A new commandment I give you: love one another,
as I have loved you
For more information
For Teresa's Christmas day sermon
and a very happy (and much improved) New Year to us all.
The Government and Church guidance is that we may still meet for a short,
said service on Sundays,
provided our building is
Unless this guidance changes,
a few of us will continue
to meet at 10.0 and 6.30.
For the pewsheet for January,
with the readings for the month and events in January,
It is far better to light a candle
than curse the darkness . . .
For those who do not yet feel able to attend services,our Diocese
continues to livestream a
and other services:
you can find details on www.oxford.anglican.org/coronavirus-covid-19-2/livestream/
If you would like to join
Zoom service on Sundays,
for a link each week.
The Sandford Link magazine
Our village magazine
can be read here
We are linked with St Mary and
St Nicholas church, Littlemore,
in a United Benefice whose
Team Rector is the Reverend Margreet Armitstead (email@example.com)
Epiphanytide sermon 24th January 2021 Teresa Morgan
I’ve been thinking a lot this week about the sadness of closing churches. Churches are places of so much nurture and nourishment. They feed our hearts and minds – and eyes and ears. They teach and inspire us to care for one another. They hold our prayers, and we entrust our hopes and fears to them. When we come into a church, we come to a place where we know we are known, loved, and valued. In church we can dare to be our best selves. Those
are rare and precious things.
And churches remember. They remember our friends and neighbours who are no longer
with us. They link us to Christians before us, right back to Jesus’ disciples.
But that reminds me that very early Christians didn’t have any buildings of their own. Right up to the fourth century, if they did build a church, it was liable to be looted or destroyed. They must have felt their lack of holy places, when there were temples and synagogues all
around them, but they made a virtue of it.
St Paul says to the Corinthians, ‘Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and the spirit of God lives in you?’ (1 Cor. 3.16). In the second century, Clement of Alexandria says, ‘Christ builds his temple in people, so that he can establish the home of God in humanity’. And for Origen of Alexandria, anywhere Christians meet becomes not only a holy place, but a place where the saints and angels gather overhead and join in their worship.
We may yet have to close Sandford church, but if we do, it will still be here, holding our prayers and waiting for us. And we can take encouragement from early Christians, who knew that, wherever they were and wherever they worshipped, God was with them, and,
in them, God was in the world. And whenever they said their prayers, angels and saints
gathered overhead and worshipped with them.
We can also reflect that if, like Paul’s Corinthians, we are God’s temple, then all the holiness that lives in a church also lives in us, as we go about our daily lives. We make the holiness of holy places portable, and, if we are faithful, then the people we meet – in person or via
technology – may even meet God in us.
That does not seem a bad aspiration for the Epiphany season, the season of showing Christ to the world.
It is far better to light a candle than curse the darkness . . .
will take you to the website for the Oxford Diocese, which has loads of information on events in the Diocese.
St Mary and St Nicholas church in Littlemore is our sister church.
Sandford's amazing cafe, shop and Saturday market (always looking for new volunteers).
The village website, which includes Parish council information.
Facebook page for the Sandford Link magazine.
www.facebook.com/sandfordonthamesWI/: information about what is going on at the Sandford Women's Institute
WHAT IS CHRISTIANITY?
A Christian is someone
who believes that if we get to know Jesus Christ and follow his teachings, we can work with his Spirit to let God's kingdom into our world - a kingdom of love, justice,
If you want to explore further, christianity.org.uk is a great website:
For over 900 years St Andrew's has stood at the heart of the village, and its church bells have rung out to mourn or celebrate every great event of our country's history.
For centuries Sandford villagers have been laid to rest in the churchyard, which is
a place steeped in history and memories - still open to all
and visited by many for
peaceful meditation or reflection.
The church building is of interest in itself - click
on the button below
for a leaflet on its history.
We've put together a list of our favourite websites which have helped us to pray, meditate and reflect
on God's word.
If you discover others that you find helpful,
do let us know.
In 1086 the Domesday Book
counted 18 families as living by
the sandy ford over the Thames
Six hundred years later the
population of the village
had barely doubled,
and it was still under 200 people
at the start of the 19th century.
Today the parish boundaries
have been enlarged, and the
more than 1,200.
If you are new to the village,
You may find the newcomers
guide (click here)
a useful introduction
to what goes on.
(The guide was written
pre-Covid - some things have
changed (e.g. Talking Shop
times of opening)
but there's not much point in
making the corrections until
some normality returns to life.)