You are on page 1of 12

St Giles’ Church, Oxford

Parish News

Presentation window at St Giles’

February 2017


(but donations gratefully received)

Canon Andrew Bunch,
The Vicarage, Church Walk, Oxford OX2 6LY
01865 510460
Associate Priest
Revd Tom Albinson
01865 515409 or 07426 948251

Lay Minister
David Longrigg, 23 Norham Rd, Oxford OX2 6SF

01865 557879

Benefice Manager
Henrietta Mountain-Ritter
10 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HT
01865 512319
Maureen Chu
Joanne Russell
Rod Nixon

01865 726011
01865 760788

Andrew Patterson

Choir Director
Nicholas Prozzillo

PCC Secretary
Sarah-Jane White

Captain of the Bells
John Pusey

Church Flowers
Benefice Secretary/Magazine Editor
Anne Dutton

The newsletter is free, but if you would like to put a donation in the wall
safe to help towards production costs this would be much appreciated.
We will be most grateful for any news/views etc - also suggestions for
how the newsletter can be improved. Please send items for inclusion
in the March newsletter to by Sunday
19th February 2017.


HE net profit from our eight JASG
events in 2016 was as follows:

Total surplus: £5,321.37

Amount passed to charities:

War Child - £2,978.86
(which includes “bucket”
donations for War Child)

Save the Children - £2,342.51

In 2015 we benefitted by
receiving matched funding from the
UK Government (Save the Children)
and a business organisation
(War Child), which had the effect of
doubling our donations. Sadly,
in 2016 no such matched funding
was available, but overall we
maintained the amount passed to
each charity by raising nearly twice
as much money as in 2015.



HIS year Tom, Georgie and I want to make Holy Week a really
special occasion in the life of St Giles’ and St Margaret’s. Over the
past few months we have been working with Canon Beau Stevenson to
put in place a programme of events from January to Easter. This
should provide a fresh way in which to view the events of Holy Week,
and help to develop our spiritual life. The theme throughout is how
times of crisis in our lives can be transformed into times of growth. Let
me introduce you to the various events that are being arranged:
Lunchtime Talks at St Giles’
On Thursday 19th January at 12:30 pm, we have the start of a new
series of talks entitled Crisis!: From Chaos to Creativity. The first talk
will be given by Beau Stevenson and is entitled The Dynamic of Crisis.
Over the next six weeks the talks will examine different times of crisis
that have occurred in the lives of our speakers. We will be looking at a
range of issues such as: facing a diagnosis of cancer; the 7/7 Bombing
in London; and Retirement. All are times in our life when suddenly
there is a change in direction forced upon us: times which can break us,
but also can help us to see life in a completely new way.
Guest preacher in February
In Holy Week, Beau Stevenson will be leading our thoughts. In order
that you can get to know his style, we are inviting him to come and
preach at the 10:30 am service in St Margaret’s on Sunday 5 th February
and at the 10:30am service in St Giles’ on Sunday 26 th February.
Palm Sunday – 9th April
This year the Blessing of the Palms will be in St Giles’ at 9:45 am. The
procession will then make its way to St Margaret’s for the 10:30 am
service, at which Beau Stevenson will be the preacher. In the evening,
Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater will be performed in St Giles’ at 6:30 pm.
Holy Week – 10th-16th April
The pattern of services in Holy Week this year will be similar to
previous years in many ways. However, on the first three days of the
week (10th, 11th and 12th April) there will be a presentation and
discussion at St Margaret’s at 8:00 pm led by Beau Stephenson which

will close with a short Eucharist. The purpose of the discussions will be
to help us recognise the dynamic of how our spiritual life develops.
Three different stages of growth will be looked at.
The services on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday will
follow our familiar pattern in both churches. However, on Easter Day
in St Giles’ churchyard there will be an additional celebration at dawn
(5:30 am) of the new light and first Eucharist of Easter.
Please do make a note of the various events. We want people to
really have a splendid build up to Easter this year and make this a
time of spiritual growth for all members of our congregations. Plans
are being developed for Lent and they will shared as soon as they
take shape.
Andrew Bunch

18th March 2017 – 10:00 am to 3:30 pm
The King’s Centre, Osney Mead, Oxford
Celebrate, discuss and learn how God’s love is becoming present in our
shared response to the homeless in Oxford. Hear from Rev Paul
Cowley and leaders of many different organisations.
£10, with concessions available. Contact the Team on 07738 086143
or to register.
The Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Candlemas) – 2nd February


HEN Christ was 40 days old, Mary and Joseph brought him to the
temple in Jerusalem ‘to present him to the Lord’ (Luke 2:22), in
accordance with the regulations laid down in Leviticus 12. (St Luke
explicitly says that Joseph and Mary take the option provided for poor
people - those who could not afford a lamb - sacrificing ‘a pair of
turtledoves, or two young pigeons’.) St Luke is the only evangelist to
include this episode and he depicts a scene of ideal Old Testament
piety, in harmony with the rest of his infancy narrative. Written up in
the light of subsequent Christian faith in the crucified and risen Jesus as
the Son of God, the account presents Jesus as the awaited ‘light for

revelation to the Gentiles’ (Isaiah 42:6 and 49:6). He is the Messiah
who brings the light of God’s salvation to all peoples.

Detail from Presentation of Christ at the Temple by Hans Holbein the Elder

Simeon and Anna stand for all that is best in the religion of Israel.
Simeon is ‘righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of
Israel’; Anna is a prophet who ‘never left the temple but worshipped
there with fasting and prayer day and night’. In welcoming Jesus they
welcome the fulfilment of Israel’s hopes, and so, in Luke’s narrative
symbolize the transition from the first covenant to the new, to whose
beginning they bear witness. The Feast of the Presentation is one of
the oldest feasts of the Christian church.
Source: Orthodox Feasts of Christ and Mary by Hugh Wybrew; SPCK; 1997

Candlemas Service at St Margaret’s on Thursday 2nd February
Sung Eucharist, with Procession and incense, at 8:00 pm


WO years ago, I went on a bellringers’ tour of Africa, one of twenty
or so English ringers who rang at all the twelve different towers
with bells suitable for change-ringing: nine in South Africa, two in
Zimbabwe, and one in Kenya.
The situation at St Thomas’s Anglican Church in Kilifi, Kenya, was
exceptional. The bells had been installed just before Independence, at
the personal expense of the last District Commissioner, and although
geographically very isolated from other ringing towers, they had more

than enough ringers. The same person was in charge both of the choir
and the ringing, and had apparently just told most of the existing choir
members: ‘You are going to learn to ring bells as well as singing’.
The tour members invited four of the Kilifi ringers to come for a
fortnight’s training in England six months later. On their last day in
England, it surprised some but not all of us when two of the visitors
performed a very public and formal proposal and acceptance of
marriage. The wedding took place a month ago, on New Year’s Eve,
and I am still in Africa now, as I write.
The ringing at Kilifi as seen on this second visit has progressed
significantly (in spite of the bells being rather light and flighty, and
requiring more restraint than strength), particularly by the addition of
about eight children, mostly aged around eleven, to what had been an
almost all-adult band. As might have been expected, some of the
children have progressed quite fast, and will probably very soon
overtake the adults - which will present some interesting challenges to
traditional patterns of deference to elders.

St Thomas’s Church, Kilifi

The wedding was a great occasion, with about 200 present both
at the service and reception. The service was mostly in English. The
bride and groom both come from further inland, and speak a different
language from most of the locals, but most of the church members
seem to know quite a lot of English - though the children are rather shy
about using it. The choir remembered that I had volunteered to sing
with them two years ago, and so drafted me into a rehearsal, which for

me amounted mainly to a crash course in how to pronounce Swahili.
Fortunately, many of the phrases in the Swahili hymns were repeated
two, three, or even four or more times. The wedding celebrations also
incorporated two successful quarter peals: one including the
bridegroom (who is the choirmaster, etc); and the second, one of the
other local ringers, as well as five English visitors.
What to do after a few days in Kilifi on the Kenya coast? My
answer was to visit Ethiopia, where I am writing this now, in the third
week of January. The difference in calendars has allowed me to attend
both Christmas and Epiphany celebrations here. Think of groups of
priests with brightly coloured and elaborately embroidered robes and
hats and parasols - and look out for more in a future issue.
John Pusey
Thomas Bray, Priest and Missionary
1656 or 1658 – 15th February 1730


HOMAS Bray, who is commemorated on 15th February, was
educated at Oswestry School and Oxford University. After
ordination, he returned to the Midlands as a curate at Bridgnorth and
then became Chaplain to Sir Thomas Price in Warwickshire. Price also
gave him a position at Lea Marston, where his diligence and library
drew the attention of a neighbouring vicar, John Kettlewell, who
pointed out to Bray that the poverty of many country parsons kept
them from owning and reading theological books, which could lead to
ignorance and hopelessness, and affect their ministry.
He was chosen by the Bishop of London to assist with the work
of organising the church in Maryland, USA. He radically reorganized
and renewed the Church there, providing for the instruction of children
and the systematic examination of candidates for pastoral positions.
He founded lending libraries and numerous schools. Both in Maryland
and back in England, he wrote and preached in defence of the rights of
enslaved Africans, and of Native Americans deprived of their land.
In 1706 Bray became Rector of St Botolph’s, Aldgate. Visitors
were especially impressed by his catechising of charity children well
into his old age, as well as his work on behalf of prisoners at Newgate.

(His concern for poor debtors and his plan to allow them to resettle
overseas drew the interest of General Oglethorpe, who received a royal
charter to establish a colony in Georgia in 1732). Bray founded a
missionary society, the SPG (Society for the Propagation of the Gospel)
and an educational and publishing society, the SPCK (Society for
Promoting Christian Knowledge), both of which are still active today.
Music at St Giles’: A Musical Offering


HERE are certainly high levels of energy in the music at St Giles’.
Throughout the week, sung services, singing lessons, rehearsals,
organ and piano tuition, musicianship sessions, academic music,
administration, occasional trips, meetings, conducting tuition, all make
for an important centre of musical activity. And then there are the
smiles from the boy and girl choristers, some of whom would not have
sung in any choir had they not been encouraged by St Giles’.
All of these activities are connected with music in worship or in
promoting liturgical music. For example, organ studies has developed
well, with several choristers learning the organ and showing great
promise. More will follow. One little chap has begun his journey into
the world of choral conducting; and we now have a junior organ
scholar, Giles Longstaff. The Archdeacon was very pleased to hear of
our efforts in organ teaching, and commented how important it is for
churches to encourage the young. We should, therefore, rejoice in the
fact that we are creating the (competent) organists of tomorrow.
And Project Vestry (the reorganization of the choir library) is
continuing. Now that the catalogue has been edited (by two choristers
and their father), a former chorister of another institution, together
with some of our chaps, is organizing the library using the storage
boxes which were partly funded by the PCC. This project also gives
enthusiastic children the experience of team work and organizational
The girls’ choir is progressing. There is obviously much more to
do, but with some additional support it will be possible for this group
(despite there now being two other liturgical girl choirs in Oxford) to
thrive. Thanks to the generosity of one choir member, robes have

been purchased for the girl choristers. Perhaps more members of the
congregation could support them by attending evening services?
Project Cassock (the purchase of robes for the gentlemen and
boys) is alive again, after initial problems with the firm. These robes
were partly funded by the PCC. Mary Whitlock, the wife of one the
Tenors in the St Giles’ Singers, is looking after this scheme, which will
also involve sourcing buttons for many of the robes which, inevitably,
look a little neglected.
The St Giles’ Singers is now springing back to its initial energetic
levels, with a few more members. Jill Bentley PGCE, a member of the
St Giles’ Singers, a chorister parent, and our teacher mentor, is very
active, and has organized a choir lunch to which the congregation were
invited and participated.
Cathedral trips continue to be opportunities for our musicians to
be ambassadors not only for St Giles’, but for traditional church music
in general. There is, of course, the added benefit of these occasions
acting as a chance for the parish as a whole to celebrate the
achievement of goals. A trip to Coventry by the boys and men took
place on 7th May 2016, with the choir receiving very favourable
comments from the Cathedral clergy. They were accompanied by our
former organ scholar, Harry Meehan FRCO. (In Harry’s biography, he
mentions the opportunity that he had to work with the boys when he
was organ scholar in 2015). Incidentally, Harry’s predecessor, Tomos
Watkins, has returned to direct his group, Plebs Angelica, in concert at
St Giles’. And most recently, on 14th January 2017, the choir sang in
Southwark Cathedral.

Further work remains to be done. A publicity drive to recruit
more choristers is ongoing, and this summer the choir will be visiting
Bergamo (Italy.) Both choral music, and the series of jazz concerts
organized by the energetic Jean Darke, continue to contribute greatly
to the life of this church, and are also an offering – a ‘Parish Share’
perhaps – which St Giles’ makes to the wider church and community.
N S Prozzillo
Thursday 2nd February
12:30 pm
8:00 pm
9:30 pm
Sunday 5th February
7:45 pm
Thursday 9th February
12:30 pm
9:30 pm
Thursday 16th February
12:30 pm
9:30 pm

The Presentation of Christ in the Temple
The Experience of Homelessness Speaker: Jayson Marc-Frater
Sung Eucharist at St Margaret’s
Cocoa and Compline
The Fourth Sunday Before Lent
Priest and Pints at The Royal Oak
Thank God I’m Gay!
Speaker: Jayne Ozanne
Cocoa and Compline
7/7 and its Consequences: A Personal
Journey. Speaker: Ian Blair
Cocoa and Compline

Thursday 23rd February
12:30 pm
9:30 pm

Retirement. Speaker: Tony Phelan
Cocoa and Compline

Sunday 26th February
10:30 am

The Sunday Next Before Lent

Wednesday 1st March
12:30 pm
8:00 pm

Eucharist and Ashing
Sung Eucharist & Ashing at St Margaret’s

8:00 am
10:30 am
6:30 pm

Holy Communion (BCP)
Holy Communion
Evensong (BCP)

5:30 pm

Evening Prayer

5:30 pm

Evening Prayer

12:30 pm
5:30 pm

Evening Prayer

5:30 pm

Evening Prayer

1:15 pm
5:30 pm

Taizé Worship
Evening Prayer

5:30 pm

Evening Prayer
Sunday Readings at 10:30 am

5th February 2017 (The Fourth Sunday Before Lent)
Isaiah 58:1-9a; Psalm 112; 1 Corinthians 2:1-12; Matthew 5:13-20
12th February (The Third Sunday Before Lent)
Deuteronomy 30:15-end; Psalm 119:1-8; 1 Corinthians 3:1-9;
Matthew 5:21-37
19th February (The Second Sunday Before Lent)
Genesis 1:1-2:3; Psalm 136; Romans 8:18-25; Matthew 6:25-end
26th February (The Sunday Next Before Lent)
Exodus 24:12-end; Psalm 2; 2 Peter 1:16-end; Matthew 17:1-9