Ride and Stride in Aid of Your Local Church

The Ride and Stride event will go ahead on Saturday 12th September, under Government guidelines. Individuals are invited to get sponsorship for cycling, walking, or horse riding around as many churches as possible. Half of the monies collected go to a church of your choice and half to the OHCT which provides grants for the upkeep of church buildings. St Mary’s church will be open all day.
For further information and to download a sponsor form please go to rideandstride@ohct.org.uk. or contact Clare Lightfoot 01235 850486.

St. Mary’s Church Reopens

It’s good to be able to announce that the church will reopen for private prayer from 9:00am to 5:00pm every Sunday and Wednesday, commencing from Sunday, 28th June.

The interior has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitised in accordance with government and church regulations. We have had to limit the areas open to visitors – please observe the rules displayed in the church porch.

Further announcements will be made as and when changing circumstances and regulations permit wider opening and the resumption of services.

Welcome back!

Jessie West and Paul Batho – churchwardens


Church Events During Lockdown

Upton Parish Church is part of the Churn Benefice. During the current lockdown our buildings must remain closed but the Church continues to be alive and active.

You can contact the Benefice clergy:

Jason  01235 850267 office@churnchurches.co.uk

Louise          07837 009730 revlouiseb@aol.com

John  01235 512987 jphclarke@gmail.com

The Benefice Administrator, Dawn Saunders, is working from home with full access to Benefice emails during her normal office hours and can be contacted on the office email address office@churnchurches.co.uk

Provisional bookings for weddings, baptisms etc. may be made online by contacting the office via email.

The Churn newsletter and readings along with information about Benefice activities for the current week will be distributed by email. Please contact Dawn if you would like to receive them.

Online Services

Our regular worship continues online – Sunday mornings at 10.30am, login or connect from 10.00am to chat before the service and get ready. You can join in using a computer, laptop, tablet, mobile phone or landline.

A short evening prayer service is also held on weekdays at 8.00pm.

Please see the Benefice website www.churnchurches.co.uk or the Churn, if you receive it, for the service access codes or telephone number to call and full details of how to join each week.

Ascension Day – Online Benefice Service

On Thursday 21st May at 8.00pm there will be an online Ascension Day Service, see the website or the Churn, if you receive it, for the service access code and details of how to join.

Short Daily Reflection and Prayer

During weekdays Fr Jason is writing a short reflection and prayer, if you would like to receive it please contact Dawn

Children’s Worship Online

Revd Louise is organising occasional online children’s worship. The next one ‘Growing with Jesus’ is on Wednesday 6th May at 4.00pm. Children are encouraged to show a growing plant, or perhaps the plan of a secret garden. Please contact Louise if you would like further information or would like to join the group.

CYGnet Youth Group

All young people of secondary school age are welcome to join the CYGnet Youth Group who are now meeting online usually on the 3rd Sunday of the month from 6.30pm to 8.00pm. For more information please contact Leslie – 07709 602923.

Mother’s Union

The Churn Mothers’ Union is working to raise funds for AFIA – a programme that offers holidays away for families who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford them. To raise the money, the MU is doing a ‘sponsored card’ event. MU members will make and send 100 cards in May to people who are helping out during the crisis or have been affected.
Could you sponsor us for 5 or 10p per card (£5 or £10 total)? Cash can be given in a sealed envelope, or cheque to “The Churn MU” and delivered to Revd Louise Butler, Penridge, Church Road, Blewbury, OX11 9PY. Bank transfers can also be made, please contact Louise for account details.


News from St. Mary’s Church

Fundraising update

We would like to thank all those who have contributed so far to the vestry alteration and new toilet project. We are well on our way to achieving half of the total amount which will allow us to start applying for grants. We would welcome any further contributions which can be made by cash or cheque made out to Upton Parochial Council and given to Paul Batho or Ann Parham. Fundraising events are being planned for next year. These will be separate from the activities of the Friends of St Mary’s.

We would also like to thank the Friends for all the support they continue to give us which pays for the upkeep of the church building.

Christmas card competition

In the past we have given a Christmas card to every house in the parish and we are intending to do this again this year. However, we would like the design of the card to be made by a child in the parish so if you are under 16 years of age get out your pens, pencils, paints and crayons and design us a card. One will be chosen and printed for Christmas 2019. Your entries may be given to Paul Batho, Ann Parham, Clare Lightfoot, Jessie West or left in the church in an envelope clearly marked Christmas card competition. The closing date of the competition is November 15th 2019

Ride and Stride

This year’s sponsored event raises money for Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust will take place on Saturday 14th September.

Last year our lone rider Paul raised £155, half of which benefitted St Mary’s Church.  It would be great if more people could join in, perhaps by walking around Oxford Churches.  It’s amazing how many churches are within walking distance of the city.  If you would like more information or a sponsor form, please contact Clare Lightfoot 01235 850486 or Jesse West 01235 851206

St Mary’s Appeal Fund

There are some subtle yet important improvements planned to St Mary’s church which, in a nutshell, bring it from its 11th century origins straight into the 21st! We are planning to install an accessible toilet and proper catering facilities so that the building can continue to serve all the residents of Upton for another thousand years. Planning permission has been granted and the Diocese has given us a Faculty so we are ready to start fundraising.

The fundraising appeal will be launched in the church on Saturday, 6th July, beginning at 7.30 pm. There will be wine, refreshments and music and an opportunity to see the plans and comment on them. By the time of the event, all Upton residents will have received a leaflet and flyer through the door giving details of our proposals so do come along on 6th and see for yourself – we look forward to seeing you there.

Paul Batho (Chair of PCC)


Church Improvement Project

For some time the Church Council, with the support of the Friends of St Mary’s, has been developing a scheme to provide toilet and improved kitchen facilities in the church. The hope is with such amenities in place the building will be more suitable for use by the wider community. All the required authorisations are now in place to allow the scheme to go forward.

A launch event will be held at the church on Saturday 6th July, 7.30pm to go public on the improvement plans and start the fundraising process. There will be refreshments and entertainment.

Much more detailed information will be circulated in the village later in June, but please put this date in your diary to hear and see what is proposed and enjoy some modest hospitality.


Jessie West      Paul Batho    (Church wardens)

Happy Time at Pimms and Pate

What a superb lunchtime treat we had on Saturday 18th August.  Despite being a small village, when they do something in Upton they do it right!  Pimms and Pate was not to be missed.  60 people came along: folk from Crowmarsh, Cholsey, Harwell and the surrounding villages.  The organisers would like to apologise to a number of villagers who were disappointed not to be able to attend as all the tickets were sold out.   A choice of a dozen pates were on offer: all home-made, plus new potatoes, salad, pickles, etc. and as ever the sweets were to die for.  If you still had room, cheese and biscuits came next.  The weather brightened just in time for half of the diners to sit outside on the patio, the remainder were in the hall.  Very nice raffle prizes were also up to be won.

The event was presented in a very professional way.  Can I just suggest that when the next Pimms and Pate comes around you get your tickets early so as not to be disappointed.

A big thank you must go to Maggie and Celia for their hard work in organising it, plus the band of helpers and those who provided the food.   Well done and roll on the next one.

The profit made was £730 which will go towards St Mary’s kitchen and loo project.


John Lightfoot

A very happy diner.

Mothers’ Union comes to Upton!


  • Speak out against violence to women
  • Campaign against advertising which promotes sales of adult styles to children
  • Support parents as they bring up their children
  • Pray for the needs of families across the world
  • Give financial support to set up literacy and health education schemes


These are just some of the things that this dynamic Christian organisation “The Mothers’ Union” has been doing year in, year out.

We invite all villagers to come and find out more about this amazing, global Christian organisation, which works in this area as well as across the world.

Gentlemen, ladies, teenagers, children – a warm welcome awaits you

Upton Village Hall, Saturday 9th March at 3.30pm

– complimentary teas, activities for children with a Mothering Sunday theme, displays and information, informal conversation and a short presentation.

The doors will be open for just one hour, so we hope many of you will find time to drop in for a cup of tea and cake, with plenty to keep young people busy as well.

See you there!

Revd Louise Butler

Sheepdogs rule the roost at fete

The annual St Mary’s Church Fete took place in Upton on Saturday (3 September).

This ever-popular event retains the character of a traditional village fete, with features such as skittles and tug of war between the Parish Council and the parishioners, as well as the usual sale of homemade cakes, preserves and plants. The Blewbury Brass Band provided the background music next to those enjoying teas outside the village hall.

The main attractions in the arena included the Kineton Quackers, a demonstration of sheepdogs herding ducks, and an Argentine Gaucho. Carlos Adriazola, originally from the Andes, is an extremely skilled lassoist, and he showed off his lasso technique by capturing volunteers from the crowd.

Thank you to everyone who helped make the fete so successful. It seemed to go like clockwork, although we are all aware that a huge amount of hard work is done by everyone involved from setting up in the morning, right through to dismantling in the afternoon.  The result was great, both in terms  the enjoyment of the event and its financial reward – over £2300 was raised for St Mary’s Church and village causes.

Photos from the day can be seen in the photo gallery.