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How the current crisis is affecting our churches
Suspension of Public Worship
Due to the pandemic, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued a statement suspending Sunday services in church and other mid-week gatherings.
While our church buildings are closed, our worship will not cease and services will continue to be offered via our website.
If we can be of help over the coming period, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Most importantly, we will continue to pray for these communities and villages.
Benefice Prayer Group
A list of people who will pray daily for the needs of individuals and our communities has been compiled. Whilst many are already praying in this time of crisis, please let the vicar know if you would like to become a member of this group (email@example.com or 868687).
If you have a prayer request, please let us know. If you do not want your prayer request distributed to the prayer group (i.e. for the Vicar only to pray) please specify this in your request.
Village Support Networks
Within each village a support network has been established offering help within each local community. Contact details are as follows:
Finstock: Pete Welply Tel 07809 741735 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ramsden: 1st Roz Danks Tel 01993 868996 email email@example.com
Ramsden: 2nd John Hook Tel 01993 868724 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Leafield: 1st Christina Wilson Tel 07387 267714 email CPJW74@icloud.com
Leafield: 2nd Simon Bentley Tel 01993 878000 email email@example.com
Wilcote: Arthur Young Tel 07891 030766 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Lighting a candle of solidarity
We do not know what the future holds, and this in itself is a source of great anxiety. A candle lit and placed in a window at any time, if it can be done safely, demonstrates our solidarity and our continued commitment to one another in uncertain and challenging times.
A note about social contact
If you require pastoral assistance, please contact the vicar or other member of our churches by email or telephone. Church guidelines state that pastoral visits should not be undertaken to people who are self-isolating and all non-essential contact should be avoided. Government advice is to ensure no one puts themselves in harm’s way by gathering socially other than for the most essential reasons. Ignoring restrictions risks not only their own health but those whom they might subsequently infect. The government asks us to be aware that hospital resources are finite and to avoid unnecessarily infecting others.
Weddings, Baptisms and Funerals
The Church of England acknowledge these restrictions will be difficult for everyone.
Funerals may now only happen at the Crematorium or at the graveside. Only immediate family members can attend (if the crematorium allows) – that is, spouse or partner, parents and children, keeping their distance in the prescribed way. An organist or verger is not permitted to attend, nor any other people. A memorial service will be offered at some point in the future.
For weddings: Sadly, there can be no weddings in church buildings until further notice.
Emergency baptisms can take place in a hospital or at home, though subject to strict hygiene precautions and physical distancing as far as this is possible.
The deadline for parishes to hold their annual meetings has been extended up to the end of October 2020. This means that current office holders will be able to remain in office longer than they would otherwise do so.
It would be inconsistent with Government advice for any parish to be holding these APCMs for the foreseeable future. Therefore, our scheduled APCMs are now postponed.
The Church recommends either not setting a revised date yet or setting a date in September or October.
Full details of the Church's guidance can be found here
We are very grateful and would like to thank all those who contribute towards the cost of keeping our four village churches open. We would particularly like to mention our benefactors who contribute to the church in Finstock via the Reg Howes Memorial Fund for their generosity.
It costs around £80,000 annually to keep our four churches open. This includes general, regular maintenance but not the major, irregular work required periodically and associated with all old buildings. As well as our regular services, the Church is available for those who wish to be married, baptised or hold a funeral. The Church is extensively involved with our two village schools and provides pastoral care for those in need. They are also used by a surprising number of people as places for quiet reflection and contemplation.
We currently raise 86% annually of the £80,000 required and we would like to say thank you and congratulations to all those who contribute. In a goup of villages of around 2,000 people this is a significant achievement.
Within the village of Finstock we have launched a new Parish Giving Scheme offered through the Diocese of Oxford. The Parish Giving Scheme (PGS) is a direct-debit facility, providing a professional, effective donation management system to support parishes in funding their mission and ministry. Further details relating to the PGS are available here.
If you feel able to make a regular donation towards the £80,000 required each year, please contact one of our treasurers. Details are available below. Alternatively, please contact either our Benefice Administrator, Mrs Jane Hanson, email email@example.com, telephone 01993 868264, or Rev’d Paul Mansell, who can supply the necessary information. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 01993 868687. Postal address: The Vicarage, Mount Skippett, Ramsden, Oxfordshire. OX7 3AP.
If you would like to make a donation to one of our churches by cheque, please make the cheque payable to:
Leafield Church: "St. Michael and All Angels Leafield"
Finstock Church: "Finstock PCC"
Ramsden Church: "Ramsden PCC"
Thank you for your support.
Many people, at some point in their lives, use the services of the Church. As mentioned above, as well as regular services, local churches are used for baptisms (christenings), weddings and funerals. They are also used as quiet spaces for prayer and contemplation. Many people value their local church building as a symbol of hope within the community, and what is sacred.
PCC (Parochial Church Council) members are volunteers who help keep their churches open. They are dedicated members of the community who offer their time and energy to ensure their church is properly maintained and ordered. Through the generosity of PCC members, each church remains available for everyone in the community.
If you would like to become a member of your local PCC, please contact the vicar or any member of the PCC.
Benefice Service *
* Benefice Service
10:30am Service rotates around Ramsden (January), Finstock (February) and Leafield (March). The pattern then repeats throughout the year.
6:00pm St James' Church, Ramsden*
(This is an occasional service - see church notice board for details)
About These Services:
9:00am This is a shorter services (no hymns) using traditional language.
10:30am This is an All Age service using modern language and including hymns.
6:00pm This is a service of Evensong using traditional language and including hymns.