Sibford Scene Archive

Sibford Scene 459 December 2023

Click on the cover image to download the complete edition

A group of people standing next to a cow

Primary School: Nature

We are planning to run some poetry workshops for the children in school, partly inspired by their love of poetry and story. Dylan wrote the beautiful poem below in response to a lesson stimulus where the children went outside into our glorious grounds to immerse themselves in nature.


by Dylan Mannix

Luscious. The wind breathes
on me as a storm thickens in the air.
The heavy atmosphere
has a calming touch on my skin.

The birds singing, children laughing,
joy is all around. I know it won’t last
as we take shelter under a fir tree.
The smell of wet grass. Humid.
I am not going to lie, I prefer indoors,
but today felt different.

I have a quick daydream, as always,
I don’t know why. Beautiful breeze.
Thunder and lightning. Buttercups,
grass, flowers, daisies, grey clouds.

Did you know? - Holy Trinity Church

The final photograph in this year’s Village Calendar features the Parish Church in Sibford Gower. Taken by a drone when the church roof was being inspected, the picture was submitted by Rev. Neil Bowler. The final three months were kindly sponsored by Alan Berks who supplies hay, straw and manure locally.

The King’s Commissioners visited the Sibfords during the Reformation and in 1547 reported ‘an ancient church which had fallen into decay’, but no site or remains have ever been found. This early chapel may have been used by priests who travelled between villages and who were paid by wealthy patrons to say prayers for their deceased relatives. 

Until 1840 the Sibfords did not have an Anglican parish church but were part of the ecclesiastical parish of Swalcliffe (1.5 miles east of Sibford) and all services, including burial, took place there. Holy Trinity Church was built by grant and public subscription to provide 500 seatings, 340 of which were free forever. The design was by H J Underwood of Oxford, and the land was donated by Rev William Wilkes in 1839 and was consecrated for use in 1840. It has a spacious feel under its roof which was restored in 2000. Built in the shape of the Cross it does not have a separate chancel but has some fine pews and choir stalls built by local craftsmen.

A dining room tableThe single manual organ was also erected by public subscription in 1906. Made by Jacksons of Oxford it was dedicated by the Bishop of Oxford. The leaded-light windows in both the chancel and the nave are arranged in groups of three, representing the Holy Trinity. Some of the windows display excellent examples of Victorian and Edwardian stained glass. These illustrate bible stories and events and some are dedicated memorial windows.

Surrounded by its burial grounds, Holy Trinity Church is situated within the farming countryside and stands in the heart of the village community it serves. 

Our calendar year has run its course – season greetings
Maureen Hicks

Neighbourhood Watch

Just a gentle pre-Christmas reminder of the most popular scam phone calls.

  1. Unpaid bill scam. You receive a call from a ‘BT (EE) engineer’ saying that you owe them money and that they are going to cut off your phone. The call usually comes out of office hours you are asked for credit card details etc.
  2. Investment scam. This one takes time as they are happy to chat about your investments ( stocks and shares details are available on a public share register). Then one evening they will ring you with ‘an exceptionally exciting opportunity – but you have to act fast and make an immediate decision’.
  3. Computer Virus. You are contacted by one of the big organisations – perhaps claiming to be Microsoft, advising you that they have detected a virus on your machine. ‘Are you sitting at your machine? …all you need to do is down load some free software and all will be well.’
  4. Lottery/competition. You’ve won! (even without taking part), but there is an administration fee which needs to be paid before your prize can be claimed.
  5. Courier scam. Caller says they are from your bank and someone has been fraudulently using your card. They ask you to hang up and dial another number. They will send a Taxi/courier to collect your card.

If it feels wrong, it probably is. Keep calm and just hang up.

Have a safe Christmas
Peter Hine. Neighbourhood Watch – Gower and Burdrop

Above, you may see one or two items of historical interest from this edition. To see the whole edition, click on the front-page image to download it as a pdf.