You are on page 1of 16

St Giles’ Church, Oxford

Parish News

February 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 March 2018 magazine should be sent to secretary@st-giles- by Tuesday 20th February.

Contents – February 2018

Holy Week 2018 Page 3
Bellringing News: Round Numbers – John Pusey Page 4
Twelfth Night Feast and Auction – Catherine Hilliard Page 7
Ecclesiastical Insurance – Maureen Chu Page 7
Chorister Rose Garden Page 8
Jane Edwardes Page 9
Reminiscences of Sybil Pusey (4) – Nursing Training Page 9
Homelessness and The Gatehouse Page 13
Bernard Silverman Page 14
St Giles’ Chess Club – Rod Nixon Page 14
100 Years Ago – St Giles’ Parish Magazine, February 1918 Page 14
St Giles’ Music List Page 15
Dates for your Diary Page 16


H OLY WEEK 2018 is going to be a special time for the Benefice, as

The Revd Angela Tilby is coming to be our guest preacher
throughout Holy Week. So please put 25th March to 1st April in your
There will be our regular pattern of services and this will include
a set of meditations on Good Friday. Angela has chosen the title for
this series of talks to be The Death of God.


I AM proud to be able to record that I rang my 600th full peal on

Friday 29th December 2017, at Longcot near Faringdon. Full peals -
continuous ringing performances of 5000 changes or more, lasting
about three hours, are accepted as the standard of achievement for
experienced bellringers (the length is based on the fact that
7x6x5x4x3x2x1=5040 is the number of different changes possible with-
out repetition on seven bells). Peals are sometimes rung to mark
important occasions and anniversaries, but nowadays mainly as a way
to develop and to demonstrate the skills of groups of ringers in
achieving a steady and precise collective rhythm, and in following the
more or less complex rules of particular bellringing methods - each
ringer doing their best to avoid mistakes, or to recover quickly or help
others to recover quickly from any mistakes before causing other
ringers to go astray as well.
I rang my first peal, at Bladon near Woodstock, on 28 th October
1957, and so it has taken me just over 60 years to reach a total of 600
(there is one ringer, actually living near Oxford, who has rung over
7,000 peals, and ten more elsewhere who have rung more than 5,000);
my maximum in one calendar year was 40, in 2012. Ringers have
usually kept their own detailed records of the full peals they have rung,
but they also all get published in the weekly Ringing World, and are
now comprehensively accessible in a single on-line database, which
makes it easy to extract quite a range of (possibly) interesting statistics.
Eighteen of my peals were rung on handbells, and the rest on
tower bells in 133 different towers. By a remarkable coincidence,
these included round number totals at all three of my most frequently
visited towers: 150 at St Thomas the Martyr Oxford, 100 at St Mary
Magdalen’s Oxford, and 25 at St Giles’. My list includes peals on all
numbers of bells from five to twelve; rung with a total of 716 different
ringers, the largest numbers being 174 with the late Clive Holloway of
the Oxford Society (Cathedral band); they were conducted by 120
different conductors (11 by myself); and have been rung on 290 of the
366 dates in the year, including two the same day on seven occasions,
first in 1962 and most recently in 2012.
One significant performance was at St Giles’ on 8th January 1983,
in which both my daughter Rachel, then aged 12, and the then Vicar,

John Gawne-Caine, rang their first peals (the details are recorded on a
board in the ringing chamber, painted by John himself). My 500th peal,
at Headington on 4th May 2013, also included two first-pealers, but I
was taken completely by surprise early in 2014 when I saw that I had
been listed as the person who had in 2013 rung peals with the largest
number – six - of first-pealers; I don’t claim any special credit for four of
them, but I did organise the first peals for Matthew Malek (who we had
taught at St Giles’) and for Steve Everett (who has also frequently rung
for services at St Giles’), both of whom rang their first peals during that
Teaching new ringers is vital to the future of ringing, and it is
something to which I have devoted a lot of time and effort. The many
ringers we have taught at St Giles’ have included people from
Germany, USA, China, Austria, the Czech Republic, New Zealand,
Australia, and Japan - the pity is that they have nearly all now gone
back home or moved on elsewhere or given up ringing - and that we
haven’t found more recruits who have stayed in the area and
continued ringing. I would claim credit for persuading Andrew Freer to

re-start ringing; he rang his first peal at St Giles’, to celebrate the

rehanging in 2011, and has now become a reliable deputy and a
capable instructor, and has been elected as ringing master for the
Oxford City Branch of the Oxford Diocesan Guild. The two most
successful of the pupils who started ringing under my supervision have

been my daughter, who surpassed the level of my technical
achievement while she was an undergraduate at Cambridge, though
she hasn’t rung so much since then, and now lives in California where
there are no English-style tower bells; and Rebecca Woodgate, who
started learning to ring at St Giles’ when she was a graduate student,
and went on to promote, and to initiate, and see completed after
several years of negotiations, a project to install the first English-style
bells in the western USA, in Seattle, where she is still tower captain.
I was very pleased to have been present in Seattle for the cele-
brations when their bells first became available for ringing, and to help
teach their first group of learners (and then to have been told that I
was regarded as a member of the band there); and also to have rung in
the first two peals on those bells (one attempt almost failed because a
policewoman gave us a surprise by finding her way into the ringing
chamber, through an extremely tortuous route – just to ask what was
going on). Outside the British Isles, I have rung two full peals, at
Honolulu Cathedral, and at Dordrecht in the Netherlands; but I have
rung quarter peals in the Anglican cathedrals at Washington DC,
Toronto, Perth (WA), Cape Town, Grahamstown, and Harare; at the
Roman Catholic Cathedral in Vancouver BC, and also at churches at
Kilifi in Kenya, and in Durban. Quarter peals are also recorded (though
without the same facilities for extracting statistics): by the turn of the
year I had rung 787; and I have now rung at least briefly at a total of
1,892 different towers (out of almost 7,000 in England and Wales and
200 in the rest of the world); so I have two more round-number targets
close in sight.
Although I had moved on elsewhere before I was capable of
ringing peals, I scored peals later on at each of the three towers where
I had first learnt to ring, at Stourbridge in Worcestershire, and at
Winchester Cathedral and College (taught there mainly by Dermot
Roaf, who was also my predecessor as tower captain at St Giles’); and
also at all of the 12 now available towers in the centre of Oxford. More
recently, I have arranged opportunities for successful peal attempts at
Bromsgrove, where my family was living when I was born; at
Fallowfield in Manchester, where we lived next (there was only one
bell in the tower when I lived there, and through the window of my
bedroom in the rectory next to the church I could see it swinging

without even getting out of bed - but a ring of eight bells was
transferred there later, from a neighbouring church which was to be
closed); and at Bangor in North Wales, where I had my first paid job -
that peal was the very last piece of ringing on their bells before the
church was closed.
 We are more than ever in need of new ringers to teach at St Giles’.
The chances of ringing hundreds or even thousands of peals are much
better for those who start ringing at the age of 14, as I did, or even
younger still - but those who start learning to ring later, perhaps even
after they have retired, can still make a valuable contribution to
ordinary ringing for Sunday services, even if they never get involved in
peal ringing. John Pusey

T HE Twelfth Night Feast with auction of promises was a great

success and much enjoyed by all who came. The roof committee
thanks the donors and bidders for their generosity and Jane Finnerty
and her team for all their hard work. The Advent Fasters and their
sponsors are also thanked. All these activities, and the jazz concerts,
are making a significant contribution to the total. We continue to
receive personal donations, for which we are grateful. Now that we
are able to demonstrate support from the church and the
congregation, we are beginning to make applications to outside
charitable trusts. Catherine Hilliard


T O celebrate their 130th anniversary, Ecclesiastical is offering to

donate £130 to a church for every new home insurance policy
taken out with them where cover commences on or before 31st
December 2018. In order to take advantage of this offer and raise
some funds for St Giles’, visit 130 or call
0800 783 0130 and quote TRUST130. (The charitable donation is
conditional on the named insured under the policy notifying
Ecclesiastical of a church in the United Kingdom which is part of the
Anglican Communion to receive the donation. Donations will be made
directly to the Nominated Church within 30 days of the Policy start
date.) Maureen Chu


W E ARE extremely proud of the St Giles’ Choirs and all those who
continue to vocationally promote, help and support such a
fantastic part of our church. It is a pity that so many people who pass
St Giles’ have little or no idea of the hive of activity within. To this end,
and for many other positive reasons, we now have permission to
create the Chorister Rose Garden in a perfect position on the south-
facing wall of the church.
The preparation of the garden has already begun. Once
complete, we hope that it will encourage passers-by to stop and look at
the garden and then go inside and visit the church. Apart from the fact
that the rose garden will look gorgeous in its own right, it will also
enhance the pathway past the church.
We would therefore like to ask all choristers past and present
(and their parents) to please
consider donating a rose (bush,
shrub or climber) to this garden. In
turn, we will then create a small
copper sign, to be placed in front of
the relevant rose, with the name of
the chorister and the years that he
or she sang at St Giles’.
We would also be very keen to receive rose plants or donations
for roses from parishioners. They would also have a copper sign with
their name.
All rose plants would ideally be any version of whites, pinks or
reds so that the final garden works as one.
We really hope that you like this active idea of creating
something beautiful and positive for the Church and in doing so,
externally promoting the brilliance that is the St Giles’ Choirs.
Please could we ask that all roses or donations for roses are
received before the end of February. For £5 you can get a basic small
rose plant; £20 can get you a beautiful Victorian Rose from David
Austin (rose specialist) (
Please give all your roses and donations to Nicholas Prozzillo, to
be passed on to those in charge of preparing the garden.
A former Chorister Parent

Readers who remember Jane will be interested to see this picture

which she recently sent to the Vicar.



Sibyl Pusey, whose family lived at the northern end of Parks Road, and
attended St Giles’ Church, had worked during WWI as an untrained VAD nurse
in temporary military hospitals in Oxford. After the Armistice in 1918, the
British Red Cross offered scholarships to those who had worked as VAD nurses.
Sybil and her older sister Hilda both applied, and chose to train at St Thomas’s.
Sybil worked as a nurse, matron, and sister tutor until she retired, and then
returned to Parks Road. Her mother died a few years later, in about 1960, and
Sybil and Hilda then moved to Abingdon. Sybil wrote down her reminiscences
in the1980s, while she was living in a nursing home in Stanford-in-the-Vale.

T HE working day started at 7 am, having had breakfast at 6:30 am,

and continued till 8:30 pm, with three hours off duty in the
morning or evening in the second and third years. In the first year, on
leaving the ward in the evening soon after 8:30 pm, one had to attend
chapel from 8:45-9:00 pm, followed by supper at 9:00-9:30 pm, after
which one might spend a while in a small common room, or go straight
up to bed. We were not allowed into each other’s rooms after supper,
in order that those who wanted to might go to sleep!

The first year nurses, known as probationers, lived in quarters
quite separate from those of the second and third year nurses, who
were known as the junior and senior staff nurses. And the first year
nurses were not allowed into the second and third years’ quarters, and
vice versa.
We worked seven days a week, except for the fourth week that
included our monthly day off; and if the conditions in the ward
permitted it, we might be given, as a special concession, the evening
before the day off. I am happy to say that I was always given the
evening before my day off - starting at 5:30 pm – and I think that was
so with most others. But it was a concession, NOT a right!!
When one went on night duty, which was practically never
before one’s second year, one worked for seven nights a week for two
months. The hours were from 9:30 pm to 8:00 am, followed by a main
meal at 8:30-9:00 am in the dining room. Meals in the night were
taken in the ward kitchen, the junior night nurse at midnight till 1:00
am; the senior from 1:00-2:00 am. The meal consisted of what one
found in a two-compartment enamel container which one collected on
the way out of the dining room when coming on duty. There might be
an egg or rissole or fish cake, occasionally a rasher of bacon, in one
half; and an orange, banana, piece of cake or bun etc in the other half.
Bread and milk and tea and cocoa were supplied in the ward. The
junior prepared, ate, and washed up after her own meal, then
prepared that of the senior, presenting herself back in the ward to the
senior as Big Ben struck 1:00 am.
The senior then came to the kitchen for her one hour break –
probably – even, one might say, generally – bringing, illegally, her ward
report of the previous day’s important doings (operations, admissions,
etc), and the drugs given during the early night, to write it in the
kitchen in readiness for Night Sister when she made her rounds from
2:00 am onwards. After that there might be a slight respite from the
rush of the first few hours, but always more than enough to do to keep
one awake, till one snatched bread and jam or toast and coffee “put
along” before embarking on the early morning work of four-hourly
temperatures, washings, probably dressings, bed-making, early tea for
all the patients, and interruptions etc. This started at 6:00 am, but
could be earlier if patients happened to be awake and would be more

comfortable if washed and their beds made, and this eased the
pressure on the last two hours of duty.
After two months (or it may have been eight weeks) of night
duty, one had earned two nights off. This was the equivalent of the
day staff’s one day a month. Then one returned to a further month of
night duty, another night off and then day duty once more.
It was the rule that no patient got out of bed – for any reason –
between lights out at 8:00 pm and 6:00 am. So it was bed-pan work,
including the moving of heavy wooden-framed screens, between those
hours. Also, bed rest was considered the necessary treatment for
many conditions which nowadays are treated by getting the patient
onto his feet as soon as he is able to stand.
In the 1920s, because of the longer periods spent in bed, much
more attention had to be given to the patients’ pressure points. So
four-hourly “backs” added considerably to the routine work, and
bedsores were a constant source of worry, though I am glad to say I
saw very few.
I think that the rigid rules regarding the admission of patients
would make many present-day nurses open their eyes! Every patient
had to have a bath on admission: in the bathroom if their condition
allowed it, but otherwise they were given a “blanket bath”. The nurses
kept an eye on, or assisted, those women patients who took a bath in
the bathroom; while the male patients were put into the hands of the
“Bath man”. All heads had to be combed with a small-tooth comb and
an entry made in a small notebook, with their particulars - name and
address etc – and stating whether their heads were “clean” or “dirty”:
euphemistic terms for clean or lousy. The hair had then, if clean, to be
washed. This applied to patients who were received straight into bed,
as well as others.
The second rule which applied to heads and was enforced
throughout the entire hospital was that they were combed with a
small-tooth comb every Wednesday evening. And since WW1 was only
just over, it was naturally known as “Air raid night”. If a head was
found to be “dirty”, the patient’s bed was surrounded by screens in the
evening (which were left in place all night) and a dressing of lint soaked
in sassafras oil was applied, covered by oiled paper, and held in place
by a capeline bandage. In the morning the hair was washed and the

screens removed. The object of the screens was to show some
consideration for the patient’s feelings, but no screens could shut in
the pungent odour of sassafras oil!
Hilda was night senior in a ward when the Houseman came to do
his evening round and found a woman behind screens in a highly
hysterical condition with her head bandaged and a smell of oil. He
asked Hilda what the bandage was doing and she told him. “Take it off
at once”, he said rather truculently, “can’t you see how it is upsetting
her?” Hilda demurred, but he again insisted it should be removed, so
off it came. He continued his examination of the patient and then
suddenly stopped and said “What’s that walking on my wrist?” Hilda
replied quietly “Oh, that’s a head louse.” “A what! Put that bandage
thing on again, at once,” and he fled!
Rules too rigidly enforced tend to lead to deception. Hilda was
admitting a patient who had come in by appointment, and knowing the
hospital rule she had taken the precaution of going to the hairdresser
the day before as she had such an abundant head of hair that she
thought it wise to give it professional treatment. Hilda was very
thankful that she had done so, when she saw how beautiful it looked.
However, she felt that she should, as a matter of form, just ask Sister if
it need be washed. She was told “Of course!”, so together in the
bathroom, Hilda and the patient concocted a plan to dampen the side
pieces of hair. And on getting the patient into bed these pieces were
ostentatiously laid out on either side on the pillow, which had already
been protected by a mackintosh pillowcase! The deception worked,
and on one was the worse for it.
Some background to nursing training (from the Royal College of Nursing website):
Sarah Swift, Matron-in-Chief of the British Red Cross,
was the first to suggest a College of Nursing. In 1916,
nursing was an unregulated profession. While
prominent figures such as Florence Nightingale had
championed teaching schools for nurses, each was
responsible for setting its own standards for training,
and consistency was lacking. Anyone could claim to be
a nurse. Added to this, those nurses who had been
trained were concerned about the influx VADs following
the First Word War. In many cases these women had as
little as two weeks first aid training. Swift joined forces
with MP Sir Arthur Stanley, and her idea for a college
quickly gained support from other hospital matrons. On

27th March 1916, the College of Nursing was established. The College was instrumental
in persuading parliament to introduce the regulation of nursing and in 1919 the
Regulation of Nurses Act was passed for England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland (which
was still part of the UK at the time). This meant that all nurses had to learn the same
subjects and meet the same standards. In 1928 the College was granted a royal
charter, and in 1939 became known as the Royal College of Nursing.
(1) An extract from the talk given by Hannah Smith at the 10:30 am service on
Homelessness Sunday, 28th January 2018:

T HE GATEHOUSE is based in the parish rooms of St Giles’. It is open

for two hours in the evening, six nights of the week. Typically, 60-
90 people use the project each evening. It is a free café with a clothing
store and signposting services. The Gatehouse attracts some of the
hardest to reach and entrenched rough sleepers by offering food in a
welcoming, sheltered environment. One year ago, guests of The
Gatehouse requested a support worker, and my One-to-One role
began. As the One-to-One Project worker, I work with guests to
provide information and guidance on a range of subjects, offering a
more continuous support mechanism than possible via teams of
volunteers. There are three Key Elements to this role that help its
1 Working holistically and in a guest-centred way
2 Encouraging self-advocacy
3 Not being driven by targets but by the individuals
If you would like further information, are interested in donating money
or items, or are interested in volunteering with us, please do email:
(2) A message from Revd Andrew Bunch, Chair of Gatehouse Trustees

T th
HE GATEHOUSE is celebrating its 30 year anniversary with an event
at The King’s Centre, Osney Mead, Oxford OX2 0ES from 5-8 pm on
10 October 2018, which is World Homelessness Day. We want to
invite all who have been/are a supporter of the project in some way,
whether that be through a donation of time, food, clothing, funds
or/and you are part of the homeless network. Please share this
invitation with other people that you know, who are also supporters of
The Gatehouse. We are hoping to engage as many of The Gatehouse
community as we can.

Congratulations to Revd Professor Bernard Silverman, who was
knighted in the 2018 New Year Honours List for public service and
services to Science.


W E ARE pleased to announce the launch of St Giles’ Chess Club

beginning Wednesday 21st February and Friday 23rd February,
just after half-term. There will be a club each Wednesday evening in
term time between 7:30 pm and 8:30 pm at St Giles’ Church for over
11s; and each Friday between 4:15 pm and 5:15pm for under 11s.
Children will be registered with the English Chess Federation, and will
have the opportunity to obtain an ECF grading. The ECF Certificates of
Excellence scheme will also be offered at Bronze, Silver and Gold Level.
The intention in the longer term is to form a team of junior
players to compete in the Oxfordshire Chess League, initially in the
fourth division and hopefully progressing to the first division and even
the first division title! There will also be opportunities to play matches
against schools and other clubs. There will be an annual fee of £35,
which will include ECF registration.
If you are interested in registering your child as a member of the
Chess Club, please email with the name and age
of the child, and the session you would prefer to attend - there may be
some overlap. Training will be given by Rod Nixon who is an
Oxfordshire County player, a former youth international, and twice
Irish Under 18 Champion. Rod Nixon, St Giles’ Chess Club

100 Years Ago – Parish Magazine, February 1918

The Mothers’ Union: Mrs Brabant gave a very convincing address to the
MU on January 10th, on the subject of the proposed new Divorce
legislation. The matter is one upon which instruction is much needed;
and it is believed that when they are once understood the proposals
will meet with determined opposition from all Christian people, on
moral and social as well as on religious grounds. It is a subject upon
which all the different Denominations can unite and it is encouraging to
know that united action is being arranged in Oxford and elsewhere.

Sunday 4th - The Second Sunday before Lent
Choral Matins, sung by the St Giles’ Choir
Te Deum – Wood in C Minor
Anthem: The Heavens are Telling – Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
Responses: Tomkins
Evensong sung by the St Giles’ Girls’ Choir
Nunc Dimittis – Stanford in B flat
Anthem: Holy is the True Light - William Henry Harris (1883-1973)
Saturday 10th – St Scholastica
Choral Evensong sung by all three St Giles’ Choirs
Collegium Magdalenae Oxoniense – Leighton
Anthem: I was glad – C Hubert H Parry (1848-1918)
Responses: Rose
Sunday 11th - The Sunday next before Lent
Eucharist sung by the St Giles’ Choir
Introit: O Nata Lux – Thomas Tallis (c 1505-1585)
Anthem: For Lo I Raise Up – Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)
Communion Anthems:
O Lord, increase our faith – Henry Loosemore (d. 1670)
O Lord make Elizabeth our Queen - William Byrd (1543-1623)
Sunday 18th - The First Sunday of Lent
Eucharist sung by the St Giles’ Singers
Anthem: Almighty and Everlasting God - Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625)
Communion Anthems: From Missa Sine Nomine - Giovanni Pierluigi da
Palestrina (1525-1594) (Kyries and Agnus Dei)
Sunday 25th - The Second Sunday of Lent
Eucharist sung by the St Giles’ Choir
Anthem: Lord, let me know mine end – Maurice Greene (c 1695-1755)
Communion Anthems: The Call – Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)-
The Lamentation - Edward Bairstow (1874-1946)
Choral Evensong sung by the St Giles’ Singers
Second Service –Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625)
Anthem: The Lamentation - Edward Bairstow (1874-1946)


Friday 2nd The Presentation of Christ in the Temple

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


Friday 9th
2:30 pm Funeral of Stella Morgenstern

Saturday 10th St Scholastica, Abbess of Plombariola, c 543

5:30 pm Choral Evensong to celebrate the Vicar’s 20th
anniversary at St Giles’


Wednesday 14th ASH WEDNESDAY

12:30 pm Eucharist and Ashing
8:00 pm Sung Eucharist and Ashing at St Margaret’s


Wednesday 21st Ember Day

7:30-8:30 pm Chess Club for Over 11s begins

Friday 23rd St Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, Martyr, c 155

4:15-5:15 pm Chess Club for Under 11s begins


6:30 pm Choral Evensong and Charitable Giving celebration


A LMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast
made and dost forgive the sins of all them that are penitent:
create and make in us new and contrite hearts that we, worthily
lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain
of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with
thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Related Interests