Most of us probably know someone who is going back to school next week, and if you're a parent then you might be experiencing huge relief that from Monday you only have to be one person at a time! But if you're a young person, feelings might be mixed; possibly a huge desire to see friends and get back to normal (or to spend time away from home) as well as feelings of anxiety about getting ill, new rules, or not being able to cope as life gets busier.
One of our basic human needs is to be understood, and (in a way that is both a bit frightening and hugely reassuring) God meets this need because he knows us. He knows our fears and our struggles, he knows our background and the things that we seem bound to find difficult. He knows every hair on our heads (Luke 12:7), and our thoughts (Psalm 139:2). He is the God who sees (Genesis 16:13).
I love it that we don't have to explain ourselves to God, and when we have thoughts and feelings that don't seem to make sense, even to ourselves, we can offer these to God, with or without words - and he says "I know!"
She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”
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 (link below)
Building to Serve Prayer Meeting
Continues every Monday at noon, via Zoom
(THE LINK FOR THIS HAS CHANGED - PLEASE FIND THE NEW LINK BELOW)
12 noon every weekday via Zoom
WELLBEING PACKS: TRUTH
This week's wellbeing pack is themed around "truth" and includes lots of ideas about books (for World Book Day), how to make delicious pizza wraps, and a game from Bangladesh. Enjoy!
We have been working hard with getting wellbeing packs out to the community. Last week we created a pack for the young people, this included some games, a pancake recipe and some health and beauty products. We have been so blessed by local businesses in being able to source the material to go into these packs. As well as this, we also put together a small booklet with information and resources for the young people to use and learn how to look after their own mental wellbeing.
We have had over 100 packs go out to the local young people in the last week, it was such a great opportunity for me to meet them and introduce myself. We have had lots of positive feedback from these packs from both the young people and their parents, below is a short interview with one young person.
Local young person, Grace, talks to us about what life's like at the moment:
How did you feel when you got the well-being pack?
Really good because it helped me a lot, because when I'm at home it can get boring but when I have things to do it's more fun.
What are the plusses and minuses of home-school?
One of the plusses is that you don't have to wake up as early. And one of the minuses is that you don't get to see very many of your friends and it's all online.
What effect do you think the current lockdown has had on children and young people?
Well - it makes them feel a bit more scared about, you know like, germs around.
What are your top tips for looking after your well-being and mental health?
Just try and sometimes relax and have a chilled-out afternoon. Do breathing, and just do something you love. And have time for yourself.
How do you feel about returning to school?
It's going to be very different because we're not going to be able to be very close to our friends. At break we’re separated from the other years. Some people with friends in other years might not be able to see them. And also, we have to have our lunch differently and it's all different because we have to be separated from everyone.
What advice would you give to a Year 6 person who is feeling anxious about going back to school?
Just try and stay calm and try to have fun even though you know you're in a pandemic.
What's the most unusual thing you've done during Covid?
Styled [my stepdad] Nathan's hair!
What's your best and worst pizza flavour?
Pineapple and ham is my favourite, but cheese is a bit boring!
Last Saturday morning we had a lovely relaxed morning crafting via Zoom. Those joining us included folk from St. Mary's, as well as visitors, friends and family, and covered a whole range of ages. It was a real treat to meet some new people and catch up with old friends. We learnt some new skills, showed off our creations and enjoyed cake and a music video, and closed with a prayer.
The next Zoom craft will be on Saturday 20th March and everyone is welcome.
-Emily, Hannah, Yvonne & Judith
Are you passionate about transforming the church to engage in a digital era?
St Mary’s Chipping Norton is looking for a creative and motivated Design and Communications Officer (Part-time, 10-14hrs/week).
to join our supportive team at an exciting time of new opportunity for the church;
to help us to use different media to further our mission to Live IN God’s Love and to Live OUT God’s love;
to develop both internal and external communications;
to help us to establish a more solid digital foundation for our ministries.
Please click on the links below to download a Role Description and Application Form
We'd like to offer the opportunity, for anyone who would like to join us online, to pause at midday of every weekday in Lent and engage in 15 minutes of Lectio Divina. We'll listen to a passage of Scripture being read slowly two or three times, taking note of any specific words or phrases that God spotlights to us as being particularly relevant to our lives in that moment.
Do join us as often as you would like. There’ll always be someone leading a session, Mondays to Fridays from Ash Wednesday (17th February) up to the Easter weekend itself.
Here is the updated link, starting Monday 8th March:
Drawn from the Well - illustrated Bible verses by Salema Cornick and Sonya Vine
Recommended by Muriel.
This delightful and humorous collection of illustrated Bible verses will encourage, guide, comfort and empower you in your walk with God. While the simple illustrations are drawn with warmth and fun, you will quickly find yourself drawn into the uplifting message of God’s grace and love.
Perfect as a gift to someone else, or for your own inspiration!
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.