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Contact webmaster Banbury Methodist Circuit Pastoral Letter from Rev Lin Francis

Dear all,


How are you feeling?  Are you happy or are you sad?  We are all feeling a little all over the place in these strange times.  One thing I am sure we are all feeling is that we are sad we were unable to take Holy Communion on Easter Sunday.


This has made me think about the Communion table – not about the eating, sharing and gathering at it, but the ‘what we do’ when we leave the table.  We commune at the table, gather at it as a community of faith.  For now it feels like all of this communing has been taken from us, both physically and spiritually.  We cannot gather together and we couldn’t gather at the table.  It is worth remembering what happens when we leave the table.  We usually leave church alone; that is with our own spiritual thoughts and understanding of what God wants for us at that time.  This is important to remember, we have in the past communed, but we are each of us important to God, wherever we are, even now.  When we have received bread and wine, what do we do?  We rejoice in receiving such a sacrament, we glow with the presence of God in our lives, we go and live out our faith with words of kindness and love, with actions of help and giving.  We leave the table to be Christ.  When we last left the table we had the same aims and purposes, so we are today living out the same purposes, to be Christ like.  Let us continue to do this.


Communing is also about being the body of Christ together.  I have been thinking about the body in the Bible.  All of the parts of the body have a sole purpose but yet are needed to make the whole body work.  With so many of us being confined to our homes we can feel useless, not needed and perhaps lonely.  Our NHS staff and our vital workforces, providing care and delivering food and medicines etc. are the vital parts of the body we cannot live without at this time.  These people are not always at the forefront of our lives, just a small part, NOW they are the vital organs.  Read 1 Corinthians 12:12ff with a new perspective.


As I write this May newsletter we have no idea when the restrictive lockdown will come to an end, we simply wait.  In terms of our Christian life we have celebrated in a strange way the Easter story of resurrection and live in wonderment.  The disciples also lived in the wonderment.  Wondering how life would be, what would happen next, what they were to be doing, what was in store for them?  We too are like that in this present time.


Ascension Day on, 21 May 2020, will find us reflecting on Christ Ascending into heaven; rising, leaving, being lifted on high.  Transformation.  Then at Pentecost, 31 May 2020, we will reflect on the coming of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit being comforter, guide, enabler and encourager.  Jesus’s gift to us, this freshness, this power for us.  The power of the Spirit within us.  Let the flame of the spiritual fire flicker through us, let the power of God be amongst us during these next weeks and months.


I pray that in this month, at some point we find that the physical side of our lives will mirror our spiritual lives – the lockdown will be lifted, even partially, that our lives will be transformed and we may be empowered to live our lives in a new way, all with the Spirit’s help.


Take care.  Keep safe.  Keep praying.

With love and prayers.




Celebrations and Welcomes


You will be aware that from 1st September 2020 The Chipping Norton and Stow Circuit will be divided and two of the churches, Shipston-on-Stour and Wigginton will be joining our circuit.  We have received three invitations to join in the celebrations of the life at the Chipping Norton and Stow Circuit and both of these churches.  These dates:


Sunday 17 May -  Shipston Celebrations – timing to be confirmed

Sunday 7 June -  Wigginton Open Air Service – timing to be confirmed

Saturday 11 July - Chipping Norton Circuit Celebration at the Chipping Norton High School at 4.00pm

We will be having a Welcome for our two new sister churches and this will take place on Sunday 13 September at our Marlborough Road Circuit Service.  There will be a buffet lunch following the service.  Please come and join with us, say hello to new friends and share with food and fellowship.   





Marlborough Road, every Thursday (10am to 11.30am)

Hinton on the first Saturday of the month (10am to 11.30am)

Hornton weekly on a Friday (10.30am to 12 noon)

Cropredy have a coffee bring and buy every 2nd Friday

Easington on alternate Wednesdays (local blue bin day), starting at 10.00am

Grimsbury on the last Saturday of the month  (10.30am-12 noon)


List of books in the Circuit Library, kept in the Marlborough Road foyer.  



From The Methodist Church website “Coronavirus guidance

Updated 17 March 15:00

It is with sadness that we recommend that worship services in Methodist Churches are suspended for the time being in line with Government guidance.”

So across the Circuit, all activities, INCLUDING Sunday worship, are cancelled.


Live-streamed services

Wesley’s Chapel in London will continue to live-stream worship, adapted for no physical congregation.

Service times;

Wednesday 12:45

Thursday 12:45

Sunday 9:45 and 11:00.

All these services will be available at: www.youtube.com/channel/UCUAUqhmhevz5sqhh72LIMxA