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St Giles’ Church, Oxford

Parish News

St Giles’ in Snow – David Clover

May God bless you this Christmas,
and through the coming year

December 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: Andrew Sillett
Captain of the Bells: John Pusey
Church Flowers: Mary Whitlock
Benefice Secretary/Parish News: 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 magazine is free, but if you would like to make a contribution
towards the production costs please put your donation into an envelope
(marked “Magazine”) and place it in the churn. Anne Dutton, Editor
Items for inclusion in the January 2019 issue should be sent to by 8th December.

Contents – December 2018
The Oxen – Thomas Hardy Page 3
Ringing Remembers – John Pusey Page 4
Remembrance Sunday, 11th November 2018 Page 6
Remembrance Sunday Sermon – Andrew Bunch Page 7
A Farewell to St Giles’ – Tom Albinson Page 10
Sponsored Advent Fast for St Giles’ General Fund Page 11
Minutes of the Deanery Synod Page 11
100 Years Ago – St Giles’ Parish Magazine, December 1918 Page 12
The History of the Service of Lessons and Carols Page 13
The Advent Antiphons Page 14
St Giles’ Music List – December 2018 Page 15
St Giles’ Choir News Page 15
Dates for Your Diary Page 16

The Oxen

C HRISTMAS Eve, and twelve of the
“Now they are all on their knees,”
So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
An elder said as we sat in a flock “Come; see the oxen kneel,
By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures “In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
where Our childhood used to know,”
They dwelt in their strawy pen, I should go with him in the gloom,
Nor did it occur to one of us there Hoping it might be so.
To doubt they were kneeling then.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)


T HANK you very much to everyone who rang at St Giles’ for
Remembrance Day and the Centenary of the 1918 Armistice -
thirteen ringers before the open-air service in the morning, eight
before the evening service, and six afterwards. I felt that we all rang to
the best of our abilities, making it a day which we should all be able to
remember with pride, even though we were tired by the end (some of
us also having rung at other towers in the course of the day).
John Pusey

Morning ringing team

Evening ringing team

The certificate which will be displayed in the ringing chamber


The Service of Remembrance and Commitment (with St Giles’ Choir)

Hundreds of people lined the parade route along St Giles for Remembrance Sunday, in what was
one of the largest turn-outs many had ever seen. Residents, politicians and dignitaries joined
former and serving members of the armed forces for a two-minutes silence during a moving
ceremony held beneath the St Giles War Memorial. (Oxford Mail)

The Eucharist at St Giles’ on Remembrance Sunday,
with cartoon of Nicholas Mynheer stained glass window in the background


T HERE can be little doubt that the Great War had a huge impact on
the history of the World. Some would argue that it was the
defining story of the past century. In this country it changed our social
fabric, and the lives of millions of men and women were blighted. The
financial debt incurred caused a major shift in the balance of world
powers. But perhaps one of the most significant effects has been the
impact on our understanding of God.
Before the Great War, theologians talk of a sense of
triumphalism in Christianity – the Church had set itself the task of
Christianity becoming THE religion to save the world. But all that was
called into question by nations, who professed themselves to be
followers of Christ, slugging it out on the battlefield, trying to annihilate
one another for some obscure cause. Many, who had signed up to
fight in the War to end all wars, came home shattered and shocked.
Their broken bodies and tattered dreams sowed the seeds of disbelief
in organised religion.

During the long years of war, the end of fighting had seemed like
an unattainable dream, but once the Armistice had been signed ….
what would be the nature of the ensuing Peace? Would it live up to all
that had been hoped for and had cost so much human sacrifice?
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his
friends.” Yes, this had been lived out so many times during the Great
War – but had it created a better world? Was this the principle of life
which would unlock our understanding of God’s presence?
If we believe that God is love, it is by love that we will know God
in our own lives. The slaughter of the battlefield indicated that love for
friends was not enough. We must resume our quest to find the
Christian principle that leads to love and enduring peace. St Matthew
digs deeper into what is required, but St Luke gives us the harsh reality
– if we want to discover a love and a peace that will endure and give
eternal hope, then the challenge we face is stark: “Love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you.”
The attitude of triumphalism and arrogance of the Church’s
theological thought which had helped to undergird the British Empire is
undermined by this hugely challenging teaching of Jesus. If we want
peace, then we need to change our mind-set. We need to treat our
enemies as people who deserve our love, who we need to strive to
understand, not aim to obliterate! Peace will not be found after we
have pulverised our adversary: it is to be found in mutual respect; in
building a society which values difference and learns from resolving
Is this just pie in the sky? Is this airy-fairy waffle of a mind which
is out of touch with reality? Can we find any examples of when conflict
has been resolved in this way?
Even for those who come to worship on a very regular basis,
there are some passages of the Bible that they will never hear. Maybe
this is a good thing … we don’t need to know the laws that governed
the outlook of a long-gone society which had only a limited basis of
knowledge. You might think we don’t need to hear about the
massacres that were traced out in the Old Testament for they so clearly
are based on advocating ethnic cleansing of the past.
But amongst all the succession of battles there is a gem of insight
from the stories associated with Elisha and how he single-handedly

established peace between warring nations. How did he do it? By
encouraging the King of the Israelites to honour his enemies who had
been captured by the hand of Elisha … by giving them a feast …. “Love
your enemies.”
When the Armistice was signed 100 years ago, this was not the
sentiment of the agreement. The Adversary was to be punished and
forced to pay for the damage they had caused. Thus, the momentous
sacrifice that was offered by millions and millions of ordinary brave
men and women was lost and squandered in the agreement … just as
brave men had been on the battlefield!
The attitude that has dogged the Theology in the church ever
since the fall of the Roman Empire once again caused us to make a
poor choice and set our course for renewed conflict. Those who had
fought had been drawn into war by their noble and virtuous spirit and
instead of leaders recognising the way in which Jesus’ teaching was
being perverted, they were addicted to their self-righteous lust for
justice, power and control.
“Love one another as I have loved you”. When will we learn to
take this teaching to our hearts and recognise that there are no ifs or
buts; there can be no in-crowd or outsiders – we are all loved by God
and God loves us all with an undying passion and intensity. “Love your
enemies” is a call to recognise the truth that was realised in the
trenches – the people on the other side are just like us: they have
hopes and fears; they have families. I hugely admire many of the
soldiers that I have met, who are full of love and compassion; who long
for peace; recognise the futility of war and the huge waste of war; and
who long to keep the peace for which they offer and sometimes give
their lives for that cause.
My hope is that on this important anniversary associated with
the Great War we will recognise the great mistake we have made
repeatedly in the past … that peace is not achieved by subjugating our
enemies or demeaning them … but by treating each other with love.
Let us not waste the sacrifices made in the past; let us recognise
the failures of our understanding and even now create a Great War
dividend by encouraging one another to work for peace by recognising
the ultimate wisdom in Jesus’ teaching: “Love your enemies.”
Andrew Bunch


C HRISTMAS Day 2018 will be the last time that I take a service at St
Giles’ Church. I will then spend a few days with my parents before
flying out to the USA to take up my
new position as Assistant Rector at
the Church of St Michael and St
George in St Louis (
I will be sad to say farewell to
this community here at St Giles’. We
have been through a lot in the short
time I have been here. You have put
up with my stumbles in the liturgy
when I remember part way through
that I must use Thee and Thou. It has
been a privilege to share in our common journey of faith: in the
conversations after services, the Bible study sessions, and the Priest
and Pints sessions in the pub, just to mention a few.
I will take away that sense of Faith in Christ that I have seen in my
time at St Giles’. There is Faith in service to the vulnerable in society
through the work with The Gatehouse and the new ventures as part of
Project 900. I’ve noticed Faith in action as there is a welcome to all
those who enter through the doors - even if they think we are mad!
I’ve witnessed Faith in caring for those who are frail in our community.
There is the obvious expression of Faith in all coming together offering
each of our unique gifts as we have worshipped together to give glory
to God. And most importantly for me I’ve experienced shared Faith in
corporate daily prayer.
Thank you for your love and prayers, and I will continue to hold
all of you in my prayers.
You can connect with me on Facebook:
and Twitter:
Tom Albinson
♦ Tom would like to have a photo of the congregation as a memento of
his time at St Giles’. We are trying to arrange for this to be taken after
the 10:30 am service on Sunday 16th December, and it would be great if
as many people as possible could be at St Giles’ then.


W HEN a Church Treasurer takes on a sponsored Advent Fast to
help raise money to pay off the deficit, you know you are in a
special place! Please can you consider supporting Rod Nixon and Jean
Darke, or participate in the Fast yourself and ask people to sponsor
you. The recommended Fast is one day without food, but drinking
water (subject to medical approval where required.) Andrew Bunch

After an Act of Worship led by Revd Martin Davis and a description of the
current work of St John the Baptist Hall Church, Prudence Dailey took the chair.
Minutes of 21 Feb 2018 were approved and there were no matters arising.
Notices: Revd Anthony Buckley has been appointed Vicar of St Michael at the
North Gate and will be inducted on Wed 9 Jan 2019. He is currently Chaplain at
Alleyn’s School, Dulwich. There will be an interregnum at St Barnabas and St
Thomas after the Revd Jonathan Beswick leaves. There has been ecumenical
consultation about the Westgate Chaplaincy. Revd Matt Hope (St Ebbe’s) has
been asked to take the lead. 13 July 6–7.30pm at St John the Evangelist, New
Hinksey, there will be a talk by a speaker from the Bethlehem Bible College. In
two churches in St Frideswide’s parish there have been recent incidents of
damage to church property by a disturbed person.
2017 Accounts: Dr Alan McCullough distributed and reported on the accounts
for the year ending 31 December 2017. A motion to accept these was proposed
by Andrew Down and seconded by Felix Leach and was passed nem. con.
Diocesan Synod: The Area Dean and the Lay Chairman reported on the current
elections to the Diocesan Synod. For the 6 clergy places there have been nomi-
nations for Revd Clare Sykes, Canon Dr Peter Groves, and Revd Oliver Petter: all
three are elected unopposed. There is still an opportunity for nominees to take up
the remaining places. For the 5 lay places there have been nominations for Henry
Gibbon, Felix Leach, and Bethany Sollereder. All three are elected unopposed and
there is an opportunity for nominees to take up the remaining places.
The main business of the evening was a report on the April visit to the Holy Land
by representatives from the Oxford and Cowley Deaneries. The Area Dean
summarized the main outcomes: visiting the Biblical sites; learning about the
huge pains of the geo-political problems; understanding the peace and
reconciliation initiatives; meeting ‘living stones’; building relations across the
two deaneries. The Revd Ben Drury showed pictures of the trip and then five
participants described their personal impressions. One person met was
Archbishop Elias Chacour whose book Blood Brothers was highly
The Revd Dr Liz Carmichael was invited to conclude the synod with prayers.
The synod closed at 9.15pm.

100 Years Ago – St Giles’ Parish Magazine, December 1918
Vicar’s Letter: A month ago none of us had any idea that the end of the
fighting was coming so soon and so suddenly. It has been the most
wonderful month that we have ever seen. I am sure that all through
the country there is a general recognition of God’s Providence in this
crisis, and the Thanksgiving Services have been a genuine expression of
men’s truest thoughts. Our own services – the Holy Communion on
November 12th, the evening service on November 13th and the services
of the following Sunday, were largely attended and full of deep feeling.
We must try to find practical ways of shewing forth our thankfulness
for God’s mercy “not only with our lips but in our lives.”
One of the happiest fruits of victory will be the return of our poor
prisoners. Of our own list, Lieut Burrows reached home on November
21st, and, at the time of writing, I hear that Albert Edwin Hudson is out of
Germany and on his way through France. We will continue our special
services on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the present. There is much to
pray about in connection with the Peace Conference and all the
problems arising out of the War; and the services will not lose their note
of thanksgiving which has now come into them. Charles C Inge
Obituary: The past month has been saddened by a large number of
deaths in the parish, which have brought mourning into many house-
holds at the moment of national rejoicing. Mrs Pelham, widow of the
late President of Trinity, was for a great many years a very constant
attendant at St Giles’, and many were the acts of kindness which
shewed her affection for the Church and her unostentatious gene-
rosity. Deep sympathy will be felt for Mr and Mrs Robinson, and for
their daughter-in-law, in the loss of their eldest son, Major Harry
William Robinson, who has died of pneumonia in Somerville Hospital.
He was severely wounded in an earlier stage of the War, and was then
given an important post at Cowley Barracks. He showed himself a very
capable officer, and was much valued by his friends. Mr John Charles
Gray, who died on November 23rd after a short illness, was one of our
most faithful worshippers at St Giles’ for nearly 40 years. From 1896 to
1905 he was Churchwarden, and has been one of our Sidesmen for
very many years; and has always been glad to take his part in the work
of the Church. Only last month we mentioned his help in the manage-
ment of the Parish Magazine. He was greatly respected and beloved by

a large circle of friends. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out also to three
of our men at the front, Mr Smith, Mr Thornton and Mr Ward, whose
wives have died in St Giles’ parish during the last month.


I N 1878 it was reported in the local press that the choir of Truro
Cathedral would sing a service of carols at 10 pm on Christmas Eve,
and that “it is the intention of the choir to no longer continue the
custom of singing carols at the residences of members of the
congregation.” The original suggestion had come from G H S Walpole,
later Bishop of Edinburgh. The Bishop of Truro (Edward White Benson,
later Arch-bishop of Canterbury) formalised the service with Nine
Lessons for use on Christmas Eve, and over 400 people attended the
first service on 24th December 1880 in the temporary wooden structure
which was serving as his cathedral whilst the new Cathedral was being
built. A C Benson later recalled: ‘My father arranged from ancient
sources a little service for Christmas Eve – nine carols and nine tiny
lessons, which were read by various officers of the Church, beginning
with a chorister, and ending, through the different grades, with the
The first Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King’s College,
Cambridge took place in 1918. It was introduced by Eric Milner-White,
the Dean, whose experience as an Army Chaplain during the Great War
had led him to believe that more imaginative worship was needed in
the Church of England. The service largely followed Archbishop
Benson’s original plan, including the Benedictions before each reading,
several of which were later amalgamated by Dean Milner-White into
his Bidding Prayer.
The liturgy has since been adapted and used all over the world.
Wherever the service is heard and however it is modified, whether the
music is provided by choir or congregation, the pattern and strength of
the service, as Dean Milner-White pointed out, derive from the lessons
and not the music. ‘The main theme is the development of the loving
purposes of God ...’ seen ‘through the windows and words of the Bible’.
Local interests appear in the bidding prayer, and personal circum-
stances give point to different parts of the service. Many of those who
took part in the first service must have recalled those killed in the Great

War when they heard the words ‘all those who rejoice with us but on
another shore and in a greater light’. The centre of the service is still
found by those who ‘go in heart and mind’, and who consent to follow
where the story leads. (Source: Wikipedia)

♦ St Giles’ Service of Lessons and Carols is on Sunday 23rd December
at 6:30 pm.


T HE cryptic phrase O Sapientia appears in The Book of Common
Prayer without explanation. The 17th December marks the begin-
ning of the week before the celebration of Christmas, and at Evensong
the great Song of Mary, Magnificat, has a refrain or antiphon attached
to it proclaiming the ascriptions or “names” given to God through the
Old Testament. Each name develops into a prophecy of the
forthcoming and eagerly-anticipated Messiah, Jesus, the Son of God.
17th December - O Sapientia, or
O Wisdom
18th December – O Adonaï, or O Lord
19th December – O Radix Jesse,
or O Root of Jesse
20th December – O Clavis David,
or O Key of David
21st December – O Oriens,
or O Dayspring
22nd December – O Rex Gentium, or
O King of the Nations
23rd December – O Emmanuel,
or O God With Us.
In the old Sarum rite, these were
sung one day earlier, requiring
another ascription for 23rd
December, this being O Virgin of Virgins. Since this was clearly
apposite to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and not a “title” of God (though,
of course, it could easily be) it was not adopted much beyond Sarum
and, with the revision of the Calendar, the Church of England has
adopted the more widely-used formulae and dating. (Source: Exciting Holiness)

Sunday 2nd December – First Sunday in Advent
10:30 am Holy Communion 6:00 pm Benefice Advent Carols
(St Giles’ Singers) at St Margaret’s
Lassus, Missa Octavi Toni (Kyries)
Gibbons, This is the Record of
Handel, The People that Walked
in Darkness (from Messiah)

Sunday 9th – The Second Sunday in Advent
10:30 am Holy Communion 6:30 pm Choral Evensong
(St Giles’ Choir) (St Giles’ Singers)
Handel, O Thou that Tellest Good Introit: Costanzo Porta, Conceptia
Tidings to Zion (from Messiah) Tua
Rorate Coeli (Plainsong) Weelkes, Sixth Service
Gibbons, See, See, the Word is
Responses: Byrd

Sunday 16th – The Third Sunday in Advent
10:30 am Holy Communion 6:30 pm Evensong
(St Giles’ Choir) (St Giles’ Girls’ Choir)
Purcell, Rejoice in the Lord Mendelssohn, How Lovely are the
Handel, Ev’ry Valley (from Messengers
Messiah) Responses: Smith

Sunday 23rd – The Fourth Sunday in Advent
10:30 am Holy Communion 6:30 pm
Lassus, Magnificat Octavi Toni Carol Service by Candlelight
Parson, Ave Maria


T HE CHOIR will be singing in Southwark Cathedral on 12th January
2019; Coventry Cathedral on 29th June; and Peterborough
Cathedral on 6th July. Further information from Nicholas Prozzillo.

Saturday 1st Dec Charles de Foucauld, Hermit in the Sahara, 1916
7:30 pm David Gordon Trio jazz concert
6:00 pm Joint Advent Carol Service at St Margaret’s
6:30 pm Evening Prayer (said) at St Giles’

Saturday 8th The Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
10 am-1 pm Churchyard clean up

6:30 pm Choral Evensong

Saturday 15th Ember Day
4:30 pm Carols Round the Christmas Tree

10:30 am Holy Communion followed by congregational photo

Tuesday 18th Amy Carmichael, 1951
2:00 pm Funeral of Margaret Croft
6:30 pm Carol Service by Candlelight

11:30 pm Midnight Communion
Tuesday 25th CHRISTMAS DAY
8:00 am Holy Communion
10:30 am Holy Communion
(No Evensong today)
8:00 am Holy Communion
10:30 am Holy Communion
6:30 pm Evensong (no choir)
Sunday 6th Jan THE EPIPHANY
6:00 pm Epiphany Carol Service at St Margaret’s
6:30 pm Evensong (no choir) at St Giles’