Family & Elderly Shoebox Appeal 2019
'Link to Hope' Over the last 13 years our church, and many of our friends, have participated in the shoebox appeal helping to rebuild lives and communities in Eastern Europe, and these shoeboxes have been given to poor families many of whom live in terribly hard situations and conditions. Further information can be obtained from their Web site, Last year we filled 22 boxes. It is now time for the start of the 2019 appeal, and given below are some details for those who would once again like to take part. It is not necessary for you to fill a box on your own but just contribute one or two items towards a shoebox. Items should be suitable for either families or the elderly. They ask that for each box £3.00 is donated, which pays towards the cost of transport, so although you may not feel able to gather gift items, you may like to contribute £3.00 for transporting a box. Empty shoe boxes are also required.
Please see the poster in the Church Porch giving lists of the suggested items to be included. Further information is available from me, and I will also be pleased to receive any contributions of items to go into the boxes, and/or money towards the purchase of goods or the transportation costs. As these boxes have to be at Area Collection points by the beginning of November for distribution, any contributions will need to be received by 20th October at the latest. Thank you once again for your support.
Pam Scott.

Ride 'n' Stride — Two wheels good!
I had to do the Historic Churches earlier than normal this year, and took some time to think of where I would like to explore.

In the end I decided on Oxfordshire and on a cool, windy but sunny morning, started at 08.30hrs from Bletchington about 10 miles west of Bicester. Following a busy commuter route through Enstone and then on quiet roads to Wootton with its lovely church on the side of a hill, we passed through a small village with its two churches, one Anglican and one Methodist before reaching Leafield. On a previous occasion we had met two old ladies here. They had cycled about five miles from home, stopping in the village shop before cycling a bit further and stopping again to use their little Gaz burner to make a cuppa to go with the cake they had bought. They then cycled back home. Apparently they often did this but we did not see them on this trip.

It was then through some lovely lanes and scenery to another quaint village, Swinford, before visiting the five churches in Burford. Being a tourist spot and having cycled 20 miles, I confess that it seemed
necessary to check out the tea and cake quality while we were there! Back in the saddle, we paused at Asthall to view the village and lovely house. The church at Widmore we viewed from afar as it is in the
middle of a field, followed by Minster Lovell with the ruined manor house nearby before arriving at Witney. Witney is a bustling town which I can report is not bike friendly as two or three people tried to open car doors in front of me! Witney has 6 churches, three of which are Methodist — but not a sign of Fred Ireland. With 30 miles completed we consumed some fruit off the market. It was then through more little lanes to Long Hanborough and onto the two churches in Bladon, one Methodist — the other being Anglican and the resting place of Winston Churchill. Our next stop was Woodstock with its 4 churches and a multitude of tea rooms so..... more tea and cake!

Our last stopping spot was Kidlington, with 4 churches, before arriving back at the car having cycled 51 miles over 4.5 hours. Visiting/looking at 41 churches and drinking added another two hours. The route was reasonably hilly and totalled 2,450 feet of climb. To put that in context — that is like going up Kop Hill from M&S 8 times.

Mike Pullen