People of Wychwood Benefice

Who are we

Welcome to our Benefice! We are a group of four churches, serving the villages and hamlets of the Wychwood Benefice in the West Oxfordshire Cotswolds. Each place and church has its own personality and way of doing things, and we also enjoy getting together to celebrate with each other and learn from one another.

There are around 250 people on our electoral rolls, and the churches take a huge and active role in our communities. All of our church buildings are open daylight hours, so there is always a space for you if you need some quiet. During the week there are coffee mornings, home groups, discussion groups, prayer groups, midweek services and much more.

We are currently in a Vacancy – a period without a vicar. Services and events continue as usual with Anne and Karen our ministry team leading with the support of churchwardens and many volunteers.

Karen Rizzello Associate Priest

Rev Karen Rizzello – Associate Priest

I moved at the end of last year (2022) from the Benefice of Lyneham with Woodhill, in Wiltshirewhere I was Associate priest.

I am married to Peter who I met at University many years ago.  We spent some time in Canada early in our marriage and have travelled a fair bit.  We enjoy travel, theatre, films, festivals and concerts together.

I have served as a Church Warden and have been a member of various PCC’s and Synods in the past.  I have the honour of being a Canon Emeritus of Salisbury Cathedral.

I became a vicar after a career in Information Technology.  I trained for ministry at Sarum College in Salisbury.

I have always felt that God has played a major part in my life, at the worst of times and at the best. As this new chapter begins, I am looking forward to getting to know the people of the Wychwoods. Say hello if you see me.

God Bless, Karen.



We are currently in a vacancy as we search for a new vicar. We will update this information as soon as we have details of who will be joining the benefice in this role.





Revd Anne Hartley

Anne is our (retired) self supporting minister, which means that she volunteers her time to work in the local churches. Anne lives in Milton with her husband Mike. Anne can be contacted on 01993 830 160 or [email protected]  

on top of the world

Clare Harper

Clare is our Administrator who works part-time in the Benefice Centre helping to turn the chaos of three parishes into a smooth operation. Office Hours: Monday mornings and from home Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.

Tel 01993 832467 email: [email protected]

Liz Watts

Liz Watts, Milton Churchwarden

Liz Watts is one of our churchwardens who is closely involved with a number of areas of church life in the parish. She lives close by the church in Milton and can be contacted on 01993 684286 and [email protected]

Mike Brooks – Assistant Churchwarden, Shipton Church

Mike is assistant churchwarden for St Mary’s Church, Shipton under Wychwood Shipton.  He is  also Tower Captain of St Mary’s Church Tower. We have 9 bell ringers registered to the tower who ring for most principal services. Contact Mike on 01993 830014 or by  email: [email protected]

Fifield Church

Catherine Hitchens, Churchwarden for Fifield with Idbury

Catherine Hitchens is churchwarden of Fifield with Idbury with primary responsibility for Fifield. Contact Catherine on 01993 831881 or email [email protected]


Mary Champness, Churchwarden for Fifield with Idbury

Mary Champness is churchwarden of Fifield with Idbury with primary responsibility for Idbury. Contact Mary on 01993 831074.



Mike Hartley

Mike Hartley, Milton Churchwarden

Local farmer Mike Hartley has been churchwarden at St Simon and St Jude’s, Milton under Wychwood for almost 40 years! You can contact Mike on 01993 830160 or email

James Walmsley

James Walmsley, Shipton Churchwarden

You can contact James on 01993 830842 or by email [email protected]