About The Akeman Benefice

Formed in 1996, the benefice takes its name from the Roman road that ran more or less east to west through the middle of our area. It is pronounced as two syllables (ache-man), not three (acre-man)! Though each village parish has its own historic church, we work together to try to widen the opportunities for people in our communities to hear the message of Jesus Christ.

You are assured of a warm welcome at any of our services. Just click on any of the individual parishes in the Churches menu or on the services menu to find out more. The ministry team are always pleased to hear of any newcomers, to be informed about people who are unwell or in any kind of need, or to meet with you to talk about matters of life and faith. You can find our all about our ministry team here.

Services and Activities

Please visit the services page for up-to-date information.

Most of our parishes have a service (sometimes two) on most Sundays. The exception is the fourth Sunday of the month when we meet together as one worshipping body in each parish church in turn through the year. We try to keep a balance between child-friendly, all-age services and more traditional celebrations of Holy Communion. Evensong takes place once a month in Kirtlington, and occasionally in other churches.

about the benefice

The Akeman Benefice invites families and young people to join us for our family-friendly activities, including Rise & Shine, family services, and an annual service especially for those who have had a child baptised in one of our churches. 

There are several midweek fellowship groups meeting in the villages for Bible study, prayer and mutual support.

Details for all of these events and services can be found in our What’s On section or on the individual church pages. 

Part of the Wider Community

Our benefice is part of the Deanery of Bicester and Islip, a federation of 38 churches, mostly rural, grouped into five benefices. 

We are part of the Archdeaconry of Dorchester, which covers most of Oxfordshire apart from the City of Oxford. You can find out more about this on the Diocese of Oxford website. Meet our diocesan leadership team at the bottom of this page.

Access for All

The churches in the benefice welcome everyone – from all backgrounds, young and old. All our churches have good disabled access, with a maximum of one small step into any of the buildings. If you would like any more information about accessibilty please do contact us here.

about the church family

Diocesan Leadership Team

Diocesan Bishop

The Bishop of Oxford, The Right Reverend Steven Croft. He has responsibility for the whole diocese of Oxford, which covers Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, but his main pastoral focus is on the City of Oxford itself. He also has national responsibilities.

Area Bishop

Our Area Bishop is The Bishop of Dorchester, The Right Reverend Gavin Collins. The Area Bishop has pastoral care for all the clergy in the area and can often be seen at Institutions (when new clergy are inducted) and at Confirmations.


The Archdeacon of Dorchester is The Venerable David Tyler. The archdeacon is responsible for the nuts and bolts, some of the less glamorous aspects of church life, such as faculties and sorting out knotty problems!

Associate Archdeacon

Prebendary Jane Haslam is the Associate Archdeacon.  She assists the archdeacon in his ministry.

Area Dean

Our Area Dean is Gareth Miller, who is also our Rector. He has responsibility, with the Lay Chair, Tina Shaw, for the five benefices and thirty-eight churches that make up the Deanery of Bicester and Islip.