Archives for September 2018

Fellowship of St Birinus 2018

Several members of our villages churches were recently admitted into the Fellowship of St Birinus by The Bishop of Dorchester.

This is awarded for long and dedicated service. The new members are Bob Hessian, Pam Miller and Bill Tootell (Weston), Jenny Miller (Wendlebury), Hilary Wallbank (Chesterton), Brian Waterhouse and Ann Mowat (Kirtlington).

They are shown here with other members of the fellowship from our benefice.
The award is also given to Greta Bickley (Bletchingdon) who was unable to be present at the service, and post-humously to Tony Bagnall Smith.

The Rev’d Gareth Miller

From The Rev’d Gareth Miller – October 2018

Brian Wood

The Rev’d Gareth Miller

Dear friends,

A friend lent me a book which I would probably not have chosen for myself – a biography of the late Princess Margaret. Among other things I was surprised to learn that as a young woman the Queen ‘suffered’ from what today we would probably term OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, in her case the need to tidy meticulously with unnatural frequency. Some of us will perhaps recognise that tendency in ourselves – or not! The need to have things neat and tidy is often a defence against perceived chaos, either in our internal life or in the wider world.

But the need for rituals, as a recent television series has shown, has been a part of the human psyche since the dawn of time. Most organised religions are highly ritualistic. The very word religion, although its roots are obscure, is widely thought to derive from the Latin re-ligare, “to join together, or reconnect,” signifying the fundamental human need to feel part of something bigger and deeper and reflected in the cycle of symbolic celebrations.

The autumn period provides many such opportunities for reconnection. After the relatively fallow season of ‘Sundays after Trinity’ or Ordinary Time, a reach feast of commemorations awaits us. Harvest – a chance to affirm our connection with the land (though I rather think the harvest has come much earlier this year than our autumnal celebrations recognise!), and then the season of All Saints, All Souls and Remembrance.

For regular churchgoers there is the cycle of Sundays and Saints’ Days. Those who attend occasionally tend to gravitate to Christmas, Easter, Harvest and perhaps Remembrancetide. Even those without explicit faith tend to feel the need to find way of connecting to traditional patterns. We still have the joy of welcoming many families into church through baptism or thanksgiving.

Whoever you are, regular or irregular, old or young, of strong faith or of little or none, our village churches strive to be places where you will feel welcome and accepted. Our congregations are not composed of perfect people, but of people who are seeking a deeper meaning and purpose for their lives. We hope that you might join us in that quest.


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