Thursday, 26 July 2012

Flame of Faith Final Celebration

Great evening spent at Eton Wick for the final Flame of Faith service wonderfully organised by the Revd Janet Minkkinen. I Picked the flame up from Burnham Abbey with the Revd Lucy Holt in her MG and the sisters there were delighted as around 9 youngsters had just dropped by - none of whom had met a real life nun before! We then had photo stops outside the Olympic rowing venue and by the Dorney Olympic mascot before being greeted at Eton Wick church by the congregation. The service included a testimony by one of the Olympic torchbearers and a wonderful poem on the Flame of Faith theme by Ted Godly from Cippenham. The Burnham and Slough flame will now reside in Dorney Church for the duration of the Olympics.
It was great to be able to hold an actual olympic torch as well as the Flame of Faith.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Final Day in the Life of the Flame of Faith

The Flame of Faith spent its last night at Burnham Abbey, the home of the Sisters of the Precious Blood in Burnham. Later on I go and pick it up and take it to Eton Wick where we have our final service. By tomorrow hopefully 2012 candles will be somewhere in Buckinghamshire. It was great last night to welcome Amanda Ferris as the new Chaplain at Milton Keynes hospital and to have the small Flame of Faith candle central to that act of worship.

Flame arrives in Burnham and Slough

Last Wednesday the flame made its way from Wycombe into our final deanery Burnham and Slough. The service of Reception was held at All Saints Church, with the Mayor of Slough in attendance.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Flame of Faith in Amersham

At St Michael's Beaconsfield there was a great response when the congregation were invited to take the light of Christ into their own lives, the lives of those they knew and those they met on the way. Candles were taken to those who were not yet full Christians. Candles have also been taken to rest homes, primary schools and study groups. The Flame of Faith was taken to St Mary's Amersham for the 10am service and then taken out again by members of the congregation there. It was also used by Tim Harper, the Rector at the Annual Founders Service of the Dr Challoner's Grammar School

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Motorbike to Wendover

A staged moment with the Flame this morning at Wendover Church of England School as I roared into the playground on the back of a Harley Davison with large candle in hand. This last week has seen the Aylesbury Deanery distribute candles in the town centre and surrounding villages, and now it is the turn of Wendover deanery. Thanks to Curate Etienne the Harley was on hand for me to pass on the baton. Tonight the Flame makes an appearance at Stoke Mandeville as newly ordained Priest Margaret Dixon presides at her first Eucharist. From there it moves to Great Missenden and back to Ellesbrough as individual candles are gradually passed out to the local community. At last all the candles have left my meeting room and are now with the Area Deans - so if anyone needs some you know who to contact!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Austin van marks arrival of flame in Aylesbury Deanery

Great day today at Stone School. The Flame of Faith was transported from Mursley Deanery to Aylesbury in an Austin 7 van driven by Judy Walker from Stewkley. It was the longest non-stop trip for the van since a new engine had been installed 3 months ago, and it managed the journey 50 mins to go 20 miles. The candle was handed over to two school children by Betty Swabey, Judy's passenger from Ivinghoe. Following the handover I had the privilege of leading a school assembly on the theme of light and relay races, using the web site resources written by one of our clergy Bev Hollins, from Newport Deanery. 7 candles were left at the school for each class and the large flame taken to Dinton Church for the first deanery service tonight. It's the halfway point in the project and good to be on home territory in Stone. It's been one of the strange days in the life of the archdeacon. Buildings committee with talk of buying property and installing kitchens, phone calls about the placing of curates and women bishops, letters to write about clergy moves and faculties, emails about HR and churchyards, ironing and cleaning, school assembly and photo-call and preaching tonight. Where else would you find such variety in a day?

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Flame in Mursley

The Flame of Faith appeared at Ivinghoe Church Fete last Saturday afternoon. £3000 was raised! Not sure whether it was the effect of the flame or the fact that many other events were cancelled last weekend, but sounds like a great community event whatever. Tomorrow we reach the halfway stage with the flame appearing in Stewkley school first thing and then being transported to Stone in the Aylesbury deanery, where I and a few others will be there to greet it. Watch this space for more on the handover....

Monday, 18 June 2012

When the Revd Angela Mann from Claydon Deanery and Bobbie Ward, Lay Chair of Mursley Deanery met in Quainton for the handover they discovered that the pub was closed. However they went to the village shop instead where shop assistant Mike Beales was kind enough to let them do the handover there - and took the photo. The Flame continues to find itself in extra-ordinary places...with some great stories.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

The Flame continues on its journey

The Flame of Faith last week passed through the Claydon deanery. At a deanery service the candles were distributed. During the week the flame was welcomed at a Pastoral Care Session and a small candle went from there to a residential home. The torch was a great success at Messy Church in Steeple Claydon, and was part of the three services at the Claydons on the Sunday. The Flame also featured at the All Age Worship in Grendon Underwood, and was taken into Twyford, Grendon and Marsh Gibbon Schools. The Revd Mary Cruddas took a Flame of Faith assembly at Waddesdon School, with about 800 pupils present. The Heads of Years 7,8,9 and 10 are selecting two pupils in each year who have encouraged others to 'shine' and giving them a candle to remind them to keep shining. The light goes on and will be appearing in Westcott very soon too. This week the Flame of Faith is in Mursley deanery - so hopefully I will bring an update from there too, before it arrives in Stone (in the Aylesbury deanery) on Wednesday. That's when I am meeting up with it again, just a mile or so from home.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Crossing the Boundary into Buckingham

The journey of the Flame of Faith continued today from the outskirts of Milton Keynes and into the Buckingham Deanery. Intrepid walkers set out leaving the city behind, taking the candle with them.
The destination was a pub in Wadden, where the passing on of the flame during a pub lunch marked the next link in the relay.
The sun has continued to shine all week for Milton Keynes, and I hope it does for Buckingham - our smallest (and of course perfectly formed) deanery as they distribute their candles as a sign of hope in their (mostly rural) communities. Thanks to all those present at lunch today.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Light shining on Milton Keynes

Fabulous weather for the Milton Keynes celebration of light today as the candles were distributed. Unfortunately I was stuck in a Bishop's Staff meeting. It was in Oxfordshire so, seeing as the aim is to distribute 2012 candles in Bucks, and it's kind of taking off I thought I couldn't spare any candles to take across the border. I am looking forward to hearing some of the places receiving the light and to log the progress. Had the final visitation last night and aim to put my 'Charge' on the web site, the flame travelled from North to South and the message 'Let your light shine before others, so they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven' is now out there.....

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Arrival in Milton Keynes

The Flame of Faith arrived in Milton Keynes today at a special school assembly in Great Linford, which shares a Head Teacher with Sherrington School in the Newport Deanery (good joined up thinking!).
Tomorrow 200 candles are being distributed around the Milton Keynes deanery, beginning at Milton Keynes Hospital at 8.30am, at a coffee morning in Walton, and an afternoon tea in Water Eaton. At each stop the large candle will be lit.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


Good visitation last night - four flaming torches alight in Newport plus deanery candle. Heard in the Newport deanery today - that I am to be known now as the archbeacon!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Some of the first candles were presented today at Olney Middle School during the school assembly to Mr Phil Allman (Head Teacher) and Mrs Marilyn Watkins (The teacher responsible for RS).

Flame of Faith - At the Visitations

Visitation tonight at Newport Pagnell, where I shall be admitting Churchwardens. The deanery flame will be burning bright and Christ the Light will be the theme. Tomorrow night Winslow, then Princes Risborough and Gerrard's Cross next week.

The Flame of Faith 2012

To coincide with the Jubilee and the Olympics, Churches in the Buckingham Archdeaconry will be sharing the Flame of Faith. The flame will pass from deanery to deanery, as each one receives 200 candles to distribute from churches into their local community. It is hoped that prisons and pubs, schools and social clubs, nursing homes and nurseries will receive the Light of Christ in the form of a small candle in a glass holder. Follow us here, on twitter #flameoffaith and on the Oxford Diocese Facebook Page. I launched the initiative in Lavendon Church, Newport Deanery on Sunday where the flame was lit and 200 candles were distributed.