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March 201 5 no 265 



door 



Around the Deaneries 
Burnham and Slough 



frstiam 



Wantage 




BURNHAM & 
SLOUGH 

Maidenhead 
fir Windsor 

Reading 

Bracknell 
EonnEng 





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." 

Suicide prevention 

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." 

Knock-on effect 

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 
Tesco. 



"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 
markets. 

"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 
public eye. 

"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 
obvious reasons. 

"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 
in February. 

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. 

Charities Slough 
Homeless Our 
Concern (SHOC), a 
day centre for the 
homeless, and the 
London and Slough 
Run, collaborated 
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 
Centre. 

"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 
http://sloughhomeless.org/ 



the Government say is the minimum 
wage." 

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 



NFU: www.nfuon 



nfuonline.com 
Farming Community Network: 
www.fcn.org 
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. 
Amen. 



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 
of Lent. 

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 
event. 

Prayer points, a prayer by Archbishop 
Tutu and other materials are available 
at www.prayandfastfortheclimate. 
org.uk. 



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 
Slough deanery. 

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 
the UK. 

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 
63,973. 

Emergency Response 

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 
Research. 

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 - 
www.justgiving.com/Tracy-Makin 




purifying equipment, 
mosquito nets and 
farm seeds and 
implements. 

MANNA is a 
long-standing UK 
registered charity 
that exists to 
enable and grow 
the churches in 
Mozambique and 
Angola and supports 
the Diocese of Niassa 
and the 'Teams of 
Life.' 

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 
time. 




Elizabeth Thomas, ofMarcham Church 
in Oxfordshire is MANNA's Executive 
Officer. 




www.justgiving.com/MANNA- 
Floods-2015-Appeal/ 
www.manna.anglican.org 
www.facebook.com/mannaanglican 




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, 
Clementine. 

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 
this year." 




Otr 

WW 



Donations to the window can be 
made at churchillwindow.weebly. 
com 

Other resources are at 
wwwchurchillcentral.com/educatior 



Jon 



the Door, March 2015, page 4 



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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 
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To enter, please send 
your art work, name, 
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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 
simpler life 

John Twisleton 

BRF £6.99 

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 
premium. 

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 

Dave Tomlinson 
Hodder and Stoughton 
£13.99 

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 



warfare. He 
helps us to 
see that there 
is no magic in 
it but that it 
is 'linked to 
trusting the 
word of God 
and the Holy 
Scripture'. 
Twisleton 
earths the 
use of the 
prayer in 
the pastoral 

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. 





The 

bad.' 

Christian's 
manifesto 



content with 
their notion 
of faith' the 
challenge may 
be different, 
a challenge 
to their 
conventions 
of God, and 
some will 
undoubtedly 
find the views 
expressed too 
liberal, too 
worldly or too 
pluralistic. 

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 
Trust. 



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 
College Chapel. 

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 

SPCK 

£6.00 



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 





ON ROCK 

OR SAND? 




defensive and 
backward- 
looking feel. 
Important 
as Temple, 
Beveridge and 
Tawney are to 
our theological 
heritage, 
political 
theology has 
moved on and 
developed in 
the last 60 
years. And why 
quote from 

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 
Christians. 

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 



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T 



going on. 



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 

Vital statistics: 

Area Dean: Rod Cosh 
Lay Chair: Mark Johnson 
Clergy: 27 
Churches: 32 
Benefices: 17 





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 
collaborative deanery..!' 

"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 



Beautiful Gate 




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. 




fiURNHAW & 
SLOUGH 

tdtnhead 

* Windier I 

Bidden 
Sinning 



"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 
Amersham Deanery. 

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 
Magna Carta. 

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 
inspiring event." 




For more on the Magna Carta 
celebrations nationally see 
magnacarta800.com/ 
For more on Wraysbury see 
www.sta nd rewswraysb u ry.< 




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A time 



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 
life? 

Do I need time away from everyday 
life to reflect on the past, present or 
future? 

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 
God!' 



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 
November. 

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, 
www.retreats.org.uk 

Alison MacTier, Executive Director of the Retreat Association. 



o retreat 




The Door asked a 
variety of retreat 
centres to tell us what 
they can offer to 
visitors: 

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. 
uk.com bookings@sheldon. 
uk.com 01647-252752. 

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. 
rcc.ac.uk/retreats 

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 
URC: www.aturc.freeuk.com; 
for the Centre for Reflection: 
www.reflect.freeuk.com or 
contact coordinator @ref lect. 
freeuk.com. 

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. 
haciendalosolivos.org. 



'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. 
sistersofbethany.org.uk 

GLADSTONE'S Library, 
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 
theological, historical, 
cultural and political 
materials. 

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. 
gladstoneslibrary.org email 
enquiries@gladlib.org or call 
01244 532350. 

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. 
www.scargillmovement.org 



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the Door, March 2015, page 10 



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Please return this form to Gilead Foundations, Risdon Farm, Jacobstowe, Okehampton, EX20 3AJ 

Tel: 01837 851240 Fax: 01837 851520 Email: admin@gilead.org.ukwww.gilead.org.uk 
Registered in England No: 2608644 Limited by Guarantee Registered Charity No: 1002909 



Gilead 

FOUNDATIONS 



01837 851240 
www.gilead.org.uk 



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 
achievement. 

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, 
and cricket. 

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 
baptised. 

But after 5 months, I went off the rails. I did 




Adam on a missio 
orphans in Bulgari 



in 

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 
rewarding one. 

hen 
my 



^^^^^^first 
asked me to be a 




governor at our 
local Church of 
England primary 
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 
school..!' 

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 
Winchester Cathedral. 



RIGHT 

Programme 



Facts about Church School Governors: 

The Diocese has 3,825 school 
governors serving 284 church 
schools. 

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 
the Diocese. 

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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Comment Letters 




#Washday 1 5 is 
free this Lent 

by Sarah Meyrick 

n Maundy Thursday 



O 



every year 
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. 



#WASHf0AY15 



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 jo.duckles@oxford.anglican.org 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 
worth considering. 

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 
religious community. 

"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 
Michelle. 

"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 
or McDonalds. 

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 
the resources. 

"By praying we change our 
hearts..!' 



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, 
Oxford. 



Editor: Jo Duckies Tel: 01 865 208227 

Email: jo.duckles@oxford.anglican.org 

Production/Distribution Manager: Debbie Dallimore 

Tel: 01865 208225 Email: debbie.dallimore@oxford.anglican.org 

Advertising: Glenda Charitos Tel: 01 752 225623 

Email: glenda@cornerstonevision.com 

Editorial Support Group Chair: The Revd Graham Sykes 

Email: prayerdiary@oxford.anglican.org 



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. 




Audio version 

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 
Christian spirituality. 

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 
yourself." 

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 
piece. 

"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 
there." 

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 
me!' 

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 
legalistic. 

"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. 



www.oxford.anglican.org 




f¥± DIOCESE OF OXFORD 

Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire 



Life changing confessions 



Dominic Keech on the 
conversion and philosophy of 
St Augustine. 

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. 



d " 

always remember 
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 
City Press. 

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 
nearest graveyard. 

"....I resembled 
a character from 
Wuthering Heights..." 

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 
the moor. 

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 
strength... 

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 
of Oxford. 



'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) 
School. 

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 
School. 

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, 



LIVING 



Buffi 

r 



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 
Ministers Forum. 

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 



SUSTAINING THE 
SACRED CENTRE 



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 
School. 

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 
(VA) School. 

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 
communities. 

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. 



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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) 
School. 

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) 
School. 

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 seek 

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) 
School. 

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 
the diocese. 



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 




ast 

imate 



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 
www.prayandfastfortheclimate. 
org.uk for resources and more 
information. 



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 
Lawton. 



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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3 15Feb 



Inheritance 

Riding Lights Passion Play for Lent 2015 

On a dusty road leading to Jerusalem, 
a woman stumbles towards her 
judgement. Just weeks later, Jesus 
will take the same road, leading to 
the cross... 

Find out more and watch the trailer at 
www.ridinglights.org/inheritance 




INHERITS \CK 

Tuesday 24th March at 7.30pm at Christ Church, 
Northcourt Road, Abingdon 0X14 1PL 

Tickets £10 (children/students £5) at the door or from 
Church Office (T: 01235 539172 E: office@cca.uk.net) 
If you have any queries please contact Sally Mears 
(T: 01235 534018 E: smears@gmail.com) 




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thedoorpost 



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 doorpost@oxford.anglican.org 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 ccj@gmail.com 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 gill_johnson@live.co.uk 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. 
Email robinmunday519@btinternet. 



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 
www.ocsg.uk.net 

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 suemortonl31@gmail.com for 
details. 

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 
stmatzoxford@gmail.com for details. 

SATURDAY 7 MARCH 

Oxford: Sponsored abseil at St Mary 
Magdalen Church for Christian Aid. 
See www.christianaid.org.uk/abseil to 
register. 

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 
emailingpebbleshore@btinternet.com 
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 
for details. 

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. 
arthobbs.com 

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:// 
churchwardensbuckinghamshire.eventbrite.co.uk) and 
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 kathryn.smith@cms-uk.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 miriam@stnicolas.org.uk for details. 



tinyurl.com/nr4n8fz or phone 01865 
208283. 

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 
820812. 

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 
01865 761476. 

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 rosiewebb@btinternet.com 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 
852334. 

SUNDAY 29 MARCH 

Cookham: 'Lead us into Holy Week' - 
A choral service for Palm Sunday and 
Holy Week at Holy Trinity Church at 
6.30pm. 



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.