OxfordshireHome / Church Life / Big Ted / St Mary's Churches / Oxfordshire
I've visited all these lovely St Mary's Churches in Oxfordshire. Click on a picture to read a bit more about the church (and maybe see more pictures of me!).
Go back to my St Mary's Churches page
This is another big church but it really is very nice inside and they seem to have a lot going on.
I climbed onto the font to have my photo taken but it had a funny wooden lid and I had to hang on to the cross on the top really tightly so that there wasn't another "falling incident".
This church is actually called St Mary's, Ardley with Fewcott. I think these are two villages that have joined together over the years, but the church is in the Ardley bit.
This is an old church that's been recently renovated. It has a very old font. I had my photo taken beside the notice board and on the font (of course) The pulpit has a handy door just so's you can lock the vicar in (you cn see it behind me in the photo). This St Mary's also had a very nice millennium window.
Uncle Les took photos of the churchyard which had nice meadow-like bits.
Another big notice board and what a lovely big church this is!
I met some lovely ladies who all said "Hello" and admired my special T Shirt. I left them one of my visiting cards and they pinned it on to a board for the children to see. Isn't that great.
I had to sit on an odd grating next to the wheelie bins to have my photo taken beside the sign - and SOMEONE [whoops, sorry, Big Ted] let me fall off and bang my head!
What a big church it is. I met the vicar here and the man who rings the bells [he's called the Tower Captain, Big Ted] they were both really friendly.
Then I met two teddy bears and sat with them for a chat, but one kept falling over which was a bit silly.
Inside, this is a modern-looking church but it has some really old wall paintings.
They were having an art exhibition here so the church was open and I had a look round at the paintings and pottery bits they had on display.
There were more nice ladies who offered me tea and CAKE. I sat on my final font of the day here (the cover has some rather uncomfortable pointy bits).
Outside I saw some really big birds that made a funny noise. Uncle Les managed to take a photo of one; he says they are called Red Kites. I thought they were big enough to capture a bear and carry him away, fortunately that didn't happen (just think of the damage one could have done to my splendid fur)!
This is a very bright church with three altars and a nice flat font. It also has a really big tree in the churchyard. I sat on a branch to have my photo taken.
Later, in the town, I climbed inside a Victorian drinking water fountain, which was really quite funny.
63. Chipping Norton
Golly, this is a really big church and it has a very posh sign. The church is down a fairly steep road which is OK when you're going there, but it was hard work going back up.
The font had a harvest arrangement on top so I was really careful not to knock it over.
This St Mary's is in a very sad state - scaffolding and building stuff all over 'cos they're making the nave roof better. I couldn't go inside because they've got a special person trying to catch all the bats - maybe he's Batman [snigger!] - so they can be moved somewhere safe.
This is a really big church attached to alms houses by a covered passageway which must be handy when it rains.
This St Mary's has a very tall and ornate flying font cover that wobbled when I touched it - I thought it would be fun to swing on it but Auntie Fiona said "no" very quickly. I got a good photo sitting next to it though. [The font cover is very large and presumably very heavy. It is suspended just above the font, not touching it as that might damage the font, Big Ted]
What an interesting notice board; lots going on. In the church I had to sit at the bottom of font 'cos there were some really lovely flowers on top (I think they were going to have a wedding in the church). There are also lots of big angels holding roof up; I'm told they're called corbels.
The church is at the top of a hill so there is a splendid view outside (or there would have been if the weather hadn't been dull and gloomy).
90. Great Milton
This is my NINETIETH St Mary's isn't that exciting!
At this church there were lots of people tidying the churchyard. I met a lady in the church who said "Hello". There were some funny musical instruments near the font that they think they used before they had an organ. You can see them behind me in the photo. There's also an interesting knob on the font lid - very handy for a bear to hang on to.
64. Lower Heyford
I couldn't get in this church and it didn't have a notice board either so I sat on the wall to have my photo taken.
66. North Aston
This St Mary's is down a really long narrow driveway and is right next door to the manor house (you can see a bit of it in the photo, it's behind the church tower). That's handy 'cos they don't have far to go to get to church.
This is an old church and doesn't have a notice board. But it does have a very comfy font!
It also has something called a "Leper's window" in the Chancel and a funny-shaped tree in the churchyard.
65. Upper Heyford
This St Mary's is in the next village along from Lower Heyford. You'd have thought they'd have given it a different name!
Anyway, it did have a notice board, but I had to sit in a really spiky bush for my photo opportunity. (I may be a cynical bear, but this seems to happen a lot.)
We looked around inside and found another comfy font for me to sit on; but there were some smelly lillies as well.
This church is through a garden centre and down a path beside the cafe, which is a bit odd. It is next to a big house.
The church has really tall box pews; they're just right for a bear to hide in and snooze during a sermon - not that I would, of course!
This church has a tiny notice board and name board. I had a real struggle to sit near enough for my photo.
Inside the church, it's very interesting. It's really square with a flat ceiling painted white, which looks a bit odd. I took the opportunity to have a font photo taken.
I also met a man and dog by the gate and he took my photo for the village newsletter (the man, of course, not the dog - snigger).
This was a very busy church. They were having a book sale and serving tea, coffee and biscuits. I met the vicar and sat on the font. Everyone was very friendly and they were all most interested in my excursions. The church is not very old and was built because there were a lot of naughty people in the village (they're much better now!).
Apparently the Prime Minister's father was vicar here and she was married in the church. What's a Prime Minister?
This is a really large church at the end of a bit of grass called Church Green. I also sat on the edge of the font for a photo. I was a bit worried 'cos there was water in the bottom and I didn't want to get my splendid fur damp.