Mission and Outreach

The mission of the benefice of Garsington, Cuddesdon and Horspath is:Summer 2015 Canon 222

To be an energetic and attractive Christian witness in our communities and encourage lay ministry.

To serve our semi-rural communities

To have inspired worship and present the Gospel to all

To engage with faith in a relevant and intellectually stimulating way

To reach out to age-groups under-represented in our current congregations especially to the young

To be a welcoming church to the staff and students of Ripon college Cuddesdon

Below is just some of the services and events we hold to live out and further our mission to share God’s love in Cuddesdon:

Worship and Education

The monthly pattern of church services remained the same as in the previous year, with Benefice Services on the first Sunday of the month rotating in the three parishes.  The Agape Supper was held in the Hub at Horspath on Maundy Thursday when we were immensely relieved to have Emma present and presiding, though still frail after her major operation. We were also relieved to be back in the church for Easter Sunday. We enjoyed a Benefice Lammas Celebration during the summer, a fine Harvest Supper in the Village Hall and a Harvest Festival for which the church had been beautifully decorated. Donations went to CEF (Community Emergency Foodbank).  The Advent Service was beautifully mounted in the candle-lit church by members of the college with readings from parishioners and there was a much enjoyed Crib service and a well-attended Midnight Mass, also candle-lit and presided over by Bishop Humphrey. Many thanks to Jean Macintosh and others who decorated the church and to Robert, who set-up for most of the services during the vacations, helped by Richard.


The church was packed on the 9th September for the BRF and Oxford Diocese Festival of Prayer, in the organisation of which Emma takes a leading role, which had as its keynote speaker the new Bishop of Oxford, Steven Croft.  In our desire to be a church which promotes prayer the Julian contemplative prayer group continued to meet on every second Thursday in the month at 2 pm in the Edward King Chapel and it has grown in numbers over the past months. An Advent Quiet Day was held at Ripon College Cuddesdon at the beginning of the Advent season and lead by Bishop Humphrey.  Also a labyrinth was mown into the Rectory lawn by Jonathan and individuals were invited to walk it on special days throughout the summer.  The Monday evening Bible Study continued to meet regularly in the college, concluding its study of Revelations and commencing a study of Genesis.


A ‘fresh expression’ of church was the holding of candlelit Compline in the chancel on each of the five Thursday evenings in November. Each service was preceded by a lecture on one of the four Latin Fathers of the church, as depicted on the reredos of the High Altar, with the series being introduced by Mark Chapman, who ably set the installation of the high altar and its reredos in its period as a part of the Oxford Movement.  The following talks focussed on each of the Latin Fathers: St Jerome with Professor Mark Edwards, Tutor in Theology, Christ Church, Oxford, St Ambrose with Rev’d Dr Jane Baun, Lecturer in Ethics and Church History, Ripon College Cuddesdon, St Gregory with Bishop Humphrey Southern, Principal of Ripon College Cuddesdon and St Augustine with Professor Carol Harrison, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, Christ Church, Oxford.


We continue to accomplish our Mission Action Plan priority to reach out to others within the college and village.  The regular monthly coffee mornings in the Village Hall, particularly for elderly or isolated parishioners, continued most successfully. The Vicar’s Notes, regularly appearing in the Parish Magazine, continue as a much-appreciated outreach into the wider community of the parish. Messy Church continued to meet every second Sunday in the Village Hall and brought together families from across Cuddesdon in fun, faith centred activities, but sadly had to cease when the key students involved left for curacy’s.  We would like to thank Leanne and Darren for all they did in setting up the Messy Church and Julian Group.


We also greatly enjoyed two concerts in the church, which were well attended by members of the wider village community and were given by the men of Magdalen College Choir. The first, on the 29th June, offered a wonderfully wide range of unaccompanied singing, the singers exploiting the acoustic qualities of the different spaces of nave and chancel. The young men must have enjoyed their visit for they willingly returned to give an equally wonderful concert of Advent and Christmas music on 15th December. Many thanks to Emma and Jonathan for facilitating the arrangement and feeding the choristers and to John and Waveney Luke and others for managing the drinks and refreshments in the interval.


The fete held in the grounds of Ripon College raised yet again a good sum and was deposited in the Fabric Account and General Fund. Our grateful thanks go to members of the Fete Committee for all their hard work in its organisation, to all who helped on the day and to students and staff of the college. This is a significant community effort that brings together villagers, members of the college and church members for a hugely enjoyable and successful occasion. Thanks too to the villagers who responded to Robert’s appeal in the November Newsletter for contributions towards the cost of lighting the tower over Christmas. It was very good to see the tower lit throughout the dark months of December and January and to raise a sum for the church that, with Gift Aid, amounted to around £350. We have indeed cause to be thankful for the support that comes to our church from various sources.


The PCC thanks most warmly all who give of their time, energy and money to clean, decorate and care for our church and its services and support all aspects of its educational, spiritual and pastoral work. The restoration works generated a need for cleaning before we could use the church for funerals, a wedding and for resumption of normal services and members of the congregation came together to help clean. We especially thank Emma and Mark for their leadership and help and we thank all other clergy who have led services during the year. We thank Keith Randall for playing the organ or keyboard for our services in the church and the college chapel and for acting as Electoral Roll Officer. We thank those who have arranged flowers and decorations for festivals, who have made donations of money, who have organised rotas, acted as sidespeople, readers and intercessors, who have counted the collection money, made the coffee and maintained the week by week running of services and other events. Among all these we again include thanks to Keith Hawley, for giving a great deal of time and energy to raising funds and to supporting and guiding restoration works, particularly of the bells, and for attending PCC meetings, and we thank our dedicated Churchwardens, our Treasurer, who has had much additional work as a result of the HLF restoration and the restoration of the bells, our PCC Secretary and our Sacristans, Solveig Sonet and James Milwain, for their attention to the details of services during term time and we wish them every blessing in their future work.


Finally, we wish to congratulate our vicar, Emma, on her appointment as Area Dean for Cuddesdon and Aston. This happy appointment was made towards the end of the year and we were delighted to host her licensing and installation as Area Dean in All Saints’ on 22nd January 2018.

Mission Action Plan form – Cuddesdon 18