Service Teams

Dear Church family,

As you will know, our churches have now fully reopened with a new pattern of services (see below to check the details). For the time being, we will also be continuing with online services for those who would prefer not to gather in church yet.

For the services to run smoothly, we need to arrange rotas for:

  • sidesmen/women (to help prepare the church, then to welcome worshippers)
  • sound and vision (NB - this will mostly be for the sound only at morning services, and for projection in the evening)
  • readers (usually one or two lessons from the Bible, both for in church and online services)
  • people to lead prayers and intercessions (around 4-5 minutes, both for in church and online services)
  • coffee (preparing, serving, clearing)
  • communion assistants (approved by the PCC)

A few people who were previously on these rotas have already contacted us to say they are unable to continue for now, which we totally understand, but this means we are a bit stretched on some rotas. Before the first lockdown, we had very many willing volunteers to cover these duties, and we are hoping that if you were on the rota before, you will be willing to continue on the same rotas (unless you have already told us that you are unable to), and/or to take up new duties. It would be lovely if more people could come forward to volunteer so that the responsibility doesn't rest with the same few people. If you are able to help, please do contact us; full instruction will be given as required!

Please can you let us know as soon as possible if you are interested in volunteering, with your preferred rotas and also any dates you will be unavailable, so that we can arrange rotas for the coming weeks. Over the next few days, we shall be arranging these and shall let you know when you will be on duty. For St Matthew’s services, please respond to Eliza, and for All Saints' to Yvonne.

Thank you to all who serve in our services; we are excited to be opening up again after many months of lockdown, and expectant of God's blessing as we recommence our regular worship and seek to serve Him and reach out to our friends and neighbours in our two villages.

With best wishes,

Yvonne and Eliza

SUNDAY SERVICE PATTERN (for full details see website or the Broadsheet)

  • 9:30 am Morning Worship / Holy Communion All Saints'
  • 10:00 am Interactive Service St Matthew’s
  • 10:30 am Pebbles Family Service (2nd Sundays only) Chilton Village Hall
  • 11:30 am Morning Worship / Holy Communion St Matthew’s
  • 6:00 pm Evening Prayer / Holy Communion St Matthew’s


Bruce Keeble 

Bruce Keeble – a man of faith and integrity
Bruce, former curate of All Saints’ Church, Chilton, died after a long illness on 7th January 2021. His funeral was a small ceremony attended only by close family (because of the Covid-19 lockdown regulations) at South Oxfordshire Crematorium in Garford.

For many years, Bruce was a familiar figure in the village, walking with his dog or tending his allotment, always willing to stop and talk. Bruce was a very caring man, much involved with pastoral visiting across the benefice, even long after his retirement from parish duties.

The congregations of All Saints’ Chilton and St Matthew’s Harwell very much enjoyed and benefitted from Bruce’s thoughtful and enthusiastic preaching, always aiming to present the message clearly and getting his listeners to think more deeply about God and the message of Jesus. Bruce was also very much involved in home groups and facilitating the preachers’ group, providing guidance and advice as well as theological reflection, bringing scholarly ideas to the meeting.

Bruce was born to missionary parents in Lanchow, China. His parents had gone there with CIM (China Inland Mission), working on a variety of projects, such as famine relief and medical work, and also providing aid to refugees. During the first years of his life, Bruce spoke mainly Chinese and when coming to England for the first time aged five, he had only a very limited English vocabulary.

Bruce’s childhood was overshadowed by WWII. After the Japanese invasion of China, he was held captive in a variety of internment camps, first with the fellow pupils of his boarding school, then with his parents in Shanghai, and finally in the Pootung CAC (civic assembly centre). Life in Pootung was crowded and marked by many deprivations which Bruce describes vividly in his memoirs. Following the Japanese surrender, the camp was liberated, and Bruce together with his mother were on one of the first ships leaving for England. He arrived in Southampton in November 1945.

The experiences during the internment left a deep impression on Bruce and shaped many of his future actions and attitudes. The first issue he faced when coming to England was the need to catch up on years of missed schooling. He was fortunate to be awarded a place at Monkton Combe School which welcomed the children of missionaries and offered remitted fees for them. Whilst at school, Bruce engaged in a number of sports and studied Science subjects for his A-levels. However, when leaving school, he had no idea of what to do next. Being exempt from the then existing National Service on medical grounds, Bruce took an office job, first with the Pensions and National Insurance Office, followed by three years in the ‘Room’ of Lloyds, London. It was during this time that Bruce felt the calling to Christian missionary work. He completed a Divinity Degree at Spurgeon’s College, followed by an MA at the Baptist Theological Seminary in Rushlikon, Switzerland. Before going there, Bruce married Mavis. Bruce was eventually ordained in the Baptist Church and served as pastor, first in Elm Park and then for 16 years in Shirley, Solihull.

This long and successful time in parish ministry was followed by 11 years at Regent’s Park College, Oxford, where Bruce was the first full-time tutor in pastoral training. It was there that Bruce was able shape the training of future church ministers and prepare them for the complexities of public ministry. The position at Regent’s Park College was meant to be temporary in the first instance but was extended to cover more than a decade. However, aged 58 Bruce faced the challenge of finding a new position. He accepted a call by Hillhead Baptist Church, Glasgow, where he spent six years until his retirement in 1998 which brought him and Mavis to Chilton.

Retirement did not mean stepping back from Christian ministry. On the contrary, Bruce got very much involved in the benefice and in his mid-seventies chose to be ordained in the Church of England so that he could preside at the Eucharist and support the local church during the period of vacancy which followed the retirement of the previous Rector.

During the 2010s, Bruce had to withdraw more and more from public ministry because of health reasons. But this did not stop him from continuing with his scholarly and theological interests. He was open to new ideas and willing to revise his own thinking and conviction. As Bruce records in his memoirs the words of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12, 9 “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’. The phrasing suggests that hearing them and continuing to hear them were, for Paul, constantly confirming and transforming. And for me too, God’s persistence in accepting me and calling me to serve Him and others, with all my weaknesses and failings, has become increasingly foundational.”

Bruce is survived by his widow Mavis, their three children, Jane, Kerry and David, and two grandchildren, Emma and Tom, to whom we offer our condolences.

Alex Reich

Ref: Keeble, B (2014) Eddies in a Stream, Private memoir (a self-published book for family and friends, rather than a commercially available book)


Act of Remembrance 

 A short socially distanced Act of Remembrance took place at Harwell War Memorial on Sunday 8 November 2020.  
For those that were unable to join us please click here to see.


Generosity Week Podcasts

generosity weekThe Generosity Week is a brand new podcast exploring generosity and giving. Journey through the Bible with a range of different contributors from across the UK, as they bring experiences from their lives that speak of the generosity of God at work in the world today. Use this podcast to give yourself a bit of space each day to focus on generosity and how you can positively impact the world around you.

Please contact Jonathan if you wish to receive the links daily from 23rd to 30th October 2020.


harvest flowers 

If you have not yet had chance to visit our beautifully decorated Churches,  please take a moment to see what our 'talented flower ladies ' have created.

All Saints' Chilton


St Matthew' Harwell

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Creationtide Study Resources 

European Christian Environmental Network
Arthur Rank Centre
Shrinking the Footprint
Christian Aid
Operation Noah
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland
A Rocha and Eco-Church initiative
Anglican Environmental Network


Creationtide Further Reading 

  • Sharing God’s Planet: A Christian Vision for a sustainable future, Claire Foster (CHP) (2005)
  • Creation in Crisis Christian perspectives on sustainability Eds Robert S White (SPCK) (2009)
  • A Political Theology of Climate Change, Michael S. Northcott, (SPCK), (2014)
  • Together for a season series, using Common Worship through the year. (CHP) (2007)
  • Seven Songs of Creation: Liturgies for celebrating and healing earth, Ed: N.C.Habel, Pilgrim Press, (2004)
  • Renewing the Face of the Earth: A theological and pastoral response to climate change David Atkinson, Canterbury Press, (2008)
  • The Season of Creation: A Preaching Commentary’ Eds: Habel, N.C., Rhoads D., Santmire, H.P. Fortress Press, (2011)
  • Places of Enchantment: Meeting God in Landscapes, Usher, G.B. (SPCK) (2012)
  • Planetwise: Dare to care for God’s world, Dave Bookless, Intervarsity Press (2008)
  • On Earth as in Heaven: Ecological Vision and Initiatives of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Ed J. Chryssavgis Fordham University Press, (2012)
  • Laudato Si’, Encyclical Letter of the Holy Father Francis on care of our common home, (2015)  


Creationtide Quotes 

The world has been created for everyone's use, but you few rich are trying to keep it for yourselves. For not merely the possession of the earth, but the very sky, the air, and the sea are claimed for the use of the rich few… The earth belongs to all, not just to the rich.
St. Ambrose of Milan (340-397)

Let us be ‘protectors’ of Creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment. Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world!”
From the Installation Mass Homily of Pope Francis, (2013)

We need an imaginative commitment to new ways of approaching the subject of climate change that does not accept a deterministic or selfish nationalistic policy. We cannot simply look at ourselves and say, ‘we must do better’, and kick the ladder away from the vast majority of humankind that is struggling to find the prosperity that we enjoy so richly. This is not a standalone issue. It cuts across all we do.
Archbishop Justin Welby (2015) 


Easter POster 

Please click here to find the Easter 2020 Poster, Easter posters to colour in, and instructions how to make an Easter Garden 


Sunday services 

climate dayWe have been asked to stop holding our usual Sunday services for the time being - please keep an eye on our Coronavirus page for more information.  This is effective from Sunday 22nd March, Mothering Sunday. We will be streaming a service from 9am on the Sunday morning and we'd love you to join us remotely. 

We will be seeking to serve our village communities as best as we can over the coming weeks and months and feel excited about the new opportunities we may have to do this. As we work on how best we can do that, we already have great systems for church members to pray for specific needs.  Please do email the Church office if you would appreciate prayer for yourself or others you know of in need.  You can use our 'Contact us' page or telephone 01235 834256. Please leave a message if no-one answers - we will be regularly checking this.  Please also confirm if you are happy for church members to pray for you, or if you would rather keep your prayer request confidential with the staff team at Harwell & Chilton Churches. 

Keep an eye out here on our website and on Facebook for future plans, and please do contact us and we'll do our best to help. 


everyday faith

The Church of England has launched 'Everyday Faith' on their website to help Christians to live out their faith throughout the week. There are lots of resources available, including prayers, bible reflections and short videos.  They are also running a #LiveLent campaign where you can sign up for seasonal emails and view the #livelent booklets.



smile amazon
If you use Amazon, you can sign up through Amazon Smile to raise funds for Harwell and Chilton Churches.  You just need to log into your account from Amazon Smile and choose to support St Matthew's Harwell.  It doesn't cost you any extra. 


Who is Jesus and what does his kingdom look like?


Prayer in the workplace



finding happiness


methodist covenant prayer 

prayI am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will,
Rank me with whom you will;
Put me to doing, put me to suffering;
Let me be employed for you or laid aside for you,
Exalted for you or brought low for you.
Let me be full, let me be empty,
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
You are mine and I am yours.
So be it.
And the covenant made on earth,
Let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.


Full Circle

Over 50?  Enjoy being with children?  If that is you, why not join Full Circle?  
Full Circle is an organisation that over the last  twenty years has set up small and friendly groups in Oxfordshire Schools. In a group, school - age and older people plus a member of staff, meet for an hour at lunch time once a week during term building up friendships and mutual understanding. After having lunch together a group enjoys doing a variety of activities while chatting about life, having fun and getting to know one another.
Our local group which meets on Fridays in Harwell Community Primary School, is presently looking for new adult members.
So if you are interested in joining or wish to know a bit more about what goes on, please call The School Office or Vicky in the Church Office.


Life's not fair

Next step... 


beginners bible



homegroupsWe have a number of homegroups meeting throughout the week in Harwell and Chilton and we would love to see more people joining our groups.  Homegroups are small groups that meet together to read the bible, ask questions, learn from one another and pray.  
Morning groups: Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Afternoon groups: Wednesdays and Fridays
Evening groups: Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays   
Our groups are very happy to welcome new members.  Please contact Jean Barton if you would like to join a group, or have a question about homegroups. Even if none of the times above are suitable for you, please contact Jean and we'll try and make it happen!



10 commandments

Join Kids Church by learning the 10 Commandments



Join us at Chilton Village Hall on Thursdays at 7.30pm to think about what Christians believe.


life to the full


Songs of Praise 2018

Songs of Praise returned to Harwell Recreation Ground on Sunday 27th May 2018. You can view a video of the event below or here.


thank you 

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Jesus video

The super cool story of Jesus


The egg...

A short video about Easter eggs proclaiming resurrection.


Parish Giving Scheme 

Parish Giving Scheme 
The Parish Giving Scheme (PGS) is direct debit based way of making planned donations to your parish church. It is safe, flexible, reduces administration for the church, and improves cashflow.

The scheme enables people to give to their church by direct debit, and there are significant benefits to this scheme compared to other ways of giving. Gift aid is automatically processed by the Parish Giving Scheme every month, saving the church considerable time and improving cashflow. Additionally, givers can choose to automatically increase their giving by the rate of inflation every year. This tackles the problem of static giving, where people’s giving ordinarily remains the same year on year whilst the costs of the church rise continually due to inflation. Givers can also choose to give anonymously if they wish. Over 20 dioceses have adopted the Parish Giving Scheme, and all are seeing increases in giving as a result.

More information about the scheme can be found here and forms from the back of church, via Vicky in the Church Office, or the Treasurers, Stuart Gibson and Phill Johnston.


About the leprosy mission

The Leprosy Mission Prayer: Almighty Father, the giver of life and health, look mercifully on those who suffer from leprosy. Stretch out your hand to touch and heal them as Jesus did during his earthly life. Grant wisdom and insight to those who are seeking the prevention and cure of the disease; give skill and sympathy to those who minister to the patients; reunite the separated with their families and friends; and inspire your people with the task set before The Leprosy Mission, that it may never lack either the staff or the means to carry on its healing work, in accordance with your will, and to the glory of your holy name.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


five marks of mission 

See the July/August edition of the Ridgeway Broadsheet or our church noticeboards for a clearer version of this poster.

5 marks of mission image 


scripture union in nigeria


About the leprosy mission


psalm 32:8 



john Lennox Cosmic Chemistry

We were privileged to welcome Professor John Lennox in November as the first keynote speaker in our Crossing the Gap series. His lecture, titled 'Cosmic Chemistry: Do Science and God mix?', opened up the idea that rather than a conflict between science and religion, there is a conflict between the world views of theism and atheism - there are excellent scientists with both world views. John gave us a really entertaining talk and I would encourage you to view the video of the lecture. In resizing the video some blur has been introduced, but please bear with it - the content is well worth hearing!


Mark 9:37 

welcomes me 


aston tirrold centre for reflection 

Aston Tirrold Centre for Reflection
runs regular events, one of which is a fortnightly Meditation Group -- 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month, 11.30am -- Affiliated to the World Community for Christian Meditation. We listen to a recording, meditate for 25 mins and then have a short discussion relating to the recording. They also have an art group and film club group.  See their website for more information.


the bible project 

Bible project
Have you seen any of The Bible Project films? They’ve created 5-7 minute films for each book of the bible giving an overview of the key themes.  The images are line drawings done as the book is explained. You can watch them all for free online. See to find out more. Their desire is to show how the bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus.


crossing the gap award

Carina Lobley recently attended an awards ceremony run by the Archbishop of York about Scientists in Congregation Scheme. You can view it below. Carina appears at 4.12 talking about our Science & Faith Project in Harwell and Chilton.



running the race 

running raceDo you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24



A Call to Prayer—Jesus Christ calls every person to follow him. As Christians it’s our duty and joy to share that invitation. That’s why the Archbishops of Canterbury and York invited every church in England to join a week of prayer from 8-15 May - to pray for every Christian to receive new confidence and joy in sharing this life-transforming faith. See for more information.  There is also an excellent video calling us to pray for 5 of our friends or family to become Christians (see below). The video reminds us of D L Moody who prayed for 100 of his friends to become Christians. By the time he died, he’d ticked that 96 of them had become Christians. The other 4 became Christians at his funeral!



Songs of Praise 2016

Songs of Praise returned to Harwell Recreation Ground on Sunday 29th May 2016. You can view a video of the event below or here.



Didcot Food Bank 

foodThe Didcot Food Bank urgently require more food donations especially tinned meat, tinned vegetables, whole UHT milk, biscuits, packet puddings, treats and sugar to help people around Didcot. You can see the full list here. The food donation plastic container is left at the back of St Matthew's church in the vestry every Sunday for donations. Donations can also be left in All Saints' Church.  Thank you for your support. 



All Saints' New Path

That's Oxford TV have produced a news item about the new path at All Saints' Chilton. You can view it below or here.


Responding to the refugee crisis 

1. Pray

It can be hard to know how to pray.  Christian Aid have suggested that we:
· Pray for those who have and are fleeing their homes into an uncertain future.
· Pray for those in authority to make wise, cooperative and compassionate decisions.
· Pray for change and a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Syria.
More prayer points can be found on their website.
2. Give
Tearfund have a Refugee Crisis Fund 2015 which St Matthew’s and All Saints’ will be supporting over the Harvest weekend.
3. Petition
Email or write to Ed Vaizey, our local MP., or
Ed Vaizey MP Office, Vale and Downland Museum, Church Street, Wantage OX12 8BL

Sign a petition to ask the government to respond.

4. Support a grass roots group
5. Provide accommodation
· If you own a property that could be used for a refugee family, please contact Citizens UK  
· Home for Good are looking for foster families to take refugee children
· If you can offer a room please contact Refugees Welcome

‘For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ …
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ Matthew 25:35-36,40 (NLT)