Parishlogo Five addresses by Canon Robert Teare during Holy Week will be given at St Michael and All Angels' Church as part of their 150th Anniversary.

Everyone is warmly invited to attend some or all of the addresses, which aim to deepen our understanding and appreciation of Holy Week and Easter.


Canon Robert Teare will give five addresses during Holy Week at St Michael’s Church based on the famous hymn by Canon Bill Vanstone: ‘Morning glory, starlit sky’.

download leaflet here  or  Parish-wide Easter Services here


Dear Friends (writes Fr Paul Smith, Team Vicar, St Michael and All Angels and St Nicolas)

As part of the 150th Celebrations of St Michael’s I am delighted that Canon Robert Teare, has agreed to be with us and preach the Addresses during the Said Mass on Monday 10th April, Tuesday 11th April and Wednesday 12th April, at 7.30pm, and in addition on Maundy Thursday (13th April) at 8pm and Good Friday (14th April) at 2pm.

We are hoping that as a parish, those from our other two congregations will join us for Monday through to Wednesday. There may be those of you who do not wish to receive Holy Communion each day during Holy Week. If this is the case, please do not let this prevent you from coming to hear a very good preacher. If you wish, you are welcome to leave at the Peace, or remain in your place and not receive Holy Communion.
Canon Robert Teare worked for many years in the Winchester Diocese before he came to Wantage to be Chaplain to the Sisters of the Community of St Mary the Virgin. He then later became interim Priest-in-charge looking after three rural churches in the Wantage Deanery before pastoral reorganisation and the appointment of a permanent incumbent. Robert is now retired, but remains active in the Parish of Wantage.
Below he writes about what he intends to say during this Holy Week and why it is important that we have a shared pilgrimage through the most solemn and holy week in the church’s year. I warmly encourage you to come and hear Robert, and look forward to seeing you.


All at St Michael and All Angel’s Church, Park Road, Abingdon

Monday 10th April

7.30 pm

Tuesday 11th April

7.30 pm

Wednesday 12th April

7.30 pm

Maundy Thursday 13th April

8.00 pm

Good Friday 14th April

2.00 pm


Canon Robert writes:

A couple went to Oberammagau to see the Passion Play. When they got home, their friends in the Parish wanted to know all about it. The man was quite dismissive – ‘well I thought it was all a bit of a waste of time and money. I was most disappointed. For a start it was very difficult to follow and I kept wondering where we were ..’ At this point his wife could no longer control herself and burst in: ‘you are fine one to talk. You were there at the beginning and then you went out for a coffee and then again a bit later you went to make sure lunch was ordered and just to taste the beer, you got back in time to escort me to the restaurant. You enjoyed your lunch and had several more beers and as soon as we got back to the auditorium you went straight off to sleep. When you woke up you needed to go to the loo and then you told us that you just needed a nice cup of tea – or that is what you told us when we eventually found you back in the bar.’

The trouble is that for too many of us we come to Church on Palm Sunday and then do nothing until Easter Day and then cannot quite make out what all the excitement is about ‘have I missed something?’ Well yes, we have. You have missed, in Holy Week, the privilege of walking with Jesus through the last days of his life. First, into Jerusalem as we re-live that first Palm Sunday and then through Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as the tension rises and we feel again the forces of evil swirling around Jesus as his enemies plot against him. On Thursday, the Eucharist of the Last Supper with the washing of the feet and the walk to Gethsemane and the Watch is exactly as the Gospel tells us. Then on Good Friday we stand in awe at the foot of the Cross as we remember that Jesus died for humankind. Holy Saturday begins as a day of complete numbness and exhaustion until the Vigil when we hear again the prophecies that brought Jesus and humankind to the point of his death and Resurrection. It all comes together as the new fire is lit and the Light of Christ is carried into the darkened Church. Jesus Christ is risen.

And the closer we walk, the more we will understand and the more we understand the louder we will want to sing 'Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia' at our Eucharist on Easter Morning.

Come walk with us; come walk with Christ.


I will be using this poem to lead us through the addresses from Monday to Friday. It is by a poet called Bill Vanstone, who died some 18 years ago. He was a priest who spent most of his ministry in a Parish.

Morning glory, starlit sky,
soaring music, scholar’s truth,
flight of swallows, autumn leaves,
memory’s treasure, grace of youth.

Open are the gifts of God,
gifts of love to mind and sense;
hidden is love’s agony,
love’s endeavour, love’s expense.

Love that gives, gives ever more,
gives with zeal, with eager hands,
spares not, keeps not, all outpours,
ventures all, its all expends.

Drained is love in making full,
bound in setting others free,
poor in making many rich,
weak in giving power to be.

Therefor he who shows us God
helpless hangs upon a tree;
and the nails and crown of thorns
tell of what God’s love must be.

Here is God: no monarch he,
throned in easy state to reign;
here is God whose arms of love aching,
spent, the world sustain.