.

The UK vaccination programme is rolling out apace, and I suspect many from our community will have been vaccinated already. The protection this gives from the risk of serious illness is a terrific step forward and a great relief to many.  When we are vaccinated we are also cautioned that we could still transmit the virus to others without knowing it, so there is still a need to maintain social distance and all the other precautions. Reducing the opportunities for transmission in this way is bringing the infection rate down, and giving us hope that later in the year we will be able to meet up once again with families and friends face-to-face. That really is something to look forward to this Spring !!

The recorded service this week:

This week’s on-line service for the Second Sunday of Lent is a Common Worship Eucharist from St Mary’s Hurley, and can be found HERE.

Tuesday Fellowship and Prayer
You are welcome to join us, as many of you already do week-by-week, for our Tuesday zoom session of fellowship and prayer at 5pm. Just click the following link a few minutes before 5pm on Tuesday 2nd March:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8593562928      Meeting ID: 859 356 2928

It is wonderful to see so many people from all three of our churches, live on-screen, and to have a short chat and catch-up before we pray Compline together. You would be very welcome to join us.

Our churches are open for private prayer every day

The days are getting longer, and to reflect this Hurley Church will now be staying open until 5pm each day.

St John’s Littlewick Green – open every day 11am – 4pm
St Mary the Virgin Hurley – open every day 8am – 5pm

For our prayers.
We pray for the nations of the world, and especially for places of warfare and oppression; that the hearts of those bent on violence would be turned towards ways of peace and justice.

We pray for displaced peoples and for refugees; for the UNHCR; for those who live long-term in refugee camps.

We pray for our criminal justice system, for prison chaplains and for the rehabilitation of offenders.

We pray for our Churchwardens and PCC, meeting later this week, and for the appointment of a new Vicar for the Parish. For Bishop Steven and Bishop Olivia, and for all who lead our church in these difficult times.

In our own community, we pray for those in any kind of need. For the work of Maidenhead Foodshare and those who depend upon its work. For the homeless and those in inadequate housing. For those who are sick, for the anxious and depressed, and for those who mourn the loss of a loved one at this time. We give thanks for the support that we are able to give to each other, and pray that our communities will continue to be places of compassion and care.

We pray for the recently departed, among them Dennis Oliver and Teresa Rubnikowicz.

God of compassion,
look with mercy on the suffering of your children in any kind of need.
May our homes, our communities and our world
be places where love and human flourishing grow ever stronger,
and the ways of injustice and evil are driven out.
In your mercy, send your healing power
upon all in any kind of need;
strengthen them in the face of difficulty
and bring them your peace in their hearts.
Amen.

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 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:
DAILY HOPE Tele: 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 Saturday, February 27, 2021

The First Sunday of Lent.

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

Lent is the Season in the Church’s Year when we prepare for the celebration of the great festival of Easter (which is on 4th April this year). The first written evidence of Lent being kept as a 40 day period of preparation for Easter is from AD 325, but before that it had been kept as a shorter period of preparation. It was particularly associated as a period of learning about the faith for those wanting to be baptised and confirmed at the great festival of Easter, and also as a time of repentance for those who had publicly fallen short in their Christian life.

At its heart, Lent is about taking the time to know ourselves better, to know God better, and to learn to connect God and ourselves together more deeply so that we can be ‘good news’ for the world. That’s also what Jesus was doing as he took time in the wilderness, praying and discerning, and rejecting what was not ‘of God’, in preparation for his three years of public ministry (see our Readings for this week, link below). So each Lent we are called to pray, to discern, to learn to be more Christ-like, and to consciously reject once again that which is evil, all that is not ‘of God’.

Bishop Steven’s Reflections for Lent: The Bishop of Oxford is inviting us to walk through Lent with him, using short daily reflections sent direct to our email in-box under the banner of ‘Come and See’. I know many people in the Parish have already signed up for these, and are appreciating them very much.

Bishop Steven comments: "If you are new to the faith, open your eyes to the wonder of what Christians believe. If you have been a Christian for many years, come back to the very centre. Take these mighty truths and place them at the very core of your heart and life: a resounding echo of the living Word of God: Jesus Christ.

To find out more, and to register, click this link:
http://oxford.anglican.org/come-and-see 

We also have a Parish Lent Course, meeting on zoom on Wednesday’s at 5pm. If you would like to join, please let me know.

The recorded service this week:

This week’s on-line service
for the First Sunday of Lent is a Common Worship Eucharist from St John the Evangelist Littlewick Green, and can be found HERE.

Tuesday Fellowship and Prayer

You are welcome to join us, as many of you already do week-by-week, for our Tuesday zoom session of fellowship and prayer at 5pm. Just click the following link a few minutes before 5pm on Tuesday 23rd February:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8593562928      Meeting ID: 859 356 2928

It is wonderful to see so many people from all three of our churches, live on-screen, and to have a short chat and catch-up before we pray Compline together. Last week there was some disappointment that my dog Mac didn’t make an appearance – to make up for that, below is his latest portrait entitled ‘Enjoying a well-earned treat’:

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

St John’s Littlewick Green – open every day 11am – 4pm
St Mary the Virgin Hurley – open every day 8am – 3.30pm

Forward thinking: This Easter, when we can’t visit and hug our loved ones, cards really will come into their own as a physical sign of our love for one another, and our local Christian bookshop Quench have a super range of Easter cards – as well as the ever popular Real Easter Eggs (until stock runs out….). Order
via the website https://www.quenchshops.com or email admin@quenchhops.com

Two members of our Church family
, Hazel O’Connor and David Kennard, are mentioned by name in our prayers this week. They have each undergone operations in recent days, but I am pleased to say that both are recovering well. They appreciate and give thanks for our prayers for them. If at any time you would like yourself or a loved one (with their permission) named in our prayers then do let me know.

For our prayers.

We pray for our Government and their advisors, and for the decisions to be made in the next few days as we prepare to move cautiously out of lock-down. We pray that they would have courage to make the right decisions, and that the poor, vulnerable and marginalised will be protected.

We continue to pray for all who work in our hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, care homes and in social care, and for all involved in the vaccination programme.

We pray for deliberations within the UN and amongst the G7 nations to enable vaccines to be rolled out speedily across all nations.

We pray for our churches, that this Lent we would deepen our faith, grow in holiness, and be encouraged in service, so that we are ready to meet the risen Christ at Easter renewed in faith, hope and joy.

We pray for those who are ill at this time, and we pray by name for Hazel O’Connor and David Kennard. For those who are lonely or anxious, and for all who mourn the loss of a loved one at this time. We pray for the recently departed, including Jean Bagley whose funeral took place last week, and Jacquie Telfer whose funeral takes place in the coming week.

A prayer of St Augustine:

Watch thou, dear Lord,
with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight,
and give thine angels charge over those who sleep.
Tend thy sick ones, O Lord Christ.
Rest thy weary ones.
Bless thy dying ones.
Soothe thy suffering ones.
Pity thine afflicted ones.
And all for thy love’s sake.
Amen.

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 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:
DAILY HOPE Tel: 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 Saturday, February 20, 2021

The Sunday Before Lent.

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

I do hope you are all managing to keep warm and well, or as well as we can in these strange times. As the weather turned colder, my thoughts turned once again to Maidenhead Foodshare and the valuable work they do in supporting people and families at times of crisis. Do please continue to support them if you can, either with donations of food or with cash transfer via their website. They can use such donations not just for food but also for personal hygiene items and other basic necessities that we take for granted.

The recorded service this week:

This week’s Eucharist
is a service of Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer from St James-the-Less Stubbings, and can be found HERE.

Tuesday Fellowship and Prayer

You are welcome to join us once again for our zoom session of fellowship and prayer at 5pm this Tuesday 16th February. Just click the following link a few minutes before 5pm on Tuesday:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8593562928      Meeting ID: 859 356 2928


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

St John’s Littlewick Green – open every day 11am – 4pm; closed this week on Thursday afternoon
St Mary the Virgin Hurley – open every day 8am – 3.30pm

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, 17th February. Canterbury Cathedral are livestreaming an Ash Wednesday service at 5.30pm (available via their website) and our own Christ Church Cathedral Oxford has a livestream Eucharist at 6.05pm (available via the cathedral website or the Church At Home section of the Oxford Diocesan website – where their Sunday services are posted).

Lent is a time when our local Christian bookshop QUENCH comes into its own – even in these days when we need to order online. I am particularly struck by Cris Rogers book ‘Apprentice to Jesus – 40 days of walking in the way’, and by a new book by Sr Wendy Beckett ‘The Art of Holy Week and Easter’ which explores the spiritual insights of 30 paintings of the passion and resurrection. I think I will be buying both these !!

This Easter, when we can’t visit and hug our loved ones, cards really will come into their own as a physical sign of our love for one another, and Quench have a super range of Easter cards – as well as the ever popular Real Easter Eggs (until stock runs out….).

To order, Quench say “
please get in touch via our website https://www.quechshops.com or email admin@quenchshops.com Payment can be taken over the phone using a debit or credit card, and your orders will either be posted or delivered to you. Thank you so much for your ongoing support. Stay safe, and know that The One who flung stars into space, also holds you in the palm of His hands. With Love, Team Quench.”

We are running a Lent course on zoom this year, exploring the core beliefs of our faith using weekly podcasts from the Bishop of Oxford, Bishop Steven, and meeting weekly on zoom. If anyone would like to join the course, please drop me an email asap.

Have you thought about Confirmation? This is another opportunity to learn together, this time specifically for those who are thinking of being confirmed. Confirmation is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make an adult profession of Christian faith and belief, at a special service with the Bishop, and is especially valuable if you were baptised as a baby and can’t remember it ! If you would be interested in joining a small group – on zoom – to think together about the Christian faith with a view to perhaps being confirmed after Easter, or just want to know more about it, then do give me a call or drop me an email. There will be no obligation to continue to confirmation if you decide it’s not right for you at this time. Likewise, if you know anyone who you think might be interested, either mention it to them or again drop me a line.

This week’s readings (link below).
This week’s readings include that wonderful and mysterious event, the Transfiguration, when Jesus went up a mountain with his closest disciples Peter, James and John; and as they prayed together the disciples saw Jesus transfigured before them, with clothes of dazzling white, and a voice from heaven saying “This is my beloved Son, listen to him”. This is another of those moments that help us to see that Jesus is not just a great teacher (though he is), not just a compassionate healer of people in all sorts of need (though he is) and not just someone who has a real heart for the poor, the vulnerable and the marginalised (though he is) – he is all those things but he is also the divine Son of God, who loves us with a perfect and unshakeable love. His teaching can be relied upon, his promises can be trusted – and he has the power to transform our lives, if we let him, and bring us the joys of resurrection life now and always.

For our prayers.

We pray for all who work in our hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, care homes and in social care, and for all involved in the vaccination programme. We give thanks for the development of vaccines, and for the rapidity with which our nation is benefitting. We pray for other nations, that they too would benefit quickly from the vaccines.

We pray for those of our local community who bring help to those in need, and we pray especially for Maidenhead Foodshare and for all agencies working with the hungry and the homeless. We pray for the part that we can play in helping our communities at this time.

We give thanks for the benefits of being able to meet online and to see our friends and loved ones in this way. We give thanks especially for the ways in which we can meet as church online, through recorded services and the Tuesday evening times of Fellowship and Prayer. We pray for the Lent course and all those who will participate in it.

We pray for our churches, that this Lent we would deepen our faith, grow in holiness, and be encouraged in service, so that we are ready to meet the risen Christ at Easter renewed in faith, hope and joy.

We pray for those who are ill at this time, and we pray by name for Hazel O’Connor. For those who are lonely or anxious; and for those who mourn the loss of a loved one. We pray for the recently departed, including Jean Bagley whose funeral takes place this coming week.

God of compassion,
be close to those who are ill, afraid or in isolation.
In their loneliness, be their consolation;
In their anxiety, be their hope;
In their darkness, be their light.
Through him who suffered on the cross,
but reigns with you in glory,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

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 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: DAILY HOPE Tel: 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 Saturday, February 13, 2021

2nd Sunday Before Lent.

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

A very warm welcome indeed - looking at the weather forecast, you might need all the warmth you can get this coming Sunday !!  But the lighter mornings and evenings are a welcome and very noticeable sign of progress towards Spring. As I walked through Stubbings Churchyard with Mac this morning I noticed how extensive the snowdrops are, and looking absolutely lovely. Elsewhere on my walk I came across crocuses in bloom – and I even have a single daffodil in bloom in my back garden (I don’t know why that one has been so speedy compared to the others).

The recorded service this week:

This week’s Eucharist service for Burchetts Green Parish
comes from St Mary the Virgin Hurley, and can be found HERE. If you would like to borrow a service booklet to help you follow the services we are putting online, just let me know and we will see what we can do to help. As usual I can be contacted on 01628 629 827 or
revjohnainslie@gmail.com


Tuesday Fellowship and Prayer

You are welcome to join us once again for our zoom session of fellowship and prayer at 5pm this Tuesday 9th February. Just click the following link a few minutes before 5pm on Tuesday:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8593562928      Meeting ID: 859 356 2928


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

St John’s Littlewick Green – open every day 11am – 4pm
St Mary the Virgin Hurley – open every day 8am – 3.30pm


Lent Course. We are planning a Lent course to explore the basics of our faith. This will be really helpful for those relatively new to the church or on its fringes - but equally valuable for every one of us as a chance to look afresh at our faith, ready to renew our commitment at Easter. As we share our insights I’m sure our faith and understanding will grow and be deepened.

As part of this course you will receive a daily email through Lent reflecting on an aspect of our faith (the reflections will also be available in booklet form for those who prefer to have something physical to read and ponder, or without email). The Bishop of Oxford is also offering weekly podcasts on the same themes. The idea of the course is that we will meet together weekly through Lent on zoom to chat together about what we have received that week. The course will also include opportunities to experience together contemplative prayer exercises, which some of you may already be familiar with.

If you would be interested in joining this course, can you please let me know by email asap, with an indication of what days / times would be most convenient for you to zoom with us. Lent begins on 17th February, Ash Wednesday.


Have you thought about Confirmation? This is another opportunity to learn together, this time specifically for those who are thinking of being confirmed. Confirmation is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make an adult profession of Christian faith and belief, at a special service with the Bishop, and is especially valuable if you were baptised as a baby and can’t remember it ! If you would be interested in joining a small group – on zoom – to think together about the Christian faith with a view to perhaps being confirmed after Easter, or just want to know more about it, then do give me a call or drop me an email. There will be no obligation to continue to confirmation if you decide it’s not right for you at this time. Likewise, if you know anyone who you think might be interested, either mention it to them or again drop me a line.


This week’s readings on this page.

This week’s readings proclaim God as the creator of all things, and the Collect (special prayer for the week) tells us that Almighty God ‘created the heavens and the earth’. But we are ‘creators’ too, we have inherited the gift of creativity. We create safe, warm spaces to live in, mobile phones and ‘zoom’ with which to communicate, and vaccines to combat viruses. We have a natural curiosity and desire to know ‘how things work’. We create beauty, and great art that connects deeply with our minds and feelings; and we create ways of bringing joy and hope to one another. We build loving families and communities. And of course we create life itself through giving birth to children.

But we well know that this creativity, given to us as a gift from God, can be used for ill as well as good. We build bombs as well as hospitals. Our TV screens witness to that every time we watch the news. So, how to cope with this power of creativity that can be so mis-used?

We were never intended to be creators apart from God Himself; God fully intends us to share in the joy and delight of creativity, but as co-creators with Him. The secret is to have the humility to learn from God the art of good creativity, as an apprentice might learn from his master. Working with God, and not against Him, we can build well – for ourselves, and for the communities of which we are a part.

For our prayers.

We give thanks for the life and example of Captain Sir Tom Moore, for his fund raising for the NHS, and for the great encouragement that he gave us through his sense of dedicated service to the well-being of others. We pray that we may follow in his footsteps, and learn from his example.

We pray for those who work to bring assistance to those in need, especially for Maidenhead Foodshare and those who depend upon it. We pray for the NHS and social care services and for our local doctor’s surgeries.

We continue to pray for a rapid and equitable resolution to the problem of unsafe cladding in residential buildings following the Grenfell fire in June 2017.

We pray for our church leaders, especially Archbishop Justin, Stephen Bishop of Oxford and Olivia Bishop of Reading, as they guide the Church and plan for the future. For our own Churchwardens, Treasurer and PCC.

We pray for those of our communities who are ill at this time, including Hazel O’Connor who is waiting for an operation; for those who are lonely or anxious; and for those who mourn the loss of a loved one at this time. We pray for the recently departed, including Jean Bagley.

Merciful God,
we entrust to your tender care
all those who are in any kind of need, trouble or distress,
knowing that whenever danger threatens
your everlasting arms are there to hold them safe.
Comfort and heal them, and restore them to health and strength;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

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 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: Daily Hope Tel: 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, February 05, 2021

Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple

A very warm welcome to all our friends and neighbours in the Parish of Burchetts Green. This weekend sees the Church celebrate the Feast of the Presentation – when we recall Jesus being taken as a babe-in-arms into the Jerusalem Temple, to be greeted with acclamation by aged Anna and Simeon – who are inspired by God to declare that this baby is God’s chosen Messiah, bringing the light of the Gospel for all nations.

The recorded service this week:

Our Eucharist service for Burchetts Green Parish this week
comes from St John the Evangelist Church in Littlewick Green, and can be found HERE.


Tuesday Fellowship and Prayer


Join us again for our zoom session of fellowship and prayer at 5pm this Tuesday 2nd February. Just click the following link a few minutes before 5pm on Tuesday:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81599860623?pwd=WlpiWU5EeXh2eVFpUnpRZExnOGRvQT09

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

St John’s Littlewick Green – open every day 11am – 4pm
St Mary the Virgin Hurley – open every day 8am – 3.30pm

Have you thought about Confirmation? Confirmation is, like Baptism and Holy Communion, a sacrament of the church. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make an adult profession of Christian faith and belief, at a special service with the Bishop, and is especially valuable if you were baptised as a baby and can’t remember it ! If you would be interested in joining a small group – on zoom – to think together about the Christian faith with a view to perhaps being confirmed by one of our Bishops after Easter, then do give me a call or drop me an email. There will be no obligation to continue to confirmation if you decide it’s not right for you at this time. Likewise, if you know anyone who you think might be interested, either mention it to them or again drop me a line.

This week’s readings here>.

The reading from Luke tells the story of Jesus being brought by Mary and Joseph into the Temple in Jerusalem, and the prophet Simeon declaring that this child will be “a light for the Nations, and the glory of God’s people Israel”. This Festival in the Church’s year used to be known as ‘Candlemas’ – and many still know it by that name. During the traditional Candlemas service, many candles were lit in church in remembrance that Jesus is ‘the light of the world’. And yet more candles were blessed for people to take back into their own homes. There, they would light those candles to remind themselves and their families that Jesus is the light in our lives, the one who came to show us how to live more loving and fulfilled lives, and how to know God and live with him day by day.

I wonder what you do to remind yourselves of the presence of Christ with you, day by day? Maybe it’s the routine of a short time of prayer, perhaps the Lord’s Prayer, at the beginning and the close of each day. Maybe it’s a Palm Cross that you came away from church with one Palm Sunday long ago and have kept ever since. Maybe it’s your favourite bible – or just a scrap-book in which you have written the bible verses that mean most to you. Maybe it’s a cross you sometimes hold in your hand when you think of the needs of loved ones nearby and far away. Maybe a favourite piece of reflective music you like to listen to. Or it might be a place – a particular chair or place in the house where you feel you can relax and think of God, or a favourite walk you take when you want to think things through with God’s help. Maybe it is, just like those who celebrate Candlemas, a candle that you light in a quiet place in your home to help you pray and meditate. Whatever it is, I think it’s helpful for all of us to have some place, item, picture or music that speaks to our senses and helps us to remember that God truly is with us, that he loves us and wants the very best for us. And when life seems hard, and we’re ‘running on empty’, there’s somewhere we can go (actually or metaphorically) and just know that in God’s strength we can endure whatever life throws at us, and that – as Julian of Norwich wrote, all shall be well.

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.

For our prayers.

We pray this week for parents and families; for those juggling home schooling alongside working from home, and for university students missing out on the opportunity to study and socialise together at this important time in their lives. For school-teachers dealing with present stress and future uncertainty.

We give thanks for all our blessings; for the sense of community we experience, and for the numerous examples of loving care we see all around us and receive ourselves. For the opportunities to give and receive love.

We pray for those of our own community in any kind of need, physical, mental, economic or for any other reason. For Maidenhead Foodshare, and those who depend upon it. For those who mourn the loss of a loved one at this time. And for those who have died, especially those known to us personally.

Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy.
Sustain and support the anxious,
be with those who care for the sick,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may find comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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 Daily Hope tel. 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 Saturday, January 30, 2021

Third Sunday of Epiphany

A very warm welcome to all our friends and neighbours in the Parish of Burchetts Green. Have you noticed the way in which the mornings are starting to get lighter, and the afternoons longer? And there is much more birdsong than even a couple of weeks ago. Heralds of spring !!

The recorded service this week:

Holy Communion according to the Book of Common Prayer recorded in St James-the-Less Stubbings
can be found HERE.


Tuesday Fellowship and Prayer

Join us for our next zoom session of fellowship and prayer at 5pm this Tuesday 26th January. Just click the following link a few minutes before 5pm on Tuesday:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81599860623?pwd=WlpiWU5EeXh2eVFpUnpRZExnOGRvQT09

The first of our new Tuesday zoom sessions of fellowship and prayer was very well attended and much enjoyed last week – apologies for the sudden and premature end, we have upgraded the zoom account to avoid this in future.

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

St John’s Littlewick Green – open every day 11am – 4pm but closed this week on Thursday morning
St Mary the Virgin Hurley – open every day 8am – 3.30pm

Have you thought about Confirmation? Confirmation is, like Baptism and Holy Communion, a sacrament of the church. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make an adult profession of Christian faith and belief, at a special service with the Bishop, and is especially valuable if you were baptised as a baby and can’t remember it ! If you would be interested in joining a small group – on zoom – to think together about the Christian faith with a view to perhaps being confirmed by one of our Bishops after Easter, then do give me a call or drop me an email. There will be no obligation to continue to confirmation if you decide it’s not right for you at this time. Likewise, if you know anyone who you think might be interested, either mention it to them or again drop me a line.


This week’s readings 

include the story of Jesus at the wedding at Cana in Galilee, turning water into wine. Weddings are times of great conviviality and happiness, and it is wonderful to think of Jesus not just joining in with such occasions, but playing his part in making them go well – much better than if he hadn’t been there. Elsewhere in the Gospels we read of Jesus coming alongside people in all sorts of situations – some of joy and fellowship, like the wedding scene, and others of grief and sadness. He shared in the family’s grief when his friend Lazarus died, and transformed that situation by giving Lazarus a new lease of life. You could say that Jesus went about transforming people’s lives, on page after page of the Gospels. And after his death and resurrection, he continued – and continues – doing the same. He comes alongside us in whatever situation we are in, offers to walk with us, and gently transforms things. And if you feel buffeted by the storms of life just now, remember that Jesus works not necessarily by stilling the storm, but by giving us the strength and courage to travel through the storm and into the peaceful waters beyond. A journey that we take in the company with those around us – family, friends and fellow Christians. Sometimes you might be the strong one, sometimes it’s someone else who takes the strain when you’re feeling drained. That’s the way communities work. And behind it all is the guidance and strength offered by Jesus, as he walks alongside us in joy and in sorrow, transforming every situation for the better and enabling us to weather the storms, until at our life’s end he welcomes us with open arms.

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.

For our prayers.

We pray for our NHS, giving thanks for the rapid roll-out of the vaccination programme.

We pray for those facing difficult circumstances, especially for the homeless and those struggling to make ends meet. We pray for the work of Maidenhead Foodshare and others who bring help and comfort within our local community.

We pray for our criminal justice system, struggling at this time with effects of covid coupled with stretched resources; for those in prison, for prison staff and prison chaplains; for the rehabilitation of offenders; and for the resettlement of those who are released from prison, that they would be enabled to make a new start; and for the families of those in prison.

We give thanks and pray for those who have a ministry of prayer for the world, remembering especially the sisters at Burnham Abbey. For vocations to the religious life.

We pray for those who are keeping our churches open for private prayer; and for our Churchwardens and PCC. For the discernment process leading to appointment of a new Vicar for the Parish.

We pray for the recently departed and especially for the repose of Jacquie Telfer, whose funeral will take place in coming days. We pray for her family and friends, and all who mourn the loss of a loved one at this time.

The Lord bless us and keep us;
The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and give us his peace.
Now and always.
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: Daily Hope 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 Saturday, January 23, 2021

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

Watch this weeks service
Join our Zoom session of fellowship & prayer
Churches are open for private prayer
This week's bible readings
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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