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St Giles’ Church, Oxford

Parish News

Choristers and Choir Director

August 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

If you wish to contribute towards the cost of the magazine, this would be
much appreciated. Please put your donation in the wall safe, and mark your
envelope Parish News. Items for inclusion in the September 2018 magazine
should be sent to by 20th August.
Contents – August 2018
Volunteers required: SG Fair, Ride & Stride, Open Doors Page 3
Prisons and the care of Wildlife – Martin Heing Page 4
Revd Michael Screech – Obituary from The Times Page 6
St Giles’ Parish Magazine, 100 Years Ago Page 10
Roof Project Report and final figures – R Harland, C Hilliard Page 12
A Childhood Memory – Betty Couldrey Page 14
The Sound of Music, Spring 2019 – Samantha Schad Page 15
Autumn/Winter 2018 Jazz at St Giles’ Programme Page 15
Project 900 SG Congregational Meeting on 1st July 2018 Page 16
The new Respite Café at St Giles’ Page 20
Radcliffe Trio Concert, 30th June 2018 – Jean Darke Page 21
SG Parish News – November 2018 special edition Page 22
Car Parking at St Giles’ Page 22
Titanic House Band Concert, 14th July 2018 – Jean Darke Page 23
From St Giles’ Parish Registers Page 24
Dates for your Diary – August 2018 Page 24

St Giles’ Fair, Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th September 2018: The rotas
are in church. As usual, we need volunteers for stewarding as well as
for serving food. We also need offers of filled savoury rolls and baking.
OHCT Ride & Stride and Oxford Open Doors will be on 8th and 9th
September 2018. Volunteers are needed between 9:00 am and 6:00
pm on Saturday 8th September to assist the Ride & Stride effort; and
from 12 noon and 4:00 pm on Sunday 9th September to welcome
people into the church. This year we will be showcasing Project 900,
and there will be a display on the theme of Extraordinary People.


I RECENTLY began a tour of prisons as a judge for an award sponsored
by the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals (ASWA). It was
directed at the prisons which had done most to encourage the appre-
ciation of wildlife. The competition included an important element
concerned with the degree to which inmates had benefitted spiritually,
and so it was thought to be a good idea that one of us was a priest. It
was a very interesting and revelatory week and the experience was
overwhelmingly positive once I got used, even as a visitor, to finding
myself behind high-security fences with numerous doors and gates
locked behind me. My only previous experience of prison was going
around the old Oxford gaol in the castle before it was turned into a
luxury hotel, and feeling the chill of complete isolation from the world I
knew. It is vital to emphasize that loss of liberty is, in the prison ethos,
both the beginning and the end of punishment. It is clear that the aim
of the system is education and reformation - to help individuals to
return to and contribute to society - and not revenge for past mis-
demeanours. Of course, there may be questions as to how a particular
regime may work in practice, very likely linked to practical and financial
constraints, but I saw the same compassion, commitment and care I
have seen in other professions, such as teaching and the NHS.
People are in prison for the most part because of failures in their
upbringing, often including poverty, abuse, lack of parenting and the
absence of that love which most of us have been privileged to enjoy. I
was in these prisons to discern practical input and how that may have
helped to bring care for other beings into an individual’s life and not in
any way as a substitute for God. Engaging people with an awareness of
the creatures and plants which share the world with us is a step
towards redemption. We saw men and women engaged in horticulture
as well as in the creation of amazing wild-flower meadows. We saw
bird boxes and provision for small mammals, amphibians and reptiles.
Several institutions were rescuing hedgehogs, and to see tough young
men helping to feed and nurture orphaned hoglets was a truly moving
experience. We have long known that the abuse of children and the
abuse of animals is connected, part of a very unpleasant aspect of
human nature in which the exercise of power over others takes the
place of compassion, and that link just has to be broken. Prisoners who

find themselves treated as individuals, with respect and understanding,
who are helped to better themselves both in attaining new skills and in
acquiring moral maturity, are on the way to leading happy, fulfilled and
good lives.
But the therapeutic character of the exercise is not by any means
the only aspect I encountered. I believe very strongly that the whole of
creation is equally blessed before God. There is no reason at all why
one creature, Homo sapiens, as our species arrogantly designates
ourselves, should be the sole reason for creation. We are in danger of
forgetting that true Wisdom as defined in Scripture manifests itself in
accepting our total ignorance before the Divine, as Job is forced to
accept, and as the Greek philosopher Socrates knew. Our species is
wrong to claim precedence over others, when its only claim to do so is
through tyranny, through human ability to use tools and, yes, weapons.
We have a horrifying propensity to exploit and kill our fellow creatures
(non-human and human alike) in their tens of millions. In other words,
we share that human tendency to abuse others, which has so often
landed those now in prison into trouble with the Law. All of us are, in
fact, imprisoned by the sin against the Holy Spirit, for which unless we
can find redemption and release from the prison walls that encompass
us, there is no deliverance. That means we have to be able to put
ourselves in the position of the trapped mouse, the hunted hare, the
gazelle fleeing from the lion, the cattle and pigs in intensive farms, and
all the creatures subjected to vivisection in laboratories.
Some prisons, especially but not exclusively open prisons,
contain areas of land of great environmental importance with SSSI
significance, and helping to maintain them is of great importance in
itself, and is indeed taken seriously by the Ministry of Justice, and
partner organizations like the RSPB. But even in closed prisons,
patches of meadow or even cultivated plants help pollinating insects.
Whether creating wildlife havens or saving injured hedgehogs, all are
bound together in doing a good turn, a mitzvah , to use the Hebrew
term, towards animals in need, and by so doing the isolation of
humanity from all the creatures which over the generations have had
good reason to come to fear us, has become a little less.
The barriers that separate us are eroded as we begin to see the
effects of caring for wildlife. A house in a suburb of Manchester,

overseen by the Probation service, functions as a halfway stage
between prison and freedom. It was, in fact, one of the places where
hedgehogs were being nurtured, and one of the residents was just
finishing his sentence but was coming back in the weeks ahead, as a
free man, to help with the hedgehogs. Love had surely triumphed here.
I do not know quite what I expected when I started on the tour.
But I ended by feeling uplifted by what was being done in the places we
visited for those who find themselves behind bars; and conscious that
we need to get away from the crude judgementalism of the tabloid
press and realize with humility, within ourselves, that the inmates,
warders, and we as visitors for an hour or two, share a common
humanity and also a shared part in responsibility for the creation all
around us. Martin Henig
Colourful scholar and not always reverent cleric who delighted in
translating bawdy puns from 16th-century France into English

A Renaissance scholar of world repute, the Rev Professor Michael
Screech was no prude. He had a rare knack of rendering the bawdy
puns of 16th-century France into colloquial, yet accurate English.
At the age of 67 he was ordained into the Church of England.
Thereafter his parishioners enjoyed daily sport, totting up the number of
references to Rabelais in each of his sermons. Often he crammed his

white hair beneath a four-cornered Canterbury cap to ape his hero,
M A Screech, as his name appeared in print, was perhaps best
known for his authoritative translation of the essays of Michel de
Montaigne. In 1572 the Frenchman retired to his château to write
“essays” on topics ranging from the purpose of philosophy to his
preference for white wine, above red, and even the size of his penis.
Each chapter of Screech’s translation, first published by Penguin
in 1991, and in paperback in 1993, was prefaced by pithy notes stuffed
with telling detail, including what Montaigne had been reading at the
time of writing. By such methods he single-handedly scotched the
once-popular theory that Rabelais, once a monk, later transformed into a
militant atheist. Instead, Screech showed that the erotic wit peppering
Rabelais derived from “in-jokes” in 16th-century university or medical
and legal circles.
Highly convivial, and renowned for his dinner-party anecdotes,
Screech did not believe irreverence automatically equalled atheism.
Laughter at the Foot of the Cross (1998) was an exploration of humour
in the Bible.
Brought up Methodist, in a household where wine was absent,
Screech later became well acquainted with claret. Once marching into a
restaurant in the south of France on Easter Sunday, he demanded “le
meilleur vin rouge que vous avez” (the best red wine you have). For
that holiday, travelling the region’s canals, Screech had stocked up on
boxes of cigars at Heathrow, to tip the lock-keepers. In church,
however, his vice was snuff, which he plucked from boxes made of
wood or silver.
Michael Andrew Screech was born in 1926 in Plymouth, Devon,
the youngest son of Richard, a policeman, and Nellie (née Maunder), a
housewife. Educated at Sutton High School in Plymouth, he completed
one year of a French and Latin degree at University College London
before National Service.
Dispatched in October 1944 to a Japanese school at Bletchley
Park, he was taught by an elderly naval officer, who prefaced a lesson
with the words: “Gentleman, Japanese is easy as long as you remember
that the adjectives are verbs.”
In April 1945 Screech was sent to India as part of the Field
Security Section, a branch of Military Intelligence. By February 1946,
when Screech arrived in Japan, the war had ended, and, keen to use his
Japanese, he rejected a chance to take up a commission in France.

Instead he went with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force
(BCOF) to Kure, a naval city in the Hiroshima prefecture.
Nineteen-year-old Screech, in shock at the destruction wrought on
Hiroshima, found his everyday Japanese vocabulary at first limited. “If
anybody asked me what a daisy was, I wouldn’t know. But if they
wanted to say, ‘Within five weeks, we brought down 13 aircraft,’ I’d do
it in a shot,” he told Thomas Lockley, the Japanese historian, in 2017.
His unit was disbanded when a sergeant-major Screech had thought a
“very nice, fatherly sort of man” was arrested for money laundering.
Sent to the rural fastness of Tottori, in the Chugoku region of
Japan, Screech lived in a 16th-century castle. He was instructed to visit
Japanese army brothels and tell the prostitutes, or “comfort women”,
they were free to leave.
Returning home, he completed his degree in London, meeting his
future wife at a lecture on Erasmus. He married Anne Reeve in 1956.
Their first son was named Matthew Erasmus and is now a senior
lecturer in French at Manchester Metropolitan University. Toby, his
youngest brother, is an interpreter in the Netherlands and Tim, the
middle brother, is a professor of Japanese art history at SOAS (the
School of Oriental and African Studies) in London.
Appointed an assistant lecturer to the French department of the
University of Birmingham in 1951, a decade later Screech joined the
French department of University College London. In 1971 he was made
Fielden Professor of French Language and Literature.
With Stephen Rawles, the principal assistant librarian at Glasgow
University Library, Screech compiled an exhaustive bibliography of
every edition of the works of Rabelais. Published in 1987, it spanned
nearly 700 pages. Screech identified a clever Rabelais forgery found in
rural France. And he quickly realised that a copy of Lucretius at Eton
library was Montaigne’s personal edition. In any library, Screech might
be easily identified because he wore a sun visor on his head, with a
bright-green shade. At home he pored over Latin folios in a broad-
armed rector’s chair. For bedtime reading he absorbed two pages a
night from 16th-century book catalogues.
While still in his thirties, his hair went white. Known to friends
as “Mike”, he was friendly, but fastidious in academe. Once he took to
his bed in Tours, France, in horror, after an American gave a paper at a
conference, describing Rabelais as “unreadable”.
Bilingual in French, Screech spent two months each summer with
Anne in French-speaking Switzerland. He enjoyed croquet in the

garden of his house at Whitchurch-on-Thames, and in France, lengthy
chats over the dinner table. He regretted the decline of Latin as a school
subject. A sense that this distanced today’s students from the Christian
culture of Montaigne prompted Screech to produce his acclaimed
translations. Leonard Woolf once saluted Montaigne as “the first
completely modern man”. Screech’s scholarship provided vital context.
Such was his stature as a scholar of Rabelais that Screech appears
briefly in a novel by the Canadian Robertson Davies. A character in
The Lyre of Orpheus (1988) calls Screech “a mitred abbot among you
Rabelaisians”. In 1994 he fulfilled a longstanding desire to be ordained
as a non- stipendiary clergyman for the diocese of Oxford. At the
subsequent party a friend asked: “Well, Mike, what now?” Screech
quipped: “I hear York is vacant.”
At 6ft tall, he was a distinctive figure in the pulpit, where in a
rich, modulated voice tinged with a West Country accent, he would
segue from the collect prayer to a sermon on the Renaissance. He
became a fellow and a chaplain of All Souls and a chaplain and
honorary fellow of Wolfson College. In Oxford he served as the
assistant curate at St Giles with St Philip and St James with St Margaret.
Revered in France, Screech was appointed Chevalier in the
Legion d’Honneur in 1992. A generous man, who combined
exuberance with skill as listener, he often put a quiet word in for friends
he felt worthy of public honour.
A priest of literary bent became, thanks to Screech’s influence, a
fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He encouraged Anne, who
had a quieter temperament, but was his intellectual equal, with her
detailed research on Erasmus. For this she received in 2001 a Lambeth
degree from the Archbishop of Canterbury. When she developed
dementia, Screech always brought her with him to parties. With
delicacy, he would always warn the host what to expect beforehand.
Until succumbing to the ravages of Lewy body dementia some
months ago, he kept up his Japanese with daily reading. Screech was
known for sticking to his principles. Once, he even sat in the branches
of a glorious beech tree near his home, to prevent it from being chopped
down. He succeeded.

The Rev Professor Michael Screech was born on May 2, 1926.
He died on June 1, 2018, aged 92.

This obituary appeared in The Times on 19th July 2018

100 Years Ago – Parish Magazine, August 1918
1. Vicar’s Letter: The Roll of Honour has now been written afresh and
is hung at the east end of the north aisle. There are a few names in the
old list which I cannot identify as connected with any member of the
congregation, and I am consequently omitting them. But, of course, if
those who gave me the names will make themselves known to me, I
will gladly add the names again. The separate list of those who have
given their lives for their country will, it is hoped, shortly be ready, but
it is not quite easy to decide what names should be included as having
a real connection with St. Giles’.
The recent news from the War is full of encouragement, and I
trust we shall not fail to use our Intercession services as opportunities
of thanksgiving. The anniversary of the Declaration of War falls on a
Sunday this year [4th August 1918], so we shall have a better chance of
keeping it as we should wish to keep it than in the three previous years.
The special forms of service appointed by authority will be used, and
we hope for very large and earnest congregations, especially at the
Holy Communion on that day. The collections will be given to the
Oxford (Church Army) Hut Fund*. The Hut provided by this Diocese
was among those lost in the disastrous retreat to the Somme at the
end of March, and we desire to replace it as soon as possible. I feel
sure that this object will commend itself to everybody. There will also
be a United Service at Christ Church at 3 o’clock at which the Mayor
and Corporation will attend. If fine, it will be in Tom Quad.
Charles C Inge, Vicar
2. Labour for the Harvest – Appeal from the Ministry of National
Service: “There are at the present time a considerable number of men
over military age, who are employed in keeping in order lawns and
pleasure grounds. It is important that such work should be reduced to
a minimum in order to allow the men to assist in agriculture up to the
end of the harvest. The Ministry of National Service is of opinion that
the work in which they are engaged is not at the present time of
national importance, and that they would be, as they possess some
agricultural knowledge, better employed in helping the harvest. It is
hoped that employers, having regard to the food position and the crisis
through which the Country is passing, will do all in their power to
release such men for the harvest.”

* The Church Army: Church Army (CA) was established in 1882 by Revd
Wilson Carlile, with a vision to train Christian men and women to reach
those most in need with the gospel. In 1883 CA was officially
recognised by the Church of England. Also that year a Training College
opened in Oxford, which was shortly followed by a Women’s Training
College in 1889. Other highlights included the establishment of a series
of men’s and women’s homes, social work in the slums, prison
missions, and horse-drawn mission caravans which travelled from town
to town. At the turn of the 20th century the need to support those
facing unemployment became a strong focus. In 1905 more than
350,000 men received temporary residential care in CA homes and
marquees. There were also a number of new initiatives launched
including pioneer tent missions, beach missions, a Printing Press and
the making of cinematic films for evangelism and publicity.
The Great War saw CA working both at home and overseas
providing much-needed recreation huts for the armed forces. At their
peak these huts welcomed more than 200,000 men each day. Along-
side this CA also operated ambulances, mobile canteens and kitchen
cars. Following the end of the war they opened training centres for
men who had been left disabled by the fighting, and the first of Church
Army’s Motherless Children’s Homes was also opened.

Inside a Church Army hut at Poperinge on 10th May 1918.


T HE TOTAL raised at present stands at £82,919. Heritage Roofing
estimated the costs as £78,693 and the final bill was for £68.050
because it was possible to re-use more slates than had been expected:
30% rather than the estimated 20%. So we have raised slightly more
than our target.
This is due to several factors. Firstly to the generosity of the
congregation, both in straightforward donations and also in lively
participation in fundraising events such as the Advent Fasting and
Twelfth Night Feasting. Then to a number of grant-making trusts of all
sizes and to the builders Heritage Roofing and to our architect Christian
Randall. Most importantly to the committee composed, apart from
ourselves, of Joanne Russell, Hugo Brunner, David Boswell, Jean Darke,
Rod Nixon and Tim Myatt. Jane Finnerty was not a member of the
committee but the Twelfth Night Feast could not have happened
without her energy and commitment.
We have raised £33,362 from trusts. Three made major
donations, and smaller donations came from another four. The Arch-
deacon of Oxford offered us £1,000 from his discretionary fund for
conservation of historic churches, but we were able not to take him up
on this because the final figure was so much lower than the estimate.
We avoided applying to large trusts with general remits in order
not to compromise future applications on behalf of Project900. Several
trusts which had given for fabric repair in the past, such as the Feoffees
of St Michael at the North Gate, now donate funds for the Oxfordshire
Historic Churches Trust to administer; we have already discussed our
project with them and an application will be made later as part of
Project 900. When looked at in detail, many turned out to be unsuit-
able for the roof repair but might be approached for the west end
works as part of Project 900 – the Heritage Lottery Fund for example.
Many turn out to have criteria we do not fulfil, though I have spun
applications in different ways, emphasising sometimes the conser-
vation aspect, sometimes as the essential prerequisite for the more
ambitious Project 900. Some trusts are not currently accepting
applications, such as the Co-Operative Society’s local fund – another
Project 900 possibility. Several more turn out to be subsets of larger
organisations which had already been discarded on one or more of

these grounds. Others state that unsolicited applications are rarely
successful, but if the aims are appropriate, I applied in any case.
The low interest rates of the last decade have affected the
disposable funds of the smaller charities, and it is apparent that several
are spending more than their income on causes they have already
identified. Some of the websites are very complicated and time con-
suming. Only the larger trusts asked for financial information and a
precise figure for funds requested. There was no correlation between
the size of the trust and its donation: some of the larger trusts gave
little. Allchurches Trust, which is a branch of Ecclesiastical Insurance,
stated that it received so many applications that it gave every one just
a small sum. There was also no correlation between the complexity of
the online application form, and the number of documents and photo-
graphs required to be uploaded, and the size of the final donation.
Two trusts which gave generous donations had personal connections
with the parish. One trust sent a mystery visitor to check that access
arrangements to the church conformed to its stipulations: as a result,
some alterations were made to our noticeboards and website.
The grants administrator at Church House Westminster, who
administers funds donated by the Wolfson Foundation for fabric repair,
gave helpful advice about the presentation of our application. There
was a requirement that works would not be funded if they were
completed before the payment of the grant. Since this would not be
known until early July and Heritage Roofing was keen to advance the
start date to May, and since the recommendation for the grant would
have been small, it was decided to withdraw the application. In view of
this, Heritage Roofing generously reduced their estimate.
This estimate contained an element of £11,746 for VAT, which
resulted in a final figure of £9,976. This can be reclaimed in due course
through the Listed Places of Worship Scheme.
We have raised more than our target, after everything is settled.
In law, money collected for a specific purpose may not be used for any
other purpose. Money collected for the roof must not be vired to
Project 900 or the organ but will be used to reduce the sums taken
from the Fabric Fund, leaving a balance which will be available for
Project 900 funding. This has been essential to the success of the roof
project. The moneys reclaimed from VAT are not restricted and may go

straight into the parish general fund.
This has been a small discrete project and we may claim to have
brought it to a successful conclusion. The congregation has been fully
involved and has, we think, enjoyed the activities associated with it.
Organisationally it will have proved a useful dry run for the larger more
expensive and more complex Project 900. In particular, it has shown
up the problems which arise when project management and fund
raising are separated. Robin Harland, Catherine Hilliard

M Y FATHER was a blood donor. The only time that I can remember
him giving blood, was just after Dunkirk. In those days, blood
went from donor to patient direct. One could enquire how the
recipient was progressing!
Father rang and enquired of the patient’s welfare. He was a
soldier, severely injured at Dunkirk, and was a patient in St Hugh’s
College, which at that time was a Head and Spinal injuries unit under
Sir Hugh Cairns. The QA [Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing
Service] Sister on the ward (the College Dining Hall), asked if Father
could find some visitors for her patients. Only those who were severely
injured had expenses paid to their next of kin, and her patients were
mostly from the Gorbals district of Glasgow, and family funds were
limited. He promised he would do what he could!
He made a collection around the office - Barclays Old Bank in
High Street - and found some visitors, Mother included! My sister and I
went with her! We couldn’t be left on our own! I was about 7 years
old! We must have visited in the afternoon, as we always seemed to
be there at teatime! Huge thick white cups, almost too heavy for me to
lift! The tea must have been all right as I used to drink it!!
The QA Sister used to give Audree and me little jobs to do: rolling up
bandages, laying up trolleys with china for the next meal, tidying
cupboards etc.
Some of the patients were well enough to go out under escort, I
presume. I can remember two or three coming to tea at our home,
and another episode when “Jonnie” was in the Cadena having tea with
us. He was very self-conscious of the wounds in his head, and was
reluctant to take his beret off, but knew he had to for manners sake!!

We were acquainted with two of the waitresses in there, known by us
as Gert and Daisy. They made a terrific fuss of “Jonnie”, which he
“lapped up”!
Probably because of his head injury - shrapnel wounds to his
head whilst waiting for evacuation on the beaches - “Jonnie” used to
become very excited when he saw us walk into the ward. His bed was
in the right hand corner of the dais, and he used to clatter down the
ward and throw his arms around Mother to greet her! God knows
what his army boots did to the wooden floor!!
Gradually the Army took over the visitor problem, and we were
faded out. Our QA Sister was posted abroad, but lost her life when the
Hospital Ship she was on was torpedoed in the Mediterranean.
The soldier to whom Father gave blood, had a very severe head
injury with massive infection, and there was little that could be done in
those days. He died leaving a wife and unborn baby. I think Mother
kept in touch with the wife for a time. Betty Couldrey

W E ARE considering putting on a joint St Giles’/St Margaret’s
production of The Sound of Music in spring 2019. We are
currently in the very early stages of this project but we are keen to
recruit a director, a managing director, and a choreographer. If you are
interested please contact me: samantha.schad
Samantha Schad
22nd September Pete Oxley and Nick Meier - Guitar Duo
29th September Chris Ingham Quartet’s Tribute to Dudley (Moore)
13th October Trifarious Trio – Russian Roulette
27th October The Ben Holder Hot Club de Paris Quartet
10th November Art Themen Quintet: “New Directions”
24th November Tommaso Starace All Star Trio
1st December David Gordon Trio: Alexander’s (Scriabin)
Ragtime Band
8th December Brickwork Lizards
Further details at

Dear Member of St Giles’
Attached is the report from Compton Fundraising regarding the Project
900 objectives. The report, coupled with the subsequent conversation
with its author, has generated the following conclusions:
1) The fundraising objectives associated with the proposed
internal building works to St Giles’ (creating a room over the
kitchen area, extending the kitchen, providing another toilet
and redecorating the church) are perfectly achievable.
Subsequently, Robin Harland has suggested that this could be
achieved within a 10-month period.
2) The objective of attaining £700,000 for a new organ is out of
reach for St Giles’. As no significant donors were identified in
the fundraising survey, this objective would be incredibly
difficult to achieve. Some major sponsor(s) needs to be found if
this situation is to be changed.
3) A more modest target of say £500,000 for a new organ might
be achievable, and this needs to be brought into the discussion
of designing a future organ for St Giles’. In the discussions, it
became apparent that in order to achieve the goal of
fundraising for the organ, a necessary stage would be in
forming a wider circle of relationships with others in the music
community of Oxford.
Best wishes,
Andrew Bunch
St Giles’ Church: Report of Project 900 Congregational Meeting
A meeting of the congregation of St Giles’ Church was held at noon on
1st July 2018 to discuss the progress of the fundraising for Project 900.
The Vicar began with a presentation.
The project began with fixing the roof, this is now done. Contrary to
expectations of a cost of £128K, it actually came in at £68K. The
generosity of this church, and the hard work of Catherine Hilliard
(especially) in applying for Grants and Trusts has been greatly

Vicar’s Presentation
Theme: celebrating the past, acknowledging the present, preparing for
the future.
Not changing the Church’s basic character, but making it
pertinent to the warp and weft of the present.
Three aspects covered: spirituality, inclusivity of the community,
musical life (the major three strands of the life of this church over the
last 900 years).
The spiritual life of the Church (the services) may seem static,
but in fact only the 8:00 am Eucharist and the Carol Service have
remained the same since the Vicar joined us 20 years ago.
This church has served the homeless community since its
foundation; it currently hosts Gatehouse and a Showering Charity, also
offering food, and a service for them. The future of this is the
establishment of a ‘Street’ singing group (confidence and a sense of
belonging), and opening a Café run by the Gatehouse (dignity, routine
and employment).
Our vision for St Giles’ is stretching out geographically, too: has
always had connections with other religious institutions (Godstow
nunnery, St John’s College); now connected with St Giles’ Estevan in
Canada and St Margaret’s Church here; looking now to Sweden
(Bankeryd), St Mary the Virgin and St Nicholas in Littlemore (we have
received two Curates, Georgie and Tom, from there).
Building for the Future: West End Development
We were proactive with the roof over the Kitchen area, fixed it
before it became critical, thanks to extraordinary generosity (£68K).
The Church is changing, the Congregation is no longer drawn
from the Parish as it was: it is a City church, and we need to change to
meet this. One thing we need is a meeting room, to allow our multiple
activities to continue side-by-side (training, meetings, teaching).
Our concert series is also expanding and filling the church with
up to 150 people. And yet the Church is built with one toilet; we need
to change to meet this.
These concerts (and services) also attract people thanks to our
refreshments, our kitchen area is below capacity.

The price for these rooms and that West End development is
£150-200,000. We have been told that with £30,000 in the bank, this
will be no trouble to raise (as that initial sum shows we’re serious). We
are on target for this (over £10,000 already specifically for Project 900).
The Vicar showed the blueprint of the proposed works in the
West End.
The Vicar introduced discussion of the Organ, noting that the
problems with that instrument go all the way back to the dust
generated by the construction of the Lady Chapel. As such, it is crucial
that we accomplish our building work before we do something with the
organ, and it is also vital that we try to link the organ and building
projects as closely together as possible.
Nicholas Prozzillo was introduced to discuss the proposed Organ
The children and the adults in the choir, the congregation and
the clergy have noticed the organ’s deficiencies.
The organ is out of tune (due to a loss of wind pressure, faulty
bellows). It can be retuned, but not fixed without major intervention.
Soundboards (which store the wind before release into the
pipes) are cracked, this causes enormous loss of wind too. There are
three in the organ (one dating from 1875), and they are all damaged
The link between the keys and the mechanism that opens or
closes the pipes are also faulty: the electronics are failing and the
electromagnets are perishing (some pipes simply cannot function at
all). The stops too are broken, and we operate with fewer than we
would like and we cannot predict when they will kick in (due to failed
or failing pneumatics). Again, this is not easy to fix without major
The instrument is also dirty (both from the Lady Chapel and
other things). This cannot simply be vacuumed, it needs to be
dismantled, cleaned and reassembled. In itself, this would be £150K.
The pipes too have been through the mill: they are battered,
worn, and largely Victorian; they have been moved from their original
positions, and they have been supplemented with second-hand
patches. The sound produced by the organ is also not designed for its
current location (it was built for the Lady Chapel, not the back of

Church). This change was done as well as it could have been, but on
little money.
Highly respected British Organ Builders (including the company
who currently maintain it) were invited to look at the instrument
holistically, and they provided us with the assessment, of which the
above is a summary. (The Vicar adds that due to subsidence at the
back of the Church, we are in rather urgent need of action.)
Due to the organ’s move from the Lady Chapel to the back of the
Church, it makes an enormous footprint. It occupies far more space
than it should, in a building that already lacks space (especially in that
part of the church).
Harrison’s and Nicholson’s (and Kenneth Tickell, who maintained
the organ under Cynthia Hall) are all unanimous that there is no point
restoring this organ: a new instrument is required (restoring would
expensive, technical, short-term and dangerous).
So the quotation of £250,000 for a mere restoration is a base
rate figure; there are numerous other costs that would be attached to
it (health and safety, making alterations to prevent collapse starting
again immediately).
The Diocesan Organ Advisers were also scathing about the
current model, and highly recommend extensive changes (rather than
restoration). DAC have heard this too, and concur that the instrument
is not worth restoring.
This is an opportunity to think, take advice, plan, and create
something that both suits what this Church requires at the moment,
and what it will need in the future.
Nicholas Prozzillo presented a list of requirements for what an
organ would need for present and future. It needs to accompany
worship, it needs to attract and inspire students of the organ (we are
currently teaching 10 students here, a huge number; only 750 are
being trained in the UK), it needs to last, and it needs to fit this space.
Substantial external funding is sought for this (a price tag of
around £700,000), so we are also investigating the possibility of
something that meets this halfway (around the £500,000 mark).
Joanne Russell was introduced to discuss why this is necessary.
Joanne linked this project to the Choir Academy (separate to Project
900). She noted that if you enter St Giles’ on any weekday you will find

the Church alive with singing children, and learning young people. This
is fundamental to the lives of these young people, and they are going
on to great and important things in the musical world.
Music brings people to the Church who otherwise would not be
here. Music brings young people (children and their families) to the
Church and keeps them here. Music ensures that children engage fully
with the life of the church. Joanne also noted that the musical
education offered by the Choir Academy supplements an enormous
(and growing) gap in the music curriculum of modern primary and
secondary schools.
Our doors are open to everyone, we are inclusive. This makes us
fundamentally different to what is offered by Choral Foundations; we
are unique: there is no other institution that can offer this level of
musical encouragement to anyone who wants to engage with it. This is
a gift that we can offer to the community.
Musical Life is also crucial to our understanding of what the
Anglican Tradition is, this is what we do and it is who we are.
The Vicar concluded by thanking everyone who has contributed
their time and resources already, and encouraged the congregation to
think upon both the scale of the challenge that faces us, but also the
room we have for improvement, and how exciting this can be.
Linking the Building Works and the Organ Works together is
crucial, these have to be run in tandem if they are to be a success. This
means we are being ambitious, but this is where our future should be.
So please be generous;
please spread the news of what we’re doing.


T HE Respite Café launched on Wednesday 25th July. Come to St
Giles’ and buy a tea or coffee (£2) and get a free biscuit. The café
is staffed by those who are homeless or former homeless, and provides
training and work experience. Drinks are served in bio-degradable
cups. Come along on Wednesdays (12 noon to 3:00 pm) and support
those who are vulnerable in our society.


T HE penultimate concert of MUSIC AT ST GILES’ very successful
Spring/Summer series got off to an electrifying start with a
stunning performance (by two members of The Radcliffe Trio - violinist
Jacqui Miles and pianist Bethe Levvy) of Beethoven’s Violin Sonata in G
major, opus 30, number 3. We sat astonished and delighted as the
prodigious technical difficulties of the piece literally floated over with
seeming nonchalance, and this wonderful performance set the
standard for the whole evening’s excellence.

The piece following, by Anton Arensky, Russian composer, friend
of, (and much influenced by), Tchaikovsky, was the Adagio from his
Piano Trio, (written in memoriam of the pianist Nikolai Rubinstein),
(when ’cellist Emma Chamberlain* joined the players). This held us
equally spellbound, and indeed moved, by the beauty of the music,
which was lyrical, and at times reminiscent of Debussy’s work, and was
greeted with prolonged applause and shouts of ‘Bravo’.
The final two works before the interval were Emma
Chamberlain’s superb rendering of the second and third movements of

the beautiful Brahms ’Cello Sonata. The exquisite burnished tone of
Emma’s instrument, so wonderfully executed, was exceptional even in
these days of so many excellent exponents of that instrument.
Moments of lyricism showed this to great effect and contrasted with
the technically demanding passages of (typically) Brahms’ rhythmic and
syncopated complexities in his scores in general. The short piece by
Phillip Glass (part of his Violin Sonata) performed by Jacqui and Bethe
just before the interval introduced this listener in particular to another
side of this composer, known mainly for his operas.
The climax of this superb evening came in in an exhilarating and
truly exciting performance of Schubert’s marvellous Piano Trio in E flat
major, sending us out into the balmy evening resolved to follow any
future performances by The Radcliffe Trio, and determined to invite
them back again to St Giles’. Jean Darke
*Emma was recently awarded an OBE in the June Queen’s Birthday


W E ARE hoping that people of all ages, and with a wide variety of
opinions, will contribute a few sentences about their Reflections
on Remembrance for a special edition to mark the centenary of the end
of WW1.
The closing date for submissions will be mid-October – please
send by email to: or give a hard copy to
Maureen Chu or Alison Bickmore.

Regularisation of the parking area outside the garden area of
St Giles’ Parish Rooms, off the Woodstock Road.

A parking bollard will be installed to secure the parking for church
Please apply to Meg Peacock, the Benefice Manager – email - to book the parking area, and
for information on conditions of use.


A GRATIFYINGLY large audience greeted with pleasure the return of
the Titanic House Band ‘not waving but drowning’ when they gave
their excellent musical services in support of the St Giles’ Music
Academy with an effervescent performance of items ranging from The
Beatles to Frank Zappa.
This light-hearted concert was a suitably upbeat end to another
hugely successful Spring/Summer series at Music at St Giles’, with
music beginning at Eastertime ranging from choral through two
memorable chamber concerts sandwiched between two Big Bands -
initially The Oxley Graham Family Band featuring talented young
players already well into GCSEs and A levels, and this enjoyable concert
featuring the versatile Titanic House Band.
We were treated to well-known jazz items, to popular family
oriented numbers, such as the Pink Panther theme tune, and enjoyed
the vocal gymnastics provided by Linda, wife of the band’s director,
Nick Blake, whose own arrangements for the band added enjoyment
with their originality.

The Spring/Summer series concerts finished, we now look forward to a
scintillating 7th Autumn series of Jazz at St Giles’, which begins on 22nd
September with the best line-up ever [see page 15]! Jean Darke

9 July 2018 Eric Gerald Stanley, aged 94


7:30 pm Priest and Pints at The Royal Oak

Monday 6th The Transfiguration
8:00 pm Eucharist with hymns at St Margaret’s


Wednesday 15th The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
12:30 pm Eucharist at St Giles’
8:00 pm Eucharist with hymns at St Margaret’s



Saturday 1st Sept St Giles’ of Provence, Hermit, c 710

10:30 am Patronal Festival Holy Communion
6:30 pm Evensong

Monday 3rd St Gregory the Great, Bp of Rome, Teacher, 604
St Giles’ Fair
The church will be open all day from late morning

Tuesday 4th St Birinus, Bishop of Dorchester, 650
St Giles’ Fair
The church will be open all day from late morning