The Ecumenical Parish, 1982 – 2007

The Ecumenical Parish of Wolvercote with Summertown was a partnership of three churches who believed they were called by God to work closely together in service to the local community. The Constitution of the Ecumenical Parish was modelled on the “Proposals for a Covenant” (1982) and affirmed a full mutual recognition of each other’s ministries, members, services and sacraments and made a commitment “not to do separately what we can better do together”. Specific promises were made to:

  • respect, learn from and share together the spiritual riches of our different traditions
  • explore together new styles of common life and action
  • share our resources of people, buildings and money

The Ecumenical Parish was inaugurated in 1982 at an Inaugural Service in St Michael’s church, in the presence of the then Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd Patrick Rodger, and the then Moderator of the Wessex Province of the United Reformed Church, the Revd Peter Chesney. The preacher was the late Fr John Coventry of the Society of Jesus.

Following the inauguration of the Ecumenical Parish a joint service of Confirmation and Reception into Church Membership was prepared and has been used at regular intervals since then. In this service all those who wished to join were admitted into full membership of the Ecumenical Parish. The service was presided over by the Bishop and a leading member of the URC, often the Moderator of the Wessex Synod.

The Founding Fathers

The Founding Fathers

Our Founding Fathers

A rare photograph, taken at the party for the 25th anniversary of Bill Fosdike’s priesting in 1980. Note in 1982 the absence of ‘Founding Mothers’!

(Click on the photograph to obtain an enlarged version.)

Back row:
???, Willy Pryor, David Conner,???,Peter Bostock, Ted Clarke

Middle row:
Tony Tucker, Donald Norwood, Michael Ottaway

Front row:
Trevor Cole, Claud Branch, Bill Fosdike, Gregor Duncan

(If anyone can identify the two without names we shall be very grateful to hear from them)
At the inauguration of the Ecumenical Parish in 1982 Bill Fosdike was Vicar of St Michael’s, Michael Ottaway was Vicar of St Peter’s and Donald Norwood was Minister of Summertown URC.

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