Newest NEWS (Sort of!)

Hi, friend!

If it's happened, or happening, or going to happen anywhere in The Land of the Twelve Churches...

 Tell us about it, and we will post it here to delight the world!


And have a look at the 'Older News' pages too

Marching in Shilton in The Land of The Twelve Churches

Sounds good?

   From The Witney Deanery Magazine, 1880.

   Leave out all the stuff about church, sermons, and hymns, of course.

   Leave in the new flag, marching, the band, and Mr Brown's dinner...

   Something for The Old School, perhaps?

14th May 2021

A famous man in The Land of the Twelve Churches

   An interesting piece written by Gary Allinghan for 'Macleans', 'Canada's National Magazine' as it styles  itself. The article first appeared on 1st May issue of 1942, almost 80 years ago.

   It combines insights about one of our villages, one of our most famous residents, political knockabout, another great man (whatever fools might say), and the War... 

   I used to spend week ends with the Cripps family at Filkins, the little Cotswold village where he was popularly known as 'the red squire'. He had bought up an old farmhouse and converted it into what he named 'Goodfellows', a large country mansion of thirty rooms with a trout stream hidden behind a fringe of weeping willows, a tennis court, flower gardens and ornamental lake. Here the man who can trace his ancestry back to the early thirteenth century spent many thousands of dollars in an attempt to retain the old Cotswold atmosphere and save Filkins from the vandalism of modernity. He bought thatched cottages in the village when the jerry-builders were on the prowl for sites, turned one into a village museum, another into a clubhouse for the villagers and two he renovated into homes for old-age pensioners. He provided baths for the villagers, changing rooms for the village sports team, and set the village doctor up in a suite complete with waiting room, surgery and dispensary. He gave the village a swimming pool, a bowling green and tanks for the local water supply.

   And now he has given up 'Goodfellows', turned it into a nursery school, and taken a small cottage in the district. Lady Cripps, only daughter of the manufacturer of a very famous patent medicine, and an heiress in her own right, shares her husband’s views on politics and dietetics. They are vegetarians and non-drinkers. They usually have one meal a day, which Lady Cripps prepares herself, consisting of vegetables, sour milk and wholemeal bread. Their private life chimes with the sincere simplicity of their characters.

   And now the man who was reviled by the Tories, expelled by the Socialists and despised by the Liberals is enthroned with power and authority over all three. No greater contrasts, in many respects, can there be between the essential characteristics of Winston Churchill and Stafford Cripps, the two leaders of Britain’s first real 'United Front' Government, and yet both have at least one factor in common: great moral courage. Neither would demean himself by taking 'the back way out' of any trouble. Both would say: 'I came in by the front door and no one will stop me going out that way.' 

   It is the courage of sincere conviction. It will win the war.

Macleans Magazine in Filkins in The Land of The Twelve Churches
Sir Stafford Cripps in Filkins in The Land of The Twelve Churches
Sir Stafford Cripps Blue Plaque in Filkins

12th May 2021

The assistant vicar loves nature

   Margot Hodson writes: "Despite the mixed weather it is lovely to see the signs of spring bursting out across the benefice. I was at Broadwell on Sunday and the white (and blue) bells looked beautiful around the village..." 

(Thank you for the photograph, Margot Hodson.)

6th May 2021

Bluebells in Broadwell in The Land of The Twelve Churches
The way through the woods in The Land of the Twelve Churches

Nearly there...

Summer is coming, and there is at last a way out of this Time of Corona. Yippee!

(Another great photograph from Tom Barry of Shilton. Thank you, Tom.)

4th May 2021

What a good idea...

... Quite what Alvescot's 'Association for the prosecution of Felons and other offenders' was, it sounds interesting... And an excellent excuse for a good dinner at The Plough. 

   (From 'Jackson's Journal' of 7th December 1861)

Alvescot in The Land of the Twelve Churches

24th April 2021

That's what we need...

... To keep the crows away in Filkins. Part of a great show of scarecrows through the village.

   Do come and see them all!

13th April 2021

They're Open!

   After The Long Winter of Covid, our pubs  in The Land of The Twelve Churches are gloriously open once again.


   The Bell,

   The Five Alls,

   The Plough,

   The (other) Plough,

   The  Rose & Crown,

   The Vines

We salute them all, and wish them all the best...

You can find out more, by following the links to their websites HERE

12th April 2021

Photograph: Tom Barry

The Rose & Crown, Shilton in The Land of The Twelve Churches
Kencot news from 1859 in The Land of the Twelve Churches

All's well that ends well

From The Oxford Journal of 26th March 1859

11th April 2021

HRH Prince Philip

   This morning, the death of Prince Philip was announced. He has been a part of nearly all our lives, for the whole of our lives... Not necessarily in the foreground, but always there, part of our expected world, like the changing of the seasons, birdsong in the morning, the stars in the sky. 

   We will remember him.

   An immediate local connection: this evening, there was Evensong at Christ Church, and in the choir one of our own... Hamish Mowbray of Filkins. Now that is something he will tell his grandchildren.

9th April 2021

Prince Philip
50 online services in The Land of The Twelve Churches

Well done!

   Congratulations to Harry MacInnes and Margot Hodson on posting their 50th online service on Easter Sunday.

   All 50 are available to view HERE

7th April 2021

Interesting work opportunity...

   Sharon Ellison at WODC writes: Could you help with the running of the polling station for the Black Bourton Church and also Filkins Carter Institute on Thursday 6th May?

   We are looking to appoint, ideally a couple who could work together at the Church in Black Bourton, they would be responsible for the electors arriving to vote ensuring their ballot papers were issued correctly within the guidance and training we will provide. The responsible person (Presiding Officer), will need to collect the ballot box and materials the Tuesday (4th May) before the poll and return the box to the count venue in Witney after the close of poll at 10pm.  Online training for all poll staff will be provided and a payment will be made to those who attend in addition to their fee for Presiding/Clerking the polling station.

   For Filkins, a responsible Presiding Officer is also needed to help the existing poll clerk appointed for this election, again the box and responsibilities will be the same as BB church as mentioned above.

   Ideally, the persons employed by the Elections Returning Officer to act as either Presiding Officer or Poll Clerk for the day will be confident, reliable, polite with the willingness to help in the polling station during the polling hours (7am to 10pm (arrival time for set up 6.15am).  We would ask that Presiding Officers would have previous experience in working in a polling station, although this is not essential.   

   Coronavirus is of course a priority and we working towards all polling stations being safe and secure for all, staff will be provided with PPE, sanitiser, cleaning materials and glazed screening, and asked to adhere to all safety requirements and guidelines throughout the polling day.

   Presiding Officer - £241, Poll Clerk - £165, Mileage will be paid at .45 per mile

   Please do let me know if you have a name in mind, or please ask locally, interested persons should get in touch with me at







6th April 2021