News and Events
St Marys Church Sunday Club, Peterborough, who supports the Oxford Mission in their outward giving, have, for their Lent Project this year, raised £174. The children watched a video of the Girls Hostel children made when Anne Emery visited Bangladesh and prayed for them. They baked cakes, and together with a tombola, raised the money to send to Mother for the Girls Hostel.
Envirocharities is a scheme dedicated to helping supporters make money from old mobile phones. The process is really simple, it works by you selling your old mobile phone(s) for up to £180 on the website, and for each sale, envirocharities will automatically make a donation of £3.00 to the Oxford Mission. You will always receive the value of your phone, but, if you are feeling generous, you can donate a percentage value of your phone to the Oxford Mission as well. The service is free to register and use, for more information, log on to www.oxfordmission.envirocharities.com . It couldnt be easier, so go on, tell your friends, and make some money for you and the Oxford Mission!
If any reader has details of any further fund-raising events, the editor would be pleased to hear about them.
We are sad to announce the deaths of some of our supporters during the last six months.
The death of The Very Reverend Kenneth Jennings was announced on December 14, 2007. After completing his ordination training at Cuddesdon Theological College (1954 56) and a short curacy in Ramsgate, he moved to Calcutta where he taught at Bishops College for ten years, first as a lecturer and then as vice-principal. While there, he was in constant touch with the Mission in Cornwallis Street and at Behala.
The Revd Dr Ian Clark (an ex-Committee member) remembers stories of Kenneth: He sailed from Bombay in 1966 just a week or so before I landed, kindly bequeathing me his bedding-roll with the suggestion that I bring a clean pillowcase in my luggage! Much more importantly, he bequeathed me his faithful bicycle, which I used all over Calcutta for a decade. I also inherited an enormously aﬀectionate breadth of memories of Jennings Sahib. It was great to catch up with the real KJ when I joined the Board of the Oxford Mission in later years.
Kenneth maintained contact on his return to Cuddesdon in 1967, and joined the O.M Committee in 1970. A friendly and co-operative person, his clear mind for detail and his knowledge of the Calcutta scene was invaluable. He retired as Dean of Gloucester in October 1996, and, as his retirement home was far away in the Yorkshire Dales, he felt he should also leave the Committee. He is survived by his wife and two children.
We were sad to hear of the death of Bishop Kenneth Woollcombe on 3 March 2008, aged 84. In 1971 he became Bishop of Oxford and ex officio our President. He attended Committee Meetings, preached at our services and got to know and love the Mission, staying on after leaving Oxford until his retirement from the ministry in 1989. He wrote enthusiastically about his visit to the compounds in 1979, and was especially impressed by the Christa Sevika Sangha in Jobarpar:
What energy and keenness these young Sisters have! How lovely it was to hear them sing their office in Bengali with Bengali settings! Pray for them in their adventure of faith, he wrote afterwards. I do not take kindly to travel, but the long journey by plane, steamer, bus, rickshaw and boat was so richly rewarded that I would endure every bump and jolt to go there again!
Bishop Kenneth was an excellent speaker with an attractive personality, whose wisdom, friendliness and keen interest were greatly valued by the OM Committee.
Barbara died in December 2007 after a short illness. She was 96 years old, and a sister of Father Theodore Mathieson BE, who brought the musical education of the boys at the Oxford Mission at Behala, Kolkata, to such a high pitch of excellence. She and her sister Margaret Ingledew spent their whole lives supporting their beloved brother in his work. They raised funds for the Mission through regular Missionary Markets, sent out to India anything he needed, and put up OM Fathers and Sisters when they came home on furlough. They made abstracts of his lively letters home which they sent to anyone who would be interested. After his death in 1994, they sponsored the publication of these letters in book form, with all proceeds from its sale going to the Mission.
Barbara herself lived very simply, and her kindn kindness and support were always there for anyone from the Mission who needed it. Her last protégé, cellist Manab Naskar, has just successfully finished a B. Mus. course in Scotland, and a touching letter from him saying how much difference her generosity had made to his life was read out at the beginning of her funeral. To expressions of gratitude, her modest reply would be I did it for Theodore.
The funeral was held on 14 January, 2008, at St. Andrews Parish Church, Chinnor, Oxfordshire. The church was filled with Barbaras large and much-loved family, including her great-great-niece born only four days before, and many friends. The eulogy was given by Canon Ralph Cartmill, retired rector of the parish, who had known her for 37 years and had many memories: these included the Nelson Mandela vividly-patterned clerical shirts she made for him (one of which he was wearing), and the longevity of the socks she knitted (on an amazing sock machine, which she once demonstrated on an Inventions programme on television!). Her support for church and community has been immense he said, and only surpassed by commitments to the Oxford Mission and to Theodore.
The OM was represented by Simon Ling, Chairman of the UK Committee of the Mission, and Robert Mathieson, Treasurer, both also Barbaras nephews; and by John Corrie (retired Chairman), Margaret Howe and Gill Wilson, all on the OM Committee. Lady Imray, also recently retired from the Committee, was there, and remembers the Missionary Markets: ...I was invited to one in a dappled orchard close to Dorchester Abbey. The sun shone through the apple blossom on knitted bedsocks, tea cosies, bric a brac and on delicately-stitched embroidered cloths of muslin. Barbara had packed her car to capacity with these hand-made or donated items, and although apparently frail, she had unloaded and then piled them all on rickety tables under the trees. We were then treated to home-made lemonade and cakes as we browsed, but there was an unspoken agreement that everything had to go! ... Barbara dedicated her life to supporting the work of the Oxford Mission ... She was a generous hostess and a riveting raconteur of the Missions history. Young and old loved and admired her. The very full church at her funeral showed how much she will be missed.
Amen to that.
In December we were sad to hear about the death of Molly Bing, who was a member of the Oxford Mission Committee for over 20 years. She was a very quiet person, but was much valued for her reports on the welfare of the Sisters of the Epiphany at Ditchingham through her visits to her sister Joan, Mother, SE, for 21 years.
May they all rest in peace.