St Mary's Church Charlbury with Shorthampton


Spiritual Communion

Grant Bayliss, the Precentor at Christ Church Cathedral, has written this really helpful article on the theology behind a Eucharist ‘in absentia’.

‘God chooses sacraments like the eucharist to meet us but he never said he would only meet us there, only love us if we physically ate, only bless us if we literally drank’.

Follow the link for the full article:

Reflections on Ezekiel

22 March – 9 April

If you would like reflections on the book of Ezekiel emailed to you daily for this fortnight, please contact

Live stream of services and hymns

Livestream Eucharist Wednesday 9am and Sunday 8am.

You will find the latest livestreams from St Marys; join with us as we worship.

You can also go to the hymns that could be sung on Sunday

11am Prayer

The Lord our Shepherd is with us through this crisis giving rest to the weary, comfort to the bereaved and guidance to the perplexed. 

Please pause at 11am daily and pray with us:

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins

As we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation,  but deliver us from evil

For the kingdom the power and the glory are yours, now and forever.  Amen

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing

He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters,

He refreshes my soul.

He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil,

For you are with me; your rod and staff comfort me.

You set a table before me in the face of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

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Resources to use from home

Prayer for the Day

Each day the Church of England publishes audio and text of the Prayer for the Day.  

#LiveLent: Care for God’s Creation

The Church of England’s Lent campaign for 2020. With weekly themes shaped around the first Genesis account of creation, it explores the urgent need for humans to value and protect the abundance God has created. This daily audio content is available via the app and daily emails.

Sign up here 

Daily Service

The BBC’s Daily Service and Sunday Worship radio programmes will be using some of the themes from #LiveLent as part of their broadcasts. Find out more online

Smart speakers

Today’s Prayer and #LiveLent audio content can be accessed via our smart speaker apps.

Enable our smart speaker app

Live streaming services

In addition, users can watch live streams of services from a range of churches including:

Important Message from the vicar

Dear Friends

It is with great sorrow, and no small amount of shock, that I have to share with you the announcement made by the Church of England at 1.30 this afternoon that in light of the Government guidance around non-essential contact, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued advice that public worship is suspended until further notice. 

This does not, of course, mean that the work of the church will cease:

Both St Marys and All Saints will continue to be open every day for private prayer and reflection.

I will continue to say morning prayer every day in St Marys on behalf of the church community and the wider parish.

Prayer cards and other resources will be available for use within the church building and to take away.

A regular printed and online resource will be available which will have the readings for the week as well as some prayers and a reflection.

Links will be posted to the many and varied digital resources that are now available online.

As a community, I trust we will continue to offer our time and talents in the service of those who need them, joining with other community groups to support and encourage those who will suffer in the coming days.

We have been asked to give our support to a day of prayer and action this Sunday 22 March, in particular to place a lighted candle in our windows at 7.00 pm as a sign of solidarity and hope in the light of Christ that can never be extinguished. Candles will be available in church for that purpose.

I will continue to pray for you and those you love; please pray for me.

Sally Welch

Vicar, Charlbury with Shorthampton

Loving God,
We pray for all those who are suffering because of the coronavirus, may they know your healing power.
When we are afraid for ourselves and our loved ones, give us your strength and courage.
When we feel alone and isolated, reassure us with a sense of your presence.
Give wisdom to those in authority and may our community work together for the good of all.
We give thanks for those who care for others and ask you to bless them in all they do.
We ask this in the name of Jesus, healer and physician.

Pandemic plan

Here is the current pandemic plan for St Mary’s Charlbury and All Saints.

Parish of Charlbury with Shorthampton


  1. Structures
    • The aim of this plan is to ensure as far as possible the continued mission and ministry of parishes, and the maintenance of the critical ongoing business of the parish.
    • The Incumbent’s nominated deputy is Paddy Gallagher. Dine Glasgow will fulfil this role should Sally and Paddy be unwell.
    • The Incumbent, or her nominated deputy, will provide a channel for daily communication, by email or phone, with the Area Dean and Archdeacon.
    • The Incumbent and deputies will have emergency contact details for the Area Dean’s deputy.
    • The Plan will be implemented when the Bishop of Oxford has invoked the Diocesan Pandemic Plan, in response to appropriate changes in the Pandemic Alert State.
  2.   Communication
    • The Parish Office and the Churchwardens will have contact details of:
    • Clergy and Licensed Lay Ministers who are available for ministry and pastoral care
    • those involved in services and other church activities
    • Those clergy with underlying health conditions and those in the 70s and 80s age bracket are to consider carefully the point at which to withdraw from public ministry.

            Information about the pandemic and any appropriate advice will be displayed

  1. on a notice board in church
  2. in the weekly sheet The Messenger
  3. on the church website and FaceBook Page
  4. in The Leaflet
  • General Hygiene
    • Anti-bacterial gel at entrance to church, with welcomers encouraging community and visitors to use on entry
    • Tissues and bin provided by church entrance
    • Cleaning: those who clean the church should ensure that door handles, the kitchen and toilet facilities be disinfected each week.
    • Disinfecting: main door handle, altar rails and bannisters to be disinfected before services
    • Disinfecting: backs of chairs to be disinfected weekly
    • Paper towels only to be used in the toilet, and for drying communion vessels.
    • Tissues, bins and hand gel to be placed in the church.
  • Worship
  1. All services will continue to be held as usual, as far as is possible and according to the advice or otherwise of the Government and the Diocese of Oxford.
    1. Should it not be possible to hold services in church, prayer cards and bible readings will be made available to all parishioners via emails, the website, and in church.
    1. Copies of prayers for the sick and the dying and also a copy of the funeral service will be sent on request to those unable to attend the funeral of a friend or relative.
    1. All Services:
      1. Clergy will refrain from shaking hands at the church door in order to avoid transmitting the virus from person to person.
      1. announcements should be given advising the congregation of the appropriate arrangements.
      1. those who have the virus, or symptoms of it, should remain at home. Clergy will offer pastoral care as appropriate.
    1. Holy Communion:
      1. The celebrant, assisting clergy, servers and sacristans will follow a strict hand hygiene policy before handling any communion vessels or elements. This involves the regular washing of hands or the use of alcohol-based gel.
      1. The bread will be administered into hands only, not directly into the mouth. The distribution of the chalice will be suspended when advised to do so by the Archbishops and Diocesan Bishop:
      1. Sharing the Peace will be by non-physical contact.
  2. Ongoing pastoral support
  1. For those who are needing to self-isolate, support will be offered by phone calls, emails and via social media, and liaison with ATIC for help with the delivery of shopping and / or medication. It is very important all church members involved in such support are very clear on and committed to adhering to the Government’s isolation advice.
    1. A list of next of kin details will be drawn up for parishioners who live alone for those who wish it.
    1. The pastoral team will provide telephone support and prayer for those who are fearful or otherwise distressed.
  • If public gatherings prohibited
    • Material to be provided for prayer and reflection in church by individuals- adults and children
    • Signposting provided to websites for services/prayers etc
    • Church website to be regularly updated with additional resources
    • Contact with congregation to be maintained via:– phone calls, emails, Facebook etc
    • Church community to liaise with other service providers within the community – eg ATIC
    • Church leadership team to Network with local health, welfare, safety networks, funeral directors and other service providers. Contact details for these service providers are held by key parish leadership.

7)  Activities

Each church group will consider what action must be taken in the event of key people not being available to run the activity. The following should be considered:

  1. maintaining an up to date list of contact details for the group
  2. deciding at what point the activity will be cancelled
  3. decide how members of the group will be kept informed
  4. nominate at least one person to be responsible for hygiene
  5. notify the Parish Office or Churchwardens of decisions made in this context.

8).  Finance

a) There should be at least one other person, as well as the Treasurer, who is familiar with the church accounts and is able to administer them appropriately.

b) The Gift Aid Officer should ensure another appropriate person could administer the Gift Aid arrangements if necessary.

c) In the event of churches being closed, regular giving could be encouraged through direct debit arrangements.

d) Anyone handling cash should protect themselves from virus transmission by washing hands or using hand gel beforehand and afterwards, or by wearing appropriate gloves.

13th March 2020

Holy Week and Easter services – CANCELLED

Compline – Mon 6th Tues 7th Wed 8th April 7.30pm St Mary’s

Maundy Thursday – Thurs 9th April 7.30pm St Mary’s

Good Friday – all at St Mary’s

9am Holy Communion

10am Messy Church

2pm An hour at the foot of the cross

Easter Day

8am Holy Communion St Mary’s

9am Holy Communion All Saints’

9.45am Parish Communion St Mary’s

Messy Church for Mothering Sunday

Sunday 22nd March 9am. Join us for breakfast, messy crafts and family service.

Pilgrim Paths

Information on Pilgrim Paths can be found at