Dear Friends,

There will be a Eucharist service this Sunday 16th January at St Michael & All Angels, Great Tew at 10am with Revd William Burke.

The readings are: Isaiah 62.1–5 & John 2.1–11

THE FIRST GREAT TEW CIRCLE TALK – Postponed to 26th March at 6pm
Due to the recent surge of the omicron variant we have taken advice and decided to postpone the Great Tew Circle talk with Revd Professor Nigel Biggar CBE. The new date is Saturday 26th March at 6pm. We hope you are still able to make it on the new date – If not, please let me know and refunds will be issued.

Epiphany Blessing with Chalk
On or near the feast of the Epiphany, and conveniently close to the beginning of a New Year, the tradition has been in many churches including here at Great Tew to ask God’s blessing on churches and homes and mark the door or lintel with chalks that have been blessed for that purpose. The doors are chalked with the legendary names or initials of the three Magi, and the numerals of the New Year, connected with a series of crosses. The initials C, M, and B commemorate the Magi, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, but also are an abbreviation for the Latin prayer-request Christus Mansionem Benedicat. The chalk will be blessed at the altar before the final hymn and the vicar will go to the door, ask God’s blessing on the church and all who pass throughs it portals and then pronounce the final blessing.

Finance and Fundraising Meeting after Church at Great Tew
After the dismissal today people today are asked if they could remain seated for a short briefing and discussion on our current church financial situation and fund raising. During Lockdown there were no services and thus no collection. For similar reason there has been no fund raising for nearly two years and we have been living on the PCC account reserves which have now gone. Yet we still have to pay the share, insure the churches, carry out repairs and meet our expenses. This has affected most churches and like everybody else we need to find ways of meeting our house-keeping bills. The churches that had most people donating their collection by standing order or the parish giving scheme have obviously survived better but that is not our case. Additionally, many people have been contributing very generously to the Vestry Fund. However, we still have to insure the church and pay the Parish Share to the diocese. The Parish Share is our contribution to the central funds of the church and helps pay for stipends and pensions for clergy; training for all priests, readers and lay training schemes and for the administration and offices of the dioceses.

In broad terms our figures are as follow:

Current Financial Situation
Annual Housekeeping Costs approx. £24000 per annum (this is roughly £800 per annum for every person on our electoral roll)
Annual Regular Income approx. £12000 (through collections, fees for weddings and funerals)

Shortfall is approx. £12000 per annum. This we have to make up either through fund-raising or increased giving and in practice we usually do this with a bit of both. The shortfall is about £34 per month for each member of the electoral roll, but clearly in many cases several members of the electoral roll are all in the same family


Share                                  £8000
Insurance                           £6000
Ministry Support               £2800                                                                                   Mostly our Parish Administrator’s (Kate) work and the Vicar’s expenses
Remainder           Consists of misc bills eg heating/lighting candles,

Possible Courses of Action

The Parish Giving Scheme
If anyone is able to increase their giving, we would be most grateful if they could do it through the Parish Giving Scheme. This would ensure a regular income stream that was index linked. Forms are available in church.

The Parish Giving Scheme is not only beneficial in terms of the regular known income that it provides, but also because it means no work for the parish, whereas gift aid is a huge amount of work for everyone – the money has to be collected, counted, banked, accounted for and then recorded for an annual audit – none of which have to be done by the parish if giving is made through the Parish Giving Scheme. In terms of saving work for our Treasurer’s and, Wardens and other volunteers as well as ensuring a regular working income for the parish this is much the preferred method of giving although we are of course grateful for everything  given by whatever method.

Fundraising is not just for emergencies but for our regular house-keeping bills and is therefore essential. We are planning Fund-Raising events including a benefice Autumn Fair in late September. We need someone to take on the role Fund-Raising Co-ordinator for this event and other people to assist and to come up with ideas. If you are interested, please let the wardens or vicar know

With many thanks to all of you for all you already do

William Burke

Worship Committee meeting
There is an initial Worship Committee meeting at the Vicarage on Saturday 22nd January at 10am. This will give us an opportunity to reflect upon services, hear feedback and plan for services between now and Easter. Anyone who is interested is welcome to join us on the day

Wish List
Members of the congregation are asked to propose to the PCC via the wardens or Vicar any enhancements that they would like to see in church. These proposals will be taken to the PCC for approval and once agreed they will be added to a “wish list”.

The Daily Office
The Angelus and Mattins  – Morning Prayer (usually from the Book of Common Prayer) is said every day from Monday-Saturday at 9am in Great Tew Church
The Angelus and Evensong – Evening Prayer is said every day at 6pm

It has been agreed that both the kitchen and broom cupboard in the new vestry should be kept unlocked to enable their use by people preparing flowers for church.

COVID 19 update

Due to the recent Government announcement, please note the updated safety precautions below:

– Face masks are obligatory, except for clergy. Those taking part in the service, ie reading or leading intercessions may remove them when reading/interceding.

– hand sanitisers will be available as you enter the church, and again before you receive communion

– please collect your own blue service book; they will not be handed out.

– communion will be in one kind only; the chalice will not be offered.  Please remain standing to receive the bread.

– you’ll be invited to give your offering/donation as you enter the church

–  we will not shake hands at the Peace

–  please observe social distancing of at least 1 metre and do not sit directly behind or in front of someone.  Family members can sit together. When entering and leaving the church please try to avoid bunching up.

– if you have downloaded the NHS test & trace app on your phone then please scan the QR code upon arrival at the service.


Almighty God, in Christ you make all things new: transform the poverty of our nature by the riches of your grace, and in the renewal of our lives make known your heavenly glory; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

God of glory, you nourish us with your Word who is the bread of life: fill us with your Holy Spirit that through us the light of your glory may shine in all the world. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Isaiah 62.1–5

A reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah. The LORD says this: For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch. The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will give. You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.

GOSPEL John 2.1–11
Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John. Glory to you, O Lord. There was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’ So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.’ Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Christ.

For your Prayers:
Max Lewis
Josephine Gilliland
Michael Barnes
Stephen Tustian
Eileen and Tom White
Ryan Walker

Future Services
Sunday 23rd January – St John the Evangelist, Little Tew 10am Benefice Communion
Sunday 30th January – St Michael & All Angels, Great Tew 10am Benefice Communion
Sunday 6th February – St Michael & All Angels, Great Tew 10am Benefice Communion

Vicar’s Contact Details

Revd William Burke
Mobile telephone number 07770 630202
Email [email protected]
The Vicarage, New Road, Great Tew OX7 4AG


Best wishes