Charles writes – September 2015

It seems ironic, that when I wrote for the July and August magazine about the many comings and goings in the churches in Faringdon, I did not yet know that I too would be part of this! And now it seems that life is moving very fast, with plans and preparations for our Farewell Services, many areas of work and ministry to hand over, at the same time as needing to start making arrangements for our new start in Wolvercote later this autumn.

Moving is always a difficult time, but Jane and I have been very much aware of God’s leading throughout this whole process, and do feel that God is calling us now to this new place. It is certainly a challenge – a parish that stretches from rural Wytham and Lower Wolvercote, right across the north of Oxford to Cutteslowe Park and all the area around the north Oxford ring road, including areas of new housing development as well!

There is much that is familiar in our new parish! Like All Saints’, St Peter’s Wolvercote is an open, inclusive church, very much part of the community, and wanting to be there for the whole community. Like All Saints’, St Peter’s has been through a major building project, building church rooms attached to the church, and is now seeking to use them both for the church and community. And like All Saints’, St Peter’s has a strong commitment to children and young people, and to including all ages fully in the life of the church. And in place of Churches Together in Faringdon, we will be part of the Summertown and Wolvercote Churches Partnership, helping and supporting each other in the challenges of ministry and mission today.

In other ways it feels the right time to be moving. At All Saints’, after the completion of the Barber Rooms, we are clearly at the beginning of a new phase of ministry and mission – a turning point in the life of our church. We have a strong team of churchwardens at both our churches, and an excellent ministry team, able to take forward the ministry of the church during the vacancy. Both churches are in good heart, and there are a number of new members and new families strengthening our congregation at All Saints’.

And there are comings as well as goings. This month we are welcoming our new minister at the United Church, Revd Fred Ireland, and we hope that he will be our preacher at our morning United Service, at 10.30am on Sunday 27th September at the Junior School. And in the Deanery, on Tuesday 29th, at Buckland Church, we will be welcoming the Revd Talisker Tracey-McLeod as new Rector of the Cherbury/Gainfield benefice.

So autumn will be a time of change on many fronts. To begin the new season, we are having a service of Holy Communion with laying on of hands at 10.30am on Sunday September 13th. This is a service at which we invite all who would like to, to stay at the communion rail for a moment after receiving communion for a very simple short prayer for the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Do join us if you can – it’s a lovely way to start the new season.

Also on the same day, we will be unveiling the memorial stone in Coach Lane for the 341 parishioners formerly buried on the north side of church. There will be a short simple ceremony at about 12.30 after coffee time on Sunday 13th. Do come and join us!

Do see below for more details on our special services through September and October. I will be writing again in the October magazine before we come to the end of our time here, with some reflections on the last few years and the way forward. Meanwhile may we all know God’s presence and God’s leading in this time of change.


Home Group Meetings in September

New members are always most welcome at all Home Groups – please contact the numbers below for more details.

Day and Dates Time Place Contact Subject
Monday 21 & 28 7.45pm 28 The Pines 240 532 Luke for Everyone
Monday 14 & 28 7.45pm 1 Haynes Close 241 975 Women of the Old Testament
Tuesday 1, 15 & 29 2.30pm 2 Leamington Gate 615 009 Studies in 2 Corinthians
WednesdayTBA 7.45pm 7 Badbury Close 241 860 TBA
Every Thursday (not 17) 7.30pm 2 FerndaleStreet 241 161 Acts
Thursday 10 & 24 8.00pm 10B Coxwell Street 242 753 Studies in John’s Gospel


Meetings for Prayer in September

All Saints’ seeks to have an active and regular prayer ministry with a number of informal meetings during the month to which all are very welcome.

Tuesday 1st 2.00-3.00pm Julian Meeting (18 Eastfield Court)
Tuesday 1st 8.00-9.00pm Julian Meeting (10 The Pines)
Friday 4th 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)
Friday 11th 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)
Tuesday 15th 8.00-9.00pm Julian Meeting (10 The Pines)
Wednesday 16th 10.30-11.30am Prayer for CMS (8 Coach Lane)
Friday 18th 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)
Friday 18th 8.00pm Prayer for the World (Call 240 509 for venue)
Friday 25th 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)
Tuesday 29th 8.00-9.00pm Julian Meeting (10 The Pines)


For further details contact:

Julian Meeting (Tuesday afternoon): 01865 820 511

Julian Meeting (Tuesday evening): 244 905 or 240 712

CMS Prayer Group (Wednesday morning): 243 388

Parish Prayers (Friday am) and Prayers for the World (Friday pm): 240 509

Prayer Calendar – September

Please continue to pray for the life and work of our parishes

Tues 1st Mission for the Month – Tearfund.
Wed 2nd Continued prayer for the appointment of a new Bishop of Oxford.
Thurs 3rd Schools restarting at this time.
Fri 4th Ministry team: Charles, Paul, Max, Barbara, John, Helen & Graham.
Sat 5th Sunday School and Pathfinder leaders in this new term.
Sun 6th Saints Alive service this morning.
Mon 7th Bell ringers practicing this evening, and for new ringers.
Tues 8th The work of the Mustard Seed and Seekers Light.
Wed 9th The Wisbey family during this time of change for them.
Thurs 10th David & Liza Cooke, our CMS Link Partners.
Fri 11th Flower Guild decorating the Church.
Sat 12th Little Coxwell Dog Show and Car Boot Sale this afternoon.
Sun 13th St Mary’s Patronal Festival today.
Mon 14th The Music Group.
Tues 15th Those recently bereaved.
Wed 16th Churches in Faringdon during this time of leadership changes.
Thurs 17th Our Bishops, Archdeacons and Area Deans.
Fri 18th Magazine production this weekend.
Sat 19th Christian Aid walk today, and Earth & Faith walk tomorrow.
Sun 20th For families bringing children to baptism this morning.
Mon 21st Community activities in Faringdon and Little Coxwell.
Tues 22nd St Mary’s PCC meeting this evening.
Wed 23rd All who are ill or in any other kind of need.
Thurs 24th Choir practice this evening and new members for the choir.
Fri 25th Allsorts this morning in the Barber Rooms.
Sat 26th Wardens, vergers, welcomers, readers and intercessors.
Sun 27th United Morning Service. St Mary’s Harvest Festival. Messy Church this afternoon.
Mon 28th Work of Churches Together and the Family Centre.
Tues 29th Revd Tracey-McLeod’s induction to Cherbury/Gainfield Benefice.
Wed 30th All who help run our Churches.

Missions News – September

Our CMS Link Partners in Eldoret, Kenya  David & Liza Cooke

When you work with marginalised people your heart is touched on a daily basis yet for sanity’s sake you have to choose to do only what you know is possible. Then sometimes somebody gets under your skin to such an extent that you know you must go that proverbial extra mile.

When the team came from the UK for the wheelchair distribution there were two clients who greatly touched their hearts and they went back home wanting to know more about them and to help them if they could.

They asked us to go out into the community and find the elderly man and the young boy. Easier said than done as both clients were not previously known to us. But nothing ventured, nothing gained so we approached our good friend Tarno who had acted as an interpreter for us during the distribution and got him to do some detective work.

Then early one morning we set off deep into the heart of Nandi county to a place called Selia. We called at the Chief’s office as a matter of courtesy and we were so glad that we did.

Chief Sitienei is a remarkable man. He knows his area well and he really cares about his people. He gave us a drink and whilst we sipped our sodas he efficiently mobilised the local community. We then drove up hill and down dale as he took us to visit the people he had identified. We ended up seeing eleven clients in total, one of whom was the boy we had been asked by the team from the UK to search for in the villages.

His smile was as beautiful as ever. His wheelchair continues to delight him. His mother cares for him and his six siblings on her own and life is challenging for the family.

We look forward to bringing him to Eldoret to see a doctor and to giving him and his mother a clear diagnosis about his condition and a plan for his future care.

David and Liza are returning to the UK in the autumn for a short holiday.  Their youngest daughter is getting married and other members of the family who work abroad will be there for the wedding. It is some years since all their children and their families have been together, so they are making it a family time and will not be able to visit their Link Churches.

Do use the Barber Rooms notice board for more information from CMS about their work. This month read of a soldier in the Ukraine whose life was saved by the New Testament, the hundreds who watched Alpha films at the World Cup in Brazil, the girl who was bullied at school and ran away and the Mission Partners who hunted for her until they found her sleeping on a street in the slums. She cried when they woke her up and said that no one had ever looked for her before.

Joan Plumptre


A busy summer  Matt and Liz Wisbey

July and August usually mean holidays or a quieter period at work, here in Gloucester it’s been a busy time both at home and work. With the baby due any day now we’ve been trying to see as many friends as possible with trips to Sheffield and Thame. It’s been great to hear people’s news, see (rapidly) growing children, and enjoy time in some places that still mean a lot to us, but it’s been nice to come back from these trips to our current home. Liz and Levi have been making the most of the holidays, doing lots of activities with friends and getting as much fresh air as they can.

Matt has been trying to get as much as possible done ahead of taking a couple of weeks paternity leave. His team’s next event is taking place at the beginning of September and Matt has again been responsible for coordinating preparations. Over 50 participants from across Asia will be meeting in Bangkok to share and learn about ‘Advocating for multilingual education’ and so it should be a really exciting time. Unfortunately Matt won’t be able to be at the event despite it being a topic so close to his heart. Thankfully he has got a great team working together on this and so is confident they’ll do a great job without him! Please do pray for the team as they prepare for and then run this event and for all the participants as they travel from their places of work, learn together, and then return to communities to share and implement their learning.

Aside from looking forward to our new arrival any day now, we are also looking forward to September and a new academic year. Levi will start going to playgroup one full day and three mornings a week, and Matt will be teaching a new group of Wycliffe recruits, helping prepare them for their work with minority communities around the world. It’s always exciting to be part of the beginning of people’s journey as they get ready to serve God and communities in some of the most forgotten parts of the world. Please pray for us as we do our part to prepare them well, both technically and spiritually, and for the students as they take this significant step of faith.

Christian Aid: time for a change

Christian Aid’s work is based on the response from the prophet Micah to the question: “what does the Lord require of us? To act justly, to love kindness, to walk humbly with God. “

All Saints’ has supported the work of Christian Aid for as long as I can remember; well over twenty years. The support has tended to focus on Christian Aid Week with the special service and the House to House collection. In 2015 we raised nearly £4,500 to help some of the poorest communities in the world lift themselves out of poverty.

And the hope is that in 2016 we will improve on that total with special fundraising events and with the support and prayers of the churches in Faringdon. To do that, we need your support.

I shall be stepping down as the Christian Aid organiser for Faringdon churches in September 2015, as I think it would be good to have a fresh approach. The main role of the organiser is administrative i.e. to order materials for Christian Aid Week and coordinate the collectors and other events. It can, of course be quite a lot more than that, but the more people who are involved, the easier it is to share ideas and tasks.

If you think you would like to be involved, do please contact me. I would be happy to take you through the basics of the role.

Julia Burn

You may also find it useful to look at the Christian Aid website: