Information - everything you need to know about what's going on
If you're planning a wedding or need to enquire about a baptism or funeral, or if you want to get involved, read on. St Mary's isn't just an interesting building but a thriving group of people who live in Bampton and beyond. See below for further information and details of how you can join in.
Please note that due to COVID-19 restrictions, many of our activities are suspended for the time being.
Baptisms and FuneralsIf you would like to arrange a baptism or a funeral at St Marys, in the first instance please contact the Vicar, Janice Collier. Clicking this link will take you to her contact details. However for the time being, baptisms will not take place due to COVID-19 restrictions.
WeddingsIf you would like to book your wedding at St Marys, in the first instance please contact the Vicar, Janice Collier. Clicking this link will take you to her contact details. On the contacts page you will also find contact details for the organist. A choir and bells are sometimes available. However for the time being, weddings will not take place due to COVID-19 restrictions.
BellringingSt Marys has a peal of 8 bells, some of which date back to the 17th Century. In late 2006 the bells were restored for the first time in 100 years at a cost of about £40,000, and all but the heaviest two were removed by Whites of Appleton.
The bellringers practice on a Monday evening and ring most Sundays, as well as for many weddings through the year. They would welcome new members, both experienced and those wanting to try to learn a new skill.
To watch a video about how the bells work and what's involved with muffled ringing, click here (opens in new window).
For more information email David Rose, Tower Captain, by clicking this link.
Bible Study GroupSt. Mary’s provides two Bible Discussion Groups one on Monday evenings and one on Tuesday evenings. More information from Dennis Piper on 01993 850677.
Blessed BeesBlessed Bees is a mother and toddler group who meet regularly in church, with children moving into Junior Church as they get older. Meetings are advertised within the panel to the right. For more information contact the Vicar, Janice Collier. Clicking this link will take you to her contact details. Refreshments are provided for carers, bumps babes and pre-school children as well as fun, chat and a pleasant get-together.
Carillon (more correctly 'Chimes')Following a generous gift from a benefactor, the carillon has been restored. The old mechanical chime mechanism, which had long since declined into disrepair, had been disconnected when the church bells were restored and re-hung in 2006. The modern mechanism, whilst still operating by means of hammers against the eight church bells, is controlled by a computer microprocessor. The chimes can be controlled directly from a console, but visitors and local residents will normally hear the chimes ring out a familiar tune at 9am and 5pm each day. The original mechanism chimed each day at 9am, 1pm, 5pm and finally again at 9pm.
Strictly speaking, a carillon has to have at least 23 bells and is controlled by a pedal board much like a pipe organ. Instruments such as that in St Mary's with considerably fewer bells, are more correctly called chimes.
ChoirSt Marys Choir performs under the directorship of David New, the Organist and Choirmaster.
The Choir sings at the Sunday morning 10:30am service each week, practicing before from 9:45am. The Senior Choir also practice each Friday in church from 7:30pm until about 9pm to prepare for Sunday and other performances. It is a four part choir, currently with an adult membership of approximately 18. The Seniors enjoy the odd social occasion together, just to liven things up! These activities range from the now traditional Choir BBQ in May, to trying Pilates, to eating out together; we also went to see a very tallnted and slightly alternative brass group perform. Choir practice often involves a certain amount of ‘banter’; the choirmaster believes in a relaxed attitude and to try and make things ‘fun’, as well as getting on with the business of learning new pieces and re-acquainting ourselves with past music. It does work most of the time!!
We also have an increasing number of children who form the Junior Choir. The Junior Choir meets at 6.45pm on a Friday night, then stay on with the Senior Choir until 8.30pm. The Junior Choir spend a certain amount of time learning to read music during their practice time, at the same time earning a small amount of pocket money towards their attendance at both practices and services. They also have occasional impromptu quizzes or other activities to try and lighten the evening. They have recently started singing on their own for part of the service for one Sunday a month. Visits and extra activities are also laid on, on occasion for the Juniors with activities including a trip to a local dairy farm to watch milking (the choirmaster is a farmer!), a lambing trip, a visit up to the church belfry, trips out bowling and more recently a trip to the cinema. The idea is to encourage a team spirit and make things as interesting as possible, as well as encouraging the more serious side to singing.
At Sung Eucharists, the choir normally sings a motet or anthem during the distribution of communion.
The Choir also sings away occasionally, including singing services at Christchurch Cathedral in Oxford, Malvern Priory and Tewkesbury Abbey. In recent years the Choir has visited Lichfield and Guildford Cathedrals to sing Choral Evensong. The Choir also plays a large part in the service of Nine Lessons and Carols just before Christmas and now normally sings a small work about The Passion during Holy Week just before Easter. New members of all voices are always welcome. Please contact the Choirmaster for more information.
The choir is also available for weddings, but booking well in advance is a must.
If you have any enquiries please contact the Organist and Choirmaster, David New by phone on 01993 841807 or email David by clicking this link
Coffee & CoJoin us in Bampton Coffee House in the Market Square on Monday mornings from 10:30am for a chat and a catch up!
All are welcome to join the friendly group for company & fellowship. Newcomers to the area are always welcomed. More information from Margaret Battersby on 01993 850182.
Contact MagazineThis is a monthly publication produced by the Parish of Bampton with Clanfield (Aston and Cote, Bampton, Clanfield, Shifford and Lew) and Lower Windrush Benefice (Northmoor, Standlake, Stanton Harcourt and Yelford). Up-to-date church news, services and dates for forthcoming events from each village; news of the wonderful work of our village schools and some of our clubs, societies, charities and exhibitions. It is generously supported by local businesses advertising their many and varied services. Available in churches at 50p or subscribe for £6.00 per annum and have it delivered to your door – 160 already are in the Bampton area alone.
For more details phone Jill Hall 01993 851142.
Flower GuildOur team of flower arrangers produce wonderful floral displays for weddings and throughout the year. The Annual Flower Festival in church takes place over the late May bank holiday weekend. For further details contact Angie Bell by email clicking this link.
Food BankThere are many very grateful recipients who have received gifts of food from St Mary’s. Often these are people struggling with unexpected debts, which leaves insufficient money for food. We channel our gifts through Besom and are indebted to Hazel Carter who distributes them. Hazel thanks St Mary’s on behalf of Besom and likens the Church to the one in Macedonia (Romans 15 v 26 ) supporting those in need – in Carterton! Examples of Besom coming to the rescue of people in need include a family who experienced a house fire and then considerable water damage. The recipients described how Besom had been there when others had not! So we are encouraged to keep up the giving through these challenging winter months. We are sorry not to be able to accept home-made food (Health & Safety). Please check the dates on items. With Christmas coming the following are particularly welcome: Christmas cakes, mince pies, soups, cereals, honey, jam, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, tinned foods, cranberry jelly and biscuits. Items can be left in church near the notice board.
Friends of St Mary'sThe Friends of St Mary’s is entirely independent from the Community Church Council and a registered charity inaugurated in 1994 as a non-denominational trust to build up a substantial long-term endowment fund (a fighting fund) to assist with major restoration projects which regular giving cannot possibly afford. Click here for more information
Ladies LunchesThese take place on the last Friday of each month (with the exception of December, July and August), usually at the Pavilion at the Recreation Ground on Buckland Road except in Lent when the Lunch takes place in church. More details - see latest news on the home page.
Messy ChurchOn the first Sunday of each month we usually hold “Messy Church” at St Mary’s from 3pm to 5pm. This is for any adults, families or accompanied children of any age who would like to come. There is a theme for each month; and we have fun activities, craft, a time of worship and reflection … then tea! Why not come and see what happens. We’re sure you’ll enjoy it, and come back again! For more information about Messy Church click here
Missionary GrantsEach year St Mary's holds a Mission Sunday in July to collect donations for grants.
In addition a permanent Emergency Appeal Fund has annual funds of £1,000. This allows the church to respond quickly to emergencies as they arise, and members of the congregation are asked to add to this fund as and when they wish. However, donations from this fund, as with those made to the charities mentioned previously, are made from church
funds to which congregations give regularly.
ServicesIn addition to the main Sunday morning service at 10:45am, there is a weekday service on Wednesdays at 10:30am in the Lady Chapel, and an extra service at 8:00am on the fourth Sunday of each month which follows the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) format. The fourth Sunday morning service is particularly welcoming towards families with smaller children.