Our faith

We believe and trust in God, who loves us all.

We believe and trust in Jesus, who showed us what love means.

We believe and trust in the Holy Spirit, who helps us to love in return.

The Methodist Church, along with the whole Christian community, believes each person has a value and dignity which comes directly from God's creation of male and female in God's own image and likeness. Christians see this as fulfilled by God's re-creation of us in Christ. Among other things, this implies a duty to value all people as bearing the image of God and therefore to protect them from harm.

Woodstock Methodist Church is committed to the safeguarding and protection of all children, young people and vulnerable adults and affirms that the needs of children or of people when they are vulnerable are paramount.

Woodstock Methodist Church recognises that none of us is invulnerable but that there is a particular care for those whose vulnerability is increased by situations, by disabilities or by reduction in capacities. It is recognised that this increased vulnerability may be temporary or permanent and may be visible or invisible, but that it does not diminish our humanity and seeks to affirm the gifts and graces of all God's people.

This policy addresses the safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults. It is intended to be a dynamic policy. It is intended to support the Church in being a safe supportive and caring community for children, young people, vulnerable adults, for survivors of abuse, for communities and for those affected by abuse.

Woodstock Methodist Church fully agrees with the Connexional statement reiterated in Creating Safer Space 2007:

As the people of the Methodist Church we are concerned with the wholeness of each individual within God's purpose for everyone. We seek to safeguard all members of the church community of all ages.

Woodstock Methodist Church recognises the serious issue of the abuse of children and vulnerable adults and recognises that this may take the form of physical, emotional, sexual, financial, spiritual or institutional abuse or neglect. It acknowledges the effects these may have on people and their development including spiritual and religious development. It accepts its responsibility for ensuring that all people are safe in its care and that their dignity and right to be heard is maintained. It accepts its responsibility to support, listen to and work for healing with survivors, offenders, communities and those who care about them. lt takes seriously the issues of promotion of welfare so that each of us can reach our full potential in God's grace.

Woodstock Methodist Church commits itself to respond without delay to any allegation or cause for concern that a child or vulnerable adult may have been harmed, whether in the church or in another context. It commits itself to challenge the abuse of power of anyone in a position of trust.

Woodstock Methodist Church commits itself to ensuring the implementation of Connexional Safeguarding Policy, government legislation and guidance and safe practice in the circuit and in the churches.

Woodstock Methodist Church commits itself to the provision of support, advice and training for lay and ordained people that will ensure people are clear and confident about their roles and responsibilities in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and adults who may be vulnerable.

Woodstock Methodist Church affirms and gives thanks for the work of those who are workers with children and vulnerable adults and acknowledges the shared responsibility of all of us for safeguarding vulnerable adults who are on our premises.

Woodstock Methodist Church has an appointed Safeguarding Co-ordinator whose role it is to:

  1. support and advise the minister and the church stewards in fulfilling their roles;
  2. provide a point of reference to advise on safeguarding issues;
  3. liaise with the Circuit and District Safeguarding Co-ordinators;
  4. promote safeguarding best practice within the local church with the support of circuit ministers.

Our current Safeguarding Co-ordinator is Ann Leck.

Purpose

The purposes of this safeguarding policy are to ensure procedures are in place and people are clear about roles and responsibilities for vulnerable adults in our care and using our premises. It is to be read in conjunction with the Methodist Safeguarding Handbook (2010).

Good Practice

We believe good practice means that:

  1. all people are treated with respect and dignity;
  2. those who act on behalf of the Church should not meet or work alone with a child or vulnerable adult where the activity cannot be seen unless this is necessary for pastoral reasons, in which case a written note of this will be made and kept noting date, time and place of visit;
  3. the church premises will be assessed for safety for children and vulnerable adults and the risk assessment report will be given annually to the Church Council in written form. This will include fire safety procedures. The Church Council will consider the extent to which the premises and equipment are suitable or should be made more suitable;
  4. any church-organised transport of children or vulnerable adults will be checked to ensure the vehicle is suitable and insured and that the driver and escort are appropriate;
  5. promotion of safeguarding is recognised to include undertaking those tasks which enable all God's people to reach their full potential. The Church Council will actively consider the extent to which it is succeeding in this area.

These things are to safeguard those working with children, young people and those adults who may be vulnerable.

Appointment and training of workers

Workers will be appointed after a satisfactory CRB disclosure. Each worker will be expected to undergo basic safeguarding training within the first year of appointment. The other training needs of each worker will be considered (e.g. food hygiene, first aid, lifting and handling, etc.) and each worker will have an annual review conducted by a named member of the Church Council and another worker within the organisation.

Pastoral visitors

In terms of safeguarding, Pastoral Visitors wiil be supported in their role with the provision of basic safeguarding training upon appointment.

Guidelines for working with children, young people and vulnerable adults

A leaflet will be produced and reviewed annually to be given to each worker with vulnerable adults outlining good practice and systems. The leaflet will be reviewed annually with this policy.

Ecumenical events

Where ecumenical events happen on church premises, safeguarding is the responsibility of this Church Council.

Events with church groups off the premises

Adequate staffing will be ensured for such events. Notification of the event will be given to the minister.

Other groups on church premises

Where the building is hired for outside use, the person signing the letting agreement will be given a copy of this policy and the leaflet. The bookings secretary will consider the various users of the building in making lettings.

Complaints procedure

It is hoped that complaints can generally be dealt with internally by the organisations. However, a complaint may be made to a person who will be appointed by the Church Council and who is currently the Revd Jonathan Todd. If a complaint is made to another person, it should be passed to the Revd Jonathan Todd who will arrange to meet with the complainant and attempt to resolve the complaint. If the complaint cannot be resolved, consideration will be given to invoking the complaints system of the Methodist Church which will involve initially speaking with the Local Complaints Officer who is currently Ann Leck.

Review

This policy will be reviewed annually by the Church Council.

Key concepts and definitions

  1. Vulnerable Adults: any adult aged 18 or over who, by reason of mental or other disability, age, illness, or other situation, is permanently or for the time being unable to take care of her or himself, or to protect her or himself from significant harm or exploitation.
  2. Safeguarding and protecting children or vulnerable adults from maltreatment; preventing impairment of their health and ensuring safe and effective care.
  3. Adult / child protection is a part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to the activity which is undertaken to protect children/specific adults who are suffering or are at risk of suffering significant harm,  including neglect.
  4. Abuse and neglect may occur in a family, in a community or in an institution. It may be perpetrated by a person or persons known to the child or vulnerable adult or by strangers; by an adult or by a child. It may be an infliction of harm or a failure to prevent harm.

Some links to other websites that might be of interest.

Hymns

As well as Hymns & Psalms, we also use the Oxford Circuit Song Book, the contents of which are listed here. However, please don't feel limited by what you find there as we are always happy to try out new hymns and songs.

Junior Church

The Junior Church may number 5 – 10 children, ranging in age from 1 to early teens. We would be very grateful if the first part of the service was appropriate for young people. They welcome an all-age talk and will interact with you, if encouraged. They usually leave for their own activities following a blessing after the second hymn. Two of them will usually take up the offering, so we would be grateful if you could include this before they leave! We also encourage them to take part by using percussion instruments during either the first or second hymn, where possible, and if you are therefore able to choose something which might be suitable for this, it would be much appreciated.

Technology

We have a full range of audio-visual facilities with permanent projector and screen, CD, DVD, laptop etc. We can also plug in your own ipod or MP3 player, if need be. We always project the words of the hymns, bible reading references and any prayer responses required but are also very happy to incorporate anything else you wish. If you wish to do a powerpoint presentation and are able to email it to us in advance, that would be most helpful. Failing that, please feel free to bring it on CD or memory stick (but not a floppy!) when you come. However, please do let us know in advance if you intend to do this as not all our operators have the appropriate skills to deal with such last minute additions.

If you want help putting something together, then please do get in touch and we will do what we can to produce something for you (eg. appropriate pictures, film clips, the three points from your sermon, quotes, prayers, other bits of liturgy etc.). At the other extreme, if it is easier for you to bring your own laptop and simply plug it in, that's fine, too! If you have any a/v questions, please do not hesitate to email the or talk with the steward on duty.

Readings and Prayers

We generally provide two people to do readings. Pew Bibles are available and are the NRSV translation. If you would like people to do other things (prayers, drama etc.) then we can often find willing volunteers. However, the more notice you can provide, the better!

Who to ring with your requirements

Please contact the duty steward by the Thursday prior to the service with your choice of hymns and reading by phone or 

If there is anything you would like included on the printed notices, then please or contact Julie Todd on 01865 842214.

Sunday

On the day itself, the duty steward will be there to meet you on your arrival and acquaint you with the church. Parking is often available on the street on a Sunday morning but, failing that, there is a car park just behind the church in Hensington Road (coming from Oxford, turn right 50 yards before the church, just before the pedestrian lights). Detailed instructions on how to find us can be found here. Spaces outside the church marked with cones are usually for our disabled members, but if you need us to reserve a place for you please let the duty stewards know in advance. Occasionally there are extra notices which the steward will give out at the beginning of the service. We then observe a short time of silence before we begin. Following the service, there is coffee and tea served in the hall and we do hope you will be able to join us for this.

We hope you enjoy worshipping with us.

Detailed instructions on how to find us are given below. For those with satellite navigation systems, our postcode is OX20 1TT. For a map, please click here.

From the south (Oxford)

Take the A44 from Oxford (Pear Tree Interchange). Woodstock is about 7 miles. On entering the town, you will pass a speed camera in the middle of the road, the gates to Blenheim Palace on your left and Young's Garage on your right. There is then a pedestrian crossing. About 100m further on you will find the King's Arms hotel on your left. The church is on your right, opposite the King's Arms, just set slightly back from the road. If you pass the fish & chip shop, or find the road begins to bear round to the left, you have gone too far.

From the north (A44)

Coming in to Woodstock from the north, you head down the hill and over a small river. The road bends round to the left, and then round to the right. About 100m further on you will see the King's Arms hotel on your right. The church is on your left, opposite the King's Arms, just set slightly back from the road. If you reach a pedestrian crossing, you have gone too far.

From the west (Witney)

Take the A4095 from Witney passing through Long Hanborough and Bladon. Just past Bladon there is a roundabout where the A4095 meets the A44. Turn left along the A44 towards Woodstock and follow the instructions as though coming from the south.

From the east

Approach Woodstock along the A4095 through Upper Campsfield. At the roundabout, turn right towards Woodstock and follow the instructions as though coming from the south.

Parking

There is a fair amount of on-street parking in Woodstock. On Sundays and in the evenings, there are no restrictions. On weekdays and Saturdays, most on-street parking in the centre of town is limited to one hour (including spaces outside the church). In the market place and outside the parish church, spaces have a three hour limit.

There is a car park off Hensington Road, behind the fire station, about five minutes walk from the church. If you are coming from Oxford, Hensington Road is to the right just before the pedestrian crossing. If you are coming from the church, head towards Oxford and take the first left after the pedestrian crossing. The car park is the second turning to the left, about 100m along Hensington Road. There is no time limit for cars parked in the car park.

Should the car park be full, come out of the car park and turn right. Then turn immediately right down Union Street. Go past Spencer Court Nursing Home and at the bottom of the hill you will find more on-street parking, again with no time limit.

All parking in Woodstock is free!

Drive along the main road through Woodstock and, just opposite the King's Arms Hotel, you will discover Woodstock Methodist Church. With a membership of 65 and a Junior Church numbering about 15, it is a warm, welcoming church with a vibrant worshipping community.

Our regular times of worship are at 10.30am on a Sunday and 9.30am on a Friday. Alongside this, we have a range of other activities: housegroups, film evenings, Tuesday Tots for preschool children and their carers, Thursday Coffee for those who want a chat or to play a game of Scrabble, and a variety of social events including regular walks and theatre trips.

As well as our own activities, we are committed to supporting groups and events in the wider community and across the world. We are a Fairtrade church and our current church project is to support three local homelessness charities based in Oxford. Information on all our activities can be found on the pages of this website.

Please do take the time to look around. And please, should you ever be passing through Woodstock, do drop in and see us.

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Prayer for the Week

Chaplaincy

I sit by your side.
I have nothing to say.
There is nothing I can do.
I am anxious.
I am afraid.
But I stay.

Jim Cotter

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Map

View Woodstock Methodist Church in a larger map

Community Foodbank

foodbank-logo-100Woodstock Methodist Church, along with all the churches in Woodstock, supports

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