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Older NEWS 6 (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 other 'News' pages too

Langford Arts Festival in The Land of The Twelve Churches

Langford Arts Festival

Building on the huge success of the first festival, and despite the intervening Covid thingummy, Langford Arts Festival comes storming back.

 Throughout the village, throughout the weekend...


Do come: it's a great day out for everyone who likes Art

27th July 2021

Alvescot Broadband

   Georgina Flatter writes: Help us make the case for Lightning Fast Internet in Alvescot!

   We are in a rural area that qualifies for a great government scheme called the gigabit voucher scheme

   This scheme will enable lightning fast and reliable broadband throughout the village, with grants of up to £1,500 available for every household and £3,500 for every business we can engage in this scheme.
   How can you help? All we need from you is to fill out a very simple survey, which is designed to help us understand which areas of the village have the need and interest for improvement and upgrading.

   If we want improved internet service for Alvescot, this is the best and only route available as we currently do not feature in any current plans through any of the providers (EE, Virgin, BT etc) to upgrade the internet in our village.
   By filling in this form you are not committing to anything but this information will help us make the strongest case possible for Alvescot residents and businesses to access the Gigabit scheme.

Alvescot in The Land of The Twelve CHurches

If you live in Alvescot, please take part in the Survey:


25th July 2021

The Government Inspector in The TThe Land of The Twelve Churches

Gogol's groupies...

   Filkins Theatre presented 'The Government Inspector' as a rehearsed reading in costume on 17th July. 

   See more on this HERE

18th July 2021

Ecotheology Conference

The Ecotheology Conference run by the London SChool of Theology

   On three mornings this week, your intrepid editor attended a Zoom Summer Conference on ecotheology organised byThe London School of Theology. Two of the speakers were our very own Mr and Mrs Hodson. Mr Hodson gave us a good, workmanlike talk on some of what he sees as the present dangers to the environment, and Mrs Hodson described how church communities might mitigate some of them. Mr Dave Bookless, a vicar in Southall, gave some biblical context. 

   Although attendance was small (only around 50 or 60), it was interesting to hear during the break-out groups, the perspective from those from overseas, including from South Africa, Zambia, Brazil, and the Philippines. I will write about this further in the August issue of Parish Pump.

8th July 2021

Who are these people?

   Now, this new statue in Kensington Gardens to commemorate Princes Diana...

   Who is the strange woman?

   Why is she wearing the Princess's shirt?

   And who are the unknown children with her?


   Wouldn't it have been better to create a statue of the Princess and her family?

3rd July 2021

Who is this in Kensington Gardens
Filkins Theatre

30th June 2021

Down in the Dingle, something stirs...

   Filkins Theatre meets, usually on the last Friday of every month, to read a play chosen by the host for the evening. The meeting is generally held either in the host's house (or garden), or in the village hall.

   At the end of June, the hosts were Charles & Avril Payne, and we read that stirring tale of 'King'n'clerical' skulduggery, Robert Bolt's 'A Man for All Seasons'. It was a splendid evening... Thank you C & A.

   If anyone would like to join FT, and take part in these evening readings, do contact the secretary, Lynne Savege... Click HERE

Filkins Theatre in The Land of The Twelve Churches

'Look what I found!'

   Chris Hanks writes:

   "I went to remove a bit of stick from the chair only to find it was a pair of buff-tip moths doing what comes naturally. 

   I love the look of concentration on it's little face."

Buff Tip Moths in The Land of The Twelve Churches

   As a dyed-in-the woollen weaver, I am probably a bit less enamoured about moths procreating than Chris is...

   ... But I know what she means.

   Isn't nature wonderful?

22nd June 2021

Moth in The Land of The Twelve Churches
Richard Harries Bishop of Oxford takes his bow into retirement

The past and the present

   Fifteen years ago, we reported (in the Parish Pump June 2006 issue) the splendid ceremony in Christ Church Cathedral to mark the retirement of Richard Harries, the Bishop of Oxford. 

   Over 1000 were gathered to hear tributes to Richard Harries, and to listen to a choir assembled especially for the occasion by our very own Wanda Adams.

   Hugo Brunner, the Lord Lieutenant then invited Richard to unveil a portrait of himself by Charlotte Harris (in the phtograph with the Bishop.)

   And I am pleased to say that Parish Pump article was written in typical style by Holwell's Rock... Corinna! And I am even more pleased to say that Corinna Rock is still the trusty Parish Pump correspondent for Holwell. Thank you, Corinna!

17th June 2021

Sunset from another Filkins garden...

Sunset from Gill & Marty's garden, also in Filkins, on Saturday 12th June 2021

13h June 2021

Filkins sunset in The Land of The Twelve Churches
Sunset in Filkins in The Land of the Twelve CHurches

Sunset from our garden

Sunset from our garden in Filkins on Tuesday 1st June 2021

1st June 2021

"Alvescot College"

   From 'The Economist', April 1973:

   "Undergraduate studies in Oxford, England. Alvescot Collage now offers a limited number of places for Liberal Arts students. All courses are tailor-made with due regard to satisfying American University and College requirements. Candidates are invited to send for full details."

   We understand that Alvescot College began elsewhere, then moved to Alvescot, and then to Oxford.

   It would be great to hear more...

Alvescot in The Land of The Twelve Churches

30h May 2021

The Village Street, Alvescot

A binding by Katherine Adams from Little Faringdon in The Land of the Twelve Churches

Famous daughter of Little Faringdon

   Katherine Adams (1862 to 1952) was the daughter of the Vicar of Little Faringdon, and as a girl played with William Morris's daughter, May, in the vicarage garden. No doubt inspired by Morris, she took up book-binding, won first prize at the Oxford Arts and Crafts Exhibition in 1898, and went on to be president of the Women's Guild of Art, which was set up by her childhood playmate, May Morris. She was not a prolific binder, and her work is now rare and very highly regarded.

   The pictures show her binding of a Walter Pater volume , and also her 'binder's mark' on Lawrence Binyon's 'Poems'. 

The binder's mark by Katherine Adams from Little Faringdon in The Land of the Twelve Churches

26h May 2021

Well, fancy that!

   A recent report sponsored by the St Peter's Saltley Trust says that trainee priests need instruction on environmental issues, because (as the report says): 'today’s students will be ministering in communities facing major environmental challenges... As community leaders, they will be facilitating huge shifts in lifestyle and community living to respond to the crisis.' 

   A CofE priest as a community leader?

   Now that's an interesting reminder of times past!

   For instance, let's remember...

Willoughby Parr, Vicar of Filkins, who led the committee that, among other things, built the village's Carter Institute in 1914. >>

24h May 2021

Willoughby Parr, Vicar of Filkins in the Land of the Twelve Churches
Witney Mills in West Oxfordshire

Witney Mills

   Not quite in The Land of The Twelve Churches, but it was a nice gift from a pair of Broughton Poggsians, (Andrew & Hilary Ward), and a photo of a woollen mill and sheep is surely always welcome...

19th May 2021

Plant the Good Plant, in Alvescot!

   Have you sown far too many seeds and ended up with surplus plants?

   If you have extras, please bring them along to the Plant Sale at St Peter’s Church, Alvescot which will be held at 11.30am on Sunday 30th May (after the open air Rogation Sunday service at 10.30am)

   Of course you do not have to come to the service to attend the Plant Sale... And be prepared to take some plants home!

   All proceeds will boost funds for St Peter’s Church.

   For more details, email HERE 

15th May 2021

Plant sale in Alvescot in The Land of the Twelve Churches
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...

... Whatever 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

Polling Day in The Land of the Twelve Churches







6th April 2021

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