Special services are used to celebrate events in the church year.
Advent Sunday is the start of the church's year. Advent means 'coming' and in Advent we get ready for the birth of Jesus at Christmas. In 2020 Advent Sunday is 29th November.
Christmas - 25th December
"to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord." Luke 2:11 (NRSV)
We celebrate the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. We remember God's gift to us of Jesus when we give each other presents.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity - 18th-25th January 2021
At least once a year, Christians are reminded of Jesus' prayer for his disciples that "they may be one so that the world may believe" (John 17.21)
During this week we meet with Bloxham Baptist Church and members of other Christian denominations. The theme for 2021 is Abiding in Christ, "Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit" (John 15: 1-17)
Lent is the time of preparation for Easter which begins on Ash Wednesday which will be 17th February in 2021. Christians observe this time in different ways. Some may be preparing for baptism at Easter. Others choose to give something up - chocolate, alcohol or coffee perhaps; others take up a discipline - Bible study, prayer or another activity that relates to living a Christian life.
Mothering Sunday is the 4th Sunday in Lent and was originally the day when people would visit their 'Mother Church', the church in which they were baptised or their local parish church. Mothering Sunday will be 14th March in 2021.
Holy Week and Easter
During this week, we remember the events in Jerusalem leading up to the first Easter. Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday on Sunday 28th March 2021 and Easter Sunday will be Sunday 4th April 2021.
Rogation Sunday - May
Rogation comes from the Latin, rogare meaning to ask and reflects two ancient traditions, the ''beating of the bounds'' and the blessing of the crops. Renewal and resurrection are underlying themes of this occasion when we meet on a local farm
Pentecost, 49 days after Easter, is the Church's birthday when we celebrate the coming of God's Holy Spirit to the followers of Jesus in Jerusalem. Pentecost in 2021 will be 23rd May.
St. Mary's Patronal Festival
Our Church is dedicated to St. Mary, the mother of Jesus. We hold a special service to celebrate this on the Sunday closest to September 8th, the date chosen as her birthday.
Harvest festival is an annual celebration that occurs around the time of the main harvest. For Christians it has roots in the Old Testament and provides us with a focus for giving thanks for all God's generous provision.
The Church is decorated with fruit, vegetables and flowers and we bring gifts from the 'harvest', which these days may not be directly the fruit of our own hands but food suitable for donation to the local Food Bank or Banbury Young Homelessness Project.
Remembrance Sunday - the Sunday nearest to 11th November, Armistice Day
Remembrance Sunday is the 2nd Sunday in November when we come together to remember those who have given their lives in armed conflict.
We meet at the War Memorial to observe the two minute silence at 11am and then move into church for the rest of the service.