News Update no 127, December 8th, 2023

Stratton House Yard Sale This Weekend
Another reminder that Stratton House are having a clear-out of the house and outbuildings. Everything will be undercover so please pop along even if it is raining.
Proceeds from the yard sale are going towards the upkeep of the church building.
It’s from 11am – 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday.
Do come along, bag a bargain and say some goodbyes!A multitude of items from household bits & pieces, china, glass ware, kitchen equipment, lamps, ornaments, curtains, chairs, rugs, 46” TV’s, blue-ray DVD players, electrical goods, hand tools, tool sets, very old tools in need of restoration, power tools, garden equipment, ladders, garden tools, a table tennis board, general bric-a-brac and a complete drum kit going for a song – Ha ha!
You think of something and it will probably be somewhere too be found.At the same time, you’ll be able to see many Vineworks hand-crafted items of furniture all at a 50% discount, some of which you can view now by visiting:

Church Matters
The following is from Becky Adams:   
There will be a Morning Service in Stratton Audley Church at 10.45am this Sunday (10th December) – all are welcome, as ever. And then in the afternoon….Christmas Crafts and Christingle Service (3-5pm) this Sunday. 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.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? The last meeting before Christmas will be on Tuesday 19th December and then meetings will resume from Tuesday 9th January.

‘Little Lambs’ baby and toddler group continues in church on Wednesdays, starting at 9.30am and finishing at 11am. This coming Wednesday, 13th December, will be the last meeting of the term and will be the Christmas Party! If you would like more information about the group, please contact Alice  at

Stratton Audley Village Carol Service will be on Sunday 17th December at 6pm in church. Come along and join in singing all those familiar Christmas carols and stay to enjoy mulled wine and seasonal refreshments afterwards.

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:

Stoke Lyne Christmas Choral Concert
If you’re free on Saturday evening then you might like to start your Christmas festivities with a special concert in Stoke Lyne:

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

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.

Thank you Richard & Sara

Parish Council Vacancies
We are pleased to announce that inaddition to Richard Bond who joined the parish council at the last meeting, another new persons in the village, Owen Bowen-Jones has been co-opted as a councillor. Both bring new energy and enthusiasm at an important time with develops at Bicester Heritage increasing and the potential solar farm on the horizon. The Chairman will be resigning at the January meeting but will remain for a few months as a councillor, just to ensure a smooth hand-over to Anthony Flack who has has generously stepped-up to become interim Chairman. There is still one more open vacancy and it is hoped this will are filled at the next meeting in January.Whether you’re a seasoned local or a recent arrival, as long as you’re over 18 and reside in the Parish, not just the village, your perspective matters.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?

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

Update on Two Major Planning Matters
We have received the following updates from the Planning Department at CDC:

Solar Farm
The application is still under consideration. The procurement process for securing landscape consultants has taken longer than expected as we have worked through the Council’s procurement process. We have now selected consultants and I’m working with he procurement team to get the contracts sorted so this work can be completed. 
We were aiming to take this to committee in January, but as the report deadline will be before the Christmas break, this is now looking unlikely as we need the landscape work to be completed. I think it is more realistic that this will be presented to the planning committee in February”.

Bicester Heritage
“This application is also still under consideration. We had asked the applicant to provide some more information to help us to better understand the details of the uses that are proposed. I have another meeting with the agent this week.

I will also be meeting with our enforcement team so we can better understand the already permitted uses/applications and the activities that they are currently investigating. We are planning to work together as we are aware of the concerns being raised by third parties.

There are clearly a wide range of activities that the applicant is hoping to capture within this application. Some of them, such as the larger events or noisy uses will have the potential for a greater impact on neighbouring residents. At this stage, I think we need more information so that everyone can better understand the precise nature of the proposal and the frequency of uses that are being sought.

This application will also need to be referred to the planning committee for determination. Again we are aiming for January committee but this may not be possible”.

January Scramble – local residents discount available once again 
Tickets are still available 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:Fixmystreet
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: 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 | (