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.

St Mary’s Fete 2011 – Receipts

Stall Stall Holders
Books The Whitmells & Robertsons £291.06
White Elephant Mimi Eighteen & friends £399.95
Preserves Jessie West £293.50
Plants Simon Powell, Austin & Edwin £249.05
Children’s games Fletcher family £14.70
Toys Rhiannon, Emily & Katie £43.04
Cakes Giulia & Brian Rippon £152.10
Fair Trade Maranda St J Nicholl £7.50
Teas Rosemary de Wilde, Liz Hardy & families £312.95
Tombola Clare Lightfoot & friends £148.30
Raffle Sarah Sayers, Mary Wiley, Irene Timblick, Olive & Harry Prior £189.50
Children’s tombola Karen Fenn £29.37
Face Painting Hattie Burrow £69.60
Penalty Shootout Fletcher family £11.00
Skittles Richard Burrow £38.54
Bear’s birthday Eleanor Lightfoot £10.50
Lucky programmes Elisabeth, Malcolm & Judith Wright £179.30
Playground Tombola £41.10
Donations £123.00
Total £2604.06

There are ~£300 expenses to be deducted.

Theo Gordon’s bequests

Theo, a longstanding Upton resident, was a loved and respected member of the community. She was always ready to support local events and even when she was too ill to attend displayed a keen interest in what was happening.

Over the years she was a generous supporter of the Village Hall and St Mary’s Church, a place close to her heart.

Under the terms of her will £5,000 has been given to the Village Hall and £5,000 to St. Mary’s.

The PCC and the Village Hall trustees are very grateful for these donations and plan to use them to help improve facilities at both buildings.

St Mary’s Fete

St Mary’s Fete will be held on Saturday 3rd September at 2.00pm at the Recreation Ground.

Entertainment by Quainton Quackers, Blewbury Band, Fun Dog Show

All the usual stalls, games and sideshows.   Delicious home made teas.

If you would like to help with the Fete please contact Jessie on 851206 or Clare 850486

Churn Benefice Activities for July

Churn Youth Group

Sunday 3rd July at 6pm, in the Methodist Chapel, Blewbury

Sunday 17th July at 7pm, at Tickers Folly, Blewbury.

All young people of secondary school age are welcome to come along. We meet on the third Sunday of the month from 7pm to 8.30pm at the Benefice Centre or other venue depending on what activity we decide to do.

Ever thought about Confirmation?

We will be holding a Confirmation service in the Benefice on 6th November 2011. If you are considering or would like to find out more about Confirmation please contact either Louise or Fr Jason by the end of July. Separate preparation for Adults and Teenagers will begin in the autumn. There will be no obligation to get confirmed at the end of the sessions, but we hope that you will want to!

The CHURN Branch of the MU

The next Pram Service will be on Wednesday 6th July at 12.15pm in the Vale Room, Blewbury Village Hall. ALL AGES ARE WELCOME.

A sandwich lunch is provided by the Mothers Union after the service. This is a short Eucharist service ideal for pre-school children to bring parents, grandparents, carers to.

THE CHURN Mothers Union – Annual Teddy Bears Picnic

August 3rd at 12.15pm

In the garden of Charmian Marples, Badgers Holt, South Street, Blewbury

Please bring a rug/chair and a picnic plus teddy bear. We welcome all children  and any young mums, dads, friends, grandparents and carers. Soft drinks and ice-creams will be provided. If it rains we shall move inside the house – it may be a bit cramped but we shall manage and have fun together. See you there!

Christian Fellowship Group

For Mums with young children who meet together to grow in faith and take something of what they experience to their families.

The next meeting is on 5th July at Torpids, High Street, Upton, 8pm. A social evening. We hope to welcome new members to the group – so do come along.

Contact for information or transport: Justine 510864; Revd Louise 851011

“Christ in Quiet”

Monthly contemplative prayer services, reflecting on bible passages, listening to Christian music and gently moving into silent prayer, these last about 30 minutes. Held across the benefice on the last Saturday morning of each month at 9am. Next services

30th July, St. Andrew’s Hagbourne and 27th August, All Saints’ North Moreton

This year’s Pilgrimage will be on Sunday 3rd July 2011. We meet at the top of Churn Knob from 12.15pm onwards (with a picnic), and hold a short service prior to setting off on the 12 mile walk from Churn Knob to Dorchester Abbey.