After much negotiation with South Oxfordshire District Council, and with the church authorities, and after a year of planning we managed to start work on improving the churchyard commencing with the tree work. The removal of three overgrown leylandii trees and two sprawling yew trees and the lifting of the canopy of the other yew trees was completed just as the tree surgeon’s trade association told them that, as a result the Coronavirus crisis, they had to stop work. That left the sorting out the overgrown box at the back of the church and the tidying up of the site with the removal of the detritus and logs outstanding.

We are now well into the bird nesting period so we will be leaving the box tree until later and the plans to get our gardeners to start removing the ground ivy and moss so that we could get to the planting of wild flowers and repairing the footpaths have been thwarted. Our plans for making the churchyard into a beautiful place for remembrance and quiet contemplation are delayed, but not forgotten.

Coronavirus has caused our other plans to be abandoned, cancelled or delayed. Under government instructions, all places of worship are closed and our services for Easter week will not take place, our plan for services remembering the 75th anniversary of the end of world war two will not take place and our plans for a garden party and BBQ to launch a friends group for the church will now be put back to the Autumn.

The church is though continuing its mission and worship and prayer resources for everyone during the current Coronavirus pandemic can be found at our website chinnorunitedchurches.co.uk.

If there is anyone in parish of Aston Rowant who needs help be it physical or spiritual during this difficult time please feel free to contact one of your church wardens – Jeremy on 01844 761119 or Richard on 07795 681263.

1st March10.00 Family service with pancakes
8th March10.00 Holy communion with music by a visiting German choir
15th March10.00 Service of the word
22nd March10.00 Mothering Sunday service
29th MarchCancelled: 10.00 United Parish Service

8th May: VE Day

75 years since victory in Europe celebrated; bell ringers will ring in all churches including Aston Rowant.

10th May: A special service of celebration also remembering the suffering of war and the continued fighting in Japan at that time.

St Peter and St Paul’s Church Aston Rowant is part of the United Parish of Chinnor and more details of events can be found on the website www.chinnorunitedchurches.co.uk.

The Parish Church Bells

The tower contains a ‘peal’ of six bells, which are rung from the ground floor. The tenor (heaviest) bell weighs a little under 13 cwt (657 kg) and is tuned to F#. It was cast (as were the 2nd and 3rd) in 1625. The oldest bell is the 4th (cast around 1450) and the newest is the treble (lightest) bell, weighing less than 5 cwt (246 kg), cast at the Whitechapel foundry in 1975. The bells were augmented from a very challenging five, retuned and rehung in a new frame and dedicated in 1978.

They are rung before Sunday services (usually 9.25 – 9.55am) and for practice (usually 7.30 – 9pm on Tuesdays). They are also rung for weddings and to mark other local, national and even international events.

‘Full circle’ change ringing, where the bells swing through 360 degrees, is an English tradition which began around 400 years ago. It combines light aerobic exercise, rhythm, mental stimulation and teamwork. We are always delighted to welcome new recruits – both for tower and hand bell ringing – so if you are aged between 10 and 70, please come along one Tuesday and see how it’s done. It would be a good skill for family members to learn together and tuition is free!

Aston Rowant Church bells. (c) Mark Lord