St Mary's Church Charlbury with Shorthampton


Thy Kingdom Come

“Thy Kingdom Come” A nationwide prayer initiative designed to “join in prayer” with the whole family of God based on the Lord’s prayer.
Thursday 25th May – Sunday 4th June 9am – 6pm each day in St Mary’s Church.
Interactive prayer stations on the theme of the Lord’s prayer, and “Pray for Five” activities. Do come along.

Terry Waite in Charlbury

We were delighted to welcome Terry Waite to Charlbury. Terry Waite CBE co-founded Y Care International in 1984, serving as the first Chair and now as President. Terry visited Charlbury because of the connection between St Mary’s and Y Care International, to engage interest and action in creating opportunities through jobs and enterprises for young people. Find out more about the crucial work of Y Care International at:

St Mary’s are finding many ways to come together with the wider community in Charlbury. This event was part of action to engage with others on matters affecting our world and environment.

How we live now is what matters – now is the time for action: for compassion, care and love for others, through organisations such as YCare International and through our own individual daily lives. This was the central message for me from Terry Waite’s talk today in Charlbury. This was a rare opportunity to hear and learn from someone who has endured intense and prolonged deprivation of freedom and physical abuse as a hostage in Beirut. And who was able to find a mental path to cope with captivity through creativity. In Terry’s case, this creativity was through using his mind and language skills to “write in his head”, helped partly by his thoughts and dreams of happy times – “I sometimes woke up laughing” – and partly through internal blanking out of painful memories, such as the events in the hours leading to his capture. “I would write in my head” and recall words of psalms, but he was not drawn to extemporary prayer with God and supplication for release, which might have caused him to suffer even more. 

Terry Waite says he can now feel true empathy (rather than sympathy) with people in need, but modestly admits his (and others’) concern for others is also partly motivated by self-interest. Just before his capture, he was given the option to see a hostage who was said to be dying, and decided to do so (despite the danger) partly because of the remorse he would feel if he declined the opportunity. Unfortunately, he was unaware that Hezbollah had heard ‘fake news’ that Terry was an ‘agent of a foreign power’ rather than a humanitarian. Terry’s compassion and this misinformation combined to lead to him spending 1,763 days in captivity.

We heard also about Terry’s previous experience in conflict resolution in Uganda at a time that was punctuated by the military coup by Idi Amin. Many of his colleagues were among the tens of thousands who were subsequently murdered. And then to his work in Iran and Libya, as assistant to Archbishop of Canterbury, where he successfully secured the release of hostages.

Terry Waite illustrated his main points with a number of readings from his new book, Out of the Silence: Memories, Poems, Reflections, published a few months ago. The one that sticks in my mind is Footsteps in the corridor, which describes the fear and pain of being dragged from his cell for beating, not knowing what might happen next at any moment. Terry Waite endured mock execution during his time in captivity and continues to advocate against all forms of torture. “The support of the current US Administration for waterboarding is deeply wrong”.

 Dr Neil Pakenham-Walsh MB,BS, DCH, DRCOG
HIFA Coordinator
Co-director, Global Healthcare Information Network

St Mary’s Church Clean up

St Mary’s Church Spring Clean – April 1st

No Fooling – Please come help us with Spring cleaning of the church (inside and out) on April 1st from 9am – 12.30pm. Sustenance to be provided. For outside work please bring tools to garden, prune, strim, and sweep the churchyard.

Lent Lunches

Friday saw the first of the Lent Lunches held in various churches round the town on Friday lunch times during Lent.  For the first one the soup dragons came to St Mary’s bearing a variety of delicious soups. Don’t miss the remaining lunches – see posters for details


Bishop visits Font Café

Our new Bishop of Oxford, The Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, visited our Font Café and enjoyed coffee and homemade cake while chatting to everyone, young and old.

The church clock

church tower

Finally, we have got the church clock adjusted and regulated to give an accurate time display for the town.  In the last week, indications are that it lost 30 seconds, which is about as close as we can probably manage at the moment.  It’s been a long haul, and just when you thought it was correct, something else would happen – the cold weather was suspected at one time.  We would like to thank you for your patience and support and hope that the clock is now good for the next 50 years, which would take it near to its 200th birthday.  We still need to keep an eye on it, so if you spot any divergence from its present good behaviour, please let us know. Thank you again for making all this possible.


Annual Box Opening for Children’s Society


The takings for the following: Collection boxes:  £1148.54, Coffee/Donations:  £58.06, and Bric a Brac:  £53.40 made a grand total of £1260.  A fantastic result!  Thank you to the collectors, counters and all who helped in church on Saturday.



Sunday Club creation!

Ewans cross2 Ewans cross3

Ewan’s Armenian cross, made in Sunday club St Mary’s, Charlbury

No ringing-in the New Year!

We regret that, owing to a spate of illness amongst the ringers, there will be no ringing in Charlbury tonight to hail 2017.
We raise a glass to you all and wish you a Very Happy New Year!champagne