Fellowship and Social Activities

We have continued to share fellowship via Zoom during lockdown and have enjoyed meeting new people and getting to know one another on Zoom. Details of our current Zoom fellowship can be found here.

In normal times, we enjoy many social activities, both within the church congregations and with the wider community. The events listed below are grouped according to location, but we are very much one Parish and frequently meet in each others’ church spaces. We are a sociable parish, and look forward to meeting and greeting each other again in the very near future.

The large hall space at St John’s is ideal for all sorts of parish social events.  The Annual Parish Quiz Night brightens up a winter evening with about 80 people sitting down for supper and a quiz (to be taken as lightly or seriously as people choose – the only proviso being that the team winning one year has to set the questions in the following year!) Many events are shared with our friends and neighbours for both fun and fund-raising.  These include activities such as a Games Evening, Afternoon Cream Teas or hosting a Table Top sale. We are also delighted to welcome volunteers from Kidlington Abundance who hold a session of Apple Pressing in the garden each Autumn. 

And we like to celebrate special events/anniversaries with tea and entertainment – often provided by local people who use the hall during the week for practice.

Here is local band, led by Marcello, performing for us:

We also hold very popular craft mornings in the school holidays: one at Easter, one in October and four during August.  Although primarily aimed at entertaining local children, we encourage parents and carers to have a go too. Everyone goes home with an assortment of items they’ve made themselves – perhaps a hat or mask, window decoration, harvest mouse, fridge magnet, or card.

Crafty work!

Finally, you’ll find a friendly welcome at St John’s on the 1st Wednesday of each month, from 10.15 -11.30am, when there’s a Coffee Morning for Retired Folk.

Hampton Poyle is a small community, but we have enjoyed many social events around the village over the years.  Following the seasons, we’ve held a “Soup and Snowdrop” event, marked Easter with a Fayre and held a special event to mark Rogation Sunday in Spring, when Christians traditionally ask God’s blessing on the new crops. Parishioners have welcomed the public into their lovely gardens for “Open Gardens” in the summer, and the Harvest Supper continues to be a much loved event come the autumn. Carol Singing round the village and a Christmas Fayre have rounded off the year, and of course there have been many Coffee Mornings and parties from time to time as well.

We have three main events every year, which provide the opportunity for lots of fellowship with the local community.

At the start of each year, we hold our very popular Tea Talks, in which local experts give informative and entertaining talks on a variety of subjects. These take place in an informal atmosphere in St Mary’s Church, Kidlington on one Sunday a month in January, February and March. Subjects offered have included astronomy, history, architecture, medicine, publishing, famous artists and authors. There is an opportunity to ask questions after the talks, followed by tea and cake.

Our speakers donate their time for free and we ask for voluntary donations to cover costs and for upkeep of our church buildings.

In mid May, the refectory opens its doors for the annual Summer Sunday Afternoon Teas season. Tea, coffee, and delicious homemade  cakes are served in our beautifully decorated “pop up” café between 3.00pm and 5.00pm, and are very popular with both visitors and locals. Here is a chance to make friends by joining a team to serve teas. New people are always welcome, and of course new bakers!

We hold a big Summer Fete every July in and around St Mary’s Kidlington, which is very popular with local people who flock to enjoy live music, refreshments, stalls of all kinds and even a dog show.

Another monthly event which takes place throughout the year is the Moorside Lunches, which take place in the Willow Tree Café, Moorside Place, and are much enjoyed by some of our senior parishioners – the Christmas Lunch is especially popular.

2020 was the year we planned to celebrate St Mary’s 800 year anniversary with a whole range of special social and fundraising events. Most of these had to be postponed, due to Coronovirus, but we did enjoy the first two events, an Epiphany Tea and a Black Tie Dinner, and hope to resume this exciting programme in 2021 – watch this space!

Churches Together in Kidlington (CTK) is the collaboration between Christian churches in Kidlington and Hampton Poyle to further the word of God in the community.  Representatives from the local Anglican, Roman Catholic, Methodist and Baptist churches meet regularly to plan together for joint activities. 

These include an annual Fellowship Meal with a visiting speaker, usually arranged around the time of the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity, when mid-day prayers are said in a different church each day and a joint evening service is held. Other joint services are held for the World Day of Prayer and at Pentecost (when all churches forgo their main Sunday service to join together in St Mary’s Kidlington for a celebration together). A short ecumenical service is also held in one of the local care homes one Sunday a month. On Good Friday a Walk of Witness proceeds from St John’s Church at the southernmost edge of the village to the main shopping centre where the Passion is re-enacted. For several years a Pentecost Jamboree has been held in the Kidlington Centre – offering fun and games for all the community free of charge.

Other CTK activities include fund-raising for Christian Aid and delivering a Christmas card to every household, giving details of all Advent and Christmas services. It is also the “parent” of the Kidlington News – a printed monthly magazine available on subscription or from many local shops.  This always includes an article by one of the CTK clergy and news reports from the churches, as well as a “What’s On” section and information from schools, councils and many of the social organisations in the local area. The Editorial Board has representatives from all CTK churches and members of St John’s and St Mary’s Kidlington contribute regular reports and special items as appropriate.