News – Page 13

Anglican Church News

From the Vicar

Dear Friends,

Life can all too often be a rollercoaster of motions can’t it? This time in the Church’s year can evoke similar feelings. We have Lent, the time for reflection and self-examination; then the high of Palm Sunday with the crowd crying ‘Hosanna! Praise Him’; the poignancy of the Last Supper and the darkness and suffering of Good Friday. Finally it is the wonder and awe of Easter Day. A rollercoaster of a spiritual journey – or should I say ‘it ought to be…’

There is a tendency in church when people ask us, ‘how are things going?’ to say ‘fine’ and carry on, even when things are completely falling apart. Jesus was honest and vulnerable about the dark times…

Then Jesus said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”                                                                                (Matthew 26: 38-39)

It doesn’t mean that we have to be always positive when things are falling to pieces, when it is just one seeming blow on top of another and pretend that everything is ok, or equally, that we have to pour our heart out to everyone, going on and on why things are so terrible. But rather that we can admit to how we are feeling, be honest and vulnerable about the difficulties we are facing. It can be overwhelming at times. And just when you think things can’t get any worse…

They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him                                                                           (Mark 15: 22-24)

We all face dark and difficult times as individuals, as a family and/or as a church; times when there seems to be no hope, no light, no end. We wonder how we will keep going, how we will get through.

Imagine the thoughts and emotions of the disciples as they see the story of the man they have followed and shared their lives with seemingly come to an end. This man has been tried, unjustly flogged, stripped and cruelly nailed to a cross before dying and being buried in a tomb.

All the disciples can do is hide, huddled in a room, scared, frightened, not knowing what to do, too numb to do anything. This man seemed to have the answers, even if they didn’t understand what he said at times, but now he is gone. He said he was the Messiah, they called him Lord, but now he is gone.

It seems that at times the difficulties are unrelenting, the darkness unremitting and there is no end in sight. But we have a Saviour in Jesus who has been there before us. He has walked the hard road of suffering and doesn’t ask us to walk anywhere he hasn’t. So that when we are in despair we can cry out to him, “I’m hurting. I’m struggling. I don’t know if I can carry on”. And Jesus will reply, “I know. I’m with you all the way. I’m holding your hand”. Jesus didn’t promise us an easy life free from trouble. Instead his promise was that he would never leave us, never let us go. That is our encouragement and hope because fortunately for the disciples, and us, the story doesn’t end there…

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came, stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”                                                                  (John 20:19)

Jesus is alive! Jesus has been raised from the dead. Death has been defeated, and hope has been restored. God did something truly amazing and truly hopeful that first Easter.
There is light; there is hope; there is love. Through his anguish his love remained unshaken.

So this Easter whether we are facing difficulties, or life is just bobbing along, or God is doing amazing things, let’s celebrate and give thanks that through God’s love for us, and through Jesus dying on a cross and rising to life again, we have hope and life; and then let’s show that amazing love to others no matter what.

With every blessing, Anthony

Church Services

7th April

10.30a.m. Rural Churches
Together Holy Communion (W’b)


14th April

9.30a.m. Holy Communion (W’b)

9.30a.m. Holy Communion (Ep)

11.00a.m. Holy Communion (Ox)


15th April

6.30p.m. Lent Reflection (Ep)


16th April

6.30p.m. Lent Reflection (Ep)


17th April

12.30p.m Mid-week Holy Communion (W’b)


18th April: Maundy Thursday

7.30p.m.Holy Communion (Ox)


19th April

7.30p.m Good Friday service W’b)


21st April Easter Sunday

9.30a.m. Holy Communion (W’b)

9.30a.m. Holy Communion (Ep)

11.00a.m. Holy Communion (Ox)

11.00a.m. BCP Holy Communion (Gon)


28th April

9.30a.m. APCM, followed by a shortened Morning Worship (W’b)

9.30a.m. All Age Worship (Ep)

6.00p.m Holy Communion, followed by the APCM (Ox)


Church Happenings

Sunday 7th April

10.00a.m Sunday Club, Oxton village hall


Wednesday 3rd April

10.00a.m. Coffee Drop In, St. Swithun’s

7.30p.m Julian Meeting, St. Swithun’s


Friday 12th April

2.00p.m Scramblers, Oxton village hall


Sunday 14th April

9.30a.m Stars & Explorers @ St. Swithun’s


Wednesday 17th April

7.30p.m Julian Meeting, St. Swithun’s


Wednesday 24th April
9.30a.m. Play Church, St. Swithun’s


The Annual Parochial Church Meetings

will take place on the following dates:


Epperstone: 7.30p.m, 25th April, the Church of the Holy Cross, Epperstone

Gonalston: 7.45p.m, 26th April, Gonalston Hall

Woodborough: 9.30a.m, 28th April,
St. Swithun’s with a shortened Morning Worship

Oxton: 6.00p.m, 28th April, St. Peter & St. Paul’s with a shortened Holy Communion