Help for Refugees

A refugee carries a child as he makes his way through the border from Hungary towards the Austrain town of Nickelsdorf September 21 Photo credit Reuters/DAVID W CERNY
A refugee carries a child as he makes his way through the border from Hungary towards the Austrain town of Nickelsdorf September 21 Photo credit Reuters/DAVID W CERNY
Many people across the Benefice have been asking what can we do to help refugees fleeing Syria and other countries. Here are some organisations, both local and national, that you might consider supporting:

West Oxfordshire District Council is providing information for local residents who wish to help the plight of Syrian refugees. There is more information on their website – http://www.westoxon.gov.uk/refugees They note that there are some local organisations who are collecting supplies for refugees and that would welcome material and financial donations.

Crying out for Calais is a Witney-based project that is taking basic essentials to refugees in Calais. To find out how you can support their work, see their website – http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/crying-out-for-Calais

Emmaus Oxford are also taking basic essentials to refugees in Calais. To find out how you can support their work, see their website – http://www.emmaus.org.uk

Asylum Welcome are another Oxford charity but focuses its work with refugees and asylum seekers already in Oxfordshire. To find out how you can support their work, see their website – http://www.asylum-welcome.org

If you wish to make a financial donation, these Christian charities are getting aid to those most at need:

Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East FRRME is a small UK-based charity, set up to support the work of Canon Andrew White – until November 2014 the vicar of Bagdad, is providing food, shelter and medicine for hundreds of Iraqi refugee families who have fled ISIS and are now in Jordan. Some have walked across the desert to find safety, with little more than the clothes on their backs. You can read more about FRRMEs work and donate here.

Christian Aid  is working with churches and other agencies in supporting humanitarian efforts taking place in Europe and the Middle East. Their partners can provide essential humanitarian supplies such as food, fuel for cooking, hygiene and sanitation kits, water containers and cash assistance, as well as psychological support for those who are suffering as a result of the conflict. To donate click here.

Thank you to all those who gave donations at Marian’s Licensing service – we raised £535 plus Gift aid.

Welcome Marian!

A new chapter in the life of the Chase Benefice opened today with the Licensing of the Revd. Marian Needham as our new Associate Priest.  St. Nicholas Church, Chadlington was full as members of the Benefice gathered with clergy and laity from the Deanery and some of Marian’s family and friends as she began her ministry amongst us.

The service was conducted by the Rt. Revd. Colin Fletcher, Bishop of Dorchester and Acting Bishop of Oxford, in the presence of Mr. Rod Walker, DL, representing the Lord-Lieutenant of Oxfordshire.  The Benefice Choir, directed by Rosy Nixon and accompanied by Jill Greer on organ and piano, helped to lead the worship with beautiful music and set the tone of the service with a prayerful Introit by Hildegard of Bingen, the Twelfth Century Abbess, whose Feast Day we remembered.

After Marian was Licensed, she led the congregation with the
following prayers:

Let us pray for each other, and for the world

Today we have celebrated the life of Abbess Hildegard, a woman renowned, and sought out in her own time, for her vision, spiritual gifts, and wisdom.As we begin a new stage of our own journeys in faith together, let’s remember those that have inspired us with their vision, encouraged us, and been our travel companions along the way.

We give thanks for the Christian ministry and witness in our lives that has brought us together at this time and place.  In a moment’s silence, let us remember the churches, and communities where we have worshipped in the past, and those special people whose faith and ministry inspired our growth as Christians.  (Pause)

Loving God, we thank you for the guidance of those who have accepted our questioning, helped us to learn from our reflections, and walked with us on our spiritual journey.  We pray for the gifts of wisdom and vision that we in turn may play our part in building up the body of Christ which is your Church.

Lord, in your mercy: Hear our Prayer

God of peace, we pray for those who undertake dangerous journeys in search of safety and peace because of war in their home countries.  We pray for innocent victims used by others in the pursuit of their own interests.  May there be a deep compassion and generosity of response within the wider community, and desire on the part of world leaders to seek lasting solutions.  May hearts that have been darkened by violence discover a different light and a new vision.

Lord, in your mercy: Hear our Prayer

We ask for your healing for all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit, and again in a few moments of quiet we remember any individuals particularly on our hearts and minds tonight.  (Pause)

Lord, in your mercy: Hear our Prayer

Generous God, we look to the future and ask for your blessing on our Benefice and on our community.  Through your Holy Spirit inspire each of us in our individual ministries, encourage us to grow stronger in faith together, and to be a blessing to each other and to all our neighbours in Christ.

These things we ask in the name of your Son and our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.   Amen

It was a truly wonderful occasion and the celebration continued after the service with some delicious canapés and a bottle or two of wine!

You can find a copy of the service booklet here.

Thank you to all those who made it such a special evening. Welcome to the Chase Benefice Marian and Chris!

IMG_9290