Parish Jottings

Parish Jottings - September / October 2014

Cheese and Wine party at the vicarage

Cheese and Wine party at the vicarage

On Friday 27th July the organisers of the vicarage Cheese and Wine Party were keeping a close eye on the unpredictable weather, True to its name, hot July brought cooling showers in the afternoon. The tables had been already laid out on the vicarage lawn in readiness for the evening’s event. Therefore the question was, should the venue be hastily moved to that of the nave of the church, or would the rain, so desperately needed by the gardeners by the way, cease to fall? Fortunately the rain did not return and the following sunshine dried up all the rain and so the delights of spending an evening in the vicarage garden remained firmly on the evening’s menu.

A gathering of some 30 party-goers attired in summer clothing, some of the latest fashion, attended the event and had the opportunity to sample a dozen or so different types of cheeses, many of them variations to the traditional old favourites.

As the cheeses were nibbled, the wine flowed, in great moderation of course; after all we are genteel church folk. The conversations could be heard resounding around the tables in that peaceful and quintessentially English setting. Many compliments were directed towards the vicar about his well-conserved garden and numerous other subjects were touched upon. It is amazing how much there is to talk about when you get half the chance.

The Reverend Duncan Carter produced some photographs which he had recently taken of a group of fox cubs playing on his lawn. Apparently they resided in their den which was hidden away in a concealed part of the garden.

Later, for those who still had space for more food, desert dishes were served. What were they? Cheese cakes of course, what else would you expect to have for desert at a Cheese and Wine party?

We all came away very much the wiser and feeling thankful for having had the pleasure of taking part in such a relaxing and satisfying occasion. We must not forget to thank our churchwarden Barbara Williams together with her helpers for arranging the much appreciated church party.

Cause for alarm

During the month of June the church had an unwanted intruder. The identity of the intruder has not yet been established, nor for that matter what the intention of the intrusion was. The burglar alarm key pad was damaged and has since been replaced at considerable cost. The tiny brass name plates on the hole-in-the-wall money boxes for donations were removed, however no money was stolen, the boxes were empty. Strangely, that is all the damage that was done. Perhaps the intruder was interrupted in committing this crime and fled. It is a sad reflection of the times that the church has to be kept locked for most of the time to prevent theft and vandalism.

Cream Teas in the lower churchyard

Cream Teas in the lower churchyard

When the sun is shining the urge to eat in the open air becomes quite strong. Sunday 3rd August was one of those special days which needed taking advantage of. Therefore what better use of the afternoon was there than to serve Oxfordshire cream teas in the churchyard in the shade of the trees? There is no need to travel to Devon or Cornwall for such delectable fare. The event was planned to take place following the WW1 Centenary Drumhead Service outside the Town Hall so that passers-by returning from the service could drop in and enjoy a cream tea. There was waitress service and a considerable gathering of participants. This was the second such event that Sarah Cook has organised and it was very much enjoyed by all who came. Our thanks go to Sarah and her helpers.

WW1 Centenary Drumhead Service

WW1 Centenary Drumhead Service

It was a hundred years ago that WW1 started. When Germany invaded Belgium on 4th August 1914 Great Britain declared war on Germany to honour its treaty with Belgium. The treaty recognised Belgium’s independence and neutrality. Approaching one million British servicemen were killed in the following hostilities, including 298 local men. Following Mike Willoughby’s campaign for a war memorial to include all the local servicemen who died, a plaque now hangs in the Town Hall. A week-long WW1 Exhibition staged by Mike took place in the Old Fire Station.

A Centenary Drumhead Service was held outside the Town Hall at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday 3rd August. Drumhead services originally took place on the battlefield when a stack of drums covered by regimental flags was used to substitute for an altar.

The service was conducted by the Reverend Duncan Carter and readings and addresses were given by local dignitaries. There was a recital by Saint Mary’s church choir.

Soon after the service there was a fly-past of four Tiger Moth biplanes. These stalwart machines appeared as a striking contrast to the screaming jets of today. It was a treat to see them; they gave you the realistic feeling that you had suddenly been thrust a hundred years back in time.

WW1 Centenary Drumhead Service outside the Town Hall
WW1 Centenary Drumhead Service outside the Town Hall


Reverend Duncan Carter
Vicarage, 16 Church Street, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 1SE (574822)

Trinity at Four Minister:
Reverend Sam Brewster
29 Gainsborough Hill,
Oxfordshire, RG9 1ST
(07899 843461)

Peter Jones
Michael Forsdike


Welcome to Holy Trinity C of E Church.

Whether you have come to a service of worship, for private prayer, or just to enjoy a few moments of peace and tranquillity, we offer you our friendship and hospitality. This website gives some general information about the church and our fellowship.

Duncan Carter, Vicar.