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St Giles’ Church, Oxford

Parish News

November 2017 Free
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 Taizé Worship
5:30 pm Evening Prayer
Saturday: 5:30 pm Evening Prayer

The newsletter is free, but if you wish to contribute towards production
costs this would be much appreciated. Please put your donation in the
wall safe, and mark your envelope Parish News. Items for inclusion in
the December magazine should be sent to secretary@st-giles- by Monday 20th November.

Contents – November 2017
The History of the Remembrance Day Poppy Page 4
Jazz at St Giles’ – Review of Opening Concert – Jean Darke Page 5
The Way Things Were: Confirmation – Anne Dutton Page 6
The Men Behind the Names (5) – Alison Bickmore Page 8
Animal Service on 1 October 2017 – Maureen Chu Page 14
100 Years Ago and 50 Years Ago Page 15
Visit to Littlemore, 5th October 2017 – Maureen Chu Page 16
Clevedon House, Park Town, Oxford – M L Pinsent Page 19
Revd Edwin Hatch Page 20
Reminiscences of Sybil Pusey – Contributed by John Pusey Page 20
Bellringing News – John Pusey Page 23
Dates for your Diary – November 2017 Page 24

Saturday 4th Nov at 7:30 pm: Simply Marvellous – Tommaso Starace
Sensational alto sax player Tommaso Starace and his Blue Note Milan
Trio are back to delight their numerous fans. Be assured of another
evening of haunting and lyrical playing from this superbly gifted Italian
musician and his talented trio. £15/£12/£5
Saturday 18th November at 7:30 pm: The Oxley Meier Guitar Project
International guitar supremos Pete Oxley and Nicholas Meier (joined by
Raph Mizraki on acoustic/electric bass and Paul Cavaciuti on drums)
will entertain you with fabulously rendered “standards” and some of
both Pete and Nicholas’ wonderful compositions. £15/£12/£5
Tickets are available at the door or online from
Proceeds go to War Child, Save the Children, and Project 900.


D URING the Great War (1914–1918) previously beautiful country-
side was blasted, bombed and fought over,
many times. The landscape swiftly turned to
fields of mud, where little could grow. Bright red
Flanders poppies (Papaver rhoeas) however, were
delicate but resilient and grew in their thousands,
flourishing even in the middle of chaos and des-
truction. In early May 1915, after losing a friend
in Ypres, a Canadian doctor, Lt Col John McCrae was inspired by the
sight of poppies to write a now-famous poem called In Flanders’ Fields.
McCrae’s poem inspired an American academic, Moina Michael,
to make and sell red silk poppies which were brought to England by a
French woman, Anna Guérin. The (Royal) British Legion, formed in
1921, ordered 9 million of these poppies and sold them on Armistice
Day, 11th November, that year. The poppies sold out almost
immediately, and that first Poppy Appeal raised over £106,000, a con-
siderable amount of money at the time. This was used to help WW1
veterans with employment and housing. The following year, Major
George Howson set up the Poppy Factory to employ disabled ex-
Servicemen. Today, the factory and the Legion’s warehouse in
Aylesford produce millions of poppies each year.
The demand for poppies in England was so high that few were
reaching Scotland. Earl Haig’s wife established the Lady Haig Poppy
Factory in Edinburgh in 1926 to produce poppies exclusively for
Scotland. Over 5 million Scottish poppies (which have four petals and
no leaf, unlike poppies in the rest of the UK) are still handmade by
disabled ex-Servicemen at Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory each year.
In Flanders’ Fields
In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow Take up our quarrel with the foe;
Between the crosses, row on row, To you from failing hands we throw
That mark our place: and in the sky The torch; be yours to hold it high,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly If ye break faith with us who die
Scarce heard amid the guns below. We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
We are the Dead. Short days ago In Flanders’ Fields.
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, John McCrae, May 1915
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders’ fields.


I T WAS so gratifying to have a capacity audience attend the first
concert in the Autumn series (Tribute to Hoagy by the Chris Ingham
Quartet). Gratifying, too, to have the concert heralded with a double-
page spread in the Oxford Times beforehand, and subsequently with a
‘rave’ review the following week. (See Press notices currently pinned to
notice board by the servery).
I am always jittery before each concert about potential audience
figures, so that when the South Porch door kept opening and admitting
further members of the public - so many that we had to slightly delay
the start of the concert - I breathed a huge sigh of relief! I needn’t
have worried, because once we had managed to find space for
everybody, the warmly receptive atmosphere was enhanced by a
superb performance of this tribute to the great American songwriter
Hoagy Carmichael. Chris Ingham’s charming and melodious singing
voice, accompanying himself on our splendid new Grotrian Steinweg
grand piano, and enhanced by the virtuosic trumpet playing of Paul
Higgs, the superb double bass playing of the Reverend (!) Andrew J.
Brown, and scintillating percussion of George Double, expounded song
after memorable song in a seamless sequence of memorable and
familiar melodies, perhaps highlighted by a haunting performance of
the well-known Stardust melody, Higgs’ trumpet, softly muted and
lyrical. Mr Ingham’s delightful and erudite mini ‘lectures’ about each
song, and Hoagy’s life, added to our pleasure. We were reminded of
the numerous songs performed by Hoagy himself on screen in iconic
black and white films starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and
Ingrid Bergman, so that a delightful nostalgia permeated the whole
evening for the highly appreciative audience.
Thanks are due, as always, to the superb sound and atmospheric
sound and lighting support provided by Professor David Carugo and the
Oxford Brookes University Arts Faculty, and the numerous wonderful,
faithful, St Giles’ volunteers, stewarding, serving the delicious wines
provided by our longest serving sponsor The Old Parsonage Hotel.
A highly encouraging start for our fund-raising for Project 900, War
Child and Save the Children. A review of the next concert, David
Gordon Trio Speaks Latin - an evening of delightful Latin American
music - will follow in the next issue. Jean Darke

I ATTENDED St Andrew’s High School in Blantyre, Malawi [formerly
Nyasaland] between 1963 and
1965. It had been set up in the late
1950s (Motto: Doctrina Habet Onus)
and was co-educational with a
mixture of day pupils and boarders.
Unfortunately I had to board, and I
remember vividly the food, sleeping in
dormitories on uncomfortable straw-
filled mattresses, and having to share
baths because of the shortage of
water. I realise now that it was a time
of great transition and uncertainty as
the Federation of Rhodesia and
Nyasaland was coming to an end and
the country was preparing for
Independence in 1964, and so I
suppose that morale amongst the
teachers was very low. It definitely
was not “the happiest time of my life”
but I do have some good memories.
Even now, the misery of singing “Lord
behold us with thy blessing” at the
start of each term comes flooding
back – but balanced by the sheer bliss
of “Lord dismiss us with thy blessing”
when we broke up!
One thing for which I am very
grateful is that while I was there I was
Confirmed. I can’t recollect that we
were consulted about whether this
was something which we wanted: I
think it was a rite of passage, and just
taken for granted that when you were
about 14 – and not Jewish, Roman
Catholic or Presbyterian – you would

go along to St Paul’s Church for a few sessions, to be “prepared” by Fr
Hardman and Fr Parslow. (Nyasaland had been “Missionarised” by the
Universities’ Mission to Central Africa in the latter part of the 19th
century, so it was firmly in the Anglo-
Catholic tradition.) I don’t remember
much of what we were taught – the
only things that come back to me are:
“Go early, go fasting, go well-prepared”;
an explanation that we were not Church
of England but part of the Anglican
Communion; and that in cases of
temptation we should say “Get thee
behind me, Satan.” Also that Fr Hardman School uniform - with
background of poinsettia trees
felt it was very important that we should
all have a crucifix. In due course my year-group were all Confirmed in
September 1963 by Bishop Donald Arden. There was no choice about
what to wear: the dress code was school uniform. And in addition the
girls all had to have a coarse linen veil pinned over their heads with a
large safety pin so that our hair was completely hidden. (I always
thought it was rather unfair that the following year the girls were
allowed to wear pretty white dresses - and no hair covering!) Our
parents came along (and presumably some people had godparents too,
but mine were all in England). These were the days before
refreshments were regularly dispensed in church, so there wasn’t much
socialising afterwards – and definitely no photographs. We were
presented with a little book entitled In His Presence, which I have to
this day. It gave lists of questions to ask yourself each week as you
prepared for Holy Communion, and had pictures of priests wearing
vestments and a bishop in rochet and chimere. Next day we were
taken in the school minibus to the 6 am service (fasting, of course –
though I think we were probably allowed a cup of tea) and made our
first Holy Communion.
Because the school was “St Andrew’s” we often sang Jesus Calls
Us! O’er the Tumult, and For All the Saints, which have remained two of
my favourite hymns. It was there, also, that the BCP Prayer of St
Chrysostom first seeped into my consciousness. So – not the happiest
time of my life but like the Curate’s egg: Good in parts. Anne Dutton


T HE three St Giles’ men remembered together in this article are
Frederick Skinner, Thomas George and Roger Cholmeley. There
seems little to link their lives except for the fact that on the outbreak of
war in 1914 all three were well established in their own professions.
Frederick Skinner, a grammar school teacher, had taken up the post of
Senior Assistant Master at Portsmouth Grammar School in 1912.
Thomas George, who was ordained, had been living in Oxford with his
family since 1907 and had been attached to St Giles’ as Curate: in
March 1914 he was appointed Organising Secretary for the Midlands
Counties of the CEMS (Church of England Men’s Society). Roger
Cholmeley was Classics Lecturer and Librarian at the new University of
Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.
All three were older than most of the volunteers who rushed to
enlist in the early stages of the war in 1914 - Frederick was 34, Thomas
44 and Roger 42. Their deaths, in 1916, 1918 and 1919 respectively,
remind us that it was not only young men that died. We are also
reminded of the wives and children who were left behind, and of the
terrible aftermath for those who may have physically survived the
immediate horrors of the battlefields, but were unable to live with the
remembered trauma.
FREDERICK TOM SKINNER was the eldest child of Tom and Marian
Skinner and was born in 1880. At the 1901 Census Frederick was 21, a
student, living at home with two younger
sisters and two younger brothers. Mr
Skinner was the owner of the drapers shop
at 1 Woodstock Road, on the corner of Little
Clarendon Street (where Taylors is today).
The family seems to have lived variously over
the years - above the shop at 1 Woodstock
Road and at other addresses in North Oxford
(in St Margaret’s Road in 1901, at 1
Bevingdon Road in 1916 and later in the Banbury Road). The drapers
business continued under their name until 1933/34.
Frederick Tom had been to the Central School and then to the
Boys High School. He won a Bible Clerkship to Oriel College in October
1898. He achieved a Second Class in Classical Mods and took his BA in

Classical Greats in 1903. After university he went as assistant master at
King Edward’s Grammar School, Bath where he was also captain of the
school’s OTC. In 1906 he was married to Frances Norton Lewis,
daughter of an Oxford City Councillor. At the time of the 1911 Census
they were living in Bath, but in 1912 he left his post at the Grammar
School there to become Senior Assistant Master at Portsmouth
Grammar School. In 1913 a son was born but sadly died the same year.
When war broke out in August 1914 Frederick was visiting his
parents, and immediately offered his services to the local war effort (as
was reported in his obituary in the Oxford Times after his death). He
also volunteered for military service and was serving as a Lieutenant in
the 14th Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment by October 1914. He
went to France in March 1915 and was promoted to Captain in April
that year and subsequently to Major.
Frederick was killed during the fighting on the Somme on 3rd
September 1916. He was buried in Serre Road Cemetery No 1. On the
same day – 3rd September – two other St Giles’ men, Frederick Hastings
and Reginald Webster, were also killed.
The Skinner family were likely to have been members of the
Wesley Memorial Church in New Inn Hall Street, Oxford rather than
attending St Giles’ Church. The record of Frederick’s death in the
Oxford Times refers to him teaching at the Sunday school at the Wesley
Memorial church, and his name is on the war memorial there too.
Records show that probate of Frederick’s will was granted in
March 1917 to his wife, who was living in Southsea, Hampshire. She
never remarried, and died in Christchurch, Hampshire in 1964 aged 86.
THOMAS PARKER GEORGE was born in 1871 in Edgbaston,
Birmingham. Nothing is known about his education until he attended
the missionary training colleges of St Paul’s, Burgh and St Augustine’s,
Canterbury. While he was in Canterbury he met his future wife, Maude
Jessie Sanderson, and they were married in September 1896 while he
was a deacon - the marriage certificate gives his rank or profession as
‘gentleman’. He was ordained priest in 1898, and he and his wife had
travelled to Jamaica where he was a curate in various parishes on the
island between 1896 and 1907. While they were in Jamaica a son was
born in 1899 and a daughter in 1901. The family returned to England in
1907 and lived at 25 Polstead Road in Oxford while Thomas read

Theology at St John’s College and had a role as reader, then precentor
in the chapel. While at the College he was also curate at two College
livings - at St Giles’ from 1907-09, at Kirtlington from 1909-11, and then
again at St Giles’ from 1911-13. The St Giles’ Marriage Registers record
him officiating at marriage services in the church.
The March 1914 issue of the Parish Magazine records Thomas as
preaching on 25th February at the Ash Wednesday service, and also
reports on his appointment as Organizing Secretary of the CEMS
(Church of England Men’s Society) in the Midlands Counties. He was
no longer curate at St Giles’.
On 18th September 1914 Thomas was appointed Chaplain to the
Forces 4th Class and must have been sent out to France soon after-
wards. The Parish Magazine reports that he preached again at St Giles’
on 13th December 1914, at a Church Parade Service for the 7th Ox and
Bucks Light Infantry, when he is described as being “home for a few
days from the front”.
In November 1915 The London Gazette records that he relin-
quished his commission in the Army Chaplains Department. His name
is next found on ships’ Passenger Lists – in April 1917 on the Cunard
Line Orduna sailing from Liverpool to New York, and again in June 1917
on the African Steam Ship Company Egori from Liverpool to West
Africa. In both cases he is described as a commercial or trader’s agent.
The sad circumstances and link behind the 1915 London Gazette
report and the 1917 Passenger Lists, are clarified by the notice in the
Parish Magazine in April 1918:
“News has been received of the sudden death at Quittah, West
Africa, of the Rev Thomas Parker George, who was Curate of St
Giles’ from 1911 to 1913, and who took charge of the Parish
during the vacancy in the living after Mr Gibson’s departure. He
went out as Chaplain with the 7th Division in September 1914,
and shared the terrible experiences of our troops in Belgium in
the autumn of that year, being at Ypres during the earlier battles
round that place. The strain was too great for Mr George’s
health, and he came home quite broken down. He was able to
take up some commercial work, and was recommended to take a
sea voyage; so that for some time he has been employed by a
West Africa firm. But he never recovered from the effects of his

experience as Chaplain, and his sudden death was not altogether
unexpected. His last appearance in St Giles’ Church was on
December 13th, 1914, when he was home for a short leave from
the front and preached to the men of the 7th Oxford and Bucks
Light Infantry, making a very deep impression upon them. A
Memorial Service in St Giles’ is being arranged to be held on
Tuesday, March 26th, at 2.30.”
Thomas had died on 12th March 1918 in Quittah, Gold Coast
Colony in West Africa. His burial place is unknown, as is the cause of
his death. He was no longer serving in the army at the time of his
death so his name does not appear on any Commonwealth War Grave
or Memorial – St Giles’ Church is almost certainly the only place where
he is commemorated.
Probate for Thomas’ will was granted to his widow, still living at
25 Polstead Road, on 2nd June 1918: she continued living in Oxford until
her death in June 1941, aged 73.
(Family footnote - the George’s son, Sandys Parker George, had joined the Indian Army in
February 1918, just before his nineteenth birthday and a month before his father’s death : he
survived the war and went on to have a successful career in the Nigerian Police Service.)

ROGER JAMES CHOLMELEY was born on 4th January 1872, the second
son of the Revd James Cholmeley, Rector of the rural village of Swaby
in Lincolnshire. He went to St Edward’s
School, Oxford in 1885 where he was
considered a brilliant classicist and also,
despite his lack of physical stature, a notable
sportsman, particularly as a rowing cox. He
won prizes for Latin prose and verse at school
and then a Classical Scholarship to Corpus
Christi College, Oxford in 1890. While at
Oxford he won the Chancellor’s Latin Verse
Prize in 1893. He took his BA in 1894 and MA
in 1897. After leaving Oxford he taught classics at Manchester
Grammar School between 1895 and 1897.
On 12th August 1896 he was married to Lilian Mary Lamb in St
Giles’ Church, Oxford. Miss Lamb lived with her widowed mother at 8
Bevington Road. It seems likely that the couple had met while Roger
was up at Oxford. The marriage was solemnised by Roger’s father and
witnessed by Roger’s brother Robert, and Lilian’s mother Isabella

Lamb, and sister, Isabella Julia. The Lamb family were regular
worshippers at St Giles’. Revd Thomas Davis Lamb, Lilian’s father had
died the previous year, aged 79.
In 1898 the couple moved to London, to the Wimbledon area,
and Roger took up a post at the City of London School. At this time his
edition of The Idylls of Theocritus, to be published in 1901, must have
been in preparation (it is still available, on Amazon).
The Second Boer War began in October 1899 and, along with
hundreds of other patriotic and mainly middle and upper class English
volunteers, Roger volunteered to serve as a Trooper in the Imperial
Yeomanry. He was in South Africa at the time of the 1901 Census
taken in April, as only Lilian is recorded as living at their address in
Wimbledon. He must have been with the Yeomanry until the end of
the war in May 1902 as he received the Queen’s South Africa Medal
and clasp: this was only awarded to those who served until the end of
the war. He came back to England later that year. He travelled back to
Natal alone in August 1903, although he was back in London for the
birth of the couple’s only child - a daughter - who was born on 1st
December 1903. On the birth certificate Roger is described as a
Roger returned to South Africa, probably sometime in 1905, to a
post teaching classics at what became Rhodes University College at
Grahamstown. Ships’ Passenger Lists show that Lilian and their
daughter travelled from Southampton to Algoa Bay (now Port
Elizabeth) in July 1906 but mother and daughter returned to England
the following year in July 1907. Roger himself returned to England in
October 1908 but left almost immediately, in December, travelling
alone, this time to Australia. He was described on the Passengers Lists
as a Teacher. He does not seem to have returned to England again
until August 1915.
In Australia he taught first, in 1909, at Scotch College (a boys’
school in Melbourne), and then at the new University of Queensland in
Brisbane where he was Classics Lecturer and Librarian. “He was making
a good thing of the Library in that infant university” according to a
Corpus colleague who visited him there in 1913.
In 1915 he returned to England to enlist, having been turned
down by the Australian army on account of his age – he was 42 in 1914.

He arrived back in London in August and was commissioned into the
Cheshire Regiment as a Second Lieutenant. He was seriously wounded
in France in 1916 but returned to the front the following year.
Roger was awarded the Military Cross in 1917 for “conspicuous
gallantry and devotion to duty as Brigade Intelligence Officer” during
action near Messines, the centre of some critical fighting in June 1917.
He was promoted to Captain in October.
After the November 1918 Armistice he volunteered for the
Russian Front, where fighting continued during 1919 - he was a Russian
speaker. The fighting in North Russia, round Murmansk and Archangel,
was the result of the abortive attempts of the United States, Britain
and their allies to support the White Russians against the Bolshevik
Revolution of 1917. Roger, still serving as a Cheshire Regiment officer,
was on board the White Russian steamship Azod on Lake Onega and
was drowned, swept overboard on the night of 16th August in rough
weather whilst overhauling machine guns in preparation for action at
daybreak. He was 47: his body was never recovered. He is commemo-
rated on the Archangel Memorial in North Russia.
Roger’s wife returned to Oxford during the war. The private
notice of his death which appeared in The Times on 16th September
1919 confirms she was living in Oxford at 19 Chalfont Road :
CHOLMELEY – Drowned on the 16th Aug while on active duty in
North Russia. Captain Roger James Cholmeley M.C. Cheshire
Regiment youngest son of the late Rev James Cholmeley and
beloved husband of Lilian Mary Cholmeley of 19 Chalfont Road.
In the 1920s Lilian went to live in Bath with her unmarried sister,
and died there aged 74 in 1942. Alison Bickmore
(Illustrations: Skinner -The Oxford Journal Illustrated; Cholmeley – Scotch College Archives)
Fauré Requiem Eucharist at St Giles’ Church
Sunday 5th November at 6:30 pm.
(The flowers at this service have been given in loving memory of
Geoff Darke, who died on 8th November 2011.)


T HE congregation of animals and
pets enjoyed a pleasant and
touching service dedicated to blessing
and honouring this aspect of the grace
of God. The spirit of St Francis of
Assisi was honoured in the short
round of hymns, prayers, blessings,
and a talk on the parable of the Good
Samaritan by the Vicar, where the
overlooked Donkey in the text, was
accorded its due.
were about 20 adults, 6 children, and other
species including a posh Siberian mouse,
Guinea Pigs, no cats, at least five dogs (with
two extra dog collars), and other furry
things which I am dubious about
identifying. Special mention to Winnie, the
Basset Hound, who has a 100% record of
attendance at the St Giles’ Animal Service.
There was a lovely atmosphere, and a
chance to meet the animals at the end - I
recommend this service to the petless members of the wider
congregation, who will be very welcome next year. Maureen Chu

100 Years Ago – St Giles’ Parish Magazine, Nov 1917
The Parish Magazine – Like many other concerns, the Magazine is in
financial difficulties “owing to the War”. For the first three years of its
existence it paid its way handsomely, but the annual profits were spent
upon parochial needs, £10 being given to the Church Improvement Fund,
and £8 to the expenses of the National Mission, so that we have no
reserve fund to fall back upon. The printer’s bill has gone up nearly 80
per cent this year, owing chiefly to the increased cost of paper and of
labour, and the price of the Dawn of Day is also considerably higher. So
we seem likely to have a deficit of several pounds this year, and
conditions are not likely to improve next year. The Vicar will be glad to
receive any contributions towards paying off this year’s deficiency; and
next year it will be necessary to raise the price to 2d per month, except
in the case of copies distributed by the District Visitors. Fifty copies each
month are sent out gratis to our men at the Front. This, of course, adds
to our expenses, but the news from home and the picture of the old
Church are so much appreciated that we are sure our subscribers would
wish us to continue sending them.

50 Years Ago – St Giles’ Parish Magazine, Nov 1967
Parish Dinner, Parish Worship – At the Parish Communion at 9.45 a.m. on
Sundays we are experimenting with the new Order for Holy Communion.
This service can only be used for the next four years. It will then be
revised according to the considered opinion of the Church of England in
the Provinces of Canterbury and York. So you have an important part to
play. There is an infinite variety of ways in which the service as it is set
out can be used and we intend to use one possibility for at least four
weeks at a time so that people can have some idea of how it works in
practice. … The important thing is that you should be able to say what
you think, after careful consideration, that you either approve or strongly
dislike, and why. We may of course only experiment strictly within the
bounds the rubrics of the service lay down. The first of these discussions
will take place on November 16th at 7 p.m. We are going to begin by
having a meal just for the fun of it. Three courses and suitable beverages
– neither water nor lemonade. It is to be a really good meal and will only
cost 2/6 for it will be “subsidised”. … When the socialities are concluded
we’ll have some time left to talk about congregational matters


A S WE approach the 900th anniversary of St Giles’ church, we are
hoping to follow up and strengthen our links with the wider
church. Tom kindly arranged a visit to his previous church in the
diocese: the PCC was pleased to be invited to St Mary and St Nicholas
Church in Littlemore. As well as being an opportunity to visit a church
located in a different part of the city, we found that they are also
embarking on an ambitious and exciting building project. Both
churches aspire to adapt to the changing needs of their Parishes, and
to fulfil the purpose of these sacred spaces as they have come down
through the years.

So on Thursday 5th October the delegation from St Giles’
consisting of the Vicar, Tom Albinson, Jean Darke, Hannah Smith and
Maureen Chu (plus Chim as non-PCC visitor), were kindly met by the
Vicar of St Mary and St Nicholas, Revd Margreet Armistead, Benjamin
and Andrew. We learnt that the church was consecrated in 1836 and
additions and adaptations were made up till 1918. It is described as
being built in a ‘simple early-English style’ - the blueprint of this church
inspired many copies, especially in the colonies.
It was the heartfelt and loving commitment of the influential
John Henry Newman, who realised the building of the church and

creation of a parish in Littlemore; bringing his energy and prestige to
the area, which at the time was impoverished and obscure.
This is what Jean says after hearing Margreet’s explanation of
the project for the Church – “Inspiring and full of the Spirit.
Courageous too in her attempt to raise funds for a ‘poorly off’ church.
Encouraging for our own attempts to raise funds for Project 900”.
There is a strong commitment to music; the employment of a
part–time Musician in Residence gives real impetus to the concept of
the church being a Centre of Music for Life to provide ‘joy, healing and
faith through music’. (It was a privilege to hear part of the Littlemore
Mass at the recent Visitation Service at Christ Church, where Joanne
and I were sworn in as Churchwardens this year).
To facilitate this forward development there will be changes to
the furniture, and reordering of parts of the space. As Hannah says: “I
think the plans are very necessary … the church needs to be a useful
space, if there is no Church Hall - the pews must go”.
However, the beauties and historic treasures of the church will
only be enhanced by a heating and decorating scheme, and a proper
kitchen arrangement. Not to mention a toilet.
We admired the atmosphere of the church. Hannah says:
“Margreet was very aware of the community, their needs and what
they would benefit from in their church. ….. I loved the ornate
woodwork of the church. I loved the Harvest Craft Contribution
Exhibition.” Jean says: “I was beguiled by the church …. which was
enhanced by the wonderful craft work on display. We were cossetted
with coffee and amazing chocolate cake, ‘entertained’ by a wonderful
‘movie’ about the church, and Cardinal Newman, whose inspiration and
‘adoption’ of the Littlemore Parish had resulted in the building of the
church, the proportions of which were truly beautiful. A truly heart-
warming and life-enhancing evening, and I hope we can maintain this
wonderful outreach exercise, beneficial to ourselves as well as St Mary
and St Nicholas.” Maureen Chu
Some images from our visit – including: a display of some of the Arts
and Crafts contributed to the Harvest Gathering of Talents (note the
knitted Cardinal); Revd Margreet shows us the new church Coat of
Arms developed for the launch of the fundraising campaign; views of

the beauty within the church, and areas which will be improved.
(Pictures supplied by Benjamin H Johnson lll of Littlemore.)


T HE Keble Acland site now being developed on the Banbury Road
just north of St Giles’, takes its name
from the now-demolished Acland
Nursing Home, which itself
commemorates Sir Henry Acland, Regius
Professor of Medicine at Oxford
University (1858-1894). He lived at 39-
41 Broad Street, where the Weston
Library is now, with his daughter Sarah
Angelina Acland.
On his death in 1900 she moved
to Clevedon House in Park Town, taking
with her some of his possessions,
including pillars from the Old Schools,
two Sheldonian heads, a Della Robbia
ceramic relief of The Virgin and Child, Sarah Acland with her dog Chum in
c.1910. The plate of the photo is held
and the portrait of John Ruskin at in the Museum of the History of
Glenfinlas by Millais which is now in the Science
Ruskin and Acland had been friends since university days at
Christ Church, and Sarah was a pupil of Ruskin’s. She went on to gain
fame as a pioneer of colour
photography, and there is now
a plaque on the house to
celebrate this. She developed
the pictures herself at home.
Her subjects included portraits,
gardens in Madeira, and
Clevedon House itself. Two of
her dogs are buried in the
garden. (See: Giles Hudson:
Sarah Angelina Acland - First
Lady of Colour Photography.)

Another, earlier, resident of Clevedon House (1871) was Edwin
Hatch, a liberal theologian, historian of the Early Church, friend of the

artist Edward Burne-Jones, author of the hymn Breathe on me, Breath
of God, founder and first editor of the Oxford University Gazette.
(Source: Jane Garnett and Gervase Rosser: Park Town, [2013])
M L Pinsent
REVD EDWIN HATCH DD (4th September 1835-10th November 1889)

H ATCH attended King Edward's School, Birmingham, and it was
during this period of his life that he was first noted for his strong
mental independence and extreme study habits, as well as when he
joined the Church of England (having been raised a Nonconformist). He
graduated from Pembroke College, Oxford, in 1857, where he was a
dominant figure in the Birmingham Set.
In 1859, he was ordained as an Anglican
priest, and travelled to Toronto, where
he was professor of classics at Trinity
College until 1862. Between then and
his return to Oxford, England in 1867, he
served as rector of the High School of
Quebec and professor of Classics at
Morrin College, both in Quebec City.
Hatch was a Bampton lecturer in 1880.
He served as Vice-Principal of St Mary
Hall, Oxford [incorporated into Oriel
College in 1902], until 1885. In 1884 he
was appointed university reader in
ecclesiastical history. He died in Oxford
in 1889 and is buried in Holywell Cemetery. (Source: Wikipedia).
My aunt Sybil Pusey was born in 1898, and her family were regular
worshippers at St Giles’ from the early 1890s until her mother died in
about 1960. When Sybil was born, the family were living at 21
Wellington Square, and when her family moved from there in about
1910, they moved only a short distance, to North Elms, later known as
No 18 Parks Road. It was the most northerly residential house in Parks
Road, located where there is now a southward extension of the

Engineering Science building which stands on the sharp corner where
Parks Road joins Banbury Road. The following are extracts from
reminiscences which Sybil wrote down when she was in her late

U P TO the early years of WWI, Parks Road was a ‘backwater’.
Nowadays [i.e. in the 1980s] it is a busy thoroughfare, as well as
an established parking area. But in those days it was a road where
children, on ponies with a leading rein, were taught to ride, and, less
successfully, would-be cyclists leaned at an impossible angle towards a
breathless companion, who ran beside them propping them up.
Because there was so little traffic, my younger brothers found it a
useful hockey ground, and spent much of their spare time knocking a
ball about, with only an occasional warning cry of ‘car coming’. As a
result, hockey was the favourite game of all three as they grew older,
and they were all very good at it.” [The two youngest brothers, Guy and
Harold, both played hockey for St Edmund Hall later on, when they
were undergraduates.]
Our end of Parks Road was very dark at night, with only three
lights on the west side: one at its junction with Norham Gardens and
Banbury Road; one outside our house; and one near Keble Chapel. The
Parks side was unlighted, and I think it was not till some time after
WWI that lights were set up under the trees near the Parks railings.
Now [1980s], the road at the north end has changed entirely; the florist
shop and market garden which originally filled the triangle between
Banbury Road and Parks Road were pulled down some time before
WWI, and our house and its semi-detached neighbour were
demolished in the 1960s, also to be replaced by university buildings.
The Parks itself has changed, paths have been widened, and lines of
bushes which separated the different sports fields have been grubbed
up. And, of course, the lovely high bridge in the Parks over the
Cherwell was not there in my early days.
In 1917 my father died unexpectedly, and by then, because of
the war, rationing of food was a very serious matter. Food was scarce
and rather patchy in its distribution in spite of ration cards, and so
Mother rented an allotment, at an absurdly low rent, on Port Meadow
just exactly one mile from our house. At the same time, she very
enterprisingly invested in six or eight ‘Runner ducks’ (land birds which

did not require a pond) and two goats for milking purposes. On one
occasion, Mother’s uncle, who managed the Old Parsonage as student
lodgings, called in to see her – for some reason he called her ‘Sis’,
although she was his niece. Having both goats and ducks in his mind,
he asked ‘Hello Sis, are the donkeys laying well?’

View from where 18 Parks Rd used to be, looking towards Keble College. There
were once elm trees on the grass strip, and sometimes goats - and boys playing
hockey on the roadway.
Two sheds were put up in a quiet corner of the garden for the
protection of the goats and ducks; and a large netted-in area of grass
was provided for the ducks, which were quite a success, supplying us
with plenty of eggs. Every morning, they filed out of their shed and
lifted their heads to greet the dawn with about a minute of loud quacks
and squawks, but our neighbours made no complaints, whatever they
may have thought.
The chief difficulty with the goats was their food. It seems to be
the habit of goats to desire whatever is just or nearly out of reach, be it
ivy, walnut tree, yew or laburnum. Simple lush green grass makes no
appeal. So we had to be very careful to see that they were tethered in
such a position that none of the prohibited foods were in reach. Of
course, the allotment provided plenty of green-stuff. And no cabbage
or cauliflower leaf, beetroot top etc. must be put on the compost heap
on Port Meadow: it must be put into a suitable bag and trundled back
to the house on a bicycle carrier, handle bars etc in addition to the

other vegetables cut for the table. The bicycles were often so loaded
that it was only possible to push them home. That mile seemed rather
a long one!
At first my mother employed a jobbing gardener (often a retired
railway employee) to do most of the cultivation of the allotment,
though she herself took a share in the work, and the younger members
of the family did much of the carrying of the produce. We continued to
grow our own vegetables on Port Meadow, later without any outside
help, until after the Second World War, when ‘digging for victory’
became less popular; and finally the local council ploughed up the
whole allotment area [close to the right of the entrance to the Meadow
from Walton Well Road] and put it down to grass again.
Returning to the goats: to provide them with a change of
pasture, we sometimes tethered them on the opposite side of Parks
Road, on the grass verge, beneath the elm trees. No-one seemed to
mind this liberty we were taking; and they provided some interest to
passers-by. But one day when a thunderstorm appeared imminent, my
sister Hilda hastened across the road to fetch them in, as she knew that
they hated thunder. Thinking to do the job quickly, she pulled up both
tethering pegs and started across the road with the two goats. They, in
their terror at the thunder, ran one round one side of her and the other
round the other way, tying her up in their ropes just as a column of
soldiers came along. The story may have grown in the telling, but I
believe that she sat entangled on the kerb while the whole column
marched by, giving her helpful and encouraging remarks as they did so!
After Sybil left school, she worked in the temporary military hospitals set up in college and
university buildings in Oxford. She was still only aged 20 on the day of the Armistice and went on
to have a full career as a hospital nurse. Further reminiscences will follow in a later issue.


A PEAL OF Stedman Triples was successfully completed on St Giles’
bells on Sunday 22nd October by a band of ringers mostly from
around Oxford, including John Pusey and Andrew Freer from the St
Giles’ band, in 2 hours and 52 minutes – the full extent of the possible
5040 changes on seven bells, each rung once and only once, and with
the tenor bell striking last in every change.
There will be visiting ringers at St Giles’ on Saturday 4 th
November from 2:00-3:00 pm. John Pusey

Thursday 2nd All Souls’ Day
12:30 pm Making and Breaking Community in 20th Century India
Saturday 4th
2-3:00 pm Visiting ringers
7:30 pm Simply Marvellous – Tommaso Starace
11:45 am Launch of Roof Fundraising Appeal
6:30 pm All Souls’ Fauré Requiem Eucharist
Priest and Pints at The Royal Oak (after the Requiem)
Thursday 9th Margery Kempe, Mystic, c 1440
12:30 pm Grenfell: Why we need a Parish Church
11:00 am Act of Remembrance, followed by Holy Communion
Thursday 16th St Margaret of Scotland, Philanthropist, 1093
12:30 pm Creating a Community of Different Faiths
Saturday 18th St Elizabeth of Hungary, Philanthropist, 1231
7:30 pm The Oxley Meier Guitar Project
Thursday 23rd St Clement, Bishop of Rome, Martyr, c 100
12:30 pm Nurturing the Life of a Community
10:30 am Holy Communion and Baptism
Thursday 30th St Andrew the Apostle
12:30 pm Church and Community nourishing each other?
Saturday 9th Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
7:30 pm Brickwork Lizards Concert
12 noon Chorister Concert
Saturday 16th Ember Day
4:30 pm Carols round the Tree
6:30 pm Carol Service


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