Upcoming events across the Benefice

An evening with Bishop Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford

All PCC members and church congregations are invited to an evening with Bishop Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford at 7.45pm on Thursday 20th July in St. Peter and St. Paul, Shiplake. We will gather in the church for a short time of worship, followed by an address from Bishop Steven and ample time for questions from the floor. Refreshments will be served on the terrace of Shiplake College (weather permitting).

The evening is part of Bishop Stevenís day in the Deanery where he will meet with the clergy and people involved in mission and ministry across the Deanery. He is keen to meet as many people as possible and to learn about us, and what we are interested and involved in. Do come and give him a warm welcome.

  • Parking: Please park either in the car park outside the Church Rooms or along the lane running down to the church. Car sharing is advised wherever possible.
  • Refreshments: We would be grateful for donations of homemade cakes. One cake or two cakes per parish would be wonderful. Please bring them to the church on arrival.
  • RSVP: An indication of numbers attending would be helpful. Please email heatherll2410@hotmail.com

We look forward to seeing you.


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St Andrew's United Benefice Prayer Group

The St Andrew's United Benefice Prayer group usually meets on the first Tuesday of the month at Crossways in South Stoke from 2.30-3.30pm.

The group meets to pray together for matters of concern and thanksgiving. In particular, prayers are offered for the St Andrew's development appeal; for the local community and for those who are ill or in need. Prayers follow an established pattern but are informal in nature. Everyone is welcome to come to any of these meetings.


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Family services

Family Services take place on:

St Thomas' Church, Goring: The 1st Sunday of each month.

St Mary's Church, Streatley: For the time being, families from Streatley join others for the Benefice's monthly Family Service at St Thomas' on the first Sunday of every month. We've had some good services recently so don't miss the next one!

St Andrew's Church, South Stoke: Quarterly.
St Andrew's Church in South Stoke holds four special family services each year, commencing at 10.30am. Refreshments are served afterwards. For more information go to the family service programme.


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Letter Writing Group for persecuted Christians

This group meets from 10.00 to 11.00am on the second Wednesday of every alternate month to write notes and cards to persecuted Christians around the world. Led by Judith Aguda, Licensed Lay Minister in this Benefice, the group follows the guidance of the charity, Open Doors UK.

Everyone is welcome. If you have any postcards or notelets, please bring them along. Do join in if you can. This is something practical we can all do and it does make a difference. Contact Judith for dates and venues.


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Stillness on Sunday Service

This monthly service is led by members of the church community. It takes place at St Mary's Church in Streatley every second Sunday in the month at 5.30pm. It lasts 30 minutes and offers the opportunity to enjoy a period of reflection, prayer and music for spiritual peace and tranquillity.

Everyone is welcome to the Stillness Services; they are an informal time of readings, prayer, sometimes music and silence: it is an opportunity to escape the pressures of normal life, to refresh yourself by resting in the calm, loving presence of the Lord.


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Good News services

Good News services are held in St Thomas of Canterbury Church in Goring and St Andrew's Church in South Stoke. These services are more informal than the usual Eucharist services. There is no Communion to give more time to explore the New Testament Bible teachings. Everyone is welcome to come to this service. Refreshments are served afterwards.

Good News services at St Thomas' Church in Goring begin at 10.00am. For more information on upcoming services see the Good News programme; to listen to past sermons go to Good News sermons.

Good News services at St Andrew's Church in South Stoke take place on the fourth Sunday of each month at 10.30am. Preaching is given by members of the local ministry team.

For both churches, check for any change to the normal schedule on the calendar.


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Parenting Children Course

This September, as a Benefice we will be running a parenting course.

As we all know, children do not arrive with an instruction manual and yet no role we undertake is more important. Family life is under great pressure today and parents face bewildering choices and often conflicting advice about how to parent effectively. Being reminded that we are not alone in the challenges we face and picking up ideas from other parents can make a huge difference.

The Parenting Course is based on a course devised by the National Parenting Initiative and is for any parent with children in primary education. While the course is based on Christian principles, it is relevant and helpful for any parent with or without a Christian faith or church background.

We would love both parents to attend the course, but we recognise that this can be challenging for those with young children and so we are hoping to offer babysitters, if you find it difficult to find someone. Topics covered in the course include:

  • Laying strong foundations
  • Love in action
  • Setting boundaries and managing behaviour
  • Building character
  • Growing a confident child

Each evening will start with desserts and refreshments which will be followed by a talk and then discussion in small groups. Where the course has been run previously, there has been good feedback; one participant said: I'm feeling much more positive, more determined to have fun as a parent. And another: I feel much encouraged and inspired by ideas for family time and have realised the importance of fun and security and of family life itself.

The course is free and will run on Thursdays from 21st September and then 5th and 19th October, 2nd, 16th and 30th November. Sessions will run from 7:45pm until 9:30pm and will take place in the Canterbury Room, Goring.

To let us know you are planning to come, or to request a possible babysitter please contact Steve Johnson, Assistant Curate via parenting@thomandmary.com


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Coffee morning at St Andrew's Church in South Stoke

This event happens every 3rd Wednesday of the month from 10.30am to noon.

This event is popular. There is always a choice of delicious mouth-watering cakes and a chance to catch up with friends in the village. Come and make new friends at St Andrew's Church. Everyone is welcome.

Check the calendar for dates.


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Coffee and cake at St Thomas of Canterbury Church in Goring

Coffee and Cake is held on the last Saturday of each month (except November and December) between 10.30am and 12.15pm in The Canterbury Room of St Thomas of Canterbury Church in Goring. Everyone is welcome. Delicious homemade cakes are served and there is a chance to browse through some second-hand books and other items for sale. Occasionally there are informal music recitals.

Check the calendar for dates.


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Pick-a-Flick is for retired people of Goring, Streatley and South Stoke. A filmshow and light lunch are provided every 3rd Thursday of the month (except August) from 10:30am to 2pm in The Canterbury Room at St Thomas' Church, Goring.


Tea with Mussolini
Thursday 20th July, 1 hr 57 mins
In 1930's fascist Italy Luca has lost his mother and is sent by his father to be taken care of by Mary, a British expatriate, and her cultured friends, but things change when Allied forces declare war on Mussolini.
A United Kingdom
Thursday 21 September, 1 hr 51 mins
Based on the true story of Prince Seretse Khama who in the 1940s falls in love with a white woman, Ruth Williams, so battling against prejudice and hate. When he returns to take up the throne of Bechuanaland he refuses to leave without her and Ruth is told that her marriage could cause the downfall of the British Empire in Africa.
Thursday 19 October, 1 hr 40 mins
Biographical drama following Jackie Kennedy in the days folowing her husband's assassination in 1963. Whilst being dignified and composed in front of the cameras, behind closed doors she struggles to cope with the loss of her husband and the weight of the world that now rests on her shoulders.
Thursday 16 November, 2 hrs
A five year old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometres from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia. Twenty five years later he sets out to find his lost family.


If you would like to be invited to this event or you know of anyone who would appreciate an invitation, please contact Jenny Boyd via the United Benefice email. The cost is £3 per event including light lunch; extra donations are very welcome towards the United Benefice Church expenses. Unless you have signed in for always attending, please RSVP a few days before each event so we can cater correctly. It is not necessary to book in advance, but if you would like a lift to the church please contact Jenny Boyd 872109 or Bille Richards 873540. We look forward to welcoming you.


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Come on Board!

The light and airy setting of The Canterbury Room provides a Mecca for keen scrabblers of the Goring Gap. It is held on the fourth Friday of every month from 3-5pm. A lively mix of young and old, experienced and novice, arrive to find tables laid out for tea, with bright chequered table cloths and scrumptious homemade cakes.

While occasional recourse is made to a selection of dictionaries, much hilarity is generated in the interpretation, or complete disregard, of any rules.

All are welcome to join the fun; there is no need to book. This is a United Benefice initiative. Cost: £2.50. Transport can be arranged if needed. Check the calendar for changes to the normal schedule or, for any other queries, contact Antoinette Jackson here via the web editor.


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Janet Pound piano recital

Janet Pound will be giving a Summer Piano Recital in St Mary's on Sunday 23rd July at 4pm in aid of St Mary's church funds. The recital will be followed by tea in the Morrell Rooms; donations for tea. The program will include pieces by Mozart, Mendelssohn, Chopin and Schumann.

Tickets are £8 full, £7 concessions, available from Inspirations in Goring from July, or on the door. Enquiries please email StMarysConcerts@hotmail.co.uk

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Michael Howell organ recital

3pm Sunday 13th August in St Thomas' Church, Goring

Michael Howell, Director of Music at St Maryís Streatley and St Thomas' in Goring, will be playing a varied programme including works by Buxtehude, Bach, Mozart and Rheinberger.

Entry is free, but donations to our organ fund would be welcomed. The recital will be followed by tea and cake in The Canterbury Room.

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Ride and stride for churches, Saturday 9th September 2017 10am-6pm

Last year this event raised nearly £120,000 for Oxford Historic Churches Trust -- a remarkable achievement as the weather was very wet. Despite the rain, St Thomas' participants contributed £224. So do put the date in your diary and consider taking part this year. Sponsorship forms are available and you may wish to set up a JustGiving page.

We like to give a welcome and offer refreshment to those taking part and you can be sponsored as a Welcomer. We have those forms too! Sponsored or otherwise we'd be grateful for offers of help so that the whole day is covered. Please add your name to the Welcomers' lists in church. Half the money we raise always comes to our own Church funds and this year OHCT has awarded St Thomas' a significant grant towards the repairs to the church tower.

More information at: http://ohct.org.uk/ride-stride/ (registered charity no. 235644), and http://www.berkschurchestrust.co.uk

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Andrew Patterson organ recital

3pm Sunday 10th September in St Thomas' Church, Goring

Andrew Patterson, Director of Music at St Giles' Oxford and resident organist at Blenheim Palace, will be playing a varied programme including works by Bach, Vierne, Yon and Elgar.

Entry is free, but donations to our organ fund would be welcomed. The recital will be followed by tea and cake in The Canterbury Room.


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Friends of Music at Goring concert series

Friends of Music at Goring are pleased to announce their programme of concerts in their 2017 season:

Wednesday 4th October -- Anna Szalucka (piano)

All concerts begin at 1pm in the church of St. Thomas of Canterbury, Goring. Tickets £10, in advance, available from Inspirations in The Arcade, from Nigel Fountain nigelfountain@tisacli.co.uk phone 873341, or £12 at the door.

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Oxford Welsh Male Voice Choir

This acclaimed choir will be making a return visit at 7.30pm to St Thomas' Church on Saturday 28th April 2018 so save the date!

More details nearer the time, but in the meantime there are some photos from their visit in 2016: http://www.oxfordwelshmvc.org.uk/2016photos/sttomgoring16.html

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