On 15 July 2011 – St Swithin’s Day – I had the privilege of attending the Institution and Induction of Rev Darren McFarland as the Vicar of St Andrew’s, Old Headington in Oxford.
I have known Darren for many years, having previously attended his installation at Rector of Holy Trinity, Paisley at Candlemas in 2002, when I was honoured to be asked to service at that Choral Mass. I also attended his last service (Choral Evensong) at Holy Trinity and St Barnabas in Paisley on Trinity Sunday – 19 June 2011.
The service was introduced by the Area Dean of Cowley – Rev Bruce Gillingham and the prayers of penitence by Darren’s previous bishop – Rt Revd Gregor Duncan, Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway. The service was presided over by the Lord Bishop of Oxford, John Pritchard. The induction and sermon were to have been performed by the Archdeacon of Oxford – Venerable Julian Hubbard – however due to overrunning commitments in London he was late for the service, so the Bishop of Oxford appointed the Area Dean as Acting Acrhdeacon to perform the induction. The Archdeacon arrived in time to preach his sermon.
There has been a place of worship of the site of St Andrew’s for more that 1700 years, the first records of a church are in the times of Henry I in 1122. Features of the church date through its history. The entrance to the chancel is marked by a Norman Arch (from which the parish magazine takes it title).
At the west end are two more recent additions to the church. The West Window dates from 1932 and is memory of Vashti de Monfort Wellbourne. It depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Anne. Lower down is Simon de Montfort, founder of the English Parliament, and lower down is the Chapter House of Westminster Abbey where the first parliament was convened. The Organ was installed in 2009, having been built by Kenneth Tickell Organ Builders in Northampton.