March 201 5 no 265
Around the Deaneries
Burnham and Slough
A time to retreat -see
pages 8 and 9
God in the Life of
Michelle Eyre - page 1 6
Support farmers in crisis
by Jo Duckies
CHURCHES are being called on to pray
for and support farmers in Oxfordshire,
Berkshire and Buckinghamshire as
pressure mounts on local food producers.
As the Door went to press the Farming
Community Network (FCN) issued a press
release highlighting the support available
for depressed farmers after it was revealed
that farmers are more likely to die by
suicide than almost any other occupational
group. In 2013, 43 farmers in the UK took
their own lives, a figure that has been
increasing since 2009.
The news came just weeks after
the Arthur Rank Centre (ARC) urged
Christians to pray and support dairy
farmers who are facing lower prices
from retailers for their milk while their
production costs have risen by 36 per cent
since 2007. This highlights just one area
where farmers have been hit hard.
The Revd Canon Glyn Evans, Diocesan
Rural Officer and FCN's Regional Director
for the central counties, explains that
each of us can do more to help: "It is vital
that we encourage anyone with thoughts
of suicide to talk to us. There must be no
stigma about discussing mental health
whether at home or in the workplace."
The Farming Community Network has
some 350 volunteers throughout England
and Wales and is making renewed efforts
to increase specific training in suicide
prevention while working with many other
organisations and charities to point out
that there are always opportunities to talk
to someone when things are looking bleak.
The dairy farmers' predicament hit the
headlines in January, when ARC issued
its press release. "The number of dairy
farmers has halved over little more than
a decade," said ARC CEO Jerry Marshall.
"Prices are at their lowest since 2007 while
costs have risen 36 per cent."
Glyn said: "I was talking to one farmer
who had just been told by another that he
won't be able to buy feed for his cows from
him this year, so it's having a knock-on
effect on other areas of farming."
Glyn encouraged church goers to pray
for farmers, including milk producers
and pointed to information on the NFU
website, urging consumers to vote with
their wallets and only buy milk from
retailers who are paying a fair price for
the product. The NFU has named those
as Waitrose, M&S, Sainsbury's, Co-op and
"I mostly buy milk supplied by a local
farmer but I did write to the producers
of other brands of milk sold in my local
village shop to ask them what price they
were paying their farmers" said Glyn, I'm
not prepared to buy milk that doesn't give
a fair price to the producer."
Continued on page two
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Support farmers in crisis
Continued from page one
A spokesman for Sainsbury's said:
"Our retail price is not related to the price
we pay our farmers. Our milk prices are
competitive for our customers, while also
paying our dedicated dairy farmers a fair
price that protects them against volatile
"Following a majority vote, our Dairy
Group farmers benefit from a cost of
production model - this sets a price
that directly reflects their costs on the
farm, building in a profit, as well as
rewarding outstanding animal welfare and
environmental standards. This price is
updated every three months to ensure a
fair deal for the farmers involved."
Roy Lambourne is the Church Warden
at St Mary the Virgin, Marsh Gibbon, a
member of Glyn's rural team and a former
farmer turned agricultural consultant. Roy
ensures that agricultural issues are high
profile in the churches in his benefice. "I
try as hard as I can to keep farming in the
"There are so few agricultural workers
left - we make up about one per cent of
the population and the agricultural service
industries account for more than those
directly involved, which is surprising when
it is the UK's main land-use industry for
"The recent reports on dairy farmers
have brought the issues facing farmers
to the fore. They can be working 15 to 18
hours per day, then selling produce at less
than the cost of production. There are a lot
of farmers earning less than the amount
Tributes paid to the Revd Dave Lawton
THE Bishop of Buckingham paid tribute to
the Revd Dave Lawton, who died suddenly
Dave came to Aylesbury in
Buckinghamshire in 2004 when he was
appointed Team Vicar of Holy Trinity
Walton. Since 2009 he had served as Vicar
of Southcourt. He leaves a widow Kate and
a teenage son, Joseph, who is 14.
The Rt Revd Dr Alan Wilson, said: "Dave
was a much loved and very dedicated
community priest. He showed great
devotion to the people he served and had
a real heart for young people. He will be
hugely missed by all who knew him."
A service of celebration and thanksgiving
for Dave's life will take place at the Church
of the Good Shepherd on Wednesday 25
February at 1pm.
Churches provide night shelter for the homeless
SEVEN churches have
joined forces for the
second year running
to transform their
premises into the
Slough Night Shelter.
Concern (SHOC), a
day centre for the
homeless, and the
London and Slough
with the churches
to set up the shelter
during the harshest
months of the year.
Slough Homeless Concern is a day centre for the homeless and the London and
Slough Run is a charity that provides items such as food, drink, clothing, bedding
and toiletries to over three hundred people who come along to the various
distribution points situated on the streets of London and Slough.
The Revd Peter Wyard, of St Mary's Datchet, one of the participating churches, said
homelessness in Slough had risen by 1 00 per cent in the last year. So St Mary's was
delighted to be able to host this year's night shelter in its new community centre
(pictured above) which opened in December 2014.
He said: "Where last year we made do with an old and damp church room that
barely made it through the health and safety checks, this year we have been
delighted to welcome our guests into the newly appointed Church Community
"Every week volunteers welcome the guests with tea, coffee and snacks. They
provide a hot meal and a warm place for them to rest for the night. Volunteers
mingle with the guests, playing cards with them, chatting and providing
companionship. Others keep watch overnight, providing company to those who
can't sleep and serving breakfast to all in the morning. Plus, there are those who are
happy to clean up the next day.
"Aside from the many individuals helping out, we have been touched by the
generosity of local businesses who've given fresh bread, sandwiches and magazines
and more. This year, Churchmead school in Datchet have also got involved, not only
in cooking hot meals for our guests every Friday but sending them personalised
messages of support, and bringing smiles to their faces. We hope we can continue
the night shelter over the years to come."
For more information see http://thelondonandsloughrun.com/ and
the Government say is the minimum
Roy urged churches, including those in
urban areas, to keep the profile of farming
high, celebrating the farm-related Harvest
Festival and Lamas, and even inviting
people involved in agriculture to speak at
Farming Community Network:
Arthur Rank Centre:
www.a rt h u rra n kcentre.org.uk
A Prayer from the Arthur Rank Centre
Loving God we give you thanks for all the
food that is produced for us by farmers
every day. We thank you especially for
milk, a vital food, which we don't always
fully appreciate. We pray for dairy farmers
and the particular pressures that they
face at this present time. We remember
farmers under pressure because of low
prices and late milk payments, may they
know the peace of your presence. May
we consumers never take our food for
granted and may we value and support
those who work tirelessly to feed us. This
we ask in the name of Jesus.
Praying and fasting in Faringdon
AROUND the world, Christians have
committed to praying and fasting for the
climate on or around the first of every
month. For Christians in Faringdon that's
taking place at All Saints Church from
12:30pm to 2:00 pm on the 1st Saturday
The event has been organised by
Faringdon's Earth and Faith group, an
ecumenical initiative which offers people
creative ways to pray, reflect and act
on caring for God's creation. Previous
activities have included an Earth and Faith
Eucharist, a visit to a local organic farm,
an evening sharing nature-focused poems
and even the creation of a Mediterranean
courtyard garden in what was once just a
paved-over space beside a church.
This year, the group wants to raise
awareness of the UN climate talks at Paris
in December. Pam notes that they felt that
"prayer and fasting at the beginning of
Lent was a way of putting the talks into the
spotlight," with a possibility of doing some
prayer and fasting again later in the year.
Part of the attraction of joining in Pray
and Fast for the Climate was the sense of
being part of something larger: "It's very
good," Pam says, " that a local initiative
like Earth and Faith should sometimes be
encouraged by feeling that we're not alone,
that we're part of something nationwide
and worldwide. It helps us to feel that we
are not doing this thing in our small corner
only, that there are lots of people doing
things in their small corner, too."
The group was also delighted to find that
the Pray and Fast website offered them
a list of prayer points for each month,
offering a ready-made structure for the
Prayer points, a prayer by Archbishop
Tutu and other materials are available
Meet Burnham's Holy Stitchers
THE Holy Stitchers (pictured above) are an
ecumenical group made up of people from
different churches in the Burnham and
Rhonda Fenwick- Jackson, from the
group, said: "Currently we have completed
five small banners for St Peter's Church
depicting the different seasons in the
church calendar e.g. Christmas, Lent,
Easter, Pentecost and Ordinary Time.
Having completed these we are now about
to embark on a large banner for the Prayer
Corner in St Peter's Church.
"The Holy Stitchers are a lovely group of
people who enjoy the opportunity to share,
create, support each other and chat while
enjoying a cup of tea and homemade cakes,
while creating some wonderful banners,
wall hangings and crafts. If you would like
to join us you would be most welcome."
For further information please
contact Rhonda on 01628 664338.
Emergency response to floods in Mozambique
By Elizabeth Thomas
MANY of you will remember the
horrendous floods in Mozambique in
2001 and the infamous baby that was
born in a tree as a desperate lady waited
to be rescued. Sadly the reality is that
Mozambique is all too used to atrocious
weather conditions and although disaster
planning and mitigation has improved
over the years, it is still an ongoing issue
for one of the poorest countries in the
world today that is three times the size of
157,000 people affected
A few weeks ago, in mid January, the
Zambezia province in central Mozambique
experienced horrendous flooding. Pictured
right is the bridge at Morcuba, which was
destroyed in the floods. Over one hundred
people were killed, an estimated 157,000
have been affected with over 10,000 losing
their homes. 11 million people north of
the Zambezi River have no electricity and
many roads were destroyed. Bishop of the
area, Mark van Koevering says: "We must
have had about a months worth of rain in
just one day".
The local Anglican churches in the
Diocese of Niassa, has been at the heart
of an emergency response to this crisis
through their 'Teams of Life'. Niassa
Diocese is one of the fastest growing
dioceses in the Anglican communion and
is in the process of multiplication into
three. In 2003, there were seven active
priests. Now there are 61. In 2004 the 159
congregations have grown into 442. Over
the same period membership of churches
has grown from 34,465 members to
One factor in church growth has been
the formation of Equipas de Vida from
the diocesan mission department.
These volunteer teams from Anglican
churches respond to the most pressing
health and development needs of their
own communities. The leaders, initially
trained in HIV prevention, treatment and
community mobilization are also trained
in health and development issues and so
they were best placed to make a fast and
strategic disaster response. Over these
last weeks, this emergency response has
involved supporting 1,000 families across
18 communities with kits of food, water
20 years of Lent lunches
FOR the past twenty years, volunteers
from Chalfont St Giles parish church have
supported missionary work in Azerbaijan,
Nepal, and China through money raised
by Lent Lunches, raising well over
£30,000. The money has gone towards
projects such as running orphanages and
providing a Christian education, bringing
youngsters (and adults) off drugs and
providing life skills, rebuilding families
ravaged by the effects of drugs and
bringing them to know Jesus.
Each year on the six Fridays leading
up to Good Friday a team of volunteers
produce and serve nourishing soups
together with cheese, bread and tea or
coffee. Such is the popularity of this fund
raising outreach now that some 16 litres
of soup are consumed each week, plus
three to four kilos of cheese, numerous
loaves and many cups of tea and coffee.
Last year one of the volunteer soup
makers won a national award for her
soup, and secondly 2014 Lent Lunches
set a new record raising over £2,600.
If you are near Chalfont St Giles on a
Friday between February 20 and March
27, do pop in to the Reading Room in the
High Street between 11:30am and 2pm,
enjoy a sustaining and enjoyable lunch
and help make a difference in the world.
Tracy's 1,000 mile Tour des Ecoles
EDUCATION team member
Tracy Richardson (pictured
right) is planning a
mammoth charity bike
ride around all of the 284
Church schools in the
Oxford Diocese for Cancer
Oxford Diocesan Schools
Trust HR Adviser, Mark
Jones, jokingly suggested
the idea for the Tour des
Ecoles in the run up to the
Tour de France. Tracy, a
Schools Support Officer,
said: "Although at first I thought the idea was bonkers, after some thought I
decided I needed a challenge and chose to run (or rather pedal) with the idea.
"This ride is going to see me cycling approximately 1 ,000 miles, the equivalent
of just over the length of the UK, from Lands End to John O'Groats, and climbing
more than 50,000 feet, two-and-a-half times the height of Kilimanjaro, my last big
challenge back in 201 2.
"Despite having competed in several endurance events I am not complacent
about the challenge of cycling day after day with only two rest days in the middle.
Keeping going on routes I've not ridden before will not be easy, and with my
navigational skills I'm also worried about veering off the route and getting lost."
Provisional routes can be seen on Tracy's Just Giving page -
mosquito nets and
farm seeds and
MANNA is a
that exists to
enable and grow
the churches in
Angola and supports
the Diocese of Niassa
and the 'Teams of
Another one of
these partners is
ALMA - the London
diocese's links with Mozambique and
Angola which in turn has grown some
incredibly fruitful partnerships between
parishes. How exciting and encouraging
that the Anglican church is right at the
heart of this emergency appeal and how
fitting that we as fellow Christian servants
of the Gospel of the poor should partner
with these Mozambican churches at this
Elizabeth Thomas, ofMarcham Church
in Oxfordshire is MANNA's Executive
The Anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill
ST Martin's Church, Bladon, receives tens of
thousands of visitors each year. It's a lovely
church, and well worth a visit: but most of
these people come, not to see the church,
but a grave. For this is where Sir Winston
Churchill is buried, beneath an unadorned
stone slab, bearing simply his name, and
his dates, together with those of his wife,
Churchill died on 24th January 1965,
and exactly fifty years to the day since he
died, his family attended a quiet service
of thanksgiving and commemoration at
St Martin's. At Churchill's grave the Last
Post and Reveille were played, some of his
great-great-grandchildren laid wreaths,
and the actor Robert Hardy, who has
played Churchill on so many occasions,
read the poem 'At Bladon which, concluded
Richard Dimbleby's celebrated television
commentary at Churchill's State Funeral.
Canon Adrian Daffern, who led the
service, also attended the commemorations
in London a week later: a wreath-laying
ceremony at the House of Commons, and
a further service of Commemoration at
Westminster Abbey. Adrian has also worked
with the Education Team at Blenheim Palace
to produce school assemblies and prayers
for this commemoration year.
"We're very honoured to be the guardians
of Churchill's grave' says Adrian, 'but this
is not a shrine to Sir Winston. St Martin's
is a really active, happy village church,
and our focus is very much on growth and
service. But we don't lose sight of the fact
that Sir Winston lies here, and we continue
to minister to his family and value our
relationship to them hugely'.
Lady Mary Soames, Churchill's last
surviving daughter, bequeathed her banner
as a Lady of the Garter to the church, and
that now hangs proudly on the west wall. A
stained glass window commemorating this
anniversary year is due to be installed later
Donations to the window can be
made at churchillwindow.weebly.
Other resources are at
the Door, March 2015, page 4
Where Will You
New Range for 2015
The Original isog (RRP £3.99)
The 2015 edition has a new 24 page Easter storybook with a 3ft Happy Easter Banner, a
high quality milk chocolate egg (125g) and a pack of milk chocolate Chunky Buttons (25g).
More than a million eggs sold!
Special Peace Edition
280g (RRP £9.99)
I80g (RRP £5.50)
Contains an olive wood
peace dove keyring from
the Holy Land, a simple
guide to the Easter story, an
orange milk chocolate bar
(80g) and a high quality
milk chocolate egg (200g).
Contains an egg made from
premium dark Fairtrade
chocolate (165g) with 3 dark
chocolate mini squares (5g)
and a simple guide to the
Out of the 80 million Easter eggs sold in this part of the world every year.
The Real Easter Egg is the only one which is made of Fairtrade chocolate,
has an Easter story booklet and makes a donation to charity**
Voted the UK's favourite Fairtrade Easter Egg and with more than 1 million eggs sold,
each year the content of the Real Easter egg changes. See above for details.
Where To Buy
You can buy direct from us online at www.realeasteregg.co.uk, from Traidcraft, EDEN, TLM
and some independent shops. Original 150g egg available from selected supermarkets,
Special Peace egg only available at Tesco. Dark egg not available in supermarkets.
Find Your Nearest Shop At: WWW.realeasteregg.CO.uk
**There is a charitable donation for every 150g egg sold.
Win chocolate eggs in children's art contest Celebrating a decade of Lent concerts
This Easter the Door has chocolate treats as prizes
in our Easter art contest.
The first prize winner will receive a Chocolate
Orange version of the Real Easter Egg, while the
runners up will receive a milk chocolate egg. For
the chance to win, children must create a piece of
art work illustrating the
To enter, please send
your art work, name,
age and address to
anglican.org or by post
to Egg Competition,
House, North Hinksey
Lane, Oxford, 0X2 ONB.
The first prize winner's picture will be used as the front
cover of the Door.
The closing date for entries is Friday 6 March.
Using the Jesus Prayer - Steps to a
by Graham Sykes
I don't generally pick up books on
prayer because I usually get half
way through and feel useless and
discouraged. So why review this one?
It was the appeal of the title which led me
to first flick through it: steps to a simpler
life'. We live in a complicated overly busy
world where space and stillness are at a
I was introduced to the practice of
'Mindfulness' some years ago but had some
reservations about its Buddhist origins.
However Twisleton suggests we use the
Jesus Prayer as a mantra for mindfulness
observing that it is a form of spiritual
The Bad Christian's Manifesto
Hodder and Stoughton
by Mark Jones
By his own admission writing
doesn't come naturally to Dave
Tomlinson, yet The Bad Christians
Manifesto is a book that on one
level is easy to read. Drawing widely on
anecdotes from his own ministry, quoting
from a wide cast and unafraid to reference
the positives in other religions, Tomlinson
attempts to paint a picture of the many
ways in which we may experience God in
our day to day lives.
Easy on the eye for certain but if you
are one of the 'discontented or fellow
strugglers... with a desire to explore
the mystery of God', this is a book that
regularly makes you stop and think. Had
Eve not been tempted in Genesis Three
how would the world have been different
and would we as humans experience the
polar extremes of emotions, tears and
laughter in life that we do? Given the
reference that Jesus made in Luke 17 to
the Kingdom of God being among us, how
can we experience that, not just in the
future, but also now? For those who are
helps us to
see that there
is no magic in
it but that it
is 'linked to
word of God
and the Holy
use of the
encounters and doings of everyday life - a
bereavement visit, a trip to the gym and
lambing. Most of all this book, through
its reflection of scripture and the Jesus
Prayer, encouraged me and didn't fill me
full of guilt and failure
The Revd Graham Sykes is Chaplain to
the Bishop of Oxford.
of faith' the
of God, and
find the views
worldly or too
In truth the title is also a misnomer: this
book follows on from where last year's
How to be a bad Christian (and a better
human being) left off and it's only after
15 chapters covering topics ranging from
community to spiritual intelligence, creeds
to spiritual 'mojos that the manifesto - or
nine modest proposals'- is listed. Imagine
how the world might look though if you
and I sought to follow the way of Jesus
rather than rules and conventions or
we looked for God in each person and
situation we met? That is a challenge that
all of us can take away.
Mark Jones is a Human Resources
Adviser to the Oxford Diocesan Schools
THIS Year the Oxford Lent Concerts
celebrate their 10th anniversary. Once
again the events, combining music
and art, will take place in the Queen's
Arvo Part's Passio (his St John
Passion), will be played over two
evenings, March 17 and 24, as well
as his Spiegel im Spiegel on March 24.
And complementing his music are
three pieces by John Tavener: Chant
in Concert I (17 March), The Hidden
Treasure and Svyati in Concert III (on
the 31, Tuesday of Holy Week). The
soloists and instrumentalists will
perform under the direction of Owen
Rees. The artists, whose paintings and
sculpture will serve as the modern
'icons' for the concert music, include
Nicholas Mynheer and Roger Wagner
as well as Tim Steward (whose
painting, the Cellist is pictured right),
Alison Berrett and Martin Smith.
The concerts, which begin at 6.15pm
(entrance from 6pm), are free with
donations from the collection going
entirely to Medecins sans Frontieres
and The Mulberry Bush School. For
full programme details, including the
names of the performers, see www.
op59.net/lent.html. For disabled
access to the Chapel, ring the Porters'
Lodge at Queen's on 01865 279120.
On Rock or Sand: Firm Foundations
for Britain's future
Edited by the Archbishop of York
by Alison Webster
This book is a careful exploration
of what makes for 'the common
good' as we approach the 2015
General Election. It is based on
a series of symposia that the Archbishop
of York has held at his Palace over the
past five years, with a range of experts
and academics. Chapters explore the
common good (Justin Welby); the British
economy (Andrew Sentence); education
(Andrew Adonis); poverty (Julia Unwin);
work (Oliver O'Donovan); health (Kersten
England); ageing (James Woodward);
democracy (Ruth Fox).
As an 'in depth' read to prepare oneself to
vote in an informed way, it's a useful start.
The main body of the book contains much
statistical information, and some useful
theological reflection (James Woodward's
work on the wisdom of age and the need
to respect and honour it, stands out for its
theological accessibility and nuance).
For me, however, this book has two
major shortcomings. Firstly, its focus is
primarily domestic. The 2015 election,
however, is likely to be fought on two
key and related issues: our future
as Europeans, and our approach to
immigration. Our identity as global
citizens is key to both, and is something
about which Christians, who are part of a
worldwide faith, have much to contribute.
Without a global vision, we cannot
respond appropriately to the other major
challenge of our age: climate change. It
would have been good to have a dedicated
chapter on this, and on trends in the global
economy and our responsibilities within it.
Secondly, the book has a disappointingly
Tawney are to
moved on and
the last 60
years. And why
Tawney 's diary, 'Unless a man believes in
spiritual things - in God - altruism is absurd,'
when we know that it is simply not true to
suggest that only Christians are altruistic?
John Sentamu comes close to deifying
the Church of England and its established
status, which smacks of the politics of
self-interest. Readers are addressed in
stern terms and left in no doubt as to what
we should think: secularisation is bad for
us. A privileged established status of the
Church of England is good for us. These
are not self-evident truths, even among
Our theology of community (local and
global) would better rest on a notion of
God out there' in surprising as well as
predictable places, and with unexpected as
well as predictable people. Mission means
finding God at work and joining in - with
the partners God (not the Church) has
chosen. These may be of other faiths and
of none. Some of the most dedicated and
prophetic advocates for peace and justice
in our world are not Christians, yet they
are equal partners in God's mission.
Alison Webster is the Social
Responsibility Adviser for the
Diocese of Oxford.
the Door, March 2015, page 6
New College Choir
Saturday 15 June at 4.00pm
For families with boys aged 2- 6
Find out about life as a New College Chorister al our fun -filled
afternoon of singing, games, activities, dressing up, & tea. Talk Ic
tire new Director of the Choir, Robert Quinney, and choir staff
and families, and get a taste of the unique musical education on
offer to our choristers. The day finishes with a special Evensong in
the wonderful atmosphere of New College's medieval chapel.
All choristers enjoy generous scholarships at New Cbllege School.
For more infomiation and to register, contact
nancyj^e.ra^^ / 01865 279108
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Short Online Courses
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Visit our stand at the Who Do You Think You Are event
at the NEC, Birmingham 16-18 April 2015
HE Burnham and Slough Deanery
lies towards the South East
of Buckinghamshire. It is an
ethnically diverse area with plenty
It is unusual in that it has a full-time
Area Dean. The Revd Rod Cosh (pictured
right in the study of his vicarage) does
not have a parish but works across the
whole deanery. "After many years in parish
ministry and as a hospital chaplain I really
felt God was calling me to this. It is a very
different job from other area deans who
have their own parishes too," says Rod,
who moved to his vicarage in Slough from
Staines, in Surrey, where he was the vicar
of three churches.
"It frees me up to support other clergy,
church wardens and parishes. It means
I can hopefully put quality time in if
anyone needs support so at one level it is a
pastoral role. It is also about trying to draw
a very varied area together."
Rod, who moved to Slough with his wife
Pam, likens the deanery, which he says
is unique, to a doughnut. Slough, in the
centre has large areas of urban deprivation
and poverty, and as the circle draws out,
the area becomes more and more rural
Area Dean: Rod Cosh
Lay Chair: Mark Johnson
and, in some parts, wealthy. Slough grew
out of the growth of the railways, at first
with a large influx of Welsh and Irish
people building the Great Western Railway.
This was followed by people from all over
the world and most recently the town now
has one of the biggest Polish populations
proportionately in the country.
Rod said: "One of the lovely things about
Slough is how all of the faith groups work
very well together and when the English
Defence League came I preached at Friday
prayers at the Mosque and one of the
Imams came to a town centre church.
"My vision is that we
work as a genuinely
"We were showing that we were not
going to be unsettled by this racist group.
It's not about fudging the issue and trying
to claim we are all the same but about
I AM Jenny Dobson from St Peter's, Slough. In 2007 I first visited Lesotho with a
mission team and visited the Beautiful Gate, an orphanage and care centre for
children aged 0 to five.
Lesotho is in South Africa and has just under two million inhabitants of which there
are an estimated 360,000 orphans, mainly due to HIV/Aids. Beautiful Gate was the
vision of two missionaries. Ray and Sue Haakonsen. One day Sue went to the hospital
and saw three naked babies lying uncared for in the corner. She was told they were
HIV positive and were being left to die, so she took them home and from their spare
room Beautiful Gate was born. Since then over 400 children's lives have been saved
in a happy place full of hope and love. It is run by missionaries and staffed by locals,
hence bringing much needed employment.
It is the only orphanage in Lesotho with its own social worker working to help
children be adopted. I am a music teacher and I consider myself very fortunate that
I am able to take unpaid leave to come here regularly to try and make a difference
both in Beautiful Gate and the nearby school. I have brought three different teams
here now. This current team are spending time sorting out IT issues, and doing
building work. Other teams I have brought have spent time working in the playgroup
and in the houses where the children live with their housemothers in large family
units. They rely on volunteers to help them to survive.
See www.beautifulgate.org or get in touch with me atJenny.Lesotho@gmail.com
acknowledging we have very
different theological perspectives
but that we are not fearful of
them." Burnham is the historic
centre of the area, with St Peter's,
Burnham having close links with
Burnham Abbey. "The abbey is
important and provides a focus of
quiet prayerfulness for the whole
deanery," says Rod.
"There's a bit of everything in
the deanery but it's a very exciting
place to work and what I'm
humbled by is the sheer amount
of energy and enthusiasm that
the clergy put into their work and
roles. Some of them are in really
challenging situations. On a day-
to-day basis it means I have the
time to devote entirely to helping
people and parishes, not only
pastorally but in growing mission."
Rod says he enjoys worshipping
in a wide variety of different
churches and traditions on Sundays. "My
role is not to prescribe how that worship
should go, but to support it.
"My vision is that we work as a genuinely
collaborative deanery with transparent
boundaries so that we can draw on each
others' strengths and talents and grow the
Kingdom of God in Burnham and Slough."
Burnham and Slough struggled for many
years to pay its parish share, mainly as a
result of the range of wealth levels within
it. In 2014 it became a recovering deanery
and over the last 12 months it has been
able to finally pay the amount in full.
* Windier I
"This is thanks to the commitment
and mutual support of every parish
in the deanery and by some generous
financial backing from our neighbour, the
Over the last year every parish in
the deanery has been focusing on and
developing its own Mission Action Plan.
In order to support these developments
the deanery is offering a variety of courses
primarily for laity. These include courses
on preaching, worship and pastoral skills.
"We may even look at a CPAS growing
leaders course. What we need to have is a
positive plan for growth and renewal."
The anniversary of freedom
A CELEBRATORY tapestry is being
created and a band put together
in Wraysbury for the 800th
anniversary of the sealing of the
The village is one of the sites
believed to be the place where the
Magna Carta was sealed in 1215 by
King John (pictured right). At the
time St Andrew's Church would have
already existed as a place of worship
for the community.
The vicar, the Revd Colin Gibson,
said teams from the church had
joined with the wider village to
plan a range of events to celebrate
the anniversary. A Magna Carta
themed flower festival will take
place from Friday 5 June through to
Sunday 7 June, at St Andrew's. On
Saturday 13 June the congregation will be
participating in the Wraysbury Village Fair
which is on a medieval theme. On Sunday
14th a quarter peal of the bells will be
rung at 3.00pm, followed by a LiberTea
- a themed picnic at 4pm in the grounds
of the Grange, a large private property
adjacent to the church.
"At 5.30pm there will be Songs of Praise
from the Grange, with a guest speaker
from the Baptist church," says Colin.
The Archbishop of Canterbury at the
time, Stephen Langton, played a major
role in drafting the Magna Carta following
a long stand-off between King John and
the papacy. The medieval document is
about giving the population of England
liberty and freedom. Colin said: "Freedom
Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Commemoration Committee.
in Christ is a very significant Bible theme."
He quoted John 8:32: "Know the truth and
the truth shall set you free."
"It's a very important theme for us. We
are hoping the High Sheriff of Berkshire
will join us to unveil the wall hanging
and we are putting a band together for
the Songs of Praise. It should be a very
For more on the Magna Carta
celebrations nationally see
For more on Wraysbury see
www.sta nd rewswraysb u ry.<
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in this newspaper,
1 * J ™M
contact Glenda or Michelle on
The Revd Georgie Simpson on
the benefits of taking a retreat.
For many of us, going on retreat
is not self-indulgence but a basic
need. And there are many reasons
for recognising that a temporary
withdrawal from normal' life is both
natural and necessary and we are merely
being kind to ourselves if we ensure that
it happens. Some questions which may
prompt us to take this further:
Do I yearn for some peace and quiet in
which I can be myself?
Do I long to be in closer touch with the
beauty and wonder of creation?
Do I need time to rest my weary body
and mind and recoup some energy?
Do I want to get a better balance in my
Do I need time away from everyday
life to reflect on the past, present or
Do I want to become more self-aware
and deepen my relationship with God?
Throughout the centuries, men and
women have needed to seek refuge from
their daily routine in order to nourish their
bodies, minds and souls. This is a practice
regularly employed by Jesus throughout
his ministry. Following the wonderful
affirmation he received at his baptism, he
withdrew into the desert to try and discern
the shape and character of his ministry.
Only then did he emerge back into the
life of human beings and begin to teach
and heal bodies and souls. He frequently
escaped into the hills, avoiding the growing
crowds who made increasing demands on
him, in order to recharge his batteries,
refresh his spirit, and discern he was in
tune with his heavenly Father.
"...it offers us
opportunities to listen
to and hear the voice of
But retreats are for everyone, for
Christians, members of other faiths
and those with no faith, and there is
a wide range from which to choose, to
suit every possible need. Monasteries,
convents and retreat guest houses tend
to offer appropriate hospitality and
guests are welcome to join the brothers
or sisters in their prayer time. You may be
looking for complete silence, or simply a
warm welcoming tranquil environment,
preferably surrounded by beautiful scenery
and offering some therapeutic walking,
resting, reading and prayer.
There are themed retreats, individually-
guided retreats, silent, unstructured
retreats and a huge range of places from
which to choose, both in this country and
abroad. For those of us who have never
experienced the joy of a good retreat, a
Quiet Day may be a good first-step option.
Perhaps the most important move is to
resolve to taste the benefits of a retreat,
choose where to go and for how long
and book your place - something to look
forward to in your diary. Leaving behind
the distractions that plague our normal'
lives, even leaving behind friends and
family, for a limited period, can lift the
weight of stress and fatigue. Perhaps the
biggest bonus from this sort of experience
is that it offers opportunities for us to
listen to and hear the voice of God, too
often crowded out by clutter, but which
never stops trying to engage in dialogue
with us deep within our hearts, and which
enables spiritual growth and a closer
relationship with the One who made us
and loves us.
The Revd Georgie Simpson is the
Director of the Oxford Centre for
Spiritual Growth, based at St
Michael at the Northgate in Oxford,
www. ocsg. uk. net
The Retreat Association recommends
Here are some retreat
suggestions for the year ahead.
If you have never been on a
retreat before there are retreats
for beginners. The Monastery
of Our Lady and St Bernard in
Stroud offers a Taster Retreat
for Beginners' in May.
St Cuthman's Retreat Centre
in Coolham, West Sussex offers
an Introduction to silence'
weekend in June. The House
of Prayer in East Molesey offers
a 'Retreat Day for Beginners' in
If going away is too daunting a prospect, you may like to consider
attending a quiet day. St Columba's House in Woking, Holland
House in Pershore, Ladywell Retreat Centre in Godalming and The
Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF) based in Abingdon offer quiet days
throughout the year.
A number of retreats offer the chance to explore or develop a
particular hobby. Launde Abbey in Leicestershire offers a weekend
exploring photography, poetry and prayer in April and The Well at
Willen, Milton Keynes, is holding an Icon workshop in August.
Lent and Easter can be a good time to get in touch with your
reflective side and there are plenty of retreats to choose from providing
the opportunity to travel further afield. St Oswald's in Whitby (pictured
above) and Llangasty Retreat Centre near Brecon include Lent retreats
in their programme. Why not celebrate Easter at retreat centres such as
Ammerdown near Bath or Othona on the Dorset coast?
These are just a few examples of the retreats on offer this year.
For more information contact the Retreat Association: 01494 569056,
Alison MacTier, Executive Director of the Retreat Association.
The Door asked a
variety of retreat
centres to tell us what
they can offer to
The Society of Mary and
Martha at Sheldon
in Devon is run by a
community offering specialist
resources to people in ministry
at times of stress, crisis,
burnout or breakdown. But
there are also plenty of retreat
resources open to everyone, and
you shouldn't wait until things
get tough before benefitting
from this beautiful retreat on
the edge of Dartmoor. Full
programme of led retreats plus
lots of good spaces like the Pig
Pens and Hen Runs for private
individual retreats. Good for
groups too. www. sheldon.
THEOLOGICAL college, Ripon
College Cuddesdon, offers
retreat stays all year round
alongside a programme of
guided retreats. Located in the
pretty village of Cuddesdon
just 5 miles from Oxford, you
can stay in the community
and choose to participate in as
many of the aspects of the life
of the College as you wish. In
term-time you can share in the
busy life of the students, joining
them for worship, lectures and
meals. Or go in the vacations
to enjoy the peaceful setting
with the option of joining the
Cuddesdon Sisters in their
daily rhythm of prayer and to
meet with them for spiritual
direction. Alternatively, guided
retreats for one, two or three
days are centred around a
theme, such as Reconnecting to
the Earth or Poetry and Prayer,
and you become part of a warm
and welcoming group, www.
THE Centre for Reflection at
Aston Tirrold, near Didcot
is affiliated to the Quiet
GardenTrust and primarily
our aim is to encourage prayer,
stillness and reflection; there
is a Mediterranean garden with
sculpture, water feature, herb
garden and poustinia which all
go to make it a peaceful place
to be. The Centre is available
for hire for events and church
groups and offers the use of
our 18^ century church. It is
well equipped with a main hall,
quiet room and well equipped
kitchen. Our regular open
groups include film, mediation,
writing and art drop-in days.
We do not offer residential
facilities. For Aston Tirrold
for the Centre for Reflection:
contact coordinator @ref lect.
THE Los Olivos retreat centre
is a beautiful farmhouse set
in the heart of the majestic
Sierra Nevada National Park in
southern Spain near the city
of Granada. It is an inclusive
Anglican retreat that runs a
range of courses and retreats
between March and October
each year. Many of the retreats
involve a creative element
such as music or poetry. The
centre's mountain location
gives access to excellent
walking routes and the unique
natural beauty of this UNESCO
protected biosphere. Offering
authentic Spanish cuisine and
the chance to really get away
from it all in truly stunning
surroundings, you can find out
more at their website www.
'GUESTS are received with
loving care and courtesy, as
Christ was welcomed by Martha
and Mary at Bethany/ This is
part of our rule at the Sisters
of Bethany on the south coast.
Too busy to pray? No time to
relax? Too tired to sleep? You
need a retreat. You can pray,
Los Olivos in the Sierra Nevada. Photo Guy Wynter
Hilary Hanson from the Society of Mary and Martha, with some of the
community's Grey Face Dartmoor sheep. Photo: Sarah Horsman.
relax and rest with the Sisters
of Bethany. You can reach us by
public transport, relax in the
garden, stroll down to the sea
and visit the shops and the two
cathedrals as well as sharing the
life of the Sisters. To discover
a lot more contact: House
of Bethany, 7 Nelson Road,
Southsea, P05 2AR, Hampshire.
Email: ssb@sistersof bethany.
org.uk Visit our website www.
located in Hawarden, north
Wales, is Britain's only Prime
Ministerial library and the
national memorial to the
great Victorian statesman,
and four times Prime
Minister, William Gladstone.
It is home to a unique
collection of more than
250,000 printed items and
offers a comfortable, sociable
and stimulating environment
together with resources for
creative study including
renowned collections of
cultural and political
The library was founded by
Gladstone in 1894, he was
eager to share his personal
library with others and
especially to those wanting
to learn who faced financial
constraint. He would allow
bright children and young adults
of the village of Hawarden to
use his collection. His desire, his
daughter Mary Drew said, was
to 'bring together books who
had no readers with readers who
had no books'.
Open to the public for 50
weeks of the year, Gladstone's
Library now has 26 boutique-
style bedrooms, its own coffee
shop/restaurant Food for
Thought, and is home to a
variety of courses from learning
Hebrew to weekly courses such
as Britain's Religious Crisis.
To find out more about
Gladstone's Library or any
of its events visit www.
email@example.com or call
SCARGILL House in Yorkshire
is set in its own 90 acre
estate, with a walled garden,
meadow, woodland and high
limestone terracing close to the
River Wharfe in the beautiful
Yorkshire Dales. It is home to a
resident ecumenical Christian
Community offering warm
hospitality and welcome to
guests attending one of their
programme events, staying as
part of a group or just popping
in for tea and cake.
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in this newspaper,
contact Glenda or Michelle on
the Door, March 2015, page 10
With a little
help from our
□ □ □ n
Grace Lodge now housing up to 8 male clients, plus support workers and house parents
Since 1991, Gilead Foundations has been providing
successful residential rehabilitation for people
suffering from addictions and mental health issues,
based on its own 300 acre dairy farm in Devon.
85% of people who complete the programme at
Gilead remain drug free, in employment and with a
healthy support network when reviewed 1 and 2 years
after they leave.
Now, in 2015, plans are underway to complete the
next bungalow, Taith Lodge'. The foundations and
drainage are in place, ready for us to build on. Faith
Lodge will provide purpose-built accommodation
for up to 8 female Clients, with support workers and
house parents all living together. This will be a huge
improvement on the farmhouse where the female
Clients currently stay.
We are just finalising numbers with various builders
however we are estimating the cost to build this
excellent facility is approx. £500,000, and once it's
built it will be an asset for our charity as well as a
home for rehab.
Gilead works in collaboration with Risdon
Enterprises Community Interest Company. Risdon
delivers the rehab programme, including work therapy
on the farm where the most profitable business is
the production of free-range eggs from our flock of
PLEASE CONSIDER SUPPORTING GILEAD
One off donations, or regular monthly Partner gifts
are hugely appreciated as we seek to build the new
bungalow and maintain ongoing rehab for years to
come. Please use the form on this page, visit
www.gilead.org.uk or call us on 01837 851240.
To discuss a large donation or interest free loan,
please call Chris Cole (Trustee) on 07957 433973.
I am a UK taxpayer and I agree to Gilead Foundations
Charity (GFC) claiming tax on all past, present and future
donations I make to the charity. Please treat my donations
as Gift Aid donations. I confirm that I am paying or will pay
an amount of Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax to
cover the amount GFC and any other charities or
Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) will reclaim for
the tax year (6 April one year to 5 April the next year).
Council Tax and VAT do not qualify towards Gift Aid. GFC
will reclaim 25 pence of tax for every £1 that has been
Please add my details to the Gilead mailing list
| | I enclose a one-off gift of £
Please make cheques payble to Gilead Foundations
I would like to become a Partner
Please fill in this form
Name of your bank
Instruction to your bank: Please deduct £
from my account on (dd/mm/yy) / /
Then monthly until further notice. Pay this sum to Gilead
Foundations Account No: 05651441 Sort Code: 54-21-14
Nat West Bank, 40 Fore Street, Okehampton, EX20 1EY
Title (Mr, Mrs, Rev, other)
Organisation / company (if applicable)
Please return this form to Gilead Foundations, Risdon Farm, Jacobstowe, Okehampton, EX20 3AJ
Tel: 01837 851240 Fax: 01837 851520 Email: email@example.com
Registered in England No: 2608644 Limited by Guarantee Registered Charity No: 1002909
working in collaboration with
RISDON ENTERPRISES CIC
chickens. At the time of writing, the 9,000 strong
flock is being expanded to 25,000, with a massive
new hen-house and egg packaging unit. Profits from
the business are ploughed back into the rehab, and
up to £250 per week per Client can be allocated from
profits (when available] to support them through their
rehabilitation journey into wholeness.
At Gilead, we do as much as we can to be self-
supporting (including using ground-source heating
and solar energy in the new bungalows). But we
cannot complete this next bungalow without financial
help. We are approaching grant funders, who may be
even more willing to help now that we have a working
example to show them with Grace Lodge. We know
from experience that we will also need the support
of the many generous people who read stories like
Adam's, and want their finances to go to something
that is making a difference.
We had gifts and loans totalling approx £150,000
in the last few years to complete Grace Lodge. We
couldn't have done it without them. Would you please
consider supporting us as we build this next bungalow,
to expand the work and enhance the quality of rehab
for our female Clients, some of whom we are able to
accommodate with babies, who also need to have
warmth, security and a loving environment while Mum
gets her life back on an even keel, for good.
Please use the donation coupon on this page, or
donate online at www.gilead.org.uk. If you would like
to offer an interest free loan, or discuss making a
donation, please call our Trustee Chris Cole on 07957
433973. With your help, we can provide skilled support
in a secure environment with family values, enabling
many more people, like Adam, to change their lives for
good. Thank you.
The biggest high of my life..
with no drugs!
Adam Stephens is the youngest of four
children, from a respectable middle
class family in Surrey. By the age of 25
he was addicted to crack cocaine, which
destroyed his family relationships. Adam
tells us his story ...
I was born in 1983 into a good family, with three
older sisters, and Dad ran a successful printing
business. But during my time at primary school I
was mis-diagnosed with Dyslexia. (In 2011 1 was
diagnosed with Asperger's and ADD). At the time, I
felt very left out in a school with high standards of
I went to a special needs school for 7 years, and
then worked for my Dad. I'd suffered a serious
broken ankle in a 'hit and run', which further
knocked my confidence as I used to love running,
In my late teens, I began smoking cannabis with
friends. I became a night club DJ, and began to use
cocaine casually. But by the age of 25 I moved on to
crack cocaine, and developed a serious habit.
I was living at home, but stole from and lied to
my parents, to get money for drugs. I owed money
all over, and my parents' home was smashed up
once as a result. Dad had to sack me from the
business as I was unreliable, and they reluctantly
asked me to leave home.
I moved to Devon, and Dad bought me a flat.
Then, in May 2013, he died. After that, my Mum was
contacted by someone I owed money to, and the
extent of my problems came out. I knew I had to
change my life. My family researched rehabs, and
found Gilead. It appealed to me because of the
farm. I moved to Gilead in July 2013.
I settled down, kept myself to myself, got
'clean' and began the Genesis process of relapse
prevention. I discovered why I had made the choices
I did; I realised I never felt that I did anything good
enough for my Dad; doing drugs was my way of
blocking out everything around me.
I found talking with my mental health nurse,
Peter, and working on the farm was excellent
therapy. The family atmosphere at Gilead also
helped. I made a commitment to God, and was
But after 5 months, I went off the rails. I did
Adam on a missio
orphans in Bulgari
a runner, and began to get back into drugs.
Thankfully, I soon came to my senses and
phoned Gilead. My houseparents picked me up
from Barnstaple and took me back, and I walked
nervously into the dining room where most of the
community were gathered for dinner. Ian Samuel,
the founder of Gilead, just stood up and opened
his arms wide and gave me a big hug. "We all make
mistakes," he said, and since then I've been able to
put it behind me and move on. I've learned to play
guitar, and took part in voluntary work locally, as
well as progressing though rehab successfully.
Last September I moved on. I'm now back in
Surrey and applying for work with a sheltered
housing association, where I can help others. I've
also put together a drugs awareness presentation
for schools and churches, where I use an illusion act
to get the message across.
Going to Gilead changed me; it can set you free
from all kinds of problems, from depression to
addiction. I now tell people I'm on the biggest high
of my life, and there's not a drug in sight.
As the Diocese launches a new
programme to help train our
Church school governors to be
the best they can be, Petronella
Spivey describes why she
finds her voluntary role such a
asked me to be a
governor at our
local Church of
school, I replied that
I did not really feel
I ought to because
I was not sure that
the Church had any
business running schools. However, both
of my children were happy and learning
there and I agreed to do my bit to support
the school, and have now been a school
governor for six years.
As I found out more, my ideas changed.
I am proud to be a governor at a church
school that admits local children
regardless of the belief or practices of
their parents. The original founders of
the school saw education as a social need.
They made personal financial sacrifices to
provide schooling for the benefit of others;
and we have tried to stay true to their
ideals well over 100 years later.
I know that our school is not alone in
the way children are taught to respect
and understand many faith traditions.
Christianity has a special role though.
While not everyone appreciates it, it is
Christianity that has left a distinct mark
on our national and cultural life. For
example in music like Handel's Messiah or
in literature, for example, John Bunyan's
Pilgrim's Progress formed the basis of some
school assemblies last year. To make
sense of works like this, we all need to
know some of the stories of the Bible. In
the same way, the practices of the Church
have left their mark on the rhythms of
the year, and the language of the Prayer
Book has affected the way we speak today.
It is surely part of a good general cultural
education to expose children to these
alongside other great influences.
"...I am delighted to
support and encourage a
Most importantly, I am delighted to
support and encourage a school that gives
children the opportunity to appreciate
faith from the inside and not just as
a collection of rituals to be studied or
observed. Through regular times of quiet,
the school offers children time and space
to glimpse something, or someone, who is
outside and beyond themselves.
Many families are unable or unwilling
to provide this at home; and this is
something that a church school is uniquely
able to offer. Children and families from
all faith backgrounds were in the parish
church at Christmas to hear the story
of the birth of Jesus. For many of the
youngest children, it was the first time
they had ever been to a service in church,
and they were moved by the atmosphere
they found there. These experiences are
a gift to the children that the Church is
delighted to give.
School governance is about many things
(and I recommend it as a stimulating and
rewarding activity). Governors spend a
long time asking questions about best
practice and scrutinising attendance and
results data to make sure that the school
is doing the best it can for every child. Yet
perhaps the hardest thing for governors to
understand about any specific school is its
ethos and values. As governors at a church
school, we do not seek to impose our own
beliefs. But we do seek to make it a place
where children know that faith matters.
Petronella Spivey is a Governor at St
Mary and St John CE Primary School in
Oxford, and a Licensed Lay Minister in
the parish of Cowley St John.
'Good governance' is a
phrase which has come from
nowhere to suddenly being
found in almost every sphere
of public life. Even for major
sporting bodies, like FIFA and
the International Olympic
Committee, the search for
'good governance' has become
something of a quest.
And in church schools, the pressure
for ever-more effective governance is
huge, as schools increasingly become
more autonomous and self-directing. To
meet that need, the Diocese of Oxford
is preparing to launch a highly innovative
resource - the RIGHT Programme.
RIGHT is unique in that it is aimed
squarely at chairs of governors in church
schools, who are very influential in
setting the tone and the style in which the
school is led.
"The RIGHT Programme offers all of
our schools the chance to improve their
governance, from the very top, and
that's key to us making sure our schools
are the best they can be," says Gordon
Joyner, Deputy Director of Education.
"The demands on chairs of governors
are moving on very quickly all the time,
and we needed to create a resource which
Rolling out the RIGHT programme
helps these volunteers to develop good
governance at all of our schools."
The Diocese asked Mark Craig, (pictured
above) a national leader of governance
and an experienced Chair of Governers
himself, to come up with something
which was dramatically different from
the plethora of resources available. The
RIGHT Programme was the result.
But instead of the usual technical
content on school data, policies and
procedures, it focuses on the things which
are even more fundamental to good
governance, with themes like emphasis',
'team' and support' being key. Mark is
happy to have broken the mould.
"There just isn't anything available
to chairs of church schools which fully
recognises the very special role they hold
in leading not only schools, but also, to
a large degree, our communities. The
RIGHT Programme was designed from
the outset to value their commitment as
volunteers and to offer them hard-won
wisdom on how to govern a church school
well," he says.
The Programme itself comes in an
unusual format - a literal pack of cards!
Alongside that, there's a website, video
content, an online version of the cards
and also a series of sharing events where
chairs and clergy can come together to
share their wisdom and issues.
Continuing the creative theme, the
Programme's website imagery is based
on the beautiful 'Sarum Cross', designed
by Sophie Hacker, arts consultant at
Facts about Church School Governors:
The Diocese has 3,825 school
governors serving 284 church
35 per cent were appointed by the
Oxford Diocesan Board of Education.
The rest are made up of people from
the local community, parents, school
staff and local authorities.
There are currently approximately
292 vacancies for governors across
If you are interested in becoming a school
governor email tracy.richards on @ oxford.
anglican.org or speak to your local vicar
who may have strong links with the
nearby Church school.
The Right Programme launch
events take place at: Buckingham
Park School, Aylesbury on 15 April,
Diocesan Church House, Oxford on
23 April and Ranelagh School in
Bracknell on 28 April.
The launch events will run 7.30pm -
9.30pm with refreshments from 7pm.
The events are for chairs and aspiring
chairs of governors of Church schools.
the Door, March 2015, page 12
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the Door, March 2015, page 13
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the Door, March 2015, page 14
You can advertise in this newspaper with a monthly circulation
of 34,000, at a very reasonable cost, reaching a great church
audience in parishes throughout Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and
Oxfordshire, including other major urban areas of Oxford, Reading,
High Wycombe and Milton Keynes.
We can also help you to advertise in seven other Diocesan
newspapers throughout the South of England and the Home
Counties, with a total circulation of nearly 1 70,000.
To find out more, contact Glenda or Michelle on
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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#Washday 1 5 is
free this Lent
by Sarah Meyrick
n Maundy Thursday
somewhere in the
country you can
find members of our churches
shining shoes for strangers on
our streets. The free service
offers a way of talking to
people about Jesus's washing
of the disciples' feet at the Last '
Supper - and then telling them the Easter story.
It's always good to remind people what our great
Christian festivals are all about. Perhaps you've taken part
in shoe-shining in the past, or one of our other giveaway'
projects. In recent years we've distributed hot cross buns
and mini-Easter eggs on high streets across our three
counties. We've got some fantastic pictures of three of our
bishops flipping pancakes a couple of years ago in Oxford
on Shrove Tuesday.
This year we're trying something different - and we're
hoping that many of our churches and schools will get
involved. Our new campaign is #washdayl5, and yes, it's
all about washing. We want people to get out into the
community and wash - whether that's cars, windows,
curtains, road signs or pets.
It's about showing that Christians are not afraid
of getting their hands dirty in the service of others.
#washdayl5 was inspired by two things. First, I heard last
year about an Anglican church in Los Angeles where the
congregation had set up a project called Laundry Love.
Laundry Love is all about members of the congregation
getting together with homeless people to help wash
their clothes, and then share pizza. Simply having clean
clothes to wear can help people to find their way back into
employment and housing. But reports suggest that those
who come to the project do so as much for the sense of
community as for the laundry service.
And then there was the ice-bucket challenge that
was so popular last summer. People competed to find
entertaining ways of getting soaked in the name of charity.
Friends nominated each other, and the momentum built.
People had a lot of fun doing something silly, and raised
money for the much-needed fight against Motor Neurone
Disease in the process. The fact that it was simple and easy
to do was part of its success.
I've no idea how popular it will be, but we hope that
# washday 15 is just as simple. What could be easier than
brightening up someone's day by offering to do their
washing up? People of all ages can take part. Our schools
team have prepared some special material for use in
primary schools to support the project. You may want to
link it to fundraising for a charity such as WaterAid.
If you're in search of ideas, have a look at our website
www.washday.org which tells you everything you need
to know. Think what might work in your community. And
then pick up your sponges and wash - and please share
pictures on the website, and tweet using the hashtag
# washday 15 to inspire others.
Sarah Meyrick is the Director of Communications for
the Diocese of Oxford.
Letters to the editor are very welcome and should be sent either by email to email@example.com or by post to Letters
at the Door, Diocesan Church House, North Hinksey, Oxford 0X2 ONB. The Editor reserves the right to edit all submissions. Letters
sent electronically will be more likely to be published. Letters should be no more than 300 words.
"God bless the murdered children"
What an inspiring message from Jo Duckies regarding
the interfaith activities and inclusive marches through
Oxford to show union within the community. However
I believe it was missing out on several points which are
Whilst it was an abhorrent and cowardly attack on an
unarmed office it covered virtually a whole page, with
only one word used to mention the massacre of 130
beautiful litle innocents who were murdered in their
school by the same type of terrorists.
Is this because Charlie Hebdo is a wealthy business in
a rich country? David Cameron vociferously rounded
on the Pope when he said that abuse would end up in
retaliation and told us that he himself was a Christian
but we should be able to insult, abuse and denigrate
others at will (unless they are a section of society worth
a few votes). He is a very different Christian to me and
must read a different Bible.
The comment re "Charlie Hebdo is a notoriously
controversial paper, at the same time they are an
institution of freedom". I would ask why or how a
commercial enterprise which survives on scandal, abuse
and cheap witticisms can be counted as an 'Institution
Wi-Fi in churches
I have just read an article in the Church Times about
how WiFi should be put in churches. St. Mary's
Charlbury has had WiFi in church for two years now.
It is proving to be useful not just for the parish but
for the community too. One couple who recently
moved to Charlbury used it daily for about 6 weeks
until BT had sorted out their internet.
God in the Life of...
Continued from page 16...
"There are no locks on the doors of the convent to keep
you there, and the silences are times in the day when
people keep quiet, not because they are not allowed to
talk but because they agree to hold the silence and allow
people to be themselves. The sisters are extremely non-
judgemental. You might expect to be told to deny yourself
but you are actually told to look after yourself."
They were so non-judgemental that when the desire
for marriage led Michelle to take the decision to leave
I the convent, the nuns lined the road to wave her off. The
Revd Mother tied the cross Michelle had worn around
her waist around her bag as she left. An oblate of the
community, Michelle still visits regularly as the sisters
there are good friends. An oblate is someone who follows
a rule of life in their everyday life without living in a
"You go along living the religious life seeing if it fits you
and you can be most fulfilled by being in community. If
you start to feel that you don't fit or want to do other
things, you may pull away from the community. I was
there two-and-a-half years so I gave it a good go," says
"Our lives are greatly supported by the sisters' prayers. I
am very grateful for what they have given me," she says.
Michelle went on to become an Occupational Therapist,
eventually taking the role of Regional Manager (UK) for
the College of Occupational Therapists. Now she splits
her time between looking after her daughter and working
to set up discoveringprayer.com. She describes herself as
a prayer agent and hopes the website resources will help
people discover new ways of engaging with God.
of freedom.' It is, as are all newspapers, in business
to make money and they will print whatever drums
up mass hysteria and lies (even to the point of illegal
practice)to achieve that end. Newspapers and magazines
are no more 'Institutions of freedom', than Tesco, B&Q
They are in it to make money and even with eight dead
colleagues still not buried Charlie Hebdo upped their
print run from half a million to five million to cash in on
the moment. Then to add to their stupidity do exactly
the same thing again by insulting millions of people
worldwide. I fear this will lead to more hatred and
division between peoples and give those, like the Oxford
Foundation, an even bigger hill to climb.
As the Doors headline said. "Blessed are the
peacemakers." That should not have been followed
by an editorial on a group who are insistent on doing
anything and everything to make money at the cost of
peace and unity. If I insult someone because of their
race, creed or disability I would be retaliated against i.e.
fined or imprisoned. Why then can the newspapers get
away with it and be lauded for it? May God bless the
murdered children at this time.
David Croton, Henley.
We have used YouTube clips in services, visited
websites in lectures and re-sited the parish office into
the church. The DAC were very understanding and
supportive, a fact which seemed to be a concern in
the article. I hope our experience will encourage other
churches to provide this resource.
The Revd Jan Fielden, Area Dean of Charlbury.
"Richard Branson bought an island when he was 28. It's
about finding aloneness when we are working longer and
longer hours and I can't see that changing," says Michelle,
who is offering free introductions to various forms of
monastic prayer. After the introductory sessions, some
designed to be done while you are doing the dishes, the
ironing or out walking, there will be a charge for some of
"By praying we change our
In an age when mindfulness is practised by those of
all faiths and none, and even prescribed by the NHS, she
hopes to reclaim meditation as a Christian activity. "It's
about leaning towards God, setting our compass towards
God," she says. "By praying we change our hearts and God
points us in a different direction."
With help from a professional actor Anita Wright,
to master voice-overs, Michelle is in the process of
creating up to 40 new guided meditations this Lent.
Discoveringprayer.com offers prayers based on Ignatian
and Benedictine techniques. Rob is a professional web
designer who has supported the website and is working
on a prayer app for mobile phones and tablets. The
initiative has been supported by Bishop John and Bishop
Colin, and the advisory team includes a monk, a spiritual
director and a senior advisor at Vodaphone.
www. disco ver ingprayer. com
Michelle and Rob worship at St Andrew's Church,
Editor: Jo Duckies Tel: 01 865 208227
Production/Distribution Manager: Debbie Dallimore
Tel: 01865 208225 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Advertising: Glenda Charitos Tel: 01 752 225623
Editorial Support Group Chair: The Revd Graham Sykes
Deadline for April 201 5 issue: Friday 27 February 201 5.
Published: Monday 16 March 2015.
The Door is published by Oxford Diocesan Board of Finance
(Diocesan Secretary Mrs Rosemary Pearce). The registered office is
Diocesan Church House, North Hinksey Lane, Oxford, 0X2 ONB.
Tel: 01865 208200. While every care is taken to ensure the reliability
of our advertisements, their inclusion in The Door does not guarantee
it or mean that they are endorsed by the Diocese of Oxford.
Sight impaired people can get a free audio
verison of the Door by contacting the
Oxford Diocese on 01865 208227
7 f \ i
PROFESSIONAL dancer Michelle
Eyre gave up her stage career
to become a nun. Then she
left the convent to become
an occupational therapist.
Now a married mother-of-one
Michelle is starting an exciting
new online prayer initiative.
She tells Jo Duckies her story.
Michelle, who lives with
husband Rob and their
six-year-old daughter in
Botley, Oxford, told me her
story in the Fishes pub in nearby North
Hinksey. Born in Reading, she grew up in
the Woodley area of Berkshire, moving
to London to study at the Royal Academy
of Dance before joining the Springs
Dance Company. Springs are a company
with a varied repertoire underpinned by
While she grew up going to church,
Michelle says she became a Christian
while she was a student, after deliberately
turning her back on faith. "I rebelled a bit.
You almost need to get rid of your parents'
views and upbringing and find things for
Michelle met a Christian pianist and
found his life and music inspiring. She
joined a charismatic evangelical church,
an experience which helped bring alive the
liturgy she came to love when she joined
a convent. She was living the student life
in Clapham, having a great time, watching
dance performances at least once a week
and felt a tension as a Christian between
dancing and serving God.
"...if I didnt explore this I
would never know..!'
A retreat at Stanton House in Stanton
St John and spiritual direction from nuns
in Clapham helped her journey. "It was
watching the badgers in the evening that
got me stopping and being where I was
rather than trying to pray or hear God.
That was at Stanton House and gave me
a taste for retreats," says Michelle, whose
next retreat was in Wantage with the
Community of St Mary the Virgin.
"I was still dancing professionally and
was interested in combining dance and the
written word," says Michelle, who met the
writer Adrian Plass, who kindly invited her
round for dinner, and took everything she
told him and turned it into a 20 minute
monologue to accompany a Springs dance
"I didn't know how lucky I was," says
Michelle, as she reflects on her time in
London, including knocking on the door
of the house where the nuns were living
and asking to see a spiritual director. "The
nun who answered the door asked if I had
anyone in mind or if she would do," says
Michelle, who felt drawn to the religious
life. "I felt that if I didn't explore this I
would never know and I couldn't settle to
anything else until I had tried it."
A discernment process followed that
included thinking carefully about religious
life in a convent, getting references and
visiting several communities to find
out which one might be the right one.
However, wherever she went, Michelle felt
that Wantage was where she wanted to be
and it took 10 months from first exploring
her vocation to eventually becoming a
novice with the sisters there.
"I think the time lapse is another way of
checking if people really mean it when they
say they want to join," she says. "It was
the depth of prayer that struck me. There
was something really different and special
When she became a Christian, Michelle
realised the importance of prayer and
moving to the convent, from a charismatic
background, she realised how much life the
liturgy has in it.
"It was the depth of
prayer there that struck
Giving up dancing was hard as she moved
into the life of a novice nun, although
she did occasionally run dance classes for
elderly sisters in the convent infirmary,
along with duties in the laundry and at St
Mary's School in Wantage. "They vary the
jobs as the vocation has to be to the life of
the community, not to a specific role you
are allocated," says Michelle. The convent
has outreaches that are schools and
orphanages in Botswana, India and South
Africa and Michelle worked alongside
sisters who had worked in those countries.
"The CSMV has a huge influence
worldwide," she says.
"In Wantage action and prayer are
held together and there was sometimes
a tension between the bell ringing for
offices if I was in the middle of something
because prayer is good and work is good,"
says Michelle who was keen to stress that
living in community with people who have
come from all walks of life and Christian
traditions could be challenging. However
she said that everyone is there because
they want to be, following the rule of
life' which, despite the word rule', is not
"The rule of life isn't about what you are
not allowed to do. It's more that you agree
positively to go to the church services
because you want to do them.
Continued on page 15...
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Pull this section out. Keep it handy for your own
prayers and involvement in the Diocese.
f¥± DIOCESE OF OXFORD
Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire
Life changing confessions
Dominic Keech on the
conversion and philosophy of
In 400, the 46-year-old old bishop
of Hippo, in what is now Algeria,
published what he called a 'book of
» confessions', a narrative of memory
and its meaning. It quickly became a
best-seller across the Latin speaking
Mediterranean, not least because
nothing like it had ever been written
before. It would become one of Western
civilisations most significant works of
art, and continues to exert a wide-ranging
influence on contemporary thought both
within and outside the Church. For those
reasons, and because we can find ourselves
in its pages in a way both strange and
illuminating, every Christian should try to
read it, and read it again.
The first nine chapters ('books') of
Confessions seem to be an autobiography.
Augustine tells us about his African
childhood and his relationship with his
mother Monica, a devout and thoughtful
Christian. We encounter Augustine as a
teenager, most famously stealing pears
from a neighbour's garden. That memory
leads him to a complex personal reflection
on guilt, and the human compulsion to
destroy what is good and derive a perverse
pleasure from it, a theme which recurs
throughout the work. Again we meet
Augustine as a student, keeping bad
company; and later falling in love with a
woman he does not name, and with whom
he had a son.
He describes his adherence to
Manichaeism, an exclusive sect of ascetics
who believed in a universal conflict
between evil and good. The Manichean
Augustine concentrated on his teaching
career, which eventually took him to the
imperial court in Milan as professor of
Rhetoric. He tells us that he began to
read Platonic philosophy there, and came
under the influence of the city's impressive
bishop, Ambrose. He hears about the
monk Anthony, renouncing worldly life in
the desert. Then, in a garden, a mysterious
voice tells him to pick up and read'. What
he reads is St Paul, exhorting Christians to
put on Christ and make no provision for
the flesh. It leads him to a homecoming,
to the catholic faith where he began.
Augustine is baptized, and prepares to
return to Africa with Monica. Just before
they set sail, they share together a vision
of God, and there Monica dies.
All of this Augustine relates in a voice
which echoes with Scripture, as the words
of the Bible and the words of memory meld
together in one great prayer. Confessions
tells the course of a life to the God who has
given it, who reveals himself within every
person, and pre-eminently in Christ, the
mediator between God's life and ours.
After Monica's death, the perspective of
Confessions shifts. Augustine discusses
the nature of memory and how we
know ourselves, and are most present to
ourselves, through remembering who we
have been. That hindsight is revealing,
because the goodness we now remember
always longing for is none other than God
himself, within and beyond the passing
goods of our lifetime. In remembering,
time and eternity intersect, as we come
to recognise the true object of our - at
present - always momentary desire.
longing for is none other
than God himself..!'
In Confessions last book, Augustine
turns to Genesis 1. Seen in hindsight too,
the story of creation's unfolding foretells
creation's completion in the Church, the
heavenly city, where longing finds its
fulfilment. In his Confessions, Augustine
tells out his late fourth-century life and
all human lives, each yearning for the God
who is present in our fleeting instances,
revealing himself to our inmost self.
Looking back led Augustine to hope, and
to praise: 'Late have I loved you, O beauty so
old, and so new.'
Two popular translations of Confessions
are widely available, that of Henry
Chadwick, published by Oxford University
Press in the Oxford World's Classics series;
and of Maria Boulding, published by New
The Revd Dominic Keech is the Chaplain
at Brasenose College in Oxford.
The muddy curate's coat of one bright colour
by Sue Morton
robe frequently plays an
important part in what we do
^ and today has been a robed
kind of day. I had begun the day
wearing my cassock inside-out - before
anyone concludes that curacy has addled
my brain, I hasten to add that the cassock
inside-out moment was in the interest of a
primary school assembly.
In the absence of a coat of many colours
the purple lining of my cassock provided
a very adequate coat of one bright colour.
It did the job of keeping 300 children
absorbed long enough for me to deliver an
interactive story about Joseph, hopefully
encouraging them to go home and read
their Bibles to find out what happened
next as the said Joseph was led over the
horizon by Ishmaelite traders.
The second part of the day was quite
different; I robed carefully as I had the
privilege of preparing to take my first
funeral with burial.
The churchyard in this particular village
is full so, following the funeral service,
the burial necessitated us making our
way a quarter of a mile up the road to our
a character from
So the funeral director and I walked
through the village and up the hill on
a mainly single track road, followed by
the hearse and a gathering of family
and friends. Oncoming cars managed to
squeeze into tiny passing places and some
even stopped their engines out of respect
as they waited for us to pass.
As we processed at a sedate pace, the rain
started, the wind got up and we became
wetter and wetter. By the time we reached
the graveyard, situated on the side of a
hill overlooking the beautiful valley, I was
drenched. People stood under umbrellas
as I began the committal, rain trickling
down the back of my neck. Nevertheless it
was, despite the weather, a lovely place to
lay a person to rest.
By the end of the service the pages of
my book were glued firmly together with
raindrops, my robes dripping and my
cloak billowing in the wind; I resembled a
character from Wuthering Heights making
her way back to the village from high on
And more and more it had become one
of those topsy-turvy days that can arise
in ministry. One moment I'm playing the
fool for Christ in a local school, the next
I'm walking alongside people whose lives
have been turned inside out by loss.
But I know that beside me, through all of
this, throughout my curacy - whether I'm
wearing robes inside out or the right way
round - walks the One who came to turn
our world upside down.
Holding on to the hem
of Jesus' robe gives us
Holding on to the hem of Jesus' robe
gives us strength, a hem which is always
within our grasp, one whose very touch
can bring transformation to an inside
out, upside down, topsy-turvy world. As I
said, a robe frequently plays an important
part in what we do, but that robe is not
necessarily our own.
The Revd Sue Morton is a Curate in the
Hambleden Valley. This is the last in her
series of reflections of her experiences
as a trainee vicar.
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March prayer diary
The following is for guidance only, please feel free to adapt to local condit
Our purpose is to create a caring,
sustainable and growing Christian
presence in every part of the Diocese
'Go therefore and make disciples of all
nations, baptizing them in the name of
the Father and of the Son and the Holy
Spirit'. Matthew 28:19
Pray to the Father through the Son in
the power of the Spirit for:
MONDAY 2 Deddington Deanery.
Jeff West, Lindsay Mills, Juliet West,
David Workman, Stephen Fletcher and
Jon Cardy. Please pray for our work
to welcome the people moving to the
many new homes being built in the
deanery and for those benefices either
in vacancy or shortly to become vacant
within the deanery.
TUESDAY 3 Adderbury. Stephen
Fletcher and Paul Godwin. For our
growing work with young people, led by
David Benskin and for older members
of our community, supported by the
Lunch Club. Christopher Rawlins (VA)
WEDNESDAY 4 Banbury St Francis.
Chris Gaynor, John Goodman and
Becki Smith. For our joint working
with the North Oxfordshire Academy,
especially with the possibility of a
group for Christian students starting.
Please also pray for our 'Open The Book'
team as we seek to bring the Scriptures
alive in our local primary schools.
THURSDAY 5 St Hugh Banbury.
Anita Smith. For a real sense of Gods
leading as we consider our Mission
Action Plan and give thanks for
the welcome and opportunity to be
involved in one of the local primary
schools. Bishop Alan confirming
at Mursley and Swanbourne House
FRIDAY 6 Banbury St Leonard.
Sue Burchell. For us as we work on an
action plan based on our vision to be a
Christian presence in the community,
embodying Gods love in word and
deed; and, as part of that, for our
work with families and young people.
St. Leonards (VC) School. Women's
World Day of Prayer. Please pray for
the Footprints service of remembrance
taking place at St Peter and St Paul's
Church, Medmenham this evening.
SATURDAY 7 St Mary Banbury.
Linda Green, Sue Newby, Jeff West,
Beom- Jin Shin and Roger Verrall.
Please pray for the congregation,
churchwardens, PCC and ministry
team, as they prepare for a vacancy
and for the community and town of
Banbury, which we serve, and especially
for those who are struggling, homeless
fearful, unwell. St Mary's (VC) School.
Bishop Bill Down confirming at St
George's School Ascot. Licensed Lay
MONDAY 9 St Paul, Banbury.
Edward Coombs, Luke Foster, Susan
Johnson, Dennis Smith and Jeanette
Law. Please pray that God would fill
us with the knowledge of what he has
done in Christ; and that the life of St
Paul's Church would please Him in
every way (Colossians 1.9-10). Diocesan
Advisory Committee - Please pray
for their deliberations as they look at
proposals for repair, maintenance and
re-ordering of our places of worship.
TUESDAY 10 Bloxham with
Milcombe and South Newington.
For the Churchwardens taking on
extra responsibility during the vacancy
and for the process by which a new
incumbent is sought. Please pray for
the planning of the Bloxham Festival.
Bloxham (VC) School.
WEDNESDAY 11 Bodicote. Sarah
Sharp and Brian Gardner and Elizabeth
Smith. For the people moving in
to the new housing development of
Longford Park that they may feel
included in the life of the parish and
for the efforts of the parish to welcome
them. Please also pray for the staff and
pupils of Bishop Loveday (VA) School
that the relationship between church,
school and community will continue
to flourish and grow. Bishop Colin
confirming at Abingdon School.
THURSDAY 12 Deddington with
Bar ford, Clifton and Hempton.
Annie Goldthorp and Rosemary Wilson.
Deddington (VA) School.
FRIDAY 13 Ironstone. John Reader,
Hugh White, John Straw and Trina
Wilcox. For the relaunching of the
Benefice Pilgrimage Trail during Holy
Services at Christ Church Cathedral
SUNDAYS: 8am Holy Communion; 10am Matins (coffee in Priory Room);
11.15am Sung Eucharist; 6pm Evensong.
WEEKDAYS: 7.15am Morning Prayer; 7.35am Holy Communion;
lpm (Wednesday only) Holy Communion;
6pm Evensong (Thursday Sung Eucharist 6pm).
Tel: 01865 276155 www.chch.ox.ac.uk
Week and also the work of the task
groups on Community Engagement
and links to local schools. Wroxton and
Shenington (VA) Schools.
SATURDAY 14 Shires Edge. Hilary
Campbell, and Lynda Alcock. For roof
repair and re-development plans at St
Mary's Cropredy and for our Marriage
Preparation Day. Cropredy (VC) School.
Bishop Colin confirming at Tudor Hall
MONDAY 16 Wykeham. Ronald
Hawkes, Elisabeth Hawkes and John
Tattersall. Please pray that we shall
make really good use of our days of
consultancy on Church Growth and for
the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we
seek to work with children and young
people. North Newington BP Carpenter
TUESDAY 17 Newbury Deanery.
Rita Ball, John Hughesdon, Rachel
Thorn, Philip Read, Simon Thorn, and
Roger Williams. For the deanery as
we explore ways of connecting with
our mixed rural, suburb and town
WEDNESDAY 18 East Downland.
John Toogood, Douglas Dales and
Denise Brown. For William McDowell
as he prepares for ordination and
serving his title post with us and for
our MAP projects, especially giving
thanks for the progress made in
working with the young people in the
benefice. Beedon (VC) School and Stoke
Cross (VA) School.
THURSDAY 19 West Downland.
John Townend and Mary Harwood.
For the continuing development of our
Cafe Church in Great Shefford and for
the ongoing projects in the benefice to
make five of our churches sustainable
and multi-purpose. Brightwalton (VA),
Chaddleworth (VC), Shefford (VC) and
Welford and Wickham (VC) Schools.
FRIDAY 20 Greenham. John
Bramhall, Brian Jones and Gemma
Wilkinson. Please pray as we prepare
for the arrival of our new incumbent
and plan for our Easter Holiday Club.
ions and, if you wish, produce your own deanery prayer diaries.
SATURDAY 21 Hermitage Team
Ministry. Rita Ball, Luci Heyn,
Meg Kirby, Simon Thorn, Wendy
Willoughby-Paul and Cathy Hawkins.
For our Lent Groups studying the
pilgrim course on the Beatitudes and
exploring new ways of commitment and
connection with our rural communities.
Compton (VC), Hampstead Norreys
(VC), Yattendon (VA) and Cold Ash St
Marks (VC) Schools. Diocesan Synod.
MONDAY 23 Hungerford. Andrew
Sawyer and the team.
TUESDAY 24 Lambourn Valley.
Martin Cawte. For the three PCCs as
the recent meeting with our Parish
Development Adviser as they work to
develop our strategic goals and for our
Lent Groups exploring the meaning
of "I turn to Christ". Lambourne (VC)
WEDNESDAY 25 Newbury Team
Ministry. Will Hunter Smart, Paul
Cowan, Margaret Yates, Terry Winrow,
Jane Sutton and Paul Reisbach. Please
pray for the successful appointment of
two new Associate Priests to the team
and for the final stages of pastoral
reorganisation as the team prepares
to become two separate benefices: St
Nicolas and St Mary, and St George
and St John. Bishop David Jennings
confirming at Pipers Corner School.
THURSDAY 26 The Annunciation.
Shaw cum Donnington. Marion
Wood. Shaw cum Donnington (VC)
FRIDAY 27 Thatch am. Mark Bennet,
Pat Jones, Brenda Harland and Alec
Gill. Please pray for resolution of the
continuing unresolved issues around
the court case; for patience in nurturing
developments in worship, group work
and discipleship at St Marys and
that the community presence and
links with Thatcham Park School at St
Barnabas will continue to strengthen
and bear fruit, and that new families
will continue to feel welcome and
encouraged to commit.
SATURDAY 28 Walbury Beacon.
Rachel Lewis, Matthew Cookson and
Sue Webster. For our villages in their
particular ventures and for growing
collaborative projects as the WBB
family; for all who serve within and
without the church buildings and
parish boundaries, with thanksgiving
Prayer for the Bishop of Oxford vacancy
Gracious Lord and shepherd of your pilgrim Church,
We bless you and praise you that you have gathered us,
from across this Diocese,
to be one flock, within one fold.
By your Spirit,
Give us wisdom, courage and faith
as we seek a faithful pastor who will
sustain us on the journey,
feed us with word and sacrament
and nurture our 'Living Faith',
inspiring us to follow you ever more closely.
This we ask in the name of Jesus,
our loving, faithful shepherd
who is the beginning
and the end
of all that we are
and do. Amen.
for generosity of spirit and resources.
Please also pray for the growing musical
traditions in the churches, faith groups
and our Notrees outreach. For all our
leaders and followers, Christ's grace,
confidence and strength. Enborne (VA)
School and St Marys Kintbury (VC)
MONDAY 30 The Communications
Team. Please pray for the team as they
seek to be creative in communicating
the Gospel and presenting the diocese
in an attractive way. Please also pray for
the Editorial Support Group of the Door.
TUESDAY 31 The Finance Team.
Please pray for the ministry of the
finance team at Church House as they
work with Deanery and PCC Treasurers
to manage our finances to effectively
to support the ministry and mission of
Coming and Goings
The Revd Andrew Taylor will take up
post as Chaplain at Downe House School;
The Revd Rachel Ross Smith will take up
post as Associate Minister at Caversham,
Thameside with Mapledurham plus Chaplain
at Queen Anne's School, Caversham; The
Revd Jo Moffett-Levy will take up post as
Associate Minister at Osney; The Revd Dr
Mark Butchers will be leaving his posts
as Area Dean of Oxford Deanery and Vicar
at Wolvercote and Wytham; The Revd
Please join Pray and Fast for
the Climate on the first of each
month for a meaningful and
just global climate agreement
at the UN climate talks. See
org.uk for resources and more
Victor Story will be retiring from his post
as Rector at Great Milton with Little Milton
and Great Haseley.
The following have been given Permission
to Offkate: The Revd Richard Cook; The
Revd Katie Windle; The Revd Stuart
Richards. We recall with sadness the deaths
of: The Revd Dr Michael Perry; The Revd
Vernon Hemingway; The Revd Dave
Our Bishops on Sundays
SUNDAY 1 Lent 2. St Davids Day. Bishop Colin confirming at
Bloxham School and at St Aldates Oxford.
SUNDAY 8 Lent 3. Bishop Colin confirming at Radley
College. Bishop Alan confirming in High Wycombe.
SUNDAY 15 Lent 4. Mothering Sunday. Please pray for the
motherhood for the church as we bring to new birth disciples
of our Lord Jesus Christ. Please pray for the process of
nurture of new disciples that faith in Christ may grow strong.
SUNDAY 22 Lent 5. Bishop Colin confirming at St Ebbes
Oxford. Bishop Alan confirming in Burnham and Slough.
SUNDAY 29 Palm Sunday. British Summertime begins.
Please pray for Christians across the world as we take part in
our Holy Week Devotions.
A short guide to special Sundays and other events
(with a global focus) from Christian Concern for
One World that you may wish to pray for in 2015 is
available at www.tinyurl.com/pobjgmh
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Courses, training, conferences and workshops in March
The Doorpost is a free service for churches to advertise their events and is designed to be hung on church
noticeboards. Please send your events to email@example.com or by post to Church House. The
deadline for the next issue is Friday 27 February 2015.
SUNDAY 1 MARCH
Bicester: Trinity Camerata Spring
concert at St Edburg's at 3.45pm.
Tickets £10 for adults (on the door).
TUESDAY 3 MARCH
Oxford: The Oxford Council of
Christians and Jews interfaith panel
discussion with Marcus Braybrooke,
Jesmond Blumenfeld and Zia Sardar
will take place at 7.30pm at the
Oxford Jewish Centre, 0X1 2JL.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01865
558226 for details.
WEDNESDAY 4 MARCH
Benson: The Mothers' Union
meeting will take place in the village
hall (OX10 7LZ) from 10.30am to
3pm. Speaker: Lucinda Hassell at
11am, concluding with Eucharist.
Email email@example.com or
phone 0118 996 8355.
Headington: All Saints' Church, 0X3
7AU is holding a series of monthly
music recitals in memory of James
Trickey at 8pm - 8.45pm.
Tilehurst: St Mary Magdalen Church
Spring concert. Mozart: Sparrows
Mass with Reading Concert Singers
at 7.30pm. Programmes £8 (£4 under
16) on the door or 0118 942 5290. In
aid of Berkshire MS Therapy Centre.
THURSDAY 5 MARCH
Oxford: Thursday lunch time talks
take place until 12 March at St Giles'
Church at 12.30pm on 'A continuing
journey to the source: Exploring the
wisdom of the mystics'. Details at
FRIDAY 6 MARCH
Medmenham: Footprints service of
remembrance for anyone who has lost
a child during pregnancy or at any
stage of life or has been affected by
such a loss will take place at St Peter
and St Paul's SL7 2HF at 7.30pm.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for
Oxford: 'Building on History: the
National Trust in the 21st Century'
- hear local famous resident, Dame
Helen, talk about how to value the
past. Begins at 8pm at St Matthew's
Church, 0X1 4LW. Tickets £5 on the
door. Phone 01865 798587 or email
email@example.com for details.
SATURDAY 7 MARCH
Oxford: Sponsored abseil at St Mary
Magdalen Church for Christian Aid.
See www.christianaid.org.uk/abseil to
Oxford: Three Choirs Evensong
at Christ Church Cathedral at 6pm.
The choirs of Magdalen College,
New College and the Cathedral join
together. Phone 01865 276155.
Headington: As part of Oxford's
International Women Festival,
Jade Amoli- Jackson and Soraya
Mohammadi talk about leaving their
home countries and settling here as
refugees seeking asylum. 12 noon
- 1pm at Ruskin College, 0X3 9BZ.
Tickets £8 (cone. £7) available by
or phone 07855 495898.
SUNDAY 8 MARCH
Slough: Riding Lights Theatre
Company present its Passion Play,
Inheritance, which will take place at
St Andrew's Methodist Church at
7.30pm. See www.ridinglights.org/
inheritance for details.
MONDAY 9 MARCH
Reading: Cafe Theologique talk at
Zero Degrees, 9 Bridge Street RG1
2LR at 7.30pm. 'The Truth Within:
Inwardness in Christianity, Hinduism
and Buddhism' with Prof Gavin Flood.
Email m . d. laynesmith@reading. ac . uk
Abingdon: 'The Heart of Things'
- Painting and sculpture by Paul
Hobbs at Christ Church 0X14 1PL.
Open today until 14 March. Phone
01235 539172 for details or see www.
WEDNESDAY 11 MARCH
Aylesbury: Vocations event at
Church of the Good Shepherd
HP21 8NH from 8pm - 9.30pm.
'Motherhood and Ministry' - A
curates' experience of balancing
family life and ministry. See http://
Courses and Special Events
Churchwarden Training Days: A morning for
churchwardens - Buckinghamshire Archdeaconry
on 6 March at Waddesdon School (see http://
Berkshire Archdeaconry on 14 March at Greyfriars
Church, Reading (see http://churchwardensberkshire.
eventbrite.co.uk) or phone 01865 208256.
CMS Short term Mission Team Leaders' Training
Day - 14 March: This training will cover cross-cultural
preparation, team dynamics, practicalities. Cost £35. See
www.cms-uk.org/teamleaderstraining or phone 01865
787493 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Open - A six week course that explores the meaning
of the Christian faith will be held on Tuesday evenings
beginning on 24 February from 7.30pm - 9.30pm at St
Nicolas Church, Earley. Open to anyone. Phone 0118 966
9080 or email email@example.com for details.
tinyurl.com/nr4n8fz or phone 01865
Whitley: St Agnes Church Spring
concert. Mozart: Sparrows Mass.
Reading Concert Singers at 7.30pm.
Programmes £8 (£4 under 16) at door
or 0118 942 5290. In aid of Berkshire
MS Therapy Centre.
THURSDAY 12 MARCH
Aylesbury: Mothers' Union North
and Central Bucks Area Forum at
Church of the Holy Spirit HP21 7UE
from 2pm - 4.30pm. Email carol@
carololder.co.uk or phone 01280
Oxford: Retired Clergy meeting
at Christ Church Cathedral in the
Blue Boar Quad at 10.15 (coffee).
'Why Thomas Merton still Matters'
with The Very Revd Dr John Moses,
former Dean of St Paul's. Email
davidcknight45@gmailcom or phone
TUESDAY 17 MARCH
Oxford: Lent concerts will take
place in the Chapel at Queen's College
today and on 24 and 31 March at
6.15pm. See www.op59.net/lent.html
THURSDAY 19 MARCH
Dedworth: Mothers' Union South
Bucks and East Berks Area Forum at
All Saints SL4 4JW from 2pm - 4pm.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or
phone 01753 852334.
WEDNESDAY 25 MARCH
Burghfield: Spring concert with
Vivace voices upper voice choir
at 2.30pm at St Mary's Church
RG30 3TG. Admission £3 (includes
programme and refreshments).
Wokingham: Mothers' Union Lady
Day at 2pm in St Paul's Church RG41
1EH, including the commissioning
of Revd Denise Brown as Diocesan
Chaplain. Email rosiewebb@
btinternet.com or phone 01753
SUNDAY 29 MARCH
Cookham: 'Lead us into Holy Week' -
A choral service for Palm Sunday and
Holy Week at Holy Trinity Church at
Dementia Awareness Course: Saturday 14 March led
by Revd Joanna Collicutt ( Adviser for the Spiritual Care
of Older People) at All Saints Church, Sutton Courtenay
0X14 4AE from 10am - 12.30pm. Email diamarl@
btinternet.com or phone 01235 847430 for details.
Oxford Brookes Open Discussion Series: Discussions
will take place on different topics on Thursday evenings
throughout March and April at 6pm (wine reception
at 5.30pm) in the Main Lecture Theatre, Harcourt Hill
Campus, Oxford 0X2 9 AT. All welcome. No charge. See
http:/ / tinyurl.com/ n875pms
Local Discipleship and Ministry Courses: Leading
Intercessions - Half day course on 7 March at St Mark's
Church, Cold Ash. Cost £20. Ministry with Older
People - Day course on 21 March at Diocesan Church
House. Cost £20. For details of both of these courses
please see www.oxford.anglican.org/our-faith/lifelong-
learning/ or phone 01865 208257.