October was a big month in the life of our church, and a time for looking back in gratitude. October 11th, Charles’s final Sunday, was a wonderful day – hectic but wonderful. All Saints’ was gloriously decorated for Harvest, the combined choir sang the beautiful Irish Blessing, and we said an emotional farewell to the Draper family. Little Coxwell had said their farewells to Charles and Jane the previous week. Then a bring-and-share lunch in the Corn Exchange – a wonderful spread and more farewells. At the 6.30pm service All Saints’ hosted the Deanery Confirmation Service, and this was Charles’s final service as vicar. Bishop Colin gave good value as usual, the combined choir reprised the Irish Blessing, and yet another mouth-watering spread was laid out. Charles also stepped down as Area Dean, so Jeremy Twynam, Deanery Lay Chair, made a presentation. The Wardens would like to extend a huge “thank you” to everyone who helped make the day such a success.
Amid all the excitement, please do continue to pray for the confirmation candidates from All Saints’: Ben and Kathryn Smith, Gloria Zentler-Munro, Helena Cryer, Kitty Marlow and Henry Marlow. This was their day, and a way-marker in their Christian lives.
Now we must look ahead. Our established pattern of services continues, thanks to the good offices of our retired clergy, as do the various house groups, prayer and other meetings listed elsewhere in this magazine. The civic Service of Remembrance takes place on Sunday 8th November (note the earlier start time of 10.00am), followed by the Act of Remembrance around the War Memorial in the Market Place. We barely draw breath before Advent muscles its way into November, marked by the annual Churches Together Advent Carol Service at the Blessed Hugh on the afternoon of Sunday 29th. New things are also starting. A monthly Tuesday evening prayer meeting for Faringdon began in October, while the occasional Barber Rooms Talks get underway on 27th November.
Meanwhile, the PCC is pressing on with the painstaking business of finding a new Vicar. You might like advance warning of an open meeting at 2.00pm on Saturday 5th December about the recruitment, facilitated by the Revd Charles Chadwick, a diocesan Parish Development Adviser, to which both congregations are warmly invited together with civic leaders.
But an interregnum (vacancy) is a time for the church members to grow in confidence. Every member of our church family needs to ask what they can do to build up our common life, no matter how small that contribution may seem. Together, under God’s guiding hand, All Saints’ and St Mary’s can become a stronger and more vibrant witness to our Faith.
Katy Foot & Andrew Sargent