Steve writes . . . Come and meet the Bishop

Our new ‘Diocesan Bishop’– that means the Bishop of Oxford – the lead Bishop in Oxford Diocese, is Steven Croft. He came to Oxford last Autumn from being Bishop of Sheffield for eight years. He’s currently going round all the deaneries in his (rather huge) diocese to meet church members. And he is inviting us all to come and meet him on Wednesday 7th June at Uffington Village Hall at 7.15pm for 7.30pm start.

In one of his books Jesus’ People: What the church should do next, Bishop Steven reminds us what a church is: “A Christian Church is not a gathering of loosely committed consumers or more or less satisfied customers. It is the living community of those who are offering their whole lives to Jesus Christ and will live in this dynamic rhythm of worship, fellowship and mission: coming together to be with Jesus and being sent out in love and service to God’s world. This, and only this, is what it means to be church: Jesus’ people”. Now there’s a challenge about being a missional church and not a consumer church.

The programme for Bishop Steven’s day in our Vale of White Horse Deanery is packed. It includes meetings with deanery clergy and lay ministers, school visits to Buckland School and Faringdon Community College (I’ll be going along on the latter). He’s having a visit to Pennyhooks Farm to meet the team working with young people on the autistic spectrum. He’ll also meet lay leaders across the deanery. But the event to which we are all warmly invited is the evening meeting at Uffington Village Hall. After an opening time of worship, Bishop Steven will tell us something about himself and his vision for the diocese and then invite any questions we want to ask, so please think about bringing your question along. Avril Coleman will be chairing this Q and A session.

So please make a point of coming along if you possibly can that evening. If transport is likely to be a problem, I’m sure we can find space in a car for you. And please pray regularly for Bishop Steven and our own area Bishop Colin Fletcher as they bear the responsibility of encouraging many churches forward in sharing the life-changing news of Jesus.

Yours in Christ,


Home Group Meetings in June

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

Day and Dates Time Place Contact Subject
5th & 19th
7.45pm 28 The Pines 240 532 Revelation
13th & 27th
2.30pm 2 Leamington Gate 615 009 Ephesians
14th & 28th
7.45pm 2 Leamington Gate 615 009 Book by Judy Hirst
8th & 22nd
8.00pm 10B Coxwell Street 242 753 Resurrection appearances

Prayer Calendar for June

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

Thurs 1st Mission of the Month—CMS.
Fri 2nd Wardens, Vergers and Welcomers, Intercessors and Readers.
Sat 3rd Need for additional Sunday School teachers.
Sun 4th Pentecost Saints Alive.
Mon 5th Steve, Graham, Helen, Barbara, Dick, John, Max & Paul.
Tues 6th Our search for a Director of Music.
Wed 7th Visit of Bishop Steven to VWH Deanery today.
Thurs 8th The General Election today.
Fri 9th Flower Guild decorating the Church this morning.
Sat 10th Men’s Group this morning.
Sun 11th CMS service this morning. United Service at the United Church.
Mon 12th St Mary’s PCC meeting this evening.
Tues 13th The work of the Mustard Seed and Seekers Light.
Wed 14th All who are ill, recently bereaved or in any other kind of need.
Thurs 15th Open the Book at the Infant and Junior Schools this morning.
Fri 16th Magazine preparation this weekend.
Sat 17th For all involved in children’s and youth work at the Church.
Sun 18th Family bringing child for Baptism this morning.
Mon 19th Community activities in Faringdon and Little Coxwell.
Tues 20th Our witness to friends and neighbours.
Wed 21st For the Psalms course.
Thurs 22nd For all Home and Prayer Groups.
Fri 23rd Planning for “Scientists in Congregations” series of talks.
Sat 24th St Mary’s Quiz night this evening.
Sun 25th Messy Church at the United Church this afternoon.
Mon 26th Bell ringers practicing each Monday evening.
Tues 27th Preparations for The Wave.
Wed 28th For all who help run our Churches.
Thurs 29th Open the Book at the Infant and Junior Schools this morning.
Fri 30th Allsorts this morning.

Meetings for Prayer in June

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.

Friday 2nd 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)
Tuesday 6th 2.00-3.00pm Julian Meeting (18 Eastfield Court)
Tuesday 6th 8.00-9.00pm Julian Meeting (Call 244 905 for venue)
Wednesday 7th 9.00am Morning Prayer (Lower Asset Room)
Friday 9th 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)
Tuesday 13th 7.15-8.15pm Mission for Faringdon (Barber Rooms)
Wednesday 14th 9.00am Morning Prayer (Lower Asset Room)
Friday 16th 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)
Friday 16th 8.00pm Prayer for the World (Call 240 509 for venue)
Tuesday 20th 8.00-9.00pm Julian Meeting (Call 244 905 for venue)
Wednesday 21st 9.00am Morning Prayer (Lower Asset Room)
Wednesday 21st 10.30-11.30am Prayer for CMS (8 Coach Lane)
Friday 23rd 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)
Wednesday 28th 9.00am Morning Prayer (Lower Asset Room)
Friday 30th 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)


Changes to Prayer Groups

Morning Prayer: From the beginning of June this will take place weekly at 9.00am in the Lower Asset Room at All Saints’ on Wednesday mornings instead of Thursday mornings.

Newcomers will always be welcome to join the faithful few in this simple form of readings and prayers to start the day; where we bring to God our praise and thanksgiving as well as any concerns – local and national or international, personal or for the wider church and community.

We bring our prayers to a close at approx. 9.30am. Do come when you can. (We often use the side door rather than the main door but if you want to come and have mobility problems please let us know and we can ensure the main door is open.)

Barbara Mapley

Mission Prayer: This month Mission Prayer will be on the second Tuesday of the month 13th June. We will meet in the Lower Asset Room 7.15-8.15pm.

Do join us as we seek God’s wisdom and grace in making All Saints’ even more impactful in connecting people with the love of Jesus.

John Coleman

Missions News June 2017

Church Mission Society

This is the month in the year when we especially remember CMS and in particular, Lynn Treneary, our Mission Partner working in Maridi, South Sudan.

There will be no stall selling crafts this year as CMS have closed their shop in Oxford. This is because the internet and mobiles enable the different craft producing groups to make their own contacts in UK markets.

Our main event for June will be on Sunday 11th June at the 10.30am service in All Saints, Faringdon, when the Reverend Colin Smith will be speaking. He will stay after the service for a Bring-&-Share Lunch in the Barber Rooms, when he will show a short film on the work of CMS. and be available to answer questions on the work of CMS

We know now that  it will be a weekend of Election fever, but we do ask that you will make a special effort to be at the service to hear Colin and to come to the lunch afterwards to talk with Colin about his work.

Colin was a Mission Partner in Africa and now prepares new Partners for their work in a different culture and different conditions. This is very important work.

A couple with two small children recently felt God was calling them to serve abroad, and they went to Ethiopia to work amongst the refugees from South Sudan. There were drought conditions and temperatures of 40 degrees and above, and they had to move to Kenya for the sake of the children who could not cope with the intense heat. They have just returned as the rains have started and are able to continue their work and learn the local language. They asked for prayer as the heat made them so tired and the work was hard.

Lynn, too, has been away in Kampala, Uganda for a week or two. Though it is so far safe in Maridi, she needs a break every three months or so, just to access money, meet other church friends and recharge her spiritual batteries. But, despite the  fighting and misery in South Sudan, God has been amazingly answering our prayers. There are many all over the UK who are praying for South Sudan ,and  as we have been praying in May, saying “Thy Kingdom Come”. God’s answer came in March, when a new translation of the Bible in the language of the Baka tribe, a group living near Maridi, was launched. Despite the fear that the people there had of leaving their homes, because of the soldiers patrolling the roads, over 7,000 came to celebrate the launch and enjoy five hours of worship and celebration! The boxes of Bibles were opened and everyone rushed to buy a copy and straightway sat down on the grass to read it. Yes, they were able to read the bible in the language of the majority, but they said, “This Bible speaks to our heart”!

This gathering was an answer to the prayers of many, but it is also a challenge to us. These 7,000 people risked shooting or kidnap to possess a Bible that ‘spoke to their heart’.  Would we have done that? Is reading our Bible daily so important in our lives, that we are prepared to set the alarm earlier so as not to miss it?

These people not only made the effort to get to Maridi, but, once there they spent five hours, singing, dancing, eating and praising God for his gifts to them. We as a congregation have promised to support Lynn Treneary, financially, by our prayers, and by our support mentally and spiritually. This service on 11th June is a chance to show that care, in our enthusiasm to hear about the work of Lynn and CMS. This is our CALL from God.

We can also show that care, to which we are called by sharing a meal together (see below). Drinks will be provided, just bring something savoury, and/or sweet that we can all share, and talk with Colin Smith and each other .and celebrate what God is doing in South Sudan.

As I was sending this to print, a Link Letter from Lynn arrived. It is very exciting and will be on the Barber Rooms board from 21st May. Do make an effort to read it – you will be inspired to give thanks and to pray.

Thank you – All Saints’


As the song goes ‘We’ve been together for forty years and it don’t seem a day too long’! Well it was 40-years in January and I then decided it was time to retire from the post that I took on, together with Colin Bessant, in January 1977. For four years previously I had been assistant to former organists.

This was for the Induction Service of the Revd Jack Whittaker, who came to Faringdon along with Joan and their three boys, followed in time by Roger Hoare, Andrew Bailey, Charles Draper and now Steve Bellamy.

April 23rd – St. George’s Day – Civic Service – my retirement. What a day to go out on a high with!

We had a wonderful service filled with worship, praise, singing, music and words. The service led by Steve was attended by the Town Mayor, Mike Wise, together with the Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff of the County, together with Town Councillors and many representatives from activities and groups within the town. As Steve said “We were thanking people for offering their gifts and skills to support the community”.

After the music group and choir had sung the Anthem, ‘I will dwell in His secret place’, a presentation was made to myself, and the Church Choir all wearing a red rose given by Petra, joined me on the dais together with Steve and the Churchwardens.

Andrew Bailey happened to be in Faringdon that weekend and he was asked to say a few works regarding my work with the Celia Walker Trust and service to the church.

A bouquet of pink roses and lilies was presented by Jim McGowan; the glass bowl originally presented after 25-years had been re-engraved with the years 1977 – 2017 and the number 40. on the reverse side, presented by Katie Foot.

The Vicar then presented a cheque for the British Heart Foundation and a card, signed by himself and the Wardens, together with a message from Luke Williams, (then Head Coach of Swindon Town Football Club) ‘Congratulations on an amazing achievement’.

As well as these gifts I received a posy of garden flowers and later a silver framed photograph of the members of the choir, around the Organ Consul with me at the “controls”, taken after the Civic Service.

At the end of the service, I played the choir out to Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’. This was followed by a cake cutting ceremony in the Barber Rooms with a cake made by Denise.

I also received many good wishes and cards from church members and some further afield, and wish to share some of these comments with you:

‘You have had monumental pleasure from playing the organ for many years, it has been a big part of your life’.

‘Thank you for the years I have been in the choir, going to other churches to sing, including St George’s Chapel, at Windsor Castle’.

‘Many many thanks for your 40 years of faithful service, we will miss you’.

The card signed by all the members of the Choir, on the front – Thank you dear Joy! – with a picture of an organ pipe at the side – how appropriate.

‘Thank you for the music’.

‘You’ve done a great job’.

‘I was there when you took up the role of Organist at All. Saints’. I have appreciated all you have given to the worship in the church which is considerable. Your gifts have blessed many people including me’;

‘We thank you for your faithful and generous service to All Saints’. You have been unstinting in your giving and we thank God for you’.

‘Keep playing and singing whilst enjoying your retirement, open all the stops and have fun’.

At the end of the presentation, I said I had given my thanks to so many people in January, but asked everyone to take away with them words from Psalm 111: Praise the Lord. I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; in the company of the upright, in the congregation both past and present. Great are the works of the Lord and his praise endures for ever.

This is the word of the Lord – THANKS BE TO GOD

Joy Blake

Thank you!

Many thanks to all Gardeners who provided plants and all those who visited our Plant Stall in the Faringdon Blackbird Market on 20th May.

It was a good morning, and you helped us raise just over £250 for the ROOT AND BRANCH Therapeutic Gardens at Westmill Farm in Watchfield.

Pam de Wit (on behalf of EARTH & FAITH)

Church Bell

On the 22nd March Norman and myself were invited to Whitechapel Bell Foundry London where a Bell was being cast for Norman, his twin brother Dennis and a very good friend Frank White (Dennis and Frank both deceased). The Bell was one of the last two to be cast at Whitechapel as the foundry is closing at the end of May this year after 500 years of bell casting.

This trip was only possible due to the kindness of Mr & Mrs Frost, who donated the Bell to go as a Treble with the remaining five bells after restoration is completed at Longworth Church. The Frost family has worshiped at Longworth Church for a very long time.

Mr & Mrs Frost came to the Bell Foundry with us, and we all thoroughly enjoyed the day.

Norman and myself felt very privileged –a day to remember with excitement and emotion.

Doreen and Norman Leslie

(All Saints’ Bellringers)

St Mary’s News

The repairs to the south side Church windows are now underway. The window in the main section of the Church has now been repaired and returned. Fortunately we are able to have the other window in the Chancel repaired in situ. As the window will not be taken out and put back this should protect the stonework.

To help raise money to pay for the windows, Gill and Dave Hudson are organising another of their excellent Quizzes on 24th June 7.30pm in the Little Coxwell Village Hall. Tickets are £6 per person to include entry and ploughman’s and can be obtained from Gill on 244 176.

We have an appeal to dog owners. At the moment we are happy for dogs to be taken into the churchyard but please could you ensure that your clear up after your dog.

I am sad to report that the village has recently lost two of its most prominent inhabitants, Peter Eyre-Brook and Michael Allsopp.

Peter Eyre-Brook’s Memorial Service took place at St Mary’s on Monday 15th May, and the Church was packed with a number of people also listening to the service outside on the PA system. Pete was very involved in the village community and he always took great interest in the Church. It was Pete who pointed out that the Church bells should be checked, and he was proved correct as substantial renovations were required. Without Pete’s intervention we might well have faced far more serious repairs and expense. Many will have their own particular happy memories of Pete as he was a stalwart supporter of village events.

Mike Allsopp’s funeral was held at All Saints’ on Wednesday 17th May. At a wonderful service a packed congregation heard of a life lived to the full. We heard of his service in the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry and of his successful City career. He also served the community as a County Councillor for many years. Most of all the congregation heard of a love of family, of a jolly good party and of a great passion for horses and hunting. A retiring collection was taken in aid of the Faringdon Educational Activities Trust, a charity set up by Mike Allsopp during his time as a County Councillor.

Both will be greatly missed and our thoughts and prayers are with their family and friends.

The next PCC meeting is on Monday 12th June 2017 at 7.45pm at Gorse Cottage