Posted by Chuks Iwuagwu on Sunday, 29 March 2020

We are part of Stantonbury Ecumenical Partnership

My message to all
I want to offer my gratitude to all of you for your kindness and understanding and your expression of God’s love to each other at this difficult time. I would like to particularly thank you for adapting to new ways of being a church. Your response and oneness of heart in cooperating with requests and changes demonstrates that we are truly the “body of Christ” and proves that church is not the building, but the people, the body of Christ. My special thanks to all who have volunteered and are taking an active part in our ‘Buddying’ scheme to ensure that we are all supported through this period.

Please note, that no one is shielded from all of this; we are all impacted and the only way we can get through this is if we continue to be each other’s keeper. I will therefore say, please do not suffer in silence. Call out when help is required – either for yourself or for someone else. Use your Buddy leaders in the first instance, but if necessary also call out through them or directly to me because we have a strong army of local volunteers who are on standby to respond to requests. Also please raise pastoral needs for prayer with me directly or through your Buddies, as appropriate.

Finally, I would like to remind you of the call for prayer by the Diocese of Oxford:  “We are asking everyone across the whole diocese, every disciple of Christ, to pause at 11 am each day to say Psalm 23 and the Lord’s Prayer.” The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy
Spirit be with us all, evermore. Amen

Phone: 01908 608 672
Mobile: (Emergency and SMS ONLY): 07878 854 220

29th MARCH : LENT 5

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Order of Service will be “Morning Prayer: simple acts of worship” produced by the Diocese of Exeter which has been forwarded to you separately.

This can be joined free of charge from your land or mobile telephones. An Order of Service “Evening Prayer” has been forwarded separately. Please note: mute your phones when you join so that you don’t disrupt the service.

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The access code is: 446028#Continued …..

Psalm 130
Ezekiel 37: 1-14
John 11: 1-45

Most merciful God,
who by the death and resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ, delivered and saved the world:
grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross we may triumph in the power of his victory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

The Raising of Lazarus, John 11: 1 – 45
The Gospel reading this Sunday, the raising of Lazarus, is the last of Jesus’ seven miracles described by John. It is vivid, dramatic, and unique in its completeness. Jesus’ tears express his perfect humanity. His life-giving command proclaims his perfect divinity. Do read it.

The purpose of John’s Gospel is to express his conviction that Jesus is truly and historically a man who is the Christ and the Son of God.

In him all types of prophecy were fulfilled, and as a divine being he is universally near to all. In John, seven great similitudes with which Jesus reveals himself and which begin with the words, “I am”, illustrate and explain how he strengthens and guides us. But here, in the raising of Lazarus, “I am the resurrection and the life” is no explanatory figure of speech. It is a clear proclamation that the soul which touches Jesus touches life. Our Lord is not just the resurrection; he also is life eternal now! This is his gentle correction of Martha. Jesus is the door to the Kingdom. It is through him, ‘by whom, and with whom, and in whom’ we have our being, that we can enter into life eternal with God in the present, not ‘hence’, not on ‘the Last Day’, but now!

The power of resurrection is not a gift Jesus has to obtain from another. It is not a blessing he must gain from elsewhere. It is not something he ‘works’ like a magician. He does not say, ‘I promise it” or “I bring it”. Very simply he says, “I am”.

Putting ourselves in union with Jesus, being ‘in Christ’ and having ‘Christ within us’, is to unravel the secret of eternal life with God. Hold onto this in these difficult times.

John Beazley

Minister: Rev. Canon Chuks Iwuagwu 01908 608672 (except Fridays)
07878 854220 (emergency and SMS only)
Rev. David Lewis 01908 313059
Clergy email:
Lay chair: Mary O’Neale ~ Verger: Ann Fountaine
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