The Rev'd Mark Thomas

Associate Priest

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I was born in Somerset and went to Durham university to read Economics and Sociology.  The plan was that I would join the family Business in Bristol, but God had other ideas and after a brief foray into marketing and six months travelling, I was accepted for ordination training and started at Ripon College Cuddesdon in 1976. 

I decided that I needed to go north and so accepted the offer of a curacy in a mining parish in West Yorkshire in the Wakefield diocese.  A second curacy followed in Seaford, East Sussex, where I met Keri.  I proposed three weeks after that first evening and we married in Gomersal back in West Yorkshire in 1984 where I served my first incumbency.  Keri had recently qualified as a GP and started work in Cleckheaton.  We had three children there, Megan, Ben and Bethany, before moving to Almondbury near Huddersfield where I was appointed Team Rector and Rural Dean and became Canon of Wakefield Cathedral.  

Sophie and Imogen, our identical twin daughters, were born in Huddersfield.  In 2001 I was appointed Vicar of St Chad’s and St Alkmund’s, the town centre churches in Shrewsbury in the Lichfield diocese.  My final six years in Shrewsbury were very happy ones, with a good team; I loved town centre ministry and St Chad’s had a strong civic and military role. 

I am a Prebendary emeritus of Lichfield Cathedral.  Meanwhile Keri had started The Gold Standards Framework CIC, a not for profit Social Enterprise training health and social care professionals to give better end of life care.  This was very successful and I left stipendiary parish ministry in 2013 to become executive director of the Company, and among other things developed a spiritual care of the dying programme.  I finally retired at the end of 2016.  We have moved to Black Bourton to be nearer our family, and especially our eldest daughter Megan, her RAF pilot husband Kurt and their two year old son Monty. 

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Exploring Spirituality Programme 2019

Exploring Spirituality Programme 2019

Click here to download The Exploring Spirituality Programme 2019 booklet ESP 2019 v2






#Everyday Faith

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Festival Dates 2019-20

S Augustine said ‘In the house of God there is never-ending festival’. Here are upcoming festivals being celebrated at St Mary's

2019

    Witney Wonderland Friday 29th November 5 pm
    Witney Wonderland Christmas Stalls Saturday 30th November 11am - 4pm
    Witney Wonderland Gala Ball Sunday 6th December

2020

    Beer Festival Saturday 9 May
    Food Festival Saturday 16 May
    Oktoberfest Saturday 12 September

Festival Dates 2019

The Witney Feast: Saturday 14th - Tuesday 17th Sep. The programme includes

    The Oktoberfest: Saturday 14th Sep, 12noon
    Civic Service followed by Gallopers Service: Sunday 15th Sept, 6pm

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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!!

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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

Click here to download the 2018 Annual Report and Accounts

Safeguarding: who to contact in an emergency

If a child or adult is in immediate danger or requires immediate medical attention, call the emergency services on 999. If there are concerns about their immediate welfare, don’t delay: call Children and Adult’s Social care on 0345 050 7666 or the MASH Out of Hours Emergency Duty Team: 0800 833408

Also please inform your Parish Safeguarding officer, Alison, on 07884 074812 or her Deputy, Ness, on 07774524756 or Pauline on 01993 648136 that you have contacted them.

Safeguarding: who to contact with concerns

For all safeguarding concerns please immediately inform your Parish Safeguarding Officer, Alison, on 07884 074812 or her Deputy, Ness, on 07774524756 or Pauline on 01993 648136. You can also email concerns to safeguarding@witneyparish.org.uk

If you are unsure or worried about how serious a situation is, contact one of the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers, Stuart Nimmo, on 01865 208290 or Sophie Harney on 01865 208295.