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Knitting for Anti-Slavery Day Display

It’s time to get out your knitting needles or crochet hooks again!

The Clewer Initiative estimates that 0.2% of the population (2 in every 1000) are victms of modern slavery.

As our contribution to Anti-Slavery Day on Monday 18th October we hope to make a knitted/crocheted chain of 752 links. This represents the potential victims of modern slavery in our “county” towns of Oxford, Reading and Buckingham. By its very nature modern slavery is hidden, meaning it’s difficult to give a specific number, so we are using The Clewer Initiative recommendation.

When the chain is complete we’ll be taking it to Reading Minster where our Chaplain, Mary Harwood, will bless it and it will stay on display for a week.  Following that, we plan to pass it round as many branches as we can during the following year, again for a week at a time.

The (very easy) knitting and crochet patterns can be found by clicking on the links below. This is a great opportunity to use up those small amounts of yarn that are always left at the end of a project to make multicoloured links. Once you have completed your links (please try to make at least ten, they really are very simple to make), and sewn them together please email Jean Vaughan at avp.eastberks@muoxford.org.uk for the address of where to send them.

 Knitted Chain

Crochet Chain

Help Needed – Sleeping Bags for Children Heard and Seen

Early in July there’s a weekend of fun and activities planned for lots of the families that Children Heard and Seen are supporting. There’ll be about 50 children coming, along with parents, and the age range of the children is from 2 to 16! Should be a great event.

There is accommodation available indoors but everyone will need a sleeping bag. I’ve had a few donated but if you or your families are having a clear out, or grandchildren have grown into adult size bags, I’d love to have them. I’m happy to wash and make them fresh again.

As many of the families will be travelling by train it would also be great if there were wellington boots available to use while they’re at the site. Early morning grass is always wet and starting the day with dry feet is so much more comfortable. All sizes, especially small child size, welcome.

The weekend will really boost the children’s confidence and give them so many happy memories to take home.

The Diocesan Projects account is always available if you feel like making a donation, via Eve or Geoff, but do let me know if you have anything to collect and I can arrange for that.

Jean Vaughan
Action and Outreach

Make May Matter 2021

This year the format we have used for Make May Matter will be very difficult to use because of social distancing, lockdown and being unable to meet with friends and neighbours.

We have decided to offer you a different way of gathering funds for AFIA, which is most appropriate to the situation we find ourselves in at the moment.

Last year the CHURN benefice was urged to make ‘thank you’ cards for key workers, NHS workers and anyone that did essential work to keep things moving.  This could be shop workers, Doctors, nurses, surgeries, bin men, or good neighbours helping those that can’t get out and about.

The Rev. Louise Butler put a notice in our parish magazine and on our church website that said this:


to make and send 100 cards in May
to those who have been affected by the pandemic
and those we want to thank for giving their help during this crisis.

It was suggested that people ‘sponsor’ a local hero or someone they knew that had gone above and beyond the call of duty.

We suggest donations of £5 or £10 (or more!) along with the name and address of the person to be sponsored. Cash or cheque was given in a sealed envelope to Rev. Louise and cards duly sent out from the MU thanking the recipient sponsored.  This was not to be targeted at only MU Members, but the whole of the community of our 7 villages.   The MU had another part to play.    MU members would be supplying the stamps, making, and writing cards and posting them.

Crafty MU members were encouraged to make cards to send to the sponsored heros’, and were given a list of names and addresses to write to and post.  For those who could not make cards, the crafters made lots of extras to be distributed to other members, so that people only had a small number of cards to write and post.   Our target was 100, but we easily managed that and the sponsorship raised a huge £700 for AFIA.  The cards had a message written to the sponsored person and was sent from the Churn MU.  The MU logo was put on the back of the card.

Do you think you could do this for our AFIA charity?   Do you have some crafty members who can make cards to be distributed to other members for posting and writing?  We still have people who need our AFIA breaks and this can happen as soon as things get back to normal, but we have to be able to fund the holiday breaks.

Please give this some consideration and think about how you can help. Please click on the links below for a step by step guide and craft resource.

Step by step guide to setting up Sponsor a Hero.

Craft resource – card backing papers and toppers

Rosie Jackson Kilham.
Fundraising & Communications Unit

Easter Chicks – Thank you

Thank you so much for all the help from members who knitted chicks for the children who are clients of Children Heard and Seen.  I’ve delivered them to their office near Cumnor, which is in a wonderful country setting.

Some members said they’d enjoyed making the chicks so I suggest that you can use the pattern to make some for your own church, you could either sell them or ask for donations. Click the link below to download a sheet of labels, please either use these or in some way make sure you say they aren’t toys. Also, do check that safe stuffing is used in the head and the beaks are sewn on securely if you use felt.

I do hope you’ll be able to use this idea to make a little money for your own branch or maybe for the Project Account for future needs.

Easter Chick Labels

Easter Chicks Knitting Pattern

Jean Vaughan
Action and Outreach

Knitted Easter Chicks for Children Heard and Seen

I hope some of you will be able to help by knitting Easter Chicks for the children supported by Children Heard and Seen. Free knitting patterns are available online and the chicks are really simple to knit. It is extremely important to use specific toy stuffing for the head in spite of any other instructions in the pattern.

Each one only takes a couple of hours to complete, including sewing up and doing the eyes and beak. We need 200 chicks in all so please let me know how many you are making. I need to receive them by Monday 8th March, please.

The pattern can be found here…

…and you’ll see that each chick contains a cream egg. We’ll also print a label saying the chick is a gift from Mothers’ Union and is not a toy, then put the whole lot in a sealed plastic bag.

Here are a couple of chicks I’ve knitted for you to see. Please contact me on avp.eastberks@muoxford.org.uk and I’ll let you know my address to send the chicks. If anyone would like to contribute to the cost of the eggs then please send a cheque or a bank transfer to Eve or Geoff for the Projects Account.

Thanks for your help.

Jean Vaughan

Action and Outreach

Thank You from Children Heard and Seen

Maureen and CHAS Representatives withAdvent Calendars

Children Heard and Seen were so grateful to receive the generous donation of 200 advent calendars from the Mothers Union. The families were delighted to receive their calendars at one of our Campfire socials that we were able to hold briefly at the beginning of December 2020. At the time, the calendars gave children something to look forward to and a sense of hope after what had been a very difficult year for us all. We’d like to thank the Mother’s Union for their continued support and generosity.

Hospital Project – Items required for July – December 2020


  • Mini sized only please!
  • Soap, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, body lotion, shaving kits (razor AND shaving cream, soap or gel please), toothbrushes (can be multipacks), MINI toothpaste.
  • Small combs
  • Flannels
  • Small packs of tissues
  • Please do not send anything which has been used or of ‘normal’ size!


  • Coffee – Instant coffee in jars or tins – any size or brand is welcome
  • Chocolate and Horlicks – Jars or tins

Cleaning items

  • Dishwasher machine items: Salt, Rinse Aid, Cleaning tablets/capsules – any size and brand
  • Cleaning Products – Any size and brand of:
  • Toilet cleaner, multi-purpose cleaners, non-scratch cleaners etc.
  • Cleaning and washing up cloths – any size and brand.

Please do NOT send tea, sugar or anything for washing machines anymore. A monthly update can be found in the eNewsletter

Mothers’ Union supports Baby Basics MK

Baby Basics MK is a volunteer-led charity, dedicated to supporting families who are in greatest need in Milton Keynes. They rely on donations of second-hand, but good condition, baby essentials. These are lovingly made into gift packages that give families everything they will need to get started with a new baby, and continue to support them where needed. Click on this link to go to their website

Families may be referred to by health professionals, such as health visitor and midwifes, and local churches.

Members can help support Baby Basics by donating …

  • Baby and children’s clothes up to age 5
  • Baby equipment such Moses baskets (these can be second hand but will need to have a brand new, still packaged, mattress) and baby baths
  • Bedding and baby towels
  • Nappies
  • New bottles
  • Toiletries for mum and baby

If you knit, they are in need of…

  • Baby clothes
  • Small blankets
  • Hats, scarves and mittens for ages 3 – 5

If you don’t have a favourite pattern, here are some links to knitting patterns for hat, scarves and mittens…

Simple Mittens knitted flat


Aran weight Hat and Mittens

Hat and Scarf (please don’t knit the fingerless gloves on this pattern)

If you have any items to donate please contact Rachel Buckley by using this email contact form or via the office.

Please remember the volunteers and families in your prayers. Marion Gunning from the Prayer & Spirituality Unit has written this prayer for us…

Heavenly Father, your infant Son was born in a stable then fled into exile with his parents, faced with an uncertain future.  Yet He was sent by you as a gift of Love to share with the world; a gift carried forward by Baby Basics today.
We give thanks for everyone involved in Baby Basics, for the work they do, for the care and support they give and the generosity shown by so many who support their endeavours.  We pray too for the families who seek their help and ask for your blessing on them as their children grow.  We ask this knowing that you care for each and everyone of us.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer. Amen


Sewing Pattern for Face Masks

This link (below) is for a for a face mask which you may be able to make. This one has elastic round the ears but the care home I’ve just spoken to would prefer tapes to tie.

Face Mask pattern and Tutorial

Face Mask Pattern (PDF)

You may like to make a mask for yourself or a friend, or ask at you local care home to see if they have a need for more.

Jean Vaughan
Action and Outreach Committee

Sewing Laundry Bags for Care Home Staff

Now that we are all spending the majority of our time indoors I hope you’re able to help the front line staff in your area.

All nurses, carers and admin staff at care homes have to have a different set of clothes to travel to work in and then have to change into workwear. That workwear has to be put in a bag after work, taken home and washed in the bag.

There’s a great need for cloth bags about the size of a pillow case, with a draw string, for them to use. One of our members has just made 32 for me to take to a local care home and when she’s had a rest she’s going to do some more! The bags should have 72 hours without being used and you mustn’t transport them in a plastic bag, but you can tell the care home the history as you pass them over.

Your church may well have links with local care homes where they go to lead services so I suggest you start by contacting those. I expect doctors’ surgeries also need these bags, but as yet I haven’t enquired. Redundant sheets, quilt covers and pillow cases are ideal to use.

Happy sewing!

Jean Vaughan

Action and Outreach Committee

Upcoming Events

  1. Diocesan Members Compline via Telephone

    September 28 @ 8:00 pm - 8:30 pm
  2. Diocesan Members Zoom – Our Current Projects

    September 29 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
  3. Diocesan Members Compline via Telephone

    October 1 @ 7:00 pm - 7:30 pm
  4. Diocesan Members Zoom Coffee and Chat

    October 12 @ 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
  5. Diocesan Autumn Meeting & AGM

    October 21 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Verse of the Day

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” — 2 Corinthians 13:14 Listen to chapter . Powered by BibleGateway.com.