News Update no 126, November 23rd, 2023


Happy anniversary to Alison Howson
A heart congratulations to Alison who moved to the village sixty years ago today! It is great to know that our oldest resident at 93 is also one of the longest serving members of the community. That takes her and us back to 1963 and in the intervening period the Parish has apparently had 10 Vicars, 10 publicans and numerous Parish Chairmen!

Notice of Road Sweeping Friday 1st December
Our winter sweep of the roads in the village by Cherwell District Council has been fixed for Friday 1st December. The lorry usually starts around 8 am and finishes sometime around noon. As usual, would those who park on the road move their vehicles onto the grass verges or somewhere else, either before or when you hear the vehicle in your road. Those who are able, are asked to clear leaf debris from outside their property and sweep it into the road for collection.
We are one of the few villages who co-ordinates this activity so the lorry can collect the maximum amount of debris from the roads which at this time of year is particularly important. Thank you for your cooperation.

George France Nicholson
As most of you will know, one of the great characters of the village, George Nicholson passed away on 6th November just 2 days before his 86th birthday. He will be sadly missed.
The following is from Vivienne, Andrew and Duncan:
“The Nicholson family would like to invite you to join them to celebrate the life of a much loved Husband, Father and Grandfather.
A service will take place at 12:45pm on Thursday 30 November 2023 in the church at Stratton Audley. Following the service, everyone is invited to join the family at The Littlebury Hotel, Kings End, Bicester, Oxfordshire OX26 6DR.
A book of condolence will be available at both the service and the Littlebury Hotel. There will also be a charity collection as part of the service with the proceeds going to the Church and the John Radcliffe Hospital.
The following day, Friday 1 December 2023, there will be a private, family only, cremation ceremony. On behalf of the whole family, we would like to thank everyone for their kindness at this most difficult time”.

Church Matters
The following is from Becky Adams: “There will be a service of Holy Communion in Stratton Audley Church at 10.45am this Sunday (26th November) – all are welcome, as ever.
The following Sunday, 3rd December, is Advent Sunday and there will be a special service of Readings and Music for Advent in Godington Church at 6pm
Please check the Shelswell website for details of services on other Sundays and in other parishes in the benefice

The Coffee Morning will be in church on Tuesday from 11am. If you haven’t been before then why not pop along and say hello?

‘Little Lambs’ baby and toddler group continues in church on Wednesdays, starting at 9.30am and finishing at 11am. Just turn up or for more information contact Alice at

Christmas Crafts and Christingle Service in Church on Sunday 10th December (3-5pm) Last year we had a great time with lots of families from the village coming along to join in making things and celebrating together, with festive refreshments for everyone. We hope you can come again this time so pop the date in your diary.

Stratton Audley Village Carol Service will be on Sunday 17th December at 6pm in church.

Thank you for your continuing contributions to the Bicester Foodbank. Just leave things in the box in the church porch; we take them in and drop them off regularly. Note the latest information from their website:

News from the Barn
“Christmas Hours – 7 days a week at the Barn! We are now open daily from 10am – 4pm through to 22nd December when we close for the year. December is fast approaching so it’s time to Deck the Halls; our Festive shop is awash with Christmas decorations for your home and tree. Pop in for your special piece from the barn Christmas shop and let the festivities commence!
Christmas Trees now on sale – Our beautiful real Christmas Trees have arrived and are on sale from the tree Barn. In a hurry? Online orders are also available for collection or delivery. Choose from Nordmann or Fraser Fir for your indoor tree, or a small selection of traditional Spruce for outdoors will be available from mid December. Our Stock trees are available from 4ft – 9ft with limited quantities in the larger sizes; if you like something a little larger for your home or office, get in touch and we can quote to source and supply to order. Follow the link to place your pre-order for a stock tree.

Pop-up nights – We just wanted to say a huge Thank you to everyone who has supported the Barn pop-up nights, especially the cold November night! Verity’s mac’n’cheese went down a treat, proving a hit. It’s been lovely to have the opportunity to bring the community  together whilst we are without our much loved pub with both familiar and new faces to the barn from the village. We hope you enjoyed them as much as we did!

Other News from The Barn:
Some of you may have already heard news of the announcement we shared with our customers earlier this month, for those who may have missed this, we share the statement below for you. It certainly hasn’t been an easy decision but we have been most grateful for your understanding, support and kind wishes since”:
A Statement from the barn…..
With our Christmas shop now open and as we head full on into this fabulous but crazy festive season, it feels like the right time to let you know that 2024 will see our Cafè close and the barn take a new direction.
The last few years have been challenging for both large business and small and there has been no let up! We’ve worked hard to adapt to the twists and turns the world has thrown at us, and absorb some of the losses this created, now coupled with a recent health scare, it is time for us to pause and consider the future shape of the business.
The shop & Café will close in their current form, until further notice on 22nd December 2023; rest assured, whatever we do, Christmas will always remain the heart of the barn and will be back for sure in 2024!
In the meantime, please support us & our amazing team, pop in for coffee, enjoy a delicious cake or 2, take a lunch and browse our shop, let’s make this a season to remember!!
Finally a heartfelt thanks goes out to all our amazing team and to all of you, our most loyal followers for your unwavering support. Whatever the future holds, however big or small, we hope you will remain a part of the heart of the Barn”.
Richard & Sara

Stratton House Yard Sale 10th & 11th December – Save the date
We are having a clear-out of the house and outbuildings with proceeds going to the upkeep of the church.

It’s on Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th December, from 11am-3pm each day. Come along and bag a bargain and say some goodbyes!

Numerous items will be going for a small contribution, including bric-a-brac, ornaments, chairs, tables, household bits and pieces, electricals, tools & garden equipment. You think of something and it will probably be for sale.

At the same time, you’ll be able to see many Vineworks hand-crafted items of furniture all at a 50% discount and if you can’t wait you can view them in advance by visiting:

Food for the hungry – A message from the Rector 
I am aware that someone in the local area is struggling with getting enough to eat, and so have placed some bags of food on the side in the kitchen area of the church.  
If this is you, please do go and collect the bags which come from the Foodbank.  
They will hopefully help in the short term.
And if you feel able, get in touch with me, Alice Goodall, or the Foodbank so we can arrange further help.  
We don’t want anyone to go hungry!”
Alice Goodall
01280 848192

Parish Council Vacancies
We are pleased to invite passionate individuals in the Parish to fill three immediate vacancies on our Council, following the recent resignations of Mike Gore, and Kathryn Walker, and John Edwards, all who have given great service over a number of years. Whether you’re a seasoned local or a recent arrival, as long as you’re over 18 and reside in the Parish, your perspective matters.

Imagine actively influencing decisions that shape our village and surrounding areas. At our monthly meetings, you’ll engage in lively discussions and gradually take on responsibilities that match your interests. No specific expertise required – just a genuine interest in local matters and a desire to contribute to our vibrant community.

Curious? Join us at our next Parish Council meeting on December 6th to experience firsthand the dynamic conversations that drive positive change. If you’re ready to take the plunge, express your interest via email at, providing your contact details and a brief insight into what fuels your interest and what unique contributions you can bring.

The next PC meeting is on 6th December so why not just come along to listen and see what you think?

January Scramble – local residents discount available once again 
Tickets are now live for Bicester Heritage’s winter Scramble date, on Sunday 7 January.As usual, discounted tickets are allocated for local residents at 50% off, the promo code is: BristolBoxkite 

And a few previous items that are still relevant:

I am frequently contacted about potholes and other local issues such as flytipping, abandoned cars, debris on roads and temporary signages being put up on waste land and whilst I can pass these on to my contacts, the very best way to report anything that concerns the county council is via their Fixmystreet portal. They tell me that it is checked daily and matters are put straight into the system for investigation.

You can upload photos but you don’t have to and it really isn’t difficult, so please give it a try:

East West Rail
The second phase of repairs to The Park Road from the cross-roads with Mill Road to the junction with the A4421 are well underway and scheduled to be complete during the third week of December.

Fresh Fish every Thursday – Still Parking outside the pub!
Despite the pub closing, Jack from Grimsby continues to come to the village on Thursday’s between 6.15-7pm and parks his van outside the Red Lion. He has a wide selection of fresh fish and shellfish. You can just turn up or place orders in advance by text and his mobile number is 07535 935119.

Fish & Chips Van in the village on Saturdays
For those new in the community, a Howe’s Fish and Chip van comes to the village every Saturday lunchtime from 1.30pm to 2pm. You will hear a bell (like a school bell) and his first stop is in Cherry Street. He then drives along Cavendish Place and stops again at the junction with Mill Road.
They also have a general number you can call 07809 901761

Local Police Bicester and Kidlington Rural Team News
To report a crime or contact the police there are now three options:
·       Call 999 if you see a crime being committed or in an emergency
·       Call 101 to report anything else to the police – or go online to do so
·       And now police are partnering with CrimeStoppers to remind everyone of ‘The 3rd Number – 0800 555 111’ that enables you to report your information totally anonymously if you prefer.
Finally for the latest crime statistics there is a useful national site into which you can put your post code. Click on this link  Bicester Rural | (