St Michael’s is an Anglican church, which uses modern catholic worship to welcome all to the Lord’s table. We are a smallish congregation, friendly to all comers, whether aged 9 months or 90 years, and whether ‘old hands’ at worship or new to faith and its celebrations. The building, at the junction of Jack Straw’s Lane and the Marston Road, was 60 years old in 2015: we celebrated our Diamond Jubilee in style in September. But those who worship in it come from far and wide: all corners of the globe, all ages, all spiritualities, find a home here. Recently we have been able to extend our welcome via our live-streaming. Currently there are about 90 people who join the worship at St Michael’s from time to time. About 40 of us regularly turn up online or onsite on Sundays. Our online experience has worked well for us. We are able to offer a genuine participatory experience to those who log in.
The main service on Sundays is at 10.00 a.m., a Eucharist also known by some as Holy Communion or the breaking of bread. We sing music from around the world as well as traditional hymns. We enjoy reading the Bible and thinking about what it teaches us. At Communion time we have also have a practice known as the Antidoron adapted from Orthodox practice which enables those at home or those onsite not receiving communion to take part via some blessed bread which is separate from the consecrated bread and wine of the Eucharist. Lots of people, young and older, take active parts in creating our worship: they read from the Bible, lead our prayers, preach, play musical instruments, sing, or manage the technology. We are now introducing a 'bring your own coffee' to replace the refreshments we used to enjoy after our worship - we look forward to the day when we can once more enjoy time for social occasions together (impromptu Sunday lunches, picnics, barbecues, day trips, pilgrimages, film and theatre visits...) - on a basis of all can but none must!
Our Vicar, the Rev’d Elaine Bardwell, lives nearby and is always very pleased to meet anyone who would like to talk things over with her. We also have a Licensed Lay Minister and 3 others trained as lay preachers who assist regularly. The Vicar is still saying prayers daily but we are not yet back to the regular slots open to all onsite. You can find various services posted on our You Tube Channel (see link on the Home Page). On Wednesday morning there is a short said Eucharist at 11.00 a.m. Everyone is most welcome to join us on Sunday or Wednesday mornings.: if you aren’t familiar with the format don’t worry – everything you need is provided. If there is anything you would like people to pray about, you can contact the Vicar - we have a regular weekly prayer list in our regular newsletter and in addition you can request prayer at any time to be used in the Vicar's daily prayer time. We often have meetings with each other during the week: fellowship groups, discussion groups, Bible studies, inquiries into faith fundamentals, or classes for those wanting to be baptised or confirmed. Just ask Elaine.
Life together at St Michael's is not quite back to normal yet. We are learning how to be one community online and onsite together. Whatever your custom, whether you know a lot or very little about Christian ways, wherever you are in the world, we would really like to make you welcome!