Fellowship and Social Activities

We are pleased to have been able to resume many social activities “in person” though we continue to hold some Zoom events to keep contact with those who are less able to leave home. These social activities often involve many from the wider community as well as those within the church congregations. 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 are enjoying being able to meet and greet each other again.

2020 was the year we planned to celebrate the 800 year anniversary of both our St Mary’s churches, with a whole range of special social and fundraising events. Most of these had to be postponed, due to Coronavirus, but we did enjoy the first two events, an Epiphany Tea and a Black Tie Dinner early in 2020. A few concerts did take place in Autumn/Winter 2021 and we were able to hold the Open Gardens event in Kidlington and Hampton Poyle in July 2022. This was followed by our spectacular “Live Nativity” when a procession led by THREE LIVE CAMELS walked from the centre of the village to St Mary’s Kidlington, which had been transformed into a huge stable, complete with many more live animals and a very friendly and welcoming “Holy Family” (with real baby!).

And then in 2023 we started a new venture – Christmas Tree Festival in St Mary’s Kidlington on the weekend of 16th/17th December, finishing with a Community Carol Service at 4.30pm on 17th.

Our main events every year provide the opportunity for lots of fellowship with the local community.

In 2024 the Refectory at St Mary’s Kidlington will again be open for the annual Summer Sunday Afternoon Teas season. Tea, coffee, and delicious homemade  cakes will be served in our “pop up” café between 3.00pm and 5.00pm – very popular with both visitors and locals.

We hold a big Summer Fete 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. We were able to restart this, on a slightly smaller scale, in 2022, in 2023 it was as big as ever and book the date for 2024 book – Saturday July 6th.

Another monthly event which is taking place again is the Moorside Lunch, held in the Willow Tree Café, Moorside Place. This is held on the last Wednesday of each month through to November, with a special Christmassy meal probably in early January. Delicious choice of meals, reasonably priced. Why not join us to meet old friends and make some new ones? For more information or to book, please contact Anne Handsley via the Parish Office

Thanks to our Curate, Susy, and her merry band of helpers, we now have a regular “Big Sing” on the first Wednesday of each month, 10am to 11.30am. This is for anyone who enjoys singing (or listening to) favourite tunes from musicals and shows – and you don’t have to be a fabulous singer to join in. There is coffee and homemade cake and plenty of chat too.

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 on one Sunday a month in January, February and March. Since 2023 these moved from St Mary’s Kidlington to St John’s (much easier to keep warm there!) 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.

There are also the many social activities organised by the parish in the name of Kidlinks (formerly known as the Kidlington Community Hub), formed when the Children’s Centre in Kidlington closed down a few years ago. This held a Relaunch Party on Saturday 15th July 2023 in and around St John’s, when we formally opened the wonderful outside play area, which was created during the pandemic, and had lots of fun activities. Our next big party will be Saturday 13th July 2024. Find out more here.

The large hall space at St John’s is ideal for all sorts of parish social events.  The Annual Parish Quiz Night would brighten 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 had to set the questions in the following year!) Plans are afoot for restarting this at the end of the year.

Many events are shared with our friends and neighbours for both fun and fundraising.  These have included activities such as a Games Evening, Afternoon Cream Teas. Apple Pressing sessions or hosting a Table Top sale.  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:

Hampton Poyle is a small community, but we have enjoyed many social events around the village over the years.  In 2023 the whole village came together to celebrate the Coronation. In May 2024 we have also held the traditional Rogation Sunday walk round the village, ending up with a scrumptious tea. In 2023 we held a great Coffee Morning with Bring & Buy and Bake Sale (Saturday 24th June). Events such as the Harvest Supper and Carol Singing round the village followed in due course.

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 one building for a celebration together). 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.

CTK 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.