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Hi, friend!
Halloween in Filkins in The Land of the Twelve Churches

Pumpkin at Halloween

We bought an orange pumpkin
The plumpest sort they sell.
We neatly scooped the inside out
And only left the shell.

We carved a funny funny-face
Of silly shape and size,
A pointy nose, a jagged mouth
And two enormous eyes.

We set it on our gatepost

And watched it for a while

As passers by stopped every time

And matched its silly smile.

(Anon, traditional)

And with thanks to the Crosbie Dawsons of Filkins, whose house, gatepost, and pumpkin it is.

30h October 2020

Water, water, everywhere...

   Here is what was, presumably, the holy water stoup in the south porch at St Margaret of England Church in Little Faringdon. 

   I wonder when it was last used...

   Obviously before the reformation, but maybe since... Martin Luther approved of Holy Water. And here is the Anglican priest in a Texan parish:

   "I love holy water because it’s a sign of God’s presence and blessing we can touch. When I served at St Mary’s in Hollywood, California we had to make a lot of holy water. It was a custom among pious Armenians (of whom there were many living nearby) to come and drink the Holy Water by the cupful. Often I’d find it all over the narthex floor because many Armenian moms brought their kids by once or twice a week and washed their faces with it. I loved the idea. Those Armenian moms understood inherently that water, so necessary to human survival, is quintessentially sacramental." 

24h October 2020

Sunset in Filkins in The Land of The Twelve Churches

What a corker!

Fab photograph from Celia Walker of Filkins.

Keep 'em coming, everyone!


Slowly the west reaches for clothes of new colors
which it passes to a row of ancient trees.
You look, and soon these two worlds both leave you
one part climbs toward heaven, one sinks to earth.

leaving you, not really belonging to either,
not so hopelessly dark as that house that is silent,
not so unswervingly given to the eternal as that thing
that turns to a star each night and climbs...

leaving you (it is impossible to untangle the threads)
your own life, timid and standing high and growing,
so that, sometimes blocked in, sometimes reaching out,
one moment your life is a stone in you, and the next, a star.


Rainer Maria Rilke

17h October 2020

Happier times in Filkins...

15h October 2020

Volunteers drinks in Filkins in The Land of the Twelve Churches
Volunteers drinks in Filkins in The Land of the Twelve Churches

The two churchwardens (on the right) and the PCC entertain friends of the parish churches, summer 2019

The Land of the Twelve Churches

Reflections in the Landscape

Photographs and text by Giles Edwards and Richard Martin to illustrate that while our twelve churches are very firmly, and importantly, part of the landscape, they also seem so often to hover on the edge of vision, curiously unconnected with life around them. 

Book coming soon!

Holwell Church in The Land of The Twelve Churches

11th October 2020

Langford Cricket Team 2006 in The Land of The Twelve Churches

Where are they now?

Langford Cricketers at the end of the 2006 Season: (Back) Andrew Clemons, Matt Simpson, Eric Webb, Danny Bint, Dave Tinson,
Jim Johnston, Donald Puffitt., Peter and Richard Kirby.
(Front): George Lane, Jeremy Kirby, Harry Puffit, Will Johnston.

And here we are, 14 years later, and a now hulking Harry was up on Filkins Village Hall roof with his Uncle Donald this afternoon...

Where did those years go?

8th October 2020

Two years ago...

Wine tasting in Broadwell 2018 in The Land of The Twelve Churches

4th October 2020

APCM Filkins in The Land of The Twelve Churches

Only in the Church of England!

The Annual Parochial Church Meeting at 11am on Saturday 3rd October at St Peter's Church, Filkins

There's the Area Dean, and the Rector, and the Associate Vicar... And about 18 others.

And we hold the meeting huddled outside in the rain.

While inside the church is properly risk-assessed, clean, sanitized, warm... And completely empty!


   If God knows, he ain't telling!

Something else (from Agatha Christie): 'It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.'

3rd October 2020

Bake it till you make it

  Gill Cox, of Kencot, sent us this poster for an event supporting a noble cause.

We could not fit it in the October issue of Parish Pump (and apologies for that), but are happy to put it here.

Come on, let's get baking

1st October 2020

Bake it in Kencot in The Land of the Twelve Churches
Holwell Church in The Land of The Twelve Churches


  Giles Edwards and I are looking at the next book... A photographic record of the twelve churches in 'The Land of the Twelve Churches'. (TLotTC)

   How the twelve churches connect with their villages and with the landscape, and with us who live amongst them.

Watch this space!

30th September 2020

Go West, young man!

   From the altar, across the chancel, and down the nave to the font, and the west window, at St Peter's Church in Broughton Poggs.

   The most tucked-away church of any of the twelve churches in 'The Land of the Twelve Churches'. To find this small and ancient church, you must walk down the drive at Broughton Hall, take the left fork, and then go through a gate to your left and down down a path past the farm yard.

   And there nestling between the hamlet of Broughton Poggs and the fields, is St Peter's Church.

29th September 2020

St Peter's Church Broughton Poggs in The Land of The Twelve Churches
The no nonsence pot in The Land of the Twelve Churches

"I simply will not accept any more of your nonsense!"

(I know just how this jug feels.)

27th September 2020

Ethiopian Crosses

Part of a collection, lately aquired by Cotswold Woollen Weavers in Filkins,  of magnificent processional crosses from the Coptic Christian church of Ethiopia.

Christianity was established there in the 4th century, and many traditions particular to the country grew up, including the making and use of these crosses from the 16th century onwards. They were designed to be mounted on wooden staffs, with long flowing cloths threaded  through the holes around the base of the cross.

The crosses were mostly cast, and then fitted into the worked metal shafts.

25rd September 2020

There ARE flies on Filkins!

God was not above wreaking havoc on the environment when he felt like it, and you will remember the Plague of Flies that ruined Egypt.

"... and there came a grievous swarm of flies into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants' houses, and into all the land of Egypt: the land was corrupted by reason of the swarm of flies."

(Exodus 8:24)

Well, Filkins copped it today, and every inch of floor, every pew, every window-ledge, every nook and cranny was literally covered in cluster flies. Kevin and I spent a couple of hours this afternoon moving, and sweeping and vacuuming, and making good.

We certainly know how the poor old Pharaoh felt!

Cluster fly plague in Filkins in The Land of the Twelve Churches

16th September 2020

Tens of thousands of cluster flies descend on St Peter's Church, Filkins

Absolutely nothing to do with The Land of The Twelve Churches... But I love this.

ps: The cluster flies in the church (see below)  are dying out. Yippee!

My current favourite thing

23rd September 2020

A new chimney at Filkins Church in The Land of the Twelve Churches

What a long time, a year

   This time last year, September 2019, Broughton Poggs and Filkins were flying! The churchwardens and lay PCC were working to replace the entire heating systems in both churches. Here is the chimney being re-lined at St Peter's Church in Filkins.

11th September 2020

Ohhh, la la!

Is this the poshest extractor fan vent ever?


   Simon Brittain carved this wondrous thing in natural English limestone, in Filkins Stone Company workshop, for GTN (Grant T-N) and JLB (Jani Burwood) and Louisa (L) and Amy (A). 

   It is guaranteed to turn the pong of the oldest chip oil to  perfume beyond compare!  

8th September 2020

Limestone carving in The Land of the Twelve Churches
VJ Day in Filkins in The Land of the Twelve Churches

6th September 2020

Two successes

   Over the weekend of 5th and 6th September, two good things happened in Filkins...

A   The Village Hall re-opened. And Yippee say we.

B   The first event was a terrific exhibition mounted by Diane Blackett from the Swinford Museum, commemorating VJ Day,  and (taking the theme from 'Forgotten Army') looking at forgotten village crafts. There will be more on this in October's Parish Pump.

Mr Fuddles is Jaunting again...

... To welcome Burford Year 7s

Mr Fuddles carries the Burford School badge
Mr Fuddles at Burford School welcoming year 7s

Mr Fuddles writes: Is it even the first day of term at Burford School if you haven’t had a visit from me? So yesterday morning, I got to welcome all the lovely new Year 7s as they start their secondary school education. It’s been a tough six months for these youngsters, so I was delighted to bring smiles to their faces and break the ice. Rumour has it I'm being drafted on to the Wysdom rugby team for house matches! Xx

3rd September 2020

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