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St Giles’ Church, Oxford

Parish News

January 2018 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, 9 Hawkswell Gardens, Oxford OX2 7EX (576638)
Benefice Manager: Henrietta Mountain-Ritter
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 February 2018 magazine should be sent to secretary@st-giles- by Tuesday 20th January.

Contents – January 2018
Salvation Army Toy and Food Collection – Jane Finnerty Page 4
Reminiscences of Sybil Pusey (3) – Life in Oxford Page 5
Bellringing News – John Pusey Page 9
Some Thoughts on Social Media – Gill Evans Page 10
Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology – George Woodman Page 11
Christmas 2017 Celebrations at St Giles’ – Maureen Chu Page 13
St Giles’ Music List Page 15
Dates for your Diary Page 16

100 Years Ago –
St Giles’ Parish Magazine, January 1918
Vicar’s Letter: The message we need is one of faith and courage; and
we shall get that message sent to us, I doubt not, through our services
on January 6th, when we shall be dedicating ourselves afresh to the
tremendous task entrusted to us, and seeking once more in prayer for
the Divine Grace which can alone carry us through. We must remind
ourselves that there can be no doubt that we were bound by all the
most sacred obligations to engage in the war; and that we are also
bound to persevere until the cause of righteousness and liberty for
which we are fighting is made secure. It were better for us to be
utterly destroyed than to fail in our duty. And we do assuredly believe
that God will give us victory and peace in His own good time, even if we
have to wait long for it. I wish that we might have a larger attendance
at our weekly services of intercession. It seems strange that so many
of us, and especially those whose dear ones are in perpetual danger,
should grow weary of praying for the protection and blessing of our
heavenly Father. Revd Charles C Inge


I T WAS a very humbling visit that Melanie, Alison and I made on
behalf of St Giles’ to the Salvation Army’s toy and food collection on
13th December. There were mountains of toys for all ages, and some

gifts for adults. Organisers explained that social workers choose gifts
for the families they care for, before they are wrapped, to make sure
they are just right for the
An amazing
operation we hadn’t seen
on previous occasions was
going on in the kitchens -
preparing Christmas food
parcels to go out to over
200 families locally.
They were very
grateful to all at St Giles for
their generous donations
for older children -
especially as they are
always short of gifts for teenagers.
Jane Finnerty

My aunt Sybil Pusey was born in 1898, and her mother and family lived in
Parks Road and attended St Giles’ Church. In her late 80s, she wrote down a
set of reminiscences – extracts continue here. During WWI, she had been
working as a VAD nurse in temporary military hospitals in Oxford.

D URING the whole of the war, Mother gave a lot of her time to
visiting the patients in the 3rd Southern General Hospital in the
Examination Schools, often taking them home-made cakes for their
tea. As the war progressed, the cakes got plainer, but they always
seemed to be appreciated. She also frequently took a patient out in a
wheelchair or a ‘spinal carriage’, and wheeled him home to tea, after a
short journey round Oxford, to look at the river or to go into one of the

college gardens or to walk in the Parks. She might already have invited
two others who were able to walk, to come straight to the house in
time for tea, and to be company for the man in the wheelchair. One
day the two invited men, both Australian, arrived a little before she did.
The maid, who had been warned this might happen, invited them into
the sitting room. There they were intrigued by a wooden handle
beside the fireplace. Finally, one of them decided that it operated
some kind of bellows to blow up the fire; and was unable to resist
making the experiment of turning it. So with all eyes on the fire he
gave it a twist, but with no apparent effect. In a few moments an

agitated maid, fearing that she was going to find some awful kind of
emergency, came in asking what had happened. They were surprised
to see her, and said nothing had happened - but “You rang”, said she.
Then, shamefacedly, they had to admit to what they had done and to
their ignorance of the Victorian means of summoning the domestic

On a different occasion when Mother was taking another
Australian on a wheelchair outing, she took him down to Folly Bridge as
he wanted to see the Thames. When she pointed to the river through
the entrance to the towpath - and here it is particularly narrow - he
exclaimed “What! That creek down there?” followed by a few
disparaging comparisons with the Murray-Darling. He went away a
disappointed man, with a very poor opinion of Britain’s much vaunted
River Thames.
After the signing of the Armistice on 11th November 1918, the
various University buildings were evacuated of their wartime occupants
and returned to their normal purposes. In addition to the freshmen
expected straight from school, there was a very large number of
demobilized men who were returning to finish their interrupted
education, and time was short to adapt the buildings to their pre-war
condition, and to provide accommodation for the large number of
undergraduates expected.
Many patients who were waiting for wounds to clear up of
sepsis, in order that more surgery such as grafts etc might be

undertaken, were transferred to the Cowley Road Hospital (previously
the Oxford Workhouse and the Cowley Poor Law School). It consisted
of three narrow parallel blocks, each having several small wards on
each side of a central corridor. A military sister on day duty was in
charge of half a block with its cluster of small rooms, assisted by VADs
who had not yet been demobilised, of which my sister Hilda and I were
The patients, of whom a large number were ambulant, no longer
had to wear the hospital ‘blue uniform’, but were issued with a blue
band to wear on the arm of their khaki tunics. It was readily
detachable! Discipline was lax. The war was over. Why worry? The
patients enjoyed the unusual freedom; and once the blue band was
removed from the arm, the freedom was complete, including entry to
any local pub!!
I was on night duty (again!) with an older and much senior VAD
in charge. One of the patients, with a fractured femur, who was using
a calliper splint and was up and about in the ward, had nevertheless to
be taken out in a spinal carriage. One afternoon, some of his ward
friends took him with them down into Oxford; but finding the spinal
carriage a bit of a hindrance to their movements, they abandoned it
and its occupant, presumably temporarily, and went off on their own -
and apparently failed to return. Fortunately some others of his mates
found him and brought him safely back.
When we came on duty in the evening, we found a little group of
men sitting round the fire, including the patient with the fractured
femur, and one of the original ‘pram-pushers’, who had drunk more
than enough. Conversation turned to the afternoon events, and the
man with the calliper, who was standing up, accused his pushers of
having abandoned him, whereupon the drunken man struck him and
knocked him down among the fire-irons in the grate. Fortunately he
was not damaged; and the man who was guilty of the assault was
ordered by the Orderly Officer to spend the night in the detention
room, which was one of the small rooms off the ward of which Nurse S-
and I were the night staff.
The man was led away, struggling, by two gormless sort of RAMC
orderlies, put to bed in the detention room, and left in their care for
the rest of the night. A short time later, Nurse S- found the man back

in bed in his own little ward, fast asleep. She went to find the two
‘guards’ for an explanation, and one blandly said “He wanted to go
back. And he’ll sleep better there.” Nurse S- was blazing, and told
them that he was going to spend the night in the detention ward, no
matter what he or they might think about where he would sleep best!
And she made them carry him back, sleeping peacefully, bed and all.
When, after we had gone off duty in the morning, he woke and found
himself again in the detention ward, I gather that words can’t describe
his fury at having been ‘bested’.

After the Armistice, the British Red Cross offered scholarships to
VADs to give financial help towards their training in physiotherapy,
pharmacy or general nursing. As Hilda and I had enjoyed our
experiences of wartime nursing work, we both applied for scholarships
for general nursing training, and without any further action on our
parts, we were both successful. One could choose the training school
one wished to enter, and whatever the salary given by the school, the
Red Cross would make it up to £30 per annum plus a yearly grant of £8
for uniform, so we both chose to go to St Thomas’s in London. The
hospital provided board and accommodation and material for one’s
uniform, but one had to provide one’s own collars and cuffs, and when
in the second year one wore a linen belt, one supplied that, as well as
getting the dresses and aprons made. So in the 1920’s we were not so
badly off as, in the present [1980’s] days of inflation, it would appear;

especially when one takes into account the very little leisure time we
had in which to spend our money!
 Sybil had a full career as a nurse, matron, and sister tutor, in hospitals in
various places including Stoke-on-Trent and Maidstone, but returned to Parks
Road when she reached retirement age. Hilda initially took various jobs in
private nursing, but returned earlier to Parks Road to keep house and look
after her mother, who suffered severely from arthritis in her legs. They
continued regular attendance at St Giles’. In their mother’s later years, her
hearing deteriorated, and she regularly sat in the front left pew, as close to the
pulpit as she could get. After their mother’s death in about 1960, the two
sisters moved firstly to Abingdon, and later to a nursing home in Stanford-in-
 Quarter peal, Sunday 3rd December 2017 in 45 mins (14–0–1 in F♯)
1344 Superlative Surprise Major
1 John G Pusey
2 Alison T Merryweather-Clarke
3 Craig M Robertson
4 Sophie L Martin
5 Rosanna Cretney
6 David K Barrington
7 Timothy G Pett
8 Isaac J O’Shea (C)
1st quarter of Surprise Major - 3, 1st in the method - 4
Rung to congratulate and thank Revd Andrew Bunch
for 20 years of service as Vicar at this church.
 On the afternoon of Saturday 6th January 2018, a quarter peal of
Plain Bob Major was rung on St Giles’ bells by friends and relatives who
had gathered in Oxford to celebrate the 30th birthday of Katherine
Stonham who is a ringer at the Cathedral.
 On Sunday 7th January, we had six bells ringing before the morning
service, including two new ringers ringing for a service for the first
time: Namiko and Fukine Minai, a Japanese mother and teenage
daughter, who we have been teaching since October and who have
made good progress. Sadly, they will be going back home to Tokyo in
March - so we should like to find replacements. John Pusey


I DON’T know about your stream of consciousness, but I am certainly
glad mine is neither visible nor audible to anyone else unless I
choose to make it so. The swear-word you would not say out loud,
muttered in your head after you drop something? The wandering
thoughts when you stop listening properly to someone who is telling
you a story while continuing to wear an expression of bright interest
and attention?
Toby Young came a cropper on 9th January this year, ten days
after the announcement that he had been appointed to the Board of
the new regulatory body for English universities. That was because he
had let his consciousness stream out online much too often and
revealed a mind packed with attitudes and opinions consistently
disgusting to modern civilised tastes. It is only quite recently that it has
become widely recognised that such indiscretions may come back to
bite years later.

What does it take to prompt you to put your thoughts online? If
you are a teenager you probably live much of your life in a series of
tense exchanges, sending pictures of yourself or your breakfast, longing
to be ‘liked’. Even if you are an adult you can easily get caught up into
this addictive pattern. There were recent reports of primary school
children saying they were made uncomfortable by their mothers
posting pictures of them looking amusing to adult eyes on Instagram,
but without asking their permission first.
Much of what can be read online by way of popular comment on
published material seems pretty lightweight, not to say banal, and
much inclined to shoot off at tangents. A word or phrase is often then

seized upon by another commentator and then another, galloping off
to a distant horizon of irrelevance.
The Oxford Mail is a familiar local source of such stuff. An article
on the new Westgate Centre on 5th January drew 42 comments in a
couple of days. One strand of the discussion became preoccupied with
the desirability or otherwise of so much open-air space within it
requiring shoppers to wear winter coats. ‘If I get too hot I go back out
again. I guess some people will never be satisfied though.’ Someone
tried to trigger a new topic by asking for comments about the new John
Lewis to be compared with others rated on Trip Advisor.
Someone else tried a different line: ‘An aircraft hangar would
have more architectural merit’. That successfully set off ‘it looks
hideous from Oxpens’ and another ‘the Oxpens side is a complete and
utter monstrosity, it looks like a prison but less attractive’. Someone
followed that up by pointing to the ‘no pictures’ to be found on the
Council Planning website. The dogged mainstream went back to the
question whether a more enclosed centre would be ‘claustrophobic’
and ‘too hot’. Someone who had been to the new Westgate once said
it was ‘far too expensive in there’ and attracted agreement. A new
angle appeared with concerns that the shops would soon go out of
business, followed by criticisms about which shops ought to be there
are were not. Disappointed tourists made a brief appearance.
If you do use social media, or post comments on articles in the
press, are you glad you said it an hour or two later? Gill Evans

I N OCTOBER I completed a distance learning MA in Church History at
Nottingham University. My dissertation was on the Library of Anglo-
Catholic Theology. I have been asked to say why I found it worth study.
LACT (as I shall call it for convenience) was one of the two great
publishing projects of the Tractarians. (The other was The Library of
the Fathers). It consists of editions of 20 authors from the 17th and
early 18th centuries, who mostly belong to the group of theologians
known as the Caroline Divines. The texts were published in Oxford by
John Henry Parker between 1841 and 1863 and amount to over 80
volumes. Many of the texts were included because of their perceived
message for the contemporary situation. Among the best-known

authors are Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop of Winchester and preacher,
John Cosin, Bishop of Durham and liturgist, and Thomas Wilson, the
great pastoral Bishop of Sodor and Man.
John Keble, Edward Bouverie Pusey and John Henry Newman,
were all involved with LACT but the impetus came from laypeople. Its
originator was Herbert Norman Evans MD, a medical practitioner in
Highgate and later a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Charles
Crawley succeeded Evans as treasurer and secretary of LACT. Crawley
was a former merchant in Spain, who in 1841 moved to Littlemore
where he functioned as squire. He was a friend and benefactor of
Newman. Keble edited the works of Thomas Wilson. Other editors
included Charles Page Eden who succeeded Newman as Rector of St
The Oxford Movement is usually considered a very clerical affair,
yet here its leaders responded to a lay initiative. Evans, Crawley and
the publisher John Henry Parker were steeped in these texts. Many of
them were published after 1845 and the development of LACT suggests
that John Henry Newman’s departure to Rome in that year was not
quite as devastating in effect as is often supposed. One person who
became involved after 1845 was Henry Manning, Archdeacon of
Chichester. It clearly wasn’t a foregone conclusion that in 1851 he
would follow the same path as Newman, leading in his case to
becoming Archbishop of Westminster and a Cardinal!
We are more likely to encounter 17th
century Anglicanism through the writings of
George Herbert or Thomas Traherne. Of the
LACT authors, only Andrewes is read today.
Cosin’s words are familiar in Come Holy Ghost
Our Souls Inspire and the 1662 Book of
Common Prayer. The sermons on the Christian
Year of Mark Frank (1613-1664) would repay
further study. Yet these writers, and the
editors who made their work available, are
part of a dialogue going through the centuries. We look to them for
guidance and shape their words to ourselves. In turn with what we add
we pass it on to future generations. So a community and a tradition
are formed. George Woodman

A busy weekend: 16th and 17th December, Advent 3
 Carols Round the Tree – 4:30 pm, Saturday 16th December
Thanks to all who made this evolving event in the calendar so special.
We enjoyed singing
traditional carols supported
by the ever-progressing
Girls’ Choir, who were
prominent in our version of
the Ceremony of St Lucy, a
beautiful tradition from
Sweden which has become
a feature of this service.
The timeless story of the
Nativity: This is a pleasing Sunniva Grønlie leads the St Lucy procession
reminder of our link with
The Parish of Bankeryd. The reciprocal visits between the churches will
be continued with a visit from the Swedish parish which we look
forward to in 2018. There was an improvised telling of the Nativity
with the Vicar, Tom, and
young participants, acting
out the story - including a
memorable promenade to
the tune of ‘Little Donkey’,
with a donkey!
WI Participation - a
wonderful after-service tea
was provided by members of
the WI, famous for their
catering at the St Giles’ Fair
this year, as well as meeting in St Giles’ as part of a singing group.
Melanie and Alison distributed crackers, chocolate coins and seasonal
goodies to the delight of the children (of all ages).
And a special “Thank You” to Nicholas Prozzillo for providing musical
support - and of course for making the Girls’ Choir such an asset to the
church. This informal service was enhanced by the interweaving of the
music to uplift and support the singing, processions, and enactments.

 Candlelit Carol Service – 6:30 pm, Sunday 17th December
The Service of Lessons and Carols is one of our best-attended services
in the church year. This year there was a congregation of 190 people of
all ages. The traditional
format of choral singing,
Lessons, communal carol
singing, and prayer, blended
into a special and inspiring
evening of worship. The
music by the choir, solos and
ensemble, was superbly
chosen and performed - a
fitting embellishment to the
liturgy. Many thanks to our
Choir Director, Dr Nicholas Prozzillo, for making this a service to
remember. And we are also especially grateful to Andrew Patterson
for making the organ produce such wonderful music: he and the Organ
Scholars, James Fellows and
Giles Longstaff, are to be
commended for their
perseverance with the
declining instrument. Jane
Finnerty and her team
produced a convivial post-
service treat, with mulled
wine and mince pies -
grateful thanks to the many
helping hands who distribu-
ted the cheer and made it all go so smoothly. Congratulations also to
Jim Smith and his team who managed the candles. These two Services
give a real insight into the many facets of worship in St Giles’. Carols
Round the Tree is designed to appeal to younger children, and allows a
more relaxed and accessible dialogue with the clergy. The solemnity
and beauty of the Carol Service gives the opportunity for a more
contemplative, and receptive, experience of the sacred story. Both
events were underpinned by the thoughtful and careful guidance of the
Clergy, Music and Choir Directors – Thank You. Maureen Chu

Sunday 7th - The Baptism of Christ
Eucharist sung by the St Giles’ Choir
Gardner, Tomorrow shall be my dancing day
Britten, New Year Carol
Evensong sung by the St Giles’ Girls’ Choir
Britten, New Year Carol
Responses: Tomkins
Sunday 14th - The Second Sunday of Epiphany
Eucharist sung by the St Giles’ Singers
Handel, Behold the Lamb of God
Vaughan Williams, The call
Byrd, Mass for five voices (Agnus Dei)
Evensong sung by the St Giles’ Choir
Stanford in A (Nunc Dimittis)
Pitoni, Cantate Domino
Responses: Tomkins
Sunday 21st - The Third Sunday of Epiphany
Eucharist sung by the St Giles’ Choir
Victoria, O sacrum convivium
Lallouette, O scarum convivium
Britten, A new year carol
Vaughan Williams, O taste and see
Evensong sung by the St Giles’ Girls’ Choir
Vaughan Williams, O taste and see
Responses: Reading
Sunday 28th - The Fourth Sunday of Epiphany
Eucharist sung by the St Giles’ Choir
Stanford, Beati quorum via
Purcell, Thy word is a lantern
Rev Turner, Mass of St John the Baptist (S)
Choral Evensong sung by the St Giles’ Singers
Purcell in G minor
Victoria, Benedicam Dominum
Responses: Byrd

Friday 5th January
1:15 pm Weekly Taizé service restarts

Saturday 6th THE EPIPHANY
6:00 pm Eucharist with hymns
7:00 pm Twelfth Night feast and auction of promises
in St Giles’ Parish Rooms


Saturday 13th St Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers
4:00 pm St Giles’ Choir sing Choral Evensong
in Southwark Cathedral


Thursday 18th Amy Carmichael, Spiritual Writer, 1951
The week of Prayer for Christian Unity (until 25th)


10:30 am Homelessness Sunday service

8:00 pm Candlemas Sung Eucharist at St Margaret’s

Sunday 28th January is Homelessness Sunday.
Hannah Smith, who works with homeless guests of The Gatehouse
helping them to navigate the local services that are available will be
giving a talk at the 10:30 am service at St Giles’. There will then be a
Homelessness Trail – a £20 donation from each team taking part will go
directly to services supporting rough sleepers. At the end of the Trail,
members of the Confluence Collective will be playing at St Giles’ from 3
pm to welcome you back. Please join us for some food and hear from
people who have experienced rough sleeping for themselves.