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An accessible church

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Based in Eynsham, youth worker, Olly Shaw, has been helping to expand the reach of the local Church community. Each Friday night and Sunday morning Olly and his colleagues run two sets of groups in the youth centre, the first welcoming years 7-9, and the second for year 10 and above. By playing games and having friendly conversations, Olly says these groups aim to create a relaxed and fun environment for any local young person interested in joining a church but unsure of how to access one.

Olly has commented on the importance of initiatives such as these, as it helps improve church accessibility for young people in a village, particularly when transport is limited and they may not come from a Christian background. He describes it as part of a stepping-stone strategy to get more people involved in the church community.

“My own Christian values are integral to my youth work, spreading the message that God loves everyone, and by making worship accessible young people can be encouraged to join in with the hope and community offered by the church,” says Olly.

Summer holiday fun for children

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ALMOST 50 holiday clubs gave children the chance to have fun and learn about the Christian faith at churches in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire over the summer holidays.

Knights and castles was the theme of a club at St Mary’s, Charlbury, west Oxfordshire during the first week in August. The club, organised by Churches Together in Charlbury, saw St Mary’s converted into a castle using a huge amount of cardboard donated by the community. Around 70 children took part. In Eynsham, also in Oxfordshire, a holiday club run by churches had not taken place for 15 years until it began again last year. More than 50 children attended “Maker Fun Factory” in the mornings of the first week of the school holidays.

A team of 30 teenagers, sixth formers, students, teachers and seniors was drawn from Anglican, Baptist and Catholic Churches in the benefice which covers two villages. On arrival children passed through a ‘car-wash’ with bubbles. An ‘assembly’ with songs started the mornings off. Each day had a bible memory verse, illustrated in twenty minute sessions of games, a craft imagination station, homemade snacks, a video and dramatic retelling of bible stories such as the spies in Jericho, and Gideon and the 300. Crews won points for effort, noise, memory, saying ‘thank you’, original handshakes and winning races.

Christian message for visitors to St Leonard’s churchyard

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THE PCC at St Leonard’s Church in Eynsham have agreed to put up two signs to provide comfort and a Christian message to vistors.DSCF3734 DSCF3735

The texts read: “Jesus Christ: My Father’s house has many rooms; I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”  John 14:2-3

“Jesus Christ: For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”  John 6:40

The Revd Canon Dr Chris Sugden said: “Please pray that this word of the Lord to them will bear fruit in their lives. Might similar texts be of pastoral support in other churchyards?”