Upcoming events

Disability Online Conference:
Wednesday 13 October, 10am – 3pm

The conference (on Zoom) will showcase people working in different areas of disability and church life and will offer  support and advice as you seek to make your church more accessible to all. Booking details

Pre-retirement day
Wednesday 27 October

Due to Covid we have not been able to offer the usual residential event but we have been able to book a day at St Mary’s Convent, Wantage.

The day will run from 10am (arrival from 9.30am) and will end with an optional evening meal at 6pm for those who can stay.

We have a maximum number of 24 places available. Due to the previous cancellation, we are prioritising those who will retire in the next 18 months. I am sorry if some of you have already retired, but if you would still benefit from this do let me know. As before you are welcome to bring someone with you. To book a place please email Andrea by the end of September.

We will hear from Andrew and Pippa Body, who will share their own journey through retirement: a really helpful part of the event. During the day we will look together at: ‘Preparing myself/ourselves for retirement’ (including health and wellbeing) and ‘Preparing others for my retirement’. This year we have removed the financial and housing talks, partly as feedback suggested that this had come too late to be very helpful. I am therefore looking into setting up a separate event for discussion of these topics, and making this available to the over 50s. However, if you would benefit from suggestions as to where to get advice if you are about to retire, do get in touch with Andrea.

Black History Month: October

Polly Falconer, the Diocesan UKME Development Enabler, is working with a team to produce a series of four Zoom lectures/discussions during the month. Further details, including dates, will appear here soon but to whet your appetite:

  • Professor Anthony Reddie (Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Culture, Regent’s Park College): Black Theology. (Thursday 21 October, 6-7pm)
  • Dr Sanjee Perera (Archbishops’ Adviser on Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns): The psychological impact of being UKME in the Church of England. (Date tbc)
  • Raj Patel (Chief Executive of Diverse Thinking): ‘Structures, Barriers, and Authenticity (Date tbc)

On 30 October Polly and others will host a UKME Vocations Event at Christ Church Cathedral. If there are members of your congregation who are UKME and think God may be calling them to any sort of ministry within the Church, do encourage them to go along to this. This is not just about ordained ministry/Licensed Lay Ministry – it could be someone who thinks they might be called to be a churchwarden, for example.

Inspiring Music in Worship during Covid and beyond

led by Revd Helen Bent: Thursday 4 November 2021 10 am – 4 pm at St Mary’s Church, Ufton Nervet, Sulhamstead Abbots, RG7 4ED

RSCM Inspiring Music in Worship: A short course of guided conversations for churches could have been written for just such a time as this. In an engaging and interactive training day, Helen will provide not only an introduction to the course but also guided reflection on our experiences of worship during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is a great opportunity to consider how we have adapted our worship patterns and how we will shape them as we move towards the ‘new normal’. The Inspiring Music in Worship book encourages parishes to make the best use of music to enhance their worship, even when they have few resources. Guided conversations foster greater understanding – not only of worship and music but also between leaders of worship (both lay and ordained), musicians and congregations. In an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust, participants are invited to explore together. Grounded in real-life case studies, the course provides an opportunity to discover new riches whilst acknowledging the tensions of traditional and contemporary forms of worship and bringing hope to congregations in the face of challenge and unavoidable change.

The day will include exercises from the course, but it will also explore examples from the Church’s response to previous pandemics down through the centuries.

Helen Bent is both priest and musician. She brings a love of church history and liturgy together with a wealth of experience in training worship leaders, ordained and lay, and their musicians across the full breadth of tradition and style. Helen is a respected author of worship training resources and an active practitioner, modelling creative liturgy and music in a variety of worship styles. With a passion for mission, she remains rooted in the local church regularly leading worship as Associate Priest in The Walgrave Benefice, Peterborough Diocese.

Open to all clergy/licensed lay ministers working within the Diocese of Oxford. Cost: Free. Refreshments: bring your own lunch; tea/coffee/biscuits supplied. Car parking available in (small) car park or by side of adjacent lanes.

To book your place, please email John Hasley: jhalsey.council@rscm.com

Ongoing events

The online funeral ministry course

A course for those who would like to explore funeral ministry is now available. It’s designed for anyone who feels called to offer themselves for this important ministry; licensed lay ministers who would like to develop this aspect of their ministry, authorised preachers, and those with considerable pastoral experience may want to explore this further. It offers insights and expertise into taking funerals and exercising compassionate care of the bereaved.

It can be completed online at any time, but prior to booking you need to have a conversation with your incumbent and gain their support. You will also need to identify a mentor who can accompany you though the training and the start of your funeral ministry.

To gain access to the course, please fill in the form below and someone will be in touch.

    Past events

    Missed an event or want to listen back to refresh your memory? Click on the titles below:

    Blessed are the Placemakers

    Andrew Rumsey, the Bishop of Ramsbury, leads us through some ‘ecclesiastical geography’, explores biblical themes of place and locality
    and how the parish system translated these into the English context, and helps us reflect on what that mean for us now.

    Preaching on the cross

    Tom Wright, former Bishop of Durham and known to many as the author NT Wright, offers a series of three talks to help inform our theology of the cross and how we might preach on it, particularly over Lent, Holy Week and Easter.

    Preaching the Gospel of Mark

    Revd Dr Will Lamb, Vicar of the University Church in Oxford, offers a number of resources that explore some of the major themes that can help preachers connect Mark’s gospel with the life of the Church and the world. Kindly hosted on the University Church website.

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