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Monthly Archives: November 2023

Rescuing the Owls

November 23, 2023

[Editor’s note: The following article, by Oxfordshire Wildlife Rescue’s founder Luke Waclawek, highlights just one example of the great work being done by this Woodway Road-based charity. For more information visit]

We have five resident species of owl that can be found living in our countryside: the Barn Owl, Little Owl, Short Eared Owl, Long Eared Owl and the Tawny Owl. Whilst Oxfordshire Wildlife Rescue have seen and cared for all these species, by far our most regular patients are the Tawny Owls. With their beautiful mottled brown feathers and their striking deep and dark eyes, they are captivating, no matter how many we see sadly come into care.
The most common cases are, unfortunately, those that fall victim to our busy roads, usually while feeding on carrion left by earlier collisions. After them come the Tawny Owl orphans, which we start to see coming into the wildlife hospital around the middle of April.Usually, these bundles of helpless ‘fluff’ are at an age where they can (with a little persuasive intervention) generally feed themselves. But this year, we had something a little special – two Tawny owlets spotted at the base of a damaged tree, no more than five days old and each so small that they could both easily fit in the palm of your hand. Upon arrival, both were dehydrated and in shock. After receiving fluids (electrolytes), both were snuggled up together in the parental warmth of one of our incubators. Their rearing proved to be tricky. Being so small (35g each) the frequency of the feeds was very time-consuming. Every three hours, both day and night, for the first two weeks, which is when volunteers who have insomnia suddenly become the charity’s best friend!
By the time the owlets’ eyes opened, we were caring for another nine or so other Tawny owlets who had a little more experience in their natural behaviour, which meant we could introduce our two little ones, who would quickly go on to develop and learn from the other youngsters. Come early autumn, it was time to release our Tawny Owls back into the wild. It’s always a bittersweet moment, but we have done our bit, and the rest is up to them!
Nature is a beautiful thing, and one of the perks to this work is the ability to work closely with species such as the Tawny Owl. Right now, in December, you may hear their famous whistles and twit-woos echoing across our countryside during the dark winter nights. Sometimes I hear them here at the centre, and I do often wonder to myself, ‘could that be one of our Tawny Owl youngsters from this year?’ Perhaps, they are just letting us know they are doing well, back in their natural habitat, where they belong.


November 5, 2023

Someone once said, “I don’t want to go to Church, but I do want there to be a Church not to go to.” This sounds rather contradictory, but it is something many people can relate to.

We want the church to be there for us all, which indeed it is, but modern life means Sunday mornings can be important time for family activities, visiting friends or just having a long lie-in! Special events in the church such as the Carol Concert, Jubilee Evensong or Crib Service at Christmas are always well-attended by villagers, which indicates the value we place on the church. In difficult times, it is a place to pop in for a quiet moment, to sit and think and reflect. The ancient stones seem to understand and bring relief. At those great events in life such as the christening of a new baby, a marriage or a funeral, the church plays such an important part. We want the church to continue to flourish but also want to create another central space in the village for concerts, talks, coffee mornings, prayer meetings, rehearsals and plays.

Many people who may not attend the Services, already work to keep the church in good order by being on the Cleaning rota, the Maintenance Team, or the Flower Arrangers’ Group and we have an active Bell-Ringers group. Their voluntary work is appreciated and vital. Please let us know if you would like to get involved. We would also like to invite everyone to become a member of the Friends of St Michael’s Church so that we can widen this group of supporters and develop the church even further. Since Covid our Sunday services have become more diverse and we now have Communion, All Age Services, Taize Worship and services run by congregation, including talks about faith in a Café Church setting, and outdoor services where we celebrate the countryside and wildlife around us. We also offer a Sunday morning online service which you can join on “gotomeeting” or access by phone.

If you would like to join the Friends of St Michael’s, please complete the form on the leaflet found in this Bulletin or come along to a free Drinks and Nibbles event in the church on Saturday November 18th at 6.00pm-7.15pm to hear a little more about our aspirations to develop the Friends of St Michael’s. Everyone is welcome.


Are you on a low income and struggling to pay for food, energy or necessary household items?

We are a local charity able to support people living in Blewbury, the Astons and Upton by providing one off payments to help you, or someone you know in need.

To apply there is a short form to complete which can be picked up from the Post Office, the North Porch of St Michael’s Church or requested by email to We can help you fill in the form if needed. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but, as our funds are limited, we give priority to those in receipt of benefits such as Universal Credit, Tax Credits and Pension Credit or those who have extenuating circumstances such as ill health or vulnerability. Please don’t be reluctant to ask for help, all applications are dealt with confidentially.

United Charities of the Ancient Parish of Blewbury Registered Charity No: 203538