What an amazing gift the snow was last Sunday! Hopefully you had as much fun as we did. Maybe you were out sledging, or maybe you got some great photos from your grandchildren, showing off their snow creations. Perhaps you were out walking, just enjoying the sparkle and the change in the landscape. (If you're a key worker and had to go to work, then commiserations, but a BIG thank you from everyone for keeping things going despite the additional obstacles.)
But if you want to know what our Vicar got up to then please click below!
Praying this week that our trust in God continues to grow, as we journey on in his steadfast love.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Sunday services in church are on pause until further notice.
Each Sunday we'll be posting a Virtual Sunday video on our website and YouTube channel.
On pause until further notice
Setting a Watch
Continues daily at 6am and 6pm, via Zoom
Building to Serve Prayer Meeting
Continues every Monday at noon, via Zoom
THE BRANCH GARDEN HAS A YURT!
We have been offered a great opportunity to expand our facility to host groups and one-to-one work during this third lockdown. A local business have allowed us use of one of their Mongolian Gers, which we assembled in The Branch garden late last week.
The vision behind the Ger is to provide a cosy, spacious, and open place to be able to safely continue serving our community as the hands and feet of Jesus.
It has already gained the praises (and excitement) of the local schools, with some asking if they would be able to make use of it as well! It also comes with a log burning stove which will provide much needed heat, as well as the fun of cooking together.
We’re really excited by this opportunity, which only adds to the fantastic work being done in and through The Branch. Just imagine what God will do in our town when we’re “fully operational”!
The team that built the yurt did such a fantastic job! Click below to see how they did it!
This month, our 1st Priority Prayer (7.30pm, Wednesday 3rd February), will form part of a local initiative, prompted by Wychwood Baptist Church, to call people from across the churches in the North Cotswolds to join together for 24hrs of continuous prayer for our local communities and our nation in this time of crisis.
From 8am on Wednesday 3rd to 8am on Thursday 4th February, please join in by choosing a 30 minute time-slot during the night or day to suit you, and then simply committing yourself to praying when that time comes. (You can indicate your slot on the Doodle Poll , to help ensure that all the times will be filled.) If you are able, it would be wonderful if you could click on the Zoom link (click "Zoom details" below) while you are praying so that you can pray together with anybody else who happens to have chosen the same time slot (for suggestions about how to pray, visit: https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/prayer-nation).
At various intervals during the day, a half hour of prayer will be hosted by one of the local churches, so if you prefer to pray in company (using the same Zoom link), details of those times are as follows:
11am - St. David's, Moreton-in Marsh
2pm - St. John the Baptist, Burford
4pm - Evenlode Vale Churches
7.30pm - St. Mary's, Chipping Norton
8pm - St. David's, Moreton-in Marsh
Once a year we join with the other churches in Chippy to worship together and affirm our unity in Christ. This year’s United Service is by video, available on our website and YouTube channel from 10.30am on Sunday.
We look forward to seeing some familiar faces and new ones too!
COFFEE AND CHAT
Coffee and Chat happens each Sunday morning at 10am. It's a chance to catch up with each other and enjoy being church on a Sunday morning. Whoever you are you'd be so welcome. Bring a drink, your children... even your pets! We'd love to see you.
On Shrove Tuesday (16th February) we'll be holding a Zoom Pancake Party for the whole church family. We'll let you know more details next week, but in the meantime, whether you're older, younger, or somewhere in the middle, feel free to put the date in your diary and start deciding on your toppings...
SETTING A WATCH
We'll be continuing to meet to pray via Zoom at 6am and 6pm daily for our world, nation, community, church and each other.
"The Lectio 365 is a really helpful app that helps you to pause for a few minutes, focus on the presence of God and be inspired and encouraged through scripture. There’s a different devotion each day, with a simple structure, which you can read through or listen to. If you struggle to find time or discipline for daily devotional apps this makes it really easy to pray and read scripture with no need to plan or organise, and it doesn’t take long. Equally if you just want to try a different style of devotion check out this app too!"
Everyone has questions about what life is all about. We believe that everyone should have a chance to share those questions, explore the Christian faith and give their point of view.
Alpha is a place where you can ask those questions in an honest, friendly and open environment.
In recent months at St Mary's, God has been extending our vision to serve the town in an exciting, ambitious and creative way at a time of substantially increasing need for many within our community...
So many people in our community feel the weight of debt, and we are passionate about helping to release anyone we can from a life sentence of debt and poverty. At St Mary's we are working with Christians Against Poverty to bring good news, hope and freedom. If you need support, we'd love to hear from you.