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Advent Sleepout a huge success

An Advent nativity Tableux at Christ Church

An Advent nativity tableux at Christ Church

AROUND 25 people took part in the Church Urban Fund Advent Sleepout at Christ Church Cathedral. Clergy and students took part. The sleepout raised £4,654 and most of those who took part also got involved in a nativity tableux.  Read more about the sleepout here. Student, Tim Wyatt’s account of the night can be read here.

An Advent Sleepout at Christ Church

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THE Archdeacon of Oxford, the Ven. Martin Gorick, and his colleagues at Christ Church Cathedral are joining in the national Church Urban Fund Advent Sleepout challenge. Martin said: “I used to be the vicar of an Urban Priority Area parish in Birmingham and CUF supported us at an early stage of a project to provide a healthy living centre in Smethwick. They were the first charitable trust to get on board and gave us £25,000. It was for a project that cost £750,000 and it came at an ideal time as we found out talking to other organisations that they are a really respected funder.”

Preparing for a cold night in the cathedral are, from left, the Revd Canon Edmund Newey, the Sub Dean; the Very Revd Prof Martyn Percy, the Dean;  The Ven Martin Gorick, the Archdeacon of Oxford and Christ Church student Frazer MacDiarmid. Photo Jo Duckles.

Preparing for a cold night in the cathedral are, from left, the Revd Canon Edmund Newey, the Sub
Dean; the Very Revd Prof Martyn Percy, the Dean; The Ven Martin Gorick, the Archdeacon of Oxford and Christ Church student Frazer MacDiarmid. Photo Jo Duckles.

Martin said: “They are professional, capable and believe in the potential of the local church to transform lives in some of the most deprived areas.”
Martin said that he felt living at Christ Church, which is also a college of Oxford University, was an ideal opportunity to take part in the sleep-out, and hoped others would join him. Across the country, groups will be taking part in the challenge to raise funds for CUF so the charity can continue to support people struggling with issues such as debt, homelessness, isolation and addiction. In 2014 an estimated 2,744 people were sleeping rough on any one night in England, a rise of 55 per cent since 2010. As well as this, there are 8.8 million people who are struggling with problem debt, CUF statistics reveal.  To help tackle these issues, groups are being encouraged to get imaginative in the run up to Christmas as they turn spaces in their communities into stables to sleep in. Church halls, back gardens, sheds, and garages will host the sleepouts.
Paul Hackwood, CUF executive chair, said “Advent is a unique time for Christians as we remember that God chose to walk among us in the most truly humble of circumstances. The Advent Sleepout Challenge is a way for us to respond to that by placing ourselves in our very own ‘stables’ so that we can support the most vulnerable in our country.”

 

New Lay Ministers licensed in a special service

Here are our new Lay Ministers after their licensing at Christ Church Cathedral on Saturday, November 7. From the back left are Peter Flory, Estelle Fourie , Roy Tarbox, the Revd Dr Phillip Tovey, Deputy Warden for LLMs. Next row, from left are Ian Fordyce, Karen Goff and Margaret Ibison, front row Tish Bird, Pam Davey, Bishop Andrew and Ian Smith.

Photo: Jo Duckles.LLMuse

Cathedral clergy roll up their sleeves to join in #Washday2015

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 Press Release

Cathedral clergy roll up their sleeves for #Washday 15

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What: #Washday15 sees clergy from Christ Church washing a British Red Cross vehicle on Maundy Thursday

Where: The Broad Walk at Christ Church, Oxford

When: 9.30am on Thursday, April 2 2015

Television cameras, reporters and photographers are invited.

 

THE DEAN of Oxford’s Christ Church Cathedral and members of the Cathedral Chapter will be joining in the #Washday 15 campaign by washing a British Red Cross vehicle on Maundy Thursday.

 

#Washday15 is a new initiative encouraging people to make a difference in their communities throughout Lent by taking part in a washing activity. It is particularly relevant on Maundy Thursday, the day leading up to Easter. This is when Christians celebrate the Last Supper Jesus had with his disciples before the events leading up to his crucifixion. The washing element is inspired by the way Jesus washed his disciples’ feet during the supper.

 

The Revd Canon Edmund Newey, the Cathedral’s Sub Dean, said: “When Jesus washed his disciples’ feet he showed his care for them.  His leadership wasn’t top-down, it began with washing their tired, dusty feet and ended by transforming every aspect of their lives.  #Washday15 is a reminder that our lives too can be transformed by the care we give and receive in Christ’s name.”

 

 

#Washday15 was launched by the Diocese of Oxford at the start of Lent. Since then it has gone global, with the Episcopal Church in the USA promoting it in their churches and parishes in our link Diocese of Växjö in Sweden being encouraged to take part. The material may be translated into French and Spanish to maximise its usage across the Anglican Communion. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby did the washing up at a school in Birmingham

 

See www.washday.org to find out more about #Washday15 and watch a short video.

 

Ends

 

For more information contact Jo Duckles on 07880 716761 or 01865 208227.

 

Hundreds of children at Year Six ‘Love Is’ services

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HUNDREDS of Church of England school pupils from the Oxford Diocese were treated to celebrations of the four different types of ‘love’ in two events. The special services one at St James Church, Gerrards Cross in Buckinghamshire and another at Oxford’s Cathedral at Christ Church, took place in July 2014. At each event a morning of activities, including decorating crosses took place before a special services, in which the crosses were placed on the floor to form one big cross. The crosses highlighted four different types of love; brotherly love, family love, romantic love and God’s love. 2014 is the second year the event has been held in the Oxford Diocese. For a video of last year’s service click here.  The Rt Revd Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham, preached at the Gerrards Cross event and the Rt Revd John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford, preached at Christ Church.

Bishop John at the Christ Church service. Photo: Oliver Bingham.

Bishop John at the Christ Church service. Photo: Ollie Bingham.

Children process to create the large cross mosaic at Gerrards Cross. Photo: Jo Duckles.

Children process to create the large cross mosaic at Gerrards Cross. Photo: Jo Duckles.

New Deacons take up posts in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire

THE Bishop of Oxford ordained 19 new clergy at Christ Church Cathedral on Saturday 5 July 2014.

The Deacons have now taken up their posts as curates in the Diocese of Oxford.

From left, Ben Drury, Jo Ellington, Patrick Gilday, Janet Wales, Sam Cross, Ben Topham, Hannah Brooks, Sally Bottomer, Nigel Richards and Dominic Meering with Bishop John.

From left, Ben Drury, Jo Ellington, Patrick Gilday, Janet Wales, Sam Cross, Ben Topham, Hannah Brooks, Sally Bottomer, Nigel Richards and Dominic Meering with Bishop John.

From left, Jonathan Jong, Simon Potter, Rob Glenny, John Goodman, George Moody, Peter Hill, Mather Simpson, Janet Radford and Michael Lakey.

From left, Jonathan Jong, Simon Potter, Rob Glenny, John Goodman, George Moody, Peter Hill, Martha Simpson, Janet Radford and Michael Lakey.

Sally Bottomer to serve in Aston Clinton
Sally says: “I’m married with four children and I have two dogs. I used to live in Tenerife and am bilingual in Spanish. I like to go running in my spare time not only to keep fit but also to spend ‘quality time’ with God.”

Hannah Brooks to serve in Finchampstead and California
Hannah says: “I am 24 years old. I have felt called to ordained ministry since about the age of 12. This year is very exciting because as well as getting ordained, I am also getting married.”

Sam Cross, to serve at St Giles, Reading
Sam has just completed his BA in Theology, studying at Ripon College Cuddesdon for the past three years. Prior to ordination Sam worked in the entertainment industry as a performer, running his own business from the age of seventeen. He has a particular interest in pilgrimage, which his dissertation explored.

Jo Ellington to serve in the Cookhams
Jo says: “I am married with two children and two step children. I was not a churchgoer as a child. I was baptised and confirmed at 17. I studied Chemistry at Leeds University. I worked in the USA for two years. I love walking, skiing and eating with friends and family.”

Patrick Gilday to serve at All Saints, Ascot Heath
Patrick says: “I first came to Oxford as a music student in 2002, where I was for a little while a member of the cathedral choir. Coming to Christ Church always feels like coming home now. Since graduating I have worked for the NHS and taught undergraduate musicians at Oxford.”

Dominic Meering to serve in Hazlemere
Dominic, a former Maths teacher from Bristol, is married to Crystal with two young children. For three years they led a week long annual residential water sports and exam revision holiday in the Lake District. He has also helped with various other short-term mission trips in the UK and overseas.

Nigel Richards to serve in Bracknell
Nigel says: “Years ago there was a popular game show called ‘What’s My Line?’, in which panellists would guess a person’s occupation by given clues. Looking at my Facebook profile – apart from a few obvious ‘likes’ – it would be difficult to see a priest among my interests of rock music, street art, tattoos and festivals. I hate all forms of injustice, and remain passionately in love with God, the world and everybody in it.”

Ben Topham to serve at Chalfont St Peter
Ben says: “I graduated from Cliff College in 2005, and since have been engaged in full-time youth ministry. I love to tell stories and explore scripture with others. My pre-ordination ‘retreat’ was a 112 mile pilgrimage in 5 days which joined my love of challenge, the great outdoors, deep friendships and active spirituality.”

Janet Wales to serve at Stoke Mandeville and the Kimbles
Janet was born in South Africa but moved to Zimbabwe when she married David now Rector of Weston Turville Parish. She has two adult children, Christopher and Roslinn. Janet, a former History teacher, now teaches piano and plays the organ. She is interested in Art and Inter-Faith matters.

Ben Drury to serve in Stony Stratford with Calverton
Benjamin grew up in Richmond, Yorkshire. At Worcester College, Oxford he read Ancient and Modern History, and Byzantine Studies; then continued exploring his vocation as Pastoral Assistant of St Michael’s and St Paul’s Church in Brighton. Benjamin was then Course Assistant at St George’s College, Jerusalem before returning to Oxford to read Theology at St Stephen’s.

Rob Glenny to serve at Marston and Elsfield
Prior to training at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, Rob read theology at the University of St. Andrews, writing a dissertation on the theology of Johannes Brahms. He has a keen interest in both sport and music, and a moonlights as a part-time composer. He is soon to be married to Beth.

John Goodman to serve at St Francis, Banbury
John Goodman’s background is mission work in schools, parishes and street outreach as a youth worker as well as in media and internet based ministries. He trained at Trinity College Bristol. Together with his wife, Camilla, and children, Miriam and Samuel, they are excited to serve in St Francis, Banbury.

Peter Hill to serve in Emmanuel, Bicester
Peter works two days a week as a cover supervisor at Wheatley park Secondary School. He says: “I have done this for nearly three years and it is totally different to my previous job which was as a Senior Officer in the prison service, working at Grendon Prison. Grendon is a therapy prison, helping offenders change through psychotherapy. I also keep ferrets which I have taken to church on occasion to illustrate sermons, and I am known to my grandson and his friends as ‘Grandad Ferret’.”

Jonathan Jong, to serve at St Mary Magdalen, Oxford
Jonathan Jong grew up in Malaysia before starting university in Dunedin, New Zealand, where he first discovered Anglicanism. He then came to Oxford to be an experimental psychologist, specializing in the evolutionary and psychological underpinnings of religious belief and behaviour, and found himself training for ordination on top of that.

Michael Lakey to serve at St Peter and St Paul, Dorchester
Michael Lakey is serving a part-time title post at Ss. Peter and Paul in Dorchester. Alongside this, he is New Testament Tutor at Ripon College Cuddesdon, a post which he has occupied since 2008. Prior to this, he assisted +Tom Wright, the then Bishop of Durham, on a New Testament translation project, published with SPCK in 2011.

George Moody to serve at Grove
George says: “I am married with four children, the youngest with special needs. I am a full time teacher, running a busy Religious Studies department and the school’s athletics club. I try to keep fit and healthy by running. If I had any free time, I would sail or windsurf, go out, or even worship Jesus.”

Simon Potter to serve at St Andrew, Oxford
Simon says: “I’m delighted to join the St Andrew’s team having been a teacher and chaplaincy worker for 13 years. I look forward to seeing how the truly great news of God’s invitation to know him in Jesus Christ might be combined with my love of good curry, coffee, music and travel!”

Janet Radford to serve at St Matthew’s, Harwell and All Saint’s, Chilton and Oxford University Trust
Janet says: “I am coming to ordination after a 37 year career as nurse. I am currently working as a Hospital Chaplain. I enjoy travelling and walking on the beach, (preferably a hot and sunny one) scrapbooking (holidays) and eating, but definitely not cooking! My favourite food is chocolate.”

Martha Simpson to serve in Chipping Norton
Martha says: “Before I started training to be a vicar I worked for the National Trust as a Press Officer. I did mostly wildlife and countryside press so spent a lot of time in some pretty amazing places. My favourite experience was probably spending the evening recording natterjack toad noises at a site near Liverpool.”

God in the life of Matt Power

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MEETING the Queen last year has to date been the highlight of Matt Power’s career. The Head Verger at Christ Church Cathedral told Jo Duckles his story. matt moving hundreds of chairs mm MW5A0236

Matt (pictured right putting out chairs before the Queen’s visit in 2013) and I chatted in the sacristy (verger’s office) tucked away at the back of the medieval building. As we talk clergy, volunteers and staff wander in and out, some with information, some with queries about the day to day life of Christ Church.

Matt, who has a love of art history and music, is clearly in the perfect job. “I was brought up in a typical parish church,” he says. “It was a Wiltshire village where my father was the organist and also a local teacher. It was a small but lively parish and our family were pivotal in the church. I was in the choir, a server and when I was six or seven I remember holding the incense for the Bishop of Salisbury. This all happened by default, I grew up with it,” says Matt.

“Music and art were very much part of my childhood and I ended up doing a fine art degree in London. All the time music and church architecture interested me.” He tells an old joke about the question you ask a person with a degree in fine art: “Could I have a burger and fries please?”

“Most people with fine art degrees wonder what they are going to do afterwards. This job came at the right time. I wasn’t sure what I would do. I wasn’t interested in the new modern art movement that was going around in college. I took a gamble in applying for a job that would immerse me in my own interests. I thought it would give me the space to decide what I wanted to do,” says Matt, who was 21 at the time and the youngest of a four-strong team. He is still there 19 years later, loving being at the heart of Cathedral life. One highlight that stands out was the Queen’s visit for Maundy Thursday in 2013. It was Oxford’s turn for the Queen to come along and hand out Maundy Money to selected pensioners in honour of their work for the Church.
“The event was so carefully put together with meetings and strategy documents so nothing could go wrong,” says Matt, who loves the careful ‘stage management’ that ensures that all Christ Church services run smoothly. “At 5am I would have been cleaning the toilets, at 11am meeting the Queen and later in the evening washing altar linen. It’s an incredibly varied job where one phone call can take you all day to sort out.”

A combination of clever marketing and the Harry Potter connection (many scenes from Hogwarts were shot in Christ Church) mean that the cathedral and adjoining college has become a lot busier since Matt started to work there. “When I first started you could sit and read a book at times, it was calm. It’s now on the map of Oxford as one of the places to visit and is open 365 days a year,” says Matt, who worships in the cathedral but also takes time out to go to Evensong in the Merton College Chapel in term time.

At Cathedral services the vergers may not take centre stage but they have an important role. “I don’t want to be in the limelight but I get a quiet sense of satisfaction from helping the service to enhance someone else’s faith,” says Matt. “I’ll be sitting in the corner with a wry smile at the end of a service knowing that it’s gone well.”
On a typical day, a verger will start at the cathedral at 6.30am, ready for morning prayer at 7.15am and 7.35am. “It’s the nicest time of the day. There’s a sense of calm and there are some wonderful effects with the light coming through the building, it’s magical.”

Those early morning services attract between two and 12 people before 8am when the choristers from the cathedral school arrive for a practice. From 10am tourists begin to arrive and the calm turns into a busy chaos.  “You meet lots of different types of people. It’s not like being in an office where you report to one person,” says Matt. “You are mixing with the public and different types of cathedral staff and volunteers. We deal with a huge number of people throughout the day and each of us has our own responsibilities for preparation of services,” says Matt, who sees ironing the altar linen as a welcome retreat from the crowds. “Ironing time is thinking time and it’s important to take pride in what you do.”

“I like to think of this as the equivalent of preparing for your great aunt who is coming around for tea. There’s a reason for doing it and showing that you have made an effort.”
The verger’s role includes concert management and the newest member of Matt’s team is Christopher Waterhouse, who used to work as the stage manager of the Sydney Opera House.

“Christopher sees everything like a theatrical performance. It has to be polished from start to finish with the blessing being like the final curtain in a show. People expect that from a cathedral service,” says Matt.  Back in 1998, Matt’s interest in art history came in useful when he found forgotten fragments of stained glass and began to piece them together. They turned out to be a window depicting a story from scripture that had been destroyed in the Reformation.

vanlinge1
“The windows were put in just before the Civil War by Van Linge in the 1630s. We have spent a long time piecing them together. It’s like doing a jigsaw without the lid and without all of the pieces. It’s like delving back into the history of the building,” says Matt, who is proud that some of his prized ‘jigsaw’ has been displayed in the Tate.
He pointed to an ancient record book with an entry for 2 June 1651, asking for the picture to be taken down. “Later one of the Canons appointed by Cromwell was responsible for stomping up and down on it. This is real history, written down in our records, it’s not assumed. I have been researching the poems that go with it. I was a bit like a hermit for a few years putting sky and limbs back together.”

Matt lives in Christ Church but is far enough from the cathedral to have a sense of leaving for work in a morning and going home again.

 

Four new Honorary Canons at Christ Church Cathedral

FOUR new Honorary Canons were installed at Christ Church Cathedral in January. Honorary Canons are clergy selected because of their work within the Diocese of Oxford and the wider church.

THE Revd Mark Dearnley, Area Dean for Wendover and Vicar of Wendover and Halton, was celebrating with his wife Ruth, who had been awarded the OBE for her work as CEO of Stop the Traffik when he got the letter from Bishop john inviting him to become an honorary canon. Mark, who is from London, was ordained in 1987 and did two curacies in Southwark before a post in Surrey. He came to Wendover and Halton in 2002. He said: “Parish ministry is my bread and butter. I love being connected at the heart of the community, being part of the joined up way the church has a ministry and mission in this place. To be installed as an honorary canon is a real honour. I appreciate how Bishop John has a sense of supporting ministry at all levels and feel very privileged to be part of the Oxford Diocese.”

The Revd Dr Michael Beasley is Director of Mission in the Diocese of Oxford. This involves oversight of the team in the diocese responsible for supporting various aspects of the life of parishes including recruitment and training of clergy and lay ministers, youth and children’s work and social responsibility activities. Michael was previously Vice Principal of Westcott House Theological College, Cambridge; a residential community that trains men and women for the priesthood. An epidemiologist by background, he combined work in Cambridge with the post of director of a research group in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College, London. Michael is married to Lizzie who is Deputy Head of one of Oxford’s secondary schools. They live in Abingdon with their children Charlie and Connie.

THE Revd Dr Edmund Newell is Principal of Cumberland Lodge, Windsor and former Sub Dean of Christ Church Cathedral. When Edmund arrived in Oxford in 1983 to study at Nuffield College he was a Roman Catholic. Becoming an Anglican in the mid-1980s, Edmund was involved in Oxford’s University Church as a PCC member and churchwarden. He trained to become a priest on the Oxford Ministry Course and at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, serving his title in Deddington and the Barfords. His high profile ministry has included being Chaplain to the former Bishop of Oxford, Richard Harries and Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, where he was the founding director of St Paul’s Institute.

THE Revd Linda Green, Vicar of St Mary’s, Banbury and Associate Area Dean for Banbury has been in the diocese for more than 20 years as a vicar’s wife, parishioner and a vicar. Linda lived in Princes Risborough until the death of her husband Nick, who was the vicar of St Mary’s. She stayed in the Buckinghamshire town so her children didn’t have the upheaval of moving. She then moved to Headington Quarry where she was a curate, before taking up her post in Banbury. She says: “I Just love enabling people and helping them to see their potential.” Linda is trained to coach clergy to help them give the best they can in their ministry. “I couldn’t do any of it without my great team of clergy and LLMs in Banbury,” says Linda. “They are a real blessing.”

Playing at the Cathedral

by Jessica-Louise Hallionjessica and the boys 3B2A0840

THE idea of a discovery or an extraordinary game is the most powerful, memorable and spiritual experience for anyone of any age. Christmas offers the perfect time for a playful journey into wonder-land.

In our Journey to Bethlehem at Christ Church, history, theology and fun mix together to allow all ages a new route to the true meaning of Christmas. Starting from the first prophecies and travelling through the narrative, you will collect gifts to take home and let your playful side sing. Roman soldiers will send you travelling and angels will fill you with hope. The Journey will give you wonders that you will be thinking of for a long time to come.

Journey to Bethlehem takes place at Christ Church Cathedral at noon on Saturday, 21 December. It is suitable for all ages particularly families with small children.

Jessica-Louise is the Canon’s Verger at the Cathedral.

Headteachers and governors gather for service

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The Seer Green CE School Choir raise the roof at the annual headteachers' service.

The Seer Green CE School Choir raise the roof at the annual headteachers’ service.

NEW Church school headteachers were commissioned with special Bibles at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford.

The commissions took place during the annual Diocese of Oxford Service for Headteachers and Governors on Thursday (October 24th). Representatives of Church schools from Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire were part of the event. The service began with a welcome from Diocesan Education Director Anne Davey, who invited the choir from Seer Green CE Combined School, who were singing at the event, to look up at the high ceiling of the cathedral. “This is to help us remember how high God’s love is,” said Anne, who later handed out around 15 Bibles to new CofE school headteachers.

The children from the Seer Green choir sang during the Eucharist service and enjoyed the experience of visiting the cathedral. Katie, 10, said: “It was really good because it was really interesting watching the headteachers get their Bibles.” Nikolas, nine, said he was struck by how big the cathedral was when he walked in. He said: “I liked seeing all of the pictures and statues on the walls and ceilings.” Morgan, 10, said: “It was nice to see how all of the headteachers got together.”