Civic Service of Thanksgiving for Festival 200, 23 October 22

It was a real pleasure to participate in the service of thanksgiving for ‘Festival 200’ an extensive calendar of creative arts, music and cultural events that began in April and concluded on 23 October 2022. Hosted by St Mary’s Banbury and organised by The Reverend Sarah Bourne, Chaplain for the Arts and Director, Festival 200 at St Mary’s. Sarah writes in her Welcome to the Festival:

“The Festival celebrates 200 years since Banbury’s Grade I listed church was pronounced complete in its re-built Classical style on 25 October 1822”. Sarah adds: “Our awareness of community underpins everything which we do at St Mary’s and we hope that this Festival will build on our church’s shared ethos of inclusivity, as well as giving us the opportunity to develop artistic creative and to enjoy each other’s company in 2022.”

The service was a celebration of beauty and creativity with an address by the Right Reverend Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford, readings and prayers led by The Reverend Serena Tajima, Vicar of St Mary’s, Sarah and The Right Honourable Sir Tony Baldry, Patron of the Festival among others, with music provided by Gospel Bell. Thank you Sarah and Serena for your warm welcome and hospitality and for organising such a special event.

Left to right: Sarah, Toni, Rachel, Richard, Steven, Serena, Donald, Kylie and Catriona