Meet the new Curate

Hello, my name is Ross and if you want to know how to pronounce my surname properly, it rhymes with ‘treacle’. I am finishing my training in Durham before being ordained in Oxford to serve you as a curate. It will be a new part of the world for me as I am originally from Yorkshire, though I have never lost my Cambridgeshire accent from a 7-year stint there as a child. I also lived in Kenya for three years as a teenager due to my Dad following a call from God to work for Mission Aviation Fellowship. We returned to Northallerton in Yorkshire where I completed my A-levels. My first degree was at the University of York and was a brand new course titled Writing, Directing and Performance for Theatre, Film and Television. I have been interested in theatre and performance since my early teenage years.

However, my real passion is, and always has been, writing and dreaming up stories. Ever since I was a young child my vivid imagination has created fantastic worlds and weird characters. Through a friend at University, I began to read what I wrote in public at open mic nights, thus starting my vocation as a storyteller. This has become a key part of my understanding of my vocation and my ministry. It was through the writing of a play at University that I truly began to understand my faith, and it has been through my role as Resident Storyteller for a creative Christian collective in York since my student days that I began several creative writing projects related to matters of faith and Scripture. As a storyteller I am called to tell stories, and as an ordinandI look forward to telling God’s story.

My vocation to the priesthood in the Church of England was first raised when my mum sensibly suggested it. I was not attracted to the idea as an early teenager but as I have grown in faith and understanding it became apparent that this is where God is calling me. I worked for a church in London for a year as a pastoral assistant where I learned a lot about prayer and ministry in the Church before I began my training in Durham.

On a rainy day when I’m not working, I might be found watching television, playing Pokemon games, or going to the cinema. On a nicer day, I enjoy walks in the countryside, visiting nearby friends, and writing in coffee shops.

So as I prepare to move to Witney, I’m excited to walk in new landscapes and write new stories in new cafes. But most of all I am excited to serve God in Witney, sharing His story of hope and redemption and discovering more about priesthood, the Church, and myself along the way.

Praying for victims of terror



'In the midst of life we are in death.'

Lord, in a place of pleasure, terror struck, in a place of life, death came. Hold us in our shock and grief, comfort the distressed, heal the injured, calm the anxious, reunite the separated, console the bereaved, and give rest and everlasting peace to those who have died, for your love never fails and through the darkness your light always shines. Amen.

Team Vicar

2016 Accounts and 2016 Review

The accounts were approved on 24 April by the PCC and signed off


Please click below to find the Accounts for 2016 and the 2016 Review
Our stewardship enables us to fulfil God's call and share in God's mission

The Church is the new creation, it is life and joy, it is the sacramental fellowship in which we share the ultimate purpose of God, made real for us now in our hearing the Word and sharing the Sacrament.
Rowan Williams

Parish of Witney 2016 Approved Accounts

2016 Review

Annual Accounts

Raise the roof

An opportunity to invest in a major Witney landmark

Severe winter frosts have destroyed the limestone slates on St Mary’s Roof. We need to replace them before winter sets in. Local Witney people have already sponsored 2,200 slates. Only 1,800 slates to go!!

Please Sponsor a Slate for £10. Your civic landmark church needs you!

Donate with JustGiving and PayPal

St Mary Find out more about this project

Inspiring Change

Creating a Community Space for the 21st Century

As part of our wider commitment to serve the people of Witney, we have formed a vision for renewing St Mary’s Church, our town’s landmark civic church: to enhance the ways the spiritual, community and cultural life of Witney people in the 21st century is served by St Mary’s church.

St Mary Find out more about this project

Latest Witney Way

You can read the latest edition of the 'The Witney Way' by clicking Here

Remember Dale Carnegie’s bestseller, How to Make Friends and Influence People? Well he also wrote, ‘Today is the tomorrow, you worried about yesterday.’ Mindfulness is currently a popular method of temporarily ridding oneself of extraneous stimuli, emptying and calming the mind, and concentrating on the Now. Of course metaphysically, Now can never exist; even as you read this sentence, the beginning is already in the past, and the end is still in the future.

The following pages are full of Yesterdays; accounts, reminiscences, recollections, memories and history; but also hope for our Tomorrows. Bishop John Pritchard helps us to look forward when we may be struggling or have lost our way, John Wesley reminds us that ‘faith is a journey not an end’, and Bishop Steven invites us to ‘come and see’.

Our Team Vicar Neil has left for pastures new, our curate Alastair is planning his departure, and we are looking forward to welcoming Ross as he prepares to join us as curate, on the next phase of his ministry. Pray for them all.

The 40 days of Lent – Ash Wednesday to Easter Saturday, minus the six Sundays – commemorate Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness, prior to his ministry. For us, it is a time of reflection and preparation, looking back at our lives; but also looking forward to our Lord’s glorious Resurrection. It is a time of spiritual discipline, reading, prayer, self-denial, charitable giving and actions. What are you doing?

Love and prayers,
Toby Wright
Team Rector

Staffing News

We are delighted to announce the appointment of a new Team Vicar

The Rev'd Ness Whiffin has been appointed to serve as Team Vicar in the Parish of Witney. Ness will be licensed in S. Mary's on 6 September 2017 and all are welcome to come and pray for her as she begins her new ministry here in Witney.

Please pray for Ness as she prepares for this move and the next step in her priestly ministry.

New Curate appointed


We are delighted to announce the appointment of Ross Meikle to serve his curacy in the parish. Ross will be ordained on Saturday 1st July at Christ Church Cathedral. Please pray for Ross as he continues his formation. you can read more about him HERE.

Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, by your Holy Spirit you have appointed various orders of ministry in the Church:
look with mercy on your servants now called to be deacons and priests;
maintain them in truth and renew them in holiness,
that by word and good example they may faithfully serve you to the glory of your name
and the benefit of your Church;
through the merits of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen

Latest film

Watch the latest film from the Witney Parish team.


See more films here

Keep in touch


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Holy Week Addresses

The Rev'd Canon Dr Joanna Collicutt led Holy Week 2017 on Remembering.
The text of her addresses is available Holy Week 2017 here

Holy Week

Oxford Diocese

Seven days a week, more than 50,000 Anglican disciples are dispersed across the Diocese of Oxford and the world, serving God in a huge variety of contexts and making a difference in the world. Together as a Diocese we support an enormous range of voluntary projects serving the local community often in partnership with others: these include food banks, children’s centres, support for the homeless and refugees, community groups, parent and toddler groups and many more. Over a thousand church buildings and church schools are centres of life and hospitality in their communities. There are around a hundred stipendiary chaplains working across the Diocese in prisons, hospitals, the police, universities and schools. We have three formal overseas links with Kimberley and Kuruman (South Africa), with Växjö (Sweden) and with Nandyal (India) and many other links at parish level.

The Diocese of Oxford