There will be no newsletter next weekend so on behalf of the Parish Council, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy Christmas albeit one with a difference.
COVID cases in Oxfordshire
Last week saw a total of 568 confirmed cases in Oxfordshire, which is equivalent to a weekly rate of 82 per 100,000 residents. Whilst the weekly rate in the County remains lower than the South-East average, there has been a substantial increase in cases among the over 60s.
The good news is that Oxfordshire remains in tier 2 when others near us like Buckinghamshire have been placed into tier 3. But the bad news is that rates are continuing to rise in our county over the last few days, and were this trend to continue over the Christmas period, then come January we may find ourselves in tier 3 or perhaps more likely part of another national lockdown.
For full details on the rules and regulations visit:https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know#high-alert
Covid-19 Vaccination Centre to be sited at Bicester Heritage
An agreement has been reached for the Bicester Covid-19 Vaccination Centre to operate from premises at Bicester Heritage. Patients from all three of Bicester’s GP practices (Alchester Medical Group, Bicester Health Centre and Montgomery House Surgery) will be invited to receive their vaccinations at this location and these will be carried out by nurses and clinicians from the Bicester practices.
The NHS has set up a system to invite people who are at greatest risk from Covid-19 to attend for a vaccination first. Patients in our area are asked to wait until they are contacted and they will then be required to attend the Vaccination Centre twice.
The Vaccination Centre is located in a specially adapted building within Bicester Heritage which has the capacity for many people to be vaccinated at the same time and is well suited to meeting the various demands of the Covid-19 vaccination programme.
Immunisation at this location will begin in the early part of January.
Christmas Services in the Church
This coming Sunday there will be two services that you can attend in person; a service of Holy Communion (CW) at 10 am in Stoke Lyne Church and the new ‘Muddy Church’ at 3pm in the Churchyard at Stoke Lyne. To enable social distancing, space is limited so you need to book your place at whichever service you would like to attend. For full guidelines, together with details of Christmas church services in our area, go to the website: www.shelswellparishes.info . Alternatively, you can join the online service which will be livestreamed at 10am on Monday 21st on Facebook (Shelswell News). You can also join the Benefice Carol Service which was recorded by the choir in Stratton Audley Church last week and will be broadcast on both Facebook (Shelswell News Group) and YouTube (Shelswell Parishes Channel) at 6pm this Sunday.
Elf Trail this Sunday 20 December 2-3.30pm
Please join in with your children on the village Elf trail which is being expertly laid out by Sandra Edwards. Look out for the Elves which in the main will be attached to gates and trees. Children can tick off what they see as they go round and goody bags will be packaged and waiting for them in the Pound.
The Elf images will be left up for a few days so any children who are away can do the trail when they come back.
Children may wish to dress up in their Christmas jumpers and hats or anything else they think suitable for a walk around the village. This is just a bit of festive fun for young and old to kick off the holiday season in these challenging times.
‘Ringing a bell’ on Christmas Eve at 6pm
The idea is for everyone to go out on their doorsteps and ring a bell, use something else to make a noise or just greet your neighbours from a distance, all to spread the Christmas spirit and help Santa on his way.
Jeremy Adams will also ring a single bell in the church to begin the process, so please join in if you can. Thursday 24th December at 6pm.
Church Clock Tower Repair
As many people have already noticed, the church clock has now been repaired and is once again operating with both hands. Great news and a great job which included some renovation touch-ups to the clock face. Once again thanks must go to our County Councillor Ian Corkin for his financial support through his Priority Fund.
The Red Lion
For details on when the pub is open and what is happening look on Facebook, visit www.redlionstrattonaudley.co.uk or call Verity on 07713 891619.
Please remember that socialising with people outside your family or your bubble is not permitted inside the pub and in order to be served alcohol you need to order a ‘substantial’ meal and stick within your group.
Momo Man not here next week
George will not be outside the pub on Tuesday, but will be returning with his Nepalese food mid-January.
Stratton Audley Barn Xmas Trees
This is the last weekend that the Christmas Barn is open prior to Christmas. For details go to https://www.strattonaudleybarn.co.uk or visit their Facebook page.
Advent Window Trail 2020
10 windows have already been revealed. Have you seen them yet and worked out which Carol theme they each represent?
For those not getting out and about so much on these colder evenings, a photo of each window is being posted on the village Facebook page for all to view.
Free Baubles and Trees for Children to Decorate and Place in the Church Porch
Have you painted one of the free cardboard baubles/trees which are available in the church porch yet? There are still quite a few just waiting to be collected.
All completed baubles and trees should be returned to the porch where they can be hung on the string.
EWR Local Disruption
Just another reminder that the road that leads to Marsh Gibbon remains closed until 15th January. On a separate matter, the Parish Council together with other members of the community in both Stratton and Godington, have voiced serious safety concerns over the new junction layout on the A4421 with Stratton Audley Park Road. In response EWR have now confirmed that they will bring forward the Safety Audit to Monday 11th January, which is the earliest possible date that could be arranged. In the meantime they are reviewing the signage and hope to have some extra signage up in the next few days.
Village Bus Service
Thanks to those who have let me know their usage of the bus through the village. A decision on whether the service will be withdrawn is now likely in January.
This week we all received a mailing with lots of information from Sergeant Gavin Staniland. In particular there was a ‘Have your say sheet’ which invites everyone to identify their chief concern, be it speeding, noise, large trucks or not enough police on the beat. Do fill it out and return in the pre-stamped envelope.
Collection Point for disposal of Ink Jet cartridges
Please continue to pop your ink jet cartridges into the basket in the Glen Close bus shelter. Please don’t drop larger toner cartridges off as these are not recycled by the RSPB.
If you are not sure if your cartridges are suitable for recycling you can contact Rachel Dewhurst by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
All the best and Happy Christmas.