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Issue 4 number 1 Oct 2017


St Michael & All Angels is now just over 150 years old… Father Paul Smith


T The Editors


Andrew Colborne Alexandra Green Louise Heffernan Sheila Hills


Silvia Joinson David Pope


Carol Worthington


Copy for next issue to Parish Office or via email by 5th of


preceding month E-mail:


StHelensWindow @gmail.com


Parish Office: St Helen’s Court, Abingdon. OX14 5BS


Tel: 01235 520144


The Window is available to download from the


Churches’ websites on the back page


his time last year we set down our aims and plans for our year to mark the 150th Anniversary of St Michael’s Dedication. We have celebrated in many different ways and for our Dedication Festival, 25 January this year, the Bishop of Dorchester presided and preached at a Sung Mass.


It was a wonderful occasion


when previous incumbents, their families, and old friends of the church, gathered in worship and thanksgiving. We have been blessed by the ministry of visiting preachers during the year. Canon Robert Teare, preached during Holy Week and at the Triduum. Fr Robert gave a rich meditation on the poem of Bill Vanstone: ‘Morning glory, starlit sky’, attended by people from our other two congregations in the parish. Fr Robert was sometime Chaplain to the Community of St Mary the Virgin, Wantage, who them- selves had close links with St Michael’s, and Abingdon, through their school of St Helen and St Katharine School, and ministry to vulnerable people. The Sisters, there- fore, have an important part in our history.


By the time this issue of The Window is published, ‘our year’ will have closed with the celebration of this year’s Patronal Festival. We shall have received Bishop Rowan Wil- liams as President and Preacher at the Sung Mass. During that liturgy he will have con- firmed three young people from St Michael’s – Sian and Carys Hopkins and Alistair Legatte. Bishop Rowan will have also re-dedicated and blessed the newly renovated bells, made possible by a generous donor. A peal will have sounded for the first time in very many years.


And so…..what next?


‘into the centre…..out from the edge’, inspired by the labyrinth, was our strapline. We moved outwards in supporting the work of TAB - The Abingdon Bridge, and TARIRO – Hope for young people in Zimbabwe. We have raised a large sum for each charity, and forged greater links with both of them. However, I am certain we have more work to do, to lead us ‘into the centre’. We have more work to do in study and learning.


(In


response to this, a course on the Beatitudes will commence in early 2018 following Bishop Steven’s clarion call to be a contemplative church). We have more work to do in deepening our common life of worship and prayer. We have more work to do in our understanding of the Eucharist. This is the task of every church. And yet, I believe we have reached a moment in St Michael’s when the Spirit is beckoning us ever forward into the something new. The DCC, in consultation with its Mission Action Plan, has agreed to begin thinking and praying about this task with a Day of Prayer around the time of its Dedication Festival next year. Please pray with us and for us as we begin this responsive pilgrimage together, that we may grow as disciples and bring glory to


God. Fr Paul Smith, is Team Vicar, St Michael and All Angels.


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