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St Giles’ Church, Oxford

Parish News

October 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 07776 588712
10 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HT
Maureen Chu 01865 514185
Joanne Russell 01865 760788
Safeguarding Officer: Siân Grønlie
Treasurer: Rod Nixon
Music Director: 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.
Contents – October 2018
William Tyndale, Translator of the Scriptures Page 3
Retirement of Revd Georgie Simpson, Associate Priest Page 4
St Giles’ – My Top Ten Page 5
Rationing in the First World War – Anne Dutton Page 7
St Giles’ Parish Magazine 100 Years Ago – October 1918 Page 8
St Giles’ Choir Tour to Italy, July 2018 – Imran Hashmi Page 9
Young Ringers’ Visit to St Giles’ – Susan Read/John Pusey Page 11
Autumn/Winter 2018 Jazz at St Giles’ Page 14
St Giles’ Parish News, November 2018 Page 15
St Giles’ Parish Magazine 50 Years Ago – October 1968 Page 15
Dates for your Diary – October 2018 Page 16


B ORN in Gloucestershire in about 1494, William Tyndale studied
first at Magdalen Hall (now Magdalen College), Oxford, and then
at Cambridge. He became determined to translate the Scriptures from
the Greek directly into contemporary English but was thwarted in this
by the Bishop of London. So William settled in Hamburg in 1524, never
returning to England. When the first copies of his translation arrived in
England in 1526, it was bitterly attacked as subversive by the ecclesial
authorities. He spent much of the rest of his life making revisions to his
work, but also writing many theological works. His life’s-work proved
good enough to be the basic working text for those who, at the
beginning of the following century, were to produce what became
known as the Authorised Version of the Bible. He was eventually
arrested in 1535 and imprisoned in Brussels on charges of heresy. He
was first strangled and then burnt at the stake on 6 th October 1536. His
last words were, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.”
(From: Exciting Holiness)

1. From Revd Georgie Simpson

My dear friends,
As some of you may know, on
Michaelmas Sunday, 30th September, I am
officially retiring from my position as
Associate Priest in the Benefice.
My final service will be the 10:30 am
Parish Eucharist at St Margaret’s. Ben
and I would like to invite you all to drinks
and nibbles after that service and do hope
you will be able to join us.
With much love, Georgie

2. Georgie’s future ministry – From the Vicar
Dear Friends,
As Georgie says in her letter, she will be retiring as an Associate
priest licensed to this Benefice at the end of September. Since her
retirement from stipendiary ministry with us 10 years ago, Georgie has
been developing the life of the Oxford Centre for Spiritual Growth
(OCSG). Part of her work with OCSG was carried out in this benefice.
She has organised no less than 10 eight-week series of talks on various
forms of spirituality, together with numerous other talks, Quiet Days,
study days on prayer etc. After this September, Georgie will spend
more of her time developing the ministry of OCSG further, organising
more events, all of which will be designed to make meaningful con-
nections for people, stretch their imaginations and deepen their faith.
Two such events are coming up in October.
The first, on Saturday 20th October, at Corpus Christi College, is
The Song of Songs: Wisdom’s Song of Love through Word, Music and
Silence – a reflective study day led by a well-known author of the
Christian mystical tradition. Georgie writes…
“The most mysterious of all the books in Holy Scripture, The Song
of Songs has been well-loved and well-known for centuries. To name

but a few, in the 8th century, the Venerable Bede wrote a commentary
on it; in the 12th century, St Bernard of Clairvaux wrote 86 sermons on
it; the 16th century mystics, St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross
were profoundly influenced by it. And it has provided much inspiration
for classical and popular composers throughout time.
The Song of Songs was described by a significant 2nd century
Jewish teacher, Rabbi Akiva, as ‘the holy of the holies’ and is perhaps
best seen as the ultimate love poem from God, expressing a passionate
yearning for the people of God to return God’s super-abundant love for
his entire creation.”
See details Telephone Georgie: 07803
031 977
The second event, on Thursday 25th October, at Wolfson College,
is An Evening with Laurence Freeman OSB, Director of the World
Community for Christian Meditation. The main talk ‘Christian
Meditation in a Secular Age: Rediscovering faith and belief’ at 7 pm,
will be preceded by (optional) informal conversations and discussions
from 5:30 pm.
See details / 07803 031 977
So, as you see, Georgie’s ministry will continue, but will take a
different form. I know that she would be delighted to see members of
this Benefice at the events she will be organising in the future. We will
try to ensure that we keep you informed of what she is organising.
With best wishes,
Yours, Andrew.


T HIS AUTUMN, the study material distributed by e-mail and the
series of Thursday lunch-time talks at St Giles’ will have the same
focus … writings and books that have inspired people.
From the first week of October, a short review will be sent out by
e-mail each week on a book which has been influential to their life of
faith of your clergy. A short daily thought will be sent out from the
book in question to supplement the book review. Ten books will be
included in this weekly series.

The Thursday lunch-time talks will have a similar theme. Each
week a talk will be given in which a speaker will present readings,
stories or quotes which they have found to be inspirational to them.
The speakers come from a range of different faith backgrounds. We
will hear views from Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish and Confucian
perspectives. The series starts on 11th October at 12:30 pm in St Giles’.
Andrew Bunch

My Top Ten: Readings, Stories and Quotes that Inspire
Thursday Lunchtime Talks at 12:30 pm in St Giles’ Church

11th October Auden, the Psalms and Me
J Chester Johnson, Poet, Essayist and Translator
18th October My Top Ten … Stories Jesus Told
Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford
25th October Understanding China Today – Can Confucius Help?
Rana Mitter,
Director of the Oxford University China Centre
1st November Three Thousand Years of Christian Writings
Richard J Ounsworth OP,
Lecturer in Scripture at Blackfriars, Oxford
8th November Engaging Emptiness
Matthew Steven Carlos,
Zen Monk, Oxford Monastic Institute
15th November Pertinent Questions. Provocative Answers
Penny Faust,
Broadcaster and Education Consultant
22nd November Buddhist Stories to Ponder
Isabel Smith,
Senior Member of Shoboan Zen Temple, London
29th November Stories of the Prophets
Monawar Hussain,
Imam and Founder of The Oxford Foundation
The talks are free, and everyone is welcome!


I RECENTLY found a WW1 ration book in a box of old postcards and
letters. As it was issued
100 years ago, on 31st
October 1918, I thought it
might be interesting to find
out a little about how
rationing affected people
on the Home Front.
(Source: Wikipedia)
In line with its “business as
usual” policy during the
Great War, the British
government was initially
reluctant to try to control the food markets. It fought off attempts to
introduce minimum prices in cereal production, though relenting in the
area of control of essential imports (sugar, meat, and grains). When it
did introduce changes, they were limited. In 1916, it became illegal to
consume more than two courses while lunching in a public eating place
or more than three for dinner; fines were introduced for members of
the public found feeding the pigeons or stray animals.
In January 1917, Germany started unrestricted submarine
warfare to try to starve Britain into submission. To meet this threat,
voluntary rationing was
introduced in February 1917.
Bread was subsidised from
September that year. Prompted
by local authorities taking
matters into their own hands,
compulsory rationing was
introduced in stages between
December 1917 and February
1918 as Britain’s supply of wheat
decreased to just six weeks’
worth. To help the process,
ration books were introduced in
July 1918 for butter, margarine, lard, meat, and sugar. Anne Dutton

100 Years Ago – Parish Magazine, October 1918
Harvest Festival:
There will be celebrations of the Holy Communion at 7, 8, 9.45, and
after Morning Prayer. The preacher at 11 will be the Rev John
Hallward, who worked for a good many years in Rhodesia, and is now
training the Serbian theological students at St Stephen’s House.
We have so great cause for thanksgiving this year in the
bounteous wheat harvest which has been given to relieve our great
need that our Festival will be kept with more than ordinary devotion
and gladness.

War Kitchen for North Oxford:
The premises at the corner of Woodstock Road and Observatory Street
are being prepared as a War Kitchen, and it is expected that they will
be ready and in use about the middle of October. The shop at 63
Woodstock Road will at the same time be opened as a restaurant, so
that those who wish to have their meals on the spot will avoid the
heat, etc., of the Kitchen premises.
It is proposed that the Kitchen shall be open from 11.45 to 1.30
and again in the evening from 6 to 7 or thereabouts. It is hoped that
the Kitchen will be greatly appreciated in view of the shortage of fuel
during the coming winter, and also as a means of national economy
both of fuel and food.

Lighting and Fuel:
In view of the great need of economy in the use of electric light it
is our duty to see that there is no waste in the lighting of the Church.
There have been times when a great many lights have been required
for very few people, because some have been sitting at the back of the
Church when there was plenty of room in front. We must, in future,
use only those lights which are really necessary, and ask the
congregation to sit near the front when the Church is only half full.
This applies chiefly to the Wednesday evening services.
All Incumbents are asked to urge their parishioners to use the
greatest economy in fuel, and to try to keep well under the rations of
coal and gas allotted to them.


T HE 26th July represents a pivotal date in British musical history. On
this day in 1943, Mick Jagger was born. Fifty-seven years later, the
popular Manchester band Oasis stormed off stage after a hostile
reception at a Swiss musical festival. On this day in 2018, the choir of
St Giles’ Church travelled to the sun-soaked hills of Tuscany to mark the
start of its sixth annual tour.
The party of over 80 people was welcomed heartily by the
family-run Casa Diocesana, found amongst the beautiful scenery just
outside of the city of Lucca. As recommended in the detailed
programme of events and timings put together by choirmaster Dr
Nicholas Prozzillo, the members of the choir made sure to get an early
night in preparation for the first big event of the tour the next morning:
the much-anticipated visit to the venerable grounds of the H20 Reset
water park.
After two hours of soaking up the Tuscan sun and plenty of
sliding around on the water park’s attractions, the choir left play-time
behind to focus on preparing to sing Mass in the stunning Basilica di
Santa Croce that evening. Singing in the grandeur of the Basilica, itself
the burial place of Galileo and Michelangelo, represented a great
privilege for the choir. This performance was also a fitting way to get
the ball rolling on the choir’s musical escapades on the tour, and the
high standards set by both adult singers and young choristers alike set
the tone for the tour’s remaining services and concerts. The sound
produced by the choir, supported by some fine organ accompaniment
from Messrs organist Andrew Patterson and senior organ scholar
James Fellows, developed and grew over the rest of the tour. The
surroundings of Lucca’s Cattedrale di San Martino and the Cattedrale di
San Zeno of Pistoia were wonderful environments in which to perform
pieces of music as serene as Palestrina’s Sicut Cervus to the splendour
of Widor’s Tantum Ergo. The choir’s growing number of young choral
scholars were also provided with the chance to demonstrate their
flourishing skills, performing a mixture of pieces with skill and energy,
highlighting a great deal of promise for the future of the choir.
As is the case with St Giles’ choir tours, singing and a healthy
amount of rest are not the only items on the agenda. In addition to the
much-loved trip to H20 Reset, there were several cultural visits on offer

on the tour. One highlight was choir member and revered classicist Dr
Andrew Sillett’s tour of a Roman theatre in the historic town of
Volterra. The writer is glad to report that several of the young
choristers amongst the group were gripped by Andrew’s explanation of
the workings of the Roman stage, and the future of the humanities
thus seems to be in good hands.
The Choir of St Giles’ Church enjoyed yet another highly
successful tour. This is true not just of the fantastic sound produced by
the choir, but also of the close sense of community amongst choir
members and their families. It goes without saying that such tours
would not be possible without a great deal of behind-the-scenes work
and organisation. Thanks are owed to the organizers, whose efforts
culminated in an enjoyable and memorable tour. We are already
looking forward to our 2019 tour, announced recently by the
choirmaster, which will take us to Umbria for another week of music-
making, relaxing, and perhaps even the odd water slide…
Imran Hashmi, Senior Choral Scholar

Rehearsing for a concert in the Duomo di Lucca

(Based on a report by Susan Read, Training Officer,
Old North Berks Branch, Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers)

E VERY year early in September, the road between St Mary
Magdalen and St Giles’ churches in Oxford is transformed into a
magnificent fairground for two days. There are large and small
fairground rides, as well as stalls selling all manner of hot and cold
foods, etc. The crowds and the noise are phenomenal! To allow the
people some respite from the clamour, St Giles’ Church traditionally
opens and serves tea and cakes. And the St Giles ringers like to ring
changes on handbells, as publicity for church bell ringing, and as
entertainment for the Fair-goers who have come into the church.
For the second year running, the Fair provided an opportunity
for a number of young bellringers from different parts of the diocese to
gather to ring both tower bells and handbells at St Giles. With all the
noise of the fairground, it was felt that the noise of tower bells was
hardly going to matter to anyone trying to work nearby! And the vicar
was pleased at having a group of young people happily trying to ring
handbells later in the afternoon, providing entertainment for the

visitors who had retreated from the Fair into the church to find
refreshments and a place to sit down.

There were eight young ringers in the visiting party, plus 10
accompanying adults, some of whom were also ringers. The young
people (including one member of the St Giles’ band) represented four
branches of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers: Old North
Berks, Reading, Witney & Woodstock, and Oxford City. Tower bell
ringing ranged from call changes and plain hunt to plain bob on five
and on seven bells, and, by request, we also played some
unconventional ringing games: “Twister”, taking turns twisting to face
the wall or back again, while ringing rounds; and “Killer”, trying to bring
all the bells to rest at the same time, after an exact small number of
strokes determined by throwing a die, with those who went on ringing
too long losing points.
The Women’s Institute and church ladies provided some lovely
filled bread rolls, cake and drinks, and then the young ringers paired off
to try to find the answers to a quiz sheet about the church. We

Young ringers with Susan Read

followed this by taking out our handbells. We attempted to ring plain
hunt: standing in a row in front of the chancel step, with one bell each,
and swapping places physically with a neighbour and then ringing the

bells along the row in a rearranged order. It worked with just six young
people, but was not quite so successful with 12 (including three
additional children who were just visiting the church). Then we rang
tunes on handbells, reading from scores using a simple numerical
notation - and were surprised and pleased when the congregation
burst into applause after our rendition of “My Grandfather’s Clock”.
Meanwhile, some of the accompanying parents had been marking the
children’s answers to a quiz about the church, and the afternoon was
rounded off by announcing the answers to the quiz and awarding small
chocolate bars as prizes, before the young ringers dispersed.
Groups of experienced handbell ringers rang changes at the end
of the afternoon on both days of the Fair: the performance on the
Tuesday was a quarter peal of 1264 changes, successfully completed in

40 minutes, by Craig Robertson, John Pusey, Joe Norton (conductor),
and Lindsay Powell - and these performances too earned applause
from visitors seated in the church, a few of whom had been watching
and listening throughout.


13th October Trifarious Trio – Russian Roulette
27th October The Ben Holder Hot Club de Paris Quartet
10th November Art Themen Quintet: “New Directions”
17th November Brickwork Lizards
24th November Tommaso Starace All Star Trio
1st December David Gordon Trio:
Alexander’s (Scriabin) Ragtime Band
All concerts take place on Saturdays at 7:30 pm.
Tickets: £15/£12 (concessions)/£8 (students)/£5 (children)

Further details at


If you haven’t yet sent in your thoughts (and many thanks to everyone
who has already done so), this is the final call for contributions to our
special November edition to mark the centenary of the Armistice in
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.

50 Years Ago – Parish Magazine, October 1968
Vicar’s Notes (Rev Stanley Birtwell):
The great event for us in October will no doubt be the Bazaar. It
is being run this year for two important social services – both entirely
voluntary – “Simon” and “Shelter”. … We are having an opportunity to
see “Cathy Come Home, a documentary about the tragedy of homeless
families, after Evensong on Sunday, October 13 th. …
We expect Dr Caldwell’s successor, Miss Rosemary Hill (a music
graduate of Leicester University and now engaged on research as a
member of St Anne’s College) to begin her work on October 1st. Dr
Caldwell we give our best wishes for his new job at St Philip and St
James. This post involves much less work and offers perhaps the finest
recital organ in any Oxford parish church. Pressed as he has been for
time this will be a great relief to Dr Caldwell and will keep him involved
in Church music. So to him we give our warmest thanks for what he
has done for us in these two years.
Social Committee:
By the time most of you read this our Parish Breakfast will have
taken place. The Social Committee are disappointed that there has
been no response to their appeal for new volunteers to undertake the
catering for this Breakfast. My wife will now be in charge on this
occasion. For future Breakfasts the Committee would be pleased to
receive offers from anyone who would be prepared to do the cooking,
etc. R H Goddard, Chairman

10:30 am Confirmation
3:00 pm Animal Service
7:30 pm Priest and Pints at The Royal Oak

Thursday 11th St Ethelburga, Abbess, 675
12:30 pm Talk – Auden, the Psalms, and Me

Saturday 13th St Edward the Confessor, 1066
7:30 pm Jazz Concert - Trifarious

10:30 am Choral Matins

Thursday 18th St Luke the Evangelist
12:30 pm Talk – My Top Ten … Stories Jesus Told

(No choir – half-term)

Thursday 25th Ss Crispin and Crispinian, Martyrs, c 287
12:30 pm Talk – Understanding China Today:
Can Confucius Help?

Saturday 27th
7:30 pm Jazz Concert – Ben Holder Quartet


Thursday 1st Nov All Saints Day
12:30 pm Talk – Three Thousand Years of Christian Writings

Sunday 4th All Saints Sunday
6:30 pm Fauré Requiem Eucharist

Thursday 8th Nov Saints and Martyrs of England
12:30 pm Talk – Engaging Emptiness