© 2013 Banbury Circuit - Reg Charity No:  1135376

Contact webmaster Banbury Methodist Circuit Pastoral Letter from Rev Lin Francis

Dear Friends,


Let my people go...


What thoughts those words pose, my mind goes in all sorts of directions: let us get out of this lockdown, let us get out to worship God with others, let our children and grandchildren go back to school, let those who are older have jobs to go back to or indeed somewhere to start afresh; let people get out to fan the Pentecost flame of God’s Spirit at work; let my people go!


Usually in July and August, people are embarking on holidays and planning days out.  In newsletters we would read about the time for rest, relaxation and for refreshment.  This year is very different.  No holidays abroad; as I write we can travel but can’t mix with groups of people, or be crowded in.  Will any of us have a holiday in the same way we have had in the past?  Probably not.  A cliché we have heard many times is: “A change is as good as a rest”.  For all the essential key workers, having a break will be a welcome and well deserved time, probably wherever and however it happens.  For those of us who have been isolated at home, a change of the four walls or garden fences will also be very welcome.  Refreshment is an opportunity for all and it doesn’t have to be as a result of traveling overseas, it can be felt outside of the normal way of life.


The young people who were due to take exams and those who were due to complete their degree studies are feeling lost.  Waiting to hear how their studies will be assessed, how they stand in terms of going to university this autumn and how these extraordinary few months will have affected their futures.  They are stuck in an ’in between’ time where they wait for other people to make the decisions that will affect them.  Surely, we pray that they can be let go by knowing their fate and go on to live…


The vibrancy of youth means that often our young people lead the way, we can think in terms of technology and in pushing forward in issues such as climate change and education.  Greta Thunberg with climate change and Malala Yousafzai with the education for young girls and women in Pakistan.  Their passion and spirit for wanting the world know what matters to the young and their ability to let the norms go.


Within our Northampton District, two young people have been employed by the Young Leaders Scheme as Green Champions.  Lydia Barrett and James Appleby, in this new role, are to promote environmentally conscious activity throughout the district and encourage churches to make the necessary changes to become ‘A Rocha accredited Eco Churches’.  James recently told me that he has begun to create a 'green network' within the Northampton District, of 'green links' for each circuit.


In order to let these two young people go, we are needed to help them in being responsible for the world that God has given us.  James and Lydia want to know if there is somebody in our circuit who is passionate about green issues and would like to be part of this network.  Ideas, questions and suggestions will be shared and encouraged in order to help people in our churches and circuit to be more environmentally friendly. Please let Steve or I know if you are passionate about this.


Let my people go… Exodus 9.

The book of Exodus tells the exciting story of the chosen people’s deliverance and it is the boldest of stories of redemption, of deliverance.  Moses was denied permission to take the Israelites on a three-day journey to the wilderness to worship God.  With much wrestling of faith, bondage and Pharaoh denying their worship of God, Moses was commanded by God to approach Pharaoh and, one by one, the ten plagues occurred. Prior to each plague Moses pleaded with Pharaoh to “Let my people go”.  Right up until the last plague Pharaoh refused to let the people go.  The request was to let the people go to worship God.  We have been worshipping God in our homes via various sorts of media, but surely our plea is: Let us all go, to live our lives, to worship God and to fan the flame of the Holy Spirit wherever we can.  Live our lives to make a difference for God in this world at this time.  Until we are safe to be out with people, until we are not at risk of catching this deadly virus, we should realise that we are free to worship wherever we are.


God is our ever present help.  Be faithful and continue to take care.


With love and prayers



Celebrations and Welcomes


You will be aware that from 1st September 2020 The Chipping Norton and Stow Circuit will be divided and two of the churches, Shipston-on-Stour and Wigginton will be joining our circuit.  

We will be having a Welcome for our two new sister churches and this will take place on Sunday 13 September at our Marlborough Road Circuit Service.  There will be a buffet lunch following the service.  Please come and join with us, say hello to new friends and share with food and fellowship.   





Marlborough Road, every Thursday (10am to 11.30am)

Hinton on the first Saturday of the month (10am to 11.30am)

Hornton weekly on a Friday (10.30am to 12 noon)

Cropredy have a coffee bring and buy every 2nd Friday

Easington on alternate Wednesdays (local blue bin day), starting at 10.00am

Grimsbury on the last Saturday of the month  (10.30am-12 noon)


List of books in the Circuit Library, kept in the Marlborough Road foyer.  



From The Methodist Church website “Coronavirus guidance

Updated 17 March 15:00

It is with sadness that we recommend that worship services in Methodist Churches are suspended for the time being in line with Government guidance.”

So across the Circuit, all activities, INCLUDING Sunday worship, are cancelled.