News from All Saints’ PCC

Your PCC met informally over coffee on 23rd August. This gave the opportunity to meet with our new Vicar, Steve Bellamy to look at the way forward, air our thoughts and reflections and to ask questions. They also had plenty of time to chat, but in a useful, structured way.

At their meeting on 7th September, the PCC began by constituting a Standing Committee which would normally meet 1-2 weeks before each PCC. This Committee will prepare Agendas and has the power in Church Law to consider and transact business on behalf of the PCC, within the guidelines of spending limits set by the PCC.

The celebration of Harvest and a Harvest Lunch was planned for 2nd October. Details of this will be in the church notices.

To help us get to know one another better there will be a special ‘Members Page’ on the church website. We will all be encouraged to have our name and photo on this page and for those who don’t feel able to put the photo up themselves, help will be provided to take and then load the photo. We will then be able to put names to the faces we meet in church. This page will be password protected, so it will be for church members only. The Friendship List, which so many of you find useful, and gives contact details of those who wish to be on it, will continue as usual.

Steve is setting up new Vision and Strategy Group which will think, discuss and pray about what God may be calling us to do and be as his church at All Saints’. This group will in due course bring some ideas for consideration by PCC and the church as a whole.

We also need a Baptism Preparation team to welcome and prepare families who bring their children for Baptism. A group for men is being formed which aims particularly to reach men of working age outside as well as within the church. (see the notice elsewhere about the talk and quiz with food on 7th October). In addition, a meeting to encourage men already linked with All Saints’ in their discipleship will run occasional Saturday morning breakfasts.

The newly appointed Bishop of Oxford, Steven Croft, will be welcomed in the Dorchester Area at 3.30pm on Sunday 9th October at Dorchester Abbey and all are invited to attend. In order to get to know us he will be visiting all the Deaneries between November and June 2017.

Half way through the meeting, time was given for study and prayer. This will be a feature of all future meetings. From the October meeting onwards, the booklet ‘Gospel Centred Church’ will be studied.

Janet Deane is setting up a group to look after the gardens around the Barber Rooms (see note below). The PCC is grateful to Janet for volunteering for this, to carry on the work which Jo Harbour began, and also to all those who are presently helping. If you could help in any way please contact Janet. You don’t need to be a good keen gardener, just willing to help, as most of the work is keeping the area under control in the summer months.

There is now a Pastoral Order in place regarding marriages at St Mary’s Little Coxwell and All Saints’ Faringdon. This means that couples with a connection to one of the churches, can get married in either church.

Looking forward, the services for the Christmas period are being discussed, and details of all the activities will be in the pew sheet and the magazine nearer the time.

Note
Garden Area around the Barber Rooms

I have taken on the responsibility, through the PCC, of organising a team to look after this area. The gardening should involve mainly the months of March and October, with tidying-up in between. We know that Jo (Harbour) had a vision for this garden and I am hoping we might get an idea of this through contacting her daughter.

Please let me know if you are interested. You too could become a ‘Barber Gardener’ and join the team!

Janet Deane (see Church Directory)

Faringdon Food Bank

Harvest Festival Donations 2016

Dear Friends,

I am writing to you as your congregation kindly donated food to us last year, to update you on where that food went and to let you know our needs should you be considering donating to us again this year.

The Faringdon Food Pantry is organised by Churches Together in Faringdon and relies primarily on donations from our church congregations in town, together with annual donations from some of our surrounding parishes including All Saints’.

We provide food to those in our community who find themselves in need, for whatever reason, be it job loss, benefit problems or ill health. Those receiving food are referred by local agencies and are from within our community.

In the last year we have delivered to Faringdon, Stanford-in-the-Vale and Southmoor, although we serve all the villages which fall along our stretch of the A420 and are within the (Anglican) Oxford Diocese Deanery of Vale of White Horse. We have delivered 2,493 items to 57 families, approximately 170 people.

We would greatly appreciate your support again this year including delivering the items to us in Faringdon, from where we unpack and sort for distribution. A specific time can be arranged to suit you on this.

All food should be tinned or dried with at least one year sell by/best by date clearly visible (no split packages). Buying items in twos helps makes meals for a family easier.

We now try to stock only specific items (see note below) which helps us manage our limited storage space, avoid wastage and generally makes running everything so much easier!

If you have any questions or would like further information please contact the pantry via e-mail at faringdonfoodbank@gmail.com or Faringdon Baptist Church on 01367 243 455

Thank you

Eleanor Warner
Faringdon Food Bank
c/o Faringdon Baptist Church
The Library, Gloucester Street
Faringdon SN7 7HZ

Note
The list of items required is fairly extensive. If you wish to donate to the Food Bank during the Harvest Festival service on Sunday 2nd October, please check first with the list of items on the notice board in the Barber Rooms and provide only those items requested (avoiding pasta if possible). If you wish, you can make a financial contribution instead.
Jeni Summerfield

Licensing of Revd Dr Steve Bellamy as our new Vicar

All Saints’ Church was full to overflowing on the evening of Thursday 28th July for the licensing of the Revd Dr Stephen Bellamy as Vicar of Faringdon & Little Coxwell by the Right Revd Colin Fletcher, Bishop of Dorchester. In addition to many members of the congregations of All Saints’ and St Mary’s there were also present clergy and other representatives from the Diocese of Oxford, the Simeon’s Trust (the Patron of All Saints’), the Vale of White Horse Deanery, and other Churches in Faringdon.

Civic representatives at the service included the Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, councillors of the county, district, town and village and many local organisations. We were also very pleased to welcome a number of people from Steve Bellamy’s previous parish of St Nicholas’ in Durham (subject of the book The Church in the Market Place by Archbishop George Carey, writing about his time at St Nic’s).

It was a joyful and moving service with a thought-provoking sermon by the Bishop saying that parish churches exist to serve everybody in the community – from birth to death – and the challenge is to get Jesus’ message out of the church building, down the churchyard paths and into the town and village. He said that we are already doing this but there are still challenges remaining to communicate with people in both existing and newly-developing areas of the town. This task is not just for the clergy or the “professionals” but for all church members.

The Bishop continued with some brief thoughts about the Lord’s Prayer, pointing out that Jesus’ understanding of God as “Father” was revolutionary and would become a recurring theme in the New Testament, especially Paul’s epistles. He urged Steve to pray at all times – in tragedy and in triumph, and not to be afraid to ask for things, or for guidance when at a loss to know what to do next.

He concluded by alluding to a few points made by Steve in his recent General Synod Election Address in which he said he wanted:

  • to serve the elderly and also have a focus on children and young people;
  • to show that a person can be both a Christian and a proper scientist;
  • to build congregations confident in their faith.

The anthem “I will dwell in his secret place” was then beautifully sung by an augmented choir, which included a member of St Nic’s. Following this Steve’s Institution, Induction and Installation took place.

Afterwards the Barber Rooms were packed for a time of refreshments, giving an opportunity for renewal of old acquaintanceships and much lively conversation.

Steve is no stranger to Oxfordshire as he took a chemistry degree at Jesus College, Oxford. After a period working in pharmaceutical manufacturing with Boots in Nottingham, he trained for the ordained ministry, was a curate in Liverpool and Southport, before becoming Chaplain to the then Bishop of Liverpool, David Sheppard. He moved as vicar to St James Birkdale, and was then at St Nic’s for eight years.

Steve was a founder member of the Society of Ordained Scientists and took a PhD in the theology and ethics of new genetic technologies such as stem cell research. Steve and his wife Wendy both enjoy a wide range of music. Steve likes to watch football (Spurs and Blackburn Rovers), cricket (Durham) and rugby (Wales), and astronomy is his lifelong hobby. Wendy particularly loves it when all the family is together, she enjoys a good whodunit, and visiting National Trust places.

Thank you from Wendy & Steve

Wendy and I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who was involved in planning for my induction service and taking part in any way. We so grateful for the warm welcome we’ve received, for all your cards and many expressions of kindness and promises of prayer as we settle in to this new calling. Some fantastic work has been done by a dedicated band of folk who have worked so hard inside and out of the vicarage to prepare it for our coming, thank you for that labour of love which has been such an obvious sign of welcome.

Special thanks also to our churchwardens and the parish reps, not only for the great job they’ve done during the interregnum for also for the way they were so helpful in our initial discernment about coming. And I know how grateful everyone is to our dedicated ministry team and all who’ve worked alongside them in keeping on faithfully serving God through the work and witness of All Saints’ and St Mary’s during the interregnum, thank you for all you have done and continue to do in sharing the good news of Jesus.

Wendy and I look forward very much to getting to know you all and to settling in to this community. We’re delighted to be with you and we believe that God has good things in store for us to enjoy as we work together to connect new people with Jesus.

After the referendum

Trinity 5 BCP

8am All Saints 26 June 2016

1 Peter 3. 8-15

Today’s Prayer Book Epistle –from the 1st Letter of St Peter, chapter 3, verses 8-15 was almost certainly written for the weekend after the EU referendum!

After a bruising and divisive campaign – millions of our fellow citizens will be disappointed by the result – and I am writing this homily on Polling day before the result is known.

For whichever side wins – there will be many who will be now be disappointed. This is not a party political point – it’s a simple fact.

And the truth is that whichever way we voted – we in this small island will still need to learn to live together whatever our views, and we will need to try and heal our divisions.

I believe the Church and individual Christians have an important role in a post referendum Britain, and I think our role is beautifully summed up by these verses from the first letter of St Peter.

So perhaps you will forgive me if I simply go through them again – but perhaps allow a slightly more modern translation of the Greek original to amplify the beautiful cadences of the Book of Common prayer.

St Peter starts with these words addressed to the Christian community in our dealings with each other

Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

The NRSV pew bibles which we use translates this in another way

Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind.

Whichever way you translate it – the message is clear

We are to treat each other – even our opponents – with sympathy, compassion and courtesy. That’s our starting point. And for a Christian, it’s not optional, it’s mandatory. That is what the Lord expects from us and nothing less.

But then St Peter goes on to say something even more important

Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

This is a complicated sentence – so this is what the NRSV makes of it

Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing.

As Christians we are called to respond to abuse – not with more abuse – but with blessing

We are called to be a blessing to other people

And that applies in all circumstances – when we are debating politics – when we are debating religions – when we are driving a car – when we are cross and tired and coping with our colleagues at work or our family, friends or neighbours at home.

St Peter takes this calling so seriously that he even quotes from the bible at this point – so the next 3 verses are a quotation from Psalm 34

“Those who desire life

    and desire to see good days,

let them keep their tongues from evil

    and their lips from speaking deceit;

let them turn away from evil and do good;

    let them seek peace and pursue it.”

So let us seek peace and pursue it, so that we can bring healing to our divided land and become the Blessing for others that God has called us to be.   Amen.

John de Wit

Meetings for Prayer in January

 

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 5th 2.00-3.00pm Julian Meeting (18 Eastfield Court)
Tuesday 5th 7.15-8.15pm Mission for Faringdon (Barber Rooms)
Tuesday 5th 8.00-9.00pm Julian Meeting (Call 244 905 for venue)
Thursday 7th 9.00-9.30am Morning Prayer (Lower Asset Room)
 Friday 8th  7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)
Thursday 14th 9.00-9.30am Morning Prayer (Lower Asset Room)
 Friday 15th 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)
Friday 15th 8.00pm Prayer for the World (Call 240 509 for venue)
Tuesday 19th 8.00-9.00pm Julian Meeting (Call 244 905 for venue)
Wednesday 20th 10.30-11.30am Prayer for CMS (8 Coach Lane)
Thursday 21st 9.00-9.30am Morning Prayer (Lower Asset Room)
Friday 22nd 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)
Thursday 28th 9.00-9.30am Morning Prayer (Lower Asset Room)
Friday 29th 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)

 

For further details contact:

Mission for Faringdon (1st Tuesday evening): 241 975

Julian Meeting (Tuesday afternoon): 01865 820 511

Julian Meeting (Tuesday evening): 244 905

Thank You! from Charles and Jane

Just a short note to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for giving us such a marvellous send off – both at the Harvest All Age Service, and at the Harvest Lunch, the Confirmation Service, and the Harvest Supper at Little Coxwell. We are completely overwhelmed by your generosity and your wonderful gifts to us – we will enjoy our wonderful pictures and special treats, and look forward to finally having our own kitchen range cooker, and a brand new bicycle to get around the new parish!

We are especially moved by the way you have taken our whole family to your hearts, and your appreciation and kind words for our boys as well as us. Farewells are very hard, but be sure we will never forget our wonderful friends in Faringdon and Little Coxwell.

It has been a huge privilege to share with you in discovering more of God’s love for us and for all in Faringdon and Little Coxwell – something we know you will continue to do.

We shall miss you very much indeed.

With our love and huge thanks,

Charles and Jane

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.

Charles

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