Pastoral Area Past Events and Photos
Children from St John's re-enact the Nativity on
English Martyrs Church, Christmas 2009
Altar Servers from English Martyrs and St John the
Evangelist Churches celebrated enrolment into the
Guild of St Stephen on St Stephen's Day.
Our Lady and St Edmund's, Abingdon
ABINGDON PARISHIONER MEETS POPE
Ian Corbett, a parishioner of Our
Lady and St. Edmund of Abingdon, had the honour of
being presented to Pope Benedict XVI during a
celebration of the International Year of Astronomy
in Vatican City on 30 and 31 October.
The United Nations International Year of Astronomy
(IYA) 2009 has seen no fewer than 148 countries
taking part in special events. The Vatican
invited a group of astronomers from all over the
world, including Ian, the present General Secretary
of the International Astronomical Union, to the
celebration of the IYA in Vatican City.
private audience His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
spoke about the wonders of modern astronomy ‘which
has shown us that neither we, nor the earth we stand
on, is the centre of our universe’, remarking that
‘it is my hope that the wonder and exaltation which
are meant to be the fruits of this International
Year of Astronomy will lead beyond the contemplation
of the marvels of creation to the contemplation of
the Creator’. Some of those
attending then had the honour of being received by
Ian said “It was a wonderful
experience to hear and meet the Holy Father face to
face, and to see the Vatican Archives and the
original papers of Galileo. You can never
forget an event like this.”
The photographs show Pope Benedict XVI entering
the Sala Clementina and then Ian with His Holiness,
with the Director of the Vatican Observatory and
Cardinal Lajolo in the background.
(Picture credit: Osservatore Romano)
Children took part in a Christmas Workshop held
at Our Lady of the Rosary on Tuesday 22nd December,
when among other activities, they made Christingles.
The Youth Group of St John's and English Martyrs
organised a Carol Concert with mince pies, to thank
parishioners for their support over the past year.
St John's hosted their annual Christmas Party for
all young parishioners, with a visit from
Christmas, and plenty of fun, games and party food
A big thank you to all who helped with the
especially to Phyllis Green for her tireless efforts
with keeping everything in order.
The senior citizens of English Martyrs Church
enjoyed a Christmas lunch on 10th December, with all
the usual festive trimmings. A huge thank you
goes to all involved with the preparations.
English Martyrs Church hosted a successful candlelit
concert for Advent on Friday 4th November.
Concert-goers were treated to a selection of music
from both traditional and modern composers, with
many popular pieces with a Christmas theme being
Thanks to the Marilla String Quartet for their
English Martyrs Church is hosting a series of talks
on The Sacraments throughout November to mark the
Year of the Priest.
The first of the talks was held on Thursday 5th
The Centrality of the Mass in our
Lives Today, the speaker being
Fr Tim Finigan
from Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Blackfen.
Fr Tim gave us an insight into the background of
the traditions of the Church in an enlightening way.
Fr Tim Finigan
Our speaker on 12th November was Fr Bede Rowe, who
gave a wonderfully humorous and light-hearted talk
on the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The talk on 19th November was given by Fr Richard
Duffield, on the Sacrament of the sick.
Deacon Richard Budgen gave the final talk on the
Sacraments of Initiation.
Click here if you would like to read his talk.
The event was organised by the parish Youth Group.
Our Lady and St Edmund's recently
hosted, for the first time, the annual ecumenical
'The Church in Abingdon'.
Parish Patronal Feast – Our Lady of the Rosary
The Parish celebrated its
patronal feast day with a special Mass on Tuesday 6th
October, the Vigil of the Feast of Our Lady of the
As well as giving thanks for 55 years of blessings
received, and praying for parishioners past and
present, the congregation witnessed the blessing of
the newly restored statue of Our Lady, which has
been placed in the Lady Chapel.
statue was rescued in a damaged state by Cate Elwes,
a local Botley resident, from the deconsecrated
chapel of her old school, which had closed.
kindly gave it to the church and advised on
and partly paid for the restoration, to which the
After Mass there was a celebratory supper and
entertainments, supplied by the younger musicians in
the congregation, which all enjoyed.
The Youth Group of St John's and English Martyrs
parishes enjoyed a wonderful weekend together at the
Celebrate Conference in Southampton on 26th/27th
with plenty of opportunity for learning more
about their faith, along with enjoying the beautiful
weather in the lovely setting of St Mary's College.
Further information on
Celebrate available here.
Enjoying cakes at the English Martyrs and St John's
Welcome Weekend on 19th/20th September.
Participants in the Oxfordshire
Historic Churches Trust Ride and Stride event being
welcomed at The Chapel of The Good Shepherd on 12th
Two friends of Deacon Richard's -
Brother Martin Sanderson and Brother Martin
Mikuskiewicz - made their Perpetual Profession as
Capuchin Franciscan Friars at Greyfriars Capuchin
Friary in Oxford on Saturday 12 September 2009.
They made their Profession during
a Mass of thanksgiving to Brother James, the
Minister Provincial, at which Deacon Richard
assisted as the Deacon.
They are pictured with the Minister Provincial,
cutting a celebratory cake, and with Deacon Richard.
Welcoming participants outside St
John's on the Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust
Ride and Stride event on 12th September 2009.
Deacon Richard Budgen, in his role as Director of
Mission Together, assists
Archbishop Vincent Nichols during Mass at
Westminster Cathedral on 9th September.
The Mass was to celebrate Missio - the new name for
Missions in England and Wales.
The Mother of the Bride warmly thanks Deacon
Richard Budgen for the homily he preached at her daughter's
Wedding at Our Lady of the Rosary on Saturday 5th
St John the Evangelist Church, Wallingford ran a
successful Refreshments Stall at the Wallingford
Bunkfest on 6th and 7th September.
Only two weeks after the Bishop's Mass with it's
international theme, St. Edmund's in Abingdon
held an international "Bring and Share" supper
following the regular Sunday evening Mass.
was organised by the English Conversation Group,
which Ann Corbett has run with great success
for a number of years.
The Group meets in the
Parish Centre on most Wednesday mornings, and
everyone is welcome.
The group now not only
attracts people from other EU countries, but
includes nationals from other parts of the world who
are currently living here.
As a result we had a
wide range of people bringing their national dishes
for the buffet, including food from both Russia and
Ian Corbett and Anna Bogush from Siberia enjoy the
The English Martyrs' and St John's joint Parish BBQ
on 5th July
Fierce competition during the tug-of-war.
Feast of St Thomas More
The Feast of St Thomas More was anticipated at
the Chapel of St Thomas More on Boars Hill on
Saturday 20th June, when the Holy Rood Children's
Choir processed in costume to the Chapel, preceded
by the parish banner. A tableau illustrating the
life of the saint was presented; in the second
picture St Thomas is seen with his wife and
children, while King Henry VIII sits enthroned on
the opposite side of the chapel. The tableau was
followed by Benediction, with singing by the
Children's Choir, and this was followed by Tea and
Games in a local garden.
PARISH CELEBRATION AT OUR
AND ST. EDMUND'S CATHOLIC CHURCH
On Sunday 21st June over 500
parishioners of Our Lady and St. Edmunds Church in
Abingdon attended a Mass celebrated by Bishop
Crispian Hollis. The parish normally has four Masses
each Sunday, and the different congregations don't
get together very often. To allow room for the
combined congregations, Mass was celebrated outdoors
in the garden of Our Lady's Convent. Because there
are people from many nationalities in the Parish,
prayers and readings in ten different languages were
a special feature of the celebration.
remained pleasant , and after Mass many of the
congregation stayed for a "Bring and Share" picnic
lunch in the Church grounds. The numbers attending
were excellent considering that the 21st June was
not only Father's Day, but also the date of the
British F1 Grand Prix .
Some last minute preparations...
Relaxing in the sun with picnics
St John the Evangelist and
English Martyrs Youth Group
The June meeting was a Silly Games
and Pizza evening, where great fun was had by all.
Congratulations to the 32 candidates from the
Pastoral Area who were confirmed by Bishop Crispian
on 2nd June 2009, at English Martyrs Church, Didcot.
Our thanks extend to Deacon Richard Budgen for
leading the Pastoral Council of English Martyrs and
St John's in an inspiring and valuable Day of
Reflection on 30th May.
Parishioners at Holy Rood Church, North Hinksey,
celebrate a birthday celebration lunch after Mass on
the Feast of the Ascension.
Father Paul presents Monica Powley
with a 'thank you' bouquet
Extreme Ironing at Our Lady of the Rosary.
remarkable achievement was recognised at Mass on
Sunday 17th May at Our Lady of the Rosary in North
Hinksey Parish, when Father Paul King presented
Monica Powley with a bouquet of flowers as a thank
you for having laundered the altar cloths and
priests' albs from the church for fifty years. In
his short speech, Father Paul spoke of her faithful
quiet service, of which many people were unaware.
Just for the record, Monica has ironed over a mile
and a half of altar cloth in that time, and enough
albs to vest a Vatican of priests.
Monica has now
stepped down from her duties, and has handed over to
another Monica - Mrs Monica Callan.
Group discussion with some of our Children's Liturgy
The safeguarding training sessions at Our Lady of
the Rosary on Saturday 9th May were attended by over
forty parishioners. The sessions were informative
and thought provoking, and the group discussion
proved particularly lively and fruitful. Indeed some
topics were still being discussed over coffee after
Mass the following morning.
SWIMATHON SUCCESS at
THANK YOU very much to all parishioners who have
sponsored our daughters . The girls trained hard and
enthusiasm last Saturday. So far we have collected
£411. 50 for Marie
Curie Cancer Care. Those who still want to sponsor
us, please leave your
donations in envelopes in the basket at the back of
the church marked
SWIMATHON. Cheques should be made out to "Swimathon
Thank you very much again!
Anna Radaelli Ghislaine Moschetta
Children in the congregation at Our Lady of the
Rosary organised a mini-fete after Mass on Sunday
There were stalls selling plants, cakes and toys
as well as several competitions for young and not so
The children raised £103.79 which will be shared
between two charities - Helping Hands (building a
school in Uganda) and the Kenyan Orphan Project.
Congratulations to our young people for this
Our local community already has links with both
The children at Cumnor Primary School, which a
number of our parish children attend, support
(www.helpinghandsworldwide.com), a charity which
exists to help disadvantaged people throughout the
world. The children are working to raise money to
build a school in Uganda.
Orphan Project (www.kopafrica.org) was started
in 2001 by medical students with the vision to fight
against poverty, disease, social exclusion and
injustice and to help improve the lives of orphans
and vulnerable children in Kenya.
Katie Ayres, a second year medical student, who is
well known in the parish, as are her parents and
grandparents, is going to work on placement in the
Kadinda Health Centre in July. Katie has already
organised a very successful Quiz Night in the local
area which raised over £1000 for KOP. The children's
contribution will be added to this and the money
will be donated to the Health Centre via the
Abingdon celebrates Blessing of the
Last year the Polish community in
Abingdon celebrated their
traditional "Blessing of the Easter food" at St.
Edmund's, and the
occasion was a great success with many non - Polish
joining them. This year a special invitation was
extended to fellow
parishioners of all nationalities, and the ceremony
was attended by an
even larger congregation.
A large number of the baskets were
brought by parishioners other
nationalities , all participating in what has now
become a part of
"Our" Easter celebrations. As Father Tom said "We
can all learn from
one another, and as Catholics share our faith with
Click here for more pictures
Thames Isis participate in the
Women's World day of Prayer at St John the
This year St John's hosted the
Women's World Day of Prayer in Wallingford. The
service was written and produced by the women of
Papua New Guinea and held by women in 170 countries
on the same day (3,000 parishes in UK). The theme
this year was 'In Christ there are many members yet
one body'. Janey
Carline produced the art sculptures and our music
group provided the music.
The Lenten Soup Lunches have been
held every Friday throughout Lent at both English
Martyrs and St John the Evangelist churches. They
have proved very popular, with all funds raised
going to charity.
Bishop Crispian’s visit to the
Thames Isis Pastoral Area, Winter 2009
For over thirty weekends in the year Bishop
Crispian visits Parishes in the Pastoral Areas to
celebrate the main Mass of the Sunday with the
Clergy and people. He comes as their Chief Shepherd
to be part of the Parish, and to experience the way
each community stamps its character on the
celebration of the Eucharist in the context of our
Diocese being in communion with the Universal
Church, and its Chief Shepherd, Pope Benedict.
Over several Sunday mornings in early 2009 Bishop
Crispian came to the Thames Isis Pastoral Area to be
part of our gathering as Church around the Risen
Christ in the Eucharist.
He celebrated Mass at Abingdon, East Ilsley, Didcot,
Wallingford, and North Hinksey.
Bishop Crispian also had lunch with the Parish
Pastoral Council members in each Parish, and at
North Hinksey enrolled new altar servers into the
Guild of St Stephen.
He was accompanied by Deacon Richard, our
Pastoral Area Deacon, as Deacons are Ordained
primarily to be the Bishop’s man, and should be at
his side when he visits a Parish or Pastoral Area.
Bishop Crispian presented well
earned Diocesan Medals to 4 wonderful
parishioners of the
St Patrick, Parish - & something for the altar
servers as well!
Rose Millett, Vic Horgan,
Maureen Eyston and Diana Tuson
In recognition of their dedication
and completion of training as altar servers, the
Bishop also presented Guild of St Stephen medals.
Click here for more
North Hinksey - Our Dear Bishop Crispian
enrolls Altar Servers in the Guild of St Stephen
On the occasion of his visitation, Bishop Crispian was
principal celebrant and preached at 9.15 Mass. He also
enrolled our altar servers in the Guild of St Stephen.
Hinksey Parish Pastoral Council meets the Bishop
After 11.15 Mass, members of the Parish Pastoral
Council met Bishop Crispian over lunch. There was
opportunity to discuss various matters connected
with both Parish and Pastoral Area.
HEALING WEEKEND - Abingdon
In January there was a four-day Healing Weekend
at St Edmunds conducted by Pauline Edwards and Fr
Laurence Brassill. The presence of the Holy Spirit
was very tangible and many blessings were poured
out. We witnessed many healings.
To read an account of the event, with photos and
2008 Scrap Book
The Monday before Christmas was
the occasion of our Children's Workshop at Our Lady
of the Rosary. The morning included a suitable
Service of Reconciliation, opportunity for private
confession, and the making of Christingles. The
children also made Christmas cards and assembled
Christmas baskets to take to housebound
parishioners, who are unable to join at church at
Didcot & Wallingford Fundraising
Over the past few months the
fundraisers have been quite busy organising a number
of events for the parish. We held a hugely popular
quiz night at the local golf club in November, put
on a Christmas lunch for the senior parishioners and
organised a candleit Christmas Concert by the
Marilla String Quartet at EM in early December. We
also gave lunch to the choir of St Amand's primary
school after they sang carols for us. We regularly
hold cake stalls to raise funds and have been
running themed lunches for the senior parishioners;
Valentine's day (sadly cancelled because of the
snow), St Patrick and St. George!
Harvest 2008 Joy and Kindness at
Our lady of the Rosary
At Our Lady of the Rosary the last
Sunday in September is always celebrated with a
Family Harvest Mass, followed by brunch. Money is
raised to support the local Porch Steppin' Stone
charity, with which the congregation has links. This
charity provides day long support for homeless and
vulnerably housed people who want to move forward in
their lives away from street-life and addiction.
Here we see one of our young people holding the
Harvest basket which was raffled for the charity.
A wonderful trip was made by parishioners of St
John's in June 2008 to the Wintershall Estate's
'Life of Christ'. It was an early start in order to
arrive on time, but well worth it. The play was
performed throughout the whole day, and thankfully
the weather was kind to us. Everyone returned home
affected by the thought-provoking performance, and
looking forward to returning again in future years.
here for the Wintershall web site
The Didcot & Wallingford Youth Group at the
Celebrate Family Conference in Bristol 2008
For more about the conference click here
Hinksey Parish First Holy Communion Celebration -
4th May 2008