St Mary’s Church, Farmoor

 St Mary's Church

An interesting story lies behind the tiny church in Farmoor. Seventy-five years ago, in the summer of 1935, the Labour club and Balliol College invited 62 unemployed Welsh coal miners to a summer camp in the field next to Pinkhill Lock in Farmoor. The miners enjoyed a variety of activities, such as helping out at an archaeological dig in Faringdon, playing rugby on the field and, in the evening, entertaining themselves and local people with their beautiful Welsh male voices. On four Sundays during that summer, the Rector of St Aldate‘s Church, the Rev. Frank Cragg, organised church services in a field to the north of the Oxford Road in Farmoor, where the church choir was beautifully supported by the Welsh miners.

The vicar of Cumnor at the time, the Rev. H. Hall, was concerned that, as Farmoor grew, there were more and more people living without any permanent place in which to worship, with St Michael's in Cumnor not easily accessible without transport. The link between St Aldate's and St Michael's brought about by the services for the miners, resulted in an agreement between clergy, that Farmoor needed its own church, and within three months of the decision being made, St Mary's opened its doors for the first time by celebrating Harvest Festival on land donated by a local farmer, Boycott Franklin.

The church, initially, endowed with a hotch-potch of oddments from St Aldate's and St Michael's, was eventually completely furnished by money raised locally and was used in its original state until the late nineties. A fund had been set up in 1985 to raise money to build a new church, and by 1997 enough money had been raised by donations, grants and fund-raising activities in the village, for the old church to be refurbished. The church was closed from November 1997 and re-opened in March 1998 with only the original floor and roof beams remaining; new walls were added and the small bell tower erected and the church was re-opened in March 1998 with a service of dedication by the Bishop of Reading.

Services

  • 1st Sunday:  9.30  Discussion Service
  • 2nd Sunday:  9.30 Morning prayer
  • 3rd Sunday:  9.30 Morning prayer
  • 4th Sunday:  9.30 Holy communion
  • 5th Sunday:  9.30 Family Service
Vicar (shared with St Michael's, Cumnor and St Andrew's, Dean Court):
Rev Geoff Maughan, The Vicarage, 1 Abingdon Road, Cumnor.  Ox 865402
email: Geoff.maughan@btinternet.com
PA to the vicar:
Esme Wyatt, St Michael's Church Office, 1 Abingdon Road, Cumnor OX2 9QN
Ox 861541
email: esmeparishoffice@waitrose.com
Youth Worker:
Henry Joines, 5 High Street, Cumnor
Ox 862588
email: henry@cpyp.org.uk