Rev’d Canon Andrew Bunch, Vicar of St Giles’
I have been at St Giles’ since 1997 and during this time have been engaged with some major changes in the life of the church. I have a great desire to see my faith in Christ influence my actions in life. I believe that God has a love for all people and this is what we are called to share. I am very much involved in the life of the Gatehouse, a homeless charity, and was very pleased when the work of this charity came to be based at St Giles’. I try to encourage all aspects of church life and was particularly delighted that we now host Jazz concerts.
I am a practical man with a skill for carpentry and joinery; you will find some of my work in the church. Finally, if you see a priest walking a red setter in Oxford, it is likely to be me.
Tom Albinson, Associate Priest 01865 515409. Before I joined St. Giles’ I served my curacy in the Parish of St Mary and St Nicholas, Littlemore. I trained at Ripon College Cuddesdon after a brief time of working as a computer programmer for various companies. For me worship is important as we give back to God and at the same time are nourished by God, so we can carry out Christ’s mission in what we do by word and deed. You may see out and about in the local pubs of the Parish, and occasionally with my dog Steve.
Rev’d Professor Bernard Silverman, Priest with PTO
Since my ordination in 1999, I have been a self-supporting minister which means that I don’t receive any stipend from the Church but earn my living another way. The idea of a ministry of this kind is to be a bridge between the wider world and the ordained ministry of the Church. I have had an academic career as a statistician but since 2010 I have been a full-time civil servant with the role of Chief Scientific Adviser to the Home Office. My job includes heading a division of social scientists and scientists within the Home Office, being on hand to give advice on any scientific topic to Ministers and officials, and building scientific collaborations across Government and internationally.
I believe passionately that the Church can build on its traditions to be outward and forward looking, and to speak with honesty and integrity to the concerns we all have in our own lives and to the wider issues of society.
Georgie Simpson, Associate Priest
Before ordination in 1997, I had gained a BTh theology degree at Oxford and an MA in Pastoral Studies at Birmingham University, as well being a qualified counsellor. Since then, I have thoroughly enjoyed working as an Associate Priest in parish ministry with its rich diversity. As I have a natural love for people of all ages, it is a privilege being alongside those in times of celebration and joy as well as during need and sorrow. The sacraments, and particularly the eucharist, are at the very heart of my spirituality.
As founder and director of the Oxford Centre for Spiritual Growth, I aim to encourage the deepening of faith through the ministry of spiritual direction, organising talks on different spiritualities, Quiet Days and short retreats. I recognise many people’s ongoing hunger to explore the meaning and purpose of life and to discover what it means to be fully human, often using the wisdom of outstanding thinkers of today and through the centuries.
Rev’d Professor Martin Henig, Priest
I am an Associate Priest to the Osney Benefice which includes the historic church of St Margaret’s, Binsey just across the river from my favourite part of St Giles’ Parish: yes most of St Giles’ Parish consists of Port Meadow and its only permanent inhabitants are other animals! I have loved St Giles’ church since I came to Oxford and especially since I was baptised and confirmed there some 13 years ago, and it is a great privilege to officiate from time to time at Sunday Evensong and at the Wednesday Eucharist. I am an academic archaeologist with a particular interest in Roman art, especially the art of Roman Britain, and I have a passion for ancient churches and other historic buildings (I co-edited and contributed to a book on ‘my own’ church and village at Binsey). My special mission, in which I believe passionately, is directed towards our duty to honour God through his Creation, guiding Christians and others to be much more aware of the suffering of our fellow creatures in Factory Farming, Vivisection laboratories and through hunting and environmental degradation and in many other ways. I am a Vice-President of the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals and a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics amongst other organisations.
David J.F. Longrigg, Licensed Lay Minister, LLM
When we were first married we lived at what was then called The Potter Press, opposite St Giles’ church, in Banbury Road, a house which was subsequently demolished to be replaced by the former Maths institute, for £4 a week. Our lodger then is still a member of St Giles’ choir! Of course, I could see St Giles’ church from our establishment, and it was essential that, like many others walking on the footpaths beside the church, I should pop in now and again, fascinated by its antiquity, its rather, at that time, melancholy but numinous atmosphere, with its ancient South porch, and, to me, the novelty of the organ at the back of the church. I was hooked and have been there ever since and have no intention of going elsewhere.
Maureen Chu, Churchwarden
Maureen Chu has been a Churchwarden for two years and a member of St Giles’ congregation since 2011.
Helping to keep an ancient building and congregation in working order involves operating with a wide variety of people in the parish, diocese and wider community.
Joanne Russell, Churchwarden
Mr. Rod Nixon, Treasurer
With a background of 20 years in IT, including the role of Technical Director of a successful software house, I am presently updating St. Giles’ Finance and Admin systems to professional standards, making use of computer software where appropriate.
I find that you cannot give back to a Parish as much as you get in return, and am pleased to be a member of the St. Giles’ congregation.
While I am quite involved in the work of the Parish the life of the Parish is more important, and I am looking forward to the growth of our various outreach initiatives, which I think all need to be funded in order to facilitate measurement and success.
I like to play chess and represent Oxfordshire, playing to what I think is a very high standard. I was educated in Dublin and have been a resident of Oxford since 2004. I am a lover of music and art, and have a particular interest in literature and the written word.
John Pusey, Tower Captain, St Giles’ Bellringers
01865 723645, 07969 608 484
I started ringing bells as a teenager in 1954, served as Master of the Oxford University Society of Change Ringers in 1962, and have been ringing at St Giles’ since 1976. I was appointed as Tower Captain at St Giles’ in 2010, at the time when plans for rehanging the bells were coming to fruition, and also ring regularly at Oxford Cathedral.
My grandmother and her children, who lived in Wellington Square and then in Parks Road, worshipped at St Giles’ from the 1890s until the 1960s. After taking a doctorate in Botany, I worked in the Civil Service, and finally for the Bodleian Library for the second half of my working career.
We normally ring St Giles’ bells before both major services on Sundays and for practice on Thursday evenings, and are always keen to welcome new recruits and other enquirers.
Andrew Patterson, Director of Music
Andrew has been at St Giles since 2011, and plays for most of the regular services. Since learning to play the organ at Taunton School, Andrew has held many music posts including in Cambridge where he studied, and also currently as resident organist at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire where he performs regularly. He enjoys accompanying the very capable St Giles choir at services, and on the regular cathedral visits in the UK and abroad. Andrew is also accompanist with the Oxford Welsh Male Voice Choir, who have sung at St Giles and across the region. By day, he works in the Engineering Software industry, helping companies automate their design and development processes, travelling extensively. He is also a DIY enthusiast, covering everything from bricklaying to plumbing, and occasionally patching things up inside the organ!
Dr Nicholas Prozzillo, Choir Director
Nicholas is Director of Music at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, and an organ and academic music tutor. During his time at St Giles’, he has developed the choir of boys and men, established a mixed-voice choir, and organized a varied programme of concerts. He is always willing to meet prospective singers and parents wishing to find out more about the opportunities which music at St Giles’ offers.
Nicholas hails directly from Swansea and indirectly from Morcone (Italy). His teachers include Dame Gillian Weir. He studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire, Brasenose College, and the Royal College of Music where he completed his MMus with distinction. He was a Junior Fellow at the RCM, an Edison Fellow at the British Sound Archive, and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harris Manchester College, Oxford, where he was also Director of Music. Nicholas completed his doctorate under the supervision of Laurence Dreyfus and guidance of Peter Williams.
Jean Darke, Concert Organiser
Jean Darke, retired professional musician, organises and runs our ‘extra curricular’ musical events, to support St Giles’ various charities. The summer ” Music at St Giles” is largely classical music, in aid of the Choir Academy which trains our boy choristers. The popular “Jazz at St Giles” in the Autumn, raises money for the homeless and children in war torn countries.
Sarah-Jane White, PCC Secretary
Working for the Institute of Human Sciences on the Banbury Road, I initially started coming to Evening Prayer at St Giles’ in the week some years ago. Finding a warm welcome, I gradually became more involved in the life of St Giles’ and have recently become PCC Secretary. I feel blessed to be part of this church community where the love of God is very apparent. On a Sunday morning you will usually find me sitting in the children’s area in the north aisle as I provide craft activities each week for children to do during the service.
Hannah Smith, Housegroup Leader
Hannah has been a member of the congregation since 2013. Hannah enjoys the big questions of science, philosophy and religion and was tasked with starting up the housegroup in 2015. As housegroup leader she is responsible for welcoming newcomers and challenging the group to consider biblical concepts. Hannah also holds the role of assistant church warden so you are likely to see her helping out around the church.
Henrietta Mountain-Ritter, Benefice Manager
Henrietta Mountain-Ritter has been the Benefice Manager for St Margaret’s and St Giles’ since September 2016. She is responsible for many jobs that help towards the smooth running of the facilities in the Benefice of St Margaret’s and St Giles’. She is responsible for all bookings offering the local community some great facilities within St Giles’ Parish Rooms and both churches for concerts, rehearsals and group gatherings.
Henrietta is your point of contact for bookings for St Giles’ Parish Rooms, both the Hall and Meeting Room. She is also your point of contact for concert bookings at St Giles’ Church and St Margaret’s Church.
Vacant, Church Steward
Anne Dutton, Benefice Secretary
I have been part of the Benefice team since 2002. The work has varied quite a bit over the years but at the moment my duties include preparing the pew leaflet for St Giles’ each week and assisting the Vicar with any typing which is required for St Giles’ or St Margaret’s. I particularly enjoy helping in the preparation of service booklets, and doing posters to advertise special events. I am also a point of contact for anyone who rings the church office number.
Sian Gronlie, Safeguarding Officer
I came to St Giles two years ago when my son joined the boys’ choir, and my daughter now sings in the girls’ choir too. As safeguarding officer, I’m responsible for making sure that the church is a safe and happy place for our children, and I’m available to hear any concerns that people may have. It’s been wonderful to see the choirs flourish over the past two years and to welcome new families into the church. When I’m not at St Giles, I can be found just down the road at St Anne’s, where I teach medieval English language and literature.
Jim Smith, Volunteer Sidesman
Jim has lived in Oxford since 1979, working with OUP for many years and subsequently for the University until retirement. He has been a St Giles’ regular since 2000 and is often on hand at various events held within the church as well as the Sunday morning service and Evening Prayer during the week in support of the clergy and churchwardens.