G.F.S. Meeting at Oddington and Blessing of Font Cover – August 1919

The Oxfordshire Weekly News of 6 August 1919 reported that the members of the local branches of the G.F.S., under the presidency of Miss Eliot, of Islip, attended solemn evensong at Oddington on Thursday. The office was sung at 6p.m. by the Rev. J.F. Buxton of St. Margaret’s, Oxford, who also preached an eloquent and practical sermon. Mrs R. Tanner (Noke) kindly came over and fulfilled the duties of organist with her accustomed efficiency. After evensong a handsome oak font cover in Jacobean style, designed and executed by the Rev. Canon Vernon Stanley, Rector of Ickford, was blessed. It makes a very striking addition to the growing beauty of this little church. 

N.B. G.F.S. is the Girls Friendly Society, formed in the 19th century as a charitable organisation that empowered girls and young women. Its core values were aimed at higher moral standards for its members. There were two classes of membership: working class girls known as members and ladies, known as associates. It mirrored the relationship that existed between the lady of the house and the downstairs maids. The organisation still exists.

   The Rev. Vernon Stanley was Rector of Ickford from 1911 to 133. He was a highly skilled craftsman, Ickford church being full of his carved, wooden pieces.   The other connection between Ickford and Oddington is that Gilbert Sheldon was Rector of both parishes in the 17th century, prior to becoming Archbishop of Canterbury.