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St Giles’ Church, Oxford

Parish News

Weathervane (dated 1784) on St Giles’ tower, June 2018 (Photo: John Pusey)

July 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 August 2018
magazine should be sent to by 20th July.

Contents – July 2018
St Giles’ Parish Magazine, 100 Years Ago Page 3
St Giles’ Roof Refurbishment Update Page 4
Student Mental Health – Gill Evans Page 5
Chamber Concert Review – Maureen Chu Page 6
Revd Professor Michael Screech – Andrew Bunch Page 8
Professor Eric Stanley Page 9
Menorah – Roger Wagner Page 11
Bellringing News – John Pusey Page 12
Standard Bread in the Great War – Anne Dutton Page 14
Masterclass with Prof Edward Higginbottom – James Gant Page 15
Reflections on Remembrance Page 15
Edward Pickard Hall MA Page 16
St Giles’ Choir Tour - July 2018 Page 17
St Giles’ Music List – July 2018 Page 19
Dates for your Diary Page 20

100 Years Ago – Parish Magazine, July 1918
Religious Inspection of St. Giles’ Girls’ School – Summary Mark –
Excellent. The Summary Mark aptly describes this first-class School.
The singing was notably clear and sweet; and the written work of the
top standards very much above the average. The oral answering was
also good, and shewed thought as well as mere knowledge of facts. In
the second group there was some mistake as to the subjects offered,
but I could never have detected it, owing to the high standard of
knowledge. … It was a great pleasure to inspect this excellent school.

Two pictures taken from the top of St Giles’ tower showing part-
completed work on the roof above the kitchen. (Photos: John Pusey)


S TUDENT mental health has been a lot in the news lately. Further
Education students are either not having similar problems to the
same extent as university students, or else their difficulties are
attracting less media interest. The National Union of Students
published a report on Further Education and Mental Health in 2017 in
which it explored what was happening in that area, where there are
also growing challenges.
Whose responsibility is it to look after students diagnosed as
mentally ill or believing themselves to be so, perhaps when they feel
depressed or isolated in their first experience of living away from
home? Students are not necessarily living in accommodation provided
by the university or college, and in the case of FE students they are very
likely to be living at home. The provider of the course cannot
confiscate smartphones or restrict access to social media so as to
protect the student from exposure to the emotional pressures created
by the constant seeking of approval from ‘friends’ and the expectation
of perfect performance. If a student’s mental ill-health amounts to a
disability the law requires ‘reasonable adjustments’ to be made, but
otherwise it is not really clear what a university’s or college’s duty is.
It is an irony that before the age of majority was lowered from
21 to 18, university students were not adults; yet parents were I think
almost never contacted by the university or the college. Oxford’s
colleges might appoint a ‘moral tutor’ to keep an eye on a student’s
general well-being and behaviour but that was a provision of variable
effectiveness. Some universities these days are asking the now-adult
students to consent to their parents being contacted so that the
university can discuss their child’s problem with them.
Particular areas of ‘#MeToo-related’ difficulty are now arising
over allegations of student-to-student sexual harassment. Cambridge
recently held a Discussion on a Topic of Concern in which women
students demanded that the standard of proof in student disciplinary
procedures should be lowered, and calling for traumatised girls to be
spared the stress of having to ‘relive’ the experience so that the
evidence could be tested in an adversarial hearing. Some male
students protested that making it easier to find them guilty was hardly
fair, and pointed to recent examples of allegations which had collapsed

almost at the door of the court when evidence was retrieved from
social media to show that the girl making the accusation had no case.
In the last few years many universities (with Oxford in the lead)
have introduced Fitness to Study procedures. These have the benign
purpose of providing a forum in which a view can be taken about a
student whose behaviour is causing concern. Is the cause mental or
physical illness, or is the behaviour something for which the student
should be disciplined? A student may be reluctant to accept a
diagnosis of mental illness.
It was not long before students sent home to give them time to
recover so that they could return and complete their degrees when
well again began to make headlines complaining loudly that they were
being ‘punished for being ill’. Parents of young adult students live in
difficult times - but so do universities and colleges.
Gill Evans

Saturday 18th June 2018
Akino Kitahara, Piano; Philip Shirtcliff, Clarinet

T HE FOURTH concert in the Spring/Summer 2018 series was a
delightful and refreshing mix of well-loved classics and music by
two modern composers.
The first piece by Eric Gilder (which was dedicated personally to
the pianist, Akino Kitahara) - The Brook - is a lyrical response to the
paintings of John Constable, and Akino opened the concert with an
exhilarating solo performance.
It was a special treat to hear Mark Russell’s 3 Pieces for Clarinet
and Piano (dedicated to Philip Shirtcliff), which is a beautiful evocation
of shared experiences and a testimony to their friendship. The
Allegretto, Adagio and Allegro form showcased Philip’s and Akino’s
Akino finished the first half of the evening with pieces from
Maurice Ravel’s Miroirs, 1905: Oiseaux tristes, and Alborada del
gracioso. Akino conveyed the innovation and diverse influences in
these enjoyable pieces.

After the Interval we went from the strange, compelling, and
enervated fin de siècle world of Eric Satie with Gnosssienne No 1 for
Piano and Clarinet to the sublime work of Johannes Brahms. His
Sonata for Piano and Clarinet in E flat (Op 120 no 2) was composed in a
period of renewed inspiration for the composer after a period of
feeling he had no more music to write.
The programme notes say the Sonata ‘…was undoubtedly
written to match Mühlfeld’s musicianship and supreme skill’. We were
privileged to hear all these pieces played by two musicians of skill and
The evening finished with an Encore of the Allegretto from Mark
Russell’s 3 Pieces for Clarinet and Piano - this is titled Hymn to St Giles’,
so was a lovely way to end a memorable Concert.
Please come and support the remaining concert in support of St
Giles’ Choir Academy – The Titanic House Band, 14th July, 7:30 pm at St

Akino and Philip, with Mark Russell, Composer.

Maureen Chu

Thanksgiving Service, 28th June 2018, All Souls’ Chapel, Oxford

S HORTLY before Michael died, it became obvious that he would no
longer use his clerical attire. Consequently, his sons decided to
hand his vestments over to be redistributed. All of them found a good
home, except that it was difficult to find a recipient for his Canterbury
Cap. For, of all his clerical garments, this is the one that speaks most of
Michael’s unique spirituality. Naturally, the cap is worn on the head,
and this is a good indication of Michael’s approach to faith. His
understanding of spirituality had to be able to stand up to rigorous
intellectual enquiry. He simply wasn’t interested in vague arguments
or propositions: he wanted the grounds for his faith to be capable of
being critically scrutinised by the most able of academic minds.
In this respect, he was quite naturally a great fan of those
theologians of the Renaissance who criticised the woolly thinking of the
Church of their day – namely Erasmus and
Rabelais. These two men left their
religious orders in order that they could
be secular priests, able to work on their
understanding of theology unhampered
by the constrictions of the cloister. These
two Humanists were devout priests whose
faith challenged the Church to be true to
the demands of faith rooted in an
appreciation of scripture and tested by academic research. Michael
admired these men of faith; he wanted their insights to be
remembered and shared so as to prevent the life of the Church once
again slipping into comfortable, unthinking practices. The Canterbury
cap links Michael to these challenging men of faith: pictures of Erasmus
have him wearing a very similar garment, and Michael was never slow
to remind people of the wisdom that came from the minds of these
great theological thinkers of the past.
Indeed, one of the sports that his congregation often indulged in
was a count of how many times Erasmus and Rabelais were quoted in
Michael’s sermon for the day. Sermons which frequently started off,
not with a recollection of the Gospel reading, but with the Collect of

the day and the way this prayer was so deeply rooted in the past.
Insights from the past which had become tarnished with neglect, were
dusted off and made to sparkle once more, proving the continuity of
faith throughout the ages. But this was not the only continuity that
Michael gave expression to. He also demonstrated, by the way he
conducted his own life of faith, a real connection between heart and
mind. Michael was a compassionate man, and this always became
evident when he was confronted by homeless people down on their
luck. He had time for them, and was generous to them. But his
compassion was also evident in the way he cared for his wife, Anne,
both when she was travelling with him for an event, but most
especially when in more recent years she has been confined to her
home by the nature of her condition.
In Michael, we have had a fine example of a man who was
committed to his faith and, because of his quality of mind, helped
provide a firm grounding for those seeking a faith which could be
respected from a rigorous intellectual standpoint. His compassion
prevented him from ever being cold and sterile in his attitude to life.
Instead, his wit and intellect made people want to enquire more and
grow in confidence that to live in harmony with the Christian faith was
not the realm of the intellectually feeble minded. He will be missed;
his death is a significant loss to the life of the Church. His Canterbury
Cap will remain in St Giles’ to remind us that Faith, Intellect and
Compassion can and should be mutually compatible qualities to make
the most of life in this world.
Andrew Bunch

E RIC STANLEY was born in Germany but his family moved to
England in 1934 to escape the rising tide of Nazi persecution. He
was admitted to University College, Oxford, seven years later, where he
obtained his BA. After teaching at the University of Birmingham for
several years, he was appointed Professor of English at Yale University
in 1975. Two years later he was elected to a Fellowship at Pembroke
College and appointed Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-
Saxon, succeeding J R R Tolkien in that role.

The most important scholars of his generation were members of
his circle, including such luminaries as Tolkien, C S Lewis, Hugh Lloyd-
Jones, Harold Bloom, Dorothy
Whitelock and Helmut Gneuss.
Professor Andy Orchard,
current Rawlinson and Bosworth
Professor of Anglo Saxon at Oxford
and Fellow of Pembroke paid tribute
to Professor Stanley: “Eric’s published
work is prodigious in its scope and
scale and impact, comprising more
than 600 items on Old and Middle
English language, metrics, and
literature, as well as on Anglo-Saxon
history and law, the perception of
medieval topics in modern literature,
and especially in lexicography,
detailing lost or obscure words and
phrases.” The College flag was flown
at half-mast on 21st and 22nd June in
his honour.
 Eric and his late wife, Mary, were faithful members of the
congregation at St Giles’ over many years. He will be much missed,
especially at the Sunday 8:00 am BCP service.

50 Years Ago – Parish Magazine, July 1968
From the Vicar – Revd Stanley Birtwell: We have been asked to help
with a programme on the BBC about John Keble by allowing a
television recording of part of Evensong. Where this will fit into such a
programme I cannot myself understand, but in such a good cause we
felt we should co-operate. I hope that Evensong on Sunday July 14th
will not be the one you decide to stay away from for that is the date
I recently saw the fine oak pews from St Peter in the East being
dismantled and prepared for their trip to Sheffield where they will be
adapted for their new place in St Giles’ Church.


T HE MENORAH is the seven-branched candlestick ‘with cups made
like almond-blossoms … the whole of it one beaten work of pure
gold’, which, in the Book of Exodus, Moses is instructed to place in the
Tabernacle in front of the Holy of Holies: the place where God’s
presence dwells with his people. The Menorah thus becomes a kind of
visible symbol of God’s invisible presence. When the Temple in
Jerusalem was finally destroyed, the Menorah was among the
treasures carted off to Rome, and a depiction of it can be seen among
the reliefs on the arch of Titus. Throughout the Bible, though, the
Menorah also appears in prophetic dreams and visions, and its last
mention, in the New Testament, comes in the Book of Revelation,
where Jesus is seen walking in the midst of the seven candlesticks ‘his
hair white as wool, white as snow, and his eyes as a flame of fire’.
When I first saw Didcot power station through the window of a
train from Oxford to Paddington, the smoke belching from the central
chimney reminded me more of a crematorium than a symbol of God’s

presence. And yet, having said that, the astonishing sky behind the
towers looked like the arch of some great cathedral, while something in
the scale of the cooling towers themselves, with the light moving across
them and the steam slowly, elegiacally, drifting away, created the
impression that they were somehow the backdrop of a great religious
drama. Both these ideas remained in my mind for many years, and
developed in a series of paintings and sketches.
On the one hand the crematorium-like chimney and the inhuman
scale of the buildings brought associations with the industrial genocide
of the 20th century and the blank inhumanity of so much in human
existence; while on the other hand within the strange beauty of the
scene was the insistent sense of some great redemptive moment. It
wasn’t until I realized that the towers, from the angle I had seen them,
had lined up to form the shape of the Menorah, that I realized how
these two impressions could be united, and realized that the drama to
which they were the backdrop must be the drama of the Crucifixion.
In no other religious event is the absence of God so closely
linked with his presence, or the tragedy of human life so intimately
linked with its redemption. The extraordinary Jewish prophecies which
see in the mysterious servant of the Lord, a figure apparently ‘smitten
by God and afflicted’, but in reality ‘pierced for our transgressions’, say
of him ‘surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows’.
Likewise the disciples of Jesus, who see the Crucifixion as the fulfilment
of these prophecies, describe him both as a man crying out ‘My God,
my God, why have you forsaken me?’, and as one who, even before his
birth, was named by the angel as ‘Immanuel, that is “God with us”’.
Roger Wagner, 2002

W ELCOME to three new Sunday service ringers: Mona Setje-
Eilers, who is German but now works in Oxford, and who we
have taught to ring during the last few months; David Jackson, an
experienced ringer who has moved here from Sheffield, and now rings
regularly both at Oxford Cathedral and at St Giles’; and Stephen
Goldsborough, a more recent recruit who we have been teaching from
scratch. Congratulations to Mona and to David, both of whom were
elected as members of the Oxford Diocesan Guild at an Oxford City

Branch meeting in June. Unfortunately, their addition to our numbers
is more than balanced by others who have moved away, given up
ringing, or become unable to ring because of age or infirmity, so we
are as keen as ever to welcome new recruits.
Congratulations also to Charlotte Hook, who we have been
teaching to ring for the last six months, and who had chosen learning to
ring in order to fulfil the Skills requirement of the Duke of Edinburgh’s
Award at Gold level. She has written: “Prior to working for the award I
had never participated in any kind of bellringing, and wanted to use the
opportunity to learn something different. Although I am perhaps not a
natural ringer, I feel that I now have a full appreciation of bellringing as
an art form, and have begun to enjoy ringing as part of a group with the
ringers at St Giles’.”
Charlotte has already completed all of the other requirements for
the DoE Award, and has now submitted certification which we had
provided (just before she reached an age limit), confirming that she had
attended practices on 26
occasions and made reason-
able progress. She is now
waiting for an invitation to be
presented with the Award in
person. This could have been
done at Buckingham Palace,
but she is undertaking an
additional ‘adventure’, by
applying to receive the award
in Edinburgh, a place she has
never visited before. It is a
long time since we have had
any other ringing pupil who
Charlotte about to run a Half Marathon as part of the completed DoE requirements
DoE Award
at any level, and I believe that
Charlotte is the first we have ever had who has used participation in
ringing at St Giles’ to qualify for obtaining a DoE award at Gold level, so
it is quite a significant achievement, both for her and for us. She has also
just completed a course at Oxford Brookes University, and has now left
Oxford, and therefore, sadly, won’t be available to ring with us in future.


A reflection from my childhood, (which I hope will encourage others
to send in their much more interesting thoughts on WW1 for the
November magazine - see p. 15). My mother used to quote a rhyme
which she learnt from her Grandad, Thomas Herring (who died in the
1940s, before I was born): “With Standard Bread they filled him/With
Standard Bread they killed him/O Standard Bread/Bring out your
dead/Damned ’ard/Standard Bread”. I don’t know if he was the author
of this piece of doggerel (I think he may have been, because he enjoyed
“wordplay” and my mother still quotes other sayings of his) but I have
done a little research on the internet, and there is some interesting
information on Standard Bread on the National Archives website:
During WW1, poor harvests at home and abroad, a lack of food
imports caused by shipping losses and low foreign currency reserves,
and a drain of manpower from Britain’s farms to the military, all left
the country’s food supply in very real peril. On 8th December 1916, just
two days after he became Prime Minister, David Lloyd George
established the Ministry of Food. The Ministry of Food presided over
many initiatives to increase production, including promoting more
efficient agriculture and establishing the Women’s Land Army in 1917.
Rationing was eventually introduced in early 1918 by the Food
Controller, Lord Rhondda, but before that the Ministry of Food had tried
many ways to limit the consumption of wheat and other cereals. One
initiative used by the Ministry was the creation of ‘standard bread’,
made using ‘G.R.’ (Government Regulation) flour, which was milled
coarser than its pre-war equivalent, so that less grain could be used to
make the same amount of flour. However, while this flour increased
quantity, it was quality that suffered, which was a matter of concern to
the government, with a Cabinet memoranda warning at the time that:
‘There will be a popular prejudice against interference with the texture
and colour of the loaf … especially as it is improbable that the change of
standard will be accompanied by a reduced price.’ Not only was bread
made of lower quality flour and weaponised in a campaign for
competitive frugality, it was also likely to not be made entirely of wheat
flour. Maize, rice and other cereals were a regular feature in the war
time, but the government’s star wheat-substitute, so to speak, was the
humble potato. Anne Dutton


O N 26th May, St Giles’ was filled with the effusive sounds of the
great French composer François Couperin. Under the capable
and learned baton of Professor Edward Higginbottom, former Director
of Music at New College, the ensembles learned to skilfully navigate
some dense polyphony and difficult lyrical passages.
The morning began with Professor Higginbottom guiding one
of our choristers in his performance of O Mysterium Ineffabile, focusing
especially on the appropriate form and usage of ornamentation, and
phrasing of some of the deceptively tricky longer, lyrical, passages.
The morning then turned to the three-part male voice
ensemble, sung by James (tenor), Giles (baritone) and Lukas (bass),
singing Couperin’s O Domine quia refugium. Professor Higginbottom
was extremely helpful in aiding the group with the rapid, dense
polyphony in the final section, expertly guiding us to a much more
sensitive dynamic landscape. This in turn led to a much more subtle
and finely-tuned dynamic performance overall, as the group was able
to bring out the appropriate parts through the texture where
Overall, the morning was exceptionally helpful in ensuring the
following week’s service was the delightful - and musically professional
- occasion that it was. A huge thanks to Professor Higginbottom for his
time, and to all those involved. James Gant, Junior Choral Scholar

W E are planning a special edition of St Giles’ Parish News in
November, to mark the centenary of the end of the First World
War. We would like as many people as possible to contribute to this –
just a few sentences will be ideal. Have you ever spoken to someone
who was alive during WW1? Has some part of the last four years’
commemorations particularly affected you? Did you grow up in the
aftermath of the war? Or – as a young person who has only lived in the
21st century – what do you think about it all? Everyone’s opinions will
be welcomed. Please speak to Alison Bickmore, Maureen Chu or Anne
Dutton for further information – and don’t wait until the magazine
deadline is looming in October before you send in your contribution!

Founder of St Giles’ Choir, 1856; Hon Organist 1856-1861

I N THE Clergy Vestry there is a framed photograph of Edward Pickard
Hall, complete with an Extract from a letter from Mr F Morrell,
Churchwarden of St Giles’: I can never forget, and I trust that my neigh-
bours will not either, that we are indebted to you for one of the greatest
Church movements which I have known during my long residence in the
Parish, and one too which, I do believe, has contributed materially, as far
as externals can, to the spread of vital religion amongst us. (May 1861).
Edward Pickard Hall was born at Worcester
on 3rd June 1808. On 13th April 1836 he
married Anne Ralph at St Mary Le Strand,
Westminster, and they went on to have 13
children, the last three of whom – Alice,
Arthur Pickard, and Mary Louisa - were all
baptised at St Giles’. Hall and his family
moved to Oxford in 1853 when he became
a partner in the Clarendon Press. In 1861
they were living at 1 Park Place (the name
then given to the south part of Banbury
Road). By 1884 he had completed 30 years
at the Clarendon Press: his working hours
had always been 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and
outside this time he instructed up to 80 boys at night school and
directed the Men’s Brass Band, and the Boys’ Drum and Fife Band. At
weekends he organised games on Saturday afternoons, Sunday School
on Sunday afternoons, and singing classes at his home for the
compositors in the evenings. He was first volunteer Organist at St Giles’,
where “the barrel organ reigned as late as 1863”. When he was
summarily dismissed by the Delegates of the University Press at the age
of 76, it came as a shock. His dismissal was largely at the behest of
Benjamin Jowett, Manager of the University Press, who wanted to
appoint an innovator. He is said to have “faced poverty in old age”; but
nonetheless his family was able to move to a large north Oxford house
(23 Norham Road), and continued to employ two servants. He died on
6th November 1886 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s cemetery.
(Information from



Sunday 1st July – The Fifth Sunday after Trinity
10:30 am Holy Communion 6:30 pm Evensong
Fauré, Tu es Petrus (St Giles’ Girls’ Choir)
Stainer, I saw the Lord Vierne, Ave Maria
Palestrina, Missa tu es Petrus Responses: Reading

Sunday 8th - The Sixth Sunday after Trinity
10:30 am Holy Communion 6:30 pm Choral Evensong
Wesley, The Lord hath been (St Giles’ Singers)
Mindful of us Bairstow in D
Vaughan Williams, The Call Weelkes, Rejoice in the Lord
Tomkins, Praise the Lord all ye Responses: Reading

Sunday 15th – The Seventh Sunday after Trinity
10:30 am Holy Communion 6:30 pm Choral Evensong
(St Giles’ Singers) Tomkins, I will lift up mine eyes
Mendelssohn, How Lovely are the Responses: Reading
Palestrina, Canite Tuba

Sunday 22nd – St Mary Magdalene
10:30 am Holy Communion 6:30 pm Evensong
Introit: Byrd, Non vos relinquam (St Giles’ Girls’ Choir)
orphanos Sumsion in G
Vaughan Williams, O How Amiable Harris, Holy is the True Light
Boyce, Examine Me Responses: Reading
Tomkins, The Shepherd is my
Living Lord
Widor, Tantum Ergo

10:30 am Holy Communion, followed by
Project 900 Presentation to the congregation
1:00 pm Shared Parish Lunch in the Vicarage garden

Cricket match at St Edward’s School
after the 10:30 am Holy Communion

Saturday 14th John Keble, Priest, Tractarian, Poet, 1866
7:30 pm Titanic House Band concert


Thursday 19th Eve of the Feast of St Margaret of Antioch
Pilgrimage to the Church and Well at Binsey
5:30 pm Andrew Bunch will lead a group of walkers starting
from St Giles’, calling at St Margaret’s at 6:00 pm,
and then on to The Perch. At 6:45 pm the Bishop
of Oxford leads pilgrims to the Well and Church for
Liturgy and Choral Eucharist, at which he presides
and preaches. Pilgrims then return to The Perch or
depart. Food, including a special Pilgrim Supper, is
available at The Perch but needs to be booked in
advance – see poster in church for more details
and contact Andrew if you are planning to come.


Saturday 14th July, 7:30 pm
A programme of music ranging from The Beatles to Frank Zappa.
A fitting close to our Project 900 concert series
Tickets: £12/£10 concessions/£8 students/£5 children under ten