Convent of the Incarnation · Fairacres · Parker Street · Oxford · OX4 1TB     Telephone: +44 (0) 1865 721301    Email Us



We wish you every blessing of the Christmas Season


Saturday 23rd December no Eucharist

Sunday 24th December ADVENT 4/CHRISTMAS EVE

9.00 am Eucharist

5.30 First Vespers of Christmas

11.30 pm Midnight Mass

Monday 25th December CHRISTMAS DAY

11.30 am Christmas Eucharist with Carols

5.10 Intercessions and Vespers.


Tuesday 26th ST STEPHEN'S DAY 9.30 am Eucharist

Wednesday 27th ST JOHN'S DAY 9.30 am Eucharist

Monday 1st January 2017 9.00 Sung Eucharist

Friday 5 January No Eucharist

Saturday 6 January FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY 9.00 Sung Eucharist

Tuesday 9 January 8.30 Eucharist


Most of our guests come to us for a time of quiet retreat, and respecting that, we don’t usually talk with them at length. A recent exception was Phil Stone, director of the Scargill Movement. Earlier this year Sister Clare-Louise visited Scargill to give the community some teaching on prayer, and we were glad to have an opportunity to meet Phil and learn more about Scargill. If you explore their website you will find that the Autumn 2017 edition of the newsletter (Momentum) includes an account of Sister Clare-Louise’s visit.

Another guest, Bonnie Thurston, was with us for six weeks and during that time gave us four talks. Bonnie is from West Virginia and is a New Testament scholar and poet. She has a deep knowledge and love of Thomas Merton which she shared with us. SLG Press has published two booklets by Bonnie: Monastic Life, a sign of Contradiction to the Fashionable Idols, and Lazarus, Come Out: Reflections on John 11 which are both available—go to the SLG Press page. While Bonnie was with us she did some editorial work in the Press—and after lunch each day headed for the scullery to help with the washing up. Thank you!

Also available from the Press is the new edition of the Fairacres Chronicle which includes some of the material presented at our study day on Father Gilbert Shaw, and an article by Sister Judith reflecting on her two years living with the Little Sisters of Jesus in Northern Ireland: Sister Judith returned to Fairacres at the end of November.

Among ourselves and our friends and family members we are very aware of the effects of dementia, but perhaps have had some misperceptions, and all too often experience a sense of frustration and helplessness when encountering someone we know and love who seems to have become a stranger. We invited a Dementia Friends Champion to visit us and tell us a bit about the condition and how we can help. 'Dementia Friends' is an initiative of the Alzheimer's Society which aims to recruit two million people who will help to transform the way in which we all think, act and speak about the condition. The presentation was lively and stimulating: by the end we were all able to list five key points.

  • Dementia isn't a normal aspect of ageing
  • It's caused by diseases of the brain
  • It's not just about memory loss
  • It is possible to live well with dementia
  • There's more to the person than their dementia

We were asked to commit to some simple actions: one of mine was to put this report on our website and to include contact information so that you can get involved too.

Snowfall on the second Sunday of Advent brought a small flock of redwings to the holly tree outside refectory, which they began systematically stripping of its berries, starting from the top and working their way down. There won't be any left by Christmas, but we can't begrudge these winter visitors their sustenance.