Sunday, 31 January 2010

Sunday 31st January


As January draws to a close, Oxfordshire awoke to a chilly morning and a packed Sunday Breakfast show.

The Dead Sea Scrolls
We heard from Geza Vermes, the Emeritus Professor of Jewish Studies at Oxford University. He recalled how he published the first doctoral dissertation on the Dead Sea Scrolls... in 1953. He has just brought out two books- one on this topic, and the other about the "real" Jesus. A fascinating man.

This week it was revealed that the gap between rich and poor is wider today than it was forty years ago. Oxford's Chris Brazier (below), who co-edits the magazine New Internationalist, joined Phil in the studio to discuss poverty and its causes. They were joined on the line by David Stapleton from Banbury who runs a money management course, and Jim Hewitt who has run Blackbird Leys' Credit Union for twenty years.

'The Subversive Jesus'
Phil spoke to Mother Winsome from the community of St Mary the Virgin in Wantage about her story - she trained to be a lawyer in New York before deciding on a religious life. She is giving a talk at Christ Church, as part of their series entitled The Subversive Jesus.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Saturday 30th January


Big Garden Bird Watch
Today is the day to sit and spend an hour counting the birds. Have a look on the RSPB website for details. You can also head to the River and Rowing Museum in Henley to find out more as well.
In similar news, we heard about an unusual visitor to the BBOWT nature reserve at Chimney Meadows. A Bittern.

Get Active
We had details of the Get Active Walk along the Phoenix Trail later today.

Wantage Councillling Service
They have a special exhibition on at the the Vale and Downland Museum. If you want more information about their work, the phone number is 01235 769 744.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Sunday 24th January

Good morning.

An interesting show indeed.

The Holocaust
With Holocaust Memorial Day just around the corner, on this coming Wednesday the 27th, we heard from local artist Nicholas Hedges who will be unveiling a public art installation in Shotover Park. Also gap-year student Jack Livesey spoke with Phil - he has been to Aushwitz and told us about how that visit has affected him and his studies.

House of Lords - The Big Debate
(You can listen to highlights here)
Joining Phil in the studio this morning we had three special guests to discuss the presence of Bishops in the House of Lords - the so-called 'Lords Spiritual' - whose future will be debated this coming week in the Upper House. Our guests were:

Rt. Rev John Pritchard - Bishop of Oxford
Dr Evan Harris - Member of Parliament for Oxford West and Abingdon
Lord Bill Bradshaw - Baron of Wallingford

Our paper reviewer this morning was James Panton, Co-Founder of the Manifesto Club and Lecturer in Politics at St John's College, Oxford.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Saturday 23rd January

I'm still recovering for my adventure in to the world of TV last night, if only someone had told me my collar was turned up!
County Swap Shop
This morning Frances Buckle stood in for Eco Guru Simon to tell us about this years annual clear out that is the Swap Shop. If you missed it today there are plenty that happen other weeks have a look at the Community Action Group website.

Walk for Haiti
There are plenty of events happening around the world raising money for those caught up in the earthquake in Haiti. Justin Davis from Blackbird Leys and some friends will be walking from the community centre along the Cowley Road in to the city centre raising money as they walk.

The Disasters Emergency Committee website is here: if you want to help the national campaign.

The Landfill Prize
This follows on quite nicely from the Swap Shops. An award for the object that has the least use and takes up valuable space in our rubbish tips. Things like the Motorised Ice Cream Cone and the Ear Dryer are already on the list. What would you add?

Next week we are off on the next Get Active Walk. If you fancy joining me and the team, then have a look at the details here.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Get Active Walk - Saturday 30th January 2010

The next walk is on Saturday January 30th 2010. The walk is in the area to the east of Thame. We’ll meet at the Three Horseshoes pub in Towersey at 10.30am to start the walk about 10.45am. The route includes a section of The Phoenix Trail, the tarmac and gravel path created on the dismantled railway line that runs between Thame and Princes Risborough. The rest of the route includes farm tracks, quiet roads and a short footpath. This route has been carefully chosen to avoid getting wet feet but it’s quite muddy in places, so boots or sturdy shoes are highly recommended. The walk is fairly flat and about 6 miles long. As always the walk will be lead at a pace to suit everybody. Well behaved dogs are welcome but for the safety of cyclists in particular, must be on a lead while on the Phoenix Trail.

Everyone should sign the disclaimer and if new people wouldn’t mind completing a monitoring form that would be great. Please make sure you sign the disclaimer every time you come on a walk.

After the walk we can have a well earned lunch at Three Horseshoes pub in Towersey. I have made a group booking for about 2.00pm and I will have a menu so that we can order our food before we set off. If you’d like lunch make sure you give me your order on Saturday morning!

So, whether you’ve joined us before or not, and feel that you can manage this walk put the date in your diary and come with us.

The weather of course is unpredictable and unknown at this stage. We’ll walk in all but the worst conditions but if you’re in any doubt about whether the walk is going ahead listen to Phil Mercer’s show on the Saturday morning between 6am and 9am.
Many charities encourage walking as a way of raising money. So before the start of the walk we are asking for a donation of £1 for a chosen charity. So far we have more than £1,080 for both local and national charities. Before the walk this month we’ll make another collection for the Foetal Medicine Unit at the J.R. Hospital.

To book a place or for more details contact

Best wishes,
CSV Action Desk
Dates for future walks: February 27th and either 20th or 27th March BBC Oxford Action Desk 08459 311 222 or email

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Sunday 17th January

Good morning. Well, the snow seems to be on its way out for now-however in its place there is ice and it has not been easy going on the county's roads.

A packed breakfast show this morning, with all sorts to think about.

The latest from Haiti as Phil spoke to the head of Tearfund's Disaster Management Unit, Oenone Chadburn. We also listened to a Haitian Methodist Minister who has not heard from his family since the earthquake struck.

The Disasters Emergency Committee website is here:

Equality Law vs. Faith?
The Editor of the Church of England newspaper, Colin Blakely, discussed the issues raised by the new Equality Bill. Is it a necessary measure to bring equality and fairness to all of our institutions, or does it represent a genuine threat to religious freedom?

Charity Armed Forces Walk
Phil caught up with Anne Cox who is in the midst of a 500 mile walk organised by Honour Our Troops- a not-for-profit organisation- and is braving the elements to raise money and increase awareness of the difficulties faced by serving soldiers and their families.
Our paper reviewer this morning was the Reverend Sarah Tillett, the Minister for Bloxham parish and also a director of Tearfund.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Saturday 16th January

This morning we had the latest on the devastating earthquake, speaking to Save the Children and the Rotarary Club (Oxford Isis). If you want to give some money go to or pop in to the Westgate Shopping Centre today where the Rotatarians will be showing how a ShelterBox can make a huge difference.
Call 0370 60 60 900
Post: Please send a cheque made payable to DEC HAITI EARTHQUAKE and send it to DEC HAITI EARTHQUAKE, PO BOX 999, LONDON, EC3A 3AA

The Big Map of Oxfordshire
Sanders of Oxford has an exhibition showing some old prints and engravings of Oxford including one massive 6ft by 5ft map of the county. You can pop in to see for yourself today from 10am.
Framed for the Future
Judy Dewey the curator of the Wallingford Museum popped in to the studio to tell of grand plans to construct a new timber frames building in the grounds of the musuem. It should be happening over the summer, but they need your help.

The River Thames - Then and now
Author and photographer Graham Diprose popped in to tell about his challenge to recreate the photos of Henry Taunt. The exhibition is on at the Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock from today.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Sunday 10th January 2010

Good Morning,

Well this is the fifth day of the big freeze, so the show is a little different to the normal one. You can get the latest on Oxfordshires situation from this page of the BBC Oxford website: Go...

This is the list of cancelled church services for today, as well as services that have had their times changed:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Oxford

The 8.30 am service at Claydon

The 9.30 am service at Mollington

The 11.00 am service at Wardington

Kennington Methodist Church, Upper Road, Kennington - 10.30am

Bicester Spiritualist Church

Grove Free Evangelical Church, Grove - Morning and evening services

St Michael's of All Angels at Newton Purcell - morning service

All Saints' Church in Wollstone, the 9.45am service

St Nicholas at Baulking, the 8.45am service

St Margaret's Church in Binsey, Holy Communion at 9.00am

St Denys' Church in Little Compton, 9.30am is cancelled - so there will be one service in the five parishes which will take place at St Mary's at Salford at 11.00am

St Michael's in Begbroke 9.30am service, will now be held in The Priory.

Botley Baptist Church

St Faith's at Shellingford, the 10.30am service has been moved to to be a full service at 11.00am

St Laurence's Church in South Hinksey, 9.15am

Orchard Baptist Fellowship in Bicester, 10.30am

Mary Magdalene Church in Shippon, 10.30am

Cropredy Evensong