News from the Archbishop of Canterbury

You can view news from the Archbishop of Canterbury on the official Facebook page.

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Village questionnaire

Following the Open Meeting on Saturday 7 March when around 30 people came to give views on the three aspects of St Nicholas Church in Islip – heritage, hospitality and hope, we have the attached questionnaire for everyone to fill in and return.

Email completed forms please to Lucy Thirtle or deliver hard copies to the box in the church porch or Foodbank crate at Church Key Cottage, The Walk or 3 The Rise.

All comments will be useful.

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Pet Service – Sunday 28 June

On Sunday 28 June the Zoom church service was a celebration of our pets.  Around 40+ adults introduced their pets, followed by a couple of prayers and a hymn.  Among those taking part – and being extremely well behaved – were 6 cats, 13 dogs, 2 ducklings, a three-legged tortoise, a chicken and a guinea pig – all were welcome. 

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Church open for private prayer from Wednesday 17 June

The Rev Lucy Thirtle writes that the church will be open now on

Wednesdays 1pm – 5pm

Sundays 9am – 1pm 

The door will be propped open and all those who wish to come in for a time of quiet reflection and prayer are asked:

–  to  use the hand sanitiser on entry and exit

–  not to touch anything unnecessarily

–  to use only the pews which are not cordoned off

–  to keep 2m of physical distance with others

–  to respect the peace of the building and churchyard during these times

At present we are not sure if and when the church will reopen for gathered worship but in the meantime, all are welcome to join the online Sunday Zoom service at 10.30am.  Email Rev Lucy for the link if you need it.

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Islip Scarecrow Show 10-12 July

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St Nicholas’ YouTube channel

See the latest videos by clicking here – from Good Friday 2020 to VE Day and Ascension Day.

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Reflection by Rev Lucy 24 May

  • Today is a somewhat strange day in the church calendar.  It marks an interlude – neither one thing nor another reflected by the fact that the church offers two alternative names for it. It’s called the 7th of Easter and yet, in the tradition, the season of Easter came to an end after 40 days with the Ascension which we celebrated last Thursday.
  • The alternative option is to call it the Sunday after Ascension Day.
  • It is just that – an in-between day. It falls during the interlude between Ascension and Pentecost, the period of waiting, recalling Jesus words to the disciples in Luke’s Gospel account of Ascension just before he disappears from their sight:  See I am sending upon you what my Father promised, so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high!
  • The disciples duly return to their base in Jerusalem and wait.  How this power from on high will manifest itself, though, they do not really know.  How long they would wait they do not really know.  We know that the gift would be given 10 days later. They did not.  All we are told is that they devoted themselves to prayer.
  • But what I wonder were they doing when not praying? I can imagine that some of them would have grown bored and listless.  Some would have felt restless, impatient and felt the need to get away from the upper room to roam about in the city; others might have found it easier  to wait quietly, happy with their thoughts or in quiet conversation with one another.  Perhaps some invented games or composed music as a way of passing the time, some might have entertained the others with a song or a comic turn. 
  • Does this sound familiar? 
  • Well yes, why wouldn’t it – there may have been some similarities with our situation.  We too find ourselves in a similar time of interlude.  We are waiting.  Though things have ever so gradually beginning to ease – we do not know for how long we must wait or even for what.  We are waiting for more freedom, for a life which enables us to see our loved ones, gather together in some way again but we don’t know when any of that will be possible and we don’t yet know what that will look like.
  • How are we doing?  Are we getting bored and listless?  Are we getting impatient, angry, and restless?
  • Or have we more easily come to terms with the new normal, getting accustomed to and actively enjoying the slower pace of life? 
  • Are we using the time creatively?  Have we sewed, painted, composed, blogged, redesigned our gardens etc?
  • And what has the waiting taught us?  What have we learnt about those we are locked down with?  Our spouses, children, pets?  What have we learnt about our neighbours?  Our village community?  What have we discovered about the wildlife in our gardens and surrounding fields, the changes in everything that grows as the seasons change?  What have we discovered about those whose services we are currently having to rely on?  What have we learnt about ourselves?
  • What have we learned about God?  Are we taking advantage of the time we have to pray, to read the Bible, to look for God at work in our world, in nature, in other people?
  • The disciples had been told to wait for God’s power to come – they couldn’t know quite what that would be like.  They were almost certainly unprepared for the dramatic events of Pentecost. 
  • The spirit when she came blew through them and  changed them in ways they couldn’t imagine.  So that, although the waiting came to an end, nothing was quite the same afterwards. 
  • These last two days we have experienced strangely powerful winds, unsettling winds, the kind of winds which upend things.  That is sometimes how it is with the spirit.  The spirit doesn’t always come with the gentleness of the dove. 
  • And it’s hard not to feel that the spirit which is moving in these times is not going to reshape things dramatically, in our church life as much as in every other walk of life.
  • What I noticed as I watched things being blown in the wind of the last few days was that the things that remained upright are those which were able to bend and sway in the wind, things that have spaces which let the wind blow through them. Those things that are rigid or solid are the things that got blown over.  So, it is with the wind of the spirit.  Not to be upended by God’s Holy Spirit, will require us also to be flexible, to bend, to allow ourselves to be reshaped.  Just as we sang last week …
    Spirit of the living God, melt me, mould me, fill me,
  • This is more difficult for some of us than others; for those of us who like certainty, who like to be in control … but a key element of the journey of faith is learning to let go of that need and discovering that God can be trusted.
  • As we continue to wait, like the disciples, we will do well to devote ourselves to prayer and in particular, prayer that we might be able to be open to the spirit, prayer that we will be ready to be changed, that we might not resist the Spirit but go with her flow. 
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Forthcoming services

• 10am Sunday 31 May, the Feast of Pentecost – a benefice zoom service led by Rev Steve.

• 10.30am Sunday 7 June, Trinity Sunday. Rev Lucy will celebrate the Eucharist at home and invites all to join in an act of spiritual communion via Zoom. More details to follow.

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Christian Aid week 10 – 16 May 2020

We raised an astonishing £2,300 via the Christian Aid JustGiving page from the villages of Islip, Noke and Woodeaton which was open during Christian Aid week. Not only was that about £700 more than last year but also we were 30th in the list of fundraisers throughout the UK for the online appeal this year – at the time of writing they’d raised 42% of their £1m target.

Thank you so much to all for supporting this cause which really will make a difference to those who need it most.

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Sunday service 10 May at 10.30am

The Rev Lucy writes: Dear Friends
All welcome to join in a Zoom act of worship celebrating spring – lambs, beauty of creation – using this link.
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 836 7205 6442
Password: 170354

When you join tomorrow, you may hear only the ringing of church bells – a recording but an attempt to get us into a good frame of mind.
I will lead the service and will put up an order of service on the screen so that you can follow and join in the words in bold when appropriate (hence the muting so that there isn’t too much feedback).  We will also endeavour to sing – i.e. I will put words up and David will play some kind of instrument – and you can sing along (to your heart’s content – or not!) in the privacy of your home.
I am also hoping to share some photos too.
At the end of the service we will unmute everyone so that we can chat informally – over a coffee as usual!
Do pass this email on to others in your community.
Looking forward to ‘seeing’ you tomorrow.

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Sunday 3 May – the Rev Lucy writes:

Dear All
Another week of lockdown has passed and we are into May. Time feels like it is taking on a whole new perspective ….It seems like an eternity since life was last ‘normal’ and yet some predictions suggest things will be far from normal for many months yet. We are, I guess, all developing new routines and it is important especially for those who have no work to structure their time to find ways of differentiating the days. Well, tomorrow is Sunday and we will continue to keep it as a day to begin with worship.
Once again all are invited to a Zoom service – just click on the following link.
Join Zoom Meeting…

Meeting ID: 836 7205 6442
Password: 170354

It would be lovely to see some new faces. The form is we try to begin as soon after 10.30am as possible, once we think most people have joined, keeping the chat if possible til after the service. During the service, Kathryn mutes everyone except those who are reading/leading prayers, etc. Then at the end of the service we unmute and, in some cases, get a coffee (although one of the advantages of zoom is that you can have coffee and worship at same time if you wish!) and chat and exchange news as people wish – or leave if we have to.

While writing, another new resource launched by the church this week is a free phone line of hymns, reflections and prayers – called Daily Hope and available on 0800 804 8044. It runs 24 hours a day and is already proving popular having received more than 6000 calls. Why not give it a try if you are having a low moment or need reassurance during any sleepless moments of the night?

A reminder that Friday 8 May is a special bank holiday to mark 75th anniversary of VE day. There will be some things happening in Islip and I am looking into offering a short act of prayer/commemoration – watch this space for further details.

Finally, for those within hearing of the trumpets from Islip gardens, the hymns to be played tomorrow are these (not necessarily in this order though):

To God be the glory
All heaven declares the glory of the risen Lord
Guide me O thou great Redeemer
There is a Redeemer.

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Sunday 26 April – the Rev Lucy writes:

The Rev Lucy writes: Dear Friends
For the last two Sundays, a good number of us have joined together using Zoom for a time of reflection and prayer.  In these experimental times, it has worked reasonably well from my point of view and been well ‘attended’ – 40+ on Easter Sunday, 20+ on Low Sunday.  I really enjoy being able to see and hear those of you who join from your homes.  It enables some kind of interaction in a way that recording or livestreaming a service does not.  For that reason I plan to continue and here is the link to join this Sunday at 10.30am.
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 775 687 5567
Password: 128890

I do recognise there are some limitations however so I am exploring how to improve the experience.  For example, this week we wilI record it so that it can be either watched or, probably preferably, listened to at a later time which is helpful for those who may not be able to access the technology themselves or are unavailable at the time we meet.
I am also keen to include some kind of music.  The inclusion of pre-recorded music has copyright issues but we can include live music so, this week, the intention is for David or William to play a familiar hymn tune (How Great thou art) on the piano and those that wish to sing along can do so with microphone muted (!!)   The words to the hymn are on the attached sheet but I have also discovered how to display the necessary words on the screen.
Clearly anything I can offer at present is probably of poorer quality than the weekly provision from a) the Church of England website (9 am)  and b) the Oxford Diocese livestream (10am) , so I completely understand if some of you opt to follow these or other acts of online worship.  I realise that setting the time for 10.30 overlaps with the diocesan service.  If a lot of you wish to watch this as well as join in with Zoom then we could consider making our gathering later in future weeks.
Another question in my mind is whether, occasionally, the  Zoom service should take the form of a Eucharist.   There are a number of issues here which I will try to summarise briefly but which spring from the Church’s long established theology and doctrine of the  Eucharist which, it must be said, have not possibly ever until now had to take account of the kind of conditions we are currently living through.
One principle is that a Eucharist cannot be celebrated by a priest on their own whether in church or at home.  At least one other person has to be present for it to be valid which is why, if you have followed any of the Eucharist services broadcast from a priest’s  or bishop’s home, they often make it clear that a family member is present.  This of course is not a barrier for me, having both David and William to join me.  However, since a prayer of consecration is not deemed to be effective over a geographical distance, only the people immediately present with the celebrant can receive the sacrament.  At present, the Church is discouraging those joining remotely in their own homes from having their own bread and wine at home since, according to canon law, this does not have sacramental validity.   The idea of a Celebrant receiving the sacrament is that they do so in a representational capacity on behalf of the church community.   This is an idea valued by some Christians but, for others, a Eucharist without a gathering of the faithful does not carry the same significance.  As on many things, there is a breadth of opinion within the Church of England.
My own position tends towards the latter view and while it is a great sadness and leaves a big gap for me not to be able to celebrate Eucharist physically with the faithful of Islip, Noke and Woodeaton, especially at this time when we all need to be assured of God’s grace and living presence with us, I am satisfied that the Eucharist is being celebrated  by our Bishops and feel that a fasting from the Eucharist is an unfortunate but necessary part and parcel of the experience of exile in which we find ourselves. Christ, after all, comes to us through, Word, Sacrament and Spirit and I personally sense Christ’s presence through Word and Spirit – and not least at present also through the beauty and life force of creation.
What is more, the Church of England has since 1662 had an understanding of ‘spiritual communion’  which is described in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer which sets out how it is possible to experience communion even when for whatever reason the physical elements of bread and wine cannot be consumed.  You can read more about this here.
However if there is a sufficient desire from you for me to celebrate it, I would be happy to consider doing so on an occasional basis either via Zoom or as a recorded act of worship.
All that being said, whichever options we pursue in the coming weeks, I think it’s important that, as far as we are able, the offering of worship becomes something to which as many of us as possible can contribute.
So, I would like to hear from anyone  who is willing to offer a reading or prayers or even a musical contribution.   Indeed, with enough volunteers, I shall organise a rota to give us all some sense of normality returning!    It doesn’t need to be the roles you usually fill – but it would be lovely if those who are, for example, on the intercessions rota would be willing to compose and lead prayers – and others too – this may be the spur you need to have a go.
For Sunday, I would like 2 volunteers to read the Gospel – in two parts as indicated on the attached, also one or two people to read/lead prayers.  And if anyone has something else to offer, eg a suitable poem or something musical, do let me know.
Apologies for another lengthy note but as it looks increasingly like this may have to be the new normal for several more months, I am keen to explore how best to keep our common worshipping life and fellowship alive.
I attach a sheet for Sunday but as always, don’t hesitate to let me know if you’ve got your own ideas for improvements or innovation, particularly if you can offer your own skills to enable those to happen.
Finally, we will all, I am sure, be very aware of the impact our current way of life is having on our own mental wellbeing and that of others.  The Church of England has produced this resource which you may find of help for yourself or to pass on to others.

With love and best wishes.


P.S. There will be trumpets (and possibly other brass)  playing as usual between 10am and 10.30 am.  Thank you to all those who are bravely helping to lift people’s spirits in this way.

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Sunday 17 April – an invitation for all parishioners

From the Rev Lucy –
Dear Friends in Islip, Noke & Woodeaton
After the success of last week’s Zoom ‘service’ I plan to have another one tomorrow at 10.30am.

The link to join in is as follows:
Join Zoom Meeting…

Meeting ID: 775 687 5567
Password: 128890

This would be the usual time of the Islip service and allows for those that wish to follow the weekly Church at Home live service broadcast from the Church of England website ( at 9am.

There will be two readings, some prayers (from others – volunteers please) and a short ‘thought for the day’ from me.  Attached is a sheet with the readings (and a psalm to use at home during this week).  I will be lighting the ‘Paschal candle’ lit last week and I would like to invite all of you to have a candle to light too which can symbolise the light and hope we are all holding on to until we can meet again in our churches. If you don’t have one or would like a dedicated candle to light during these coming weeks, let me know as I have dug out my candle making paraphernalia and would be glad to make and deliver one to any households who request one over the coming days.

For those in Islip the trumpets will play in The Rise at 10am and others in other parts of the village up to 10.30 – do listen out!

Other resources
As the lockdown continues, it is important that we find ways to keep our faith and prayer life refreshed and alive. Fixing regular times for prayer – however brief – can make it easier and helps to give us that important routine during the day. Some of you will have already got resources for doing this. I will try each week to point to some that I think may be helpful.

The Church of England has now produced an attractive little booklet with special prayers for this crisis, prayers to use with children and short, accessible forms for Morning and Night prayer. You can download or see online here…/Prayer%20Book%20Digital%2…

Another website I strongly recommend is that for The Bible Society. It offers many resources including for children, but, for now, a short daily Bible reading, point for reflection and brief prayers.…/…/daily-lyfe/

The Archbishop of Canterbury publishes topics for prayer each day on his facebook page.…/Prayer%20Book%20Digital%2…

If you already have resources you are finding useful and would like to recommend, please let me know so I can share them.

I hope to see as many as possible tomorrow morning.

Continue reading

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Worship for Easter 2020 – Rev Lucy writes

At the end of this strangest of holy weeks, we face celebrating Easter Sunday tomorrow in circumstances which would have been unimaginable only a few weeks ago and which for many will feel emotionally and spiritually more in tune with the grief and desolation of Good Friday.

Yet celebrate we must for we believe in a God who is not defeated by the darkest of situations and Easter is the assurance of that hope.

I have decided for many reasons not to record a service myself as there are a number of other options available including some listed below.

However, I am inviting all those who wish to join me for a Zoom gathering at 11.30am during which an Easter candle will  be lit, the Easter acclamation proclaimed, the Gospel read and prayers spoken –  hopefully by others of you who volunteer to do so (please email me, I will supply texts) and concluding with us sharing together in a glass of something festive which I invite  you to have ready by your computer!  I recognise not everyone will be able to join in for a variety of reasons but even if you haven’t  Zoomed before please try – just by clicking the link below just around 11.30am tomorrow – it really is easy and surprisingly effective way of feeling joined to others in this crisis.  I anticipate we would not be online together for more than 30 mins.  For practical reasons to do with the way Zoom works, I don’t encourage response during the time of prayer and worship except the response (Christ is risen indeed!) to the Easter acclamation.

Here is the link.  Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 111 755 523

Password: 483116

For those in Islip, another Sunday trumpet relay is planned starting in The Rise at 10.30am and moving to two or three other spots in the village.

Worship Possibilities

This evening

  1. 7.0 pm TV – BBC2 Easter from King’s – readings and music from King’s Cambridge
  2. 8.0 pm – live stream from  the traditional vigil has been reimagined and remixed with fifteen short acts of worship online, each lasting 10-15 mins to last throughout the night

Tomorrow – Easter Sunday

  1. 6.35 am R4 – Sunrise Service with music from a gospel group
  2. 8.10 am R4 Easter Sunday Worship led by Archbishop of Canterbury
  3. 9.0 am a live streamed service from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s kitchen (available here
  4. 10.0 am a live streamed service from the Bishop of Oxford’s home available here
  5. 11.25 am BBC1 (TV) Sunday Worship from Bangor Cathedral with music from Songs of Praise 2018
  6. 3pm R3 Choral Evensong – from Norwich Cathedral (recorded 2017)

With prayers that the hope of Easter may encourage and strengthen us all and with my love.

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Good Friday 2020

Today is Good Friday – a reflection of some symbols of the passion to be listened to alongside John 18:33 – 19:30.

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Maundy Thursday 2020

Today is Maundy Thursday, the day when we remember how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and commanded us to do the same.
Today we remember all those who carry out personal care for those unable to do it for themselves especially in these risky times.

Lover of humanity,
you call your people to be their brother’s and sister’s keepers. Hear us as we pray for all who carry out the work of tending to and caring for the bodies of others as family members, as live in-carers or working in our hospitals, care homes and community services. Strengthen them when it is tough, protect them from sickness and grant them to know your blessing and presence in all they do, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

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Bicester Foodbank

During Covid-19 parishioners in Islip have been donating items for the Foodbank

Foodbank 2020– here’s the latest delivery on Maundy Thursday 2020.

Thanks to donations from Islip, Noke and Woodeaton (collected through the churches) these Christmas boxes (December 2019) are ready to be delivered from the Bicester Foodbank.

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Holy Week in Islip – the Rev Lucy writes:

Rev Lucy writes: Dear Friends
We are journeying through Holy Week and looking ahead to the most solemn days in our Christian calendar. This year, as never before, the seriousness and darkness for many of the days we are living through enable us to identify more powerfully than ever with the solemn narrative of the events of Holy Week.
However, with no opportunity for gathering or entering our churches, we need to find ways of engaging with this narrative in other ways. Just as we will also have to think of ways of celebrating Resurrection hope on Easter morning.
There are a host of ideas out there – almost too many – so I’m trying to sift through and pass on those I think might appeal or work best.

Continue reading

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Trumpets on Sunday

The sound of David and William Goodfellow playing trumpets on Passion and Palm Sunday has lifted spirits in Islip during the coronavirus lockdown. We now have a YouTube channel – do subscribe!

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Sunday 5 April – Palm Sunday

Rev Lucy writes: Dear Friends
Another week has passed and we are approaching Palm Sunday, the day when traditionally we would have gathered outside churches to begin our services and hear the reading of the Palm Gospel before processing into church waving branches and receiving a palm cross. Although the weather promises to be perfect for the occasion, it’s not to be this year. Nevertheless, for those in Islip, David & William will once again be playing some seasonal hymn tunes on their trumpets from our garden at 9.45 am as that seems to be appreciated by those who can hear it and, once again, you can hear it here.

Once again there will be a diocesan service led by one of our Bishops, live-streamed at 10am on the diocesan website (and of course many other live streamed services at the same or different times from other churches with which you might have connections).

I’m planning to record a service (with readings, music, prayers and reflections) which, technology permitting, will be available on the St Nicholas website and here by tomorrow morning. You might like to watch it at whatever the usual time of your parish’s service would have been but it will remain available through the day and beyond.

Thinking about the palm crosses, I have considered different possibilities for distributing these but, in view of the directives, have decided to eliminate all risk of transmission by not doing so. However, the diocese is encouraging everyone to take some time before Sunday to make their own cross for the occasion. Ideas and simple suggestions are here (and this page also has details should anyone wish to send a photo of their cross for display during the diocesan live streamed service ).

I would encourage you to have some kind of cross with you for holding during the service I am offering, if you can, (whether a palm cross from previous years or one you have made as suggested above).

Perhaps, after the service, you could display it in a window with a note to the effect that it is Palm Sunday to remind those passing your house.

This leads me on to look towards this coming week which is Holy Week, during which the church remembers Christ’s final days in Jerusalem as the tension between him, his disciples and the authorities mounts before culminating in his betrayal, arrest, trial, and crucifixion.

Again there will be live-streamed events throughout the week, offered by the diocese as listed here.

I am hoping to offer something for Good Friday and my colleagues in the benefice team may have other resources to offer.

However, even as we have to go without many of the usual opportunities for worship this week, let us not overlook the opportunities for witness. Why not, instead of inviting people to come into the church to experience Holy Week, think of ways we can bring Holy Week to our community? Maybe with a notice, picture or creative display in our windows/porches/gardens to draw attention to the events we are commemorating during the week (Palm Sunday – entry into Jerusalem; Wednesday – anointing of Jesus by woman with alabaster jar of ointment; Thursday – last supper, footwashing, agony in Garden ‘Lord, take this cup from me’, arrest; Friday – trial, purple robe, crown of thorns, flogging, crucifixion). I am sure you can come up with your own creative ideas.

Whatever you can do, let not the solemn significance of this week go unnoticed, at the very least, by ourselves – as I am certain there will regrettably be many occasions for reflecting on how the events of Christ’s passion are resonating with the events we are witnessing and experiencing all around us.

And whatever happens, we will find ways to mark and even celebrate Easter Sunday next week since it is the Easter story which provides the ground of Christian hope in this darkest of situations.

With my love and prayers.

Continue reading

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Sunday 29 March – some possibilities

8.10 am Sunday service broadcast on BBC R4

9.30 am Trumpets from 3 The Rise

10 am Service live-streamed on Diocese of Oxford website

1.15 pm Songs of Praise – TV – BBC1

3.0 pm Choral Evensong – BBC Radio 3


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Thought for the Day – the Rev Lucy Thirtle – Sundays 22 and 29 March (Passion Sunday)

Lucy is recording a short ‘thought on Sunday’ each week

Sunday 22 March

Sunday 29 March – Passion Sunday

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From the Rev Lucy Thirtle

Today is Mothering Sunday, a day traditionally for relaxing the Lenten abstinence and instead enjoying some small indulgences. With one of its origins being the practice of people being encouraged to visit their ‘mother’ church it is particularly poignant that, tomorrow, there can be no public gathering for worship at any of our churches. Some churches are using modern technology to live stream an act of worship led by only a priest. Others have recorded a message that will be accessible on a website.
We at St Nicholas are not yet at the point of being adept with this technology. However, what we do have in Islip is an ‘old-technology’ brass group (Grand Islip Parp Band) who practise weekly in the church building. Three or four members of the band, observing the requisite social distancing guidelines, will be on Cross Tree Green from just before 10.30 am on Sunday morning to play some rousing hymn tunes. We encourage those in the vicinity to open their windows or go out into their gardens to listen (and sing along if you can!) Please do not gather on the green as this would be in breach of guidelines but if you want to venture into a place sufficiently near to hear, providing you are observing social distancing that should be fine. We hope that hearing the sound of a joyful noise will help to cheer our spirits in these days (much like the Italians who sang from their balconies).
Furthermore, this being Mothering Sunday, one or two wonderfully kind and thoughtful individuals in the village have offered to make up posies of spring flowers for others to collect. These will be left in a basket in the church porch from 10.30am. You will appreciate that there may not be sufficient for everyone who wants one and, in contrast to what is happening in our shops, we urge people not take more than they need. Many of you indeed might have spring flowers in your own gardens – and might even be minded to contribute some posies of your own (please ensure you gather and deliver them using gloves).
For those who would like to listen to some led worship, the Archbishop of Canterbury is leading a service which will be broadcast across local radio including Radio Oxford at 8am.
Nearer to home, Bishop Steven will preside at the Eucharist and offer a brief reflection to the whole Diocese from Christ Church Cathedral at 10 am. In keeping with the restrictions only a handful of people will be able to be present. This service will be live streamed – go to the Christ Church Cathedral website for more info.
Bishop Colin, our area bishop, will also be offering a reflection on Radio Oxford at 7am on Sunday morning. This and other reflections from our area bishops will be recorded and shared on the Diocese of Oxford website.
Finally the Archbishops have called for Sunday to be a day of prayer. There are online resources here…/coronavirus-covid-19-litu… but for those who are able we do encourage you to pop into St Nicholas Church where there are now also sheets with prayers for you to use and take away. Please observe the rules about social distancing and hygiene here too. The Archbishops have encouraged all who can to place a light (a candle if safe to do so) in your window for 7pm tomorrow as a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, our source and hope in prayer.
With my continuing prayers and best wishes.

Liturgy and prayer resources on COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus.
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Stainer’s Crucifixion – 14 March


MUSIC in ISLIP invites all singers to STAINER’S CRUCIFIXION from scratch

Please register in advance by contacting Annette Mountford:

  • 2.30pm  Registration
  • 3 – 5pm Rehearsal
  • 5 – 6pm Tea

Singers’ tickets £10 on the day, to include tea

Bring your own music or hire on the day.

Directed by James Morley Potter

Concert performance: 6pm. All welcome.

Retiring collection for Islip Church expenses

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Postponed -This month’s ABC is on Friday 20 March at 9.30am

Ready, steady, go for ABC - warm church, coffee and conversation - welcome all!

Ready, steady, go for ABC – warm church, coffee and conversation – welcome all!

Another ABC time for children (a very informal and sometimes slightly chaotic (!) opportunity for little ones to experience church and be introduced to Bible stories and worship together. The 20 minute session is followed by refreshments and a chance to chat and play.

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Postponed – Annual Parochial Church Meeting Wednesday 6 May

Come along to St Nicholas on Wednesday 6 May (7.30pm) to hear what’s been going on in the church and events associated with it. Wine/ beer and a chance to meet others in the congregation.

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Nativity Service – Christmas Eve

Come to enjoy our Nativity Service from 4 – 5.15pm on Christmas Eve – the more the merrier!

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Open Meeting – Saturday 7 March 9.30 – 12.30pm

An open morning in the church with an experienced facilitator for us to come together as the church and consider the bigger picture for St Nicholas, where we should focus our energies in the coming year and beyond. For catering purposes it would be helpful if you could let Rev Lucy (379470) know if you are hoping to come.
Bacon baps and coffee to start!

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Corpus Christi back in Islip – Sunday 1 March

On Sunday 1 March Corpus Christi Chapel Choir sang at our Parish Communion. Enjoyed by all – and especially so as Covid-19 has changed life for all.

Corpus Christi choir – March 2020

Corpus Christi choir – lunchtime in Islip

Corpus Christi choir – lunchtime in Islip

Corpus Christi choir members – lunchtime in Islip

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Carol service – Sunday 22 December

The order of service for the Carol Service will be shown here.

Choir17_LIThis year, the carol service is on Sunday, 22nd December at 6pm and it would be good if we could once again form a full choir to sing some items and lead the congregational carols.


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Saturday 30 November – 3 Parishes Fair

The poster for the annual 3 Parishes Fair gives details of the myriad of activities – from meeting Father Christmas, to the ever-popular tombola.  This year there will be plants, cakes, cards, sweets, crafts, quality bric-a-brac, teas, mulled wine, & gift tags. Join us in the Village Hall, Islip from 2-4pm.

Last year’s fair  a great afternoon with lots to buy!

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Not the Beaujolais Nouveau

In its 25th anniversary year, you are invited to another official not the Beaujolais Nouveau evening on Friday 15 November at 8pm at the Village Hall, Church Lane, Islip. This year’s extravangza will include Levity and ????!! Continue reading

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St Frideswide’s Day on Saturday 19 October

Advance notice of a walking pilgrimage from Islip to Christ Church Cathedral (8 miles—one of five routes all ending at the cathedral) for St Frideswide’s Day on Saturday 19 October. Pilgrims are invited to tea in the Great Hall at 3pm before an act of worship in the cathedral at 4pm. Please let Rev Lucy know if you are planning to take part.

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Café Church on Sunday 24 November

Café Church again takes place on Sunday 24 November at 10.30am in Islip Village Hall with coffee, newspapers and conversation.

Often described as ‘church but not as you know it’, Café Church is the name coined some 15-20 years ago to describe a new and different Continue reading

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Harvest service 10.30am Sunday 22 September

Harvest decoration 2018

This year we are inviting everyone, who can, to bring an offering for display either of something home grown (flowers, fruit, vegetables) or something home made (cake, bread, jam, etc) for display in the service and auction afterwards.

Otherwise, non-perishable items for the Bicester Foodbank are also welcome.

We are following the Family Harvest Service with a harvest lunch in the Village Hall.

Harvest decoration 2018

Harvest decoration 2018

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Churchyard clearing party!

There will be another day of clearing ivy/ pruning on Saturday 7 September 10-12pm. Come, if you can, then – last year’s helpers are pictured below!

13 Jan 20182

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Music in Islip – Saturday 21 September – Handel’s Coronation Anthems

Come to hear Jubilate! in Islip!

Handel’s Coronation Anthems

Sung by Jubilate Chamber Choir directed by James Morley Potter

The choir will rehearse in Islip during the day and will give a short ‘Workshop’ Concert in church at 5pm. Entrance Free. Retiring collection in aid of St Nicholas.


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Open air service in St Nicholas Churchyard – Saturday 20 July

On Saturday 20 July at 3pm, St Nicholas Islip is holding a short open air service in the churchyard giving an opportunity especially for those with loved ones buried there to give thanks for this place of peace, remembering and hope. Followed by tea and cake.

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Pets’ Blessing Service – Sunday 23 June

Bring your pet to Cross Tree Green at 10.30am on Sunday 23 June for a blessing! All humans welcome too.


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Corpus Christi back in Islip – Sunday 30 June

On Sunday 30 June Corpus Christi Chapel Choir, with Stephen Darlington, recently retired organist of Christ Church Cathedral,  will be singing at Evensong – 5pm on Sunday 30 June. They will be raising funds for a forthcoming trip to Barcelona.

Magnificat and Nunc dimittis – Stanford in C; Anthem: My soul there is a country – Parry;  Introit: God be in my head – Rutter

All welcome – no parking fees, journey into Oxford etc!

Corpus Christi 2018

The choir – taken in May 2018 outside St Nicholas, Islip
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Music in Islip – Summer Evening Madrigals

Music at Islip Madrigal Concert

Come to St Nicholas, Islip to hear St Andrews University Madrigal Group on Monday 3 June 7.30 – 8.30pm. Retiring collection in aid of Music in Islip and the church.

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Christian Aid week 12-18 May

Christian Aid‘s  film shows how over 70 years ago, British and Irish church organisations set up what’s now known as Christian Aid. Today, Christian Aid works globally for profound change that eradicates the causes of poverty, striving to achieve equality, dignity and justice for all, regardless of faith, race or nationality. Urgent, practical and effective assistance is provided where need is greatest, tackling the effects of poverty, as well as its root causes.

In Islip we will be taking part in the nationwide house-to-house collection for this charity. Additionally Mick Dell kindly hosted a ‘bacon in a bap’ breakfast on Tuesday 14 May which included a short talk about the work of Christian Aid and raised £52. Thank you Mick!

Stop press! Between Islip, Noke and Woodeaton we raised (with Gift Aid) £1,654.41 – about £50 more than last year!

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May Market – Saturday 18 May

This afternoon’s May Market raised over £700 in aid of the church lighting! And the rain held off until the last ten minutes….

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Big Bike Ride Sunday 12th May

Book your place now for the Big Bike Ride!

Select your route, there is something here for everybody!

For 2019 four routes of varying lengths are offered, starting in London (Westminster Abbey), Great Missenden, Thame, and Islip (children only). And of course, we must not forget the ever-popular Tykes-and-Trikes dash!

Details of the ride two years ago are given on The Bicester Advertiser.

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Ride and Stride – launch in Wolvercote on Friday 31 May

NATIONAL LAUNCH OF RIDE AND STRIDE 2019 Friday 31 May 10.00am-1.00pm, Wolvercote Primary School car park.
Vicars will be taught to ride penny farthings by experts from the Penny Farthing Club!
Please come along and support the brave clergy taking part.
Date for September Ride and Stride (Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust) is Saturday 14 September.

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Questions of belief in a secular age – Brian Mountford

Do come if you can to hear, and take part, in Canon Mountford’s talk during Christian Aid week.

Brian Mountford

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Holy Week and Easter Services

Sunday 14 April Palm Sunday

10.30am starting at Cross Tree Green …………………………………………From the 2018 service

Wednesday 17 April

7pm Evening Reflection for Holy Week

Thursday 18 April

7pm Maundy Thursday Communion ending with stripping of the church and quiet vigil

Friday 19 April

Good Friday 2pm Procession from Cross Tree Green to Millennium Wood and outside service ending at 3pm


10.30 Family Communion – all very welcome



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Café Church on Sunday 31 March

Café Church again takes place on Sunday 31 March at 10.30am in Islip Village Hall with coffee, newspapers and conversation.

Often described as ‘church but not as you know it’, Café Church is the name coined some 15-20 years ago to describe a new and different Continue reading

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Corpus Christi back in Islip – Sunday 17 February

On Sunday 17 February Corpus Christi Chapel Choir, with their chaplain Revd Canon Professor Judith Maltby, sang at the well-attended 10.30am Parish Communion service and the preacher was the Revd Canon Brian Mountford. They sang Byrd’s Mass for 4 voices and Ave Verum and were much appreciated by all. We’re already looking forward to welcoming them again!

Corpus Christi 2018

The choir – taken in May 2018 outside St Nicholas, Islip
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Safari supper – Saturday 2 February

Safari through Islip in the winter – start with pre-dinner drinks and nibbles in St Nicholas at 7.30pm, before feasting at Confessor’s Gate and partying on at Lower Farm House, Lower Street. £25, including wine, in aid of the church fabric and lighting fund. Tickets from Johanna Stephenson, Jane Currie or Village Shop.

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