Welcome to Fr Matthew thumbnail

Welcome to Fr Matthew

We are delighted to welcome Fr Matthew Salisbury to our parish as our temporary priest for Sunday worship until we appoint a new incumbent.

The Bishop of Oxford hopes that in the near future, through the Archdeacon and the Parish Representatives, a new permanent appointment will be made to the parish of Stony Stratford with Calverton.
In this interim period, Fr Matthew Salisbury has been licensed as Associate Priest for the parish.
Fr Salisbury can be contacted on 07717 465341. He will celebrate Mass on Sundays at both churches and is available for pastoral care and conversation by appointment.
Interregnum news: 17 March 2024 thumbnail

Interregnum news: 17 March 2024

Summary update from the PCC

As your PCC, we have the following news to share:

  • At the Section 11 Meeting held on the 12 March 2024 at 7:30pm, the PCC voted to rescind the resolution[1] under the House of Bishops Declaration on the Ministry of Priests and Bishops.
  • The PCC voted as follows (the motion was FOR or AGAINST the resolution):
    14 to rescind (AGAINST), 5 to retain (FOR), 1 abstention and 1 member not present at the Section 11 meeting.

What this means for the parish

  • For those in the parish holding strong theological convictions about the sacraments regarding women as priests, this result is deeply upsetting and impacts their spiritual journey with our Lord in this parish. Please pray for all members of our parish affected by the PCC decision to rescind the resolution.
  • Rescinding the resolution means the Parish automatically leaves membership of
    The Society and Forward in Faith as these organisations are only for parishes with a Resolution. It also means our Parish can open Parish priest applications to male and female Church of England priests.
  • The parish will now have oversight from the Bishop of Oxford rather than the Bishop of Oswestry.

Next steps

  1. The PCC has appointed Anna Page and David Riding to be its lay representatives on the appointments process.
  2. The PCC decided to ask for a statement from the acting area Dean to be included in the Parish Profile document.
  3. Guided by advice from Revd Asa Humphreys, Parish Development Adviser for Buckingham, a working group of the PCC is continuing the work started last year to pull together the Parish Profile, the role description, person specification and advertisement for a new Parish priest. The group is Gwen Yates, Anne de Broise, Anna Page, David Riding, Fiona Collins, Marilyn Bazeley and Jane Hardy.
  4. The PCC will ask the Bishop of Oxford (the patron) to advertise the post once the Parish Profile, role description, person specification and advertisement documents are ready. This means placing the advertisement in The Church Times. It will also be placed on the Parish website.
  5. The application, short-listing, interview and appointment process will be conducted according to the Church of England’s guidance on the appointment of clergy, which is available online at https://www.oxford.anglican.org/ministry/clergy-handbook/affirmation-accountability-and-development/.

Your role as a member of the parish

It is important to recognise that whilst many in the congregations may view the rescinding of the Resolution as the means by which, irrespective of gender, the best person to lead our Parish forward in Mission and Worship can be appointed; those who believe in the male only historic apostolic succession[2] as part of their conviction of faith will be profoundly hurt by the vote outcome.

Those deeply affected by this outcome can obtain pastoral and spiritual care from
Fr Gary Ecclestone of St James Hanslope 07960027424 healthychurches@seeofoswestry.org.uk and/or Fr Victor Bullock of St Martins Fenny Stratford 01908 372825.

Following the vote to rescind the resolution, Fr Tunji Adebiyi is leaving the Parish. He plans to write a letter to explain his reasons which will be shared with the parish once it is received. Thank you Fr Tunji for all you have done for the parish, especially during the Interregnum.

At the Section 11 meeting the PCC was reminded of advice from Reverend Cassa[3] that female clergy will not go where their calling is not recognised by some of the congregation, therefore it is unlikely the next Parish Priest to be appointed will be a woman. Likewise, in the Anglo-Catholic tradition, it is unlikely that the next priest will have been ordained by a female Bishop. Our parish is likely to remain Anglo-Catholic.

Please continue to pray for the PCC and the whole Parish as we seek the person whom God is calling to be our new Parish Priest.

[1] The resolution wording: “For the sake of the unity of our Parish, this PCC requests, on grounds of theological conviction that arrangements be made for it in accordance with the House of Bishops’ Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests.”

[2] Historic Apostolic Succession: the ordination of priests by bishops in a continuous succession from the twelve apostles. For those who do not support the ordination of women, Historic Apostolic Succession means a continuous succession of male priests only. This is about the uninterrupted transmission of spiritual authority from the apostles and upholding the catholic order and the catholic doctrine of the sacraments, in particular the threefold ministry in historic succession. It is about the deep spiritual need for traditional Anglo-Catholicism and promoting and maintaining catholic teaching within the Church of England
See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostolic_succession for information about Apostolic succession.

[3] Revd Cassa Messervy appointed by the Archdeacon of Buckingham, Guy Elsmore to facilitate and advise the PCC.

Interregnum news 17 March 2024 final

Churchwardens, PCC and Deanery Synod Members Elected April 2022 thumbnail

Churchwardens, PCC and Deanery Synod Members Elected April 2022

At the Annual Vestry and Parochial Church Meetings in April 2022, the following were elected to serve as Churchwardens, PCC and Deanery Synod members:

Peter Eales (SMSG)
Deb Kidd (SMSG)
Jill Barby (All Saints)
Richard Hearne (All Saints)

PCC Members
Rhian Parsons (SMSG)
Graham Brown (SMSG)
Dick Martin (SMSG)
Susi Whitehouse (SMSG)
John Hickman (All Saints)
Anna Page (All Saints)

Deanery Synod Members
Bob Scarff
Mike Parsons
Anne de Brois

In addition, at the PCC meeting following the APCM:
Bob Scarff was elected as Treasurer and Vice-Chairman
Susi Whitehouse was elected as PCC Secretary
and Gwen Yates was co-opted to the PCC as one of the Parish Safeguarding Officers

Father Ross’s retirement thumbnail

Father Ross’s retirement

Although Father Ross’s actual retirement date is not yet fixed, it has been agreed with the Bishop of Buckingham and the Standing Committee of the Parochial Church Council that his final Sunday services in the parish will be held on the following dates:

All Saints 11:15am on Sunday 6th February 2022 with a Farewell Reception immediately following

St Mary & St Giles on Sunday 13th February 2022

09:30 Parish Mass

16:00 Evensong & Benediction with a Farewell Reception afterwards.

Holy Thursday 2015 thumbnail

Holy Thursday 2015

The terrible loneliness of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane as he prayed while his disciples struggled to stay awake is commemorated by the Altar of Repose on Holy Thursday.

The Altar of Repose before the service
The Altar of Repose before the service
The Altar of Repose at the start of the watch of the Passion
The Altar of Repose at the start of the watch of the Passion
Duck race and Palm Sunday 2015 thumbnail

Duck race and Palm Sunday 2015

Palm Sunday in St Mary & St Giles Church
Palm Sunday in St Mary & St Giles Church

The annual Parish Duck race took place on 28 March 2015 from the weir by the Millfield.  This event was founded in 1992 by Pauline Cavell-Northam, wife of Fr Cavell-Northam, the Vicar of Stony Stratford and Rector of Calverton from 1968-1997.  She bought 100 plastic ducks (for £50) and a wetsuit.  Each duck was sponsored for a £1 and thrown into the river on the Duck race day.  The first past the finishing line was the winner.  It has become a much loved Parish tradition, now run by Lesley Salter.  Most of the original ducks plus another 50 are still in the collection.  Some swam  away over the years and one escaped duck was the subject of a rescue and ransom saga some weeks after that year’s duck race.  Sometimes the duck race has been weather bound so the draw has happened from the black sack of ducks, however yesterday the rain held off long enough for the children and adults alike to have lots of fun fishing ducks out of the water once the first, second and third ducks had been declared.  Photos of the 2015 Duck Race can be seen at https://www.flickr.com/photos/78058413@N06/sets/72157651624451572/

Unfortunately the weather wasn’t so kind this morning when we were due to process along the High Street in Stony Stratford singing ‘All Glory Laud and Honor’ at the start of our Palm Sunday service.  So the procession happened within the church instead as the rain fell outside, followed by the solemn reading of the Passion of our Lord from the Palm Sunday events until his Crucifixion.

“So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!’ And Jesus found a young ass and sat upon it; as it is written, ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion, behold, your king is coming, sitting on an ass’s colt (John 12:13-15)!”

See Holy Week and Easter for service times and confessions during Holy week.

Advent 2014 thumbnail

Advent 2014

The Parish Nativity Play took place in All Saints Church, Calverton on Sunday 21st December at 4pm by candlelight.  The church was packed with people.  SMSG church band conducted by Lesley and the small Willis pipe organ played by John provided the accompanying music.  Staging to make the children a bit more visible from the box pews was provided by SMSG church school.

All Saints Church just before the service
All Saints Church just before the service
Nativity play 2014
Nativity play 2014
Follow the star
Follow the star
Nativity play 2014
Nativity play 2014

Carol Singing around Stony Stratford and Galley Hill was on 18th and 22nd December this year.  These photos are of the carol singers just before they got mulled wine and snacks after 90 minutes of singing outdoors in Stony Stratford on Monday night.  Over £120 was raised for ‘Let the Children Live’ on these two evenings.

Carol singers in Ousebank Way
Carol singers in Ousebank Way
Collecting donations for Carol Singing
Collecting donations for Carol Singing
Confirmation 2014 thumbnail

Confirmation 2014

Bishop Jonathan confirmed 11 people (and baptised three of them first) at St Mary & St Giles Church on 8 May 2014.  This lovely service was followed by a bring and share supper.

Cutting the confirmation cake
Cutting the confirmation cake

See more photos of the confirmation at https://www.flickr.com/photos/78058413@N06/sets/72157644583842085/