You are on page 1of 16

St Giles’ Church, Oxford

Parish News

May 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: Meg Peacock
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 June 2018
magazine should be sent to by 21st May.

Contents – May 2018

100 Years Ago Page 3
Ringing Remembers – John Pusey Page 4
Holy Week 2018 – Maureen Chu Page 5
From the Senior Organ Scholar – James Fellows Page 8
Bellringing News – John Pusey Page 8
Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater – Rod Nixon Page 9
Leaving Palestine at the end of the Mandate – P Lawrence Page 10
Resurrection Exhibition and Talks – Maureen Chu Page 12
Trenches and Destruction by Pleasance Walker Page 13
Caroline Chisholm, Social Reformer Page 13
Ringing for Prince Louis of Cambridge – John Pusey Page 14
A Sentimental Journey Page 14
Music List for May 2018 Page 15
Dates for your Diary Page 16

100 Years Ago – Parish Magazine, May 1918

Owing to the shortage of paper, the publishers of the “Dawn of Day”
which forms the inside of our Parish Magazine, request us to cut down
our monthly orders by 15 per cent. This is really impossible if we are to
fulfil our engagements, for practically all our subscribers have paid for
the whole year. But in order to do what we can I will ask our readers
who do not wish to keep their copies, whether they will be willing to
return them to the Parish Room by the 15th of the month, so that they
may be sent out to the soldiers at the front. And there may be some
subscribers who would be willing to receive their copies of the
Magazine without the “Dawn of Day” inside it. ….. I fear it is almost
certain that our Magazine must take quite another shape next year,
and contain only local matter. Charles C Inge, Vicar

 The following article is based on a longer account which appeared in
The Door in March, and the same appeal has also been publicised
through many other channels. Anyone who starts now to learn to ring
and to take part in regular practices should be able by November to
take part in ringing St Giles’ bells to mark the centenary of the 1918
Armistice, and to count themselves as in a sense a replacement for one
of the 1,400 English bellringers whose lives were lost during the First
World War, thus helping to carry this distinctively English tradition on
into the future. Even if you wouldn’t consider learning to ring yourself,
could you find a relative or a colleague or a neighbour who might be
willing to do so – perhaps someone not already connected with the

A N APPEAL has gone out to church bellringers internationally to join

in a major event later this year to commemorate the centenary of
the end of World War 1. The organisers of Battle’s Over want to see as
many churches and cathedrals as possible participate by ringing their
bells simultaneously at 7:05 pm on the evening of 11th November 2018.
“We want this to be the most widespread ringing of church bells since
the First World War. It would be a fitting and moving tribute to the
1,400 or so bellringers who we understand lost their lives during that
war, as well as to everyone else who served then on the battlefields,
the high seas and the home front.”
Ringing Out for Peace will take place not only in the British Isles
but also in scores of locations overseas, including Australia, Canada,
Denmark, Somaliland, the United States and Germany.
At 6:00 am on 11th November, lone pipers will play Battle’s O’er
(a traditional tune played after a battle) outside every cathedral in this
country, as will pipers in other local communities around the world.
That evening, buglers will sound the Last Post at 6:55 pm at more than
1,000 locations across the country, followed at 7:00 pm by the lighting
of Beacons of Light signifying the light of peace that emerged from the
dreadful darkness of war, and then at 7:05 pm by the ringing of church
and cathedral bells.
The organisers have said: “The stirring sound of church and
cathedral bells will provide a fitting conclusion to a day of
contemplation, commemoration and, ultimately, celebration as the

United Kingdom and other nations reflect on events a century ago, on
the battlefields of Europe and at home in our factories and farms. We
hope that as many people as possible will join us in the Battle’s Over
events to mark the conclusion of the First World War and to pay tribute
to the loved ones who played their part.”
John Pusey, Captain of Ringers, St Giles’ Church.


Palm Sunday Procession, 25th March 2018 – Arriving at St Giles’

S T MARGARET’S Church processed down the Woodstock Road to St

Giles’ Church for the joint Palm Sunday Service. This year we were
joined by Canon Angela Tilby, who gave a series of addresses and
sermons throughout Holy Week in the two churches of the Benefice.
On Palm Sunday, Angela gave the first of her addresses for Holy Week -
The End of the Road - in St Giles’ Church.
At subsequent services at St Margaret’s during Holy Week, we
heard her speak on:

 The End of Faith
 The End of Reason
 The End of Freedom
 The End of Humanity
 Reflections on the Cross (on Good Friday midday)
 The End of Time
 The End of Ends – (on Easter Day at St Giles’)
Angela drew on her years as a broadcaster and ordained priest
to reflect on the changes and challenges the Church has faced over the
years, and the opportunity that developments in science and
ideological thought can open out to a reassessment of faith and its
place in the world. The complex and interesting concepts deployed in
these talks were compelling, and were conveyed in a sympathetic and
lucid manner, familiar to those who have heard Angela in her role as a
We were pleased to see Angela at Evening Prayer in St Giles’, and
hope she enjoyed being part of the normal routine of the church on
those occasions.
The talks have been placed on the website, and printed versions
will be available.
Thoughts of some of those who heard the talks
ANGELA talked with refreshing honesty about the issues facing
the Church at this time. She also saw how people of faith give
people in society the freedom to be fully human.
Andrew Bunch
I THINK Angela is a wonderful exponent, not least for a fine
voice, of “a reasonable faith”. Anon
I ATTENDED the Tuesday night service at St Margaret’s
during Holy Week where I heard Angela Tilby speak, and was
impressed by her use of sarcasm, which is said to be the
lowest form of humour. I have thought myself before that
sarcasm is more than adequate when dealing with stupidity,
and also includes an element of contempt in that context. As
Angela’s talk seemed mainly concerned with the stupidity of

Faithlessness, I thought her delivery appropriate. I was
sufficiently impressed by her talk to enquire about the other
talks she was giving during Holy Week, which I’m told will be
available at some point on the St Giles’ website [see above for
details]. I wasn’t surprised to hear Angela is a well-known
broadcaster on matters of Faith. One other aspect of the
service that struck me were two of the hymns which I can’t
remember singing before; I thought the words and music
were excellent and so appropriate, and was not surprised to
hear they had been chosen by Angela. One point of interest
was that on the walk back from St Margaret’s into town after
the service, I was noticeably more aware of the beauty of
North Oxford than usual. Rod Nixon

IT GOES without saying that Angela Tilby’s talks were

excellent, and as to be expected with her gave one plenty to think
about. Also I liked the combined services with St Margaret’s.
Had I not been working I would have attended more. I think I
missed out. Susie
THE END of ......... might have been in the title of all the talks, but
I found this series brought renewal and new thinking. Thought-
provoking and uplifting for the Easter season. Thanks also to our
clergy for the initiative, invitations, organisation and efforts. Plus
it was a real pleasure to have had Angela join us for Evening
Prayer in St Giles’ throughout the week. Anon
OF THE talks I was able to attend, Angela was
both insightful and inspiring. I spent a long
time thinking around her points about ‘truths
which are self-evident’, and what exactly makes
them ‘self-evident’, especially if we remove the
concept of God, or faith, from the equation. My
conclusion was that almost little or nothing is
indeed ‘self-evident’, and God alone helps us to
realise these self-evident truths. Tim
Maureen Chu, Churchwarden


S T GILES’ has provided me with a breadth of opportunities and skills

unparalleled in Oxford. As someone geared towards choral
conducting, I have greatly enjoyed the platform time on offer, and feel I
have considerably improved my rehearsal technique. From an organ
perspective, I have been
fortunate to have accompanied
the choir in Evensong at two UK
cathedrals, with Coventry to
come in June. I have also been
able to work on other forms of
accompaniment skills, notably
score-reading. Uniquely, St
Giles’ has offered scope for
extensive development as a
teacher, a skill intrinsic to the
music profession. Not only has
this assisted with improving
clarity of thought, but I will also
have enhanced my CV in a way that other undergraduates applying for
Teach First or other courses after university will not have been able to.
I am extremely grateful to Dr Prozzillo and the whole choir for
their warm welcome, unfailing support, and encouragement; and I look
forward to future opportunities.
James Fellows

B ERNARD Masterman has now been moved to the Witney

Community Hospital, Welch Way, Witney, OX28 6JJ. He is
expected to stay there at least until the end of April; his condition will
then be reviewed again, and after that he may be moved for a second
time. The hospital are not prepared to give out information about
patients except to close relatives; but one could ring them on (01865)
904222 or 904674 to confirm whether Bernard is still there. (NB: The
Witney number which comes up in the Google listing for the hospital is
no longer in use). Visiting hours are: 2:00-4:30 pm, and 6.00-8.00 pm.

I have been keeping in touch with Bernard’s sister, who says that
he is eating well, and making some progress with walking, but that evi-
dence of serious brain damage is becoming rather clearer. She has had
some sensible conversations with Bernard, mostly talking about the
past, but she doesn’t think he knows where he is now; and sometimes
his speech becomes unintelligible.
Andrew Freer, the Deputy Captain of the St Giles’ bellringers, will
be getting married at St Giles’ at 2:00 pm on Saturday 12th May. St
Giles’ bells will be rung both before and after the service, and the
ringing afterwards will be an attempt for a three-hour full peal.
If we can find enough ringers, there will also be ringing starting
at about 1:00 pm after another wedding a week later, on Saturday 19th
May - which we can think of as also celebrating the Royal wedding
which will be happening earlier that day. John Pusey


I THOUGHT the performance of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater during Palm

Sunday Evensong at St Giles’ was superb. I had seen the same trio
perform in the Chapel at LMH some weeks before, with Nicholas
Prozzillo on the piano, and soloists Shannon Miller and Benjamin
Grønlie, but that performance was not during a service.
There was a notable improvement in the performance at St
Giles’ - Benji and Nicholas wore suits at LMH but were robed at
Evensong, at least Benji definitely was and I think Nicholas was too.
Shannon Miller wore an elegant black dress at St Giles’ rather than the
bright red one worn at LMH. The performers not only looked better,
but they performed better too. I could notice a distinct improvement
in the singing during the solos, and I’m sure they sang better together
as well. It also seemed to me that Nicholas’s piano accompaniment
was better at St Giles’. Having said all that I was impressed by the
performance at LMH too. What really made the difference for me was
that at St Giles’ there was an order of service including an English
translation, and I was able to follow the meaning of the words during
the performance, which made me realise what a masterpiece I was
listening to.
Rod Nixon

My mother was born in 1921, so her memories go back a very long way. As this year
marks the 70th anniversary of the ending of the British Mandate, I thought readers
might be interested in her recollections.
Anne Dutton


I TRAINED as a nurse and midwife during WW2, and when the war
ended, I applied to the Colonial Nursing Service and was accepted.
In March 1946 I went out to Palestine by sea, and worked as a Sister,
initially at Beit Safafa Hospital (near Jerusalem) and later at Jaffa
Government Hospital. When I was first in Palestine the old colonial
way of life was still very much in existence, and so I wrote my name in
the Visitors’ Book at Government House and in due course was invited
to the King’s Birthday celebrations and other official and social
In 1946, Jews and Arabs still lived and worked together: the
hospital nursing staff was a mixture of Jews, Arabs and Armenians, as
was the medical staff. There was an excellent Jewish-run bus service
between Jaffa and Tel Aviv, and long-distance taxis – mostly Arab-run –
to travel further afield. It was a peaceful situation, on the surface at
least. But once WW2 had ended, and the full horror of the holocaust
had become known, there was a lot of pressure for full scale Jewish
immigration, as proposed in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which had
promised a homeland for the Jews.
While I was in Jaffa I met my future husband, Stanley Lawrence,
who was working as Assistant District Commissioner, Jaffa/Tel Aviv.
Stanley and I were married in Jaffa on 20th February 1948 by the
District Commissioner, Mr Fuller, at what was necessarily a very low-
key ceremony with only half a dozen guests. For the next couple of
months we lived in a flat in the Police cantonment because of the
security situation. By this time normal life in Palestine had become
very unsafe. People on all sides – Arab, British and Jewish – were being
killed nearly every day, and the British Army was constantly under
attack. Most British civilians had already been evacuated, and there
were very few women still there. When we left, we could only take a
few possessions in two suitcases, although we were also allowed to
pack a couple of wooden tea-chests with personal effects and these
were later transported to England by sea.

We were taken in an Army convoy from Jaffa to Lydda (now Lod).
On the way we passed lines of Arab refugees. We had heard that every
ship in Jaffa Port was crammed with Palestinians heading for Lebanon
or Egypt, if they had money or relatives who could take them in. The
day before we left, the airport had been looted and the Customs
building set on fire by the Arabs. When we arrived, the British were
occupying it, but it was eerily deserted. BOAC had stopped flights out
of Lydda, and the Army were guarding the runway. We were flown in
an RAF plane (a York) to Ismailia in the Canal Zone (Egypt), and later
that day BOAC flew us back to England, with a refuelling stop in Malta.
I hadn’t been able to change my passport after the wedding, so I
travelled under my maiden name of Dance. The plane was
unpressurised and very noisy. I seem to recollect that we were served
tea and coffee from Thermos flasks.
The others on the flight were mostly senior administrators and
included the Mayor of Jerusalem, Mr Richard Graves (brother of the
poet and novelist, Robert Graves), who had been shot at and had a
miraculous escape from death just a few hours before we left. The lady

in the photograph at the top of the steps wearing a fur hat and coat is
Miss Constance Sitlington, the Matron of Jerusalem Government
Hospital. There were also some missionaries, elderly women who had
not had home leave for many years and were fearful of their future in
post-war England.
We left Palestine on 28th April and landed at London Airport
(now Heathrow) on 29th. There was just one runway then, I think, and
a lot of grass and prefabricated huts, like a wartime airfield. Stanley
and I stayed in London, at the De Vere in Kensington, for a couple of
days to unwind. We had tea at the Dorchester, which was very nice,
and an Indian meal at Veeraswamy’s in Regent Street. Then we went
to Swindon, where Stanley’s family were, and he started looking for a
suitable peacetime occupation and somewhere for us to live. A
fortnight after we left Palestine, on 14th May 1948, the independent
state of Israel was declared. Pat Lawrence

T HE exhibition of paintings (and one pivotal sculpture) by Nicholas

Mynheer, Robert Wright, and Eularia Clarke continues at St Giles’
until 20th May. Opening times: Weekdays: Noon to 2 pm; Saturdays: 2-
5 pm (except 12th and 19th May); Sundays: Noon to 4 pm.
There are twelve works round the church starting with a
sculpture in the display case (tomb) in the south east corner outside
the Lady Chapel. The Artists, Nicholas Mynheer and Robert Wright,
give a series of responses to the events before, during, and
immediately after the time of Christ’s Passion. The pictures have been
hung in a manner which intensifies the impact of their contrasting
style: Nicholas Mynheer’s small scale, intimate figurative compositions,
in muted yet clear tones, draw the viewer in by his narrative ideal. The
assortment of size and shape of Robert Wright’s abstract designs, as
well as the rich use of solid blocks of pure colour and gold, are equally
The picture by Eularia Clarke (returning after the successful
exhibition of her work last year) is a moving and intense depiction of
the Meeting in the Garden - it is good to see this artist’s work again,
and be inspired by her religious approach to the visualisation of art.

The series of talks continues on Thursdays, 12:30 pm, at St Giles’:
3rd May – The Walk to Emmaus. Speaker: Hugh Wybrew;
10th May – Christ our Morning Star. Speaker: Robin Gibbons;
17th May – Encountering the Divine? Speaker: Andrew Bunch
The first talk, on 19th April, was entitled Iconic Gaze: The Divine
Exchange, and was a characteristically upbeat, arresting, and humorous
invitation of how to consider the pictures by Beau Stevenson. He
commented on the way that Icons are regarded as a reflection of the
gaze of the divine at mankind - that is, an Icon looks at the viewer as
the perception of heaven is depicted in the image. The use of
symbolism, and the search of the mind for meaning (as in Rorschach
test theory) can be used as a way of interacting and engaging with the
images and their deeper implications.
A quote from Wyndham Lewis, (although speaking secularly)
expresses this thought: “Yet the artist is, in any society, by no means its
least valuable citizen. Without him the world ceases to see itself and to
reflect ……… At its simplest, art is a reflection.”
Please record any reflections you have, on the cards available at
the back of the church. The complete series of talks will be available on
the website. Maureen Chu
Trenches and Destruction: Letters from the Front 1915-1919, by
Pleasance Walker, edited by Caroline Roaf, has just been published by
Oxford Folio. Pleasance Walker was in her early thirties when she left
her comfortable North Oxford home to volunteer as a nurse at the
Front in France, serving with the French Red Cross from 1915 to 1919.
Her letters home tell us a great deal about the daily struggle to nurse
wounded and dying soldiers and civilians, and reveal a woman of
remarkable resilience, vitality, and compassion.
CAROLINE CHISHOLM, Social Reformer (1808-1877) – Commemorated
16th May. On her marriage to Archibald Chisholm, Caroline took her
husband’s Roman Catholic faith. In 1832 the family moved to Australia,
where Caroline began to work and campaign for improved conditions
for vulnerable immigrants arriving at Sydney, especially the women,
who were often lured and bullied into brothels. On her return to
Britain in 1846 she founded the Family Colonization Loan Society.


N EWS of the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third

child was broadcast at midday on Monday 23rd April, and St Giles’
bells rang to celebrate the occasion five
hours later; we believe that we were the
first tower in the city to do so. All eight of
our bells were rung, but only two of the
nine ringers present were primarily
attached to St Giles’. Feelers had been put
out during the previous days to find
ringers from other towers who might be
available, and a choice of possible times
was lined up while we waited for news of
the birth. Ringers based on the Cathedral
already had a plan to ring that evening, at
Carfax Tower, to celebrate St George’s
Day, and our timing was planned so that
those who wanted to could attend both sessions.
It would be interesting to know how many of the public thought
the bells were ringing for the Royal baby, and how many thought it was
for St George’s Day - and how many thought we were just ringing for
our own entertainment, or didn’t think about the matter at all.
John Pusey

O NE of the visitors to St Giles’ during April was Valerie Saunders,

from Glen Innes, Australia. Valerie had always vowed to visit the
church where her
parents, Douglas
Saunders (from New
Zealand) and Joan Cox
(of 21 Wellington
Square) were married
in 1945, and Valerie
was baptised on 5th
May 1946 before they
went to New Zealand.


6th May – The Sixth Sunday of Easter

Choral Matins sung by St Giles’ Choir
Stanford, Te Deum in C
Stanford, Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem
Responses: Reading

13th May - The Seventh Sunday of Easter (Sunday after Ascension Day)
Eucharist sung by St Giles’ Choir
Widor, Surrexit a Mortuis
Plainsong, Regina Caeli
Vierne, Ave Maria
Fauré, Tantum Ergo
Vierne, Messe Solennelle (Sanctus)
Evensong sung by St Giles’ Girls’ Choir
Sumsion, Magnificat in G
Bruckner, Locus Iste

20th May – Day of Pentecost (Whit Sunday)

Eucharist sung by St Giles’ Choir
Introit: Byrd, Non vos Relinquam Orphanos
Tomkins, God, which as upon this Day
Hurford, Litany to the Holy Spirit
Mendelssohn, If with all your Heart
Choral Evensong sung by St Giles’ Singers
Greene, Magnificat in C
Tallis, Loquebantur Variis Linguis
Responses: Reading

27th May – Trinity Sunday

Eucharist sung by St Giles’ Singers
Stainer, I Saw the Lord
Weelkes, Alleluia, I Heard a Voice

Thursday 3rd May
12:30 pm Lunchtime Talk: The Walk to Emmaus
Resurrection Exhibition continues until 20th May

Saturday 5th
7:30 pm Concert: Nine Lives –Oxley/Graham Family Band


10:30 am Choral Matins
4:30 pm Evensong and Rogation Procession

Thursday 10th ASCENSION DAY

7:00 am Eucharist at St Margaret’s
12:30 pm Lunchtime Talk: Christ, our Morning Star
6:00 pm Eucharist at St Giles’

Saturday 12th Gregory Dix, Priest, Monk, Scholar, 1952

Resurrection Exhibition not open today
2:00 pm Wedding (followed by bellringing peal attempt)
7:30 pm Concert: Bankeryds Kyrkokör


10:30 am Holy Communion and Baptism

Thursday 17th
12:30 pm Lunchtime Talk: Encountering the Divine

Saturday 19th St Dunstan, Archbishop, 988

Resurrection Exhibition not open today
1:00 pm Bellringing to celebrate Royal Wedding
7:30 pm Jazz on a Summer’s Day - Derek Paravicini Trio


Noon-4 pm Resurrection Exhibition (final day)



8:00 pm Eucharist with hymns at St Margaret’s