Gerald Garcia Concert

On 24 January 2023 Gerald Garcia, the eminent classical guitarist and composer, came to St. Andrew’s with three friends to perform works by Vivaldi, Handel and Bach, plus Celtic music on flute and guitars. Gerald had asked if they could play in the church as he had visited it the previous month and had been impressed by its beauty and the excellent acoustics. An open invitation went out to the village to attend and those of us who did were privileged to hear a stunning performance.

Homage to Makereti Papakura

During 2021 and 2022 Evie O’Brien, a Maori attached to the Atlantic Institute – Rhodes Trust in Oxford, has been working with Oxford University on a project to honour Makereti’s contribution to the University and to the field of anthropology. This led to the organisation of a conference in the university in October 2022. Oddington was represented by Celia Warde-Aldham and Susan Gosling at the lectures held at the Pitt Rivers Museum.

Makereti married Richard Charles Staples-Brown at Kensington on 17 February 1909, following which the couple lived at Oddington Grange. During this time she worshipped at the Church of St. Andrew, Oddington.  She commissioned the memorial to the Maoris killed in the First World War, which has pride of place in the church.

Following the break up of her marriage in 1924 Makereti moved to Oxford and gave lectures on Maori history. In 1926 she enrolled in the University of Oxford as a student, studying anthropology. She died suddenly on 14 April 1930. The Maori people sought to take her body back to her homeland for burial but they abided by her stated wish to be buried at Oddington. The burial took place on 19 April 1930, the funeral 

Some of the conference attendees took the opportunity to visit Makereti’s grave and tribute at the Church.

Harvest Festival

On 2 October 2022 Harvest Festival Evensong was held at St. Andrew’s. The church had been beautifully decorated by Virginia Lawrence, Celia Warde-Aldham and Margaret Lambert. The harvest loaf was baked by Beryl Lambert.

The service was led by Rev. Lisa Holmes.

Following the service the congregation enjoyed a Harvest Supper, cooked by Mark Warde-Alham and Margaret Lambert.

Celebration of the Queen’s Accession

The service was led by Glenys Edwards, with readings by Mark Stanley-Price and Julia Burchell. Prayers were led by Churchwarden, Vivienne Davies.

A theme in the service was “The Queen of Sheba”, which featured in one of the readings and in Glenys’ address. The organist, Brian Carlick, played Handel’s “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba.”

Included in the service was the prayers from the Book of Common Prayer Accession Service.

Members of the congregation recalled the times that they had met the Queen. The service ended with the singing of the National Anthem.

Fundraising – The Oddington 100 Club

The club which is open to all residents of Oddington and the surrounding area, and their friends and family. It has been created to raise a small amount of much needed funds for St Andrew’s Church, Oddington.

The Oddington 100 Club has started, tickets are £5 each with the first draw on 14th December. The prize, allowing for 100 members, would be shared as follows: 

1st Prize – £200.00

2nd Prize – £100.00

And £200 going to Church Funds.

You can find out more here.


A Pilgrim’s Path

In furtherance of St. Andrew’s being a designated Church of Pilgrimage, the Rev. Lisa Holmes commissioned a painting by the renowned local artist, Sian Tezel. The painting depicts a pilgrims’ path through a wood, heading into the light. Not only will it be enjoyed by local parishioners, but it is hoped that will add to the experience of pilgrims from far and near who visit our splendid church.

Screenshot 2021-05-28 at 17.29.39

Quiet Christmas Service

The Quiet Christmas service at St. Andrew’s is possibly the most appreciated event of the year. It gives the opportunity to celebrate Christmas but in a reflective way which is so important for those who are missing family members and friends.

Our 2020 service was inevitably very different because of the restrictions placed upon worship by the regulations governing the pandemic. Nevertheless 16 of us gathered for the service led by Rev. Lisa Holmes. It consisted of readings and hymns – played by our organist Brian Carlick but not sung by the congregation. Everyone, individually,  came to the front of the church to light a candle in memory of a loved one.

Patronal Festival

November 30th is our Patronal Festival, this is a flyer from 1915.

VE Day 75th Anniversary Celebration

The covid restrictions limited rather than prevented celebrations of VE Day 75 years ago.  Beautiful weather, colourful bunting and a piper, brought the village together to remember those who had served and fallen during World War 2.



Coffee Morning

On 29 February 2020 the Church Users Group organised a Coffee Morning at the church. The objective was to get as many people as possible from the village together, with emphasis on meeting those who had fairly recently moved here.

There was a bountiful supply of cakes baked by parishioners and a lot of people to eat them! Generous donations were made to church funds.

Oddington Quiz Night

The Oddington Quiz, organised by the Church Users Group, was held at Charlton-on-Otmoor community hall on 8 February 2020. The event was well attended and victory went to the team led by Maria Pearson. This was appropriate as Maria is the grand-daughter of a former Rector of Oddington, Father Richard Eden.

The event raised £453 for church funds and we are most grateful for the considerable efforts of the Church Users Group, in particular Charlotte Maddison, Juliet Bostwick and Julia Burchell.

Patronal Festival at St Andrew’s

The Patronal Festival was held on St Andrew’s Eve. The church was lit entirely with candles and looked splendid. It was enhanced with floral decorations made by parishioners.

The service was led by Rev’d. Lisa Holmes, assisted by the Rector, Rev’d. Steve Hayes and Glenys Edwards, Lay Minister.

The sermon was preached by Revd. Canon Brian Mountford, Chaplain of St Hilda’s College, Oxford. For 30 years, until his retirement in 2016, he was Vicar of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, High Street, Oxford.

Following the service there was the usual Oddington hospitality of food and wine.

Oddington Quiz Team on tour

Oddington and our neighbours at Noke always try to support each other and on 9 November 2019 we sent our elite team to the annual Noke Quiz. They were victorious and came away laden with prizes, having enjoyed the usual high level of food and friendship.

The team members were Mark, Karen and Freya Stanley-Price, Eric and Mary-Emma Smith, Rebecca Ashfield and Mike Heaney.

Concert by Shotover Singers

On 26 October 2019 the Shotover Singers performed a concert at St. Andrew’s with the theme of “Songs from the Isles.”  Following the concert there was wine and food provided by people in the village. Once again we were indebted to the Church Users Group for organising the event. A collection raised £235 for the Church Tower Repair Fund.  More here…….

A new Rectors Board

A new Rectors’ Board has been compiled, printed and framed by Kevin and Sue Gosling. The final touch was Kevin putting it up in the church!

A new path in the churchyard

A section of the churchyard path, immediately inside the gates, has been renewed by Michael Lambert, assisted by his labourer, Churchwarden Nigel. We are grateful to Michael for freely giving his time to carry out this much needed work.

St. Andrew’s becomes a Pilgrim’s Church

Over a period of time we have been developing a plan for St. Andrew’s Church to be a church of pilgrimage. This started in 2012 when Churchwarden, Nigel Lambert walked the Camino Francais to Santiago de Compostela to raise funds for the restoration of the church. Since then he has walked four other camino routes to Santiago.

In recent months we have joined in an initiative by the Bicester and Islip Deanery to develop pilgrimage routes between churches in the area. This follows the Diocese of Oxford encouraging pilgrimages, which has been led by the Chipping Norton Deanery.

You can read more here

Harvest Festival 22nd September

Harvest Festival was celebrated in a service led by Rev. Lisa Holmes. Many of the floral displays from the previous week’s flower festival were still in place.

The centre piece was a harvest loaf, baked by Beryl Lambert. As has become traditional the loaf is then taken to Charlton-on-Otmoor for their harvest festival the following day.

Following the service a harvest supper was provided in the church by Sue Gosling, Vivienne Davies and Karen Stanley-Price.

Choral Concert – Saturday 26th October

A Choral  Concert given by The Shotover Singers; Songs of Love, Secular and Sacred and Tudor and Modern.

  • St. Andrew’s, Oddington on Saturday 26th October at 5.30pm-6.30pm.
  • Refreshments
  • Free admission but donations are welcome for the church tower repair fund

Flower Festival at St. Andrew’s

On 14 and 15 September a Flower Festival was held at St. Andrew’s. Organised by Celia Walde-Aldham, there were a number of beautiful displays created by ladies from the parish, and by Anne Dawson , who also advised on the displays.  Flowers were sponsored by Lesley Johnson and Midge Miller.

On the second day there was tea and cakes, hosted by Charlotte Maddison and Juliet Bostwick. Celia Walde-Aldam organised a plant sale in the churchyard.

The Church looked fabulous and it was a fitting way to mark its new status as the pilgrimage church of the Ray Valley.

There were six arrangement interpreting the Israelites’ pilgrimage to the promised land.  We also had arrangements celebrating Nigel’s Camino walks in Spain and the Maori’s pilgrimages to our church to see their princess’s grave.

The event was sponsored by two businesses in the village and our thanks go out to them.

A total of over £500 was raised over the weekend with money still coming in.

The organiser, Celia Walde-Aldham, expressed her thanks to everyone who helped make the event such a success and to all those who visited the festival and donated to the fund.

Full Gallery here

Maori Visitors

On 11 August 2019 we were joined at our Holy Communion by members Ngati Hinemihi tribe of Maoris, who were on a tour of this country. Before the service they paid homage at the grave of Maggie Papakura.  More here……

The Church Door

The church door has been repainted by Jeremy Launchbury, one of the team which decorated the church following the restoration in 2013. The vibrant red is the same colour as the screen in the chancel.

The Enclosure of Otmoor and the Otmoor Riots

A fascinating subject for a talk by local Oddington Resident and Historian Nigel Lambert was given at the church on March 25th.  It was attended by over 90 people and donations to the Church Tower Repair Fund amounted to £572.


A Quiet Christmas Service

On 20 December 2018 St. Andrew’s hosted the Benefice “Quiet Christmas Service.” The theme of the service was “This gentle and reflective act of worship to include a time to remember a loved one and an opportunity to bring our fears and difficult circumstances before God in prayer.”

The service was organised by Rev. Lucy Thirkell and Rev. Lisa Holmes. Lisa led the service and was supported by Lucy and Rev. Steve Hayes. Glenys Edwards read the lessons.

After the service those attending enjoyed tea, coffee and cakes provided by Margaret Lambert.

The Installation of Revd. Lisa Holmes

On 2 October 2018 The Revd. Lisa Holmes as installed as Associate Priest in the Ray Valley Benefice. A Service of Licensing was held at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Charlton-on-Otmoor. The service was led by The Right Revd. Colin Fletcher, Bishop of Dorchester, assisted by The Revd. Steve Hayes, Rector of the Ray Valley Benefice. The church was full of parishioners from the Ray Valley villages, friends and family of Lisa, clergy of various dominations from the area and several of the clergy who had previously served in the Benefice. These included The Revd.Canon Judith Mount, The Revd. Mary Carney, The Revd. Canon Charles Masheder and The Revd. Annan Sodadasi. The lessons were read by Nigel Lambert, Churchwarden, Oddington and Rosie Hayes, wife of The Revd. Steve Hayes. Churchwardens from parishes in the Benefice presented symbolic articles to The Rev. Holmes. The organist was Brian Carlick. Lisa has a long association with the area, she and her husband Matt having first lived at Charlton-on-Otmoor 25 years ago. They are now living at St. Mary’s House in the village. As well as her other duties Lisa will have responsibility for The Church of St Andrew in Oddington.

Harvest Festival

The Harvest Festival was held at St Andrew’s on 23 September, led by the Rector, Revd. Steve Hayes. There was a good attendance from parishioners from Oddington, Charlton-on-Otmoor, Fencott and Murcott.  The church was beautifully decorated by the Oddington ladies. A harvest supper took place in the church after the service.

Pop-up café at St. Andrew’s

On 25 August 2018 a Pop-up café was set up in the church, serving tea, coffee and cakes. The event was organized by three members of the Church Users Group, Julia Burchell, Charlotte Maddison and Juliet Boswick. A number of parishioners baked cakes. Throughout the morning the church was visited by people from neighbouring villages, as well as passing cyclists. A total of £230 was raised for the church.

Mike Wiles sketches the Church.

Mike Wiles recently completed a sketch of the Church and has kindly allowed us to show it on the site.  You can find mike on Instagram: emik.wiles

New House for Duty Priest.

On 26 July 2018, a panel chaired by the Bishop of Dorchester interviewed Rev. Lisa Holmes for the vacant House for Duty Priest based at Charlton-on-Otmoor. Following this the Bishop offered the post to Lisa, which she accepted. Her licensing will take place on a date to be fixed in September.


Glenys Edwards

On 23 June our licenced minister, Glenys Edwards, hosted a lunch to celebrate her 80th birthday. She is pictured with the Rector, Rev. Steve Hayes and one of our former priests, Rev. Anand Raj


Maori Visitors

On 18 June 2018 I was fortunate to meet a group of Maori who had come to pay homage at the grave of their great grand aunt, Maggie Papakura. They were Lynette Moana Walmsley, Paekiri Aneta Vercoe (Walmsley) from the Moke-Northcroft whanau (family) from Whakarewarewa, Rotorua, New Zealand (Maggie’s village);  Ian and Michael Walmsley and Sharon Adair from Inglewood, Perth, Western Australia. Their entry in the visitors’ book is as follows:- “Ka nui te mihi aroha ki a koe, toku kuia. Kia maumahara tonu atu. We are so privileged to be here with you today. Such a pleasure and honor to visit. Beautiful church. Thank you for looking after our kuia Maggie Papakura. Staples-Brown. Aroha Tino Nui, Nga mihi xxx” The privilege is ours – we are proud to be the custodians of Maggie. Nigel Lambert Churchwarden

Swearing in of Church Warden.

Vivienne Davies and Nigel Lambert have been re-elected as Churchwardens for St. Andrew’s. The normal procedure is that all Churchwardens attend at a church in the Diocese during May to be sworn in by the Bishop. Nigel will be away throughout May walking the camino from Lisbon to Santiago de Compostela. The Archdeacon of Dorchester gave authority to the Rector of the Ray Valley Benefice, Rev. Steve Hayes, to perform the legal ceremony on behalf of the Bishop. This was done during Evensong on 22 April. A somewhat unique event but holding it in the company of fellow parishioners was a nice experience.

Safari Supper

A Safari Supper was held at Oddington on 12 August as a fund-raiser for St. Andrew’s. It was organised by the Church Users Group, made up of people from all sections of the community. Around 50 people from all the neighbouring parishes attended and the event raised in the region of £800. The first course was at the church. Following this the guests were led through the village to the next venue by Stuart Carnegie playing the bagpipes. The main course was at Wyvering House, the home of Mark and Karen Stanley-Price, with the final course at the home of Jeana Cassidy at Manor Farm Barns. More pictures here

Freya Lily Concert – July 15th

On 15 July, as part of the Odstock Festival, a concert was given in the church by Freya Lily, a folk singer from London. The church was full and we were treated to a great performance by a very talented artist. Photo’s by Miles Essex

Odstock – Freya Lily

Odstock – Freya Lily

Odstock – Freya Lily


Bethany Weimers Concert – April 1st

We’re thrilled to welcome Bethany Weimers to Oddington Church for a special, one-off performance on 1st April. 

Bethany is a talented singer-songwriter, currently based in Oxford, but she grew up in Charlton on Otmoor. We’re delighted to be welcoming her back home for an evening of acoustic music in St Andrew’s Oddington.

The event starts at 7pm with tickets costing £5 on the door. 

Length: 85 minutes, including an interval

Free refreshments

Contact if you have any questions.

More about Bethany can be found here…

© Mim Saxl Photography,

A relic of the bell stocks

As part of the restoration of the bells by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry the ancient bell stocks were removed from the belfry. Michael Lambert, of Charlton-on-Otmoor, has used some of the wood to create bowls on his lathe. A sample has now been put into the church.

Quiz Night Raises £350

The Great Oddington Quiz On 4 February 2017 The Great Oddington Quiz was held at the community hall, Charlton-on-Otmoor. The event was well supported by people from the Otmoor villages, 75 taking part. The quizmaster was Tim Sharp, from Little Milton, Oxfordshire. The event was organised by the Church User Group, made up of Oddington parishioners who are not directly involved with the church but are nevertheless committed to its upkeep. Two of the group, Juliet Bostwick and Julia Burchell, prepared a great supper for all participants. Our priest, Rev. Vicki Mellor, welcomed everyone and thanked those who had worked so hard to arrange the event. In the region of £350 was raised for the maintenance of the church.

Repairs to the Preaching Cross – January 2017

Sally Strachey Historic Conservation Ltd have commenced work on restoring the preaching cross. The project is scheduled to take three weeks. Their team of Chris and Hannah have this week been working outside in very cold conditions.


Patronal Festival – 29th November 2016

Our Patronal Festival was a great success. The church had splendid floral decorations and being totally candlelit the effect was stunning. The service was led by Revd. Vicki Mellor, assisted by the Rector, Revd. Steve Hayes and Lay Minister, Glenys Edwards. The preacher, on the subject of St Andrew, was Rev. Dr. Mark Clavier, Vice Principal of St Stephens House, Oxford. Vicki knew Mark from when she was a curate in Durham and he studied for his doctorate at Durham University. Mark subsequently spent two years as Rector of Steeple Aston. Also at our service was Mark’s father, Archbishop Anthony Clavier, who was visiting from America. A lesson was read by our former Rector, Revd. Dr. Richard Sturch. The service began with the singing of Richard’s own composition, Great St. Andrew. mark-clavier The Sine Nomine Singers were in attendance and their singing greatly enhanced the proceedings. After the service there followed the usual Oddington hospitality!


Commemoration for Maggie Papakura

A commemoration was held for Maggie Papakura – read more….. Maggie Papakura

Nigel is walking again – September 2016

Local resident Nigel Lambert is off on his walking travels again.  Read more….

Table Top Sale – August 2016

A Table top sales raised £500 for church funds.  Read more…..


A sunday picnic – May 2016

On 1 May parishioners from Islip, Noke, Charlton, Fencott and Murcott were hosted at St Andrew’s for a picnic to celebrate Rogation Sunday.  Read more….

Rogation Sunday Picnic

Rogation Sunday Picnic

Blessing of the churchyard walls – April 2016

On 7 April a short ceremony was held in the churchyard to bless the new walls.  Read more….


A new Owl box – March 2016

A donation from a local resident found a new home in the churchyard.  Read more…

Installing the Owl Box

Easter 2016 – March 2106

Easter was celebrated in the village.  Read more….


The Elm comes down – March 2016

Removal of the elm tree was a neccessary step to complete the wall repairs.  Read more… Ash Tree Felling

Churchyard Wall – February 2016

Repairs to the churchyard wall begin.  Read more…



Harvest Festival September 2015:

The festival was celebrated in the Church. Read more Harvest Festival 2015 4

Bulb Planting:

Volunteers helped plant bulbs at the entrance to the village.  Read more Bulb planting 1 Newsletters January 2015 Newsletter – Phase 2. June 2013 Newsletter – time to celebrate. April 2013 Newsletter – work nearing completion November 2012 Newsletter – work starts in the New Year August 2012 Newsletter – Progress on many fronts April 2012 Newsletter- Ready to start