Advent Service Preview (28th November)

At 5pm this Sunday (28th November), you are warmly invited to join us for a very special service to mark the beginning of Advent.

Advent is the season in which the Church looks forward both to Christ’s coming in his birth and incarnation, and also to his final advent as judge at the end of time.

The service begins in darkness, but candlelight will gradually fill our beautiful ancient parish church, just as the Word of God brings light into our hearts and lives.

The programme will feature several pieces by the acclaimed choir, as well as hymns sung by the congregation including:

  • Come thou Redeemer of the Earth
  • Hills of the North, Rejoice
  • O come, o come, Emmanuel
  • Lo, he comes with clouds ascending

The service is structured around the ‘O’ Antiphons (in the liturgy, a short sentence sung or recited before or after a psalm or canticle):

O Emmanuel: God with us

O Radix Jesse: The Root of Jesse, born in the line of David

O Oriens: The Morning Star, bringing light in the darkness

O Adonai: The Lord and leader of the house of Israel

O Rex Gentium: The King of all Nations

O Clavis David: The Key of David, freeing prisoners and opening a new way

O Sapientia: The Wisdom of God

Christ described himself as “The Light of the World”, the title of this iconic painting by William Holman Hunt pictured at the top of this post. (Source: Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Beautiful 2022 Calendar Supports Badminton Benefice

Now available in a strictly limited edition of just 100 is the perfect Christmas present for anyone who loves the beautiful Cotswold churches in the Badminton Benefice.

The Benefice’s music director and videographer Ben Humphries has captured twelve stunning seasonal images while filming our services at St Mary’s Hawkesbury and the seven other parish churches within the Benefice throughout lockdown. (For more stunning images on video, subscribe to the Benefice’s Youtube channel here.)

Like so many organisations, the Badminton Benefice has suffered from being unable to hold fundraising events since the outbreak of Covid. Ben’s generous donation to its cause of all profits from calendar sales will make a real difference to the work of the Benefice.

Printed on high-quality, silken stock, this exclusive calendar is now available to order in three ways:

The £10 price includes a sturdy white cardboard envelope, enabling you to post it to friends and relations anywhere in the world – the perfect gift for anyone who has moved away from the Benefice or who loves to visit it.

LIMITED EDITION OF 100 – so buy yours now to avoid disappointment!

November 2021 News

Colin Dixon, Chairman of Friends of St Mary’s, writes:

Following the years of concentration on the refurbishment of St Mary’s Tower and the installation of the new set of eight bells, the Friends of St Mary’s need some new projects to concentrate its fundraising on.


As it happens, there has for many years been an issue that has exercised the Friends of St Mary’s, amongst others, for many years, and that is the lack of toilet facilities at the church. Lisa and Christopher Overton have been very kind to allow the use of the toilet in the Malt House, but it is about time we had one that we do not use on a grace-and-favour basis.

The installation of the toilet will not be a simple matter as the Diocese will not allow a toilet inside or attached to the fabric of the Church, so that means it must go outside in the churchyard. Although we have identified a reasonably suitable place, there are additional complications: the churchyard (because it is a closed churchyard) belongs to the District Council and not to the Church.

Visitors to the cemetery would also benefit from the provision of toilet facilities and the cemetery belongs to the Parish Council. Furthermore, it would not be possible to restrict the use of the toilet so it would be available to walkers and cyclists also.


While considering the siting of the toilet facilities, it would be advisable to landscape the churchyard where the old pine trees were removed earlier this year. That area is now distressingly overgrown and needs professional help to get it back into reasonable shape.

A couple of very important projects for FoSM to become involved with in the coming months, if not years. If anyone can offer advice, guidance or help with these projects, especially in the short term by pulling nettles and clearing the brush, then please contact me or Lisa Overton.


The Friends have recently contributed towards new seat cushion kits for the Choir in the Church. These cushion kits will be completed by the WI which has also benefited from a legacy from Judy Chancellor.


The Church insurers had required that the Church has an alarm system installed on the roof to deter thieves from stealing the lead. FoSM granted the PCC a contribution of £1375 towards the cost of the roof alarm system which has recently been fitted. This was match-funded by the All Churches Trust which has also donated £1375.


The Wulfstan Supper to celebrate the installation of the Wulfstan windows in the Church 10 years ago, hosted by Mark and Fiona Steeds, was a great success, and a good time was had by all. Mark gave a very informative talk on the life and deeds of St Wulfstan, the Hawkesbury Saint.


7th November (9.30am) – Holy Communion

14th November (10.50am) – Service of Remembrance at the War Memorial

21st November (9.30am) – Morning Praise

28th November (5pm) – Evensong (Advent Sunday)