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The Land of The Twelve Churches

Please explore 'The Land', this website, and...

Hi, friend!


The website and magazine for 'The Land of The Twelve Churches' across our fifteen villages of Alvescot, Black Bourton, Bradwell Village, Broadwell, Broughton Poggs, Filkins, Grafton, Holwell, Kelmscott, Kencot, Langford, Little Faringdon, Radcot, Shilton, and Westwell...

All in the West Oxfordshire Cotswolds, England

Traveller, Visitor, Reader, Pilgrim...
You are welcome in 'The Land' at any time.

The Land of The Twelve Churches

PARISH PUMP magazine is published every two months, and is available to distribute  through every letterbox in our 15 villages.

(If you do not get one, please email

Parish Pump is also available to view on this page, and is best read on a PC or laptop (the rest of the site is fine on mobiles.)

We welcome all and any ideas and comment on any subject

If you would like to be kept in touch with PARISH PUMP activity, please send us your name and email address

Thank you. We will keep you up to date with Parish Pump

If you wish to send a message to PARISH PUMP, please see the 'Contact' page from the menu

December 2022 and January 2023 Parish Pump.jpg

The latest published issue of Parish Pump is:
December 2022 & January 2023

If you live in the Land of the Twelve Churches, you will probably receive a paper copy. EVERYONE can read it online...

To read PARISH PUMP magazine online (latest & back issues),
or to see all the other website news, views, poetry & more...

... Please use the menu at the top of the page, or go HERE

Everything works on all devices, except reading the magazine is best on a PC or tablet

The December 2022 & January 2023 issue of Parish Pump is the last that will appear. The editorial on page 3 of the Dec/Jan issue begins to explain why, and also hints at what will happen next. 
This website will continue, and more explanations and excellent plans will be unfurled here... So do please come back!

So many readers still ask 'Where has the Church gone?', that it seems sensible to write something here on the website, rather than take up space in the magazine. You will find it at the foot of the 'About' page from the menu above, or HERE

Please explore the PARISH PUMP website using the regular menu at the top... Not only can you read the latest issue of the magazine, but there is also lots of latest (and older!) News and Views to explore. And, in addition, here below are some 'specials'...

Four Great local events...

Saturday 21st October 11am to 4pm

 ‘This is a new kind of craft show... Not just beautiful locally-made things for sale, but hopefully an entertaining event for visitors, with evolving live demos  and interactive opportunities as time goes on' says Charlotte Spencer, the organiser.
  'Of course, there'll be refreshments (I am not ruling out booze!) and a small seating area for visitors to come together, relax and slow browse. There will also be a monthly hamper for one visitor to win an item from each of the sellers, proceeds of which will be allocated to  a charity.
  So do come on over to Filkins Village Hall on 21st October, and see the wonderful things created by local artisans.
   And, of course, Charlotte is always keen to hear from Cotswold Makers who would like to take part.  Email Charlotte HERE.

The Cotswold Makers at The Filkins Fair
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... & a damned good supper!"
Filkins Village Hall, GL7 3JQ
Saturday 21st October (7 for 7.30pm)

Exactly what it says on the tin!
  Filkins Theatre will perform live three very funny Radio Plays... One before, one between courses, and one after a very fine two-course hot supper.
  Do please come... Eat and laugh!
  Book your tickets now at
Cotswold Woollen Weavers, Filkins
or Filkins Shop,
or ring or text Richard on 07713 636415,
or email him

St Peter & St Paul's Church, Broadwell
'Celtic & Gypsy Music'
A Fiesta of Folk Music
Sunday 22nd October
5pm (to approx 6.30pm)

Our old friends 'Jubovski' return with their exhuberant sound...
 See the poster for details!

  As organiser Annabel M writes: "Lots of extraordinary interest - so please book your tickets NOW, and looking forward to seeing you."
  Details of Tickets and Bookings on the poster, or email Annabel

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Faringdon fireworks (NXPowerLite Copy).jpg

Friday 3rd November
From 6.45pm

  Simply the Best!
  If it's a bonfire and fireworks you're after, look no further than Little Faringdon... Year after year they come up trumps.
  See you there!

The Land of The Twelve Churches: Reflections in the Landscape

The Land of The Twelve Churches: Reflections in the Landscape.

 Fresh photographs of all of our churches, and a fascinating insight into how they looked in The Time of Corona. Published by Parish Pump & The Filkins Press. Inspect (and buy!) a copy at Cotswold Woollen Weavers in Filkins, or see more: HERE

Review from a current churchwarden: "... beautifully put together and presented with stunning photos and a thoughtful foreword. It should be widely promoted around the Benefice and I’m sure will strike a chord with many, both church-goers and non-churchgoers alike."

Mrs Simpson's Carpet Beater in Kencot in The Land of The Twelve Churches

Mrs Simpson's Carpet-beater: The Yapp family & friends, Kencot & Broadwell villagers, and the irreplaceable John Cambridge save St George's Church in this splendid tale of skulduggery: HERE

Helen Mary Squire of Kencot in The Land of The Twelve Churches

Helen Mary Squire:  The text of a eulogy, with photographs, given by Helen's nephew, Pip Squire, on Saturday 4th December 2021: HERE

Alvescot Advent Windows 2021 in The Land of The Twelve Churches

Christmas windows:  The Advent windows in Alvescot 2021: HERE

Langford Christmas Candles in The Land of The Twelve Churches

Christmas with Candles:  Evocative photographs from Chrissy Tinson of the Carol Service candles in St Matthew's Church, LangfordHERE

Christmas Holly in The Land of The Twelve Churches

A Christmas fancy!  Lovely Anne Hichens, of Langford had a delightful, and (as she put it) 'felicitous fancy'...
'Tis the season of lists and dried-fruitfulness.'
We agree!

Amelia Carter in The Land of The Twelve Churches

Who was Amelia Carter? Several local villages, both in and just outside 'The Land of the Twelve Churches' (including Clanfield, Filkins, and Kencot) have village halls which are also known as 'Carter Institutes'. Find find out why, and find out who Amelia Carter was: HERE

Theatre Revue 2021

Filkins Theatre Review 2021: There was a full house in the Village Hall on 27th November for a review based on sketches rifled from the BBC archive. One of the highlights was Leroy & Lynne tangoing beautifully. See a cobbled-together tribute (and also Peter Sangston singing): HERE

Flowers and Fireworks in Little Faringdon

Flowers & Fireworks: Little Faringdon once again punches above its weight with a great Harvest Festival, and a quite stupendous Bonfire Night party. See a write up in the December 2021 & January 2022 issue of Parish Pump ('Read Parish Pump' in the top menu), and you can also find additional photographs HERE

Evening on Langford Village Day in The Land of The Twelve Churches

Langford Village Day 2021: The village turned out in style in September... There's a write-up from Richard Kemp in the  December 2021 & January 2022 issue of Parish Pump ('Read Parish Pump' in the top menu), and you can also find additional photographs HERE

St Mary's Church, Westwell in The Land of The Twelve Churches

St Mary's gets a new lid! St Mary's church, Westwell is an ancient building, and (as all others in 'The Land of the Twelve Churches') needs constant attention. Moray Angus, the churchwarden, recently led a project to restore the wooden shingle-clad spire. See the photographs HERE

Remembrance: '100 Years Later' Filkins & Broughton Poggs

In Remembrance 2021: In 2018, to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, The Swinford Museum together with the (at that time) churchwardens and PCC of Broughton Poggs with Filkins, and the Filkins Press researched, edited, and published  a written record of those from the village who had served their country during the war: both those who returned and those who did not.
 That record, '100 Years Later', can now be seen online HERE
   The same story could be told of every parish in The Land of The Twelve Churches. Let us remember all those who served.

Malcolm and Tessa Farley in Alvescot in The Land of The Twelve Churches

"Farewell from The Farleys": Malcolm & Tessa Farley are on the move after almost 40 years in Alvescot. Read Tessa's moving account of life in 'The Land of The Twelve Churches', as she and Malcolm bid us all adieu: HERE

The Westwell Bridleway in The Land of The Twelve CHurches

"The Westwell Bridleway" People often wonder about the Bridleway which runs from the pond area in the centre of Westwell and goes up through the Old Rectory, past the Glebe House and on to the Cirencester road. Georgie Fox explains how it all came about: HERE

"The Government Inspector". On 17th July, Filkins Theatre presented Gogol's satirical masterpiece about  corruption, as "an outdoor rehearsed reading in costume" . This has become a bit of an annual bash, made particularly welcome this year as an early opportunity to meet together for a party. For a review of the play: HERE


Which way for Oxfordshire? In the 'June & July 2021' issue of Parish Pump, there is a diary item outlining the CPRE briefing about the Oxfordshire Plan 2050. The article offers further information... HERE

The Road to Westwell in The Land of The Twelve Churches

Along the road near Westwell. A road, a wide verge, some trees, a hedge, and 90 seconds to watch the film...
Nothing happens, just a peaceful interlude in the Cotswolds and an example of the simple pleasures of life in The Land of the Twelve Churches.

The Two churches of St Peter In The Land of The Twelve Churches

Around the churchyard. Many people visit churchyards researching their ancestors, but memorials moulder, sometimes dangerously, leaving churchwardens and PCCs with various management concerns. Here is a report about one local churchyard, with suggestions for a way forward.

The Tornado in Filkins in The Land of The Twelve Churches

The Filkins Tornado. For those who weren't here... Yes we really did have a tornado! 17 years ago in March 2004. It was an extraordinary event, written up with great verve by some young storm-chasers. Here are their 16 pages of explanation and photographs (with Filkins itself starting on page 8.)

Memories of Zimbabwe in The Land of The Twelve Churches

A long time ago? Maybe not! Julian Choyce, of Filkins, looks back 35 years to meeting Ann on VSO in Zimbabwe, and reflects on what they learned then that has a relevance in lockdown today.


St Peter's Filkins in The Land of the Twelve Churches

On top of the world! Or at any rate on top of the scaffolding, while the bellcote at St Peter's Church, Filkins was being restored a few years ago. Have a look at this great 360 panorama film of the village... As you've never seen it before!  Plus a second filmlet of the new bellcote stonework.


Who's for Tennis? Colston Tennis Club is a small, friendly club right here in Broadwell in The Land of The Twelve Churches. Nick Goodenough says: "Post-corona, why not come down for a game?'  

Astall Barrow in January in The Land of The Twelve Churches

One year, twelve pictures... James Lindsay of Woodside House, Shilton took a photograph of Astall Barrow every month for a year. A wonderful record of 'that mound by the A40 you always meant to explore.'  

Now you can! See James' pictures   HERE

Colin Fletched Bishop of Dorchester in The Land  of The Twelve Churches

The sermon given by Colin Fletcher, the Bishop of Dorchester, at the service on Wednesday 6th October 2004 when Harry MacInnes was inducted as Rector of the Shill Valley & Broadshire Benefice. The sermon is published here in commemoration of the Bishop's retirement during October 2020. (First published in Parish Pump November 2004)   HERE

The Thames at Kelmscott by Tom Barry in The Land of The Twelve Churches

'Around Our Land'. Tom Barry and others share their views of The Land of the Twelve Churches in this Time of Corona. HERE

(Do join in: please email your photographs for inclusion)

'It's a Knock-Out' & 'The Pantomime Horse Races' Here's three films (courtesy of Ruth Henderson) of great afternoons in Filkins 30 years ago... 


When worlds collide: watch the foxes, and badgers, and hares cavorting in Chris Hanks' garden

Shilton floods 2007 in The Land of The Twelve Churches

The Flood of July 2007: remember that very wet weekend? Watch this film made in Shilton, and shudder!

Day 47 No 001 Life in lockdown

Lockdown Lens: nearly 400 photographs in and around our Land of The Twelve Churches from Giles Edwards


The Empty Pulpit in Lockdown in The Land of The Twelve Churches

The Empty Pulpit: 'Harry (and Margot)' in Lockdown: Here gathered together for second viewing (and for those who missed them first time round), are all 50 of the films made by Harry MacInnes & Margot Hodson between Mothering Sunday 22nd March 2020 & Easter Sunday 4th April 2021: HERE

Is God Real? In the Land of the Twelve Churches

Is God Real? If so, how real? If not, so what?
A debate conducted in the pages of PARISH PUMP

Cecil Rhodes at Oriel Collage in the Land of the Twelve Churches

Must Rhodes Fall? Should Rhodes Fall?

Our very own Donal Lowry takes a cogent view


May 2021 update: Oriel College has announced Rhodes will NOT Fall... So far, success!

"The past was not a rehearsal for the present."   

Hilary Mantel

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