Benefice of Woodstock and Bladon

The Benefice of WOODSTOCK AND BLADON The Church of England in the Diocese of Oxford & ; Woodstock &; Bladon

Author: Dawn Wood

Learning to pray

Learning to pray

Learning to pray – To pray is to make our hearts ready to experience the love of God in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Praying regularly will help us to develop a spiritual rhythm.

A discipline of prayer changes the way that we think about our lives, because it creates new habits of heart and mind.

Prayer opens us more deeply to the transforming grace of God. We enter into God’s presence, allowing the Holy Spirit to pray in us.

Services like Morning and Evening Prayer, Prayer during the Day, and Night Prayer are designed so that they can be said by individuals or in a group.

These services and guidance for using them can be found here.

But we may often wish to pray by ourselves as we try to share in Christ’s prayer to his Father.

Whether you are a child, young person or an adult, prayer is easier than you might imagine!

Millions of people of every age pray every day. 

Remember that God hears every prayer—but not all prayers are answered in the way we might expect or desire: we don’t always pray for his will to be done!

Prayer is a discipline – it can be difficult at times, just like keeping fit, being on a diet, or keeping weeds down in the garden.

Little and often is best, but don’t give up! No prayer, however inadequate you may feel it to be, is ever wasted or of no value.

When should I pray?

Traditionally, prayer times have been morning and evening, but you can choose a time which is best for you.

It helps to be somewhere quiet, where you can have some time for yourself.

What do I need?

You might like to set up a special place in which you pray regularly.

You might also place an open Bible, a cross, a candle, an icon or another picture, to give the time and space special significance.

You don’t have to know any prayers if you want to pray – in fact, words can often get in the way.

But you may wish to write down or memorise some prayers that speak to you, especially the Lord’s Prayer.

You could build up a collection of favourite prayers and sayings and keep a scrapbook. Or you could use a collection of prayers such as Pocket Prayers or Words for Worship.

Do I have to kneel?

Kneeling is the traditional posture for penitence and standing for praise, but you can pray anywhere – walking, standing, sitting, whatever feels comfortable.


Sometimes we need to offer ‘arrow prayers’, asking for God’s immediate help in a particular situation.

But thankfully we don’t live all our lives in moments of extreme crisis. What about day-to-day praying?

Use your hand as a model

Your fingers can be used to bring to mind different things to pray for.

  1. Thumb
    This is the strongest digit on your hand. Give thanks for all the strong things in your life, like home and family, relationships that support and sustain you.
  2. Index finger
    This is the pointing finger. Pray for all those people and things in your life who guide and help you. Friends, teachers, doctors, nurses, emergency services and so on.
  3. Middle finger
    This is the tallest finger. Pray for all the important people who have power in the world, like world leaders and their governments, members of parliament and local councillors, the Royal Family, other world leaders and their governments.
  4. Ring finger
    This is the weakest finger on your hand. It can’t do much by itself. Remember the poor, the weak, the helpless, the hungry, the sick, the ill and the bereaved.
  5. Little finger
    This is the smallest and the last finger on your hand. Pray for yourself.

Find a prayer that speaks to you and meditate on each word one by one

For instance the Jesus Prayer: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner’.

Read a psalm

The Common Worship Psalter gives prayers after each psalm.

Use a prayer book

Time To Pray or The Book of Common Prayer to give you some ideas, or use its prayers as a basis for your own.…


THE BENEFICE OF YARNTON WITH BEGBROKE AND SHIPTON-ON-CHERWELL – The benefice began on December 1st 2017 and is in the process of finding a new Rector.

Until that appointment,
please use the contact details of the Church Wardens:


Ian Gill
01865 370954

Shipton on Cherwell
Read the latest news on our Facebook page here

Anne Clark
01865 841114

Martin Knops
01865 842811…

Welcome to St Martin’s

Welcome to St Martin’s

Welcome to St Martin’s – We are the Anglican parish church for Bladon and are here to serve the whole community.

St Martin’s is a friendly, growing, welcoming church with a good choir, study groups, warm fellowship and lively social events.

We are privileged to be custodians of the burial place of Sir Winston Churchill, and welcome thousands of visitors from around the world every year.

Use this site to explore all the activities of our church, to find out more about weddings, baptisms or funerals and more. Our weekly Sunday service is at 9.30am.…



THE GREAT WAR IN POETRY AND MUSIC – A recital featuring works by British composers and poets whose lives were changed by the First World War.

Air & Hammers commemorates the centenary of the Armistice which ended the First World War with performances of The Great War in Poetry in Music.

Edmund Connolly, baritone
Maxine Thevenot, piano

Philip Moore, speaker
Charlie Lovell-Jones, violin

A retiring collection will be taken in aid of the Stroke Association…

Welcome to St Michael’s, Begbroke

Welcome to St Michael’s, Begbroke


Families, both young and old, are very welcome at church. Our worship style is engaging and welcoming with good enthusiastic singing- and prayer-centred worship.

We try to be inclusive and accepting of all ages, and are thinking of new ways to improve our ability to offer fun and friendship to ALL in our community, however old or young. We see the friends we meet on a Sunday, and often during the week, as an extension to our own family: an extended family of trust and acceptance. Why not come along and see if St Bartholomew’s/St Michael’s is for you?


Baptism is at the heart of our life as Christians. It is a starting point at which we begin to move towards God in faith, asking questions along the way, and enjoying the support of friends and family at church as we begin our journey.

If you would like to know more about baptism, come along to main Sunday Service and speak to Nathan after the service over a cup of tea or coffee.

If you want to re-affirm your baptism vows at an important time in your life, this is also something we welcome and celebrate.

Time for God, Time for Me

It may be that you simply want to come and sit, to enjoy some time alone, to think about something that is on your mind, or to ask for God’s help and protection. Our church is open each day between 10am and 4pm.

You can simply sit and soak up the atmosphere in the silence of this holy place. If you would like us to pray for any specific person or reason, simply place a prayer request through the letterbox of the Vicarage. We will pray for you by name at our Sunday service.


Weddings are a time of joy and celebration, and we are happy to be part of that.

If you have been to our church before, you will know just how beautiful it is.

You might want to have your big day with us.

We can usually accommodate your needs and requirements, and look forward to speaking to you about your plans.

Please come along on a Sunday, or call the Vicar on the telephone number opposite.…

Bladon Lunch Club

Bladon Lunch Club

Bladon Lunch Club – This has existed for over 20 years and is open to all – whether churchgoers or not.

On the first Tuesday of every month from 12 noon, a main course, a cup of tea or coffee and a piece of home-made cake is served in the Church Room, Bladon for the very reasonable price of £2.50.

The preparation is carried out by a group of ladies who take turns.

The Christmas lunch is held on the first Tuesday in December and a proper Christmas lunch with crackers, wine and pudding is provided at a cost of £5.

Contact Mollie Hance 01993 811354 if you require further information or help with transport.…

Light in Our Darkness Advent Service at Bladon

Light in Our Darkness Advent Service at Bladon – The joint Benefice Light in our Darkness Service will take place at Bladon this Sunday, 1st December, at 6pm.

Integral to this service are the great Antiphons of Advent, ancient prayers, dating from the 8th century.

Each begins with an Old Testament name or attribution for God, and ends with an invocation to the coming Saviour.

Each antiphon inspires us to use words and music to explore a different aspect of the hope we place in our God, revealed in Jesus.

This service is designed to reflect one of the major themes of the season: that we await the light of Jesus to enter the darkness of our lives.

Parking is available in the Primary school ground (up the lane opposite the White House Pub).

Do please join us for this wonderful service to start Advent!…

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