Church of St John the Baptist, Kidlington

Historical Notes

The church building was completed in 1958 after a period of ten years when church services were held in temporary accommodation. St John's is a multi-purpose Hall Church and it is used not only for Anglican church services but also for a range of community activities throughout the week.

Although St John's is not an ancient building with centuries of tradition behind it, we are very proud of our more recent heritage and grateful for the activities and energy of all those who brought it into being.

The Parish Tapestry at St John's

Many visitors to St John's are inspired and intrigued by the large tapestry hung on the back wall of the Hall. Full details of its commissioning, planning and working are given in the St John's history.

The central component is a copy of a Byzantine icon, worked on 39 panels covering 30 metres of canvas. This icon was blessed by Bishop Patrick Roger at the Confirmation Service held on 25th March 1986. The surrounding panels, representing St John's and St Mary's Kidlington were then worked and show a wide range of flora and fauna, including 89 fish and over 21 birds. The final tapestry measures 13 feet by 10 feet and was blessed at St John's Patronal Festival on 24th June 1990 by the Archdeacon, the Venerable Frank Weston.

Over 70 individuals sponsored the panels and over 50 people were involved in the embroidery, the youngest being a boy of six who embroidered the red spider hanging under the blackberries. Others were involved in the construction and erection of the completed tapestry, including young people from the then H.M. Young Offenders Institution Campsfield House, who made the underlying frame.

Our grateful thanks go to all those involved in this activity, but especially to Iris Darvill who designed the work and led the project from conception to completion.

If you would like the see more of our history, contact David Towsend.