It’s exactly twenty days since I wrote my last pastoral letter and I wanted to let you know of a couple of new developments coming up at St Andrew’s, Oxshott.
The first is that, starting this week, we shall switch to classic Oxshott ‘Summer-time’. This means that whilst we will continue to record Listen & Pray every week for the foreseeable future, the style of the images, music and prayers around the talks in our summer series on Luke will vary on alternate weeks between a more traditional 9.15 style and a more informal 11am one. This is similar to what we usually do in the school summer holidays; namely, hold all our services at 10am and vary the style between Holy Communion and Oxshott Praise. I do hope that in doing this with Listen & Pray, we can appeal to the full range of worshippers who are members of the church family at St Andrew’s and those who have newly joined us via the internet.
We shall begin this Sunday 26 July, with an Oxshott Praise style Listen & Pray. On 2 August it will have a more formal style and continue to alternate throughout the rest of July and August. There will be a reminder in the Weekly News available on our website or posted direct to your home.
Secondly, last night the PCC agreed that we could start to hold a short form of worship in church on Sundays beginning on 9 August – provided nothing changes in the meantime. This will essentially be Listen & Pray done in real life. For the first week, we intend to invite those who have not been able to watch and participate in Listen & Pray online because they have no access to the internet.
Your wardens and I will be continuing to work hard on the arrangements and paperwork involved in this exciting next step and we would be really grateful for your prayers as we do so. There will be information to pass on about this, which I will send out in a further letter next week, so please watch this space!
As I write, the third session of opening the church for private prayer has started and I am pleased to report that all is going well. The Welcomers have been excellent and are pleased that things have gone smoothly. Those coming to pray have felt safe and free to spend time on their own in the familiar, peaceful surroundings of the church building. We currently have room for more to attend each week, so do encourage friends and neighbours to come, preferably by booking ahead please.
Finally, a prayer of blessing from Romans 15.13 (NRSV)
‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’