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St Giles Church, Oxford

Parish News

The Sower (window at St Giles)

May 2017 Free

(but donations gratefully received)
Vicar: Canon Andrew Bunch, 01865 510460
The Vicarage, Church Walk, Oxford OX2 6LY
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 01865 512319
10 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HT
Maureen Chu 01865 726011
Joanne Russell 01865 760788
Acting Treasurer: Rod Nixon
Organist: Andrew Patterson
Choir Director: Nicholas Prozzillo
PCC Secretary: Sarah-Jane White
Captain of the Bells: John Pusey
Church Flowers: Mary Whitlock
Benefice Secretary: Anne Dutton
Twitter @StGilesOxford
Instagram stgileschurch
Sunday: 8:00 am Holy Communion (BCP)
10:30 am Holy Communion
6:30 pm Evensong (BCP)
Monday: 5:30 pm Evening Prayer
Tuesday: 5:30 pm Evening Prayer
Wednesday: 12:30 pm Eucharist
5:30 pm Evening Prayer
Thursday: 5:30 pm Evening Prayer
Friday: 1:15 pm Taiz Worship
5:30 pm Evening Prayer
Saturday: 5:30 pm Evening Prayer

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 are always most grateful for any news/views etc - also suggestions
for how the newsletter could be improved. Please send any items for
inclusion in the June newsletter to by
Monday 22nd May 2017.

Contents May 2017

Church Flowers Claire Woods Page 3
St Giles Rogation Procession 1874 and 2017 Page 4
The Grotrian-Steinweg Piano David Clover Page 6
Tourists, Beggars, Neighbours G R Evans Page 8
Heresy Rejected as Obstacle to new Martyrs Memorial
Page 11
(reprinted from Church Times)
Well-known Hymns (2) Ye servants of God, your Master
Page 14
100 Years Ago and 50 Years Ago: St Giles Parish Magazine Page 15
Dates for your Diary May 2017 Page 16


I T IS with sadness that I find I must give up flower arranging for the
church. St Giles is very special to me and my family and I have very
much enjoyed fifteen years of decorating it with pedestals of flowers
for festivals and special occasions, as well as almost weekly
arrangements, but physical constraints mean that it is now time to
I have been very fortunate to find someone to take my place in
Mary Whitlock. She is a very experienced flower arranger, and I look
forward with confidence and happy anticipation to many beautiful
flowers in the church over the years to come.
Thank you all for your help and encouragement over the years.
Claire Woods


T HE Beating the Bounds of St Giles parish is in the diary for 21st

May, and we will be doing it in a different order to previous years.
We will begin the service at St Giles at 4:30 pm, at which point we will
have the start of Evening Prayer before walking to St Johns, to arrive at
about 5:15 pm. The aim is to reach St Cross/Pusey House at around
6:30 pm at the end of our tour around the parish, and we are most
grateful to the Principal, Fr George Westhaver, for offering to provide
us with refreshments. A report of the Procession in 1874 appears
below but we are not planning to be quite as adventurous or spirited
as they were!


May 14th, Holy Thursday
As gone over by: Revd Henry Deane, Vicar
Mr D G Hall and Mr Elliott, Churchwardens
E Turner, Parish Clerk
and Choir Boys with white Wands

Starting from St Johns College made a X on the College Wall near the
Posts and Back Gates of College and then went across the Road and through
Mr Hatchs House at the
Corner of Alfred Street, St
Giles1. Went to the End of his
Garden and over the Wall into
the Lane. Put a X on the Wall,
crossed the Lane and went
through the Garden Gate and
through the House, No 21 St
John Street, then across St
John Street into Beaumont
Buildings and through the
House, No 13 Beaumont
Buildings. Over the Wall at
end of Garden, turned sharp to
the Right. Over the Garden
Walls of Houses in Walton
Street to the end of Beaumont
Oxford in 1872
Alfred Street, was renamed Pusey Street in honour of Edward Bouverie Pusey in 1926.

Buildings. Put X on Wall of Laurel House, [No 148], occupied by Mr Henry
Hill, and from thence up Walton Street to the House beyond Radcliffe Row2.

We then went in through the Gates of the Infirmary Garden and turned
to the Left at the end of the Burial Ground 3 and along at the Back of St Pauls
Church. Now over the Radcliffe Observatory Wall into the Field, keeping
along under the Wall which separates Walton Street from this Field, to the
farther side, then turned to the Right up this Field, until we got to N o 8
Observatory Street. Got over the Wall into the Garden and went through the
Passage into Observatory Street, crossing into Adelaide Street and through Mr
Bruckers Carpenters Workshop into St Johns Road4. Turn sharp to Right
crossing Woodstock Road, down Bevington Road on Right Hand Side.

Now across Banbury Road and into

the Garden of Holywell House on Left
Hand Side, the side nearest Summertown.
Now Wycliffe House then through Garden
of No 2 Norham Gardens and go on over
Walls at Back of Houses in Norham
Gardens till you get to No 12, Mr Henry
Wards House. Leaving by the Garden
Gate and crossing the Road, get into the
Garden of Professor Burrows, No 9. Go
down the Garden to Park Palings then turn
to Right up to Park Lodge and down the
Path outside Park Railings till you get to St
Johns College Garden gate and across the
Garden into the Presidents House and
along the Passage by the side of Kitchen
into the Back Garden, coming out into the Revd Henry Deane, Vicar of St Giles
Street through the Stable Yard Gates.

We after this went at the College Back Gates across the Quad to the end
of Common Room where a large X is on the Wall from this into the College
Kitchen; and nearly in the Centre towards the fireplace on the Floor is the last

We had Luncheon in the College Hall at One. Started at Two and

Finished at Four.

Which was presumably in the Woodstock Road, near the Radcliffe Infirmary.
The burial ground which was consecrated by the Bishop of Oxford in 1770, was closed
for burials in 1855.
Now St Bernards Road.


I F YOU usually sit near the front of the church at St Giles, you may
have noticed that our old Bechstein Model V grand piano has
recently been replaced.
It was built in 1886 and
partially refurbished in
2002 using a generous
donation, with the
expectation that it might
last another 15 years.
But time (and especially
the drying effect of the
new underfloor heating)
has taken its toll. It has
become unreliable in The 1886 Bechstein upended for removal
recent years, and is now
costly to maintain in tune. Its tone had become thin, its action heavy
and it was in dire need of fundamental repairs to the soundboard and
Although there are no records of its first arrival, we think it was
probably given to the church in the 1950s by a parishioner wanting to
dispose of the piano to
a good home. It has
certainly been a good
servant to St Giles over
the years. After the
Bechsteins casework
was cosmetically
restored in 2002, one of
the older adult
members of the choir
was heard to complain
The new piano is moved into position (1) loudly that the initials
he had carved into it as a
very young choirboy had been polished out, so we know that it had
been a very long while with us.

After obtaining an appropriate Faculty from the Diocesan
Advisory Committee to replace it, we have negotiated an arrangement
with Marcus Roberts of Roberts Pianos for temporary storage of their
instruments (you have probably seen their showroom in St Clements).
The Bechsteins 9 foot long replacement, a fully rebuilt and
restored 1954 Grotrian-Steinweg concert grand Serial No: 74208,
arrived by truck from a
restoration factory in
Poland on 17th March
2017 and it is now
housed at St Giles. In
return for our
providing warehouse
space in the church for
the exhibition of one of
Robertss for sale
stock of grand pianos,
and our making a small
payment of 400 a year, The new piano is moved into position (2)
we will have full and continuing access to a top-of-the-range
professional-quality instrument for teaching, rehearsals, recitals and
concerts. The Bechstein returned on 17th March with the Polish team
to their factory where it will be recycled. The Grotrian-Steinweg piano
is currently advertised for sale by Roberts Pianos at an asking price of
35,000, and as and when it is sold, Robertss undertake to replace it
immediately with
another instrument of
similar quality.
arrangements have
been successfully in
place at St Michael and
All Angels,
Summertown, and the
Wesley Memorial
Church for many years,
Marcus Roberts testing the new piano so we are very grateful

to Roberts Pianos to be able to join them in this scheme, which enhances
substantially our ability to be a primary focus for musical excellence,
education and performance in Oxford.
As a postscript, we did look carefully into the options for selling
the 1886 Bechstein, but the two major UK Piano Auction companies
expressed no interest, and we had a similar negative response from
Oxfords Bechstein specialist restorer, Courtney Pianos in Botley Road.
We were advised that the only value in an antique piano is its quality as
an instrument they have no inherent value as antiques unless they
have a documented provenance as belonging to a famous musician or
personality, and we have nothing of that kind for the Bechstein.
Shipping costs for sending it to an auction would have substantially
exceeded any amount raised by selling it. The no-cost option we have
chosen for disposal with Roberts Pianos will perhaps enable our old
Bechstein to be completely rebuilt and restored by the factory in
Poland and made useful again for somebody somewhere. We will be
told about the eventual outcome for it in due course.
Please contact Choir Director Nicholas Prozzillo (choir@st-giles- if you want to examine or play the new instrument.
David Clover

D OES the Bibles all-purpose guidance give a steer to the Christian

resident of central Oxford in the summer months: the one whose
annual resolve to welcome mass tourism to the streets of central
Oxford is broken as soon as the pavement is blocked by first group of
the season? I will not lose my temper. I will not shout angrily at them
to get out of the way. Oh yes I will.
It really is quite bad. Lets not pretend the city centre is a
tolerable place to live in the high tourist season. The coaches line St
Giles three deep all summer at 4.00 in the afternoon, straddling the
cycle lanes while they wait to pick up their groups, diesel engines
running to keep the air conditioning going. The wary cyclist learns to
give them a wide berth to avoid being unsaddled by a crowd suddenly

coming chattering round the front of a coach to climb back on, on the
wrong side for a country where we drive on the left.
During their visits, the groups form a bond with their guide and
around them and their leader a strong social boundary forms. Within
it they express their national culture with its patterns of behaviour.
They often seem almost literally unable to see local residents. Broad
Street becomes thickly scattered with clusters of tourists, walking
backwards across the cyclists path to photograph themselves and their
friends against angle after viewpoint of the street.
Gathered round the spot where Cranmer and his fellow martyrs
serially died, a larger group bulges across the middle of the road, while
being loudly and inaccurately informed by a commercial tour tout with
maximum added spurious Tudor drama. They leave little space for
either pedestrian or cyclist to pass, because they cannot see either
the local inhabitant on wheels or the one on two feet. If asked to make
room their guide becomes
aggressively rude and his group
titters sycophantically. They all
treat the locals as their enemy
from within their temporary

Less respectful of the

Victorian monument, tourists
picnic, and then discard the
wrappings, on the steps of the
Martyrs Memorial round the
corner. Then they leap up
without warning to run across the
road towards the Ashmolean
while the traffic lights are against
them, causing much squealing of
brakes and cursing by the still-invisible locals.
A lecturers voice is a useful device for clearing the way I find.
Tourists seem to hear that all right, and it makes them scatter. This is
definitely not loving my neighbour I remember later, as I feel the

familiar discomfort of conscience. But its the sheer numbers, I
comfort myself. It is the massed humanity that does it. If a couple asks
the way I respond quite differently, eager to explain, to add some
interesting historical detail they might miss.
No, that cant be it. It is
not just the numbers. I often
have to confess to a similar
quick rush of hostility to the
homeless too and although
their numbers are increasing in
central Oxford they approach
nothing like the tourist masses.
The numerous Big Issue sellers
tend to be likeable characters
but I imagine few locals
conscientiously buy a copy
from all the ones ranged along
the streets of central Oxford. A
medium smile as one scuttles
past shaking ones head
becomes the natural response.
Frank begging is against the
law, but you hesitate to remind someone firmly about that when he
has a very big dog wedged across his knees. I know it does an addict no
kindness to give him money but that is not why I dont, I have to admit.
What would Jesus do? We know the answer to that. He shouted
only once, at the money-changers in the Temple. He engaged with
crowds as well as with individuals. He did not spurn drop-outs or
societys rejects. They formed a natural part of his ministry. When I
see someone squatting down to talk with real kindly interest to one of
the homeless encamped on the pavement, conscience pricks. I have
yet to see anyone who knows what to do in a Christian spirit in order to
make way down Broad Street though. I suppose one ought humbly to
wait smiling until the tour groups are ready to move along. And wait.
And wait. Ones neighbours can really test ones patience.

G R Evans

By Shiranikha Herbert, Legal Correspondent, Church Times
(This article originally appeared in the Church Times of 15th August 2008, and Margaret
Williamson thought readers might be interested to see it. It is reproduced with
permission. To subscribe, visit

T HERE was no reason why those who died for their faith in the 16th
and 17th centuries should not have a memorial in the University
Church even if they were executed as heretics or traitors, the Oxford
Chancellor ruled. The Chancellor, Rupert Bursell, in the Consistory
Court of Oxford, granted a faculty for the erection of a memorial in the
University Church of St Mary the Virgin, to commemorate both
Catholics and Protestants from the University and Oxfordshire who
died for their faith as a result of the rupture of the Western Church
during the Reformation. The proposal to erect such a memorial
originally came from Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of
the Church at Oxford University.
During the Reformation disputes Roman Catholics killed
Protestants, Protestants killed Roman Catholics, and, in the case of
William Laud and Stephen College, two of those to be commemorated,
Protestants also killed Protestants. Prof MacCulloch said that humble
people, as well as dons and great clergymen, had died, many of whose
names were unknown. The memorial sought to commemorate them
all, from Oxfordshire parish priests who were hanged for leading the
people in protest against Edward VIs Reformation, to a carpenter who
built hiding places for Catholic priests, to Protestants who proclaimed
their faith in the face of Queen Marys move to restore the old faith to
The memorial was designed by Martin Jennings, and cost
18,000. It contains the names of 23 people who died between 1539
and 1681. At the specific time of his death, each of those
commemorated, whether by name or otherwise, was sentenced to
death because his beliefs were regarded as heretical. Heresy was a
theological or religious opinion or doctrine in opposition, or held to be
contrary, to the orthodox. During the English Reformation, what was
perceived as orthodox at any particular time depended upon which
religious opinion, whether Roman Catholic or Protestant, was then

dominant. Under the canon law of the Western Church, heretics could
not be buried in consecrated ground, nor could they be prayed for.
The Chancellor said that if a person could not be prayed for, or buried
in consecrated ground, it was difficult to see how that same heretic
could be commemorated in a church.
During the Reformation the law was seen also as forbidding
burial to a heretic, even if he or she had not been formally
excommunicated by the court. That was altered by Canon 68 of the
1603 Canons. Exclusion from Holy Communion was known as lesser
excommunication, and differed from greater excommunication, which
was the sentence of an ecclesiastical court. In relation to heretics, the
provisions of ecclesiastical law altered after the promulgation of the
1603 Canons, as they required a sentence of greater excommunication
to be pronounced before burial should be refused. It was greater
excommunication only that deprived a person of the benefit of the
society and conversation of the faithful.
Excommunication was no longer a sentence that could be passed
by an ecclesiastical court, as the disciplinary jurisdiction over the laity
could be enforced in exceptional circumstances only, and so far as the
clergy were concerned did not include passing a sentence of excom-

munication. The Chancellor said that there was no evidence that any
of those it was sought to commemorate were the subject of greater
excommunication at the time of their death. Bearing in mind that the
consistory court was a church court, it seemed clear that the question
should be approached with charity, and that innocence in that regard
should be presumed until proven to the contrary.
That approach was reflected in the fact that both before and
after the Reformation the Church was prepared to grant commissions
not only to bury persons who had died excommunicate, but, in some
cases, also to absolve them in order to permit Christian burial.
In the light of all those matters, and in spite of the fact that some
of the amendments of the ancient law came into force only in the
middle of the period covered by the proposed memorial, the
Chancellor concluded that there could be no good reason why the
commemoration should be refused on the grounds of any so-called
heretical beliefs or opinions.
The consideration of the petition also included consideration of
the fact that some, at least, of those who died were killed as a result of
the perception that they were traitors, and that their commemoration
in the church would be inappropriate.
The Chancellor, however, drew attention to the calendar to the
Alternative Service Book 1980, in which 6th July was set to be observed
among the lesser festivals and commemorations in memory of
Thomas More, Martyr. Thomas More was executed for treason, and
was never pardoned.
The July date was now set as a commemoration for Thomas
More, Scholar, and John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, Reformation
Martyrs, 1535. In addition 4th May was set as a lesser festival for
English Saints and Martyrs of the Reformation Era. The
commemoration of Thomas More suggested that the lesser festival
also embraced Roman Catholic martyrs.
The Chancellor concluded that the description of a Roman
Catholic as a martyr was fully endorsed, and also that the commemo-
ration of Thomas More, even though he had been executed for
treason, was not only permitted by the calendar as a commemoration

of a lesser festival in the Church, but that to do so was not contrary to
the doctrine of the Church of England. That was so in spite of the fact
that the Church of England was established according to the laws of . .
. the realm under the Queens Majesty.
Prof MacCulloch, and Dr Peter Sherlock of the University of
Melbourne also drew attention to the fact that not only was Thomas
More commemorated in Chelsea Old Church, but Oliver Cromwells
head was entombed in the chapel of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge;
and Mary, Queen of Scots, was both buried and commemorated in
Westminster Abbey.
In consideration of all those circumstances, the Chancellor
granted the faculty, and the memorial was erected at the church.

WELL-KNOWN HYMNS (2) Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim

(NEH 476) (Words by Charles Wesley)

Y E Servants of God, Your Master Proclaim was originally written

not as a hymn of praise but as encouragement for believers
facing oppression.
The hymn first appeared in 1744 in a small collection of thirty-
three hymns entitled Hymns for Times of Trouble and Persecution and
was captioned To be sung in tumult. That year was a time of great
tension and confusion in England and a time of bitter persecution for
those new people called Methodists, who were accused of being
Roman Catholics in disguise, working undercover for the Pope. Mobs
broke up Methodist services and often hurled bricks, cabbages, and
eggs at the preachers. Undaunted, John and Charles Wesley produced
the 1744 collection to buoy the spirit of their followers.
Psalm 93:1-4 and Revelation 7:11-12 are the biblical basis for this
hymn. The hymn reveals the cosmic scope of Christs kingdom and
helps us to join our voices with the great doxology to Christ, the Lamb,
as foretold in Revelation.

John Wesley (1703-1791) and Charles Wesley (1707-1788)

are commemorated by the Church of England on 24 th May.

100 Years Ago St Giles Parish Magazine, May 1917
Proposed Formation of a Parochial Church Council: The Diocesan
Conference has passed a resolution strongly urging the formation in
every parish of a Parochial Church Council. A meeting to discuss this
proposal will be held in the Parish Room on Thursday, May 10 th at 89
pm, and it is hoped that there will be a large attendance, as the ques-
tion is of great importance. The Rev H A Kennedy, Vicar of Abingdon,
has promised to come to explain the purpose of these Councils.
The Heating Apparatus: The Heating Apparatus in the Church broke
down early in January. The Vicar and Churchwardens are issuing an
appeal for 60; the cost of repair being 40, and the expense of heating
by gas stoves during the last 3 months being 20.

50 Years Ago St Giles Parish Magazine, May 1967

From the Vicar, Revd Stanley Birtwell: In the April Magazine I said that
we hoped to try an experiment with the arrangement of the furniture
in our chancel and sanctuary, extending the latter by bringing the altar
forward from the East wall of the church to bring the priest nearer the
congregation and emphasise the corporate nature of our Communion
services. I said that we should not do this if we concluded that we
could only offer a caricature of Mr Paces plans by doing so.
Fortunately Mr Pace himself offered to meet the Church Council and
any others interested which he did on April 14th. The meeting was
very largely of the opinion that to turn the present chancel into a
sanctuary and have an altar without riddel posts and curtains much
nearer the congregation would be an improvement to our services. .
I sense from some of the remarks made to me after that
reference in the April magazine to a possible experiment that there are
some of you who feel that it would be a dreadful mistake to move the
present altar; that while you would agree happily to redecorating the
interior of the church you would think any radical change a mistake. I
think it is important that everyone should know that we shall go on
working with Mr Pace until the PCC is fairly well agreed on a solution,
but that no decision will be finally taken until the whole congregation is
consulted and has an opportunity to consider the plans carefully.

Sunday 30th April Third Sunday of Easter
Saturday 6th May
7:30 pm Concert at St Giles:
Titanic House Band:
Not Waving but Drowning
Sunday 7th May Fourth Sunday of Easter
7:45 pm Priest and Pints at The Royal Oak
Sunday 14th May Fifth Sunday of Easter
Sunday 21st May Sixth Sunday of Easter
4:30 pm Evensong and Rogation Procession
from St Giles
Thursday 25th May ASCENSION DAY
7:30 am Eucharist at St Margarets
6:00 pm Eucharist at St Giles
Sunday 28th May Seventh Sunday of Easter
Wednesday 31st May Visit of the BVM to Elizabeth
12:30 pm Eucharist at St Giles
Saturday 3rd June The Martyrs of Uganda 1885-7 and 1977
7:30 pm Organ Recital at St Giles
Dr Nicholas Prozzillo

Sunday Readings at 10:30 am Holy Communion

7 May 2017 (The Fourth Sunday of Easter)
Acts 2:42-end; Psalm 23; 1 Peter 2:19-end; John 10:1-10
14th May (The Fifth Sunday of Easter)
Acts 7:55-end; Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16; 1 Peter 2:2-10; John 14:1-14
21st May (The Sixth Sunday of Easter)
Acts 17:22-31; Psalm 66:7-end; 1 Peter 3:13-end; John 14:15-21
28th May (The Seventh Sunday of Easter) (Sunday after Ascension Day)
Acts 1:6-14; Ps 68:1-10, 32-end; 1 Peter 4:12-14, 5:6-11; John 17:1-11