News, What's On & Information

Dear Friends

How things change!  I first started writing this piece for the July edition of the Messenger, so that was in June and just a week or so before mid-summer day and wondering when the summer might appear!  We were already well into ‘wedding season’ by then, with 20 services booked across the Ewelme Benefice, and back in June I found myself apologising to a bride and groom and their guests for the weather!  It is now July and it has been a while since we had any ‘decent’ rain, May and early June have been forgotten; how things change!

Whatever the weather, we are in summertime and in the church that means that we have returned to Ordinary Time or the Sundays after Trinity.  The colour for the season, very appropriately at the moment, is green and this will be seen in the cloths that cover the altars in our churches and the vestments that the clergy wear when they lead services.  The colour green is a good reminder of the beautiful world that we live in, especially those of us who are fortunate enough to live in an area that at this time is still so lush and green.  We celebrate all the different seasons of the year and give thanks to our God who created the natural world for us and who, of course, gave us responsibility to care for it.

Both PCC’s in our Ewelme Benefice have recently discussed the environment and our role in protecting it, following presentations made to both the Deanery and Diocesan Synods.  As part of our LIFE Vision, the Diocese has started a journey towards becoming an EcoDiocese by 2020.  This is as part of a scheme run by a Christian charity called ‘A Rocha’ and, if we are to succeed, will need the participation of at least 10% of the parishes in the Diocese.  Further details can be seen at

At parish level the suggestion is that an Eco Team is appointed and we consider our Christian response to our environment through worship and teaching, our buildings, our land especially our churchyards, our local and global
community and our own lifestyle.  If you would like to be involved in this Eco Team which would cover the whole Benefice, please speak to Canon Michael or one of the Churchwardens.

During our Informal Service on 14th July, the theme was ‘who is my neighbour?’, taken from the Gospel reading for the day which was the parable of the Good Samaritan.  We chose to focus on the four charities that we are supporting this year, reminding ourselves of how we can be good neighbours even to those we do not know.  Although we can show Jesus’ love and concern for others through financial giving, we also know that we can do that through prayer.  We set up 4 prayer ‘stations’ in the church which the congregation were invited to visit during the service and spend some time praying for the work of the 4 charities and for those in our world who are being supported by them.  As a reminder, the charities chosen for this year are:

  • The Hollies Memory café run by Carers Gloucestershire
  • The Willow Trust, which has a narrow boat moored at Saul Junction which is used by disabled and seriously ill children
  • Let the Children Live, a charity based in Colombia which works with street children
  • The Tallinding Project which has built a school and health clinic in
    The Gambia.

Our concerns for the world in which we live and for the people who live in it with us, are concerns which we should rightly have as Christians and reflect the concerns we know that God must have as well.  They sit naturally as part of the Engagement area of our LIFE Vision, as we try to live out Christ’s love and hope, praying that all might flourish and have life in all its fullness.

However you spend the summer, I pray that it will be a time of flourishing as a time for rest and renewal as we all continue on our shared journey as disciples of Christ and share in his gift of life in all its fullness.

Canon Michael


Dear Friends

August is a very quiet month, as far as church goes, and it’s a good time to stop and reflect, so Clare and I have started to plan for our Christmas Door wreath and decoration making workshops here in the church in December. We have already started to dry some flowers, poppy heads etc (see picture below). Dates have not yet been fixed but if you would like to have a go again or come and try it out, full instructions will be given and you get to take home a door wreath and a table centre decoration. Everyone who came last year had a great time and were well pleased with the results, so please keep this in mind and next month we will let you know the dates and then you can start signing up.  It’s never too early!!

Please remember St Mark’s still has two services per month on the first and third Sundays, with tea and coffee before the 3rd Sunday service – do please come and join us.

With all best wishes


Diary for August 2019


Sunday 4th                11.30am Morning Prayer (BCP)

Wednesday 7th          2.30pm Prayer Group meet in the Omega Rooms

Sunday 18th               11.30am Morning Prayer (CW), preceded by coffee in the Omega Rooms

Friday 30th                2.15pm Poetry Group meets in the Omega Rooms.



Church opening

St Mark’s church will now only be unlocked on Wednesdays and Fridays.  A notice will be put on the door directing visitors to contact numbers for those who have keys.  If you want to access the church outside these days, please contact the Parish Office.