#39 February 1993

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  • COMMENT Encouraging the Church's children and young people is a target of the Diocese's Vision and Priorities state-ment. It is also one of rea-sons for making 1993 a spe-cial youth year.

    You have only to look through this issue of The DOOR to realise how much young people already give. At Chinnor, young Bishop Bernard and his fellow chor-isters (see page 20) demon-strated real leadership abil-ity when they organised a Sunday service. Despite his disability, Mark Lee won an award for his joinery skills. And the youngest contribu-torto our Lent readings sup-plement is Ryan, aged ten.

    The Vision and Priorities statement also mentions the vast numbers of young peo-ple with little or no contact with the Church, who must

    be reached with 'fresh and imaginative forms of min-istry". And on page 8 David Winter says that the great challenge of the Decade of Evangelism is bridging the gap between the Church and contemporary society.

    Do you remember Dawn, the young West Indian woman in our 'God in the Life of the Homeless' fea-ture three years ago? De-spite sleeping rough some nights, she was able to say: "I'm not a Christian, but I do believe in God. Every day I praise him for helping me to get through another day." If this youth year is to be

    more than just a piece of window dressing, then it must be not only for young people within the Church, but for Dawn too.

    Christine Zwart, Editor

    There is a new qualification for those training to be full-time Christian youthworkers . The Oxford Youth Works Diploma in Youth Ministry is the first of its kind in the country.

    "The number of full-time Christian youth workers employed by churches increase every year," said Pete Ward of Oxford Youth Works. "Our Diploma is a response to a growing demand for recognised and relevant training in this field."

    Dr Bernard Fan, head of thedlogy at Westminster College, Oxford, says the college is glad to be involved in a programme which is very practical as well as setting high academic standards.

    To find out more, contact Pete Ward on 0865 722050.


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    Number 39 The Diocese of Oxford Reporter: Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire

    February 1993

    Cathedral's day to remember


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    The Royal Standard fluttered over the Deanery, an excited crowd gathered in St Aldates, and the sun came through after an early morning downpouras more than a thousand clergy, lay people and civic dignitaries from all over the three counties gathered in Christ Church Cathedral on December 3 in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen for a Service of Thanksgiving for the Diocese' s 450th anniversary.

    Despite her difficult year, the Queen, wearing pale green and duck egg blue, looked relaxed as she was greeted at the Cathedral steps by the Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, Sir Ashley Ponsonby, and then at the entrance by the Dean, the Very Revd John Drury, with the Right Revd Richard Barnes, Bishop of Oxford (pictured right) and his

    wife, Dr Jo Harries. Also there were the three Area Bishops and the three Archdeacons, the Sub-Dean and the Canons of the Cathedral.

    A bidding prayer led by the Dean and giving thanks for the life of the Diocese since its foundation by Henry VIII in 1542, remembered the parishes, the communities of religion and learning, the bish-ops and above all "those countless acts of faith and love, remembered and forgotten, from which we benefit. "The lesson (John 20.19-23) was read by Dr Philip Giddings, lay Vice-President of the Diocesan Synod, and prayers were led by the Area Bishops.

    In his address the Bishop of Oxford said that religious strife as well as the great evangelical and catholic revivals had meant that in nearly every age the Church had had its periods of turmoil and

    change. Yet through it all, the same baptism is administered, the same Eucharist is celebrated, and in many cases the same church still stands, he said. "God has been with His people, helping them to grow in faith, inviting them to share his mission to the world."

    Afterwards, senior representatives of the Dio-cese were presented to the Queen. With them stood nine-year old Daniel Collins from Milton Keynes who is a boarder at the nearby choir school. For him the day was a doubly royal occasion. Not only did he sing in the presence of the Queen but, as the youngest member of the Cathedral choir, he was also chosen to present a posy of flowers to her at the end of the service (this, plus more pictures, on page 2).

    The Bishop's New Year Resolution...

    Accent On youth T he Bishop of Oxford' s new year resolution is to spend 1993 giving en-couragement to children and young people throughout Berk-shire, Buckinghamshire and Ox-fordshire. He has also announced that he intends to create a new award for outstanding contribu-tionsby children and young peo-ple to the spiritual life of the community. Details will be an-nounced soon in The DOOR.

    In fact, the whole Oxford Dio-cese is being asked to focus on children and young people this year and to make it a year for the young.

    "Young people have a tremen-dous amount to offer our com-munity and to the Church. They can challenge us to think afresh in some of the most important areas of our lives. Issues of ecol-ogy, social justice and caring continue to benefit from their energy and enterprise. But too many of our young people expe-rience rejection of these God-given creative energies.

    "Unemployment, difficulties with housing or family prob-lems, combined with the strug-gle to make their voice heard can result in feelings of rejection or alienation. lam going to make it my priority to listen to children and young people in 1993, and to encourage them to voice their concerns," Bishop Richard said.

    There will be an opportunity for the Bishop to listen to young adults from the Diocese when he visits Springboard' 93, a week-end event plan'ied by members of the Diocesan Youth Assem-bly to take place in Amersham in April. In August, the Bishop will also lead a Pilgrimage of Young Adults to the Taiz Com-munity in France, which was

    founded after the 1939-45 War to heal the wounds of past con-flicts in Europe. And on Easter Monday he will take part in a pilgrimage in Milton Keynes, finishing at the Church of Christ the Cornerstone.

    Church schools play an impor-tant part in the lives of our chil-dren and young people, and dur-ing the year the Area Bishops of Berkshire, Buckiinghamshire and Dorchester as well as the Bishopof Oxford have set them-selves the task of visiting Church schools all over the tiocese.

    The Church of England Chil-dren's Society will be holding'Across the Diocese', a major fund-raising event in June. Other special events will include an adventure camp in April with the Fairglade Trust, and a sailing training week in May with the Morning Star Trust.

    In May there will also be three Diocesan Children' Gift Days, which this year will support projects for deaf children (more details on page 3).

    'Bishop' Bernard Keavy is only ten but he conducted a St Nicholas Day Service at St An-drew's Church, Chinnor with all the cofidence of a man twice his size. Bernard (pictured above right) became a bishop for a day when the church re-vived the ancient tradition of making a boy chorister a bish-op from December 6 until Holy Innocents Day. Bernard's 'reign' may have been shorter but it was a busy day for the Keavy family. His mother is director of thejunior choir and she preached the sermon while Bernard presided assisted by fellow choir members. More about Chinnor on page 20.


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