Doing an amazing job: volunteers from the Life Skills team
Dear Friends
We were made, and are loved, by a generous God - and he has put it in us to enjoy being generous too! (In fact giving has been identified as one of the NHS 5 steps to wellbeing, so it's measurably something that is good and right for us.) 

At St. Mary's there is no shortage of generosity - from the faithful service of volunteers to the abundant and humbling financial giving, which is done in secret. It allows us to do so much to meet our purpose of Living In God's Love and Living Out God's Love. But more than that it's what we were created for.

We see it in some of the group attendees (and maybe in ourselves a bit too) when they sometimes come to us sort of "stuck inside themselves" - and through helping, and being a part of a mutually giving and sharing community find that they matter and have potential and the ability to change the things around them for the better. This is how God meant it to be!

This week Judith shares a video showing some of the impact of people's generosity on children around the world as they receive Christmas gifts via the shoebox appeal. There is an opportunity to join in with that, and you can read more below.

You may also like to bring gifts of non-perishable food to our harvest festival this Sunday. But please, if you're coming to church this Sunday please wrap up warm. We apologise that the boiler is broken so it might be a bit chilly!

You care for the land and water it;
you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water
to provide the people with grain,
for so you have ordained it.
You drench its furrows and level its ridges;
you soften it with showers and bless its crops.
You crown the year with your bounty,
and your carts overflow with abundance.

Psalm 65:9-11

Setting a Watch

continues daily at 6am and 6pm

Meeting ID: 884 8969 0256
Passcode: SetAWatch


  • This Sunday is our harvest service. Please bring gifts of non-perishable food for the Food Bank. Click the link to see which items would be particularly appreciated. North Oxfordshire Community Foodbank
  • Unfortunately our church boiler is broken, so the service is likely to be rather chilly! Please wrap up warm. We're sorry for the cold and promise to keep the service moving so that people won't be sitting in the cold for too long. (It will be nice and warm in the Parish Rooms and Vicarage, so the young people might have the best of it!)


We're so blessed to have been given a grant allowing us to invest in some great arts and crafts materials! 

Some of the team have done a brilliant job of putting together themed boxes, including glass painting, origami, card making, clay and pyrography (I had to look that last one up!)

The idea is that the boxes don't belong to just one group, but any of the groups, from Remix to Life Skills to Kintsugi Hope can borrow one of them for their session.

At Kintsugi Hope the glass painting was a great ice-breaker for the new group, allowing conversation in a non-threatening environment as group members worked on their projects.

At Remix the young people got stuck into some card-making, sticking on decorations with the new glue guns and coming up with some great results. The clay was also popular, with some of the group making coasters and models and some just enjoying having something to squish after a long week at school!

Hopefully the boxes will continue to provide inspiration and enjoyment for many months to come.


Here is another way to be responding in thankfulness to the privilege of living in safety and comfort, with enough to enjoy all that we have.

It's time to put together our Christmas shoeboxes which will be collected on the 15th November to begin their long journey, eventually to arrive in the hands of a child to celebrate Christmas.

Do watch the video to see the joy that these bring, and some examples of the crazy journeys that the boxes take! (Click and scroll down for the video.) You will get all the advice you need on what to include  - (and what not to include!)

Operation Christmas Child (samaritans-purse.org.uk)

You can use your own box and decorate it yourself, or pick up a box from church to fill.

Once it's packed and you have either donated £5 online and included the bar code, or enclosed a £5 note, then please drop it off at the Parish Centre.

If you are unable to pack a box yourself, you can always either pack one online or send a contribution and we will pack a box on your behalf.


"Setting a Watch" is a chance to pray with other people at 6am and 6pm every day via Zoom. At first the remote meetings were a response to lockdown, but the regular rhythm of daily prayer (and the fact that you can attend from anywhere and in your dressing gown!) proved popular even after lockdown had finished.

Primarily we pray for the Building to Serve project and particularly the developments around The Branch. However we also pray for any of the needs in our church, community and world. Most of the sessions have a designated leader who shares some thoughts from the Bible as well as some particular issues to pray for.

Setting a Watch is open for anyone who would like to join in. You can join as many or as few as you like. There's no need to pray out loud unless you want to. It's very informal and the link in Mary's Matters each week (near the top). We'd love you to join.



Toby is due to take up his new role at St. Mary's, Attenborough next week. His licensing service is taking place on Wednesday 13th October at 7.30pm. There are still a handful of places left if you'd like to attend in person. (Please contact office@stmaryscnorton.com)

Alternatively you can support Toby with your prayers while joining via livestream. The YouTube channel is 
www.youtube.com/channel/UCcLGwGsDwxE4cGvF9Wjw7GA/featured .


It's possible that, like me, you had formed some really good habits to do your bit to care for the environment - and then when Covid came, and your attention and priorities changed, these went largely out of the window! (Well done if that wasn't the case.)

WELL - to get back into good habits, small achievable steps are usually the thing! We'll be having refreshments before the service each week. We use the most environmentally friendly disposable cups that we can find - but reusable cups are obviously much better.

Please bring your own reusable cup if you can! You'll feel better for it, and it's always great to see everyone's pretty coffee cups.

(Finally a big thank you to the hospitality team. We don't often get a chance to thank you all, but you're so appreciated!)

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What's happening soon?

BCP Holy Communion Sun 24th Sep St Mary's Church, Chipping Norton More info
Sunday Service in Church Sun 24th Sep St Mary's Church, Chipping Norton More info
Connect Cafe Tue 26th Sep The Parish Rooms More info