St Michael and All Angels' Church, Park Road, Abingdon

Welcome!

line drawing of St Michael's Church

Photographs of the interior
[after re-ordering] [before the re-ordering!]

The Hope Within Us, 15 to 22 May

World Labyrinth Day 7 May

Team Vicar:
The Revd Paul Smith
Tel: 01235 534654

Times of Main Services

TIMES OF MASS:
Sundays: 9.30 am Sung Mass.
9.30 am Family Mass (first Sunday of the month).
(There is an 8 am Mass at either St Helen's or St Nicolas' each Sunday. See the Calendar for details.)
Tuesdays (except the last Tuesday in the month) 7.30 pm
Wednesdays 10.30 am at St Helen's.
Thursdays 12.30 pm followed by a light lunch.

For Baptisms, Weddings, Funerals please contact the Parish Office (01235 520144).

Forthcoming Events

Poster for Silent Reflections 26 April Silent Reflections 7.30 to 9.00 pm on Tuesday 26th April. Enjoy prayerful activities in the quiet of the sanctuary with the option of coming together to share your journey at the end of the session.

Poster for World Labyrinth Day 7 May World Labyrinth Day is Saturday 7th May. St Michael's will be open from 10am - 3pm for people to walk and pray the Labyrinth. In particular we hope to have a good number of participants at 1 pm to join in the worldwide 'Walk as One at 1' which aims to 'create a peaceful wave of energy as the world turns'. At St Michael's this will be followed by prayers led by Father Paul. Refreshments will be available. All are welcome.

Poster for The Hope Within Us The Hope Within Us, Exploring, Explaining and Celebrating Christian Faith, A Parish-wide series of events from Sunday May 15th to Sunday May 22nd 2016. St Michael's is hosting a School of Prayer, led by Sr Gina, SSF, each afternoon, Monday to Friday, from 2pm to 4pm together with a joyful service of Taize Prayer and Praise at 7.30pm on Friday 20th May. Further details are available here. See the St Helen's Church web pages for more background to The Hope Within Us, for a full diary of events, and booking information for the few events for which pre-booking is required. Details of events at St Helen's Church are on the same web page and more information about events at St Nicolas' Church can be found at http://www.stnicolasabingdon.org.uk/apostles.html.

News

Easyfundraising.org.uk Please bear in mind that if you shop online you could be raising money for our church. For more information, follow the link. The unique link to our charitable cause is http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/stmichaelsabingdon, the Church of St Michael and All Angels Abingdon. Over 2400 well known retailers including Amazon, M&S, Boden, Waitrose, House of Fraser, and many more will donate a percentage of what you spend to St Michael's when you shop with them, via fundraising website http://easyfundraising.org.uk.

The Abingdon Area Archaeological and Historical Society has created a new web site that contains information about the most interesting historical buildings, streets and people in the town.

The current issue of The Window, the (usually) monthly publication of the Parish of Abingdon-on-Thames is available to download. Printed copies are available in each of the three churches in the parish.

Introduction

St Michael and All Angels' Church is a Church of England church located in the west of the town, adjacent to Albert Park. The Church of England churches in Abingdon are organized into two Benefices, Abingdon-on-Thames and Abingdon North. Abingdon-on-Thames is a Team Ministry, to which St Michael's church brings a distinctive Anglo-Catholic tradition. Almost all the Christian churches in the town are members of a Local Ecumenical Project, called The Church in Abingdon. The Local Ecumenical Project recognizes a spirit of co-operation and ecumenism that has existed in Abingdon for many years; Christians of all denominations unite to work together whenever common action is possible and to share in and be enriched by each other's traditions of prayer and worship. St Michael's Church has very strong links with our neighbours at Trinity Church. Within the Anglican Parish our Team Vicar is also Team Vicar of St Nicolas'. St Helen's, St Michael's and St Nicolas' are the three Anglican churches in the the Benefice of Abingdon-on-Thames.

Brief History

The church was designed by the architect Sir G.G. Scott, and built in the period 1864-1867. It was consecrated on 25th January 1867. The interior was redecorated in January 1999. Pevsner in his famous books The Buildings of England describes St Michael's as 'a quiet, dignified design'; a phrase that might also be applied to our main act of worship, the Sung Mass at 9.30 am each Sunday.

A history of the church, 1867 - 1967, was written for the centenary of the consecration of the church by J.C. Norris. The centenary was celebrated with First Evensong on 24 January 1967, High Mass and Sermon on 25 January, and Sung Mass and Sermon (preacher: The Revd Canon D. Nicholson, Vicar of St. Mary, Bourne Street, London and Superior General of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament) followed by Evensong on the Sunday in the Octave of the Dedication Festival on Sunday 29 January.

The church was extensively re-ordered in 2008/9, prompted by the identification of a serious problem with the floor timbers. The rationale for the re-ordering and the creation of a new liturgical space is described by Canon Peter Doll (Team Vicar of St Michael's at the time) in an article entitled "The Temple of His Presence", in Pews, Benches and Chairs, Church seating in English parish churches from the fourteenth century to the present, edited by Trevor Cooper and Sarah Brown, published by the Ecclesiological Society, 2011.

The Abingdon Area Archaeological and Historical Society maintains a web site that contains further information about St Michael's Church and other historic buildings in the town.

Tradition and Worship

The tradition at St Michael's is Anglo-Catholic, with an emphasis on community, corporate worship, meeting God in the sacraments, in the scriptures and in one another, and above all seeking to teach and live the Gospel through our own lives in the situations in which we find ourselves.

The main Sunday service is a Sung Mass at 9.30 am. and Evening Prayer at 4.00 pm. The sermon is an important element of the Sung Mass. On the first Sunday of the month the 9.30 am service is a Family Mass.

During the week we have a Said Mass on Thursdays. For times, see the Calendar. There is a Said Mass at St Helen's Church on Wednesday.

On Festivals and other Holy Days we usually have a Sung Mass at 7.30 pm. See the Calendar for precise details. During Holy Week and Easter we celebrate the traditional liturgies for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil and Easter Day. The centre group of churches combine for the major act of worship on Trinity Sunday.

There are periodic quiet days and an annual pilgrimage to Walsingham.

The church has disabled access; large print service books are available and a hearing aid loop is installed.

For Young People

Young people and families with young children are important members of our congregation; they are in a real sense the messengers of our tradition.

Baptisms take place on Sundays, usually in the afternoon, but at other times by arrangement. We try hard to maintain contact with families after their children have been baptized. Our Carol Service on Christmas Eve is a wonderful magnet drawing families together to begin the celebration of Christmas.

Church Activities

St. Michael's Fellowship meets periodically. All members of the congregation and their friends are invited to meetings. The format is normally a talk followed by refreshments and discussion. Talks cover a very broad range of topics. Talks are frequently illustrated with slides and videos. The Fellowship is an important way in which a sense of community is nurtured, through sharing of background, interests and experiences of life.

Coffee and tea are served in the Church Room after the main Sunday service. This is an important social meeting point for the congregation. Refreshments are served after evening Mass on major festivals. We have an annual pre-Christmas lunch at a local restaurant, which is well-supported and family and friends are particularly welcome to come along.

The Church Room is used by various groups and enquiries about availability are welcomed.

Music

Music is important at St Michael's. We have a small but committed choir, which combines with that of St Nicolas' for occasional services. We appreciate the services of very able organists.

Church Twinning

Through The Church in Abingdon we are building links with churches in Abingdon's Twin Towns.

Mission

St Michael's is a popular venue being located next to Albert Park with easy access. We have an important ministry through baptisms, weddings and funerals.

St Michael's supports the work of Dr Francesca Elloway, a doctor working in Africa for the Church Mission Society.

At Harvest Festival, we support the homeless through the Steppin' Stone Centre in Oxford. We also support the Abingdon Emergency Food Bank, run through Christ Church, Abingdon. We hold an annual Mini-mart, which supports the work of St Michael's and other nominated charities.


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Page last modified 22nd April 2016 by David Duce